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AutoFornia Offers Unique Meeting Venue
By Robert Haugh

Combining an array of nostalgia, entertainment, automobilia, Vegas-style gaming to create one of the most innovative event spaces imaginable, AutoFornia Santa Clara is likely to turn heads while making lasting memories.

Dubbed an “adult playground,” the 7,600-square foot facility boasts a multitude of themed attractions - from a Las Vegas theme complete with non-working slot machines, blackjack, craps and roulette tables; to an Old West attraction area and more. The facility accommodates up to 500 people with ample parking for up to 300 vehicles -- with valet service available.

Packed to the brim with a plethora of classic cars, retro arcade games, pinball machines, casino games, air hockey and pool tables, an old drive-in movie screen, and a wide variety of nostalgic items -- such as a Bob’s Big Boy Burgers statue -- the venue is a throwback to days gone by, celebrating California’s automotive history and culture. Not just cars grace the venue, though. An older Cessna aircraft awaits guests, hanging upside down from the ceiling, complete with a working 65” fan blade. The Firehouse features a fire engine red 1930 Model A -- with kegs as gas tanks.

Many of the vehicles and items on display were picked up at swap meets, car shows or through friends or neighbors...


Civilization Explored in New Triton Show
By Melissa McKenzie

Civilization Explored in New Triton Show

Civilization: Where does it begin and what has been lost in translation? These are the questions explored in Karim Alwali’s new exhibit, “The Civilization Code,” at the Triton Museum of Art...

As a celebrated contemporary artist in Iraq and Jordan, Alwali creates abstract paintings and installations that explore the relationships, memories and similarities of people across the globe.


In the Milestones column, published on Aug. 27, 2014, it was incorrectly stated that SCUSD Governing Board member, Trustee Area 3 candidate Michael Helms did not file a candidate ballot statement. Helms’ ballot statement was filed on Aug. 8, 2014.

Sports Briefs

Sports Briefs

Wilcox Crushes Seaside in Non-League Contest
The Wilcox Chargers (1-1) dominated Seaside (0-3) in Seaside on Sept. 19 in a 41-6 triumph. The Chargers cruised to a 34-0 lead at half, en route to the convincing victory. Senior Matthew Alquetra opened the scoring for the Chargers, scoring on an eight-yard scamper early in the game. Senior QB Adam Hernandez then scored on a 19-yard run and followed with a two-point conversion pass to senior Johnny Carmack. Hernandez then scored on a two-yard run with junior Julian Jones connecting on the PAT, giving the Chargers a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Senior Jamar Pierce added a one-yard TD followed by a two-yard TD run by senior Sonny Tuileila to give the Chargers...


South Bay Home & Garden Show Includes Politicians Flipping Flapjacks for Charity
By Diane Andrews

South Bay Home & Garden Show Includes Politicians Flipping Flapjacks for Charity

They were a sight to behold on a Sunday morning at the 2014 South Bay Fall Home & Garden Show held at the Santa Clara Convention Center: Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and Congressman Mike Honda behind a food service counter—smiling, wearing hairnets and Latex gloves, and flipping flapjacks for breakfast to raise funds for the nonprofit corporation K to College.

"It’s fantastic! It’s cool that they’re here," says Mike Spranton, co-owner with Joe Milligan of World Class Shows, producers of the Sept. 12 - 14 Home & Garden Show, and sponsors of the charity breakfast."We’re proud for World Class Shows to be a part of a charity that’s really helping children today when budgets are being cut so drastically."...


This Week's Letters

Recently, I had a brief conversation with a candidate for City Council. I asked about his endorsement from Santa Clara Plays Fair. He said that was surprised by the endorsement as he hadn’t filled out an application or been interviewed.

Generally, to receive an endorsement from an organization, there is a process. Candidates are invited to apply and participate in interviews. All of the candidates are asked the same questions.

There appears to be no such process for Santa Clara Plays Fair.

While I applaud their anti-stadium efforts, I don't see being anti-stadium as an indicator of competence or leadership. I don't even understand how it connects to educational leadership.

Voters need to look at the endorsements (the real ones) and resumes/job history. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance...and we need to elect those who show all of the signs of being collaborative, forward thinking leaders who will promote positive changes for our children.

- Vickie Fairchild

I voted for the new Levi’s Stadium. One reason was the much-communicated benefit of walkers and cyclists being able to use the San Tomas Aquino stream trail to get to events at the stadium. On Sept. 6th, my family and I walked up the trail to the Mexico vs. Chile soccer game and were stopped at a locked gate at Agnew Road. Two security guards told us that this was due to "security reasons." We, and other walker,s were directed to Great America Parkway where we sucked up the exhaust of bumper-to-bumper cars heading to the event. I later met bicyclists who’d also been stopped at the closed gates. This is definitely not what I voted for. Open the stream trail for all Levi’s Stadium events!

Jim Baxter

Santa Clara WEEKLY publisher Miles Barber sure has a knack for picking the losers. First, he threw his full support behind the construction of the ill-conceived Levi’s Stadium (an impending financial disaster if ever there was one). And now, he's gone ape over Tea Party candidate Ro Khanna in his bid to capture California's 17th congressional district from incumbent Mike Honda.

Well Mr. Barber, in spite of the baseless accusations, and snide remarks that you have directed towards Congressman Honda we of the 17th district will once again have the good sense to vote to retain Mike as one of our more progressive reps in Congress.

- Robert Forsythe

I support Dominic Caserta for Santa Clara City Council Seat 5 because he’s extremely motivated, disciplined, and organized. He campaigns door-to-door, walking precincts almost every day. I encourage you to visit his website, where he clearly lays out his positions on all the major issues. He understands the need for transit-oriented housing developments in order to avoid gridlock as the City gains 30,000 residents over the next 20 years. He recently lived in two other cities without having a car. He’s committed to protecting our environment and recognizes the need to preserve Ulistac as an oasis for habitat, teaching and recreation in an increasingly dense city. While he’s raised a lot of money, he’s committed to reducing the influence of deep pockets in our elections; he supports the California Disclose Act (SB52) and overturning Citizen’s United (Prop 49). Vote Caserta for a livable Santa Clara.

- Sudhanshu Jain

Santa Clara’s Revolving Door Politicians.

You’ve seen them on the Council - win office, re-elected, term out, run again - rinse and repeat. They maintain the status quo, which benefits entrenched special interests to ensure a continuity of influence in Santa Clara. These special interests donate generously from one revolving door candidate to the next. Think thousands of special interest dollars donated to revolving door candidates don’t influence their judgment or decisions on the City Council - really? As Miles Barber said - “Follow the money.” These re-cycled candidates seem to feel as if they are the only Santa Clarans capable of running a city. I think Santa Clara has many educated, talented, resourceful, and dedicated residents capable of running the City government, deserving of the opportunity to serve and prove their worth. It is time to let new faces grace the City Council and show the revolving door politicians the way “out.”

- Craig Larsen

Re the Candidates Forum: Re Mr. Matthews’ comment about wanting to "maintain Santa Clara's small town feel." Since when does a city of 116k+ have a small town feel? We lost that feel a long time ago and now even more so with all the building and wanton disregard for how the city will deal with the additional traffic, lack of parking and general infrastructure. That 'small town' feeling is gone and I'm afraid it isn't coming back.

- Kristin McCrea (40+ year resident)

I am writing to endorse Dr. Nadeem for City Council. I feel that the Council is not representative of the population of Santa Clara. We have a large number of educated, forward-thinking minorities that would be an asset to our city government. Dr. Nadeem is at the top of the list.

We need someone who will bring fresh, intelligent ideas to the council. If you look at the demographics, you will see that the majority residents of Santa Clara are minorities. Yet, the current council does not seem to have any minority members. This is the 21st Century, and we should have a more balanced representation for our citizens. Please elect Dr. Nadeem. The Mercury News endorsed him during the last election. I endorse him too.

- Stephanie Onufer

Family-Owned Bellano Coffee Riding the Third Wave to Success
By Diane Andrews

Family-Owned Bellano Coffee Riding the Third Wave to Success

"We’re part of the third wave of independent, specialty coffee shops. We serve sustainably-farmed, exceptional coffees," says Veronica Ruckman, owner with her parents of Bellano Coffee.

In case you missed it, the first wave was the spread of coffee by Folger’s in the U.S. in the late 1800s, and the second wave was the rise of coffee houses and chains such as Peet’s and Starbucks in the mid-1900s.

Characteristic of third wave brews, a cup of Bellano coffee begins with high-quality beans from local roasters—Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz and Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco—who purchase their beans directly from small farmers in Latin America and Africa.

Bellano baristas make each hand-poured cup of artisan coffee to order, precisely measuring and grinding the fresh beans. The shop uses reverse osmosis to take out chemicals and minerals and reinsert their preferred mineral balance. Water temperature has to be just right, too—hot enough but not boiling...


Sister Cities

Sister Cities

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Santa Clara’s Sister City relationship with Izumo, Japan. And every year, annual student exchanges promote cultural sharing and understanding. During this year’s visit, Izumo middle school students presented the city with some special artwork during their visit last March. The drawings and paintings are now framed and hanging in the Teen Area of the Central Park Library! For more information about Santa Clara Sister Cities Student Exchange Programs, visit