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October 11, 2013


Clayton Theatre Company brings live theatre back to Endeavor Hall TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



Local schools, arts keep shining Congratulations to our own Clayton Valley Charter High School! We knew that the effort to become a charter high school would bring improved performance, and it has surpassed expectations. CVCHS Executive director Dave Linzey says in his newsletter, “The official Academic Performance Index (API) numbers for the 2012-13 school year have been released by the California Department of Education and our 62 point growth is incredible. How incredible, you ask? CVCHS has the highest API growth for comprehensive schools (elementary, middle and high) in Contra Costa County and the highest growth for large

See Mayor, page 13

Family seeks answers in death of Weston Tanner, 21 PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

UNDAUNTED BY THE CHALLENGES OF STAGING A MUSICAL IN CLAYTON’S HISTORIC ENDEAVOR HALL, Roxanne Pardi and her cast of 11 are halfway through rehearsals for “The Robber Bridegroom,” a clever blend of melodrama and musical comedy. Spurred by strong community support, Pardi and her group cheerfully work around the limitations of the tiny theater. The show opens with preview performances Oct. 16 and runs through Oct. 26.

It all started ten years ago with a dream. This week, that dream goes up in lights when Roxanne Pardi and her passionate band of mostly local performers open with “The Robber Bridegroom,” at Endeavor Hall. Pardi, a Clayton voice and piano teacher, and choreographer LaTonya Watts, Pardi’s former student, first began talking about bringing live theater to Clayton more than ten years ago. Pardi, herself a performer, loves the whole idea of little theatre. “It’s a different experience than going to the Lesher or the Orpheum,” says Pardi. “It’s small, intimate – a totally different vibe.” Pardi put her dream in motion two years ago when she and Watts formed The Clayton Theatre Company. Community support was enthusiastic from the get-go. “It was huge. Everyone from my colleagues and students to the CBCA and the city of Clayton were cheering us on.” The challenges were many, the

See Theater page 14

Museum cooks up tasty new exhibit PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Things are getting spicy at the Clayton Museum this fall. Just in time for holiday baking, a new exhibit, “Shakers & Bakers,” showcases unique and historical items found in everyday kitchens – specifically, aprons, salt and pepper shakers and measuring cups. As Clayton Historical Society volunteer Mary Spryer realized, these simple items can carry surprising histories, and are an unassuming glimpse into

our history and culture. “At the museum, we love showcasing collections of local residents,” she said. “I realized that we had a nice collection of vintage aprons in our possession, Then I started looking at home, and I realized I had several that were passed down from my own grandmother.” Some of the aprons in the collection are elaborate, some are whimsical. “There is even one decorated with artillery from World War I,” she says. “Each of the aprons are rich with personal history.”

Spryer says that the popularity of televised food shows have brought aprons back into vogue, but that the simple garment has been worn throughout history to protect clothing. “Aprons can be a personal statement, or just have personal significance, like my grandma’s aprons.” But aprons aren’t just the property of kitchens, she says, as she will also feature historical aprons from trade, such as one worn by an old Clayton blacksmith. The apron collection is just part of the exhibit. It will also

feature Clayton resident Lorraine Henney’s extensive sets of salt and pepper shakers – not all vintage, but all entertaining, Spryer says. Resident Sharon Barrington will also add her collection of vintage measuring cups, many made from Depression-era glass. “Shakers & Bakers” will open on Saturday, Oct. 13. The museum is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2-4 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, visit the museum at 6101 Main St., call 925-6720240, or visit

New law sure to challenge drivers, cyclists PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer WESTON TANNER

Family and friends of Weston Tanner are still shocked and saddened by the loss of the 2010 Clayton Valley High School graduate, even as curious details of his death are still emerging. Tanner, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene after the car he was driving crashed into a tree on Marsh Creek Road near the

See Tanner, page 13

It’s ironic to think of the gently sloping roads along the lush foothills of Mt. Diablo as a war zone. But that’s what they become sometimes as cyclists and cars jockey for position, resulting in altercations ranging from an errant middle finger to dangerous collisions. Now, a new bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last month hopes to put the brakes on motorists who would drive too closely to cyclists. Known as the “Three Feet for Safety Act” – or the “three-

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Behind the Badge . . . . . . . . .6 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

feet rule” – AB 1371 requires motorists to give bicyclists a three feet cushion on all roads. It will go into effect Sept. 16, 2014. “This is a common sense measure to protect cyclists on our roads,” said Assembly Member Steven Bradford (DGardena), who authored the bill. “This bill is a great reminder that we all have to work together to keep our roads safe for all users.” For Clayton cyclist Jennifer Jay, it’s all about working together – and that doesn’t happen enough, she says. “People are rude,” Jay says of

drivers along Marsh Creek and Morgan Territory Roads. “Sometimes they even throw things at you.” Yet drivers often say that cyclists hog the roads, backing up traffic, darting in front of them and causing safety issues for drivers. Walnut Creek resident Kristen Giatzis lives off of Northgate Road, a popular route for cyclists traveling up Mt. Diablo. She says that she doesn’t see that cyclists share the roads well at all. “On Northgate Road, I see many cyclists spreading out into the oncoming lane,” she says.

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“It’s dangerous because there are a lot of blind curves and gravel shoulders.” What Giatzis sees as encroachment may be a simple safety maneuver, Jay says. “It’s dangerous for cyclists to ride on gravel, so that’s why we stay on the paved roads.” According to the National Highway Safety Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation, 677 pedal cyclists were killed in 2011. More than 48,000 cyclists were injured that same year, constituting two percent of people injured in car accidents and marking a nine percent increase Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 TeenSpeak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . . .7

DOCENT BARBARA FOGERSON models an apron featured in the “Shakers & Bakers” exhibit opening Oct. 13 at the Clayton Museum.

in injuries from 2010. Jay says she doesn’t know how effective the “three-feet rule” will be, but that anything that reminds drivers to share the roads with cyclists is good. 3-FEET VS. DOUBLE YELLOW This is not the first time a law protecting cyclists has come up in the Legislature. Similar bills have failed five times. Some

See AB 1371, page 12

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Clayton Pioneer •

October 11, 2013

Around Town Hairy, but not so scary

City recognizes students for Courage and Responsibility

STUDENTS HONORED AT THE SEPT. 17 CITY COUNCIL MEETING for showing great courage in making good decisions. Pictured with Mayor Julie Pierce are (from left) Haley Morrison and Jayson Downs (both nominated while students at MDES, now in sixth grade at DVMS); Brody Rogers, Kyra Ortiz and Kyle Metz, all seniors at CVCHS. Not pictured, CVCHS student Celine Jusuf.

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STUDENTS RECOGNIZED OCT. 1 FOR RESPONSIBILITY, the DTRT character trait emphasized during August and Sept.,with Mayor Julie Pierce, from left: CVCHS students Rachel Siver, Dominic Clement, Christi Kelley, Maira Ahmed; DVMS honorees Alyssa Jecker and Sophie Wheeler; In front, MDES first graders Karleigh Cooper and Derek Townsend.

Courageous and responsible – that’s how teachers and community leaders describe 14 students recently honored by the City Council for “Doing The Right Thing” even if no one is looking. In a meeting room packed with parents and family members, Mayor Julie Pierce presented a certificate to each student nominated by their teacher as part of the community-wide character-building initiative that has been embraced by schools, parents and police in an effort to encourage young people to make good decisions. Six character traits – Courage, Responsibility, Respect, Kindness, Self-discipline and Integrity are each emphasized for two months on a rotating basis throughout the year. At the end of each rotation, teachers nominate students they believe exemplify that trait. All three Clayton schools embrace the program, each in their own way. At Mt. Diablo Elementary, each grade is assigned one of the six traits in rotation. In this way, students from each grade level have an opportunity to be publically recognized for their good choices.

“A smiling and jubilant Julie Pierce presented the awards to the students. “This is my favorite thing to do as mayor,” she said, as she called each student forward. The last trait of the 2013 school year was Courage and the especially courageous students who were nominated by their teachers were honored at the Sept. 17 City Council meeting. At the Oct. 1 meeting, the mayor presented awards to students nominated for showing exceptional Responsibility. City Councilman Hank Stratford was instrumental in getting the program underway three years ago. Now, the DTRT committee is looking to strengthen the program through adult participation. Students will be asked to nominate an adult with each rotation. “We want students to nominate a parent, teacher, neighbor, family member, or any adult they believe exemplifies and practices the DTRT traits,” says DTRT committee member, Bob Steiner. The committee is currently working out the details. Watch the Clayton Pioneer for more information.

Three local kids got up close and personal with some of Mt. Diablo’s more hirsute residents last month. September and October are tarantula-love months when male tarantulas go on the prowl looking for a mate. Laura Kelly thought it would be fun for the kids to get a spider’s version of the birds and the bees, so, on the evening of Sept. 20, she took a group of kids and their parents on a self-

Devyn Wiesendanger graduates from Army boot camp Pvt. Devyn Wiesendanger, Clayton Valley Charter High School senior class president, 2013, graduated with honorable


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mention from Army boot camp in September. Wiesendanger was platoon leader and selected by her peers and sergeants to be the Soldier of the Cycle out of 245 candidates. Wiesendanger is now in Fort Lee Virginia for Advanced Individual Training. She graduates in November, returns home for the holidays and starts school at the University of Oregon in January while being an Army reservist. Wiesendanger continues her military career as an officer after graduating from Oregon.

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October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Around Town Oktoberfest 2013 Bigger and better than ever ...that was the word on the street as thousands poured into Clayton last weekend for the 10th annual CBCA Oktoberfest. On Friday

night teens and kids filled the Midway at the Carnival. On Saturday, the Internationals, back for the tenth time, officially kicked off the celebration with a

parade down Main Street. There were more than 75 vendors – double the number from last year – lining Main Street, selling selling everything from yard sculptures to body tattoos. The annual event is sponsored by the Clayton Business

Community Association with the help of volunteers from Mt. Diablo Ranch, scout troops, local schools and community members. Pictured (1) - The Internationals; (2) Event Chair, Maryann Lawrence with Davis Howe from Texas. Howe won a contest in Dallas for a trip to an Oktoberfest in California. He choose Clayton’s festival. (3) CBCA members Eric and Jennifer Giantvalley; (4) Selling souveniers in the CBCA booth are CVCHS volunteer Carla Eggleton with CBCA member JoAnn Caspar.



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Pioneer Travels 2

Last month, it was Russia with Pete and Sher Laurence and Al and Renee Martin. The sights were amazing – Moscow, Red Square, the Kremlin. Here we are with Pete in St. Petersburg.

We’re traveling along with Bob and Sarah Rodenburg on a six-week cross country road trip. Last week, we spent the weekend in Williamsburg. Had the best Jambalaya ever at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

On a recent trip to England to visit her husband’s family and friends, Fashion Over Fifty columnist Judith Marshall packed us along to keep her up to date on the news. Here we are in front of Windsor Castle.




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is October 18th. We will shut down for the day to help those in need in our community. Again we will work with the Food Bank & ask you to PLEASE DROP non-perishable FOOD items to our office bin by OCTOBER 17. If you feel you can give more and would like us to come pick up bags from your doorstep, please give the office a call (925) 673-2188

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Clayton Pioneer •


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It was report card time at the September meeting of the Clayton Business and Community Association, capped by presentations from Clayton Valley Charter High School Executive Director David Linzey and three young middle school students who benefitted from CBCA sponsorship. Linzey thanked CBCA for all its support over the new charter school’s initial year of operation, and offered up a power-point presentation of CVCHS’ growth. Among other achievements, CVCHS now ranks number one in Contra Costa County in academics and number one in California in the rate of academic growth. And the Ugly Eagles won their division in football. Linzey cited the teamwork of students, teachers, parents and the community, including the CBCA, as key to forging the CVCHS’s success in its first year. He emphasized that the CVCHS goal is “to have every student on the way to college and careers.” Diablo View Middle School eighth graders Lissa Stewart, Sarah Cook and Cassandra Bizicki spoke about their week at Tech Trek science camp, a national program for young women about to enter eighth grade. It is supported by the American Association of University Women, and trekkers spend a week learning how they can pursue careers in science and math. Lissa, Sarah and Cassandra attended the program at Sonoma State University, thanks to generous support from CBCA. Their unique learning experiences included coding for web sites, understanding the science of fingerprinting, and learning about the ecosystem of beaches while hiking and kayaking at Pt. Reyes. CBCA supports the Clayton community through fundraising activities and other events. To join CBCA or to volunteer for an event, call 925672-2272 or visit

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October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Directory of Advertisers


Dorothy Josephine Bornemann

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration

October 14, 1931 – September 20, 2013 Dorothy Josephine Bornemann, 81, and a 10-year resident of Diamond Terrace in Clayton, died on Sept. 20 in Concord. She was active in the Diamond Terrace Country Store and a member of the welcoming committee for new residents. She was born on Oct. 14, 1931 in Columbus, Ohio. After her husband, Robert, died in 1969, Dorothy raised her three children on her own. Her family describes her as a “devot-

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We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail.


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

Send School News to

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ed mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother.” She is survived by daughter and son-inlaw Pamela and Tim Tyson and son and daughter-in-law Keith and Sue Bornemann; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. There will be Celebration of Life service on Sat. Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center Street, in Clayton.


Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 15,500. Papers are delivered to households in ZIP codes 94517, 94518 and 94521. In Clayton, all papers are delivered Every Door Direct by the US Post Office. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered twice a month on a Friday morning. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 6720500 or email If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, 40 cents each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, 20 cents each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.Fri. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3

News and Feature Writers The Clayton Pioneer is looking for news and feature writers who have a passion for community journalism. Assignments are made on a freelance basis. Writers must be local (Clayton or Concord residents), and have a polished, lively and interesting style. Send two short writing samples — a straight news story and a feature or profile to Include contact information and a cover letter.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $50/year and are not pro-rated for mid-year stops.

Buyers and Sellers – the time is right

Classified CHILDCARE/ PRESCHOOL Clayton Community School at Mt. Diablo Elementary offers school-age childcare 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Preschool 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Mon.-Fri. Call 672-0388 for details or go to

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

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



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Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info and contact numbers, go to The Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact: Arlene at 673-9777 or

Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades. Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8666 Steffan Smith Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0497 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Center Street Deli & Café . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1203 Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Five Guys Burgers and Fries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6030 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-9090 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Prosperitas Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700 Sorensen, David – Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296-3086 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Navlet’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-0550 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Refresh Pool Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286-8601 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services All Paws Dog Walking Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .332-8856 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Geddes-Sinclaire, Christine – RE/MAX Realty . .286-7593 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . . . . .888-327-2757 Levity Fitness Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995 Senior Services Chateau on Broadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-1700 Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other 1-800-Junkster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-586-5783 ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Celebrity Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-456-7887 Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

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Clayton Pioneer •

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Q. What are the current trends in home ownership? A. A huge trend is single buyers. Here are some statistics from the National Association of Realtors: One quarter of all home purchases last year were comprised of one buyer. They are mostly women. Eighteen million women live alone versus 14 million men. Twice as many single women bought homes last year as single men. Young adults ages 18 to 34 are the fastest growing group of people living alone. Around 11 million Americans living alone are elderly, and the majority of solo households are in cities and metro areas. In 1970, one-person households represented just 17 percent of all households. The growth in this number is a historic change in human society. Single buyers can face challenges qualifying in the housing market. Though they are not dragged down by a partner’s low credit score or credit card debt, they also can’t rely on dual incomes to qualify or shared financial responsibility that a twoperson household does. But they also don’t have to compromise their home styles, lifestyle and values. They can focus on their individuality, choose their specific communities. In other countries solo households are prevalent as well. The U.K. has a rate of 34 percent single households. Norway is 40 percent. Japan is 30 percent. Sweden

has the largest proportion at 47 percent. Q. How will the government shutdown impact the housing market? A. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the government is functioning again. However, with Congress unable to come to a bipartisan agreement on anything we might be in a similar but worse boat on Oct.17, when it is time to raise the debt ceiling. The impact will depend on many things, including the length of the shutdown, the current status of a loan, a buyer profile, and the lender’s modified guidelines during the shutdown period. Most government agencies involved in housing finance remain open, but they are short-handed due to furloughs of workers. During the loan process there are many types of verifications to

deal with. Two of the most significant are: 1. Request for tax transcripts. The IRS won’t be processing these requests so closings might be delayed; 2. Verification of employment with the government and Social Security verification. The Social Security Department has indicated that it will not be processing Social Security Number verification requests. This may delay closing because it is a requirement of most lenders. If the shutdown continues, there will be more consequences as time goes by. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Fall used book sale set for Oct. 25-27 at Clayton Library Stock up on recent releases and old favorites or pick up some holiday gifts at the Clayton Community Library Foundation (CCLF) Fall Used Book Sale, Oct. 25-27. Most books are $1 or less. On Sunday, most are half price with a special $3 a bag special from 2-4 p.m. Great bargains on gently used books suitable for gifts are available at the “Special Books” table. Foundation members will get a jump on the sale on Friday evening, Oct. 25 from 4-7 p.m. Memberships can be purchases at the door. The cost for an individual is $10, a Family Membership is $15, Contributing Member $30.

Used book sales are CCLF’s major fundraiser, bringing in $14k-$16k each year. Membership dues provide the other major source of income. CCLF gives over $25,000 each year to the library for materials, programs, furniture, and volunteer services. “We are encouraging everyone to donate books they have read, especially recent publications,” says CCLF’s Joyce Atkinson. “Many of our good quality donations find themselves on the library shelves.” The Fall Used Book Sale is Oct. 25-27. Fri. 4-7 p.m., Sat. 10-6, Sun. noon-4 p.m. at the Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Rd., Clayton. For more go to

Letter to the Editor KUDOS TO CVCHS I would like to officially extend my congratulations to the Clayton Valley Charter High School. The easiest watermark for the school’s success is the massive jump in their API score, going from a 774 to 836. This 62-point jump is the best in Contra Costa County and finally validates what we have been saying for so long - Clayton Valley should be a great school. Reports from students and parents alike represent a resounding increase in rigor and relevance in the instruction. But academic success is only the tip of the iceberg at CVCHS. The change at the school is palpable when you walk on campus or attend an extracurricular event; the positive energy and school spirit is overwhelming. Character education has become an integral part of the program and the results are equally incredible. At the homecoming game the stands were filled with parents, alumni and students… Never before have I ever see more school spirit. With the charter came the right vision and the right leadership. And this only marks the beginning of what this school can achieve. On behalf of the Clayton City Council, we endorse Clayton Valley Charter High School. It is my pleasure to be a part of a true community school of excellence. Howard Geller Clayton City Council

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It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner. As I write this, there are about 80 days of shopping left. Each year, more of us are shopping online for gifts. In 2012, Internet holiday shopping represented nearly $100 billion in sales. With more and more of us shopping online, the inevitable issue of package theft arises. Last


year, the Clayton Police Department took several reports of packages being delivered to our residents only to have them stolen from the porch. There are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of your packages disappearing off the front porch. If you aren’t home during the day, send the package to a neighbor or relative who is home. Be sure that person knows ahead of time so she can be at home to accept the delivery. Request a signature confirmation on each delivery so a package will not be left at its destination unless someone is present to sign for it.

Send packages to your work address instead of your home. Check with your shipper for options. UPS offers My Choice, a service that alerts you by text or e-mail a day before the package is scheduled to arrive. You can reschedule the delivery for a different day or reroute the package to be delivered to a different address (a neighbor, for example) if you won’t be home. FedEx offers similar services, including allowing you to hold the package at a FedEx retail location for pickup, or you can go online and request to have the package delivered to your home within a

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specific delivery time window. You can help us by using these practices. Additionally, please keep an eye out for suspicious people or cars in your neighborhood. If you witness suspicious activity, please call the Clayton Police Department. Whenever possible, provide a detailed description of the person or vehicle (including license plate number) involved in the activity. We appreciate the continued support from the Clayton community. Happy Holidays! Chris Thorsen is Clayton’s chief of police. For questions and comments, call him at (925) 673-7350.

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October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 7

Composting is well worth the effort NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL Fall is a wonderful time to get started composting, and we have the falling leaves to thank for that. Perfect, crunchy, dry leaves are some of the most important ingredients to creating good compost. Compost is an essential garden component. It is soil conditioner that is made up of natural materials. We can purchase compost by the bag or bulk, or you can build compost at home using waste you already generate. Vegetable and fruit scraps and peels, coffee grinds, crushed eggshells, grass clippings and leaves are important ingredients to good compost. Rather than disposing of these ingredients, layer them into a compost bin or bag, and let the magic begin. Compost is created over time, and does take some labor on your part, but the results are fabulous. Roses, flowering

perennials, spring and fall vegetables, fruit trees and new installations all benefit from the applications of compost. To make compost you’ll need to have an understanding of a few things. Good compost is made up from two categories of main ingredients. These categories are brown and green. Compost will need 60-70 percent of brown ingredients to break down successfully. Fallen leaves, shredded newspapers, dried grass and garden clippings fall into the category of brown. Uncooked vegetable and fruit scraps and peels, coffee grinds and crushed eggshells are part of the green category. Make your pieces small. The smaller the pieces, the faster it will break down. Don’t have too much brown, in your compost or it’ll be light; too much green, and your compost can be soggy and less desirable. Composting isn’t very pretty so find an area of the landscape that is out of sight. To get going you’ll need a compost bin or bag and if you have enough space, a holding area. The holding area is a spot where you can place your extra leaves, since you won’t

ALTHOUGH GOOD FOR THE GARDEN, a compost heap isn’t very pretty to look at. A composting bin can hide the scraps and speed up the decomposition process.

need them all in your compost bin at once, or grass clippings, so they can dry out. You will have to turn your compost. Composting is the breaking down and changing of ingredients from one form into another. We are incorporating ingredients trying to create cohesiveness to the finished product. Imagine your stirring a marinara sauce. With marinara you want the flavor throughout the finished product; with com-

post, you want every bit to have all the potential nutrients. Choosing a composting bin can be a struggle. There are a lot of options available. Compost bins need to have a large entry. Since you’ll need to turn your compost, you need to be able to get an aerator or fork in to the bin. Also consider the exit area. This needs to be large enough for accessing the composted material. Look for an exit that can accommodate a soil scoop,

or small face shovel. Since we live here in the Clayton Valley we really should consider a compost bin with a lid, to keep out the critters. Composting creates heat. During the winter months, although the availability of composting material is high, the weather is cool. If you’re composting you’ll need to apply an organic Compost Maker during the winter months. Compost Makers are natural activators

that help break down the materials. The ingredients of a compost maker should include feather meal, alfalfa meal and kelp meal, among other things. Composting may seem like a lot of work, but seeing the results in your garden, it will be worth it. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Colorful maps are more complicated than they look Like many cell phone and IPAD users, I have an app that provides temperature and rainfall forecasts for the next several days at just about any location in the world. Weather forecast apps are great tools for shortterm planning or vacation travel, but they do not provide guidance for periods past five or 10 days. Extended period weather forecasts are available online. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) publishes the latest rainfall and temperature outlook maps online ( products/forecasts/). CPC’s web site links provide forecast maps for the upcoming eight to 14 days, for the next calendar month, and for three month periods extending into next year. Unfortunately, interpretation of the information presented on the maps is not so straightforward. Color-keyed areas on the maps are labeled as above normal (A), normal (N), or below normal (B).

WOODY WHITLATCH WEATHER WORDS The “A” and “B” are not predicting amounts of rainfall or how hot or cold the temperature will be. These letters have a statistical meaning. They indicate the probability that rainfall or temperature will be above or below normal during the forecast period. For any location and forecast interval the three categories are defined using observations from the 30-year period 1981 to 2010. The driest or coldest 10 years define the “B” category, the ten wettest or hottest years define the “A” category. The middle ten years

are considered normal – “N.” Prior to making a forecast it is assumed that each category has a 33.3 percent chance of occurring everywhere on the map. If the forecast staff decided that one of the categories is the most likely one, that area becomes shaded. Shaded areas are labeled in 3.3 percent intervals. It is assumed that the middle category, “N,” remains 33.3 percent when either “A” or “B” is statistically more likely. Since the total percentage at each location must equal 100 percent, any favoring of one extreme results in a lower probability of the other extreme. Just to add a little confusion, the CPC also uses a fourth forecast category called equal chance (EC). If the forecast staff sees no clear indication that any of the “A,” “B” or “N” categories is favored, that area of the map is unshaded and labeled “EC.” For example, let’s interpret the latest winter season (December through February) tempera-

ture outlook. The western half of the U.S. is shaded as “A,” indicating an increased probability for above normal winter temperatures. The forecast map shows the entire state of California is located in the lightest shaded “A” category. Statistically this means that there is a 37 percent probability of above-normal temperatures and a 30 percent chance of below normal temperatures. Long-range forecast techniques are complicated, and several factors influence the forecast staff. Readers interested in long range weather forecasting tools and techniques should check out the CPC link labeled “Seasonal Forecast Discussion,” which provides details for nontechnical users. How accurate are these long range forecasts? Well, that is a story for another issue. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •


October 11, 2013

Concord will benefit from a two-year mayor


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This December, the city of Concord will return to an almost century-old tradition when the mayor’s term will be increased from one to two years. The post of mayor is selected from among the city council members. The city hasn’t had a two-year mayor since 1993, when now- State Senator Mark DeSaulnier was elected to the post. It has been said that the other council members, who were all Democrats, didn’t want the Republican DeSaulnier to serve a full two years as mayor. Ironically, in only five months, DeSaulnier vacated his mayor’s office because he was appointed to the county Board of Supervisors. Then, with an added twist, he switched parties and became a Democrat. Previously, the two-year mayor’s term had been an old Concord tradition for 60 years. Concord was incorporated in 1905, and Joseph Boyd was nominated by the Board of Trustees to serve as mayor for an undetermined length of time. Boyd acted in that capacity until April 1910, when H. H. Elworthy was selected by his peers to serve as mayor, also for an undetermined length of time. This practice continued with undetermined lengths of term until the 1920s, when appointments began to sync with the two-year election cycle. As a former mayor of


CONCORD BEAT Concord, I can see several advantages of a two-year mayor’s term: 1. As in most jobs, there is a learning curve that one must go through. As time goes on the person who is mayor learns the job better and becomes more effective. 2. A new mayor may have certain goals in which he/she

would like to initiate. The mayor’s initiatives (which usually take several months to develop) can be more easily followed through over a longer period of time. For example, as mayor in 2012, I initiated the Contra Costa Central County Mayors Council. This included the mayors of Clayton, Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Martinez. The purpose of this council was to allow each of us to share ideas and address mutual concerns. This fledgling group was left for others to continue its mission without me and almost all of the other mayors termed out in its second year. 3. A longer term mayor carries a bit more weight and has a more prominent standing with his/her fellow city representatives at regional organizations.

Residents can also create a greater bond and establish closer relationships with a mayor over a longer period of time. 4. Most large cities have longer terms for their mayors. In Contra Costa County, Antioch, Richmond, Hercules, Martinez and Brentwood all have elected mayors with four-year terms. (San Ramon elects a mayor for a two- year term.) The downside to the twoyear term for mayor could be that not all of the council members may have the opportunity to become mayor. However, it is more important that we do what is in the best interest for the citizens of Concord. Ron Leone, a Concord city councilman and former mayor, welcomes comments and questions. Call him at (925) 680-1776 or

Scarecrow contest lights up Todos Santos Visitors to downtown Concord are invited to vote for their favorite entry in the ninth annual Downtown Concord Scarecrow Contest. The competition runs from Oct. 17 to Oct. 31. Fanciful scarecrows will be displayed at the locations around Todos Santos Plaza, including Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Starbucks, Bank of America,

D’Ann’s Academy of Dance, Ravioli’s Italian Marketplace, Old Spaghetti Factory, U.S. Bank, Yoga Sol, First Presbyterian Church, Tower Grille, The Parlor Barbershop, Skipolini’s Pizza, Vinnie’s Bar and Grill, Half Price Books, E.J. Phair, Argent Bank (Sonoma) and TransformFX Fitness. Costumed parents and chil-

dren are invited to trick-of-treat around the plaza on Halloween from 3 to 5 p.m. Participating businesses will fly orange and black balloons. The Todos Santos Business Association is sponsoring this year’s Halloween celebration. For more information, contact TSBA Presidents Darren Walters at 925-685-4221.

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A mystical tale of haunted love Sometimes you fall into a book because the language is so beautiful you can’t put it down, or because the story is so real you feel as if it were actually happening to you. “The Ghost Bride” by Yangsze Choo (William Morrow; August, 2013) is neither of those. This debut novel is a story of culture and mythology in the way of Amy Tan’s “Saving Fish From Drowning,” where the exotic history of a nation is as much a character in the tale as the story itself. Li Lan is a young woman of marrying age in colonial Malaya, a port city steeped in tradition and superstition. It is 1883, and the once respectable Pan family has fallen on hard times. Her mother is dead, and her father, a former intellectual, has become addicted to opium. Li Lan is raised by a loyal servant while the family tumbles into poverty. One day, seemingly out of the

blue and to save the family’s fortune, Li Lan’s father suggests that she marry into a wealthy local family as a “ghost bride” – a not entirely rare Chinese tradition wherein she marries the dead son of a rich family so that he will not be alone in the afterlife. The Lim family is wealthy and powerful, and though Li Lan is reasonably repelled by the idea of marrying a dead man, she is pressured – by both the living and the dead – to succumb. By marrying Lim Tian Ching, Li Lan will be promised a life of luxury, but she will also agree to a haunted future. Because no story of marriage – even arranged marriage – is complete without entanglements, Li Lan meets the boy of her dreams, who happens to be the cousin of her ghostly fiancé. Tian Bai is everything she could hope for: smart, educated, and handsome. He’s also very much

alive and smitten with her. Sadly, their love is forbidden, not so much because of her engagement to the dead boy, but because Li Lan’s family is poor, and she has no dowry to offer the family for a respectable marriage. After visiting Lim Tian Ching’s family, Li Lan becomes disturbed by ghostly visitations of her obsequious courtier. Unlike his cousin, Lim Tian is spoiled and selfish. Li Lan repels his ghostly advances, but to no avail. One day Li Lan falls into a mysterious sleep, and travels to the underworld where she encounters a enigmatic deity, and becomes entangled in a mission of love, ghosts and demons. The magical realism of the story brings the ancient traditions and beliefs of this corner of the world into sharp relief. There seems to be no line between the living and the dead,





and in this way, the story unfolds where ghosts and brides coexist. Choo combines elements of Chinese mysticism, ancestor worship, magi, and folk stories to weave a lithe tale about love and destiny. If you’re in the mood for a tale of mystical love, you may well have found it in “The Ghost Bride.” Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her blog at or send email to her at

How to scare away fearful thoughts Creative, Inviting, Year Round Appeal


Halloween is around the corner and yet something very scary already happened in my home – my son started preschool. He has had some real fears about going to school, being in a new environment, meeting new kids and being away from his family. We’ve had to talk with him a lot about how to handle those fears and why it is important for him to still go to school.

This whole process has made me very reflective on how I dealt with similar fears while I was growing up and how I need to help my son now. Most of us have something (if not many things) that worry or scare us even as adults and it is important to know how to deal with those fears so that they do not develop into something more serious and difficult to manage. The first step is to evaluate whether your fear is rational or not. For example, walking alone in a dark alley should give everyone the willies and would not be considered an irrational fear. But, being afraid to go to a party because you don’t know anyone there and are worried about what people would think of you would be an irrational fear. The second step is to pay attention to your thoughts that are driving the fear. Why does a certain situation trigger your worry, concern or fear? Does it remind you of past situations that you’ve encountered or are you afraid of something you’ve never even done before? Are you

STEPHANIE HO MIND MATTERS afraid of failure or criticism? What negative thoughts are going through your mind (i.e. “I’ll never be able to do this,” “This is going to be awful,” “I can’t do this,”)? The third step is the hardest one for most people and that is to face the fear. The reality is that the best way to deal with a fear is to do the very thing that you are afraid to do. Many of you reading this may scoff and think, “Yeah, easier said than done!” Whether you are going to preschool for the first time or stepping out of your comfort

zone as an adult, the research has shown that the way to manage the fear is to not avoid that which you are afraid of. Most of us use avoidance to cope with fears because we experience instant relief of negative thoughts and painful feelings. However, this avoidance does a disservice in the long run because it only increases our fears and intensifies our reactions. By doing the very thing that you are afraid of, you accomplish a few different things: You give the fear less power and take back some control of the situation; You counter the negative thoughts by proving to yourself that you can do it and that it is not as awful as you imagined; You give yourself some successful experiences that can boost your confidence and help you be brave in the future. Stephanie T. Ho is a licensed psychologist. She has a private practice office in Walnut Creek and works at UC Berkeley. She can be reached at

October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Spirited Homecoming Week thrills students




The sun rose on the morning of Sept. 23 full of promise and excitement for every student at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Homecoming 2013 welcomed students “Back to the Jungle” of high school with a variety of spirit activities and events to kick off the 2013-2014 school year. Each day of the week encouraged students to show their school spirit by dressing up to match the spirit-day theme. “Leadership did a really good

took first place in the Homecoming Parade

job incorporating the jungle theme for the rally into the spirit days,” said freshmen Elizabeth Ramirez. The spirit days included Jungle Animal Day, Camouflage Day, Safari Day, Tropical Day and the traditional Class Colors Day on Friday, each accompanied by a corresponding lunchtime activity. “The student body loved it! Every spirit day leading up to the rally, I saw more and more people joining in and dressing up. The excitement on campus was unreal,” says Student Body President Clayton Martin. The Homecoming Parade took place in Downtown Clayton

on Wednesday, Sept. 25 and attracted a crowd eager to see the students of CVCHS show off their float decorating skills. Starting off was senior Alaina Campbell who sang the national anthem; the CVCHS marching band followed and set the tone for the rest of the floats. The competition was fierce, but in the end the judges allotted first place to the “Sea-nior” Women, second place to the Clayton Arts Academy, and third place to the Multicultural Club. The Homecoming celebration continued with an assortment of activities during lunch on Thurs-

day, including a jumpy house and a piñata that got students pumped for the rally and the football game on Friday. Pre-game on Friday evening honored the 2013 Homecoming royalty. Cameron Martin and Catherine Ward represented the freshmen class, while sophomores elected Kimberly Zachery and Joseph Mguenti for their Princess and Prince. The juniors supported their royalty, Nathan Coffey and Crystal Gomez. And last but not least, Ben Linzey and Christina Humphrey were announced the Homecoming King and Queen. Both candidates were extremely surprised when they saw the color red jump out from their boxes, a rose for Christina and a balloon for Ben. Christina felt that “being nominated for and winning Homecoming Queen made Homecoming feel more personal, like it was mine rather than just the school’s Homecoming.” Ben agrees that “winning made it so much better and memorable.” The football game ended on a high note with a 62-0 Ugly Eagles victory, and the last thing left to

Are dress codes equal for boys and girls?


PINE HOLLOW REPORTER A dress code is part of what makes up the foundation of any school, and it’s no different at Pine Hollow Middle School. One may say that the dress code at their school is too strict, but another may say that it is just right or too easy-going. Personally, I think that it is stricter at Pine Hollow for one gender and less for the other. For example, boys can get away with wearing shirts with large arm holes without getting disciplined (aka “dress-coded”) for it. Meanwhile, girls get dress-coded for a tank-top strap showing. I feel that the boys get more freedom on what they wear and how they wear it. Another example is that

while boys are not allowed to sag their pants, teachers and supervisors do not do or say anything to them when they see it. However, when the girls wear pants with a rip in them, they get dress-coded. Sarah Mirabella, an eighth grader at Pine Hollow, has this opinion: “If boys can’t get dress-coded for sagging pants or shirts with too big of arm holes, I still think that girls should get dress-coded for rips in our pants if they are too big. But, I think that girls shouldn’t get dresscoded for straps showing if boys can get away with showing their boxers or shorts when their pants sag.” Even some of the boys feel the same way. Seventh grader Dallin Porter says, “From my point of view, I see that the boys don’t follow the dress code as well as they should. Some follow it, while others don’t. I also think that the girls’ portion of the dress code is just right because some of the things that the girls wear can be inappropriate. As long as people follow the dress code, I think that it is just right and isn’t too strict or too laid-back.” Although there can be many

Suicidal teen finds a second chance


TEEN READS “Life’s not about feeling better, it’s about getting the job done.” That is the one thing Craig Gilner keeps repeating to himself every day of his young life. In “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story” by Zed Vizzini, (DisneyHyperion; April, 2007), Craig is just an average teenage boy who is determined to excel in school by studying hard and staying focused. Craig has had his nose in textbooks nonstop all year just to get into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, but when the stress becomes unbearable, he starts refusing to

eat and sleep. His family notices and tries to get him to go to therapy but nothing seems to help him – until one night he plans to kill himself by jumping off of the Manhattan Bridge. But at the last minute, instead of going to the bridge, Craig calls the Suicide Hotline and follows their instructions by checking himself into a mental hospital. While recovering from his depression, Craig starts to get to know the people that he has met in the hospital, including a girl who cut her own face with scissors and Armelio, who thinks he’s the president. Here, Craig takes a step back and sees all the great things in life he’s been overlooking and decides to give life a second chance. This book has a very important concept that not a lot of people seem to understand, but it definitely has a message: there is always something to live for and that pain, like everything else in he world, doesn’t last forever. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

different opinions on a school dress code, the important thing is that the dress code is there to make sure we are dressing appropriately. The dress code helps create an image for the students and the school. A dress code isn’t there to just look at, it is there to model what a student

should and shouldn’t wear around their peers. Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Email her at

do for the student body was to dance the night away at the Homecoming dance on Saturday, Sept. 28. “Homecoming ran very smoothly,” said Activities Director Christine Reimer. “ASB was prepared and all students could enjoy the variety of activities offered, regardless of their personal interests. Clayton Valley has a tradition of being very spirited, and this year we were as spirited as always.”

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TEENSPEAK As graduation day for the Class of 2014 approaches, excitement about the future grows for high school seniors. However, few upperclassmen stop to think about how well prepared they are for the challenges that adulthood presents. High schools do not prepare them sufficiently to face these challenges with confidence and aptitude. Every diploma is earned with the fulfillment of requirements, yet most graduation requirements do not include studying necessary life skills such as paying taxes, composing a resume, applying for jobs or voting. Rather, schools focus on teaching abstract theories and complex functions. Although it is useful to be well-rounded in school, it is not as practical to be able to figure out logarithms while students have to apply for scholarships or fill out the FAFSA. Thus, it is reasonable for high schools to require students to take at least one course that deals with these real-life processes. Mariana Barba, a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, believes that she is prepared for the future. She says she feels she has the will to “take it on and know how to manage things and really learn the skills it takes to be independent.” Still, she says it is difficult to jump right in to the independent life of an adult without some knowledge of the basics. Clayton Valley Charter High

School only offers a few classes that can truly prepare students for their future lives. Classes such as ASB leadership, personal finance, and a contemporary events seminar-style course give students basic education and skills, yet they are elective courses that not every student can take. “If I am ready for the future it is because I want to be ready, not because people are pushing me to be,” says Senior Kimberly Martinez, who is applying to universities in the months of October and November. Essentially, adolescents live content in a bubble of ignorance while in high school, but soon that bubble pops when students are faced with college and job applications. The students may be well-educated, but many are not prepared to handle all of the responsibilities of adulthood. Liliana Hernandez is a Senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She loves to read and plans to pursue her interest in writing in the future. Send email to her at

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Clayton Pioneer •

October 11, 2013

Sports Eagles, Broncos football separate themselves from pack JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School football players and coaches expect that it will be déjà vu all over again this year in the Diablo Valley Athletic League, which kicks off its league schedule Friday evening. For Northgate, they hope an undefeated pre-season will be a harbinger of league success this fall after they fell one game short on winning the DVAL title in 2012. Since DVAL football reformed in 2008 around the four Concord high schools, College Park and Northgate the league champ has been undefeated every year but 2009, when Ygnacio Valley and Concord tied at 4-1. Based on their pre-season performances the Eagles are the favorites this fall for a repeat title and their third DVAL crown since 2008. CVCHS was 4-1 in the preseason with the only loss in the opener 34-14 to the state’s No. 1 ranked team, De La Salle, in a matchup of defending NCS champs from Concord. This is similar to last year’s season when new coach Tim Murphy’s team debuted with a loss to Pittsburg, another perennial Division 1 powerhouse, before running off an unbeaten slate right into the North Coast Section playoffs where the Eagles won their firstever section football title. Prep experts have placed the Eagles in the favorite’s role for a repeat NCS Division 2 championship and another invite to the Regional Bowl game in December. Coach Justin Lowell’s Northgate squad has done Clayton Valley one better with a 5-0

mark in the pre-season. The Broncos were winless in the 2008 and 2009 DVAL seasons and it was their second-place finish last year that announced them as a team to reckon with. Both CV and Northgate figure to be favored in their first four DVAL games before they faceoff in the season finale Nov. 8 in Walnut Creek. Last year the teams met in the penultimate league game and were tied at 21 entering the fourth quarter as Northgate three times answered a Clayton Valley touchdown with one of its own. In the final period the Eagles ran off three TDs for a 41-21 victory. Concord High won a memorable NCS title in 2010 and was undefeated in league that year. They took second to College Park the next season but dropped to 3-2 last year. Coach Brian Hamilton’s Minutemen are 4-1 this fall after having a season-opening loss to Liberty reversed to a forfeit win. This Friday Clayton Valley Charter visits College Park (3-11) in a league opener before hosting Ygnacio Valley on Oct. 18 in one of only two home league games at Gonsalves Stadium. Northgate entertains Mt. Diablo (2-3) this Friday in the Broncos homecoming game and then travels to Concord and Ygnacio Valley in the next two weeks. Concord is at Ygnacio Valley (1-4) in the other firstround game this Friday. Interestingly, only Concord and Clayton Valley had games last weekend while the other four DVAL schools had a bye before the start of league play. Clayton Valley wrapped up its pre-season with a 49-7 romp over winless Hayward last Saturday afternoon. The Eagles

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School Football

LEADERSHIP IS PLAYING A KEY ROLE FOR CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL this football season and when the DVAL schedule begins Friday night at College Park the Eagles will be out to defend their title. Season co-captains, from left, Dylan Jue, Jax Cater, Tanner Wraa, Justin Rogers and Brenden Crabbe have led CVCHS to a 4-1 record entering league play.

defense threw a shutout with the only score by the Farmers on a 94-yard kickoff return. Ironically, Northgate had opened its season with a 49-6 victory at Hayward. Clayton Valley running back Miles Harrison had another productive game with 107 yards rushing on 10 carries. Tanner Wraa, Ben Davis and Ryan Cooper all rushed for over 75

yards and Davis scored three touchdowns. Cooper and Wraa each had a TD while quarterback Gabe Taylor threw a pair of scoring passes. Lewis Ramos rounded out the scoring with a scoring run. Following the successful preseason, Murphy says, “I really like what I have seen from our team so far. Great character, hard workers and kids who are

very willing to be coached. If we keep improving like this we have a great chance to repeat as league and section champions and if we stay healthy have a solid chance to take this team to the state championship in Carson.” Northgate’s success this year rests in an offensive triumvirate of running back Eric Haynes, receiver Jake Smith and quarter-

back Kyle Austin. Haynes has 14 touchdowns in the five games, including at least two TDs in every game, while rushing for nearly 700 yards. Smith has been Austin’s key receiver with the biggest of all coming with 10 seconds remaining for the winning 75-yard catch and run touchdown in a 45-42 win over San Marin last month.

Diablo FC 00 Blue girls capture Bob Fowler Memorial title

Photos courtesy Diablo FC

DIABLO FC 00 BLUE WON THE UNDER 13 GIRLS TITLE at the 17th annual Bob Fowler Memorial Tournament while allowing only one run in four games. The team includes, front row from left, Alyssa Granados, Samantha Flores, Lilly Walker, Maci Briscoe, Gabby Duran, Dariana Mihalache; back row, Vanessa Castrillo, Haley Pozzoban, Isabel Dumpit, Marissa Mulholland, Sarah Happy, coach Jack Boeger, Tori Grey, Grace Wenger, Chrystina Heuerman, Kalyn Stuart and Adriana Gavidia.

Grace Wenger came out of a scramble to put in a goal midway through the second half and the Diablo FC 00 Blue continued is shutout streak and the local competitive team earned a 1-0 victory in the under 13 championship match of the 17th annual Bob Fowler Memorial Tournament late last month in Concord. Coach Jack Boeger’s team had begun the annual tournament with a 2-1 win over the Tracy Terminators and then didn’t allow another goal the rest of the way. Diablo FC 00 Blue had a scoreless tie with Heritage Kaos and then won its bracket with a 4-0 win over Rocklin Heat. Adriana Gavidia, Haley Pozzobon, Alyssa Granados and Vanessa Castrillo each produced goals

for 00 Blue. The championship game was a rematch with Heritage. Goalkeeper Lilly Walker and her defenders again blanked Kaos to capture the title. Earlier this summer Diablo FC 00 Blue was denied another championship when they lost 10 in the 11th annual Diablo FC Summer Classic finals to sister team Diablo FC 01. Diablo FC 99 Black tied for second in the U14 standings but lost the tiebreaker and a chance to play for the Fowler championship. Diablo FC 97 Black was also third in U15/16. The tournament is held in memory of former club coaching director Bob Fowler, who died suddenly after realizing his life-long dream of becoming a college soccer head coach.

DIABLO FC DUBLIN FINALISTS Coach Eric Hernandez had to have second thoughts about his Diablo FC 97 Blue girls chances at the Dublin Fall Classic recently when his starting goalkeeper Erin Wardle was injured and one of his key offensive players, April Frantz, was put in the nets to stop goals rather than score them. Things turned out pretty well as the team took Mustang Impact all the way to a penalty kick shootout in the finals of the Fall Classic. Diablo FC had started the tournament with a pair of 1-1 draws against Scotts Valley/San Lorenzo Valley Pride 97 and Almaden Quicksilver 97 Green and then blanked Walnut Creek Inferno

COACH ERIC HERNANDEZ AND HIS DIABLO FC 97 BLUE LOST THE UNDER 16 GIRLS TITLE at the Dublin Fall Classic by dropping a 4-2 decision in a penalty kick shootout after tying Mustang Impact 11 after two overtimes. The team includes, front, April Frantz; second row from left, Courtney Sheffield, Elyse Mueller, Aly Robinett, Kayla Porche, Brooklyn Aguilar, Charlotte Burcher, Gianna Bellato, Nicole Apana; back row, coach Eric Hernandez, Janine Bandayrel, Ally Roberts, Jordan Howard, Libby Thomas, Hela Ahmadi, Caleigh Silva, Lexy Swenson, Sophia Campos and Erin Wardle. Not pictured Delaney Griffin.

97 2-0 to win their bracket and earn a berth in the finals. Jordan Howard scored a goal for Diablo FC 97 Blue in the finals but that was matched by Mustang so the regulation game ended in a 1-1 tie. Two overtimes failed to break the deadlock and the teams went to penalty kicks and Mustang prevailed 4-2. Frantz and Sophia Campos scored the goals for Diablo FC in the shootout. Coach Hernandez summed up things saying it was a “great weekend. This team has really turned the corner. They are such a solid group and it was fun to watch all of the hard work play out in front of us. April was our player of the week. She stepped up for the team and played GK after not playing it since she was U10.”

5th annual MDSA World Cup kicks off next weekend Nearly five dozen teams will be taking part in the fifth annual MDSA World Cup in Concord and Clayton to conclude the fall recreation soccer season for the local AYSO Region 223. All under 10 through U14 MDSA girls and boys teams will be taking part in the event that stretches over three weekends. Bracket play is held on Saturdays, Oct. 19 and 26 followed by elimination rounds Nov. 2 and the championship finals Nov. 3. The age group brackets range from five to 14 teams. World Cup-winning teams in each age group from MDSA advance to the Area 2C Cup, which includes teams from Pleasant Hill, Concord, American Canyon, Stockton, Manteca, Richmond, Delta and Mountain House AYSO regions. Area Cup winners can go on to play in the Section Cup against teams from all over Northern California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. For complete World Cup schedule and more information visit

October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Sports Young season showing promise for Silver and Black Raiders One of the greatest NFL owners of all time, the late Al Davis, once said, “Just win, baby.” These three words have been the driving motivation for the Oakland Raiders franchise for decades. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is, it doesn’t matter how it gets done, all that matters

Clayton Valley golf eyes 3rd straight DVAL championship JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter won the past two Diablo Valley Athletic League girls golf championships and coach Jen Moore is expecting her girls to make it a threepeat at the DVAL tournament Monday. Despite losing two-time league MVP McKenna De Long, the Eagles battled Concord High during five league matches setting up the two top contenders for the DVAL Tournament at Boundary Oak next Monday hosted by Northgate. Junior Rachel Delong, senior teammate Danniele Biala and sophomore Rebecca Walsh have been low scorers for the Eagles with DeLong gearing up for her third straight all-DVAL firstteam award. Moore, who has coached girls golf at CVCHS on and off since 2001, is predicting her team will win the DVAL title even though Concord won a pair of matches last month at Diablo Creek before the Eagles turned the tables on the Minutemen in Oakhurst matches. Other golf team members are Annie Park, Emily Guerisoli, Katie Haymaker, Jessica Rosales and Fatima Opeyany. They were joined by newcomers Ana Said, Briana Manzano and Arlethe Said. On Oct. 21 the NCS Tournament is hosted by Concord at Diablo Creek Golf Course. NEW COACHES FOR EAGLES TENNIS DVAL tennis teams play a double-round robin of matches home and away in preparation or the league tournament at Northgate on Oct. 23-25. Clayton Valley has a pair of new coaches, Sayed Anwar and Brian Corbett, leading the Eagles after long-time coach Rick Ortega recently surrendered his coaching duties due to work obligations. Ortega will continue coaching the CVCHS boys tennis team in the spring. Seniors Rose Peterson, Preet Nijjar, Madison Daniel, Chloe Kim and Andrea Partida, along with juniors Maria Sparvoli and Erin Wardle, are the core of returning Eagles players. Trisa Nguyen, Ciera Cathcart, Alexa Kallas, Katie Essayan, Laura Ruscitti and Hosna Opeyany are also on varsity joining freshman Dalia Anwar. Nguyen and Sparvoli are team captains for the Eagles, who have league wins over Berean Christian, Concord and Ygnacio Valley. Northgate has been dominating DVAL teams with a deep lineup led by sophomore 2012 league MVP Ana Boeriu and returning all-DVAL netters Shannon Markiewicz, Kristina Lencesova, Kimi Nakagawa, Katie Shimizu and Maria Krasilnikov.

is seeing that W instead of an L at the end of a game. Unfortunately, Al’s famous slogan has not been put into effect by the Silver and Black; instead they’ve gone over an entire decade without a winning season. Being a Raiders fan is both hard and emotionally exhausting, but for the first time in a while, the Oakland Raiders as a franchise seem to be on an upswing. This season so far hasn’t been the greatest for the Raiders, but there are definitely enough positives to point towards the bright future of this organization. The first being head coach Dennis Allen. Allen is currently the youngest tenured coach in the NFL, and he is a defensive-minded coach. The Raiders this year have nine new starting defensive players, out of 11 total defensive starters. The only returning starters were Lamar Houston and Tyvon Branch. This defense was literally patched together over the off-season, yet Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver have these guys playing like a well-oiled machine.

Many experts claimed at the beginning of the season that the Raiders defense would be one of the worst in the league. Despite this criticism, this defense, and team as a whole, has played with more grit, more passion, more pride, than I’ve seen in the Raiders in a long time. Another reason the future looks bright is the young quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The knocks on this guy make sense: he can’t read defenses, his accuracy isn’t quite there and he can’t become a pocket passer. The thing about Pryor, though, is he is continuously growing every game he goes out there and plays. It was clearly shown what he meant to the Raider’s offense when he was out week four against the Redskins. The offense looked lethargic without him, and backup Matt Flynn looked atrocious. Pryor has shown he can look downfield and stay in the pocket, and he continues to make big plays not only with his legs, but with his arm as well. He has looked very accurate throwing the ball, learning from his week one mis-

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Clayton Pioneer •

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CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER BOYS POSTED THEIR BEST PRE-LEAGUE RESULT at the Ed Sias Invitational cross country meet with a ninth place showing in the large schools division in Martinez. The meet got the high school season off to a big start with the state’s top-ranked team, De La Salle, winning the boys division. Senior Danny Condon was the first Eagles runner in 11th place while his teammates, from left, Eduardo Wence, Joshua Rosen (2676), Kyle Metz (2666) and Quinten McLane (2662), all finished within eight places of one another.

Sports Shorts HALLOWEEN KICK OR TREAT CLASSIC COMING OCT. 26-27 A large field of teams will be playing in the 15th annual Halloween Kick or Treat Classic hosted by Diablo FC Oct. 26-27 in Concord. Boys and girls under 9, 10 and 11 teams will be playing soccer for two days and also participating in the annual Halloween Costume Contest which brings out some very creative and scary looks. For more information or to register a team visit

COACH ANTHONY MUNCH’S EAGLES cross country girls were ninth in the large school varsity standings 30 seconds behind DVAL favorite College Park and one place ahead of Concord rival Carondelet at the Sias Invitational. The Eagles have three DVAL tri-meets over the next few weeks before the league championships Nov. 2 at Castle Rock in Walnut Creek hosted by Northgate. Freshman Natalie Ruzicka (2678) led the way for CVCHS with a 26th place finish (fifth among frosh runners). Senior Kyra Ortiz (2672) was the second Eagle finisher with three more underclassmen next in order for the young girls squad.

5K RUN & WALK TO BENEFIT HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SUNDAY United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation is holding its largest fundraiser, the fifth annual 5K Run and Walk at Newhall Park in Concord this Sunday. Competitive runners begin a 5K run at 9 a.m. while the fun runners and those looking for a nice Sunday walk are encouraged to sign up for the 9:45 Fun Run/Walk start. All proceeds support high school athletic programs at the five Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools and Clayton Valley Charter. For more information and to register online visit Runners and walkers can also register Sunday morning at Newhall Park.

FALL YOUTH, ADULT PROGRAMS COMING TO CLAYTON GYM A variety of programs at Clayton Community Gym are taking signups now through All Out Sports League. Winter youth basketball league starting Dec. 28 is now taking signups for players 4-16. Youth hip hop and jazz classes are every Monday for 5-16 year-olds. Blaze AAU basketball and club volleyball tryouts are coming late this year. Registration for 2014 spring basketball academy and t-ball is open. And there will be an adult coed softball tournament Nov. 3. For complete information, visit

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES SOCCER SCHOOL IN CONCORD THIS FALL The San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer are holding their Regional Development School fall session at Boatwright Fields in Concord on Tuesdays through Oct. 29. Girls and boys 5-10 years of age are eligible for the school which brings professional coaching experience and guidance to youth soccer players of all skill levels. Brazilian World Cup and Olympic player Tafa heads the teaching staff. For more information visit the Earthquakes Youth Alliance Partner’s website at

AB 1371, from page 1

a three-foot cushion. A lane is only 12 feet wide; a cyclist riding in the lane and not on the shoulder will extend at least two feet into the lane. A small car is six feet wide and a SUV is almost eight feet wide. Add the required three feet cushion, and it is impossible to pass without crossing the double yellow line. In these cases, drivers must stay behind the cyclist until it is clear that it is safe to pass or the cyclist moves off the road. The law requires a vehicle that is moving slower than the flow of traffic to pull over at the first safe opportunity if it is holding up five cars. According to Clayton Police Department officer Allen White, cyclists are subject to the same vehicle laws as all other vehicles on the road. “If I’m driving behind a line of slow traffic and see that a bicycle is holding things up, I’ll give him a couple of opportunities to pull over and let the traffic go by,” White says. “If he doesn’t, I’ll cite him.” It all comes down to common sense – whether you are cycling or driving, Jay says. “I don’t tend to ride where there isn’t room for cars to pass. If a bicycle is going uphill, like to the top of Morgan Territory or Mount Diablo, it is difficult for a cyclist to start again on a steep uphill and to also clip out of my pedals on a steep uphill,” she

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earlier bills gave drivers explicit permission to cross a double yellow line if required to observe the three-feet rule. Those bills, however, did not make it past the Governor who was said to have safety concerns about the liability of an accident were to occur. Bradford’s bill does not give permission for drivers to cross a double yellow line In AB 1371, they took out specific references regarding both the double yellow line and the speed limit in order to make a safer bill. One of the concerns that Jay and other cyclists have is enforcement of the bill. Failing

to comply with the three-feet clearance would result in a $35 base fine, with extra fees increasing the fine to $154. Additionally, if a motorist collides with a cyclist and injures them, the fine would be $220, according to Bradford’s staff. But, says Jay, “I’m not going to carry a measuring stick on my bike and call the cops whenever a driver gets too close.” VEHICLE CODE APPLIES TO BOTH DRIVERS AND CYCLISTS On narrow, winding roads, like Marsh Creek and Morgan Territory where a double yellow line can run for miles, it can be impossible to pass a bicycle with

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CLAYTON CYCLIST JENNIFER JAY hopes that cyclists and drivers will both use common sense when sharing the road.

says. “I’d fall over and get run over. I can’t stop until I get to a level part of the hill. Drivers need to be patient. A minute of slowing down won’t kill them since they are in a car.” She also says that cyclists need to use common sense and courtesy as well and ride single file on one-lane roads so that cars can pass. “I try to be aware of my surroundings at all times. And I don’t ride during busy times. It’s pretty basic – like you learned when you first learned to ride a bike.”

October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Include your pets in disaster planning



PET PALS Where would you and your small animal pets have gone if your home had burnt in the recent Morgan Fire? The issue of pet disaster relief came up last year at this time after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the eastern seaboard. During our near disaster last month here in Clayton, we experienced the timely response of the Red Cross as well as compassionate outreach from the community, particularly from those who rallied to trailer horses to safer grounds. But, what if it had been worse? The most important lesson learned from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was that pets should accompany their owners during

evacuations. The Red Cross now works with local veterinarians, shelters and SPCAs to include care for both animals and people in their disaster plans. By contacting the local evacuation site, volunteers will provide Red Cross connections as well as information on sheltering your pets, big and small, at local facilities. The Cal Fire Incidence Report website provided up-todate information on fire containment, evacuation locations and large animal evacuation sites. Several veterinary organizations are also on call. Here in California, the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps, CAVMRC, was prepared to mobilize regional professionals if needed in the Morgan Fire. This organization is sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Association, CVMA, and the California Veterinary Medical Foundation, CVMF. To learn more about their efforts visit Local shelters and veterinarians, including VCA Monte Vista Animal Hospital, were prepared to be part of this team to help

Mayor, from page 1 comprehensive high schools in the entire state of California. That’s how incredible.” For more information about what’s happening at CVCHS, go to their website, Our Mt. Diablo Elementary and Diablo View Middle Schools continue to strive for excellence as well. Diablo View was named a California Distinguished School again this year. All three schools participate in our Do The Right Thing program, which emphasizes positive character

traits. The Clayton City Council is proud to recognize outstanding students from our schools. The character trait for October is “respect.” Please see the photos of our recently recognized students in the About Town section of this paper. The Clayton Theatre Company’s ( inaugural production of “The Robber Bridegroom” begins at Endeavor Hall with preview showings next week on Oct. 16 and 17 with full

Tanner, from page 1 Clayton Regency Mobile Home Park shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, after he led Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputies on a seven-mile chase from Brentwood. The Lexus sedan he was driving was reportedly stolen in Concord. Two passengers in the car he was driving survived the crash but were critically injured. Tanner is the son of Clayton resident Kim Zocchi Herrera and the stepson of John Herrera, a longtime Oakland Raiders executive who retired in 2012. According to the sheriff’s department, the incident began about 8 a.m. Friday Sept. 27 when a sheriff’s deputy responded to reports of a suspicious Lexus parked near a Contra Costa Water District office on Walnut Boulevard in Brentwood.

Tanner, who lived in Clayton, fled when a sheriff’s dispatcher told the deputy that the car had been stolen in Concord, the sheriff’s office said. The chase reached up to speeds of 70 mph. Despite the circumstances of his death, an outpouring of community support followed the news, as friends on social media extolled the liveliness and exuberance of Tanner, and friends of Kim Herrera reached out to her in person and on Facebook. Herrera says her son was always fun-loving and kind, and whenever he texted his mom, he included “TTMB,” meaning “I love you to the moon and back.” Aunt Cheryl Zocchi-Joyner says, however, that in recent years Tanner suffered from drug addiction, and was sometimes involved with “people who didn’t

shelter small animals and provide emergency medical care. To reiterate from a previous column, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association, AVMA, offers the following pet disaster preparedness advice: • Should you have to evacuate, take your pets with you. • All pets should have a collar and tag or be identifiable through an up-to-date microchip or tattoo. • Have an ample supply of food, bottled water and any medications. • Keep a photo of your pet(s) and a physical description in case they become lost. Remember to have on hand • A collapsible cage or carrier for each pet that includes owner identification and proper bedding; • A litter pan for cats along with a scoop; • Veterinary records; • First-aid kit; • And, don’t forget a can opener.

performances running Oct. 1826. Tickets are going fast and can be purchased online at TRASH TALK We all need to re-focus our efforts to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill and recycle more. Allied Waste Services provided the monthly data for August 2013 and our community continues to send more trash to the landfill than last year, a wrong-way trend. Residential landfill waste increased by more than 56 tons and the commercial sector sent almost 11 more tons to the landfill than in August

have his best interest at heart.” Still, Herrera says that no matter what happened that Friday morning, she is certain her son did not steal the vehicle he was driving in the crash. “The car had been stolen for several days,” she said. “I know that he did not steal it.” She said family and law enforcement officials are still trying to piece together all that happened leading up to the crash. Born in Walnut Creek, Tanner was close with his family, especially his brothers Clayton and Nathan. He was “all-boy,” according to his mom, a kid who loved basketball, surfing and hanging out with friends. A celebration of his life was held on Oct. 5 at Tabernacle School in Concord. Memorial donations may be made to Dionne Cooper/ Solidarity, 1125 San Antonio Place, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

The AVMF also sponsors the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT) program, which is available to provide trained veterinary responders to states affected by disasters. So, you can rest assured that if we are ever so unfortunate as to suffer a worse disaster, these organizations well be there to support both you and your companion animals. Once again I ask you to consider donating money or time to one of these charitable organizations: Red Cross: American Veterinary Medical Foundation: California Veterinary Medical Foundation: Veterinary Centers of America Charities: charities

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2012. Our monthly curbside recycling mark for August 2013 hit 48.13 percent, landing our year-to-date rate at 47.62 percent (50 percent is the target minimum set by the state). The favorite residential recyclable material is mixed paper (583 tons total this year), followed by glass (212 tons) and then cardboard (133 tons). For the commercial sector, cardboard gets the nod (24.5 tons). For a full and specific list of recyclables, see the website: /recycle/options/v6439.htm. We can all recycle more than we think. Finally, there’s some happy news at Clayton City Hall: our city clerk, Laci (Jackson) Kolc, got married last weekend. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple. As always, you can reach me at Let me know what you think.


Schedule your Holiday Vacation Pet Sitting now.



Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

October 11, 2013


IN CLAYTON Oct. 12, 19, 26 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Music: Oct. 12, Tony de Grassi; Oct. 19, Kevin Kooyumjian; Oct. 26, Vintage.

Oct. 31 Ghost Walk Walking tour of local downtown haunted folklore sites. Narrated by Richard Taylor. Rain or shine. Bring flashlight and umbrella, if needed; costumes optional. Starts at 8 p.m. from Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Free.

First Thursdays Oakhurst Business Network Meets first Thursday of the month for social hour. Hosted hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 5 – 7 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton.

IN CONCORD Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 24, 4 - 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Oct. 17 – 31 Scarecrow Contest Visit downtown Concord and vote for your favorite scarecrow at participating businesses. Sponsored by the Todos Santos Business Association. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Call Darren Walters at 685-4221.

Oct. 31 Trick or Treat Costumed children and parents are invited to trick or treat around the plaza. Look for participating businesses with orange and black balloons. Bring your own goody bag. Sponsored by the Todos Santos Business Association. 3 – 5 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Call Darren Walters at 685-4221.

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

Oct. 12, 19 Tarantula Hikes Learn about the hairy spiders that roam the mountain at this time of year. Then take a walk to see if you can find any. Reservations required. Check the website for more tarantula hikes. Reservations are required and fill up fast.

Oct. 20 Tarantula Time It’s that time of year again when male tarantulas are out of their burrow roaming the hillsides looking for female tarantulas. Come and learn about the lives of these special creatures from naturalist Michael Marchiano in the Summit Audio Visual Room. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535.

Nov. 3 Trail Adventure Half-marathon, 5K run, 10K run and family hike. Registration at 6:30 a.m.; races at 8 a.m. Begins at Castle Rock Park, 1700 Castle Rock Road, Walnut Creek. Registration/fee required. Go to and click on Trail Adventure.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Oct 11-13 “Pygmalion” The last weekend of Butterfield 8’s production of the classic that inspired the musical “My Fair Lady.”Purchase tickets at

Oct. 11 – Nov. 10 “Tarzan” “Tarzan” tells the story of an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa and raised by gorillas. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $44-$54. 943-7469.

Oct. 12 Family Concert


Oct. 19 – 20 Campout

p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. General admission $55; VIP tickets $100. 947-3535.

Camp and gaze at the full moon and Orionid meteor shower. Lake Del Valle. Registration and fee required. East Bay Regional Park District. Call (888) 327-2757, select option 2 and refer to program 3717.

Oct. 25 Golden Dragon Acrobats Award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, music and theatrical techniques. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$25.

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

Tuesdays thru Nov. 26 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m.

Wednesdays Book Buddies

Oct. 25 Guitar Series Join Larry Aynesmith in a celebration of his new CD release “Water Guitar.” 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 1 - 2 p.m. Call in advance.

Thursdays thru Nov. 14 Picture Book Time

Oct. 25 – Nov. 23 “Don’t Dress for Dinner”

Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m.

Here comes the brilliant sequel to Center REP’s hilarious and stylish “Boeing-Boeing.” Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33-$52. 943-7469.

Thru Oct. 24 Library Pumpkin Come see our big pumpkin and guess its weight. The person with the closest guess without going over wins the pumpkin. Children 12 and under eligible to enter.

Oct. 26 – 27 “Wagon Wheels A-Rollin” Fast-paced spoof of the Old West presented by The Vagabond Players. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$15.

Oct. 26, 27, 30, 31 Not-So-Scary Animals for Halloween Meet live animals like a bat, owl, spider, snake or vulture in familyfriendly presentations. Part of Bay Area Science Festival events. Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. 935-1978.

Oct. 28 – 29 “Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story” “OMG, I Love that Show!” Productions recounts the chilling, true story of the legendary “thrill killers.” Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17.75. 943-7469.

Nov. 1 Comedy Sliders Trapped in a Rumor Improv creates a live theatre experience that is never the same twice. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$15. 943-7469.

Thru Nov. 7 Clayton Reads Featuring “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. Pick up free copy at library while supplies last; return when done. Flier available with related programs and discussions.

Oct. 14 Clayton Library Book Club Sunny Solomon leads the discussion of “Ragtime” by E.L. Doctorow. Open to anyone who would like to join. 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 - 27 Used Book Sale Most books $1. Most children’s books $.50. Fri. 4 – 7 p.m. members preview. Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sun. 12 – 4 p.m. half price. 2 – 4 p.m. $3/bag; bag provided.

Oct. 28 CPR Hands-only CPR training by Clayton CERT. 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, Dec. 3 Paws to Read

Nov. 2 A Night of Uplifting 70’s Favorites Clayton J. Foor sings an evening of pop music favorites at the piano. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$21. 943-7469.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Oct. 11, 12 Movie Nights Showing “The Privileged Planet” highlighting the design within the universe and asks the question, “Is this random?” Refreshments served. Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday at 6 p.m. Crossroads Covenant Church, 5353 Concord Boulevard, Concord. Free. 798-5905.

FUNDRAISERS Ongoing Mount Diablo Fire Recovery

Learn to read by reading aloud to a dog. Grades 1 – 5. Registration required. 4 or 4:35 p.m.

Oct. 30 Fireside Stories Join master storyteller Marian Ferrante in an old-fashioned campfire story telling. A family-friendly program aimed at teens and adults. 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 “Fahrenheit 451” Join other readers and share your thoughts about the Clayton Reads book. 2 p.m. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455.

Oct. 12 Computers and Technology

Help the Mount Diablo Interpretative Association and California State Parks restore Mount Diablo from damage caused by the Morgan Fire. Three donation gift levels. See for more information.

If you need help with your mouse, come to our house. Drop-in assistance to learn how to use computers, smart phones and tablets. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Additional dates and times offered. Check library calendar.

Oct. 13 5K Event

Oct. 12 Financial Workshop

Fundraiser for Mount Diablo Unified School District high school sports. Competitive run at 9 a.m. Fun run/walk at 9:45 a.m. Newhall Park, Turtle Creek, Concord. $25 pre-registration; $30 day of event.

Oct. 19 Poker Tournament Clayton Valley Charter High School Instrumental Music is hosting a Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament. American Express gift card prizes. Wine and beer served; must be 21 years or older to attend. 6 – 11 p.m. Concord Police Association, 5060 Avila Road, Concord. $65 includes dinner, drinks and $1,000 in chips. Go to to buy tickets.

Oct. 20 Plant Sale

How to keep your short-term and long-term finances on track during a job transition. 1 – 3 p.m.

Oct. 14 Wiggle and Giggle with Liz Mac! Have fun and move around to some great music. Ages 6 – 8. 7 – 7:45 p.m.

Oct 19 Job Seeking For teens. Come talk to professionals in dream jobs. 2 – 4 p.m. Registration required.


The Diablo Symphony presents excerpts from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and other family-friendly, classical favorites. 2 p.m. Meet the orchestra. 3 p.m. concert. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette, 1035 Carol Lane. Free.

Featuring a fine selection of California natives, succulents and hard-tofind perennials. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. 681-2968.

Oct. 13 Diablo Symphony Orchestra

Oct. 26 Dinner and Auction

Eric Zivian performs on the piano. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$28. 943-7469.

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

Oct. 14 Stroke Support Group

Barbecue dinner, no host cocktails, two-bit auction and dessert raffle sponsored by Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista. Benefits women and girls worldwide through Soroptimist projects. 6 p.m. Back Forty Texas BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, Pleasant Hill. $50. Contact Jan Townsend for tickets by Oct. 18. 827-1050.

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

Speaker: Sharif Frink from California Telephone Access Program. 7 – 9 p.m. Lesher Auditorium, John Muir Medical Center, Concord Campus, 2540 East St., Concord. Free. Contact Ann Dzuna 376-6218.

Nov. 6 Diablo 3D and Symphony

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

Oct. 16 – 20, 24 - 26 “The Robber Bridegroom”

Explore the Mount Diablo wilderness in digital 3D. All images accompanied by an original music score written by Ron Paquette and performed by the CC Wind Symphony. All proceeds go to Save Mount Diablo. 6 – 9

The Clayton Theatre Company presentst its first production, a rousing, bawdy Southern fairy tale. Preview Oct. 16 – 17. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. $12-$18 at

Oct. 17 Broadway Goes to the Movies Join the immensely talented arranger and conductor, Sean O’Loughlin, and Diablo Choral Artists. Presented by California Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$65. 943-7469.

Oct. 17 Edgar Allan Poe A reading of select works by Poe. Butterfield 8 Theatre at Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. No admission fee; donations accepted.

Oct. 17 – 19 “Hansel and Gretel” Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble presents this spellbinding tale. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. 943-7469.

Oct. 19 The Best Intentions An unforgettable experience of the great Motown acts of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $23-$25.

Theater, from page 1 first of which was, not surprisingly, money. Pardi first went to friends and family, then to the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA) for a grant to finance the first show. CBCA awarded the group $3,000 in matching funds. With that, opening night looked to be within reach. Pardi and Watts began looking for a show – no small task since their royalty budget was nearly as small as their venue. She needed a fun show with a small cast that would lend itself to a theater with a tiny stage, no wings, no exit, and lighting that was either on or off. Undaunted, Pardi and Watts

pulled together a board, put the tap on David Manoguerra, husband of board member Beth Neudell, to build the sets and figure out the lighting, and began to call in favors. “I hit up everyone I ever knew from my days as director at Pittsburg Community Theatre,” says Pardi. “I’ve called in favors for set design, equipment, music director and fundraising. We’re borrowing costumes and we figure if we can’t build it, make it or borrow it, we’ll just do without.” Recalling the 1970s when Endeavor Hall jumped with live melodrama twice a year, Pardi wanted a show with somewhat the same flavor. “The Robber

1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at Click on ‘Links’

Bridegroom,” a bawdy Southern fairy tale set in eighteenth century Mississippi, has all the elements of a classic melodrama. “Bridegroom” is the story of the courting of Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the county, by the rascally, Robin Hood-esque Jamie Lockhart. Thanks to an unconventional case of double-mistaken identity, things go predictably awry. Throw in an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund’s demise, her pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head-in-a-trunk, and you have the recipe for a rollicking good time. The cast is packed with locals. Hailey Herrera plays the lovely Rosamund with Kelly Hanson as the evil stepmother. At 16, Kayla Elwy is the

youngest member of the cast. Clayton musician, Santiago Martinez, stepped up as musical director and pulled together a talented band with a guitar, fiddle, banjo and bass to take on the rousing bluegrass country score. The show, written by Alfred Uhry with music by Robert Waldman is based on a 1942 novel by Eudora Welty. When it opened on Broadway in 1975, the show received seven Tony nominations with Barry Bostwick named Best Actor. “The Robber Bridegroom” previews on Oct. 16 and 17; opens Oct. 18 and runs through Oct. 26. Tickets are $12$18 and are available online at For more information on the Clayton Theatre Company, go to

October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Performing Arts

Butterfield 8 fights to keep curtain up NANCI L. VALCKE Special to the Pioneer

Plot twists are as common in the business of theater companies as they are in their myriad productions, and Butterfield 8 in Concord is dealing with its share. It canceled its opening night of “Pygmalion” along with the following two nights because a family medical emergency required Donald L. Hardy, playing the lead role of Henry Higgins, to fly to Pennsylvania. “We didn’t have an understudy,” said Co-Artistic Director Maureen-Theresa Williams. “It is not unknown, professional companies don’t always have understudies.” Artistic Director John Butterfield stepped in, but rather than have him hold and read from the script, opening night was put off for a week to give him time to learn lines, Williams said. “Based on attendance and the response that decision was validated,” Williams said. She said three performances have been added to the run of the play providing four shows each week to fulfill the 12 performanc-

es promised and for which the company had already paid royalties. Purchased tickets for any of the canceled shows may be used at any other performance. In addition to postponing opening night, Butterfield 8 is resigning its seven-year residency at Cue Productions Live! The company will complete its season, which runs through March 9, 2014. After that it will become a nomadic repertory company and move from a “season” structure to a project-by-project format. “This will allow us to really focus on one or two projects at a time and bring them to fulfillment without the pressure of keeping a roof over our head,” Williams said. “This will also allow us to do more original works.” “I would love to find a place to call our own,” says Butterfield, “but that is such a big ticket-item here in the Bay Area.” Along with giving up its resident status, Butterfield 8 is selling its teacups used during “Tea Table” performances as well as holding a silent auction of props and set decorations to help pay rent for the remaining season. For information on the auction contact Williams at maureen@butter- or 925-708-5074. The auction ends Oct. 13. Despite their strong support group and following, production costs keep going up and both Butterfield and Williams say they are adamant about keeping ticket costs affordable for everyone. “No rise in cost to (theatergoers) meant some performances were just making the rent. Over time we were falling behind,” said Williams. “It forces us into having to do shows just to pay rent.” Failing to make ends meet is not exclusive to Butterfield 8; it is the biggest problem theater companies face and many are forced to take extraordinary measures, according to Theatre Bay Area, founded in 1976 to serve and advocate for community theaters throughout the nine Bay Area counties. The most drastic measure is being forced into a final curtain call, as was the case last year for The Willows Theatre Company. After a 35-year-run in Concord, The Willows Theatre Company board of directors filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closed its doors on Aug. 16, 2012. There are many who have speculated on what caused the the-

Acclaimed Sinatra tribute comes to Concord

STEVE SWAN as Frank Sinatra

Ole’ Blue Eyes will be appearing in concert in Concord. Specifically, Steve Swan, a Frank Sinatra impersonator, will be

crooning out some of the Chairman of the Board’s top hits and Rat Pack favorites as part of a musical celebration at Carlton Senior Living’s Chateau on Broadway in Concord. Scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, the performance “is a unique opportunity for our residents and guests,” says Peter Nixdorff, executive director of Chateau on Broadway. “Nearly all of our residents and their friends are from the Sinatra era, and they love a good party.” Swan’s impersonation of Sinatra’s style is derived from a unique training background: as a teenager he received vocal training from the teacher who coached Sinatra at the height of his career. Swan sought to deliver the style, ability and energy of Sinatra’s most memorable performances.

Industry professionals admire his skill. “When I heard the vocal tracks for Steve’s album of Frank’s songs, I nearly fell out of my chair leaning closer to the speakers,” says Patrick Lelko, chief engineer of Audio Mica Productions East. “I thought someone had found original recordings and digitally cleaned them. I’ve heard other guys try, but this guy really sounds like Frank.” In his performances, Swan emulates Sinatra’s gestures, mannerisms and stage presence.

ater company’s demise, but most agree it overextended its reach. Although Cue Productions Live! owner Carole Davis is looking for a new resident company to help pay rent, she said Butterfield 8 will always be welcome. “They are family,” Davis said. A further plot twist in Butterfield 8 Theatre Company’s business is Butterfield’s upcoming departure for New Zealand, where he will complete his Master’s degree at Toi Whakaari/Victoria University.

Judy Potter

HENRY HIGGINS (JOHN BUTTERFIELD) TEMPTS ELIZA DOOLITTLE (BECKY POTTER) with the promise of chocolates and taxi rides in Butterfield 8 Theatre Company’s production of Pygmalion, running Thursdays through Sundays until October 13.

Dazzling “Tarzan” set to open this weekend well as many new songs written by Collins for the stage version. This will be the first locallyproduced, full-scale production of “Tarzan” in the Bay Area. Broadway performer James Royce Edwards will appear in the title role. Special effects will have Tarzan flying across the Hofmann Stage. “It’s Tarzan, so of course we have to have him swing through the Contra Costa Musical Theatre will swing into their 53rd season this weekend with the regional premiere of “Tarzan, the Musical,” by Phil Collins and David Henry Hwang. Truly an iconic character, “Tarzan” has been around for more than 100 years. Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic adventure story of the same name, the stage musical delivers a fresh adventure for family members of all ages, and offers new memories of the legendary jungle hero “Tarzan the Musical” closely follows the 1999 Academy Awardwinning Disney film. All of the songs from the Disney film are included in the stage musical, as

St. John’s Stage presents

Award-Winning Master Magician

Christian Cagigal

in his intimate, spooky


A Magic Show

Diablo Ballet, the award–winning, professional dance company in Walnut Creek, begins its 20th season on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Smith Center at Ohlone College in Fremont and continues Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek with the Diablo Ballet premiere of “Our Waltzes Trilogy” by renowned choreographer Vicente Nebrada of Ballet Nacional de Caracas. The Ballet premiered in May 1976 for the Nacional Ballet de Caracas in Bogotá, Colombia. Diablo Ballet’s David Fonnegra, who danced the ballet numerous

Walnut Creek-based Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble will present the first show in its 41st season, the classic tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Narrated by Hansel and Gretel’s dog, “Dog,” this fun loving story is full of surprises, a family-friendly musical that encourages audience participation from all ages. It is directed by Scott Denisen, with musical direction by Michael Wiles. For more than 30 years FFAE has been presenting live family musical

theater that features original scripts, professional actors and affordable pricing. Many young audience members are able to sit right on the stage and interact directly with the performers. FFAE produces four musicals a year at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek that draw up to 2,700 patrons to each production.

The performances are scheduled throughout the day and early evenings on weekends to accommodate patrons and K-5 school groups. “Hansel and Gretel” runs Thursday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 19. Tickets are $14, available at 925-943-SHOW(7469), online at, or in person at the Lesher Center for the Arts Ticket Office located at 1601 Civic Drive Walnut Creek or the Ticket Office Outlet in Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek. Discounted group tickets are also available. For more information, contact FFAE at 925934-2133.

“A sparkling den of stories and’s well worth checking out this most theatrical yet understated of magicians” -Theatre Critic Chloe Veltman

925-672-8717 or at the door. Limited seating. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton

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Hansel and Gretel’s ‘Dog’ tells this classic tale

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Carlton Senior Living’s Chateau on Broadway is an independent living community for residents age 55 or better. It is located at 1700 Broadway in Concord. To RSVP for the Sinatra Tribute, call 925-686-1700. For further information regarding Chateau on Broadway, visit

Diablo Ballet kicks off 20th season in November

air,” said co-producer Scott Strain. “But in our production, the aerial stunts are used to enhance the storytelling, and not to simply be a spectacle.” “Tarzan, the Musical” plays at the Lesher Center, Oct. 11 through Nov. 10. Purchase tickets at the Lesher Center Ticket Office, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Or call 925-943-7469 or go online to

Holiday Party CALCULATOR

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

The Floor Store’s Columbus Day Sale:

When to call the Fashion Police

Monday October 7th – Monday October 14th:

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October 11, 2013


FASHION OVER 50 We all have our biases when it comes to fashion. You may prefer a down-to-earth, unfussy

style or you may strive for a oneof-kind statement look. Either way, you know what you like and what you don’t. And that goes for me, too. Here are my top ten fashion pet peeves for women over 50: 1) Feather earrings – Woodstock is over. 2) Scrunchies – They went out of fashion with fanny packs. 3) Jewelry sets – Earrings, a necklace and a bracelet that match shout “I’m old.” 4) Tucking in a shirt in front and not in back – I know it’s trendy, but it looks dumb.

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5) Blaring designer labels – Just wearing a designer’s name on your butt doesn’t make you stylish. 6) Ugg boots – They’re just glorified slippers. Exception: sheep farmers.

7) Crocs – They’re for the beach or for gardening only. 8) Jean jackets with jeans – Pick one or the other 9) Dressing too young – Fifty may be the new 40, but it’s not an excuse to raid your daughter’s closet. 10) Elastic waist pants – Save those for when you’re in the “home.” And speaking of pet peeves, I have a bone to pick with the manufacturer of Bali underwear. For years I have worn their highcut, lacy Skamp bikinis in a size 7. In preparation for a recent vacation, I ordered six pairs online only to find that the new panties were cut considerably smaller than before. To confirm my suspicion, I laid a new pair on top of a pair that had been washed many times. Just as I thought, at least an inch smaller all around; confirmation that Bali is on a cost-cutting mission. I plan to write a scathing letter to Mr. Bali or whoever is responsible. A woman with her knickers in a twist is a force to be reckoned with. Live long and pester! Judith Marshall is the author of “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever.” Send comments to

October 11, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Fall is fantastic for hikes at Carson Pass SHARON ANDERSON




Carson Pass is a mountain pass on the crest of the Sierra Nevada on Highway 88. It lies in Alpine County on the Great Basin Divide, with the West Fork Carson River on the east and the South Fork American River on the west. It’s almost a year-round playground. The hiking, fishing, boating and mountain biking are fantastic, as well as skiing at my favorite ski resort, Kirkwood. Starting at 8,500 feet, one of the best hikes in this area is the route to Round Top Lake, Winnemucca Lake and Fourth of July Lake. This trail has pristine alpine meadows, lakes, abandoned mines – and in early summer, one of the finest wildflower displays to be found anywhere in Northern California. Start at the Pacific Crest trail

sign from the parking lot on Highway 88 and plan for about seven miles of hiking. Round Top Lake sits at 9,440 feet. Sisters Peak is accessible directly from the ridgeline below the final climb to Round Top, at 10, 183 feet – perfect for the determined peak-bagger who wants to add another mountain summit to their list. Meiss Lake hike offers a variety of terrain, from an ancient forest to a rocky tree-less alpine ridgeline to a beautiful meadow. The elevation gain is moderate and you won’t tire of the endless panoramic views. It’s also a must-do hike for alpine wildflowers. The hike starts out on a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail section J. This is one way, 4.2 miles. Be prepared, for in early summer there can be as many as 21 water crossings, making it great for dogs to stay hydrated. This lake is good for swimming but no fishing is allowed. Hike up the Horse Canyon Trail to West Pass, the highest point the Emigrant wagons crossed while traveling to California along the Carson

Silver Lake River Emigrant Trail during the Gold Rush. The views are fantastic with the trail climbing 2,300 feet in five miles. Pick up the horse canyon trail just east of Kit Carson Lodge and follow the trail up Grouse Ridge. From

there it is less than a mile to the top of the pass. Silver Lake, at 7,200 feet, has great fishing, canoeing and kayaking. The lake is planted yearly with brown and rainbow trout, as well as some mackinaw

and brook. PG&E campgrounds are right there, and some of the little lakes such as Kirkwood and Woods Lake have small campgrounds. Kayak rentals are available at Plasses Resort, Silver Lake, Caples Lake and Kit Carson Lodge. Kirkwood has a mountain bike park, although I have never opted for the chair to the top. I ride the Thunder Mountain Trail and the Horse Canyon Trail. The trails are challenging and technical. You will dismount to push it in spots, I guarantee it. Not for a beginner, especially with the elevation playing havoc on your cardio. Early summer is always the best for the trails as they get pretty loose towards the end of the season from the traffic.

The display of fall color is fantastic in the Carson Pass area. So get up and get out for a hike before you can’t find the trails anymore. GETTING THERE: Take Highway 4 then over the Antioch Bridge, taking the CA-160 exit. At the Rio Vista Bridge intersection turn right on CA-12 E to Lodi. Go straight through Lodi under the Highway 99 overpass. Take a left, following the CA-88 E signs to Clements/Jackson. Continue through Jackson towards Pine Grove and Tahoe. It takes approximately three hours. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker, mountain biker and skier with a passion for the Sierra Nevadas.

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •


f f O % 0 1 ton for Clay only s t n e resid

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Pomegranates – the rubies of the season DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

A ripe, ready-to-eat pomegranate is a luscious jewel of a fruit. And although this delicious fruit may seem exotic, it’s wonderfully easy to enjoy. Packed inside are hundreds of ruby-red arils – sweet, tart, gemlike juice sacs, bursting with pure flavor. Enjoy these little beauties as is, toss them into savory or sweet dishes, or use them as a brightly colored garnish. Delicious pomegranates are available September through January and can be enjoyed in salads, desserts, and entrees. A healthy antioxidant-rich juice can be made from them as well. The Spanish Padres are credited with bringing pomegranates to California. They grew them at missions some 200 years ago. Today the San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the State of California, is the only concen-

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tration of commercially grown pomegranates in America. Some might avoid eating a fresh pomegranate because they don’t know how to get to the seeds and juice inside - it can be intimidating. So, here are a few ways to prepare a pomegranate. TRADITIONAL METHOD Cut the crown end off a pomegranate, removing with it some of the white pith. Lightly score the skin in quarters, from the stem to the crown end. Firmly yet gently break the sections apart, following the score lines. Bend back the skin and gently scoop the seed clusters into a bowl; remove any pith.

equal pressure from both hands. Holding the pomegranate half, cut side down, in the palm of one hand, whack the top of the fruit with the back of a large spoon. The seeds will fall out. POMEGRANATE, JICAMA, AND GREEN BEAN SALAD 1 pomegranate 1/4 cup pomegranate juice 1-1/2 pound piece jicama 3/4 pound green beans 1/4 cup walnuts 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice Peel and cut jicama into 1/4 inch thick slices. Stack 2-3 slices

FANNING METHOD Cut the pomegranate in half vertically. With the cut side up, make 4 equally spaced cuts 1 inch long and 1 inch deep. Hold the pomegranate half, cut side down, over a deep bowl and pull the fruit open but not apart, using

Ballet, from page 15

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times under Nebrada, is one of a handful of individuals given the honor to stage this work. This passionate ballet that celebrates romance and love can be compared to ballroom dancing with Latin influences and is set to Teresa Carreño’s beautiful piano score. Diablo Ballet’s performances will feature Bay Area concert pianist Roy Bogas. Also on the program is the West Coast Premiere of “Compulsive,” choreographed by Mário Radaèovský, former principal dancer with Jiri Kylian’s Netherlands Dance Theatre and Artistic Director of the Slovak National Theatre.

This solo won the senior bronze medal at the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Set to the music of Yann Tiersen, this dance depicts Mr. Radaèovský’s European dramatic and athletic sensibility. The November program also features the 2013 Edition of “A Swingin’ Holiday,” created in 2012 by Sean Kelly, former resident choreographer for the national tour of the musical “Billy Elliot” and former principal of Houston Ballet. Diablo Ballet’s new 2013 edition features favorite holiday tunes and songs from the 1930s and 40s by such legends as Duke

on a cutting board and cut into 1/4 inch sticks. Place in a bowl and toss with pomegranate juice. Chill, covered for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. Trim green beans and in a saucepan of boiling salted water; blanch 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Transfer beans with a slotted spoon into ice water to stop cooking—drain in colander. With the pomegranate dislodge fresh seeds. Coarse chop the walnuts. Take out the jicama mixture and add green beans, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve.

Ellington, Nat “King” Cole, Wynton Marsalis, and Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” performed live by the Diablo Ballet Swing Orchestra, under the direction of Greg Sudmeier. The Smith Center at Ohlone College is located at 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, and the Lesher Center for the Arts is located at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Purchase tickets online at or, or by calling 877-938-9240 or 925-9437469. Following the Nov. 9 and 16 matinees, ticket holders are invited to meet and mingle with the dancers. Children under 12 may also be photographed with the dancers in costume.

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Oct 11 clayton pioneer 2013