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November 15, 2019


Director ready for new chapter after 40 years at Food Bank

Concord moves toward cannabis expansion in 2020

DAVID SCHOLZ Correspondent

As Thanksgiving nears, our community can shower welldeserved gratitude on Larry Sly – whose leadership for more than 40 years has helped combat hunger in Contra Costa and Solano counties Soon, the 69-year-old will make a clean break from his role at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and a new executive director will bring fresh insights to carry on the mission. Ahead of those changes, the non-profit faces the biggest demand for its services in November and December, with distribution of holiday meals and groceries in addition to regular food. Each month, 1 in 9 people living in Contra Costa and Solano counties will turn to the Food Bank. Sly anticipates a new executive director by year’s end, and he will fully step away by the end of the first quarter in 2020. The main challenge for the new leader will be helping put together a strategic plan that focuses

See Food Bank, page 7

DAVID SCHOLZ Correspondent

David Scholz

Food Bank Executive Director, Larry Sly, works alongside other volunteers at the Antioch High School site Oct. 26 as part of the twice monthly produce distribution effort for clients in Central Contra Costa County. Sly will step down as director in 2020.

Neighbors move fast as fire threatens homes TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

John Khashabi, center, flanked by Patrick Duggan and Brenna Duggan were honored by the City Council for their aid during the recent Leon fire.

What’s Inside

Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B5

Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . .8 HOLIDAY SECTION . . . . .10

Letter to the Editor . . . . . . . .5 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Next issue, Dec. 13, Deadline, Dec. 4

Three Morgan Territory residents were recognized by the Clayton City Council for their bravery and quick thinking during the recent Leon Fire on Oct. 30. Patrick Duggan, his sister Brenna and Morgan Territory Volunteer Firefighter John Khashabi received kudos from Mayor Tuija Catalano and a standing ovation from a packed house at the Nov. 5 City Council meeting. The fire started around 6 a.m. in a manure pile on a small ranch on Morgan Territory Rd. Pushed by high winds, it spread quickly along the creek and up a steep hill to Leon

Drive, threatening dozens of homes and triggering mandatory evacuations. It was the “perfect storm” of adverse conditions. There was no power that day because of the PG&E Public Safety outage. Cell phone service in the rural area is spotty at best and a tree had fallen earlier that morning on Morgan Territory Rd. blocking the road in both directions. Winds were heavy, gusting to 60 mph. There were two other major fires burning at the same time in Oakley and Bethel Island, taxing the resources of both CalFire and East Contra Costa County Fire. Without Internet, reliable cell service or

See Leon Fire, page 2

The Concord City Council made a few modifications on Nov. 5 to staff recommendations for how cannabis will factor into the community’s future on various commercial fronts. The first quarter of 2020 is the earliest the council will adopt ordinances outlining cannabis rules and regulations. The council’s most notable alteration from the staff input involved deciding to keep retail storefronts out of Todos Santos Plaza when mapping where cannabis businesses can operate in the city. By a slim margin, the council also directed staff to draft regulations to allow up to three recreational storefront licenses. Mayor Carlyn Obringer and Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister voiced the dissenting views among the five-member panel. Obringer said she wanted to receive more information about the experiences of surrounding communities. She also expressed concern about the security for the “cash-basis nature’” of retail cannabis and wondered if the city could revoke licenses in the future. Council members were largely unanimous about additional licenses for storefront non-retail, manufacturing, testing, distribution and delivery. At the same time, they sent a clear message to the industry that the city will dictate terms for those seeking operations in Concord. “It is better for us to be controlling it,” said Councilman Dominic Aliano. For storefront and nonstorefront retail, the council plans a rigorous Request for Proposal (RFP) process that includes police scrutiny, public identification of the site, advance notice to neighbors and a council vote for approval. More than four hours of discussion included public and

See Cannabis, page 7

Clayton 8-year-old pens children’s book KARA NAVOLIO The Pioneer

When Clayton resident Makenzie Lee-Foster (Kenzie) was just 7 years old, the avid reader told her mom, Shakondi Lee, that she wanted to write a book. “I just kept asking my mom if I could write a book, and she kept saying no,” Lee-Foster recalls. Finally her mom conceded,

and together they brainstormed ideas for a book. Kenzie decided to write about following your dreams and doing the hard work that it takes to make them come true. The message is inspired by her own life. The actress, who plays young Deja on the Emmy-nominated TV series “This is Us,” was going on lots of auditions at that time in her life – but not getting any callbacks. The feedback was that she needed to work on her

speech. After already having quite a few acting credits to her name, she began to doubt what was next for her. From this experience came the book “Kickin’ It with Kenzie: What’s Meant for Me Will Be!” Through lively illustrations and text, kids see a young girl who tries out many different dreams, gets discouraged and eventually learns a valuable lesson about the hard work

See Kenzie, page 3

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Clayton walk for suicide prevention – and healing

November 15, 2019

Leon fire, from page 1

landlines, the area was cut off from all communication. Residents were on their own. Patrick Duggan, a former Marine who lives with his parents on Morgan Territory Rd., was leaving for work around 6 a.m. when he spotted the fire. He woke his siblings and parents, Pat and Karen Duggan, and got them out of the house. His sister Brenna dialed 911 as her mother frantically drove through the streets honking to alert neighbors. It was 20 minutes before Brenna reached 911. She drove her younger brother to safety, returning to help her father fight the blaze which had consumed their fence and was threatening their home. Meanwhile, neighbors alerted Khashabi, a Leon Dr. resiMark Ruefenacht dent well-known in the area for his Morgan Territory VolunAbout 50 residents gathered in the Grove park in Clayton for the first “Finding Light in the Darkness” walk in October teer Fire Department. He owns a fire truck and hoses 2017. and is actively raising funds to For Clayton resident Amy tember 2014. She pulled buy more equipment. Callahan, hosting the town’s together a team for AFSP’s “I woke up to someone “Finding Light in the Dark- “Out of the Darkness” walk pounding on my door,” he ness” walk on Nov. 24 is at Lake Merritt less than five said. “I was geared up and out part of her ongoing grief weeks later. She patterned the door in less than a minute.” process. the Clayton event on that The third annual event fundraiser. honors her son, Wyatt Bre“My hope is that through dell, and other locals who raising awareness and eduhave committed suicide. cating people, we will continFamily and friends can meet ue to give hope to others so at 4:30 p.m. in the Grove that another family doesn’t The Census Bureau is park downtown, sharing have to go through the recruiting 2.7 million people to photos of loved ones before heartache and despair that undertake the 2020 Census, the walking about a mile with our family has had to go flashlights. The fundraiser through,” Callahan told the largest peacetime mobilization of citizens to date. benefits the American Foun- Pioneer after the inaugural More than 500,000 census dation for Suicide Prevention Clayton event. takers, called enumerators, (AFSP). Callahan’s 15-year-old To support “Team Wyatt” or will be hired – including in Contra Costa County. In son, an honor student, Eagle create your own team, visit addition, clerical and superviScout and youth leader in his afsp.org/Oakland. sory staff jobs need to be church, took his life in Sepfilled. Pay range is $18.50-$25 an hour. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram These temporary jobs offer flexible hours, excellent pay, paid training and an

As he was leaving his house, Khashabi called Brad Wood, another volunteer, for help. But Wood was stuck behind the CalFire engine blocked by the fallen tree on Morgan Territory Rd. Khashabi turned the siren on and headed towards the glow. The fire had already reached a home high on the hill and flames were licking at the deck and guest house. Within minutes, the blaze was threatening Khashabi’s own property. He could see the fire advancing. “I was winded and tired, and my hoses were spread all over.” Other neighbors began to show up with water trucks and shovels. Residents and CalFire crews cleared the downed tree and multiple agencies responded. At the City Council meeting a grateful Khashabi was quick to acknowledge his neighbors. “It was dark and it was scary,” he said. “But this is how this community is. All the neighbors coming together gives such

a sense of community.” The 48-year-old is a former reserve officer with Concord PD and was once a volunteer firefighter with East Diablo Fire Department, a precursor to East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. Khashabi is actively seeking official recognition as a volunteer fire department but it’s not a simple process. Although his neighbors are enthusiastic, he does not have the support of CalFire or ECCFPD. “In a fire, it’s evacuation first, then fight the fire,” CalFire Deputy Chief Mike Marcucci said. “You can’t just say

you’re a volunteer fire department. There is a lot of training that goes into it—as much as professional firefighters.” Coordinating between agencies is complicated, explains Ross MacCumber, ECCFPD Operations Battalion Chief. “John can be helpful,” he said. “But there may come a time when he is more of a hinderance.” “The Fire department is fantastic, but they can’t always be everywhere at once” Khashabi said, undeterred. “And when a tree goes down, it’s nice to have help on the other side.”

opportunity to work in your community to make certain everyone is counted. Every 10 years for the last 229 years, the U.S. government has conducted a count of every person living in our country. More than $675 billion in federal funding for essential services like daycare, roads, hospitals and education are allocated annually, based on the data collected by the decennial count. In addition, the number of seats each state has in the U.S.

Congress – as well as in state and many local legislatures – is determined by Census data. Getting an accurate count is critical to assuring fair representation and the distribution of funds and services. Census applicants need to be at least 18. Students and retirees are encouraged to apply. Although the work of most census takers won’t begin until March, folks are urged to apply now to allow ample time for the selection process and background

checks before training begins. The bureau is also looking for people who are bilingual in English and other languages spoken within their communities to ensure an accurate count. In some cases, non-citizens who are legal residents of the United States will be hired to fill these important positions.

Spontaneous combustion in a manure pile caused the Leon Fire Oct. 30. This was the second threatening fire in three months for the rural area. Emergency alerts and evacuations are becoming the “new normal” say residents.

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November 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 3

New MDUSD district map creates two open seats in 2020 JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Some voters in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District will take part next November under the trustee area election system just approved by the MDUSD Board. And both of the new areas will have fouryear terms at stake without an incumbent running. After a long process that included multiple public meetings, five board hearings and much demographic research, the board made its final selection Oct. 28. They also unanimously

ratified the sequencing of the election of trustees for the five new areas. The District had to create areas of roughly the same population while adhering to national and state regulations and trying to make each area respecting “communities of interest” and following manmade and natural geographic features as much as possible. The new area trustee elections maintain the policy of staggering seats with two trustees elected one year and the other three trustees two years thereafter. This provides the

Kenzie, from page 1

and patience it takes to figure out your destiny. After some professional editing and about a year of hard work with high schooler Bryce Sweely on the illustrations, the book was ready for production. “I wanted her to self-publish the book, because I wanted her to learn all about running a business,” Lee said. “If she was

going to invest some of her money into this, I wanted her to learn about profit and loss, residual income and how many books she needed to sell to make this a good investment – all the things she would need to understand about how to use her money wisely.” Lee allowed her daughter to use some of the money she has earned from acting but is sav-

Shakondi Lee has encouraged daughter MaKenzie LeeFoster in her endeavors as an actress and author.





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member since 1997, will be up for reelection in 2022. A similar circumstance exists in Area 4 around Northgate High. Brian Lawrence (2020) and Khaund (2022) both live in this area but Lawrence also has announced he’s not running again. The third incumbent not up for election this year, Mason, is in Area 1 for the Mt. Diablo High feeder area. This leaves Area 3 (Ygnacio Valley High feeder area) and Area 5 (Concord High feeder area) without any incumbents and the two areas that will be

choosing new trustees on Nov. 3, 2020, which just happens to also be a Presidential Election Day. Each of the five areas contains one of the district’s five comprehensive high schools. Here is a breakdown of the areas, including cities included and where current trustees live: Trustee Area 1 – Mt. Diablo High includes Bay Point and parts of Concord and Martinez: Mason (2022) Trustee Area 2 – College Park High includes Pleasant Hill and portions of Martinez, Walnut Creek and Concord: Mayo

(2022) and Durkee (2020) Trustee Area 3 – Ygnacio Valley High includes Pacheco and portion of Concord: No incumbent lives in the area Trustee Area 4 – Northgate High includes Clayton and portions of Walnut Creek and Concord: Lawrence (2020) and Khaund (2022) Trustee Area 5 – Concord High includes portion of Concord: No incumbent lives in the area.

ing for college. When Kenzie was 2, friends encouraged Lee to try her in print ads to start a college fund. That served as a jumping off point for more modeling and then acting jobs. Lee has involved her daughter in every decision about the book, from choosing the illustrator to deciding where to print it and how to market it. A book launch party in Los Angeles in September included a dance party, snacks and a raffle. At the event, Kenzie learned that her book won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. She has presented her book to classes at Mt. Diablo Elementary School, where she attended kindergarten and first grade. Her busy acting career now requires homeschooling. She also recently hosted a book signing at the Clayton Library. As an author myself, I had many questions for the young writer: Q: Whom do you admire most? A: My mommy, because she’s always brave and confident and about 10,000 more things.

Q: What are your favorite books? A: “Alice in Wonderland” and the Ada Lace series by Emily Calandrelli. Q: What advice do you have for other kids who want to write a book? A: Follow your dream, be confident, think about your story carefully and stories can come from your real life. Q: What was your favorite acting job? A: I loved “Amazon Hottest Toys” because I got to play with some cool toys. I also like the Toyota commercial (Super Bowl 2019 with Toni Harris) because I got to tackle some boys. Q: Tell me about your experience playing young Deja on “This is Us.” A: I’ve done three episodes so far. I don’t get to watch the show though, because it’s too sad. My mom went crazy when I got to do a scene with Pam Grier. Q: What does the future hold? A: I want to help people, especially the homeless and people who are less fortunate. I want to be a scientist. I want

to make a time machine to go back and forward. And I want to invent a robot refrigerator that makes any food you want and brings it to you. She will also star in a new kids TV show coming out in 2020. As Kenzie puts it so wisely: “Follow your dreams. Never give up. Chose the right path

no matter how hard it is.”

To see the district map, go to the Schools section on our website, PioneerPublishers.com.

Buy “Kickin’ It with Kenzie” online at kickingitwithkenzie.com. See her on her YouTube channel where she shares science experiments and fun adventures, and an Instagram account (makenzieleefoster) with information about future author appearances in the Bay Area.

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board with a level of consistency in process, rather than having all five seats open in one year. Linda Mayo, Cherise Khaund and Debra Mason were elected to seats last year for terms expiring in 2022. They are protected as “at-large” representatives on the board through the end of their terms. Mayo and current board president Joanne Durkee both reside in the new Trustee Area 2, generally in the College Park High feeder area. Durkee had already announced she would not be running for reelection so Mayo, the longest tenured board



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Convenient location — Near schools, shopping and easy freeway access, this well maintained 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home shows pride of ownership. Approx. 1.979 square foot 2 story with dual pane windows and fresh paint. Large lot with view of the hills and unlimited possibilities.

Congratulations to Heather Donovan (previously Heather Gray) She and Spencer eloped on Oct. 1 to Big Sur. Heather has been a Realtor with our team for 20 years and we look forward to many more.

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Page 4

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November 15, 2019

Clayton Museum Serving our Local Community since 1977

Visit the Clayton Museum through Dec. 22 for a chance to win a DCpowered electric train set. The Clayton Historical Society (CHS) is raffling off the new Bachmann BNSF Rail Chief HO-scale train set, valued at $245. The set includes an oval track, power pack, BNSF diesel locomotive, rail cars, signal bridge, telegraph poles, signage and figures. Proceeds will benefit the CHS Museum Educational Garden Signage Project. Jim Anthony, owner of Just Trains model train store in Concord, is sponsoring the raffle, along with CHS director Steve Lane. The drawing is in con-“junction” with the 150th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit Utah, site of the famous May 10, 1869, Meeting of the Rails/Golden Spike celebration.

While at the museum, see the exhibit “Remembering the Great War: A Community Event” and learn about Clayton’s history – including the trains that ran through the Clayton Valley and adjacent hills. Visitors can also see an operating HO-scale holiday model train display around the Christmas tree and get a free railroad book. The museum gift shop features unique, Claytonthemed gifts, along with Bay Point and Clayton Railroad T-shirts, train whistles and train schedules. Raffle tickets are $3.50 or three for $10. They can be purchased during museum hours of 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays or at the online gift shop at claytonhistory.org. The drawing will take place at 3 p.m. Dec. 22. You do not need to be present to win.

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port, or do not support, that position. During my discussions with groups or individuals regarding some particular issue, I have often found that it is futile to try to persuade people as to the validity of my position by providing what I thought were very good reasons supporting my opinion. The reason for this, as I have EDI BIRSAN now learned, is that the points or facts important or relevant PULSE OF to me regarding an issue may CONCORD not be important or relevant to them. Contrariness, or basic In basing my arguments reflexive oppositionalism, on what I thought would runs strong in my family. change or sway their minds, I I often joke that I inherit- ignored or was unaware of ed it from my daughter when the fact that their own posishe was a teenager. (Thank tions regarding the issues may goodness those years were left be rooted strongly in some in the last century.) other set of facts or beliefs This same contrariness that remains hidden. often manifests when I listen Take a hypothetical 14to people lay out the underly- story housing project proing reasoning for their posiposed for downtown. Some of tion on an issue. In my conthe expected objections might versations, I try to determine include that there are not not only the basic facts, enough parking spaces probeliefs or logic behind the posed, it would increase traffic position they are taking, but and it is not in an area zoned also what it would take for the for a residential building. person to change their posiBecause of the factual tion. nature of these objections, I sometimes find that I do they can be addressed, mitithis to myself as well. In gated or minimized by some mulling over a problem or achievable means. The traffic issue, I practice jumping to and parking issues could be conclusions – quickly staking mitigated by restricting the out a position. I then go into building to senior housing, opposition mode, thinking since it is known that seniors more critically about the prob- who live in apartments have lem or issue and examining low car ownership and usage. what actual facts or logic sup- The zoning issue could be

www.LeighKlockHomes.com 115 La Encinal

mitigated by rezoning the property, or rewriting the zoning code to accommodate senior housing. However, if someone’s underlying opposition to the project rests on their belief that a 14-story building simply does not fit the image of the downtown, then there would be nothing in the way of facts that would change their opinion. This exact scenario happened about 30 years ago, and we now have a 14-story and an eight-story senior residential apartment building directly off Todos Santos Square in the northwest corner at Grant and Salvio. Knowing in advance the underlying basis of someone’s position – whether it is based on facts or beliefs – would help clarify the tipping point in their argument. That would allow one to address the actual basis of their position rather than wasting time arguing from one’s own point of view, all with the goal of getting them to change their position. This approach also forces one to go through an exercise in separating emotional issues, i.e., beliefs, from factual, datadriven positions. In most cases, emotional, value-driven reasons based on a belief system are irrefutable. This is the case with many positions based on faith, e.g., “God said it. I believe it. End of discussion.”

See Pulse, page 6



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November 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Stop by Tamales & Bike Fest before Concord tree lighting

Daylight Savings Time ended earlier this month, which means drivers and cyclists need to watch out for each other on the roads during the busy evening commute. Bike Concord would like to remind cyclists to break out your neon, reflective or bright-colored safety gear, along with lights mounted to bicycle frames and helmets. And drivers, thank you for sharing the road. Please be extra vigilant for cyclists on the road and double-check your blind spots before making turns or changing lanes. It may be getting dark and chilly as we move into winter, but there are plenty of cycling activities to keep you engaged

– including the 5th annual Tamales & Bike Fest, a fundraiser for Bike Concord. Join us 3-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord. Come early to purchase a tamale plate, snap a selfie in our holiday selfie booth with Santa, decorate your bike and purchase raffle tickets for some fun prizes. Santa will make his grand entrance at 4 p.m. on a fire truck, followed by entertainment and the city of Concord’s tree lighting celebration. There will also be some custom cruiser bicycles on display at Tamale Fest this year. We’d love to have you join us to celebrate the holiday season. Bring your bikes, fam-

Page 5

Letter to the Editor

1. Why do city council members believe that a stadium would benefit residents? ily and friends. The event is 2. Why do so many ConMany Concord residents BART accessible, and we will cord residents oppose the staare unaware that the city host our free and secure Bike dium? council favors building a Valet service. Please email 3. Is it more important to large soccer stadium in the info@bikeconcord.org with preserve the small town feel downtown area. However, MARYAM ROBERTS questions. and security of Todos Santos polls conducted at Todos Meanwhile, Contra Costa BIKE CONCORD plaza, or is it more important Santos Plaza indicate that County is in the process of the vast majority of Concord to draw thousands of nonrevising its General Plan, and residents to the downtown residents oppose this plan. your input is needed. The BART/Contra Costa Centre, area? If the name of our fair General Plan is the master for example. 4. If a stadium is deemed city has any meaning, we document that guides zoning, Visit envisioncontracosbeneficial to Concord, is it should be able to find a transportation, development, ta2040.org and click to the possible to re-purpose the solution without assuming conservation and other major online Briefing Book to view the worst of those with Concord Pavilion for that use? decisions in our community. detailed maps (such as Com5. If agreement cannot be whom we disagree. This The county’s “constitumunity Health). Imagine what means asking questions found, should the city council tion” hasn’t been substantially you want the future of the follow the wishes of the resirather than slinging accusaupdated since 1991, and zon- county to be and leave your tions: Consider the following dents or should they pursue ing hasn’t had a major overcomments. This is your the stadium against the wishes questions as a good faith haul since 1947. You may pass opportunity to provide input. effort to understand the of the residents? through unincorporated counJoel Matthews, PhD. issues. ty land daily without even Roberts is a volunteer with Bike Concord Resident knowing it – Pleasant Hill Concord.

Holiday mishap part of Naval station’s history

Navy officials weren’t sure whether he was a super-spy or Santa Claus. This was Dec. 6, mind you. CAROL LONGSHORE As the Oakland Tribune reported on Dec. 9, 1966, YESTERYEAR Berry’s golden blue gondola was trailing a 30-foot sign While reading John reading “holiday magic” when Keibel’s book “Behind the it plopped down behind the Barbed Wire: History of Naval Weapons Station Con- military fences during a piccord,” I ran across an interest- ture-taking tour of the Coning event that happened there cord area. Navy guards hustled over in 1966. to the balloon and at first Remember, the war was were inclined to say “Hi, going on in Vietnam and the Santa.” But they lost their station was very active. So it good cheer when they spotted was quite unexpected when cameras dangling around hot air balloonist William Berry’s neck. Navy brows furBerry made an unscheduled landing at the highly restricted rowed even further when they discovered Berry had a pasweapons station – wearing a bright red jumpsuit. Flustered senger, also a cameraman,

identified as Dieter Gaebler, with credentials that showed he was born in east Germany. Officials alerted the FBI and the Contra Costa Sheriff ’s Office and hustled Berry and Gaebler into the Navy security shack, where the balloonist began some rapid-fire explanations. Berry said that he and Gaebler, a Munich photographer “along for the ride,” were getting aerial shots of the Concord area for a magazine. They had taken off from the Concord Inn, the hottest place to stay in Concord at the time, before noon. Berry said he didn’t want to fly over the classified weapons station, but naughty winds swept him over anyway.

In October, the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) worked with partner shelters evacuating during the Kincade Fire. Following the harrowing tales of families not allowed to evacuate with pets during Hurricane Katrina, 30 states now have laws and/or disaster plans that provide for evacuation, rescue and recovery of animals. The recent natural disasters should remind us all to have pet evacuation plans. The best precaution you can take is to have your pet microchipped. Should you

take pets to any veterinarian’s office for the quick, non-surgical procedure. After the insertion, complete registration either online or by mail. If you microchipped your pet years ago, remember to keep your contact information up to date. Pet guardians should consider a pet emergency kit an essential part of their family’s disaster preparedness plans. At minimum, this kit should include a few days’ worth of food, bottled water, litter or sanitation bags, a spare leash

He said the winds were blowing him toward a hill he didn’t feel he should try to climb. So he had no choice but to nest amid the station’s grass-covered ammunition storage igloos. After a few hours of query, Berry’s story was so incredible they believed him. He was released and allowed to truck his balloon off the grounds. As you can imagine, everyone got a good laugh and a great story to tell.

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

Have a disaster plan that includes pets

or harness and any medications. This is also a great location to keep a copy of veterinary records, microchip information and photos of your pet. Don’t forget to also add some favorite treats, fun toys, and a blanket or towel that smells like home. ELENA BICKER Transporting an animal during an emergency often ARF NOTES proves the greatest challenge, especially if a frightened pet become separated, microchiponly associates a crate or carriping speeds up reunion times. er with trips to the vet. IncorARF microchips all animals porating crates into a houseprior to adoption, but you can hold area around your pet builds familiarity. This is especially helpful for cats, which form strong attachments to their environments and feel the most stress leaving their comfort zones. Keeping a bag happily joins her siblings for of treats with your crate for playtime. She is looking for a enticement is helpful. Plan quiet home with loving ahead for how to load animals adopters that can help her and other essential items into build confidence and come your vehicle so you’re not out of her shell. frustrated in a crisis. The adoption fee for kitFinally, your greatest asset tens under 6 months is $125 during a disaster is a plan. or two for $200; for adult cats Determine who will evacuate is $75 or two for $100, and your pet in an emergency if for senior cats 7 years and you’re not home. Don’t forget over is $50. to discuss where you will meet Meet your forever friend at in case communication is Tony La Russa’s Animal Resdown. Also, consider where BELLE MINNIE cue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell you can stay or board your pet be a great match for just about Drive, Walnut Creek, during Five-year-old Belle is a long-term if needed. adoption hours Wed. and any type of home. pleasant, laid-back lady with a Planning for a disaster may The adoption fee for pup- Thurs. noon to 6 p.m; Fri., very positive outlook on life. be daunting, but it can also noon to 7 p.m; Sat. and Sun. This thoroughly charming gal is pies under 6 months is $300; bring peace of mind. Make for adult dogs is $250; for sen- noon to 6 p.m. a definite people-pleaser who certain that your entire family Would you like to be part of ior dogs 7 years and over is loves exploring the outdoors – including your pets – is $125, and includes a discount the heroic team that saves the lives ready to leave at a moment’s and socializing with friendly of rescued dogs and cats? Can you on the first six-week session humans and pups alike. She’s notice. share your talents to connect people of a manners class. also got a bit of a silly side, as Learn more to be prepared Seven-month-old Minnie is and animals? ARF volunteers are at arflife.org. you’ll no doubt discover when a sweet kitty with curious eyes making a difference. For more you see her romping around that are mesmerized by all the information see our website, Elena Bicker is the Executive Director with a few of her furrier friends. Belle is an affectionate, excitement around her. Once www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256- of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 2561ARF. she feels safe and secure, she well-rounded dog who would

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Sponsored Content

Gigi Chen

Each year, about 230,000 U.S. patients are diagnosed with lung cancer and more than 140,000 patients die of lung cancer – making lung cancer the leading cause of cancer deaths. We are beginning to see a decline in lung cancer deaths in both men and women due to a decrease in smoking. The main risk factor for lung can-

November 15, 2019

New testing, treatments advance lung cancer approach cer is cigarette smoking. Other risk factors include prior radiation therapy and environmental toxins such as asbestos and radon. Previously, lung cancer was mainly diagnosed based on symptoms. Chest X-ray screening has not shown to improve survival. However, the National Lung Screening Trial compared CT screening to chest X-rays and saw a 20 percent decrease in lung cancer mortality in heavy smokers who were screened annually for three years. As a result, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has agreed to cover the cost of CT screening in approved programs for those age 55 to 77 who have a 30 pack-year smoking history, and if they have quit, have

done so within 15 years. The goal is to screen high-risk patients and diagnose lung cancer at an early stage to improve survival. The most common symptoms at diagnosis include cough, shortness of breath, pain and weight loss. Once lung cancer is diagnosed, patient will have additional imaging to evaluate the extent of cancer involvement. A patient with stage I or II cancer will usually undergo surgery to remove the lung cancer. After surgery, depending on the pathology result, additional treatment such as chemotherapy may be recommended. For patients with early stage lung cancer who are not able to undergo surgery, radiation may be an alternative method of treat-

dents are already raising chickens in town. “I get regular comments, at least one a week, that say: ‘Why can’t we have chickens? When are you going to let us have chickens legally?’ And these are mostly from folks who went ahead and did it,” said Councilwoman Julie Pierce. Councilman CW Wolfe asked if those who already

have hens and coops will be grandfathererd in under the new ordinance, but interim Community Development Director David Woltering said that is not the plan. Interim city manager Joseph Sbranti emphasized that enforcement would be complaint-driven. “If neighbors are getting along well, we’re not going to go out seeking areas where

ment. For patients with stage III disease, a combined approach using chemotherapy and radiation concurrently is generally preferred. Immunotherapy can be used after that if there is no growth of cancer. There also may be surgery in selected patients. For patients with stage IV disease, we generally offer systemic therapy. There have been many new development in the last few years in the treatment of advanced lung cancer. Therefore, we are able to offer a more personalized approach to treatment. For some patients, we may be able to find a driver mutation that causes cancer to grow, such as EGFR, ALK fusion, BRAF, ROS-1 or NTRK. As a result, we offer these

Many Faces of Lung Cancer

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patient oral medicine that specifically targets the driver mutation and, therefore, shrinks the cancer. A number of new targets are under investigation, including MET abnormality and RET rearrangement. Another exciting major advance in treatment is immunotherapy. Patients without a drive mutation may be candidates for immunotherapy alone if tumor PDL-1 expression is 50 percent or higher, or a combination of

chemotherapy and immunotherapy if PDL-1 is less than 50 percent. In addition, maintaining an active lifestyle as well as good nutrition are important aspects of cancer treatment.

and saw some chat on social media overwhelmingly supporting the idea that we allow chickens in this rural community of Clayton,” Wolfe said. “It’s time we do this,” Pierce said. “It has become far more commonplace throughout the county.” Clayton has been one of only three cities in Contra Costa County that don’t allow hens in single-family residential areas. Rules in neighboring Concord accommodate up to 12 hens, depending on lot size.

complicated, but the lawsuits are not,” noted Councilman Jeff Wan. “Purely based on a risk-avoidance focus, I think that decision is pretty easy to make. It’s gonna be more work, sorry about that, but I think it’s worth it.” In a report to the council, Sbranti estimated the fiscal impact at $25,000 a year. This includes alternative weed prevention methods such as hand pulling, cutting weeds at ground level, and using pre-emergents and organic weed and grass killers. In spring 2021, staff will report back to the council on the status of city landscaping. “It is anticipated that weed control may be less effective and result in more unsightly weeds in public areas,” Sbranti wrote in the staff report. “The actual impacts would be more easily quantifiable after a period of time when staff has had one or more grow seasons to experience maintenance without glyphosate.” Resident Brian Buddell spoke in favor of the ban, noting that he brought the issue to the council’s attention earlier this year. He said many regional agencies with land around Clayton have also banned the substance – including the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and the East Bay Regional Park District. The city of Concord does not use the chemical in right of ways or open spaces from November-March, according to Jennifer Ortega, Community Relations manager. “When we do use the chemical in open spaces or at trail heads, we post a notice,” she said.

Dr. Gigi Chen is a medical oncologist and hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. She has extensive experience treating lung and gynecologic cancers and sees patients in Pleasant Hill, Rossmoor and San Ramon.

Clayton OKs chickens but no roosters; bans Roundup BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

With nods to Mother Earth, the Clayton City Council voted 5-0 on Nov. 5 to allow residents to keep up to 10 hens – while banning the use of glyphosate on city property at a previous meeting. Several council members acknowledged that many resi-

there may be someone that is out of compliance. But if someone does complain, this would be the guidelines that we are holding them to,” Sbranti told the council. The staff report indicated that “the current level of code enforcement would be sufficient to enforce the standards.” The council is expected to finalize the ordinance on Nov. 19, and it will take effect 30 days after that. The plan allows for up to 10 hens – no roosters – with one hen per 1,000 sq. ft. The rules apply only to singlefamily homes in residential neighborhoods and in Planned Development Districts. Enclosures can be up to 100 sq. ft. in area and 8 feet in height. The original proposal called for a max of 12 feet, but the Planning Commission recommended lowering the height long resident for 53 years. (I working together with them in to limit neighbor views. To accommodate smaller know, I don’t look that old.) the future. lots, the planning board also But in my new role, I have I would also like to suggested 10-foot setbacks been able to see Concord acknowledge the Visit Confrom rear and side property through a different lens – that cord team, the chamber board lines – instead of the 20 feet of the Concord business of directors and the Concord proposed by city staff. Any owner. I have had the pleasure City Council for all the supenclosure must be 50 feet from of meeting dozens of champort they provide to us at the the front property line. ber members and Concord chamber. “I think the Planning Comresidents, ranging from longI encourage you to reach mission recommendation balterm members such as Don out to anyone of us at the ances the opportunity for and Bea of Ouimet Brothers chamber, and I look forward property owners to keep a Funeral Chapel to relatively to connecting with you at one small number of hens for new members like Jacob of the chamber’s many funchobby purposes and, at the Hoseny at BurgerIM. tions and events. same time, mitigates potential I am fortunate to be joinWe can be reached in pering an organization where son at our office at 2280 Dia- impacts to neighbors,” said Woltering. long- and short-term business mond Blvd., Suite 200, ConAlthough no residents members demonstrate identi- cord, or at 925-685-1181. spoke at the meeting about the cal enthusiasm for their Learn more about what the ordinance, several council involvement with the chamber Concord Chamber offers members said they’ve heard and the appreciation for the businesses, our events and positive feedback. value it provides local busihow we can work together at “I’ve received several emails nesses. concordchamber.com. The staff at the chamber, Kevin Cabral is the president Melissa, Amanda and William, and CEO of the Greater Concord work in service to our memChamber of Commerce. Email bers and have proven incredi- comments to kcabral@concordble worthy. I look forward to chamber.com.

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Pulse, from page 4

tems behind their arguments leaves you shooting in the dark and puts the other perAnother way of putting this is: change their mind, the imme- son on the defense. I have found it better to “My mind’s made up. Don’t diate response is typically: bother me with your facts.” “Like what?” Going down this simply leave the question In these kinds of discusroad often leads to dead ends hanging, with a comment like: “I cannot read your mind, and sions, I have found that if you and accomplishes little, since only you know what could ask what it would take to not knowing the belief syschange your mind.” This is also something that is good to practice on oneself. When you have a strong opinion on something, determine through disciplined self-introspection whether your opinion is based on belief and emo925-381-3757 tion or on facts and data. Do not be afraid to recognize when an emotional or nondata component drives your view. Such views are not necessarily wrong. But in the end, when it comes to irreconcilable differences in opinion, it is sometimes best to agree to disagree and not get bogged down in arguments when there is no Design/Build Experts Specializing in chance to change anyone’s mind. ü Landscape ü Pergolas ü Retaining Walls Lic.# 958849


NO MORE ROUNDUP With its new ban on glyphosate, the city of Clayton joins government agencies around the world that have stopped using the weed killer in Roundup. In 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans.” In the past several months, Clayton had already limited applications to areas where pedestrians are unlikely to be found – such as steep hillsides adjacent to roads and road median areas. The city stopped using the product entirely last month, anticipating the council’s Oct. 15 vote to ban it for 18 months. Councilman Jim Diaz was among those who talked about pending lawsuits regarding glyphosate – although not specifically in Clayton. “I can’t go very far on television without seeing some law firm that is soliciting people to come forth if they’ve had a negative experience. I’m glad to hear the city has stopped using it,” Diaz said. “When I look at the evidence, the science is somewhat

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Please send comments to EdiBirsan@gmail.com or call 510812-8180.

November 15, 2019

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Cannabis, from page 1

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council input that city staff can evaluate as work continues in the coming months. “Our next steps are to take the development code to the Planning Commission and then return to the council with both the cannabis code and the development code amendments,” said city manager Valerie Baron. “Given the amount of feedback and direction we received, we don’t yet have an exact timeline.” A council standing committee, headed by the mayor and vice mayor, will work on RFP language for the council to review. Aliano and Hoffmeister defended city staff, whom some called paid lobbyists working for the cannabis industry with ulterior motives for their recommendations. There was also much scrutiny and even a harsh rebuke of the overlay map for the city’s three cannabis districts – West, North and Downtown – due to apparent inaccuracies and missing information related to sensitive use locations that determine where different cannabis businesses could locate. “The consultant gave wrong and bogus information,” Hoffmeister said. “My confidence level is not real comfortable.” Staff said every effort will be made to ensure that sensitive use locations will be identified, whether by city personnel or the applicants themselves. Applications from those seeking licenses “would be (determined) invalid if they don’t give correct informa-

tion,” Barone said. Public comment seemed split between those who thought council members had lost their minds to even consider “the slippery slope” of cannabis expansion and speakers who see it as a viable industry and said the council was taking a thoughtful approach. Many were willing to share their knowledge with city staff, and proponents with business interests encouraged the elected officials to visit their operations. Stephanie Siri, a 32-year-resident of Concord, was among those adamantly opposed. “I fear we’ll become a very different city if approved.” Aliano said residents should “have faith” that the city will act in the community’s best interest, specifically the youth. Concord resident Mike McDermott, who is opposed to recreational sales, was at least pleased that the city defined a retail zone mostly on the west side of town – away from most homes and schools – and that taxes were not a motivating factor. Obringer questioned if cannabis was a way to solve the city’s budget woes, to which Barone called future revenue to the city “not significant.” Councilman Edi Birsan, who represented the most progressive voice on the cannabis issue, noted there will always be 30 percent opposition to this issue. He said it is critical that those who disagree find common ground. This happens “when we begin respecting and understanding each other,” he added.

California anxiously awaits rainy season Although the winds inside the jet stream can exceed several hundred miles per hour, the wave pattern itself typically progresses from west to east very slowly. The corresponding winter weather pattern under a moving polar jet stream wave would be periods of wet and dry weather. WOODY WHITLATCH There are times, however, WEATHER WORDS when the jet stream waves remain stationary over parts For the second consecuof the globe. This type of tive year, the beginning of ridge is known as a blocking the California Water Year has ridge. been excessively dry. For the last several weeks, The lack of early fall pre- a stationary jet stream ridge cipitation is a primary factor has been parked over the contributing to the extreme West Coast – blocking wildfire fire conditions that potential storm systems from continue into November. the Pacific from reaching us. When will the seasonal As a result, Bay Area rainfall storm systems finally reach totals for October and the the Bay Area? Like many weather forecast questions, jet stream wind patterns hold the answer. A jet stream is a band of strong winds in the upper levels of the troposphere, on increasing food distribution, the lowest layer of earth’s creating new partnerships with atmosphere. The fastest winds in the jet are concen- organizations and solidifying disaster response. trated 6-10 miles above the surface of the earth. FROM INFANCY TO The two distinct jet $11 MILLION streams in the Northern What began with one borHemisphere are known as rowed truck and one pickup polar and subtropical. truck distributing 30,000 pounds Although the subtropical jet of food and a couple of staffers can sometimes affect Califorthe first year has grown into an nia weather, our day-to-day organization annually distributweather conditions are usualing 25 million pounds of food ly associated with the polar per year. Eighty employees and jet stream pattern. thousands of volunteers giving Due to geography, the earth’s rotation and differen- more than 100,000 hours (the tial surface heating patterns, equivalent of 57 full-time polar jet winds follow wave- staffers) fulfill a variety of vital like trajectories as they circle roles. And there’s now a fleet of 18 trucks, with a fourth specialthe globe. A jet stream ized produce delivery truck ridge/trough couplet can enroute. extend for thousands of Operating budget in the early miles. days was a pittance compared to As a general rule, jet the $11 million needed today to stream ridges are areas of serve the ongoing need. Each downward air currents, high year, the organization must raise pressure at the earth’s surat least $6 million to support face and dry weather. Jet operations. The balance comes stream troughs correspond from grants, corporate, governto lower surface pressures, upward air currents and wet- mental and community group sources. ter weather.

first part of November are near zero. The bad news is that wildland fire dangers will persist until the rains come. The good news is that a dry beginning to our rainy season does not mean that the entire winter season will see below normal rainfall. Winter rainfall statistics have been kept at San Francisco since the mid-1800s. For the 30 driest years as of Nov. 1, more than half ended up with greater than 90 percent of seasonal normal rain by time the water year ended. Last winter’s local rainfall statistics are a good example of the fact that a dry beginning to the wet season does not predict a dry winter. Even though barely a drop

Food Bank, from page 1

Sly takes pride in knowing that more than half of what moves through the Concord and Fairfield warehouses is fresh food and vegetables. The Food Bank incorporates a two-pronged approach to serving the needs of low-income communities through relationships forged with 189 other nonprofits. One part is direct distribution. The other half is advocacy, which is where Sly sees the attention increasing. “How can the county and the state level do a better job of getting food (to where it is needed)?” In his mind, what has been accomplished is just the beginning. “I see us partnering with others on a grander scale to make a more significant difference in the lives of the people we serve,” he said.

RESPONDING TO ‘THE NEW NORMAL’ Disaster relief and plans to proactively respond to those demands in the region will be among the issues on his successor’s plate, as natural disasters

of rain fell before Thanksgiving last year, above normal rainfall was reported for nearly all the remaining wet season months, and water year totals were about 110 percent of normal. The entire state is waiting for the winter rains to end the fire season. Weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on the polar jet stream. As soon as the blocking West Coast ridge weakens and begins to move, the rainy relief will be on its way. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

increasingly becomes a way of life for Californians. When relief efforts were focused on Paradise and the demand exceeded what Alameda County and San Francisco’s Food Banks could do, the Food Bank of Contra County and Solano carried forth food distribution for them as part of previously established mutual aid agreements. “This is the new normal,” said Sly. “What can we do to support other groups when there is a disaster in the area and (whom can we call upon) when we need assistance? “There is more work to do to make us better,” he added. Other priorities include devising ways to better use the warehouse space that he says is “bursting.” The agency is examining plans to retrofit the current facilities, which Sly said will buy them some time before having to move forward with any expansions. Along those lines, the Food Bank recently signed a lease with Marathon Petroleum Corp. for $1 per year to use its land adjacent to the Nelson Avenue warehouse near Highway 4. It will serve as parking for trucks bring-

Page 7

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Holiday Section Bethel Baptist Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-7470 City of Concord Tree Lighting . . . . . . . .cityofconcord.org CBCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2272 Joseph’s Trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .323-3793 Sun Valley Shopping Center . . . . . . .shopsunvalley.com Super Holiday Boutique . . . . .superholidayboutique.com

Home and Garden Clayton Furniture, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Skim ‘n’ Dip – Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348-5609 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334

Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245

real Estate and Mortgage Services Bennett, Nancy – Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .606-8400 French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . .672-8787 Germain, Julie – Rossmoor Realty . . . . . . . . . .849-2884 Hartlove, Denisen – Dudum Real Estate Group .408-7901 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . .305-9099 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . .672-4433 Schools Clayton Valley Charter High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-7474 Contra Costa School of Performing Arts . . . . . .235-1130 Senior Services Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100

Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-9113 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Sports All Out Sports/Blaze . . . . . . . . . . . . .blazetravelball.com

Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

ing in food and those waiting to take shipments away. In addition, the closer lot will accommodate Food Bank employees and volunteers, said Patty Deutsche, director of Government and Public Affairs.

BUILDING ON SUCCESS Sly emphasized that there are things that must not and will not change, like the importance of relationships forged with many communities the Food Bank serves. Maintaining credibility and a good image in the community remain important objectives as the organization prepares to adapt to new leadership. “Who we are and how we work” will continue, said Sly. “There will not be dramatic changes.” As advocacy grows, Sly says the challenge will be to serve more rural and remote communities while not forgetting the core focus. “How can we continue to build on our partnerships with other organizations so we can enhance their services without diminishing what we are doing for existing communities?” he asked.

‘NOT A PERMANENT VACATION’ Sly believes it’s best for him to be out of the picture, so the new leader can see the landscape with a new set of eyes. “It is up to a new person wanting me to give input and not me forcing it upon them,” he noted. “It is not healthy to have me floating around in the background,” said Sly, with people saying: “That is not how Larry would have done it.” Sly sees himself visiting more with friends, and backpacking and camping in new places likes Yellowstone. One thing is for sure: “This is not a permanent vacation.” For example, he wants to have a voice in climate change. Though not a scientist, Sly plans to use his experience with talking to organizations and in education to be an advocate. Hunger will never be far from his interests, either. “We will look at these things and see what is realistic,” said Sly. “I am pretty sure I will end up volunteering.”

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F r om the desk o f . . .

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

November 15, 2019

Concord mayor reflects on year’s accomplishments It was with great pride that I accepted the gavel and the title of mayor of Concord on Dec. 4, and what an amazing year it has been. I had the opportunity to represent Concord at several significant ceremonies, including the celebration of the land transfer from the Navy to the East Bay Regional Park District for the purpose of establishing a new regional park here and the memorial of the 75th anniversary of the Port Chicago explosion that illuminated the harmful consequences of segregation to the nation. It was gratifying to see nearly 8,000 people gathered at the Concord Pavilion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival in August. In late October, I had the oncein-a-lifetime privilege of leading a 39-person delegation to visit our sister city, Kitakami, Japan. As mayor, I worked hard to help recruit and retain living-wage jobs so people can both live and work in our city. This involved multiple “goodwill” visits with top employers headquartered here, including AssetMark, Cerus Corp., Harris & Associates, Pulse Systems and Sunvalley Shopping Center. I

jobs, the creation of new investment opportunities, and reduced traffic, commute times and carbon emissions. I also introduced several initiatives. The first was related to the redevelopment of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS). When I announced my City Council candidacy in CARLYN OBRINGER 2015, one of my goals was a four-year pubCONCORD MAYOR establishing lic university at the site. Since my election, we have participated in the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative, a new made progress by establishing a 120-acre campus disgroup fostering economic trict within the draft CNW and social growth for startSpecific Plan and a 16-memups, entrepreneurs, leaders, educators and students here ber Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC). in the Diablo Valley. After meeting for nine Every day, I seem to read months, the BRC, which I about another major Bay Area employer relocating, or chaired, produced a final report in May that envimoving jobs, out of state, sioned a consortium concept often without considering affordable options closer to – one that brings multiple academic institutions togethhome that have a highly er, accommodating and skilled workforce – places like Concord. To counteract embracing research and development. I look forward this phenomenon, I conto continuing to spearhead vened a meeting with the Bay Area Council to discuss this campus visioning at the city level, with support from opportunities to highlight our existing education and Concord throughout the region. It is my hope that via industry partners and state such efforts, we will be able representatives. Another of my goals to enhance Concordians’ focused on building a greater quality of life through sense of community. I want increased local, living-wage

Concordians to feel connected to their neighbors and proud to live in our city. To that end, I instituted a “September of Service,” with more than 200 volunteers participating. On each of the four Saturdays in September, residents were invited to join me in a beautification or cleanup event at a Concord park. Projects included building a butterfly garden and cleaning up the creek at Newhall Park, park and lake cleanup at Ellis Lake Park, cleaning up the park and creek at Hillcrest Park, and general cleanup and wood chip distribution at Ygnacio Valley Park. I believe it is critical for the mayor to be available to hear and try to address residents’ city-related issues and concerns. To that end, I held office hours most Friday mornings. Once a month, I held “Coffee with the Mayor” or “Beer with the Mayor” at a different Concord establishment, to highlight a local business and enable Concordians to meet with their mayor in a less formal setting. It was fun and productive to engage on a variety of issues and connect with more than 400 residents. Thank you to my City

Council colleagues for the confidence they exhibited in me by unanimously electing me as mayor for 2019. And, thank you to the people of Concord who elected me to the City Council in 2016. I look forward to working with the rest of the City

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

Clayton welcomes new city manager



demand and need, how is it possible that more units aren’t being built in our TIM GRAYSON state? One answer is that it is 14TH ASSEMBLY still prohibitively expensive DISTRICT to build housing in California, especially housing that is As Californians know all affordable. High developtoo well, we are in the ment costs and local municidepths of a housing crisis pal fees can dissuade develdecades in the making. opers from investing in new There are no easy projects and exacerbate answers, but we know existing problems of rising affordability solutions are rents and home prices. going to involve increasing In a March 2018 report, production to dramatically UC Berkeley’s Terner Center higher levels. This is true in for Housing Innovation Concord, where the Metrofound that local fees on politan Transportation Com- multi-family developments mission has determined that can be as high as $75,000 for it would take until the year each new unit constructed 2984 for the city to reach its and can reach up to 2040 housing goals if the $157,000 for a single-family current level of construction home. is maintained. When half of our renters According to the Public are spending more than 30 Policy Institute of Califorpercent of their income on nia, new housing permits housing and young families statewide decreased by 16 struggle to become first-time percent in the last year – home owners, it is critical when construction was need- that we address unreasonable ed the most. With such high

fees. This is why in 2017, I authored legislation to direct the Department of Housing and Community Development to conduct an in-depth study looking at the different components of the high cost of development and the impact that fees charged by local agencies have on our ability to build. The study, which was released this summer, concluded that as housing costs continue to rise, a comprehensive approach to fee reform is appropriate and necessary. This month, I am hosting roundtable discussions across the state with cities, counties, special districts and developers in order to understand how these reforms could be implemented in a way that will help communities build the housing they need while not sacrificing the vital services that reasonable fees help fund. We have only just begun these discussions, but already

a few points have been brought to the forefront: All regions of our state are not the same and a one-size-fitsall policy will not help us achieve our goals; greater transparency in the ways that locals develop, justify and assess fees can be helpful for developers; and there is a role for the state in helping local governments provide critical infrastructure while reducing the financial burden on housing. If California is going to build its way out of this housing crisis, it is critical that we remove unreasonable barriers to construction. By moving forward conversations on how to ensure that fees are structured and justified in a way that helps – not hinders – development, we are taking steps toward accomplishing that goal. If you would like to learn more about the fee study or legislation I’ll be authoring to help make housing more affordable, contact my Concord office at 925-521-1511.

On Nov. 5, the City Council concluded the city manager hiring process and unanimously approved Ikani Taumoepeau for the job When city manager Gary Napper announced his July retirement, the council was tasked with finding a new leader for the first time in 18 years. The process started in June with the engagement of a recruitment firm. Much of the work happened in closed sessions due to legal requirements, however, the entire five-member council participated. The city received 33 applications, including many from extremely well-qualified candidates. The City Council met in closed session to review all 33 applications and narrowed it down to a handful of candidates for in-person interviews. In early October, the council spent an entire Friday in closed session interviewing candidates, including re-interviewing the top two candidates later in the afternoon. After completion of background checks, the full council discussed the top candidates. After extensive deliberation, the council authorized me to extend an employment offer to, and negotiate an employment contract with, Taumoepeau. At the Nov. 5 meeting, the council was finally allowed to public disclose our next city manager. If you watch the video (accessible from the city’s website), you will see that all council members were excited about

tution, the federal government counts all persons living in the United States every 10 years. The U.S. Census Bureau collects this information, which is then used to determine the number of representatives in Congress each state will have and how $675 billion in federal funds flows to tribal, state and local governments. The Census is the benchmark for the next decade of key decisions for our communities. It is of utmost importance that Contra Costa County achieve a full count. This data is used to make decisions at every level of government and informs so much in our communities, such as the roads we drive on, siting of schools, hospitals and public services. It also provides

employers with economic information and offers data to draw federal, state and local legislative voting districts. Other examples of programs with funding dependent on Census data include: Transportation: highway planning and construction. Children: foster care, nutritional school lunch programs. Health and nutrition: Medicaid, Medicare Part B, health center programs. Schools: Head Start, special education grants, Title I grants. Affordable housing: Section 8, low-income home energy assistance Other: Community Development Block Grants California receives about

$76 billion in federal funds based on population. Contra Costa County gets 40 percent of its revenue from state and federal resources. If the county undercounts by 5 percent, we would lose an estimated $1.1 billion over 10 years. This is why we have been actively engaging partners in the county to make sure that everyone is counted once, only once, and in the right place. A significant change in the 2020 Census is that this is the first time it will be online. This will make it easier to respond, because there are more options for self-response with the intent of reducing door-to-door canvassing. However, with these improvements come some challenges, in particular inequitable access to the internet.

Contra Costa County has established a Complete Count Steering Committee. This committee brings together community leaders, nonprofit agencies and media experts to work together to ensure we have a complete count in 2020, in particular in the “hardest to count” populations in the county. The committee established Regional Working Groups in four regions across the county to better connect with local organizations, businesses, faith groups and residents. The Steering Committee meets noon-2 p.m. the third Monday of the month in the Paramount Conference Room, 777 Arnold Dr., Martinez. Meetings are open to public. On Dec. 11, there will be a

Fee reform crucial to making California affordable

Council to help make Concord an even better community in which to live, work, raise a family, operate a business, visit and retire.

his Dec. 9 start date. When I spoke with Taumoepeau, he shared with me that he is “incredibly excited about the opportunity to work in one of the best communities in the entire state and help it become even better, with the community’s help.” Taumoepeau, a Bay Area native, is the current assistant city manager for Santa Paula in Southern California. We may see him at the Dec. 7 holiday tree lighting ceremony. Please join me in welcoming him and his family to Clayton. United Against Hate: At the Nov. 5 meeting, my City Council colleagues voted with me to support United Against Hate Week on Nov. 17-23. We join many other Bay Area communities in embracing the strength of diversity and helping be part of building inclusive and equitable communities. I first heard about the campaign at last month’s Contra Costa Mayors Conference and wanted to bring the item to my colleagues as a policy statement that Clayton does not tolerate prejudice, racism, bigotry, hatred, bullying or violence toward any group in our community. I am proud that all of my council colleagues voted in favor of the resolution. Chickens are welcome, too. It may seem a bit surprising that Clayton has not allowed the keeping of chickens, but we will soon. The council recently approved an amendment to our municipal code to allow hens, but not roosters, in residential properties, subject to some restrictions. Chickens must be generally contained within an enclosure that is set back at least 50 feet from the front property line and 10 feet from side and rear property lines. Residents are allowed to have up to one hen per 1,000 sq. ft. of lot area, but no more than 10 hens. Contact Mayor Catalano at catalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano for more updates.

County officials working for accurate Census count




I have previously written about the 2020 Census work our county is doing, and I feel it is important to revisit this and share with you the importance of the Census – including ways you can get involved. As mandated in the Consti-

Central County Regional Work Group meeting for community-based organizations and interested individuals who would like to help get an accurate Census count. This meeting will be 9:30 a.m.-noon at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County, 4010 Nelson Ave., Concord. The Census Bureau is also hiring in our area. It takes a lot of people to help count everyone.

For more information, visit contracosta.ca.gov/7523/Wha t-We-Are-Doing or contracosta.ca.gov/6999/Census-2020.

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

November 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Fresh eggs an essential part of holiday baking

Fourth generation San Joaquin poultry farmers, the Corbin family is known for their humanely raised flocks.

Get out the baking pans, because the holidays are closing in. Thanksgiving is around the corner with pies, breads, cookies and other treats to prepare for family and friends on the big feast day. You’ll need farm-fresh apples, pears and other farmers market ingredients like nuts and dried fruits. Without a doubt, eggs are a must-have ingredient. Lots and lots of eggs. And you won’t find fresher eggs than at Great Valley Poultry, which comes to the Concord farmers market from Manteca. Stop by their booth and you’ll see stacks of cartons filled with white, blue and brown eggs, gathered that morning and brought straight to the market. George Jenkins and his family own Great Valley Poultry and have been raising chickens and providing fresh eggs to the local community since 1967. Since 1995, the farm has been cage-free and certified organic. Dana and Arney Corbin, Jenkins’ daughter and son-in-

corn blend feed provides for a OLD-FASHIONED DEVILED EGGS great tasting and nutritious 1 dozen eggs egg. 2/3 to ¾ c. mayonnaise or The farm is certified salad dressing, enough to hold humane through Humane Farm Animal Care. “Our No. mixture together 2 tsp. yellow mustard 1 priority is to keep all of our 2-3 T sweet pickle relish, chickens happy and healthy,” to taste says Dana Corbin. Salt and pepper, to taste They sell their fabulous Paprika for garnish eggs directly from farm to DEBRA MORRIS customer at the Concord Hard-boil eggs, let cool. FARMERS MARKET Farmers Market. You can tell Cut eggs lengthwise in half the family truly enjoys what they do since they love to talk and slip yolks out into a bowl. law, now operate the farm. Their son, Denton, is attend- about their eggs and chickens Mash yolks with fork until crumbled small. ing college and studying poul- to customers. Their in-house Stir in mayonnaise, mustry science. This fourth-gener- quality assurance program provides you with healthy and tard, relish, salt and pepper. ation farming family still Fill egg whites with yolk mixdelicious eggs. believes in the need to treat ture, heaping it lightly. SprinStock up on fresh eggs their poultry humanely and sustainably, with as little waste now and get cooking. Here’s a kle with paprika. Cover and traditional holiday hors d’oeu- refrigerate up to 24 hours. as possible on the farm. Recipe: PCFMA staff. They maintain small num- vre recipe to help get you started. bers of birds in each flock, allowing them to wander and The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays. See ad enjoy the fresh air. The birds on this page for hours. have 24-hour access to some of the finest pasture in the San Joaquin Valley, and they eat organic feed free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The nutritious

Start by picturing dream kitchen

Having the patience to see a design project through to the end, or maybe even getting one started, can be as painful as watching wallpaper dry. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all emulate Samantha Stephens during these painstaking design times and fix things with a simple twitch of our nose? Twitch, twitch. Sadly, and thankfully, it’s not that simple. There are so many steps that go into a really good design plan. Skipping ahead to the finished product would be gratifying, but you’d be missing all of the important steps that create the personalized finished product. There really is a process to this design madness. And if you take the time to thoughtfully approach the various steps, you’ll end up with a project that moves according to your plan – with a magical final outcome.

Page 9

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Providing Dignified Professional Services


This revamped kitchen, which clearly required lots of careful planning, is wider and brighter than the original.

like? Once you have this image in mind, figure out how to make this image come to life and who will help you execute the process. It’s imperative to find a contractor. This person, along with a team of qualified subcontractors, will be your best friend throughout the remodel and will lead the construction plan of attack. It’s helpful to have a drawn-out design plan, showing all of the building PICTURE THIS elements and materials, so the After living in your resicontractor can assess your dence for 10 years, let’s say it’s project to provide a bid. time to redesign your kitchen. Even if you’re keeping the You’ve saved a healthy budget same footprint as your existfor this project, and you’re ing kitchen, it’s great to have a ready to go. design road map for all Perhaps you’ve been think- involved to follow. ing about this remodel for 10 years, or maybe just the past DO YOUR RESEARCH few weeks. In any case, the Don’t rush the research question that kick-starts the and sourcing steps. It takes design process is: What do time to find a contractor you want the kitchen to look whom you connect with and


your kitchen remodel is in full force. The kitchen will continue to evolve, from appliances set into place to who has availability to work cabinet pulls and knobs on your project. It takes time installed. to source materials and come Then one day, not too far up with a thoughtful layout. away from your official start And it takes time to organize date, you’ll see your kitchen all of the parts and pieces as take its new shape. You trustwell as timelines for all ed the process by following involved. the correct sequence of These steps are not to be events and building a design taken lightly. Building the foundation with a solid team foundation and expectations of contractors and inspired of your project in the beginfinishes. This process will help ning will help the project keep you focused and lead move more fluidly, making you to your desired outcome. sure your team is in sync. And now, reward yourself Eventually, you’ll find for a job well done. Maybe an yourself being able to sit back endless supply of your – just a bit. At this point, favorite beverage that magicalyou’ve done your design ly appears in your refrigerator, homework and the project night after night. Twitch, physically begins. The demo is twitch. underway, and moves are being made to implement the Jennifer Leischer is the owner of new plan. J. Designs Interior Design based in Unknown bumps in the Clayton. Contact her with quesroad will come up that need tions, comments and suggestions at to be reviewed and worked jenna@j-designs.com. around, but for the most part,

Keith Collins – Managing Partner John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet

4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281

Page 10

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

November 15, 2019

Gifts bring joy and love to nursing home residents BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

Through the Adopt a Grandparent program, Concord resident Diane Covington delivers a bit of holiday cheer to isolated seniors in local nursing homes. Although it can get hectic gathering funds and assembling the more than 500 gifts, the payoff is the delight on the recipients’ faces. “The day of the deliveries, it’s a blast to have a whole entourage of people,” Covington says. “Several of the years, we’ve had high schoolers bring guitars or flutes and play music. The seniors’ faces light up when a high school kid comes in.” She says local dentists, attorneys and contractors always donate generously to the program, now in its 15th year. “Rotary has also been very supportive. And a lot of members of the Concord Chamber,” adds Covington, who makes local connections through her work as a Mary Kay rep. After starting with one nursing home, the Mary Kay Adopt a Grandparent program has grown to five in

Diane Covington and her cadre of eager volunteers deliver more than 500 gift bags to local nursing homes

Concord, Pleasant Hill, MarFor more information, tinez, Antioch and Pittsburg. contact Covington by email at “The residents get big dcovingtonmk@gmail.com. smiles,” said Ginger O’Dell of San Miguel Villa in Concord, where all 185 residents get gifts. “Just to have someone give them something or give them a pat on the shoulder, it means a lot to them.” For $25, any local family or company can help Covington provide a gift package of unscented lotion, lip balm, For people who have cozy socks and a plush toy. experienced the death of a She will be delivering them loved one, the upcoming the week of Dec. 16. holiday season can be painful. Hope Hospice is offering a free workshop on Dec. 9 with ideas for healthy coping strategies. Topics include ways to A riveting Christmas musical manage grief at family gatherings and social An energizing, worshipful evening of music events and self-care techwith live vocal & instrumental performers niques to help make the holidays more tolerable, Dec. 6 and 7, 7-9 p.m. even enjoyable. Bethel Baptist Church The workshop will be 3578 Clayton Rd, Concord 4:30-6 p.m. Dec. 9 at Hope Hospice, 6377 Clark Ave., Free admission, For info: Suite 295, Dublin. Seating Food & fellowship Pastor Ray Buford is limited, so register at (925)-798-7470, ext 4 to follow 925-829-8770.

Workshop on grief during the holidays

“The Wonder and the Glory”


Sat., Dec. 7, 4 p.m.


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Highlands Elem 2019 Holiday Pin Design winners MaKenna K. (above) & Kelly B. (below)

Santa arrives in downtow n Concord on a bright red fire truck and listens to child ren’s holiday wishes!

On-Stage Entertainment begins on the Plaza Stage at 5pm with Community Performances:

• Concord High School Jazz Band

• Bay Church of Concord Children's Band • The DA Dance Studio of Concord

• Concord Park and Recreation Ballet • El Dorado Middle School Mini Cheerleaders

• Concord High School's Ladies First • Diablo Vista Chorus

• Diablo Choral Artists

• L.O.V.E./Levels of Vocal Expression • St. Francis of Assisi Children's Choir

• Queen of All Saints Children's Choir

On-Stage Entertainment Subject to Change

Thanks to Music and Market attendees, downtown businesses and our corporate partners and supporters for their donations and participation in 2019.

Special Thanks to Old Spaghetti Factory for the sweet treats. Special Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Concord, Todos Santos Business Association and Boy Scout Troup #364 for all your help and support. And a very special Thank You to Visit Concord and The Concord Arts Association.

November 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 11

Beautiful Clayton homes on display for the holiday tour home. One has stylish chandeliers, tabletops, garland and several Christmas trees. The Five lovely homes will be dining room features a beautidecked out for the holidays ful holiday table with full setduring the 9th annual Clayton ting, Christmas bulbs hanging Christmas Homes Tour, 11 from the chandelier and gora.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. geous candle themes. There Homes on the Clayton are several mantles throughHistorical Society (CHS) tour out the house with elegant range from small to large, tra- Christmas themes that are ditional to designer-decorated. sure to delight – from NutOne home includes a festival crackers to the romantic days of trees of different themes of Christmas past. throughout the home, from Purchase $30 tour tickets whimsical to classic. There by Dec. 7 at the Clayton will be two designer-decorated Museum, 6101 Main St.,; homes, offering loads of ideas R&M Gardens, 6780 Marsh you can use for your own Creek Road; or at claytonhis-

Gingerbread is just the beginning at Historical Society boutique

JULIE PIERCE Special to the Pioneer

Macy’s pairs with Solo Opera for ‘Twelve Days’ program

Solo Opera kicks off the holiday season on Dec. 14 with “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a fundraiser in collaboration with Macy’s Concord. The event will include breakfast treats, opera and holiday music featuring soprano Diane Squires, a fashion show, a singalong and 12 prizes. Proceeds benefit the Concord-based nonprofit opera company’s 2020 season. The celebration runs 10:30 a.m.-noon at Macy’s in the Sunvalley Shopping Center, Concord. Tickets are $22 and available through Eventbrite.

Come join us for our 6th Annual

Christmas Drive-Thru

Live celebration of the true meaning of Christmas

Dec.13 and 14, 6-9 p.m. Bethel Baptist Church 3578 Clayton Rd, Concord

Step back in time with live performers, choir, readings, and more. From your own warm, comfortable car, For info: relive the glory of this event in anticipation of this time of Pastor Ken Patton special festivities. (925)-798-7470, ext 3


Residents can sip hot cider and nibble on gingerbread while browsing the vendors at the annual Gingerbread House Boutique, Dec. 7-8 at the Concord Museum and Event Center. Hosted by the Concord Historical Society, the event includes Deena & Donna’s soaps, candles, and bath and body lotions and many more local artisans. The boutique runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days at the event center, 1928 Clayton Road, Concord.

This nature-themed table was part of a prior Clayton Christmas Homes Tour. See more like it on Dec. 8 tour.

tory.org. Tickets are available the day of the tour for $35 at the museum. For even more holiday spirit, buy a ticket to join the homeowners and your friends for a festive holiday dinner after the tour. Mingle with the homeowners and hear more about their holiday traditions while enjoying a delightful holiday meal. A limited number of tickets for the after-party/holiday dinner at a sixth home are $35. These tickets will sell out, so get them soon. Tickets may be picked up

on the day of the tour, Dec. 8, at the museum. You can also purchase a CHS limited edition ornament at the museum. The Clayton Christmas Homes Tour is a primary fundraiser for CHS. Homeowners volunteer their homes and decorate themselves. All proceeds go to the CHS Museum and programs. The museum is open 2-4 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays. In addition to maintaining regular museum hours, the society hosts student classes and special tours and opens the museum upon request.

The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive by Shelter Inc. aims to ensure that anyone struggling with homelessness has a Thanksgiving meal. The Concord-based homeless services organization will be collecting non-perishable food for those in need through Nov. 22. The food drive culminates on Nov. 23, when more than 100 volunteers sort and pack 300 plus food boxes. Then

Shelter Inc. delivers them directly to families in need around the Bay Area in time for their Thanksgiving meals. Contributions can be delivered 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. MondayFriday through Nov. 22 at 1333 Willow Pass Road, Suite 206, Concord. For a shopping list of needed items, visit shelterinc.org/support.

For more information, call 925-827-3380.

Beautiful selection of Noble, Grand, Douglas Firs. Trees kept fresh in water Large selection of sought-after Silvertips

Shelter Inc. Thanksgiving food drive helps homeless

Locally owned & operated since 2001 Like us on facebook

5555 Clayton Rd. (St. John’s Episcopal Church)

(925) 323-3793

Here comes Christmas... Mark your calendar now



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After finding the perfect gifts for family and friends, visitors can walk across the garden to the historic Galindo House. Each room in the house, built in 1856, will feature a themed Christmas tree. The house will be open 1-4 p.m. both days. Entrance fee is $5.

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Both events sponsored & hosted by the Clayton

Business & Community Association

Go to claytoncbca.org or call (925)

672-2272 for membership info

Page 12

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com


November 15, 2019

Packed board meetings created by CVCHS, MDUSD hot button issue JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Stalled salary negotiations between the teachers union and Mt. Diablo Unified School District and the upcoming decision of the Contra Costa County Office of Education board for the renewal of the charter for Clayton Valley Charter brought out standing room only audiences to off-site board meetings last month. First up was the Oct. 16 meeting at Pleasant Hill Middle School. Supporters of CVCHS and its charter renewal petition dressed in the school’s red and blue colors filled to overflowing the CCCOE board session that included public input and then questions from board members to the school’s executive director Jim Scheible. Scheible began the meeting by making a video presentation outlining some of the school’s accomplishments and current status as they seek their second

Jay Bedecarré

Contra Costa County Office of Education board meeting several hundred supporters of the renewal petition for Clayton Valley Charter High School filled to overflowing the multi-use room at Pleasant Hill Middle School to speak in support of CVCHS charter renewal.

five-year renewal since leaving MDUSD in 2012 to become the 18th and only conversion charter in the county. He said CVCHS teachers are the highest paid in Contra Costa, according to a school survey earlier this year. Over 140 speakers signed

up to speak at the Oct. 16 meeting but that number lowered when some in the audience decided not be speak as many of the comments became redundant, About 90% of the speakers were in favor of the renewal including many CVCHS teachers

Every day, our educators, support staff and school site administrators plan on coming to school to care for more than 30,000 students in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD). Whenever we must halt that learning, or we are forced to change the trajectory of those plans due to circumstances ROBERT MARTINEZ beyond our control, there is frustration at the possibility of MDUSD not providing a planned lesson SUPERINTENDENT and not being able to engage with the students to help propel Some individuals believe our them toward success in their decisions to remain open during lives.

the recent fires, poor air quality days and power outages were directly related to money that the district receives on a daily basis – the Average Daily Attendance (ADA). To be clear, the decision to keep a facility open in times of crisis or during events that are directly out of our control is made with the safety and security for all of our children in mind. Nothing more, nothing less. While some believe we should never operate a school on a day with adverse air conditions, high winds, fires in parts of California or loss of power, the

Monte Garden Elementary School multi-use room. The two parties have been in mediation, but no breakthrough has been reached. Trustee Cherise Khaund said the next step if the two scheduled meetings don’t resolve the issue is fact finding. Should the mediation conclude without resolution, teachers have spoken of a strike as their last-ditch way of bringing the matter to closure. Martinez has only been in office since the beginning of the school year and told The Pioneer in a September sit down that there was “some common ground” between the parties. But he pointed out financial constraints facing the District, class size issues and cutbacks already made and with potentially more coming in the not-toodistant future have added to the tension around the protracted negotiations.

and staff along with parents, students, alumni and parents from other schools. New MDSUD Superintendent Robert Martinez and some of his board members also talked. Martinez did not specifically call on the board to reject the renewal but asked them to “examine closely the issues raised” in a resolution the MDUSD Board had passed two days prior. Among the official MDUSD contingent on hand who sat through some toughto-hear comments about other district schools, only board member Debra Mason specifically called on the county to reject the renewal. A former Clayton Valley teacher, a representative of the anti-charter group Stakeholders for Transparency and a teachers union representative were among those who spoke in opposition as well. A group of former Clayton Valley teachers submitted

a letter to the county pointing out a number of items they dispute in the school’s renewal presentation. The charter renewal vote by the county board is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 11. CVCHS supporters say they will be equally out in force that evening.

process we continue to use at MDUSD, like so many other districts, will be to attempt to keep schools open for children as long as we can do so in a safe, orderly fashion that provides the intended secure environment. Unfortunately, the best conceived plans can sometimes not be enough to maintain a safe and secure environment for everyone involved: students, employees and even the public. If that circumstance outweighs our intent to provide a safe and secure campus, we will take steps to close a facility or keep a facility closed until we can safely reopen. Over this last month, we were without power on several school days at several sites. We worked to maintain those schools in a safe and secure manner, handling the logistics of providing food to students in alignment with processes

approved by the Contra Costa County health inspector and maintaining security at these campuses for our children. Also during this last month, we had two situations where we worked to keep schools open when we should have changed direction sooner and facilitated the canceling of school or made a better decision that would not have placed students in situations that were not the best. After we had a water main burst at Oak Grove Middle School, we anticipated that support services would be on the way – including porta-potties and hand-washing stations from a local vendor. But they did not arrive at the campus for far too long, creating a difficult circumstance for everyone involved. Rather than closing Northgate High School during the week of PG&E’s “Public Safety Power Shutoff,” we attempted to

start school in the morning. As the morning proceeded, we more fully realized the difficulties of maintaining the campus during an extended outage. While I cannot change the past, I do apologize for the events that unfolded at both of these schools and will work to improve our decisions, actions, processes and protocols with respect to responding to these types of events in the future. The district is undergoing a comprehensive review of the architectural safety of each of our campuses, and we will also be adding a director of Risk Management and Safety in order to more thoroughly ensure that we have plans in place to respond to any crisis, man-made or otherwise, for the safety and protection of our students.

We are also the first American generation to experience war for our entire lives. Due to this endless fighting, along with politicians ginning up racial conflict, we have grown up in a world full of hate, terrorism and trauma. Everyone is a product of their environment, and our environment is a constant barrage of aggression. One of the end results may be that members of Gen Z are more assertive and stubbornly independent. Four years into the Trump era, politics have not been more divided since the Civil War. Trump has provided an outlet for many individuals to openly put forward their hatred. We have witnessed a plethora of issues concerning race, gender, immigration and the role of government. This has made our generation very opinionated and closed-minded. A lot of us think that our way is right without considering the opposing argument. Those in Generation Z have experienced an enormous amount of pressure our whole lives. We’ve been left to deal with the burden of wealth inequality, damaged ecosystems and a lack of financial security – problems caused by the generations before us. At the young age of 16, I fear that I won’t live past 50. I

don’t know if I will bring children into this world because I don’t want them to live with what is to come if things don’t change. Ninety-one percent of Gen Z adults said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptoms because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress. We cut our teeth on cell phones and have an intuitive understanding of technology. We understand that the whole world is interconnected in ways most do not realize. Having watched our parents ride out unstable financial seas, with their retirements gutted and their jobs terminated, has shaped us to seek out stability on our terms. We are not afraid of hard work, and we expect to be appreciated for it. But we refuse to be stuck in cubicles and prefer mobile tech. Seeing our parents come home late from work night after night has driven us to demand a work-life balance. We are perfectly designed for what is coming.


Emotions were actually higher at the Oct. 28 MDUSD meeting as teachers represented by Mt. Diablo Education Association and their supporters spoke about the lack of a contract with the District (extending now to over 500 days). Over 600 teachers, parents and students, many of the union members in dark blue t-shirts, marched, stood, chanted, cheered and spoke demanding a “fair contract now” before, during and after the meeting held next door to the district offices in the

MDUSD continues to evaluate responses to emergency



Many label Generation Z as lazy, but I think what comes across as laziness is actually hopelessness and despair. I believe this is due to the circumstances we’ve dealt with our entire lives, having been born between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. The evidence is now irrefutable (except by the most ignorant) that our climate is in serious trouble. I think many of us have become less motivated by the idea of schooling and training because we feel as though there won’t be much time left to put these skills and degrees to use. It’s hard to see that years of school and a lifetime of burdensome student debt are worth it because of the mounting evidence showing how little time we will truly have if things don’t change. I think my generation is somewhat innovative in trying to make the best of the time we have here. At 16, Greta Thunberg has gained world recognition as a passionate advocate calling for stronger action on global warming. It would be difficult to overestimate the impact of her inspiring call to action.

Send comments to superintendentsoffice@mdusd.org.

Life is stressful for the typical Gen Z teenager

Olivia is a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Email questions and comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com.


The Pioneer

November 15, 2019

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B5 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B6

The Pioneer, Section B


3 local teams in NCS football playoffs this weekend JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School

Clayton Valley Charter and its junior runningback Omari Taylor (11) lost their final regular-season game two weeks ago to De La Salle. For Taylor it was still a victory. Very early that morning he found out his older brother Omar was one of those killed in the Orinda party attack. Nonetheless he came to school and spent much of the day with football coaches Tim Murphy and Tom Sparks and played that evening against the Spartans. After the game he told reporters, “My teammates, my brothers, they said they were going to be there for me. It was good. I was surrounded by good people. I stayed with my team.”

There’s nothing unusual about De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter football teams getting top seeds for the North Coast Section playoffs beginning this week. And this year they’re joined in the playoffs by Ygnacio Valley, riding its most wins since 2009 and looking for its first NCS victory since then as well. Seeded seventh in Division 6, Coach Bryan Shaw’s Warriors (7-3) face a five-hour, 282-mile bus ride to Eureka where they will meet No. 2 seed Saint Bernard’s Academy (7-3) Saturday afternoon for a 1 o’clock kickoff. The start of all the NCS football playoffs were moved back one week in order for schools who had to postpone games due to wildfires to get their final regular-season games played. De La Salle (9-1) begins the quest for its 28th successive NCS championship and 14th straight State Bowl game berth hosting Amador Valley (8-2) of Pleasanton in Division 1 at Owen Owens Field Friday night. Clayton Valley Charter (5-5) is also under the lights Friday with Napa (7-3) coming to Gonsalves Stadium in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs. In their new playoff format that created seven divisions with no more than eight teams in each bracket NCS schools all face one and done circum-

Junior quarterback Dorian Hale (20) continues to grow into his role running the De La Salle offense, which has a total 283 points in its last five games.

stances each round. Only Section champions will move on to Northern California and State playoffs this year. Last fall, for example, Liberty of Brentwood lost to De La Salle in the Open Division finals but went on to win the State Division 1-A championship. That is no longer possible in the new playoff format. What isn’t different than in recent years is that should the Spartans again win NCS they will be NorCal’s representative in the State Open Division championship and likely go up

against national powerhouse Mater Dei or Saint John Bosco, who have defeated DLS in the past three State finals. De La Salle has continued its dominance of NorCal high school football after losing its season opener to No. 1 ranked St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a nationally-televised game from Concord. Since that mistake-prone outing coach Justin Alumbaugh’s team has followed its usual script of building momentum as the season progresses. In their past five games—

all against Division 1 playoff teams—the Spartans have scored 283 points. Every De La Salle opponent is in the post-season playoffs. Their other big matchup this fall was at Folsom against the two-time State Division 1AA champion Bulldogs. When DLS won that game 42-27 and again handing Folsom its only loss of the season, they set themselves up to avoid a Regional playoff game if they run the table in the NCS playoffs.

See NCS, page B2

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

November 15, 2019

Yealimi Noh makes the grade, gets her LPGA tour card in a good place, but all the exhaustion got to me. I’m finally rested, feel better and just playing my game.” Noh had begun her first LPGA Qualifying Tournament process at Stage II in Venice, Fla. and used rounds of 71-72-73-65 to finish tied for 10th and advance to Q-Series. The week prior to that showing, Noh was in Incheon, Republic of Korea for the KLPGA Hana Financial Group Championship where she ended tied for 12th. Hana is her primary sponsor on tour and she competed in its tournament right before starting the LPGA qualifying grind half a world away. It was her first true glimpse of what a future travel schedule could look like on the LPGA Tour. “I usually think I’m pretty good with jet lag and adjust pretty fast but going from west to east coast kind of messed me up,” Noh said. “When I got back from Asia, I was okay at home [in Concord] then coming over here for another time change was hard. Also, having even more pressure of Q-School and Stage II was probably the hardest thing I’ve done all year. It helped me learn a lot for travel and how to adjust, stuff like that.”


Concord’s Yealimi Noh realized her dream this month that was put into motion following her sophomore year at Carondelet High School less than two and half years ago. The 18-year-old golfer finished third in the marathon called the Q-Series in North Carolina and now she has her ticket into the 2020 LPGA Tour. Noh carded six of her eight rounds in the 60s during the Q-Series at Pinehurst and that earned her a 15 under par score, good enough to best all but two of the 98 women trying to earn a LPGA Tour card in the final phases of the QSeries, which began with golfers from 32 countries and 23 states. Muni He of China went under-par every round of the Q-Series to finish the eightround tournament at -21. Two-time LPGA Tour winner Hee Young Park of Seoul, South Korea finished in solo second at -18 after posting a 2-under par 70 in the final round. Noh’s third-place finish was a relief after the 12 rounds at the LPGA Qualifying Tourna-

Carondelet High teams were second in North Coast Section playoffs in both volleyball and golf enabling the Cougars to move on to the Northern California Championships, highlighting postseason play to date for local fall sports teams and athletes. Girls Golf – Carondelet coach Rick Eisenhour’s team plays in the ultra-competitive East Bay Athletic League golf and that helped them to a runner-up finish to league rival Dougherty Valley at NCS and then the Cougars were fourth at the Northern California Tournament with DV again in first place. Carondelet was also second at the NCS championship last year after winning Section in 2017 and 2015. The Cougars finished third at NorCal and sixth at state last fall. Madelyn Gamble was second at NCS and third at NorCal. She was just one shot back at NorCal and qualified as an individual for the State

school following two years at Carondelet. Instead, she turned pro last winter and had two nearchampionship showings in LPGA tournaments this year.

NCS, from page B1

All four teams in the top half of the Division 1 bracket are Photo courtesy LPGA Tour from the East Bay Athletic Yealimi Noh was the youngest woman at 18-years-old to League, along with California in earn her LPGA Tour Card this month following a third-place the bottom half. Should DLS finish in the grueling Q-Series in North Carolina. The Conbeat Amador Valley, which won cord golfer fired six of eight rounds in the 60s and can the EBAL Valley Division with a begin her first full-time LPGA season in 2020 not having to 5-0 mark this fall, and then one worry about qualifying every week. of the Danville schools, Monte Vista or San Ramon Valley, in ment Stage II and Q-Series. know, just really happy all of a the semi-finals, they will most “I’m excited to play and have sudden that I’m finally done and likely face an East County foe, chances to win. I’m just really will get to play next year.” Liberty or traditional rival Pittshappy to be out there when Noh really established herburg, in the NCS D-1 finals. I’m going to be out there. I’m self in the competition by Someone who isn’t surjust excited,” said Noh. shooting the lowest score of prised by the five of eight Divi“I [couldn’t] get too excited the third round of the Q-Series sion 1 teams coming from the until it’s over. So, after I hit my and took the 54-hole lead at -9. EBAL is Clayton Valley Charsecond shot, which is over the After that round she said, “I ter head coach Tim Murphy. water - after I hit my second on know I’m ready and have what His Ugly Eagles suffered the green and close, too, I was it takes to play on the LPGA through a 1-4 record in their like — and I had mud on my because of this year but playfirst year in the EBAL. Their ball, too. Yeah. I was like, Oh, if ing well right now feels really only league win came 41-0 over I go in the water this is not cool. good. I just need to control my Foothill, who might be their Just going on green and finally conditioning and stuff like that second-round opponent in the being able to breathe, I don’t because last week my game was playoffs this month. CVCHS hadn’t lost a league game in seven years until their rude awakening in the EBAL. On the other hand, before the season began the Ugly Eagles were presented with a golden opportunity by being classified in NCS Division 2 rather than the now-eliminated Open Division, where they had to face the likes of DLS, Pitt or Liberty to move on in the playoffs. They dominated D-2 in Murphy’s early seasons at the Concord school with three NCS titles in four years and a pair of State Bowl Game appearances from 2012-15. “Being in a Division 1 league is definitely an advantage for the playoffs. Now we just have to continue to get healthy and take advantage of being the No. 1 seed for our division,” Murphy said after the playoff schedule was announced. A win over the Grizzlies would give Clayton Valley Charter another home game in a week against the Foothill-San Leandro winner. In the other half of the Division 2 bracket are No. 2 seed Vintage of Napa and third seed CampolinPhoto courtesy Carondelet High Athletics do, which ironically could meet Carondelet High made another appearance in the Northern California golf championship CVCHS in the Section finals after being outspoken in the meet and took fourth, just one spot away from returning to the CIF State meet. The process that saw the charter Cougars team included, from left, Natalie Jarrett, Madelyn Gamble, Chloe Sitzmann, Morgan Gamble, Carissa Wu, Sammie Miller, Madison Wu and coach Rick Eisenhour. school removed early this year from the Diablo Athletic League in football only due to meet this week. Her team- Golf Course in Peach Beach. individual for NorCals. She their dominance this decade. mate Madison Wu also conNorthgate’s Gia Feliciano finished 20th there. Ygnacio Valley face a long tinued on to State as an indi- was her with Bronco teamtrip to Eureka to meet Saint vidual where they will play mate at NCS and her 74 was See Fall Sports, pg B4 Bernard’s Academy. The last next Tuesday at Poppy Hills good enough to qualify as an time Ygnacio had at least seven

Fall sports wrapping up with NCS, State competitions now underway JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

She had capped her amateur career with an incredible 2018 season that changed her plans of attending UCLA on a golf scholarship after she was home


wins was in 2009 when they also notched their last Section playoff victory. That year, the Warriors lost in the second round of the playoffs to Eureka High ending a 9-3 season. They’ll hope this year doesn’t end with a loss to a team from the Humboldt County city. Coach Shaw says, “With the new playoff format we had no idea whether we would be given the nod [to get in the playoffs] so when we received the No. 7 seed our players and coaches were beyond thrilled. We get to work at least another week together to see how good we can get. “I’m especially proud as an Ygnacio Valley alum to be a small part of the success our team has achieved. I spent Sunday [after the seedings were announced] receiving calls, texts and emails from many of the alumni we have invited back this year to talk and serve our current Warriors, and they too are so excited for our young men.” Shaw says he’s bringing up six players from the junior varsity to get a little more experience, so he’ll have 32 players traveling to Eureka. EBAL MOUNTAIN DIVISION

California 7-3 Clayton Valley Charter 5-5 De La Salle 9-1 Foothill 5-5 Monte Vista 7-3 San Ramon Valley 7-3


League (Overall) Results Benicia 6-0 (9-1) Berean Christian 1-8 (1-5) College Park 5-1 (7-3) Concord 2-4 (3-7) Mt. Diablo 0-6 (2-8) Northgate 4-2 (6-4) Ygnacio Valley 3-3 (7-3)

Local soccer teams enjoy Halloween tournaments

Photos courtesy Diablo FC and MDSA

DIABLO FC 09 GIRLS won the under 11 Mummies bracket at the 20th annual Kick or Treat Classic. The team had four consecutive shutouts while scoring 22 goals. The team also won the KOT Costume Contest as Santa’s helpers. The team includes, from left, Adam Barrett, Maya Barrett, Charlotte Malone, Delaney Frazier, Genevienne Perry, Taylor Turner, Brooklyn Hall, Peyton Whitwam, Carlee Chambers, Isabella Ibanez, Ashley Avalos, Lulu O'Dea and coach Daniel Rednic. Diablo FC teams also won both the boys and girls U12 brackets and boys U10 at the Kick or Treat Classic they hosted.

MDSA STORM 2009 BOYS ELITE took first at the Impact BooFest U11 gold division in Brentwood. Playing in referee costumes, the Storm won each of their four games by one-goal margins including coming back from two goals behind to with the championship game 43. The tournament victory placed Storm in the Top 25 U11 boys national rankings. The Storm includes, front row from left, Ryan Kern, Jamie Laverick, Cayden Baker, Aaden Torrez, Walid Miry; back row, coach Billy Torrez, Teddy McGee, coach Frank Gavidia, Cooper Smith, Jacob Asselin, Harrison Hornsby, Wyatt Parker, Alexander Hernandez and coach Pete Laverick.

November 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com had a final season with the Concord Cobras youth football program, where he first started playing as a seven-yearold. He was on varsity as a sophomore but had to sit out last season because he was academically ineligible. During the years he didn’t play at CHS he did “plenty of lifting” which helped give him the strength and stamina to remain on the field for almost every play this season. When he was back on the team this fall, he was also excelling in the classroom with a 3.5 GPA. The 6-0, 225-pound Gonzalez has thoughts of playing football next year at Diablo Valley College too.

Athlete Spotlight

Carlos Gonzalez Grade: Senior School: Concord High Sport: Football

Gonzalez only played two years of football at Concord High, yet in his senior year he was voted a team captain. Head coach Paul Reynaud quickly nominated Gonzalez for the Athlete Spotlight and said, “Carlos has started every game at center and played practically every snap there. He has also anchored our defensive line and been an incredible leader for us this season.” The Min-

utemen had an outside chance for a berth in their new NCS Division IV. The team practiced last week when they had no assurance of making the playoffs, which they didn’t do. The team started and finished their schedule with victories but only had one win in between. Gonzalez didn’t play his freshman year at Concord because there wasn’t a frosh football team. Instead, he

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

Hometown honoring Todd Lichti Nov. 20 on his way to basketball Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy Stanford Athletics

Todd Lichti went from three-years of all-league honors at Mt. Diablo High to three years as an all-American at Stanford before going on to a career in the NBA. He finished his pro career in Australia and has lived there since 2002. He returns to Concord next Wednesday for a celebration before his induction to the College Basketball Hall of Fame. JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Mt. Diablo High School legend Todd Lichti is being inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame Nov. 24 in Kansas City but four days earlier he’ll get a chance to meet family, friends and fans from his hometown when a reception is held at Legends at Diablo Creek Golf Course next Wednesday. The 6 - 8 p.m. event is fittingly at Legends where Lichti held

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his NBA Draft Party 30 years ago. Lichti, who prepped at Mt. Diablo and then had four outstanding years at Stanford, was picked 15th by Denver in that draft, one place after the Warriors tabbed Tim Hardaway. At the Nov. 20 reception in Concord Lichti’s Stanford coach Mike Montgomery will be on hand. Montgomery was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2016 and will also be at Lichti’s big day in Kansas City. Former De La Salle and Northgate coach Frank

Allocco will also be a guest of Lichti at the reception. Montgomery coached Lichti in his final three years at Stanford after replacing Tom Davis, who recruited the Mt. Diablo player and coached him as a freshman. Lichti is part of a prestigious 2019 Hall of Fame class that includes Indiana's Calbert Cheaney, Duke's Shane Battier, Purdue's Terry Dischinger, Providence's Ernie DiGregorio, UNLV's Larry Johnson and former coaches Homer Drew, Lute Olson and the late Rick Majerus. Mt. Diablo High School has retired one jersey number in its 118-year history—No. 41 in basketball. Lichti received that honor when he was graduating in 1985. He attended Holbrook Elementary and Glenbrook Intermediate School before coming to Mt. Diablo in 1981. In his three varsity seasons Lichti excelled to the extent that major college coaches like Notre Dame’s Digger Phelps and Davis were coming to P. J. Kramer Gym to scout and woo him. “I thought my basketball award days were long behind me,” Lichti said. “It's humbling to be part of this conversation so many years on, let alone to now be a member of this select group. I struggle somewhat to put this into context coming from everyday beginnings, the son of two schoolteachers and returning there in my life now where I suppose I'm most comfortable. “I must thank my teammates and coaching staff while at Stanford,” Lichti continued. “They


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worked as hard as I did to achieve what we did and from whom I learned much. My family has always been an incredible support system since my childhood – and now my wife and son are. “One of the first things I did upon hearing the news was look at the list of players already inducted searching for one name – [Stanford legend] Hank Luisetti,” Lichti added. “He was there and that made it ok for me to be included.” Tickets for the Nov. 20 Hall of Fame Celebration honoring Todd Lichti are $42 (his Stanford jersey number). Visit the website: LegendsDiabloCreek.com

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com this season. Her work ethic inside and outside of the pool makes her a perfect example of what a successful student athlete looks like.” Wilcox has received the NCS Scholar Athlete Award every water polo season reflecting her 4.26 cumulative GPA. During the short amounts of time she spends on land, Wilcox is a member of California Scholarship Federation, Link Crew, Senior Women Club and Clayton Arts Academy, where she specializes in drama. She has performed in CVCHS musicals Clayton Valley as well as outside of school. Wilcox plans on attending a four-year university next fall. CVCHS student journalist Alexa Oldham wrote this Spotlight.

Athlete Spotlight

Emma Wilcox Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sport: Water Polo

Varsity water polo captain Wilcox is the epitome of a well-rounded student athlete. She is Clayton Valley Charter’s two-meter defender and attacker. She also swims and serves as a coach for the Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team. Before Wilcox opted strictly for aquatic sports, she played two years for CVCHS soccer. Her experience as a soccer player and swimmer, along with motivation from her friends

(now teammates), compelled her to try out for polo her freshman year. It’s a decision that certainly worked out. Her passion for competition and leadership has led Clayton Valley’s women’s water polo team to a top five seed in North Coast Section this fall. Coach Riley Shaw describes Wilcox as a “fantastic teammate and leader on our team. Her dedication and persistence have been key in our defensive success throughout

Fall Sports, from page B2

Clayton Valley Charter’s Kiana Fong made it to NCS as an individual. Water Polo – NCS water polo concludes this week and the NorCal championships are Nov. 19-23. Carondelet is the No. 1 seed in Division 2. After an opening bye the Cougars defeated Newark Memorial 13-

3 to reach the semi-finals this Wednesday against Northgate. The fourth-seeded Broncos edged Terra Linda 6-5 in the second round. Concord High was also in D-2 as the 11th seed and the Minutemen fell to Encinal 9-8 in the opening round. Clayton Valley Charter defeated Berkeley 7-6 and

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

Redwood 5-1 in D-1 as the fifth seed. The Eagles matched up with No. 1 ranked Sir Francis Drake in the semi-finals Wednesday. NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin Nov. 6 and end Nov. 16. DAL teams Campolindo boys and Acalanes girls won the firstever NCS Open championships. Girls Volleyball – NCS concluded last Saturday with No. 2 Carondelet falling in three sets to Division 2 top seed Marin Catholic, losing the final set 25-22. Earlier, the Concord school had rolled through three consecutive straight set wins over Arroyo, Montgomery and Alameda. Northgate began the playoffs with a five-set win over American before falling to Marin Catholic. Clayton Valley Charter lost in the first round to Maria Carrillo. The CIF Northern California championships are underway this week with the Division 1 Cougars hosting Clovis North on Tuesday in an 8-9 seed matchup. The finals are Nov. 19. Cross Country – Diablo and East Bay athletic league championships were last Saturday. Local school’s runners and teams didn’t rack up as many laurels as they’ve done in recent years. De La Salle took fourth at

the EBAL meet. Juniors Patrick Curulla and Kieran Brown took fourth and fifth for the Spartans. In the girls EBAL meet a young Carondelet team was ninth with a freshman and two sophomores their top finishers. Logan Harlow of Northgate was top local finisher in fifth in the DAL boys championship race. Concord’s Diego Huerta (11th) and Nathan Butterfield of CVCHS (14th) led their respective teams. Northgate boys were third, Clayton Valley Charter fifth and Concord eighth in the overall DAL standings. Seniors Lark Chang-Yeh of Northgate and CVCHS’s Angely Alas paced their teams at DAL. Ygnacio’s top runner was Quinn Whiteley while freshman Alana Sevier was Concord’s first finisher. The NCS Meet of Champions is Nov. 23 at Hayward High with the CIF State Meet Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno. Girls Tennis – The NCS team championships are this week with the singles and doubles tournament next Monday and Tuesday. The NorCal team tournament is Nov. 19-23. Clayton Valley Charter was seeded 14th in Division 1 and meets No. 3 San Ramon Valley this Thursday.

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November 15, 2019

Sports Shorts


Concord American Little League is now accepting registration for its 2020 spring baseball and softball seasons. The league’s website has complete information for t-ball through senior baseball and softball (4-14 years old) and Challenger (418 years) programs. There will be in-person registration this Saturday, Nov. 16, from 3 -5 p.m. at the league ball fields behind Mt. Diablo High at 2400 Galindo St. in Concord. Everyone registering by Nov. 30 gets an early bird $30 discount on their fees (use code 48412 at checkout). Call 472-8940 for more information or register online at callbaseball.org.


Terrapins coaches will be teaching a pre-season high school training program in the afternoon at Concord Community Pool from Dec. 2 through Jan. 31 (with a holiday break Dec. 21-29). The program is geared to help high school swimmers get ready for their spring season. For more info and to register visit terrapinswim.com.


Boys and girls born between 2009 and 2014 are invited to sign up for the Diablo FC winter soccer development program. Sessions are held on Mondays and Saturdays on Concord-area fields from Jan. 6 through the end of February. Professional coaches from the area’s premier soccer club will focus on technical ball skills and offer small-sided games to supplement training sessions. Visit diablofc.org for details.


Registration for Clayton Valley Little League is now open for the spring 2020 season with its early bird discount offered extended until Nov. 20. Baseball programs for players ages four to 15 and softball for girls six to 16 are both open for registration. Tryouts are in January and the season runs from February to June. The CVLL program includes a Challenger Division for players with disabilities and special needs. Players must reside within the CVLL boundaries. Email info@cvll.org or visit cvll.org for complete information and to register.


The Northgate High School athletic department is hosting its 4th annual Breakfast with Santa at Boundary Oak Golf Course on Sunday, Dec. 22. The event will include an all-youcan-eat breakfast, visit with Santa with free photo from 9-11 a.m. The breakfast is from 9 a.m.- 12 noon. Call 938-0900 or visit northgatebroncos.org for more info.


The annual Mt. Diablo High School Hall of Fame crab feed will be on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill. Tickets are available for the discount price of $55 until Dec. 31, before increasing to $60. The evening, which benefits the school’s Sports Hall of Fame, includes music, dancing, 50/50 raffle and lots of raffle prizes. For more information call Lou Adamo at 212-9332 or email louadamo@gmail.com.


Youth basketball and volleyball leagues are accepting registrations for winter leagues. Basketball league begins Dec. 13 and volleyball Jan. 11. For complete information on All Out Sports programs including camps and clinics, visit alloutsportsleague.com.


The 17th annual Diablo FC benefit crab feed, raffle and dance is set for Friday, Jan. 31, at Centre Concord. Tickets will be on sale shortly for the event that benefits programs for the local competitive youth soccer club affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes. Visit diablofc.org for more details and to get information on event sponsoring and purchasing crab feed tickets.


Please let us know about your sports news, special events, fund raisers, tryouts, signups and accomplishments. Youth leagues, clubs, schools and adult programs are all welcome to send us a rundown on what you’re doing. Include all the necessary details (too much information is better than too little!) and your contact information. It’s as simple as sending an email to sports@pioneerpublishers.com.

November 15, 2019



Many of the best actors and actresses have mailed it in at least a couple times, but Joaquin Phoenix can never be accused of putting forth anything less than his absolute best. His latest finds him better than ever playing the titular role in Todd Phillips’ “Joker.” After Heath Ledger’s masterful turn as Batman’s mortal enemy in “Dark Knight,” one might wonder why anyone would attempt to play the role again. Did anyone see Jared Leto in “Suicide Squad”? Ugh. Phoenix, however, puts a new spin on the character. Ledger played Joker as an unhinged, morally corrupt leader of criminal sycophants. Phoenix portrays a disturbed, sad sack of a man. Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) is a sign-spinning clown in his late 30s who still lives with (and bathes) his mother. Frances Conroy is perfectly pathetic as Penny Fleck. So obsessed with getting financial help from her well-off former employer,

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Phoenix brings depth to compelling spiral in ‘Joker Penny completely misses the signs that her son has turned into a brutal murderer. The scenes between the two of them are (mostly) tender reminders of what used to be a healthy, loving relationship. Phillips’ Gotham, like most recreations of the fabled city, is a run-down, poorly managed place where the less fortunate are not only spat on, but often beaten senseless. It is after Arthur’s early thumping by young ruffians that things begin to go awry. Loss of impulse control becomes a positive when he boldly begins talking to his cute neighbor (Zazie Beetz), and a negative when murder becomes a natural reaction. Arthur suffers from an uncontrollable cackle, something his mom always said was a medical problem. I found myself chuckling early on during scenes when Arthur could not stop laughing. However, I eventually felt sorry for him; Phoenix got me to care about this scoundrel’s feelings. The film seems to take place in a version of the early 1980s; musical choices from the era fit the mood. Composer Hildur Guonadottir, who provided scary atmosphere with her score on the recent “Chernobyl” mini-series, mixes a traditional score with eerie sounds to per-

fection here. Arthur and Penny compulsively watch “Live with Murray Franklin” every night. Robert De Niro pops up as the Leno-esque TV talk show host enthralling the masses of Gotham. Watching Franklin is one of Arthur’s few remaining

pleasures as his world crumbles. Arthur becomes a minor celebrity of sorts, leading Franklin to feature a story on him. But Arthur does not want fame or cult status. He just wants to be treated equally, and for the town to treat those like him with dignity.

Phillips weaves some of the Batman mythos into the film, but it never overwhelms. It simply allows the audience to find context for where “Joker” takes place in the legacy. The director hinted that “Joker” would be a one-off and not the start of a trilogy.

“What It Takes, How I Built a $100 Million Business Against the Odds” is a financial memoir tracking her journey from a working wife and mother to the top of the entrepreneurial success ladder. Her success came not long after her male boss told her, “You don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in your body.” It was not the first or the last time that men in the world of high finance and leadership would deny her encouragement or funding. Moya-Jones’s tenacity, imagination and faith in the products she wanted to manufacture and sell were the assets that moved her through the gender-biased roadblocks at almost every step, and it’s

what makes this book a compelling and hard-to-put-down read. Her story begins when she and her good friend, also Australian, lament the lack of good swaddling blankets in America – the kind of cotton blankets in which generations of Australian babies had been wrapped. After a couple of years of grueling research and planning, that conversation gave birth in 2006 to aden+anais. The thriving company produces hugely popular muslin cotton goods for babies around the world. In some ways, “What It Takes” is exactly that: a howto book of instructions especially honed for the female entrepreneur. The author’s




In all the years I have written about books for this paper, never have I reviewed anything that comes close to a book about business. But I found it worthwhile to read about Raegan MoyaJones, a savvy young woman from Australia. After moving to the United States with her boyfriend, she built a business worth more than a hundred million dollars – without a college degree.


5K and 10K run/walk and Kids’ Dash. 7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. race. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. $40 for 5K, $45 for 10K. Benefits Compassion Outreach Programs at the Bay Church. turkeytrotconcord.org.

Nov. 28 Giving Thanks Meal

All are welcome to a free Thanksgiving meal. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 4000 Concord Blvd., Concord. To arrange transport, call 925-864-6399 by Nov. 21. flcconcord.org.



Dec. 8 “Winter’s Light”

Nov. 22-23 “The Christmas Ballet!”

Yuletide spectacular from Smuin Ballet, Lesher Center.

Dec. 2 Hospice Tree Lighting

From Salvador Dali to Wayne Thiebaud. 12-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. bedfordgallery.org or 925-295-1418.

Dec. 13-22 “(Not) A Christmas Carol”

A modern adaptation, Onstage Repertory Theatre, Campbell Theater. Breakfast treats, music, fashion show and more, benefitting Solo Opera. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Macy’s in the Sunvalley Shopping Center, Concord. $22, available through Eventbrite. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult; donations welcome. claytoncbca.org.


Dec. 12 Advanced Health Care Directives for Seniors

Legal clinic to prepare and notarize directives for seniors 60 and older in Contra Costa County. 9:15-11:30 a.m., Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment at 925671-3320.


Sundays through December “Historic Somersville”

Local history, miners’ tools and mining town life are among the topics. 1-2 p.m., Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, AntiHonoring the lives of friends and loved ones. 5 p.m., John Muir och. Meet the naturalist in the parking lot at the end of Medical Center parking lot, East Street and Almond Avenue, Con- Somersville Road. ebparks.org or 888-327-2757, ext. 2750. cord. Visit hospiceeastbay.org for info about other local lightings.

Dec. 7-8 Gingerbread House Boutique

Featuring local artisans, hosted by the Concord Historical Society. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Concord Museum and Event Center, 1928 Clayton Road. Also, the Galindo House across the garden available for $5 tours 1-4 p.m., featuring themed Christmas trees. 925827-3380.

Dec. 7 Tamales & Bike Fest/Concord Tree Lighting

Bike Concord festival, with tamales, 3-7:30 p.m. Santa arrives via fire truck at 4 p.m., onstage entertainment, 5 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Dec. 7 Clayton Tree Lighting

Horse-drawn carriage rides, 4:30-6:30 p.m.; canned food donations requested. Tree lighting and carols, 6 p.m., Grove park, downtown Clayton.

Dec. 8 Clayton Christmas Homes Tour

Featuring five homes, to benefit the Clayton Historical Society, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Buy $30 tickets by Dec. 7 at the Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St.,; R&M Gardens, 6780 Marsh Creek Road; or at claytonhistory.org. Same-day tickets $35 at the museum. Special after-party and dinner at sixth home, $35.


The Charles Dickens’ classic, brimming with music and dance, Center REP, Lesher Center.

Dec. 12-22 “A Christmas Carol”

Dec. 14 Dessert with Mrs. Claus

Holiday collection filled with gift options. Opening reception, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 16. Exhibit continues 11 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaysSaturdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, Valley Art Gallery, 1661 Botelho Dr., Suite 110, Walnut Creek. valleyartgallery.org or 925-935-4311.

See Books, page B7

Dec. 5-21 “Cinderella: A Fairytale”

Nov. 16 Craft Fest

Nov. 16-Dec. 23 “Artful Giving”

chapter titles say it all, from Trust In Your Idea, Don’t Let Doubt Stop You, Mum Guilt, Expect Surprises, Choose Your Partner Wisely, Know When to Sell to Exit With Grace. A principle factor in MoyaJones’s story is the acquisition of funds, not only to start with but money for everything that might follow. Gender bias appears most often in acquiring funding and the recognition of female leadership. “Women are encouraged to be more like men in business – that is, less emotional, less reactive, less feminine. I couldn’t disagree with this sentiment more.”

Uplifting songs to kick off the holiday season. Diablo Women’s Chorale. 4 p.m., Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette. www.diablowomenschorale.org or 800-838-3006.

Dec. 14 “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

Handmade gifts from jewelry and food to home goods. 10 a.m.5 p.m., Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr. Walnut Creek. bedfordgallery.org or 925-295-1418.

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

Theatre, California Theatre.

Through Dec. 29 “Bring Beauty Into Your Life”

Paintings, jewelry, ceramics and metal sculptures for holiday gift giving. Main Street Arts, 613 Main St., Martinez. mainstreetarts.net or 925-269-8049.

Here’s to hoping he changes his mind; there is plenty of great story left to tell. A-

‘What It Takes’ a persuasive lesson in female entrepreneurship


Page B5

Nov. 29 Three Canyons Hike

A 7.5-mile hike through Mitchell Canyon, Back Canyon and Donner Canyon, with elevation gain of 1,600 feet. Bring lunch. Rain cancels. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 per car. jvanakkeren@comcast.net.


Nov. 16 “The Jazzy Side of Americana”

Concert featuring Cappell & Holt, 7:30 p.m., Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15 at the door. 925-672-4848 or cvpresby.org.

Through Nov 24 “Annie”

The popular, Tony Award winning musical, Pittsburg Community

Theater Contact Key

West Coast debut of this family-friendly tale, Town Hall Theatre.

Through Dec. 15 “Off Menu: Contemporary Art About Food”


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Concord.html. 925-646-5455.

Mystery Book Club, 1 p.m. Nov. 17, Dec. 8. Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. Nov. 18. Baby and Toddler Storytime, ages 0-3. 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Forever Young: Adult Book Club, 4 p.m. Nov. 19. Preschool Storytime, ages 3-5. 10:30 a.m. Wednedays. Adulting 101 for Teens, 4 p.m. Nov. 20. Registration required. Medicare Information Session, 11 a.m. Nov. 22. Community Conversation on Homelessness, 4 p.m. Nov. 26. Knitting and Crochet Group, 1:15 p.m. Dec. 1. Medicare Information Session, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Chill for Kids: Holiday Edition, 3 p.m. Dec. 5. DIY Holiday Terrariums, for adults. 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Registration required. Holiday Crafternoon: Gingerbread Houses, 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Registration required.

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659. Patty Cakes Storytime, 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Ages 0-3. Paws to Read, 4 p.m. Nov. 19. Registration required. Picture Book Storytime, 11 a.m. Thursdays. Ages 3-5. Picture Book Month Activities, 4 p.m. Nov. 21. Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Nov. 25, Dec. 9. North Pole Review with Fratello Marionettes, 4 p.m. Dec. 9. Library Book Club Holiday Party, 7 p.m. Dec. 9.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

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

California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 925-427-1611. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. 925-350-9770. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St., Lafayette. townhalltheatre.com. 925-283-1557.

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

Page B6






The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Local troupes bring on the holiday fun Get rid of the holiday blues and prepare to be Scrooged. Center REPertory offers “A Christmas Carol,” with Michael Ray Wisely once again starring as Ebenezer Scrooge Dec. 12- 22 in Walnut Creek. Scott Denison directions, with adaptation by Cynthia Caywood and Richard L. James

Town Hall Theatre presents “Cinderella: A Fairytale” in Lafayette.


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November 15, 2019

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and choreography by Jennifer Perry. Tickets at 925-943SHOW or lesherartscenter.org. Meanwhile, Onstage Theatre Company will produce “(Not) A Christmas Carol” at the Martinez Campbell Theater Dec. 13-22. I wrote this modern interpretation of the Charles Dickens’ classic. Contact campbelltheater.com or 925-350-9970. Light up your holiday season with Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet!” Enjoy classical selections set to cherished carols alongside red-hot contemporary numbers set to pop favorites in this yuletide spectacular. The beloved Bay Area tradition runs Nov. 2223 in Walnut Creek. Tickets at 925-943-SHOW or lesherartscenter.org. The sun comes out tomorrow for Pittsburg Community Theatre, which is presenting the classic musical “Annie” through Nov. 29. The plucky orphan is on a mission to find her parents in 1930s New York City after they abandoned her on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie escapes and experiences adventure in the Big Apple beyond her wildest dreams. Performances are at the California Theatre. Contact 925-427-1611 or pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble brings the fun, holidaythemed melodrama “Misdeeds At Mistletoe Mine” to the East Bay. Written by Tim Koenig and directed by Kyle Conley and John Ruzicka, it will be at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch Dec. 6-7. Visit www.ghostlightte.org. Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill presents “Kentucky,” by Leah Nanako

(2003) and “Putting It Together” (2007). They provided incredible entertainment and opportunities to the East Bay. They will be sorely missed.

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

“(Not) A Christmas Carol” brings Charles Dickens into modern times in Martinez.

Winkler and directed by Charlynn Knighton, Nov. 22-Dec. 1. Themes of identity, religion and love collide in this unique coming-of-age story. Contact 925-969-2358 or dvcdrama.net. “Cinderella: A Fairytale,” by Sally Cookson and Adam Peck, is up next at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette Dec. 5 21. Directed by artistic director Clive Worsley, the play features a slew of Bay Area performers of all ages. Tickets at 925-283-

1557 or townhalltheatre.com. The lights dim at Role Players Ensemble as the board of directors unanimously decided to dissolve and end operations. According to board members, reasons include a lack of funds and projected liquidity. Over the past 39 years, RPE has produced amazing works in Danville’s Village Theatre. I was honored to work with the company, directing “The Dining Room”

Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet!” blends classic carols and pop favorites at the Lesher Center.

Artist finds the art in ordinary objects





When Elliott Night was a child, she enjoyed concocting elaborate costumes and putting on performances in her family’s living room. “Then when I about 9 years old, I got into cartooning, melted crayon art and collage,” she recalls. “Now I love working with found objects like smashed cans, dented mallets, chewed pencils, halfdestroyed baseballs – lots of torn and tatty stuff.” Night’s most recent work features a whimsical series of assemblage art pieces. “I call them ‘Dancing Sticks,’ and they have an amazing amount of attitude. I put baby shoes on different kinds of bodies. Vintage baby shoes from the 1950s and ’60s send me over the moon,” she says enthusiastically. She hopes that people will connect with the individual personality of each piece. “Inspiration just comes over me like a mist,” Night says. “Like when I discover an old mallet at a garage sale, I will see a face staring back at me – a wrinkle or crack

One of Elliot Night’s “Dancing Sticks,” flanked by foundobject assemblages from “The Occupants” series.

becomes the mouth. Sometimes when I look at a bunch of colorful baby spoons, I see arms and hands. When I go into my studio to look around, all these different parts are just shouting out to me, ‘Hey, I will make an awesome head,’” she says, laughing. Before Night came to Concord in 2016, she had moved around a lot. “I was most recently in Seattle. But when I was working for Microsoft, I was able to live in Asia for three years, which I loved,” she says. She currently works at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), where her job is to connect clinical ther-

apists with children in the county’s foster care system. Night first started selling her work in the 1990s. “It warms the cockles of my heart to know that someone else gets enjoyment from something I’ve created. When I’m making art, everything else falls away. It’s awesome.” Her work is on display and for sale at the aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord, during the 8th annual Holiday Boutique through Dec. 21.

Lisa Fulmer is a marketing consultant, published author and a community arts advocate.

This beautiful property in the sought after Oak Hollow neighborhood of Clayton is waiting for you to come home. From the expansive downstairs master suite with walk in closets and soaking tub, light-filled and open living and dining room with vaulted ceilings, to the kitchen with plenty of cabinet and countertop space, new appliances, and a sunny breakfast nook, you'll look forward to spending time at home. Enjoy your morning coffee in the yard, then wander around the block to the community pool, Oakhurst golf course, walking trails, bocce courts, schools, restaurants, and farmers market downtown. Come on by, and come home to Clayton.

Denisen Hartlove, Realtor DRE#01933662


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Dudum Real Estate Group 1910 Olympic Blvd. #100, Walnut Creek



November 15, 2019



Even though it’s November, the garden and landscape still need tending. This is your last chance of the year to get the landscape in shape before winter. The weather is perfect for getting outside and getting busy. Azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons need to be fertilized this month with a formula that focuses on the flowers. Use a product with less nitrogen (the first number in the fertilizer formula) than phosphorous (the second number), for example 010-10 or 3-20-20. It is usually OK to use a granular fertilizer this time of year, but since the rains haven’t started yet, use a water-soluble fertilizer if you





It can be difficult to unify one’s faith with sexuality or gender identities, especially when you fall under the LGBTQI umbrella. It’s about more than pushing the boundaries of sexual exploration or the notions of virginity, which tend to be taboo topics in many religions. Many folks are longing for a spiritual place – an inclusive space that accepts each person as their whole self. I have many friends and colleagues who have found a way to merge their devout religious faith with their queer identity. Some majored in theology, and a few even became rabbis, ministers or preachers. But a large portion of folks find faith and their gender/sexuality to be a complicated relationship. I grew up with strict Apostolic and Baptist faiths in rural Pennsylvania. My maternal grandmother, whom I idolized, was Apostolic and I rou-

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Prep your garden for winter – and spring sider removing undeveloped fruit to free up the tree’s energy. As the leaves fall from trees and shrubs in your landscape, think about composting rather than discarding. Dried leaf material breaks down quickly, and the benefits to your garden are amazing. If trees are in beds or fence lines, leave the leaf material on the ground to break down. Closer to the end of the month, apply dormant spray Plants like cyclamen add a bright spot to garden beds and and copper fungicide to peach, borders. nectarine and plum trees. Many foliage diseases, such as peach irrigate acid-loving plants on a as well. Changing the PH of the leaf curl and fire blight, need to be controlled during the tree’s drip system. soil produces different color dormant period. Apply monthly Hydrangeas will lose their results for hydrangeas. until the blossoms have swelled. leaves as the weather cools. This Citrus will also need some Folks that grow tropical signals us to begin to treat blue fertilizing this time of year to and pink hydrangeas to keep or help the fruit. Just as with azal- plants, have young citrus or richen their colors. Blue Mopeas, fertilize with a formula that vines should have Wilt Stop handy or frost-protecting covers head hydrangeas will need doses focuses on the flower/fruit. to help insure your plants’ sucof aluminum sulfate every six Give your lemon, orange or cess. If the forecast calls for weeks now through March. lime trees 0-10-10, 3-20-20 or frost, make sure your landscape Pink Mophead hydrangeas something similar. Add a dose and container plants are should be treated with doses of of iron for yellow citrus. If agricultural lime every six weeks your citrus looks stressed, con- watered. Dry plants have more

Merging faith, LGBTQI+ identity can be challenging tinely attended church and revivals. During ninth grade, I had some traumatizing experiences at a nine-week revival. I was a young girl figuring out her lesbian identity in a world that actively promoted homosexuality as something that was “worse than being a murderer” – words I heard many times at services. In my heart, even at 14, I knew I couldn’t be worse than someone who killed people, yet everything I knew and believed in was wrapped up in those lessons. These overt negative teachings created a lot of internalized hatred, which I didn’t identify and begin to work through until I was into my 20s. My motivation for social justice and LGBTQI+ advocacy work is, in part, driven by those early experiences. Others have been exposed to subversive messages about being “less than” or “not enough.” In a world that preaches loving your neighbor unconditionally, it seems the undercurrent is that there are indeed conditions on that love. With the national rhetoric of hate toward LGBTQI+ folks and anyone who might be “other” (immigrants, refugees,

Books, from page B5

As I read this book, I began to think of how many daughters are not encouraged by family, friends and educators to take a serious look at where they might fit in business. Yet these women may be filled with ideas about better mousetraps just waiting to be built. And the

Page B7

bossiness they exhibit, in male terms, is known as leadership. “What It Takes” is an invitation to step into the world she built without the fancy college degree or the family of wealth behind her. MoyaJones’s wealth is what she carries inside, a wealth she

for example) becoming stronger, it feels more dangerous to be LGBTQI+ and out. It is, in fact, deadly for the most marginalized in our community. Long-held and hard-fought legislation that has protected us in work and life is actively being challenged. And when faith-based organizations put their money toward policies that harm LGBTQI+ folks, it can be hard to be a part of the congregation. This is why it is even more important today to speak love and acceptance and to actively foster inclusive policies, so that those who want to merge their faith with their sexual and gender identity have a space to do so. There are “welcoming and affirming” churches, synagogues, temples and other faith organizations that have made a point to speak out against hate and actively share their affirmation, their love, for LGBTQI+ people. These places are vitally important. Being out as someone in leadership, it’s imperative to visibly and vocally share your support or adopt more inclusive policies across your organization to help create safer spaces for all. It shows those encourages other women to find in themselves. “What It Takes” is must reading for young women everywhere.

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

damage during frost than hydrated ones. It’s also a good time to plant snapdragons, flowering cabbage, pansies, cyclamen and violas in containers and

along beds and borders for colorful interest.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Send questions or comments by email to gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

Interiors Panache, Inc.

6160 Center Streeet, Suite F, Clayton, CA

We are a full-service design firm conveniently located in downtown Clayton featuring: •Design Consultations •Residential & Commercial •Remodels, Kitchens, and Baths

who haven’t quite traveled their own path toward self-acceptance or discovery that they can do so and still be a part of an organization, especially one so essential to their mental and spiritual well-being. My faith is restored time and again when people become a part of positive change and acceptance. Dorann Zotigh is the board president of the Rainbow Center serving the LGBTQ community in Concord. Send questions and comments to Dodi@rainbowcc.org.

•Window Coverings •Design and Project Management •Licensed General Contractor •Hunter Douglas Priority Dealer •26 years of Design Experience •Clayton resident for 20 years

As seen on the HGTv show “My Lottery Dream Home”

Call today for an appointment! Office: 925.672.7920 email: carol@interiorspanache.com www.interiorspanache.com


Private Office space for rent. Call Matt at 925-766-6745 for details.

Coming Soon

1433 El Camino Dr. Clayton, Call for info

3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1352 sq.ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

Coming Soon

244 Promenade Ln. Danville, Call for info 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, approx. 2195 sq.ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


2534 Talaria Dr. Oakley, $595,000

4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, approx. 2923 sq.ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat


214 Jeffry Ranch Pl. Clayton, $790,000

4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 2017 sq.ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat

PENDING Buyer’s Rep SOLD Buyer’s Rep

20 Emerson Concord, $1,099,000

4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 2917 sq.ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat

1109 Peacock Creek Dr. Clayton, $1,049,000 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 3307 sq.ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

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Broker/Owner 925-766-6745 matt@mazzeirealty.net


Broker Associate Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765


Sales Agent 415-310-2905 rulawithmazzei@yahoo.com


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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

November 15, 2019

Benicia beckons...

Curry Bowl

New, locally owned Indian restaurant is creating a buzz. Here’s what the Yelpers are saying…

A late afternoon walk at Benicia State Recreation Area offers views of the sunset and the Carquinez Bridge.

“Phenomenal food— From the Paneer Tikka Masala to Garlic Naan to their Biryani, everything was perfect!”

Benicia State Recreation Area

“Simple but powerful flavors…” “Samosas got a kick and the spices are well balanced—a must try appetizer!” “So good! Ordered take out and it was ready quick!” “Love this local curry house. Try the butter chicken. Friendly service”

Dine In Take Out

Open every day 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Locally owned and operated

In the Clayton Station 5435 F Clayton Road, Clayton

(925) 889-9057


1806 Wildbrook Ct. #A, Concord

Beautiful, crisp, and completely updated townhome in a peaceful community. Featuring 3 generous bedrooms, 2.5 fully remodeled baths, a beautiful kitchen gleaming w/new cabinets, granite, decor tile backsplash, appliances, and so much more. New high quality luxury vinyl plank flooring & soft fresh paint. Full size inside laundry & large private patio. 2-car garage, newer windows, tankless H20, HVAC, Wireless++. The awesome complex features greenscape grounds and a very nice pool. Convenient to transit, shops and schools


Offered at $465,000


1328 Shell Lane, Clayton

Beautiful light, bright, view townhome featuring 3 bedrooms and 2/5 baths. NEW Carpet and plank flooring throughout. FRESHLY painted, NEW washer and dryer, dishwasher, and microwave. If that's not enough, additional climate controlled mini-split A/C installed upstairs to enhance central air comfort. The extra large two car garage includes extra storage area and workbench too. Beautiful Chaparral Springs complex features a lovely pool and spa with cabana, walking trails, and dog walking areas.


Offered at $850,000

Wonderful Custom Home - 3363 Walnut Ave.

This special home sits at the end of a private lane on a near 1/4 acre flat landscaped lot. It’s completely custom and unique interiors feature 3 very large master suites complete with walk in closets, and gorgeous baths. Large bright dining room and living room with hearth and additional 1/2 bath convenience are all light and bright. The downstairs master features soaring ceilings with lots of light and

Realtor® / ASP Stager@ / Relocation Specialist

additional storage, and french doors leading out to the vacation style pool deck. The upstairs masters, each generous in size are also fully equipped, with one having an upstairs lanai overlooking the pool and views. The chef’s kitchen is incredible with upgraded EVERYTHING. There are 3 attached garage spaces, a huge side yard for your RV/boat, and additional driveway parking for your whole fleet. The rear yard features beautiful pool, outdoor bar, patios, planting areas, and outside storage. Located right quick to BART and commute arteries, shoppes, schools, entertainment — FANTASTIC! Call for details BRE#01370548






What: Bay Area Ridge Trail and Benicia Bay Trail Distance: 4.6 miles Duration: 1.5 hours Level: Easy Elevation gain: 282 feet Getting there: Park entrance off Columbus Parkway Fee: $6 Extras: Restrooms and water

ing over me from high above during the first portion of this When the clocks change in hike had me wondering about fall, it means shorter days, my decision to visit this park, dusty trails and the need for but I forged on nonetheless. I “quick hit hikes” to take had a map, but you don’t realadvantage of the sunlight. ly need one as exploring this All these reasons brought place can be done in less than me to Benicia State Recreation two hours. This park is dogArea, a small slice of land in friendly, allowing them on the California State Park sysalmost all trails with a leash, tem situated on the Carquinez of course. Straight. My goal was to tackle At Dillon Point, a great the Benicia Bay Trail, which is spot for shore fishing, I ran part of the much larger Bay into the Benicia Bay Trail – a Area Ridge Trail. neatly manicured and wellI am most definitely a traveled single-track trail that “time on trails” person, so I started as an easy ascent parked at the entrance and toward a setting sun. In fact, hiked a foot path that ran these trails are perfect for the adjacent to Dillon Point Road young, old and hikers of all along Southampton Bay Wet- skill levels. I saw families, lands Preserve. Expect some dogs, bicyclists, strollers and vehicle traffic as most visitors all walks of life enjoying the drive out and park much near- warm weather before winter er to the water. kicks in. More than 70 percent of What this park lacks in size this park is tidal wetlands and is made up in scenic views. there are trails through these The golden hillsides this time areas, but my goal was to of year offered panoramic spend time near the open views of Mt. Diablo and the water at Dillon Point. Carquinez Bridge, with a The low hum of traffic, November sunset as the backpower lines and homes loom- drop. I wished I had brought

binoculars, because the birds and surrounding area made me want to take a closer look. I hiked the Benicia Bay Trail in its entirety, then circled around and picked up the Bay Area Ridge Trail around a very large PG&E transmission tower on my way toward Glen Cove. Half of the trails flank the water, while the other half twist and turn around the hillsides of Dillon Point. You really can’t get lost here, as all trails seem to point back to where you started. I discovered the Bay Area Ridge Trail is a 550-mile, multi-use trail that encircles the greater Bay Area – connecting a lot of parks and open spaces. If you want to visit a park that doesn’t require an entire day or a long drive, consider Benicia SRA. With rain on the way (wishful thinking) and reduced sunlight, get out there and enjoy it.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email LukeHollywood@gmail.com

Is Hollywood the new Harpy of bogus viruses? There I was minding my own business, doing research for my next article, visiting a very secure web page (tomshardware.com, the geek authority for computer hardware) to get news on the new Intel 10th generation CPU and boom, I was hit with a screen lockup. Darn. We have a name for these types of attacks, the Harpy – because of the annoying, repeating message of the browser “infection.” The message says you have an infected network and you must call a number to correct the issue. Letting them into your computer to “fix” something that, in actuality, is not an issue is a user error. If you call their number and allow admittance to your computer, these actors now have access to all your accounts. That’s when a real infection begins, so don’t let them in. In Greek and Roman mythology, a harpy is a halfhuman woman and half-bird with nasty talons (to hook you into a false belief and purloin your valuables). The computer attack displays an official-looking warning message and requests your user name and password. Our new name for this type of attack is Hollywood, because the message is a fake imitation, just like Hollywood.

However, the i9 CPU announced in May is available. It is truly amazing, with burst speeds topping 5GHz and 8 cores. The moniker of i99900K is the beastie of the group, best utilized for gaming, virtual reality, rendering, photo editing and video. This CPU is compatible with some existing computers, WILL CLANEY so upgrades may be right for you. If you’re unsure, ask your TECH TALK professional tech before you During the attack, a mesattempt an upgrade. Or pursage flashes on your screen chase a new computer with that looks official. It quotes the i9 built in. the registry entry key that has The i9 is about bragging been corrupted and admonrights. So go fast and brag. ishes you to call a Microsoft What’s wrong with that? 800 number to fix it. It also Bargains this year will be locks your browser. I called on computers that support the number – total scam. Hol- 7th and 8th generation Intel lywood is all about actors CPU’s. Look for i7-7900K or playing a part. i8-8900K. Older generations Relax, don’t worry. You are may be adequate for general not infected, but your browser purposes, but don’t expect is locked. Unlock it by using performance in comparison to Task Manager. Locate the new computers. Windows 10 logo in the lower They may also lack support left. Right click it and select for some SSD drives. For Task Manager. In processes, example, M.2 NVMe may not locate your browser, right click be supported. Call a pro and and select end task. Reopen get answers before you puryour browser. It should be chase. corrected. Forget the actors and do If not, you’re missing a the right thing. simple setting. Call your local tech and have them fix it. A William Claney is an independent simple, one-minute fix. tech writer and former owner of ComOK, now back to Intel’s puters USA in the Clayton Station. new 10th generation CPU. It Email questions or comments to willisn’t out yet. Sorry for the claney@gmail.com. tease.

Profile for Pioneer Publishers

NOV 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

NOV 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

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