samu

Samu Manoa, a 29-year-old Concord native and Mt. Diablo High School Alumni, will be playing for the U.S. National Rugby team -vs- New Zealand this Saturday on NBC.

The game will be covered live on NBC starting at 12:30pm (Claycord time).

Click on the video below to learn more about Samu.

Good luck to Samu, and thanks to “De La Salle” for the tip!

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There is a major delay between Pleasant Hill and Bay Point in the Bay Point and SFO directions due to a tree on the tracks in Pleasant Hill.

Helicopters are in the area videotaping the tree.

BART did not say when they planned to remove the tree from the tracks.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized more than 2,700 items of counterfeit Major League Baseball merchandise worth $80,000 from Bay Area vendors, agency representatives said today.

The merchandise includes phony T-shirts, counterfeit baseball hats and beanies, tote bags and pennants, said agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations team.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said agents seized the merchandise over the course of the past week from vendors as vendors tried to cash in on the Giants’ World Series run.

The fake MLB merchandise is imported primarily from China and it’s usually pretty easy to spot, Kice said.

“We do encounter some very sophisticated and high quality counterfeits,” Kice said. “But in a lot of cases, you can look at the way it’s put together — the stitching, the logos — and tell that it’s not genuine.”

Kice said some items had names of prominent athletes misspelled or logos sewn on upside down.

“Those are pretty easy to spot,” she said.

Although most people see intellectual property theft as a victimless crime, Kice said that’s a false assumption.

The phony merchandise delivers shoddy and sometimes dangerous goods to unsuspecting buyers, she said. The proceeds often go to fund other criminal activities and Kice said the sales could rob Americans of good-paying jobs.

There have been no arrests so far, but Kice said the investigation is ongoing.

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salvation_army

Now hiring Salvation Army Kettle Workers for the Christmas Season.

Kettle workers are paid minimum wage, and may be scheduled to work Mondays through Saturdays, depending on location.

Kettle Workers must be able to stand outside in all kinds of weather for extended periods of time, and perform the repetitive motion of bell ringing.

Workers must have transportation to and from their workplace, and be neatly groomed, polite, and a good representatives of The Salvation Army.

Please contact Amy Lewis (925) 676-6180 ext 14 for more information.

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celebrate

The featured artists at the Art Cottage in November are from the East Bay Artists Guild, a nonprofit group of artists creating work in a wide variety of disciplines including painting, photography and sculpture. An artists reception is planned for Saturday, November 8th.

lorraine_botsford

EBAG, co-sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Parks & Rec department, works to bring art into East Bay communities through exhibitions, events and education. Meetings are held on the second Sunday of each month, where guest speakers provide demos and critiques.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Do you have a problem with speeding drivers in your residential neighborhood?

Talk about it….

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Next Tuesdsay, November 4, before the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Local 1 will hold a rally at 651 Pine Steet in Martinez to protest the Board of Supervisors recent $32,000 a year pay raise.

Members and staff of Local 1 have spoken at the last two Board of Supervisors meetings in opposition to the 33% pay raise for Board of Supervisors members.

The union says the rally is to “educate the public and to protest the inequitable and unfair distribution of money to those at the top.”

RELATED STORIES: 

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BART is gearing up to carry hundreds of thousands of baseball fans to downtown San Francisco on Friday, October 31 to celebrate the Giants World Series seventh game win.

BART will run its rush hour service all day – using every available train possible. To ensure that everyone can get home safely, trains will run until 2AM. Trains to and from the city will be at maximum length and frequency.

About 100 extra BART employees in yellow vests will be stationed throughout the system to help with crowd control and to assist passengers. BART Police will have extra patrols and extra train technicians were also on hand just in case.

Large crowds are expected and passengers should anticipate long lines and crowded trains. BART will have additional staff on hand to help customers who need assistance and offer crowd control.

BART officials are urging fans to buy their round-trip tickets or load up their Clipper cards before Friday’s ticker tape parade in San Francisco.

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The former CEO of a Walnut Creek and Lafayette-based venture capital firm was sentenced in an Oakland courtroom today to two years in prison and ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution for a wire fraud scheme he devised to pay off personal debts, federal prosecutors said.

A U.S. District Court judge handed down the sentence today to 58-year-old Lafayette resident Stephen B. Lopez, founder of local private equity investment company Lighthorse Ventures, LLC.

Federal prosecutors said that in 2008 Lopez needed to pay off a civil settlement that he personally owed and told victims that Lighthorse Ventures needed the money to pay off a loan.

Victims sent checks to the company that Lopez deposited into the firm’s bank account and later used to write a $600,000 check to pay off his own personal debts, according to prosecutors.

After a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI, a federal grand jury indicted Lopez in March 2013. He was charged with three counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

A year later, he was also charged with obstruction of justice and witness tampering, according to prosecutors.

As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lopez pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud last August.

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claycord_bestof_gold

Below are the results for the 2014 edition of the “Best of Claycord”.

We received thousands & thousands of votes this year.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Please click on the link below to view the results.

Thanks for voting!

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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ebola

California doctors returning from Ebola-stricken areas must be placed on a 21-day quarantine after returning to the U.S., the state Department of Public Health said today.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY....]

RELATED STORY: UCSF Nurses Not Happy With Ebola Prep; CPMC Still Hasn’t Publicly Announced Containment Unit

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bobcat

A bobcat was spotted on the trail behind the Clayton Library this afternoon.

Always fun to see one of these little guys running around, thanks to the anonymous Claycordian for the picture!

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Many of you asked Claycord.com to post the video of yesterday’s Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting, where the board voted to give itself a $32K (thousand) a year pay raise.

DANIEL BORENSTEIN with the Contra Costa Times reports “For now, the supervisors’ base salaries will rise from $97,479 a year to $129,227. That doesn’t count their health insurance, $7,200 car allowance, $12,000 taxpayer contribution to a retirement savings account and county payments toward their pensions — all pushing their total annual compensation more than $200,000 each.”

Please click on the play button shown above. The video will start in the correct spot, and will show you comments from the public, as well as comments from the Board of Supervisors. It will end with the audience yelling “SHAME ON YOU”.

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Whyte Park Framed

Think You Should Wait Until AFTER the Holidays to Sell Your Home?

Think again!

Daylight savings time is this coming Sunday … so maybe you’re thinking the window to sell your home is over for the rest of this year. The reality is that the months of October through December are an exceptional time to sell your home – especially here in the Bay Area, and especially this year. If you’ve been mulling the sale and timing of your home, read on and think about getting it ready and/or preparing your home right now instead.

Back in the day, when I was a younger agent selling Barney Rubble his first cave, the conventional wisdom was that spring was the best selling season in real estate – if you missed the boat, you might as well just wait a year rather than sell in the doldrums of summer or the dead zone of winter. The assumption was that families don’t want to move late in the summer, and once school began in the fall,withthe holidays shortly thereafter … no one would want to spend their weekends schlepping around house-hunting.

Selling a home during the winter was (and remains) a barrier for many people – plenty of homeowners don’t want people coming through their homes over the holidays. They want to put up decorations and spend time with family, not with their Realtor.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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national weather service

Bay Area trick-or-treaters and Halloween revelers may need to add an umbrella to their costumes this Friday as forecasters predict wet weather throughout the region.

National Weather Service meteorologists say rain and scattered showers are likely during the day Friday and on Halloween night throughout most of the Bay Area.

A cold front heading south from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to reach the North Bay by late Thursday night, with a lower chance of showers inland and in the South Bay, according to the weather service.

The wettest weather is predicted on Friday morning and afternoon, with widespread rainfall throughout the Bay Area that will likely taper off into scattered showers on Friday night, National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Bell said.

“If people have plans Friday evening, definitely stay up to date with the latest forecast,” Bell said.

The North Bay and Santa Cruz mountains will likely see the most rainfall, with totals of up to 1.5 inches expected, according to the weather service.

Thunderstorms are also possible throughout the Bay Area on Friday night, according to forecasters.

Bell said this year’s Halloween forecast is fairly unusual for the Bay Area, where it typically doesn’t rain on the holiday.

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

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

When was the last time you got a raise, and how much was it?

Talk about it….

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Here’s a good question from a Claycordian regarding snack time at school, and whether or not the teachers should control what the students eat.

Hi Claycord. First off, I want to say I LOVE your site. Thank you for all you do. Now, on to the question and concern.

I have a second grader at a local elementary school. The other day, she came home and said her teacher wouldn’t let her eat her morning snack, which was two chocolate chip cookies and about three baby carrots. The snack included cookies, because it was a reward for her finishing her homework and reading an extra 30 minutes the night before. The teacher told her cookies were not a good morning snack, and threw them away in the garbage. She let her eat the carrots and replaced the cookies with two apple slices.

First off, I give my child a good breakfast and provide her with healthy food throughout the entire day. One day with two cookies for a morning snack won’t kill her, and it is my belief that a teacher should not decide what my child should and shouldn’t eat. If I sent cookies with her to eat, then that is my decision.

I asked the teacher about it, to make sure my child was correct (we all know how they love to exaggerate), and the teacher confirmed she really did throw them away.

I want to know what others think about this. Am I over-reacting or do I have a right to be upset about this?

Claycordians, chime in!

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A 20-year-old Concord man who was initially charged in connection with the murder of a young woman in her Concord home in 2011 was ordered released from jail today after reaching a plea deal with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Johnathan Harriel pleaded not guilty in a Martinez courtroom Monday to residential burglary as part of the plea agreement and was sentenced to six years in jail for his role in the killing of 21-year-old Benicia native Shelby Barnes. However, with conduct credits and time served, Harriel was set to be released, according to Deputy District Attorney Jason Peck.

Peck said in an email that Harriel’s sentence stems from the problems prosecutors had proving his involvement beyond a reasonable doubt in Barnes’ killing.

“The other defendants made admissions including describing the role of Harriel, however those statements are not admissible in trial against Harriel,” the prosecutor said in an email. “Likewise, there is forensic evidence linking the other defendants to the crime while Harriel’s DNA and fingerprints were not found on any duct tape or weapons.”

The other two defendants, 25-year-old Donald Waldecker of Richmond and 23-year-old Randi Dees of El Sobrante, have already been convicted in connection with Barnes’ killing.

Waldecker pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is serving a 25-year jail sentence while Dees pleaded no contest earlier this year to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Barnes’ murder devastated her friends and family and shocked the small town of Benicia, where she spent most of her life.

In 2011, Barnes moved into a home on Glenside Court in Concord that had been owned by her father but was going into foreclosure.

In October 2011, she allowed Waldecker and Dees, who were a couple at the time, to stay in the house with her.

According to prosecutors, Waldecker came up with a plan to steal the deed to the Concord home and carried out the plan on Oct. 24, 2011, tied her up with the help of Dees and Harriel, bludgeoned her and slit her throat.

The defendants were arrested days after the killing and Harriel, then 17, was tried as an adult.

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claycord_bestof_gold

The results of the 2014 edition of the “Best of Claycord” will be posted at 8am on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Thanks for voting, and good luck to all the businesses!

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