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Delivered to Over 40,000 Homes and Businesses


of contra costa



Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano

Meals on Wheels

of Contra Costa

Catholic Charities OF THE EAST BAY


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• Season of 5 • New PH 8 • PH Rec & Park News................................... page 10 • Butternut Squash Bisque............................. page 13

• CP Winter Sports Schedule......................pages 16-17 • Alhambra HS 20 • PH & Mtz Winter Festivities........................... page 21 • Community Calendar...................................... page 30

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December 2012


Pre-Trip Safety Check of Tires, Alignment, Brakes, Struts/Shocks, Battery, Tire Air Pressure


3800 Alhambra • (925)370-6382 Kao Drozd, Assistant Manager

Dwayne Glemser, Manager



Business Person Of The Year Pleasant Hill

December 2012

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emnant Flooring services the greater San Francisco Bay area and specializes in the sale and installation* of highly discounted remnant carpets. We are not a typical retail store with display samples. We only warehouse Special Purchase carpet rolls from the manufacturers. As a result, we can provide you savings which are typically well over 50% off standard retail prices. Discontinued Carpets from the Manufacturers Mill Over-Runs or Roll-Ends Special Buys or Manufacturer Imperfections All Rolls in Stock Please search our website by Price, Style, Size, Color or Fiber Type. All of our carpets are inventoried daily. If you don't find visit e s a r the product you're looking for today, check back tomorrow for fo Ple bsite ist e w our new inventory! te l our mple ory. o c a vent Phone 925-235-2200

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Item# 1145 Fabrica Bon Ton • Smart Sel $4.50 Suggested Retail $2.25 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (216.00 square feet available)

Item# 1144 Fabrica Avalon • Tanemera $2.58 Suggested Retail $1.20 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (237.00 square feet available)

Item# 1253 Unknown $3.66 Suggested Retail $1.70 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (924 square feet available)

Item# 1226 Shaw $2.32 Suggested Retail $.99 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (3299 square feet available)

Item# 1230 Fabrica Savoy - Pewter $3.40 Suggested Retail $1.58 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (276 square feet available)

Item# 1146 Unknown $3.75 Suggested Retail $1.75 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (264 square feet available)

Item# 1220 Fabrica Pointille - Ivy Glen $3.44 Suggested Retail $1.60 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (417.36 square feet available)

Item# 1097 Fabrica Domani - Curry $4.75 Suggested Retail $1.75 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (120.72 square feet available)

Item# 1068 Fabrica Balance - Fearless $4.75 Suggested Retail $1.75 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (360.72 square feet available)

Item# 1277 Fabrica Seville - Sublime $3.55 Suggested Retail $1.65 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (249 square feet available)

Item# 1185 Unknown $3.50 Suggested Retail $1.25 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (264 square feet available)

Item# 1151 Shaw $3.64 Suggested Retail $1.50 per sq. foot (Your Cost) (1,800.00 square feet available)

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December 2012


Time to Dust Off that Halloween Santa Hat!

By Julie Ross • Tickets or a gift certificate to the Halloween is my dogs’ least favorite Lesher Center for the Arts. Producholiday. As they are not keen on the tions and events are excellent -- check mail carrier nor the UPS driver, whom out the calendar online. (Pre-holiday, they see and hear pretty much at the if you haven’t had the chance to see same time every day, it is no surprise A Christmas Carol at the Lesher, you that unscheduled bursts of noisy gobmight want to take it in. The show is lins barging up the stairs and ringing fantastic and sure to shake any lingerthe doorbell sends them into serial ing Scrooge-ness right out of you.) barking frenzies. • Membership in Save Mount Dia For this reason I leave the dogs blo, which works to preserve land for inside and put up a table with Hallowpeople and wildlife. Members receive a een candy outside on the driveway. This good newsletter and invitations to special memberyear rain was in the forecast, so I set up shop in the only events. Whether your gift recipient likes to hike, garage. It was very cozy in there. I had a card table bike, trail run, go birding or just admire the mounand chair and poured a glass of wine to sip while I tain from the window, this makes for a meaningful gave out the treats. gift. The wine was a Francis Coppola Director’s 2010 And by the way, my dogs do love Christmas. Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, which is soft, fruity and They receive new toys and get to wear their Santa expressive. According to the label, it exhibits a silky hats. texture, exquisite fragrance, and luscious flavors of Happy Holidays! raspberries, strawberries, cinnamon and spice. You can reach Julie at I found it paired admirably with the Sour Patch Kids I was handing out. (Perhaps La Sommelierre Maria Terry would care to weigh in?) Anyhow, I was thoroughly enjoying my evening watching the kids out having a good time, when a boy in a Santa hat came into my garage. I was thinking this was completely inappropriate for Halloween -- wrong holiday, not scary and all -- until his dad The Focus is thrilled to announce chimed in. “The scary part is how early they put out the that Reba Bower, formerly of the Christmas merchandise!” he explained. Yes, I think Martinez Chamber, will be joining we can all agree that is indeed fiendish. our advertising sales team. Well, here it is December, so for those of you who did not pick up your Santa hats or finish your holiday shopping by Halloween, I am here to help. Beginning in mid-December, Reba First, the Santa hats are no problem. For better will be forging new connections or worse, they are pretty much everywhere. Need gift with businesses in our community. ideas? Here are three that are sure to be appreciated: • A family membership to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, which can be enjoyed all year. There is a beautiful new mural and pond in the remodeled animal activity area and a new beehive exhibit full of the wonder that is honeybees in the main exhibit hall. Membership dues help support the museum’s educational activities and animal care so it’s a really feelgood gift. (Added bonus – in addition to many other benefits, Lindsay Wildlife Museum members get free admission to the Oakland Zoo -- visitors just pay the $7 parking fee.)

New Sales Leader at the Focus

Please join us in welcoming Reba to the Community Focus Team!

Independent & Locally Owned

PUBLISHERS Becky Coburn, Jennifer Neys, Elena Hutslar A Monthly Publication delivered to over 40,000 Homes and Businesses in Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pacheco, Lafayette and Walnut Creek

ADVERTISING Reba Bower SPORTS EDITOR Chuck Nan GRAPHIC DESIGN Trish Heaney, Debra Wilson COPY EDITOR Alison Clary

View the Focus online:

CONTACT INFORMATION: Community Calendar:

Content & General Inquiries:

6680 Alhambra Ave. Box #132 Martinez, CA 94553 Phone: (925) 335 - NEWS (6397)

MISSION STATEMENT The Community Focus is a free, independent, monthly publication dedicated to highlighting the vibrancy of the local businesses and residents while strengthening and building connections within our community.

Come be our friend. our community focus

December 2012

How to Give As we begin the holiday season and the joys that it brings, we are reminded of those who are less fortunate. In line with that thought, here is a list of organizations in nearby communities that provide services and caring for those in need of assistance. Donations and volunteers are always welcome during the holidays. Christmas for Everyone Visit website or call for various donations sites. (925) 228-2233

Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa P.O. Box 3195 Martinez, CA 94553 (925) 335-3351

Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa 1985 Bonifacio Street, # 100 Concord, CA 94520 (925) 687-6760

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing 3164 Putnam Blvd. Ste. C
 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 677-0680

Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano P.O. Box 6324 Concord, CA 94524 (855) 309-FOOD

Monument Crisis Center 2350 Monument Blvd., Ste. B Concord, CA 94520 (925) 825-7751

Foster A Dream 628 Escobar St.
 Martinez, CA 94553 (925) 228-0200

Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa 1815 Arnold Drive Martinez, CA 94553 (925) 335-0698

Salvation Army 3950 Clayton Road Concord, CA 94521 (925) 676-6180

STAND for Families Free of Violence 1410 Danzig Plaza, Suite 100 Concord, CA 94520 (925) 676-2845

Catholic Charities East Bay 3540 Chestnut Ave. Concord, CA 94519 (925) 825-3099

Winter Nights Shelter 1543 Sunnyvale Ave. Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 933-6030.

We Need Your Help

Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa

For many of us, the holiday season means gathering with friends and family for a holiday feast and presents. But imagine what the holidays would be like if you were hungry, homebound and had outlived your family and friends. Sadly, that is the reality for many of our elderly neighbors in Contra Costa County. Will you please help support Meals on Wheels today by making a donation? Your donation will be used to prepare and deliver a hot meal to an elderly senior that says, “You are not forgotten.”

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Donation Request

There are children in our community who do not have enough to eat, adequate clothes to wear to school, or a predictable place to live.  During this holiday season, please consider making a contribution to homeless children and foster youth. Last year, the Mt. Diablo Unified Homeless Outreach Program for Education (Mt. Diablo HOPE) served 549 homeless students, and Mt. Diablo Foster Youth Services served 236 foster youth --785 vulnerable children in all who needed our support! Most of the homeless children served lived with mothers and fathers who were one paycheck away from homelessness. Perhaps these parents had lost their jobs and had no choice but to double up with family or friends or utilize motels, cars, homeless shelters, churches, synagogues, or the Winter Nights program. The holidays are often a difficult time for foster youth who live in group homes or with foster families.  Your contribution will go a long way towards making the holidays a little brighter for children who reside in our communities and attend schools throughout our school district.  

Over the years, Mt. Diablo HOPE has received generous donations from teachers, parents, Local One - CST, CSEA district office personnel, PTSAs, Mt. Diablo school board members, members from every union/bargaining unit in our school district, and students themselves. Please consider donating gift cards to Safeway, Target or Kohl’s. You may send donations by check or gift cards to: Elsa Dalpiaz, Secretary, Mt. Diablo Homeless Outreach Program for Education, 2730 Salvio St., Concord, 94519, or drop donations off with Lori Amenta at the Mt. Diablo Unified District Office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.  Please make checks payable to “Mt. Diablo HOPE” and indicate if you would like a receipt for tax purposes.  This year, we are going online to connect generous donors with recipients. If you or your organization would like to sponsor an individual family, please register online at: A special thank you to James C. Wogan, LCSW, Administrator, School Linked Services, for providing much of the information.

Sequoia Gives Back By Stacy Roth

Students and families of Sequoia Elementary generously collected and donated Thanksgiving dinners for eighteen families served by Mt. Diablo Unified Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE). Each classroom sponsored an at-risk family, collecting over 550 pounds of food and almost $1,000 in grocery gift cards for the program. The donations went to families (with two to ten members) within the school district. Jessica O’Dea, the Sequoia-based coordinator of the effort, was overwhelmed by the response. “In less than one week, our mighty Sequoia community rallied and we received 100% participation on this fundraiser. I am grateful to our Sequoia community for not only responding, but to have blown everyone away by the response.” Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill is a Back-to-Basics school with students from Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. To donate to HOPE, contact

Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa P. O. Box 3195 Martinez, CA 94553 925-335-3351

Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services

Seniors in your community need your support! Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services has been supporting seniors in YOUR neighborhood since 1968. Two of our programs, Meals on Wheels and Friendly Visitors, rely on the support of volunteers, and we need your help now more than ever! Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers deliver meals to local home bound seniors through regular two hour shifts once per week or as substitute drivers. Friendly Visitors volunteers provide weekly one-hour companionship visits to isolated seniors. To volunteer for either program, please call 925-937-8311.

Pictured are a few of the students and families of Sequoia Elementary who collected and donated Thanksgiving dinners for 18 families being served by Mt. Diablo Unified Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE).

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December 2012

Real Estate Update ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring... except for countless prospective homeowners desperately looking for a home to purchase. This is normally the time of year when I advise clients to pull their homes off the market for the holidays in favor of re-listing it fresh and full of renewed energy in January. Now, I admit this advice is somewhat selfserving; I’m blessed to own and operate a busy boutique real estate brokerage that keeps me on the go throughout the year, leaving me few opportunities to spend quality time with my wife and daughter. So, if my clients are reluctant to sell their home during the festivityfilled holiday season, I’m not likely to argue. This strategy is actually supported by good old-fashioned market data. Historically, the volume of home sales drops consistently throughout the autumn months, significantly bottoming out in January and February as a result of low inventory and buyer activity in November and December. Remember, home sales close approximately 30 to 60 days after the purchase agreement is executed. Bucking what is otherwise a fairly linear drop in sales volume, there’s commonly a bump in closings in December, but that is more a result of the industry scrambling to close backlogged escrows from earlier in the year than November buyer activity. Normally, prospective buyers succumb to the same holiday distrac-

By Nathan Hitchcock off on listing your home this holiday Her response was clear and succinct. tions as home sellers, choosing to put season, the classic supporting argu“Yes, we’re sick of fighting with our their home search on hold for a few ments are greatly weakened this time gloves on. We want to get into a home.” weeks, or at the very least on the back around. Prepare and price your home I picked up the phone and pitched burner. This year is shaping up to be well and you are all but guaranteed to the idea to the listing agent. “No proban exception. A perfect storm of low mortgage rates, low inventory, and high lem!” she responded. “But another sight be toasting your success over New Year’s champagne. unseen offer for this property just hit buyer demand has created an excepmy desk, so keep that in mind when you Nathan Hitchcock is the managtionally competitive market locally, one prepare the terms.” Looks like the gloves ing broker of Hitchcock Realty, he can in which buyers are pulling out all the be reached at nathan@hitchcockrealty. are coming off for other buyers too. stops to realize their goals. This is likely com or (925) 825-1100. So, if you are considering holding to include foregoing the eggnog and caroling in favor of open houses and signing purchase offers. And who could blame them? There is a genuine air of panic on the part of buyers, compliments of a seemingly endless war of multiple-offer battles. When a buyer client finds a home that’s even remotely appealing, assuming it is not priced in the stratosphere, the question is not, “Do you think there will be any other offers?” but rather, “How many offers do you think there will be?” • 925.825.110 0 A client phoned me recently this past Thursday in response to an automated email I sent her moments before, alerting her to a property that hit the market that morning. “The property looks like a great fit,” she said, “however, we’re heading out of town for the weekend right now. Do you think they’ll take an offer sight unseen?” I paused for a moment to let her proposal sink in, debating how to counsel her on this less-than-advisable course of action. • All Types of Hearing Aids “Are you sure?” I asked. “That’s pretty risky, for both you and the seller.” • Custom Noise & Swim Plugs

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December 2012

Pleasant Hill Investing in Business The City of Pleasant Hill has made business a top priority by focusing efforts and funding to help small businesses increase their customer base and sales. Earlier this year the city developed the Retail Marketing Incentive Program, which provides funds to help businesses develop professional marketing strategies and execute them. Magoo’s Grill is one establishment that has benefitted from the program. The restaurant was extensively remodeled a few years ago, but still suffered from its reputation as a rough and tumble place. Under the program, Magoo’s began a direct mail campaign to attract new customers. “The results have been terrific; our sales have increased by 20 percent,” says owner Scott Davis. “It’s a great example of how easy it is to do business here.” Cantrell’s Computer Sales & Service, another long time local business, has

been selling and servicing computers in the city since 1998. The rebranding of the store is the result of the marketing audit and plan under the program. In addition, there’s a new logo, website, Facebook page, and a direct mail campaign. “It’s a great program and has given us the ability to do things we’ve wanted to do but couldn’t afford to,” explains Wade Cantrell. Other participants include newly opened Slow Hand BBQ, and Grocery Outlet. “We’re doing everything possible to provide financial incentives to businesses and stimulate investment,” says Kelly Calhoun, Economic Development Manager. “Business is a critical partner to the city, and Pleasant Hill has dedicated significant resources to support and help grow the business community.” For more information, call the city’s Economic Development Team at 925671-5213.

Holiday Greetings from the Flaskeruds!

Over 475* reasons

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PLEASANT HILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Please verify schedule at • 925-687-0700

12/7- Ambassador Meeting – Friday, 8-9am. Pleasant Hill City Hall. 12/8 – Board Planning Session 12/19 – Chamber Member Holiday Mixer. More information to come soon.

12/31 - No Government Affairs or Green Committee meetings. Will meet again in January 2013. CALENDAR SPONSORED BY

12/20 – Board of Directors MeetingThursday, 7:45am. Pleasant Hill City Hall. 12/22 – The Season of Giving Blood Drive with PH Rec and Park. New Pleasant Hill Teen Center. Saturday, 8am-1pm.

MARTINEZ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Please verify schedule at • 925-228-2345

For More Information Regarding Ambassador Meeting – If interested in attending, contact (925) 228-2345

ing, Food, Fun, Raffle Prizes (bring a raffle prize and have your business announced!)

11/30 – Martinez Holiday Light Parade – Friday – 6:30pm. The parade starts from Martinez City Hall and goes through Downtown Martinez.

From our Chamber Office to You – Have a Safe and Joyous Holiday!! CALENDAR SPONSORED BY

11/30–12/2 – Martinez Holiday Frolic & Snow Park - Friday, Nov. 30 will feature a synthetic ice rink, kids games and crafts, and the City Light Parade on Main. 12/13 - Chamber Mixer – Thursday, 5:30 – 7:30pm. Mark Woodard – State Farm Insurance, 609 Main Street, Martinez. Families Welcome – We will have a very special guest! Great Network-

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Land Home Financial Services is officially open at 533 Main St. in Martinez. Land Home is a respected mortgage company that has been in business since 1988 and will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2013.  This is a place where you can obtain accurate information on home mortgages! Branch Manager Darrin Matthews is a top tiered loan originator and employs an impeccable staff of knowledgeable loan officers. The Martinez branch is offering California Public Employees Mortgage Services (CalPEMS) a loan program specifically designed by Land Home to assist public employees with their home financing needs by helping them save with lower rates and closing fees. CalPEMS has helped make Land Home the lender of choice for employees of the sheriff’s department, City of Martinez, schools, and federal institutions. Public employees can compare rates at or call (888)853-7334.  We are proud members of the Martinez community! Photo Credit Richard Cash

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December 2012

Mayor’s Message

John Hanecak, Mayor of Pleasant Hill Finally, I want to publicly thank my maintenance of our city’s infrastructure; of Nordstrom Rack and Zachary’s Pizza. wife, May (who will always be my first 3) public safety; 4) rebuilding reserves The Pleasant Hill Recreation and lady), our children, Dominic and Mia, and 5) sustainable and competitive salaPark District had a tremendous teen my father, Dad, and friends who have ries and benefits. I hope our new and recenter ribbon cutting and is serving the provided the support necessary for me to turning council members also get to see youth with a number of after-school prohave the time and energy needed for this increasing revenues to complement our grams. They will have the grand opening incredible opportunity to give back to a decreasing costs so that we can achieve of the senior center this month as well. community that has given so much to us. a sustainable, responsible and balanced On the fiscal front, the council is Thank you all. budget. continuing to decrease our city’s debt. The groundwork has been laid to become a debt-free city. In this way, we as a city can do what is responsible and, in By Kelly Calhoun, Economic Development Manager my humble view, morally right, which is As you continue to plan your holi- small businesses need your support to to live within our means and not leave expand job opportunities. When you day celebrations, don’t forget the imour bills for our children to pay. The spend money locally, a portion of that portance of shopping locally. Pleasant monies freed up as these debts are retired money goes back into the community Hill has a wide variety of retailers and may be redirected to the following areas in taxes, rent and other ways that help shopping options and plenty of restau(in no particular order): 1) investments rants for feeding that pre or post shop- your community thrive. in capital improvement projects to help Remember, there are many great ping appetite. further enhance our quality of life; 2) reasons to shop locally. Here are a few: According to the National Re• Local business owners invest in your tail Federation, the average consumer community and contribute to more lospends about $700 during the holiday cal fundraising and non-profit organiseason. Making all of your holiday Corner Bakery Café Another Welcome Downtown Addition zations. Support the businesses that purchases within the city can have a A lease has been signed for a Corner Bakery Café profound impact on the local economy. support your favorite cause(s). to occupy 35 Crescent Drive, formerly occupied by Yan Can Restaurant and Kaplan Tutoring. Founded in 1991, • Taxes paid by local businesses imSpending even a percentage of your Corner Bakery Café currently has 145 locations, with 5 in prove the roads you drive on, the holiday dollars here in Pleasant Hill the Southern California area. The menu focuses on innoschools your kids attend and the parks can strengthen our local economy and vative, flavorful offerings, including specialty breads, hot you visit. help form a synergy that creates new breakfasts, made-to-order salads, sandwiches, panini and • Save gas. Shop locally, save money jobs locally and generates more ecopastas, soups, freshly baked sweets and hand-roasted coffee. Guests can walk in and expect efficient in-line ordering and table seron gas and spend more at local stores. nomic growth within the community. vice delivery of their food items. Most new jobs are being created by Shopping outside the city costs you Although still in the permit process, the city is considering a variety of extemore time driving and more at the locally owned small business ventures. rior building improvements to the 3,976 square foot space including modificapump. Small businesses have played and contions to the existing outdoor seating area as well as a new outdoor fireplace, seating, and patio cover. The rear patio area is proposed to be fully covered tinue to play a major role in fueling our Dine, shop, and especially enjoy by a fabric awning with an added custom bench. Outdoor string lights and Pleasant Hill this holiday season! economic recovery. As a result, those I want to thank the Pleasant Hill residents for your trust and encouragement during these past eight years; it has been an honor to serve you all. I’d also like to thank my fellow councilmembers and city staff, who have done a remarkable job serving Pleasant Hill’s residents during these challenging times. In addition, with everyone’s help, some long-awaited projects are getting started: 1) improvements at the southern end of The Crossings (Kohl’s shopping center), and 2) improvements at the DVC Plaza (Kmart shopping center). We are also anticipating the grand openings

Keeping it Local

City News

heaters would also be integrated into the design with French doors allowing access between the patio and interior dining area. Corner Bakery Café is projected to open in late spring, 2013.

Zachary’s Pizza

Management has decided to push the opening of the Zachary’s Pizza to January 2013.

Nominations for Community Awards Night in Pleasant Hill

The 42nd Annual Community Awards take place at Back Forty Restaurant on Thursday, January 17, 2013. The celebration begins at 5:30pm, followed by dinner at 6:30pm and the awards program. The event includes nominees for Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Teen of the Year, Teacher of the Year, and the Green Award. If you would like to nominate a Pleasant Hill resident, business or organization for one of these awards, please go to to download the nomination forms along with eligibility criteria. Nominations for all awards are due by Friday, January 4th and can be emailed to or dropped off at the Pleasant Hill Chamber office at 91 Gregory Lane, Suite 11. Tickets are $40 per person and may be obtained at the Rec & Park District Offices. Call Katrina Hunn at 691-5645 for more information. RSVP’s for the dinner and ticket purchases must be finalized by January 11th.

City Calendar of Events Architectural Review Commission December 6, 20 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Large Community Room, 5pm Contact: 671-5209 City Council December 3, 17 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5229 Civic Action Commission December 5 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Small Community Room, 6:30pm Contact: 671-5229

Education Commission No meeting in December Planning Commission December 11 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5209 Zoning Administrator December 13, 27 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Public Works Conference Room, 5pm Contact: 671-5209 City offices closed December 24-25.

For Confirmation Visit:

December 2012

Mayor’s Message For the first time in ten years there will be a new face on the Martinez City Council. Two seats were up for grabs in the recent general election and with the retirement of Councilmember Janet Kennedy, only one incumbent was in the race. Veteran Councilmember Mark Ross was re-elected to a fourth term and former Planning Commissioner Anamarie Avila-Farias was the top vote getter. On December 5, both Mark and Anamarie will be sworn into office as members of the council for the next four years. I look forward to working

Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez with them on the many challenges facing Starting at 3pm, Natural Healings our city. on Court Street will host Hot Cocoa with This holiday season is shaping up to Frosty the Snow Man and the Veterans be a busy and exciting time in downtown Hall will be the location for the ReinMartinez. Main Street Martinez, downdeer Stop Flight School. The downtown town merchants and Martinez city staff library will be transformed into Candy are busy planning the annual Holiday Cane Lane filled with crafts to make and Frolic to start on Friday, November 30. As take, and the Martinez Museum will be in years past, the Holiday Frolic will condecorated as a Gingerbread House with sist of the Snow Park, Ice Rink, Tree Light- gingerbread themed crafts for children to ing Ceremony and Holiday Light Parade. decorate. City recreation staff and a cadre of volun At 5:30pm, Santa and I will help teers will provide free face painting, ballight the Tree of Spirit located on Court loon animals, temporary tattoos, fingerStreet at the S curve. Immediately afternail painting, light wands, and glow brace- ward, follow the crowd to City Hall for lets. The day’s activities will begin at 1pm the start of the Children’s Light Parade or with the opening of the Snow Park and Ice gather along Main Street to view the paRink. Festivities will continue until 9pm. rade with its floats and many entries. The

City News

Breakfast with Santa

Enjoy a fun-filled holiday breakfast with Santa at the Senior Community Center on Sunday, December 9 from 8-11am. Join Santa for pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. Bring a camera because this is sure to be a great photo opportunity. Homemade crafts will be for sale. Cost: $3.50 adults, $2.00 for children (10 years and under). Martinez Senior Center, 818 Green Street. Call 925-370-8770 for information.

Letters from Santa Claus (Carte de Santa Claus)

Every child loves to receive mail and a letter from Santa Claus would be an extra special surprise! Santa’s elves will send a warm friendly letter (with no special promises) approximately one week before Christmas. The letter includes information about Rudolph, elves at the workshop and a holiday activity. Letters are also available for Spanish speaking children. Reserve a letter by calling the Recreation Department at 925-372-3510. You can also drop by the office at City Hall, 525 Henrietta Street. Santa’s helpers appreciate the donation of a first class stamp per child. The last day to request a letter is Friday, December 14.

Snow Park

Dates and times for the Snow Park are as follows: Friday, November 30, 1 - 9pm; Saturday, December 1, 10am - 5pm and Sunday, December 2, 10am - 5pm. Main Street Martinez will have twenty tons of snow blown onto three ramps and a children’s play area in the Main Street Plaza. Saucers will be provided. Please call 925228-3577 for more information.

City Calendar of Events City Council Meeting December 5, 19 7-11pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Planning Commission Meeting December 11 7-11pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Design Review Meeting December 12 3-5pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Zoning Administrator Meeting December 5, 19 3-5pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Park, Recreation, Marina & Cultural Commission December 18 7-11pm Contact: 925-372-3500

City offices closed December 24-31. All City Meetings at City Hall, 525 Henrietta Street, Unless Otherwise Indicated For Confirmation Visit:

Page 9


parade begins at City Hall, turns down Castro Street and then down Main Street to Escobar Street. I think the best viewing is just across from Main Street Plaza. The Grand Marshall and highlight of the parade will be Santa, who will be greeting children and their families in his house at Main Street Plaza after the parade. Santa will continue to hear the wishes of children every weekend up until the 23rd of December. Go to Main Street Martinez’ website ( for the exact times and dates to visit Santa. Then, explore downtown Martinez and check out our many unique shops and restaurants. I wish you all a joyous and healthful holiday season.

Italian Sister City Formed

Several months ago, the Martinez City Council authorized Mayor Rob Schroder to begin discussions with Sindaco Canio Di Milia, the mayor of Stresa in Northern Italy, to pursue a sister city agreement. At present, the Intent to Establish a Sister City Agreement has been worked out and signed by both mayors with the help of the organization Sister Cities International. A sister city relationship is a broadbased, officially approved, long-term partnership between two communities. Sister City programs involve the three main sectors in a community: local government, businesses, and a wide variety of citizen volunteers. The Honorable Mayor of Stresa, Sindaco Canio Di Milla, and Mayor Schroder met

when Di Milla performed a civil marriage ceremony for the mayor and his wife. Both mayors immediately discovered that both cities, Stresa and Martinez, had much in common. Martinez and Stresa both retain a strong sense of history and family, and both are situated on bodies of water--Martinez on the Carquinez Strait and Stresa on Lake Maggiore. Many Italian fishermen who immigrated to the United States from the Piedmont region were among the first families of Martinez, and their ancestors reside in Martinez to this day. Martinez is already a member of Sister Cities International, so there would be no costs associated with forming this partnership.

Page 10

December 2012

Park and Recreation Updates

Senior Center December is a busy month for the Pleasant Hill Senior Center as preparations for the grand opening of the new 23,000 square foot center continues. Check out the Senior Center website for a complete list of activities and classes happening this holiday season. From all of us at the Senior Center, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season, and many thanks for sticking with us through this construction phase! We look forward to celebrating the opening of the new building with all of you! • Save the date… Senior Center grand opening on January 5! The day we have been waiting for will soon arrive. Join us on Saturday, January 5 from 1pm to 4pm at the new Senior Center for an afternoon of fun! Some things to look forward to include: • Live music from the Basin Street Band • Boutique sale with handmade gifts from scarves to baby items • Discounts on class registrations • Raffles throughout the day • Goodies served in the dining room

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand “A Gold Medal Winning Book” If you haven’t had your fill of Olympic heroes after watching thousands of hours of coverage of the London Games, relief is on the way in the form of a “gold medal winning book.” Unbroken is an absolutely incredible true story of courage and resilience that goes far beyond what it takes to win Olympic gold. I first read this bestseller by Laura Hillenbrand in 2010 and thought it was a remarkable story of an amazing individual. It’s been on the New York Times bestseller list for two years and with good reason. Recently, I reread the book after seeing an interview with its hero, Louis Zamperini, who is still going strong at age 95. Hillenbrand’s previous bestseller, Seabiscuit, is a wonderful story about an underdog horse (maybe I should call him an “underhorse”) that becomes a champion racehorse. Unbroken, subtitled “A

• Free blood pressure screening • Fitness class demonstrations in the dance studio: we’ll have short sample classes throughout the day. • Class, activity and program representatives onsite to answer questions and take suggestions. • Plus more! Teens Teen Program Now Open! Teens ranging from grades 6-12 can enjoy a safe and fun place with the perfect combination of structured activities and time to just hang out! The program runs Monday – Friday, from school dismissal until 6pm at the NEW Pleasant Hill Teen

Center, 147 Gregory Lane. Transportation is available from PHMS, VVMS and CP ($2 per day). This program is open to anyone including drop-in teens. There is an annual membership required for all beginning on December 3. Membership is $35. $25 for PHPRD residents and comes with all the perks the Center has to offer including: • Monthly activity calendar • Pool table • Sports Equipment • Ping-Pong • Foosball • Computers • Video Games • Snack shack • And more! Continue to check out the teen website at for upcoming special teen events and activities be-

Read My Mind ©

Book Reviews by Michael G. Harris, OD with the fastest finish.” World War II Story of Survival, Resilience Louis is a sure bet to win a gold and Redemption,” tells the astonishing life medal at the 1940 Tokyo Olympics story of another underdog, Louis Zamand becomes the first man to break the perini, a troubled youth from Torrance, 4-minute mile. But World War II changes California who becomes a national hero. all that. Louis enlists in the Army and This book was a labor of love for Hillenbecomes a bombardier. brand, who suffers from chronic fatigue The real story of survival starts when syndrome and took seven years to finish Louis’ plane goes down in the middle of this thoroughly researched story. the Pacific Ocean. He and a crewmate Louis’ troubles with the law change survived the crash and spend the next when his older brother Pete encourages forty-seven days afloat waiting for rescue. him to take up running. He enters USC (sorry about that Cal fans) and becomes a They subsist by catching sharks with star distance runner nicknamed the “Tor- their bare hands and eating their livers. (Sounds delicious.) rance Tornado.” Bad goes to worse when they’re cap At the age of nineteen, he is the youngest member of the 1936 USA Olym- tured by the Japanese and put in prisoner of war camps, where Louis suffers the pic track team. He competes against the world’s best in the 5000 meters and comes brutality of a sadistic guard nicknamed “the Bird.” Against unbelievable odds, from far behind to be the first American across the finish line. He ran his last lap in Louis survives, returns home, and gets fifty-six seconds, an unbelievably fast time married. But he’s haunted by nightmares of the Bird, and his only relief seems to be in the 1930’s. Adolf Hitler was so imbooze. pressed that he wanted to meet the “boy

ing held at the new teen center. For more information on teen programs and teen classes call (925) 691-5645. General Check your mailbox for the Winter/ Spring Spotlight! The latest Spotlight has arrived and includes tons of programs and activities starting January and running through April 2013. Registration is open, so be sure to check it out. It’s a new year and time to try something different. Check out classes and register online at www. or call (925) 6820896. • Breakfast with Santa - Santa is making an early appearance in Pleasant Hill on Saturday, December 15. Kids aged 1-10 and their parents are invited to join us for breakfast, holiday carols and a visit with the big guy himself. To ensure a spot on his “Nice List” you must pre-register by December 10. Registration is $8.50/$7.50 (district residents). Call 682-0896 for availability. Two seating times: 8:30am and 10:15am. Hillcrest Congregational Church, 404 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

With his wife about to leave him, Louis is convinced to attend a revival meeting led by a young evangelist named Billy Graham. Here he finds redemption and forgiveness. For the first time in years, he can sleep peacefully. He even makes a trip to Japan to personally forgive his prison guards. His new salvation leads him to a fulfilling career working with troubled youth and becoming an inspirational speaker. If you become as inspired as I was by this miraculous story of survival and forgiveness, read Louis’ 2003 autobiography Devil at My Heels. Even better, hear the story from Louis’ own lips in interviews with fellow Olympian John Naber on the web at 5KbHdRg&feature=related. Rumor has it that Ryan Gosling may be starring as Louis in a film adaptation of Unbroken. But this story is too good to wait for the movie. If I were an Olympic judge, Unbroken would get “a perfect 10.”

December 2012

Square dancing is a social activity that provides a means of low impact exercise for body and mind; it is also a misunderstood activity. Imagine learning to take commands then put them into coordinated actions

Square Dancing 101

in concert with seven other individuals so that smooth flowing patterns form a well choreographed, yet unrehearsed configuration. The commands, or calls, are taught by a professional square dance caller. As dancers gain proficien-

Pleasant Hill Senior Activities 249 Gregory Lane (925) 798-8788 Dec. 12 - Holiday Luncheon 12pm. Live entertainment and the installation of the 2013 Senior Club Board of Directors. Please join us in saying thank you to those individuals leaving the board as well as welcoming those joining it. Tickets on sale now, $20/$15 (members). Includes catered meal, raffles and entertainment. St. Andrew’s Church, 1601 Mary Dr. Dec. 28 – Holiday Taste of the Vine 3-5pm. Sip a glass of wine with friends. You may select from a variety of red and white wines in addition to light hors d’oeuvres. Non-alcoholic beverages available at the Teen Center. Tickets on sale now, $7 presale / $10 at the door Jan. 5 - SAVE THE DATE‌ SENIOR CENTER GRAND OPENING! The day we have been waiting will soon arrive. Join us from 1pm to 4pm at the new Senior Center for an afternoon of fun! 2013 Senior Club Membership It’s time to sign up for the 2013 membership year! Everyone age 50+ is invited to join no matter what city you live in. Membership dues are $12 for the entire year and entitle you to receive discounts on classes, trips and events as well as having the monthly newsletter mailed to you.


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cy, the caller makes it interesting by varying the calls. A call may be used from a variety of positions in the square and are initiated from the ladyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position in the square or from a variety of formations other than the traditional square,

i.e. lines, columns, waves or diamonds. This is the essence, the challenge and the joy of square dancing. Square dancing provides something for everyone. Benefits include exercise, socializing and simply having fun. For those interested in learning, square dance classes are now being offered at the Martinez Adult Education Center on Saturday mornings from 10:30am to 12:30pm. The Martinez Swingers Square Dance Club fully supports this class by happily joining the new dancers in the square. This is very much appreciated by the class, and we thoroughly enjoy helping new dancers experience what square dancing is all about. For more information on these Saturday classes, contact Carole Wright at (510)799-4850 or e-mail: ceejaydbya@

Martinez Senior Activities 818 Green St. (925) 370-8770 Dec. 9 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Holiday Pancake Breakfast with Santa. 8amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;11am. Pancakes or toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, orange juice and coffee. Everyone is welcome. $3.50 adults/$2 10yrs. and younger. Handmade crafts, perfect for gifts, will be on sale during the breakfast. Parents bring your cameras. Dec. 31 - New Years Bingo Bash. Doors open at 6pm. Bingo games begin at 7pm. Evening will end around 10pm. Cost: $5 for regular bingo packs, special games will be extra. Come join the fun! Jan. 4 - C.E.R.T. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Personal Emergency Preparedness Class 10am-12pm. In this informational seminar, you will learn how to prepare yourself and your family to be ready when a major disaster strikes. Topics to be covered will include: basic supplies you need, equipment you should have and plans you should make to insure you are ready to meet this challenging time. Please call our office (925) 370-8770 to register for this free seminar. Jan. 11 & 18 - AARP Driver Safety Training Program 11am-3:30pm. Designed for motorists over age 50, to refine existing skills and develop safe, defensive driving techniques. Course will consist of two consecutive Fridays, 4 hours each. $14 or $12 (AARP members). Classes fill up quickly. Register early: (925) 370-8770. Make checks payable to â&#x20AC;&#x153;AARPâ&#x20AC;? and give to instructor on day of class.

Page 12

December 2012

Great Gift Ideas

By Jason Olson, Grocery Outlet, Pleasant Hill Italy, respectively, are two popular alterna What says “holiday” more than a tives produced in the traditional method. bottle of bubbly, sparkling wine? Pop the Cava is made primarily in Catalonia, using cork on a bottle of Champagne and the the traditional Méthode Champenoise. celebration begins! So, with the holidays fast approaching, I thought we’d take a look Freixenet, a nice Brut (very dry) wine, is one of the more popular brands, noted for at some of the choices available that make its distinct black bottle and label. Prosecco great gifts or fine additions to the holiday is an Italian sparkling wine that has become table. increasingly popular of late and is the main When we think of sparkling wine, ingredient in the Bellini cocktail. Both Champagne naturally comes to mind. Proseccos and Cavas are made in white While Champagne is a sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Champagne. By defini- and rosé versions. Closer to home, Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Brut Sparkling tion, Champagne refers only to wines proWine is a value priced California blend. duced in the Champagne region of France by a particular method known as Méthode So, if you want to enjoy the excitement of popping a cork and watching the Champenoise. French Champagne can bubbles flow, there’s more than one way be very pricey, but luckily for our budgetto do it without breaking the budget this minded Grocery Outlet customers, there holiday season. are plenty of sparkling wines available at a Jason Olson is the owner/operator of fraction of the cost. While I’m not going to Grocery Outlet Pleasant Hill (along with pretend they’re as good as Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot, they are fine wines. And his wife Kathy.) He loves wine and is more than happy to share his recommendations they have the same bubbly effervescence at, or at that makes Champagne so much fun. (925) 676-3660. Cava and Prosecco, from Spain and





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Pair Up Christmas Ale I love traditions because taking part in them allows you to recall fond memories of years past. Traditions are worth preserving, whether it is spending time with people you see only once a year or making recipes with seasonal foods. This year, my family will start a new tradition for our Christmas dinner. We will pair our meal with a Christmas ale, a beverage that is only available during the holiday

With La Sommelierre Maria Terry the orange color of the soup and echo the season. nutmeg flavors nicely. Christmas ales range in weight from When moving on to the main course, medium to heavy and usually have classic look for a beer that falls in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;imperial Christmas spice flavors like ginger, clove stoutâ&#x20AC;? category. Created in the 18th centuand nutmeg. Start your meal with the ry, imperial stout beers are characterized creamy Butternut Squash Bisque below by extra hops and made extra strong, so and choose a medium weight Christmas they kept well on the long voyage from ale to go with it. Look for those labeled England to Russia. Their higher alcohols red or brown ale, which have alcohol levare balanced by the rich complexity develels of five to seven percent. These pretty, oped by longer roasting of the malt. They red-colored beers will look beautiful with are usually a tad more bitter than lighter beers and often have flavors of coffee and chocolate. Imperial stouts are the perfect Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, compartner to the Brown Sugar-Pineapple bine the brown sugar, maple syrup and Ham recipe, as the sweetness in the glaze mustard and bring to a boil over mediumwill offset the bitterness of the beer. Achigh heat, stirring constantly. Cook until company the ham with Mashed Sweet reduced slightly, about 2 minutes, and set aside. Brush the baked ham with glaze, top with pineapple rings, and secure with INGREDIENTS toothpicks. Return the ham to the oven 2 tbsp. canola oil and bake uncovered until heated through, 2 tbsp. unsalted butter 25 to 30 minutes. 1 cup diced onion 1-1/2 cups diced carrots 8 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash 6 cups vegetable stock Salt and ground black pepper to taste Ground nutmeg to taste 1 cup heavy cream (optional) DIRECTIONS Heat the oil and melt the butter in a

Brown Sugar - Pineapple Ham INGREDIENTS One 7-9 pound fully cooked ham 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 4 canned pineapple rings, thinly sliced DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 275°. Place the ham face down in a roasting pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole and you have a traditional holiday meal. To end the meal on a warm note, choose a single malt Scotch whisky and pair with Coconut Fruit Cake (find the full recipe at The nutty sweetness of the coconut and condensed milk provide a rich backdrop for the pungent liquor. Additionally, the fruits in the cake are echoed in the dried fruit and orange peel so often found in good quality Scotch. So, go on. Pair Up! Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more great wines and information please visit Mariaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at

Butternut Squash Bisque

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large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil until tender. Mix the carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in vegetable stock, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg. Yield: 8 servings



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Page 14

REAL Housewives

No drama! Just great friends! The Real Housewives of Pleasant Hill cooked up some Halloween fun in their neighborhood! LtoR: Pam Kefer, Honey Lynn Taheri, Caroline Jordan, Kim Ban, Dian Bechter

State of the Arts By Robert W. Konkle, Founder & CEO, Village Center for the Arts pals and students who have dedicated We all know music is the one lanthemselves to strengthening the educaguage that knows no borders. A great tional opportunities in our schools and piece of music knows no time and yet can define an era. It is timeless, univer- throughout our community and are championing the cause of keeping the sal, revolutionary and beautiful. arts alive. Email info@VillageCenter Research clearly shows that music if you know of somelessons can dramatically enhance children’s spatial-temporal reasoning skills, one who fits this description. So many parent groups have dedithe skills crucial for greater success cated their time and energy into getin subjects such as math and science. ting more arts programs into schools Studies also show that early and ongoing musical training helps organize and and getting their children the optimal education they deserve. We’d like to develop children’s brains in ways that THANK YOU- you’ve made a signifino other activity can. Musical achievecant difference! Now, more than ever, ment is a constant reminder of the our collective effort to make arts edubenefits of commitment, discipline, cation accessible to as many people as process and practice. Not to mention, possible is critical to properly educatplaying music is a blast! ing our children as well as building a I have been a music teacher for strong, creative community! over twenty years, and as the founder Village Center for the Arts - home of Village Center, I’ve witnessed genof Village Music School, Village Yoga, erations of students prove that success Village Theatre and Village Dancediscovered through musical achieve1720 Linda Drive, Pleasant Hill | 925ment transcends notes on a page or 676-8400 | VillageCenterForTheArts. scales under one’s fingers. By way of this bi-monthly column, org. the Village Center team and I will have the pleasure of sharing insights with teachers, PTA members, school princiPAID ADVERTORIAL

December 2012

Raiderettes 50th

Martinez resident and Raiderette from the 1980s, Sherri Morrison, was one of several local women who participated in a 50th celebration of “Football’s Fabulous Females” in pre-game and half-time performances on October 21, when the Raiders faced the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. Current and former Raiderettes, from decades as far back as the 1960s, reunited for a weekend-long celebration, including a gala dinner dance, where they reminisced over photos, pompoms, uniforms and other treasures from the glory days. “It was so much fun to see my Raiderette sisters again!” Sherri exclaimed. “I found out about the reunion celebration on the LA/Oakland Raiderette site on Facebook and came to find out that a few of my ‘sisters’ live within minutes of me.” The cheerleaders were given a vid-

eo of the routine their “decade” would be performing, and the local women met to rehearse at Step it Up Studio in Pleasant Hill, owned by another 80s Raiderette, Kiki McNabb. Despite a few sore muscles reminding them of how long it had actually been, Sherri said, “We didn’t miss a beat!” On game day, the local ladies and a hundred others rocked it to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” There were approximately 500 women on the field in all representing six decades of the Raider’s “Fabulous Females” struttin’ their stuff in front of a huge crowd! “We all enjoyed this amazing event and promised we would get together often and not let so much time go by again. With the dinner dance, practice and game day, it was awesome to be on the field again!” Sherri said. The women are enthusiastic about the 60th!

Pictcured L to R Fran Clark (PH), Laura Moiso (Dublin), Karen Pavlick (Los Angeles), Betty Sperry (Martinez), Sherri Morrison (Martinez), Kiki McNabb (Lafayette)

  

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦



  

 

 

  

 

December 2012

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December 2012




Nov. 27 Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 4 Dec.5-8 Dec. 6-8 Dec. 6-8 Dec. 11 Dec. 11 Dec. 13-15 Dec. 19 Dec. 20 Dec. 20-22 Dec. 27-29 Jan. 2 Jan. 3 Jan. 4 Jan. 8 Jan. 11 Jan. 15 Jan. 18 Jan. 21 Jan. 25 Jan. 29 Feb. 1 Feb. 5 Feb. 8 Feb. 12 Feb. 15 Feb. 19-Mar. 2 Mar. 6-16 Mar. 22-23 Feb. 21-Mar. 24



Pinole CP Alhambra Alhambra Casa Grande Casa Grande Pittsburg CP Campolindo Frosh Tourney Campolindo Acalandes JV Tourney Acalanes Pleasant Valley Var Tourney Pleasant Valley HS Liberty (Frosh/JV ) CP Salesian (VAR) CP Don Nelson VAR Tourney Dublin Las Lomas Frosh:5:30pm/JV:7pm Las Lomas Alhambra Frosh:5:30pm/JV: 7pm CP Freedom V Tourney Freedon Merritt JV Tourney Merritt College Northgate CP Salesian Frosh/JV CP Ygnacio CP Berean Berean Concord Concord Clayton CP BYE Mt. Diablo Mt. Diablo Northgate Northgate Ygnacio Ygnacio Berean CP Concord CP Clayton Clayton BYE Mt. Diablo CP NCS Playoffs TBA CIF/NORCAL Playoffs TBA CIF State Championships TBA NCS/NORCAL/CIF Playoffs TBA

Varsity: 7pm, JV: 5:30pm, Frosh: 4pm. Tournaments vary.

Nov. 30 Dec. 1 Dec. 6 Dec. 7 Dec. 8 Dec. 12 Dec. 13-15 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Dec. 27-29 Jan. 2 Jan. 4 Jan. 8 Jan 11 Jan 15 Jan. 18 Jan. 21 Jan. 25 Jan. 31 Feb. 3 Feb. 7 Feb. 10 Feb. 14 Feb. 17


Castro Valley (JV) TBD (JV & VAR) Alameda TBD TBD Antioch (VAR) Hoop Fest Tourney Mt. Eden (VAR) Dublin Tourney West Coast Jamboree Northgate Ygnacio Berean Concord Clayton BYE Mt. Diablo (JV) Northgate Ygnacio Berean Concord Clayton BYE Mt. Diablo (JV)



San Ramon San Ramon Alameda High Alameda High Alameda High Antioch Newark Memorial High CP Dublin CP Northgate Ygnacio Berean Concord Clayton Mt. Diablo Berean Concord Clayton

Varsity: 7pm, JV: 5:30, Frosh: 4pm. Tournaments vary.


Dec. 1 Dec. 1 Dec. 8 Dec. 8 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 22 Dec. 22 Jan. 5 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 16 Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 19 Jan. 26 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 1 Feb. 2 Feb. 2 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 13 Feb. 22 Feb. 23


Var Dual Freedom JV Mt. Diablo Var Hollister JV Clayton Var Elk Grove JV James Logan Var Folsom JV CP Var Mat Classic Dbl Dual Northgate JV Albany Dbl Dual CP Var Tim Brown Var Tim Brown JV CP Var Maria Carillo JV Liberty Dbl Dual Clayton Valley Var Mission San Jose Var Mission San Jose JV Freedom Concord CP NCS James Logan DVAL Clayton Valley NCS Newark Memorial HS NCS Newark Memorial HS

Weekday Duals: 6pm / Double Duals: 5pm




Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Cal High Tourney Cal High Dec. 8 Heritage CP Dec. 15 Mitty CP Dec. 15 Northgate CP Dec. 22 Dublin Dublin Jan. 5 Acalanes CP Jan. 12 Las Lomas CP Jan. 12 Deer Valley Deer Valley Jan. 19 Clayton CP Jan. 19 Heritage Heritage Jan. 26 Las Lomas Las Lomas Jan. 26 Dougherty Valley CP Feb. 2 Bishop O’Dowd Bishop O’Dowd Feb. 2 Las Lomas CP Dougherty Valley CP Feb. 9 Feb. 9 Dublin Dublin


TBA 9am 10am 3pm 9am 9am 9am 2pm 9am 2pm 9am 2pm 9am 2pm 9am 4pm


Dec. 1 Dec 1 Dec. 3 Dec. 6 Dec. 8 Dec. 10 Dec. 12 Dec. 15 Dec. 22 Dec. 31 Jan. 5 Jan. 5 Jan. 12 Jan. 18 Jan. 21 Feb. 9


Acalanes Northgate Dublin Monte Vista Cal High San Ramon Monte Vista Dougherty Valley Dougherty Valley San Ramon Acalanes Berkeley Dublin Northgate Berkeley Granada



CP 11am CP 3pm CP 3:30pm Monte Vista 6pm CP 11am San Ramon 6pm Monte Vista 3:30pm CP 3:30pm Dougherty Valley 12pm CP 11am Acalanes 10am Berkeley 4pm Dublin 12pm Northgate 7pm CP 3:30pm Granada 11am



December 2012

Page 17


HONOR • SACRIFICE Winter sports Schedule


Nov. 27 Nov. 29 Dec. 4 Dec. 7 Dec. 10 Dec. 11 Dec. 13 Dec. 15 Dec. 18 Dec. 20 Dec. 22 Dec. 27-29 Jan. 3 Jan. 8 Jan. 10 Jan. 15 Jan. 17 Jan. 21 Jan. 25 Jan. 29 Jan. 31 Feb. 5



Acalanes Acalanes Campolindo Campolindo Deer Valley Deer Valley Alhambra Alhambra Liberty Liberty Freedom Freedom Mt. Diablo CP Mitty CP Northgate CP Berean Berean ALUMNI GAME CP Tri-Valley Tourney Ygnacio Ygnacio Concord CP Clayton Clayton Dublin CP Mt. Diablo Mt. Diablo Northgate Northgate Berean CP Ygnacio CP Concord Concord Clayton CP


4:15pm (JV) 6:15pm (V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 4:30pm (JV) 6:30pm (V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 4:30pm (JV) 6:30pm (V) 4:30pm (JV) 6:30pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 12pm (JV) 2pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 3:30pm (JV& V) 2pm TBA 3:30pm ( JV & V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 4pm(JV) 6pm (V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V)


Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 3 Dec. 5 Dec. 8 Dec. 13 Dec. 15 Dec. 18 Dec. 20 Dec. 29 Jan. 3 Jan. 5 Jan. 8 Jan. 10 Jan. 17 Jan. 21 Jan. 25 Jan. 29 Jan. 31 Feb. 5


Richmond San Ramon Las Lomas Pittsburg Amador Valley Mt. Diablo Pittsburg Northgate Berean Logan Ygnacio Acalanes Concord Clayton Mt. Diablo Northgate Berean Ygnacio Concord Clayton


San Ramon San Ramon Las Lomas Berkeley San Ramon Mt. Diablo Pittsburg Northgate CP CP CP CP Concord CP CP CP Berean Ygnacio CP Clayton


4pm 1pm 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 4pm (V) 1pm (V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) TBA 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 3:30pm (V) 1pm (JV) 3pm (V) 3:30pm (JV &V) 1pm (JV) 3pm (V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 3:30pm 12pm (JV) 2pm (V) 3:30pm (V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 3:30pm (JV & V) 4pm (JV) 6pm (V)

SAVE TH E Saturda DATE CP Boo y Feb. 2 nd s Crab Feters Annual ed Dinn er A t Pleasan the new WWW.C

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Page 18


Water Polo Champs

Alhambra Girls Varsity Water Polo Team holding the First Place Trophy from the James Logan Invitational.

December 2012

Grenades Win Tourney The U12 girls Green Grenades, a Pleasant Hill Martinez soccer team, took the gold medal in the Area Championship over the weekend of November 10 and 11. The tournament consisted of the top teams in the area, including Concord AYSO, Mount Diablo Soccer Association, American Canyon, as well as PHMSA. The Grenades won the semi-final game 2-1 over MDSA on exciting goals by Rylee McCormick and Bella Puljiz. The game also included stellar goalkeeping by Laura Bocek and tough defense by Isabelle Berkowitz, Madeline Lawrence, Amanda Rovner and Grace Rovner. The Grenades’ final game was a 3-1 victory over American Canyon. The Grenades had goals from Rylee McCormick, Bella Puljiz, and Alayna Pinon. Tough team defense was played by Zoey Westrate, Sarah Goth, Isabelle Berkowitz, Madeline Lawrence and the Rovner sisters. Laura Bocek and Davi Bell provided stellar goalkeeping. The first place finish earned the PHMSA U-12 girls team an invitation to play in the Regional Tournament in Foster City on December 8 and 9.

LtoR: Jordan Wygal, Elena Owens, Jamie Wanket, Alex Manuli, Cami Vereschagin, Ellen Randall, Helene Hollidge, Maddie Farr, Alex Dooley, Coach Frank Reichert, Molly Warner, and Maria Felice. In front: Mikaela Walsh. Photo by Joey Avila.

Alhambra Water Polo Makes Splash at NCS

White, Dakota Smythe, and Dominic Dirito. Goalie Christian Bumala had 1 4 saves. The Bulldogs finished the season 16-11.

Back row, LtoR: Coach Carl McCormick, Davi Bell, Laura Bocek, Sarah Goth, Zoey Westrate, Madeline Lawrence and Coach Robert Puljiz. Front row: Amanda Rovner, Bella Puljiz, Rylee McCormick, Isabelle Berkowitz, Grace Rovner and Alayna Pinon. Submitted by Lia McCormick.

Artesa Dental Supports

Alhambra High School Athletic Boosters!










Alhambra girls, seeded fifth, competed against rival Las Lomas in the quarterfinals at the Soda Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs were down 9-7 at the start of the 4th period and scored six goals to win the game 13-12. Goalie Maddie Farr collected nineteen saves; Alex Manuli scored nine goals; Jamie Wanket two; Elena Owens one and Helene Hollidge one. Lady Bulldogs played Division I champions San Ramon in the semifinals and lost 17-4. Alex Manuli scored two goals, and had three steals; Helene Hollidge one; Jamie Wanket one and Cami Vereschagin had one assist and two steals. Goalie Maddie Farr had seven saves. On November 7, No. 2 seed Alhambra boys beat Tamalpias 9-7 in a close finish at the NCS Division II semi finals. Goals were scored by Michael Bull, Bailey Abbot, Dakota Smythe, Tanner White and Drew Cisterman. Dominic Dirito had two assists and three steals. Goalie Christian Bumala had seven saves. The win earned the Bulldogs their third consecutive attempt to take the Division II championship title. They came up short against the Marin Catholic Wildcats with a 15-8 loss. Scoring for Alhambra was Michael Bull, Tanner

For the 2012 school year, Artesa Dental will donate $1 to the Alhambra Athletic Boosters for every like on

Showrooms also in Santa Clara & Milbrae

the Artesa Dental facebook Dr. Amanda Backstrom, DMD and staff.

page for the first 1000 “Likes”

December 2012


DVAL X-Country Finals College Park Lady Falcons took their 5th straight DVAL title on November 2 at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez, demonstrating superior depth with eight members finishing in the top fifteen, easily beating Northgate and Clayton Valley. Defending champion Kendall Stuscavage showed a valiant effort, but faded after an early lead due to illness. CP womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top finishers: Victoria Miguel 2nd, Emily Dowey 5th, Selina Saliba 6th, Kendall Stuscavage 8th, Taryn Niederberger 11th, Parisa Broomand 12th, Marina Perez 13th, and Jakkie Medina 15th. College Park Varsity girls placed 2nd for Division II at the NCS Championships. They will travel to the State meet to compete. Good luck CP! College Park menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team placed 2nd after Northgate, just missing 1st by a single point. CP menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top finishers include: Nathaniel Comar 3rd, Parker Marson 4th, Drew McDonald 13th, and David Phair 15th.

Page 19

PHMS Turkey Trot

Rain was in the forcast but winning a turkey was on the minds of Pleasant Hill Middle School students at their annual Turkey Trot race on November 16. Several hundred raced to see who would be the fastest. The top three athletes from each grade won a turkey and every participant was given a popsicle. This tradition is a favorite of students and teachers alike. View more photos on the Focus website:

Seventh grade girls race for a turkey.

CPHS Sports Notes

Annual Alumni Soccer Game

College Park Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alumni Soccer Game will be held on December 22, 2PM at College Park High School. For more information please contact

Swim Coach Needed

Photo by Doug Ota

College Park is looking for a Swim Coach for the Spring 2013 Season (February 2013 - May, 2013). The team practices at College Park High School. The position is part time and the salary range is $1,697 - $3,331. Qualified applicants can contact Lance Hurtado at hurtadol@

Learn the Diablo FC way.

12tshon Sea


2013 Season Tryouts

Academy Director: Adam Cooper Head coach, St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s College  TIME7###OACHOFTHE9EAR 7EST2EGION#OLLEGE#OACHOFTHE9EAR

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Time & Location:

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Boys born 8/1/2001 - 7/31/2006 Girls born 8/1/2002 - 7/31/2006

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U12-U13-U14 girls; U-13-U14 boys February 2 & 4

Girls born 8/1/1999-7/31/2002 Boys born 8/1/1999-7/31/2001

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find a better soccer experience for your child!â&#x20AC;?

Page 20


Alhambra Art Dioramas

The Alhambra High students in Mrs. Fuller’s Art Survey class recycled old film boxes from the photo classes and created 4” dioramas in honor of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The celebration takes place each year on November 1 and 2.

December 2012

Upcoming Productions CPHS Presents Candlelight Concert for the Holidays

The College Park High School Choir will present their first-ever candlelight concert on Saturday, December 15 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Hill. The Music Department of CPHS will be presenting an elegant, intimate concert to celebrate the music of the holiday season. “We wanted to give a special concert with our top performing ensembles,” explains Jorge Jimenez, Director of Instrumental Music at CPHS. “This concert features our top instrumentalists in the full orchestra, along with the advanced singers in Concert Choir.” The concert begins at 7pm and will be held by candlelight in the beautiful sanctuary of St. Andrew’s. According to CPHS Director of Vocal Music Bruce Rockwell, “The students will perform a variety of holiday music from the Christian, Jewish, and secular traditions. Everything from centuries-old motets to modern pop tunes to Handel’s glorious Hallelujah Chorus.” The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is located at 1601 Mary Drive in Pleasant Hill. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students. For additional information, contact Bruce Rockwell at: To purchase tickets, visit:

Save the Date for Winterfest

Join the College Park community on Wednesday, December 19 from 7:00 to 9:00pm for Winterfest, an event that celebrates all of the visual and performing arts at College Park. There will be a concert in the gym featuring vocal performances by the Mixed Chorus and Concert Choir as well as instrumental performances by the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Concurrently in the multi-use room, the visual arts students will display original artwork from ceramics, glass, photography and art classes. Some of the students offer art for sale. Come see the very talented WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19 7:00 - 9:00 PM teens in our community; bring the whole family! There is no charge for this event.



JENNIFER L. MARTIN, D.D.S. Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

401 GREGORY LANE, SUITE 126 PLEASANT HILL, CA 94523 925.676.8485 FAX 925.676.0288

December 2012

L ght Up The NIGHT! 

Nov 28

Holiday Frolic & Snow Park Presents

in Downtown Pleasant Hill

Join Santa, Mayor John Hanecak, and Pleasant Hill Rec Board Chair Dennis Donaghu in lighting our spectacular 25-foot Holiday Tree on Crescent Drive


Page 21


NT 2012 EVE .....  FREE horse-drawn carriage rides  TS  Holiday arts & crafts fair  HIGHLIGH  FREE hot chocolate and cookies   Merchant Open House with discounts and giveaways 

A winter wonderland with real snow!

At the Main Street Plaza between Starbucks & BofA

Friday, Nov. 30 1:00pm-9pm Sat. & Sun, Dec. 1 & 2 10am-5pm

Snow Park

Fri., 11/30 Sat., 12/1, Sun., 12/2 Downhill Sled Rides $3.00 each or 4 for $10 3-day weekend pass $20 (includes Friday Ice Skating) Snow Play Area

5 years and under only. $3-20 minutes




Fri., 11/30 only 1:00-9:00pm Holiday Light Parade At the Main St. Plaza Skate on the iceless rink Fri., 11/30, 6:30pm Fri., Nov. 30 12-4 & 7-9 with real skates! On Main St. Sat. Dec. 1 & Sun. Dec. 2 Kids $6 • Adults $8 Plus jumpers, face painting 10am-4pm incl. skate rental crafts & more! Santa visit is free or FREE with weekend Call the city of Martinez Professional photos availabl Snow Park Pass (925) 372-3510 to purchase.

All kids must be accompanied by an adult for all activities! No refunds. Event may cancel without notice due to weather.

 Frosty, Rudolph & other costumed  characters on Crescent Drive

For more information contact Main Street Martinez, Inc. (925) 228-3577 or visit Main Street Martinez, Inc.


Plaza at Pasta Pomodoro 5:30–5:45 — Contra Costa Christian High School Senior Choir 5:45–6:00pm — College Park High School Concert Choir 6:00pm — Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:15–7:45pm — Pictures with Santa (bring your own camera) Downtown Plaza Stage (between Sweet Tomatoes and Jack's Restaurant)


MARTY OʻS Concessions & Catering “A Menu for Every Budget”

Downtown Martinez

Santa Beer Crawl

Saturday Dec. 15, 2012 4:00-7:00pm

5:15–5:45pm — Generations Church 6:10–6:30pm — College Park High School Concert Choir 6:40–7:30pm — Studio A Dancers

This holida. season..

Shell Oil Products US Martinez Refinery

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Sample local craft beers inside downtown businesses. Catch the FREE shuttle from North Concord BART Shuttle hours are 3pm-9pm

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City of Pleasant Hill Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Downtown Pleasant Hill


City of Pleasant Hill


This evening of merriment is brought to you by

$25 per person in advance Groups of 5 or more people $20 each. $35 at the door. No group tickets at the door.


Costumes Optional


Must be 21yrs or older.

Page 22

December 2012


The 2013 Farmers’ Market Lover’s Calendar

Well, it is another year and another Farmers’ Market Lover’s Calendar is on the scene. This year’s calendar contains even more amazing watercolors from Dave Johnson and colorful prose from me for an exciting new season of local eating and recipes. It will become available once again at, Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley, Orinda Books, Orchard Nursery, Ace in Moraga and a few farmers’ markets. If you e-mail me at, I’ll meet you almost anywhere to get you one and avoid all the postage and handling nonsense on the website! I have not been able to technically get a preview onto my blog yet, but you can get a peek on my website. It’s a great gift idea for chefs, gardeners and lovers of art in your realm. As the mercury starts to dip, my mind goes to bubbling, hot vats of creamy stuff. Polenta in the morning with neat, melting squares of organic butter and maple syrup can change your life and benefit all humans coming into your sphere of influence. Regrouping at a family table centered around a baked crock of polenta with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce and melted aged Gouda can stop arguments and bring peace on earth. Butternut squash soup sipped piping hot with dollops of breathtaking crème fraiche floating topside or mashed cauliflowers with lemon oil join all manner of warm, delicious offerings to feed body and soul. Winter gardens, precious even in decay, are slowing down with the short days, but cruciferous veggies as well as lettuce, arugula, carrots, radish, beets, and greens of all kinds are on their way to being picked soon. Peas grow well in cold weather too and given a reason to climb, they will. Most winter crops will experience a drag as our climate cohabitates with frost, but don’t give up hope for any of them. Along with love

By Lesley Stiles and care, mulch the best pumpkin latte. Bring somenonsense. People and compost will thing healthy that you can eat to every like it when you repel freezing party you attend, and watch the alcohol make them somenocturnes and levels coursing through stressed bloodthing. It gives value keep your ground to yourself as well as streams. Most of all, breathe and do it producing. There deeply throughout the month. It will your recipient. are a few farmall be over sooner than later and it is a Always take ers’ markets open very magical time of year. Happy Holia walk and rememyear-round to days! ber to eat breakfast assist with your Lesley Stiles is a graduate of the and lunch with lots cooking groove: California Culinary Academy, susof fruits and vegTodos Santos Park tainable caterer and school garden edetables to exercise - Tuesdays from ucator. Contact Lesley at lesleystiles@ your jaws in a posi10 to 2; Pleasant Hill BART-, www.lesleystiles.blogspot. tive manner. Dinner can be a simpler days from 11 to 6; Diablo Valley at Kaiaffair, but the first two meals of the day com and visit her new website: www. ser Shadelands - Saturdays from 9 to shape your life and moods as well as 1; and Martinez Sunday Downtown from 10 to 2, to name a few. There is no shortage of sumptuous offerings This is a kitchen sink kind of stew. There are no rules. Use whatever you find at the market and have on hand. If you are feeling frisky, add some crumbled feta on the top. If kinky is to adorn heavy tables; they are waitmore apt a mood, top it all off with chopped Greek olives and drizzled lemon oil. ing to be tenderly concocted into heart Ingredients: fluttering and body warming delights. ½ bunch rainbow Swiss chard, sliced 1 red onion, chopped or ½ bunch baby Nothing like a good vegetable soup as 1 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans onions, sliced up the greens temperatures plummet to keep energy 1 cup tomato sauce 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup vegetable stock and imagination flowing enough to 2 carrots, split and chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 turnip, cubed motivate you after early dark like a fast ½ cup chopped fresh mixed herbs such as 2 large Yukon gold potato, cubed moving storm. parsley, oregano, thyme, mint ½ butternut squash, cubed As holiday hustle exerts it’s anxSalt and pepper 1 large parsnip, sliced ious pull of soul crunching ambition 4 cups cooked couscous ½ head of Gai lan, sliced (Chinese broccoli) to have the best party of the season, be Directions: the skinniest, give the most creative In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until slightly and unusual gifts, keep exercising, enbrowned. Add the potato, butternut squash, parsnips, turnip and carrots. Sauté for 10 minutes until caramelized. Add garbanzos, tomato sauce and stock. Let simmer 20 more mintertain in-laws and out-laws, walk the utes and add gai lan and chard. Let simmer for 5 minutes until greens are brightly colored. dog, feed the fish, work at school and Add herbs and season w/ salt and pepper. Serve over couscous. Serves 8. job, force the amaryllis, decorate the house, find the perfect flipping tree…. it can feel like a spiral of quinoa pulling shop for you down, but alas…there is hope and strategy to cope with it all. shop for Number one is to re-evaluate the Youth Homes Auxiliary Thrift Shop whole shebang. Do less. What can be raises money in support of the adapted to create an easier schedule? needs of young people in the Personally, I tend to step back a foot care of Youth Homes, Inc. or two from any kind of senseless conSENIOR 5% DISCOUNT EVERYDAY suming and make a whole bunch of something to give everyone including 15C Vivian Dr Pleasant Hill, CA family, friends, teachers, etc. I will do a (Behind Jack in The Box) 925-798-5561 jam day or spice mixture or bath salts, Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM – 4 PM anything to keep me from spending everything I earned all year and having to get involved with a bunch of low blood sugar rampaging shoppers, hell bent on getting the best deal of some imported

Winter Vegetable Stew w/ Couscous

bargains, foster children

December 2012



Come watch the bees at work in our new Hive Alive! exhibit and get a better view of our birds in the newly renovated raptor viewing area! Visit Wednesday–Friday noon–5pm and weekends 10am–5pm. Go to to learn more.




Page 23

Wildlife Releases – The Good Part By Susan Heckly, Lindsay Wildlife Museum Lindsay Wildlife Museum has an exciting new program where the public can see some of the rehabilitated animals being released back into the wild. In October, three baby gray foxes that came to the wildlife hospital in the spring were released to kick off this new program. Two of these fox kits were orphaned when they were only two weeks old and weighed less than half a pound. The third one suffered a leg injury when he was ten weeks old. The first two gray foxes were found in the backyard of a home in Moraga. The homeowner tried to place the kits back into their den. However, the kits kept coming back out. At two weeks old, they were too young to be outside of their den alone so they were brought to the wildlife hospital. For the first several weeks, they were handfed multiple times each day by a specially trained volunteer. The third fox arrived at the hospital with a rear leg injury. He was radiographed and given medication. He recovered well. After being weaned, all three were sent to Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley where they have a specialized fox enclosure that enables the foxes to grow and

learn to act like foxes without much human interaction. After six months of caring and feeding the foxes and making sure they knew how to hunt, we were able to return them back to their home. If you would like to be invited to see rehabilitated wild animals like these foxes being returned to the wild, sign up on the museum’s website at When we have a special release scheduled, we will send you an email with instructions on how to sign up, along with the suggested donation amount. By attending a release, your tax-deductible donation will go directly to the wildlife hospital and to the care of our current patients. With your support, we can continue to care for the thousands of wild animals that need our help. For more information about Lindsay Wildlife Museum and ways you can help wildlife, visit

Page 24

December 2012

In the Mix Well, here we are again, finally reaching the end of the year. As we say goodbye to 2012, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on some of the incredible musical highlights that took place in central Contra Costa. As I look back, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always reminded of how lucky we all are to have such amazing talent right here in our backyard. I have to say that Pleasant Hill and Martinez really stepped up to the plate this year with some amazing events. Armandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Martinez was the place to be in 2012. On the first Thursday night of the month from February through July, The Chris Cain Band held court and proceeded to bring the house down with their amazing blues and jazz. Indie artists Chuck Prophet and band tried out new material on several Sundays. Some other great acts included Counting Crowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; off-shoot band, Tender Mercies, The Leo Vigil Band and Sin Silver. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t visited this intimate venue, you are truly missing out. Each week Armandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s provides quality music for a fraction of the cost. April saw the return of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Come Togetherâ&#x20AC;? benefit show for teens of Pleasant Hill. This year it was at the Winslow Center, a more intimate location for the acoustic vibe. It was a huge success and featured the amazing

By Paul Cotruvo, Cover2Cover talents of many local artists: Swoon, ing, so please get out there and support shoes and enjoy a free show just about Mark Stanley, Toni Bryant and yours local music. You will not be disapevery weekend of the summer and truly, The Bell Brothers, Dan DeShara pointed. fall. I would personally like to thank and Channing Dahl, Sin Silver, Gary Happy New Year and I hope to see all the venues in the area that proKing, The Ro-Duo, and Scotty Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill. you out at a show. vided live music in our little corner of But it was the opening act of two Quote of the month: the universe. Some of them include: young sisters, Fiona and Dierdre Nelis, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The object of a new year is not that we Dallimontiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Armandosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Danâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar, who performed the Taylor Swift/Civil should have a new year. It is that we Vinnies, Back 40, Roxx on Main, The War song â&#x20AC;&#x153;Safe and Sound,â&#x20AC;? from The should have a new soul.â&#x20AC;? --G.K. ChesRound Up, Roccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizzeria, E.J. Phair Hunger Games which really brought and Pyramid Breweries, to name a few. terton the crowd to its feet. What an amazing I know 2013 will be just as amazevening of music! Do not miss the next event in February, 2013. Pleasant Hillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sunset by the Lake December 2 - Martinez Music Mafia 4th Annual Holiday Pageant and Toy Drive, Featuring: Garageland Rodeo, Caroompas Room, Cover Story, Sin Silver, The Hopeful Romantics and concert series continued to bring qualmore. Armandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s , 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 3pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7pm. ity acts for free. This year started off December 6 - The Chris Cain Band, Armandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm with one of the finest funky soul bands December 8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Lumberyard, Dallimontis, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9:30pm in the area, East Bay Mudd. Some December 15 - Caroompas Room, Armandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm of the highlights were En Vivo, Petty December 30 - The Famous Trio, Roccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Vly Rd., WC, 8:30pm Theft, The Fundamentals, Cover2Cover December 31 - Cover2Cover, Back Forty Texas BBQ, Pleasant Hill, 9pm and the finale that featured two bands, local country artists The Bell Brothers and the rockinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lumberyard. Another great event was the 3rd Annual Pleasant Hill Blues and Brews which featured the San Francisco legendary band, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood as well as amazing performances by Chris Cain, Tip of the Top and Pleasant Hillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Jinx Jones and the Kingtones and Blue Conspiracy. The successful Lafayette Art & Wine Festival had four stages this year packed with acts such as: The Sun Kings, Aja Vu, The Spazmatics and Zebop. So many cities have their own concert series now that you could pack up your picnic basket and dancing

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Page 25

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Page 26

Contra Costa County Library Receives Medal

The Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington D.C. announced Contra Costa County Library as one of ten recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities. The National Medal was presented at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on November 14.  Contra Costa County Library is reshaping how residents access library services on the go. Snap & Go, a smart phone application, uses QR codes to give the library a deeper reach into the com-

munity, putting library resources like e-books and text-reference into the hands of commuters on buses and in transit stations. Library-a-Go-Go book lending machines bring library service to the people both in underserved locations and in spaces where people gather, like shopping malls. Discover & Go, their latest innovation, allows libraries throughout Northern California to offer their cardholders access to downloadable free passes to local museums and a wide range of cultural institutions. By making this service available to other libraries, Contra Costa County Library is changing the way libraries do business with each other and helping library cardholders throughout the region be aware of and gain access to local culture.

The Martinez Lion’s Club hosted a dinner on October 23 recognizing both the Martinez Police Officer of the Year and the Contra Costa County Sheriff Deputy of the Year. Corporal Tyson Muncher, a 24-year veteran of the Martinez Police Department, was selected as the Martinez Police Officer of the Year for 2012. Corporal Muncher is currently a Field Training Officer, K-9 handler, Range Master and Reserve Coordinator. He was honored for revitalizing the

Reserve Officer Program, managing the firearms program and improving community relationships in his neighborhood policing area. Several residents from Corporal Muncher’s neighborhood policing area attended the event to show their support. This dinner was held at the Shell Club house in Martinez. The Martinez Police Department would like to extend our thanks to the Lion’s Club for all of their hard work in making this a successful event.

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Hillcrest Congregational Donates to Caring Hands

Hillcrest Church in Pleasant Hill recently made a $350 donation to assist with John Muir Health’s Caring Hands volunteer recruitment efforts. Caring Hands recruits and trains volunteers to help adults aged sixty and older remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible. Linda Groobin, program manager for the Caring Hands Caregiver program reports, “Those who serve with the Caring Hands program have found that many seniors benefit greatly from a weekly friendly visit, a walk in the park, or other social outings.” Hillcrest Church takes pride in its involvement in community outreach services through its Clothing Room, Food Room and Layette programs. Hillcrest Church’s donation recognizes the importance of the Caring Hands program to seniors in our community and hopes the contribution will help offset some of the costs of training new volunteers. “Working together with the Caring Hands program will allow us to partner trained volunteers with Hillcrest Church members who could benefit from a friendly visitor,” said Betty MacKenzie, Hillcrest Church’s Care Ministry Coordinator. Caring Hands is offering a training class Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Medical Center’s Walnut Creek Campus. For more information about becom-

ing a Caring Hands volunteer, please contact Linda Groobin, Program Manager, Caring Hands Caregiver Program, at (925) 952-2999. For information on Hillcrest Church’s Clothing and Food Room, or to become a Hillcrest Outreach volunteer, please contact Bill Cunningham, Hillcrest Outreach Coordinator, at (925) 689-8260.

Betty MacKenzie, Hillcrest Church’s Care Ministry Coordinator, presents Linda Groobin, John Muir Health’s Caring Hands Caregiver Program Coordinator, with a $350 check to support volunteer training classes.


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December 2012

Book Signing by Martinez Resident

Kathryn DaviCardinale, author of the inspiring personal story, Joseph--My Son, My Guide: Communications From the Baby I Lost at Birth will be available to sign her book at White Rabbit Boutique on Saturday, December 1, from 24pm. In her book, she shares how her baby, who lived only three minutes, returned decades later to communicate with his mother. Kathryn began receiving messages she refers to as “inner dictation.” The manner in which she received the first contacts was startling, so she began documenting all the messages, and after twelve years of doubting, she surrendered and embraced this beautiful experience. Joseph’s messages are full of love and compassion, both personal and universal, and she was told they were to be shared with everyone, hence the book. Kathryn believes that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, and that we will return to an eternal place at the end of our earth lives. She believes that we change from day to day as we grow in wisdom, and that we are all teachers and students to each other. She said that she reminds herself to see the grace in every person,

and that negative judgment only causes harm to oneself. For years she has started her morning with a prayer similar to that of St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me a channel of your peace, love, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.” Kathryn has received messages from those who have read her book and lost loved ones themselves, but now feel at peace, knowing that life continues. She said many readers have written or called to share their own experiences of communication from loved ones “on the other side.” Until now, they had never told this to anyone for fear that people might think they were crazy. Her story has given them permission to share and feel normal again. Still, others have read the book more than once and gained even more insight, realizing that we all have a unique purpose in life. It seems that readers receive what they are meant to receive for their own spiritual growth. This seems to be the true purpose of the book. Kathryn is a certified grief counselor and clinical hypnotherapist residing in Martinez. For additional information, contact Anne Mobley at 925-229-1900 or by e-mail at

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Author Visits Sequoia MS By Nancy Brenner, Sequoia MS Library Media Teacher pursue their creative sides. He empha Children’s book author, Brandon sizes how reading and writing help the Mull, is known among students for his imagination develop. Brandon Mull’s very popular series Fablehaven. He is presentations are always entertaining, also the author of Beyonders and The interesting and very motivational. He Candy Shop War (which takes place in never fails to create a new crop of fans Clayton where he attended school for where ever he goes, which means more several years). All of Mull’s works are children are reading and expanding fantasies that take readers into worlds that imagination that is so important with magic, good guys, bad guys and children who are destined to be heroes. for all of us. His most recent release on October 23 is The Candy Shop War, In November, he visited Sequoia Middle and Oak Grove Middle Schools. Part 2: Arcade Catastrophe. You can read more about Brandon During his assemblies, Mull not only Mull on his website: www.brandondescribes the plots of his different books, but also encourages students to

On November 5, author Brandon Mull plays the ‘imagination game’ with three 6th grade students during an assembly at Sequoia Middle School. Photo Credit: Nancy Brenner

Impact of Foundations

During the week of November 12-18, the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation joined more than 700 similar foundations across America for Community Foundation Week to tell the stories of lives changed, jobs created, and communities transformed through philanthropy’s partnership with private and public leaders and organizations. “The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation works every day to help address the most pressing issues facing our community. Community foundations impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures,” said Betty Geishirt Cantrell, Foundation Board of Directors. “In a down economy, with limited resources and a growing need for services, we are more determined than ever to bring our partners together to find innovative and

effective solutions to some of our most challenging social problems.” Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits. Over the past 25 years, the PHCF has led numerous fundraising efforts for major projects including the playground at Pleasant Hill Park, the pool at Pleasant Hill Middle School and the Sprayground at the Pleasant Hill Aquatic Park. Hundreds of grants have been awarded to local groups that provide educational, recreational and cultural services to our residents. College scholarships have also been granted to College Park graduates. For more information about the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation, visit

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December 2012

Year-End Gifts to Cancer Causes

Health is Your Wealth: Dollars for Minutes

By Jewel Johl, M.D.

By Tonya Marie Amos, Aspire Pilates to find that perfect gift. If you’re Inter The holiday net shopping, you may be more causeason is full of tious before hitting “purchase” and will fun, delicious escape your chair to get your heart rate food and hanging up. out with friends “Dollars For Workout Minutes” and family. We will help keep an eye on both your may have the best waistline and your pocketbook durof intentions to ing times of frenzy. You’ll minimize exercise and watch our budget in Deimpulse buys, choose your gifts wisecember, but our goals quickly depart ly, and be encouraged to move your with the sparkly lights, chocolate, and body. And come January, it won’t champagne. During all the fabulous take months and months to get back festivities, we often stop working out on physical and financial track. Linkand create a mountain of gift-wrapped ing your finances with your fitness will debt. After witnessing our bodies and help you discover that your health truly finances spiral out of control, Januis your wealth. Happy Holidays! ary ushers in the post-holiday blues of needing to “fix” whatever is not right in For more information, contact please our life. call (925) 680-4400 or go to www.AspirePi Want a tactic to cut down on your holiday spending while increasing your physical activity? “Dollars For Workout Minutes” is a way to link your gift spending with how much you exercise. Start by assigning a dollar amount to Tropical Pilates Retreat 7 days & nights of relaxation for body, a minute of exercise. For example, mind & spirit in a lush forest and “For each dollar I spend on gifts, I will tranquil beach setting. workout for one minute.” That means February 9 -16, 2013 Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico that a twenty-dollar holiday gift needs twenty minutes of exercise, while a fifIncluded in Retreat: 7 nights in a beautiful ocean & ty-dollar gift needs fifty minutes. Track jungle view cabana your purchases while shopping so that 3 delicious gourmet spa meals daily you know how much workout time 2 Pilates Classes daily 1 Cooking Class with world class you’ve earned. If you’re mall shopChef Hugo ping, much of a purchase may have al1 Conversational Spanish class ready been paid off in exercise, as you Resort Taxes & Gratuities possibly walked for forty-five minutes Time to “reset”, relax & disconnect

As the year draws to a close, we know that many people embrace the spirit of giving by making tax deductible contributions to nonprofit organizations and charities. So many agencies need our assistance, including those who provide cancer support. • Cancer Support Community (CSC) reaches out to cancer patients, and their families, in so many vital ways. Previously called “The Wellness Community,” CSC provides comprehensive psychological support and educational programs, at no cost, for people with cancer and their caregivers, children and families. Their programs and services enable cancer patients and their families to manage their treatment and recovery as effectively as possible, increase their chances for survival, and provide for a higher quality of life. Anyone affected by cancer is welcome, and all of their services are always free of charge. • The American Cancer Society (ACS) is another organization that makes huge contributions in cancer awareness and research funding. Our patients enjoy programs like ‘Look Good Feel Better’- (free cosmetology consults and products) and ‘Road to Recovery’- (free transportation to medical appointments). The ACS sponsors ‘Relay for Life’ and ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ in our communities, raising millions of dollars while raising awareness about cancer, early detection, and prevention. • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support

services. • Pints for Prostates is a grassroots campaign that uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message. The campaign raises awareness among men about the importance of regular health screenings and early detection by making appearances at beer events, social networking and pro bono advertising. It is a registered 501(c)3 charity and funds generated by the group go to fighting prostate cancer and assisting men with the disease. • The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) is the only international organization devoted solely to education, prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment of the world’s most common cancer. The SCF’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour celebrated its fifth year of providing free, full-body skin exams to people across America. This year, Diablo Valley Oncology arranged for the van to stop in Walnut Creek and with the help of three local dermatologists, 70 people were screened. These organizations are a few of many worthwhile cancer based nonprofits. Think about all the wonderful ways your donations can help those touched by cancer. Your tax deductible gift can be also be made in recognition or in memory of someone. Visit their websites to make your donate. Happy Holidays! Dr. Johl is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist. He practices with Diablo Valley Oncology, located at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill. The center brings together medical oncology, hematology, radiation, chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, clinical trials, and supportive care services. Satellite offices in Rossmoor, San Ramon, and Brentwood. 925-677-5041.


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Chronic Pain & Massage By Richard Weissman, Acupuncture Wellness Center Very few things are as distressing Restricted Movement as chronic pain. It saps your energy Pain and muscle tension can make and takes an emotional toll on your even simple actions difficult and tiring. body. Chronic pain is a major source This impairs your ability to exercise of stress and may interrupt your sleep, – your most important means for leaving you tired and irritable. It drains maintaining mobility and good circuyou emotionally, robbing you of the lation. Eventually, muscles and fascia patience and stamina you need to cope. can develop adhesions, where tissues Over time, pain can become a vicious “adhere” to each other, further restrictcycle with a mind of its own. Therapeu- ing movement and contributing to your tic massage is a simple, effective and pain. readily available support measure for Breaking the Cycle with dealing with chronic pain. Massage Therapy Muscle Tension Massage can break the cycle of pain Muscle tension from stress, repetiwith its ability to address most of the tive injuries or overuse can be painful. pain cycle elements. Tense muscles are prone to injury, add- • Massage relieves muscle tension, ing to the problem. What’s worse, mus- stretching and kneading tight muscles cles automatically contract around any and calming the painful site to support and protect the • When the muscles relax, pressure on area. This can cause painful muscle ten- nerves is reduced, relieving related pain sion to spread, even pressing on nerves, in distant sites. which can cause tingling, numbness • As massage relaxes the nervous and sharp shooting pain in new areas. system, blood vessels dilate to increase Reduced Circulation circulation. Irritating waste products Like a sponge that is squeezed, are flushed away and replaced with when a muscle is tight and contracted, healing oxygen and nutrients. it can’t hold much fluid, so circulation is • Specific massage techniques release impaired. Irritating waste products can adhesions. Muscle stretching and accumulate, leaving you feeling fatigued improved circulation from massage can and sore. Over time, areas with poor prevent their return. circulation can form “knots” (adhe• Certain techniques increase the pliasions) in both muscles and connective bility of adhesions. Along with reduced tissue coverings (fascia). These are muscle tension, this helps prevent new highly irritable spots that can refer pain injuries. elsewhere in the body. For example, an • Other massage techniques work to adhesion in your neck can cause pain to improve range of motion in specific run down your back. As muscles tense areas, further helping to restore normal around referred pain, the cycle spreads. movement. PAID ADVERTORIAL

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events To make donations or volunteer at organizations throughout December, please see Page 5. Martinez Farmers’ Market Sundays, 10am-2pm Year-round! Main St. between Castro & Ferry St. Stop by to pick up your locally grown winter produce and support the market this year! 11/29-12/1 – Story of the Nutcracker at Lesher Center for the Arts. Don’t miss the magic! Showtimes: Thursday, 11/29 at 1pm & 7:30pm; Friday, 11/30 at 1pm, 4:30pm & 7:30pm; Saturday, 12/1 at 2pm, 4:30pm; 7:30pm. Ticket office: 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets: $23-$33. Call 943SHOW (7469). 11/29-12/12 – Acu-Wellness Smoke-Out November was Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Acu-Wellness in Pleasant Hill continues to offer acupuncture treatments to help you quit smoking! Call for details: 925-671-2100. 11/28 – Pleasant Hill’s Light Up the Night 5pm-8pm. Join Santa and others in lighting up Downtown Pleasant Hill for the holiday season. Holiday Crafts Fair, Carriage Rides, Caroling & Studio A Dancers on the Plaza stage, free hot chocolate & cookies, merchant give-a-ways and lots more fun for the whole family! Crescent Drive, Downtown Pleasant Hill. 11/30 – Martinez Tree Lighting & Light Parade 5:30pm. The festivities begin with the twinkling of hundreds of lights on the Tree of Spirit. With a flip of a switch, a special guest will put the razzle-dazzle into this majestic tree on the corner of Court & Pine streets. After the lighting ceremony, follow the elves to City Hall to begin the light parade or venture to downtown Martinez for an evening of fun. 12/1 -12/2 – Rodgers Ranch Holiday Boutique 10am – 4pm. Santa will be on hand on Sunday from 1pm-4pm. Finish up your holiday shopping in our 1867 farmhouse. Holiday stuffed bears will be on sale or call for a preview. Please join us! 315 Cortsen Rd., Pleasant Hill. 925-937-3677. 12/1-12/28 - “Trees” art exhibit at aRt Cottage 2pm - 5pm reception. Eight artists from Pleasant Hill and Martinez and other local communities are exhibiting their tree paintings and tree photographs at aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo Street, Concord.

December 2012

Calendar Open to the public. Pet friendly. 12/7 – 12/8 - 8th Annual Holiday Home Tour 10am to 4pm, hosted by the Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek Branch of the American Association of University Women. Showcasing six delightfully decorated homes in the Alamo, Danville & Walnut Creek area, from trees decked-out entirely in Poland Glass ornaments, to rooms devoted entirely to model trains. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors; prices go up $5 after December 1st. To purchase tickets visit: hhtour/hht12.html. Proceeds benefit local women scholars in pre- and post-graduate programs and Tech Trek Science Camps for middle-school girls. 12/15 - Santa Craft Beer Crawl! 4-7pm. Over 20 locations to sample craft beer. Dress up in your best holiday costume. FREE shuttle from North Concord BART. After party at Creek Monkey Tap House! Email or call 925-228-3577. 12/19 – Society of American Magicians 7pm. Assembly #112 meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Open to all! Round Table Pizza, 2960 Treat Blvd., Concord. Join us this month and learn magic! Contact Fred at (925) 451-1292. 12/25 – Christmas for Everyone. Guests are welcome from 10am to 4pm at the New Hope International Church. Activities, entertainment, transportation, gifts for all, clothing and a holiday feast! 2120 Olivera Court, Concord. Call: (925) 682-5918. 1/15 - Frankly Speaking about Melanoma 6 – 8pm. An informal workshop for patients regarding treatment options, what’s new in melanoma research, and survivorship issues. Light refreshments and discussion. Speaker: Matthew Sirott, MD Cancer Support Community, 3276 McNutt Avenue, Walnut Creek For further information and to register, please call. (925) 933-0107 1/29 - East Bay Breast Cancer Forum 6 -7:30pm. “What’s New in Breast Cancer Research: An Update from San Antonio 2012.” An Informal Presentation for patients based on data from the annual international breast cancer meeting. Light dinner and discussion. Speaker: Tiffany Svahn, MD. The Cancer Research Institute 400 Taylor Blvd. Suite 300 -3rd Floor,

Pleasant Hill. For further information and to register, please call (925) 677-5041 X272.

At the library Pleasant Hill: Tuesdays - Doorstep Farmers Pick Up 5-7pm. Sign up with Doorstep Farmers, a local CSA, at All subscribers will receive a 5% discount for choosing Pleasant Hill Library as their pick-up location. Wednesdays - English Conversation Practice for Adults 1:30-2:30pm. Wednesdays - Mother Goose Storytime 11:15-11:45pm. Ages 0-5. Wednesdays – One-On-One Computer Tutor 11am-12pm. Set up an appointment for a one-hour, one-on-one computer training session with one of the Pleasant Hill Library’s trained computer tutors. Thursdays - Preschool Storytime 11:1511:45am. Ages 3-5. Fridays - Storytime 11:15-11:45pm & 1:151:45pm. Ages 0-3. Fridays - Contra Costa Teen Chess Club 3-5pm. Instruction, friendly matches, and tournaments. All levels are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring own chess board and pieces. Saturdays - Story Time 11:15-11:45am. Babies, Preschoolers, Kids.

Patrick Remer, 925-927-3235 Martinez: Tuesdays – Mother Goose Story and Craft Time 10:30-11:30am. Ages 0-3. 12/4 & 18 – Knitting & Crochet Workshop 6-7:30pm. Come learn the art of knitting and crocheting from our blue ribbon experts. Whatever your level, you are welcome to come and learn. All materials provided free to those under 18. Adults may come, but may have to provide their own materials. Best for middle and high school students. 12/10 – One Wacky Winter 6:30-7:30pm. Way up on top of Winter Mountain lives the Grunch, the long, lost brother of the Grinch. Things are in full swing at the Master Toymaker’s workshop in Toyland until someone starts kidnapping broken toys from the workshop! Don’t miss this amazing puppet extravaganza just in time for the holidays! 12/11 – Gift Wrap Origami Style 3:30-4:30. Origami expert Charles Esseltine will demonstrate the art of origami gift wrap at this handson workshop. Bring a special gift or two and take home something exotic for the holidays. All ages. Registration ends: 12/10 at 8pm. All Libraries Closed 12/23-25. For Children’s Programs questions contact Lea Stone, Youth Services Librarian, 925-646-9900. For Adult Programs questions contact Catherine Oliver Library Assistant, Adult Services (925) 646-9921.

12/1 – Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library Book Sale 10am-3:30pm. Behind the library. 12/7 – Afternoon Book Discussion 1-2:30pm. First Friday of the month. This month we are reading “The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson. 12/11 – Holiday Puppet Show: The Nutcracker 6:30-8pm. The Puppet Company presents this seasonal favorite, featuring sugar plum fairies, mouse armies, mechanical toys, the snow queen, and a nutcracker who becomes a prince. 12/12 – Teen Advisory Group (TAG) 3:305pm. Join the TAG to meet with the teen librarian to create fun programs and suggest new resources at the library for you and other teens. Receive volunteer hours for your time. Room A. 12/18 – PH Book Discussion 6:30-8pm. This month we are reading Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek: A Novel. For Children’s Programs questions contact

Now – 12/17 - Toys for Tots: “Bring the Joy of Christmas to America’s Needy Children” Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. There are various locations in Contra Costa County that have Toys for Tots collection bins. The office of Jennifer L. Martin D.D.S., 401 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill will be collecting toys through 12/17, 9am-5pm Monday thru Thursday and 9am-4:30pm on Fridays. For a full list of locations or to find out more information, visit:

December 2012

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December 2012  

Community News and Events for Pleasant Hill, Marintez, Pacheco, Walnut Creek and Lafayette

December 2012  

Community News and Events for Pleasant Hill, Marintez, Pacheco, Walnut Creek and Lafayette