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Anteing Up for SONC: SCPOA Holds Poker Fundraiser
By Melissa McKenzie

The Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association outdid itself when it anted up for Special Olympics Northern California (SONC) at Bay Club Santa Clara on Aug. 15.

After raising over $40,000 last year, the third annual Texas Hold’em Tournament, organized by Frank Saunders, Johnny Fanucchi and Gina McWilliam of the Santa Clara Police Department, brought in an impressive $50,498.43 to further the mission of SONC and support Olympians as they fulfill their dreams of winning medals at the Olympic games.

Speaking this year was Olympian Stephanie Ching who has been a standout SONC athlete and ambassador for many years.

“I am honored to be here tonight,” said Ching. “I know you are all excited to start playing, but before you do, I wanted to tell you just a little about how important Special Olympics is in my life. I was born with Down syndrome. When I was young, there were not many activities for special needs kids. I did not have many friends of my own. Kids were often mean to me and called me names. But my whole life changed as soon as I joined Special Olympics...

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National Night Out

National Night Out

Santa Clara’s Capistrano Drive neighborhood participated in its 14th consecutive National Night Out on Aug. 5. With more than 150 kids and adults participating, residents had the honor of meeting Fire Chief William Kelly and Fireman Yabin Dong, who attended with his mother Zhuging Huang. Members from the Santa Clara Fire Department and Santa Clara Police Department were on hand to get to know the neighbors.

49ers Focus
By Robert Haugh

49ers Focus

Tissues should have been mandatory at Levi’s Stadium on Aug. 17 as the 49ers Faithful were wiping red and gold tears away from their faces when the Denver Broncos ruined...

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Central Valley Power
By Carolyn Schuk

Central Valley Power

Fifty years ago this year, Santa Clara won a crucial battle to cut residents’ electric bills and ensure the city’s control of its own electric power destiny...

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Concerts in the Park Series Wraps Up

Concerts in the Park Series Wraps Up

For the last eight weeks, the City of Santa Clara’s Cultural Commission has brought some of the most entertaining Bay Area acts to the Central Park Pavilion Stage...

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Studio Bongiono Strips Down Music, Starts New Series
By Melissa McKenzie

Studio Bongiono Strips Down Music, Starts New Series

Often it’s been said that there is no place for the younger crowd in Santa Clara to call their own. Entertainment within the city is limited, and has been since...

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Summer Splash Brings Chart Toppers to Great America
By Melissa McKenzie

Summer Splash Brings Chart Toppers to Great America

Summer is ending, and, as students get their books and supplies in order to return to the classroom, many look for one last event to close out the months they spent out of school...

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Vanguard Season Ends at DCI Championships
By Melissa McKenzie

Vanguard Season Ends at DCI Championships

The hard work and dedication of the 76 brass, 36 percussion and 36 color guard members of the Santa Clara Vanguard came to an end when the drum corps competed in the 2014 Drum Corps...

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Sports Briefs

Sports Briefs

Santa Clara Native Competes in Jose Canseco HR Derby
Santa Clara native Isaac Gonzalez won the Jose Canseco softball Home Run Challenge on Aug. 12 in Fresno at Chukchansi Park, home of the Fresno Grizzlies;...

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This Week's Letters

Re: Milestones 8/13/2014

  • Khanna is not a Yale Attorney, he is a Yale-educated attorney. Huge difference
  • Khanna is an attorney, “of counsel” with a Palo Alto law firm, which means that he is not a partner but simply employed there.
  • Khanna is not a university professor; he is simply a “visiting lecturer” at Stanford.
  • Yes, Khanna has written a book. It received mediocre reviews.
  • You stated that Honda missed recent votes because he was here locally, caring for his daughter who was pre-surgery and then snidely remarked how he was “conveniently available” to meet Obama “when he stepped of his plane.” Yes, he was a few miles from the airport. Yes, that was convenient. Why did you even mention it?
  • If Honda missed 400 votes in fourteen years, did that ever matter to our district? If they were like the recent 54 votes to overturn Obamacare, I wouldn't have attended either.

- Ronald B. Johnstone

I have watched with concern over the last few years at the number of dense housing developments being built in Santa Clara. I realize that maximizing available space in our city for housing is the intelligent thing to do. On the other hand, it seems as if little is being done to significantly compensate for the enormous increase in dense new housing in our city. In less than three months, voters in our city will have the opportunity to elect new members of the City Council. If we want a city that has efficient roadways; ample open space and recreational opportunities; and classrooms and parks that are not overcrowded; citizens have an obligation to vote for City Council members who are not pro-development, but rather for candidates who will ensure that the well-being of present and future citizens is the most important goal when new housing is planned and built.

- Nick Dellaporta

Property Owners, Be Aware!
The Open Space Authority is rising up to tax us again. In 2001, OSA sent us junk mail ballots and had them counted in a remote location; enough NO votes were lost to give a YES a count of 50.9 versus 49.1! This highly suspicious process resulted in a $20 charge the first year, increasing in following years. A lawyer (without fee but with our support) worked an appeal through the court system for a number of years. He lost each time. Then in 2008, the California Supreme Court

agreed to hear this case. Result? The court declared the OSA assessment illegal and the tax refundable. I filed for $125.06 and got it back. You might ask: 8 years of hassles for 125 bucks? Yes! We fought a government agency, which had created an illegal tax and got away with it for a while. Watch those new OSA flyers.

- Bernhard Henschke

How dare anyone tell me to conserve water and/or pay hefty fines? How about City governments show some discipline and restraint by cutting back on issuing building permits instead of handing them out to anybody that asks (especially big builders). Down the street, on Kiely Blvd. next to the old Kaiser Hospital, a new 900-unit condo complex is set to open soon. Was there any thought on water impact when these and other units in the area were issued permits? Through no fault of my own, I see large fines and unreasonable and high cuts in my water usage.

- Manuel Sousa

Mission City Happenings
By Robert Haugh

Mission City Happenings

Wilcox Dance Team In the Running for Pinkberry Contest
The Wilcox dance team created a ’summer obsession’ recipe as part of Pinkberry’s National Instagram contest “My Summer Obsession”. Their recipe combination (strawberries, watermelon and waffle cookie atop mango yogurt) is in the running to be one of the best the winning entries - first place will receive $1,000, second place $500 and third place will get $250. Visit www.pinkberry.com/ summerobsessioncontest for more information. Pinkberry Santa Clara is located on El Camino at San Tomas. www.pinkberry.com/frozen-yogurt-store/us/ca/santa-clara/143/santa-clara

Faithful Mile Presented by Safeway Introduced as Official Tailgate Party Location for 49ers Games
Levi’s Stadium and the 49ers debuted the Faithful Mile Presented by Safeway, an all-new tailgating concept designed to serve as the official pre-game destination of 49ers home games at Levi’s Stadium. Safeway will also support 49ers tailgaters inside the stadium by awarding a Tailgater of the Game at each 49ers home contest.

Featuring multi-faceted activations by Safeway and other Levi’s Stadium sponsors, the Faithful Mile Presented by Safeway is a 60,000-square-foot dedicated tailgating area with room to entertain more than 4,000 fans at a time as they enter Levi’s Stadium for 49ers home games. The space includes two bars presented by Bud Light, food areas, beer carts and mobile merchandise locations. The pre-game fan zone is accessible to all 49ers ticket holders free of charge after passing through the security perimeter on the west side of Levi’s Stadium.

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Red Zone Rally Opens For Ultimate Pre-Game Experience
By Melissa McKenzie

Red Zone Rally Opens For Ultimate Pre-Game Experience

One of the highlights to any sporting event is the pre-game ritual. Fans don their team’s jersey, paint their faces and tailgate outside the stadium - cooking arena food that includes burgers and dogs, while gulping down icy beverages, throwing the pigskin and listening to music as the minutes tick down to the start of the event. The tailgate is as much part of the game as the action itself.

Those in Silicon Valley are no stranger to tailgating, and with the addition of Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clarans can now participate in their own backyard. For those who want the food and fun of pre-game partying, but have little desire to set up or breakdown a grill, fill an ice chest full of beverages and put together a meal for the masses, there’s the Red Zone Rally, a new venue that opened at California’s Great America prior to the 49ers home pre-season game. Best of all, it caters to football fans.

“The tailgating here is as good as it gets,” said California’s Great America Public Relations Manager Roger Ross. “You can want to cook your own food, but you’re better off getting this food. We have shrimp trays and carving stations, which have prime rib. For the morning group, we have a breakfast bar with chorizo and eggs. So, you name it, it’s all here. Food, sodas and beer and wine are all included in the one price”

While the beer and wine flowed, guests sampled everything from salads and a gourmet cheese tray to breakfast burritos, sandwiches and desserts.

“We made a significant investment in this,” said Ross, who declined to state the actual amount put into revamping the space. “It used to be a small, covered area and now you can hold corporate events, product launches and holiday parties here ... I think people need to see the 40 plus TVs, including a 90 inch TV. You don’t think of floor-to-ceiling fireplaces at Great America, but we now have that ... We have alumni coming here too. For 49ers alumni, this will be a designated hangout for them. They can come by, enjoy it, interact with fans and have a good time”...

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Calligraphy Exhibit Centers Around Faith
By Melissa McKenzie

Calligraphy Exhibit Centers Around Faith

It’s been over a year since the Triton Museum of Art showed exquisite pieces based on the Islamic faith. The Echoes of Islam exhibit, which featured 14 artists wearing their religion on their sleeves, was a masterful portrayal of faith through art.

Now, one of those artists, Salma Arastu, has her own show at the museum. Arastu’s “Salma Arastu: Celebration of Calligraphy” combines Arabic calligraphy with painted canvasses, and each painting is accompanied by a plaque containing a verse from the Quran.

It’s artistic and meaningful, taking subtle colors and fluid brushstrokes and blending the two to form thought-provoking images that fill the museum’s rotunda.

“My journey beings with the line, as it is the ray of light for me,” says Arastu. “I celebrate energy and movement of line in my paintings, drawings and sculptures. I have always followed an inner rhythm and, by listening to it, I draw with continuous line, sometimes forming figurative compositions with connected figures and other times abstract formations and now it is [a] continuous flow of Arabic Calligraphy line, which is lyrical and melodious.”

The centerpiece of it all, a large symbol reigning over a canvas with circular imagery, is heavily based on Arastu’s beliefs. The symbol, the Arabic word for Allah, towers over painted dots representing the universe. In the simplest of terms, Allah presides over the universe, watching over and protecting all creatures and beings.

“I paint to express the prayers of my heart, and intend for the energy of the calligraphy, powered by the positive messages from the texts, to reveal the joy and celebration that I experience while creating them,” says Arastu...

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