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Laurelwood Elementary School’s Colonial Day Immerses Fifth-Graders in History
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

First thing in the morning on March 10 at Laurelwood Elementary School, the fifth-grade students designed colonial style hats to wear. The girls made mob caps that looked like bonnets with ribbon bands woven through them and the boys made tricorn hats with three corners. Whether it was writing in calligraphy using quill pens dipped in ink or whittling figures out of bars of soap, the students wore their handmade hats throughout Colonial Day, a tradition that has lasted for well over 20 years at the school.

“Right now, we’re studying the American Revolution and we’ve studied the establishment of the colonies,” said Amber Wacht, fifth-grade teacher at Laurelwood School. “We want to give students a hands-on experience with history and specifically it’s American history’s colonial America and the birth of the nation. This event is run by parent volunteers and they coordinate everything, including the stations, getting the materials, and getting donations. We couldn’t do it without them.”

The fifth-graders rotated through eight different stations throughout the day.

“One of the more unique stations is the cannon; cannons were used during the American Revolution,” Wacht said. “The kids simulate going through the process of loading and firing a cannon and cleaning it afterwards to reload. A parent built the cannon using an air compressor. The kids have to use all the tools and go through the process of cleaning the cannon and putting in fake gun powder.”

In one of the classroom stations, students made johnny cakes and butter from scratch. To make the johnny cakes, students mixed together cornmeal, water, salt and butter and spooned the batter onto a griddle. A drizzle of syrup or honey gave each cake a sweet finish. A churn allowed the children to make butter though only one student could work on it at a time. To make individual portions of butter without a churn, small hands repeatedly shook salt and cream in lidded sauce containers.

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Free Passes Hurt Wilcox in 12-3 Loss to Palo Alto
By: Andrew Bensch

Free Passes Hurt Wilcox in 12-3 Loss to Palo Alto

Credit the Chargers (3-5) for hanging in the game until the seventh inning, but 13 free passes by Wilcox pitchers was simply too much to overcome against Palo Alto (6-2). Starting pitcher Jairus Baddo left the mound after 3 and 1/3 innings with the score tied 3-3. Before the completion of the fourth inning though, a fourth run would come in, charged to Baddo on a bases loaded walk. While it wasn’t the senior’s sharpest...

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"Funny in Farsi" Author Firoozeh Dumas Is Funny in English, Too
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

"Funny in Farsi" Author Firoozeh Dumas Is Funny in English, Too

"New York Times" best-selling Iranian American author Firoozeh Dumas, although now living in Munich, Germany, found her way to Santa Clara's Mission College campus library on March 6, where she kept her audience laughing about how a seven-year-old Iranian immigrant...

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Mission College’s African American Celebration Luncheon Recognizes Achievements of African Americans
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Mission College’s African American Celebration Luncheon Recognizes Achievements of African Americans

Mission College counselor and instructor Donnelle McGee read aloud his poem, “Love Turned Around”: It’s late/and there you are./ The buzz still jumping behind your cocoa butter flesh/blood speed through your weary body./ You telling me/ Donny...Donny baby, honey, Gram loves you...

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Chef Laura Stec Explains the Science of Sauces
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Chef Laura Stec Explains the Science of Sauces

During her March 6 French Sauces cooking demonstration held at Central Park Library, Chef Laura Stec offered a tip about caramelizing vegetables, deglazing the pan with water, stock or wine to lift the fond (the shed layer of vegetables on a pan) and then adding the flavor-packed fond to a sauce...

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Bill Gould Melds Manmade and Nature in New Exhibit
By Melissa McKenzie

Bill Gould Melds Manmade and Nature in New Exhibit

Step into the Triton Museum of Art and hanging above the museum’s rotunda are cable lines dripping with petrified citrus slices. Along the museum’s glass wall that looks out onto the Triton grounds are laser cut Masonite panels. Viewers may find both pieces interesting, but might not look beyond...

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“Triton’s Artist Reception: A Natural Success”
Photo and Story by Maria Judnick

“Triton’s Artist Reception: A Natural  Success”

On Sunday, March 12, the Triton Museum of Art (1505 Warburton Ave.) celebrated another artist reception with over 500 art enthusiasts in attendance. The reception celebrated the opening of three new shows–Bill Gould’s “Unlikely Elements: the Rhythm of Repetition,” a 30 work collection...

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This Week's Letter

Santa Clara Plays Fair was, in its heyday, a thorn in the side of stadium backers.  There were many things I did not like about the organization, but it played by the rules of campaign finance.  It registered and declared its funding sources.  This was what the Political Reform Act of 1974 was all about.  Sadly, Stand Up Santa Clara, a group right out of the Turner Diaries has about the same desire as the Ku Klux Klan, shroud themselves in secrecy, take payoffs from people like Debi Davis (See Gabe Foo payment-Davis/Watanabe 460s for 1/30/17) and Kathy Watanabe after the fact.  The latest desire of the Stand UP, S.A., is to close down the Weekly printing press.  This is not Tennessee of 1923, or Hamburg of 1927.  Shadowy groups with cowls of secret funding or armbands for local hate are not welcome.  Oppose the stadium all you want if you choose like Play Fair to play fair, the crawling underground of the Stand Up crowd is not a Santa Clara way.

James Rowen

Wilcox Softball Comeback Falls Short
By: Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Softball Comeback Falls Short

Thanks in large part to 4 and 2/3 quality relief innings from senior pitcher Kelly Adame, the Wilcox Chargers nearly overcame a six-run deficit on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Chargers fans, their rally fell short, falling to Cupertino, 7-5.

It was certainly an inauspicious start for the Chargers as the first three runs for the Pioneers all scored on a single pitch that wasn’t even a hit. Two runners and the batter all came home on a play that started as a comebacker to the mound. An overthrow at first base and then again at second base allowed the batter to come all the way around to score.

“We tried [to comeback],” commented Chargers Head Coach Laura Stott-Hardesty. “Unfortunately we made a lot of mistakes that they capitalized on. It took us until a little bit too late to wake up and decide that we wanted to fight back. We didn’t come up with a timely hit until the sixth.”

With the score 6-0 and one out in the top of the third, Adame came into pitch and settled things down. The top of the third inning ended on a fantastic, if unorthodox, 6-3-5 double play. One might have thought the inning double play would spark the Chargers.

“I was hoping it would [give us some energy],” noted coach Stott-Hardesty. “I’m not sure that it really had an effect, but it was nice to be able to put someone in and get us right out of a jam...”

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Every Student an Artist at Sutter Elementary School
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Every Student an Artist at Sutter Elementary School

The Sutter Elementary School multi-purpose room was transformed into a colorful art gallery with more than 500 student drawings plus about 200 clay sculptures on March 7. A creative masterpiece by each and every K – 5th grade student was on display at Sutter's first school-wide Art in Action exhibit, sponsored by the PTA.

The young artists were eager to discuss their artwork.

"It's really fun and exciting learning about different kinds of art," agreed 4th grade friends Cora Lee and Erika Kuramoto.

Third grader Lukas Leu explained his creative process: "We drew a horse on a paper. Then we colored it and cut it out. Then we drew a background and glued the horse on it."

"It makes me feel awesome because I spent a lot of time practicing drawing my horse, and now I can draw a horse perfectly," said Leu. "Art class is cool because my mom also helps out."

The 3rd graders also did charcoal self-portraits following the lead of masters such as post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh.

"It felt kind of hard to do because I couldn't really see how I looked. I feel like I did a good job, but it doesn't exactly look like me," said Leena El-Domeiri, adding, "Art is a way to express your feelings..."

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Dangerous Crosswalk has Lingering Effects, Prompts Litigation
Story by David Alexander

Dangerous Crosswalk has Lingering Effects, Prompts Litigation

On May 21, 2015 at about 9:30 p.m., Judy Peters, 72-year-old Santa Clara resident, tried to cross the intersection of Kiely Blvd. and Malabar Ave.

She never made it.

The crosswalk was unlit, and, as Peters crossed, she was struck by Toyota Prius. An ambulance rushed Peters to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, 751 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose. Surgeons performed three surgeries to repair a broken leg, cracked skull, torn spleen and internal bleeding. After being on life support for several days, doctors saw no improvement.

“Her eyes were staring forward. There was nothing there,” said Caycee Peters, Judy Peters daughter. “They kept telling us she has doll’s eyes. She is brain-dead...”

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Santa Clara’s Assistant Police Chief Travels to Austria for a Good Cause
By Melissa McKenzie

Santa Clara’s Assistant Police Chief Travels to Austria for a Good Cause

While watching ESPN this Sunday afternoon, be prepared to see a familiar face among the sea of athletes participating in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games–Santa Clara Police Department Assistant Chief Dan Winter.

Winter, who currently serves as the State Director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and sitting on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada, is one of 50 officers throughout the United States who were chosen to make the trek to Austria to take part in the Final Leg torch run team. As part of the journey, Winter and his team, which includes Special Olympian Francis Mauro of Gibraltar will participate in 49 ceremonies within 47 communities across the country between March 9 and 18.

“I have been with Special Olympics Gibraltar for the last nine years, and this has helped me develop my physical and intellectual abilities, and more importantly integrate into our society,” said Mauro, who had two palate operations and open heart surgery to help rectify health problems he had at birth...

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A Showcase for Special Talents
Story by Erasmo Guerra

A Showcase for Special Talents

Now in its third year, the nonprofit Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) will present its annual Special Needs Talent Showcase at the Santa Clara Convention Center Theater on Saturday, March 18, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Anna Wang, event organizer and vice president of FCSN, co-founded the nonprofit in 1996 with nine other Chinese-American families, when her then three-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. Today, FCSN has grown to serve more than 1000 multi-ethnic families with children and adults with special needs through a number of programs in the East Bay and South Bay.

Wang said her group came up with the idea of a talent competition to showcase the special talents–rather than the special needs–of the community they serve. “Rarely do they have anyone recognizing them for their ability,” she said. “Rather, they’re judged for their ‘dis’ ability; judged by a measuring stick of what we consider to be ‘normal’ and ‘appropriate.’”

In January, preliminary auditions drew over 80 group and individual contestants. Saturday’s showcase will feature 11 finalists who will compete for three top spots that will include a cash award of $500, a recording session and a professionally produced video...

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Manifest Destiny’s Effect on Art
By Melissa McKenzie

Manifest Destiny’s Effect on Art

Art has long been a reflection of society. Historians can look at artistic endeavors and use them as a tool to uncover the world we lived in at the time. American art has also followed this path, and in a six week lecture, “America: A History in Art,” the Triton Museum of Art’s Chief Curator Preston Metcalf delved into the details and events that helped shape American art.

On Mar. 9, in the second of the series, Metcalf discussed the westward expansion, and how Manifest Destiny played a part in the way art was created and developed.

“Five things happen that truly affect our art,” said Metcalf. “The first happens towards the latter part of this century and that is the Civil War. The Civil War had a major impact on our nation. “

The other things, said Metcalf, were the embracing of three movements and one rejection of artistic expression. The first of the three was the desire for artists to start portraying America for what it was, notably seen in the artwork of John James Audubon, who created 435 paintings of 447 species of birds after feeling as if no one had documented America artistically...

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