Saturday, July 24

Events

Milpitas, Tracy Lead Bay Area Population Growth
Demographics, Events

Milpitas, Tracy Lead Bay Area Population Growth

In a top 20 list dominated by cities in Texas and Arizona, the Bay Area’s Milpitas makes a brave showing at 15th in a new U.S. Census Bureau ranking of the fastest-growing incorporated places in the country with more than 50,000 people.  The new Milpitas Transit Center connects the city to the region. It is the only Bay Area city to appear within the fastest-growing cohort.  Situated to San Jose’s north and east, the town, whose name means “little cornfields” in Spanish, grew 5 percent from mid-2018 to the middle of last year, reaching not quite 85,000 residents. That's slightly less than its rate of growth in 2014-15, when Milpitas also made a Census Bureau list of fast-growing U.S. cities. Its most current rate of growth compares to a 12 percent growth rate for th...
Permanente Quarry: Life on the Rocks
Culture, Events

Permanente Quarry: Life on the Rocks

Financially beleaguered German mining company HeidelbergCement, owner of Silicon Valley's devastating Permanente Quarry, wants to expand and extend the mine's reclamation to 2060, after the company told county residents in 2012 that it would close the mine and reclaim the land by 2032. By Sharon Simonson SILICON VALLEY—Given that Santa Clara County Supervisors devoted fewer than ten minutes to the item, and considering that four of the five supervisors asked no questions, and understanding that the fifth’s questions were superficial and unrevealing—nothing about the unanimous vote during their virtual meeting on the afternoon of May 12 telegraphed significance. But for residents of Silicon Valley and the global German mining company HeidelbergCement, which owns the Permanente Quarry above...
San Jose Author: Being Vietnamese in America Not So ‘Eazy’
Demographics, Events

San Jose Author: Being Vietnamese in America Not So ‘Eazy’

By Sharon Simonson SAN JOSÉ—For Vietnamese American author Trami Nguyen Cron, the irony weighs heavy. Vietnamese people, whether refugees or immigrants, typically have fled their homeland for the United States in pursuit of freedom for themselves and their families. But once resettled, they seek to control their children’s lives to an extraordinary degree, essentially robbing the children of the very freedom the parents often sacrificed much to gain. “Vietnamese people need to stop defining success as how much money you make or your professional title,” she says. “One of my challenges to my culture is to rethink its definition of success.” That is the primary message—but in no way the only one—she hopes to send with her first novel, “VietnamEazy,” released today by publisher Wellstone Boo...
An Iranian-American Walks Common Ground with West Oakland’s Homeless
Demographics, Events

An Iranian-American Walks Common Ground with West Oakland’s Homeless

By Sharon Simonson The mean streets of West Oakland seem an odd place to uncover kinship and hope. But that’s what Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Soltani found as he made his 95-minute documentary, “Dogtown Redemption,” about the homeless recyclers who make their lives there. Though his family came to America when he was 16 years old, pushed from their homeland by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and he attended high school in Boston and later Harvard University in Cambridge on a scholarship, it wasn’t until he moved to Oakland eight years ago that he felt true community in the U.S. What he discovered in West Oakland were people, who — like immigrants and refugees — had lost their connections to family and friends and their lifelines to better lives. As he learned the daily ri...
Deconstructing Dia de los Muertos
Demographics, Events

Deconstructing Dia de los Muertos

Lara Medina, an expert on Chicano and indigenous American religious practices and spirituality, explains the history of Mesoamerica’s Dia de los Muertos and talks about living the nepantla life and the creativity that blurry boundaries produce. By Sharon Simonson Don’t call Dia de los Muertos the Mexican Halloween, begs Lara Medina. The 62-year-old autora y professora of Chicano and Chicana religious history at California State University, Northridge, has watched and studied the holiday and its U.S. incarnation since the early 1970s when visiting Mexican artists traveling in Los Angeles and San Francisco staged small-scale celebrations as a solace to the deaths of the Vietnam War. What began as a sacred pre-Colombian familial observance by Mesoamericans has evolved into its c...
African Filmmakers in Silicon Valley Seek to Reframe the Continent
Events

African Filmmakers in Silicon Valley Seek to Reframe the Continent

By Sharon Simonson A history of European colonization unites Africa, India and Mexico, continents and countries that in turn are sending residents to Silicon Valley and the United States. These diaspora communities throughout the Bay Area are expressing their complex intellectual and cultural heritages — including their American experiences — in theater, dance, music, literature and film. Growing up in Nigeria, a nation of nearly two hundred million people and a former British colony, performance was his passion from an early age, said filmmaker Chike Nwoffiah. From age 4 on, "I was in a theater and on a stage." In high school, he attended a Nigerian boarding school with a curriculum based on the traditional British model, studying Shakespeare, literature and the arts. "I love...
Modi Speaks in San Jose: The Indian Prime Minister in His Own Words
Events

Modi Speaks in San Jose: The Indian Prime Minister in His Own Words

The Indian prime minister gave an intimate speech to the Indian community in the South Bay, filled with references to the country's independence-movement heroes of the early 20th century, the many historic ties between Indians and Californians, and India's scientific and technical achievements as weapons against government corruption and national poverty. Text of the one-hour, Sept. 27 speech by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at SAP Center in San Jose translated from Hindi by Sneha Singh of the San Jose Learning Center. Good evening, California. It is a pleasure to see your enthusiasm today. Today is the 27th of September here and the 28th of September in India. The 28th of September is the birthday of the great Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. I salute the great son of...
Steps In Time
Culture, Events

Steps In Time

By Sharon Simonson Leap cultural divides without breaking a sweat at “Dances of Devotion” on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose. Watch, hear, learn and feel the complexity and nuance of classical Indian and Cambodian dance in compare-and-contrast performances conceived as art — and a little bit more. Santa Clara-based Sangam Arts, the show’s producer, aims to highlight common themes in the two South Asian countries’ traditional dance forms. The evening mixes originally choreographed work with an interlude during which Cambodian Charya Burt and Indian Lavanya Ananth will speak about the history and meaning behind their dress, body movements and hand gestures. “We do an ‘artists dialogue.’ We discuss our dance histories, and we do dance demonstratio...