Diablo Gazette September 2015

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What’s Inside? From the Publisher David King

On the cover is Concord City Councilman Edi Birsan dressed as a zombie in a Zombie Run Fundraiser he recently supported. I selected the photo because it looks like he’s been fighting. He is….with the Concord City Council. Mr. Birsan is the rogue councilman, the outsider in a tight group of community leaders who is not happy with the status quo at City Council. He is in a battle to make some changes, beginning with how Concord chooses its Mayor. He gives us his thoughts on the matter. Do you have a bucket list, take adventures, meet personal challenges head on, or live by the “life is a journey” mantra? Then you’ll relate to, or enjoy our new column Journeyman’s Journal by Johnny Joyrider. (Sorry, our IT engineer says we haven’t been using enough “J’s in this magazine, creating uneven wear and tear on our keyboards). In the article Tales of the Road Part 1 (I don’t know if there is a Part 2) Joyrider defines the conflict between a fanciful fantasy of an impulseinspired adventure with the grounding reality of “what am I doing?” To best describe Joyrider, he is Bear Grylls meets (humorist author) Bill Bryson, as he reveals the real life tribulations of an impromptu 1500 mile, 3-day, solitary, California road trip on his motorcycle. Clayton resident and 2014 Northgate graduate, Cameron Hughes, who at age 19, placed himself in front of the Nevada State Judiciary Senate and Assembly to pass a new law. And he was successful. It passed without opposition. This happened during his freshman year at

University of Nevada-Reno. Our article titled Northgate Grad Changing Nevada Law reveals his experience, the how and why he became the spokesperson for Nevada’s “Brady’s Bill SB464.” Clayton and Northgate High School should be very proud of this graduate. Look for him to be one of our movers-and-shakers in the future. The local media landscape is changing. Claycord announced a new partnership with East Bay County Today and News24-680 to provide easy access to coverage in the East County and Lamorinda areas. Meanwhile, Diablo Gazette Digital has partnered with SportStar Magazine to provide in-depth local sports coverage online. If you like sports, especially high school sports, you can read about the local up-andcoming athletes, superstars, and area teams, and their competition. We’ll cover a variety sports each month. Who knows, there may be a feature about your own son or daughter. Go to our Facebook Page and click on the link to read our first edition. Thank you all for the wonderful responses to our new column FrugElegance last month. This month, the FruGirls prepare us for new fall decorating ideas…with pumpkins. Yes, we are heading into that season already. The year is going by too fast; especially considering this was a Leap-second year, adding a one second adjustment to the atomic clock. Please, enjoy the magazine and support our sponsors.

David King David King Publisher Diablo Gazette

Table of Contents:

Best of Claycord – Mt. Diablo Fire page 3 A Walk Through Time page 4

What Really Matters – Beyond the Drought page 5 Countdown on Political Reform page 8 Why Implants? page 9 Pick Yourself the Perfect Pear page 10 Northgate Graduate Changes Nevada Law page 11 Time for the Arts Discover Benicia page 12 Movie Maverick and book Ends page 13 FrugElegance page 15 Calendar of Events page 16 Journeyman’s Journal - Tales of the Road (Part 1) page 18


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Best of Claycord: 2013 Mt. Diablo Fire Brings Claycord Community Together This month is the anniversary of the Mt Diablo Fire, September 9, 2013. This one event elevated Claycord to a new level of readership. It underscored the importance of having a reliable source for breaking news, especially in an emergency such as a fire on Mt. Diablo. There were other places on the internet one could get fire updates, but Claycord. com proved most reliable in keeping the community updated with images, progress reports, and the social sharing of readers’ stories and photos. You could see the community at work. On September 8, according to Google Analytics, Claycord’s daily readership

was around 11,000 unique users. The next day, as the fire broke out, and thick smoke lingered above the peak, 59,693 readers logged in 111, 512 times and read almost a collective 277,000 pageviews, all

on September 9. In the 5 days to follow, that number increased to 111,000 unique users, 310,000 visits, and read 730,000 pageviews. The Mt. Diablo fire had introduced

Contra Costa County to Clayord.com. Claycord’s audience has remained at a 50% higher daily readership level ever since, while nearly doubling the monthly unique audience and pageviews.

Fire and Ice by Matt Granz Photography.

Claycord archives its stories. It would be a satisfying exercise to peruse the stories and revisit the moment. Use the Claycord search bar to find and read the posts as this crisis unfolds. Review the images. You will get the sense of a nervous community that banded together in a time of crisis, provided

for firefighters with residents bringing cases of water and snacks to the Clayton Fire Station to the aid of more than 700 firefighters that battled the blaze. Photos submitted by Dan Marshall, Allison Marshall and Jude D’Arcy and a few unnamed Claycord contributors.


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A Walk Through Time

with Misty Bruns, Docent at the Clayton Museum

The Pacheco Cemetery —153 years ago

Computer Corner By William Claney, Computers USA

Windows 10: Awesome Success The successful launch of Windows 10 can be evidenced by its quick adoption with more than 75 million devices using the latest operating system that launched July 31, 2015. Microsoft has reported that the latest release of Windows is the most successful launch in their history. In that space of time more than 75 million users have downloaded and installed the OS making it the fastest adoption of software ever. Microsoft can be proud of their success so far as they seem to be on the path to reach their goals of 2 billion users by this time next year. Their success means software developers will see huge markets and that brings innovation and outstanding new apps. That being said, one may wonder how many failed installs there have been due to bugs or issues with the new software… as it turns out, not many. Microsoft has done a good job at insuring most devices will be compatible with their latest software. They have been very responsive to technical issues which have cropped up and posted fixes to flaws very quickly. However, some issues may ultimately appear. So far, issues and flaws don’t seem to be critical. We haven’t seen the death of a computer just because a computer is unfixable as in past software releases. Most common errors are hardware incompatibly centering on the lack of adequate RAM or hard drive space. In the cases where hardware does not

meet the minimum system requirements the error is fixable with minor tweaks to your computer, such as adding RAM or hard drive space. Software issues seem to be centered on device drivers that control the operation of hardware they are assigned to. For example, a new video card driver may not work correctly. You would still get video, but the resolution may not be correct so you must download a video driver from the manufacturer’s web site to view the correct resolution. According to Bidness Etc, a popular tech web site, “Microsoft has been on its toes ever since the update, attempting to release patches at an expedited rate to ensure that all the bugs within the OS are wiped out soon after they’re discovered. On the first day, the company released a cumulative update aimed at resolving many of the issues being reported about the new OS. Another update was released the following week and it is expected that Microsoft will continue this until the OS is refined enough.” Should you upgrade to Windows 10? In my opinion, yes, and do it now. If you have issues or problems you local Microsoft specialist is here to help you. If you don’t want to attempt the upgrade yourself ComputersUSA in Clayton, CA will install it for you. The Windows 10 software is free and the support is under $100. Get started now or you miss out on all the fun. See his ad right

The Pacheco Cemetery in Pacheco California began informally in 1862 when the landowner George P. Loucks allowed a couple to bury their young son on his property. William Payton Johnson 1 year 2 months old was buried near the property line of George P. Loucks. George was a founding member of the Pacheco Lodge, No. 117 Order of the Odd Fellows, formed in 1863. There is no record of anyone managing the cemetery or charging for burials back then. Between1862-1879 there were twenty-eight documented burials. From 1879-1900 there were fifty- five more documented burials at the Pacheco Pioneer Cemetery. Many of the markers were made of wood but, a fire destroyed them in the early 1900’s. In 1903 The Pacheco Cemetery was deeded to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows-I.O.O.F. The cemetery is located on Blum Road in Pacheco California. It has gone through many name changes …I.O.O.F Cemetery, Odd Fellows cemetery, Hidden Valley Cemetery, Seasons cemetery, Pacheco Pioneering cemetery just to name a few. The cemetery holds many of the pioneering families of the Concord, Pacheco, and Martinez area, such as Charles and Eva Tarwaters, Brubeck, First Mayor of Concord Joseph Boyd,

Loucks, Beebes, Kilgores, Jaquith, Smiths, and Ott to name a few. Over the years the cemetery went through many hands and the grounds were in deplorable condition for a very long time. It is now privately owned. Although burials are not allowed there is still a crematorium that is actively owned and running. Many stones are missing or not visible any longer. However, the new owner has employed someone to try and maintain the grounds promising to "Never forget who paved the way for how we live now.” Photos and information courtesy of Christine Williams. Another source was from the book “History of Concord its progress and promise”


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Clayton Valley Charter High School Holds Challenge Day For thousands of teenagers, bullying, violence, and alienation are a part of a typical high school day according to national organizers behind the Challenge Day program. These problems reduce learning, increase behavioral problems and suspensions, and can result in physical harm and even death. Seeking to address these “challenging” issues which impact students on and off campus, Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS) sponsored its annual Challenge Day. The four-day program was held August 24-27 at CVCHS and involved over 450 students and 25 adult volunteers and trained professionals. For the past 3 years, CVCHS sophomores participate with parents, counselors, teachers and community leaders to discuss sensitive issues surrounding teasing, bullying, and stereotyping. “Challenge Day provides Clayton Valley students with tools for peaceful conflict resolution and how to express emotions in a healthy way,” said Susanne Renner, a CVCHS parent leader responsible for organizing the school’s

program. “As a result, it builds empathy and community on campus by igniting a movement of compassion and positive change.” Challenge Day leaders work to create trust and connection by helping students step out of their comfort

What Really Matters

by Dan Ashley

Beyond the Drought As the California drought drags into the final few weeks of summer, we wait and hope for a rainy season that is, in fact, rainy for the first time in four years. There are signs that it will be. El Nino, the ocean phenomenon off the coast of Peru, may be developing into a particularly strong event. El Nino occurs in the Equatorial Pacific when the water warms roughly 5-degrees Fahrenheit for a three month period. The result is often, but not always, a significant increase in rain for us along the west coast. It’s not a lock, but it is reason for hope that our drought may begin to ease the punishing drought. In the fall of 1997, through the winter of the following year, El Nino produced a series of storms that left Bay Area reservoirs filled to the brim, but also caused widespread flooding and damage. I covered that story extensively, traveling to Peru to speak with leading experts on the phenomenon. This year, the indications are that we could see a much more powerful El Nino and an even wetter winter than we did then. We can use every drop of rain, unfortunately, we don’t need the destruction and hardship that may come with it. But while we wait for the deluge, we can’t let up on efforts to conserve as much precious fresh water as we can. To that end, Californians generally, and Bay Area residents specifically, are doing a remarkable good job. Water officials just released new figures that tell a story of

real conservation. In April, Governor Brown issued a mandate that the entire state reduce water consumption by 25-percent. On average, the entire state cut water use by 31-percent. In July, people in San Jose used 38-percent less water while in Santa Rosa water use dropped by 44-percent. All in all, we have done quite well by cutting use well beyond what the Governor called for. Not bad. The lesson of this summer is that we can conserve when asked and we should conserve without having to be. There is no reason for each of us not to continue our water conservation efforts, regardless of whether we remain in a drought. Waste not, want not should be a way of life come rain or shine. That said, industry must do its part as well to reduce its enormous consumption of precious water. If I am asked to take shorter showers and less grass turn brown, it’s only fair and reasonable that corporations make some changes and sacrifices as well. This drought will end and we will have plenty of water once again, until the next drought of course. We have learned in this summer to live with dramatically less of something that simply cannot be manufactured or replaced and, What Really Matters, is to make that a permanent lesson learned even as we hope that El Nino brings our yards back to life.

zones through music and games. Student participants begin to recognize stereotypes and labels that exist among them, and are then willing to be vulnerable enough with one another to connect as human beings. Leaders also discuss the healthy expression of

emotions, and the negative effects of keeping feelings inside. During the fourday program, student participants dive into the issue of social oppression and examine the impact oppression has on their lives and the lives of people around them. By the end of the program, students have an opportunity to take a stand against oppression, make amends for hurts they have caused each other, and state their commitment to creating change on their campus and in their community. The entire program is both inspiring and awakening for students and adult leaders. “Challenge Day is designed to build a connection among our students and to fulfill Clayton Valley’s vision that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated in a positive learning environment,” said David Linzey, CVCHS Executive Director. “It’s more than a four-day program – it provides our students with the ‘know-hows’ to tear down the walls of separation and to leave with goals effecting positive change in the school community for years to come.”

Sustainable Contra Costa Hosts Awards Gala Sustainable Contra Costa's 7th annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards Gala is coming up on September 23rd, and we'd love for you and your readers to join us! Wednesday, Sept 23 Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord 6 - 9 pm Join us for a wonderful night of celebration, music, food, beer and wine! Master of Ceremonies John Sasaki of KTVU News and special guest presenters Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and Supervisor Mary Piepho will announce

award winners and honorees in the following categories: •Leadership in Sustainable Communities •Leadership in Food System Innovation •Leadership in Sustainable Resource Management •Leadership in Sustainable Economics •Green Building Please share with your networks and friends - we would love to see you there! This event is also the annual fundraiser for Sustainable Contra Costa. Event flyer is attached. For more info:www. sustainablecoco.org/awards_gala


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Resident Tales Sponsored by the Diamond Terrace 55+ retirement community in Clayton.

A Welcome To New Technology by Ruth Dwyer

My mother, bless her memory, was not considered a gourmet cook. While my three sisters and I never went hungry, our meals always consisted of the Irish staples of meat and potatoes. My mother would rather read serious literature than a cookbook. There came a time when our old Wedgewood stove went kaput. It was considered an antique and she sold it to a dealer for a considerable amount of money. My dad told her to pick out a new stove, preferably one with new features. So, mom called her best friend, who, like mom, did not do much in the kitchen. Off they went to the nearest Sears. The salesman was the soul of patience with the two of them. He had to repeat, over and over again, how to operate the stove mom was thinking of buying. The main selling point was setting dials which would allow her to put a roast in the oven, leave to go to movie or shopping, and when she came home the roast would have cooked and would be waiting to be served. The stove was delivered and the neighbors came out to check out its arrival, which, by the way, had arrived with no charge for delivery or installation (the good old days). The next day, mom's friend came by for a trial run. They would go shopping and when they came home, miracle of miracles, dinner would be ready. After much discussion and reading of the instruction book, all dials were set. The two friends praised each other for their achievement and lightheartedly left. Several hours later, they returned, expecting to be greeted by the aroma of the cooked roast. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It seems that with all the fuss over the dial settings, they had missed one important step. They had forgotten to put the roast in!


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‘A Season of Desire’ for the 16th Eugene O’Neill Festival The 16th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival, produced by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and Role Players Ensemble will feature a production of Tennessee Williams’ powerful drama A Streetcar Named Desire (September 4-19) at the Village Theatre in Danville, produced by Role Players Ensemble, and directed by George Maguire. The O’Neill Foundation’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s classic Desire Under the Elms, directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes, will be presented September 18-27 in the Old Barn at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site. This year’s Festival, called “A Season of Desire,” focuses on the drive behind our human desires highlighted with stage productions by two of America’s most powerful playwrights. Other events include a screening of the 1948 classic film of A Streetcar Named Desire (September 10) starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh; and a lively panel “100 Years of Desire” (September 19) exploring desire as depicted in theatre, literature and cinema. A walking tour, “The Secrets of O’Neill in Danville,”

(September 12); an overview by Eric Fraisher Hayes of playwright O’Neill’s “Evolution of an Artist – from Provincetown to Tao House”, and a “Conversation with biographer John Lahr” (October 4) will all be part of the annual Festival. Full details for the entire Festival schedule are available online at www.eugeneoneill.org. Tickets for events are available at the Town of Danville’s ticket office at www. villagetheatershows.com. The Eugene O’Neill Festival honors the only American playwright to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1936), and the recipient of four Pulitzer Prizes. It is at Tao House in Danville where O’Neill lived from 1937-1944, and where he wrote his most notable plays, including A Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh and others. Tao House at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site is operated by the National Park Service.

Contra Costa Greek Festival Returns for 37th Celebration St. Demetrios Church is hosting the 37th Annual Contra Costa Greek Festival on September 18-20. This popular three-day local event promises a truly memorable Greek experience with a variety of Greek cuisine, wine, music and other entertainment. If you favor the flavor of Greek food, you can go to the ccgreekfest.com and find actual recipes to popular Greek foods such as Baklava, Moussaka, Souvlaki, Spanakopita . Some events become a staple of

Concord’s entertainment scene. This is one of them. If you have never

experienced at least one of the past 36 festivals, maybe you need to hear from those that have. Here are some excerpts of reviews of previous Greek Festival . “This is a decent Greek Festival. Its Free and parking is only $5. My wife and I did the wine flight, which let you sample 2 whites, and 3 reds for $15. It was pretty tasty. Part of the flight was a sampling of a Retsina style wine, which was fermented from pine trees sap. Very interesting to say the least.” “The food on the main row is quite tasty, and nicely priced. I had the gyro and some calamari, The dining hall has a line of food you can select from.” “If you love Greek food, you really can’t miss with this festival. Moussaka, pastitsio, gyros, lamb, loukoumathes, stuffed eggplant, dolmas, and a wine tasting booth with several Greek wines.” “It’s a great place to go with the whole family to enjoy some great food, check out the various booths, & listen to Greek music. You just might feel transported to Greece for an hour or two, which is just fine by me.

“A nice local activity. Good food., Fun music, Very nice people. I personally wish it were a bit “bigger” . It appears Greek Festival reviewers like to eat. There is also dancing and live music as well. You will enjoy the entertainment of traditional Greek dances performed by members of the Greek Orthodox Youth dance groups from traditional to modern Greek music. For more information, a schedule of activities, recipes, etc., log on to ccgreekfest.com. Put it on your calendar. It’s free admission and fun. The festival will be held at St. Demetrios Church across from the Pavilion on Kirker Pass Rd. Oh, did I mention that 10 percent of proceeds go to local charities?

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Countdown on Political Reform The Importance of Life Insurance Step One: Directly Elected Mayor in Concord Edi Birsan As the largest city in the County and with the upcoming expansion of the Naval Weapon Station it is a natural thing to have the Mayor directly elected by the people. Currently it is chosen by the rest of the City Council for a 2-year term. As a General Law city the Mayor has mostly a ceremonial role on paper with the main features of power being: 1. Can put things on the agenda single handedly 2. Makes the appointments to the standing committees 3. Makes the appointments to the regional committees 4. Runs the Council meeting. However, the Mayor holds great prestige and influence by the very name of his position and is a focus for the community and the regional board. A four-year, directly elected mayor will have greater ability to influence the area's policy by the very virtue of the selection by the people and the fact that the post will be held for four years. It has been said “if it is not broken, don't fix it.” To which I have always replied, “If you wait till it is broken then your leadership has failed.” However, the system now is broken. There is no regular rotation of the offices of Mayor or Vice Mayor; looking back at the last eight years, you cannot determine what the rules of such a thing would be. All attempts to get a written set of rotation in office have been meet with a total NO by multiple past and present Councils. To add to the problem, we are currently faced with the long standing tradition

of the in-coming Mayor hosting and arranging the Mayor's reception on the night of the selection by the Council. However, the planning and ordering is done weeks, if not a month in advance and there is never a public agenda item on the selection except for the night of the reception. So, it is somehow brought to resolution before the formal vote. In the case of 2012 the selection was apparently done before the election. The first step is to get the power back in the hands of the people. Then we can work on the other aspects of Political reform such as: 1. requiring the prime residence of the Council to be in the city 2. having a defined rotation method for the Vice Mayor 3. having in place a defined method to appoint the runner up in an election to fill the vacancy on the Council by one of its members going for higher office or stepping down. Reform is in the air. Now to get in down on paper! A petition drive will be started on the directly elected mayor shortly. To sign up for a volunteer in that drive, it will require 5750 signatures, contact: Edi Birsan at EdiBirsan@gmail.com, or 925-798-3537 Note these are the personal views of Edi Birsan, current City Council Member and not to be construed as anything other than that!

Colleen Geraghty

Even though your children may not need financial support, your spouse might depend on your income, especially if you are still working and/or have debts such as a mortgage, car payment, or student loan, which could be paid off with a life insurance benefit. Losing one spouse’s Social Security benefit could also make it more difficult for the survivor, even with survivor benefits. Widows and widowers aged 55 and older are more likely to live in poverty than married people in the same age group. Help for your Heirs Although fewer families face federal estate taxes because of the high exemption level ($5.34 million in 2014), other end-of-life costs — medical expenses, legal costs associated with tying up financial affairs, and other final expenses — could be a burden for heirs. Unlike some assets, life insurance death benefits are typically paid relatively quickly, and an insurance death benefit is usually not subject to federal income tax. A More Permanent Solution Term insurance is generally the most affordable type of life insurance, but premiums can become more expensive with age, and a term policy provides coverage only for a specified period of time. If you have a term policy that is scheduled to expire, you might be able to extend coverage at a higher premium or convert it to a permanent life policy if that option is available. Another option is to purchase a new permanent life insurance policy. Permanent life insurance offers a

guaranteed death benefit and lifetime protection as long as you pay the premiums. Even though the cost of permanent insurance is usually higher than for term insurance, premiums typically remain level over your lifetime, and a portion of the insurance premium goes into a cash-value account that accumulates on a tax-deferred basis throughout the life of the policy. Not only could this increase the death benefit but you may be able to borrow against the cash value during your lifetime. Withdrawals of the accumulated cash value, up to the amount of the premiums paid, are not subject to income tax. Loans are also free of income tax as long as they are repaid. However, loans and withdrawals will reduce the policy’s cash value and death benefit. Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Before implementing a strategy involving life insurance, it would be prudent to make sure you are insurable. In addition to the life insurance premiums, other costs include mortality and expense charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, there may be surrender charges and income tax implications. Colleen Geraghty is a financial representative of Principal Financial Group, Princor Registered Representative, CA Insurance Lic 0189925. See her ad below.


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Back-to-School Organization Jennifer Stojanovich

With school starting, it's time to do a little reorganizing to make early mornings and after-school activities run smoothly. When starting school after moving into a new home, consider some of the additional challenges your children face and plan accordingly. Implement changes to the household gradually so that your kids adjust before that big first day.

Bedtime

Over the summer, kids typically wake later in the morning and fall asleep later in the evening. To ease the adjustment, begin walking back the bedtime hours until you reach the optimum time at least a few days before the start of school. To help in the transition, install blackout curtains in bedrooms and avoid blue light from television, computer, tablet and phone screens.

Breakfast and Lunch

A lifetime of smiles by Robert H. Waldman, D.D.S.

Why Implants? Hello Readers. Let’s talk about your missing teeth. Here is a fact about periodontal disease. If you have periodontal disease and you don’t address it then you have potential to have bone loss. In time, bone loss in your jaw will usually follow with the loss of a tooth. This brings a series of unwanted changes to your life including facial changes, a change in your speech, and changes in your diet. All of these changes over time can happen if you don’t replace the lost tooth. This is because as teeth shift, your jawbone recedes and in extreme cases your cheeks take on a collapsed look. Dental Implants can replace those lost teeth and fill the void in your tooth arch, therefore helping to prevent the above possibilities. Implants generally require an Oral Surgeon or Periodontal Specialist to insert, but can be restored by your general dentist. This is an introduction to Implant Therapy. Please feel free to email me at robwaldmandds@gmail.com or call my office at 925-682-6940 if you have any questions. As always, please remember to “SWISH, FLOSS, BRUSH AND SWISH AGAIN”. Dr. Rob

Stock your refrigerator with quick, nutritious options for breakfast and to-go lunches. Choose health-conscious options that your kids like and have them help you pack their lunch the night before school.

Clothing

If your children wear uniforms, having several options so that you don't have to launder them at night during the week is helpful. Have children pick out their clothes the night before. Create a special space in their closets just for school clothes so you can tell at a glance if you need to replenish their wardrobe before the weekend.

Shoes

Top 10 reasons for Implants:

1. Implants require only normal brushing and flossing for maintenance. 2. Implants are anchored permanently in your jawbone. 3. Implants preserve and strengthen the underlying bone just like the roots of your natural teeth. 4. Implants do not alter or comprise adjacent healthy teeth. 5. Implants require no plates that can affect comfort or fit. 6. Implants can replace the form and function of only one tooth or two, or can replace the teeth in your entire upper and/or lower jaw. 7. Implants can anchor dentures to prevent shifting, or replace partial dentures & bridgework. 8. Implants have no age barrier. 9. Implants are safe & reliable. 10. Implants look completely natural so that no one will ever know you have them.

Creating a shoe station at the door saves time on hunting for that lost shoe and keeps wet, dirty or muddy prints from tracking through the house. Consider a separate shoe cubby for each

child and hang hooks above each cubby for jackets and backpacks. If your child plays sports, create a separate cubby for uniforms, equipment and sports shoes.

After-School Snacks

Set up an after-school snack station in a basket or decorative bin on your counter and a specific shelf in your refrigerator for juice, sports drinks and veggies or fruit.

Homework

Create a homework station. For younger children, a specific space off the kitchen or living area keeps supplies and assignments contained and organized. Set up organizer boxes for each child to place assignments and set a calendar and bulletin board above the station to keep track of due dates, after-school activities and special events. Older kids benefit from having a desk or study area in their rooms or a quieter office space, but a calendar on the outside of the door lets you keep track of their schedule while offering them some privacy.

Preparing for the Big Day

Starting a new school in a new neighborhood requires advance preparation. If your child walks to school, take the time to go over several routes to and from school. Learn where crossing guards assist on busy streets and where sidewalks offer safety as they walk to and from school. Locate bike lanes and the safest biking routes from your home. Locate bus stops and learn the correct bus numbers. If you're looking for a home in a specific school district or need information about your neighborhood schools, call Jennifer Stojanovich Better Homes Realty 925-567-6170. Compliments of Virtual Results Jennifer is a Clayton-based realtor. See her ad to the left


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Pick Yourself a Perfect Pear by Debra Morris Pacific Coast Farmers Market vwww.pcfma.com/concord

Hundreds of varieties of pears have been introduced over the last century, the most popular being the Bartlett. The name Bartlett comes from nurseryman Enoch Bartlett of Massachusetts who began distributing the variety with his own name in 1812, after it was brought to the colonies as the Williams pear. Bartlett pear trees made it to California, brought by those who wanted to strike it rich during the Gold Rush of 1849. Other varieties soon made their way here, and now California is one of the major growers of pears in the U.S. Pear season usually runs from late July to December, with some varieties continuing through February. A relative of the apple and quince, pears are sweet and juicy, range in texture from crunchy to soft, and are great in salads, desserts, or eaten raw. Bosc pears are best eaten crunchy, whereas D'Anjou and Williams pears are best eaten soft. Russeting, or brown spots, is a common and benign feature of many pears. To ripen a pear faster, place it in a paper bag or next to a banana. Pears are among the few fruits that

improve after they’re picked as long as they are picked fully mature, but not ripe. If left to ripen fully on the tree, pears can become mealy. Select green pears that are firm, not soft, and free of blemishes or bruises. The stems should be intact.

From the recipe book:

Pear Bistro Salad

Ingredients: 8 cups assorted torn mixed salad greens 2 fresh California Bartlett pears, cored and sliced 3 cooked, skinned chicken breast halves, cut into strips 2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions 1/2 cup walnut halves 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or other cheese Balsamic vinegar Olive oil

Instructions: Line platter with greens; top with pears, cooked chicken, shallots, and nuts. Top with cheese. Combine vinegar and oil to taste; drizzle over salad. Serve with crusty bread, if desired.

Courtesy of calpear.com

Leave them out at room temperature and they will ripen in a few days. To be sure the one you select is ready to eat, apply gentle pressure to the stem end of the pear with your thumb. If it yields slightly, it is ripe.

Debra Morris is associated with the Pacific Coast Farmes Market. See their ad below.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 11 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

Northgate Graduate Changes Nevada Law As each year’s graduating class marches off to begin their path into adulthood, one cannot help but wonder what will they become? How fast will they adapt? Who will make a difference? It turns out that one Northgate graduate of the 2014 Class has already made an impact. Cameron Hughes attends University of Nevada in Reno as a sophomore. studying for a double major - Finance and Economics with a minor in Political Science. He is also interning at the Legislative Affairs Department of the Associate Student Union of UNVReno. He recently found himself standing in front of the Nevada Senate proposing, testifying, and lobbying for them to pass a new amnesty law called Brady’s Bill SB 464. The bill protects underage drinkers from prosecution if they take responsible action and seek medical assistance in an emergency. So, how did a Northgate student find himself in this position? The head of the Associate Student Union Legislative

Affairs Department, Quinton Jones, knew that Cameron had won the 2014 UNV Speech Contest and asked if he had any personal experience with this issue and would he be interested in appearing before the Senate Assembly to speak about it. He had and he was interested. “It is a real problem,” says Cameron. “Students who had too much to drink were not being taken care of by their fellow students because students were afraid to call the police for fear of getting charged with an MIC (Minor In Consumption). We wanted to remove the existing statute in Nevada, and implement a Good Samaritan Law which simply states that if a Good Samaritan calls emergency services, for an unconscious or intoxicated person, or for any medical emergency, the person making the call would be granted immunity from prosecution. “ Cameron testified with his own personal experience. “While I was at Northgate, I was involved with sports medicine. There I learned that when

someone is vomiting and dehydrated, you turn them on their side so that they don’t asphyxiate on their own vomit. On one occasion, I was at a party as a sober designated driver. At some point during the night I went to a back room and came upon a guy literally choking on his own vomit. I turned him on his side to afford him some comfort, and opened his airwaves to keep him from choking to death. But, there have been several cases of students just leaving their friends in a bathtub to ‘sleep it off.’ Unfortunately, some are not sleeping it off, they are dying from brain hemorrhaging , dehydration, or asphyxiation. What they need is medical help.” Cameron pleaded to the Assembly. Underage drinking among high school and college students is a real problem in Nevada. Senate Bill 464 is proposing to help underage people who are in potentially dangerous situations. The bill would exempt a minor who has been drinking from criminal liability if he or

she is seeking medical assistance. SB 464, also known as the “Brady’s Bill”, was drafted in memory of Brady Caipa, a student at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas who died after binge drinking at a party his senior year. Upon getting sick, Caipa’s friends took him to a bathroom where he was left to sleep for the night, and was found dead the next morning. Under SB 464, not all underage people at a party would be free of criminal charges if medical assistance is requested. Only the person who makes the emergency call will be exempt from legal charges, as well as the person who is in need of medical assistance. The law passed without objection. Twenty-three states, including California, have adopted similar legislation. There is no wondering about the future of Cameron Hughes. Clayton and Northgate can be very proud of this young man. I am sure we will hear more great things from him in the future. Well done, Cameron, well done.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 12 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

Discover the Arts in Benicia A Time for the Arts

by Deb Ashley

The waterfront town of Benicia is not only charming and beautiful; it is filled with art related events throughout the year. For such a small community, it offers a wealth of cultural activities and a little something for everyone. Many people may be familiar with the weekly farmers market every Thursday evening from 4:00-8:00, but you may not know that this year they are hosting the second annual film festival. September 4th -6th, the Benicia Arts and Cultural

Commission is sponsoring the event with films shown all weekend long starting on Friday night. The films include a variety of genres and are from all across the United States. At the Benicia Public Library, you can see a photography exhibit in the Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Art Gallery that includes six Bay Area artists. The photographers are known as “The Lightcatchers” and the work in this show is highlighting the people and places of California. The artists challenge the viewers to take notice of what is often overlooked in our surroundings and contrast our manmade world with that of the landscape. You can learn more about the Library or the exhibit by going to the website at benicialibrary.org. On September 5th, you can view more than 30 sail boats come into the bay at the annual Jazz Cup Race, and then come celebrate at the Benicia Yacht Club with a day filled with activities that includes live music, dinner and dancing. Find out more about the event at Beniciayachtclub. com.

The Rotary Club of Benicia is sponsoring a Wine Tasting and Artist Open Studio event on September 9th from 6:00-8:30. The event, called “Expanding Experiences” will be at the Historic Arsenal Artists’ Studios and the proceeds are used to help at-risk children as well as all kids, through the arts and a variety of “life-expanding experiences”. Tickets for this event at $35. For more information, you can go to ExpandingExperiences.info, or purchase tickets at brownpapertickets.com/ event/2156057. Every second Saturday of the month from April through October, Benicia has a downtown art walk from noon-6:00pm. Local and guest artists will be showing their work throughout Benicia at various locations. You can get a map that shows you where each artist will be and a list of the venues. The theme for the September 12th walk is Benicia Arsenal Artists.

More information about the art walks can be found at BeniciaArtWalk.org. On September 19th, there is a downtown Benicia Art Fair from 10:004:00. This year marks the 42nd annual fair and features more than 150 artists and craftspeople and will take place downtown on First Street. And on the heels of the art fair, on September 25th, you can enjoy the seventh annual Benicia Fashion Runway Weekend. Six designers from Project Runway and Project Runway All-stars have been confirmed to attend the event. It will be held at 370 First Street and you can find out more about the fashion weekend at ChristinaSBenicia. com. There is much more happening in Benicia, but these events give you a taste of how many artsy things are going on just across the bridge. You can see a list of all the events in Benicia at visitbenicia.org.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 13 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

Reviews Book Ends

by Chadwick H Saxelid

‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ by Jill Dawson Being a longtime fan of Edgar Allen Poe, I had a desire to crack open Jill Dawson’s new novel, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the moment I read its title. Adding fuel to my desire was a cover blurb describing the book as “uncanny and atmospheric.” Spooky sounding praise that made me all the more eager to dive into the interconnected tales of Patrick Robson, heart recipient, Drew Beamish, heart donor, and Willie Beamiss, an ancestor of Drew’s. After suffering a massive heart attack, Patrick Robson is diagnosed with heart failure. If the fifty-year-old serial philanderer, and soon to be former Professor of American History, does not get a new heart, he will not be alive in six months time. Then Drew Beamish, a troubled teenager, dies in a tragic motorcycle accident and Robson gets a brand new used heart. While recovering from surgery, Robson has strange dreams and begins noticing minor personality changes that surprise him.

Because Dawson’s novel is a literary one, the changes Robson, and those who know him well, notice are in no way whatsoever ominous, or the slightest bit unsettling. They are quite welcome, in fact. It seems that the once cold and uncaring Robson also got a bit of an empathy transplant. Or did he? There are a few lighthearted, and a few heated, discussions about whether or not post transplant personality changes are the result of a small piece of the organ donor living on in the organ recipient, or if it only exists in the recipient’s mind. Robson might be a firm disbeliever in supernatural hokum, but Dawson wisely holds back from giving readers anything that resembles concrete proof, one way or the other. By this point you can no doubt tell that Dawson’s “Tell-Tale Heart” is no nightmare of soul transference via organ transplant. It also has nothing whatsoever in common with the macabre Poe story it shares a title with, save for Robson, once or twice, describing the beating of his heart as sounding like a “watch wrapped in cotton.” What “The Tell-Tale Heart” is is a moderately interesting story of how three very different, yet very similar, men struggle with the human desires for love, connection, and something more than they have. While Dawson’s tale is certainly atmospheric, it is not the least bit uncanny.

Twin Brothers of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Different Mothers Movie Maverick by Jason Rugaard

Martin Biro and Jerry Dunbar Show at the aRT Cottage

The ageless wonder, Tom Cruise, is back to his high energy antics in his latest slam-bang thrill ride, Mission:Impossible-Rogue Nation. This entry is the strongest “spy” movie since Casino Royale back in 2006. Now that Bond does more brooding than bashing, Ethan Hunt is back on the job to satisfy that international intrigue itch and send audiences home sedated. This fifth film in the M:I series is an absolute joy to behold, clever and clean in terms of storytelling, editing, and overall execution. Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie does an excellent job behind the camera with assured direction and some brilliant set-pieces. Facing pressure from the head of the C.I.A. (Alec Baldwin), an oversight committee has voted to disband the entire IMF teams. This leaves Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in hiding, while a new deadlier enemy threat, known as the Syndicate, emerges from the shadows.

This rogue squad is a well-financed and powerful group of skilled ex-operatives who are determined to create a new world order, through mounting a series of assassinations and other terrorist activity. Up against another impossible mission, Ethan recruits his usual team members Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jermey Renner), and Luther (Ving Rhames) to bring down the network of killers. The gang is joined by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a disavowed MI-6 agent who may or may not be a member of the Syndicate. Rogue Nation is curiously constructed, the first hour is action-heavy, while the second half of the story focuses on character and motivations. Those excepting a slam-bang finale may be surprised to find an ending that is more clever than cataclysmic. It’s not often the fifth film in a series invigorates a franchise, MIRN does that with seeming ease. This is the best movie of the summer. Director: Christopher McQuarrie Stars: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson

When Jerry Dunbar, a Native American from East L.A, and Martin Biro, an immigrant Hungarian from Budapest, met on the St. Mary’s College soccer team in 1972, this unlikely duo felt an instant bond. They soon discovered a kindred passion for art as well as soccer. Both studied art and history and though their pursuit of art took them in different directions, a lasting friendship was born. Eventually, Jerry returned to his ancestral land in New Mexico where his medium of choice is traditional and contemporary Pueblo pottery. Martin experimented primarily with painting, favoring palette knives over brushes. His work includes impressionistic landscapes and abstract art. Art and friendship converged again when Martin’s daughter moved to New Mexico to pursue a doctoral degree in history that included archiving the life work of Southwest artist R.C. Gorman. During Martin’s many visits to New Mexico to visit his daughter and Jerry, art was often a focus along with many hours spent outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of the Southwestern landscape. Jerry shared his reverence for the land and the Native American

spiritual embrace of the natural world. Increasingly, Martin’s work began to reflect the color and spirit of New Mexico while Jerry expanded his exploration of Pueblo pottery. When Martin’s daughter was married in Lake Tahoe on Native American land in 2014, Jerry officiated the ceremony and created the traditional wedding vessel for the nuptial blessing as a gift for the bride and groom. It was Jerry who suggested the two friends honor their lifelong friendship, spiritual bond and journey as artists in a dual show that celebrates how these twin brothers of different mothers came to be. The aRt Cottage will host this show throughout the month September, 2015. An artists’ reception with champagne, appetizers and music will be held on Saturday, September 12th from 5:00 to 8:00p.m. at 2238 Mt. Diablo St in Concord. The public is invited to attend this special event and meet the artists.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 14 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

California Symphony Opens New Season The California Symphony and Music Director Donato Cabrera open their 2015-16 season Sunday, September 20 at 4 pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek with “Passport to the World,” a musical tour of work by composers including Dvořák, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg, Debussy, Elgar, Falla, Vaughan Williams, Glière, and Sibelius’ Karelia Suite and Finlandia, on the anniversary of the great Finnish composer’s death. Following the concert, the orchestra and Cabrera welcome the audience to mingle with the artists at a special Opening Night Party, a benefit reception. Opening Night Party tickets sold separately. “It will be like watching a movie, you buy a ticket, the lights dim, and you’re transported to another place,” said Cabrera. In addition to the Sibelius works, the program includes well-known orchestral music by Vaughan Williams (Fantasia on “Greensleeves”) Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, and Debussy’s Clair de Lune, as well as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Procession of the Nobles, Glière’s Dance of Russian Sailors, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance, Debussy’s Girl with the Flaxen Hair and Grieg’s The Last Spring. The orchestra is entering its third season with Cabrera, and is performing concerts in three new venues, Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center’s Lincoln Theater in Yountville, and at the Concord Pavilion in Concord. The

orchestra is focused on American repertoire, nurturing new American composers as part of its Young American Composer in Residence program as well as performing the most revered core classical repertoire. In May 2016, the orchestra and guitarist Jason Vieaux perform the world premiere of the orchestra’s new concerto commission by Dan Visconti, current Young American Composer in Residence, in concert in Walnut Creek and Yountville. Other season highlights include an American Roots program with pianist Charlie Albright performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a showcase of two California Symphony principal musicians in a littleheard R. Strauss double concerto, performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, and holiday music with Pacific Boychoir, in

ADVERTISERS

Don’t miss our next issue!

Walnut Creek and Yountville. All individual tickets to the 2015-16 California Symphony concerts and for the Opening Night Party go on sale August 21 and can be purchased through the California Symphony’s at www.californiasymphony. org or call 925-280-2490. Subscription ticket package prices are on sale now to renewing subscribers and the general public. The California Symphony is the only all-professional orchestra in Contra Costa County. The orchestra is comprised of musicians who have performed with the orchestras of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others. California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today's most-performed composers and soloists, including violinist Sarah Chang, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts. Music Director Donato Cabrera joined the California Symphony in 2013. He has been the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) since 2009. In 2014, Cabrera was appointed Music Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2013 he became Music Director of the New Hampshire Music Festival.

Send request for ad rates to diablogazette@gmail.com or call 925-255-2123.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 15 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

Easy and Elegant Fall Home Decor Pumpkin Style! FrugElegance With Carol and Randi, the Frugirls

It might not feel like Fall yet, but it's quickly approaching and we have some fabulous Frug-Elegant fall home decor ideas using Pumpkins! Real and decorative, pumpkins come in a huge variety of colors, sizes, materials and price ranges. You can find them anywhere from the local dollar store to high end decor stores. Just to name a few, there are plastic pumpkins, glass pumpkins, wood pumpkins and of course, real pumpkins. If we have to pick a favorite though, it has to be the beautiful & "Rustic Chic" White Pumpkin.

Here are some super simple ideas using plain white pumpkins. •Line up small white pumpkins across a fireplace mantel. •Prop a midsize white pumpkin on a pedestal cake plate. •Place small white pumpkins on a candelabra (where the candles would be). •Display pumpkins on chunky pillar candle holders. •Use one large with two smaller white pumpkins for your front door/porch area. •Set several small white pumpkins on a table runner for an elegant table. For more decorative flare, try some super simple ways to add a little creative accents to a pumpkin. •Line up small white pumpkins on the mantel (like we listed above) and using a sharpie marker, draw a letter on each pumpkin so together they will spell out a word like: BOO, FALL, WELCOME or THANKS. •Using a gold or black sharpie marker, draw thick lines in the grooves from stem to bottom. Decorate a few pumpkins and change the pattern to circles. Put three pumpkins together with three different designs!

•Glue on some faux leaves. •Glue on some bling such as crystals, or cover the stem in glitter. •Wrap a thick ribbon around the pumpkin. •Personalize a large pumpkin with an easy to use, peal & stick, monogram sticker (found at your local craft store). Perfect for front door or a table centerpiece. •A faux vine/garland from your local craft store looks fabulous loosely wrapped around the bottom of a pumpkin. Where can you find white pumpkins? Our favorite place is Trader Joe's. They have the best selection at great prices. Local grocery and hardware stores also carry white pumpkins. If you want to go with a "faux" white pumpkin, Michael's Craft Store sells realistic carve-able white pumpkins. For more fall inspiration and our easy delicious pumpkin dump cake recipe please visit our website www. FrugElegance.com. Happy Fall Decorating!


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 16 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

The Diablo Gazette’s

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FUNDRAISERS

Pancake Breakfast - Supporting Veterans of foreign Wars – 2nd and 4th Sundays includes eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. Willow Pass Road, Concord $5, $3 Children under 12. www. vfwpost1525.org Pancake Breakfast and Resource Fair to benefit Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services’ Fall Prevention Program. Sunday, September 13, 2015 8:30am-10:30am . Pancake Breakfast tickets are Adults $5, Children under 10 $3, Free under 4. For tickets click here (https://secure.donationpay.org/ mowsos/pancake2015.php), or call 925954-8736. The Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill Sustainable Contra Costa: 7th Annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards Gala, Wednesday, September 23rd, 6pm-9pm at Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord. Master of Ceremonies John Sasaki of KTVU News and special guest presenters Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and Supervisor Mary Piepho will announce award winners and honorees in the following categories: Leadership in Sustainable Communities, Leadership in Food System Innovation, Leadership in Sustainable Resource Management, Leadership in Sustainable Economics, Green Building. Join us for a wonderful night of celebration, music, food, beer and wine! For more info: www. sustainablecoco.org/awards_gala GFWC Clayton Valley Woman’s Club “Fall Fundraiser”, October 24, from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Woman’s Club presents a delightful afternoon of music, appetizers and desserts at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St. in Clayton. Mike Spellman and Ella Wolfe will take you on a musical excursion making you laugh, reflect and imagine. Reservations are limited. For reservation information ($25), please call Aleta Huck at 925-672-9448. For more information about the Woman’s Club, check out claytonvalleywomansclub.org. Wine & Whiskers – September 19. ARF’s 12th annual Wine & Whiskers extravaganza 5 p.m.-8p.m. Guests will enjoy sampling wines from local wineries and delicious appetizers from local eateries. Also on the menu will be silent auctions, music, and appearances by ARF’s adoptable pets! Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), 2890 Mitchell Drive Walnut Creek. Contact Kathleen Huls: (925) 296-3118). Tickets $85, reservation required.

GOVERNMENT

Coffee with GO-Biz; A Small Business Fair/Workshop hosted by Assemblywoman Susan A. with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center Thursday, September 24th 8:30-10:30AM Pleasant Hill Community Center 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA. For more information, and to RSVP (925)-521-1511 or visit website at asmdc.org/bonilla •Concord City Council, 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr, Concord. Or watch online at http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/ citygov/agendas/council/ Concord Planning Commission 1st and 3rd Wednesdays 7 p.m. Concord Chamber, Concord Civic Center 1950 Pakside dr. www.cityofconcord.org •Clayton City Council, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 7pm. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Rd, Clayton. http://ci.clayton.ca.us •Martinez City Council, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. City Hall, 7 pm, 525 Henrietta Street, Martinez. Or Listen online at http://www.granicus.com/ streamingMediaHelp/minimumSystem. htm, http://www.cityofmartinez.org •Walnut Creek City Council, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 7 pm. Or watch online at http://www.walnut-creek.org/services/ citizen/granicus.asp •Pleasant Hill City Council, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 7:30 pm, Council Chambers of the Pleasant Hill City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. Or follow online at http://www.ci.pleasant-hill. ca.us/media/

FAMILY EVENTS Botanica: All Things Plant Life; A National Juried Exhibition through September 6, 2015. Inside the Lesher Center for the Arts at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, (925) 295-1417 Email: galleryinfo@bedfordgallery.org Admission: General $5; Youth (17 and under) $3; Children 12 and under, free; First Tuesdays are free; Free for ticket holders to events in the Lesher Center for the Arts on ticketed date. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, Noon – 5:00pm, and 6:00 – 8:00pm on evenings when there are theater productions in the LCA. Tours: call (925)295-1416 or email gallerytours@bedfordgallery.org Website: www.bedfordgallery.org •Thursday Night Music and Market Series

takes place in Todos Santos Plaza Sing with Diablo Choral Artists! “Diablo Valley’s OWN chamber choir performs significant works of sacred and secular choral music, and has openings for all voice parts (esp. tenors and basses). Rehearsals are Mondays, 7-9:30 pm (no rehearsal Sept. 7) at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek. Mark Tuning, Music Director. See www.vmschorus.org for details and more information, or call 925-6807089,info@dcaschorus.org The Fall Contra Costa Crystal Fair: October 10-11 at Civic Park Community Center, 1371 Civic Drive (at Broadway), Walnut Creek Hours: Saturday 10-6; Sunday 10-4 Admission $8.00 ( Children 12 and under free). Find a magical mix of crystals, minerals, beads, gems, jewelry and metaphysical healing tools plus thousands of items at excellent prices, massage, aura reading, and psychic reading. Website: www.crystalfair.com Ham Radio Communication for Emergency and Disaster Communications Presentation. Salvation Army SATERN DV Training. Chairman Chuck Graham, KI6DCD, from the Concord Corps. Amateur radio (ham radio): Learn how to become a ham radio operator and organize into a group that can be effective in time of Emergency or Disaster. Local ham operators are invited to attend in support. September 10, 7 PM at Brentwood Neighborhood Church, 50 Birch St Brentwood CA 94513. 925-6341415

•DANVILLE: First Sunday of every •Month: Cars ‘n Coffee, On the First Sunday of every month, automotive enthusiasts gather in the parking lots of the Blackhawk Automotive Museum to share their vehicles and admire the other fabulous classics, exotics, rods and anything else with wheels and a motor. There is no fee for Cars & Coffee. Come when you want, leave when you want, but know that early arrivals do get the parking space they prefer. Also, the Museum opens at 9am on Cars & Coffee Sundays. 8am-10am , Blackhawk Museum • 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle • Danville, CA 94506 p:925.736.2280 • f:925.736.4818 • museum@blackhawkmuseum.org, http:// www.blackhawkmuseum.org/carsncoffee. html Concord: Todos Santos Park Music and Market Series, Thursdays 4 p.m.-8 p.m. 2151 Salvio St. Tuesday Night Blues Series Todos Santos Park, 6:30-8p.m. Pleasant Hill: Sunset by the Lake Summer Concerts: Every other Sunday 6-8pm by the lake at City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane Downtown Plaza Concert Series - Third Thursday of the month, Downtown Plaza 6:60-8:30 pm Walnut Creek: Summer Concert Series and Block Party Thursdays 6-8:30 p.m. Stanford’s Parking lot 1300 South Main st. Broadway Plaza

CLUB/SUPPORT GROUP EVENTS

•CONCORD: 4th Friday: Concord Ducati Bike Night, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month at Lazy Dog Café, 1961 Diamond Blvd, Concord. 925/849-1221 http://norcaldoc.com Clayton Valley Garden Club - 7p.m. September 9, Diamond Terrace 6401 Center St., Clayton. Guest Speaker Buzz Bertolero; Contact: www. claytonvalleygardenclub.org Contact: Nancy Schafhirt: nlschaf@att.net or call 925.798.2062. Soil Not Oil International Conference: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 4-5, 2015, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Memorial Civic Center Complex, 403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804. Note: Dr. Vandana Shiva keynote speech is on Friday, Sept. 4, 7:00 pm. Featured speakers: Vandana Shiva, Fritjof Capra, Anna Lappé, former EPA senior scientist Ray Seidler, soil scientist Rattan Lal, agro-ecologist Miguel Altieri, environmental and land use attorney Claire Hope Cummings, and others.

HOME & GARDEN/ FARMERS’ MARKETS Concord Tuesdays, 10am to 2pm, yearround, rain or shine, Todos Santos Plaza. •Concord Thursdays, 4pm to 8pm, odos Santos Plaza. Clayton, Saturdays 10am 2pm Martinez, Sundays, 10am to 2pm, yearround, Main St. and Estudillo. Pleasant Hill Saturdays, through November 15th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Downtown Plaza (in front of Jack’s Restaurant) http://www.pcfma.com http://www.pcfma.org Walnut Creek Diablo Valley Farmers Market Saturday 9a.m. - 1 p.m. Shadelands Busienss 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

CLUBS

OUTDOORS:

•MARTINEZ: - Friday’s on the Main & Market featuring a Farmers Market 4p.mp - 8 p.m. and Cool Cars & Music 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on the 600 & 700 blocks of Main. Free

•American Association of University Women - Concord Branch www.aauw-concord.org •American Legion Post 171 - 5 p.m. third Tuesdays, Veterans Memorial Hall, Concord. 687-1427. •B2F Business Networking Group - noon first and third Thursdays. 998-8844. •Beachcomber Singles - Social and service activities for active adults age 45 and above. For more information call (510) 799-2207, Or visit our website: www. beachcombersingles.org/ •British Club - 11:30 a.m. first Wednesdays, Zio Fraedo’s, Pleasant Hill.


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 17 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779 682-7978. •Circle of Friends - second Mondays, Walnut Country Club, Concord. 9988844. •Clayton Valley Garden Club- 7p.m. second Wednesdays, FebruaryNovember. Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Contact: www. claytonvalleygardenclub.org •Clutch Busters Square Dance Club - 7:30 p.m.-9:30 pm Thursdays, New dancers and those wanting brush-up are welcome. Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E Olivera Rd, Concord. 686-3774. •Concord Art Association - 12:50 p.m. second Tuesdays, Concord Library. 6465455. •Concord Diablo Rotary - 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Concord. EXCEPT the 2nd Wednesday, meeting is at 6:15 P.M. at the Crowne Plaza. Contact EdiBirsan@Gmail. com or 510-812-8180 for more information. •Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club- 7 a.m. Thursdays, Oakhurst Country Club, Clayton. 689-7640 or www.claytonvalley-rotary.org. New Meeting Place for Clayton Valley Woman’s Club -- Clayton Valley Woman’s Club will be meeting at St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. CVWC meets at 10a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. New members are always welcome. For more information please call Sheila at 925-672-7947. www. claytonvalleywomansclub.org. •Concord Garden Club - 9:30 a.m. third Tuesdays, Bethel Baptist Church, Concord. 687-2334. •Concord Lions Club - 7 p.m. third Tuesdays, La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant, Concord. 687-3594. •Concord Mystery Book Club - 2:30 p.m. second Sundays, Concord Library, 6465455. •Concord Senior Club - ballroom dancing, 1 p.m. Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 p.m. second Saturdays. 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. 798-4557. •Contra Costa Genealogical Society - 7 p.m. second Thursdays, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Concord. www.rootsweb.com/~cacccgs. •Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society - 7:30 p.m. second Mondays, Centre Concord. 429-2748 or www.ccmgs.org. •Creekside Artists Guild Meets 2nd Wed. each month @ 7-8:30pm. Clayton Library Story Room, 6125 Clayton Rd., Clayton. Arlene 673-9777, akiksen@aol.com •Concord United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting 510-758-4837 •Diablo Numismatic Society - 7 p.m. third Thursdays, Veterans Memorial Hall, Concord. 825-0649 or xsteamerx@aol. com. •Diablo Toastmasters, every Thursday 7 – 9 p.m., Sizzler Rest., Concord. http:// www.diablotoastmasters.org. •Diablo Valley Democratic Club - 7 p.m. third Wednesdays, Ygnacio Valley Library, Walnut Creek. 946-0469 or http://www.dvdems.org. •Diablo Valley Macintosh Users Group - 6:30 p.m. 3rd Tuesdays. Bancroft Elementary School, Walnut Creek. 6891155 or www.dvmug.org. •Diablo Valley Mustang Assoc meets 7:00 pm second Wednesdays each month at Fuddruckers Concord. All Mustang afficiados invited. Nancy Russell 925825-5994. www.dvma.org •Diablo Valley Wings, Chapter P of the Gold Wing Touring Association - 12:15 p.m. third Tuesdays, Sizzler, Concord. 686-3774 or http://www.GWTA-CADVW.org. •East Bay Prospectors Club - 7 p.m.4th Wednesday, 1021 Detroit Ave., Unit D, Concord. 672-1863 or www.eastbaygpaa.webs.com. •Ellen’s Guild - 10 a.m second Tuesdays, Family Stress Center, Concord. 672-5409 or www.familystresscenter.org. •Hope Academy Concord Open House, Third Thursday of each month, 9 – 9:45 a.m. Reservations required:

Judy Davies 687-7555; 5353 Concord Blvd. www.hopeacademyconcord.org •Kiwanis Club of Greater Concord - 8:15 a.m. Wednesdays, Buttercup Grill and Bar, 4301 Clayton Rd., Concord. 3725348. •Knitting Group - 2 p.m. first Sundays, Concord Library. 646-5455. •Knights Of Columbus, Concord Council 6038 Knights of Pythias, Lodge #162 meets on the 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of each month. For more information and membership call Herb Lederman at (925) 631-0229or email: Herbleder_KOP@ Yahoo.com Meets 7:30 p.m. 1st Tuesday of the month, St.Bonaventure Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Contact Rayce at 683-9717 or rayce@aol.com. •Mt Diablo Metal Detecting Club and have Meets at the Elks Lodge in Walnut Creek. 1475 Creekside Dr. 730 pm www.mdmdc.com meets on the second Wednesday.www. mdmdctreasurehunting.com. •Soroptimist International Diablo Vista - 12:15 p.m. first, second and third Wednesdays, Sizzler, Concord. 672-2727 •National Marine Corps Business Network: www.nmcbn.com/ We normally meet the second Tuesday of each month. Contact 925-680-8714. •Odd Fellows - 3 p.m. second and fourth Tuesdays, Pacheco Lodge 117, Concord. 682-7358. •Pleasant Hill Walnut Creek Mothers’ Club, http://www.phwcmothersclub.org •Rising Stars Toastmasters. This group was created for job seekers. For more information, contact Derrick Smith at (925) 381-4551 or go to risingstarstm. toastmastersclubs.org. •Snowchasers Ski Club - Snow skiing and Snowboarding- First and Third Wednesdays of each month. Snowchasers meets 7:30 pm Sizzlers Concord.Contact iSteve and Rosalie Rhodes,925-228-8145. www.snowchasers.org •Toastmasters International - 7 p.m. Mondays, Montecito of Concord, 6827211. Also, 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays, John Muir Concord Campus. Toastmasters can help! Our local club, Word Weavers, meets Mondays, 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. at 4756 Clayton Road, Concord 686-1818. www. toastmasters.org. •Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 - 9 a.m. second Saturdays, Veterans Memorial Hall, Concord.

@ 2:00 p.m. with Post-Show Discussion. Village Theatre 233 Front Street, Danville. Produced by Role Players Ensemble Adm. $28. Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill September 18, 24 25, 26 at 8:00 p.m. Matinees on September 20, 27 with PostShow Discussion Old Barn, Tao House at Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville Produced by Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House Adm. $35. Film: A Streetcar Named Desire Thursday, September 10 at 730 p.m. at Village Theatre 233 Front St, Danville . The classic 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prizewinning play. Winner of four Academy Award Oscars. Starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter. Adm. $10. Eugene O’Neill: Evolution of an Artist From Provincetown to Tao House O’Neill Foundation Director of Artistic Programming Eric Fraisher Hayes presents an encore presentation of his recent Oregon Shakespeare Festival lecture. He has directed or produced nearly twenty O’Neill plays, and provides insights into the life and plays of Eugene O’Neill. Adm. $10. Saturday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. at Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave., Danville. The Secrets of O’Neill in Danville An hour-long walking tour providing stories about O’Neill and his days in Danville and Tao House. Saturday, September 12 @ 3:30 p.m. Begins at Museum of the San Ramon Valley (205 Railroad Ave.) and ends up at the O’Neill Commemorative on Front Street near the Danville Library. Free “100 Years of Desire” A lively panel discussion of desire as depicted in theatre, literature, and cinema and theatre over the last century. Adm. $15 Saturday, September 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Old Barn, Tao House, Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site A Conversation with Author John Lahr Theatre critic John Lahr, biographer, novelist and son of actor Bert Lahr reads from his new book “Joyride”, and his award-winner biography of Tennessee Williams “A Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.” Sunday, October 4 at 2:00 p.m. at Rakestraw Books, 3 Railroad Avenue, Danville Adm. $18. Comedy Club at the California Theatre - SHANG Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 8PM; Tickets: $18-$21: Black Diamond Follies Friday, September 25, 2015 @ 8PM; Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 2PM; Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 2PM; Tickets: $12-$20: 351 Railroad, Pittsburg 925.427.1611; info@ pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com

VISUAL ARTS/THEATRE/ MUSIC

Concord Pavilion Concerts: Sept 6 KBLX Hot Summer Night Sept 19 Chris Brown Sep 20 Counting Crows Danville 16th ANNUAL EUGENE O’NEILL FESTIVAL- In this year’s Eugene O’Neill Festival, we experience desire through the eyes of two of America’s greatest playwrights with productions of O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire with fully staged productions as well as a discussion panel, talks, tours and film. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams September 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 19 @ 8:00 p.m. Matinees on September 6, 13

Synergy Theater presents Z is for… Zombie: An Improvised Zombie Apocalypse! Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm. Get ready for Halloween with Synergy Theater’s improvised horror-spoof! No one in town knows who are the zombies and who are the humans - not even the cast in this edge-of-your-seat, laughuntil-you-drop improvised horror show. The Lesher Center for the Arts, Knight Stage 3 Theatre, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA, 94596. Tickets $15 at www. lesherartscenter.org or (925) 943-7469 Opening Night, California Symphony’s 2015-16 Season “Passport to the World” Sunday, September 20 at 4 pm Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Donato Cabrera, conductor. PROGRAM: See story on page 14. Immediately following, the Opening Night Party at 6 p.m. Opening Night

Party ticket ($75; sold separately) includes wine and hors d’oeuvres and the rare opportunity to meet and mingle with Music Director Donato Cabrera and California Symphony musicians. All 2015-16 California Symphony tickets on sale now at www.californiasymphony. org . All proceeds benefit the California Symphony. Martinez Saturday, September 5 Rocking by the Bay Gates open at 12 noon - concert ends at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 12, 2015 10 a.m.3 p.m. Madness on Main Street Car Show More than 200 cool cars, trucks, and bikes along Main St. in downtown Martinez! Free for the public to attend DJ Tony Pichardo. Saturday, September 26 to Sunday, September 27 . Bay Area Blues Festival 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day

SUPPORT GROUPS

•Al-Anon Family Group 7:30 p.m. Mondays, St. Martins of Tours Anglican Church & Preschool, Concord. 932-6770 or www.ncwsa.org. •Alcoholics Anonymous - 939-4155 or www.aa.org. Bereavement Support Group:1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 4:30 - 6:00 pm. pre-registration. Call (925) 887-5681 The Bridge A bi-weekly program that provides support in a safe place where grieving children, teens, adults can share their experiences using art, play, journaling, music and conversation. The Bridge program starts and ends with each school year, running for approximately 9 months. pre-registration. Call (925) 887-5681 •Cardiac Care Support Group - 7 p.m. second Thursdays, John Muir Walnut Creek or Concord. 947-5206. •Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implant Wearers Support Group - 7 p.m. 1st Wednesdays, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. HLAADV@ hearinglossdv.org or 264-1199. •HIV/AIDS Support Group - 7-9 p.m. 2nd & 4th Thursdays, John Muir Concord. 925- 674-2190. •Leukemia Society Family Support Group - 7 p.m. first Thursdays. 947-4466, ext. 32797. •Living with a Mental Illness? Join NAMI Connection Peer-led support group. Saturdays 1:00 - 2:30 pm Held at John Muir Behavioral Health Center 2740 Grant Street Concord. Call 925-942-0767 or www.namicontracosta.org •Nar-Anon - 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, John Muir Concord. http://naranoncalifornia. org. •Pet Loss Support Group, Second Tuesday of the month, 5:30-7PM. (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration required. •Retired & Senior Volunteer Program 472-5777. The Stroke Support Group of Contra Costa County will hold its September meeting in the Sterns Conference Room at John Muir Medical Center - Walnut Creek Campus (1601 Ygnacio Valley Road) Monday, Sep 14, 2015 from 7-9 p.m. The speaker will be Dr. Jim Otis, DC, who will discuss: “5 Secrets to Great Sleep — A Stroke Survivor’s Guide to Consistent Sleep, Robust Health, and Protection from Stress.” After the program, attendees will break up into three coping groups: stroke survivors without aphasia, stroke survivors with aphasia, and caregivers and families of stroke survivors -- each group led by a trained professional. For further information about the Stroke Support Group, contact Ann Dzuna at 925-3766218. Meetings are free and open to the public. ssgcccpublicity@gmail.com


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 18 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

Tales of the Road, Part 1: Oh, The Places You’ll Go Journeyman’s Journal by Johnny Joyrider

I

love that book. You know the one, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. I used to read that book over and over to my children when they were younger. It reads like a tongue-twister with countless rhymes, but the pages are really filled with great life advice about setting foot into the unknown, taking chances, succeeding and failing. It’s advice we all give to our children; to take on the world without fear or hesitation, and with confidence and enthusiasm. And then it dawned on me. Maybe that book was written for me too. Granted I’m “middle-aged” and with a full time career, children to care for, too many responsibilities to count, and a truck-load of bills each month, setting off to “Great Places” always seems out of reach. But then again sitting in an air-conditioned office, banging away on the computer and

attending conference calls has never been my idea of living an interesting life. Sure, we all have to pay the bills, but when you really stop to think about it, most of our reasons for not doing great things and living an interesting and adventurous life are just excuses. Dr. Seuss was right, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go. You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your Mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” And this is where my journey begins. Inspired by the words of Dr. Seuss and tossing all excuses aside, I decided to set off for a long weekend motorcycle ride from Clayton, CA to Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, Las Vegas, Nevada and home covering 1,500 miles over three days. Because I’m a man and incapable of asking for directions or thinking clearly

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about what consequences lay ahead, I packed everything I needed in less than 3 minutes (full tank of gas, toothbrush and $100 bucks). I can’t be bothered with small-minded thinking like maps and routes, and how to get where I’m going, or where I’ll be staying, or what the weather’s like, etc. (but don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of opportunity as the weekend unfolds to re-learn all these lessons again). After a short ride around the backside of Mt. Diablo and a few more hours of lefts and rights I entered Yosemite

National Park. I’ve been to Yosemite before, but it never fails to impress me with its majestic mountain tops, flowing streams and the natural beauty of the meadows and abundant animal life. I stopped for a while along the side of the road to take in the scenery and watch some rock climbers scaling a tall granite cliff. But without time to dilly-dally, I fired up the bike and set my sights on Death Valley. U.S. Route 395 connects southern continued on page 19...


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 19 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779 ...continued from page 18 California to the Oregon border and runs along the eastern Sierra’s providing for spectacular views of some of the tallest mountains in the lower 48 states, including Mt. Whitney standing tall at 14,505 feet high. Since I’ll be traveling on Route 395 for a few more hours, I decide to settle in and try to get in a comfortable riding position. And then I remember, that unlike driving in a car for long stretches, where you can fiddle with the radio, and engage other buttons on the steering column, some of which you’ve never noticed before, getting comfortable on a motorcycle is limited to shifting your weight slightly from one butt-cheek to the other. But it works, and that’s what I did. Before long I see the cutoff to Highway 190 which drops you into the heart of Death Valley National Park. But it’s not like any other highway you’ve seen before. Riding into Death Valley is more like taking a trip to another world. The landscape in Death Valley is what you would imagine the moon to look like, or better yet, Mars. At one time in the early turn of the century, Death Valley recorded the hottest temperature on Earth at a scorching 134 degrees Fahrenheit. And you can see by the surroundings why very few living creatures can survive in this remote area. As I descended into the depths of the valley, the temperature began to slowly rise until finally settling in for the day at 117 degrees; just another day in Death Valley. As I slowly adjusted to the heat, and the day began to give way to the night,

I began searching for a place to stay. One thing to note about Death Valley by the way, aside from a small Oasis called Stovepipe Wells, and another known as Furnace Creek (a fitting name for both), there are no places to stay. In fact, there’s no place for fuel, food, water or anything else, including reliable cell service. So, I

said to myself “you really should take a little more time to plan next time”. While I rode for several more hours searching for a place to “camp”, the desert nightlife came alive. There were snakes, rats and mice, bats, and rabbits by the dozens; not a great welcoming committee. But exhausted and with no other choices, I stopped by the side of the road, pitched my one-man tent, and waited for daylight to return. When I awoke the following morning, the desert light was bright, the snakes were gone, and the desert heat was a cool 105 degrees. Having passed up dinner the night before, I scoured my bike bags for any emergency rations that may have been left over from previous trips. And as luck would have it, I had a small can of “pork and beans”, which I was very thankful to have. While it was still morning, and before the heat climbed to uncomfortable

temperatures, I decided to take a ride through Titus Canyon, a local spot in the valley with a one-way, off-road trail that winds for 27 miles through a deep, narrow canyon that was long-ago carved by water. Titus Canyon is a very remote distance away, and quite frankly not a great place to travel by yourself. Should something happen to you, like running out of fuel, or a flat tire, or a skirmish with local animal life, you are on your own. There is no cell service, and there are no regular patrols of the area. But I had to go. After traveling on a washed-out gravel road for 10 miles, which I met with some difficulty as my motorcycle tires struggled for something to hold onto, I came across a former mining town called Leadfield. Back in the 1920’s, a small group of miners set up shop to mine for ore in the area, but not surprisingly the town didn’t last but for a few short years before the settlers vacated the area (I wonder if the blistering 117 degree had anything to do with it)! Today it is nothing more than a small ghost town with three small buildings long since given away to rust, but a very cool find. Traveling further on, I found some ancient Petroglyphs once carved into the rocks by then Native Americans who once lived in the area, and countless native plants that have managed somehow to survive in this unforgiving climate. Checking my watch, and beginning to feel the strength of the heat coming on, I set my sights on the day’s destination, Las Vegas. It would be another long day of riding to Las Vegas, one filled with a lot of adventure (finally culminating with a dive into a fountain outside the lobby of the Mandalay Bay Hotel; a story not fit for publishing here), and a great weekend away to “Great Places”. Yes, Dr. Seuss had it right. “You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted, but mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

Have a story to tell? Write to us at DiabloGazette@gmail.com


Diablo Gazette • SEPTEMBER 2015 • Page 20 • www.DiabloGazette.com | www.fb.com/DiabloGazette • (925) 303-4779

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Photos by Micah

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idn’t get to every activity this month? Here are a few photos from Micah… he must go everywhere. (1) Off the Grid Food Truck has opened its 37th Bay Area location in downtown Concord at Todos Santos on Mondays, and it was an instant success. Off the Grid is now in Concord on Mondays, Tuesday at 1380 N. California in Walnut Creek, and arrives at 140 Trelaney Rd in Pleasant Hill on Wednesdays from 5:00 –9:00 p.m, all complemented with live music from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. You can find their weekly truck schedule at offthegridsf.com. Off the Grid at the Willows in Concord closed this month due to redevelopment. (2) The Bead and Boutique Show at the Hilton Concord was well attended and presented a world of beads, clothing, gemstones, artisan resources and antiquities. This popular show will return to Walnut

Creek on October 10 and 11. (3) It was free movie night at the Solano Drive in. Despite the advancements in movie theater viewing experience, going to the Drive-In theater is still a nostalgic outing worth doing with friends and the family. (4) Micah captured a happy Diablo Gazette reader at a Farmers’ Market. (5) The Antique Faire sets up every 3rd Sunday at Todos Santos. (6) There’s dancing in the street in Martinez. Every Friday Martinez hosts Music and Classic Cars on Main St. The event starts with a Farmers Market from 4pm-8pm in the 800 block, and the Car Cuise-in and Music plays from 6pm-8pm in the 600 & 700 blocks.

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