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 in the noon hour.

There are many people on the road, and some of those include rude drivers, and drivers who don’t really know how to drive.

We constantly see people run red lights, turn right from the left-hand lane (or vice versa), tailgate, cut across four lanes on the freeway to take the offramp, etc.

Why do you think driving habits have negatively changed so drastically in the past 50 years?

Talk about it….

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memorial2

CLAYTON

10am-11:30am – Ceremony, Veterans Memorial Flag Pole, Oak & Main Streets

MARTINEZ

9am-10am – Ceremony, Alhambra Cemetery, 1050 George Miller Trail

WALNUT CREEK

The City of Walnut Creek will honor the memories of those who gave their lives in service to our country at a Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 25. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Civic Park.

Keynote speakers Dick DuBey and Gayle Vassar will share stories of two young men who lost their lives in Vietnam. This year is the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the ground war in Vietnam.

DuBey, a Rossmoor resident, will read excerpts from some of the dozens of letters Kenneth Hirst wrote to his family while in Vietnam. Hirst, a Marine Lance Corporal, was killed in action in May 1967. Hirst’s sister, Kathy Davison of Walnut Creek, made the letters available to honor her brother’s memory

Vassar, the City’s Communications and Outreach Manager, will talk about the loss of her uncle David Bujalski, a West Point graduate who was killed in action in 1967, and for whom Bujalski Field at Fort Huachuca, Arizona is named.

DuBey served a combined 27 years in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve, and is well known in Walnut Creek for his leadership as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer training coordinator. He served primarily as an instructor/trainer and the Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Basic Combat Training and Combat Engineer Training Brigades in the 98th Division, located in Buffalo, NY from 1962 to 1981. He then served as the Command Sergeant Major of the 6237th USAR Training School located at Camp Parks in Pleasanton, CA. from 1982 until his voluntary separation from duty in 1987. He officially retired from the Army Reserve in March of 1998.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the Civic Park gazebo and include patriotic music performed by the Walnut Creek Concert Band. The ceremony will conclude with the laying of wreaths at the Veterans Memorial Plaza across from Civic Park.

PLEASANT HILL

The annual Memorial Day Observance will take place in Pleasant Hill at the County Veterans Monument, Boyd Road and Contra Costa Boulevard, on May 25, 2015, at 1:00 pm. All veterans as well as the general public are invited to honor our military for their contribution and service to our nation. Elected officials from the state, county and city governments are invited to speak. A firing party will be firing a salute. Recorded music will be heard throughout the program. Refreshments will be provided following the Observance. A tent and chairs are available for your comfort. Please come and reflect your recognition of the sacrifices our veterans have made.

 

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fresh_easy

Ever since the recent closure of Fresh & Easy in Concord’s Clayton Valley shopping center and Walnut Creek’s Ygnacio Plaza shopping center, rumors have been swirling that Wal-Mart might be interested in one or both of the buildings.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, which is Wal-Mart’s version of a grocery store, has been opening in many vacant Fresh & Easy locations throughout the country.

“Fresh & Easy still has possession of the space until the end of September 2015. They are able to assign their lease to another entity, as long as it meets the requirements in the lease. We are not sure of their plans yet. If they do not have a plan by the end of September, we can take possession of the space”, according to Jenny Hess with Regency Centers, which manages the Clayton Valley shopping center and the Ygnacio Plaza shopping center.

Currently, the closest Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is in San Ramon.

QUESTION: Would you like to see a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market come to Concord or Walnut Creek?

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giants

Batter up!

The 3rd season of the Concord/Monument Junior Giants League will be starting in June, and registration is now open to the public.

The league is a free, noncompetitive, coed summer baseball league for youth ages 7-13. Together with parents and volunteers, Junior Giants reaches into communities and offers youth a chance to learn the basics of baseball during the summer while also discovering the importance of education, self-esteem, team work, and respect.

Registrations close June 5. The league will run from June 13 to August 15, with practices 3 times a week and games on Saturdays. The league offers youth an opportunity to stay active and busy this summer.

If you would like to register your child or become a coach or assistant coach, please visit the registration page for more information at https://sfrg-monument.sportssignup.com/site.

In-person registrations are Thursdays from 9am to 12pm at 2699 Monument Blvd., Ste. G in Concord. You can also call our center at 925-682-8248 ext. 2300.

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Three Antioch residents were arrested after a theft, police pursuit, and crash in the City of Pleasant Hill on Thursday afternoon, according to the Pleasant Hill Police Department.

Police say just before 4pm, three suspects entered the AT&T store, located at 1300 Contra Costa Blvd., while another remained outside waiting in a vehicle.

The suspects inside the store stole several items and fled the store to the waiting vehicle, police said.

As the suspects were driving away, a Pleasant Hill Police Officer spotted the vehicle.

The suspects fled in their vehicle and a short pursuit was initiated, police said.  At one point, two of the suspects fled from the car while the other two remained in the car.  One of the suspects that fled from the car was captured after he ran into nearby home, according to police.

The suspects in the vehicle continued to try and evade the pursuing officer and ultimately crashed into the garage of a nearby residence, and were taken into custody, according to police.

Police identified the suspects who were arrested as 23-year-old Adolfo Bobino, 25-year-old Wesley Martin and 30-year-old Demarcus Whitner.

The suspect who was not captured is described as a Hispanic male adult.

The investigation also determined that Whitner was also responsible for a similar cell phone theft in Pleasant Hill that occurred on May 18th.

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A Bay Area man was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison today for operating an online market for sex workers, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Eric “Red” Omuro, 53, pleaded guilty last year to using a facility of interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution for operating the websites myRedBook.com and sfRedBook.com. In addition to the prison sentence, Omuro was ordered to surrender both sites’ domain names to the federal government and $1.28 million in cash and assets.

In pleading guilty, Omuro admitted to operating the websites between April 2010 and June 25 of last year. Posters on the websites advertised services such as massage, stripping, domination and prostitution to potential clients throughout the West Coast, including in Canada, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors had alleged that the websites had generated as much as $5.4 million in revenue for Omuro, which he moved into several bank accounts.

Omuro was arrested along with a co-defendant in the case, Annmarie Lanoce, 40, of Rocklin, on June 25 as federal investigators seized both websites. Lanoce reached a plea deal with prosecutors last November and was scheduled to be sentenced today, but her sentencing was continued to a later date, according to prosecutors.

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We’re getting reports that Pleasant Hill Police were just involved in a pursuit, which ended with a crash near Woodsworth Lane.

According to sources, the chase was possibly related to some kind of theft at 1300 Contra Costa Blvd.

We’ll post more information when it becomes available.

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geese

This family of Canadian Geese was recently spotted in Claycord, and as you can see, they have one little guy who is having a hard time keeping up with the rest of the group.

Click on the photo for a much larger view.

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Most U.S. post offices in the East Bay are accepting packages for shipment from businesses this Memorial Day, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Businesses can drop off prepaid packages to an employee at the back dock of the main post offices in each community or arrange for pickup online, U.S. Postal Service spokesman Augustine Ruiz said.

“It’s a matter of convenience for the customer,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said many businesses are open Memorial Day and if businesses drop off packages Monday, it also lessens the workload for postal workers Tuesday.

Except for the package pickup, all brick and mortar post offices will be closed Monday and carriers will not be picking up from the big blue postal boxes on sidewalks or outside post offices, Ruiz said. Carriers will not be making any home deliveries either.

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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 in the noon hour.

The State of California has asked residents to have an overall water conservation target of 25%.

Do you think that’s realistic, or do you think they’re asking us to conserve a little too much?

Talk about it….

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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act this week.

This bill would create much-needed nationwide standards on concussion safety and establish tools for student athletes, parents, and school faculty to develop procedures on concussion prevention, detection, and treatment.

In addition, it would require all schools that receive federal aid to develop a concussion management plan to ensure that students are informed about concussions and given the support they need to recover. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced similar legislation in the United States Senate.

“Young athletes’ brains are still developing, which makes them more susceptible to injury and puts them at greater risk of sports-related concussions than college or professional athletes. Concussion rates among high school athletes have doubled between 2005 and 2012. This bill seeks to curb this trend by educating students, parents, and school personnel about how to recognize and respond to these injuries,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

“It used to be called ‘getting your bell rung’ but we now know that a concussion is something that should never be taken lightly,” Senator Durbin said. “Research has shown the serious long-term health risks associated with concussions in youth sports. I am glad to see that members in the House and Senate agree that more must be done to protect students from the dangers of these types of injuries.”

“There are so many benefits to sports participation, but it is essential that youth and their families are knowledgeable about ways to stay safe on sports fields,” said Otha Thornton, President of National PTA. “It is a top priority of National PTA to ensure youth have the opportunity to experience the benefits and joys of sports participation, while staying safe and healthy. The association applauds Representative DeSaulnier for introducing the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act of 2015 and for his commitment to educating and training students, families and school personnel on the prevention and treatment of concussions.”

According to figures from the National Federation of State High School Associations, an estimated 140,000 students playing high school sports suffer concussions every year, though many go unreported.

In order to address this problem, the bill establishes a “when in doubt, sit it out” policy that requires students suspected of sustaining a concussion to suspend participation in athletic events for the remainder of the day, be evaluated by a health care professional, and have the parents notified. Specifically, it provides students recovering from concussions the support they need as they return to school-based athletic and academic activities.

It also directs states to develop concussion safety guidelines for public school districts, which include posting educational information on school grounds and school websites about concussion symptoms, risks, and recommended responses for student athletes, parents, coaches, and school officials in order to raise awareness of the danger of concussions among student athletes.

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The Alamo Improvement Association and the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Commission will host two forums to discuss safety, oversight and other information for residents who live near petroleum pipelines in the county.

The forums include speakers from the national not-for-profit Pipeline Safety Trust, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Kinder Morgan, the company operating petroleum pipelines  throughout Contra Costa County including one in the Iron Horse Trail Corridor in southern Contra Costa.

Michael Kent, the county’s Hazardous Materials Ombudsman, will facilitate a question-and-answer panel for attendees at both forums.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 3 and Saturday, June 6.

WHERE: Alamo: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 3 at Creekside Community Church, 1350 Danville Boulevard.

Martinez: 10 a.m. to noon on June 6 at the Contra Costa County Administration Building, 651 Pine St., in the Board of Supervisors chamber.

WHY: Miles of pipeline carrying gasoline, diesel and even jet fuel run just a few feet beneath some of Contra Costa County’s busiest streets and trails. The forums are intended to help residents learn about them and stay safe.

Topics will include an overview of the regulatory framework for petroleum pipelines, including maintenance and inspection requirements, common causes of incidents, community resources for finding information and communicating with regulatory agencies, and strategies for reducing risk.

The meetings are part of a greater public education campaign funded by a $50,000 grant obtained by the Alamo Improvement Association from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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glazer

Democratic candidate and Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer won handily over Susan Bonilla in Tuesday’s special election to fill the District 7 state Senate seat.

Unofficial election results had Glazer with an 8 percent lead over state Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, in Contra Costa County and a nearly 14 percent lead in Alameda County.

Exhausted but elated, Glazer said his campaign “struck a chord with voters who are frustrated by the gridlock and dysfunction in Sacramento.”

“On the campaign trail, I heard so many times how people want leaders who are more pragmatic than partisan, more focused on answers than ambition,” Glazer said.

Glazer will be stepping into the state Senate term after the deadline to file new bills. He said his first priority will be building relationships with other legislators.

“One new state Senator can’t change California government on his own,” Glazer said. “I hope to work with my colleagues in the Senate to restore confidence in public policy making and advance progressive ideals in ways that are financially responsible.”

Glazer said he is tentatively scheduled to be sworn in to office next week, but the exact time has yet to be determined.

Bonilla did not immediately return requests for comment.

District 7 includes parts of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, including Antioch, Concord and Livermore. Mark DeSaulnier vacated the seat after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last November.

photo credit: Steve Glazer – Facebook

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Emergency personnel are working to pull several people from an overturned vehicle near state Highway 242 in Concord this afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers responded around 4 p.m. to a report of a vehicle that overturned off of the Clayton Road off-ramp from northbound Highway 242.

As of around 4:20 p.m., several people were trapped inside the car and medical personnel were working to free them, according to the CHP.

No further information was immediately available.

UPDATE, 4:55pm: One person was taken to the trauma center at John Muir – Walnut Creek.

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Concord’s popular Meadow Homes Spray Park, at 1351 Detroit Ave., will open this weekend.

The park, which usually opens in early May, will open this year on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 23.

To conserve water, hours have also been shortened by two hours a day. Until schools lets out for the summer recess, the park will be open Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends. After school is in recess, hours will be noon to 6 p.m. daily.

While the City of Concord is very aware of the drought and conserves water whenever possible, the spray park was designed to filter, treat and recycle the water it uses.

The later starting time and slightly reduced hours of service will result in the water park using 25 percent less water this year, according to the City of Concord.

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kitchen

As we all know, the Bay Area real estate market has been hot and volatile for the past couple of years, and home prices keep moving up …

While this sounds like great news if you’re selling a home – in a bidding situation, home price increases can also create a real problem if your agent does not take steps to address some potential pitfalls in negotiating the right buyer’s contract with you upfront.

How can a great bid for my home create a problem?

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

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This is a heartbreaker.

As we previously reported, the driver of a big-rig died on Hwy.242 in Concord last night after his semi suffered a blown tire and rolled over.

The driver has been identified by family members as Francisco Navarette, and they say they can’t find his wallet.

Here’s a message from the victim’s sister:

The driver was my brother Francisco Navarrete and he died in that accident. If anyone found his wallet we would appreciate if you contact his son William Navarrete . According to EMS, no wallet was found so they could not immediately identify him.

Rest in peace brother, I love you.

A lot of people were on scene, and it could have been misplaced.

If anybody has seen the wallet, or if you have the wallet, please contact news@claycord.com and we’ll get you in touch with Francisco’s family.

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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 in the noon hour.

Do you ever visit the Sunvalley Mall?

If not, why not? If so, what’s your favorite store?

Talk about it….

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cpd

The Concord Police Department is stepping up pedestrian safety enforcement operations today, with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists and pedestrians.

Routine traffic patrols will focus efforts in trouble spots while special overtime patrols will also be deployed to crackdown on drivers and pedestrian’s who violate basic traffic laws.

The department has mapped out locations over the past three years where pedestrian involved collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes.

Officers will be looking for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries.  Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation.  Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation.  Locally, The Concord Police Department has investigated 97 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians during the past three years. In 2012, California witnessed 612 pedestrian deaths that year while nationally; 4,743 pedestrians were killed.

A national study reveals that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones, text and listen to music while walking or driving. Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.  The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy witnessed far too often in Concord:

Drivers can:

  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path. See safercar.gov/parents/backover.htm

Pedestrians can:

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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