Page 1

Rodie’ Annua s l Eve Sa


turda y, Ma y 17 9 to 2 FR



PROP See b ANE ack p age f or de tails

May 9, 2014


Bocce park heads toward finish line TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



It takes courage to own up to actions Several years ago, while I was stopped at the intersection of Cowell Road and Treat Boulevard, a school bus slowly passed me as it made a left turn on to Treat. As the bus passed I heard something hit my back window followed by the sound of shattering glass. Knowing that the projectile came from the bus I began following it down Treat. As I was driving behind the bus I could see different heads pop up and

See Mayor, page 9

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

THE IPSEN FAMILY BOCCE PARK, CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION ON THE GRAVEL LOT AT THE CORNER OF OAK AND MAIN STREETS, is expected to bring some much needed customers to the downtown during the week when things are pretty quiet. The city hopes the park and the infusion of people will help generate developer interest in the vacant parcels on Main Street and Oak Streets.

As the dust flies, anticipation builds for the opening of the Ipsen Family Bocce Park set for early June. The four court park is a joint effort between the Clayton Business and Community Association and Kent and “Skip” Ipsen, founders of Skipolini’s Pizza, with the CBCA funding the $175,000 construction costs on Ipsen’s vacant lot at the corner of Main and Oak Streets. The CBCA will operate and manage the park after it opens in June. Construction of the park is in tandem with Skipolini’s major kitchen and patio remodel. The idea of a bocce park has been percolating in the Clayton community for the better part of a decade. In 2008, plans for a park on the city owned land adjacent to City Hall bombed when estimated construction costs topped $1 million. But bocce lovers are nothing if not tenacious.

See Bocce Park, page 4

Concord: Culturally diverse but still connected (Editor’s Note:) This is the second in a series on the growth and development of Concord. In this issue, we look at who lives in Concord; the people and lifestyle. Next, we’ll look at where people live and why. JOHN JACKSON & TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Pete Cruz/Clayton Pioneer

CONCORD’S CULTURALLY RICH TEXTURE is reflected in celebrations like last Sunday’s Annual Diversity Spring (Baisakhi) Festival in Todos Santos Plaza, which featured dancers from The Tianjin Children's Palace. Here, dancers practice on the grass, preparing for their performance.

Market and concerts wait for nothing, not even the solstice The calendar says summer begins at the summer solstice on June 21. But, Clayton keeps its own calendar. Here, summer will begin on Saturday, May 10 when the Farmers Market opens and The Grove starts rockin’ with the first of the summer concerts featuring Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys.

Turn to page 4 for more on this summer’s events

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

In 1834, Don Salvio Pacheco received an 18,000-acre land grant from the Mexican govern-

ment, which owned California at the time. Thirty years later, he and Francisco Galindo, his sonin-law, created a little town right in the middle of the rancho, calling it Todos Santos. To populate their town, they enticed settlers from nearby Pacheco to come to Todos Santos by giving them free land. Concord city councilman Edi Birsan calls this “affirmative action by the Mexicans to get the white guys here.” Within months, the town’s

name magically changed to Concord and the demographic journey began. Today that small town is the largest city in Contra Costa County boasting a thriving and lively scene that is filled with diversity and opportunity. ETHNIC AND CULTURAL CHANGES The town has also taken on a cultural mix that is both Concord’s greatest strength and its biggest challenge.

Sit for 20 minutes on any afternoon in Todos Santos Plaza. Within earshot, one can pick up five or six different languages. The city is home to a wide array of ethnic groups that bond because of culture, not geography, creating a challenge for a city trying to build a strong community identity. Concord’s explosive growth has come since WWII. After the war, people came because

See Diversity, page 6

High school, Little League field turf issues challenging for most needy user High school's softball showcase bumps Challenger program games JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

In recent years a growing stress between the users competing for time on the fields has frayed nerves, resulted in Title IX complaints. Last month's incident has been extensively reported and debated in social media and local blogs with the two “sides” having very different perspectives on what happened that Sunday afternoon, when the CVLL Challenger program was moved onto a single field during the 2-4 p.m. time slot they had reserved to host games for five teams, including two from outside their league.

A growing tension between users of Clayton Valley Charter High School's baseball and softball fields boiled over recently when a weekend high school girls softball recruiting program bumped the local little league’s scheduled Challenger program to one small field on Sunday, April 13. CVCHS has three baseball and softball fields off Academy Road that have served Clayton Valley Little League for 40 years, as well as the high school and a See Little League, page 12 club softball program. Community Calendar . . . . .14 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .5 Concord News . . . . . . . . . . .5 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .17 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .7 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . .15

Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 MDES Reporter . . . . . . . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .16 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Pine Hollow Reporter . . . . . .8 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Jay Bedecarre photo

MANAGER ALAN HATCHER (left) is one of the founders of the Clayton Valley Little League Challenger Division. In the 1990s he relocated from the East Coast and brought a love for the Challenger program with him after he first was exposed when asked to umpire a Challenger game and “was hooked.” Raymond Butler of Concord, Christine Butler mother. Between/behind them is Kat Kreft (sitting on her walker) with her father Brian Kreft, both live in Clayton.

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . .12

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Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014

Around Town July 4 date set for Michelsen/Styskal vows It’s unlikely that Danielle Michelsen and Brian Styskal will ever have trouble remembering the two most important romantic anniversaries in their lives. The pair became engaged on Christmas Eve 2013 when Brian proposed in front of the Christmas Tree, and Danielle said yes. And this July 4, there will be extra fireworks when they marry in Napa. Danielle is a homegrown Claytonian. The daughter of Easley Estates residents, David

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and Barbara Michelsen, she graduated from CVHS in 2006 and went on to UC Berkeley, graduating in 2010. She currently works for in San Francisco in marketing and communications. The son of Dr. Steve and Diane Styskal, Brian grew up in Lakewood, Wash. where he graduated from Lake High School before attending Arizona State University. He is an IT consultant for a healthcare firm.


Spring cleaning in Clayton honors Earth Day




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More than 300 turned out for the annual Clayton Cleans Up honoring Earth Day 2014 on April 26. The morning dawned clear after two days of (much needed) rain and the trash was waiting. Volunteers donned their designer T-shirt, grabbed an orange bag and headed out to scour and scrub the streets and trails of cigarette butts, beer cans, Coke bottles and other assorted grubby items before returning to the City Hall courtyard for BBQ lunch.

The annual event is sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer and the city of Clayton with generous donations from Travis Credit Union, Republic Services, CBCA, Peets’ Coffee, Fresh and Easy, Orchard Supply Hardware and TMT Branding. Clockwise from top left: Event coordinator, Pamela Wiesendanger; Debra Meylan on recycle patrol; Rich Ludlow and Julie Todd head back to City Hall with two bags full; Grillmeisters Howard Geller, Steve Pierce and Fred Repetto cook up lunch for the clean-up crew.

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May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

s t r e ConcTh e Grov e

Around Town Markles welcome baby boy Hunter Savage Markle wasn’t even born yet and he was causing his mom and dad grief. On Dec. 28, 2013, at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, Hunter decided to make his appearance, but he was coming “sunny side up” (face up) and doctors called for an emergency Csection. The tall little dude was delivered safely — all 22.5 inches, 8.13 pounds HUNTER of him. SAVAGE Hunter is MARKLE surrounded by loving family, including grandpa and stepgrandma, Byron and Mildred Savage, who live in Concord. Grandma and step-grandpa Jeff and Linda Oransky are in Antioch. Jared’s mom, who lives in Herndon, VA, visits often and when she can’t, the family Facetimes together. Jared’s father and stepmom, Alvin and Lynn Markle, live in Texas and are planning a summer visit. Jennifer and Jared own Diablo Lawnscape in Clayton.

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


Another fine mighty t and W ine Ar


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.

Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys

May 10

They will bring you back to the days of sock hops, drive-in movies, beach parties and clean living.

Boys of Summer –

May 24

Eagles tribute band

Houserockers –

June 7

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

City Swing Big Band

June 21

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

The Fundamentals -

July 5

R&B, rock, pop and soul tunes.

Rachel Steele & Road 88 -

July 19

modern country and rock and roll High energy dance music. If you weren’t downtown Clayton last weekend, you were likely the only one in town that was not. With the sunshine and cool breeze, the day was perfect for strolling, glass of wine or beer in hand, and browsing the more than 150 artisans, artists and purveyors of unique items that lined Main Street for the 19th annual Art and Wine Festival. New to the festival this year was Princess Aisha, a true African princess from the village of Tamale in Northern Ghana. Alongside the shea butter products that make up her business were brightly woven handmade baskets, drums and musical instruments made by the women from her village from the local Ghanian hardwoods. The proceeds from the sale of these items are all sent back to Aisha’s village

to support the school and help the women start their own businesses. The Art and Wine Festival is sponsored by the Clayton Business and Community Association and is one of three major fundraisers each year. Proceeds from all events-Art and Wine, the Clayton Classic Golf Tournament and Oktoberfest — are returned to the community as grants and scholarships. This year, CBCA the city of Clayton and the Historical Society all celebrate milestone birthdays. This summer, CBCA will hang new banners on the downtown lightpoles honoring 50 years for the city of Clayton, 40 years for the Historical Society and and 30 for the CBCA. For membership information, go to or call 925.672.2272.


Diamond Dave –

Aug 2

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


Aug 16

plays the music of Steely Dan and Chicago

Apple Z –

Aug 30

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

East Bay Mudd -

Sept 13

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.




Co er 55




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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 neighborhood close to commute routes.


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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

Bocce Park, from page 1 The pent up demand was spectacularly evident on the first day of the Clayton League signups on April 5, when more than 500 players filled up the first 10 teams before the end of the day, forcing the League to add two more teams to the already packed play schedule. Ed Hartley, CBCA member heading up the bocce effort, says close to 70 percent of the players are Clayton residents. The courts should be complete by early June. League play is set to begin June 16. The park is expected to bring upwards of 80 people to downtown Clayton five evenings a week, providing a much needed stimulus to local business. “Build it and they will come,” says CBCA’s Ed Hartley, president of

the Clayton Bocce Federation. “The players have to eat somewhere,” he says, “We have the places for them.” John Canesa, owner of Canesa’s Brooklyn Deli, immediately next door to the park, expects business to “boom” when league play starts. The excitement is coming not just from the local eateries. Sara Skow, owner of the Royal Rooster gift store on Diablo Street, is already planning to add evening hours this summer. BOCCE BUZZ JUST THE BEGINNING

The bocce park may just be what’s needed to jump-start business in the economically sluggish town center. Last month the city of Clay-


ton listed three downtown parcels with a commercial real estate broker with hopes of attracting one or more developers. The largest parcel, a 1.67acre piece next to the Clayton Community Church offices sits between Main St. and Clayton Rd. The other piece is on Oak Street and is comprised of two adjacent parcels totaling .75 acre. The Oak Street property has been approved for a mixed use project with 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the ground floor and seven apartments upstairs. It’s fully entitled and ready for hammer and nails. There is a potential developer interested in the property, but no firm deals, yet. The city properties are listed with Transwestern Property Company West, Inc. “The challenge,” says Transwestern’s managing broker, Ed Del Beccaro, “is to turn Clayton


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THE LISTING AGENT FOR THE 1.67-ACRE CITY OWNED DOWNTOWN property for mixed use, commercial and residential.

into a destination.” The most promising scenario, he says, is for mixed use with 7,000-10,000 sq. ft. of commercial combined with condos and apartments. “Restaurants, a wine bar, some form of entertainment and maybe a high-end retail – say a saddle shop – are at the top of our list,” he says. The company has sent over 70 solicitations to potential developers. About a


third of those have shown interest enough to ask for more information. Until last year, the Main St. property was owned by the Clayton Community Church, which had plans to build a worship center downtown. The church sold the lot to the city of Clayton last year when a better site on the hill above Mt. Diablo Elementary became available. The church still owns approxi-

is actively marketing the

mately 1.4 acres next door that is used for offices which is currently listed with Colliers. The two properties combined are just about three acres, big enough to attract some real commercial interest, says Del Baccaro. Shawn Robinson, pastor of Clayton Community Church, says they are open to working with the city’s broker to market the two parcels together.

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Summer, from page 1 The Clayton Farmers’ Market will open for the season at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. At 9:30, local dignitaries will be on hand for the official ribbon cutting. Many of the vendors from seasons past will be back and several new ones will appear as the season (and the bounty) progresses. Look for Cecchini & Cecchini Farms with awesome asparagus, Gotelli Farms with fresh sweet cherries and Clayton’s MarElla B’s with local honey. The market opens the day

before Mother’s Day and there will be ample opportunity to pick up some flowers and handmade soap from Mt. Diablo Soap Company. Along with all the fresh fruits and veggies, look for bakery items and goat cheeses. The market will be open through October 25. For more information on the market, go to At 4 p.m. (and not a minute before, say city officials), concert-goers can stake out their territory with lawn chairs and

picnic blankets in The Grove for the first of the season’s concerts which begins at 6 p.m. Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys will kick off the season with a tribute to the great Brian , Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine. The close harmonies of “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl” and “Little Deuce Coupe,” recall the cleanliving and simpler days of the sock hop and drive-in movies. For photos, sound clips and more information on the band, go to The concerts begin at 6 p.m. at the Gazebo in The Grove. For a complete concert schedule, see page 3. ith

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May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

Concord News

Concord: No booze sales at 99 Cents Only store PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

The city of Concord put the cork in efforts to sell more alcohol along a troublesome tract of Clayton Road. At its April 22 meeting, the Concord City Council unanimously upheld an earlier zoning denial of a request by the 99 Cents Only store at 4465 Clayton Road, which had in February petitioned the city to sell beer and wine from its shelves. “What it comes down to…is this is not the time or place to sell alcohol at this location,” said council member Laura Hoffmeister. “It’s just not needed.” The appeal was brought to the city by Steve Rawlings, a consultant with 99 Cents Only stores throughout California, who dis-

puted police department claims that there was a high concentration of alcohol-related crimes in the area. Rawlings cited an earlier crime reported that alcohol-related crimes were down in the shopping center’s area, which also includes a Beverly’s Fabrics and a TJ Maxx store. He even amended the store’s earlier application, offering several concessions. The alcohol area would be limited to 12 linear feet at the store, and would not include drink coolers to buy chilled beers and wine. No “singles” — solo bottles of beer or malt liquor — would be sold, unlike what’s offered at some of his other stores, and employees would be trained on responsible sales techniques mirrored after Alcohol and Beverage Control

A grassroots effort is well underway in the city of Concord to sponsor an Independence Day fireworks show and festival that will fill the void left by Calvary Temple Church’s discontinued Singing Flag program. The Todos Santos Business Association in partnership with local blog is leading the charge to raise significant funds from the Concord community and is well on its way to seeing the $50,000 event become a reality this summer at Mount Diablo High School. After 25 years of presenting the Singing Flag, a patriotic variety show performed each year at Dave Brubeck Park in Concord, Calvary Temple, which is donating $500 to the Concord fireworks effort, announced in March the cancellation of the beloved show. It didn’t take long for locals to voice their dismay and their wish for a Fourth of July fireworks celebration in the city. Tim McGallian, president of the Todos Santos Business Association, was one of these citizens. His dream began small, with a push to raise the $15,000 it takes to launch a spectacular holiday fireworks show. Using an online donation website to gather funds, McGallian’s dream quickly began to gather steam. continued to publish articles about the progress of the fundraising and before long, the cost of the fireworks piece was covered. This is when McGallian decided to take the day of celebration one more step. “As the ball started to roll, people are going to be setting blankets out, they’re so used to the festivities of the Flag, we decided to put together a smaller type festival.” This adds significantly to the cost of the event, but McGallian feels that the day will be a tradition going forward for the city. “It will start with the 5K run in the morning (downtown), and then move into the parade,” he says. McGallian explains that the festival will take place beginning at about 4 p.m. at Mount Diablo

add one more store to the mix, if it may increase problems we are already dealing with,” he said. Neighbor Ray Barber agreed.

“I don’t know what benefit to the city this would bring.” Sgt. Norris said that in the crime-reporting area of which 99

Cents Only is a part, there are already five liquor licenses, two more than ABC allows. Vice Mayor Ron Leone was quick to compliment Rawlings and 99 Cents Only store for the value the low-price sundry and grocery store brings to the community, without needing to sell beer and wine. “I hope it continues to prosper,” he said. “But community safety is my numberone concern, and I rely on police expertise and defer to them.” 99 Cents Only stores opened in 1982, but since then, many items sold there have cost more than 99 cents. Rawlings said that the store has emerged as a popular grocery option for people seeking good bargains, and has been expanding its food and vegetable sections due to the demand of its customers.

Concord schedules important budget workshop

Fireworks, festival spark interest in Concord JOHN JACKSON Clayton Pioneer

methods. But Concord Police Officer Russ Norris said that none of these concessions would change his recommendation to deny the alcohol permit. “There is a significant amount of alcohol-related problems and crime in that area and at that specific shopping center,” he said. He said many people buy booze elsewhere and bring it to the shopping center to drink. Nearby homeowners also urged the council to keep the 99 Cents Only store from selling alcohol. “I have seen first-hand” the problems of vagrancy and alcohol-related problems, said Isaac Kern, a member of the Newhall Village Homeowners Association, which is located across the street from the shopping center. “There’s no reason to

High School on the grass field and run into the evening until the fireworks are launched at 9 p.m. The day’s activities are still in the early planning stages, but are set to include a big stage with live local bands, a kids carnival and food vendors. “At about 9 p.m. we’ll cap the evening off with the fireworks,” he says. The fireworks effort will be fully funded by Concord residents and businesses as a grassroots effort. But, it has also received the support of the Concord City Council. Councilman Edi Birsan, has pledged $100 to the cause. “It’s something that I look forward to becoming a regular feature,” he says. “I want it to become a tradition. This is a testament to the fact that we live in ‘Concordance’ with each other. That’s what July 4 is all about.” McGallian says that with the inclusion of the festival, there is still plenty of fundraising left to do for the event to be successful. For costs, McGallian sites fireworks, entertainment, security and other fees that he says add up quickly for an event of this nature. “We are probably in the ballpark of $35,000 raised so far and we still need another $15,000,” he says. To donate to the Concord Fireworks effort, go to .

The financial situation in the City of Concord is not in a crisis; however we are facing several challenges. On May 13, the council will have a budget workshop to address our Fiscal Year 2014-15. The major issue is that we have $68 million in revenue and $74 million in expenses. It doesn’t take a math expert to see we have some work to do. Here is some background: To balance its budget, the State of California took from Concord more than $7 million annually of redevelopment money. We also are carrying $10 million in deferred main-


CONCORD CITY BEAT tenance and unfunded liabilities. This would have been a crisis had it not been for the passage of the Measure Q, the

half-cent sales tax that is generating $10.6 million annually. Concord is using this extra sales tax money to close the budget gap of $6 million in the city’s shortfall the current year’s 2013-14 budget. To resolve our budget’s structural deficit we are placing about $4.5 million into our reserves. Unfortunately the Measure Q sales tax will expire in March 2016. When that happens, unless we find some additional funding sources to stabilize our General Fund budget, we will need to cut additional services that our community receives.

The council has already made a number of hard decisions to reduce our city’s budget. We’ve cut out all of the fat and inefficiencies. We have reduced our workforce by 25 percent (144 employees), reduced our General Fund expenditures by $10 million (from 2007 to 2011), reduced some programs and eliminated services, outsourced some selected services, increased employee contributions to health and retirement benefits, and we’ve used $24 million from our reserves

See Budget, page 6

Summer music returns to Concord The popular Thursday Night Music and Market series returns to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord on May 22. The series continues through Sept. 11 with the Farmers’ Market in the plaza from 4 to 8 p.m. and music on the Todos Santos stage from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The 26th annual Music and Market Series is one of the longest-running civic concert series in the Bay Area. The series is funded through donations collected from attendees during the 2013 concert series and by local sponsors. MUSIC AND MARKET HIGHLIGHTS This year’s calendar includes a nod to the 50th anniversary of

the British Invasion with the Sun Kings, the Bay Area’s best Beatles band, on June 19, and The RaveUps performing hits by the Yardbirds, The Animals, and Cream on July 17. Foreverland, a very popular Michael Jackson tribute band, performs July 24 and Zepparella, the all-female rocking tribute to Led Zeppelin, appears Aug. 21. Stealin’ Chicago (May 29), James Garner (Aug. 14), and The Purple Ones (Sept. 4) compliment the schedule with their authentic representations of the sounds of Chicago, Johnny Cash, and Prince, respectively. Multi-cultural highlights include Da Island Way with its colorful Polynesian music and dance revue, and Dakila’s Latin

Rock with a Filipino twist, a double bill on June 12. The Lafayette Studio Big Band will close the Thursday series on Sept. 11 with a moving memorial salute to 9/11 featuring Big Band classics and songs that honor New York. SPECIAL EVENTS In addition to a year-round Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the summer Thursday Night Music & Market series, downtown Concord’s Todos Santos Plaza features a number of special events this summer. Concord celebrates Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 10 in Todos Santos Plaza. The event includes the Mount Diablo Music Educa-

tion Foundation’s fifth annual All Area Music Festival, featuring music students from Mt. Diablo Unified’s elementary, middle and high schools. The musical performances will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. KidFest is May 24-26. DadDay in the Plaza on Sunday, June 15 will feature James Clark and the Jailhouse Rockers presenting an Elvis Presley revue, as well as a chili cook-off featuring chefs from local fire and police departments. The Tuesday Night Blues Series returns for the month of July from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Bay Area food trucks from Off the Grid will bring “brews, blues and barbecues” to the plaza each Tuesday.

Concord Ambassadors promote Kitakami visit

Rochellez Photography

Origami sculpture by Oakland artist Sean Olson will be on display at the Brenden Theatre in Concord, May 10.

The Concord Ambassadors will step up in downtown Concord on Saturday, May 10, to promote the upcoming visit from residents of Concord’s Sister City, Kitakami, Japan, participating in the AAUW Art and Wine (and Beer) Walk. The Ambassadors will be hosting an “Art Stop” at the Brenden Theatre, where participants will see the origami crane sculpture by Oakland artist Sean Olson, created in honor of Concord’s Sister City, and the work of Alice Martinez, a local artist who is best known for her tropical watercolors.

The Concord Ambassadors organization is the local nonprofit that supports Concord’s Sister City program. The Kitakami contingent will be in Concord from Oct. 2 through 5. Participants in the Art and Wine (and Beer) Walk, which benefits the AAUW scholarship program, will stroll around downtown Concord and Todos Santos Plaza while enjoying wine, microbrew beers, and local art. The All Area Music Festival, featuring music students from Mt. Diablo elementary, middle and high schools, will be taking place in Todos Santos Plaza.

Tickets to the Art and Wine Walk are $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door; participants must be 21 or older. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. and begins at E.J. Phair Alehouse, 2151 Salvio St. For more information, call 925-363-4438 or visit Residents who would like to become a member of the Ambassadors or host visitors from Kitakami during their October stay should contact Concord City Clerk Mary Rae Lehman, 925-671-3495. For more information, visit

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •


May 9, 2014

2014 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive


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Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary of America’s largest-single day of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in Partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, Campbell Soup, Feeding America and other partners. Currently, 49 million Americans, one in six, are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in

school. Nearly 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help. In 2013, 74 million pounds of food was collected by Postal carriers nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of the 21-year history, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food. The food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and

Diversity, from page 1 Concord had jobs and housing. They came with no-down-payment VA loans, easy FHA financing and decent jobs. The housing “tracts” started popping up all over town — Colony Park, Holbrook, Glenbrook, Canterbury Village, Dana Estates, Clayton Valley Highlands — and continued until Concord’s population swelled from 6,900 in 1950 to today’s 123,000 souls of all colors and cultures. In the 1950 census, races were categorized only by Native White, Foreign-born White, Negro, and Other Races (Indians, Japanese and Chinese), and White Persons of Spanish Surname; nothing for Hispanic or Latino. And the town was 94.3 percent white. In 1960, the census added a line for Filipino; still no Hispanic count and whites were now 99 percent of the population. Fifty years later, those numbers are dramatically different. Hispanics make up a third of Concord’s population. At 11 percent, Asian’s are the city’s fastest growing ethnic group; non-whites, multi-racial and other races are 25 percent of the population and whites now account for just 63 percent. A rapid influx of any ethnicity can challenge a city’s resources both in the short- and the long-term. Eric Moldonado, the Community Government Relations Director for Travis Credit Union and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says that it can often be difficult for ethnic groups to relate and assimilate in certain situations. “The makeup of the Concord City Council has not shifted to reflect Concord’s diverse population,” he notes. “This could be improved.” Council member Birsan agrees. All but three of the last 50 council members live or have lived in the affluent and mainly white 94521 ZIP code, says Birsan. “I’m the only member of the council that can walk to Monument Boulevard.”

A POPULAR CITY Nevertheless, most Concordians are happy with their city. A March survey conducted by Godbe Research showed that an astounding 80 percent of residents rated their quality of life either “excellent” or “good.” Additionally, 83 percent were “very or somewhat satisfied” with the job that the city is doing in providing city services. “For a city this size, we don’t feel like a city this size,” says city council member Laura Hoffmeister. “It still has that neighborhood feel and it’s a clean community, where crime is relatively low compared to other communities.” Crime is always a concern in a big city and Concord is no exception. Hoffmeister blames the meteoric rise of social media for feeding a negative perception. “Some of the things that have always been happening in the community are just now more prevalent and available to the community to know about,” she says. “We want people to know what’s happening so they can keep a look out. But at the same time, when they say ‘We never ran into that in the past,’ they’re wrong. It was still there.” Public perception has been a frustrating hurdle to overcome. Statistics clearly show a continuous drop in crime since 2000, but Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger says that people simply aren’t aware of these great gains. “We're actually doing really good work,” he says. “There are so many good things happening regarding public safety in our community, but how we market that is really that next step for us.” The perception that Concord has a big gang problem is simply not true, adds Councilman Edi Birsan. “We've got to get the word out about gangs because it keeps showing up. It's the biggest fear factor people have and it just doesn't exist here in Concord."

Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need. To participate, leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by the mailbox on Saturday, May 10, and the Postal carrier will do the rest. It’s that simple and millions of Americans will be helped. For more information, go to

Recent years in Concord have seen a boom of sorts in restaurant, retail and entertainment activity, which adds to the appeal of the town for many folks. With new restaurants in the Willows Shopping Center, city-sponsored events in Todos Santos Park, the array of international eateries and markets in the Park-n-Shop center, and new and refreshed car dealerships lining the Market Street and Concord Avenue areas, residents have few complaints about malaise. There has also been a concerted effort to revitalize the Monument Corridor area. Giving support to current businesses and adding new ventures that may be positive for the local economy is strengthening the entire corridor. Paul Arendsee, a local realtor who migrated to Concord from Hercules 10 years ago, is very pleased with the progress the town has made since his arrival and he has no complaints about finding things to do around town. “It’s nice that the restaurants in Concord have become more and more quali-

ty,” he says. “I like what they’ve done with Todos Santos. There’s just something about that plaza. You go there and there’s just a family aura. It feels like a fun place to go and there’s plenty of places to eat, have coffee and just sit and relax. It just feels like home.” IS CONCORD A MELTING POT? “No,” says Clayton Pioneer publisher and 60-year Concord/Clayton resident Bob Steiner. “In a melting pot, everything tastes the same. Throw some gouda, some cheddar, some feta in a pot, heat it up and when it’s done, it’s just cheese.” He equates Concord to a tossed salad. “A big bowl with radishes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, all cut up together. Toss them with a little vinegar and oil and you have a salad sharing a bowl. But, everything keeps its own taste, color and texture.” And there is Concord’s challenge, says Birsan. “For us all to live in concordance.”

City Beat, from page 5 from between the 2007-08 and 2010-11 fiscal years. We have some long-term issues we must address: Unfunded liabilities: The council is trying to address our unfunded liabilities of retired city workers. The City of Concord Retirement System (CCRS) is currently funded at only 62 percent; full funding requires another $2 million. Our CalPERS pensions currently are reasonably well funded at 76 percent (best practice is 75-80 percent funded) and our city pays CalPERS the full annual employer contribution of $9 million. Our city employees pay their full share. However, an additional $1.7 million is needed to fully fund this pension program. Roads and maintenance. In addition we not only must work to maintain our existing infrastructure and facilities in a safe and operational condition, but we also have a backlog of deferred infrastructure maintenance, for signs, roadways, city buildings and parks of $8 million per year. It will cost $10.5 million to fully fund our post-employment liabilities and infrastructure backlog. We are currently working on developing an ordinance to address the use of one-time and surplus funds that come into the city to be used only for our unfunded liabilities and infrastructure backlog. At our budget workshop we will need to explore ways to answer these long-term budget concerns. The council and leadership staff must also

develop ways to continue to work with our employee groups on controlling employee-related cost increases, continue to focus on economic development to enhance property tax and sales tax revenue, continue to look for more program efficiencies to save money, continue to respond appropriately to changes in financial conditions, assist in the economic vitality of the community, work to understand community service priorities to guide future service cuts, and we must continue to identify appropriate new revenue sources. The budget workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 1950 Parkside Drive, and will be televised live on Concord Cable TV channel 28 (Comcast), channel 29 (Astound) and channel 99 (AT&T U-verse). The broadcasts are also available online at, both in real-time and archived for future viewing. Two public hearings are scheduled in June for consideration of the budget. The first is on June 3 and the second is on June 24. Both will be held in the City Council Chambers and will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the City Clerk’s Office, 925-6713495. Ron Leone is vice mayor and a former mayor of Concord. Email comments or questions to, or call (925) 680-1776

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Seeking Volunteers for the 2014 Contra Costa County Fair

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


The Contra Costa County Fair is currently looking for individuals interested in volunteering at the 2014 Contra Costa County Fair, May 29 through June 1. Here’s a chance to attend the Fair, while also being part of the Fair. Contra Costa County Fair volunteers play an important role in helping make the annual Fair a success. Plus, the Fair is a great place to give one’s time, learn something new and have some fun.

R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

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

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

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

Send School News to

Send Classified Ads to

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

The Fair is looking for volunteers to help in the exhibit department, livestock area, agricultural education, Fairgrounds classroom and museum, gardens and office. Teen and adult volunteers are encouraged to participate. Volunteer applications are now available online. They are due at the Fair office by Friday, May 16.

or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable. LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a 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.

Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years

For more information, go to or call the Fair Office at 757-4400.

Classified FOR RENT Clayton, charming one bedroom cabin on Mt. Diablo. Four miles from town. No dogs. $795/mo. Call 672-5225.

FOR SALE Refrigerator. Whirlpool. Ten months old. Stainless, top freezer, ice maker, glass shelves, two crispers, 21.5 cu. ft. Like new. $750 cash. 673-6223.

TUTOR Teacher/private tutor available for K-6 tutoring in Clayton, all subjects. In-home or Clayton library. Patient and kind. Creates custom, interactive lessons. References available. Email Natalie at

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LITTORNO LAW GROUP Upcoming Seminars IRA Beneficiary Trusts “How to Stretch out Payments and Protect your IRA Beneficiaries.” Wednesday, May 21, 2014 6:30 - 8:00 PM Walnut Creek Office 3100 Oak Road, #100 Walnut Creek CA 94597 (925) 937-4211

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

VA and Medi-Cal Benefits for Costs of Care Wednesday, June 18, 2014 6:30 - 8:00 PM Pittsburg Office

Call to RSVP (925) 432-4211 Or send email to

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 Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Park District Summer job openings for students as well as openings for park police officers. Go to Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED 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 9328607 or today!

Page 7

Directory of Advertisers 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 . . . . . . . . Clayton Classic Golf Tournament – CBCA . . . . .672-2272 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 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Navlet’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-0550 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Hudson, Cait – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .451-6844 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 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Doodleton Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-207-7467 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Schools Hope Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .687-7555 Senior Services Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Courage Do the Right Thing

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014

Home burglary strikes fear, anger LILIANA HERNANDEZ

TEEN SPEAK It is a typical day: you get ready in the morning, go to work and expect to come home and relax the rest of the evening. However, when you arrive, you find your front door slightly ajar. There is no one home, of this you are sure, and you cautiously walk in to see

your belongings strewn about the floor and everything in a mess. Every drawer is open, the beds overturned, a window broken and your precious items gone. You call the police and try to make sense of what has just happened. The police arrive, start asking questions, inspect your house thoroughly and leave. You, still in somewhat of a daze, try to calm your family and recover from this tragedy. Days go by and the last time you have heard from the police was the day your house was robbed. No matter how much you clean your house and rearrange furniture, the feeling

of insecurity persists. Soon, you hear similar stories being told; more houses are being robbed, more families are being targeted. With every new story you realize that this is not random; every victim is someone you know. The event I am describing is one that my family and extended relatives have experienced. Over the course of two months, about 10 houses have been robbed in the Clayton, Concord and Antioch areas. Every family victimized comes from a small town in Mexico where my parents are from and with who we regularly convene. Those who have not been hit

are asking the question: Who is next? If you have ever had your house robbed, you would understand the tumult of emotions that follows this crime. Your home is sacred, it is a place where you feel safe, protected and nurtured. However, when someone violates that and enters your home forcefully, it throws away many levels of safety you felt in your home before. You become paranoid of the cars that seem to drive by slowly in front of your house, become alert at the slightest sound, and maybe even regret that you hadn’t prepared yourself with that state-

Common Core assessments test students


PINE HOLLOW REPORTER Recently, the students within the Mount Diablo Unified School District have been taking the new Common Core field tests. Although these test results will not be shared, the tests will be used to form the official tests that will be taken next year when Common Core standards kick in. In order to prepare the students for the Common Core tests, teachers have had to apply the Common Core standards to the curriculum. For some students this may have been challenging to switch the way they learn. It also may have been challenging for some students to adapt to taking a test on the computer. For good or bad, different students have different opinions on the Common Core tests and standards. In my personal opinion, I think the Common Core standards should have been enforced more at the begin-

ning of the year because it is difficult to switch the way you are learning in the middle of the year. I also believe they should have enforced the standards at the beginning of the year because it was difficult for our teachers to prepare us on standards that would take more than a few days of study. For instance, the math standards for eighth grade Algebra have changed. The Common Core practice test included questions that were not taught in Algebra I. This made it hard for the students who did not understand the material. Eighth grader Sam Buchholz says that there is a lot more work involved with the Common Core tests, but there are less problems to solve, which makes it easier. “The tests aren’t as difficult to adapt to as you would expect. It is easier for me because I have been working on computers all throughout my schooling,” he says. The format of the tests may impact some students, as well. “Taking the tests on the computer was different for each student,” says sixth grader, Melvin Jacobo. “Some students may like the paper tests better. I think they should give students the option on which format they would like to take.” Although the Common Core tests are new and will not be used until next year, there are many differing opinions on

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the new curriculum. Teachers have been changing the way they teach, and students have been changing the way they learn. Although it may be challenging for some, the Common Core tests will provide new and more efficient ways of learning for the students. Many at Pine Hollow Middle School are glad to accept these new

standards and are hoping they receive even more amazing results than they have in previous years of STAR testing. 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

of-the-art alarm system with cameras and sensors. I can say from personal experience that when this happens you are wary of leaving your house, yet you want to run away from it and forget anything ever happened I understand that those of us from Mezcala are not the only ones who have become victims of burglaries in this entire area during these two months. However, it is not merely coincidence that these families are all being targeted. The police and detectives cannot turn their backs on the connections we have found. It is the police’s job to keep our communities safe, and when these situations arise for anyone, it would be comforting to know that they are following through on the investigations. The safety of all of our homes should be a priority, one that the police should focus on more and not shrug off as mere inconclusive cases. Liliana Hernandez is a Senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She loves to read and plans to pursue her interest in writing in the future. Send email to her at

CVCHS seniors stage improvisation fundraiser For their Senior Project, three Clayton Valley Charter High School seniors organized the first CVCHS Improvaganza!, an improv competition between four area high schools: Northgate, Benicia, California and CVCHS. Organizers Megan Coppa, Max Renner and Kyle Metz hope that this successful show, which drew an audience of more than 250, will be enough to carry on with future year-end competitions. Proceeds of this fundraiser, which topped $2,500, are slated to fund a scholarship in the name of Tom Wills, co-founder of the Clayton Arts Academy, and former department head of the drama department. Wills, who retired three years ago, passed away in April, 2013. He inspired students at Clayton Valley High School for more than 30 years, so it is only fitting that he continues to inspire through this new scholarship in his name, the seniors said. Each year the scholarship will be awarded to a deserving CVCHS Arts Academy student to further their education. The money raised came from the $8 admission price, as well as onsite snack sales by fellow CVCHS clubs and sales of a limited-edition t-shirt. The special t-shirts were donated by Clayton resident Sean Boyle of Pacific Advertising Specialty Co.

photo: Diana Barba (CVCHS 2013)

CVCHS IMPROV TEAM & IMPROV-A-GANZA MC. Front Row: Sara Kommer, Ashley Freeman and Veronica Renner. Back Row: Brody Rogers, Megan Coppa (MC), Max Renner and Kyle Metz.

The seniors were able to schedule former CVCHS Improv Team members to come back to help judge the competition. Kyle Newacheck (CVHS ’02), creator, director and actor in the current hit comedy series “Workaholics” on Comedy Central, was one of the judges, along with local San Francisco actor Teddy Spencer (CVHS ‘02), and Kyle’s older brother Mike Metz, Jr. (CVHS ‘04), program director for Corpus Christi Schools. Mike’s writing partner, William Saporito, a Chico State Alumni, was the fourth judge. Megan Coppa and Ryan Metz (CVHS ’09) were the Masters of Ceremony. Benicia took home the

crown with CVCHS as the runner-up. Of course it was never about winning or losing but about raising money for a great cause and for the man who worked so hard for so long to instill a love of the arts into thousands of CVHS students. Megan, Max and Kyle say they “couldn’t have done it” without the help of Jennifer Deangelis and Kevin Cline, Arts Academy upper core teachers and all the volunteers that worked so hard to make this event a huge success. The seniors are looking forward to seeing how their “baby” grows as they hope they have been able to establish a new CVCHS tradition.

Students learn bullying is not OK


MDES REPORTER Have you ever been bullied or has a person you know been bullied before? Everyone can get bullied and anyone can be a bully. Even adults can find themselves in a situation where they are being bullied or bullying someone else. It hurts to be bullied, not only physically, but emotionally as well. Recently Kaiser Permanente’s theater group visited Mt. Diablo Elementary School to perform a skit for the whole school and a special workshop for MDE Student Council and leadership members. Kaiser’s theater group performs skits at schools every year. This program has been around for more than 25 years. The skits they perform can build confidence in children and encourage them to role-play. The skit looked at the repercussions of bullying. Bullies often start because they have been bullied in the past or because of home situations. Bullies think that bullying someone else will resolve their problems. Kaiser’s theater group described different home situations that may have caused the children’s behavior. The type of behavior ended in a bullying situation, such as one child teasing another. This hurt the other child’s feelings. After talking to a trusted teacher, the conflict was resolved. Bullying, whether emotional or physcial, is not okay. It can happen at school, or through social media or even text messages. Even using foul language to describe a person can hurt them. The effects of bullying can become even worse than when the conflict started if nothing is done to stop it. If you or a person you know is being bullied, talk to a trusted teacher or adult to help resolve the situation. Bullying can happen to anyone and anyone can be a bully. Stand up for what is right and don’t be a bully. Bullying doesn’t resolve problems, often times it just makes everything worse.

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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TEEN READS If you think about it, our lives revolve around family. We originate from them, we learn from them, and they (hopefully) are by our sides during our last moments. Unfortunately, some

people aren’t blessed with amazing families. Sadly, that’s the case in “Finding Bliss” by Dina Silver. Chloe Carlyle grew up fatherless and stuck with an alcoholic mother who found joy in ignoring her daughter’s existence. After sobering up (a little), Chloe’s mom becomes somewhat tolerable. In desperate need of some well-deserved recognition, Chloe starts working as a nanny for the Reeds, a busy, hardworking family, and automatically becomes a vital

part of their lives. Chloe has had a schoolgirl crush on Tyler Reed, the renowned Notre Dame quarterback, for as long as she can remember. In hopes that he will eventually notice her, Chloe continues being the caretaker of Sam and Sarah Reed. When the Reeds invite Chloe to come up to their summer beach house in Lake Geneva, Washington, with them for a few weeks, she finally starts to get the kind of attention from Tyler she’d been waiting for, but not exactly the kind

she had anticipated. This novel is filled with mind-blowing plot twists, unbelievable betrayals, and lifechanging events. I assure you that once you finish this masterpiece, you will be begging the author for a sequel. Silver beautifully sculpts the ideas of love, yearning, disappointment and dishonesty into this electric page-turner. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

What’s the story on resale? Q. What should I look for in a home so it is not only a home my family will enjoy living in but as a good investment for resale? Do the number of stories make a difference? A. It sounds like you don’t intend to stay in the house that you buy for the long-term. When that is the case you definitely should look for resale value. Location is and always will be one of the most important factors of resale value. Good public schools in a neighborhood seem to raise property values the most. Other things that raise or keep property values high are neighborhoods with good public transportation; proximity to the freeways; and those predominately owner-occupied as opposed to absentee owners who rent their homes out. The location within a neighborhood is also something to consider: a culde-sac location, a great view or a premium lot that is large, flat and private. The home itself is also important, of course. A good floor plan such as a single-

story is high in demand. These are popular for older home buyers and many young buyers as well. In many neighborhoods there are usually a fraction of single story homes built compared to two-stories. Two-story homes are often preferred by young families, though. Homes that are threestories or more tend to sell for less as they are least popular. Within the floor plan, good indoor-outdoor living, a bed and bath on the main floor and master on the main floor in a two-story home is important. So if you are not planning to stay for the long term and are worried that the housing market is overdue for a correction, these things are especially important. Q. The furniture and accessories in my home are dated and in ratty condition. Should I sell my house vacant? A. If you are thinking of selling your home, imagine yourself as a buyer and force yourself to examine it with a critical eye. I know this can be


REAL ANSWERS overwhelming. You might decide that the only way to deal with all the renewing the house needs is to move out, paint and carpet and sell it vacant. Floor refurbishing and painting are one of the most cost effective improvements you can make to increase your net proceeds. The reason for this is that a first impression plays a big part in getting value out of the home. When buyers walk into a vacant home they feel something is missing. They have trouble visualizing how a room would look furnished. A strategically furnished house creates a more pleasurable viewing experience

and reduces the stress of buying. There is one type of buyer that, whether a home is vacant or staged, couldn’t care less. They are usually engineers, architects or people who can visualize their furniture in an empty space. But it is best to appeal to the larger audience of buyers. You will get more money. Your realtor may offer staging of your home as part of their service. They also can put you in touch with a designer who stages homes for sale. You might be able to remove outdated pieces of yours but leave some in to mix with the stager’s items. The most important rooms to concentrate these staging efforts are the master bedroom, dining room, living room, family room and kitchen. 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.

Ballots are in the mail, deadline is June 3 Ballots for the June 3, 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election were mailed the week of May 5, 2014 to those registered voters who previously requested to be mailed a ballot and to those voters living in precincts designated mail ballot only. Registered voters expecting to receive a ballot and who have not received it by May 14 should call (925) 335-7800, to request a replacement ballot. Elections office encourages voters to return their vote-by-mail ballots as early as possible. Ballots must be received in the Elections Office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, June 3, in order to qualify for counting.

Mayor, from page 1 look back to see if I was following it. I knew that the kids in the bus were aware of what had happened. When we reached the elementary school, I got out and explained to the unknowing bus driver what had happened. One of the school administrators entered the bus and asked if the child responsible would raise his or her hand and come forward. I was doubtful that we would get a ready confession, but to my surprise a small, trembling hand rose above the crowd. A

young, visibly shaken boy came forward to take responsibility for his actions. I was so impressed by this boy’s courage that this incident has stayed with me as an example of character in action. During the months of May, June, and July the character focus of our Do the Right Thing campaign is on Courage. I would love to hear your stories of examples of courage. Feel free to contact me with questions and comments by email at

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Used Book Store at the Clayton Library makes great gift stop The Clayton Community Library Foundation has great gifts for Mother’s or Father’s Day, graduation or any special occasion. Check out the books on the new shelves in the store next to the circulation desk for donated books on sale. Adult books are $1 and children’s books are 50 cents. Look often as books are replenished weekly. Shop ornaments, T-shirts, cookbooks, book bags, handturned wooden earrings and gift cards. Volunteers or staff members are available for assistance. For a personalized gift, Buya-Brick or Buy-a-Book. Bricks are $55 for three lines of

engraving, 20 characters per line. Books are $50 for a book plate bearing the giver’s and receiver’s names for a non-fiction book and $25 for a fiction book. Order forms are available on the library’s website. All proceeds from sales go to the purchase of new materials for the Clayton Community Library. All items are available in the Library during business hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, go to

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Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014

Sports High school titles awarded, on the line this month JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The high school year is rapidly approaching its conclusion but for spring sports athletes and teams they need to remain focused on the task at hand as league, section and state honors are at stake. This is definitely no time for coaches to detect any senioritis. Northgate and Clayton Valley Charter high schools are in the thick of many battles as the Diablo Valley Athletic League baseball, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, tennis, volleyball and golf seasons run their course and North Coast Section playoffs and tournaments take over. BASEBALL The new DVAL baseball playoffs are next week. The top seed was determined this week when Clayton Valley and College Park battled in a home and home series. The Falcons had one league loss heading into the matchups with CVCHS and needed to win both games to claim the No. 1 post over the 21-1 Eagles whose only loss came in the championship game of the Elite 8 tournament in Mountain View against topranked St. Francis. The winner of the DVAL playoffs will get the automatic bid to the NCS playoffs but both teams are assured post-season play, the 16th year in a row for the Eagles. Northgate will also be in the DVAL playoffs with semifinals (#1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3) on Tuesday and the

David Chin photo

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL SET A SCHOOL RECORD with 19 consecutive victories to open the season and it doesn’t take a sabermetrician to see how the Eagles pitching has been critical to the team’s success. The staff had an earned run average under 1.30 with a pair of righthanders, Austin Cannedy (left) and Riley Smith [see photo, page 12], doing yeoman work. Cannedy won his first eight decisions as a starter while Smith has a glossy 0.50 ERA in nine relief appearances. A third senior, Gabe Taylor, playing second base here, is also undefeated as half of the starting rotation with Cannedy.

finals on Thursday. Games will be played on the home field of the higher seeded team. NCS playoffs begin May 2021 and conclude May 30-31. SOFTBALL A surprise 6-5 loss to Berean Christian last week stopped Clayton Valley Charter from clinching a DVAL playoff berth

Sports Shorts 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

DANA HILLS SWIM TEAM REGISTRATION ONGOING Dana Hills Swim Team is still accepting online registrations for the summer recreation season. New members are given the option to sign up for the team on a free, one-week “trial” basis. Dana Hills has won 21 of the past 22 Concord Swim Championships. The Otters time trials are Sunday, May 18, and their first Tri-Meet Saturday, May 31, in Clayton. For additional info and to register, visit

so that the Eagles needed one win in their two games this week with College Park to ensure them a spot in the playoffs where the other teams will be trying to unseat undefeated Concord High. The softball playoffs for both DVAL and NCS mirror those of baseball. The softball playoffs area also new to the

league and add a twist to the season. CVCHS coach Kristin Morley has a relatively young team following in the footsteps of their senior-laden 2013 squad that lost to Concord in the NCS finals. She hopes the full season’s experience will prepare the Eagles for a potential rematch with Concord since the teams met in the opening

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

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.

CLAYTON VALLEY FOOTBALL CAMP JULY 21-24 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

The Heat is on for MDSA U12 girls soccer team

week of the league schedule. TRACK & FIELD Clayton Valley has hopes that the familiar surrounds of Gonsalves Stadium facilities will be the magic touch to bring the Eagles their first DVAL championship in over a decade this Thursday and Saturday. The Eagles edged Northgate in the

boys dual meet last week while the Broncos won the girls dual. In the closely contested boys meet the CVCHS 4x100 meter relay team was led off by sophomore Jordan Velasquez. He had just returned from two weeks on the sidelines due to hip pain. He slowed at about the 60-meter mark and started to hobble with an injury to his right hip. Velasquez continued with a severe limp for the remaining 40 meters to get the baton hand off to Nate Ewing. Coaches estimate the Eagles were at least 30 meters behind Northgate at the first exchange. Ewing made up a sizable portion of the gap and Alex King’s third leg closed the gap. Anchor runner and senior Xavier Crawford not only caught the final runner from Northgate, he ended up winning the race by five meters. Velasquez suffered a season-ending injury but his courage will serve as inspiration to his team in the league and section meets. NCS meets are May 24 and 30-31 before the CIF State finals June 6-7 in Bakersfield. SWIMMING & DIVING The DVAL swimming and diving meet is this Friday and Saturday at College Park. In the final dual meets of the season Northgate swept the boys and girls dual meet with Clayton Valley. The teams will renew their battle at the league met and finally May 15-17 at Concord Community Pool for the NCS championships, which is among

See Titles, page 12

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.

CONCORD CUP XXI SOCCER RETURNS MAY 17-18 The 20th anniversary edition of Concord Cup youth soccer tournament which began in 1994 returns to many local fields May 17-18. Concord Cup is a rare tournament that includes both AYSO and club teams in the under 10 through U19 age groups for boys and girls. Diablo FC, MDSA and Concord AYSO are the host leagues. For the tournament schedule and more information visit AT


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 9 a.m.– 12 noon. Fee is $120 for one session with discounts for multiple weeks. To reserve a baseball school spot or to get more information email


Boys and girls up to 18 years of age (as of June 15) are still being accepted for the Walnut Country Swim Team online at Team time trials are Saturday, May 31. The annual Blue-Orange meet is June 4 and the Stingrays then host Gehringer Gators June 7 in Concord.

SUMMER PROGRAMS REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES Signups are still available for All Out Sports League summer programs at Clayton Gym. Youth basketball (May 31-July 26) and volleyball (May 17-July 12), 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 in May and June. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit

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

Photo courtesy MDSA

THE MDSA HEAT U12 GIRLS HAVE PLACED IN THE TOP THREE at five tournaments this year including titles in the Area 2C/2D Select, Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper and El Palo Alto events. The team includes, front row from left, Samantha Schauman, Lauren Wickham, Micaela Davis, Alana Young, Reagan Bowerbank, Anne Patterson, Leilani Fabriquer; back row, coach Mark Kelly, Alaina Lindsey, Kailee Rice, Caleigh Olgeirson, Morgan Kelly, Giselle Lange and coach Marvin Davis. Not pictured, Farah Anwar. The heat was also second at the PHMSA SoccerFest and third at the San Jose Presidents Cup.

OAKHURST ORCAS SIGNUPS FOR UPCOMING SEASON STILL ACCEPTED Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team is getting ready for team time trials on May 31 and the first dual meet of the season a week later at Springwood in Concord. Registration and information is available at

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •


Page 11

Vince Bruno wrapping up Cal Bears baseball career

Clayton Valley hosts DVAL track and field championship finals Saturday Athletes from all seven Diablo Valley Athletic League high schools will be competing this Thursday and Saturday on the new all-weather track at Clayton Valley Charter at the annual DVAL track and field meet. The Eagles of coach Darren Newell are slight favorites to win the boys title for the first time in over a decade after an undefeated dual meet season capped by a 74-62 victory last week over Northgate. The CVCHS girls were dropped from the unbeaten ranks 80-56 by Northgate. Xavier Crawford (right) has been a mainstay in the sprints and both relays while junior Brianne Newell (center) has been a long jump, relay and 200 meter standout. Senior Anthony Fuentes has been scoring points in the 400 and 800 meters.


Jason Rogers photos

Photo by Michael J. Burns,

CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH GRAD TIM BRUNO is finishing up his senior year at Cal as the Bears try to make a late-season push to qualify for the NCAA Tournament which begins May 30. The Bears final Pac-12 home series is next weekend, May 16-18, against Arizona. Bruno missed last year after hip surgery and has seen lots of action this season in left field. Former CVHS teammates Bruno and Darrel Matthews were part of Cal’s 2011 College World Series team.

It could be a virus, or it could just need a tune-up. Prevent problems caused by viruses and spyware with regular proactive maintenance. Jason Rogers Photos



Donald Sterling - racist, fool and major distraction to NBA TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers: a great NBA playoff series overshadowed by a great misfortune. Instead of being remembered as the back-and-forth, well coached, intense and overall fun-to-watch series, the Warriors-Clippers playoff will be remembered by two words: Donald Sterling. The Warriors and Clippers both played well during the series, but their accomplishments on the court are unfortunately overshadowed by the actions of a racist, selfish owner off the court. On April 29, NBA commissioner Adam Silver officially imposed a lifetime ban on Clip-

pers owner Donald Sterling, who was also fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount the league can fine. Sterling received the lifetime ban because of some extremely racist remarks he made to his girlfriend, which were recorded and leaked to the media. One of his comments in particular said that he didn’t want blacks attending “his” games. Sterling’s remarks were originally published by TMZ Sports and the backlash against him was tremendous. What Sterling said was disgusting and vil, and encompasses more than just sports, it is now a national issue. Groups such as the NAACP have spoken up and taken action against Sterling. He was slated to be awarded a lifetime achievement award, but shortly after his comments were made public the NAACP revoked the offer.

This isn’t the first time that Sterling has had problems involving prejudice and racism. In 2011 he was sued by his former general manager Elgin Baylor for wrongful termination. Baylor said that Sterling, as reported by the Huffington Post, had a “plantation mentality” about the team. The situation with Baylor is just one of many in a long list of racial issues that Donald Sterling has been involved in. It was long overdue for him to face repercussions for his racist behavior. Silver took a swift and strong approach against Sterling and the new commissioner has had nothing but support from players, coaches and owners for his decision. Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was supportive of the stance, and Warriors owner Joe Lacob also tweeted his sup-

port for Silver’s decision. The repercussions to Sterling aren’t over as the NBA owners still have to work force a sale of the Clippers franchise. Sterling is currently the longest tenured owner in the NBA, having owned the Clips since 1981. He reportedly will fight to retain control of ownership rights over the Clippers. With his extensive background in law, it won’t be easy to legally take the team off his hands. Despite the trials ahead, it is important that Sterling loses control of the team. His comments were disgusting and he has no right to own a team in the NBA. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

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Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014

El Niño may bring some wet weather

Are you ready for El Niño? A recent National Weather Service climate forecast indicates that there is a 50 percent chance of an El Niño development by the end of this summer, with a nearly 65 percent probability by the end of this year. El Nino events are part of a large-scale weather phenomenon formally known as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. The three components of ENSO are El Niño, La Niña and ENSO-neutral. To be considered as an offi-

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cient sea surface temperature measurements began. Six episodes are classified as weak, seven as moderate and six as strong. All six strong El Niño events lasted more than one year. Most of the weak events lasted nine months or less. It’s too early to tell what the strength and duration of the upcoming El Niño will be, if in fact one does form. Recent observations indicate that sub-surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific are much warmer than normal. In fact, this warming is very similar

to values observed prior to the 1997-1998 El Niño which is the strongest of the 65-year record. Many people associate El Niño conditions with wet weather in California. Unfortunately that is not always the case. About as many dry years, defined as less than 80 percent of normal rainfall, have followed El Niño events as wet years. Three of the five strong El Niños produced wetter than normal rainfall in our state. All the statistics aside, there are certainly good reasons to hope that an upcoming El Niño

will help break the drought pattern affecting California over the last few winter seasons. One is that the main atmospheric effect of an El Niño is a change in the jet stream. For most of the last year-anda-half the jet stream over the Eastern Pacific and western U.S. has been locked in a pattern that shifts the jet north and builds dry high pressure domes over California. Almost any change in the jet stream pattern would seem to favor an increase in the number of wet weather systems our state receives.

Another reason for hope is the potential for the upcoming event to be similar to the strong 1997-1998 El Niño. Nearly the entire state received above normal rainfall associated with that episode. I think we are all ready for an El Niño, as long as the end result is to close the door on the current drought. Time will tell. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

Titles, from page 10 the very fast ffprep meets in the country.

high School in Santa Rosa. The team section meet is next week.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL Final DVAL matches are this week before placement for NCS is done this Sunday. The section tournaments begin Tuesday and Wednesday with the finals May 23-24 leading into other Northern California championships.

BOYS GOLF Northgate won the DVAL golf tournament team championship with co-medalist Kyle Austin leading the way. College Park’s Dominic Salamone tied Austin as both shot 77 at Boundary Oak in Walnut Creek. Billal Achekzai, Cody Jones (2013 co-medalist), Ethan Helms and Matthew Carter all finished in the top 8 as they won by 30 strokes. Clayton Valley golfers Liam Calkins and Tyler Blazer earned at-large berths to the NCS meet. Coach Jen Moore’s application for the tem to be an at-large entrant was turned down. The Eagles finished third in the DVAL for the second year in a row.

BOYS TENNIS Peter Masters of Northgate made it to the DVAL singles title match but wasn’t able to match former teammate Ryan Nakagawa as league champion. The Clayton Valley Charter duo of Kevin Dong and Jimmy Young won the double crown. The NCS singles and doubles finals are this Friday and Saturday at Cardinal Newman

Little League, AGREEMENT TO SHARE FIELDS Little League International established the Challenger Division in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball. More than 30,000 children participate in Challenger Divisions worldwide and locally CVLL has five Challenger teams that play games among themselves and with teams from neighboring leagues in District 4. On the weekend of April 1213, the high school’s varsity softball coach, Kristin “Mo” Morley, was running a two-day CVCHS College Showcase for girls from eighth grade to juniors in high school. The showcase allowed the girls to be evaluated in a number of skills, similar to what you would see at a pro football combine. The program attracted about 150 players coming from Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon as well as throughout California. Morley has been part of the CVCHS softball program for five years. She also runs a girls softball club, the Bears, which rents the high school fields extensively. On April 1, high school athletic director Amber Lineweaver contacted little league representatives by email requesting they relinquish their permits to use fields on the showcase weekend. By April 4 little league officials were able to reschedule everything set for the on-campus fields except for the Challenger games on Sunday, partially because those games need to be on fields that are ADA complaint. The league suggested that the showcase conclude by 1:30 Sunday in order to solve the field use issue. School and CVLL officials met on Monday, April 7, primarily to discuss a financial settlement for the league to vacate its snack shack and storage building on the high school grounds. A figure of $18,000 was verbally agreed to by both parties. Executive Director Dave Linzey and administrator Pat Middendorf, who oversees CVCHS opera-

from page 1

tions and athletics, were on hand. Representing CVLL were president Kevin Christiansen, VP Kevin Dern and long-time board member David Shuey, a Clayton city council member. It was inevitable that at that pre-scheduled meeting the weekend showcase was discussed and it was agreed again that the Challengers would have use from 2- 4 p.m. of two fields the league designates as Minor B and Major Division. (CVCHS calls the Major Division field its varsity softball field and a third field that CVLL calls Minor A as the junior varsity softball field.) It is not a new relationship. For the past 40 years the little league has developed and maintained those fields. Due to the Title IX issues raised at the end of last year CVCHS spent about $10,000 upgrading the JV softball field before this spring’s season. The expansion of the high school campus by an estimated 500 students for the upcoming school year was proposed early this year to take place where the Minor B and Major (varsity) fields are located. Those plans resulted in CVLL rescheduling many of its practices and games for the current season at other sites due to the uncertainty over the expansion project. That projects has since been shelved by the CVCHS Governing Board for the 2014-15 school year, according to Linzey. COMMUNICATION GAPS ON GAME DAY

The showcase went on as scheduled on Saturday, April 12, with about 40 girls taking part. Sunday’s showcase turnout was nearly triple that with 110 players in attendance. The showcase began at 8 a.m. using both fields. Knowing the size of Sunday’s expected turnout and seeing the actual setup of the showcase, on Saturday evening Morley attempted to contact people she had worked with in the past with the Challenger program. It turns out none of those people are directly involved with CVLL and she never connected with anyone to discuss consolidating or canceling the Challenger games on Sunday.

David Chin Photo


cial El Niño, three month average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific must be at least one-half degree Celsius warmer than normal for a minimum of five consecutive threemonth periods. Cooling trends of similar strength and duration are classified as La Niña episodes. El Niño events vary in strength and duration. Event strength is classified as weak, moderate or strong depending on the highest average temperatures over three consecutive three-month seasons. Weak events are between 0.5 and 1.0 degrees above normal, moderate between 1.0 and 1.5 degrees warmer, or strong if above 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer. According to the National Weather Service, there have been 19 El Niño episodes (and 17 La Niñas) since 1950 when suffi-


A little after 1 p.m. on Sunday, with the showcase well underway, Morley didn’t see a lot of Challenger families or players at the site so she approached some parents in the parking lot. She said she "got the feeling that sometimes there were not as many players as originally anticipated at games" so the high school coach asked if the Challengers could combine their two games onto the smaller Minor B field so the showcase could continue on the two larger softball fields. Eventually as 2 p.m. approached, the Challengers crowd grew. Players and families from five teams (four were scheduled for the two games and another CVLL team, the Cardinals, also came out to take part) arrived. CVLL teams were the A’s #1, A’s #2 and Cardinals. By then Board member Shuey had been called and Jim Brophy, who now manages the A’s #1 and was the driving force behind the league’s Challenger program for nearly 20 years, had phone and in-person discussions with Morley, some of which have been described as heated. Morley told them that she had the authority to move the Challenger program onto the single smaller field if that would accommodate the players on hand so that the softball showcase could be maintained on the two larger fields they had been using all weekend. CVLL REPS 'STEAMING' Eventually the Challengers played only on the Minor B field; the visiting Walnut Creek Giants team left and CVLL officials were left steaming about the move. The league’s board subsequently met, drafted a letter to Linzey and then issued an 850word open letter to all its members and the media outlining how they felt strongly that an agreement made just six days before the Challenger games had “been breached” by the high school. Since then Linzey has met together with Morley, assistant CVCHS softball coach Dave Cooney and Brophy. Both parties remain firm in their versions of the day. Linzey says he and Morley have been preparing a letter to send to CVLL and the

Challenger families. The league says it “cannot move forward” until the incident has been “formally reviewed, acknowledged and accounted for.” Morley says “she feels horrible” about the final outcome. Linzey says he has a pretty good understanding of what happened and that “I’m brokenhearted that the Challenger families had this negative experience. They were entitled to use two fields that day.” He added that he doesn’t believe Morley had any “bad motives’’ when she made her determination that the Challengers would fit on one field. Linzey notes that she discussed the situation at 1:15 p.m. with people she thought were in a position of authority to make a decision about field use. LEAGUE SUPPORTS HIGH SCHOOL EXPANSION The little league board thanked Linzey is its open letter: “We have full confidence in Mr. Linzey as he has demonstrated he is a person of high character who puts the needs of students first.” CVLL says it is “very much behind CVCHS’s continued growth, expansion and ensuring that every student-athlete is able to participate in equal settings.” The little league has tabled discussions about the financial settlement with the school on their move. Christiansen says they have spent more than $30,000 this year preparing, equipping and moving to different fields in Clayton and Concord due to the loss of those on the CVCHS campus. (The school is not charging them for on-campus field use this year due to the timing of the changes.) His board was especially troubled since the agreement and follow up about the Challenger schedule took place only six days before April 13 so that there should not have been any misunderstanding. The conflicting interpretations of what did and should have happened April 13 vary tremendously between the two groups but mending those fences may be even more of a Major League challenge than reconciling the facts of the Challenger incident.

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Scamper on over to Concord Pet Fair The Concord Senior Center and the Contra Costa Humane Society (CCHS) invite animal lovers of all ages to attend the Furry Pet Faire from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 31 at John Baldwin Park on Parkside Drive in Concord, near the dog park. The purpose of the faire is to provide pet adoptions at a multi-generational event and to educate the community on the benefits of having a pet. “We are thrilled to announce that this year we are combining the event with a Maddie’s Pet Adoption Day, where the adoptions are free to qualified homes,” said Concord Senior Center staff member and event organizer Dario Sanchez. “This program is supported by Maddie’s Fund and is the single largest animal adoption event in our area.” The day will feature not only adoptions but activities for the whole family focusing on the importance of pet adoption, care, training, services and the importance of being a responsible pet owner. For more information, contact Sanchez at 925-671-3017, or email or visit

Page 13

Kids and critters make best friends at nature camp

DOODLETON RANCH’S HEAD BELL RINGER leads the campers in a spirited rendition of “Mary Had a Little Goat.”

Set against the rugged backdrop of the east side of the mountain, Doodleton Ranch brings kids and critters together in the woods that border Mt. Diablo State Park. In one-week sessions, kids will connect creatively with nature. Whether hiking with Gizmo the donkey, catching tadpoles, detecting tracks in the mud, or studying a rotten log, campers utilize their senses and hone their ability to see and decipher nature’s offerings. And they have fun. And it’s close. There are five one-week sessions during July and August. Cost is $210 per week. See photos of last year’s camp and the critters

Get Acquainted Offer

FREE Office Visit Exam

of Doodleton at Before and after camp daycare available. For registration form and full brochure, email or call (510) 207-7467.

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.

Pets on Broadway moves to Heather Farm ARF’s annual Pets on Broadway celebration will continue this year a few miles away, at Heather Farm Park on Sunday, May 18. The change of venue is due to the construction at Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza, where the event is usually held, but organizers say it will still be the cat’s meow. The free festival includes a fundraising Pet Walk, adoptions and rescue groups, a Pet Well-

ness Fair, vendor booths, Kid Zone fun and more. At the Pet Walk, participants can help raise funds to meet the organization’s $75,000 goal. Walk with Fido individually, or with friends in a “pack.” If you can’t make it that day, ARF suggests setting up your own unique fundraising event online. The festival will also include a Pet Wellness Fair, as well as a Best Dressed Pet contest. ARF’s

Adoption Mobile will be on hand and other rescue groups will have furry friends of all sizes available for adoption. There will also be grooming booths as well as raffle prizes. Bring a bag of dry cat or dog food for ARF’s FoodShare program and receive a free raffle ticket. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register for the Pet Walk, visit ARF’s website at

Dr. Linda M. Miller 5435 Clayton Road, Ste I Clayton 014/pet-walk.php. For more information, vending booths and sponsorship opportunities, visit the ARF site at

925-672-CATS (2287)

Doodleton Ranch Summer Nature Camp

Off Morgan Territory Road

Hands-on learning with nature as a backdrop  Animal Care  Hiking  Science  Art

Chaco and Faye are ARF’s adoption Stars dren. She is suitable for a first time cat guardian Faye’s adoption fee has been prepaid by a generous donor.


1 1/2-year-old Chaco is a busy guy who has places to go and people to see! He loves to play with toys, chew rawhides, explore the neighborhood, and would probably make an excellent hiking buddy. Chaco is mentally active too, and would benefit from dog sports like


noseworks, tricks training, or work-to-eat “puzzle toys.” We suggest taking him through a Basic Manners class in order to refine his civilized canine act and give him some positive outlets for his energy. He currently weighs 38 pounds Chaco’s adoption fee has

been prepaid by a generous donor. 11-year-old Faye is a gorgeous lady who is affectionate and sociable. She would love to be your new best friend. It is unknown whether Faye has previous experience with chil-

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.

Match program helps low-income buyers at area farmers’ markets The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association is providing more than succulent fruits and vegetables this summer. Once again, PCFMA is offering its Market Match program, giving customers an extra $5 in free produce when they spend at least $10 in the farmers’ market with their CalFresh-EBT card. Market Match will be offered at most farmers’ markets, including Concord and Clayton, beginning in the weeks ahead. Market Match helps lowincome families who rely on the state’s CalFresh program to increase their buying power while purchasing fresh and healthy foods for their families. The PCFMA has been offering Market Match incentives to CalFresh customers in its farmers’ markets since 2009. “The Market Match program is an important way that we serve

the communities in which we operate farmers’ markets,” says Allen Moy, director of community-based programs at PCFMA. “Market Match helps to keep farmers’ markets affordable and accessible for everyone and helps to ensure that all families, regardless of their financial situation, have access to fresh and healthy foods.” The Market Match program also benefits the farmers who sell in PCFMA’s farmers’ markets. As of 2013, CalFresh redemptions have increased by more than 450 percent in PCFMA farmers’ markets that have been in operation since 2009 or earlier. John Silveira, director of PCFMA, says this impact is a big part of why PCFMA is so supportive of Market Match. “Our farmers’ sales to CalFresh customers were over $100,000 greater in 2013 than in

2009,” he says. “As PCFMA exists to support small farmers, supporting the Market Match program is an easy way to support our farmers while also benefiting the communities served by the markets.” In 2013 the PCFMA’s farmers’ markets in Contra Costa County served more than 1,225 CalFresh customers, an increase of 25.2 percent from 2012. Total CalFresh sales were nearly $48,500, while Market Match incentives were more than $10,825. Additional support for the Market Match incentives is provided through a partnership with Fresh Approach, PCFMA’s sister organization, and the financial contributions of Wholesome Wave. Fresh Approach conducts outreach and nutrition education activities to help support the Market Match program and increase its impact in communities served

by PCFMA’s farmers’ markets. For more information on PCFMA’s farmers’ markets, or to find another farmers’ market in your area, please contact PCFMA at 800949-FARM or go to

5 one-week sessions in July & Aug. $210 per week, Before & after camp care available For complete brochure, or to register: email, (510)


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Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014


IN CLAYTON Saturdays Starting May 10 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton.

May 10 Plant Sale Annual plant sale by Clayton Valley Garden Club. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Endeavor Hall parking lot, 6008 Center St., Clayton.

May 9 – 10 “Great Masters”

Red Legged Frog Productions. 2:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

Performed by Diablo Ballet. Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek.

May 26 Memorial Day Civic Remembrance

May 9 – 11 “The Mouse Trap”

Performance by the Walnut Creek Concert Band. 10 a.m. Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Free.

A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm and one of them is a murderer. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $10-$20. 427-1611.

May 30 Hope for the Homeless Benefit Show

May 10, 24 Concerts in the Grove

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

Beginning June 5 Ham Radio Licensing Course

6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

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.

May 17 Art Show Clayton Valley Garden Club Annual Plant Sale, May 10 Local artist Homing Cheung greets guests at this reception displaying his watercolor paintings. Technique demonstrations. Art for sale. 12 – 4 p.m. Sponsored by Paula Johnstone at Mazzei Realty, 6160 Center St., C, Clayton. Free admission. Contact Paula at or 381-8810. Paintings on display all month.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION May 10 Fellowship and Discussion Topic: Spiritual Perspective on the Environment. Speaker: Jeff Price. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686. Sponsored by the Baha’is of Clayton.

May 19 Golf Tournament

Mousetrap opens May 9 in Pittsburg,

Clayton Business and Community Association’s Clayton Classic. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Contact or 672-2272.

May 26 Memorial Day Observance 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.

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

May 9 – 11 Spring Tea Sponsored by the Concord Historical Society at the historic Galindo Home. 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 12:30 p.m. Sunday. 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. $30. Call Kathie for reservations at 686-0430.


May 10 Let’s Get Lost

May 15 – 17 Rummage Sale

Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra featuring guitarist Julio Reyes. 7:30 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $5-$10.

Items for sale include household, electronics, furniture, bedding, tools, jewelry, collectibles, books, movies and CDs. No shoes or clothing for sale. Drawing for gift baskets, specialty food baskets, restaurant gift certificates, valuable services and more. One ticket for $1 or 6 tickets for $5. Do not have to be present to win. Proceeds benefit the church’s general fund. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord. 685-5260.

May 11 Let’s Get Lost Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra featuring guitarist Julio Reyes. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. 943-7469.

May 12 Stroke Support Group Guest speaker Alayne Balke of Fall Prevention Program of Contra Costa County. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Sequoia 1 Meeting Room, John Muir Medical Center, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Free. Contact Ann Dzuna 376-6218.

May 16 – 17 XXCENTRIC

May 17 International Wine Tasting Wine, appetizers, auction, raffle. Benefits C.O.P.E. Family Support Center. 5 – 7:30 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. $45/person, $75/couple. Contact or Joan Carolan at 672-5954.

May 17 Run Malaria Out of Africa

Celebrate Mom and Bay Area music education at the All Area Music Festival featuring performances by Bay Area student musicians. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

May 16, 18 “Winnie-The-Pooh”

Join this 5K fun run/walk to save lives in Africa. CVCHS Senior project for Hayley Herrera. All proceeds go to World Vision to send malaria nets to Africa. 9 a.m. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. $25 adults; $15 kids; includes free T-shirt. Register at Contact Hayley with questions at 219-6732.

A comedy based on the book. Presented by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8-$12.

May 24 Spring Social

May 15 Composting Workshop

May 16 – June 1 “Shipwrecked!”

May 10 MOMDay

Led by Todd Sutton, aka the Waste Sleuth, and hosted by the city of Concord. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. City Council Chamber, Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Drive, Concord. Free. Registration required. Contact Joan Ryan at

Music and Market

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $70. 943-7469.

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.

May 16 – June 21 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

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.

May 22: Concord High Jazz Ensemble

May 17 For the Love of Classical

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

May 10 Fire Recovery Hike

An evening of classical piano and classical guitar. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $7-$15. 427-1611.

May 18 Concert Performed by Diablo Symphony. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$28.

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

May 18 Johan de Meij Live!

May 10 Fire Recovery Hike

Performs with the Contra Costa Wind Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $18-$25.

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

May 11 Butterfly Walk Walk up Mitchell Canyon to Red Road looking for butterflies and flowers. Return via Globe Lily Trail. 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Registration required.

May 18 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 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Juniper Camp Trailhead.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Thru May 11 “Adjusting the Lens” Presented by Company C Contemporary Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$48.

Thru May 11 “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical” Secrets, lies and betrayal are at the center of this hilarious romp inspired by the infamous reality series. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$41.

May 9 Spring Concert Presented by Winds Across the Bay. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12. 9437469.

May 18 Moving On Annual spring concert and reception by the Walnut Creek Chorus. 2 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, 2317 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. $10-$12.

May 18 The Birds and the Bees A flight of fancy of folk, pop, modern and Broadway songs performed by Diablo Women’s Chorale. 4:30 p.m. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. $10-$20.

May 20 Concert Northgate High School performs this Spring Instrumental Music Concert. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $5-$14.75. 943-7469.

May 21 The Beat Goes On Join the Blackhawk Chorus in celebration of music composed in the historical Brill Building in New York City in the 1950s through 1970s. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$28.

May 22 An Evening of Ambrose Bierce Select readings by Butterfield 8 Theatre Company. 8 p.m. Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. Free; donations welcome.

May 25 Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines Multifaceted ensemble of accomplished professionals presented by

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.

Tuesdays Thru May 13 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m.

Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 2 - 3 p.m. Call in advance.

May 12 Clayton Library Book Club Sunny Solomon leads the discussion of “Earth Abides” by George R. Stewart. The book club is open to anyone who would like to join. 7 p.m.

May 15 Gardening Stories and Craft With a special reading from “Where’s Your Grandma Today,” a book about volunteering shared by the Assistance League of Diablo Valley. Ages 3 – 7. 11 a.m. Registration required. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455.

May 14 All Ears Reading Adults with disabilities read to furry friends from ARF. 1 – 2 p.m.

May 19 Movie Monday Come see a rated G or PG movie. Kids 5 – 11. 7 – 8:30 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 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr.

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

3D printing isn’t science fiction


TECH TALK “Computer: tea, Earl Grey, hot.” It seems natural to watch Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star

Trek fame using a “replicator” to make – no, to create – his tea, and it all seems pretty natural on TV or the big screen. Just how far-fetched is it? Has the time come for a replicator? Or is the thought of replicating or creating something embraced only in science fiction? Well, we could say the modern day manifestation of the “Star Trek” replicator is 3D printing. A 3-D printer creates models, shoes, artificial limbs, gun parts, human skin grafts and candy. So, it is a replicator except that rather than pure

energy, it uses a filament. 3D printing is relatively new to consumers, but it has been around for a decade in the private manufacturing sector. The biggest reason you and I don’t own a 3D printer is price. Those

Strong reasons you should embrace strength training Every movement we make — from walking to driving — involves our muscles. Muscles are unique. They have the ability to relax, contract and produce force. They are metabolically active, meaning that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body uses at rest and during exercise. Your muscles are highly responsive to strength training, which helps them to become larger and stronger. Strength training is the process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance for the purpose of strengthening the musculoskeletal system. Regular strength training increases the size and strength of the muscle fibers. It also strengthens the tendons, ligaments and bones. All of these changes have a positive impact on your physical fitness, appearance and metabolism, while reducing the risk of injury and decreasing joint and muscle pain. Muscle is metabolically-active tissue. This means that the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is while at rest. So, strength training is an important component of weight loss and weight maintenance. Follow these four principles of strength training and your guaranteed success. 1. The Tension Principle: The key to developing strength is creating tension within a muscle

(or group of muscles). Tension is created by resistance. Resistance can come from weights (like dumbbells), specially designed strength-training machines, resistance bands or the weight of your own body. There are three methods of resistance: a. Calisthenics (your own body weight): You can use the weight of your own body to develop muscle, but using body weight alone is less effective for developing larger muscles and greater strength. b. Fixed Resistance: This method of resistance provides a constant amount of resistance throughout the full range of motion (ROM) of a strengthtraining exercise. c. Variable Resistance: During exercises with variable resistance, the amount of resistance changes as you move through the range of motion. 2. The Overload Principle: In order to build strength, your muscles must work harder than they are accustomed to. This “overload” will result in increased strength as the body adapts to the stress placed upon it. Everyone begins at a certain level of strength. To become stronger, you must regularly increase the tension (weight or resistance) that your muscles work against, causing them to adapt to a new level. As the muscles respond to an

See Tech Talk, page 19




overload, they will grow in size and strength. 3. The Specificity of Training Principle: This refers to the fact that only the muscle or muscle group you exercise will respond to the demands placed upon it. By regularly doing bicep curls, for example, the muscles involved (biceps) will become larger and stronger, but curls will have no effect on the muscles that are not being trained (such as your legs). Therefore, when strength training, it is important to strengthen all of the major muscle groups. 4. The Detraining Principle: After consistent strength training stops, you will eventually lose the strength that you built up. Without overload or maintenance, muscles will weaken in two weeks or less. This is the basis behind why individuals lose muscle mass as they age — because they are detraining by exercising less frequently. Ilima Heuerman holds fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

Plucky heroine shines in ‘Magnolia City’





tle less strict and if Hetty’s mother wasn’t such an unrepentant social climber. But who can question the motives of love? Hetty’s parents are disapproving of the swaggering young stranger, and Hetty is smitten. When faced with the twin options of an arranged marriage with proper, safe, stuffed-shirt Lamar Rusk — and the ambitious, devil-may-care risk-taking Garrett MacBride, Hetty makes the only choice she can. This doesn’t mean the rest of Hetty’s life is all sunshine and jelly beans. In fact, her marriage is the beginning of one giant cosmic test of her character. Hetty suffers poverty, humiliation and betrayal, but she digs deep to find the stuff she’s really made of. She may have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but Hetty is a survivor. Prohibition may be the

The time is NOW

Call Pete today to sell your home Pete Laurence


Book Review

I can’t think of anything more delicious than diving into the decadence of an historic romance novel – unless of course it is the first novel of a dear friend. Imagine this reviewer’s delight then, in Duncan Alderson’s “Magnolia City” (Kensington, March 2014), set in the landscape of 1920s Texas. Hetty Allen is a heroine easy to love. Not just because she is a hellfire young woman of privilege. Not because she is rumored to be a character based on Alderson’s own mother. Not because she spits in the eye of stuffy oldmoney Houston convention and runs off with the bad boy love of her life, earning herself a disinheritance to boot, but because of all that and more. She has a heart that is true and pure and completely worthy of her man. Add rum – er, tequila – running, flappers, underground jazz clubs, smoking, and dripping Southern Gothic old school duplicity, and you’ve got the adventure of a romance in which to lose yourself. The man in question is Garrett MacBride, or Mac, for short. A refugee from Montana and newly arrived in Texas to become a wildcatter in the oil fields, Mac takes a shine to Hetty right away. And why not? Hetty’s a hottie. But seriously, Mac might not be so tempting, so gloriously mesmerizing, if her parents were a lit-

commercial printers cost $100,000 or more and I would rather have an RV instead of spending that kind of money on a printer. Engineers have been hard at work trying to create a home version of a 3D printer, and they seem to have had some success with an entry level model costing only $800. While 3D printing isn’t a must-have for most people, those of us who like to tinker, invent or prototype an idea can now do it in minutes and on the cheap. Several Wall Street wags are predicting an end to China’s reign of manufacturing. It could happen, but really, not soon because most of you will first need to acquire the printer and the AutoCAD skills to make it a home-user hit.

law of the land and liquor may be the devil’s work, but Hetty knows an opportunity when she sees one. She and Mac become bootleggers and make a handsome living at it. When their business partner is arrested and imprisoned, they turn to make their fortunes in the Texas oilfields. But thwarted there too, Mac reaches the end of his steel and takes off. Hetty does the only thing she can. She can’t return to the manse, so she flees to her aunt, her mother’s sister, for comfort. Cora is an artist with an artist’s temperament, and helps to heal her niece’s wounds. Of the more important discoveries Hetty makes in Cora’s kind hands is the reason that her mother is such a snob, and why her spoiled, lighter-skinned sister is the favorite of the family. True to herself to the end, Hetty makes one last bootlegging venture in order to settle her and Mac’s debts from their oil field disaster. Debts resolved, she takes off in search of the man she loves. It wouldn’t be a romance if Hetty didn’t find Mac in the end. And this is a romance, so guess what? Love, (and a good story) prevail. Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her blog at or send email to her at

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Clayton Pioneer •

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Thur., Fri., Sat., 8:00 pm. May 1-24, Tickets $15 EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St., S.F. (Two blocks from Powell St. BART)

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May 9, 2014

Performing Arts

‘Spelling Bee’ is buzzing with delight How do you spell F-U-N? Center REPertory Company presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” as the final mainstage production of their 2013/2104 Season, running May 17 – June 21. A hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst, “Spelling Bee” chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. A Tony-award winning musical about trying to stand out and fit in at the same time, this riotous musical comedy is guaranteed to have you cachinnating (use it in a sentence, request a definition?). All performances are held at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek in the Margaret Lesher Theatre. For more information go to or call 925.943.SHOW (7469). You can also visit the LCA Ticket Office at 1601 Civic Drive or the Ticket Office Outlets at Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek and the Downtown Walnut Creek Library.

de Meij conducts Wind Symphony finale Contra Costa Wind Symphony presents “Johan de Meij Live!” with a rare Bay Area appearance by the Dutch composer, who will conduct several of his works, including the West Coast premiere of his Symphony No. 4, “Sinfonie der Lieder” (Symphony of Songs) at the May 18 concert at the Lesher Center of the Arts, in Walnut Creek. According to Contra Costa Wind Symphony conductor Duane Carroll, de Meij, who is best known for his Symphony No. 1, “The Lord of the Rings,” is “one of the most recognizable names in the world among composers of music for wind symphony.” Carroll added that Symphony No. 4 was “inspired by a variety of 19th century German poems and premiered last year at the annual Mahler Festival in Dobiacco-Italy.

The first three movements use lyrics from the same source as Gustav Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder,” poems by Friedrich Ruckert. “We are honored to have Johan de Meij and mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein from New York, along with members of the Piedmont Easy Bay Children’s Choir, led by Sue Bohlin, as guest performers with us, and to have the pleasure of giving this work its fourth performance ever — which is the West Coast Premiere,” said Carroll, adding

The Diablo Theatre Company is offering two scholarships for members of its acclaimed Stars 2000 teen theater company, as well as its mainstage performers. The Rhoda Klitsner “Follow Your Dream” Scholarship was established in memory of Rhoda Klitsner, former artistic director of the Diablo Theatre Company. Klitsner, who died April 19, 2003, guided the company for 42 years. This annual scholarship fund helps individuals who love the performing arts follow their own professional theatrical dream. The Aaron Antonali Memorial Scholarship recognizes excellence in the performing arts, technical arts, design and stage management. It is awarded to students who participated in STARS 2000 and are now pursuing their theater arts education at a college, university or vocational school. The deadline to apply for scholarships is May 23, 2014. Visit for more information.

From legendary theatrical innovators Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne, and Franck

Johan Persson

NONHLANHLA KHESWA STARS AS THE WIFE in “The Suit” now at A.C.T. in San Francisco through May 18.

Krawczyk comes the internationally acclaimed music-infused production, “The Suit.” Fresh from sold-out runs in New York, Paris, and London, “The Suit” is a tragic tale of betrayal and resentment adapted from the short story of the same name by South African writer, Can Themba. When a husband catches his beautiful wife in the arms of her lover, the lover flees—but leaves his suit behind. As her penance, the husband makes his wife “treat the suit as an honored guest,” to accompany her wherever she goes. From the dinner table to walks around the neighborhood, the suit becomes a whimsical yet cruel reminder of her infidelity. Traditional African melodies interweave with jazz standards to underscore this simple yet surprising tale, set in Apartheid-era Johannesburg “The Suit” will perform at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco) through May 18. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at or by calling 415.749.2228.

Onstage presents old-fashioned seafaring yarn Onstage Repertory Theatre Company presents “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told by Himself)” May 16 through June 1 at the Martinez Campbell Theater. Written by Donald Margulies, directed by Randall Nott and produced by Helen Means, “Shipwrecked” is a good old-fashioned yarn of high seas and exotic islands about a Victorian gentleman whose colorful past as a seafaring wanderer unfolds and the line between fact and fiction blur. Funny and full of surprises, audiences watch as the small cast creates all of the characters involved, even the dog, in this adult but kid-friendly production. Costume design is by C.C. Cardin and set design by Randall Nott. Tickets are $18 general, seniors $16, students $10. (Thursday, general/seniors bargain price is $12.) They are available by calling 925-518-3277. For more information, visit the Onstage Theatre website at The Martinez Campbell Theatre is located at 636 Ward Street, in Martinez.

“SHIPWRECKED”, ONSTAGE REP’S TALE of the high seas, plays at the Campbell Theatre in Martinez through June 1.


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Tickets for “Johan de Meij Live!” range from $18 to $25, with complimentary tickets for all students. Call the Lesher Center ticket office at 925943-SHOW (7469) or visit The Lesher Center is located at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. For concert details visit the Contra Costa Wind Symphony website at

Innovative staging, haunting music hallmarks of A.C.T.’s ‘The Suit’

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DTC offers scholarships for performers

that the concert is an outstanding way to conclude CCWS’s 20132014 season. Carroll believes Wind Symphony audiences will understand why de Meij is internationally acclaimed. “His work is innovative, and thoroughly accessible. Audiences will hear a symphony influenced by Mahler, the sounds of a polka-like variant in a Swedish folk song and the lilt of an Irish jig in Johan’s arrangement of “Highlights from Riverdance.”

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May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Make an island a paradise

Page 17


Photography 510-677-4170


DESIGN & DÉCOR and useful tools. Whatever your functional needs may be in the kitchen, take time to explore, create and implement a design that will work for you. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at Floating ever so chicly within the open space of your kitchen, the island offers space for all sorts of kitchen activities. Whether you are designing a kitchen from scratch or looking to add an island into your existing kitchen layout, here is some food for thought on creating a functional and, of course, stylish, kitchen island. THE OVERACHIEVER An island can really do it all in terms of kitchen needs. Depending on its size, the island can accommodate any appliance from a prep sink, cook top or range, microwave, dish washer, refrigeration drawer or wine cabinet, to providing a full range of custom storage solutions for various kitchen gadgets and trash and recycle receptacles. If you’re looking to redesign your kitchen, and an island is called for in the plans, really think about what appliances you can incorporate into the design to alleviate the surrounding cabinetry to create open space for anything from food to dishes to pots and pans and so on.

DON’T WASTE REAL ESTATE If you’ve gone through the exciting drama of a kitchen or bathroom remodel, or redecorated one or both of these rooms with new colors and a few building materials, you know that every square inch is valuable real estate. Not only do we want to stretch our dollar as far as possible, we also want every surface, every cabinet and drawer, every nook and cranny to have a functional purpose. A kitchen island should be regarded in this same way. Some kitchen islands are certainly self-sufficient when it comes to the typical tasks that take place within a kitchen, and some kitchen islands have a lesser skill set, but are still an important element to a well-functioning kitchen. Whatever the size of your island is or will be; really think about the purpose of every inch. FUNCTION, FUNCTION, FUNCTION How would you like to use your island? Do you need a dedicated prep space which

would include a new sink? Maybe a breakfast bar for the kids in the morning? How about just extra storage which would also consist of installing that wine refrigerator you’ve been wanting? Some islands do have functional appliances and storage, and then some are truly just decorative accents that have one or two functions. For example, you’ve recently visited an antique fair and you found an amazing, authentic butcherblock table from the 1920s. The block top has been worn down due to continual chopping and dicing, and there are no real storage options, but wow, what a unique centerpiece this will make. Another example would be incorporating an island on castors. Maybe this island is a petite 24-inch square that you roll wherever you need extra counter space when you’re cooking. Or maybe, it’s so significant in size that the castors become more of a design statement and the shelves and counter are full of baskets, housing decorative

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Sunday, May 11 • Two Seatings at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. If you’re looking for a place to go for a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch, come celebrate with mom and all the family at Oakhurst Country Club. Your mother will enjoy our delectable selection of food, drink, and beautiful surroundings as part of her special day. $43++ Adults • $19++ Children (ages 4-12) For reservations, contact (925) 672-9737 ext. 217 |

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

With the hot summer days in our future, gardenlovers should do their plants a favor. They should mulch every square inch of bare and thinning soil areas, as well as planting areas. Mulch helps the ground retain its moisture by protecting its surface from the harsh sun and drying winds. I know that many in Clayton Valley have weekly gardeners that spend their visits blowing the soil clean. This ridiculous practice has robbed our ground of its protective layers. The layers of leaves that have fallen beneath trees and shrubs create topsoil. When “gardeners” blow dirt clean they are really blowing away your topsoil. Topsoil is your plants protective coating. It shelters their roots by keeping the ground cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Now more than ever we should get out and spread whatever type of mulch you are attracted to. Are you a bark person? Shredded bark, micro or medium? Do you prefer spreading topdressing of soil conditioner with a good percentage of red

May 9, 2014

NICOLE HACKETT cedar? Straw? Whatever it is, our landscape, veggie/flower beds, and bare areas would benefit from three-to-four inches of product. Micro bark is the most popular mulch sold. The size is very appealing. Micro bark is available dyed or natural. Dark color barks can create contrast to the plants in the yard; over time the color of the dyed barks washes out with sun and rain. Natural barks start off light and ages darker. Regardless of color, both selections will have to be touched up annually to keep desired thickness. Shredded bark or gorilla hair is a perfect selection for hills, or hilly areas. The shape of the shreds can grip the soil better, preventing frustrating slipping. Slipping is more obvious on soil that hasn’t had mulch applied in years. After time, and layers, you’ll find that the slippage to not be a problem anymore. Straw is an excellent topdressing for our vegetable beds, either raised or in the ground. A thick three-to-four inches of

GARDEN GIRL straw will absolutely help the ground from water loss through evaporation. We want to be able to water our vegetable gardens without as guilt, and using straw will help us. Some folks don’t like the look of traditional bark and mulch. Spreading layers of soil conditioner throughout landscape and garden beds satisfies the plants needs, too. Reapplication of this process is necessary more often. The finer organic matter in soil conditioner allows for faster breakdown. Reapplication can be expensive, so some use this process mostly on the perennial flowerbeds. One final thought regarding the importance of mulching our landscapes: Mulch makes the soil surface darker, preventing many weeds from germinating. Also, weeds that germinate atop mulch are easier to pull. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Club News

Festival of Tables and Fashion Clayton Valley Woman’s Club holds Spring Fundraiser for Local Charities The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club hosted their Ninth Annual Festival of Tables and Fashion on April 26 at Concord United Methodist Church. The event was coordinated by chairperson

Priscilla Manlove and her committee. The attendees enjoyed lunch catered by La Veranda Café of Clayton and were waited on by husbands, sons and friends of club members outfitted handsomely in black slacks, white shirts and black bow ties. Chico’s of Walnut Creek presented the fashion show with five club members modeling a mix of summer fashions.

A silent auction raised funds to benefit local charities and scholarships. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, except July and August, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta way, Concord. For more information, call 672-9448 or go to

CHICO’S ASSOCIATE ELIZABETH JONES, Chico’s Store Manager Kobi Said and club member models Mary Markow, Jean Doward, Linda Pasini, Sheila Driscoll and Carole Gardner shared summer fashions with the guests.

Pioneer Photo Album Natalie Powell took this photo of Mt. Diablo at the Mountaire Parkway trail entrance. “I wanted to dramatically portray the different layers and topographic features of the mountain. We are spoiled with natural beauty in Clayton!” - Natalie Powell

The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Email your photo in a high-resolution format to with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.

May 9, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 19

Boy Scouts ‘wing it’ at Buchanan DAN CONDON Special to the Pioneer

Boy Scout Troop 262, along with parents and some Girl Scouts, got high-flying fun while working on Aviation Merit Badges and welcoming new scouts. The troop called in help from Clayton’s Rich Batchelder, a Pilot Examiner for the F.A.A. who tests and certifies pilots at the Buchanan Airport. He is also an Aviation Merit Badge Counselor. He stepped up and organized the adventure. First, Batchelder put together a detailed syllabus and packet for each of the scouts, who learned about lift, drag, the Bernoulli equation, and practiced charting courses on actual aviation charts. They also learned compass work, chart reading, pre-flight check outs, instruments SCOUT WILLIAM and airplane controls. KATES gives a thumbs up to On Sunday flying April 13, the scouts gathered at the Buchanan Airport for some real fun. First, Batchelder brought the scouts on the tarmac to show them the flight patterns they would be using. A representative from the Concord Airport Fire Department gave them a presentation of fire safety, with a look at the fire engine followed by a discussion of fire suppression , gear and training. He then showed the scouts a display of the incredible range the fire truck can shoot water. The scouts learned that while aviation is very safe, the Buchanan Field Fire Department is constantly preparing for any contingency. The scouts then got a tour of the Control Tower with Kurt


SPENT A DAY AT BUCHANAN AIRPORT working on their Aviation Merit Badges: Back , Keith Branger-Butler, Emma Leong, Barathi Chidambaram , Charlie Pesmark, Charlie Wullenweber, William Kates, Dave Kates, Jackie Hayes, Alexander Leong, Ashley Barrows, Doug McGee, Tony Thongurai, Doug Draper. Front: Garrett McGee, Ethan Butler, Ryan Aparicio, Andrew Pesmark, Daniel Minuk, Glory Minuk, Jon Casson, Nolan Crua, Shane Barrows, Lisa Crua.

Rutledge, the tower supervisor. At least two scouts walked out considering a career as Air Traffic Controllers. The scouts then visited the offices of Pacific State Aviation (PSA). Arthur Thompson, the owner of PSA, is also an Eagle Scout. They then broke into three groups, or stations. Batchelder ran the academic classroom, which was working with the mathematics of flying. The “wind triangle” is a funda-

mental calculation for pilots, using geometry to determine the effect of the direction and force the wind has on where you end up when you fly. It was good for the scouts to see that the math they learn in school is critical. The full motion Flight Simulator station was led by Rashid Yahya, who is the Chief Flight Instructor for PSA. The scouts said it really felt like flying. The third station was on the tarmac, and in the air. First there

Tech Talk, from page 15 There is hope as HewlettPackard readies its entry into the printer market. Mass production will bring prices down and make the printers affordable to everyone. It fits the HP mold as well. Like Gillette (razors), they give away the appliance and make it up on the supplies. HP does that now with ink. (Care to guess what the gross margin is on HP ink? An ink cartridge costs about a dollar to manufacture.) This time, though, HP will make its margin on filament.

Filament is the raw material that feeds the printer. You should think “hot glue gun” when you think of 3D printing. The print head melts the filament so it can be deposited on the object it is printing one layer at a time. “For HP, printers are a highprofit business,” says Basics Media. “It makes sense, therefore, that HP should be leading the innovation in 3D printers. A lot of mostly small companies are at the moment bringing 3D printer products to the market. But the

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was pre-flight inspection of an airplane, and then actually flying a plane. The scouts had help from two flight instructor pilots, Barathi Chidambaram and Doug Draper, as well as assistant Stewart Schuster. The instructors did the take-offs and landings, but the scouts — and a lot of parents — got a chance to take the controls and fly. It was a great experience, and Troop 262 is lucky to be so well supported by our community.

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giants like HP and General Electric are also taking a serious interest in the field. 3D printing will not replace mass manufacturing any time soon; however, it offers specific advantages in certain types of industrial as well as home/personal manufacturing that will lead to growth and commercial availability.” I will keep you updated on the pending release of HP’s first replicator, err, 3D printer. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to


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Page 20

Clayton Pioneer •

May 9, 2014


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May 9 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
May 9 Clayton Pioneer 2014