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Miguel Machuca: Modern-Day Shaman
By Melissa McKenzie

As a young boy in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, San Jose-based artist Miguel Machuca experienced a life-changing event. Machuca was outside playing when the jack holding up his family’s car, slipped and his father was killed, crushed by the weight of the vehicle. A month later, his entire life was uprooted as his mother made the brave decision to move her family across the border and into the United States for a better life.

“[After my father’s death,] I began kind of understanding people’s suffering and seeing visions in my head,” he says. “I guess it really impacted me. Because of that [experience], it allowed me to bring out those wicked, twisted, demented images.”

Machuca’s current body of work straddles the line between beautiful and ugly. The pieces provoke a sense of uncomfortableness and unease in its viewers, and yet, Machuca says there’s nothing nefarious about them.

“I’m trying to say something with the technique,” he says. “I’ve always thought that everybody has this darkness inside them, but you live your life trying to reach the light - trying to enlighten yourself. You’re trying to become something. Before, I was trying to stay out of the light and now, with these pieces, what I’m saying is that I carry my darkness always...

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Roary “Passes The Hat” to Raise Over $2,000 for Marsalli Family Thanksgiving
By Robert Haugh

Roary “Passes The Hat” to Raise Over $2,000 for Marsalli Family Thanksgiving

For the past seven years, thousands of warm Thanksgiving meals have been served at St. Clare Parish as part of the Marsalli Family Thanksgiving.

On Nov. 6, the Rotary Club of Santa Clara passed the hat; raising $2,026.70 for the Marsalli Family Thanksgiving, nearly triple the $840 the non-profit raised last year for the annual Thanksgiving event...

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Community Help Needed to Save Injured Dog
By Melissa McKenzie

Community Help Needed to Save Injured Dog

It took the community to catch a dog on the loose, and the Santa Clara community is what it will take to save his life.

When long-time Santa Clara resident Karrie Wedlund adopted a jet black dog from Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority on Nov. 8, she was getting the one thing she was missing - companionship. Wedlund, a disabled senior citizen on a fixed income, suffers from depression and was told by her therapist that having a companion service animal could help with her mood...

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49ers Help Build Bikes for Children

49ers Help Build Bikes for Children

The San Francisco 49ers and Optum recently teamed up with Turning Wheels for Kids to build 80 bikes for foster youth from Unity Care. The two-part event began with a bike build in the morning and culminated that afternoon with a surprise delivery of the bikes to 50 young people at an Optum Bike Safety and Health Fair at Levi's Stadium on Nov. 10...

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Plastic Bag Ban Starts Soon

Plastic Bag Ban Starts Soon

Santa Clarans will soon no longer receive plastic bags at retailers, including Target. The City’s ban on plastic bag bans is effective Dec. 1, 2014, with retailers such as Target offering paper bags for nominal fees - Target charges 10 cents - the minimum fee. Santa Clara City Council unanimously passed the single-use carryout bag ban on Aug. 19, 2014...

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This Week's Letter

Wow! Where can I get me a pair of the “Rose Colored Glasses.” Our President just sent another 1500 troops to assist in Iraq. Gasoline has just recently dropped below $3 a gallon thanks to increased U.S. oil production, but is still about a dollar more a gallon then when the current administration took office.

While the stock market is showing a profit, there are less people in the work force, annual income is down and food stamp recipients has increased substantially.

As a registered non-partisan voter, I’m not really a champion of party politics, but I find it disheartening that some celebrate the fact we just re-elected a congressman whose sole piece of legislation in 14 years was the naming of a post office.

I, like most Americans, simply want the best for our family regardless if the politician has a “D” or “R” after their name. It’s not the amount of money spent, but the amount of effort voters put into learning about the candidates and the issues prior to their vote. Those who suggest our candidate-elects are a failure before they have even been sworn into office, lack the objectivity to be taken seriously.

- John Azevedo

50th Anniversary of the Biggest Police Shoot-Out in Santa Clara History
By Diane Andrews

50th Anniversary of the Biggest Police Shoot-Out in Santa Clara History

It was November 21, late Saturday afternoon the week before Thanksgiving in 1964.

"Code 30. An officer’s been shot. Ambulance en route," stated the dispatcher over the crackly police radio airwaves fifty years ago, reporting the unfolding drama of the biggest police shoot-out in Santa Clara history.

It was a planned grocery store robbery that misfired tragically before it even got underway. The shoot-out began in the parking lot of what was then called Food Villa Plaza at Stevens Creek Blvd. and Lawrence Station Road (now Lawrence Expressway), continued at a shopping center at Lawrence Station and Homestead Roads, and ended in a final shoot-out several blocks away at a house on Yale Lane...

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SCUSD Promotes CPR and AED Awareness at Community Event
By Cynthia Cheng

SCUSD Promotes CPR and AED Awareness at Community Event

On September 29, Chris Amaro, a custodian at Scott Lane Elementary School, suffered a cardiac arrest during school hours. A parent jumped in to revive Amaro with CPR. A paramedic treated him with an AED, an automated external defibrillator. His life was saved.

”My situation could’ve happened to anyone, and I was fortunate to be in the Scott Lane community when it happened,” says Amaro, who has served the school for 34 years. ”[Since the incident], I have been out every day promoting CPR and AED awareness.”

On November 22, SCUSD hosted a Survivor and Heroes Ceremony and CPR Community Event at Scott Lane School. Over 130 attendees received CPR and AED training. Recognized in a ceremony were Amaro, the paramedics who responded to the 911 call, bystanders who helped, and Marisa Carlini, the parent who performed CPR on him...

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Santa Clara Kaiser Permanente Workers “Get Their Voice” in Unique Class

Santa Clara Kaiser Permanente Workers “Get Their Voice” in Unique Class

One of the “graduates” choked up with emotion, only able to say “Thank you very much.” Another joked that now he talks too much. The emotional scene was an unusual “graduation ceremony” at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, where 10 of the hospital”s Environmental Services workers got certificates marking their completion of an innovative and rigorous English-As-A-Second-Language program at the medical center.

It is the first such class in Kaiser Permanente”s Northern California Region, according to William McKenzie, Director of the Environmental Service Department at Santa Clara”s hospital and a former Junior High School English teacher...

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