Brenda and Steve Orcutt Photo by: John Cooper
Mt. Diablo Waterfalls Inside This Issue •What I Do, A Councilman’s Grueling Life •Dan Ashley At the Inauguration •5 Tips to Managing Kids Digital •Secret Service Tales – Memories and Tears • Clayton Valley Announces Hall of Famers •All Aboard Diablo Valley Lines Model Trains Show
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 2 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
from the publisher by David King
Meet Dr. Dan Peters, DIABLO GAZETTE’S new parenting columnist!
Affectionately known as “Dr. Dan”, Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D. is a Walnut Creek based psychologist, author, Co-Founder/ Executive Director of California’s Summit Center and Co-founder of Parent Footprint (www.parentfootprint.com), a new interactive parenting education community and website with the mission to make the world a more compassionate and loving place -- one parent and one child at a time. He is host of the “Parent Footprint Podcast with Dr. Dan” and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Psychology Today. For over 20 years, Dr. Dan has been passionate about helping adults to parent their children with purpose and intention in order to guide them
in reaching their potential while their children are also reaching their own. Dr. Dan is the award winning author of “Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears” (Great Potential Press, 2013) and its companion children’s book From “Worrier to Warrior”, is a contributor to the book “toughLOVE: Raising Confident, Kind, Resilient Kids” and co-author of “Raising Creative Kids” as well as many articles on topics related to parenting, family, giftedness, twice-exceptionality, dyslexia, and anxiety. Dr. Dan is also Co-Founder/ Executive Director of Summit Center (CA), specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families, with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families as well as anxiety. He speaks regularly at national conferences and to the media on a variety of topics including parenting, learning differences, special needs, family, education and more. Perhaps the most compelling note about Dr. Dan is his own personal journey. As an active dad to three children, Dr. Dan discovered he is dyslexic at the same time one of his children was diagnosed. Dr. Dan continues to be an advocate for learning differently and passionately pursues his mission to help the world see diversity as a gift. In his new monthly column “Parent Footprint”, Dr. Dan shares his expertise, offer tips to parent positively, and focus on family well-being. Welcome Dr. Dan!
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5 Parenting Tips to Manage Kids Digital Time
parentfootprints by Dr. Dan Peters
Media and technology are a regular part of our kid’s lives, our own lives, and our modern culture. We all live in this new normal. While the specific struggles with screen time vary from family to family, as a counselor to parents, teens, children I know this is an issue parents struggle with every day. Here are five tips I try to implement in my own home and I tell my patients to practice: 1. Accept reality – Many adults fight technology in the same way our parents fought too much television (a different screen but still a screen). Most of our kids will not remember a life without smart phones. They grew up with this a small computer in their hands and the ability to access anything, any time. We can’t get mad at these kids for these habits – this is the time they are living in and we need to figure out how to deal with it and the first step is accepting this new reality. 2. Educate – We need to talk (not lecture but actually dialog) with our kids about technology – the pros and the cons. Ask your children what they think about technology and what they like about it. Ask them whether they think all technology is the same – smartphone, gaming, computers. Then tell them why you don’t feel comfortable with excessive tech use and ask them if what you are saying makes sense to them. Explain why you feel the need to regulate their use and promise it is not because you want to control them or micro manage their life but rather it’s your job to guide them as their parent. 3. Collaborate – Help your kids learn to self-regulate and be independent by inviting them into the conversation about technology usage, what is appropriate, and what is too much. It is always interesting to hear what our kids think as I have often had children clients be
more restrictive of themselves than their parents were planning — when kids are part of the technology plan, they will be more invested in the plan being successful. 4. Be Self-Aware – How much technology do you use? What are you modeling for your children? Are you always on your smartphone or tablet? Are the things you are checking or researching more important than what your child wants to do on their device? Ask your child how much they think you are on electronics. I find I need to be extremely purposeful to turn my phone upside down with all sounds off when I get home and resist the temptation for a “quick check” of email and texts. Remember, our kids are always watching us. Do they see your screen or your face? 5. Schedule breaks and family time – Even though kids want to be in charge of their lives all parents and therapists know they need guidance and limits. We need to provide limits based on their developmental age and their maturity level. These breaks can be co-created during the collaborative conversations you have with your kids about a family plan and this plan should include family activities (a hike, a game, cooking). Of course not all breaks should be “family time” because our kids need to learn to self-sooth, relax, and manage their own time away from technology. The perfect blend includes screen time, family time and alone time and this will work for all of us regardless of age. We are living in a digitized world and it is only becoming more digitized every day. Help your children find balance and time to disconnect, and give yourself the same opportunity – together — and the world will open up to you all in unexpected and delightful “in real life” ways.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 3 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
What Really Matters
by Dan Ashley, ABC-7 News Anchor http://abclocal.go.com
What Really Matters: The Process and the New President
I just returned from a first in my career. On January 20th, I was at the U.S. Capitol to cover the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. Over more than thirty years in broadcasting, I’ve covered presidents and the process of choosing them at primaries, caucuses, debates, and conventions. But I’ve never reported first-hand on the swearing-in of a new Commander in Chief. While President Obama’s first inauguration was historic for one reason, this one was for another. Never have we elected a president with neither prior military or political experience. Nor have we elected a president in the modern era in a more bizarre and divisive campaign. None of that is meant to be critical, just factual. What a wild ride this has been. With that backdrop, I went to Washington to cover my first inauguration and it was utterly fascinating on many levels. Despite all the controversy, the crowd there to see Donald J. Trump sworn-in was very large and impressive to see. Certainly, it was nowhere near the size of the audience that attended Barrack Obama’s first ceremony, but it was still a sizeable and very enthusiastic group. And, yes, those side-by-side aerial photographs comparing the relative size of each inauguration crowd were real. I know, I was there. Of course, who cares? It’s not a contest and there was no benefit to the new president getting bogged down in a debate where the facts are both clear and irrelevant. He had a very large and very supportive crowd to see him take the oath of office. The next day, of course, a massive crowd came to the same area to voice their opposition to the new president in a sea of pink hats. The women’s march in Washington and in cities around the country, including the bay area, and the world made a huge statement about just how divisive the results of the election are. But, as I watched the process for
the first time in person, I had a sense of pride. Pride in the process. Please be clear, my comments on this subject are not based on my politics—I do a pretty good job of keeping my distance when I report the news. That even came down to my neckwear. During the three days, I was broadcasting from Washington, I deliberately chose not to wear a red or blue tie. Had I worn red, some would have seen me as a Trump supporter, blue— would have people accusing me of insulting the new president on his big day. I wore yellow on Wednesday, pink (my favorite color, Thursday, and Purple on inauguration day. Even still, people made assumptions—some tweeting about my pink tie for the women’s march and purple as the color of unity that Friday. Please believe me, there was no thought given and no message intended with pink and purple—I was just running out of colors without blue and red! People see what they want to see. What I am talking about is on the macro level, our great democracy, not the micro involving people and party. While there are a great many people who support the new president, by the numbers, there are more who don’t. And yet there was Donald Trump, on the dais on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with his election rival Hillary Clinton, with whom he fought tooth and nail for the job, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and many other Democrats and even Republicans who did all they could to prevent this moment. But there they all were witnessing, and endorsing by their presence, the peaceful transfer of power as the out-going president surrendered the reins of the executive branch. The protests and dissent are an equally important process in our free and democratic system. What Really Matters is not the person from one election to the next, but the process by which we, as a nation, install a new leader-- our uniquely American way of government that I was grateful to see with my own eyes.
by John Cooper
Mt. Diablo Falls,
A Winter Favorite Returns
When it rains, it flows. It’s been raining fairly consistently for several weeks now and with the accumulation of all the rainfall there’s plenty of water flowing, particularly on the slopes of Mt. Diablo. With a short break in the weather, and in between storms, my wife suggested we spend some time hiking the Falls Trail Loop, otherwise known as the Waterfalls Trail on Mt. Diablo. We invited our neighbor-friends, who have recently moved to the area from Wisconsin, to witness what many consider to be the mountain’s most spectacular attraction. Or maybe it was their idea that we escort them. A common entrance to Mt. Diablo State Park and many of its trails is just off Regency Drive in Clayton, and since parking is free of charge, that’s where our adventure began. Armed with a water bottle and a pocket full of chocolate Rolo’s we started our trek through the Regency
Gate entrance and up the Donner Canyon trail. The lower trails are wide and relatively flat before giving way to a little incline and eventually turning into single track trails. We stomped through the mud, particularly at the lower elevations which added to our sense of adventure. Since this is a common trail for horseback riding, we were lucky that mud was the only thing we stomped through. Since the trail is essentially a large loop, we debated which way would be more favorable; left to right, or right to left. The good news is that in either direction the back half of the hike is effectively downhill. Taking turns leading the way, we meandered along the green hillsides, crossing small rock outcroppings and streams along the way. The total length of the trail is only about 6 miles and it includes about 1700 feet of elevation gain. The trails are well-marked, except of course when they’re not, but we had no trouble finding the route. In terms of difficulty, the loop is considered easy to moderate and the hike took us just under 3 hours in total, including time to break for a snack, take occasional photos, and to stop and smell the flowers as the saying goes. There are several waterfalls to see along the way, some of which are at a distance and some that are up close and personal. Like Bridalveil or Yosemite Falls, they’re all beautiful in their own right. There were a surprising number of people who shared the same idea to hike the trails from older couples to young families, and parents with infants perched safely atop their shoulders in day packs. Hiking the Waterfalls Trail is a great way to spend a few hours on an early morning weekend. The views are fantastic, the waterfalls are spectacular, as are the wildflowers and rock formations. My favorite part though was having a Bloody Mary afterwards at the Buttercup Pantry to remind myself of the importance of having balance in your life.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 4 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
Los Vaqueros Reservoir Primed for Outdoor Adventuring
Immerse yourself in the outdoors this year with a host of naturalist-led activities at the Bay Area’s largest drinking water reservoir, Los Vaqueros Reservoir This year’s schedule of activities include 22 family friendly programs. Families will enjoy monthly fishing events, nature walks, crafts and much more. Popular programs such as the bird-watching boat tours have returned this season. Bring your binoculars on this two-hour pontoon boat ride around the lake discovering, watching and identifying various birds in their natural habitat with expert birder John Mottashed. Anglers, get ready for a promising season with the highlight being the month-long trout fishing derby in April. Prizes go to the three largest catches. The derby culminates with a family fishing day on April 30. To improve your luck, you can learn the ins and outs of lake fishing from seasoned fisherman at one of the fishing clinics held on the first
Saturday of every month from 9A-11A. Hikers have plenty to explore and enjoy of Los Vaqueros flora and fauna. Other programs include stargazing with NASA Educaton ambassador Jeff Adkins in April and June. Most programs are free plus Contra Costa Water district customers receive $2 off normal parking fees. Learn about more activities at www.ccwater.com/ activities.
DERBY WINNER! Erik Patzner of Dublin’ caught this 21.23 pounder to handily win the October Striper Derby
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 5 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
Windows 10 New Patch Offers Improvements and Bug Fixes
Home Buying: Should You Make a Backup Offer?
by William Claney, Computers USA
“Do or Do Not. There is No Try” Yoda Well, Windows 10 is not perfect but the guys and gals at the Redmond, Washington campus keep trying and the latest release, KB3216755 called a rollup patch, was released to the technical community on January 26. It will be available shortly to the public. Do watch for this patch. If you have been having issues with Windows 10 lately it could be pinned on the last Windows operating system patch called the Anniversary Update where Microsoft inadvertently introduced some bugs. This KB update was designed to correct errors made to the Anniversary edition released six months ago. Patch management sounds so technical, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not really. This is something that huge software developers do quite frequently and to date Microsoft has been one of the few companies to push (download and install automatically) the updates - if you want them or not. I am happy to report this practice will end. You must now manually approve the download and installation. That means instead of forcing you to install the updates, you can, once again, elect to update your software and determine when it installs. Most of us have been caught, at some point, with an update interrupting our daily work flow. The practice of forced updates has reverted to the user choosing which updates you want to install and when to install them. Here is a short list of the improvements and bug fixes released with KB3216755. For a full list use the KB number in your web browser: • Addressed known issue called out in KB3213986—Users may experience delays while running 3D rendering apps with multiple monitors. • Addressed issue that prevents the conversion of a 24-bit image to 32 bits. • Addressed issue that causes a file download from a webpage to fail in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. • Addressed issue that prevents the use of the Delete Browsing History feature in Internet Explorer. • Addressed issue that prevents users from connecting to a network • Addressed issue that prevents user-built keyboard events from working.
• Improved reliability of Internet Explorer, Xbox, and Skype • Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS), Remote Desktop, Task Scheduler, Microphone Wizard, .NET, font cache, system boot, and Surface Studio The biggest issues we have seen are in PC connectivity with web sites, local networks, and servers whereby the user is unable to stay attached to the Internet or server. A warning message such as, “Recover Web Page” is a warning you have the bad software and need to upgrade it. PCs that are in a network often are unable to create a file folder on the server or edit that folder once it is made. So far, it looks as if this fix has helped, but, like I said, Windows 10 is not perfect. The efforts of the Microsoft staff are appreciated. “It’s not because it’s difficult that we don’t try. It’s because we don’t try, it’s difficult.” ― Volksweisheitheit
You’ve found a house you love and you’re ready to make an offer. Unfortunately, you find out from your real estate agent that the house is under contract – meaning the seller has already accepted another offer. While it can be frustrating to have someone else beat you to the punch, all is not lost. In cases like these, it might make sense to put in a backup offer. What is a backup offer? It is a fallback should the deal not close with the first buyer. This allows you to submit a contract to the seller with an addendum that states if the first contract should be cancelled for any reason, that your offer is the very next one that will be accepted. The backup offer needs to be signed by both the buyer and seller. The first contract fall through? In most cases, the first contract probably has contingencies. These are certain requirements that must be met before the sale of the house can proceed. Typical contingencies include the buyer must sell their current home, the home passes inspection, the home appraises for the sale price and not lower or the buyer secures a loan. Any one of these contingencies is a potential downfall that could kill the sale. The home would then fall out of contract
and the seller would put the property back on the market. Just like the first contract, a backup offer is legally binding if both parties have signed it. If the primary contract is cancelled for any reason, then the backup offer becomes the purchase agreement. In some markets where bidding wars are common, having an accepted backup offer means you will not have to go through a stressful bidding war should the home come back on the market. So, if it’s a home you love, having that security can be really important. In some cases, a backup offer can provide extra motivation for the first sale to close quickly. Waiting on a backup offer can also indefinitely postpone your moving date, and if the first contract falls through on a contingency such as a leaky roof, that’s an issue that you’re going to inherit. If you’ve found your dream home but it’s already under contract, talk to your real estate agent about making a backup offer. They can discuss the pros and cons with you in detail and help you decide if it’s the right move. Compliments of Virtual Results at http://virtualresults.net/ make-backup-offer/
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 6 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
WHAT I DO!
by Edi Birsan,
Concord City Councilman
People have no idea what the commitment is in time and the benefits of being on the Concord City Council. Recently we had 33 people apply for the empty position caused by Tim Grayson’s victory in the Assembly race. I gave a brief outline of what I do... some of the individuals then dropped out. You will see that for CONCORD (the largest city in the 6th Wealthiest County in the 6th largest economy in the world), there is a major time commitment and some of it falls between 9-5. That would make it very hard for someone with a traditional job. That alone may explain why council members are often retired, self-employed or run companies or have unusual flexibility with their employers. I cannot speak for others but this may open your eyes to what you may be getting into. Financial Benefits-- Pay is $1300 a month. But after deductions, I clear about $800 a month which is then often called on to finance all sorts of great civic efforts from Girl Scout Cookies to ads in various social fundraiser menu’s, numerous crab feeds, so figure about $150 a month take home. Medical Coverage is provided as per the staff with the note that the lifetime aspect after five years was terminated for the Council two years ago. Campaigning will cost lots of money. Recent top vote getter had $120,000+ spent on the campaign. My campaigns (three of them) owe me a total of $89,000+...so who wants to retire financially secure? Time -- 30 hours a week minimum is what I put in and it is a total priority over all other work, and many times family commitments. (Yes, we are a city Where Families Come First...small print not always for you... you are no longer a member of the Public and do not have their rights.) Council meetings are the smallest part of your work. Council meetings can and have gone past 1AM (at least 3 or 4 in the last 12 months). Council meetings are
scheduled for three times a month but can be weekly during intense times. Additional sessions of ‘closed sessions’ have been very common in the last few years and they start typically earlier than the regular meeting and can run two hours or more. There are probably two or three Saturday meetings a year in addition to the regular Tuesday night meeting. There are weekly meetings with the City Manager often held during the day. You will serve on two standing committees that can meet once a month. You will probably be assigned to regional or district committees such as the Library Commission, Transpac, etc. Those groups meet generally monthly and some of them such as Transpac meets during the morning. A good example is ABAG where you attend during the day in San Francisco four times a year and if you are on a committee add a few more days on that. Mayor’s Conferences are monthly and start at 6:30 and run to about 9PM. They are important to the city to attend as we talk with other councils one on one to understand what other cities are doing. The League of Cities has three days of convention and bi-monthly meetings if you are on a policy committee. These are during the day and sometimes require travel and overnight stay. Ceremonial meetings on holidays are normal, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day etc. Events like ribbon-cutting store openings and new ground breaking also take up time. (We do provide a hard hat). Then there’s The Mayor’s state of the city talk which is given during the day. Volunteering at civic or nongovernment events is common such as judging an entrepreneurial contest or a pasta cook-off. Helping out at the Todos Santos Concert Series that will eat up your Thursday nights through the summer. Attending fundraisers for diverse groups such as the Rainbow Center or an HOA garage sale.
moviemavericks by Jason Rugaard www.moviemavericks.com
Britney Ever After Lifetime is once again delving into the world of “unauthorized” bio-pics, focusing on the most popular cultural phenomenon of the early 2000’s, this pic is a step-up in terms of production, but still maintains a sleazy quality that has come to define these movies. Starting with the iconic moment when teen pop sensation Brittany Spears shaved her head, the loosely based on fact bio-pic plays out in flashbacks that showcase the meteoric rise to fame for a small-town girl. The lead performance from actress Natasha Bassett is quite good for this level and the melodramatic events of Spear’s real-life obstacles give the star ample opportunities to show range. The other casting isn’t quite as strong, but Nathan Keyes and Clayton
Chitty are effective as Timberlake and Kevin Federline, emphasizing the yin&yang quality of the two men. Asylum entertainment, mostly known for “mock-busters” has quietly produced this picture and distributed it through the Lifetime network. Perhaps that’s why the movie is a guilty pleasure that ranks above the other similarly themed films about musical divas. Spear’s life was so tumultuous for a while that a mini-series could’ve been made from the tabloid material alone. However, most of the juicy elements have been included and that’s really what people are tuning in for. Director: Leslie Libman Stars: Natasha Bassett, Nicole Oliver,Nathan Keyes
Reading--Most things have pages and pages of agenda items or reading materials. (Be prepared to read some of the most boring prose ever conceived... and every Council meeting is a test of you doing your homework.) I probably read at least 150 pages of stuff a week which also includes articles from all over on the running of other cities and their issues, an occasional legal brief or planning sub division discussions and of course the hundreds of pages of a budget, probably three times a year. If you are afraid of rows of numbers, find a pill for it. People-- It is absolutely critical that you talk to people who hold views opposite of yours and you must be able to learn, adjust, convince and at all times RESPECT those folks who confront you. I meet constantly with constituents all over the city. Be prepared to be on call whether you are walking your dog to the dog park (and it better be on a leash before you get there or you will be on You-Tube and Facebook) or standing in line at the store. I take calls at my house. People have knocked on my home door with their issues. You are a Council person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.25 days a year. You are in politics and are considered a politician whether you like it or not. You must listen to the most interesting and well developed arguments as well as the basic screed of accusations and psychoparanoia that infests our political climate. Politics - All politics are local. You will not be able to accomplish everything. You will appoint and disappoint people. Your choices will sometimes be lose-lose. You will face failure that will be painful or devastating for others in the community and you have to keep on swinging. Ups and Downs - You will have the joy of driving by a place and pointing out to the grandkid- “I did that”. You will put your foot in your mouth and someone else will push through the rest of the digestive tract. You will be accused of things you did not do. You will be accused of things that you did do, but did not think it was
something to be accused of. Sometimes you will get credit for things you only voted for or had nothing to do with. Your name may go on a plaque on a building or an archway. You must put aside every single bias you have and be the representative of everyone and at the sometime all those that are willingly eager to engage in a Hatfields and McCoys slugfest. If you have an accent you will be reminded of it. It will not always be fun, it may not even be fun sometimes if you do not have a sense of humor, and an overwhelming drive to serve the community to make it the best city in the world and someplace your future generations will want to call home. I love this job. So there you go... that’s what I do. Edi Birsan. 950 Alla Ave. Concord, CA 94518. Calling before 9AM or after 9PM is strongly not advised by house manager for the last 43 years. Home 925 798 3537 cell 510 812 8180 EdiBirsan@gmail.com
Although it looks like Edi had another rough day, here he is dressed as a zombie for fundraiser event.
Clayton Valley 2017 Hall of Fame Ceremony Coming in May The 2017 Clayton Valley Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 19 at the Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The event will start at 5 Pm with a no host wine and beer social followed by dinner at 6:30 and the induction presentation at 7pm. The Inductees being honored are as follows: Coach -- Dennis Bledsoe. Individual Athletes -- Doug Balough ’69 Wrestling; Mike Emry ’74 Cross Country and Track; Leo Rowland ’87 Football, Soccer, Tennis and Track; Katie Beck Vegvary ’95 Water Polo, Swimming, and Track; Heather Wallace Bock ’96 Cross Country and Track; and Ryan Salazar ’99 Diving and Wrestling. Teams -- 1960 Baseball Team, 1972 Wrestling Team, 1978
Softball Team, 1994 Girls Swim Team, 1994 Girls Water Polo Team. Community – Matt and Michelle Hill Dinner tickets may be purchased after Monday March 13 at www.claytonvalley. org web store or send check to CVHS Hall of Fame, PO Box 502, Clayton, CA 94517. (*Children’s tickets can only be purchased via US Mail, they are not available on “web store”. Ticket prices or $50 adults, $25 for kids 12 and younger. Not all team members have been notified of this honor. If you know how to locate team members, please drop them a note to the CVCHS HOF PO Box mentioned above.
Row 1, l to r: BobKelnoffer, Bob Moon, Vince Kilmartin, Brian Bowerbank, Mike Hedges, Val Snow. Row 2: Don Stinneth, Larry Brian, Jim Nisanger, Hank Winter, Sid Smith, Irv Lamber, Dan Neufeld, Bud Beemer. Row 3: Bob Lees, Rich Zavala, JohnRuboa;es. Austin Deston, Doug Dent, Rex Bankhead, Frank Snyder, Bob Ewing.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 7 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
Get On Board the Diablo Valley Lines
Get On Board the Diablo Valley Lines. Families and train buffs can experience the Diablo Valley Lines throughout the year during their whistle stop shows featuring hundreds of model trains representing the mid-20th century through today traveling over 4,300 feet of track on one of the world’s largest and most mountainous model railroad layouts. These miniature landscapes with trains weaving through the villages looks as if you seeing actual village from afar. You don’t have to be a Model train hobbyist to be mesmerized by it all. Four weekend events will feature a specific era or theme.Each show includes
a dramatic sunset and night scenes with a rainy thunderstorm, a street railway with trolley cars, big freight yards and a large passenger terminal.The elaborate 34’ x 56’ layout includes a composite of the mountainous area of the Western United States, bridges, tunnels, terrain from desert to snow covered mountains, towns, train yards, electric street cars, wind turbine, ski lift gondola and more. More than 200 train cars and 50 steam and diesel engines are in operation during the show, dispatched by two dedicated Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society members. The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society started in 1948 by a group of men with an
interest in the hobby, meeting at each other’s homes. They would set up a 14’ x 5’ portable model railroad layout at special events such as the annual Walnut Festival before finding a home at an old Southern Pacific Railroad freight shed. It moved onto a leased site near the Walnut Creek Southern Pacific Depot in 1950 and operated there until 1970 when city construction forced the Society to relocate after reaching agreement with the City of Walnut Creek to operate in Larkey Park. The Society designed and built its structure specifically to house a model railroad at no cost to the City. Upon completion in 1974 the building was donated to the City and the glorious railroad was back in business. Fares: Adults-$3; Senior-$2(age 60+); Children-$2 (age 6-12); under 6 years enjoy for free, and boy will they. Larkey Park, 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. For more DVL information: www. wcmrs.org. To see the trains in action, scan the QR Code below.
Concord High Drum Major Marches in London New Year’s Day Parade
Diably Valley Lines 2017 Show Schedule:
February 24: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) March 18: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.(Saturday) March 19: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday) March 31: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) April 28: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) May 20: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday) May 21: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday) May 26: 8 –10 p.m. (Friday) June 30: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) July 29: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) August 25: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) September 16: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday) September 17: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday) September 29: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) October 27: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) November 17: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) November 18: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday) November 19: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday) November 24: 2 – 10 p.m. (Friday) November 25: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday) November 26: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday) December 29: 8 – 10 p.m. (Saturday)
Q R CODE Use your smart phone to get a glimpse of the trains.
Concord High School marching band Drum Major, Jeremy Sullivan, 17, was selected to represent America and Concord High Schools’ community in the 2017 London New Year’s Day Parade with the United Spirit Association. At his Santa Cruz camp, Jeremy was selected as the only Drum Major in the U.S. utilizing a Revolutionary War style musket to perform at the New Year’s Parade. Jeremy received the highest score in the 50-year history of Drum Major competitions at Concord High School on his way to placing 1st in two of this seasons four competitions. Jeremy marched by Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus among other interesting sights as he spun his Musket near the Thames River. “It’s an honor to represent my school, community and country at the London Parade. Go Minutemen!” Jeremy exclaimed. A Go Fund Me page was set up to help pay for his trip. Congratulations to you Jeremy, we were well represented.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 8 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
Feet were a Flyin’...
by Elizabeth Sanches
Activity & Advertising Director Diamond Terrace Retirement Community
While January can seem like quite the “ho-hum” month of the year, with everyone coming down from the high of the holidays, at Diamond Terrace the atmosphere was quite different. Toes were a tappin’ on Saturday, January 28th, when the Ace Dance Academy from Walnut Creek stopped by to entertain and delight residents with their Winter Recital. With an audience from the generations that brought you the Foxtrot, perfected the Swing, and used to dance the nights away in Jazz Clubs and at Sock Hops, being able to watch the students from Ace brought back fond memories, memories from a time all too often forgotten in the popularity of today’s ‘free-style’. Residents at Diamond Terrace remember a time when boomers were being born, the FCC wouldn’t allow Elvis’ hips on TV, and twerked meant you had thrown your back out. The kids from Ace were an exhilarating breath of youthful fresh air, and even though the days of dancing the night away are past, the music and the memories don’t ever fade away.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 9 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
Concord Sesquicentennial Committee Seeks Artist for Bronze Statue Commission the planning, fundraising and selection of a Northern California sculptor for commission. One artist will be selected for commission in March 2017 and they will have a year to design the statue and work with a local bronze foundry to produce it. Concord will be celebrating its 150th birthday in 2018 with plans that include commissioning a bronze statue of one of the city’s pioneering founders, Don Salvio Pacheco. This life-size statue will be prominently installed at the center of Todos Santos Plaza, Concord’s downtown home to many popular community events each year. The installation is targeted for the spring of 2018. The city will host a formal unveiling of the statue during its annual July 4th parade. A special committee has convened with the guidance of Carol Longshore (President of the Concord Historical Society) and Ron Leone (Concord City Councilmember) to oversee
This artist will be charged with designing Don Salvio Pacheco’s 19th century likeness in action as a California pioneer, when he was granted nearly 18,000 acres of land that became Concord in 1868. His adobe home that served as his ranch headquarters still exists at 1870 Adobe Street in downtown Concord. The Concord Sesquicentennial Committee is dedicated to bring a cherished part of our city’s rich history to life. Committee members include representatives from the Concord Historical Society, Concord Art Association, City of Concord, Concord Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, as well as local business leaders.
bookends by Jill Hedgecock,
Program Coordinator Mount Diablo California Writer’s Club jillhedgecock.com
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson (2016, Broadway Books, paperback, 480 pages, $12.77) is the true story of the sinking of the British steamship ocean liner, the RMS Lusitania. The book is perfectly titled. Dead wake is “a maritime term that describes the fading disturbance that lingers on the surface of a body of water long after a vessel (or torpedo) has passed.” This book goes beyond a predictable tragedy or war story due to Larson’s skill in capturing vivid details of people’s personalities and their motivations in life that he gleaned through letters and other historical documents. Historical people who figure prominently in the book include the ship’s captain, Englishman William Thomas Turner, President Woodrow Wilson, and Charles Lauriat, a bookseller carrying Charles Dickens’s copy of “A Christmas Carol”. Larson found a natural villain in the German U-Boat commander, Walther Schwieger, a 32-year-old man obsessed with achieving his “sunk tonnage” goals. As with most tragedies, many unfortunate circumstances collided to create the cataclysmic event. Perhaps the most egregious was the pennywise and pound foolish shipping company that ordered that only three of the four smoke stacks would be run to cut costs, which prevented the Lusitania from outrunning its attackers. Although 123 Americans were killed with the sinking of the Lusitania off Ireland’s west coast, the loss of life did not compel President Woodrow Wilson to commit to helping the British for another two years. The lovelorn Wilson’s preoccupation with wooing Edith Bolling Gait is a wonderful addition to this sad tale. According to an interview done for the American Booksellers Association, Larson spent seven days a week for about two years doing research before he wrote the first official page of his book. His knack for folding fact-based research into a compelling dramatic story is what typically rockets his nonfiction books to
bestseller status. If the book was meant an homage to the 600 passengers and crew that remain lost, then Larson has done them justice. Acclaim for “Dead Wake” when it was first released in hard cover included #1 History & Biography Book in the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, Finalist for the Washington State Book Award — History/General Nonfiction, A Library Reads Top Ten Book of 2015, a Library Journal Top Ten Book of 2015, a Kirkus Best Book of 2015 and a “Washington Post” Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015. Erik Larson is the author of five “New York Times” bestsellers, including The Devil in the White City, which stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for over five years. Larson has been a staff writer for “The Wall Street Journal”, and a contributing writer for “Time Magazine”. Larson’s investigative skills are unsurpassed. His next factbased book on whatever topic he chooses to tackle is bound to be an equally compelling read.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 10 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
aRt Cottage by FROgard
Exercise Your Creativity at New Workshops at aRt Cottage
Oil painting by Mark Jezierny, featured artist in the March exhibit at aRt Cottage. This year aRt Cottage is going to be trying out something new. There will be workshops offered on selected Saturdays throughout the year. Our first workshop for this year was held on Saturday, February 11. Attendees made puffy hearts from empty plastic soda and water bottles. What a great way to recycle them. They can be hung from the ceiling or doorway and given as original Valentines. Future workshops will be encaustic (painting with beeswax), ceramic slab work, cigar box collages, spirit boats, and more. Children and adult classes will continue throughout the year on weekdays. A small $15 per hour fee for classes includes all materials we have available. A student only pays when they come. In the aRt cottage gallery, our current show is called Feel the Love and runs through the end of February. The March exhibit will be featuring Mark Jezierny
and his students. Mark is a well know painter and teacher in these parts. He has had several Spring shows at the aRt Cottage in the past, which were all popular and well attended. Often, featured pieces are purchased right off the wall during the exhibit. The gallery is unique in that when an artist sells a piece, he/she can immediately replace it with another piece of work. This is good for the artist as well as the customer. Works shown at the aRt Cottage are all original pieces. It is very rare that aRt Cottage will display a copied print or what is called a Giclee. Our hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 to 5 and Saturday from 1 to 5. For more information on workshops and exhibits visit www.artcottage.info or just keep reading the Diablo Gazette each month.
FrugElegance by Carol and Randi
The Frugirls www.frugelegance.com
Easy Rose Heart Sign We are still feeling the effects of Valentine’s Day and realized that some of our easy DIY good for home/party décor works for other occasions too. Our super easy rose heart sign was perfect for Valentine’s, but we also recommend it for wedding parties, baby showers, or simply as an anytime home decor. All you need is some silk roses and shiny tin metal and glue. This combination gives a delightfully elegant look and is so incredibly easy to make. How awesome that it has so much flexibility and possibilities. You can change it up per your preferences. Use different color or different size roses, space them out differently, use a different style plaque, and of course, you can add some trim or bling it up with some crystals and stones. Anything goes, so have fun! This is how you create a Rose Heart Sign. Purchase three bouquets of artificial roses and one crimped tin plaque at a local craft supply store such as Michaels. Start by drawing a guide for your heart using a piece of chalk. Chalk makes it so easy to make adjustments. Just wipe off and redraw until the heart is the desired shape. Cut the stems off the artificial roses. This was easy enough but you will need to apply glue right away so the rosebud doesn’t come apart. Stemless rosebuds are available online. (We supply a list of online options on our blog). Add hot glue to the bottom of the rose, place the rose onto the plaque, and hold for a few seconds for the glue to set. Start on one side of the heart, keep your roses fairly tight together and filled up the entire heart. Done! Beautiful and elegant. Visit our blog and discover our many other FrugElegant style craft and home decor ideas at www.fugelegance.com. Carol and Randi, the FruGirls, are local home decorators and stagers. You can also find them blogging about it plus many of other ways to live an elegant life for less. FrugElegance is where frugal and elegance come together.
Hearts from the aRt Cottage workshop.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 11 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
Foresight and Flexibility Keeps Walnut Creek Great By Jill Hedgecock
This is a view looking south on Main St just north of Mt Diablo Blvd. The white building on the left in the distance is Penny’s and the one on the right with the white awning is Arthur’s groceries and liquors. Kids used to stop in and buy candy on the way home from school. Photo courtesy of Walnut Creek Historical Society. Since its incorporation in 1914, the City of Walnut Creek has undergone major transformations. The foresight of the community leaders combined with continued flexibility to accommodate a changing economic playing field has made Walnut Creek one of the major high-end shopping locations in the greater Bay Area. Walnut Creek was founded in 1849 as “Nuts Creek” which grew into a village called “The Corners.” But it wasn’t until the U.S. Post Office began delivering mail in 1862 that Walnut Creek got its official name. Although there was opposition from community members in the 1950s to expand downtown, the creator of the Little
Master Plan, John Nejedly, argued, “A bigger community was going to come no matter what. It was obvious that we had to adjust the community to reality.” And he was right. Population growth started in 1951 when Walnut Creek began to build its reputation into a regional shopping hub with the opening of 38 stores in Broadway Plaza. Per the Walnut Creek Historical Society, from 1950 to 1960, the City’s population exploded from a mere 2,240 to 9,903. The number of residents quadrupled from 1960 to 1970, reaching 39,844. Today, Walnut Creek’s early planning for the inevitable influx of people resulted in balanced development that has resulted in making Walnut Creek a great place to live. The success of the city’s booming downtown during America’s great urban to suburban migration must also be attributed to improved transportation systems. The opening of Highway 24 and Interstate 680 in 1960 provided easy access into Walnut Creek. Public transportation connecting the city with San Francisco and neighborhoods all over the greater Bay Area further provided easy access when the Walnut Creek BART station opened in 1973. Rampant development was quelled in the 1970s which brought environmentalism and conservationism to the forefront of communities. The governing powers of Walnut Creek have, for the most part, been dedicated to the expansion of financial capital without sacrificing the surrounding environment. The City established its largest park, the 100-acre Heather Farm Park, in 1970. Walnut Creek has managed to protect a vast area of undeveloped open space in the foothills of Mt. Diablo. Credit for the plethora of green space must be given to community efforts as well. In 1970, residents defeated an initiative to develop the Shell Ridge Open Space, and in 1971,
a conservation organization called Save Mount Diablo was created to preserve Mt. Diablo and its many foothills that grace Walnut Creek and surrounding areas. Walnut Creek has proven flexible to the changing world. The growing global economy has done more to help the city of Walnut Creek than to harm it. Walnut Creek never had manufacturing as one of its largest occupations, because professional work has always been the largest employment sector. Thus, offshoring of production has positively affected Walnut Creek residents by making their goods cheaper to purchase, the increased importance of financial capital in communities because of globalization. And while the rise of the Internet and online shopping has not necessarily helped Walnut Creek, it has not had the detrimental effects on retail that other cities have experienced. In fact, Walnut Creek’s downtown retail property values have been steadily increasing over the past few years and the city continues to attract high-end retailers. Large investments in the downtown landscape continue to make Walnut Creek a beautiful and walkable place to shop, therefore still attracting people to the area despite the convenience of online shopping. The future of Walnut Creek is likely to encounter conflicts between financial interests and open space preservationists. Maps of Walnut Creek from the 1970s compared to today show a dramatic decrease in availability of undeveloped land. Population growth has slowed significantly in the past decade due to lack of available new housing and restrictions on development. Infill and mixed use-type housing have sprouted to fulfill growth needs, but that can’t continue forever. Another negative trend that leaders will need to address includes the replacement of local businesses with larger corporate chains. The dollars that go into local
businesses are often more valuable to the city than those that go to chains because local business owners will put that money back into the community, while corporate businesses will not. For many residents, Walnut Creek’s natural resources are just as valuable as the businesses that support its financial health. While city leaders will have to face many challenges in the future, Walnut Creek will no doubt remain a great place to live as long as community leaders and locally-elected officials continue to recognize the importance of balancing economic prosperity with community health and wellness. To the extent they are successful, Walnut Creek will remain a great place to live. Jill Hedgecock is a freelance writer, Diablo Gazette’s BookEnds columnist and the Program Coordinator for the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club . Lindsay Hedgecock majors in Community and Regional Development at the University of California, Davis. She was born and raised in Walnut Creek.
Opening day of the Walnut Creek Library in 2010.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 12 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
Campolindo Named 2017 East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon Champion for the Seventh Straight Year
Free Camp & School Fairs Return Feb. 25-26
At an energy-filled Academic Decathlon Awards Reception, Campolindo High School won the 2017 East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon for the seventh straight year. The team will represent Contra Costa County in the California State Academic Decathlon competition. Following Campolindo, were Acalanes High School, second place; and Freedom High School, third place, and Pittsburg fourth place. Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and with the assistance of community volunteers, the Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and as teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations. The subjects in the competition include art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu)–plus the popular SuperQuiz™, also won by Campolindo.
Free Camp & School Fairs return to the East Bay for the fifth year on the Feb. 25-26 weekend with free activities and over 60 exhibitors allowing attendees to view a smorgasbord of camps, enrichment programs, schools, performing arts, S.T.E.M. & S.T.E.A.M. programs, preschools, cooking, educational, sports and other programs available this spring and summer.
Last year, Campolindo High School also finished second place at the State competition in the medium sized school division. This year’s Academic Decathlon theme was World War II. Approximately, 100 participating students from Acalanes, California,
Campolindo, Clayton Valley Charter, Dublin, Freedom, and Pittsburg high schools have been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September. High school teams are made up of nine students, grades 9-12, with a maximum of three students in each of the following divisions: Honors (3.75-4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Varsity (2.99 GPA and below). The winning team will represent Contra Costa County at the California State Academic Decathlon, to be held in Sacramento, March 24-25. This year’s National Academic Decathlon will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, April 20-22. The Academic Decathlon was created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County to maximize learning potential can be through competitive challenge. The program spread rapidly throughout the states and is now recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States. USAD was founded in 1981.
The free fairs run from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Tri-Valley Camp & School Fair is in San Ramon at Pine Valley Middle School Auditorium and then on Sunday, Feb. 26, the Contra Costa Camp & School Fair is being held again in Lafayette at Acalanes High School with ample free parking at both locations. A free coding workshop by Hackingtons Code School will allow novices to code HTML and launch
their own website in just 15 minutes. The fairs are presented by Bay Area Festivals, Inc., which also produces Bay Area KidFest. Producer Jay Bedecarre says, “We’ve had an outstanding response to our Camp & School Fair the past three years. The fair provides families with a one-stop shopping experience as they plan their spring break and summer activities.” The first 200 families each day receive a free goody bag. There is a free raffle drawing for camps and KidFest tickets. Anyone bringing a can of food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano will receive an extra raffle ticket for each can. Admission is free and there is ample free parking. Call (925) 408-4014 or visit www. ContraCostaCampFair.com for more information.
For individual awards winners, go to CCCOE’s website http://www.cccoe.k12. ca.us/.
Photo courtesy by www. ContraCostaCampFair.com
from the principal’s desk by Dr. Patrick Gaffney, CVCHS
Clayton Valley Music Students Prepare for Upcoming Performances It’s an exciting period for music education and entertainment here at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Throughout the new year, our students will perform at a variety of venues featuring music from every genre and era – classical wind band repertoire, contemporary jazz and string arrangements. If you’ve never attended one of our musical performances, I encourage you to come and check us out in the upcoming months. Our student musicians are among some of the best and guaranteed to entertain audiences of all ages. Last month, our Jazz Band performed in the Northgate High School CMEA Jazz Festival and competed in the Campana Jazz Festival hosted by Amador Valley High School on February 11. CVCHS will also be hosting our joint middle school and elementary school feeder concerts on March 15 and 22. It’s such a treat to watch our students interacting with younger grades and enjoy the individual bands and string orchestras perform together. We’re fortunate to boast about
our talented students because of the commitment and inspiration from our Music Department staff. Under the leadership of Lydia Lim, CVCHS emphasizes the importance of a music education to our student’s overall learning experience. It provides development and growth of the student’s mind, body and spirit. Participation in our music program allows students to flourish in their creative expression of a language (music) that is communicated by diverse cultures throughout the world. Decades of research demonstrates that a music curriculum is closely linked to delivering a world-class education with great importance placed on academic achievement, social development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunities. That’s why we place so much emphasis on getting our students excited about music and performing arts. I look forward to seeing new faces at our next music performance. Be sure to visit our school website at www.claytonvalley.org for upcoming community events featuring our talented student musicians.
(left to right): Gabriel Boston, Aaron Suasin, Jacob Bamer, and Anthony Andrews
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Gardenwise by Jere Peck, Garden Manager
by Debra Morris,Pacific Coast Farmers Market
The Gardens at Heather Farms
Celebrating Native Plants Culinary Spotlight: Romanesco Cauliflower
Salvias Adobe Stock Wowza, what a wet January we had -both rewarding and agonizing! Rewarding because we needed the water badly. Agonizing because we were not able to be out in the garden as much. However, here at The Gardens at Heather Farm, we kept the dream alive, and ourselves dry, by propagating plants in our cozy greenhouse. I am excited about some of the natives we have started. After all, there are many benefits to growing natives in your garden. Before we dig deeper, the basic definition of “native” is a topic that is up for some debate. Some people include plants native to all North America, while others are very strict to specific regions. I think the latter makes sense for us when you consider the effects of the many different microclimates found right here in the Bay Area. It is also important to note that just because a plant is not native to your country or region, that does not necessarily mean the plant is going be a troublemaker. There’s a wide variety of wonderful, amenable plants out there worth welcoming. Crepe myrtles, maples, and hostas are fantastic examples of plants that are not from this area yet they have become standard in many gardens. Politics aside, native plants do provide special assets to our gardens and the greater community. They have evolved to not only survive our summer-dry climate but also to provide a habitat for local fauna. As more and more habitat turns toward urban development, home gardens can help support the habitat needed for local wildlife to thrive. Native plants offer food and cover for the native critters without risking long-term damage to the local flora. In addition to supporting wildlife habitats, native plants are well adapted to grow in local conditions. Although last month we might have momentarily forgotten, we do still live in an area where extended, brutal droughts are simply a way of life. And that is certainly the case for native plants, too, who have evolved to grow in this climate. Salvias, penstemons, and ceanothus are some of my favorite drought-tolerant natives that stand up to our long, dry summers.
As more people use native plants in their urban landscapes, it helps to build additional habitat for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. This interaction between native plants and native pollinators is fascinating. In fact, the aesthetic beauty of native plants is just a bonus! If you are interested in contributing to this friendly public service in your neighborhood, come check out our selection of natives (and non-natives) at our Spring Plant Sale on April 8. Visit gardenshf.org for more details.
Have you ever seen the pale green psychedelic-shaped Romanesco cauliflower at your farmers’ market? It looks like a gorgeous alien life form! It’s in the culinary spotlight right now and chefs are using this gorgeous Brassica in delicious and innovating ways at local restaurants. Why don’t you give your cooking expertise something new to work on, too? Interestingly, the Romanesco did not develop naturally. It is actually an heirloom cauliflower, native to the Mediterranean coast roughly in the region from Rome to Naples. Many botanists believe it was the result of selective breeding by Italian farmers in the 16th century. Suddenly, it’s the chef’s chosen cauliflower to work with these days. It is a gorgeous form of cauliflower with a light green color, a tight head and, instead of a relatively smooth surface, it has peaks and spirals of floral bundles. Its flavor is delicate and nutty and tastes similar to the familiar form of cauliflower. Depending on how you cook Romanesco, it can give you a subtle, earthy sweetness or a grassy flavor. Cooking it is easy. Make it simple to get the real flavor of this remarkable vegetable. 1. Roast: Break cauliflower into bitesize pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt, and
pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until softened and browned. 2. Sauté: Break apart and sauté in olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning, until slightly soft. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. 3. Pasta: Sauté and above and toss with pasta and cooked mushrooms. 4. Bake: Steam small pieces of Romanesco, drain. Place in a baking dish with cooked chopped onion, minced garlic, and a mix of 1/4 cup olive oil and a tablespoon of deli mustard. Top with buttered breadcrumbs mixed with grated Asiago cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. 5. Soup: Add small chunks to any vegetable soup for texture and flavor. Make up your own recipes to use this versatile veggie - crisped up as a snack, added to stew, or steamed and topped with cheese. Romanesco cauliflower is available through March. Check out Swank Farms from Hollister or KYK Produce out of Fresno for some lovely Romanescos. This exotic cauliflower variety is rarely found at the supermarket, so pick up the best at your local farmers’ market!
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G N I R I H NOW
Advertising Sales. Immediate Openings. Come work for the Diablo Gazette, our communities’ favorite paper! Call
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The Diablo Gazette’s
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
•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 Concord Senior Club - Sunday Family Breakfast Dec. 18, 9-10:45 a.m., 2727 Parkside Circle. Everyone is welcome. Adults $4; Ages 3-11 $2; under 2 Free. Pancakes or Biscuits & Gravy w/eggs, ham, fruit, pastry, coffee, juice and service w/ a smile!
• Concord: Todos Santos Park OFF the Grid Mondays. Find the full lineup available at http://offthegridsf.com.
Bay Area Craft Beer Festival 12n-4PM over 50 breweries, live music and more. Waterfront Park
Club/Support Group News and Events
Ham Radio Licensing Course Forming Now. Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club will be holding a 7-week course where you can learn everything you need to earn your Technician Class (entry level) FCC Amateur Radio License. Getting On The Air 2 week course follows The Technician Class license is your entry to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications… and now you do NOT need to learn Morse code! Course begins on Thursday January 12, 2017 from 7-9pm. First Class starts at 6:30 The Salvation Army 3950 Clayton Road, (Cross is West St.) Concord. Registration is required. We use the ARRL Textbook and if you don’t have one it is about $27 to be paid cash week 1. Each student must have full access to a copy of the text. There is a $5,00 admin fee. Follow up training and License testing will also be available. To sign up email: HamRadioClass@gmail. com February 14 Nate-Tusa from John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez will be guest speaker at the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club’s monthly meeting. The club meets at 10:00 am the second Tuesday of each month at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, in Clayton. New members are always welcome. All members and guests make new friends and join in the fun working together for the community. For more information call Linda at 925-482-0807 or Michele 925-672-6434. You can also visit www. claytonvalleywomansclub.org. February 21 Pleasant Hill 46th Annual Community Awards– hosted by The City of Pleasant Hill, The Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Pleasant Hill Rec & Park District. Reservations includes appetizers, dinner, and awards presentation for Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Teen of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Mayor’s Award, and more. Tickets are available through the Chamber of Commerce by calling (925) 687-0700 or online at www. pleasanthillca.org/tickets. February 24 Concord Age Strong Live Long Health Expo –9A-1P. Resources for Seniors, families and professionals, over 40 exhibits, Screenings, massages, and health presentations. Concord Senior Center 2727 Parkside Circle.
at the door.
March 4 One-Day Ham Radio Class: Interested in obtaining a Ham license? Techs wishing to upgrade? Over 30 facilitators and accredited VE’s volunteeres to help. 7:30AM-5:00 PM Benicia Senior Center, 187 East “L” Street, Benicia $30. Includes all study material, venue, daylong refreshments, handouts, freebies and the federally required exam fee. Class size is limited, register promptly at www.BeniciaARC.com. Contact email@example.com or Ham Class Registrar, Art Mayoff, (925) 2129953 for more information. FAMILY EVENTS • Galindo Home and Gardens Holiday 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. Concord Historical Society is opening the historic Galindo Home, decorated with holiday charm, for special tours on December 10 and 11, and December 17 and 18 from 1 to 4 pm, plus Wednesday December 14 from 6 to 8 pm. No reservations needed. Fee $3 for adults and children over 12. Light refreshments. 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 see15 original pieces of Eastlake furniture. Go to concordhistorical.org for more information. Home & Garden/Farmers’ Markets • Concord Tuesdays, 10am to 2pm, year-round, rain or shine, 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. Contra Costa Certified Farmers Market Sundays 9 am - 1 pm, Year Round, North Locust St between Giamona and Lacassie St. (925) 431-8361 http://www.cccfm.org Diably Valley Lines Model Train Show. . Fares: Adults-$3; Senior-$2 (age 60+); Children-$2 (age 6-12); under 6 years enjoy for free, and boy will they. Larkey Park, 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. For more DVL information: www.wcmrs.org. February 24: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday); March 18: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday); March 19: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday); March 31: 8 – 10 p.m. (Friday) February 25 & 26 Free Camp & School Fairs . Free activities and over 60 exhibitors. View a smorgasbord of camps, enrichment programs, schools, performing arts, S.T.E.M. & S.T.E.A.M. programs, preschools, cooking, educational, sports and other programs available this spring and summer. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Tri-Valley Camp & School Fair is in San Ramon at Pine Valley Middle School Auditorium. Sunday, Feb. 26, in Lafayette at Acalanes High School. Free parking. The first 200 families each day receive a free goody bag. Call (925) 408-4014 or visit www. ContraCostaCampFair.com for more information.
April 28-29 22nd Annual Clayton Art and Wine Festival May 19 Clayton Valley 2017 Hall of Fame Ceremony Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. 5 PM no host wine and beer social. Dinner at 6:30. Induction presentation at 7pm. Dinner tickets may be purchased after Monday March 13 at www.claytonvalley.org web store or send check to CVHS Hall of Fame, PO Box 502, Clayton, CA 94517. (*Children’s tickets can only be purchased via US Mail, they are not available on “web store”. Ticket prices or $50 adults, $25 for kids 12 and younger. VISUAL ARTS/THEATRE/MUSIC • The San Francisco Dungeon -Live actors in full Barbary Coast period costume and make-up engage make this a one-of-a-kind attraction on Fisherman’s Wharf. (No, it’s not a sex club.) The San Francisco Dungeon is a 60-minute walkthrough experience that explores San Francisco’s dark and sinful past from the pre-Gold Rush era to Alcatraz (1849-1907). Full of laughs and screams. The stories are based on real San Francisco history and legends. Shows run continuously from Sunday - Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fisherman’s Wharf at 145 Jefferson Street, San Francisco. Admission starts at $22 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. For more information, visit: www.thedungeons.com/sanfrancisco. February 18 Concert: The original music of Durwynne Hsieh will be featured along with a variety of chamber music in a very entertaining evening program. Pianist Catherine Seter Thompson and violinist Rick Shinozaki will join Durwynne on cello to form the chamber trio. The program will include a Bach violin solo to Piazzola’s “Grand Tango for Violin and Piano”, the piano solo “L’Isle joyeuse” by Debussy, and two recent works by Hsieh: a cello and piano sonata and a piano trio. The program is eclectic and covers almost all permutations of violin/cello/piano: solo violin, cello and piano, violin and piano, solo piano, and violin/cello/piano. The audience will find some of the music to be dark and evocative, some beautiful and romantic, some fun and exciting, and some of it quite “interesting,” with instrumental effects as well as jazz and pop-influenced rhythms. 7:30 PM. at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. 1578 Kirker Pass Rd. Clayton. Tickets are $15 at the door. February 26 Open House Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu – Demonstrations and Free SelfDefense and Safety Awareness classes for all ages. 4700 Clayton Rd. Clayton at the former Rosewood House. March 18 Concert: Members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra for over 26 years, oboist/English Hornist Janet Popesco Archibald & cellist Emil Miland, along with Skyline College faculty accompanist Margaret Fondbertasse formed the “Lowell Trio” with the mantra ‘Classical Music is All Around Us’. Now in its 10th year, the Lowell Trio perform classical works both familiar and unusual with programs that often explore the many connections between classical music, folk, jazz, and pop. 7:30 PM. at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. 1578 Kirker Pass Rd. Clayton. Tickets are $15
Marh 9-25 “Moon Over Buffalo” – Hilarious comedy with madcap misadventures presented by Clayton Theatre Company. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. Clayton. Tickets: $15 -$25. 925-222-9106 www. claytontheatrecompany.com. April 22 Diablo Ballet presents a Best of Diablo Ballet Performance at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville at 7:00pm. The program features the magical coming of age adventure Carnival of the Imagination set to the music of French composer SaintSaëns and choreographed by Robert Dekkers; the classical Pas de Deux and Coda from Raymonda; the exhilarating Three to Tango, choregraphed by dance legend Sally Streets; and short film, Aeterna XXI, by award-winning filmmaker Walter Yamazaki, featuring the Diablo Ballet dancers’ athleticism, beauty and strength created for the company’s 21st Anniversary. One hour, no intermission. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville, California. TICKETS: $30-60, (707) 9449900; www.lincolntheater.org. For more information: www.diabloballet.org April 29 The singers of “Chromatica” under the direction of CVPC Music Director and Bay Area musician David Huff will be performing their spring concert once again at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. This choral ensemble always delights audiences with their musicianship and their excellent programs. 7:00 PM. at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. 1578 Kirker Pass Rd. Clayton. The tickets are $20 adults / $10 students / free for children 10 and under. May 5-6 Synergy Theater’s “Spontaneous Shakespeare!” 8PM. Village Theatre and Art Gallery in Danville, CA. A completely improvised two-act comedy in the style of the Immortal Bard. 233 Front Street, Danville. Tickets $20 buy online www. villagetheatreshows.com or call 925-3143400. May 13 Concert: Audiences love the blend of female voices and handbells that is the “Tapestry” ensemble. Cindy Krausgill has once again put together a very entertaining program for their May concert. 7:00 PM. at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. 1578 Kirker Pass Rd. Clayton. Be sure to reserve this date on your calendar. May 20 Concert: The Clayton Valley Presbyterian 2016-2017 concert season will close with the “Aeolus Woodwind Quintet”. The members of this fine quintet are: Martha Rosenberg, flute, Terri Knight, oboe, John Pangia, clarinet, Jenny Crane, horn, and Michael Garvey, bassoon. Please join us for wonderful program that will round out our concert season. 7:30 PM. at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. 1578 Kirker Pass Rd. Clayton. Tickets are $15 at the door.
For a complete list of local clubs and meeting dates, go to diablogazette.com.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 16 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
by Douglas A. Prutton, Attorney Email: Doug@PruttonLaw.com
Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu Moved Feb. 26 Open House offers Free Classes for All
Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
Fred Fallen limped into the lawyer’s office and declared the following: “Last summer I was shopping at Concord Giant Grocery when I slipped and fell on the floor. Now I get this nasty letter denying my claim – this isn’t right, man, you gotta help me, I lost time from work, the medical bills are ridiculous, and I still can’t sit on my tailbone!” The lawyer calmly asks Fred: “So, what did you slip on?” Fred, exasperated, responds: “I don’t know, I was on the floor in pain dude, I wasn’t inspecting the damn floor, it was wet, like liquid, you know.” “Did you take any photos,” the lawyer inquires. “Are you kidding me, I was on the floor writhing in pain,” Fred fires back, wondering if this clueless lawyer understands anything. Yes, I have heard this story many times. And, yes, some people do pull out their cell phones and take photos of what they fell on. What many people think is that if they fall at someone’s property, the property owner is always legally responsible for the injuries. This is not true. The property owner is only responsible if the property owner did something wrong, i.e., was at fault, for the incident. The problem in a case like Fred’s is proving that the grocery store did something wrong, or was at fault. How can you prove this if you do not know what the person fell on? The liquid could have been spilled by a customer moments before Fred slipped, and it is Fred’s burden to prove that the store was at fault. The injured person must have a “theory of liability.” For example, I have handled cases where the liquid leaked from a freezer at the store, where no mats were placed around a grape display
(we argued that the store should know that grapes will fall on the floor and be slippery on linoleum), and where the store had mopped the floor and not put up warning signs. The same reasoning applies to other slip/fall and trip/fall cases. For example, where a person trips on a bad sidewalk, the person must prove not only that the sidewalk was dangerous, but that the owner of the sidewalk (usually a city) either caused the dangerous condition, or knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to correct it, i.e. that the City was at fault. Similarly, if someone gets hurt at your home by, say, tripping over something, or by a chair breaking, you are not responsible unless you did something wrong. For example, the injured person would have to prove that you knew about the tripping hazard, or knew that the chair was dangerous, and that you did not fix the problem, or did not warn anyone about the danger. Some property owners have “medical payments” insurance coverage for people injured on their property. This insurance will pay for medical expenses, up to the policy limits, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Getting back to Fred, I might tell him that we can request a copy of the videotape from the store, that I will talk with any witnesses (assuming of course that the witness – usually another customer- provided Fred with a name), and that I will talk with the insurance company and get more information about why they denied the claim. By then, Fred will probably say something like: “Thanks, man, I’m just frustrated with this whole thing and sorry I snapped at you earlier!”
After standing vacant for over a year, the Rosewood Center on Clayton Road has a new occupant. Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu is moving from Treat Plaza, into the former Rosewood House in at 4700 Clayton Rd. in Concord. Master Tomizaki has been teaching in the Bay Area since 1989. It’s not necessary to win awards or trophies, but to achieve personal bests, and strive to better yourself as a human being, Master Tomizaki says. They want each person to walk out at the end of class feeling empowered and to know that they also can help others, and to be responsible to themselves. Master Daniel Tomizaki was born and raised in Brazil. He saw a martial arts performance in a street fair one day as a child, and decided that’s what he wanted to learn. He became the first student to earn a black belt in Seven Star Praying Mantis. He moved to the USA in 1989 and started training Choy Lay Fut and won many championships including International Four Star Grand Champion. Four star means he won in fighting, hand forms, short weapon, and long weapon. He was given the title of “Sifu” (Cantonese for Master) in 1997. However, teaching is his passion. He studied Physical Education at the University of Sao Paulo, the most prestigious school in Brazil. That along with his 30+ years of teaching kung fu gives him the unique ability to customize training for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, limitations, etc. His wife, Steffani Tomizaki, a 5th degree black belt, also competes and earned a spot on the 2012 World Chin Woo team to compete in Tianjin, China. She has been teaching self-defense classes for women and girls for over 10 years. She started learning kung fu in 2000 after surviving an attempted kidnapping by gunpoint by three men. Steffani is passionate about keeping ladies safe as she herself has been a victim. “They followed me
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in a car to my home from Concord to Walnut Creek right in the middle of the day,” Steffani recalls. She distracted them by tossing her phone and purse and then run. The three took off but crashed off Peachwillow, fled on foot into the Kaiser pediatric office.” The three were soon apprehended and later convicted. Self-defense helped save her life, not the fighting part, but the thinking part. Her self-defense class is about teaching empowerment, confidence, and listening to instincts. Her 3-hour self-defense classes for ages 12 and up covers rape prevention, how not to be victim, basic releases and strikes, falling (and getting up). The class ends with a simulated attack where they get to use everything they learned. Besides being passionate about kung fu and self-defense, she’s been very active in the community. She coached youth soccer for over 17 years, volunteered for over 13 years in the local elementary, middle, and high school, teaching PEP, Smart Start and Youth Educators. These programs help educate our youth on make healthy decisions regarding alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and refusal skills. The family feels very strongly about giving back to the community. They have done Lion Dance performances for fundraisers for community service organizations. Three out of four of Master Tomizaki’s and Steffani’s children have achieved the level of black belt. The fourth is on her way. Open House: On February 26, 2017, Tomizaki’s Champions will have an open house, and have free SelfDefense and Safety Awareness classes throughout the day for the community. The classes will be divided by age, and age appropriate material will be shown and discussed. A parent/guardian must be present for minors. 10:00 - 11:00 ages 3 – 6; 11:00 - 12:00 ages 7 –12; 12:00 - 1:00 teens; 1:00 - 2:00 adults It should be fantastic event. For more information, please call 925-671-7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.championskungfu.com www. facebook.com/TomizakisChampions
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Councilman Ron Leone Mixes Politics with Art by Richard Eber When one thinks of Ron Leone, they recognize an individual who talks about budgets, housing, police services, and a myriad of other topics sitting on the dais as a member of Concord’s City Council. Here’s what most don’t realize. He’s a doodler. He is known to doodle during council meetings, scratching his creative itch. This affliction has nagged him since his childhood days when Leone discovered his aptitude towards art, despite growing up in the blue-collar Bayview-Hunter’s Point District of San Francisco and attending the now closed Woodrow Wilson High.
Yet another example of how avid history/art buff Ron Leone applies his interests into his civic endeavors.
But very little is spoken about Concord’s former Vice Mayor’s artistic side even though his talents have been exercised both professionally and as a hobby throughout his entire life. As a student at San Francisco State, Leone majored in history and art while also receiving his teaching credentials. He went on to work as a graphic artist for AT&T and taught art at California High School in San Ramon. Later, while serving as the high school principal in Antioch, Leone created the logo design for the Antioch Unified School District.
He has recently reminded city staff and prospective developers for Concord of the importance of incorporating designs made famous in Santa Barbara and the downtown shopping district in Sonoma. On Leon’s suggestion, historical district street signs are being installed in the downtown shopping district. In his mind “Everything we can do in government to show visitors that they are coming to a special place in Concord is a plus for the entire community.” Art is Leone’s messenger and workhorse.
In addition, while as Chair for the Downtown Ad Hoc Steering Committee, Leone pushed for early California Architecture to be implemented in new construction surrounding Todos Santos. The archways, plazas, tiled roofs, and openness which characterizes the style first made popular by architect George Washington Smith in the 1920’s, Leone hopes will separate Concord from nearby communities.
In fact, he believes art is of such an important component of our daily life, he favors placing a small fee on all new developments for covering the cost of public art so that we can all proudly call Concord our home. His newly elected colleague on the City Council, Carlyn Obringer, who has been the Chair for the annual Association of American University Women’s (AAUW) downtown Art and Wine, (and Beer) Walk, commented “Ron’s artistic expression has left an impression on our Concord community, most notably on Todos Santos Plaza where the arches that he designed, gracing the park entrances, have become a popular spot for visitors to congregate.” Other examples of Leone’s work over the years include assist development of the John Muir Health, graphic art work for a local historical book, and drawings of local sports legends as shown here: A’s Reggie Jackson, 49er’s Jimmy Johnson, and the entire ‘75- ‘76 Golden State Warriors team. Leone was always fascinated with comic books. As such, he’s contributed editorial cartooning for the Concord Transcript and the San Ramon Valley Times. One of his greatest thrills was getting legendary artist Stan Lee, of Spiderman fame, to autograph the portrait Leone drew when Lee was making a personal appearance at Concord’s Flying Colors Comic Book Store. As a member of the Concord City Council, Leone’s love of art has benefitted Concord several ways. It was his idea for local artists to create murals on utility boxes as opposed to unsightly graffiti. Another brainchild of his was the construction of the two archways at Todos Santos that welcome visitors to Concord which used no city funds to complete. One of Leone’s new pet artistic projects is co-chairing Concord’s 150th founding Anniversary celebration with the Concord Historical Society where they will be erecting a statue of Don Salvio Pacheco in Todos Santos Plaza. Salvio settled in the area in 1840’s and is considered to be the founder of the village then known as Todos Santos, before being renamed Concord.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 18 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990
DIABLO GAZETTE FUN ZONE CVCHS Students Honored By City for Artistic Community Outreach On January 17, the Clayton City Council honored two Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS) students for their exceptional work associated with the Clayton Police Department’s community policing program. Kate Amos (11th Grade) and Grace Lattin (9th Grade) were presented with certificates of recognition for the design and development of the Department’s police officer trading cards for school children and a 2016 holiday greeting card for the community. “I’m very proud of Kate and Grace,” said Kelsey Thomas, Digital Arts instructor. “It’s encouraging to see our students apply their unique artistic talents towards a positive impact in our community.” Kate and Grace are currently enrolled in Computer Graphic Arts at CVCHS and are both officers in the Computer Graphics Club.
2017 CLAYTON ART & WINE FESTIVAL 22nd Annual event coming up April 29th & April 30th We are all invited to the 22nd annual Clayton Art and Wine Festival on Saturday, April 29th and 3oth. So save those days off your calendar. You will be busy those days. More than 100 vendors will fill Clayton’s Historic Main Street with fine original artwork and unique handcrafted exhibits. The festival offers a quality selection of luxury varietals from California’s wineries and popular premium brewed beers. Your youngsters will love Kiddieland with lots of games and fun. Enjoy the continuous live entertainment while you enjoy a wide selection of tempting dishes from our International Food Court. Then hit the
booths again to discover those unique treasures that you, or someone you know, just can’t live without. It’s a fun day that the whole family can enjoy. The Clayton Art & Wine Festival is just one of the many fine events presented by the CBCA (Clayton Business & Community Association) such as the Clayton Golf Classic, Oktoberfest, Christmas Town Tree Lighting, Santa’s Visit and Mrs. Claus’s Dessert Party. The proceeds from these events support local Scout troops, youth and high school athletics, police reserves, the Clayton Library, town beautification, youth scholarships, the Clayton Historical Society and many other events that benefit Clayton and its citizens. If you are interested in joining this active group, call (925) 672-2272 or visit us at www.claytoncbca.org/Event/ ArtAndWine. Meanwhile, set aside the weekend of April 29th and – April 30th for a weekend of unforgettable fun.
Photo courtesy by: https://claytoncbca.org/events/
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017• Page 19 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925)-298-9990
Secret Service Insider Stories from a Former Agent
Tears of Laughter, Tears of Loss It was Memorial weekend 2005. As our small motorcade made its way south on highway 101 from Sonoma County back to the hotel by the San Francisco International Airport. I was the Lead and Motorcade Agent, and was riding in the front seat of the lead car, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) cruiser driven by my friend, CHP Sergeant Mike Walker. Mike and I had worked several motorcades together over the years. Tall, lanky, blond hair and mustache, Mike was gentle, easy going, and always had a smile on his face. He had a great sense of humor and we always had some good laughs. This day, would be no exception. My Field Office Supervisor was riding in the rear seat. He was also a good guy with a good sense of humor, luckily.
Portrait Portrait of Michael Walker still hangs in the Santa Cruz CHP office. I received a call on the radio from the Detail Leader (DL) who was riding in the limo. He advised that our protectee, Fujian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, was inquiring if it was possible to make a detour through San Francisco to see some of the cities famous sights. We were used to protectees requesting impromptu motorcade tours of San Francisco. With five or more vehicles, we usually had full intersection control provided by the PD so that the motorcade stayed intact and would continually be in motion. Our motorcade was at six vehicles. This included the lead and tail CHP and four other vehicles of which three were Secret Service with lights and sirens. Navigating city streets shouldn’t be too difficult. Since this was a low level, low profile dignitary, with no known adverse intelligence, we weren’t too concerned about stopping at intersections. The problem was that the tour request was made as we were approaching Sausalito, which gave us about two minutes to come up with a route and no time to contact SFPD for a traffic report. But, given the circumstances, we were okay with it. I radioed the DL informing we would accommodate, exiting the freeway after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. At Ghirardelli Square, traffic came to a stop. After sitting through two street light cycles, we altered our route, navigating away from the waterfront. This didn’t help. Traffic was horrible. After again coming to a stop, I summonsed a SFPD officer over to our vehicle. He was walking parallel to us on the sidewalk for about three blocks and had a puzzled look on his face as he approached.
“Who are you guys? Where’re you going?” he asked. I told him saying we had a dignitary who requested a lastminute tour of the city, but now we were just trying to get back to the freeway. I asked the officer about the traffic. “It’s the Carnival Parade. Half the city’s shut down,” he said. With that, I radioed the DL of the situation and we began working our way away out. Unfortunately, we worked our way into the Tenderloin District. Things that usually only happen at night in shady areas elsewhere, are present 24/7 in the Tenderloin. Now, in stop-and-go traffic, our protectee was about to witness an area not listed in any tour guides and take in sights he would never see from any tour bus. Visually everything that could go wrong, did. It started with an array of prostitutes and cross-dressers on the first block. (Hardly Lombard Street). We chuckled in our car, as there wasn’t a thing we could do, but cringe. We slowly rolled into the second block, where two scuzzy looking guys were conducting a drug deal, oblivious to the law enforcement vehicles next to them. Our chuckles turned to giggles as we wondered how our protectee was enjoying his “tour.” We then starting joking as to what the next block would have in store. We soon found out; a guy urinating on a light post. Our protectee had an unobstructed view as these things were taking place in broad daylight, just feet from the limo. We all had tears in our eyes now and wondered how things could possibly get worse. Just then, a taxi cut in front of our motorcade and a little guy jumped out with nothing on but a cowboy hat and a pair of bottomless chaps. He wiggled his naked little fanny all the way up the street. At this point, Mike, my supervisor, and I, were laughing so hard we were crying and could hardly speak. Sometimes you just have to laugh. There was absolute radio silence in the motorcade as I imagine the same reaction was happening in all the vehicles, except in the limo where the poor DL and agent driver were probably biting their lips trying to remain professional and not laugh in front of the protectee. We later heard that was the case. The next day the Prime Minister and his entourage flew home having no words to offer of our tour of beautiful San Francisco. Whenever I saw Mike over the next several months, we’d laugh about our special tour. Early New Year’s morning, 2006, I received a phone call from a CHP friend with whom I had also worked numerous motorcades. Surprised to hear from him I answered saying, “John! Happy New Years, bud!” He said hello, but his voice was very solemn. “I have some bad news. Mike Walker was killed last night,” John said. I immediately felt numb. “Oh my God. Oh God no. What happened?” Tears welled in my eyes as John told me how Mike, now a lieutenant recently assigned to CHP/Santa Cruz, was assisting a disabled motorist in the rain on Highway 17 when a vehicle took a curve too fast, losing control, striking a Caltrans truck which was parked behind Mike’s cruiser. The impact pushed the Caltrans truck into Mike. Mike passed an hour later, around 11:00 p.m. Images of Mike’s gentle smiling face filled my head. As a lieutenant, Mike normally wouldn’t be on the road. But, Mike, being the caring, unselfish man he was, was covering for some young officers he’d
given the night off so they could spend New Year’s Eve with friends. Mike left behind a wife and two young girls. I cherish my memories of Mike and the wonderful times we shared. I will never forget our tears of laughter during our last motorcade together. Nor will I forget the tears I cried when I received the New Year’s morning 2006 phone call telling me my friend was gone.
In May of 2008, a section of Highway 17 was renamed “CHP Lt. Michael Walker Memorial Highway”.
Rotary Inducts Two Well-known Martesians
City Council Member Lara DeLaney and Martinez Unified School District Superintendent CJ Camrmack are the newest members of Martinez Rotary. Lara was educated at UC Santa Cruz and received an advanced degree in policy from the University of Chicago. CJ graduated from St Mary’s College. [Yay Gaels!] Shown left to right are Janet Kennedy; Lara DeLaney; Rotary chair Denny Horack; CJ Cammick and John Searles. “We’re proud they’ve joined us,” fellow Rotarian Paul Craig told us.
Staffer (Walnut Creek) Hillendale Home Care is seeking a full time (Monday thru Friday 8.30 -5.00) staffer to join their busy Walnut Creek office. Position entails managing our care givers and clients schedules for home care services. This is a key position and requires excellent communication skills, attention to detail and ability to professionally talk to clients about their care needs and appropriately match care givers. We cover shifts 24 hours per day and 7 days per week and staffer is responsible for maintaining client calendars, tracking care giver availability and
time off requests, daily ongoing caregiver clock in checks and data entry of care giver and client information. We are a friendly, supportive office and would welcome an upbeat, hard working, willing to be flexible team player to join our company! Applicant MUST have prior Home Care staffing experience and the opportunity to work with a very friendly, supportive office team. We offer a competitive salary with benefits and 401K. Call 925-933-8181 ask for Liz, or email or bridgetwrn@ hillendale.net.
Caregivers, CNAs and HHAs Needed. LOTS OF WORK AVAILABLE!!!!! Hillendale Home care, a licensed Home Care Organization located in Walnut Creek, is seeking Home Health Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants and experienced Personal Care Attendants, to work in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, to take care of clients residing in their own homes. Acute care experience is a plus and top pay will be offered to qualified candidates. We also have companion cases available for less experienced caregivers. We are presently hiring for all shifts: AM, PM and Nights. We have many ongoing cases to suit caregivers seeking long term assignments plus many short (1-4
hour shifts) to suit caregivers wanting part time positions. Applicants must consent to finger print clearance,TB clearance at hire and registration on the Home Care Aide Registry, have a CDL, car insurance, work permit if not a US citizen, work references, be proficient in speaking , reading and writing English and MUST HAVE A COMPASSION FOR CARING FOR OTHERS. We offer competitive compensation, benefits, 401K, paid training and 50% savings on our CNA CEU courses, offered at our school, and the opportunity to work with a very friendly, supportive office team.
Diablo Gazette • FEBRUARY 2017 • Page 20 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette •(925)-298-9990 the Year. LB — NATE LANDMAN, Monte Vista-Danville | Sr. | 6-3, 212. Our NorCal Defensive Player of the Year was the ultimate playmaker for the NCS Div I champs. The Colorado-signee averaged approximately 12 tackles per game with 32 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions, seven passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Offensively, he had 577 receiving yards and seven TDs. He also was 2 of 2 as a passer for 116 yards and two TDs. LB – ARIEL NGATA, Folsom | Sr. | 6-4, 210. The Washington-bound speed rusher recorded 65 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and seven QB hurries while constantly being blocked by two or three opponents. His defensive prowess helped the Bulldogs reach a seventh consecutive SJS final. LB — CHRISTIAN WISEMAN, MenloAtherton-Atherton | Sr. | 6-4, 230. The Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division Defensive Player of the Year finished his season with 171 tackles, 27.7 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. The Bears finished 13-2 and won CCS and NorCal Regional titles. DB – TRAJON COTTON, InderkumNatomas | Sr. | 6-1, 185. The multipurpose athlete ultimately signed with Oregon State for his work in the defensive backfield. Cotton had 63 tackles, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries to help the Tigers to an 11th straight 10win season. At QB, he threw for 1,595 yards and accounted for 23 TDs. DB — JE’QUARI GODFREY, Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland | Sr. | 6-2, 180. He has the size of a safety, but the skills of a cornerback. The West Alameda Athletic Conference Foothill Division Defensive Player of the Year had three interceptions and one fumble recovery for the CIF Div. V-AA State Bowl champions. Godfrey decommitted from Cal in late January and eventually signed with USC.
De La Salle and Clayton Valley Players Selected to SportStars 2016 All-NorCal Defense Superbowl has past, but there is one last hurrah for football...at least around here. SportStars Magazine named its Top 50 NorCal football players for the 2016 season. Standouts DB Tre White and DL Tuli Letuligasenoa of De La Salle as well as Heikoti Vaisima from Clayton Valley Charter made the cut. Rather than the traditional first-team, second-team announcement, SportStars All-NorCal Football Teams is an actual roster of 50 players. They select an equal number of offensive and defensive players, and have used position flexibility for years when a certain position group was especially stacked. Starters and reserves are named, but SportStars insists that’s just to stir conversation. If a player is on the roster, he’s All-NorCal all the way. No other designation is required. The top 25 defensive players were featured in SportStars February issue. Visit SportStarsOnline.com to view the AllNorCal Offense that was released in midJanuary. We bold the Mt. Diablo area athletes to make it easy for you to identify. STARTERS DL — TUCKER FISK, Davis | Sr. | 6-4, 255 Fisk led the Blue Devils to the SacJoaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2007 with outstanding play on both sides of the ball. The Stanford signee was dominant on defense with 73 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a pair of blocked field goals. He also contributed 39 catches for 439 yards and 4 TDs as one of the area’s best tight ends. DL – DJ JOHNSON, Burbank-
Sacramento | Sr. | 6-5, 240. The Miamibound DE’s combination of size and speed resulted in 85 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss and 15 sacks for the Titans. Johnson also caused five fumbles, recovered three fumbles, and blocked a field goal. He finished his high school career with 38.5 sacks in three varsity seasons.
DL — TULI LETULIGASENOA, De La Salle-Concord | Jr. | 6-2, 305. He was the anchor to the Spartans defensive front and led the CIF Open Div. runnersup in sacks. He’ll enter his senior year as one of the Bay Area’s top recruits. His current list of offers includes USC, UCLA, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Cal. LB – JOSH FALO, Inderkum-Natomas | Sr. | 6-5, 220. A highly-sought after TE, Falo turned in a stellar defensive season, recording 39 tackles, including 30 solo tackles, and three sacks despite opposing offenses running away from him and double- and triple-teaming him. On offense, the USC-signee hauled in 21 catches for 410 yards and 8 TDs. He was the Sac Bee’s Metro Defensive Player of
DB — TRE WHITE, De La SalleConcord | Sr. | 6-0, 175. White was the leader for the Spartans’ secondary and led the NCS Open Div. champions in interceptions. White also handled kick and punt returns. De La Salle finished 11-2 on the season. He signed to San Jose State. DB — BENNETT WILLIAMS, St. Francis-Mountain View | Sr. | 6-1, 195. Williams will play for former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith at the University of Illinois next fall following an extremely
prolific career with the Lancers. As a senior, Williams notched six interceptions (giving him 15 over two seasons) and added 49 tackles along with one blocked punt. He also caught 24 passes for 541 yards and five TDs for 10-2 St. Francis. ATH/ALL-PURPOSE — TARIQ BRACY, Milpitas | Jr. | 6-0, 170. We’re pretty convinced Bracy could play any position but lineman after the feats he pulled off in 2016. He eclipsed the 1,000yard mark in both rushing (1,177 with 11 TDs) and receiving (1,036 with 13 TDs). Defensively, he posted 46 tackles and five interceptions. RESERVES LB/DE — Addison Gumbs | Stellar Prep-Hayward | Sr. | 6-2, 220 | Oklahomacommit was major pocket disruptor. DL — Ronald Phelps | Lincoln-SF | Sr. | 6-0, 285 | City Player of the Year had 124 tackles and 14.5 sacks. DL — Ryan Robinson | KennedyRichmond | Sr. | 6-2, 220 | Eye-popping 23 sacks for upstart Eagles. DL — Heikoti Vaisima | Clayton Valley-Concord | 6-2, 265 | 66 tackles to go with 7.5 sacks. LB — Jake Bellecci | Elk Grove | Sr. | 6-1, 225 | 84 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 INT to cap a stellar four-year varsity career. LB — Kyle Harmon | Freedom-Oakley | Sr. | 6-1, 220 | Cal-bound tackle machine finished with 146 for the Eagles; also, had 4.5 sacks, four INT. LB — Trey Slade | Sutter | Sr. | 6-0, 200 | Closed 13-1 season with 82 tackles, six sacks, three INT and three fumble recoveries. DB — Cameron Stone | Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills | Sr. | 6-0, 185 | Trojans’ ball-hawk had eight INTs, including 3 in the playoffs, and added 58 tackles for SJS D-1 semifinalist. ATH — Montell Bland | Central Catholic-Modesto | Sr. | 6-1, 210 | Fouryear star RB/LB had 774 rushing yards and 14 TDs to go along with 68 tackles, three sacks and one INT. ATH — Camrion Davis | Del OroLoomis | Sr. | 5-9, 195 | RB/LB shined in two state finals with two rushing TDs in 2015 and a pair of INTs in 2016; he rushed for 1,038 yards and 12 TDs and had 39 tackles and 3 INTs as a senior. ATH — Lawrence Hardy | GrantSacramento | Sr. | 5-9, 165 | Speedy WR/DB scored five different ways while accounting for 1,415 all-purpose yards, 73 tackles and five INTs. ATH — Leki Nunn | Serra-San Mateo | Sr. | 5-11, 180 | Dual-threat QB had over 3,100 total yards (1,055 rush; 1,972 pass) and 39 total TDs. ATH — John Torchio | Campolindo-Moraga | Sr. | 6-2, 185 | Led CIF State Bowl Champions with seven INTs (one pick-6), six forced fumbles and one recovery. Also, 664 yards receiving and seven TDs. Congratulations to all.