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Pippin
Photos and story by Larry Sacks

Pippin, the latest production by Starting Arts’ Dream Team just concluded it’s four-day run. As other Starting Arts productions, the Pippin’s run is very short running from Thursday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 15. But the value for what’s offered is extremely high. To patrons not familiar with the work of Starting Arts, they’re usually in for a surprise, especially when they realize the actors that comprise the two casts (Magic and Glory) performing the play are in high school.

Pippin, played by Blake Du Bois (Magic Cast)/Eric Eng (Glory cast), relates the story of a young man who seeks the answer to the eternal question - how to find true happiness and fulfillment in life. As the heir to a throne, his attempts run the gamut from waging war to love to political power. But along the way, he learns that what one imagines about a position or role in life, isn’t always what it truly turns out to be.

Pippin’s attempts at political power begin with killing his own father, King Charlemagne the Great. Then, he tries to win people over by never saying “no.” However, life and adversaries force his hand so he goes from being a leader loved by his people to despised. In the end, his wish is for his father to come back and take over the throne, which in the magic of the play, happens. Along the way, Pippin finds out life has more meaning from the little things life that are easily ignored.

Directed by Alicia Sanders, Starting Arts’ flavor of Pippin is a combination of the classic and revival versions. The play included various circus elements which added pleasant surprises throughout the show, which really became a show within a show as the audience saw Pippin audition for the role he wound up playing. By the end of the show, when Pippin refuses to be part of the final act, he and the set are stripped of their costumes, leaving Pippin to realize what really is important in life...

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Santa Clara Finance Director Gary Ameling Leaving for Las Vegas
By Carolyn Schuk

Santa Clara Finance Director Gary Ameling Leaving for Las Vegas

Next month the City of Santa Clara will say farewell to a dedicated employee who helped steer the City through some of its most ambitious ventures and most challenging times. Santa Clara Director of Finance Gary Ameling has accepted a position working for the city of Las Vegas.

When Ameling came to Santa Clara, he inherited a structural deficit budget and a reserve fund full of mostly moths. He leaves a balanced budget and about $55 million in reserves...

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Defensive Mistakes Cost Chargers in Competitive Contest
By: Andrew Bensch

Defensive Mistakes Cost Chargers in Competitive Contest

The Wilcox Chargers varsity boys soccer team lost to the Saratoga Falcons by a count of 4-1 on Thursday night, but the final score doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Just looking at the boxscore and seeing Saratoga scored twice in each half, one might assume the Falcons were the better team. In actuality, that wasn’t the case...

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Santa Clara Woman's Club Regifting Auction: New Homes for Unwanted Gifts
By Carolyn Schuk

Santa Clara Woman's Club Regifting Auction: New Homes for Unwanted Gifts

In Santa Clara the holiday season beings on the first Friday of December with the City Christmas tree lighting and ends with the Santa Clara Woman’s Club's annual re-gifting auction on the first Friday in January. It's an event that, for club members, gives special meaning to "out with the old and in with the new..."

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“Take Part in Art”: Triton Museum Awarded ArtTours Grants
Story by Maria Judnick

“Take Part in Art”: Triton Museum Awarded ArtTours Grants

As always, Santa Clara’s Triton Museum is bustling with activity as they prepare for new art displays, host brown bag lunches, and collect entries for the upcoming Statewide 2D Competition and Exhibition. But, amidst all this typical action, there’s a little extra energy as the staff celebrates two new grants to enhance and revive a dormant service once part of their arts education...

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This Week's Letter

I have lived here for about 4 decades what used be the peaceful Santa Clara City.  A few months ago, something like a tsunami which is a natural phenomenon that I thought would only occur in Asia, but actually happened in our neighborhood of El Captain and Sheraton Dr. All of  a sudden cars coming from nowhere, would invade and take over every inch available, including the fire hydrant, witch is  illegal and God forbid, in case of a fire imperils the safety of all neighbors. Every week we struggle, to arrange a space to place our garbage and recycle containers. Now we have a much more complicated menace. 

The Sobrato organization, proposed to the City, the building of 200 micro residential units i.e. shipping containers, to house the homeless and low income people in the 2.5 acres vacant lot, located at 2330 Monroe St. in the corner of San Thomas Expressway and Monroe St. in Santa Clara. I'm one of the  NYBY (not in my backyard) that Mr. Sobrato mentions.  I oppose this project for the following reasons: 

  • Since my house borders this lot I will loose my privacy.
  • Safety will be compromised and burglaries will increase.
  • Parking already problematic will become intolerable.
  • Real estate value will decrease.  If this plan is implemented I will be for forced to sell my house, with a considerable financial loss. The Mayor, the developer and the County of Santa Clara, all agree this is the right place to solve the low cost housing shortage that confronts this City.  I ask the Mayor and City Council to defend our rights and not  allow the destruction of this neighborhood.

Rufino Vargas

Bruins Struggle, But Beat Lynbrook on Breast Cancer Awareness Night
By Andrew Bensch

Bruins Struggle, But Beat Lynbrook on Breast Cancer Awareness Night

It was Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Santa Clara High School on Friday, and in fitting fashion the Bruins overcame first-half struggles to earn a 42-31 victory. Santa Clara’s varsity girls basketball team took the court with pink warm-up uniforms and played with pink armbands and pink shoe laces in support of breast cancer research. While the overall team performance wasn’t where Head Coach Deedee Kiyota hoped it would be, the Bruins found a way to remain undefeated, improving to 14-0.

“Very upsetting I guess you could say,” remarked the head coach about her team’s performance. “I didn’t think we played very well, not up to our potential at least.”

Coach Kiyota remarked that she was wary of her team having a letdown after playing in an incredibly competitive game (one-point win, 37-36) just two days earlier against Cupertino.

“I’m very superstitious, I had Friday the 13th in the back of my head for one, and then we had a really exciting game on Wednesday and a lot of the coaches I know kept telling me to watch out for a deflated effort. So maybe that is kind of what happened to us tonight...”

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Painting the Town: Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s “En Plein Air” Projects
Photos and Story by Maria Judnick

Painting the Town: Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s “En Plein Air” Projects

It’s a quiet, cold morning on Jan. 12 behind Santa Clara’s Triton Museum near the historic Jamison-Brown house as the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society gathers for their informal plein air Thursday morning paint session. Close to a dozen painters wearing layers upon layers of hats and coats and sweaters and fingerless gloves braved the chance of rain to do what they love – paint the great outdoors.

More than 400 members make up the informal – and free – Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. The plein air painting opportunities are among their most popular activities – on average about 20 to 30 painters can be spotted on any given Thursday morning as they paint gardens, wineries and historical sites from Baker Beach in San Francisco to Pacific Grove. The Society also sponsors a two-day trip each year and often are invited to members’ homes if they have interesting gardens to paint...

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The Mindfulness Valley: Dr. Shauna Shapiro’s work in the Bay Area
Story By Maria Judnick

The Mindfulness Valley: Dr. Shauna Shapiro’s work in the Bay Area

Ask anyone to describe a typical “Silicon Valley” resident and they’ll likely offer a stereotype – a young, overworked techie who stares at multiple screens 24/7 and survives late night coding sessions through vast quantities of takeout, coffee and energy drinks while trying to ride the next big wave of innovation. But Santa Clara University’s Professor of Psychology Dr. Shauna Shapiro has a different vision for the Bay Area – a community of forward-thinkers willing to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday lives. For Shapiro, bringing the practice of mindfulness into the mainstream is both a personal and professional passion.

At the age of seventeen, Shapiro had spinal fusion surgery; a metal rod was inserted in her spine. While she’d previously been captain of her volleyball team and was recruited to play in college, she was now confined to a hospital bed and barely able to walk. “I didn’t really have the skills to cope so I began searching,” Shapiro explained. “And, eventually, I found mindfulness and ended up at a silent mediation retreat in Thailand.” Shapiro, now a professor, author and clinical psychologist has devoted the past twenty years to studying mindfulness and sharing the practice with others...

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CSC Police Recruitment