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B USINESS

September 23, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Mels, Clarion making Concord better

MARILYN FOWLER

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

This month, the chamber welcomed new members to the community and also celebrated as renovations were completed at other businesses. Original Mels Diner opened on Sept. 7 on Treat

Boulevard. This chain of restaurants has been in existence since 1947, when Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs opened their first “carhop” in San Francisco. By 1967, the Mels chain grew to more than 40 locations across Northern California and Nevada. Notoriety came in 1972, when George Lucas filmed the classic “American Graffiti” at the Original Mels in San Francisco. This movie renewed the public’s interest in ’50s diners. After some difficult years and the sale of Mels for real estate value, the Original Mels was resurrected in Stockton by 1994 and they started the long road to reclaim their glory days. The restaurant was featured in the TV show “Alice,”

CONCORD CLARION HOTEL cuts the ribbon on their newly renovated ballroom. upgrades begin soon on the restaurant.

their children.” Although Torlakson uses BART daily to commute to Oakland and was frustrated by the BART strike, she remains a strong supporter of the labor movement. Grayson agrees that employees have a right for their voices to be heard. However, both candidates advocate a strike only as a last resort.

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Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 CHAMBER MEMBERS AND CITY OFFICIALS CUT THE RIBBON with the ribbon on the new Original Mels. The restaurant opened in the old CoCo’s location on Treat Blv. near Clayton Rd.

and it is a feature at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. We are glad to welcome Mels to Concord. Check out the restaurant at 4391 Treat Blvd. and relive that feel-good ’50s era. Meanwhile, the Concord Clarion Hotel is working on a multi-year renovation. They began renovations in 2015 with an upgrade to the pool. They have also renovated the boardroom and just completed ballroom renovations. The gorgeous new ballroom has room for 330 people using round tables or 500 people theater-style. The ballroom can also be sectioned off into smaller spaces for events or

A LOOK AT BALLOT MEASURES Here are the candidates’ opinions on some other state • ballot measures: • Prop. 51, brings $9 billion in bonds for education and schools. Both support, but Grayson’s approval is based on the ability to negotiate and seek a lower interest rate. “As

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KEEPING CITIZENS SAFE For Grayson, public safety is of the utmost importance. “In my role as police chaplain, I serve first responders and crime victims in our community every day,” he reports. “As co-founder of the Family Justice Center, I have served victims of domestic violence, senior abuse and human trafficking. And as a member of the state Assembly, I will continue to ensure victims in • the community have a voice.” Torlakson also touts public safety as a top priority. “I will be an active leader in promoting new gun control laws, as well as enforcing existing gun control laws,” she says. “As an active member of a Neighborhood Watch group and a former neighborhood block captain, I will continue to work closely with law enforcement to make our streets, parks and neighbor- • hoods safe.”

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Assembly, from page 5

PROPONENTS OF LOCAL MEASURE X On a local level, both support Contra County County’s Measure X tax to fund transportation improvements. “Measure X provides a diversified transportation plan that will reduce traffic congestion and improve highway safety,” Torlakson reports. “It further helps relieve traffic congestion by increasing ridership on public transportation as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle through biking and walking to local destinations.” “Measure X positions the county to leverage state and federal transportation dollars to benefit its residents in an unprecedented way,” says Grayson, adding that it’s crucial that “residents are informed as to where every dollar is spent.” The two Democrats also support raising the minimum wage. “Too many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet on low incomes,” Grayson says. “I am strongly in favor of raising the minimum wage, and I believe this can be done in a way that won’t put small businesses that are the engine of economic growth in danger.” Torlakson sees the income and wealth gap as one of the most pressing issues for the state. “This increase will help many families have decent housing and funds to help send their children to college and trade schools,” she says. “Raising the minimum wage will especially help women and mothers have more stable futures for themselves and

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mayor of Concord, I sought to refinance bonds at a much lower interest rate, with a faster repayment,” he says. Torlakson notes that the measure will not raise taxes, but rather directs the Legislature to make investments. “Our students deserve classrooms that are conducive to learning and have internet connections,” she says. “This is an opportunity to get state funding to match the dollars approved by local school districts and communities. Prop. 53, requires voter approval for revenue bonds above $2 billion: Both oppose. “I am concerned that this measure will result in expensive and time-consuming statewide ballot measures that could reduce local communities’ ability to lead,” Grayson says. “This would limit the state and local government’s abilities to address infrastructure needs,” Torlakson says. Prop. 55, an extension of the Prop. 30 income tax increase initiative. Torlakson supports, saying the proposition raises the revenue necessary to ensure that students get the world-class education they deserve. Grayson understands the need for temporary revenue measures, but wants the Legislature to be committed to revising the state’s antiquated tax code. Prop. 56, increases cigarette tax to $2 a pack with equivalent increases on other tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Both support. Prop. 57, increases parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allows judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court. Torlakson supports, but Grayson is

business meetings. The Clarion is looking to start renovating the restaurant. In 2017, they will start renovating the guest rooms, with a completion date in 2018. The Concord Clarion recently hosted an open house with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to unveil the completion of the ballroom. The Concord Chamber also held a ribbon cutting last week. The Concord Clarion is at 1050 Burnett Ave.

For more information on becoming a member of the Concord Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.concordchamber.com or call (925) 685-1181.

against – based on “his years of service in and support for public safety.” Prop. 58, allows non-English languages to be used in public educational instruction. Both support. “As an English learner myself, I know how important learning the English language is for students,” says Torlakson, who adds: “But I also know that bilingualism has helped me and my children succeed in our careers.” Grayson notes that California is a diverse state in a diverse world. “We should not limit ourselves or future generations. Instead, we should ensure that our students have the privilege of studying foreign languages,” he says. Prop. 59, an advisory measure regarding overturning the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Both support. Prop. 61, supports regulating drug prices by requiring state agencies to pay the same prices that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs. Both Grayson and Torlakson will vote yes. “I believe we need greater leverage to ensure the high costs of medical treatment are reduced,” Grayson said. Prop. 63, requires background checks on certain individuals before ammunition purchases and bans large-capacity ammunition magazines. Both support. Prop. 64, legalizes recreational marijuana and hemp; establishes certain sales and cultivation taxes. Torlakson votes yes, with reservations, while Grayson supports medicinal but not recreational use. Prop. 67, upholds contested legislation banning plastic bags. Both support.

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Geraghty, Colleen – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-0321

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The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Pet Supplies

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Rochellez Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-677-4170 Real Estate and Mortgage Services

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Oakmont of Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .521-8423 Services, Other

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SEP 23 Concord Pioneer 2016  
SEP 23 Concord Pioneer 2016