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106th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Story by Alissa Reyes

It was beginning to feel a lot like winter at the City’s 106th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting. On the night of Dec. 2 it was a chilly 55 degrees in Santa Clara. Attendees bundled up in scarves and coats filled the Santa Clara Central Park–969 Kiely Blvd.

Families had plenty to do at this popular event. From food to live entertainment to informational booths, the park-turned-winter-wonderland had something for attendees of all ages. Families quickly filled the ice rink and the queue for jolly Santa Claus. Ice-skating was discounted to $5 for the evening and meeting Santa was free. Santa had his own security detail and tent for quick and efficient meet and greets. His elves handed out teddy bears–not too different from the teddy on the top of the Holiday Tree.

Miss California Jessa Carmack introduced all the entertainment. Performances included live music, complements of Buschser Middle School. The Buschser Déjà vu Jazz Band and the Buschser Band both performed. Santa Clara University Chorale serenaded the crowd with sophisticated holiday classics. The Parks and Recreation Dancers had multiple performances in festive costumes.

A class of four-year-old ballerinas stole the show. The little ones wore reindeer antlers and danced to a Disney rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The performance included hugs, little plies and lots of “aws” from the audience.

Food stands served hot chocolate, cotton candy, teriyaki plates, nachos and mac & cheese while Armadillo Willy’s served up BBQ classics like pulled pork sandwiches. Buschser Middle School sold bags of kettle corn and Santa Clara Youth Commission sold pizza by the slice...

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Festive Finale to Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Festive Finale to Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month

Family Fun Day provided a festive finale to Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month, celebrated in Santa Clara throughout November and spilling over to December 3 at an indoor celebration at Don Callejon Elementary School, 4176 Lick Mill Dr., Santa Clara. The celebration theme, "Service to Humanity," was built around the three pillars of Sikhism: hard work and honesty, sharing and serving humanity, and mindfulness of God...

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About 1,200 People Participate in Firehouse Run to Support Schools Foundation
By Cynthia Cheng

About 1,200 People Participate in Firehouse Run to Support Schools Foundation

Even though it was crisp and chilly on Sunday, Dec. 4, about 1,200 people showed up bright and early at Santa Clara University to walk and run 5K or 10K through the city in the second annual Firehouse Run. After former Miss Silicon Valley Melissa Gialdini energized the crowd with her solo of the National Anthem, the runners took off...

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Santa Clara Boys JV Basketball Lose to Cupertino in Tournament
By Andrew Bensch

Santa Clara Boys JV Basketball Lose to Cupertino in Tournament

In what was a hotly contested first half, the Santa Clara Bruins junior varsity basketball team dropped the opening-round game of their annual JV tournament to Cupertino, 40-19 on Wednesday. The Bruins trailed just 13-11 late in the second quarter and an impressive buzzer beating layup by Ralvin Pascua cut a 17-11 deficit to just 17-13...

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Wilcox Girls Soccer Continues to Improve in Win Over Gunderson
By Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Girls Soccer Continues to Improve in Win Over Gunderson

The score may look lopsided, with the Wilcox Chargers defeating the Gunderson Grizzlies by a 6-0 final on Monday night, but it was a much more competitive contest than last week’s 8-2 win over James Lick...

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Gabriel Ibarra’s Fifth Annual Photography Exhibit Offers Glimpses of El Camino Real
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Gabriel Ibarra’s Fifth Annual Photography Exhibit Offers Glimpses of El Camino Real

Photographer Gabriel Ibarra shares that his vision is thrown off by some of the new buildings being constructed in Santa Clara that, from his perspective, seem to sit at the edge of the pavement. He feels more connected to the city’s older buildings and structures, such as those on El Camino Real. For his fifth annual photography exhibit, “The King’s Highway,” Ibarra pays tribute to these older establishments with a showcase of 41 captivating images that shine a soothing light on the down home side of Santa Clara. The images are currently on exhibit until Dec. 30 at the Santa Clara Senior Center (1303 Fremont Ave.) inside the display case near the reading area.

“The King’s Highway is the original name of El Camino Real before it became El Camino Real,” Ibarra says...

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Moonlite Lane Sudden Shut-Down Strands Local Bowling Leagues, Sad Finale for One-Time Bay Area Bowling Icon
By Carolyn Schuk

Moonlite Lane Sudden Shut-Down Strands Local Bowling Leagues, Sad Finale for One-Time Bay Area Bowling Icon

Two weeks ago longtime Santa Clara bowlers found themselves homeless, so to speak, when the 55-year-old Moonlite Lanes shut down without notice. The property is slated for a 158-unit apartment complex by Prometheus Real Estate Group.

"All our leagues were told it would stay open until the end of the league year, in May," said longtime bowler, past Santa Clara City bowling league president Kris Rowberry, who also hosts the online TV show, Lost Parks of Northern California (www.greatamericanthrills.net/lost-parks).

"It was a shock. There was a lot of anger. This was a really great recreational facility in the middle of Santa Clara and it just got ripped away." Rowberry said he had "no clue" why the bowling alley was closed six months ahead of schedule. AMF recently made significant upgrades on the property, he said.

Responding to a request for comment, Moonlite owners Bowlmor AMF emailed this statement to the WEEKLY: "After a comprehensive analysis, AMF Moonlite Lanes location has decided to close...

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Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Works Overtime on Recounts, Sellers Keeps Win
By Carolyn Schuk

Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Works Overtime on Recounts, Sellers Keeps Win

For the last week it's been all hands on deck at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV), as about 150 ROV employees performed recounts in 10 county election races. The recounts are part of an automatic recount pilot program put in place this year by the Board of Supervisors, triggered when candidates are within 0.5 percent or 25 votes of one another. Only local races that are entirely within the county are subject to automatic recounts.

Santa Clara is the only county in California that does automatic recounts, according to ROV Public and Legislative Affairs Manager Philip Chantri, who says this was a record election for Santa Clara County. This election saw the most registered voters and ballots cast, and the longest ballot in county history. Over 60 percent of Santa Clara County voters now vote by mail...

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