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Santa Clara Bruins Basketball Closing in on Historic Season
By: Andrew Bensch

The Santa Clara Bruins girls basketball team plays host to the Monta Vista Matadors on Friday night in the league season finale. A victory would complete a perfect 24-0 season heading into CCS. While the Bruins finished last season with the best record in Head Coach Deedee Kiyota’s 18 years as coach, (21-5, 10-2), both Kiyota and assistant coach John Smith cautioned the team before this season not to expect a repeat performance. As it turns out they didn’t repeat that performance, instead, they one upped it.

Santa Clara is “led” by four-year varsity starters Devyn Snyder, Taylor Snyder and Katherine Knowles. “Led” in quotation marks because there is no superstar on this team. The three seniors demonstrate plenty of leadership, but they don’t dominate the scoring. All five starters own points-per game averages between 7.4 and 10.5. Any of the five can take the shot with the game on the line. While they haven’t had too many close games, coach Kiyota believes they are well prepared for when those situations arise.

“When we get into those specific [late game] situations, I think they are relaxed, they realize ‘hey we do this in practice, pretty much two or three times a week.’ They know what they have to do, anybody can take the last shot. I don’t think they get nervous, it’s just second nature to them.”

That second nature and team chemistry is a big reason for the Bruins’ success. Naturally two sets of twin sisters helps the cause, but the entire team seems to read each other’s minds.

Devyn, Katie and I, we’re always together,” chuckled Taylor Snyder. “We have the same classes together, we hang out outside of school, we’re like triplets, everyone calls us triplets.”

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Crossing Guards Risk All for Love
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Being an elementary school crossing guard is not a fair weather or risk-free job. Even on cold mornings and rainy days, Barbara Wolff stands at the corner of Forbes Ave. and Cornell Dr. at Sutter Elementary School, Santa Clara. Holding up a red stop sign, she blows her whistle and walks out into the street, halting traffic so that families can cross safely.

"We put our lives on the line to keep the children safe," said Wolff, a crossing guard for seven-and-a-half years. "Sometimes, once kids reach the other side of the road, I'm turning around to go back to my corner, and a car has already begun driving into the crosswalk, almost running into me. People get impatient."

"And early in the morning, people going to work don't watch their speed," continued Wolff, who is on duty Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and returns for an hour and a half when school lets out.

Millikin School crossing guard Cheri Squires tells a similar traffic story.

"I'm putting my life at risk. You're stepping off a curb in the middle of traffic and anything could happen," said Squires. "The traffic is awful. People try and run through the stop sign; they speed by on the phone. I've come close to being run over. Jaywalking is another issue..."

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It's Santa Clara's Show Time of Year
By Carolyn Schuk

It's Santa Clara's Show Time of Year

It's that time again. The time when the villains of Doomstown start concocting their diabolical schemes, Sheriff Sam polishes up his badge, young lovers spruce up to pitch some woo, and some poor ingénue seems headed for an ugly finale.

I mean of course Santa Clara Showtime, which has the distinction now of running six years longer than "Phantom of the Opera." And this year's show, "Wills, Thrills and Spills," celebrates that achievement by tying not just one, but half a dozen, ingénues to the railroad tracks...

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Part of Washington Open School’s World Shown at “The Little Mermaid”
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Part of Washington Open School’s World Shown at “The Little Mermaid”

The fishes, comprised mostly of costumed kindergarteners and first graders, sang with spirit at the Feb. 1 rehearsal of the pre-show for the production of “The Little Mermaid,” held in the theater at Santa Clara High School where the show ran through Feb. 11...

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Santa Clara Sister Cities Association Hosts Seventh Annual Afternoon Tea
Photos and Story by Cynthia Cheng

Santa Clara Sister Cities Association Hosts Seventh Annual Afternoon Tea

Peach essence and orange spice tea were poured at this year’s Santa Clara Sister Cities Association’s (SCSCA) seventh annual Afternoon Tea, held at the Santa Clara Senior Center on Feb. 4. On this year’s menu, the tea sandwiches were “caprese twist,” made of smooth pesto...

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Wilcox Soccer Shows Significant Progress
By: Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Soccer Shows Significant Progress

Senior night for the Wilcox girls soccer team didn’t end with a victory, but their progress this season from start to finish has been evident. A resurgent squad, the Chargers’ three wins thus far on the season...

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This Week's Letters

I attended a council meeting on 1/10/17.  I believed the Sobrato Homeless housing project was going to be discussed.  There were some questions and the board stated there was to be a meeting on 2/2/17 to discuss this. However, a few people brought up the Sobrato project, and the Mayor said several times, "this is not a done deal, it will be discussed in the future".  In the notes of 2/2/17, it reads "In the fall, the Council approved exclusive negotiating rights with Sobrato."  To me this means it's a done deal.  Or does it?  With the Community Outcry on the Sobrato project, why wouldn’t the Mayor and other board members be present at this meeting? At least a month prior, the Mayor and board members knew this meeting was going to happen, yet they Chose not to attend.  They knew there was going to be strong opposition on the Sobrato project and chose to stay out of it.

Josie Hernandez

I am not against the homeless, but I think this is not the right location for the homeless housing. The neighborhood is already crowded and there is a lot of crime. There are 3 thefts that happened to my house in the last 3 years and two of which have been reported to the Santa Clara Police. For one, the thief broke into my house and took many things, including the laptops that I use for work. Second, my car was stolen even though I parked it in the front of my house. The third, my car window was broken. I only reported two cases to Police because my insurance asked, but I am scared to say because I think they will hate me and damage my car sometimes. There will be more crimes if they build the homeless housing nearby. That is enough for me and this neighborhood.

Thang Le

The Marketing Committee of the City Council will be considering giving grants for Civic Engagement.  So, instead of money for books and parks, Santa Clara Council Members will be handing out shekels to people to advocate for books and parks.  Something tells me the Marketing Committee Leadership has a list of favored people to podcast their way to a grant.  Over the years I have been a nasty critic of Ms. Bress and her associates, but this seems like a good idea, a gadfly tax.  Every building permit will have a dollar tacked on to pay gadflies to engage the public!  When our public officials start handing out money for people to engage, it is time for people to engage and tell their elected officials, spend my money on a public swimming, pay off your stooges with your own money.

James Rowen

I would encourage all residents of Santa Clara to watch what is going on at City Hall. Recently the Mayor, City Manager and City Council have recommended and are moving forward with a Homeless Community Center and Apartment Building on the corner of Monroe St. and San Tomas Expressway. Notice of this project was only sent to residents that live 1000 feet from that corner. A project that affects hundreds of residents were not given notice of what was proposed that would surely affect our Neighborhoods and Home Values. An agreement has already been signed leasing the land ( worth 5 Million Dollars) for $1.00 a year for 57 years to the Sobrato Group. Heads up residents in Santa Clara things are moving forward that may not serve your best interests. Pay Attention to City Hall and what they are flying under the radar! There other places to build this shelter. Attend the next Homeless Community Center Meeting at City Hall Council Chambers.

Carole Ferris-Greer

Using Our Words: Santa Clara’s Word Warriors Writing Group
Story by Maria Judnick

Using Our Words: Santa Clara’s Word Warriors Writing Group

Most Saturday morning visitors to the Santa Clara City Library (2635 Homestead Rd.) haven’t yet checked out the meetings in the Sycamore Room. If they peeked into that first floor space, they’d find Lesa Medley and her fellow writers hard at work. The Word Warriors, a group Medley founded in the late 1990s to extend a class she’d taken from a writing mentor, have been workshopping once a month ever since.

“We started meeting in my house although we weren’t called the Word Warriors then,” Medley said. “But we kept meeting–in supportive bookstores, then coffee shops, and [now] the library. It’s been great keeping this going!”

While the group’s composition has evolved over the years, it’s clear the members love their meetings. “We’re usually four to six people [a month],” Medley explained. “Some members have passed away, some have moved, but each month we’ve still got regulars or semi-regulars who come to write. Some months we’re close to filling the [Sycamore] room...”

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Bruins Bounce Back, Beat Saratoga 2-1
By Andrew Bensch

Bruins Bounce Back, Beat Saratoga 2-1

For roughly four weeks, from the start of their league season–Jan. 3 through Feb. 4–the Santa Clara Bruins girls soccer team allowed just three goals in nine games (4-0-4). That streak was rudely interrupted by a shocking 6-0 defeat in Palo Alto on Tuesday, but Santa Clara found a way to bounce back Friday with a 2-1 victory over the Saratoga Falcons.

Bruins Head Coach Brad Comstock didn’t find the game to be particularly pleasing, but the Bruins’ passing seemed sharper than it had in recent games. After playing the past few matches with five defenders, the Bruins played Saratoga with a more traditional four in the back and four in the midfield. According to senior midfielder Katie Bonvicino, that move paid off.

“First half we had two really good runs where we were possessing it really well and I feel like that is so much easier with just the four in the back because we have more people to play outside and up top. [It’s] way easier to possess the ball that way...”

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