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Fancy Footwork Taught at Santa Clara High School’s Marching Band Camp
By Cynthia Cheng

The students gathered in a big circle on the stretch of grass near the baseball fields at Santa Clara High School. Keeping their feet parallel to each other, they marched in place though an eight-count beat. It was just one of the morning activities at the school’s April 30 marching band camp. About 60 members of the marching band showed a dozen incoming freshmen the ins and outs of this extracurricular activity.

“We’re trying to grow the marching band and we’re trying to get incoming freshmen from the middle schools interested in joining our band,” says Johnny Erdman, music director for Santa Clara High School. “Aside from making lifelong friends, students in marching band are also building life skills in time management, work ethic, as well as team work and they are learning how to work with others. Having experience helps. But my philosophy is that if you want to be in a music ensemble, we’ll get you in.”

While the kids practiced their march, Jordan Tao, color guard director for Santa Clara High School, was practicing a routine with a giant flag. She explains that color guarding nurtures athletic and artistic abilities because the guards have to dance and know how to toss and spin flags, sabers and rifles.

“I see a lot more commitment from the kids in the band as a whole as they get older,” says Tao, who has seen many students start in the marching band as freshmen...

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49ers Take Stadium Rent Dispute to Arbitration
By Carolyn Schuk

Santa Clara's dispute with San Francisco 49ers over Levi's Stadium facility rent just got tenser. Yesterday the 49ers issued a public letter announcing they have filed for arbitration to enforce the stadium lease contract approved by Santa Clara City Council in 2013.

The dispute, going on since November, concerns the amount of the stadium facility rent – one of three elements of the total rent. It was set initially at $24.5 million for the stadium's first full year of operation, based on a cost model created by Santa Clara's consultant, Keyser Marsden.

The 40-year lease includes a one-time facility rent reset after the first year. If debt, interest or operating expenses change the facility rent is to increase or decrease likewise – retroactively as well as going forward. The initial 2012 lease agreement said explicitly, "Facility Rent is projected to be reduced over time..."

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Civil Rights Activist Cornel West Speaks at Mission College
By Cynthia Cheng

Civil Rights Activist Cornel West Speaks at Mission College

It was standing room only at Mission College where civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West was going to speak on April 29, shortly before the noted scholar and activist’s scheduled appearance. Late attendees drifted into the overflow room elsewhere on the campus’s Gillmor Center. When West emerged in his trademark black suit and tie, fans eagerly greeted him...

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Artist Clarence Tower Honored at Triton Museum Reception
By Diane Andrews

Artist Clarence Tower Honored at Triton Museum Reception
p>Clarence Robert Tower–known to most as Bob–is a native Californian, long-time Santa Clara resident, community volunteer, retired civil engineer, author, illustrator and–perhaps his best-loved title-artist. Friends honored the veritable Renaissance man at a private dessert reception showcasing select pieces of his artwork at the Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara on April 21...

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Annual Public School Week Awards Ceremony Recognizes Active Parents and Students
By Cynthia Cheng

Annual Public School Week Awards Ceremony Recognizes Active Parents and Students

Lorrie Wernick, principal of Montague Elementary School, remembers when John Markum, parent and site council president, hosted a yo-yo assembly to teach the students yo-yo tricks. Since then, Wernick nominated John Markum and his wife, PTA president Tiffany Markum, for a 2016 Public School Week Award. The Markums, with other selected parent volunteers and students from over two dozen schools in the Santa Clara Unified School District, gathered at the Santa Clara High School auditorium for an April 26 ceremony. Here, each nominee of a 2016 Public School Week Award received a certificate and water bottle...

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Chili Cook off stirs up more than flavor
By David Alexander

Chili Cook off stirs up more than flavor

On a sunny afternoon at the Santa Clara Elks Lodge, strange smells wafted from steaming pots that bubbled like those in an alchemist’s lab, but those tending the cauldrons were not mad scientists. Instead, the smells were an amalgamation of onions, peppers, meat, corn, and spices...

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This Week's Letters

The recent secret star chamber organized by Mr. Weekes of Santa Clara University and operatives of the Honda campaign detailed by the Mercury News is an indictment of how out of touch Mike Honda has become.  If I understand what really prompted this meeting of the Cascas and Brutuses that occurred before the Ides of April along with the stooge from the Bronco Bench was that they all feel Debi Davis, Lisa Gillmor, and Kathy Watanabe are true loyalists.  Huh?  Perhaps our friends in development and sports regard Kevin Park and Debbi Bress are more trustworthy and that some political teenager can nominate himself to charter a new course.  Well, guys, you should stop doubting and be thankful Teresa, Debi, Lisa, and Kathy are there.  The locofocos with the Honda team have eaten mushrooms for the last time, as the voters in November will have good ol' Mission City prunes to clear them out.

James Rowen
Former Mission City Resident

It's election time again, and Santa Clara Weekly publisher Miles Barber is pushing his usual line of nonsense. In the April 20th edition of the Weekly, Mr. Barber is once again supporting Tea Party candidate Ro Khanna in his second attempt to unseat Mike honda as our representative from the 17th congressional district. And once again we will have the good sense to re-elect Honda; a true champion of the working class, and all progressive issues.

Robert Forsythe

This Weekly should print negatives of Khanna, as it does of Honda:  Khanna didn’t last long in U.S. Commerce Department.  Politically incorrect, he oversaw Obama’s Solyndra fiasco in Fremont.  Khanna worked over American Community Survey (with a threat of five years in prison if you don’t answer!) which hurts citizens “randomly selected” to take it.  He then used that survey to give special interests unfair advantages.  Khanna helped write one horrendous change in U.S. Patent laws, from “first to invent” to “first to file,” that presidents had previously declined to inflict on inventors.  His “Obama rationale” was the false notion that inventions are no longer brought to market by individuals.  As a director of Planned Parenthood, Gavin Newsom’s only friend, Khanna fought disclosures to parents about minor daughters seeking abortions, even though the average age of men involved is over 22 years, meaning statutory rape, sex slavery, and human trafficking!

Joseph Gilbert

ID Tech Computer Camp Scholarships for Migrant Education Program Students
By Diane Andrews

ID Tech Computer Camp Scholarships for Migrant Education Program Students

Instead of hanging out at home during spring break April 11 – 15, five lucky Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) students who participate in the Migrant Education Program (MEP) received scholarships to attend an iD Tech computer day camp held at Don Callejon Elementary School.

"The computer camp scholarships are really significant because our migrant students don't usually have these types of opportunities. Their parents can't afford camps, any kind of camp," said Beatrice Martinez, MEP liaison for SCUSD (bmartinez@scusd.net)...

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New Electric Vehicle Charging Station Opens Near Levi’s Stadium
By David Alexander

New Electric Vehicle Charging Station Opens Near Levi’s Stadium

There are more than 1,200 electric or hybrid cars on the road in Santa Clara. The opening of a new 49-port charging station – centrally located near Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America – will give those drivers another spot to juice up while they are out and about. And it's in a perfect place: the City-owned parking garage at 2525 Tasman.

“What makes this charging facility so attractive – it is at a destination site,” said Larry Owens, manager of customer services at Silicon Valley Power, which applied for the grant. “Someone visiting this site is likely to spend several hours there...”

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There’s No Place Like Home Sweet Home
By Diane Andrews

There’s No Place Like Home Sweet Home

After two years of fear and desperation, living in a car and cold weather shelters with her twin daughters, Home First client Darlisha Matthews can hardly believe her good luck.

"I don't feel like it's real yet. It's shocking," said Matthews, who just this past March moved her nine-year-old twins into a transitional living apartment operated by Home First. "I'm blessed. I asked for help when I didn't know where to go. I think God led me to HomeFirst."

Matthews and her daughters were honored guests April 24 at Home Sweet Home, a fundraiser for HomeFirst, the largest provider of homeless services in Santa Clara County...

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