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Farmers’ Market, Garden Club plant sale and ‘Beach Boys’ usher in Clayton’s outdoor season

Clayton’s unofficial summer began on May 10 when Vice-mayor Dave Shuey tossed out the first cabbage to open the season’s Saturday morning Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market. Although still early in the year, there were peaches and apricots along with plenty of vegetables. The market opens every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. Visit Clayton Farmers’ Market on Facebook for recipes and special deals.

Susan Sappington clearly scored big at the Clayton Valley Garden Club’s plant sale held in the Endeavor Hall parking lot. The annual event raises funds for the Clayton museum garden project, the rose library’s rose gardens and flower beds, Daffodil Hill and garden projects at local schools. On Saturday night, the California Beach Boys kicked off the first Summer Concert in The Grove. Picnic blankets

were everywhere and it was hard to sit still when the band cranked up “Surfin’ USA.” Clayton’s Norma Galan kicked it up with the sax player during the closing number. Next up on May 24 is rock out time with The Boys of Summer Eagles Tribute Band. Stake out your picnic area after 4 p.m. Concert begins at 6 p.m. See page 3 for complete concert schedule. Photos by Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

Honor the fallen at VFW Memorial Day service Memorial Day is not just a day for backyard barbeques or trips to the beach. It is a day to remember and honor all of the members of the Armed Forces who have died in the line of duty. On Monday, May 26, the VFW will again mark the day with an observance at the Veterans Memorial Flagpole Monument in downtown Clayton. More than 500 are expected to attend the event which will include patriotic music, prayer and remembrances. Natalie Tollefson, surviving spouse

of PFC Benjamin Tollefson will speak of “Surviving Hope” and share her journey since her husband was killed in action on New Years Eve 2008. Lt. Col. Michael Hudson will deliver the keynote address and members of the audience will have an opportunity to share their remembrances and comments. The service begins with a Huey helicopter flyover at 10 a.m. The observance is co-sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Lt. Jerry

Novakovich Post 1525 and the Korean War Veterans Assoc. Chapter 264. Memorial Day originally began to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action. Originally called Decoration Day, it was renamed Memorial Day in 1968 and is always celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Bowmen’s renovation is right on target PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Angel Yarnell was in a grocery store parking lot that hot September Sunday when she happened to look up and see smoke billowing from the slopes of Mt. Diablo. “We didn’t think twice,” said the president of the Diablo Bowmen Archery Club. “My husband and I just threw the groceries in the car and hightailed it up to the club.” But they weren’t able to make it all the way up to the renowned archery range located on Oak Hill Lane, off of Morgan Territory Road. The Morgan Fire was already sweeping toward their property, and firefighters were stopping traffic on Marsh Creek Road on the way up to Mayor hank Stratford is on vacation. The Mayors Corner will return next issue.

the mountain. Luckily, the club’s Range Manager Bill Potts was up at the club and was able to salvage some memorabilia before he was forced to evacuate. The fire leapt through that area of the mountain, effectively “cremating” several of the target trails, Yarnell says. The club lost three quarters of their assets, including target butts, unique 3D targets, storage units and other property — not to mention damage to the beautiful Oak and Pine trees that dotted the property. Firefighters set up a staging area at the club, and managed to save the clubhouse. Still, when all was said and done, club losses totaled close to $70,000. But like so many stories about the Morgan Fire, there were heroes — not only the firefighters who helped save the clubhouse and homes on Oak Hill Lane, but the club members and community members who

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Ask Us (NEW) . . . . . . . . . . .7 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

came out week after week to help restore the archery club to its former glory. “At first it was a clean-up effort,” Yarnell says. “We needed to see how safe the area was, to make sure that the surviving trees wouldn’t fall.” Volunteers braved biting beetles, ash, dust and other fire-related obstacles to help restore the club. With the weekly work parties helping to clear brush and help evade erosion, the Bowman’s Club was able to put on a shoot just three months after the fire. They have continued to sponsor archery events throughout the spring and winter. “The renovation has been wonderful,” Yarnell says. “We have made rehabilitation progress by leaps and bounds. The rapid progress was made possible through the support of our members, our sister clubs and their members, and our community. They all supported our rehabilitation through hard Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Community Calendar . . . . .14 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .5 Concord News . . . . . . . . . . .5 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .18 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .7 DVMS Correspondent . . . . .9

work, and both monetary and practical donations.” It seemed like a long shot last fall, but in June the Bowman’s Club will host its annual Open House from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. It’s an

opportunity for the public to try archery, tour the range and enjoy a hot dog lunch. For more information about the Open House or the Diablo Bowman’s Club in general, visit, or call Yarnell at 925-381-4590.

Photo courtesy Diablo Bowmen

MEMBERS OF THE DIABLO BOWMEN ARCHERY CLUB and volunteers from a sister club clean up fire damaged growth blocking trails on the club grounds on Mt. Diablo. The club lost $70,000 in assets and equipment in the Morgan Fire last September.

Clayton Valley Village puts a different slant on retirement JOHN JACKSON Clayton Pioneer

C l a y t o n ’s senior community is looking to a new model of “aging in place” to stay active, build relationships and have practi- MARIA XIARIS cal needs met, all while living at home for a longer period of time. Maria Xiaris, a Clayton resident and the founder of the Clayton Valley Village, believes that a village system is a model that Clayton is primed to embrace. “It’s time for a village in Clayton where we support one another as we age,” she says. STAY IN OWN HOMES The intent is to let people stay in their own homes as long as possible, says Xiaris, and to offer “a retirement community akin to a Rossmoor without the bricks and mortar.” To accomplish this, the village provides a concierge service of sorts to members who pay monthly dues, typically between $40-$50. Different villages across the country offer varying services that may include transportation, fix-it help, seminar offerings, recreation classes, or friendly visits. For instance, there may be a member who has a shopping trip or doctor’s visit to which they need a ride. The village will set up a security-checked employee to

See Retirement, page 3 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .6 Food for Thought . . . . . . . .15 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Get Up and Get Out . . . . . . .8 MDES Correspondent . . . . . .9 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .16

Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Pine Hollow Correspondent .9 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 The Pocket Parent . . . . . . .16

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Clayton Pioneer •

Around Town

What’s happening Around Town? Send your news and photos of your births, engagements, weddings, special recognitions, etc. to

Vote for Judge Tue Phan for

US Congress 3 June ion Elect y Da Paid for by Judge Tue Phan for US Congress, FEC ID# C00556654



• • • (with paid Fair admission) • Special Promotions • • Three for Free Thursday • • Bring In 3 cans of food and receive 1 FREE Admission • Little League Day: Contra Costa County players wearing team jersey receive FREE admission. • Carnival Dollar Day • Red Hatters/ Seniors/Military (valid ID) FREE all day

Fun Family Friday

• • • •

May 23, 2014

Rebekah Eskandani completes BA in Political Science Rebekah Eskandani, graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science on May 4. Rebekah is the daughter of Siamak and Sheryl Eskandani of Clayton. Hope College is a four-year college affiliated with the Reformed Church in America.

Youth take center stage at Council meeting When the gavel came down at precisely 7 p.m. on May 6 in Hoyer Hall at the Clayton Library, the face behind the mayor’s desk was not a familiar one. In place of Mayor Hank Stratford was MDES fourth-grader Scott Tomaszewicz who was sitting in as Mayor for the Day. Scott was the lucky beneficiary of his parents’ winning bid at the school’s annual fundraising auction. Scott’s day started earlier in the day with a tour of City Hall and the police department. His biggest take-away? Finding out all about the mayor’s job, he said. Scott’s day as mayor ended at the council dais where he called the regular meeting of the Clayton City Council to order and led the room in the Pledge of Allegiance before turning the gavel back over to Stratford. Once back at his desk, Stratford’s first order of business was to present certificates of recognition to eight local youths for showing high integrity in their work and relationships. The students were all nominated by their teachers for their exceptional honesty, hard work and leadership as part of the Do the Right Thing program.

Photos by Tamara Steiner

MDES FOURTH-GRADER, SCOTT TOMASZEWICZ was comfortable in the mayor’s seat as Mayor of a Day at the May 6 meeting.

DTRT is a community-wide initiative embraced by the schools and the police department to actively foster high standards and ethical behavior in young people.


The Bird Man Show Concert Circus Imagination Series: Jeremy the Juggler Skip the Balloon Man • Featuring FOGHAT, Fri. May 30 Alaskan Pig Races • Paperback Writer • Rodeo House Wood Carvers • Life in the Fastlane • Superbad Remote Control • The Spazmatics Car Races • Sunday Hispanic Music Celebration Contests (Tickets available at the Cook-offs information booth) Roller Derby Livestock FRI: Boat Trailer Races & Jet Car and more!!

Arena Events

SAT: Stock Car Racing

Buy your tickets early & save money

• Kids 12 and under FREE all day • Buy 1 Carnival Red Wristband…get 1 FREE (until 6pm)

Discounted tickets available until May 28 at the Fair Office Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St., Antioch

(925) 757-4400

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Fantastic “Serenade” model tucked away at the top of Falcon Ridge backing to open space with valley views! 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, approx. 2894sf & 3 car garage! Updated kitchen features slab granite counters & laminate floors. Stunning brick fireplace is the focal point of the spacious family room! Private lot features a beautiful in-ground pool with built-in spa & automatic pool cover! $799,000

SEVEN STUDENTS WERE AWARDED CERTIFICATES BY THE CITY COUNCIL at the May 6 meeting for showing exceptional integrity as part of the Do the Right Thing program. Back row: Haley Cappa, Kelly Dugan and Jordan Tate from CVCHS; Alli Moody and Courtney Lally from DVMS; Mayor Hank Stratford; Front: Kelsey Macauley and Kyle Pacak from MDES. Not pictured: Jonathan Allen, CVCHS.

925 Douglas Court – Clayton

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

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Representing more Buyers and Sellers than any other agent! *data provided by Paragon MLS Best of both Worlds! Country living yet close to town! Tucked away at the end of a private road and situated on 8 acres with spectacular Mt. Diablo views & meandering creek! 3 bedrooms, 3 baths + a loft, approx. 2800sf. Open floor plan features soaring ceilings, walls of windows and a distinctive two-way stone fireplace that is the focal point of the formal living areas.$669,000

Diablo Ridge at Oakhurst Country Club! Great 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit with inside laundry, cozy fireplace, plus 1 attached and 1 detached garage. Balcony offers views of hills. Tucked away yet within walking distance to community pool! Coming Soon!

962 Easy Street – Alamo

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Alamo Elegant & Stunning Custom Home at the top of Roundhill Country Club! Located in a private cul-de-sac. Built in 1991 and Extensively remodeled in 2014! Slab granite kitchen with professional grade appliances, lavish granite bathrooms, new Anderson windows, finished in-place hardwood floors through-out! Approx. .85 acre lot! 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, approx. 3900sf, 3 car garage. Sweeping views from every room! $1,900,000

116 Forest Hill Dr. – Clayton Fantastic Wooded Setting on a half acre+/- lot in desirable Alamo neighborhood! within walking distance to Livorna park & schools! Single story with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, approx. 1744sf & 2 car garage. Tahoe style fireplace is the focal point of the great room. Huge lot boasts an in-ground pool & mature landscape. $975,000

Clayton Market Update

PE ND IN G Great “Gorham” model at Peacock Creek! Needs some TLC $849,000

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1853 Yolanda Circle.............$638,000 100 Mt. Etna Drive...............$680,000 216 Condor Way..................$636,000 25 Widmar Court..................$640,000 269 El Pueblo Place ............$598,000 5211 Keller Ridge Drive .......$820,000 239 Mountaire Parkway .......$690,000 5850 Four Oaks Lane..........$600,000 304 Ahwanee Lane ..............$786,105 508 Suisun Court .................$535,000 267 Mountaire Parkway .......$725,000 76 El Molino Drive ...............$695,000 34 Barcelona Way ...............$635,000 4 Mount Wilson Wy..............$340,000



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May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Retirement, from page 1

Around Town Pet Day at Rodie’s The Contra Costa Humane Society is the recipient of a large donation of pet food products from, and Ellen DeGeneres’ natural pet food

company, Halo, Purely for Pets. The donation of 10,000 meals was in honor of Rodie’s Feed and Pet on their Customer Appreciation & Pet Adoption Day last weekend.

Halo Sales rep. Kellyn Pini (left) with Bob & Sarah Rodenburg, their grandchildren Dylan & Reilly Thomas, and Leeann Lorono (right), Director of The Contra Costa Humane Society (CCHS). Sarah won $5,000 worth of pet food from Halo Pet Food last year at the Super Zoo Pet Retail Show in Las Vegas to donate to a shelter of her choice. She chose the CCHS. Halo later bumped the amount up to $6,000 or 10,000 meals.

Kimberly Cerruti completes nursing degree Clayton’s Kimberly Cerruti graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Portland in Oregon on May 4. As part of the School of Nursing’s graduation tradition, nursing majors took part in an additional ceremony known as the “Pinning Ceremony,” in which students are granted their nursing pin. The pin is symbolic of the transition from student to professional nurse. The University of Portland provides one of the most rigorous nursing programs in the country, often times pushing students to their limit in order to provide outstanding, holistic care to patients and families. Kimberly maintained Dean’s List status during her time in nursing

school. Her Capstone, or specialty, is in cardiac/telemetry nursing. In her last semester, Kimberly worked graveyard shifts as a student nurse on a Cardiac/Telemetry Medical Specialties unit. After graduation, Kimberly is moving back to the Bay Area where she will take her NCLEX, or registered nurse exam. Although Kimberly has a love for cardiac nursing, she also has a strong desire to work towards improving the health of underprivileged adolescents. Kimberly says she believes that nurses are superheroes helping to improve the heart, mind, and soul of others.

assist them and keep them good company. The village may also arrange for local merchants to work with them, offering meeting spaces and vetting many of them to negotiate discounts for members of the village. Already, Xiaris says that the Clayton Library and Diamond Terrace Retirement Center are on board to collaborate on ways to add services or meeting spaces. ASSISTANCE FROM COMMUNITY Xiaris will help survey Clayton residents to discover what are the most desirable services for the village. She will create a network from those results made up of both professionals and volunteers who will serve the needs of the membership. The offerings of the village will simply reflect the needs of the people in the community. As Joan Cole and her husband Bob began to grow older, the prospect of moving into a retirement or senior’s center was not appealing to them. As the couple had their house rebuilt from the devastation of the Oakland hills fire, they resolved to stay at home as long as possible. “It was our wish to be in the new home until our last breaths,” says Joan Cole. This is when the Coles found the Ashby Village in the Berkeley area, a senior community formed to allow the elderly to “age in place.” This concept is the one upon which Xiaris would like to build the Clayton Valley Village. “The service that Ashby Village has provided me is a personal assistant who is helping me with my desk and organizational work,” says Joan Cole. “The volunteer comes as needed and helps me get rid of ‘stuff.’ She is a delight to work with.” The village concept began more than 10 years ago in the Boston area at the Beacon Hill Village with a dozen seniors who wanted to live at home longer.



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Now, it has 340 members and extensive services including weekly trips to the grocery store, group exercise classes, topical lectures, and rides around the area. The village is also able to offer discounted rates on home repair from local repairmen. Since the inception of Beacon Hill, more than 200 villages are now open or in development around the country as “aging in place” gathers steam. Of those villages, 14 of them are in the Bay Area and the Berkeley chapter is quite sizeable. “Ashby Village launched in July, 2010, and we have 289 members and 244 volunteers (50% of whom are members),” says Andy Gaines, Executive Director of the Ashby Village. Walnut Creek and Lamorinda are joining Clayton Valley Village in the startup effort. At this point, Xiaris and the Clayton Valley Village are in the early planning phase, including seeking network providers and interested help. “We’re now building relationships and giving information on how to get involved in the development phase,” she says. Very key to this will be an upcoming meeting at 7 p.m. on June 4 the Clayton Library, where residents will receive information on how they can get involved, how the village will run, and the general timeline of the implementation of the village. Xiaris believes that the village concept can revolutionize the way that Clayton thinks about getting older. “My aim is to make this community such a place that when people walk through, they can see and feel the difference. They’ll be able to see that we are more active in our aging. The idea is to shift our perspective of aging.” For more information on the Clayton Valley Village, attend the information meeting at 7 p.m. on June 4 at the Clayton Community Library. Or visit

s t r e ConcTh e Grov e in

Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

May 24

Crystyl Ranch – Exceptional home has 4BD/3BA within a 2,797 sq. ft. floorplan. Marvelous backyard with patio, lovely gardens, and huge koi pond. 1 BD/BA downstairs. Upstairs is a large loft for flexible space and a huge master suite with veranda and views!

June 7

Houserockers – 10 piece Rock and Soul band brings together elements of rock, swing, blues, 60s Soul and R & B

June 21

City Swing Big Band featuring the big band sounds of the 40s, 50s and 60s including era greats like Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glen Miller

July 5

The Fundamentals R&B, rock, pop and soul tunes.

July 19

Rachel Steele & Road 88 modern country and rock and roll High energy dance music.

Diamond Dave –

Aug 2

sings the classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Justin Timberlake and even Lady Gaga

Aug 16

AJA VU plays the music of Steely Dan and Chicago

Aug 30

Apple Z – high energy rock and roll spanning the decades from Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga

Sept 13

East Bay Mudd 10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section

For more band information, go to Chairs and blankets may be set out after 4 p.m. on concert days.




Downtown – Single story 2BD/2BA on a wonderful lot down a private lane. Beautiful, open floor plan with over 1,100 sq. ft. Master suite with organized closet, master bath with dual sinks, and access out to back patio. Walk to schools and downtown!



Canterbury Village – Lovely home on a large corner lot boasts 4BD/2BA. Nice fenced backyard and patio for summer fun. Auto sprinklers to keep plants and lawn flourishing. Nestled in tree-lined neighborhood close to commute routes.




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Boys of Summer – Eagles tribute band






468 Rodrigues Avenue, Martinez



Summerset 4 – Spectacular 2BD/2BA with an open, spacious floor plan. Eat-in kitchen including all appliances. Master suite with walk-in closet. Beautifully landscaped front and back lawns. Wonderful community amenities include pool, golf, clubhouse, gym, and tennis courts.

New Construction – 3BD/2BA with 1,562 sq. ft. built in 2005. Beautiful corner lot is close to freeway access/ commute. Master suite is on main level. Large kitchen and dining area. HVAC, dual pane windows, and indoor laundry. Gorgeous deck, playground and abundant views.

242 El Pueblo Place, Clayton

Roxanne Fernandez, (925) 408-1349 Cal BRE#01939535


Regency Meadows – Stunning views from this beautiful, updated 4BD/3BA Mediterranean home. 2,643 sq. ft. open floor plan could be easily converted back to 5BD. Sought-after neighborhood close to Mt. Diablo trails. Cal BRE#01221965

Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 672-1772 Visit my home décor blog

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

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Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

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- Windermere Clayton!

Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

The best medieval flooring was displayed on the walls


DESIGN & DÉCOR In Part I of this history of flooring, we learned – to no one’s surprise – that the floors of the earliest human dwellings were nothing more than the dirt on which they stood. Over time, other elements were added, consisting of what most accounts politely call “refuse.” This could have been anything, and it often included “refuse” created by livestock who shared the living quarters with our distant ancestors. All of what was dropped was then walked on constantly, resulting in a solid, stable – and certainly redolent – surface. This state of affairs seems to have remained the norm for thousands of years, possibly shedding some light on why modern man has evolved such a relatively feeble sense of smell. By the beginning of the Middle Ages, somewhere around the 12th century, nothing much had changed for the common man. But there was now a new elite

class, the local nobles and lords of the manor, and then, as now, this group treated themselves rather better than most citizens could afford. It would be reasonable to expect this to include some major improvements to the design of the floors on which they lived every day. It would be reasonable, but overly optimistic. In a typical medieval castle’s main hall, where pretty much all of life happened, the floors were of stone or clay laid directly over the beaten earth. The high-born were not notably more dainty in their habits than the peasantry, so the same accumulation of food, grease, spittle and, in the words of the scholar Erasmus (1466-1536), “the leakage of dogs and men and everything that is nasty,” soon became a permanent (if shifting) patina. It is generally reported that the most common remedy was to scatter rushes over the floor, sometimes accompanied by aromatic herbs. These were periodically swept up and replaced, but (again according to Erasmus) not nearly often enough. There is currently considerable controversy, among people who think about this kind of thing, whether the historical mentions of “rushes” really mean loose stalks, or whether the word might refer to woven rush mats, which, it is argued, would make a lot more sense. We


take no side in this debate, because there is no need. There was something else in the castle which, if it had been properly deployed, would have instantly rendered the stalk vs. mat argument moot. Hanging on the walls, draped over tables and benches, suspended canopy-like above the chair of the lord – in short, everywhere but on the floor – were tapestries of every shape and size. A tapestry, as everyone knows, is a rectangular woven artifact, usually of wool, of whatever color, size, and density has been chosen by its weaver. In other words, it’s a carpet. Imagine the aftermath of some particularly lively celebration in the great hall, when, it is reliably reported, guests too far gone to saddle up and get home often slept on the floor. Here is the third Duke of Coriander, face down on the cold flagstones, his beard soaking up a puddle of ale, only a few dry reeds between him and the slick effluvia of years or even decades, the fire long dead and the English night air frigidly seeping into his bones, while all around him hang great, soft, warm rectangles of woven wool. All around him, but not under him. Dark Ages, indeed. Larry Flick is president of the Floor Store. Email your questions or comments to


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841 Royal Ann Lane


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

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Concord News

Concord unveils ‘status quo’ city budget PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Concord Vice Mayor Ron Leone aptly described the city’s proposed 2014-15 fiscal year budget and 10-year budget projections as “the good, the bad and the ugly.” The good, in this case, was the next fiscal year’s budget. “It’s a status-quo budget,” said City Manager Valerie Barone. “There are really no additions or cuts.” The $81.4 million in spending is offset by $73.4 million in projected general fund revenues and more than $10 from revenues from Measure Q, the halfcent sales tax voters approved in 2010. The bad and possibly ugly Leone is referring to is the 10year projection. As Measure Q sunsets in 2016, so does the city’s healthy economic outlook. Because of the sales tax measure, earlier deep budget

cuts and increased revenue due to robust car sales, Concord has withstood the double-whammy of a severe recession and the loss of redevelopment funds better than many California cities. But its “unfunded liabilities” — deferred maintenance to city roads and public property, as well as retiree pensions — could cripple city finances if other revenue sources aren’t located. For the next year, however, there will be no cuts to city programs or staff, a fact several city council members claimed was a relief. One of the new expenses will be a new economic marketing initiative, which increased from $40,000 last year to $162,000 in the new budget. It will focus on attracting new businesses to Concord. Sales tax is the biggest source of revenue for the city in the proposed budget, at $29.4 million. Property taxes should bring in $21 million, and Mea-

sure Q’s contribution is $11.6 million. “Measure Q is a lifeline for the city,” Barone said. The budget was unveiled at a workshop at the May 13 city council meeting, during which members of the Measure Q oversight committee also spoke about the importance of keeping revenue streams up. Former Mayor Guy Bjerke, who chairs the committee, said it was not fair to the community to keep “status-quo” budgets. “We owe it to the community to expand services and find new ways of doing things.” Bjerke, who was mayor in 2010 and spearheaded the Measure Q campaign, said “I was wrong” when he proposed a five -year assessment. “We had no way of knowing that the economic recovery would be slower than we hoped, or that we would lose redevelopment funds.” Redevelopment funds are just some of the $73 million in

state “takeaways” over the past few years, Barone said, making it even tougher for cities to be financially stable. “I want to know exactly what will need to be cut when Measure Q sunsets,” said council member Dan Helix. Council member Edi Birsan said the city would be facing a “fiscal nightmare” when Measure Q ended, and urged his fellow council members and city staff to get a balanced budget within four to five years. “We have to know what we’re up against,” he said. “We need to go forward even knowing how scary it is.” Helix said he didn’t like the “gloom and doom” forecasts. He urged his fellow council members to be positive about the city, citing “robust” changes to Concord over the next decade, including the development of downtown and the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Residents of Concord will

be able to give their input about the proposed budget and 10year fiscal outlook at two public hearings, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the June 3 and June 24 city

council meetings. For more information or to see an overview of the budget, visit the city’s website at

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A roadmap to Concord street names The name of the city is Concord. It is pronounced in the local dialect as if it was spelled KonKurd. Think of a variation on the saying of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar “Vini-Vidi-Vici”: “I came, I saw, I moved to Concord.” When Pacheco, the land grant awarded to Don Salvio Pacheco, was destroyed by floods, fire and finally the great earthquake of 1868, the Don decided to create a new town called Todos Santos. It surrounded a plaza and Pacheco offered merchants of his ruined town the chance to buy lots in the new community for $1. Within a year, the residents started to call the town Concord in the spirit of living in concordance with one another, ignoring the Pacheco’s insistence on it being called Todos Santos. However, there was also another nickname given to the location coined after native American Dan Empty (we


CONCORD CITY BEAT couldn’t make that name up), who happened to be regularly inebriated: Drunken Indian. Personally I find Concord an excellent alternative. The streets were named after the Pacheco family and, being 1868 with California and the Pacheco family having sided with the North in the Civil War, city elders had additional streets named for Presidents Grant and Lincoln, the latter of which became Concord Blvd. Howev-

er, parallel to Grant Street was and still is Colfax, which was named after Grant’s Vice President. Colfax Street is an odd one: throughout the city everywhere you drive on the right side of the street like all of America, except for Colfax, where for a block you drive on the left side and the city put in a wall to separate the traffic going the wrong way. (Not sure if it is a political statement but the Grant/Colfax administration was considered the worst of the 19th century.) Willow Pass is a dividing line between Sixth Street and North Sixth Street with North Sixth Street sensibly on the north side of the street. However, North Fifth Street starts at Willow Pass and goes south from it. I suspect that there was some Harry Potter-type magic on that route because North Fifth Street does not connect to Fifth Street. To further complicate the

Concord July 4 fireworks assured A grassroots effort to sponsor fireworks on July 4 has reached critical mass. Individuals and corporations have stepped forward with enough money to assure the fireworks display and are well on the way to covering all the costs of a July 4 festival as well, says organizer Tim McGallian. The group has raised about $35,000 of the total $55,000 needed to bring a carnival and live music to the celebration which begins at 4 p.m. at Mt.

Diablo High School. The effort mobilized when the Calvary Temple Church announced it was discontinuing the traditional Singing Flag and fireworks display in Brubeck Park because the time commitment to mount the annual event became too great for the congregation to handle. For sponsorship information or to make an individual donation, call Tim McGallian at (925) 695-7268 or send an email to

area, the next street to North Fifth Street is Third Street, with poor ole’ Fourth Street lost forever. Furthering the mystery a map of 1911 in City Hall that shows that Fourth, Fifth and Sixth were all supposed to be AVENUES, but were changed without record — it must have been another one of those Concord High School senior day pranks. Now, having Avenues or Streets or Drive or Court is the normal in road names, but Concord has one famous roadway that has none of those: The Alameda, named after a race track. To make things further complicated for people traveling down Clayton Road there are two separate intersections of Clayton Road and The Alameda, so when giving directions to turn on Alameda you better make sure to specify the first or second intersection depending on direction. That, however, will not help you with Grant Street, which is the only street to intersect itself around Mt. Diablo High School and John Muir Hospital. Coming from Todos Santos you will come to an “T” intersection with Grant Street going in all three directions. Try telling someone to follow Grant Street to get to your house. I also always smile at East Street which is runs East-West, but is actually on the west side of the town, while West Street runs North-South and is on the east side of town. We have fun with names in Concord. Edi Birsan is a Concord city councilman.

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Morgan, the youth pastor’s wife at Concord Bible Church, and Pastor Jeremy Cook. The two came up with the idea for a “donation only” summer camp. Pastor Cook would seek assistance from the congregation to use the five-acre campus and help financially strapped families who need daycare for their children during the summer.

With the help of parishioners, community members, a local Christian school and another church, approximately $30,000 was raised for the endeavor, Lifetime. That was five years ago, and since then Lifetime has provided quality daycare for first through fifth graders without any fees. It’s a program that attracts fami-

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lies countywide and every year, the camp has grown. Fifty children currently attend the camp. The daycamp offers arts, crafts Bible study and field trips. If the families want to donate, they are welcome to give what they can afford. For more information visit the church’s website at

Off Morgan Territory Road

Hands-on learning with nature as a backdrop

Concord Bible Church offers daycamp The summer months can be challenging for parents and even single working moms or dads when trying to locate an affordable, safe and fun place for their children to be engaged throughout the day. What can a church of about 100 people do to help the needs of disadvantaged families in this area? That was the question posed by Becky

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Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Ins, outs of condo buying

Letters to the Editor Thanks to the Clayton Pioneer for the series on Concord, especially the latest article on diversity. It correctly points out that Concord reflects a “cultural mix.“ But, at the same time, the article misses the obvious elephant in the room. That is that Concord is moving toward a Latino-dominate ethnicity in its population and culture. Somewhat ironically, Concord is reverting to its historic roots. And, as the article points out, this can become Concord’s “greatest strength,” as there can be great renewal and energy created by overtaking of the legacy culture by an immigrant culture. So, in this sense, I think that the analogy used near the end of the article — that Concord is some sort of a “mixed salad” — misses the point, which is that, in Concord, the “base” of the salad,


May 23, 2014

essentially, is being changed. But this can make for a “better” salad in the end, just as salsa can be preferred over ketchup. Back to the article, Concord resident Eric Maldonado correctly points out, however, that the Concord City Council currently lacks the political representation for a city with an eventual Latino majority. That needs to change. The Concord City Council needs members with Latino surnames… Time will tell how all of this plays out. Again, thanks to the Pioneer for its efforts in bringing this discussion to the surface. George Fulmore Concord Send letters (limit 250 words) to . The Pioneer reserves the right to print exerpts or shorten to meet space constraints.


ls ke ay o a r Ka onda s on M to 11 pm 8 pm

Q. I want to buy a condominium for my first home purchase. I submitted an offer on one and the complex didn’t qualify for my loan. I am pre-approved. What are some tips for being able to get approved to buy a condo? A. A condo is a great way to get started in the market. You pay homeowner’s dues but you don’t have to worry about roofs, exterior maintenance, landscaping, maintaining the pool or facilities provided. There are some great buys in our current market, too. It is a little tricky though. Make sure your realtor and lender are versed in rules of finance for condos. I asked my preferred lender for issues to be aware of and they supplied a list of questions that need to be answered before choosing a condo complex: 1. Is the condo complex FHA approved? If yes, FHA financing is the best option for buyers who lack large down payments (20 percent or more). 2. Is the complex Fannie Mae

approved? If you are using conventional financing it still needs to be approved. The exception is for complexes with four or fewer units. 3. Is the Home Owner’s Association involved in litigation? If it is, it’s not the end of the world. Some lenders will ignore litigation if it is not on a major or structural issue, or if it involves a unit away from yours. 4. What is the owner occupancy rate? If you, the buyer, plan to occupy the unit, many conventional lenders have no issue with owner occupancy rates below 50 percent. But for investors, FHA buyers and loans requiring mortgage insurance, the owner occupancy ratios must be more than 50 percent. 5. What percentage of owners are delinquent with HOA (home owner association) dues? This needs to be 15 percent or less for most lenders. 6. Does a single entity or person own more than 10 percent of the

units in the complex? This is called the “concentration rule” and usually precludes standard financing. 7. How much exactly are the HOA dues? This must be documented because it adds to the amount for which the buyer needs to qualify. 8. Is the builder/developer still in control of the HOA? This is another issue that precludes standard financing. Once a complex is built out the owners are usually in charge of the control of the HOA. They usually hire a management company to administer. If you are considering purchasing a condo please watch the amount of the HOA dues. Some dues seem to be climbing high these days. Remember that $100 of HOA dues translates to about $20,000 more purchasing power for a singlefamily residence without an HOA. Example: a buyer qualifies for a condo with a maximum purchase price of $320,000. If HOA dues are $400 per month, this same


REAL ANSWERS buyer would qualify for a $400,000 single-family residence. Four hundred dollars can translate to $80,000 more single-family residence purchasing power. In this example we are referencing a 4 percent interest rate. There is nothing wrong, though, if a condominium purchase is still for you. The safety, convenience, common areas, facilities, and freedom from maintenance costs are good reasons to purchase one. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

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ESTATE PLANNING With the Affordable Care Act being a hot topic in the news, you may be thinking about various health care insurance plans. One arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a highdeductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings

Account (HSA). The good news is that not only is an HSA a viable option to reduce health care costs, it can be beneficial to your estate plan because HSA funds grow on a tax-deferred basis. HOW DOES IT WORK? An HSA is a tax-exempt account funded with pretax dollars. Like an IRA or 401(k) plan, contributions may be made by employers, employees or both. An HSA must be coupled with a HDHP plan, however. For 2014, to qualify as an HDHP, a plan must have a minimum deductible of $1,250 ($2,500 for family coverage) and a $6,350 cap on out-of-

pocket expenses ($12,700 for family coverage). Even if you have HDHP coverage, you generally won’t be eligible to contribute to an HSA if you’re also covered by any non-HDHP health insurance (such as a spouse’s plan) or if you’re enrolled in Medicare. For 2014, the maximum HSA contribution is $3,300 ($6,550 for family coverage). If you’re age 55 or older, you can make additional “catch-up” contributions of up to $1,000. What are the benefits? HSAs provide several important benefits. First, they reduce unreimbursed health care costs by allowing you to withdraw funds tax free to pay

for qualified medical expenses. Withdrawals for other purposes are subject to income tax and, if made before age 65, a 20 percent penalty. Second, unused funds may be carried over from year to year, continuing to grow tax deferred. Essentially, to the extent you don’t need the funds for medical expenses or for other expenses before age 65, an HSA serves as a supplemental IRA. HOW


Like an IRA or a 401(k) account, unused HSA balances

See Estate Plan, page 15

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May 27 last day to request mail ballots for June election Tuesday, May 27, 2014 is the final day to ask the Contra Costa Elections Office for a vote-by-mail ballot for the June 3 Gubernatorial Primary Election. Any registered voter within Contra Costa County may

Richard A. Littorno

apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. There is a vote-by-mail application on the last page of the Sample Ballot Booklet, or request a ballot by emailing and include name, date of birth, address and mailing address. Vote-by-mail applications must be received in the Elections Office by 5 pm Tue., May 27. Voters are encouraged to

submit their application as soon as possible so that there will be sufficient time to receive, vote and return the ballot before the polls close at 8:00 pm on June 3, 2014. Voters can also drop off ballots at the Elections Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on election day. Voters may also obtain a ballot in person on Sat., May 31 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m at the Elections

Office, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez. Any newly naturalized citizen (after May 19, 2014) may register and vote between May 20, and June 3 at the Elections Office. Each new citizen must bring their Certificate of Naturalization. For more information, go to or call (925) 3357800.

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May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •


Directory of Advertisers

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


R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Lou Fancher, Nicci Shipstead, Pam Wiesendanger, Mike Dunn

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or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

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

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CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status

September 27, 1956 – April 27, 2014

‘Hero’ postal worker dies in Hawaii


LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Website are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word document to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

The Law Office of

Daniel L. DuRee

A retired Clayton postal worker who has been called a “hero” by many died of a heart attack on April 27. Tony Oliver was at the counter on March 7, 2009, the day Shannon Bradley Moore flew into an unprovoked rage and stabbed Ray Casso to death. Oliver chased Moore down Center Street until bystanders and police could subdue him. Oliver then returned to the post office to sit with Casso in his last moments. Oliver, 57, never fully recovered from the trauma and sadness of the day, said Mary, his wife of 36 years. In 2012, he retired and moved with his family to Hilo, Hawaii. Despite mounting health problems, his wife says “he never let it affect his love of life and love of jokes.”

“He was always joking and telling stories,” recalls coworker Betty Asberry. “He made me laugh so hard.” Tony Oliver was born in Pohnpei, Micronesia, on Sept. 27, 1956. He served for six years in the U.S. Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist. He worked at the Clayton Post Office for 24 years. He is survived by his wife, Mary Oliver; and four adult children; Rita Turner, Tony Duke Oliver, Marcy Olmstead and Mary Oliver; his mother Renada Oliver and eight brothers and sisters, all of Pohnpei and Hawaii. The family’s first grandchild – a boy– is expected in June. “Tony was a hard-working family man,” says Mary Oliver. “He was very giving and loving and provided for his family and extended family with love and happiness.”

(925) 210-1400 1535 N. Main St., Walnut Creek

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Beauty and Pampering Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Schaefer’s Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6065 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Events City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . Contra Costa County Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .757-4400 Election – Judge Tue Phan . . . . KidFest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . .800-949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242

Ask Us

Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568

Have a question about something around town -Clayton or Concord? Ask Us, and we’ll do our best to get an answer for you.

Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920

Shelton M. from Clayton says the Clayton Post Office is looking “really shabby.” He wants to know when it will be painted.

Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955

Clayton postmaster, Judy Corbett, answers:

Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055

Thanks for inquiring. About a year ago, I requested to have the building painted. I was told by my contact for the building owner, that it would be painted this spring. I spoke with the property management and was informed that bids are currently being received for the job He will keep me informed once a bid is accepted and can give me an idea about when it will take place. It won’t be long now. Send questions to

Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323

Estate Planning Attorney

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Page 7

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

FOR LEASE Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.

HELP WANTED Administrative Assistant Seeking part-time Administrative Assistant. Strong math, computer and phone communication skills required. Must be able to work Thursdays and Fridays 8 hours each. Email resume to No phone calls please. Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Tech, Computer Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details.

Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 6728787.

The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243

Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787


Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184

Caring Hands Senior assistance program currently has 20 seniors in Concord that are in need of volunteers for transportation and other services. There is a training session for volunteers on May 30 at John Muir Medical, Walnut Creek campus. For information, call Linda Groobin at 952-2999.

Hudson, Cait – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .451-6844

Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170

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

Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Anytime Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6700 Doodleton Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-207-7467 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Courage Do the Right Thing

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

Dogs: Your fitness secret weapon SHARON ANDERSON

Get Acquainted Offer


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Many people know that having a dog helps improve your quality of life, but did you know Fido can help you stay fit, as well? Research conducted by the National Institute of Health support this claim, citing one study of more than 2,000 adults that found that dog owners responsible for walking their pups are less likely to be obese than dog owners who pass the duty off to someone else or those who don’t own dogs at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings showed that pet owner’s exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels — all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road. One other popular way dog owners are “accidentally” getting

Exam New clients only. Limit one per family. Expires 9/30/2014

Office Hours Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 2 – 5:30 p.m. Every other Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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fit is by working as a team and building a strong relationship in the fast-paced canine sport of Agility. Agility is where a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teetertotter, tire jump, weave poles, pause table, and standard jumps. During competitive agility events, handlers attempt to navigate dogs through a course as quickly and as accurately as they can. Dogs come by this sport naturally. In the wild, dogs are natural hunters, chasing and running after a variety of prey. While in pursuit of food, dogs must often follow rabbits and foxes through a forest and navigate through a variety of barriers. Their natural instincts involve jumping over fallen logs, climbing up steep slopes, and squeezing through bushes and vegetation. Since the end goal is to catch up with prey, time is of the essence and the faster a dog runs, the better their chances of

ending up with a satisfying meal. Agility courses are designed to mimic these types of natural scenarios and fulfill the hunting and chasing desires. In this sport you will run, sprint and walk with your dog for a cardiovascular benefit. It stands to reason that as a handler, the human is getting a pretty good workout as well, losing or at least maintaining weight. If you are interested in trying Agility training, check out Zulu’s Tough Love Agility in Concord, where I train. Narae Kim Ellis, the professional head trainer at Zulu’s, , constantly sees the health benefits with her clients, both canine and human. She says that many of human clients succeed in weight loss and change to a healthier diet, allowing them to be more agile. The mental and physical stimulation also improves memory, especially with seniors, she says. Clients even choose to change

IN AGILITY TRAINING, THE COURSE IS DESIGNED to mimic the dog’s natural instincts to chase down prey. As in the wild, time is critical. The fast pace keeps both dog and handler in top physical condition.

or improve their dog’s diet, resulting in a higher energy level and better health, with better results on the field. Training sessions are happy, positive and playful, stimulating good mental health as well. This is the most exciting way you and your dog can have getting

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fellow who will thrive in a home where he can receive lots of love, attention, and daily sessions for romping and playing fetch. Leo likes to zoom around the yard with “contraband” — a found ball, bone, or stick in his mouth! We recommend a Basic Manners class to help Leo learn to walk nicely on leash and bond with his new guardians in life. It

is unknown whether Leo has previous experience with children. He currently weighs 90 pounds and is suitable for a first time dog guardian. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 50 percent off one 7-week dog training session. Two-year-old Parker Posey is a beautiful cat who likes soft

petting and attention. It is unknown whether Parker Posey has previous experience with children. She is suitable for a first time cat guardian. Parker Posey’s adoption fee has been prepaid by a generous donor. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 pm. Wednesday, 3 to 7 pm. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.

May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Hawaii trip hits the right notes for Concord High musicians ANDREA LEGAULT Concord High School

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "music is the universal language of mankind." The

instrumental music students at Concord High School speak this language well. Over spring break, students traveled to Honolulu in a cultural exchange with students from Kaiser High

CVCHS seniors stage amateur film festival for ArtsAcademy project


TEENSPEAK Some say filmmaking is an art, but for Clayton Valley Charter High School seniors Alaina Campbell and Ashely Freeman, filmmaking is a passion, and an opportunity to unite and honor the most talented young amateur directors in the Bay Area. As dedicated ClaytonArts Academy students and theater enthusiasts, the two young women are producing the first ever East Bay Student Film Festival to display the artistic expression of aspiring and student-filmmakers from the entire region. The student films, from a variety of schools region-wide, will premiere on May 28. At 5:30 p.m., the doors at Brenden Theater in Concord will open, welcoming students and their families across the red carpet and toward the silver screen. The venue includes

entirely student-produced comedy shorts, dramatic shorts, and music videos — judged by both film industry professionals and ClaytonArts Academy teachers. There will be three categories for the films; comedic short, dramatic short, and music video. One video from each category will receive first place. Tickets are $8 and according to Alaina Campbell, “all the money raised the night of the event will be awarded to one film student who stands out among the rest, and to his or her respective school film class.” As a senior project, the entire event is fully student produced. “I have realized from firsthand experience how difficult it is for film classes within the high school to receive proper funding,” says Alaina, who will be attending a four-year university majoring in Theater Arts. “This event is a great way to offer that — as well as to allow high school students to showcase their hard work.” For film enthusiasts, Clayton Valley families, and even casual moviegoers, the East Bay Student Film Festival is a must-see event. Robbie Parker is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Send comments to

School. They performed in a concert together, sharing their musicality and admiring each other for their command of the language. By the end of the evening, the students were exchanging emails, numbers , social media contacts and promises to stay in touch across the ocean. At the Ala Moana, the largest open-air shopping center in the world, Concord students took center stage. The Symphonic Wind Band, Symphonic Orchestra, Jazz Super Band and Auxiliary performed to the delight of the shoppers. They were complimented on their playing ability and their well-mannered behavior, becoming true ambassadors. The music program, under


DVMS CORRESPONDENT constant grades. Many students have not had that pressure before. For Giselle Castaniada , the challenge was keeping her GPA at 3.0 or higher. “It took a lot of work to study and make sure everything got in on time well, and it really paid off.” It’s hard to believe, but we’ve

thinking, culture and tradition and community awareness. The trip was planned out with these goals in mind. In addition to opportunities to play with other students from a different cul-

ture, and perform at the Ala Moana, the students received an education about Hawaii. The students visited some

See Hawaii, page 13

Well-known writer inspires an escape into books CARLIE BEESON

PINE HOLLOW CORRESPONDENT Recently, Pine Hollow Middle School purchased class sets of author, Gary Soto’s, novels. To show his appreciation for the purchase, Gary Soto decided to personally deliver the books to Pine Hollow’s reading success class. He encouraged students to read more and to use reading for escape. Gary Soto has been writing for 38 years and enjoys every moment of it. Although he only began writing when he was in

Students meet middle school challenges with hard work Everybody knows Middle School comes with challenges. It could be a lot of small ones, and it also could be one constant one lingering over your head. I asked some of the students here at Diablo View what their biggest challenge of the year was and how they got past that. Sophia Andrews says “For me, my biggest middle school challenge was making new friends because I wasn’t from a feeder school so I didn’t even know ten people coming here,” says Sophia Andrews. “But I made a lot of friends here and they’re all very nice. I started by just talking to people in and in between classes and during lunch and then they would introduce me to new people. Now I can’t be happier.” A really big issue going into middle school is getting used to

the direction of Gary Coartney, stresses the importance of developing a program that focuses on life skills, education (both music and academic), progressive/creative and critical

survived a whole year of middle school. It wasn’t easy, though. As Giselle and Sophia said, middle school comes with new people and new grades and it’s hard to balance both of them. I completely relate to both accounts and I know it’s the same for others as well. With hard work and dedication, the students at Diablo View have proven to be capable of almost anything we put our minds to. As we Bobcats say “We’re all in this together.” Middle school is a journey that all of us are on and as we go, we know we will have the friends, and the intelligence, to finish our goals. Alison Ewing is a sixth-grader at DVMS. She loves to write and has a passion for “anything in the arts.” Email her at

community college, he developed a passion for it and strove to make it his career. He uses different methods and finds inspiration from his peers’ works and from close friends. He has written over two hundred books, articles, and poems. Mr. Soto has received many awards for his poetry and his novels. He has been very successful with his writings and has

inspired many people with his novels and poetry. In listening to Mr. Soto, students realized that reading isn’t something that you do “just because.” It can be an escape from reality and from everything going on around them. After talking with Gary Soto, I realize that it doesn’t matter if I’m not good at something now because later in

life I may develop a passion for it and I can perfect it. With these messages, Gary Soto left us with his inspiration and his wisdom. Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Send her an Email at

MDE hosts first Art Expo


MDES CORRESPONDENT Recently Katelyn Markham, a high school senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, combined her two favorite interests, working with children and art, and organized an elementary school Art Expo as a senior project. The purpose of the project was to “create a service project that benefits and reaches out to the community,” as Katelyn said. The Art Expo took place at Mt. Diablo Elementary School on Thursday May 1, where elementary school kids from throughout the area displayed their best artwork for many people to enjoy and admire. Students from Mt. Diablo Elementary, Silverwood Elementary, and Mt. View Elemen-

tary participated, although many other teachers from other area schools helped organize the project as well. Some of these people and schools include Barbara Kerr, Jennifer DeAngelis, Jennifer Moore, Sara Strong, Renne Culp, Ireene Keenan, and the office secretaries of Mt. Diablo, Mt. View, Silverwood, Ayers, Westwood, Monte Gardens and Highlands elementary schools. People who attended the Art Expo voted for their favorite art pieces. Three students from each grade (K-5) won for their art. First place students won prizes such as art supplies and students in second and third place received certificates. Some of these first place winners include Morgan Perkins in fourth grade and Mychal

Dolan in fifth grade. Students that came in second and third place include Brandon Kelley in Kindergarten, Ryan Miller in first grade, and Lily Lindsey in second grade. All of their art was fabulous. As Katelyn says, “my goal is to inspire students to keep making art and expressing their talents” and we think she did that quite well. Irene Keenan, principal of Mt. Diablo Elementary School, says, “This is the first Expo, but I hope there are many more!” Natalie Pursche is a fifth grader at Mt. Diablo Elementary School who is an avid reader, enjoys writing, loves the outdoors, and is a member of the MDE school council. Send comments to

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Jacobsen has never been much of a risk-taker. He’s spent most of his life watching everyone make mistakes and memories from afar. Especially Margo Roth Spiegelman, an adventurous ball of fun. He just laid back and watched her unravel her mischievous schemes on everyone for years, until the day she chooses to bring him along with her on an all-night chain of illegal revenge. By the end of the night, Margo and Quentin are closer and the memory of their adventure has been etched in their minds and will last forever.

But when Quentin shows up for school the next day, Margo isn’t there. Minutes turns into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks before everyone at school has given up on Margo, but not Quentin. This isn’t the first time Margo has ran away. She has “disappeared” before but never for nearly this long. Little does Quentin know, Margo has left him clues with possible ties to where she could be hiding. Throughout the rest of the book, Quentin not only tries to find Margo, he eventual-

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Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014

Sports Post-season play reaches a climax for spring sports JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

All the championships have been determined in the Diablo Valley Athletic League while top athletes and teams have advanced to section, NorCal and state competition. No one made a bigger splash—-no pun intended—than the Northgate High School boys swimming team when they ended the nineyear North Coast Section championship run of Campolindo. Clayton Valley boys track and girls lacrosse made a little history of their own. NCS play is in full force this week with the softball and baseball playoffs now underway and the threeweek track and field gauntlet starting this weekend. BRONCOS NCS SWIM CHAMPS Northgate won its only previously NCS boys swimming title in 1996 (Clayton Valley boys were 1999 champs; CV girls in 1994) and this year edged Granada of Livermore by 18 points. The Broncos placed in the top three of all the relays and had 11 championship finalists include a win in the 200 freestyle relay. At the DVAL meet a week earlier Northgate won both the boys and girls team titles with Clayton Valley Charter third in each. Jake Frigard won the 100 free for CVCHS while the Broncos won every other boys race. In the girls league meet

Eagle swimmers Taylor Thorsen and Maddie Jochner each won a pair of events and were part of the first-place 200 medley relay with Sara Abele and Abbie Kubota. Northgate won a pair of relays and used its depth for a lopsided team victory. SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS STARTED Clayton Valley and Northgate softball made it into the NCS playoffs as at large teams and faced top seeds earlier this week. The Eagles lost in the DVAL tournament semi-finals to College Park 11-8 in eight innings. A veteran CVCHS team reached the NCS finals a year ago but this year’s squad was 12-10 entering Section play at Newark Memorial. Northgate met rival Carondelet, No. 2 seed, in the first round. Defending champ Concord (three titles in the past four years) only earned an 11th seed this year. TRIPLE EAGLES HEARTBREAK A couple weeks ago Clayton Valley Charter baseball was riding high with a 19-0 mark that was a school record for most consecutive victories. The Eagles lost four of their last seven games including three defeats to College Park over a 10-day period including home and home losses in the regularseason final series and then another defeat 3-1 to College Park ace Joe DeMers in the DVAL tournament champi-

Photo courtesy CVCHS girls lacrosse

SECOND-YEAR COACH MITCH MCDUFF AND HIS STAFF CELEBRATED WITH THE CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER GIRLS LACROSSE TEAM, which earned its first-ever North Coast Section playoff berth this spring. The Eagles upended second seed Northgate 14-9 in the DVAL tournament before dropping the league title game to Piedmont 11-9. The Eagles lost to No. 5 seed Novato in NCS.

onship game. The toughest loss was in the final league game to decide the No. 1 seed when seldom used Falcon senior Brendon Chellew got a base hit to plate a teammate and give CP a walkoff victory and the crown. Clayton Valley hopes to get a fourth shot at College Park as they are in the same side of the

Photo courtesy Kim Anderson

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII-BOUND TAYLOR THORSEN of Clayton Valley Charter High completed her fourth consecutive 50-100 freestyle sweep at the DVAL swimming championships and then took 8th in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free last Saturday at Concord Community Pool at the North Coast Section finals.


Diablo FC is rolling out a youth soccer recreational league program starting in August that will focus on individual technical development, building confidence in young soccer players, improving cognitive development and increasing imagination by allowing players to learn the game gradually in a fun, engaged environment. Diablo FC is the area’s premier youth soccer program and is offering open registration to all players ages 4-10, regardless of ability or previous experience. A mini-camp will be held Aug. 18-22 and the league runs through Oct. 11. Refer to for more details.

MDSA FALL SOCCER REGISTRATION OPEN THROUGH MAY 31 Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league can register for guaranteed placement until May 31. After that date players will be placed on wait-list. Fall league play begins in August. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit

UGLY EAGLES BASKETBALL CAMP COMING IN JUNE Head coach Eric Bamberger and his Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches and players are offering a pair of Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps in June for boys and girls. The two sessions for incoming third through ninth graders are June 16-20 and 23-27. Sessions run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the gym open an hour before and after the formal camp for pickup play. The camp includes offensive and defensive instruction and games. For more information and to register contact coach Bamberger by phone (925) 726-9999 or email

NCS playoff bracket. Play began earlier this week with Clayton hosting Newark Memorial on Tuesday. The Eagles (224) are the third seed with College Park No. 2 and four-time champion Campolindo top seed. The last team to win NCS not named Campo was Clayton Valley in 2009, capping the school’s Golden Anniversary year. Northgate (18-6) is seeded 13th and traveled to Santa Rosa for a game with No. 4 Maria Carrillo in the first round. Concord High and Clayton Valley could hook up in a second-round game this week if both DVAL teams win their Division II openers. EAGLE GIRLS MAKE HISTORY Clayton Valley Charter girls lacrosse reached the NCS playoffs for the first time ever as the Eagles of second-year head coach Mitch McDuff took second in the DVAL tournament and got a 12 seed at Section. The big victory was in the DVAL semi-finals when they upended Northgate 14-9. Goalie Jesse Svoboda anchored the defense with 13 save while Morgan Bennett had five goals and two assists. Teammates Priti Lal and Kyra Ortiz each had three goals, April Winship two

and Brandi Fong one. Northgate was led by Val Wirfel’s four goals. The DVAL finals saw powerful Piedmont edge Clayton Valley 11-9. CVCHS’s season came to an end at NCS No. 5 seed Novato 19-4. The Broncos (12-7) also got into NCS but lost an openinground game to San Ramon Valley. TRACK AND FIELD Clayton Valley Charter senior Ken Davis said, “It’s hard to believe the last time the boys won a league title was the same year I was born.” Davis made the comment after the Eagles scraped by Northgate 157-152 for the first league boys track and field title at the Concord school since 1996. The girls competition saw a reversal of roles with the Bronco girls easily outscoring runnerup CVCHS. There was no shortage of heroes for the boys champions. Xavier Crawford swept both sprints and anchored the 4x100 relay titlists with teammates Isaiah Reed, Nate Ewing and Ben Davis. The Eagles 4x400 relay was second to College Park with Anthony Fuentes, Alex King, Crawford and Ben Lindsey running.

Danny Condon won both distance races and freshman Jeff Williams won the discus ahead of teammate Jake King. Nate Jaggers won the long jump. On the girls side Clayton Valley claimed a pair of relay titles with Brianne Newell on both the 400 and 1600 quartets. Jessica Forrester, Diwa Esco and Sara Holt added their speed to the 4x100 win while Bridget Hyland, Amber Booth and Lindsay Mondloch rounded out the 4x400 champs. Tici Alatini doubled in winning the shot and discus and Booth finished her second season in the 400 meters undefeated as league champion. Northgate girls won only one event (Kayla Dickerson in the 100) but used balanced performances and depth to easily claim the team championship. The weight teams in shot put and discus garnered 10 NCS berths for Eagles athletes. The girls took 29 of 62 available points at DVAL while the grabbed 36 of 62 points including a 2-3-4 finish in the shot put. NCS meets are held this weekend and next (Cal Berkeley hosts the NCS Meet of Champions May 30-31 with State Meet positions on the line) before the State Meet in Clovis June 6-7.



Two-time DVAL champion Clayton Valley Charter High School hosts its Future Champions Full-Pad Youth Football Camp July 2124 from 1-5 p.m. at the Concord school for players in second through eighth grades. Camp Director Michael Dominquez and Eagles head coach Tim Murphy explain that the camp has individual and group instruction and team competition with fundamentals and techniques of football taught by the CVCHS staff. To register, email or call (925) 726-1503 for an application.

The 19th annual Red Devil Golf Classic benefiting Mt. Diablo High School athletic programs is on Friday, June 27, at Diablo Creek Golf Course. Contact chairpersons Lou Adamo ( or Ralph Vallis ( for more information. Registration deadline is June 13.


Clayton Valley Charter High School coach Casey Coakley has put together a staff of current CVCHS coaches and players as well as Eagle alumni to provide baseball instruction to youngsters 6-13 years of age at the school. Summer baseball school sessions will be held June 16-19, June 23-26 and June 30-July 3. Each daily session runs 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Fee is $120 for one session with discounts for multiple weeks. To reserve a baseball school spot or to get more information email

SUMMER PROGRAMS REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES Signups are available for All Out Sports League summer programs at Clayton Gym. Youth basketball (May 31-July 26), flag football league (June 21-Aug. 9), football academy camp (June 24-26) and weekly basketball camps (June 30-July 4 and July 7-11) have various registration deadlines. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit

DIABLO FC SOCCER PLAYER EVALUATIONS CONTINUE Tryouts for U9-U19 players with Diablo FC are complete but players who missed formal tryouts can contact the club for an individual evaluation and possible placement on a competitive team for the 2014 season. Visit to register for free tryouts in all age groups.

FOOTBALL, CHEER SIGNUPS FOR CLAYTON VALLEY FALCONS JUNE 7 Registration is open for Clayton Valley Youth football and cheer. Football is for ages 7-14 while cheer accepts ages 5-14. The next inperson registration day for the CVAA Falcons is Saturday, June 7, 12 noon-3 p.m. at Mountain Mike’s Pizza by Clayton Bowl. The season starts July 28. For more information and online registration visit

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

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Sports Clayton Valley Charter, Carondelet honor athletes of year JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Kayla Taylor and Grant Meylan of Clayton Valley Charter and Riley Shaw from Carondelet were recently named their schools’ respective Athletes of the Year capping their high school careers before heading off to college. Shaw is going to UC Irvine to play water polo in the fall after spending four years as Carondelet’s varsity goalie and also swimming on the Cougar varsity for three years. The Clayton resident was first team all-East Bay Athletic League as a junior and senior and team MVP as a soph and senior. Shaw, 17, set school records for goalie saves (249) and steals (35). In her senior year as team captain she was second team allEast Bay and North Coast Section as the Cougars fell to eventual champ Campolindo in the Section quarterfinals. Taylor excelled in volleyball and basketball helping both her Eagle teams to the NCS playoffs as a senior. She was a four-year starter in volleyball and threeyear varsity basketball player, twice being a part of teams going to the NCS finals and the Northern California championships. CVCHS athletic director Amber Lineweaver says, “I have watched Kayla on the court


Clayton Valley Charter Boys Athlete of the Year Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School

since she was a freshman. Her athletic ability was so apparent, even then, but it has been so fun to watch her skills develop over her four years here at CV and now she absolutely dominates on both the basketball and volleyball court. She is also an amazing student and person.” Taylor received all-DVAL honors her final three years in volleyball and as a senior she was team captain. CV made NCS her freshman and senior years.


Carondelet High School Athlete of the Year Photo courtesy Carondelet High School

She was the basketball team’s most improved player as a sophomore and then was first-team all-DVAL her final two years when the Eagles lost in the NCS finals and reached NorCal. This past season she was top scorer (490) and rebounder (264) and her consistency was reflected in 14 double doubles in 25 games as the team achieved a first in the 55-year history of the school by winning a NorCal Championship Tournament game. A standout in two sports inside Dan Della Gym, Taylor also reflects the former school principal’s academic bent by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Grant Meylan played baseball, water polo and soccer while at CVCHS and he was a twotime all-DVAL honoree in both water polo and baseball. He showed leadership skills as a varsity, JV and freshman captain. As a sophomore he was called up to varsity soccer and baseball, earning a letter in baseball. AD Lineweaver added, “Grant has participated in three sports during his time at CV. He is an outstanding athlete and I have enjoyed watching him in the pool, on the soccer field and on the baseball field. He is so deserving of his scholarship to play baseball at Santa Clara University and I can’t wait read about his accomplishments in the future.” His sophomore year the Eagles won the DVAL water polo title. As a junior he was second in DVAL baseball batting average (.538) and the leader in on base percentage (.640).

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Finalists for the CVCHS girls award with Taylor were Sara Abele, Sara Holt, Rachel Siver, Kyra Ortiz, Taylor Thorsen and Sara Johnson. On the boys side, Jack Brown, Danny Condon, Jake Frigard, Garrett Nelson, Michael Nocerino, Gabe Taylor and Jordan Tate were on the shortlist of potential athletes of the year with Meylan.


Clayton Valley Charter Girls Athlete of the Year Photo courtesy Scott Anderson

MDSA Arsenal conquer Nevada field

Photos courtesy MDSA

MDSA ARSENAL WON THE U10 BOYS TITLE AT THE COMSTOCK SHOOTOUT in Carson City, NV last month. The team used a stifling defense to allow only one goal in four games. Arsenal team is, front row from left, Alex Braginsky, Ryan Ross, Ryan Morimoto, Garret Alton, Adam Rychtecky; back row, coach Zbysek Rychtecky, Luke Maynard, Keegan Boustead, Logan Gonzales, Dominick Rodriguez, Noah Paschal and coach K. C. Ross.

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

CVCHS names high achieving seniors Kyle Metz Grand Altair

Liliana Hernandez Service Altair

2014 GRAND ALTAIR award winner Kyle Metz maintains above a 4.0 GPA. His coursework included several Honors and AP offerings in math and science. Described by his teachers as “thoughtful and attentive to detail in his work, Kyle volunteers his time and effort, not because it is expected, but because of his integrity and commitment to the greater good of the school and community. He demonstrates this in leadership, track and cross country, Senior Men, Link Crew and as a member of the Clayton Arts Academy’s advisory committee. He influences and inspires his peers with his positivity, enthusiasm and confidence.”

THE SERVICE ALTAIR is one of the highest awards given to a graduating CVCHS senior. It is typically awarded to someone who neither suspects nor expects such an honor. When introducing Liliana at the awards ceremony, Catherine Reimer, ASB leadership teacher, said, “She always volunteers to do the most unglamorous jobs, the tasks that no one else wants to do, and she always does it willingly and with a smile. As she was helping plan events like the Senior Women’s fashion show, Air Band and acting as Vice President of the Multicultural Club, she never faltered in her grace and poise as a leader”. Liliana will be attending Chapman University in the fall.

Kevin Dong Scholarship Altair

2014 SCHOLARSHIP ALTAIR, KEVIN DONG, has a 4.5 grade point average. His teachers say he constantly challenges himself by taking multiple rigorous courses from honors to advanced placement while always delivering quality in all of his work. His ingenuity makes working hard look effortless. He has been an asset to the engineering academy. Kevin is an intelligent young man with a quiet demeanor who exemplifies patience in all that he does. At home, he is a devoted brother and a role model to his younger siblings. His parents are very proud of his accomplishments, selfdiscipline and selflessness. This fall he will attend UCLA to study Aerospace Engineering.

Ben Linzey Leadership Altair

LEADERSHIP ALTAIR 2014 Ben Linzey earned the 2014 Leadership Altair award for exemplifying the ASB Leadership ideals of serving the student body, making students feel connected to school and showing initiative. He served on the school’s Link Crew, took rigorous honors and AP classes, excelled in leadership, ran with long distance runners, and played on two varsity teams, a club soccer team, all the while carrying out his duties as student body vice president. His teachers say “Ben does all of this with a positive attitude and a smile.” He will attend Colorado Mesa University, where he has earned a full scholarship.

CVHS Senior Awards 2014 Abele, Sara

Buenrostro, Catalina

Curtis, Madison

Habibi, Neelab

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer American Assoc. of Univ. Women Senior Women - Silver

Softball - Ohio Valley University

President Award - Gold Engineering Academy

President Award - Gold

President Award - Gold

Davis, Benjamin

President Award - Silver

Lal, Priti

Adams, Ashlynn

Camaddo, Joseph

Harris, Amy

St. John's University

President Award - Gold

Union Bank Scholarship President Award - Gold Seattle University Trustee Scholarship

President Award - Silver

Merit scholarship President Award - Gold President Award - Silver

Akrami, Diana

Campbell, Alaina

Deichler, Ashley

Hernandez, Liliana

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

University of Colorado Boulder Scholarship MUSIC - VOCAL

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Li, Li

TEACH Grant - Arizona State University Grant - Arizona State

Cannedy, Austin

Outstanding Scholar Team

Chapman Grant Chapman University Dean's Scholarship Award President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer SERVICE ALTAIR

Anderson, Kimberly

Cappa, Haley

President Award - Gold Outstanding Scholar Team CSF - Seal Bearer

President Award - Gold Art & Elizabeth Condiotti Scholarship Italian Catholic Federation Scholarship John & Delores Headley Scholarship, Antioch Education Association Presidential Award - Sonoma State

Alderete, Quinn

Aragon, Robert

Calitis, Rova Krisel

Baseball - Northridge State University

Del Bene, AnneMarie Dong, Kevin

Luehs, Xana

Hurley, Emmeline

Home Depot Scholarship President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Dromgoole, Jeremy

Avila, Myriam

President Award - Gold President Award - Gold

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Clarke, Kristina President Award - Gold

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Condon, Daniel

Escobedo, Angeline

President Award - Gold

President Award - Gold

Connel, Tyler

Feng, Carmen

Mt. Diablo Silverado Council - Eagle Scouts of America CSF - Seal Bearer President Award - Gold

President Award - Silver

Go Get It Award

Aylard, Kelsey Early Action - Simpson University General Music Scholarship Missionary Kids Scholarship Simpson University Golden State President Award - Gold

Barba, Mariana CSF - Seal Bearer

Ehsan, Yosef

Freeman, Ashley


Coppa, Megan

Blatter, Clark

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Jefferson Scholarship - Southern Oregon University Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship President Award - Gold

Cornejo, Michael

Frigard, Jacob (Jake)

President Award - Gold

Athlete of the Year - Nominee

Berg, Eleni

President Award - Gold

Brescia, Logan President Award - Gold

Brown, Jack President Award - Gold Leopold Edward Wrasse Scholarship NCS Foundation Scholarship Eagle Award CSF - Seal Bearer

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Carrasco, Maria

Arter, Austin

Carman, Joseph

Linzey, Ben (Taylor)

Downing, Sadie

President Award - Gold

Alumni Scholarship Gael's Scholar Award

President Award - Silver

Holt, Sara

President Award - Gold CSF

Arcaya, Marina

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

SCHOLARSHIP ALTAIR CSF - Seal Bearer President Award - Gold UC Santa Cruz Regional Merit Scholarship President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS Aldo Galletti Memorial Scholarship Italian American Federation Award Senior Women - Gold

CSF CVCHS Academic Mentor Program

Hamidi, Yasamin

Kreiss, Tracie

Athlete of the Year - Nominee

Humphrey, Christina

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Senior Women - Silver

President Award - Gold

Magleby, Melissa

Jajeh, Sabrina

President Award - Gold

President Award - Gold CVCHS Academic Mentor Program

Malley, Jayleen

President Award - Silver

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Public Service Academy

Johnson, Sara

Markham, Katelyn

President Award - Gold

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Jimenez, David

Jones, Arthur Santa Clara Shell Alumni Scholarship Nat’l. Hispanic Recognition Scholar President Award - Gold

Kakar, Khalida President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Margaret Ljepava PSA Scholarship FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Karmann, Jordan Outstanding Scholar Team President Award - Gold

Martinez, Diego Prouost's Scholarship University of Pacific President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Mason, Kiana President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Vocal Scholarship - San Diego State University

McLane, Quinten

Kelley, Christi

President Award - Gold

Metz, Kyle

Crawford, Xavier

Gamm, Jessica

Football Scholarship Oregon State University President Award - Silver

FIDM Merit Art 2D

F.I.D.M. Academic Award F.I.D.M. Early Acceptance Award Nordstrom Fashion Board Senior Women - Gold

Guest, Evette

Kommer, Sara

Physical Education - Girl

Litwiller, Anna

President Award - Gold MUSIC - INSTRUMENTIAL

President Award - Gold GRAND ALTAIR Clayton Arts Academy

May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

AAUW, Laurence award scholarships to deserving seniors CVCHS senior Michael Nocerino was the 2014 recipient of the Pete Laurence wrestling scholarship, awarded by the local real estate broker and Clayton Valley alum. A high-achieving athlete, Michael wrestled all four years, taking first in the DVAL in his weight class and competing at the Freestyle Nationals in 2012. He played varsity football and received a DVAL All League Honorable Mention. The active teen is a regular volunteer for CBCA events.

He will graduate with a 4.0 GPA next month and will attend California State University in Fullerton where he will major in physical therapy. He plans to become a certified trainer and hopes to eventually head up sports medicine for an NFL football team. “There were no scholarships for our sport,” says Laurence who was state wrestling champion in his senior year.” “So I decided that if I did well in life I would do this to help pass on the lessons I learned

in wrestling.” “The conditioning, mental toughness, Teamwork yet responsibility for failure or success on one’s own self out on the mat, all help toward success, be it college, the military, career or in career or family” Laurence says. This is the 25th year Laurence has awarded the scholarship The Clayton chapter of the American Association of University Women awarded a

$500 scholarship to CVCHS senior Ashley Abele. Ashley will be attending Villanova University in Philadelphia in the fall, where she will major in nursing and play on the university’s Division One water polo team. A member of the CV Public Service Academy, Ashley maintained a 3.86 GPA throughout high school while completing at least 50 hours of community service each semester and competing in varsity water polo.

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Hawaii, from page 9 phenomenal sights and created lasting memories. At Pearl Harbor, the students learned a deeper history about Dec. 7, 1941. The impact of what happened and what they learned was written in their expressions. The memorial was very moving and touched many of them deeply. Part of the trip included a tour of the area, including Nuuanu Pali Lookout, North Shore, Waimea Bay and Haleiwa. A hike of Diamond Head provided our students with a spectacular view and a great work out. A visit to Hawaii is not complete without understanding the

ocean life surrounding the island which they studied up close at Hanauma Bay. The final activity to round out the trip was an authentic Hawaiian luau. The students worked very hard to be prepared for this trip, practicing for hours the months before, in addition to other school obligations. While having fun, they learned about history, geography, culture, ocean life, as well as other important life skills. Many of the students have never been on a plane, or away from their families, and their ability to adapt and thrive made the trip a success. Aloha and Mahalo!

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CVHS Senior Awards 2014, continued Meylan, Grant

Ortiz, Kyra

Ruiz, Jackelyn

Svoboda, Jessica

Wali, David

Academic scholarship - Santa Clara Santa Clara Baseball Association scholarship Hot Stove Baseball Award Pittsburg Educational Scholarship

President Award - Gold Eagle Award CSF - Seal Bearer

CVCHS Academic Mentor Program

Comcast Leaders and Achievers UCLA Scholar Award Travis Credit Union's Mary Keith Duff Memorial President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

President Award - Gold

Minter, Hannah President Award - Gold

Moschiano, Sarah SOCIAL SCIENCE

Mota Castellano, Edgar President Award - Gold

Nelson, Garrett Athletic Baseball Scholarship - Long Beach State Hot Stove Baseball Award

Osterkamp, Katherine California Teachers Association President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Oustanding Scholar Team English

Pedrani, Kassidy Academic Achievement Award

Peters, Michael President Award - Silver

Price, Raeleigh

Ruiz-Vega, Emilio American Musical & Dramatic Academy Scholarship

Russell, Shane President Award - Gold

Sabas, Alexis CSF - Seal Bearer Azusa Pacific Founders Scholarship

Sarkissian, Megan President Award - Gold

Serratos, Isaac UC Santa Cruz grant CSF - Seal Bearer President Award - Gold

Athlete of the Year - Nominee Pete Laurence Wrestling Scholarship

Academic Achievement Award Montana State President Award - Gold SCIENCE

Neupane, Rachana

Qadri, Syeda Maheen

Regents' and Chancellor's Scholarship for UC Berkeley President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

President Award - Gold

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer PUBLICATION

Quintero, Edgar

Solis, Alejandro

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

President Award - Gold

Rabinowitz, Sarah

President Award - Gold

Nocerino, Michael

Nwosu, Nneomma President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Engineering Academy

O'Connor, Madison Early Acceptance to FIDM Junior FIDM Merit Scholarship Nordstrom Fashion Board Senior FIDM Senior Scholarship President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

President Award - Gold

Regelbrugge, Teresita President Award - Gold

Rogers, Austin Tulane scholarship CVCHS Football

Siver, Rachel

Stalker, Julia States, Kyle President Award - Gold

Sturdevant, Sophia Blue and Gold MATH President Award - Gold

Tamichi, Madison

Ward, Zaire Collaborative Education

Williams, Ryan Ruth Leverton Scholarship

President Award - Gold

Wingard, Logan

Tate, Jordan

Western Undergraduate Exchange Oregon State

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer Cal Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship Johnson Memorial Cal Berkeley

Taylor, Gabriel Cal-HI sports Spirit of Acheivement Athlete of the Year - Girl Oustanding Scholar Team

Thorsen, Taylor Athletic Scholarship – University of Hawaii Western Undergraduate Exchange

Tran, Joanna

Winship, Quincy Athletic scholarship for Lindenwood CSF - Seal Bearer

Woodworth, Cassidy Saint Mary's Merit Scholarship President Award - Gold Oustanding Scholar Team

Wraa, Tanner President Award - Gold CVCHS Football

Yan, Wallace (Gloria) DRAMA

CSF - Seal Bearer

Young, James

Truesdell, Brandon

President Award - Gold CSF - Seal Bearer

Matt Nolan Memorial

Utler, Ethan Physical Education - Boy

Vindel Ortiz, Kevin President Award - Gold

Yturralde, Samantha President Award - Gold

Zukowski, Jenna Sonoma State University Presidential Scholarship

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

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IN CLAYTON Saturdays thru Oct. 25 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Music: May 24, Marilyn Vogel. May 31, Oscar Reynolds. June 7: Ukulele Bob.

June 7 DTRT Day Join the Diablo Restoration Team as they employ principles of restoration ecology on the Marsh Creek 4 property. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at 3240 Aspara Drive, Clayton. Registration required to Jim Cartan:

June 8 The Saddlecats A Western Swing pocket orchestra with infectious joy and high spirits. Presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 2:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.


May 24, June 7 Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

Now Opening May 23 – June 1 “Shipwrecked!”

May 26 Memorial Day Observance

Opening date postponed one week from original start May 16. The amazing adventures of Louis de Rougemont as told by himself. Performed by Onstage Theatre. Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$18. 518-3277.

Program to honor our lost heroes, sponsored by VFW Post 1525. Huey helicopter fly over and Huey on display. 10 a.m. Veterans Memorial flagpole monument, Main and Oak Streets, Clayton. Free.

Thru June 21 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

June 21 Diablo Bowmen’s Open House

Riotous musical comedy about six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$65.

A once-a-year opportunity to try archery. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. $10 for a lesson and lunch. For directions, visit

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Thursdays Music and Market Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Music: May 29, Stealin’ Chicago. June 5, Gator Nation. June 12, Da Island Way, Dakila.

May 24 - 26 KidFest Nonstop activities for kids, tweens and parents; arts and crafts, food court and rides. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St., Concord. $6 with canned food donation for Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano; $7 without.

May 29 Diablo Valley Initiative Launch Diablo Valley – Defying Expectations campaign launch to showcase Concord and Diablo Valley as a conference and tourist destination. 6 p.m. Mayor Tim Grayson address. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Music and Market concert. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

May 25 Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines Multifaceted ensemble of accomplished professionals presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 2:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

May 26 Memorial Day Civic Remembrance Performance by the Walnut Creek Concert Band. 10 a.m. Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Free.

May 28, 30 Spring Dance Performance Featuring dancers from the Dance Academy, a joint program between Diablo Ballet Company and Civic Arts Education. May 28 features dancers ages 3 – 7. May 30 features intermediate and advanced students. 7 p.m. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10. 943-5846.

Photo: Tetyana Martyanova and Justin VanWeest. Photo by Tiffany Bertolami Fong and Michael Malerba. Courtesy of Diablo Ballet.

June 15 Round the Mountain Hike This classic loop provides views in all directions circling the park via Deer Flat, Prospector’s Gap and Oak Knoll. Pass through burn areas; wildflowers should be abundant. 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Juniper Camp Trailhead. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535.

May 31 Family Hike Hike starts at the Curry Point Turnout and turns around at Balancing Rock. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Curry Point turnout. Registration required:

Coffee or tea with slice of pie. Homemade pie and cake auction. Hosted by VFW Post 1525 Ladies Auxiliary. Proceeds benefit Auxiliary Relief Fund. 2 – 5 p.m. Veterans Memorial Building, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5. Contact Priscilla at 687-3637.

Thru May Student Film Festival Donations needed for first East Bay Student Film Festival. CVCHS Senior project for Ashley Freeman and Alaina Campbell. Entirely student-run film showcase and competition. Contact Ashley at or 360-5554.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659.

June 7 CERT Learn about emergency preparedness, hands-only CPR and use of an Automated External Defibrillator. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

June 9 Clayton Library Book Club Sunny Solomon leads discussion of “The Various Flavors of Coffee” by Anthony Capella. Open to anyone who would like to join. 7 p.m.

June 18 Beading with Yolanda For children in grades 6 through 12. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455.

May 28 Insiders Group

May 31 Saturn’s Rings

North Peak Trail. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required.

May 24 Spring Social

Children grades 6 – 12: Snap a photo of your pet or an animal and enter the contest. Prizes for Best Looking, Grumpiest and Best Action Shot. Part of Summer Reading Festival. Entry forms available at library. Deadline: July 31. Judging by Creekside Artists Guild.

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

June 14 Fire Recovery Hike


The Civic Arts Jazz Band and Flock of Flutes perform a swinging concert with lots of variety. 7:30 p.m. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10. 943-5846.


Mary Bowerman Trail. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required.

Topic: The changeless faith of God. Speakers: Maya and Jeff Bohnhoff, writers, speakers, musicians. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686. Sponsored by the Baha’is of Clayton.

Starting June 14 Photo Contest

Celebrate Dad with James Clark and the Jailhouse Rockers performing their vibrant Elvis revue. 12 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

June 14 Fire Recovery Hike

June 6 Fellowship and Discussion

May 29 Concert

June 15 DadDay

See Saturn’s Rings, Jupiter’s Moons, Mars and Mercury. Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and Mount Diablo Astronomical Society provide guidance and telescopes. 7:30 - 11:00 p.m. Meet: Lower Summit Parking Lot.


Adults with disabilities play games, make crafts, listen to music and dance at the library. 1 – 2 p.m.

May 30 Hope for the Homeless Benefit Show Hosted by Dana Carvey. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $95. 943-7469.

June 1 Mademoiselle Nitouche Performed by the Russian Drama Club Skazka. 4:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. 943-7469.

June 1 The Ballet School

June 11 All Ears Reading Adults with disabilities read to furry friends from ARF. 1 – 2 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

Performing arts demonstration of beginning levels of ballet through advanced. 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

Beginning June 5 Ham Radio Licensing Course

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

Learn everything you need to upgrade your Amateur Radio License to Amateur Extra Class. Sponsored by The Salvation Army and Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club. 10 weeks. 6:30 p.m. The Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord. Materials and textbook fees. Registration required.

June 7 The Show 2014 Presented by Dance Fusion. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$25. 943-7469.

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

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

May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Rhubarb is rockin’ right now





Many of us are a little uncertain when confronting long red stalks that look a lot like celery with sunburn in the supermarket produce aisle or at farmers’ stands. What is it, and how do you cook with it? Rhubarb is often considered a fruit due to its prominence in dessert recipes, but it is actually a vegetable which traces its history back more than 5,000 years in medicinal applications. The Chinese used rhubarb (mostly the root) as a purgative or laxative and the Greek and Romans incorporated it into many medicines for its cathartic and astringent effects. (By the way, rhubarb leaves are toxic due to high levels of

Estate Planning, from page 6 can supplement your retirement income or continue growing on a tax-deferred basis for your family. Unlike most other retirement savings vehicles, however, there are no required minimum distributions for HSAs. It’s important to carefully consider an HSA’s beneficiary designation. When you die, any remaining HSA balance becomes the beneficiary’s property. If the beneficiary is your spouse, your HSA becomes his or her HSA and is taxable only to the extent he or she makes nonqualified withdrawals. If the beneficiary is someone other than your spouse, however, the account no longer will qualify as an HSA, and the beneficiary must include the account’s fair market value in his or her gross income. (However, the beneficiary will be able to deduct any of your qualified medical expenses paid with the funds from your HSA within one year after your death.) This differs from an IRA, where a non-spouse beneficiary can spread RMDs over his or her lifetime. So, if you’re age 65 or older and need to take distributions to pay nonmedical expenses (or for other purposes), you may want to consider whether it makes more sense to withdraw from: Your IRA — preserving your HSA so tax-free funds will be available for your own (or your spouse’s or dependents’) future medical expenses, or Your HSA — preserving your IRA’s ability to generate tax-deferred growth for your heirs. The answer will depend on a variety of factors, such as your age and health, the size of each account, and the beneficiary’s age, health and relationship to you. HSAs can be a beneficial option for many people, especially for young and healthy individuals. In addition to the savings on health care, HSAs offer a tax-advantaged option that provides estate planning benefits. Your advisor can help you determine if an HSA is right for you. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Walnut Creek and Pittsburg. Send your questions to

oxalic acid and have no safe culinary use—please remember this if you buy whole rhubarb at farmer’s markets. If you plant it at home, it’s also best to keep pets away from that part of the garden.) Rhubarb wasn’t a significant player in kitchens until the early 1800s in Britain when it became a popular ingredient in desserts and wines. The widespread affordability of sugar made that possible. Also, it is generally ready to harvest much earlier than other veggies, making it popular with those who’ve endured long winters with few fresh ingredients. The ravages of World War II and sugar rationing caused rhubarb consumption to decline considerably. Rhubarb is rarely eaten raw — it’s just too tart. You will almost always need to use a sweetener in rhubarb recipes, but less if you add it after the rhubarb is cooked and usually if the stalk is brighter red. Akin to celery, rhubarb stalks have strings. Most of the time these will break down during cooking but you might want to pare or peel the stalks before cooking just in case. You should get about three cups of chopped

raw rhubarb per pound, and it will yield two cups cooked. Springtime is rhubarb time (although here in California it’s available just about year-round). New York City’s Little Giant restaurant celebrates spring with this cocktail (compliments of Saveur Magazine): STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SMASH 3 lemon wedges 3 to 4 mint leaves 1 oz. rhubarb simple syrup* 2 strawberries, washed and hulled 1 1/2 oz. bourbon Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add ice and bourbon. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with more mint and a strawberry. Serves 1. *Rhubarb simple syrup: trim and cut 4 rhubarb stalks into half-inch pieces. Combine with 4 cups sugar, 4 cups water and one-half of a vanilla bean in a saucepan and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate.

Page 15 Re a neady for this w loo spri k ng?

Schaefer’s PAINTING

Garrison Keillor of “Prairie Home Companion” fame keeps rhubarb popular these days. His Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie “gets the taste of humiliation out of your mouth.” Here’s a recipe for rhubarb pie filling:

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Club News Clayton Valley Woman’s Club presents donation checks to community organizations at annual luncheon

212 Mountaire Circle, Clayton D SOL r Over

s fo ce! Day i in 9 king Pr As

5059 Saint Celestine, Concord NANCY BOYLE, CLUB PRESIDENT, IS SHOWN HERE WITH DONATIONS RECIPIENTS David Gerson of Loaves and Fishes, Tim O’Keefe from SHELTER Inc., Kris Jachens from STAND!, Karen Hansen-Smith from the Clayton Library, JoAnn Caspar and Mary Spryer from the Clayton Historical Society and Carol Longshore and JoAnne Fryer from the Concord Historical Society.

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club held its annual donations luncheon at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Concord on May 13. Each May, the club presents monies raised by past fundraising activities to select community organizations during a potluck lunch provided by members. This year, donations went to Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa County, SHELTER Inc., STAND! For Families Free of Violence, the Clayton Community Library, the Clayton

Historical Society and the Concord Historical Society. Latasha Johnson was named as the recipient for the 2014 Clayton Valley Woman’s Club Scholarship. She is a Diablo Valley College student who is transferring to California State University Sacramento. Johnson could not attend the luncheon due to finals. Club members give time, money and items to various organizations throughout the year such as Read Across America, Prevent Blindness, Blue Star Moms, Heifer International and

Pennies for Pines. The CVWC holds several events throughout the year to raise money to support these organizations—most recently, the Festival of Tables luncheon and fashion show. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, except July and August, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. Guests are welcome to attend meetings and social events. For more information, call 672-9448 or go to

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

Performing Arts

Uniplayers take ‘Relationships’ to the stage


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DEVON LABAR AND RHONDA TAYLOR REHEARSE A SCENE from Neil Simon’s “London Suite,” in the Uniplayer’s “Relationships; Significant and Other,” playing May 23, May 25 and 26 MDUUC in Walnut Creek.

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The Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church’s Uniplayers are again bringing their unique take on classic plays to the stage this Memorial Day weekend. Local theater luminaries Jerry Motta and Rhonda Taylor are part of the ensemble cast of “Relationships:

Significant and Other” — a collection of one-acts from famous plays, including Neil Simon’s “London Suite.” The Uniplayers were born back in the 1970s as a group of church writers and performers who once a year put together a fund-raising review called the Hungry U (a take-off on San

Francisco’s night club the Hungry I), consisting of musical numbers and skits. A key player in the group was longtime Clayton Valley High School drama teacher Tom Willis, who died last year. The plays became so popular they started to mount other productions such as dinner-

theater, a night at the theater and other straight-forward productions. An example of their work was a murder-mystery satire called “Murder, She Said” spoofing the television program “Murder, She Wrote.” In the early 2000s the Uniplayers slowed down as Willis got caught up in his high school teaching activities and other players directed their energies elsewhere. Then, in 2010, Willis revived the Uniplayers, mounting such productions as “House of the Holy Moment,” “Oh, Oh, Here Comes Christmas,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “The Laramie Project.” Last year, the Uniplayers staged “Shirley Valentine” as a tribute to Willis. Showtimes for “Relationships: Significant and Other” are 7:30 p.m. May 23 and 3 p.m. May 25 and 26 in Bortin Hall. Admission is $15 general, $10 for seniors. However, no one will be turned away. Childcare is available with advance arrangements at


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Spring performances showcase young dancers Clayton dancers Samantha Tuohey and Emily Payne will perform as part of the Civic Arts Education and Diablo Ballet’s Dance Academy’s Spring Performances on May 28 and 30. The performances take place at 7 the Shadelands Auditorium and features dancers from the Dance Academy, a joint program between Diablo Ballet Company and Civic Arts Education. The performance on May 28 highlights the very young dancers (ages 3-7) as well as a short per-

formance by the older dancers in the Academy’s Professional Training Program (PTP).


“It is always wonderful to hear the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ coming from the young dancers as they see the advanced dancers perform,” says PTP director Rebecca Berke. “Edward Stegge, a dancer with Diablo Ballet and also a teacher at CAE, dances with the students as well. Another Diablo Ballet dancer and instructor of three of the pre-ballet classes is Tetyana Martyanova from the Ukraine, who, along with other instructors, will each choreograph a dance for their young students to perform on May 28.

While May 28 gives the youngest students an opportunity to shine, the performance on May 30 features the intermediate and advanced students performing excerpts from the ballet Sylvia as well as original work by Erin Leedom, Diablo Ballet’s resident choreographer and a CAE teacher. The Shadelands Auditorium is located at 111 N. Wiget Lane in Walnut Creek. Tickets are $10. Call 925-943-5846 for reservations.

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How many times have you praised your child saying “Good job”? How many times have you heard other parents saying “Good job”? What is “Good job” really saying to your child? It is saying that you approve of something he or she is doing but it is not specific and your child has probably heard the phrase so many times, it may cease to mean anything at all. The question is not should we praise our children, but more importantly, how should we praise our children? Is there a better way to praise and does it make a difference? We all agree that it is important to express pride in our children, to demonstrate love and support. It is also important for children to develop pride in their own achievements, selfreliance and a motivation to learn. Most early childhood specialists agree that encourage-

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The latest research demonstrates that children who are encouraged tend to develop a stronger self-motivation and pride in their work because the encouragement focuses on what they are doing well, not what a parent or teacher thinks about their work. We want our children to be individuals who do not fear being judged or evaluated. We want them to be able to make mistakes and to learn from them. We want them to be proud of their accomplishments, not always looking to someone else to see if they are doing a “good job.” A better way to praise is to encourage and it will make a difference. The next time your child is painting, building with blocks, putting away toys, accomplishing a new task, rather than saying “Good job,” take a little more time and really encourage


THE POCKET PARENT what he or she is doing. Say instead, “You spent a long time on that painting,” “Look at how tall you made your structure,” “Thank you for putting away your toys,” or “You must feel very proud that you learned how to write your name.” You are telling them that “they did it!” “I did it” are three of the most empowering words anyone can say. Help your child say it often. Vicki McCoy is Program Coordinator at We Care Center in Concord.

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ment is more effective than praise to build children’s selfesteem. Praise and encouragement are very different. Praise expresses approval, focuses on what the adult thinks or feels and often includes a judgment. It is usually very general, as in “Good job,” and given when a task is finished. Encouragement is non-judgmental, specific, focuses on the process not the product, and helps children develop an appreciation for their own achievements. Some researchers have described praise as the cause of children becoming “praise junkies.” The more praise they receive, the more they rely on the approval of others. They rely on the external reward rather than an intrinsic reward. The reward becomes an end in itself, weakening self-motivation.

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Design • Installation Maintenance License # 958849

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Spend time enjoying your landscape…not working on it!

May 23, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Don’t forget to feed your veggies NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL Many Clayton Valley garden lovers already have their summer vegetable gardens planted. Hopefully at this point you are noticing surges of growth from your tomatoes with sets of yellow blossoms and green fruit. Bell and hot pepper plants should have tiny white flowers on their stems with new sets of leaves and ripening fruit. Zucchini, crookneck, and flying saucer squash should be expanding in width with new leaf production and blossoms emerging at the base of the plants. In other words, vegetable gardening should be in full swing.

About a month after installation, it’s time to fertilize your summer vegetables. Feeding vegetable plants is important. By fertilizing you get the maximum production out of your investments of time. Fertilizing vegetables is easy and the results are fun to see. Pick your vegetable fertilizer depending on the type of irrigation that you use to water. If you water using a soaker hose, sprinklers or by hand you have the luxury of using a granular Organic type fertilizer for tomatoes and vegetables. The label should read 4-5-3, or close to it. It is important that the second number in the series be larger than the first. Read the label of your chosen organic product to see if it has calcium and sulfur, two very important ingredients for healthy vegetables, especially tomatoes. Work the recommended dose (usually about 1 tablespoon) of fertilizer into the soil around the drip-line of your

vegetables. This process should be repeated every four-to-six weeks. Those that irrigate their vegetables using drip-systems need to use a water soluble type fertilizer. Several good products are available. Maxsea and FoxFarm are both highly available, natural\organic fertilizers that have quite a following. For years, folks have used and loved these two products. Maxsea fertilizer is a dry water-soluble fertilizer perfect for blossom and fruit production. The label reads 320-20. FoxFarm has been making waves in the nursery for a handful of years now. The brand has a large following. FoxFarm’s Ocean Floor Potting Soil is stupendous, and since it has such great results many are assured that their fertilizers will be equally as fabulous, and they are. Tiger Bloom and Big Bloom are two liquid concentrate fertilizers that are used to encourage stronger blooms, and sweeter

fruit. Follow package directions for dosages, and always fertilize a plant that has been hydrated. If you are thinking your soil throughout your vegetable beds is loosing moisture due to evaporation, mulch the beds. Vegetable plants don’t need as much water as you think they do. Thorough watering once to twice a week is enough. There is still time to install vegetables for summer if you are still thinking about it, whether it’s tomatoes, beans, squash and pumpkin or pepper plants. Many of our summer favorites take 60-80 days to harvest, this means by August you’ll be knee-deep in your own home-grown bounty.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Book Review

‘Book Was There’ Reading in Electronic Times I am excited to recommend Andrew Piper’s “Book Was There” because almost any conversation between readers today will include the topic of e-books and its natural topical offspring: Will books as we know them (or knew them) survive? “Book Was There” helps all of us, older and younger readers, to better understand the question itself. Andrew Piper teaches German and European literature at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and although his book is published by a university press (Chicago), it is the perfect example of why we, the general reader, should not pass up what university presses offer. Piper reminds us “that we cannot think about our electronic future without contending with its antecedent, the bookish past. Books got there first. Books and screens are now bound up with one another whether we like it or not.” Piper writes with inviting clarity: “Now is the time to understand the rich history of what we have thought books have done for us and what we think digital texts might do differently.” Many of us readers take the skill of reading for granted, but reading itself has a “rich history” and Piper's enthusiasm for this history is infectious.





Here are some of the reasons why anyone who loves to read, for whatever purpose, should not find Piper's text daunting: there are illustrations, not in color, but they are there; he is young and often includes the digital behavior of his own very young children (a son not quite ready to read); his vocabulary, although at times academic, is clearly explained and generally accessible. There are enough wonderful facts in this book that it is worth a second or even third rereading. Do you know where the word “book” came from? That's a spoiler and I won't tell. The tactile world of books (including the import of marginalia and handwriting) and the role it plays in how we learn is not the same in the world of e-books. E-books have “been generated through a set of procedural conditions...... They are

called forth through computation and interaction.” A book, in its physical state, static, without movement, is simply always there. “Digital books are never just there.” The comparison of page versus screen is amplified with a substantial history of the computer, compelling the “books only” reader to take a deep breath and relax as they consider modern communication and its cultural possibilities, positive and negative. Piper even brings in the science of both reading and computing, including the importance of math. I the found subjects explored in “Book Was There” both off-putting and exciting. It will likely help teens and adult offspring to better understand where their elders are coming from while at the same time, going a long way for those elders to accept the idea of the e-book as a part of the “continuum” of the book, not necessarily its death knell. “Book Was There” is a definite must-read. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’


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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

May 23, 2014

Riders again brave Mount Diablo in prestigious Amgen Tour JENNIFER JAY

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In the last couple of years, climbing Mount Diablo and soaring down the other side has been a highlight for riders in the Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest road cycling race for nine consecutive years. In 2012, racers climbed Mount Diablo’s South Gate road to the Junction, descended North Gate Road and passed by downtown Clayton before finishing in Livermore. In 2013, the race came through Clayton’s sphere of influence coming down Morgan Territory Road turning right onto Marsh Creek Road heading through Livermore and Danville before finishing on Mount Diablo summit. 2014 was no exception, as race organizers created the toughest course of the race week and its history with over 10,000 feet of climbing in 108.5 miles. The riders began in San Jose with an immediate climb up 4,080 feet over Mount Hamilton and finishing the last 11.2 miles with a 3,080 foot climb to the

Jennifer Jay

STAGE 3 FIRST PLACE WINNER ROHAN DENNIS of Team GarminSharpe receives a Mount Diablo State Park bicycle jersey from Mount Diablo State Park Ranger Carl Nielson at the post-race awards presentation on the summit of Mount Diablo.

Mount Diablo summit. Mid-90 degree temperatures did not deter thousands of enthusiastic spectators and volunteers to cycle, hike and line Mount Diablo’s race route to witness swapping attacks by Robbie Squire (USA) and the Mexican National Champion Luis Davila, and the driving pace by Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins (Britain) of Team Sky.

Rohan Dennis (Australia) of Team Garmin-Sharp made his final attack against Wiggins in the final half-mile, where the grade turned to 17 percent, and was first to cross the finish line, followed by Tiago Machado (Portugal) of Team netAppEndura and Lawson Craddock (USA) of Team Giant-Shimano. An eight-day event, the prestigious stage race features 16 elite professional teams and 128 athletes from around the world.

Survey to determine needs of county Residents of some Contra Costa cities have the opportunity to help decide what they want the future of their city and county to look like. The Contra Costa Consortium, which includes the cities of Antioch, Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, and the County of Contra Costa, is conducting a survey to help determine what services will receive federal Community Development Bloc Grants.

By creating a Consolidated Plan every five years, the consortium will assess all the various community development and housing needs in the county, then develop strategies that will help implement the plan. Strategies may include increasing and maintaining the supply of affordable housing, revitalizing neighborhoods, improving public facilities like parks and senior centers, and expanding economic

outreach to businesses. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is available at, and clicking on Community Needs Survey. “We need to let the government know what our values are,” says Concord City Councilman Edi Birsan. If you have any questions, contact Gabriel Lemus at 925-674-7882 or

May 23 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
May 23 Clayton Pioneer 2014