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Art Outside the Box

Art Box CampbellThe City of Campbell and its Civic Improvement Commission are inviting local artists to participate in Campbell’s “Art Outside the Box” Utility Box Art Program.

They are seeking artists to showcase their work on utility boxes located throughout Campbell. The goals of the program are to enhance the beauty and vibrancy of Campbell, deter graffiti on utility boxes, and bring art to unexpected places.

This program is funded through box sponsorships and individual donations. Anyone can sponsor the painting of a box. Individuals, families, neighborhood groups, businesses, and local civic and other non-profit organizations are welcome to contribute to the beautification of Campbell.

You can learn more and download an application on the City’s website.

Remembering Sally Howe

By Mayra Flores De Marcotte

Sally HoweSally Howe’s infectious smile and vivacious personality left a lasting impression on those that she met, as did her knack for building community everywhere she went.

Howe, the grande dame of Campbell, died on Jan. 14. She was 83 years old.

“Sally was like the sunshine; she was a beacon of information and was never shy about sharing her opinion,” said Evan Low, former Campbell mayor and now state assemblyman.

Low first met Howe as a boy at various Campbell events his father Arthur took him to. Over the years, Howe became a part of Low’s support system.

“When I think about Sally, I will remember the importance of expressing your opinions in a respectful and thoughtful way,” he said. “She was an icon in Campbell and will always be one of the greatest people our city has ever known.”

Howe was born June 1, 1931, in Los Angeles, relocated to San Jose and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. She made her final move from San Jose to Campbell in 1953 and remained an active participant of her community.

Campbell Planning Commissioner Phil Reynolds first met Howe at a neighborhood block party in 2007.

“I’ve known Sally for making the world’s best deviled eggs, and when she brought those to our block parties, they were the first to go,” Reynolds said.

Over the years, Reynolds said that along with those delicious eggs, he came to appreciate Howe for her ability to bring different groups together, her volunteerism and a playful personality.

“Everyone would joke about getting whacked with her cane,” said Phil Reynolds. “She would poke your toes with her cane. I always saw that as a term of endearment. That meant something special.”

“You knew where you stood with her,” Reynolds said. “She was outspoken and open and spoke her mind.”

For the 60 years that she lived in the Orchard City, Howe was involved with the Country Women’s Club of Campbell, an organization that brought local women together for the last century to support the community.

She was the driving force behind the annual Bunnies and Bonnets Parade as well as the Carol of Lights, both family-focused events aimed at bringing the Campbell community together.

“If you were ever a part of the events in downtown Campbell like the Bunnies and Bonnets parade or the Carol of Lights festival at Christmas, you knew that Sally put 1001 percent into making sure these events were done just perfectly so that the community would have something to remember these holidays by,” said Sonya Paz.

Paz first met Howe in 2007 when she opened Sonya Paz Art Gallery in downtown Campbell. The two instantly hit it off.

“Sally was a true gem, not only in Campbell but in the surrounding areas,” Paz said. “She knew a lot of people. She certainly touched everyone in this very special way. It’s not often that you meet somebody in their 80s that is still working a full-time job, working on projects, was on the board of many associations and still had time to visit and connect with people that she cared about.”

Howe was also involved in the Downtown Campbell Business Association, acting as its leader for a period but always offering guidance to others in the role in later years.

Former Campbell business owner Dana Smith first met Howe in 1994. The two met at a DCBA board meeting when Howe was vice president of the association. After a short period, the president position was vacated and Howe stepped in, asking Smith to take her place as veep.

“She told me, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything,'” he said.

The two became friends and were involved in multiple events over the years, including many Downtown Campbell Wine Walks and the behind-the-scenes for the Carol of Lights.

“Her drive and enthusiasm and energy were pretty amazing,” Smith said. “She would go to every city council meeting, every DCBA meeting–anything that needed a voice or body or comment. At 80-something, she missed nothing. She had her whole heart and soul in it.”

Kelly Crowley, general manager at Khartoum, first met Howe in the late 1990s while she worked as a waitress at Mio Vicino’s and was struck by her passion for and knowledge of the community she was a part of.

When she began working in the downtown, she became a part of the DCBA and enjoyed what she called “lively, often heated, always passionate conversations.”

“Sally was a mentor to me,” Crowley said. “She was civic-minded and giving, brassy and strong.”

Campbell business owner Deb Rohzen also met Howe through her involvement with the DCBA 14 years ago. The two, Rohzen said, had their fair share of laughs and hugs and even arguments, but the friendship between them never waned.

“Above all else, Sally always had the interests of the Campbell community at heart,” Rohzen said. “She was the epitome of a good person–a passionate person indeed–and she will be forever in my heart.”

The local matriarch also ran the Campbell Express, the city’s longest-publishing newspaper. Howe’s presence was ubiquitous at city council meetings, community happenings and theater events, and her knowledge of the things that made the community tick was unending. If she didn’t know about, she’d quickly look into it and report back her findings.

“Somehow, even though she wasn’t an elected official, Sally got things done in the Campbell community,” said Al Bito, assistant to the Campbell city manager. “She had her own authority that people respected and followed.”

The two met when he attended his first city council meeting as part of his new job in 1997, and Howe introduced herself and then offered to introduce Bito to community leaders.

“I will miss Sally’s sheer presence and company at all of the public and community meetings because of what she brings to the table and this includes her friendship, her wisdom and her compassion,” he said.

Former Campbell mayor Rich Waterman met Howe at an event in San Jose more than 15 years ago.

“Little did I know that this lady, arguing with me about an issue she felt passionate about, would play an instrumental part in encouraging me to both start my own Campbell business and to get so involved in Campbell politics,” Waterman said.

Prior to her time as a newswoman, Howe worked various jobs. She was a switchboard operator in Los Gatos, an elevator operator at Roos-Atkins department store in downtown San Jose and a school secretary at Lowell Elementary School in the San Jose Unified School District.

Howe then wrote for the Campbell Press, the predecessor to the Campbell Express, for many years. She also edited the quarterly newsletter for the Metropolitan Adult Education Program. In the 1980s, Howe headed up the Campbell Progressive Seniors.

Howe was heavily involved in the dog breeding community. For more than 40 years, she bred and exhibited Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs and fostered her relationships within that community. This aspect of her life took a back seat when she decided to focus on her role as newspaper reporter, then publisher and owner in 2003 when she bought the Campbell Express. Her love for the small dogs, however, never waned. Photos hung from her office and a golden Corgi charm hung from a necklace she wore regularly.

Sally Howe is survived by her daughter, Roberta C. Howe, son Matthew C. Howe, grandsons Starsun and Cyrus, granddaughter Lyra, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Howe’s life will take place on Jan. 24, 1 p.m. at the Home Church, 1711 Winchester Blvd. with a reception to follow at the Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave.

This article originally appeared in the Campbell Reporter.

Campbell Rotary Visits West Valley Veterans’ Resource Center

Rotary at VRCRecent studies have indicated that veterans, in general, are reluctant to ask for help upon their return to civilian life, except if those offering assistance are veterans themselves. This may explain why the Veterans’ Resource Center at West Valley College is considered to be one of the best VRCs in the state. With VRC President Andrew Rocha, a veteran of recent Middle East conflicts, helps lead the services provided to student vets at the Saratoga campus. Starting out as simply “a couch”, West Valley’s VRC is now housed in a suite of offices, includes a few computers and printers that vets may use to print out their schedules, research topics for class reports and find the kind of personal help and support that is so valuable to a successful return to civilian life.

On Wednesday, August 6th, Campbell Rotarians Dr. Sue Klear, Adrienne Grey (a Trustee of West Valley College), and President John Shannon visited the VRC. West Valley President Brad Davis and Vice President of Student Services Victoria Hindes along with Bernadette Walker and Rocha welcomed and thanked the visiting Rotarians for their past support of the center.

Campbell’s Rotary Club provided special graphing calculators and Smartpens for use by student vets. A plaque outside the VRC’s office expresses appreciation to our club. With it’s recent growth, the VRC continues to have special needs. The computers in the VRC, though useful, are quite dated and in need of replacement. Even the small refrigerator that the center uses to provide vets with water and drinks on their visits is in need of a replacement.

The VRC serves over 100 veterans of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and service around the world. Dependents of veterans also benefit from the center’s outreach and support activities. Our Board of Directors will discuss ways to continue to support the great work that the VRC does right here at the nearby campus. We will look for a way to be a more constant source of support for the center that does so much to support those who have done so much for our country.

You can click here or on the picture below to read a report from the VRC thanking Campbell Rotary’s support!

Veterans Resource Center Report

Compassion & Choices

Addressing us today on the topic of end-of-life awareness and choices, Jordan Posamentier introduced us to the Compassion & Choices organization. Jordan is the chair of their advocacy team, and currently works for StudentsFirst, headquartered in Sacramento.

Compassion & Choices of Northern California seeks to educate terminally-ill individuals and their families about their rights to a dignified, humane, and peaceful death. They offer a series of free services that focus on comfort care and pain management.


Some terminally-ill individuals are able to experience their last days of life with relative ease. Others have prolonged suffering and want to explore pain management, hospice, comfort care, and other alternatives. It is to these patients that we offer free counseling and support.

Our vision is to live in a society in which all people have freedom in making end-of-life decisions.

Compassion & Choices hosts seminars across Northern California and the country, including several upcoming events in the Bay Area. Jordan’s discussion focused on the legal and ethical side of end-of-life care, including state and federal regulations that influence the treatment and palliative care we receive at the end our lives.

School Bullying

Our “Back to School” series continues this week, with a presentation from Margaret Lavin, who leads attendance improvement efforts for the Redwood City School District. She is also the “Elementary, My Dears” columnist for the San Mateo County Times and the Bay Area News Group and writes the “Class Notes” column for the Santa Clara Weekly. Her presentation on bullying was alarming for parents and grandparents alike.

Bullying is an unfortunate fact of life, and it’s a problem in many places. We all want our children to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, and we do our best to see that it happens. But when we send kids off to school, sometimes there are people there that, for one reason or another, feel better only when they are bringing others down.

Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.

Margaret shared examples of both direct bullying (name-calling, threats, violence) and indirect bullying (convincing others to bully, spreading rumors, cyber bullying). She also discussed the impacts on the participants in the bullying, including the victims, the perpetrators, and the bystanders.

She also introduced us to “Seth’s Law,” which requires California schools to address bullying through localized policies and the distribution of family resources. Other resources include the
OLWEUS Bully Prevention Program (Violence Prevention Works) and the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.