So this happened…
week of May 3-9

Some local good news to focus on, from a treat-filled tree to comfy concerts

What with sheltering in place and coronavirus information flooding your newsfeeds 24/7, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on locally. That’s why we’re launching a weekly feature wrapping up the best local stories from the Pioneer’s website. Here are the stand-out stories for the week of May 3-9, 2020.

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier released from hospitalGood news from DeSaulnier Family

Tristan and Tucker DeSaulnier announced that their father, U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, was finally released from a Washington, D.C., hospital. He has been battling pneumonia, along with recovering from a rib he fractured in March. “We appreciate his friends and constituents affording him time and support as the next phase of his recovery begins,” the sons said in a statement. Read the full story


The stuff of dreams

Local families are taking more walks these days, and many are delighted when they come across Concord resident Kathy Gleason’s tree brimming with stuffed animals. “I am thrilled the kids like it,” she said. “They come to see what animals are new and count them.” Read the full story


Celebrating the county’s top teachers

First-grade teacher Beth Bremer from Wren Avenue Elementary School of the Arts in Concord is among the county’s Teachers of the Year. “Teaching is my second career and my passion,” she said on the school’s website. Read the full story



Much ado about marijuana

The Concord City Council voted 3-2 to approve new cannabis regulations that include retail storefronts in the downtown area. “No cannabis business can front Todos Santos plaza,” noted senior planner Coleman Frick. The ordinance will have a second reading on May 26 and become effective on June 25. Read the full story


Concord artists ready to jam virtually on Friday nightConcerts from your couch

Although the city of Concord has decided to cancel the popular Music & Market and Tuesday Night Blues summer concerts, residents can still listen to local bands through Concord Couch Concerts. The series features local musicians in new recordings from their homes, streamed on Facebook. “There’s an abundance of bands, songwriters, performers and recording artists right here in our backyard,” said concert founder Dave Hughes. Read the full story

JFK University closing its doors

John F. Kennedy University, a Central Contra Costa County institution since 1965, will cease operations by Dec. 31 – with most of its programs being integrated into schools associated with the National University System.  “JFK is a small liberal arts school and has had the same survival challenges as other such schools around the country,” said president Thomas Stewart. Read the full story

The basketballing Bambergers

Ali Bamberger of Concord, a former standout basketball player at Carondelet High School, is leaving the University of Washington to transfer to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. After recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee, she’ll be playing at her father Eric’s alma mater. Read the full story


Local coronavirus updates

Noting that more coronavirus testing data is “critical,” Contra Costa County health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano announced there are no longer any restrictions for who can be tested in the county. He noted that indications are trending the right way for relaxing health orders and permitting business to reopen, but he appealed for the public to continue practicing social distancing, using masks and not letting their guard down just yet. Read the full story

And there’s more

Here are some other noteworthy stories to check out:

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week of May 3-9

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