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Colorful Run Supports Autism Center
By Melissa McKenzie

Families, runners and supporters came out in droves to run the Color Me Rad 5K event at California’s Great America on April 5. The run, which benefitted the Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE) in Santa Clara, was one of the most vibrant events of the year, as runners were blasted with blue, green, pink, purple and yellow “Color Bombs” at different points throughout the course.

Leading off the run was Joseph Jacobson, the PACE ambassador of the day. When the signal was given, he was the first runner to hit the course alongside his parents.

“I feel accomplished,” said Jacobson. “I was able to lead the run at the start and I feel kind of tired afterwards ... I feel pretty colorful. It was really fun.”

Although Jacobson led the 9 a.m. wave of runners (there was a second group who began at 9:20 a.m.), the first finishers of the initial wave were Abin Thomas of Santa Clara and Steve Loughlin of Los Altos. The pair paced each other and finished around the 21-minure mark.

“We became friends on the run,” said Loughlin.

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Wildflowers in Bright Bloom at Ulistac Natural Area
By Diane Andrews

Wildflowers in Bright Bloom at Ulistac Natural Area

Ulistac Natural Area, Santa Clara's reclaimed natural open space, is bright with spring wildflowers: clumps of golden California poppies in fields of wild grass, crimson and gold flannelbush flowers against blue sky, wine-red hummingbird sage with green leaves, and purple ceanothus.

The greater Santa Clara community gathered at Ulistac Natural Area (UNA) Saturday April 5 to celebrate spring with tours of the 40-acre reserve, live music, and hands-on information booths sponsored by nature-loving organizations and schools. The annual celebration was organized...

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Library Hosts Sixth Annual Chocolate Party and Grant Event
By Cynthia Cheng

Library Hosts Sixth Annual Chocolate Party and Grant Event

Loretta Beavers brought a chocolate rum raisin cake. Diane Harrison brought allergen-free double chocolate cookies. Mother and daughter Marcia and Alicia Thorndike brought spicy mixed vegan beans. In spite of the rain showers pouring down on the evening of March 31, many friends and volunteers of the library showed up for the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends’ Sixth Annual Chocolate Party and Grant Event at the Central Park Library, and they came bearing appetizers and chocolate treats.

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Impressive Santa Clara High School Day of the Arts Exhibition
By Diane Andrews

Impressive Santa Clara High School Day of the Arts Exhibition

Everyone sang the praises of the Santa Clara High School Visual and Performing Arts Department at its annual Day of the Arts Exhibition April 2. During the day, teachers brought their students to the small gymnasium to view traditional paintings, digital art, photos, and ceramics. Come evening, families and friends dropped by.

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WalMart

WalMart

Walmart celebrated the grand opening of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market at Mercado Shopping Center on April 2. To celebrate the grand opening, Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and members of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce joined store manager Karina Arvizu and many City dignitaries with a celebratory ribbon cutting prior to the store opening to the public. Approximately 100 customers eagerly awaited the store opening, ariving as early as 6 a.m.

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Program Helps High School Students See Reality of Drunk Driving

Program Helps High School Students See Reality of Drunk Driving

Getting a first hand glimpse into the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving, Wilcox High School students witnessed the reality of the dangers of drinking and driving in the Every 15 Minutes program April 1-2.

The program opens with a staged fatal car collision, involving five Wilcox students at the football stadium at Wilcox High School. With an apparent dead body ejected onto the field, a tipped vehicle up on end and two other severely damaged vehicles, students saw emergency personnel respond to the accident - including EMS responders verifying the ejected driver was deceased. The drunken driver is sobriety field-tested and arrested, while another victim is cut from another vehicle and rushed to Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara with life-threatening injuries.

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Santa Claran Dedicated to Helping Autistic Adults and Children
By Diane Andrews

Santa Claran Dedicated to Helping Autistic Adults and Children

Santa Clara resident James T. Spelman has some amazing stories to tell about his experiences as founder and executive director of the non-profit Independent Peer Socialization Training Program (IPSTP) in San Jose, which serves autistic adults and children, helping them learn to socialize through interaction with peers from the community.

"My mission in life has been to make them as likeable, friendly, and compliant as possible. If they haven’t learned to get along [with others], their quality of life—their future as adults—doesn’t look hopeful," says Spelman.

"Helping them is my life. I do it every day. Nothing surprises me anymore," he continues, recounting a recent story in which a client got angry, took off all his clothes, and ran into the courtyard outside the classroom where the program meets. The client was very strong, making it difficult to calm him and coax him back into his clothes. But such amazing stories are not the norm.

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Santa Clara Residents Celebrate Northside Library Victory
By Cynthia Cheng

Santa Clara Residents Celebrate Northside Library Victory

People signed their names on an orange “Save Our Library” t-shirt, now a memento. Mayor Jamie Matthews cheerfully helped hang a giant sign announcing the Northside Library’s future opening. Martha Hull, library foundation board member, promoted a time capsule project. Northside Library advocates Roger and Estela Ramirez and others gave walking tours of the 17,355 square foot library. Magician Phil Ackerly entertained the children. It was a party, and there was plenty of cake.

At the end of March, the City Council voted to allocate $5 million from its Land Sale Reserve to allow the Northside Library to finish construction. City Manager Julio Fuentes announced that the California State Controller and Attorney General acknowledged that the $11.7 million bond proceeds the city used to build the library had been appropriately used. This means construction on the 99 percent complete library can continue. The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends hosted a celebration at the library on April 6 to recognize this victory. Over 600 people came.

“The Northside community has been fighting for their library since 2008,” says Maria Daane, executive director of SCCLFF.

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