So This Happened...Week of Dec. 25 through 31, 2023

So This Happened…Week of Dec. 25 through 31, 2023

Rose Parade float celebrates teen’s life-saving donation
Susan Van Campen, a living donor and a volunteer at OneLegacy, works on a floragraph to honor Concord High student Joe Barratt. (Photo courtesy of OneLegacy Foundation)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Dec. 31, 2023) — Heart transplant recipient Ted Jung will be celebrating the new year in style aboard the OneLegacy Donate Life float during the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1.

The float will feature a floragraph portrait of Joe Barratt, a Concord 18-year-old who gave the gift of life after a hit and run accident in 2020. “It is only fitting that someone with a heart as big as Joe’s would save the lives of several others during his last moments on earth,” his family wrote after his death. Read the complete story.

Living the local life: The year 2023 was filled with tough issues – from the selection of yet another developer for the Concord Naval Weapons Station to Pleasant Hill’s battle to update its Housing Element and Clayton’s controversial new downtown use fees – as well as a welcome expansion to open space, including the Knobcone Point to Riggs Canyon trail extension and Save Mount Diablo’s acquisition of the “Balcerzak Inholding.” For an update on these and other local news stories, check out the Pioneer’s year in review.

Delving into the AI debate: Former Walnut Creek Mayor Gail Murray takes a look at the good, the bad and the ugly in a four-part series about the future of Artificial Intelligence. Her first installment is posted now, with the rest coming soon to the Pioneer website.

More stories

Here are some other stories the Pioneer covered recently:

From the police: Pleasant Hill consignment shop owner not surprised by intruders’ attempt, plus the latest report from Concord PD.

Consignment shop owner not surprised by intruders’ attempt
Albert Marcu, owner of Estates Consignments in Pleasant Hill, stands behind the counter of his store. Marcu confronted would-be smash and grab intruders with his gun. (Photo by David Scholz)

DeSaulnier receives award as advocate of East Bay Park District.

White Pony Express expands rescue program at new Concord facility.

Teaching children the art of good eating.

Winter is here … and so are the skunks.

Working with a design and build team for a successful home project.

Read past installments of “So This Happened…”: Click here.

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Bev Britton
Bev Britton
Copy Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer |

Bev Britton graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and moved to the Bay Area with her soon-to-be husband Jim in 1986. She was features editor at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek before becoming managing editor of the Contra Costa Sun in Lafayette in 1995. She retired from newsrooms in 2001, but an ad for the Clayton Pioneer drew her back in. The family moved to Lake Wildwood in the Gold Country a few years ago - but working at the Pioneer keeps her in touch with her old neighborhoods in Concord and Clayton.