On Thursday afternoon, Bay Area residents and visitors will be able to view a partial eclipse of the sun in the southwestern sky, but
experts warn that looking at the sun for more than a glance without proper protection or a filter can damage eyes.

Many observatories, science centers and colleges in the Bay Area are holding viewing parties where people can view the eclipse using a filter or other protective equipment.

“It’s really a fun event,” said Foothill College astronomer Andrew Fraknoi.

He said the eclipse will look “like a giant black bite being taken out of the sun.”

The best time to view the eclipse locally is between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. At 3:15 p.m., about 40 percent of the sun will be covered, the maximum amount that will be covered in this event.

The eclipse will begin in the Bay Area at 1:52 p.m. and end at 4:32 p.m., according to astronomers.

An eclipse of the sun happens when the moon gets between the sun and Earth and covers up some or all of the sun.

“They don’t happen every day,” said Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. Burress added that most eclipses are partial eclipses and Bay Area residents and visitors may see the earth’s sunlight dim Thursday.

Other eclipses go without notice among a majority of the population, Burress said.

The Foothill College Observatory in Los Altos Hills will open at 2 p.m. for an eclipse party and safe viewing. The Chabot Space & Science Center will be open to viewers at 1:45 p.m.

On their own, viewers can use special glasses or create a way to project the sun to view the eclipse.

The best way, Fraknoi says, is to make a pinhole projector by taking two pieces of thick paper or cardboard and making a clean pinhole in one. Facing away from the sun, people can hold the cardboard or paper with the hole in it and allow the sun to project an image through the pinhole onto the other paper.

To get a sharper image, people can cut a square in one of the pieces of paper or cardboard, tape a sheet of aluminum foil over the square hole and poke a pinhole in the foil. Allow the sun to pass through the hole in the foil.

Nowhere on earth will the eclipse be total, Fraknoi said.


A single-alarm fire damaged a house in Pleasant Hill this morning and left one resident displaced, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection
District inspector said.

Crews responded at 9:20 a.m. to reports of a fire at the home on South Cody Lane near Gregory Lane and found a blaze burning in the attic,
Fire Inspector Lisa Martinez said.

Firefighters were able to knock down the flames in about 10 minutes.

No one was inside the home when the fire broke out and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Martinez said the American Red Cross was called to provide housing assistance for the resident displaced by the blaze.

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Gary Lee Smith – Oct 4th, 1942 – Oct 15th, 2014

Gary Lee Smith passed away after battling numerous ailments for the past 5 years. He was born in San Francisco, California on October 4th, 1942, the eldest son of George H. Smith and Vivian C. (Buck) Smith. He spent his earliest years around Hollister and along Rush Creek in the Trinity Alps before his family settled in Concord, where he first attended Mt. Diablo High School prior to becoming a member of the first graduating class of Clayton Valley High School in 1960. He was a longtime resident of Clayton, where he raised his family at the foot of Mt. Diablo.

He grew up working in his father’s automotive jobber businesses in the East Bay, and ultimately followed in his father’s footsteps by owning and operating several Car Quest Auto Parts stores and Four Corners Auto Parts with his brother Don. Along with other family members, loyal employees and friends, they grew the business into a successful chain of retail and wholesale auto parts stores in the East Bay for the next 25 years. He was always actively involved in the industry and had served as the President of the California Automotive Wholesalers Association. He was instrumental and active in the continued support of many independent automotive repair businesses in the East Bay area.






A handful of Concord City Council candidates attended a forum at the Concord Moose Lodge on Tuesday night.

During the three hour forum, candidates talked about the homeless, safety, the Naval Weapons Station, roads, economic development and several other issues.

Did you go? If so, how did you like it and what did you learn about the candidates?

Thanks to Craig Cannon for the photos!


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 pest control company come out to your home to spray, or do you stay away from spraying chemicals on your property?

Talk about it….



The Contra Costa County Elections Office will be open from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 1, 2014 for voters who wish to vote in person, pick up or drop off a ballot.

The Elections Office is located in Martinez at 555 Escobar Street.

For more information or directions call 877-335-7802.





A large tree branch fell on the roof, and totaled two vehicle parked in the driveway of a home on Machado Dr., off Glazier Dr. in Concord.

According to a report on KRON4, the homeowners recently had the tree inspected, and were told it was healthy. Much to their surprise, yesterday, one of the large limbs fell.

Thanks so much to Killjoy for the pictures!


Concord residents who have been on the receiving end of an IRS impersonator phone scam are being asked to report the crime online via a new federal reporting system, police said today.

Concord police said they have received multiple reports over the past several months of phone scams involving aggressive callers posing as IRS representatives and requesting payment for alleged back taxes.

In most of these scams, the suspect is calling from outside the region and often outside of the state, police said.

As these types of scams proliferate, the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Department has set up an online reporting system for reports of all phone scams where callers pose as IRS representatives.

In cooperation with the IRS and to create a centralized reporting system, Concord police will no longer take reports of these phone scams except under extenuating circumstances.

Callers will instead be directed to report the crime via the new federal system at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.

The new, streamlined system is meant to increase the chances that the suspects behind these scams are apprehended, police said.

Police are reminding the public that the IRS never requests payments over the phone and would use a written notification for any taxes owed.




Highlands Elementary 5th graders need your support to get to camp.

The following information is from the Parent Faculty Club at Highlands:

Unfortunately, 5th grade camp will not happen unless our fundraising goal is met.

Yogurt Shack dates: Wednesday, October 22nd and Friday, November 7th. 25% of the proceeds go to camp. NO FLYER NEEDED- just say “Highlands” on those dates.

Rocco’s Pizza date: Thursday, November 20th. 25% proceeds. NO FLYER NEEDED- just say “Highlands” on that date.



Officials with California Pacific Medical Center said Tuesday that they have built an infectious disease containment unit at one of their campuses in San Francisco that is designed to treat Ebola patients that may come to their hospitals.  It is the fifth such containment unit in the United States.



The Martinez Police are holding a presentation on cyber bullying & online safety on Wednesday, Oct.22 at 6pm.

The presentation will be in the Martinez Junior High School auditorium.

This is for parents only.

The presentation is FREE and will last approximately one hour. The presentation will be put on by Martinez Police Detective Ryan Baillie and Cpl. Patrick Salamid.

Martinez Junior High School
1600 Court St., Martinez


A 30-year-old Martinez man is behind bars today after leading officers on a pursuit on highway-24 this morning, according to the Lafayette Police Department.

The following information is from the Lafayette Police Dept.:

At 6:35 AM today, the Lafayette Police Department received a report of a suspicious circumstance in the area of Pleasant Hill Road and Stanley Boulevard. While Officers were en route, it was discovered that a subject was in a Honda Accord that had been reported stolen out of the City of Martinez.

Officers arrived, ordering the suspect out of the car. The suspect drove off, leading officers on a pursuit. At one point, the suspect nearly struck a police vehicle. The suspect went westbound on Highway 24 and crashed into a light pole at the Wilder Road exit. The suspect fled on foot and was later located by a police K-9 and taken into custody.

Property from a residential burglary in Pleasant Hill was found in the vehicle. The suspect is identified as 30-year-old Jack Davey of Martinez. He was booked into county jail.





Since today marks the start of the World Series, we thought we’d post something baseball related.

Concord’s own Tom Candiotti is featured this week in the Claycord Online Museum.

Candiotti has a successful baseball pitching career, playing for the Brewers, Blue Jays, A’s, Indians and Dodgers. He is currently a radio & TV analyst for the Diamondbacks.

Candiotti attended Queen of All Saints and Concord High School. He was inducted into the International Bowling Museum’s Hall of Fame on June 27, 2007.

Anybody out there know Tom Candiotti, or remember when he played baseball in Concord?

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: news@claycord.com. 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!


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!

About once a week, we get an email complaining about garbage trucks making noise early in the morning (before 7am).

couple of questions:

  1. Does the noise bother you?
  2. Should there be set times for garbage trucks to pick-up trash in the residential neighborhoods? (example: 8am-8pm)

Talk about it….


This is the Claycord BART crime report.

The information in this report is provided by the BART Police Department (BPD), and it will be posted on Claycord.com when it’s made available by BPD.



Parts of the Martinez, Pittsburg and Bay Point waterfronts will be fogged this evening in an ongoing effort to control mosquito populations in the area and prevent the spread of West Nile virus.

The sprayings are scheduled between 6:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on the Martinez Waterfront bordered by Pacheco Creek on the east, by Carquinez Scenic Drive on the west, by Marina Vista Avenue and Waterfront Road on the south and by the Carquinez Strait in the north.

The area of the Pittsburg Waterfront to be treated is bordered by Harbor Street on the east, by PG&E access roads on the west, by Riverview Parkway and Pelican Court on the north and by West 10th Street, Charleston Street, Scudero Court, West Santa Fe Avenue and East 10th Street on the south.

During the same time period, a truck will fog an area of the Bay Point Waterfront bound by Port Chicago Highway on the east and north, by Nichols Road on the west and by Pacifica Avenue on the south.

The locations were selected due to high numbers of mosquitoes along the Martinez and Bay Front waterfronts and because a group of mosquitoes recently found in Pittsburg tested positive for West Nile virus.

While most people infected with the virus show no or few symptoms, others can display symptoms including fever, head and body aches, rash, vomiting and nausea and in rare cases, death.


City of Concord

150 union members in the City of Concord have authorized a strike, to demand an end to the City’s “unfair bargaining”, according to Teamsters Local 856.

The following press release is from Teamsters Local 856:

Field and Operations and the Administrative, Technical and Clerical Units authorized a strike by 96% and 93%, respectively.

The two groups have been working without contracts since July 1, 2014.

Teamsters 856 filed charges with the Public Employment Relations Board on October 15, 2014 alleging bad-faith bargaining on the part of Concord negotiators.

“The City negotiators are politicizing the process and trying to bully the workforce with the extension of Measure Q,” said Rudy Gonzalez, vice president of the workers’ local union.”

“We could have a deal today, if the City would simply respect its employees,” Gonzalez continued. “The negotiator representing the City has cost the citizens nearly 500,000 dollars, which includes the lengthy fact-finding process employees invoked in 2013, to convince the City to end furloughs and restore services to the public. The people who work hard to keep Concord moving need to be prioritized.”

The Union contends that the City is trying to delay negotiations until after the November 4th general election,when 3 council seats and a sales tax extension will be decided by voters.

The two units include employees working as administrative clerks, heavy equipment operators, maintenance workers, permit technicians, recreation program coordinators, community service officers, police dispatchers, and police records personnel.



Firefighters faced windy conditions as they battled a vegetation fire on a hillside between Concord and Pittsburg tonight, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District official said.

Fire crews responded to a report of a fire east of Driftwood Drive and Evora Road, north of state Highway 4, around 8:30 p.m., Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.

Fire crews arrived to find 1 acre on fire that quickly spread to about 4 and a half acres, Marshall said.

The blaze was contained about an hour later, he said.

The fire did not threaten structures and no evacuations were called for, according to Marshall.

Cal Fire also responded to the blaze and will be investigating the cause of the fire, Marshall said.

“The wind took away all the moisture put there by the rain this morning,” Marshall said. “Just because we have a little rain doesn’t mean there’s no fire danger.”

photo credit: @ContraCostaFire on Twitter