So This Happened…Week of Jan. 29 through Feb. 4, 2023

So This Happened...Week of Jan. 29 through Feb. 4, 2023
Clockwise from left: A small plane crashed in Concord on Tuesday, killing the pilot (Ken Barton photo). Ribbon-cutting for the new Walnut Creek Cancer Center. Members of the public spoke at last week’s Concord City Council meeting on rent protections for the city.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Feb. 4, 2024) — A plane crash near the intersection of Diamond Boulevard and Concord Avenue on Jan. 30 left the pilot dead and traffic snarled.

Jacek Romanski, 75, of Berkeley, died in his homebuilt Van’s Aircraft RV-6 single-engine plane just outside the southside perimeter fencing of the airport and nearby Buchanan Golf Course.

Romanski was known for touch and go maneuvers. “It just caught up with him, and I am sorry to see that,” said Peter Friedman, who had inspected Romanski’s plane over the years. Friedman called the crash “absolutely avoidable.” Read the complete story.

Officer of the Year: The Kiwanis Club selected Master Officer James Roberts as this year’s top cop, noting his ability to establish a comfortable rapport with citizens. “Things we do as officers go unnoticed or unrecognized so to have the department recognize me for those things was tremendously fulfilling,” Roberts said.

Rent review rages on: After 83 community members spoke about Concord’s draft Residential Tenant Protection ordinance on Jan. 30, the council continued the item to the Feb. 13 meeting. However, there will be no public comment that evening. “This is a very difficult challenge because you’re looking at something that’s going to affect everybody,” noted Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister.

“C is for Concord”: Authors Kori and Sammy Barton will be at the Concord Library on Feb. 15 to celebrate their new book about all things Concord. “This is a book by locals, for locals,” Kori Barton said. Meanwhile, the Pioneer’s Sunny Solomon writes about “The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop,” which she calls a must read for everyone who loves reading.

More stories

Here are some other stories the Pioneer covered recently:

The food scene: New year, new products to try from the farmers market, plus Main Street Kitchen in Walnut Creek stays strong from brunch to dinner.

For your health: Ribbon-cutting for Walnut Creek Cancer Center, and the importance of Vitamin B12 as we grow older.

From the county: Measure X funds mental health, social justice – even pet services, and Contra Costa seeks youth representative for Council on Homelessness.

Mt. Diablo’s Herschel Turner gains a slew of post-season recognition.

From radios to records, Earl’s store was in tune.

Wet winter weeks beckon bikers to Mt. Diablo summit challenge.

Pittsburg Theatre Company seeking donations for 2024 productions.

Princess Project a promposal worth pursuing.

Pleasant Hill introduces the “Taylor Thrift” Trail.

Concord and Clayton police reports.

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.