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Marin Independent Journal

Pizarro: Saratoga to celebrate its past

It’s always fun to picture the valley in the days before silicon, and you can do just that at Saratoga Heritage Day on Sept. 29.

Saratoga Vice Mayor Jill Hunter will kick things off at Blaney Plaza at noon, where she’ll introduce a host of costumed characters from the village’s past (afterward, you’ll find them strolling around Big Basin Way or hanging out at the Saratoga History Museum).

The museum, at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, will be a good place to hang out even if you’re not in costume, as children’s games of the 1800s — I imagine it involves a hoop and a stick — will take place outside the museum. Inside, there’ll be a free lecture by Tim Stanley, who wrote “The Last of the Prune Pickers.”

Costumed docents will give tours of the historic McWilliams House, and town historian Willys Peck, a retired Mercury News copy editor, will be around to sign his books or answer any questions about Saratoga history.

PARK PLACE: There was some nice creativity on the part of groups that set up temporary parks in metered spaces in downtown San Jose on Friday for PARK(ing) Day.

Transit consultant Fehr & Peers — which teamed up with urban advocates SPUR San Jose and TransForm on a Santa Clara Street space — had an oversize, Scrabble-like word game set up in their park. San Jose Cool Cities let visitors “build their own city” using buildings made of cardboard in front of San Jose State.

And the Greenbelt Alliance created a namesake perimeter of potted plants for their shady park near the Gordon Biersch brewpub. “Well, we are the Greenbelt Alliance,” noted senior field representative Michele Beasley.

BLOSSOMING CAMPUS: Cherry tree saplings were planted Friday at San Jose State University as part of the centennial celebration of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the United States. The saplings were planted along a pathway that connects the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. library with the university’s iconic Tower Hall.

San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi was joined at a reception to mark the event by Hiroshi Inomata, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, and Yuji Ide, executive director of the Kagoshima University North American Center.

GOOD EATS: Full Circle Farm’s fourth annual Fall Harvest Feast is Saturday at the urban farm in Sunnyvale.

The 5 p.m. event includes a strolling dinner, silent and live auctions, farm games and live entertainment. The event is being sponsored by Santa Clara chipmaker Nvidia, which has aimed its philanthropic efforts lately at healthy food and sustainable agriculture. Other partners include culinary sponsor Birk’s Restaurant and Sunnyvale Community Services, which will benefit from Fund-A-Need donations.

Tickets are $95 and support Full Circle’s education and outreach programs. For more information, go to www.fullcirclesunnyvale.org.

FIT DONATION: Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino delivered a $10,000 check Wednesday to the Santa Clara County Board of Education for the Fit for Learning, which tackles childhood obesity.

The money was raised through the Leadership Group’s “King of the Mountain” challenge back in May, when 300 riders — including 30 local CEOs — raced the strenuous 3.9-mile climb up Sierra Road in San Jose. In four years, the ride has brought in more than $75,000 for the program.

SUNDAY WALK: I hope the Arena Green area around San Jose’s HP Pavilion is packed Sunday for the South Bay Walk to Defeat ALS. The ALS Association Golden West Chapter is sponsoring the 11 a.m. walk, a three-mile trek that’ll follow the Guadalupe River Trail and wind up on the streets of San Jose.

Coffee and a continental breakfast will be provided to walkers when registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Money raised will support the chapter’s mission to defeat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


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