“Enjoying a night sky full of glorious colors and design from atop the hills of Mt. Diablo.” Illustrator Sarah Szelinga. www.sarahszelinga.com.
The Amazing Dog Walkers of Concord Story on page 3
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
•Concord Moves Closer to Medical Cannabis Deliveries •Martial Arts Championship Comes to Centre Concord •Journey-man’s Journey: Oregon Backcountry •Camping: Spam Jam on Mt. Tam •Walnut Creek Underdog Advances to Agility Nationals •Clayton 8th Annual BBQ Cook-Off •Paramount Pictures Films “13 Reasons Why” in Martinez Amid Controversy •Camping: Build Your Own Wi-Fi Network •Calendar of Events, Concerts, and More
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from the publisher David King by David King
Heaven Has Rats! It’s summer and I am in heaven living next to open space. I enjoy the daily dose of wildlife that walks or flies by my window. From rodents to small predators, to deer and birds of prey, I see it all. Such are the rewards the of living at the base of Mt. Diablo. I especially like the fence lizards. Whenever I walk outside, the lizards immediately start doing pushups. (Probably because they must know I used to be a coach.) But this summer, weird things began to happen. For example, my son’s fairly new Audi was losing power. Its battery was not recharging as it should. I also noticed that almost all my lemons on the tree had no rind, and my oranges were the opposite, they were becoming hollow empty ornaments hanging on the tree. Then there was the noise at night. In the attic, there was quite a raucous. Perhaps my fit, aerobic, fence lizards had installed a free weights gym up there. We took the car to the Audi dealer and they identified the problem. The wiring had rodent damage and was causing the
battery to short and not hold a charge. Estimate - $1300. Meanwhile, I Googled “What eats lemon rinds and orange pulp”. Answer --Roof Rats. It said roof rats eat lemon rinds and orange pulp (and let me just add this bit of knowledge)…and Audis! Obviously, they have to go. I have researched companies that perform such services and the reviews were scary. Many companies advertise a low-cost inspection only to propose a $3,000 to $5,000 solution. Yikes! Instead, I went to the local hardware store and bought five $3 rat traps. Before I hear any alternative solutions, and shame on me for my cruel extermination of these insatiable nesting critters, let me just say that I have already sent them to heaven – well, six of them. This edition is full of Summer events, stories and lessons, rodentfree. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to all the contributors, photographers, and advertisers who make the Diablo Gazette a very pleasant read.
Chinese Martial Arts Championship
Returns to Centre Concord
The 9th ITKFA Chinese Martial Arts Championship returns to Concord at the Centre Concord on Saturday, August 5. ITKFA (International Traditional Kung Fu Association) tournaments have been held in various cities across Brazil. Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu is hosting the tournament in Concord for the fourth time. The first year that Tomizaki’s Champions hosted the tournament, there was a lot of pressure to have the tournament in San Francisco or Oakland. However, the owners of Tomizaki’s Champions live and
Happy July Fourth The Way It Used to Be Done
Photo courtesy of Arcadia Publishing/arcadiapublishing.com
The Fourth Of July was a big occasion in Concord, and the celebration always included a parade and other events such as dances, carnivals, circuses, and even exploding anvils. Here the Fourth of July parade makes its way down Salvio Street in the mid-1920s. The image is one of many from Joel Harris’ book Images of America: Concord that features the rise of Concord from 1834.
No Matter the Season, The Diablo Gazette is FOR YOU!
“Finally! The Diablo Gazette, everybody kept asking me when we were going to start getting the Gazette!” – Mt. Diablo School District. “I live in Sausilito. I asked friends in your area about local newspapers they prefer, the Diablo Gazette gets mentioned a lot. I thought you’d like to hear that. You guys are doing a good job over there.” – Mike H.
“I look forward to the Diablo Gazette at the beginning of every month, It’s a good community paper. I love the stories. You have good writers.” – Wayne C.
work in Concord, so they were committed to hosting the tournament locally. Competitors from around the Bay Area, Southern California, East Coast, Canada and Brazil will compete in hand forms, weapons, sparring and sports san da. There are 220 divisions, from First-Timers to Expert. Competition starts at 9:00 am. There will be a Master’s Exhibition and Show at 5:00 pm, including the award-winning Lion Dance team, Richard Ow’s Yau Kung Moon from San Francisco. Spectator tickets are $10 and includes the show. Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, commonly known as Kung Fu, has the benefits of teaching discipline, respect, confidence, self-defense and physical fitness. One of the many ways to display the learned skills, is thru a tournament. There are few tournaments available for traditional martial artists. Gene Ching, associate publisher for Kung Fu Tai Ch Magazine and martial artist recently wrote this about the ITKFA tournament: “…no skinny breakable waxwood staffs here. Competitors used thick poles, typically an inch in diameter, the sort that could break through a door instead of shattering against it. And the competitors were still getting that signature shake that Wushu players get with their wobbly thin staffs. Now that’s real power...
Traditional Kung Fu practitioners use real weight weapons, the kind that can really cause damage when used properly.” . Traditional kung fu takes time to learn. But the benefits are overwhelming. The practitioners, besides learning self-defense, also learn about respect, discipline, and maturity. You can tell a traditional kung fu child. They can sit still, they can listen, they respect their weapons vs treating them as toys. They learn the culture. “For Chinese martial arts to persevere, not only must kids participate, the quality of their curriculum is crucial. The ITKFA perpetuates traditional Kung Fu for generations to come,” Ching states. Tomizaki will also be hosting numerous seminars by visiting Sifus (Cantonese for Master) the day before the tournament, on Friday, August 4. Some of the seminars are open to the public to take - like self-defense from a knife. For more seminar information and updates, visit www.itkfamartialartschampionship.com. Tournament tickets can be purchased at www. ITKFAMartialArtsChampionship.com or at the door (cash only). The Centre Concord is located at 5298 Clayton Rd., Concord, CA. The event is sponsored by Tiger Claw, Visit Concord, and the United States Traditional Kung Fu and Cultural Federation. Free Kung Fu Class
Are you considering Kung Fu? Call 925671-7100 to schedule a free trial class at Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu. Mention this article when scheduling. Tomizaki recently relocated to the corner of Clayton and Bailey Rd. at 4700 Clayton Rd. Master Tomizaki has been training, competing, performing and teaching for over 35 years. He and his wife bring a lot of experience training kids to senior citizens. More information can also be found at www.ChampionsKungFu.com and www.fb.com/TomizakisChampions.
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Z Animal Lovers – America’s Best Dog Walkers? Incredible Concord Business Inspired by a Puppy on a Golf Course
Z Animal Lover, owned by Zane and Lisa may be the world’s best dog walkers. People who live near the Cal State East Bay Campus may have seen either walking large groups of dogs at once. It is quite the spectacle to see. A recent video that went semi-viral shows Lisa walking a record-breaking 39 dogs at once. The feat seems unimaginable. Even more unimaginable is how a puppy on a golf course is responsible for starting a popular dog walking business. A few chance encounters paved the opportunity. Lisa was born and raised in Concord. After graduating from University of Hawaii, she went to work within the family business since 1926, Genova Delicatessen. There she met Zane, a financial consultant, who came to the Deli as a customer. They met when she took his order at the counter. That was five years ago. Zane was unsatisfied with the work. One day he was playing golf and a puppy came running on the golf course and made a beeline to Zane. He saw where the puppy came from and returned it. A little later in the afternoon, on the other side of the course, the puppy appeared again and straight towards Zane. This time Zane spoke with the owner who voiced disinterest in the puppy, so Zane kept the puppy and brought it home and named it Cali. Zane loved dogs and animals in general. A week before Zane could get Cali spayed, she got pregnant. Zane’s work required much travel. He decided to quit his work, so that he could provide reliable care for his pets.
One day, he took them to Fort Funston, a dog beach in San Francisco. He noticed quite a few dog walkers. Zane met a few, and found out how much a dog walker made. It was enough to make a living. Zane’s has degree from Santa Clara in economics and business. So, the next day, he purchased a business license and ordered business cards, and then distributed them on doggie bag receptacles. It worked, the calls came in. That was four years ago. Zane was so happy. Each day he enjoyed being outside, coming home and sharing his dog stories every night. Lisa decided she wanted to do it, too. Lisa has now been walking for two years. “There’s quite a need for small dog walkers. Because owners don’t want small dogs to be around larger dogs,” Lisa said. Lisa is still adding clients but Zane is maxed out. He has had a waiting list for two years. We have a limit of dogs based on how many dogs they can fit in the
vehicles. Zane drives a Honda Odyssey and picks up 28 to 30 dogs. He hopes to buy a larger van. Lisa has her own client list and still has openings. “When we have an opening in the pack, we do a meet and greet first. We invite them to come over and observe the dog on how they interact with our dogs, and how they interact with their owners. I put them on a leash in the back yard to see if they know how to walk on a leash. You can tell if a dog is aggressive or not. “ Walking that many dogs is a full day’s work. It begins with two-plus hours just
picking them up. Then, at the end of the walk, returning them to their owners. That’s four to five hours a day driving around Clayton, Concord, and the Walnut Creek area, with a van full of dogs. One has to wonder how they handle the bathroom breaks of 20 to 40 dogs. They hold all the leashes in one hand, which gives them a free hand to help an individual dog. “If one needs to go, we make everybody sit. When a dog must go, the other dogs recognize the routine, and they sit. We let go of the leashes and pick up the mess.” Lisa says. One of Zane’s dog wears Continues on Page 18...
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by Jason Rugaard www.moviemavericks.com
The Mummy Tom Cruise presides over this 2017 reboot of the much-remade film that originated with Boris Karloff nearly 100 years ago. This very modern retelling is laced with innovative special effects, stunts, and humor, but almost none of it works. The Mummy doesn’t have a real point other than setting up the “Dark Universe” for Universal Studios, and its inclusion of Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) provides a glimpse into the planned spin-offs. However, it will take a much better movie to redirect the course of this “series” if audiences’ goodwill hasn’t been hampered with this debacle. Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a neardo-well former sergeant, who’s a bit of a rogue and a thief as we meet him searching for antiquities in the deserts of Iraq. He stumbles upon the resting place of a mysterious sarcophagus containing the possessed remains of the ancient Egyptian princess, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Nick and his partner (Jake Johnson) must battle the unearthed evil spirit before she tears apart modernday London. Morton is aided by the wisdom of Dr. Jekyll and Jennifer Halsey (Annabella Wallis), a beautiful,
but stubborn archeologist who once was romantically linked to Nick. Halsey works under the umbrella of a monster-hunting organization known as Prodigium. I’m a Tom Cruise fan. I’ve championed the actor since the days of Top Gun. He looks phenomenal at 54 years of age; his physique and facial features appear to be ageless. But this is two below average movies in a row from the mega-star. I thought that Jack Reacher: Never Look Back was the bottom of the barrel for Cruise, but The Mummy now holds the dubious distinction of occupying the low point in Cruise’s filmography. Am I being too hard on the picture? Maybe. But remember Tom Cruise’s films use to feel like they had a stamp of quality, as if the material had been vetted and refined to produce the best product possible. Today, the Cruise brand hangs in the balance. I’ll follow this actor on any cinematic journey he takes, but defending his film choices has become a chore. Sorry, Tom. The Mummy is a bomb. Director: Alex Kurtzman Stars: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe
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Clayton Valley Woman’s Club Presents Donations and Scholarships
legally yours Rita Holder / Holder Law www.RitaHolderLaw.com
Divorce and Taxes:
Who Gets the Dependency Deduction?
On May 9, the GFWC Clayton Valley Woman’s Club presented monies raised by its fund-raising activities to selected community organizations at Diamond Terrace (Clayton). This year, checks were presented to George Mark Children’s House and Trinity Center as well as Diamond Terrace, Clayton Library, Clayton Historical Society and Concord Historical Society. Each year the CVWC provides a Diablo Valley College scholarship for a woman with a financial need, excellent grades, community involvement and leadership skills who is transferring to a four-year university to pursue a degree. The 2017 scholarship recipient is Brittany Ayala. She will be attending University California Berkeley in Fall 2017 majoring in Political Science with her goal to become a civil rights attorney. She is the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college. She maintains a 3.5 GPA and is very involved in college activities including Latino Student Alliance Club and Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. In addition, she has worked at various internships related to her field of study and is currently
interning for the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center amongst others. Brittany is a highly motivated student with a clear focus and goals for the future, and the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club is proud to present her with this scholarship to help her further her education. Club members give time, money and items to various organizations throughout the year such as: Read across America, Vision Screening, Blue Star Mom’s, Heifer International and Pennies for Pines. The Club meets the second Tuesday of every month except July and August at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Clayton. Guests are welcome to attend meetings and social events. For information check the website: www.claytonvalleywomansclub.org.
Photo L- R: Gwin Lewis-Phillips, Elizabeth Sanches and Ellen Diamond from Diamond Terrace; Katie Pena from George Mark Children’s House; Carol Lombard and Mary Fenelon from Trinity Center; Karen HansenSmith from Clayton Library; Brittany Ayala, CVWV Scholarship winner; Mike Wendorf, Clayton Historical Society
Jennifer Stojanovich Realtor, Better Homes Realty
Buying a Home in the Summer If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ve probably heard that spring and summer are the best times to buy. That’s when you’ll find the largest inventory of homes for sale. On the flip side, you’ll also have more competition from other motivated buyers. If you’re gearing up for your summer home search, here’s what you should know. Know what you want. Have you thought long and hard about what you really need in a house, versus what you want? Now is the time to make a list and really consider what is a deal breaker – and what isn’t. Do you really need a pool, or is that something you can add down the line? There are probably things you need more than that dream pool. Be sure you know what they are. Be ready to act. Once you’ve compiled your must have list, it’s time to get preapproved for a mortgage. You don’t want to find your dream home only to have someone else snatch it up because you weren’t preapproved. A preapproval letter submitted with your offer will demonstrate to sellers that you are serious and motivated. They will be more likely to accept your offer over someone who hasn’t yet taken that step. The bottom line – when you begin your home shopping in earnest, be ready to make a move as soon as you find the house you like. Look at older listings. Spring is the peak of the market, and summer is when it starts to slow down again. For families
that want to move midsummer, they’ve already made their offers on homes before Memorial Day in order to be settled for the coming school year. If you’re looking for a home, pay special attention to those houses that failed to sell before Memorial Day. If a house has been sitting on the market for more than 50 days, the seller may be more motivated and you could score a good deal. They may be willing to come down on price or cover the closing costs so you can make a bigger down payment. Check out the neighborhood. Summer is the best time to get a good picture of what a neighborhood’s character is like. The homes and yards will look their best and people will be out enjoying the weather. You’ll see how active the neighborhood is and what kinds of opportunities there are for kids. You may even be able to stop and chat with a neighbor or two walking their dog or riding bikes with their families. Aim to move mid-month. Finally, moving companies tend to charge more based on demand. Knowing this, try to avoid moving at the beginning or end of the month as you’ll be charged a premium. If you can, arrange for your move to take place in the middle of the month. You’re more likely to have more flexibility with your moving schedule, and you may score a discount or two. Compliments of Virtual Results at www.virtualresults.net/buying-homesummer/
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Nothing is worse than a bitter divorce - except possibly tax problems coming to light years later. When the letter finally arrives from the Internal Revenue Service, the couple has probably already gotten their final judgment. Working through the tax issues means a possibly painful meeting about a subject no one wants to discuss. This article provides information on only a few of the tax issues that occur during, or after, a divorce. Depending on the complexity of the problems, you should to consult a tax professional. Filing Status. Couples who are splitting up but not yet “officially” divorced by December 31, have the option of filing a joint return or filing as “Married filing Separately.” In the year your divorce decree becomes final, you lose the option to file a joint return. In other words, your marital status as of December 31 of each year controls your filing status for that entire year. If you can’t file a joint return for the year because you’re divorced by New Year’s Eve, the next best option is to be able to file as “Head of Household.” You’ll get the benefit of a bigger standard deduction and lower tax brackets. (Otherwise you’ll have to file as Single.) You qualify for Head of Household if you had at least one dependent living with you for more than half the year, and you paid for more than half of the upkeep for the home you live in. Who gets the deduction is often overlooked in a divorce agreement—until both parents take the deduction and the IRS swoops in to investigate. In short, only one of you can continue to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return if he or she lived with you for a longer period of time during the year than with your ex-spouse. In this case, you’re called the “custodial parent” for tax purposes. Dependency Exemptions. The reason filing status is a hot topic in divorce is because only one parent is entitled to a dependency exemption for each child they support. A dependency exemption works just like a tax deduction: It reduces your taxable income so you end up paying less income tax. The exemption amount is adjusted each year for inflation. The exemption is $4,050 per child or dependent for 2016. Exemption phase-out. You lose at least part of the benefit of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is more than a certain amount. For 2016, this amount is $155,650 for a married individual filing a separate return; $259,400 for a single individual; $285,350 for a head of household; and $311,300 for married individuals filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er). Tiebreaker Rules. If the parents don’t file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS splits the baby by using the “Tiebreaker Rules.” The IRS treats the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom
the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. So your time share is important. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. Why is this important? Sometimes a child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. However, only one of these persons can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Only that person can use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). 1. The exemption for the child. 2. The child tax credit. 3. Head of household filing status. 4. The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 5. The exclusion for dependent care benefits. 6. The Earned Income Credit. Medical Expenses. If you continue to pay a child’s medical bills after the divorce, you can include those costs as a medical expense deduction, even if your ex-spouse has custody of the child and claims the dependency exemption. Unfortunately, you can only deduct - on Schedule A (Form 1040)- the amount of your medical and dental expenses that are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. Realistically, this means that healthcare expenses are not generally deductible, except in the case of a high cost catastrophic illnesses. Waiving or Alternating the Exemption. At times, divorcing couples decide to alternate the exemption between themselves every few years. The non-custodial parent can claim the exemption for a dependent child if the custodial parent signs a Form 8332 waiver. But beware. Giving a completed Form 8332 to the noncustodial parent gives up more than just an exemption. For example, as discussed above, additional tax-saving options are only available to the person who is able to claim the child as a dependent. Getting the exemption back. As the custodial parent, if you decide to start claiming the exemption again after you’ve released it to the noncustodial parent, you can do so by completing part three of Form 8332. You can do this for the specific tax years, or for “all future years.” Reclaiming the exemption isn’t effective until the tax year after the calendar year in which you provided your child’s noncustodial parent with Form 8332. So, if you provide the form in 2016, the earliest you can regain the exemption is on your 2017 tax return, which you will file in 2018.
Rita A. Holder practices family law, tax law and wills, trusts and probate. Her office is in Walnut Creek. She offers a free 60-minute consultation. Give her a call at 925-4828910 or at email@example.com
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bookends by Jill Hedgecock,
Program Coordinator Mount Diablo California Writer’s Club jillhedgecock.com
by Douglas A. Prutton, Attorney Doug@PruttonLaw.com
Luckiest Girl Alive Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (2016, Simon & Schuster, paperback, 368 pages, $9.51) has been compared to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins. This debut mystery novel certainly delivers on the unexpected twists and turns of these two popular novels. The Luckiest Girl Alive’s story is narrated by Ani (pronounced aw-nee), short for “Tiffany,” and oscillates between current time where twenty-eight-yearold Ani is obsessed with losing weight for her upcoming wedding to wealthy Luke Harrison and fourteen-year-old Tiffany’s first year at prestigious Bradley High School. Adult Ani is thriving at The Woman’s Magazine, where she writes a sex advice column and is positioned to write serious pieces for The New Yorker when the two magazines merge. Ani seems to have it all and her cynicism initially makes her seem ungrateful and, therefore, unlikeable. At times she is cold, calculating, manipulating, but at the same time somehow compelling. We soon learn that her love for her fiancée has waned and Ani is questioning her decision to marry Luke. Meanwhile, as the new kid in the prestigious school, young Tiffany is determined to be accepted by the popular kid crowd. Her ambitions soon cause her to make foolish mistakes, particularly in her teenage love life. Although she’s romantically interested in a fellow newcomer to the school named Liam, she settles for Dean, a cruel boy with less than noble intentions. She’s also obsessed with her English teacher/ track coach, Mr. Larson. Eventually, relegated to outcast status from the “in” kids, Tiffany befriends Arthur who has a big chip on his shoulder. Little does Tiffany know she’s about to get in way over her head. As her childhood
story and upbringing come to light, her character flaws begin to make sense. Tiffany’s narcissistic mother, a social climber more concerned with other’s opinions, combined with her emotionally distant father contribute to Ani’s complex personality. Ani’s past and present collide when Ani returns to her childhood town to film a documentary about the events that she endured during her first years of high school. Determined to reunite with her former teacher who is now married with children, Ani manipulates Mr. Larson to meet her for drinks. Their reunion leads them back to Bradley, where Ani tries to charm her mentor into an affair. Luckiest Girl Alive was a New York Times best seller. It was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American author and the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Debut Author. Since its release in 2015, more than 450,000 copies have been sold. The book spent four months on bestseller lists and Reese Witherspoon has optioned the film rights. Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan and the articles editor at SELF.
Give Me a Work Break, Please! Exhausted Ernie flops into the lawyer’s chair and with blood-shot eyes and furrowed brow, relays the following story: “I’ve been working my buns off at Concord Cement my whole life, counselor. All I ask is that I get at least one day off every week so I can go fishing or whatever, but my supervisor sometimes schedules me to work seven days straight. Can he do that? “Funny you should ask me that Ernie,” the lawyer responds, “because the California Supreme Court in a recent case involving Nordstrom employees just addressed that very issue.” There are two laws, what we call statutes, that come into play. Labor Code section 551 provides that every employee “in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven.” The other statute, Labor Code section 552, states that no employer “shall cause his employees to work more than six days in seven.” These statutes raise a couple of important issues that employers and employees have fought over. The first issue is whether theses statutes require a day off every week, or whether they should be applied on a rolling basis. Take this example. On Monday, July 3, an employee is given a day off. She then works nine days in a row and takes her next day off on Friday, July14. The employee complains that she had to work nine days in a row, when the statutes state that she is entitled to a day of rest every seven days. The employer counters that the employee got a day of rest each week (on Monday for the week starting July 3 and on Friday for the next week). Who is right? The Supreme Court concluded that the employer is right. The Supreme Court said that the statutes “are most naturally to be read to ensure employees at least one day of
rest during each week, rather than one day in every seven on a rolling basis.” Another issue raised by these statutes concerns the interpretation of Labor Code section 556 which states that the one rest day in seven statutes do not apply “when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day.” Nordstrom argued to the Supreme Court that so long as an employee works less than 6 hours on any day of a particular week, that employee can be made to work seven days that week without a rest day. The Supreme Court rejected that argument. The Court concluded that employees are entitled to a rest day every week unless they work no more than six hours each and every day of a given week. The final issue addressed by the Supreme Court in the Nordstrom case concerns the word “cause” in the day of rest statutes. The statutes say that an employer shall not “cause” employees to work more than six days in seven. What does “cause” mean? The Supreme Court said it means that an employer “may not encourage its employees to forego rest or conceal the entitlement to rest.” The “employer’s obligation is to apprise employees of their entitlement to a day of rest and thereafter to maintain absolute neutrality as to the exercise of that right.” “So, Ernie, when are we going fishing?”
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by John Cooper
The Best Laid Plan – Oregon’s Scenic Backroads
I’m reminded of the quote by Robert Burns that even “the best laid plans… often go awry”. It seems so fitting as I contemplate our recently completed adventure ride through and around the state of Oregon. That of course was not the original plan, as painstakingly outlined over the last several months, but it was the journey nevertheless. The original plan was to ride motorcycles with my best friend of 35 years, from Northern California to Southern Washington, largely on the dusty, but beautifully scenic backroads of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, or “OBDR” as it is commonly known. Route 5, to be more specific, would take us through 750 miles of eastern Oregon’s backcountry, across the high desert plains and through the mountains, which are well known for their clear mountain streams, lush green meadows and amazing vistas. To experience the best that Oregon has to offer, we needed to explore it off the grid and away from the comfortable paved
roads. For the last several months, we researched the topography and looked over maps of the area. We studied the weather and scoured the Internet for tips on riding the route and what we might encounter. I even purchased a new motorcycle, a KLR650, the motorcycle equivalent of a pack mule, specifically for this trip. Then I spent weeks outfitting it with all the necessary equipment, upgrades and accessories. After all, we would need to be self-reliant and carry our own food and water, fuel and gear for a week long
journey. Following weeks of preparation, we saddled up and began our ride early Saturday morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Just hours into the ride we were met with 109 degree heat as we approached Redding, CA. We pulled over for a quick break and to rehydrate. While sitting on the curb outside a local fast food restaurant, we sat motionless as a wind blast blew one of our bikes over, causing it to smash violently against an adjacent car, leaving a massive dent in the door. After exchanging insurance information and cross-eyed looks with the owner of the car, we set off in a somber mood. Strike one. Hours later while powering up the foothills, my bike began to experience power surges while the RPM indicator bounced around and fluctuated wildly. Anxious and nervous we pulled off the road to see if we could diagnose the issue. We sat beside the road with no cell coverage, no Internet access, and no ideas. With few other alternatives, we decided to carry on and we rode into the evening while my headlight flickered on and off for the next several hours. Strike two. In the morning we determined my bike was experiencing an electrical problem, which we easily fixed with a little duct tape (yes, it’s true that duct tape can fix just about any problem). Shaking off the prior day’s troubles, we made our way to the trailhead near Goose Lake just short of the Oregon border. We were excited to finally begin our adventure in earnest. We hit the trail and immediately began to climb in altitude, but we only made it about four miles before catching our first glimpse of snow. After a particularly active winter, we should not have been surprised. Then it got heavy. The snow was deep, slippery and eventually non-penetrable. We were brought to a complete stop, but
not before I dropped my bike for the first time during our trip. We had to turn back. Strike three. We ran up the highway another 50 miles before catching the trail again hoping that the conditions would be better at a lower altitude. Although the snow was no longer the issue, we found instead a muddy, soggy mess of a trail. Slipping and sliding and moving at a snail’s pace, we made our way forward. Making very little progress over many hours, and dropping another bike into the muck, we decided to stop and reconsider our strategy. Strike four. Once again we rode up the highway another 50 miles before catching the trail, this time at a much lower elevation. As we fueled up in a nearby town before turning to the dirt trail again, an old man at the local general store (who coincidentally is a local search and rescue driver) said, “oh it’s a bit rough out there” when we inquired about the trail conditions. When we pressed him for more specificity on the word “rough”, he stated “well, some folks have gotten through, but it’s real rough out there”. We later learned that was the understatement of the year. For the better part of a day, we rode only a handful of miles bouncing among bouldersized lava rocks. Our bikes banged and bounced from side to side as we rode whiteknuckled and hanging on the best we could. And perhaps we would have continued had we not noticed that the bolts that held the engine to the frame were bent and warped and ready to pop at any moment. We were in a predicament once again. Strike five. Enough is enough we finally acknowledged as we slowly exited the dirty, hard trails and limped into the nearest town to reset our attitudes and tend to our bikes. You can say I’m a slow learner I suppose. While most people would have recognized that they were out after three strikes, it took me five to learn the lesson.
Ultimately we accepted our fate and decided that flexibility would be the key moving forward. We elected to stay on the paved roads for the balance of the trip, but we would take the roads less traveled. We spent some time in central Oregon’s Bend, before riding north to the Columbia River, and then west to the old fishing town of Astoria, located in the upper northwest corner of the state. Our new plan was simple, we would hug the coastline and ride the length of the Oregon coast from Astoria to northern California’s Crescent City, stopping along the way to sample the many small town breweries. Seven days and two thousand miles later our trip concluded. It was not the original plan we prepared for. We were shut down, put out, and sent away. We didn’t do it, and we couldn’t do it. However, our trip was much better than that. Instead, we slept out under the stars each night beside a bonfire swapping old stories and creating new ones. It was sometimes serious and many times comical. We got to discover the awesomeness of the Columbia River and the spectacular beauty of the Oregon coastline. Our bikes were beat and we were tired, but it was another great adventure.
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by Carol and Randi -The Frugirls www.frugelegance.com
Two Quick and Easy Summer Recipes BBQ Kebobs When life gets busy which is most of the time, this is one of our super, easy to make dinner favorites. It’s what we call “homemade fast food” and it’s perfect for a summer weeknight family dinner. Items needed: Wooden or Metal Skewers, Aidell’s Chicken Teriyaki and Pineapple meatballs, Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Sauce, pineapple, peppers, red onion and any other veggies of your choice. You can find Aidell’s meatballs at Costco. Prep by cutting up some fresh pineapple, bell peppers and onions. Then thread the Aidell’s Teriyaki and Pineapple chicken meatballs, the assorted veggies and pineapple onto the skewers. Brush on some Yoshida’s Sauce. Grill kabobs until meatballs are heated and the veggies are cooked. For side dish, microwave a bag of brown rice or make a quick tossed salad. Berry Trifle Cups Trifle is one of the most easy and versatile recipes we know. You can make it differently every time. Pick your favorite fruits, favorite cakes and create your own trifle combinations. They are a light and
refreshing summertime dessert. Whether you are making 2 or 20, cups are a great way to prepare exactly the quantity you need and makes a gorgeous presentation. Ingredients: Blueberries, strawberries, cool whipped topping and butter pound cake (frozen cuts so much easier), fresh mint leaves. Cut the pound cake into small pieces and put a 2-3 small pieces at the bottom of your cup. Sprinkle a few blueberries and sliced strawberries. Then spoon some whipped topping. Repeat into layers. Top off with a final whole strawberry and mint leaf. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: Whipped topping from a can has too much air in it, we suggest you use the container kind. These are found in the freezer section in the super market. Be sure to let it defrost before you start creating your trifle. This is best made and served fresh. If you do make these the night before, we recommend you cover each cup with some plastic wrap. Optional ideas: Add in a layer of
chocolate or vanilla pudding, different fruit combinations, or brownie pieces. Looking for some more quick and easy BBQ recipes? Check out our refreshing Watermelon Mango Salsa, Easy One Pan Baked Beans, or a Rustic Summer Blueberry Tart. Who says delicious can’t be easy to make?
Carol and Randi, the FruGirls, are local home decorators and stagers. FrugElegance is where Frugal and Elegance come together. You can also find them Blogging about many other ways to live an elegant life for less at www.frugelegance.com
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Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center and Northgate UNCAPPED Rallies to Oppose Northgate secession movement.
by Dr. Dan Peters www.DrDanPeters.com
Settling into Summer
Northgate Uncapped and The Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center (MDPJC), along with their network of members and supporters, gathered at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) offices to voice opposition to the Northgate Community Advocates for Public Schools (NCAPS) proposal to form a new school district and its associated transfer of territory petition. “The educators of the Mt. Diablo School District are deeply concerned about the secessionist movement underway in our community. The NCAPS proposal includes a voting recommendation that would disenfranchise a significant number of voters who are within the district boundaries…” said Meg Honey, spokesperson for Northgate UNCAPPED, a coalition of educators, advocates, and community members who oppose the secession. “Most troubling is the outright exclusion of Oak Grove Middle School and Ygnacio Valley High School from this proposed ‘community’ school district,” she added, “However, we are still unclear about the secessionist group’s plans for these schools. Do they intend to acquire the facilities as part of the territory transfer while displacing the 2000 students who attend these schools?” The territory transfer would also affect more than half of the student population at Highlands Elementary, about 325 students. That would result in staff reductions and program changes. Both organizations provide information to the greater community about the negative impacts should a new district come to fruition. Members have staged
rallies, spoken at local city council and County Board of Education hearings, penned Op-Ed pieces, and maintained an active social media presence. In May, the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center issued a resolution of support for maintaining Mt. Diablo Unified School District. According to MDUSD, the petition fails to substantially meet many of the legal requirements by which such petitions may be considered for approval. The District unequivocally opposes the petition naming several key reasons. It proposes a new school district that is far more racially and socioeconomically segregated. It outlines an inequitable distribution of assets and assessed property values. Traffic would be negatively impacted community-wide. It involves a disruptive shuffling of teaching and staff assignments, including layoffs and the elimination of key District programs. And the financial health and educational programs would also be negatively impacted. The County Committee will have the remainder of the summer to review the Northgate CAPS petition to determine whether it meets the state’s required criteria. Additional hearings – potential leading to a recommendation to approve or disapprove the petition – are expected to take place in early fall. “Using dog-whistle terms like ‘local control’ and ‘community based governance,’ secessionist groups’ true motives are often racially- and economically- motivated,” said Dan Reynolds, Board Chair for the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center .
It’s here, the moment your kids have been waiting for – summer vacation. You have been waiting for it, too! A break from all the homework, after school activities, sports, enrichment classes, music, and more. Finally, a break! But is it? If only a few weeks into summer, you are asking “what date does school start?” you are not alone. Do any of these statements sound familiar? “I’m bored” “I have nothing to do” “Why do I have to get off the computer?” “I don’t want to go to camp?” “I just want to relax and do nothing” “Summer is my break. Why can’t I do what I want?” Welcome to the reality of summer! It is important to remember that kids often have trouble winding down and settling into summer. There is often a transition period. Many kids are scheduled from the moment they wake up to the moment they hit their pillow. Structure, although sometimes resisted, provides the boundaries by which they move through their days and defines their actions hour by hour. When this structure is removed, many children are at a loss of what to do. Part of the process of settling into summer is allowing some transition time. Transition time can probably be avoided, or not even needed, if your
child goes from the schedule of school to the schedule of summer camp. For those whose children don’t, you may have to provide them with ideas to partially structure their day while they learn to unwind and settle into a less scheduled day. Summer break is an opportunity for so many different experiences – from creating and building, doing art, going on hikes, reading, exploring new places, taking classes, day and overnight camp, family adventures, and more. While it is our job as parents to plan for your child’s summer, it is also important to include them in the process. After all it is their summer. You might be surprised to learn what they have in mind. In addition to all the activities, some of which are mentioned above, you may want to think about what life skills you want to focus on or allow to develop. You may want your child to have a new experience, take some fun enrichment classes, play in a sports summer league, do some tutoring, or have a summer of unstructured time for creating and relaxing. This is purely a personal choice for each family. In most cases, you will find that your child will settle into summer and find their own groove. You will also find that you will settle into summer, too! Enjoy it all because soon it will be back to school!
Mt. Diablo Unified School District Hosts Girls In Robotics Leadership (GIRL) and Boys Robotics Camps In June, two week-long robotics camps taught robotics, coding, collaboration and production skills to students from the 6th and 7th grades in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and surrounding areas. During the Camp Students worked with robotics, learned to code and developed video production skills using the latest technology. Both the Girls In Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp and first-ever Boys Robotic Camp teach coding, problem solving and leadership skills. Students participated in the camps at no charge thanks to a grant provided by Tesoro. Local professionals with expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers are serving as coaches and guest speakers. The GIRL Camp was designed to build a local community of girls and young women interested in STEM subjects and career opportunities, provide role models for young women, and strengthen leaderships skills while developing programming, robotics and STEM-centric problem-solving and analytical skills The Boys Camp was focused on strengthening leaderships skills, and developing programming, robotics and STEM-centric problem-solving and analytical skills. Student participants presented final research projects at the culmination of their week long camp experience. These projects are intended to demonstrate students’ proficiency and growth with ChiDE, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for beginners to learn computer programming
GIRL Camp was held at Riverview Middle School, in Bay Point, and the Boys Robotics Camp met at Sequoia Middle School in Pleasant Hill. in C/C++, a high-level programming language used for nearly every available computing platform. The students
explained their research and detailed how their teams collaborated to create the final project.
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Patriotism Stems from a Sense of Community Rousing 4th of July Parades, fireworks crackling overhead, hot dogs sizzling on the grill, and that questionable macaroni salad that’s been sitting out in the sun for far too long. When neighbors feel free to stop by, strangers smile and wave to you on the street, they’ll even offer to carry in your groceries. It’s communi-
Anyone can join in.
Bee and Elizabeth all Dolled Up
Cant wait for the parade!
Edith, who was born in Britain, enjoys celebrating her U.S. citizenship every year!
There’s really no such thing as too much red, white, and blue!
ties like these that garner an intense feeling of sentimentality. Diamond Terrace is lucky to be part of just such a community in the quaint city of Clayton, where you can still see horses ‘pull up’ at the local saloon. This Independence Day, Clayton celebrated the 160th Anniversary of its founding, and while Diamond
Terrace hasn’t been in Clayton for quite that long, we feel like part of the family and we’re happy to celebrate this momentous occasion, too. It’s the sweet, simple memories, the thoughts of community that evoke the greatest sense of Patriotism. We hope you and your family had a very Happy Fourth of July!
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The Bay Area 75 Rankings The Top Athletes for the Completed School Year
Story and Photos by Chace Bryson
As part of its annual Yearbook Special edition, SportStars Magazine released the fifth installment of its Bay Area 75 rankings. The Bay Area 75 is a countdown of the Bay Area’s top 75 athletes for the recently completed school year. The only criteria SportStars uses in generating the list are that the athletes must be from one of the
nine Bay Area counties, and they must have played in a sport which culminated in a sanctioned section title, or reached a national-level of success (i.e., won a national championship or been appointed to youth national team). Following is a list of some of the Gazette-area athletes who made the prestigious list for 2016-2017. To see the entire list, visit SportStarsMag.com or look for a printed copy at very Contra Costa County locations: 68. Isaiah Hodgins – Senior, Berean Christian-Walnut Creek: Football Small school or not, Hodgins proved he had next-level pedigree time and again for the Eagles. The Oregon Statebound talent was a SportStars All-NorCal wide receiver after posting 94 catches for 1,521 yards and 21 TDs. 62. Tuli Letuligasenoa –
Junior, De La Salle-Concord: Football Considered the best defensive tackle prospect in the Western Region, Letuligasenoa was the anchor to the Spartans defensive front and led the CIF Open Div. runners-up in sacks. He committed to USC early in the spring. 52. Kairee Robinson – Junior, De La SalleConcord: Football Robinson was a nobrainer selection as a SportStars All-NorCal running back after he rushed for 2,013 yards and 25 TDs in his first season as the Spartans’ premier ballcarrier. He ran for 202 yards and 2 TD in CIF Open Div. State Bowl loss to St. John Bosco-Bellflower. 46. Yealimi Noh – Sophomore, CarondeletConcord: Golf Noh was a model of consistency during the fall postseason. She shot a 68 to earn top medalist honors at the NCS Tournament of Champions before winning top medalist honors via a playoff at NorCals where she shot a 73. At the state tournament she finished inside the Top 15 by firing a 78. 22. Cullen Kafka – Senior De La Salle-Concord: Baseball Named by Bay Area News Group as the East Bay Player of the Year, the Oregon-bound pitcher was lights out for the two-time NCS Div. I champs. He went 11-1 from the mound, threw four complete games and had a 1.15 ERA. He struck out 98 in 73 1/3 innings. 17. Alexei Sancov – Junior, Northgate-Walnut Creek: Swimming Sancov flirted with national records in being a four-time winner at the NCS meet. That was before he went to the CIF State Championships and set meet records in the 200 freestyle (1:34.25), and also the 100 freestyle (43.46) as the lead leg to Northgate’s state-champion 400 relay team. He was also the lead leg on the Broncos’ 200 freestyle relay team which finsihed second. 9. Briana Perez – Senior, Alhambra-Martinez: Softball Perez was named the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay Player of the Year after another ridiculous offensive campaign for the Bulldogs. Among the topranked infielders in the country, the UCLA-bound standout hit .592 and drove in 36 runs with 10 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 41 runs scored and 23 stolen bases.
Minor League Team Pittsburg Diamonds Has New Minority Owner, Managing Partner Leading Eastern Contra Costa County businessman Wolfgang Croskey has invested in the Pittsburg Diamonds and will be the team’s minority owner and managing partner. Croskey is the president of Croskey Real Estate in Pittsburg, a 71-year-old family-run company that has been prominent in the business community for many years. “as our organization grows and matures, we are very happy to have Wolfgang taking a leadership position,” said Khurram Shah, owner of the Diamonds. “We will be taking full advantage of his marketing expertise and his local knowledge.”
It’s a dream-come-true for The Diamonds new general manager. “I am thrilled to become part of the diamonds’ organization just as they are becoming an important part of the fabric of our community,” Croskey said. “We are bringing professional baseball and affordable family entertainment to everyone in East County.” The Diamonds are currently in second place in the Pacific Association, an independent minor league baseball conference with teams also in Vallejo, San Rafael, and Sonoma. Jose Canseco is also a player for the Diamonds although appearances are limited due to ongoing injury.
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The Diablo Gazette’s
CALENDAR OF EVENTS FUNDRAISERS: Pancake Breakfast - Supporting Veterans of foreign Wars – 2nd and 4th Sundays includes eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. Willow Pass Road, Concord $5, $3 Children under 12. http:// www.vfwpost1525.org July 15 - Petit Dejeuner Drag Brunch - Bella is hosting our summer drag show which will benefit our AIDS Walk SF Team! Performances by Bella and her Drag Queens. This is a 21+ event. Ticket includes brunch, the show and one complimentary beverage. Bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Marys can be purchased for $15. Purchase your tickets now. Hosted by Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. For more information, go to rainbowcc.org or call (925) 692-0090 x 339 August 22 - City of Concord Blood Drive from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Concord Auditorium1 at John Muir Medical Center, 2540 East Street, Concord. To schedule an appointment, visit www. redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: CONCORD or call 1-800-RED CROSS 1-800-733-2767. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. For more information, contact Concord’s Emergency Services and Volunteer Manager Margaret Romiti, (925) 671-3184.
OUTDOORS: Concord: Todos Santos Park OFF the Grid Mondays. offering cuisine from around the world from 5 to 9 p.m. Full lineup available at http://offthegridsf.com.
Concord Tuesdays, 10am to 2pm, year-round, rain or shine, Thursdays 4P-8P, Todos Santos Plaza. • Martinez Sundays, 10am to 2pm, year-round, Main St. and Estudillo. Walnut Creek Diablo Valley Farmers Market Saturday 9a.m. - 1 p.m. Shadelands Business Park, N. Wigett Lane and Mitchell Dr. Also, from Contra Costa Certified Farmers Market - North Locust St between Giamona and Lacassie St. Sundays 9 am - 1 pm, Year Round, (925) 431-8361 http://www. cccfm.org Pleasant Hill – Saturdays 10:00am to 2:00pm May 6 -Oct 28; 136 Trelany Rd, Pleasant Hill Pittsburg – Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm, May 6 - Oct 7; 600 Railroad Ave, Pittsburg Clayton- Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm May 13 - Oct 14; 6095 Main St, Clayton July 15 - Clayton BBQ Cook-Off – from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. New, People’s Choice Competition. Eat and text vote your favorite. Local Craft Beers from Mendocino Brewing, Epidemic Ales and Black Diamond Brewery will be poured
as well as wines and Margaritas. Win a custom-built Smoker (thanks to Wally’s Rental Centers). The winner need not be present to win. More food, sampling and a good time for the whole family.
FAMILY EVENTS: Galindo Home and Gardens Tours - 1721 Amador Avenue, Concord. Visit the fully-restored 1856 Victorian home of Francisco Galindo, one of Concord’s founding fathers, and his wife, Maria Dolores Manuela (Pacheco) Galindo. This includes the 1875 addition by Francisco Galindo’s son, Juan “John” Galindo. No reservations needed. Fee $5 for adults and children over 12. One of only a few Victorian ranch houses in the country. By 1880, the structure was reconfigured in the Queen Anne style, with bay windows, sweeping steps, and a broad porch. Visitors can tour the10 rooms, including two parlors and a formal dining room, and see 15 original pieces of Eastlake furniture. Go to concordhistorical.org for more information. August 5-6 - Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair at Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive (at Broadway) in Walnut Creek. Hours: Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 10am-4pm. Admission: $12 (under 12 free) - good for both days. Gems, jewelry, crystals beads, and metaphysical healing tools, over 30 booths. For information, go to www. crystalfair.com or call (415) 383-7837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. August 17 - Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club and SATERN will be holding a 7-week course to earn your Technician Class (entry level) FCC Amateur Radio License. Course begins at 7-9 pm. at Salvation Army 3950 Clayton Road, (Cross is West St.) Concord. Online Registration is required. We use the ARRL Textbook and if you don’t have a book you can order your book in the online registration process. Each student must have full access to a copy of the text. There is a $6 admin fee. For info & registration email: HamRadioClass@gmail.com. Complete class calendar at http://www.mdarc.org/activities/education/Classes
VISUAL ARTS/THEATRE/ MUSIC: Concord Tuesday Night Blues July 11 Mark Hammel and the Blues Survivors. Plus Cool Concord Cars from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., July 18 Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88’s July 25 Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings to close out the series on July 25. Showtime is 6:30 to 8 p.m. http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/page. asp?pid=3000 Concord 29th Annual Music and Market Series - Thursdays at Todos Santos Plaza downtown Concord. July 7 Zepparella The All-Female Zeppelin Powerhouse www.zepparella.com July 13 Frobeck North Bay’s Top Funk/ Rock Band July 20 California Cowboys July 27 Fleetwood Mask, the ultimate tribute to Fleetwood Mac, The Mayor’s Healthy Cook-off is also slated this night.
Clayton Concert in the Grove July 8 Diamond Dave - He’s been entertaining Bay Area audiences for over 20 years, Dave is back for the 10th consecutive year. Truly one of Clayton’s favorites accompanied by his singing daughters Kelly, Kaitland & Meghan. July 7th - Jazz Room 8 PM. Internationally acclaimed Jazz Harpist Motoshi Kosako followed by Jazz classics performed by Bay Area Guitarist Mike Williams and Bassist Marc Levine. Guest vocalist Eve Marie Shahoian. Presented by Town of Danville and the Jazz Room at Villiage Theatre & Art Gallery 233 Front Street, Danville. Tickets: www. villagetheatreshows.com Tickets: $15 students $25 adult July 10 – 27 - Summer Stage “Aladdin Jr” 3-week Musical Theater camp ages 6-16. We focus on theatre musical training in preparation for the performance of “Aladdin Jr.” Clayton Theatre Co. Summer Stage is located at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. Clayton. For more information www.ClaytonTheatreCompany.org (925) 222-9106 July 8th - Concord Food Truck Cinema Night. “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. 6 p.m. Combines food trucks, local bands, a wine bar, craft beer garden, and a movie, shown on a 35-foot outdoor screen. Entertainment is provided by
the Tamsen Donner Blues Band. The event will be held at the Diablo Creek Golf Course, 4050 Port Chicago Hwy, in north Concord. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the movie begins shortly after sunset. For more information and tickets, visit www. ftcconcord.com or call (916) 7500035. Use promo code “VIBE” for $3 off any adult ticket. July 23 - Opera in the Park, is scheduled for one performance at the Community Park, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda Sunday 5:00-7:00pm. Free Admission, Free Parking, and BART and Handicapped Accessible 925.685.4945. Courtesy of Orinda Rotary. For more information, visit www. SoloOpera.org Concord Pavilion - General sale tickets are available online at LiveNation. com, Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at select Wal-Mart locations. For general Pavilion information, call (925) 676-8742 Jul 6 -- Deftones with Rise Against the Machine Thu 6:30 PM Aug 11 -- Steve Martin and Martin Short Fri 8:00 PM Aug 16 -- Straight No chaser with Postmodern Jukebox Wed 7:30 PM Aug 27 -- OneRepublic with Fitz and the Tantrums Sun 7:00 PM Sept 15 -- Florida Georgia Line
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by Edi Birsan, Concord Vice Mayor
Email me CityCouncil@cityofconcord.org|Add EDI in subject line
Concord Moves Forward to 1996 With Medical Cannabis Delivery Resolution
In 1996 the California voters declared that Cannabis can be used for medical purposes. It established a system for certification of dispensaries and production and by extension delivery. On June 27, The Concord City Council unanimously lifted the ban on the delivery of medical Cannabis from dispensaries in accordance with the law from the last century. Furthermore, the Council directed staff to come back to the Council with suggestions and wordings on how to handle: 1. POSSIBLE Permitting Lab Testing of Cannabis 2. POSSIBLE Rules on 1-3 Dispensaries of medical Cannabis relating to size, location, protocols, and the like 3. POSSIBLE Rules on an indoor commercial production of cannabis 4. Review the ban on outdoor grow and possibly consider a three-plant limit such as in Pleasant Hill. 5. Conduct a scientific survey of the community (probably costing $35,000) to hone down attitudes of where to place dispensaries and the like.
What also was revealed was the Police Chief’s view that if medical dispensaries are to be done, he prefers smaller retail stores and that they should be placed in high foot traffic areas as that in itself is a deterrent against crime. There will also be various safety regulations attached. The City, like all cities, are faced with a deadline of the end of the year to get its regulations in order before the State Regulations supersede it all. While it appears that there is support for medical dispensaries and lab testing, this rests on the shake out of the details and the continued public outreach and feedback. The other aspects of commercial production, backyard access details are still in the smoky field of what will work and what if is accepted by the community and legal parameters based on the State laws. Recreational use as per Proposition 64, which was passed 61% in Concord, including passing in all 65+ voting precincts will be addressed later. But for now, the city has firmly placed its sights on coming up to 1996 regulations. One century at a time.
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farmerfresh by Debra Morris,Pacific Coast Farmers Market http://www.pcfma.org/concord
Heat Up Your Summer with Thai Chile Hot Stuff! Thai Chile Peppers Thai chiles are a quintessential ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking. Also called bird’s eye chiles, they are frequently featured in curry and in balachuang, a spicy relish used at almost every meal. Dried and ground, they are used to make sauces and were once used in the popular sriracha sauce (named for a seaside town in Thailand). They are small in size but their spicy heat and pungency make up for it! On the Scoville scale it rates 50,000 to 100,000, just above the serrano chile which is rated 30-50,000! Chile pepper heat is measured in Scoville Units. Developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, Scoville Units measure chile pepper heat in multiples of 100, with the bell peppers at 0 and the habanero at over 300,000 Scoville Units. The substance that makes a chile hot is called capsaicin, also known for its ability to improve one’s health by increasing blood circulation and metabolism. Chile vs. chili: Chiles are hot peppers, chili is a pot of spicy meat and beans! You’ll see peppers spelled both ways, but the proper way is chile. Caution: When preparing Thai chiles, you may want to wear rubber gloves when working with these chilies, especially if you are a contact lens wearer. The chile oil and heat chemical, capsaicin, can stay on your fingers for several hours and really sting when you
touch your eyes. Small farms take the time to plant and harvest interesting produce and deliver to you to try. That’s what’s so great about a farmers’ market – you find interesting produce that you would never find in the grocery store. Pick up some of these hot little peppers at the farmers’ market from FT Fresh out of Fresno, Bautista Ranch from Stockton, or B Farm of Fresno. They’re picked fresh and brought to you direct from the farm. Heat up your summer with this special recipe from PCFMA. Homemade Thai Chile Sauce Makes about 2-1/2 cups. • 1 cup water • 1 cup rice vinegar • 1 cup sugar • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced • 2 teaspoons Thai chile pepper, minced • 2 teaspoons ketchup • 2 teaspoons cornstarch Pour water and vinegar into a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in sugar, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch. Remove saucepan from stove to cool. Then transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed. Recipe: PCFMA Staff.
Diablo Gazette • JULY 2017 • Page 14 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
A Walnut Creek Underdog’s Journey to Dog Agility Nationals by Jill Hedgecock
Never in a million years did I imagine that my dog, Bailey, and I could participate at the nationals level in agility—a journey that started over twelve months ago when I discovered that the 2017 Canine Performance Evaluation (CPE) competition was going to be held within driving distance of my Walnut Creek home. Photo Credit: Douglas Hooper (David Wong Photography) My Australian Shepherd/ Queensland heeler mix accomplished the first hurdle to my dog: “please, please, please, don’t by achieving the required minimum of stop to bark at the judge.” 30 qualifying scores called “Qs” over the My nerves stretched taut as violin prior 2016 calendar year during regular strings as I gave Bailey the release comtrials to be accepted into the nationals mand. This 18-obstacle course required the dog to complete not one, but two teeters, where the dog must run up a slanted board, use their front legs and body weight to tip the ramp, then descend to the ground. This obstacle has been Bailey’s downfall. Asking her to complete two in less than a minute seemed impossible. Yet she completed the first teeter without hesitation, took the appropriate jumps and tunnels, then navigated Photo Credit: Douglas Hooper (David Wong Photography) through twelve vertical weave poles, and traversed a dog walk that stood 4 ½ feet event. To get a “Q” the dog handler must off of the ground. Still, the second teeter navigate their dog through a prescribed loomed large at the end of the course. course of up to twenty sequential obstacles, accumulating a sufficient number of points, and avoiding too many penalties from mistakes such as knocking a bar off a jump or taking an obstacle out of order. An amazing feat that the dog must accomplish without food or toy incentives. Agility requires precision Photo Credit: Diane Walsh teamwork. Because dogs respond to body language and make split second decisions about the next obstacle to take, My main National’s goal was to have fun the human teammate must be aware of with my dog. According to CPE President the direction of their feet even as they are Linda Eickholdt, “The 2017 Nationals was giving verbal commands. When executed comprised of 70 to 75% first time competwell, agility is a dance of exquisite beauty itors. But even seasoned handlers tend to between a dog and its handler. be more nervous at Nationals.” Each day, Bailey was an unlikely candidate to com- she emphasized at the morning briefings pete under the high pressure environthat owners should “…relax and enjoy the ment of nationals that entailed competing time with their dogs.” nine different events over three days . My Her words echoed in my mind on that dog’s early interactions with men had not difficult standard run. After avoiding a gone well. Her litter had been rescued tunnel-jump discrimination trap, Bailey from a Central Valley farmer who’d and I were on the home stretch—one planned to abandon the puppies out in more scary teeter and a final jump. Bailey the fields as coyote food, so I suppose her had other plans and ran past the teeter, misgivings are justified. Bailey’s “strangbut then came back and tipped the board er-danger” motivated me to start her in like a pro. She took the final jump and agility training at Frielance Dog Sports. we’d done it. Though she’s grown more confident on After completing the nine runs over the equipment over the years I’ve spent the three-day Nationals event, Bailey training her, her distrust of men and her had qualified in seven out of nine runs. fear of the agility judge that typically Competing at Nationals deepened the stand in the center of the agility ring still bond between me and my precious pup. lingers. My worst fear at Nationals was My dog may never fully enjoy the teeter that she’d abandon the course to bark at obstacle and she may always be distrustthe judge with raised hackles. ful of men, but her enthusiasm for the One of the standard agility nationals sport of agility was apparent as she scaled courses promised to be one of the most jumps and rocketed through tunnels. difficult events compared to some of the And Bailey never once barked at the three shorter event types such as the jumpers male judges residing over the Nationals course that only require clearing jumps event—an accomplishment way more and running through tunnels. After important than ribbons. settling Bailey in a sit-stay in front of the When Jill isn’t training Bailey, she’s first agility jump on this course, I stepped busy reading books to review for her toward the second numbered obstacle— Diablo Gazette BookEnds column. To the dreaded “scary teeter.” I reviewed my learn about dog agility training classes at handling moves: Lead out pivot, shape Freilance Dog Sports located in Martithe teeter entry, power to the tunnel, nez, contact Sharon at (925) 229-8041 or twist shoulders away from off-course tun- email@example.com nel, then decelerate to nail the weave pole entry. I inhaled while I sent a silent plea
Diablo Gazette • JULY 2017• Page 15 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
8th Annual Clayton BBQ Cook-Off, Bigger and Better
by Rory Richmond
The 8th Annual Clayton BBQ Cook-off is just around the corner, on Saturday, July 15th. This will be our second year closing off Main Street, as the Art & Wine Festival and Oktoberfest events do, so we have big shoes to fill. This year, we have added more food choices, including four BBQ competition vendors and grilled corn from G&S Farms in Brentwood. Farmer John is cooking up fresh hot dogs, brats, hot links and featuring their delicious pulled pork sliders. Local Craft Beers from Mendocino Brewing, Epidemic Ales and Black Diamond Brewery will be poured as well as wines and Margaritas. Perhaps best of all, we have added a People’s Choice competition, where event-goers can sample the ribs from some of the competition teams. To vote for their favorite BBQ Pitmaster, they will use their phone to text in their favorite team’s name. Voting will end at 3:00 pm and the top three finishers will be announced at 4:30 pm. Competition teams are both Backyard Chefs and KCBS seasoned pitmasters. Each has their own secret recipe for their
rub mix and sauce. Their techniques have been learned from competitors, BBQ Pitmasters, or other Food Network shows. Those teams that have volunteered to compete in the People’s Choice will be working double duty, getting their competition boxes ready, and serving their ribs to People’s Choice voters. We are also increasing the number of vendors that will be present. Clayton non-profit organizations including the Clayton Community Library Foundation, Clayton Valley Village, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Clayton Valley Garden Club, and Clayton Community Church will be on hand to answer questions about their organizations. The CBCA, host and sponsor of the event will be raffling off a custom-built Smoker (thanks to Wally’s Rental Centers) for the lucky winner to tow home. The winner need not be present to win. Bring the family to the Clayton BBQ Cook-off on Saturday July 15th from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and treat them to a friendly day of savoring delicious competition BBQ.
Shooting in Martinez Causes Controversy Paramount Pictures Filming for “13 Reasons Why” Paramount Pictures came to Martinez to film a segment for Season 2 of the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”. Curiosity was high in Martinez, as it’s always cool, beneficial, and welcomed to have a major studio come into your town that rarely gets to participate in such opportunities. But the show seems to be surrounded with controversy. While Paramounts spokesperson insists the show is about the harmful effects of bullying
Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery Summer Camp Offers Free Recycling Education Now that school is out for the summer, it’s the perfect time to learn about recycling and respecting the environment at Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery (MDRR) fifth annual free Summer Camp. The camp session will include a tour of their 90,000-square-foot recycling facility and recycling trucks, recycling games and an interactive activity about the 5 R’s (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Respect-Recover). The next camp session will take place on August 10th from 10 am to 12 noon, at the Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery Park facility located at 1300 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg. Calif. The camp is free, though reservations are limited to 25 children per session. “Respectful appreciation of our environment should be taking place year-round regardless of whether school is in,” said Joseph Garaventa, MDRR’s Chief Executive Officer. “Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery is committed to offering fun educational opportunities to East Bay youth, who will be making contributions to our community for years to come.” To sign up for camp sessions contact MDR’s Adriana Medina by phone 925-771-2721 or email Adriana.Medina@Garaventaent.com. For more information about Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery: http://www.MtDiabloResourceRecovery.com.
and promotes teen suicide prevention, two Bay Area teens, one from Livermore and one from San Mateo, both committed suicide in unrelated incidence shortly after the end of Season 1. Critics and the
grieving parents and relatives suggest the show glorifies suicide and serves as a trigger for troubled teens. As for the watching the show, experts recommend that parents should watch it with their child. You can find more on this story from KTVU at www.ktvu.com/ news/263334963-story. The Bay Area Suicide and Crisis Intervention Alliance is a network of crisis and suicide prevention services in our region. Our members answer calls placed to the national crisis line and local hotlines. In addition, BASCIA member agencies may offer crisis text and other communications services, counseling and support, plus training and education in suicide prevention. To contact your local agency for more information In Contra Costa County, Contra Costa Crisis Center 800-833-2900 or 925-939-1916. www. crisis-center.org/
HOA Demands Six Year Garden Has to Come Out Community Fights Back Steve Giannini is a tenant at Country Village Condos in Martinez. His Father Horace (but goes by Mike) actually owns the property. Steve has constructed an elaborate landscape in the common area over the past six years. According to Steve, he gained permission from the then President of the Condominium Owners Association to build a garden on a hillside in the common area located next to his unit at 440 Mill Rd. which is partially visible from the front of the property. When he got the approval, he first installed a couple of redwood planters. Then he kept adding on as the months and season went by. He added pavers, and lattice work, and wooden structures to house plumbing, and koi ponds, foun-
tains, waterfalls carved stairs, and lots of plants, all at his own expense, labor and upkeep. At one point the President cautioned that he was building too far and set up some guidelines contain his efforts. “My passion is designing and creating.” Steve said. “I love getting up and watering my plants and watching the birds and squirrels, and humming birds. It’s so humbling.” Unfortunately, the approval was never formalized in writing with the board. Years later, the HOA hired a new management company, Bridgeport Company out of San Ramon. Bridgeport was basically unaware of the circumstances behind the elaborate garden, – that is, until recently, when a new tenant moved in next door and noticed one of the ponds over flowing. She registered a complaint. The management company came out and reviewed the elaborate garden, and notified Mike that it all had to come out. It also warned
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Diablo Gazette • JULY 2017 • Page 16 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
Remembering Martinez’s Historic Jail, Now 114 Years Old by Annette Nunez
The non-profit Architectural Preservation Foundation of Contra Costa County (APFCCC) has delayed for two years the demolition of the old Courthouse and Jail complex building as it develops a plan for its restoration and reuse. Dedicated in Martinez 114 years ago, June marked the 113th anniversary of this historic dedication. You can honor the anniversary with congratulations, a pledge of volunteer effort, or a donation to APFCCC at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting Facebook: “Save Martinez’s Historic Old Jail”, or by calling 925-352-3334. Individuals with many skillsets and contacts are needed to help APFCCC move quickly to work toward raising a substantial amount of money in the next two years to meet the County’s demand for a viable financial plan to restore the building. On May 29, 1903, the historic Courthouse and Jail complex was dedicated in a ceremony in downtown Martinez to estimated crowd of 8,000 - 10,000 people. A crowd that size would easily overwhelm the City’s streets today. The journey to these buildings’ creation began in 1850, when the newly established Contra Costa County rented its first structure, a house, to host the court. At that time, this was a Court of Sessions. With the Act to create a Board of Supervisors, the County undertook the Act’s elev-
enth charge, “To cause to be erected and furnished, a Court-house, jail, and such other public buildings as may be necessary, and to keep the same in repair”. In time, each structure would eventually fall short of the county’s growing needs and required replacement. In 1899, after being approached by a public committee, the Board of Supervisors agreed that another new court house was in order. In 1901, after much planning, three rounds of bidding, and public consultation, the Board finally awarded the project to Pacific Construction Co. which had bid $177,383. A considerable expense considering that the average annual US income at the time was $438. The $100,000 in funds set aside in the county’s treasury was not sufficient and an additional $200,000 was sought to complete the structures. Architects Havens & Topeke designed the Court House in what would be a very early example of the Classical Revival architectural style, as Roman architecture stood for justice and Greek styles stood for government. The Free Masons Lodge Grand Master (and Superior Court Judge) William S. Well laid the Court House buildings cornerstone on December 14, 1901. The Board placed, in a copper box beneath the cornerstone (a time capsule including the Seal of the Superior Court and Board of Supervisors, 16 newspapers published in the county and San Francisco, a catalogue of public schools in the and other public records). The Court House and Jail exteriors are Vermont granite. The granite was transported to the building site by rail via a specially-laid spur tract over Pine Street and kept twenty stonecutters busy for months until June 1903. It was a day for the history books, recorded and now shared with all once again, in honor of the occasion 113 years ago.
Port Chicago Annual Commemoration on July 15 The annual commemoration of the Port Chicago Naval disaster will be held on July 15, 2017, at the site of the explosion, 5110 Port Chicago Hwy, Concord (at MOTCO formerly known as the Concord Naval Weapons Station.) This event needs to grow. Seventy-three years ago, at 10:18 p.m. on July 17, 1944, two explosions, in rapid succession, rocked the East Bay. The blasts obliterated Port Chicago Naval munitions on Suisun Bay, the largest homeland disaster during World War II. Residents in the East Bay area were jolted awake by a massive explosion that cracked windows and lit up the night sky. Reports claim the blast was felt as far away as Boulder City NV (near Las Vegas). Fire and smoke shot up two miles in the air above the base. SS E.A. Bryan sat loaded with about 4,600 tons of bombs, ammunition and depth charges. An additional 429 tons of munitions, packed onto 16 railroad cars, waited on the pier to be transferred into the holds of the SS Quinault Victory also docked there. After explosion, the pier was gone, and the E.A. Bryan had been reduced to pieces. The Quinault Victory’s stern had landed upside down in the water 500 feet away. A total of 320 men (including 202 African Americans) were instantly killed when the munitions ships they were loading with ammunition for the Pacific theatre troops mysteriously blew up. An additional 390 were injured. Although the Port Chicago disaster was the war’s deadliest home-front accident, many Americans still are unfamiliar with the tragedy and its legacy. Port Chicago
hasn’t been recorded in most history books or memorialized as a “date which will live in infamy.” This is because the real tragedy doesn’t end there. The subsequent refusal of fifty of the surviving sailors (all African Americans) to resume loading munitions until their safety could be assured resulted in the most significant mutiny trial in our history. Their cause, supported by Eleanor Roosevelt and Thurgood Marshall, contributed to the desegregation of the Navy and later the entire military. All 50 were convicted of mutiny and sentenced to prison. Over the years, Bay Area politicians have joined members of the Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial to push for exoneration of the 50 convicted sailors, all of whom have since died. Port Chicago must be remembered because it’s a remarkable story about young African-American men, mostly teenagers, standing up to the most powerful Navy in the world and forcing it to change. This incredibly ugly tragedy is an embedded part of our history. Concord is host to one of the biggest military and social skeletons in America’s closet. Someday, Hollywood is bound to help let it out. We encourage you to pay tribute to this commemoration on July 15. Make your reservations. You can make your reservations by emailing Stephanie_Meckler@ nps.gov by July 7. For more information go to www.facebook.com/portchicagomemorial/
Launching the Father-Daughter Optometrist Team HOA Continued from page 15 that if it Mike didn’t address the situation that the HOA would hire a company to remove it and that it would be his responsibility to pay. Since Steve is not the owner, the HOA will only communicate through Mike. However, as word got out, more owners came to see the work in question. “They were like, this is beautiful, why do they want to take it down?” Steve said. “Everyone has been so supportive. “ Steve started ripping out the garden and voiced is angst on Facebook group called Martinez Rant and Raves. “I was in tears,” he stated. “But then I started getting a lot of support from the group members. “I couldn’t believe the support I got.” Because of that, Steve and his dad decided to challenge the request. Owners heard about the dispute and would come by and see it for the first time and ask “Why do they want to take this out?” Then local media started making inquiries, including ABC7, Martinez Gazette and Diablo Gazette. Steve created a petition and many of the neighbors/owners signed it. Ac-
cording to Steve, no one has voiced any negativity towards his landscaping. Although the next HOA meeting won’t happen until August, the heightened attention has created an environment of cooperation between Bridgeport and the Gianninis. The two sides are now negotiating what items can stay and what must come out. Mostly, the HOA wants anything that poses a safety issue such as any items installed without a proper city permit. We hope it all works out and that the large part of his beautiful garden can stay. There are plenty of lessons to be learned here, as policies and procedures had been ignored – or this may never had been an issue.
Thank You For Reading The Diablo Gazette
Dr. Katherine Makedonsky will be joining her father’s optometry practice, Vision Care Optometry, in a partnership to accept a larger scope of patients. Dr. Michael Makedonsky has been in practice for 14 years with two office locations in San Francisco and Concord. The Makedonsky family immigrated from Almaty, Kazakhstan and Katherine began her route to becoming a doctor in Walnut Creek. She attended Bancroft Elementary, Foothill Middle and Northgate High school. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Davis in Psychology and her Optometry Doctorate from UC Berkeley. The smalltown Walnut Creek community and the life-long friendships is the reason Katherine chose to come back to practice here. Katherine’s passion in optometry began at the age of 9 when her father graduated from UC Berkeley School of Optometry. Her curiosity in the field led her to explore internship opportunities at other local optometrists with hopes of understanding different methods of practicing optometry. Katherine treasures listening to her patient’s stories and connecting to with them while providing them with eye care. Although there are many corporate glasses retailers, Katherine believes that the private practice setting allows for the
one-on-one care that patient’s deserve. Through Katherine’s external rotations, she has had the opportunity to work with a broad population ranging in age from four-year-olds to 100 years of age. She has worked at Veteran’s Affairs Hospitals as well as Community Health Clinics. She is interested in managing disease such as diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. She also is very motivated in providing yearly eye exams as preventative care and especially sees the value in children’s eye exams prior to every school year. Katherine has conducted school vision screenings and emphasizes that “a child’s potential to learn in school can be limited by his/hers clarity of vision. It is fundamental to provide kids with glasses when necessary to achieve their maximum learning potential.” No matter the age, Katherine hopes to address your questions and concerns throughout the eye exam. The office is located at 2975 Treat Blvd Suite A4, is open Wednesday and Thursday 9:30am-5pm. Call for appointments (925)602-2020 or make them Online at www.visioncareopto.com.
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aRt Cottage by FROgard
Concord Art Association Features Local Artists In “New Works” Exhibit at aRt Cottage In July, aRt Cottage is featuring original art and craft from members of the Concord Art Association. A Wine & Cheese Artist Reception is on Saturday, July 15 at 1-4pm. The public is welcome to come and meet the artists, hear live music and enjoy plenty of creative conversation! Sixteen local artists are participating with paintings, photography, jewelry, greeting cards and handmade gifts.
Members of CAA will also be hanging the show, hosting and promoting the reception, as well as spending time at the gallery as docents. This month-long partnership between CAA and aRt Gallery will allow local artists to get a better idea of how to operate a gallery. Founded in 1963, the Concord Art Association supports and engages local artists of all disciplines and skill levels. Members enjoy many affordable opportunities to show and sell their work. All artists, art students and art supporters are welcome and encouraged to join. Monthly CAA meetings at the Concord Library are free and open to the public. In addition to socializing, networking and sharing our creativity, attendees get great ideas and learn new skills from inspiring demonstrations by talented guest artists at each meeting. Additional membership benefits include developing lasting friendships with other artists, taking group excursions to beautiful Bay Area locales for plein air painting, photography and sketching, plus volunteer opportunities to give back to the community. CAA president, Lisa Fulmer, is very proud of all the members and their dedication to the arts. “Many of our members are hobbyists, others are working artists - but all of us know the value that art and creativity can bring to people’s lives. Whether we’re supporting our library, helping Girl Scouts earn their art badges, teaching art classes, or shining a light on local high school
Views of the Valley with Tilly Turner
Members of Clayton Valley High School’s 1960 Baseball Team were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
art students, we love the time we spend sharing our creativity with each other and the Concord community.” As a long-standing nonprofit organization, CAA not only supports its members, but also the nonprofit organization is highly committed to being a valuable asset to the city’s businesses, residents and visitors. “Our Board of Directors are all working to find new ways to enrich our community through art education, exhibits, public art projects, special events and outreach programs,” says Fulmer. Featured Concord-area artists in the “New Works” show at aRt Cottage include Amy Eikner, Catherine Hensiek, Cathy McNutt, Julie Limberg, Laurie Mansur, Lisa Fulmer, Michelle Mattea, Monica Meza, Pat Viera, Renaye Johnson, Sandi Sherwood, Sandy Leonard, Saundra Lyle, Sharon Petersen, Stella Advani and Yumiko Nishizawa. The “New Works” show runs July 5-28, 2017. aRt Cottage is in downtown Concord at 2238 Mt. Diablo Street. The hours open to the public are Tuesdays through Fridays, 11am5pm plus Saturdays 1-5pm. Visit concordartassociation.com or artcottage. info for more information. Story by Lisa Fulmer. Photos: DC3 Propeller by Michelle Mattea, photograph |Bench Buddies by Sharon Petersen, watercolor | Glass & Lava Rock by Stella Advani, jewelry
The Diablo Mothers Club hosted an ice cream social offering free ice cream on a hot day at Civic Park in Walnut Creek.
Michelle Parisi, Kim Ertl, Meryl Trevino, Jan Trolan, Josephine Ertl, Olivia Petzoldt , Jan Bruno and Karen Petzoldt enjoyed their luncheon at the Galindo Home that they won at the annual auction dinner of the Concord Historical Society. Paula Slater, the artist for the statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, and Lisa Fulmer (standing), Concord Art Association President, met to discuss plans for the placement of the statue in Todos Santos Plaza.
Wine Stroll at the Art Gallery on Main Street in Martinez.
This injured baby hawk was caught in tree branches at Kathy and Darrell Howland’s property in Concord. Kathy called upon Alexander Llamas of Llamas Tree Service to rescue it. Once saved, it was then taken to Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek.
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Suzy Elsworth-Heithcock A year ago, Diablo Gazette ran an article on local artist Suzy Elsworth-Heithcock by Fran Cain (August, 2016 pg. 3, also available at diablogazette.com.). Suzy had lost her home, her mom, four cats and her life’s work in a house fire years ago in Lafayette. The stress of it all caused her to also lose her health. Slowly over the years, Suzy fought and won back her health, rebuilt her house, revived daily routines, and she resumed painting. But as tragedy has done with many great art, it has revealed its influence. In this case, “Losing it all has set me free,” she had stated. Diablo Gazette is happy to announce that Suzy is now having her first solo show featuring local nature scenes at the Walnut Creek City Hall on the first-floor hall leading to the council chambers. Her work will be on display there through August 14th. We are happy to see her rebound after such a devastating experience. Congratulations, Suzy. If you get a chance, please stop by to see her work, and give her exhibit your support. Walnut Creek City Hall is located at 1666 North Main and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also see more of her works on her website at www.elsworthartworks.com.
4,000 Purple Flags, Be Aware -Elder Abuse is Today’s Domestic Violence Last month, if you visited Todos Santos Plaza, you may have noticed purple flags planted around the perimeter of the walkways for a few weeks. In fact, 4,000 purple flags encircled the crowd at Music and Market concert to raise awareness of elder abuse. The flags were planted to raise awareness of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15. Each flag represented one complaint of elder abuse that occurred last year in Contra Costa County. That’s an estimated 30% increase from 2015, according to Laura Cepoi, program manager for Contra Costa Area Agency on Aging. An increase in awareness could be partly responsible as more people are simply coming forward. Fortunately, the county has a number of advocates working to keep our seniors protected both emotionally and financially as it launches the Elder Abuse Prevention Project. The Family Justice Center, Adult protective services, senior legal services are all agencies in the county set up to protect our seniors and address elder abuse when it happens. Much of the abuse is coming from people in a position of trust who are abusing that position, and not so much from stranger scams. Reaching the Golden Years should be a time to enjoy life with family and friends. However, approximately 1 in 10 Amer-
icans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. In California, an estimated 50,000 cases go unreported. In almost 90% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member, two thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses. Elder abuse takes many forms, some more obvious than others. Self-neglect, financial abuse, physical abuse, neglect by others, mental abuse and sexual abuse. As caring neighbors and community members we should be on the lookout for older adults who are vulnerable and incapable of protecting themselves. Be aware of changes in their behavior or personal hygiene. Note any bruises or bodily changes. Do you notice a lack of clean clothes? Are bills unpaid or any unusual purchases made? The issue of elder abuse is a critical concern as Contra Costa County’s aging population continues to grow at a rapid rate. Know Abuse. Report Abuse. Help ensure that elder adults are given the respect and justice they deserve. After all, just last year, Conde Naste named Concord as the 7th best place in the world to retire. Let’s keep it that way. For more information, visit www. cocoelderjustice.com. Adult Protective Services 24 Hour hot line 877-839-4347. Report Elder Abuse 925-602-4179
Dog Walker Continued from page 3...
a backpack, and that’s where he stores the days business until they return, when he tosses it away. A big part of what makes Zane and Lisa successful is their training. “Sit and stay are the biggest key. Many dogs don’t come to us well trained, but they will leave us well trained, “Lisa says. “We look forward to our work every day. We are so happy and so grateful. This is our career. We want to grow the business, but our challenge is we can’t fit anymore dogs.” Dog walkers from all over California, New York New Jersey, and different parts of the country, Spain, and Argentina come to see how we they do it. “One growth challenge is that once you train another dog walker, that person eventually branches off and starts their own business.” Then there’s the liability of employee mistakes. It adds more stress than they care to have. Lisa and Zane think with all the interest in their abilities, that they are considering writing a “How to” book or charge for training other dog walkers. A recent video of a walk of Lisa walking 39 dogs at Cal State East Bay Campus that went semi-viral. It was on the night
of game four of the NBA Championship. We thought that we could break the world record of dog walking 35 dogs on the same night the Warriors were about to break a record. The video snowballed once KTVU-TV shared it. You can see it on their Facebook page. It’s an amazing sight. To see more images, go to their website at www.Zanimallover.com.
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by William Claney, Computers USA
Spam Jam Mt. Tam by David King
To quote Hipcamp.com, “Ain’t no party like a Mt. Tamalpais camping party! The Alice Eastwood Group Campsite located on the Panoramic Highway near the Mountain Home Inn, has two large sites for group camping of 25 to 50 people. Each site has tables, a large pavilion, grills, flush toilets, water faucets with sinks and a huge area to set up tents.” Mt. Tamalpais Alice Eastwood Campgrounds is one of the best group campsites offered in the Bay Area. I was invited to join such a camping party, which was dubbed SPAM Jam Mt. Tam, aka SPAMAPALOOZA. This was an inspiring weekend of camping with a whacky theme. Although the SPAM theme has been a perennial favorite with this group of 40 friends and families for the past 26 years, spanning three generations of campers. Allow me to share how such a party works.
The Mt. Tamalpais location was selected this year because June was the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco “Summer of Love” in 1967. Once a hippie, always a hippie. It was a relief just to leave Concord’s 100 degree plus temperatures just to arrive in the mild seventies of Muir Woods. Once I arrived, the campsite was decorated with traditional Hawaiian-themed knickknacks. But the icing on the cake was the non-traditional SPAM paraphernalia, that can be obtained from the SPAM Fan Club. (Yes, SPAM has an official SPAM Club.) This included at the center of the campground, was a shrine built to honor the SPAM Spirits. SPAM Jam basically started as a Hawaiian theme camping. But in 1991, Herb Anderson took it up another notch of silliness and it became SPAMAPALOOZA. “Everybody has an opinion about SPAM. “ The theme stuck. So much so, that on the 10th anniversary, Hormel published the event in its corporate newsletter. So, what do a bunch of hippies do at a SPAM themed camping party? Everything the park offers. Hiking through Muir Woods, just choose your degree of difficulty. Some of the younger members went rock climbing on Mt. Tamalpais. Card games, Poker, Beer Pong, reading, biking, and just old fashion catching up. They even set up a challenging 5 hole frisbee golf course that weaved through
the redwoods. However, SPAM was the central flavor of the activities. This included such activities as a poetic session around campfire. Each person took turns reading from a book of SPAM KU. (Hai KUs about SPAM.) Accompanied by the traditional beatnik snapping of fingers. There was the SPAM carving contest. Artists were given 30 minutes to carve a SPAM loaf into anything. Entries included Stonehenge, Sun Glasses, an alligator, wedding rings, and a two-headed pig. A SPAM Cookoff challenged contestants to use any ingredient at your respective campsite and invent a SPAM dish, plate it, and present to three judges in the manner you would see on any number of TV cooking contests. In 30 minutes, there was quite the impressive array of creative cuisine. Hawaiian SPAM pizza, SPAM stuffed cheeseburger, Spam tacos, Spam Smores, SPAM nachos (using spicy pork rinds instead of tortilla chips), SPAM Cristo, SPAM Spring rolls, SPAM sliders. All were edible, some were outstanding. The winner was Hot SPAM Cocktail Cubes. This was a seared SPAM, flambéed in Fireball (cinnamon whiskey) served on a toothpick with a pineapple chunk, dipped in chocolate. Somehow it worked. If you are interested, all the recipes will be posted at diablogazette.com As the weekend closes a SPAM King and Queen are announced. But the highlight is the nighttime ceremony of Burning SPAM. A SPAM man is made using Mr. Potato Head parts and set ablaze. Great fun, food, and a beautiful campground and park. Now that was a camping party.
Happy Campers Build Their Own Wi-Fi Network So, there I was, in the middle of nowhere on a brief but well-deserved vacation and I needed to use the Internet to do some research for my computer article. All I had was my cell phone and a laptop that couldn’t get a Wi-Fi connection. What should I do? I thought, how was I ever going to connect and do my work? (Such dedication is rare.) I must admit the splendor of the surroundings is spectacular. You see, we went to Mt. Shasta and camped by the shores of Lake Siskiyou which is located right outside of Mt. Shasta City at the base of Mt. Shasta. I wonder, is camping in a self-contained RV really camping, and can you call having no Internet and no TV roughing it? Well, anyway there I was with no way to research my article and my deadline was approaching. Then it hit me. I could use my cell phone to create a hot spot and then connect my laptop to it and presto, I would have the Internet I needed to do my work. I researched several article topics and surfed the web for facts and figures on them, but I just couldn’t decide on what topic to write about. Then it hit me again, my topic was right there in front of me. I must have been mesmerized by the splendor of the great outdoors, or perhaps it was the rum and cokes? If you need to connect your laptop to the Internet and you don’t have a Wi-Fi network like the one at home or in your office, but you do have a cell phone, you can create your own network. Here’s how it works. First, be sure you can make a cell call, likely you can as cell towers are everywhere these days. Your cell call actually operates on a separate network like Verizon or T-Mobil, etc. instead of Comcast or your provider. If this connection (cell call) is available, you can share it with your laptop/desktop. Find the “settings” (or options) on your
cell phone that let you configure your phone. Most phones these days will allow you to create a shared Wi-Fi for “Internet
Sharing”. It is turned off by default, meaning it is usually off. Click it and turn it on. Usually a message will pop up, or the screen will display your choices. Then it will show you the name of the new Wi-Fi network you just activated. Mine was “NOKIA Lumia 635_9676” (because I have a Nokia phone-yours may say Android or Apple, etc.). It then displayed my password to the network like, 2O6867g%. Fire up your laptop and search for a new network with the name it just gave you, input the password displayed on your cell phone and like magic, your laptop is now connected to the Internet. Beware of two things though. First, if there is an option to exclude other computers from the network you just created - exclude them. Second, all the web surfing you do is on your cell phone dime, and if you don’t have unlimited access, it could get a bit costly. Now, with the Internet firmly in hand, you can call yourself a happy camper.
Diablo Gazette • JULY 2017 • Page 20 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
Concord Cannabis Delivery, Dog Walkers, Elder Abuse, SPAM Jam Mt. Tam, Camping, Clayton BBQ Cook Off, Kung Fu, Martial Arts Championship, Po...
Published on Jul 2, 2017
Concord Cannabis Delivery, Dog Walkers, Elder Abuse, SPAM Jam Mt. Tam, Camping, Clayton BBQ Cook Off, Kung Fu, Martial Arts Championship, Po...