The California Highway Patrol will be cracking down on impaired and unrestrained drivers this Thanksgiving weekend by increasing its patrols, CHP officials said.

The CHP throughout California entered into a maximum enforcement period beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m., which will be continued until Sunday at

This is aimed to help reduce the amount of people killed in collisions on the road this holiday from last year’s statewide total of 45 deaths, according to the CHP.

Four of those individuals were Bay Area residents, according to the CHP.

CHP officials are asking motorists to designate a sober driver, avoid distractions and wear a seatbelt. Just under half of last year’s deaths
involved a person not wearing a seatbelt, according to the CHP.

“A Thanksgiving weekend free of fatal collisions is something we can all be thankful for,” CHP Golden Gate Division Chief Paul Fontana said in a statement.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Claycordians!

November 26, 2015 0:00 am · 6 comments


Happy Thanksgiving, Claycordians!

We hope you all have a wonderful day, filled with much laughter and many thanks.

Tell us, what are you thankful for?



As we previously reported, there’s a crime-spree happening in Concord’s Crystyl Ranch neighborhood and the surrounding area.

Several homes have been burglarized throughout the past few months, and on Wednesday, a resident of Crystyl Ranch says they caught a few men on video who they say were possibly trying to break into their house.

Here’s what the homeowner had to say.

“We live in Crystyl Ranch and had some uninvited visitors this morning. Our neighbor called the police when he saw the car. There have been recent break-ins in Concord and Walnut Creek with the same M.O. The suspect vehicle is a four-door older model sedan (think Toyota) with a white female driver and three black men.

The first video shows them ringing the doorbell and then they went to the backyard and we’re looking in the windows. Never did enter. We did have the alarm on. I understand the past break-ins they smashed the sliding door and entered through the door.”




We know, we know, it’s a “first World problem”, and we know people are in a hurry during the busy holiday season and want to spend as little time as possible in the grocery store.

However, if you decide to buy an item, then change your mind and don’t want it anymore, don’t just place it anywhere, put it back where it belongs, especially if it belongs in a fridge or freezer. Or, if you really don’t want to go the extra mile, then just give it to an employee, or the person at the checkout counter.

It only takes a minute to do the right thing.


Several local Congressional representatives are asking Gov. Jerry Brown to closely monitor levels of domoic acid found in Dungeness crab and to prepare to provide economic relief in the event of a fishery closure.

In a letter, sent by U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman, Jackie Speier, Sam Farr and Louis Capps, the group is urging the governor to stand ready to ask the Secretary of Commerce to declare a disaster if the fishery is closed for the season, the group announced today.

The letter follows a vote by the California Fish and Game Commission earlier this month, establishing the indefinite delay of the commercial crab season due to the high levels of domoic acid.

The acid is linked to a toxic algae bloom found along the West Coast, stretching from central California to the Alaska Peninsula, state officials said.

A closure of the commercial fishery would have an impact on the economies of coastal communities in Central and Northern California, as well as the state as a whole, state officials said.

California’s Dungeness crab fishery was valued at $60 million last year, according to state officials.

“Thanksgiving celebrations may not feature Dungeness crab this year, we can at least provide the assurance that federal disaster relief will be available to fishermen and affected communities and businesses if we lose the fishery,” Huffman said.

“After being financially punished by a dismal salmon season this year, these same fishermen are now looking at no income from crab — traditionally 50 percent of their income — yet having to pay for their licenses and boat maintenance,” Speier said. “If the season doesn’t open soon, these men and women deserve a financial lifeline. I urge the governor to start preparing for a disaster declaration now.”

During an emergency meeting on Nov. 6, the California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to delay the start of the recreational fishing season for Dungeness and rock crabs, which was scheduled to start on Nov. 7.

On Nov 6., the commission then voted to delay the commercial Dungeness crab season, which was scheduled to start on Nov. 15. During the meeting the commission also voted to close the commercial rock crab fishery, which is open year-round.

The closure will remain in effect indefinitely until testing determines that levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can accumulate in shellfish and other invertebrates, have returned to safe levels, state officials said.



By offering free admission at all of its 65 parks on Black Friday, the East Bay Regional Park District hopes to encourage locals to spend the busiest shopping day of the year outdoors.

Waiving the fees, which could cost the district about $24,000, is part of a movement that California, Missouri and Minnesota state park departments are participating in.

Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI initially pushed the idea of forgoing sales for trails by announcing that it was closing its stores on Black Friday and encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors.

“We think this is a great idea, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” East Bay Regional Park District general manager Robert Doyle said in a statement.

The district announced on Monday that it is waiving fees for parking, dogs, horses, boat launching and fishing permits at its locations.

District officials said they do not believe the funds lost Friday will have a significant impact on the district’s finances.

A list of parks and trails in the district can be found at


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Tomorrow marks the 226 annual Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Tell us, what is your favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving (besides Turkey or Tofurkey).

Also, have you ever gone out to eat for Thanksgiving dinner? If so, when & where?

Talk about it….


Traveling through the three largest Bay Area airports this morning is going smoothly, airport officials said.

The weather is good at all three airports, airport officials said. SFO officials are reporting four cancellations while neither Oakland International Airport nor Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport has any delays or cancellations.

“Things are moving quite well,” San Jose airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said.

Officials at SFO are expecting 144,000 passengers in and out of the airport today and hope to ease passengers’ time at the airport with live music, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

Standard security procedures for passengers are in effect today at SFO while passengers can expect to see increased police patrols on roadways and in terminals, Yakel said.

He suggests passengers say something if they see something.

The busiest day at SFO and Oakland International Airport will be Sunday as travelers return from trips to family and friends, airport officials said.

Oakland airport officials are expecting 45,000 people through the airport Sunday, spokeswoman Keonnis Taylor said.

Oakland airport officials said they expect number of travelers through the airport during the Thanksgiving holiday to be up 9 percent from last year.

San Jose airport officials expect an increase of 5 percent during the Thanksgiving holiday and San Francisco airport officials expect a 7.8 percent increase in the number of passengers from Nov. 20 to Jan. 4, according to airport officials.


A two-alarm fire that displaced dozens of residents from a Pleasant Hill apartment building on Tuesday morning started in a construction debris box in the building’s first-floor garage, a county fire spokesman said.

The fire was reported at about 3:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Santa Barbara Road. One apartment in the building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Marshal Robert Marshall said.

Three residents of the apartment escaped the blaze after being awakened by smoke detectors.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to control the fire, but four units are expected to be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

The fire started in a debris box for crews working on the building’s balconies, checking them for rot and making improvements, Marshall said. The fire spread into the apartment through the floor.

Fire investigators have not determined why the fire started in the debris box but so far think it’s probably accidental.

The apartment the fire spread to was left gutted. Another two apartments shared a firewall that was extensively damaged by the blaze and needs to be replaced. A fourth unit across the stairwell from those sustained minor damage, Marshall said.

No one was injured in the blaze.

RELATED STORY: Fire Rips Through Pleasant Hill Apartment – Working Smoke Alarms Credited with Saving Family




This year’s four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend reflects a steady increase of Californians projected to travel since 2009, according to AAA.





We all love seeing pictures of our local river otters.

This guy (or girl) was captured on camera by Shannan Kral, who said he was spotted in the canal near Heather Farm Park today.

Thanks to Shannan for the photos.





A kitten was rescued from a storm drain in Concord on Monday.

Beth, who sent us this story, said “Bill and a crew from the City of Concord Public Works Department and Stephanie from Animal Control responded promptly and worked hard, along with the neighbors, to get the kitten out.”

The kitten had to be flushed out with water but the endeavor was successful and the kitten was taken to the Martinez Animal Shelter.

Way to go, thanks to Beth for the photos and the story, and thanks to those of you who helped rescue the cute little creature.




We’ve posted this one in the past, but love to post it around Thanksgiving.

This is a 72-year-old Thanksgiving Day menu from the U.S. Naval Barracks at Port Chicago.

Delicious, and you even get cigarettes for dinner!

Click on each photo for a larger view.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

RELATED STORY: The Claycord Online Museum – An Old Mess Hall Tray from the Concord Naval Weapons Station



The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

A person has been camped outside of Best Buy in Pleasant Hill since Saturday, waiting for Black Friday.

QUESTION: How long would you wait in line for something you really, really wanted to purchase? An hour, 12 hours, a day, two days, a week or more?

Talk about it….


The Holiday Ice Rink in Downtown Martinez is NOW OPEN.

The 50×80 rink is open through Jan 3, 2016 and features public skating, a skating academy, family skate nights, birthday parties, private parties, and more!

The rink is located on the corner of Ferry St. and Marina Vista Ave. in Downtown Martinez.

Visit for more information on the ice rink.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Please visit the Facebook page to enter to win tickets to the ice rink.

photo credit: Craig Cannon – for use only on

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The Boy Scouts of America held their annual Scouting for Food drive on Saturday, and they collected a huge amount of donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.

Scouts asked for canned goods, peanut butter, cereal, pancake mix, crackers, rice, beans, pasta, dried fruit or snack bars.

All food was collected on Saturday morning, and as of today, the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano says they took in 118,704 pounds of food.

Nice job, Boy Scouts of America.


Firefighters responded to a two-alarm structure fire at an apartment complex in Pleasant Hill, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The blaze started at about 3:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Santa Barbara Road, according to Fire Marshal Robert Marshall.

Marshall said it appears the fire started in a downstairs parking area and spread to the upstairs unit.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control by 3:52 a.m.

The fire damaged at least one unit, and there is smoke damage to other units.

Marshall said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There have been no reported injuries in the fire, and working smoke alarms are being credited with saving the family.

Marshall said it appears several people will end up being displaced by the fire.

photo credit: Craig Cannon