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Kicking for a Cause: United Way Silicon Valley Raises Funds for School Reading Kits
By Robert Haugh

Kicking for fun and a great cause, United Way Silicon Valley’s Emerging Leaders United first kickball tournament was a slamming slew of fun and exciting action. The tournament, held in a bracket-style format April 12 at the Texas Instruments soccer and softball fields in Santa Clara, featured teams vying for the inaugural championship trophy.

Benefiting the organization’s summer reading kit program, teams of eight players had a blast reliving their middle schools days, playing three-inning kickball games in a friendly, yet competitive way. Often laughing and clapping at amazing catches and zany kicks, the action was just as wild as that on any school playground.

Organized by the leadership of Emerging Leaders United, a young professional group that supports UWSV’s mission of helping families raise children become more financially secure, healthy and more connected to their community, the event provides an entire East San Jose school with reading kits to “help students maintain their academic skills over the summer.” The kits include two age-appropriate books, selected by the teacher, and other resources to increase summer reading for the entire family.

According to a press release from UWSV, “a child is four times less likely to graduate high school on time if they cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade.”

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Santa Clara Native Gets the Boot From “Survivor: Cagayan”

Santa Clara Native Gets the Boot From “Survivor: Cagayan”

Santa Clara native Morgan McLeod, was sent packing from the CBS hit series “Survivor: Cagayan” during the April 9 episode entitled “Mad Treasure Hunt.”

McLeod was the eighth contestant of the 16 cast members voted off of the show and will be the second jury member for the season’s finale that airs in May. She was voted off on Day 22.

A video featuring McLeod can be viewed at http://www.cbs.com/shows/survivor/video/EqtnD4E10wkCKRc_oZ4rNMSQphHnmrFv/survivor-cagayan-morgan-arrives-at-ponderosa/

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Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO Highlights Diverse Business Community

Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO Highlights Diverse Business Community

Bringing together several Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce organizations and over 100 exhibitors, the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention Visitors Bureau hosted the Silicon Valley Chamber Business Xpo 2014 on April 10 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

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Showtune Showstoppers Steals Spotlight
By Melissa McKenzie

Showtune Showstoppers Steals Spotlight

Kicking off the show with a bang by singing “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus performed Showtune Showstoppers at the Santa Clara University Recital Hall April 11-13.

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Santa Clara School Bus Team Honored for Giving Back to the Community

Santa Clara School Bus Team Honored for Giving Back to the Community

For the last three years, Durham School Services in Santa Clara and Starbucks have brewed up a winning partnership to clean up the San Francisco Bay area. Employees at local Starbucks stores organize community service projects and Durham donates the transportation of the hundreds of volunteers to the clean up sites.

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Khoobsurat Threading Salon Celebrates Grand Opening

Khoobsurat Threading Salon Celebrates Grand Opening

Hasina Siddqi, a threading specialist, utilizes the Indian method of hair removal to shape a customer’s brows.

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Former Stones and Grateful Dead Manager Visits SC Again

Former Stones and Grateful Dead Manager Visits SC Again

Sam Cutler, the former manager of The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones, revisited the Bay Area on April 12 for another intimate talk at Studio Bongiorno. Cutler, who returned to coincide with the studio’s current show, “Long Strange Trip,” recounted additional stories that were not told the last time he was at the studio and signed copies of his book, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

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This Week's Letters

Stadium Event Day Alternate Soccer Fields - Facts Ignored

Several sources are stating or implying falsely that the SCUSD were in negotiations with the 49ers to provide event day alternate soccer fields:

“And that offer was made to the school district....”

“Needless to say, any discussions with SCUSD ended with the litigation”

“The talks broke down, however...”

At the March 25 Council meeting SCUSD President Christine Koltermann stated: “... there has been no discussion at any school board meeting, in closed or open session, about any proposed agreement with the 49ers regarding the use of school district fields for youth soccer.”

Any proposal, talks, or offer regarding SCUSD land must be placed on the SCUSD Board meeting agenda. At NO time did a SCUSD agenda item include the 49ers offering to provide alternate soccer fields on SCUSD property. The 49ers simply dropped the issue, making no public proposal.

Craig Larsen

I have looked into the unsubstantiated statement by Mr. Barber that "the original documents on the deed to Ulistac" somehow supports his position that 10 to 11 acres of the restored natural habitat should be plowed under to make room for a soccer facility because, he infers, it would be a higher and better use. This statement is a complete fabrication in law and in fact and you should seriously look into demanding a retraction. There is no such deed, and what papers that do exist, do not support his statement. As for his notion of compromise, it appears that he studied at the Vladimir Putin School of Compromise: "We take what we want, and leave you the rest."

- Brian Doyle

The resolution of the funding for the Northside Library couldn't have come at a better time. The library is the final piece of the puzzle for the Rivermark community. The Grand Opening later this summer cannot come soon enough.

Thank you to the City Council for approving the resolution and legal staff for creating a settlement that would be acceptable. However, special thanks need to go to three people.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski deserves a standing ovation for his efforts in negotiations with the State of California Department of Finance and County of Santa Clara. Julio Fuentes, our City Manager, never gave up creating a settlement that would be amenable to all the parties involved. Congressional candidate, Ro Khanna, stepped up and participated in the Northside rallies in between campaigning.

These three have the best interests of Santa Clara at heart and will represent us well in Washington, Sacramento and Santa Clara.

- Kathy Watanabe
Rivermark resident

In the April 2 edition of the Santa Clara Weekly publisher Miles Barber has once again taken on the role of apologist for the rip-off 49ers stadium. Specifically, he is proposing the destruction of our beautiful nature preserve, Ulistac Park, so that the 49ers and their cohorts can force the Santa Clara Soccer Park out of its present location (which is right next to the stadium). Well Mr. Barber...we the people of Santa Clara are NOT going to let that happen.

- Robert Forsythe
home owner in Santa Clara, employed in Santa Clara, past, present, and future stadium opponent

State Historic Resources Commission to Consider Historic Designation for Century 21 Dome
By Carolyn Schuk

State Historic Resources Commission to Consider Historic Designation for Century 21 Dome

They may not be officially designated historic landmarks, but the Century Dome theaters are already a tourist attraction.

On a recent Tuesday morning, visitors from Anaheim were taking pictures in front of the iconic theater complex that has been a Winchester Boulevard landmark since 1964. The family was visiting the Winchester Mystery House. “When I saw that dome, I knew exactly what it was,” said the father, who said he has fond memories of seeing “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” at a Cinerama dome in Southern California.

The future of the oldest of the four domes, Century 21, may be decided next week, when the California State Historic Resources Commission (SHRC) meets to consider new nominations for California’s Register of Historical Resources. San Jose’s Preservation Action Council petitioned the state to give the dome theater landmark status.

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Gold Rush Finalists Vie to Make Coveted Cheer Squad
By Robert Haugh

Gold Rush Finalists Vie to Make Coveted Cheer Squad

When Levi’s Stadium opens this summer, guests will likely be greeted by a gallantly waving pool of red and gold - the beauty of the highly acclaimed San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush squad greeting guests with flair, adorned with their commonly identifiable red and gold pom poms and popular attire.

While often greeting fans at games and keeping the energy level at its peak at a number of community events and on game days, making the squad is no easy task. The four-phase audition begins several weeks before open auditions are held. The 49ers host workshops to help prepare the over 500 vying in the battle to become NFL cheerleaders for the highly-renown Gold Rush.

Selecting the final squad for the team is an arduous task, with over 500 competing in the preliminary auditions at Maples Pavilion at Stanford.

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Chargers Avenge Earlier Loss to Santa Clara; Claim Sixth Straight Triumph
By Robert Haugh

Chargers Avenge Earlier Loss to Santa Clara; Claim Sixth Straight Triumph

Avenging a loss just three weeks go to the Bruins on their own turf (www.santaclaraweekly.com), the Wilcox Lady Chargers (14-5, 3-2) took control of their own fate in the always-tough SCVAL De Anza division with a 6-3 win at cross-town rival Santa Clara (8-8, 2-4) on April 9.

The Chargers wasted no time, surging to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

The Chargers’ first inning began with junior Morgan Ratliff drawing a walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt from senior Savannah Montez. Junior Hailey Thompson and junior Breanna Ledesma each belted RBI doubles, scoring first Ratliff then Thompson. Junior pitcher Amanda Ramirez (8-2), who recorded the win on the mound, reached on a walk. Junior Katie Stensrud singled, loading the bases in what was her first of three hits of the game. Senior Kayla Fletcher drew the third walk of the inning by Bruins junior pitcher Shannon Peterson, advancing Ledesma across the plate for the 3-0 lead.

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Tech Challenge Inspires Students to Solve Problems
By Melissa McKenzie

Tech Challenge Inspires Students to Solve Problems

In an attempt to tackle a problem facing the world today, hundreds of tech-centric teams from across the Bay Area met at The Tech Museum in San Jose for the annual The Tech Challenge event April 12-13.

The challenge, presented by Cisco, gives participants a hands-on project that solves a real-world problem. This year’s challenge, Harnessing the Wind, asked students to build a device that used wind power to move water from one location to another in three minutes or less. The program, which focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, reinforces creativity, problem solving, design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, and perseverance skills.

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