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•may 2014

Delivered to Over 50,000 Homes and Businesses

Photos by Susanwoodphotography.com. More photos in this hummingbird series can be found at Susan Wood Photography’s Facebook page.

• 25th Kidfest ....................................................page 5 • Real Estate News ......................................... page 14 • Lava Beds and Tule Lake ........................... page 17 • Specialize in Sports?.................................... page 19

World’s Hottest Peppers..................................... page 23 Meet Alexa Heine .............................................. page 26 Celebrating 3000!............................................... page 35 New Eagle Scouts................................................ page 36


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Happy Spring! There are over 535* reasons

May 2014

May 4–10 is National Pet Week ...like every week at Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital

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925-676-5859 Don, Norma, and Erik’s listings... 9 Ardmore Ct PH, — $599,000 50 Del Vista Ct, PH — $750,000 580 Little Rd, PH — $825,000 155 Pleasant View Dr, PH — $649,000

120 Allen Way, PH — $775,000 1590 Terry Way, PH — $529,000 106 Hazel Dr, PH — $550,000 1445 Saint James Pkwy, Conc — Price TBD 1919 Ygnacio Valley Rd #80, WC— $300,000

CalBRE #s — Don: 00971602, Norma: 00867031, Erik: 01891688

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May 2014

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Dawn Mulgrew Answers Challenge of 26.2 By Chuck Nan and sometimes isolation. She was out on When Dawn Mulgrew reached the the road, early in the morning, several 18-mile mark of the Napa Valley Marathon, her first competition at that distance, times per week, when it was cold, dark and damp, an experience that left her she felt a sharp pain in her left hip muscle. with a new discovery of self. “This has Dawn said, “We had been keeping a great pace. It was exactly as planned through the taught me to believe that anything is posfirst half of the race. I was worried it would sible if you put your mind to it and work hard. You have to possess the right mindbe some type of permanent injury.” After set and follow through. But the biggest seeking medical advice, her question was, thing is focus.” Can I even finish this race? The biggest surprise for Dawn was The previous six months of countthe tremendous support she received from less hours of roadwork, stretching, visufamily and friends. Many were on-hand in alization and a nutritional regimen had Napa. “My running partners Laura Spenbrought her to this place, on this day, in cer and Tom Fisher were there for me all great shape. Doubt crept into her mind about those last eight miles, but Dawn had the time, each week. Nick and I were close before this, but this was a special bonding an insurance policy. It was her 35-yearfor us.” old son and race partner, Nick Gonzalez. Nick explains that he had a special Nick had rigorously trained with her, experience of his own. “It wasn’t until we week-after-week, as they prepared for the race. “Put your arm around me,” Nick said. got towards the end of our training that I begin to understand what an experience it “We’re going to finish this together.” And was doing this marathon with my mom. the pair hit the highway in tandem. Dawn remembers, “Nick did everything he could All the time we spent together running, to motivate me that last stretch and tried to talking, and laughing are memories that will stay with me forever and can never keep my mind distracted from the pain.” When she turned 52-years-old, Dawn be taken away. As a young kid I never thought, at 35-years-old, my mom would had no idea she would someday be runstill be teaching me valuable lessons in life. ning a marathon. Initially, she jogged to I don’t have to look far for my hero. We did address health issues and be as fit as possible. In a few years, she was running short it mom!” 5K and 10K events, and by the fall of 2013, she had made a commitment to go all the way, 26.2 miles. The March 2 marathon was the culmination of Dawn’s challenge and, despite the setback, she and her son completed the course in just less than six hours, with nearly 1,800 other runners. The field included a 72-year-old man who was running his 171st marathon! With support from family and friends, the Martinez accountant was overcome with joy as she crossed the finish line. Mulgrew kept a diary of her half-year journey, including not only the physical aspect of her training, but a large amount of mental and psychological preparation for the event too. Through the winter, Mulgrew dealt Dawn and Nick after finishing the Napa Valley with inclement weather, minor injuries Marathon. Photo courtesy of Laura Spencer.


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May 2014

JULIE SAYS

Let’s Not Worry About That Right Now

“Procrastination is the thief of time.” (Charles Dickens) “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” (Thomas Jefferson) We’ve all been there. A required task lies in wait for us that is tedious, difficult, unpleasant, or an unfortunate combination of all three, and we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. Instead, we might water a couple of plants, empty the dishwasher, finish off a crossword puzzle, and generally decide to assign tremendous importance to a series of non-urgent activities (anything, anything) to avoid the dreaded project. When I spent time thinking about the act of procrastination (an act of procrastination in itself), the only things that came to mind were the negative aspects of putting off the inevitable; things like low willpower, lack of ambition and laziness. But then I wondered, how could something so commonplace and natural continue to be a part of our existence if it is such a bad practice? I turned to the Master Procrastinator device, my laptop computer, and fired up the Internet in search of answers. I was surprised and delighted to find dozens of websites solely devoted to the act of procrastination. It was clear that pursuing this research could really take up some time and thus allow me to refine my procrastinating skills. Some of the sites are meant to amuse, such as the one titled, “15 Quotes on Procrastination You Should Read Later.” Ha. One of the quotes is from Ellen DeGeneres, who advises, “Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” I will bet that many of you can relate to the following quote, penned by writer Rita Mae Brown: “If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” So true! There is a website where a college student has posted “50 Best Ways to Procrastinate on an Assignment.” Here is #39 on her list: “Paint all your finger-

By Julie Ross nails a different color and then remove all polish after deciding it looks stupid.” Brilliant! I do need to warn you about the site, “The 5 Most Entertaining Ways to Procrastinate,” because one of the suggestions is dangerous to your intellect. DO NOT follow the link to the cutely named www.procatinator. com (yes, that’s proCATinator). You will see a cat’s face with the message, “Loading a Cat and Buffering a Song.” Then you will be treated to a video clip of one or more cats doing random cat activities as a hit pop song plays in the background. Please find another way to procrastinate; spending any time at this site is likely to induce a coma. In the course of my procrastina-

tion by studying procrastination, I was finally rewarded by finding an article on wikiHow called, “How to Procrastinate,” which asks us to consider the benefits of procrastinating. Here we are advised to “Embrace distractions for what they are and let the guilt fly.” Love it! We all need to value our leisure time and find time to think. It’s all about balance. So don’t worry, revel in your procrastination. As suggested by author Marte TrolyCurtin, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” That is just what I was waiting to hear. I’m going to go watch a movie and do all that other stuff tomorrow. You can reach Julie at julieakross@ comcast.net. And I know you are about to check out www.procatinator.com if you haven’t already.

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May 2014

For more than two decades, Bay Area KidFest has marked the beginning of summer fun for local kids and their parents. This year, KidFest celebrates its 25th edition on Memorial Day Weekend. KidFest is three days of family entertainment on Saturday - Monday, May 24 - 26, from 10am – 6pm, in downtown Concord. New attractions, like the Dark Knights, a live action, medieval jousting show; “Puff The Magic Dragon” marionette and puppet theatre; and KidFest debuts of superstars Scooby-Doo and Finn & Jake, join many popular, long-time attractions. KidFest means nonstop activities: face painting, balloon art, bounces and crawls, live entertainment and attractions, KidFest SportsJam, arts & crafts and exhibitor booths, Kid’s Town America, costumed stars, community stage, food court, thrilling rides and more. SportsJam was introduced last year, where attendees test their skills and learn from the pros at over a dozen sports stations, including baseball, football, lacrosse, fitness, soccer (hosted by San Jose

25th Bay Area KidFest

Dark Knights live action medieval jousting show.

Earthquakes and Diablo FC), volleyball, judo, basketball, golf, tennis and, new this year, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. KidFest is also a fundraiser for local nonprofits in education, health and youth sports. The festival producer, Bay Area Festivals, Inc., has donated over $65,000 to local organizations over the past four years. For the 19th year in a row, KidFest is partnering with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Every patron donating a can of food gets $1 off the KidFest admission price. Since 2002, over 68,000 pounds of food have been given to the

Ziplining. Photos by Bay Area Festivals, Inc.

needy by KidFest attendees. The City of Concord debuted KidFest in 1990. Local resident Beth Clark creatively produced the festival for 20 years at Concord’s Todos Santos Plaza. In 2001, Clark and her family moved to Illinois, but she continued to manage the event long-range with a staff of local moms she met through her children’s schools and sports. Clark turned the event over to her friend and long-time marketing person, Jay Bedecarre, after the 20th festival in 2009, when the City of Concord announced it was no longer able to help with

Benefitting Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District and Hospice of the East Bay

Be there. Be fabulous! SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014

2:00 - 5:00 pm at Pleasant Hill Community Center Tickets Include: Wine tasting from top vintners t Charming Shoe Guys tSwag Bag Shopping the latest fashions t One-of-a-kind silent & live auction items Glamorous fashion show t Delicious food bites TICKETS ON SALE! WINEWOMENANDSHOES.COM/PLEASANTHILL Meet our Shoe Guys at facebook.com/WWSpleasanthill Our Generous Sponsors

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KidFest funding. Bedecarre formed Bay Area Festivals, Inc. and moved KidFest four blocks down Grant St. in downtown Concord to its present location, on the sports fields of Mt. Diablo High School. KidFest admission is $7 or $6 with a canned food donation. Children under 2 and seniors 65 and over are free. Admission includes all entertainment, attractions, sports and activities. Bay Area Festivals produces a number of festivals and events around the area, including Bay Area FamilyFest, Super Holiday Boutique and Contra Costa Camp & School Fair. On May 10, Bay Area Festivals is producing the second annual Save a Kitten Oakland CatVidFest in Uptown Oakland. The cat-spectacular street festival culminates with the showing of the best and funniest cat videos from around the world on a 100-foot square urban canvas of The Great Wall of Oakland on West Grand Ave., between Broadway and Telegraph. For more information on Bay Area KidFest, visit www.KidFestConcord.com.


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Memorial Day Observance

We invite you to join us for Memorial Day observances on Monday, May 26, at the Contra Costa County Veterans Memorial Monument, on the corner of Contra Costa Boulevard and Boyd Road in Pleasant HIll at 1pm, and for a 2-part observance in Martinez beginning at the Alhambra Cemetary at 9am and resuming at the All Veterans Monument at Berrellesa Street and Alhambra Ave. at 10am. These traditional Memorial Day observances are presented to honor veterans of all wars and conflicts, to preserve the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and to support those veterans who continue to serve our nation.

The program in Pleasant Hill will include guest speakers from the state, county and local communities, a procession and massing of colors of veterans organizations from around the county, a Sea Cadets Color Guard, and a Military History Preservation Society firing party for the traditional 21-Gun Salute and Taps. In Martinez, Mayor Rob Schroder will give the welcome message followed by a remembrance by Jeanne Magnani and a memorial message by Ingemar Olsson. We welcome your attendance to one or both of these ceremonies to honor all of our veterans.

May 2014

Plant Sale Features Mother’s Day Delights Colorful flower arrangements and other garden-related gifts may be bought as Mother’s Day gifts at the plant sale sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Garden Study Club. The sale is on May 10, 9am to 2pm, at the Winslow Center, on the corner of Pleasant Hill Road and Taylor Boulevard. Held the Saturday before Mother’s Day, the sale offers unusual and plentiful succulents, a wide variety of drought tolerant plants, and a large selection of perennials, vegetables, and herbs. A portion of the sale proceeds is donated to garden-related, local non-profits. The PHGSC is co-sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District. For more information about the sale or club, call 925-944-4898, e-mail phgardenstudyclub@yahoo.com, or visit the club’s website at www. phgsc.com.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day at The Gardens!

The Gardens at Heather Farm (GHF) is excited to host our annual Mother’s Day event in celebration of all moms! This funfilled family event will be held on May 11, 1 - 4pm, at The Gardens, located on 1540 Marchbanks Drive in Walnut Creek. This event is free to the public. Relax and enjoy soothing music provided by InSteel Caribbean Steel Drummers. Bring a blanket and have a picnic in our Meadow Garden, stroll along our winding path of 24 unique gardens, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the natural beauty of the breathtaking surroundings, including our meditation garden. Story telling sessions, new this year, will be held in the gazebo at 1:30pm and 3pm. Additionally, root beer floats will be available for $3, as well as fund raising

prizes. Tickets are available for purchase on event day. Craft activities will be offered for everyone, and a selection of gifts will be for sale from local Bay Area artists. All proceeds from this event support GHF programs for youth, adults, and persons with disabilities. For more information, visit our website: www.gardenshf.org. The Gardens at Heather Farm is a nonprofit garden open to the public, free of charge. We are entirely self-supporting and managed by a small, paid staff and the dedication and hard work of many volunteers. Our mission is to educate and inspire our community about sustainable gardening and stewardship practices that help preserve and protect our environment.

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May 2014

Inspection Traps 11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale East Bay – According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the eleven most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That’s why it’s critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the home inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly

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IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS

delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether. In most cases you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for and knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones. To help home sellers deal with this issue before their homes are listed, a free report entitled “11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection” has been prepared which explains the issues involved. To order this FREE Special Report call toll-free 1-800-597-9215 and enter 1238. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your FREE special report NOW to learn how to ensure a home inspection doesn’t cost you the sale of your home. This report is courtesy of East Bay Residential Realty, BRE 01245396. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Copyright © 2013

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Page 8

PLEASANT HILL CITY BUZZ

My Italian grandmother used to share her superstition that “bad things happen in threes.” I never gave much thought to the concept of threes, but I do have three very good happenings in Pleasant Hill to tell you about starting in May. OUTDOOR MUSIC RETURNS The clock has leapt forward an hour. The days are growing longer. The sun is shining brighter. You have spent the weekend transporting kids to and from games, made stops to the dry cleaner and grocery store, and tackled chores and yard work. Come Sunday evening, when you are wondering how to wind down before Monday takes over and the grind begins again, I have the perfect solution. Starting Sunday, May 25, the Pleasant Hill Summer Concerts return to the Lake at City Hall! The Civic Action Commission (CAC) began planning this series last fall -- seeking public input, listening to demo reels, sitting in on band concerts— and they put together an eclectic, crowd-pleasing line-up of genre busting music. Pleasant Hill has developed an enviable reputation as a desirable venue for local bands, so the selection process has become increasingly more difficult as many incredible musicians vie for the treasured slots in the concert series. This year, the CAC has assembled a nine-concert line-up, from May 25, and continuing every other Sunday evening

May 2014

Mayor’s Message

Tim Flaherty, Mayor of Pleasant Hill through September 7. You need not worry and, most recently, it was on the plaza FARM TO TABLE about dinner, as food vendors will be offerbetween Sweet Tomatoes and Jack’s Restau After a 13-year nomadic existence ing a variety of barbecue, gourmet pizza, rant. Trelany Road will be closed to vehicle around Downtown, the Farmers’ Market and tacos. Ice cream too! So bring the traffic, so you and the family can safely returns to its roots and opens on Trelany family, a blanket and your lawn chair, kick peruse the booths and sample local farmRoad on May 3, running at least through back, and soak up the sounds to the setting ers’ organic bounty. October 25. From 2001-2004, the market sun. So get outside! Listen to music. Eat spread its wares on Trelany Road; for the You will be introduced to some new well. Socialize. And enjoy all that Pleasant next 9 years, it jumped around from the bands this year, and some old favorites Hill has to offer. City Hall parking lot to Crescent Drive; will be returning. Kicking off the season is Tender Mercies, an original music band featuring two members of the Count2nd Annual Pleasant Hill Citywide Garage Sale ing Crows. Dave Martin’s House Party Don’t Trash It! Sell It! That’s the tagline for the 2nd Annual Citywide Garage is a veteran crowd pleaser, with its high Sale on May 31. You can sign up if you wish to hold a sale at your home, or check energy and incredible musical variety. I out a map and listing of all sales’ locations. See the ad on page 22 or visit www. am particularly excited this year that Super pleasanthillgaragesale.com. Diamond, the Neil Diamond tribute band, Downtown Farmers’ Market Relocated will be playing June 22. I am a big fan and The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) has relocated to have been lobbying for years for this band Trelany Road, adjacent to City Hall, as the site for this season’s Pleasant Hill Farmto come to Pleasant Hill. One of the new ers’ Market, from May 3 through October 25, with an option to extend the market to November 15. From 2001 through 2004, the Farmers’ Market (Contra Costa twists this year will take place at the sumCertified Farmers’ Market) operated on Trelany Road until mer concert debut of Big Jangle on August it moved to its last location in the Downtown plaza area, 31. That concert will feature an opening between Jack’s Restaurant & Bar and Sweet Tomatoes. act, Wild Guess, a group of very talented There were several reasons for the return to Trelany Road. College Park High School students. The full The Century Theater required street clearance at 12:00 schedule can be found on page 32. noon in order to reopen the street for vehicle traffic. MarOFF THE GRID AND ON THE MAP ket shoppers who arrived in the morning after youth sport Calling all casual gourmands! The ing activities found the market was in the process of closing for the day. Produce vendors found it difficult logisticalgourmet food truck sensation known as ly. Many of the products that draw shoppers to the Farmers’ Market, including hot Off the Grid will take up residency on foods and kettle corn, are prohibited by Downtown lease restrictions. In addition, Trelany Road near the Pleasant Hill City there was a lack of play area for young children. Hall Lawn on Thursday evenings, begin PCFMA hopes to increase foot traffic and visibility with the relocation. Trelany ning May 20. Pleasant Hill’s thriving Road will be closed to vehicle traffic along the portion of Trelany Road between downtown receives another boost with the the Ross parking lot entrances to the south entrance/exit of the City Hall parking addition of these casual dining options. lot on Gregory Lane. Have a snack or make a meal of it. Take it City Considering Plastic Bag Ban home, or enjoy while strolling downtown The City of Pleasant Hill is considering an ordinance to prohibit the distribuor relaxing on the City Hall lawn. tion of single-use (plastic) carryout bags in all retail stores and restaurants. Under

City News

Public Meetings

Architectural Review Commission May 1, 15 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Small Community Room, 5pm Contact: 671-5209

Education Commission May 28 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Large Community Room, 7pm Contact: 671-5229

City Council May 5, 19 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5229

Planning Commission May 13, 27 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Council Chambers, 7:30pm Contact: 671-5209

Civic Action Commission May 7 City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Small Community Room, 6:30pm Contact: 671-5229

City Hall is Closed on Monday, May 26 for Memorial Day. All meetings take place at City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. For Confirmation Visit: www.ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us

the ordinance, all grocery and retail stores in Pleasant Hill would no longer provide single-use carryout plastic bags. Stores may sell paper bags (made from recycled content) for a minimum of 10 cents per bag. Stores will also be encouraged to sell other types of reusable shopping bags. Protective plastic or paper bags, without handles, for items such as meat, fresh produce, dry-cleaned clothes and prescription medications, will still be allowed. Consumers will have the option to bring their own reusable bags or pay for recycled paper bags. The city council will consider the proposed ordinance as soon as June or July 2014. If adopted, the ban on plastic bags at retail stores would take effect six months after adoption, which would probably occur in early 2015. For more information, go to www.pleasant-hill.net/ plastic-bags. City staff would like to hear from residents and business owners about the proposed ordinance. On the webpage listed above, you will find a link to an online survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide your feedback. If you wish to speak to city staff regarding the ordinance, please email Martin Nelis at mnelis@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us or call (925) 671-5229.


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May 2014

Page 9

Mayor’s Message

A special feature of Martinez that other cities in Central Contra Costa County do not have is our beautiful waterfront. From the Photo by Stahlberg French doors in my bedroom, I can see downtown Martinez (and, unfortunately, the seven-story county administration building), the AmTrack station, the marina, the Carquinez Straits, Benicia and, on a clear day, Mt. St. Helena in Napa County. A few weeks ago, I spent all Saturday volunteering at the Martinez Waterfront and then enjoying the Bay Area Craft Beer Festival. Thousands of people traveled from around the Bay Area to enjoy this annual event, highlighting over 40 craft breweries from all over the western United States. The day started out overcast and a bit chilly, but as it approached time

Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez for the gates to open, the sun was shining 11am to 3pm. is easy to not appreciate the good things bright and the slight breeze was refresh If our plans are successful, Martinez about it. The fresh eyes of someone from ing. Waterfront will be the home of the Martioutside the area is a good way to remem For almost two hours, we checked nez Clippers professional baseball team, a ber just how blessed we are. IDs, collected tickets, put on wrist bands, ferry landing on the San Francisco Ferry There are several more events and handed out glasses. The crowd was system and the site of a hotel and restauplanned for the Martinez Waterfront, infriendly and excited to be at the festival. rant operation with spectacular views of cluding the Blues by the Bay concert on After my shift was over, my wife and I the Carquinez Straits. I am hopeful that May 10, starting at noon, with the headmet up with my sister and other friends, these developments will come to fruiliner Elvin Bishop performing at 8pm. sampled many craft beers and enjoyed the Food Truck Mafia will continue to serve tion in the next few years. We are working food from many local restaurants. hard to make them a reality. up mobile cusine every Saturday from The Maritnez Waterfront was buzzing that day. In total, five events were held, not to mention the picnickers at the East Bay More on Blues by the Bay Regional Park and kite flyers at Ferry Point. The City of Martinez will be hosting Blues by the Bay, an outdoor music festiBut what impressed me the most was a val at the Martinez Waterfront Amphitheater on Saturday, May 10, 12pm - 9pm. phone conversation I had with my sister Blues by the Bay will feature live concert performances on two stages, an arts in which she thanked me for the fun event and crafts fair, and an array of food, wine and beer served in a party atmosphere in the heart of the Martinez Marina. and commented on how beautiful the Blues by the Bay will be headlined by Elvin Bishop and co-headlined by Maritnez Waterfront was. She had no idea Marcia Ball. Other main stage acts include local favorites, Zydeco Flames and of its beauty, walking trails, ampitheatre, Frankie G and the Conviction, with Martinez’s own Kyle Jester rounding out the skate park, bocce courts, baseball fields, musical lineup. St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band will kick-off the festivities with and rodeo rink. She lives in Walnut Creek. their roving New Orleans style marching band at noon. Festival guests can also When you live in a community, it spend the afternoon perusing the booths of local artisans and craftsmen. Tick-

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877- 586-8302 925-229-2779 www.HammersHeatingandAC.com Lic.# 672344

ets to Martinez Blues by the Bay can be purchased online using a debit or credit card through Eventbrite.com.

Paint What Matters Update Benjamin Moore Momentum Worldwide rep, Alison Selle, announced at the April 16 city council meeting that the Paint What Matters program is ready to begin the revitalization of buildings from Ferry to Castro Streets in downtown Martinez. They have retained painting contractors and are working with business owners and landlords to finalize the details.  Benjamin Moore will provide all necessary paint and supplies for building facades and trim.  Martinez is one of only twenty cities in North America selected to participate.

Union Pacific Road Work Union Pacific will begin nighttime road work on the Ferry Street Crossing beginning Sunday, May 11, 9pm to 6am through Thursday, May 15. The city is applying for an encroachment permit from East Bay Regional Parks to use the pedestrian bridge as another crossing during that time period. Paving will also be done during the day on Friday, May 16, however, traffic will continue to move during that time. Notification letters will be sent to businesses and Union Pacific will be doing a press release, and signs will be posted ten days prior to the closure.

Public Meetings City Council Meeting May 7, 21 7pm-11pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Planning Commission Meeting May 13, 27 7-11pm Contact: 925-372-3500

Design Review Meeting Zoning Administrator Meeting May 14, 28 May 7, 21 3-5pm 3-5pm Contact: 925-372-3500 Contact: 925-372-3500 City Offices Closed Monday, May 26 for Memorial Day. All City Meetings at City Hall, 525 Henrietta Street, Unless Otherwise Indicated. For Confirmation Visit: www.cityofmartinez.org


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Page 10

May 2014

Pack 282 Derby Results Pack 282 held their annual Pinewood Derby races on Friday, March 7 at Strandwood Elementary. The following Cub Scouts won in their categories: All Pack Winners: 1. Brenden Tuey 2. Jameson Budgin 3. Logan Gomez Webelos: 1. Logan Gomez 2. Jacob Medina 3. Logan Korsgaard Bears: 1. Jordan Hoffman 2. Dean Hanley 3. Donovan Khatami Wolf: 1. Jameson Budgin 2. Ryuto Nagahashi 3 Jack Sekel Tigers: 1 Brenden Tuey 2 Caleb Sobol 3 Bryson Sourivong

135 Mason  Circle  Concord,  CA  94520   Tel:    925-­‐459-­‐5615  •  Fax:  925-­‐798-­‐3673   DC  Solar  is  proud  to  be  the  supplier  of  the    Solar  Eclipse™  Mobile  Solar  Generator  and   Solar  Com™  Dark  Area  Cell  Coverage  Provider  

The Solar  Eclipse™  is  a  revolutionary  new  product  that  provides  pure,  renewable,   mobile  energy  to  customers  in  the  Agriculture,  Construction,  Entertainment,     Event  Emergency  Preparedness,  Stage  &  Lighting,  and  Telecommunications     industries  –  just  to  name  a  few.    The  Solar  Eclipse™  is  a  smart  solution,  especially   when  compared  to  a  standard  diesel  powered  generator.    It’s  cost  effective,     requires  no  fuel,  is  noise  and  emissions  free  and  requires  minimal  maintenance.     In  a  world  demanding  clean  energy  solutions,  the  Solar  Eclipse™  delivers  pure     energy  without  the  carbon  footprint  of  its  diesel  counterpart.  

For Leasing  Inquiries  Please  Call  Our  Hotline   888-­‐349-­‐3485  

www.dcsolardistribution.com


May 2014

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Page 11

PLEASANT HILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Please verify schedule at www.pleasanthillchamber.com • 925-687-0700

5/1, 5/5, 5/7, 5/8, 5/13, 5/21, 5/22, 5/27 – 680 Breakfast Club Networking 8:30-10am & 11:30-1pm. Various sessions, call Chamber office for information.

Community Room. 5/18 – Wine, Women & Shoes 2-5pm. Perera Pavilion, Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, PH.

5/2 – Ambassador Meeting 8-9am. PH City Hall, Community Room.

5/19 – Green Committee Meeting 4-5pm. Back Forty BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, PH.

5/3 – Ribbon Cutting 9am. Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market, Trelaney Road, PH.

5/19 – Govt. Affairs Committee Meeting 5:30-7pm. Back Forty BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, PH.

5/8 – Business Mixer 5-7pm. La Tapatia, 1802 Willow Pass Road, Concord.

5/20 - Ribbon Cutting 5pm. Studio 925 Dance & Fitness, 548 Contra Costa Blvd., Suite O, PH.

5/15 – Board of Directors Meeting 8-9am. PH City Hall,

5/26 – Office closed for the holiday.

MARTINEZ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Please verify schedule at www.martinezchamber.com • 925-228-2345

For More Information Regarding Ambassador Meeting – If interested in attending, contact (925) 228-2345 or email info@martinezchamber.com. 5/8 – Chamber Mixer 5:307:30pm. Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano and Englund’s Catering at the Food Bank, 4010 Nelson Ave., Concord. Great networking, food & fun, raffle prizes (bring a raffle prize and have your business announced!)

tival, Martinez Waterfront Park, 11am – 6pm. Family Fun, Lip Smackin’ BBQ, Rockin’ Music, BBQ Competition, Arts & Crafts Vendor Booths, Kid’s Rides & Activities, Microbreweries & Wineries, Vendor Space Available, Free admission & parking. Visit www.CountyBBQ.com or call the Martinez Chamber for more information! CALENDAR SPONSORED BY

Since 1952 -Contra Costa’s Oldest Agency

5/26 – Office Closed – Memorial Day SAVE THE DATE: June 14 & 15 – Father’s Day Weekend – 8th Annual King of the County BBQ Challenge & Music Fes-

COOPER Bail Bonds• Notary 925.228.5464

921 Main Street • Martinez CA 94553 Locally Owned by Rick & Sara Calhoun • Lic 1598927

A PROUD RECIPIENT OF DIABLO MAGAZINE’S FIVE STAR AWARD FOR 2012-2013! !

"#$%&!'()!*+,-%./!0(1!/-+-*.,%2!3-!$/!(%-!(0!.#-!.(4!56!(0!7-$+.(1/!,%!.#-!8$/.!9$':

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Page 12

May 2014

Discover Downtown Martinez www.MainStreetMartinez.org

Hair and Skin Care Proudly featuring

Citrus Salon 631 Main St Martinez, CA 925-228-2010 citrus-salon.com

CREEK MONKEY TAP HOUSE

611 Escobar St. Martinez, CA 94553 925.228.8787 ph • 925.228.8769 fax

WE CATER!

Do you have a big event coming up? Don’t want to cook? Let CMTH take care of all your catering needs! We Offer A Variety Of Fresh And Healthy Ingredients, Many Locally Sourced. Snacks Or Full Meals, Pick Up, Drop Off Or Full Service. Starters • Salads • Sandwiches • Entrees • Desserts For more information call General Manager Kevin Sharp at (925) 250-6904 or Email: Kevin@creekmonkey.com

info@creekmonkey.com • www.CreekMonkey.com

Fridays on the Main Farmers Market! and

Every Friday on Main St. Downtown Martinez

May 16 through Sept. 12 4:00pm to 8:00pm Fresh, local produce Live Music • DJ • Cool Cars • Vendors www.MainStreetMartinez.org 925.228.3577


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May 2014

Page 13

Discover Downtown Martinez Downtown Martinez

www.MainStreetMartinez.org

Spring Wine Stroll Saturday

Spend a relaxing afternoon strolling the tree-lined streets in downtown Martinez sipping wine at local businesses. Purchase tickets in advance at these locations Cash or Check only: AtticChild FUNiture 653 Main St. Leahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Closet 831 Main St. Main Street Martinez 649 Main St., Suite 106 Tacky 728 Main St.

Purchase tickets with a credit card at MainStreetMartinez.org Redeem advanced purchase tickets or buy tickets at the event beginning at 2pm at either these locations: Martinez Gallery, 630 Court St. or Main Street Martinez, 649 Main St.

May 3, 2014

2:00-5:30pm

$15 per person in advance $20 at the event





       

Â&#x2020;Â? Â?  Â&#x201E;­Â&#x2020;Â&#x152;Â&#x2026;Â&#x201E;  Â&#x2020;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2C6; Â&#x2020;Â&#x2039;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2C6; Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020;Â&#x2019;Â&#x2026;­Â&#x2020;Â&#x201C;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2020; Â&#x201E;Â&#x2020; Â?Â&#x201E;Â&#x2020; Â?Â&#x2020; Â&#x2039;Â?­ Â&#x2C6;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020; ­­Â&#x2026;Â&#x201E;Â&#x2020;  Â&#x201E;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2022;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2020;Â?Â?Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020; Â&#x201E;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;Â?Â&#x2020;Â? Â&#x2039;Â&#x2020;Â? Â&#x2020;Â&#x201E;Â&#x201E; Â&#x17D;Â&#x2C6;­Â&#x201C;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020;Â?Â&#x2013;Â? Â&#x201C;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2022; ­  Â?Â&#x2020;Â&#x17D;­­ Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020;Â?Â&#x2019;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2030;  Â?Â&#x201E;Â&#x201E;Â&#x2020;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2020; ­Â&#x201E; Â&#x2026; Â&#x201D;Â&#x2020; Â&#x2020; Â&#x201D;Â&#x201E;Â&#x201E;Â?Â&#x17D; Â&#x17D;Â?Â&#x2039;Â&#x2020;Â?Â&#x2039;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2039; Â&#x2020;

Â&#x2026;Â? Â&#x2020;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x201E;Â? Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2030;  Â&#x201E;  Â&#x160;Â&#x2C6;­Â?Â&#x2039;

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³,WœVDOLWWOHELWRI%HUNHOH\DOLWWOHELWRI6DQWD&UX] DQGVRPHWKLQJLQEHWZHHQ´

Includes tasting glass, wine glass charm, wine tasting passport, and map.

 Â Â? Â?

Â?Â?  ­Â&#x20AC; Â? Â?Â&#x201A;Â&#x192;  Â? Â?Â&#x192; Â? Â?Â? Â? Â&#x201E;Â?

For more information call (925) 228-3577 or visit mainstreetmartinez.org

Must be 21 years or older to participate. No refunds.

The BEST place to find Vintage â&#x20AC;˘ Antiques â&#x20AC;˘ Collectibles â&#x20AC;˘ Arts & Crafts

2014 Martinez Peddlers Faires in Downtown Martinez Sat., May 17 AND Sat., Aug. 2 8:00am to 4:00pm

A Main Street Martinez Event Featuring over 150 booths along Main St. & Ferry St. John Humphries, collectibles author, radio and tv host, will evaluate your treasures (up to 3 carry-in items) for a $5 donation to the Martinez Historical Society. At Main St. & Ferry St. - All Day!

YOUTH BASKETBALL CAMP 2014 SPRING & SUMMER

FOR BOYS & GIRLS 2ND - 8TH GRADES www.MainStreetMartinez.org Main Street Martinez

Shell Oil Products US PO Box 776, Martinez, CA 94553 Martinez Refinery

(925) 228-3577

PLAYUENRT

1PE0R SESSION

$

DISCO

5/14

Expires 5/1

June 16 - 20: Summer Session 1 July 14 - 18: Summer Session 2 Each Session: 9am - 12 noon

Best Sports Facility in the East Bay 360 Ferry St., Martinez

Call Now! 925.457.5081

NorCalCourts.com/register-forms-payment


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Page 14

May 2014

Low Inventory Fuels Seller’s Market By Nathan Hitchcock

Our local real estate market continues to be fertile ground for sellers and a barren desert for buyers. Prosperity abounds for many Bay Area residents right now, and they are eager to buy real estate. The competition is quite fierce, with multiple offers and prevalent bidding wars.

The largest contributing factor continues to be constrained inventory. After starting the year trending upwards, last month new listings dropped 161% for detached homes and 210% for attached homes, down 67% and 70% respectively from the year prior. Due to a lack of homes available to buy, pending sales of detached homes dropped 133% and 131% for attached homes. The limited housing supply has made

Summertime Car Tips By the Hagin’s Staff cools you off in the summer and is used A few relatively inexpensive steps will ensure your car holds up in the sum- for the defrost function when your windshield is fogged over. Be sure to have this mer heat, withstand the pain of traffic inspected and serviced if needed. jams and minimize long-term mainSpark plugs: Replace spark plugs at the tenance costs. The following systems manufacturer’s recommended mileage should be inspected as part of the 21st for optimal performance, and change century service on today’s modern vehiwires along with the plugs. cles: Oxygen sensor: The sensor tells the comOil: It really should be changed every puter how much fuel to send to your en3,000 to 5,000 miles. gine. Have it checked during service. Tire pressure: Monitor tire pressure, Fuel pumps and filters: Most manufacwear and tread depth regularly. turers recommend replacement every Coolant or radiator fluid: Check before two years or 30,000 miles. If you have a summer, before winter and at every serhigh mileage vehicle, you should replace vice interval. your car’s fuel filter once a year. Brake pads, discs and brake fluid: Oil filters: You should have your oil filter Check every 15,000 miles. Wiper fluid and blades: They need regu- replaced every time your oil is changed. lar attention. Greasy windshields can be- Before you set out for adventure this summer, make an appointment for an oil come opaque in a wicked thunderstorm change and maintenance inspection. and lead to accidents. Contact Hagin’s Automotive at Power-steering fluid: Check it at all ser(925) 228-5115, haginsauto@haginsauvice intervals. Air-conditioning: Your air-conditioning to.com or visit www.haginsauto.com.

for some eyebrow-raising stories around the water cooler at my office. The top stories include a home in Hercules that was on the market for one week, available for viewing by prospective buyers just once, at a three-hour Sunday afternoon open house; yet, it still received 41 offers. Then there was the home in Cupertino that was bid up to over $1,000 per square foot by a buyer who plans on tearing it down. And one particularly downtrodden agent shared the story of her clients who wrote an offer on a Berkeley home for $500,000 over the listing price -- and still didn’t get it. The good news for buyers is that a healthy supply of inventory appears to be on its way. Although we’re only two weeks into April as I write this, my prediction is that I’ll be discussing much higher inventory numbers next month and even higher numbers in the months to follow. As prospective sellers catch wind of the increased values of their homes, the temptation to cash out is proving too much to resist.

CHANGE IS

This is most prevalent among the sizable population of landlords who begrudgingly turned their homes into rentals over the past several years as an alternative to selling them at depressed values. Now, as their tenants give notice, they are all too happy to place these homes on the market for sale. With more homes coming to market, expect the market to shift back in the buyer’s favor as we move into the summer months. Only time will tell how far that pendulum will swing. While I expect inventory will rise significantly, I would not be at all surprised if strong demand from buyers, motivated by a trifecta of rising rents, interest rates, and income, continue to snap up all the homes the market can throw at them. Nathan Hitchcock is a Broker Associate with Alain Pinel Realtors and can be reached by phone at 925.397.4000, via email at nathan@hitchteam.com or online at www.hitchteam.com. CA BRE Lic # 01414254.

GOOD!

We are Evolving to Better Serve your Real Estate Needs!

Hitchcock Realty’s Sales & Purchasing Division is now The Hitchcock Team at Alain Pinel Realtors!

Hitchcock Realty’s Property Management Division is now Hitchcock Properties, a full service property management firm!

Best Mechanic

HITCHCOCK PROPERTIES Contact The Hitchcock Team for your Sales & Purchasing needs at 925.397.4000 • Nathan@HitchTeam.com www.HitchTeam.com

Contact Hitchcock Properties for your Leasing & Property Managment needs at 925.825.1100 • Erin@HitchRealty.com www.HitchProperties.com


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May 2014

Page 15

Pleasant Hill Rec and Park Activities

Sign up for PHRec Summer Camps LEGO, Harry Potter, Mad Science and more! Keep your kids active and engaged this summer with PHRec Summer Camps for preschoolers, youth and teens (full day options available): Adventure Kids Summer Camp, Summer Recreation Camp and Teen Extreme Camp. For more information & registration, visit pleasanthillrec.com/ camps.html.

Water Conservation Forum – Living in Drought - FREE May 15, 7-9pm, Pleasant Hill Community Center, Perera Pavilion. Learn how to live conscientiously in drought conditions. communityfocus-ecomulch-ad-2014-2.pdf EBMUD and CCWD will present the vol-

untary drought program, available rebates, conservation tips, and more. For more information, call (925) 682-0896. May is National Water Safety Month Watch for special email discount coupons for summer swim lessons in May. Sign up for our email list here: customerservice@ pleasanthillrec.com.

Purchase your PHRec public swim passes now! 15-visit punch cards and family swim passes available at pleasanthillrec.com. Dolfin’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Festivities August 22-23. Celebrate 50 years of “Have Fun! Swim Fast!” All former team members

5th Annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson- FREE June 20, 8-8:30am. Take part in this fantastic attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Swim Lesson™. Pre-registration required by June 19. Visit pleasanthillrec.com. 1 Aquatic 2/18/14 Center 4:01 PMOpens Memorial Day PH Weekend!

and families welcome! For event details, visit pleasanthillrec.com/aquatics/dolfinsswimteam.html. Summertime Celebration Rentals Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District has the perfect indoor and/or outdoor venue for your summertime parties and events. For indoor facilities, contact Ryan Herriman at (925) 676-5200. For outdoor rentals, contact Nancy Allison at (925) 682-0896.

Mark Your Calendars! Family Camp Out June 28-29. Check in 6/28, 4:30am; Check out 6/29, 10am. Camp Pleasant Hill at Pleasant Hill Park, 157 Gregory Lane. Must preregister. $15/pp. Visit pleasanthillrec.com. Pleasant Hill 4th of July Festivities: Fun & Games in the Park 10:30am – 2:30pm, Pleasant Hill Park, 147 Gregory Lane.

Local Organic Mulch, Soil and Compost

Pleasant Hill’s 5th Annual Blues & Brews Festival Saturday, July 19, 12-6pm. Location: Pleasant Hill Park, 147 Gregory Lane. Visit bluesandbrewsfestival.com for details.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Diablo Valley

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

ECOMULCH

We design landscape products that are environmentally preferable and ecologically friendly: Colored Mulch, Natural Mulch, Organic Soil, Compost products. 5010 Pacheco Blvd. • Martinez • (925) 228-1673 MyEcoMulch.com • Like us on Facebook!

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Diablo Valley has been an integral part of the Martinez community and surrounding area for more than 50 years, providing services to thousands of young people. Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their fullest potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Our Club works collaboratively to fulfill our mission through ongoing partnerships with families, volunteers, educators, businesses and community leaders to offer quality after-school and summer programs at little or no cost to families – a fact that sets us apart from

other after-school programs. For more information please call 925-231-1170.

Enroll now for our

SUMMER CAMPS! For more information visit www.bgcdv.org email: kbyram@bgcdv.org (925) 231-1170


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Page 16

OUTLET PRICES for sofas, mattresses and all furniture!

• We sell a Macy’s brand and Ashley Furniture among others. • We deliver everyday of the week and its free! • $75 off every sofa and mattress if you mention this ad! • We also can take away your old sofa or sectional.

Locally owned and a family small business. We Make Deals!

925 370-7636 742 Arnold Drive, Martinez

742 Arnold Drive, Martinez www.martinezfurniture.com Homemade Ravioli since 1925

MOLINO’S RAVIOLI FACTORY HOMEMADE MEALS - JUST HEAT & EAT

Treat your mom to a homemade meal this

Mother’s Day!

Ravioli Flavors Beef • Chicken • Spicy Chicken • Cheese Cheese & Basil • Seafood • Butternut Squash Vegetarian • Portabella Mushroom • Sweet Potato Sauces • Cannelloni • Lasagna • Fresh Pasta Polenta Pie • Soup • Potato Gnocchi • Large & Small Ravioli • And Much More

2150 Pleasant Hill Rd. Pleasant Hill, CA 925-934-7075 www.MolinosRavioli.net

25 32

LARGE FAMILY PARTY TRAYS

95 *

LASAGNA Beef, Cheese or vegetable, OR  Spaghetti & Meat Balls, serves 6-8.  Plus FREE 1/2 loaf  of  garlic bread

15

Homemade Ravioli 95 * Dinner-To-Go A 22.50 Value!

Incl. your choice of  small beef/cheese box of   Ravioli, pint of  sauce, and 1/2 loaf  of  garlic bread

50 *

Whole Roasted Garlic Crab

with Garlic Noodles & Mushrooms and Half  loaf  Garlic Bread!

2 OFF 00 *

With any purchase of  $20 or More

PLUS FREE 1/2 LOAF GARLIC BREAD  A 3.45 Value! Cannot be combined with any other offer.

* With coupon. One coupon per day. Not valid with any other offer. Does not incl. tax. Expires 5/31/14

May 2014


May 2014

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Page 17

Lava Beds and Tule Lake We have journeyed from Lake Tahoe north through Truckee, Graeagle, Quincy and Chester along one of California’s most beautiful highways. Previously, we left Susanville on our way north to Lava Beds National Monument to the Tule Lakes and lower Klamath Valley south of Oregon. Access to this part of the country can be difficult; the miles are long between communities with services. From Susanville lies more than a hundred miles of remote highway winding its way through dry forest lands, high desert and red-soil rich farm lands. To fully enjoy the final leg of this journey, plan well; it requires a commitment to time and resources (food and fuel). Leaving Chester/Susanville is best done in the morning hours. The next town with ample services is 3-4 hours away (Tule Lake or Klamath Falls, Oregon). There are sparse but comfortable accommodations in Tule Lake (www. Fesbandb.com), camping at Lava Beds National Monument, and full-services in Klamath Falls, Oregon (about 20 miles north of the Tule Lake/Lava Beds area). From Highway 139, turn west to Lava Beds National Monument along road 97 through sparse but hauntingly beautiful pinion forests. There is good signage, and the road is clear and well paved. Within minutes, you are entering the land of volcanoes and driving through lands riddled with lava tubes and caves, extinct cones, craters and sagebrush. There are campgrounds below the visitor center, and the

Story and Photos by Christopher Vardas farmers, ranchers and waterways that procenter does a great job of explaining the vide home and sustenance to birds that topography, weather, utility, physical and travel along one of the most populous and cultural history (Indian wars) of the area. important flyways in the world. Traversing this land will open your eyes The wildlife refuge visitor center is to moon-like landscapes, desert flora and far-reaching views. This country is remote worth the time and visit. Park officials are some of the nicest you will encounter and can be seasonally hot; always travel anywhere. Their passion is focused on with lots of water and snacks. the healthy survival of habitats for our Lava Beds sits perched on a plateau feathered friends, and they relish any on the eastern flank of Mt Shasta, adjoinopportunity to share their knowledge, ing Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge, one of the wisdom and experience (the museum richest birding areas in North America. and gift store is kid-friendly, too). From Driving north out of the National Monuhere, venture back down Hill Road to the ment, continue along Hill Road (Rd 10) refuge trail and gain access to the levees to the Refuge Visitor Center. You will drive along the base of an escarpment and that border the water refuges and lands cliffs, home to owls, deer and hawks. The that surround the park boundaries. existence of Tule Lakes is at the discretion The refuge road through the lakes region is about 8-10 miles in length. You’ll of the water management bureaucracies need to travel slowly and will have exof California, Oregon, and the federal ceptionally good odds of seeing pelicans, government. They have struggled over egrets, herons, bald eagles, hawks, rabbits, the years to provide water to the area’s

coyotes, osprey and sandhill cranes, depending upon the season. As I’ve mentioned before, these wildlife refuges are sanctuaries that deserve respect and patience. The mantra to keep is “move slowly and quietly.” Spring, fall and, winter, if you dare, are the best months to see this area. Access from the south along 139 may be limited in winter due to road and weather conditions. Still, despite the cold, snow, and ice all winter, birders from all over the country congregate in Klamath Valley to the north and Tule Lakes region to witness some of the great congregations and migrations of birds. Some folks will travel by train to Klamath Falls and rent cars to avoid the long, strenuous drive. The Klamath Valley and lakes region is the wintering home for thousands of bald eagles and other predators. There are two major units that belong to the Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge: the lakes region adjoining Lava Beds, and the West Unit along the Stateline Highway (160), north and west. This region also provides nesting habitats for eagles, hawks, and many other birds and may be shutdown seasonally to protect those environments. Nevertheless, the region is rich with beautiful views, birds and amazing color. I hope you have enjoyed these little adventures enough to spur you into action. Plan a trip to all or any of these areas; all can be accessed independently three or four days from the Bay Area. You can write me anytime; Chris, c/o VardasPhotography@comcast.net.


www.ourcommunityfocus.com

Page 18

May 2014

Meet Your Local Experts Go with the Green! Green Light Carpet Cleaning

GREEN LIGHT CARPET CLEANING

TRUCK-MOUNTED STEAM CLEANING

29

$

95

Per Room. No Hidden Charges! Tim Green

We are happy to be your local favorite Orthodontist! Lingual Braces • Self Ligating Braces Treatment for all ages • Payment Plans

Stephen J. Harper DDS

2805 Alhambra Ave 925-228-8330 • www.harperortho.com

Tamura Insurance Services Planning & Life Insurance Specialist

“Creating Plans That Last a Lifetime” Survivorship Needs, College Planning Retirement

tracy@tamurainsurance.com www.tamurainsurance.com

My name is Tim Green and I am the proud owner of Green Light Carpet Cleaning. For over twelve years, I have lived in Pleasant Hill with my wife Amy, two-yearold son Michael, and two stepchildren Gio and Izzy. After graduating from Acalanes High School (Class of ’88) and DVC, I went to Cal on a full scholarship, playing football and running track. Twenty years ago, I opened Green Light Carpet Cleaning, a locally owned and operated business that serves the Bay Area and guarantees a cleaner, fresher and healthier home. We use top of the line, truck-mounted, steam cleaning units in our vans to get your carpets as clean as they can be. We specialize not only in cleaning carpet, but also upholstery, area rugs and tile & grout. Our excellent service is based on experience, reliability, and the best technology. Our techs have over 32 years of combined experience, and they show up on time with a friendly attitude. With thousands of satisfied customers on our side, it’s no wonder people choose Green Light Carpet Cleaning for their cleaning needs. We use environmentally friendly products that are safe for children, pets and allergy sensitive people. We are licensed and insured. As a member of both the Pleasant Hill Chamber and the Walnut Creek Diablo View Rotary Club, I am able to support and give back to the community my family and I love!

150 Sq. Ft. Maximum 3-Room Minimum. Free Hallway with Entire House Cleaning

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May 2014

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Page 19

Should Kids Specialize in Sports? By Kevin Arndt, Forma Gym Athletic Trainer Should children specialize in sports at an early age? Will it give them a competitive advantage? It might surprise people that I whole-heartedly believe kids should not specialize in one sport early on unless it is solely their decision or if they choose a sport that peaks early in life (e.g. tennis, gymnastics). The main reason kids should play a variety of sports is to develop motor control. One of the beauties of playing sports, other than learning teamwork, losing (and winning) graciously, being with friends, and being outside, is that it teaches us how to move properly. When kids specialize early, it is easy to spot a disconnect between what they see and hear with how they perform the movement. They just have a hard time taking in the information and repeating it. When we get kids that have this issue, we do a large amount of “primal

movements” that we all did as infants: rolling over, crawling, and progressing to running. This teaches a child to move his or her body together as one. Early specialization has been proven to lead to more injuries, and most kids really don’t benefit from it. John P. DiFiori, MD, President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine states, “The best data we have would suggest that the odds of achieving elite levels with this method are exceedingly poor. In fact, some studies indicate that early specialization is less likely to result in success than participating in several sports as a youth and then specializing at older ages.” Furthermore, Elsbeth Vaino found that 82% of top athletes from the four major sports in the U.S. actually played multiple sports. Sam Sturgis, a strength coach who works primarily with baseball players, refers to an unpublished 2013 study,

“Sports Injuries in High School,” in which pediatrician Dr. Scott Reynolds found that only 19 out of the 90 participating athletes specialized in just one sport. Of those 19, 95% of them reported at least one recurring chronic injury. The risk of injury almost DOUBLED when compared to the multisport group. Early specialization will always be a lightening rod with coaches and parents, but it is hard to argue with evidence. If kids fall in love with a sport and want to dedicate all of their time to it, that is one thing, but if they are getting pushed to one sport from the outside, it could be the wrong decision and actually hurt their chances. At the end of the day, kids know what they like and don’t like. If they want to play one sport, let them. If they want to play multiple sports, let them. They will be more successful in the long run if it is their decision and no one else’s.


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HOME TEAM

PHMSA Soccerfest

May 2014

Letters of Intent

The Falcons placed 2nd in the U12 Boys Division at the PHMSA Soccerfest held on the new fields at Pleasant Oaks on April 6. They battled twelve teams to reach the championship game. The Falcons are led by Coach Rod Bassler.

Pictured LtoR: Sean Johnsonbaugh, Brenden Cline, Leonardo Nunez, Luis Cornejo, Kellen Bassler, Bjorn Thorsen, Patrick Roarty, Sam Dugan, Hugo Hernandez, Wesley Casebeer, Aidan Keeler, Shunya O’Flaherty, Coach Rod Bassler and Coach Dan Johnsonbaugh. Submitted by Dan Johnsonbaugh.

Record Setting Relay

At the Stanford Invitational, College Park High School boys came in 4th in their heat of the 4 x 800 and set a new school record with a time of 8:06.24; the old record was 8:10. Submitted by CP Boosters.

Gabby Vinco

Romello Monjaras

Alhambra High School’s starting goalkeeper, Gabby Vinco, just signed a letter of commitment to play in the goal for the UC Merced Lady Bobcats this coming fall. She will major in biology, with hopes of becoming an athletic trainer someday.

Congratulations Romello Monjaras, a College Park senior who recently signed his letter of intent to wrestle at Coe College in Iowa. Photo submitted by James Keck.

ACADEMY WATER POLO Spring Session March 3 – May 4, 2014 DVC and De La Salle High School Pools Registration for Boys and Girls All Ages 10U and 5-6th Grade 7-8th Grade and High School

LtoR: David Phair, Shane McKenzie, Parker Marsden and Nathaniel Comar

For Register and all other information go to at www.academypolo.com! Sibling and Referrals Discounts Available

ACADEMY WATER POLO TOURNAMENTS • SCRIMMAGES • FUNDAMENTALS SMALL ATHLETE TO COACH RATIO A PLACE FOR ALL LEVELS OF PLAY! Questions? Go to web site at www.academypolo.com • E-mail academypolo@gmail.com See Policy Information on Website


May 2014

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Alhambra Track Highlights Photos and Recap by Joel Timbrell Alhambra runner Allie Timbrell 16.53 seconds. made the trip to the prestigious Stan The freshman and sophomore ford Invitational on Saturday, April Alhambra track athletes will travel to 19th, where she competed in the mile Dublin High School for the Northern race. Racing in the second-fastest heat, California Frosh/Soph Championships Timbrell took the lead early on and this Saturday, April 26th. controlled the first two laps, before getting passed by a few runners. In the final lap, Timbrell moved back up to the lead group and crossed the finish line in third place in a new personal best time of 5 minutes, 3.31 seconds. Her time is also the secondfastest in Alhambra High School history. More recently, Bulldog junior Raliegh Adams attended the Pittsburg Relays at Pittsburg High School on April 19. In his varsity 110 meter hurdle race, Adams edged out Pittsburg’s Francisco Hurtado for the win in another personal best time for Alhambra of Raliegh Adams sets a personal best.

Page 21

HOME TEAM

Lady Lacrosse at CP

The Lady Falcons varsity lacrosse team, new to College Park last year, is gaining momentum, beating Ygnacio Valley, 9 -2, April 15, and Clayton Valley Charter, 14-12, on April 8.

Dodgeball Champs Tournament Dodgeball is “serious” business at College Park. The lunchtime competition spanned two weeks and included 32 teams. The championship took place April 11, with 1st place going to the “Baseball” team and 2nd to “1922”. Submitted by James Keck.

Allie Timbrell competes in the mile at Stanford.

Benefit for Foundations

Local sports journalist Chuck Nan announced he has connected with former Giants pitcher Mike LaCoss and his YESS Foundation/iBaseball channel website to assist with an exciting upcoming charitable event. Nan will assist the foundation team in the areas of publicity, procurement and logistics. LaCoss and his staff are producing the event, dubbed “Buffy’s Birthday Bash,” on Sunday, June 1. The focus is to help raise funds for the Bryan Stow Foundation and Family House, a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The event will be held at the San Mateo Elks Lodge from 1:00 - 5:00pm. The

$75.00 admission includes a buffet-style meal, and a no-host bar will be provided. LaCoss’ band will provide the musical entertainment. In addition, there will be a Giants costume contest, live auction and autograph/photo opportunities with several former Giants players scheduled to attend, including: Dave Dravecky, Hector Cruz and Fred Breining. Also scheduled to appear is the “Humm Baby” himself, former manager, Roger Craig. LaCoss is also coordinating the attendance of additional former star players. An announcement will be made in the near future. For reservations and information, you may contact LaCoss at mikelacoss@gmail. com or Nan at martinezsportsed@aol.com.

1st place team: Nick Oar, Scorr Hroza, Noah Burnham, Jeffrey Mitchell, William MacIver and Joe DeMers.

2nd place team: Kevin Crosno, James Doty, Sean Taheri , Noah Gilmour, Cole Hutslar and Brandon Hutslar.


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May 2014

Pleasant Hill Citywide Garage Sale If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a buyer...

Don't trash it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Sell it! Saturday, May 31, 2014

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Questions?

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a seller... t3FHJTUFSUIFBEESFTTPGZPVSTBMFCZHPJOH POMJOFBOEFOUFSJOHZPVSJOGPSNBUJPOBUUIF XFCJUFwww.pleasanthillgaragesale.com. t:PVNBZBMTPSFHJTUFSZPVSTBMFCZDBMMJOH    t%FBEMJOFUPSFHJTUFSJT5IVSTEBZ .BZ  t5PEJSFDUUSBGmDUPZPVSTBMF QPTUTUSFFUTJHOT OPUJOQVCMJDSJHIUTPGXBZ BOEBEWFSUJTF POMJOFPSJOOFXTQBQFST1MFBTFUBLFBMMTJHOT EPXOBGUFSZPVSTBMF

A joint effort by the City of Pleasant Hill & Republic Services to protect the environment and conserve resources through reuse.


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May 2014

Page 23

World’s Hottest Peppers Coming to Navlet’s Navlet’s Garden Centers is pleased to announce its 2014 line-up of pepper plants, featuring some of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Gardeners seeking to spice up their cuisine will have no problem turning up the heat this spring with Navlet’s scorching selection. Just how pungent are Navlet’s peppers? The answer lies in the Scoville Scale. Back in 1912, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville developed a method for measuring the “heat unit” of a given pepper by its level of capsaicin (the compound that puts the “hot” in hot pepper). While other methods exist, the Scoville Scale remains the most widely used and respected test to-date. Navlet’s chili peppers literally top the Scoville Scale. The hottest of the hot are the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga, Trinidad Butch “T,” and Bhut “Ghost” Red, with ratings that range from one to two million Scoville heat units. That is well over 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Other popular varieties

include the Caribbean Red Hot, Fatlii, Habanero, and Thai Hot—all guaranteed to satisfy the most fervent heatseekers. Navlet’s four East Bay stores will carry over fifty different pepper varieties throughout the spring season. That includes the Red Savina, a habanero chili pepper available exclusively at Navlet’s. Selectively bred by a grower in Southern California to produce more pungent and robust fruit, the Red

president of Navlet’s, notes: “Variety is the spice of life. Our big, bold selection of peppers allows our customers the opportunity to try out new varieties and new flavors.” To help gardeners of all skill levels grow their peppers, Mr. Bertolero offers tips on Navlet’s website and at the stores’ free classes. These tips and class schedules can be found at navletsgardens.com. About Navlet’s Garden Centers Navlet’s Garden Centers have been helping Bay Area gardeners grow and maintain beautiful gardens since 1885. Navlet’s California certified nursery Savina reigned as the Guinness Book professionals are experts in the Bay of World Records’ “hottest chili” from Area’s wide range of micro-climates. 1994 until 2006, when it lost its title to They help customers select the best the Ghost pepper. flowers, landscape shrubs, perennials, Mild pepper varieties, such as bell fruits, citrus, herbs, vegetables, and peppers and the sweet banana, round out Navlet’s impressive selection. Avail- other plants for their gardens. Visit Navlet’s Garden Centers at any of their ability varies weekly, so gardeners should be sure to check with individual East Bay locations: Concord, Danville, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill. For more stores to confirm current stock. information, please visit the website at As Buzz Bertolero, the one and http://www.navletsgardens.com. only dirt gardener and executive viceCommunity Pleasant Hill Focus Ad

Where experience makes a beautiful difference.

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May 17th 10am- 6pm

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pick your pepper! hot, hotter, and hottest: navlet’s has them all. heat-seekers will love our selection: • bhut (ghost) peppers • caribbean red hot • scorpion plus dozens more, from mild to truly fiery.

For a list and description of 2014 classes, visit:

navletsgardens.com Open seven days a week 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

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free “planscaper” garden design with purchase of $150 navlet’s gift card! 1403261-NAV-PHCF-0501-4.75x5.375.indd 1

4/21/14 8:54 AM


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Page 24

CORKS AND FORKS

May 2014

Pair Up With La Sommelierre Maria Terry

Sweet Mama My mom is the sweetest lady in the world and she loves sweet wine. In fact, most of the country prefers wines that have a little residual sugar. And why shouldn’t we like sweet wine? Sugar softens the perception of acidity, tames the spice in food and just plain tastes good. In wine, the opposite of sweet is dry. This makes sense when you think of sugar as fuel for fermentation. When all the sugar is converted into alcohol, the fuel is gone and fermentation stops. It is like a gas tank in a car; when it is dry, the engine stops. If the winemaker chooses to stop the fermentation early, the residual sugar left will determine the sweetness of the wine. It can range from slightly sweet (off-dry) to very sweet. Generally, I like to serve off-dry wines at the start of a meal and save super sweet wines for after. Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is a medium sweet, white wine from the South of France. Try it with Spicy Crab Stuffed Mush-

rooms. The sugar in the wine will offset the heat of the pickled jalapeños and hot sauce. Additionally, the fresh citrus flavors of the wine will be an excellent match with the crab. If you can’t find a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, look for an off-dry Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. Sweet wines come in three colors: pink, white and red. Both Lodi and Livermore Valley produce wonderful red Zinfandel, and some producers leave just a touch of residual sugar to enhance the fruit flavor. It is the perfect wine for smoky, slightly sweet, BBQ’d pork. I like shredded BBQ pork in a soft roll, piled up with my favorite coleslaw. BBQ’d pork can take days to make, so in the interest of time, consider picking some up from a local BBQ joint or Costco. Coleslaw, on the other hand, is easy. Here is a delicious coleslaw recipe that has lime juice and cilantro. You can make it with broccoli slaw or regular cabbage, whichever you prefer. The king of sweet wines is Port.

Cilantro Broccoli Slaw INGREDIENTS 1 (12 oz.) package broccoli slaw ¼ cup diced cilantro ¼ cup diced green onion Dressing ½ cup oil ⅓ cup lime juice 1 tbsp. vinegar 1 tbsp. sugar

flavor found in Zinfandel grapes. The combination of chocolate truffles and port wine will sing (and so will you after a few glasses). So, go on. Pair Up! Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. www.LaSommelierre.com.

Spicy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms INGREDIENTS 12 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeños 1/4 pound pepper jack cheese, grated 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon hot sauce ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup mayonnaise 2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350°. Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together crabmeat, garlic, jalapenos, pepper jack, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, mayonnaise and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crab mixture into the cap of each mushroom. Bake the mushroom caps for 30 minutes. Yield: 8 servings

EL TAPATIO authentic mexican restaurant

2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tsp. salt and lemon pepper ½ tsp. crushed red pepper DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, mix slaw package, cilantro and onion. Mix dressing ingredients. Toss well. Yield: About 6 Cups

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CHECK OUT OUR “OPEN MIC” NIGHTS ON SELECT WEDNESDAYS & DON’T FORGET LIVE MUSIC EVERY SATURDAY! CALL FOR INFO! MAY 2014: 5/3 Mutha Cover • 5/10 Lumberyard5/17 The Famous Three-O 5/24 The Big Jangle • 5/31Cover Story (Paul Cotruvo & Toni Bryant)

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Dallimonti’s

Traditionally, it is made from a blend of red Portuguese grapes, but it can be made from any grape. In California, winemakers create terrific Port from Zinfandel grapes. Port is one of the only wines I ever suggest with chocolate, and Blackberry Truffles (recipe on website) will echo the primary berry


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May 2014

Page 25

THE GARDEN

Coral Cherries and Organic Strawberries Historical folklore has May named for the Greek goddess Maia, who was all tied up with fertility and renewal. May’s birthstone is emerald, which is emblematic of love and success and is also a symbol of rebirth, foresight, good fortune, and youth. It is no wonder that an astrological sign like Taurus the bull would be aligned with such power and come galloping in at this time of year. Everywhere your gaze lands is a mission of growth and reproduction: baby birds crying, calves overprotected by mom cows, and the glorious onslaught of “anything goes” produce season in Northern California. An exhaustive list of comestibles such as decadent, hearts-delight strawberries, cherries, asparagus, and greenhouse tomatoes can be scooped up at your farmers’ markets or, better yet, plucked from loamy soil in pajamas and slippers. Ever year, new and different fruits

By Lesley Stiles and vegetables show their innocent and taste this cherry in season, you will go back naïve faces at the farmers’ markets. Farmevery week for more. At this date, very few ers are always trying new techniques to get farmers are growing this monster, but it is their fair share of the dough while keepsure to catch on, much like when the ever ing up with current trends valued by respopular Fuji apple or Fuyu persimmon taurants and chefs. Coral cherries fall into came into fashion by customer demand. this category along with Thomcord grapes Tugboat sized and displaying a series of and mango nectarines. They’re not heirgentle curves, these delectable cherries are loom varieties, but a cross that someone delightfully easy to pit, lending themselves found either as a mutation on their farm or willingly to luscious cooking. Due to conthe stunningly brilliant graft of a couple of taining ridiculous amounts of juice, Corals choice trees. correspond well to sauces and meat braises, Larger than Bing or Berlat, Coral chercontributing scarlet nectar as they heat up. ries come ripe to the tasty spring renewal Toss into braised duck legs at the last minparty displaying a luminous appearance of ute and embellish with brandy burned off ruby red with shades of pink tints on their and cream reduced. Simmer Corals with crisp, lustrous skins. Fatly engorged with sweet red wine, a sprig of rosemary, balsamso much juice, these cherries are easily two ic and honey, and reduce to syrupy perfecbites and feel like you are drinking a cup tion to drizzle upon anything. Needless to of cherry juice with each delectable jewel. say, Corals and pies or tarts are a relationThis is the flavor you remember from your ship worth immersing yourself into, but childhood: sweet and tangy, totally irresistthey will deteriorate any normal pathways ible and addicting. If you are only a somebetween logic and palette overdrive, forcing times farmers’ market shopper, once you you to gorge yourself, family and friends, then freeze still more for future bacchanalia. Coral jam, due to easy pitting, makes cherry jam an actual reality for a few fortunate ones mad enough to stand there and pit. The symbiotic flavor-nuance relationship

between vanilla and Corals owns the mainline between here and heaven. Last but definitely not least, a split Coral, dropped into a glass of really nice champagne and shared with loved familiars is worth waiting a year for. Strawberries beckon with their captivating scent as you stroll by stands, derailing any path you may be on to purchase for later instead of eating now. I cannot emphasize enough to stay strong in the demand for organic strawberries. Conventionally grown, they are teaming with naughty things that you, as a parent, should keep stored up high and locked up tight. No need to eat that stuff on your berries. There are between one and many organic growers at most markets, depending on where you shop. Pay the extra dollar, your health is worth it and farmers grow by what the customer buys the most. Be the trendsetter in your crowd. Hike early and often, the hills are amazing. Happy Mother’s day! Lesley Stiles is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, sustainable caterer and school garden educator. Contact Lesley at lesleystiles@comcast.net, www. lesleystiles.blogspot.com and visit her new website: www.lesleystilesfoods.com.

Spinach Salad w/ Strawberries and Feta Ingredients:

1 pound washed baby spinach leaves 1 basket strawberries, cleaned and sliced ½ cup crumbled feta ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts

3 tablespoons chiffonade basil 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toss all together and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 Member

American Association of Orthodontists

Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics

3147 Putnam Blvd. Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

TELEPHONE 925.933.0435


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Page 26

May 2014

In the Mix with Alexa Heine When I attended the Pleasant Hill Relay for Life last year, a young girl sang the national anthem and it literally moved me to tears. Later in the day, she and her partner Morgan Swanson performed a set, and I was hooked. I had to find out more about this extremely talented vocalist. Alexa Heine is a fourteen-year old, 8th grade honor roll student at Pleasant Hill Middle School. That’s right, fourteen years old! Alexa has been performing on stage since she was five. She is doing all she can to reach her goal of becoming a professional recording/ performing artist. Alexa has worked for five years with performance coach and recorded jazz singer Daryl Johnson. She has played the lead in Seussical and Once Upon a Mattress for the Diablo Theatre Company. She has performed in Pleasant Hill’s StarQuest program for the past five years and has sung the national anthem at many Bay Area locations (the latest being the opening of Pleasant Oaks Sports Complex in Pleasant Hill). What impressed me the most was her maturity and poise. I have no doubt she will fulfill her dreams as an artist, and what a pleasure it will be to follow her career. PC: How old were you when you first started performing? AH: I remember doing a few theatre programs when I was around six. I especially remember being in a very

By Paul Cotruvo, Cover2Cover and The Big Jangle small production of Annie with my or just to look at when I’m older. drama class. The cast was made up of PC: Do you ever see yourself trying out around 3-4 other six-year-old girls. for the Voice or American Idol? PC: Do you come from a musical famAH: Personally, I don’t think I would ily? ever do either of them simply because AH: I come from an extremely musical I’d rather make it big the hard way. I family. The majority of my grandparfind shows like that are loopholes to ents have been extremely involved with becoming well known. Becoming well music their entire lives. My dad played known without those T.V. shows may piano since he was four and used to be harder, but I’ve always liked a chalaccompany me for many of my recitlenge, and I’m definitely not willing to als when I started out. My uncle is a back down from this one. professional bass player and I’ve been PC: Do you play an instrument? told my great uncle sang for the queen AH: I don’t play an instrument. Alof England. So, yes, I most definitely do though my dad has tried to get me to come from a musical family! learn how to play piano, it became a PC: Who are some of your influences useless effort. I was a very hyper child and why? and couldn’t sit and focus on something AH: Some of my influences are probfor less than an hour unless I was really ably Barbra Streisand and Lana Del into it. That’s how I was anyway, but Rey. I’m probably really influenced by now I kind of want to take up piano Barbra Streisand because I grew up lisagain. Give it another try, you know? tening to and singing a lot of her songs. PC: What are your favorite moments so I’ve also seen a lot of the musicals she far in your career? was in. Though I may not want to sing AH: There have been two really great the same genre she does, the emotion moments in my career and they’ve both she is able to portray just by singing, been with my band. One of them was even just by humming, really amazes the Come Together Benefit Concert. I me. I’m really influenced by Lana Del remember being so excited, especially Rey as a modern singer because her lyrsince there were so many great perics are so emotional and she sings them formers there. After we performed, we with the alternative/indie style, which is were all so energetic. Another moment what I aspire to do. I often listen to her was when we were making a video for songs as well when I’m writing my own. our cover of “Misery Business” by ParaThey really get my mind going. more. We were all goofing off and just PC: Do you write your own songs? AH: I’ve been writing songs since I can remember, but only a few have made it as actual songs. The rest of my songs are stashed away for future references

Photo By Melissa Guarnera

having a great time. PC: I always end these interviews with a fun question, so if you were a song, what song would you be and why? AH: If I were a song, I’d most likely be “Imagine” by John Lennon because if there’s one thing I believe in its love, and I think this song really captures that belief. You can catch Alexa and her band Wild Guess performing June 7 at the Pleasant Hill Relay for Life, and opening for the Big Jangle August 31, at the Pleasant Hill Summer Concert Series by the Lake. I’m telling you, she is the real deal! Quote of the Month: “Music is everyone’s possession. It’s only publishers who think people own it” John Lennon

PAUL’S PICKS FOR MAY May 10: Zoo Station, Dan’s Bar, 1524 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, 10pm May 17: Buffy Ford – Stewart, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm May 24: Kyle Jester, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St., Martinez, 7pm May 24: The Big Jangle, Dallimonti’s, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9:30pm May 25: Fonky with an O, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm May 30: Frankie G. & The Conviction, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm May 31: Cover Story, Dallimonti’s, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 8:30pm May 31 - June 1: Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival, featuring The Sun Kings and Petty Theft. www.chamberorganizer.com/walnutcreekchamber/mem_ artandwine.

Sign up for our BIRTHDAY CLUB on ourwebsite and get a FREE MEAL Up to $30 for your birthday Teppanyaki Dinner!

Please go to our website www.KobeJapanRestaurant.com, and click Sign-Up for Our Birthday Club/Special Offers

1918 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill 925-705-7065/7066 (PHONE) • 925-705-7067 (FAX) www.kobejapanrestaurant.com


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May 2014

Fighting Cancer at Mini Relay for Life Students at College Park High School will hold a mini Relay For Life to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The event will be on the school’s athletic track from 4 -7pm on Friday, May 23. Similar to a full relay, the three-hour event will open with a salute to cancer survivors. There will also be a luminaria ceremony to honor those stricken by cancer and a “fight back” rally to encourage healthy lifestyles and cancer-prevention practices such as regular screenings and quitting smoking. The keynote speaker will be College Park teacher John Altschull, an adviser to Key Club, one of several student organizations sponsoring the mini-relay. The CPHS event is a prelude to the fifth annual Relay For Life of Pleasant Hill, to be held at the Pleasant Hill Middle School track June 7 and 8. Details about the PH Relay can be found at http://relayforlife.org/pleasanthillca, by e-mailing relayforlifeph@yahoo.com, or by calling 925-944-4898.

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Page 27

IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS•IN FOCUS

Law Offices of Lauren Smykowski

We are excited to announce Law Offices of Lauren Smykowski as a recent addition to the neighborhood! While the office has been located in Walnut Creek for approximately six months, its roots date back 30 years and 30,000 trust clients. Estate planning has been the Smykowski family business in Southern California since the early 1990s, and Lauren is excited to continue the tradition up north! A graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law, Lauren focused her course of studies on estate planning. Since graduating, Lauren has been working closely with her father in San Diego to learn the ins and outs of running a solo estate planning practice. Having attended University of California, Berkeley, for her undergraduate education, Lauren is a true “Bear” at heart and always knew she would return to Northern California. The time has finally come! Law Offices of Lauren Smykowski distinguishes itself by providing af-

fordable and complete living trust estate plans at a flat rate of $695. Lauren carefully guides her clients through every step of the process, minimizing stress and ensuring clients’ peace of mind that their loved ones are protected. She goes out of her way to make herself available to answer client questions, even opening the office on Saturdays for those hard at work during business hours. Why should you call Lauren? 1) You own a house and want to avoid probate (an expensive court process to transfer title, costing 6-10% of your gross estate and taking a year or more). 2) You have minor children and want to provide for their guardianship. 3) You had a trust created more than five years ago and want to review or update. 4) You have procrastinated getting a trust, but know it is the right thing to do. Take this opportunity to call now and get it done! (925) 257-4277.

PLAN INCLUDES:

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LAUREN SMYKOWSKI

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www.smykowskilaw.com


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May 2014


May 2014

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Update Your 401(k) Beneficiary Forms By Daniel DuRee result in disinheriting branches A trust is used to keep of your family if the named your home and other assets beneficiary predeceases you. safe from probate and to disAs an example, say your four tribute your non-tax-deferred children are listed as your assets. The beneficiary form 401(k) beneficiaries and one you probably filled out years of them passes away, leaving ago when setting up your three of their own children. If you retirement plan, on the other hand, then pass away, your remaining three governs your 401(k) distribution. children will each receive one third of In California, even if you have the 401(k) assets, effectively cutting a will and/or a trust, the beneficiary out three of your grandchildren. This designation form still controls who is contrary to what most people specify receives your 401(k) when you die. in a trust. While your most recent estate plan Most 401(k) beneficiary forms do ning documents may distribute your not allow for “contingent beneficiary” assets in one way, an outdated 401(k) beneficiary form could send a substan- options to avoid the above situation. To avoid this result, you can list a trust tial amount of your assets to someone as your beneficiary which will then whom you no longer wish to leave distribute the assets according to your property. wishes. There are, however, complex The most common mistakes tax considerations to these decisions involve failing to update beneficiary that exceed the scope of this particular forms after there has been a major article. life change. Many people initially list The most important takeaway is parents or siblings as their beneficiaries and then forget to update the forms that you revisit your 401(k) beneficiafter they get married or have children. ary forms and remove anyone who Others will have a long term significant you clearly do not want to inherit your assets. As always, please consult approother as the beneficiary and then neglect to remove them after the relation- priate advisors before making major changes. ship ends. Daniel L. DuRee is a third genera Another potential pitfall arises if tion resident of Contra Costa County one of your beneficiaries passes away before you do. Similar to joint-tenancy, and a licensed attorney practicing in Walnut Creek. He can be reached at most beneficiary forms operate so that (925) 210-1400 or visit www.DuReeLa beneficiary must survive to inherit aw.com. or their children are cut out. This can

THE LAW OFFICE OF 

DANIEL L. DUREE Estate Planning Attorney

925.210.1400 1535 North Main Street, Suite 240 • Walnut Creek

Please call today for a complimentary consultation at my office or in your home.

www.DuReeLaw.com

TRUSTS • WILLS • PROBATE

Page 29

Read My Mind © Book Reviews by Michael G. Harris, OD

Bios and More The Tonight Show has had many fascinating hosts. Now that Jay Leno has retired, we can speculate on who was the most fascinating of all. My money is on Johnny Carson, the host from 1962 until 1992. In his tell-all biography, Johnny Carson, Johnny’s longtime attorney, Henry Bushkin, reveals Carson’s “string of escapades,” his many sordid affairs, and his friendships with Hollywood’s superstars. Carson hired the 27 year-old Bushkin in 1970 to handle his divorce from his second wife, Joanne. Little did Bushkin realize that being Carson’s lawyer meant breaking into Joanne’s apartment to search for evidence of her affair with football star Frank Gifford. From that moment, Bushkin became Carson’s tennis partner, confidant, fixer, drinking buddy, and best friend until Carson fired him in 1988. We learn about Johnny’s many affairs and his challenges in dealing with women, mostly his mother, whom he could never please. Bushkin became famous in his own right, dating such stars as Mary Hart and Joyce DeWitt. He became a household name when Carson introduced him as “Bombastic Bushkin” in his famous monologues. Johnny Carson is an extremely entertaining read for anyone wanting to learn the scoop on “The King of Late Night.” Another interesting read is Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, the story of Jeff Bezos and his company, Amazon.com. Stone tries to compare his book to Walter Isaacson’s celebrated biography of Steve Jobs. Both Bezos and Jobs were adopted. Both were tinkerers. Both started companies in their garages. But the comparison ends there. Stone’s book is more about the building of Amazon than about its founder and, unfortunately, Stone is not as talented a biographer as Isaacson, who also wrote outstanding biographies of Albert Einstein

and Ben Franklin. Nonetheless, if you’re one of the millions of people who have bought something on Amazon, you’ll find The Everything Store appealing. It’s available online at Amazon. com for $15.82 plus shipping. Speaking of tinkerers, Alec Foege’s The Tinkerers highlights great American inventors who were really tinkerers at heart. From Franklin, to Edison, to Jobs, they just wanted to see how things worked and how they could be improved. The book is uneven at times, but an interesting read for those fascinated by inventions, especially after Pleasant Hill’s Citywide Science Fair. If you are a native San Franciscan, as I am, or were just around in the 1970’s, David Talbot’s Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love is a must read. His in-depth portrayals of the leading characters of that era are eye-opening. You will be led on a captivating journey of all that was “good, bad, and ugly” about that turbulent time in the City’s history. Looking for some good fiction? You can’t go wrong with Daniel Silva’s latest book, The English Girl. Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is hired by the British government to find the English girl, the kidnapped mistress of the prime minister. The search takes Allon from Corsica to Marseille to Moscow, where he uncovers a Russian plot to control the North Sea’s oil reserves. How is this connected to the kidnapping? You’ll find out when you learn the truth about “the English girl.” This is one of Silva’s best ever. Lee Child is back with another Jack Reacher thriller, Never Go Back. Reacher ends up back at his old unit and has to help the current CO figure out why she’s being framed for extortion and why he’s being accused of two crimes he never committed. If you enjoy whodunits with lots of action and twists and turns, this is the book for you.

To Read or Not to Read will return next month!


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Page 30

May 2014

Good Body Mechanics Around the House

5th Annual Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars:

A Juneteenth Celebration through Dance June 27 & June 28, 2014

Sponsored by:

Friday, June 27th at 8pm Diablo Valley College (DVC) Theater in Pleasant Hill, CA Saturday, June 28th at 8pm California Theatre in Pittsburg, CA $25 in advance ($30 at door) Pleasant Hill (800) 838-3006 or BrownPaperTickets.com Pittsburg (925) 427-1611 or PittsburgCaliforniaTheatre.com

Grown Women Dance Collective is fiscally sponsored by Dancers Group DBV_014_0411_DV_GWDC_Poster_8.5x11.indd 1

For more information about the event: (925) 680-4400 or GrownWomenDance.org

Celebration of dance, music and American history

Good body mechanics go a long way to helping us feel great. Unhealthy body mechanics eventually bring about pain. With busy days of slumping in front of a computer, balancing a child on the hip, multi-tasking with a phone pressed to the shoulder, and leaning over awkwardly to pull items out of drawers or cabinets, no wonder we all experience occasional pain. Doing daily tasks or new, dramatic movements with questionable body mechanics makes our body vulnerable to injury. Keeping good body alignment when lifting (ourselves or objects), bending, pushing, pulling, rotating, etc., helps protect us from suddenly “throwing out” our back or injuring an already tenuous joint. Here are some simple ways to keep your spine happy doing daily activities:

By Tonya Marie Amos, Aspire Pilates Roll in and out of shoulder not only makes tasks less effibed, hospital style. Keeping cient, but also causes stress in the neck, your shoulders and hips in shoulders and upper back. alignment, pull your belly in Making small changes in repetiand gently roll. tive movement patterns will go a long Hinge at the hips to way towards keeping your body feeling lift vs. hunch over. Instead great. Over time, every unhealthy body of rounding over like a “C” when picking up laundry or removing food from the oven, pull the belly in and crease at the hips. Stand proud when sweeping and SUMMER INTENSIVES: Pilates for Athletes • Pilates for Dancers vacuuming. Paying attention to the Modern Dance length of your spine, bend your knees Core Strength to take your and crease at the hips vs. hunching over game to the next level. to look at the floor. Get your body near something.  When opening windows, sliding doors, or pulling curtains, instead of reaching and leaning across furniture and counters, get near your task.   Buy a headset.  Talking on the phone with your ear pressed to your

4/10/14 4:31 PM

mechanic becomes a “straw” that eventually, well, you know what happened to the camel! Tonya Marie Amos is a fully certified Pilates instructor. For more information, please call (925) 680-4400 or go to www.AspirePilatesCenter.com.

NO JOB TOO SMALL FAMILY & LOCALLY OWNED MONTHLY SERVICE

Mark Ellinwood, Owner • PO Box 23774 • Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

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May 2014

SENIOR CALENDARS SPONSORED BY:

Linda J. Weihofen

Reverse Mortgage Specialist 925.348.4267 • TALK2LW@yahoo.com Helping you to understand the NEW Reverse Mortgage

Martinez Senior Activities 818 Green St. (925) 370-8770

May 7 - “Raise Your Glass Wednesday” 4pm – 6pm. Join us for a glass (or two) of selected wines at this new event. Delicious appetizers will be provided by Chateau’s of Pleasant Hill. A sparkly non-alcoholic punch will also be available. Come mingle and visit with old friends and have an opportunity to meet new friends too. Tickets are on sale now and will be available until May 1 unless we reach our capacity before that date. Tickets: $8.00 for members and $10.00 for non-members. May 11 - Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast 8am-11am. This delicious breakfast includes pancakes or toast, sausage, eggs, orange juice and coffee. Everyone is welcome. Cost is $3.50 for adults/$2 for children 10 and under. Handmade crafts, perfect for Mother’s Day gifts, will be on sale during the breakfast. May 12 - Collette Trip Presentation, 10am. Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana, February 11 – 24, 2015. Highlights: Cape Town, Table Mountain, Hermanus, Entabeni Conservancy, Soweto Tour, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, 7 Wildlife Safaris. Detailed brochures available for mailing. Washington, D.C. – Exploring America’s Capital, Thursday, April 9 – 15, 2015. Highlights: U.S. Capitol Building Tour, World War II Memorial, White House Visitor Center, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian Institution, Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington National Cathedral, Ford’s Theatre. Detailed brochures available for mailing.

Page 31

Music for Memories Kayla Kelly and Juliana Friis from Girl Scout Troop 32681 are working on their Silver Award. Their award project is to help the elderly with dementia by using music to stimulate memories. Music is an integral part of human memories. A song from our past can invoke an emotional response. We all remember specific times in our lives when we hear certain songs and can sing along to songs we heard when we were children. “We chose this project because music is so important to our generation so we figure elderly people deserve music in their lives too,” said Kayla. Kayla and Juliana are collecting used iPods, MP3 players and iTunes

gift cards. Collection boxes are located at Christ the King Church in the Religious Education Office (199 Brandon Road Pleasant Hill), Grace Healthcare of Pleasant Hill at the front desk (1625 Oak Park Blvd.), and Valley View Middle School in the main office (181 Viking Drive Pleasant Hill). The music players will be pre-loaded with chosen music for residents at Grace Healthcare of Pleasant Hill and Grace Healthcare of Moraga. Please donate your music players or iTunes gift cards at any of these locations. The deadline for donations is the end of June. Kayla and Juliana are 8th graders at Valley View Middle School. Story submitted by Kayla Kelly.

Pleasant Hill Senior Activities 233 Gregory Lane (925) 798-8788

May 4 - Pancake Breakfast 8am-10am. Bring your whole family for a delicious pancake breakfast, including pancakes (of course) or French toast, eggs, sausage, orange juice and coffee. All ages welcome! Tickets: Adults (11+) $5; Children (5-10yrs) $3; 4 & under Free! May 8 - Care Management Series “Veteran’s Benefits: What is it & how do I get it?” 2pm. Presented by Littorno Law Group. FREE, pre-register, space is limited, RSVP required. For more info, call Dana Krider, care manager, at (925) 798-8788. Sponsored by The Chateaus of Pleasant Hill. May 9 - Captioned Telephone - The Way it Should Be! 2pm. Hard of hearing? Struggling to hear on the telephone? Join us for a presentation on captioned telephone, a free service that will have you enjoying conversations again! FREE. May 23 - Memorial Day Social 1pm. Celebrate Veterans with a program including PHSC’s very own Golden Notes Choir and Olympic High School’s JROTC, then enjoy an ice cream treat after. Chateau Room. Featured Senior Classes Starting in May Mixed Media-New Class! Unlock your creativity in this mixed media collage class. Learn simple techniques, have fun and make some art! American Sign Language for Beginners Students will learn alphabetic & numeric finger spelling, shapes, greetings, phrases & symbols that people use in daily life. 8 classes, $155/$140 (Member) Basic Computers & You, Part I Get hands-on experience and learn very basic computer functions. Creative Writing from Life Experience This class is open to all levels wanting to write essays, memoir or fiction. For more information and registration, visit phseniorcenter.com/classes.

Kayla Kelly and Juliana Friis from Girl Scout Troop 32681.


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Page 32

May 2014

National History Bee at Sequoia Middle Can you answer this geography question? This country is home to Lake Balaton and was the home of Saint Stephen I. It’s also where the Aster Revolution occurred and where Bela Kún headed a short-lived regime. For the point, what country once formed half a dual-monarchy with Austria, and Budapest is its capital? You can imagine this question on the television show Jeopardy or on a college history final, but it’s actually an example of questions given to 9 to 13 year olds in student competitions for the National History Bee, a threeyear old, nation-wide competition for middle and elementary school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. The budding historians qualify through several levels of highly advanced questions in order to reach the national level. The History Channel sponsored the Bee during its first year in 2011-2012, with the final round televised in June on

usic M E V I L 6-8pm!

By Kathleen Byle, Sequoia English/History Teacher Four of Sequoia’s students participated, both students made prime time. That year and two made it into the top ten with the trip to the finals. there were 35 finalan invitation to the National History They ranked in the ists, and stellar history Bee finals for 2014, now held in Atlanta, top 30 and are planstudents from around Georgia. Eighth grade students Liam ning to move on to the country traveled to O’Neill and Hasib Haidari are pumped high school history Washington, DC, for bowl teams. In March, and ready to take on this great event in the competition. June! Sequoia Middle From the start, By the way, the answer to the queshosted 122 students this competition has tion was Hungary. Just ask any of these who came from as far as Yuba City and been a rousing success for several stutop historians. dents at Sequoia Middle School in Pleas- Fresno for the regional competition. ant Hill, which has hosted the regional rounds for the last two years. In 2012, Sequoia student David Leynov won the region, while another Sequoian, Joseph Harrington, made the regional top-ten. Leynov was one of the original 35 finalists. He ranked 12th in his first year and was ready for more. As the regional host Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in 2013, Sequoia Middle accommodated almost 85 students. Huddled over buzz401 GREGORY LANE, SUITE 126 ers, students in groups of ten competed PLEASANT HILL, CA 94523 for the correct and fastest responses. 925.676.8485 FAX 925.676.0288 Leynov won the regionals for a second www.drjennifermartin.com year; Tony Reyes made the top five, and

JENNIFER L. MARTIN, D.D.S.

Free! On the lawn by the lake at

FOOD & Fun every c o Pleasant Hill City Hall

ncert!

Gregory Ln & Cleaveland Rd

Photo by Kris Leifur

May 25...Tender Mercies Original Rock Band

Aug 3...En Vivo Latin Rhythms & Salsa

Jun 8...Dave Martin House Party High Energy Dance Music

Aug 17...The Fundamentals Red Hot Rockin’ Soul

Jun 22...Super Diamond Neil Diamond Tribute Band

Bring items of non-perishable food to donate to the Crisis Center.

Visit www.pleasanthillconcerts.com for all concert information.

Jul 6...Zydeco Flames Rockin’ Zydeco & Cajun

Jul 20...Fast Times 80s Dance Music

Aug 31...Big Jangle Tom Petty Tribute Band

Sep 7...East Bay MUDD Funk/R&B

Sponsored by Pleasant Hill Civic Action Commission

Series Sponsors

PLEASANT HILL

Concert Sponsors

Jun 22

COI N

J E W E LRY

E X C H A N G E

Aug 31

Sheila’s

Daycare

Casey Strand Chiropractor


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May 2014

Page 33

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

College Park Feeder Weighs in on LCAP By Jaki Jones resources for their education than similar on spending included: improve access to listudents in wealthier school districts. braries with credentialed librarians; include As part of the LCFF, school districts classes for GATE or higher level learners; are required to develop a plan, known as increase number of counselors (college, the Local Control Accountability Plan career, and guidance); add more electives; (LCAP), to show how they intend to spend create a behavior and academic contract their monies, and they are required to for all students and bring back arts and seek parent input to help them create their project-based learning as part of the core LCAP. The priorities for the LCAP fall into curriculum. Pleasant Hill Education Comthree basic categories: conditions of learnmission Chair Kelly St. Germain attended ing, student outcomes and engagement. the meeting and said, “I thought it was a Based on these priorities, districts must great meeting, and I was very encouraged decide how to divide their money in ways with Dr. Meyer’s openness to listen to us. that will best serve their students. The district can’t make its decisions based Over the past several months, on one school site or feeder pattern, but on MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer has held community meetings designed to seek LCAP parent input. The College Park College Park Senior feeder pattern had its outreach meeting Kristen Tabone was chosen as with Dr. Meyer on April 3. During the a state finalist to compete in meeting, attendees broke into small groups the National American Miss to look at the feeder pattern priorities and California North State Pagoffered suggestions for improvement in eant. Unlike other pageants, each of the three categories. The priorities this pageant does not emphasize a swimsuit or special talent competition, but rather Talented students from College Park High School’s revitalized choir recently celebrates self-confidence, returned from a five-day performance tour of Southern California and Disneyland. communication skills and setting and Their next performance on Friday, May 30, is an exciting evening of beloved hits in achieving personal goals. celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ taking America by storm. Entitled The pageant takes place on June 13-15 “British Invasion Rock Show,” this year’s annual spring pops concert features music not at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose. The only by the “fab four,” but also The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Simply winner receives a $1,000 cash award, the Red, Sting, Elton John, One Direction, Bastille, Adele, Oasis, Cold Play, and much more! Come see these favorite hits from across the pond performed like you’ve never heard official crown and banner, and air transthem before - in glorious choral harmony! portation to compete in the National PagThe show starts at 7pm in the College Park eant in Northern California. Participants’ multi-use room. Tickets are $10 general scores are based on: personal introducadmission /$8 student /$5 student with ASB tion, formal wear poise and appearance, card /free to age 7 and under. For more communications skills in one-on-one information and to purchase tickets go to: interviews with judges, and participation www.collegeparkchoirs.com. On July 1, 2013, Governor Brown signed into law the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). This new law changes how we fund our school districts and how districts can spend those funds. A significant difference from the former system is the amount of spending control each school district now has. This new funding plan eliminates most state categorical programs and, instead, gives districts much greater control in how they spend their monies. School districts will receive a uniform base grant* for every student, with a few adjustments. Students in grades K-3 will receive more money as an incentive for class size reduction. High schools will receive almost $1,000 additional revenue per student. Additionally, ELL (English Language Learner), foster youth, or those receiving a free and reduced lunch receive a 20% increase over their base amount to increase or improve services. Historically, these students were receiving fewer state

British Invasion at CP

HATS OFF TO THE GRADS!

Show them how proud you are by putting them in the Community Focus! Ads up to 35 words are only $15.00. If you wish to include a photo (2.75 x 1.75) the price is only $30.00. Send announcements to info@ourcommunityfocus.com. Deadline is the 2nd Friday of each month. Photo must be in jpeg format. 1 MB miniumum size.

the district needs as a whole.” The entire list of community input can be found on the College Park website homepage, along with a short video of the meeting at www.cphs.mdusd.org. Parents can still have a say on how to spend district funds by email at: lcap@mdusd.org. The LCAP and district budget must be adopted and submitted to the County Office of Education prior to July 1, 2014. * Current base grants in 2013-14 dollars: Grades K-3 receive $7675; Grades 4-6 receive $7056; Grades 7-8 receive $7266 and Grades 9-12 receive $8638. Amounts are per student. (www.edsource.org).

Finalist in Pageant

in a community involvement project on pageant weekend. Tabone has been involved in College Park’s CSF (California Scholarship Federation) and the LINK program, designed to help incoming freshman successfully adjust to high Kristin Tabone school. “I wasn’t expecting this at all,” said Tabone, who was nominated to be in the pageant. “This pageant is all about helping girls gain self-confidence and valuable communication skills. Both of those are very important to everyone, but especially to me. This fall I’ll be starting college in a new place, away from everyone I know. I’m hoping that from this experience I’ll gain life skills to make my journey to college easier.” Kristen will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.

Summer Reading Program

The Pleasant Hill Library Teen Advisory Group (TAG) created a video Textophobia to spark interest in the library’s summer reading program for teens, which starts this June across the county. The Pleasant Hill TAG is a group of teen leaders who create and organize fun events for everyone at the library. The video was entered in the 2014 California Teen Video Challenge, a collaborative summer library program project to promote teen reading. The video’s script, production, acting, and editing was created by the TAG members in partnership with Natalie Pegano, a College Park High School junior who helped with editing using CPHS’s video production equipment. The video is available to view on YouTube at http://youtu.be/SYYSuNSzgFY. Families and individuals of all ages are welcome to view this video. The Pleasant Hill Library is at 1750 Oak Park Boulevard in Pleasant Hill. For more information, call 925-646-6434 or visit ccclib.org.


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May 2014

Pleasant Hill City Clerk Fails to Do Job, Faces Recall

In January Pleasant Hill residents were shocked to learn that elected City Clerk Kim Lehmkuhl wasn’t doing her job. During her first year in office, Ms. Lehmkuhl failed to produce any minutes of City Council meetings – a key part of her job – as required by law. Since then Councilmembers have been frustrated by delays and a string of broken promises. Today it’s clear that Council and residents alike no longer have confidence in Lehmkuhl, whose term of office expires in December 2016. Four Councilmembers have called for her resignation and a group of residents is circulating recall petitions to remove her from office. Under California law, voters have power to remove elected officials from office before their term expires through a recall election. Recall organizer Alicia Minyen says:

Pleasant Hill residents deserve a choice. Voters can remove Ms. Lehmkuhl from office now, or continue to live with the disruption and embarrassment she brings to our City until her term of office ends in 2016. A recall is the only way to give our community that option. Recall proponents say a recall is needed because: • SHE HASN’T DONE HER JOB: There’s no coming back from failure of this magnitude. Neglect of duty on this scale is cause for removal from office. • UNNECESSARY COST TO TAXPAYERS: Lack of vital public records disrupts City business and creates costly liability. Further, the City is paying twice to get the job done, by having City employees perform the elected City Clerk’s duties – while also paying the City Clerk. • DISRESPECTFUL, UNPROFES-

SIONAL CONDUCT: Ms. Lehmkuhl’s actions demonstrate disrespect and disregard for the public and the elective office she holds. Lehmkuhl’s use of social media during public meetings to express political views, ridicule the public and make editorial comments, discredits the City and undermines the neutrality of the office of City Clerk. In particular, Lehmkuhl’s use of Twitter to cruelly mock a disabled woman making public comment is utterly unacceptable. As Contra Costa Times columnist Thomas Peele put it, “[Lehmkuhl] looks like a mean-spirited buffoon.” • EXCUSES, EXCUSES: Ms. Lehmkuhl was elected to uphold her oath of office by doing the job right the first time. Instead, she has offered one excuse after another for her job failures. As a March 29th Contra Costa Times editorial said, “Lehmkuhl has dragged out every dog-ate-my-homework excuse

PAID FOR BY THE PLEASANT HILL CITY CLERK RECALL CAMPAIGN

she can dream up.” Excuses don’t fix problems. • COUNCILMEMBERS URGE HER RESIGNATION: 4 of 5 Councilmembers have asked for Ms. Lehmkuhl to resign her post. Thus far, she has refused. Recall supporters report they are gaining momentum as they continue efforts to collect the required 3,800 signatures. Volunteers are collecting signatures at public meetings and community events through the mid-July petition deadline. Then the petitions will be inspected, signatures verified and a determination made whether the measure qualifies to come before voters on the November ballot. The recall website, RecallPHClerk. com, provides information on where and when Pleasant Hill residents can sign the petition and help the recall effort.


May 2014

www.ourcommunityfocus.com

Celebrating 3,000! Two and a half years since it’s inception, “Dress a Child Around the World” recently celebrated the making of its 3,000th dress. Dresses are sent to impoverished children in twenty different countries and many areas in the United States. The concept of making dresses for underprivileged girls and shorts for boys originated with missionaries who found that women and girls in Africa and third world countries had very little value and, therefore, very little self worth. It was impossible to bring dignity to a woman or girl if she is dressed in rags. Once that concept was realized, “Dress a Child Around the World” was off and running. Local women from Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Danville and Martinez began addressing the needs of boys as well by making shorts. Using a simple sundress pattern, sewers choose a bodice, a contrast fabric for a pocket, and a bit of lace or trim of their choosing. In less than two hours, they can provide a needy child with a new

and beautiful, one of a kind, very bright dress or shorts. The shorts are made from an easy elastic top and pattern of two side pockets. All materials and many of the sewing machines have been donated, and finding a use for fabric, thread, and trim that have been sitting around, gathering dust, or tucked in a drawer is inspiring to all those involved. Newcomers are always welcome to join in the fun and joy of providing something out of nothing. For more information, call Carol Vogl, (925) 288-0488 or cell, (925) 408-0666. Christ the King Ministry Center, 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill.

Page 35

Local Youths Honored for their Service

The 44th Annual Youth Recognition Night, sponsored by the Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista, was held at the Pleasant Hill Teen Center on April 17. Pleasant Hill Rec & Park District Aquatic Supervisor Korey Riley and Board President Sherry Sterrett were proud to honor Wyatt Dunn and Allie Naccara with the 2014 Soroptimist Youth Awards for their outstanding services. Allie Naccara, a sophomore at College Park High School, has been an active member of the Pleasant Hill Teen Council for two years. This year, she is serving as the ex-officio member of the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Board. As a teen council member, she volunteers at many Pleasant Hill community events. At College Park she is involved with the California Scholarship Foundation and the Future Business Leaders of America, and she plays junior varsity softball. Her

leisure activities include Taekwondo, tennis, and babysitting. Wyatt Dunn has been a lifeguard and swim instructor with Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District since 2011. During his three years teaching and lifeguarding, Wyatt has been selected by the lesson managers and head guards for several awards in recognition of his teamwork, attitude, and efforts: Fall 2011 Instructor of the Season; Summer 2013 Instructor of the Session, #1; Summer 2013 Lifeguard of the Session, #3 & #5, and Summer 2013 Lifeguard of the Summer. Wyatt is currently taking the American Red Cross water safety instructor class in an effort to further improve his teaching skills and assist in his pursuit of a lesson manager position. He is currently a senior at College Park High School, where he is active in theatre and performs in College Park productions.

Pictured are Korey Riley, Wyatt Dunn, Allie Naccara and Sherry Sterrett. Photo by PHR&PD Board Member Sandy Bonato.

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May 2014

New Eagle Scouts

Time to Prepare

Submitted by Matt Martin

By Jim Bonato, Pleasant Hill CERT Program Manager

Devon Martin and Jacob Wilson of Boy Scout Troop 282 in Pleasant Hill are now Eagle Scouts after having their Eagle Scout Court of Honor, March 30, at the new Pleasant Hill Community Center. Their Scoutmaster is Mark Bradshaw and their Eagle Advisor is John Stretch. Devon Martin has been in Scouting for 10 years. His Eagle Project was a local, e-waste drive to collect both working and nonworking electronics for recycling, and to promote awareness to reduce our landfills. The gathering event was held at Christ The King Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill. Devon is a senior at College Park High in Pleasant Hill and will graduate this summer. He is set to attend Cal Poly -

San Luis Obispo in the fall. His parents are Matt and Melanie Martin of Pleasant Hill. Jacob Wilson’s Eagle Project was a household and personal items drive for families being served by Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County, a Martinez based, nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing homelessness and helping individuals and families find homes. Collections were held at Strandwood Elementary as well as Grocery Outlet in Pleasant Hill. Jacob is a senior at College Park High School and plans to attend Claremont McKenna College in Southern California in the fall. His parents are Steve and Debbie Wilson of Pleasant Hill.

Pictured L to R: Eagle Scouts Devon Martin and Jacob Wilson of Boy Scout Troop 282 in Pleasant Hill.

Recent earthquakes in Los Angeles and Chile underscore the fact that we don’t know when an earthquake will hit, where it will hit, or what effect a moderate or sizeable temblor will have on our homes, workplaces, and families. Just ask the 80,000 residents that were displaced from their homes in Chile following their 8.2 quake or the 83 residents of Orange County who were displaced by the 5.1 quake this past month. Fortunately, the latest news indicates there was very little loss of life from both earthquakes – 5 deaths in Orange County and 8 deaths in Chile, but over 2500 homes suffered severe structural damage in Chile. Strict building codes and the preparedness of residents saved lives in both areas. Previous preparedness articles can be reviewed at www.ourcommunityfocus. com, but here are the most important features: Before an earthquake: • Ensure that your water heater and tall furniture items are bolted to studs and heavy items are not stored on higher levels of cabinets or shelves. • Put together an emergency kit for the home that can sustain the family for at least three days. Emergency kits kept at work and in the car trunk can sustain you if you are delayed in getting home. • Families will most likely be separated if a quake hits during the school/ work week. Put together a communication plan for the family so everyone can

stay in touch. During an earthquake: • Immediately drop to the floor, take cover under a desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops. If cover is not near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. After an earthquake: • Expect aftershocks. • Check for gas leaks in the home; if you smell gas or hear it leaking, turn off the gas immediately at the gas meter. Turn off the water to your home and the electricity at your electrical panel if you suspect damage. • Call your out of state contact and ask them to contact family members. We all live near the edge of the North American and Pacific plates, where earthquakes occur often. Expect an earthquake and make sure that you and your family are prepared. This will make a huge difference in working through the days that follow. For further information, take a look at www.ready.gov.

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Page 37

When Tragedy Inspires

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By Dena Betti gift in all of life. It carries Setting out on a road us through the good times of good intentions has not and fills our souls in the been an easy journey. It was hardest times. Together the the fall of 2013 when I realempowerment derived by ized that there was an opour connections is limitless. portunity for collaboration It is through my and partnership that would simple connection to a enable women to connect world-renowned direct sales skincare with other women and empower them to improve their financial wherewithal. I company, Rodan + Fields, that I found a simple business model that can fuel could see that many of my friends were my desire to make a difference in the struggling financially and I wanted to world. One hundred percent of my make a difference. I realized that we all R+F income has been dedicated to the have different challenges in life but the Jenna Betti Memorial Fund, through need to unite and inspire one another which I’m working to establish a to have the best life possible is a deepnon-profit focused on hope, strength rooted desire in all of us. It’s through and inspiration. I feel we’re stronger our belief that we’re stronger together than we are apart that the inspiration of together than apart. Do you have a passion? Contact Dena Betti at pdbetti@ this plan was originally created. Through the recent devastating loss yahoo.com to connect to a group of women dedicated to making a differof my daughter, Jenna, I reaffirmed the ence. Jenna Betti Memorial Fund, most important lesson of all. I learned West America Bank, 590 Center that the connection and love we share with one another is the most important Avenue, Martinez, CA 94553.

By Teresa Bolla, Senior Stylist I am always looking I just LOVE being a for women to add to my senior stylist with Ruby team, so contact me and learn more Ribbon, a new clothing and shapewear about stylist opportunities with Ruby company that has started receiving loRibbon. Get in on the ground floor of cal and national media attention. Our a great, locally owned company that is amazing shapewear “technology” helps getting national attention. smooth, lift, and shape our figures. Sizes If you’d like to have a fun-filled go from XS to XXL and anything in night with girlfriends and earn free between. You’ll look and feel your best premium fashion and shapewear items, from the inside out. contact Teresa today to schedule your What makes Ruby Ribbon shapewear trunk show! Visit her website at www. different? RubyRibbon.com/teresabolla, call 925• You can breathe when wearing it, and 519-2547 or email: bollawoman@gmail. the garments breathe as well. com. • No rolling and riding up in places you Ruby Ribbon gives back! Ms. Teresa, don’t want. a local teacher at Creative Play Center • Functional, comfortable, and wearable (CPC) and Ruby Ribbon stylist, displays all day her goods at a recent vendor fair at CPC • No bra is necessary, and you still get great support, even if you’re a G cup size! benefiting the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to • Some items have shapewear built funding the most promising research to INTO the clothing (what a concept)! • You can lose an inch wearing a shaping find cures for childhood cancers and giving survivors long, healthy lives. cami!

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May 2014

Community Announcements

Martinez Kiwanis Rummage Sale: Recycled Treasures (including antique oil lamps,) Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4, Kiwanis Martinez clubhouse, 750 Allen St., Martinez. Friday and Saturday hours are 7am - 4:30pm; Sunday 9am -3:pm. Proceeds will go to local charities and scholarships plus Kiwanis’ Project Eliminate. We will gladly accept donations (except for used electronic items) and will pick them up at your convenience. Contact Sandra Hall 925-372-5348 Pleasant Hill Baseball’s Parent Appreciation Luau! Saturday, May 3 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. Doors open at 6pm and dinner is at 7:30. This is a fun filled evening with delicious food, dancing, island dancers, hula contest, aloha wear contest, raffles and auctions. All families and friends of PHBA are invited to attend. Tickets are only $25 and can be purchased at www.phba.org, or email phbabanquet@ yahoo.com. Stargazing & Ice Cream Social Saturday, May 3, 6pm - 9:30pm. Muir Heritage Land Trust hosts this FREE ice cream social and an evening of stargazing. The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will have telescopes to view Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon, and galaxies from millions of light years away. You will also have a chance to explore Fernandez Ranch. Refreshments provided. Dress warmly, and bring lawn chairs or a blanket. Participate in the evening walk or stargazing, or both. 6 - 7pm: evening walk on Fernandez Ranch; 7 - 9:30pm: ice cream

social & stargazing. For more info & to sign up: outreach@muirheritagelandtrust.org Contra Costa Interfaith Housing Moraga Junior’s Women’s Garden Tour, May 3: Join us for the 9th “Through the Garden Gate” Garden Tour. See beautiful gardens, fantastic outdoor kitchens, stunning water features, live music, and more. All proceeds to benefit CCIH. Donor and Volunteer Appreciation Party, May 4: You don’t want to miss this fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta honoring our donors and volunteers! Interfaith Breakfast and Discussion, May 14: Faith communities are invited to join us to learn more about “The Impact of Supportive Housing on Families with Special Needs” as part of EBHO’s Affordable Housing Week. The End of Life Puzzles discussion series continues with “It’s My Death, Isn’t It?” at Hillcrest Church, Sunday, May 4, 11:30am. Join us for a viewing of a video produced by Nancy Synderman, NBC Medical Consultant, and join in the discussion to follow. John Knowles, M.D., will be on hand to share from his experience and to walk us through the most recent version of Advanced Directives. Discussion facilitated by Rev. Ray Welles. The series is sponsored by Hillcrest Church’s Eldering Ministries Program and is free and open to the public. 404 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. For more information call (925) 689-8260 or go to the website at www.hillcrestucc.org. Volunteers Needed for Food & Clothing Distribution For the past sixty years, Hill-

crest Congregational Church has provided food and clothing to men, women, teens and children in Central Contra Costa. Programs assisted over 3,000 individuals in 2013 and are staffed entirely by volunteers. Volunteers are needed to work in both the Food and Clothing Rooms on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings. It is not necessary to be a member of Hillcrest Church in order to volunteer. For more information, please call Bill Cunningham, Outreach Coordinator, at (925) 689-8260 or visit our website at www.hillcrestucc.org. 404 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. Pleasant Hill Garden Study Club meets Tuesday, May 6 at 7pm. PH Community Center, 320 Civic Drive. Speaker: Dan Stanton; Topic: Composting. Guests are welcome & free. (925) 944-4898, www. phgsc.com. National Train Day, celebrating America’s railroads Saturday, May 10. Come to the Martinez Amtrak Station, 601 Marina Vista Avenue, get your free National Train Day Souvenirs, buy tickets for a train ride, and have fun watching trains go by! www. nationaltrainday.com The Society of American Magicians Assembly #112 meets 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm; Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1919 Wendell Lane, Pleasant Hill. Open to all! Contact Fred at (925) 451-1292. St. Christopher’s Guild Annual Spring Luncheon “Vendor Appreciation Day” Saturday, May 31, 11:30am. Grace Episcopal Church, 130 Muir Station Rd., Mar-

tinez. Tickets are $12 and include salad, light dessert and entry into the sales event. Doors open 11am; lunch served at 11:30. Call for reservations (925) 348-6309 or email jennifer.sabroe@sbcglobal.net. The Red Devil Golf Classic will hold its annual golf tournament on Friday, June 27, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Registration starts at 11am, followed by lunch, golf, dinner, and raffle/silent auction. Proceeds go to help sports programs at Mt. Diablo High School. For more information contact Lou Adamo at 925-212-9332 or email louadamo@gmail.com or contact Ralph Vallis at 925-825-7593 or email him at rv76667@aol.com. The 33rd Annual Art and Wine Festival in Walnut Creek. The annual Art and Wine Festival in Walnut Creek has grown from humble beginnings to one of the East Bay’s greatest outdoor festivals. Attracting over 100,000 visitors yearly, the two-day celebration will be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, May 31 & June1, from 11am to 7pm Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday. Free admission and shuttle! Over 100 wines and beers, plus the popular craft beer garden is back! Two stages of live entertainment, featuring THE SUN KINGS, JOURNEY REVISITED AND ZEBOP! And enjoy a DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND while strolling through 200 Arts and Crafts booths. The kids will have a fantastic time in the Kid Zone. The whole family is sure to have a great time. www.artwinefestivalwc.com


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Community news and events happening in Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pacheco, Lafayette, Walnut Creek

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