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Congratulate your favorite grad in The Pioneer. See ad page 11 May 17, 2019 From the desk of...

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Tenants and workers gather to protest high rents in May Day rally

RAISE THE ROOF COALITION Special to the Pioneer

CARLyn OBRingeR

CONCORD MAYOR

Galindo St. project a boost for city’s affordable housing

At the May 7 meeting, the Concord City Council proclaimed May 11-19 as Affordable Housing Week to raise awareness regarding what is being done in our community to help address affordability challenges. I want to share more about Resources for Community Development (RCD), the 100 percent affordable, transit-oriented housing project for which the City Council approved additional funding

Amir Saadiq

A May Day rally and march began at Meadow Homes park with a call for rent control action from city leaders. See Obringer, page 9 Hundreds then marched through downtown streets to Todos Santos Plaza where local musicians and dance groups performed.

Hundreds of Concord residents poured into the streets for the annual May Day rally and march on May 1. Their message was that the City Council must pass rent control and other tenant protections to prevent more families and businesses from being pushed out of town. Skyrocketing rents, unjust evictions, displacement and homelessness have had a devastating impact on Concord’s communities, with low-income children and families of color the hardest hit. No Concord neighborhood is affordable for families who earn less than $50,000 a year. “Everyone deserves a place to raise our families with dignity, to work and contribute to our community, and to live, pray and play free from the threat of displacement,” said Nicole Zapata of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, one of the march’s organizers.

See May Day, page 2

Walking the walk: Local man advocates for homeless LISA FULMER Special to the Pioneer

After several years of observing local homelessness, long-time Concord resident Wayne Calhoon finally decided to stop being afraid and annoyed. “I met a woman whose son was homeless, and she had a vision of starting a nonprofit to help more people like him. Her story resonated with me, so I helped her establish Passion to the Streets,” he said. “Once her organization was up and running, I was inspired to see what I could do in my own neighborhood.” Calhoon, a homeowner in the Monument corridor for 26 years, started introducing himself to people he suspected were homeless. “I’ve gotten to know my homeless neighbors well,” he said. “I do a lot of listening and a little chatting. Most people just want some

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Lisa Fulmer

Monument resident Wayne Calhoon brings food to his friend Beth at her temporary campsite.

adult conversation about real life.” He has become a tenacious advocate for his neighbors who are facing complex challenges like homelessness. For three years, Calhoon has been driving through Concord at night to check in with his

friends living on the street. He and his housed friends regularly purchase supplies such as blankets, toiletries and water to give out as needed. Some people have been living rough for a long time; others are dealing with temporary setbacks. “Once I met a woman who

had just become homeless that day. Within 24 hours, I had her re-homed and she is back in the mainstream,” he recounted. “I helped another woman get into an addiction recovery program while I fostered her dog. She did well for a while, but then she relapsed and is homeless again.” Calhoon credits his experience in private elementary school for guiding his philosophy. “We spent time with lots of different kids in the community, including those who needed extra help, so I learned early about the value of compassion,” he recalled. He knows all too well that anyone can become homeless. “One particularly harsh winter, my house became damaged and it was unsafe to live there,” he said. “I had to move into a temporary shelter, where I was treated, and mistreated, like any other homeless person

Kidfest in Concord turns 30 and it’s fresh as ever TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

On Memorial Day Weekend over 20,000 kids, parents and grandparents will visit Mt. Diablo High School in downtown Concord to take part in the city’s largest annual celebration, Bay Area KidFest. This is the 30th edition of KidFest and event producer Jay Bedecarre says the entertainment, activities, attractions, exhibitors and food are just as fresh today as they were in the debut 1990 KidFest. On hand to entertain KidHolly Sonne Fest audiences May 25-27 will Bay Area KidFest offers 20 rides for kids of all ages, includbe the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs, ing the popular Dragon Wagon Roller Coaster. The 30th BMX Freestyle Team, Professor

See KidFest, page 3

annual KidFest is May 25-27 on the Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Concord.

needing assistance.” He also remembers Mary, a 76-year-old Pleasant Hill homeowner. “After getting some shady advice, abusing alcohol and making some bad choices, Mary lost her house to foreclosure and moved into her car. When it was impound-

ed, I helped her find a sober house, where she still lives. So that’s a success story.” Calhoon recently started working with another nonprofit, Urban Upreach, which wants to develop rapid transitional

See Homeless, page 2

Marine vet keynote speaker at Memorial Day celebration BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

In his Memorial Day speech in Clayton, Lt. Col. Mike Hudson will emphasize sacrifice and the gift of valor. “I’ll be talking about Memorial Day and why it matters. I want to focus on the gifts that those sacrifices bring – the impact and moving forward,” he said. “Then I’ll bring those things together to explain the role of the living veteran in telling the story of those who are no longer with us – basically a way to keep the memory and knowledge of those contributions alive by letting younger generations know what happened.” The 28th annual Memorial Day Observance begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the downtown Clayton flagpole.

The Lt. Jerry Novakovich VFW Post 1525 is co-hosting the event with the Korean War Veterans Chapter 264. Gold Star Mom Jeanne Magnani also will speak, with music by Concord High School, the Diablo View Middle School Band and Ladies First. Hudson, a Concord resident, enlisted in the Marines in 1993 and was a reservist while attending San Diego State. He was commissioned as an officer in 1997 and served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan before retiring in September 2018. On Memorial Day, he intends to honor those who impacted his life – including author Bryan Smothers. An Amazon reviewer said Smothers’ book, “1968 Year of the

See Memorial, page 5

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Mt. Diablo Elementary celebrates new field

A huge crowd of kids ran onto the field with excitement after the ribbon-cutting for the new field at Mt. Diablo Elementary School in Clayton on April 26. “They were doing cartwheels, rolling on the grass, playing soccer and other games. It was a fun day,” said Jennifer Lauricella, a member of the Field of Dreams Committee. “Such a happy day this is for our community and for our elementary school,” noted Pat Middendorf, a co-chair of the committee with Debra Gonsalves and Michele Hill. “We hit upon the idea to renovate the field when we were walking the track for Relay for Life three years ago, and we heard many comments about the horrible condition of the track and field,” Middendorf said.

Jennifer Lauricella

Cartwheels were a popular activity on opening day of the new field at Mt. Diablo elementary School.

Starting with a fundraiser in January 2017, the group of parents and community members raised $370,000 for the complete renovation of the track and field. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District con-

tributed $350,000. Work began in November 2018 on the field and a new donor plaza with marked pavers. As Superintendent Nellie Meyer and the committee gathered on April 26, students

chanted “Cut that Ribbon!” over and over again, getting louder each time. Principal Linn Kissinger rolled out the first soccer ball, and the students swarmed onto the field to play. Meyer commented on the wonderful collaboration between the district and the community and thanked the committee members for their relentless drive. Clayton Mayor Tuija Catalano proclaimed it MDE Field of Dreams Day, congratulating all involved “for an inspiring and remarkable effort to finance and construct a safe and functional field for the benefit of our students and community members.” “The Field of Dreams Committee can now see the fruits of their labor, and what a beautiful sight it is,” Middendorf said.

Clayton Valley High Hall of Fame honors 6th class

Clayton Valley High inducted its sixth class to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame this month. The inductees included natalie nelson (Class of 2000 water polo, basketball, swimming), Benson Jones (‘98, football, basketball, track), Lindsay nelson (‘03 water polo, swimming), Pat Middendorf (Community Leadership), Katie Webber Caderao (‘00, volleyball, basketball, golf) and coach george Smylie. Also honored were gary Logsdon (‘65, football, basketball, baseball), Bruce Kopitar (‘77 football, wrestling) and Warren Turnage (‘78, wrestling) plus 1978 wrestling, Photo courtesy CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame 1979 girls volleyball and 1999 boys swimFamily members were on hand to honor Hall of Famer, Pat Middendorf. ming north Coast Section championship From left: naomi Middendorf, isaac Middendorf, Pat and Jim Middendorf, teams. Kendra Middendorf, Tabitha Middendorf, Luke Middendorf.

May 17, 2019

May Day, from page 1

“We all have the right to a safe and secure home – a place of roof and refuge, of true sanctuary,” said Jennifer Morales of Monument Impact, another march organizer. The day began with a lively rally at Meadow Homes Park, where about 400 people gathered to hear from community members personally affected by the housing crisis. Betty Gabaldón, a single mom displaced from Concord after living here for two decades, told her story of being evicted without cause for organizing a tenant union in her building. “My story is not unique. Thousands of Concord residents are feeling the stress of high rents, poor living conditions and landlords who take advantage of them. Our children are the ones suffering the most,” she said. “We need City Council to take action now and pass tenant protection policies,” she added. “Their inaction makes them complicit to the landlord abuse.” The boisterous crowd then marched to Todos Santos Plaza, chanting in English and Spanish,

accompanied by the BoomShake Music drum troupe. Other musical groups entertained at the park, along with a political theater performance. Dolores Ramos of Central County Regional Group, another march organizer, told the story of her family’s no-fault eviction. “Like many people here today, I too was evicted along with 28 other families in my building simply because the new owner wanted tenants who could pay more rent,” she said. “Eight months later, and I still can’t find a place I can afford. Our fear is that if things do not improve, we will end up on the street.” Ramos concluded with a call to action. “We invite you to be part of this movement and urge City Council to pass rent control and just cause for evictions. When we are united, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”

housing to help people become more self-sufficient. “We just started a weekly program in the Monument called Taco Talks, where both the homeless and the housed can get to know each other, eat some tacos and discuss important issues.” He sees homeless people who struggle with a wide range of issues. “Fighting with each other, addiction and mental illness are common. The constant harassment by authorities and the lack of sanctioned shelters makes

things even worse, especially when so many people treat the homeless as outcasts,” he noted. “The biggest misconception is that most homeless people choose to be homeless, which just isn’t true. Everybody has a name and a story, and most are receptive to a good vibe. Just befriending our homeless neighbors makes a big difference.”

Raise the Roof Coalition submitted this article. The group represents thousands of Concord renters, families, workers, faith leaders and tenant advocates.

Homeless, from page 1

To see how you can help, visit passiontothestreets.com or urbanupreach.com.

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Concord/Clayton Market Update CONCORD

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SF

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BED/BATH DATE

. .2/1 . . . .5/6/19 . .2/2.5 . . .5/3/19 . .5/3 . . . .5/1/19 . .4/2 . . .4/30/19 . .4/2.5 . .4/30/19 . .3/1.5 . .4/29/19 . .4/2 . . .4/25/19

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5826 Four Oaks Lane . . . . . . $865,000 15 Mt Whitney Ct . . . . . . . . . . $908.200 1650 Curry Canyon Rd . . . . . $625,000 510 Leon Way. . . . . . . . . . . $1,425,000 30 Mt Scott Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . $902,500 231Southbrook Pl . . . . . . . . . $919,500 720 Anizumne Ct . . . . . . . . . . $730,000

SF

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BED/BATH

DATE

. . .4/2 . . . . .5/3/19 . . .5/3 . . . . .5/3/19 . . .2/2 . . . . .5/1/19 . . .5/3.5 . .4/29/19 . . .4/2 . . . .4/26/19 . . .4/2.5 . .4/17/19 . . .3/2.5 . .4/16/19


May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 3

Like father, like daughter for basketballing Bambergers JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

When the 2018-19 girls all-state high school basketball teams were recently announced, one name rang a bell to long-time California hoops observers. Ali Bamberger of Carondelet High was one of 10 players named to the first-team all-state Division I squad. Those with a long memory harken back to 1988 when Ygnacio Valley postman Eric Bamberger—Ali’s father— was awarded all-state laurels. Jay Bedecarré They are the state’s first-ever All-state center Ali Bamberger of Carondelet High is father-daughter duo to headed to the University of Washington this fall to begin her college basketball career. Dad eric Bamberger was also receive the same top 15 accolade, according to Calan all-state player 31 years ago for ygnacio Valley. The Hi Sports editor and pubConcord duo earned the unique honor of both being lisher Mark Tennis. named to all-state teams.

KidFest, from page 1

Smart’s Science Show, Python Ron’s Reptile Kingdom and Kid’s Town America. The racing pigs, BMX Freestyle Team and the Reptile Kingdom are all making repeat appearances based on overwhelming positive feedback from their shows in the past two years. The racing pigs and BMX team each present four shows daily while Kid’s Town is open all day for KidFest attendees to experience. Todd Victor and his trusty sidekick Lizette Guy brought the Jest in Time Circus to KidFest five times. Recently he developed Professor Smart’s Science Show where he uses his comedic talents to present scientific principles in an engaging way for kids and adults alike. Professor Smart will present three shows daily under his huge blue and yellow circus tent. Before each

science show Reptile Ron will share his exotic Animal Kingdom. One of the main features of KidFest since its beginning is having superstar costume characters meet and greet their fans. Spider-Man and Olaf will both be on hand all weekend to have their photo taken. When the city of Concord and producer Beth Clark began KidFest the goal was “to lay the cornerstone for the premier children’s event in the Bay Area.” Consider that goal accomplished. Clark was the creative force behind KidFest for 20 years before she turned over KidFest to Bedecarre when the City said it was no longer able to assist in the production nor have it in Todos Santos Plaza. Bedecarre moved the event four blocks down Grant St. to his alma mater, Mt. Diablo

High. For the past 10 years at the new site KidFest has much more space, enabling the longest-running family event in the East Bay to add large scale traveling attractions, kid’s carnival rides and other activities that simply wouldn’t fit on the square block footprint at Todos Santos. KidFest kept all its popular activities that go back to its beginnings. Free face painting, balloon animals, spin art, keepsake handprints, inflatable crawls and slides, and non-stop entertainment by local groups on the community stage are integral parts of the KidFest experience. Most everything is free with the low admission price. There’s an extra charge for the eclectic food court, rides and purchases from arts and crafts and other exhibitors. KidFest’s rides include the popular Dragon Wagon Roller Coaster, zipline, Ferris Wheel, pony ride, petting zoo, giant

Ali Bamberger, a 6-3 center, is headed to the University of Washington this fall after helping Carondelet to four consecutive North Coast Section championships. She was joined by four classmates who had four-year varsity careers. Emily Howie, Erica Miller, Alex Brown and Tatyana Modawar joined her as the Cougar’s Fabulous Five that won 99 games and lost only 25. Brown and Bamberger actually go all the way back to second grade when they started playing CYO basketball for St. Bonaventure. The girl’s dads coached them in those early years. Ali Bamberger transferred from Highlands Elementary to

Saint Agnes School and played for Saints CYO through seventh grade. Dad Eric Bamberger says his daughter “wasn’t one of the best 1 or 2 players” when she began playing. “She was a year younger than most of the girls in her class [Ali Bamberger graduates this spring from Carondelet as a 17-year-old] but she was able to shoot with both hands. She just needed to get more confident and aggressive.” Ali Bamberger says she realized her love of basketball between eighth grade and high school. “I broke my foot. The doctor took a look at my growth plate and said I had 3-4 more inches to grow. I was 5-11 then and I was

very excited.” She played water polo in the fall of her freshman year at Carondelet (just like her basketball hero Jayne Appel had done at Carondelet) and she was very nervous when basketball tryouts came around. Cougars coach Elgin Leslie had taught her at St. Agnes but wasn’t that familiar with her basketball skills. Bamberger had been playing club basketball since she was in fourth grade with Cal Stars and skipped eighth grade CYO to concentrate on the AAU club. With Cal Stars, Bamberger traveled the country, playing in top-level tournaments including the Nike circuit in

slide, train, Spider Mountain and a dozen more. All-day ride wristbands are now sold so that the user can go on every ride. There are discounted ride ticket

packages also sold that can be used by the entire family. Proceeds from KidFest benefit local educational, health and sports groups. Over

the past 29 years KidFest has raised nearly $500,000 for schools, sports, health and other local non-profits. KidFest continues for the 24th year as one of the major annual donor events for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. This year, Dogs for Diabetics will be accepting clothing and small household good donations in the KidFest parking lot each day. KidFest admission price has increased by only $1 since 1994, when attendees donate a canned good to the Food Bank in return for a $1 discount on the low admission price. On Saturday, attendees can bring two cans and get $2 off for a $5 admission. Babies under 24 months and seniors 65 and over are free.

Photo courtesy Bay Area KidFest

KidFest debuted in downtown Concord in 1990. KidFest managers, with up to 26 years as part of the event, will have worked a combined 148 KidFests when this year’s 30th annual festival is held May 25-27. The KidFest team includes, from left, producer Jay Bedecarré, Loretta Hill, Kathie Leavitt, Larry Witus, Janine Witus, Samantha Samuels, ingrid McVanner and Andrea Caton.

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Priced to sell — Lovely landscaping accentuates the entrance to this updated, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. Beautiful laminate wood flooring throughout, freshly painted walls, recessed lighting, brand new flooring and vanities in bathrooms, new water heater, garage door, fairly new Samsung appliances and more. Jamie Duvnjak (925) 808-9652

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Morgan Territory — Situated nearly 5 acres this property offers 2 pastures, a barn, a creek running through, a beautiful garden and fruit trees. Approx 2396 square feet with 3 bed and 2 full baths plus a loft and a den on city water. Custom kitchen with pantry and cherry wood cabinets. Separate work shop w/ electricity or easily convert back to large garage.

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Dana Hills — Priced to sell 4 bedroom 2 bath home in desirable neighborhood with community pool. Approx 1,858 square foot split level with deck and waterfall feature. Huge .40 acre lot with unlimited possibilities. Bring your own sense of style and make this house your home. Amy Callahan (925) 699-1207 AmyCallahan@windermere.com

Clayton

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Windmill Canyon — Light and bright 4 bed, 2.5 bath home with views. Master suite with vaulted ceilings and walk in closets. Beautiful wood hand scraped floors. Kitchen remodeled with custom island and Quartz counters. Family room with fireplace leads to private backyard with large patio for entertaining Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 683-2568 CVanVaeren@aol.com

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Visit KidFestConcord.com for complete information and a schedule of events.

D EN

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See Bamberger, page 5

Walnut Creek

$698,000

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

Concord

$629,000

Cul De Sac Location — Situated on nearly ¼ acre, this 5 bedroom, 2 bath home is located on the Pleasant Hill border, near shopping, dining and easy freeway access. Spacious kitchen with island and granite counters, living room with fireplace dual pane windows and numerous other updates throughout.

Clayton

$865,000

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

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

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

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BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

Local officials describe Ellen Tauscher as down to earth, self-assured, an inspiration, a mentor and a steadfast booster for our county. “She had that special ability to make you feel that you were the only person in the room when she was talking to you. It’s a very rare and unique gift,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. “It was that kind of friendly, collegial support that you don’t see much anymore,” recalled Clayton City Councilwoman Julie Pierce. “She not only reached across the aisle, she reached into her district deeply and helped everyone.” Tauscher, a Democrat who represented parts of the East Bay in Congress from 1997 to 2009, died April 29. She was 67. According to Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, Tauscher was involved in several major local transportation improvements, including the expansion of Highway 4 in East County, the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel and the Interstate 680 project down to the Santa Clara border. DeSaulnier was a Contra Costa County supervisor – and registered Republican – when Tauscher asked him to co-chair a Republicans for Tauscher Committee in 1996. “I was more liberal than her, which was always fun,” he said with a laugh. “I could see that the Republican Party was becoming more and more what it is today, which in my view is very limited and very conservative. It just wasn’t reflective of my values or her values,” he recounted. “So I felt very comfortable supporting her against a Republican.”

ELLEN TAUSCHER

Pierce met Tauscher when she was running against Republican Bill Baker in 1996 and got to know her better through the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Pierce noted that Tauscher’s dedication didn’t waiver after redistricting changed her constituency. “She was very interested in helping us with whatever we needed in Contra Costa.” Tauscher left Congress to become the under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. She was then a special envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department until August 2012. As under secretary, Tauscher negotiated the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), the first major agreement signed with Russia in almost 20 years. Mitchoff was in the audience when Tauscher spoke locally about her time at the State Department. “She shared what she could, and I was just so impressed how wonderful she was doing. But it wasn’t about how wonderful she was doing, because Ellen never made it about herself,” Mitchoff said. “It was about how lucky we

NOTE: work was scheduled to and reduce congestion from begin May 13 the Concord Pavilion to the northern Hess Road intersecContra Costa County Pub- tion. lic Works has begun construcWidening will require contion on the Kirker Pass Road struction of six retaining walls northbound truck climbing adjacent to the road. The lane project. county will also pave the north Pavement widening on the and southbound lanes between east side of the roadway will the city of Concord/county provide a 12-foot truck lane limits to about 4,200 feet north and an 8-foot paved shoulder. of North Hess Road. The project will improve safety Completion is expected in

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In Memoriam

Two public services will be held for Ellen Tauscher: 10 a.m. May 20, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. 2 p.m. June 6, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Reception to follow. She will be laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, N.J., with her parents, John and Sally O’Kane. The family requests donations to the Esophageal Cancer Action Network at ecan.org or P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, MD 21153.

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were to have her doing this very important work at this critical time in world history. “There is so much that will be Ellen’s legacy,” she added. “But her work on nuclear arms control will be the paramount one.” According to Mitchoff, Tauscher also played a critical role in helping the Democrats flip House seats in the Central Valley and Orange County last November. “It was her ability to pull the right people together and know the messaging that needed to be done.” DeSaulnier said Tauscher’s people skills bolstered her success. “She related to all kinds of people – wealthy ones and people who weren’t wealthy. She had been both,” he noted. “For someone who had never run for office to make an impact so quickly speaks a lot about Ellen and her interpersonal skills.” DeSaulnier paused, then said wistfully: “I miss her. She was a big presence in my life and in Contra Costa’s life.”

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the spring of 2020, with construction scheduled to minimize impacts to commute traffic. Funding sources include Measure J, the state Transportation Improvement Program, a state match, a local Streets and Road Program and gas tax revenues. For more information, visit cccounty.us/pwdmap.

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May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 5

Clayton looks for local control in addressing housing crisis

But Wan says the housing crisis is centered around the large cities and employment centers in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties – not a small city like Clayton.

“It is a loss of local control,” he said at a council meeting last month where he introduced his objections to the compact. “From the process itself to the overall output from CASA, it was flawed.” Pierce said most cities agreed the plan had problems. But nonetheless, “they compiled everything they had decided and sent it to Sacramento to make sausage,” said Pierce, the former president of ABAG. According to Assemblyman Tim Grayson, D-Concord, the state effectively dissolved the plan. Most of its ideas were absorbed into the many housing-related bills now being written, discussed and voted on in the state Legislature. “CASA was brought together with good intentions,” Pierce said. “But there were too many competing issues, including who would pay for it? Who would administer it?” The Contra Costa Mayor’s Conference wrote a letter opposing many of the principles of CASA, released May 8, one day after the Clayton City Council approved a letter of its own, penned by Wan, that outlined the city’s objections. Issues included the loss of local control over building and the creation of yet another regional agency to oversee housing issues. “The City of Clayton values local control to improve and maintain the quality of life for its residents,” the letter begins. “As the smallest city in Contra Costa County by area and population, the needs and interests of our residents are those of a small, close-knit city on the outskirts of

Monkey,” should be required reading “for every Nam vet and their families.” “When I was stationed in Texas, I met him and developed a pretty close relationship

with him,” Hudson said of Smothers, who died in August 2018. Hudson said he also will talk about the hardships and sacrifices that military families

Kentucky, Illinois, South Carolina and George, besides up and down the West Coast. Fellow all-state honorees Madison Campbell (Clovis West), Brooke Demetre (Mater Dei), Angel Jackson (Salesian), National player of the year Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty) and Hannah Jump (Pinewood) were her teammates on Cal Stars. Her dad helped Ygnacio Valley to the Northern California Division I basketball championship in 1987, the first ever for a school east of the Caldecott Tunnel. The Warriors won a school-

record 28 games that year and also featured future NFL receiver Chris Walsh and Chris Roach. They lost to Mater Dei in the State title game. As a senior Ygnacio and Bamberger won NCS and were runner-up at NorCal. Bamberger was a three-time all-league and two-time allstate player plus named 1988 Bay Area, Northern California and California Division 2 Player of the Year. The 6-9 Bamberger played basketball under four coaches at St. Mary’s College after turning down a football scholarship to Cal as a tight

PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

Is there a housing crisis in Clayton? It depends on whom you ask. Clayton Vice Mayor Julie Pierce thinks there could be, especially in the years to come. But Councilman Jeff Wan doesn’t think so. “In Clayton specifically, I’d have to gain an understanding of how the term ‘crisis’ is being used,” he said. “Overall, I think Clayton is one of the few places in the Bay Area that strikes a good balance between a high quality of life and affordability.” That’s something that will be debated on the floor of the council, on social media and in living rooms throughout the city. But there is a housing crisis in the region, which resulted in the Bay Area-wide CASA compact. Brought together by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), CASA is the comprehensive and controversial result of 1½ years of meetings among local politicians, developers, builders, planners, affordable housing advocates, BART and other stakeholders concerned about what they consider a housing crisis in the Bay Area. THE VALUE OF LOCAL CONTROL

Memorial, from page 1

Bamberger, from page 3

“Of course, more modest the Bay Area and are often different than other large cities in homes are available, which increases the affordability,” he the region.” said. “We strive to meet the HELPING THE MIDDLE CLASS needs of all of our residents at Grayson, the former mayor all income levels.” of Concord, agrees with that sentiment. “Many cities, espe- LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVE HOUSING cially smaller ones, already have a Despite that, Pierce sees good handle on their housing needs in their local communi- that Clayton could be facing a ties,” he said. “Clayton is one of housing crisis. “What happens those cities, making sure that the when seniors want to downsize, yet stay in the communineeds are addressed.” He said the CASA compact ties they live in, where their started with good intentions to friends and family are? Where address housing availability and do young professionals live if affordability in the Bay Area, they have good jobs yet still including promoting high-densi- can’t find housing?” She is a fan of additional ty housing near transit hubs, like BART stations and some major bus stops. But he made it clear that Clayton should “never be a target” of such developments. He advocates creating affordable housing for the middle class as well as those who are facing homelessness. “Even people who have good jobs who commute to San Francisco can’t afford housing,” he said. “We PEGGY SPEAR have to address their needs as The Pioneer well.” Wan doesn’t exactly see it City-resident relations that way, especially in regard to could crack wide open due to a Clayton. “The approximate zoning change that may herald median home price in Clayton is the arrival of a controversial about $800,000,” he said. “In 2015, the median household Chick-fil-A in Concord. The City Council voted 3-2 income in Clayton was $136K a on April 23 to allow a zoning year. An $800,000 home at 4.25 change to accommodate a percent, 30-year loan would yield drive-through restaurant on a monthly payment of approxiWillow Pass Road at the locamately $3,100.” tion of the long-vacant Lim’s Going with a “conservative” Restaurant. one-third debt-to-income ratio, Two major issues are ratthat would fall under the median tling residents. One is the idea household income, according to of a drive-through restaurant Wan.  on a major corridor to the city’s center. The other is more problematic: Chick-fil-A’s cormake, and he’ll include his two porate management is notoridaughters in the program. He ous for its anti-LGBTQ stance, named his youngest, 9-year-old donating money to defeat gay Yullina, after fallen Marine Yull marriage in many states. “We passed a conditional Estrada. “She clearly understands use permit (if the zoning is why her name is important,” changed),” said Councilman he said. “And she’s pretty Edi Birsan, who approved the measure. “We did not approve a proud of it.” Chick-fil-A yet in that location.” But even the mention of Chick-fil-A set off a firestorm on social media and in public end. His Gaels went to the NCAA Tournament in 1989. comments. “What makes me mad is After graduating from St. the duplicitous nature of this Mary’s, Bamberger competed ‘zoning issue,’” resident Patrick in the Continental Basketball Hardy told the Pioneer. “It’s a Association, an NBA farm convenient way for the council circuit, then in France, Austo approve Chick Fil-A withtralia and South Africa. out getting their hands dirty.” Bamberger coached boys basketball at Ygnacio Valley, MORE REVIEW AHEAD Deer Valley and most recentIt is still a long way before ly, Clayton Valley Charter. the chicken restaurant would He stepped down from put a shovel in the ground. Its CVCHS after a record-breakproposal must pass the Design ing 2018 season in order to Review Committee, the Planwatch his daughter and son, ning Commission, environMason a 6-3 De La Salle mental reviews and a traffic freshman, play this past seastudy. son. “I’m most anxious to see The Bamberger family, the traffic study results,” Birsan including mom Kate, will said. take a break from basketball Mayor Carlyn Obringer as this summer for some longwell as Councilwoman Laura delayed vacation trips.

dwelling units, or ADUs. These are “granny units” or other methods that create extra living spaces on one property. “Maybe the homeowners can move to the smaller unit on the dwelling and a young family – or even their own grown children – can move into the main house,” she said. “This is a way to keep families close and allow them to stay in the community they love and don’t want to leave.” “If people can live, work and play in the same place, it greatly increases the quality of life,” Grayson noted. The issue of affordable housing for everyone is a mas-

sive tangle, mixing fees, the cost of development, union wages that may dissuade some builders from committing to work in the Bay Area and oversight. Pierce says Clayton’s letter of opposition to CASA may be too late in the process, but that at least it “establishes our principles.” According to Pierce, some locations zoned for retail in Clayton would be better off used for housing. “Basically, we need more choices in housing, even in Clayton,” she said. “I’m frustrated by our lack of options. And Clayton is a microcosm of what’s going on in other places.”

Hoffmeister opposed the zoning change. Obringer noted that the site is a prime piece of real estate in the heart of Concord’s Class A office space. “I am deeply concerned that locating a drive-through fast food restaurant in this area could negatively impact our Class A office leasing,” she said. “Over the past few years, we have made progress in attracting living-wage jobs to the surrounding office buildings. I wouldn’t want to do anything to stymie that progress. It doesn’t make sense to me to go through the extensive process of changing the city’s general plan to accommodate property owners who haven’t yet made a concerted effort to market the property.” She said she would welcome the opportunity to partner with the property owner to better understand his goals and see how he and the city could work together to attract a “better and higher use” than drivethrough fast food. “I am confident we can do better,” Obringer said. “There is no need to sell our Concord community short.”

land. “I’m disappointed that a different type of business is not being considered, like a hotel or an office building. There are other locations near freeway access for a fast food establishment, like near Lowe’s off Highway 4,” she said at the meeting. “A nice sit-down restaurant would be nice.” Birsan countered by saying it was “pretentious” to assume that residents working in ClassA office buildings nearby wouldn’t eat there. He also addressed what he called “the elephant in the room.” “Let’s face it. Chick-fil-A has a horrendous owner, but this isn’t about their politics.” He went to say he supported LGBTQ rights as mayor, being the first to fly the rainbow flag.

Concord rezoning moves closer to Chick-fil-A approval

COUNCIL DISAGREEMENT Landowner Pete Canzani told Birsan that Chick-Fil-A showed the only interest and had what he considered a good plan in place. “All other corners around that intersection are zoned for fast food establishments,” Birsan said. “Why separate this one? It makes no sense.” Councilman Dominic Aliano agreed. “The majority on the council felt it should be rezoned,” he said. “It will be nice to have some investment in that location.” Hoffmeister, like Obringer, said a fast food restaurant was not an appropriate use of the

A QUESTION OF FAMILY Many residents believe that by approving the zoning change, Concord’s leaders are forgetting the city’s motto of “Families First.” “I noticed that city staff made it easy for the council, as they did not recommend the zoning change,” says Steven Hardy, Patrick Hardy’s husband. “Carlyn and Laura said no, but all three guys (Birsan, Aliano and Tim McGallian) said yes to the change. …. I’ve concluded that the three guys don’t truly understand the difficulties between the LGBTQ community and Chick-fil-A. Or they don’t care. “For me personally, I would like people to know this is not a political issue,” Steven Hardy continued. “My problem is Chick-fil-A has attacked my family and continues to do so by wanting to dissolve my marriage. They put themselves in the middle of the culture wars. This is ongoing, not a one-time issue.”


Page 6

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

May 17, 2019

Immunotherapy a new option for certain breast cancers Sponsored Content

Breast Cancer Symposium

the breast and lymph nodes to other parts of the body. The specific type of breast cancer that responds well to immunotherapy is triple-negative breast cancer, in which the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor and the protein HER2 are not expressed. In March, the FDA approved the drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) for patients whose breast cancer expresses PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand 1), which is involved in the pathway by which T-cells are able to recognize tumor cells as foreign and destroy them. Atezolizumab is a monoclonal antibody against the protein PD-L1. In the IMpassion 130 phase III clinical trial, which was published in the New Eng-

land Journal of Medicine in November 2018, there was a 2.5 month improvement in the time it took for the cancer to progress (progression free survival) and a 4.5 month improvement in overall survival. In patients with earlystage breast cancer that overexpresses HER2, the treatment often involves receiving chemotherapy in combination with antiHER2 antibodies trastuzumab with or without pertuzumab prior to undergoing breast surgery. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. Prior to the results of the KATHERINE study, patients would continue on antiHER2 antibodies after surgery and chemotherapy. After some patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy with antiHER2 antibodies, the can-

healthy cells in the body that do not express the HER2 protein will not be Who: Medical oncologist and breast cancer specialexposed to the chemotherist Dr. Tiffany Svahn, with breast surgeon Monica apy and, thus, there are Eigelberger and radiation oncologist Christine fewer side effects. Chung In addition to the two When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 22 new treatments discussed Where: Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. above, the FDA is expected RSVP: sjung@dvohmg.com or 925-677-504 to approve other new treatments for breast cancer cer had disappeared at the with or without pertuzumab. soon. time of surgery. This is T-DM1 has been FDAknown as a complete approved to treat metastatDr. Svahn is a medical pathologic response. ic HER2-positive breast oncologist and breast canIn the KATHERINE study, cancer for several years. It cer specialist with Diablo patients whose cancer did has a unique mechanism of Valley Oncology and not completely respond to action, with the antibody Hematology Medical Group initial treatment were ran- trastuzumab linked to a in Pleasant Hill. She serves domized to T-DM1 after sur- chemotherapy called as the medical director of gery vs. remaining on emtansine. Once T-DM1 the Women’s Cancer Center trastuzumab with or without binds to the HER2 protein of the East Bay, where pertuzumab. Patients who on a cancer cell, it is breast cancer patients meet received T-DM1 had a 50 brought inside the cell and with multiple specialists on percent reduction in the risk the chemotherapy is then the same day for evaluation of breast cancer recurrence released from the antibody and treatment planning. compared with patients who and is directly toxic to the Contact her at 925-677remained on trastuzumab cancer cell. In this way, 5041.

to be part of the family. Many pet owners make home choices, and even undertake home renovations, with their pets in mind. When choosing a neighborhood for their new home, 15 percent of recent buyers made a decision with their pet in mind, according to the 2018 Profile of Buyers and Sellers. These buyers are typically about 40 years of age, married (61 percent) and primarily buyers of previously owned homes (91 percent). About a third chose neighborhoods based on convenience to parks and recreational facilities. Most (85 percent) bought a detached, single-family home, with 4 percent buying to have a better home for their pets.

Some of the amenities pet lovers choose are a fenced yard, laminate flooring, a washing station, dog door, cat litter closet, animal pool and built-in dishes and beds.

Q: I can’t decide which “smart home” devices to choose for my new home. Besides fun and convenience, my primary reason would be cost savings. What is the research on these devices? A: According to a survey from Parks Associates, households with smart devices are expected to jump from the current 33 percent to more than 50 percent by 2023. But many consumers want proof

that these internet-connected devices would save them money. The survey revealed that 55 percent of people would be inclined to purchase a smart home device if the initial cost of the investment were at some kind of a discount. As smart home technology advances and becomes more widespread, industry experts expect this to gradually occur. According to the survey, 60 percent of households with a broadband internet connection that hadn’t purchased an internet-connected appliance would consider purchasing a smart home device if it could save them money in the long-

term, such as reducing an electric bill. Security concerns are also keeping some consumers at bay. About 50 percent of those surveyed said they would consider internet-connected devices if they were given more control over how their data is collected and used by companies. Almost 6 in 10 survey respondents said they would consider buying a smart home device if it meant a discount on their home insurance. Certain insurance companies offer a discount for security cameras, smart thermostats or similar smart products, so check with your provider. But please also consider

heats up the interior of a vehicle is known as the greenhouse effect. The sun emits shortwave energy, and objects that absorb shortwave energy emit long wave energy. Fortunately for greenhouses but unfortunately for closed vehicles, the long wave energy does not pass through windows and effectively heats the WOODY WHITLATCH air inside. A controlled study of WEATHER WORDS closed vehicle interior temperature conditions shows that the We all are familiar with rate of heating compared to extreme natural weather events like tornadoes and hur- the outside ambient temperature is very rapid. On sunny ricanes that result in injuries days with outside temperatures and deaths. But pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVH) is of 70 degrees or greater, interia lesser known weather-related or temperatures rose by nearly two degrees per minute for the killer. first 20 minutes. The victims are children Within one hour, a 70who succumb to extreme degree outside temperature hyperthermia when left unatbecame 113 inside a closed car. tended in closed motor On a 90-degree day, the interivehicles. or temperature climbed to 133. The physical process that

Opening windows a few inches did little to mitigate the greenhouse heating effect, because there is only a minimal amount of air exchange. Over the last 21 years, more than 800 PVH deaths occurred in the United States alone. The saddest part of this story is that each death is preventable. Statistics show that nearly three-quarters of PVH fatalities happen because an adult caregiver exited a vehicle, leaving a child behind. Most of the remaining tragedies involved children climbing into vehicles to play or hide.

Some researchers believe that rear-facing child car seats in the back seats of vehicles contribute to PVH instances, because the child becomes “invisible” to the driver. Rear seat child restraints became popular when air bags became standard vehicle equipment. Deployed air bags proved to be dangerous to infants and toddlers secured in front-facing restraints in the passenger seat. Post-tragedy interviews show that the “invisible child” scenario sometimes occurs when a caregiver has a change of routine and a child destined

for daycare is not dropped off. Some caregivers intentionally leave a child alone inside a car, but that is less common. These individuals are unaware, or unconcerned, about the consequences of their behavior. It is important to remember that PVH tragedies occur even during relatively cool days. Last summer, an infant died in Moraga when the outdoor temperature was 81 degrees. Caregivers should develop a “look before you lock” mantra to ensure children are not forgotten. One suggestion is to keep a stuffed animal in

your child’s car seat and transfer it to the front seat while the child is in the car to remind you of the precious cargo in the back seat. Also, always lock your vehicle, even in your own driveway, to prevent unattended children from entering. Pets are not exempt from hyperthermia when they are left in vehicles, even if their noses protrude from a slightly open window.

good. Most have fatal flaws, like the hard drive is dying or infected with malware, memory errors or motherboard malfuncWiLL CLAney tion –the most hidden issue. The flaws are usually the reason TECH TALK the computer is being sold. At first glance, one might And don’t think you could think used computers are the simply reformat the hard drive. same as refurbished computers. That’s wishful thinking. However, there are some Refurbished computers very important distinctions, and must pass specific tests that the most important difference is include meeting or exceeding quality. the original factory specificaLook in the classified ad tions for performance. The section of any newspaper and tests certify the refurbish is you may find several used com- thoroughly up to specifications. puters for sale. Prices range Worn or broken parts must be from $99 to more than $1,000. replaced, and technicians fully Usually there is a description test the hard drive to pass spinhighlighting the CPU (central up, seek and continuous read processing unit) , memory and write specifications. They (RAM) and hard drive size. check the motherboards for Buyer beware: These “used” minor issues that could create a computers may not be any problem in the future. Lastly,

they load, update and test a fresh copy of Windows. Refurbished computers are really a different approach to selling previously owned computer equipment. Not all computers will qualify, or pass the test to be refurbished. That’s where a qualified tech comes in, because they know what to expect and can provision for typical issues. For example, let’s say the hard drive failed. A qualified tech will remove the old hard disk drive and replace it with a new one. Refurbishing a computer with a repaired hard drive is not advisable, because when hard drives begin to die, they continue on that path until they are deemed worthless. When shopping for a refurbished computer, be sure it comes with a warranty. Typical-

ly, the warranty will cover parts and labor to repair the computer for 30 days. The CPU’s age is also important. CPU age isn’t about wear and tear on the CPU, but more about the generation of the CPU. A second generation i7 isn’t as good as a 6th generation i5. So question sales reps and have them explain what you are actually getting vs. a new computer. Not all used computers are good, but a refurbished computer with a warranty is certainly better and offers you a good value.

Tiffany Svahn, MD

There have been some interesting developments in the treatment of breast cancer over the past several months. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved immunotherapy for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. This is for patients whose breast cancer has spread outside of

Pets, smart devices can influence home buyers Q: While looking for a home to buy, I always wonder if my dog Ruby will be happy there – even before I ponder if I would be happy. Do other pet owners feel this way? A: This is very normal. It seems that pets rule the roost. When finding a home, 81 percent of U.S. households say that animal-related considerations play a role in deciding on their next living situation. According to the National Association of Realtors research, 62 percent of U.S. households say it is at least somewhat important to have animal-friendly neighborhood amenities. Almost all pet owners (99 percent) consider their animals

Lynne FRenCH

REAL ANSWERS

the fun and convenience of smart home devices. Many people believe that anything that creates more ease of living is worth money too.

Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

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Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

Used and refurbished computers are not the same

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to willclaney@gmail.com.


May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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, Social Media b Ev b rITToN , Copy Editor, Calendar Editor J Ay b EDECArré, Sports Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, Peggy Spear

PIONEER INFO CONTACT US

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

editor@pioneerpublishers.com

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The Pioneer is a monthly publication delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 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 tamara@pioneerpublishers.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

CIRCULATION The Pioneer is delivered monthly by the third Friday to 38,500 single-family homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers to Clayton are delivered by US mail. Concord zip codes are delivered by commercial carriers for ABC Direct. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 . If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in a single-family home within the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to The Pioneer call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $60/year. ADVERTISING Advertising rates and circulation maps arei posted at www.pioneerpublishers.com or call (925) 672-0500.

Thinking about how to get more voters involved

EDI BIRSAN PULSE OF CONCORD

Our republic rests on the concept of representative democracy. Unlike the direct democracy of ancient Athens, in which all citizens voted directly on all proposed rules and laws, we elect people to represent us and to look after our collective interests and views. One thing that complicates matters for those elected to public office is when they believe our views are actually in conflict with our own interests, even though we may not believe them. When contemplating proposed legislation, representatives are forced to either incorporate our “mistaken” ideas or write (at their political peril) legislation that reflects what they believe to be in our interest, whether we agree or not. It gets even worse when a large portion of the electorate does not vote, or are silent and never share their views with their elected representatives by mail, online, in town halls, in public meetings or hearings, or whenever. When I talk to kids about government, I tell them my big secret – that getting those in government to reflect their wishes depends on the government representatives remembering that they are either listening to you or they are listening to someone else. Silence never moved a politician. The lack of involvement in or awareness of local issues by our citizens bothers me, as does the lack of voter engage-

ment. My purpose in starting the Pulse of Concord more than nine years ago was to dig into the interests and views of Concord residents and to provide a public platform for a discussion of issues. Over the next few surveys, I will try to understand why many people do not vote at all and why many who do vote do not vote on local issues. I will also try to better understand how the casual voter makes decisions. Questions on upcoming surveys might include: What endorsements make a difference in your choice for or against a candidate or issue? What is the most common reason people whom you know give for not voting? What influences your friends who you think are not well-informed regarding local issues? What would be the best way to reach and educate those you consider to be under-informed? Would it be better if those that you consider to be underinformed simply did not vote? What public outreach methods might be most effective in moving someone from not caring about local issues to actually becoming aware and involved? What deference should elected officials in government pay to those who do not vote? If you are reading this, you are already a massive step ahead of the casual voter in that you have in your hands a local paper with tons of articles about what is going on locally. So what additional questions can you suggest that would best answer the questions: How do we get people to be better informed? How do we better motivate them to vote? And, for the true cynics out there: Should we even bother to do these things? Who would it help, and does it even matter? Write to me at edibirsan@gmail.com with any ideas.

BUSINESS

Chamber exec reflects on 24 years of growth

community stakeholders is important to the success of chambers of commerce. We work continually with the city’s Economic Development Division to provide a strong portfolio of resources for businesses in town. Last year, we teamed with the Concord Police Department to bring the Disney Institute to town to provide training on quality MARiLyn FOWLeR customer service. This was a CHAMBER OF unique opportunity open to a few select chambers. COMMERCE Education has always been After 24 years at the Con- important to the chamber and cord Chamber, I will be retir- me. I spent several years mening as the president/CEO at toring Mt. Diablo High the end of May. School students in the Digital It is exciting to think Safari Program and the Interabout the opportunity to national Hospitality & spend more time with my Tourism Academy. We began family – especially my grand- a scholarship program for daughters – but I will miss the high school students, produce chamber immensely. yearly Career Pathways StuI am grateful to all of our dent Showcases, hold BEST members for their support Day – a day for our local over the years. The chamber teachers to learn what skills is flourishing, with an increase students need to succeed in in new members, a wonderful the business world – and I board of directors, an active have participated in Principal Ambassador Committee, a for a Day. top-notch staff and so many I am proud to tell you that volunteers who have helped I will be leaving the chamber the organization grow. in its best position ever. We As you can imagine, I have have a strong reserve account, seen the city change and programs to help businesses thrive over the years. This is thrive, monthly and yearly reflected in the programs the events that are sell-outs and chamber offers and the way new members joining every we do business. I have made month. an effort to keep the chamber I was privileged to be at relevant and implemented this job for 24 years. It will be many new programs, such as hard to say goodbye, but monthly Women’s Networkknow that I truly appreciate ing Luncheons and Business our community and wish all Referral Groups, and invested businesses success and prosin our Young Professionals. perity. On top of these business events, we also put on a variMarilyn Fowler is the presiety of community events over dent/CEO of the Concord Chamthe years, like the Chocolate ber of Commerce. For more inforFestival and East Bay Senior mation on chamber programs, call Resource Expo. 925-685-1181 or email Forging relationships with mfowler@concordchamber.com.

Expo showcases local schools’ career education

Page 7

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Students from five Concord schools showcased their schools’ Career and Technical education programs at the MDUSD Career Pathways Showcase hosted by John Muir Health and the Concord Chamber of Commerce last month at the JMH Concord campus. exhibits included Art Design, Human Services, Business, Construction Technology, Health Sciences and engineering. Concord High Photo Arts students gracie Weires, Chelsea Royal-Hann and Rebecca Sander stand with their teacher, Allison Villars ready to answer questions from the community members about their experiences as a Photo Arts Pathway student.

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a vehicle near the elementary school, at a location that does not have traffic lights or cross guards. Fortunately, the student was not seriously injured. TUiJA CATALAnO The incident is every parent’s CLAYTON MAYOR nightmare, and it triggered a wider discussion as to what all At the May 7 meeting, the of us can do to increase City Council heard from many awareness and support safety near our school streets. parents regarding pedestrian I know our school staffs, and vehicular safety near Mt. including Principals Linn Diablo Elementary and DiaKissinger and Patti Bannister, blo View Middle schools. are committed to keeping our Our kids are the reason kids safe. However, ensuring why many of us live in this community, despite the cost of our streets are as safe as they can be requires all of us to living and/or the long commutes. Many of us are rushed work together. Last week, the council to get to school or work on directed staff to research the time each morning, and it is easy to forget to pay attention cost, feasibility and effectiveness of potential ideas, from to the traffic and our surroundings. But it only takes a physical improvements to split second to make a wrong additional crossing guards, and the council will discuss move that can change our it again soon. I hope that lives forever. many of you will attend that In mid-March, a student riding a scooter was struck by hearing.

A community of volunteers: During the last few weeks, Clayton residents have been busy doing things for others and the common good. From the youngest to the more seasoned, our residents cleaned up the parks and streets during Clayton Cleans Up, put together a successful Clayton Business and Community Association Art & Wine Festival and opened their yards and gardens for Clayton Historical Society’s annual Garden Tour. On April 26, we also celebrated the conclusion to an amazing and inspiring 2+ year fundraising and construction effort that resulted in the opening of the renovated playfield at Mt. Diablo Elementary – the MDES Field of Dreams. The common theme is the power of teamwork and the ability to achieve great things when each of us does our part, however small that part may be. Clayton would not be the same

Last week, I joined Gov. Gavin Newsom, fellow legislators and first responders and their loved ones to memorialize California peace officers who lost their lives in the line of duty this past year. The stories of these officers are ones of bravery and tragedy and are wholly deserving of our recognition. However, there are many more deaths of first responders that are too often left out of the conversation. For more than 10 years, I have served as Concord Police Department’s critical response chaplain and assist officers and victims after they experience a distressing event. In this role, I have witnessed the intense physical and mental pressure that officers endure. When a department loses an officer, their colleagues, and the officer’s loved ones, bear the weight of the death. Trauma of this kind breeds loneliness and a feeling that their pain can only be understood by someone else who wears a badge. While there are supportive services, like chaplains and counselors, available to help peace officers and firefighters, first responders are often reluctant to utilize them due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues, the fear of adverse job impacts and the perception among emergency personnel that they must show no signs of weakness. The result is that too many of these

bodies of the California firefighters and peace officers develop Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Programs. These programs will build off of the informal social support that many first responders are already receiving from each other, providing them with training and requiring oversight by a licensed clinical professional to guarantee a high standard of care. By providing access to qualified, confidential support services, we can ensure our first responders are not afraid to seek help and, I hope, help save lives. Last year, I authored similar legislation that passed both houses of the Legislature but ultimately was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. In the days between the bill being deliv-

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brave women and men end up suffering in silence. In recent years, more peace officers and firefighters have died by suicide than have died in the line of duty. One half of law enforcement officers have reported knowing an officer who committed suicide, and a NBC-Bay Area survey found that nearly one in six firefighters has considered suicide. When untreated, the psychological and emotional stress first responders endure can manifest in post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, heart disease and depression. In response to these tragic statistics, I have authored two bills, AB1116 and AB1117, to provide additional, more accessible mental health services to first responders by requiring that the respective governing

community but for our residents’ active volunteering. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” (Unknown) Making A Difference. If you know an outstanding teacher, mentor or a coach in our community, please submit a Making a Difference nomination. Include a brief description of the reasons your nominee is outstanding and should be recognized and email to claytonmakingadifference@gmail.com. Mayor’s Office Hours. Stop by to chat 2-3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in front of the Clayton Museum or 3-4 p.m. Friday, May 24, at City Hall. Contact Catalano at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano for more updates.

TiM gRAySOn

14TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

ered to the governor’s desk and the veto message being issued, at least two more firefighters had taken their lives. This year, I am fighting for a different outcome and sending a message to all first responders that their mental health and well-being is a priority. If you would like to support my efforts, please call my Concord office.

Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520

Warming and care centers key to helping the homeless

KARen MiTCHOFF

COUNTY

SUPERVISOR

This month, I want to share with you how some of our homeless services are expanding. Since the streamlining of homeless services in 2017, we have had a warming center in Concord. This is different from a shelter. Our shelter allows individuals to stay for 120 days and guarantees them a bed. The warming center provides a space indoors for a night, and individuals have to leave every morning. The warming center is then converted into one of Health, Housing and Homeless (H3) Division’s care centers, which

are resource hubs for homeless individuals. These centers include services like showers, case management, health services and housing searches. There are three care centers in Central County, including two at nonprofit locations: Monument Crisis Center and Trinity Center. In April, the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) opened a warming center in Richmond as a part of H3 services. It will have 30 cots. Earlier this year, H3 received nearly $7.2 million in state funding through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) Grant. This is onetime state funding that must be spent by June 21, 2021. To receive these funds, the county had to declare a shelter crisis and provide evidence of a collaborative process. In Contra Costa County, we shelter about a third of our homeless population on any given night, and all of our shelters are at capacity. As part of the collaborative process, H3 held four community meetings to engage the public to give input on what the community saw as needs for

our homeless population. The HEAP funds will be used for some of the following: increasing warming center hours to Sundays, installing storage lockers, expanding the Core Team evening hours and capacity. One of the biggest needs is a care center in East County. H3 is working with the city of Antioch to secure a location and build a care center from the ground up. The HEAP funds will also be used for making some improvements around the Concord warming center and shelter. Lastly, H3 will be adding lockers and kennels at the Central County shelter. Many homeless individuals have animals and will not accept services if it means they will be separated from them. For more information about H3, the HEAP funding or homelessness in Contra Costa, visit cchealth.org/h3 or call 925-6086700.

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


May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Obringer, from page 1

Contributed photo

1313-1321 galindo project will add 62 new units to Concord’s affordable housing supply.

that same evening. In January 2018, the City Council directed staff to issue a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the city’s $14 million in available affordable housing funds. We prioritized the creation of new affordable housing through the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing rental units, particularly along Clayton Road, and developing new rental housing. We also provided feedback on the populations to be targeted for support with this funding, which includes seniors, veterans, teachers, school district employees, other local employees, persons with disabilities and low-income families. On April 9, 2018, staff presented RCD’s proposal to the Council Committee on

Housing and Economic Development (HED), which I chaired, for an affordable housing project at 1313 Galindo St. The committee, which also includes Councilman Tim McGallian, asked questions regarding zoning, environmental review, parking requirements, the overall proposed development as well as population mix and unit sizes. On May 21, 2018, RCD presented a revised proposal that addressed our concerns and our committee forwarded a recommendation of support to the City Council. On June 26, 2018, the City Council allocated $5.5 million in city affordable housing funds to RCD for a 44-unit affordable housing project at 1313 Galindo. After receiving funding approval from the council,

RCD acquired control of 1321 Galindo St. in addition to 1313 Galindo, allowing an increase in the unit count from 44 to 62. The 41 percent increase in the number of units equates to an additional total development cost of $15 million. In order to complete this augmented project, RCD requested $2.3 million in addition to the $5.5 million awarded in June 2018, bringing their total city funding request to $7.8 million. RCD’s updated proposal included a five-story, 62-unit complex affordable to extremely low through lowincome households, serving a mix of seniors, veterans, small families and special needs households. They set aside 12 units for homeless veterans and one unit for residents living with HIV/AIDS. On Feb. 4, 2019, RCD presented a revised proposal to HED for the expanded 13131321 Galindo project. McGallian and I recommended that RCD increase the number of visitor parking spaces, work with the Police Department on a security plan for the building and incorporate Early California design elements into the building. We wanted to ensure that this project be attractive, well-functioning and secure since it will be located on a prominent thoroughfare and serve as Concord’s flagship affordable housing project. Our committee ultimately directed staff to forward a recommendation to the full

App an efficient way to resolve community issues

able to maintain and repair our roads and my lack of time available to report potholes and see to it they were repaired. In 2017, I became aware of an online service and smartphone app that allows anyone to report issues to city staff so they can be addressed. Concord Connect is available on the city’s website at JASOn LAUB cityofconcord.org/199/ConCONCORD cord-Connect. You can also install the App on your iOS or PLANNING Android smartphone. COMMISSIONER I submitted my first request via Concord Connect on Jan. Before I was appointed to 10, 2017, for a large pothole on the Planning Commission in Treat Boulevard. The pothole 2015, I would be frustrated at was repaired just two days later. times when traveling around I was impressed with how quick our city by sightings of graffiti, and easy it was to report my debris, dumped furniture or the issue and even more impressed occasional jolting from a potwith how quickly city staff hole. resolved my issue. I have since In the case of graffiti, debris felt empowered, with very little and dumped furniture, I direct- effort on my part, to flag issues ed my frustration at the folks for our community and track who choose to litter or deface them to resolution. someone’s property. In the case It’s a useful tool, and city of potholes, I was frustrated staff does a fantastic job with the lack of funding avail-

addressing each issue submitted in a timely fashion. Just in the past month, 196 issues were reported – with 150 addressed and resolved. The remaining items were submitted less than a week ago and will be resolved shortly. Concord Connect can be used at your convenience to report many issues you observe in our community, including, but not limited to, graffiti, potholes, housing code violations, abandoned vehicles on private or public property, tall grass and weeds on private property, trash, junk or debris on public or private property, illegal dumping on public streets, street light outages and water leaks or waste. If you haven’t yet utilized Concord Connect, I’d encourage you to do so.

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

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City Council to allocate an additional $2.3 million in affordable housing funds for the expanded 1313-1321 Galindo project. We felt comfortable making the recommendation because RCD has a successful track record of securing the proposed and alternative funding streams necessary for such a project to be fully funded and completed by spring 2022. I want to emphasize that while every city has some affordable housing funds available, Concord is one of the only cities in Contra Costa County that is actively applying their funds to preserve and create affordable housing like this new project. Housing affordability is an issue across California and beyond, and the city of Concord is working hard to do our part.

Send questions and comments to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org

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SCHOOLS

Page 10

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

May 17, 2019

Concord Odyssey of the Mind team headed to World Finals JAY BEDECARRÉ the Pioneer

Six creative problem solvers making up Concord High School’s Odyssey of the Mind team will be headed to East Lansing, Michigan for the World Finals where they will be competing with similar teams from all over the country and beyond in a three-day competition that

ends Saturday, May 25. The team won the San Francisco Bay Region and NorCal State competitions in the past two months, earning the six students a spot in the World Finals. Advisor Sheila Bergum and her team have been doing fundraising for the Michigan trip. Their final fund raiser is this Saturday at Concord High where they will have a

Diablo View teacher among county’s finest Shay Kornfield, a teacher at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton, is a finalist for the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year. Kornfield, a science instructor and robotics club advisor, represents the Mount Diablo Unified School District in the competition. He says he was lucky to grow up in a loving household with educated parents and grandparents who fostered his sense of curiosity and adventure. Then, teacher Glen Barker (a 2018 Teacher of the Year) made school “feel like summer camp” for Kornfield. “Without these amazing people, perhaps I would not have chosen the career path I have,” he said. “But choose it I did, and what an amazing ride thus far.” The other finalists are Gina Capelli, Liberty High

SHAY KORNFIELD

School in Brentwood; Maureen Mattson, Pittsburg High School; and DarVisa R. Marshall, Antioch Middle School. On Sept. 26, the county Office of Education will select two finalists to represent the county in the state competition.

car-wash-a-thon from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Odyssey of the Mind began over 40 years ago in 1978 as an international creative problem-solving competition that empowers kids to harness their out-of-thebox thinking and turn it into a unique and entertaining performance.  Concord’s team consists of senior Aketzali Perez, juniors Neco Tejada and Rolando Manalac and a trio of sophomores, Brian Velasquez, Evie Robello and Laila Navone. The team had a competition-mandated $125 budget to build their solution - costumes, set, props and all. They will have eight minutes to present it at the World Finals. Odyssey of the Mind students use what they’re learning in school, plus their creative instincts, to work as a team to solve a complex and open-ended problem, with no help from parents or friends. The process enables them to learn how to work together, brainstorm and work through

challenging engineering and storytelling problems. Bergum says her team “has been hard at work since October and, after countless hours of brainstorming, building, problem-solving and creating collages out of candy wrap-

pers, they placedfirst at the SF Bay Regional Competition. A few weeks later, they placed first at the NorCal State Tournament, qualifying them for the World Finals in Michigan!” If you would like to donate to the Concord High team,

As she prepares to depart, Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Nellie Meyer reflected on some of the highlights of her six years here. Effective July 1, she will become superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. Q: What were some of the key actions you took when you arrived? A: I worked immediately to earn the trust of the community and our wonderful employees. Trust is the glue that keeps a school district functioning. Without it, you cannot do the important work necessary. Mt. Diablo had a history of negative news coverage, adult infighting and too many diversions from student success. I found the district and our wonderful schools had truly dedicated staff and people who, contrary to the news, loved and cared for their students. I think we have

reframed the story about MDUSD, showing that the community embraces supporting our students in order to build a stronger community. Q: What strikes you as you look back? A: I am so proud of what we all created as a team and the hard work it entailed. I am proud of our students’ growing academic success, the unique educational experiences we created here in MDUSD – including middle college, international baccalaureate and our magnet schools. And I’m grateful for the confidence the community showed in our district by passing a facilities bond with a 70 percent approval rate. Yesterday, several students came by my office to bring letters and to wish me goodbye. They told me they felt valued in our district and had many people who contributed to their success. I do not know if I would have had the maturity

as a high school student to see the many parts included in public education or the wisdom to thank those who dedicate their lives to education. I love being part of a culture where teachers and students feel welcome and comfortable visiting and are participating fully in their own education. Q: What have been some of your “aha” moments? A: I have an “aha” moment with every school visit. Our young people are poised to make a big difference in this world. If we take the time to listen, we can share optimism for our collective futures. Q: Do you have some favorite memories you would like to share? A: There are so many. The one that brings the most personal joy was the ability to hand my daughter her diploma at her high school graduation. That once-in-a-lifetime

experience is one for which I will be eternally grateful. Q: What’s stood out to you about the community? A: This is a community that cares deeply for the students of our district. The community has close ties with our schools and remains dedicated to their success. Wherever I go, people come up to me and share where they graduated from and how much they love our schools. And I thank our wonderful team, our community and business partners who have been part of creating this culture. I have been honored to serve this district and appreciate the community’s support during my time here.

Concord High’s celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10 was a jarring contrast to the previous Friday, which marked 291 senior class absences. Not only do absences reduce federal funding of schools, the apathy accompanied with skipping school is an insult to the work teachers put into lesson planning. As the daughter of a teacher I may be biased, but it seems like common courtesy to do what you can to help the education system. It is a symbiotic relationship; by showing up to class, students can improve funding and enjoy benefits from that funding. In the 2017-’18 school year, the Mount Diablo Unified School District had an average daily attendance (ADA) of 29,708 student. The total enrollment was 31,317

May 3 just due to absences for Senior Ditch Day. This event, not school sanctioned, is considered a tradition. But in the wake of four involuntary transfers and four layoffs among Concord High teachers as a result of budget cuts, Senior Ditch Day was utterly disrespectful. Furthermore, ADA is calRAynA STAnziAnO culated before the last two weeks of school. This enorTEENSPEAK mous loss of funding could students. This is an average of have been prevented if the 1,609 absences per day. date were scheduled for one The district gets $68 for of these final days. each present student, so the I understand the decision district lost $109,412 on aver- to ditch. Many who took the age per day. That’s more than day off are dedicated students $19.6 million lost over the who contribute to the com180-day school year. The munity and deserve a break. amount lost per day is signifi- However, it is important to cantly more than enough to educate students about why pay one teacher’s annual coming to school isn’t just salary. beneficial to their own learnConcord High School lost ing, but also to teachers and $19,788 in ADA funding on schools.

There were several other senior events this school year, including senior brunch, senior sunrise and senior picnic. Why not end a tradition that damages both parties involved and instead call one of these school-sanctioned events Ditch Day? With less than 20 school days left in their high school careers, 291 of 361 seniors in my class decided to skip school. This is a whopping 80 percent, much higher than in recent years. Senior Ditch Day is a childish way to enter adulthood. The easiest way to help the education system is to come to school. Once our years of free education are exhausted, we’ve lost our opportunity to help simply by being present. Rayna Stanziano is senior at Concord High. Send comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com

please go to their GoFundMe account listed under “Help Concord High get to World Finals”  at tiny.cc/chsodyssey. For more info on Odyssey of the Mind visit odysseyofthemind.com. MDUSD SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UNDERWAY

Photo courtesy Concord High School

The Concord High School Odyssey of the Mind team is headed to Michigan next week for the World Finals. The team includes, from left, Cupid- Brian Velasquez (sophomore), Candy Corn- Aketzali Perez (senior), Halloweenneco Tejada (junior), Thanksgiving- Rolando Manalac (junior), Sindy Claus- evie Robello (sophomore) and Jeremy elf- Laila navone (sophomore).

As she prepares to move on, Meyer cherishes community spirit

MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer’s surprise announcement last month that she had accepted a similar position with the Mountain View Los Altos High School District sent shock waves through the District. MDUSD has begun a search for Meyer’s replacement with a stated goal of trying to have a new superintendent in place by October. Leadership Associates, the search firm who was responsible for bringing Meyer on board six years ago, has conducted an online survey and meetings with a variety of stakeholders (staff and community members) to identify the attributes needed from a new superintendent. The application deadline is

See Odyssey, page 11

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May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

The graying of divorce: splits after 50 uniquely complicated

ed for Splitsville. No longer willing to stay in unhappy marriages, they are navigating the difficult step of ending MAggie LennOn relationships that may have SAVVY SENIOR lasted 20 or 30 years. According to researchers, one factor fueling this trend For Baby Boomers, even is that people are living divorce is going gray – with longer and do not want to the number of divorces in stay with someone who they the over 50 population douare unhappy with, particularly bling in the last 20 years. in retirement where they may Women within the group spend more time with a have become leaders in the spouse than ever before. trend, now known as the With the empty nest synGray Divorce revolution. drome, women no longer Silver Splitters and Diahave to take kids into mond Divorcees are the new account. Add in the fact that name for aging boomers head-

boomers don’t share the same reverence for marriage as their parents; many of the new divorcees are on their second and third marriages. It all means that many seniors see divorce as the best option. However, divorce over 50 can be more complicated and brings its own sets of circumstances. Many couples who have stayed together for a long time may have amassed more assets, and dividing pensions and Social Security benefits can create financial havoc. Losing financial stability at

Clayton designer featured on ‘Lottery Dream Home’ Most people have spent a few moments dreaming how to spend a lottery jackpot, and a new home is often high on the list of acquisitions. In the HGTV show “My Lottery Dream Home,” host David Bromstad connects with lottery winners to help in their search. The recent episode “Moving on Up in California” spotlighted a San Jose couple who had won $1 million. Bromstad took them on a tour of homes in Hollister, including a model home in Santana Ranch. The Monterey was one of four model homes decorated, furnished and staged by Interiors Panache of Clayton. Carol Barrick, principal designer and owner, has been an interior designer for more than 25 years and acquired a general contractor’s license in 1999. The single-story, four-bed-

Carol Barrick’s Clayton company, interiors Panache, staged this model home in Hollister.

room, two-bath home has a lush and elegant décor. The lucky couple appreciated the bright white gourmet kitchen with gray-blue granite countertops and soft gray wood tile. The large master suite offered a spa-like retreat with soft grays and greens. Bromstad commented that

Maggie Lennon is a writer and photographer who writes about navigating the aging process. Check out the home was staged expertly her blog, “The Sensational Sixties. to maximize its features. HowAn everywoman’s guide to getting ever, the couple couldn’t wait older.” Contact her at for the new construction to be maggielennon164@yahoo.com. complete and ultimately chose an existing home. Contact Interiors Panache at info@interiorspanache.com or 925672-7920.

Odyssey, from page 10

Have Been One of Us” campaign. The campaign honored Nia Wilson, who was killed near a BART station in a knife attack last summer in Oakland. It called for an end to violence against black girls. Williams’ work encouraged Natalie Terry, coordinator of service and social advocacy at her school, to nominate the senor for the San Francisco Giants Home Plate Ceremony, a program that recognizes students in action serving the community. Williams invited the parents of Nia Wilson to SASHA WILLIAMS’ participate in the ceremony. JEFFERSON AWARD “It was truly an honor to RECOGNIZED BY GIANTS be recognized. The most Carondelet senior Sasha important recognition is the Williams received a Jefferson attention to the campaign Award for her “She Could and support of Nia’s family,”

June 3 at 5 p.m. The District Board is hoping to select finalists by the end of June and interview finalists July 11-12 with the stated goal of concluding an “aggressive schedule” to have the new superintendent’s contract approved at the Aug. 12 regular board meeting. The new hire would start sometime after that date, dependent on their current employment situation and any relocation issues that may have to be addressed.

this age can lead to setbacks that are harder to recover from as there is less time to catch up. Although many women have achieved financial freedom at this stage in their lives, there are still those women who devoted their marriage to raising kids or supporting a spouse in demanding careers – leaving them with less financial security. Older men may make out better financially than women. But according to Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, “If a man gets divorced, his support in later life is gone. Plan B may be to remarry because he needs a caregiver.” While children of Diamond Divorcees tend to be older, they are not immune to the difficulty of divorce. They’ve earned themselves their own category in family law: ACODs (adult children of divorce). Theoretically, many of them understand that not all relationships last. But they sometimes take sides or try to dictate terms of the settlement with an eye to the demise of their expected inheritance. Still, life on the other side of a gray divorce can be positive. “Divorce is the catalyst to rediscover old passions and develop new ones,” says Wendi Schuller, author of the “Global Guide to Divorce.” “Divorce ends one chapter of life and gives the chance to do something different.”

Carondelet’s Sasha Williams and SF giants Will Smith

said Williams, who is headed to the University of Southern California this fall to pursue her passions for technology and the performing arts.

Page 11

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May 17, 2019


SPORTS & LIFESTYLE

The Pioneer

May 17, 2019

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B5 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B6 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7

The Pioneer, Section B

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League, section championships for local teams, athletes JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

There are just a couple weeks to go for 2018-19 high school sports and the drama continues with several local teams and athletes earning medals and championships to culminate a memorable season. Baseball – De La Salle has won three consecutive North Coast Section Division I championships and five of the last seven. The NCS playoffs begin this week with the finals set May 24-25. The Spartans enter Section play top-seeded with a 24game winning streak and the State’s No. 2 ranking. De La Salle hosts 16th seed James Logan of Union City in the first round of NCS. Last week, the Spartans won the East Bay Athletic League playoffs with lopsided wins over Monte Vista and Amador Valley after an undefeated league season. One of the regular-season

RAYNA STANZIANO CONCORD HIGH CHAMPION RUNNER

highlights for the Spartans was a four-game sweep last month to take the championship at the inaugural All Catholic Classic tournament in Las Vegas hosted by Bishop Gorman. The finals saw DLS defeat the hosts 9-0. Perennial NCS participant Clayton Valley Charter hosts San Ramon Valley in a 7-10 seed battle Tuesday in another firstround clash. The Eagles finished second to unbeaten Acalanes in the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division. In Division II, Northgate is also seeded seventh and faces visiting Benicia Wednesday in a section opener. Softball – Carondelet and Concord have won the last two Division II NCS softball titles and now both Concord schools fine themselves in DI. Defending Division II champs Carondelet are seventh seeds in DI and host Vintage of Napa in Wednesday’s opener. The Cougars were 10-3 and finished third in the EBAL. Concord has won four NCS titles since 2010 but are 15th seeds this year and meet No. 2 Heritage Wednesday in Brentwood in their opener. Clayton Valley Charter is at Napa Tuesday in a 9-8 seed game. Northgate is seeded 12th in Division II and travel to San Marin for Wednesday’s firstround game. Lacrosse – Clayton Valley Charter boys won their first DAL lacrosse championship, defeating Miramonte 10-8 in the first round of the league playoffs and then winning 9-2 over Cam-

Photo courtesy CVCHS lacrosse

Clayton Valley Charter High’s lacrosse team won its first league title since 2012 and first-ever in the Diablo Athletic League this spring. The Ugly eagles were undefeated in league play and swept the DAL playoffs. The team includes, front row from left, Roster front row starting from the left, Jehric Oblanca, Jack garner, Connor Lawson, Torin neal, Dylan Hemus, Abu Alhag, Maci Sekander, Joshua Tancioco, Kyle Qualio; middle row, coach Scott neal, Jackson nosrati, garrett Doolittle, David Llata, Kade Daggs, Jackson Hubbard, Corrie Broadwell, Ronald Bolden, coach Rick Ortiz; back row, Kolby Kawalkowski, Lucas Calica, Anthony Abramov, Casey Barnes, Connor Johnson, Connor Barnes, Darien Masoli and gunner Oakley.

polindo in the championship game. The Ugly Eagles were 70 during the league regular season. CVCHS saw its season come to an abrupt end in the first round of NCS with an 11-2 loss to No. 4 seed Redwood. De La Salle lost 14-6 to San Ramon Valley back in March during EBAL play as the Spartans tied for second in the EBAL behind unbeaten SRV. All that turned around when DLS stunned top seed San Ramon

11-10 in overtime in the NCS quarterfinals. The upset puts the Spartans into the Section semi-finals Tuesday at No. 4 Redwood in Larkspur. Eighth seed DLS opened the playoffs with a 7-6 victory over Oak Ridge. The only local girls team in the lacrosse playoffs was Carondelet. The Cougars were ninth seeds and traveled to El Dorado Hills for an 11-10 win over Oak Ridge. That put the Cougars into a quarterfinal against top seed

San Ramon Valley, who bested CHS 19-7. Track & Field – The NCS Tri-Valley meet last weekend in Dublin saw many of the local stars continue to shine with Concord High’s Rayna Stanziano and Airiana Dargan and Cameron Reynolds and the Clayton Valley Charter boys relays all scoring a pair of wins. Reynolds was second in the state last year in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay and swept the 200 and 400 meters at NCS.

Teammate Daylon Hicks was second in the high jump at state last year and took first in his event last Saturday. Concord middle distance star Stanziano will be looking for a potential state title in her final prep meet and warmed up with wins in the 800 and 1600 at TriValley. Her junior teammate Dargan continued her domination of the jumps with victories in the long jump and triple jump.

See Champs, page B3

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Page B2

Walnut Creek Aquanuts score medals at U.S. Nationals, Classic JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Walnut Creek Aquanuts had strong showings at the U.S. Junior and 13-15 National Championships and the Classic Invitational last month. Nationals is the most prestigious American synchronized swimming meet for Junior and 13-15 age groups. The Aquanuts came home from Riverside with five gold medals and the overall high point award. Junior coach and Olympic gold medalist Tammy McGregor also won the Junior Coach of the Year Award. She has coached most of this year’s junior team for the past four years.

The free combination event brought the Aquanuts gold medal number one before Yara Elian won the solo event. Marlena King of Clayton took fourth place in the country. WCA won gold in the final junior team event with their “Rock vs. Classical” routine. In the 13-15 events, WCA got gold in both the team (eight swimmers) and free combination (10 swimmers) events. Giordanna Zuniga of Concord was part of the two team gold medalists. The 13-5 B team with Reece Revell and Morgan Woelfel of Concord took seventh. On the final day of Nationals, WCA placed Megan Kerner and Alexis McCracken on the 13-15 National Team that will

S PORTS SHORTS

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Terrapins end short course swim season with a bang

represent the U.S. internationally this summer at the Youth World Games in Slovakia. At the Classic Invitational in Washington Concord and Clayton swimmers competed for WCA. Zoe Eleftheriadis took fifth in the 13-15 solo competition. Amalee and Alessandra DelliGatti were in the 13-15 duet and Geetha Chandrasekaran was on the 11-12 team that was first in combo and fifth in team. Clarke Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek is hosting the Region B Championships this weekend, where WCA hopes to qualify for the Junior Olympic Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. at the end of June.

JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The Terrapins age group team put together outstanding results in their final three meets of the 2018-2019 short course swimming season. The series began with the Pacific Swimming Short Course 14 and under Junior Olympic Championships in Walnut Creek followed by the final c/b/bb+ meet of the season in Moraga, where many of the team’s younger and up and coming swimmers finished their season with a bang. The season finale was the Pacific Swimming Short Course Far Western Championships at Santa Clara International Swim Center. Considered one of the fastest age group meets in the country, many out-of-state teams par-

CONCORD AYSO TAKING FALL SOCCER REGISTRATIONS

Concord AYSO is accepting registrations for its fall soccer program online. The fall season starts Aug. 3 through midNovember. Programs for boys and girls range from Playground SUMMER @ CARONDELET OFFERS CAMPS IN 12 SPORTS (3-year-olds) through 18U. Practices and games are in Concord Summer @ Carondelet provides a state-of-the-art summer parks. Register on or before May 31 to receive $15 discount. The camp experience for children at the campus gymnasium and the registration fee includes a uniform, ball and insurance. Visit connew $20 million athletics complex. The Carondelet Cougars offer cordayso.org to register and get more information.  sports camps with its 12 varsity sports coaching staffs including softball, track and field, basketball, swimming, water polo, CONCORD HIGH LOOK TO FILL COACHING VACANCIES cheer/stunt, tennis, golf, cross country, diving, lacrosse and volleyAthletic director Megan Coddington has listed coaching ball. Incoming third through ninth graders (girls and coed) are eligi- vacancies for girls varsity and JV basketball, boys JV basketball, ble for the camps. Visit carondeleths.org/summer for details. girls and boys varsity golf and also a stadium announcer for

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES CLAYTON SUMMER PROGRAMS

Summer youth basketball and fall adult softball leagues are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton. AOSL is taking registration online for all programs. For complete information on All Out Sports leagues, clinics and other programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.

24TH ANNUAL RED DEVIL GOLF CLASSIC RETURNS JUNE 28 AT DIABLO CREEK

The Mt. Diablo High School Red Devil golf committee is holding its 24th annual golf tournament on Friday, June 28, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Registration starts at 11 a.m., followed by lunch, golf, dinner and raffle/silent auction. Proceeds go to help academic and athletic programs at Mt. Diablo. Those interested in participating in the golf or dinner should contact Lou Adamo 212-9332 or louadamo@gmail.com or Ralph Vallis 8257593 or rv76667@aol.com. For more information check reddevilclassic.com.

TERRAPINS SWIM TEAM OFFERING SUMMER STROKE AND RACING CLINICS , ORANGE SUMMER SESSION

Terrapins coaches Dan Cottam and Doug Reed will be teaching two sessions of stroke and racing skills for the summer recreational swimmer. The goal is to help all participants improve/refine strokes. In addition, the sessions will enhance racing skills like starts, breakouts, turns and finishes. Each session is three weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The sessions for eight and unders and 11 and overs are June 11-27 and July 2-23. Terrapins Orange Group summer session is now open for registration. Summer session runs June 10 through Aug. 3 at Concord Community Pool. This program is for children new to the swim team experience. Swimmers need to be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle with side breathing. For more info on both programs and to register visit terrapinswim.com.

CONCORD COBRAS FOOTBALL, CHEER SIGNUPS NOW TAKEN ONLINE

May 17, 2019

Minuteman football games. Interested people should submit a cover letter and resume to Coddington at coddingtonm@mdusd.org. Head football coach Paul Reynaud is also looking to complete his 2019 staff. He has openings for JV head and assistant coaches and varsity linebackers coach. Football coaching candidates should contact him at coachreynaud84@yahoo.com.

WALNUT CREEK AQUANUTS

OFFER SPECIAL SUMMER PROGRAMS

Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes 4-18-years-old to its synchronized swimming program. The 90-minute sessions are held June 3, July 1, Aug. 5 and 31 and Sept. 1. Registration is $10 for a session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. The world renowned Aquanuts also offer trainee sessions over the summer and fall, each running 45 weeks. The trainee sessions are for ages 4-18 who are new to the sport. Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and able to swim 25 yards. Registration is open for June through September sessions at Clark Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek.  Registration for both programs can be found at aquanuts.org.

NOT TOO LATE TO TRY OUT FOR DIABLO FC COMPETITIVE TEAMS

Formal tryouts for Diablo Futbol Club boys and girls for birth years 2001-2013 have concluded. However, the area’s premier youth school club has openings on teams. Contact director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com or visit diablofc.org to arrange a tryout.

CLAYTON VALLEY JR. EAGLES TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR FOOTBALL, CHEER

Photo courtesy Terrapin Swim Team

Terrapins Swim Team’s 11-12 boys relay of Diego Castaneda, Aden Li, Mason Wendler and Davidka Skov capped a successful short course season with outstanding efforts at the Pacific Swimming Short Course Junior Olympics and Pacific Short Course Far Western Championships. The quartet placed top three in all their relays (200 and 400 medley, 200 and 400 free) at both championships. All four boys made finals and scored points in all of their events, accounting for over 60% of the total team points. Wendler and Skov are from Concord and Castaneda is from Clayton.

ticipated. The Terrapins had 15 age group swimmers rack up 266 points, placing seventh overall out of over 85 teams. It was the highest placing from any team of 100 swimmers or less in the meet.

HIGHLIGHTING THE END-OFSEASON MEETS WERE: 8 and under Morgan Wendler was one of only two eight-year-olds to qualify for both the Junior Olympic and Far Western Championship meets. Wendler made six out of six 10 and under boys championship finals at the Junior Olympics and five out of five finals at the Far Westerns while breaking multiple Terrapin top 10 team records. 10 and under Abigail Keller achieved lifetime best times and made finals in all of her events at both the Junior Olympics and Far Westerns. 11-12 girls Kaya Andresen, Vlada Chekurova and Elizabeth Joseph reached top 10 finals in all of their events at the Junior Olympics and multi-

ple finals at the Far Westerns, all three girls accumulating multiple lifetime best swims. 11-12 girls Lillian Struempf led the way individually scoring at the top of finals in her seven events at both meets. She continued to crush many top 10 team records and broke the Pacific Swimming 11-12 girls 50-yard freestyle record. 11-12 boys Aden Li, Davidka Skov, Diego Castaneda and Mason Wendler led the team scoring, placing top three in all their relays (200 and 400 medley, 200 and 400 free) at both the Junior Olympic and Far Western championships. Some of the outstanding performances from the last c/b/bb+ meet of the season were by Aubrielle Dorsett (eight-years-old), Abby Ikeda (10), Zoe Thong (10), Madison Branse (12), Grace Cleary (12), Alastair Curran (11), Ozzy Layton (11), David Rubin (11) and Calvin Tam (13).

St. Francis CYO places three teams in Diocese basketball finals

Boys and girls can register until July 15 for the fall Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football and cheer programs. Football is open to boys and girls 7-14 years old. Cheer age groups are 6-14. Online registration is underway at cvaajreagles.com or email cvaajreagles@gmail.com.

Concord Cobras tackle football and cheer programs are taking signups for the fall season online. The football and cheer programs CONCORD CUP XXVI SOCCER TOURNAMENT are open to youth six to 14 years of age. For more info on football THIS WEEKEND AT 3 LOCAL PARKS email concordyouthfootball@yahoo.com or call 917-0785 and for The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord cheer email CYFcobrascheer@gmail.com or call 383-1146. Visit Cup, returns for its 26th season at three local parks this Saturday concordyouthfootball.com for more info. and Sunday. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 10 through U19 be participating. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer DE LA SALLE SUMMER CAMPS BEGIN IN JUNE and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit concordDe La Salle High School hosts summer camps to provide a fun, cup.com for complete schedule and results. skill-building week for boys and girls in June, July and August. Appealing to local youth with a variety of athletic interests, De La CLAYTON VALLEY SOCCER CAMP JULY 8-11 Salle will offer sessions for championship football camp, basketball, Clayton Valley Charter High School varsity coach Guillermo track and field, lacrosse, archery, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water Jara is presenting a summer soccer camp July 8-11 for incoming polo, soccer, swimming, rugby, theatre/broadcasting and strength third through eighth graders at Gonsalves Stadium on the school and conditioning. DLS Camps are open to K through incoming campus. Sessions are held from 9 a.m. – noon. The camp is ninth graders run by De La Salle coaches, alumni and current stu- designed to help develop individual player skills plus an underdent athletes. For more info email summercamps@dlshs.org or visit standing of the game. Jara is a former MLS player with a USSF dlshs.org/athletics/camps-clinics. B license. Campers get a $20 discount by registering by June 15.

DIABLO FC PRESENTING FREE RECREATION

For more information contact coach Jara by phone 510-5172230 or email gjara1973@gmail.com.

CV BASEBALL CAMP RETURNS JUNE 10-13

Registration is still open for many camps offered locally by The First Tee of Contra Costa at Diablo Creek, Buchanan Fields and Boundary Oak golf courses. The camps are open to boys and girls ages 5-14. The first of five camp weeks is June 17-20. Camps include instruction in full swing, chipping, pitching and putting. Equipment can be provided to campers. For more information call 446-6701 or visit ththefirstteecontracosta.org

SOCCER LEAGUE THIS FALL

Diablo FC is offering a completely free fall recreation soccer program for boys and girls born in 2005 to 2015. The program at Newhall Park in Concord runs 10 weeks from mid-August through October. There is one training session each week and Saturday morning games. Contact coach Chelsea Stewart at cstewart@diablofc.org or visit diablofc.org for complete information. Clayton Valley Charter High School will hold a youth baseball camp June 10-13 at the school. The camp will focus on the fundamentals of baseball with participants learning the basics of fielding, hitting, throwing and baserunning. Middle school students will learn more advanced baseball techniques. Sessions run from 8-11 a.m. for seven-year-olds through incoming ninth graders.  Registration is accepted at claytonvalley.org webstore. CVCHS varsity baseball coach Casey Coakley can be emailed at casey.coakley@claytonvalley.org to secure a spot and register on day one of camp.

FIRST TEE OF CONTRA COSTA OFFERS SUMMER CAMPS

MDSA FALL RECREATIONAL SOCCER PROGRAM TAKING REGISTRATIONS

Registration for Mt. Diablo Soccer Association’s fall recreation program for boys and girls born 2001-2015 is open. Practice starts after Aug. 1. Games and practices are held at Concord and Clayton fields. The region offers discounts for players who register before May 31 and June 30 deadlines. Email fall@mdsoccer.org or visit mdsoccer.org for more info and to register.

Photo courtesy St. Francis of Assisi CyO

Three St. Francisco of Assisi CyO basketball teams reached the Oakland Diocese basketball playoff championship games and the 4th grade American boys brought home a title. The Fourth graders pulled out a thrilling 29-28 victory over Holy Spirit Fremont to wrapup up a 12-3 overall season record including a 9-1 league mark. The sixth grade Falcon boys won their American division league with a 9-1 record and took second to St. Leo the great of Oakland in the Diocese finals. The fourth grade St. Francis girls lost a heartbreaker to Chris the King of Pleasant Hill in the championship game. The fourth grade boys champions included, front row from left, Donovan Silva, Henry Mcnutt, Jayden Hartono, Jacob Vela; second row, Andrew Coleman, William Pugh, Raymond Pelosi, gavin Torchia; back, coaches Scott Mcnutt, Charlie Vela and Mike Pelosi.


May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com an athlete at Clayton Valley was a wonderful experience for me that I would not trade for the world. It shaped me into the person I am today,” Lofgren says. She is a member of the Clayton Arts Academy, which she has been heavily involved in since her freshman year. She is also part of Senior Women, Blue Crew and the drama program at CVCHS. Lofgren plans to attend DVC for two years and transfer to a university. She aspires to become an industrial organizational psychologist, evaluating large companies to determine the nature of their employees.

Athlete Spotlight

Sierra Lofgren

Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sport: Track, Cross Country

Lofgren has been running for Clayton Valley’s track team for her entire high school career. Her interest in running grew as she progressed through school and she decided to join the Ugly Eagles cross country team in her junior year. Her events include the 1600- and 3200-meter races. “I love the team I am a part of. When running beside my teammates, whether it’s in a race or at practice, everyone is always supporting

Page B3

Carondelet fetes athletes who make college commitments

CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

one another,” Lofgren says, “My teammates are some of the best people I know. They support anyone who is running, even if they are not a part of our team.” As a junior Lofgren was awarded CVCHS cross country Rookie of the Year. She was named Most Inspirational last fall. Over the years, Lofgren has been recognized as a Scholar Athlete, managing to maintain above a 3.5 GPA throughout high school. “Being

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

Photo courtesy Carondelet High School

Carondelet had 18 athletes from the class of 2019 make commitments to play collegiate athletics starting this fall. The final group of Cougar athletes to sign their national letters of intent were recently honored at the school. They include, from left, Alexandria Schwenger (softball, Eastern Nazarene College), Natalie Nicolosi (basketball, Cal State University San Marcos), Erica Miller (basketball, New York University), Catherine Helgeson (volleyball, Chapman University), Sofia Green (cross country and track, University of San Diego), Courtney Gaoiran (golf, Holy Names University) and Angelina Anderson (soccer, University of California Berkeley). Not pictured, Angelina Scoma (soccer, St. John’s University).

Champs, from page B1

The Ugly Eagles 4x100 and 4x400 relays each took first in impressive victories. Other top performances by local athletes included: Austin Kresley (Northgate) 1st 100 and 2nd 200 Armando Nevarez (De La Salle) 2nd 100 and 4th pole vault Justin Lowe (CVCHS) 3rd 200 and 5th 400 William Sornberger (NG) 2nd 800 1600 Connor Livingston (DLS) 2nd 3200 and 4th 1600 Andrew McGallian (CVCHS) 1st shot put Michael Okoye (DLS) 4th shot put Aryel Coats (Carondelet) 3rd 100, 4th 200 and 2nd long jump Amy Christensen 4th 100 hurdles and 3rd pole vault Kelly Kern (Carondelet) 2nd pole vault Piper Kunesh (Ygnacio Valley) 6th 300 hurdles Eden Broussard (NG) 4th shot put Eliza Cashman (NG) 3rd high jump Jayme Blackard (Carondelet) 4th triple jump Carondelet 3rd 4x100 relay The NCS Meet of Champions is this weekend at Diablo Valley College and the State Meet May 24-25 in Clovis. Boys Volleyball – Northgate reached the NCS DII championship game for the second year in a row and the Broncos fell just short of a Section title once again by a 31 score. Northgate won the opening set over Campolindo but the Cougars won three straight sets over the top seeded Broncos for the title. Northgate had defeated Campo twice while winning the DAL Foothill championship. Northgate’s season didn’t end at NCS as they play in the Northern California championships starting Tuesday at Harker in San Jose. Swimming & Diving – Clayton Valley Charter senior Niklas Weigelt won the 100 freestyle at NCS and then last weekend took fourth in the event at State for the highest local finish. He also took third in the 200 free at NCS. Northgate boys were fourth, CVCHS was sixth and De La Salle seventh at Section while Carondelet was third and Northgate 10th in the girls meet. Carondelet seniors Courtney Klausen and Kate Cilley were first and third in NCS diving while their freshman teammate Olivia Cunningham took eighth. Sophomore Maile Andresen was second in the 100 free and fourth in the 100 backstroke and Northgate teammate

Christy Neufeld took third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free. Carondelet sophomore Jessica Davis was third in the 100 back and seventh in the 100 free at NCS and followed that up with an eighth-place finish at State in the back. Northgate boys were second in the 200 medley and free relays at NCS while DLS was seventh and fourth, respectively in the same relays. Andrew Rodriguez was third in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 back at NCS. He then placed eighth in the 200 IM and ninth in 100 back at State. The Broncos also were fifth in the 200 free relay at State as the Broncos placed 10th in the boys standings. DLS was eighth and Clayton Valley 10th in a school record time in the 200 free relay. De La Salle’s Ryan Iannaccone took fourth in the 50 free and then was second in the 100 butterfly at NCS. Northgate’s Adrian Dulay

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Carondelet High senior teammates Courtney Klausen (left) and Kate Cilley finished first and third at the north Coast Section swimming and diving championships in the onemeter diving. The Cougar divers went on to place in the top 20 at State Meet last weekend.

was right behind him with a third place in the 100 fly. Cal Brown of Clayton Valley Charter was eighth in the 50 free. Dulay also took eighth in the 100 breaststroke, one place behind Clayton Valley’s Anthony Vizental. At NCS, CVCHS took fourth in boys 400 free relay and Carondelet was sixth in the girls relay.

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The Clayton Valley Charter High School boys 4x100 relay dominated the north Coast Section Tri-Valley meet as they prepare for the nCS Meet of Champions this week seeking a place at the State Meet in two weeks. The Ugly eagles quartet of, from left, Christian Seeley, gabriel Merritt, Cameron Reynolds and Justin Lowe clocked 42.04. Freshman Merritt joins a trio of seniors on the relay team.

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Page B4

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

May 17, 2019

Concord woman travels the world without fear her life – including adventures to all seven continents. She ascended to 19,340 feet at the top of Mt. KiliWhen Annie Allen’s 25manjaro and, at the other year marriage ended, she extreme, descended 400 feet looked at the life-altering below ground level in the event as an opportunity. largest cave on the planet. “I’m going to do every“I’ve slept in everything thing I always wanted to do. I from a pig pen in Peru to the have nothing to lose,” she said Ritz in Egypt, where I had a of her feelings from 10 years pillow concierge and the walls ago. were lined with suede,” Allen With both daughters off to said. college, the 21-year Concord Her latest adventure took resident took a “no fear” her to Vietnam. where she approach to the next phase of KARA NAVOLIO The Pioneer

Annie Allen is wellequipped for any travel adventure.

became one of only 3,500 people to have entered the largest cave in the world, Hang Son Doong. She prepared for the 15-mile trek through the jungle with strength and endurance training. She had to overcome her fear of heights as she was required to rappel into the cave through a crevice. The trip, organized by Oxalis Adventures, has only been available to the public since 2014. “It was glorious,” said

Allen. “I swam in an underground river, saw bats and albino spiders as well as leftover fragments from a Vietnam War-era bomb and 400 million-year-old fossils.” Allen started traveling as a child, visiting her mother’s family in Norway. As a teen, she saved her money not for clothes or a car, but for traveling. At 22, she joined the Navy so she could see the world. She was stationed in the Philippines as a parachute rigger.

B8 Theatre needs help finding new Concord home

A roster of 12 to 14 dancers performed for 14 years, and Butterfield also staged two fulllength contemporary ballets. Butterfield 8 Theatre Company began in 1995, with actors performing monologues to complement the dance pieces. From 2002 to 2004, they performed both separately and together. CAROL LOngSHORe After Butterfield returned in 2005 from a leave of YESTERYEAR absence to study in New B8 Theatre Company, Con- Zealand, the company shifted cord’s only remaining theater solely to the theatrical works of group, has retained its smallButterfield 8. The “nomadic” town feeling – but it can’t seem company performed at the to find a new home in our Lesher Center, Town Hall Thetown. atre and Cue Productions Live. In 1989, John Butterfield Butterfield returned to New founded the New Urban Zealand to resume his studies Dance Company, the first in spring 2014, and Butterfield ensemble group to offer a vari- 8 lost its performance space. ety of dance/theater entertain- After a two-year hiatus, the ment in Contra Costa County. group reorganized as B8 The-

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atre Company. The troupe had new leadership, an expanded vision and a new temporary home in the old US Bank building across from Sugar Plum in downtown Concord. The company continued offering its classic twist on familiar plays and produced many world premieres. However, B8 Theatre Company has yet lost another lease to new owners and development. As they frantically search for a new home, the Concord Historical Society is temporarily housing the next two productions. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs in June,

with “Strange Ladies” in September and October. The company is reaching out to anyone who may be able to help them find a new home, which this writer hopes is in Concord – or we’ll lose a diamond in the rough. Let’s keep theater in Concord. Visit their website at b8theatre.org or call 925-8908877 if you can help in any way.

In the book world, the espionage thriller is the milieu of male readers. In other words, Chris Pavone’s latest, “The Paris Diversion,” could be considered a “guy” book. But not so fast. I just finished “The Paris Diversion” and am here to tell you it is a guy and gal book. (I can’t believe I just wrote that.) Pavone’s forte is the old shell game but played with words. Now you see him or her; now you don’t. Now you get it; now you don’t. Is it a terrorist plot, or not? It has all the makings of a terrorist plot but go back to the title: “The Paris Diversion.” And that is the only clue you’ll get from me. What I loved about this thriller, aside from the snappy writing, is that the protagonist is a woman. I don’t read a lot of mysteries or thrillers, so don’t step up and tell me there

except for the spy thing. Kate’s is a stressful life. Add to that her husband, Dexter, who is a bit of a dangerous jerk who involves himself in some risky and highly illegal financial escapades. Dexter lies a lot, too. Paris becomes not the City of Lights, but the city of fear. The most beloved of Paris’s SUnny SOLOMOn sites, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, a major subway, a train BOOKIN’ WITH station, have been threatened. SUNNY A dark-skinned man wearing a bomb vest near the dome at are many espionage thrillers the Louvre has placed a metal with women in key roles. Pavone’s Kate Moore (one briefcase on the ground in of many aliases) is not only a front of him. Police and national security believe it real spy who can use a weapon, lie, steal and lie (a lot holds a dirty bomb. He stands rigid for hours while police of that going on), but she is also a woman with a husband snipers wait for orders. Who is he? Why are the and two kids, one who suffers police waiting? What do the from what appears to be asthterrorists want? Is there a conma. In other words, she is nection between the terrorists dealing with a lot of things we and a kidnapped billionaire all deal with in our lives –

Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to editor@concordpioneer.com.

But the travel bug really hit about 10 years ago. “When my last daughter left for college, I went to India to find myself,” Allen said. Allen, who still co-owns a business with her ex, booked her first adventure to New Zealand after the marriage ended. Since then, Allen has kayaked in Antarctica, climbed Machu Picchu and visited the Galápagos Islands. She’s been across Europe, dog sledded at the North Pole and hiked to Mt. Everest Base Camp. She completed a nine-day solo hike through Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, overcoming her fear of traveling alone. In all, she has visited 63 countries. And her only injury: a fall and broken arm on Mt. Diablo, just a few miles from home. Now, she is waiting for Virgin Galactic’s tourism flights into space. “I want to see that little blue marble we live on from as far away as possible.” There seems to be no limit to what Allen is willing to conquer. Allen posts her adventures on Instagram under the handle @travelannie.

‘Paris’ brings terrorism fears to life

businessman who is expected to make a major financial announcement that afternoon? Is this political? Is it financial? Is it pay-back? If so, for whom? What is Kate’s involvement? How do all the players (and there are many and not all in Paris) fit? This is an action story, on foot, on moped, on bike and boat, but mostly en panique. Pavone is a master of the high-speed unexpected. The author clearly understands that panic and fear, relative to money and bombs, can be one and the same. Espionage, another word for contrived lies and liars, can kill you – or the people you love.

Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

After 21 films, ‘Endgame’ was worth the wait

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, given a little more to do than usual) tries to keep everything together at Avengers JeFF MeLLingeR headquarters, sending people SCREEN SHOTS out on missions. Newcomer Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) The end of Marvel Cinehelps Iron Man (Robert matic Universe’s initial story arc arrives to tie a bow on the Downey Jr.) out of a jam and then goes off into the costale started 11 years ago with mos. Captain America (Chris the first “Iron Man” movie. This time around, Anthony Evans) and the Hulk (Mark and Joe Russo have a lot more Ruffalo) are doing their own thing, while Hawkeye (Jeremy on their plates than Jon Renner) and Thor (Chris Favreau did in 2008. Hemsworth) have more or “Avengers: Endgame” has to less disappeared. mix multiple storylines and It’s not until the fateful cram almost as many characreturn of Ant-Man (Paul ters together as the previous Rudd, comically effectual as movie, “Avengers: Infinity usual) that the ball gets rolling War.” It also has to deal with on trying to set things right. It the fallout resulting from helps to have seen 2018’s Thanos snapping his fingers “Ant-Man and the Wasp” to to erase 50 percent of all life understand where Ant-Man in the universe at the end of has been for five years. In fact, “Infinity War.” it helps to have seen pretty After a brutally forlorn much all of the other 21 opening sequence, MCU films. It would be a dif“Endgame” moves forward ficult experience for those five years “post-snap.” The remaining superheroes are liv- who have seen even just half of the previous movies. Most ing a shattered existence.

moviegoers have watched most of the films and want to spend three hours in the theater enjoying the grand finale. The Russo brothers show us a troubling world without half of its former inhabitants. Garbage piles up on streets, entire city blocks have been left to crumble, faded missing posters are still up. However, the directors miss an opportunity to delve into how we have fared as a civilization, both on the macro and micro scales. Unfortunately, there is far too much ground for them to cover on the cosmic level. Ant-Man’s plan sends our remaining crew in groups to far-flung locales in time and space. A wonderfully un-godlike Thor pairs with the always snarky Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). Thor’s return to a previous version of Asgard brings unexpected pathos. Iron Man and Captain America venture to a place where they have to deal with heavy aspects of their past, while Hawkeye and Black

Widow face an altogether haunting proposition. Near the end of a massive comic series, readers expect a big battle and lots of tough decisions by the characters. Even if some characters die, there’s a good chance they’ll return in some form in a different series. Yet with “Endgame,” viewers must be prepared for the very good possibility they will never see some of these heroes onscreen again. It’s a little long and has a few hokey shots that seemed to be there just to please fans, but “Endgame” is a worthy tribute to our favorite superheroes and their saga. B Note: The DC Extended Universe continues its renaissance, as “Shazam” is a fantastic addition. A-

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


May 17, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

CALENDAR

PLEASE SubMIT your CoMMuNITy CALENDAr EvENTS by 5 P.M. JuNE 10 For THE JuNE 21

IN CONCORD

May 25-27 Bay Area KidFest

The 30th annual event includes entertainment, rides, free kids’ activities and food court. Memorial Day ceremony with Concord Blue Devils C Corps at noon May 27. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 2526, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 27. Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St., Concord. $6 with canned food donations ($5 with two cans Saturday), or $7 general. Children under 2 and those 65+ free. Proceeds benefit local educational, health and sports non-profits. kidfestconcord.com.

Thursdays, May 30-Sept. 26 Music and Market

Farmers market and free concerts, 6:30-8 p.m., Todos Santos Plaza. May 30: Concord High Jazz Band and the Blue Devils. June 6: Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums. June 13: Soul Power. June 20: Native Elements. cityofconcord.org.

June 1 Pride 2019

Sponsored by the Rainbow Community Center. Family-friendly celebration of the LGBTQ+ community with DJ, food, vendors, kids area. Noon-6 p.m., Todos Santos Plaza. rainbowcc.org.

June 15 49th annual Corvette Car Show

Featuring classic, custom and stock Corvettes, sponsored by Diablo Valley Corvettes. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Show is free; car entry fee is $30. Car registration 8 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Contact Bill at coupe66@gmail.com or 510332-5669. diablovalleycorvettes.com/vetteorama.

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and 4-8 p.m. Thursdays, Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. pcfma.org.

IN CLAYTON

Saturdays through Sept. 21 Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m., 10950 Main St., Clayton. pcfma.org.

May 25-Sept. 14 Concerts in the Grove

May 25: Brick House. June 8: Mixed Nuts. June 22: Boys of Summer. 6-8:30 p.m., the Grove park, downtown Clayton. Free. claytonconcerts.com.

May 27 Memorial Day Program

Sponsored by VFW Post 1525. 10 a.m., flagpole at Main and Oak streets, downtown Clayton. Free. Contact Mark at 925-3890057 or coachsteiny@msn.com.

CLUBS

May 22 Soroptimist Membership Mixer

Learn how Soroptimist Diablo Vista and Martinez clubs support, empower and educate women and girls in the community. 5-7 p.m. May 22, 1870 Adobe St. Concord. Free. RSVP on Facebook by May 20.

FUNDRAISERS

June 8 Dogs4Diabetics Poker Chip Walk

Elvis-themed costume contest for you and your pup. Check-in 9 a.m., walk at 10 a.m., Heather Farm Park, 301 N. San Carlos Dr., Walnut Creek. d4ddogwalk.org.

2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

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

Grad Night/Prom for Paradise

The Pleasant Hill Rotary Club and the county Office of Education are collecting prom dresses and raising funds to provide a Grad Night on June 6 for about 240 seniors from fire-ravaged Paradise. Send donations to Pleasant Hill Rotary Foundation, PHS Grad Night, 621 Reading Place, Danville, CA 94526. Tax ID 043708728. For dress donations, contact Rebecca at radams0412@yahoo.com.

Cars for the Camp Fire

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Donate a running vehicle for victims of the fire in Paradise, sponsored by the Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Paradise. 925-326-5868 or cars4paradise.org.

ISSuE. ITEMS MuST bE SubMITTED by EMAIL To

HEALTH

June 13 Advance Health Care Directives for Seniors

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

OUTDOORS

May 17 Bird Walk

Listen for the birds as twilight approaches. 7-10:30 p.m., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 per vehicle. Reservation required at blkittiwake@yahoo.com.

May 19 Spring Wildflower Walk

Easy two-mile walk. 9:30-11:30 a.m., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road. Clayton. $6 per vehicle. akirch1750@gmail.com.

May 19 Spring Wildflower Walk

Six-mile hike. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., park entrance on Morgan Territory Road near Clayton. 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

May 24 Summit/Oak Knoll Hike

Seven-mile hike with 1,500 foot elevation gain and unobstructed views. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Juniper Trailhead at entrance to Juniper Campground on Summit Road. $10 per vehicle. jvanakkeren@comcast.net.

May 25 Snakes and Reptiles of Mt. Diablo

Drop in to meet and learn about local lizards and snakes. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Mt. Diablo Summit Museum. $10 per vehicle.

June 2 Round the Mountain Hike

A 7½-mile loop with 2,000 foot elevation gain and outstanding views. 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Juniper Trailhead at entrance to Juniper Campground on Summit Road. $10 per vehicle. jvanakkeren@comcast.net.

ENTERTAINMENT

May 19 “Better Together”

Diablo Women’s Chorale spring concert. 3 p.m., Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette. $15-$30. diablowomenschorale.org.

May 19 “On Broadway”

A Broadway-themed musical celebration. 3 p.m., El Campanil. $15-$29.

May 19 “Pastoral: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony”

Diablo Symphony with San Ramon Valley High School Orchestra. 2 p.m., Lesher Center. $35.

Through June 23 “Woody Sez”

The life and music of Woody Guthrie, Center Rep. Lesher Center. Free hootenanny after Sunday matinees. $39-$79.

May 23-26 “Once Upon a Mattress”

Fun fairy tale musical, Poison Apple. Lesher Center. $20.

June 13-19 “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Females play the male roles in this classic Shakespeare comedy, B8 Theatre Company. Concord Historical Society, 1928 Clayton Road. $15-$25. b8theatre.org.

June 14-30 “The Fitting Room”

A comedy written by Pioneer theater columnist Kathryn G. McCarty, Onstage Theatre. Martinez Campbell Theatre. $19-$22.

Theater Contact Key

calendar@pioneerpublishers.com

Through June 23 “Tradition Interrupted”

Exhibit exploring the methods artists use to conflate contemporary ideas with traditional art and craft. Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $3-$5. 925-295-1417 or bedfordgallery.org.

AT THE LIBRARY

Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Concord.html. 925-646-5455. Baby and Toddler Storytime, 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Preschool Storytime, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. AARP Tax Aide, 10 a.m. May 18. Mystery Book Club, “The Glass Key,” 1 p.m. May 19. Health Care for the Homeless,1 p.m. May 20. Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. May 20. Forever Young: Adult Book Club, “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library,” 4 p.m. May 21. Adulting 101 for Teens, 4 p.m. May 22, June 19. Registration recommended. Adventures in Coding, 3 p.m. May 23. Monthly Movie Night for Adults. “The Upside,” 6:30 p.m. May 23. Kindergarten Countdown, 3 p.m. May 29. Junior Investigator Afternoon, 3 p.m. May 30. Medicare Information Session, 11 a.m. May 31. Concord Knitting & Crochet Group, 1:15 p.m. June 2. Free Homework Help, For grades K-5. 4.-6 p.m. June 3. Adventures in Coding, 7 p.m. June 3. Registration required. Talkfest, 5:30 p.m. June 6. Summer Reading, June 8-Aug. 8. Mystery Book Club, “A Purple Place for Dying.” 1 p.m. June 9. Sterling the Bubblesmith, family program. 7 pm. June 10. Healthcare for the Homeless, 1 p.m. June 17. Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. June 17. Family Game Night, 7 p.m. June 17. Lunch for Kids, 1 p.m. June 18, 20, 25, 27. Forever Young: Adult Book Club, “Artemis Fowl,” 4 p.m. June 18. AARP Tax Aide, 10 a.m. June 22

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659. Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. May 20, June 10. DNA Testing in Genealogy Search, 7 p.m. May 22. College Info Night, 6:30 p.m. May 29. Travel Adventures with Road Scholar, 2 p.m. June 6. Go With the Flow Juggling Show, 4 p.m. June 17.

GOVERNMENT

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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

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

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

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


Page B6

T H E ARTS

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

May 17, 2019

Folk takes center stage in Woody Guthrie tribute

playing through May 26 at the Martinez Campbell Theatre. Call 925-350-9770 or visit campbelltheater.com. “Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown,” produced by Town Hall TheKATHRyn g. MCCARTy atre, stars Patricia Pitpitan, Sheila Viramontes and Marah ON THE MARQUEE Sotelo. The musical is a sexy romp about female resilience It’s opening night for Cenas a trio of women in 1980s ter REPertory’s “Woody Sez: Madrid serve up comedic The Life & Music of chaos with a specially laced Woody Guthrie.” gazpacho, paired with an irreYou will be mesmerized by sistible Spanish beat. It plays the musical talents of the cast, May 30-June 22 in Lafayette. which received a 2018 Drama Visit townhalltheatre.com. League nomination for OutGhostlight Theatre celestanding Production of a brates its one-year anniversary Broadway or Off-Broadway with preparations for an excitMusical. ing 2019-’20 season, including Guthrie, America’s greatest “The Dixie Swim Club,” troubadour, transformed folk “Misdeeds at Mistletoe music into a vehicle for social “Woody Sez,” by Center ReP, memorializes American folk icon Woody guthrie. Mine,” “Festival 10” and protest. David M. Lutken, “Big, the Musical.” For who plays the title role, will Company artistic director Jan- the Concord Historical Socie- providing Miss Marple (played information on auditions or lead free hootenannies after Lee Marshall spins a B8 twist, ty June 13-29. Visit b8theby the wonderful Melynda volunteering, visit ghostthe Sunday matinees. The with all traditionally male roles atre.org. Kiring) with a host of clues in lightte.org. show plays through June 23 at played by females in her verYou can also get your this Agatha Christie thriller. Amy Seiwert, one of the Lesher Center. Call 925sion of the classic comedy “A Shakespeare fix by checking Local favorites include Sally Smuin Ballet’s most illustrious 943-7469 or visit lesherartsMidsummer Night’s check out California ShakeHogarty and Randy Anger. alumni, presents a world precenter.org. Dream” by William Shakespeare’s version of the come- The Plotline Theatre show is Concord’s B8 Theatre speare. Performances will be dy, May 22-June 22 at the Bruns Amphitheater, Orinda. Tyne Rafaeli directs. Visit calshakes.org. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again after seeing Poison Apple’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress.” This rollicking take on “The Princess and the Pea” is a musical with hearty, fun shenanigans. The show runs Memorial Day weekend at the Lesher Center. Call 925-9437469 or visit noelle Arms lesherartscenter.org. Patricia Pitpitan, left, and Marah Sotelo are “Women on the Jordan Dusich of Concord is Prince Dauntless, with Trinity Verge of a nervous Breakdown” in the Town Hall Theatre “A Murder is Fanelli as Princess Winifred in Poison Apple’s “Once Upon Announced” in a local paper, production. a Mattress.”

925.348.5609 Nick Eisenbart

Owner/Service Provider Concord resident

dancer Raymond Tilton. Classes will be at the Performing Academy Diablo in Pleasant Hill, which is also the new home of Diablo Ballet’s company rehearsals. “A ballet school goes hand in hand with Diablo Ballet’s mission and PEEK Outreach Program: to be committed to enriching, inspiring and educating children and adults through the art of dance,” Jonas said.

Registration will begin in May at diabloballet.org.

miere to close the company’s 25th anniversary season at the Lesher Center this weekend. Return to Smuin’s roots with highlights from Michael Smuin’s vast creative archive in “Dance Series 02.” Call 925943-7469 or visit lesherartscenter.org. Onstage Repertory Theatre Company peeks into “The Fitting Room,” a voyeuristic perspective on the search for meaning, truth and the perfect pair of jeans. I wrote the comedy, with Helen Means directing. It plays at the Martinez Campbell Theatre June 14-30. Call 925-350-9770 or visit campbelltheater.com.

Kathryn G. McCarty is wellknown around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.

Homebuilder finds a new sense of purpose in wood sculpture

Diablo Ballet launches ballet school As part of its 25th anniversary season, Diablo Ballet is opening a ballet school at the end of summer. The troupe will offer classes for students age 3 to adult who enjoy dancing, as well as those who wish to pursue a professional career in ballet. The Diablo Ballet School will be the first in the East Bay to be run by a professional ballet company. Lauren Jonas, ballet co-founder and artistic director, will lead the school with company

Chris Hardy

erin yarbrough-Powell and Ben needham-Wood dance in “Confesso” with Smuin Ballet.

LiSA FULMeR

ARTS

IN

MOTION

After forging a successful Bay Area construction career with high-end residential clients, Jeremy Ruys realized one day that he felt empty inside. “I was spending my time helping other people build their dreams, but I wasn’t working on my own,” he recalls. He decided to search for a renewed sense of purpose. “I

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didn’t know yet what my dream might be. I just knew I needed some solitude to figure it out.” Ruys moved to Washington state and took a forestry job removing dead trees and thinning out overly dense areas to prevent forest fires. “I was able to work alone and build my own log cabin to live in. I literally became one with the trees. … It was a spiritual experience,” he says. “I learned how trees can actually support each other by sharing nutrients. “My time working in the woods helped me better understand the creative synergy that exists between all living things,” he adds. “I saw artistry in the fallen trees, ways to sculpt the wood into something new that tells a story.” An injury eventually brought Ruys’ forestry work to a close, but he had found his purpose – to capture this concept of creative synergy for others to experience. Armed with a chainsaw and his expertise as a builder, he started carving wood sculptures. He met a woman who loved his work and he moved to where she lived in Concord to build a relationship. After coming back to the Bay Area, Ruys met an artist who encouraged him to take a more abstract, emotional approach to his carving. “It was challenging,” he says. “When you’re building multi-million dollar homes, you have to be a perfectionist. I had to learn how to embrace the wood’s imperfections and become a ‘figure hunter.’ Sometimes I carve new shapes and lines, but other times the wood’s natu-

Jeremy Ruys crafted tables out of burned trees from Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma County.

ral figure alone is the art.” After meeting the owner of Paradise Ridge Winery, which was destroyed in the Tubbs Fire, Ruys had the opportunity to repurpose some of the winery’s burned trees. He used the wood to build a series of artistic tables. “There was so much devastation from that fire,” he notes. “These trees told the sad story with their jagged edges and dark shadows. It’s like that with people. Our most trying times leave a deep impact and can often define who we become. But beauty can still be born out of tragedy.” When his girlfriend encouraged him to show his work to a gallery, Ruys did

some research. “I went to see Fro at the aRt Cottage in Concord. I was thrilled that she wanted to include my tables in her May show.” Ruys plans to stay in Concord for awhile. “For the first time, I’m meeting other artists and I feel accepted as an artist myself. I’m really excited to get more involved in the arts here,” he says. “I think Concord still has a story to tell.” The aRt Cottage is at 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. Visit artscottage.blogspot.com.

You can learn more at iheartartstudio.co. Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, small business marketing consultant and community arts advocate.


May 17, 2019

P ETS

eLenA BiCKeR

ARF NOTES

The longer days of summer provide lots of opportunities for fun, not to mention relaxing sunbeam snoozes, for our animal friends. However, a few extra precautions can keep furry companions safe and happy as the temperatures rise. We still hear too many heartbreaking stories of animals locked in hot cars. Pet are in danger even on milder summer days. A study by

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Keeping those dog – and cat – days of summer safe Stanford University found that even on a 72-degree day, a car’s internal temperature rockets to 116 degrees within an hour. That’s enough to kill or seriously injure a pet or human left in a vehicle. Cracking the windows will not make a significant difference. As the temperatures rise, make certain your co-pilot won’t be left waiting. Many websites and apps list petfriendly stores, restaurants and recreation areas. Call ahead, plan trips during cooler parts of the day, or play it safe and leave your

precious passenger at home. Cars aren’t the only dangerous places for pets during summer months. Any climate that is not temperature-controlled can turn deadly, including backyards and homes without air conditioning. Be aware of your surroundings and how they will affect your pet. When the air temperature is a pleasant 77 degrees, asphalt can heat to 125 degrees – a point where skin destruction can occur in 60 seconds. By the time the thermometer hits 87, asphalt tem-

Meet ARF stars Onix and Marvel

ONIX

Four-year-old Onix is a social guy who loves to say hello to every person who passes him by. With his big, brown eyes, how can you say no? This outgoing guy likes to go walks and explore the world around him, but likes even more is to snuggle up close to you for a good cuddle session.

MARVEL

The adoption fee for puppies under 6 months is $300, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Six-year-old Marvel is a lovely lady who is sociable and enjoys soft petting. She likes to walk around with her cute little bob-tail high up, and get atten-

peratures can jump to 143 degrees. A good rule of thumb is to test the ground where your pet will be walking or resting with your bare foot or the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. If you like to exercise with your pet, dawn and dusk are generally the coolest parts of the day. And remember to carry a bowl and fresh, clean water. There are a variety of convenient collapsible bowls available. Many dogs and a few, rare cats love to make a big splash in the summer. However, even strong swimmers should not be left unattended near swimming pools or other bodies of water. Keep an eye out for accidents and steer dogs and cats away from drinking chlorinated or unsafe water. While swallowing a little water during a pool romp rarely results in anything more serious than slight GI discomfort, large amounts can cause irritation or burning of the esophagus and even trigger allergic reactions to chemicals. Standing water, creeks and lakes can also contain bacteria and fungi harmful to animals, so bring plenty of fresh water on all summer adventures. A few precautions and a little planning can keep summer safe for all members of your family – those with two and four legs.

tion and take breaks when she likes. This charming kitty will be a delightful addition to your calm home. The adoption fee for kittens under 6 months $125 ($200 for 2) and for adult cats is $75 ($100 for 2). Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are Elena Bicker is the Executive Director making a difference! For more information see our website, of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue FounShe can be reached at (925) 256www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256- dation. 1ARF (1273) 1ARF.

LOST DOG

Page B7

Missing Since 5/1. Cupcake is a Female Lab mix. Short black hair with white on nose, chin and chest. Approx. 50 lbs. spayed. Chipped. Got out of yard with another of our dogs but a neighbor caught him but couldn’t get her. Morgan Territory and Marsh Creek Road. Area is rural and Marsh Creek is a busy commuter road so she possibly could have been picked up and moved out of the Clayton area. Please help us get Cupcake home. We are devastated. reward. 925-787-0448.

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*Instant Savings are based on savings per adult staying in a Superior category room on selects weeks at select resorts. Discounts on other dates, room categories and/or at other resorts varies. + Plus Perks: Air Credit: Sample $300 air credit is per person, based on a 7-night stay in a Suite category room on select weeks at Club Med Cancun Yucatan, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Credits on other dates, resorts, stay duration, room categories may vary. Children between 13 and 15 years of age receive 70% of the air credit of an adult. Children between 4 and 12 years of age receive half of the air credit of an adult. Children under 4 do not receive an air credit. Off er requires a 3-night minimum stay and air must be booked through Club Med. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates. Single Supplement: Off er available only at Club Med Cancun Yucatan, Mexico; Ixtapa Pacifi c, Mexico; Sandpiper Bay, Florida; Columbus Isle, Bahamas; Turkoise, Turks & Caicos; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates. Free room upgrade: is available select weeks at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (From Standard Room near Zen Oasis (B), to Family Superior Room - near Zen Oasis (B+)), Cancun Yucatan, Mexico (from Superior Room – Ocean side, Aguamarina (B) to Family Superior Room - Oceanfront, Aguamarina (B4)), Ixtapa Pacifi c, Mexico (From Superior Room beach side (C+) to Family Deluxe Room - Balcony (A)), Sandpiper Bay, Florida (From Family Superior Room Bay view (B+) to Deluxe Room (A)). Kids under 4 Stay Free: Children aged under 4 years stay for free at our family destinations (exclusion for Holiday weeks: children 3 years stay at 50% of the adult price). Children aged 4-11 years stay at up to 50% off adult price at select family resorts. Children aged 12-15 years stay at up to 30% off adult price at select family resorts. For fl ights that are booked through Club Med, tickets for children must be paid for by the client. Children who are eligible to stay for free must be lodged in the same room as the adults who are paying for their stay, or in a connecting room. Blackout dates may apply. Costs associated with Baby & Petit Club Med are at full day rate during entire stay booked. General Conditions: Blackout dates apply, including holidays and other dates. Off er requires a 3-night minimum stay (7-night minimum for Columbus Isle). Available at select resorts. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates with check-in on or after 05/04/2019 and check-out on or before 12/20/2019 and must be booked between 05/03/2019 and 06/18/2019. Off er is subject to capacity control and may increase or be withdrawn at any time. For Turkoise all guests must be at least 18 years of age. Guests at Columbus Isle must be at least 2 years of age. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. CST#: 2020955-50.


Page B8

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

May 17, 2019

Spring into action with flowering garden options

needs to be dark and loose. Work in rich soil conditioners to existing soil, choosing a product that looks like potting niCOLe HACKeTT soil, smells a bit like manure GARDEN GIRL and doesn’t have too much visible wood. At this time of year, nursPenstemon is one of the ery shelves are filled with simplest, yet most attractive flowers and the weather is evergreen perennials available. wonderful for planting. Depending on the selection, There are so many great expect penstemon to grow 2-3 choices for folks to install. feet tall and wide. TrumpetPenstemon, salvia, sea lavenshaped flowers are born in der, calibrachoa (million bells) rows along dark green stems. and alstroemeria are some of Penstemon has a color for the showiest and most flower- every palette: reds, pinks, tastic plants to install in a white, purple and many bi-colClayton Valley garden or land- ors. This perennial blooms scape. May through October and First and foremost, you’ll attracts hummingbirds. need healthy soil for flowering Salvia is a huge group of plants. Whether in a container woody and herbaceous perenor in the ground, the soil nials. The woody selections

have tiny, two-lipped flowers in pinks, red and lavenders. The herbaceous selections have tight stacks of teeny flowers that stand above larger green leaves. Herbaceous means that the plant completely dies back in the autumn and returns in the spring. Herbaceous plants live for many years and are frostproof. Some favorite salvia to consider are Hot Lips (red and white bi-color blooms), leucantha (commonly called Mexican sage) with fuzzy, purple flowers and white tips, and May Night, an herbaceous selection that reaches 2 feet tall and wide and creates a stunning impact in any full sun garden bed. Sea lavender is old-fash-

ioned and recognizable. Folks have seen it on walks through the neighborhoods for years. It has large, lettuce-like dark green leaves. Stems stand 1830 inches tall and hold purple flower clusters that can be as large as 6 inches wide. This evergreen perennial is nearly everblooming. Bees and butterflies use the flower clusters as landing pads. Occasionally, the winter gets too frosty and some sea lavender may succumb to the cold temperatures, but the rewards are worth the risk. Calibrachoa is a type of petunia that doesn’t get sticky and seldom suffers from petunia bud worms. These million bells are best planted in raised beds, hanging baskets and containers, because they have

a desirable cascade to their growth. The color selections are outrageous, with so many fun combinations. They only last two or three years but are awesome when blooming March through October. They require hard prunes occasionally and like regular fertilizer formulated for blooms. If alstroemeria weren’t so expensive, it would be the perfect perennial. Azalea-shaped flowers surge into waves of blooms all growing season long. Alstroemeria is available in standard sizes and dwarf selections. They can be

divided and shared. Alstroemeria also serves as a great cut flower. While there are many amazing perennials to grow, this list of plants are nearly sure things in this area. As you peruse garden centers, ask to see these selections. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

Market brings season’s finest to Clayton Shawn Lipetzky, regional manager for the Clayton area, was eager for the return of the Clayton Farmers Market on May 11. “We hope it will be better than ever this year, and I look forward to seeing everyone out enjoying the sun and supporting local farmers on Saturdays,” he said. The Clayton Farmers Market, located at 6095 Main St. downtown, will be open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays until Sept. 21. Resendiz Farms of Hughson will be offering their fabulous fresh stone fruit,

Clayton Farmers’ Market opens with early season cherries, stone fruits and berries.

everything from cherries to peaches. Chay’s Farm from

Royal Oaks will have succulent strawberries, blackber-

ries and raspberries. Rosa’s Portuguese Bakery will showcase some of her decadent pastries and cakes. Alvarado Apiary will bring their sweet local honey. With their bees buzzing around collecting nectar right in Clayton, it can’t get more local than that. Hanson Farms, also from just down the road in Clayton, will be selling fresh lamb and goat roasts, chops and jerky. It’s time to get out the grill for Memorial Day gatherings. Though small in size, the Clayton market offers a little bit of everything – from

fruits and vegetables to other tasty items. We hope you come out and enjoy your community farmers market. CHERRY SALSA 2 c. chopped cherries 1 c. chopped cucumber ¼ c. jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped ¼ c. minced cilantro 1 garlic clove, minced 2 T red onion, finely chopped 1 T white balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. salt Chop cherries and veggies and place in medium-sized

DeBRA MORRiS

FARMERS MARKET

bowl. Add vinegar and salt and stir gently. Let the salsa sit for 30 minutes before serving. Serve on pork or chicken, or with tortilla chips. For complete schedule for the Concord and Clayton Farmers Markets schedule, see ad in Section A, page 5.

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Profile for Pioneer Publishers

MAY 17 The Pioneer 2019  

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

MAY 17 The Pioneer 2019  

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

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