Downtown rallies after
massive construction blaze


By Tamara Steiner on May 21, 2018

Grateful Alpine Bakery owners Gabriela and Ernst Freitag watched from across the street as firefighters fought to save the family owned business from the massive April 25 construction fire that destroyed the adjoining Renaissance apartments under construction. The business escaped the blaze with fairly minor water damage. (Photo by Tamara Steiner)

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This story is part two of a three-part series leading up to Concord’s 150th birthday celebration.

As Concord’s downtown flourished with new businesses in the early 1900s, the first signs of a real estate boom began in 1910.

Robert Noble Burgess, a businessman from San Francisco, purchased 3,700 acres from Foskett & Elworthy’s holdings they had obtained as early settlers to the area. Then, 380 people purchased lots from the Burgess Tract at the eastern end of Concord Boulevard. With the beginning of WWI, the shipyard in Bay Point was in full swing building ships, and the workers were looking to build homes in the temperate climate of Concord. [click to continue…]

Concord resident Harmesh Kumar envisioned the Diversity Spring Festival as a way to foster harmony, understanding and goodwill among different faith groups.

Kumar collaborated with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County and other faith organizations of the Bay Area to launch the festival. Now in its 15th year, the event was held April 28 at Todos Santos Plaza. [click to continue…]

Listening is one thing, agreeing is another

By Edi Birsan on May 21, 2018

This story should be told in your best grandfather voice, while rocking back and forth and talking to a young one.

“A long time ago in the Old Country, there was a little boy who did not watch when he crossed the road and was hit by a carriage – with his leg being crushed badly. He became lame. He went to the village’s new young priest and said: ‘I prayed to God, but I am still lame. He is not answering me.’ The priest gave him a prayer bead ritual and said the boy should be good and listen to his mother. Later that month, the boy returned with the same story: ‘He is not listening.’ So after another few months of variation on the theme, there happened to be a chance encounter with the pope. Bringing the boy to the pope, the priest explained the plight. The pope turned to the child and said: ‘No is also an answer.’ ” [click to continue…]