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Silicon Valley

Impressions

Fall 2015

A magazine for the Silicon Valley community to celebrate our innovative spirit and international culture

TRANSPARENT JUSTICE HOLIDAY AT THE PLAYA: BURNING MAN

Education,

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY

Community,

SILICON VALLEY TRAFFIC AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

Services

RAISING THE CREATIVE GENERATION

Charity,

Bubble Tea,

International

and more ...

ISBN 978-0-692-40495-9


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CONTENTS  

   

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TRANSPARENT JUSTICE - Santa Clara DA Jeff Rosen CELEBRATING DIVERSITY: Gay Marriage THE CONTINUAL PENDULUM SHIFT IN EDUCATION KISS THE GROUND YOU WALK ON: Floors that you will love forever NATIONAL LEADERSHIP RETREAT PREPARING THEM CREATIVELY: Raising non-starving artists SILICON VALLEY’S NEW WINGS TO ASIA - HAINAN AIRLINES SILICON VALLEY TRAFFIC IF WE BUILD IT THEY WILL STAY: Traffic solutions that allow companies to grow 26 CONNECTING FOR GOOD IN CHENGSHA: A Shin Shin Education

Our Magazine can be found at the following locations. For a complete list of distributors please visit www.siliconvalleyimpressions.com

Foundation trip

28 29 32 33 34 35 37 38

DITTMER’S GOURMET MEATS AND WURST-HAUS BURNING MAN: Holiday at the Playa DO YOU BOBA? WINDOW DRESSING: New window technology DEVELOP CONFIDENCE AND PASSION IN TONGXIN CHINA Book review: The Wright Brothers In memory of OUR FRIEND PAT JACKSON SILICON VALLEY WELCOMES HUNAN DELEGATION

Cover photo: Burning Man - Angie Tan-Burns. www.angarts.com

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Please send all inquiries to: info@opensocietymedia.com or call (408)202-1080

Submit letters and articles to the following address: info@OpenSocietyMedia.com Silicon Valley Impressions 20111 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite #280, Cupertino, CA 95014 Silicon Valley Impressions Team Ling Ling Kulla | Editor James Gong | Photographer Ragini Sangameswara | Graphic Designer Gloria Ojeda | Community Relations Elizabeth Softky | Proof-reader Beverly Lenihan | Editorial Advisor Don Sun | Publisher

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and interviewees. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Copyright notice: No part of this publication and/or website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior written permission of the publisher. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing. Silicon Valley Impressions owns all rights to contributions, text and images, unless previously agreed to in writing.

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TRANSPARENT JUSTICE: S

SANTA CLARA DISTRICT ATTORNEY JEFF ROSEN  

anta Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen oversees the largest prosecutor’s office in Northern California. His office serves 1.8 million people. The DA’s office has 550 employees, 190 of whom are deputy district attorneys. The office prosecutes approximately 40,000 cases each year. From Palo Alto to Gilroy, Rosen makes sure that his office serves well the diverse populations of 15 cities. We interviewed him for this issue to learn from him about the DA’s office and how it connects with the community. The DA’s office reflects the community J.R: Our office should reflect our community. Our community is made up of many Asian Americans, Latinos, and many other nationalities. There are many languages spoken in the DA’s office. We have 5 community prosecutors who spend most of their time in community centers with neighborhood groups trying to solve problems such as vandalism, trespassing, drugs, prostitution, homicide, and drunk driving. They are embedded in the community. I encourage more of our prosecutors to be more involved and become part of the community. Equal Justice J.R: The founding fathers in this country believed in equality under the law: to treat everyone equal and fair whether he or she is white, black, Asian, Jewish, a new immigrant, or someone who has

been here for a long time. This is a powerful idea. In the DA’s office, we try to promote and reflect that value. We model that behavior in all the decisions we make to give people that confidence and trust in their government. I believe if the government is not fair or honest, no part of the country will be. No part of any country where the government is corrupt and business is honest. If the government is not honest, no one can be. Transparency J.R: We work very hard in this office to let people know what we are doing, and why we are doing what we are doing. We don’t mind being criticized; we have very few secrets, and we like it that way. It helps to promote confidence, especially when we serve an area of many immigrants from all over the world. They may come from countries that are in many respects different from the US. They have different attitudes about government and police, about prosecutors of the government, and the justice system. It requires affirmative steps made by the government to tell people what we do and why we do it. Community Service is an Extension of our Job J.R: Many of the prosecutors in this office volunteer in the community. They take leadership responsibilities in the community.

We are fortunate to have them. For example, The National Asian Pacific Islanders Prosecutor’s Association (NAPIPA) was established by the prosecutors in the DA’s office to educate and help the Asian American population to understand our justice system and their role in the system. They also mentor young people from the Asian community to consider being prosecutors as their career. We cannot succeed without the Community: The case of domestic violence J.R: There has been the issue of under reporting of domestic violence incidents in the Asian community. To solve the problem, several of our prosecutors who speak Asian languages went on radio and TV to talk about domestic violence issues and how to confidentially and safely report domestic violence incidents to the

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police. They also explains what services are available to help the victims of domestic violence. There are in-house victim services in the DA’s office. They are effective and beneficial in providing counseling, housing support and restitution for victims of domestic violence. We have to reach out to those who don’t report cases of domestic violence, we have to reach out to them. We have established Family Justice centers, which are one-stop shops where one can get information about immigration, family law matters, restraining orders, housing assistance, reporting a crime, and learn how to talk to a police officer, how to work with law enforcement, and information regarding T Visas and U Visas. These offices offer local people a chance to ask for help without having to go to our office in San Jose. Our first Family Justice Center in Morgan Hill has been very successful, and is partnered with the Community Solutions Organization. The second Family Justice Center in Sunnyvale is partnered with the YWCA. Our third Family Justice Center is partnered with the AACI (Asian American Community Involvement), and is located on Story Road, in the heart of San Jose. There are many family law attorneys and immigration law attorneys who volunteer their time to serve those who need help. It will open September 17, 2015.

To best do our job, we need the support of many organizations and people. We cannot do these things alone. With the help of different local organizations, we can and we will continue to reach out. The Cold Case Unit, Conviction Integrity Unit, and Crime Intelligence The Cold Case Unit After DA Rosen was elected, he established a unit in the office to be dedicated full time to cold cases. There have been 250 unsolved murder cases in the County when the unit started. Since the creation of this unit, it has solved 6 cases. J.R: To be able to solve any unsolved murder cases is a very fulfilling experience. In the case of homicide, someone has been killed. Someone’s whole world has been changed. The friends and families of these victims never forget that. People in the justice system and I don’t forget that. The families are grateful for our work to see that justice is done. The Conviction Integrity Unit J.R: This unit looks ensures with our best effort not to wrongly acuse any innocent people. Any justice system that involves human beings can have human errors. There are two ways mistakes can be made: the first mistake is when the guilty person was not caught or was acquitted by the jury. The second kind of mistake is when someone who didn’t commit a crime was convicted. Our country’s justice philosophy has a very important value: it’s better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted. We are very concerned that we convict the guilty and only the

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guilty. It is very rare that we convict an innocent person, but we have. When we find out that we have convicted the wrong person, we have to free that person, expunge their conviction, and apologize to that person. Our Conviction Integrity Unit is made up of attorneys who help us make sure that we did not convict an innocent person. This unit also help us to work with eyewitnesses. We use a double blind method to talk to an eyewitness, the person from this unit who questions the eyewitness does not know the suspect nor have any idea who the suspect is. This way they can avoid making suggestions to the eyewitnesses or influence their decisions. In this office, we celebrate prosecutors who get convictions of a difficult case and we also celebrate prosecutors who have found innocent people being wrongly convicted. Crime Intelligence The DA’s office runs a high quality crime lab which is nationally accredited. It provides services to all agencies dealing with crime in Santa Clara County, such as the police department, the Department of the Sheriff, as well as the Coroner’s office. The 50 scientists of the crime lab work tirelessly to provide sound and scientific analysis of physical evidence from a crime. Their services include controlled substance analysis, firearms analysis, DNA analysis, toxicology, trace evidence, digital multi-media analysis, and many more. It helps the prosecutors to accurately define crime evidence and bring the real


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criminals to justice. It analyses thousands of crime items a year. Attract and Retain Talant J.R: Our office is in an excellent community, a place of high achievement. Everyone that works here is an A student and they do A quality work. We have 190 prosecutors. Our prosecutors tend to stay here for a long time. Unlike working in a law firm, there is no competition for opportunities between the prosecutors. Our office promotes people or gives people assignments based on meritocracy. Many languages are spoken in the DA’s office. Although we have certified interpreters, our staff can speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Hindi, Bengali, etc. People feel more comfortable to talk to someone who speaks their language or looks like them. We try to move people to different assignments in their career to keep them interested and fresh. It’s called cross training; it helps our staff to expand their knowledge and develop their community understanding. The process of getting hired into our office is very rigorous. When we hire someone, we are committed to help them succeed. The new attorneys who are hired are assigned to senior lawyers who are mentors but not their supervisors. These mentors act as their big brothers or sisters. Prosecutors who succeed in this office need to work hard and help each other. They can ask people for help and they also must help others. Helping other people will advance the individual. For those who create negative competition or are unwilling to help others, they

will not succeed here. The Next Frontier There are four jails in the County managed by the Sheriff’s Department. They are: the main jail in San Jose, the Elmwood jail in Milpitas for medium to lower level offenders, a Juvenile Hall in San Jose and the Ranch in Morgan Hill for juvenile offenders. The recent death of an inmate at the San Jose jail allegedly by its correction officers called for an investigation by the Sheriff’s department as well as a major focus from other departments. What does DA Rosen think of the current situation in our jails?

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them a chance to reflect on what they did, hold them responsible for what they did, so when they leave, they don’t go back. There are two million prisoners in our country. Keeping them locked up is expensive for the taxpayers. If we send people to prison only to have them keep coming back, that’s a waste of our resources. It is also very sad because they are our fellow Americans, they have mothers, fathers, families, and children just like us. We put people in jail or prison to help them to have a chance to reflect on what they have done and hopefully to change them. Our goal is not to have them get out and come back.

J.R: We should not make the conditions in jails and prisons harsh and miserable for the inmates. It’s counterproductive. That is not an American value. We have already punished those who committed crimes by isolating them from their community. We don’t need to make their living situations terrible. Despite the fact that some of the prisoners are violent and dangerous, some people in jail have just made bad choices. They can be salvaged and it’s humane to salvage them.

Our lawyers have visited the jails. Starting in January 2016, we will visit prisons. Prisons are located in faraway places. Our prosecutors need to have an idea of what happens there and what doesn’t happen there. They need to know when we prosecute someone where we are sending that person.

Many of the prisoners in jail still want to be part of our community. They don’t want to feel forgotten and they want to be able to succeed when they leave the prison. However, they don’t all succeed when they get out of jail. Some do commit crimes again. But if someone gets out of jail, finds a job, becomes successful, and stops committing crimes again, that’s great achievement for that person, for his family and friends as well as for our justice system.

J.R: I believe that if more people visited our jails and prisons, these facilities would be different from how they are now. Instead of putting the prisons in faraway places, if they were built in Palo Alto, or Cupertino, in the center of Silicon Valley, the people living in these cities would not want horrible conditions in their community. Then our community will begin to care about the people in jail and prison, and when we begin to care and help the inmates in jail or prison, our community will win and we can reduce crime.

We should use our jails and prisons as a way of helping people, to give

No More Public Visitation Due to resource constraints, the Santa Clara County jails will no longer allow public visitation.

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James Cai, J.D.,

Phone: (408) 210-9634 Email: jcai@sacattorneys.com www.SACattorneys.com Address: 111 N. Market Street Suite 1020, San Jose, CA 95113

James Cai, J.D., served as in-house legal counsel for Yahoo! Inc. His focuses his practice on corporate and business law, advising international business clients that are starting up or expanding their operation in the United States, and applying L-1 visas for high level executive employees. He also represents foreign nationals filing Eb-5 investment immigrant visa petitions. He has served as an outside general counsel for multinational corporations to incorporate US subsidiaries, conduct mergers and acquisitions and defend them in civil lawsuits and arbitrations. He also practiced law with Morrison & Foerster LLP and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP (now known as DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary). Mr. Cai holds a Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia. Mr. Cai is committed to community services and is frequently invited as a guest speaker and commentator on current legal issues by local news media, non-profit organizations and chambers of commerce. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Silicon Valley Information Business Alliance (www.sviba.org) and served as a commissioner for Community Development Block Grant Steering Committee for the City of Cupertino.

SAC ATTORNEYS LLP

AUTUMN

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Celebrating Diversity Celebrating Diversity                               

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

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n June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.

The 45th annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, June 28, 2015, drew record number of people and supporters. The Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage is a major cause of celebration this year and provided the theme for this year’s celebration.

Evan Low

Evan Low: Think about what it means for all of us in the United States, all of the Americans, and all of the people in California and everyone who lives here to embrace diversity, whether or not you are female, Chinese, Indian, that we embrace diversity. That’s what makes Silicon Valley so wonderful.

California State Assembly man, a Democrat representing the 28th district, encompassing parts of the South Bay

There are 80 assembly seats in California. People always asked why Silicon Valley is so unique, why Silicon Valley always

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continues to innovate and be successful, I say if you go to any large high tech company, you will see a broad diversity in terms of culture. That’s the American dream, that’s what this land is based upon. The Supreme Court ruling demonstrates that every single United States citizen has equal access. If you think about the similarities between the human rights movements for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, it’s the same challenges that the African American community faced during the era in which Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Park fought for equal rights for African Americans. Today, we have an African American president; you ask the question, are we truly equal in


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“The Supreme Court ruling is an important one, but we still have a long way to go to fully embrace all the differences. The Supreme Court ruling is about embracing diversity.� society. When you turn on the news any day, you see some racial tensions that still exist today. Even though on the books we are equal under the law, in practice and in reality, we are not equal. I can marry two people, but I cannot get married myself. We cannot donate blood, cannot join the boycotts, cannot serve in the army, and if you are in a gay relationship, and your partner is sick or dying, you cannot visit him. You cannot sign for his treatment or make decisions for his life, because your relationship with him is not legally recognized. In over 26 states, you can be fired just because you are gay. In some states, you cannot adopt children, and all these are real.

Evan Low and his staff from left Patrick Ahrens, Evan Low, Dennis Chiu, Margaret Abe-Koga, all working to improve transportation, affordable housing, and education for California

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TH E C ONT I N U A L P E N D U L U M S HI F T IN E D U CATI O N  

Opinion By SAM K  

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mall shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.” – Kevin Michel

The education world, a separate entity that does not seem to exist in the same galaxy as the rest of the businesses, companies, and households of our country, continues to make changes for the betterment of our children. How can anyone argue with changes if it’s for the betterment of our children? In reality, most changes do not seem to make it better for our children and the people who spend time with our children for seven hours a day, the teachers, are rarely involved in the decision making that takes place. “Would you rather have your eye poked with a fork, or would you rather have your hand stabbed with a knife?” “I think I would rather have my hand stabbed with a knife” says the teacher who was asked. The headline then reads, “The district, using input from the teachers, has decided that getting stabbed in the hand with a knife is what is desired by all teachers.” How absurd does this sound? In reality, it’s the way that many decisions in education are made. High-level executives at the state, county, or district level come up with options for changing education. These options are then pushed down the system to the bottom of the food chain – the teachers, who ultimately get to make a choice

(or in some cases don’t even get to make a decision between two bad choices). Rarely are they given the additional option of making no change. The culture of change continues to divide the teaching community. Those teachers that embrace change are considered good. Those teachers that question or resist are labeled bad. Change of any kind is good. Not changing or incremental change is bad. When a new program or teaching method is introduced, everything that was done in the past must disappear and the new method must be embraced 100% otherwise a teacher may get labeled as an “old teacher” or a teacher who is “set in their ways” or the most vicious of all, a “teacher who does not want to do extra work to help kids.” Why does corporate America, for the most part, make incremental changes? A problem exists; we search for what is working and what is not working, and then change what is not working. This makes sense. Keep what is good, discard what is bad, and replace the

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bad with something new in hopes that it will become good. Measure the success and repeat the process. Only when we feel that the entire system is broken should we make radical overhauls. One of the difficulties of embracing incremental change results in the fact that education in the Bay Area does not emulate the education system of our nation as a whole. The education system in the Bay Area is a well functioning machine that produces excellent students who have a solid understanding of the curriculum, good social values, and the ability to go on and do great things in their lives. Is it perfect? No. Could we benefit from incremental changes? Yes. Are there pockets of underperforming schools mixed in with overperforming schools? Yes. However, we are continually bombarded by news reports of how the nation’s education system is floundering. How massive reforms and overhauls are needed. Let’s take a step back and realize that the Bay Area, in general, is a set of outliers on the high end of the normal distribution


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of education systems throughout the nation. We do not need massive overhauls to our system. We need incremental changes to address the problems that exist. At the micro level, we see the mentality of drastic overhaul of education in place. Teachers are continually faced with new textbooks every seven years. Did the content of K-12 Math, Language Arts, or History change so much over the past seven years that we need completely new textbooks? Has Algebra undergone major changes that our old textbooks are no longer suitable? Granted that a lot of the changes to textbooks and materials are mandated by the state, but this is the process that needs to get changed, not the actual mate-

rial. A good teacher can teach from a textbook that was created seven years ago just as well as a textbook that was created last year. Once again, teachers are given the choice of a few textbooks and forced to choose. However, how many teachers were asked the question of whether or not they even wanted a new textbook? Let us not forget that change is good. Let us also never forget that there is a lot of excellent teaching going on in our classrooms throughout the Bay Area. To force everything to change, from furniture we are using, textbooks we are using, arrangement of the students in the room, to the way teachers teach, is not the solution for improvement. We must keep what is

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good and make small, structured, incremental changes and gauge whether or not they are successful. The pendulum must stop swinging widely from side to side with no real metrics in place to determine success. Treating our Bay Area schools exactly the same as our nations schools is a huge mistake. Our students are outliers, just as our overly educated parent community our outliers. We are not the norm and we should not behave as if we are. Sam K holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science as well as a graduate degree in Education. He is a software engineer, entrepreneur, parent, and is currently a middle school teacher. He works and lives in the Bay Area.

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Kiss the ground you walk on Eco-friendly and comfortable floor technology that you will love and cherish happily ever after

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Apapa on national leadership Retreat B y Joel wong APAPA is a dynamic and growing organization. In the past several years, APAPA has expanded from California to new chapters in New York, Florida, Texas and on June 2, 2015. to Washington, DC. As modern technologies - phones, texts, emails, chat groups, cyber meetings - are inadequate for effective communication between APAPA leaders, the First Annual National Retreat was initiated last year to facilitate face to face discussions, view point exchanges and building of synergy. The Second Retreat took place on Friday through Sunday, October 8 to October 10, 2015. Our gracious hosts CC and Regina Yin boarded and fed 50+ national leaders/family members at their “five stars” ranch facilities. The Retreat started with routine reporting from 15 national chapters on their present activities and projected goals for 2016. APAPA Treasurer, Mary Liu and the accounting staff briefed the leaders on the new accounting and budget tracking system. CC talked about APAPA values and the needs for Funding and Financial developments. Anthony Ng, a VNA consultant and fund raising expert, gave a heartening talk on how to leverage APAPA’s solid reputation into fund raising successes. Other

Leaders spent two solid days on APAPA pressing issues

important subjects covered at the retreat included the new APAPA website which is designed to give the individual chapters maximum autonomy for featuring chapter activities/contents and attract local advertisers. The National Governing Board Members gave inspiration talks on the Essential Quality of Leadership (Ken Fong); Youth Leadership Development (Sandy Chau); and the building of Voters, Leadership, Appointment and Community Service pipelines. After a brief Sunday morning session, the Leaders boarded a bus to attend the 14th Annual Voters Education & Candidates Forum at California State University, Sacramento. The Retreat was not all work and no play. The mornings started with exercises led by personal trainers

including a Yoga session by Carol Yin, followed by nutritious breakfasts and delicious lunches. Friday’s dinner featured fresh seafood with Dungeness crabs from the bay, prawns, mussels, clams and all the fixings. Saturday’s dinner featured a freshly roasted pig. The dinners were hosted by Mary Liu, the Yins and the National Governing Board members. The Leaders spent Friday evening dancing away to the music of the Dream Achievers from FCSN and Nelson Huang led a rousing Karaoke session on Saturday evening. In all, the retreat was fun, fruitful and the APAPA leaders had a chance to learn, exchange ideas and get to know each other. A good time was had by ALL!

Roast Pig Banquet and Karaoke Session

Bocce Ball session at the Yin Ranch

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W

hen you walk into Lee Akamichi’s art studio at Lynbrook High School in Cupertino, California, you will be amazed. In a space that might be defined as organized chaos, everything is in its place: paintings are in their racks, easels are against the walls, paints are put away, brushes are cleaned, the mannequins are lined up, and the aprons are hung in their places. However, the artwork, created in more unexpected mediums than you can imagine, and in different colors, shapes, sizes, and planes, are placed wherever there is space.

You can seriously explore here. There is chaos everywhere, chaos that will bewilder any first-time visitor. A large kite dominates the main ceiling, pieces of art work hang on top of the wall, while there is a giant portrait of Lincoln created with tarnished pennies, and paper waterfalls fashioned of used books. You will never get bored here. Lee Akamichi has been in the Lynbrook Art Department for almost 28 years. To be in his class, you might have to draw or cut paper or fabric, you might

have to shape materials from your hardware store, you might have to mix chicken wire fencing with BBQ skewers, or you might even work with the unusual combination of an animal or fish (no harm comes to the creatures) and a projected video image overlaid with an audio track, simply to express a metaphor or to tell a compelling story. Whatever you do here, you must be ready to push beyond your perceived limits, lose your dreaded fear of failure, and discover that you are capable of dealing successfully with the complexities of conceptual

and working at their tables, while others are working on the floor. You might have to make your own palette and mixing trays with cardboard; you might create your art with old newspaper, hospital microfiche, or repurposed clothing. You need to think green and deal with sustainability here, all while working in a chaotic and collaborative space.

problem solving. So, bring a sense of imagination, and add lots of creativity, curiosity, experimentation, risk-taking and voila, you will have a portfolio that all the top colleges are fighting for.

to make the drive to Cupertino. He has done this for the last 12 years. The goal of the artists in Lee’s class is to build a uniquely different portfolio so they can be competitive and attract the attention of colleges and universities that are looking for individuals who can think for themselves. Not all of Lee’s students go on to become animators, art directors, and designers. Many become engineers, physicians, lawyers, and business people. Significantly, many schools today are looking for students with creative preparation and the demonstration of artistic

The creativity does not end in producing exciting works of art. For example, you will wear repurposed United Airlines flight attendants’ aprons to protect your clean clothes, so that after you put on the paint-stained apron, you can play freely and make as much of a mess as you like. You see some students standing

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Lee started teaching in 1971 and discovered that teaching gave him purpose of life. To feed this passion, he gets up at 3:30 am every day during the school year


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risk-taking. In today’s idea-driven economy, industries, banks, investment houses, hospitals, and scientific research organizations all have realized that people with artistic training and creative experience are important assets in any endeavor. Idea leadership has become as important as technological and financial leadership. For example, UCLA has approximately 45 seats open each year for design media arts students to be groomed and nurtured into future idea leaders. Although they received 120,000+ applications this year, there are no new open seats. UCLA is serious about selecting the right “creative thinkers.” “In traditional art education, art graduates became artists, sculptors, or designers. Today is a whole new

get accepted into top art programs across the country that prepare them to think differently and to look at the world from a whole new perspective. Companies are looking for people nurtured and prepared for innovative thinking. So, more and more of our artists are discovering their success has little to do with the title of their major. Rather, it was their trained ability to think independently, to utilize their vast imagination, and to envision solutions to opportunities and problems that never existed before. I’m realizing I often have no idea what they will be doing after they graduate. More and more, they have been asked to implement and design a vision or to make sense of abstract ideas and concepts. This is an exciting time for our artistic students possessing that passion

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clubs, played sports, continued with music lessons, spent summers associated with science or medical groups, participated in camps related to science, engineering, medicine or math, and maintained that high GPA only to be shocked when they might be rejected by their top college targets or be put on waitlists. My sense is so many of the ‘high powered’ applicants look exactly the same on paper. I feel it is not a problem

PREPARING THEM CREATIVELY: RAISING NON-STARVING ARTISTS world. It is now an “idea-driven” economy. Industry is discovering if you graduate in an artistic discipline, you are trained to think differently. Some of our art graduates have gone to work in industries not typical of what you would expect. They have become creative directors for technology companies, as well as businesses, based on the dynamic use of information. They can work at banks, high-tech companies, health industry, or research labs, as well as design movies, make animation, design games, create beautiful looking and working products and packaging, and design automobiles. Consequently, when a student used to major in graphic design, they became graphic designers. Now, because of the growing need for individuals who can use their trained imagination, our artists

for creative expression. They now have infinite opportunities and are forever putting to rest the idea of the ‘starving artist’.” Many universities, such as MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, Harvard, are embracing students who are not simply the robotic academic test takers with transcripts full of AP courses. What has emerged is the appeal of the student who is not only strong academically, but one who can demonstrate a different view of the world around them to successfully separate themselves from the competition. For example, we are seeing a trend in secondary education where so many students have loaded up on the AP courses, spent hours prepping for the SATs, done all the volunteer work, become officers in multiple

that is solved by doing more. It is a problem that can be embraced by doing things differently. In our Portfolio development course, colleges come to our classroom, interview the kids, assess the quality and potential of their works, and comment on the uniqueness of their ideas. I have been fortunate to be invited to fly to many of the top art schools around the continent to meet with the professors and administrators to assess their programs and to see if they

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would be strong fits for our talented students. The success of our previous graduates has made our current artists appealing targets for the top schools. My goal is to make sure each portfolio is individualized, and captures the potential of each student’s unique and provocative voice.” “The wonderful support from our district leadership, Lynbrook High School administration, community, and caring parents are a major part of why our art programs are successful. Parents see the results from the previous art graduates, and are becoming more confident to let their children pursue what they are truly passionate about. As I continue to meet with more parents, I am hearing a growing segment of them express their hope

that their child be happy in their life pursuit. I find that wonderfully encouraging.” Advanced Visual Communications coordinates 2-D and 3-D studio work and cultural studies together with an emphasis on careers in the art field. Selected cultures of Meso-American, Italian, German, French, Middle Eastern and Asian art may be introduced and students will produce projects that relate to each unique culture to be included in their portfolio. Language and cultural studies will be taught on a daily basis so as to appreciate historical and cultural differences. The art elements and principles of design composition serve as a foundation for each unit covered and attention will be given to visual studio work. Students will gain

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knowledge and an appreciation for various art forms and entrepreneurship skills that will lead to a successful career in the visual communications field—Course description for studio art. A glimpse of a course description in the Lynbrook art program will help us understand the scope of study and the diverse areas of exposure the students will receive here. It is definitely designed for the international citizens of the future, who will embrace diversity in culture and aesthetic communication skills. No wonder the universities seek them, and there is no doubt that many international companies will find them integral elements of their success.


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New wings next door

Hainan Airlines Offers direct flights From San Jose to Beijing

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or the Silicon Valley community that travels to China for business or pleasure, it has been a long tradition to go to San Francisco Airport and fight the traffic and parking, or spend $100 for a ride there. As San Francisco Airport has become busier, airport services have become less and less friendly. If you live in the Silicon Valley, you really have to leave your home three hours before an international flight. Now, you no longer have to do that. Hainan Airlines’ new nonstop flights from San Jose to Beijing leave from San Jose airport an easy 15-minute drive from the Valley. There is little traffic, and drop off and pick up at the airport is simple.

Moreover, the security lines are not long, and the Airport security personnel are friendly, which makes getting through security a breeze. Hainan Airlines started its nonstop service from San Jose to Beijing on June 15th, 2015, and their prices are also a welcome break for both small business and leisure travelers. If you travel on Mondays, you can buy a round trip ticket for less than $750. While weekend tickets are around $900, they are still far better than the exorbitant prices of $1200 that many have been paying for most airlines’ nonstop service from SFO to Beijing. To celebrate its inauguration flights and familiarize itself with the local

communities, Hainan Airlines held a golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Monterey, to which they invited 120 golf enthusiasts from the Silicon Valley. During the tournament, ten free round trip tickets were given away to individuals and community organizations, including one ticket that was given to the Friends of Special Needs Children, a charity organization that serves children with disabilities. Hainan Airlines, San Jose to Beijing non-stop Airplane: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday Mileage Partner: Alaska Airlines Awards: 5 star airlines by Skytrax

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SILICON VAL

Our cars are parked 96% of the time.

Individual drivers spend 0.8% of the time looking for parking and 0.5% of the time sitting in congestion We spend only 2.6% of the time driving to a place. More than 33,000 people in U.S. are killed in auto accidents each year, costing us 300 Billion Annually, 95% of these accidents are caused by human error. From Stefan Heck Cupertino Transportation Forum 8/3/2015

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LEY TRAFFIC

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMES GONG

On average, we spend the equivalent of five vacation days every year sitting in traffic. Every year trucks are losing $27 billion on wasted time and fuel. 74 million Americans aged 18 to 34 are increasingly using technology to find new ways to travel or to avoid traveling. From U.S. Department of Transportation: Beyond traffic 2045 report.

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If we build it, they will stay A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE COMPANIES THEY WORK FOR NOW

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alley Transportation Agency (VTA) has created a campaign called “Envision Silicon Valley” to prepare for a 2016 sales tax measure as a potential source of revenue for Silicon Valley’s transportation system improvement projects. Based on the VTA’s literature, the measure will help improve freeways, public transit, local roads, pavement, highways, and bicycle and pedestrian trails. “Envision Silicon Valley” hopes to raise 6 billion dollars for these projects. Eleven cities, including Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino have joined together to ensure that, in this measure to improve the transportation system, and to have some of their transportation needs get addressed as well. Because of the large numbers of jobs created as a result of the success of Google, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, and other high tech companies, traffic around the four cities above has become a serious problem that impedes city development. Solving the area’s transportation problem is a top priority for many local officials. On Monday, August 3, 2015, Mayor Rod Sinks of Cupertino hosted a forum on innovative

Cupertino City Manager David Brandt and Mayor Rod Sinks

transit. Panelists included Rod Diridon, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute from 1995 to 2014; Stefan Heck, consulting professor at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University; Ryan Kauffman, Head of Transportation and Commuting at Apple, and Jason Dowlatabadi from Uber’s Policy Research team.

roads lead to San Jose on VTA for the most part.

Silicon Valley Impressions magazine interviewed Mayor Sinks and City Manager David Brandt to understand what the City of Cupertino will be doing through this measure to help improve its transportation system.

The 1992 (figure 1) Measure A Program was intended to have approximately 90 percent of the revenues raised will be given to public transit capital improvements. After 18 years and thousands of public meetings, the measure then helped build public transportation that surrounds the dense central area of downtown San Jose. Redevelopment agencies invested a lot of money trying to make San Jose the hub of everything. They have built light rail and Cal Train systems, have trains to Sacramento, and provide BART services going through downtown San Jose; some go to downtown Campbell.

SVI: Why do you think that there is a transportation problem in Silicon Valley? Mayor Sinks: I came here in 1980, graduated in 1982, and I moved to Cupertino in 1987. Traffic in the Valley has always been the same with jobs in the north, mainly concentrated at the 101/237 corridor, maybe a few small companies in Los Gatos/Saratoga. Most residential areas are built at the southern part of The Valley near San Jose. Most people travel from South to North for work and return home from North to South. However, our transit system is downtown San Jose centric: all

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Talking to council members from Sunnyvale and Mountain View, all the mass rapid transit is on El Camino, maybe on Stevens creek. We have yet more ways to get to downtown San Jose, but no way to get to anywhere else.

The 1992 plan, part of it was built, the blue part has never been built, what happened? In 1995, VTA was formed because the county wants a transit agency apart from the city. Instead of elected representatives, VTA now


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Currently, the big employers can make big investments in luxury buses, but for small and medium sized companies, they don’t want to have to figure this out, they just want something that works, they will give transit passes, but they don’t want to have to hire traffic engineers, figure out transit maps for their employees.

Figure 1: The 1992 Transit Plan shows the original planned transit lines. Today most of the pink parts have been built but the blue lines were never built.

has appointed officials. The city of San Jose had about ½ of the seats on the board. Part of the 1992 plan got built. However, the epicenter of jobs, the 237 and 101 corridor, where there is a concentration of large companies and jobs, didn’t get built. So if you live in Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos area, and you want to travel to the 237/101 corridor, the public transportation will take you through downtown San Jose. For Apple is in Cupertino, Google in North Mountain View, Facebook in Menlo Park, even Cisco in North San Jose, which is far from downtown San Jose, Juniper in North Sunnyvale, Microsoft, LinkedIn, the transportation system built using the 1992 plan totally ignored these employers and provided no public transportation service to their employees. SVI: How bad is the transportation problem? Why is it so urgent now? Mayor Sinks: Companies that come to our city employ 15,000 people in their campus here, and the city requires the company to eliminate 1/3 of the single occupancy vehicle trips to relieve traffic congestion. By providing

its own private bus services, many companies can eliminate 5,000 single occupancy cars. Apple and Google both offer private bus services. As the search for top talent has become so competitive, more than 100 of the tech companies are having their own private transit services in the recent 10 years. Big companies were mandated to do so, and small companies have to do so because that’s how they can compete for talent. If a company wants the young talented employees who can devote to their jobs to work there, and to compete with Apple and Google, it must provide transportation for the employees. The valley’s transportation has become such a big problem that many of Apple’s employees have moved to SF so they can be close to private buses from Apple. Many of our young people are, like never before, choosing not to have a driver’s license or own a car. They chose to live in areas where public transit can afford them the ability to go to work without having to drive. And if we want this young generation to stay in our city and work here, we have to build an infrastructure that fits their needs.

If we don’t figure this out, our city will not be able to offer any more office spaces. Our citizens have had enough. Companies will leave. It’s too expensive to live here, takes too long to get anywhere. There has been a growing public sentiment that Cupertino is not a place where ordinary people can afford to live. SVI: In order to solve the commuting to work problem, what type of transportation do you think we need? We need a service that can make the commuting work much faster than driving. Most likely, we need a dedicated service as well as having enough frequency. This public transportation system must also serve the other people with transportation needs, such as seniors, students, teachers, and people who don’t work in tech companies. The current VTA networks are so slow. The light rail system with its many pipes goes through downtown San Jose. It will take 90 minutes every day to get to work from the South to the North. As bad as traffic is, driving on the 85 and fighting the traffic will take 45 minutes, which is half of the time to take public transportation. This is the reason why our public transportation has low ridership. SVI: What has the VTA proposed to solve the problem?

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“When someone who wants to go from Milpitas to Mountain View has to go through San Jose, it is as flawed as going from Almaden to Mountain view through San Jose.”

- Rod Sinks

Without a mass transit solution, any solution is just a band-aid.

They have proposed to add a lane or two on HWY 85. However, a single lane of roadway can handle 2,000 vehicles per hour. If the morning commute lasts for 3 hours, that’s 6,000 vehicles. For a company with 15,000 jobs, with 6,000 single occupancy vehicles in a dedicated lane, and 5,000 on private buses, there are still 4,000 employees who cannot come to work. SVI: What is your vision for a solution that can work for all of us? The long-term solution is not the autonomous vehicles. In theory, they respond quicker than humans. The experts say that they can make a commute 30% faster. This can help a little bit, it can help with the last mile problem after public transportation. It can save more parking spaces for more office buildings or residents. But it cannot solve the problem. It is still a single occupancy system. It will not give us less cars on the roads. It’s a Band Aid solution, not a long-term solution. SVI: What transportation model

is already in existence that you believe we can follow? Mayor Sinks: Other metropolitan areas, Washington, Seattle, Portland, are great examples, they don’t make the companies hire private buses. They take it as their own responsibility to solve the problems with a transportation system that allows the city to grow. We need to invest in the public sector, a transportation system that can compete with the private sector and do better. Private sectors’ buses can help with the traffic, but it isn’t a transportation solution for the seniors, the students, and the teachers.

We need to first understand the long term project, working with all of our might and energy to come up with a long-term solution. Then look at short-term improvements in building a transit center, knowing that there is a long-term project. This would be a paradigm shift, if we can offer options to get people to work faster than in their own vehicles. This will help all of us. SVI: What cities are you working with to make the VTA meet your needs this time? Mayor Sinks: I am working with the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Monte Sereno. We had three joint meetings; we crafted a letter asking the VTA to do a study, a comprehensive study that is data driven. We have asked for 750 to 800 million out of the 6 billion measure to build a transportation network that can help our cities to grow and solve our traffic problems in the long run. 800 million dollars is a lot when we don’t know what we are doing yet, but it’s only 13% of the 6 billion, to net over 13 years.

We need something that is dedicated to move things quickly. A shortterm VTA proposal will convert the diamond lane to a toll road, which will affect the multiple occupancy vehicles, such as buses and carpools. What this does is move more cars and traffic to that lane, but it does not move the buses or SVI: How is the City of Cupertino the carpool commuters faster. It can only help the VTA collect some working on the transportation issue money. We need big improvements, right now? we don’t need tiny improvements.

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David Brandt: We are in the political stage of the project. We are working to put some political pressure and get some consensus to move our agenda. Even if Cupertino says that we want to stop development and stop the companies from locating here, there are still 20 million square feet of office spaces near the 101 and Dumbarton Bridge location. These are spaces that will be built in the next 10 years. Companies will grow in that area; they will still need a viable transportation system. People coming to Cupertino will be impacted even if we don’t allow new development. SVI: In the past two measures, 80% of the budget went to building transportation access to downtown San Jose. Many cities have fought to get some of the budget for their own needs. Do you think you will win this time? Mayor Sinks: There is only one strategy to win because the past strategies have failed. In the past, San Jose was the public transit agency building the transit center in downtown San Jose, hoping that companies will come and jobs will be created there. We have to be respectful to the reality and the companies’ desires to locate in the places where they can thrive. Spreading the businesses out is ok. We cannot dictate where the companies want to build their campuses. One cannot say to the companies, come to our city or figure out transportation on your own. This is what governments do when they get arrogant. The companies just have had enough and get out of here. We need our transit system to catch up to reality. We have an ineffective system. The arrogance of somebody to say that it’s all on you (the big companies) to figure out how to do your own

transportation is not going to work. We either figure it out, fix it, and get ahead of it, or things will change. I want to fix our problems and stand up and do our job so our kids can continue to thrive in the future. SVI: What are you doing differently from the past that will help you win this time? David Brandt: During the last decade, the investments from measure 2000 have failed, and the cities in Silicon Valley are not served. Councilwoman Liz Kniss from Palo Alto had said in the Palo Alto Daily that she had tried and tried, nothing changed. Nuria Fernandez, Rod Dirodon, Jim Bell, all gave me the same advice: Stand up, build a coalition of cities, if you have enough of the cities on the same page, if you all work together, you have a good chance, if you don’t, you will fail just like in the past. Mayor Sinks: Our opportunity is to get organized. We made

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some progress, we have requested the VTA to form a policy advisory board comprised of the cities on the 85/237/101 corridor. VTA honored our request, got an institution established with an appointee from each of these cities. We will guide a study that is being done, making sure that we are building a system that attracts commuters, not just the people who have no options. This study needs to be done at federal standards. When the study comes back and is data driven, we will see what options make the most sense of the corridor today. We will take the 800 million out of the 6 billion dollar measure. It will be matched by 800 million from federal and 800 million from the state. With 2.4 billion dollars, we can do a real project in our region. Our proposal called for the county to focus on the public transportation on the 101/237/85/280 corridor, and if we have extra money left, we can fix 237 and 101. Continued on page 27 ...

Let’s Get Moving! Cupertino Launches Safe Routes to School Pilot Program with Local Schools In response to increasing school enrollment numbers, vehicular traffic, and safety concerns in Cupertino, the City has launched its first behaviorbased, student travel safety program called ‘Safe Routes 2 School Cupertino’ in partnership the CUSD and FUHSD school districts and six Cupertino public schools. This program aims to reduce traffic congestion and enhance school travel safety by decreasing the number of trips to school taken by singlefamily vehicle and increasing the amount of active transportation or alternative transportation school trips. In order to accomplish these goals, City staff will meet regularly with representatives from all schools and school districts involved in the pilot to identify barriers to safe and active school travel and create solutions together. The success of any community program is based on collective effort, so get involved in creating a safer environment for our kids to travel in! For more information please visit Cupertino.org/saferoutes. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | O c t o b e r 2 0 1 5


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CONNECTING FOR GOOD IN CHANGSHA

By JOE HAMILTON     

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hey call themselves “Freeway Flyers,” meaning they were part of the under-appreciated corps of hourly paid, highly trained Community College teachers. In this case, their skill is teaching English to non-English speakers. One, Tammy Witt, is a bright, energetic 30-year-old. The other is a longtime, creative community college Intensive English Program instructor named Sara Oser. These were two of the team members embarking with me at SFO on July 10, 2015, for a great adventure in Changsha, China. Our task was to provide training for young, undersupported rural Chinese teachers who taught public Elementary School English. A young, tech savvy, highly skilled Stanford graduated elementary teacher named Andrew Wyndham completed the team. This project was organized and funded by a partnership of Rotary and a group called the Shin Shin Foundation. This Cupertino/ Hong Kong West Rotary Grants was matched by The Rotary Foundation. In 2008, I had visited these schools located among the green terraced rice paddies in the remote mountains of rural Hunan Province. I understood why these young teachers needed more classroom tools and training and why the Shin Shin Foundation, made up of influential and generous Chinese in California and China, developed a multi-year effort to help. As an experienced educator and Rotarian, I was Team

L to R: Dr. Zhong Sun (a Beijing professor), Leo Sun (Dr. Sun’s son), Andrew Wyndham, Tammy Wik, Joe Hamilton, & Sara Oser.

Leader for Hunan. There were two other teams in other sections or China. Our team quickly bonded when we landed in Changsha. Partly, it was the environment. In July, this Central Chinese city of 6.1 million people suffered with temps in the high 90s with very high humidity. Also, it seemed we were the only Americans in the city. Everyone only spoke Mandarin. The exception was a local Shin Shin Foundation representative who spoke a little English and found us a comfortable hotel. Our students, the young teachers, had traveled by bus or train from 3 to 18 hours from various parts of China and were housed 9 to a room in non-air-conditioned dorms. Fortunately we had the only air conditioned classroom in the Changsha college. Once we met with these 40 elementary teachers, everything quickly changed. Almost all were females in their 20s: one came to class with her mother and another with her

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daughter. They appreciated and responded to everything the team did. Most spoke a little English but relished practice. Our main goal was to provide them with new teaching skills to make their English classes more effective and more interesting. We also expected them to take their new techniques and skills back to their schools to share with colleagues. The task was ambitious for our 15 days. They had brought their government provided texts. We helped them develop lessons to expand teaching beyond the standard large-group lecture, drill and practice, in a typical 40- to 75-student classroom. The Shin Shin Foundation provided each student 10 children’s books written in English like The Little Red Hen and The Hungry Caterpillar, and we demonstrated how to develop techniques and lessons from them that encouraged student participation. Daily, we had them learn nursery rhymes and short, fun chants. We taught them the “Hokey Pokey,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes,” and a series of


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language-related physical learning activities each day. We also met every evening. Sara taught them how to square dance to calls in English; Tammy and Andrew taught them the “Macarena” and “Maybe Baby;” they learned to sing “Jingle Bells” and other English songs. They loved the instruction and soon became our close friends.

friends, but there is no way to express the adventure of being dropped into an absolutely foreign and challenging environment where we were embraced, admired, entertained, loved, and treated to an experience of a lifetime.

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Joe Hamilton, Retired Superintendent of Schools, Fremont Union High School District in Santa Clara County, and Past Rotary District 5170 Governor

One weekend students accompanied us to Hunan sites. Changsha is Mao’s birthplace, and some students and Sara visited Mao’s statue while other students accompanied Andrew, Tammy, and me to a famous national park. The visiting Shin Shin Foundation Presidents, Steve Ting and Wen Yuan, brought our team to meet the Hunan Province Director of Education. He invited us as “Experts on American Education” to provide a 3-hour seminar as part of a week long training for the top 50 Principals in Changsha. Suddenly, we were on TV and in the news. We learned the power of “We Chat”, a popular online messaging service in Asian & the U.S. A professor from Beijing helped us set up a “We Chat” network with our students. This tool enabled us to network with students each day and night and enabled all of us to network with each other back in all our communities. I met recently in San Francisco with my “Freeway Flyer” friends. They expressed what I had been feeling. It is a difficult adjustment to go from being a celebrity in Hunan to coming back to home environments where we no longer have that level of appreciation and attention. We are sharing this successful program in Rotary meetings and with family and

Shin Shin Volunteer Ms. He Jian teaches in a classroom

Ms. Sarah Oser training Shin Shin teachers

Continued from page 25 ...

Mayor Sinks: If the VTA wants our support for this transit measure, if they want the support of the elected officials in our cities, they ought to pay attention to the fact that we have stood back for all these years and let them ignore all of us and tell us that we don’t matter. They cannot give us a cheap project, such as an express lane that will basically provide them a little extra revenue. If that’s the solution, that solution is too little, way too little, and way too late, and I will argue that it is not a solution at all.

If we build it, they will stay

It’s a solution grounded in the 20th century thinking about just expanding the roadway. The new thinking is that we need to consider capacity, not by building transit systems slower than cars, but by building a system that is faster than commuting and that’s the only way it will work.” Good luck Mayor Sinks. SVI urges all of our readers to help support this effort, and be involved in and educated about our transportation needs.

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By GLORIA OJEDA   dittmers.com 4540 El Camino Real, Los Altos, California (650)941-3800 Open 6 days a week

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ittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus is a business that every community should have; one that carries the torch of a beloved culinary tradition while embodying the ideal of a mom and pop establishment. A German-styled butcher shop nestled in the city of Los Altos, first established in 1978 by Dittmer and Margaret Bubert, this charcutier extraordinaire provides a large selection of delicious, and exotic, high quality products. From their award winning pastrami to smoked turkey, this hob nob of delicious delicatessen delights is sure to please the chef at heart, backyard barbecue enthusiast or sophisticated foodie. Rooted in German, French and Eastern European styled traditions, these highly trained butchers are passing the baton from one generation to another. Mark Bubert has helped Dittmer, his father, from a young age, and he now finds himself front and center, along with his sister, Petra. Petra, the shop’s meister of marketing, sales and quality control while Mark is in his element, preparing the foods of the day. As a young boy he watched his father engage in the art of customer care and service, only to find himself following in his father’s footsteps. Petra is on task with branding the valley’s best quality meats and maintaining the reputation her parents achieved back in the day. Dittmer’s foolproof meats and sausages are smothered in flavors from around the world, including Asian, Middle Eastern, South American, South African, Swedish and Mexican flavors. Each customer who walks into Dittmer’s is drawn by the beautiful display of meats (along friendly staff ) with a toothpick to try the sausages of the day. Dittmers’ recently sponsored a successful community-based clothing drive for the residents of northern California affected by drought-fed wildfires. Many donations were collected from their loyal customers. Dittmer’s presence in the community doesn’t stop there. You can find Dittmer’s products at the well attended Mountain View Art & Wine Festival; then there is their monthly knife sharpening service. You can also make your own recipe with Dittmer’s custom made orders. Whether you join this magnificent community of Dittmer followers or swing by for a tasty sandwich you are sure to be back for more. Please send comments and questions to: gloria.ojeda@opensocietymedia.com

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Burning man: Holiday at the playa By EELI RAM

eeliramwords@gmail.com Photography by Angie Tan-Burns www.angarts.com “I got a ticket and I am going to Burning Man. Do you want to…” “No!” … join us? Is what I was going to say but blasted by self assured dismissal, I cut my invitation short. A while later, I did get a few questions such as, “why would you want to go camp in a dried up lake bed?… Why go for a week?… Wouldn’t a day or so be enough?… I suppose I might go to see the Man burn… but I really don’t see the point of the whole thing.” The last comment carried the most insight in that many of us reflexively don’t want to challenge our point of view. Most of us are threatened by the possible unraveling of the status quo. We simply want to ignore the possibilities of change and most importantly don’t dare traverse the abyss of unknowns from one ending to its new beginning. The celebration of Burning Man is about endings and new beginnings. Renewal by the ritual of stepping out of one’s own chaos. Forgetting and rediscovery. Malaise and invigoration. Death and rebirth. It is about those personally held shifts. This story is not a travelogue. This story is not a guide to physically or spiritually preparing for Burning Man. For that information there are excellent websites to reference. This story is about the journey of one virgin Burner who flourished as a result of the generosity of fellow Burners. S I L I C O N VA L L E Y I M P R E S S I O N S | O c t o b e r 2 0 1 5


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Background to Burning Man Event Burning Man, an annual event hosted in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, lasts for one week. Although preparations begin long before and continue long after, the public celebration begins on the final Monday in August and ends on the first Monday of September, which coincides with the Labor Day holiday. Existing within the temporary community of Black Rock City (BRC), Burning Man is described as mass experience in community, art, radical self-expression and radical self reliance. Participants who come from all over the world are referred to as Burners. The event is organized and hosted by BRC, LLC who this year sold a finite number of entry tickets for $390 each. The roots of Burning Man dates back to the 1980’s when solstice bonfire gatherings were hosted on Bakers Beach in San Francisco, California. The credit for the original Burning Man bonfire gathering is given to Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and their friends when they burned a 9-foot tall wooden sculpture of a man. The original Burning Man event totaled a number of 20 attendees while 2015’s Burning Man set an attendance record with approximately 70,000 people. With gratitude I must recognize

the core of dedicated volunteers who are not afraid to work tirelessly to awaken this desert. They do not hide hoping that change will bypass them but they wholeheartedly embrace the transformation. Thank you volunteers. Traveling to Black Rock City (BRC) As all commuters are well aware, a mass migration of humanity on a single day is problematic. This was the case as Burners rolled both to and from BRC in cars, RVs, trailers, trucks, converted school buses, art cars, mutant vehicles with bumper snickers that read “Can’t Fix Stupid”, and a wide ranging interpretation of the Burning Man himself. (We used blue painter’s tape to capture our symbolic man.) Traveling towards BRC traffic crawled slowly through Gerlach and finally flowed off the asphalt towards the sand whipped yet smiling welcome committee. The virgin Burner welcoming ritual includes a welcome hug, a roll in the sand, a whack at the gong, shout out of allegiance and then another welcome hug. This ritual serves to guide the newly initiated into the arms of veteran Burners. “Happy Burn. Its an honor to know you.” This was a common line sincerely exchanged all week.

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Due to Playa’s natural state, treading lightly when it came to running water, flushing toilets, garbage concierge service among other “Default” world norms, (Default world is name given to life outside of BRC) the Burning Man experience exposes our daily toll on our host Mother Earth and subtly asks us to reconsider the imbalance within this relationship. To honor Mother Earth we brushed our teeth with a single mouthful of water, used porta-potties, and packed out all of our garbage. Vinegar acted as our magic potion to coax the extremely alkaline sand off our stuff. Adapt or die. Survival on the Playa is contingent on adaptation physically, socially and spiritually. You are blasted by blinding sand storms while at the same time confronting your inner fears. On the playa you deal with the problems that nature poses such as food, water and shelter. You deal with the social problems such as how to get along with one another. Most importantly you deal with the existential problem, that is, how to relate ourselves to the total scheme of things. Black Rock City (BRC) While wandering around this clothes optional encampment, with its variety of structures such as an old west style saloon, multi-storied viewing towers, circus tents with high wire trapeze, Sultan styled tent with door flap revealing Moroccan furnishings and a full service bar, it is difficult to believe that BRC is in fact temporary. And, yes BRC is actually a city with its carefully surveyed and constructed circulation grid on a series of concentric semi circle of alphabetically ordered, uniquely named streets beginning with Arcade and ending on Laffing Sal. The concentric semi


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Decommodification; Radical self-reliance; Radical self-expression; Communal effort; Civic responsibility, leaving no trace; participation; and immediacy.

circles are splayed out with periodic vertical spokes (think clock face) ticking off streets from 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock. Burners take up residence within the neighborhoods created by these streets. Themed villages such as Camp Contact contain a 450 person compound, with multiple circus sized tents and offer all versions of contact improvisation. Some villages were composed of independent themed camps. Still other villages were composed of Burners informally and happily camping in their lone tent expecting to join others in the vicinity. A central cafe acts as the city’s hub where one steps out for a panoramic view of the vast Playa area. The Playa is the playground dotted with interactive statuary; art installments such as R-Evolution, a 48 foot tall sculpture of a women by Marco Cochrane, the inspired Temple of Promise by Dreamers Guild - a collective of artists, builders, caretakers and dreamers, and of course, the 60 foot tall Man himself. Citizens of this Playa City enjoy their own radio station, newspaper, medics, rules, rangers, and airport. Most importantly there is a detailed what-where-when guidebook essential to navigating the Playa. Burners take delight in offering a wide array of activities that range from drink based, food based, body based, mind based, debased or any combination

thereof. All freely given away. At night the Playa transforms into a surreal SciFi-esque landscape traversed by mutant vehicles hovering just one vibration above the playa sand. A clipper ship might cross paths with a grove of tropical trees while a pyramid chased a pair of lips. LED lights of all colors pimp out bikes, dancing Burners and most art installations, all pulsating with the non stop pounding of the Playa’s DJ directed heartbeat. There are a 10 principles which act as a set of commonly understood values reflected in the Burning Man experience. They are as follows: Radical inclusion; Gifting;

Conclusion A lingering last gaze into the Carnival of Mirrors produces a sublimely wonderful reflection of the week. I found freedom, commitment and compassion at Burning Man. Participants were not looking for identification but freedom from clinging to one. Freedom to find and then be yourself. Once through the transition of confusion, the Burning Man community provides a new society, centered around interconnectedness, cooperation, love and respect. When we give people the benefit of the doubt, we have a chance to engage with their best selves. Burning Man provides the forum for everyone to reinvent themselves and for the most part this seems like a civilized way of building community. Next year we will return with a mutant vehicle, art car or at least some faux fur on our handlebars. Oh yes vinegar based baby wipes would be nice too. Photos: page 29, Man with Fireworks Page 30: Aerial View of BRC Page 31: Dust Storm Page 31: Mutant Vehicle

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Do you Boba? PHOTO & ARTICLE BY SABRINA ZHAI

Tea Station

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ith the sprouting of the Bay Area bubble tea place, we have seen lots of Asian drink places with their exotic flavors and decors coming to Bay Area. These places gave our teenagers a place to hang out they way Asian people do. Our teen reporter Sabrina Zhai gave her review of four bubble tea places in the area and her favorite cup of Boba to share with you.

Super Cue Despite being new in the neighborhood, it’s products are reeling in customers. The trendy interior and selections of fast, delicious Asian treats: octopus balls, crispy chicken, and tea leaves sampling made the cafe a popular spot. Entering the cafe, you can smell the sweet aromas and taste the free samples offered to you. There are more, check out its text messaging promos, Super Cue offers frequent coupons for you to enjoy for less. Wait time: 3 - 5 minutes Must try: peach Oolong tea (with panna cotta)

Bambū With its roots stemming from Vietnam, Bambū differs from Taiwanese milk tea places. This shop has a creative selection of milk teas mostly with coconut milk or juice as bases instead of the condensed milk that many Asian drink places use. They also

use pandan to flavor many of their drinks. Pandan is an East Asian tree leaf with a refreshing flavor making many of the drinks Bambū exotic. If you’re looking for some original boba, this is the place to go. Bambū offers great combinations. Options ranging from Bambū Special to Chè Sương Sáo. At Bambū, you can never know what to expect; they’ll keep you on your feet. Wait time: 2-3 minutes Must try: any avocado smoothie (#5. Bơ dằm) and Bambū Special

Cafe LaTTea If you’re looking for a place with great milk tea and desserts, look no further. At this unusual cafe, Cafe LaTTea serves superb and original boba as well as elaborate desserts. Large honey toasts that can be shared among people are a definitely must-get when eating at Cafe LaTTea. The dining area is superb as well: cushions, wi-fi, outdoor settings—what more do you want? Hang out here and meet your friends for the latest gossip. Wait time: 5-10 minutes Must try: Tropical Paradise

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If you’re looking for a snack, or something more than a drink, Tea Station is the place to go. Tea Station’s interior is designed for eating in: large space, comfortable seating—it’s all about stay-in dining. Not only does Tea Station serve superb milk tea, it also has other traditional Asian treats to offer. The atmosphere is spacious, the food is delicious—not to mention filling—Tea Station is definitely the place for a meal. Wait time: 3 - 8 minutes Must try: Taro soup with taro balls and red beans (hot) and matcha ice cream milk tea


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W I N D O W

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D R E S S I N G

A NEW NANO-TECHNOLOGY FILM THAT CAN MAKE YOUR WINDOWS “SMART” AND ATTRACTIVE

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he liquid crystal display technology used in wristwatches, and computer and TV screens will soon be used on your windows. This type of film called nanofilm, can be changed from translucent in which it blocks some or all light - to transparent. Nanofilm uses liquid crystal technology to diffuse or emit all or part of the light, and has the potential to save billions of dollars in heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Why Nanofilm? The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory estimates that windows in the United States currently use $40 billion a year in energy. While the low-e windows introduced in the 1970s are 50% more efficient than the windows used before, Nanofilm potentially can increase efficiency by an additional 50%. Nanofilm offer 98% UV protection and 40% solar reduction, which will reduce heating and cooling costs. Nanofilm can also prevent fading of fabrics, paintings, and other art objects. How does it work? A very thin layer of liquid crystal is placed between two transparent electrical conductors on thin plastic film. When the power is off, the liquid crystals scatter light and the glass appears translucent, thus providing privacy without the need for blinds or curtains. When power is applied, the electric field in the device aligns the liquid crystals, and the glass becomes transparent immediately. Dyes can be added to darken the device in the off state. The nanofilm can be manufactured in a variety of colors, and for curved, as

well as flat surfaces. The maximum size per sheet is 120cm X 300cm. Nanofilm can be controlled either by a switch or remotely through an application on a smart phone or watch.

Nanofilm is an exciting new product that is an indispensable addition to an energy efficient home and a smart lifestyle.

Applications Automotive: When used on automobile sunroofs, nanofilm technology can reduce unwanted light and glare, and minimizes heat build-up inside the vehicle by automatically switching to its maximum heat-blocking state when the vehicle is parked.

Now you see it

Aircraft and Marine: Nanofilm blocks UV radiation to protect interiors. It reduces cabin heat build-up, and the window shades need not be pulled down to block sunlight. Architecture: In corporate settings, Nanofilm can be used in conference rooms, executive offices, restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. In hospitals, clinical offices, and patient care areas, nanofilm offer a sterile and modern solution for privacy and hygiene. In residences, nanofilm provides privacy for bathrooms, kitchens, windows, and room partitions. However, that is not all. Nanofilm panels can also be used for projection and touch screen effects that can transform store windows, showrooms, and any glass surface into HD quality video displays for advertising, motion pictures, etc. Finally, when you move out of your house, you can easily remove the panels and take them with you.

Now you don’t

Now you see something else

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D EV EL OP C O N F I D E N CE A N D PASS I ON - MY LESSON FROM TONGXIN, CHINA  

By CHEN SI                                  

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here is a common saying that no matter what you undertake, the first step is always the hardest. In the case of my summer trip to Tongxin, China, my first day was indeed the most difficult, and destroyed my illusion that this would be an easy trip. While riding the bus from Yinchuan (the capitol of Ningxia province) to Tongxin (a small village in the countryside), all I could see out of the windows was a dirt-covered wilderness. The lack of irrigation was the primary reason that many of the farmers in the region lived in poverty. IvyMax Foundation, and my newly established non-profit organization, Mission of Arts, had come here to help the farmers, offering small, low interest loans to start their own businesses, or an emergency fund for other urgent needs. Other than providing funding, I was leading a group of people that planned to paint large murals for the elementary school children. It turned out that the place in Tongxin where we were to paint the murals had no running water nearby, and we had to paint the murals on crude, eroded bricks. Further, half of our team had no previous experience in painting murals. As soon as I realized that, I lost my earlier confidence that we would be able to finish the murals on schedule. Nonetheless, I gave all I could to the project and worked

harder than I had on any other project in the past. Many times, we stayed past our work time and skipped lunch. The first few days were slow and uneventful, and somehow, on the final chaotic day of our schedule, we completed the two murals simultaneously. At the end of the project, after all the stress and doubts that I had at the beginning, we were filled with a sense of accomplishment and

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pride. Whenever I think about my experiences in Tongxin, I see the images of those murals we painted and the curious looks of the school children as they watched us. I never thought of myself as their benefactor. After all, we had only given them a mural, while they had taught me the two most important lessons in life: good artists and leaders must have confidence and passion.


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BOOK R E V I E W:

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS

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    By GARY LATSHAW    

ulitzer-prize winning author, David McCullough, takes the reader back in time to the turn of the 20th Century. The reader discovers two brothers brought up in a household with a Bishop father. The brothers cooked, played musical instruments, and were fond of playing with their nephews and nieces. While their parents did not encourage science or engineering, their father had an extensive library covering many topics. The brothers and the sister were encouraged to read and learn. Frank and Orville Wright were unassuming in almost all ways except their unwavering dedication to constructing the first heavier-than-air flying machine. It became their “mission.” A natural and remarkable mechanically talent within Orville impelled him, while only in high school, to construct his own printing machine in the carriage shed behind the house and start his own printing business. Later, at twenty-five years of age Orville became stricken with typhoid fever. In the absence of medicines in that era, the best treatment was to cool him off with frequent sponge baths in the coolest room in the house. While bedridden, Wilbur read aloud to Orville. He read about the great glider enthusiast

Otto Lilienthal, who had been killed in a glider accident. Lilienthal had written, “It is our duty not to rest until we have attained a perfect scientific conception of the problem of flight.” Wilbur became intensely interested in flight. He read everything he could about flight and requested information from the Smithsonian Institute. McCullough writes: For Wilbur and Orville, a dream had taken hold. The works of Lilienthal and Mouillard, the brothers would attest, had “infected us with their own unquenchable enthusiasm and transformed idle curiosity into the active zeal of workers.”

        

So the die was cast. Without a formal education in engineering or science, without financing beyond the profits of their bike shop, the brothers embarked on a journey that would make their names and accomplishments symbolic of flight and great inventors. Methodically and carefully the brothers progress from an unmanned glider, to a manned glider, and finally to a powered flying machine. Along the way they had to discover the basic science and features of a lifting wing, an air (not water) propeller, and a method of maneuvering their flying machine. After successful flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, they took their successful Flyer to Europe. Wilbur entered and won multiple flying contests making the American brothers heroes, and they became the frequent subject of European newspaper headlines. Enjoy this remarkable adventure of these two humble and naturally talented brothers as their commitment to a common purpose and to each other made history while betterfunded and larger teams failed. The Wright Brothers Book cover Courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

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High income with high assets? Low income with low assets? High income with average assets? Think you don’t qualify for college financial aid? Come talk to us. We can help you position your assets, investments, and savings so you can qualify for other financial sources. In 2007, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) was passed into law to help address college affordability. More than $170 billion is available for college financial aid from Federal, state government sources, and colleges to qualified families. Mastermind College Finaid and Tax Planning help many parents to get financial aid for their children. Many of our clients have a total income of $200,000 and more, some even have rental properties or other assets. Most of these families are under the wrong impression that they are not qualified for any kind of financial aid or scholarship. Based on this mistaken assumption, some kids gave up opportunities to go to Ivy League schools because their parents believe that they can’t afford it. Mastermind College FinAid can help you to best position your family and maximize other resources for your child(ren)’s college funds. Start early and win! Contact:

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SILICONVALLEYIMPRESSIONS.COM

twin boys, Chris and Steve, were attending Cupertino High School, while their daughter, Teresa, was attending UCLA). At that time, Pat was also a student working on her Master’s Degree at San Jose State University. Later, in 1988, Pat and Jim became our neighbors when they built their new home on Regnart Road. Pat and I were part of our neighborhood book group. This is when I came to know Pat as an avid reader and educator. She loved books and On September 13th, 2015, what one could learn from them. Cupertino lost a dear friend She always brought a bagful of and a wonderful advocate when books to our monthly meetings as Ms. Patricia Jackson passed away. possible reading for the next time. Her memorial service was held at They were not only interesting the Quinlan Center in Cupertino. books, but more important to her, While a roomful of people celebrat- they were books that taught. ed her life, her family and friends mourned their loss. Silicon Valley Pat was very determined about beImpressions Magazine honors her ing involved in the community, and on this page. decided that I should become active in community groups as well. She sponsored me in the Rotary Club of Cupertino, where I learned that Pat was one of the first three women to join the Rotary Club in 1985, when the State Supreme court ordered Rotary to allow women into their By Kathy Nellis organization. We worked together I met Pat 43 years ago when her on many community projects over husband, Jim Jackson, decided to our 25 years with the Cupertino run for Cupertino City Council. Club. Pat was very creative and She was a supportive wife and had great imagination. When asked the mother of three children (their by the Rotary President to find a

Our friend, Pat Jackson

AUTUMN  

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way to incorporate family fun into the Club’s fundraiser, Oktoberfest, she had children from kindergarten through the 3rd grade come with their classes to perform the chicken dance. It was a huge hit with our club, but more importantly, it was fun for the children, their parents, and those who attended Oktoberfest. Her biggest and farthest-reaching accomplishment was her work for the Rotary Endowment. Pat became involved during its formative stages, and was President for many years. Because of her tireless commitment of time and talent, the Permanent Fund of the Endowment has now reached over $1 million, and the earnings are being used for many of the Rotary’s charitable projects. She also was responsible for creating the Endowment’s Legacy Society, which has obtained written commitments for future gifts of over $1 million. I enjoyed most her cheerful and fun loving spirit. Pat was a mentor and encourager, who taught me the importance of giving encouragement, especially for what seemed like the little things. Pat was indeed a wonderful friend, and she shared her love of life and caring with many people and the Cupertino Community. We are all better for having had Pat in our lives.

   

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SILICON VALLEY WELCOMES HUNAN DELIGATION TO VISIT WHOLEFOODS AND GOOGLE   L ocated in the south central region

of mainland China, Hunan Province is known as one of the most beautiful provinces in China. Historically, Hunan has been a major agricultural region known for its rice, tea, and oranges.

Many notable people originated in Hunan. The famous poet Quyuan, to whom the Dragon Boat Festival and the Duan Wu holiday are dedicated, was born there. Chairman Mao Tse Dong, founder and leader of the Chinese communist party, was also from Hunan, as well as Zhu Rongji, an important Chinese leader. In 2013, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. celebrated the work of a famous Hunan diplomat, Ho Feng-Shan, who risked his own life and career during World War II to save more than 3,000 Jews by issuing Chinese visas to those who fled from Nazi Germany. He was working for the Chinese Embassy in Vienna at the time. In 2000, Ho was awarded the posthumous title, “Righteous among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem organization.

In September 2015, a delegation from the Hunan Chamber of Commerce joined Chinese President, Xi Jinping, during his visit to the United States After participating in official activities and meeting members of local business communities in Seattle, the delegation, which was composed of state officials, entrepreneurs, and businessmen, arrived in Silicon Valley on September 24th. They visited the Google campus and spent three hours immersing themselves in a high-tech culture that fosters innovation and creates satisfied em-

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ployees. They also visited Wholefoods Cupertino to study food safety and organic food marketing, as well as sustainable living. The head of the Hunan Department of Commerce, Peng Yan Feng, then led the group on visits to Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He hopes that, as a result of this visit, business leaders from Hunan and the United States can reach a better understanding and work together in the future.


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SVI Fall 2015 Issue  

Silicon Valley Impressions Fall 2015 Issue. Articles about the Burning Man event, education focused on creativity, interview with DA Jeff R...

SVI Fall 2015 Issue  

Silicon Valley Impressions Fall 2015 Issue. Articles about the Burning Man event, education focused on creativity, interview with DA Jeff R...