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Wilcox High School Students Present a Tale as Old as Time with “Beauty and the Beast”
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Sara Norris, 18, costume designer at Wilcox High School described how Belle’s trademark gold dress was created for the Wilcox Stage Company’s “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” performed May 12-14 at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts. Starting with a donated yellow top, the school’s Fashion Design department, led by teacher Mindy Trisko, added more satin, applied yellow roses, and used petticoats to shape the skirt. The dress was worn during the romantic ballroom dance between Belle and the Beast. If Belle confessed her love for the Beast, she could reverse the Enchantress’s spell and help turn him back into a Prince.

“This is primarily a student run production,” said Claire Robson, teacher and stage manager/director alongside student director Nicholas Gamber and other student crew members. “Students get to communicate with a bunch of different people, meet deadlines, take on leadership roles and show commitment to a project.”

Jessica O’Gorman, 15, played Belle, the heroine who traded spots with her gentle father Maurice (Zoey Martin) when he was imprisoned in the Beast’s castle. O’Gorman’s soothing voice came through in songs such as “A Change in Me” and “End Duet/Transformation” when Belle realized she was falling in love.

“I don’t think that love has anything to do with appearances; it’s what’s within,” O’Gorman said. “It has to do with caring about [someone’s] personality and not their looks.”

The Beast was Ben Burkhardt, 15, who admitted he played happier roles in other productions. Nonetheless, Burkhardt smoothly portrayed the troubled Beast.

“Taking deep breaths brings me into a calmer zone as the Beast,” said Burkhardt, who wore a beard and wig in his role. “My low voice also helps with bringing the anger.”

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He Had Santa Clara in His Heart: Jerry Marsalli
August 2, 1950–May 13, 2017

By Carolyn Schuk

He Had Santa Clara in His Heart: Jerry Marsalli August 2, 1950–May 13, 2017

Ask anyone in Santa Clara who knew Jerry Marsalli and they'll tell you two things about him. The first is that he knew everybody and everything about Santa Clara. The second is that he had a profound influence on their individual lives.

"He didn't want to just be a friend who shook hands with you," said neighbor and long-time friend Steve Ricossa. "He was genuinely interested in who you were."

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Bruins Drop Season Finale in Extra innings
By Andrew Bensch

Bruins Drop Season Finale in Extra innings

Thursday’s softball season finale for the Santa Clara Bruins wasn’t a must-win, but it was nonetheless a highly competitive contest against the Homestead Mustangs...

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Citizens’ Police Academy - Simulation Day
Story by Larry Sacks photos by Karen Louie

Citizens’ Police Academy - Simulation Day

As a reporter for the Santa Clara Weekly and Santa Clara resident, I’ve enrolled in the Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA) class offered by the Santa Clara Police...

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Talented Kids on Stage at Santana Row Raise Money for Children's Hospital
Story by Diane Andrews

Talented Kids on Stage at Santana Row Raise Money for Children's Hospital

Nearly 40 talented young entertainers performed outdoors at Santana Row on April 30, raising $2,656.66 (and still counting) for the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital...

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Bay Area Women’s Expo Held at Santa Clara Convention Center
Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng

Bay Area Women’s Expo Held at Santa Clara Convention Center

In one corner of Hall B at the Santa Clara Convention Center during the April 29 Bay Area Women’s Expo, people concentrated on painting a blossom tree...

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Engineers 4 Tomorrow, Nonprofit Inspires Young Minds
Story and photo by Erasmo Guerra

Engineers 4 Tomorrow, Nonprofit Inspires Young Minds

While attending Purdue University on an academic scholarship, Gaston Tamboura, a Senegalese immigrant, found his passion for teaching. A fellow student had spotted him working on their calculus homework and remarked how difficult it had been. By the time Tamboura finished explaining it to her, she marveled, “Wow. It’s that easy?” Soon after he organized a group called the Excellence Club, or E-Club for short, where fellow students could tutor one another. The group grew to 100 students and Tamboura recalled one person who took him aside on graduation day and told him, “If it wasn’t for E-Club, I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

These days, a decade later and thousands of miles away at Techmart, an office center amid a corridor of high-tech companies in Santa Clara, Tamboura works as a senior business consultant for Tata Consultancy Services, a global IT company based in India. He has also taken his passion for education and dug new roots in Silicon Valley...

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Houdini Heroics Help Bruins Clinch Playoffs
By Andrew Bensch

Houdini Heroics Help Bruins Clinch Playoffs

The Santa Clara Bruins are on their way to the Central Coast Section playoffs, clinching a postseason spot without any help, except well, maybe a little from Harry Houdini himself. At the start of the day Friday the Bruins sat in second place in the El Camino league standings, needing to hold onto that spot in order to qualify for CCS. A win in the season finale and the Bruins would be in the playoffs. However, Bruins Head Coach Sean Grizzle admitted he was aware that an earlier result on Friday between Lynbrook and Gunn meant the Bruins were in the playoffs regardless of the outcome of their Friday night game against Monta Vista. Grizzle of course didn’t inform his team of the earlier results and so his players played as if they needed to win, which they did, in a 8-0 victory.

After taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Bruins escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the second inning with some Houdini-level evasion. After a mundane strikeout, the Matadors still had the bases loaded with only one out. This is where things got mind-bogglingly weird. The following batter hit a soft liner just over the second baseman’s outstretched arm and into shallow right field...

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Mother's Day Treat from the Santa Clara Players-"Things My Mother Taught Me"
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Mother's Day Treat from the Santa Clara Players-"Things My Mother Taught Me"

The timing for the Santa Clara Players production of the sweet, romantic comedy "Things My Mother Taught Me" by Katherine DiSavino is perfect. It opened May 12 on Mother's Day weekend and runs through June 3, with 11 performances. The comedy of young love and relationships between adult children and their parents and future in-laws will keep you laughing and stir up memories that linger after the show.

Olivia and Gabe, an unmarried couple in their 30s, decide to live together and move from New York City to Chicago, driving a U-haul filled with all their worldly possessions. Moving day is full of surprises, complications and resulting laughs.

The complications start from the opening scene when a wide armchair–the first and the only piece of furniture that the couple purchased together–remains stuck in the narrow doorway of their new and otherwise empty apartment. Max, their Polish landlady (played by Marie Ballentine), feigns not understanding English to avoid helping them out.

Then things really get complicated when Olivia (Jaime Wolf) and Gabe (Devon Grover) get a surprise visit from their well-intentioned parents, who roll up their sleeves to help the couple move into the apartment, dispensing advice all the while...

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Inaugural Health & Wellness Fair Highlights Community Resources for Seniors
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Inaugural Health & Wellness Fair Highlights Community Resources for Seniors

"Be Strong, Live Long," a health and wellness fair highlighting community resources for seniors, takes place May 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fremont Park, next to the Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont Ave. More than 20 organizations will provide information for senior care givers and healthy lifestyle information for all seniors. Bring $7 for a BBQ lunch that begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until the food runs out.

The fair includes tours of the senior center, fitness class demonstrations with opportunities to participate, and free hearing and vision screening by the Santa Clara Lions Club. Get a stamp in your "passport" at each booth you visit to be entered into a raffle for prizes.

Here's a shocker for some: According to Senior Center recreation supervisor Jennifer Herb senior begins at 50. Seniors 50 to 65 are classified as new old, those 65 to 80 as old, and those over 80 as old old...

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