A lot of people will be thankful this season for the turkey and other food items provided by Sacred Heart Community Service, which has been helping San Jose’s neediest population for 50 years. And they may not know it, but a Silicon Valley tech firm played a role in making sure there was enough to go around.
On Monday, when Sacred Heart Community Service put out a desperate call for turkeys so they could be given to needy families, it took KLA-Tencor less than 24 hours to go into action. On Wednesday morning, executives from the Milpitas firm delivered a $40,000 check on behalf of its employees to Sacred Heart to cover the cost of 4,000 birds.
The company’s business is to be “a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions,” but that description probably doesn’t mean as much to people who’ll have turkey dinner this year as much as KLA-Tencor’s actions do.
HAUNTED HEADQUARTERS?: Los Gatos startup Thync, which aims to help people control their mental state through technology, recently moved into new offices at the perfect venue for a firm intrigued by altered states: The Los Gatos Opera House, a site not only full of history but also said to be haunted. Photographer George Sakkestad of the Los Gatos Weekly-Times famously snapped a shot of a dark figure on the building’s second floor in 1992.
“I haven’t seen the ghost, but this building deserves a ghost,” said Thync CEO Isy Goldwasser, who says he’s thrilled to have the company in the heart of Los Gatos, especially at such a great spot. “It’s got so much character and expression; and it’s got this really amazing vibe to it, which fits us perfectly.”
Thync’s product, still shrouded in its own mystery, is focused on two areas: boosting energy and calming. Sounds like either would be helpful should a pesky poltergeist appear at a workstation.
AUDITOR TURNED ARTIST: San Jose Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell has been stretching her artistic muscles recently by drawing cartoons for a calendar called “IPA Dayz” to support her office’s Teen Leadership Council. The 12 drawings are lighthearted puzzles that depict well-known law enforcement terms, like having a cup of coffee perforated by a bullet (“mug shot”). The retired judge even pokes a little fun at herself, with a couple of self-portraits in the bunch, including one depicting her smoking with other judges in a “high court.”
Cordell sold the original drawings for $100 each to support the Teen Leadership Council, a diverse group from around the city charged with advising the office on the best ways to reach out to youth. The calendars are being sold for $10 each, and you can order one by calling 408-794-6226 or emailing [email protected].
35 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: San Jose’s Christmas in the Park display is 35 years old this season, and, by coincidence, it’ll be open 35 days. To celebrate the double milestone, Executive Director Jason Minsky says the nonprofit group will mark each day with an act of giving.
Teaming up with some of its nonprofit partners and local businesses, Christmas in the Park will donate ornaments to Resource Area for Teaching, hosting the Toys for Tots “Stuff the Bus” drive Dec. 13 and a Stanford Blood Center drive Dec. 22. A listing of the “35 in 35” events and other programming is available at www.christmasinthepark.com.
FANDOM OF THE OPERA: Opera is hot in San Jose right now. A couple of weeks ago, I joined a nearly packed house at MACLA’s Castellano Playhouse for Ewa Nowicka’s avant-garde opera, “Reserved for Amy.” And Opera San Jose actually had to turn people away last Sunday for its sold-out performance of “The Italian Girl in Algiers.” When there’s no room at the 1,122-seat California Theatre, it’s hard to argue that opera’s in trouble (The show closes Nov. 30, if you want to try for a seat).
So, it seems like perfect timing for the Italian American Heritage Foundation’s 27th annual opera Christmas concert, which is coming up Dec. 5 at the group’s cultural center in San Jose. Once again, the program will feature arias from the classic Italian repertoire, plus seasonal Christmas music, all performed by resident artists from Opera San Jose.
Tickets are $35 for IAHF members and $38 for nonmembers and include an Italian holiday buffet dinner (Get more information by calling 408-293-7122 or going to www.iahfsj.org).
PANDA EXPRESS: With Giant Pablo Sandoval headed to Boston, Pioneer High School Drama teacher Steve Dini thinks the Red Sox may put the Panda on an all-bean diet. That would make for a potentially explosive lineup.
MIGHTY FLIGHTY: Mineta San Jose International Airport is boasting about its 22 consecutive months of passenger traffic growth. And that’s not even counting the people who have been sneaking in.
Contact Sal Pizarro at [email protected]. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.