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JULY 2011

A Monthly Publication Delivered to Over 40,000 Residents

Make Our Community Focus Your Home Page Find the information you need to navigate Our Community at • Weather • Sports • Recipes • Submit a Story

• Traffic • Place a Classified Ad • KTVU 2 Local & National News • Post a Community Calendar Event

• Local Business Directory • Business News & Links • The Focus Columns • Community Resources & Links

• Real Estate • Archives • Seniors • Local Movie Times

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July 2011

MOLINO’S RAVIOLI now serving hot food to go

Tuesday - Saturday 11:30am - 5:30PM* Choose your entree and your sauce. So many different combinations to make! Choose from Ravioli, Tortellini, Lasagna, Penne and more! Sauces include Meat, Mushroom, Alfredo or Pesto. Hot Italian Sandwiches just in time for summer. Italian Cheesesteak, Meatball or Italian Sausage on a french roll.



Each entree includes fresh baked garlic bread. Add a small green salad and make a meal out of it. Salads come in individual and family size. Your next picnic or outing will be a breeze with our new Hot Food To Go! Call ahead to order or just walk in. Mention this ad to receive $1 off your order #1 since 1994

Molino’s Hot Food & Catering

For complete menu visit, www. Regular Store Hours Tues - Sat 10:30 - 6 • Sunday 12 - 5 • Closed Monday and Holidays

2150 Pleasant Hill Road., 925.934.7075 *Hours subject to change during introduction.

Celebrate Freedom.

This 4th of July, take a moment to remember the brave men and women who served and sacrificed for our freedom. Happy 4th! Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® Matthew Rinn, Agent Insurance Lic. #: 0F99232 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 Bus: 925-671-0222 Fax: 925-671-0309


State Farm, Home Office, Bloomington, IL

July 2011

of Memorie s r a e Y 5C0elebrating Pleasant Hill’s 50th Anniversar s y

8:00am 9:30am

Cover2Cover–passionately delivering 5 decades of rockin’ hits


Anniversary Cake eating contest!

Pleasant Hill Patriots / Grand Sponsors Allied Waste Services Don & Norma Flaskerud City of Pleasant Hill Loja Group LLC Sponsors Patrick and Shirley Campbell Foundation Pleasant Hill Coin and Jewelry Exchange Pleasant Hill Lions Club Carlton Senior Living/The Chateaus Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District City Arms East Rotary Club of Pleasant Hill Comcast Sports Basement Magoo’s Grill State Farm Insurance, Matthew Rinn Agency

Patrons Aegis Assisted Living Back 40 Texas BBQ Daily Digital Imaging

Parade Grand Marshall Ted Winslow By Sandy Vinson non-profit organizations since 1951. He Ted Winslow and his wife Suzy have has received numerous service awards lived in Pleasant Hill since 1950. They over the years and in 1989 was selected as raised 4 children, all who graduated from Pleasant Hill Citizen of the Year. College Park High School and went on The following is a partial list of the to college. Ted had an insurance agency projects/groups Ted has worked with: and later accepted an opportunity to be1951 – Committee to raise funds for the come the manager of the Pleasant Hill purchase of land for Pleasant Hill Park Recreation and Park District. Suzy taught 1951 to 2011 – Hillcrest Congregational school at Pleasant Hill Elementary. Church Charter Member For 60 years, 1951–2011, Ted Win1952 to 2011 – Pleasant Hill Lions Club slow has continually served the Pleasant charter member Hill community as a public servant and 1953 – Pleasant Hill Chamber of Comvolunteer. merce and President in 1956 Ted’s public service includes many 1963 – Valley View Middle School Parents years on the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Board of Directors and Gen- Club 1972 to 2011 – Pleasant Hill Historical Soeral Manager for 21 years. He served in ciety Board the U.S. Air Force Reserves for 30 years, 1987 to 2011 – Pleasant Hill Community attained the rank of full Colonel and reFoundation founder and Board Member ceived the Military Merit medal for his Look for Ted in the 4th of July Parade service. in Pleasant Hill. Ted has worked with a multitude of

Martinez 4th of July Main Street Martinez will host the 3rd annual downtown Martinez 4th of July parade and celebration featuring a pancake breakfast, hometown parade along Main St. and an afternoon of live music, arts & crafts vendors, kids activities, non-profit organization booths and more!

8am - Pancake Breakfast on Estudillo St. 9am-4pm - Main St. Plaza Arts & Crafts and Kids Activities. 10am - Parade on Main St. begins at Court St. and ends at Alhambra Ave. Announcers stage is near Estudillo St. 11:30am-4pm - DJ Music by Tomboy Entertainment. Visit the Vendors in the Plaza.

Exxon Dawn Block & Michael Harris Pete Sabine/J. Rockcliff Realtors Donaghu Graphic Designs Smokin Okie’s BBQ Joint Dynamic Audio Concepts

Supporters Jim & Margie Alkire Backyard Carnivals Alpine Bakery Jim & Sandy Bonato Brocca Inc, Wingstop C & M Party Props Cresco Equipment David Deutscher Co. Diablo Trophies & Awards

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Eames Hardware & Supply Molino’s Ravioli Rose Joy Endonila, DDS Northern Burgers, LLC Far West Sanitation & Storage Paul Mitchell The School Fast Signs Pediatric Dentistry of Pleasant Hill Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital Rappicci’s Italian Ice Michael Huguet, DDS Red Brick Pizza Minuteman Press Seel & Wright, LLC Karen Mitchoff Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista Lind Family Care Jack Weir Family

Donors Alhambra Valley Physical Therapy Frank & Mary Begert Elsie Boarman Richard and Yvonne DeAndre

Jacqueline Gelder Kelly-Moore Paints Ronald Grafton, DDS Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Quantum Business Solutions Robyn and Chris Rice Santiago and Associates State Farm Insurance, Christine Samson Agency


Know someone who always does the right thing, improves the lives of others, goes the extra mile who deserves a mention? Email a nomination to info@ourcommunityfocus or call 925-335-6397.

Pictured on the Cover Martinez Fourth of July 2010: Photos by Denis Shea Pleasant Hill Fourth of July 2010: Photos by Community Focus

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July 2011

Hats Off!

By Julie Ross Jorge’s success. She is retiring this year, so I first heard of Jorge Gomez Montoya I went looking for a good quote to dedijust over a month ago and would like to share cate to her. I found one that seemed to hit his story with you. Jorge came here from the mark, spoken by Galileo: “You cannot El Salvador at the age of 14. He spoke no teach people anything. You can only help English. Four years later, he is on the honor them discover it within themselves.” roll at College Park High School and headed Congratulations to Jorge Gomez Monto college. toya, Mary Anne Shaw and the whole The evening of May 26, hundreds of atCollege Park community for making tendees at the 2011 Senior Awards Ceremony Jorge’s story a reality. at College Park watched Jorge accept a schol Jorge was in good company at the arship award from the PTSA as a deserving senior awards ceremony, as one impressive student after senior bound for community college, which he plans to another was recognized. We saw Lauren Cefali and Eric enter this fall. Jorge is the first in his family to graduate high school, Naccara receive scholarships from the U.S. Coast Guard after being chosen solely on merit, along with 288 other and he didn’t just get through with the minimum restudents from a pool of 20,000 applicants. quirements. As his English improved, Jorge took more We watched seniors accept more than a dozen scholadvanced classes so he could be prepared to further his arships and more than a dozen awards for leadership, education beyond College Park. community service, athletics, academics and the arts. That evening we watched Jorge accept the Volkan There was a record number of California Scholastic FedKayik Award, established in memory of a former student eration Sealbearers, students who are recognized for havwho came here from Turkey with no English skills and ing achieved and maintained a high standard of scholarunfortunately died at the hand of another. The award is given to a student who arrives here speaking another lan- ship and community service. guage and who has had other hardships. This scholarship It seems like College Park High School is doing a award exemplifies a student – like Jorge – who has come a pretty good job getting the students in our community off to a good start. Hats off to our graduates, and the best of long way luck to all of you. Jorge was also awarded the Tosco Environmental Send comments to Scholarship through the Mount Diablo Unified School District. In addition to these scholarships, Jorge was The Community Focus selected by Kaiser Permanente’s LAUNCH internship is available at the program for the summer months, a position for which he following locations: completed a 13-page application, an interview, and comPleasant Hill Market • Pleasant Hill City Hall peted against 280 applicants for 40 positions. Pleasant Hill Senior Center • Pleasant Hill Library Mary Anne Shaw, the student resource technician at Mt. Diablo YMCA • UPS – Virginia Hills, Mtz. College Park who worked with Jorge over the years, finds Chamber of Commerce (P.H. & Mtz.) him to be a wonderful, self-motivated, intelligent young Pleasant Hill Rec and Park (Civic Dr. & Gregory) man with a desire to learn and a mother who encouraged Hyatt Summerfield Suites, Pleasant Hill him to succeed. Legal Grounds, Martinez • Martinez Senior Center According to Mary Anne, Jorge seeks out help, lisLes Schwab Tires - Alhambra Avenue tens to suggestion and is thoughtful and careful about his Best Western, John Muir Inn, Martinez choices. Really, is there any better way to get through high Headways Salon, Main Street school? Or, for that matter, is there a better way to live your whole life? I’m sure Mary Anne’s support was a big factor in

• King of the County BBQ Winners........... page 8 • Recent Home Sales..................................... page 9 • Summer Picnic Recipes............................ page 11 • Martinez and Pleasant Hill History......... page 13

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 SPORTS EDITOR Chuck Nan GRAPHIC DESIGN Trish Heaney, Debra Wilson, Sarah Birdwell COPY EDITOR Alison Clary

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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.

• Tikkun Olam Award Winners 15 • Stephensen Draft Pick 16 • Here Comes Solar at CPHS............................. page 20 • Live Music Listing............................................. page 24

July 2011

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You Never Forget Your First Time…Boating An episode of The Munsters begins with the family taking a vote on whether to vacation at the beach or in the country. Grandpa, Lilly, Marilyn and Eddie all vote for the beach. Herman votes for the country. Next scene? The forlorn family is packed into the car while a smiling Herman drives them through the countryside. That effectively sums up how my family, in 1974, got our first boat. Mom and we kids voted for a swimming pool. Dad got us a boat. I’m not saying he made a bad choice. The family that boats together, bonds together. Ultimately, we shared some great summer Sundays, cruising around Long Island Sound from morning until sunset. But, that’s not the way it all began… El Magnifico’s maiden voyage was anything but magnificent. Dad pushed the boat off the trailer and into the water with mom already aboard. Within minutes, the stern had sunk a foot, and mom was screaming and frantically bailing out water with a galvanized fishing bucket. Not putting in the plug has that cause and effect. My wife and I bought our boat, Farm Livin’, second-hand two weeks before Christmas, 2003. The seller threw in a swim ladder and an old 6-gallon, Evinrude gas tank with the Cruise-a-Day graphic still visible on the side. Before we drove off with boat in tow, he said, “That’s

By Randy Wanser a good little motor on there. It’ll run all her husband, and sheepishly rejoins the San Antonio, near Paso Robles. After day on a tank of gas.” line-up of boats. Curtain falls. a fun day on the water, they return to a We first launched on a crisp May busy marina. Husband, Jesse, engineer by While first-time boating stories can Sunday at Martinez Marina. We merrily be amusing, they also underscore that trade, is tasked with retrieving the truck passed beneath the Benicia and Carsafe boating cannot be left to chance. and trailer, and backing down the ramp. quinez bridges but as we approached the Good advice to boaters is to make a comWife, Sabine, is to pilot the boat through Richmond/San Rafael bridge, Cruise-aprehensive task list, follow strict routines, a cue of boats, and, presumably, up onto Day deceived us. “All day on a tank of and take the California Boating Safety the trailer. Just before Sabine completes gas, my A**!“ Luckily, the only boaters in Course. Information about the course is the tricky maneuver, Jesse starts pulling sight were friendly fisherman, who, after contained at up the ramp, aiming to achieve a forgiving us for chewing up their lines terInfo/BoatSafeCourse.aspx. more precise position. Sabine u-turns, with our propeller, gave us just enough Have a fun, safe boating season. floats over the trailer side-ways, glares at gas to cruise back to Martinez. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But ours isn’t the only tree in town with a boat parked Proudly sponsored by: under it. A few years ago, brothers Jack and Tony Venardi of Pleasant Hill, anticipated tubing great arcs across New Melones Lake near Sonora. Mom, Shelley, fed out I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day. Abraham Lincoln the tow rope, then took her seat as husband, Mark, applied the accelerator. The boat took off sluggishly, and continued to slog along unevenly. The boys in the tube, looking less than pleased, were giving the thumbs up for more speed. But Dad shut it down. Take it from Jack and Tony: You get a much better ride when you pull the anchor up first! Some of the best boating theater takes place on or near the launch ramp. The curtain opens on the Walkers of Pleasant Hill, new to boating in 2007. The setting is a family vacation at Lake VICKI GORDON How does she do it? Anyone who is fortunate to know Vicki Gordon will describe her as loyal, considerate and supportive. And her support branches-out to many corners of the community. Vicki serves as a Director or volunteer for many organizations including: Martinez Unified School District, Martinez Education Foundation, Alhambra High School Booster Club Board, E-Scrip, PTSA, The Wellness Community, Contra Costa Food Bank and the Philanthropic Educational Organization. It is Vicki’s initiative that has made Martinez a far better place to reside and educate our children as future leaders. Countless young people have been able to participate in many athletic, musical, and artistic activities because of the dollars that Vicki directly fought for and raised. Vicki’s success is due in part to her ability to communicate and discuss issues which impacted residents and their families. She possesses a hypersensitivity to the feelings of all. In short, she has tremendous flexibility and imagination to see solutions others may not. She leads people to reach toward success. Most of all, she has a quality which cannot be measured or defined, a characteristic shared by those who are called to serve. Vicki Gordon is truly doing the right thing.

The author’s mother, Anne Wanser, christening the family boat at Smithtown Bay, NY, in a 1974 photo.


Martinez 3800 Alhambra 370-6382 • Concord 625 Contra Costa Blvd. 825-5940

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July 2011

The 20% Down Plan Are you prepared to put $80,000 down plus closing costs on your $400,000 home purchase? Later this summer, we will find out if this is the case. Federal banking regulators are currently in the process of making it a reality. What’s being proposed is a new “Qualified Residential Mortgage” (QRM), which includes 20% down payment for the loan to qualify. If the loan does not meet the QRM standards, the lender would have to hold 5% of the money as part of the “5% risk retention rule.” The amount of capital reserves would be fairly difficult for small banks and S&Ls, so it appears that this will have support of the big banks. Could this mean higher interest rates for less than 20% down? Probably. Two of the biggest factors that dictate mortgage default are “loan to val-

By Peter Paredero ue” and “debt to income.” Loan to value group could start a small country or (LTV) is the ratio of loan to the value something. Perhaps keeping underwritof a home. 20% down would mean ing guidelines solid is enough to reduce 80% LTV. It stands to reason that you default numbers without taking more wouldn’t walk from a mortgage if you and more potential buyers out of the had value in a home. Debt to income is game. a ratio of your total debts vs. your in What does this mean for our comcome. It is also true that you are more munity? Well, we’re a community that likely to leave your home if you can’t afhas more than it’s share of first time ford the payments. homebuyers. With parents broke from Over the last few years, we’ve made paying for their kids 40K per year eduhuge progress in underwriting stancation and expensive Maui weddings, I dards to the point that getting a new loan can be an arduous process. So what about LTV? If a potential borrower has proven that they are a solid enough candidate to afford the payment, is 20% down necessary? AlMortgage rates are though I understand that we do not historically low – want to create a future housing bubble, act now! I think we can all agree home values are • Purchase and refinance not going to be going through the roof • Quick pre-approvals available anytime soon. Putting 10% down on a • Excellent customer service home gets some people into the housCall today for a ing market, however, it’s not like this complimentary consultation.

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doubt they’re in a position to come up with that extra 10 or 15%. We bought our first home in Pleasant Hill 17 years ago. Oh, and we put 5% down. I’d hate to see young qualified couples miss out on the opportunity to raise their family in a happy, healthy community like ours. Peter Paredero, Mortgage Consultant for Mortgage Services Professionals has resided in Pleasant Hill since 1994. 925- 787-8746. pparedero@msploan. com.

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July 2011

Mayor’s Message As we celebrate this Fourth of July, participate in the Firecraker 5K, the parade, the party at Pleasant Hill Park, or enjoy the music and fireworks, let us remember to celebrate the founding principles of our country, as well as the lofty ideals imbedded in them. Reflect, for a moment, our deepest hopes and dreams as citizens of Pleasant Hill, California and the world. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

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David Durant, Mayor of Pleasant Hill certain unalienable rights, that among petual, peaceful revolution, a revolution the thirteen States, more than a finite listthese are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting ing of “life, liberty and the pursuit of hapHappiness. That to secure these rights, itself to changing conditions without the piness” as unalienable rights. It left open Governments are instituted among the door for future generations to identify concentration camp or the quicklime in Men…” the ditch.” As we celebrate “independand define the “unalienable Rights” of On July 4, 1821, John Quincy Adams ence,” pray for peace, hope for better days, their times. “That among these” was no said that the Declaration of Independand consider how we are quietly adjustaccident. ence was “the corner stone of a new fabing. Indeed, what do we consider “unal In 1941, President FDR said “[s]ince ric… [i]t announced in practical form to ienable rights” today? the beginning of our American history the world the transcendent truth of the we have been engaged in change, in a per- Peace, David Durant unalienable sovereignty of the people. It proved that the social compact was no figment of the imagination; but a real, soland neighbors work through any dev The most recent graduates of the id, and sacred bond of the social union.” astation. The next session of Pleasant Community Emergency Response To me, the Declaration was more Hill classes begins September 12th.  Training (CERT) bring the total of than an exhaustive list of grievances justiCome visit the CERT information Pleasant Hill CERT volunteers to 350.  fying institution of a new government in booth at the Fourth of July celebration The continuing earthquakes around the Pacific Rim serve as a wake-up call. or at the Pleasant Hill Farmers’ Market on July 30th (in front of Five Guys Residents need to become knowledgeBurgers and Fries). We have a lot of able about how to prepare their famiof our community.” information on hand and can sign you lies and homes for a major earthquake, A complete list of up for CERT training sessions.  survive its aftermath and help family Community Grant recipients follows: Adult Day Health Care: gardening for the well being of Adult Day Care clients; Vagabond Players: support for three comedies this season; Monument Crisis Center: food distribution for low-income families; College Park High School Grad Night: safe graduation celebration; Strandwood Elementary: headset system, props and costumes; Fair Oaks Elementary: AAUW volunteers present art Pleasant Hill Police Lt. Dan Connelly swearing in PH CERT volunteers. and music to students. For more information on the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation, visit our website at www.PHCommuZoning Administrator Civic Action Commission July 14, 28 July 6

New CERT Volunteers

2011 Community Grants The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation is proud to announce its 2011 Community Grant Awards. The generous residents of Pleasant Hill, during our annual giving campaign last fall, provided the funding for these grants. Health promotion projects, community theatre, youth performing arts, food distribution and a safe graduation celebration all benefited from the Community Grant Awards. Community Grant Awards Chair Jill Anderson stated, “The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation’s Community Grants have funded everything from playgrounds to fireworks for the past 17 years. We are very pleased that we have been able to touch so many parts

Summer Movie Fun Moonlight Movies return to the lawn at City Hall with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” on July 29th and “Jumanji” on August 19th. The movies begin at 8:30pm and there is no charge – just remember to bring a blanket, lawn chairs and sweaters!

City Calendar of Events

City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Small Community Room, 6:30pm Contact: 671-5229

Architectural Review Commission July 7, 21 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Small Community Room, 5:00pm Contact: 671-5209 City Council Meeting July 11, 18 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5267 For Confirmation Visit:

City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Community Development Dept. Conference Room, 5:00pm Contact: 671-5209 Planning Commission July 12, 26 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5209

Education Commission July 27 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Large Community Room, 7:00pm Contact: 671-5229

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July 2011

MARTINEZ CHAMBER NEWS cALENDAR sponsored by Support YOUR local network.

Chamber Calendar Sponsorships

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Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

July Schedule of Events

7/1- No July Ambassadors Meeting 7/1- No Brown Bag Lunch Series for July 7/4 – Office Closed. 7/6 – Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting - Type A Yoga. 5-7pm. 607 Gregory Lane, #150, PH. RSVP: 7/7 – Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting - Windsor Rosewood Care Center. 5pm-7pm.1911 Oak Park Blvd., PH. RSVP: 7/12 - Ambassador Luncheon. 11:45am-1:00pm. Yan’s Garden, 2223 Morello Ave., PH. RSVP: 7/14 - Ribbon Cutting- Payless Painting 50-Year Celebration. 5-7pm. Rodg-

Martinez Chamber of Commerce

July Schedule of Events

ers Ranch, 315 Cortsen Rd., PH. RSVP:

7/4 – Chamber Office Closed, Happy 4th of July

7/20 – July Mixer – Wine Thieves. 5:30pm - 7:30pm. 3401 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. RSVP:

7/12 – Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting - Hanses Chiropractic. Tuesday, 4:00pm. 841 Arnold Drive, Suite D, Martinez. Please join us in welcoming our new member!

7/21 – BOD Meeting – 7:45am - 9:00am. PH City Hall, Large Community Rm.

7/13 – Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting –Type A Yoga. Wednesday, 4:00pm. 607 Gregory Lane, #150, Pleasant Hill (next to Zio Fraedo’s). Please join us in welcoming our new member!

7/23 – Blues & Brews Fest 2011 – 11:00am - 6:00pm. Tommy Castro at Pleasant Hill Community Park. 7/25 – Green Committee – 4pm - 5pm. Back Forty Texas BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, PH. 7/25 – GAC – 5pm - 6pm. Back Forty Texas BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, PH.

Confirm schedule at

King of the County Martinez Chamber’s 5th Annual King of the County BBQ Challenge Winners June 18th Ribs:1st - Sean Ekmon • 2nd -John Georgette-Ziffles • 3rd – Jeff McCaleb Chicken: 1st - Sean Ekmon • 2nd - Dave Tendick-Smoke House 10 • 3rd - Colin Mendenhall Mystery Meat: 1st - Big Tom Pierce • 2nd  – Jeff Mc Caleb • 3rd  – Danny Chavez June 19th Ribs: 1st - Dave Tendick-Smoke House 10 • 2nd -Dan Fish – Team Les Schwab • 3rd – Wade Cantrell-Twin Pillars Chicken: 1st - Jack Simmons – Big Shot BBQ • 2nd  – Wade Cantrell-Twin Pillars BBQ • 3rd  – Jeff Fisher-Shell’s Kitchen Mystery Meat: 1st – Robert Zavatero and Dave Freng-Dr. Q • 2nd – Jack Simmons – Big Shot BBQ • 3rd – Steve Caudle – Slow Low BBQ

7/14 – Chamber Mixer. Thursday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. California Pacific FCU co-hosted with Lemonade Accounting. 4075 Nelson Ave., Ste. E, Concord. Great Networking, Food, Fun, Raffle Prizes (bring a raffle prize and have your business announced!)

7/21 – Educational Series: Guerilla Marketing. The Sequel, Part 1. Presented by: Fadhila Holman, CEO California Pacific Federal Credit Union. Thursday, 12pm -1pm. Doors open at 11:30am. John Muir Best Western Inn, 445 Muir Station Rd. Chamber Members/$10, Non-Members/$20. Bag lunch Included. Please RSVP to the Chamber at (925) 2282345 or email Reba@martinezchamber. com. Ambassador Meetings – If interested in attending, contact Reba at (925) 228-2345 or email

Please verify schedule at 925-228-2345

Ribbon Cutting You Walk Bail Bonds

Photo by

Les Schwab’s Dwayne Glemser, showing fellow judges one of the mystery meats.

You Walk Bail Bonds aspires to grow within the Martinez community and play an active role in its success. Building on our mantra, of “You Walk . . . because we help,” we have created a strong internal network of knowledgeable agents to handle your needs and can be reached day or night to help you through your toughest times. Mission Statement: “Treat everyone with the highest level of service, respect and professionalism, beyond reproach. We nurture diversity and tolerance as an essential value in the way we conduct business. We welcome you with a clean, professional and pleasant environment where you are provided courtesy, dignity and respect by our staff. We contribute to our local communities through our service, charity, volunteered time and compassion. We are completely dedicated to you and your satisfaction in all aspects, all the time... Every Client, Every Time, No Exceptions, No Declines.” 826 Main Street, Martinez, (925) 285-1971.

July 2011

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Local Real Estate Update There is no denying the numbers anymore. The nation’s real estate market is without a doubt in the middle of a “double dip” with home values dropping to new lows. Fortunately, local market conditions continue to buck this trend. All of those appealing features that helped blow California’s real estate bubble well beyond the size of just about every other region in the nation are now helping us lead the charge toward a stable housing market. Conditions, however, vary wildly throughout the state.  “Microclimates” is a word being thrown around with increasing frequency by market analysts in describing these regional discrepancies.  Large swings can occur even from one city to another, and the Bay Area is by no means immune. Pleasant Hill and Martinez, for example, are experiencing a slight softening in buyer demand, as evidenced by the increase in market inventory and decrease in pending sales.  Expect prices in these RECENT MARTINEZ HOME SALES (5/1/2011 – 5/31/2011) Address SINGLE FAMILY HOME 1213 PLAZA DR 1444 DATE ST 1422 COURT STREET 404 GREEN ST 128 DE NORMANDIE WAY



2 1 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 5 5

1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4

1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 2


Sq Ft

Market Days

List Price

Sales Price

Sales $/Sq Ft

673 1001 1043 1144 1333 1157 1146 1580 1403 1391 1447 1490 1490 1277 1316 1490 2435 1812 1880 2148 1517 1485 1638 2061 2272 2153 3204 4975

3 27 12 85 45 0 35 28 19 20 5 7 26 72 13 4 91 25 10 38 27 62 13 171 91 7 110 87 40

$109,900 $135,000 $144,900 $169,900 $175,000 $199,000 $259,950 $280,000 $234,900 $270,000 $314,000 $279,200 $319,900 $326,000 $319,000 $354,900 $379,700 $425,000 $399,999 $409,900 $415,000 $429,000 $429,000 $459,000 $453,000 $479,000 $490,000 $1,400,000 $359,291

$118,500 $126,000 $152,000 $169,000 $175,000 $240,000 $250,000 $250,000 $255,000 $270,000 $285,000 $288,000 $310,000 $312,000 $319,000 $355,000 $367,900 $390,000 $399,999 $400,000 $410,000 $429,000 $445,000 $445,000 $450,000 $488,000 $500,000 $1,300,000 $353,549

$176.08 $125.87 $145.73 $147.73 $131.28 $207.43 $218.15 $158.23 $181.75 $194.10 $196.96 $193.29 $208.05 $244.32 $242.40 $238.26 $151.09 $215.23 $212.77 $186.22 $270.27 $288.89 $271.67 $215.91 $198.06 $226.66 $156.05 $261.31 $202

805 972 994 1287 1276 911 1217 1217 1340 1301 1262 1617 1617

24 117 76 43 120 21 78 12 143 60 27 31 6 58

$86,900 $115,000 $99,696 $125,000 $137,655 $134,900 $157,000 $175,000 $215,900 $174,000 $215,000 $199,900 $232,560 $159,116

$82,500 $100,000 $102,240 $114,000 $125,000 $130,000 $145,000 $153,000 $154,875 $165,000 $196,500 $199,900 $251,500 $147,655

$102.48 $102.88 $102.86 $88.58 $97.96 $142.70 $119.15 $125.72 $115.58 $126.83 $155.71 $123.62 $155.53 $119

By Nathan Hitchcock areas to drop slightly in the near term. That home that seemed like a pretty good deal a month or two ago is now looking a bit overpriced. Skip a couple cities to the west and you’ll find Orinda, a city experiencing the opposite trend with exceptionally low inventory, down 29.7% compared to this time last year, and strong buyer demand, up 20%. Although average sales prices are still down compared to last year, most area experts don’t expect it to remain that way for long. On the whole, the East Bay is experiencing the average of these two extremes with available inventory and pending sales holding relatively steady. When analyzing demand trends throughout the region, a city’s housing market strength is generally relative to its proximity to San Francisco and the Peninsula—our area’s economic epicenter, so to speak. Gasoline prices temporarily sneaking above $4 per gallon are no doubt fueling this phenomenon. In the stronger areas, multiple offers and bidding wars are almost more common than not.  In the softer areas, buyers may be quite plentiful and active,

but they are much more cautious in their home shopping. There, bidding wars are reserved only for the most aggressively priced properties.  As a result, there is now a very fine line between a well priced and poorly priced property.  A difference of as little as 5% can be the difference between ten offers in the first week and none after two months. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, arming yourself with a realtor who is knowledgeable, experienced, and active in your microclimate is more important than ever. Because of their recent experiences with buyers and sellers in the same area, they will be much better equipped to guide you through this pricing maze. Nathan Hitchcock is the managing broker of Hitchcock Realty, a residential real estate brokerage and property management firm in downtown Pleasant Hill. He can be reached at or (925) 825-1100. Data contained herein was obtained from the CCAR Multiple Listing Service. Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


Sq Ft

Market Days

List Price

Sales Price

Sales $/Sq Ft

1196 1052 1192 1002 1042 1150 900 1341 1355 1513 1120 2031 1418 1690 2040 1769 2152 1518 2104 2632 2890

41 154 32 22 142 88 72 42 94 10 40 22 136 18 3 25 76 9 64 81 13 56

$254,900 $259,900 $292,000 $274,900 $319,900 $305,000 $324,888 $346,500 $370,000 $365,000 $449,000 $470,000 $439,000 $485,000 $525,000 $565,000 $579,000 $599,000 $625,000 $724,950 $829,900 $447,801

$257,500 $259,900 $282,500 $300,000 $309,900 $310,000 $325,000 $338,000 $358,900 $385,125 $432,000 $436,000 $439,000 $465,000 $535,000 $565,000 $566,000 $599,000 $615,000 $735,000 $799,500 $443,491

$215.30 $247.05 $237.00 $299.40 $297.41 $269.57 $361.11 $252.05 $264.87 $254.54 $385.71 $214.67 $309.59 $275.15 $262.25 $319.39 $263.01 $394.60 $292.30 $279.26 $276.64 $284

537 968 1488 1366 1378

109 69 44 141 14 75

$75,950 $179,500 $200,000 $299,000 $330,000 $216,890

$80,000 $187,000 $190,000 $299,000 $315,000 $214,200

$148.98 $193.18 $127.69 $218.89 $228.59 $183

Page 10


July 2011

Mayor’s Message

Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez a community grand opening that will Lots of capiShell Avenue from Pine Street to D Street/ years ago as a temporary pilot project include a “dive in” by some members of to showcase an increase in ambiance of tal improvement Alhambra Avenue, and Main Street from the city council. I have been working out the streetscape with outside dining. This projects are underTalbart all the way to Court Street have at the gym in anticipation of donning way in Martinez been overlaid with a new layer of asphalt, community project has been very sucmy swimsuit that day. I still have about a cessful, and it was decided to make the after many years of and it was all completed within about a month to get there. temporary improvement permanent with planning and deweek. Many more streets are slated for The Martinez Library reconstruction improved drainage, new brick pavers and sign. Most recently, pavement upgrades throughout the city is almost complete and, as soon as the curbs. Once the new “pocket” is completMarina Vista has this summer season. new elevator arrives at the job site and is ed, the 500 block of Main Street will be been completely rebuilt with new side Only the 500 Block of Main Street installed, it will be open to the public. We repaved. walks, lighting, irrigation, landscaping was not paved, as city staff is working expect it to open in August. Currently, And lastly, don’t forget that there will and an entryway sign arching over the on a permanent rebuild of the tempothe library is operating out of the Historic rary “pockets,” The “pockets” are the be fireworks in Martinez on the 4th of street. PG&E, AT&T and Comcast are Southern Pacific train station. Once the July, thanks to generous donations from currently running their lines in the new extension of the sidewalk into on-street Allied Waste Services, Praxair, CBS Outunderground conduit, and soon the over- train station is vacated, the city will perparking areas that allow for outside dinform some very important maintenance door and Shell Oil Company. head utility poles will be removed. ing. These “pockets” were built about 10 The new Rankin Park Aquatic Cent- to the aging building, such as installing a new roof and painting the exterior. er will be completed in mid-July. The Three major paving projects have entirely new facility has a large lap pool just been completed on some of our most with a diving tank off to one side, and a As part of the General Plan reviSaturday, July 16th separate children’s pool with a water play heavily-traveled roads. Muir Road from sion process, the City of Martinez Tour of Downtown Livermore Pacheco Boulevard to Center Avenue, feature. City recreation staff is planning needs the voices of the community to and Downtown Lodi. 9:00am to help transform Downtown Martinez 5:00pm. Lunch is included. Meet at from being the place with “so much po- City Hall, 525 Henrietta St. tential” to the community destination Tuesday, July 19th that we know it can become. Without Another’s Treasure Community Street Sale Workshop 3—The Art and Sciyour participation, Downtown cannot Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 8 AM to 4 PM ence of Placemaking. Creating places realize its full potential. Please plan to The Downtown Community Street Sale, a local favorite for many years, was resurwhere people want to be and comattend an upcoming tour and workrected last year, as “Another’s Treasure Community Street Sale ” as a fundraiser for the munity happens. A discussion of the shop and let your opinions be heard. Martinez Soroptimist Club. Last year $1,335 was raised for the Soroptimist Scholarship relationship of mobility and city form; Wednesday, June 29th Fund and this year’s goal is even higher. Streets will be lined with vendors and there the relationships and connectivity of Workshop 2 - New Realities in will be live music, a farmers’ market, and shops and restaurants open to serve you. the pieces of a city; making lovable Soroptimist means “best for women,” and is an international organization for busi- the 21st Century. How downtowns places; waterfront relationships and opachieve and maintain prosperity in ness and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in loportunities, regional roles and opporview of global competition for business tunities; customer density needed to cal communities and throughout the world. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 and resources; broad market trends; countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based support services. Includes walking tour climate change likely impacts; personand international projects that benefit women and girls. This fundraiser, spearheaded of downtown and a “quality of place” al mobility choices and the linkage of by the Martinez Downtown Retailers Focus Group for Soroptimist International of evaluation. Pastries and coffee will be housing and transportation; changing Martinez, is earmarked for a scholarship program for local women who will be enterserved. Wear comfortable shoes for a demographics. Pastries & coffee will be short walking tour. Meet at Willows ing into the business world.    served. Willows Cabaret Theatre, 636 Treasure Hunters: Cabaret Theatre, 636 Ward St. 6:30pm Ward St. 7:00pm-9:00pm. Come on down and enjoy streets lined with sellers, hundreds of shoppers and, of to 9:30pm. course, our fabulous farmers’ market will be smack in the middle of the booth layout. You may find just the treasure you are looking for. Besides this big sale, you can shop in Zoning Administrator Meeting Design Review Meeting the many businesses in downtown as well as fill your tummies with the great food from July 6, 20 July 13, 27 our local restaurants. And, as always, there is free parking in downtown Martinez on 4:00pm-6:00pm 4:00pm-6:00pm Saturdays and Sundays. Contact: 925-372-3500 Contact: 925-372-3500 Vendors / Dealers: Planning Commission Meeting Park, Recreation, Marina and For those interested in having a booth, clean out your garage, closets, attic, and July 12, 26 Cultural Commission Meeting rent your space now. Registration for a 10 X 14 space is $40. No sale of food or bever7:00pm-11:00pm July 19 ages is permitted. Contact: 925-372-3500 7:00pm-9:30pm For information call: Carolyn @ (925) 202-3747, Char @ (925) 228-1100 or Anne Contact: 925-372-3510 For Confirmation Visit: @ (925) 229-1900.

Help Create the Vision

Upcoming Street Sale

City Calendar of Events

July 2011

Pair Up

Page 11


With La Sommelierre Maria Terry Summer Picnic Picnicking is an inexpensive warm-weather getaway. Fill your basket with fresh produce and a couple of crisp wines to pair with the food and you will experience the height of summer fun. Caprese salad made with ripe tomatoes is a vibrant way to start this mobile feast. Choose a wine with med-

high acid to counter balance the natural acidity found in tomatoes. A rosé will provide acidity and a pretty pink color to complement the red tomato. Look for rosés from colder regions of the world as they will be naturally higher in acid. Northern Italy, southern France and US wine regions that are close to the ocean are all good sources. Next, chicken is a picnic-friendly

Lemon Dressed Cole Slaw INGREDIENTS 1 cup mayonnaise 3 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 6 cups cabbage or one package ready-pak slaw

DIRECTIONS • Mix dressing, pour over slaw and toss. Chill 1 hour or more. Yield: 12 Servings

protein that can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts to be health conscious and reduce waste. A citrusbased marinade will echo similar flavors in the rosé wine opened with the salad. Or, if you have enough people to warrant opening another wine, how about a chenin blanc? This crisp white wine offers a fresh floral note that will pick-up on the herbs in the marinade. As a bonus, the Lemon Dressed Cole Slaw recipe listed here is one of my favorite pairings with chenin blanc. Cherry-Apricot Crumble (full recipe on is a brilliant ending to your meal. Stash a small bottle of German trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) riesling deep at the

bottom of the ice chest. The designation, TBA, can be better understood by breaking down the word into its three components: trocken = dry, beeren = berry, auslese = select harvest. Made from the selected harvest of dried berries, it is one of the most intensely flavored wines I have ever tasted. Look for flavors like apricot, papaya, and honey. Additionally, TBA is one of the few dessert wines with enough acidity to stand up to fruit desserts. 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 Maria’s website at

Citrus Caprese Salad

Herb Marinated Chicken

INGREDIENTS Two large beefsteak tomatoes 1 lb. fresh mozzarella 10-15 fresh basil leaves, torn 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. fresh orange zest Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper DIRECTIONS • Slice the cheese and tomatoes, wrap and store separately. Mix olive oil and

INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced ½ tsp. ground pepper 2 tsp. minced fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary and marjoram 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. soy sauce 1 lemon or lime, juiced 1 tsp. grated lemon or lime peel 2½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken

balsamic vinegar, place in leak proof container. Zest the orange and wrap in plastic wrap to make a little packet. • To assemble for service: alternate layers of tomato and cheese; shake-up then drizzle balsamic-olive oil dressing; sprinkle with salt, pepper and orange zest. Toss fresh basil leaves on top. Yield: 4 Servings

breasts DIRECTIONS • Mix together marinade, toss with chicken and seal in airtight container. Best marinated overnight in refrigerator, but a few hours will do. • Bake at 450º for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature. Yield:  5-6 Servings

Le Jardin at the Spa

-<33:,9=0*,:(365 +(@:7( Le Jardin was the first salon in Northern California  to be Certified in Keratin Complex by Coppola

SPECIALS (valid only with Amanda, Claire & Julie) • Custom Facial with a Aola Vera mask. Aloe vera improves the skin's ability to hydrate itself, stimulate healthy cell growth and repair damaged tissues. • FREE Haircut with any Hair Color Service • 50 Minute Swedish Massage for $50.00 • $10.00 Off any purchase in our gift shop of $20.00 or more!

!"#$%&"'()*+",-./0,*1*2"34*5%*!6347 July 28*95$%#6*5:*;$<'*"#*#67*="%>7#?*@%34A*#67*>3&(*#5* #67*,"%>7#*:5%*:"B7*0"34#34A)*:<"A*B5<5%34A)*"4&*5$%* 27&)*C63#7)*"4&*@<$7D7%%'*7E74#F July 168*93##47((*G"'F*@3>7*#5*#67*,"%>7#*"4&*A7#*B"%%5#*B"(6?

1603 Oak Park Blvd.,Pleasant Hill, CA 94523



See our web-site for monthly specials. Expires 7/31/11


Page 12

July 2011


Families Urged to Help Seniors Be Sun Smart

The summer solstice on June 21st was our official start to summer. However, July is when we’re starting to feel those warm rays of sun! Although the summer sun is meant to be enjoyed, it can be a dangerous threat, especially for the elder-aging population. While sunshine is healthy, too much sun is dangerous. A suntan is your skin’s way of showing damage. The deeper the tan, the more sun damage there is and the more the skin is trying to protect itself. There are plenty of misconceptions about the summer sun and Senior Helpers, following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compiled this list of sun safety myths and senior sun safety tips. Sun Myth #1: Seniors need constant sun to supply vitamin D At our latitude, sun exposure is not strong enough to produce an adequate supply of Vitamin D on a regular basis and too much unprotected sun exposure is harmful. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as milk, fish and in multivitamins. Sun Myth #2: We only need to apply sunscreen once a day Sunscreen needs time to work. Seniors should apply it about an hour before going out into the sun and reapply about every two hours. They should reapply more frequently if they are swimming. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause tanning and wrin-

By Jenny Lind, Senior Helpers kling while UVB rays cause sunburn, rays. And don’t forget to pay close attenular degeneration and skin cancer aging, wrinkling and skin cancer. Use around the eyes. Seniors should always tion to moles and other skin abnormalisunscreen with a Sun Protection Facties. wear sunglasses. Choose brown, gray tor (SPF) of at least 15--higher if there or green lenses and the darker and larg- For more information on sun preis a history of skin cancer or fair skin. vention and tips visit http://www.cancer. er the lens the better. Seniors should Don’t forget a hat and light clothing to org/Healthy/BeSafeintheSun/ and take choose glasses that wrap around their cover their skin when in the sun. eyes and block a high percentage of UV the quiz to see how safe you are. Sun Myth #3: The sun isn’t a problem on cloudy days Even on cloudy days, when the sun 818 Green St. (925) 370-8770 doesn’t feel as hot, the UVA and UVB rays are still shining down and being July 10 - Pancake Breakfast - 8-11am Pancakes or toast, sausage, eggs, orange juice and coffee. Everyone is welabsorbed. come. $3.50 for Adults/$2 for Children 10 and under. Handmade crafts will be on Sun Myth #4: There’s nothing seniors sale during the breakfast. can do if they get sunburn July 13 - Let’s Be Informed- Amazing Phones - 10-11am That’s partially true. The CDC recDo you have difficulty hearing on a standard telephone, getting to it in time or ommends aspirin, acetaminophen or seeing the numbers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can benefit from the specialized telephone equipment of the California Telephone ibuprofen to relieve pain, headache and Access Program (CTAP). CTAP can provide equipment at no cost. Sign up at the fever. When seniors are exposed to lobby desk or call the office to register. too much sun they’re at severe risk for October 14-24 - Silver Seas Mediterranean Cruise* dehydration. They should drink six to This 10-night cruise includes all meals, drinks and entertainment and gratuities. All eight glasses of water a day. A cool bath cabins are suites (balconies are available). FREE** airfare and port taxes. PLUS a special bonus offer of $500** p/p shipboard credit. Call the center for cost and an aloe cream to moisturize skin and availability. Brochures are available. Ports of Call: Departs Piraeus (Athens), can also serve as relief. Greece; Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Taormina, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Palma de MalSun Myth #5: Sunburn is the only sun lorca, Spain; Portimao, Portugal and ends in Lisbon, Portugal. problem seniors should worry about. *There is a pre and post-cruise package option. If chosen, the departure date will change to October 13th flying into Athens and departing Lisbon on October 26. The sun can also hurt your eyes. Call for details (925) 370-8770. The UV rays can cause cataracts, mac**Subject to change. If interested in this trip call (925) 370-8770 now.

Martinez Senior Activities

Pleasant Hill Senior Activities 249 Gregory Lane (925) 798-8788 July 15 - The Morning Joe – 10am-Noon VFW: 1919 Wendell Ln. Free! Miss our regular Friday Chef’s Lunch? Come to this “open house” to visit and catch up with friends! We will have coffee and light snacks, feel free to bring something to share! July 20 - Full Circle - 4:30-6pm If you are 50 years or older, come visit, share and enjoy a glass of wine with others who understand the joy, heartache and frustration that come with caring for a senior family member or loved one. All caregivers need support and insights on improving the care you give without burning yourself out! At the P.H. Senior Center. Call 7988788 to RSVP or get more info. July 22 - Friday Flik - 12:30pm “Country Strong” (2010). Free at Brandman University. 2950 Buskirk Ave. 3rd Floor, Room 304 *(This location is near the NEW AAA Bldg. Look for the address, not the university name). Stop by the Senior Center for detailed directions!

Call us at 677-2150

n Caring Companionship n Bathing & Dressing n Walking Assistance n Light Housekeeping n Medication Reminders n Up to 24-hour Care

n Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care n Licensed, Bonded, & Insured n FREE In-Home Assessment


July 26 & 29 - Kindle 101 – 11am-12pm VFW: 1919 Wendell Ln., P.H. FREE! Choose from 1 of the above dates to learn about your Kindle (electronic book reader) and the benefits of purchasing a Kindle! (you don’t need to have one to attend). Space is limited. Call 798-8788 or email to RSVP (required to attend). July 29 - Taste of the Vine - 4-6pm We will have a variety of red and white wines for you to select from plus light hors d’oeuvres. Non-alcoholic beverages available. Pleasant Hill Chateau III: 175 Cleaveland Rd. $6 presale / $8 at the door (purchase tickets at Senior Center).

July 2011

Page 13


Alhambra Mineral Water Company Material donated by Brian and Gigi Walker An excerpt from The Standards’ – Industrial Edition, Contra Costa’s Unparalleled Investment Opportunities, November, 1915 One of the unique advantages possessed by Martinez as a residence community lies in the fact that there is a large supply of pure spring water piped into the town. This is a most valuable consideration and it is safe to state that no other town of like size in California can offer equal advantages in respect to its drinking water. From mountain springs at the head of the famed Alhambra Valley, but a few miles distant comes this water heavily saturated with health-giving mineral qualities and possessing unsurpassed qualities as a table delicacy. The water has enjoyed for a number of years, a large sale throughout California and the West, and Martinez being its home, naturally enjoys the greatest benefit from having such a bountiful supply at her

doors. Chemists’ tests show that the water exerts a soothing effect on the digestive organs. Magnesium bicarbonate which is the basis for the many and varied

drug remedies for the relief of dyspepsia and allied stomach troubles is one of the leading mineral elements in the water. From Martinez the water is shipped far and wide. It is carried from the

springs by a two-inch galvanized pipe to the bottling works, which are located near the water front. A pipe also runs to the wharf where barrels are filled to ship by boat [to] the city. A supply of pure fresh drinking water is of vital importance to any community. It removes the danger of the spread of contagious diseases through possible pollution of the drinking water supply. It assures a healthy populace generally. These two factors are plainly evident in Martinez, through the providence of Mother Nature. The common troubles that so many cities have had to undergo to secure a supply of drinking water free from contamination have in many cases never crept into public print. There is hardly a city or town in the West that has not at some time in its career had this problem to face. Martinez fortunately escaped any such trial in her history. Alhambra mineral water is a much prized article in its home town.

Pleasant Hill Historical Society By Dana Matthews The city of Pleasant Hill is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year but the history of the area goes back many more than 50 years. From the days when Native Americans lived in the Diablo Valley until 1821, this region was controlled first by Spain and then by Mexico. By 1849, the Gold Rush attracted many pioneers into California, and by 1850 statehood was declared. In the mid-1860’s the name “Pleasant Hill” was first applied to the Pleasant Hill School District, which consisted of one small schoolhouse located on what was then the property of David McClellan. By this time, the Pleasant Hill area was identified as a small agricultural community where farmers grew wheat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. In 1973, a group of citizens founded the Pleasant Hill Historical Society (PHHS) to discover and preserve the history of Pleasant Hill. In 1982, the PHHS opened a small museum and ar-

chive, opened weekly to the public, in the 1920’s “Old Schoolhouse” at Oak Park Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road as part of the “Pleasant Hill Cultural & Historical Center.” The PHHS met quarterly and established a collection of Pleasant Hill artifacts and documents, worked to preserve Pleasant Hill landmarks, sponsored tours and speakers of historical interest, published a regular newsletter, and served as a resource of history for our community. In 1986, a committee was formed within the PHHS to save the 1860’s ranch house and wheat barn that had once belonged to the pioneer family of Patrick and Mary Ann Rodgers. (Rodgers Ranch also later became the

home of novelist Alice Tisdale Hobart.) In 1991, an independent group, Friends of Rodgers Ranch (FORR), was established to restore and maintain Rodgers Ranch on Cortsen Road as part of the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Parks District. Since then, FORR has restored much of the farm house and property and has held regular open houses and annual summer day camps to educate the public and about local history. By 1994, after being extremely active for 21 years, the PHHS began to lose its membership and had to close its doors to the public. In the fall of 2006, a small group of citizens began efforts to re-establish the Pleasant Hill Historical Society. For 2 years, memberships

were re-started, regular meetings were held, newsletters were mailed out, and tours and speakers of historical interest were once again offered to the community. Just as the PHHS was becoming active again, the Old Schoolhouse was closed in October 2008 because of structural damage. The PHHS had to vacate and move everything into a storage facility. The PHHS continued to meet on a regular basis until the spring of 2009, when its president became ill and had to move back east. Now that our city is celebrating its 50th anniversary, many citizens have become interested in discovering, exploring and preserving our city’s history. We are meeting again on a regular basis and hope to re-establish a vital and active Historical Society in our city. If anyone is interested in joining this group, please contact Pleasant Hill Historical Society at

Page 14


Christie’s For Kids Christie’s For Kids consignment store is celebrating its one year anniversary! They would love for you to join them in saving money and saving the planet. Christie’s sells gently used children’s clothes, shoes, toys, videos and books. They have all sorts of baby equipment including strollers, booster seats, carriers, high chairs, pack and plays, swings, and more. You can feel good about what you buy from Christie’s For Kids. Since they opened one year ago, Christie’s for Kids has proudly served their community. They have listened to what their customers want, and have gladly made available more educational toys, wooden toys, and toys made from recycled materials manufactured right here in the Bay Area. Christie’s loves Pleasant Hill and they are a proud member of our Chamber of Commerce. They are also pleased to announce their certification as a Bay Area Green Business. They believe that helping the plan-

et through reuse and recycling should also help your wallet, and they hope you and your kids do too. Aside from all the great savings at Christie’s, it is a fun place to shop. Each day they put interesting, new items out for sale. From American Girl dolls to Moby wraps, from hand-made highchairs to Kelty backpacks, they always have great finds. Since their inventory changes daily, every day is a new chance to shop for hard to find gifts, baby equipment, and adorable clothes. It’s like visiting a new store every day! Christie’s For Kids is located at 69 Doray Drive in Pleasant Hill, just off Contra Costa Boulevard in the Grocery Outlet Shopping Center, right behind Play It Again Sports. You can also find them on the web at or call 925-849-6541 for more information. Gift Certificates are available in any dollar amount. Stop by and shop, consign, explore, or chat about your kids at Christie’s For Kids.

July 2011


Bella Oaks Camps

This is Bella Oaks third year of offering summer camps. The horse camp is a huge success but owner Debi Caccavo, noticed she had a bunch of horse-crazy girls and boys, but their non-horsey siblings were leaving in the SUV with their mothers so, she decided to offer a variety of nature and adventure camps as well. Bella Oaks now offers over 17 amazing camps including Indiana Jones Adventure Camp, Horse Camp with vaulting, driving and dressage and their all new Nature Camp where children learn to foster an appreciation and love of nature. Campers explore the world around them through hands-on, outdoor, experiential learning. What a great way for your kids to enjoy their break, make friends,

learn about horses and have an adventure! Bella Oaks Camps are available for participants 3½ to 5 years of age (Little Cowpokes) and youth 6-17 years of age in day and afternoon camps. Summer Camps are offered through September 2nd (except for the week of July 4th.) Learn more about Bella Oaks by visiting during Open Ranch on Fridays from 4-6pm and by viewing their website at www. or call 925-229-2171. Bella Oaks is located at 120 Vaca Creek Road, Martinez (across from Briones Regional Park entrance). Take Alhambra Valley Road past John Swett and turn right at the dead end on Alhambra Valley Road (left is Reliez Valley) then go about a mile to Vaca Creek and turn right.

Photo by

July 2011

Page 15

Grad Announcements Tikkun Olam Award Winners

Hailey Maselli Alhambra Grad 2011

2011 Congratulations to Talia Guidi!

We are so proud of you. We hope you

Strandwood Elementary Gradu-

never lose your sense of wonder, and

ate! You make your family proud with

when you get the chance to sit it out

the choices you make and the effort

or dance, we hope you dance! Love,

you put into everything you do. Keep

Your Family

up the good work and someday you’ll

I Hope You Dance Songwriters:

buy your own ranch in Montana. Love,

Mark D. Sanders &Tia Sillers

Mom, Dad and Ben.

Two outstanding College Park High School seniors are proud winners of this year’s Block-Harris Tikkun Olam Scholarship. Established in 2003 by Dawn Block and former Mayor Michael Harris, this $1,000 scholarship recognizes two graduates who demonstrate the true spirit of Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world” in Hebrew). This year, Kacie Powell and Forest McMillan are recognized for making our world a better place, in addition to being high achievers, with GPAs above 4.0. Kacie is on her way to becoming a preeminent environmentalist! She lives and breathes a thoroughly green lifestyle by re-using, re-cycling, and re-purposing all the “stuff” in her world. She’s a founding member in College Park’s Green Arrow Club that promotes paper recycling throughout the school and coordinates e-waste drives. Come this fall, she’ll be attending UC Davis’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Mikaila Huitt, College Park

Michaela Alvers College Park Grad

Congratulations Mikaila! You have

2011 You are what every young lady

made me very proud to be your father.

should strive to be. We know that you

Your path in life has a new beginning

will go far and never settle for less than

now, and I’m sure you will conquer it

the absolute best. We love you! Mom

as well. Love, Dad

and Dad

Mikaila, The past four years have been challenging, but you faced every hurdle with confidence and grace. I am so excited for you as you start the next chapter! Congratulations! I love you. Mom

Lily Hewgley, College Park Grad Congratulations, Lily! We’re so proud of you! Love, Mom and Dad

Watch for Forest to become our next State or US Senator once he finishes his degree in economics and public policy at UC Santa Barbara! He’s been a member of College Park’s Leadership class for all four years and this year he served as student body President. He coordinates campus clean-ups and is active in a number of clubs. In his spare time, he’s been known to use his musical talents for benefit concerts. We congratulate Kacie and Forest for being exceptional students who truly embrace the spirit of Tikkun Olam!

Elks Honors Students Elks Lodge 1811 of Walnut Creek honored local students with scholarship awards at their recent youth awards night. Students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement and community service. Each was given $700 awards. Emelyn Erickson competed in district competition and reached State competition to receive an $8,000 scholarship. The Elks community, family and friends congratulate our future leaders.

Photo L-R Adrienne Moore and Clay Sanders - Campolindo High School; Kyle Williams - De La Salle High School; Lauren Boag - California High School; Emelyn Erickson - Los Lomas High School.

Page 16


Stephenson Draft Pick By Chuck Nan

High Draft Pick The 2011 Major League Draft was a bumper crop with many top-notch collegiate arms available, especially in the early portion of the first-round. With many of those arms off the board, the Cincinnati Reds dug into the prep ranks for Alhambra’s Robert Stephenson with the 27th overall selection. Stephenson routinely touched 94 MPH all spring and complements his heater with a promising curveball. Late in the season, he hit 98 MPH and there was even an unconfirmed report that the youngster tallied one pitch at 99 MPH. Scouts agree that there is some effort in his delivery but he’s a good athlete and a smart kid on and off the field. His commitment to the University of Washington is strong, but he is considered signable and gives the Reds a young arm with upside. Stephenson wasn’t just a star on the field. In the classroom he maintained a 4.12 GPA. Stephenson had indicated that the field of engineering at Washington interested him. Some mock drafts, as late as one week prior, penciled Stephenson at No. 29 with the San Francisco Giants. However, the Reds jumped all over Stephenson, just two picks prior. Fine Season Stephenson put the finishing touches on a remarkable senior season as he helped his Bulldogs to the NCS playoffs. The hard-throwing right-hander boasted an 8-2 record with an ERA of 1.19. His dominance included 142 strikeouts and just 17 walks (8.35-to-1 ratio) in 76 1/3 innings of work. The ace averaged 13 strikeouts for every seven-innings pitched. He reached

Photo by Tod Fierner

double-digits in Ks in eight of his 11 starts. Stephenson set a career-high in his second game of the campaign with 20 (of 21) at De Anza, a no-hitter. Stephenson had eight complete games (11 starts); including no-hitters in his first two starts of the season. The big guy was stingy to say the least as he constantly fooled batters with his variety of pitches. Opponents were able to coax only 34 hits for the season in 230 at-bats. That translates to a .148 batting average. Stephenson’s career numbers will never be forgotten, either. He leaves with an 18-6 overall record (.750 winning percentage) and an amazing 260 strikeouts in 167 innings. That is an average of 10.9 per seven innings. State POY Just days before the Draft, Stephenson received his finest in a long line of honors. He was named the ESPN Rise California Baseball Player-of-the-Year. In addition to his pitching success, Stephenson was also an offensive threat. He boasted a .324 batting average with 14 runs batted-in while playing in right field when he wasn’t on the mound.

No Hitter for Curran By Adrianna Ricondo The Hawks earned third-place in In the Sacramento Memorial Day the tournament over all. The Hawks won Tournament, Pat Curran of the Pleasthat game 12-0 as the bats exploded with ant Hill Hawks 10-and-Under travel everyone contributing in the victory. baseball team threw a no-hitter. The effort was a complete game shutout where The Hawks are managed by Mike Brackins and coached by Ron Poff. Curran walked only one. Curran also went 2-for-2 at the plate. Curran had complete control over his fastball with his catcher Alex Howard working down low promoting strikeouts and ground outs. The no-hitter advanced the Hawks to the semi-final round of the event where the Hawks were defeated by Vacaville. There were some tremendous plays to help secure the no hitter. Shortstop Mikey Roy went deep into the hole several times to throw out potential hits. Jackson Mitchell and A.B. Ledesma made great plays at second base while first baseman Nick Brackins made several terrific scoops. Third baseman Tyler Martin made a sizzling play by going to his backhand to make a throw to first on the run.


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July 2011

Alhambra Takes Crown By Chuck Nan Alhambra girls win the NCS Division III Softball Crown. This was their first section title since 2003. The Alhambra Bulldogs received a strong pitching performance from starter Shannon De Vries to edge Terra Linda (San Rafael) 3-2 in the NCS Division III softball championship. De Vries went four innings and limited the Lady Trojans to just four hits and one run before giving way to freshman Erin Enke. Terra Linda was able to push one more run across, but the Lady Dogs held on to prevail. All three of Alhambra’s runs were unearned as they capitalized on three Trojan errors. Terra Linda had taken an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but failed to generate much offense, scat-

tering five hits on the afternoon. Alhambra put all three runs on the board in the second. Nicole Curry and Hailey Sparacino both singled. Enke then bunted and a throwing error evened the tally at 1-1. The Bulldogs added two more runs when Mariah Suitos’ grounder was misplayed, allowing Hailey Sparacino and Enke to score. Sparacino finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. DeVries and Enke each notched three strikeouts. Alhambra finished with an overall record of 21-6. It was their first section title since 2003 and the second overall. In all, the Lady Dogs collected eight hits and played error-free defense themselves.

Page 17


Dominant Don of Martinez By Chuck Nan and experiencing significant weight Elliott Waterman of Martinez loss he has steadily improved showing improved his season win-loss record true determination after facing an upto a perfect 5-0 for the University of battle in his conditioning, core strength San Francisco with a relief victory over and academic progress. Loyola Marymount in early May. The Just days after his victory over hard-throwing sophomore was perfect Loyola Marymount, Waterman was noas he struck out three over three innings in the 13-inning affair. Waterman tified that he won a prestigious award. At the USF Dons’ annual Awards and and his team overcame an early 6-0 Scholar-Athlete Luncheon, Elliott was deficit to prevail 7-6. Coupled with his one win last season, Waterman was still named the “Come Back Student Athlete of the Year.” This award is bestowed to perfect as a Don, 6-0. The tall lefty also a student athlete who has overcome leads the team in earned run average a major injury, whether it be physiwith a 2.36 mark. Waterman earned a starting role as cal, mental or emotional. Waterman finished the 2011 season tied for most a freshman in 2010 but became very ill wins on the team with a 6-2 record in collapsing on the field. After spending weeks under the supervision of doctors, 42.1 innings pitched.

DFC Wins at SF Cup

Photo Credit: Conrad Rowling

Diablo FC 94 Boys won the San Francisco Cup over Memorial Day weekend. They went 5-0 and did not give up a goal!

Photo by Angela Sparacino

Bottom Left: Carlos Garcia, Tyler Sylvia,Mateo Palacios,Scott O’Sullivan, Andy Altamirano,Conrad Rowling,Tommy Lisiak,Andrew Jurecki,Sean Walker Top Left: Coach Christopher Rodd, Emmanual Jimenez,Phil Wcislo, Austin Gamm,Damian Martinez,Jake Wood,Daniel Glascock,Nic Bob,Kellen Simons,Jack Karleskind,Max Shore,Yojay Basulto,Peter Schoemann


Page 18

HOME TEAM 2011 Spring All-League Selections ALHAMBRA Baseball Co-Most Valuable Pitcher: Robert Stephenson (Senior) First-Team: Leo Costa (Freshman) Second-Team: Justin Green (Junior) “Gold Glove”: Alex Laidley (Senior) Softball Most Valuable Player: Kylee Perez (Freshman) Most Valuable Pitcher: Shannon De Vries (Junior) First-Team: Erin Enke (Freshman), Nicole Curry (Freshman), Hailey Sparacino (Freshman), Jazzana McIntosh (Sophomore) and Mariah Suitos (Senior) Second-Team: Jenna Krummen (Senior) Girls Track & Field First-Team: Praise Adesida (SP & DT) Boys Golf First Team: Elliot Busichio (Senior) Boys Volleyball First Team: Rich Manuli (Senior) Second Team: Mike Filice (Senior) and Nick Robinson (Senior) Boys Lacrosse Second-Team: Anthony Lucero (Senior) 2010-11 Alhambra Athletes of the Year Female: Jewelz Andrews (Cross-Country, Soccer and Track & Field) Male (Co): Robert Stephenson (Baseball) and Rich Manuli (Football, Basketball and Volleyball) COLLEGE PARK Baseball First-Team: Athan Koutsoubinas (Junior), Evan McCurdy (Senior) and Zack Tobias (Senior) Second-Team: John Mead (Senior), Anthony Fortney (Junior) and Ethan Marsh (Senior) Softball First-Team: Maddie Monahan (Sophomore), Keisi Chinen (Senior), Kierra Willis (Sophomore) and Melissa Teifel (Senior) Second-Team: Laurel Poff (Freshman) Swimming BOYS - First-Team: Monty Randall and Will Griffith Second-Team: Kyle Leung, Nate Burkhart and Brandon Evans. Girls Second-Team: Hope Curran, Katie Choiniere, Alexis Kuput, Colleen Nakanishi Track & Field BOYS - First-Team: Anthony Ortolan (800 & 1600), Hiroki Butterfield (300 H) and Jeff Bickert (3200) Second-Team: Jeff Bickert (1600), Keagan Brown (400) and Cooper Shanks (3200) Third-Team: Will Holland (PV, 1600 & 3200), Jeff Bickert (800), Sourush Aboutalebi (300 H), Keagan Brown (200) Hiroki Butterfield (LJ), Steven O’Brien (DT) and Nick Mazza (SP) GIRLS First-Team: Katie Alden (DT) SecondTeam: Jessica Reed (800) and Sara Ajwang (SP) Third-Team: Kendall Stuscavage (800 & 1600), Amanda Baker (400), Kazune Shidara (3200) and Faith Oubre (SP) Boys Tennis First-Team: Jason Finley and Tim Lee Second-Team: Eric Lofquist Boys Golf First-Team: Demitri Salido, Austin Collier, Ramm Alejo and Max Creamer SecondTeam: Carlos Mena Boys Volleyball First-Team: Bo Hunter and Nick Horton Second-Team: Justin Hodges Boys Lacrosse First-Team: Jeff Smitherham SecondTeam: Jake Gonzalez and Miles Wood

July 2011

Fighter Set for Professional Debut By Chuck Nan With exposed brick walls and water pipes, an old warehouse turned training gym in downtown Martinez resembles the motion picture “Rocky,” in more than one regard – it also houses a hungry fighter. Rick “Boomer” Reger, 24, also known as the “Bay Area Beast,” skips rope at a frantic pace among other young aspiring fighters. Reger is a gifted mixed martial artist (MMA) well known for his hardcore training and endurance during fights. Originally a boxer in his younger years, Reger advanced to MMA training at age 22. It was then he developed the passion for this relatively new genre of ring competition. Coming off his latest big win on May 21st at San Francisco’s Kezar Pavilion, Reger announced he is turning professional. With a perfect 5-0 mark in the amateur ranks, the 175-pounder will have his first professional bout in late July. Handlers are currently in negotiation with two different governing bodies for the services of this fighter. Both are major organizations in the

Photo submitted by Mrs. Reger

world of MMA. Reger currently trains with head instructor Sean Sharkey and coach “L. Rod” out of the Martinez Fight Club. Sharkey’s organization is called Team FightKore. “Fighters like Rick come around once every ten years, if you’re lucky,” says Sharkey. The fourth oldest of

nine siblings, Reger is also a family man, happily married to his high school sweetheart and the proud father of two beautiful children, with another on the way. A busy man, Reger is also the founder of the soon-to-be-released MMA clothing line, “Boom Fight Wear.” Reger is close to all his family, but his great grandfather dubbed the nickname “Boomer” and his great grandmother gave him a holy rosary, which he wears prior to entering the octagon. Reger’s favorite fighter is the great Rocky Marciano, the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion ever. He would jolt opponents with shots in the manner of a human steamroller. Those close to Reger see the resemblance.

Local Golfer Wins


Miss Sydney Babiak of Martinez shot a 3-over par score to take second-place in the girl’s flight of the 2011 Contra Costa Middle School Golf Tournament in late May. The event was held at Buchanan Golf Course in Concord. Sydney was edged out from first place by just one stroke. Sydney and her teammates from Seven Hills School earned third place overall in the team competition. Sydney is in the eighth grade and will attend Bentley School in the fall.

36 Year Member Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

July 2011

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Art World UnConfidential Start your art collection today! What’s your passion? What are you interested in? What makes you smile, feel good, or just plain keeps you sane? You don’t have to purchase Jan Blythe was raised in Glasgow, Scotland, a city with a strong arts’ heritage. As a textile designer, Blythe received her BA in England before she moved to California, building a successful business as a surface designer. Blythe returned to her love of art and earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. “Materials, process and experimentation are all key factors in my work,” Blythe says. “Manipulation of materials often brings about unexpected results and leads to combining diverse materials such as ash and spray paint, cups and soot, or tears and wax. My passion for hands-on making is the fuel from which my work evolves and results in abstract pieces which investigate color, form and material as well as conceptual themes of loss, melancholy, longing and desire.” Blythe’s work can be seen at janblythe. com.

By Tony Michael Vecchio an outrageously expensive painting, or passion. Build and curate your own save up until you can afford a canvas unique collection of images by thinking by that one artist you love. Start now. resourcefully in finding photographs, Decide on a theme, work on it carefully crafts, vintage images, and other ranand with purpose, and let it happen dom display items. Whether its cats, naturally. cars, travel or flowers, you can find fun, Start your art collection with unique, imaginative photos of your graphic or painted images built around passion in magazines, vintage books, a theme that is part of your lifestyle or or even amateur paintings. Then, frame them nicely. You can find affordable and decorative frames at flea markets and thrift shops. As with any interest - or obsession - a quick search on or will display many handmade or imported works of “art” that can quickly become part of your growing collection. Apply the same process for any theme, even your personal memorabilia. Children’s art renderings, western and native Americana, or interesting collections can

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make great art for your home, whether for a compact space like a hallway wall an expansive large wall in a great room. Our featured artist this month has work in the new Bedford Gallery exhibit in Walnut Creek entitled, “Outlandish: Contemporary Depictions of Nature.” Curated by Alison Gass, Associate Curator of SFMOMA, the show of 109 pieces by 66 artists around the country, including five Contra Cost County artists, will run from July 5th through September 4th, with an opening reception on July 7th from 6 - 8:00 pm. For more information, contact Tony Michael Vecchio at View his collage illustration, mixed media assemblages, and paintings at

Policy Riders By Tracy Tamura When was the last time you took a look at the riders stipulated in your insurance contract? I mean, pulled it apart and examined it line by line to review what you are paying for vs. what you’re getting? Sounds super fun, right? What is a policy rider? A rider is a feature or specific item that has been added to your main policy. Some are free and some are not. Here are some common riders found in a life insurance contract: Child Rider, Waiver of Premium Rider, Accidental Death Rider and Disability Rider. My question to you is: if you have a policy rider, do you still need it, and if not, are you still paying for it? Here is a typical example using a child rider on a life insurance contract: this rider allows a parent to add an additional life insurance policy that covers any and all children to their main policy. There is an additional fee for this rider. Most will cover a child until age *25, so what happens when your last child reaches the maximum age for coverage? Typically, there are conversion privileges that allow coverage retention.

Canceling the rider is another option. If you do not convert or cancel the rider, the monthly charge will continue until you reach age 65 (or the age specified by the insurance company). So, let’s say you are 65 and your youngest child is now age 35. If your rider cost was say $10 per month, that’s $1,200 you have unnecessarily paid to the insurance company. Seems unfair, right? This is not the insurance company trying to scam you; this is simply how the rider works, and you will find all the ins and outs of your riders listed in your original policy documents. Make sure to review ALL your insurance plans at least once every two years. Doing so will ensure you are not overpaying for coverage and will also ensure your coverage is appropriate for your life style and needs! *Make sure to read your insurance policy or call your agent for details on the exact privileges and limitations on your insurance policies. Tracy Tamura is an insurance specialist. She can be reached at 925.335.9749.

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July 2011

Here Comes the Solar As the College Park High School community begins to settle into summer, installation of an array of solar panels will take place in the school’s parking lot along Viking Drive. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, together with SunPower, the selected solar power company, will begin the installation of what is now the largest K-12 solar power system presently under contract to any school district in the United States. This district-wide photovoltaic project is part of the 2010 Measure C Facilities Improvement Program and designed to shift current utility bills from traditional energy to solar power. The objective is to offset 91% of the District’s PG&E bills by generating 81% of the District’s energy usage. Any excess production and/or savings will belong to MDUSD. The project is estimated to result in savings and revenue of 200 million dollars over the next 30

By Jaki Jones project will be done in three increyears, which will in turn provide milments: College Park in increment one lions of dollars of funding for students beginning on July 11th, followed by and student programs. Strandwood Elementary in increment Fifty-one district sites, including two and the remaining eight Pleasant ten in Pleasant Hill, will see the installation of solar panel arrays on their site Hill sites included in increment three while school is in session. Solar locaby the spring of 2012. This ambitious

tions will vary from site to site. The design for College Park is a “carport” style structure over the parking stalls in parking lot A. The high school will receive the solar structure first as the lot is typically empty during summer. Pete Pederson, the special projects director for MDUSD Measure C Facilities Improvement Program, is working to see that schools go through this process with minimal disruption to school programs. At schools where parking will be impacted during school hours, Pederson said, “we will be working with the sites and site staff to develop contingency plans for all the sites. Some will be more challenging than others.” Check the MDUSD school website, for solar project updates. To view all Pleasant Hill school diagrams, visit our website, www. and click on “community” and then “education”.

Rec and Park July Events - Don’t Miss Out! Family Camp Out On July 9 and 10, Pleasant Oaks Park will be transformed into Camp Pleasant Hill. In recognition of the 60th anniversary of Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District, Camp Pleasant Hill will be filled with activities for all ages, music, crafts, a campfire, an outdoor movie, and even s’mores. This is a great opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the joys of camping – without traveling far from home. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Pleasant Oaks Park and the warm weather. Campers are encouraged to bring their tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, chairs, a change of clothes and personal items and settle in for the night. The Pleasant Hill Baseball Association’s Snack Shack will be open with snacks, dinner, and breakfast available for purchase. Check in for Camp Pleasant Hill on Saturday July 9 at 3 pm; activities begin at 4:30. Check out on Sunday July 10 at 10 am. Register in advance for $10 per person. Call Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District or register online at

Blues & Brews Festival It doesn’t get better than this – a day of great beer tasting, free music, delicious food, and more at Pleasant Hill Park on Saturday July 23! At 12 noon, the DVC Rock, Rhythm & Blues Band will take the stage. At 1 pm Jinx Jones and the Kingtones will share their “big twang guitar” with the lively crowd. At 1:50 pm The Alameda All Stars will build on the excitement with their entertaining stage show and great dance beats. San Jose based Chris Cain, an outstanding blues guitarist who has been called, “the next best thing to BB King,” is on at 2:50 pm. Pleasant Hill favorite Tommy 07.23.11 Castro begins his fast paced show at 4:15. With blistering blues, soulful vocals and stellar band, BLUES BREWS he is certain to get everyone on their feet. Beer tasting (between 1 pm and 5 pm) includes fine beer from Ale Industries, High Water Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Uncommon Brewers, and more to be named later. Major sponsors of the event are the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District, the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, KFOG Radio, C&M Party Props, Allied Waste, and PG&E. Tickets are available now! Purchase an Unlimited Beer Tasting Wristband early for $40 at, or at the Park District Office, 147 Gregory Lane or the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, 91 Gregory Lane, Suite 11. The price goes up to $50 the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the Pleasant Hill Teen Center and the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce.

July 2011

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Night-Flying Wonders By Susan Heckly, Lindsay Wildlife Museum Bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. These night-flying wonders make our lives more comfortable by eating thousands of harmful and bothersome insects such as mosquitoes. The wildlife hospital usually receives about 35 bats of various species each year. The two most common species brought to us are California myotis and Mexican free-tail. In the past five years we’ve also received hoary, red, Yuma myotis, big brown, longeared and pallid bats, but only a couple of each of those species and not every year. The most common reasons bats come into the hospital are because they’ve been caught by cats or they are found on the ground. Baby bats often fall from their roosts because of exces-

sive heat or because the roost space has been disturbed. In the Bay Area, Mexican free-tail and California myotis bats roost in large colonies in groups of 500 to several thousand in large spaces like


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attics. Roofers removing shingles can disturb these nesting colonies. Some of the more solitary bats, such as pallid or hoary bats, are sometimes knocked to the ground in the daytime by birds.

Bats are also occasionally found inside houses. Because there is a risk that a bat can carry rabies, any bat found inside a home, especially inside a bedroom, should be tested for the virus. The incidence of rabies in bats is low, but bats are considered one of the main carriers of rabies in this area. We are lucky in this part of the United States to have such a low incidence of rabies, but because of the seriousness of the disease, we should always be careful. If you find a bat on the ground or in a place it shouldn’t be, carefully get it into a secure container. Don’t touch it with your bare hands and don’t let anyone else touch it either. Bring it to the museum as quickly as possible. If the bat is inside your home, or a pet has had contact with it, call Contra CostaAnimal Services at 925-335-8300. For more information about Lindsay Wildlife Museum and ways you can help wildlife, visit


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July 2011

Benefits of Wood Floors By Dan Scott, Owner of Scott Floor to Ceiling No other flooring offers the warmth, V.O.C., environmentally friendly and of- at a greatly reduced cost compared to new floors. fer strong abrasive resistance. beauty, and value of wood. Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room and Variety Ecological “Green Flooring” provides timeless beauty that will in Wood floors are ecologically friend- Wood floors have come a long way crease in value throughout the years. In in the past few years. Today, there are ly. From the start, Scott FTC has always fact, in a national survey of real estate more styles, colors and species of wood recommended Green Flooring alternaagents, 90 percent said that houses with flooring available than ever before. tives to our clients. Since it is a natural wood flooring sell faster and for higher Whether you’re looking for traditional resource, wood is both renewable and prices than houses without wood floors. recyclable. Bamboo and cork re-generate oak, rustic reclaimed pine, exotic cuThat’s money in your pocket! themselves every 5-7 years. Many of yes- maru or trendy bamboo, you’re sure to find a color and style to fit your décor. teryear’s warehouses, barns, and other Ease of Maintenance At Scott Floor to ceiling, we offer over 50 structures find a second life in wood Maintenance of today’s wood floors species of wood in many styles, giving flooring. Modern New flooring is also is easy! New technology in stains and you endless flooring options. readily available. FSC is wood harvested finishes means regular cleaning takes through the Forest Stewardship council. little more than sweeping and/or vacuTo get the FSC’s stamp of approval, forest uming, with occasional use of a profesoperations must meet 57 criteria, includsional wood floor cleaning product. At ing protection of local wildlife, minimal Scott Floor To Ceiling we recommend use of chemical pesticides, and many the Bona Professional wood floor cleanmore. Since wood does not collect dust ing system. This product is the proper cleaner for all types of wood flooring and or other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are finishes. the perfect choice for a healthy home. Refinishing Floors Can Be Affordable “Green” We offer the Bona Dustless Sanding Today’s wood floors are affordable. Over time, wood floors maintain their System for finish in place or re-finishing value. When other flooring options look of existing floors. Bona’s dustless system tired and worn out, wood floors still look is Green-Guard certified for its dust removal system. Scott Floor To Ceiling of- beautiful and timeless. As they start to fers multiple brands of finish that are low age, they can be re-freshed or re-finished

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July 2011

Summer’s Bounty Hopefully, by this stage of weird summer, you have some red or yellow cherry tomatoes to lovingly snack on while watering or tending your garden. Our long, cold, wet spring has most definitely confused our vegetable gardens, and they will take a bit of time to come out of it. Meanwhile, eat the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from the farmers’ market if yours aren’t ripe yet. If you have not already started your back yard or front yard garden, it is never too late in our little Diablo Valley. Our climate is such that tomatoes usually keep turning red on the vine until November. Peppers are actually not fully ripe until the very end of summer when they start turning startling shades of red, purple, yellow and deep, dark green. By the time you start getting a few brown leaves and spent blossoms towards the end of August, you can already get your winter garden going with brassicas and more lettuce. The first in my garden to see the plate are tomatillos. Along with leftover cooler weather cilantro and parsley, tomatillos can be blended with one to three jalapeños, garlic, onions and

Page 23


By Lesley Stiles ning College Park Grad Night this year. persimmons contrasting colors, side some lime juice for uber fresh salsa It was an amazing success, and I think by side. The figs of July are enough to verde, as spectacular on grilled fish as all the grads had a good time. For a lot make you cry out in ecstasy as you sawith chips dunked into it. vor one warm from the tree, one bite at of them it was the last time they will Fruit trees are an amazing addiever see some of the folks with whom a time. tion to any garden, adding the com Summer brings an amazing bounty they have spent the last four years. Grad ponent of wonder at what you actually of produce to our farmers’ markets and Night gave them a great way to part. produced yourself. It takes a few times Nothing ever happens without the leaffords as many choices for snacks and at the farmers’ market before you stop meal preparation as summer dresses on gions of volunteers behind the scenes, yourself from buying something that and my thanks go out to Jackie and Victhe racks at Ross. Every year, farmers you already have growing, but now toria as well as to the many bakers that come out with more new and exciting is the time to eat it and it is OKAY to dropped off tempting treats for our food varieties of squash, peppers and tomado that! Memories of an angry parent court midnight snack. Congratulations toes, not to mention peaches, nectaror grandparent shouting and shooing to grads everywhere in Diablo country, ines, apriums, pluots and more. Either when you ate all the cherries off the and good luck in your bright futures! get growing to maintain your family tree in one fell swoop linger into adult Lesley Stiles is a graduate of the tradition, or start a new one with your brains. You feel little shots of electrical California Culinary Academy, sustainexcitement when you see your own tree kids. Trust me, it rubs off and, once able caterer and school garden educaloaded down and can give yourself per- started, your kids will never stop their tor. Contact Lesley at lesleystiles@ lifelong passion for gardening. mission to stand under, eating as many as you want, any time you want. Visual- A complete aside: I wanted to take a, www.lesleystiles.blogspot. minute to give a huge thank you to Jack- com and visit her new website: www. ize autumn apples, hanging like globes ie Alkire and Victoria Skerrit for runof glory from your perfectly pruned and shaped tree, sliced into several pies in your freezer, awaiting the call of duty in the oven. How about golden hued pears, perfuming all those that saunIngredients: ter by as they are slipped into bags to 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint ripen and be slurped, juice dripping 1 clove garlic, crushed, 2 tablespoons chopped red onion down arms, eyes closed. Fruit trees are 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. as much a part of any edible landscape 4 medium zucchini halved lengthwise as the ubiquitous tomato. Fall would Directions: not be right without pomegranates and Mix the oil, garlic, zest and salt and pepper together. Evenly coat the zucchini in this mixture and place on a hot grill. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes and turn over and grill 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from grill and place on platter. Sprinkle w/ mint and onions. Serve either hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Grilled Zucchini w/ Lemon Mint and Red Onions

Contractor Chosen

Contractor Selected to Build Pleasant Hill’s New Senior & Teen Centers On June 3, McFadden Construction of Stockton, California was the unanimous selection of the Board of Directors of Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District to build the new Pleasant Hill Senior Center and the new Pleasant Hill Teen Center. Ten bids were received and McFadden Construction, in business since 1991, submitted the lowest responsible bid. The ground-breaking ceremonies for the new Pleasant Hill Senior Center and new Pleasant Hill Teen Center were held on June 22. Designed by Stephen Harriman & Associates, AIA of Walnut Creek, both buildings will make the most of their beautiful settings on Pleasant Hill Park – the Senior Center on the east side of the park, the Teen Center right in the middle next to Pleasant Hill Aquatic Park. Construction of both buildings will be concurrent with completion scheduled for the fall of 2012. For updates on the construction, Follow the Action, at

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad) Ingredients:

1 loaf sturdy day old bread such as ciabatta or sour dough 3 large heirloom tomatoes, cubed ½ cup water ½ bunch fresh basil, chiffonade ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, chopped


1 small sweet red onion, sliced in half moons ½ cup nice red wine or balsamic vinegar ½ cup good olive oil kosher salt and pepper

Tear the bread into bite sized pieces and place into a large salad bowl. Pour water over the bread and squeeze it together until the bread is soft. Squeeze the water out of the bread and discard the water. Toss the tomatoes, onion, herbs and garlic into the bread and mix it up. Add the vinegar and oil and stir to mix it all up. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish w/ freshly grated parmesana reggiano cheese. Serves 4.

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July 2011

In the Mix By Paul Cotruvo • “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry Now that summer’s in full swing, - A 1970 one-hit wonder classic. I’ve started thinking about how music • “California Gurls” by Katy Perry plays such an important role this time Watch the video. of year. There is always that song that • “Summertime Blues” by Eddie just makes you happy, whether it’s for Cochran - Perfect song to listen to a graduation party, a BBQ, a day at the when you had to work that summer beach, or just sipping your favorite job. beverage in the backyard after doing • “Summer” by War – Great song yard work. to cruise to the drive-in (ask So, I decided to make a your parents). top ten list of my favorite • “Hot Fun in the summer songs (which Summertime” by Sly & was extremely hard, the Family Stone - Title since my first list was says it all! over 100!) Here we go, • “Summer in the City” in no particular order: by Lovin’ Spoonful – • “Schools Out” by Alice Despite the heat of the day, Cooper – No better anthem it will be all right! for a kid than this rock classic; And just for good measure, my it still holds up today! pick for the most annoying song? • “California Girls” by the Beach Boys “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys. No – Always puts me on a beach, girlfurther comment. watching, after a long day of surfing What will be the summer song (although I have never surfed a day in of 2011? What was your favorite all my life). • “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts - time summer song? Log onto www. and let me The perfect song to just sit back with know. your favorite beverage. The blues ain’t nothing but a good man • “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock – It feelin’ bad. samples a famous riff from Warren Leon Redbone Zevon & Lynyrd Skynyrd that equals a huge hit song.

CONCERTS Downtown Pleasant Hill

Don’t miss the July concerts in the plaza!

July 21

July 7


CE BAND— KATY LAWREN rn R, pop & mode R& ck ro sic as Cl

Performances subject to change SPONSORED BY:

D—Classic ro


City of Pleasant Hill

1961  2011


PAUL’S PICKS FOR JULY: (ALL THESE EVENTS ARE FREE) July 4th - DAVID MARTIN’S HOUSEPARTY - Moraga Commons Park (Moraga Rd. & St. Mary’s Road), Moraga at 7:00pm July 7th - The Katy Lawrence Band - Downtown Pleasant Hill “Concerts in the Plaza Series” at 6:00pm July 10th - LAVA - Summer by the Lake Series, City Hall, Pleasant Hill at 6:00pm July 21st - LUMBERYARD - Downtown Pleasant Hill “Concerts in the Plaza Series” at 6:00pm July 23rd - PLEASANT HILL BLUES & BREWS, FEATURING THE TOMMY CASTRO BAND, CHRIS CAIN, THE ALAMEDA ALL-STARS, JINX JONES AND THE KING TONES, & STEVE SAGE, DVC R&B REVUE, Pleasant Hill Park, corner of Gregory and Cleveland, Noon– 6:00pm. July 28th - ACOUSTIC S&M - Rocco’s Pizzaria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek at 8:00pm July 29th - THE BILLY MARTINI SHOW - The Station, 600 Ferry Street, Martinez at 9:30pm

VENUES: Armando’s: 707 Marina Vista, Martinez CA • Back Forty Texas BBQ: 100 Coggins Drive Pleasant Hill, CA • Dallimonti’s : 1932 Oak Park Blvd. Pleasant Hill, CA • Dan’s Bar : 1524 Civic Drive Walnut Creek CA • E.J. Phair Brewing Company: 2151 Salvio Street, Concord, CA • Pyramid Alehouse: 1410 Locust Street Walnut Creek, CA • Rocco’s Pizzeria: 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road Walnut Creek CA • Ferry Street Station: 600 Ferry Street, Martinez CA • station The Roundup Saloon: 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette, CA Phone: (925) 284-4817 Vinnie’s Bar & Grill: 2045 Mt. Diablo Street, Concord, CA •



Jun 12

Jun 26

Aug 7 Aug 21


May 29

cupcakes Jun 12

Jul 10

Aug 21

Casey Strand Chiropractor Aug 21

Matt Rinn Agency

Sep 4

July 2011

Page 25


Get your RESTAURANT FEATURED in Community Focus Call 925-335-NEWS (6397) or email

RESTAURANT GUIDE FOCUS get your restaurant in

• Ongoing Presence • One-time 250-word Feature with a 6-month contract • Feature plus one month FREE with a 12-month contract • Distribution of 40,000 • Direct link to your website in online version

for more information please contact us at

925.335.NEWS (6397)



FRIDAY KARAOKE NIGHT • GRAB THE MIC AND ROCK OUT LIVE MUSIC EVERY SATURDAY • COMING IN JULY 7/2 Shillz • 7/9 SolMates • 7/16 Heavy Petting Zoo 7/23 The Famous Thee-O • 7/30 Von Trapps • A Family Tradition Since 1982 • Open for Lunch & Dinner • Reservations & Take Out Available • Small Banquets Welcome • Full Bar & Wine List • A Touch of North Beach in your Neighborhood

1932 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill. 925-944-5224 Savanh, originally Bangkok Restaurant, has been serving Thai favorites in this Oak Park location for over 20 years. Insisting on fresh market ingredients, our kitchen locates the freshest produce, seafood, and meats everyday, preparing each dish a little different from other Bay Area Thai restaurants. Our newly redesigned dining room is adorned with the nation’s symbolic emblem, the elephant. Our extensive menu boasts the traditional Thai fare, plus an array of grilled dishes. We also offer take-out. 1910 Oak Park Boulevard • Pleasant Hill Hours: Monday - Saturday, 11am-9pm (closed Sunday) 925.937.4368 •

Formerly Bangkok Restaurant • New Name, Same Family and Staff

$30 Birthday Certificate Join our new Birthday Club and receive a $30 Birthday Certificate to spend at Kobe Japan Restaurant during the month of your birthday. You will also receive special offers and information about the latest happenings in our monthly newsletter. Please go to our website, and

then click Sign-Up for Our Birthday Club/Special Offers

1918 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, California 94523 Phone: (925) 705-7065/7066

Fax: (925)705-7067



Introducing Yan’s Garden. A new name, new owners but the same fantastic chef serving the great recipes that you have come to love. Come see our new decor and experience the ultimate dining experience. Now serving wine and beer. 2223 MORELLO AVE. • PLEASANT HILL CA •IN HILLCREST CENTER•




20% OFF TOTAL BILL ($30 Minimum Order Drinks not Included)


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July 2011

Calendar events 7/1 - 8/26 - Fridays on the Main. Cruise to downtown Martinez for an evening of strolling along Main St. to check out cool hot rods, classic cars and trucks and dance to live music on the Plaza. 6-8pm. 7/1-9/2 – Martinez Gallery Show Opening. The Martinez Gallery has a new show opening with the theme “Summer Dreams”. Reception will be held Friday, July 1 from 6-9pm at 630 Court St., Martinez. Contact: (925) 370-6270. Gallery Hours:11am3pm Mon-Fri; 9am-1pm Sat. Portions of the sales benefit school art programs and scholarships. 7/ 9 - Family Camp Out! Celebrate Pleasant Hill Rec & Park District’s 60th anniversary as Pleasant Oaks Park as becomes Camp Pleasant Hill! Enjoy your STAYCATION with time outdoors as you introduce your kids to camping. Fun for the whole family! More information on page 20. 7/15 - Derby Day at 2pm. Test your engineering skills and design a boat out of cardboard, recyclables, and duct tape. All boats will compete in races across the pool. Wear your swimsuit and prepare to get wet! Preregistration required by July 13. For rules or information, call 682-0896. All ages are welcome! $5 per boater. 7/17 - Another’s Treasure Community Street Sale -The Downtown Retailers Focus Group Fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Martinez. Details on page 10 7/21 - Homeopathy Every Day Study Group. Peter DeVries will speak on Systemic Constellation Therapy and how it can help us support the challenges we encounter in family, relationships, health and business. 6-7pm, 43 Quail Court Office Park, Rm. 215, Walnut Creek. $9. Contact Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA), 928-826-3858. 7/22, 8/19 - Family Night Swim. Pleasant Hill Aquatic Park, 147 Gregory Ln. Children 8 yrs & under must be accompanied in the water by a paying adult (18 yrs or older). 6-9pm. 2–6 yrs $3.50; 7–17 yrs $4.00; 18 yrs/older $4.00; Seniors 55 yrs/older $3.50. 7/25-7/28 & 8/8-8/12- Soccer Camps: The Martinez Pleasant Hill Futbol Club will be hosting two sessions for boys and girls ages 8-13 of all experience levels. 9am-3pm at the Adventist Academy, 796 Grayson Rd,

Pleasant Hill. Training by college-level soccer players, fun games, t-shirt, prizes and more! Cost is $165 per session. Pre-registration by July 15th. To register, visit www. 7/26-7/30 - “New Works Festival” at Willows Cabaret Theatre, 636 Ward St., Downtown Martinez. For details visit: www. or call 925-798-1824. 7/29 - Outdoors Moonlight Movie. See “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” at PH City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, lawn Area from 8:30pm–10:30pm. Bring a blanket, towel, or chair. Co-sponsored by Pleasant Hill Rec & Park District and the City of Pleasant Hill. FREE. For more info. call: 925-682-0896 or visit 8/2, 3, 4 & 9 - Anne Diskin’s Workshops for Teachers, Tutors, and Homeschoolers. Anne Diskin is well known for her practical and inspiring training. Give ALL students the tools they need to be confident, competent writers! Earn up to 3 optional semester units through UOP. 8/2: Giving Young Writers a Great Start! (K-1); 8/3: Nuts and Bolts Expository Writing - Vocabulary, Sentences, Paragraphs; 8/4: Nuts and Bolts - Essays, Note Taking, Report Writing (2nd and up); 8/9: Words, Words, Words! (any grade). For info visit or contact Anne: (510) 655-2468 or adisk@ Located in Danville off 680. 8/5 - Garage Bands at the Lake: Pleasant Hill City Hall lawn area. Check out local teen bands. 7pm. If you have a teen interested in performing, call 682-0896. 8/14 - 10th Annual American Iron Car Show. Downtown Pleasant Hill, Crescent Drive. Bring your Pre-1980s American car and enter the competitions. 10am3pm. Awards, prize drawings, music and refreshments available for purchase. FREE for spectators; $25 entry fee per car. Call 682-0896 for more information. 8/27 - CPHS Hall of Fame Inductions. Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant. No Host bar at 5pm with dinner at 6:30pm. Inductions: 7:30pm. Athletes to be honored: Sally Sutton - 1963 Track and Field; Karen Semenza - 1988 Basketball & Softball and Casey Strand -1994 Wrestling. Coach/Contributor to be honored: Ed Sias Sr. Track and Cross Country. Team to be honored: The 1993 Football Team. $50.00 per person. Checks made payable to: Falcon Foundation.

Reservations needed. Send checks to: 109 Woodview Ct. Martinez, CA 94553. Questions: Contact Jerry Pollard ( ) or call: (916) 813-5401.

AT THE LIBRARY Contra Costa County Library Summer Reading Program 7/1-8/20 - Summer Reading Festival - One World, Many Stories. A variety of free programs are scheduled throughout the summer at library locations countywide for kids and teens. Reading records will be available in community libraries or online at www. Track your reading time and earn prizes upon completion all summer long. Visit your local library or website for more information. In Martinez: At the time of print the library was closed for renovations. The interim library address is 401 Ferry Street, Martinez. In Pleasant Hill: 7/1-7/29 (Wed & Fri) – Mother Goose Time. Come join us for this light-hearted story hour just for tots ages 0 - 3. 11:15am -11:45am. 7/7-7/28 (Thurs.) – Pre-school Storytime.

Join us in the story corner for stories, songs, and more to stre-e-e-etch the imagination. Ages 3-5. 11:15am-11:45am. 7/12 – Pleasant Hill Book Club. Meet other readers for fun, engaged discussions. 6:30pm-7:30pm. 7/14 & 7/28 – Wii Thursdays for Teens. Come get your game on with the library’s Wii or play board games! 3pm-5pm. 7/19 - Bharatanayam! Indian Dance. A classical dance originating in the Hindu Temples of South India. Witness graceful Indian dances, and learn a few steps of your own! 7pm-8pm. 7/20 – Lego and Listen. Building imaginations with blocks and books! Come hear some great stories while you make a fabulous Lego creation. 2pm-2:40pm. 7/26 – The Summer Concert Series Presents: The Hot Frittatas, Northern California’s liveliest ensemble for European and International café music: Italian, French, Mexican, Brazilian, and more consists of fiddle, mandolin, accordion, guitar, and bass, providing a lively mix of cafe tunes, tarantellas, mazurkas. You can almost smell the cappuccino. 6:30pm.

JULY - NOW PLAYING Gypsy by Laurents, Styne & Sondheim
 (Musical/Opera) Directed by Daren A.C. Carollo and produced by Contra Costa Civic Theatre. June 17 – July 17- Performed at: 951 Pomona Ave.
El Cerrito.
 Ticket Prices: $15 - $24. Curtain time(s): Fri-Sat, 8PM; Sun, 2PM. Box office: (510) 524-9132. A determined mother lives her life vicariously through her children during the Great Depression. Metamorphosis by David Farr & Gisli Orn Gardarsson; adapted from Franz Kafka
) Directed by Mark Jackson and produced by Aurora Theatre Company. June 1 - July 17-Performed at: 2081 Addison St.,
Berkeley. Ticket Prices: $10 - $55. Curtain time(s): Tues 7PM; Wed-Sat 8PM; Sun 2PM & 7PM. Box office: (510) 843-4822.
. A masterful mix of horror and absurdity about a traveling salesman’s bizarre transformation from man to man-sized insect. The Verona Project by Amanda Dehnert; adapted from William Shakespeare
(Drama) Directed by Amanda Dehnert and produced by the
California Shakespeare Theater. July 6 - July 31-
Performed at: 100 Gateway Blvd. at Hwy 24,
Ticket Prices: $35 - $66. Call for days & times. Box office: (510) 548-9666. Trinity Repertory Company resident director Amanda Dehnert will adapt and direct Shakespeare’s delirious comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona, which will include her own original music performed and sung by the cast. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
(Drama)* Directed by Lisa A. Tromovitch. June 30 - July 30. Curtain time(s): Thurs-Sat 7:30PM; Sun 7PM. One of Shakespeare’s most thoughtful plays, Macbeth is fueled by the occult, battle scenes and lust. Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
(Comedy)* Directed by Leslie Martinson. July 7- July 31- Curtain time(s): Thurs-Sat 7:30PM; Sun 7PM. Call for prices. A farce set in the highclass world of the opera. *Macbeth and Lend Me A Tenor are both being produced by Livermore Shakespeare Festival/ Shakespeare’s Associates. Performed at:
4590 Tesla Rd. Livermore. Box office: (925) 443-2273. www.

July 2011

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Dirty Dish Dance Part I

Acupuncture for the Body

By Tonya Marie Amos top for balance, your feet are hip width Most of us apart. know that daily ex Dirty Dish Dance #1: Load a piece of ercise is a great bendinnerware onto the bottom dishwasher efit to our health. rack, then return to the starting position. Unfortunately, with Now bend your legs, then straighten them. long work hours, Repeat: Bottom dish in, starting position, family commitbend your legs, and straighten them. ments, and over the Dirty Dish Dance #2: Load a dish top busy schedules, many of us rarely find onto the top dishwasher rack, then return the time to workout. With a little creativto the starting position. Now go up on ity, you can find ways to sneak in some your tippy toes, then return your heels to exercise while brightening up your daily, the ground. Repeat: Top dish in, starting mundane chores. Most of us hate washing dishes. Enter position, tippy toes, return your heels to the ground. These two exercises nicely inthe Dirty Dish Dance: Three basic movements that will turn busting suds into ath- crease leg strength and flexibility, improve letic time. As with any new exercise, check balance, and build endurance. Dirty Dish Dance #3: Load silverwith your doctor before beginning, start ware into its bin, then return to the startslowly and build up over time. Anytime ing position. Now roll your shoulders you bend over to load the dishwasher, forward, up, back, then drop them down. make sure that your hips and torso are Repeat: Silverware in, starting posilined up, as being bent over and rotated is tion, shoulders roll forward, up, back and a vulnerable position for the spine. Your down. This exercise helps relieve neck and starting position is standing near your shoulder tension, increases strength in the dishwasher, holding on to your counter upper back, and helps build great posture. Alternate between bottom, top and silverware loading to balance the work between muscle groups. Don’t have a dishwasher? Just decide which dinnerware gets which dance and go for it. Both your body and kitchen will thank you “loads”, while you turn the mundane into marvelous. Tonya Marie Amos danced professionally in New York for 15 years before opening her studio, Aspire Pilates Center in Concord. For more information, please call (925) 680-4400 or go to

By Richard Weissman curable and that treatment is solely Arthritis is a group of degenerapalliative. Some research suggests that tive joint diseases that involves wear anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofin and tear of the cartilage between the even cause arthritis to progress faster. bones and causes pain, inflammation Misconceptions about arthritis per(late stage) and limited movement of the joints. More than 50 million Amer- sist: that it is a normal part of the aging process, and cannot be halted or reicans suffer from arthritis, and everyone over the age of 50 has signs of it. It versed. Nothing could be further from the truth! is the number one cause of movement The Acupuncture Wellness Cenlimitation, and probably the leading ter offers a simple program from an cause of disability. Eastern perspective that includes a While there are more than 100 thorough consultation with an MD or joint diseases, osteoarthritis (OA) is DO who specializes in joint problems. the most common, and symptoms inHerbal formulas, glucosamine and clude pain, stiffness, joint crackling, chondroitin sulfates are known to help deformity and joint enlargement. repair damaged joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an A simple exercise plan, includimmune system disorder and occurs ing walking and sitting properly, can when the lining of the joints become inflamed on both sides of the body and keep the cartilage moist, as can a diet the person experiences fatigue, flu-like of fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds and whole grains. A 2004 study showed symptoms and muscle weakness. that patients with OA of the knee ex Arthritis is present long before perienced a 40% decrease in pain and any symptoms appear. With osteoarincrease in function with acupuncture thritis, the cartilage stays dry and betreatment. gins to soften and crack. Later, there Acupuncture helps maintain ideal are osteophytes (bone spurs), abnorbody weight, fights depression, and ofmal bone hardening, and fluid filled fers a safe, natural way to control joint pockets called subchondral cysts. As cartilage wears away, the bones rub to- pain and other symptoms. gether, creating pain, bone deformities, Acupuncture is an affordable therapy and many health insurance plans, and inflammation. Healthy cartilage is like a sponge between the hard ends of auto insurance and workers compensation cover the cost. the bones. It soaks up liquid (synovial fluid) when the joint is at rest and then Find out more about the Acupuncture Wellness Center at www.acu-wellsqueezes it out when force is exerted on the joint during activity, even while, 925-671-2100 or visit the center at 2261 Morello Ave. at Taystanding. lor Blvd. in Pleasant Hill. Most doctors think arthritis is in-

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East Bay Area Artisan, Professor and Theatrical Gem, Reid Davis, dreamed of moving to New York and living in a Woody Allen movie, “with a few gay people and non-white people in the mix.” In 1998, Davis became a company member of the Shotgun Players in the performing arts department of St. Mary’s College, and has also apprenticed at the professional Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky, interned for a Broadway producer, and received a PhD from Berkeley. Davis feels that an enthusiastic and engaged community connects artists with their traditions, and is the basis for meaningful work. “I think we’ve lost some

July 2011

Stage Door By Nicole Diestler of the ensemble traditions of training and community connections. Shotgun Players’ it like it was meat.” He appreciates plays creating theatre, but it still exists in theamantra of, ‘making theatre that makes a difthat make you question how we live today tre companies like Shotgun, in our high and that St. Mary’s production of “Angels in ference,’ feels real here.” schools, and in colleges like DVC, where To support Davis’ work, check out America,” facilitated meaningful dialogue we build training ensembles. But it’s also a Shotgun Players at the St. Mary’s College around urgent issues of faith and compasstruggle, and struggle is good for an artist, Department of Theatre, where, as Davis sion. This play was a regional finalist in the especially a young artist.” American College Theatre Festival and won puts it, “theatre feels professional at college Davis wants to make the kind of theaprices.” National awards for acting and design. tre he himself would like to see – “boldly Nicole Diestler is the Associate Profes Davis loves the eclecticism of the East theatrical, ravishingly designed, and passor of Acting and Directing at Diablo Bay, “where students have grown up with sionately performed. I like theatre that I Valley College. Send information to stagecultural diversity, especially around class can’t shake off, that leaves me with and race. Artists are working for greater thing to DO, that fuels my mind and heart, IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS and leaves me deeply motivated. The world is horrible and beautiful and hopeful; theatre should celebrate that.” Davis says that By Adri Frick St. Mary’s strives to make bold versions of to be too commercial or elitist. Recent headlines on the health popular musicals, most recently, “Sweeney At Type A Yoga, instructors are benefits of yoga are convincing peoTodd.” Davis says it was a radical visual student-centered and welcome all stuple that anyone can do it. CNN Health, departure and that “students tore through dents at all levels. The classes take into for instance, features articles on the account how intimidating a new class or promising use of yoga for fibromyalgia environment can be and focus on proand cancer survivors. In June alone, the viding a comfortable and convenient atuse of yoga in treating stroke recovery, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic mosphere. All of the instructors believe in yoga’s power to heal, but also believe stress disorder made the news. in bringing a sense of humor and light While yoga has historically been heartedness into the class. The schedperceived in the West as a fitness fad ule is designed for today’s busy lifestyle, or a quaint curiosity, in the last decade with morning, evening and weekend more people have seriously considered classes. yoga’s benefits for overall health and Type A Yoga will be holding an wellness. A 2008, Yoga Journal study open house at 607 Gregory Lane Suite found that while 6.9% Americans prac150 in Pleasant Hill on July 10th from ticed yoga, another 8% said they were 1pm to 5pm. Anyone curious about very interested in yoga and 6.1% said a yoga is welcome to come and ask quesdoctor or therapist had recommended yoga to them. The problem is that many tions, sample free classes, and enter a prize giveaway, including aromatherapy of these people never get past merely items and free class passes. considering it, or worse, try a gym or studio class that turns them off of yoga completely.   Type A Yoga’s mission is to make yoga more accessible to those inquisitive about the benefits.  The “Type A” personality is a pop psychology term from the 1950s referring to a personality that is impatient, competitive, skeptical, stressed, and once considered at higher risk for cardiac disease. People who would benefit the most from yoga often find the gym atmosphere too high-energy or impersonal and some yoga studios

Yoga with a Twist

July 2011

Page 29

FPHE Gives $40,000 to Local Schools On May 23, the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education (FPHE) awarded $40,000 to support educational activities in Pleasant Hill public schools. The grants represent a significant contribution of funds to enhance educational opportunities for students while schools simultaneously combat ongoing education spending cuts. The total of this year’s awards is $10,000 more than what FPHE awarded in 2010. Since 2009, FPHE has awarded 96 grants to Pleasant Hill public schools, totaling $85,000. The Foundation received 70 grant requests and awarded 45 to the 11 public schools. Every school that requested a grant received one. FPHE grants

By Jaki Jones year’s contributors for placare awarded based on a ing a high priority on local combination of criteria, education and realizing including the number of that strong schools benefit students impacted and the the entire community. contribution to or support FPHE board meetof language arts, math, sciings are every first Tuesday ence or other key curricumonthly. Board meetings lum areas. This year, grant are open to the public and awards went to kindergarten through high school programs for the purchase of literature and research books, College Park High School math and history programs, interactive • Graphing calculators science programs and materials, music • Sets of No Fear Shakespeare • Biomedical DNA Research Tools and art programs, and computer hard• Sets of Othello, New York Times Upfront Magaware and software for use with academic zine, and Grammar Books programs. Pleasant Hill Middle School FPHE thanks and applauds this • Document Camera and Two LCD Projectors

Grant Award Recipients

Two Birds with Two Stones By Matthew Sirott, MD

Medical professionals and lay persons have long known that heart disease, the number one cause of death in America, can be modified by exercise and aspirin. Less publicized, but probably of equal importance, is the newly emerging data of their benefits in cancer prevention. Clinical trials have clearly documented the benefits of moderate exercise daily (40 minutes of rapid walking). Exercise has been shown to prevent both the initial occurrence, as well as a recurrence of some cancers in patients at risk for relapse. Almost 100 studies performed worldwide have documented the benefits of exercise in breast cancer; the magnitude of benefit may be as high as 50%. Similar findings are documented in colon and prostate cancer. Aspirin use has also been shown to reduce cancer development and recurrence; much of the data was initially developed in colon cancer. However, a clinical trial published in 2011 in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, combined multiple randomized published trials evaluating the use of aspirin to prevent vascular events into one single

visitors are welcome. FPHE is a grassroots organization created in 2008. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) and functions independently of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and the City of Pleasant Hill. FPHE has received numerous awards from MDUSD, the City of Pleasant Hill, and Pleasant Hill parent/ teacher organizations.

analysis, which looked retrospectively at cancer prevention. The results are astounding: a 34% reduction in risk for all cancers and a remarkable 54% reduction in gastrointestinal cancers. The risk of death from all cancer was reduced by 20%, with an incredible 60% reduction in death from gastrointestinal cancer with greater than 7.5 years of aspirin consumption. The types of patients included those with esophageal, pancreas, brain, lung, stomach, and colorectal malignancy. The use of any new medication, including aspirin, is not without some potential risks, and daily use should be discussed with your personal physician. Similarly, your physician should review an exercise plan. Those caveats aside, I am hard pressed not to recommend throwing these simple, but powerful “stones” at the two “birds” that cause more deaths in America than all other causes combined. Located in Pleasant Hill, Diablo Valley Oncology is the largest freestanding, non-hospital based facility in Contra Costa County. For more information, visit:

• Sets of Walk Two Moons for the 6th Grade • Ace Maestro Music Instruction Software • eInstruction CPS Pulse and Mobiview System for Multiple Teachers • Electronic Book Collection for Library Program • DLP Projectors for the 6th Grade Sequoia Middle School • iPad for the Established iPad iLearn Science Program • Sets of The World Almanac for 6th Grade • Mimio Interactive and Capture Equipment for Interactive Use with White Boards • Camcorders for Language Arts and Social Studies Hands-On Programs Valley View Middle School • Sets of The Master Puppeteer for 7th Grade • 37 Pre-Algebra Software Programs for the Computer Lab • eInstruction Mobiview System for Multiple Teachers Fair Oaks Elementary • Six Drums for School-Wide Music Program • Wall Mounted Display Cases for School Gregory Gardens Elementary • Sets of Esperanza Rising for 4th Grade • Classroom World Map for 5th Grade • Sets of U.S. History Maps for 5th Grade • Sets of Thesauruses for the 3rd Grade • Sets of Strega Nona and Why Mosquitos Buzz in

People’s Ears for 2nd Grade • Document Camera and Docking Station Hidden Valley Elementary • Sets of Thesauruses for the 3rd Grade • Variety of Chapter Books for the 4th Grade • Variety of Chapter Books for the 5th Grade Pleasant Hill Elementary • Four Sets of Document Cameras, LCD Projectors, and Equipment for Board Language and Walk to Language for the 3rd & 4th Grade Sequoia Elementary • SRA Reading Program for the 4th Grade • SRA Reading Program for the 2nd Grade Strandwood Elementary • Books and Materials for the Read & Dream Program • Wireless Intercom System for Theatrical Stage Productions • Mobiview CPS Student Response Pads for use with Mobiview System • AAC Communication System for Students with Limited Verbal Abilities Valhalla Elementary • Sets of Island of the Blue Dolphins for the 4th Grade • 30 Instructional DVDs for Math, Science, History and Language Arts 5th Grade Programs • Native Bird Connections Program for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade • Read Naturally Program for Special Ed. • Document Cameras for School-Wide Art Program Millenium Mile • Funding for the 11th Annual, 4th and 5th Grade, MDUSD Millennium Mile Track Meet.

Aspire Pilates Anniversary After dancing professionally in New York City for 15 years, Tonya Marie Amos returned to California with the idea of opening a Pilates studio in Concord. Most people thought she was crazy but Tonya firmly believed that everyone deserves access to the life changing work of Pilates. With no prior business experience and against the advice of many around her, Tonya forged ahead and opened her own studio, winning the Women’s Initia-

tive’s Concord Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010. This year celebrates the 5-year anniversary of the Aspire Pilates Center and Tonya hopes to begin a program for low-income women soon. “When you love what you do and you’re determined to make an impact on the well being of the community,” says Tonya, “you jump out there and do your very best. Everything else just falls into place.”

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Recent Climate Changes

By Jeffrey Eitelgeorge, Grade 8, Martinez Jr. High School ing season. Also, the summers are cooler Does anyone than in years past, but the humidity levels know what’s up are increasing. “Basically, as we warm up with the weather? the Earth, the atmosphere can hold more Recently there moisture in it,” said Anne Jefferson, an have been the assistant professor in the geography and most devastating earth science department at the Univertornadoes in years, sity of North Carolina, Charlotte. brutal flooding on Gene Takle, an Iowa State Univerthe Mississippi River, a drought in Texas, sity Professor of geological and atmosand intense rain in Tennessee. Scientists connect global warming to many of these pheric sciences and agronomy, says that if climate changes continue, not all outproblems. Global warming is a general comes would be negative. He says climate shift in the world’s climate caused by change in the Midwest United States pollution and green house gases. Global could be good for farming in the next warming, scientists say, is the reason for couple of decades. many severe weather conditions in the More and more scientists are averaglast couple of decades. ing together many different simulations Many people and even more sciand models to get a more dependable entists are starting to recognize that the forecast of what kind of climate people in Earth is changing at a rapid pace. One North America can expect by the middle group that has noticed this is the Iowa of the century State research team. They have looked at For the most part, all global warmIowa climate data from 1975 to 2000 and ing is caused by the result of billions of observed some odd trends. The annual precipitation increased by about one inch tons of heat-trapping gases released into the Earth’s atmosphere from burning fosduring each of the last 30 years. In recent sil fuels, as well as the cutting down of years, storms are more often producing at least three inches more of rain per year. billions of trees, called deforestation. For Winters aren’t as cold; there are about these reasons, climate change is becoming more rapid in North America in the ten more days without frost than there were 50 years ago, causing a longer grow- twenty-first century.

PH Teens Honored

On Wednesday, May 25 members of the Pleasant Hill Teen Council were recognized for their year of service by the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Board of Directors. Members were very busy this year volunteering at local events, planning events for their peers, and having fundraisers for the soon to be constructed Pleasant Hill Teen Center like this years Prom Preview Fashion Show. Pictured: Jimmy Torres, Jillian Cary, Supervisor Katrina Hunn, Rebecca Monroe, Matt Cary, Monica Rodriguez, Brad Thompson, Kayla Brooks, Sarah Chaney, Hiroki Butterfield, Taylor Poulin, and Justin Hodges. Not Pictured: TJ Tamara, Brandon Hutslar, Helena Encarnacion, Vanessa Guerrero, Melissa See, and Kaitlyn Malcolm

July 2011

The Rebel Faithful By Shawn Nygard 1st and continues through November Pleasant Hill Rebels Youth Football and Cheerleading organization is a non- culminating with the Turkey Bowl on profit youth sports team that was started Thanksgiving weekend. The organization has 5 football teams ranging between by a group of fathers in the late 1960s, ages 7 through 14 years headed by George Buddy, old. The cheer program that sought to develop also has 5 teams that their own program in range in age from 5 Pleasant Hill. The team’s through 14 years old. Our football teams colors were based on the Pleasant Hill play 9 games throughout the season. High School colors: red, white, and silver, and they were named the Renegades. Our cheerleaders compete in 2 cheer competitions in addition to cheering at In 2005, The Pleasant Hill Rebels expanded to Lafayette, Orinda and Mor- the football games. Our coaching staff is dedicated to teaching all our participants aga, as these cities did not have youth valuable life lessons to assist them in becontact football or cheer programs. Our coming positive role models within our family tripled in size! That year the orcommunity. ganization changed its name to Pleas The PHLYFC Rebels have been a ant Hill Lamorinda Youth Football proud youth organization within Pleasand Cheer (PHLYFC). We have since ant Hill for the past 50 years. PHLYFC changed our colors to Red, White and Rebels continues to work with children Black. in our community and looks forward to The PHLYFC Rebels is part of the the next 50 years. For more informaDiablo Valley Youth Football Confertion including registration, visit: www. ence, which includes 18 cities from the Bay Area. Our season begins August

July 2011



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Thank You Advertisers! A Wee Change Acupuncture Wellness Architectural Wood Products Aspire Pilates Center Auto Parts Emporium Bella Stables Best Western Plus John Muir Inn Christies for Kids City of Pleasant Hill Coldstone Creamery Computer Sales and Service-Sponsorship Dallimonti’s Diablo Trophy and Awards Downtown PH-Plaza Concerts Farmers’ Market Flaskerud- Re-Max Hire My Husband Hitchcock Realty Home Detailers Housekeeping Jack’s Jennifer L. Martin D.D.S. Kobe Japan Le Jardin Les Schwab Tires Lindsay Wildlife Museum Matthew C. Rinn, State Farm Insurance Molino’s Ravioli Mortgage Services (Peter Paredero) Moulding Company Payless Painting Pleasant Hill 4th July Commission Pleasant Hill Rec and Park QuickChange Decorating Rebels RKL Builders Russo Auto Body Samulels Construction Savanh Scott Floor to Ceiling Senior Helpers Tamura Insurance Services Type A Yoga UPS – Virginia Hills Yan’s Garden


July 2011

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July 2011  

Community News