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Hands Around the Mosque Celebrates Unity, Denounces Division
Story and photos by Melissa McKenzie

Standing, arms outstretched and hands clasped with their neighbor’s, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and pagans surrounded Santa Clara’s Muslim Community Association (MCA building for Hands Around the Mosque, an interfaith showing of solidarity in support of American Muslims on March 19.

They dressed in Roman collars, robes, yarmulkes and hijabs, wearing cross pendants and, in some cases, the bright pink caps associated with the recent Women’s March. Many held handmade signs of support. It was as much about coming together to support each other as it was a resistance in response to the current administration and its policies against immigrants, refugees and Muslims.

“[We] are standing in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Father Jon Pedigo, a priest representing the Diocese of San Jose. “We stand with them because an attack on one is an attack against all.”

Pedigo’s sentiment was stressed repeatedly throughout the three-hour event, which included an open view of the Muslim evening prayer and approximately 20 speakers.

“An attack on one community of faith,” said Jonathan Prosnit, associate rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, “is an attack on all communities of faith, and a country that targets Muslims one day, targets Jews the next ... We will hold hands around any mosque, around any temple, around any church, around any synagogue ...This is a moment for our kids and our grandkids. Let’s join together to make this country more perfect in healing this fractured world...”

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Chargers Baseball Steals Walk-off Victory From Mustangs
By Andrew Bensch

Chargers Baseball Steals Walk-off Victory From Mustangs

Friday afternoon’s tilt between the Wilcox Chargers and Homestead Mustangs was all about quickness. The Chargers ended up 4-3 walk-off winners in an eight-inning game that lasted less than two hours. Wilcox base stealers led the way, going six-for-seven on steals. The only Wilcox runner to get caught stealing was eventual walk-off hero Paul Rosa who could have easily been called safe sliding into second base in the fourth...

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School District Affirms Safe Learning Environment for All Students
Story and photo by Diane Andrews

School District Affirms Safe Learning Environment for All Students

The Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) enrolls students from families speaking 47 different languages, ranging from Spanish, Korean and Tagalog to Arabic and Russian. Thirty-five percent are of Latino descent, 26 percent of Asian descent and more than 72 percent are students of color. Some–by federal law, the district is not allowed to ask which–come from mixed status immigrant families that include both documented and undocumented family members...

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Spoken Word Celebrated at Studio Bongiorno’s Burning Tale
Story by Melissa McKenzie

Spoken Word Celebrated at Studio Bongiorno’s Burning Tale

Pulses raced, music flowed and words poured from mouths, baring the soul of each speaker as new creations and old poems were shared at the 24th installment of Burning Tale, a writing group and poetry reading at Santa Clara’s Studio Bongiorno on March 18.

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Special Talents Shine Bright
Story and photos by Erasmo Guerra

Special Talents Shine Bright

The acts ranged from a vocal performance of Fly Me to the Moon to a rapper spitting rhymes for an original song called Fly Away. One contestant played a Chopin waltz on piano while another did a dance routine to Bottle Pop by the Pussycat Dolls.

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Families of Scott Lane State Preschool Learn New Math Games
Story and Photo by Cynthia Cheng

Families of Scott Lane State Preschool Learn New Math Games

In a classroom at Scott Lane State Preschool on the morning of March 3, parents created small signs by taping index cards to craft sticks. On each sign, they wrote a different number from one through six. After their child threw a dice, they tried to identify the number on their dice on one of the signs...

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This Week's Letters

The Award winning Santa Clara Ethics Program lays stalemated by the incompetence of Ethics Committee Chair Debi Davis who has breeched the ideals of the Late Alydth Parle through her desire to lie and ruin her mentors.  Though Santa Clara is well led by Mayor Lisa Gillmor, effectively protected by a brilliant City Clerk Rod Diridon, valiant council members Mahan, Kolstad, O’Neill and Caserta, Davis turns the ethics program into an Andy Cohen production of Real Housewives.  Davis attacked McLemore with phony charges of cellphones, attempted to direct city money towards a questionable bank, called into question lobbying activities a week before she decided to vacation at the home of the “lobbyist.”  The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury is being asked to mandate an independent ethics commission for Santa Clara.  True, we have effective, able leaders at the front line fighting for the city, but at the rear guard we have a feckless council member more interested in trying to find out how the Russians worked with the 49ers to hack the election and transfer the stadium to Trump while trying to put city gold into piggy bank of her social friends.

James Rowen

In all the references made regarding the needed housing  is the word, "affordable".  I think this is a new word to describe the listing of something costly.  In none of the articles is a number attached to it.  Is affordable $200 or $2000, or is it more?  Can a senior living on a fixed income of less than $30,000 a year qualify??  Does it mean that all the other units in the complex are not "affordable"?  Can a family live in these "affordable: homes without a back yard for a child to play?  These construction firms are in business to make money, I understand that.  But on whose backs will this debt be carried?

 We have a housing problem but are we looking at it in such a way that the future will be even more difficult.  I recall years ago when our "downtown" was demolished due to urban renewal, and it was never to be seen again even though groups are trying to revive it.  It is gone, but not forgotten.  This “affordable" housing may be today's example of our lost "downtown".

Pat Alves

How do we create great places in our cities that make our quality of life better?

Santa Clara has engaged Project for Public Spaces on how the city can do just that. I see many residents upset with development, growth, and change. But the fact is, everything we have today is from development. The homes we live in, the parks we go to, the restaurants we patronize.

This Friday, March 24 ­- 6pm, Fred Kent, the president and founder of Project for Public Spaces, will be presenting at SCU. All of us should attend and hear his message. His company’s mission is to create great places: placemaking. We all love to share how awful projects are and all the impacts they have, but when is the last time we advocated for change in our community? When have we said what we want? Here are the details: https://tinyurl.com/mnqllm8

Kirk Vartan

Founder of Heroic Voice Academy Anthony Lee Reveals the Three V’s of Personal Branding
Story and Photo by Cynthia Cheng

Founder of Heroic Voice Academy Anthony Lee Reveals the Three V’s of Personal Branding

It was standing room only at Northside Library’s community room on March 6. Anthony Lee, presentation trainer, event producer and founder and CEO of Heroic Voice Academy, reminisced about sitting next to supermodel Gisele Bündchen on a plane flight. When the two met, Lee talked about where he worked and his enrollment at Duke University at the time. Lee recalled Bündchen sharing that her work kept her from spending enough time with her mother and sister, and that she was on her way to see her family that she missed. Upon retrospect, Lee decided that Bündchen’s introduction better reflected her values and who she was as a person than his own introduction. In his presentation, Personal Branding for Job Seekers, Entrepreneurs, and More, Lee gave more ideas about making effective introductions.

“My experience is that people aren’t good at introducing themselves,” Lee said. “There’s the common question ‘What do you do?’ and I see people struggling to answer that question even though that’s not the right question. I’d rather ask different questions...

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A Visit to Claradise: SCU’s New Play
Story by Maria Judnick
Photos by Charles Barry, SCU

A Visit to Claradise: SCU’s New Play

On Friday, March 10, the community filled SCU’s Louis B. Mayer Theatre to gain some insight about our local Jesuit university from the opening night of the new play, Welcome to Claradise. The docu-play, written by Professor Brian Thostenson and based off of extensive interviews with SCU’s students, faculty and staff reveal layers of depth on campus that break down the stereotype of the school as a so-called academic “paradise.”

The production, inspired by Anna Deavere Smith’s documentary theatre work, delved into many historic and recent events on campus. As director Aldo Billingslea and playwright Thorstenson noted in the playbook, “We have tried to not overlook our shortcomings, or only fixate on what’s wrong, but instead to see the challenges and work to keep our mission active and alive...

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Mission College Chorus: Soaring on the Winds of Change
Story and Photo by Maria Judnick

Mission College Chorus: Soaring on the Winds of Change

“People have been rising up in protest for all time and done so for many reasons. And I believe music ties those units of resistance together,” Conductor John Ector said at the annual Mission College Chorus Winter Concert on March 14. The theme of this concert, “Winds of Change: Songs of Protest and Social Consciousness Throughout Time” lent itself to a cross-cultural, politically diverse, multi-generational collection of adaptations from a variety of artists.

The Choir began the night with what Ector quipped as a “hippie tune from long ago” called “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” (“My Thoughts are Free”) a popular German protest song from the 16th century that showcased the solo abilities of bass singer Victor Wilburn...

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Naked Man Identified in SJ Police Chase and Officer-Involved Shooting on Stevens Creek
By Carolyn Schuk

Naked Man Identified in SJ Police Chase and Officer-Involved Shooting on Stevens Creek

Traffic was still backed up into Friday evening on Stevens Creek Blvd. following an early-afternoon police chase that ended with an office-involved shooting in the Villa shopping plaza. San José police responded to a call reporting a naked man chasing people at Valerie Drive and Eva Court in San José.

The man, identified Monday as John Bradley Bowles, fled in a pickup truck and smashed into several vehicles before turning into the shopping plaza and crashing into a police car. Bowles refused to comply with the police orders and appeared to be aiming a weapon at officers, according to police...

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