‘Tis the Season: Holiday Tree Lighting 2017

  • Photos by Larry Sacks
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Santa Clara’s 2017 Holiday Tree Lighting saw the customary holiday cheer. The main stage burst with talented Santa Clarans showing off their holiday dances and musical flairs, while others glided across the outdoor ice rink. Santa greeted every young one with a hearty “Ho Ho Ho” and posed for photos. And, of course, the tree lighting ceremony and the explosive fireworks display...

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Santa Embraces Public Transportation

  • Story and photos by Diane Andrews
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Almost a full moon was overhead, and Santa Clara's Caltrain station was jam packed for Santa's 8 p.m. arrival on Dec. 2. For 15 Decembers, Santa and Mrs. Claus and their fairy-tale entourage of elves, gingerbread people, and Frosty have come to town aboard the Holiday Train, choosing public transportation over private sleigh so that Santa's reindeer can rest up for Christmas Eve touring the...

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An American Foursquare Spotlighted the 2017 Santa Clara Historic Home Tour

  • Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng
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According to Reverend Dr. Michael Ferrito, his historic home was built with a rectangular box design, a style with origins from 1905 up to the 1920s. As far as he understands, the rectangular box design is synonymous with what is called the American Foursquare. Michael Ferrito’s American Foursquare was one of the architectural gems featured from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2 in this year’s Santa Clara...

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10th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner – It’s About the People

  • By Carolyn Schuk
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This year Santa Clara's public-spirited Marsalli family–four generations of them–and an impressive team of dedicated volunteers cooked and served the Marsalli Family Foundation's 10th annual free Thanksgiving feast. This year they served about 700 people at St. Clare's Church as well as take-out dinners for those who couldn't get out and organizations like Bill Wilson Center's group homes and...

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year at Great America’s WinterFest

  • Story by Cynthia Cheng and Photos by Larry Sacks
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On Nov. 24 at 5 p.m., California’s Great America’s second annual WinterFest opened to the general public. Park guests ice skated on Snowflake Lake in front of Carousel Columbia, snapped their holiday card photos at Candy Cane Lane, shared their holiday wish list with Santa, and sang along to their favorite holiday jingles with the Cool Yule Christmas performers at the Celebration...

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Holidays on Ice at Central Park

  • Story and photos by Diane Andrews
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Outdoor ice skating in Central Park began on Nov. 20, just before Thanksgiving, and will continue into the new year through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan.15, 2018. It is the third year for what has become a young holiday tradition in the historic Mission City, founded in 1852. "We're excited to be back for a third season and are looking forward to providing a family fun, safe...

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Bill Wilson Center Walk to Prevent Youth Homelessness

  • Story and photos by Diane Andrews
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November is National Homeless and Runaway Prevention Month. And the message was loud and clear as about 75-100 people gathered at San Jose City Hall Plaza at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 to rally before starting a one-mile walk to the Bill Wilson Center Drop-In Center for homeless youth. San Jose Council Member Tam Nguyen and Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez led the crowd in repeating after...

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Mission Library says ‘Goodbye’ for now

  • Story by Cynthia Cheng and Photos by the Santa Clara City Library
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The Mission Library (at 1098 Lexington St.) will soon be shutting its doors. Thankfully, the library’s closing will only be temporary. On Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the library will host the Mission Renovation Celebration to mark the closing of the library as a major renovation is about to begin. “We’re celebrating the renovation that’s going to happen at the Mission Library, which...

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Teachers Feel the Love at Educator Appreciation Night

  • Story and Photos by Cynthia Cheng
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On the evening of Nov. 9, educators gathered at Books Inc. Santa Clara to munch on refreshments, sip beverages, and of course, browse through books, toys, games and potential holiday gifts. Each educator went home with a canvas tote bag filled with swag such as book posters, teaching guides for selected books and a booklet of recommended reading for young people. “No other Books Inc. store...

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Artificial Intelligence, Cat Doors and Simplicity

  • By Carolyn Schuk
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It was a typical Silicon Valley gathering. On a sunny Saturday everyone was indoors discussing arcane technical subjects. The event was the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Unconference, sponsored by Intel at its Mission College Blvd. headquarters. The "un" part of the conference is the "pop up" nature of the sessions. It is, to borrow a term from AI, a self-organizing system. The schedule is...

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