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Removal of Park Cross: City Cave-in or Prudent Compromise?
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

The removal of the controversial 14-foot, white granite Latin cross that was the focal point of Memorial Cross Park at the intersection of Martin Ave. and De La Cruz Blvd., Santa Clara on Dec. 27, 2016, went unreported until Santa Clara resident Guy Sudano brought it to the attention of local media, including the Santa Clara WEEKLY.

The memorial cross was the subject of a U.S. District Court complaint against the City of Santa Clara, filed April 20, 2016, by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). At the heart of the now moot issue is the debate over whether the cross is a religious symbol or a historical marker.

The memorial cross, a gift to the City from the Santa Clara Lions Club, was placed at the then undeveloped site in 1953 to mark the location of the official second site of Mission Santa Clara de Asis, founded in 1777. The FFRF and its members, including Santa Clara resident Andrew DeFaria, a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, argued that the cross was a religious symbol and thus, that displaying the cross on public property violated the separation of church and state.

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Say More About That: Anna Deavere Smith’s SCU Conversation
Story by Maria Judnick

Say More About That: Anna Deavere Smith’s SCU Conversation

SCU’s Music Recital Hall filled to capacity on Feb. 7 as Anna Deavere Smith–one of SCU’s 2016-2017 Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence–spoke on “The Art of Communication” before an extensive Q&A.

While Smith is well-known for her television work–she played Dr. Nancy McNally on The West Wing and Gloria Akalitus...

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Wilcox Boys Mirror Girls With Soccer Surge
By: Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Boys Mirror Girls With Soccer Surge

In last week’s edition we learned about the second-half turnaround for the Wilcox girls soccer squad. After starting out league season just 1-5-1, the girls finished 2-3 in their final five games. One of their highlights was a 2-0 win over Lynbrook after having lost to them 5-0 earlier in the season...

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Homeowners Sitting Pretty in Santa Clara
By Diane Andrews

Homeowners Sitting Pretty in Santa Clara

The good news for Santa Clara homeowners and prospective homeowners, is that the City ranks 33rd in a nationwide listing of the top 100 Best Places To Buy a Forever Home in 2017. One California city–Mountain View–made it to the top ten...

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A Variety of Media Displayed at Mission College’s Art Faculty Exhibition
By Cynthia Cheng

A Variety of Media Displayed at Mission College’s Art Faculty Exhibition

Outside Mission College’s Vargas Gallery, located at the Gillmor Center, were parmesan cheese wheels, mini cabbage strudels, chocolate chip cookies and mint honey ice tea...

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This Week's Letter

When any community is led by effective leaders who are committed to honor and leadership, then the people are secure.  Over the course of thirty years, Santa Clara has been led by honorable and effective Mayors and Councils, city management and commissioners.  Even in Camelot, though, there were evil Mordreds who slither through the raindrops.  They claim they are servants, but they jude around with little desire for a true city place.  Disclosure is the best medicine for an ethical community, a true verafirm for Santa Clara is a world without secrets, a Mission City with an All American creed which we have now with people participating with a livelong desire for the Santa Clara way.

James Rowen

Santa Clara Finishes Off Perfect Regular Season
By Andrew Bensch

Santa Clara Finishes Off Perfect Regular Season

The game itself was never in doubt with Santa Clara in cruise control from nearly start to finish, but the Bruins’ 58-26 victory clinched a perfect 24-0 (12-0) league season. Celebrating senior night at their home gym, Bruins Head Coach Deedee Kiyota inserted senior Jazalyn Seguritan into the starting lineup. Seguritan joined her 2017 classmates Devyn Snyder, Taylor Snyder and Katherine Knowles, all four seniors getting the start in the regular season finale.

Friday’s clinching win was an evening filled with tears of joy. Santa Clara honored their four seniors in a pregame ceremony with parents and loved ones at half court. A couple hours later the team celebrated their historic regular season with plenty of hugs and smiles to go around. Don’t be fooled though, this team is nowhere close to satisfied. Their goal now is to win CCS.

“We haven’t ever really put [last season’s CCS loss] behind us,” commented Taylor Snyder after the game. “We kind of keep it in the back of our minds the whole time and just feed off of that. We don’t want that to happen again so we push ourselves to the end of every game...”

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City Seeks Input on Environmental Impact Report for Senior Housing Complex, Hotel
By David Alexander

City Seeks Input on Environmental Impact Report for Senior Housing Complex, Hotel

Several Santa Clarans criticized a proposed senior housing and hotel development, calling the project a “monster” during a community outreach meeting.

The 7.14-acre Mariani Villas development is set to be located on two blocks on both sides of Buchanan Avenue on the south side El Camino Real. A one-lane bridge that would extend Arroyo Drive could “potentially” be included as part of the construction, which also includes 392 multi-family apartments and 311 hotel rooms.

Roughly 40 people turned out on Feb. 16 to give input on what issues city employees should consider when creating the environmental impact report. The proposal will require the City Council to change the seven parcels on the property to mixed-use.

Santa Clara public meeting mainstay Deborah Bress claimed the project ignores the needs of the public. Bress flailed wildly at seemingly every aspect of the project, throwing verbal haymakers, calling the development “obscene,” “preposterous,” “an abomination” and even asked City employees “What are you smoking?”...

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Watermark Conference for Women
By Audrey Cortes

Watermark Conference for Women

Since millions of women across the globe came together to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump last month, there has been no shortage of high profile leaders speaking out about what this presidency will mean for women.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1 the Annual Watermark Conference for Women, Silicon Valley was held at the San Jose Convention Center. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Golden Globe award winner Viola Davis had prominent speaking roles. In years past, the sold-out event has boasted big names like Hillary Clinton and actress Mindy Kaling. This year, the conference had plenty of star power but also played host to the country’s other two female Secretaries of State–Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

Sheryl Sandberg started the morning off by openly discussing the healing process she has undergone in the wake of the tragic loss of husband David Goldberg nearly two years ago. Sandberg will be releasing a new book later this year, revisiting her continuing quest to cope with the grief of losing a spouse. The book will talk about resilience and how to create stronger marriages, raise healthy children and build sustainable workplaces...

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