Kudos to Quixilver FTC team 8404

Quixilver FTC team 8404

Quixilver FTC team 8404Leland Robotics Quixilver FTC team 8404 recently competed against 72 teams from 13 states at the West Super Regional Championships in Tacoma Washington. Of the 203 teams from Northern California, Quixilver 8404 was the only team to advance from the Silicon Valley.

After making it to the top ten in their division in the super regionals, Quixilver 8404 will now compete in the World Championships against 128 teams from 39 countries. The team is now having a fund-raising drive to buy sensors, cameras and other parts. If you would like to help this Almaden team get an edge in the world championships, go to their Go Fund Me page on https://www.gofundme.com/help-ftc-8404-go-to-the-world-championship. For more information about how to get involved with the FIRST Robotics program, contact FTC 8404 Quixilver at ftc8404@gmail.com.

Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 Catalog

The Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 catalog is here!

Almaden Community Center Spring 2017Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 Activities

Coming up at the Almaden Community Center this Friday, March 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm is a free family movie evening. For more details about this event, call 408-268-1133.

Regular classes in art, music and dance begin the first week in April. Classes include ballet, hip hop, guitar and more. Sports activities like futsal, soccer, tennis and basketball begin at the same time. Additionally, there are enrichment activities for kids like Digital Computer Animation and Little Medical School. Registration has just begun. Hurry up and grab a spot in your favorite activity!

Almaden Community Center Summer Camps

Is your child interested in comic book design or in being an eco-explorer? Or perhaps she would like to be a young inventor. The Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 catalog includes a schedule of exciting summer camps and activities. Spread out from June through August 2017, there are a host of diverse and exciting day-long and half-day camps for children to choose from.

In addition to various sports camps, there are camps for technologically inclined children including Lego engineering, robotics, mobile app development, aeronautics and more. Camps for art enthusiasts include origami, photography, gardening, cooking and others. Your child can also learn to be a spy, train to be a super hero, or enter the magical world of Hogwarts – there are camps for those adventures, too!

Registration for summer camps is now open. Scholarships are available for select programs. For more details and to register, call 408-268-1133 or visit www.sjregistration.com. You can also view the complete Spring 2017 catalog here: https://issuu.com/sjparksandrec/docs/almaden_community_center_c7523a461121e5

More Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events

Here are a couple more Almaden Valley winter holiday events to enjoy in the days ahead…

Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events Celtic RoseCeltic Rose: Rare Holiday Gems – An Afternoon of Celtic Holiday Music

The holidays are well and truly upon us. And what better way to enjoy a cold December afternoon in Almaden than with some ‘Rare Holiday Gems’? Celtic Rose: Rare Holiday Gems is a performance of holiday songs played to the accompaniment of the lute, the recorder, drums and the guitar.

Celtic music is the music of the people settled in the Celtic regions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, among others. The music has a lyrical quality to it and uses a variety of traditional instruments. Performed by Doris Williams and Caroline Garbarino, “Rare Holiday Gems” will take place at the Almaden Library on Saturday, December 17 at 3.00 pm. For more information, visit: https://events.sjpl.org/event/celtic_rose_rare_holiday_gems_9874

Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events Leland DramaLeland Drama Presents: Comic Shorts

The holidays would certainly be incomplete without a healthy shot of laughter! Head to the Leland High School Cafeteria this week for a hearty laugh with Comic Shorts. This winter production by the Leland High Drama Club is a montage of short comedy scenes, including:

  • Bobby’s Brain (by Bruce Kane), directed by Braeden Thomson: When Bobby meets the girl of his dreams, things go haywire in his brain and uproarious situations arise.
  • Who’s on First, directed by Quentin Thorne: This hilarious scene, inspired by Abbott and Costello’s famous series, will surely leave you in splits.
  • A Very Memorable Family Reunion, directed by Aidan Bates: A boy meets his fiancé’s family but has a shock in store for himself!
  • Comedy 101, directed by Porter Aman: An instructor is dressed in a chicken suit and the students tell terrible jokes…meet colorful characters like Blueberry Bob and Terry Terry.
  • The Ultimate Student Presidential Election, directed by Melissa Webb: When two students compete for the post of President, the results are hilarious!

Performances take place December 15 & 16 at 6.00 pm. For more information, visit: http://www.lelanddrama.org/

Almaden Community Center Holiday Events Begin!

Almaden Community Center holiday eventsThe Almaden Community Center holiday events are about to begin! Here’s what’s in store for us the first part of December…

December 3, 2016: Holiday Brunch for Seniors

The celebrations begin with the Annual Holiday Brunch for Almaden Community Center senior members on Saturday, December 3. This festive buffet will serve egg frittata, grilled ham slices, potatoes O’Brien, breakfast pastry, mimosas and beverages. Tickets: $8 for members and $10 for non-members; can be purchased on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:40 am to 10:00 am at the Almaden Community Center. For more information, call 408-268-1133.

December 6, 2016: Thunder Valley Casino Fun Trip

On December 6, the Senior Association is taking its members on a fun trip to the Thunder Valley Casino. The trip costs only $35 per person. It includes a $15 slot play or table play card and a $5 food players card. To join in, please arrive at the Almaden Community Center at 6445 Camden Avenue, San Jose, at 7:30 am. Tickets are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at the Almaden Community Center lobby. For more information, call Sally at 408-826-9619 or Bea at 408-761-4002.

December 10, 2016: Breakfast with Santa

The Community Center’s littlest patrons have a special treat coming up for them on December 10: The Annual Breakfast with Santa event. The morning begins with a breakfast full of special treats and a guided session of holiday arts and crafts. After that, Santa will make a special appearance giving the tiny tots an opportunity to sit on his lap for that wonderful photo moment. To participate in this event, your child must be registered, so remember to do so and make sure you carry your camera. If you have a child under one and half years, please call 408-268-1133 to ensure your child has a seat on the day of event. Time: Between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm.

For general information about these and other events at the Almaden Community Center, browse their new 2016-2017 Winter Catalog (https://issuu.com/sjparksandrec/docs/almaden) or find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AlmadenCCSJ).

Los Alamitos Elementary School Fundraising Parties

Los Alamitos Elementary School fundraisingLos Alamitos Elementary School fundraising is accelerating in a variety of fun ways this season!

Ladies’ Wine Under the Stars

On Saturday, November 19, at 6 pm, there is the Ladies’ Wine Under the Stars party. Ladies, come out to enjoy an evening with friends old and new. Stargaze, nibble on delicious appetizers including a variety of cheeses, chocolates, and fondue, and savor great wine as an accompaniment. Tickets: $45.

Pre-Christmas Clothing and Accessories Swap

Up ahead on Thursday, December 8, is a pre-Christmas clothing and accessories swap party for moms. You can also enjoy light appetizers and drinks at the event. Tickets: $25.

Craft Beer Tasting Party

The fundraisers wrap up the year with a Craft Beer Tasting party on Saturday, December 10 at 6 pm. Here you can taste a variety of assorted craft beers, stouts, lager and much more. Food will be served as well. Tickets: $80.

Enjoy these great events while supporting Los Alamitos Elementary School! For more information, contact the Los Alamitos Elementary School PTA and visit http://sjusd.org/losalamitos/pta/pta-at-los-alamitos/nav.

Leland and Pioneer High School Performing Arts 2016

High School Performing Arts

Don’t miss these two great plays presented by Leland and Pioneer High drama departments!

Arsenic and Old Lace at Leland High

Leland Drama presents Arsenic and Old Lace, by special arrangement with the Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Written by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, Arsenic and Old Lace is in the genre of black comedy. The plot revolves around the Brewster family, whose ancestors once arrived on the Mayflower, but whose members have now disintegrated into homicidal insanity. Performances are at Leland High School on November 16-18, 7 pm. Tickets: $10 for students and $12 for general admission. Limited seats, hurry and grab yours! For more information, visit http://sjusd.org/leland

Godspell Jr. at Pioneer High

To ring in the holiday spirit in December, Pioneer High Advanced Drama, with its 80-member cast and crew, presents Godspell Jr., a musical by Stephen Schwartz, based on the Book of Matthew. The play reminds viewers that “in a world that feels crazy, community is what gets us through”. The production is hip and modern with new upbeat songs. Performances are at Pioneer High School Performing Arts Center on December 1-3, 7pm. Tickets: general, $10, students, $5. For more information, call 408.365.1615 or get tickets online at https://phsdrama.ludustickets.com/index.php.

Enjoy the drama season!

Almaden Valley Thanksgiving Events 2016

Almaden Valley ThanksgivingIt’s November, and there are a number of Almaden Valley Thanksgiving events happening throughout the month. Here’s a round-up…

Almaden Community Center Senior Association Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 16, 2016

The Almaden Community Center Senior Association is sponsoring a Thanksgiving feast on Wednesday, Nov. 16 between 2pm and 4pm at the Almaden Community Club. Come join in with family and friends for a sumptuous meal of traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for non-members, available at the Almaden Community Center. For more information, call 408-268-1133.

Almaden Country School Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 22, 2016

The Almaden Country School’s annual Thanksgiving feast is a tradition of long standing. On Monday Nov. 21, parents and children will gather in school to prep and cook up a dish to serve at the feast the next day, Nov. 22. No prior cooking experience required. Come with a turkey and an oven bag. Happy cooking! For more information, visit https://www.almadencountryschool.org/appleseed/index.aspx.

Turkey Trot, Nov. 23, 2016

Castillero Middle School is doing its bit to give back to the community and the school during Thanksgiving. Castillero’s PE department is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday Nov. 23. During the Turkey Trot, students will have a choice of trotting through two events – a competitive mile lap and a non-competitive track lap. Spirit t-shirts will be sold for $10 each and all funds will go towards the Castillero Middle School PE department. Those who sign up will also donate one item of canned food for the Second Harvest Food Bank Thanksgiving donation. For more information, visit http://sjusd.org/castillero.

Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K, Nov. 24, 2016

On Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of Almaden families will gather at Leland High School to participate in the Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K. This annual Thanksgiving event is organized by the Bret Harte Booster Club.

The run/walk event begins at Leland High School at 8.30 am. Both the 5K and 10K sprints will be done on level terrain on the paved trails along the Los Alamitos Creek trail, and will end in a loop at Leland High.

Registration is $15 for kids 12 and under and $20 for adults. You can also purchase Run Turkey Run spirit t-shirts for $15 at the time of packet pick-up and on race morning. All proceeds go towards supporting Bret Harte Booster Club activities. For additional information, visit http://sjusd.org/bretharte/clubs/booster-club-athletics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Almaden Valley Halloween: In Search of the Perfect Scare

Almaden Valley HalloweenAn Almaden Valley Halloween … Are pumpkin patches or trick or treating down the block during Halloween too tame for you? If you have a taste for the gothic, maybe a trip to a haunted house in search of ghosts is just the thing for you.

In the South Bay, near Almaden Valley, the most legendary and elaborate haunted house attraction is, without a doubt, the Winchester Mystery House. Up until Halloween night, visitors can enjoy Candlelight tours through 110 rooms of the massive estate. Tickets are available online or at the door. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

A bit closer to home, there are a number of other chilling attractions certain to give you a scare, but you may want to check out their websites before taking small children:

⇒ The Bernal Scream: Westfield Oakridge mall http://www.thebernalscream.com/

⇒ Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions: 2501 Tully Rd. at East Capitol Expressway http://www.deadtimedreams.com/

⇒ Rebel Yell: 1577 Rebel Way, San Jose http://www.rebelyell.info/rebelyell.html

⇒ World’s Largest Haunted House: County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd., San Jose http://www.worldslargesthauntedhouse.com/

When you’ve had your fill of haunted houses and are ready to look for the real thing, give me a call!

Happy haunting!

Leland Dandiya Raas Night

Leland Dandiya RaasLeland Dandiya Raas Night – Celebrate an Evening of Ethnic Music and Dance!

Skirts swirling, sticks clashing, Almaden Valley’s Indian community is getting ready to swing and groove to the beats of ethnic Indian folk music. On Saturday, October 22, 2016, neighborhood families, all decked out in richly patterned and colorful, traditional Indian attire, will gather in hundreds at Leland High School, for the community’s biggest festive event of the year, the annual Leland Dandiya Raas night.

Dandiya Raas, literally meaning “dances with sticks” is a traditional dance performed during the Navaratri (nine nights) festival. Almaden’s Leland Dandiya Raas Night, an annual event for almost a decade, is organized by the Leland Parent’s Club. All proceeds from this event go towards supporting Leland High School’s academic enrichment programs, capital improvements and supplies.

Over the years, the Leland Dandiya has evolved as one of the biggest fund-raising events for the school. To this end, it also draws Almaden families from other communities who mingle with friends and dance to live music and drum beats. I am proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful event.

So, come out in your ethnic best for an evening of music, dance color and gaiety at Leland High School, 6677, Camden Avenue, San Jose, CA 95120, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7 pm to 11 pm. Food is available for purchase at the venue, and tickets ($20 each) are sold at the gate.

A Night Out in Almaden Sponsored by Super Lion’s Club

Night out in AlmadenWould you like to enjoy a night out in Almaden filled with good food, music, dancing and fun-filled casino gaming? Then join your friends and neighbors at the Almaden Community Center this weekend!

The Almaden Super Lion’s Club, a San Jose chapter of the Lion’s Club International, is hosting the evening to raise funds for charity. All proceeds will go to the aid of the Almaden Lion’s Charitable Foundation assisting the visually impaired, veterans and other groups in need of assistance. The chapter also organizes the I CARE Classic Bike Tour, another highly successful annual fund-raising event.

The highlight of the evening will be dancing to the strains of the 10th Avenue Band. So mark your calendar for the event on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at the Almaden Community Center, 6455 Camden Ave., San Jose 95120. Tickets cost $50. For more information, go to http://www.almadenlions.org/a-night-out-in-almaden.