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Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara grows more beautiful and lush with each new spring as established native flower and bush plantings thrive and new plantings take root. Hot orange poppies–California's state flower since 1903–and a profusion of blue and bright purple ceanothus blossoms and deep yellow flannelbush blossoms were the most colorful attractions for bees, birds, lizards, monarch butterflies and families enjoying Ulistac Wildflower Day April 1.
"The flannelbush is our neon sign for Ulistac," volunteer Kirsty MacKay told the group she was leading on the 10:15 a.m. wildflower walk. "It's 42 acres of open space, so once plants are established, we like to leave things alone. We just walk away from the plants and let them grow...
An April 4 stop in Santa Clara was part of New York Times bestselling author Anthony Doerr’s U.S. paperback tour, as his widely acclaimed novel, “All The Light We Cannot See” is now out in paperback. Margie Scott Tucker, co-owner of Books Inc., introduced Doerr to his many fans who came to the Santa Clara Convention Center to hear him speak.
“Exactly 69 years and 11 months after the Normandy landings, this book landed in the stores,” Tucker said...
Wilcox starting pitcher Jarrett Chapman dazzled on the mound in Monday’s 3-0 victory over the Fremont Firebirds. The junior threw six-shutout innings allowing just one hit before giving way to senior Nathan Aggarwal for a three-up, three-down save...
The Archbishop Mitty Monarchs freshman baseball squad looked far more advanced in their high school transformation than the Wilcox Chargers on Tuesday. Wilcox starting pitcher Jayden Greco couldn’t get out of the first inning before being relieved in favor of southpaw Evan Horozco...
Plowing through two fences and driving into the deep end of the backyard swimming pool at a Santa Clara home proved a wet awakening for a 19-year-old Santa Clara man who fell asleep at the wheel of his car around 2:45 a.m. April 11...
Santa Clara’s Northside Library teamed up with Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) and Palo Alto Humane Society’s (PAHS) Kiddies 2 Kitties program for a special afternoon of reading on April 1...
Among the recommendations that the 2011 Charter Review Committee (CRC) made to the City Council was that they consider implementing a proportional representation (PR) voting system by 2014. Had the City done so, it wouldn't be facing a lawsuit today, as a PR system organically provides representation to minorities (political, ethnic, or electoral) in direct proportion to how people vote. (Two-thirds of the voters, voting as a block, will elect two-thirds of the winners, not all of them, and one-third of the voters, voting as a block, will elect one-third of the winners, not none.)
Instead, the City Council punted the issue to a February 2012 study session that recommended that the CRC's report be considered at a March 2013 goal setting session, where the CRC's recommendation died a quiet death. The Council's inaction laid the groundwork for the current lawsuit.
The homogeneous nature of Santa Clara means district elections won't result in a Council that reflects the City's diversity. Only a PR solution will do so.
President, Californians for Electoral Reform
Is the current method for electing council members in Santa Clara, which is identical to the system in Sunnyvale, designed to keep minorities from being elected? Santa Clara has a Hispanic Mayor, and a very diverse City Staff and City Commissioners. It is true that several groups in the election put out mailers that had racial undertones and the last Charter Review Committee seemed sidetracked on making the wearing of Red and Gold illegal in town rather than address real issues. It is true that there are online "newswriters" and social media podcasters who are quite racist. But that is a part of democracy. Santa Clara residents are quite capable of selecting their representatives. City residents do not need instruction in democracy. A few council members with friends in online banking may be stupid, but Santa Clara voters can handle their affairs quite well.
Tuesday night, the Santa Clara City Council appointed a new charter review committee, giving it a clear assignment to consider alternative methods of electing the City Council, and approved a contract with Landmark Services for stadium security with a request to re-negotiate a shorter term.
The new charter review committee is the second since 2016 and the third since 2011 to be convened to consider whether Santa Clara should change its at-large, by-seat system for electing the City Council.
Since 2011, Santa Clara has received two warning letters from San Francisco-based civil rights attorney Robert Rubin saying that the City isn't complying with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). On March 30, the Asian Law Alliance (ALA) filed a CVRA lawsuit.
The CVRA expands federal voting rights laws to eliminate the requirement that minorities can't be elected with the existing system, only that they are unable to influence at-large elections–called "vote dilution." Currently, agencies with by-district representation can't be challenged under the CVRA...
It was either clever planning or unintended irony that the Art in Action 2017 fundraising gala took place in the heart of Silicon Valley at the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, on March 23. Art was added to STEM that night, creating STEAM at schools nationwide that subscribe to Art in Action programs for elementary through eighth grade students.
"This area is so focused on STEM [science, technology, engineering and math], we forget about the arts and what that means to life," said Lori Rhodes, Board of Directors co-chair. "California cut the heart out of arts. Our mission is to bring visual arts to every child and make people more aware of art."
"In this country, it seems that some Americans think art is only for the elite, but everybody needs art. Art is what makes you human. Art in Action is really art appreciation and being able to create," said Judy Sleeth, who founded Art in Action in the Bay Area in 1982. On May 21, Sleeth will receive a life-time achievement award from the nonprofit service organization Avenidas...
About 400 people gathered in the Redwood Room at Central Park Library on April 1 to celebrate Arabic Day. The Hennaist used henna (a dye used for body art) to paint intricate flowers onto people’s arms and hands. Lubna Shaikh wrote names in Arabic calligraphy. Parents had their cameras ready for the children’s performances and traditional clothing fashion show from various Arabic regions. The event was organized by four industrious girls in Girl Scout Troop 60053: Salma Mostafa, Yumna Battisha, Malak Ashmawi and Amana Kaddoura. Mostafa attends Cupertino’s Hyde Middle School while Battisha, Ashmawi and Kaddoura attend Santa Clara’s Granada Islamic School.
One of the causes for celebration is the addition of an Arabic book collection to Central Park Library’s children’s section, a project spearheaded by these Girl Scouts. Books about animals, the Magic School Bus and fairytales were among the books donated...
"Let Yourself Blossom" was the theme for the 51st annual fashion show lunch and dinner presented by Presentation High School April 7 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway.
The fashion show, attended by 950, is one of the all-girl parochial school's biggest fundraisers for its Endowment for Financial Aid. The endowment enables qualified young women in grades nine through twelve to attend the college preparatory Catholic school in San Jose regardless of their economic status.
"You will not forget that you made a difference in the life of a Preservation girl," said principal and alumna Mary Miller in welcoming remarks, pointing out that it costs $110 per day to sponsor one girl. "Be generous because we can..."
Members of all branches of military convened at California’s Great America on March 31 to kick off the debut of the park’s newest rollercoaster, Patriot.
California Air National Guard Staff Sergeant Dan Olivas–who sang God Bless America during game two of the 2012 World Series–sang the National Anthem then Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Great America’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg gave a few opening remarks before the ribbon cutting ceremony.
In addition to speaking about Patriot, which occupies Vortex’s track and changes out the coaster’s standup trains for floorless cars, Gillmor and Rehnborg explained some of Great America’s future plans. Rehnborg also noted that Patriot was the park’s last project before obtaining the green light from City Council to expand.
“We’re excited to open this new attraction, Patriot, and as mayor Gillmor said, this is [our] first floorless coaster,” he said. “We’re always excited to give our guests a new perspective when they ride the rides. This ride is going to take riders up nine stories and drop them into a 360 degree loop and several hairpin turns ... The most exciting aspect of this ride is that, from the guest’s perspective, they’re going to be dangling their feet inches above the track...”