New Cupertino Poet Laureate Seeks to Inspire

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jennifer-swanton-brown-cupertino-poet-laureate-cupertino-libraryThe Cupertino City Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the Cupertino Library Commission naming Jennifer Swanton Brown as the second Poet Laureate of Cupertino. Her two-year term will be from October 1st, 2013 to September 30th, 2015. David Denny, the City’s first Poet Laureate fulfilled a “very successful” first term, engaging all ages of the community in poetry.

Brown “has many ideas about increasing poetry knowledge, enjoyment and participation in Cupertino.” The experience of writing and publishing poems as a school girl “was transformative, and something I believe I can offer the children of our community.” She will also focus on international styles of poetry. “A community as diverse as Cupertino should celebrate the ancient and varied poetic traditions of its citizens’ literature and cultures,” notes Brown. [Read more…]

Funds Needed for Poster Asking Us to See, Not Watch, Our Neighbors

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see-my-neighbors-not-watch-poster-Micah-Bazant-Reach-and-Teach-Indiegogo-crowdraising“I don’t watch my neighbors. I see them.”

So starts a poster recently created by San Francisco Bay Area artist Micah Bazant, to promote seeing our neighbors with compassion, rather than suspicion. The team at Reach and Teach in San Mateo, and Bazant, are partnering to promote the poster on Indiegogo, a crowdsourcing platform for raising money and awareness for charitable causes.

Reach and Teach is seeking $2,000 to fund the first print run of posters, to be sold for $10 each. A portion of the sales will go to Bazant, and another portion will go to the Oakland organization, Justice for Families, which originally commissioned the poster. Fundraising started Aug. 14, and ends Sept. 20. The project had raised more than $1,100 as of Sept. 11. [Read more…]

San Francisco Vigil For Missing Bay Area Young Men This Weekend

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Jackson Miller

Jackson Miller

The families of five young men last seen in San Francisco are banding together for a vigil at 2 p.m., this Saturday, Sept. 14, in Golden Gate Park to raise awareness and advocate for more police involvement in search efforts.

“Why are five young men, most of them in their early twenties, missing from San Francisco?”, asks a press release for the vigil. “What is San Francisco Police doing to help locate the missing young men?”

The five families are hoping that the public vigil and the sharing of their “heart wrenching stories”, will bring new light to the missing men’s cases, which are going cold as time passes.

One of the families behind the vigil is that of Jackson Miller, 23, who went missing three years ago on May 15, 2010, from his home in Cupertino. His car and identification were found in San Francisco, and witness sightings place him in the city after the disappearance. He is considered an “endangered adult”, yet he remains missing despite many search parties, media, and other efforts by his parents, Paul Miller and Gina Funaro, family, and friends. [Read more…]

Church Pieces Together Healing for San Bruno

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Bethany Presbyterian member Roberta Henry with the mural.

Three years after a massive explosion along a PG&E gas pipeline underneath a San Bruno neighborhood, a local church is helping the community heal using shattered bits of ceramics and glass from the blast itself in a poignant mosaic.

Three of the eight people killed on Sept. 9, 2010, were members of the Bullis family and Bethany Presbyterian Church—Lavonne, 82, her son Greg, 50, and his son William, 17.

All that was left of the Bullis home were pieces of cups, saucers, and Christmas decorations from Lavonne Bullis’ collections. Lavonne’s daughter, Jeannie Bullis Young, found shards of the orchid pattern china used when the family gathered for Easter and summer birthdays, a small angel holding a harp, and a sweet nativity scene that once decorated the home at Christmas, along with other reminders of happier times.

Young and other stunned family members scooped up the remnants out of the ashes of the family home while escorted by emergency personnel and Red Cross workers days after the tragedy. They tucked away the fragments, not sure what they would do with them. [Read more…]

Students Win For Super Science Searches

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Winners in the S3-Super Science Searches summer contest (Left to Right) Alexander Ivanov and Rajiv Nelakanti (First Place); Bev Lenihan, S3 project manager and Cupertino Library Foundation board member; Kiyati Sriram (Second Place); and Shiyalika Chayan (Third Place).

Plenty of middle school students spent big chunks of time this summer searching the Internet for entertainment and meeting new friends, but in the Cupertino area more than 200 students focused their searches on science using library online databases for the chance to win cash and prizes.

The Cupertino Library Foundation announced the winners of their second annual S3-Super Science Searches Summer Contest for Cupertino Union School District middle school students on Aug. 16, just before the launch of the new school year. First Place winners Alexander Ivanov and Rajiv Nelakanti, 8th graders at Cupertino Middle School, won iPad minis for their team entry. Niyati Sriram, an out-going 8th grader from Cupertino Middle School won $100 for her second place entry. Shivalika Chavan, an out-going 8th grader from Kennedy Middle School, was awarded $50 in third place. There were 206 registrants, and 63 official entrants. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in September

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housing-one-housing-1000-silicon-valley-homelessness-five-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-september-2013Summer vacation is over and the rush into fall has officially begun. Before you rush ahead too far, consider carving out a little time to help others around you this month. Use one or more of our five suggestions below as a way to get started. Have more suggestions? Tell us in the comments section!

1. Help the Homeless: Cuts to Section 8 housing vouchers this month and sky high housing costs will most likely throw some Bay Area neighbors into homelessness, and will definitely keep those who are already homeless, and want to be housed, on the streets. Consider helping an organization in your community that is making significant progress in working to house people. Housing 1000 is a community campaign in the Silicon Valley that has been working the past two years to house 1,000 people by the end of 2013. As of July the campaign is still more than 50 percent away from that goal, but the efforts continue. You can help by visiting the Housing One website, where you can see stories of people Housing 1000 is helping and donate either toward specific clients, or more generally to the organization. For a sobering look at what we’re up against in the fight against homelessness in the Silicon Valley, see the Business Insider’s recent special report on the issue.

2. Volunteer in Honor of 9/11: Sept. 11 was declared a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009 to honor the fallen from the [Read more…]