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Making A Difference
ABC-7 News Anchor
tackles what really matters
Local Girl’s Struggle for Survival
Concord’s Race for Literacy Fundraiser MDHS’ Sports Hall of Fame Our New Arts & Entertainment Section
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
What Really Matters
Food Bank Volunteers
The Food Bank recognizes its volunteers with a luncheon in their honor Six year old Katie Grace suffers from pulmonary hypertension, needs a heart/lung transplant
Local Girl Needs Transplant
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Special Correspondent ABC-7 News Anchor Dan Ashley launches a regular feature
A rare glimpse behind the daily workings of Concord’s Post Office
ABC-7 News Anchor Dan Ashley at the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano
Photo: Wentling Studio
Inside the Post Office
THERE’S NO COMPARISON
Todos Santos History
From 1868 to the present, the plaza has had a rich history
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Roundabout . . . .4
Our Holiday Guide
( W ga aM n C u) has e
Enjoy our final guide to the holiday season. Includes local holiday events calendar
Mayor’s Open Office . . . . . . . . . .7 Centenarian . . . . .7 Directory of Advertisers . . . .10 Chamber of Commerce . . . . 10 Legal Briefs . . . .26 Theatre Review .28 A New Green Generation . . . .30 Something To Smile About . . . .30 Real Estate . . . . .5 The Real Deal . . .31
a of A
The Race for Literacy
1.00% 1.55% 1.60% 2.00% APY
Rates as of 11 / 14 / 08 from published Web site data
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MDHS Sports Hall of Fame
Money market account
Minimum account balance of $100,000¦¦
Ouimet 50th Anniversary
Concord family business celebrates half-century of service
x Electronic funds access* x Unlimited in-person withdrawals
Switch to Travis Credit Union and start earning more! Money market accounts are one of the most popular investment choices for any investor. With a deposit of $100,000 ** or more and Checking with Direct Deposit, you will earn an incredible yield while you keep your funds liquid.
TWO BRANCHES IN CONCORD
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The Concord Hilton hosts a major fundraiser for literacy groups
School celebrates half-century with many alumni events
Arts and Entertainment
Introducing our new arts and entertainment section
Holiday Calendar listing . . . . . . . .12 Complete Events and Calendar listing . . . . . . . .22
It’s For the Birds
1257 Willow Pass Road
Clayton Valley Shopping Center
How to turn a country feed store into a country feed store and world class avian specialty center
5442 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 10
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NCUA–Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. government agency. ¦APY=Annual percentage yield. Rate as of November 14, 2008. An APY of 0.50% will be paid on any day the balance falls below $100,000. Dividends are paid on a monthly basis on the first day of each month following the dividend period. The dividend rate and applicable APY on your account are subject to change at any time without prior notice. ¦¦$100,000 minimum deposit applies to Jumbo money market account. Other money market accounts with varying deposit minimums and rates are available. *Certain types of withdrawals are limited by federal regulations. Transfers from a money market account by means of preauthorized, automatic, Online banking, or telephone instructions are limited to six per month with no more than three transfers, checks, or similar orders to third parties. If these limits are exceeded in any given month, your account will be subject to an excessive transaction fee of $15 per month. See account disclosure for complete details. **To qualify, a TCU checking account is required with a Direct Deposit of at least $500 per month. If Direct Deposit is not established, is canceled or revoked, the APY will be reduced 50 basis points. Everyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Contra Costa county is eligible to join. Certain membership requirements may apply.
The Concordian staff would like to extend our heartfelt wishes for a joyful holiday season and a hopeful new year to all our readers and our advertisers.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
ABC-7 News anchor Dan Ashley talks about
What really matters
Even if you are feeling the crunch, remember those in need this holiday season
work doing various assigned tasks. When the doors opened at 11 a.m., we were surprised by the number of people who came out to be a part of a holiday centered around a hot meal which, it seems to me, must be a cold reminder to so many in our community of what they do not have. When volunteers began serving meals and drinks to the hundreds of men, women and families who came through the doors, the feeling of camaraderie and compassion was overwhelming. My wife and I were in tears watching our two boys, initially so reluctant, now hustling around the dining hall refilling drink glasses, delivering bread and whatever else was requested by these guests of this fine “hotel” just off Todos Santos Plaza. Four hours after we had arrived at the church, our good deed done for the day, we headed home to have our Thanksgiving meal with our friends – feeling especially grateful for our good fortune and blessings that day.
Everyone can help
The scary part is that it’s getting worse and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. “The most telling thing we’re noticing is that there are a large number of people coming in who have never come to a food distribution center before,” Larry Sly says. Women with children and entire families caught in the downturn have suddenly found themselves in dire circumstances. The people who need help this year might be living next door to us.
By Dan Ashley
What really matters as we navigate through this financial crisis as individuals, as a community and as a country is that we are all in this together – a shared burden and a shared responsibility. In the spirit of the holiday season, let each of us resolve to do whatever we can to help fill the gap at our local food bank, whether it be a cash donation, a few non-perishable food items or even a little time volunteering. Every little bit makes a difference.
his year in the Bay Area, we are seeing a crisis of need far greater than any we have experienced in recent decades. The economy has created a perfect storm of hunger and want in so many of our communities. I have seen the consequences of trying to survive with little food and less hope many times over the years as a reporter and as an ordinary citizen. On Thanksgiving Day a few years ago, my wife and I took our two sons to feed the homeless at a church in downtown Concord as a way to share the holiday with some of the less fortunate in our community and to help the boys understand what it means to be in need. We had done this before as a family, some years serving Thanksgiving meals, other years delivering toys and food to deserving families at Christmas. On this particular Thanksgiving Day, we were pressed for time as we were expecting several friends and neighbors to join us for a turkey dinner at our home that afternoon. We were behind on getting the house and the food ready for our guests, so, I suppose, we had a bit of a “let’s get this over with” attitude as we headed out the door that morning.
Needs on the rise
This year, the Salvation Army is handing out 40 percent more food than at this time last year. And with donations down, along with home values and the stock market, hundreds of families have already signed up for Christmas dinners that may not be available. “In 31 Christmases with the Salvation Army, this is the first time I’m anticipating the need to tell people, ‘No, we can’t serve you,’ ” says Major Clay Gardner, who runs the Concord Salvation Army. “It’s a little bit scary heading into Christmas.” You’ll hear the same story at food pantries in every one of our local communities this year. The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is very much on the front lines of what is happening to thousands of people in the East Bay. Home foreclosures have gone through the roof, particularly in East County, while construction jobs, so plentiful a couple of years ago, have fallen through the floor. “We’re the canary in the coal mine,” says Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank. “We’ve seen our need jump by 20 percent in the past year. We’ve gone from serving 82,000 people a month to 98,000 in Contra Costa County.” Think about that figure. That’s the same number of UCLA football fans it takes to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And these people are depending on the Contra Costa Food Bank every month to keep themselves and their families from going hungry.
With my sons complaining about the community service being imposed upon them, I told them on the drive over why I thought this was an important gesture to make and what I expected of them in terms of effort and behavior when we arrived. I told the boys that they should think of the people they would meet at the church that morning as guests at the finest hotel. They were there to serve them and make them feel welcome, cared for and comfortable. Having been fortunate enough to have stayed at a few nice hotels already in their young lives, the boys understood the concept, albeit reluctantly. When we arrived, we all got right to
Photo by Wentling Studio
LINDSAY JOHNSON, program director at the Food Bank, accepts a donation from Dan Ashley.
People like Dennis Murphy of Livermore are struggling. He and his 11-year-old daughter are trying to get by with a little help from a free hot meal program called Open Heart Kitchen. The kitchen has seen donations fall off as the number of people who need help has increased. “My job collapsed with the real estate market, so my daughter and I pretty much find our third meal of the day at Open Heart,” Dennis says. His story is one of so many to be told these days.
It can be tough to be generous when we’re feeling the stress of rising unemployment and falling investments, but people in our community need help. Let us all celebrate the holidays by sharing what we have with those who have so much less, but deserve so much more.
Dan Ashley is an ABC-7 news anchor. Watch him weeknights on Channel 7 at 5, 6, and 11.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
People, places and things seen around Concord
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Honoring veterans at Hillcrest Park
A dramatic enactment of a military funeral marked Veterans Day at Hillcrest Park last month. With a 21-one gun salute, Taps played by the U.S. Volunteers and presentation of the colors to the “surviving daughter” by Col. Leo McArdle, the solemn service celebrated the men and women who lost their lives serving in the Armed Forces. The Blue Star Moms were on hand with a table of cards for participants to express their thanks to those serving. Two Pearl Harbor survivors were introduced: Adrian Pacheco from the USS Honolulu and Charlie Engle from the USS Zane. Korean War Veterans Chapter 264, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 and the city of Concord sponsored the event. David McDonald, president of the KWVA, was master of ceremonies. Also participating were Fran Kelly from the Blue Star Moms
Dorothy and Millard Ferris celebrate 60 years together
Dorothy and Millard Ferris celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 11. The two were married in 1948 in Alameda and have lived in the Concord and Clayton area for over 30 years.
They have two sons and one daughter; two grandsons, and three great-grandsons. Dorothy and Millard are planning a cruise to South America in further celebration.
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Jeanna Ross firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Dunn email@example.com We Remember Jill Ann Bedecarré 1950-2007 Her spirit is our muse
Concord’s “Cutest Kid”
Mike Dunn/The Concordian
CONCORD MAYOR BILL SHINN, COUNCILMEMBER GUY BJERKE AND MAJOR GENERAL DAN HELIX honored members of the Armed forces at the Veterans Day services in Hillcrest Park last month.
The Concordian, published in Clayton, CA, is a sister publication to The Clayton Pioneer. It is delivered by mail, free to approximately 34,000 residences with every business in Concord receiving one. LET US KNOW YOUR NEWS Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births, deaths, events, sports news, accomplishments, school news and more. These all weave into the fabric of a community. Please let us know of these important events by using the forms on our Website at www.myconcordian.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com These items are published free for Concord residents as space permits. Please visit the Website to find additional forms for submitting a press release, letter to the editor, story ideas and sports items. CONTACT US The Concordian, 6200 H Center Street, PO Box 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. Tel: (925) 673-5367 Fax: (925) 672-6580 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter 20, Concord Mayor Bill Shinn and Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister, who had just arrived home from a trip to China with the Concord Chamber of Commerce; and Congressman George Miller. Miller briefly commented on his and Rep. Ellen Taucher’s efforts to improve both veterans’ services and accessibility to those services. The keynote speaker was retired Army Major General Daniel C. Helix, a former Concord mayor and city council member. By Mike Dunn
CONCORDIAN’S “CUTEST KID” Pictured here with her parents Jacqui and Tom, the Paynes received a portrait package from Wentling Studios and delivered by Concord Mayor Bill Shinn, center. Also on hand were Tamara Steiner from The Concordian and Dirk Wentling of Wentling Studio.
CLARE WAS THE WINNER IN THE PHOTO CONTEST LAST MONTH .
Food Bank lauds volunteers for their efforts
The Food Bank of Solano and Contra Costa honored some 300 volunteers with an annual luncheon in the food bank’s warehouse in Concord last month. “Volunteers from all the groups that the food bank works with donated over 37, 000 hours of time worth over $720,000 over the past year,” said executive director Larry Sly. Bill Swanson was named Volunteer of the Year. “Bill worked every day and did whatever was asked of him,” said Sly. The award for the most creative way to raise money went to Angela LaScalaGruenewald, a 16-year-old student at Acalanes High School. Angela and her sister organized a hike-a-thon style backpack trip on the rim trail above Lake Tahoe in July. The group hiked 159 miles and together raised about $3,200, resulting in 10,000 pounds of food donations for the Food Bank. “It’s something about volunteering that makes me feel good to know you’re making a difference,” LaScalaGruenewald said. “It’s kind of addicting – I can’t stop. You can put everything aside that’s going on in your life, which is so hectic, and concentrate on helping others.” By Mike Dunn
Larry Sly (right) presents an award to Volunteer Bill Swanson
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
By Lynne French
Windermere Lynne French & Associates
Comfortable elegance in nearby Peacock Creek
Lynne French is proud to present 1116 Peacock Creek Drive, located in Oakhurst in Clayton. Offered at $928,000.
he Coronado model in Oakhurst’s Peacock Creek offers a 3,335 sq. ft. floor plan with four bedrooms, 2.5 baths plus a flexible-use loft. This classy, yet comfortable home exudes warmth and elegance. It boasts a spacious ground floor master suite with doors out to the
The backyard features a pool and waterfall spa with gorgeous rockscape, along with a spacious patio and koi pond.
pool and patio areas. The master bath has a jetted tub. On the main level, a tidy formal living room welcomes you with airy, vaulted ceilings and a stylish fireplace. New carpet in neutral tones gives a fresh feeling to the room, and the sleek plantation shutters allow for privacy. On the other side of this wide, open room, columns define the formal dining room – a wonderful place to host family gatherings. The gourmet kitchen has soaring ceilings and a huge prep island with a breakfast bar plus a roomy dining area to make your breakfast “rush” or kid’s birthday party a breeze. The adjacent family room has a classic brick fireplace with a generous wooden mantel. Built-in bookshelves flank the fireplace. These large yet cozy areas make this home very hospitable. The staircase is a wonderful feature of the home. Wide and captivating, it lends to the nature of the home’s smooth flow. It leads up to a large loft area that overlooks the family room. The loft is a flexible space that could be used as a game room, play area,
1116 Peacock Creek Drive in Clayton boasts a ground floor master suite, a four-car garage, and outstanding curb appeal in a fantastic neighborhood.
den or library – the possibilities are endless. Entertain your friends in the gorgeous backyard, with a rockscape that includes a sparkling pool and spa with waterfall. The aggregate patio is surrounded by flourishing plants, and a gurgling koi pond brings an air of tranquility. The four-car garage is a perk that any car or “toy” enthusiast will appreciate.
The well-manicured flat lot backs to open space, making this home extra private. You will be proud to be the owner of this distinctive home, nestled atop the Mt. Diablo foothills with the Oakhurst clubhouse greeting you upon entry.
To preview this home or if you would like more information, call Lynne French at (925) 672-8787.
ST T LI
Clayton, Dana Hills – 4BD+/2BA w/ 2,442 s.f. incl. huge permitted bonus room addition. www.369MtWashingtonWay.com $629,980
Clayton, Country Estate – Custom 4BD/3BA w/3,700+ s.f. on .5 acre lot w/pool, patio & views. www.8114MarshCreekRoad.com $999,800
Clayton, Silvercreek II – Nearly 2,400 s.f. 4BD/ 2.5BA move-in-ready, w/gardens, pool & patios to delight! www.5605OhmanPlace.com $675,000
Clayton, Regency Meadows – 2,857 s.f. with 5BD/ 3BA inc. downstairs Bed/Bath. Putting green & pool. www.250ElPuebloPlace.com $699,000
Clayton, Dana Hills – Great Value! 2,261 s.f. 4BD/2.5BA on cul-de-sac. Large deck, patio & pool area. www.312MtSierraPlace.com $599,000
Convenient Concord – 2,274 s.f. remodeled in & out! 4BD/3BA on a cul-de-sac in a great neighborhood. www.1584LaverneWay.com $559,000
Concord, Estate Living – 5BD/2BA w/3,202 s.f. on sub-dividable acre lot. In-law/Rental Unit in back. www.5KirkwoodCourt.com $899,000
Clayton, Dana Hills – 4BD/2BA w/1,919 s.f. on .24 corner lot. Master suite w/retreat, views. www.281MountaireCircle.com $529,000
Brentwood, Deer Valley – Working Ranch w/4BD/2.5BA home, pond, crossing-fencing, barns –Must See! www.BrentwoodRanch.com $1,299,000
Clayton, Dana Hills – Single-story 4BD/2BA w/updated kitchen, living & family rooms. Private yard. www.141MountaireParkway.com $575,980
Concord, Clayton Border – 2BD/2BA patio/cluster home is charming & completely redone on the inside. Fireplace, patio doors in master & living room. $229,000
Walnut Creek, The Keys – Best value in Walnut Creek! Sunny condo w/royal amenities: pool/clubhouse/tennis! $149,000
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Raiders’ wives help Crisis Nursery improve facility
The Bay Area Crisis Nursery was the beneficiary of some much needed help from the wives of the Oakland Raiders’ coaches and players on Nov 12. Six wives, armed with brushes and rollers, set out to repaint the bedrooms at the Crisis Nursery’s Dahlstrom House, one of the centers safe residences for children age 6 – 11. “This home needs a lot of loving care,” said Starla Knapp, wife of Raiders’ offensive coordinating coach Greg Knapp. “This has to get done for Christmas.” The women also furnished and decorated the bedrooms. “This gives us the opportunity to get to know each other,” said Elizabeth Fassel, wife of quality control coach John Fassel, and the youngest of the group. “We are cohesive as a group,” said Holly Rathman, wife of running back coach Tom Rathman. “This is a family style setting,” explained Lisa Butler, program manager for the Crisis Nursery. “Our clients often come on weekends or during times of severe crisis. The facility, complete with activity rooms, television that shows local content only, computers without Internet access, and a large play area offers a safe retreat for the children while the staff assists in helping the families. The Crisis Nursery offers short term residential care for children birth through age five in one building and ages 6-11 at
Five chambers connect at Business Expo
The fourth annual Connections Business Expo was a rousing and noisy success on Nov. 6 with 116 companies, including The Concordian and Clayton Pioneer newspapers participating in the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Concord. Connections 2008 was a multiChamber of Commerce trade show expo, said Keith C. McMahon, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. “This year, we had five Chambers participating and cooperating for a great business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer event.” The four other chambers were the
ELIZABETH FASSEL, HOLLY RATHMAN AND STARLA KNAPP spiff up a bedroom at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord.
Dahlstrom House. For more information contact BACN at 1506 Mendocino Dr., Concord. (925) 685-8082 or visit their Web site at www.bacn.info
Plastic bags mean big bucks for Holbrook Elementary School
Holbrook Elementary School in Concord is participating in the Wal-Mart Kids Recycling Challenge. The project, which runs through March 31, is designed to keep billions of pounds of unwanted plastic grocery and shopping bags out of landfills while giving schools the opportunity to earn much-needed funds. The school earns $5 for each 60-gallon collection bag filled with plastic grocery and shopping bags, as well as additional cash grants from WalMart if they are one of the top Kiyomi Waren, Principal Nancy Dasho, Marcos Morales three schools in the region. and Emily Fine kick off the Wal-mart Kids Recycling The bags must be clean and Challenge at Holbrook Elementary School in Concord. dry. They can be made of any type of plastic material and any color except black. Produce bags or food bags are not accepted. Residents wishing to participate are asked to remove everything from the bags, including register receipts, and bring them to Holbrook Elementary School, 3333 Ronald Way. To arrange pickup of large quantities or for more information, call Harumi Waren at (925) 825-1787.
Election night parties celebrate the end of campaigns for these winners
CONCORD HILTON STAFFERS Karen Vincenzi and Monica Barton promote the business and personal benefits of the Concord Hilton to Expo visitors
RE-ELECTED CITY COUNCILMEN MARK PETERSON AND BILL SHINN hosted an election party at E.J. Phair’s at Todos Santos Plaza
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill and Martinez. “We’ve had a great response from a lot of people. This event usually sells out and this year is really no exception,” said McMahon. If the event continues to grow, McMahon is considering a larger facility for next year. “This is counter to what a lot of people would think economically would happen. But for a lot of businesses this is a cost-effective way for them to show off what they are doing and get out there in the world.” Mary Stark of RBC Life Sciences is one such entrepreneur. Stark expects the wellness industry to be a trilliondollar industry by 2010. largely because of aging baby boomers who were brought up using supplements.
By Mike Dunn
Rotary donates dictionaries to third graders
In other news, Holbrook Elementary School’s third graders each received a free children’s dictionary from the Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club on Nov. 10. The donation is part of the Rotary Club’s mission of service to schools in need. Shown here are Rotarian Jeff Rondini, with Holbrook principal Nancy Dasho.
If you have an event that serves for the community good, know a longtime Concord resident who has contributed to the improvement of the city, or know a worthy cause that needs to be highlighted, submit it to The Concordian on our Web site at www.myconcordian.com and we will try to include it in our Round About section.
MT. DIABLO SCHOOL BOARD candidates Sherry Whitmarsh and incumbent Gary Eberhart celebrated their sweeping victory.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Spaghetti dinner benefits the Monument Crisis Center
Mayor Bill Shinn
n December 8, we will be selecting a new mayor, so this will be my last column. I wanted to thank the Concordian for allowing me to share a few thoughts and issues with you, and to thank all of the voters who re-elected me to another four-year term on the city council. I look forward to working hard for the community during the next four years. It was equally good to see Mark Peterson re-elected as he brings more than a decade of experience to the council. LaShawn Wells was the third candidate. To him I say, ‘Good job! I believe it is always best for the voters to have choices.” We have many challenges facing us and I believe the continuity of experience on the council will be critical. The challenges facing the city will be daunting. While we tout our budget planning process, like the rest of the cities in the region and state, we are impacted immensely by what the state government does. As you know the recently adopted state budget has an unanticipated $11.2 billion shortfall, and the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office has a predicted shortfall of $27.8 billion, over the nest 20 months. We have seen the impact on the city of Vallejo that earlier this year filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, when faced with their $16 million deficit. The cities of Rio Vista and Fairfield are reportedly talking to bankruptcy attorneys as well. There are even rumblings that San Diego’s city council may be considering similar action. Our city manager Dan Keen, is working with our staff, using various economic assumptions in order to project the impact on our budget for the next several years. His report will be forthcoming and no doubt it will not paint a great picture. Hopefully, our budgetary practices will allow us time to develop action plans to minimize the impact. There will be hard choices. The city council and the public must work together on these issues and the choices. I promise you that we will be proactive. Stay tuned and stay involved. LOOKING BACK ON 2008 As this is my last column, as your Mayor, I want to review 2008 with you.
Reflecting on my term as mayor of Concord
I pledged that as a council we would not start any new programs, and would instead concentrate on the “nuts and bolts” of city governance. To that extent we have now filled the three critical vacancies: city manager, assistant city manager and director of human resources. We have hired approximately 18 new police officers, and consequently, the police department is fully staffed. We remain committed to public safety and hopefully will continue to see funding provided from the state. Repairs to Ygnacio Valley Road have been on-going and should be completed in the coming months. A world record was set at Todos Santos when 2052 guitar players gathered to play and sing ‘This Town is Your Town’, led by Country Joe McDonald. I held “Mayor’s Office Hours” and met with close to 100 Concord citizens on matters of concern to them. I hope the next mayor will continue this practice. I also attended many civic events involving many city and regional groups and programs and have met many of you. It was a great experience! We have worked hard with citizen input and involvement on several ordinance updates and programs, none of which is bigger or more important than the planning of the Naval Weapon Station reuse, an issue that will impact the city of Concord over the next 30 years and beyond. There is so much more to report. Suffice it to say, this has been a very busy year. I have enjoyed and been privileged to have served as your mayor. Perhaps in the years to come, I will get the opportunity to do so again. Thank you. Send your comments and concerns to Bill shinn, the City Council or city staff at email@example.com. [Editor’s note: The Concordian would like to thank Mayor Shinn for his support, both for our launch in June and his monthly column. His message has always been “Get involved in Concord,” which we take to heart. We have no doubt of his commitment to the city in his continued role on the city council and look forward to reporting ongoing developments.]
OFFICER RON TURNER JOINS THE OLD SPAGHETTI FACTORY owners, staff, Supervisor Susan Bonilla and Monument Crisis Center’s Sandra Scherer for a dinner to raise funds for the MCC.
The Old Spaghetti Factory was abuzz with fundraising diners on Nov. 19 when 15 percent of the total sales went to the Monument Crisis Center. Concord police officers waited on tables, many filled with city employees and the restaurant’s owners who came to eat from the company headquarters in Sacramento. The Monument Crisis Center has had its share of crises this year, running out of food several times in the past few months. It is hoped that the fundraiser will help the Center meet the growing need anticipated in the coming year. Old Spaghetti Factory’s general
manager Heather Kawalkowski and Concord Police Officer Ron Turner were looking for a way to give back to the community and County Supervisor Susan Bonilla came up with the idea of helping the Monument Crisis Center. “City Manager Dan Keen reviewed our request,” Turner explained, “and said ‘hey it’s a great organization and great city event.’ So the news went out citywide to all our employees and they got on the band wagon and came out to support us.” The event took a month and a half of planning to come together. “Originally
See Crisis Center, page 11
Concordians celebrate 100 years
Recalling 100 years of loving life
band Donald owned n Dec. 5, 1908, a and operated a suctwo-pound precessful florist busimature baby girl ness and raised two was delivered in a children. Although remote Montana farmDonald has since house. As unlikely as passed, Marjorie’s her survival must have enjoyment of living been before the age of life to its fullest has incubators and neonatal not diminished. units, Marjorie Scott With her faith in grew strong in mind, God unwavering, body and spirit. Marjorie has served The infant whose and volunteered with first crib was a shoebox the Salvation Army placed atop a woodfor more than 70 burning stove is now celebrating her 100th years. The resident of MARJORIE SCOTT has spent many birthday with friends Diamond Terrace in years volunteering her time and family. Clayton continues to Marjorie’s life has been defined by give to all whom she encounters. her love of nurturing and growing Celebrating the first 100 years of things. Her devotion to her family is a this incredible life, Marjorie is joined natural extension of that love. by her son and daughter, five grandHappy to celebrate life with those children, 10 great grandchildren and around her, Marjorie cherishes her two great-great grandchildren. experiences and would never miss a chance to go camping, as she did many Do you know someone who will times in Yosemite. Married for more soon be 100? Please let us know at than 55 years Marjorie and her firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Clayton girl in need of heart/lung transplant inspires
By André Gensburger
here can be no news more devastating than to be told that your 5-year-old daughter has a fatal disease and should, by all accounts, already have died. This was the news that Kathy and John Groebner received in November 2007, after years of being deferred by their doctors in Mankato, Minn., with diagnoses far removed from the ultimate determination of idiopathic primary pulmonary hypertension. This rare and life-threatening condition affects one out of 3 million children with symptoms often misdiagnosed as less-threatening ailments such as asthma. The Groebners had taken Katie Grace to have a hole in her heart repaired with an outpatient procedure using a surgical line threaded up through her groin and a second threaded through her back. No hole was located and the actual condition of Katie Grace’s heart and lungs was revealed. The news was shocking. “No one believed us that something was wrong,” Kathy said.
er, based on the symptoms and the lab work, it was suggested that a hole was present that needed to be closed – solving all the problems.
Getting to the right diagnosis
Instead, it was the start of further problems. Although Katie Grace was awake and chatting with the doctor during the procedure, the doctor told Kathy: “By all rights, she shouldn’t be alive right now.” Katie Grace had an enlarged heart, with major bronchial arteries closed, inhibiting the ability of her lungs to receive enough oxygen. Attempts to open the arteries failed. That was when they were told she would need a heart and lung transplant. “They said there were no places in the area. Nothing in Minnesota could help us.” Then, guilt set in. John’s aunt had lost a child to pulmonary hypertension and the hint of a genetic link made him feel responsible. Kathy, who had endured difficult pregnancies with her three other children, blamed herself. The family was referred to Stanford Medical Center and Dr. Jeffrey A. Andre’ Gensburger/The Concordian Feinstein, associate professor of pediKATIE GRACE GROEBNER dreams of having a normal life without PH atrics and cardiology. In March 2008, the family made a trip to Stanford to have a Broviac catheter installed into a sobbing uncontrollably and told the store owner her story. This connection led to a local church group, and vein near Katie Grace’s heart. Then, medicines could a Clayton family offered the Groebners the use of a be administered on an ongoing basis to help control the dilation of her blood vessels as well as control the two-bedroom guest house. A posting on local Blog site Claycord.com led to more community support. pulmonary hypertension. The treatments have been lowering her arterial Myriad of complications blood pressure to promising levels. “The longest surBack home again, she developed a fever in May. viving person on this medication has lasted 20 With limitations on medications and how high a years,” Kathy said. “That will make Katie Grace 26 fever she can handle while using the Broviac, the years old. It is still not a high quality of life. She can’t family struggled to get her admitted to the hospital. bathe herself, can’t have kids, can’t run …” Seeing his daughter listless and her fever rising, John And with no timeframe for a transplant, life is very carried her into the emergency room and was initially much one day at a time. At her age, a transplant carignored until the family made a scene and Katie was ries a lower life expectancy and a higher failure rate having convulsions. Her fever had spiked to 106 compared to the medication. degrees and she was admitted. “There is a risk of rejection for transplants,” During the seven days in the hospital, there were Feinstein said, “with recipients having a five-year, many issues which the family has yet to resolve. An fifty-percent survival rate. Stronger medication does IV needle popped a vein and led to swelling of her have the potential to repair the process.” Feinstein abdomen. Two days later, a doctor said she had a noted that it is important to follow the patient with bladder infection and was going to send her home. continued echocardiograms and adjustments to the After the family’s protest, a nurse called nearby medications. Children’s Hospital, which admitted Katie Grace with Holding the family together a severe kidney infection and elevated white blood Katie Grace attends kindergarten at a local elecount. There she was diagnosed with bladder reflux, mentary school this year. “I have to let her go to a condition that allows urine to back up and infect school,” Kathy said. “I have to give her everything I the kidneys. can to make the quality of her life the best it can be.” To compound issues, hospitals are wary of touchSavanha, Katie Grace’s 9-year-old sister, is caught ing the Broviac unit. “If she gets an infection while in the shadow of the illness. using the unit, it can be fatal,” Kathy said. “I take it pretty well,” Savanha said. “It makes me The family sold anything they could not take, put aware of what she has and what she doesn’t have. I their house on the market, bought an RV and set off get to watch my parents mix the medicine that she for California. Before they left, their community held will get. Next year, when I am 10, they will show me a fund-raiser to help pay medical costs. how to do it.” While living in the RV in California, Kathy stopped at a flower shop to send some flowers to a family member. Unable to contain her emotions, Kathy began
A lifetime of problems
From the time she was born prematurely, Katie Grace had always been sick and weak, with episodes of passing out. The family doctor deferred further testing. “Even in his records, he wrote: ‘Mother compares child to older sibling’ and that he told me ‘Not all children are the same,’ ” Kathy said. “When she passed out, they said it was acid reflux.” The doctor prescribed Prilosec to reduce stomach acid. It was only when Katie Grace was 3 and showing slower development of motor and cognitive skills that there were other tests, but most showed nothing conclusive. She was assigned a physical therapist, who thought Katie Grave was having seizures. However, tests proved negative. One gastroenterologist noted in a letter to the family doctor that she had a 1/6 systolic murmur at the base of the heart, but “the doctor said a lot of children have heart murmurs and grow out of them,” Kathy reported. Yet each time Katie Grace would get sick, simple illnesses like a cold would become complicated and require hospitalization. In November ’07, the 5-year-old started a preschool readiness class three days a week to help her catch up. The family began to notice a serious decline in her ability to stay alert and focused, and Katie Grace would get irritable and exhibit stress-related patterns such as thumb-sucking. “That Thanksgiving, we went into the doctor as we were all sick and our doctor was gone,” her mom said. Another doctor diagnosed pneumonia and started antibiotic treatment until a newly licensed doctor contraindicated the pneumonia diagnosis due to negative lab tests. Instead, he prescribed a cough syrup to help her congestion and difficulty breathing while he conducted more tests. “Two days later he called – he didn’t want to tell me on the phone,” Kathy said. “Her heart was so significantly enlarged that he had called an immunologist and a cardiologist to look at the results and the imaging.” An echocardiogram did not show anything, howev-
Continued on next page
The medicine arrives by FedEx, with different medications that have to be mixed properly for the Broviac unit to dispense. In addition, she takes a set of pills which have side effects. There are dual fridges for medications as well as food and a strict regimen on how to clean the countertops and preparation area. “The medication costs between $10,000 and $30,000 per month,” Kathy said. Right now, they are covered by MediCal. Meanwhile, the family car is on loan to an elderly aunt with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who lives in the San Pablo area. “People ask my husband why he gave her his car,”
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Kathy said, “and he tells them that she is 61 with COPD, which would be dangerous for her if she breaks down. If he breaks down, he can walk.” Still, the family strives for normalcy. “One day, we hope to be able to buy a house,” Kathy said. “I want to provide a place for other families who are going through what we have been going through.” Katie Grace’s thoughts turn to Christmas, announcing that she wants a playhouse but quickly switches her choice to a giant snow globe that blow snowflakes around. “Did you see my room?” she asked. There, she hangs from the bunk bed ladder, then points to a picture of Orlando Bloom from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “I’m going to marry him,” she said. Kathy has heard this before. “Where will you marry him at?” she asked. Katie Grace’s eyes light up and she breaks into a huge smile, exposing missing front teeth. “At Coldstone (Creamery),” she said. For more information visit http://caringbridge.org/visit/ katiegrace. Donations can be made to the Katie Grace Benefit Fund at US Bank at ww.usbank.com. The family accepts emails at email@example.com.
Gem show offers diverse collection
By Mike Dunn
Take Charge of your Future!
A mysterious boulder stood at the entrance to the Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society’s 49th annual club show and sale in November. The boulder was a 5,000-pound jade nephrite with gold streaks. Owned by Tom Francis, the boulder added to the draw of the show that had 35 vendors selling everything from raw rocks to finished items and even fossils. “We have a great venue with several different displays, demonstrators, vendors and silent auctions,” says Mary Jernigan, an admitted rock hound and a member of the society. Jernigan was enthusiastically showing visitors around the show floor, introducing them to some of the vendors and answering questions, all the while helping vendors when she could. Ed Rigel, a collector, explorer and noted expert on fossils, ferns and petrified woods, was among those selling at the show. He has traveled the world, working with other paleobotanists to identify and date many collections. A Siberian cave bear and fossilized rhino skull drew a lot of attention to his booth.
The Mineral and Gem society meets at 7:30 p.m. the first
1 - 877 - 336 - 8369, ext. 4712
2-Minute Recorded Message
Healing Arts Studio FM Alexander Technique
Mike Dunn/The Concordian
BARRIE BIELER, of the Gem and Mineral Society, demonstrates how to inspect a raw gemstone.
Posture therapy for equestrian, sports and backpack issues
Monday of the month at Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. For more information, contact Jernigan at 707-3720637 or visit ccmgs.org/index.html.
Natural Medicine Chest
includes: Dr. John Lee’s progesterone cream, grape seed/pine bark antioxidants and neti pot (as seen on Oprah)
also available for lectures
T h e
Call Carol Longshore
Healing H u t Winter Special
FREE 20 minute session for
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directory of advertisers
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chamber of commerce
Chamber’s China tour a huge hit - more trips planned
Photo by Chamber of Commerce
MEMBERS OF THE CONCORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ’S 2008 China Trade Mission pause for a photo along the Great Wall before continuing with the tour.
By Keith C. McMahon
President & CEO
he Concord Chamber of Commerce’s 2008 China Trade Mission attendees have returned with stories of awe and amazement from their whirlwind tour of China. Tour organizers promised a feature-packed trip, with visits to many of the top attractions and top destinations in the Mainland China. Tour participants arrived in Beijing, spent the night in the fivestar Beijing King Wing Hotel and in the following days visited Tiananmen Square , the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. They then boarded a flight on the fifth day of travel to Shanghai and onto a tour of Suzhou including an evening dinner show with Chinese acrobats. Other highlights included touring the Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill and Hanshan Temple. Among the guests were various city officials, elected representatives and other VIP’s. The nine-day tour was touted as a once-in-a-lifetime highvalue experience, a promise that was delivered. Comments from travelers included, “… beyond what I had hoped for” and “I would encourage anyone to take advantage of the Chamber’s tour in the future.” Another said it was really, “a wonderful experience and I made great new friends and wonderful memories.” And still another added, “What a wonderful surprise! It was everything they promised and more! The hotels offered accommodations that were equal to or exceeded
most US hotels. The tour guides were experts in group dynamics -their knowledge of history, economics, culture and familiarity of our customs added so much to the amazing sites and scenery we were experiencing. The tour group’s selection of places to visit – historic landmarks mixed with canal rides and visits to local residences and markets via rickshaw, made the whole trip one we will never forget. In fact, it made us want to go back again!” The Concord Chamber sponsored the Trade Mission to offer greater education into the opportunities and challenges in the global marketplace. There could not be a better time to learn more about this emerging giant, as the world looks ahead to the challenges of the new millennium. China will continue to be a key player in the future of the economy, environment and human rights. The Chamber will host two more tours in Spring 2009 with departure dates of April 17 and 18 and more alternative side trips for those that are seeking more options than just the trade tour package. The costs of the tour are greatly reduced through partnering with tour organizers and business associations. For information please contact the Concord Chamber at (925) 685-1181. The Concord Chamber has been supporting the Concord business community for over 70 years. For more information on the Chamber call us at (925) 685-1181 or visit us on-line at www.concord chamber.com.
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Concord Historical Society
New Pittsburg from the based Mt. Diablo Recycling Center Eucalyptus trees lined Todos Santos plaza in 1868 opens in style
odos Santos was laid out in 1868 and dedicated to the people by Don Salvio Pacheco. At that time, the square was lined with eucalyptus trees. In 1903, John Burke, the town’s first recorder, local judge and postmaster, obtained two large cannons from the USS Independence. He donated them to Todos Santos where they decorated the plaza until they mysteriously disappeared in the 1940s. During the early 1900s, a bandstand was built and the citizens enjoyed many Sunday afternoon concerts. In 1917 the Carnegie Library was built in the plaza. In 1931 the aging eucalyptus trees were becoming a problem, so several civic groups raised the money to have them removed. Paul Keller, a floriculturist and businessman who grew up in Concord, designed an 800 feet pergola, said to be the world’s largest, and planted the greatest varieties of wisteria in the world. In the 1950s the pergola, wisteria and eventually the library and bandstand were removed and benches, picnic tables, new trees and flower beds replaced them. The Downtown Property Owners Association launched a beautification program in the late 60s and the city council adopted Betty Beede’s idea of officially naming the plaza Todos
Photo courtesy of the Concord Historical Society
A huge pergola, removed in the 1950s, once stood in Todos Santos proudly draped with a variety of fragrant wisteria vines.
Santos Plaza. Beede, a civic minded Concordian, once owned Beede’s, a downtown retail store. Todos Santos Plaza is widely used today in many of the same ways, with weekly entertainment during spring and summer; summer movies; the Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays all year round. As in times gone by, the citizens of Concord still enjoy the gathering of
friends and families for all the activities provided in Todos Santos Plaza and knowing its history give great thanks to Salvio Pacheco for his vision. Material gathered by “History of Concord, its Progress and Promise” by Edna May Andrews For more information contact the Concord Historical Society, 1601 Sutter St. Concord (925) 827-3380
Mary Garaventa and the Garaventa family held a grand opening gala Nov. 13 at their new Mt. Diablo Recycling Center in Pittsburg. The event celebrated the opening of the recycling facility on Sept. 12. Hundreds of Contra Costa’s top leaders were in attendance to mingle and dine in the brand new facility appropriately decorated with bales of recycled cans, plastics and paper. Mt. Diablo Recycling is the largest “new generation” recycling facility in California. The center processes recyclables utilizing new high-tech computer equipment so recyclable materials no longer need to be manually separated. This process significantly increases the amount of materials recovered and turned into new products. “Going green is not new to our family,” said Sil Garaventa, Jr., CEO of Garaventa Enterprises. Garaventa reminisced about his grandfather, Andrew Moresco, who operated a onetruck garbage route in the 1930’s in what was “the country town of Concord.” “My grandfather was the original recycler, recycling glass bottles, cans, rags and other products,” Garaventa said.
from page 11
it was going to be 15 percent of each bill for those who came in with a Monument Crisis Center flyer,” Kawalkowski said, “then we changed it to 15 percent of the total sales for the night.” Kawalkowski noted that in addition to this event, she had done events with five local elementary schools: Sun Terrace, Monte Gardens, Queen Of All Saints and Wren Avenue Elementary. “We have contacted all of the elementary schools in Concord,” she said, “and so we expect we are going to do even more for next year.” Sandra Scherer, executive director of The Monument Crisis Center explained the Center’s need. “We have 6,300 people that received food from us for October - a four-day supply. That is 1,700 families that were serviced by the Center. We are seeing almost 200 new families every month so that starts to really build pressure on the Center.” For more information contact the Monument Crisis Center at (925) 8257751 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit their Web site at http://monumentcrisiscenter.org/ By Mike Dunn
There’s more to the post office than simply stamps
By Bong M. Tongol
Concord Postal Carrier
Special to The Concordian
orking at the post office is not only a challenging and rewarding career, it’s also a daily grind where time is of the essence. The letter carriers, mail handlers, window and distribution clerks and management join forces to accomplish a common goal: “We Deliver Right On Time and Every Time.” The day starts in the wee hours of the morning, when 30-foot mail trucks roll down the dock and mail handlers unload an assortment of mail in white tubs, trays of first-class mail and different sized parcels – each containing identifying zip and tracking codes. The mail comes from the Oakland Distribution Center, where mail from different parts of the world is processed, collated and distributed to various post offices. Each delivery truck follows a rigid schedule of on-time delivery at
every office destination and returns back to the center with outgoing mail to be processed and distributed accordingly. As soon as mail is unloaded at each post office, it will be distributed correspondingly by zip codes. Distribution clerks case up the loose first-class mail to each designated route case slot, and the mail handlers follow up by distributing stacks of foot-size white tubs with an assortment of loose flats to each route. The Concord Post Office has five different zip codes in its delivery systems, with about 155 carrier routes and 252 letter carriers on the roster. Each route has 400600 business or residential deliveries. Section supervisors’ days starts at 6 a.m. They are glued to their computers, checking schedules, counting and tracking the mail and the availability of delivery trucks – all the while hoping for no unexpected sick calls, accidents or dog bites. Carriers work an eight-hour day, which includes casing the mail, pulling it down and delivering it on the street. Often, that objective is not realized due
to an unexpected high volume of mail that needs to be cased, following the delivery deadlines demanded by individual companies. Sometimes, a supervisor requests that a carrier case only first-class mail and hit the street on time to complete the route in the prescribed time limit. Occasionally, section supervisors are instructed to do street observations, making sure carriers are following their delivery sequence and emphasizing safe driving practices. Ultimately, the carriers have the biggest responsibility. They are on the front lines anytime of the day, enduring unpredictable weather and unexpected adversities along the way. The next time you adhere a stamp on an envelope, take a moment to think about all the work that makes letter delivery possible.
For more information, visit the Concord Post Office at 2121 Meridian Park Blvd. or call 800-275-8777.
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We’re finally in our new location
Celebrate our reopening on Sat., Dec. 6, noon to 5 p.m. 925-673-0686
Clayton Mind & Body Connections
6200 Center Street, Suite I
(next door to Clayton Pioneer)
Downtown Concord hosts tree lighting, Santa, Wizard of Oz, and the first Holiday Walk
owntown Concord celebrates the holiday season with a number of free Saturday events on Dec. 6 and 13 at Todos Santos Plaza, located on Willow Pass Road between Grant and Mt. Diablo streets.
Grab bag for prizes
LIDAY HO TS EVEN
12/7 - Santa’s 12/11 - A
Live Dinner Music EVERY Friday Night!
Downtown Holiday Walk Dec. 6
This year, the Todos Santos Business Association will join the rest of the country in what has fast become a holiday tradition. On Dec 6, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., more than a dozen Todos Santos
Bingo Par-Tea! $25 pp
A jolly good time playing Bingo, winning prizes and enjoying holiday food and teas. Bring your camera!
Harp For The Holidays! $40 pp Bear Christmas Tea, $25 pp Strings" Dinner!
District businesses will open their doors before the city’s tree lighting event in Todos Santos Plaza and invite visitors to enjoy a festive, holiday atmosphere with cider and treats. After warming up with cider, stroll on over to the First Presbyterian Church just one block off the Plaza at 1111 Colfax St. and climb aboard the carriage for a festive ride around town (nominal charge). After the tree lighting and sing-along, stay in a festive mood with some downtown shopping and dining.
A delicious 4 course dinner concert w/ harpist Cynthia Schultz
12/14 - Teddy
Teddy themed treats and a free bear to take home!
Mt. Diablo High School’s International Hospitality and Tourism Academy
Two days only
12/18 - "Christmas 12/24 - A
Enjoy 4 courses as Cole Tutino & his cello perform holiday classics!
Candlelight Christmas Tea, $25 pp
A Royal Holiday Teatime w/ lovely music, teas, & treats by candlelight!
2002 Salvio St., Concord
By Reservation Only
Tues., Dec. 16, 11:45 am Wed., Dec. 17, 11:30 am
$25 per person
does it.” Holly runs a tight ship to ensure that their reputation remains spotless. “He’s there when he says he’s going to be there.” Making appointments is simple. Call (925) 672-2700, visit their Website at http://appliancerepairsbybruce.googlepages.com, or email email@example.com. This year, light up your home for the holidays. Jim can install safe, approved electric outlets right where you need them. He will provide free estimates for residential ceiling fans, recessed lighting and landscape lighting, service and repair. Jim is the first and last person you’ll see on any job because he believes in excellent service and a quality product. Jim has devoted his 30-year career to the electrical industry working in a variety of venues. He does all the work himself, so you know it’s done right. Call Jim for a free estimate at (925) 672-1519 or (925) 212-3339.
APPLIANCE REPAIRS BY BRUCE
morning or late afternoon times,” which makes his service incredibly convenient for everyone. While he generally works from 9-5, Monday through Friday, he also schedules emergency weekend appointments. “My customers shouldn’t have to wait until Monday to hear from someone.” Customer service is the key to this business, and the key reason Bruce went into business for himself. “Everyone talks customer service, but no one
Appliance Repairs by Bruce, located in Clayton, is thrilled to be able to service the appliance repair needs of the community. Bruce Linsenmeyer and his wife Holly pride themselves on their availability, with Clayton and Concord residents receiving the benefit of proximity. “They get appointments first thing in the
Lighting up your life is what Jim Burkin does best. As the sole proprietor of Burkin Electric, Jim handles all of your residential, commercial, light industrial and remodeling needs.
Continued on next page
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
The Concordian is celebrating the holiday season with a series of guides to inform you of local events and business offerings
Hair for the holidays
Individual solutions for
Tree Lighting and Mayor’s Sing Along Dec. 6
Concord’s official Tree Lighting and Mayor’s Sing-Along takes place Saturday evening, Dec. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Todos Santos Plaza. The festive tree in the Plaza will light up with hundreds of LED lights this year, in keeping with the city’s efforts to protect the environment. The energy-saving LED lights replace the traditional lights used in previous years. Entertainment on the Todos Santos stage includes performances by Mt. Diablo High School Red Devil Voice Ensemble, Diablo Vista Chorus, Concord High School Jazz Band, Ladies First! vocal group, Fair Oaks Church Kids’ Club Choir, Calvary Temple Carolers, and St. Francis of Assisi Children’s Chorus. The entertainment will be followed by a sing-along at 6:30 p.m. and countdown to the tree lighting at 6:45 p.m. Special guest emcee is ABC-7 News anchor Dan Ashley. Free holiday buttons, songbooks and refreshments will be available while supplies last. Elena Rowan, Highlands Elementary School student, will be recognized during the program for designing the holiday button. The event will be broadcast live on Concord Cable TV 28 (Comcast) and 29 (Astound) and can be viewed on the city’s Website at ww.cityofconcord.org. Free parking is available within easy walking distance. The Todos Santos Parking Center is at Concord Avenue and Pacheco Street. The Salvio Street Garage is located between Grant and Colfax streets. For more information call the downtown events hotline (925) 671-3464. Continued on page 14
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of upcoming seminars and events. CD Federal is insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) and ASI (American Share Insurance). Each individual share account is insured for $350,000 and additional insurance is available according to account ownership. Please ask for details. To learn more and how you can join, please call (925) 825-0900, visit www.cdfcu.org or stop by 1855 Second Street in Concord. They look forward to being your financial partner.
CLAYTON MIND AND BODY CONNECTION
This comfortable little day spa in downtown Clayton offers a variety of massages, facials, body treatments, foot and hand treatments. David Godsoe and his staff can provide as little as a quick half- hour massage or facial to a relaxing five-and-a-half-hour day package. Remember that a massage is not just for her – it's a proven stress reducer, perfect for this time of year. CMBC is a member of SpaFinder so let those relatives and friends that live far away know they can give SpaFinder gift certificates that can be
CD Federal Credit Union is a member-oriented financial institution with a family environment. They are not-for-profit and have been serving members since 1954, offering a wide range of financial products and services such as free checking, online banking, mobile banking, bill pay, auto and home loans, credit cards, free financial planning and much more. CD Federal also regularly offers free financial education seminars to members – see Website, www.cdfcu.org, for a schedule
used here. Drop by for a chat with David about a good gift package or just for a cup of tea. 6200 Center St. Ste I, Clayton or call (925) 6730686 for an appointment or to order a gift certificate. David will happily mail it or deliver it for you.
COOKIES BY DESIGN
In 1983 Cookies By Design began the concept of combining two very popular gifts, flowers and cookies into one deliciously, delightful concept. The Cookie Bouquet. 25 years later, the "original " cookie bouquet company operates
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Tan for the holidays
Gift Cards available
GRAND OPENING SPECIAL
from page 13
2:30 p.m. After making a colorful entrance on a bright red fire truck in front of Salvio Pacheco Square, Santa and his elves will hear children's holiday wishes in the Salvio Pacheco Square courtyard. The event is free. Optional photos with Santa are available for a fee. The Todos Santos Business Association will offer holiday gift items.
Benefit showing of “Wizard of Oz” Dec. 13
On Saturday, Dec. 13, Brenden Theatre and the Todos Santos Business Association sponsor a free showing of the movie “Wizard of Oz” at 9:30 a.m. Admission is free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for Concord’s Monumental Toy Drive. Brenden Theatre is located two blocks from Todos Santos Plaza at the corner of Galindo and Salvio streets.
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Toy Drive donations Dec. 6 & 13
New, unwrapped toys will be collected at both the Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 events for the City’s Monumental Toy Drive that benefits low income families in Concord. Organizers are in particular need of games, puzzles, dolls, action figures and sports equipment. Free parking is available within easy walking distance. The Todos Santos Parking Center is at Concord Avenue and Pacheco Street. The Salvio Street Garage is located between Grant and Colfax streets. For more information call the downtown events hotline (925) 671-3464.
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After the movie, families are invited to Santa’s Grand Arrival at Salvio Pacheco Square, 2151 Salvio St., across from Todos Santos Plaza, from noon to
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phone, or stop in, look around and enjoy the aroma of fresh baked cookies daily. We look forward to seeing you. Stop by Cookies by Design in the Clayton Station at 5433 Clayton Rd. or call 524-9901.
approximately 200 stores nationwide. Each Cookies By Design Shoppe across the U.S. offers unique, personalized cookie bouquets, gourmet cookies, and other specialty gifts, all hand crafted with care. We invite you to browse our website, www.cookiesbydesign.com, call our trained cookie consultants, or visit one of our shoppes to get a taste of what we can do for you. We are conveniently located in the Clayton Station Shopping Center, next door to Safeway in Clayton. Our shoppe hours are 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. We offer same day delivery in Clayton and all surrounding cities. Order over the
make you feel comfortable while they dazzle you with their work. Cutting Loose has been around for eight years offering a modern, fun and upbeat place to come and feel pampered. Conveniently located on Clayton Rd. by Bailey Rd., Cutting Loose 4701 Clayton Rd., Ste A, Concord (925) 798-6161.
CUTTING LOOSE HAIR STUDIO
Need a fun and welcoming place to have your hair cut, colored, highlighted, or extended? What about facial waxing, permanent makeup as well as other services? Cutting Loose Hair Studio offers you ten highly qualified reasons why you should stop by: Janice, Danette, Carol, Kelli, Nici, Zia, Crystal, Cassie, Laura, and Vanessa, all of whom will be happy to
DIABLO VALLEY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
Founded in 1961, Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution that provides cost-effective financial services for its member-owners, unlike traditional banks that seek to maximize profit for the benefit of outside stockholders. During these uncertain economic times, it's important to know that you have the option of
dealing with a trusted hometown financial partner. They encourage you to look to them for whatever your financial needs may be, and to refer family and friends who are looking for that same value, confidence and trust. Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union serves anyone living, working, worshipping or attending school in central Contra Costa County. Your funds are insured up to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration a U.S. Government agency. They are located at 1051 Detroit Avenue in Concord, next to Costco. For more information, please visit their website, www.diablovalleyfcu.org, or call (925) 7715600.
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Holiday treats from
Englund’s Bistro & Tea Room
EARL GREY HOLIDAY TRUFFLES 2/3 cup whipping cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 2 Earl Grey tea bags 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped Chocolate coating Chocolate sprinkles In small saucepan, bring cream, butter, and syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep 5 min., then remove tea bags. Add chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. Spoon teaspoons of chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll each piece into a ball. Place in freezer to keep firm while preparing chocolate coating. Melt chocolate coating according to directions. Quickly dip balls in coating and sprinkles. Refrigerate until firm. Store in refrigerator for one week or in freezer for one month.
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ENGLUND’S BISTRO AND TEA ROOM
Christmas is in the air at Englund's this month with their new holiday decor and menu featuring white chocolate and peppermint scones with new holiday tea flavors. Open for lunch and teatime seven days a week and dinner Wednesday through Saturday, they're now also serving up a special weekend brunch. Savor eggs Benedict and Mimosas from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Englund's now features live dinner music every Friday evening starting at 6 p.m. when the dinner menu offers such delectable items as
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lamb chops in pomegranate reduction, grilled salmon, Steak Marsala, and Chicken Oscar. On Wednesday December 24th, Englund's will host an elegant Candlelight Christmas Tea at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with champagne, finger sandwiches, scones & holiday desserts. Make your reservation at (925) 691-8327.
"Increased consumption of calorie-dense, processed foods, saturated fats and sugars, reduced physical activity, stress, and impurities that enter our body are increasing our waistlines while decreasing our quality of life," says Wendy Moore of Isagenix.
Isagenix provides a gourmet selection of delicious and nutritious foods to feed your cells and speed up the elimination of harmful impurities that burden your health. Isagenix requires no stoves, no ovens, no grills, no microwaves, and of course, no deep fat fryers. Our appliance of choice is an inexpensive mini-blender! The obesity epidemic is affecting virtually all ages and cultures. Of rising concern is the increasing incidence of child obesity. "Isagenix can change directions and take your body back," says Moore. Whether you are trying to reach a healthy weight, regain lost energy, cleanse your body of harmful impurities, bring balance to your diet, or all the above, Isagenix is the right program. Call today for a FREE Nutritional Consultation 925-570-5187.
JUST HAIR CLINIC
Seeing is believing with an undetectable, non-surgical hair replacement product for men and women. Mike and Marc Epstein, owners of Just Hair Clinic are not only the backbone of this interesting company, but also clients. Just Hair Clinic began in 1975, now in its second generation and the East Bay’s leading hair restoration company. “By looking better you feel better,” both brothers will tell you, offering a private, nocost consultation where they can show you what they do, both in before and after photographs, but also using themselves as living samples of their work.
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Tim’s Home Improvement
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Holiday Faire and Teas
10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 14. Crafts and holiday items for sale. High tea at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. $28 for tea. Sponsored by the Walnut Creek Historical Society. Shadelands Ranch Museum, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. 935-7871.
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Downtown Holiday Open House
4:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Free event by downtown merchants in conjunction with the 7 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony in Todos Santos Plaza. Businesses will be decorated for the holidays and offer festive drinks and/or appetizers. Nominal fee for horse and buggy rides. Contact Kathy at 685-3067.
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1-7 p.m. Dec. 3. Boutique, plus secret shopper for kids to buy reasonable gifts. New vendors and special guest authors. Mt. Diablo Elementary School, 5880 Mt. Zion Dr., Clayton. Call Cheryl at 673-7279.
Tree Lighting and Sing-Along
5-7 p.m. Dec. 6. School choirs and community entertainment, plus tree lighting and holiday singalong. Todos Santos Plaza. 671-3464.
Chanukah Book Fair
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7-8. Gift books for the holidays, plus author Lisa Goldstein of “Red Magician” on Sunday. Temple Isaiah Library, 3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.
Gift and Craft Fair
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 5-6. Handcrafted items and delicious homemade goodies. Sponsored by the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. 671-3320.
Crisis Nursery Gift Wrap Volunteers
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 7-22. The Bay Area Crisis Nursery is looking for volunteers to wrap presents in Concord. Two-hour shifts available. New toy donations needed as well. 685-6633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6. Unique gifts, handmade crafts and holiday decorations. Santa will be available for photos. Ayers Elementary School, 5120 Myrtle Dr., Concord. Call Lisa at 673-9348.
Breakfast with Santa
8:30-10 a.m. Dec. 6. Crafts to make with your children, plus a gift boutique and craft fair. Bring your camera. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. www.ConcordReg.org or 671-3320.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Performance by the Diablo Valley Chorus and holiday sing-along. Includes treats and hot chocolate. $5 for ages 7plus. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. 671-3320 or www.ConcordReg.org.
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tals. For a free consultation contact Mike or Marc at (925) 827-4744 2425 East St., Ste 19, Concord or visit them online at www.justhairclinic.com
“There is no pressure,” Marc says. “This is a comfortable setting. Seeing is believing.” In the past this service was largely used by men, however, recent advances in the technology of hair replacement has drawn an equal number of women interested in replacing minimum to moderate hair loss. “Everyone is individual,” Mike says. “We have something that will suit your lifestyle and offer minimum to no maintenance.” The brothers also work with children with medical needs, including hair loss from cancer radiation treatments, alopecia areata, and trichotillomania. They also work with local hospi-
MARIO NAVEA GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTOR
Autumn brings a much closer inspection of our living quarters than those bright summer months when we were busy with outdoor activities. Starting to notice all those tiny imperfec-
tions? Call Mario Navea, General Building Contractor, for all your home improvement needs. Navea is available for nearly any project his clients can dream up, from general repairs and handyman services to building a brandnew house if the old one just won't suit. Navea has experience with even the most unusual projects; however, his typical tasks include termite reports and the subsequent repair work, electrical and plumbing, and installing doors and windows. He can also spruce up your home's landscaping by building retaining walls, retrofitting, and replacing foundations, or building a beautiful new patio or deck on which to enjoy the sights and smells of the fall.
Mario Navea works all over the Bay Area. Call (925) 673-5260 or email Mario@marionavea.com today. Lic. #: 672628
NEW DIMENSIONS SERVICE SOLUTIONS
New Dimensions Service Solutions is the Bay Area’s premier laptop vendor, providing “Total Laptop Care.” New Dimensions will help you eliminate the frustration associated with the selection and configuration of your new laptop by providing 35 years of professional consulting and service experience in the computing field. New Dimensions repair technicians are sea-
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Santa’s Grand Arrival
Noon-2 p.m. Dec. 13. Santa comes to downtown Concord to listen to all the kids’ holiday wishes. Downtown merchants will display their wares, plus a special farmers market. Todos Santos Plaza.
Center Rep “Dickens’ A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 11-21. A holiday favorite, brimming with music and dance, spectacular special effects, scary ghosts and old-fashioned storytelling. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 943SHOW or www.lesherartscenter.
Galatean Players Ensemble “Whiskers”
Dec. 13-20. The popular children’s musical based on “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $8-$15. 943-SHOW or http://galateanplayersensemble.homestead.com/ whiskers.htm.
Knox Drive, Lafayette.
Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble “The Biggest Gift”
Dec. 19-21. Join the fun and laughter as Tucker the elf sets out to save Christmas. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 943-SHOW or www.lesherartscenter.org.
Willows Cabaret “The Nunsense Christmas Musical”
Through Dec. 21. The Little Sisters of Hoboken take on Tchaikovsky and hilarity ensues. 636 Ward St., Martinez. $20-$30. 798-1300 or www.willowstheatre.org.
Contra Costa Christian Theatre “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Dec. 12-21. The heartwarming production is based closely on Frank Capra’s movie classic and is perfect for family audiences. Del Valle Theatre at 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $15-22. www.dlrca.org or 943-SHOW.
Free Concert of Holiday Music
7:30 p.m., Dec. 15. Maestro Duane Carroll will lead the Contra Costa Wind Symphony in “Winterfest,” a free concert of holiday music, including traditional carols and an audience sing-along. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49
Ballet Joyeux “Once Upon a Christmas”
Dec. 23-24. A colorfully narrated ballet that follows a young girl as she learns confidence from an elf named Rojo. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. www.lesherartscenter.org or 943SHOW.
Walnut Creek Concert Band
7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Holiday Concert. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 943-SHOW or www.lesherartscenter.org.
Diablo Ballet “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 3-6. In conjunction with Civic Arts Education, Diablo Ballet tells the heartwarming story of Clara and her special Christmas present, a wooden nutcracker soldier. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $10-26. 943SHOW or wwwlesherartscenter.org.
Contra Costa Ballet “Story of the Nutcracker”
Dec. 4-6. A colorfully narrated, hour-long production for the entire family. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 943-SHOW or www.lesherartscenter.org.
“A John Denver Holiday Concert”
Dec. 4-14. Perfect for the entire family, this concert by Dan Wheetman features modern and traditional Christmas carols as well as some of Denver’s memorable hits. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 943-SHOW or www.lesherartscenter.org.
Tapestry Holiday Concerts
The voices of Heartsong and the handbells of Canto Bello join together once again as Tapestry. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, “Songs of the Season,” Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7, “Prepare My Heart,” Walnut Creek United Methodist Church, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave. 7 p.m. Dec. 13, “Christmas by Candlelight: An Elizabethan Yuletide,” St. John's Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. The first two concerts are free, with donations accepted for Clayton Valley High School’s music program. Tickets are $20 for Dec. 13, which includes sherry and dessert. Call Julie at 516-2920.
Flock of Flutes Holiday Concert
5 p.m. Dec. 7. The Bay Area's only flute choir will perform a classic concert. Civic Arts Education's Shadelands Campus, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10-$12. 943-5846.
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soned pros who will attempt to repair any nonwarranty manufacturer’s laptop. New Dimensions is warranty-authorized by IBM/Lenovo, Oki Printers, Sony Vaio, and Toshiba. NDSS provides sales and service on new and refurbished laptops, desktop computers, and custom, high-end gaming machines. New Dimensions also offers laptop accessories, such as replacement batteries, power adapters, carrying cases, memory/hard drive upgrades (currently up to a 500gb SATA), and a complete line of portable products from Targus. NDSS is available for all your laptop needs.
NEW YORK LIFE/ BETTY LOU MOGLEN
Betty Lou Moglen has been elected a member of the 2008 Chairman’s Council of New York Life Insurance Company. Members of the elite Chairman’s Cabinet rank in the top three percent of New York Life’s elite sales force of approximately 11,000 licensed agents. As a Chairman’s Council member, Betty Lou was invited to attend the Chairman’s Council
meeting in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Moglen has been a New York Life agent since 1983, and is associated with New York Life’s East Bay General Office in Pleasanton, CA. New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies. Please visit New York Life’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
It is a little-known fact that the California autumn is the perfect time to completely renew
your home’s landscaping. The cool weather of the fall, winter, and spring allows cool season grasses, trees, and plants time to establish before the blistering heat of the summer reeks its havoc. To redesign your yard, call Concord native Boyce Nichols of Nichols Landscape. Nichols has been serving Concord for over twenty years, first learning the business from his older brother, then striking out on his own. “We specialize in any kind of installation, including sod installation and plantings,” says Nichols. “We can install pavers, concrete, patios, arbors, decks, sprinkler systems, low-voltage lighting, or retaining walls. We can also do awe-
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Send a custom bouquet of scrumptious cookies to someone sweet today
Make room for new holiday gadgets – Recycle your old electronics
lectronic Waste Management is sponsoring free electronic waste recycling events in the area. Electronic waste, commonly referred
to as e-waste, is a major environmental issue in California. Each year, residents dispose of more than 500,000 tons of e-waste such as TVs, monitors, com-
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of 10 guarantees a loss of a dress size! A Perfect Tan, set to open this fall, is located in Clayton Station next to Walgreens and will be open seven days a week. Visit their company website at www.perfecttanca.com or their new Clayton site at www.aperfecttansalon.com.
puters and other electronics. Many of these items contain hazardous materials like lead, cadmium, barium and mercury that are harmful to humans, pets and the environment. Because of the toxins found in many electronic devices, California has made it illegal to throw away unwanted electronic equipment. However, any California business, school, government agency or resident can bring an unlimited amount of e-waste to the disposal events. Accepted items include TVs, computers, monitors, power supplies, microwaves and much more. Various components used in electronic equipment, such as glass, metal and plastic, can be recycled into other – helping save our natural resources. Residents can drop off items 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at overflow parking lot 7 at Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. This is a monthly event on the first Saturday. From 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, the disposal site will be parking lot 2A at Los Medanos College, 2700 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg. This event is held the third Saturday of the month. For more information, call 866-335-3373 or visit www.NoEwaste.com.
PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY OF PLEASANT HILL
We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why Pediatric Dentistry has been designed to be “kid friendly.” The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern. Their pediatric dentists and staff are specially trained to treat children… toddlers through teens and are happy to welcome new patients. Pediatric Dentistry is located at 2710 Pleasant Hill Road in Pleasant Hill. Make an appointment by calling (925) 947-1188.
some stuff like waterfalls and bridges.” For a free estimate or to reserve Nichols and his team, call (925) 672-9955, email Nicholslandscape@msn.com, or visit nicholslandscape.com. A complete photo gallery is available to peruse online.
scores of unique gift items. Be sure to see her large selection of lovely Willow Tree figurines, including the newest 2008 releases. Rodie’s is located at 8863 Marsh Creek Road, just past the eastern limits of Clayton. Phone (925) 672-4600. Take a ride out there. It’s well worth the drive.
RODIE’S FEED AND COUNTRY STORE
Take a break from the malls and crowds this year with a short, pleasant drive out to Rodie’s Feed and Country Store on Marsh Creek Road in Clayton for some truly unique gift ideas. Topping the out-of-the-ordinary gift list are the exotic birds happily greeting customers and staff in one of the area’s favorite stores. Colorful macaws, cockatoos, parrotlets and canaries are just a few of the exotic birds at Rodie’s. With a staff of seven avian specialists certified by Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Rodie’s is the premier bird shop in Northern California. And while Rodie’s is definitely “for the birds,” owners Bob and Sarah Rodenburg have not forgotten Fido or Fluffy. With a complete selection of Merrick dog and cat food, cozy beds, snug dog houses, toys, collars and grooming accessories, you will find everything you need right at Rodie’s. And while you are shopping for the pets in your life, browse Robin’s Nest Country Gifts inside Rodie’s. Owned by Robin Thomas, Bob Rodenburg’s daughter, Robin’s Nest carries
NU IMAGE PAINTING
Nu Image Painting and Construction of Clayton offers the highest in work quality backed by twenty-two years of experience and references that will totally impress you that you won’t have to ask for. “I have a crew that specializes in high end kitchen and bath remodeling, as well as high end finish work,” says owner, Michael Reilly. “We cater to people with very high standards and expectations because that is the way I am. I have high expectations.” Nu Image offers a complete turnkey operation. “Since I can do all my design work, and installs, it cuts out any delays,” Reilly says. “This reduces the overall cost of the job and also shortens project completion time which means greater savings to you.” Nu Image Painting and Construction serves Walnut Creek, Clayton, San Ramon, Alamo, Danville, Pleasanton, Orinda, and Lafayette. Contact Nu Image Painting and Construction at (925) 672-1777
SERENDIPITY OFFERS HOLIDAY LUNCHEONS
Serendipity Restaurant & Bakery is one of Concord’s best-kept secrets. The student-run restaurant is open to the public for lunch 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The restaurant serves appetizers, freshly made soups, salads, sandwiches, full entrees such as poached salmon and tri-tip medallions and a variety of desserts. The average price for a meal is $7.50-$10, including beverage. The restaurant is at 2611 East St., across from the John Muir Hospital Concord Campus. Serendipity is offering a holiday luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and Wednesday, Dec. 17. The $25 lunch is a two-course meal with a dessert buffet. Reservations are recommended. Call Jennifer at 798-0882. Serendipity Restaurant & Bakery is part of the Regional Occupation Program and the International Hospitality and Tourism Academy.
Perfect Tan opens its new Clayton location this fall with a myriad of special treats to entice customers to their doors. The location offers UV, airbrush, and UV-Free MyMyst tanning solutions, with UV beds that range from 12 to 20 minutes and five levels of tanning lotions for the best possible color – perfect for maintaining summer glow or preparing for that winter cruise. Tanning prices begin at $25. However, tanning isn't everything at this salon. They also offer weight loss wraps - cloths dipped in liquid minerals that detoxify and grab impurities from fat cells to help lose weight. A package
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Donate used coats at Cookies by Design
Cookies by Design in the Clayton Station is collecting clean, reusable coats for the One Warm Coat project. Through Dec. 31, a collection box will be in the store at 5433 Clayton Road, Suite A. Each person donating a coat will receive a free cookie; limit one per customer. One Warm Coat aims to provide any person in need with a warm coat, free of charge. Offering this simple yet vital need helps people live productive lives year-round. The project started in 1992 as a Thanksgiving weekend coat drive in San Francisco. Last year, more than 2,000 coat drives were held across the country throughout the year. It’s a three-part effort – from those who clean their closet to donate coats to those who organize a coat drive in their community and the volunteers and staff at social service agencies who distribute the coats. For more information, visit www.onewarmcoat.org.
Simplify Gift Giving
VISA gift card
Stop by any TCU branch to do your holiday shopping for family and friends. VISA gift cards, available from $10 to $500, are perfect for convenient delivery to loved ones inside a greeting card. And, your gift can be used anywhere the VISA logo is displayed.*
Safer than cash. If lost, replace unused amount. Use it online. Use until the balance reaches zero.
TWO BRANCHES IN CONCORD
1257 Willow Pass Road
Clayton Valley Shopping Center
5442 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 10 Mon–Fri 10am–5:30pm Saturday 10am–2pm
Where You Belong
www.traviscu.org (800) 877-8328
Includes a free safety inspection to uncover any internal damage.
NCUA–Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency. *Restaurant transaction authorizations include an additional 20% to allow for tips. Not redeemable at ATMs, hotels, or for pay-at-the pump gas, car rentals or cash advances. The purchase fee per gift card is $3.50. A fee of $10, subtracted from the card balance, applies to reissue a lost card at a TCU branch. After six months, a monthly maintenance fee of $3 is subtracted from the available balance. Everyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Contra Costa County is eligible to join. Certain membership requirements may apply.
SweepMobile recommends a yearly cleaning of your chimney, as well as your dryer vent. Having a regular maintenance cleaning not only reduces the dangers of fire, as well as carbon monoxide poisoning, but in the case of your dryer, actually improves the effectiveness of the dryer thereby reducing your utility bill. Take advantage of Sweepmobile’s free safety inspection to uncover hidden internal damages to your chimney. Their $99 chimney sweep includes a free inspection for pre-fabricated and masonry chimneys only. A variety of new spark arrestors/chimney caps are also available. SweepMobile is dedicated to providing professional and reliable chimney and dryer vent cleaning services. For additional information, call Jack at SweepMobile (925) 363-9479
STRAIGHT LINE IMPORTS
Thinking about new granite counter tops? There is no better way to enhance the beauty of your kitchen or bathroom vanity than by adding new custom fabricated granite or marble counter tops. Granite is virtually stain free and requires very little maintenance. Straight Line Imports is a custom fabricator and one of the larger fabrication and installation companies in the East Bay offering free in home estimating and free design ideas. They stock a variety of faucets, fixtures and sinks at below wholesale prices. Straight Line is a licensed, bonded and insured general contractor specializing in complete kitchen design and renovations. “If you are thinking about remodeling or just replacing you counter tops you owe it to yourself to call us. We are a locally owned and operated company. We wish you the best for a healthy and happy holiday season,” says owner Rick Fox. Straight Line Imports is located at 3795 Pacheco Blvd. in Martinez. Tel: (925) 335-9801
by adding crown molding, baseboard, tile work, painting, entertainment centers or energy saving windows and doors to enhance the look of your home. Now is an excellent time to call us for a free estimate. Office (925) 672-9471 or Cell (925) 324-7408. Ask for Tim.
Nothing beats stress like a great physical workout. But with the holidays coming and the bad weather approaching, the trips to the gym are usually the first casualty. “If only I had a gym in my house,” you wish. Well, Ilima Heuerman is about to grant that wish. Traveling Trainers will bring the gym to you. Yes, that means house calls. Now, there are “no more excuses.” With one-on-one instruction and workout in a custom program designed for you, Ilima will have you at your tip-top self in no time. Or, how about a Traveling Trainers gift certificate for that really special someone in your life? So, turn away from the computer, get up from the desk and call Traveling Trainers to bring your personal trainer right to your house. Call today. (925) 890-6931.
well capitalized to weather tough times. If you’re concerned about the ownership changes within the banking industry, become a member-owner at Travis Credit Union. TCU is one of the largest credit unions in California and they have been financially safe and sound since 1951. At TCU your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government through NCUA, a U.S. Government Agency. TCU has money to lend for homes, vehicles and more. Stop worrying and take action, Become a member-owner of Travis Credit Union today! Everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Contra Costa County is eligible to join. Certain requirements may apply. Call (800) 877-8328 or visit www.traviscu.org
Today Hauling and Unique Gardening of Concord is available for hauling of your complete household, garbage, and yard debris needs. Replacing the refrigerator? Call Today Hauling! Cutting down that dead tree? Call Today Hauling! Need to ditch all that old junk in the garage so there is room for the car? Call Today Hauling! But Today Hauling is also available for all your gardening needs. They install low-voltage
TIM'S HOME IMPROVEMENT
Tim's Home Improvements focuses on all phases of remodeling and construction. With 30 years of experience and quality craftsmanship, many families now enjoy their beautifully remodeled kitchens, bathrooms and spacious room additions. Tim and his crew also enjoy working outdoors. Over the years, they have built many decks, trellis', gazebos, and patio covers for home owners to enjoy both indoor and outdoor living and entertainment. Add character to your home
TRAVIS CREDIT UNION
In these uncertain times, many financial experts are suggesting consumers open accounts at credit unions. Travis Credit Union puts their members first, doesn’t take excessive risks and is
Have you had your chimney cleaned out recently? Better clean it out before Santa arrives.
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GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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Senior Reflections on the Holiday Season
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Juanita Beard, 77
When I was a child we would drive to my grandmother’s house every Christmas. The drive would take us 8-10 hours on a two-lane road. We would be full of excitement packing the car with gifts, snacks and blankets to keep us warm as the car did not have a heater or radio. My parents would talk and laugh during the whole trip. I loved to look out of the window
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and see all the Christmas lights and decorations. Christmas Eve some of the relatives were there and Santa Claus came that night. My grandmother always had a houseful on Christmas day for dinner and she always invited the preacher and his family. I went with my parents to my grandmother’s house for Christmas every year until I was married. It is a wonderful time of the year, but I haven’t felt the same excitement as I did as a child going to my grandmother’s.
Mario Navea, General Contractor
Bob Hill, 85
Holidays were never too important to me in my working because I worked for the railroad in train service and we worked every holiday. I remember one Thanksgiving growing up on a farm in Nebraska when I was 10 years old and we always aimed to finish shucking corn on Thanksgiving.
your dollar matters!
Did you know that when you spend your hard-earned dollars in Concord, a portion of the sales tax comes back to the community to maintain and improve your City? With so many fantastic choices in Concord, you do not need to shop anywhere else.
to download coupons from participating Concord businesses. Quality work and affordable prices
UNA MAS MEXICAN GRILL
mood lighting to accent those beautiful trees and brick paths, create high-tech sprinkler solutions to make sure that hard-earned landscaping lives through the California summer, and can overseed and aerate when the baking sun causes the ground to harden and crack. Available for both one-time clean-up of your yard or regular, weekly or bi-weekly maintenance, Today Hauling and Unique Gardening uses quality tools and provides fair service. For all your hauling and gardening needs, call (925) 497-4907 or email email@example.com.
Good news for those who have been savoring a Mexican meal. Walk by Una Mas at 2068 Salvio Street, Concord CA 94520. (925) 798 6262, in the Todos Santos Plaza, and will notice the signs “Always Unique Always Fresh Always Good” posted. Una Mas Mexican Grill blends the traditional flavors of Mexican cuisine with a fresh and modern attitude! This unique flavor profile is what has kept customers coming back for more than 15 years and garnered numerous awards. Our catering menu includes items
such as Outrageous Four Foot Burritos, Taco Party or Burrito Bar where customers can make their own tacos and burritos. Serving food that includes burritos, tacos and Salads, Una Mas prides itself on serving only fresh ingredients to its customers. And Una Mas uses all natural fresh poultry; Angus certified all natural beef only.
Yoga Sol of Concord has a new location in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center! The new space includes a retail store where patrons can purchase their yoga supplies before and after class. This month, save $10 off any purchase of $50 or more.
Yoga Sol offers classes in Hot Yoga, Pilates, Vinyasa Flow, Meditation, Kripalu, and more from 8 different instructors. “All of the classes are beginner-friendly,” says owner Tara Clay. “We really cater to the individual. It doesn’t matter how many years someone has studied yoga. We make pose modifications. We try to make people feel as though they had a private class as opposed to a group class.” Come experience the physical benefits of yoga, including relief of back pain, stress, and sleep disorders, while losing weight and gaining strength and flexibility. Visit yogasol.net or call (925) 288-9642 for more information. Local residents get their first class free!
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recollections of a lifetime
This particular year my dad had the flu, so six or seven neighbors came over with their teams and wagons and finished shucking our corn. My mother and some neighbor ladies made a big Thanksgiving dinner for the men when they finished. I enjoyed seeing all the different teams of horses and mules that were at our farm. wheels. Mr. Brown was known for doing good deeds throughout the county and I will never forget his kindness.
Sylvia Berek Rosenthal, 85
When I think of the holidays, the most important holiday of my life was actually October 17, 1945. I was awakened from a sound sleep by peculiar noises coming from my two- year old daughter, Elaine’s, bedroom. It sounded like her window was being opened and that is exactly what was happening. My husband, George, had been discharged from the army that afternoon and had found his way home before midnight that same day. He crawled in through the window and what a welcome surprise! George had been a private in the
infantry and had fought all across Europe from “D Day” plus 6, through the Battle of the Bulge, until the surrender of the German Army. Now he was home again, a civilian with all his parts intact and we
could begin to get on with our lives as a family. Of course, that was the most important holiday of my life.
You may send comments to Colleen Elwy at 672-9565 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny Baldwin, 90
When I was 10 years old, I lived in Lafayette and we had one hardware store. My brothers had both gotten scooters for Christmas and I got a doll. I was so upset that I hadn’t gotten a scooter because they had wheels and I didn’t. I made a fuss and cried. My dad talked with the Mr. Brown who owned the hardware store and he opened up on Christmas so I too could have
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Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$300. 943-SHOW or www.arf.net.
day dinner at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in Walnut Creek. The club serves Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Clayton and Martinez. 946-0469 or www.dvdems.org. DIABLO VALLEY MACINTOSH USERS GROUP meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month. Free question and answer help for Mac, followed by programs, guest speakers, demonstrations and fun. Bancroft Elementary School, 2700 Parish Dr., Walnut Creek. Call Tom at 689-1155 or www.dvmug.org. DIABLO VALLEY WINGS, Chapter P of the Gold Wing Touring Association, meets the second Tuesday of the month. 6 p.m. social hour, with dinner at 7 p.m. Sizzler, 1353 Willow Pass Road, Concord. 6863774 or www.GWTA-CA-DVW.org. EAST BAY CASUAL HIKING GROUP meets at 10 a.m. Dec. 14, Nimitz Way Trail-Inspiration Point. This is a paved trail that is dog-friendly. Rain or shine. Contact John at 272-4321 or http://Hiking.Bondon.com. EAST BAY PANTHERS BASKETBALL CLUB offers clinics Dec. 7, 21 and Jan. 11, 25 for girls in third through eighth grade. $10. Seven Hills School, 975 N. San Carlos Dr., Walnut Creek. www.eastbaypanthers.org or firstname.lastname@example.org. ELLEN’S GUILD meets 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month in various locations. The non-profit supports the Family Stress Center, helping to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. Contact Karen at 820-2371 or email@example.com or Jennifer at 827-0212, ext.107 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org. www.familystresscenter.org. KIWANIS CLUB OF GREAT CONCORD meets at noon Wednesdays, The Old Spaghetti Factory, 1955 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. Contact Sandra at 372-5348. KNITTING GROUP meets 2-4 p.m. the first Sunday of the month, Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. Free instruction and practice yarn provided; bring your own needles. 646-5455. ODD FELLOWS meet at 3 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, Pacheco Lodge 117, 4349 Cowell Road, Concord. Call Herb at 6827358. REBEKAH’S LODGE meet at 8 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month, Mt. Diablo Lodge 228, 4349 Cowell Road, Concord. Call Carmen at 6725045. ROTARY CLUB OF CLAYTON VALLEY/CONCORD SUNRISE meets 7 a.m. Thursdays, Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton Meeting includes breakfast and features a speaker. Contact Chuck at 689-7640 or www. claytonvalleyrotary.org. RUSTY BINDINGS SKI AND SNOWBOARD CLUB: Dec. 2 party with music, games, prizes and information about the upcoming ski and race season. All single skiers over 21 are invited. Contact Karl at 510632-7414 or email@example.com. SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL DIABLO VISTA meets the second, third and fourth Wednesdays of the month at the Sizzler, 1353 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Call Gloria at 890-8255. TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL has numerous meeting locations, dates and times in the Concord area. www.toastmasters.org. Toastmasters on Monday, Aegis of Concord, 4756 Clayton Road. Contact Carie at 682-7211. Toastmasters on Tuesday, 7:15 p.m., John Muir Hospital Concord Campus, 2730 Grant St., Classroom A. Contact Marion at 686-1818. VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS POST 1525 meets the third Thursday of the month. 6 p.m. social hour, meeting at 7. Veterans Memorial Hall, 2990 Willow Pass Road, Concord.
Willows Theatre “Mame”
Through Dec. 28. “Auntie” Mame sang, danced and laughed in the face of the Great Depression. Perfect fare for today’s theater-goers. 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $30-40. www.willowstheatre.org or 798-1300.
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AMERICAN LEGION POST 171 meets the third Tuesday of the month. 5 p.m. social, 7 p.m. meeting. Concord Veterans Memorial Hall, 2290 Willow Pass Road. CIRCLE OF FRIENDS meets the second Monday of the month, Walnut Country Club, 4498 Lawson Ct., Concord. This women’s group builds relationships and ties through educational presentations and social events. At 6 p.m. Dec 8., learn about what the Magnolia Branch of Children’s Hospital will be doing in 2009. Contact Lori at 998-8844 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CLAYTON VALLEY WOMAN’S CLUB meets at 9:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. Call Joyce at 672-3850. CLUTCH BUSTERS SQUARE DANCE CLUB meets 7:3010 p.m. Thursdays, Mt. Diablo Woman’s Club, 1700 Farm Bureau Road, Concord. CONCORD ART ASSOCIATION meets 12:50-3 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. Meetings include an educational program by an invited artist with demonstrations of various art forms. Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. 646-5455. CONCORD DIABLO ROTARY meets at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Marie Calendars, 2090 Diamond Blvd., Concord. For details, email Kathy at email@example.com. CONCORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The Historical Society Resource Center is open 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and by appointment. Walking tours are available for groups of five to 15 by appointment. 1601 Sutter St., Suite E, F. 827-3380 or www.conhistsoc.org. CONCORD LIONS CLUB meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month, La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant, 1802 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Contact Liz at 687-3594. CONCORD MYSTERY BOOK CLUB meets at 2:30 p.m. the second Sunday of the month, Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. 646-5455. CONCORD ROTARY meets 12:15 p.m. Fridays, Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd. Contact Jerry at 675-1042. CONCORD SENIOR CLUB holds ballroom dancing, 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 8-11 p.m. the second Saturday of the month. Sponsored by the Concord Senior Club. 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. 798-4557. CONTRA COSTA BLUE STAR MOMS CHAPTER 20 members have sons and daughters in uniform. Visit ccbluestarmoms.org. Social and support meeting, 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of the month. Contact Becky at 2861728 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Business meeting, 6:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month, Community Room, Concord Police Department, 1350 Galindo St. CONTRA COSTA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3700 Concord Blvd., Concord. rootsweb.com/.~cacccgs/. CONTRA COSTA MINERAL & GEM SOCIETY meets the second Monday of the month at Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. 429-2748 or 779-0698 or http://home.comcast.net/~contracosta mineralandgem/site/. DIABLO NUMISMATIC SOCIETY, a coin-collecting club, meets at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month, Veterans Memorial Hall, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Contact Mike at 825-0649 or email@example.com. DIABLO VALLEY DEMOCRATIC CLUB will host its holi-
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Diablo Valley College “Jesus Hopped the A Train”
Dec. 4-15. This play uses the textual elements of shows like “Law and Order” and “Oz,” while exploring the complexities of criminals and the crimes they commit. Adult supervision suggested for those under 17. Arena Theater, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $8-15. 687-4445.
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8 p.m. Dec. 6. With Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Buns. Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Dr. $18-$30. 707-869-9403 or www.communityconcerts.com.
Musica Sacra Rutter’s “Magnificat”
3 p.m. Dec. 13-14. Plus works by Britten, Howells and Walton. Dec 13 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 860 Oak Grove Road., Concord. Dec 14 at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 1101 Keaveny Ct., Walnut Creek. 944-5239 or www.vmschorus.org.
Willows Cabaret “Evil Dead: The Musical”
Jan. 9-Feb.7. This campy take on “slasher” horror films features seating in “the Splatter Zone.” No one under 13 admitted without a parent. 636 Ward St., Martinez. $20-$30. 798-1300 or www.willowstheatre.org.
All events at 5433 D Clayton Road, Clayton, unless otherwise noted. 673-3325 or visit www.claytonbookshop.com. 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Romance Book Club discusses “Have Yourself a Naughty Little Santa.” 3-5 p.m. Dec. 7. Brian Murphy of KNBR, author of “The San Francisco Giants 50th Anniversary Book.” 7 p.m. Dec. 8. J.A. Jance, author of “Cruel Intent.” 3 p.m. Dec. 9. History Book Club discusses “Towers of Gold.” 7 p.m. Dec. 9. Frances Dinkelspiel, author of “Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California.” 7 p.m. Dec. 10. The Book Club’s annual favorite book exchange. 7 p.m. Dec. 17. Mystery Book Club discusses “Desert Heat.”
Coates & Sowards Call 408-371-8770, ext. 19
Children’s Hospital Magnolia Branch
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Noon Dec. 6. Local resident Ashley Barrows will speak about her experience with Children's Hospital after her son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Pavilion Restaurant, 1508 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $30. Contact Lori at 998-8844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CVHS Athletic Boosters Crab Feed and Auction
6 p.m.-1 a.m. Jan. 10, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from student team representatives, at the school office or at www.cvhsboosters.org.
AL-ANON FAMILY GROUP meets 7:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays, St. Martins of Tours Anglican Church and Preschool, 5294 Concord Blvd., Concord. (This is while construction is underway at St. Bonaventure’s Church, the normal meeting place.) If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, Al-Anon Family Groups can help. For meetings in other Concord locations, call 932-6770 or visit www.ncwsa.org/district.
2020 Grant Street 925.685.7887
Animal Rescue Foundation Stars to the Rescue
6:45 p.m. Jan. 10. Includes Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock from Air Supply, Tony Orlando,
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ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. For local meetings, call the Walnut Creek Service Center at 939-4155 or visit www.aa.org. CARDIAC CARE SUPPORT GROUP Mended Hearts visitors meets 7 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek or Concord campus. Affiliated with the American Heart Association, the group provides support to patients and family members dealing with heart disease. 947-5206. CONTRA COSTA FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP for patients dealing with leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphoma and multiple myeloma meets 7-8:30 p.m. the first Thursday of every month. Sponsored by the Leukemia Society. Call Sarah at 947-4466, ext. 32797. HIV/AIDS SUPPORT GROUP meets 7-9 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, John Muir Medical Center, Concord campus. 674-2190. HOSPICE OF THE EAST BAY, formerly Hospice and Palliative Care of Contra Costa, offers support groups and workshops for adults, children and teens experiencing grief after the death of a loved one at 3470 Buskirk Ave., Pleasant Hill. 887-5678. RAINBOW COMMUNITY CENTER (RCC) fosters a sense of community among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (GLBTIQ) persons and enhances their lives by providing social opportunities, health and wellness services, political and educational programs and is guided by a commitment to acceptance and equality. All meetings held at the RCC Office, 3024 Willow Pass Road, Suite 200, Concord. Project CONNECT: Free HIV testing (results in less than 30 minutes)and counseling, 6-8 p.m. the first and third Fridays of the month. Youth Peer Support and Social Group: For LGBT youth ages 13-20. 3-8 p.m. Saturdays. Queer Talk: LGBT Youth After-School Program, 45:30 p.m. Thursdays. Men’s HIV Support Group: 6:30-8 p.m. Mondays. Women’s Discussion Group: For Lesbians, 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Transgender Support Group: 7-9 p.m. the first Thursday of the month. Men’s Discussion Group: For gay and bisexual men, 7-9 p.m. the second and fourth Fridays of the month. STROKE SUPPORT GROUP OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY meets 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month, Ball Auditorium at John Muir Medical Center, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Meetings are free and open to the public. Call Ann at 376-6218.
OPENINGS ON CITY BOARDS: Residents can apply for openings on the Appeals Board, Design Review Board and Planning Commission. Applications may be obtained at the City Management Offices, 1950 Parkside Dr., or at www.cityofconcord.org/citygov/bc/g-c.htm. Or call 671-3495. Applications deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 2. MAYOR’S OPEN OFFICE: Concord Mayor Bill Shinn holds regular open office hours in his office at the Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. The mayor looks forward to talking to residents about any issues they wish to address. To make a 20minute appointment, call Mary at 671-3158 during business hours. CITY COUNCIL meets at 6:30 p.m. the first, second and fourth Mondays of the month in the City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr.. The meetings are televised live on Concord cable TV channels 28 (Comcast) and 29 (Astound) and on the city’s Website. A calendar of all city meetings with a link to meeting agendas is available at www.cityofconcord.org. Contact City Clerk Mary Rae Lehman at 671-3495. COMMISSION ON AGING meets at 1:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month, Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. The commission works to identify, improve and develop services and opportunities for senior citizens in Concord. 6713419. COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE meets 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month, Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. The Community Advisory Committee for the Concord Community Reuse Project provides input on planning for the civilian reuse of the Concord Naval Weapon Station and continued community outreach efforts. 6713019. COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMISSION meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month, City Manager’s Conference Room, Wing A, 1950 Parkside Dr. The commission identifies housing, neighborhood and social services needs within the community. 671-3283. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS meets 9:30 a.m. Dec. 9, 16. County Administration Building, 651 Pine St., Room 107, Martinez. www.co.contra-costa.ca.us or 335-1900. DESIGN REVIEW BOARD meets at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, Center Conference Room, Wing D, 1950 Parkside Dr. The board reviews the design for each improvement for which a building permit, certificate or other approval is required. The board also reviews any matter referred to the board by the Planning Commission, zoning administrator or planning manager, 671-3152. HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION meets the second Tuesday of the month. Most meetings are at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr. The commission fosters positive human relations
through education, cultural exchange and community outreach. 671-3327. PARKS, RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE COMMISSION meets the second Wednesday of the month. Most meetings are at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr. 671-3440. PLANNING COMMISSION meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Most meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr. The commission develops and maintains the General Plan, develops specific plans as necessary, makes recommendations to the City Council regarding proposed General Plan amend-
ments, and reviews planned district developments, tentative subdivision maps and use permit applications. 671-3152.
All listings are as of date of publication deadline. We encourage you to call or visit Websites to confirm dates, times, etc. To submit your calendar items, please visit our website www.myconcordian.com or email email@example.com.
2693 Clayton Road, Concord
925 689 7220
Your dog or cat can feel this good, too.
Aussie Pet Mobile
MT. DIABLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Board of Education meets 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 Board Room, Dent Center, 1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord. 682-8000.
for a full service grooming.
Special Services Include:
15-step spa treatment Pawdicures Special Therapeutic Shampoos Flea and Tick Control Aloe Treatment for Skin and Coat Teeth Brushing
Personal care for your pets
Now offering acupuncture
Dr. Lawrence Rothe Dr. Ilana Halperin
reduces shedding by 60-80%
when done every 4-6 weeks
3554 Concord Blvd.
1 mile east of downtown Concord
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
photos by Jeanna Ross
Runners hit their marks to improve literacy
By Jeanna Ross
aces for Literacy” raised $5,582 for literacy tutoring organizations in Contra Costa County, a 16 percent increase over last year’s tally. Three different race levels allowed varied abilities to participate in the Oct. 26 event. A 10K race for adults left the starting line of Iron Horse Trail, then a 5K for all ages, followed
by a 1K stroll for children 6 to 12. Awards were given for first, second and third place winners of each gender as well as to athletes with the best Halloween costumes.
THE 10K FINISHERS – Men: Jason Stone of Antioch (and his dog Lady) won second place; Tom Arbuckle of Martinez won first place with a time of 40:36, and Bob Hermens of Clayton came in third.
THE 10K FINISHERS – Women: Rosanna Figueroa of Oakland won second for her Monument Crisis Center team, Elisa Zuniga of Concord won third, and Nora Zweigbaum of Walnut Creek came in first for her team, the Meadow Homes Roadrunners.
In all, 134 registered runners participated – each paying a $20 fee that went directly to benefit literacy activism. As runners prepared, their families browsed a library book sale. The participants were given free books and a spaghetti lunch hosted by Grissini. Rosanna Figueroa of Oakland created a team of 20 runners for the
Monument Crisis Center, where she is the assistant director. A runner for 12 years, she had participated in several charity races – including the MCC team for the San Francisco Marathon in 2006. She finished second in the women’s 10K race. Diablo Valley Literacy Council member Wendy Schwerin, her husband Rich and daughter Becky participated in their first 5K race. Becky ran in costume as the book “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown. For the event, the Concord Hilton and the Concord Rotary worked with several organizations, including the Monument Community Partnership, the Central Contra Costa Literacy Coalition, Wells Fargo, the Contra Costa Times and Audio Visual Management Services. “The motivation is to raise awareness of the importance of literacy as a basic building block foundation for leading a successful life, to gain new volunteers, to gain support from the public sector for funding, to gain money from the race to purchase books and supplies and to encourage students to be involved in the community,” said David Cantando, general manager of the Hilton. “People who have gained literacy skills are better customers throughout their life.” When she was mayor of Concord, Susan Bonilla focused on literacy as a key objective. “We are glad to see leading organizations in our community coming together to hold such an
DIABLO VALLEY LITERARY COUNCIL MEMBER WENDY SCHWERIN RAN THE 5K WITH HER HUSBAND RICH, a retired Northgate High School teacher, and their daughter, Becky.
event,” said Bonilla, now a county supervisor. “In a diverse county such as Contra Costa, taking steps to improve literacy among residents who cannot adequately read or write English has a direct positive impact on those residents’ earning power, quality of life and the success that the children in their families have in our schools. Achieving basic literacy is the first step in climbing the socioeconomic ladder.” For more information on literacy activism in Concord, call Bonilla’s office at 521-7100 or visit http://susanbonilla.org.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Mt. Diablo High School sports stars inducted at Hall of Fame dinner
By Mike Dunn
MEET THE AUTHORS AT CLAYTON BOOKS
Schedule of Dec. Events. If
12/1, Mon. 7pm . . . .Wona
you cannot attend, we are happy to get books signed for you.
Miniati, author of “Cooking with all things Trader Joe’s” 12/2, Tue. 7pm . . . . .Alan Jacobson, author of the FBI thriller “The 7th Victim” 12/3, Wed. 7pm . . . .Author Tea with Ann Packer, author of “Songs Without Words” and
“The Dive from Clausen's Pier,” at Oakhurst Country Club. Advance reservation required. 12/6, Sat. 2pm . . . . .Dan
Piraro, author of “Bizarro Buccaneers: Nuttin’ But Pirate Cartoons”
12/7, Sun. 3-5pm . . .Brian Murphy, KNBR radio personality and author of “The San Francisco Giants: 50 Years.” 12/8, Mon. 7pm . . . .J.A.
Jance, International bestselling author presents her book “Cruel Intent.”
12/9, Tue. 7pm . . . . .Frances Dinkelspiel, author of “Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California.”
Open: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
In the Clayton Station
5433 D Clayton Rd., Clayton (925) 673-3325
ore than 300 current students, former students and coaches came together to talk and catch up at the sixth annual Mt. Diablo Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner on Nov. 6 at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill. Inductees were George Murchio, baseball, class of 1915; Keith Weidkamp, coach, cross country and track, 1964-1975; Randy Teraberry, cross county and track, class of 1970; Malcolm Scott, wrestling (and also carrying a 4.0 GPA), class of 1973; and Dudley Gann, football and baseball, class of 1963. City councilman Bill Shinn reminisced with some of his buddies and former coaches, Don Mederios and Hart “the icon” Fairclough. From the late 1950s to the early 1960s, Fairclough and his assistants coached championship football teams. “I graduated in 1959 – great year, great school,” Shinn said. “I played all three sports: football, wrestling and track. Football was really my sport. Wrestling was kind of one of those sports that kept us in shape. Track kept our speed up, agility-wise, for the football season.” Mt. Diablo athletic director Ryan Leuschen pondered the possibility of any current athletes being inducted
ual th 15 Ann
hosted by the Clayton Valley High School Athletic Boosters Club
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009
6 p.m. at Centre Concord
Mike Dunn/The Concordian
CHARLENE MARTINEZ, DONOVAN SHORTER, JAMES WOLF AND TUYEN LE were recognized for their contributions to MDHS sports
This is a major fundraiser which directly benefits all athletic programs at CVHS. Seating is limited. Tickets $50 Available at the school or online at
in the future. “I definitely see a few prospects out there who I believe could be in the hall of fame and could be recognized for their statistics,” he said. “We have had a lot of athletes who have been participating in our program for four years in the same sport and some of them participated in all of the sports every year. They should definitely by recognized.” At the dinner, several student athletes were noted for their contributions: Charlene Martinez, Donovan Shorter, James Wolf and Tuyen Le. Leuschen graduated from Mt. Diablo High Class in 1996 as a class valedictorian. “Once a Red Devil always a Red Devil,” he said with a smile.
Donations or questions are accepted by emailing
Mike Dunn/The Concordian
KEITH WEIDKAMP, former cross country coach and Mike Kincheloe’72 at the MDHSHOF
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
The banks own a number of homes in the area. Many of them will be
fixers. If you are considering buying and would like to tour bank owned properties go to www.tourbankowned.com or call 800-834-9096
Take advantage of this rare market and buy a house now while the prices are low
Understanding liability for injuries from falls
arla Clumzee tells her lawyer this story: “I was in the Dangerway grocery store the other day when I slipped and fell on some liquid on the floor and hurt my back. Do I have a case?” The lawyer asks: “Do you know what the liquid was?” Carla says: “No, but it was clear and seemed to be coming from underneath the cooler in the fish department.” Many people believe that when someone slips and falls, the property owner – whether it be a grocery store, a homeowner or a train station – is responsible. This is not true. A property owner is only responsible if the property owner was somehow at fault for the fall. The injured person must prove that the property owner did something wrong to cause the fall. Ms. Clumzee must prove either that the grocery store was responsible for the liquid on the floor or that it was there long enough that an employee should have noticed the liquid and cleaned it up. Proving such a case can be difficult. How does the customer know how the liquid got on the floor or how long it had been there? Since the liquid was clear and seemed to be coming from underneath the cooler, it suggests a problem with the cooler – which would be the responsibility of the grocery store. Further, since the liquid was in a location that the employees working in the fish department could easily observe, it suggests the employees knew or should have known of the liquid and cleaned it up. These facts are different than a customer simply slipping on some unknown substance in a grocery store aisle. In that kind of case, it can be vir-
4691 Clayton Rd Ste A, Concord Phone: (925) 465-9554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walnut Creek firm founders, teach free workshops helping families save thousands
Walnut Creek – East Bay parents, who plan to send their child to college in the next few years, but aren’t quite sure how to pay for it can now rest a little easier. Sean Connors & Alexis Alekna founders of College Planning Specialists in Walnut Creek are educating parents in the community about what to do to pay the least amount for their child or multiple children’s education. ‘It’s really sad, but most parents we talk to have done really well financially, but never found the time to save for college, and now they’re facing a bill of $15,000$50,000 per year, and they don’t know who to turn to,’ Connors says. ‘Plus, most families never even bother applying for aid because they feel they make too much money or listen to the wrong people. Where now we are seeing families with a solid sixfigure income cut college costs by $30,000.’ College Planning Specialists would know, because their company has helped thousands of families ranging from single parents to corporate CEO’s and are the foremost authority that news professionals turn to for answers on college and financial aid. ‘My family had no idea how the system worked. Even with a baseball scholarship I graduated with $50k in loans and my parents accumulated debt from my college as well,’ says Connors. ‘That’s why I am excited to share this information with families, helping them avoid the same pitfalls and mistakes that me & my family couldn’t.’ Alekna, the financial specialist, feels the planning process needs to start early. ‘Simply put, we show parents the truth that they aren’t hearing anywhere else about how the college process really works. We show them how they can get their child into a the ‘best-fit’ school easily and help them pick a school that will suit them…both academically and financially, saving them thousands of dollars in the process.” Contra Costa County parents will have two opportunities to hear Sean & Alexis speak. They are teaching their class ‘Receiving Maximum Money for College!’ on the 2nd of December at the Ygnacio Valley Library in Walnut Creek and December 9th at the Danville Library. ‘Our class will reveal astonishing ways to beat the high cost of college that educated parents across the country are using to pay almost nothing for college. In fact, hundreds who have attended these workshops have discovered new secrets and strategies to send their children to schools they never thought they could afford,’ Alekna grins. Topics will also include why private scholarships and recently started 529 plans can be a waste of time, how to double or even triple the amount of free money you receive from each school. As well as how to avoid the one mistake that will kill your chances of getting any money at all, that almost every other parent will make this year. ‘They will learn a lot about this process and I do my best to make the class fun,’ Connors says. Don’t forget: the class is totally free, but seats are limited, and every month they turn away many families due to high demand. It’s easy to register but it’s important to do so soon, especially due to the overwhelming response from the last 2 months workshops. You can RSVP for you and your family by visiting them online at www.CollegeFundsNow.com or by calling (888) 210-2606 today.
tually impossible to prove that the store was responsible for the spill or how long the spill was there. Falls on sidewalks involve similar issues. The injured person must show that the sidewalk was dangerous (usually because it is cracked or uneven) and that the owner of the sidewalk was responsible for the defect, or that the defect was there long enough that the owner should have known about it. For example, when tree roots grow underneath a sidewalk and lift or crack the sidewalk, it can often be determined that the defect was there for quite some time and that the owner should have known about it. Homeowners are not responsible for maintaining public sidewalks in front of their homes, but homeowners can be responsible for dangerous sidewalk conditions that they cause. Most sidewalk claims are brought against cities, and the main issues usually are whether the particular defect was dangerous (usually the easy part) and whether the city caused the defect or the city knew or should have known of the defect (usually the hard part). If someone trips on a public sidewalk which is uneven, typically the unevenness must be at least one inch for there to be any liability. With most slip/fall or trip/fall cases, there is also the issue of “comparative negligence.” If the person who fell is partially responsible for the fall, i.e., they should have looked where they were walking, the amount they can recover is reduced by their percentage of responsibility.
Doug Prutton is an attorney in Concord. Contact him at (925) 677-5080.
We can assist you with:
Wrongful termination Overtime & wage claims Harassment & discrimination Auto accidents & slip/falls
Contingency fees Free consultation 25 years experience
(925) 677-5080 1866 Clayton Rd., Suite 211,Concord
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Celebrating 50 years in Concord, the Ouimet brothers still provide personal service
By André Gensburger
here are four Ouimets who are happy to tell you about the last 50 years of the family business, Ouimet Bros. Concord Funeral Home – from humble beginnings with a clear philosophy of “people first” that remains true today. John Ouimet, married to Sharon, and Don Ouimet, married to Bea, are the brothers for whom the funeral service is named. Service is the cornerstone of this family business, and it has always been that way. In a time of grief, they don’t want you speaking to just anyone. “We stress personalized service,” John said. John, who will be 80 on his next birthday, has seen many changes over the years. It has convinced him that their personalized contact separates them from others in the business. “It really is a ministry,” said Sharon. “We’ve met a lot of people under very trying circumstances,” John added. “You are there to help them. The majority have no idea where to
Sharon was the California girl whom John met during a basketball game played at the air base where he was stationed. From there, John started mortuary college and Sharon went to business school. They both got jobs at a mortuary in San Jose.
Launching a business
Things started taking shape at the end of 1958. In partnership with Roy and Ardell Lough, John and Sharon opened the Lough-Ouimet Concord Funeral Chapel at the corner of Grant Street and Concord Boulevard. Roy and John were Air Force buddies. “We looked for an area that was populated but without a funeral home,” John said. “There was only one mortuary in Concord.” “We had an investor,” Sharon said, “Dr. J.A. Trolan was one of our benefactors. That family was very good to us.” It took about five years to get the business established. Bea and Don came along in 1971. In November that year, the partnership ended and the two brothers began working together. With the redevelopment of downtown Concord, the brothers found themselves pushed out. Finding a site originally zoned for four homes, they began construction of the building they now Photo from The Ouimet Bros. Concord Funeral Chapel occupy on THE ORIGINAL LOUGH-OUIMET AMBULANCE from the late 1950’s Clayton Road. “On Jan. 5, start. It is gratifying to be able to help 1985, we closed one set of doors and them.” opened another,” Don explained. “At the end of the day,” Bea said, “The city of Concord was very help“you realize that it is not about the job. ful – it made the move as smooth as It is so much more.” possible,” Bea noted. “Some neighbors “Of course, some days you just go didn’t receive us well at first, but as home and cry,” Don said, referring to time passed they saw us as good neightragedies the family has seen involving bors.” children as well as friends made, and lost, over the many years in Concord.
Andre’ Gensburger/The Concordian
BEA OUIMET with Sharon anf John Ouimet delight in their many years of service
the business. “We sold in 1997 to one of the smaller companies,” Bea said, stressing that they looked at the family values and company philosophy. “John knew their acquisitions person, so we trusted his judgment.” The Houston firm that purchased Ouimet Bros. promptly hired three of the family back as consultants and the faces of the business, and hired Bea fulltime. “We are very fortunate to have a staff of younger people who know what good service is,” Sharon said. “The boys have things they want done just right. I never thought we would be here for 50 years.” “No regrets,” John said. “We were well-received and I would do it again.” “In a minute,” Don said in agreement. The family has kept all the thank you notes they have received over the years and placed most in albums. The books serve to remind them of their mandate and the responsibility they take seriously.
“Our role here is so strong that people do not realize we had sold the business,” Bea said. “We still represent the business.” The funeral industry has had its share of negative press, from pressure tactics to abuse of pre-need funds. To combat this, the family maintains a high regard for disclosure to the public, as well as insistence that pre-need funds are held in trust with the option of cancellation. During their time of grief, families are allowed to select funeral caskets, urns and additional components without the pressure of a representative watching over them. And the business is still handled with their noted attention to detail, so that you are talking to an Ouimet who cares with fifty years of personal service. Ouimet Bros. Concord Funeral Home is at 4125 Clayton Road., Concord. Call 682-4242 or visit www.ouimetbrothers.com.
Moving in the right direction
Of the four, three are native Canadians, born in Quebec. Don and John’s family immigrated to New York in 1946. “Dad was looking for a better life,” Don said. “All seven of us survived the Great Depression. Not well – we lost everything we had, but we survived.” Two weeks after John applied for citizenship, he was drafted for the Korean War. Ultimately, he was sent to Cambria to work. “There was a radar site on the coast that monitored all aircraft traffic,” he said. “We had to ID the aircraft or we would have to send planes to intercept.”
Staying involved after the sale
Between the two couples there are six children, three from each brother. “None have an interest in taking over,” Don said. “They all have good work ethics,” Bea added. “And why wouldn’t they? They watched their parents working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even on holidays, the red phone would ring.” “They would tell us to throw that red phone away,” Don said jokingly of the business line. With no prospects of their children continuing the business and wishing to slow down in their lives, the Ouimets began to entertain the idea of selling
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
a rts entertainment
Novelists converge on Clayton Books
By Mike Dunn
Adrienne Barbeau brings Hollywood to town
It was a dark and stormy night … no, that’s not it. It was a sunny, hot afternoon … no, that’s not it either. I got it! It was a cool, sunny, bright Sunday morning when a small group of writers gathered to participate in National Novel Writing Month on Nov. 2 at Clayton Books in Clayton. NaNoWriMo is a creative writing project in which participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during the month. Armed with laptops and pads of paper, the writers were eager to get started. Some even had outlines with a good idea
of what they wanted to write. “I read about NaNoWriMo in The Concordian and I knew it was something I wanted to do,” said writer and teacher Clarissa Wientraub. “I’ve been writing all my life, but I haven’t written a story even though I always wanted to. I’ve been a big journal writer since I was 13 years old but haven’t been very comfortable putting my thoughts down on paper for a novel.” Jeanna Ross, a teacher at Clayton Valley High, has been writing since she was 8. “About two years ago, I decided to write my big novel to see if I could do it and I did,” she said. “Now I want to do it again. I love it.”
The Concordian editor Andre’ Gensburger approached Clayton Books owner Joel Harris about the project. “I had never heard of NaNoWriMo, and I found it particularly interesting because I’m working on a project myself right now,” Harris said. “I took a look at the Website and it seemed like a perfect fit. Obviously, writers should be in bookstores.” The event started with eight writers, and Harris expected more to wander in throughout the month. The store also was hosting a group of local authors who have already had their books published. Among those is Gensburger, author of “Signs You May Be An Idiot” which is available at the bookstore. For more information visit www.nanowrimo.org
Actress, musician, comedian, singer and author Adrienne Barbeau visited Clayton Books last month to talk about her life and her new book, “Vampyres of Hollywood.”
William Sawyers’ Children’s Books
Holbrook Elementary custodian William Sawyers writes and sells children’s books. From poetry which he started writing 25 years ago, he has turned out a series of coloring and story/riddle books that have found a market at school, as well as an online fan base. “I get happiness from the kids,” Sawyers said. “I like to hear them laugh.” He also donates 10% of his profit to the school. For more information visit williamsawyers.com
Mike Dunn/The Concordian
WRITERS JEANNA ROSS event
CARISSA WEINTRAUB discuss plot at the Clayton Books NaNoWriMo
‘Nuncrackers’ a successful holiday variation on a theme
By Jeanna Ross
“Nuncrackers,” the fourth show in Dan Goggin’s “Nunsense” series, has once again made its holiday home at the Willow’s Cabaret in Martinez. This is the second year in a row that the cabaret has staged this production, which runs through Dec. 21. “It’s such a great, family-oriented holiday show – a fun alternative to ‘The Nutcracker’ or ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ” says Willows general manager Chris Butler. The Willows is no stranger to the craziness inspired by the Sisters of Hoboken. They have produced six of the eight musicals in the series over the last two decades. “The audience reaction is always wonderful for all the ‘Nunsense’ shows,” Butler notes. Playwright and director Goggin has been on hand to direct all the productions at the Cabaret, as well as all the West Coast premieres on the Willows mainstage. Additionally, many of the cast members have prior “Nunsense” credits. Goggin is thrilled to return to the Willows and the “Nuncrackers” commu-
nity. “Several people in the Martinez show are friends and a bunch of the kids are coming back, so they’ll already know some of it,” he says. “It’s a real first-class, talent-driven production.” Goggin has spent nearly his entire professional life with “Nunsense,” which was inspired by his Catholic education in
Alma, Mich. “The five nuns in the original show are based on five nuns who taught me,” he reports. “They consider themselves huge stars. They all know who they are, and they’re the show’s biggest fans.” There are two primary keys to the success of the series. First, despite the title,
it has nothing to do with religion. “We’ve been very careful not to bring in anything too contemporary or controversial – our whole goal is just to make people laugh,” Goggin says. “When you leave, we want you to go out feeling better than when you came in.” Second, while all seven shows share the same endearing characters, audiences do not need to be familiar with the other productions to enjoy “Nuncrackers.” It has certainly been a successful theory – this year is the 25th anniversary of the original 1983 production. A birthday production, starring Sally Struthers, is currently touring the East Coast. Goggin estimates that more than 40,000 nuns have tread the boards in more than 8,000 productions worldwide. At the Willows alone, the shows have racked up 767 performances, with more than 114,000 in attendance. “There’s no end in sight,” says Goggin. “It’s the best relief you can get from the news, and it is far cheaper than a therapist.” The theater is at 636 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets, call 798-1300 or visit www.willowstheatre.org.
AMY WASHBURN (LEFT) AS MOTHER SUPERIOR who reprises her role this year along with Deborah Del Mastro (far right), who returns as Sister Robert Ann. They appear with students caught up in the Catholic education antics portrayed in this popular production.
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Authors reveal the mysteries of their craft
no spontaneity. I had to rewrite it as a screenplay and then write it back into book form.”). Universally, the advice to budding authors was to “stick with it.” Each of them suffered setbacks on the road to publication, but they persevered. “Writing is a craft,” says Stanley, “just like anything else. You have to work at it, to learn it. If you stick with it, you can do whatever you want to do. It’s not a matter of talent or not. You have to find what you’re happiest doing and pursue that.”
Realistic construction schedules
(925) 687-8507 (925) 518-4966
Jeanna Ross/The Concordian
MODERATOR CAMILLE MINICHINO, Kelli Stanley and Mark Coggins, three of the mystery authors particpating in the panel
By Jeanna Ross
The final event for Concord’s “One City, One Book” campaign was a panel with mystery authors Kelli Stanley, Mark Coggins and Camille Minichino. All three are members of the Sisters in Crime, Northern California chapter, and have published multiple novels in the genre. Stanley is best known for creating a new genre of mystery, one she dubs “Romanoir.” Her books combine her master’s degree in classics with her love of a good puzzle to set her first novel, “Nox Dormienda,” in the year 1 B.C. Her greatest desire is to preserve history. “I want to make history immediate, make it alive,” she says. “History matters very, very much to our present. I want to remind people of that importance by making it entertaining, visceral.” Coggins has a fruitful career in the technology industry, but his passion for noir thrillers came from a creative writing class he took with Tobias Woolf while studying at Stanford. That spawned a
short story starring his primary character, August Riordan. Today, his day job provides fodder for his writing. “My novels usually have a core issue involving technology or current events.” Minichino has two separate writing careers. She is the author of the “Periodic Table” mysteries, but she also writes “The Miniature Mysteries” under the pen name Margaret Grace.” Her second series was drawn from a childhood hobby of making miniature dollhouse furniture. “Crafts are actually a big part of the industry, so it fits with today’s market,” she notes. As audience members submitted questions, the authors discussed everything from inspiration and day jobs to finding that first publisher and marketing their books. Each shared personal anecdotes of their successes and failures, ranging from the disappearance of Stanley’s first agent (“She moved to Costa Rica! I was bereft!”) to the roundabout creation of Coggins’s second novel (“I wrote a detailed outline, but it made a book with
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“Whiskers” based on “The Velveteen Rabbit” celebrates 14th anniversary
Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre once again stages the popular children’s musical WHISKERS! by Caroline Altman, at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Based on Margery Williams’ classic THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, the show has run annually for the past 14 years. Altman, Educational Director of the San Francisco Opera and a teacher, wrote the book, lyrics and music for WHISKERS, the story of a Rabbit on his search for “real.” “Be A Toy!” sing a nursery full of toys in this whimsical telling of the Rabbit’s journey to the discovery: “It’s when you can love, it’s when you can care… you’re finally aware, you’re real.” The play has consistently sold out each year, a very difficult thing for theatres in the East Bay. The Musical plays Saturdays, Dec. 13 & 20 at 4:15 p.m. & 7:15 p.m., and Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Dec. 15, 17 & 19 at 9:15 a.m.,11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. Tickets range from $8 - $15 and are available by calling (925) 943-SHOW (7469). Senior, group and school discounts are available. http://galateanplayersensemble.homestead.com/whiskers.html.
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The Concord Mystery Book Club meets at 2:30 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at the Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. Visit ccclib.org for details.
CA Lic. 857254
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
A NEW GREEN GENERATION
sponsored by Concord Disposal
Robert Waldman, D.D.S.
This Holiday, Turn on the Green!
Dreaming of a White Christmas? According to the price comparison search engine PriceGrabber.com, American consumers prefer “green” to white: 71 percent of consumers say they plan to buy environmentally-friendly or energy-efficient products when possible this holiday season. Looking for economical ways to have an eco-friendly holiday this year? Check out these tips. Exchange Your Old Christmas Lights for LED’S –
LED lights may cost a little more, but they last 20 times longer and use a fraction of the energy. Some new LED’s boast a savings of $80 in just one holiday season!
Important dental treatments can help your smile
can camouflage other flaws without excessively reducing enamel. Resin bonding is not as strong as a porcelain veneer. Bridges replace one or more natural teeth by supporting a false tooth which has been attached to one or two other crowned teeth. Braces correct crooked or crowded teeth, underbites, overbites or uneven bites. Composite inlays/onlays restore and strengthen decayed areas while looking like your original tooth. Implants are used to replace missing teeth without involving other teeth for support. Consistent visits to your dentist will help keep your gums and teeth healthy so you are proud to show them off. And remember, swish, floss and brush at least two times a day. For more information contact Robert H. Waldman, D.D.S. at 925-682-6940 or you can email him at email@example.com.
Make Your Own Gift Wrapping – Most mass-produced wrapping paper is not recyclable and ends up in the landfill. This year, try wrapping gifts in reusable bags, make colorful fabric bags from scraps; use the Sunday comics, old maps or children’s artwork. Get creative! If every family were to wrap just three gifts this way, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Recycle Your Christmas Tree – If you buy a real tree each year, don’t feel guilty. 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, not forests. The bad news: Each year, 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. Check to see if your curbside recycling collection company offers Christmas tree recycling to turn your tree into mulch or wood chips. If not, ask them why not. You can also take your Christmas tree to Mt. Diablo Recycling Center at 1300 Loveridge Road to have it recycled. Remember, no tinsel or icicles. Check out the Cool Eco-Friendly Presents – Giving green doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the gifts you choose this holiday season. Take a look at these great internet gift sites to celebrate the planet earth: Eco-Artware.com has handcrafted artwork, jewelry and other great items made from recyclable items; Ecoexpress.com has natural organic gifts such as decadent chocolates, olive oils and even a beautiful “herb” wreaths; and, Uncommongoods.com has some interesting eco-friendly gadgets such as a solar powered laptop case, a solar powered radio and cool solar lighting. Give Memories Not Stuff – Give the gift of experience, an activity or event – instead of purchasing a gift that gets stored away in the closet. Try restaurant certificates, theater, movie or museum passes, yoga classes or a gym membership, or for an older relative, sign up for a class or a one-day trip offered by the local senior center. Save Energy in the New Year – Take a pledge to reduce your
energy use next year. Installing six new energy-saving light bulbs in the new year will save the average American $60 per year. Turning down your thermostat by just five degrees, will save 10 percent on your energy costs. Check out the Sierra Club’s home energy-saving check list by visiting http://www.sierraclub.org/coolhome/mrgreenchecklist.pdf.
hen do you smile? When you’re greeting someone, trying to reassure someone, sharing joy or putting a good face on things. And, of course, when you are happy. Smiles not only help us communicate, we express ourselves with them. Like our hair, clothes, job and home, smiles convey who we are. Smiles make us feel good in another way, because they release endorphins – which gives us a natural high. Whitening or bleaching lightens tooth color that may have darkened due to age, smoking, coffee, tea, red wine or medication. Crowns cover cracked, broken and poorly shaped teeth to restore a natural appearance. Veneers are laboratory fabricated porcelain shells which cover the front of a tooth to improve shape and color. The type of veneer and the laboratory used will determine how much of your enamel is reduced. Chair-side bonding typically uses a resin that covers discolored teeth and
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The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
offering the use of the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) subordinate loan program, provided the combined loan-tovalue of the transaction does not exceed 102 percent. Both the REO Smart Loan Program and the CalHFA Community Stabilization Home Loan Programs are available at 5.5 percent.
Josie Van Fleet
Finding answers for first time home buyers
re you a first time home buyer? What a wonderful opportunity exists to acquire the American dream and own your own home. Despite the media reports of gloom and doom, there are still all types of loans available for home purchase so long as the borrower is credit worthy. Here are some FAQs and answers to help you navigate home loan waters:
Conventional Underwriting standards. A first time buyer is someone who has not owned real estate as a primary residence in the last three years.
Can down payment assistance programs be used with CSHLP?
Yes. Your loan officer can assist you with this information. Your lender must be a CalHfa approved lender.
What are some of the additional requirements for this program?
The property must be a selected REO by a participating financial institution or seller/servicer. A list of participating financial institutions is located on the CSHLP Web page. The property must meet all CalHFA and Fannie Mae repair, inspection and health and safety codes. The property must be vacant.
Let’s look at the standard FHA loan product.
Currently the required down-payment is 3 percent and all borrowers are welcome to participate in this program as long as their credit and income qualify. This borrower does not have to be low income to participate. As of Jan. 1, 2009 the down-payment will be increased to 3 1/2 percent. The current loan limit for high cost counties for a single family residence is $729,750. Effective Jan. 1, 2009 this limit will be adjusted to $625,500. FHA credit requirements and income to debt ratios are lenient. The property purchased in this loan program does not have to be an REO or bank-owned property. The standard FHA loan is a wonderful loan program which allows families to realize the American homeowner dream with little money out of pocket. Contact your loan officer to find the right loan for you.
Which properties are eligible?
Many vacant properties owned by participating financial institutions or seller/servicers are eligible. As of Jul. 21, 2008, these institutions included Fannie Mae, CitiMortgage, Inc. and its affiliates, Wells Fargo Premiere Asset Services, and Homeq Servicing. Lists are available on the Calhfa Website.
Let’s look at the CalHFA’s REO Smart Loan Program
The Callifornia Housing Finance Agency announced the SMART Loan Program effective Nov. 23, 2008. This program offers a special reduced interest rate and, depending on the loan type, up to 100 percent loan-to-value financing for designated properties owned by CalHFA. Low and moderate income first-time buyers who meet CalHFA’s eligibility requirements of purchasing a CalHFA REO property may qualify for an FHA, VA, USDA or Conventional insured 30-year fixed mortgage at a special 5.5 percent interest rate. To further help borrowers finance the purchase of an eligible CalHFA’S REO property, CalHFA is
What areas of the state are eligible for this program?
All 58 counties in California are eligible.
What is the Community Stabilization Home Loan Program, or CSHLP?
The CSHLP helps first-time home buyers purchase vacant homes that are owned by participating financial institutions to help hard-hit communities get back on their feet during these turbulent times.
Which buyers are eligible?
Borrowers must be eligible under Fannie Mae credit guidelines and maximum loan limits. Borrowers must also meet CalHFA’S requirements for firsttime homebuyer status, income limits, residency requirements, and CalHfa
Josie Van Fleet is a real estate broker with J. Rockcliff Realtors, Inc. Call her with questions or comments at (925) 280-6470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holidays from our family ppy The Van Fleet Team, Inc. representing J. Rockliffe Realtors a H
Josie Van Fleet Kim Chambers Darren Banke Kimberlee Griffith Flor Dominguez Carina Camp
Jackie Kim Adam Chan
Homes sold and pending by the Van Fleet Team in 2008 year to date
1218 Nausin Lane 728 Wedgewood Dr 2373 Saint George 2398 Acacia Drive 5226 Clydesdale Way 3624 Chestnut Ave 1370 Stonewood Dr 8 Clark Creek Circle 1487 Camino Peral 1618 Yeoman 1091 Nursery Lane 1006 Bermuda Dr 1806 Alicante Court 1612 Lynwood Dr 308 Diablo Creek Ct 151 Mountaire Parkway 4255 Marietta Ct 754 Ygnacio Woods Ct 2306 Parish Dr 4865 Chablis Court 332 Egret Place 4340 Via Dora Dr 1522 Norine Dr 5113 Ebbetts Way 1855 Wren Lane 815 San Simeon Dr 1117 Corrie Lane 1082 Bountiful Way 2501218 Nausin Lane 728 Wedgewood Dr 2373 Saint George 2398 Acacia Dr 5225 Clydesdale Way 3624 Chestnut Ave 1370 Stonewood Dr 8 Clark Creek Circle 1487 Camino Peral 1618 Yeoman 1091 Nursery Lane 1006 Bermuda Dr 1806 Alicante Court 1612 Lynwood Dr 308 Diablo Creek Ct 151 Mountaire Parkway 4255 Marietta Ct 754 Ygnacio Woods Ct 2306 Parish Dr 4865 Chablis Court 332 Egret Place 4340 Via Dora Dr 1522 Norine Dr 5113 Ebbetts Way 1855 Wren Lane 815 San Simeon Dr 1117 Corrie Lane 1082 Bountiful Way 25002 Silverthorne Place 118 Judy Court 159 Plov Way 5067 Clayton Rd 5195 Clayton Rd 51 Pointsetttia Ave 2438 Whitetail Dr
Home available for sale
22 Country Place 308 Carolina St 100 Kings Canyon Way 378 Olive St 2341 Bonifacio St 3687 Treat Blvd 4215 Leon Dr 5476 Roundtree Pl #K 855 Navaronne Way 1937 Burnside Ct 313 Meagan Lane 4336 Wilson Lane 2107 Willow Pass Rd 2657 Newell Ave 1612 Mary Lane
Homes Are Selling.......When You Choose Our Team We Will Get It Done For You!
Josie Van Fleet Broker Associate and the Van Fleet Team
49 years combined experience J. Rockcliff Realtors, Inc.
Families mov ing with pets have special needs. Call Josie tod ay for a free consult ation
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at its finest.
Member ABKA and Pet Sitters of America
Specializing in Concord/Clayton since 1989 Member Contra Costa Association of Realtors Honor Roll Member Better Business Bureau Affiliate Member CC Bar Association
Van Fleet family owned 18 years experience Licensed Insured
The Concordian • www.myconcordian.com
Rodie’s Old West charm and expertise is more than for the birds
By André Gensburger
ob Rodenburg opened Rodie’s in June 1982 as a feed and country store along Marsh Creek Road, just on the outskirts of the city limits. “It was a feed store and a little later we added a lumber yard,” Bob explained. “And a little later we had a landscaping materials business and then we gradually added the mini storage and RV storage, shut down the lumber yard and landscaping materials and went back to just basic feed and pet supply.” Two years ago, his wife Sarah got involved and Rodie’s transformed from just a feed store to one of the country’s most respected avian specialists. “I had my own business for a number of years and was diagnosed with late stage cancer in 2000,” Sarah explained. “And here I am eight years later, in remission, and I wanted to get involved in something.” Sarah decided she wanted a bird and finally had a home big enough to house one, so she began searching through all the bird shops in the area. Meanwhile, Rodie’s lost the feed contract for the county shelter, which they had for 25 years. “We had to reinvent ourselves and determine how we would stay alive, so I asked Bob whether I could bring birds into the store,” Sarah said. “And he said: ‘What, are you nuts?’ ” Nevertheless, she had a little corner of the store for a parrot, which was on consignment from a breeder. “By the time they had bought the bird, the cage, the toys and the feed, that was a $3,000 sale,” Sarah reported. The next morning, Bob asked when she would be expanding. Slowly she began taking over more of
the square footage, turning the warehouse into cleaner and brighter retail space. “We are still looking to add more things next year and hope to expand in the future to include a training area as well as being able to attract more promotional business,” she added. “Our store is not that old dusty, dirty feed store it once was,” Sarah said. “We take pride in it. Every birdcage gets cleaned every single day. The birds get fresh water twice a day, fresh food, cutup vegetables and get handled every day.” Rodie’s has two volunteers come in to play with the birds. Last fall, Sarah obtained manuals from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and she now has seven certified avian specialists in the store. “That is important in California because by law, in order to hand-feed birds in a store, you have to have a certified avian specialist,” Sarah noted. They buy birds from breeders “almost right out of the nest,” Bob said. “We have a nursery for the birds and hand-feed them and bring them up to weaning. When they are sufficiently socialized, we can bring them in the store.” The nursery is in the double-wide trailer that Bob and Sarah lived in for 10 years. It keeps the young birds away from the adults until their immune system develops. Volunteers come to help socialize them. “We’ve had field trips for kids,” Sarah said. “We are more than willing to help the community to educate them about birds.” Customers come from as far as Modesto and Sacramento. “We’ve been told by so many customers that Rodie’s is a special place to come,” she added. “Some people come out for three hours,
André Gensburger/The Concordian
RODIE’S OWNERS BOB AND SARAH RODENBURG show off one of the many birds that have earned them special recognition as the only store with seven certified avian specialists in the state.
just walk around and look at the birds.” Rodie’s is also a distributor for Elk Grove Milling. “Back in February, we started with pellets and horse feed that is delivered to stables in 250-pound barrels,” Bob said. Bob, a self-taught woodworker, has spent years building their house, along with kitchen cabinets. Sarah, an avid golfer, enjoys the skill of the sport after abandoning tennis due to tennis elbow in her late 30s. They like spending time with their grandchildren, ages 4 and 6, with Bob teaching them woodworking. “Wednesday, we all meet at Ed’s,” Sarah said, and Bob takes them to the park afterward or out for yogurt. With a positive attitude and determination, Sarah dealt with late stage uterine cancer when she was 45. She was encouraged by her sister – a nurse – to
have a heart evaluation, an EKG and a chest X-ray. Thirteen tumors were found in her lungs. “I was told had I not come in, I would have died from a heart attack and never known about the cancer,” she said. She attributes her survival to “luck” and the type of uterine cancer that she calls “the better type.” With her cancer in remission, Sarah looks forward to even more growth for the business. The next goal is working on a Website. She also plans a remodel, adding a double door and a window among other things. “I’m optimistic.” Sarah said. “We’re a good team. We work really well together.” Rodie’s is at 8863 Marsh Creek Road. For more information, call 672-4600.
Travis Credit Union gets in the holiday spirit T
ravis Credit Union members and employees are reaching out by taking part in three holiday campaigns. To help the Solano and Contra Costa Food Bank, credit union employees, members and the general public are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to all branches through Jan. 31. Through Dec. 23, credit union employees and members can purchase and sign paper stockings for $1 each for the Children’s Miracle Network Holiday Stocking Campaign. Proceeds will go to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and Oakland’s Children’s Hospital. Employees are also collecting gifts for Christmas Wish 2008.
TRAVIS CREDIT UNION
show off the gifts donated for Christmas Wish 2007.
Travis Credit Union has branches at 1257 Willow Pass Road and 5442 Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord. For more information, contact Sherry Cordonnier at 707-469-1715.
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