The Silicon Valley Voice

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Around Santa Clara

By Carolyn Schuk, with contributions from Christy Kinney

Art Family-Style

Uncertain weather didn’t dampen spirits at Santa Clara Unified School District’s Family Art Day last Saturday at the Triton Museum. Volunteers were on hand to help hundreds of kids and their parents enjoy a day of artistic exploration with a variety of media and techniques. Folks also had the opportunity to explore the museum’s exhibits and galleries, with inside insight provided by museum staff and volunteers.

More Family Art Days are planned for later this year. For more information, visit or call (408) 247-3754.

Santa Clara-Izumo Sister Cities Relationship Turns 25

When tragedy strikes, we appreciate friends even more. On March 27, Santa Clara Sister Cities Association (SCA) joined with a contingent of visitors from Izumo, Japan to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the cities’ relationship, and to remember those who died and whose lives were devastated in last month’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.


SCA President Debi Davis presented Tom Kuwabra, past President of Izumo’s International Exchange Association, with a $2,000 donation for the hard-hit town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture. The earthquake and tsunami leveled 95 percent of Minamisanriku and thousands remain missing.

Masao Nagira, current President of the International Exchange Association of Izumo, extended the group’s heartfelt thanks to the SCA and other Santa Clara citizens for their generosity.

It’s not too late to help. Mail donations to Santa Clara Sister Cities Association, P.O. Box 3425, Santa Clara 95055-3425. For information, visit or call Debi Davis at 408) 687-0331.

Santa Clara Relay for Life in Cancer Society’s Winners Circle

Santa Clara’s Relay For Life was named one of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) national top ten per-capita fundraisers for 2010. With Sahar Taghvaei and Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley at the helm as chairman and captain respectively, the team raised $10,000.Doug Ray took the award for single-handedly raising the most money, $3,500.

In its 25th year, the Relay for Life has become one of the ACS’ central fundraisers. People of every ages and background can participate. The money raised supports under- and uninsured cancer patients, cancer research, and advocacy for cancer survivors and their families.

This year’s Relay for Life is May 14-15 at Townsend Field, 1111 Bellomy Street. The event starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday. Signing up is simple and you can do it as late as 9:59 a.m. the day of the event. To sign up a team, pledge as a sponsor, register as a survivor, join a Relay planning committee, or sponsor a candle, visit or email

Santa Clara #3 Nationally for Green Power

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported its first quarter rankings in its 2011 green power challenge to cities. Santa Clara ranks third for total green power use, and tenth for the percentage of total electricity that comes from green sources.

Only Washington D.C. and Portland, OR – both cities three times the size of Santa Clara – topped Santa Clara for the total number of “green” kilowatt hours. The only other California city to make the list, Palo Alto, came in eighth. Both are cities with municipal – city-owned and run – electric utilities. For more information, visit

Las Madres Donates to City Library for Family Place

Last month, the non-profit Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups donated $3,000 to help the City Central Library build its Family Place. Las Madres Executive President Sandra Maat presented the check to the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends on March 28.

With additional funding provided by the California State Library, Family Place will help the library provide parent education, encourage imagination play between parents and children, and support emerging literacy skills in young children.

For more information about Las Madres playgroups, visit or call (877) LAS-MADRES. For more information about the Santa Clara City Library, visit or call (408) 615-2900.


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