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NEW inside

No ICE aid from local law enforcement IT’S YOUR PAPER



City combats cut-through traffic from Clayton Road

March 24, 2017

I have been asked by no fewer than two dozen people this past month about immigration. I have taken time to listen, address rumors, explain and engage in discussions with a variety of groups and individuals concerned about immigration enforcement. The topic is real and not going away. The genesis of this moment of trepidation for our communities is

the recent national directives regarding enhanced immigration enforcement. And the request from the President to have local law enforcement aid in immigration enforcement magnified this problem. The fear and mistrust it is creating among our community members is disheartening. The national rhetoric regarding immigration is without a doubt impacting our communities. I

know this is an emotional topic. It ranges from strong feelings about immigration officials working with law enforcement to fear among our immigrant community members of even going to the store. I know there are some who believe immigration laws should be strictly enforced and others who believe it is a misguided act that does significant damage to the fabric of


our community. I want to be clear. The Concord Police Department does not and has not enforced immigration laws. We do not and will not participate with any federal agency for the sole purpose of detaining or arresting persons for the sole purpose of their immigration status. Our core mission is protecting our residents and the community and

International opera singer gets real with Meadow Homes kids

to be successful we need to work with all of our community members, regardless of their immigration status. But I want to impress upon everyone that we will enforce the laws of this city and this state equally, regardless of one’s immigration status. Concord Police have worked hard for several See Chief, page 8

From the desk of...



‘Happiest Place on Dirt’ marks 50th anniversary The city has placed new limits on Clayton Road to thwart through traffic on smaller streets during commute hours.

At the request of residents, the city of Concord is working to reduce the number of nonresident vehicles traveling from Clayton Road through neighborhoods near Treat Boulevard during the weekday morning commute. New signs on Clayton Road prohibit westbound left turns and/or eastbound right turns from 6:30-9 a.m. weekdays at the following intersections: La Vista Avenue, Cape Cod Way, Bel Air Drive and Marclair Drive.

See Traffic, page 9

FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS AT MEADOW HOMES ELEMENTARY gather around Carla Dirlikov Canales during the singer’s visit to the school last month. BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

When Carla Dirlikov Canales visits Meadow Homes Elementary School, it’s like opening night at the opera. The excited students

gather in anticipation of the performance, which this time included the internationally acclaimed mezzosoprano singing a verse from “Carmen” in French. Canales also guided budding thespians through a “Lion King” rehearsal and taught

the students words she had learned in her travels – such as “snack” in Chinese and “love” in French. “She has such a gift for ‘getting little’ and relating to kids at their level and with their interests,” says Ursula Leimbach, public informa-

tion officer for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. “They had lots of questions for her, including where she had been around the world,” Leimbach adds. “She would point to places

See Opera, page 9

B-17 Bomber thrills at Buchanan Field PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

PILOT JOHN BODE STANDS IN FRONT OF THE ALUMINUM OVERCAST, a restored 1945 B-17 bomber that made a stop in Concord recently. It is one of only 11 B-17s still flying today and the pride of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

As I was flying in the Aluminum Overcast, a B-17 World War II bomber on a brilliant spring afternoon, buzzing the Mt. Diablo foothills, the cities of Concord and Walnut Creek and the Benicia Bridge, I was struck by one thought: How would it have felt to be a 19or 20-year old soldier squeezed into one of these for hours, facing a known enemy and an uncertain outcome? Especially after I was becoming airsick in the tight, rumbling quarters after only 15 minutes? Still, I was a lucky passenger that day, part of a press junket on a 25-minute flight that was highlighting the plane’s visit to Concord’s Buchanan Airport that week-

end. And despite the rumblings of the plane’s engines – some of my colleagues wore earplugs – and the rumblings of my stomach, the flight, and the plane itself, were magnificent. The Aluminum Overcast – so named in honor of the original wartime Aluminum Overcast because pilots of two smaller planes flying beneath it as an escort said the B-17 was so big it felt like it was cloudy outside – is just one of just 11 B-17s still flying today. It is the pride and joy of the Experimental Aircraft Association, which sponsored the tour to Concord and to other cities across the U.S. The majestic plane has a wingspan of 103 feet, 9 inches and is 74 feet 4 inches long. It weighs a whopping 36,135

See Bomber, page 9

If you are one of the thousands who stayed or worked at Camp Concord, you are invited to sign up for the 50th anniversary celebration Aug. 11-13. The weekend will include archery, canoeing, kayaking, a dance, campfires, skits and a special “50 Years of Camp Concord” slideshow. More than 100,000 campers have enjoyed the city’s beautiful summer sanctuary in South Lake Tahoe. That’s roughly the population of the city of Concord today. Here’s a walk down memory lane: breakfast at Pope Beach, beanie weenie night, cattle trucks, Friday night dances and counselors helping everyone with skits and campfire performances. Many “firsts” have been experienced at Camp Concord: first time a camper traveled outside of Concord, saw Lake Tahoe, went rafting or horseback riding, sat around a campfire, or made a friend outside of his or her neighborhood. One of the camp’s unique features is that counselors come not only from Concord but also from countries around the world. Campers may have met staff from more than 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Hungary and South Africa. Camp Concord, which sits on 29 acres of U.S. Forest Service land, has been the host site for a variety of special youth camp programs providing the opportunity for thousands of children with special health needs to enjoy nature

See Mayor, page 9


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .17

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

From the desk of . . . . . .8 School News . . . . . . . .14 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Performing Arts . . . . . .16


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Concord Pioneer •

In Brief... New Citizen Police Academy begins in June

The Concord Police Department is accepting applications for the next session of the Citizen Police Academy (CPA). CPA provides community members with an inside look at local law enforcement, giving an overview of the police department’s function and operations. Participants also will have the opportunity to meet with the chief and staff members. The six-week academy utilizes real examples of police work, taught by police executives and veteran police officers. However, the weekly sessions are not designed to train participants as police officers. The academy will begin the second week of June and meet 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays at the Concord Police Headquarters. Candidates must be at least 16 and live or work in the Concord area. They cannot have any felony convictions, or misdemeanor convictions within one year of application. For more information or to apply, go to Click on Government, then Police. Applications can also be obtained in the police station lobby, 1350 Galindo St.

Local quilters stitch colorful displays

Sweet ending to successful crab feed

Competition was fierce in the dessert auction at the Concord Chamber of Commerce Crab Feed on Feb. 24. The five Concord city council members each donated a cake for the dessert auction. Four of the five amazing cakes were made by Alpine Pastry & Cakes. Councilmember Tim McGallian made his own Triple Rocky Road Layer Cake. The dessert auction raised $2,800 Councilmembers Tim McGallian, Edi Birsan, Laura for the scholarship fund. Hoffmeister, Ron Leone and Carlyn Obringer show off the cakes auctioned off for the scholarship fund.

Clayton Valley Woman’s Club holds 12th Annual Festival of Tables and Fashion

Members worked throughout the year on the quilt for “Kaleidoscope of Butterflies,” theme of this year’s show.

The Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County host the “Kaleidoscope of Butterflies” quilt show on April 1-2 at Centre Concord with beautiful quilts by talented local quilters. Nancy S. Brown will be this year’s featured artist and will be giving quilting demonstrations throughout the weekend. Guild philanthropic Continued next page groups, Patriotic Quilts and Quilts to Share, will have quilts

Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club presents their 12th Annual Festival of Tables and Fashion event on Saturday, April 22, at Concord United Methodist Church in Concord. Social gathering and opportunity prizes at 11 a.m. Luncheon by Rick’s on Second at 12 p.m. with the fashion show to

follow. Fashions are by Have Bag Will Travel. Concord United Methodist Church is at 1645 West Street. Proceeds benefit Clayton Valley Woman’s Club charities and scholarships. Reservation price is $45; seating is limited. Contact Rosemary Harwood at 925.672.3490.

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club is a non-profit organization of communityminded women who volunteer and do fundraisers to donate to the community. Guests are welcome to attend meetings and social events. For more information, go to

on display in the member activities kiosk. In addition to other demonstration classes, the guild places emphasis on locally-sourced vendors.  The stunning “Kaleidoscope of Butterflies” guild quilt will be raffled  on Sunday at 3 p.m. Raffle tickets are available from guild members now or at the show. For show Fundraiser committee members Merle Whitburn, Nancy Haramaki, Kathy Hester, Shirley hours and ticket information, Adams, Kathy Olson, Arlene Lewandowski, Dee Yount and Judy Disbrow organized this go to year’s Festival of Tables and Fashion fundraiser for the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club.

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885 Belann Ct . . . . . . . . . . . $711,000 5472 Roundtree Pl #D . . . . . $296,000 4511 Concord Blvd. . . . . . . . $749,900 2055 Sierra Rd #83 . . . . . . . $207,000 2873 Gillet Ave . . . . . . . . . . . $470,000 5055 Valley Crest Dr #184 . . $325,000


Great “Larson” Model in Windmill Canyon at Oakhurst Country Club! Premium Golf Course View Lot! 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, approx. 2467sf. Downstairs bedroom or den! $816,000


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Stunning “Winter” model in Diablo Ridge at Oakhurst Country Cub! 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, approx. 1595sf! Beautifully updated! Rear of complex with views of hills and City lights! $599,000


3031 Bertram Ct. . . . . . . . . . $365,000 1765 Landana Dr . . . . . . . . . $559,900 4585 Coolidge St . . . . . . . . . $625,000 3679 Sanford St . . . . . . . . . . $625,000 3360 Northwood Dr #F. . . . . $280,000 945 Bancroft Rd #217 . . . . . $260,000



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March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Concord High cheer team In Brief... Vegas champs Free emergency

Sewing studio finds monstrous way to give back

ness anniversary was to find a sewing-based service project to give back to the community that had been so supportive of their venture. “Creating and giving seem to go hand in hand,” says Bradburn, a former Clayton resident. “Whether it’s homemade cookies or hand-sewn monsters, the joy that comes from making something and sharing it is exactly the same.” The pair’s custom monster class is popular with students. “The stuffed monsters give both kids and grownups the perfect opportunity to imagine, Photo courtesy Concord High School design and create something Concord High School’s 13-member competition cheer team totally unique,” Bradburn was in Las Vegas last month where they finished first in notes. medium show cheer level 1 at the JAMZ Nationals. Director


Children at a homeless shelter in Bay Point have some new stuffed monsters to cuddle, thanks to students at Warp and Weft Workshops. Sewing studio owners Ruth Mannion and Lindsay Bradburn invited all their students to design and sew the creatures. They delivered 45

Page 3

machine-sewn stuffed monsters to the Love-A-Child Missions Homeless Recovery Shelter earlier this month. Mannion and Bradburn love teaching hand and machine sewing skills to students of all ages and abilities. They decided the best way to celebrate their one-year busi-

Warp and Weft Workshops has ongoing sewing classes and workshops for kids and adults at 1009C Shary Circle, Concord. For more information, find Warp and Weft on Facebook, email or call 925628-9529.

Kretia Gosney’s squad topped seven other teams to return to the Concord campus with first-place medals and JAMZ Nationals champion jackets. In order to get a bid to the Vegas meet the team competed in Vallejo, Sacramento, San Francisco and Davis from last October to January. The team practiced four days a week since July and then had a 10-hour choreography practice to learn their competition routine. Gosney says, “Cheer season is now over, but we can’t wait for next year to compete and hold on to our firstplace victory!”

Olympic High girls ‘Get Real, Dream Big’

Photo by Pat Eileen Fisher

Pilar Gonzalez, Chanea Patrick and Maria Ibarra from Olympic High School in Concord are joined by their college/career adviser, Maria Cardona, as they await the workshops at this year’s Get Real Academy.





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Twenty schools participated in the 14th Annual Get Real Academy at the Hilton Concord on March 2. The event focused on empowering young women to enter adult life armed with life skills and resources as they move on to employment, vocational school or college. Many of these students will form the future population of local cities and these project workshops hammer home the importance of making good financial decisions, dealing with violence and health issues and seeking and maintaining employment. The event was sponsored by the six Soroptimist International clubs in Central and East Contra Costa.





Walk to Schools — Charming 3 bedroom, 2 bath home offering over 1500 square feet of living space. Sunny, eat-in kitchen, huge family room with fireplace and inside laundry room. Light & bright with dual pane windows. Corner lot with RV parking, 2 car garage & breezeway.

Soroptimist International is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. For more information, contact Jo Harlow at or go to the Get Real Academy Facebook page.

response training offered in Concord

Sign-ups are now being taken for free emergency preparedness classes offered by the city of Concord. The next session of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training begins Thursday, March 30 and meets for six evening sessions from 6:30 to 10 p.m., concluding with a hands-on training exercise. Participants must be at least 16 years of age. Sessions are held at the Concord Police Department, 1350 Galindo St. CERT participants are taught basic fire safety, disaster preparedness, basic medical training, light search and rescue, CERT organization, and disaster physiology. Through training, CERT members become valuable resources to their families and neighbors in the event of an emergency. For more information or to sign up for CERT training, call (925) 6035933 or visit

Why advertise in the Pioneer? Since I started advertising in both the Clayton and Concord Pioneers, my business has exploded. I can hardly keep up with the calls.

Kevin Schmidt, General Contractor Diablo View Construction



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Near Downtown — Situated on nearly an acre, this expansive, custom home is perfect for entertaining. It features over 5,000 square feet of living space including 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. Stunning master bedroom with steam shower, fireplace and spacious walk in closet. Gorgeous chefs kitchen, au pair, 3 fireplaces and 2 attached garages. The park-like backyard offers a sparkling pool with beach entry, a built in bbq and a fire pit. Wonderful location, walk to downtown Clayton, walking trails and Mt Diablo.

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Live Oak — Priced to sell 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath duet with no rear neighbors. High volume ceilings, fresh paint, dual pane windows and plantation shutters. 1,614 square feet with formal dining area & inside laundry. Fenced backyard with patio. Desirable court location. This one wont last!

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Falcon Ridge — “Serenade” Model! 5 bedrooms + loft and 3 baths. Possible in-law quarters. Gorgeous gourmet enthusiast kitchen w/granite. Huge great room/kitchen combo w/ stone fireplace! Generous loft, large bedrooms and master with fireplace & walk-in closet. Private backyard w/patio & spa. Hike from your backyard! Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352

Black Diamond — Stunning duet, updated to perfection. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 remodeled baths with cathedral ceilings, fresh paint and gorgeous laminate flooring. Eat in Kitchen with stainless steel appliances and updated cabinets. Great backyard with deck, hot tub and beautiful vegetation.

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Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

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- Windermere Clayton!

Morgan Territory latest winter storm casualty Page 4

Major slide closes road for months TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer

For more than five years, the California drought has dominated Bay Area headlines. Then came the winter of 2017, and the seemingly endless stories of wildfires, dried up reservoirs and water rationing were replaced with disastrous stories of flooding and mudslides— Big Sur, San Jose, Sonoma, and now right next door on Morgan Territory Rd. All winter each big storm brought flooding, mud and rockslides, creating obstacle courses on Marsh Creek and Morgan Territory Roads – often closing the roads to through traffic. Locals maneuvered the mud-caked pavement and silently prayed for the rain to stop. Then things got really serious. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, county workers noticed that an entire hill on Morgan Territory Road, about a mile in from Marsh Creek, was moving against the road, buckling and cracking the pavement. Over the next two days, the slide broke the water main twice. It moved fast, and by Thursday, the damaged road was impassible and the water main broke again. At noon on Feb. 24, county authorities closed the road – indefinitely. In a blink, residents found themselves stranded without water on one side or the other of a massive landslide, which stretched 400 feet along Morgan Territory and another 400 feet upslope. On the opposite side of the road, they stared at a huge, gaping hole. At the bottom, a broken blue water main spewed water into the mud. Redwood boards littered the hole, evidence of the

Concord Pioneer •

expensive fence that had once stood above it. A power pole about midway in the slide was leaning dangerously over the road at a 30 degree angle. With the closure, the only vehicle access to the 256 homes on the south side of the slide is over a one-lane, stormravaged mountain road – 15 miles to Livermore.

‘NO QUICK FIX’ In the three weeks since the closure, county officials have identified two possible alternatives to the long detour. But both require using private roads and fire trails. One route crosses Mt. Diablo State Park. The process is slow, says county Public Works director Julie Bowen. “We’re dealing with 50 landowners who all have to grant permission.” The damage to Morgan Territory Road is extensive. The county expects to have a plan for reconstruction by the

March 24, 2017

end of March. “There is no quick fix,” Bowen said. “It’s going to be months.” A State of Emergency declared by the Board of Supervisors will allow the repairs to Morgan Territory to progress faster, streamlining normal bidding and environmental requirements. But reconstruction can’t begin until the county can establish at least one alternate access route, at this point likely weeks away. East County Fire and Cal Fire have stationed an engine and ambulance on the south side of the slide, according to East County chief Hugh Henderson. In a medical emergency, a helicopter will be dispatched automatically. There are five landing sites in the slide-affected area. Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer This is small comfort to More than 256 homes were without water for a week after a major landslide snapped a Megan Traum, who is in her water main and collapsed a section of Morgan Territory Rd. on Feb. 24, closing the main access to the area indefinitely. With the road closed, the only vehicle access is a 15-mile,

See Slide, page 19 detour over a one-lane mountain road, also severely storm damaged, to Livermore.

Civilian dies at Military Ocean Terminal NICK MARNELL Correspondent

A federal contactor died earlier this month at the Military Ocean Terminal Concord, the site of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. Lt. Col. Jimmy Wiley, MOTCO commanding officer, identified the victim as Anibal Parrado, 50, an employee of Tech Systems Inc. The Virginia-based company offers support services to the U.S. government and its agencies. Parrado died in an accident at the Pier 3 loading dock. Fire Chief Alex Kaparros of the Concord Federal Fire Department responded to the

Courtesy US Army

The Pier 3 loading dock was the site of a fatal accident at the Military Ocean Terminal on March 10.

call about noon on March 10 and immediately requested mutual aid from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “We have the same technical skills, personnel and equipment as ConFire. They

just have more of them,” Kaparros said. ConFire works closely with the Concord Federal Fire Department, which provides 24-hour fire protection to U.S. government assets and the sur-

rounding communities. ConFire Battalion Chief Dominic Ciotola, the incident commander, said the district had practiced a rope rescue at MOTCO, so the ConFire crew knew exactly what to do. “The victim was 140 feet in the air,” Ciotola said, noting that crews determined he was already dead. “We dismantled pieces of the crane to get to him.” It took about an hour and a half to bring the victim to the ground. “It was a very dangerous, complex recovery, involving a high-angle rope rescue,” said Lon Goetsch, ConFire assistant chief of operations. One of the toughest things

about the incident was the relationship between Parrado and the firefighters. “Mr. Parrado worked closely with several firefighters on vehicle maintenance, and there was a high degree of mutual respect between them,” Kaparros said. Tech Systems is working with local and federal agencies to determine the official cause of death. Neither Wiley nor Jose Carnevali of the local U.S. Department of Labor office would comment on the investigation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our employees during this time of grief,” said Tech Systems spokeswoman Trisha Olsen.

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Guest Editorial

It’s time to reevaluate the City Council’s appointment process

By Edi Birsan

The “best practices” often do not yield the best results. One of the functions of the City Council is to fill vacancies for elected positions in the city. In Concord, this includes City Council and treasurer vacancies. These circumstances applied when the council recently selected its new member: • The council can appoint someone, but they cannot fire them as these are elected positions being filled. • The council is limited to maybe one or two questions for each applicant, decided by the majority

vote of the council • The council majority can overrule a question that an individual council member wants to ask. • The same questions have to be asked of every applicant, and they maybe have two minutes to answer. • The council is not allowed to ask questions about what candidates put in their applications. • The council cannot do background checks. • All of this has to be done in public, but the public is not allowed to ask direct questions of the applicants. • Total interview time is not more than 15 minutes per candidate.

Letter to the Editor

Immigrants look for a better life My grandfather came to this country from Norway in 1906. Thousands of immigrants shared his desire for a better life in these United States. Working as a lumber jack in the Dakota Territories he met and married a Norwegian beauty and together they worked the land and built their American Dream. Papa Ole and Nana Christine never had their hands out for whatever the government could provide for free because their hands were busy providing for them-

I wouldn’t even hire a part-time intern to sweep out empty cargo containers with such practices. If selecting a treasurer, the council cannot do a background check to see if they are a forger or embezzler. And the council can’t question why a resume attached to an application speaks of being employed by the East Bank of the Sacramento River. People often portray that appointments are made by the “old boys’ network,” or that they are fixed in advance. Looking at the entire state’s methodology, is it no wonder that appointments throughout the state are skewed toward people who are known in the community. I see the same things played out in applications for city commissions and boards. The council is supposed to ask the same 10 questions of an eight-year incumbent on the commission as of a total stranger. I think this is an absurd practice for appointments to elected positions, or boards and commissions. We need to take greater care in the vetting process and make a greater commitment to getting the best common sense results – not just using the best practices that greatly limit those results. But the question is how this can be accomplished.

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selves. They were law-abiding, upstanding citizens. Their three sons were honored to serve in our Armed Forces. I’m proud to be the granddaughter of immigrants such as these. Can there possibly be a foolproof way of weeding out immigrants who pose a threat to our way of life from immigrants who just “yearn to breathe free?” I feel the true losers when Birsan is a member of the Conall is said and done will be the cord City Council. He can be American people. reached at Christine Kogut Concord

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Concord Pioneer •

Crime down in Concord last year

ucin y y Eas a d n Su tening Lis sic 4-7pm g


March 24, 2017


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PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

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Concord’s usually jovial police chief Guy Swanger had even more to smile about as he made his semi-annual presentation to the City Council on crime statistics. In the past year, most crimes have decreased – especially burglaries, which are at their lowest point in the city’s history. From January 2016 to January 2017, burglaries dropped 7 percent, with 560 reported in 2015 compared to 520 reported last year. But the pesky issue of auto thefts continues to rise, from 956 in 2015 to 1,022 last year. There was only one homicide, a domestic violence case in Newell Park in which the suspect was apprehended and arrested in Reno. That compared to five homicides the year before. Rape was up from 30 to 31, robberies down from 182 to 159, aggravated assault was down to 255 from 276, and larceny was down 2,793 to 3,068. Although street robberies were up, commercial robberies were down significantly. So were shoplifting and carjacking. Bank robberies were up, with three last year compared to one in 2015. But they were part of a string of bank robberies in the region last summer, Swanger said, and the suspects were ultimately apprehended. While gang violence continues to be an issue of concern for Concord residents, Swanger emphasizes that the police department is well prepared to deal with the problem. He cited Operation Omega Red, a collaboration with the FBI and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office, which helped arrest 24 suspected gang members in one sweep in Concord in 2016. Swanger also pointed to a

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three-pronged approach to dealing with gangs: education – in which officers go to schools and work with potential gang members, intervention and ultimately suppression. The CPD has a gang task force that is charged with these efforts. Swanger says he’s happy with the results, because most gang activity originates in neighboring Contra Costa cities. There were no gang homicides in Concord last year, but 555 gang arrests. The Special Enforcement Team fielded 176 street gang reports, assisted in 46 stolen vehicle recoveries and seized 53 guns and $33,659. Swanger believes auto thefts continue to plague the city because Concord “is a city of older cars.” He notes that Hondas from the mid- to late1990s and early 2000s are the biggest targets. “Having your car stolen can be devastating to a family,” he said. “Suddenly, there is no way to go to work and get your children to school.

It’s a real problem.” On the issue of burglaries, Swanger noted while commercial burglaries were slightly up, there was a significant drop in residential burglaries. He said that was due, in part, to citycommunity partnerships such as Neighborhood Watch and the use of cameras on private property to deter criminals. Another big issue for Concord residents is homelessness. “It’s been a very busy time in the community,” the chief said, reporting that 91 homeless camps were “tagged” and 55 cleaned up with the help of Concord Disposal. Councilman Tim McGallian asked for a brief overview on the homeless situation. Swanger said the county has not released the annual homeless count yet, but Concord’s numbers seem to have stayed relatively the same. He reiterated that there aren’t enough services for the homeless, and many people don’t want the help that is offered. “It’s like AA” he said, referring to Alcoholics Anony-

mous. “People want to get help for it to be successful.” The issue of police working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to target residents in the country illegally came up, with Councilman Edi Birsan asking if there has been any redouble of efforts or questions from the community. “We haven’t seen any fallout from that national ‘monologue,’ ” Swanger said. He added that his department has met with schools, churches and other community organizations to assure residents that the police are not targeting those in the country illegally. Finally, the chief had words of praise for two entities: the volunteers, or VIPS, who help the department in many ways, including working with schools and doing vacation checks, as well as the use of social media to help educate the public of police activities. “I’ve been converted,” he says of his initial distain for Facebook. “Now we have a great Facebook page that is very effective. I’m a big fan.”

Concord teen’s island dream becomes reality JENNIFER LEISCHER Correspondent

During his many medical treatments last year, Concord resident Gianni Aldana had a dream about the Bahamas. He thought it would be a place to find solace and relax after recovering from a heart transplant. The 18-year-old’s dream came true when his family flew to the Bahamas in January, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In mid-2015, Gianni suffered from myocardial infarction, or heart failure, and received a donor heart on Nov. 21, 2016. “This really came out of nowhere,” says his mother, Monica. “This isn’t something that runs in our family.” During a week on the island of Nassau with dad Carlos and brother Carlo, Aldana found the relaxation he was anticipating. “We went swimming with dolphins, took walks on the beach, enjoyed the waterslides and ate some really good food,” he reports. “After being in the hospital for months, not being able to hang out with his friends or play baseball, Gianni was very sad,” his mother says. “When he heard that his wish was coming true, he was very excited and happy. He couldn’t wait to travel to a new place that he calls ‘paradise’ and experience this vacation with his family.” When his parents contacted Make-A-Wish, the group connected the family with local volunteers. Wish granters Julie Ovadia of Lafayette, Tina

Gianni Aldana stayed at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas during his Make-A-Wish trip.

Giangiacomo-Yogya of Walnut Creek and Esther Lane of Benicia planned every detail of the trip. For Lane, it was a familiar situation. Her son Kyle, now 18, was diagnosed with leukemia. At the age of 12, Make-A-Wish granted his wish to meet then President Barack Obama. Jen Wilson, marketing director of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation, was also part of the team that made Aldana’s wish come true. “Each wish is unique and magical for a child with a lifethreatening medical condition,” Wilson says. “The experience is positive and uplifting and provides joy for the whole family, as well as gives the child the courage to continue with their treatment.

“A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. This one belief guides the Make-A-Wish foundation in everything we do. It inspires the organization to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids they serve.” One of 62 chapters in the United States, the Bay Area group is the largest due to the funds raised for wishes and the size of their enduring staff. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area granted 378 wishes last year and nearly 8,000 wishes since its founding in 1984. The group serves 17 counties from Oregon to Monterrey. Aldana will take medications for the rest of his life to keep his body and his new heart working together. Monthly checkups at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford, are also a part of his medical regimen. His mother says Aldana “is doing much better every day and starting to participate in sports again.” Although the avid baseball player is taking a break from the field, he plans to graduate this June from Concord High School. He wants to volunteer at the Red Cross, giving back to his community. Thinking about what has transpired in his life, Aldana has some matter of fact thoughts to share. “Whoever is going through a life-threatening condition like mine, pray to God, be strong, and you’ll get through it.” For more information on MakeA-Wish, visit

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

CNWS Specific Plan process begins with residents’ wish list

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on technology and local businesses. There was a strong voice against big box stores or too much retail space. Many feel that Concord has enough retail space and that those jobs are typically low paying. One of the goals of the new development is to make the area walkable, reducing car traffic. Groups shared ideas for pedestrian and bike friendly pathways and free shuttles to and from BART and downtown. Residents also spoke of the need for child care centers, senior and veteran housing, and resources for the homeless. There was no shortage of unique suggestions like a jazz nightclub, artists’ studio space,

bocce courts, a dog park, a splash park, a reservoir with boating, a hotel, a craft brewery, and community farms. Many members of the Community Coalition for Sustainable Concord (CCSC) were on hand to make sure their goals were part of the conversation. CCSC a coalition of people and organizations whose mission it is to make sure that the project produces affordable housing and good union jobs in an environmentally sound way. Also in attendance and eager to hear from the community, was a large contingent from Lennar- FivePoint, master developers for the project, city council

members and members of the Community Advisory Committee for the Reuse Project. Rachel Flynn, Vice President of Planning for FivePoint, stated in her presentation before the brainstorming sessions, “We really want to hear from you; what do you want for Concord? What does a world class city mean to you?” Two more workshops are planned for June 17 and Sep. 23. Residents can also give input online at and attend the monthly Community Advisory Committee meetings which take place on the third Tuesday of the month, 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

Meadow Homes park playground set to open in June – weather permitting PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

On a recent sunny afternoon in the heart of the Monument area, a party was taking place at Meadow Homes Playground. There was food, drinking and the sounds of laughter and children playing. And that irked one Concord resident. It wasn’t about what was happening there, but what wasn’t — there was no play structure on which to play, a seeming small issue that has ballooned into a regular discussion at Concord City Council meetings. Concord resident George Fulmore of the Monument Democratic Club has been waging a seemingly one-man war against the city because he feels the process of installing the playground has taken too long, and preference has been given to the Ellis Lake Playground. “Meadow Homes Park is one of the busiest parks in Concord, and yet there is still no play structure there,” he recently chided the council. The good news is that the city planned to start construction of the $365,000, 4,900-square-foot playground at Meadow Homes that includes a swing set and play structures for older and younger children March 20, with the opening set for June. This week’s soggy weather may push that back a bit, said City Engineer Robert Ovadia, but fencing and early preparation should be happening. But that’s not good enough for Fulmore: he wants it to be installed by May 27, which is when the popular Spray Park opens. “I’m furious that this project

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A standing room only crowd packed into the Concord Senior Center on last Saturday, eager to give input on the future of the Reuse plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station. In the first of three public workshops on the Specific Plan, over 250 residents worked in groups of 10-15, sharing specific wants and needs for the project. A General Plan was adopted by City Council in 2012; the process has moved now to developing the Specific Plan for the 2248 acres that will eventually be developed. The remainder of the 5000 acres is designated for a regional park. The key theme emerging from the groups was the integration of the new development into the existing city. They don’t want to see two separate Concords. Residents would like to see bike lanes, trails, bus routes and roads extending seamlessly from downtown to the new community. That sentiment was echoed by Eron Ashley, Managing Principal at Hart Howerton, the planning and architecture firm hired to design the area. “We have a unique opportunity to develop land that is already part of another place,” Ashley assured. “It needs to be complimentary to what is already here. We can’t take away from what is already good about Concord.” Other top priorities were affordable housing, well-paying jobs, spaces for performing arts and sports, and a higher education campus. Many groups also spoke of the need for a business hub with a focus

Page 7

has taken so long to be completed. Meanwhile, Meadow Homes Park is busier than ever.  It deserves a play structure as soon as possible!” And city officials agree, but feel that Fulmore’s quest for the structure at the park on the corner of Detroit Avenue and Sunshine Drive is getting done as soon as possible — it’s just that sometimes the wheels of democracy turn more slowly than many residents would like, and Mother Nature hasn’t helped. “We have been very responsive to this issue,” says City Manager Valerie Barone in response to Fulmore’s concerns — concerns he has taken to the council at almost every meeting this winter during public comment period, and in a series of sometimes harshly worded updates to the Monument Democratic Club. Fulmore says that he has an internal Dec. 10, 2015 Task Order for the project that had it scheduled for construction in August 2016.  “Bidding” was to be June 1-15, 2016.  On Dec. 11, 2015, the city hired McArdle Design to provide landscape architectural services for the Meadow Homes Park Playground.  In addition, he says a Jan. 25, 2016 report to the Council Committee on Recreation said that the design work for Meadow Homes Park would be completed by June 2016. However, that  hasn’t happened, and city officials say the delay was probably due to the fact that they were working to improve Ellis Lake Park first. Back in 2015, the council allocated over $1 million for improvements at both parks in the Monument, redirecting money from East Bay regional Parks District Measure WW. A large contingent of residents,

organized through First 5 and Monument Impact, indicated that they would prefer the Ellis Lake Park to be completed first. “The council made a decision based on the needs of the community, and they told us Ellis Lake was a priority,” Mayor Laura Hoffmeister told the Pioneer. “Many residents were tired of going all the way over to Todos Santos Park, and navigating busy streets with strollers and young children, and wanted a park in their neighborhood.” The play structure was installed at Ellis Lake last year, and this year the city is working on constructing restrooms at the park. More than $700,000 was spent on Ellis Lake Park improvements. But both Barone and

Hoffmeister said that the delay in building the play structure at Meadow Homes was not political. “Sometimes we have to stagger projects, based on what else is going on in the city,” Hoffmeister said. “We have to get permits, get the utility work complete, and get bids. It’s not like building a swingset in your backyard.” There was a delay in getting the proper equipment at Meadow Homes Park last fall, she said, then the city fell victim to the rains that washed through the Bay Area this winter. “You can’t build on soggy ground.” Now Barone is expecting an opening of the Meadow Homes Park by mid-June, not early enough for Fulmore’s liking, but as soon as the city can do it.

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Concord Pioneer •

F r om the desk o f . . .

March 24, 2017

City reviews secondary dwelling process



As a means to address the statewide housing crisis, the Legislature approved two bills last year that mandate local municipalities to streamline the process to permit residents to establish Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) if they wished to retain local control. A voluntary bill encourages the construction of Junior Accessory Dwelling

Units (JADUs). An ADU is an independent dwelling located on the same grounds as the principal dwelling. It may be attached or detached from the principal dwelling. JADUs are units solely contained within the principal dwelling and are no more than 500 sq. ft. These state bills were Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2299, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2017, and Assembly Bill 2406, which became effective Sept. 28, 2016. At the Feb. 15 meeting, the Concord Planning Commission reviewed and discussed the city’s ADU regulations. With the intention of complying with

the new state laws, the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council amend our ADU regulations. The Planning Commission also recommended requiring a property owner to occupy either the principal residence or the ADU. The City Council introduced the proposed regulations at the March 7 meeting to comply with state law. But the majority of the council decided not to require owneroccupancy for ADUs. The City Council is scheduled to adopt the regulations March 28, and they will tentatively go into effect April 27.

Chief, from page 1

decades to strengthen our partnerships with our immigrant communities. Our relationships with the local mosques, Monument Impact, Monument Crisis Center, Mount Diablo School District, and First Five are testaments to our commitments to our residents. The U-Visa process, commonly used by crime victims and witnesses to gain temporary visa status, is a strong part of our culture. We approved over 100 applications for a U-Visa in 2016. I grew up in the Imperial Valley, often working in the fields with my friends and family. I also worked alongside and went to school with documented and undocumented persons. Some of them moved from one harvesting season to

the next one in a town many miles away, just as my mom did when she was a young child. There were others that could stay, finding work in the same area. Either way, they found support among the community; documented or undocumented. And if they committed a crime, they were held accountable; documented or undocumented. That still holds true today. If you know of someone or a community group that would like to meet with me and my staff regarding immigration enforcement, please contact my office at the email address below.

Guy Swanger is Concord’s Chief of Police. Send questions or comments to




The season of science fairs is one of my favorite times of the school year. I never cease to be amazed at the creativity and range of ideas the students put into their experiments and projects. I have learned the best way to clean dirty pennies, how soil type can affect plant growth, whether rusting can take place in the absence of air and whether poems with lots of rhythm and rhyme are easier to learn than those written in free

Some of the biggest changes to our current ADU regulations include the review process, height and owneroccupancy. Previously, the review process required residents to apply for administrative permits for small ADUs and minor use permits for large ADUs. The city did not allow JADUs before AB 2406. The new legislation requires ministerial review only and does not require residents to apply for discretionary permits. In regards to height, the state now has made it mandatory for cities to allow residents to construct an ADU above a

garage. Before that was not allowed in Concord because the city required ADUs to conform to the existing principal dwelling in height. Previous to the new legislation, owner-occupancy was required for large units. Property maintenance agreements in lieu of owner-occupancy was allowed for small units. The new legislation does not allow property maintenance agreements, but it does say cities can decide whether to require owner-occupancy for ADUs. The state made owner-occupancy mandatory for JADUs. There were other changes,

verse. Science fairs are a guaranteed way to feel better about our future, knowing that these smart and curious young people will be leading the way – powered by inquiry and imagination. Over time, I have come to observe some key outcomes of science fairs: • They are great for helping develop confidence and competence while promoting a spirit of scientific inquiry. • They integrate an enormous range of skills and academic areas, including reading,

writing, critical thinking, data analysis, computer science, arts, scientific methodology and public speaking. • They provide great handson experiences – a critical component of learning science – that are both challenging and self-validating.

such as utility connections and reduction to processing fees. But the aforementioned issues were some of the most critical changes we needed to make to the city’s ADU regulations. If the city did not update our regulations, we would not be in compliance with state law. That would make some of our regulations null and void, and the “state standards” would override local regulations. Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at

Creativity and ingenuity showcased at science fairs

low Creek Center in Concord. It’s open to the public, and I encourage you to attend and be amazed. Learn more at Los Medanos Community College will also host a Science Fair 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, March 17. All are welcome to Schools are holding indi- attend as they judge county vidual science fairs now; con- submissions. tact your neighborhood school Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent to get dates and times. The of Schools for MDUSD. Email annual STEM (Science, Techquestions or comments to nology, Engineering and ematics) Fair will be 9-11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Wil-

Helping support seniors in need

My office participated in the March for Meals kickoff event hosted by Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, along with KKDV Diablo Valley radio station. March for Meals is a monthlong awareness event in which hundreds of Meals on Wheels programs nationwide reach out to their communities to build the support to enable them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America’s seniors all year long. My office will also participate in a ridealong to assist in meal delivery and visiting with seniors in the community. Nationally, one in six seniors struggles with hunger. Meals on Wheels delivers the support that keeps seniors living more healthy, happy and independent lives at home. Meals on Wheels can provide a senior with meals

for one year for roughly the same cost as one day in the hospital. Investing in Meals and Wheels and Senior Outreach Services is a win-win for our families and our community. By supporting Meals on Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa Wheels and Senior Outreach County District IV supervisor. Email Services, either by volunteering questions or comments to or donating, you are helping to

The Concord Library was chosen to participate in the California State Library’s annual Book-To-Action program for 2017. The concept is similar to a traditional book club. However, in addition to providing an opportunity to collectively read and discuss a book, Book-ToAction enables readers to put their newfound knowledge into action by engaging in a community service project related to the topic of the books chosen. For the first piece of this project, the Concord Library chose to read “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer” by Novella Carpenter. The library is giving away free copies of “Farm City” to members of the community. If you are interested in a copy, please stop by the library. Supply is limited and available on a first-come, first-

served basis. Carpenter will be talking about her memoir at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the Concord Library. Her book describes the extensive garden she created in Ghost Town, a neighborhood in Oakland. The first 20 attendees will receive a free copy of “The Essential Urban Farmer,” also written by Carpenter. The second piece to this project is for the library to recruit volunteers to work with the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County and learn how to plant a vegetable garden at the Concord Library. Participants will receive hand-on advice on planting and garden sustainability practices. They will also learn seed-saving techniques and will save seeds for a new Seed Lending program at the library.




ensure that our seniors are not forgotten. The groups are in need of individuals and/or groups to volunteer for meal delivery. For more information on supporting Meals on Wheels, contact Susannah Meyer at 925937-8311. Meanwhile, the Concord Chamber of Commerce is hosting the East Bay Senior Resource Expo 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, March 31, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr. The free event will include booths showcasing products, resources, services and answers on how to enhance your life and those of your loved ones. It’s perfect for baby boomers, seniors and caregivers.

Sowing the seeds of knowledge–and veggies

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The Friends of the Concord Library will host its quarterly book sale April 21-23. The group will support the Book-toAction project by taking seed donations for the Seed Lending Library. If you are interested in learning how to plant a vegetable garden or starting a seed library, contact the library at 925-6465455. We are looking forward to watching our garden grow this spring.

Kimberli Buckley is the senior community library manager at the Concord branch of the Contra Costa Library. Email questions or comments to

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •


Chamber helps groom business leaders



The Concord Chamber received the Champion Chamber Award for its partnerships with local schools. From left, The Concord Chamber of chamber board members Patty Deutsche and Sharon JenkCommerce believes that ins, MDUSD program specialist Heather Fontanilla, chaminvesting in the leaders of our ber president/CEO Marilyn Fowler and chairman of the community begins with invest- board Kevin Hennessy.

ing in their education today. The chamber promotes and facilitates the involvement of business in schools. The group also works to increase educator and student awareness of the business environment and helps prepare today’s students to become the leaders of tomorrow. One of the chamber’s programs is BEST Day (Business and Educators Shadowing for Tomorrow). Established in 1997, the one-day event provides an opportunity for teachers to job shadow in the business community and later share their experiences at a

luncheon. This year’s BEST Day was held in February, sponsored by John Muir Health Concord Campus. The chamber also participates in the Mt. Diablo High School Innovation Fair each year. Seniors in the Digital Safari Academy form virtual companies and develop “beyond the edge” products. They create business and marketing plans and prepare to make a funding pitch before a panel of real business leaders and investors. The Innovation Fair, the culmination of the project,

Bomber, from page 1

pounds empty, with a loaded weight of 54,000 pounds. A whimsical, scantily clad woman – a la Rita Hayworth – adorns the side of the plane in true World War II fashion. As I climbed into the plane, it was a little bit like the open seating of a Southwest jaunt to San Diego, with the nine other passengers and I jockeying for a window seat. But the closest window to me was occupied by a machine gun, so I was a bit out of luck. Unlike commercial flights, we were urged by the EAA escort and crew member to unfasten our seatbelts and roam through the small space – into the gunneries even – and take pictures. I did as many as my pathetic Samsun phone could muster, of the inside of the aircraft, the other passengers and of the stark beauty of our

hometowns below. Little did I know that this particular aircraft had lived a long and storied life after the war, In fact, it was built by the Vega Division of Lockheed Aircraft Company in May of 1945, right before the end of the war, and never saw action in Europe, where most of the B-17s were deployed. In October of that year it was stripped of all its weaponry and declared “surplus,” eventually selling for $750 to a metal scrap firm. It was “rescued” and resold to Universal Aviation, where it was used for aerial mapping. It went on to be sold several more times, at one time even serving to haul cattle in Florida and Puerto Rico. In 1949, it was bought again by an aviation company and used again for mapping purposes

At several intersections, the amount of green time allocated for westbound left turn/Uturn movements will be reduced during the same hours. Signs notify motorists of the limited left turn light at intersections including Farm Bureau Road, West Street and Rosal Lane/Mendocino Drive. Limiting the left turn/Uturn green time discourages high volumes of cut-through traffic from turning onto resi-

dential side streets while allowing for low volumes of local residents to access the neighborhood. Drivers are cautioned not to trust GPS-based navigation apps, as the changes will not immediately be available on the apps.

Traffic, from page 1

For more information, contact transportation manager Ray Kuzbari at 925-671-3129 or

Mayor, from page 1

with an emphasis on adventure, acceptance and achievement. The camp has also hosted countless weddings, family reunions, corporate team building trainings, mother/son weekends, age 50 and better retreats, and 4-H and band camps. I hope many members of the Camp Concord family will join the party in August to celebrate 50 successful seasons, reconnect with past co-workers and campers and, most importantly, reminisce about all the memories and friendships they made at the “Happi-

est Place on Dirt.” Community members and local organizations founded Camp Concord to offer residents, especially families and children, an opportunity to enjoy nature and experience one of Mother Nature’s natural wonders: Lake Tahoe. Since 1983, the nonprofit Friends of Camp Concord (FOCC) and volunteers have raised funds for facility and program enhancements as well as to send underprivileged youth to camp. Last year alone, their efforts made it possible for more

takes place at Centre Concord. Student set up booths, giving attendees a chance to “invest” in their companies. For the past five years, the chamber has held its January evening mixer at the Innovation Fair – bringing more than 35 business leaders to the event. The chamber’s sixth year of a scholarship award program for college-bound high school seniors is now underway. At our Crab Feed & Auction in February, the five City Council members each brought a dessert to sell – raising more than $2,000 for the over Arabia, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt and Jordan. If the dang plane wasn’t so loud, it be accused of being a spy plane. It then went on to inauspicious careers in pest control and firefighting, but was rescued itself in 1978 by Dr. Bill Harrison, heading up the “B17s Around the World” program. He named it the Aluminum Overcast in honor of the 601st Bomb Squadron, 398th Bomb Group’s plane that was shot down over France in August of 1944. Veterans of that bomb group helped finance the bomber’s restoration to near-wartime appearance, although no armament was installed. It flew at air shows across the U.S. In 1991, the group donated it to the EAA Foundation. The extensive work of rebuilding all the interior stations, including the radio compartment, waits gunner’s stations, tail turret navigator’s station, as well as replacing the cabin’s flooring, was all done by volunteers. Where authentic components were not available, realistic replicas were used. The plane is about 95 percent authentic, although things like new radios have been installed. All this information flew out my ears as I took the short flight, just enjoying the wonder of the views below and the lingering sense that I was having a much easier flight than those servicemen back in WWII who flew in almost exactly the same types of planes. But the significance than 400 youngsters to have a meaningful camping experience – many for the first time. Concord is fortunate to have the support of ABC7 news anchor Dan Ashley, who is part of all FOCC fundraising events. Campers returning for the 50th anniversary will notice several key improvements completed over the last decade, including a new deck with a view of Lake Tahoe, remodeled bath houses and paved roadways and parking areas. If you’ve never been to Camp Concord, bring your family this year and be part of the history of the camp’s next 50 years. The camp is open from

scholarship program. Applications are available at or can be picked up at 2280 Diamond Blvd., Suite 200, Concord. They must be turned in by 4 p.m. April 14. We are excited about the Showcase of High School Career Academies and Pathways. This event will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 5 at John Muir Medical Center Concord Campus. Students from area high schools will exhibit their projects and talk about what they are learning in their academies. Nellie Meyer, superintendent of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, will be the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Register on the chamber website at Because of all the work that the chamber does in education, we received a Champion Chamber Award at the recent Earn & Learn East Bay event. The award recognizes our many programs that help connect business with education.

Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or email

was not lost on me. Nor on others in the air with me. “These planes helped win the war,” said pilot John Bode, a 12-year volunteer with the EAA and a former airline pilot. “The enemies didn’t have a chance.”

Page 9

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AnD R OBERT S TEInER , Publishers TAMARA S TEInER , Editor P ETE C Ruz , Graphic Design B Ev B RITTOn , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRé, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESEnDAnGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré

C ORRESPONDENTS : Cynthia Gregory, Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


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

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Opera, from page 1

on a map or a globe and rattle off India, China, Italy, France, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina – and the very global city of Tucson, Arizona.” Canales is an artist in residence at the school through the Turnaround Arts program. In 68 schools across the country, Turnaround Arts provides high-need schools with arts resources, training and arts integration into other subject areas to help address broader school challenges. Research shows increases in reading and math scores, as well as an increase in attendance and a decrease in suspensions, after a few years of participation in Turnaround Arts. Meadow Homes joined the program in 2014. “I love the kids and the teachers there and have always been made to feel a part of the family within the school,” Canales says. “One of the things I think is most important about Turnaround Arts is that it is not a one-off program. We go back, go back often and build relationships. That is key to our success.” During her February visit, Friday, June 23, to Saturday, July 15, and from Monday, July 31, to Friday, Aug. 11. You can come up for a couple of days or a week. It’s truly an all-inclusive vacation. All meals are prepared for you and served in the lodge, or you can take them to go. There are organized activities for kids and excursions for adults, or everyone can explore on their own. You can start making your own memories this summer. For more information, visit

Email questions and comments to the Mayor at Laura.

an Arts Leadership Team, initiated school-wide arts integration practices, hosted school musicals and community arts events and developed a Strategic Arts Plan to guide arts-based school transformation. Principal Sandra Wilbanks says the program provides an unparalleled opportunity. “When you tie arts education into all areas of the curriculum, you create a rich environment for student learning that truly celebrates and honors students’ cultural backgrounds and traditions,” Wilbanks said. Leimbach says the students love and respect “Miss Carla” – “and she returns this affection in droves.”

the opera singer met with students in three classrooms and helped them make videos for their pen pals at an elementary school in Florida. She also had lunch with some student leaders and their parents. “Carla Dirlikov Canales is the definition of a citizen artist,” said Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, California executive director of Turnaround Arts. “She invests her time in connecting students to each other and to the world of creativity. Her generosity and leadership in this field has inspired us all.” Since joining the program, Meadow Homes has created

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Page 10

Concord Pioneer •

March 24, 2017

Local athletes swoop up all-league, MVP honors JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Twelve local athletes from five schools were named most valuable players in the Diablo and East Bay athletic leagues for the winter sports season. Among the honorees, Concord senior Ciara O’Kelley was the only repeat MVP after garnering that vote last year in the Diablo Valley Athletic League and then repeating in the new DAL Valley Division for the basketball league champion Minutemen. She led the team into the Northern California Division II tournament after reaching the quarter-finals at North Coast Section. Clayton Valley Charter juniors Garrett Pascoe and Nick Klarman were DAL Valley Division boys basketball co-MVPs. Pascoe’s honor matched two league MVPs his older sister Hailey received before her 2015 graduation from CVCHS. She is now playing Division I basketball for Lehigh University. It’s Pascoe’s third year with all-league recognition. His junior Eagles runningmate Klarman was secondteam all-DVAL as a sophomore. CVCHS was a perfect 10-0 in DAL and then went to the NCS Division I quarter-finals before dropping a close game to No. 2 seed

JONATHAN NEGRETE Ygnacio Valley Foothill Division soccer offensive MVP

Jay Bedecarré

Four Concord High athletes were honored with Most Valuable Player awards from the Diablo Athletic League in soccer and basketball. Minutemen winning post-season recognition, from left, Marvin Navarro-Ceja (soccer defensive MVP), Rylie Pearson (soccer defensive MVP), Ciara O’Kelley (basketball MVP) and sophomore Sergio Barba (soccer MVP).

Heritage of Brentwood. Brianna Simonich of Carondelet was the EBAL basketball MVP as the Cougars ran their league winning streak to 66 games. Carondelet won its first-ever NCS Division I title (its 12th overall Section crown since 2003). No. 2 seed Carondelet was upset 48-47 by Cardinal

Jay Bedecarré

Carondelet soccer and basketball teams each won East Bay Athletic League titles this winter. Concord athletes Maaeva Dwiggins (left, basketball) and Gillian Cabral (soccer) were first-team all-league choices from the Cougar championship squads.

Newman of Santa Rosa in the opening round of the NorCal Open Division playoffs. Her teammate Maaeva Dwiggins from Concord was first-team all-EBAL. The junior earned all-league honors for the third straight season. SOCCER HONORS Ygnacio Valley won a pair of soccer MVP awards for seniors Madalina Chaney and Jonathan Negrete. Despite playing for a third-place team Chaney was the DAL Valley Division co-MVP along with sophomore Julia Hagedorn of league champion Northgate. Negrete helped the Warriors to their fourth league title in six years, this time in the DAL Foothill Division. For this the YV senior was voted the league offensive MVP after scoring 16 goals and dishing six assists. Adrian Ortiz of Northgate was the Foothill Division defensive MVP. Sophomore Sergio Barba had 20 goals and eight assists for second-place Concord High to garner the DAL Valley Division MVP award. Barba’s teammate Marvin Navarro-Ceja was the league defensive co-MVP. Rylie Pearson’s Concord team didn’t win a single DAL game but the senior goal-

keeper was named DAL Valley Division defensive MVP after making 109 saves in 10 league games. The offensive MVP was Northgate’s Taylor Chaplin who was tied for first in Valley Division goals (11) with Hagedorn and No. 1 in points after also logging seven assists. Gillian Cabral of Carondelet was first-team all-EBAL as the Cougars won league for the second consecutive year. The Concord senior and her team were left just short of a Section title as they lost the NCS championship game for the second year in a row. Local DAL schools, Carondelet-De La Salle EBAL winter athletes getting all-league honors: GIRLS SOCCER VALLEY: MVP- Chaney (Ygnacio Valley), Hagedorn (Northgate), MVP OffenseChaplin (NG), MVP Defense – Pearson (Concord); 1st team- Katie Hollister, Carly Ortega, Rochelle Arnold (NG), Samantha Gotz, Molly Kolander (Berean Christian), Kalinda Campos, Karla Santamaria (YV), Alyssa Granados (Concord), Viviana Ramirez (Mt. Diablo), Lizzie Annison, Sierra Bruni (Clayton Valley Charter); 2nd team- Skylar Ramer, Payton Mannie, Sarah Freed (NG), Kaci Trujillo, Cassie Bizicki

(CVC), Adelle Meyer (Con), Sarah Chay, Elizabeth Dutton (BC), Megan Clifton, Ana Cabarez (YV), Daniela Estrada (MD); Honorable Mention- Hunter Kenney, Lauren Conley, Mikayla Ducey (NG), Chrystina Heuerman, Sarah Cook, Olivia Kreamer (CVC), Savannah Christopher, Samanatha Hernandez, Vanessa Hawley (Con), Megan Maloney, Isabel Dumapit, Hannah Thompson (BC), Michelle Cisneros, Lissette Cortez, Nayeli Martinez (MD), Steffania Villanueva, Andrea Santamaria, Yazhelly Guendulay (YV). Carondelet: 1st teamCassidy Tshimbalanga, Elizabeth Ospeck, Cabral, Angelin Anderson; 2nd team- Rory

MADALINA CHANEY Ygnacio Valley Valley Division soccer co-MVP

Biles, Devin Lozano; HMAngelina Scoma, Kiki Evangelista. BOYS SOCCER FOOTHILL: MVPJustin Bedig (College Park), MVP Offense- Negrete (YV), MVP Defense- Ortiz (NG); 1st team-Pedro Hernandez, Taylor Heuerman (CVC), Zachary Lamb (NG), Pepe Diaz, Jairo Alas, Oscar Mendez (YV); 2nd teamNick Giannini (NG), Angel Solis, Austin Ramirez (CVC), Erick Ochoa, Ramiro Andrade, John Zazueta (YV); HM-Hirisian Tasev, Jesus Martinez, Kellen Dresdow (CVC), Ryan Roo, Grant

See All-League, page 12

Jay Bedecarré

Clayton Valley Charter juniors Nick Klarman (left) and Garrett Pascoe stood atop the Diablo Athletic League Valley Conference basketball landscape this year leading the Ugly Eagles to a 13-0 league championship. For their accomplishments they were voted co-most valuable players. Forward Klarman and guard Pascoe will return next season for their senior year looking to repeat as No. 1.

Mason moves from CVCHS to Diablo football program JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Mt. Diablo High is the last of three schools in the city to fill its football head coaching position but the Red Devils administration is thrilled to secure Vontre Mason for his first head coaching job. Mason has been a valuable member of Tim Murphy’s Clayton Valley Charter coaching staff for the past four seasons. During that time the Eagles were undefeated in league play and twice reached the State championship game while losing only seven of 55 games. Another CVCHS alumnus and long-time assistant coach Paul Reynaud was named this year as the new Concord High coach while Ygnacio Valley also has a new face in charge for 2017 in veteran East Bay coach Clyde Byrd. Reynaud

Jason Rogers

Vontre Mason is taking over as head football coach at the area’s oldest school, Mt. Diablo. Mason has been coaching the defensive linemen for the past four seasons at Clayton Valley Charter High School.

and Mason worked together at Clayton Valley in 2013. Mason has been coaching the Ugly Eagles defensive line-

men. Murphy’s vaunted wingT offense has grabbed much of the headlines during his tenure in charge but the CVCHS

defense, the past two years in particular, has been a major reason for the team’s success. “I am very excited about this opportunity with Mt. Diablo HS. I know this is going to be a process, not expecting to build Rome in a day. My wife is keeping me balanced every day! I have really enjoyed my first month at Mt. Diablo. The administration, faculty and staff have really made me feel welcomed, supporting my ideas to build a quality football program,” Mason says. He adds, “The culture is changing at Mt. Diablo, building better student athletes first. Tough, physical, focused, explosive! We all we got! We all we need!” Derek Clements was head coach of the Red Devils for two 1-9 seasons. He resigned after the 2016 season and is now cohead coach at College Park with Joe Bautista, who took over the

Falcons last fall following the retirement of long-time coach Bill Kepler. Clements said, “My time at Mount was awesome. The kids are great with a lot of life challenges.”

OUTSTANDING ROLE MODEL Murphy says, “Vontre is the definition of a guy who made the most out of a difficult situation. Growing up in Richmond he used football and school to eventually earn a scholarship, leading to his degree and teaching credential. He is a hard worker and outstanding role model for the kids he will be coaching.” The 31-year-old Mason went from El Cerrito High to Diablo Valley College and then to Southern Mississippi. MDHS athletic director Bryan Shaw adds, “We are excited to give coach Mason his first opportunity to head up his own program. He brings

with him a track record of success and hard work.” A long-time coach in the area says of Mason, “I have  watched him coach the CV line of scrimmage during practice. His group was outstanding.  Very knowledgeable and energetic, [he’s] a great addition for the Red Devils.” Murphy concurs saying, “He is a great fit for Mt Diablo.” Mason takes over a Red Devils program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. He is the fifth head coach since that season. In 2014 Mt. Diablo made the North Coast Section Division III playoffs. Mt. Diablo is getting ready for its second season in the Diablo Athletic League Valley Division where their league opponents are College Park, Berean Christian, Alhambra, Ygnacio Valley and Northgate.

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer • with her these last four years. She has a deep love for this game [she has also played for Diablo FC and other competitive programs] and she will continue being involved with soccer in one way or another.” Rowland notes Ramirez has averaged five goals and 10 assists a season during her Red Devil career. She plans on attending Diablo Valley College in the fall before transferring to a four-year university. Her goals are to pursue a career in physical therapy or kinesiology.

Athlete Spotlight

Viviana Ramirez Grade: Senior School: Mt. Diablo High Sports: Soccer

Viviana Ramirez has been a fouryear varsity soccer player at Mt. Diablo high and head coach Ron Rowland will miss his three-time all-league player next fall when he forms his new team. The oldest of three children, Ramirez was honored this year as a first-team all-

Diablo Athletic League player. She helped the Red Devils to winning nonleague and home records this season. “Vivi is a solid, hard-working attacking center midfielder whom the younger players look to for leadership. It has been a wonderful experience working

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

Page 11

Saint Mary’s comes up a few baskets short of Sweet 16


Saint Mary’s was as sure as a mid-major comes in getting into the NCAA Tournament. The Gaels worked their way to a 28-4 regular season record and a 16-2 finish in

De La Salle, Carondelet teams fall agonizingly short of winning basketball, soccer playoffs JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Déjà vu all over again? De La Salle and Carondelet each have had an unusual amount of success in winter sports and this year was much the same, although both schools had big disappointments in their final games of the year on the soccer pitch and basketball court similar to 2016. The Spartans and Cougars were once again atop the North Coast Section basketball summit and DLS wrestling continued its near decades-long wrestling success. Those final championships partially covered over the pain of each school’s loss in the NCS soccer championship games and then in the Northern California basketball tournament.

GIRLS BASKETBALL Carondelet won its 12th Section championship since 2003 when they beat Heritage of Brentwood 56-31 in the finals. What set this apart from previous Cougar titles is the fact it was the first Carondelet Division I championship. The four lopsided wins by a total of 160 points placed Carondelet as the second seed in the NorCal Open Division Championships. They were shocked by Cardinal Newman, the Division IV NCS champs, in the opening round of the NorCal playoffs in Concord. The Cougars finished 28-5 with their only losses to California teams before the Newman upset were to NorCal Open Division champion Archbishop Mitty and SouCal Open winner Clovis West, this Saturday’s State finals opponents. The Cougars this season ran their EBAL unbeaten streak to 66 games. They have lost one league game since 2008-2009 with seven unde-

Photo courtesy De La Salle wrestling

De La Salle won its eighth North Coast Section wrestling championship in nine years. Six Spartans — Darryl Aiello (220 pounds), Jonathon Hackett (170), Patrick Ramirez (120), Peyton Omania (145), Dwayne Guerrero (132) and Adrian Gomez (138) — won Section titles. The team advanced to the CIF State Meet and took ninth with Aiello’s runnerup finish the top individual performance.

in three years won its 12th NCS championship with a 53-51 win over EBAL rival Dublin in the NCS finals. It was the rubber match after the Spartans won the league game and the Gaels beat DLS in the EBAL playoff finals. The NCS finale was termed an instant classic by long-time prep observers as junior Justin Pratt tipped in a missed shot with 1.2 seconds left for the winning bucket. The Spartans won all 13 EBAL games while being ranked near the top in the Bay Area most of the season. DLS was fourth seed in the NorCal Open Division and beat Salesian of Richmond 36-31 in the tournament opener. Salesian had won the NCS DIII title over CamBOYS BASKETBALL polindo last weekend. De La Salle (28-6) under its Top seed Woodcreek then third head coach, Gus Argenal, edged the Spartans 51-46 in the

feated seasons in eight years. Concord High won the DAL Valley Division by one game over Clayton Valley Charter and then progressed to the NCS Division II playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals to Newark 54-41. The team applied and was placed in the NorCal championship tournament as the 16th seed. That placed them against No. 1 Vanden in Fairfield. The Minutemen were defeated by the eventual NorCal champs who meet Mater Dei for the state title this Saturday. Clayton Valley Charter lost to EBAL team California 4839 in the opening round of the DI playoffs.

Regional semi-finals. Woodcreek then beat Sac-Joaquin Section rival Sheldon of Sacramento to reach Saturday’s State Open Division championship against Bishop Montgomery of Torrance which beat Chino Hills in the semi-finals and Mater Dei in the Southern finale. Clayton Valley Charter ran through the DAL Valley Division with a 13-0 record. The Ugly Eagles defeated Foothill of Pleasanton in their NCS DI first-round game 57-51 before being eliminated in the Section quarterfinals 62-58 by Heritage of Brentwood. The Concord boys drew top seed Bishop O’Dowd and lost in Oakland in the DII opening round.

GIRLS SOCCER Carondelet played its first 23 games allowing two goals only twice. At halftime of the NCS Division I championship match the Cougars led 2015 champion Liberty 1-0. Then the Lions of Brentwood scored three rapidfire goals in the first five minutes of the second half and held off a Carondelet rally for a 3-2 win in the finals. It was revenge for Liberty, which lost to Carondelet 1-0 in the NCS semi-finals a year ago, possibly costing the Brentwood school three straight championships. Carondelet was then beat in overtime for the 2016 title by San Ramon Valley, running a perfect season for the Cougars. Carondelet won its second straight EBAL regular-season Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School wrestling title and that gave the Cougars Clayton Valley Charter High sent five wrestlers to the North Coast Section Girls Wrestling the top seed in NCS Division 1 Championships and the Eagles came away with two podium finishers. Melissa Cark placed again this year. seventh in the 137-pound bracket and Alexis Vlavianos was eighth at 143. The CVCHS Northgate were undefeated contingent at NCS included, from left, coach Mykel-Lynn Aparicio, Mariella More, Vla8-0-2 champions of the DAL vianos, Aubrey Navarro, ThaoTien Nguyen, Cark and coach Sierra Slight. The team finValley Division. Then the Bronished with 32 points, second to Alhambra among Diablo Athletic League schools and cos enjoyed the magic of a 2-0 ahead of six other DAL teams at NCS.

scoreline, winning their final league game and three straight NCS Division II outings by that score until they ran up against Livermore in the Section championship game and dropped a 21 verdict to the Cowboys. Clayton Valley was eliminated in the opening round of NCS Division I 3-0 by No. 2 seed and eventual champion Liberty. Ygnacio Valley and Berean Christian were both shutout in their NCS DIII first-round games.

the West Coast Conference. That already sounds incredibly good. But when you take a closer look, you’d see that three of SMC’s four losses were to Gonzaga, a team that won their first 29 games and earned a No. 1 seed. Saint Mary’s was a seventh seed and a first-round game against VCU. They were able to play a March Madness game as the favorite. This was already an accomplishment for a team of the Gaels’ size. Saint Mary’s beat VCU setting up a matchup with national power Arizona in the next round. Led by Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s jumped out to an early double-digit lead. However, they could not hang on in the second half, losing a tight battle with the Pac-12 champion Wildcats 69-60. Even though they bowed out in the second round, Saint Mary’s should appreciate what they do. They are a perennially dangerous team from a perennially weak conference. Saint Mary’s will still have their window open for at least another year. Star player Landale is a junior, as is guard Emmett Naar. A loss to Arizona is nothing to get down about. The Wildcats are an experienced team with expectations of a trip to the Final Four. CAL MISSES OUT The University of California Berkeley basketball team, on the other hand, should be disappointed. They were 2112 overall with a record of 10-8 in the Pac-12 Conference. But what this winning record did was put Cal in quite a predicament known in the sports world as “The Bubble.” Cal was somewhere between being good enough to make the NCAA Tournament and not being good enough, which would relegate them to the second-tier NIT. When the bracket came out on Selection Sunday, it was determined that the Golden Bears were just not good enough. They were labeled as one of the “first four teams out” of the NCAA Tournament. It was a disappointing result for a team with a potential top-10 NBA draft pick in Ivan Rabb. Cal had higher expectations than getting a top seed in the NIT. To compound that even more, Cal was upset by CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT. Even though they were without their top two players (Rabb and Jabari Bird), it was a tough way to end a once promising season. The next day their third-year coach Cuonzo Martin left for a more lucrative contract at Missouri. Cal and Saint Mary’s losing puts an end to the college basketball season in the Bay Area. We look forward to next season.

BOYS SOCCER For the third year in a row De La Salle fell out of the NCS tournament on penalty kicks. And twice it has been in the championship match. Coach Derricke Brown won his 100th game in charge of the Spartans this season but that was washed away when his team tied Berkeley 1-1 after regulation and overtime of the Section finals. The Yellowjackets won the shootout 4-3 to claim their first NCS title since 2004 when they also eliminated DLS on penalty kicks, in the semi-finals. Defending Division III Email any comments or queschampion Ygnacio Valley won tions to its fourth league championship in six years but then were shocked in the first-round of the DII tournament 4-3 by 16th seed DeAnza of El Sobrante in overtime. The Dons were coached, ironically, by former YVHS girls coach James Quijano. Fourth seed Concord won its NCS opener but then were ousted by eventual finalists Montgomery of Santa Rosa 20. Northgate lost its Section opener to Tennyson of Hayward 1-0 in overtime.

See NCS, page 13

Advertise in the Concord Pioneer. Call for price information 672-0500

Page 12

Concord Pioneer •

March 24, 2017

Former CV wrestler Troy Lakin national collegiate champion Troy Lakin made it to North Coast Section at 103 pounds for four consecutive years and capped his time as a Clayton Valley High wrestler with a fifth-place finish at the 2012 CIF State finals. None of that matches his accomplishment earlier this month when the Menlo College senior was crowned 125-pound NAIA national champion in Topeka, Kansas.

Lakin went into the NAIA Nationals seeded third. His performance at NAIA was termed “absolutely dominating” as he had to defeat the No. 1 and 2 seeds on the final day to claim his championship. In his semi-final the Concord wrestler met West Region champ Matthew Nguyen of Eastern Oregon. Nguyen held two wins this season over Lakin but the Menlo wrestler

won 8-6 in overtime to gain his was a freshman De La Salle’s berth in the finals. Vinny Moita won NCS at the In the finale he was lowest weight class. The folmatched with top seed Adrian lowing year his brother Joe Camposano of Camp- Moita was NCS champ. Lakin bellsville, KY. Lakin dominat- was third in his junior year at ed the match from the start CV losing his semi-final for a 15-6 major decision. match in overtime. Lakin finished the season 32Then as a senior Lakin won 6. He’s the seventh national the 2012 Section title with wrestling champ for Menlo three pins and two major deciand the first since 2008 for the sions helping coach Kyle Atherton college. Behmlander’s team to 10th Lakin was competing in his place. Lakin’s title was the third fourth NAIA Nationals. He in four years for Concord was third as a junior. He was schools at 103. top three in the NAIA Western At 2012 State, his two lossRegion meet all four years es were to the second- and including a 2016 champi- third-place wrestlers. He finonship. ished in fifth place. After the At Clayton Valley Lakin State Meet he went to senior McCargar, Andrew Rinella gins; 2nd team- Michaela made it to NCS all four years nationals in Virginia and (NG), Alex Lopez, Danny VanderKlugt; HM- Ali Bamat 103 pounds. When Lakin placed fourth. Sanchez, Alan Herrera (YV). berger. VALLEY: MVP- Barba BOYS BASKETBALL (Con), MVP Defense- NavarVALLEY: MVPs- Pascoe, ro-Ceja (Con), Sam Pinto (Miramonte), MVP Offense- Klarman (CVC); 1st teamDrew Wondolowski Jason Glenn (MD), Vince (Acalanes); 1st team-Edilsar Lontz (CVC), Josh Lunsford, Melendres-Gomes, Roberto Christian Pitcher (BC); 2nd YGNACIO WOOD SWIM TEAM REGISTRATION Barahona (Con), Jack Soder- team- Jeff Williams, Spencer IS OPEN ONLINE gren (BC), Aryan Hissan Tamichi (CVC), Ben Moore Kids 4-18 can sign up now online for the Ygnacio Wood (MD); 2nd team-Lucien Ger- (Con), Jaden Watt (BC); HMSwim Team. YWST’s summer recreational swim team balances hardt, Luis Soto (Con), Nick Becker (CVC), DeAndre swimming education, technique and training with good-old fash(Con), Pouyan Damon Amerine (BC), Adri- Morgan ioned summer fun. The season begins with spring practices an Canedo (MD); HM- Hagighat, Elizurita Haber Monday, April 10. Ygnacio Wood is located at 3124 San Gabriel Enrique Guzman, Nick Arm- (YV), George Udo (BC). Dr. in Concord. Visit for more information or email FOOTHILL: MVPstrong, Juan Hernandez Lares (Con), Salvadar Placencia, Devin Payne (Las Lomas); Jonathan Gonzalez, Cesar HM-Peter Michiels, Alex FORMER DE LA SALLE FOOTBALL TEAMMATES Jaime (MD), Nick Griswold Schaufler (NG). REUNITE AT UCLA DLS: 1st team- Emeka (BC). Tight end Devin Asiasi has transferred from Michigan to De La Salle: 1st team– Udenyi, Colby Orr; 2nd UCLA where he is reuniting with De La Salle teammate Boss Omar Jiron, Ian Nicolas; 2nd team- Connor O’Dea, Justin Tagaloa. The pair were among the highest rated recruits in the team- Luke Giusto, James Pratt. Class of 2016 after helping the Spartans to two consecutive State Peerson, Wyatt Hattich; HMchampionships. Asiasi and Tagaloa announced their college deciWRESTLING Evan Lonestar, Yianni sions live on ESPN. As a 6-3, 287-pound true freshman last fall, DAL: 1st team- Ryan FisReynolds. Asiasi played in all 13 Michigan games. He caught two passes for cher, Andy DeLira (CVC), 18 yards and a touchdown for coach Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines. Skylar Morford (NG); 2nd GIRLS BASKETBALL VALLEY: MVP- O’Kel- team- Nathan Sutton, Cole He will have to sit out the 2017 season and then will have three ley (Con); 1st team– Kelly Sanchez, Cormick Hamilton, years of eligibility. As a DLS senior Asiasi was rated as the No. Osterkamp, Bridget Hyland Grant Chachere (NG), Chris- 3 tight end in the country and the No. 12 player at any position (CVC), Macy Woodworth tian Utne (CVC), MacGregor in the state of California. (BC), Jessica Solis (Con); 2nd Douglass (BC); 3rd teamCVCHS BASEBALL HOSTS team- Aliza Roland (YV), Gabe Navarro, Juan Pablo 5 TH H OT STOVE DINNER APRIL 21 Alyssa Pluth (Con), Kat Wilson, Ben Acebo (CVC), The fifth annual CVCHS Hot Stove Dinner is Friday, April Segovia (CVC); HM- Kylie Gage Mettler (NG). 21. Honorees are members of the 1960 Clayton Valley baseball DLS: 1st team- Peyton Chen, Daniele Maestri (BC), team of head coach Vic Petreshene which we be inducted into Hannah Kommer, Jade Davis Omania, Darryl Aiello, Riley the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in May. Current baseball (CVC), Alexa Sotto (MD), Hilt, Jake Lillenstein, Patrick coach Casey Coakley says the evening’s festivities celebrate the Isela Garcia, Auxanna Buegre Ramirez, Dwayne Guerrero, National Pastime for baseball fans, Clayton Valley alumni and (YV), Francheska Calagui, Adrian Gomez, Jonathan current CVCHS. Door prizes, raffles and steak dinner benefit Hackett, Davor Skaric; 2nd Gabby Lomeli (Con). CVCHS Baseball and its scholarship fund. The event is from 6FOOTHILL: MVP- team- Logan Sumulong, 9 p.m. at Shadelands Civic Arts Center, 111 N. Wiget Ln. at Haley Van Dyke (Campolin- Wade Willet, Cristian VilYgnacio Valley Rd. in Walnut Creek. For more information and do); HM-Julia Gamez (NG). lasenor; 3rd team- Ankhaa to buy tickets at $50 each email coach Coakley at casey.coakCarondelet: MVP- Enkhmandkh, Mitch Simonich; 1st team– Dwig- loon.

All-League, from page 10

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The Clayton adult late winter coed 5’s volleyball league recently wrapped up with Crush winning the title. The team included, Michael Siradze, Erin Bennett, Captain Mike (Marat) Mudriyan, Joel Smith and Melanie Ruiz. DC…demolition crew were second and Block Rockers third. The Wednesday night spring league is currently underway. Visit for more info on the program.


The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its 24th season at a variety of local parks May 20-21. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 through U19 are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit for complete information and to register a team or referee to participate.


Photo by Brian Byllesby courtesy Menlo College Athletics

Troy Lakin followed up his heralded high school career at Clayton Valley High culminated by finishing fifth at the 2012 CIF State finals. That gave the Concord man a chance to wrestle at Menlo College and this month we finished his collegiate career with the NAIA national championship at 125 pounds.


Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U14 competitive teams (birth years 2004-2011 have concluded but coaches are still holding player evaluations. Under 15 and older team tryouts will be in May after spring league games conclude. Visit to get more information and signup for all tryouts.


Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger announced that summer rec season practice begins Monday, April 10 for ages 318. Contact coach Mellinger at for details or visit to sign up for the team.


Concord Cobras tackle football program is currently taking signups for its fall season online. The football program is open for youth five to 14 years of age. For more info email concord or visit


Head coach Jasmine Castillo has announced that the Orcas are accepting mail or drop off registrations for the summer rec swim team season now at Oakhurst Country Club. Meet and greet registration at the pool this Wednesday, Mar. 22, and Thursday, April 20, from 6:30-8 p.m. Early registration discounts are available until Mar. 22. Visit for more information and registration forms. Spring practice begins Monday, April 24.


Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles early bird registration for football and cheer ends on April 15. The football program is open to players 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for five-yearolds through 14. Visit for more info.


Vista Diablo Dolphins is taking online registration for the summer season for boys and girls ages 3-18. Get more info at or email


Coach Brian Voltattorni has announced a San Jose Earthquakes training and clinic Run by Quakes Director of Player Development Paul Holocher for next Monday, Mar. 27. For more info call Voltattorni, the Quakes East Bay director 2128460 or email at Interested players can also visit for more information.


Signups for the summer recreation Springwood team are being accepted online. The team begins practice on Monday, April 24. For more info email Jen Mucha at or Kristi Buchholz at Registration info can be found under the “NEWS” tab at


Spring leagues including adult softball, co-ed adult volleyball and youth basketball and volleyball offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration now online. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, visit

The 2017 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame includes five Eagles teams and event organizers are reaching out to locate members of those teams. The honorees will be inducted Friday, May 19, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The teams are 1960 baseball of head coach Vic PetreshTERRAPIN SPRING SWIM CLINICS ene, 1972 wrestling of coaches Glen Scrimger and Bill Nelson, CONTINUE THROUGH APRIL 1978 softball and coach Larry Fogelstrom and 1994 girls water The Terrapins Swim Team is offering spring stroke and turn polo (coach Dave Boland) and 1994 girls swimming (coach Tom clinics by coach Dan Cottam at their Concord facility for sumSparks). Players on those teams should send a note with their mer recreation swimmers ages 7-18 who want to get a jump on contact info to Clayton Valley HS Athletic Hall of Fame, P.O. the summer season on Sundays through April. The Terrapins Box 502, Clayton 94517. Orange and Blue Groups spring session begins this week. The nationally-ranked Terrapins are also taking signups for swimCONCORD AYSO BEGINS FALL SOCCER SEASON mers ages six and above of all levels for their year-round swim REGISTRATION IN APRIL Concord AYSO where “Everyone Plays” is hosting open reg- team. For information visit istration for its fall soccer season on Monday, April 3, and ThursCONCORD’S SUMMER KICKOFF day, April 20, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, May 13, PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT MAY 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. all at Concord Bible Church, 4975 ConConcord’s Summer Kickoff Tournament Saturday, May 6, is cord Blvd., Concord. Fees for fall season (Aug. 1-Nov. 5) are open to all levels of pickleball play. Players will play round-robin $175. Register by May 13 for a $50 discount. Visit concorstyle with a different partner for each game and have a six-game for more info. guarantee (play to 15 win by one). Lunch and shirts will be given to all registered participants. Balls will be provided. To register DANA HILLS OTTERS ACCEPTING SIGNUPS go to and use registration number 104539. PlayTHROUGH MAY 12 FOR SUMMER SWIM TEAM Dana Hills Swim Team, 24-time Concord City champions, ers can also go to Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E. Olivare accepting registration from new and returning families era Rd. in Concord. Registration deadline is April 21. For more online. Practice begins April 10 and the final day for swimmer info email or call 671-3423. registration is May 12. For more info visit

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 13

54-year-old discus throw record broken at CVCHS as spring sports in full bloom for new DAL divisions JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

High school teams have been dodging rainy weather and wet facilities to practice and now get Diablo Athletic and East Bay Athletic league schedules underway as winter turned to spring this week. Inclement weather didn’t seem to impact Clayton Valley Charter’s Jeff Williams. Fresh off playing for the Eagles in the North Coast Section basketball playoffs the night before Williams competed in his first track and field meet recently and promptly broke the school’s oldest record. In the Stocking Super Seven Invitational meet at Diablo Valley College he threw the discus 169 feet, 11 inches, shattering the school’s previous best mark of 164-7 set in 1963 by Ken Cole when Clayton Valley High was five-years-old. “Discus is highly technical and timing is everything. With no prior practice due to Jeff being a multisport athlete, you can expect to see some great things from Jeff this season,” said assistant coach Mark Hicks. The record throw, 15 feet longer than the second place mark at the Super Seven meet, would have placed Williams in the top 10 at the 2016 State Meet.  He’s already earned allDAL honors in football and basketball and hopes to cap off his senior year with more success in the weight events this spring. After Williams broke the discus record the oldest track and field mark belongs to legendary Clayton Valley Hall of Famer Mickey Wharton with a 58 foot,

Jason Rogers

Jeff Williams is enjoying quite a final year of athletics at Clayton Valley Charter High School. The senior has been part of CVCHS championship teams in football and basketball, earning all-Diablo Athletic League honors in each. The day after his Ugly Eagles basketball team was eliminated from the North Coast Section playoffs Williams took part in his first track and field meet and had a stunning a result. He threw the discus 169-11 at the De La Salle Super 7 meet to break a 54-year-old school record by over five feet. The previous mark was 164-7 set by Ken Cole in 1963.

2-1/2 shot put record toss in 1965. He placed ninth in the State Meet that spring. DAL spring league play is underway. Schedules and highlights for spring sports: Baseball- The league season begins April 18 with Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate in a highly-competitive Foothill Division with Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo and College Park. College Park has had the most recent success at NCS including the 2015 champi-

onship and a semi-final showing last year. Perennial NCS participant CVCHS was eliminated in the quarterfinals last spring. Northgate was a Division II finalist at NCS while Acalanes is defending NCS DIII champ. DAL teams will play a home and home series with league games ending May 18. The NCS playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals set June 23. De La Salle won the title last year and the Spartans have taken

three of the last five Section crowns. DLS was ranked as one of the top 20 teams in America this season although the Spartans lost two of three last week against Southern Cal powers. Boys Golf- The DAL tournament is May 1 at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. The NCS Division I qualifier and DII championships are May 8 and the DI championship is May 15, one week before the NorCal championships. Lacrosse- The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools, including Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate, are fielding teams in each league while Ygnacio Valley is the ninth girls teams. The busy 18-game girls league schedule began at the end of February and continues until May 5. The boys are on the same schedule but each team gets four byes in the Tuesday-Friday schedule. NCS girls tournament starts 10 and the boys a day later. Swimming & Diving- The Foothill Division features five aquatic powerhouses (including Northgate), which means Clayton Valley Charter will be a favorite in the Valley Division. The final league dual meets are April 18-19. The DVAL championships are May 4-6 at Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High in Moraga. Concord Community Pool will again host NCS May 11-13 and the third CIF State meet is at the Clovis Swimming Complex in Clovis May 19-20. Softball- Alhambra has become a softball powerhouse while winning three consecutive Division II Section playoffs,

Busy Terrapins place 3rd at Central Section Championships in Iowa City JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Concord-based Terrapins Swim Team placed third overall this month at the Central Section Championships at the University of Iowa in Iowa City finishing behind Fort Collins Swim Team of Colorado and Edina Swim Club from Minnesota. The men’s team was led by Alexei Sancov of Concord, who won five events. Sancov won his five events swimming unrested and unshaved. He won the 50 freestyle (20.29), 100 free (43.57), 200 free (1:35.60), 500 free (4:24.88) and 100 butterfly (48.31), His 100, 200 and 500 free times were all Central Section meet records. He also combined with Nate Barsanti, Tyler James and Andrew Rodriguez to break the 800 free relay Central Section record. Other top 8 finals swims

Vizental, Adrian Dulay, Charlotte Meier, Maya Price, Remy Gordillo, Rylee Gordillo, Adonis Thomas and Delanie Gearing. The club hosted the Pacific 14 & under short course Spring Junior Olympic Championships at Concord Community Pool earlier this month. Among the top Terrapin performers were: 10-unders: Lily Streumpf (high point), Nikki Kannan, Davidka Skov. 11-12: Amelia Bodenstab, Photo courtesy Terrapins Swim Team Diana Chan,Sofie Curran, Terrapins Swim Team sent its senior swimmers to the CenAngeline Masongsong, Sophia tral Section Championships at the University of Iowa in Pedersoli, AJ Fong, Asim Sami, Iowa City, finishing third in the team standings. The men’s Lawrence Thomas. team was led by Alexei Sancov of Concord, who won five 13-14: Maile Andresen, events. Abby Dulski, Sophia Miller, were by Nate Barsanti, Tyler edged out the win with a fast Devin Masongsong, Zack James, Andrew Rodriguez and 3:02.80 swim, anchored by Chau, Damien Donado. Skyler Liu. Rodriguez. The meet concluded with Overall, the Terrapins postan exciting wire-to-wire race in ed 48 new lifetime best swims, the men’s 400 free relay event highlighted by Jessica Larson, between Fort Collins and Ter- Connor Seip, Will Nagle, Sterapins. The Terrapin men phie Backlund, Anthony

NCS, from page 11

Clayton Valley Charter lost Salle followed up his third its NCS Division I first-round straight NCS championship game 2-1 to Monte Vista. with a runner-up 220-pound finish at State last weekend. He WRESTLING lost to Cade Belshay 7-4 of Coach Mark Halvorson’s team champions Buchanan. De La Salle Spartans dominatDe La Salle tied for seventh ed both Section wrestling at State, once again as the top championships, taking two NCS team. team titles for the eighth time Senior Jonathon Hackett in the past nine years. was first at EBAL and NCS at At the NCS Champi- 170 pounds. He reached his onships De La Salle was four second State Meet and ended points shy of its Section record up winning four matches there. set a year ago, with 335.5 Other DLS section champions points. Six Spartans won indi- were Patrick Ramirez (120), vidual titles and eight DLS Peyton Omania (145), Dwayne wrestlers qualified for State Guerrero (132) and Adrian Meet. Gomez (138). Darryl Aiello of De La The Spartans also rolled

through three opponents at the NCS Dual Meet Championships. They scored over 60 points each in the first two matches and then took a 59-9 victory win over Liberty of Brentwood in the final match. Andy DeLira of Clayton Valley Charter took third at NCS to reach State at 285 pounds. He won a pair of matches there before being eliminated. Completing a local sweep of the NCS East Bay dual team championships, Northgate edged DAL and Walnut Creek rival and two-time defending champs Las Lomas 40-36 in the Division II championship match. The result reversed the 2016 finals when the Knights trounced the Broncos 64-13.

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prompting the Bulldogs to be reclassified to DI this season. The five Foothill Division opponents for Alhambra are all former DVAL teams. Concord High won three NCS titles between 2010 and 2013. The softball schedule matches baseball with the double round-robin schedule running from April 18 to May 18. NCS playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals June 2-3. Boys Tennis- Matches for the nine-school DAL schedule continue until April 20 with Tuesday and Thursday matches each week. The DAL championships are April 27-29. The Section team championships May 9-11-13 and the singles and doubles tournament May 5-6 at James Logan High in Union City. Miramonte and Acalanes have had the most boys tennis success in recently years among DAL teams. Track & Field- The track and field schedule is underway with dual meets spread out through April 26. The league meet at Campolindo in Moraga features trials on May 6 and finals May 13. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 20 in Pleasanton at Foothill High, the NCS Meet of Champions is May 2627 at Cal Berkeley and the State Meet June 2-3 in Clovis at Buchanan High. Boys Volleyball- Acalanes and Alhambra join former DVAL schools CVCHS, Concord, Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley in the Valley Division The double-round robin league schedule runs through May 4 with matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. NCS playoffs culminate May 20. NorCal championships are May 23-27.


Baseball – Foothill: Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo, CVCHS, College Park, Northgate. Valley: Berean Christian, Concord, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley. Boys Golf – Foothill: Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate. Valley: Alhambra, Berean Christian, CVCHS, College Park, Concord, Ygnacio Valley. Boys Lacrosse – Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo, CVCHS, College Park, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate. Girls Lacrosse – Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo, CVCHS, College Park, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate, Ygnacio Valley. Softball – Foothill: Alhambra, Berean Christian, CVCHS, College Park, Concord, Northgate. Valley: Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley. Boys & Girls Swimming & Diving – Foothill: Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate. Valley: Alhambra, Berean Christian, CVCHS, College Park, Concord, Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley. Boys Tennis – Acalanes, Campolindo, College Park, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate, Alhambra, CVCHS, Mt. Diablo. Track & Field – Foothill: Acalanes, Campolindo, CVCHS, Las Lomas, Miramonte; Valley: Alhambra, Berean Christian, College Park, Concord, Mt. Diablo, Northgate, Ygnacio Valley. Boys Volleyball – Foothill: Berean Christian, Campolindo, College Park, Las Lomas, Miramonte, Northgate. Valley: Acalanes, Alhambra, CVCHS, Concord, Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley.

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Page 14

SCHOOLS Concord Pioneer •

March 24, 2017

Trowbridge not just a teacher – he’s a superhero When I met understood the need Tom Trowbridge, I for girls to find coninstantly knew how fidence in a malepowerful he was in dominated world. I, his classroom. of course, said: He spoke of “Why not!” woodworking and Trowbridge is a engineering as if it superhero. He teachwere a present you es 120 percent, Rianne Pfaltzgraff would find under including woodthe tree on Christ- CONCORD HIGH working, ROP PRINCIPAL mas morning. His robotics, civil engiexcitement, passion and energy neering and architecture, and seem unlimited. ROP construction technology. Now, the Mt. Diablo Uni- From laser cutters to 3D printfied School District has ers to cutting-edge architecturrewarded Trowbridge for his al software, he is on the leading efforts by naming him Teacher edge of construction technolof the Year. ogy and engineering. In our first conversation, He brought Project Lead Trowbridge suggested starting the Way (PLTW) to Concord a woodworking class for girls. High and is driven to build the “We could call it Woodworking program and bring the best to for Women,” he said. the campus. He secured As a father of girls, he equipment and supplies,

house. He is also a great community contributor on campus. His input and vision about providing opportunities for students is a great asset. He challenges his students on a daily basis and is always providing fresh and unique experiences for students. When I ask him if we can

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

CHS teacher, Tom Trowbridge, MDUSD Teacher of the Year

including CHSan electric car, to enhance the experience for students. In addition, he created the supreme real-world experience project of building a tiny house. Trowbridge has set himself apart as a pioneer in the build-

ing and trades industry and engineering industry as an innovative outside-the-box thinker. He has strong relationships with the community, which allowed him to secure donations for the majority of the materials for the first tiny

Tomorrow’s leaders excelling today at CHS Concord High while also buildSchool’s 9th annual ing fundamental Leadership Exchange, leadership skills an evolving tradition and, of course, at CHS, brought having fun. together more than “A l t h o u g h 350 of the finest leadsome of our ership students from schools are rivals, 12 schools across the this day brings us Aasim Yahya Bay Area. all together as CONCORD HIGH The exchange is a CORRESPONDENT one unit and meeting point for varforms bonds ious perspectives and ideas between us that otherwise may from today’s young student not exist,” says committee leaders. This event is a time to chair Karlee Kronquist. network, interact and gain The exchange is a symbol insight from other leaders of CHS Leadership’s individu-

ality, creativity and passion. The event drastically improves each year due to the commitment and work ethic of the CHS student leaders. Following last month’s Leadership Exchange, the CHS Leadership class was excited to find out they were recognized for their unique ability to build student leaders. They received the California Association of Student Leaders’ Outstanding Leadership Program award, an honor given to only 5 percent of schools that apply. “Receiving this award is a

validation of all the hard work our student leaders have put into CHS and the Concord community over the years,” said Leadership co-director Leah Darby. “This recognition is a tremendous honor, and we appreciate the time and effort that current and former students have put into making this program what it is today.”

Aasim Yahya is a junior at Concord High. He has a passion for basketball and plays on the school to comments Send team.

Students celebrate new well in person VIRGINIA SIEGAL Special to the Pioneer

A school bell rings, and a few straggling students hurry to class. It’s a normal day at a small school in Concord. But a handful of students are preparing for an uncommon experience – one that will not only change their lives but the lives of dozens of people halfway around the world. Last year, students at Ygnacio Valley Christian School began raising money toward installing a clean water well for a tribe in a poor rural community in Ghana. Many of these tribes have no access to clean water and often are plagued by viruses, disease and death related to the uncleanliness of the water they drink. The significance of this problem struck a chord in the hearts of the students, their families and their teachers. From preschool through jun-

ior high, many students brought in change from home to contribute to the effort. The initial expectation was that the 70-family school would not be able to fund the entirety of the well but would donate part of what was needed to install it. Shortly after the campaign began, a large donor provided all the money needed for the well. As icing on the cake, the organization installing the well, Meaningful Life International-Ghana, invited seven parent-student teams to Ghana on a service trip to dedicate the well to the Asiliokorpe tribe. This late March trip is intended to not only change the lives of the tribe members, but it will inevitably also shape the perspective of the seven students who range in age from 5 to 14. YVCS refers to its junior high school program as the Servant Leadership Academy for this very purpose. School

Levi and Carter Gillespie are among those traveling to Ghana from Ygnacio Valley Christian School.

officials hope that by the time students graduate from the school, they will not only be well-educated but will also be confident enough to take the lead in addressing desperate needs in our world. The school expects this to

Ygnacio Valley High School staff is celebrating the final authorization that makes the Concord school part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program this fall. The IB program will offer 11th and 12th graders an opportunity to pursue a rigorous academic path aimed at increasing their chances for college acceptance and possi-

bly earning them up to 30 undergraduate quarter units in the UC system. IB coordinator and science teacher Carissa Weintraub is thrilled with the final authorization that she and fellow staff members have been working on for more than three years. Ygnacio Valley joins 106 other high schools in California and 4,000 schools worldwide as an IB World School. With the IB program approved, the Mt. Diablo Uni-

fied School District gave an extension for intradistrict transfers to YV. Students enrolled in MDUSD who want to transfer to YV should contact Weintraub for the modified transfer paperwork. The application needs to go through YVHS rather than the district. This opportunity is for incoming ninth and 10th graders or incoming juniors applying to the IB program. The deadline to apply for this special intradistrict transfer is March 27.

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New CV principal looks to student success S t u dents at Clayton Va l l e y Charter H i g h School are n o strangers Alyssa Arino to staff CVCHS c h a n g es. CORRESPONDENT Just this year, CV has had three different principals. New principal John McMorris replaces Patrick Gaffney, who became principal at a new charter school is Walnut Creek to have more time with his 10-year-old son. McMorris, a former principal at Northgate High School, is prepared for the job with 30 years of educational and administrative work under his belt. He has achieved a multitude of accomplishments at the schools he’s worked at, including creating Professional Learning Communities at San Ramon Valley High School and Smaller Learning Communities at Newark Memorial High. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science composite, along with masters in international education and education administration. McMorris arrived at Clayton Valley in September as deputy principal. “I love it here,” he says. “It’s a great community. The kids here are very nice, very accepting. There is such a great staff.” McMorris was originally against the switch to charter but said he became pro-charter when he learned of the independence charter schools are


allowed. “Charter schools have more freedom to try new and interesting things,” McMorris explains. “They are less restricted by bureaucracy.” He is passionate about his educational values. “We have a responsibility to all students to make sure they’re learning,” McMorris says. “If they’re not getting their work done, we have to ask why.” McMorris plans to help Clayton Valley and its students succeed in every way he can. “If students aren’t understanding their work, we need to provide them with resources – things like tutorials, interventions and other things to help them,” he says. “If they just don’t want to do their work, then we have to have them go to Saturday school. “We want students to learn good habits and how to do the work now so they don’t suffer later on in life.”

Alyssa Arino is a sophomore at CVCHS. She is on the school’s cross country team. Send comments to

Parents make Clayton Valley great for students

be the first of many projects that will change our world for Great parents excited for all the the better and prepare the are the key to the events to come, students to be leaders in success of great most notably, graduthese types of movements. charter schools. We ation.   All 400 sencertainly appreciate iors walked over Send comments and questions to all they do here at from school with Clayton Valley Leadership Teacher Charter High G r e g o r y School. They’re role Rosewell.   Inside, models for citizenthey enjoyed the John McMorris ship and service not Memory Wall sportCVCHS PRINCIPAL just for ing collages of their  own  kids, but the  first 18 years of for all students. They show life of these future community that service when volunteering leaders. Weintraub says the IB cur- as  tutors, keeping up the 60 awards were presented riculum includes English, school building and grounds with two winners in each cateSpanish, French, science, his- and raising funds for clubs and gory including Most Contatory, art and math. Each sports teams. gious Laugh, Best Car, Best course is offered with stanIn March, parents helmed Daredevil, Romeo and Juliet dard and advanced levels in our Booster Club’s annual and, to the amusement of the order to be available to all stu- Crab Feed fundraiser for our faculty, Most Likely  to Be a dents in the diverse YVHS athletic teams. CVCHS Teacher in 10 Years. student population, where Also in March was the SenSenior year in is a special bilingualism is the norm. ior Awards Brunch at the Cen- time, a rite of passage to adult“The program will inspire tre Concord, sponsored and hood. It’s a wonderful time, students to strive for a love of decorated by the Parent Facul- made especially wonderful by lifelong inquiry and learning as ty Club. This is an annual event Clayton Valley’s parents. well as teach how to question, that kicks off the end of the Send comments and questions to understand and respect other year activities for the Senior points of view,” she says. Class and gets the students

YV’s International Baccalaureate authorized JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

take on a new challenge, his first question will be: “Is this good for kids?” Then he will pause, look to the sky, rearrange the million projects in his head and figure out a way to make it happen.

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 15

Serendipity students take high honors JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

Five students from Serendipity Restaurant, the vocational training program at Mt. Diablo High School, brought home honors at the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) regional competition at Mission College in Santa Clara. Competing in the Culinary Display category, all the students qualified to attend the state FCCLA meeting in Riverside in April. Awards and accolades are nothing new for Serendipity, which has been at MDHS since 1976. The restaurant has been a nurturing home to thousands of students since opening in a refurbished machine shop on East Street, across from what is now John Muir Hospital. Run by chefs Debbie Allen

an instructor for 23 years. Fuller graduated from the San Francisco Culinary Institute and worked in the restaurant business for 15 years before coming to the program 21 years ago. They look after their students much like parents would, giving them tools to succeed in life, then watching them grow up and leave the nest. “A lot of them return to check in,” Fuller says. “We learn who’s getting married or having kids, and what they’re doing with their careers.” Serendipity students who won honors at the Culinary DisFuller explains that a play contest include, back row from left, Tyler Cooks, 1st restaurant, by its nature, creplace and Best of Show in patisserie; Donovin Caldwell, ates a family atmosphere. “You 2nd place appetizers; Remigio Gallegos, 1st place breads; become close to the people front row from left, Nathaly Balcazar, 1st place advanced you work with. You survive presentation cakes; and Evelyn Baldoza, 1st place decoordeals every day, and you have rated wedding cakes. to count on others and they and Kevin Fuller, the culinary tality and Tourism Academy. count on you.” program is the heart of the Allen is a graduate of MDHS See Serendipity, pg. 19 school’s International Hospi- and the program and has been

Mt. Diablo academies driven to success The Mount Diashowcasing their blo High School projects: EggXpress, academies have a civil structures, lot to celebrate. Rube Goldberg and The ACME balsawood gliders. (Architecture, ConCongratulations to struction, ManufacYohe Akuaku, Corituring and Engina Magdaleno and neering) Academy Justin Gonzales for celebrated the first taking second place Liane Cismowski group of MESA with their Rube MDHS PRINCIPAL (Math, EngineerGoldberg machine. ing, Science Other students parAchievement) students, who ticipating were Rasheed Harris, dedicated March 4 as MESA Joanna Hinojosa, Adilene Day. Lopez, Diego Soto, Juan Soto, Students competed with Alan Thompson and Igmer peers from the Bay Area by Castillo. Their teacher is Karen taking the PSAT in math and Lowande.

The Medical Biotechnical Academy (MBTA) and HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) are a strong academic group. The Future Health Professionals club now has monthly activities with guest speakers to introduce students to allied health-care careers. HOSA invited Edi Birsan, vice-mayor of Concord, to be the guest of honor at the launching campaign of these events. He is involved in the HOSA mission as is Carolyn Obringer, Concord newest City Council member. Kloyd Ganancial, a student in the DSA (Digital Safari

Academy), won the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Award for his art. He submitted six 18 by 24 pen and ink art pieces in the December contest. He uses unconventional tools to create these posters, for example, Gelly Roll pens, highlighters and Bristol boards. He does not purchase expensive art supplies. Two of his pieces won gold keys, two won silver keys and the other two received honorable mentions. The two gold key winners will move to the national awards. Kloyd hopes to attend the

Northgate as we try to grow. High School just WASC’s visiting finished up its committee of eduWestern Associacators from around tion of Schools California was comand Colleges plimentary of the (WASC) accreditaschool. tion process, in It was a powerful which the entire process to examine school community what we do well. It completes a self- Michael McAlister came up repeatedly NORTHGATE study. that students feel like PRINCIPAL Teachers, they each have a administrators, students and place at Northgate. There is a parents examined what we do niche for every kid as long as as a school: our goals, what they explore a little. This conan ideal graduate should look nection matters as it ultimatelike and the gaps we may have ly plays a vital part in any

school’s culture. Teachers feel connected, both in their work as well as with the students they teach. We have some of the most talented educators I’ve seen in my many years in education, and I’m proud to serve with them. Northgate has established goals for its students that are meaningful. We look to see that every student can integrate our 5 Cs – communication, critical thought, creativity, collaboration and connection – into the daily experience. From the freshman year

on, the 5 Cs help focus and prepare students to deliver upon our capstone senior activities: Mock Congress and the Senior Project. The WASC visiting committee mentioned that this kind of approach to educational outcomes is present in only the best institutions. This comment made all of us proud and serves as a testament to our continued efforts of offering excellence to, and expecting it from, all the students.

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Carondelet introduces Lenten Project on human trafficking in Bay Area JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Carondelet High School kicked off this year’s Lenten Project with an all-school assembly featuring Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a Concord native and alumna of Carondelet, and Tiffany LaVoie of 3Strands Global Foundation, who spoke about human trafficking and its prevalence in the Bay Area and throughout America. “The young women of our Spiritual Life Council selected the topic of human trafficking because they recognize this issue as a tragic injustice that must be addressed,” said Lacy Matthews, Carondelet’s director of campus ministry. “Our faith teaches us that all people have dignity and deserve

the right to live safe and flourishing lives.” “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” said LaVoie, director of education for 3Strands, whose mission is to mobilize communities to combat human trafficking through prevention education and reintegration programs. “We want to raise modern-day abolitionists.” O’Malley described the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch program that her office launched to combat human trafficking by raising community awareness, training law enforcement, prosecuting offenders, coordinating victim services and changing legislative policy. The program’s public awareness campaign, which won an award for being the most innovative with “in-yourface” messaging, features billboards throughout the county

with headlines like: “Buying a teen for sex is child abuse. Turning a blind eye is neglect.” and “There’s no such thing as a child prostitute.” Tying the issue back to Catholic social justice, O’Malley shared how her office has worked with the Oakland Diocese and Catholic Charities of the East Bay to create safe houses where rescued victims can receive wrap-around services, education and compassionate support. The first of several planned houses is expected to open in September. It will be dubbed “Claire’s House,” for O’Malley’s mother who raised nine children in Concord and cared for countless others. Both speakers also urged Carondelet students to stay vigilant in looking out for themselves and others. They warned them to be wary of connecting with strangers

online and leaving a dangerous “digital footprint.” “Who’s following you and who’s friending you whom you don’t actually know?” asked LaVoie, suggesting that all students review their social media accounts to block or remove anyone they don’t know personally. Students are collecting new and gently used bras to send to Free the Girls, an international organization that helps rescued human trafficking victims get their lives back through economic freedom. Bras are highly sought after and command good money in the secondhand marketplace. They are also selling bracelets to benefit 3Strands Global Foundation to help raise awareness about human trafficking. Survivors make the bracelets, teaching them a trade and selling them through the foundation.

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Concord Pioneer •

Would-be ‘Angels’ travel to Martinez boyfriend (James Bradley Jr.), and the prospect of film director Frank Capra dropping by to consider the Hays for his current film and there is lots of craziness to enjoy. “Moon Over Buffalo” continues through March 25 at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Call 925-222-9106 or go to for tickets. There is still time to catch one of my favorite shows, “Smokey Joe’s Café,” running through March 25 at Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre. The rock and roll revue features “Poison Ivy,” “Stand By Me” and many more. Director Lauren Rosi, who also created some fun choreography, says one of the biggest


STAGE STRUCK It’s off to French Guiana for Onstage Repertory’s next show, “My Three Angels.” The unlikely angels are three convicts (Montgomery Paulsen, Marion Cowart and Peter Marietta) who come to the rescue of shopkeeper Felix Ducotel (Jack Karasch). It seems Felix’s evil cousin (Henri Trochard) wants to take over the shop, much to the chagrin of Felix’s wife (Kim Poppe) and daughter (Courtney Shaffer). Sheilah Morrison, Christopher Dewey and Dean Engle complete the cast. Directed by Randy Anger, the show continues through April 1 at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., in Martinez. Call 925-518-3276 for tickets. If you can’t resist a good apple, be sure to catch East Bay Children’s Theatre’s production of “That’s Our Snow White!” The original musical spoof features Snow White, a high-maintenance princess with a heart of gold, the “six” dwarfs, the Evil Queen and her back-talking magic mirror along with lots of furry friends. Will Snow White thwart the evil plot of her wicked stepmother? Will she ever find her prince? Will she be able to hit her high notes? The tongue-incheek script and Broadway-flavored songs will enchant children and have adults rolling in the aisles. In addition to performing at a variety of East Bay schools, the show will have a public performance at 2 p.m. March 26 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. Purchase tickets at

March 24, 2017

challenges working on this show is not having a real script. I saw the show on opening weekend and the lack of a script didn’t seem to be a problem for the uber-talented cast of eight. Rosi and musical director Tania Johnson turned each song into its own story, with one melting seamlessly into the next. The theater is at 3535 School St., Lafayette For tickets, call 925-253-1557 or go to Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to


Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Carina Lastimosa and Melissa Locsin are “Sisters Matsumo”, at CenterREP March 31-April 29.

Center Repertory presents a moving play about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Set in 1945, “Sisters Matsumoto” follows three sisters as they return home to the family farm in Stockton after two years in an internment camp in Arkansas. Written by Philip Kan Gotanda, whose mother was in such a camp, the play tells the story of their efforts to rebuild their lives as Americans and their struggles with the past. “We’re so honored to present this moving, incisive and heartwarming play about an important moment of American history – one that sheds light on the present while bearing witness to the past,” says artistic director Michael Butler. “Sisters” runs March 31April 29 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to

Snow White, played by Krista Joy Serpa, wishes for a “splendid ‘he’ on bended knee” in “that’s Our Snow White!” by East Bay Children’s Theatre.

Crazy times are going on at the Clayton Theatre Company as they perform Ken Ludwig’s 1996 farce “Moon Over Buffalo.” Director La Tonya Watts keeps the action moving on a well-designed set by Adam Puglielli. That’s no small feat given the tiny stage and the number of quick entrances/ exits required for this fastpaced comedy. The production features a solid cast that certainly had fun performing this story about fading stars George and Charlotte Hay (nicely done by

Chip Renner and Teresa Grosserode). With their careers in decline, the Hays find themselves performing repertory in Buffalo, N.Y., with Charlotte’s hard-of-hearing mother (a very funny Peggy Scalise) as costumer and bit player. Their marriage is also in trouble, thanks to George’s affair with another actress (Nathalie Archangel) – leading Charlotte to run off with their lawyer (Ron Craven). Add in the Hay’s daughter Peggy Scalise, Teresa Grosserode and Chip Renner star in (Tamara Filener), her new Clayton Theatre Company’s “Moon Over Buffalo” at Enfiancé (Bill Dietz), her former deavor Hall in Clayton through March 25.

‘Battlefield’ explores an uncertain future harata,” the director has created an intimate new interpretation and staging of this timeless tale. Written almost 2,500 years ago, the Mahabharata’s magical story of finding tranquility in the midst of war and destruction has striking connections to modern times. In “Battlefield,” a newly crowned king surveys a postwar battlefield. His army has won him the crown, but at what price? The cast features Carole Karemera (through May 16), Jared McNeill, Ery Nzaramba, Sean O’Callaghan Caroline Moreau and musician Toshi TsuchiCarole Karemera, Sean O’Callaghan, Jared McNeill tori. Karen Aldridge joins the and Ery Nzaramba star in ACT’s “Battlefield” opening cast May 17. April 26 at the Geary Theater in San Francisco. Carey Perloff, ACT’s artisFollowing the success of Thirty years after Brook’s tic director, recalls seeing “The Suit,” which played to groundbreaking adaptation of eight hours of Brook’s “The standing ovations and sold-out the Indian epic “The Mahab- Mahabharata” at Brooklyn houses at American Conservatory Theater in 2014, director Peter Brook returns to ACT with “Battlefield.”

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Academy of Music in the early 1980s. “The depth and breadth of Brook’s vision astonished me – both his ability to see the world from an epic, grand perspective and at the same time to render every emotional detail and every psychological gesture absolutely specific and totally human,” Perloff said. “Peter Brook’s work was what introduced me to theater to begin with, and I still go back to his brilliant little book ‘The Empty Space’ whenever I want to remind myself about why we do what we do.”

“Battlefield” plays April 26May 21 at the Geary Theater, 405 Geary St., San Francisco. For tickets, call 415-749-2228 or visit

Annual Creekside Arts event pays homage to Main Street

Clayton’s annual Creekside artistic interpretations on the old Main Street presented by Arts event at the Clayton theme “Life on Main Street.” the Clayton Historical Museum From the historic view of to the “Life on Main Stream” Library will present varying ecological presentation, the events will reflect the commonalities of every community – whether human or animal in nature. Artwork and photos submitted for judging will offer international views along “Main Street” in different countries. The 14th annual event runs Friday, March 24, to Sunday, March 26, at the Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Rd. Admission is free, with proceeds from art and craft sales supporting library materials for the creekside wildlife habitat. Local artists display some of their works, from left, Julie Van For more information, contact Wyk, Barbara Paul, Donna Locher, Sharon Petersen and Re- event director Arlene Kikkawanaye Johnson, seated. “Creekside Arts has been a wonder- Nielsen at or ful way to show my artwork for the past three years,” 925-864-3805. Johnson says. “It has also been a fun event to share with my friends.”

March 24, 2017

CALENDAR Concord Pioneer •



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

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursdays, starting April 20, 4 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

On Sale Now Concord Pavilion Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. Concert schedule for 2017: Apr. 16, Snoop Dogg, 7:30 p.m. Jun. 2, Kidz Bop Tour, 7 p.m. Jun. 7, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, 7:30 p.m. Jun. 11, Spirit West Coast Concord, 3 p.m. Jun. 23, United We Rock Tour, 7 p.m. Jul. 6, Deftones and Rise Against, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 8 p.m. Aug. 16, Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/ Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m.

Mar. 25 Garden Walk – Spring Bloomers

Celebrate spring with a walk in the garden with horticultural consultant and educator, Patrice Hanlon. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave. $10; reservations required.

Apr. 1 Attention Bakers!

Four, one-hour decorating classes sponsored by the Contra Costa Cake and Sugar Society. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. First Lutheran Church, 4000 Concord Blvd. $60-$70.

Apr. 13 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 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment (925) 671-3320.

May 5 – 7 Spring Tea

Spring tea at the Galindo Home sponsored by the Concord Historical Society. Seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. 1721 Amador Ave. $35. Call Lind for reservations: (925) 682-6383.


Thru Mar. 25 “Moon Over Buffalo”

Hilarious comedy with madcap misadventures presented by the Clayton Theatre Company. 7:30 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. $15-$25. (925) 222-9106.

Mar. 24 - 26 Creekside Arts

Arts, entertainment, environmental education. This year’s theme, “Life on Main Street.” Fri. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sun. 12 – 5 p.m. Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. Free admission.

Mar. 25 Author Event

Constance Krail-Self is the guest speaker for the American Association of University Women. Open to the public. 7 p.m. Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St. For more information, call (925) 6723411.

Mar. 25 Pancakes and Ponies

Mar. 31 Moses Rock Ridge


Explore some of the wild northwestern slopes of the mountain. 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Diablo Ranch Trailhead.

Apr. 1 Butterfly Walk

First butterfly walk of the season. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Apr. 2 Mount Diablo in Bloom

Climb Twin Peaks to view the spring colors. 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Reservations required.

Apr. 2 Round the Mountain

Views in all directions. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Juniper Trailhead.

Apr. 7 Back Canyon and Diablo Falls Hike

Ideal time to see wildflowers and water on the rugged north side of Mount Diablo. 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

Apr. 14 Riggs Canyon and Highland Ridge Hike

Explore the hills in the southeastern reaches of Mount Diablo State Park. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at parking lot on Morgan Territory Road.

Apr. 21 Castle Rock and Camel Rock Hike

Dip in and out of Pine Canyon and climb into lovely meadows. 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Borges Ranch.

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

Apr. 22 Mitchell Canyon Family Walk

A leisurely loop up Mitchell Canyon to Black Point Trail. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center. Registration required.


Thru Apr. 1 “My Three Angels”

Presented by Onstage Theatre. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. (925) 518-3277.

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

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

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

Mar. 25, 26 and Apr. 9, 15 Vasco Caves

Naturalist-guided tour. Ages 10 and up. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. $30; reservations required. Meet at Round Valley Regional Preserve.

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

Mar. 25, Apr. 15 Wildflower Walk

Explore the flowers in the Mitchell Canyon area. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Mar. 26 A Jeweled Island in Suburbia

Drop in to learn about the animals and plants on Mount Diablo. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

Mar. 29 Frog Pond

Hike to secluded Frog Pond then to Green Ranch before returning. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.

Apr. 6 – 22 “Glengarry Glen Ross”

Presented by B8 Theatre Company. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. (925) 890-8877.

Apr. 8 Concert

Performed by The Four Aces. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Apr. 15 Concert

Performed by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $44. (925) 427-1611.

Apr. 21 – 22 “Shrek JR”

Presented by Diablo Theatre Company’s SingOut! Musical Theatre. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 22 Beatles Tribute

Performed by The Sun Kings. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.


Mar. 25 Boutique and Vendor Fair

Crafts, including artwork, jewelry, and vendors such as Tupperware. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Faith Missionary Baptist Church Gym, 4266 Thompson Drive, Concord. Free admission. 687-1440.

Apr. 16 Easter Egg Hunt

Open to the public. 12 p.m. The Bridge Church, 2140 Olivera Court, Concord. Free.

Apr. 22 “HARANA”

Documentary of the music of harana, the long-forgotten tradition of Filipino serenading. 7:30 p.m. St. Bonaventure, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $10-$15. For tickets, call (925) 207-1608, (925) 682-5447 or (925) 285-2613.


Thru Apr. 23 “John”

Thru Mar. 25 “Lucky Stiff”

Mar. 24 “In the Mood”

Thru Apr. 2 “You Can’t Take It with You”

A visceral ghost story with a millennial twist. A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market St., San Francisco. $20-$105. (415) 749-2228. A look at America’s Swing Era. 2 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $47-$59. (925) 943-7469.

Mar. 24 – 26 “The Big Bad Musical”

This is your official notice to appear as juror for the trial of the Big Bad Wolf. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Mar. 25 “Chicago…The Tribute”

Powerful horns, rich vocals and a rockin’ rhythm section. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Mar. 25 Miles Schon Band

Powerful combination of original music and amazing guitar virtuosity. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $ (925) 427-1611.

Mar. 25 “Pink Floyd Concert Experience”

Presented by West Coast Performing Arts. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. (925) 943-7469.

Mar. 26 “That’s Our Snow White!”

Enjoy breakfast, horses and Mount Diablo. Benefits horsemanship Hilarious musical spoof of the classic tale. 2 p.m. California Theeducation programs. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Concord Mt. Diablo Trail atre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $12-$15. pittsburgcaliforRide Association Clubhouse, 1600 Trail Ride Road. $8 and up. di- (925) 427-1611.


Page 17

Mar. 30 – Apr. 23 “Needles and Opium”

A breathtaking dive into art and addiction. A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco. $20-$105. (415) 749-2228.

Mar. 31 – Apr. 23 “End of the Rainbow”

Musical drama of Judy Garland’s comeback concerts during Christmas 1968. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$44. (925) 943-7469.

Mar. 31 – Apr. 29 “Sisters Matsumoto”

Three sisters return home after internment in this heartwarming story of what it means to be American. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33-$55.

Mar. 31 – Apr. 30 “Grease”

Wonderful blast from the past. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$60. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 1 – 2 Concert

Performed by Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. Apr. 1: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7-$15. (925) 757-9500. Apr. 2: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 2 “Painting with Music”

Explore the intersection of symphonic music and visual art. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35.

A musical farce. Ygnacio Valley High School, Multi-Use Room, 755 Oak Grove Road, Concord. $8-$12. For more information, contact Kelly Cooper at (925) 528-9178. Meet the Sycamores – a madcap clan who sets the bar for eccentricity. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $16-$21.


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.

Mar. 25 Baking for a Cure

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

Apr. 1 Faces of Wildlife Gala

Unforgettable experience with live animals to benefit Lindsay Wildlife. 6 p.m. Diablo Country Club, 1700 Clubhouse Road, Diablo. Tickets start at $250. 627-2950.

Apr. 8 Plant Sale

Featuring edibles. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free admission.

Apr. 21 - 22 Cedric “The Entertainer”

Fundraiser for Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $65-$75. (925) 427-1611.

Apr. 24 Swing for Science

Carondelet’s annual golf tournament to benefit the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program. Shotgun start 11 a.m. Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, Danville. $25 discount before Mar. 31.


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs free unless otherwise noted. See full event schedule at or 925.646.5455. Thru Apr. 15: Tax Help, Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Mar. 30: Meet Author Novella Carpenter, 6 p.m. Apr. 3: Dig it! 2 p.m. Registration required. Apr. 6: Origami, 4 p.m. The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call 925.673.0659. Mar. 27, Apr. 10: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Mar. 30: Cartooning and Animation, 4 p.m. Registration required. Apr. 1 – 30: Create Your Own Black Out Poetry. Supplies provided. Apr. 10: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Apr. 13: Earth Day Stories and Craft, 4 p.m.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

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

‘Bookseller’ teeters What’s under the latchless cover? on edge of reality

Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

net the writer a lunch with the Vice mayor. David Dorando took up the challenge and wrote this chilling ending.

Carefully, I lifted up the latch-less cover to reveal… empty container about 2-feet deep. The bottom was slanted with ridges running down to a hole. A rubber drain plug cracked from age lay next to the hole with a small rusted chain attached to it. I looked under the table and right below the hole was a bracket attached to the container holding a stainless bucket. Chills immediately ran up my spine as I realized I was looking at a refrigerator for the dead. The bucket was to catch the melting



Last month, I challenged readers to write the ending to my “Folds of History” story about the underground rooms below Todos Santos Plaza. To read my unfinished story, go to The best ending would

ice they would stack around the body to help preserve it until the wake services. I slowly started scanning the room rewinding history in my mind. Pictures started to emerge of tools hanging on the wooden pegs that were the wall, people in white aprons, and other creepy images. I imagined the door closing and felt the room started taking control over me. Every cell in my body was screaming, “GET OUT!” I ran out as fast as I could and when I reached the street, those people that recognized me were all asking if I just saw a ghost. I just stared at them with a blank look— speechless.

Now I see why this is one of the best kept secrets in the “folds of history” and as far as I’m concerned, it can stay that way! So, what was really under the latchless cover? …Lifting the latchless cover I looked into the musty shadows of what was a near ancient casement. I was briefly choking as the murky mist settled or was pushed away by the spastic wave my hands between coughs. There was clearly a stunning brilliance maker in its day; a 35 Watt bulb on some piles of empty ice cream cartons from the last century. Send questions or comments to or 510812-8180 or visit

‘Logan’ a rougher look at X-men

In his third solo appearance as the titular character of Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is at his most raw in “Logan.” He’s an aging, bedraggled, retired X-man. Gone are the quips and occasional jovial nature. Sporting a limp, Wolverine is on his literal last legs. After directing the previous solo venture, “The Wolverine,” James Mangold returns at the helm of “Logan.” He plants us in a future where mutants have been hunted down, painting it as a strikingly similar future to what some fear lies ahead of us in the real world. If this is truly the end of the X-men series, it goes out with a major bang. “Deadpool” notwithstanding, “Logan” is the first movie from the X-men universe to be rated R. Mangold pushes the violence hard as Wolverine slashes and gouges his way through a seemingly endless amount of corporate, mutanthunting goons. Wolverine is finally allowed to be the violent, obscenity-

spewing character that comic book readers have dreamt of seeing. A kids’ movie this is not. The themes of abandonment, senility and xenophobia are best left for adults to process. Set in 2029, “Logan” is not as far in the future as “X-men: Days of Future Past” – where the world is overrun with Sentinels. Although the X-men managed to alter the timeline to prevent that catastrophe, mutants are still all but extinguished. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart at his most demanding) is decrepit and suffering from a crippling dementia. Anytime he has a seizure, his telepathy powers stun anyone within a several mile radius. Logan must constantly force shots and pills on Xavier to keep his seizures at bay. Logan has resigned himself to the fate of caring for one of the last mutants. It is only when a crazed woman approaches Logan with the wish that he take her daughter to safety that Logan realizes he



must go on what might be his final quest. A refreshing thing about “Logan” is the lack of a super-powered villain. The crux of the story is the journey by Logan, Xavier and an 11-year-old girl named Laura. She’s aggressive, athletic and strong – and she carries the same adamantium claws as Wolverine. Those after our group wish to eliminate the two older mutants and recover Laura, and any other of the escaped “new mutants.” Xavier pushes the group forward and provides the necessary moral cen-

March 24, 2017

ter to keep Logan on board. There is a lengthy sequence halfway through where the trio break bread with a family they meet. It is here that Logan realizes what he has been missing his entire life. As the consummate loner, he’s always been on the run. Even when he was part of the X-men, he still kept to himself. There is a glimmer of hope in him during his stay with the family, as if things may turn out OK in the end. Mangold forces emotions to the surface, something most superhero movies avoid. The climax is a beautifully shot crescendo of violence and sentiment. The last shot of the movie is exquisite and leaves a fine epitaph if this is indeed the end of the series. Yet with all the changing timelines, anything is possible. A-

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



“The Bookseller” is Cynthia Swanson’s debut novel, and with it comes all the glitches often found in a debut novel. Some characters are not particularly likeable, and some topics seem a bit ahead of the story’s time. Swanson’s bookseller is a single woman in her late 30s in 1962, quite a bit older than the typical budding young feminist. But all that aside, I found myself giving up a great deal of the day to finish what I had started reading the previous night. The protagonist is Kitty Miller, a grammar school teacher who has given up teaching to open a bookstore with her long-time best friend, Frieda Green. My guess is that the book’s title was chosen by the publisher, not the author. Other than the fact Kitty owns and works in a bookstore, there is little in this complex tale that hinges on bookselling. The story begins: “This is not my bedroom. Where am I? Gasping and pulling unfamiliar bedcovers up to my chin, I strain to collect my senses. But no explanation for my whereabouts comes to mind.” Kitty, who has come to terms with her independent and somewhat eccentric single life, is in for a shock when she awakens in the bedroom of a strange man who greets her warmly as his beloved wife. Kitty assumes she is dreaming, and to the author’s credit, the reader does, too. I found it perplexing that this “dream life” is only a few months ahead of her real life as a shopkeeper. Kitty the

bookseller, or Kathryn as she is known to her dream family, moves between these two states of being. “The Bookseller” is not quite a story of two separate lives experienced by one person. The facts contained in one life overlap and eventually spill into the other. Kathryn’s perfect dream life with Lars is complicated by the discovery that she is the mother of triplets, one of whom is diagnosed as autistic – a condition only just becoming better known. Her “real” life as a bookseller is increasingly more complex. Old-town Denver becomes drained of its business vitality with the boom of suburbia and its shopping malls. Kitty and Frieda find themselves coping with what to do with their failing bookstore. Kitty’s dreaming escapes to her married life seem a perfect anecdote for her no longer perfect single life. Eventually, both Kitty’s lives, real and imagined, prove to be not at all what she expected from either. The reader begins to wonder, at about the same time as Kitty, which life is the dream and which the reality. How far will the human mind travel to cope with life at its most stressful? No spoiler here, but the power of our minds to find solutions to what seems unbearable is beautifully captured in “The Bookseller.” Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

Jewelers made each customer feel precious CAROL LONGSHORE


Many shoppers will surely miss the Ricco family, especially Ernie – the leader of the pack. After owning and operating

Concord Jewelers since April 1, l986, they are closing their doors this April 1, 31 years later. As Ernie’s longtime customers know, he gave everyone “the personal touch.” But let’s not forget Shannon, the daughter who has been working for him for 14 years, and his son Paul. They do a pretty good job, too. “If you don’t have time to take the time to select the per-

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fect piece, come back when you do,” Ernie tells customers as he carefully goes over every aspect of their choices. Ernest Ricco was from “Jingle Town” (Oakland). At 9, he scooped ice cream for his brother-in-law and discovered his love of customer service. After high school, he was a supply sergeant and cook in the Korean War. When he returned home in l956, he worked for Bank of America and became more active in his church. During this time, he noticed three sisters – and fancied one in particular. After he slipped Elizabeth at note in her bulletin one Sunday, they fell in love. He had also met Abe Cushman, a pawn shop owner. Ernie loved this business, especially the jewelry side. He quit B of A and starting working for Abe, learning all he could about the business. He took a break and worked as a court reporter for five years but decided he didn’t like the stress. He went back to work for Abe but wanted his own place. He moved to Concord in 1962, bringing all his hopes and dreams for his own shop. Six months later, he and Betty married and she joined him in

Photo courtesy of the Ricco Family

After 31 years in downtown Concord, Concord Jewelers’ Ricco family will turn out the lights for the last time on April 1. Shannon Ricco Bausone, Betty Ricco, Ernie Ricco and Paul Ricco.

Concord. They started their family, with Betty staying home to raise Paul, Mark, Shannon and John. Ernie met Al Stolowitz, who owned a pawn shop. When he made enough money, he and Al bought Concord Jewelry and Loan, changing the name to Concord Jewelers. Mr. Thistle had opened this shop in l907, when the street was named Main Street. There were wooden sidewalks, and customers came in horse and buggy. It was the first store to sell Victrola phonographs and picture postcards from photos

he had taken around town. In l946, a new building was erected and Tierney’s Jewelers opened. Paul graduated from college in l986, the year Concord Jewelers opened. So for three months, Betty helped Ernie get the shop up and running. Al retired and Paul graduated, and the family went to work. This is the last of a generation whose sole purpose was to make customers feel like they were No. 1 and that their purchases were the most important and valuable subject of the moment. Thank you Ernie,

Shannon and Paul for your kind service and beautiful taste that will go on forever in many customers’ hearts. Concord Jewelers’ display cases were donated to the Concord Historical Society museum to hold artifacts. They are beautiful; come see them when the museum opens in a year or so.

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

March 24, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 19

Looking for the causes of anemia Sponsored Content


Anemia in older adults can be challenging to treat, because 20 to 30 percent of patients may have unexplained anemia even after a thorough workup and a good proportion of patients have multiple causes for their anemia. It’s important to address the cause of the anemia and, in many cases, also important to correct the anemia that can lead to a decline in physical and

mental functioning. Even with mild anemia, studies have shown an association between increased falls and frailty as well as decreased attention span and executive function. When doctors do a workup for anemia, the initial goal is to find an etiology that we can correct. We first rule out nutritional deficiencies, such as iron, folate or B12 deficiency. These account for about one-third of anemia in older adults. Another third are due to chronic kidney disease or other chronic or inflammatory disorders such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, acute or chronic infections, or underlying cancer. Some patients with otherwise unexplained anemia can have a primary bone marrow disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which requires a bone marrow biopsy to diagnose. Less common causes are

hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, hemolytic anemia and other bone marrow disorders and defects in bone marrow function. If iron deficiency is identified as the cause of the anemia, it’s important to look for a site of blood loss. This usually involves evaluating the gastrointestinal tract with upper and lower endoscopies. The procedures can identify not only malignant lesions, but also benign lesions like ulcers, polyps, diverticuli, hemorrhoids and vascular malformations. If there is no clear site of blood loss, then doctors look for reasons for poor absorption of iron – such as poor dietary intake or poor absorption of iron due to celiac disease. If an underlying cause for the anemia is found, the problem can usually be corrected. However, even if we cannot find the cause, we can still treat the anemia and potentially

Slide, from page 4

several times a day. The neighborhood was without water for the first week after the slide until CCWD could install 1,400 feet of flexible pipe above ground. As residents approach the beginning of their fourth week of the “new normal,” emotions run high. Many are frustrated with the slow pace of finding alternate access. Heavy rains again this week added to the danger of more sliding. Despite the tense situation, neighbors are pulling together. “This has not been an easy couple of weeks for all of us,” says Tracy Hillery. “But everyTamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer one seems to be pulling Assemblyman Tim Grayson stops to chat with residents together, picking up water for as they haul groceries across the landslide zone on us, offering rides and greeting Morgan Territory Rd. each other with smiles and 22nd week of a high-risk pregMany families in the areas asking if we need anything. nancy. “I’m not sure how many have young children, creating We are so proud of our Claymore months I can continue to massive transport issues. Sev- ton community.” walk back and forth three eral families opted to do indeFor slide updates, go to times a day,” she said. “I want pendent study, keeping kids at h t t p:// be sure I have a way to get home until MDUSD was able to the hospital.” to provide shuttles into town

Serendipity, from pg. 15

One example of the family bond came on Senior Day, when the restaurant needed staffing help. “We put out a notice on Facebook, and six former students volunteered,” Fuller says. “Many others from all over the country wished they were here to help.” HIGH SUCCESS RATE Allen and Fuller take pride in the success of their students, with 99 percent of those finishing the program going on to further their educations. “Many alumni work in highlevel positions, from executive chefs and restaurant owners to professionals in other fields such as health care,” states a program brochure. “We affect a lot of young people and make a difference for them,” Fuller says. “Although not all of them go into the hospitality business, they learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives.” Maritza Zaragosa, Class of 2013, completed an internship program with Crowne Plaza, graduated from St. Mary’s College and now can be found manning the front desk at the Crowne Plaza. Dustin Joseph, Class of 2000, wandered into Serendipity his freshman year because the computer tech class next door was full. By the time he graduated, he won $8,000 in scholarship money to Johnson

& Wales College in Rhode Island. He now owns a restaurant and fine-dining food truck in McMinnville, Ore., called Biscuits and Pickles. “One of our first students seemed distance and secretive about her career,” Fuller recalls. “When she retired, we learned that she was a senior star critic for the Michelin Guide, traveling all over the globe to review restaurants. She couldn’t tell anyone what she was doing.” Cecilia Castenada, who visits the program often to pick up her sister Paula, calls the program “awesome.” “It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me,” adds Castenada, who sells cakes on the side and is in demand to bake for every family function.

HANDS-ON LEARNING The three-year course begins with sophomores learning about the industry, exploring careers in hospitality, getting basic cooking and kitchen skills, and studying cuisines from around the world. Juniors learn foundational culinary skills, serve as prep cooks for the restaurant and bakery and are introduced to management. By their senior year, students study restaurant occupations and apply their skills to run the restaurant and bakery – gaining practice in more

advanced managerial roles. Many students receive valuable work experience through internships. The program is funded by the Regional Occupation Program, the school district and a California Partnership Academy grant. Money to help fund the competition comes from SB1070. Allen points out that the program is in danger of losing the SB1070 money. “This would be a shame, since the FCCLA is a student-run operation. These competitions teach leadership skills and methods of success.” The menu at Serendipity includes appetizers, salads and soups ($3.95-$7.95), sandwiches ($5.95-$7.95), nine main courses from a hamburger ($4.95) to poached salmon or duck brochette ($9.95) and daily-made desserts ($3.95). The chefs see the menu as key to the curriculum. “Most dishes can have up to six different cooking techniques, involve butchery skills and perhaps one of the ‘mother’ sauces, such as Hollandaise or Béchamel,” Fuller says. “We try to break even on the restaurant operation,” Allen says. “Some extra projects and catering assignments keep us close to that goal.”

Serendipity Restaurant, at 2611 East St., is open 11:30 a.m.1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Private parties can be booked on Fridays. Call 925-798-0882 for information.

improve the symptoms. Doctors can order red blood cell transfusions, which carry some risks but can be of benefit – especially for those with underlying cardiac disease. Or we can potentially use injectable medications that stimulate the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Doctors take an oath not just to treat the disease, but to care for the sick person. This includes palliation of symptoms and doing no harm. I hope to be a guide and a partner with my patients on their medical journey.

Kao is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology and practices with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group. Kao is accepting new patients at offices in Pleasant Hill and Rossmoor/Walnut Creek. For information, call 925-6775041.

Joe Ronco/Owner 925-872-3049

35 years Clayton/ Concord resident Lic#844344

Mt. Diablo, from page 15

California College of the Arts in Oakland or Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. The World Academy conducted a successful second annual Immigration Fair on March 16. Presenters from throughout the community provided information about their services. The presenters included the Contra Costa County Food Bank, Catholic Charities, La Clinica de la Raza, Diablo Community Center, and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s English Learner Services Department and Adult Education. On Feb. 18, five competitors, three members and two advisors from IHTA (International Hospitality and Tourism Academy) attended the Region 5 leadership meeting held at Mission College in Santa Clara. All five students came home with Culinary Display prizes; see story on Page 15.

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Services will be FREE to members and will include


“Helping seniors live suc in their own homes.”

• Transportation to appointments and grocery shopping • Handyman services for routine home maintenance • Computer/smartphone help

Opening May 1, 2017 to serve seniors in Clayton & South Concord

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who want to help Seniors in our community by driving them to the doctor, changing light bulbs, explaining what an “app” is. You do NOT have to be a Member to be a Volunteer!

To become a part of this grassroots community effort, contact our Outreach Director at 925-672-8717 or

Easter Celebration Sunday, April 16 10:30 am Worship Gathering 12 pm Easter Egg Hunt 2140 Olivera Court Concord, CA 94520-4649

St. Bonaventure Catholic In Concord Community 5562 Clayton Rd.


(925) 672-5800

Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Bi-lingual) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.

GOOD FRIDAY – April 14

Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Stations of the Cross in the Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:00 a.m. Ecumenical Prayer: The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Church . . . . . .12:15 p.m.

In collaboration with Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, Concord United Methodist Church, and First Christian Church of Concord.

Passion of the Lord - Church (English) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3:00 p.m. Church (Spanish) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6:30 p.m. Parish Hall (English) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.


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 16 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

Page 20

Concord Pioneer •


‘Abandoned’ newborns may not need saving ELENA BICKER


Spring is here, and with it comes a flood of newborn animals. During kitten season – usually March through September – waves of tiny, delicate newborn kittens arrive at animal shelters every day. Most young kittens are turned into shelters by well-meaning people who assume they were abandoned by their mother, but that might not always be the case. If you find newborn kittens, assess the situation before you act. Mama might not be in your line of sight, but that doesn’t mean she’s gone. Keeping kittens with their mother offers them the best chance of survival. Without mom, young kittens need around-the-clock care that is nearly impossible to replicate in a shelter and can result in young kittens being euthanized. Cats raise their young alone, so the mother may be nearby hunting for food.

Before “rescuing” kittens, make sure mom isn’t just out on a hunting trip.

Watch from a distance to see if mama returns to her babies before you determine that kittens are orphaned. If you get too close, or touch or move the kittens, mom may be spooked by the scent or presence of people. Give it a few hours and keep a watchful eye. Unless there’s an immediate threat, don’t remove the kittens just yet. Healthy kittens with a mom nearby can survive for hours as long as they are warm. Only remove the kittens if they are in immediate danger from weather, wildlife or another dangerous situation. Put together a safe shelter and leave out food in case mom comes back. Keep the food some distance from the shelter as the mama will want to keep other animals away from her litter. If you have

waited several hours, set up food and shelter and mama still hasn’t returned, remove the kittens. If you find yourself caring for newborn kittens, their second best chance for survival is bottle-feeding and caring for them until they are old enough and/or ready to be spayed or neutered and adopted (about 8 weeks old). For information on how to care for newborn animals, reach out to your local animal shelter. A limited number of supply kits to help Good Samaritans raise young kittens are available at ARF and local Pet Food Express stores. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 2561ARF (1273)

March ARF stars Tramm & Punkin

In-law suite a wise investment



Q: My family has been informally looking for a home with room for my parents to have independent quarters. We haven’t really seen much that would work for us. We are now discussing adding an in-law suite to our current house, either with a guest house or an addition. Is this a good idea? We have some time because my folks are OK where they are for now. A: Demand for multi-generational housing is expanding as buyers are cutting back on expenses by living together. Building an addition or a separate cottage will add value to your property. An in-law suite can be the answer to many family’s prayers. It can be a designated area for extra adults to share living space on a temporary or permanent basis. These suites range from a bedroom with a full bathroom attached to a small apartment with a living room/kitchenette or even a full-size suite with a separate entrance. Begin by consulting with a custom homebuilder and select-


Two-year-old Tramm is a shy, charming, sensitive young lad that is unsure in new environments and high energy situations. He will need a gentle adopter to introduce him to new experiences and give him lots of treats! The adoption fee for dogs is $250 and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Ten-month-old Punkin is a

handsome young cat that is looking for a loving home. He is a bit shy when meeting new people, but quickly becomes friendly. He is quite affectionate too and will roll around on his back when he feels safe. The adoption fee for a cat is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during


adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call (925) 2561ARF.

ing a floor plan. You can expand a bathroom, add a separate entrance, add closet space or even convert a garage into a full suite. The importance lies in the planning. Know what you want to do and always get an estimate to determine the specific costs. If you have elderly family members who require some care but are still very functional, adding an in-law suite may be the perfect way to preserve some of their independence while keeping an eye on them.

Q: I am cleaning and decluttering my home before I put it on the market. There are several items that I don’t feel I should just throw away. Where can I recycle things like electrical and construction waste? A: For appliances, you could donate to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity for a tax-deduction. If you are buying new appliances, find out if the retailer will take old appliances away. There should be a state-run program called Cash for Appliances, with free pickup and/or cash for old appliances. The federal government has a program called Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD). You can look these up on the internet. Meanwhile, large retailers

The blooming trees, shining sun and warmer temperatures mean that we will be seeing more bikes on streets and trails. Bike Concord is hosting its third annual Opening Day for Trails ride on April 8 on the historic Iron Horse Trail. It’s part of a national trails Opening Day event sponsored by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a national organization that transforms unused rail corridors into vibrant public spaces. The Iron Horse Trail is a shining local example of a

transformed railway. The trail began as a Southern Pacific Railroad right of way in 1891 and was abandoned in 1977. Through a combined local effort, Alameda and Contra Costa counties purchased the right of way. It was converted to a trail for cycling, pedestrians and horse riding in 1986. The 32-mile trail passes through eight cities from Pleasanton to Concord, with plans to extend north to Suisun Bay and south to Livermore. Commuters and recreational cyclists use the 20-foot wide paved trail throughout the year. Whether you are new to cycling or a seasoned rider, dust off your bike and riding gear and join us for the trail season opener. A group ride is the perfect way to begin. You will meet people who also love to ride bikes. The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Keller House, 1760 Clayton Road, Concord. We will ride together on the street from Keller House to the Monu-

Egg-stravaganza at the Farmers’ Market DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Fresh eggs are available at your farmers’ market, just in time for spring recipes and Easter egg hunts. Stop by and visit Great Valley Poultry from Manteca for your eggs. Try some natural egg dyes made from fresh market produce this year when making Easter eggs. The good thing is there are no petro-chemicals or other additives in the dyes! Here is the preferred method for natural egg dyeing: Put eggs in as large a pan as possible. Don’t stack on top of each other. 

Fill the pan with water so eggs are covered about 1/2 inch. Add 2 teaspoons white vinegar (don’t add vinegar when using onion skins. Optional: Add 1/2 teaspoons alum to water to make colors brighter. Add the natural dye material. For example, use 2 tablespoons turmeric, 2 cups of packed onion skins, 1 cup berries. Bring water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. With a strainer, remove the eggs into a bowl lined with paper towel.

Here are some natural dyes, but feel free to experiment. Mix and match materials for different shades. The longer you soak the eggs in the dye, the darker the color will be. • Red/Pink: Fresh beets • Orange: Yellow onion skins. • Light Yellow:  Lemon peels, orange peels or ground cumin. • Golden yellow:  Ground turmeric • Light green: Spinach, kale. • Blue:  Red cabbage leaves or blueberries (crushed). Preboil red cabbage leaves for 30 minutes.

such as Home Depot or Ikea often take used compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). The National Electrical Manufacturers Association runs a website at that contains a full list of retailers that accept light bulbs. The U.S. government-sponsored Construction Waste Management Database website will direct you to recyclers within your zip code that will get rid of your wasted carpeting, ceiling tiles, flooring and more. If you have been working on a large home project, keep track of your waste materials and check the website so you can properly dispose of each item. ReStore, a project by Habitat for Humanity, accepts donated building materials and then resells them. ReStore sells to the general public at a fraction of the retail price, and proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities. It’s a win-winwin for donors, consumers and communities. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Community ride marks trail season opening day



March 24, 2017

Save some of those fresh farmers’ market eggs for Easter quiche, frittata, scrambled eggs, or for spring baking recipes.

The Pacific Coast Farmers Market in Todos Santos Plaza is open every Tuesday 10 2 p.m. year around. On April 20, the market is also open on Thursdays, 4-8 p.m.

ment Corridor Trail, which connects to the Iron Horse Trail. The rest of the ride will be on isolated paved trails. The first rest stop will be at Whole Foods in Walnut Creek, at which point you can continue to the final destination in Danville or return home. Everyone is welcome, and the ride is free. We will stay together and ride leisurely as a group. No one will be left behind. If you prefer to ride at a faster pace, some riders will take off at the Treat Bridge after the Pleasant Hill BART station and ride at their own pace to Danville. Also, be sure to sign RTC’s official 2017 Opening Day pledge to get out on the trails. You can be entered to win special prizes from Fuji Bikes and Performance Bicycle for your next trail adventure.

RSVP for the ride on Facebook at or email For more about RTC’s Opening Day, visit

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

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Concord Pioneer

March 24, 2017

Making a splash with an entryway Concord Pioneer •

the welcoming aspect to your home. It’s always nice to have some sort of storage in the entry. A well-organized coat closet designed with your personal storage needs in mind in always a bonus. It’s quite nice to be able to store away the clutter. If you have space to spare, a piece of furniture that provides storage and creates an artistic statement is a win-win. Consider a console with a pair of decorative ottomans underneath or a built-in bench with decorative cubbies above it to support baskets for everyone’s shoes along with the supplies for when you take your furry friend out for a morning jaunt. If space is truly limited, opt for a tasteful display of coat hooks or a built-in niche.

Include a decorative framed mirror so you can adjust your bow tie or apply lipstick as you’re running out the door. At ground level, an entry area rug needs to be tough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life. Think wet rain boots and umbrellas, muddy baseball shoes, sandy paws and the constant comings and goings of family and friends who politely wipe their feet as they enter. I would stay away from the very chic jute or sisal rugs and mats. They provide a great look, but their natural fiber will not hold up long term in such a high-traffic area. Instead, consider wool or a recycled, synthetic fiber that not only looks chic but is made for the long haul. These rugs don’t fear shoes, paws or

any dirty UPS boxes that may come their way. Once you’ve tackled storage needs that are functional and decorative and thrown down a workhorse area rug, switch directions and add some decorative elements to make the entry pop. Find a fabulous piece of art to hang above the console or cabinet, along with two sconces. Look for decorative pillows to add texture and color to an upholstered bench or add an array of table-top baubles that feature the current season or simply reflect your design aesthetic.

Contra Costa Senior Legal Services (CCSLS) has been providing free legal services to seniors 60 and older since 1976. CCSLS helps resolve legal problems that adversely affect the basic needs associated with advancing age. The group serves about 1,000 seniors per year with direct legal services and hundreds more through outCHRISTINE KOGUT reach and educational programs. They provide advice, counsel SAVVY SENIOR and representation in civil legal areas such as housing, benefits, Concord office, 2702 Clayton elder abuse and consumer mat- Road, Suite 202. For free assisters. A free Wills Clinic is offered tance with restraining orders, for low-income seniors at the

unlawful detainers and small claims cases, a Self-Help Clinic is open 9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. For more information, call 925.609.7900 or visit Another option to consider is Bay Area Legal Aid (BALA). Their mission is to provide meaningful access to the justice system through quality legal assistance regardless of a client’s location, language or disability. BALA believes access to legal advocacy is critical to ensuring that Bay Area residents understand and assert their rights to create stability for

themselves and their families. Free legal services for lowincome people are offered regarding housing, domestic violence, public benefits, health access and consumer rights. Contact them in West County at 510.250.5270 or East County at 925.219.3325. The office is open 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.



A home’s entry is a busy collection of square feet. It can house everything from coat closets and shoe nooks to benches that store reusable grocery bags or a console for keys, mail and cell phone charging. Whether you call it an entry, mud room, entrance hall, foyer, lobby or the room with the door mat, be sure to treat this space like any other living area within your home. Add functional pieces where necessary and don’t forget to create a little sparkle –

Page 21

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

Groups offer free legal services

Stay close to home with a hike on the Lime Ridge trail





Editor’s Note: Kevin Parker is back with a new column after a sixyear hiatus. His original column, Hikers’ Haven, was a staple in the Clayton Pioneer from 2003 until 2011. Welcome back, Kevin.

With busy schedules and days short on sunlight, I try to focus on TOT – “time on trails” – during hikes this time of year. First, I look for places with short driving times. And the copious rain we’ve experienced this year makes choosing a trail that can handle the water without too much mud all the more important. These reasons and many more are why Lime Ridge is the subject for this month’s hike. On a rain-soaked Sunday, I was lucky enough to have this park all to myself as I stepped through the gate and onto the trails. From Ohlone Trail, pick up Paradise Valley Trail. The single-track path peels away from the hum of traffic within minutes and you find yourself meandering up a canyon on sandy trails with endless scenery. The mostly packed sand and soil trail make for excellent trekking during the uphill portion. Green hillsidecovered groves of trees are excellent protection from the wind and rain during the winter and sun during the summer. Paradise Valley Trail zigzags up to the top of the trail at the “radio tower.” The 850+ feet of elevation gain puts you atop Lime Ridge South. Views of

View of Suisun Bay from Lime Ridge trail

the surrounding 2,700 acres of oak woodlands, grassland savannah and chaparral make this park a must visit location. Please note: Lime Ridge Wildlife Preserve (the center section south of Ygnacio Valley Road) is off limits to dogs. Start your descent on Lime Ridge Trail, easily one of the best trails in this part of the county. Exposed limestone, shale and packed sand once again provide easy footing as you descend farther into the protected sections of Lime Ridge. Swooping arcs duck and dive through hidden hillsides as you dissect through a maze of trees that makes you feel miles away from civilization. The descent is steady, and the remnants of a working lime quarry can be seen if you know where to look. Near the pond, pick up Buckeye Trail for a short jaunt and turn uphill on Blue Ridge Trail for a quick and steep section of hiking. Step carefully as you navigate around trail creeks created by the overabundance of runoff. Veer left onto Ridge Trail and prepare for a “whoop-dedoo” rollercoaster of a trail that drops and meanders over the undulating grasslands. Rusty exposed pipelines and small quarry pits flank the trail as you steer closer to Ygnacio Valley Road. This trail suffered the most during the recent rains, resulting in a lot of muddy and puddle-ridden trail sections. Soaked socks and

Kevin Parker

shoes are unavoidable. Follow Ohlone Trail back to the trail head and finish the hike with a gradual descent back to where you started. It’s an easy loop for the entire family that can be completed in 1.5 hours. I’m glad to be back. Enjoy the outdoors.

You can contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

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

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Gardeners can celebrate Euphorbia

Page 22

Concord Pioneer •


Euphorbia was new to us. Barbara thought its dark foliage would contrast well against the white-blooming candytuft already thriving in her garden. But after a couple months in the ground, the Euphorbia shriveled up and died. Barbara did what any garden-lover would do: She bought a couple more. She was determined to grow her vision. Again, the Euphorbia started to wilt and fail. Barbara dug up the plant and inspected the roots. They were drenched and smelly. The Euphorbia couldn’t tolerate the water that the rest of the flowerbed was receiving. Lesson learned. Tasmanian Tiger is an exceptional variety of Euphorbia with striking foliage. It has a stunning variegation of creamy white and green. Folks who have covered their landscapes with the dark-colored micro


Euphorbia is a tough, drought-resistant evergreen that will thrive in almost any Clayton Valley landscape. Its interesting foliage and unique flowers are appealing. Euphorbia looks great surrounded by stone, along rock walls, near swimming pools or in containers that are difficult to water. Many years ago, I learned about Euphorbia’s drought tolerance by accident when it was installed in the flowerbed of an English garden by Barbara, a longtime customer and experienced gardener. At the time,

March 24, 2017

bark will appreciate the contrast this evergreen provides. Tasmanian Tiger can reach 12-16 inches tall and about 2 feet wide. As spring nears, its variegated heads curl toward the sky. Bracts of yellow flowers appear March through May. Euphorbia Helena’s Blush has an awesome variegation of cream, green and pink. In the late winter through spring, flower stalks with clusters of cream bracts with burgundy centers create a lovely display. This Euphorbia will grow 18 inches to 2 feet tall and wide. It can by used as a small shrub in a landscape layer. If you are installing a minimal amount of plants in an area, Helena’s Blush can stand alone and still make a statement. If you are considering companion plants, think about mixing it with Carex testacea and Veronica Georgia Blue.

Euphorbia Black Bird has dark, eggplant-colored foliage. The flower display features clusters of lime green bracts with burgundy centers. This selection of Euphorbia is very desirable. The U-shaped growth is 2 feet tall and wide. Black Bird is excellent in any full sun landscape. Use this evergreen as a layer to the taller Salvia Leucantha. Not all Euphorbia are shrub-like. Euphorbia Rigida is a ground cover selection. Because of its leaf shape, this Euphorbia is often confused with a succulent. Gray, triangular leaves line sturdy, tube-like stems. When in bloom, green bracts and green flowers contrast Rigida’s gray foliage. Euphorbia Rigida looks great in a rock garden, but give this evergreen some space. It will set seed and spread throughout a landscape.

Another great attribute of Euphorbia is that they are deer and gopher resistant. Their milky sap is toxic, so critters leave them alone. If you have plant allergies, you may want to steer clear of this selection.

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

The fourth annual Autism Awareness Walk is a great opportunity to get some exercise while raising awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism and the need for more support services. The two-mile walk will be held 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 22, in Concord. The route begins at the Loma Vista Adult Center, 1266 San Carlos Ave. It includes a midpoint stop for refreshments at the Adaptive Learning Center Community Garden, 3227 Clayton Road. The event is co-sponsored by the Adaptive Learning Center (ALC) and the Transi-

tion Options Program (TOPS) through Mt. Diablo Adult Education. Both organizations provide support and services for individuals with neuro-developmental disabilities, Asperger’s and high-functioning autism. A $25 registration fee includes a custom T-shirt designed by an individual with autism. Registration is $15 for individuals with disabilities. For 28 years, ALC has provided programs and support to enable its clients to live and work independently in the community. ALC facilitates growth and achieve-

ment of clients through education, structured activities, vocational and independent living support. “We would love to see more people from the community come out and support our clients and this walk,” said Donna Feingold, ALC’s executive director. “Autism is so prevalent in our society that almost everyone is touched by it. The walk is a great way to create more awareness and celebrate the value and uniqueness of the individuals we serve.” TOPS students receive education and support in successfully navigating life’s

ongoing transitions, including higher education, independent living, employment and the establishment of fulfilling adult social relationships. “The walk is such a great community event that not only increases awareness, but also provides inspiration and hope for individuals with autism and their families,” noted Karen LingenfelterCarman, program coordinator for TOPS.

Euphorbia Tasmanian Tiger is in full bloom along the dry riverbed in the front of this Clayton Valley home.

Autism Awareness Walk supports local services

Tim Gilliam holds a sign at last year’s Autism Awareness Walk. Closest to Tim on the left is his father, Stuart Gilliam, and mother, Rhonda Hughes. At far left is John Keegan.

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MAR 24 Concord Pioneer 2017  

Newspaper for Concord, CA. Local news, sports, schools, entertainment and community news stories.

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