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FCSN Raises Funds for South Bay Location
By Melissa McKenzie

In less than 20 years, Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) has gone from a small group of 10 families relying on each other for support and guidance through the tricky landscape of raising a child with special needs, to a rapidly growing non-profit ready to open its second location in the South Bay.

FCSN, which started in 1996, pushed toward raising the funds needed to complete and operate the nearly 9,000 square foot facility on South Bascom Avenue in San Jose by holding the “Build Our Dream in South Bay” gala at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Nov. 8.

The event, emceed by ABC7’s Rick Quan, was attended by a handful of supportive politicians including State Senator Jim Beall (District 15), Campbell Council Member and Assemblyman-elect Evan Low (District 28), San Jose Council Member and Assemblyman-elect Kansen Chu (District 25), outgoing Assemblyman Paul Fong, Milpitas Mayor Jose Estevez, Fremont Council Member Sue Chan, outgoing Fremont Council Member Raj Salwan, outgoing Alameda Council Member Lena Tam, outgoing San Jose Council Member Xavier Campos, Cupertino City Council Member Barry Chang and Fremont Unified School District Board Member and Fremont Council Member-elect Lily Mei...

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Wrestling Stars Visit Buchser for Anti-Bullying Rally
By Robert Haugh

Wrestling Stars Visit Buchser for Anti-Bullying Rally

Johnny is bullied because he’s overweight. Sophia is bullied because of a speech impediment. Randy is bullied because he has a prosthetic leg.

Johnny, Sophia and Randy are fictitious. WWE superstars Daniel Bryan and Darren Young and WWE Diva Brie Bella are larger than life personas looked up to by millions for the highly...

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Tezkatlipoka Brings Traditional Dance to Triton
By Melissa McKenzie

Tezkatlipoka Brings Traditional Dance to Triton

The capacity crowd sat in awe as deep drum sounds filled the space of the Triton Museum of Art’s Warburton Gallery. Women dressed in costumes with feathered headdresses danced to the beat, telling stories with their arm movements and each stomp of their feet.

The traditional Aztec dances, performed by Tezkatlipoka Aztec Drum and Dance, were centered around the warrior, and were part of a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration...

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Winners of Teen Read Week Writing Contest Share Their Dreams
By Cynthia Cheng

Winners of Teen Read Week Writing Contest Share Their Dreams

“Write about your dreams and what steps or what you need to accomplish to turn them into reality” was the essay prompt for the 2014 Santa Clara City Library Teen Read Week Writing Contest, sponsored by the Library and Friends Foundation. About 50 essays were submitted. In late October, the library recognized one grand prize winner along...

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Roberta Jones Junior Theatre Presents A Year With Frog and Toad
By Cynthia Cheng

Roberta Jones Junior Theatre Presents A Year With Frog and Toad

The world of Frog and Toad comes with a bed made from an overturned Kleenex box, birds who wear feathered hats, autumn leaves that dance and two amphibians who wear plaid bathrobes to sleep. A Year with Frog and Toad, presented by the Roberta Jones Junior Theatere, is currently playing at the Community Recreation Center until Nov. 16...

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49ers Focus
By Robert Haugh

49ers Focus

Though they took a page from their MLB neighbors the San Francisco Giants with a game causing “torture” for 49ers faithful, the 49ers (5-4) eked out a 27-24 overtime win over the Saints on Nov. 9...

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This Week's Letters

Voters "overwhelmingly declared...." The important point missing was the deplorably low voter turnout reflecting who bothered to vote or return their ballots, if their ballots were correct to begin with, or were even received at all.

The only thing M. Barber stated 100% correctly was, "If a candidate wins with 40% of the vote, it simply means that 60% of the voters preferred another candidate." I hope that message was clear and expect that with the acceptance of victories, the victors are cognizant of responsibilities to be maintained and promises to the constituency to be kept.

Although I'm sure all residents hope the newly (re)elected do well and have the best interests of all Santa Clarans in mind, the percentages of non-supporters of the victors in all of election races will be watching closely, very closely to make sure they do.

- Rozane Bey-McCurdy

Congratulations, Santa Clara! You saved a school district and created a brighter future for kids. Your votes for Ratermann, Muirhead, and Sallings in the Santa Clara Unified Board election ensure a solid board majority dedicated to accountability, collaboration, and most importantly, a focus on students. I hope the community will give this new board majority the gift of time to carefully assess and determine the path forward. The depth of destruction that occurred over several years requires time to restore trust, rebuild programs, and return to the excellence once found in Santa Clara Unified. It's a bright new day, Santa Clara, and our kids won!

- Bobbie Plough, Ed.D.
Retired SCUSD Superintendent

SVACA Holds Holiday-Themed Adoption Event
By Melissa McKenzie

SVACA Holds Holiday-Themed Adoption Event

With kitten season finally winding down, and local shelters tackling the never-ending task of finding homes for their animal residents, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority held its annual Walking in a Whisker Wonderland adoption event on Nov. 8.

The pay-what-you-want in adoption fees yearly adoptathon gave event attendees the chance to participate in a raffle, and new pet-owners and long-term pet parents the opportunity to have their pet take a photo with Santa - fundraisers for SVACA’s non-profit group, Friends of SVACA.

Wonderland’s main goal, however, was to find homes for the 69 animals up for adoption (60 cats, eight dogs and one rabbit) - including long-term resident Sugar and unique kitty Cashew.

“I think the longest one, at the moment, is Sugar,” said Jennifer Mathers, care specialist lead at SVACA. “She’s an older cat and I think she’s been here since July. Our fingers are crossed for her”...

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Award-Winning Slack Key Guitarist’s Music and Aloha Message Strike a Chord with Mission College Students
By Diane Andrews

Award-Winning Slack Key Guitarist’s Music and Aloha Message Strike a Chord with Mission College Students

Award-winning Hawaiian slack key guitarist Patrick Landeza appeared at Mission College Nov. 5 as part of the college’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Speaker Program. He mixed the story of his personal quest for identity with his guitar music and songs of Hawaii, opening his program with "Maori Brown Eyes" and closing with "Hele Au I Kaleponi."

In 2012, the California native and graduate of Cal State East Bay, played Carnegie Hall as part of a concert promoting peace through music. In 2013, he became the first person outside Hawaii to win the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for slack key guitar album of the year for his sixth album, "Slack Key Huaka’i."

"It’s the Hawaiian Grammy," says Landeza.

Slack key guitar music, born in Hawaii the early 1800s, means loosening-or slackening-the guitar strings, which enables Landeza to "play slow with emotion" on his Goodall guitar.

"Forget fast!" he says.

Landeza was born in 1972 and raised on "the island of Berkeley." He learned slack key guitar first from two uncles, then from top artists such as Raymond Kane, whom he met at Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, two blocks from the family apartment...

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Community Gathers to Raise Funds for Longtime Volunteer Tom Goodson
By Robert Haugh

Community Gathers to Raise Funds for Longtime Volunteer Tom Goodson

Often dubbed a pillar of the community and a community treasure, longtime Santa Claran Tom Goodson has touched many lives.

Having spent countless hours supporting local students in reading, coaching sports, teaching good citizenship, creating and implementing awards programs, among other things, the beloved senior is currently completing his 50th year of volunteer service in the Mission City.

Goodson often says with a smile, "I don’t do it for the money [he doesn’t get paid], I do it for the kids."

Due to his disabilities, Goodson is unable to hold a job, forcing him to live on a very small fixed income through Social Security. A few months ago, he was given a 1,200 percent rent increase at the apartment he has lived in for over 23 years. Due to an extremely tight budget, he was forced to leave his longstanding apartment home.

With support of several community members, a new apartment has been found for Goodson. However, a large deposit is required, and other expenses, such as moving costs, and replacing dilapidated furniture add up...

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