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Musical Kick-Off to Super Bowl
By Carolyn Schuk

The clouds took a time-out Sunday afternoon for the free Super Community concert at Mission College, letting folks enjoy some Super Bowl spirit a week before the big game.

About 5,000 people came out to enjoy the afternoon, but the crowd wasn't crushing and lines weren't long. There was an ample variety of food from Moveable Feast's food trucks, including Waffle Amore, Paddy Wagon Sliders, West Wing, Tacos de Los Altos, Capelo's Barbecue, Sajj, and Fairycakes. Santa Clara Rotary kept glasses filled, pouring beer and wine. And Santa Clara's Tap Water Express was there with cold drinking water and reusable collapsible water bottles.

Early in the afternoon Music@Mission's Phil Hawkins Group (www.pnotemusic.com) entertained with jazz, Caribbean steel drum and reggae tunes. As well as Hawkins, a master percussionist, the combo included guitarist Ray Obiedo, bass guitarist Marc van Wageningen, and pianist Murray Low.

The wind was making the air nippy when Heart took the stage at Mission College but Nancy Wilson's hard-driving guitar riffs and Ann Wilson's incomparable voice kept the chill away. Like true classics, Heart gets better with time...

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Stampolis Must Disclose His Union Consulting Agreement by Feb. 25
By Carolyn Schuk

Stampolis Must Disclose His Union Consulting Agreement by Feb. 25

Last Thursday Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Beth McGowan ordered Santa Clara Unified School District Trustee Christopher Stampolis to comply with the district's demand that he disclose the nature of his consulting agreement with the Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition, an organizing group that's part of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).

But by claiming that he hadn't been legally...

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Gridiron Glory Exhibit Brings Best of Football Hall of Fame to Santa Clara
By Carolyn Schuk

Gridiron Glory Exhibit Brings Best of Football Hall of Fame to Santa Clara

Whether you're a football fan or not, "Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame," now on display at Santa Clara's Triton Museum...

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45 Years Later, Santa Clara Debating Same Question About Council Elections
By Carolyn Schuk

45 Years Later, Santa Clara Debating Same Question About Council Elections

As the City Council considers changes in the way its members are elected, it's a good time to reflect that this isn't the first time Santa Clara has considered...

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Sutter Lego Show Puts the STEAM in STEM
By Diane Andrews

Sutter Lego Show Puts the STEAM in STEM

"The Lego brick art show fosters creativity and is a great way to bring art into the school," says parent Brandon Chun, one of the PTA organizers of Sutter Elementary School's 3rd Annual Lego Show...

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This Week's Letters

Luther Elementary School and Park Site Housing Project Proposal

The Cupertino Union School District has proposed to rezone the Luther Elementary School in Santa Clara for a non-teaching and teaching staff rental housing project. Currently a school for over 400 children, it is one of the last remaining school sites available for future growth, and has been used as a park by the local community.

The proposal calls for over 200 apartment units in a single family home neighborhood, contrasted with Casa Del Maestro run by the Santa Clara Unified School District, which is 70 units among existing apartment housing on a 3x larger site and close to Lawrence Expressway.

This will result in the permanent loss of a potential school site in a crowded school district. I urge the CUSD to propose a smaller project at a more appropriate site and explore alternative staff retention options to benefit ALL teachers, not just a few. Learn more at www.saveluther.com

Howard Huang

Super Bowl 50

It is a bit presumptuous for San Francisco to host Super Bowl 50. As I remember, San Francisco's NFL team -- the 49ers -- left for Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara a few years ago. The team is now the Santa Clara 49ers or the South Bay 49ers some 50 or so miles from San Francisco. Why isn't Santa Clara the host city? Meanwhile, we San Franciscans must endure street closures and major gridlock. The Super Bowl will be played on February 7, yet the road closures will be in effect until February 12. The NFL should at least reimburse San Francisco for the cost of hosting the event -- estimated to be about $5 million -- as proposed by SF Supervisor Jane Kim.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

At the Intersection of Art and Human Trafficking
By Diane Andrews

At the Intersection of Art and Human Trafficking

Santa Clara University professor, filmmaker and installation artist Jonathan Fung believes that social engagement and change can be sparked by the arts.

"Art is all about story telling. People connect to art. There's an instant reactionsemotion is evoked. It causes the viewer to be aware and ask questions about what the work is about," says Fung, who uses his artistic talents to spread awareness of human trafficking. "Art engages those looking at it."

Fung's two new art installations, Coolie and Peep, both focus on human trafficking, a social issue that has been spotlighted in advance Super Bowl 50. Peep is a 20-foot, metal shipping container–symbolic of world trade–that has been converted into an outdoor peep show symbolizing the undercover world of trafficking...

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Velvety Marshmallows and Other Goodies Found at Sugar Plush
By Cynthia Cheng

Velvety Marshmallows and Other Goodies Found at Sugar Plush

A few years ago, Wendy Chang wanted to craft a handmade gift for her daughter’s eighth birthday. She found a pair of pants her daughter had outgrown and used her sewing smarts to fashion a cupcake from them, adding beads for icing. Chang continued with her sewing projects and eventually founded Sugar Plush, a one-year old company specializing in plush accessories with an edible theme. Inside Chang’s Santa Clara studio is a world of cuteness in the form of soft marshmallows and s’mores with smiling faces, pillow-like strawberries and huggable cupcakes.

“At Sugar Plush, we create fun unique plush items, stuffed animals, stuffed creatures, and DIY kits,” says Chang, who has been sewing since age seven. “I have two kinds of DIY kits for kids ages five and up. One is for making s’mores and the other one is for making a strawberry and a marshmallow. I don’t include sewing needles in my DIY kits because I know kids can be excited when they see the kit and I don’t want them to poke their hands when they reach inside the kit. You don’t have to know how to sew to do a DIY project with Sugar Plush. The instructions should walk the user through the process...”

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Transforming Levi's Stadium Into Super Bowl 50 Stadium
By Carolyn Schuk

Transforming Levi's Stadium Into Super Bowl 50 Stadium

Last week the NFL gave the media a sneak peek at Super Bowl 50 preparations at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium. And the bottom line is that when the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers face off on Sunday, the stadium will be a Super Bowl 50 wonderland.

"It looks different from a regular 49ers game day," said NFL Director of Event Operations, Eric Finkelstein. For the biggest football game of the year, everything from the smallest detail on up will have the signature gold and black Super Bowl 50 look and feel. "Every detail has branding."

Levi's Stadium has a smaller footprint and significantly less open space around the stadium that is typical, so some people doubted that the virtual city that is the Super Bowl would fit into the space, But fans needn't worry that the event won't match – or even surpass – those of previous years, Finkelstein said. "It's a tight space, but we have everything we need here."

"What stands out most to me about Santa Clara is the way everyone has come together as a team," Finkelstein said...

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