Saturday, June 27, 2009

On this Day in 1935

On June 27, 1935, hundreds of Santa Clara residents lined up along Franklin, Alviso, and Washington Streets to watch a parade of night baseball teams, city officials and citizens as they marched to the new Washington Night Baseball Field where dedication ceremonies were being held.
Named after President George Washington, Washington Park (the first baseball park in Santa Clara) was built under the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) Program. Five area organizations contributed to underwriting the lighting units for the baseball field: the Greater Santa Clara Club, the volunteer Santa Clara Fire Department, the Santa Clara Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Navajo Tribe of the Independent Order of Red Men and the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. The brilliant lighting system of 30 units furnished 30,000 watts for the night games. Three night baseball games were played after the dedication ceremonies with the following wins: the Chamber of Commerce beat the City and School Officials' team, the English Tailors girls' team upset the Villa Roma cafe waitresses, and the Pipes Hotel defeated the Growers' Supply Company!

One of the dedication speakers was Charles Graham, president of the San Francisco Seals, a professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League which played exhibition games at Washington Ball Park in the late 1930s and 1940s.

In September 1935 additional WPA money was granted to add a school field, grandstand, and playground to the new Washington Park Baseball Field.

written by mh, posted by mb

Friday, June 26, 2009

Okasan and Me, Inc.

"Okasan and Me, Inc." will bring the music of Japan to Santa Clara on Monday, June 29, at 7:00 p.m., the second event in the Library's series of free multicultural family concerts on the outdoor stage at Central Park Pavilion, 909 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara. Be ready to learn about Japanese culture and songs. You'll also hear music played on the shamisen, a traditional Japanese musical instrument.

Last week's audience enjoyed the warm weather and Indian classical dancing by PAMPA. Check the Library's Summer Reading Club information on the Library's website for the performers that will be appearing in July.

The multicultural program series is sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sound of Music

Describing music in normal genre terms (ie. pop, rock, jazz) is akin to telling someone how to cook a meal by using only the terminology of the four food groups (ie. cook a meat with some reduced vegetables and put that on top of a grain. Voila!) It might be technically correct, but it lacks the details to help one truly understand what is being described.

Instead, I prefer to speak of various musicians using absolutely no musical terms. The more precise and absurd the better. Does this really help anyone, probably not. But it's a lot more colorful than saying so and so is a "rock band."

The Fiery Furnaces- a piano being pushed down the stairs, repeatedly, and with amazing accuracy.
Portishead- the busy signal* when you call your girlfriend and she is on the line with the person she will ultimately leave you for.
The Decemberists- a Dickens' novel crashes into a pirate ship filled with drama geeks. Tragedy ensues.
The Mars Volta- try to explain every idea you ever had in you entire life, in no particular order or structure, to someone over the course of an hour while patting yourself on the back.
Radiohead- It's the end of the world! Let's get sad about it and type away at our computers while shunning humanity and warmth.

I only mention all this because as I was watching the band Isis Monday night, I started to think that they sounded like a boulder slowly rolling over me while the Cookie Monster was narrating the action. This mental image made me start laughing at an inopportune moment (said "Cookie Monster"- please refer to picture- was looking directly at me). Perhaps, at that particular instant, just listening to a "rock band" wouldn't have been a bad thing.

*Yes, a busy signal is a dated reference point which one will rarely encounter anymore. But should you have knowledge of the term "land line" or the fact that cell phones were once the size of a shoe and weighed 35 pounds, you should understand this.

posted by jw

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We Interrupt this Blog with a Very Important Message

posted by spb

Multicultural Programs in Central Park

An Indian Classical Dance program, which will be presented by the Prabath Academy for Music and Performing Arts on Monday, June 22, at 7:00 p.m., will be the first in the Library's series of six multicultural family events on the outdoor stage in Santa Clara's Central Park Pavilion, 909 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara.

Children of all ages and their families are invited to enjoy the performances, which are sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. Bring a blanket and a picnic and meet your family and friends for an evening of free and educational entertainment in Santa Clara's largest park.

The multicultural family programs and many other summer reading activities for children and teens begin the week of June 22. A complete listing is published on the Library's Calendar of Events. The Youth Services Department has planned an exciting summer for the younger members of our community. Check out our calendar and make plants to participate in our activities!
posted by jtb

Summer Programs at Mission Library

Thanks to a generous donation from Santa Clara City Library Friends and Foundation member David Stringer-Calvert, the Mission Library will hold three children's programs as part of the Summer Reading Club. These events require no advance registration and are open to children of all ages and their families.

Wednesday, June 24 at 7 pm: Swazzle will perform the puppet show River Otter Circus.

Wednesday, July 8 at 7 pm: Enjoy stories, songs and more at family storytime, and make a sand craft afterwards.

Wednesday, July 29 at 7 pm: Mad Science of the Bay Area will present Movie Special Effects.

These programs will not be repeated at Central Park Library this summer - Mission Library is your only chance! This is a great opportunity to visit our branch library and learn more about its unique services, such as the adult literacy program Read Santa Clara.

Mission Library is located at 1098 Lexington Street, close to Franklin Mall and Santa Clara University. Call Mission Library at 408-615-2964 for more information.

posted by spb

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's Get Out of Here

I haven't taken a proper vacation in years. Frankly, relaxation just takes too much work. I'm assuming you've seen the commercial where Tinkerbell sprinkles some pixie dust on a house and, poof, like magic the family is transported to Disneyland with grotesquely stretched smiles as wide as their crooked mouse ears. This. Is. A. Lie. I've poured a blizzard of shimmery materials all over my apartment, and yet here I sit, mouse earless in the "unhappiest place on earth": my living room.

A real vacation is not brought to you effortlessly by fairies. It is brutally carved out of budgetary spreadsheets, comparative travel websites, overtaxed calendars, and tears. Lots of them. Which, to my mind, kind of seems like the thing you are trying to take a vacation from. So I avoid them. I avoid them until I can not.

Eventually the pent up vacation impulse wins out. It usually happens at awkward times. I'll be having a pleasant dinner with someone then blurt out, "I haven't seen the sun in 5 days. I'm driving to Santa Fe! I need sun!" or "I want to see a penguin. I wonder how hard it would be to go to Antarctica?... PENGUINS!" Such enthusiastic exclamations of spontaneous adventurism usually receive a head tilt and a calculating look as to how much food needs to be removed from the plate until it would not be considered impolite to leave. The next day will find me in an ugly rental car heading off quixotically to... wherever.

I permanently damaged my hip in New York, almost got a bear hug from a black bear in Tahoe, and walked the streets of Phoenix when even the people who lived there thought it was too hot to go outside. This is not macho bravado, this is sheerly the result of an absence of forethought or common sense. With a little planning (more sensible shoes, hotel instead of sketchy cabin, look at the weather before leaving) I wouldn't have had to experienced these things and enjoyed a tranquil holiday. But then the story would be less interesting, wouldn't it? And truly, what's a vacation without a good story?
posted by jw

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Free Wireless 24/7

The Santa Clara City Library and the Mission Library branch have wireless access 7 days a week all day and night. The wireless is open access and a library card is NOT required. You can also print to the Central Library Color and B&W printers and retrieve your print jobs when the Library is open. Print jobs are held for 4 hours. This is done through the website

Read more about connecting to the wireless and printing by clicking on the WiFi icon in the Library's home page.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Be Safe on Your Bike

June is National Safety Month, providing a perfect opportunity for families to review bike safety practices while they're planning outings and activities for the summer. Make sure to visit the Library for tips on how to "Play It Safe This Summer."

"Be Safe on Your Bike" is the theme of the Library Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit for the month of June. Take a look at our books on bicycles and bike safety. Pick up an informational sheet with suggestions about clothing and reflectors that will make bikes more visible to the drivers of other vehicles on the road.

Did you know that young people riding bikes in California must wear helmets? Read California Vehicle Code, Section 21212 for a complete explanation.

Visit the Santa Clara Police Department webpage for further information on bicycle safety.

Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends support the monthly "On the Path to Good Health" exhibits.
posted by jtb

Monday, June 8, 2009

World Wide Knit in Public Day

Master the Art of knitting! Join us June 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room for a workshop presented by Knitspiration of Silicon Valley to learn some basics of knitting. Participants, age 12 and older, must bring: 1 pair of US size 8 needles, 1 skein of light colored, smooth textured (not novelty or boucle) yarn and 1 crochet hook size G. Register by calling (408) 615-2900.

Knitspiration of Silicon Valley is a TKGA-affiliated knitting guild for Santa Clara County in the San Francisco Bay area. Its goal is to support and encourage one another towards excellence in knitting through education, group discussion, and sharing. Learn more at the Knitspiration web site.

Find these and other excellent books and videos on knitting at Santa Clara City Library.
Learn to Knit edited by Sue Whiting

I can't believe I'm knitting DVD
Learn to knit with Laura Jean DVD

Knit One Below: one stitch, many fabrics by Elise Duvekot

The program is part of our Adult Summer Reading, Master the Art of Reading. Sign up now, read 5 books and receive a prize. Thanks to funding from The Foundation and Friends of Santa Clara City Library and National Semiconductor for their generous support.

posted by mb

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Reading Club Kickoff

Get ready to "Be Creative @ Your Library" this summer, and join us for our 2009 Summer Reading Club Kickoff Celebration on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., behind the Central Park Library.

Representatives from the Santa Clara City Library Foundation will give welcoming remarks from the outdoor stage at 1:00 p.m. Funding for the Summer Reading Club has been provided by the Library Foundation and Friends, as well as Applied Materials, Mission City Community fund and Fairfield Residential LLC.

There will be music and plenty of excitement when contestants in our "Air Guitar Contest" take the stage at 1:30 p.m.

Our featured entertainer, Jean Paul Valjean, will bring his popular "Short Attention Span Circus" onstage at 2:00 p.m. You'll be amazed with his skills as a magician, juggler and contortionist.

A "Healthy Living" program will be presented at 3:00 p.m. by Kaiser. This program will take place in the Library Redwood Room.

Other outdoor activities will be crafts, face painting and souvenir photos with Be Creative @ Your Library character cutouts.

Summer Reading Club online registration also starts on June 6. Just click on the Santa Clara City Library home page for details.
posted by jtb

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Master the Art of Summer Reading

Summer reading is not just for children and teens at Santa Clara City Library. Master the Art of Summer Reading is for anyone 18 yrs. and older. Join in by signing up online through our website between June 6 and July 18 (the same dates as the children and teen Summer Reading programs), read 5 books and get a prize. Watch for more information on special summer reading events for adults.

World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday, June 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room. Sign ups are limited to 20. Stop by the 2nd floor Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900 to register.

Visit with Silicon Valley's official Poet Laureate Nils Peterson in July and watch the movie, Ocean's 12, on a large screen in the library in July. Check our website for updates or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb