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12th Annual Spring Fling Raises Money for Don Callejon School
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

“I was volunteering at the 49ers youth football junior training camp,” said first grade teacher Alice Williams of her afternoon at Don Callejon School’s May 19 Spring Fling. “I saw Mr. Tyler Hellingson doing floor hockey and basketball with kids. I was at a booth where kids were making necklaces with charms and spelling their names with beads. And I’ve been walking around enjoying lots of conversations and hugs with my students and their parents. I’ve been hanging out with high school kids who are Don Callejon alumni, students who came back to visit for Spring Fling.”

“We estimate our totals [from Spring Fling] to be about $23,000,” said Don Callejon parent Terri Muench and fundraising director of the Don Callejon School Community Organization (DCSCO).

The school was abuzz with activity as kids played carnival games, such as the basket toss and the rubber ducky catch. They controlled robots to battle each other at the Bot Bash station and they helped staff members get rained on at the reverse dunk tank. Later the kids cashed in their award tickets for prizes such as tattoos, airplane models, balls and other toys. The warm weather also prompted attendees to wait in line for tropical shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck or grab bottled water donated by Sprouts.

Giant theme baskets and ticket boxes filled long tables next to the stage. The baskets contained beach items, books, wines, candy, crafts supplies, and body pampering products. Also offered were opportunities for small groups of students to spend time with teachers. For example, Williams gave away movie time and snacks; kindergarten teacher Brenna Burnette, cookie time; and second grade teacher Helen Spencer, pizza and dessert. Though items were bid on in previous years in a silent auction, this year attendees either pledged money for a “Buy It Now” option or they dropped tickets into the designated ticket box for a raffle drawing.

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Wilcox Wins With Wild Finish, Advance to CCS Semis
By Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Wins With Wild Finish, Advance to CCS Semis

Starting pitchers Nathan Aggarwal (Wilcox) and Jonathan Newman (Christopher) held dueling no-hitters through five innings in Saturday’s matinee quarterfinal at Washington Park. Thanks to three double plays turned behind him, Aggarwal actually faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings. The Chargers’ offense would finally break through with a run in the sixth and that was all the senior ace would need...

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Cancer Survivor Day Offers Rehabilitation Help

Cancer Survivor Day Offers Rehabilitation Help

Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara and San Jose will be hosting the eighth annual Seeds of Hope, Cancer Survivor Celebration on June 11 at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. The theme “Balanced Healing” will focus on rehabilitation and healing from cancer and its treatment.

“Cancer treatment may save your life,” said Dr. Anita TC Lee, Radiation Oncologist, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, “but cancer rehabilitation helps to restore the quality of your life...”

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Vargas Gallery’s Student Art Exhibit Shows the Best in Class
By Cynthia Cheng

Vargas Gallery’s Student Art Exhibit Shows the Best in Class

Noor Hamdan, a student in George Rivera’s Beginning Drawing class, wanted to draw something with her new Prisma pencils. Inspired by a Google image, she spent four to six hours using the pencils and black and white ink to fashion a chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting and a raspberry on top...

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Santa Clara Mother Talks About Child’s Special Olympics Experience
By Cynthia Cheng

Santa Clara Mother Talks About Child’s Special Olympics Experience

Santa Clara resident Ivette Bookman’s son is autistic. Benetton Bookman, 9, is a third grade student in Braly Elementary School’s special education program. He likes soccer, classical music and swimming...

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Rube Goldberg Machines and Design Engineering Projects Are Part of STEAM Expo
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Rube Goldberg Machines and Design Engineering Projects Are Part of STEAM Expo

From Washington Open Elementary School, fifth graders Grace Calfee, Ioan Har and Krishav Gandhi constructed Instant Growth, a bright contraption that guides a water container to water a plant on its own...

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This Week's Letter

On Friday May 12 at 7:45 I was driving with my wife in the diamond lane, on E San Tomas Expressway between Cabrillo and Monroe St. in Santa Clara. My car developed mechanical problems and I was loosing power. I immediately pulled over to the side and turned the emergency lights on. Even though going at a snail pace, I was frantically trying to get to a safer place, which was within a few feet. Suddenly here comes an irate biker, blowing a horn yelling and cursing at me, because I as driving in the bike lane, notwithstanding having the emergency lights on. I've always had respect and appreciated the role pedal people play in solving traffic congestion and environmental issues. My wife told me, she would have handled this differently...I strongly believe the road should in general, be safely shared among bikers, drivers and mostly importantly pedestrians.

Rufino and Mary Vargas

“A Geography of Hope:” de Saisset Museum’s Exhibit of Student Photography and Creative Writing
By Cynthia Cheng

“A Geography of Hope:” de Saisset Museum’s Exhibit of Student Photography and Creative Writing

Dan Alling, a sophomore at Santa Clara University, took Lecturer Renee Billingslea’s course in Exploring Society Through Photography, which came with a requirement called Experiential Learning for Social Justice (ELSJ). Alling’s experiential learning involved spending time with the Santa Clara Fire Department. In Alling’s photograph “Zach McGhie-Firefighter,” the firefighter was talking to a little girl and showing a community connection being formed. Until June 17, this photograph and other work will be shown at Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum in “A Geography of Hope,” an exhibit featuring student photography and creative writing.

“Mentored and inspired by the work of Frank Sinatra Scholar-Artist-in-Residence Anna Deavere Smith, and responding to one another’s artwork and their community...

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New Valley and Wilson Seniors Win Kiwanis Club Turnaround Scholarships
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

New Valley and Wilson Seniors Win Kiwanis Club Turnaround Scholarships

Tears came to many an eye as the seven college-bound winners of Kiwanis Club of West San Jose 2017 Turnaround Scholarships shared their personal stories at a luncheon to honor them, held on May 18 in San Jose at the Three Flames Restaurant. The $1,500 scholarships are awarded to students who have overcome personal obstacles to turn their lives around, graduate from high school and head for college.

"There are a lot of great kids who've had a lot of adversity in their lives and have risen to the challenge and gone on to do well," said Club president Lynne Stephenson. "Today our goal is to honor the best of the best..."

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Santa Clara Techies and Tinkerers Convene at the Twelfth Annual Bay Area Maker Faire
Story and Photos by Erasmo Guerra

Santa Clara Techies and Tinkerers Convene at the Twelfth Annual Bay Area Maker Faire

Part science fair and part otherworldly comic con with a steampunk top-hats-and-fishnets flair, the 12th annual Bay Area Maker Faire at the San Mateo Event Center this past weekend wowed audiences of all ages–especially the youngest attendees who could be overheard mispronouncing the event name with enchanted glee as the “Maker Fairy.”

The event drew hundreds of makers–techies, tinkerers, DIY hobbyists and crafters, and STEM student clubs–from across the Bay Area, including a number of exhibitors from Santa Clara, like Samaira Mehta, the nine-year-old from Millikin Elementary School, who created CoderBunnyz, the board game that teaches kids how to code...

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Discovering Talented Local Artists Through Silicon Valley Open Studios
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Discovering Talented Local Artists Through Silicon Valley Open Studios

The first three weekends of May for 31 years, artists throughout Silicon Valley have opened their home studios to art lovers who want to meet local artists where they work, learn about their creative process and discover and buy original artwork.

In Santa Clara, the Open Studios weekend was May 13 and 14. It featured half a dozen Santa Clara artists in close proximity and, for one-stop shopping, an art open house at Mission College.

"A lot of artists don't find the opportunity to show their work in galleries and museums. Open Studios is a good way to show your art and get to know other local artists," said Elizabeth Hansen, a mixed media painter who studied fine art at UC Berkeley and landscape architecture at Cal Poly (www.hansenlandscapearchitect.com)...

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Studio Bongiorno Says Goodbye
By Melissa McKenzie

Studio Bongiorno Says Goodbye

On May 31, Phil Bongiorno will lock the doors of Santa Clara’s Studio Bongiorno one final time. He’ll click off the lights and turn over the key, as the studio-gallery is closing after four-and-a-half years of serving South Bay artists and artisans. The studio, however, was much more than a place to simply buy or exhibit art; it was a sanctuary that felt like home to many.

Due to lease negotiation issues with the building’s owner and a host of health problems that need to be tended to, Bongiorno made the decision to close, but he didn’t want to quietly shut down. Instead, on May 20, he held one last event–a mock funeral and potluck followed by the final chapter of The Burning Tale, a monthly poetry event hosted by “Mighty” Mike McGee...

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