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October 18, 2019

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New state law protects renters from some rent hikes, evictions PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

St. Bonaventure mourns death of popular priest

Many people will remember Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, as an historic day. It was the day that Gov. Gavin Newsom gave thousands of renters in California a gift that would change the way they lived. Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1482, handing Californians some of the strongest protections against rent hikes and evictions in the nation. But legislators are quick to say it’s not rent control but rather an “anti-rent gouging” law that will also protect against unjust evictions.

Tenants Together

Tenants protested at last month’s Coffee with the Mayor in Concord, demanding the city do something about exorbitant rent hikes and unjust evictions. Mayor Carlyn Obringer says the new state housing law, AB 1482, does both.

LONG FIGHT IN CONCORD For four years, the Concord City Council has been barraged with stories of unjust evictions, exorbitant rate hikes and families being displaced by landlords who “terrorized” residents, says Betty Gabaldon, president of the newly formed Concord Tenants Union. She says she’s heard stories of apartment landlords putting a resident’s furniture out on the street or turning off utilities with a 24-hour eviction notice. She relocated from Concord to a smaller apartment in Walnut Creek when her landlord raised her rate to three times what she was paying. When the council refused to enact any rent control ordinances, Gabaldon and her group just got louder. The tenants union was born with the help of Raise the Roof, an organization that promotes tenants’ rights. Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord) was on the Concord council when it turned away rent control. Now he is one of the coauthors of AB 1482, led by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “I got a little more education on the subject,” Grayson says. “Plus, I saw first-hand what was happening in Concord.” He relays a story about a couple that faced eviction from their Concord apartment so the landlord could “jack up the rate.” The couple moved to far East County to find a place they could afford. “They were great tenants,” he says. “They kept up their home, but suddenly they were forced to leave their community. It wasn’t fair.” Concord Councilman Edi Birsan calls himself the “lone wolf ” champion of a rent control ordinance in Concord.

See Renters, page 9

Tamara Steiner/Pioneer

FATHER MATHEW VELLANKAL

TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

Father Mathew Vellankal, 61, pastor of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Concord, was killed in a car accident in Colusa County Oct. 10. Also killed in the crash was a visiting Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong India. Father Joseph Parekkatt, pastor of St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, was also injured in the accident. The three priests were on an outing to Clearlake when their Toyota Prius was hit by a tractor-trailer truck on State Route 20 near Wilbur Springs, according to the California Highway Patrol. Vellenkal came to St. Bonaventure as pastor in 2017. Described as a warm, engaging man, Vellenkal was known for his stories and jokes. He is the author of “From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections, and Quotes to Enliven Your Day,” published in 2005. William Gall, deacon at St. Bonaventure who served closely with Vellenkal, describes the priest as “so warm and welcoming.” “He was such a gem, easy going and very humble,” Gall said. “He was very collaborative and encouraging and had so much energy. He was always on the go. Loved hiking and was always doing something on his day off.”

See Vellenkal, page 5

Flames, smoke make airport firefighting drills ‘invaluable’ DAVID SCHOLZ Correspondent

After more than 30 years in firefighter service, Al Fine holds firm to the motto: “You just never know. You have to train for everything.”

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

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Next issue, Nov. 15, Deadline, Nov. 4

After being fire marshal with the Franklin-Bingham Fire Department outside of Detroit, he is now an emergency response trainer. With colleague Gerald “Sarge” Stein, an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) training coordinator with the Industry Emergency Council (IEC), Fine took local first responders through their paces on Oct. 8 at Buchanan Field as part of several days of required classes and training. Essential annual training with the IEC mobile unit for local ARFF personnel and their fellow area first responders took place at the Concord airport for the second consecutive year. The mobile trainer, not a real airplane, is designed to simulate an aircraft and fire/rescue scenarios. Personnel must go through an eight-hour live fire training recertification every year. ARFF personnel at Contra Costa County airports usually do this training offsite. “This was invaluable,” said Russell Milburn, assistant director of airports/operations at Buchanan. “It is well worth the money.” Milburn explained that doing the training onsite allows

his crew to work with their peers from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which provides mutual aid. They also get to use their own trucks and equipment, as opposed to packing up their gear and going elsewhere in California or out of state. “There are new personnel with Contra Costa Fire District who have not trained at the airport,” he added. Cost of annual training for ARFF is about $25,000. Fine said this first-hand experience allows firefighters to figure out ways to approach different situations and learn what works and what doesn’t. In addition to fighting a fire around the exterior of the aircraft, firefighters faced hazards inside the mobile unit – where theatrical smoke simulated the confusion they might experience in a real situation. During the training, Stein adjusted the intensity and variation of fire around the exterior of the aircraft to reflect what firefighters may encounter at any given moment as they work to knock down the flames and quell hot spots. “You never turn your back on the fire,” he said.

David Scholz

First responders enter a training plane filled with theatrical smoke during exercises at Buchanan Field on Oct. 8.

Along with 10 ARFF personnel, members of the county Fire Protection District, county Public WorksAirports Division, county Office of Emergency Services, the Sheriff ’s Department and other area agencies brought the number of par-

ticipants for the classroom and in-field training to about 100 for the week. The mobile trainer was the first such unit approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1996. Now owned by Belmont-based IEC, it travels to airport locations throughout

the United States for training purposes. A King Air, a small private plane previously donated to the county for such exercises, also was on hand at the airport for personnel to practice extricating trapped and injured occupants.

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C OMMUNITY

enjoyed all of it because I really felt that it was a great cause.” Unfortunately, the Army told her she couldn’t continue PFC Katie Edgecombe of Concord was forced to cut her due to arthritis in her hips. She got transitioned into an adminmilitary career short due to a health issue, but she’s still trying istrative post, issuing weapons to serve her country by helping for her last four months. “It was sad leaving, but I other veterans. She’ll talk about her efforts didn’t want to drag anyone as part of the “Young Veteran down because of me not being able to do my job,” said EdgeVoices” program on Veterans combe, who returned to civilian Day in Concord’s Willow Pass life and worked in a bank and at Park. an alarm company. Edgecombe joined the After discovering she was Army at age 19 and was in the military police in Hawaii 2001- eligible for veteran benefits, so went back to school two years ’03, preparing for service in Afghanistan or Iraq. “I trained ago. “I want to get a degree for accounting. I really enjoy invenwith the Marines how to clear tory and auditing – and I think buildings,” she said. “I really BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

that’s because of the Army.” She also got more involved with veteran organizations, including volunteering at the vet hall in downtown Concord and serving as president of the Student Veterans Alliance at Diablo Valley College. “I’m trying to make sure people don’t go through what I did. I went for 15 years, paying for medical and dental and, in reality, I am eligible for full medical benefits and for schooling. I had no idea,” she said. “Nobody walked me to the veterans service office and told me to check in. They do that now, though. “I’m totally trying to give back, because I couldn’t when I

was in,” Edgecombe added. “Everyone I work with is so inspiring. I’m even more motivated when I leave than when I get there.”

Veterans Day Celebration

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 will host a program at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Willow Pass Park, 2748 E. Olivera Road, Concord. In addition to speeches by young veterans, the Concord High Ladies First Choir will perform. The event will be followed by a softball tournament.

Clayton PD sees second generation sergeant

With his family on hand to celebrate, Richard Enea, Jr, a 15-year veteran of the Clayton Police Department realized a dream when his mother pinned a sergeant’s badge on his chest at the Oct. 4 City Council meeting. Enea Jr., follows in the footsteps of his father, Sergeant Rich Enea, Sr., who retired from the department in 2004. “We require officers to not only be experts in law enforcement,” Clayton Police Chief Elise Warren said as she prepared to administer the Oath. “But they must have many of Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer the same skills of a trained psyBeth Enea proudly pins sergeant’s badge on son Rich Enea, Jr. chologist, a lawyer and a community organizer. Enea, Sr. retired from the Clayton force in 2004.

Enea’s law enforcement career began in 1996 as a 16year-old Clayton Valley High School police explorer. He went on to serve as a Concord jailer and reserve officer, joining the Clayton PD in 2004 at age 24. With a strong commitment to law enforcement, Enea has been honored by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers for his aggressive record in arresting drunk drivers and has been named Clayton’s Employee of the Year more than once. An arrest last year gave Enea one of the proudest moments of his career when he spotted the getaway car fleeing from two Concord robberies and made the arrest.

October 18, 2019

Concord now has 911 emergency texting available BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

The Concord Police Department’s new 911 texting system may have already saved a life – even while the plan was still being tested. According to Sgt. Kevin Halm, a dispatcher helped a suicidal woman over a series of text messages last summer. “She was depressed and was thinking of killing herself,” Halm said. “The dispatcher texted back and forth. After about an hour or so, they figured out where she was and sent officers out to her and placed her on a mental health hold.” The system, launched Sept. 16, is targeted at people who are hearing or voice impaired or are incapable of talking due to a medical emergency. Halm expects it will be used “fairly infrequently.” “The gist of it is it’s always better to make a voice call. If the person speaks another language, we’re able to go through translation services,” he said. “There’s also other things the dispatchers are trained to hear – if there’s an argument in the background or the tone of voice. There’s a lot that gets lost in a text message. “If you call, it’s way faster and it allows people to get help much faster,” Halm added, noting that a text doesn’t provide a location or caller ID information. “Many departments are doing this to give people an extra option or ability to reach the police department,” noted Concord Cpl. David Petty. “It

also helps people who are being victimized, and a conversation with a dispatcher might bring more of a danger to their situation. If it is an emergency, the operators will text back to determine their exact location and what help is needed.” Rhonda James, CEO of STAND! For Families Free of Violence, says the system could be helpful for victims of domestic abuse. “People do report sort of holing up in a closet with a child, so anything we can put in their toolbox is helpful,” she said. However, she cautioned that a batterer could track a text trail. “It’s just one more thing to have to remember to erase,” said James, who recommends the 211 call and text system established for community information and referral services. “We use 211 for trafficking victims,” she said. “Then their trafficker doesn’t necessarily know they were calling for help.” The 911 text messages get directed to Concord dispatch if the cell tower is in the city’s jurisdiction. “If an agency didn’t have this text to 911 option, they (the victim) would receive a text back stating that they would have to call in,” Petty said. Halm emphasized that the text system should “absolutely not” be used for non-emergency situations. “If you’re in a non-injury collision or just trying to ask a question, please call us,” he urged. “Don’t tie up that system as it is fairly labor intensive for the dispatchers.”

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October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 3

Learning, love combine at St. John’s new preschool GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

The new daycare and preschool center at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Clayton is another option for local parents. “St. John’s is thrilled to offer child-care services as a key part of our outreach to the community,” says Rev. Amanda May, vicar at the

church. “Early learning and socialization are key to successful children and stable families. We welcome all children, regardless of religious affiliation.” The new facility is a playbased site for children age 2 to kindergarten entry. The school, which takes children in diapers and assists in potty training, is currently offering tours and accepting applicants.

St. John’s has adopted the well-known First Five Literacy Program, with stories and sing-alongs for reading readiness and to encourage social and emotional development. Besides the curriculum, the preschool provides love and attention from the staff. One little boy, a 2-year old in a wheelchair, is best buddies with his teacher, Mr. Carlo. The teacher wheels his little

in its recommendation. The current proposal would amend Measure J, approved in 2009 and slated to generate $2.5 billion through 2034 for countywide transportation projects. If backed by voters in March, the new tax would take effect July 1, 2020, and continue through June 30, 2055. In late August, CCTA began showing municipalities around the county how the proposed revenue would be spent. That includes new policies for road traffic safety and transit, efforts to reduce future congestion, manage the impacts of growth and expand alternatives to single-occupant vehicles. Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of District 4 acknowledged that the measure is a supplement to the gas tax that helps fund transportation projects. “(It’s) looking at a new way of getting from point A to B,” she said. Calling the measure “transformative,” Mitchoff said: “It

is about changing our commuting habits.” For example, she pointed to identifying models where bus service works and plying it to the county’s existing service, including putting more smaller buses on the roads and providing more frequent service. While this measure is not about job development, Mitchoff said it is encouraging transportation around job centers so residents don’t have to commute outside the area. The remaining 10 communities that are part of CCTA will weigh in by Oct. 22. The Concord City Council was expected to review it on Oct. 15 (after the Pioneer’s deadline). CCTA will then take the matter back up and prepare to send it back to the supervisors to approve a ballot measure in November or December. The funds are slated to target congestion relief on major county commute corri-

CCTA gearing up for new transit tax this spring DAVID SCHOLZ Correspondent

The process is underway for county residents to vote on a new sales tax measure for transit projects in the March 2020 primary election. The one-half of one percent tax would generate an additional $3.6 billion over 35 years for transportation improvements. Areas that would benefit include the State Route 242/Highway 4 area as well as Interstate 680/Highway 24. Last month, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors endorsed the proposed tax. The county’s jurisdiction is the unincorporated areas. Ten 10 other jurisdictions, including Clayton, have already approved the proposal from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA). “The new sales tax measure is needed to keep Contra Costa County moving and to create livable and sustainable communities,” CCTA stated

friend up to the playground, where he can be just another kid. St. John’s preschool is an extension of the preschool at its sister church, St. Michael and All Angels in Concord. That preschool has been in operation since 1979. Colleen Wilson serves as executive director of both schools, with Shonece Barney in charge of the St. John’s facility. Both schools are staffed by licensed professionals and managed jointly by their respective parishes. St. John’s Episcopal Church has been a part of the ClaytonConcord community for more than 50 years. It is located at 5555 Clayton Road in Clayton. For Gary Carr more information, call 925-672Colleen Wilson, left, Anastasia Simpson and Shonece 8855. Barney enjoy playtime at St. John’s Preschool.

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See Transit Tax, page 4

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• Licensed, play-based preschool for children aged 2 years to kindergarten entry. • Daycare for children two years and up. • Staffed by licensed professionals. • Emphasizes social and emotional development. • Landscaped, fenced outdoor play area. • Accepts children in diapers and assists in potty training. • All meals and snacks provided and included in tuition fee. • State & Federal assistance available for qualifying families. • Both full-time (5 days) and part-time (minimum 2 days) care.

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

October 18, 2019

St. Demetrios benefitting from father, son in new roles DAVID SCHOLZ Correspondent

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The State family is setting the stage for a bright future at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Concord. Father Marin State, who led the congregation for 20 years, stepped aside this summer after 41 years of service. In his place walked his son, Michael, who assumed the helm Aug. 1. The growing church will be the beneficiary of both priests - the elder playing a different role with his son, who has been in the clergy for six years. “There isn’t much of a precedence for this as it was never something we previously considered,” said Father Michael. “When the possibility presented itself, it was extremely exciting and humbling. The blessings to come out of this assignment have been simply overwhelming.” The first liturgy of the current St. Demetrios community took place in 1966. At that time, the Greek Orthodox community was known as the Church of the Transfiguration. In 1987, the congregation purchased the current property at 1955 Kirker Pass Road. The community worshiped and gathered in a renovated home for many years, and the name was changed. In 1994, construction of the current church building was completed. In 2000, St. Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church of Pittsburg merged with St. Demetrios. The Concord building features a rotunda floor plan, which is one of the most ancient Orthodox Church designs. The large, overarching dome covers the entirety of the church’s interior circular ground plan. The design is based off of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in present-day Turkey. When constructed in 360 AD, it was one of the

David Scholz

Father Marin State, right, assists son Michael with his vestment in the Solea of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Concord.

largest buildings in the world. Ancient byzantine iconography adorn the interior walls of the church’s Solea, and a traditional icon screen from Romania with intricately hand-carved designs is in front of the altar. Father Michael is now lending his voice and leadership to the next evolution for the church’s property: an ongoing $2.3 million capital campaign for the St. Dionysios Community Center that will expand on the current fellowship hall. Proceeds from the church’s Harvest Gala on Oct. 26 will go toward the building project. Reservations are still being accepted. The younger State said his father’s insights will be instrumental after decades of leading a steadily growing congregation to its current average of 150 families. “I am just grateful for the opportunity and being able to continue the ministry and

work of St. Demetrios Church,” he said. Last month, the church enjoyed its most successful Contra Costa Greek Festival. The community also hosts a Crab Feed in January or February at Centre Concord. The elder State, who served as a priest in Romania, Greece, Portland, Ore., and Central California before arriving in Concord, emphasized that his son will have his ear should he need any advice. “I’m tremendously proud of Feather Michael, and I know it’s time for his generation to roll up their sleeves and put in the long hours and hard work developing fresh ideas, growing the church, reaching out to those in need and conveying the message of the gospel, as my generation has faithfully done for decades,” he said. “My role may be changing, but the church requires many hands to accomplish its mission.”

bottlenecks, improving traffic signal operations, installing traffic calming measures and making streetscape improvements that bolster access housing and jobs. In addition, the money will address more walking paths on trails and biking lanes on streets; improved transportation accessibility for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities; spotlighting specific BART stations for cleaning and security; and free or

reduced transit fares for youth and students. The remaining $1.484 billion is designated to improve State Route 242, Highway 4 and the transit/BART corridor in East County ($705 million); modernize Interstate 680, Highway 24 and the transit/BART corridor ($536 million); and upgrade I-80 and I-580 (Richmond-San Rafael Bridge) and the transit/BART corridor ($243 million). CCTA will pay the estimated cost of $1.5 million to place the measure on the ballot.

Transit Tax, from page 3

dors and improve transportation at the local level in all communities. The plan calls for 54.6 percent for transit and alternative modes, 26.7 percent for local street and road projects and 18.7 percent for highway and freeway work. The majority, $1.98 billion, is earmarked for transportation projects to protect environment and quality of life at the community level. Funding will be allocated for removing

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October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 5

Clayton man October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a good time to look at risk arrested for arson Sponsored Content

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My mom was 42 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer at 42, and their brother was in his 50s when he got prostate cancer. I am 42. As an oncology nurse practitioner with Diablo Valley Oncology for 15 years, I casually knew that I had more than an average risk of breast cancer. My concerns were pushed into the back of my mind once my mom’s genetic testing came back negative for the BRCA 1&2 mutation. But the combination of turning 42 and helping run our Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic prompted me to seek further screening. I requested a screening breast MRI and anxiously awaited the results. The MRI showed that I have two suspicious areas requiring biopsy, which they obtained. I received a phone call with my results: “You don’t have cancer but

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you do have a high-risk lesion, so surgery is recommended.” About 10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary, 65 percent are considered sporadic and the other 25 percent are familial. The last category is where I most likely fall, assuming genetic testing does not show a BRCA mutation or any of the other genes known to be associated with breast cancer (PTEN, PALB2, CHEK2 and others). The first step in understanding risk is talking to your family. Find out if parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., have had cancer and what kind. Next, talk to the health care provider who orders and reviews your mammograms. Ask if you have dense breast tissue and if there are any areas the radiologists are monitoring. Third, initiate a conversation about cancer risk with your gynecologist or primary care provider. Ultimately, the best and most comprehensive way to understand risk is to talk to a genetic counselor and then, if recommended, undergo genetic testing. Of all the appointments and procedures I’ve gone through over the last month, I dreaded the meeting with the genetic counselor the most. Being the mother of two young children, I always hope that I have passed on the best of me to them – not a genetic

mutation that increases cancer risk. Still, I am very thankful to have met with the genetic counselor. She brought me back to my logical/practical self, the one that now understands that my genetic test may show a mutation. It will most likely not be BRCA since my Mom tested negative, but rather a mutation that falls into a category of VUS, “variants of unknown significance.” If you have a VUS, the genetic testing labs and geneticists will follow the mutation as scientists seek to understand if it does, in fact, increase cancer risk. However, 98 percent of VUS are ultimately found to be benign. Therefore, instead of worrying or being disappointed that I may have passed on a genetic mutation to my kids, I can focus on the fact that understanding my risk will aid in seeking appropriate and necessary screening and surveillance for my kids. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so make it a goal to learn more about your family history and tell your friends to do the same. If you have had breast cancer and not had genetic testing, talk to your providers to understand if you would benefit from it. If you have not had breast cancer, talk to your provider to see if you should be referred for a genetic risk evaluation.

I feel fortunate that I knew to ask for additional screening and to have that conversation with my health care provider. In each step of this process, my emotions fluctuated from fear and anxiety to gratitude. In my years of oncology work, I have seen so many cancer patients find a “silver lining” in their journey. My silver lining is that now I really get it. When patients talk to me about the stress of scheduling the neverending list of necessary appointments, the anxiety and fear of waiting for test results or the utter discomfort of a breast MRI, I can empathize. Soon I will also know the emotions that come with surgery, post-operative pain and recovery, and the impact a big surgery has on me, my family, my friends and my career. While I had several options, I have decided to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I made this decision with confidence and certainty after truly coming to understand my risk. Michelle Frankland is an oncology certified nurse practitioner with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group and the nurse navigator for the Women’s Cancer Center of the East Bay, both located in Pleasant Hill. Frankland can be reached at 925825-8878.

Cabral takes over leadership of Concord Chamber

KEVIN CABRAL

When I agreed to serve as board chair for the Concord Chamber of Commerce, I looked forward to an exciting challenge. Little did I know I would be leading the search for a new president and CEO. I have great respect for what our previous president and CEO, Marilyn Fowler, has built. I also know that change represents an opportunity for growth. Over the past four months, a committee of dedicated chamber board members has been meeting regularly to decide who would be the next leader for our organization. I am thrilled to announce

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that Kevin Cabral will be the next president and CEO of the Concord Chamber. Cabral has decades of leadership experience locally, most recently as the general manager of the Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek. The Concord native is passionate about giving back to the community where he has lived all of his life. He has been a leader in the hospitality industry, winning the Sales Leadership Award from Marriott in 2007. He has also been involved with several local

boards, including the Walnut Creek Chamber and the Walnut Creek Convention and Visitor Bureau. The chamber board invites residents to meet Cabral at one of our November events, whether it is First Friday Coffee or the Mixer/Business Expo on Nov. 7. We look forward to the experience Cabral brings to the chamber and the dedication he has for building the economic vitality of Concord. With the combination of an extraordinary leader

CAITLIN SLY

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

and a capable staff, I am confident that the chamber has an incredible future.

Caitlyn Sly marketing director of the Contra Costa Food bank and president of the board of directors of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. Her email is csly@foodbankccs.org

A string of nighttime grassfires along the Cardinet trail in Clayton last month rattled nerves and resulted in the arrest of a Clayton man on charges of arson. Isaiah Javier Ortiz, 21, was arrested for setting four fires behind the homes along the walking trail during late September. The last fire was Sept. 29 and Ortiz was arrested Oct. 1. Each fire was set in the height of the fire season in dry grass and brush and very near homes. “These crimes put our community at considerable risk at the height of the fire season,” said Lewis T. Broschard III, Fire Chief, Contra Costa County Fire

ISAIAH JAVIER ORTIZ

Protection District. With the aid of the Clayton Police Department, CCCFPD investigators were able to develop leads and locate witnesses, ultimately resulting in Ortiz’s arrest.

Vellenkal, from page 1 Vellenkal was born and raised in the state of Kerala in Southwest India. His late parents were “middle class farmers,” he told the Pioneer in an earlier interview. Vellenkal called the area “God’s own country.” After his ordination, he worked in Northeast India as a youth minister and as headmaster of an all-boys school. His work was recognized by the Vatican and he was named a chaplain of the International Movement of Catholic Agricultural Rural Youth. In 2001, he accepted a position as assistant pastor of Queen of All Saints in Concord where he served for three years. Following that assignment, he was the pastor at Holy Spirit in Fremont for 11 years before coming to St. Bonaventure.

Vellenkal was an innovator says Gall, known for thinking outside the box. While in Fremont, the priest initiated a Drive-Thru prayer program. He brought the idea to Concord, and volunteers are frequently seen on Clayton Rd. with their orange vests and waving signs. He was also a gifted magician, a skill he used in parish fundraising. Vellenkal was one of five priests from India serving in local parishes. The five were very close, says Gall. Vellenkal had no family in the United States and it is expected his remains will be returned to India for burial. Funeral Mass arrangements locally are still pending and will be updated on the parish website at stbonaventure.net and on the Pioneer website, pioneerpublishers.com


Page 6

F r om the desk o f . . .

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

October 18, 2019

Concord council seeking public input on budget process My City Council colleagues and I are committed to transparency over the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. Over the past several years, we have worked to ensure that our city budget reflects the Concord community’s priorities. We have been budgeting to preserve vital community services and maintain current service levels. To achieve these goals, the budget relies on the use of General Fund reserves of $3.8 million in Fiscal Year 2019-’20 and $1.3 million in FY 2020’21. This results in a General Fund reserve of 25 percent at the end of FY 2019-’20 and 23 percent at the end of FY 2020-’21. In the past, our goal had been to maintain a General Fund reserve of 30 percent. Our budget also continues to rely on Measure Q revenues to support General Fund operations. Measure Q is a voter-approved, half-cent use and transaction tax that is intended to protect and maintain essential city services. Originally approved by voters in November 2010 with a five-

addressed. As part of this work, we made the following major changes to the city’s long-range fiscal model to better understand the magnitude of the challenge: • Updated and expanded to project 20 years, rather than the previous 10 years, in order to provide a longerterm view of the city’s financial condition, account CARLYN OBRINGER for likely recessions and allow for modeling of CaliCONCORD MAYOR fornia Public Employees’ Retirement System year sunset, an extension of (CalPERS) changes. Conthe tax measure was ratified cord belongs to CalPERS, with 77 percent voter approval like many other California on the November 2014 ballot. cities. CalPERS can increase Measure Q is set to expire employer contribution rates on March 31, 2025. The FY to shore up its retirement 2019-’20 budget uses $7.65 fund. Paying these increases million of Measure Q revis not optional. enues, with FY 2020-’21 using • Incorporated all investment $10.9 million of Measure Q needs over time, including revenues. infrastructure and roadway During the 2017-’18 and investment needs and full 2018-’19 budget development funding of the city’s actuarprocess, the City Council ially determined contribuworked with staff to develop tions to Concord’s closed a Fiscal Stability Plan. We had retirement system and other a sense that there was a propost-employment retirejected structural budget deficit ment benefits. that would need to be

When these costs are incorporated into Concord’s Long-Range Financial Forecast, it becomes clear that we face substantial funding challenges and it will take multiple solutions over many years to attain a truly sustainable budget. As mayor, I am well aware of the budget challenges the city faces – particularly regarding roadwork and increasing pension obligations due to the changes in PERS employer contribution rates. However, many members of the public have not had the opportunity to follow the City Council’s budget discussions over the past few years. That is why I insisted the city engage with the public via a variety of ways to explain why we face budget challenges in the midst of a years-long economic expansion and to solicit feedback on how the community wants the council to address these issues. Thus far, we have held two public meetings. A third will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Monument

Crisis Center. Those who cannot attend a meeting can watch a recording of the Oct. 10 meeting at cityofconcord.org. Others ways to engage with Concord’s budget conversation include: • Signing up for email and/or text alerts about budgetrelated news and meetings at cityofconcord.org/notifyme. • Reviewing the latest budget information at cityofconcord.org/budget as well as viewing previous budgetrelated council meetings

and accessing budget documents. • Providing feedback through the community feedback form at cityofconcord.org/forms.as px?FID=63. • Participating in a survey on Concord Town Hall in the next few weeks. • Contacting me or your City Council district representative.

Send questions and comments to the mayor by email to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org

Clayton community spirit makes it happen

building downtown has been the topic of discussion for many years. That parcel, along with the entire downtown area, is subject to the Town Center Specific Plan. The plan has been updated periodically, but not recently. The City Council will be discussing whether to initiate a process to update the Town Center Specific Plan and how to fund a possible update to the plan TUIJA CATALANO free community college. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed protection legislation. Our bill, Nov. 5 meeting. CLAYTON MAYOR at the I authored 11 bills and three into law two bills that I AB 1482, reflects a deal If the council decides to resolutions that were signed authored to ensure first respon- between tenants, property ownproceed with updating the On Oct. 5-6, our downinto law. They covered a range ders have access to effective ers, builders and some of the Town Center Specific Plan, the of topics, from preserving mental health services by imple- largest employers in the state to town was packed with Oktonext question is how to best berfest participants. Behind affordable housing units and menting confidentiality stanprovide renters with anti-rent achieve an update that reflects decreasing commute times, to dards for peer support. By gouging and just cause eviction the scenes, hundreds of volthe community’s vision. I am unteers, from students to the sure there are lots of ideas on addressing mental health and building off the informal social protections. retired, worked long and busy the overall downtown vision as protecting consumers. support that many emergency Hard-working families hours making the festival pos- well as on the use of the citySince I was elected to the service personnel are already should not be forced to suffer sible and running smoothly. Assembly three years ago, I receiving, we can ensure that while we work toward the ultiowned parcel. E.g. should the Ever since I have helped TIM GRAYSON have authored legislation every they get qualified help and ulti- mate goal of increasing our vacant parcel be constructed housing supply, and this bill will organize adult volunteers for 14TH ASSEMBLY year to provide first responders mately save lives. with a building(s) containing Oktoberfest and Art & Wine, retail uses? Residential uses? with increased mental health Newsom also signed AB help protect Californians from DISTRICT I have had a front-seat view services. While continuing to 539, legislation I joint-authored being unfairly forced onto the Something else? Should it be into volunteerism in our com- improved with a park or open serve as the critical response to end the worst kinds of streets. At 3 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. chaplain for the Concord Police predatory loans in our state. Next year, I will be carrying munity. It is amazing how space? Should we reserve it for many people in Clayton vol14, the state Assembly voted on Department for more than a From 2008 to 2017, triple-digit legislation to increase our proseasonal activities (like a holiits final bill for the year and decade, I have seen first-hand loan volumes increased more duction by addressing excessive unteer their time to organize day ice rink) or more permaand be part of events sponadjourned for interim recess. the toll that traumatic and high- than 17,000 percent. This fees on development that are nent recreation facilities (e.g. sored by the Clayton Business skatepark)? Should it be kept This year, we took on some stress incidents can have on resulted in more than $1 billion preventing needed housing and Community Association of California’s most pressing first responders. Too many fire- being extracted from the most from being built in our state. as it is today? How do we (CBCA) and other groups. issues. We invested $19 billion fighters and peace officers suf- vulnerable communities in CaliFrom now until January, I finance any possible improveAnd no doubt, our city is bet- ments and/or on-going operainto rainy day reserves to help fer in silence out of fear of fornia. With 40 percent of will be out in the community ter because of volunteers and tional costs? prepare for the inevitable ecoadverse job impacts and the these triple-digit loans ending in and in meetings working to our community organizations. nomic downturn, devoted $8 perception among emergency default, it was clear to me that develop my 2020 legislative Before we get to the ultiCongrats to Sgt. Enea. billion to addressing our hous- personnel that they must show we were not giving people package. If you have ideas for mate questions regarding the ing and homelessness crisis and no signs of weakness. access to credit – but instead laws that will help people in our On Oct. 1, the City Council overall 2020 (and beyond) will now provide first-time, fullThis year, I was proud that giving debt collectors access to area or throughout California, I agenda included the swearing vision for our downtown, the in of long-time Clayton police council will need to decide time students with two years of people. would love to hear from you. officer Rich Enea to sergeant. how (and if) to proceed with With AB 539 as law, there To discuss past legislation I Thank you to Enea and the will be an interest rate cap of have authored or new proposthe plan update. I believe any entire Clayton Police Depart- update needs to include about 36 percent on loans of als, call my Concord office at ment for keeping us one of $2,500-$10,000 and these abu925-521-1511. engagement in a thorough and the safest cities in California. sive lending practices will finally It has been my pleasure to transparent community-wide Downtown parcel and be put to an end in our state. serve you this year. discussion, which could be Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson overall vision for downtown. held in the context of City Just last week, I joined the at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the The future of the city-owned Council meetings but could governor and my fellow jointauthors in Oakland for the offi- district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite parcel behind the Clayton P, Concord, CA 94520 Community Church office cial signing of historic renter See Catalano, page 7

A review of this year’s state legislation

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rofoam. In September, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordiKAREN MITCHOFF nance banning food and bevCOUNTY erage containers made of polystyrene, better known as SUPERVISOR styrofoam, starting in May 2020. This means that items As climate change and like restaurant take-out conenvironmental degradation tainers used or sold in uninaffect our planet in worse ways every year, we are called corporated Contra Costa to examine our impact on the County will have to be made from recyclable material. Curnatural world around us – especially in our own backyard rently, 10 out of the 19 cities in the county have already ecosystems. adopted a similar ordinance. Many human impacts to Polystyrene produces the environment are unseen – hydrofluorocarbons, one conair and water pollution, for tributing factor in the hole in instance – but others are glarthe ozone layer. Additionally, ingly obvious. Chief among them is the trash we generate, styrene, the main component particularly trash made of sty- of polystyrene, is known to be

a possible human carcinogen. These chemicals can leach from the container into the food or beverages being held and are then ingested. Finally, polystyrene is not biodegradable. It is cost-prohibitive to recycle and breaks into micro particles that can persist in the environment for generations. These long-lasting contaminants often find their way to creeks and waterways, where they are harmful to native plant and animal species. This new ordinance will reduce the amount of polystyrene in our creeks and waterways. The Contra Costa Flood Control and Water Conservation District will save up to $750,000 in creek clean-

up costs annually. These savings demonstrate the farreaching impact polystyrene containers have on municipal agencies both in staff time and fiscal resources. I look forward to this ordinance’s implementation in May. I know that change can be hard, but I feel it is our responsibility to do what we can to improve our environment for ourselves and future generations. For more information about the polystyrene ban, visit cccounty.us/polyban.

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


October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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

TAMARA And R ObERT S TEInER , Publishers TAMARA S TEInER , Editor P ETE C Ruz , Graphic Design, Social Media b Ev b RITTOn , Copy Editor, Calendar Editor J Ay b EdECARRé, Sports Editor, Schools Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

Ibarra Farms makes produce a family affair

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

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Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to tamara@pioneerpublishers.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

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

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Contra Costa Con . . . . . . . . .www.ContraCostaCon.com Brussels sprouts are among the fall vegetables from J&M Ibarra Farms.

Catalano, from page 6

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

All phone numbers 925 area code unless otherwise noted

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how to prepare it or how to store it. Send Sports News to They’re especially famous sports@pioneerpublishers.com for their pre-bagged lettuces and other greens. You’ll find The Pioneer is a monthly publication delivered free to homes piles of gorgeous Romaine, and businesses in 94517, mixed salad greens and baby 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP spinach, already bagged for code 94520 is currently served you. Kale, chard and both red by drop site distribution. The and green lettuce are also papers are published by Clayton available for your next salad or Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert DEBRA MORRIS side. Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA F ARMERS M ARKET They go the extra mile to 94517. The offices are located at make it easy to eat your veg6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, Mounds of lovely greens, etables. Stop by and say hello, CA 94517 beets, celery, carrots and pick up some wonderful promushrooms fill the booth of duce and thank them for all LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SUBSCRIPTIONS J&M Ibarra Farms at the Con- their hard work. Both Pioneer newspapers To subscribe to The Pioneer cord Farmers Market. Here is a great fall recipe welcome letters from our readers. call the office at (925) 672-0500. As a general rule, letters should These are just a few of the to try using their tasty BrusSubscriptions are $60/year. be 175 words or less and submitmany vegetables from J&M, sels sprouts. ted at least one week prior to which has been a staple at ADVERTISING publication date. Letters concernmany Bay Area farmers marROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS Advertising rates and circulaing current issues will have prioriWITH APPLES kets for years – bringing tion maps arei posted at ty. We may edit letters for length 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts www.pioneerpublishers.com or things like cucumbers, tomaand clarity. All letters will be pubcall (925) 672-0500. 2 apples, peeled, cored and toes, eggplant, figs and green lished at the editor’s discretion. beans. This time of year, they cut into ¾-inch chunks 1 yellow onion, cut into ¾will have beautiful Brussels sprouts, kabocha squash, pota- inch chunks 2-3 T. extra-virgin olive oil toes and onions, as well as Salt and ground black pepmany root vegetables. per, to taste They come to us from also be part of consultant-led nomination, with a brief 1 clove minced garlic Reedley near Fresno, working community workshops or a description of the reasons Zest from 1 lemon about 230 acres. Juan Ibarra charrette process, along with your nominee is exemplary, by founded the farm, and his son Juice from 1 lemon input from all stakeholders – email to ClaytonMakingADif- Moses took over in the 1970s. including existing downtown ference@gmail.com. Preheat oven to 425. The death of Moses’ wife businesses and community Mayor’s office hours. If Trim sprouts as needed Nancy two years ago took a organizations. you have a question for me or toll, but the family has come and arrange in a single layer Making A Difference. want to talk, stop by 9-10 a.m. together and continues to on a rimmed baking sheet. We are looking for nominaSaturday, Nov. 2, at Cup O’ Jo offer the best produce they Spread apple and onion pieces tions for the next Making A in downtown Clayton. evenly. Drizzle with olive oil can grow. Difference recognitions, for an Their son Manuel handles and sprinkle with salt, pepper exemplary community contribContact me at and garlic. Toss the mixture the business now and takes utor, giver and/or benefactor. tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and fol- great pride in the quality of gently to coat. If you know an adult who fits low at www.facebook.com/CounRoast until sprouts are hot the produce. He loves to parthe description, help us recog- cilmemberTuijaCatalano for more and fragrant, 25-30 minutes. ticipate in farmers markets nize them by submitting a updates. and talk to customers. Liberty, Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice before serving. Nancy’s sister, still works at Recipe: PCFMA the Concord market each week. Only the best produce makes it to their stall, freshly The Concord Farmers Market is in picked and delivered each Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & week. You can ask them any- Thursdays. See ad this page for thing about their produce – hours. Providing Dignified Professional Services

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Page 7

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Concord Clayton Pioneer


SCHOOLS

Page 8

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

October 18, 2019

CVCHS renewal decision coming before year’s end Danielle Low in the CVCHS library. The petition was officially accepted by CCCOE that same Clayton Valley Charter High day, verifying it is a complete school is seeking its second petition and beginning a renewcharter renewal with its public al timeline set in state law. This hearing this Wednesday and a Wednesday’s public hearing is at vote by the Contra Costa Coun- Pleasant Hill Middle School. ty Office of Education board The CVCHS petition can be on Wednesday, Dec. 11. found on the school’s website On Oct. 3, the students in claytonvalley.org. Information Clayton Valley Charter’s student on the process is also on the government submitted the CCCOE website school’s charter renewal petition cccoe.k12.ca.us. to the CCCOE with student The fallout from the conbody president Melvin Brown tentious tenure of the school’s III and other members of the original executive director Dave school’s Associated Student Linzey is most likely the major Body leadership class handing sticking point in securing the over the 150-page document renewal. The school has been plus an appendix of over 1000 proactively seeking support for pages to county staff member the renewal this year from its JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

parents, alumni and community leaders. The Clayton City Council last month voted 5-0 for a resolution in support of the charter renewal for Clayton Valley Charter. The school was granted a charter in January 2012 and opened that August with a three-year charter authorization through 2014-15. CVCHS then was approved for a five-year renewal in Nov. 2014 and is now seeking another five-year renewal for 2020-2024. 7TH ANNUAL MDUSD COLLEGE FAIR AT YGNACIO VALLEY OCT. 24 The seventh annual MDUSD College Fair at Ygnacio Valley High School will feature representatives

from more than 100 colleges and universities across the country in addition to numerous local educational and career training institutions. The free event on Thursday evening, Oct. 24, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. is open to students from MDUSD high schools. It is especially geared to students in their junior and senior years and offers an opportunity to get answers to questions about educational choices and pathways following high school in order to make informed decisions about college and career options after high school.

See School News, pg 9

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School

Clayton Valley Charter High School’s student government submitted the school’s charter renewal petition to Contra Costa County Office of Education earlier this month. CVCHS student body president Melvin Brown III (right) presented the 150-page petition to Danielle Low from CCCOE in the CVCHS library. Brown was accompanied by other members of the school’s Associated Student Body leadership class, from left, Thomas Cook and Aaron Mah, as well as the Ugly Eagle mascot and executive director Jim Scheible.

Partnerships with businesses boost student success

Our entire community benefits when adults work together on behalf of students to build and broaden opportunities, expand access to the real-world and provide training to students about the wide breadth of professions they might consider. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Business Education Alliance is striving to do just that. Businesses throughout Contra Costa County are partnering with the district to engage and connect with students, offer opportunities for internships and support students as they progress through the many educational programs at all of our high schools – with specific focus on expanding the suc-

points to CTE experiences as an essential element in motivating students to become immersed in their own learning by engaging them in problem-solving activities that construct knowledge and by offering hands-on activities that enable them to apply knowledge in real-world applications. ROBERT MARTINEZ A significant part of the process is bringing students MDUSD and adults from our business SUPERINTENDENT community together, with local educators, in a setting of cess of our Career Technical collaborative learning that Education (CTE) programs. provides opportunities for stuCTE programs provide dents to interact with adults tremendous benefits to district and increases real-life experistudents through earning ences to potential employers. advantages before and after The educators who coordinate graduation. Extensive research and support the programs

Tuesday, Nov. 5th Open ũȦūŹŦţŜ30 Clayton Valley Campus 1101 Alberta Way, Concord, CA

share an affinity for similar career and vocational interests. MDUSD students report that these real-life experiences often are the motivating factors in helping them plan their next educational steps, identify particular areas of a profession they want to explore more or even to decide to begin teaching others about the knowledge and skills they are acquiring. The district is grateful for the partnerships we have developed and asks interested parties to connect with Heather Fontanilla, Career Pathways administrator for MDUSD. Meanwhile, the Concord Business Education Alliance (CBEA) is a partnership

between MDUSD, the city of Concord, the Concord Chamber of Commerce and John Muir Health. The CBEA grew out of a shared desire to deepen the partnership between Concord businesses and education. The CBEA sponsors two annual events bringing industry partners and educators together. The first is BEST (Business and Educators Shadowing for Tomorrow) Day. Supported by the Contra Costa Economic Partnership and Opus Leeds, BEST Day is an opportunity for career pathway teachers to spend a day shadowing industry partners. This allows teachers to learn from industry partners

about current industry skills and practices. Teachers then reflect on how they can take what they learned back to the classroom. CBEA also sponsors the annual Career Pathway Showcase, a chance for our career pathways to highlight the work they do during the school year. It also gives our industry and community partners times to talk to students about their experiences in the pathways. It is a great way to celebrate all the hard work of our students and teachers.

For more information, see the Community Partner’s link on the MDUSD website. Send comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com

STUDENT w e N & PARENT PREVIEW NIGHT

Interested in having your child aend a great, tuition-free, public charter high school next year? Our New Student & Parent Preview Night on November 5th from 6-8:30 PM is for you and your family! Come enjoy our open house style format and see the best of CVCHS. Open Enrollment begins November 5, 2019 and ends January 7, 2020.

Open enrollm begins ent Nov. 5! ƴƴƸ ƵƳƴƼƬ ƬƴƺƵƳ ƵƳ

Come g the det et all ails!

Have questions or need more information? Visit www.claytonvalley.org, call (925) 682-7474, or email info@claytonvalley.org. RSVP: facebook.com/claytonvalleychs


Understanding the appraisal process October 18, 2019

Q: When my husband and I made an offer on a house, there were two other offers and we had to go a little over the asking price. Now I’m nervous about the appraisal. What if it doesn’t come in high enough, or what if it comes in higher than our offer? A: First of all, it won’t come in over your offering price. Your lender wants to have an appraisal only to verify that the house isn’t worth less than the agreed upon price between you and the seller. Appraisals protect you from overpaying for a home. It is important for you and your husband to understand the workings and purpose of real estate appraisals. If you are taking out a mortgage to buy a new home, the lender will require an appraisal. The appraiser gives an independent estimate of the

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

value of the property based on recent sales and data of similar homes. When your mortgage amount plus your down payment matches the appraised price of the home, you know that you have a good loan to value ratio – and you aren’t paying more than you should be. An appraiser will measure the home’s square footage and visually inspect the entire property, noting things like: • Floor plan functionality and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. • Age of the house and its overall appearance. • Value of any recent updates or remodeling. • Size of the lot. • Desirability of the surrounding neighborhood. Comparing all of that against similar homes sold within the last 90 days, the appraiser arrives at the home’s value.

Renters, from page 1

“It’s tragic to see people have to take their kids out of schools, leave their faith community, their lives and set up shop somewhere else – if they’re lucky enough to find something,” Birsan says.

THE DETAILS OF AB 1482 The new state law is designed to address all of the issues expressed by the advocates and politicians. It will cap annual rent increases at 5 percent plus the rate of inflation – currently 2-3 percent – for much of the state’s multifamily housing stock. The bill also will apply “just cause” eviction policies to qualified housing across California. Just as importantly to some, landlords will need specific reasons for why they want a tenant out, such as failure to pay rent on time or dealing drugs from an apartment. Landlords who want to convert a unit into a condo or move a family member in will have to offer more than one month’s rent to the displaced tenant for relocation help. Half of all California renters – more than 3 million households – spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, meeting the federal govern-

School News,

from page 8

9TH ANNUAL SCARE AWAY HUNGER AT CONCORD HIGH HALLOWEEN NIGHT The ninth annual Scare Away Hunger event returns to Concord High and in the surrounding communities on Halloween night from 6-8:30 p.m. Over 120 students “trick or treat” for canned food and monetary donations for the CCC Food Bank. Last year they collected over 15,000 pounds of food and $2292. Since the school’s Scare Away Hunger program began it has collected 99,000 pounds of food and over $20,600. Each dollar collected represents about 3 pounds of food. Marathon Petroleum sponsors CHS and the Food Bank every year, matching dollar for dollar any monies collected during the drive up to $5000. And pays for any expenses of the drive. Donations prior to Halloween night may be dropped off in the Concord High main office beginning on Oct. 22 or they can be brought to the school on Halloween night between 6-8:30 p.m.  INFORMATION DAYS, OPEN HOUSES SCHEDULED FOR 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR Schools—mostly private parochial—have announced Open Houses and Information days to provide families with a

The federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) says if your appraisal is less than the sale price, get a copy of the appraisal. According to the CFPB, the appraisal is a professional opinion as to the value of the home. Appraisers have to follow rules in arriving at the value of a property, and lenders are not allowed to interfere with the appraiser’s judgment. The lender is required to send you a copy of the appraisal. If you haven’t received a copy, ask your lender for it. If your dream home was valued for less than you expected, your lender won’t approve a loan for more than the appraised price. So if you still want to buy, I advise negotiating a lower price from the seller or perhaps bring in extra cash and the seller also reduces the price. I have had buyers and sellers meet in the middle.

You also can challenge the appraisal or pay for a second appraisal. Though it is hard to do, you could just walk away. Ultimately, the priority is getting the right home. In my experience, there is usually a compromise solution.

Q: I have my dream home in escrow. Now what? A: Buying a house is a thrilling experience. But before you can cross the threshold, you have to get through the closing – which, unfortunately, can be a confusing and stressful process. While every homebuyer’s situation is different, there are some steps everyone can take to make sure the closing goes as smoothly as possible: Have cash available. You will need the money to pay some of the closing costs. Be sure to build in a 10 percent buffer for final costs that come in higher than estimates. Make sure the

California rental units built at “I see this as more an ‘antileast 15 years ago, meaning units gouging’ law,’ ” Pierce says. built as recently as 2005 would Grayson stresses that it’s be subject to rent caps. not a rent control law. “We are ment’s definition of “rent-buronly addressing the egregious dened.” WIDESPREAD SUPPORT landlords who are exploiting “These anti-gouging and There was some concern renters,” he says. “They were eviction protections will help that the law would discourage contributing to the terrible families afford to keep a roof building in California. Howev- homeless problem we have in over their heads, and they will er, the California Building the state.” provide California with impor- Industry Association – the preGrayson says the bill will tant new tools to combat our mier lobbying group for Cali- spur production of housing. state’s broader housing and fornia developers – said it “We are creating jobs. The affordability crisis,” Newsom would not oppose the bill after main thing is to create places said when the Assembly passed it exempted new construction where people can live, work the bill last month. from the rent cap for 15 years. and play,” he says, citing the “This required some heavy area around the Pleasant Hill EXPANDING ON lifting, but it was an intense BART station as an example. COSTA-HAWKINS collaborative effort between “In Concord, we have to do The legislation will take politicians, tenant advocates, that with the Naval base. It will effect in January 2020 and sunset the California Apartment be disastrous if we only put in 2030. It will affect 2.4 million Association and other stake- houses in the development.” apartments, estimates the Terner holders,” Grayson notes. Center for Housing Innovation Clayton Councilwoman COPING WITH CONCORD’S at UC Berkeley. The law doesn’t Julie Pierce, a former vice pres‘BAD APPLES’ address single-family homes. An analysis by UC Berkeley ident of the Association of According to Cal Matters, Bay Area Governments, sees and Zillow found that a minority many apartment renters live in the bill as a step in the right of California renters will enjoy cities that already have local con- direction even though there is real savings from the new law, trols but they aren’t eligible for minimal impact in her city. but it’s mainly those who are them. A state law passed in 1995, “We don’t have large apart- low-income and most vulnerable known as Costa-Hawkins, bans ment complexes owned by a to rent hikes. cities from expanding rent con- single landlord. The law for the Tenant advocates like Gabaltrol to units built after 1995 and most part in Clayton simply don are cautiously optimistic in some cities limits control to limits the increases in rent to 5 about the new law. “We’ll see if units built well before then. In percent plus the CPI, which is the city enforces the law,” she Los Angeles, for example, rent about 3.5 percent this year, says. control can apply only to units keeping annual rent increases “Most of the landlords in built before 1978. Concord are great,” Birsan says. to less than 10 percent. AB 1482 applies to all eligible “It’s just about 20 percent who are exploiting their tenants, and most are corporations. Most of the landlords are little guys who want to keep their tenants happy.” That’s a sentiment shared by landlord Blaine Carter. He owns a four-plex on Carlton Drive and was opposed to AB 1492. “I’m afraid (AB 1482) will push us further downhill in our housing crisis,” he says. But he agrees with Birsan that a “few bad apples” have Jay Bedecarré given landlords a bad rap. “Most Ygnacio Valley High dedicated its Innovation Lab on the of the landlords are regular Joes, Concord campus last month with a potluck dinner and pres- like me,” Carter says. “Many entation spotlighting business and community supporters, people think Concord landlords students and faculty from the school who have made it posare evil and greedy, even racist. sible. This is the third year of the Project 212 YVHS Robotics program on campus and the person given much of the credit for its success is engineering teacher Joseph Alvarico (right). The lab now serves as the hub of STEM education at YV. Students, from left, Daniel Alejandre (11th grade), Yaritza Rios (10th grade) and Sam Hannon (12th grade).

preview of their programs as registration and applications for the 2020-21 school year will be accepted soon. Carondelet High School open house is Sunday, Nov. 17, 1-3 p.m. Future female students and families can meet teachers, talk with students and visit classrooms, including the new Jean Hofmann Center for Innovation. carondeleths.org/admissions Clayton Valley Charter High has its new student and parent preview night on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 6-8:30 p.m. on the Concord campus. CVCHS is a free public charter high school. claytonvalley.org De La Salle High open house for the Catholic boys high school is Sunday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon. dlshs.org King’s Valley Christian

School open house is Monday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. The school also encourages parents and guardians to schedule tours year-round. kingsvalley.org Queen of All Saints School open house is Sunday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. Parents and students can visit classrooms, meet faculty and staff, and attend a financial aid information meeting (at 12:30 p.m.). The Lumen Christi Academy is for preschool (age 3) through eighth grade. qasconcord.org St. Agnes School has its prospective Kinder Night on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the kindergarten classroom. Open House is on Sunday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon with tours and a book fair. stagnesconcord.com. Check The Pioneer website, PioneerPublishers.com, for MDUSD District Elections updates.

extra cash is easily accessible well ahead of the closing. Settle the inspections. Review the inspections and make sure you are satisfied with the results. If there are any issues that need to be addressed, decide how they are going to be handled between you and the seller. It’s critical that all decisions regarding the inspections are finalized before you close. You may have no further recourse afterward. Have all documentation ready to go. Ask your Realtor and lender to provide you with a list of every piece of documentation you need for the closing. Make sure it is complete and gathered well ahead of closing day. Preserve your credit score. Keep in mind that your loan approval was based on your credit score at the time you signed the purchase agreement for your home. If you’ve taken out any new loans or debt since then, such as a credit card or a car loan,

Well, that’s not true.” Carter said he used all his savings to fix up “a dump,” and now it’s a nice place to live. He says he has tenants who have stayed there 15, nine and six years, plus a newer tenant. “We all take pride in ownership,” he says. Still, he was opposed to AB 1482 because he sees it as rent control. “Studies have shown that rent control artificially keeps prices down, creating a lack of supply which ultimately drives up housing prices,” Carter says. “I get what Newsom and they all are doing, but they are acting emotionally. We need housing in California, and hopefully this won’t drive developers away. I hope it works, but history says it won’t.” He says he considers his real estate investment like any business. “If I bought a mercado or I sold vacuums or furniture, no one would tell me how much I could charge. There has to be compromise.”

NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer is also opposed to any city-sponsored rent control or rent stabilization ordinances. “I’ve always said that any sort of rent stabilization needed to come from the state, so I’m hopeful about 1482,” she says. “This doesn’t target individual homes, but big institutional investors.” Obringer and Councilman Tim McGallian were targets of a tenants’ rights protest last month that got heated. But the mayor says that the new law addresses the things that tenant advocates like Gabaldon and her family were protesting. “There are parameters set up for just cause evictions, as well as rent increases,” says Obringer, adding that the council will meet in early 2020 to “tie up loose ends related to the law.” She is excited about the pos-

Page 9

LYNNE FRENCH

REAL ANSWERS

this could affect your credit score and jeopardize the home loan. Wait to make any large purchases until after the closing, and make sure you’re paying everything on time. Keep your employment steady. Don’t change jobs or decide to quit and start a business prior to closing. You need a steady income and employment during the closing process.

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

sibility of more affordable housing in Concord. “We finally demolished the old Blockbuster and have a building pad ready to go,” she says. She is also encouraged by the new affordable housing complex to be built on Galindo Street. Some of the cost comes from city coffers earmarked for affordable housing. The Galindo complex will be geared toward seniors, veterans, disabled tenants and even the homeless. “We’ve been talking about building more affordable housing,” Obringer says. “Now we’re putting our money where our mouths are.” Pierce sees a need for more affordability in Clayton as well. “We live in a town where making $60,000 a year is ‘low income,’ ” she says. “We’re talking about our teachers, grocery clerks, others who are working hard to make a living. We need a wide array of options.” Clayton city staff is reviewing a 91-unit, three-story senior housing project on Marsh Creek Road. They are still working with the developer, and the plan has not yet gone to the Planning Commission. Obringer’s preference for Concord would be to have an affordable housing partner like Bridge or Eden Housing to develop more projects near transportation. “Housing is probably the most challenging issue in the city, because it’s about people. When people have to move, kids have to leave their friends, you lose your community.” She also says that Concord is one of only four cities in the nine-county Bay Area that offers a multi-family housing inspection program. “We have city inspectors go in every two years, or more frequently if needed.” As for AB 1482, she, like most others, hope it succeeds not only in maintaining community but spurring more and better housing in Concord.


Page 10

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

October 18, 2019

Wind, low fuel moisture, dry air all factors in power shutoff materialize. Several variables besides strong winds factor into potential fire weather events. Low fuel moisture, a measure of the water content of vegetation available to a fire, it also important. California’s Mediterranean style climate features dry sumWOODY WHITLATCH mer weather. Since no precipitaWEATHER WORDS tion was recorded in the Bay Area prior to this PSPS event, low fuel moisture conditions Forecasts of abnormally existed. windy weather conditions last Wildfire potential is also week triggered the first wideenhanced by low relative spread implementation of humidity conditions. The strong PG&E’s Public Safety Power offshore winds expected to Shutoff (PSPS) program. The goal of the program is develop during this PSPS event were very dry, since they had no to minimize the likelihood of wildfire disasters like those that over-water trajectory. Given the dry fuel and air occurred over the last several conditions that existed prior to years. For this PSPS event, PG&E the predicted strong wind event, the main forecast issues were expected that nearly 800,000 customers in 34 counties would the strength, timing and location of the strongest winds. be affected by planned power Meteorologists and fire outages. This included residents weather professionals rely on of many western and central Contra Costa County cities who computer forecast models to answer these questions and received advance notice that advise utility and governmental transmission and distribution emergency response personnel. lines would be de-energized The key factor was the strength once severe weather began to

would rank in the top 0.5 percent of all recorded WMC-SFO pressure gradients. Thus, the strong wind forecast combined with low fuel moisture and dry air triggered the PSPS event. The accompanying chart displays one computer model available to meteorologists 60 hours before the expected peak winds. Other models run were very similar. Solid lines indicate surface pressure contours, in 4 mb increments. Winds were forecast to blow from a highpressure center over Idaho to a low-pressure trough off the coast. The tight packing of pressure contours over California denotes the area of strongest winds. Low air moisture areas are shown in red. Based on the latest forecast Courtesy of the Meteorology Dept., San Jose State University models, the critical ingredients In this computer model available to meteorologists 60 hours before the expected of low fuel moisture, dry air peak winds, the tight packing of pressure contours over California denotes the area of and very strong offshore winds strongest winds. Low air moisture areas are shown in red. that are conducive to wildfire of a high-pressure ridge that mercury that many people use. chosen because they parallel the conditions seemed to be in developed to the north and east In the case of fire weather fire weather wind direction and place. of our state. winds that develop over North- have long periods of recorded Woody Whitlatch is a meteorolStrong winds are a function ern California and the Bay Area, weather data. of surface pressure gradients, the pressure gradient between As of this writing, the high- ogist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to which meteorologists measure Winnemucca, Nev., (WMC) and est forecast pressure gradient in millibars (mb). This is the San Francisco (SFO) is a com- was 18 mb. Based on historical clayton_909@yahoo.com metric equivalent to inches of mon yardstick. These sites are data, an event of this strength

Every now and then I get to say, “I told you so.” Not to rub it in, just say’n there is good news for Chromebook owners about the expiration of Chromebook support. The life of your Chromebook operating system software has just been extended by a year and a half. Yup, you get a free ride for a little longer. Just in time for holiday shopping, the amazing Oz (aka Google) has granted your wish and your Chromebook software will not expire on the stated expiration date. According to Laptop maga-

model is released. Most Chromebook models are 5+ years old even if they are “new” in the store, so the expiration period is soon. Google’s support page on the matter states that if a manufacturer releases a device on a “1-year-old hardware platform,” then it will have only 5.5 years of auto-update support remaining. That wouldn’t be a problem if Chromebooks were frequently refreshed, meaning a new model was introduced. However, some older models, especially budget notebooks like the

An update on Chromebook expiration dates zine, “Every Chromebook has an expiration date on which Google stops supporting the device. As reported by the Register, Google will provide new hardware with 6.5 years of auto-update support.” That’s an extension from five years. Chromebooks were introduced 8 years ago, but Laptop says the timer starts counting down from the time “when the first device on the platform is released.” I’ve reached out to Google for clarification, but that vague phrasing seems to suggest that support begins when the first unit of a specific

Samsung Chromebook 3, have been selling as new for years. In fact, Google’s documents show that the Chromebook 3, one of my favorite budget Chromebooks, will receive support for only two more years. Here’s the I told you so: Chromebooks are not computers in the traditional sense. They are merely a way to connect to Google and not much more. Now to add insult to injury, we find out that they have an expiration date like milk that sours in a short lifetime. If you’re already a Chromebook owner, when it expires,

NEW

toss it out like spoiled milk. (We recycle for free, so just bring it in so I can chuckle at you. No, I wouldn’t do that. Or would I?) Holiday buyers beware: Check the expiration date of computers before you buy them. New ones can expire sooner that one thinks. Before you buy a Chromebook, check to see when the model was first released. Expiration dates originate from the date of original release. Unfortunately, that information isn’t typically provided by laptop manufacturers. According to Laptop Mag’s Phillip Tracy, the

WILL CLANEY

TECH TALK

easiest way is to visit the support page on Google’s Auto Update policy.

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

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SPORTS & LIFESTYLE

The Pioneer

October 18, 2019

Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B4 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B5 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B6

The Pioneer, Section B

www.PioneerPublishers.com

Rude introduction to new football league for Clayton Valley

NCS schools in that division. The long-time rivals meet one another at Diablo in the season finale Nov. 1 and before that each face winless Berean Christian. The revamped North Coast Section football playoffs with seven divisions of a maximum eight teams each run for three weeks Nov. 8-9 through Nov. 22-23 with the State Regional Bowl Games Dec. 6-7 and the finals Dec. 13-14.

JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

After seven years of unprecedented success in league play, Clayton Valley Charter’s football team has encountered rough waters after being dropped into the East Bay Athletic League this fall. The Ugly Eagles lost their first two league games and have yet to face Concord rival De La Salle and Monte Vista, considered the strongest two teams in the six-school EBAL Mountain Division. While Clayton Valley has struggled in its new environment, Northgate and Ygnacio Valley are having strong seasons and De La Salle continues to rule the roost in Northern California prep football with the season entering its final three weeks before playoffs begin Nov. 8-9. Coach Bryan Shaw’s Ygnacio Valley Warriors are 6-1 overall and Ben Ballard’s Northgate Broncos are 5-2, a season after the two schools combined to win three games. The neighboring schools didn’t play one another the past two seasons and will hookup this Friday evening at Ygnacio Valley with a lot at stake. Both the Warriors and Broncos also have Diablo Athletic League Valley Division games against league leader Benicia High. Northgate is in North Coast Section Division 3 and YV is in D4, with both local teams positioning themselves for a spot in the postsea-

Photo courtesy CVCHS football

Clayton Valley Charter has found the going a little rougher in the EBAL after seven unbeaten league football seasons. The Ugly Eagles still rely on a solid running game to power its offense. Junior Tyson Vida (42) follows his blockers Erik Christofferson (26) and Julian Rodriguez (66) for a gain.

son playoffs. After having their 36-game league winning streak dating back to late 2011 snapped, CVCHS can take a little solace in that all three of its close losses have been to Division 1 teams in NCS bracketing. The Eagles (4-3 on the season) visit

D2 Foothill in Pleasanton this Friday before meeting Monte Vista and DLS in their final two EBAL games. A 5-5 record is very possible for the team which did not lose a league game in the past seven seasons as part of the Diablo Valley and Diablo ath-

letic leagues. In fact, Clayton Valley Charter only lost seven regular season games during that time. The Eagles fell 28-27 in overtime to defending State Division 1-A champion Liberty in the Honor Bowl before having its league streak

snapped 17-14 at California in San Ramon and then losing its homecoming game last Friday to San Ramon Valley 23-16. Concord High and Mt. Diablo need to finish strong to get consideration for one of the maximum eight berths in the D4 playoffs among the 14

SPARTANS ON A ROLL As they typically do, De La Salle is picking up steam as the season goes along, witness 119 points in their first two EBAL games, extending their incredible NorCal unbeaten streak to 305 games since 1991. There are two ties in that time, including a 17-17 draw with Clayton Valley in 2004, the year their historic 151-game winning streak was broken. The Spartans wrap up their regular season with two more EBAL games at Owen Owens Field this Friday against California and Nov. 1 vs. CVCHS in the first league game between the Concord schools since 2006. Despite De La Salle’s lopsided scores, the EBAL Mountain Division has proven to be one of the very strongest—top to bottom- among all Bay Area prep leagues. The six schools were a combined 26-5 in nonleague games. Given their strength of schedule and over-

See CV Football, pg B3

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Page B2

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

October 18, 2019

Kara Kohler named USRowing female athlete of the year JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Kara Kohler of Clayton and Alex Karwoski were selected as this year’s USRowing female and male senior athletes of the year, respectively. Selected by the athletes and coaches of the team that competed at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria, Kohler and Karwoski will be honored at the 2019 Golden Oars Gala on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the New York Athletic Club’s Manhattan location. A seven-time national team member, Kohler won the bronze medal in the women’s single sculls in Austria, reaching the medal stand at the world championships in just her second year in the event. “Thank you to my teammates for giving me this title,” Kohler said. “With their positive energy and encouragement, I am able to

push myself daily towards being a better athlete and teammate. They inspire me to show up every day and give my best, and I cannot wait to see what we are capable of accomplishing during this Olympic year.” In her first season in the single in 2018, Kohler finished fourth at the world championships. Previously, Kohler was a member of the bronze-medal women’s quadruple sculls at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the gold-medal women’s four at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. Kohler is a graduate of Clayton Valley High School and Cal Berkeley. She was introduced to rowing during a visit to Cal as a high school senior and was named PacifPhoto courtesy USRowing ic-12 Newcomer of the Year Olympic bronze medalist Kara Kohler of Clayton has won her sport’s highest honor, being as a freshman before going named USRowing’s 2019 female athlete of the year. Kohler was part of an American team on to a distinguished career for the Golden Bears. that won bronze in London seven years ago but following the major disappointment of This award comes after missing out on the Rio Games four years she switched to the single sculls and within two she converted to single sculls years was on the podium at this summer’s World Rowing Championships. That led to this honor voted by national team members. after her most disappointing

moment in the sport when she was not selected to row for America in the 2016 Rio Olympics. That caused her to evaluate her future in rowing and she has grabbed the new opportunity in single sculls, reaching the finals of her first two world championships in the event. Her performance in Austria this summer qualified the US for a single sculls spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Karwoski, an eight-time national team member, sat in the bow seat of the men’s eight that finished fifth at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, qualifying the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Karwoski has been a mainstay in the eight since 2015. The Golden Oars Gala will honor the under 19, under 23 and senior national team 2019 athletes of the year, as well as this year’s USRowing Medal of Honor recipient.

Mt. Diablo introduces new Hall of Fame members, team

Athlete Spotlight

Rocky Aven Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sport: Football

Clayton Valley Charter has established a reputation this decade of having one of the most successful football programs around. Discipline and high standards have brought forth players that excel both on and off the field. Aven is a three-year varsity linebacker. Midway through his senior season he leads his team in solo tackles (33), total tackles (51) and average tackles per game (8.5). His leadership is one of the many components responsible for Clayton Valley’s 4-2 record this season, where all four wins were blowouts by the Ugly Eagles and both losses were nail-biters. Regardless of his statistics and passion for success, Aven finds most of his motivation from something that can’t be measured by any number: the brotherhood football has provided him. “Football impacted my life and taught me a lot of things I wouldn’t have learned without it,” he says. “That’s why I chose to continue to play through high school. I’ve made a lot of friends and have created a family through this sport.” This sense of community is a constant throughout the roster of Ugly Eagles football. “Rocky is the definition of a Clayton Valley football player. He is

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extremely reliable, works very hard and treats people right. Because of that attitude and effort he is one of the best linebackers in the East Bay and is one of toughest players on the field every week,” says coach Tim Murphy. Aven hopes to continue his passion for football in college by attending a fouryear on scholarship starting next fall. CVCHS student journalist Alexa Oldham wrote this Spotlight.

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

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Richard Stickney was called the “best male gymnast I ever coached” by his coach Darrel Lickliter and now the 1968 grad is being inducted to the Mt. Diablo High School Sports Hall of Fame on Nov 2. Stickney was a three-time DVAL and East Bay sidehorse champion. JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Mt. Diablo High will honor its 2019 Sports Hall of Fame class on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill with proceeds from the induction dinner helping fund girls and boys athletic and academic programs at the Concord school. This year’s recipients are Bill Duby (Class of 1984, football, basketball, baseball, track), Earl James March (1962, swimming, wrestling), Heath McInerney (1984, wrestling, track), Art Pargament (1957, basketball, baseball), Richard Stickney (1968, gymnastics) and the 1960 football team. Bill Duby played three years of varsity football, basketball and baseball while earning 10 letters. He was all-league football as a junior and senior and was also all-East Bay Examiner section in his final season. He also joined the track team as a senior and competed at North Coast Section in the triple jump and 440yard relay for the Red Devils. He played football at San Francisco State after graduation. Earl James March was a rare wrestling and swimming dual letterwinner for MDHS. In the pool, March set several meet and school records in the backstroke, butterfly and on Red Devil relay teams. After a big meet against Pittsburg his junior year he was named Concord Quarterback Club Prep of the Week. He was swim team

MVP as a senior. He also competed in AAU swimming away from school. Heath McInerney was another versatile athlete with varsity letters in football, track and wrestling. As a senior he was a team captain and was allDVAL offensive lineman. His all-around excellence won McInerney the P.J. Kramer Award as athlete of the year in 1984. He went on from Mt. Diablo to play a pair of seasons each at Diablo Valley College and Boise State. He was a team captain at DVC, team MVP and all-Golden Gate Conference as well as throwing the javelin for the track team. The Vikings were Golden Valley Bowl champions capping an undefeated season. At Boise State he played for former MDHS coach Lyle Setencich and was voted most improved lineman. He coached as Boise for three years before starting a teaching career. Art Pargament helped his team to league championships in his final two seasons, named all-league shortstop both times. He led the league in home runs in 1957. He was part of Mt. Diablo’s first two of 10 baseball titles in 11 years from 1956-66. He earned three baseball and two basketball varsity letters. He played freshman basketball at College of the Pacific in Stockton and then played basketball and baseball at Chico State where he was part of a Far West Conference 1960 baseball championship team.

Richard Stickney was a four-year varsity gymnastics member and his coach Darrel Leckliter described him as the “best male gymnast I ever coached.” His final three years at the school he was the DVAL and East Bay side horse champion. As a junior he won the Northern California Invitational side horse championship. He was a two-time East Bay winner on the rings. He later participated in the Olympic Trials at DVC. Besides the horse, his over events were the rings and parallel bars. 1960 Football Team lost one game, 13-12 to Las Lomas while compiling an 8-1 record and taking the DVAL championship. Twelve members of that team earned all-DVAL recognition, including seven on first team for coach Hart Fairclough. Fullback Tom Brown and quarterback Marty Piscovich were part of the North-South Shrine Game along with their coach. The duo also got all-America recognition. The Red Devils set a slew of school records. The senior class members as sophomores (JV) and juniors and seniors lost only one game each year for a combined 22-31 mark. Hall of Fame dinner tickets are available by contacting Lou Adamo at 212-9332 or mailing a check to Lou Adamo, 1401 Stonecreek Ct., Martinez, CA 94553. Make checks payable to MDHSSHOF. Tickets are $55 person.


October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

games his freshman and sophomore years to nine last year. Felder expects his team to win at least 15 games this winter. “Trevion has been a varsity player since his sophomore year and was one of two captains last year. Trevion has been the heart and soul of our basketball team since he took on the leadership role. He not only leads with his voice but mostly with his playing ability. His consistency in the classroom (3.0 gpa) and on the field or floor have made him one of the top student athletes on our campus. Trevion is a bright kid with a bright future at whatever he chooses to do in life.” Williams is shooting high for college as he gets ready to send out applications to Cal, UCLA and Duke, among many he plans on submitting.

Athlete Spotlight

Trevion Williams Grade: Senior School: Mt. Diablo High Sport: Football, Basketball

Williams has endured a lot of losing with his Red Devils football and basketball teams, but he still plays with passion and tries to set a positive example for his teammates. “I’m always described as a leader. Players depend on me and I want to make everyone better, so they can play to their full potential.” That’s something appreciated by his football coach Donald James and basketball coach Ejon Felder. Senior Williams at 5-7 and 174 pounds plays

cornerback and runningback for Mt. Diablo and has scored seven touchdowns and rushed for 750 yards this fall as the team broke a losing streak that went back to September of Williams’ freshman year. James says Williams “is more than a football player on the field.” The team hosts Berean Christian this Friday for their homecoming game. When basketball season starts, he hopes to help the Red Devils to more success after they improved from one win in 49

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

Yealimi Noh’s back in school this month facing big pro career stakes JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The last time Yealimi Noh was in a formal school situation was the spring of 2017 as she finished her sophomore year at Carondelet High. For the next two years she was home schooled while spending many hours also learning lessons on the golf course as Noh looked ahead to a full ride scholarship at UCLA to begin this fall. That plan was scrapped after the Concord golfer’s stunning run of victories in major amateur tournaments in the summer of 2018 and now she’s skipped directly to postgraduate work as she competes beginning this week in the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Q-School, hoping to qualify for her LPGA

YEALIMI NOH

tour card. This week’s Q-School is in Florida on two courses at the Plantation Golf and Country Club over 72 holes with Noh competing against 184 other women golfers from 32 countries and 23 states. After turning down UCLA in order to pursue her dream of a pro golf career, Noh

S ports Shorts

20TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN KICK OR TREAT CLASSIC MIXES SOCCER AND COSTUME HIJINKS OCT. 26-27

Concord fields Newhall Park and Krueger Playfields will be the site of the 20th annual Halloween Kick or Treat Classic hosted by Diablo FC on the Oct. 26-27 weekend. The tournament is for under 9 through U12 boys and girls competitive teams. The highlight of the weekend is on Saturday as teams use their imagination to create uniforms designed by the team and parents that do justice to the finest Halloween costumes. For competitive information visit diablofc.org.

started this year with no status on a pro tour, but she has risen quickly to show up on the radar of golfers worldwide. The 18-year-old is currently inside the top 400 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at No. 104, which allowed her to bypass Stage I of QSchool and go straight to Stage II this week. She opened this season competing in two Symetra Tour events as a tournament sponsor exemption and then followed those appearances with a seven-stroke victory on the Women’s All Pro Tour in May at the Bravado Wireless Real Okie Championship. “The beginning of the year was kind of hard for me, not having anywhere to play and not doing that well in the tournaments I did get into,” said Noh, who made her pro debut

at the 2019 Taiwan Women’s Golf Open. “It got better over the summer, once I finally got into a LPGA event. My game was in a good place, felt confident and played well. Every time I got in through a Monday qualifier, just had no expectations for the week because I didn’t have that pressure and was able to play my game comfortably.” A whirlwind run on the big stage got underway when Noh Monday-qualified for the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in early July. She ended tied for sixth at 23-under par which included a 32-hole, bogey-free streak. Her performance at the Cambia Portland Classic after Monday qualifying really turned heads. Noh held the 54-

See Noh, page B4

The 11th annual MDSA World Cup competition begins this Saturday as the local AYSO program concludes the fall rec season for 38 teams in under 10, U12 and U14 girls and boys age groups in AYSO Region 223. The tournament runs for the next three Saturdays with the championship matches on Sunday, Nov. 3. Top teams from the World Cup qualify for the annual Area 2C Cup in November. For complete World Cup schedule and more information visit mdsoccer.org.

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all records, Foothill and Clayton Valley seem likely picks for the D2 playoffs. DLS is again ranked No. 1 in the Bay Area and will be seeking its 28th consecutive NCS title. It will likely find some of its EBAL foes in Monte Vista (ranked No. 8), San Ramon Valley (No. 27) and California (No. 16) also in a D1 playoff field that will have last year’s Open Division finalist Liberty (No. 4) and Pittsburg (No. 7) as other high seeds. This week’s poll saw CVCHS drop out of the top 25 (ranked 26th) for the first time in many years. Only Campolindo (6-1) is in the top 25 among schools from D2 and should the Cougars win out they will most likely get the top seed. Campo was on the losing

end of three lopsided scores to Clayton Valley in the DAL over the past three years and were vocal advocates for removing CVCHS from the league. They may be renewing acquaintances with the Ugly Eagles in this postseason. LEAGUE (OVERALL) RESULTS

EBAL MOUNTAIN DIVISION California 1-1 (6-1) Clayton Valley Charter 0-2 (4-3) De La Salle 2-0 (7-1) Foothill 1-1 (5-2) Monte Vista 1-1 (5-2) San Ramon Valley 1-1 (5-2) DAL VALLEY DIVISION Benicia 3-0 (6-1) Berean Christian 0-3 (0-6) College Park 3-1 (5-3) Concord 1-3 (2-5) Mt. Diablo 0-3 (1-6) Northgate 3-1 (5-2) Ygnacio Valley 2-1 (6-1)

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Photo courtesy Ygnacio Valley football

Mike Bellotti was a three-sport standout at Ygnacio Valley High and recently returned to his alma mater for his 50th Reunion. He spoke to this year’s Warrior football team, who presented him with a commemorative autographed football. Since leaving YVHS in 1969 Bellotti went on to play football at UC Davis and then established himself as an outstanding college football coach. He’s the winningest coach in Oregon Ducks history and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

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11TH ANNUAL MDSA WORLD CUP SOCCER KICKS OFF SATURDAY

Youth basketball and volleyball leagues are accepting registrations for winter leagues. Basketball league begins Dec. 13 and CHRIS MAZZA NOTCHES 1ST BIG LEAGUE WIN IN volleyball Jan. 11. For complete information on All Out Sports SEASON’S FINAL GAME FOR NEW YORK METS programs including camps and clinics, visit their website at Clayton Valley High grad Chris Mazza won his first major alloutsportsleague.com. league game on the final day of the regular season as his New York Mets beat the National League East champion Atlanta PIONEER WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR SPORTS NEWS Braves 7-6 in 11 innings. Mazza was the Mets’ sixth pitcher, Please let us know about your sports news, special events, coming in with one out and two on in the 11th. He induced a fund raisers, tryouts, signups and accomplishments. Youth double play to end the inning and then his team rallied in the leagues, clubs, schools and adult programs are all welcome to bottom of the 11th for the win. The 29-year-old made his MLB send us a rundown on what you’re doing. Include all the necesdebut in June and then was optioned to Syracuse in the Internasary details (too much info is better than too little!) and your tional League and recalled four times before the end of the seacontact info. Sending email to sports@pioneerpublishers.com. son.

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Page B4

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October 18, 2019

Here’s to taking the pains of aging with grace

might look like – with all its inconveniences and vulnerabilities. Having survived three operations in her youth and an unwarranted attack by a German shepherd that sent MAGGIE LENNON her to the emergency vet, my SAVVY SENIOR sweet Mamas was like anyone else heading over that hill They say that animals and into old age. She was defitheir owners can end up nitely a survivor. looking like each other. She acquired all the aches While I could only hope and pains that come with livthat might have been the case ing to 126 dog years – condifor me, my dog kept her tions that will affect some of youthful beauty, with an us to various degrees as we adorable baby face that had age. people thinking she was a I admit to not taking her puppy at age 18. Meanwhile, on as many walks when I saw I gaze in fascinating horror at a change due to arthritis in the lines and crevices of my her paw. That activity, which aging face. might have taken five minutes She did, however, mirror in her youth, now took 20 for me what getting older minutes. All the leash tugging

eyes seemed to say: “I want to do this, I’m doing it and you’re not going to stop me.” Many women are conditioned to please others and to put others before them. But as they age, they begin to rebel against old roles that no longer serve them. They find out what their true desires and Good ol’ Mamas did her needs are and learn to please best to taking aging in themselves. My beautiful pitstride. Corgi terrier mix, who was amiable all her life, seemed to on my part was to no avail. let go of some of the chains It was as if Mamas, now that bound her and really an old lady, was determined to began to assert herself. enjoy the little things in life as Like the rest of us, she we all should. More imporalso developed the dreaded tantly, like many women, she “senior moment.” When she got a little feisty as she aged. had woken us up from deep When I would pull impaslumber in the dead of night tiently at her leash, she unchar- to let her out to do her busiacteristically eyed me down in ness, my dear girl would cerewhat looked like defiance. Her moniously stand on the back

step that led to the garden with a look of total wonder – forgetting the darn thing she was going to do. And then there was the incontinence. Mamas needed Depends, like some of us will. In the last years, the incontinence was bad. After a long day at work, I would sometimes find her doe eyed and innocent in a pool of water that was seeping into my prized wooden floors. Having to clean up after her, I was annoyed by the inconvenience and irritated that my wonderful wooden floors would be ruined forever. I was mindful, though, when my dog would look up at me with her large, sweet button eyes that I too could someday face the same dilemma and need the kindness of

perhaps a stranger to not make me feel bad for getting fragile with age. It was a great awareness that as we age, we will be vulnerable. We will be needy, and we will be dependent. A frighteningly sobering thought, but like my darling dog, I hope we will handle those situations with some degree of grace and bravery and leave a legacy like the one Mamas left me – a legacy of love.

Bike Concord has been pedaling around the community, spreading the love of everything bicycle through programs and events. The group’s student mechanic program at Olympic High School recently started a bike giveaway. In this program, Olympic students learn bicycle mechanic skills every Thursday in our Community Bike Shop located on campus. The bike giveaway program invites elementary

schools in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to apply to get free bikes for kids in need. Bike Concord received bike donations, and Bike Concord members also pulled bikes out from Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery – saving them from the landfill. Olympic High School student participants gave the bikes a once over and got them in good working shape for their new life with nine young bicycle riders from Sun Terrace Elementary.

tainable transportation by bicycling together from Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord to the event at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. It was an inspiring and fun evening celebrating community leaders in their efforts toward sustainability and resilience. Please save the date for our annual Tamales & Bike Fest, 3-7:30 p.m. Saturday,

Dec. 7, at Todos Santos Plaza. This event is coordinated to fit within the city’s schedule for the tree lighting celebration. There will be some custom cruiser bicycles on display at Tamale Fest this year. Bring your bikes, family and friends.

Five-year-old Hildegard is a lovely lady that loves attention! This lady absolutely loves walking along the trail and following where her nose takes her. Hildegard is sweet and enjoys finding a great place to nap once she is done exploring the neighborhood. She loves to be petted and can’t wait for more. The adoption fee for puppies (under 6 months) is

$300, for adult dogs is $250, for senior dogs (7+ years) is $125, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Two-year-old Charlie is a sweet boy that rolls on his side with endearing eyes when given gentle attention. He can be overwhelmed when in new places and takes some time to warm up and feel secure. He is hoping for a loving, patient guardian that can help him be brave. Once he establishes trust with new people, he melts for soft petting while preciously making biscuits with his paws The adoption fee for kittens (under 6 months) $125 or 2 for $200, for adult cats is $75 or 2 for $100, and for senior cats (7+ years) is $50.

Maggie Lennon is a writer and photographer who writes about navigating the aging process. Check out her blog, “The Sensational Sixties. An everywoman’s guide to getting older.” Contact her at maggielennon164@yahoo.com.

Bike Concord donates bikes to young riders

MARYAM ROBERTS BIKE CONCORD

If you would like to donate a bike or if your elementary school would like to apply to receive some refurbished bikes for students, email info@bikeconcord.org. On Sept. 17, Bike Concord members attended Sustainable Contra Costa’s 11th annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards Gala & Fundraiser. Bike Concord was honored to be a finalist for the Sustainability Awards. A group of Bike Concord members demonstrated sus-

Roberts is a volunteer with Bike Concord. Send comments or questions to maryam@bikeconcord.com

Story of Catholic Meet ARF stars Hildegard and Charlie upbringing a ‘Damn’ good read HILDEGARD

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ers given as a reward for the dreaded dental appointments or his now-adult understanding of his mother and father. Each event is recorded with an immediacy, as if it were yesterday – like the amazing adventures of Putsy, the cat neither parent wanted, or the fishing outing that lasted until dark. A happy childhood is not SUNNY SOLOMON CHARLIE necessarily boring or without struggles. Damm’s first BOOKIN’ WITH Wed. and Thurs., noon to 7 encounters with his sexuality, p.m. Fri. and noon-6 p.m. Sat. SUNNY and then working through sinand Sun. ful and not so sinful behavior, It has been a long time is just one example. Would you like to be part of the since a memoir has brought This is not a chronological heroic team that saves the lives of me such laughter and warmth. memoir; he tell us things as In “Wild Blueberries,” rescued dogs and cats? Can you they come to him. June bugs share your talents to connect people Peter Damm, now a resident have terrorized him from his Meet your forever friend at and animals? ARF volunteers are of Berkeley, takes the reader earliest dreams. We follow Tony La Russa’s Animal Res- making a difference. For more infor- back to his childhood as the with empathy his passage cue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell mation see website, www.arflife.org, youngest of six in a strongly through thoughts of the Catholic family in Flushing, Drive, Walnut Creek, during or call (925) 256-1ARF. priesthood vs. his maturing Mich., where he lived until adoption hours: noon to 6 p.m interest in girls. Baseball was moving to nearby Grand the “principal way” he conBlanc. nected with his father, and the What propels the reader story of the baseball signed from one chapter to the next and given to him by Jim is Damm’s ability to draw Coates of the New York Yanupon his thoughts as a child kees will almost bring a reader rather than his voice as a to tears, baseball fan or not. child. Picture yourself as a The book is rich in its hole advantage by three, but a and the No. 1 player in Korea youngster entering school 1-under par 71 in the final played, the whole KLPGA is with the last name of Damm. landscape of mind and place. Damm takes the reader from round left her one-shot back strong,” said Noh. “After a Now think about how that of winner Hannah Green. A really rough first day [she was name sounded coming out of his earliest years to those of maturity as he leaves home victory would have given Noh tied for 74th at the midway the mouth of the author’s after college. He doesn’t fola LPGA Tour card. Instead, point], being under so much teacher, a Catholic nun. Add low his siblings into medical she earned the respect of com- pressure and also my sponsor’s to that the heat taken every and legal professions. Instead, petitors and let the golf world event, it was a crazy week that time he’d admit he was from he chooses to travel and write, know she’ll be back. will help me to play well with Flushing. The giggles and finally settling in Northern “It sucked to get second, expectations. Placing high snickering are contagious. California. but I got over it and learned,” among all those great players The author’s Catholicism is The memoir closes with Noh said. “At first, I told got me ready to just play my the moral compass of his the death of his father. He myself it was a learning experi- game and I know if I do that, youth. Bearing that in mind, writes from early May until his ence and that one day it would I can make it to Q-Series.” consider why he thought father’s death from cancer in help in the future, even though A minimum of the top 30 Catholics had more children I was just upset. I’m glad I had players and ties this week will than Methodists or Presbyteri- August. “Wild Blueberries” is a that experience. I want to go advance to LPGA Q-Series for ans. Or how he puzzled over memoir of one son’s appreciathrough Q-School and prove 144 holes from Oct. 23 to the fact that at his 7th birthtion for the abiding richness that I can officially make it.” Nov. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. day, the church declared he’d The three-time American Those at the next score, or reached the age of reason and of his family. Junior Golf Association cham- scores, will also move on pro- would forever be accountable Sunny Solomon is a freelance pion arrives in Florida fresh vided the total number of for his sins. The very miswriter and head of the Clayton Book off a tied for 12th showing at players in Q-Series does not deeds one day before were Club. Visit her website at the Hana Financial Group exceed 108, which currently passable. bookinwithsunny.com for her latest Championship earlier this has 60 exempt and entered Each chapter is a vignette recommendations or just to ‘talk month in Korea. competitors that are already of something of importance, books.’ “I feel a lot more confident qualified for Pinehurst. whether it is the animal crack-

Noh, from page B3


We need more from Pitt in ‘Ad Astra’

October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

sions do a lot of the work. In “Ad Astra,” writer/director James Gray does not ask Pitt to do much of that; it’s a bit of a letdown in an otherwise impressive film. Pitt plays astronaut Roy JEFF MELLINGER McBride in the near future. SCREEN SHOTS He is a well-traveled sailor of the stars, a major in Spacecom. From “Twelve Monkeys” When word arises that his to “Inglorious Basterds” to father, treasured astronaut H. this summer’s “Once Upon a Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Time … In Hollywood,” Brad Jones), may not have perished Pitt fully inhabits his characon a voyage to the edge of the ters and demonstrates tremensolar system, Roy is sent on a dous range. clandestine mission to make Often, he lets his expres-

contact. The elder McBride left decades earlier to get far enough away from the sun so that his search for extra-solar life would return extremely accurate results. “Ad Astra” is as much about scientific investigation as it is about internal exploration. Traveling so many billions of miles from home would certainly cause one to do a lot of self-reflecting. What kind of life is out there? What kind of legacy am I leaving? Roy’s journey hits the many bumps seemingly inher-

ent in space travel. Pitt delivers a subdued internal monologue along the way. Occasionally, these narrations slow the film down a little and Roy’s words sometimes do not add anything to what we already notice. The closer he gets to his father, the more he wonders if he is the same kind of man. We do not see a lot of Jones save for some videos. We only know that he’s a revered hero on Earth but had a conflicted relationship with his son. The visuals, though mostly computer generated, are

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and 4-8 p.m. Thursdays, Todos Santos Plaza. Final Thursday market will be Oct. 24. pcfma.org.

Oct. 25-27 Bead and Design Show

Handcrafted jewelry, antiques, art, plus beads and crafts supplies. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Crowne Plaza, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. $10, good for all three days. beadanddesign.com.

Nov. 2-3 Mineral and Gem Show

Sponsored by the Contra Costa Mineral and Gem Society. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord. contracostamineralandgemsociety.org.

Nov. 11 Veterans Day Program

Young veterans will speaking about their experiences, and the Concord High Ladies First Choir will sing. 11 a.m., Willow Pass Park, 2748 E. Olivera Road, Concord. Followed by softball tournament.

Nov. 28 Giving Thanks Meal

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

Oct. 19 Trunk or Treat

HALLOWEEN

Come with your trunk decorated, plus bounce house, face painting, refreshments, games, crafts and preschool tours. 3-6 p.m., St. John’s Preschool, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Free. 925672-8855.

ISSuE. ITEMS MuST bE SubMITTEd by EMAIL TO

Nov. 28 Turkey Trot

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

HEALTH

Oct. 29 Many Faces of Brain Cancer

Doctors Maxwell Merkow, James Rembert and Gigi Chen discuss key advances in neuro-oncology. 6:30-9:30 p.m., Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Ave., Walnut Creek. RSVP at sjung@dvohmg.com or 925-677-5041, ext. 272.

OUTDOORS

Oct. 19 Morgan Territory Regional Preserve Hike

A strenuous, naturalist-led hike for ages 10 and older. 8 a.m.-1 p.m., meet at the staging area on Morgan Territory Road, about nine miles south of the junction with Marsh Creek Road east of Clayton. 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

Oct. 26 Evening Hike to Rose Hill Cemetery

Learn about the miners and their families after a 15-minute uphill walk. 4:30-7 p.m., Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, end of Somersville Road, Antioch. $5 per car. ebparks.org or 888327-2757, ext. 2750.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

See Theater key at bottom of page for theater contact information.

Through Oct. 19 “The Legend of Georgia McBride”

A celebration of divas. Town Hall Theatre Company.

Oct. 26 Halloween Trek

Through Oct. 27 “Insignificance”

Oct. 31 Halloween Spook-tacular

Through Nov. 2 “The Mel Brooks’ Musical Young Frankenstein”

Search for flying, hopping, crawling and slithering creatures. 4:30-7 p.m., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 per car. RSVP at sweettrails00@gmail.com. Costume contest with prizes for kids and adults, plus treats and “A Fairly Odd Tale.” 5 p.m. (doors open at 4:30), Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Free. 925-524-5100.

Oct. 31 Scare Away Hunger

Canned food and monetary donations drive for the Food Bank. Marathon Petroleum will match cash donations up to $5,000. 68:30 p.m., Concord High School, 4200 Concord Blvd., and the surrounding community. Or drop off donations after Oct. 22 at the high school office. 925-687-2030.

Oct. 31 Ghost Walk Party

Featuring some celebrity ghosts from past walks for the 40th anniversary. 7 p.m., Ed’s Mudville Grill, 6200 Center St., Clayton.

FUNDRAISERS

Oct. 20 Clayton Valley Village Supper & Silent Auction 5-9 p.m., LaVeranda, 6201 Center St., Clayton. $50; no-host bar. RSVP at 925-626-0411 or claytonvalley.helpfulvillage.com/events/646.

Oct. 26 East Bay Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Three-mile walk, with a one-mile shortcut. 8:30 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. ceremony, 10:30 a.m. walk. Bishop Ranch, San Ramon. Register at alz.org/walk or contact Brittany Harrit at 925284-7942 or eastbaywalk@alz.org.

Nov. 8-9 St. Bonaventure Holiday Gala/Boutique

Gala, 6-8 p.m. Nov. 8. Wine, appetizers, homemade crafts, baked goods, silent auction, raffle prizes, wine pull. Holiday Boutique, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 9. Handmade crafts, baked goods, raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Food Pantry. St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. Contact Donna at 734-474-7618.

Theater Contact Key

incredible. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema proved with “Interstellar” that he is more than capable of creating the beauty of outer space. Rover races on the dark side of the moon and spacewalks in Neptune’s orbit are stunningly real. All in all, Pitt’s performance is fine. There is nothing to complain about, but nothing to really champion either. Gray (“The Lost City of Z”) writes Roy as almost superhuman - his heart rate does not even rise above 80 when he falls off a 100-mile high

CALENDAR

PLEASE SubMIT yOuR COMMunITy CALEndAR EvEnTS by 5 P.M. nOv. 4 FOR THE nOv. 15

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What if Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Joe DiMaggio and Sen. Joe McCarthy met in a hotel room? Onstage Repertory Theatre, Campbell Theater. Silliness, sexual innuendo and physical comedy. Clayton Theatre Company, Endeavor Hall.

Through Nov. 9 “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Musical”

Flamboyant, disco-fueled show. Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Lesher Center.

Through Nov. 9 “Celebrating 70 Years of Fine Art”

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, Valley Art Gallery, 1661 Botelho Dr., Suite 110, Walnut Creek. Free. valleyartgallery.org or 925-935-4311.

Through Nov. 10 “Day of the Day”

Featuring Eric Carlstrom and Jimmy James Shier. Main Street Arts, 613 Main St., Martinez. Zombie Beer Crawl, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 19. Day of the Dead on Main Street in Martinez, Nov. 2. 925-269-8049 or mainstreetarts.net.

Through Nov. 16 “Native Gardens”

New comedy where gardens and cultures clash. Center REP, Lesher Center.

Oct. 20 Bay Area Kids Book Fair

Authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, educational programs, toys, comics and games. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette. Free. bayareakidsbookfair.com.

Oct. 20, Nov. 16 Concert Series

Jazz with Joan Cifarelli and Ella Wolfe, 3 p.m. Oct. 20. The Jazzy Side of Americana with Cappell & Holt, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15 at the door. 925-672-4848 or cvpresby.org.

Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. 925-350-9770. del valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. Clayton Theatre Company, Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. claytontheatrecompany.com. 925-222-9106. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St., Lafayette. townhalltheatre.com. 925-283-1557.

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

antenna. Roy is well-suited to his job; he doesn’t panics and always knows what to do. Therein are the limitations to Pitt’s performance. He never raises his voice and hardly cracks a smile. The film is definitely not boring, but it could have used a more emotive performance from Pitt. B

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

calendar@pioneerpublishers.com

Oct. 29 Clayton Theatre Company Auditions

For actors 18 and older. Bring head shot and resume and prepare a two-minute monologue. 7-10 p.m., Endeavor Hall. Applications at claytontheatrecompany.com.

Nov. 8-10 “A Swingin’ Holiday & More”

A reimagination of “The Nutcracker Suites” Diablo Ballet, Del Valle Theatre. diabloballet.org.

Dec. 8 “Winter’s Light”

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

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

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

AT THE LIBRARY

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

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659.

Patty Cakes Storytime, 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Ages 0-3. Picture Book Storytime, 11 a.m. Thursdays. Ages 3-5. Clayton Community Library Foundation Used Book Sale, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 26 and noon-4 p.m. Oct. 27. Most books $1, children’s 50¢. Half price on Sunday, with $5 for a large cloth bag full 2-4 p.m. Member’s Only Preview, 4-7 p.m. Oct. 25. Memberships can be purchased at door. Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Nov. 1. Halloween Painting, 5 p.m. Oct. 28. Registration required. College Admissions, 6 p.m. Oct. 28. Clayton Reads: “The Stranger in the Woods.” Book discussion, 7 p.m. Oct. 30. Creekside Artists Guild exhibit inspired by the book,” through Nov. 13. Book Club: “Born a Crime,” 7 p.m. Nov. 1. HICAP/Medicare, 2 p.m. Nov. 4. Natural Forest Homes craft, 4 p.m., Nov. 7. Paws to Read, 4 p.m. Nov. 12. Registration required. Tea Talk and Tasting, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13. Registration required.

GOVERNMENT

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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

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

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T HE ARTS What if Frankenstein and Dr. Seuss met Marilyn Monroe?

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Shellie nominated actress Jennifer Brown Peabody stars as Marilyn Monroe, alongside Jerry Motta, Randy Anger and Ryan Terry. The show is directed by Edwin Peabody, Onstage’s new associate artistic director. The play opens tonight and runs through Oct. 26 at the Campbell Theater in Martinez. 925350-9970 or KATHRYN G. MCCARTY campbelltheater.com. Lisa Drummond directs ON THE MARQUEE Diablo Valley College Theatre’s “Seussical, the Musical” at the Clayton Theatre Company Performing Arts Center, openopens its 8th season with the ing tonight and running East Bay premiere of “The through Nov. 3. The musical is Mel Brooks’ Musical Young a celebration of the classic charFrankenstein,” starring Chip acters created by Dr. Seuss. 925Renner in the title role. 969-2358 or dvcdrama.net. With its silliness, sexual Center REPertory Company innuendo and physical come- opens tonight with “Native dy, this electrifying adaptation Gardens,” a hilarious new comruns through Nov. 2. 925-222- edy of good intentions and bad 9106 or claytontheatrecompa- manners by Karen Zacarías and ny.com. directed by Michael Butler. This Imagine if Marilyn Monhot comedy is the place where roe and Albert Einstein met gardens and cultures clash, for one night only in a hotel turning friendly neighbors into room. What would they talk feuding with good intentions, about? And what if they were bad manners and humor. It interrupted by the two Joes runs through Nov. 16 at the (McCarthy and DiMaggio)? Lesher Center. 925-943-SHOW “Insignificance” is the intrigu- or lesherartscenter.org. ing, hilarious and heartbreakThere’s one night left to ing story of four icons of catch Town Hall Theatre’s “The American history meeting in Legend of Georgia McBride.” one night, in one hotel room Andrew Mondello stars in this in New York City. gender-bending, campy and

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Roxanne Pardi

Chip Renner, left, is Dr. Frankenstein, with Kevin Coren as Igor, Nicholas Anthony as the monster and Nathalie Archangel as Frau Blucher in “Young Frankenstein” by Clayton Theatre.

heartfelt celebration of divas. Cindy Goldfield directs the comedy about a young Elvis impersonator who transforms himself into a drag queen. It plays through Oct. 19 in Lafayette. 925-283-1557 or townhalltheatre.com. Contra Costa Musical Theatre brings us an entertaining story of two drag queens and a transgender woman who contract to perform at a resort town in a remote Australian desert in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Musical.” It’s a flamboyant, funny, heart-warming and disco-fueled story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance. The score features a hit parade of dance floor favorites. This campy musical runs through Nov. 9 in Walnut Creek. 925-943-SHOW or Ryan Terry and Jennifer Brown Peabody appear in “Insignif- lesherartscenter.org. Role Players Ensemble Theicance” by Onstage Theatre in Martinez. atre opens “Ripcord” this week-

end at the Village Theatre in Danville. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, “Ripcord” features two senior citizen roommates who make a bet– agreeing that the winner can force the other one out of the retirement home and gain a private room. It plays through Nov. 3. roleplayersensemble.com or 925-820-1278. The sun comes out tomorrow for Pittsburg Community Theatre, which opens the classic musical “Annie” on Nov. 9. It’s the story of a plucky orphan on a mission to find her parents in 1930s New York City. Annie escapes the orphanages and experiences adventure in the Big Apple beyond her wildest dreams. Performances are Nov. 9-24 at the California Theatre. 925-427-1611 or pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. Ghostlight Theatre Compa-

October 18, 2019

ny is requesting 10-minute plays from local writers for its OneAct Festival, March 27-29 at the Brentwood Community Center. Deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The plays must be original, unpublished works. They will need minimal set and prop requirements and will be performed in the round. Contact Helen Dixon at helen@ghostlightte.org. Playwright, director, photographer, lighting designer and actor Randall Nott has gone to that big theater to take his final bow in the sky. A celebration of life will be held at the Martinez Campbell Theater in November. A friend to many, he was a founding member of the Onstage Repertory Company – his passion for more than 40 years. He celebrated his 60th birthday in September. I had the opportunity of working with him many time through the two decades I knew him. I shared the stage last year with Randy in “You Can’t Take It With You” and in “On Golden Pond” in 2009. I also wrote and directed him as Mr. Biondi in “Rivets” and an Uncle in “Maids and Matrons.” He was a joy to be around. I was mesmerized by his

one-man show, “I Am My Own Wife,” which was due to be reprised this fall by Onstage. He is nominated for a Shellie award for his incredible work in this production. He is loved by many in the arts community and will be missed. Kathryn G. McCarty is wellknown around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.

Stu Selland

Andrew Mondello, front, and Greg Lynch get campy in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” at Town Hall in Lafayette.

Mike Kasin

Role Players opens “Ripcord” this weekend in Danville, featuring, front from left, Cynthia Lagodzinski, Beth Chastain, Ann Kendrick and Vince Faso. In back, Tyler Chastain, left, and Terrance Smith.

Artist finds stillness within the chaos of a busy life

serious about her art in her 20s, when she turned to it as a means of therapy and LISA FULMER meditative practice. “I’m also ARTS IN MOTION studying psychology and looking into becoming a Landscape artist Annelise therapist. One day I hope to McKay grew up in Danville combine the practices of art but loved visiting her sister and talk therapy to create an in Concord so much that she effective mental health regimoved here a little over a men for people,” she says. year ago. The artist loves to paint “I’ve been drawing and serene nature scenes. “I love doodling since I was a kid,” water, trees and the night she recalls. “I remember sky,” she explains. “I like when guest teachers would working with acrylic the come to my school to do oil best, but I also enjoy oils pastels with us. That was a and watercolor.” huge source of joy for me.” McKay hopes to invoke a McKay became more sense of stillness and calm when people look at her art. “When I observe a beautiful landscape, I am brought into the moment and reminded of the interconnection of all things. We are the same as nature, and this feeling gives me a deep sense of peace that I want to pass on to others,” she reflects. She feels inspired by listening to music while she paints. “With melancholy music, I tend to paint in cool tones, whereas with happy tunes, I work with more bright and whimsical colors. “Painting reminds me that life is about more than rushing around, working and sitting in traffic,” McKay adds. “When I’m making art, I feel the most like myself. I can lose track of time and really connect with who I am

In “Harvest Moon,” Annelise McKay combines her love of water, trees and the night sky.

underneath the mental chatter. Sometimes during our daily routines, I think we forget our true nature as loving, peaceful beings. Painting brings me back into that state of mind.” Selling her work is always an exciting prospect. “The first time I sold some of my art, it felt like my heart was exploding. To know that someone placed value on my work and wanted it in their home was a huge honor,” she says. “I still feel so much joy thinking about the paintings I have sold and how they are making people happy and brightening their homes.” Despite living here such a short time, McKay has

already fallen in love with the Concord arts community. “I began teaching painting classes at the Lettuce Inn, a downtown vegan restaurant, where people can paint along with me and enjoy the company of other artists,” she says. “The best part about these classes is listening to the group share creative feedback with each other. This experience has really impacted me and made me feel as though Concord will be my permanent home. This is the first city I have ever lived in where I felt that way.”

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


October 18, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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Barberry selections provide dramatic color

introductions, they are back in fashion. This renewed excitement seemed to start when the selection Orange Rocket hit the scene. Orange Rocket NICOLE HACKETT has tiny deep orange leaves that emerge in spring. As GARDEN GIRL summer warms, the color darkens to deep russet, while One of the most desirthe tips stay orange and the able shrubs for 2019 is interior of the shrub has Berberis, aka the barberry kisses of merlot. This selecbush. tion’s foliage is so interestAlmost weekly, folks are ing. asking to have this uniquely Orange Rocket grows shaped and dramatically coltaller than wide, making its ored shrub identified. shape very desirable. You Barberry bushes are can expect each shrub to water-wise, sun-loving and grow 3-4 feet tall and about deciduous. They have intensely colored leaves that 1½ feet wide. Surround command attention within a Orange Rocket with woolly grevillea, or underplant a landscape from spring through fall. Barberry shrubs multi-trunk fruitless olive. The orange foliage will be have been available for decades, but with all the new awesome combined with the

icy-gray color of the other leaves. Rose Glow barberry has a graceful shape, with arching branches of tiny leaves in molted colors of rose and red. The combination almost makes this selection appear variegated. Rose Glow will reach 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. This barberry makes a lovely property line installation or fence accent. Pair Rose Glow with evergreen Arbutus Marina and a few Abelia Kaleidoscope for contrast. Consider adding Cha Cha Pink Penstemon for flower power. Together, these plants will create a BARBERRY ORANGE ROCKET stimulating landscape, filled with leaf interest, texture This specimen has larger winter berries. Emerald and flowers. green leaves, showy yellow Carousel is a large selection of Emerald Carousel is anothflowers in the spring and red barberry that will reach 5 feet er new selection of barberry. by 5 feet. Consider planting it on a slope, where the arching branches can be appreciated as you look up into the plant. Barberry Limoncello’s spring leaf is nearly chartreuse. This fantastic pop of spring color is fresh and wel-

Understanding the alphabet soup beyond being gay When it comes to being inclusive, it’s better to get in as many letters as you can. LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, or questioning. You may also see LGBTQQIA2: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and two spirit. It can get a little cumbersome to say out loud, so don’t worry about saying it perfect each time. Sticking with LGBTQ should cover a lot of bases. Adding the Q sends a signal that you appreciate the nuances and differences, especially if some folks are still on their journey and still questioning their sexual identity or orientation. Some older gays and lesbians may bristle at the word queer, since it was used against our community as a slur for so long. It was meant to stigmatize and “other” someone. During the AIDS epidemic, years before retroviral drugs, the word queer became a shield and not just a sword.

The community reclaimed it as a political battle cry against an establishment that was turning a blind eye to a deadly outbreak just because it was branded a “gay cancer.” Cisgender means presenting as the gender identity that matches your gender at birth. Some folks are born intersex, meaning that they have the presentation of both genders chromosomally, reproductively and/or genitally. Folks used to use the term hermaphrodite, but that can be stigmatizing so intersex is preferred when it comes to humans. Several animals are considered hermaphrodites, as are most plants. So thinking it’s not normal is just wrong. All the letters are part of the entire sexual identity and/or gender identity spectrum, which also includes terms like genderqueer, pansexual, nonbinary and gender non-conforming. Bisexual is more binary, while pansexual means you are attracted to all types of people. Nonbinary can describe a gender presentation that exhibits both gen-

der expressions or more. You are not a man and you are not a woman, and he or she doesn’t quite cut it for your gender identity. Gender identity and sexual orientation can be similar and completely mutually exclusive. For example, a lesbian may be very feminine, yet a lesbian can be very butch too and also on the trans masculine spectrum but still married in a same-sex relationship. A trans man could be out as queer because though he may look like a cisgender man, he still identifies with the community he came out in. He may have been a lesbian first and though gender has changed, sexual orientation has not. They still like women and they want the world to know they are not “passing.” Or a trans man could be living as a gay man and exclusively dating other trans men or cisgender men. Some trans folks live their lives totally stealth, which means they present cisgender and don’t want anyone to know they are transgender.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

JACK REDNOURBRUCKMAN

ALL

THE

COLORS

Two spirit is what Native Americans called non-heterosexual people. Most tribes considered these folks to possess special powers and they were often thought of as shaman like. During the Holocaust, gay men were forced to wear the pink triangle and lesbians were forced to wear the black triangle. Just this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on LGBT discrimination cases. Be careful whom you hate, because it might be someone you love.

Jack Rednour-Bruckman is the executive director of the Rainbow Center serving the LGBTQ community in Concord. Send questions and comments to jack@rainbowcc.org.

Take a step up to create unique decor

People don’t often either in the same obsess about stair riscolor as the trim ers. throughout your resiWhen considering dence or a contrasting any sort of home paint color or two, design, most people would add interest and focus on big things: a decorative pop. furnishings, paint colSeveral online ors, window treatretailers found on Etsy ments, accessories, will take your stair riser floors, ceilings and dimensions, stain plyand the looming poswood to coordinate sibility of an addition with your floor and or remodel. create a design with a But I think stair painted stencil. They risers are worthy of a ship the panels to you little obsessing. to install. Interior stairwells Tile is another great are functional. They option for risers take you from bottom indoors and out. It can to top, and back again. be a fun and festive They may curve grace- Tape trim and nail heads can bring a wow way to bring in color, fully, spiral tightly, texture and sheen to an factor to a stairwell. criss-cross horizontally otherwise drab stairor have a straight shot well. Have a conversacharming, colorful and artistic. from one floor to another. tion with a contractor on how So why not bring this same They can be the focal point in a flair into your home? Perhaps best to install. foyer, leading to a family loft, or you have a plain wooden stairIn a previous Pioneer coltucked away in a private hallway well tucked away. Even the umn, I wrote about using a that leads to bedrooms or a temporary peel and stick decal stairwell corridor is plain. basement. There are no windows, just an to decorate wooden stair risYou have probably seen ers. Many online vendors sell over-glorified ladder consistexterior stairs flanked with these stickers for any vertical ing of 11 steps leading up. terra cotta tiles, with the stair This area deserves decorative surface you want to accenturisers covered in brightly col- attention. ate. Just like clothing, try it on ored ceramic tiles. Homes and for a bit before deciding to Paint is a convenient public buildings with Spanish option for most hands-on keep it. and Mediterranean influence And let’s not forget about projects needing a little often incorporate these deco- facelift. A painted stair riser, carpet – a tried and true applirative accents. The result is cation for risers and stairwells.

coming. Limoncello is an exception as barberry goes because it prefers only a half day of sun. Too much exposure to the sun and the leaves will become edged in salmon, and most of the chartreuse ages to gold. Limoncello reaches 3-4 feet tall and wide. It would make a great companion plant to a bed filled with azalea and oakleaf hydrangea. All barberry bushes are deciduous. They will lose their leaves in autumn, just like crape myrtles and Japanese maples. But they all have intense fall colors. You can expect brilliant reds and glowing oranges. Barberry are deer-resistant. They have tiny thorns, so be careful when placing in the garden. Barberry bushes are best planted in fall or early spring, rather than summer.

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While you may not solely focus on the riser with carpeting, you can source metal rods that decoratively hold the carpet in the back corner of each step tread. You can also trim the edges of the carpet with heavy canvas tape trim and nail heads that hold the carpet in place. Stair risers may not be at the tippy top of your to-do list, but the stairwell is a significant focal point that can be embellished just like any other within your home. Choose an application that works with the design of your residence and enjoy a little obsessive decoration. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at jenna@j-designs.com.

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October 18, 2019

E Clampus Vitus a sly parody of secret societies

Poor Lord Sholto Douglas. A blindfold was tied over his eyes and a sign hung around his neck with the letters “PBC,” proclaiming him to be a “Poor Blind Candidate.” The blast of a tin horn, known as the “sounding of the hewgag,” signaled to the group of men that “a sucker had been found and the fun is about to begin.” He was made to ride in a wheelbarrow, then forced to sit inside a cylinder of sheet iron, called “the cave of silence,” as men pounded on the outside with boards and hammers. He was laid on a blanket and tossed into the air several times. Stripped to the waist, his body was painted and finally he was placed in a coffin that was hoisted into the air. The bottom of the coffin dropped out and Douglas was deposited in three feet of water. He was exhausted when

founded E Clampus Vitus in 1845 as a parody of the highminded ideals and elaborate ceremonies of secret societies like the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows, which wielded tremendous political power in those days. Bee was known as a storyteller and practical joker who claimed to have been entrusted by the emperor of China with secret rituals. The name of the organization is said to be in dog Latin, and one can safely say its meaning Many California miners joined E Clampus Vitus chapters. is unknown. J.H. Zumwalt became the fun finally ended, but he rites of passage. intrigued with the group when was able to make a short Douglas had arrived in he saw a copy of its rituals in speech expressing his gratitown as the leader of a troupe a Missouri printing office on tude for being admitted into of actors attempting to put on his way to California in 1849. “a high-class American lodge.” a play in the local theater. He had some difficulty estabIt was January 1896, and Ticket sales had been meager, lishing the first chapter in the Douglas had been initiated but when Douglas became an Gold Country but finally met into the Marysville order of E official “Clamper,” his lodge with success in Mokelumne Clampus Vitus. He was born brothers bought every last Hill. Numerous chapters in into British royalty, and the ticket and the actors played to the area soon followed. local folks were impressed at a full house. Miners made up the majorhow well he had survived his Ephraim Bee of Virginia ity of membership, but a man

of any profession could join if he were invited. Famous Clampers included Mark Twain, J. Pierpont Morgan, Ulysses S. Grant, and, suspiciously, Julius Caesar, Henry VIII, Sir Francis Drake and Adam. The organization’s motto is Credo Quai Absurdum – “I Believe It Because It Is Absurd.” Its banner had a picture of a hoop skirt that proclaimed: “This is the flag we fight under.” Red long john underwear was acceptable attire at meetings, which were held “at any time before or after a full moon.” Medals of special merit were made of tin can lids and proudly displayed on sashes. Despite the mockery and merriment, the Clampers provided protection and monetary support to families whose loved ones had died in the harsh conditions of the mining towns. But as mining

DEBBIE EISTETTER

THE WAY WE WERE

operations dwindled in the 1900s, so did the number of E Clampus Vitus chapters. Twenty years later, the organization was gone. My next article will cover the organization’s revival and a famous humbug. Debbie Eistetter is a board member of the Clayton Historical Society. For more information or to become a member, visit claytonhistory.org. The Clayton Museum, at 6101 Main St., is open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free.

Lecture offers details about John Marsh, Stone House The Clayton Historical Stone House during the Society will host an historical annual meeting on Thursday, presentation on the life of Nov 7. Dr. John Marsh and the Marsh heard the shout of

“Manifest Destiny” and tra Costa County, he headed West after graduation acquired wealth through his from Harvard in 1823. Livmedical practice. ing in what is now East ConAfter marrying, he began construction of what is now known as the John Marsh Stone House near Byron. The house was completed in 1856 at a cost of $20,000. It was 60 by 40 feet, three stories high surmounted by a tower. The building was seriously damaged in the earthquake of 1868 and was later restored without the tower. Marsh never lived in the house, as he was murdered about the time of its completion. John Marsh had the Stone House built in 1855-’56 in the Gothic Revival style.

Tim and Ginny Karlberg, who will give the talk, have traveled to see most of the locations mentioned in the story of Marsh’s life. The public meeting begins at 7 p.m., with wine and dessert, in Hoyer Hall at the Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. While the event is free, donations to the Historical Society are always welcome. Meanwhile, the Historical Society is looking for homes for the Christmas Tour. Call the Clayton Museum at 925672-0240 or JoAnn Caspar at 925-567-6079 if you have suggestions.

Heritage Day

Marsh Creek State Historic Park will hold a Heritage Day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Brentwood. The free event includes hands-on history, hiking and kids’ activities. The newest California State Park encompasses 3,659 acres, including the historic Stone House property.

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Profile for Pioneer Publishers

OCT 18 The Pioneer 2019  

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

OCT 18 The Pioneer 2019  

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

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