Page 1

Farmers’ Market Savings Book Inside


Keeping Clayton Green

May 13, 2016


Public Forum

Yes on Measure H

HoWard GeLLer


DAN RICHARDSON Clayton Planning Commission

‘Unsung heroes’ keep Clayton thriving

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb

I am often asked by officials from other cities, out-oftown family and friends and even Clayton residents: “What makes Clayton such a great city to live in?” Being a cheerleader for Clayton, my answer can be lengthy. I cover known facts printed in publications and journals describing Clayton as one of the safest and most desirable towns in California in which to live.

See Mayor, page 7

Pioneer’s Herrera named top student journalist

John Johnston/City of Clayton

CLAYTON’S LANDSCAPING IS FUNDED BY A SPECIAL LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE DISTRICT parcel tax of $234.84 per residential parcel. The district is due to sunset in 2017. Measure H renews the district for another 10 years at the same rate.

PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Celine Herrera was just 12 years old when someone asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She said she felt totally unsure, but there was one thing she knew she wanted: She wanted to write. “Whether it was writing down the metaphors that couldn’t escape my mind or completely immersing myself into the essays my English teachers assigned me, I couldn’t deny the fact that words flowed through my veins,” says Celine, the Pioneer’s chief teen correspondent. Words have stayed with Celine, and for that she was

See Herrera, page 2

What’s Inside

Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Community Calendar . . . . .17 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 School News . . . . . . . . . . .10

See Yes on H, page 2

Sailor recalls his personal day of infamy He’ll never forget May ’44 disaster at Pearl Harbor ROD PLAISTED Special to the Pioneer


In 1997, Clayton residents, recognizing the importance of public landscaping and how it defines our community, and faced with the ever-increasing practice of the state withholding or denying funding destined for Clayton, planted a “tree.” Our “tree” came in the form of a Community Facility District, known as the Trails and Landscape Maintenance District. It was designed to provide 10 years of dedicated funding for the maintenance for our trails, open space and roadside landscaping, and

Most people think of Dec. 7 as Pearl Harbor Day, but my memories are tied to May 21. That was the day in 1944, when an explosion rocked the deck of LST (landing ship, tank) 353 in Pearl Harbor’s West Loch at 3:08 p.m. A chain reaction of explosions and fire killed 163 men, with 396

wounded. Six LSTs sunk, and several more were severely damaged. It was Pearl Harbor’s second greatest disaster, in terms of casualties. I thought I had long ago buried the event deep in my memory bank. Yet as I think about it now, it comes back with clarity of detail that surprises me. I was an 18-year-old sailor, S.2/c, assigned to an outfit called Acorn 33. We were housed on West Loch, waiting to be deployed (I later learned) to Guam – which had yet to be invaded. Our job there was to

occupy a captured Japanese airfield and convert it into a Naval base as quickly as possible. We did, and it became Naval Air Base, Guam.

ChaotiC sCene On May 21, eight fully loaded LSTs – the largest seagoing crafts ever built – were tied up on West Loch, ready to sail off for the invasion of Saipan. When fires broke out, every able-bodied man on West Loch was rushed to the dock adjacent to the burning ships to remove tons of various stacks of live ammunition

that had been off-loaded from safe for storage. an ammo ship tied up nearby. This was a super-secret We were working in teams of operation. We only talked 10-20 guys, loading ammo into trucks to be taken somewhere See West Loch, page 20

Memorial Day Observance

those who lost their lives in service of their country. This year’s celebration will mark the 150th anniversary of the first Memorial Day in 1866. The ceremony includes color guards from the local Scout units, JROTC and veteran service organizations, speakers and music by the local school choruses. A fly-over is scheduled and a small collection of military equipment will be on display.  There will be seating for the first 500 to The VFW and the Korean War Veterans arrive, so plan to come early. The event is sponsored by the VFW Post Association will co-host the annual Memorial Day observance at the VFW flagpole on Main 1525, its Auxiliary and the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 264. St., May 30 at 10 a.m. Each year more than 500 gather on Main For more information, contact Paul Carroll, ComStreet for talks, prayer and music. The ceremony is always a moving remembrance of mander, VFW Post 1525, 925-628-9508

CONCORD RESIDENT ROD PLAISTED was stationed at West Loch in Pearl Harbor when an explosion and fire sunk six ships. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Photographer’s Mate Second Class from 1943-1946. He is shown here on Guam in 1946.

Postal Customer ECRWSS


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

May 13, 2016

Landscape funds help enhance Clayton Herrera, from page 1 A.J. CHIPPERO Special to the Pioneer

When hiking the more than 27 miles of trails that run through town, it’s hard not to cross at least one of Clayton’s rustic pedestrian bridges. Last year, decks on seven of the city’s bridges were replaced and paid for with funds from the Clayton Landscape Maintenance District. Many Clayton residents may not realize that, with the exception of our city parks, all of the city’s landscaping costs are financed by this district. The district is set to sunset in 2017 unless a ballot measure renewing the district is approved by two-thirds of the voters this June. Last month the Pioneer featured a piece about the new landscaping for seven gateway medians. This project, recommended by the Trails and Landscaping Committee and approved by the city council, will be funded by the district. Here are some of the improvements recently com-

pleted by the district: For the past several months it has been a smooth stroll on the lower Easley Trail. From Zinfandel Circle to the shopping center parking lot next to the Stranahan subdivision, this trail was overlaid with a new asphalt surface. In 2015 the District helped fund repairs on the Mt. Diablo Elementary School Hill. This joint project with the Mt. Diablo School District made repairs to the trail, added a retaining wall, and improved the hillside drainage. The most notable use of district funds were the redesign of the Clayton and Oakhurst medians, plus the Clayton water feature. In addition, the replanting of Daffodil Hill was a joint project with the Clayton Business and Community Association. All of these projects visually enhanced the main gateways to our city. Due to the drought, a planned multi-tree replant of Keller Ridge has been put on hold until restrictions are eased. Assuming that happens

Yes on H, from page 1

guaranteed those funds would remain within the district and not be subject to political maneuvering or outside pressure, and was approved by our Clayton residents, to protect and enhance our community’s pleasing character. In 2007, our Clayton residents, with an 83 percent affirmative vote, again expressed their willingness to endorse and support another 10 years of this dedicated funding mechanism for the upkeep of our public landscaping, or what is referred to as “Clay-

ton’s Front Yard.” That vote also established a citizen’s oversight board, the Trails and Landscaping Committee, comprised of Clayton volunteers appointed by the city council and charged with reviewing practices and recommending expenses for the district. Our community’s vote of approval came during a period of economic uncertainty and demonstrated the level of commitment our citizens have for maintaining Clayton’s unique value and quality of life. Through it all, we have contin-

this year and Measure H passes in June, the city will resume plans to start the bidding process for this project. Since it was formed in 2007, funds from the Clayton Landscape Maintenance Dis-

trict have played a crucial role helping to enhance our city’s trails and scenery. The city council is looking for support from residents in June to continue the funding of this District for the next 10 years.

recently honored, not only as the 2016 Lesher Award recipient for Outstanding CC Spin Editor, but also the Contra Costa County Journalist of the Year. In addition to her awards, Celine also received a $1,000 scholarship from the Lesher Foundation. “Growing up, I was told that I didn’t have a voice,” she says. “People told me that what I had to say never mattered and that I was nothing but insignificant and worthless. There were times when I wanted to completely give up on myself. In the midst of it all, my inner voice told me to keep fighting, because if I don’t speak up now, who will? “Somehow, within all of the nouns, verbs, and adjectives, I found my voice again and realized that I have a story to tell. When I became a journalist, I realized that not only do I have a voice, but also I could use it to help the people around me. For the rest of my life, I want to

ued to enjoy the beauty and outdoor experience synonymous with Clayton. Plus, we helped preserve our property values. The special parcel tax currently generates approximately $1 million a year for these exclusive purposes. In addition to ongoing maintenance costs, district funds are used for replacing aging district infrastructure and were recently used to repave segments of the trail system and replace seven wood bridge decks crossing creek beds. Upcoming projects include the Cardinet Trail’s erosion repair, hardscape and landscape replacement at seven

gateway medians and replacement of city trees in various locations. As it was in 1997, and again in 2007, Clayton’s modest General Fund budget is unable to adequately provide for our public landscaping. Without this proposed funding, Clayton’s landscaping would rapidly decline and the beauty and character of Clayton would be forever changed. Now, the time has come again to renew the district. On June 7, California residents will go to the polls to vote on presidential, state and local issues. In Clayton, voters will also consider the continuance of

our Trails and Landscape Maintenance District Tax, Measure H. The funding level and methodology enacted 10 years ago have proven to be sufficient. I am especially pleased to say, “We got it right!” Therefore, Measure H on the June 7 ballot is simply a continuation of the existing successful formulas (presently $234.84 per year per parcel) for an additional 10 years, through 2027. I invite you to plant a “tree” for Clayton and vote “YES” on Measure H. Dan Richardson is a Clayton Planning Commissioner and member of the Measure H Committee.

CLAYTON’S WELL-TRAVELED TRAIL BRIDGES received some much needed updating earlier this year. repairs were funded by the city’s Landscape Maintenance district, due to sunset next year. Pictured are Hadley and Julielyn Chippero; Megan and Brooklyn Wahrlich

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Clayton Market Update

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utilize it to be kind and to provide hope for the people I either come across in real life or just on paper.” CC Spin is a collaborative effort of the Lesher Foundation, Bay Area News Group, the county Office of Education, and the California Scholastic Journalism Initiative to promote high school journalism in Contra Costa County. It is run by local journalists in the Bay Area. Their goal is to connect with Contra Costa County high schools and aid students with their high school’s journalism program, whether it’s providing them with resources, brainstorming story ideas, or helping them launch a publication for the very first time.  “Celine is one of the very best student editors I have worked with in the last eight years with CC Spin,” says one of CC Spin’s editors, Jim Finefrock. “She certainly can make the trains run on time, but what I’m most impressed with is her enthusiasm and passion for journalism. One of my colleagues said the other day, ‘We need to clone her.’ She richly deserves her award as county high school Journalist of the Year and shared award as the best student editor for CC Spin.” Celine is also editor-inchief of The Talon, the school newspaper at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Celine will graduate in a few weeks, and next fall pursue a double-major in journalism (concentration in print and online journalism) and English, with a minor in women’s studies at San Francisco State University. 

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Main Street Martinez is filled with wonderful shops and restaurants, and is home to fun seasonal events. On Sunday mornings the Martinez Farmers’ Market takes center stage. Fresh fruits and vegetables, hot foods homemade goods, and more fill the tables as you stroll among the booths. Watch for great musicians each week, community events, and other social happenings throughout the year. Bring a coupon or two and say hello to the farmers who bring you the best they have to offer.

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MARTINEZ • Sundays • 10am - 2pm


PLEASANT HILL • Saturdays • 10am - 2pm


CLAYTON • Saturdays • 8am - 12pm


CONCORD • Thursdays • 4pm - 8pm


CONCORD • Tuesdays • 10am - 2pm



Your 2016 Farmers' Markets Savings Book

CLAYTON Farmers’ Market MAY 7


SEPT 24 Bring family and friends to Downtown Clayton on Diablo Street on Saturday morning. It’s the perfect location for your community farmers’ market. A sense of the past permeates the old historic buildings of Old Town. Local Clayton farmers like Buttercup Farms, MarElla Honeybees, and others tempt you with their wares. And both the local businesses and the market pull together to make your shopping experience fun and worthwhile. Come support your local farmers’ market and your community. Don’t forget your coupons!

Saturdays • 8am - 12pm


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New Hours!



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Located in the gorgeous park that surrounds Pleasant Hill City Hall, the Pleasant Hill Farmers’ Market is a choice location to bring family and friends on a Saturday morning. Enjoy strolling through booths filled with locally-grown fruits and vegetables, hot foods, flowers and more, while listening to an eclectic array of musicians each week. Grab a bite to eat from one of the vendors and enjoy it in this pristine setting. The local community comes together on farmers’ market day, so join us! And get some nice discounts with these coupons.

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May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Clayton Relay for Life hopes to ‘Round Up’ funds to fight cancer

s t r e c n o C

G e rove h T in

PAT MIDDENDORF Special to the Pioneer

Clayton’s Mike Fossan was diagnosed with Stage 3 prostate cancer over seven years ago. He had surgeries and radiation and was twice told the cancer was gone. But it returned. He was shocked the first time, but now he was really afraid, as he knew he had to begin the dreaded process of chemotherapy. Mike reached a very low point. “I thought I was clean and could lead a regular life but now I was scared stiff,” he said. “I suffered many side effects: loss of hair, neuropathy in my feet, fatigue, etc.” But after several treatments Mike reached a point where he became more positive and realized he could make the best of his situation and became grateful for each day. Last week was Mike’s last chemo treatment and he again looks forward to a clean bill of health. His daughter Sydney Alcock explained it this way: “My dad is an amazing person, his humor and positive attitude carried him through this.” One other thing helped tremendously: the support of the community, and events like Relay for Life, in which he has participated for many years. Relay for Life was formed by the American Cancer Society 12 years ago. Its goal was to bring together communities across the world to remember loved ones who lost their battle to cancer, celebrate those who won and to join the fight with those who are still in their battle. Clayton’s Relay for Life, usually held in August, has been an increasingly popular event. This year, the ambitious Clayton Relay teams decided

Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove

Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

May 21 June 4 June 18 July 2 Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

EACH YEAR, THE FOSSAN FAMILY LEADS THE SURVIVORS LAP at the annual relay for Life. Pictured with other survivors are Susan Fossan (holding banner), who faced down breast cancer in 1985 and Mike Fossan (at right) walking with daughter Sydney.

July 16

take it one step further and bring back the legendary Clayton Round-Up to increase the fundraising. Teams turned to past event organizers for advice, and found that longtime CBCA member and Relay for Life leader Fossan was once again in a relentless battle to fight cancer. The Clayton Round-Up will be held Saturday, June 11 at Easley Ranch on Old Marsh Creek Road. There will be food, entertainment and other activities with the goal of raising money for Clayton’s Relay for Life teams. Pre-party tickets are sold out, but there is still time to get tickets for the BBQ and dance. To buy tickets, go to the website home. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and will not be sold after May 27. All parking for the event will be at Diablo View Middle School, which is a short threeblock walk to the Easley Ranch.



Kirkwood – Nicely updated 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on Clayton border. Remodeled kitchen with walk in pantry, granite countertops & newer appliances. Family room with wood burning fireplace, formal dining room & inside laundry. Approx 1,657 square feet with dual pane windows & hardwood flooring.

Aug. 13 Aug. 27 Sept. 10

Features 7 decades of exciting, energetic dance tunes. A celebration of Jimmy Buffett & other summertime hits

Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads

David Martin House Party

Variety show with all-star musicians and performers

Pride & Joy

A real “Motown” performance features 5 musicians and 4 vocalists.

The Houserockers

10-piece dance band plays Rock, Swing, Blues, 60s Soul & R & B.

Cut Loose

Musicians, vocals and a tight rhythm section play Rock, Blues & Soul.

Diamond Dave

Clayton favorite returns playing the greatest hits of our time.

Hot Rods Band

50s/60s tribute to cruisin' cars, sockhops, beach parties and Rock-n-Roll.

East Bay Mudd

Back by popular demand, a 10-piece Soul, Funk & R & B dance band

2016 Wednesday Night Classic Car and Concert in the Grove Schedule

Car Show 6-8 p.m; Concerts 7-8:30 p.m. June 8 Car Show, only June 22 Jam Daddy –Rock, Blues and Pop July 6 Mixed Nuts –hits from 40s to present July 20 Tone Pony –Rockin’ Country Aug. 3 PhD’s Band –Latin Rock and Funk Aug. 17 Car Show, only Aug. 31 Car Show, only

For information go to



S ing



July 30

Larry Lynch and the Mob



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Desirable 4 bedroom, 2 bath Eichler with fresh paint and new carpet. Private backyard with spa and surround sound speakers. Updated kitchen with granite counter, newer stove & trash compactor. Inside laundry room and 5 year old roof.



Chaparral springs – Light & Bright 3 bedroom, 3 bath townhome with a 2 car, attached garage. Beautifully maintained end unit with soaring ceilings, inside laundry & tile fireplace. Entertain on the back patio with gorgeous views overlooking the Oakhurst golf course.



Park Pavillion – Adorable 2 bedroom, 2 bath single story home with plantation shutters and dual pane windows. Upgraded kitchen and bathrooms, living room with fireplace & vaulted ceiling. Great location, walk to shopping, restaurants & public transportation.



n Pe



Morgan territory — Remodeled 4 bedroom, 2 bath home on over an acre with 3-car garage. Beautiful new kitchen with white cabinets & stainless steel appliances. New flooring, dual-pane windows and doors, eco friendly lighting, & fresh paint in & out. New roof, HVAC & Septic. City Water! Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448 Cal BRE#01156462

Walnut Creek


Linda Vista — Stunning custom home in the hills above Walnut Creek. 6 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms including a master suite with library and an au pair. Approx 4,661 sq foot home on over half acre with gorgeous, gated grounds, outdoor fireplace & 3 car garage + shop. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448 Cal BRE#01156462

Lynne & Sylvia offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS



Pine Creek — Lovely 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhome with granite countertops, updated bathrooms, newer carpet, and fresh paint. Great community with pool and clubhouse. Close proximity to a park, shopping, and transportation. A must see! Denise Powell , (925) 813-1256 Cal BRE#01954081



Chaparrel springs — Exceptional, remodeled townhouse located in desirable Oakhurst Country Club community. Open floor plan including 3 bedrooms & 2.5 baths, “see through” fireplace, soaring ceilings and skylight. Backs to the golf course with beautiful views. Close enough to walk to town! Michelle Gittleman, (925) 768-0352 Cal BRE# 01745325

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

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Around Town

Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

Another mighty fine Art and Wine

art and Wine chair debbie Bruno with daughter Nicole who flew in from Chicago to help with the event

Steve Barton makes firewood from toppled tree in back of the Clayton Club

May 13, 2016

Farmer’s Market 2016 opens, Garden Club Plant Sale a near sell-out

CBCa president Bob Steiner with volunteer Jon Challoner

This year’s Art and Wine Festival may well boast one of the largest crowds ever for the CBCA’s annual fundraiser April 30-May 1. The sunny, breezy day was the perfect backdrop for the festival, which went off without a hitch—save for one big gust of wind that toppled a tree in back of the Clayton Club. Thankfully, the only casualty was a sidewalk bench. Premium wines were popular at booth sponsored by Photos: Tamara Steiner Wendy Moore

First time appearing at art and Wine were The Jesters led by don richardson (keyboard) with Jerry richardson (far right), both Clayton-grown boys. Nelson Martinez is on guitar at far left.

When you’re thinking of selling.

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Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

Mayor Howard Geller tosses the first cabbage to Market Manager Lynette Miscione to open the 2016 Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market on May 7. See insert in this issue for the season’s special offers

Carin Kaplan restocks the display at the Garden Club plant sale.

It was clear that El Nino wasn’t finished last weekend when Saturday morning woke up under a blanket of dark clouds clearly full of rain. Luckily, the “baby” slept long enough for the Farmer’s Market to kick off the season and the Garden Club to almost sell out at their annual Plant Sale at Endeavor Hall. “It was a mob as soon as we opened,” said Garden Club member, Carin Kaplan. “In less than an hour, we were already into the reserve stocks of plants.” Across the street at the Farmer’s Market, the seasons first cherries were going fast and the strawberries weren’t far behind. All of the produce sold at the market is certified locally grown, some of it very, very locally grown. Buttercup Farms will bring produce from their Morgan Territory gardens every week. Unfortunately, the first concert of the year was a casualty of the weather. Heavy mid-day rains made a soggy mess of The Grove and The Retromaniax concert scheduled for Saturday night was cancelled., to be rescheduled for later in the season.

Oregon or Bust

Students from Alexandra Pike’s second-grade class at MDES spent their morning on foot and with covered wagons as they made their way from “Independence, MO” to the “Pacific Coast,” recreating the treacherous, 2000-mile journey history knows as the Oregon Trail. This “time travel” field trip took place throughout downtown Clayton on Tues-

day, May 2. Students in costume and with loaded wagons encountered hostile “Indians,” panned for gold and stopped at historical “monuments” where they learned their history from Pike

and her story-tellers. “This experience really makes learning come alive for the students,” Pike says. “It’s this spark that motivates me most as a teacher.”

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as they learn what brought pioneers on their journey west. From left Naomi Chrobak, Ninon reveyron and Christopher dent


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ALEXANDRA PIKE’S SECOND GRADE PIONEERS with their covered wagons embark on their journey west on the “oregon Trail.” Students in the photos from left: Sawyer Franks, John osborn, and Catherine Swystun


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Around Town

May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •

Clayton Scouts celebrate community service

Clayton Cleans Up 2016

The Clayton Valley Garden Club, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Clayton Library, Trails and Landscape Committee, Contra Costa Water District and Claycord 4H were present to share ideas with volunteers about protecting Mother Earth and exploring this area. Clayton Cleans Up is sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer and the city of Clayton, with donations from Republic Services, the Clayton Business and Community Association, PEACOCK CREEK NEIGHBORS MAKE A DAY OF IT — Toni Travis Credit Union, Peet’s Hegemeier, Trails and Landscape Committee Member Coffee, Lynne French and dane Horton, Susie dawes, Kahni Horton, eileen Weiler Associates and Innovative and Peter Weiler Impressions and the assistance Clayton was aglow with Clayton City Hall for a that- of local Boy Scout Troops 262 more than 170 volunteers hits-the-spot barbecue of and 444. wearing neon orange shirts, hamburgers and hot dogs. picking up trash and gardening on April 23 for Clayton Cleans Up in celebration of Earth Day and preparation for the annual Art and Wine Festival. Families, neighborhoods, clubs and dignitaries donned the volunteer shirt cleverly designed with a theme of community spirit and nature by local artist Sharon Petersen. They scoured the city, filling dozens of large garbage bags with litter and debris before RYAN BROWN AND REBECCA BARRETT, staffers from Congressreturning to the courtyard at man Mark deSaulnier office drop off bags of trash collected along Clayton’s trails

Page 5

ALEXANDER LEONG, Boy Scout Troop 262’s assistant senior patrol leader, presents Clayton Vice Mayor Jim diaz with a plaque recognizing the troop’s service hours.

Benjamin Schoffstall Earns Eagle Scout

Ben Schoffstall of Boy Scout Troop 484 has earned the Eagle Scout Rank. Ben, a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, has been involved in scouting since first grade, starting with Cub Scout Pack 262, advancing to BSA Troop 484. After years of participating in the “Scouting for Food” program collecting food, and earning service hours by volunteering at the Contra Costa/Solano Food Bank for the CVCHS Public Service Academy, Ben’s Jessica Lewis inclination to complete his BEN SCHOFFSTALL Eagle Scout Service Project for the food bank was a natural fit. He led the construction of a group of volunteers in the custom cabinet to be used for sorting and packaging of over training and storage, and led a 2000 pounds of food.

During a visit to the Clayton City Council on April 19, local Scouts talked about their service to the community – which totaled 1,612 hours in 2015. That equates to more than 201 eight-hour days helping conduct flag ceremonies at Clayton’s special events, working on Eagle projects, cleaning up trails and collecting food for the Contra Costa Food Bank. Cub Scout Pack 262 and Boy Scout Troops 262 and 484 gave a plaque to Vice Mayor Jim Diaz displaying the number of service hours contributed. After the Scouts conducted a flag ceremony, members talked about the mission of the Boy Scouts of America – to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The boys reported on merit badges earned and the places to which they’ve traveled. The Scouts also mentioned other programs, like Venturing and Exploring, which are not limited to boys.

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Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Letters to the Editor

You can help improve our fire services GUS VINA Brentwood City Manager

It is a fact: public safety is critical to the quality of life we all expect for our families. It is also a fact that the level of fire and medical services in East Contra Costa County is unacceptable. The time it takes to travel from a fire station to a public safety emergency in the district is more than twice as long as it should be – currently around 10 minutes. If you have ever

Teacher responds to student body cam editorial


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May 13, 2016

ReMax Real Estate–Walnut Creek office Selling Clayton & all Contra Costa







As a teacher I appreciate the opportunity that students have to publish their writing in the real world. I’d like to offer another opinion to Tommy Vo’s article (Clayton Pioneer, April 8, 2016) about police wearing body cameras. In his article Tommy said, “...we need to insist on body cameras.” I’d like to submit the following for Tommy to ponder: Students are being bullied at school and teachers can’t catch all of the bullies. Students are required by law to wear body cameras that provide all audio/visual actions of all students every day. To borrow your quote, “Any sort of student misconduct will not be tolerated.” How does that sound? Or how about this Tommy? If police are wearing cameras 24/7 and something truly ugly happens at your house, it is recorded and available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Let’s say you did something bad and it is recorded. This simple recording could, in effect, ruin your life. Perhaps you need to broaden your thinking to all possible outcomes?


HEATING / AIR CONDITIONING Ductless Mini-split Systems

required the assistance of the fire and medical folks you know this feels like a lifetime. This heightened risk is the consequence of trying to provide more services to the community with fewer resources. The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) has had to reduce the number of fire stations from eight to three since the great recession that began in 2008. Front line first responders have been reduced from 52 to 34 with only nine fire fighters on duty any given day. During the same time period, the population has grown to more than 100,000 and that means more 9-1-1 calls for services. This is the bad news. Here is the good news: Many members of our community are hard at work to improve fire and medical services in the East Contra Costa

Discount for seniors

The upcoming vote in June on Clayton’s Measure H [extension of the Landscape Maintenance District special assessment on our yearly property taxes] is yet another local municipality attempt to obliterate Proposition 13 protections which were established for California property owners in the 1970s. The City routinely collects more than it needs

County. A task force was formed last June 2015 to work on this effort, which resulted in an agreement among Oakley, Brentwood, Contra Costa County and the Fire District to temporarily reopen a fourth station. But this is a temporary fix that lacks a long-term funding solution. We are now focused on long-term solutions and need our community to participate in the discussion. Every member of the community can be heard by going to w w w. o u r f i r e s e r v i c e s. o r g. Here you can sign up to learn more about the issues and provide input. This community discussion will help local officials in their decision making in the coming months. In addition to the “Our Fire Services” discussion forum, a master plan is being developed for the Fire District.

This plan will help us all better understand what it will take to not only serve today’s existing population, but also the population 25 to 30 years from today. One thing is clear: the Fire District is working on borrowed time and by June 2017 further reductions will be needed if a solution is not found. This problem is severely impacting the communities of Brentwood, Oakley, Bethel Island, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, and Marsh Creek/Morgan Territory. This is “our” problem and I believe that by working together the solutions will also be “our” solutions. Please join us at The matter is urgent and we need your input now.

from taxpayers and maintains a surplus. The Measure allows a 3 percent yearly increase while Proposition 13 protections only allow for 2 percent. The City provides for no exemption [or percentage discount] for senior citizens and low income property owners, and large areas of the City derive no benefit from the District because they do not have landscape which is City maintained. I urge a “no” vote on

Measure H until such time as the City can provide an exemption [or percentage discount] for senior and low income property owners, reduce the yearly increase to one that is in line with protections for property owners established by law in the 1970s, and collect only what is actually needed to maintain the City’s landscape.

Gus Vina is a member of the East County Fire and Medical Services Task Force

Carol Putman Clayton resident


Joan Burdette Sue Easley April 18, 1937 - April 30, 2016

Joan Burdette Sue Easley died on April 30 at her home in Karen Duggan Hillsborough. She was 79. “Mimi,” as she was known Clayton resident to family and friends, was the matriarch of the Easley family, longtime owners of the Easley Ranch in Clayton. The ranch has been in the family since 1942. Mrs. Easley was born in San Francisco to Maxine and Burdette Baird and attended Sacred Heart High School. She was just five years old when she met Roger Kent Easley and a lifelong love story began. They married on June 27, 1959. The newlyweds moved to Washington State while Roger served honorably in the United States Army, then to Palo Alto until Roger finished his MBA at Stanford University. Always the strong and quiet support beside her corporate husband, together the two built Seven Up Bottling Company of San Francisco and ran the family business until they sold it in 2006. Mimi’s devotion to her

beloved Roger was rivaled only by her complete and total dedication to her seven children. She was a selfless and always present mother, somehow making each of them feel special and uniquely loved. She spent her life content to be the support behind her successful husband and children and she considered that her greatest accomplishment. While always elegant and beautiful, Mimi will be most remembered for her warm heart and generous spirit. In later years, she and Roger enjoyed more time at their ranch in Clayton, hosting grandchildren, picking apricots and horseback riding. After Roger’s death in 2007, Mimi spent her time with her expanding family and traveling with friends. She is survived by her daughter Kimberly McKiddy and husband Robert of Oklahoma; her daughter Michele Tammaro of Heron, Montana; son Robert Easley and wife Lora of Lafayette; son Christo-

pher Easley and wife Maryann of Walnut Creek; daughter Nanette Pickett and husband Chad of Emerald Hills; daughter Patrice Wilbur and husband Michael of Hillsborough; son Patrick Easley and wife Amanda of Danville; 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to American Cancer Society, (800)ACS-2345 or

Charles Parent

June 22, 1930 – January 10, 2016

Charles “Chuck” Parent was born in Oakland on June 22, 1930, and died Jan. 10, 2016. He lived in Clayton for 52 years. Chuck attended Berkeley schools. He graduated in 1956 from the University of California, Berkeley, after serving 4 years in the United States Air Force. Chuck taught in Emeryville for five years, then worked in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for 26 years, first as a teacher and then as a counselor. He retired in 1988. Chuck belonged to the and served many years on the Diablo Vista California scholarship committee. He Retired Teachers Association and his wife traveled all over

the world as a tour escort for 17 years. He was a Master Mason and a member of the Eastern Star. Chuck is survived by his wife, Shirley, of 63 years, and by his children: Randy (Carmen), Kip (Leslie), Tammy (Les) and eight grandchildren. At Chuck’s request, a Celebration of Life gathering was held in April instead of a service. Donations may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or to the Diablo Vista Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 4292, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.

May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer • City of Clayton now accepting applications for


P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller, Jennifer Leischer

We remember Jill Bedecarré

Pioneer info ContaCt Us

Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580

tamara steiner send ads to send sports news to send Club news to send school news to 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 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 Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 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. CirCULation Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517, all delivered by US Mail to homes, businesses and post office boxes. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. This must be done directly through the Post Office. The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,500 in Concord by carrier. Papers are delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or send an email to 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.

The Planning Commission is comprised of five (5) Clayton residents who are appointed by the City Council for two-year overlapping terms of office. The Planning Commission advises the City Council on land use matters, including General Plan amendments and Zoning Ordinance amendments. The Commission also makes decisions on development projects such as Site Plan Review Permits, Use Permits, Subdivisions, and Variances. Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and its decisions may be appealed to the City Council. • The Planning Commission meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 7 pm, in Hoyer Hall at Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road. • Planning Commissioners presently receive a monthly stipend of $120. • An applicant must be 18 years of age, a registered voter and a resident of Clayton. • There are three (3) Commission office terms expiring on June 30, 2016. • Applications filed are a public record. On appointment, each Commissioner must file a state-required Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) which document is also a public record. applications may be obtained: In person: Clayton City Hall 6000 Heritage Trail By mail:Call City offices at (925) 673-7300 e-mail: City’s web site:

Interested citizens are invited to return a completed application to the City Clerk by 5pm, Wed., June 15. Individual interview of each applicant will be conducted by the full City Council on Tues., June 21 and are open to the public. Final appointments are expected to be made later that same evening at the City Council’s regular public meeting.

Clayton Fair Properties For Lease

Concord – Commercial Offices Active business complex featuring a variety of commercial businesses. Well maintained with friendly atmosphere. Excellent location including ample parking.

sUbsCriPtions To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.

Mayor, from page 1

If allowed, the next half hour’s conversation covers the vast list of “unsung heroes” who volunteer at the host of Clayton events each year. I dedicate this column to our “unsung heroes,” our volunteers. I applaud Clayton’s seemingly tireless and endless number of residents willing to give their time for our city. I commend all the volunteers in our youth sports programs, parent faculty clubs, schools and other community groups. Let me give you a peek at the depth of community volunteerism during this past month — which numbered over 800 people.

Three (3) Offices Office Term: July 2016 - June 2018

nity Association and the City of Clayton. Many of these volunteers were families who were teaching their young children personal ownership and pride in one’s community.

Clayton historical society — Over 550 members strong, the Clayton Historical Society held its annual Clayton Garden Tour. This year, five homes were featured. The tour required over 50 volunteers. Clayton Valley Garden Club – With over 100 members, the Clayton Valley Garden Club held its annual plant sale with 44 of its members volunteering. The members of this club grow all the plants they sell. They work with our local schools to help create raised garden beds and garden education programs.

“Clayton Cleans Up”— This annual event saw over 170 people, young and old, volunteering to clean up our creek beds, trails, and public areas. The event is organized by the art and Wine festival — Clayton Pioneer and co-spon- Clayton hosted the 21st annual sored by Republic Services, the Art and Wine Festival, organClayton Business and Commu- ized by the CBCA. There were

Contact Maureen (925)

approximately 85 CBCA members, 75 adult community volunteers, 160 students and coaches from Clayton Valley Charter High School and 20 Diablo Valley Ranch volunteers on hand throughout the two-day event. Clayton Library foundation — With 385 volunteers, the Clayton Library Foundation had 185 volunteers manning the recent Creekside Arts 2016 and its used book sale. Net profits from each event funnels back into our community in the form of donations for various student scholarships, school sports programs and other local charitable needs.


unteers . . . you do make the difference. Upcoming volunteer events to look forward to in coming months include: Clayton’s Saturday night “Concerts in The Grove Park” series, Wednesday Night Concert Series and Classic Car Shows, Round-Up for Relay, our amazing Fourth of July Parade, CBCA’s Rib Cookoff, Labor Day Derby, Oktoberfest, various holiday festivities and a multitude of others too numerous to list. If you are not a volunteer, become one by contacting one of the many non-profit organizations in Clayton. Find out firsthand what makes Clayton such a great city. Become a Clayton “unsung hero.” Other News: Election Day is June 7. Please vote. Let’s keep Clayton one of the loveliest cities in Contra Costa County by voting for Clayton and voting “YES” on Measure H.

When asked what makes Clayton a great city, my short answer is the people who give back and volunteer. Our silent heroes unselfishly give their time and expertise to make Clayton a city we are proud of. Clayton is a city where you can Direct comments to Mayor make a difference. My hat is Geller at off to each one of these vol-

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Page 7

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

May 13, 2016

JetSuiteX begins commercial flights from Buchanan Scheduled charters promise ease for travelers

to Keith Freitas, director of airports at Buchanan Field and the Byron Airport. They will serve up to 30 passengers at a time. PEGGY SPEAR The inaugural price will be $109 one-way and go up to Clayton Pioneer $300 as demand increases and depending on the day of the Contra Costa County is takweek, said Gareth Edmonding off, quite literally, as a new son-Jones, a spokesperson for charter jet service is roaring to JetSuiteX. life at Concord’s Buchanan At Buchanan, passengers Field. won’t have to endure long TSA JetSuiteX, a new venture screening lines. “But that doesfrom private jet company Jetn’t mean the travel is unsafe,” Suite, launched their first Edmondson-Jones said. flights from Concord to BurPassengers will be screened bank earlier this week. They to make sure they are not on will offer round-trips up to oW PriCes , shorter Lines the “no-fly” list and be L three times daily, as well as a The planes are refurbished checked for any explosive weekend jaunt to Las Vegas. devices. He said there will be other security measures in place, but he was not at liberty to go into detail. “But rest assured, there will be visible and invisible security all around,” Edmondson-Jones said. Freitas and EdmondsonEverything from home repair & Jones downplayed the noise maintenance to construction level that the jets will create. Specializin “We already have charter jets g in deferred m aintenance • EXTERIOR: painting, windows, taking off from Buchanan, so , prepping home for sa le, repairs doors, decks, it will only be about four more from home insp outdoor structures. ections flights per day,” Freitas said. Edmondson-Jones said the Jet• INTERIOR: plumbing, drywall, Gary Romano SuiteX planes were “some of electrical, trim, tile. 787-2500 the quietest” out there. Reliable & Professional Service JetSuiteX has plans to Owner operated refurbish the old PSA terminal Over 35 years of experience Lic. 979406 at the airport, which was, in American Eagle jets, according essence, a double-wide modular building, Freitas said. g “This is a long overdue service to the community,” said Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who helped broker the deal when JetSuiteX approached the county in February. “They said they wanted to launch in April, and I was skeptical that it could happen,” she said. “But it did.” Mitchoff says the “scheduled charters” are a great option for business travelers in the county who usually rely on flights from Oakland, San Francisco or even San Jose airports, fighting rush-hour traffic.

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The decision to begin service from Buchanan was a “no-brainer,” Edmondson-Jones said. “There’s a sizeable amount of people who fly for business between Southern California and the Bay Area each day, and many come from Contra Costa County.” He says that the idea came from a Jet Blue model, which looked at underused airports in urban areas – specifically Long Beach and JFK in New York – and saw how there were “millions of people who lived near these airports and didn’t take advantage of them because there weren’t services they needed.” After Jet Blue started offering flights, there was a huge revitalization in Long Beach. “Jet Blue made a go of Long Beach, and JetSuiteX wants to do the same thing here, ” EdmondsonJones said. The weekend trips to Las Vegas, which leave Friday and return Sunday, are sure to be popular – attracting those who want to get away for a little fun, Edmondson-Jones noted. Although JetSuiteX did not take students into account, the Pioneer found that college-age people may want to make the jaunt home from Southern California schools. “My daughter Rose will love

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A NEW COMPANY, JETSUITEX, LAUNCHED ITS INAUGURAL FLIGHTS FROM CONCORD’S BUCHANAN FIELD THIS WEEK, with flights between the east Bay and Burbank, Ca. There will also be a weekend flight to and from Las Vegas. The company hopes to tap into the dense business traveler population in central Contra Costa County.

this,” said Walnut Creek’s Ruth Seabrook, whose daughter attends school in the Los Angeles area. heLPinG the LoCaL eConoMy

The plan makes sense to Kish Rajan, the former director for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO Biz). He sees economic advantages for both Contra Costa and Burbank. Rajan, who lives in Walnut Creek but works with the Southern California Leadership Council, says he will travel on the flights several times a week. “Flying into Burbank is so much easier,” he said. “LAX is a monster. Plus, Buchanan is right near my home, so I don’t have to fight traffic coming from Oakland or San Francisco.” He said that these types of scheduled charters are the wave





“Have I told you about this?” That is Thomas Murphy speaking. They are the first words out of his mouth and, as a reader, you’ve just been pulled into one of the most wonderful books I’ve read in a long time. It is hard to explain just why I love and recommend “Thomas Murphy” by Roger Rosenblatt; it almost doesn’t have a plot. Well, there’s Murphy, a widower who has recently lost his beloved wife of more than 50 years; an aged, elegant and huge Manhattan apartment that’s been home for almost all those years and with rent control, will probably be home for many more,

of the future. “It’s almost like the Uber-ization of air travel,” he said. “We’re repositioning our assets in a new way.” But perhaps the biggest impact will be on the economy of Concord and surrounding cities, Mitchoff said. “We are much closer to the wine country and other attractions here at Buchanan,” she said. “It makes sense for the tourists who want to come and not pay top-dollar San Francisco prices and can enjoy what Contra Costa and the surrounding areas offer.” John Montagh, Concord’s manager of Economic Development, agrees. “This will be a boon for Concord’s own tourist efforts, as we have the hotels, restaurants and other amenities that people can enjoy.” It is also a boost for Buchanan Field, Freitas said. “We do a lot to educate the com-

munity about what we offer here,” he said. “This will allow us more visibility and show what a gem we have.” The county operates Buchanan Field as well as the airport in Byron. The Airports Division is self-funded and generates revenue for the county, schools and other communityrelated agencies. The Airports Division works with tenants at both airports to provide the community with a wide range of services, from flight schools to skydiving to private hangar rental, Freitas said. It remains to be seen how consumers will greet the new service, but Edmondson-Jones is positive about the response so far. “We’re in it for the long haul,” he said. For more information, contact Contra Costa Airports, call 844Fly-ToUs or visit online at

unless the evil building manager (in cahoots with the building owner) kicks him out first. There is the beloved but interfering only daughter, who believes he must see a neurologist just to be on the safe side because he let a boiling pot of eggs cook to near house fire dimensions; and his 4-year old grandson, William, who is his best friend and delight, especially when Thomas is allowed to care for him without interference. Most important, Thomas is a poet, an often less-than-moderate drinker and an Irish immigrant from the isle of Inishmaan, which may very well say it all. There is a story of sorts: a beginning when we first hear Murph (the handle he goes by) speak, a middle when a fellow drinker asks him to intercede on his behalf in a marital problem, and several other events that take Murph off track.

These derailments include the building manager, a neurologist who is pushing for more tests to rule out dementia, his daughter’s decision to leave the U.S. for teaching abroad, which means an unspecified period without sweet, funny William, and lastly, the possibility of a second great love. What is Murph’s track? He is preoccupied by aging. Recalling what has already occurred in one’s life, at a certain age, trumps any great plans for a future of limited length. In an almost conversational narrative, we learn of Murph’s first love, his heartache for an island that becomes more mythic than metaphor, his wife, whose presence is still felt, and those people and events that have touched him deeply. We feel his frustration as he deals with the maddening minutia of medical red tape. We learn, too, of the homeless men and women whose poetry he encourages. For all Murph’s flaws, he has heart and is not afraid to take risks, even at this time in his life. Rosenblatt’s “Thomas Murphy” makes being Irish something holy, almost sacred. Rosenblatt’s writing can bring you to tears as easily as out-loud laughter as you get to know this wonderfully worthwhile character. If you are a mature reader, you will already know Thomas Murphy; if you are younger, you may learn something about your parents, regardless of ethnicity or profession. Have I told you about Thomas Murphy, the best book I’ve read this year?

‘Murphy,’ a character well worth knowing

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.’

May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •

Making progress at Clayton Station





This past month we are continuing to work on the quality of life issues at the Clayton Station. Having the support of the local businesses especially, Safeway and the Clayton Station Property Manager, we are addressing certain individuals who have been disrespectful to property, the business owners and the shoppers who frequent the area. We are sympathetic to some of the individuals needs and are working together to provide a better situation for all concerned. I met with the property manager of the Clayton Station who stated she would look into ways to provide better visual access for patrolling officers through

the possible hiring of certified crime prevention designers to make improvements to the complex itself. There was little to report on the recent Art and Wine Festival other than it appeared that many people had a great time. The April 30 event was attended by 5,000-6,000 people and there were lots of smiles by all those present. Sunday, May 1, also went well but the event was less crowded. This was probably due to people watching the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. A couple weeks ago there was a theft of a Rainbow Flag from the Presbyterian Church on Kirker Pass Road. This theft and the Hate Crime associated with that act are extremely rare for Clayton. The Clayton police officers did extremely well in the investigation of this crime which led to the eventual arrest of two suspects and felony charges of Arson and a Hate Crime. Both suspects are still in custody and are awaiting trial. Witnesses stepping forward and providing information to the police along with the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and the Con-

tra Costa County Fire Protection District were instrumental in the filing of criminal charges and assisting in the investigation of this incident. Again, as the weather gets better we become busier and we become complacent. Stay vigilant and protect your property, especially your mail. Recently, there have been some fraudulent phone calls received where individuals identify themselves as a representative of the IRS and that you immediately owe money. Please don’t be a victim of this scam. The IRS does not operate in this manner and if you have any questions please look for the assistance of the IRS through their website. As we move forward towards summer drive carefully and pay attention to the pedestrian traffic as well as bicycle riders. Kudos to Officer Eddy: Recently, Russell Eddy, a Clayton Police Department level I Reserve Officer, was honored by the California Society Sons of the American Revolution. A Level I Reserve Officer is hard to come by, as they are required to attend as many hours

of training as a fully employed police officer. Res. Officer Eddy began working in Clayton on June 1, 2000. During that time he has dedicated himself to work approximately eight hours a day, two days a week, for almost 16 years. That equates to approximately 19.2 full-time weeks a year, which also equates to almost six years of full time work. Besides regular patrol duties, Res. Officer Eddy works the special events for the city. His dedication goes beyond the call of duty not only volunteering himself but also staying certified with all the mandated law enforcement courses that a paid sworn officer must receive to remain certified. His dedication to duty and willingness to volunteer is uncommon. He is a person who truly understands what it means to be involved and dedicated to helping others all while being a volunteer. I am lucky to have such a man here at the Clayton Police Department. Chris Wenzel is Chief of Police of Clayton. Send questions and comments to or call (925) 673-7350

Feeder system to Northgate for Diablo View, Pine Hollow students challenged Comments on local blogs and websites showed a lot of confusion as to what the district’s action meant as well as bemoaning more westbound traffic in the mornings on Ygnacio Valley Rd. headed towards Northgate, which traditionally has higher high school and college entrance test scores than Clayton Valley Charter. Local realtors said property values would increase for homes in the Pine Hollow and Diablo View areas. MDUSD superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer acknowledged to the Pioneer that the board action April 25 simply formalized a policy that has been in practice since the charter high school left the district. Meyer doesn’t anticipate the current capacity of Northgate (just under 1600) to increase very much this fall due to the new policy. Clayton Valley Charter supplied figures from the last two years showing that for the 2015-16 school year 169 Diablo View and 170 Pine Hollow students applied to CVCHS. For the coming fall term the figures are 184 and 167, respectively. MDUSD statistics show for 2015-16 school year there are 213 eighth graders at Diablo View and 236 at Pine

Hollow so the majority have indicated they are going to nearby Clayton Valley Charter. The CVCHS charter says that students from former MDUSD feeder schools to Clayton Valley High (Diablo View and Pine Hollow) have first priority for admittance to the high school, which has admitted about 500 freshman annually. The CVCHS governing board recently voted to increase the school’s capacity by up to 250 students, with the majority of that increase coming with the incoming class of 2020. Since the charter school began in 2012 the absence of Clayton Valley meant its feeder middle schools weren’t officially designated with a home high school until now. Meyer acknowledges that those affected families wanting to remain in the district had a choice of any MDUSD school but her data shows that most chose Northgate. Ayers, Highlands, Mt. Diablo and Silverwood elementary schools feed into Diablo View in Clayton or Pine Hollow in Concord. Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek has been the middle school feeder to Northgate and 343 eighth graders are in the Foothill class of 2016.

It is also pointed out that area families can choose private schools like Berean Christian, Carondelet and De La Salle as well as the new public charter Contra Costa School of Performing Arts, which has a waiting list for its inaugural 2016-17 year. All those high schools are close to Foothill’s attendance area. CVCHS executive director Dave Linzey says, “This issue is really about parent choice. Parents want the best for their students. [Those that come to CVCHS] choose our unique school community which offers the highest academic standards and enables our students to become self-motivated, competent and lifelong learners. “Each year, Clayton Valley sees an increased demand for entrance into our high-performing charter high school. This year, we had  over 1000 applications and — even with accepting 200 additional  students than our original plan — many hundreds of students remain on our waiting list. Although we wish we could accept every student, it’s a testament of the  incredible progress our charter high school has made on our journey from good to great.”

save money and allow them to help the environment. Other reasons they find them important include occupant’s health, tax credit availability and the LyNNe FreNCH home’s resale value. REAL ANSWERS Your green home features should be prominent in the Q. My family and i plan marketing of your home.  Be to sell our home. While we sure that your realtor agrees have lived here we have with you on this point. made many “green” upgrades.  in researching Q. i  am buying my first comparable homes i can place and a townhome find very little in the market- seems like it could work for ing pieces about “energy me. i am getting an fha efficient” features. are buy- loan. i can’t afford a single ers not interested in these family home but i’m scared features? that the complexes won’t a. On a recent survey more take an fha loan.  than half of home shoppers a. If it is a true townhome report that green features, from or a PUD (planned unit develenergy efficient appliances to opment) you don’t need FHA solar panels, are an important approval. It qualifies for FHA part of their purchasing deci- financing like a single family sion, though a very small per- home. You are buying the unit centage of home listings market and the lot beneath it.   these features sufficiently.   A condominium is where Buyers view green features you don’t own the land. You as a priority because they help own an equal and undivided

portion of the entire parcel that encompasses the entire complex. Many buyers avoid buying townhomes or PUD’s unnecessarily because they are afraid they will not be able to get financing.

more financial sense to buy versus rent. According to the study, 72 percent of American adults still believe homeownership is part of their personal American dream. One reason that it benefits people to buy versus rent is the tax deduction they receive from their income tax. If one is earning money and paying taxes the deduction is all of your interest on your loan plus recurring costs such as property taxes. People also can benefit from the gain in equity that comes automatically when the market appreciates. I would suggest that you talk to a mortgage broker and see if you can qualify to purchase a home. If you can then you have an educated decision to make.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Mt. Diablo Unified School District recently made formal what has been the practice for eighth graders matriculating to high school since Clayton Valley became a charter school in the fall of 2012. The board voted two weeks ago to designate Northgate High School in Walnut Creek as home high school for students from Diablo View and Pine Hollow middle schools, which has been the practice over the past four years. Following an outcry from the Northgate area community and current Northgate families in Walnut Creek about this action MDUSD trustee Brian Lawrence said, “My colleague Linda Mayo was the only one to vote against last week’s action. She got it right. I got it wrong.” He requested board president Cheryl Hansen to place the matter on this Monday’s agenda for reconsideration, which she did. “Large segments of our community felt blindsided by this action. That is an indication that we failed to communicate what was being considered and what was then enacted,” Lawrence said.

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Clayton Pioneer •

MDUSD student profile a key to longterm success The Mt. Diablo Unified School District recognizes the need to provide a world-class education and to offer experiences that include arts, athletics, languages and community service. We have many career pathways, including engineering, education, sports medicine and computer engineering. Graduation rates have increased at all of our high schools, ranging from 90 percent to 97 percent. Our college acceptance rates are rising as we partner with universities and community colleges. Part of the reason is the variety of specialized programs we offer, as well as a solid foundation of skills K-12. We believe that offering a wide variety of courses increases engagement and best prepares the students for the variety of challenges in the ever-changing workplace. Mt. Diablo has created a student profile in collaboration with community and business leaders. We developed a criterion for what we want our seniors to be able to do upon graduation,

CVCHS to tackle sex education dr. NeLLIe Meyer



including important qualities that our business partners said were needed to be successful in careers and college. Those qualities include being an effective contributor, community collaborator, complex thinker, effective and ethical user of technology, self-directed learner, global citizen, responsible worker and health and wellness advocate – which is a quality that isn’t always listed as an educational goal. These critical skills require students to go beyond memorization and to participate in classes and in the community. Schools have aligned classwork and student projects to our criterion. MDUSD believes that this is a critical part of teaching the skills necessary to achieve balance that will lead to success and a strong, well-rounded life. Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email questions or comments to

Congratulate your grad

Congratulations on an outstanding four years. You’ve been a joy and an inspiration to all who know you. We love you and can’t wait to see the next chapter.

Love, Mom and Dad

man biology classes. After hearing stories on campus about students’ personal struggles with sexual health, 17-year-old yoga teacher and Talon lead editor

Maris Degener was inspired to write the controversial story. Currently, the only class available for students that covers sex-education is Developmental Psychology of Children, an elective taught by Patricia Yuen. Often times, students run into scheduling conflicts and are unable to take the class. “I didn’t think [the class] would really happen until I started talking to Mr. Romo and (Principal Jeff) Eben about it,” says Degener. “The biggest thing for me is to continue to listen,” says Eben. “I want everyone to feel like they can talk to me, so the only way to keep that going is to listen.” As currently planned, the

material will cover a range of topics related to sexual health, such as gender identity, consent, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive organs. Students must have a parental consent form signed before they can participate in the curriculum. “So many kids are having sex. I know that people don’t want to say that, but it’s true,” says Degener. “It’s an issue we have to address. Wouldn’t you rather have a safe, comfortable situation for everyone than to shove it in the dark and not mention it at all?”

It is abundantly clear that many of our elected representatives no longer represent us. Rather, they serve the interest of their corporate, big money donors — the ones that fund their campaigns. Money in politics is destroying our democracy and must be taken out. Charles and David Koch, often referred as the Koch brothers, are the billionaire ToMMy Vo owners of the multinational oil corporation, Koch Industries. EEN PEAK The Koch brothers have a vast political network that aims to A serious plague is destroy- fund and elect candidates who will serve their own interests. ing American democracy.

During the 2014 midterms, the Kochs spent over $100 million in propping up congressional candidates through TV advertisements and campaign contributions. In the 2016 election cycle, the Koch brothers have a budget of $889 million that they plan on using to buy our elected officials. The Koch brothers are climate-change deniers who oppose any legislation that will cut into their profits. This is the problem with the incredibly loose campaign finance laws our country has. Large corporations are allowed

to storm our government and choose the candidates they want to represent their corporate interests. Money decides who wins and loses in politics. Out of the 467 congressional races in 2012, the candidate with more campaign funding won 91 percent of the time. The problem lies in who is funding these political campaigns. With campaign finance regulations created in part because of Supreme Court decisions, such as Citizens United v. FEC — which cut

The week of May 2 was Teacher Appreciation Week. Traditionally National Teacher’s Day is the Tuesday of the first full week of May, but National Teacher’s “Day” is usually celebrated over the course of a week. Students show their gratitude for their teachers’ contributions with flowers and gift cards, but teachers want something more. To many teachers flowers and gift cards are appreciated, but what they really want is our respect. According to Valerie Strauss, an education writer with the Washington Post, teachers want “their profession to be respected in a way that accepts educators as experts in their field.” Although many do respect the profession of a teaching, there are others who question

their expertise. Cindy Long chronicles in her book titled, “Crazy Things People Say to Teachers—And How to Respond” says teachers hear such things as “Teachers are just glorified babysitters,” and “Teachers have tenure [and] can’t be fired no matter what kind of job [they] do.” Despite what some have said about teachers, they really do make a difference. The California Teacher of the Year 2016, Ann Park, a fifth grade writing and science teacher in Oakland, has been teaching for 25 years. Park has been very active in her community throughout her teaching career, creating many professional development workshops and being a leader in her overall community. Many teachers work long

think about saying out loud something demeaning about the teaching profession, think about all the time your teachers have spent preparing you and other students for the future. Teachers are highly trained experts and they care about their students, so from this point forward we should always respect our teachers and give them the appreciation and NaTaLIe PUrSCHe respect they deserve. DVMS To all the great teachers at Mt. Diablo Elementary and CORRESPONDENT Diablo View Middle School, hours to do many things for thank you. the community and they should be appreciated with not Natalie Pursche is in the seventh only flowers and gift cards, but grade at Diablo View Middle with our respect. So the next School. She is an avid reader, enjoys time you think about spitting a writing, and loves to spend time with spit-ball across the classroom, her friends and family. Send commoan about your fifth homements to work assignment this week, or

is worth bragging about. I owe gratitude to our fine teachers, coaches, administrative staff and counselors – and, more importantly, to the students and great parents. Four years ago, Clayton Valley High School (CVHS pre-charter) had a graduation rate of 83 percent. Now, it is more than 98 percent. Four years ago, CVHS was the lowest performing academic high school in comparison to our band of 100 similar schools throughout California. Today, we shine as a top high school committed to excellence in academics, performing arts and athletics. Before the charter, many students did not exhibit pride in their school. Today, our students proudly claim to be Ugly Eagles with dignity, pride and a sense of accomplishment.

This has been a banner year for the music program, as the choir won awards in the national competition in Seattle. The instrumental music program is “off the charts,” competing exceptionally well once again. As far as athletics, this was arguably the best year in the school’s history – with so many teams winning league championships and performing well in the North Coast playoffs. The football team went to back-toback state championship games the past two years. We were so good, CVCHS was moved up to the Division I state championship game and competed against one of the elite teams in the state. Although we were missing a few key players with injuries, CVCHS nearly pulled off a win.

CeLINe Herrera


Celine Herrera is a senior at CVCHS. Send comments to

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On Friday, Dec. 4, Clayton Valley Charter High School’s student newspaper, The Talon, ran an article titled, “‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ say CV students” as the main headline story, along with a picture of two anonymous students holding a condom. In the story, students said they felt that they did not have enough resources, materials or the education to have future healthy, sexual relationships. The story generated not only controversy among students on campus but also a desire for change. Recently, the CVCHS curriculum board listened to students and decided to include a sex-education unit that will be covered in fresh-


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May 13, 2016


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It’s hard to believe that another school year is nearly over. It’s the final mile of a long-distance marathon. Many graduating students are finishing the race started four years ago as incoming freshmen of Clayton Valley’s inaugural year as a charter high school. More than 98 percent of our seniors will graduate this year and most will be headed off to colleges that include some of the finest universities in the nation. The vision created nearly five years ago to transform Clayton Valley into one of the great high schools in the state

As school year ends, charter school celebrates victories

Still, the foundation of our charter school is academics. We are committed to preparing each student with the 21st century skills that will lead them to college, professional careers and becoming productive members of society. We work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of the students. The staff loves the kids, and they know it. Our community has so much to be proud of in Clayton Valley Charter High School. The students are fortunate to live in a safe, nurturing community. The Clayton Valley is a great village that is turning out amazing young people with bright futures. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him

Clayton Pioneer •

Kidfest back for 27th year, Memorial Weekend

The 27th annual Bay Area KidFest on the Memorial Day Weekend May 28-30 is one of the Bay Area’s longest-running family events and this year has three days of jam-packed entertainment, activities, food and fun planned in Downtown Concord. In a spacious outdoor setting at Mt. Diablo High School, KidFest features free non-stop entertainment on the Main Stage, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Michelangelo & Raphael, Olaf from “Frozen,” Cirque Adventure aerial and acrobatic circus, America’s No. 1 family game show Kid’s Celebration, BMX Bike Stunt Team plus skateboard and scooter demos, Bike Rodeo (Sat. & Sun.12 noon – 3 p.m.) and Spring Diversity Festival (Sat. only 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on stage). Free kid’s activities include Kid’s Town America, face

painting, balloon hats, spin art, keepsake handprints, inflatables, slides, crawls, kiddie golf and much more included in the low admission price. Thrilling rides include zip line, pony rides, Bobble Lagoon, Zippy Pet cars, Zorbs, Euro-Bungy trampoline, Spider Mountain, Ferris wheel, giant slide, petting zoo, trains and more rides. There’s an eclectic Food Court, arts and crafts and exhibitor booths. A special Memorial Day ceremony will be at noon Monday, May 30, with the Concord Blue Devils C Drum and Bugle Corps, ROTC Jr. Color Guard and music honoring America’s service people past and present sung by Janelle Feraro. Admission is $6 with a donation of canned food to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano or $7 without the donation. Babies under

Club News

Mondays, June 20, 27 Wednesdays, June 22, 29 1 - 3 p.m.

Kim Alison Grant, Educational Therapist (925) 354-6257 or

Cirque adventure acrobatics at KidFest May 28-30

24 months and seniors 65+ are free. On Saturday  attendees can double the deal by bringing two canned goods to get $2 off an admission. Proceeds from Bay Area KidFest benefit local educational, health and sports groups.  KidFest is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.  on Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Memo-

rial Day Monday. KidFest is held at Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St. in downtown Concord just off Highway 242. On-site vehicle parking is $5 with plenty of free street parking around the site also available.

For more information visit

The Clayton Historical Society will present an evening with Clayton’s own Ellis Byrd — lecturer, author, tour guide to historical and paranormal places, and major contributor to the Clayton Museum’s current exhibit, “A Nation Divided: Mementos of the Civil War Years.” Byrd will discuss the evolu-

each care package. Checks may be made payable to Contra Costa Blue Star Moms and mailed to P.O. Box 6379, Concord, CA 94524. The Blue Star Moms are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, and all donations are tax-deductible. The group will send a care package to any APO or FPO address. Send your loved one’s address to carepackageaddresse s @ c c b l u e s t a r m o m s. o r g , along with an approximate end-of-deployment date.

Greed, from page 10

restrictions on the amount of money corporations and unions can spend on “independent” political spending groups — large corporations and special interest groups are allowed to elect and effectively control officeholders. Our campaign finance system creates an incentive for politicians to sell out to corporate greed in order to get elected. By investing large sums of money into buying our government, the Koch brothers are allowed to tailor the laws in their favor, increasing their profits. Through funding candidates’

“Helping seniors live successfully in their own homes.”

Join us for a Progress Report on Clayton Valley Village and its plans for helping Seniors in our community. Stop by for Tea, Coffee and possibly a Crumpet.

Friday June 3, 4-6 p.m.

sPrinG fUnDraiser for LoCaL Charities The Clayton Valley Womans’ Club hosted their 11th Annual Festival of Tables and Fashion fundraiser on April 23 in Concord. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities and scholarships. Club members decorated 20 tables for the event with different festive and whimsical themes. Talbots in Walnut Creek presented the fashion show. Six ladies, including club members and friends, modeled the fashions that were a mix of summer wear perfect for Bay Area living and traveling. Some attendees won gift baskets should be stricter limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations can spend on campaigns. However, it has become increasingly clear that our elected representatives do not represent the people. Elected officials would rather fight for the interests of the corporations funding them. It is time to take back our democracy. Public funding of campaigns would ensure that corporate greed does not control our government. Let’s take money out of politics.

campaigns, they are buying politicians that will fight for their business’s interests, rather than those of the American public. In a country divided greatly by political partisanship, the issue of campaign finance reform remains a serious concern to both Democrats and Republicans. A Pew study found that a great majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, believe money Tommy Vo is a senior at Clayhas a corrupting influence in politics. Eighty-four percent of ton Valley Charter High School. Democrats and 72 percent of Send comments to editor@claytonRepublicans believe there

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paid in Civil War bullets; how, living in Ohio, he could simply “scuff up” the dirt in the fields and unearth artifacts; and how his knack for guiding historical tours led him to some unusual paranormal situations. A fundraiser for the Clayton Museum, this event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center Street in Clayton. It is free, but donations are requested. Refreshments will be available. For more information call the Clayton Museum at 925-6720240.

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donna Sullivan, Jennifer Kurkjian, Josie Sullivan, Carmen Williams, Michele Pryor and Linda Pasini modeled summer clothing at the annual Festival of Tables and Fashion.

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Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall 1578 Kirker Pass road in Clayton

The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms are preparing to send 4th of July care packages to troops deployed overseas. They are in need of canned chili, stew or pasta; small packs of crackers or cookies, granola bars, protein and energy bars, sunflower seeds, Pop Tarts, fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, microwave popcorn and corn nuts; gum and mints; crew socks (at least 80 percent cotFor more information, call ton); and baby wipes. 5296 Concord Blvd., Con- Wednesdays. Loretta Masnada at 925-686Leave donations at the cord, no later than May 31. Funds are also needed to 3944. front office of A-1 Storage, They are closed Sundays and cover postage of $16.75 for

tion of his passion for history, the acquisition of his Civil War artifacts, California’s participation in the Civil War, and will provide a sneak preview of his newest book, “The Folklore of Clayton.” Byrd will also speak about his childhood years in England spent scrambling over the stones of Stonehenge; how he came to America to play professional soccer; how he took up construction work and was

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Page 11

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May 13, 2016

donated by club members and local businesses. Lunch was catered by Rick’s on Second of Antioch. Guests were waited on by husbands and sons of club members outfitted in black slacks, white shirts and black bow ties. Music was provided by pianist Gordon Haramaki, associate professor, Music and Dance, San Jose State University.

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Clayton Pioneer •

May 13, 2016

Post-season championships final act for DVAL JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

North Coast Section playoffs and tournaments culminate spring sports as the Diablo Valley Athletic League is quickly going into the history books. Next fall all seven schools will be moving to the Diablo Athletic League along with five other schools in a new super league. swimming & Diving— Northgate’s boys made history a year ago winning the first California State championship after sweeping through the DVAL and NCS fields but this time around the Broncos were third to new league champion College Park and Clayton Valley Charter in an incredibly close DVAL boys championship meet in the new aquatics facility on the Northgate campus. The Eagles boys won both freestyle relays with the quarter of Ryan Levy, Anthony Vines, Cal Brown and Nikolas Weigelt. Sophomore Weigelt won the 200 and 500 freestyle races while Levy was first in the 50 free. On the girls side Northgate repeated as league champs with CVCHS second. The Broncos won all but two events. Concord Community Pool will again host NCS this week with Clovis West Aquatic Complex site of the second CIF State meet May 22-23.

Sean Liming

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER BOYS WERE PART OF AN EXTREMELY CLOSE THREE-WAY BATTLE for the dVaL meet team championship before ending second to College Park and just ahead of defending State and two-time NCS champion Northgate. The eagles freestyle relay team of, from left, anthony Vines, Niklas Weigelt, ryan Levy and Cal Brown were first in the 200 and 400 free relays.

and Northgate the girls DVAL regular-season and championship meet titles. The top three finishers in each event advance to the NCS meet May 21 at Foothill track & field—Clayton HS in Pleasanton. The State Valley Charter won the boys Meet is in Clovis June 3-4.

Jason rogers

BRIDGET HYLAND CLOCKED 59.85 to win the dVaL meet 400 meters last weekend at ygnacio Valley to earn a berth at North Coast Section meet May 21. She was also fourth in the 200 meters.

Eagles throwers Jake King and Jack Fouts traded first and second place at DVAL in the shot put and discus while Kiersten Fouts won both events for the Eagles girls. Sophomore Aidan Jackman won the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles and tied for second in the high jump. CVCHS relays won all four events with 100-meter champ Jade Davis helping the girls and 100-200 double champ Jordan Velasquez the boys. He led a 1-2-3 Eagles sweep in the 100. Clayton Valley’s Dylan White was second in both distance races to Ygnacio Valley’s Jorge Velazquez who won the 1600 and 3200 and was runner-up in the 800. That wasn’t even as good as Rayna Stanziano’s triple win from 800-3200 for the Concord High freshman. Bridget Hyland won the 400 meters and Brandon Abon the long jump for other CVCHS titlists. CVCHS was first in boys and third in the girls at the recent Bob Warren Relays at Acalanes High in Lafayette. baseball—This league season may be the closest ever with defending DVAL and NCS champion College Park locked in a battle with

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Clayton Valley Charter, Northgate and Concord, all still in contention entering this penultimate round of home and home games. League games conclude next week with a one-game tiebreaker playoff set (if needed) for Friday, May 20. The Eagles, who lost starting pitcher Scott Meylan to a season-ending injury, split road game wins with coleader Northgate last week and close out their schedule with a pair against College Park this week. The Broncos meet fourth-place Concord this week in their final two games. Northgate and CVCHS are both 8-2, College Park is 6-2 after a shocking loss to previously winless Ygnacio Valley last week and Concord is still looming at 53. CVCHS was 16-6 entering this week’s play and all but assured of an 18th straight NCS berth. The NCS playoffs begin May 24-25 with the finals June 3-4. College Park dethroned De La Salle in the NCS Division I finals last June. The Spartans are ranked No. 1 in the Bay Area this spring with a 17-3 overall record and 10-0 in East Bay Athletic League entering this week.

softball—Clayton Valley Charter was unbeaten in DVAL through eight games before losing a classic 11 inning battle 2-1 to visiting second-place Northgate last week. The Eagles avenged the loss two days later 11-1 in Walnut Creek and sit atop the standings with two games left with College Park this week. Concord High won the league title last year by a halfgame over College Park. The Minutemen were NCS DII champions in 2010-12-13. Concord is now second with a 5-2 mark, both losses by one run to current league leader CVCHS (9-1). Northgate is 7-3. DVAL games continue until May 19 with a one-game tiebreaker playoff (if needed) May 20. The NCS playoffs begin May 24-25 with the finals June 3-4.

boys Golf—College Park edged CVCHS in the league standings with a 9-1 record to 8-2 for the Eagles. The Falcons also won the league tournament led by medalist Dominic Salomone. Tyler Blazer led a trio of his Clayton Valley Charter teammates placing 5-6-7 in the league tournament. The DI championship is next Monday, May 16, in Antioch at Roddy Ranch, one

week before the NorCal championships. De La Salle won the NCS team championship a year ago.

Lacrosse—CVCHS teams were at the bottom of the league standings last year but the boys of coach Scott Neal rebounded to a 5-5 league mark and 11-8 overall to earn a berth in the North Coast playoffs hosting Granite Bay this Wednesday. The Eagles girls were winless in league this season. Bishop O’Dowd boys and Piedmont girls were undefeated DVAL champions. NCS tournament runs through May 21.

boys tennis—College Park won the DVAL singles and doubles titles with the CVCHS duo of Dylan Kies and Daniel Castro second in doubles.

boys Volleyball—Berean Christian was undefeated and Clayton Valley Charter second with two losses in DVAL matches. The Eagles traveled Wednesday to Pleasanton to meet fourth-seed Foothill in the first round of the North Coast Section tournament. De La Salle is the top Division I seed. NCS play continues until May 21 and the NorCal championships are May 24-28.

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Clayton Pioneer •


president of the Engineering Academy Student Council, a chairperson for the California Scholarship Federation chapter at CVCHS, a sunshine girl of the Senior Women Honors Society, member of the French Honors Society, French Club and is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Silva is a server at Skipolini’s Pizza in Clayton. At CVCHS, she has been awarded most valuable and most improved swimmer awards and has been a team captain. However she considers her greatest accomplishment to be pushing herself to the best she can be and encouraging the rest of her swim team. In the fall Silva will be attending UCLA and aspires to study abroad in either France or Australia. CVCHS student journalist Celine Herrera wrote this Spotlight.

Athlete Spotlight

Carolyn Silva Grade: Senior

School: CVCHS

Sport: Swimming

When she was younger, Carolyn Silva’s mother Heidi signed up Silva and her two younger siblings for the Oakhurst Country Club swimming team. What started off as a fun activity and lessons eight years ago, grew into a love for the sport and the Clayton Valley Charter senior has been passionate about swimming ever since. Today, she still swims and is a well-rounded student, managing an impressive 4.67 GPA. For CVCHS Silva swims the 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and is on the 200m free relay. This sum-

mer she will conclude her ninth Oakhurst Orcas season. She has been a junior Orcas coach for the last two years and is looking forward to continue aiding swimmers this summer. As a swimmer, the biggest challenge Silva has faced is mentally preparing for races. “I’ve worked hard and I shouldn’t let the nerves or other competitors get into my head,” says Silva. Her favorite part of swimming is “being able to see hard work pay off as well as take part in an activity that could pass as both a team and individual sport.” Silva is co-

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

Page 13

Clayton vaulter looks for more Carondelet record heights

Photo courtesy Carondelet High School

SENIOR KATIE KERN FROM CLAYTON broke the Carondelet High pole vault school record this spring at the Stanford Invitational, clearing 11-1/4. Kern is getting ready for the east Bay athletic League meet this Saturday where she hopes to improve on her new standard.

Anticipation, anxiety grow for local Olympic athletes JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

In less than two months the torch will be lit and the 31st Olympic Games will be underway in Rio de Janeiro. One local athlete has already booked her place on the plane to Rio while two Clayton bronze medalists from the 2012 London Games are in the final stages of trying to earn return trips to the Olympics. Diver Kristian Ipsen and rower Kara Kohler hope it’s déjà vu as they train in anticipation of getting repeat Olympic berths. Four years ago they earned their first Olympic team positions on the same day and then a short time later won their bronze medals on a memorable Aug. 1, 2012. This year they have the time

Ipsen has had an interesting journey since that magical August day in 2012 when he and partner Troy Dumais were third in the three-meter synchronized Olympic diving finals. Since then Ipsen completed his storied Stanford diving career, taken his first sabbatical from the grind of fulltime diving since beginning as a youngster in Clayton and then resumed his international career in the past year, including winning his first individual international senior medal in March. Now his training and plans for Rio have taken a dramatic turn as USA Diving recently broke up his fledgling synchro partnership with Sam Dorman. He was reunited with Dumais as a tandem just two months before the June 18-26 Olympic

door diving conditions in Rio where the Olympics will be held. Ipsen will be in his home environment as he works out with Dumais in synchro as well as perfecting his 3M springboard dives as he hopes to also qualify as an individual for the Games. Ipsen earned his first-ever international senior diving medal in February at the site of the Summer Olympics. At the FINA Diving World Cup Ipsen took third in the threemeter springboard, earning the US its first World Cup medal in that event in 10 years. Cal and Clayton Valley High grad Kohler qualified for consideration as a member of the American eight or quad boats in Rio when she placed in the top six at the National Selection Regatta at the end of March. She is currently in training with the rest of the candidates for the women’s eight and quad, which is the event she medaled in at London. USRowing and Olympic team coaches will announce team selections the week of June 20, according to spokeswoman Allison Frederick Muller. KoroLeVa enjoyinG sUCCess

US partners Koroleva and Alvarez added to their medal haul this year at the China Open Synchronized Swimming

aaron okayama photo courtesy USa Synchro

MARIYA KOROLEVA (RIGHT) OF CONCORD and the Walnut Creek aquanuts and her duet partner anita alvarez perform a synchronized swimming routine. after successful events in China, Germany and France, the pair are in the final stages of perfecting their routine for rio Summer olympics, a return honor for Koroleva.

frame of June 18-26 circled when their fate this time around will be determined. For synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva of Concord and the Walnut Creek Aquanuts this year has been one of fine tuning her duet routine with partner Anita Alvarez from New York. The American duo was picked for their Olympic berth last September and this year they’ve enjoyed successful meets in China, Germany and France. The 26-year-old Koroleva, like Ipsen a Stanford grad, is going to her second Olympics after pairing with Mary Killman for 11th in London.

Trails in Indianapolis. American national team coaches evidently were not entirely satisfied with the scores Dorman and Ipsen racked up in recent international competitions and placed each with a different partner for the Trials. Ipsen cancelled his plans to compete in the final two of four FINA Diving World Series events in Canada and Russia during April to begin training in Texas with fourtime Olympian Dumais, who is 13 years older than the De La Salle High grad. The entire American national diving team began training last week at Stanford to replicate the out-

KRISTIAN IPSEN, NOW 23, AND FOUR-TIME OLYMPIAN TROY DUMAIS, 36, hope to meld their different diving styles into a medal-winning performance at the rio Games this summer. Four years ago in London they captured the first-ever olympic medal—bronze—for the USa in the three-meter synchronized event.

Championships in April, winning the gold medal in duet free. “We’ve learned a lot from this competition,” Koroleva said. “We have added difficulty to both of our programs, so it was good to test out those changes on the international stage.” The duo also won silver in duet tech earlier at the China Open, finishing second to host China. Koroleva will be one of 15 athlete ambassadors who will

lead the charge for the 2016 edition of Team for Tomorrow, a community outreach program born in 2008 that has since featured 59 American athlete ambassadors – along with many of their Olympic and Paralympic teammates – volunteering more than 500 volunteer hours. The Aquanut swimmer has been with the U.S. Senior National Team since 2007 and has served as the Athletes’ Executive Council President on

USA Synchro’s Board of Directors for the past two years. She is a Stanford graduate currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of San Francisco. The role of Team for Tomorrow  athlete ambassadors is to serve as philanthropic representatives of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, spreading awareness about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle, and leading the way through volunteerism and goodwill.

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Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

Dubs championship hopes bleaker without healthy Steph Curry Even without Steph Curry, the Warriors were able to easily handle the hapless Houston Rockets to take the first playoff series in defense of their 2015 NBA championship in five games. The second round against Portland has proved to be a tougher assignment. A hobbled Curry is still a monumental problem for the Warriors, who will need the best player on the planet and two-time MVP to be at full health if they want to face and beat the Spurs or Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Curry suffered a sprained MCL in game four of the Rockets series on a freak accident where he slid with no one even touching him at the end of the first half. His knee bent at an awkward angle and it was confirmed that Curry would miss at least two weeks, if not the entire playoffs. The MVP worked hard to get back on the court, although it remains to be seen if he can play to his full potential. The Warriors are one of the deepest teams in NBA history and their depth was on display against the Rockets. The Dubs style of unselfish basketball is truly beautiful to watch, with fluid

ball movement and finesse that is exemplified within the team’s offensive system. Despite being so deep and talented, the Warriors still need to have a healthy Curry to win the title. They are playing the Trailblazers in the second round of the playoffs and the Warriors were beaten in game three again without Curry. Klay Thompson has stepped up his scoring in a huge way and Shaun Livingston did an incredible job replacing Curry early on in the series.


Sports Shorts ConCorD CUP XXiii this WeeKenD

The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns this weekend for its 23rd year at a TYLER LEHMAN variety of local parks. Over 100 boys and girls club and SPORTS TALK recreation teams from under 10 through U19 are participattheir vacation plans for the ing. Visit for summer booked because they complete information. knew they were going to get walloped by the Dubs. Their reD DeViLs GoLf “superstar” James Harden is CLassiC retUrns jUne 24 one of the most overrated The Red Devil Golf Complayers in the NBA. Yes, he is mittee is holding its 21st annua prolific scorer, but I’d al Red Devils Golf Classic on rather have a banana peel Friday, June 24, at Diablo playing defense than him. Creek Golf Course in ConThe guy stands like a statue cord. Proceeds help athletic and weakly tries to slap the and academic programs at Mt. ball away after he’s been Diablo High School. Registratoasted for the millionth time tion starts at 11 a.m. followed in a game. by lunch, golf, dinner and rafThe Warriors will not be fle/silent auction. For more facing a weak team in the info contact Lou Adamo Western Conference Finals. ( or The Spurs and Thunder will 212-9332) or Ralph Vallis (825be the hardest playoff chal- 7593 or rv76667@ lenge in the past two years for the Warriors, and if Curry free soCCer CLiniC is still dealing with a lingering hosteD by DiabLo fC knee issue, they will need on WeDnesDay flawless execution every Diablo FC will be hosting game to get back to the NBA a free soccer clinic for kids Finals, where a red-hot and ages 5-12 next Wednesday, rested Cleveland Cavaliers May 18, from 6-7:30 p.m. A team seeking revenge figures free Diablo FC sack pack will to be lurking. be given to every boy and girl who attends. Diablo FC proTyler Lehman is a senior at San fessional coaches will be runFrancisco State University and a ning fun drills for players of 2012 CVHS graduate. He is all ability levels. The clinic is majoring in print/online journalism at Tesoro Soccer Fields in and wants to be a sports writer. Concord. Visit Email your comments or questions for more info.

MoVinG forWarD Presuming the Warriors can prevail in the conference semi-finals it’s after the Trailblazer series where the Warriors are going to run into trouble. They will face either the Spurs or the Thunder, both immensely talented teams. Whoever the Warriors play, the Conference Finals probably goes to game seven and that’s if Curry is playing at a high level. With a hobbled Curry, the Warriors will have a very difficult time of getting past the Thunder or Spurs. Curry can still be impactful in the series, but the Warriors will need him to be his super-human self. The Rockets already had to


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fourth through ninth grades. For complete information call (925) 288-8100 ext. 7090 or you can send an email to Registration is open now at (athletic tab).

2 basebaLL CaMP sessions in jUne at CLayton VaLLey

Clayton Valley Charter High School coach Casey Coakley has put together a staff of current CVCHS coaches and players as well as Eagle alumni to provide baseball instruction to youngsters 5-14 years of age. The summer baseball camp will consist of instruction in the fundamentals of hitting, throwing, fielding, catch play and other aspects of the game. Summer baseball school sessions will be held at the school June 13-17 and June 20-24. Each daily session runs 9 a.m.–1 p.m. To reserve a baseball school spot or to get more information email

berean Christian sCheDULe Variety of sUMMer CaMPs

Berean Christian High School is offering boys basketball, girls soccer and softball and FCA football camps featuring NFL and college players and coaches as instructors will be offered in June or July. Basketball, softball and football camps are open to third through ninth graders while the soccer camp is for all ages. Registrajr. eaGLes siGnUPs for tion is taken online at bereyoUth footbaLL, Cheer under athletCVAA Jr. Eagles are ics/camps. accepting registrations for its Mt. DiabLo hiGh has fall football and cheer squads. VoLLeybaLL CoaChinG Two of their cheer teams won national championships in JanPosition oPen uary at the JAMZ Nationals in Athletic director Bryan Las Vegas. Visit the website Shaw has announced that Mt. for more Diablo High School has the information and to register. head varsity coaching position open this fall for its girls volCLayton VaLLey foot- leyball team. If you are interbaLL CaMP jUne 13-16 ested in either opening contact Two-time State champi- Shaw by email onship finalist and Northern or phone California Bowl winner Clay- (925) 682-4030 ext. 87428. ton Valley Charter High School hosts its Future Cham- UGLy eaGLes basKetbaLL pions Youth Football Non- CaMPs CoMinG in jUne Contact Camp June 13-16 Head coach Eric Bambergfrom 5-8 p.m. at Gonsalves er and his Clayton Valley CharStadium on the Concord ter High School coaches and school campus for players in players are offering a pair of second through eighth grades. Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps Camp Director Michael Dom- in June for boys and girls. The inquez and Eagles head coach two sessions for incoming Tim Murphy explain that the third through ninth graders are camp has individual and group June 13-17 and 20-24. Sessions instruction (including safer run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with blocking and tackling tech- the gym open an hour before nique) and team competition and after the formal camp for with fundamentals and tech- pickup play. The camp includes niques of football taught by offensive and defensive the CVCHS staff. To register, instruction and games. For send a message by email to more information and to or ter contact coach Bamberger visit by phone (925) 726-9999 or you can send an email to MDsa taKinG earLy

in 8U and 10U. The teams will begin practicing after the Little League season ends. For more information contact Noonan or call (925) 708-0761. Baseball for All is on the web at

aQUanUts host CeLebration aUCtion, fUnDraiser May 21

Walnut Creek Aquanuts are on the Road to Rio during this Olympic year. They will bring some Olympic flair to their annual synchronized swimming exhibition and fundraiser. Their own Aquanut and coach Mariya Koroleva and her duet partner Anita Alvarez are representing America at the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Koroleva, Alvarez and the entire USA National team will perform at this year’s event next Saturday, May 21, sponsored by BMW of Concord and Mini of Concord. The event will include a live auction and world class synchronized swimming from 4-9 p.m. at Clarke Memorial Swim Center in Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek. For more info and tickets visit

ConCorD ayso taKinG faLL reGistrations

Concord AYSO has two inperson registration days for fall league on Wednesday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 14, at Sports Authority on Concord Ave. from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for boys and girls up to 18 years of age. Players can also register on line at For more information email or call (925) 6033861.

ConCorD hiGh sChooL has faLL CoaChinG Position aVaiLabLe

Concord High School is seeking a girls JV volleyball coach. All coaching positions come with a stipend. Coaching requirements include MDUSD fingerprint, current TB and First Aid/CPR, coaching principles course, concussion course and sudden cardiac arrest course. Interested coaches can send resume to CHS athletic director Megan Coddington at

DiabLo fC teaMs aCCePtinG PLayer aPPLiCations onLine

The area’s competitive soccer club, Diablo FC, has completed its formal tryouts but is accepting online tryout registration for players interested in its United States Development Academy under 12-14 boys teams and all its U8-U19 girls and boys teams. Diablo FC Premier teams compete in the National Premier League of US Club Soccer and participate at several college showcase tournaments each year. For more information on the club, USSDA and premier teams and tryouts for all ages contact director of coaching Zach SulbirD faLL reGistrations at zachsullivan@ Boys and girls 4-18 years of reGister for aLL oUt livan or visit age wanting to play in Mt. Dia- sPorts LeaGUes sUMMer blo Soccer Association fall ProGraMs noW league can register for guaranSummer programs offered ConCorD reCreation hostinG Variety of teed placement until June 15. by All Out Sports Leagues in sUMMer sPorts CaMPs After that date players will be Clayton are now taking regisConcord Parks & Recreplaced on wait-list. Fall league trations. The upcoming proation Department is offering a play begins in August when all grams include adult softball wide variety of youth sports registration closes. Families are and volleyball leagues plus camps, clinics and classes this requested to sign up for volun- youth basketball and football summer including Gymnastics teer duties to help the organi- camps and youth leagues for zation offer its AYSO pro- volleyball and basketball. For + More, Kidz Love Soccer, gram. For complete informa- complete information on All Make Me A Pro camps in tion visit Out Sports programs, visit all- cheerleading, flag football and basketball, Pee Wee Cheer, Skateboard Camp, many SkyDe La saLLe hiGh hawk camps, Water Polo Camp sUMMer CaMPs offereD aLL GirLs basebaLL De La Salle High School teaMs forMinG in area and World Cup Soccer. Conwill host athletic camps in Baseball for All is an inter- cord Rec has on-going sports football, water polo, baseball, national organization promot- classes like swim lessons, juntrack and field, wrestling, vol- ing baseball for girls and its ior tennis, Taekwondo (Little leyball, basketball, strength and national tournament July 23-30 Dragons) and more. For more conditioning, swimming, soc- in San Francisco. Pat Noonan information on any of these cer and lacrosse. The camps of Continental Little League is youth sports programs, visit are open to boys and girls in helping form East Bay teams

May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15


Clayton man inducted into Pittsburg High Hall of Fame JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Ben Camera was a substitute center and linebacker on the 1950 Pittsburg High School football team. After that season legendary Pirates coach Tony Knap told the sophomore that he would be playing quarterback for the Pirates the next year. The position transition seemed to work out well. In recognition of a successful QB stint in the next two years for Pittsburg the 81-yearold Clayton resident will be installed in the Pittsburg High Football Hall of Fame at its 15th induction dinner this Saturday, announced Hall of Fame committee chair Herc Pardi, former Pitt High football coach and also a Clayton resident. Camera was at Pitt during its golden era, helping the football and baseball teams to Contra Costa League titles. As a junior Camera quarterbacked one of the greatest teams in Pittsburg history. The Pirates were undefeated and scored 290 points while giving up only 26 (allowing only 1,034 yards in eight games). The Blitz Kids were the top-rated team in Northern California by the Oakland Tribune and their new QB was second team all-league. The

Ben and Genevieve Camback was the Mt. Diablo tie but in the same season his era moved to Clayton about most satisfying performance 10 years ago. They will celewas in a win over Alhambra brate their 60th anniversary when he scored three touchdowns and an extra point while being perfect with all five of his passes. The Tribune referred to Camera and teammate Ed Lewis as “Pittsburg’s powerful pair.” In his two years at QB Pitt averaged 34.5 points a game, including a school record 60 over Albany in his senior season. He played three years of varsity baseball (1951 team were CCL champs) and two years of basketball. Coach Knap said, “On the football field, the basketball court or the baseball diamond he was the leader. Always in charge and in control.”

Dave Tamori (Class of 1967 wrestling) won a pair of North Coast Section championships as a Warrior after a PE teacher at the school encouraged him to try out for the team after he took part in his first wrestling during the class. He became a Northern California wrestling champion at Diablo Valley College and then won two Far West Conference championships for Chico State and was inducted into the college’s athletic hall of fame in 2004.

Minet Roach Gunther (1982 volleyball and basketball) began her high school career at Pleasant Hill High before that school closed in 1980. She played two years of varsity basketball and volleyball at YVHS. She was first-team volleyball all-league four years. She helped Pleasant Hill to the league championship as a sophomore and the Warriors to DVAL titles the next two years. She was all-North Coast Section volleyball as a junior and senior. Capping her career she led the Warriors to the 1981 NCS championship. She was team captain for the Oregon State Beavers and three-year letter winner.

played street ball with the guys.” Gen was a school teacher in Pittsburg until her retirement.

Local high school spring sports athletes make their final college commitments

Photo courtesy Pittsburg High School


key game that season was a 27-13 win over heavilyfavored Oakland Tech. Pitt also beat another league champion Monterey en route to the perfect 8-0 record. The next season Camera was first-team all-league and team captain. His three years on varsity were on three CCL championship teams. The 1952 Mt. Diablo High School team quarterback by Marv McKean was voted the best in school history but they were only able to tie Pitt in a 19-19 game that saw the Pirates rally from a 19-0 deficit in the third quarter. The teams were cochampions that fall. Camera says his most memorable game as a quarter-

KnaP to CoLLeGe Knap coached Pittsburg football from 1949-58 before embarking on a college and pro coaching career with Utah State, Boise State, UNLV and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Following graduation Camera attended East Contra Costa Junior College (now Diablo Valley College), playing football and baseball. He entered the Army in 1955 and returned to begin a 33year career with Dow Chemical in his hometown.

2016 YVHS Hall of Fame honorees inducted this Saturday A Super Bowl champion from the Oakland Raiders will be among the five athletes, two coaches and a team celebrated when Ygnacio Valley High School holds its fourth annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner this Saturday, May 14, at The Clubhouse at Boundary Oak Walnut Creek. The Ygnacio Valley Athletic Hall of Fame began in 2013 with a new class each year since. Social gathering at Boundary Oak Saturday is at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 o’clock. People interested in attending should contact Debbie Carlin by phone (925) 518-8455 or email

next year. The 81-year-old says his wife was “a better baseball player than me. She was the girl up the block who

Chuck McGinnis (1984 football and baseball) played three years of football and baseball, earning allleague honors in both sports each year. As a junior and senior he was first-team all-league strong safety, he also earned senior honors as a runningback. He was the 1984 YVHS athlete of the year in addition to being second-team all-NorCal defensive back. As the DVC team MVP he led the Vikings in batting average, hits, doubles, total bases and RBIs. He was second-team all-WAC for San Diego State as a first baseman, lettering two years

Rich Mohr attend University of San Francisco and played RICH MARTINI basketball for the Dons, includSUPER BOWL CHAMPION ing two years as a starting OAKLAND RAIDERS guard. He played in Bill Russell’s first college game in Rich Martini (1973 foot- 1953. He became Ygnacio Valball and baseball) was all- ley’s first basketball coach and league two years in baseball was named the league coach of and as a senior in football. He the year. His Warriors were played football at UC Davis for DVAL champions in 1966 and College Football Hall of Fame he got Contra Costa Times coach Jim Sochor. Martini also coach of the year recognition. played baseball for the Aggies Bob Burkhart was a and was inducted into the college’s hall of fame in 1987. He standout for Washington State was the Far West Conference football and signed a contract baseball player of the year in. with the Green Bay Packers as a He was drafted by the Raiders quarterback and punter despite in 1977 in the seventh and missing his senior year due to played two seasons for the injury. He began his high school Raiders who won Super Bowl XV coaching career at Mt. Diablo while he was there catching 23 High before moving to Ygnacio passes and scoring a couple Valley when the new school in TDs. He finished his NFL career Concord opened, taking over the next year on the New the football head coaching reins in 1974. He was at the Orleans Saints. school for three decades. Jim Anderson (1968 1972 Baseball started the football and track) played football and ran sprints all four season with only one win and a years at Ygnacio. He was an all- tie in five pre-season games DVAL running back and a and then lost the league opener league champion in the 100- to Pittsburg before taking off and 200-yard sprints. The War- with 18 consecutive victories to riors were Valley Division II NCS end the season 19-4-1. There co-champions with Pittsburg his were no NCS playoffs in basketsenior year. He earned a schol- ball from 1932-75 so the redarship to the University of Ore- hot Warriors didn’t get a chance gon. There he was a fullback in to culminate their season with the backfield with NFL Hall of the section championship. Famer quarterback Dan Fouts from San Francisco and tailback Bobby Moore (Ahmed Rashad). Photo courtesy yVHS

Clayton Valley Charter righthander Scott Meylan committed to play baseball for San Francisco State. The senior recently signed a letter of intent with the Gators in the midst of the dVaL baseball race where the eagles are in a heated battle with defending champion College Park and Northgate for top honors. Unfortunately Meylan won’t be helping his eagles down the stretch after suffering an elbow injury that will most likely force him to take a redshirt year for SF State too. Meylan was league MVP in water polo last fall as he made all-dVaL four consecutive years in polo. He was second-team all-league baseball last spring.

Jay Bedecarre photos

CARONDELET HIGH FINISHED A BUSY YEAR OF HONORING 19 SENIOR ATHLETES who committed to four-year schools starting this fall. The school’s third lunchtime ceremony in front of parents, relatives and the student body included, from left, Taylor Smallwood (Pacific University, volleyball), Bianco delfabro (Lindenwood University, trap shooting), Makenna zimmerman (Long Beach State, dance), Hanna eidson (Point Park University, dance), Katie Hoyt (Sonoma State, soccer), Katherine Kuptz (St. Mary’s College, lacrosse), avery avina (Point Loma Nazarene University, track & field) and Julianna ruotolo (Cal Poly, track & field).

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

Performing Arts

May 13, 2016

‘The Normal Heart’ beats strong in Pittsburg

SaLLy HoGarTy


Pittsburg Community theatre tackles the powerful drama “The Normal Heart” May 13 through 15 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., in Pittsburg. Directed by Steven Mergogey-Conti, the semi-autobiographical story by

Larry Kramer focuses on the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and society’s reluctant acceptance of the deadly disease. In the play, writer Ned Weeks (Nate Bogner) and a passionate doctor (Clarisse Edwards) work feverishly to make people aware of the mysterious illness and the precautions needed to keep it from spreading. “This play is really about the importance of making your voice heard. The story is utterly human,” says Jason Best, who plays Weeks’ lover Felix. “This man is on a jour-

Photo: Steven Mergogey-Conti

JASON BEST IS FELIX AND NATE BOGNER PLAYS NED WEEKS in Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production of “The Normal Heart.”

Focus is on musical theater in preparation for the summer musical — “A Trip Down Broadway, Jr.” Performers will learn musical numbers from: “Annie,” “Mary Poppins,” “School of Rock” and “Seussical the Musical” Theater Program is for Children ages 6 — 16

July 11-27, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Final performance July 28, 2 p.m.

Musical theater training and preparation instructed by CTC’s Artistic Director La Tonya Watts and Managing Director Roxanne Pardi


ney to save lives and is completely obsessed and invested, especially when the disease affects him personally.” The cast also includes Tim Biglow, Greg Lynch, Giovanni Vidrio, Joseph Saam, Alex Schepers, Keala Freitas and Ian Lustre. For tickets, call 925-4271611 or go to

Get ready for a high seas adventure complete with pirates, romance and a bit of adult humor as writers Gretchen Givens and Linda Gregg premiere their latest work “Esperanza!...A Pirate Romance.” The new musical takes place May 20 through June 5 at onstage repertory’s Campbell theatre, 636 Ward Street, in Martinez. Givens, a Martinez resident, and Gregg, who now makes her home in England, have been working on the project for over 11 years. “This has been truly a labor of love,” says Givens. “Our quirky characters really do exist now and hearing the musical numbers performed for the first time has been a very moving experience,” adds Gregg. The story starts in the mind of “Maggie,” who is attending a romance writing class and soon bounces back and forth between romance in the fantasy world and romance in the real world. Rhonda Joy Taylor plays Maggie while Mitchell Munroe plays her writing instructor Jim. Other cast members include Jene’ Bombardier, Lisa Luttinger, Matthew Martin, Sal Russo, Martin Ashe, Linda Sciacqua and Remmington Stone. Mark Hinds and Helen Means direct with musical direction by Jene’ Bombardier and choreography by Anne Baker. For reservations, call 925518-3277.

Zealand to complete his Masters of Fine Arts and pursue further training. While John will be staying in New Zealand for the foreseeable future, the company will once again be producing shows as B8. Butterfield asked long-time company member JanLee Marshall to step in as artistic director with Kerry Gudjohnsen as managing director, Ali Arman as production manager and Maureen Williams continuing her stellar leadership as company manager. In addition to the new name, B8 is currently looking for a new performance space in the downtown Concord area. For more information, go to

California shakespeare theater opens its summer season with a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” According to co-adapter and director Jackson Gay, gender constraints are out the window in this streamlined version. “Our actors have an infectious sense of fun that will allow them to look past normal gender roles,” he says. To that end, many in the cast will be doing some cross-dressing including James Carpenter, who plays Beatrice, and Stacy Ross, who portrays Benedick. The show runs May 25 through June 19 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, in Orinda. Come early and enjoy a picnic on the beautiful grounds. For tickets, call 510548-9666 or go to

Photo: Courtesy of Cal Shakes

STACY ROSS AND JAMES CARPENTER (shown here in Cal Shakes’ 2010 production of “Macbeth”) will change genders for their roles in “Much ado about Nothing.”

Here’s your chance to see an exhilarating musical performance by a cast of over 200 performers and benefit Children’s Benioff Hospital in Oakland at the same time, thanks to the Peter Pan Foundation. “Wish Upon a Star” runs May 28-30 at Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd., in Pleasant Hill. This tenth anniversary production follows Peter Pan and friends on an enchanted musical journey featuring beloved fairytale charac-

It’s back! One of my favorite theater companies, butterfield 8, has been on hiatus since April of 2014 when PETER PAN AND TINKERBELL share a secret in “Wish Upon a founding artistic director John Star” at diablo Valley College, May 28-30. Butterfield returned to New

ters. “The Peter Pan Foundation, inspired by our original Peter Pan, the late Steffen Ryge, was founded to help children of all ages find their inner talents and confidence, to reach their personal potential and find the best versions of themselves, on and off the stage,” says Leslie Noel, who founded the organization and directs the production. “I think this show touches so many people because everyone has a little Peter Pan inside; a child who never truly grew up.” Full length performances take place at 2 and 7 p.m. May 28 through 30 with Shadow Cast performances May 29 and 30 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased by going to Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is also the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to

ACT explores marriage in musical style Following the wildly successful concert version at the Geary Theater in spring 2015, American Conservatory Theater (ACT) will present a new, fully staged production of “The Last Five Years” May 11June 5. Jason Robert Brown, the Tony Award–winning composer of “Parade” and “Honey-

moon in Vegas,” brings us this powerful and intimate musical about two twentysomething New Yorkers. Struggling actress Cathy and rising novelist Jamie dive headfirst into a marriage fueled by the optimism that comes from finding “the one.” The musical features a unique structure in which

Cathy’s journey is sung from ending to beginning, and Jamie’s from beginning to end. The lovers’ individual accounts reveal that, in a city where professional and personal passions collide, navigating the waters of love and matrimony can prove daunting. Packed with humor, ravishing romance and an exuberant

score, “The Last Five Years” takes an unforgettable look at the hope that love will endure the test of time.

The theater is at 415 Geary St., San Francisco. Single tickets range from $20 to $105 and are available at 415-749-2228 or

Special Fares from only $2,999

CST #2033054-40

For more information please contact

Ph: 925.672.9840

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

Check out our new Travel to Go Facebook Page

• FREE Unlimited WiFi • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions • FREE Specialty Restaurants • FREE Unlimited Beverages including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities

May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Clayton Community Calendar



Saturdays, thru Sept. 24, except Sept. 3 Farmers’ Market

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton.

May 22 Back and Mitchell Canyon Hike May 22 Snakes Alive

May 21, June 4 Saturday Concerts in the Grove

Meet several of our local snakes. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

May 30 Memorial Day Observance

Views in all directions as we circle the mountain’s dominant peak. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Juniper Trailhead.

6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. Program to honor our lost heroes, sponsored by VFW Post 1525. Fly over scheduled and some military equipment on display. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Veterans Memorial flagpole monument, Main and Oak Streets, Clayton. Free.

June 8, 22 Wednesday Classic Car and Concerts in the Grove

June 5 Circle the Mountain Hike


May 13 – 14 “Nunsense”

The Little Sisters of Hoboken put on a variety show. Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St., Brentwood.

June 8: Car show only. 6 – 8 p.m. June 22: Car show, 6 – 8 p.m. Concert, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. May 13 – 14

“Sleeping Beauty”

June 13 Clayton Classic

Golf tournament sponsored by CBCA. 12 p.m. shotgun start. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. 672-2272.

July 11 – 27 Summer Stage 2016

Clayton Theatre Company’s drama camp for children ages 6 – 16. Camp covers acting, singing and dancing and culminates in a performance of “A Trip Down Broadway, Jr.” 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. For fees and registration, go to

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market


Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Thursdays Music and Market

May 14 Nelson Freire

Pianist. Presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $51. 943-7469.

May 14 “Royal”

An afternoon of musical adventure that is perfect for your royal family. 2 p.m. Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, 399 Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10-$20.

May 14 Spring Concert

Presented by Winds Across the Bay Youth Wind Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12. 943-7469.

Antiques, collectibles, handmade arts and crafts. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

A celebration of Aaron Copland’s works presented by Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. May 14: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7-$ May 15: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. 943-7469.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. Concert schedule for 2016: May 17, Bad Company, 7 p.m. May 29, KBLX Stone Soul Concert, 12 p.m. June 12, Spirit West Coast, 4 p.m. June 13, Slipknot, 6:30 p.m. July 9, Bryan adams, 8 p.m. July 12, Taste of Chaos, 6:30 p.m. July 28, Sublime, 6:35 p.m. aug. 19, disturbed, 6:30 p.m. aug. 27, outcry Tour, 6 p.m. aug. 28, Snoop dogg, 7 p.m. Sept. 18, daryl Hall and John oates, 7 p.m.

May 28 – 30 KidFest

Nonstop entertainment, plus free activities for kids. Food court and rides. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closes at 5 p.m. on Memorial Day. 2450 Grant St., downtown Concord. $6 with canned food donation for Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano; $7 without.

June 11 Concord Museum and Event Center

Docent-led walk through of restoration progress on former Masonic Temple. 1, 2 and 3 p.m. 1928 Clayton Road, Concord. Free; donations requested.


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

Tuesdays in June Docent Training

May 14 - 15 “Coplandish”

May 14 - 15 “Girls Night Out II”

An evening of music with the Sincerity Girls Ensemble. Presented by Music Repertoire. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $ 943-7469.

May 15 “In Praise of Music”

Performed by the Contra Costa Chorale in celebration of its 50th anniversary. 5 p.m. Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave. $20-$25.

May 15 May Concert

Presented by Diablo Wind Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. 943-7469.

May 20 – June 5 “Esperanza!”

Visit historic mine openings and learn how miles of tunnels were made. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet in Black Diamond Mines.

May 22 Springtime Moonlight Hike

Hike to hilltop to watch sunset and moonrise. 7:30 – 10 p.m. Meet in Black Diamond Mines. Registration required.

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

May 13 Twin Peaks Wildflower Hike

Climb up to Twin Peaks via Mitchell Rock Trail and return via Eagle Peak Trail. 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

May 14 Butterfly Walk

Walk up Mitchell Canyon to Red Road looking for butterflies and flowers. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

May 21 Wildflower Walk

Hike around the Summit of Mount Diablo and adjacent trails. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required.

Presented by Ligioso Ballet Studio. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17.50. 943-7469.

June 12 Demonstration

Classroom work from students of The Ballet School. 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $27. 943-7469.

June 12 – July 2 Showcase

Classical dance and music of South India presented by Kalanjali Dances of India. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Free. 943-7469.

Help dig, plant, mulch as Mt. Diablo Elementary installs its first garden. Snacks and garden-themed art activities for children. 2 – 5 p.m. MDES, 5880 Mt. Zion Drive, Clayton. Sign up by May 15:


May 18 Palliative and Hospice Care

Speaker Micheal Pope, CEO of Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay; fellowship, lunch. 11 a.m. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord. Free.

May 21 “My Favorite Things”

Selections from four centuries of organ music performed by Dale Scovill. 7:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15.


NEW DATE: May 14 Rummage Sale

Proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 370. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord. For questions, contact Marina at 234-3470 or

May 15 “The Brilliance of Broadway”

Performed by vocal and hand bell ensemble Tapestry. 4 p.m. St. John’s Parish, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Free will donation benefiting Swords to Plowshares.

May 19 – 21 Rummage Sale

Proceeds benefit church’s outreach programs. May 19 – 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. May 21, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord.

May 21 The Road to Rio

The Walnut Creek Aquanuts bring Olympic flair to their annual fundraiser. 4 – 9 p.m. Clarke Memorial Swim Center, 1750 Heather Drive, Walnut Creek. $20; $25 at the door.

A pirate romance. Onstage Theatre at the Campbell Theatre, 636 May 28 Ward St., Martinez. 518-3277. Baking for a Cure Bake sale for Relay For Life Clayton. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Starbucks, May 20 – June 25 Clayton Station.

“Rock of Ages”

Musical featuring big bands, big egos and even bigger hair. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37$65. 943-7469.

June 11 Round-Up For Relay

May 21 “Music of the Seasons”

Barbecue, music, prizes. Sponsored by Relay For Life Clayton; benefiting the American Cancer Society. 6 – 10 p.m. Easley Ranch, 6995 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. $50.

May 21 “Spring 2016: The Best of the Beatles”

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call 673-0659.

Presented by Walnut Creek Chorus. 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, 2317 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. $10-$15.

Presented by The Blackhawk Chorus. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. Be a docent. Apply for a docent training session. Contact Kevin 943-7469. Dixon at or (510) 544-2751.

May 15 Miners and Mining Tools

June 11 “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

SCHOOLS Presented by Contra Costa Ballet. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. Thru May 22 943-7469. “Clybourne Park” Unforgettable new story about race, class and real estate in May 13 – 15 America. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant “The Normal Heart” Hill. $16-$21. Searing drama about AIDS plague. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $10-$25. May 22 427-1611. Garden Work Day

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: May 19, Tom Rigney and Flambeau; May 26, Concord High Jazz Band; June 2, The Bird Dogs; June 9, Lumberyard. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

June 3 – 12

Hike includes the lovely Globe Lily Trail. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Presented by Crosslight Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. 943-7469.

May 21 The Diamonds

Classic Rock and Roll with today’s attitude. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27.

May 22 Danzon and Trombone

Presented by Contra Costa Wind Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. 943-7469.

May 22 “Kindred Spirits”

Presented by Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33. 943-7469.

May 24 College Prep Workshop

Students and parents learn how to research colleges to find one that is the right academic, social and financial fit. 6:30 p.m. Las Trampas Room, Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway. Free. Register at 726-1209.

May 27 – 28 “Dance Series Two”

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $56-$73. 943-7469.

June 3 – 4 “The Show 2016”

Presented by Dance Fusion Company. 7 p.m. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., W.C.. $25. 943-7469.


May 21: aCT Practice Test, 10 a.m. Registration required. May 26: Hats! Hats! Hats! 4 p.m. June 1: Fossils, 7 p.m. June 13: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. June 13: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or 6465455. May 14: rosie the riveters, 1 p.m. May 16: STeaM Project/rockets, 6:30 p.m. Registration required. May 26: adult Coloring and Storytime, 6 – 7:30 p.m. June 2: origami, 4 p.m. June 6: STeaM Project/Meteors, 6:30 p.m.


1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

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

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

Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

May 13, 2016

Clayton’s Buttercup Farms featured at Farmer’s Market STEFAN ROBINSON Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market

The Clayton Farmers Market returned for the season last Saturday, featuring Northern California’s freshest fruits and vegetables and other products from local small farms. Shoppers hear Clay Simmons playing bluegrass and country tunes. City officials tossed the traditional cabbage to officially open the market. Buttercup Farms is one of the local small farms bringing fresh produce to the market this season. Their farm is hidden in the hills out on Morgan Territory Road. It includes about an acre of raised beds, a greenhouse and shade house, an orchard and a grape arbor. The garden promotes smallscale agricultural practices and

food that are environmentally sound and healthy while encouraging community involvement in the endeavor. “At Buttercup Farms, we mentor young farmers from all over the world through two international programs MESA (Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture) and WWOOF (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers),” says owner Jorie Hanson. The farm relies on city water because the water on their land has excessive acids and salts due to low levels of ground water during the drought. This spring, they will bring lettuce, mixed greens, peas, root crops, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and kohlrabi to market. Tomatoes, peppers and other summer crops will

farmers are counting on the support of Bay Area residents to help sustain their farms,” says Allen Moy, executive director of the Pacific Coast Farmers Market. “They are doing all that they can to be responsible with the state’s most precious resource but are still struggling due to the lack of sufficient access to water. We cannot lose such an integral part of our local food system.” Stop by and support these JORIE HANSON (FAR RIGHT) GIVES PACIFIC COAST FARMERS MAR- small local farmers in their goal to keep their community KET staff a tour of Buttercup Farms vegetable beds. Butterhealthy and strong. And in the cup Farms will join other local vendors at the Saturday process, you’ll learn where morning Farmer’s Market in downtown Clayton. your food comes from and arrive later in the season. small local farms due to the enjoy fresh produce. Community attendance and drought. Here’s one of Buttercup support for local farmers mar“With the added pressures kets is crucial this year, as 2016 of the ongoing water crisis, Farms’ recipes: may still prove difficult for

rainboW straWberry saLaD 1 bunch rainbow chard 1 pint strawberries

DressinG: ½ c. strawberries 1 small plum 2 T. olive oil (start with less oil and add more if the mix seems too chunky) 1 tsp. dried thyme A few fresh basil leaves 2 T. vinegar, any flavor

Chop up chard, including stems. Slice strawberries. Blend or use a food processor to mix dressing ingredients until desired consistency. Drizzle dressing over salad. The Farmers Market will be open 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, beginning May 7, in downtown Clayton.

Tequila: The pride of Mexico otic support for Mexican goods. Tequila must be manufactured under strict standards, with no product less than 51 percent blue agave and top-ofthe-line tequilas being 100 percent blue agave. The piña, or core, of the agave (which, contrary to common belief, is not

LINda WyNer

others prefer the sharper, somewhat peppery flavor of middle-aged reposado. The smooth, woody aroma of an older añejo appeals to bourbon and whisky drinkers. Most everybody has a recipe for a margarita, but this tequila cocktail recently came onto my beverage radar.


By the time you read this article, Cinco de Mayo (and your margarita hangover) will have passed. Now that you are of more clear minded, let’s talk turkey about that tequila you enjoyed. It’s surrounded by stories and myths and legends. Tequila’s ancestor, pulque, was produced by fermenting the sap of the agave plant long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Europeans introduced distillation and mezcal and tequila became the first distilled drink and first commercially produced alcohol in North America. As a matter of law, tequila must be harvested from plants grown in and distilled in the Mexico state of Jalisco, and the plant itself must be the blue agave. The product from similar or even identical plants elsewhere in Mexico must be called mezcal. The first licensed manufacturer of tequila was José Antonio Cuervo, who received the rights to cultivate a parcel of land from the King of Spain in 1758. Tequila Herradura and La Preservancia Sauza were other major houses established in the 19th century still producing tequila today. Tequila didn’t achieve prominence until after Mexico attained independence in 1821 and the passion for French products was replaced by patri-

TEQUILA, DISTILLED FROM THE BLUE AGAVE PLANT, was the first commercially produced alcohol in North america.

a cactus) is baked or steamed to make tequila. Mezcal can be made similarly but more often is baked over charcoal under layers of fiber mats and earth, giving the resulting alcohol a strong, smoky flavor. The worm in the bottle myth is an urban legend… except that some Americanbottled brands put a worm in their bottles to impress gringos and boost sales. It was a marketing ploy of the 1940s, without any Mexican tradition. However, it must be said that the worm so used is a butterfly caterpillar that is often harvested and roasted for delicious snacking. It has no aphrodisiac or psychotropic properties, unlike mescaline, which is found in peyote. Taste is the ultimate decision in your choice of tequila. Some prefer the rougher edge of young blanco tequilas, while

the nUeVo yorK (FROM PATRON) 2 oz. añejo tequila ¾ oz. each fresh lemon juice and simple syrup 0.5. oz. red wine Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice of chill. Strain onto fresh ice cubes in a “rocks” glass and gently float the red wine on the surface. Enjoy with a popular toast: Arriba! Abajo! A Centro! Pa’Dentro! An historical footnote: Cinco de Mayo celebrates a small victory in the Battle of Puebla against the French. Mexican Independence Day, on the other hand, is celebrated in September. Linda Wyner owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Send suggestions or questions to

Est. 2008


Saturdays 8am - 12pm ·


J&M FARMS: J&M Farms has everything you need for the perfect salad, from kale to romaine, spinach, and more. Don’t miss out on their broccoli or cauliflower too! BUTTERCUP FARMS GARDEN: The Buttercup Farm Garden operates on one acre in the City of Clayton; they focus on small-scale sustainable production methods and community involvement! Try their raspberries, lettuce, and golden beets! PCFMA.ORG


Spring into action in your yard May 13, 2016

Clayton Pioneer •



Spring is when we all start to cautiously venture outside again. We get up the courage to take a peek at our outdoor living spaces with fresh, discerning eyes. Yes, we might see some weeds here and there, some sad little annuals that somehow made it through the cold winter, or a tree limb that fell during a rain storm, but, if you’re anything like me, you’re not overly concerned about the current state of your greenery. A few trips to the local nursery and your greenery is back in action. You may be far more concerned with your outdoor furnishings and how these pieces fared through the winter.

Your red table umbrella is quietly closed, still standing in its designated hole in the dining table. The dining chairs are a little dusty, patiently waiting for the first party of the warm weather season. The beverage cooler needs to be cleaned, the outdoor area rug looks like it may be trying to grow a fuzzy layer of grass, and your battery-operated candles inside your lanterns have rusted. And, to top things off, every pillow, seat and back cushion were accidentally (and then lazily) left outside since your last summer soiree. To say things are a bit dusty is an understatement. So now what? Do you let the weeds have their way, turning your backyard into a suburban jungle, hiding all traces of furniture and decorative accents?  No — like any living space, inside or out, you come up with a design plan and forge ahead.

WhistLe WhiLe yoU WorK Let’s be honest, outdoor cleaning is no fun. But, if it means prolonging the life of upholstered items, solid wood, resin wicker or various types of

like wildflowers amongst your furniture, ceramic pots in the same family of color with fluffy, planted grasses, and even some new table top décor will add some new spring life to your backyard.

metal furniture, it’s worth your time. Local hardware stores carry all sorts of cleaning solutions that can bring most fabrics and furnishings back to life. CoLor eXPLosion Whether you’re out and about shopping or receiving retail catalogues though the mail, it’s pretty hard to miss all of the color: bright and cheerful patterns featuring stripes, polka dots, floral, whimsical sea creatures or birds of a feather. It’s amazing what new color can do to a living space. A handful of pillows sprinkled

neW ProjeCts And of course, there’s nothing like the summer backyard (or front yard) project. Try out a new redwood gazebo with outdoor drapery, newly installed vintage string lights hung above your dining area, a limestone patio cut into your oversized lawn with a newly installed gas line run to your fire pit, a hot tub with a stone surround, a sports court for the kids, or an updated front walk between the sidewalk and your front porch. Whatever your design project may be this summer, take the time to organize, prepare and research all elements, just as you would an interior space.

Page 19

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Know your shape; know your assets



make the most of what you A year ago, I wrote an arti- have. cle regarding body shapes. I wanted to continue this subject WeDGe-shaPe to elaborate in more detail. Wedge-shaped celebs: Naomi Campbell, Demi DeterMine anD eMbraCe Moore, Renee Zellweger, Teri yoUr boDy tyPe Hatcher Body shape is all about proWedge body traits: Also portion, and fashion is all known as the inverted triangle, about dressing those propor- this body shape features a tions to look their very best. broad chest and wide shoulWhen you think about body ders with narrow waist and types, don’t focus on height hips. and weight. Focus on  shape. Your best asset: Your legs It’s not about trying to look Your fashion goals: Accenthin; it’s about accentuating tuate your lower body while your shape and enhancing softening your shoulders and what you have so you feel your upper body. best in every outfit you own. Wear bright colors on bottom. reCtanGLe-shaPeD Wear wide-leg pants. Rectangle-shaped celebs: Wear full skirts. Natalie Portman, Cameron Wear spaghetti-strap tops. Diaz, Kate Hudson, Hilary Don’t wear boat neckline Swank tops. Rectangle body traits:  The Experiment with highwaist, hip and shoulder widths waisted styles. are similar. Look for clothes that create Your best assets: Your arms the illusion of a waist. and legs Your fashion goals:  Create hoUrGLass shaPe curves and show off slender Hourglass-shaped celebs: legs and arms. Beyonce, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Wear scoop neck and Johansson, Halle Berry sweetheart tops to create Hourglass body traits: Your curves. shoulders and hips are similar Wear long jackets to create in proportion and set off by a a lean look. tiny waist. Wear tops with collars, rufYour best assets:  Curves, fles and details to flatter your curves, curves! chest. Your fashion goals:  Show Wear a good bra that will off your curves

Don’t hide your curves with baggy clothing. Wear a good bra and showcase your bust. Wear a belt at the waist to enhance your hourglass shape. Try wrap dresses. Go for high-waisted skirts. Wear skinny or straight leg jeans. Pear boDy shaPe Pear-shaped celebrities: Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Katherine Heigl Pear body traits: Your lower body is wider than your upper body — in other words, your hips are wider than your shoulders. Your bottom is rounded and your waist is well-defined. Your best assets: Shoulders and torso Your fashion goals: Emphasize your waist and arms, add volume to your shoulders and upper body. Try A-line skirts. Keep hems of pants, skirts and dresses wide to balance the hips. Experiment with light-colored tops and dark-colored bottoms for contrast. Look for boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines. Wear jackets that hit right above the waist.

Eva Longoria, Jennifer Hudson Apple body traits: Most of your weight is above the hips, which are narrow. Your back, ribs and shoulders are broad. Your best asset: Those legs! Your fashion goals:  Elongate the torso and show off your legs Go for monochromatic looks. Go for v-neck tops to create the illusion of a longer torso. Wear a bra that offers good lift and support. Wear belts at the smallest part of your waist. Wear boot cut and flared jeans to create an even line from the shoulders down. Wear shorter skirts to show off your legs and draw attention away from your midsection.

When it comes to your day or night clothing choices, picking cuts that work best with your figure can make a world of difference. Fabric choices and patterns matter too and can change the look and feel of an entire outfit. Be mindful of patterns and fabrics. Patterns can overwhelm or make the outfit, depending on the body type and age. For fabrics, jersey can be quite difficult to wear since it tends to show every curve, wrinkle or blemish when worn tightly. For all body types, It’s important to select a fabric that’s high-quality and hugs only the right places to create a streamlined silhouette.

Susan Sappington is the Area Development Manager and Wardrobe Consultant for ETCETERA ClothaPPLe shaPe ing of New York. Send comments to Apple-shaped celebs: Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah,

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Calandrinia will make your summer garden sizzle

Page 20

Clayton Pioneer •



Last month the Clayton Historical Society hosted their 24th Annual Clayton Valley Garden Tour. This year’s tour was amazing. Tour-goers were excited by the assembly of gardens and landscapes that were featured. Throughout the weekend some would find their way into the nursery seeking information regarding the selections that intrigued them. The most sought after and inquired about plant on the tour was the succulent type perennial called Calandrinia

spectabilis. Calandrinia spectabilis is commonly called Rock Purslane. This succulent type perennial comes our way from the mountains of Chile. This matters to Clayton garden lovers since the mountains of Chile can get cold, and it is good to know that a succulent can tolerate cold temperatures. Calandrinia spectabilis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 degrees, making it a fairly safe installation. From early spring through summer tall, thin stems stretch 24-36 inches above Calandrinia’s foliage; where two-foot wide, five-lobed flowers of bright magenta dangle on small stems scattered along each stalk. A plant will produce dozens of flowering stems. Once in full bloom, Calan-

West Loch from page 1

about it among ourselves, and the incident was classified until 1960. We called it “the Second Pearl Harbor.” My group was loading a truck when the first explosion hit. It was the loudest boom I ever heard. I watched, transfixed, as parts of the ship shot up high into the clear blue sky, twisting, turning, burning, smoking – like a cloud spreading out. Then, chunks of ship came raining down around us. We all took off to find shelter, but I was too late. I got down and curled up in a fetal position, covering my head with my hands and arms. I heard something hit the pavement, landing within arm’s reach of my head. It looked like an electric motor, about two feet long and a foot thick. The hot, smoking metal landed

with a “thump” and sunk in a few inches, without ever bouncing back. DanGeroUs reCoVery effort

After things quieted down, we all went back to work – rushing to get the ammo safely onto trucks and out of the way. I spotted an air raid shelter and figured I could run fast enough to get there if the ship blew again. The next big blow came soon enough, and I took off running full speed for the shelter. There were a bunch of guys running ahead of me, when I saw a large smoking chunk of ship come down, spinning around. I saw it hit one of the guys just ahead of me. I was pretty sure he was killed, but I didn’t stop to find out.

drinia creates a dramatic display worthy of any raised bed, rock wall or container. You can mix Calandrinia spectabilis with yellow blooming Calylophus for a striking combination along a rock wall.

Calylophus Southern Bell is a hardy, long blooming Texas native that likes the weather hot. Butter yellow, cup-shaped flowers dance along whispy stems that are filled with tiny leaves. Calylophus Southern Bell is a perennial groundcover. From May through August you can expect piles of flowers. During the winter months, Calylophus will rest, as it stores up energy for another productive blooming season. If you are looking for great considerations for raised beds in full sun, mix Calandrinia with Popsicle series Kniphofia, Rudbeckia Autumn Shades, Salvia Leucantha and Amazing Red Phormium. Together, these perennials would make your summer garden sizzle. The Popsicle series of Kniphofia are commonly

put out the fire on the ships that were still floating. Tugs had removed the ammo ship, so we helped off-load a supply ship. I was down in “the hold” stacking cases of Blatz beer onto platforms, to be pulled up and off onto the dock. And, we didn’t crack open a single beer. Though the incident could have caused a serious operational delay, replacements of ships and men were quickly rounded up. The LSTs got underway only one day late, and the invasion of Saipan took place on schedule. All that is left as a reminder of that fateful day is the rusted hull of LST 480, standing silently off Waipio Peninsula. In 1994, the National Park Service, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, placed a wayside the War MUst Go on exhibit across from LST 480 to We all worked on the dock commemorate the event. for the next few days. They had A Naval inquiry couldn’t I made it to the shelter and went in head first, behind about five other guys. Parts of the ship were still falling around us. When the noise stopped, we got up and looked around. One of the guys lit up, and offered me a smoke. I took it, but I couldn’t light it because my hand was shaking too much. I recall seeing a bunch of guys crawling out from under the truck we had been loading. Then, we went back to work. After about 18 hours, we were relieved. We went back to our housing on West Loch, where we were fed. That night we watched a movie on a temporary screen. While watching the movie, another LST blew up with another enormous boom.


This home has a great layout and will be a fantastic place to entertain all year long! Coming in mid May.

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called dwarf hot poker plants. Look for Mango Popsicle, Dreamsicle and Papaya Popsicle. These introductions have been planted and enjoyed by folks for a handful of years. They’re repeat bloomers and absolutely delightful. Rudbeckia Autumn Shade is a tall growing daisy shaped flower that measures four-tofive-inches wide. This Rudbeckia has lots of movement in the garden. Look for plants in six-packs, and install three-tosix in each hole for maximum impact. Salvia Leucantha is commonly called Mexican Sage. Bushy gray colored foliage is topped with fuzzy purple spiking flowers from July through October. Amazing Red Phormium is an excellent choice to give an area struc-

ture. The reddish bladed foliage will contrast nicely with the other hot colors in this garden bed. Calandrinia makes a great container installation. Install in a large pot. Calandrinia will fill the exposed soil in the pot and run over the sides. Place large pots of Calandrinia within a poolscape for a cool look. Calandrinia will one day be too large for your area, or pot. When this happens simply cut the plant back hard. It will regrow from the center. Save some of the cut pieces and replant in other areas of the landscape, or share. They are very easy to propagate. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

THE REMAINS OF LST 480 OFF WAIPIO PENINSULA are the only visual reminder of the May 1944 incident.

pinpoint the exact cause of the explosions. The accident, along with the Port Chicago disaster two months later, led the Navy to change weapon handling practices. Eventually, Acorn 33 left Pearl for Guam. I went over the side of our transport ship and down a rope ladder onto a small landing craft. This was 20 days after the first Marines

invaded Guam. I helped set up the Naval Air Base and became a striker (apprentice) in the photo lab, earning a Photographer’s Mate Second Class rating. If you ask what I did during World War II, I would tell you “not much, really.” I went where I was sent and did what I was told. I was never assigned to a ship, but I was still a sailor.

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MAY 13 Clayton Pioneer 2016  
MAY 13 Clayton Pioneer 2016