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Clayto Cleans n April 26, 9 U p a.m


Cit BBQ y Hall Co . lunch urtya r d for at 11 voluntee :30 rs

March 28, 2014


City celebrates golden anniversary TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



City seeks funds for fire station One of the interesting things about being mayor is that I get to care about all city issues, no matter how big or small. You’ve read about such issues here as the size of our recycling cans and litter clean-up, but today I will address a couple of larger issue of importance to our Clayton community: the closing of our Fire Station 11 last year, traffic safety on our roads, and high-speed Internet access. The City Council recently approved and sent a letter to the Contra Costa Fire District Board of Directors (our County Supervisors) requesting that a portion of the recently received grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency be used to fully staff the Clayton fire station.

See Mayor, page 6

Former Clayton hairdresser pleads guilty to sex charge The former owner of a local hair salon was sentenced to one year in jail with six months to be served on JIM FRAZIER home detention and five years probation after he pleaded guilty to felony sexual battery and sexual molestation of a child under 18 in Contra Costa Superior Court last month. Jim Frazier, 45, former owner of Hair by Jim, was scheduled for trial on Feb. 24, but changed his plea prior to trial, said prosecutor Ava Guzman. He must register as a convicted sex offender. Frazier was arrested in Aug. 2012 after his victim contacted police. His arrest surprised a community that knew him as an affable, civic-minded businessman. Frazier opened Hair by Jim in 2003 in the small, red building at the corner of Main and Oak Streets. The building was destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving Day 2010. The following year, he re-opened in the adjacent building where he operated the salon until his arrest.

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

ON EXHIBIT AT THE CLAYTON MUSEUM THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR ARE HISTORIC DOCUMENTS, photos and memorabilia from 1964, the year Clayton was incorporated. The exhibit includes a city map where residents can mark their home’s location. “Our Town” is the last exhibit to be mounted by Mary Spryer, who is retiring after serving 10 years as the museum’s volunteer curator.

On March 3, 1964, Sigrid Frank rang a hand bell and called out “Hear ye, hear ye. The polls are closed.” When the votes were counted later that night, 80 percent of Clayton’s registered voters had voted to incorporate as a city. Voter turnout was 91 percent – the largest municipal turnout in the history of California. Independence was declared in a landslide and five men were named to guide the city. Two weeks later, on March 18, the first city council met in Endeavor Hall under the leadership of Mayor Bob Hoyer, who would go on to serve 16 years on the council. Fifty years later to the day, the city council once again met in Endeavor Hall; this time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of incorporation. Again, Hoyer took his place on the dais—this time as a guest with a standing ovation. “After 50 years, I have a lot of words to say,” he quipped, looking around the hall which has been extensively renovated since he was mayor. “I remember in the summers, it was hot so we had to open the windows. The people next door

See 50th, page 4

Enhanced Concord Pavilion promises expanded summer season acts in 2014

Photo courtesy Live Nation

A $3.7 MILLION RENOVATION this spring of the Concord Pavilion begins at the entrance which is being redesigned. The project includes new lighting, signage (out with Sleep Train Pavilion and in with the original name, Concord Pavilion) and new art. The box office is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. selling tickets to all upcoming Pavilion shows without a service charge. JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Things are looking up for concertgoers and artists alike as the Concord Pavilion begins a new era. Not only is it reaching back to its past for a name, it’s looking to the future with $3.7 million in renovations that will impact both the public and artist

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Community Calendar . . . . .14

experience at the venue on Kirker Pass Road that opened in 1975. So far, 13 concerts have been scheduled, a number that hasn’t been exceeded in the past five Pavilion seasons. Among the attractions announced are legends such as Gladys Knight, James Taylor, Steely Dan, KISS, Lionel Richie and Journey, plus contemporary acts Fall Out Boy,

Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .9 DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .8 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .6 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Food for Thought . . . . . . . .17 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Luke Bryan, One Republic and Linkin Park. Promoter Live Nation recently signed a new 10-year contract to operate the venue and has a mandate to produce a minimum of 75 concerts in the next five years (averaging 15 concerts a year, a number which appears to be exceeded this season). Another key aspect of the

Get Up and Go . . . . . . . . . .16 Northgate Reporter . . . . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .15 The Pocket Parent . . . . . . . .9 Police Activity Report . . . . .13 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

new agreement with the city of Concord requires Live Nation to make $3.7 million in capital investments before the end of next year. Chief operating office Matt Prieshoff of Live Nation California says his firm is on an aggressive schedule to get the improvements completed prior to the scheduled season opener May 25 with the KBLX Stone Soul Concert. The public will see a redesigned main entrance, major plaza upgrades including restroom renovations, landscaping and extra seating, large lit trees above the lawn seating and a new concession layout with California-centric menu options. The most apparent change for the public, however, will be the lower seating area where the 2,200 seats that were installed with the 1996 Pavilion remodeling have been removed. Prieshoff explains that removing the fixed seats allows the facility the flexibility to have all general admission seating for artists such as Bryan, Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy to create a “close, intimate feel” between audience and artist. He says those three acts would not have been booked without this structural change.

See Pavilion, page 9 Senior Moments . . . . . . . . .13 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Underfoot . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Mr. Linzey goes to Washington PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Set against the backdrop of American flag pins, dark suits and the solemn decorum of a Congressional hearing, top U.S. educational leaders recently heard the story of Clayton’s local high school’s remarkable transition. “After years of frustration and neglect by the local school district, the teachers’ turmoil reached a boiling point,” Clayton Valley Charter High School Executive Director David Linzey testified at “Raising the Bar: The Role of Charter Schools in K-12 Education”

See Linzey, page 6

CVCHS’S DAVID LINZEY (third from left) testified with other education experts at a Congressional hearing on charter schools on March 12.

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Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

Around Town Creekside Arts celebrates Mt. Diablo’s regeneration

150 Pints and Still Counting Community Blood Drive Scheduled for April 2 It was a lady named “Fangs” from a local blood donation center on a local Hawaii radio station who first inspired Don Kimura to give blood 30 years and 150 pints ago. Fangs and the fact that he had a rare RH factor needed for open heart surgeries and leukemia. Kimura was motivated, he says, and routinely gave blood every 60 days.

Just recently, at the “young” age of 76, Kimura, now of Concord, gave his 150th pint at the Contra Cost Blood Bank in Pleasant Hill. “My next two goals are to reach 200 pints and stay physically fit so that my donated organs can be fully utilized to save mankind,” he says. Kimura is just one of the many local residents who routinely give blood, but there is always a need for more donors. To that end, The city of Concord and the American Red Cross are partnering to host a

DON KIMURA WITH DAUGHTER TERRI SIMEONA AND GRANDDAUGHTER CHELSEA who also donated blood on the day her grandfather reached 150 pints.

116 Forest Hill Dr. – Clayton

community blood drive on Wednesday, April 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E. Olivera Rd. in Concord. “We are extremely grateful to the City of Concord for its support,” said Jared Schultzman, communications manager for Red Cross Blood Services in Northern California. “Blood drive sponsors play a critical role in maintaining a stable blood supply. We hope this generous act of community service inspires people from the city to come out and donate blood at this drive.” Currently, all blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply is available to meet patient needs – especially O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative blood. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800733-2767) or visit and enter sponsor code: CONCORD. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. For more information, contact Concord’s Emergency Services and Volunteer Manager Margaret Romiti, 925-671-3184. Kimura, an Air Force veteran, perhaps says it best: “Be a hero — donate!”

Pioneer Travels

Jennifer Jay

First place winner at the Creekside Arts Festival last weekend was Seema Mahboob’s collage titled “Ascendence,” symbolizing African American regrowth and rising with resilience.

Clayton Community Library celebrated its 19th birthday with the annual Creekside Arts Festival, March 21-23. The event this year took the theme “Mt. Diablo...Rising from the Ashes,” and featured three days of live animals, art demonstrations, live music, dance and over 40 local artists. “It was pretty cool to see all that artwork featuring the mountain,” said photographer Jennifer Jay. Biologist Jim Hale guided a nature walk along Mt. Diablo Creek which runs behind the library, pointing out wildlife habitats and plants that the Native Indians in the area used

as food. Local textile artist, Laurie Frank’s quilt placed third in the “3D” category. “I was born and raised in this valley,” she said. “I saw my first mountain lion when I was 8 on our property. It was love at first sight.”

Earlier this month, Al and Chris Rivera took us along for a week in Carmel. We stayed at the famed Highlands Inn, eating, gazing at the glorious ocean views, and … eating. And in between, we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, shopped in downtown Carmel and went to Mass at the Carmel Mission on Ash Wednesday.

What’s happening Around Town? Send your news of births, engagements, weddings, etc. to Attach your photos to the email as JPEG files and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

925 Douglas Court – Clayton

Helping friends, neighbors & newcomers buy and sell their homes since 1979 Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

Great “Gorham” model at Peacock Creek! 4 bedrooms + loft, 3 baths, approx. 3230sf, 2 fireplaces, 2 car garage, rare builder’s option home office. Gourmet kitchen with granite counters. Spacious family room with fireplace. Huge master suite with upgraded master bathroom! Private lot offers sprawling lawn, mature landscape & patio area. $849,000

Desirable Douglas Court! Stately Custom Home with separate cottage on a .56 acre lot! within walking distance to downtown! 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths plus a bonus room and a den, 5 car garage. Cottage features 1 bedroom, 1 bath, kitchen, living room & laundry closet. Magnificent wooded creek side setting with mature landscape and a putting green! A rare find! $899,000

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1008 Pebble Beach Dr. – Clayton



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Don Howard Realtor-Associate

Clayton Resident

(925) 408-3184

Emily Howard


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

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Annual quilt show displays myriad ways craft brings people together June 16-20 and June 23-27

Concord started quilting a few years ago in her mid-50s. “You can start at any time. Everybody is helpful. So get out there and get started.” The quilt show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord. Tickets are $8 for one day for an adult; $10 for both days. Youth tickets are $4. Children under 6 attend for free. For more information, go to

Mon.-Fri. 9am to 3pm $500/week or $100/day $475/week if registered by May 15

Enrollment Form On-line LIMITED CAMP SIZE

Horseback Riding Horsemanship Horse painting Horse games Free T-shirt

In Clayton, 3141 Morgan Territory Rd.


AT THE 2013 QUILT SHOW, LINDA ELDER, HEIDE DRESSLER, MARIAN WOHLFROM AND RAYNELL COLEMAN did hand work on the Springtime Bouquet opportunity quilt for the 2014 show. This quilt took 205 hours of hand quilting alone, not to mention time spent piecing, stitching and binding the fabric by other members. PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

Cloaking one in safety or warmth, stitching together history, weaving a story, painting a textile picture and even unraveling a crime are some of the ways quilts have been part of the fabric of our society. Quilters and lovers of quilts are invited to celebrate the craft at the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County’s annual quilt show on April 5 and 6 at Centre Concord. Quilt displays, vendors, demonstrations, youth activities and a drawing for the Springtime Bouquet opportunity quilt are scheduled. What is unique about the show, according to chairperson Barb Shates, is that it features a hand-quilted, not machinequilted, opportunity quilt; the

only one in the Bay Area. “It is really something to shine upon. It is a skill that is going away.” [What is an opportunity quilt?] Nearly two dozen vendors from all over the country will show their latest fabric, notions and books. One hundred guild members are expected to display their quilts and wearable art. Viewers are the judges in seven categories, plus Best of Show. Many items are available for purchase in the show’s Country Store Boutique. “These prodigious gals in the guild do everything from traditional to outrageously colorful and modern (quilts),” quilter Jill Orr says. She and her 10-year-old daughter, Grace, joined the guild to connect with others who enjoy quilting.

The Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County began in 1973 and is one of the oldest quilt guilds in California. The guild has more than 300 members dedicated to preserving the tradition of quilting and supporting philanthropic efforts. They have monthly guild meetings, workshops conducted by quilting experts and daily small groups. The guild’s fundraisers generate funds to buy materials for making quilt projects like blankets, pillowcases and placemats. They donate to Quilts of Valor, the Court Appointed Special Advocates program and other local charities. Kathy Callahan, guild historian, says, “When you give a quilt, you are giving a little bit of yourself. It’s an emotional warmth as well as physical.” Member Mary Stockler of

Sunday, April 20 • Two Seatings at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. If you’re looking for place to go for a delicious Easter Sunday Brunch, come celebrate the holiday with your friends and family at Oakhurst Country Club. Ring in springtime with a delectable selection of food, drink, and beautiful surroundings.

There will also be a Petting Zoo, an Easter Egg hunt, and pictures with the Easter Bunny for the kids. $43.99++ Adults • $22.99++ Children (ages 4-12) For reservations, please contact (925) 672-9737 ext. 217 |

1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton, CA |






Seven Oaks – Pride of ownership shows in this 4BD/3BA offering updated kitchen w/granite & cherry flooring. Master suite w/double doors, 2 closets, roomy master bath. Sparkling pool & decks perfect for entertaining. Great curb appeal.

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508 Hamburg Circle, Clayton



Roundtree – 2BD/1BA in the heart of Clayton Valley offers laminate flooring, updated bath and wonderful amenities such as pool, clubhouse, greenbelts. Walk to shopping, parks, transportation.



Black Diamond Duet – Wonderful curb appeal, privacy, and a large yard w/patio and mature trees. Largest model 3BD/2.5BA Presley home has an open floor plan and dual fireplace in living and family rooms. Master suite w/bay window & organized closet.



3BD/1.5BA townhome in a gated complex offers a central Concord location. Kitchen has newer cabinets and counters. Appreciate the updated bath and indoor laundry Large patio in the backyard and storage.

Easley Estates – Beautiful 4BD plus Den/2.5BA on a large lot. Kitchen offers recessed lights, gas cooktop, pantry and nice view to backyard. Sparkling custom pool, patios, and plush lawn and gardens. RV/Boat parking is a huge plus! Call Heather for information!

Heather Gray, (925) 765-3822

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

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Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

Cal BRE#01122025

- Windermere Clayton!

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Clayton Pioneer •



Realtor®, DRE#01874255

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925.932.7329 841 Royal Ann Lane Fabulous 2 bedroom 2.5 bath town home in highly desirable Cherrywood. Located across from DeLaSalle High School and around the corner from Trader Joe's! Two bay windows, garage, lots of storage and more! Clubhouse, green space, swimming pool and tennis courts. Don't miss!

Offered at $389,000 Gorgeous Eagle Peak home! Wonderful 4 large bedrooms, 2.5 baths with chef size kitchen, and huge master suite. Approximately 3,000 sf on a .50 acre premium lot. Live at the top with views, privacy, and trail access.

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Offered at $575,000 Beautiful Expansive Rancher on Clayton Border. 4 bedrooms 4 1/2 baths, 2 masters, 4080 square feet, possible in-law, or au pair set up. Beautifully landscaped lot 29,621 sq. ft. RV parking-Clayton Valley Charter High School!


Offered at $795,000


March 28, 2014

50th, from page 1 kept horses and the flies would nearly run us out.” Although Clayton had been a town since Joel Clayton laid out the first grid in 1857, it always was a rural burg, dependent on the county for fire and police; and on themselves for everything else. Downtown, looking pretty much as it does now, sat in the midst of rolling hills, ranchland and BOB HOYER, 93, proudly recalls a 91 percent turnout in the orchards. And the some 600 resi1964 election to incorporate as a charter city. dents were content to keep it that way. People liked Clayton the way it was – hard to get to and out of the IT’S A FACT: CLAYTON’S INCORPORATION way. They liked the open land, large Election Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .March 3, 1964 lots and rural independence. Number of registered voters . . . . . . . . . . .364 In 1961, a few large landholders Number who voted: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .312 began to talk of annexing to ConTurnout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 percent cord to gain sewer and water servicVotes in favor of incorporation . . . . . . . . .251 es. There was some effort to incorVotes opposed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 porate, but it failed and things remained quiet for awhile. First city council election - five elected In 1963, in a practice known as Robert Hoyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183 “cherry stemming” Concord made Henry Wagner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 a move to annex Cardinet Glen, the George Abbott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151 subdivision on Mitchell Canyon David Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147 east of Clayton Rd) which would Alvin Liming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 have brought Concord’s city limits Clyde Baker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 almost to Main Street, dividing the town and making future efforts at First treasurer . . . . . . .William Walker incorporation almost impossible. First clerk . . . . . . . . . .Marguerite Ellingson The resistance began in earnest. Police Services . . . . . .Contracted with the city of Concord Lead by Eldora Hoyer, the group Public Works . . . . . . .Contracted with County filed a petition to incorporate. The City Attorney . . . . . . .Maurice Huguet, Jr. election was held on March 3, 1964. Population . . . . . . . . .Approximately 600 Over 91 percent of the 364 regisClayton city limits . . . .½ square mile tered voters turned out with the City boundaries: final vote 251 in favor, 61 opposed. Clayton Road and Mt. Diablo Creek on the north In the next 50 years, the city Marsh Creek Road on the east council would work at reining in Mitchell Canyon Road on the west development. While many would Certain properties on the east have liked Clayton to stay ranchland and orchards, stopping develAssessed land valuation: $ 1,200,000 opment was impossible. Clayton’s Budget: $ 23,517 with year-end surplus of $ 2,589 population in 2012 was 11,312 – 19 times what it was in 1964. One year after incorporating, the City of Clayton was recognized by Development – Regency Woods, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors for its superb effort. In Jeffry Ranch, Easely Estates, 1966, just two years following cityhood, Clayton hosted the Mayor’s Oakhurst – was inevitable. Conference. Robert Hoyer served the City of Clayton for 16 years, In future articles, we will look at the and chaired the Bay Area Air District in 1971 after being appointed city’s housing growth – where it’s been and in 1968 to the District. where it is now.

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Letters to the Editor

S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Pam Wiesendanger, Peggy Spear

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail.


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

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Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 15,500. Papers are delivered to households in ZIP codes 94517, 94518 and 94521. In Clayton, all papers are delivered Every Door Direct by the US Post Office. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered twice a month on a Friday morning. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 6720500 or email If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, 40 cents each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, 20 cents each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.Fri. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $50/year and are for full year only.

In the Mar. 14 issue, the article about the origami cranes in the Brendan Theater was touching. The article written by Tamara Steiner, wrote about the thousands of origami cranes in honor of the tsunami that hit Fuskushima three years ago. The cranes in the Japanese culture represent luck and healing… I think that it shows the strength of the Concord community to come together and make cranes for a disaster that happened across the world. I like the fact that

Gold crucifix while jogging through the Clayton trails and streets. $50 reward. Call (925) 586.4915

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

FOR LEASE Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 3718770, ext. 21.

Your home should be here for buyers to see Call PETE to discuss your options and to put Pete and his Years of Experience on YOUR Team. Let's put Your Home here, for all Clayton & Clayton Valley to know about!

20.3 Prime Acres, $650,000! 46 Acres for $1,275,000!


This parcel with hills overlooking a large, flat area is ideal for a custom home with views of Mt. Diablo. Great location for livestock, vineyards or orchards to thrive (think Livermore Valley). CC water is at the Marsh Creek frontage, ready for buyer to bring in. This spectacular land is priced at only $27,000 per acre.



Pete Laurence, Broker, Realtor, GRI

Cell: (925) 890-6004 Serving Clayton and ALL of C.C. County. Walnut Creek office 


Upcoming Seminars Estate and Tax Planning 101 “What you don’t know can hurt you.” Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:30 - 8:00 PM Walnut Creek Office

Walnut Creek Office:

IRA Beneficiary Trusts

3100 Oak Road, #100 Walnut Creek CA 94597 (925) 937-4211

“How to Stretch out Payments and Protect your IRA Beneficiaries.”

2211 Railroad Ave. Pittsburg CA 94565 (925) 432-4211

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 6:30 - 8:00 PM Walnut Creek Office

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Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8666 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events Concord Pavilion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .692-2408 Contra Costa Home & Garden Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

HELP WANTED Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Park District Summer job openings for students as well as openings for park police officers. Go to Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Seasonal Positions Job fair and interviews for Concord Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 26 at Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. Pick up and fill out application at fair.

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this is an art piece. We can all donate money, which is a great thing, but you can’t see it. The hard work and time the community put it is hanging in a building that everyone can see-a large visual of the support for Fukushima. The city of Concord should feel honored that in October the delegation from Kitakami … will be able to see the support and beauty of the thousands of cranes.

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Page 5

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

Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services Brooks, Justine – Better Homes and Gardens . .890-9269 French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 The Torrey Team – J. Rockcliff Realtors . . . . . . .595-6707 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Senior Services Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

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Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

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If you’re interested in lending money to your children or other family members, consider establishing a “family bank.” These entities enhance the benefits of intrafamily loans, while minimizing unintended consequences. Lending can be an effective way to provide your family with financial assistance without triggering unwanted gift taxes. So long as a loan is structured in a manner similar to an arm’s-length loan between unrelated parties, it won’t be treated as a taxable gift. This means, among other things, documenting the loan with a promissory note, charging interest at or above the applicable federal rate, establishing a fixed repayment schedule, and ensuring that the borrower has a reasonable prospect of repaying the loan. Even if taxes aren’t a concern, intrafamily loans offer important benefits. For example, they allow you to help your family financially without depleting your wealth or creating a sense of entitlement. Done right, these loans can encourage responsible financial behavior, promote accountability and help cultivate the younger generation’s entrepreneurial capabilities by providing financing to start a business. Too often, however, people lend money to family members with little planning and regard for potential unintended consequences. Rash lending decisions can lead to misunder-

standings, hurt feelings, conflicts among family members and false expectations. That’s where the family bank comes into play. A family bank is a familyowned, family-funded entity — such as a dynasty trust, a family limited partnership or a combination of the two — designed for the sole purpose of making intrafamily loans. Often, family banks are able to make financing available to family members who might have difficulty obtaining a loan from a bank or other traditional funding sources or to lend at

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club invites guests to attend their monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 8, to learn about the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, outreach programs and the importance and protection of native animals. Guest speakers are Melissa Strongman, director of education, and Ellen Green of

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the reptile team. The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is a unique natural history and environmental education center with the first wildlife rehabilitation hospital established in the country. In 2013, they treated 5,623 sick or orphaned wild animals. The club will present donations to the

museum towards the care of the animals. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, except July and August, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta way, Concord. For more information, call 672-9448 or go to

Captain Grammar Pants BRING vs. TAKE is generally directional. When you bring something, it’s coming toward a destination. When you take something, it’s moving away from something else. Think of come (bring) and go (take). If you say you want to “take her to the party,” you transport the person away from where she is. I like all kinds of hot drinks (coffee, tea, and variants thereof), so if you wish to bring me something, I would welcome it. Bring it on! However, if you are serving snails, take them away. Please note that local usage may vary in different parts of the English-speaking world, but the directional nature (bring it here, take it there) of bring and take is a safe and standard rule.. Sean Williams is a professor of ethnomusicology at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. She is currently working on a Captain Grammar Pants book. Follow her regular postings on Facebook.

school to change it to a culture of success in just two years. “The difference was immediate and astonishing,” he told the panel. “Much to the amazement of the staff, parents and students, the school was transformed almost overnight with the instructional framework of ‘rigor, relevance and relationships,’ as developed by Dr. Willard Daggett. I spent nearly a week with the teachers discussing what quality instruction looks like, how application makes learning relevant and how nurturing relationships between teachers and students lays a foundation where students want to learn and perform academically. Professional development

became the constant theme.” The story of CVCHS was clearly a highlight of the hearing, as it was the first example cited by Congressman Miller as he addressed his colleagues. “The transformation of Clayton Valley Charter High School was truly inspiring to see,” he said in his opening remarks. “It’s a testament to the role charter schools can play in the K-12 educational system. Clayton Valley Charter has been a bright light in the 11th District…and the entire community is reaping the benefits.” Linzey said it was “an honor” to be asked to testify in front of the Congressional committee. “I greatly appreciate the warm reception I received from Congressman Miller. He was obviously so proud of the work we

have done in the past two years and the remarkable results we have had to date.” He also said that the committee was very impressed with the tremendous achievement results earned by CVCHS. “They were clearly pleased to hear from leaders who had powerful success stories that provide hope for other schools and districts, along with a roadmap for how to best educate all students and enable them to be on the road to college readiness. “I will always remember this opportunity to share with Congress and feel such great pride in our work with teachers, parents, staff and, of course, students to make CVCHS such a great high school,” he said. “This was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity that I will cherish.”

idential neighborhoods. He cautioned us that if we were driving more than 25 m.p.h. and a child were to dart into the street and we hit the child, we would have to live with the fact that we were speeding and could have possibly saved the child had we not been. No time savings or other pressures are worth that risk. Lastly, the issue has been raised again recently why there is not more competition for high speed Internet access in Clayton. Comcast is the dominant provider. They provide a good product, but many of us would like to have alternatives. AT&T Uverse is only available in a few of our neighborhoods as part of an AT&T Concord expansion. The company has not been interested in installing Uverse to the rest of

the city. Astound considered expanding but pulled back when the recession hit. Clayton would love to have more options for our residents. Unfortunately, AT&T and Astound have not been interested in making the investment in Clayton. They may feel that Clayton is too small of a market to make it worth their while. I would suggest that if you would like to have more choices that you contact AT&T, Astound or any other Internet provider and request their service. If these companies see that there is sufficient demand they may decide that an investment in Clayton will pay off.

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making process, ensures that family members are treated fairly and avoids false expectations. To ensure fairness and objectivity, and minimize emotional factors, it’s a good idea to involve one or more outside advisors in the management of a family bank.

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Linzey, from page 1 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce in Washington D.C. on March 12. “This lead to a vote, by the teachers, to convert the school from traditional to charter school, utilizing the state’s charter conversion law.” Linzey, invited by Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez) was one of five educators from across the country invited to the speak about the positive impacts they have seen in charter schools. Linzey went on to tell the story of how he was able to assemble a strong team of teachers, administrators and community members to help guide the

more favorable terms. By “professionalizing” family lending activities, a family bank can preserve the taxsaving power of intrafamily loans while minimizing negative consequences. The key to avoiding family conflicts and resentment is to build a strong family governance structure that promotes communication, group decision making and transparency. Establishing clear guidelines regarding the types of loans the family bank is authorized to make, and allowing all family members to participate in the decision-

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We point out that Clayton is the only incorporated city in Contra Costa County without a full-time fire station. We also point out that response times in Clayton have increased more than the other station closure areas. We mention the recent Morgan Fire and the dangers of Marsh Creek Road. Hopefully the fire board will see the need to fully staff Station 11 again. I received a couple of emails from residents on Keller Ridge Drive expressing concerns about traffic on their street. I am on our streets throughout the week and I have seen some of the problems that were mentioned — drivers rolling quickly through

stop signs and speeding. Our police department has been working on the problem, but it is hard for them to be at the right spot at the right time every time. I calculated that the difference in drive time between 25 m.p.h. and 35 m.p.h. from the top of Keller Ridge to Eagle Peak Avenue is about 50 seconds. (That assumes stopping at the stop sign.) Fifty seconds is not enough of a time savings for the increased risk. When I was at Clayton Valley High School Mr. Zino was our driver’s education teacher. One of the things I remember was his admonishment that we actually drive a little under 25 m.p.h. in school zones and res-

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments at

Clayton Pioneer •

Should I over-price my home? Q. I am planning to sell my house soon. What is the harm in pricing high initially? I can always come down in price, but can’t go up. Don’t buyers make offers based on what they think it is worth anyway? I don’t want to miss a buyer that falls in love with my home and will pay a premium price for it. A. I am not a fan of knowingly over-pricing a home. A listing that might look great to a buyer at the right price might not even be appealing at an above-market price. I am also not a fan of under-pricing your home. You might not get the multiple bids you had planned on. I believe in putting it at market value and let the market tell you if it can go higher. The danger of initially pricing the home too high is the fact that it is most marketable when it is new on the market. Capitalize on this


REAL ANSWERS enthusiasm by presenting a good product at the right price. In our area we are in a potentially quickly changing market. It presently is pretty stable but slower than last year. Just a jobs report or an interest rate adjustment can disqualify buyers from the market. But regardless of the

market, overpriced listings don’t sell in any market. If the price is too high the market can literally pass you by. There is more emotion involved in a home purchase than in most other business negotiations. Home buyers usually need to feel passionate about a property before they’ll make an offer. Today’s buyers are concerned about overpaying in a potentially softening market. Q. I want to sell my house but I must admit that the mere thought of negotiation makes me nervous. I am afraid I am at a disadvantage with my limited skills. Have you heard this before? A. These feeling are not unusual but like it or not buying or selling a home involves negotiation. Your first negotiations are with your real estate agent. You might negotiate the price you will offer,

the length of the listing or certain marketing considerations. Some realtors are more adept than others in bringing buyer and sellers together. Check them out carefully. Check their references if you haven’t worked with them before. Negotiation is not a bad thing. It’s one of the ways we interact with others in order to realize our goals, which in this case is selling a home. Try not to think of negotiation as combat. Although you want to sell at the highest price you can get and the buyer wants to buy at the lowest price possible. You both have the same goal: The completion of a home sale.

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Take a stand for good posture What posture do you take?

There are 206 bones that link together to form the human skeleton. Did you know bone is as strong as steel? Thirty-three vertebrae make up the “S”- shape curve of the spine. The vertebrae are stacked on top of one another, smaller at the top and larger at the base, with a spongy, shock absorbent disc between each one. The vertebrae provide an attachment of muscles and also serve to protect the spinal

cord. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the muscles via nerves. Bad posture or incorrect body use — for example, sitting at a computer for long periods of time — can draw the spine out of natural alignment. Posture is the way we sit, stand, and move. Think about all 206 bones and the ideal alignment of the spine. When we have good posture, the body is well balanced and we can move without placing the body under unnecessary strain and stress. With good posture you look taller, slimmer, and more fluid in motion, but very few people have good posture. Time spent at the desk, long periods standing, or simply favoring one side to carry can lead to bad posture. It puts the body under stress, movement becomes cumbersome and less efficient, less fluid, and aches and pains develop. External signs of bad posture can cause our internal organs to suffer and some may even be pushed out of place, resulting in problems with digestion and respiration. It takes time to correct bad pos-

ture, as years of bad habits cannot be corrected in an instant. Exercise can start you down the road to correction and better living. Proper exercises such as Pilates aims to realign bone over bone, to bring the spine back to its natural, most efficient state. Focusing on improved joint movement, four basic areas are covered: 1. Extension – the straightening or opening of a joint. Kicking a ball requires extension of the knee. 2. Flexion – bending a joint or bringing the bones closer together. Bringing food to the mouth flexes the elbow. 3. Rotation – a turning move. To look over your shoulder you have to turn your neck and head. 4. Lateral flexion – a sideways bend. Ballerina stretch with one hand over the head leaning is an example of lateral flexion. How is your posture? Do

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Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

Getting schooled in giving back ROBBIE PARKER

TEENSPEAK The great civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” Community service is the greatest thing an individual can do to benefit the world. By donating time and resources into the community, one person can change the lives of hundreds. Thankfully, many students at Clayton Valley Charter High School recognize the value of reaching out to those in need. In fact, there’s an entire school academy founded upon the principles of community service — the Public Service Academy. The CVCHS Public Service Academy, according to their website, “aims to give back to the community through various

service projects.” Students in the PSA are required to fulfill a certain amount of volunteer hours per semester, which cumulate to more than 2,000 volunteer hours total for the entire academy. In addition, each student is required to devise their own individual community service projects and display their volunteerism in an annual showcase. This year’s showcase took place on March 20 as part of Clayton Valley’s Open House. As in previous years, the display — known as the “If I Could Change the Community” Fair —succeeded in exhibiting the generosity and ambition of Clayton Valley’s very best. All around the school’s gymnasium, students presented their achievements in community service, detailing the overview, accomplishments and future goals of their projects. Focusing on themes such as anti-bullying, urban global challenges, preventing child abuse, promoting

Living up to the Challenge Freshman year I signed up for Challenge Day, an entire day held at schools all around the world dedicated to bettering the lives of students and showing that people have a lot more in common than they believe. The first few hours were awkward yet enjoyable, with activities made to “break the ice.” We danced, sang, got out of our comfort zone. Sound uncomfortable? That’s the point. Then came the infamous part of Challenge Day. With fives strangers I sat knee-to-knee in a circle, listening intently to the words spoken by each individual that revealed what really went on in their lives beyond the hallways. This activity is known as “if you really knew me,” and it encourages people to release their emotions and tell the stories that make that person who they are. In other words, it’s the part of Challenge Day where people cry. Where women and even men, no matter how much society frowns upon it, unleash their true sentiments. When it was my time to talk, I hesitated, then began: “If you really knew me, you’d know I lost a loved one a couple years ago...” I began with the most painful moment to that date, and continued by talking for two minutes about the qualms that surrounded my life as a freshman, almost as if I was engaging in a game to see who’s life was harder. I was oblivious to the fact that I grew up in California, seen many places in the world, and went to a school that had been a good experience. I was immature, but only now do I see what I had missed inside me years before. Three years later I found myself in that same chair along with five new strangers. This time I offered to speak first, starting with this. “If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m very fortunate...” I spoke of how lucky I am to have a family who’s here for me, a culture I’m unbelievably proud of, and a set of friends I’ll never lose. What I spoke of was a true understanding of what I have, and that I can’t take anything for granted. I

self-esteem, and preserving the ecosystem, each group of academy students constructed thematic and elaborate booths, complete with decorations, snacks and interactive activities. However, PSA students aren’t the only teens at CVCHS who are striving to give back and help others. Recently, a combined group CVCHS students, parents and staff implemented a new committee called Clayton Valley Cares. The program collects community donations order to aid those in who are injured, ill, struggling with poverty, or anyone in need of assistance. Since December, Clayton Valley Cares has collected an abundant amount of gift cards, canned goods, and two bins of winter coats and second-hand jackets for the needy who are enduring the remainder of the winter. Despite the fact that Clayton Valley Cares is still in its early stage, the committee has a Facebook page dedicated to showcasing the generosity of CVCHS students. However, donations are not limited to students only. Anyone can donate goods such as funds, bus money, non-perishable foods, gift cards, and clothes; in addition, donations are anonymous and remain

confidential. Although some CVCHS students choose to remain anonymous donors, others take pride in their service to the community. One such student, 11th grader Emily Rabbitt, has been organizing the construction of cubby spaces for the Concord Monument Crisis Center. As part of her Northern California Gold Project for Girl Scouts, Rabbitt recruited volunteers from local high schools to help construct storage space for the needy visiting the center. Rabbitt said that for her Gold Project, she “wanted to build something which would be used for years to come and have a lasting impact.” The Monument Crisis Center provides nutrition, shelter and resources to the povertystricken individuals of Concord. Because of growing need for assistance, the MCC expanded from 4,600 to 12,600 square feet. On March 13, they hosted their grand opening — and thanks to girls volunteering from local schools and Clayton GS Troop 31895, there will now be cubbies available for the needy. “When I saw the lowincome children using the Center,” she said, “I saw a need to

create even a small space they could call their own for even a few hours.” Although the students of Clayton Valley commit themselves to the helping others in variety of ways, all are leaving a

lasting, positive impact in the community. Robbie Parker is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Send comments to

Parents to hear current info on teens and social media The Diablo View Middle School Parent Faculty Club will host a social media information panel at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 7 at the school. Experts in this field from Teen Esteem will share information and answer questions about how social media impacts children, dangers and legal ramifications, how parents can monitor use and how to guide youth to make choices based on respect for self and others. Other specialists in social media are on the panel as well. The Parent Faculty Club’s goal is to provide parents with valuable tools to ensure their child’s safety by establishing limits and boundaries. Chil-

dren have long out grown Myspace and Facebook. Instagram,, Kik Messenger, Snapchat and Vine are just a few of the many social media sites that have become a big part of children’s lives. Parents, grandparents and members of the community are encouraged to attend the meeting. “It takes a village to raise a child.” The meeting is at Diablo View Middle School in the Multi-Use Room, 300 Diablo View Lane, Clayton. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the meeting, send email to For more information about Teen Esteem, go to

Band Fest brings area schools together IVAR LAANEN NORTHGATE

REPORTER didn’t leave out the troubles of life, but I made sure to add the things that matter. Then I listened. One by one the others, people just like me some way or another, spoke, and I heard the stories behind the faces of those five strangers, and it sent me back three years ago when I heard the stories that shaped the lives of five different people. I knew the importance of what they were saying and I appreciated that they trusted me with such a special part of their lives, but I never grasped what the purpose of all that was until now. It wasn’t just to show that everyone had more in common with their peers than first thought, or that life had it’s struggles. It was that people were listening. In that moment five people cared and wanted to help. Yet outside those gym walls, Northgate ran business as usual, making me think, why are only a handful of people receiving these life lessons while the rest of the student body remains untouched? While I found life lessons more valuable than universities, more important that money and cars, others were napping at their desks. As a community we all have to realize that just by being there for someone, we can help. When someone needs me, my help or an ear, I’m there. The question is, will you be? Ivar Laanen is a senior at Northgate High School. The “Dutch speaking, German born man with a Swedish name” has a passion for journalism and enjoys turning events and ideas into stories freshly printed in newspapers. Contact him at

ALISON EWING DVMS REPORTER On March 17, the bands from Pine Hollow, Diablo View, and Clayton Valley Charter all got together in the high school’s gym to put on a show like no other for the parents and friends of our local band members. The newer bands from Pine Hollow and Diablo View made up the first performance, the more advanced middle school bands made up the second, and the Wind Symphony from Clayton Valley was the third. I would sincerely like to thank the three wonderful conductors that have led the bands to excellence: Mr. Thompson from Diablo View, Ms. Whitfield from Pine Hollow, and Mr. Scott from Clayton Valley. The production went smoothly in transitioning between conductors, songs, and bands. Each middle school had to practice their songs separately, hoping they would

BANDFEST CONDUCTORS MR. THOMPSON, DVMS; Ms. Whitfield, Pine Hollow; and Mr. Scott, CVCHS led the three bands in a challenging performance that ended spectacularly.

sound good together. Over the course of the performance, the two middle school conductors traded off working with the bands, making it very difficult to adjust. Despite this challenge, the students did well with the performance, even though it was their first time working with students from the other school. “Our band at Diablo View, has made great strides this year,” Mr. Thompson said. “Most people started the year without knowing how to hold their instrument, much less

play a note. I am very proud.” I also talked to drummer Riley Giadone, “I thought it was super cool that we were there and actually got to play, we were, in my opinion, very good. The Cadet and Symphonic bands rocked it, and the Clayton Valley High School Band was incredible! I could listen to it all day, it was really that good. I loved the song Foundry by John Mackey where all of the high school drummers played on the pots and pans towards the end. All in all, I loved it!”

At the end of the concert, all of the bands from all of the schools, with all the conductors, performed America the Beautiful, composed by Samuel Ward. It started slightly off track with all of the conductors and bands, but quickly, everyone came together to perform the last leg of the song spectacularly. Alison Ewing is a sixth-grader at DVMS. She loves to write and has a passion for “anything in the arts.” Email her at

‘The Outsiders’ still resonates today


TEEN READS FLASHBACK FRIDAY! In “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hin-

ton, (Speak; Platinum Edition, April 2006) Ponyboy Curtis is a poor, troublemaking bad boy who belongs to a vicious street gang in Oklahoma called the “Greasers” due to their long, greased-back hairstyles. This group of inseparable guys roam town looking for trouble and don’t put much effort in trying to hide it. One night, Ponyboy comes across a few Socs (the Greasers’ rival gang). With several of them and only one of him, Ponyboy’s chances of

survival are looking bleak. Right before its too late, Ponyboy’s brother (Johnny) comes to the rescue. After making a fatal “mistake,” Johnny and Ponyboy take Darry’s (Ponyboy’s friend) advice (and gun) and escape to Windrixville before the police have time to find him. In Windrixville, the two brothers find an abandoned church where they set up camp and wait for Darry to come and help them. The events that follow their flee test the guys’

trust and challenge everyone’s’ friendships. This book is absolutely impeccable and I think it’s amazing that Hinton started writing it when she was only 15 and that it’s based off of events that the author witnessed herself while growing up. S.E. Hinton beautifully sculptures the definition of family and loyalty in this timeless novel. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Better traffic flow green-lighted


CONCORD CITY BEAT One of the most frustrating daily issues that we can experience in Concord is the difficulty of getting from one part of town to the other. Especially when we’re in a hurry. It can be very frustrating stopping at (what seems like) every signal along Clayton Road, Concord Avenue, Concord Boulevard, Diamond Boulevard, Galindo Street, Monument Boulevard, Oak Grove Road, Treat Boulevard and Willow Pass Road. To this end, I believe that improving traffic in and around the

City of Concord is important to our quality of life here. As a councilmember I serve on two regional transportation committees that are working to improve traffic in our area. I am a member of TRANSPAC representing the City of Concord. I’m an alternate from TRANSPAC to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) board. Through these committees and as a councilmember, I have been actively working on improving the traffic on highways 4, 242 and I680 as well as searching for ways to improve traffic on our streets. When the freeways are jammed up, we get an overflow of vehicles onto our city streets that adds to our congestion. Relief is on the way. Our city has obtained $223,800 in federal funds from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to re-time 80 traffic signals on the busy streets mentioned above. This project will update signal timing coordination along these streets

to reflect current traffic conditions and improve traffic flow during the morning, midday and evening peak periods. Two Caltrans signals are included on this project and are located at the Willow Pass Road/I-680 northbound and southbound ramps. When completed, this project will help to improve traffic flow in the city based on updated traffic data. Ideally, signal timing coordination should be updated every three years in response to changing land use or traffic conditions to ensure smooth and safe operations for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Even with these traffic signal coordination improvements, however, it does not guarantee a continuous green light as we drive from one end of the town to the other. This is because the city operates traffic-actuated signals with detector loops in the pavement, which react in response to the presence and volume of vehi-

cles waiting on the side streets and pedestrians waiting to cross the major (coordinated) street. As a result, the amount of green time dedicated to smooth traffic flow is reduced to allow a pedestrian or vehicles to enter the major street. This demandresponse operation may affect the signal coordination and frequency of stops along the major street. Nonetheless, it will improve the traffic flow and make our driving experience less frustrating. The traffic signal re-timing project will take all these factors into consideration as the signal times are coordinated to achieve a good balance between quality traffic flow in the city and ease of access to/from residential neighborhoods and the business community. The project is expected to be completed this summer. Ron Leone is vice mayor and a former mayor of Concord. Email comments or questions to, or call (925) 680-1776

Tips to calm preschooler fears


POCKET PARENT Dear Pocket Parent: My 3-year-old daughter is starting preschool in April. I have been fortunate enough to stay at home with her but am rejoining the workforce next month. This will be her first time being away from any familiar surroundings and my husband and I are really concerned about her reaction when we drop her off. What should we do to prepare our daughter (and ourselves) for this big change? —An Anxious Mom Dear Anxious Mom: You and your husband are already doing a great job preparing for this transition just by asking for information on how to help your daughter. Separation anxiety is a very common response for children when encountering a big change, and it can present in different ways depending on the child. At our preschool site, we are witness to a variety of reactions from the children on their first day of

school. These can range from tears to tantrums to instant engagement in their new setting with a casual good-bye to their parents. Sometimes parents who are expecting their children to struggle with separating on their first day are quite surprised when their child is the one needing prompting to say good-bye. No matter the reaction, here are some ideas on how to help prepare a child for their transition to school: If permitted, take the child to visit the school site prior to starting. This way, they can become familiar with their new environment. Check out the playground and meet their teachers before the first day, which is likely to be overwhelming. Read your child books (i.e.: “I am Too Absolutely Small for School” by Lauren Child) about starting school as a way to help them process the anxiety or fear they may be feeling. This could also give you an opportunity to share any stories of what your first day at preschool/elementary school was like and what you did that helped improve your experience. Allow your child to choose an object from home to take with them to school with the understanding that it stays in their backpack or cubby. Most children feel comforted in knowing that a little piece of home is with them throughout the day. Sometimes parents or

caregivers have made small photo albums with pictures of loved ones, including pets. Have a consistent schedule of who is picking your child up and tell them who it will be when you drop them off. Predictability goes a long way with helping children feel less anxious. While these tips will hopefully help prepare your child for their big day, keep in mind that you may also experience some separation anxiety. If possible, try to stay calm because this will also help your child stay calm. We know that children observe their caregivers closely and she will be looking to you and your

husband as a source of comfort. I would also encourage you to follow the teacher’s cue. Sometimes parents have a harder time saying good-bye and will want to stay for a long time. This can make the separation even more difficult for a child. If the teacher is politely encouraging you to make your exit, say good-bye to your child and let the teacher take over. Remember, they are skilled at what they do and nine times out of 10, a crying child will calm within moments of their parents leaving. If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to email me at

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Page 9

Pavilion, from page 1 Concord Pavilion Concert Schedule May 25 – KBLX Stone Soul Concert with Gladys Knight and The O’Jays

May 31 – Barry Gibb

June 1 – Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green

June 3 – James Taylor and His All-Star Band

June 7 – One Republic with The Script & American Authors

June 22 – Spirit West Coast with Newsboys, Jeremy Camp and more

July 2 – KISS and Def Leppard “We learned a lot from the America’s Cup Pavilion in San Francisco last summer with many acts requiring flexibility,” Prieshoff explained. When Taylor, Richie, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and similar acts are playing the Pavilion there will be new cushioned seating in a reserved seat configuration in the lower section. Further making the Pavilion attractive to touring artists, who have many more venue choices than dates to fill, will be major upgrades backstage and to the dressing rooms. Concord Director of Community and Recreation Services Joan Carrico says Live Nation is on an “ambitious timeline” to get all the projects through the city planning and permitting process and completed before May 25. Live Nation is paying for all the improvements and is responsible for all construction on the city-owned property. “We’re going back to our roots with the name Concord Pavilion,” Carrico says. The venue naming rights contract with Sleep Train ended at the end of last season and negotiations on a new operator’s contract included the city’s insistence on returning to the original Concord Pavilion name. Carrico says in future years it’s possible a title sponsor will be found by Live Nation.

July 12 – Steely Dan

July 29 – Journey and Steve Miller Band with Tower of Power

July 31 – Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Aug. 17 – Fall Out Boy and Paramore with New Politics

pt. 19 – Sep Linkin Park with Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI

Oct. 17 – Luke Bryan with Lee Brice and Cole Swindell For more information on scheduled events visit



Another part of the new contract is a Concord resident ticket presale program which allows residents to purchase tickets to Pavilion shows the day before they go on sale to the general public. A special resident hotline at 925-3635701 has information about presale dates. To participate, Concord residents must bring a current utility bill and photo I.D. with matching address to the Pavilion box office on the day before tickets go on sale. Service charges are waived for Concord residents during the presale. All concertgoers can buy tickets with no service charge at the box office on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for any show at the Pavilion. “We are seeing strong box office activity on Saturdays,” Prieshoff says. The Pavilion box office is located at the entrance to the facility at 2000 Kirker Pass Rd. Live Nation will be holding a Job Fair at the Pavilion on Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. for a variety of jobs including security, concessions, maintenance, parking, ushers and stagehands. Applicants must be 16 years and older.

Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

Sports Spring has sprung with full CVCHS sports menu [First in a series] JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The weather has been spring-like almost since the first of the year but now it is truly spring and high school sports teams at Clayton Valley Charter High School are busy getting ready for Diablo Valley Athletic League competition and then the playoffs and competition at the end of the season leading to section or state championships. BASEBALL Coach Casey Coakley’s Eagles are perennial North Coast Section playoff contenders (15 straight years in the playoffs) and expect nothing less this season. The team has a quartet of all-league seniors returning in first baseman Garrett Nelson, centerfielder Grant Meylan, pitcher Austin Cannedy and his batterymate Ethan Utler. That group is backed by senior lettermen Riley Smith, Kenny Cuneo, Ryan Williams and Jordan Chin. As happens seemingly every year for the Eagles new players move in to replace graduated seniors and play a key role. Coakley expects Gabe Taylor, Ryan Milligan, John Allen,

Photo courtesy Crump Photography

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER BASEBALL has jumped out to a fast start this spring with eight consecutive victories entering Saturday’s game at Deer Valley in Antioch. Kenny Cuneo (right) waits for a throw as Antioch baserunner Aaron Page (13) bears down on second base. Eagle shortstop Ryan Milligan is backing up the play.

Bennett Marshall, Nate Coffey, Carter Smith, Jason Kreske, Gino Franklin, Jack O’Leary, Taylor Ashoo, Connor Braun and Justin Tong to make an impact. The team lost seven key players from last year’s team including league co-MVPS Ryan Snyder and Jesse Medrano. James Biles is touted as one of the top freshman in the area pitching and playing in the outfield. Brandon Truesdell and Daniel Ferrell return to baseball after taking last season off. Clayton Valley’s varsity, JV, sophomore and freshmen teams combined for 84 wins against 11 losses in 2013 while all four finished first in DVAL. The varsity made it to the NCS semi-finals in Coakley’s return to the CVCHS dugout after four years at Los Medanos College. He was head coach in 2007-08 before moving to LMC.

Jason Rogers photos

JUNIOR POLE VAULTER CASEY MITCHELL has posted strong earlyseason marks clearing eight feet for the Clayton Valley Charter High School track and field team.

SOFTBALL Kristen Morley is in her second year as head coach and she will be hard pressed to match her inaugural season this spring or maybe for a long time. The Eagles went all the

way to the NCS championship game last year before losing to rivals Concord High with a senior-laden squad that had the entire starting lineup graduate. Her top returners are junior pitcher Kaitlyn Montgomery along with four seniors, Jenna Zukowski (OF), Madi Tamichi (1B/OF), Julia Morgan (OF/P) and Rachel Siver (C/3B). The coach will be looking for varsity newcomers to helped fill the void left by the senior class. Cat Buenrostro ( C/2B), Tyce Miranda (P/3B), Cheyenne Harman (3B/C), Niki Mason (SS/2B), Gabby Vega (Utl.), Kimiko Zapanta (OF), Athena Franklin ( SS/2B), Taylor Leak (OF) and Liberty Herr (1B/OF) represent all four classes at CVCHS. This year’s players can only hope to approach what the departed Shannon Mestas (Solano College), Jacee Almond (Bucknell), Kierra Willis (Fresno), Bella Faleafine (Solano College), Katilyn Covione (Western Nevada), Ashley Daniels, Julia Arteaga and Kathy Mason accomplished on the diamond.

“We have a young team but I still think they will be able to compete with the top schools. I think we will make NCS and do some damage,” Morley says. She adds that most of the DVAL schools will be competing for NCS berths making for a very competitive league season. TRACK AND FIELD Head track and field coach Darren Newell is in his second year as head man but has been part of the Eagles program for over a decade. He’s assembled a staff that hopes to bring CVCHS athletes to the highest levels in the state. The team has a batch of top sprinters including Alex Hernandez, newcomer Xavier Crawford, Nate Ewing, Sarah Holt, Amber Booth, Brianne Newell, Jessica Forrester and Diwa Esko providing the boys and girls teams with excellent relays. Other key runners in longer

events are Anthony Fuentes, Danny Condon, Megan Coppa and Lindsay Mondloch. Casey Mitchell in the girls pole vault and sophomore Jordan Velasquez in the boys long jump have posted good earlyseason marks. In the weight throws Tici Alatini was first team allDVAL in both shot and discus. She made it as far as the Meet of Champions last year in both events and coaches expect her to break school records and earn her first trip to State. Gabriel Forester and Hosna Opeyany give CVCHS a very potent girls varsity throwing team. Our boys are young, but very good. Jake King, Mykelle D’ toile and Jake Linderman are top competitions for the boys. CVCHS will be hosting the DVAL track and field championship meet May 8-10 on its new artificial track surface.

Ipsen heads into NCAA diving finals after strong zone E performances JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Stanford junior Kristian Ipsen won two of three events and took second in the other at the recent NCAA Zone E diving meet in Colorado Springs. The strong showing by the Clayton diver qualified him in all three disciplines for next week’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas. Ipsen may have been a little off his best at the earlier Pacific-12 Championships when he ended up with first- (one meter), second- (3M) and thirdplace (platform) showings for Stanford.

At the Zone E meet he won 1M and 3M for the third successive year and was second off the platform, where he improved from third place in the preliminaries. In his three years as a collegian Ipsen has seven Zone E titles. His wins were resounding as he was 83 points ahead of teammate Bradley Christensen in the three meter (856.60) and won the 1M (855.10) by 78 points over runnerup Rafael Quintero of Arizona with Christensen third. Two other Stanford teammates, Connor Kuremsky and Noah Garcia, placed in 1M and 3M to move onto the NCAA finals. He wasn’t able to defend his

Zone E platform title after finishing second to Amund Gismervik of Hawaii. Ispen’s 785.32 score was 32 points behind Gismervik. In Austin Ipsen will hope to add to his haul of three national titles. His performance winning 1M and 3M last year earned him the national diver of the year award as he completed a dream meet with a second-place on the platform. Those results mirrored his Pac-12 finishes. In his 2012 freshman year before the London Olympics he was first in 3M, second in 1M and 10th in platform. His title in 2012 was the first by a Stanford male diver since 1930, a span of 82 years.

Photo courtesy CVCHS track

Three-time United States Olympic team discus thrower Suzy Powell-Roos was on hand recently at Clayton Valley Charter High School to assist some of the team’s throwing athletes including freshmen Jack Fouts (left), Andy Delira and Jeff Williams. Powell of UCLA represented America at the 1996, 2000 and 2008 Summer Games. The Eagles throw coach and fellow former Bruin, John Fouts, arranged for the training session where Powell gave the athletes tips on discus and shot put technique. Fouts expects to have the Olympian work again with his team this season.

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Sports Lady Eagles basketball team makes school history before departing NorCal playoffs

A’s pitching rotation faces challenges at start of MLB season

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley has a rich history in girls sports and in basketball but no Eagle team has ever achieved what the 2013-14 girls basketball team with led by first-year coach Paul Kommer. The Lady Eagles reached the semi-finals of the Northern California Championships the first time any basketball team from the school has advanced that far. The No. 4 seeded Eagles defeated visiting Lynbrook of San Jose 52-45 in the opening round of the NorCal Division II playoffs, something four previous Clayton Valley teams were unable to do. The CVHS Hall of Fame teams of 1988 and 1998 both fell at the first round in NorCal. The strong 2011 and 2013 teams led by Ashley Allen were equally unsuccessful as each dropped opening-round home games in the championships. The fairytale season ended abruptly three days later when top seeded Archbishop Mitty of San Jose and the powerful West Catholic Athletic League routed CVCHS 8449 in the semi-finals. The historic result against Lynbrook was a team effort. Kommer was quoted after the game saying, “These kids are just special. They have supported each other and they are making the extra pass.” The most special player in the win over fifth seeded Lynbrook was post player Kayla Taylor. She had a second-quarter outburst of 15 points after her team only scored six points in the opening quarter when they trailed 11-6. The game start had a familiar feel to the recent two NorCal games at Dan Della Gymnasium when the Eagles couldn’t rebound from North Coast Section championship game losses to advance in the NorCal tournament. This year the Eagles had absorbed a large 100-48 NCS defeat to crosstown rival Carondelet but put that behind them in their NorCal opener. Ironically, Carondelet lost a wild 92-87 game to Miramonte in the NorCal Open Division on the same day CVCHS was eliminated. Taylor helped the Eagles to a 29-21 halftime advantage. The 5-10 senior then keyed a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter that put the game away after Lynbrook had rallied from a double-digit deficit to within 42-41 with less than four minutes to go. Her 21 points


Scott Anderson photo

SARAH WILLIAMS (10) WAS PART OF THE CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL TEAM That made history at the recent Northern California Basketball Championships. The Lady Eagles became the first team — boys or girls — to ever advance as far as the NorCal semi-finals. Williams, a second team all-DVAL player, scored 15 points in the North Coast Section championship game. She will be a key member of next year’s team with classmates Morgan Giacobazzi and Hailey Pascoe.

was one more than league co-MVP Hailey Pascoe as the duo accounted for all but 10 of the Eagles points. Junior Morgan Giacobazzi had eight points, five rebounds and five assists. Pascoe also had five assists while Taylor led the team with six rebounds and three assists. Against Mitty the Eagles gave up 20 or more points in every quarter and were behind 23-7 after one with the result all but settled at halftime as CVCHS trailed 44-21.

UCLA-bound Kelli Hayes was the leading scorer for the homestanding Monarchs with 21 points. Mitty and second seed McNair of Stockton played for the NorCal title and a berth in this weekend’s State CIF finals. Taylor topped the Eagles with 16 points while Giacobazzi had 11 and Pascoe 10.

The Oakland Athletics will have to compete without their ace Jarrod Parker for the entire 2014 season. Parker had Tommy John surgery this week to repair his damaged elbow. It is the second Tommy John surgery for Parker, the first coming in 2009. The injury is a major blow to the A’s starting rotation. Parker was slated to be the club’s ace but they will have to wait a year or more for the return of the righthanded pitcher. Parker had a rather up-anddown season last year, finishing with 12 wins, 134 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.98. Toward the end of last season Parker seemed to be finding his grove, finishing the second part of the year with an ERA of 3.69, as opposed to 4.27 in the first half. The A’s will also be without starting pitcher A.J. Griffin for the first week or so of this season. Griffin is dealing with some general elbow soreness but fortunately there was no structural damage found in his elbow. Although he gave up a whopping 36 home runs, Griffin still managed a solid 3.8 ERA last season. If Griffin can keep the ball in the park this year he will see num-

bers closer to 2012 when he had an ERA of 3.1. The injuries to the A’s pitching staff are slightly concerning, but fortunately starting pitching is something the A’s have in abundance. Tommy Milone will fill Parker’s spot in the starting rotation. Milone is a solid lefthander, who pitched well for the A’s last season. The emergence of Sonny Gray sent Milone to the minors, but now he will be needed again to pitch well. A’s stretch reliever Jesse Chavez is the most logical candidate to fill in for Griffin while he rests his sore elbow. Chavez had numerous appearances for the A’s out of the bullpen last year, but the team wants him to be a starter now. Chavez and Milone will be joining Sonny Gray, lefty Scott Kazmir and Dan Straily in the rotation. Gray is the A’s young phenom who pitched like a Cy Young ace in the playoffs last year. In game two of the American League Divisional Series, Gray pitched eight innings of shutout ball against a loaded Detroit Tigers lineup. With the loss of Parker, Gray will need to continue to grow as a pitcher and step up as the A’s ace this season. He won’t need to shoulder the load all on his own, because if there is something the A’s organization has depth at, it is starting pitching. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

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See NorCal Playoffs, page 13



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Eagles, Broncos garner all-DVAL soccer honors ton Valley tied with 5-6-1 records. The Broncos had George Burrows and Michael Hathaway first team all-DVAL, Sean Babinski and freshman Adrian Ortiz second team and Ryan Hathaway and Noah Smith HM. The Eagles of new coach Guillermo Jara got junior midfielder Jon Bellesorte on first team, goalkeeper Aiden Lineweaver second team and Shane Morin honorable mention.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Northgate and Clayton Valley Charter high school soccer teams were shut out of player of the year awards but did earn allleague honors for top performing players during the Diablo Valley Athletic League season. Clayton Valley Charter girls were the highest finishers among the four teams with a runner-up spot to undefeated College Park girls. College Park dominated the

Photos courtesy CVCHS girls soccer



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girls awards as did unbeaten Ygnacio Valley boys. Seniors Marina Arcaya and Jasmine Partida were first-team all-league, Arcaya for the second year in a row. She was also honorable mention all-league as a sophomore. Amber Booth and soph Marjan Haydaree were second team all-DVAL while freshman Kaci Trujillo and junior Kimi Dennis got honorable mention. For Northgate which finished right behind CVCHS in the standings, seniors Zoe Ramer and Val Wirfel were first team with Wirfel repeating from last season. Bronco juniors Megan Shone and Lauren Valla were picked second team and their classmates Marissa Mortl and Deiziana Dargan were honorable mention. On the boys side Northgate and Clay-

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

Sports Clayton Valley Little League scrambles Sports Shorts to prepare fields in time for new season


JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The perennial sounds of “play ball” and “hey batter” have returned and no one is happier than the board members and volunteers of Clayton Valley Little League. Just two months ago the league was readying for its 51st season when it was thrown a wicked curveball, finding out its home of 40 years on the Clayton Valley Charter High School property was likely no longer going to be available to them. The school was making plans—-apparently now abandoned for the 2014-15 school year—-to expand its student body by 300 students and the CVLL Minor B and Major division ball fields were the first choice as a site for portable classroom to accommodate the influx of additional students. Concurrently the school was dealing with a Title IX complaint filed primarily about the inequity of fields between girls softball and boys baseball on the Alberta Way campus. CVCHS and the little league have shared use of two fields— the CVLL Major and Minor A fields—-for games and practices and the complaint said that this sharing deprived the Eagle softball teams and players of adequate use as opposed to the baseball diamond that is only used during the high school season by Clayton Valley baseball. When league president

Kevin Christensen and his board were informed of the field issues Jan. 16 they immediately sprang into action to find short- and long-term solutions. While they have been brainstorming and meeting about potential future new homes to replace the three fields at CVCHS the youth baseball group has been busy making sure all the 300+ players signed up to play this spring “do not have a lessened experience whatsoever.” CVLL has been working with the cities of Concord and Clayton, Mt. Diablo Unified School District and neighboring Concord American Little League to work out field plans for this season. The league was in an even more challenging position because they are adding a new intermediate division for 13year-old boys with 75-foot bases and 50-foot pitcher’s mound, requiring a field that none of their existing sites could handle. Little league games are played on fields with 60-foot bases and 46-foot pitcher’s mound. The intermediate teams from both Concord American and Clayton Valley found a home at the lower field of Clayton Community Park. The league recently removed the grass infield and just last week setup a portable outfield fence at 230 feet from home plate so that the intermediate teams can play there.

See Fields, page 13

Tryouts for U15-U19 players with Diablo FC will conclude next week. Boys tryouts are Monday afternoon and girls next Wednesday afternoon, both at Boatwright Youth Sports Complex in Concord. Younger players in the U9-U14 age groups who missed formal tryouts can contact the club for an individual evaluation and possible placement on a competitive team for the 2014 season. Visit to register for free tryouts in all age groups.

DANA HILLS SWIM TEAM REGISTRATION Dana Hills Swim Team is accepting online registrations for the 2014 recreation season. New members are given the option to sign up for the team on a free, one-week “trial” basis. Dana Hills has won 21 of the past 22 Concord Swim Championships. For additional info and to register, visit

CONCORD CUP XXI SOCCER RETURNS MAY 17-18 The 20th anniversary edition of Concord Cup youth soccer program which began in 1994 returns to many local fields on May 1718. Applications are now being accepted for boys and girls teams from U10-U19. Concord Cup is a rare tournament that includes both AYSO and club teams. Diablo FC, MDSA and Concord AYSO are the host leagues. For information visit

SUMMER PROGRAM REGISTRATION FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES COMING SOON Signups are approaching for All Out Sports League summer programs at Clayton Gym. Youth basketball and volleyball, flag football league, adult volleyball and football camp programs will all be announced soon. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit

OAKHURST ORCAS SIGNUPS FOR UPCOMING SEASON APRIL 11 Final Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team registration date is Apr. 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Information is available at


Jay Bedecarre photo

Volunteers from Clayton Valley and Concord American little leagues installed a portable fence at the lower field of Clayton Valley Community last Friday in preparation for the new baseball season that kicked off over that weekend. The 230-foot outfield fence will come up and down each day so that the field can also be used for soccer and other activities.

The Clayton The

on the front page the paper everyon of e reads. Use the popular 'sticky note' and be the first thing our 14,400 reader s see $300

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

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March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Book Review

‘Little Century’ looks at big landscapes SUNNY SOLOMON




Little Century By Anna Keesey You are 18 years old, the year is 1900 and your mother has died suddenly of a stroke. Your only known relative lives thousands of miles away from Chicago, somewhere on a ranch in the high desert of Oregon. What you know about yourself is that you know very little of life. With an image of the courageous journalist Nelly Bly in front of her, Esther Chambers writes to her distant cousin, who responds

with an offer to visit him at Two Forks. Esther arrives in Oregon, tired and stiff from her four- day train ride, only to find that her destination of Century is two hours away by wagon, and Two Forks, farther still. Ann Keesey’s debut novel, “Little Century” (Picador; Reprint edition; July 2013) that once read, will not be easily forgotten. It is a romance, not only of the heart, but of the land itself. It’s a wide open land, not at all the place of beauty Esther had been told about; and Century is a town far from the hustle and bustle of an industrious Chicago, but a town with possibility if cattle ranchers can keep the sheepherders at bay, if water rights can be secured by hook or crook, and if enough palms can be greased to induce the railroad to lay down tracks so that cattle can profitably reach

the eastern markets with meat on the bone. Before leaving for Two Forks, Esther, influenced by her cousin Ferris “Pick” Pickett and emboldened by her thoughts of risk-taking Nelly Bly, lies about her age and illegally obtains a claim to abandoned property near P i c k ’s ranch. “Little Century” has been described as a coming of age story. Keesey rightly suggests that we can come into our own at any time, not just in our early teens. “Esther has never

imagined a land so fruitless.” She arrives in the winter. “Under snow is thin, silky dirt, and under that, rock . . . eerie rock; it has flowed from inside the earth through s o m e unnatural crevice, blackening the landscape like Hades’ chariot.” Like the wide open high desert itself, Keesey leaves room for her characters to grow. Left to her own devices, Esther becomes the observer, not just of her cousin Pick, but of herself, the buckaroos on the ranch, the

Allergies: Nothing to sneeze at


SENIOR MOMENTS Spring is here and that means it’s the time of year again when allergies from plants in full bloom become a frequent annoyance to some seniors, and a deadly hazard to an unlucky few. Although there is no real “cure” for allergies, you can still

take steps to minimize the harm they cause to your quality of life. As some of you have probably experienced, allergies are much worse on windy days because the irritants produced by plants can hitch a ride on the wind straight into your nose or eyes. Limit outdoor activity on days such as this. If you must go out and are worried about a bad reaction, you can always wear a mask over your nose and mouth to limit the amount of particles that make it into your body. I myself like to keep the window open at night when I sleep but this is also a bad idea during allergy season for obvious reasons. It’s a good idea to keep the windows shut. In addition, if

Police Activity Report Police Activity for two weeks ending March 20, 2014 ACCIDENTS: None. ARRESTS: Mar. 7, 1:25 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd./Olive Dr. A 51-year-old Concord male was arrested for driving with a suspended license; driving a vehicle while driving privilege suspended. Mar. 8, 1:41 a.m. Clayton Rd./Kirker Pass Rd. A 27-year-old Pittsburg female was arrested for taking vehicle without owner’s consent/vehicle theft; receive known stolen property; possess

burglary tools; possess controlled substance paraphernalia; under the influence of a controlled substance. Mar. 10, 12:55 a.m. Clayton Rd./Kirker Pass Rd A 23-year-old Concord male was arrested for driving while license suspended for DUI. Mar. 10, 1:27 a.m. 1500 Kirker Pass Rd. A 37year-old Concord male was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Mar. 13, 4:08 p.m. 5400 Clayton Rd. A 47-yearold Pleasant Hill male was arrested for use/under the

you are particularly sensitive to allergens, make sure to avoid freshly cut grass. Although it may smell and look nice, just imagine all the allergy particles that have been thrown up into the air by the lawnmower. Medicine is another tool that seniors can use to lessen the effects of allergies, but one must be cautious on the type of medicine they use. Most seniors take some sort of medication daily, so you should make sure it will not interact badly with any allergy medication you may take. Antihistamines in particular can be a hazardous choice, because not only can they increase blood pressure but they also may cause drowsiness, which can con-

influence of a controlled substance. Mar. 14, 3 p.m. Clayton Rd./Oakhurst Dr. A 19-year-old Clayton male was arrested for driving with a suspended license; driving a vehicle while driving privilege suspended. Mar. 19, 12:09 a.m. 1500 Kirker Pass Rd. A 24year-old Concord male was arrested on a warrant. Mar. 20, 12:36 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd./Concord Blvd. A 31-year-old Concord male was arrested for driving while license suspended for DUI; driving with a blood alcohol level < .01 while on probation for DUI; probation violation.

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NorCal, from page 11 Fields, from page 12 ALL-DVAL PLAYERS ANNOUNCED Pascoe shared the Diablo Valley Athletic League most valuable player award with senior Rona Chavez of Berean Christian while her fellow CVCHS junior Jon Allen was the boys MVP for coach Eric Bamberger’s team that also made it to the NCS playoffs. Drew Chase and Madison Casten of Northgate were on the all-DVAL first team along with Giacobazzi and Taylor. Sarah Williams capped her season with second-team all-league notice along with sophomore Talia Arauzo of Northgate. Pascoe and Taylor were both first-team all-league a year ago. Ariella Miraflores was honorable mention for the Broncos. Joining the high-scoring Allen with CVCHS allleague honors were senior point guard Alex Zavalla (second team) and junior Jacob Lunsford (honorable mention). Matt Trowbridge was first-team all-league for Northgate with senior Bronco classmates Zak Gay second team and Taylor Mickle honorable mention.

tribute to a fall. Consult with your doctor before you take one. Finally, certain foods you can eat are believed by doctors to help alleviate problems caused by allergies. These foods include apples, leafy vegetables, strawberries, oranges and other foods that contain large amounts of vitamin C. Following these tips won’t stop your allergies completely but they will certainly make this allergy season more bearable. For me, I’m going to have to get used to sleeping with the window closed. Alexander Payne is the Activities Director at Courtyards at Pine Creek in Concord. Email questions and comments to

sheepherders, the school teacher who secretly prepares Esther for high school graduation tests, and the townsfolk, from the minister to the shopkeeper and everyone in between. Century is no different than other communities in its secrets, but with only flashes of spring and winter and barrenness for most of the year, secrets in Century are difficult to hide. Esther moves across this unknown landscape with an innate sense of judgment of her own actions, missteps and otherwise. The life of Century, Oregon, mirrors the lives of its ranchers, its sheepmen, its residents and their willingness to enter the 20th century. “Little Century” is a novel of conclusions and beginnings. It is a reminder of our own journeys, our own landscapes. 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.’

Also using that field will be the Minor A division. This means the league will have two different portable pitching mounds, a portable backstop for minor A and a few other field ground rules since there is such a large area between home plate and the baselines to the dugouts and fences down each foul line. The portable fences will go up and come down every game day so that other users of the park (soccer and All Out Sports League programs) can run their activities when it’s their turn on the field. Another portable fence will soon be added at the CCP upper field for the little league’s Major Division. The league also has done quite a bit of work on the fields at Highlands and Mt. Diablo elementary schools for other younger divisions. Clayton Valley Little League held its opening ceremonies last Sunday at the high school.

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Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014


IN CLAYTON Apr. 3 Oakhurst Business Network

Meets quarterly for social hour. Hosted hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Apr. 4 – 12 “Night of January 16th”

A tense and humorous courtroom drama depicting a murder trial. Jury picked from the audience. Is she guilty of murder or not? Clayton Theatre Company, Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. $12-$18. 222-9106. Apr. 26 Clayton Cleans Up

Honor Earth Day with a town spring cleaning. Help pick up trash, pull weeds and share in community spirit. A great activity for clubs and organizations, school projects or a family outing. Meet at City Hall at 9 a.m., rain or shine. T-shirt, gloves and garbage bags provided. Barbecue at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer and the city of Clayton with generous donations from Republic Services, the CBCA and many local merchants. 672-0500. Apr. 26 – 27 Clayton Gardens Tour

Six beautiful gardens on self-guided tour. Benefits Clayton Historical Society. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Starts at Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. $30. 672-0240. May 19 Golf Tournament

Clayton Business and Community Association’s Clayton Classic. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Contact or 6722272.

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Apr. 1 – May 13 Disaster Preparedness Training

Learn how to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors in a disaster with no emergency services available. Sponsored by the Concord Emergency Response Team. Fire Training Center, 2945 Treat Blvd., Concord. Free. 6035933. Apr. 5 – 6 Quilt Show

Quilts, demos, vendors, boutique, youth activities, opportunity quilt. Sponsored by the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County. Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord. $8 adult; $4 youth; under 6 free.

ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Events Calendar for more information. Apr. 5 Wildflower Walk

Easy walk on Mitchell Canyon Road. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor’s Center. Registration required. Apr. 12 Fire Recovery Hike

Hike on Mary Bowerman Trail. Unique post-fire wildflowers expected. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required. Apr. 12 Fire Recovery Hike

Hike on North Peak Trail. Unique post-fire wildflowers expected. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. Apr. 30 Student Photo Contest

Contest for students kindergarten through grade 12 of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Submit photo of one of eligible Diablo parks that shows why the student enjoys the land and thinks it should be protected. Due Apr. 30.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Thru Apr. 5 “Weekend Comedy”

Funny, home-spun tale about two couples who accidentally rent the same vacation cabin for the weekend. Presented by Onstage Theatre at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$18. 518-3277.

Thru Apr. 20 “Les Miserables”

Apr. 26 Festival of Tables and Fashion

Treasured tale about the survival of the human spirit. Performed by the Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $44-$57.

Fashion by Chico’s. Lunch by La Veranda. Proceeds go to select charities and scholarships supported by Clayton Valley Woman’s Club. 11 a.m. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord. $40. Contact Rosemary Harwood 672-3490.

Thru Apr. 26 “Sleuth”

One of the best stage thrillers of all time. Performed by Center REP. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33-$54. Mar. 29 Johnny Steele

Comedy. Presented by the Laff Gang. 8:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. 943-7469. Mar. 29 Junius Courtney Big Band

Lace up your dancing shoes and get ready to swing. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15. 427-1611.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659. Tuesdays Thru May 13 Patty Cakes

Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Wednesdays Book Buddies

A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 2 - 3 p.m. Call in advance. Thursdays Thru May 8 Picture Book Time

Mar. 29 – 30 “Social Security”

Aging mothers have never been funnier, unless they’re your aging mother. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$15. Mar. 30 Herstory

A Women’s History Month Celebration performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. Apr. 4 New West Guitar Group

Fresh, cutting-edge guitar ensemble performing popular covers and original music. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$30. 9437469. Apr. 9 VIDA Guitar Quartet

Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Apr. 1 - 30 Student Exhibit

Danish students in fourth and fifth grade tell about their country. Apr. 11 Clayton Library Book Club

Sunny Solomon leads the discussion of “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. Open to anyone who would like to join. 7 p.m. Apr. 16 “Daughter Cell”

How far can you genetically alter someone before she becomes someone else? Talk and reading with author Jay Hartlove. 7 p.m. Apr. 17 Celebrate Earth Day

Presented by Walnut Creek Guitar Series. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

Crafts and fun for children. Preschool age through fifth grade. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required.

Apr. 10 Eva Beneke

Apr. 19 ACT/SAT Practice Test

Presented by Walnut Creek Guitar Series. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

Kaplan administers practice test. 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Apr. 30 is a follow up meeting with parents and students from 7 – 9 p.m. Register at

Apr. 11 HowellDevine

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 6465455.

Blues mixed with ragtime. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 9437469. Apr. 12 Abbacadabra

The music of ABBA. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. Apr. 12 Acts to Grind

Comedy by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. 943-7469.

Friday and Saturdays thru Apr. 14

Free income tax assistance from AARP to low and middleincome people. Appointment required. Mar. 29 Computers and Technology

If you need help with your mouse, come to our house. Drop-in assistance to learn how to use computers, smart phones and tablets. 12 - 2 p.m. Additional dates and times offered. Check library calendar. Mar. 31 Movie

Come watch a G or PG rated movie. Ages 5 – 11. 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Apr. 12 Foreverland

Larger-than-life tribute to Michael Jackson. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15. 427-1611. Apr. 13 Tapestry

Musical journey from Rodgers and Hammerstein to The Beatles. 4 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Free will donation. Apr. 17 – May 11 “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical”

Apr. 7 Cherry Blossom Craft

Celebrate spring by making a beautiful cherry blossom painting. Ages 5 – 11. 7 – 8 p.m. Apr. 9 All Ears Reading

Adults with disabilities read to furry friends from ARF. 1 – 2 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

Secrets, lies and betrayal are at the center of this hilarious romp inspired by the infamous reality series. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$41.

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or

Apr. 26 Family Earth Day Celebration

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

Tour of Mt. Diablo Recycling’s facility, interactive recycling lesson, games, crafts. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1300 Loveridge Road, Pittsburg. Free. Reservations required. Contact Adriana Medina at or 771-2721.

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council

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

FUNDRAISERS Apr. 11 Poker Tournament

Clayton Valley Music Boosters host dinner and poker tournament benefiting CVCHS Instrumental Music Department. Music by student ensembles. Dinner at 6 p.m. Poker at 7 p.m. Concord Police Association, 5060 Avila Road, Concord. $65 dinner and poker; $20 dinner only. Extra chips if register by Apr. 1.

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

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Piedmont-Oakland Repertory Theatre

Performing Arts


Surprising ‘Night’ planned for CTC spring show Karen Andre is on trial, accused of murdering her boss and lover, Bjorn Faulkner. Throw in a little sex, some fraud, a lot of deceit and a jealous wife, and you have a great night at the theater. When Clayton Theatre Company opens Ayn Rand’s “Night of January 16th” at Endeavor Hall April 4, not even the cast knows how it will end. In an unusual and bizarre twist of plot, the outcome of the play is completely in the hands of a jury chosen from the audience. Accordingly Rand penned two different endings, depending on whether the jury voted “guilty” or “not guilty.” Written in 1933, “Night” is one of only three plays written by Rand, who is better known for her novels, “Atlas Shrugged” and “The

Tickets $25 at

ENDEAVOR HALL HAS SEEN ITS SHARE OF DRAMA—both melo- and real life. On April 4, CTC will bring courtroom drama to the small stage with “Night of January 16th.” The cast, from left, Bill Dietz, Joan Miller, Teresa Grosserode, Ron Craven, Tevin Whack, Jasmine Purzycki, Nick Santistevan, Ben Botello and Peggy Scalise. 

Fountainhead.” “Night of January 16th” is CTC’s second production after a successful launch last

NOEL ANTHONY, SEEKS FORGIVENESS FROM FANTINE (Nicole Jelfer), in “Les Miserables,” now playing at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. PLAYED BY

fall with the musical “The Robber Bridegroom.” Directed by LaTonya Watt, “Night” opens Friday, April 4

and runs two weekends through April 12. For performance times and ticket information, visit

If you haven’t already bought your tickets for Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s “Les Miserables,” now playing at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, you had better hurry. If last Friday’s stellar opening night was any indication, this show will sell out every performance. Glorious music, riveting acting and stunning performances by Noel Anthony as Jean Valjean and Jerry Lee as Javert made for one show-stopping moment after another. Set in early 19th Century France, “Les Miserables” follows the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant on his quest for redemption after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s

starving child. He breaks parole and is hunted relentlessly for years by an inspector named Javert. Along the way, he is swept into a revolutionary group of young idealists who make their last stand together. The sung-through musical features many well known classics such as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Master of the House,” “One Day More” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?”

“Les Miserables” runs through April 20. For performance times or to purchase tickets, call 925943-SHOW (7469), or go to the box office, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek, or online at

A.C.T’s ‘Venus in Fur’ is sexy, witty and powerful and reality — and seduction and power. “Venus in Fur” was named one of the year’s best plays by more than a dozen major publications, and called “seriously smart and very funny . . . a suspense-packed study of the erotics of power” by the New York Times. “Venus in Fur” plays at the Geary Theater in San Francisco through April 13. For performance times and tickets, go to or call 415.749.2228.


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Called “90 minutes of good, kinky fun” by the New York Times, David Ives’ 2012 Tony Award-nominated comedy, “Venus in Fur,” explores sexual domination, power dynamics, loyalty, and infidelity. When a young actress auditions for a demanding playwright/director’s adaptation of a classic novel that explores sexual domination, their encounter explodes into a playful, witty, and erotic game of cat and mouse, dangerously blurring the lines between fantasy

Jerry Sterner’s

A dark comedy about Corporate Raiders on the loose

Stellar opening for CCMT’s ‘Les Miserables’


Through April 12

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In David Ives’ “Venus in Fur,” now playing at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, an aspiring actress (Brenda Meaney) convinces the director of a new play (Henry Clarke) to read with her.

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Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

Container veggies make tasty treats


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GARDEN GIRL It’s Tomato time again. Our water issues haven’t deterred folks from planting their favorite summer vegetable. This year the trend for planting tomatoes and other summer vegetables is to grow them in containers. Container-grown vegetables are easy. A vessel filled with premium potting soil and compost is the optimum growing condition for any vegetable start or seed. Think about your tomato

This year many vegetable growers are going back to basics. They aren’t trying a new or unusual variety of tomato or squash, they are interested in planting proven successful starts. Some great standbys to remember when shopping for tomato starts are Early Girl, Champion, Big Beef, Sweet 100’s, and Yellow Pear tomatoes. If you’re thinking of a zucchini, install the Dark Green. It’s faithful. Crook Neck Squash, Japanese Eggplant and Jalapeno peppers are all easy, prolific installations. Wait a couple weeks after planting to fertilize. Your first few fertilizing applications should be a fertilizer to encourage growth of the plants. Look for a label that has a larger first

number then the other two in the series, such as 6-4-4. A month after planting, change your fertilizer to encourage flowering. Use a product with less nitrogen like 2-8-4. Vegetables are one of the best parts of summer. With good soil and proper feeding, it’ll be worth the water we use once the crops come in. Plant what you can eat. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Stuff those backpacks with permits lations you should know before planning your trip. Howard Zahniser created the first draft of the Wilderness Act in 1956. It took nine years and 65 rewrites before the Wilderness Act was finally passed in 1964, resulting in trailhead quotas for overnight stays in the wilderness. So it’s no wonder it is more complicated than it seems nature should be.




& GO

Ah, Spring! It’s finally time to get those wilderness permits lined up for a summer of frolic and fun backpacking in the Sierras. There are a few of regu-

PERMITS You can go online, fax, mail or call for a reservation confirmation, depending on which wilderness area you want. This is not your permit. You need to pick that up the day before entry or the morning of by 11 a.m. or it is forfeited. However, you can call the permitting station and tell them you are late for it to be held. Now, you need to know that you will be asked to identify the designated leader. Also, make sure you select an alternate leader. If you cancel out on the trip but all of your friends are still going they will not be able to pick up the permit unless the alternate is there. Your group cannot have more people than indicated by your permit. You think you can just wing it and go at the last minute? You live dangerously! There are only a percentage of permits held for “walk-ins.” You may have to pick another destination. For popular trails, you may not get a permit the morning of entry because they are up for grabs the day before. So you must add an extra day for a permit that is available at 11a.m., not any sooner for entry the next day. In Yosemite there are actually lines that start

A SPONTANEOUS TRIP INTO THE SIERRA BACK COUNTRY could end in disappointment or a stiff fine unless you get a Wilderness Permit before you leave. early in the morning for the walk-ins for the next day. So why don’t you pick a destination with no quotas? Explore off of Sonora Pass Wilderness areas as some trails have no quotas with self-issue wilderness permits at the trailhead. Will you get checked for a permit? I have a few times. You’ll be fined and possibly escorted out by a ranger without one. FOOD STORAGE Some wilderness areas have no restrictions on how you protect your food. Use an approved Bear Canister or Ursack (bear resistant food sack). Yosemite requires Bear Canisters or Bear boxes at designated sites; Ursacks are not legal there. The days of counter weight-

ing your food are long gone. Yes, I have been stopped and checked for a Bear Canister. It’s a drag, adding two pounds to my pack but it’s mostly about protecting the bear’s natural foraging habits and not changing their behavior to associate you as their food source. You do what you have to do, to get out to see and feel things that you will never forget. A wilderness experience for days can change your life forever. Visit to search for sites. I recommend calling the permitting station for that area as they have all current conditions. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the third of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

Munch on mushrooms all year long mushroom houses. Mushroom production involves several carefully controlled practices: composting, spawning, casing, pinning and harvesting. DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market For more information please contact

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roots; light soil is easier for roots to travel through. The faster the roots grow, the faster your plant will grow. Container-grown vegetables are easy to water with less water waste. As you water containers, the water works into the soil rather than running off, down the bed away from the plant roots. Another attraction to container-grown vegetables is the mobility of the container. Not enough sun in the spot where you started your tomatoes? Just move the container to another location. The soils for planting vegetables that is available these days are fabulous. Organic and natural ingredients have been blended to create exciting potting soils and composts. These soils are worth every penny. They increase your chances of success for your installations. Success when planting vegetables will keep you interested and gardening.

Whether you call them fabulous fungi or marvelous mushrooms, these popular vegetables can be found all season long in your local farmers’ market. Visit J&M Farms at the market for a variety of mushrooms like cremini, Portobello, button, oyster and more. California is second in the production of mushrooms, and produces almost 20 percent of the total mushrooms grown in the United States. Mushrooms are produced in trays or fixed shelves (beds) filled with compost inside buildings called

MUSHROOM PREPARATION Select mushrooms without visible moisture on the outside. To store bulk or loose mushrooms, place in a paper bag or keep in the original package and refrigerate. Mushrooms with open veils (wide caps) have more intense flavor and are usually better when cooked. To clean mushrooms, use a soft brush to remove any traces of peat moss or soil; or rinse quickly and pat dry. Soaking fresh mushrooms or rinsing open veiled mushrooms may add excess moisture. Always cook mushrooms thoroughly, both to release their flavors and to convert their proteins into a more usable form.

MARINATED MUSHROOMS 1 lb. fresh mushrooms 1/3 cup honey 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 Tbsp. soy sauce 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 clove minced garlic 1 green onion, chopped 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper Parsley and orange slices for garnish Combine all ingredients except mushrooms and garnish in saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture is wellblended. Place mushrooms in heat-proof bowl; pour hot marinade over mushrooms. Cover and marinate two hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Arrange mushrooms in serving dish, garnish and serve.

March 28, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Artichokes are a thorny delicacy pressure. (Cook only 5 minutes for baby artichokes.) Remove the pot from the heat and quickly release the pressure. While the artichokes are cooking, cut lemon in half around the middle and place on a lightly oiled grill and cook until charred on the cut side. Whisk together mayonnaise, garlic powder and juice from the charred lemon. If desired, cut the cooked artichokes in half, remove the thistly center, brush with a little olive oil and grill cut side down until lightly charred.





If you were on an island in the middle of nowhere and you encountered a prickly broad-leaved bush with an enlarged green-looking flower bud encased in thorny leaves, would you be willing to try it to find out if it’s edible? I’m not so sure I would, but nowadays I generally run — not walk — to grab the nearest fresh artichoke I can find. Domesticated some 3,000 years ago, the artichoke was revered by many but after the fall of the Roman Empire it faded into obscurity. Catherine de Medici of Italy is credited with reviving interest when she introduced it to the French court of King Henry II. It soon spread to England and then to the American colonies where today California is considered the agricultural hearth of this vegetable. Aside from its tasty heart (and the thicker base of the leaves), artichokes are believed to have healing properties — capable of lowering cholesterol, enhancing male libido and as a remedy for a variety of physical ailments. While there are several varieties of artichoke, the classic globe is the most familiar. Sometimes you can find baby

artichokes, which are really the immature buds lower down the stalk. Selecting an artichoke isn’t all that difficult. Choose ones that are heavy for their size. Don’t worry if there are a few scaly brown patches because they typically are caused by really cold weather — sort of like nature’s freezer burn — which, in my opinion, makes the artichokes taste even better. To prepare for cooking, trim the stem and pull off the small leaves right at the bottom of the artichoke. Next, take a pair of kitchen shears and trim off the thorny tip on each leaf and the top 1-inch of the artichoke. You can rub the cut edges with lemon juice (to prevent browning) and steam or boil for 30-45 minutes until tender. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker — only 15 minutes at high pressure, and it’s done. I recently enjoyed grilled artichokes with a lemon aioli at Cindy’s Backstreet restaurant

in St. Helena, so I was inspired to create a similar dish. ARTICHOKES WITH GRILLED LEMON AIOLI (Serves 4) 4 whole artichokes (about 10 oz. ea) (or substitute 8 baby artichokes) 1 cup water Olive oil ½ cup mayonnaise 1 lemon, cut in half and grilled until lightly charred on grill or BBQ ¼ tsp. garlic powder Use a chef’s knife to cut off the stem so artichoke can stand upright. Use kitchen shears to remove leave tips. Place artichokes, tips facing up, in pressure cooker pot and add water. Bring pressure cooker to a boil and lock the lid in place. As soon as the pot reaches high pressure, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high



Linda Wyner owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Send suggestions or questions to

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The Torrey Team is now in Clayton! The Torrey Team recently listed and sold this Mountaire Parkway home, generating multiple offers and a sale well over the asking price! The Torrey Team would like to simply ask that the next time you plan to buy or sell a home, give us a small portion of time just to INTERVIEW. Our multigenerational Torrey Team just may surprise you with all we can offer!

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

March 28, 2014

All wood is not created equal




AT ITS BEST: wide-plank, light-stained, few natural flaws. Could this room be as warm with any other floor?

Oak, ash, beech, maple, birch – these are among the most popular types of hardwood flooring in the U.S. They are all American trees. They are all available in a wide variety of colors and plank sizes. Their costs, on average, are comparable. And while they have other similarities, they are definitely not all the same. Here are some of the differences between a few of the most popular flooring woods. We are not labeling any characteristics as pro or con, because they will largely be a matter of personal preference. OAK Oak, especially red oak (the name of the tree, not describing the color of the wood) is the most common wood used for flooring in North America. Red oak holds wood stains evenly and can be found in many colors. It can be light or dark, but the grain pattern is almost always obvious. The quality and consistency of the grain pattern is a characteristic buyers look for, and it affects the price. The more consistent the grain, the more expensive the floor will be. Other characteristics: • Very hard wood; resistant to wear and dents. • Holds stains evenly, and can be found in a wide variety of colors. • Has a distinct and obvious grain pattern, whether light or dark in color. ASH Even harder than oak, baseball bats and axe handles are usu-

ally made from ash. The sapwood of an ash tree is cream-colored ranging to almost dead white, and its heartwood is tan to dark brown. The grain pattern, while apparent, is not as pronounced as in oak. Light color and consistent grain pattern are the most desirable characteristics of ash, and lightly stained ash sapwood floors are generally more popular in the market. Other characteristics: • Extremely hard, wears even better than oak. • Usually only available in light colors. • Generally more expensive than oak. PINE On the opposite end of the hardness spectrum from ash is pine, technically not a hardwood at all, though its hardness varies between species. Pine is known as a character wood because of its pinholes and knots, and its softness means it will soon have additional dents and gouges. Most people consider this to add to its character. Pine heartwood is the hardest and darkest wood of the tree. Heart-pine is prized for its natural color, and it wears better than sapwood. As you would expect, it’s also more expensive. Other characteristics: • The original character wood – reclaimed antique floors are available. • Relatively soft, tends to dent under heavy furniture.

• Sapwood holds stains exceptionally well. • No need to stain heartwood. MAPLE Maple is a light-colored, close-grain hardwood, meaning that its grain pattern is relatively subtle. It’s extremely hard and dent-resistant. Maple floors tend to be light partly because the wood is naturally light-colored, but also because it doesn’t absorb dark stains very well – darkstained maple tends to be blotchy. All woods change color over time, and maple tends to become more yellow as it ages. The clearer the maple, the more expensive it will be. Natural flaws such as mineral streaks and pin knots lower the grade – and the price. Other characteristics: • Very hard wood, wears well. • Grain patterns less obvious than oak or ash. • Doesn’t hold dark stains well. • Yellowing with age is more visible in a light-colored floor. That’s all we have room for right now, but obviously there’s a lot more. If I haven’t mentioned your favorite tree (do you really have a favorite tree?), watch this space. Larry Flick is president of The Floor Store. Email questions to

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