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Marchers join rally for Dreamers

From the desk of...



Code process helps keep Concord neighborhoods clean

September 22, 2017


More than 50 people marched from Cambridge Park in the Monument to Todos Santos Plaza, where they were greeted by another 30-40 people supporting DACA on Sept. 9. People also rallied in Oakland, San Jose and Los Angeles that day to protest President Donald Trump’s threat to undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their families as minors and are currently protected under DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Concord resident and longtime Latina activist Ana Villalobos was master of ceremonies for the event in downtown Concord, where several so-called Dreamers told their stories. One woman said she was told she couldn’t continue at Diablo Valley College because she lacked a Social Security number. After being approved as a Dreamer, she

I am often asked about neighborhood preservation or code enforcement and how someone can bring an issue to the city’s attention. The city is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in its neighborhoods and has regulations that pertain to residential and commercial property maintenance. They are typically designed to control accumulations of junk, trash and Photo courtesy of California State Assembly vehicles that are abandoned, Immigration advocate Ana Villalobos, left, walks with Assembyman Tim Grayson and state Sen. Steve Glazier unregistered or in disrepair. at the DACA march in Concord on Sept. 9. See Dreamers, page 3 Code enforcement specialists assist residents with a variety of services. The program utilizes a Neighborhood Partnership Program and coordinates city services for neighborhoods. The Code Enforcement Unit is a division of the Police Department. There are three code enforcement officers Carondelet High alum supervised by a police sergeant. CVHS Class of 1969 grad The unit is responsible for Daniel Zacapa enjoying Brittany Stich a Forbes quality of life matters having to 30 Under 30 entrepreneur do with blight, property safety, best years of his life public nuisances and property JAY BEDECARRÉ JAY BEDECARRÉ maintenance. It is mostly comConcord Pioneer Concord Pioneer plaint driven. Activities also include Neighborhood Watch meetings, neighborhood When 10-year-old Daniel Zacapa was When Forbes magazine set about at Woodside Elementary School he compiling this year’s list of 30 Under 30 young entrepreneurs in a number of See Mayor, page 6 attended a parent teacher conference with his folks. The school counselor sugfields, they were looking for game-changgested that he do a skit for the school. ers to follow in the footsteps of Michael He put together a little melodrama in Phelps, Jennifer Lawrence, Adele and the cafeteria that included seven hat LeBron James. changes and earned him cheers and When the judges whittled down laughter from parents and students alike. 15,000 nominees to 600 selections (30 Photo courtesy Daniel Zacapa each in 20 industries), a 29-year-old ConPhoto courtesy Guild Education “That’s the first time I knew what I Clayton Valley High School Class of Concord native Brittany Stich is really wanted to do,” the 66-year-old cord native made the grade. Brittany 1969 graduate Gary Pearson evenco-founder and Head of Student Zacapa says. If a reader can’t place ZacaStich, who attended Queen of All Saints tually changed to a stage name of Experience of Guild Education of pa from Woodside, Oak Grove and El and Carondelet High School (Class of Daniel Zacapa (shown on set of Colorado. The Queen of All Saints Dorado middle schools or Clayton Valley 2006), is spotlighted with co-founder “24: Legacy”). He is now one of the School and Carondelet High grad High School that’s because he was born Rachel Carlson in the education category busiest character actors in TV and and her co-founder Rachel Carlson and raised as Gary Pearson, CVHS class for their startup, Guild Education. films. were spotlighted in Forbes Magaof 1969. The women met the first week of zine as 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs Since the mid-1990s he’s used his their freshman year at Stanford University JOHN T. MILLER in Education. stage name Daniel Zacapa (Daniel for his appeared in. He also showed his comedy in 2006 and began Guild in 2015 while Correspondent favorite TV show “Daniel Boone” and chops with parts in a couple “Seinfeld” Stich was in the final year of her MBA/Master’s in Education program. time. “I certainly have empathy for the Concord civic leaders are Zacapa his mother’s maiden name). The episodes. intensely focused as they pre- veteran character actor has never been He’s been in over three dozen movies, Recently, they wrapped up Series B fund- school-work-family balancing act our pare to bid on Amazon’s mam- busier with jobs coming to him without performing with Morgan Freeman, Jack ing of $21 million, bringing to $31.5 mil- Guild students live every day,” she says. moth $5 billion project to build the need to audition. Guild has already been honored as Lemmon and Walter Matthau (“I’d say lion the venture capital Guild has raised. Next Thursday, Sept. 28, he returns the best experience I had in film”), Ed Guild works with employers to offer Denver Chamber of Commerce Womena second headquarters. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for his second season on NBC’s “Chica- Harris, John Travolta, Brad Pitt (twice), education as a benefit to their employees, led Business of the Year. providing employees with online educaannounced that HQ2 would be go Fire” in the recurring role of Ramon Robert Redford and Drew Barrymore. CARONDELET, STANFORD YEARS “a full equal to our Seattle head- Dawson, father of paramedic Gabby As is the case with many character tional opportunities – everything from Stich was involved in student govquarters and bring billions of (Monica Raymund). actors, his name may not ring a bell but completing high school to obtaining a During his high school years, he spent just take a look at his photo and you master’s degree. Stich explains that ernment and volunteerism at Carondollars of upfront and ongoing a couple summers painting houses with know you’ve seen him in many films and employers pay for this benefit as a means delet. She was student body president investments.” to recruit, retain and add value to their and says she “learned incredible servant Amazon is looking for a classmate Tom White. At Clayton Valley, TV shows. leadership from the late and beloved metropolitan area with more he performed in a number of student All of that experience and success employees. Guild has a roster of participating col- Sister James,” who died last month. She than a million people, room to productions including “Arsenic and Old didn’t ensure Zacapa a smooth journey in accommodate up to 50,000 Lace” and “Charley’s Aunt.” When he life. “When I first moved to Los Angeles leges and universities around the country. was on the Cougars track and field workers, on-site access to mass was 17 he went with another buddy, and throughout the ‘80s cocaine use was “We’re in every time zone.” Chipotle, team and played AAU basketball. “I transit, a commute of 45 min- Frank DiTullio, to Bakersfield loading part of the Hollywood culture.” Zacapa Taco Bell, Public Service Credit Union, wasn’t good enough to make our basutes or less to an international heavy bags of potatoes all day. Those always remained active in the industry. “I KFC, DaVita and Denver public schools ketball team,” she admits. She majored in political science at airport and easy access of 2 jobs reinforced his dream of acting for a never stopped working. I maintained the are among the companies working with miles or less to a major highway living. 24-hour rule,” which meant he’d abstain the Denver-based Guild. He attended San Francisco State “for from use a day before auditions and key “My family has worked in education or arterial road. See Stich, page 11 reform since I can remember,” says Carl“The former Concord Naval a millisecond” after Clayton Valley, went filming days. Weapons station is the perfect to New York to study acting and backHis mother, “who was my biggest son, a Colorado native whose grandfather place for the new Amazon head- packed through Europe. When he fan” (school teaching was her passion Roy Romer was a three-term governor. Inside quarters,” City Councilwoman returned to the Bay Area he performed in and she encouraged Daniel and his four “Brit is the first in her family to go to colCalendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Carlyn Obringer posted on Berkeley Stage Company and Kensing- younger siblings “to follow our own lege. So, thinking about what allowed her Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Facebook. “We are throwing our ton Players productions. And, to pay the path”), died about four years ago. That to navigate that path – a lot of that is bills, he painted houses! hat into the ring.” eventually proved the turning point for what we do at Guild.” From the desk of . . . . . . . . . . .6 He got a recurring role as a reporter Zacapa, who still struggled with subStich also knows what it means to be When the Request for ProSchools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 posals (RFP) came in, it went in 15 “Hill Street Blues” episodes, which stance abuse. He went to his first Alco- a working adult headed back to school. kickstarted his TV career. Over the past She commuted for a year, taking Stanford Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 four decades there’s hardly a TV drama classes part of the week and flying to See Amazon, page 11 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . . .12 See Zacapa, page 11 series you can think of that he hasn’t Denver to work at Guild the rest of the

Concord high school grads make the grade

Concord preparing Amazon HQ2 bid


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Concord Pioneer •

A fair day for safety

Clayton Worsdell

Concord CERT volunteer, Jeffrey Aquino instructs children on the proper use of a fire extinguisher at the Safety Fair, Sept. 7.

Army and the Concord Auxiliary Emergency Radio Services were on hand Sept. 7 to help families with their safety disaster planning. The fair was held in conjunction with Concord’s Thursday Music and Market program in Todos Santos Plaza. Citizen volunteers with  Community Emergency Response Teams demonstrated use of the external defibrillator (AED), a portable device used to assist victims of a heart attack. For more information or to volunteer, contact Concord Volunteer and Emergency Services Coordinator Margaret Romiti, 925-671-3184.

Pintado to lead Monument Democrats

David Pintado will be the new president of the Monument Democratic Club, which has grown to more than 800 members. Pintado, who lives with his wife and two children in the Monument, held numerous health-care positions in his native Mexico before coming to the United States. He served as a certified medical assistant in Berkeley for 10 years before teaching in several East Bay medical assistant programs. He moved to Concord in 2007 and teaches in the science department at Mt. Diablo High School, where he also coaches the girls’ tennis team. The Monument Democratic Club was formed in 2014, and Pintado has been a member for several years. He has a passion

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Wellness Challenge partners with schools for healthy lunches

Concord mayor Laura Hoffmeister paired up with new downtown restaurant Canasta Kitchen for the 9th Annual Healthy Cookoff Challenge in Todos Santos Plaza on July 27. Concord competed against Antioch, Martinez, Danville and Pleasant Hill in the iron-chef style competition using locallygrown foods. This year, the Wellness Challenge partnered with the food services staff from Mt. Diablo Unified School District who picked out produce at the Farmers’ Market before the event and created “grab bags” for the culinary teams to use in the challenge. Each menu was required to adhere to USDA school meal standards and include fruit, whole grain, protein and greens or vegetables.

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer


MDUSD will see some big changes in the school lunch program this fall with the hiring of Dominic Machi as the new Director of Food and Nutrition Services. Some of the anticipated changes include more farm-to-

school foods, the incorporation of more cooking from scratch, a revamping of some of the school kitchens and specific menu days where all of the foods are grown and/or manufactured in California. John T. Miller

memories of this year. During the spring, the former Eagles football and baseball standout was honored by the San Diego Padres as their 2016 Scout of the Year for his work as the Northern California area scout. The Padres amateur scouting department has about 25 members and their farm system was recently rated ninth among the 30 Major League Baseball teams. Ray has been with San Diego for six years. He began his professional baseball scouting career with the Boston Red Sox, where he spent three years right after his

2007 graduation from UCLA. He was part of the 2002 and 2003 Eagle teams that made it to the Oakland Coliseum for the North Coast Section baseball championship game. Recently, Ray was promoted to the position of coordinator of amateur scouting for the Padres. The promotion means he will be packing up at the end of the year and moving south. He won’t be doing that alone however. Ray will marry fiancée Ashley Puskar Nov. 4. He credits her with “always pushing me to realize my baseball dreams.”

CV alum Sam Ray has a busy year-end with baseball, wedding plans

Longtime Monument resident Betty Gabaldon will be vice president, while club founder George Fulmore will serve as secretary and membership chair. The club, which is primarily e-mail based, aims to register voters, get out the vote and promote Democratic Party goals. These goals involve affordable housing, excellence in public education, affordable health care, jobs and a living wage, equal rights and opportunities, DAVID PINTADO essential city services, and the preservation of Social Security, to help the club increase the Medi-Cal, Medicare and other civic engagement of Monu- basic government benefits. SAM RAY ment residents so that they better understand how the city For more info on membership, eUnlike many people around works and what city services are mail or the world in 2017, Clayton Valin place to maintain and call Fulmore at 925-348-3763. ley High School grad Sam Ray improve the area. figures to have many fond

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September 22, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 3

to Focus on gangs drives down assault crimes Letter the Editor BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Although many crime statistics in Concord are relatively flat, the issues remain the same – with theft and homelessness drawing the most concern. As police Chief Guy Swanger provided an overview of the first six months of 2017, he noted that there was little change in violent crime. “This is about as status quo as we’re ever going to get,” he said at the Sept. 5 City Council meeting. Comparing January-June 2016 to the first six months of this year, aggravated assaults dropped from 131 to 113. “Even the gang ones dropped from eight to one, because we put a focus on that,” Swanger said. However, the city saw a rise in rape cases – from 14 to 21. Eleven of those were family rapes, with another six being acquaintance rape. There were no stranger rapes. “The family rapes are the most troubling,” Swanger said,

noting that two cases included multiple victims. The chief believes the increase in reports is due to outreach from the Family Justice Center and the police department’s Special Victims Unit. While stolen vehicles dropped from 515 to 428, burglaries from autos jumped from 398 to 422. Most crimes occurred at Sunvalley and the Willows. With the Veranda shopping center coming to town, the chief is working with officials there to help reduce losses. The city also saw a rise in retail theft, from organized crimes at the mall up 463 percent (8 to 45) percent and grand theft up 125 percent (59 to 133). City Councilman Tim McGallion wondered if the increase in shoplifting could be linked to a larger homeless population. “Not just Monument Boulevard, but people up and down Clayton Road are starting to feel that there is more of an impact,” McGallion said.

Dreamers, from page 1

Swanger said the homeless play a large role in entry-level crimes, including shoplifting that escalates into robbery when someone “gets physical with the loss prevention person as they’re trying to escape.” He estimates 5 percent to 10 percent of the homeless generate most of the criminal activity. Comparing the first six months of 2016 to the same period in 2017, homeless arrests were similar – from 103 to 101. The city’s contact with homeless individuals increased from 587 to 603. However, homeless referrals dropped 52 percent – from 23 to 11. “When we contact them and they refuse our services, they leave us with few options,” Swanger said. Homeless camp cleanup costs fell dramatically, from more than $16,000 in the first six months of 2016 to less than $4,000 this year. Swanger attributed that to the rainy winter. City Councilman Ron Leone asked for an update on

completed college and now has a career that she loves. She feels accepted as an American and would be devastated if her DACA status were to be rescinded. The five-year-old Obama era policy allows about 800,000 people to go to school and work here without fear of being deported. Trump has ordered the end of the program and urged Congress to




come up with a fix. Civic leaders at the event included Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister and City Council members Ron Leone, Edi Birsan and Carlyn Obringer as well as state Assemblyman Tim Grayson, state Sen. Steve Glazer and county Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. Grayson, who lives in Concord and sponsored the rally,





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dents of participating organizations that register via the SunShares website. A free workshop about the program will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the City Council Chamber, 1950 Parkside Dr. Registration is available through “The city of Concord is strongly committed to making our community more sustainable,” said principal planner Michael Cass, who manages Concord’s sustainability programs. “We are proud to partner with the Bay Area SunShares Program, which is instrumental in assisting residents and local businesses with the installation of solar panels and purchase of zero-emission vehicles.” To receive a no-obligation solar quote or register for the program, visit




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Mark your calendars. A major decision on the future of Concord (whether it goes to pot or not) will be on the agenda at our city council’s Oct. 24 meeting starting at 6:30 pm. The council will be reviewing survey results and taking public input about whether or not Concord should become the area epicenter for marijuana sales and production.   Most people are certainly willing to allow medical marijuana use by cancer patients or others with serious illnesses, but that is NOT what is up for discussion at this meeting. The city has already legalized home delivery to seriously ill people. At this meeting the council will decide to either continue the ban on outdoor growing, processing, and storefront sales of recreational marijuana or permit these activities in Concord.   Please tell your council you do NOT want marijuana stores or outdoor growing operations here. Say NO to increased crime, addiction and neighborhood blight. Remind them we are a city where families come first.    If you can’t attend the meeting, send an email to . Mike McDermott Concord resident Send your Letters to the Editor to Letters are limited to 175 words. and must be signed. Opinions on topics of current interest are given preference.




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The city of Concord has partnered with the Business Council on Climate Change and more than 50 cities, counties and major employers to launch the annual Bay Area SunShares program. The group buying program offers residents discounts on rooftop solar installations, zero-emission vehicles and home vehicle charging stations. Last year, SunShares helped 145 homeowners make the switch to solar. Residents have until Nov. 10 to sign up for the solar program and must sign a contract with a selected solar provider by Dec. 31 to qualify for the discount. Solar installations are offered at 15 percent to 25 percent off market rate. Partner car dealerships offering zero-emission vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf, will feature substantial discounts to resi-

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updates. At Birsan’s urging, Swanger reiterated that Concord police officers do not check immigration status when arresting or having other contact with residents. Obringer asked if the department was planning to participate in more community meetings about immigration, given the start of the school year and possible changes to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Swanger noted that church and school groups typically host those gatherings but that his department “would love to participate.”



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called Trump’s plan “heartless and cruel.” “Pursuing policies to unnecessarily punish innocent children does not make America great,” he said. “Protecting Dreamers has bipartisan support, and our neighbors who were brought to this country as children and have grown up here must know that California stands shoulder to shoulder with them and is willing to lead the fight against inhumane and irrational immigration policies.”

efforts to reduce crime near BART stations. Swanger reported that Concord PD arrested 104 people in an eight-day sweep and another 20-30 in a few days. Many of the crimes began with fare evasions. “Safety at these stations is just not being managed correctly,” Swanger said. “We could not just stand by idly and expect that the problems would be addressed at the BART stations, particularly at the one downtown.” City Council members Edi Birsan and Carlyn Obringer requested immigration


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Concord Pioneer •

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September 22, 2017

Civic leader heads to trial Concord civic leader and former Chamber of Commerce board president, Jeffrey Kasper, 55, is due to face trial on two child pornography charges after more than two years of delays. Kasper was arrested May 7, 2015, after a police search of his Concord home in March of that year allegedly turned up evidence of downloaded pornographic videos of children. He was charged with downloading and sharing child pornography and Internet impersonation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison. Kasper appeared in court

on Sept. 15 for a scheduled preliminary hearing but once there, waived his right to the hearing. He will be formally arraigned on Oct. 4 at 1:30 pm in Martinez at which time a trial date will be set. Until his arrest, Kasper was a familiar face at civic events where he often served as emcee. He was a past president of the Concord Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the board of the now disbanded Mt. Diablo Health Care District. Kasper’s websites list him variously as a wedding officiate, a customer service professional and a consultant special-

BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

A new joint Concord-Walnut Creek program will provide their police departments with another tool to help the homeless population. The Coordinated Outreach, Referral and Engagement (CORE) team will offer outreach to the homeless population as well as respond to requests for aid from the two police departments. “Not every homeless person we contact, we arrest,” noted Lt. Ken Carlson of Concord PD. “We think we’ll get a better response using CORE than the limited resources we have at our disposal.” The two-person CORE team will work 20 hours a week in each city. If the homeless individual isn’t in the county system, the team will start by gathering basic demographic information.

“We want to establish a rapport and get them to trust us – offer food, water, hygiene supplies,” said Jenny Robbins, Housing and Services administrator at Contra Costa County Homeless Programs. “It’s basically a precursor to folks coming into shelters.” Services offered include reserving a shelter bed or referrals for medical, dental or mental health services. “It’s a holistic program – it’s not just giving food and socks. We are really planting seeds so they know they can contact us and trust us,” Robbins said. “Overall, we’re hopeful that bringing CORE in will help us to provide the services that our homeless needs and evaluate what some of those needs are to make life better for them as well as the entire community,” Carlson said. The two City Councils agreed to divide the $143,259 cost for the team, with Concord paying just more than

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$74,000. The county will administer the program and hire the team members. The contract is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. This will be the fifth CORE team since the program was launched in December 2016. The county funds two teams, while Public Works funds another. Pleasant Hill and Martinez also joined to form their own team. When the Concord-Walnut Creek team becomes active, CORE will have 13 employees. “The most important quality is someone who has passion for this work,” Robbins said of hiring CORE members. “You really have to love outreach. It can be mentally challenging and stressful.” Carlson, who manages Concord’s Community Impact Team, won’t have a specific role in CORE but will coordinate training and get the word out to officers about the new service. He sees the program helping lone individuals, rather than families or mothers with children – who are already more likely to take advantage of services. Concord police Chief Guy Swanger says these homeless individuals are the ones residents most notice. “They have been homeless for awhile, and they create a tremendous strain on resources and services in our cities,” he told the City Council at the Sept. 5 meeting. “We’ve had this problem that we’ve tried to criminalize the homeless, but in reality it’s a small percentage that needed to be criminalized. The rest of them really needed assistance or rehab,” Swanger said. To access CORE, call 211 and press 3 to be transferred to dispatch.

September 22, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 5

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Concord Pioneer •

September 22, 2017

From the desk of ...

Connecting with our community

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The importance of community engagement cannot be underestimated for MDUSD. We know how important schools are to our community, and how much parents and communities offer as partners. Over the last few years, we’ve tried to really emphasize this in our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), DR. nELLIE MEyER ensuring that our families and communities have an imporMDUSD tant say in what happens in our SUPERINTENDENT schools. Last year, we established our first LCAP Speaker Series, viding venues for parents to based on feedback from par- learn more about cyber safety, ents and other partners, pro- issues with drugs and alcohol,

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have room for improvement? What ideas do you have for helping us continue to build momentum and ensure we provide a first-rate education for each child, all children? These sessions will be another way for us to engage with our community, to listen and learn all the way around. We’ll have our schedule finalized shortly. Please watch for a schedule on our website,

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and parenting support. We’ve made sure student voices are present and heard at community meetings, board meetings, and in district decision-making. This year, I’m excited to launch a series of localized meetings throughout the District – our new Community Conversations series. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be hosting these forums to offer parents, students, staff and community a chance to learn more about what’s happening at MDUSD, to ask questions and provide us feedback. What do you think we’re doing well as a district? What areas



Municipalities and counties throughout the state have been discussing Prop. 64, which legalizes the use and cultivation for personal use of non-medical marijuana for persons 21 years or older. The state of California has made it clear that it will begin issuing permits for marijuana cultivation, laboratories, dispensaries and transportation by Jan. 2, 2018. If cities and counties decide not to move forward with their own ordinances, they could eventually lose authority over all marijuana activities – allowing the state to potentially become the sole permitting agency. Prop. 64 authorizes cities

and counties to develop regulations/ordinances that determine the type of marijuana usage they want to allow (or not allow) in their jurisdiction. Some of the options are: • Develop regulations before Jan. 2, 2018, so that the city or county retains partial permitting authority. • Develop no regulations by Jan. 2, 2018, which would potentially leave the state as the sole permitting agency. • Develop a partial ban to allow regulations to be developed and be in effect sometime after Jan. 2, 2018. For example, a ban can be developed for cultivation yet regulations can be developed for allowing dispensaries. • Develop a ban that does not allow any marijuana use.

decide to approve a ban, Prop. 64 requires local jurisdictions to permit indoor cultivation of up to six marijuana plants within a private residence by persons over 21 years of age. It allows for six plants per residence regardless of the number of residents. Concord is deciding what direction should be taken. The City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that allows the delivery of medical marijuana to qualified patients from licensed dispensaries outside the city limits, which was the council passed on July 25. The city also drafted an ordinance that is a ban on all other marijuana activities to allow time for a statistically valid survey and for staff to develop regulations pursuant to the council’s direction. The proposed ban came before the Planning Commission at the Sept. 6 meeting. The Even if cities and counties commission recommended that

Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at

hood disputes are not typically covered by city codes, but staff can direct the parties to a mediation process. Illegal parking on public roadways is a function of the Police Department. Parking issues on private streets are typically the responsibility of the property management company or homeowners association. If you have an issue that falls under the city’s code enforcement, contact the staff at or 925-671-3075. Include the address of the area in question. It is also helpful to leave your contact information. Once a complaint is received, a property inspection will occur within a few business days. Once confirmed, staff will work with the owner to correct the problem. Due process requires a written notification to the property owner and a time-

frame to resolve the issue. The first notice usually allows 10 days to fix the problem. If there is no compliance, a Notice of Violation is sent – giving the property owner another 10 days. If there is still no response, the property owner can be fined up to $500, plus inspection fees. Nonpayment can lead to a lien on a property tax bill. Code enforcement cases are generally resolved in about 20 days. Staff always seeks to gain voluntary compliance and can work out a schedule if there are unforeseen circumstances. If you receive a violation notice, contact the code enforcement officer to make certain you are clear on the nature of the violation, what steps are necessary for correction and the timeline. Email questions and comments to the Mayor at Laura.

Mayor, from page 1

cleanups, adopt-a-street programs, abandoned shopping cart collection, massage parlor inspections and entertainment permits. They handled 2,449 cases last year, and 89 percent were closed in less than 60 days. The first six months of 2017, they handled 1,780 complaints and closed 75 percent in less than 60 days. Given the increasing workload and importance of this issue, the City Council recently added a fourth code enforcement officer. Common violations include business signage in disrepair; dis-

ruptive and illegal businesses; blighted, unmaintained or unsafe properties, including pools and fencing; lack of refuse/recycling service and debris accumulation; hazardous and overgrown vegetation; land use violations; RV storage; recycling theft; a residence that is occupied without proper utilities; vacant and unsecured properties; visible storage of junk and debris; and inoperable vehicle storage. County Animal Services handles animal care and noise complaints. Fence repair and replacement disagreements between property owners are civil matters, which may be resolved through civil court, small claims court or a property insurance company. Neighbor-

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the City Council approve the ban until preparation of permanent regulations. The commission also recommended that nonstore front medical dispensaries and testing laboratories be excluded from the ban, if feasible, or to make non-storefront dispensaries and testing laboratories the first priority when it comes to developing regulations. The City Council will discuss this item on Tuesday, Oct. 24. This article only represents a small portion of information about the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The state is adding, removing or changing information from the act, but this information was correct at the time it was written.

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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 B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré,


Chamber marks 80 years of service

Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller I NTERN : Carina Romano


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

Tamara Steiner Send Ads to Send Sports News to Send School, Club and Calendar Items to

The Clayton Pioneer and the Concord Pioneer are monthly publications delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

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

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers.

As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,000 homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers are delivered by carriers for ABC Direct around the last Friday of the month. 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 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. The Clayton Pioneer is delivered by US Mail to 5,500 homes and businesses in 94517 around the second Friday of the month. SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to either the Clayton Pioneer or the Concord Pioneer, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.

Please let our advertisers know you saw them in the Concord Pioneer In Loving Memory

Weston Tanner

July 22, 1992–Sept. 27, 2013

“...and she loved a little boy very, very much – Even more than she loved herself. She calls him son.” Psalm 34:17-18

Wes, we love & miss you so much. Love You to the Moon & Back, Mom

Page 7

Directory of Advertisers All phone numbers 925 area code unless otherwise noted

Business Services O.C. Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(916) 215-9309 Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . .672-8717

Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 J.A. Ronco Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .872-3049 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679

Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Clayton Theatre Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621

Concord Chamber past chairman of the board Kevin Hennessy and current chair of the board Sharon Jenkins accept proclamation from City of Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister



The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 80th anniversary in the community this year. At the board of directors installation luncheon in July, we talked about our history and had memorabilia available to view in the lobby. In 1910, 60 businessmen gathered to become the charter membership of the Concord Chamber. Their first order of business was to arrange a banquet at the Mt. Diablo Hotel to launch the organization. In those years, issues that concerned residents included better phone service to the area and re-routing and securing a spot on the railroad line. The group formed a permanent Chamber of Commerce in 1917, and attorney John L. Garaventa drafted the incorporation papers in 1937. In the early days, chamber

meetings were held at the Coffee Cup Restaurant on Salvio Street. They hired the first fulltime staff person in 1941. In 1956, the chamber elected its first woman chair of the board, Betty Fowler. Several elected officials recognized the chamber at the luncheon. The offices of Sen. Steve Glazer and Assemblyman Tim Grayson presented a certificate of recognition stating, “It is appropriate to acknowledge the invaluable contributions the chamber has made to Concord businesses and the greater Concord community.” Supervisor Karen Mitchoff thanked the chamber for its outstanding dedication to serving Concord businesses and the community. And Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister proclaimed Wednesday, July 19, as the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Day and recognized its many achievements and continued support of the business community. The chamber is proud of its history and continues to support and represent the interests of businesses in the community. Join us at any upcoming events and become part of this dynamic organization. Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or email

Camp Bow Wow opens grand facility

Events Oktoberfest . . . . . . . . . . . . Orchid Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . .(800) 949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242

Grocery Grocery Outlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0004 Health and Wellness Clayton Valley Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6744 Harvest House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .676-2305

Home and Garden Clean & Sober Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .727-9109 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 R and M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Gardens . . . . . .672-0207 Skim ‘n’ Dip – Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348-5609 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334

Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Real Estate and Mortgage Services Bennett, Nancy – Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .606-8400 Clayton Fair Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-0324 French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . .672-8787 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . .305-9099 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Orangetheory Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .350-8474

Senior Services Oakmont of Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .521-8423

Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029

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

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Camp Bow Wow celebrated its grand opening Sept. 16 with a ribbon cutting attended by Chamber officers and local officials. Camp Bow Wow provides a fun, safe and upscale environment for dogs to play, romp and receive lots of love and attention. Camp Bow Wow has a doggy day camp, as well as overnight camping. It is located at 1395 Galindo Street, Suite C, 925-446-4724. From left: Tom o’Sullivan, o’Sullivan & Associates; Dominic Aliano, Concord planning commissioner; Doreen and Doug Fleming, Camp Bow Wow owners; “Scout”; Veronica Subramanian, Camp Bow Wow camp director; Marilyn Fowler, president/CEo Concord Chamber of Commerce; and Tamara Steiner, Chamber ambassador and Concord and Clayton Pioneer publisher.

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Page 8

Concord Pioneer •

September 22, 2017

Fall teams gear up for league play, playoff push JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Fall colors have yet to emerge but fall sports for local high schools are in full bloom. With the school year a monthold teams and athletes are already engaged in competition that will determine who will advance to North Coast Section competition in October and November. Football is in the final two weeks of non-league games with some surprising results— -both good and bad—for the local schools

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER (2-2) The Ugly Eagles got off to an 0-2 start but have bounced back with a pair of wins and finishes their non-conference schedule this Friday hosting Deer Valley (2-2) of Antioch at Gonsalves Stadium. Coach Tim Murphy’s Eagles had never lost two games in a row but they seem to have righted the ship after taking a 22-14 victory over Canyon Springs in North Las Vegas and


then rolling off the first 49 points of the game against previously-unbeaten Antioch en route to 55-22 victory last week. After the game, the coach told Prep2Prep, “It was the first time in my tenure here that it’s [0-2] happened to me. The kids responded in a very good way.” Before the year Murphy said he expected growing pains with a junior-laden team with only four returning starters. There was talk of increased passing

Concord’s Noah Sonet makes mark in French Pétanque tournament


from the running-oriented CVCHS offense and last week quarterback Kenny Gardner Jr. threw for a pair of touchdowns—-Kyree Williams to 43 yards and Milan Mijanovic for 34 yards. Junior running back Thomas Alatini is the primary ballcarrier but James Teofilo and sophomore Makhi Gervais have each rushed for 100 yards in a game. The Eagles begin Diablo Athletic League play in Concord against Miramonte Oct. 6. They will carry a 27-game league winning streak into that contest.

CONCORD (0-3) New coach Paul Reynaud was dealt a blow before the season when two-year starting QB Nick Nunez decided not to play. Versatile junior Bryan Cruz and classmate Bailey Trotter have


been handling the signal-calling but the Minutemen have sputtered on offense with only 32 points total in three games. They visit Benicia this Friday and then Mt. Diablo Sept. 29 to close out the non-league schedule. The Minutemen begin play in the DAL Foothill Division Oct. 6 against Acalanes of Lafayette. Probably the toughest of the three losses was against College Park two weeks ago when the Minutemen gave up all 22 points to the Falcons in the fourth quarters of a 22-20 defeat. Junior Austin Williams is the team’s leading ball carrier and one of the top tacklers behind Cruz. Since winning the 2010 NCS championship Concord has been in the playoffs every year but the Minutemen need to turns things around to extend


that streak.

DE LA SALLE (3-1) De La Salle seems to improve each year as the season moves along. Coach Justin Alumbaugh is still waiting for that improvement to become apparent on the field. The Spartans rallied from 17 points down to overcome its biggest deficit ever a couple weeks ago to defeat Washington, DC power St. John’s 3531. In between they had “easy” wins over Amador Valley and the Bay Area’s No. 2 ranked team St. Francis of Mountain View. Long-time Spartan observers were not overly impressed with DLS’s overall performance in any of those games. Last Saturday in Las Vegas the highly-anticipated game at

Diablo FC 07 Premier boys win 3 U11 summer tournament titles

Photo courtesy Lamorinda Pétanque Club

Clayton Valley Charter High School freshman noah Sonet (left) was part of the first American youth team to compete in Marseille, France in the Mondial of Pétanque. Pétanque is a pointing and shooting game with steel balls played on a dirt surface. A growing sport in the US, the American pétanque federation has about 50 clubs and over 2,000 licensed members. Concord resident Sonet, 14, is part of the Lamorinda Pétanque Club. Pétanque is a strategy game where teams have to adapt rapidly to offensive or defensive play until one team reaches 13 points. The event next to Marseille’s beaches is the largest international pétanque tournament in the world, bringing together more than 10,000 players of all levels. Sonet and teammate Parker Edwards (right) of north Carolina were the first-ever American youth players to participate. They won the first game 13-7 before losing to the 2016 French Junior champions 13-10 and the Belgian champs 13-9. Sonet says next year he will be wearing CVCHS colors at the tournament.

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

Diablo 07 Premier U11 boys won three tournament championships in three tries this summer. Their latest title came at the Davis Legacy Super Clasico Summer Edition premier flight. Coached by Brian Voltattorni, Arnol Arceta and Miguel Gonzales the team also won the Juventus Tournament of Champions in Redwood City and Santa Cruz Breakers Cup. Three of their four premier flight games in Davis were shutout victories plus a pivotal 3-2 win over host Davis Legacy. Diablo FC 07 Premier includes, Aidan Cooper, Carlos Torres III, Tad Dresdow, Enzo Valenzuela, Matthew Rajecki, Hayden Hubbard, Dawson Weer, Brandon Hristov, Brett Van Erp, Eitan Romick, Ronan Rattigan and Josh Williams. not pictured, Chris Arceta and Hamza Saeed.


Bishop Gorman brought home all the doubts about the Spartans’ 2017 team. After scoring the game’s first TD De La Salle was outscored 34-0 as the Gaels rebounded from a pair of losses that snapped their 55-game winning streak. After the Gorman game Alumbaugh told the press, “We’ve got to get a lot better. The mistakes we made tonight were bad. They were pretty inexcusable and things that can definitely be shored up.” To date, neither of his rotating junior quarterbacks Erich Storti or Andrew Jones has been consistent in leading the attack. The next two weeks DLS faces a pair of undefeated teams in Central of Fresno and Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland. The Central game Saturday at Owen Owens Field has definite post-season Northern California bowl implications. MT. DIABLO (1-2) The Red Devils got their first win for new coach Vontre Mason last Friday blanking DeAnza in El Sobrante 29-0. The coach lauded quarterback and free safety Gabriel Cadigan for his early-season play. Mt. Diablo travels to Armijo in Fairfield this Friday and concludes the non-league slate hosting crosstown rival Concord Sept. 29. They open DAL play following a bye on Oct. 6 hosting Berean Christian.

NORTHGATE (3-1) The Broncos have three wins in four games, none more satisfying than the come-frombehind 42-36 victory in the fourth quarter over Las Lomas in the Battle of the Creek. Coach Ben Ballard’s team has racked up 38, 42 and 55 points in the last three games, all wins. Quarterback Jack Fulp and runningback Marcus Dickerson have led the high-scoring

See Football, page 10

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Concord Pioneer • ing other women. Now he is not only an outstanding student (top 10 in his junior class of over 300) but playing on four MDHS sports teams. His Red Devils coach, Marc Kaiser, says, “I have had the privilege of having Sami as a student and have also coached him in cross country and track. As an athlete Sami loves to compete, and on many occasions win, but most importantly his drive to win does not only apply to the field of play, where he also plays football and soccer, but in the classroom as he is a 4.0 student planning on studying to become a doctor.” This fall he is a placekicker for Mt. Diablo and also competing in cross country meets.

Athlete Spotlight Sami Abas

School: Mt. Diablo High Grade: Junior Sports: Football, Cross Country, Soccer, Track

Part of a student’s high school experience goes beyond the classroom when they take part in athletics, music, a club or any other extracurricular activity. For Abas, even being at Mt. Diablo is remarkable in itself. This is a young man who says when he came to America, “I didn’t know any English, or even how to ask where the bathroom was.”

He went on to tell a newspaper reporter last year, “So many kids didn’t know any English, but we got really good in one year.” Abas said his family was in hiding in Afghanistan for four years from the Taliban, before they got permission to join his mom in the United States. The Taliban, he said, wanted to kill his family for his mom’s work help-

The Concord Pioneer congratulates Sami 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. 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

Page 9

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Six athletes including Pac-8 champion Pat Micco added to MDHS Hall Committee co-president Lou Adamo says the six athlete 2017 honorees for the Mt. Diablo High School Hall of Fame compare to any of the previous 13 classes for Concord’s oldest high school. They will be inducted at a dinner ceremony Nov. 3. Pat Micco (Class of 1971) went from Mt. Diablo to be a starting guard for the Joe Roth and Chuck Muncie-led Cal football team that was 1975 Pac-8 co-champion. He was joined on the Golden Bears offensive line that year by MDHS classmate Joe DeRosa, who was inducted posthumously to the high school’s Hall of Fame last year. Three-time baseball league champion Ron Lichti (Class of 1959) is already in the MDHS Hall of Fame as part of the undefeated 1959 team that was honored in 2010. That team is considered the best in school history and has Lichti and Lee Grichuhin named to the hall as athletes this year. The other new inductees made their mark on multiple sports teams at the Concord school. Ted Walsh (1971), Trippi Collara (1979) and Joe Fejerang (1975) round out the outstanding class of

2017. Trippi Collara (1979) – He played football, basketball and baseball at Diablo, capping his career by winning the P.J. Kramer Award as a senior. During that 1978-79 senior year Collara was starting quarterback and most courageous player on the Red Devils football team, captain of the basketball squad and leadoff hitter and centerfielder on the MDHS playoff baseball team. As a sophomore, he led the junior varsity to the league championship and was brought up to varsity for the Turkey Bowl. Later that school year he lost a finger in a woodshop accident and then his junior season was cut short by a football knee injury causing him to miss playing basketball and baseball as well. Joe Fejerang (1975) – He made his mark in the fall on the football field and each spring in the weight events for the MDHS track and field team. Fejerang played varsity football for two years and as a senior was honored with all-league and all-Eastbay recognition. Those same two years he was a leading discus thrower, earning a spot in the 1975 CIF State Meet as the North Coast Section champion. His winning NCS toss was 163-9. He attended Diablo Valley College and Boise

State. Lee Grichuhin (1959) – Playing for MDHS Hall of Fame coaches Hart Fairclough and Bruce Iversen, he was a DVAL champion in football (1959) and baseball (1958-59). Grichuhin was named all-league as a pitcher and football quarterback. Like Lichti, he was previously inducted in the hall of fame with the 1959 baseball team. He played both sports at Diablo Valley College and at Eastern Washington University, where he got his masters. Grichuhin earned all-league honors at both DVC and EWU. He coached at Mira Loma High in Carmichael for 15 years. Lee Grichuhin is being honored posthumously and, due to scheduling conflicts, his family requested he officially be inducted next year. Ron Lichti (1959) – He was a member of a rare three-year championship team. Hall of Fame coaches Carl Anaclerio and Iversen led the Red Devils to 195758-59 DVAL baseball championships. Lichti was a threeyear letterman and was named second team all-league as a sophomore and then first team as a junior and senior. In the league championshipclinching game he came within one out of a no-hitter while striking out 17 Pacifica

Kara Kohler named to USA team for 2017 World Championships

Clayton Valley High grad Kara Kohler switched to the single sculls this year and that training has earned her a place on the 2017 United States quadruple sculls team at the World Rowing Championships this month in Florida. Her quad sculls team includes, from left, Maureen McAuliffe, Elizabeth Sonshine, Kohler and Emily Huelskamp. They will compete against eight other countries for medals.

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batters. He had a 6-0 pitching record with a 1.13 ERA, averaging two strikeouts an inning. Once he threw just 63 pitches in a seven inning complete game (only throwing nine balls). Twice he lost no-hitters with two outs in the seventh. An arm injury ended his baseball career as a Stanford University freshman but he stayed there to graduate in 1963. Pat Micco (1971) – He was a two-way starter for three years on the Red Devils football team, making allDiablo Valley Athletic League on offense and defense. He was selected to both the Contra Costa-Alameda and North-South Shrine all-star football games. He was later honored as a member of the All-County Decade team. He threw the discus and shot put for three years. At Cal, he earned eight varsity letters between football and rugby. The legendary 1975 Cal football team finished in the top 15 rankings and led the nation in total offense, incredibly gaining 2,522 yards passing and rushing. The offensive line only allowed six QB sacks all year. Micco also played rugby for a number of club teams who competed nationally and internationally. Ted Walsh (1971) – Another member of the 1970 football team with Micco and DeRosa, he was selected to the Contra Costa-Alameda all-star game and was an alternate for the North-South Shrine Game. He was a first team all-league and all-Eastbay linebacker. Walsh was a three-year varsity football and baseball player and also was on varsity wrestling as a senior. He shared the P.J. Kramer Award with DeRosa. Walsh played two years of football at DVC, serving as team captain and named allconference his second year. He played football at San Francisco State where he earned his teaching credential in 1976 and then taught for over 30 years. His brother, Ron Walsh, another Kramer Award winner, was named to MDHS Hall of Fame two years ago. To order tickets for the Friday, Nov. 3, Hall of Fame dinner at Zio Fraedo’s Continental Restaurant in Pleasant Hill contact Lou Adamo by phone 212-9332. Tickets for a prime rib or salmon dinner are $55 per person. Proceeds help fund girls and boys academic and athletic programs at the school.

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Page 10

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It may not feel like football with Bay Area temperatures in the triple digits, but it’s September and you all know what that means: It’s time to enjoy the National Football League. And this could be a year to remember, at least for one Bay Area team. Unfortunately, the team that is staying is going to struggle to win games. We all know that the Oakland Raiders will be leaving for Las Vegas in two or three years. However, the 2017 Raiders are primed for a Super Bowl run, as long as the team’s most important player stays healthy. That, of course, is quarterback Derek Carr coming off a late-season injury which derailed not only the Raiders season but maybe a league MVP. This year he is joined by Beast Mode, Mar-

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shawn Lynch, ending his brief retirement for a chance to play for his hometown Silver and Black. The Raiders once again have to battle the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos for AFC West supremacy. The goal for the Raiders has to be a division championship and No. 1 seed in the AFC if they want to make it to Minnesota and Super Bowl LII. Playing for the AFC Championship against New England, Pittsburgh or the survivor of the AFC West in Oakland before a raucous Black Hole is the best path to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening this season. The Silver and Black are off to a 2-0 start with a pair of road games this weekend and next at Washington and Denver. My prediction is the Raiders win the AFC West with a 12-4 record. However, they will have to travel to Foxboro to play the Patriots, who will probably lose no more than two games playing in the pathetic AFC East. I can’t see the Patriots losing a playoff

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game at home and will send the Raiders packing disappointed again. The 49ers, on the other hand, are in for another difficult season coming off a 2-14 year. There is hope, however, with new head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch running the show. Journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer is serviceable but doesn’t strike fear in opposing defenses and hasn’t led the team to a

touchdown in the first two weeks. There is young talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Niners and hopefully they will continue to bring in talent through the draft. Staying competitive this season will be difficult and I predict another lastplace finish with a 4-12 record. My NFL prediction: My faithful readers will recall that last season I picked the Patriots losing to the Arizona Cardinals

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HSU baseball in 1964. The Pittsburg native was the baseball MVP for three Tom DiMercurio spent seasons. He played shortstop over 30 years teaching and for three seasons and spent coaching at Clayton Valley one year in the outfield. He High School and was inducted to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. He was inducted into his Pittsburg High alma mater’s hall of fame in 1998. And now, former baseball player and coach DiMercurio is completing a hall of fame triple play when he is honored by his college, Humboldt State University, on Oct. 13. DiMercurio was a twosport standout with the Lumberjack football and baseball teams between 1959 and 1964. Photo courtesy Humboldt State Athletics He was a first team all-Far DiMercurio CVHS baseball West Conference outfielder for coach 1966-79

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Clayton Valley Charter football is going to keep busy on its bye week by hosting its sixth annual Casino Night Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and dinner on Friday, Sept. 29, benefiting the Ugly Eagles football program. Prize money of up to $500 will be offered for the tournament. Tickets for poker and dinner or dinner only are available. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. with the poker tournament at 8 o’clock in Centre Concord. DJ Mike provides the music. Tickets available at Call 260-8304 or 787-3682 or email for more information.


his second title. Green Bay will beat New England 31-29 in Super Bowl LII. And then immediately after, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will both announce their retirement. Jacob Samuels is a freshman at UCLA. Email any comments or questions to Jacob Samuels is a freshman at UCLA. Email comments or questions to

was the team’s leading hitter in 1962 (.347) and 1964 (.360) and served as team captain for two years. His team finished second in the conference during his senior season. DiMercurio played for the Green and Gold football team in 1959 and 1961. He coached at CVHS from 1966-79 and continued to teach at the school until 1997. His 1977 baseball team won the Diablo Valley Athletic League (first time in 16 years) and the North Coast Section Inland Valley Division after comeback wins over De La Salle and Alhambra in highscoring affairs. That ”Space Photos courtesy Clayton Valley High Eagles” team is in the CVHS Tom DiMercurio accepting Hall of Fame along with their 2013 CVHS induction coach. Diablo FC is hosting the program from 5:15-6:30. Sessions will be split up based on age and skill level of the players. For more information mail director of coaching Zach Sullivan or visit


Programs for youth basketball and volleyball and adult wiffle ball offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration online. An elite basketball skills clinic is running on Sundays through Oct. 29. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, visit


Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 coaches for boys teams in varsity tennis, JV head and assistant basketball and frosh basketball. Send resume and references to AD Megan Coddington at Stipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fingerprints, Current TB test, First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS.


Diablo FC under 8 through U19 competitive teams (birth years 1999-2011) hold ongoing player evaluations for new prospective players. Visit to get more information on the club and signup for the appropriate age group evaluation.

The Clayton fall coed 5’s adult volleyball league champiMDSA SPITFIRES WIN GOLD AT onship went to perennial winners DC…demolition crew. The SAN RAMON SOCCERFEST team included Sergio Esquerre, Sandra Bohn, Rodolfo DuranThe new under 11 MDSA Spitfires boys team won the San Chavez, Kim Buck and Jose Torres. Second place want to Crush Ramon Soccerfest Red Division at the end of August. They won with Spike Lightning third and Bumpin’ Baldwins fourth. the championship game over host San Ramon FC 5-1. The Spitfires won all four of their games outscoring their opponents 26IF YOU WANT TO SCORE MORE GOALS 3. The team includes Cody Ross, Carlos Gonzales, Alex FriedJOIN DIABLO FC SHOOTING CLINIC man, Charlie Habermeyer, Collin Burkhardt, Wyatt Parker, Kalib Former professional and college players are conducting Caldwell, Oliver Jarvis, Zuri Akoni, Dominic Celentano, Cooper weekly shooting/finishing sessions on Fridays through Oct. 20 Smith, Jacob Hilleshiem and Jared Hubbard. at Tesoro Fields. The clinics are open to all players ages 7-12.

Football, from page 8

offense. Fulp had four TD passes in the win over Las Lomas while Dickerson had 240 all-purpose yards. Semisi Saluni has been Fulk’s favorite target. Northgate travels to Vallejo to meet Bethel this Friday then faces another Solano County foe in Fairfield against Rodriguez. Following a week off they open DAL Valley Division play in a showdown game with undefeated College Park on the Broncos new turf field Oct. 6.

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in Super Bowl LI. I would have had half of it right had the Pats not shocked the world with that incredible comeback. I am picking a similar result with a different NFC team. I have the Patriots beating the Raiders in the AFC title game and the NY Giants getting upset in New York in the NFC Championship game in overtime against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will win the regular season MVP en route to

Tom DiMercurio honored with his 3rd school Hall of Fame induction

The ninth annual MDSA World Cup runs over three weekends—Oct. 14, 21 and 28-29—with 41 boys and girls teams taking part. The competition wraps up the fall rec season for under 10, U12 and U14 teams in AYSO Region 223. For complete World Cup schedule and more information visit The annual Area 2C Cup Tournament will take place Nov. 11-12 with top finishing teams from the World Cup competing.

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YGNACIO VALLEY (2-2) The Warriors and new coach Clyde Byrd have been on the top side of the scoreboard in three of their four games so far. Unfortunately, a paperwork snafu caused Ygna-

this Friday in their final nonleague game and then take a week off. They begin DAL play cio Valley athletic director in Martinez against Alhambra, Mark Tran to report a mistake Oct. 6. to NCS that caused the team to CROSS COUNTRY UP forfeit its win over Las Lomas AND RUNNING and drop to a 2-2 record. Two big invitational cross The announcement came last week but Byrd still had his country meets have gotten the squad ready to play last Friday season off and running this when they rolled over Burton month. The DAL has its first of of San Francisco 70-0, the most YV has scored in a game two center meets this Wednesday at Hidden Valley Park in in at least 14 years. Byrd says, “The offensive Martinez with the second cenline is the best unit on the ter meet at Newhall Park in team.” Against DeAnza, Tyrik Concord Oct. 25. The league Daniels rushed for 303 yards meet is Nov. 4 at Hidden Valley and NCS is two weeks later on 17 carries. De’Vaugh Brown leads the on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Hayteam in tackles and sacks while ward. The 24th annual De La Byrd says Waryam Azhar has been a pleasant surprise on Salle Invitational was last Saturday at Newhall Park. The defense. The Warriors host Albany host team was third in the boys

division with Clayton Valley next local team at 16th. Carondelet took 10th and CVCHS 13th in the girls scoring. Granada of Livermore won both girls and boys meets. Clayton Valley Charter senior Dylan White was the top local runner with a third-place finish in the boys meet, one place ahead of Spartan junior Connor Livingston. On the distaff side, Samantha Schauman of CV was 12th and Carondelet’s Clare Schumann was 20th. The Ed Sias meet early in the month at Hidden Valley found Clayton Valley boys taking fifth as a team and White fourth individually in the large schools division. Rayna Stanziano of Concord was sixth in the girls small schools meet while Carondelet was fourth-place in that division.


September 22, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 11

Northgate district effort stalls; SPA Academy finds home


MT. DIABLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Eleven of the 20 MDUSD schools honored in the second annual California Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports Coalition recognition process are in Concord. The Coalition set up the process to acknowledge schools for implementing positive behavioral intervention and supports (PBIS) at schools. The PBIS recognition evaluated schools in seven categories with rankings for bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Receiving silver ratings were Mt. Diablo, Olympic and Ygnacio Valley high schools; Cambridge, El Monte, Highlands, Sun Terrace, Westwood and Wren Avenue elementaries. El Dorado and Oak Grove middle schools were given bronze recognition. Initially established to promote evidence-based behavior interventions for students with behavior disorders, PBIS practices were found to be beneficial to a wider group of students. The focus then shifted to the

school-wide behavior support of all students. “Our PBIS program has had a direct and positive impact on the reduction of school and district suspension and expulsion rates,” said MDSUD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer. “This has become an essential matter of equity for us, ensuring that all students achieve and are given an environment to become their social, emotional and academic best.”

NORTHGATE The effort by Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools (Northgate CAPS) to create a new school district of five Walnut Creek schools currently in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District met another major stumbling block. Contra Costa County Board of Education voted 3-2 to turn down the petition to create a new school district last month. They further voted 5-0 to urge the State Board of Education that should the state choose to have a vote about the new district it be held within the full boundaries of the MDUSD. CCCOE board president Mike Maxwell told the Pioneer, “This has been a very long and difficult process for both sides. It is important to understand that our decision was a recommendation to the State Board of Education. The State Board is the final say in this matter and that process will most likely be a long one as well; could be years before they hear it.

Stich, from page 1

Stanford, focusing on public policy and educational reform. Stich says she’s able to put her studies to use at Guild to help “more than 36 million working Americans with some college and no degree who can’t afford to choose school over work.” She was president of her Stanford sorority, studied abroad in Florence, spent summers working at Stanford Sierra Camp and was a volunteer literacy mentor for middle and high school students. Following graduation in 2010, she went to work at the same Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School through Teach for America where she was a mentor. Then she joined Carlson at Quad Learning in Washington, D.C., where they worked with community colleges around the country to help students find pathways to earn their bachelor degrees before she went back to Stanford for post graduate work. “I bleed Stanford cardinal,” Stich reports. For Stich, her work at Guild is personal. “As a first-generation college student myself, as a teacher in a low-income community and through my work in the community college space, I have come to understand that academic success is not just about aptitude or resiliency,”

she says. “I have watched many of my former students struggle to meet work demands with the demands of school, while needing to provide for their families. And many had to make a choice between the two. “Balancing work and school is hard to do alone. This is why we provide holistic coaching to our students, supporting their personal, professional and academic goals,” Stich explains. “Students can reach our coaches by phone, video chat, text and email.”

HONORING DAD’S LEGACY Her dad, Jeff Stich, operated Clayton Valley Auto Service in Concord with Brittany’s grandparents, Jerry and Nancy Stich. He was killed two years ago this month in an accident while on a sprint car racing crew. She says her dad’s spirit and generosity were larger than life. “Growing up, he paid the toll of the person behind us every single Saturday we crossed the Bay Bridge together. That’s just who my dad was. “And I think it is fitting that my dad worked with his hands, as they were the gateway to his heart. With every car he fixed, race car he crewed for and act of service he completed, his humility, work ethic and pas-

Amazon, from page 1

bid would include the Concord Reuse Project, an empty canvas that can easily have room for the required 8 million sq. ft. of building space and comes with a proposed transit village. Bjerke says it will be a challenge to land HQ2. “With the state eliminating the redevelopment agencies, it really took away a lot of our ability to offer incentives,” he said. “We do have conCONCORD FACES SOME trol over the land, but we’ll need OBSTACLES assistance from leadership in Major cities like Chicago, Sacramento to entice them to Dallas, San Diego, San Jose are come to California.” considering applying. Concord’s Amazon says the response straight to the big three in Concord’s Reuse Project: Guy Bjerke, director of community reuse planning; John Montague, who is in charge of economic development; and city manager Valerie Barone. From there, work began on the proposal. “We don’t need to call a special meeting to do our jobs,” Vice Mayor Edi Birsan noted.

they planned on transitioning this school year inside the adjacent buildings. It was determined that earthquake retrofitting was going to make that site too expensive so McChesney and crew began looking for another location. They found a nearby building that was built at a cost of $28 million for Varian, Inc. in 2009 but barely used. Former Clayton Valley High teacher and administrator McChesney says the School of Performing Arts has “our permanent site.” In spite of two

delayed start dates due to unfinished work and permit approvals, the tuition free public charter school opened Aug. 28 for 450 students in grades six through 11. The project on the new school site included subdividing the office space into about 24 classrooms, administrative offices, cafeteria, multi-use room and five large rooms that will serve as instructional and performance spaces for Black Box theatre, vocal and instrumental music rooms, dance studio and a production and design shop.

SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS Executive director Neil McChesney says you “couldn’t match a year [like 2016] for hardness” when he describes getting his brainchild, the Contra Costa School of PerformALYSSA ARINO ing Arts up and running for the 2016-17 school year. TEENSPEAK After starting its inaugural year in a gymnasium, the school I wish parents, family memeventually ended up in portable bers, teachers and strangers classrooms for its 300 students would stop telling young people in the parking lot of a Walnut to get off their phones. Creek office complex where Technology, phones particularly, have made advancements beyond belief in the past few decades. As that common saying goes, the technology in the modern smartphone is more advanced than what sent Neil Armstrong to the moon. Smartphones have also become a commodity, with 92 percent of Americans age 1829 owning one, according to the Pew Research Center. But the phones have brought blatant resentment and distaste, largely from older generations, about their frequent use by young people. Older generations preach

about how much better their childhoods were without cell phones and how they feel sad for children and teens who spend their days inside with their eyes glued to a phone. It’s not as if recent generations are no longer capable of going outside because of the irresistible pull of the internet. Despite growing up in the digital age, my childhood was not tampered by the clutches of technology. I rode my bike, played outside with friends and had sleepovers. As a teenager, I attend high school football games, go on dates, and spend time with friends and family. Just like you all did “back in the day.” And I also use my smartphone. I reconnect with a family friend I haven’t seen since I was maybe 8 or 9. I work on my AP English presentation while waiting for the rest of the class to finish an assignment in sociology. I text my aunt to see if it’s OK to visit her and my three little cousins. I Google “Why does my dog poke other dogs with her nose?” I check notifications from international news sites about what just happened somewhere in the world. I write this article. I do all of that on a phone

“The State Board also has the final say regarding the election area if the petition were to be approved to go before the voters. We recommended the entire District, as was pointed out by many, as it’s the same area that has been voting for and paying for District items and projects (including the Northgate area) for many years.” Maxwell, Fatima Alleyne and Vikki Chavez voted against the petition. Northgate High principal Michael McAlister said he first heard of the new district movement soon after he arrived at the school, “My calculation was there were going to be some faculty members in favor of this.” He told the media at the nearly nine-hour board meeting that wasn’t what he found. In fact, he says he thinks almost the entire faculty would leave in the case of a successful effort to create the new district.

Photo courtesy Stich family

Guild Education co-founder Brittany Stich and her father Jeff Stich celebrated her 2010 Stanford University graduation. The younger Stich was president of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Jeff Stich was killed in an auto racing accident in September 2015. His life has proved an inspiration for his only child. She aspires to continue her father’s legacy of service.

sion could be felt deeply.” Now his daughter is hoping she can continue her father’s legacy of service as she aims to increase economic mobility for Americans of all ages and backgrounds. can come from a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Therefore, Bjerke noted that the proposal could involve more than just Concord. “It’s in the preliminary stages now, but we have to consider what would be the best package to land Amazon in the Bay Area.” That plan could involve San Francisco and Oakland and would mean working with groups such as the Bay Area Council and East Bay Leadership Council. Lennar FivePoint, the reuse project master developer, would also be involved in putting the bid together. When asked how much time and effort would go into the proposal, due Oct. 19, Bjerke

Concord Pioneer wants to publish your school news We are using this new School News Roundup to give all of our readers news of general interest from the schools Concord children attend. We want to report on new programs and initiatives your school is undertaking; special awards, achievements and recognition your school, faculty or students earn. Include all the necessary details (too much information is better than too little!) and your contact information. Send an email to

Smartphones aren’t evil – they’re actually quite useful

that puts the world at my fingertips. Yes, I’m on my phone too much. Yes, there have been times when I’ve looked around and every person is staring at a device. And yes, life is different than it used to be. But this is the age of technology. Phones make avoiding conversation easy, but they make starting new ones even easier – whether it’s with your mom or someone thousands of miles away. They can make you ignore the beauty around you, but they can also allow you to capture and share it using the built-in cameras that are getting better every day. Smartphones have negative aspects, but they are not inherently negative. Neither is change. We are the first generation with this access to the entirety of our imaginations and more, all in the form of technology. So give us a break.

Alyssa Arino is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She is the president of the Red Cross Club on campus. This is her second year as correspondent to the Pioneer. Send your comments to

Zacapa, from page 1

holics Anonymous meeting in Pacific Palisades “with my tail between my legs.” At the meeting was an Academy Award-winning actor. “He came up to me after the meeting, gave me his phone number and said, ‘get out of your own head.’” On Oct. 27, Zacapa will celebrate four years sober. “[AA] changed my life. I’m on an amazing journey. I’m so blessed and humbled for this thriving chapter of my life.” He’s so busy now he has to choose between plum acting roles (“Madame Secretary” or “24: Legacy”). Even though he’s spent the majority of his adult life in Southern California, Zacapa is still a rabid San Francisco Giants

and Golden State Warriors fan. “I used to take the Greyhound bus by myself to Candlestick Park when I was barely a teenager.” He then rattled off the Giants 1962 World Series lineup and proudly said that he never became a Dodgers or Lakers fan. At the end of the interview, he said he had to get ready for a flight to Chicago to film more Chicago Fire episodes. But not before he told one more story. “As a kid, I thought I wanted to grow up to be a baseball player, fireman, policeman, actor or Greyhound bus driver. Now, I’ve been all those things, expect the bus driver.” When he turns 70 in a few

replied: “We’ve asked ourselves if we are just spinning our wheels for the next 30 days and the answer is no. We’re going to do the type of work we planned to do in the next 12 months to raise the profile of our (reuse) project. Whether we win the Amazon bid or not, it will be useful.”

Mich, warn that an offer to Amazon may end up being a “winner’s curse,” where the costs outweigh the benefits. Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local SelfReliance, is also skeptical. “Our analysis finds that as Amazon grows, it’s, in fact, destroying more jobs than it’s creating.” A post in the comment section of the New York Times urged Bezos not to build in the Bay Area, citing air quality and traffic congestion as major problems already. Bjerke says worries about the impact on traffic and BART travel can be alleviated. “Office space at the reuse project would be a reverse commute for many

VARIED OPINIONS ON AMAZON’S IMPACT Amazon estimates that its investments in Seattle since 2010 have added $38 billion to the city’s economy. Some experts, including Timothy J. Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo,

Aguila 1969 Clayton Valley High School yearbook

years he wants to check off “my biggest dream yet unfulfilled” by playing Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” at A.C.T. in San Francisco and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. But what about the bus driver role?

or reduced for those coming from East County. On BART, it would use underutilized reverse commute capacity.” Birsan echoes a Concord First position. “I welcome Amazon’s entry in the competition to make use of the base development. We plan on housing 28,000 people, a business-friendly environment with millions of square feet of commercial space, a world class city 5.0 project with autonomous cars, a family first community with a regional park, bike trails, BART, major highways and a regional airport,” he says. “The city looks forward to working with Amazon and others to make things happen.”

T H E ARTS Page 12

Concord Pioneer •

Play harkens back to 1940s radio shows


STAGE STRUCK Take a step back in time when radio was king as Clayton Theatre Company presents “The 1940’s Radio Hour.” I love this show, which includes songs such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Although you may be shocked to hear that I wasn’t alive when these radio hours took place, it still makes me nostalgic for the Big Band era, swing dancing and Rita Hayworth’s classic up-do. The show follows a live radio broadcast, complete with sound effects, that takes place on Dec. 21, 1942. It’s a year into the U.S. involvement in World War II, and this broad-

September 22, 2017

Jonathan Mercer

Ella Wolfe and Mike Spellman sing a duet in Clayton Theatre Company’s “1940’s Radio Hour opening oct. 19.

cast is for the troops overseas. It becomes more interesting with a harassed producer, a lead singer who drinks too much and a trumpet player who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller. “The 1940’s Radio Hour” runs Oct.19-Nov. 4 at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Director Roxanne Pardi encourages attendees on Friday nights to come “dressed in your best 1940s costume” to receive a free popcorn. To purchase tickets, go to There’s no place like home – that is if home is Kansas and you’ve just had quite an adventure in the land of Oz. Thanks to Pittsburg Community Theatre, we can all have that adventure with “The Wizard of Oz,” Oct. 6-15 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Steven Mergogey-Conti Pittsburg. Kate Henderson and Conor Steven W. Mergogey-Conti Clancy in “The Wizard of oz” in directs, with Keala Freitas as Pittsburg through oct 15.

the Shrew” on Nov. 28-29. For complete information on what to prepare and when shows run, go to Contra Costa Musical Theatre brings the 2015 Junior World Dance Champion, 14-year-old Braden King, to Walnut Creek to star in the powerful musical “Billy Elliot.” This poignant story of a northern England mining town and a young boy’s dream to dance has set record attendance since it debuted on Broadway in 2009. It will run Oct. 13-Nov. 11 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. “The unique demands of the role of Billy required us to search far outside our casting circle,” says executive producer

Wendy Wilcox. “Billy is an intense role for a young actor who not only has to have the skills of an accomplished actor and the voice of a great singer, but one who also has the dance training needed to perform this incredibly rigorous role.” King, who lives in Virginia, has performed the role in two other productions. He can appear in CCMT’s production thanks to a grant from the Diablo Regional Arts Association. For tickets, call 925-943SHOW or go to There’s still time to catch two local shows. You don’t want to miss Center Rep’s incredibly fun “Million Dollar Quartet,” about the legendary jam session of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins

and Johnny Cash. It continues through Oct. 6 at the Lesher Center. Call 925-943-SHOW or go to Also, California Shakespeare Theater ends its season with the first-ever co-production of “Measure for Measure” with Santa Cruz Shakespeare. The show runs through Oct. 8 at the beautiful Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. For tickets, call 510548-9666 or go to

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspamusical director. The cast of per columnist, theatre critic and more than 30 features Kate working actress. She is the editor of Henderson as Dorothy, Anna the Orinda News. Send comments Holler as Glinda the Good to Witch and Chelsea Bardellini doing double duty as choreographer and as the Wicked Witch. Dorothy’s traveling companions are played by Conor Clancy (Scarecrow), Pete Rapolas (Tin Man) and Louis Esposito II (Cowardly Lion). A special “No Place Like Home” matinee on Saturday, Oct. 14, encourages kids of all ages to come in costume. Drawings and opportunities to meet the cast on stage are also planned. For tickets, call 925-4271611 or go to Pittsburg Theatre also announces auditions for the rest of the season: “Shrek, the Musical Jr.” for ages 6-18 on Oct. 17-19, “Next to Normal” John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins, Trent Rowland as Elvis Presley, and Sky Seals as on Nov. 13-16 and “Taming of Johnny Cash in “Million Dollar Quartet at the Lesher through oct. 6.

Native American artist finds her path through art





Kit Thomas’s art is a magical explosion of splattered color. Using paint and collage, she tells stories of hope and strength with images of free spirited females surrounded by nature. Thomas herself is completely freeform when she creates. From colorful backgrounds to detailed accents, her work looks busy and bustling at first. But after a few moments of looking at it, all

the elements come together beautifully as one. Thomas is a Native American from the Mohawk tribe of Akwesasne and spent several years living on a reservation in upstate New York. “My childhood was pretty rough,” she says. “Making art was my escape. I loved the Sunday comics and I copied everything I saw. I thought for sure I was going to be a cartoonist when I grew up.” As a young adult, Thomas moved up and down the east coast quite a bit. Her interest in art had faded some; she was more focused on meeting new people and finding her own tribe. “I came out in college and thankfully my family was very supportive of me being gay. I had so many crazy, incredible experiences in my twenties. I was having lots of fun, but I was also struggling with my

Contributed photo

“Possibilities” by artist Kit Thomas celebrates her love of both spirited females and nature.

mental health and insecurities from my childhood,” she recalls. “I started drinking too much and that led me down a dark path for a while.”

Now in her thirties, Thomas is grateful to have made her way back to the right path as a working artist. “I’ve been sober for six years and

I’m happier and healthier than ever, in part because I use my art to deal with the darkness I went through. I’m making art, living with the love of my life in sunny California – what could be better?” she asks. “Amber and I just moved to Concord a few months ago to be closer to her children. We’re enjoying it here and we especially love all the trees and parks! Nature and the open air are huge sources of inspiration.” Before they left New York, Thomas researched what Concord had to offer with respect to the arts. “I knew San Francisco had a strong, edgy art scene, but I was super happy to find the Concord Art Association’s blog online. It was so exciting to know that this smaller town, which we were about to call home, also had something great to offer local

artists. I’ve already met lots of cool, creative people and I really love the arts vibe that’s starting to evolve here!” Recently she has been incorporating Native American references in her paintings. “I’m very proud of my indigenous heritage. Adding traditional Iroquois symbols to my paintings helps me keep my ancestry close when sometimes I feel so far away.” Thomas has art on display at the Raquel Amaral Gallery in Concord and the Mama De Luna Gallery in Crockett. Follow Kit Thomas Art on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her work.

Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, a small business marketing consultant, and president of the Concord Art Association. Visit for inspiration and information.

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September 22, 2017

Coming Sept. 25

Dr. Atul Gawande


“Helping seniors live suc in their own homes.”

author of the New York Times bestseller, Being Mortal, speaking on “The Value of Community

and Choice as We Grow Older.” FREE

Everyo . n welcom e e


Concord Pioneer •

Live webinar presented by Clayton Valley Village Program begins 1 pm, Speaker: 2 pm Clayton Community Library – Hoyer Hall

Show & Sale

Oct. 7, Sat. 10-5

First Lutheran Church 4000 Concord Blvd., Concord




ucin y y Eas a d n Su tening Lis sic 4-7pm Introd


6096 Main Street, Clayton, 673-0440 Entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Sept. 22-23 ....................................................Plan B Sept. 29-30..............................................Tone Pony Oct. 6-7 ...........................................Bollinger Station Oct. 13-14...............................................The Relyks Oct. 20-21........................................Diamond Ridge

Rotating lineup of food trucks. 5 – 9 p.m. 2151 Salvio Street.

Tuesdays, Thru Nov. 28 Active Living Every Day

New Concord Senior Center program for a healthy lifestyle. 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 2727 Parkside Circle. $22. Contact Dario Sanchez at (925) 671-3017 or register at

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers’ Market

Tues year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thurs through Oct. 26. 4 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

Antiques, collectibles, and crafts. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at Sept. 28, Jason Aldean, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Janet Jackson, 8 p.m. Oct. 8, Maxwell, 7 p.m. Oct. 12, Luke Bryan, 7 p.m. Oct. 14, Punk in Drublic, 1 p.m.

Sept. 30, Oct. 7 English Tutors Needed

Diablo Valley Literacy Council teaches volunteers how to be English tutors. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Road. $20 fee; must attend both workshops. To register, call (925) 685-3881 or email

Oct. 7 Orchid Show and Sale

Sponsored by Diablo View Orchid Society. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. First Lutheran Church, 4000 Concord Blvd. $5.

Oct. 12 Advance Health Care Directives

Legal clinic to prepare and notarize advance health care directives for seniors 60 and older in Contra Costa County. 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment (925) 671-3320.

Oct. 14 – 15 “Masquerade Ball”

Contra Costa Cake and Sugar Art Society’s annual cake show. Open to anyone interested in entering or attending. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. First Lutheran Church, 4000 Concord Blvd. $8; $14 both days.


Saturdays thru Sept. 23 Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

Sept. 25 Live Stream Event

Hike Mitchell Canyon in search of Mt Diablo’s spiders. Times vary. Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required.

Oct. 11 Bird and Nature Hike

Easy walk up the canyon. 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Oct. 15 The California Tarantula

Experience a close encounter with these fascinating and harmless spiders. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to for more information.

Oct. 22 Wright Canyon Family Walk

Hike on the east side of the mountain. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at 4390 Morgan Territory Road, Clayton. Reservations required.

Oct. 28 Thomas Home Ranch Property Tour

Learn about the fascinating history and natural resources on this 130-year-old ranch. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at 5755 Nortonville Road, Pittsburg. Reservations required.


Thru Oct. 1 “The Odd Couple (Female Version)”

Presented by Women of Words Productions. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $20-$25. (510) 881-6463.

Thru Oct. 6 “Million Dollar Quartet”

Musical of the incredible night Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had a jam session. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$72.

Sept. 22 – 23 “Dance Series 01”

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $57-$73. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 22 – 24 “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Performed by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8-$12. (925) 757-9500.

Sept. 23 Tribute to Billy Joel

Performed by Joel: The Band. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. 757-9500.

Sept. 24 “Lyrical Dreams”

Season opener for California Symphony. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$72. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 28 An Evening with Angel Anne

Scotland’s finest mediumistic export. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. 943-7469.

Oct. 6 – 15

Atul Gawande presents “The Value of Community and Choice as We Grow Older.” 1 – 4 p.m. Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. “Wizard of Oz” A delightful musical for the young and young at heart. California Free. Register at or (925) 626-0411. Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $16-$25. (925) 427-1611. Sept. 29 – Oct. 1


Sponsored by the CBCA. Music by The Internationals, biergarten, food, arts and crafts, carnival. 6 – 10 p.m. Fri., carnival only; 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sun. Downtown Clayton. Free admission.

Oct. 19 – Nov. 4 “The 1940’s Radio Hour”

Musical about a live radio broadcast from Dec. 21, 1942. Friday night, dress in 1940s costume and get a free popcorn. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. $20-$25.


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through Parking fees may apply. For additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

Sept. 24 Tarantula Tales

Meet Harry, the resident tarantula, and learn about him and his friends. 1 - 4 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Sept. 30 Round Valley Picnic Walk

Bring lunch and explore the natural beauty of this peaceful valley. 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Round Valley Staging Area.

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

Karaoke Mon. & Wed. nights Open Mic Thur. nights, 8-11 pm

Oct. 12 – 14 “Hansel and Gretel”

Presented by Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. (925) 943-7469.

Oct. 12 – 28 “Almost, Maine”

A delightful, mid-winter night’s dream. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. (925) 890-8877.

Oct. 13 “What Doo Wop is All About”

Street Corner Renaissance sings. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Oct. 13 – Nov. 11 “Billy Elliot”

An inspiring celebration of the journey of one boy who hangs up his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$65.

Oct. 15 “Romeo and Juliet”

Season opener for Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. (925) 943-7469.

Oct. 19 – 22 “Z is for … Zombie! An Improvised Zombie Apocalypse”

Presented by Synergy Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. 943-7469.

Oct. 20 “The Durst Case Scenario”

2 for the price of 1


Sept. 23, 24, 30; Oct. 7, 8 Tarantula Hikes


Live m


For Reservations – 925-626-0411 or

for info

Page 13

Beer only. Good anytime with original coupon. Exp. 10/26/17

of Trump. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $20-$30. (925) 427-1611.

Oct. 20 – Nov. 18 “The Liar”

The charming Dorante has but a single flaw: He cannot tell the truth. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $34-$56.

Oct. 21 “The Ultimate Huey Lewis Experience”

Performed by SuperHuey. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Oct. 22 “The Odd Couple (Female Version)”

Presented by The Vagabond Players. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$15. (925) 757-9500.


Oct. 20 – Nov. 5 “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

Hilarious, interactive, whodunit mystery musical. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $16-$21.


Sept. 23 Concert

Performed by bass quintet BrassFIRE. 7:30 p.m. CV Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15.


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public: Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12.

Sept. 22 – 23 Yard Sale

All proceeds benefit Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 Relief Fund. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 1121 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. To donate small items, contact Mark Steinberg at

Sept. 23 Fall Plant Sale

Benefits Clayton Valley Garden Club. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6099 Main St., Clayton; next to Farmers’ Market.

Sept. 28 “Men of Mystery”

A lively panel discussion with Bay Area mystery writers. Benefits Project Second Chance. 6 – 8 p.m. Walnut Creek Library, Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 927-3250.

Oct. 7 Two-Bit Auction and Western BBQ Dinner

Benefits Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista. 5:30 p.m. Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. $50 by Sept. 29. (925) 963-6151.

Oct. 22 4th Annual Sunday Supper and Silent Auction

Benefits Clayton Valley Village. 5 - 9 p.m. La Veranda, 6201 Center St., Clayton. Reserve by Oct. 18; $45.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. Sept. 22 – 24: Book Sale Sept. 25: The Magic of Timothy James, 7 p.m. Sept. 26: Teens Make n’ Take Station, 4 p.m. Sept. 26, Oct. 24: How to Use eBooks. Registration req. Oct. 2: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. Oct. 5: Origami, 4 p.m. Oct. 10: Art Association Meeting and Demo, 1 p.m. Oct. 16: STEAM, 7 p.m. The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Sept. 25, Oct. 2: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Sept. 26 – Oct. 26: Guess the Weight of the Library Pumpkin Oct. 1 – Nov. 6: Clayton Reads, “Art of Racing in the Rain” Oct. 9: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Oct. 13 – 15: Book Sale Oct. 22: Speaking for Ourselves: A Panel of Your Muslim Neighbors, 2 p.m. Oct. 26: Crafts: Make a Race Car, 4 p.m.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

7 p.m. Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Hilarious exploration of how America is changing during the Time Dr.

Page 14

SUnny SoLoMon


It’s not often I find a book with as many laughs as tears, but Alex George has done it again with “Setting Free the Kites.” Other reviewers have called the novel a coming-of-age story about Robert Carter, whom we

Concord Pioneer •

September 22, 2017

‘Kite’ becomes a metaphor for life – and death meet on his first day of junior high. He is being viciously bullied by a boy who has tormented him for all his elementary school years. Suddenly the new boy in school, Nathan Tilly, steps in to rescue him. Nothing particularly new here, you might say. The author, however, has included adults in the coming-of-age genre not just as parents of the young teens, but as adults who are also coming of age. If we are lucky, maturity has no finish line. The setting is Haverford, Maine, a coastal city nearly dependent on its summer tourist

business since the closure of the paper mill. The year is 1976. A sub-setting is the Carter family business, a seasonal amusement park started by Robert’s grandfather and now operated by his father. Mary and Sam Carter have two sons, Robert and Liam. Liam, 17 when the story opens, is wheelchair bound by Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Liam’s path to his eventual death is traveled separately by each member of his family. As Robert and Nathan’s friendship grows, Nathan will walk it as well. Nathan and his parents have recently moved from Texas and

live outside Haverford, within sight of the ocean. His mother spends lonely hours on the beach and at home at her typewriter as his father takes an old boat out fishing. He also builds and flies kites. The boys’ friendship grows quickly enough that when Mr. Tilly falls to his death while flying a kite from the roof of his house, the reader understands that more than death will draw them together. “Setting Free the Kites” is the story of Robert and Nathan and their life-changing friendship; the anticipation (and denial) of Liam’s approaching

death by Robert and his parents; and the passing landmarks of a seaside town and how those landmarks can both challenge and seduce the youth who only want to leave town after they’ve finished school. George’s storytelling stands out in its ability to tenderly present life’s harsh realities. The enormous emotional chasm created by the death of a child, spouse or friend, and its effect on all those connected to those deaths, has seldom been written with such heartbreaking truth. The strengths and weaknesses exhibited by all the characters remind us that loss can also be

Taylor Sheridan’s career is on a serious upswing. Once known only as bothersome Deputy Hale on “Sons of Anarchy,” Sheridan has moved off-camera to write “Sicario,” last year’s masterpiece “Hell or High Water” and now “Wind River.” This time, he took on the added responsibility of directing. As a first-time director, his inexperience shows through occasionally. However, his knack for whip-smart dialogue and his ability to capture remote locales shine brightly. The opening scene of “Wind River” is of a teenage girl running barefoot through the snow, finally collapsing. It is clear something awful happened, and sharpshooting game warden Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) knows it when

he finds the body. He also knows this will be a tough case to solve. Each time Sheridan pulls back a layer of the mystery, the knot in your stomach tightens. He is adept at writing tension into a scene with very little action. Because the death happened on an Indian reservation, the FBI must be called in. They send Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen). When we meet her, she is woefully underdressed for the weather. Within the first five minutes of screen time, she makes several professional and social gaffes. She is in way over her head, and Olsen plays it almost too well. As Banner settles in, Olsen’s performance is not as noticeable. Still, I wonder why they didn’t choose a more experienced actress or make her a veteran FBI agent. Perhaps Banner’s mistakes were

necessary to the plot. Or maybe in a bit of social commentary, sending an underprepared agent speaks volumes about what the government thinks of an isolated Wyoming Indian reservation. Less likely is that Sheridan simply wanted to reunite Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye of the Avengers. The lengthy, superb conversations that were so prevalent in “Hell or High Water” and to a lesser extent in “Sicario” are missing here. When people do talk in “Wind River,” it’s mostly fascinating dialogue – although the bulk is about death. Because the pace is faster, the subject matter is darker and there is (literally) more ground to cover, there just is no time for the kind of banter found in “Hell or High Water.” Both the occupants and the Wind River Reservation itself are far removed from society. Films featuring Native Ameri-

s y u G d a B The While engaging, ‘Wind River’ u o y are on to could have been so much more

another word for growth. American music is important in this novel – just as it is in George’s first novel, “A Good American.” George has a unique talent for capturing the life of boys and men in ways I have not read before, and yet the women in his two novels are pivotal. “Setting Free the Kites” is both the title of the book and, ultimately, powerful words by which to live. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’



cans are scarce. Sheridan had a great opportunity, so it is disappointing that both of his leads are white. Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham and the other Native Americans in the film are tremendous. Yet they exist mainly to deal with, or outwardly demonstrate, loss. Birmingham gives a devastating performance as the father of the missing girl. The crux of Sheridan’s films are the tense, heart-pounding confrontations. By the time of the climax – and the interjected, explanatory flashback – Sheridan has brought everything to a boil, even in the subzero snow. Sometimes his confrontations

See Screen Shots, pg 15

Fall is right time to enjoy the ‘divine’ persimmon DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Known as the “divine food” in Japan because of its sweetness, the persimmon is an orange to orange-red fruit about the size of an apple with four large, papery leaves at the crown. The persimmon is one of the sweetest of all fruits when ripe. Although there are hundreds of varieties, only two principal types are seen at the farmers market: the Hachiya and the Fuyu. The Hachiya, which is incredibly sweet when ripe, is full of mouth-puckering tannic acid. It is a beautiful fruit about the size of a medium peach. It’s acorn-shaped with a shiny, bright orange skin and pale green papery leafy cap. The fruit is great for baking or cooking. The Fuyu, a newer variety, has had the tannic acid bred out – giving it a sweeter taste. Now representing almost 80 percent of the persimmon market, the Fuyus are squatter and rounder. The yelloworange fruit is not as brilliant as the Hachiya. Eat it like you would an apple. Persimmons have a thin, smooth, delicate skin that bruises easily if not handled with care. California persimmons are available September to November, with the bulk of them harvested in October. Pick up some great persimmons from Diaz Farms of Fowler, First Generation Farms from Brentwood, J&J Ramos Farms out of Hughson and CMC Farms from Fresno.

Ripe persimmons are the sweetest of fruits, bite into one that’s still green and get ready to pucker.

At the farmers market, you’ll get the freshest available while supporting local farmers. Here are some ideas for persimmons: Salsa: Chop Fuyu persimmons into chunks. Toss with minced jalapeño, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice. Muffins or cookies: Mix mashed Hachiya persimmon pulp into your favorite basic cookie recipe. Salads: Chop Fuyu persimmons and add to a plate filled with mixed greens, walnuts, cooked green beans and a tangy vinaigrette. Rice: Chop Fuyu persimmons into quinoa or rice for an easy side dish that’s great with pork or chicken. BAKED PERSIMMONS Serves 4 4 Fuyu persimmons

2 T. honey ½ tsp. pumpkin spice mixture 1 c. hot water

Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off persimmons. Peel and slice in half horizontally. Place cut side up in large baking dish. In a small bowl, combine honey and spices. Add hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour mixture over fruit. Cover dish with foil and bake until persimmons are soft, 40-50 minutes. Remove foil and spoon syrup over fruit. Place dish under broiler until persimmons are browned, about 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream or on top a slice of angel food cake. Recipe: PCFMA staff. The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & Thursdays. See ad pg. 15 for hours.

September 22, 2017


Concord Pioneer •

Page 15

Help your pet to avoid a back-to-school meltdown



Back-to-school schedules can disrupt a household for everyone, including pets who don’t understand why their routines changed or their oncebusy house is suddenly empty. Whether your pet is dealing with someone leaving for college (pets can be empty-nesters too) or simply more alone time during the day, practice patience and understanding to help them adjust. Pets express signs of anxiety in many ways, including increased vocalization, barking or whining. Cats and some dogs may engage in excessive grooming – often to the point of bald spots. Others may venture into destructive behaviors, such as improper bathroom

habits, uncharacteristic chewing or shredding items to communicate displeasure. Your quickest path to correcting this behavior is understanding. Punishment is counterproductive. To a pet, an exit routine is a promise that you’ll return. If you or your children leave the house at the same time each day, include your pet in this routine. Offering a treat or going on a walk every day before you depart helps them recognize consistent patterns. Make it fun, but don’t create an emotional scene. You can increase anxiety if your pet feels your own discomfort or guilt. If a pet’s behavior has elevated to a level harmful to themselves or your home, consider creating a “safe space” that they enter when you’re gone. This should not be a

gloomy laundry room but rather an area with plenty of light and space to move around. Include things they enjoy, such as toys that only come out when you’re gone. Many pets also find comfort in voices from radio or television. If a permanent or semipermanent absence causes pet stress, give your dog or cat reminders of the person they miss. You won’t believe the power of a little dirty laundry. Your pet often gains comfort from simply recognizing the presence of the missing person’s scent. If your pet still shows signs of stress after engaging in some of these tips, call in assistance from your vet. After an examination for any unknown sources of physical stress, a vet can determine if your pet would benefit from anti-anxiety medication. They may also

provide additional strategies for coping with the specific factors causing your pet to be on edge. Start the school year right, by assisting everyone with the change. And, if you’re looking to expand your own “class size,” the Animal Rescue Foundation has lots of adorable adoptables waiting for a new loving home and new routine. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 2561ARF (1273)

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Bromo and Beauty are ARF stars Day


Oct. 7, 2018 – Oct. 14, 2018

Interior from Ocean View from Balcony from Mini Suite from BROMO

One-year-old Bromo is a stunning looking boy. Action should be his middle name. He can be very protective of things as he’s very fond of toys and food, so an experienced owner would be best. Bromo is happy and playful with a great personality to match. The adoption fee for puppies <6 months is $275, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class.


One-year-old Beauty is a lovely “house panther”, very elegant and athletic. She is also a good momma! Having raised her babies (and her niece, Callie!) she is now ready for a quiet, loving home where she can blossom! The adoption fee for kittens <6 months $125 and for adult cats is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell

Screen Shots, from pg 14

simmer down, sometimes they explode; it’s the not knowing that makes them all the more stressful. “Wind River” is not for

everybody. However, those who enjoy seeing a rising star in the filmmaking ranks show off his skills will be thoroughly captivated. B+

Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call (925) 2561ARF.

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

999 1199 1,399 1,799

Oct 7 Oct 8 Oct 9 Oct 10 Oct 11 Oct 12 Oct 13 Oct 14


SFO At Sea Astoria, OR Seattle, WA Vancouver, BC Victoria, BC At Sea SFO


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Princess Cruise’s 3 for Free Promotion ends November 7, 2017. EVERYONE in a stateroom enjoys: FREE stateroom location up-grade, FREE gratuities (valued at up to $15.50 per guest, per day) FREE onboard spending money (valued at up to $150 per guest, for ALL guests). EVERYONE can enjoy all three on select cruises and criusetours sailing Summer 2018—Spring 2019. For more information please contact

Ph: 925.672.9840 CST #2033054-40

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Clayton Station Shopping Center, 5439 Clayton Road (Suite F), Clayton

* Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories may vary. Fares are per guest, non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two guests in a state-room. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth-berth guests. This offer has limited space regardless of cabin availability and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past guest offers, including Air discounts. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional. Fares quoted in USD.

Page 16

Concord Pioneer •

September 22, 2017

Program helps cancer patients look and feel better Sponsored Content

By Tiffany Svahn

As a breast cancer specialist, I believe it is important to be aware of local and national organizations that can benefit my patients. One of the largest non-

profit organizations for cancer survivors is the American Cancer Society. They have several programs available to help patients all over the country, including a free group session for woman going through cancer treatment. Many of my patients have attended this session, where a licensed cosmetologist offers beauty techniques that help improve their self-image. Patients going through treatment can experience side effects such as dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss and changes in skin coloring. For nearly 30 years, Look Good Feel Better has provided makeup, tools and lessons to women undergoing cancer treatment. The cosmetologist helps women


learn to style scarves, turbans and wigs. Women also receive a personalized makeup bag with tools to help combat the most common side effects. Attendees have an opportunity to share their personal struggles and learn that others are experiencing similar issues. The Look Good Feel Better session can lift spirits and brighten outlooks – helping patients stay psychologically fit. The next Look Good Feel Better class is 10 a.m.-noon on Monday, Oct. 23, at 400 Taylor Blvd., Suite 300, Pleasant Hill. It is open to all cancer patients. Register at 1-800395-5665. My approach to patient care involves treating the



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aspects of wellness. With this commitment in mind, we planned this year’s Many Faces of Breast Cancer event to include updates on the latest treatments for breast cancer, plus oncology nutrition, menopausal issues and solutions. The event will be 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 28,

at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. To register, call 925-677-5041, ext. 260.

Dr. Svahn is a board certified medical oncologist with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group.

Biking to school is good warm-up for the whole day


Your work is our sponsor

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whole person. I find it important to address not only my patients’ medical needs, but their emotional and psychological ones as well. In addition to focusing on treatment of the disease, I urge patients to lead a healthy life and I am committed to helping individuals learn about the different

With fall bringing cooler temperatures, it’s a great time to bike to and from school. Our two kids go elementary school about a 30-minute ride from our home in Concord, along the Iron Horse and Contra Costa Canal trails. Our first ride to school was on Bike to School/Work day in May. As we cruised into the driveway after riding home, the kids asked, “Can we do that again tomorrow?” We ended up biking to school for the rest of the school year. On the last day, we do our celebratory bike ride – ringing our bells down the

trails and chanting, “School’s Out!” and, “When I say, Summer, you say, fun! Summer! FUN! Summer! FUN!” When the kids asked us if we were going to be biking to school again, we said: “Of course.” There are so many reasons to ride instead of drive. Exercise is a great way to wake up. No more sleepy kids snoozing on the way to school and yawning as they climb out of the car. As soon as we start pedaling down the street, we are all warming up for our day. Movement wakes up your mind, keeps your body strong, and decreases stress and anxiety. When we arrive on campus, the kids feel accomplished and ready to start the day. Any extra kid-energy gets burned up, so they can sit and focus in that first class. The parents get twice the exercise – biking to school and riding home, then biking to school to pick them up and home again. We start to feel healthier, stronger and less stressed too. Biking is a great way to

avoid morning commute traffic. We ride past the crush of drop-off traffic, heading straight to the bike racks. Biking to school means one less car on the road, improving air quality. Plus there are more happy riders watching the sun rise and the day awaken. As we ride, we talk about what we see, encourage and support each other, or we ride quietly and contemplate the day ahead. We love riding together, and the experience makes us feel more connected as a family. Visit Bike Concord’s blog at for a post about riding with little kids on cargo bikes. You can also sign up to receive alerts for new blog posts.

Maryam Roberts is a member of Bike Concord, a volunteer organization of residents working for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling in our community. Find out more at

Strategies for buying a new computer WILL CLAnEy


Today, there are several devices that act as a “computer” under the general definition of the term. There are so many computers in the world that the general definition isn’t specific enough to help you make a buying decision. According to Wikipedia, “A computer is a general-purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Since a sequence of operations can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem.” Seems simple enough. A slide-rule, abacus and adding machine are all computers, however, not the ones that come to mind in the 21st century. Now we see tablets, smartphones and laptops all touted to be computers. Well, they are, but so were WWII math Rosies – the women recruited in a secret U.S. military program to work as “computers,” calculating weapons trajectories. While the Rosies were great at calculating trajectories for weapons, a person buying a computer today expects certain abilities, performance and flexibilities. For those disappointed when they find out the device they just purchased is as specialized as a round slide-rule, I have some advice. First, and foremost, the computer needs a brain and that’s an Intel CPU. If you want half a brain, get the AMD variety. Second, it needs memory –

at least 4 gigabytes. Four GB is enough for the average user, but nowhere near enough for a business user and not even a starter for a server. Third, it needs long-term storage for documents, files, photos, music, games, correspondence, email, etc. No, not a “banker’s box” but an average hard drive or solid state drive. To claim that a product is a “computer” with 32GB of main storage is a bad joke. For example, let’s say I have 10 filing cabinets full of data. You offer me two banker boxes for storage. Well, it’s just not enough. The minimum for an average user is 250-500GB. The 250GB is good if it’s a solid state drive (SSD) and 500 if it’s a hard disk drive (HDD). Please quit buying Seagate drives. They fail, fail, fail. Ask the salesperson what’s inside the box. If they mumble or give the old shuck and jive, walk away. Better yet, ask them to open it and show you. Fourth, you need an operating system that accepts programs and apps, like Windows, Linux, UNIX or Apple OS. Get something real, not some goofynamed piece of wannabe software like Cupcake. Lastly, consider if the computer you’re considering purchasing can be upgraded. Major manufacturers save $2 if they don’t put in expansion slots for upgrades. If they sell a million computers, the suit who suggested eliminating the expansion slot gets a big fat bonus. It’s important if you consider what your time is worth. Buy the wrong device and you’ll have to do it over. I like Jack Bergman’s saw: “There’s never time to do it

The Chromebook 32GB fails review for computers costing less than $200.

The Thinkpad PnG earns a minimum standard review for those less than $400.

The Lenovo Better i3 PnG gets an average review for computers less than $600.

right, but always (enough) time to do it over.” Besides, doing it right actually saves time and money. Now, go buy a real computer.

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

Breezy ornamental grass a landscape charmer September 22, 2017



This time of year, landscapes surrender themselves to the swaying plums of ornamental grasses. Unlike with flowering shrubs, the slightest breeze brings an ornamental grass to life. These grasses can be seen throughout the city, providing texture, movement and grace. Installing ornamental grasses to a landscape, hillside or container will add interest to the overall look. Red Fountain grass may be the most popular ornamental

Concord Pioneer •

grass installation for the area. Folks adore the reddish-brown foliage and rose-colored plumes. Pennisetum Setaceum ‘Rubrum’ is the botanical name for this fountain-like variety. At maturity, Red Fountain will reach 5 feet tall and wide. Red Fountain goes dormant during the winter, with blades becoming brown and dry, so consider that when installing. Pennisetum has another family member worth mentioning: Pennisetum ‘Hameln.’ This dwarf fountain grass has green blades and blonde plumes. Use it along a border, to accent boulders or as a mass planting. Mexican Feather grass is a super-trendy ornamental grass with a silky, thread-like texture. It provides tons of movement in the landscape. Many use Mexican Feather grass to highlight walkways, a dry riverbed, oversized boulders or retaining walls. Stipa tenuissima is the botanical name for Mexican Feather grass. Expect clumps to grow

almost 2 feet tall and 12-18 inches wide. Mexican Feather grass is invasive and will readily seed throughout the garden, so use caution. Karl Foerster Calamagrostis is commonly called Feather Reed grass. This selection makes an awesome hedge or screen, reaching 6 feet tall in bloom. The purplish plumes pair nicely with the deep green foliage. This ornamental grass is both deerand drought-tolerant. Karl Foerster grows from the center out and will need to be divided every few years to prevent the hole-inMexican Feather Grass

the-doughnut effect. The results are worth the extra work. Blue Fescue and several selections of Carex grass have become quite the rage as many homeowners remove lawns and opt for water-wise plants. Blue Fescue is a predictable ornamental grass. Depending on the selection, expect growth of 8-16 inches tall and wide. The color of the foliage is what sells Blue Fescue. The bluer the better. Look for selections such as Beyond Blue, which is metallic blue, or Elijah’s Blue, which is a true blue.

Page 17

Carex creates a waterfall mature sizes of your consideraeffect in the landscape and is tions to ensure you are happy available in green, variegated, with the results. bronze and orange. Nicole is the Garden Girl at Ornamental grasses incorpo- R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. rated in a landscape add interest You can contact her with questions or and texture. They are readily comments by email at available, drought-tolerant and easy to grow. Read up on the

Outdoor Living Begins Here R&M is the place for: • Sales, repairs & supplies of all pool equipment

• Premium potting soils & conditioners, decorative bark & mulch. • Benches, birdbaths & statuary

We’re living longer, make that time count For the first time in history, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 worldwide by 2020. According to the World Health Organization, this same population is expected to total 2 billion in 2050 – up from 900 million in 2015. There are 125 million people aged 80 and over today. By 2050, there will be almost that many people aged 80 and above in China alone and 434 million in this age group worldwide. Eighty percent of all elderly people will be living in low-income and middleincome countries. The increase in longevity, especially in high-income countries, has been largely due to the decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease (stroke and ischaemic heart disease) mainly because of simple, cost-effective strategies such as



reducing tobacco use and salt intake. The medical community is a vital tool to avail ourselves of when we’re met with ailments beyond our ken, but plan on putting the emphasis on disease prevention instead of disease treatment by eating healthier and exercising more. The responsibility for improving quality of life for the world’s older individual

goes far beyond the health sector. Strategies are needed to better prevent and manage chronic conditions by extending affordable health care to all older adults and emphasizing early detection. Perhaps policies can be put into effect that would encourage seniors to remain part of the workforce longer, so they might continue to feel like essential members of the human race. We must think about the benefits that a healthier, happier and more productive older citizenry can bring to society as a whole. Most importantly, we must make ourselves accountable for how we treat our own bodies. I know how difficult it is to wake up stiff with pain so severe it brings tears to your eyes, but we must choose to get up, get moving and stay moving during the day. Join other seniors in activities in

Todos Santos Plaza part of Concord’s lasting legacy

your own town. The Concord Senior Club and Concord Senior Center have a plethora of affordable diversions to keep you busy and engaged. Don’t give up on life. Statistics indicate we’re living longer, so let’s do it with style. Christine Kogut is a marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club. She has lived in the area for 40 years and formerly worked for the Contra Costa Times. To find out more about the Concord Senior Center, call (925) 6713320 or see the city’s website at


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Pool, Patio, Gifts & Gardens


Family owned and operated since 1983

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6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton

• 2562 Walnut Blvd. #79, Walnut Creek


2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, approx. 889 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat


• 784 Barton Way, Benicia 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1900 sq. ft.


• 440 Powell Dr., Bay Point


Listing agent: Rula Masannat



Todos Santos Plaza was created in 1868, when the town was laid out. Twenty acres were divided into 19 plots with a plaza in the center, wagon wheel style. Eucalyptus trees were planted and grew quickly to provide shade around the plaza. John J. Burke, former justice of the peace, obtained two large cannons from the old battleship U.S.S. Independence in 1903, but they mysteriously disappeared in the 1940s. In 1912, the Native Daughters of the Golden West donated a bandstand for Sunday music concerts in the plaza. The concerts evolved into the Concord Walnut Festival, which morphed into the Pow Wows. The Carnegie Library was added to the plaza in 1917. The plaza was well-loved and many residents strolled in it back in the day. The eucalyptus trees were lovely. However, they suffered

• Extensive droughttolerant plant selections including succulents

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1426 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

Men gather near the eucalyptus trees at Todos Santos Plaza in this photo circa 1890s.

from old age and had to be cut down in 1931. The community came together and raised money to build one of the largest pergolas in the world – 800 feet long. In the 1940s, the Native Daughters and the Mt. Diablo Women’s Club planted wisteria on the pergola around the path. The wisteria climbed the pergola and blossomed splendidly. For many years, a Wisteria Festival was held in the plaza. The plaza underwent extensive remodeling in the 1950s. The pergola, wisteria, library and bandstand were removed. It took until 1961 to install benches and picnic tables, new trees and raised flower beds. The Downtown Property

Owners Association (now the Todos Santos Business Association) launched a beautification program to revitalize the plaza. Betty Beede suggested that the plaza be officially called Todos Santos Plaza, commemorating Concord’s original name. The City Council adopted her suggestion. Now when you go to the plaza, especially for Music in the Park on Thursday nights, you can truly appreciate its history, beauty and the joy it brings to the community.

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

• 230 Riverside Pl., Bay Point $395,000 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, approx. 1528 sq. ft.


• 5463 Preston Ct., Concord

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 2049 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker Associate

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765 Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)


Sales Agent 415-310-2905

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

September 22, 2017

Make home’s entrance inviting and functional



Your home entry is where you hang your coat and take off your shoes. It’s a convenient spot to throw down your work bag and put your keys in the bowl on a console table. A home entry can sometimes feel as busy as an airline terminal – with people and pets coming and going, food and coffee passing in and out, and backpacks, work bags, suitcases and strollers scuffing the floor.

With all this action, entries must be functional. They must contain specialty storage pieces to keep you organized, solid flooring to withstand the elements and good lighting to ensure your steps are safe and sound. The entry must also be utterly chic and fabulous and, of course, welcoming. Whether you have a dedicated coat closet or space for a cabinet, armoire or table, it’s nice to have a place to store things you need on your way out the door – the dog leash, reusable grocery bags or loose change for parking meters. Entries come in all shapes and sizes. So while it might be nice to have a generously sized armoire that contains all of your belongings, it just might not fit.

Consider a bench that works as both a place to sit and a place to store baskets underneath. Or perhaps the bench has built-in storage. Or you could opt for a narrow console table or narrow Tansu that has just enough space for a few decorative items and a place to leave your keys. If you have a dedicated closet, be thoughtful about how much space you really need for hanging items. Instead of simply going with the standard hanging closet rod and a single shelf, think about what might be a better solution for your storage needs. Consider a series of shelves, cubbies or drawers using various retail or customdesigned closet solutions. If you want inspiration or need to see your idea in color,

Well lit with plenty of storage, this entry way is both welcoming and functional.

check online sources or interior design magazines. Your design idea is probably somewhere, pinned on a virtual board. Entry flooring should be

durable. Porcelain tile, natural stone and hardwood are hardworking surfaces that will handle the outdoor elements with typical care and maintenance. A dec-

Looking your age brings its own sense of style

If you’re a mature man (over 50), here are some fashion basics to consider. You might work in a place that has some dress requirements. But unless those rules include a paper hat, you’ll likely need to make some of your own decisions. It’s important to emphasize a basic principle of style for the mature man: It’s a million times better to be overdressed than underdressed. A younger man can get away with jeans and sockless topsiders in business casual settings, but mature men should err on the side of proper. Opt for classic, flat-front chinos and good-looking shoes. And wear socks. Trust me, my fine-vintage friends – you need to wear socks. I love Cole Hahn shoes for men. They’re sleek, stylish and match everything. They’re also amazingly comfortable, which

on the mature man, a casual look can easily become a sloppy look. Even when choosing jeans and a sweater, aim for a well put-together look.

makes them an excellent choice for work shoes that don’t make people think that you’ve given up on looking good. Aging doesn’t mean losing style, but it does mean making clear decisions about how you want to look. Mature men are best off choosing one general

look and sticking to it. For example, if you feel good in a blazer and jeans, don’t ditch the look just because you’re getting a little older. But by all means, adapt it to fit your touch of gray. Fitted, slim jeans in colors other than blue will always look sharp with a tailored blazer.

Avoid saggy, “full cut” slacks and skinny jeans. Select a solid-color, buttondown shirt. If you’re in the mood, a subtle patterned tie is always appropriate to pull your look together. Here are some questionable style choices for mature men:

Nancy E. Bennett

Recently SOLD by Nancy Bennett

4416 Indigo Ct.

Listed at $754k and sold for $56k over in 6 days

1371 Water Lily Ct.

Listed at $720k and sold for $32k over in 6 days

Skinny jeans: Even if you’re skinny, avoid them. Older men just look silly wearing these things. Logo/graphic T-shirts: After age 50, anything emblazoned across your chest looks desperate – especially “funny” Threadless designs. Hoodies: Bad for Bill Belichick, bad for you all. Long hair: If you’re losing your hair, any style that’s more than a half inch long is a big no. A ponytail: Anything that ties in the back should not even be an option. Unless you own a yacht. Overalls: Don’t. Even if you’re a farmer. Blue jeans and running shoes: This is my personal pet peeve. If you’re going running, wear sweats. If you’re going to work, wear grown-up shoes. Never wear white running shoes unless you’re running. And even

orative area rug not only catches dirt on the way in, but adds texture and color. If you have a naturally loud space, a rug may help with acoustics. Your entry also needs to be well-illuminated. It makes sense to have good exterior lighting on the garage, front walk and porch. Once inside, think about a decorative chandelier or pendant, a decorative lamp on a cabinet or table for ambient lighting or a series of recessed cans. Consider layering functional and decorative fixtures for a sparkly, welcoming look.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at



then, consider black or dark gray Nikes. The most important thing about style for men past 50 is quality and neatness. It’s best to buy a few high-quality items and pair them in a variety of ways. It’s always possible to find ways to look better – if you think about it and, more importantly, care about it.

Sappington is a personal wardrobe stylist for J.Hilburn, clothier for men. She will be showing winter collections for men and women Sept. 15-24. For more information, visit

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SEP 22 Concord Pioneer 2017  

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