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The 6th Annual Classy Bag Affaire
Story and Photos by Alissa Reyes

David’s Restaurant’s banquet hall was full of beautifully dressed Santa Clara women Saturday morning. They–and a sprinkle of men–were there to bid on gorgeous bags stuffed with goodies at the 6th annual Soroptimist Classy Bag Affaire.

Over 200 guests bid on 41 bags. Even if they weren’t in the market for a bag, the guests had a chance to win over 40 doorbusters and a handful of raffle prizes.

It was like a spring fashion preview at this event. The guests were dressed handsomely; some with beautiful hats and fascinators–those classy headpieces the British usually wear to fancy affairs.

The room were decorated with jewel tone blue and silver décor. The tables’ centerpieces were adroble glass bags to match the theme. Guests scouted out the bags before the bidding. They were displayed on long tables that spanned the length of the long banquet hall.

One of the best steals was a bronze gold trimmed bag full of beauty goodies valued at $407 and sold for $175. This lot was cleverly named “Call me Beautiful!” which had lively volunteer auctioneer Peter Anning singing. Anning hosts all of the bag auctions.

Birthday girl Roseann LaCoursiere won the bid for a leather tote full of Italian delights including wine and restaurant gift cards.

The biggest buy was a 49er themed bundle that included season game tickets, a 49er pillow pet, and more. Valued at $1,500, Jared Danstrom, a San Jose resident, scooped up the prize for $2,025 after an intense paddle waving battle.

“The energy in the room when a coveted item comes up for bid and you see bid paddles go up as they try to outbid each other,” said Soroptimist President Marlee Dunn Dunn. “Whether it be a getaway to Las Vegas, time in Napa, Disneyland, wine tour, beautiful jewelry, or some just want the handbag. It is a Win-Win situation.”

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Breaking News: Bill Wilson Center CFO jailed for possession of child pornography

On Thursday, March 2, at approximately 7 a.m., Santa Clara Police Detectives with the assistance of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) and Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Forces served a search warrant on Bret Harte Court. They arrested Santa Clara resident David Bruce Lang, after finding him to be in possession of child pornography. Lang was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.

Lang, 63, is currently the Chief Financial Officer at the Bill Wilson Center in Santa Clara. Lang has been associated with the Bill Wilson Center since 2004. Lang also volunteered as an assistant Scout Master for a Sunnyvale Boy Scout troop in the 1970’s.

This investigation is on going. If anyone has any information regarding David Lang, please contact Santa Clara Police Detective Frank Hagg at (408) 615-4821.

Incident: PC 311.11(a) Possession of Child Pornography, Case # 17-1876

Celebrating 30 Years of Compassion in Action
Story By Melissa McKenzie

Celebrating 30 Years of Compassion in Action

Thirty years ago when Heart of the Valley (HOV), SERVICES FOR SENIORS Inc., began, Apple had just released the Macintosh personal computer and the Internet for personal use was a mostly unimaginable concept. Personal mobile phones were in their infancy and the cost to make a long distance phone call was prohibitive for anyone on a fixed income...

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Watanabe Wows Crowd as Bruins Beat Branham
Story By Andrew Bensch

Watanabe Wows Crowd as Bruins Beat Branham

Thursday’s opening round CCS basketball game featuring the undefeated (24-0, 12-0) Santa Clara Bruins against the (15-10, 9-5) Branham Bruins played out as expected. Santa Clara won going away, 59-31, in a rather quiet affair. Quiet, that is, outside of the fireworks display put on by Santa Clara sophomore Kayleigh Watanabe. The 15-year old looked like the girl on fire, dazzling her way to a game-high 20 points. Her performance included impressive fake passes while driving for layups and a nifty, behind-the-back dish to senior teammate Jazalyn Seguritan. The jaw-dropping pass nearly brought the house down as the home crowd rose to their feet hooting and hollering their approval...

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Members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Show Their Work at Mission College
Story By Cynthia Cheng

Members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Show Their Work at Mission College

Mission College was a busy place to be on Feb. 18 during the Region 5 Spring Leadership Meeting and Region Qualifying Competition, an event of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). (Region 5 covers the Bay Area and San Luis Obispo). A pirate-themed table setting bore netting, gold beads and of course, a big hand hook...

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Santa Clara Soccer: Don’t Sleep on Brooklyn
Story By Andrew Bensch

Santa Clara Soccer: Don’t Sleep on Brooklyn

Without the services of senior striker and leading scorer Ellie Mujushi, the Santa Clara Bruins soccer team managed to survive through the first two rounds of CCS. A first-round, 1-0 win over Christopher was followed up with a thrilling 2-1 win over Sequoia on Saturday.

Playing without their star forward and still winning says a lot about this team. One could literally list off the entire Santa Clara roster when describing players who provided a big impact in the win over Sequoia...

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The Sound of a Tree Falling
Story and photo by Diane Andrews

The Sound of a Tree Falling

While walking in Mission City Memorial Park Feb. 21, local residents Barbara Osborn and her husband, Charles, came across a very large, fallen cypress tree blocking one of the cemetery roadways–a casualty of the heavy rain and wind that had battered Santa Clara the day before.

"I wonder what it sounded like when the tree fell?" Osborn asked her husband, recalling the old philosophical and scientific question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?..."

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This Week's Letter

The February 15 Milestones explored the history and the now expanding growth of our city. There is, of course, a major impact due to the increased traffic.

However, there is yet one other negative aspect. We are loosing all of the major stores in or near our city. Sears, JCPenney’s, Kole’s, Orchard Supply and Office Depot all now require significantly further travel. Just what we don’t need.

Bernhard Henschke

Santa Clara Players Scores with "7-10 Split"
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Santa Clara Players Scores with "7-10 Split"

Former bowling pro Curly Early unexpectedly gets to relive his days of bowling fame and glory in the Santa Clara Players current stage production of "7-10 Split" by Canadian playwright Michael Wilmot. The fast-paced, two-act comedy, which opened Feb. 24, runs through March 18.

A 7-10 split, also known as bed posts, is one of the hardest of the ten-pin bowling shots to make. But back in the day, no shot was beyond Earl as he curled his prized, Lane Master Black Diamond Limited Edition ball down the lanes of Fred's Bowl-a-Rama.

Alas, making a bittersweet decision, Earl gave up the pro bowling circuit to marry his pregnant girlfriend, Brenda. Twenty years later, despite Earl's failed get rich-quick-schemes, the two are still in love–although Earl's latest scheme sorely tests Brenda's long-suffering love...

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Wilcox Wins Wild Affair
Story By Andrew Bensch

Wilcox Wins Wild Affair

If you are a fan of Wilcox Chargers basketball, Wednesday’s wild 70-61 victory over Everett Alvarez in the first round of CCS is not one you will soon forget. The Chargers saw a five-point third quarter lead evaporate into an eight-point deficit when the visiting Eagles soared to a 15-2 run. Wilcox would respond immediately down 50-42 with a sparkling 9-0 run of their own. Chargers fans went crazy during this sequence where the Eagles barely touched the ball and Wilcox regained a one-point lead. Thanks to some impressive defense by senior guard Jarius Baddo, the Chargers got five quick points off steals from right underneath the offensive basket as a part of that 9-0 run. One of those steals led to an and-one play finished off by senior leader Christian Fitzpatrick.

“It’s amazing, he just goes after everything,” commented Fitzpatrick on Baddo’s impressive defensive sequence during the 9-0 run. “He hustles to the ball wherever it is and that’s big for us because we need that in the way we play with our pressure. We need multiple people to sprint back and get steals and he’s the guy for it...”

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76th Annual Camellia Show Spectacular Despite the Weather
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

76th Annual Camellia Show Spectacular Despite the Weather

"Will the camellias survive the rain?" was the nagging question on everyone's mind in the days before the 76th Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale Feb. 25 and 26, held indoors at the Santa Clara Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd. Not to worry.

"We were pleasantly surprised that even with the difficult weather, we had more blooms this year than last," said John Mendoza, III, show chairperson and President of the Camellia Society of Santa Clara County (CSSCC), which co-sponsors the show with the City of Santa Clara.

"We're trying to spread the word about camellias," said Mendoza. "We want to see this flower grown more, and we're trying to promote growing a greater variety of them..."

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City Manager Rajeev Batra Announces Retirement, Leaves Important South Bay Public Works Legacy
Story By Carolyn Schuk

City Manager Rajeev Batra Announces Retirement, Leaves Important South Bay Public Works Legacy

As a civil engineer for four decades, Santa Clara's Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra is literally a road-builder. And as the first Indian-American city manager in the Bay Area, and possibly in all of California, he is also an emblematic road-builder.

Batra announced his retirement on March 30 after almost 15 years with Santa Clara, and 35 years in public service. While he has found public service deeply rewarding, he says that for a number of years he has been interested in exploring new possibilities for his talent and experience. And the demands of the City Manager's job in a fast-growing town like Santa Clara simply don't leave room.

"I was very honored last year to be asked to step up" after former City Manager Julio Fuentes resigned, he said in an interview conducted between half a dozen departmental budget planning meetings. "I thank the Council for putting their trust in me...”

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Painting for a Cause
Story By Melissa McKenzie

Painting for a Cause

Lupus affects at least 1.5 million Americans, mostly women of childbearing age. The auto-immune disorder can cause extreme fatigue, headaches, anemia, photosensitivity and edema, among other, at times, debilitating symptoms. Those afflicted with lupus, which is more prevalent than AIDS, sickle-cell anemia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined, are often misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease and a number of heart, lung, muscle and bone diseases.

Despite the prevalence of lupus across America, there is much misinformation about the disease, as many relate it to AIDS or cancer or assume it is contagious or sexually transmitted. In an effort to raise funds that may be used to further research, uncover its cause and find better ways to manage lupus, Christine Von Raesfeld, volunteer social media coordinator and patient educator for the Lupus Foundation of Northern California, in conjunction with artist Sonya Paz’s VinoPaint, held a small fundraiser on Feb. 23 at Santa Clara’s Mio Vicino restaurant...

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