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Kings Beat Sharks in Santa Clara
By Melissa McKenzie, photos by Damon Tarver/CSM

It was a highly anticipated game featuring one of the biggest rivalries in California sports, and with over 70,000 in attendance, Levi’s Stadium hosted its first outdoor hockey event when the Los Angeles Kings battled the San Jose Sharks in the National Hockey League’s Stadium Series on Feb. 21.

Despite public transportation problems noted in the past, fans’ dismay quickly turned to excitement as they settled in for the second NHL game played outdoors in the Golden State.

After American Idol winner Kris Allen sang his hit song from 2009, “Live Like We’re Dying,” and the National Anthem, it was all business for the Northern-Southern California battle...

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Outlook 2015 – Focus on Santa Clara
By Robert Haugh

Outlook 2015 – Focus on Santa Clara

Focusing on the City’s future, with an emphasis on pending development and challenges facing the City, Outlook 2015: Focus on Santa Clara provided a glimpse into Santa Clara’s future.

The Feb. 18 event featured Mayor Jamie Matthews’ annual State of the City.

Among the highlights Matthews noted, was the successful first year of Levi’s Stadium. “At times I felt like Walt Disney ...

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February Food Fest Ends with 11-Time World Pizza Champion
By Melissa McKenzie

February Food Fest Ends with 11-Time World Pizza Champion

It’s one of America’s favorite comfort foods - a staple at parties and gatherings, and easily called in for a quick midweek meal. Cracker thin or deep dish, America’s love of pizza is undeniable. And, with so many different ways to make and top the flatbread treat, it’s understandable why a pizza aficionado would devote not just one, but two cookbooks to the art of pizza making. This is exactly what Tony Gemignani, an 11-time World Pizza Champion, restaurateur and owner of Tony Gemignani’s International School of Pizza in San Francisco, did, making the Fremont native the perfect addition to the Santa Clara Library’s February Food Fest...

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Award-Winning Santa Clara Film Maker Focuses His Camera on Human Trafficking
By Diane Andrews

Award-Winning Santa Clara Film Maker Focuses His Camera on Human Trafficking

Seven years ago, independent filmmaker Jonathan Fung, who lives, works, and worships in Santa Clara, attended a global leadership summit in Chicago that changed the focus of his camera and his life.

"When I heard Gary Haugen (founder and president of International Justice Mission) talk about human trafficking, it made me start to think, 'What could I do?'"...

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This Week's Letter

I received a notice of the Community Outreach meeting regarding the development of Montague Park.

I was disappointed to see that the city has characterized this proposal as a "potential rehabilitation." The illustrations of the proposed development do not resemble any form of rehabilitation, as the word is commonly understood.

Also, since the community outreach is part of the city's contract with the developer and the city has already authorized $750K in spending, the development is certain and not potential.

The notice does not alert residents to the drastic changes proposed by the city council. It’s disappointing that the city is not being straightforward with residents.

– Christina Gorokhovsky

Prima Donnas of the 74th Annual Camellia Show
By Diane Andrews

Prima Donnas of the 74th Annual Camellia Show

"I think they all should be winners," says Felisa Castillo, looking out at tables holding the more than 2,000 camellia flowers that filled the Santa Clara Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd., for the 74th Annual Camellia Show Feb. 21 and 22. The show, co–sponsored by the Camellia Society of Santa Clara County and the City of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department, is one of the top camellia shows in California.

"It's the first time I'm here, and I'm absolutely amazed at the number of different blooms and the beautiful, creative way the society has shown them off," says Gretchen Fry. Her husband, Paul Fry, is busily snapping pictures of the pink and white prima donnas.

Ten teams of accredited judges–38 in all and coming from Los Angeles to Auburn–had the challenging task of choosing the best blossoms to receive top awards of donated "trophies" such as crystal bowls and decorative ceramic dishes. The blossoms are judged on quality, color, correct form, size of flower–which varies from under 2 1/2" in diameter to 8" dinner plate size – freshness and total beauty compared with other blossoms of the same variety...

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New Non–Profit Inspires Youth to Live Beyond Addiction
By Melissa McKenzie

New Non–Profit Inspires Youth to Live Beyond Addiction

In January 2013, Kelly Villarreal and her husband, Justin Bell, were acclimating to their new life in Oregon. Villarreal had retired early from Santa Clara Unified School District and relocated to Redmond for Bell’s job with Cupertino Electric. As she pondered her next career move, tragedy struck. Bell suffered a heart attack on Jan. 6 and was pulled from life support five days later. Less than 24 hours after his death, Villarreal had an epiphany.

Using Bell’s lifelong struggle with alcoholism as her driving force, Villarreal would turn her personal hardship into hope and salvation for youth going through the same trials and tribulations Bell battled throughout his short life. Her mission was simple: help kids facing problems with addiction. In the two years since Bell’s death, Villarreal, armed with a superstar team of women...

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