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here would you like to live? JEANNIE CHASE

408.781.1199 Lic#00682682



State of the art solar powered single story + 4 car garage. Additional guest house is 1,000sf with 1 bedroom, 2 baths, and a 2 car garage. Magnificent landscaping, a pool, spa, built in BBQ pit, lighted tennis court, bocce ball court, and an orchard. All inspeciations are done. Motivated seller. 4 bedrooms | 4 bathrooms | 4,350SF | 6+acres


408.718.4128 Lic#01132576

CALLTAMMIEJANN.COM Casa Grande Custom. This home has it all. Huge media room, family room, sun room, living room, dining room and dining nook. Laundry room/areas on both floors. Visit our virtual tour at 5 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms | 4,638 SF | 22,000 lot

KIM MERCER-CLAUS 408.710.2435 Lic#01160324


Coming Soon

Single story home located in beautiful Holiday Lake Estates. Tucked away on a private and secluded 23,000 sq.ft. lot with unobsturcted views of the surrounding mountains. Visit our virtual tour at 4 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms | 2,100SF | 23,000 lot

Prices Upon Request 17200 Monterey Road At Monterey Road and 4th Street Morgan Hill Lic#01342632





dinner specials

business lunches

weekend brunches

signature cocktails



A Dining Experience to Remember

The Milias Restaurant is not only rich with history but with a menu full of local favorites plus an ever-changing list of daily specials, a full bar and a friendly staff. It’s warm relaxing atmosphere is just right, whether you're looking for a delicious dinner, cocktails and music, a business lunch or a delicious brunch on the weekend.

Adam Sanchez, Owner

7397 Monterey Road • Gilroy, CA 95020 • 408.337.5100 •








12 SSCV Leadership






36 Growing Up Morgan Hill


38 Celebrating 100 Years Young


42 Keeping It In The Family


48 The Knopf’s





58 Make It Your Own




82 The Relationship Game


81 Historically Speaking Two


46 Theater Scene


72 Historically Speaking One




70 Manners Matter


24 Community Digest


67 Book Club Beat


90 Trekking The Himalayas

34 Growing Up Gilroy

86 AAUW Then & Now

28 SSCV Libraries

62 Artfully Yours

56 The Art of Being Involved

64 Getting Involved

20 City Beat


60 Team Dinsmore

19 A County Update



N ew


ABOUT THE COVER A visit with Janie & Roger Knopf at their home in Morgan Hill. See story on page 48.


In our last issue, we missed giving Heather Hafleigh credit for the Fields Family photo. We apologize for the oversight. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



When Your Cars Reliability Is Important …

Family Owned & Operated Since 1992 20 East Luchessa Avenue • Gilroy • 408.842.0663 • Mon-Fri 8 am-5:30 pm 6



Published By IPC PUBLISHING A Division of InfoPOWER Communications PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR J. Chris Mickartz

Laura Lundy sharing gmh TODAY with new friends in the Himalayas, India. See story and photos, page 90.



WRITERS Crystal Han Larry J. Mickartz Elizabeth Barratt Matthew Hendrickson Donna Pray Sherry Hemingway Mike Monroe Kimberly Ewertz Sam Bozzo Jordan Rosenfeld Vicki Minerva Karen La Corte


Home Financing Jayson Stebbins Interior Decorating Carol Spence Carr Insurance Michele Campbell Mortgage Jayson Stebbins Remodeling David Domenichini Solar Energy Pam Garcia Tourism Jane Howard


We invite you to join in the conversation. Share the things you love about Morgan Hill, CONTRIBUTORS features and people you would like to see Aging DorieinSugay future editions of TODAY, and any you might have on articles Finance Jeffrey M. Orth comments / Daniel Newquist in the current issues at Real Estate Marta Dinsmore / Teri Nelson




FOR ANDeverywhere ABOUT you do business (partial list): Available YOU


Pinnacle Bank COMMUNITY • CrossFit • GB Landscape Services • IFIT Financial YOUR Lazy Suzan Designs • Redman’s Automotive Repair • Shag Beauty Bar Brite n’ Clean LIFESTYLE • Studio Three • Gilroy Chamber of Commerce YOUR First Street Coffee • The Energy House • Garlic City Mercantile & Shirtworks Garden Accents • Rosso’s Furniture • Dr. Escobar, DDS • Kaiser Permanente Old City Hall • The Milias Restaurant • Westside Grill • and more.

Morgan Hill

Common Wealth Credit Union • Pinnacle Bank • GVA • Rosy’s At The Beach Lana’s Dance Studio • Live Oak Veterinary • Morgan Hill Car Wash Alain Pinel Realtors • Honda of Morgan Hill • Rosso’s Furniture • DePaul Center YMCA/Centennial Recreation Center • Morgan Hill Community Center DePaul Center • Guglielmo Winery • Intero Real Estate • Guild Mortgage Cochrane Road Self Storage • RNP Advisory Services • and more

San Martin Available everywhere you do business. Naturals Boutique Spa & Salon • San Martin Cafe • Rocca’s Market Electronic copies available online at: Electronic copies available online at:


COMMUNITY EVENTS & INFORMATION Submit for free inclusion, space permitting. © Copyright 2006-16. All rights reserved. No part, either editorial or display advertising, may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher and author. email: • phone 408.848.6540 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Or take advantage of our free subscription offer. Simply visit our website and sign-up for home delivery. 408.848.6540

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“Connect with us socially.”

Weather you are surfing the golden beaches or sking those pure white slopes or just want to pack it up for the weekend, Honda of Morgan Hill has you covered in the all new 2016 CRV. This fun packed SUV has been named Motor Trend’s Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year 2015.





W gmh

ell I knew it would happen one day. I now know what is meant by the expression “the perfect storm.” The end of January and first couple of weeks in February managed to present a challenge for us here at TODAY. Larry and I managed to catch the flu bug going around (and yes, we did get our flu shots but to no avail), which made putting on a party for Larry’s father’s 100th Birthday in Los Angeles a little more complicated. Then, we seemed to have a tough time getting all the pieces together for this issue — I’m going to blame that on other folks experiencing similar complications. And our third piece, although a pleasant one, was the arrival of our new little granddaughter in Littleton, Colorado. So, this issue is late; for the first time in ten years, we missed our deadline. What’s a week among friends! I want to welcome a new writer, Jordan Rosenfeld. Jordan is the author of four writing guides and three novels. Her articles have been published in such places as: Alternet, The Atlantic, Marin Magazine, the New York Times, the Petaluma Magazine, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post. We are extremely happy to have her join our TODAY team. We also are happy to welcome a couple of new columnists to our team: Karen LaCorte will be sharing her ideas and advice on etiquette in the 21st Century, Manners Matter. (See page 70). And Vicki Minerva will be helping us all manuever relationships, The Relationship Dance (See page 82). I trust we will all enjoy their insights. A special thanks to my lovely grandaughters for being the models for the article about our South County Libraries (See pages 28-31). We spend a lot of time at the Gilroy Library as we are fortunate enough to live a mere block away. Anyway, it’s nice to have a couple of beautiful young ladies that we can photograph when the need arises. Be sure to read our feature story about Janie and Roger Knopf. (See pages 48-53) We had such a wonderful time touring their lovely home. They are so warm and welcoming; and so much a part of what makes the community of Morgan Hill so special. Enjoy!



1) gmhtoday_March16_V6.indd 9



2/20/16 12:55 PM




Helping Hands and Healing Hearts Awards Luncheon Honors a community leader who is dedicated to improving the lives of others and a current or former Community Solutions client who has triumphed over personal adversity and changed the course of their future. Held at the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center from 11:15 am to 1:30 pm. Contact Keri Gardner at keri.gardner@, or 408-846-4704.




Rebekah Children’s Services will host the Second Annual Popa-Cork Celebration benefitting the Culinary Academy. Guests will enjoy a special selection of culinary delights prepared and served by students, sample award winning wines, and listen to live music in the Barrel Room at Fortino Winery. For tickets, visit or call, 408.846.2136.

The 33rd AAUW Morgan Hill Wildflower Run (10K Run | 5K Run/Walk/Stroller | Kids’ 2K | Senior 2K), an annual fundraiser to support education of women and girls at Live Oak High School. Runner check-in begins at 7:30 am. Details and registration at Family and group discounts available.

Pinetello Comedy Theater presents “Jerry Finnigan’s Sister,” where we follow Brian and Beth from age 7 to the present to see if he can muster the courage to tell her how he feels about her before she gets married. The production runs thru May 7. Fri/Sat Doors open, 7:30 pm, Showtime 8:00 pm Sunday - doors open 1:30 pm. For information call, 408.337.1599, or go to

Community Solutions Hearts of Gilroy Women’s Luncheon & Auction will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 11:30-2:30 pm, at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club, The event hosts a day of fun, fashion and philanthropy as community members, donors and volunteers join together to raise funds for local women and children who have been victimized by abuse. Prizes are awarded to the women wearing the best shoes. The Heart of Gilroy award is given to recognize a guests who’s been active in making Gilroy a better place to live is awarded work and thrive. Event information at


April 1-23


The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley host their Spring Passport from 12:00-5:00 pm. Admission price of $35 includes tastings from over 20 local wineries in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San Jose. For further information go to, or



Gilroy Gardens opens on Sunday, March 27 and will be open Fridays (11-5), Saturdays and Sundays (10-6) through May, and daily starting June 3. Don’t miss Lumination – a spectacular nighttime festival of light celebrating Chinese culture – coming to the park this July! For more information or to buy discount tickets online, go to

Gilroy Sister Cities Association annual International Dinner and Auction featuring cuisine from Gilroy’s active Sister Cities: Angra do Heroismo, Azores; Tecate, Mexico; Takko-Machi, Japan; and Saint-Clar, France. The event will be held at the Portuguese Hall, 250 Old Gilroy St. Admission is $50. No host bar 6:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm, Auction 8:00 pm. For information contact, Vito Mercado, 916.761.7378.

Passport Weekend

Gilroy Gardens Opening Day


The annual Gilroy Rotary Flower Sale from 8 am to 2 pm at Syngenta Flowers, at 2280 Hecker Pass Highway, will offer patrons the most beautiful flowering plants you can buy, and the deepest discounts, guaranteed. All proceeds will benefit local charities. Info at


The Limelight Actors Theater’s presentation of “Nunsense,” a Best Off Broadway musical, stars Betsy Andrade and Roberta Vinkhuyzen. This updated production includes new jokes, additional lyrics, two new arrangements, and a brand new song. This zany musical reunites many of the original South County casts. Showings through April 23. Reservations available at


Gilroy Rotary Flower Sale

Gilroy Gardens Opening Day

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner St. Joseph’s Family Center will host their annual fundraiser with proceeds going to support the various food and nutrition programs of SJFC. The event features an authentic Irish meal, silent auction and raffle. Held at St. Mary’s Parish auditorium; with a no host bar at 6pm, dinner at 7 pm. Information and tickets 408.842.6662 or


Gilroy Sister Cities Dinner

AAUW Wildflower Run


Jerry Finnigan’s Sister

God Of Carnage South Valley Civic Theatre’s presentation is set in modern day New York and is the story of two married couples that meet for the first time shortly after their respective sons have a nasty schoolyard tangle. Each attempt at a civilized adult discussion quickly devolves. The performance runs through April 30. More info:

pring ling

Spring Fling


May 6-7

GAL’s Impressions Home & Garden Tour


The first annual Women’s Luncheon benefiting Rebekah Children’s Services Family Resource Center (FRC), which provides services to all families with children under 6, will be held at Old City Hall. Guest speaker is Susie Sanchez, author of “The Dream Lived.” The Kimberly Ordaz Award will be presented to a local community member who embodies Kimberly’s tremendous passion and commitment to their own family and to the entire community. Guests are encouraged to bring a “baby shower” type gift to the luncheon to benefit families in need. For more information:

Hearts of Gilroy


Spring Fling Leadership Gilroy will hold its annual Spring Fling event at the greenhouses at Syngenta Flowers. The evening event begins at 5 pm and offers attendees a night of dinner, dancing and a live auction and is open to the public. Visit for more details.


Britton Carnival Britton Middle School’s annual Carnival. It’s an all day event that is fun for the whole family. Admission is free.


Enjoy touring four homes and a garden at this year’s GAL’s Tour. Check in is between 10 am -1:30 pm. The perfect outing for Mom complete with hors d’oeuvres & no-host wine tasting with a Home & Garden Decor Boutique. 100% of all proceeds benefit local youth. Tickets: $30 in advance and $35 at the door. For information, contact






South Santa Clara Valley


South Santa Clara Valley has a number of great qualities … open spaces, amazing weather, access to mountains and beaches just a short drive away, good schools, an active lifestyle, fine dining and family restaurants, and entertainment. But the area’s most treasured asset is the abundance of great community leaders … some we know well and others come to light through the efforts of our Chamber of Commerces’s and non-profits who recognize them each year. On these pages, we have highlighted just a few. Be sure to thank them for their contribution if you run into them. They truly do make a difference.

A special thanks to our gmhTODAY friends at Morgan Hill Life and the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce for providing a portion of the research, photos and copy used in these highlights.

Joe Aiello

Morgan Hill Leadership Excellence Award When he’s not running the farms, Joe Aiello stays involved as a leader of the South Valley community, providing thousands of dollars every year in scholarships for students who want to study agricultural sciences in college. He also is involved in helping young children learn how food crops are produced through various school campus gardens and a “pumpkin lab” at Uesugi’s annual Pumpkin Patch. He has served on the board of the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau and was heavily involved in Morgan Hill Pony Baseball. Aiello now serves on the board of the Western Growers Association. Things were not always so good for Joe. After a crop disaster in 1976, his friend George Uesugi financed Aiello and his business partner, Dennis Humphrey, for a year and sold them his farming business. “That’s one of the reasons the business still has the Uesugi name — in honor of George.” The Aiello family started a college scholarship program in memory of their son Michael who died in an accident in 2007. Now $20,000 scholarships are given to an individual each year. Karl Bjarke, chair of the Leadership Morgan Hill organization in 2016, said. “Joe’s leadership in the farming community and, indeed, in all of the community perfectly mirrors the values of the Leadership organization.”

ership Joel Goldsmith

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year

The name Goldsmith is synonymous with words like generosity, kindness, success, accomplishment, leadership and Man of the Year. Joel’s father, Glenn, and mother, Jane, were honored as man and woman of the year in 1991. His wife, Paula, was woman of the year in 2015. Joel is a founding Board member of Leadership Gilroy where he also served as President. He has been a member of the Rotary Club since 1984 and again served as President. He served on the Board of Directors of Gilroy Gardens as Chair and also served on the Welcome Center Board for five years. Joel’s leadership and resources have been the foundation of success for the annual Rotary Flower Sale. His efforts helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over 25 years in support of local organizations and scholarships for Gilroy youth. His generosity extends to other organizations such as the Gilroy Foundation, Community Solutions and St. Joseph Family Center. With all that Joel has done and could easily be proud of, he said his greatest accomplishment is raising two kids who are now productive members of society and anxious to give back to their communities.

Jeff Perkins

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year Next year, Perkins and his wife Mary will celebrate making their home in Morgan Hill for 20 years. They have two children and seven grandchildren. In 2014 Heritage Bank was selected as the Chamber’s business of the year. Perkins received the honor of Volunteer of the Year in 2006. Perkins has been involved with the Morgan Hill Community Foundation since joining its board in 2001. He is also involved with the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill as its service project coordinator. He coached the basketball team at Live Oak High School for eight years. He’s now involved in the new Junior Achievement club at Live Oak. His philosophy of involvement comes from years of working at a community bank, he said. “It’s important to see the community flourish,” he said. “These things (opportunities for volunteering) come up, you get involved and you’re surrounded by great people and the people we work with side by side. Everybody is trying to do their part to make the community better. It’s easy to get involved.”

South Santa Clara Valley

Leadership Sandy de la Cuesta

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year

Sandy de la Cuesta is the volunteer treasurer on the board of the Morgan Hill Historical Society. Sandy has been involved in the society for 15 years. “It’s been fun watching the Morgan Hill Historical Society grow and change and having more people know that we’re there for the community,” Sandy said. She also serves as the accountant for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill, serving in that role since 2001. She has helped organize as chair or co-chair the Dazzle event put on by Rotary. This year she will “tri-chair” the event with Rotary Club members Tracy Newquist and Diane Carol. “Rotary is pretty big in my life,” she said. Sandy chaired the Mushroom Mardi Gras wine tent in 1994 as well as the Centennial Committee in 2006. She and her husband David have been married for 49 years. They moved to Morgan Hill 32 years ago. “I’m totally honored by this and I feel there are so many people who should be on this list,” she said.

Joan Buchanan

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Joan Buchanan has been an active participant in this community for over 40 years. Her heart lies in the downtown but she involves herself with many other organizations and activities. Joan was involved in the Theater Angels; helping to refurbish the historic Wiley House. Joan has a great respect for the historic look and feel of downtown as well. Her love of public art has also been the driving factor in the restoration of two large murals downtown. The iconic “Garlic Capital” mural on the Gardner Health Clinic building was restored as a result of Joan’s coordination and fundraising efforts. Not long after that, she led the effort to raise money to restore the “Train” mural located on the side of the building where 5th Street Coffee is located. Joan was also part of the committee that provided for the three sculptures in the downtown as well. She currently serves on the Downtown Paseo Committee helping to raise awareness and money for the paseo project. She has been coordinating a group with regard to research and design for the historic panels which will be displayed. Never satisfied standing on the sidelines and just watching, Joan has always been someone who participates and is inspired by what other communities do in their downtowns. Joan believes Gilroy is truly a “hub” city and enjoys seeing the “can do” spirit and civic pride displayed by so many residents and volunteers.

Annalicia Anaya

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Student of the Year Recently Mayor Steve Tate presented Annalicia Anaya with a certificate and Chamber CEO John Horner gave her a bouquet of flowers as she was told that she was to be the 2016 Student of the Year. A senior, after graduation she wants to go to college and study Sociology for a career in non-profit work. She became interested in doing this while involved in the Sobrato Interact Club, a youth service club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. She serves as the club’s area director in charge of all the schools in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. She has also served as the co-president of the Sobrato Random Acts of Kindness Club and has served on the Associated Student Body government as its treasurer for all four years of high school. Anaya has applied to U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. San Diego, and recently found out she was accepted at the University of Portland in Oregon.

Jesse Calderon

Gilroy Chamber Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award Jesse Calderon has been involved in sports, the California Scholarship Federation, student government, Sister Cities Club and Interact Club. He has also participated in leadership camps such as California Association of Directors of Activities and RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). Jesse’s proudest moment in high school was planning and leading a workshop for the influential leaders of Christopher High School. The purpose of the event was to emphasize the importance of overcoming adversity and accepting others, which was meant to be reflected in the school. When asked what advice Jesse would give other students interested in leadership and volunteerism, he said, “…It is essential to experience new things and put yourself in positions that may initially seem uncomfortable but will eventually lead to growth as a leader and as a person.”

Brandon Ellemberg

Gilroy Chamber Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award Brandon Ellemberg has exemplified leadership through volunteerism. He has been actively involved at Christopher High School in sports, student government, academics, entrepreneurialism and club activities. Brandon is the founder and President of a club called, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.” When asked who inspires him to be the leader he is, Brandon replied, “Courageous leaders inspire me. Leaders like Pope Francis, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Malcolm Gladwell, Steve Jobs, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi inspire me to be better, to do good work. When someone has the courage to step out of their comfort zone and use their efforts for impact, it inspires me.” Moving forward, Brandon wants to get a Bachelors in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. For

South Santa Clara Valley


Janet Hagemann YMCA - Mt. Madonna

It was through a fellow classmate in her 1996 Leadership Morgan Hill class that Jan became involved with the Mt. Madonna YMCA. She volunteered to help with the annual Community Support Campaign and from her interaction with the Y she was hooked. She has participated in every campaign since, serving as a campaigner, Team Captain, Division Manager and Campaign Chair. Jan joined the Board of Managers in 2000 and has served two terms as the Board Chair. Jan and her husband Jack were selected as the 2002 MM YMCA Volunteers of the Year. Jan is a Lecturer Emerita, Department of Justice Studies, having retired from San José State University in 2012. During her tenure at SJSU she was named San José State University Outstanding Lecturer and Justice Studies Distinguished Alumnus. In 2014 the Justice Studies Department created an award in her honor recognizing individuals who make extraordinary contributions to the department. The Mt. Madonna YMCA is celebrating our 30th years serving the communities of Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill. The Y is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Rochelle Woodward St. Joseph’s Family Center

Rochelle joined the St. Joseph’s Family Center Board of Directors in 2008 to replace a prior board member that was also a lawyer. Since then, she has reviewed and updated the Bylaws and helped drive the drafting and adoption of a 5-year Strategic Plan, which helps to keep the mission and primary objectives of the agency at the forefront as day to day decisions are made. One of the Board’s primary responsibilities is fundraising and Rochelle says she has “thoroughly enjoyed being involved and participating in SJFC’s two annual fundraisers over the years…both of these are fun events (with great food!) that are generously supported by the wonderful community that we live in. The mission of St. Joseph’s Family Center is to improve the quality of life through comprehensive services that help establish food security, shelter, gainful employment and other opportunities toward achieving self-sufficiency. The history of St. Joseph’s Family Center is a testament to grassroots efforts to create change locally. Today, SJFC is the giving arm of a consortium of local churches, businesses and individuals. Though St. Joseph’s has changed in many ways over the 30 years, the vision remains the same: to improve the quality of life for under resourced families and individuals and be responsive to the ever changing needs in our community.

Jeff Dixon

Morgan Hill Freedom Fest President, Jeff Dixon has served on the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest committee since 2003. He is also the Director of the Morgan Hill Youth Sports Alliance and Manager of the Outdoor Sports Complex in Morgan Hill. Independence Day Celebrations (IDC) is a non-profit organization committed to uniting the community of Morgan Hill around the vision of our founding fathers who boldly proclaimed that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The organization is committed to reinforcing and sustaining the principals of American freedom in the Morgan Hill community through Independence Day events of the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest.

Dave Reynolds Gilroy Garlic Festival

The 2016 President is Dave Reynolds. Dave came to the Board of Directors after servicing as the Chairperson of Gourmet Alley. Before assuming leadership in the Alley, Dave worked on garlic bread and procurement. Dave’s day job is with JP Morgan. Gilroy Garlic Festival (GGF) has been around since 1979 and has contributed $10.9 million back to the community. In 2015 the GGF gave $250,000 to 138 groups in the South County area. The organizational structure of the GGF goes back to the early years when the President was elected by the Board of Directors who where selected by the Committee Chairs. Committee Chairs and Assistant Chairs are appointed by the Board but are selected from some of the 4,000 volunteers who work each festival. Directors, Chairs and Assistants serve a two-year term. Typically, members of the Board are chosen for their proven leadership skills, volunteer experience and business sense.

Janie Mardesich Community Solutions

Janie Mardesich joined Community Solutions’ Board of Directors in February 2009. She was elected Board Chair in fall 2015 after holding the position of Vice Chair, and has served on the Executive, Finance and Development committees. To each role, Janie brings her wonderful humor and a deep sense of caring and compassion for the children, families and individuals served by Community Solutions.” Community Solutions, founded in 1972 provides a comprehensive spectrum of prevention, intervention, treatment, and residential services to the communities of South Santa Clara County, South San Jose and San Benito County. Their programs provide the services and support to help children, families and individuals overcome the challenges posed by mental health issues, substance abuse, trauma, severe family dysfunction, sexual and domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Home Appraisals: A Look Under the Hood


By Jayson Stebbins Mortgage Professional

Jayson Stebbins is a 20-year veteran of the Mortgage Banking industry and an Accredited Mortgage Professional through the Mortgage Bankers Association. He grew up in Morgan Hill and currently lives in Gilroy. He is the local Branch Manager of Guild Mortgage, a 53-year -old Mortgage Banking firm. His office is in Morgan Hill and serves all of Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey counties. You can reach Jayson and his Team at 408-782-8800 or at

e know that we have to qualify to buy a home. Our income, credit and bank statements are scrutinized to confirm we have the willingness and ability to repay the home loan. Sometimes forgotten is the fact that the house has to qualify as well. The property we want to buy has to meet value and quality standards to be acceptable collateral for the home loan. Appraisals are a unique mix of facts and feel. A home appraiser has to take the condition and state of the property and compare that to homes that have sold within the last 6 months, then come up with a value that is supported by the market. Using market knowledge, common sense, and a little bit of art, the final valuation determines if a lender will lend on the house, and how much they will lend. Usually lenders want to see sales in the past 6 months to support the value of the house. This can be frustrating to buyers or people trying to refinance if they have a foreclosed home in their neighborhood, or an REO (bank-owned) type property that is sold for a low value. This may affect the value the appraiser can give. Other things that impact the value of the house are things like

marketability. Is the house one that will sell quickly if put back on the market? Have changes been made that make it very specific to only a small section of the buying public? Appraisers also look at additions (with permits or without) and the condition of the home. We are facing a unique challenge at this moment as values move up quickly. Sales prices are moving up faster than the comparable sales close, making it hard get the value needed to support the purchase price. This is hopefully a short-term problem, as increased inventory and a flattening of price acceleration will help to even things out. Increased regulations have also made it more difficult, as Lenders no longer can communicate directly with appraisers and Realtors are encouraged to minimize their conversations to information requested. Problem resolution, questions and concerns must go through the third party Appraisal Management Company now, and that can slow down the process. Qualifying the house is just as important as qualifying the borrower. And the home Appraiser gets the challenging job of making the borrower and lender happy.

Jayson Stebbins is a licensed mortgage agent in CA for Guild Mortgage Company NMLS#38463; Licensed by CA Disclosure:Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. NMLS Company Unique ID 3274; Branch Unique ID 38480. The postings on this editorial don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of Guild Mortgage Company or its affiliates. This information is not guaranteed to be accurate and shall not be construed as a guarantee of loan approval. All loans are subject to underwriter approval, and are subject to change without notice. Equal Housing Lender.




County Update With Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman

Supervisor Mike Wasserman was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in November 2010, and re-elected in 2014. He represents District 1, which includes Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and portions of San Jose. THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY REGISTRAR OF VOTERS office provides quality services with the highest level of integrity, efficiency, and accuracy in voter registration and election processes. Register to Vote Are you registered to vote? May 23, 2016 is the last day to register to vote in the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election. More than 1 million people are eligible to vote in our County, but only 737,000 are currently registered. Register online or request a Vote-by-Mail ballot at or by using the free SCCVOTE mobile app. Don’t forget: If you recently moved or changed names, you must re-register. Go Green! The Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet is the informational booklet that is sent to registered voters before every election. Voters have the option to receive their Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet electronically instead of by regular mail. Sign up to Go Green:


New: Vote-By-Mail for Free Put away the stamps; the 72% of voters who use mail ballots can now do so for free. The Board of Supervisors recently approved paying the postage for all vote-by-mail voters, making it easier than ever to participate in elections. Returning Vote-By-Mail Ballots Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and must be received no later than three days after Election Day. Nearly 40% of voters now prefer to hand deliver their ballots which can be done at any of the dozens of vote-by-mail drop-off sites and will also be available at the Gilroy and Morgan Hill City Halls or any Santa Clara County polling place from 7 am to 8 pm on Election Day. Volunteer at the Polls Be a part of democracy in action! Thousands of volunteers are needed to help on Election Day, especially those who are bi-lingual. Volunteers receive stipends of $115 - $200 and must be registered voters or legal permanent residents of the United States. Students 16 years and older may apply for the Student Election Officer Program. ( 2016 Important Dates May 23 Last Day to Register to Vote for the June 7 Presidential Primary May 31 Last Day to Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot June 7 Presidential Primary Election Day October 17 Last Day to Register, November 8 Presidential General Election November 1 Last Day to Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot November 8 Presidential General Election Day




City Beat Gilroy City Council Changes


ith Mayor Don Gage’s retirement at the end of the 2015 came a lot of changes to the Gilroy City Council. In January, the Council appointed Perry Woodward as the new Mayor to serve the remaining term which expires November 2016. A few weeks later the City Council conducted interviews to fill the council vacancy created when Woodward was appointed Mayor. The Council Mayor Perry Woodward interviewed eight individuals each of whom expressed their desire to contribute to the future success of Gilroy. After the interview process, the Council appointed Daniel Harney to fill the vacancy as the newest Gilroy City Council member. The Council then voted to appoint Peter Leroe-Munoz as the Mayor Pro Tempore. Congratulations to all those involved in the changes. We are looking forward to a productive and exciting 2016! Councilman Daniel Harney

Gilroy Firefighters, CERT and Red Cross Partner to Install Smoke Alarms


ilroy thanks the Gilroy Firefighters and members of the Gilroy CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) who volunteerred on the morning of January 16 to assist the Red Cross in installing smoke alarms at the Wagon Wheel Mobile Home Park. Together they installed 111 smoke alarms. Thank you for making our residents just a little bit safer!

City Gets a New Website

he City of Gilroy just rolled out a brand new website which not only includes a brand new look, but also provides easier access to calendars, departments, and information. The city hopes the community likes the new look and finds the many new features and added functionality beneficial. Visit the new site at In addition, residents may also want to follow the city on Facebook (City of Gilroy-Public Information Officer) and on Twitter (@cityofgilroy and @ gilroyEOS).






City Beat New Crosswalk Highlights Special Qualities of Morgan Hill



he design of the new crosswalk at Dunne Avenue and Monterey Road design features flora and fauna that call Morgan Hill home. The crosswalk highlights what makes Morgan Hill special within Silicon Valley, access to the outdoors, nature and of course, the wineries and farms. This crosswalk represents the identity that the Morgan Hill community is so proud of and contributes to the excellent quality of life. The City is particularly proud of having won a grant to purchase the crosswalk because of the ability to pull together a project of this size in such a short period of time before the Super Bowl was truly government moving at a lighting speed — government at its best, with 1) a vision already in place (the Placemaking Investment Strategy), 2) the Opportunity (Grant from SB50), and 3) the ability to get all sections of our City to put together the contract and implement the project in spite of the holiday season and the super wet weather!  But the bigger story is the renaissance of the downtown. The City has been working hard since the dissolution of the RDA to develop redevelopment sites. After an aggressive outreach on the RFQ, they have development underway in many of the sites. Highlights include the Léal Boutique Hotel proposed for 1st and Monterey, along with a Market Hall and the refurbishment and repurposing of the old Granada Theatre into a music and comedy venue. Third and Monterey is going to be a 12,000 SF retail project with four restaurants. The developers (Don Imwalle and Ken Rodrigues) have commitments on all four retail spaces. The 3rd and Depot Street project will be developed into a 29-unit mixed-use project (true vertical mixed use!) with a combination of town homes, live-work units and some flats over 8,000+ SF of condominiumized retail spaces!  The redevelopment of the downtown properties are complementary to the Downtown Placemaking Investment Strategy where the City is investing $25 million of former RDA bond monies to improve Downtown by adding a parking structure, two parks, a trail, a public plaza and other needed infrastructure improvements. A big component of the Downtown Strategy is to bring art and create placemaking opportunities that activate the public realm, such as new permanent and temporary art, lighting of downtown trees, a pop-up park with movable furniture and kids’ toys, etc. This crosswalk fits perfectly into of the placemaking strategy by making this key intersection into a friendly, playful, fun gateway into Morgan Hill’s downtown.   GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Fernwood Cellars at historic Redwood Retreat Wedding Vendor Open House: April 3rd • 12-5pm

It’s Your Moment… Make It Stunning

Bridal Open House: May 22nd • 12-5pm Introducing Fernwood Cellars and Redwood Retreat’s newly renovated, historical wedding and event site!   We are proud to offer our clients access to this gorgeous creekside setting for their next private event or wedding.   Please contact us for more information and for pricing.

408-848-0611 • • 7137 Redwood Retreat Rd., Gilroy, CA 95020

Garlic City Mercantile

Come Downtown… and be tempted by our many wonderful garlicky condiments, sauces, seasonings, gifts, gadgets and décor items.

408.767.2434 • 7550 Monterey Street • Gilroy




Proof the Housing Market Can Survive a Fed Interest Rate Hike The reason behind the drop in mortgage applications By Brena Swanson January 2016

Top Producers Gilroy Office, 2015 Marta Dinsmore, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7420 DRE #01352339

Sean Dinsmore, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7327 DRE #01966405


lthough mortgage applications significantly tumbled this week, the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hike is not to blame, according to a new report from Capital Economics. Capital Economics originally forecasted back in December that the housing market could withstand a rate hike, with this new Mortgage Bankers Association report giving early evidence that it was right. The results for the final two weeks of the year include an adjustment to account for the New Year’s Day holiday, while the previous week’s results were adjusted for the Christmas holiday. Last week is the only week of the year that the MBA doesn’t release a mortgage application report. “It is tempting to ascribe that collapse to the decision by the Fed to increase interest rates for the first time in nine years at their December meeting. After all, there is a tight relationship between mortgage interest rates and refinance activity,” said Matthew Pointon, property economist with Capital Economics. “But that is hard to square with the data. The rate hike was widely expected and as such the rise in mortgage interest rates has been relatively subdued – they increased from

4.14% at the start of December to 4.19% by the end. While that would be expected to lead to some contraction in refinancing, the drop is far larger than usual,” said Pointon. As a whole, Capital Economics explained that total mortgage applications contracted for the second month in a row in December, recording a marginal decline of 0.7% m/m. However, there is a substantial difference between applications for home purchase and refinance. The report noted that after looking at the numbers broken up, the drop was caused entirely by a 6.3% m/m fall in refinancing activity – a similar sized contraction to that seen in November. “That may reflect homeowners reacting to news of the hike, rather than actual changes to rates. However, we suspect that seasonal factors are also playing a role. While the MBA states there is no seasonal pattern, it is notable that the last time refinance applications dropped by such a large amount was also in the last week of the year,” said Pointon. Applications for refinance had been rising up to the final week of the year, when they contracted by 28% - the largest week-onweek drop since the end of 2009, Capital Economics said.

Source: Capital Economics

Once refinance applications are taken out of the mix, applications for home purchases, which is a better indicator of underlying housing demand, increased by a substantial 10.5% m/m. This marks its highest level since early 2010. “And they also held up in the final week of the year. That provides early evidence that housing demand will be able to withstand a rise in interest rates, thanks to an improving labor market and easing credit conditions. So while low inventory levels will constrain mortgage lending to some extent, a gradual rise in applications for home purchase can be expected this year,” said Pointon. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



community DIGEST

Morgan Hill Rotary Annual Dictionary Give-A-Way

ON JANUARY 28TH, MEMBERS of the Morgan Hill


Rotary Club met to unpack and prep for distribution over 900 dictionaries that were scheduled to be distributed to third grade students at each of the Morgan Hill public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students during the week of February 22-26. Each year the club has given the dictionaries in hopes of encouraging and supporting literacy. The process of looking up a definition in a hard-bound dictionary teaches alphabetical organization, how to use guide words, spelling patterns, word meanings and parts of speech. A children’s dictionary teaches a child far more than just how to spell a word.

Barrel Tasting


the Super Barrel tasting event on February 6. More than 100 wine lovers enjoyed tasting unreleased, premium wines straight from the barrel at over a dozen wineries. Enjoying the most gorgeous, Bay Area “winter” weather imaginable, locals and visitors alike took advantage of this rare opportunity to taste wines before they are even bottled. Wineries included Creekview Vineyards, Fortino Winery, Guglielmo Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Kirigin Cellars, Lightheart Cellars, Martin Ranch Winery, Morgan Hill Cellars, Rapazzini Winery, Solis Winery, and Sunlit Oaks Winery. New to the local wine scene is Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio comprised of three wineries: TASS Vineyards and Winery, La Vie Dansante Winery, and Medeiros Family Wines. Jeff Fadness of La Vie Dansante Winery and Blended says, “Ron, Ted, and I were overwhelmed by the welcome we received from the local wine community and the response to our upcoming wines. We’re enthusiastically preparing for the upcoming Passport event on March 19-20.”




Gilroy Chamber Executive Honored at State Conference GILROY’S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT/CEO, Mark Turner was awarded

the Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer Memorial Scholarship Award at the annual WACE Conference held at the San Francisco Marriott, Burlingame in February. The award is given in honor of Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer, who was named W.A.C.E. Executive of the Year in 2002 and served as Chairman of the Board of the association in 2003. Rusty, who served as CEO of the Sacramento Metro and Los Angeles Area Chambers of Commerce, sadly had his life and career cut short in 2008 after a several-year battle with leukemia.
Because of Rusty’s interest in furthering the professionalism of chamber of commerce executives, W.A.C.E. has decided to link the Russell J. “Rusty” Hammer Award with the Academy program by awarding a full-tuition third year Academy scholarship with Turner being this year’s recipient. The mission of W.A.C.E. (Western Association of Chamber Executives) is to enhance and promote the professional growth and competence of chamber of commerce executives. Don & Karen Christopher

Café 152 Bread Company Opens GILROY’S NEWEST RESTAURANT in the Café 152 family is open. People

from all over the Bay Area have come to appreciate the burgers made with Certified Angus Beef and the freshest ingredients at the Café 152 Burger Co. Now they can enjoy the area’s finest produce at Café 152 Bread Co. “We wanted to bring something to Gilroy that is new and gave people healthier options,” said owners Bruce and Audrey Haller. Located across from the Gilroy Post Office on Eigleberry Street, Café 152 Bread Co. is planning to celebrate its Grand Opening soon. Until then, the Bread Co. has some of the area’s freshest produce coming in daily from local growers. “It’s not so much about being organic or gluten free necessarily. I want to know where it came from and be able to honestly tell our customers that it is fresh and natural,” notes Haller. Currently, the restaurant offers sandwiches with sides and homemade chips. New items like salads, soups, cookies, pastries, handmade truffles, and Artisan specialty grain breads are being added daily. They are working on a breakfast menu and intend to add more bakery items like pies, scones, desserts. Despite some challenges, the Haller’s are excited to be located in downtown Gilroy and are happy with the way the community has embraced the restaurant. “We want to complement what we already have down here, not take away. I want to celebrate garlic and plan to include it in many of our offerings,” Haller said. Bruce and Audrey, both longtime residents of the South County, have been advocates of supporting the Gilroy community and are strong believers in giving back to the community. It is with generous support from the community that the Haller’s were able to open the Café 152 Bread Co. About a dozen people have Crowd Funded. Those donors are represented on the “Wall of Angels” inside the restaurant with rolling pins for each donation — their names branded on them. The relationships the Haller’s have cultivated in the community have helped them to bring in the freshest, local ingredients possible. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



community DIGEST

Jared Huddleston Written By Jordan Rosenfeld

not only because he’s often accompanied by his well-known grandfather, Morgan Hill Mayor, Steve Tate, but at six-foot-five, he towers above most people. With height like his, it’s no wonder the high school senior has been playing football since Freshman year at Christopher High, the sport that is his self-proclaimed passion. “I’ve had a natural ability to play football,” Huddleston says. “It was something that was always just in me.” When he isn’t playing football, he likes to watch recordings of games—be they his own team, or college football, which he watches in slow motion so he can analyze their strategies. His commitment and physical acuity have won him more than a few honorable mentions in his school’s football league and even a “most valuable player of offensive linemen.” His social nature accords well with a sport that requires constant teamwork. “I like talking to people, so having a big group around me is awesome.” His role as left tackle, supporting the quarterback against a physical blind spot, has thematic resonance for a young man whose life goals include supporting the public through service. Though he’s learned a lot from his grandfather’s political service, his interests lie more in protecting people, as either a fire fighter or police officer. What he loves about football is not unlike what he likes about his intended future career. A recent ride-along for a day in a firehouse clinched it as the direction he’d like his career to go. “I love that [in a firehouse] there’s a bunch of people, guys all cracking jokes one minute, then, when you get a call it’s all game face and serious business,” he says. “Then you have your after the game relaxing in the house.” He is enrolled in San Mateo College’s Fire Academy, where he will study fire technology and EMT training in the fall. He plans to live at home the first couple of years, but ultimately, he’s got his eyes on the future. “I’m always talking about the future, coming up with ideas, and planning for it. I can’t wait to get the career, the house, the wife, the family.”


WHEN 18-YEAR-OLD JARED HUDDLESTON walks into a room, people notice. It’s

Jared with grandfather, Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate

Congratulations to first place winner, Nikhita Gopisetty of Oakwood High School (second from the left), Channing Bushman of Oakwood High School, second place and Austin Flower of Central High School, recognized for third place.



THE ROTARY CLUB OF MORGAN HILL together with Rotary Clubs of District 5170 sponsored the Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center during the regular Rotary meeting. Dan Makinstir, host and lead Rotarian for this event explained that this year the seven student participants represented all four of our Morgan Hill high schools: Ann Sobrato, Oakwood, Live Oak, and Central. The theme for the speech was: “Be a gift to the World.” Each contestant had four minutes to incorporate the theme and at least one aspect of the Rotarian four way test. This year, some speakers touched on having personal aspirations to lead the charge in being a gift to the world by service, while others used the opportunity to express gratitude toward gifts of the world that currently exist. In the end, it is important to note that all seven contestants are sure to make a powerful and positive impact in the future. First place winner, Nikhita Gopisetty, of Oakwood High School will advance to the Area level.



Morgan Hill Rotary Announces Youth Speech Contest Winners

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Our South County Libraries If you don’t have a library card, or you have one but don’t use it, you are missing out. Written By Robin Shepherd


one are the days of drafty buildings, musty bookshelves and stern-faced librarians who glared if you uttered so much as a whisper. Our local public libraries in Gilroy and Morgan Hill are shining examples of what a modern community library should be. Both libraries are part of the Santa Clara County Library District, which provides county residents with access to nearly two million items in a variety of languages. All this awesome content is available FREE through the district’s online system or at your local library checkout counter. The staffs of both libraries are not only friendly, but always on hand to answer questions. “I’m always amazed at the variety of questions we get from visitors,” said Peggy Tomasso, Community Librarian at Morgan Hill Library. “One day a man called us in search of information on how to repair his vintage car. We were able to steer him to the right resource. It’s the kind of thing that makes our work fun, helping people find answers and learn new things.” Books are available in print, audio or ebook form. Along with books, the district collection includes magazines, movies, music, games, and more.



You can bring your own device to the library and take advantage of free WiFi service or use library computer workstations that are Internet-connected and loaded with popular applications. Additional workstations for the vision-impaired are available at both facilities.

Responsive and Relevant

A glance at either library’s event calendar reveals a full schedule of programs for people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, personal interests, and levels of literacy. According to Lani Yoshimura, Gilroy’s Community Librarian, “People look to our libraries as a place to gather and interact.” You can join a book discussion group, engage in craft making and cooking workshops, hear a lecture, attend a class, get online tutoring, join a fitness workout, and the list goes on.

Serving Pre-K to College-bound

South County children get a lift from our libraries. Parents (and grandparents) find the Storytime program is a great way


to help young’uns become competent readers. Family schedules may be hectic, but both libraries have ample sessions to choose from. The annual Summer Reading Challenge attracts thousands of kids and offers opportunities to win prizes. Both libraries employ Teen Librarians who leverage library district resources and collaborate with schools and other partners to provide teens with programs that are both creative and aligned with school district learning objectives. Coming soon…a new robotics program in partnership with Gilroy Unified School District. The program is based on Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy curriculum. “We’ll start with a few classes,” Yoshimura explained, “and once we have a model in place, we’ll share what we have learned with other district libraries.” Gilroy Library also does outreach through Spanish language book clubs at Christopher High School. Students can get homework help via Brainfuse, a free online tutoring service provided by the library system. English- and Spanish-speaking tutors are available to elementary through college students on almost any subject. “It’s great when parents are stumped by the questions their


kids ask about homework,” Yoshimura said. “One mom told me her student got 100% on a surprise test the morning after getting help from a Brainfuse tutor.” Both libraries feature a new Tech Toolbar that allows patrons to “test drive” and learn how to use tech gadgets like tablet computers and eReaders. Onscreen demos provide basic tips and a library staffer is available to answer questions. The Morgan Hill Library is collaborating with the school district and the San Jose Tech Museum to deliver new hands-on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs. “We have a good relationship with the Morgan Hill schools,” Tomasso said, “and we’re going school by school to provide every student with a library card.”

Lifelong Learners

Job seekers can access the library system’s tools for help with résumé writing and preparing for job interviews. Those wishing to improve career prospects by developing tech skills can get free access to online texts and courses through Safari Tech, a service that earns high marks from educators and HR pros alike.



The Gilroy Library now offers free ESL classes. According to Yoshimura, “Students can develop basic English language skills and then move into our adult literacy program to become proficient in reading and writing in English.” U.S. Citizenship classes are also available at the Gilroy Library. “We’ve had a lot of interest,” Yoshimura said. “The class helps people navigate the application process and prepare for the citizenship test.” When it comes to personal investing and retirement planning, Morgan Hill and Gilroy Libraries provide free access to Morningstar and Valueline business and financial databases, two respected online services that normally require a paid subscription. Tomasso also mentioned that people looking to learn or brush up on a foreign language can access audiobooks or Pronunciator, the world’s largest language-learning service, through the library district website. Savvy shoppers can research the pros and cons of top brands before they buy, with free access to library district resources including Consumer Reports and Bay Area Consumer’s Checkbook. Two library services with that “coolness factor” include Grandparents Gone Wild tech workshops for seniors (at Gilroy Library) who want to learn how to use Facebook and other social media. A Pinterest Craft Club meets monthly (at Morgan Hill Library) to work on craft projects featured on the fast-growing social media platform.

and Rock is a bi-lingual program at both libraries that gets kids moving and helps them build beginning reading skills. “When parents bring their children to read and play together, the parents end up getting to know each other too,” Yoshimura said. “The library also gives teens a place to meet after school and work on projects together.” Participants in the Morgan Hill Library Cook Book Club bring a dish (and recipe) to share, with a different theme each month. Gilroy Library also hosts cooking workshops, which have ranged from sushi to cake decorating. In response to community interest, both libraries have held gardening workshops with a master gardener. Fans of Downton Abbey met recently at the library for a presentation and discussion of the hit TV series. Crochet and knitting groups are ongoing. “Sometimes people just want to get away from the screen, and make something by hand,” Yoshimura said, adding that hand-made holiday gifts are a popular idea. Many adults are borrowing a page from kids, and relaxing with a good coloring book. If you’re looking to start or join a writer’s group, check out the Gilroy Library. Or, if you enjoy talking about current events, politics and social issues, check library calendars for upcoming opportunities to watch recordings such as TED Talks. Library patrons looking for a little free legal advice can even sign up for a “Virtual Lawyer” session to meet with a lawyer online.

Community Connections

Silicon Valley Reads…at the Library

For those who like to keep active and fit, there are classes from Zumba to YogaKids. The ever-popular Rhythm Rattle

The entire Santa Clara County Library District participates in the annual Silicon Valley Reads program, which encourages

Our Libraries by the Numbers Gilroy Library

Opened in 2012 53,000 sf 193,000 items onsite 617,000 circulation 294,000 gate traffic

Morgan Hill Library Opened in 2007 28,000 sf 189,000 items onsite 740,000 circulation 308,000 gate traffic




The current Gilroy Library opened its doors in 2012 and is designed to meet “green building” enhancements which help save on energy costs. Yoshimura said the catalog system, which is the library district’s backbone for delivering information and services, is currently in the process of being updated. “It takes time because it’s being done while the library remains up and running.”

people to explore relevant issues together through selected works of fiction and non-fiction. Selections for 2016 introduced readers to what’s been dubbed as eco-fiction, with “Sherwood Nation” and “Memory of Water,” two books that touch on the impact of environment on our lives. The authors of these books will be visiting South County libraries in March to talk about their books (visit your local library website or for details).

The Morgan Hill Library opened in 2007 and is currently in the midst of a much-needed expansion to address increased library traffic and limited space for storage and activities. Expansion plans call for construction to be undertaken in five phases over the next several years. (See Plan Below). Tomasso pointed out that community support for Measure A made it possible for the Morgan Hill Library to continue operations with expanded hours and services. She also noted that the library’s recent return on investment study showed that for every dollar spent by the library district, the local community receives $2.50 to $5.17 in direct benefits. Tomasso emphasized that “when there’s an interest in the community, our libraries look into it and do our best to provide programs.” Her motto, like Yoshimura’s, is “Just Ask Us.”

Library on Wheels

Those who watched last year’s Holiday Parade in Gilroy may have noticed the Santa Clara County Library Bookmobile and library staff making their way along the parade route. “We deliver books to residents who are in senior housing as well as others who have no transportation,” Yoshimura said. “They gain access to library resources, and we get a chance to learn more about how we can serve them.”

Green and Growing

Both Morgan Hill and Gilroy Library facilities are owned by their respective cities. They are well-lit, ergonomic and welcoming spaces.

New Morgan Hill Library Expansion Project PHASING DESCRIPTIONS





























30"X48" CLR









- 1,700 sq. ft. additional Adult Bookstacks area - 1,900 sq. ft. Periodicals / Silent Reading area









3 STAFF. REST. 125





MAINT. 119

CORR. 123




STUDY 1 147

STUDY 3 148














30"X48" CLR








STUDY 4 149



- Larger Program Room (additional 750 sq. ft.) - Remodel book drop off with improved, safer lighting









- 1,200 sq. ft. additional staff work area and storage - Remodel existing staff area to create a more efficient workspace - Addtional Group Study space and classroom / training room







480 sq. ft. bookstore (170% increase in sq. sf.) 600 sq. ft. sorting area (315% increase in sq. ft.) Book intake & shipping area for online sales Cart storage near staff and sorting area






- 2,800 sq. ft. Children’s Storytime and Activity Area - 2,000 sq. ft. additional Children’s reading and bookstacks - Exits into patio, Children’s reading area, or parking













E 0.5

- 1,500 sq. ft. outdoor area can be completed during any phase - Provide unique reading area for families, children’s activites, and community events.

NOT TO SCALE /26/2015




F3 7'-6"




G 14'-6"






• Architecture • Landscape •

Construction by D.R. Domenichini Tile, granite counters and wood floor from Superior Stone in Gilroy




Should We Remodel?


here are many reasons that people remodel their homes. Here are a few common motivations:

“Hey Hon, let’s sell the home!” People who want to get the most from their investment realize that performing what we call “lipstick and mascara” goes a long way. By conducting relatively inexpensive repairs, you can maximize your return. Items such as recessed lighting, crown molding, touch-up painting, new interior raised panel doors, swapping outdated fixtures, etc. “Hey Hon, I can’t wait to move into our new home!” It makes sense to perform certain improvements before the furniture is moved in. Common trades that should be performed prior to moving in are interior painting, flooring, windows and doors. These items can usually be performed in 2-3 weeks so the move-in delay would be minimal. If the kitchen and/or bath(s) need remodeling and there is time to perform these projects prior to moving in, then this is the best time to do it! “Hey Hon, the kids are gone, now it’s OUR time!” Many folks have lived in their outdated home for several years and one day find themselves “empty nesters.” The kids are off to live their lives and now it’s time to finally make those changes that they have considered for many years.

How much do remodeling projects cost? And, how long do they take? I love watching home improvement programs on cable TV. Where else can you get a complete kitchen remodel in a weekend? Or build a new home in one week! And many times these jobs are done for free! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Here are some actual average remodeling prices and job durations to consider: PROJECT


Bathroom Master bathroom Major kitchen remodel All new dual pane windows & patio doors Master suite addition (300 sq. ft.) D. R. Domenichini Construction was named Morgan Hill Business of the Year in 2012 and also voted (2014 & 2015) Best Contractor in Morgan Hill by the Morgan Hill Times. The owner, David Domenichini, resides in the Morgan Hill area and brings nearly 20 years of experience to his family-owned and operated business. Follow them on Facebook for weekly project updates, hints, tips, giveaways and more. You can visit their website at or call 408.691.3283.

$18,500 $27,380 $72,520 $11,100 $121,600


3 weeks 4-5 weeks 5 weeks 1-2 weeks 14-18 weeks

Although television home improvement programs often have unrealistic budgets and timelines, they are entertaining and can be informative. Consumers can learn new style trends and get great ideas. And this can often create that spark that gets the ball rolling.

Here are some good reasons to consider remodeling during this time of year: AVAILABILITY – During this time of year, you may find that your contractor has more time to work with you in planning and designing your project. This would be a good time for refining the details before the work begins. This process may take longer as work picks up for your contractor in the spring. AVOID PRICE INCREASES – Now is the time to look for and take advantage of reduced prices. During

this time of year, manufacturers may feature special offers to reduce inventory. Typically, we experience price increases for lumber products, windows and cabinets in the spring. OUTDOOR PROJECTS – Although people don’t often think of doing outdoor projects in the winter, in

California we are blessed with good weather and are often able to perform outdoor work year-round. This could be a good time to start that outdoor kitchen or entertainment area!





Patsy Herredia Torres

Growing Up Gilroy Written By Sam Bozzo



ecently I had the pleasure of meeting Gilroy native PATSY HERREDIA TORRES. Patsy was born in the comfort of the Herredia family home. During the 1950s, she attended Jordan Elementary School, Brownell Middle School, and Gilroy High School which is now the site of South Valley Middle School. Patsy’s father grew cucumbers and tomatoes on farmland along Leavesley Avenue where the Gilroy Outlets stand today. As a young girl, Patsy helped her father with the harvest during the summer months. She worked for Marian Filice while in high school. She recalled the family home on Hanna Street between 8th and 9th Streets. Back then, 10th Street was a dirt road and orchards surrounded the area. She used to take her wagon to the local ice shack by the train station in order to buy block ice for the family’s refrigerator. Patsy later met Felipe Torres and they were married at the original St. Mary’s Church. As newlyweds, the couple moved into a brand new apartment on 5th Street in Morgan Hill. Not long ago Patty was going through some papers when she found an old rent receipt – only $87.50 a month for a two-bedroom apartment! Patsy and Felipe have two adult children. Their daughter Danielle is married to Ken Berry and their son Mike Torres is married to Cindy Quintero. Both couples have two children, and both live in Gilroy where their children attend local schools. One tradition that Patsy remembers fondly is making tamales with her mother. For years, Patsy and her sisters and sisters-in-law got together for the holidays and gathered in the kitchen to watch Patsy’s mom make tamales. Then Patsy and her sisters decided the time had come for them to make tamales and mom and dad could be their guests for a holiday tamale dinner. Her mother not only pronounced that the tamales were good, but she never made them again! And so, to this day, Patsy and her sisters and sisters-in-law keep the tradition alive. Even her daughter Danielle is making tamales. Patsy loves gardening and is an active member of the South Valley Fleurs Garden Club. The club’s more than 60 members maintain several public gardens in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. The club also supports education in horticulture by offering grants to school teachers who wish to include gardening in their curriculum. Every December, club members get together to decorate and deliver 300 coffee mugs to nursing home residents in South County and Hollister. Patsy and Felipe were married for 42 years. Felipe worked at Hale Lumber, and then opened up the 7 Oaks Home Center, which he operated for 34 years. For the past 52 years, Patsy has called Morgan Hill home. South County is busier now and she doesn’t know as many people as she once did. But having



her siblings, children and grandchildren close by and staying active in her garden club gives her a sense of comfort of growing up in Gilroy and living in Morgan Hill. Another person I’ve enjoyed meeting is ARIANA FILICE STAUBLE. Ariana described her experience of growing up in Gilroy as idyllic. Ariana and her sister Dominique have lived in Gilroy since their early childhood. Their sister Carissa moved up to San Francisco after her school years. Ariana attended Gilroy Christian School, St. Mary’s, and Presentation High School, and finished her schooling at San Jose State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. “I remember playing ‘Kick the Can’ and ‘Pickle’ on summer evenings with the neighborhood kids. The only rule was, we had to be home by the time the street lights went on. So we really had a sense of freedom and adventure. I remember building forts in the backyard with my sister Carissa and pretending to run a house. My mom (Janice) would play along and bring us lunch. My best friend was Alexis Pray-Oneal. We rode our bikes and had sleep-overs at her house on Calabrese Way.” Ariana also remembers sliding down a nearby hill on pieces of cardboard, Girl Scout camp-outs at Mount Madonna, and fishing with her dad (Tim) at Sprig Lake. She couldn’t remember if they ever caught anything but said it really didn’t matter. “We sat on the bank and talked and Dad would have a lunch packed that included Tootsie Pops.” As a teenager, Ariana and her sister Carissa sold cherries at a fruit stand on First Street where cherry orchards once grew. Oftentimes on Sundays they joined aunts, uncles and cousins at their grandparents’ house on Filice Drive. The adults would have spirited discussions around the dinner table while the kids watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on TV. During the holidays, the family tradition included making delicious Italian donuts called currillis; fried dough dipped in honey or vino cotto (cooked wine reduced to syrup). Ariana said the family used to take vino cotto on ski trips and pour it over fresh snow to make what you might call an “Italian Snow Cone!” Ariana and her husband Gary first met at the Oakridge Mall where she was working in a store called Bare Essentuals. Gary said he needed to find a gift for his mom, but as he revealed later, that was just an excuse to meet Ariana. They both studied at San José State, minored in English, and ended up in the same poetry class. Today, Ariana and her husband, Gary, work in the family business providing consulting services to executive recruiters. She also works as a part-time office manager at Bay Area Speech and Language in Morgan Hill. Ariana told me that in her view, Gilroy has changed

Ariana Filice and Gary Stauble

over the years. While the city has grown, she said “Gilroy manages to still feel like a small town. I always run into someone that I know while shopping.” The family isn’t able to enjoy Sunday dinners together as they once did, but both her parents and in-laws still live in town. Ariana’s sister, Dominique, lives just around the comer and they see each other several times a week. Ariana said the neighborhood that she now lives in is incredibly tight. “We look after each other, sharing in the good times and not so good times. We have parties, progressive dinners and block parties. We do love living here and it would be hard place to leave.”



And that’s what I love about Gilroy.


Growing Up Morgan Hill Written By Jordan Rosenfeld


hile some still consider Morgan Hill a rural town compared to the bustle of other Silicon Valley cities, former city council member GREG SELLERS grew up in a Morgan Hill most people wouldn’t recognize. He, his two siblings, and their parents lived in the largely undeveloped Llagas Valley on an acre of property. With El Toro to the south, and wide open hillsides to the north, Sellers tells TODAY, “We had hundreds of acres we would just roam in whenever we wanted to, and ride our horses.” Now, as the father of four children, ages 10, 15, 18, and 26 with local fitness instructor Suzi Sellers, he expresses nostalgia for what seemed like safer times. “It was, in some ways, an idyllic way to grow up. My dad had a horn he’d blow when it was time for us to come in,” he adds with a laugh. “What I wish I could have given to my kids was the breadth of experience that I had, whether it was caring for a wide range of animals, including horses, etc., or fixing cars because you needed them to go somewhere, or just being able to go out in a huge field and explore. I find that my own kids are aware of a lot more than I was, mostly due to the Internet, but they have not done nearly as many things as I did at their age.” The same qualities that made for a safe, idyllic childhood, were at times cloying as a teen, however, and the lack of proximity to any other big towns instilled a desire to get his driver’s license as quickly as possible. That meant getting a job washing dishes at Hill Country, a restaurant at Morgan Hill’s unique car and air museum. “I worked washing dishes, saving money to get a car because that’s what you did when you turned 16, so you could go somewhere.” When he graduated Live Oak High School in 1976, only half of the 600 or so students in his school graduated high school, he says. “Half of those who did graduate did not go on to college. Half of those who did go on to college went local, to Gavilan, and the majority of those who went to a four-year college went to San José State. I had it in my mind I wanted to go somewhere.” This urge to “go somewhere” persisted. He chose UC Santa Cruz, majoring in American Studies with an emphasis on labor history. However, an opportunity to volunteer for Senator Gary




Hart’s 1984 Presidential campaign took him to New Hampshire for several months, where the seed for politics took root, and exposed him to a wide variety of “interesting people” not the least of whom were Colorado congresswoman Pat Schroeder and the author Stephen King. In 1989 he returned to Morgan Hill to run a local nonprofit, the Downtown Revitalization Program, where he helped start the now popular Taste of Morgan Hill, and in 1991 he met his wifeto-be, Suzi, also a lifetime resident. After leaving the Downtown Program he started working as a consultant on political campaigns, and eventually Sellers himself ran for a seat on Morgan Hill’s city council. “The council at the time was dysfunctional, so there was a strong feeling among a group of us that we needed to step up. I got a lot of encouragement, but nobody expected me to win.” But win he did, not only in 1998 but for two more terms, for a total of twelve years, and in the process played a key part in many pivotal changes in Morgan Hill. “We built more city buildings when I was on the council then ever before or after.” These include such projects as the Community and Cultural Center in downtown; the Centennial Recreation Center, the Aquatics Center, and the new library, as well as moving several historic buildings including what is now the theater where South Valley Civic Theater performs its shows. Greg continued his own education with a Masters in public policy from Cal State Monterey Bay in 2006, and has since gone on to work in the burgeoning solar industry, which has given him the “entrepreneurial bug that strikes so many here in Silicon Valley.” His urge to go elsewhere sometimes rears its head, but, he says, “Even though Suzi and I grew up here, we did spend some time considering other places to live. We quickly realized, however, that no place else offered the combination of family and community that we had in Morgan Hill. We decided to buy an older house in our favorite downtown neighborhood, and have been here ever since.” MARCH/APRIL 2016


Greg Sellers

Interior Design for Active Aging…

Aging In Place By Carol Carr


orothy in The Wizard of Oz had it right: “There’s no place like home.” An AARP study reveals that as we age the desire to remain in our own homes actually increases. Many people choose to remain in their homes as long as possible even if it means making major changes. “Aging in Place” is a relatively new subspecialty of interior design that can help you stay in your home for as long as you like. It’s not about growing old; it’s about planning ahead for the inevitable changes in mobility, vision and cognition. It differs somewhat from other types of interior design because of its increased emphasis on health and safety.

Life Changes Prompt Home Modifications Studies show that

elderly Americans are reducing their use of nursing home care, because they prefer home delivered care or assisted living in their homes. In an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) study, one in four participants (25%) said they had or will have to modify their homes. Suggested Modifications • Improve access by installing ramps or railings or by widening doors and halls. • The pathways and hallways will need to be clear.

• If there are wall-to-wall carpets, consider changing to tile or wood which will allow wheelchairs to move easily. • Remove any throw rugs; it’s too easy to trip on them. • Get rid of all the clutter throughout the home. • Create a large open space in every room. • Consider the amount of space that a wheelchair needs to turn. • Where there are ‘step downs’, cover with bright reflective colored tape. • Contrast items in the home with highly saturated colors, not pastels. • Check the hand railings both inside and out to be sure they’re secure. • Be sure your shower has a non-slip mat and install a grab bar both in the shower and the toilet area. • Put night lights in bedrooms and bathrooms as well as pathways etc. • Install outdoor pathway lighting and a light at the door. • Seating in the main room should be firm, have a high seat and preferably arms to assist getting out of the seat. Be sure the chairs aren’t too soft or too low to the ground which could strand a person awkwardly. • Install ramps where needed.

Vision and lighting are very important. As we age our lens thickens and yellows which degrades our ability to differentiate between pale colors, they’re seen as gray. Astonishingly, most elder care residences use the pale colors which cause confusion and frustration for the elderly because a clear contrast between horizontal and vertical planes is required. We humans need light, both natural and man-made. Our bodies use light to set our internal schedule of chemical secretions, circadian rhythms. All light intensity should be increased while keeping the brightness consistent. Task lighting is very important for reading and writing tasks. Glare on walls and floors can negatively impact people with mobility and cognitive issues. They can’t see the surfaces clearly due to the glare of excessive reflected light. As we age our eyes dilate and contract at a slower rate, so looking repeatedly between dark and light causes disorientation. This plan is not for ‘old’ people. It’s for people who want to secure their quality of life and live it out in dignity while not being a burden to their families or the community. If you haven’t retired yet, think about starting your plan now by hiring a professional to guide you through the process. For those of you ready for a safer, more comfortable home contact a professional.

Carol Carr has been an interior designer since 1981, as ‘Carol Spence Interior Design’, ASID, CID. Carol specializes in making your home comfortable, an extension of your personality and lifestyle. Her design philosophy is “Every room should be usable and comfortable — a balance between visual response and physical comfort. Carol can be reached at 408.779.4189.







Years with William (Bill) Francis Filice






n a frosty evening — February 1, 1916 — an Italian immigrant farmer by the name of Ralph Filice harnessed his horse and buggy and rode five miles from Paradise Valley into Morgan Hill to fetch the area’s only doctor. Ralph’s wife Raffaella was in labor with their third child. The baby was not due for another seven weeks, so Ralph was worried. Dr. Newbold rushed to Raffaella’s side while her husband paced the floor. At 8:03 pm, Ralph heared the lusty cry of his new son, William Francis Filice. When William was three years old, Ralph and his brothers went looking for new a business and found a small patch of land filled with oak trees in Morgan Hill. They cleared the trees sold the wood to neighboring farmers and used the money they made to plant a vineyard — the Filice Brothers Winery. When prohibition came along in the 1920s, however, they were forced to sell their property. By the time William was six years old, the Filice family had settled in Gilroy. He, and his brother Ernest and sister, Marian attended school five miles away. They had not yet learned the English language. Ralph had begun to farm prunes from their orchard in Gilroy and things were looking up for the Filice Family. Unfortunately, things weren’t so healthy for William (nicknamed Bill) when he contracted a baffling and serious disease (known today as Osteomyelitis) at 10 years old. He underwent a series of painful and often experimental treatments. It took twenty years of battling the disease before Bill would be considered well. At age 30, he purchased his first car, a 98 Oldsmobile and started his career. While working as a distributor for General Petroleum (which later became Mobile Oil), Bill meet Ellen Florence Sullivan, an editor for the Gilroy Dispatch. It was love at first sight and the two were married on February 20, 1954. Within five years, Bill and Ellen had two children, Kathleen and Patrick. They purchased a new home; the same home that Bill lives in today. Bill’s second career was in real estate. As a broker, he joined Guido Sargenti and started Filice Real Estate. He joined the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce in 1948; thus beginning his long history of community involvement. He served as its president in 1967. He joined the Gilroy Rotary Club in 1959 and has been a member for 56 years. Bill is also a long-standing member of the Gilroy Elks brotherhood, which includes a seven-year term as treasurer. He has always maintained an interest and a willingness to help Gilroy’s young and upcoming men and women in business. Even after the loss of his beloved wife, Ellen in 1995, Bill stayed active in the community until he retired at the age of 90. Bill celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday, February 1, 2016 at the Gilroy Lodge on the Hill, surrounded by the “who’s who” in Gilroy … old friends and his loving family. The party was hosted by his long-time friend, Don and Karen Christopher and the Filice Family. For those whose lives he has touched and those who love him, Bill (endearingly called Uncle Bill) is truly a Gilroy treasure. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Mount Madonna School

Campus Tours

March 16 and April 20 | 9:30 am

Art & Play in Pre & K! April 13, 9:30am

RSVP 408-847-2717

Pre/ K - 12th grade | CAIS & WASC accredited | Nonsectarian | Bus transportation available | Founded in 1979

2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Volunteer for the Gilroy Foundation selling programs in a program tent for two shifts the week of July 4-10 and you will receive complimentary admission on all days of the Tournament. Both practice rounds and tournament play! Volunteers must purchase Official Tournament Packet. Go to our website and click on 2016 U.S. Women’s Open to sign up!






A Retirement Distribution Strategy Can Make All the Difference Content prepared by © 2015 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA 19172

Jeffrey M. Orth is a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Certified Advisor in Senior Living, and an Investment Advisor Representative, with over 15 years of experience as a business and personal planning, insurance, and wealth management specialist. Jeff is available for group lectures and private consultations. Visit or call 408.842.2716.



fter a lifetime of planning and saving for retirement, the big moment has finally arrived – the day you can start doing all of the things you’ve always wanted to do like spending time with family, traveling strictly for pleasure, or maybe even building that patio out back. And because you had the foresight to tuck money away in IRAs, annuities, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans, you’re feeling pretty good about your overall financial situation. That’s great. But you’re not done yet. Now that you’ve reached retirement, you want to ensure that the funds you’ve set aside will not only last for the rest of your life, but that at your death, whatever amounts remain unspent will be passed on to your heirs quickly, privately, and as tax efficiently as possible. In other words, now that you’ve been successful in saving for retirement, you’ll want to be equally as successful in developing, and implementing, a retirement distribution strategy. A carefully thought out retirement distribution strategy will not only help ensure that you don’t outlive your assets, but it will also help you avoid paying unnecessary taxes and/or penalties in the event you don’t get around to spending them. There are a number of regulations governing when you can (or must!) begin taking distributions from your qualified retirement accounts, and failure to abide by these regulations can result in hefty tax penalties. As you put together a retirement distribution strategy, there are many things to consider. What will your ongoing expenses be? How will inflation affect your spending power? Will you be able to afford ever-increasing property taxes and home maintenance costs? What about potential healthrelated or long-term care expenses? And finally, what about leaving something behind for your heirs or providing for a favorite charity? Of course there’s no way of knowing what will happen with the economy, with your personal health, or how long you will live, but it is nevertheless very important that all of these factors be incorporated into your strategy. A good place to start is to calculate your anticipated income from sources other than your savings (e.g. social security, a company pension, etc.), then determine your anticipated expenses. If you’re like many successful people, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’ll require very little, or even zero, access to your qualified retirement accounts. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can just leave them as they are to continue enjoying tax-deferred growth. Under current tax law, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking distributions from your qualified retirement accounts* even if you don’t need (or want!) them. Such distributions GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


are generally referred to as “required minimum distributions” (RMDs). An RMD is the minimum amount of money that you must withdraw from your qualified retirement accounts each year. Your first RMD must be taken by April 1 of the year after you reach age 70½, and subsequent RMDs must be taken every year thereafter by December 31. Failure to take an RMD in any given year will result in a 50 percent excise tax on the amount not taken – a fairly severe penalty. One solution to this problem is a special product known as a “Stretch IRA.” Stretch IRAs are designed for successful individuals who do not anticipate needing their qualified retirement assets, and who would rather pass them on to their children or grandchildren. With a Stretch IRA, you can not only spread the distribution of your qualified assets out over many years, but you can also control who receives your assets, and you can continue enjoying tax-deferred growth for as long as possible. Here’s how the concept works: First, you consolidate your qualified assets into an IRA. Second, you name a young person – a grandchild for example - as your primary beneficiary. When you reach age 70½, your initial RMD would be based on your life expectancy as determined by the Internal Revenue Service’s “Uniform RMD Table.” At your death, however, the RMD would be recalculated based on your beneficiary’s life expectancy. Depending upon his or her age at the time, it is very possible that the tax-deferred growth generated by your IRA assets could outpace his or her RMD for quite a number of years. The end result: your IRA assets continue to grow even as your beneficiary draws a lifetime income. Another option would be to name your spouse as your primary beneficiary and your grandchild as contingent beneficiary. At your death, if he/ she needed the income, your spouse could opt to inherit your IRA and begin taking RMDs based on his/her life expectancy. If he/she didn’t need the income, however, he/she could disclaim the inheritance, in which case the IRA would pass to your contingent beneficiary. Your spouse would have until September 30 of the year following your death to make that decision. There is a catch though: while a Stretch IRA can extend both the growth and distribution of your assets over many years, those same assets, if they’re left at death to an individual other than your spouse, may be subject to both income and estate taxation. But there’s a potential solution to this problem, too: life insurance. If you’re taking RMDs because you have to – because you’ve reached age 70½ and the Continued on page 83


Redman’s Automotive Repair

Keeping it All in the Family Written By Jordan Rosenfeld

Kevin Redman 42




s the world becomes increasingly corporate based and money driven, it’s good to know that there are still some businesses who care more about people than profits. One such business is Redman’s Automotive, a family-run establishment with a homey atmosphere and a whole lot of heart. For Karen and Kevin Redman, the automotive industry has been a part of their lives practically since childhood. Karen’s father, David Pridham, was a shop teacher and football coach well-known in the Gilroy community for his dedication to teaching others. He made sure that Karen and her siblings all knew how to work with car parts and how to change the oil and tires. Meanwhile, Kevin came more from the mechanical repair side of the industry. A jack-of-all-trades, his talents extend to a variety of things including being an aircraft mechanic and pilot, a builder, and an upholsterer. Their skills and know-how complimented each other so perfectly that opening Redman’s Automotive came as a no-brainer. From the start, Kevin and Karen knew that they wanted integrity and honesty to be on the forefront of their business. They had seen how easily people could be tricked or lied to within certain parts of the automotive industry and the injustice of it really bothered them. “Nobody knows everything about cars, especially the technology that’s in them today. So it’s very difficult for the customer to know if they are being taken or not,” explains Karen, “For us it’s like building a relationship. We want to ensure that we’re doing the best that we can for you and be honest and up front.” The fact that Redman’s Automotive is family run ads a great deal of warmth to their business and how they treat their customers. Karen and Kevin raised their son and daughter in the shop, and now their grandchildren are being raised there as well. The atmosphere is so cozy and inviting that it’s almost as if you’re walking into your own home, which is exactly the type of feel that they want for anyone who stops by. “We have single moms come in here and we know their struggle. I think they feel more comfortable in here because I’ve got my wife in here, my daughter’s in here and now the grandkids are here,” Kevin says. The love that they have for one another shows and they extend that same care and compassion to their customers, going so far as to offer their personal number for times of emergency. On more than one occasion Kevin and Karen have driven out to their clients to help with a broken down car or to help them get wherever they need to be. They recognize that these types of situations can be very

dangerous, especially for wives and single mothers, and they make the customer’s safety their top priority. This familial spirit also extends to the business’ hardworking crew, most of whom have been with Karen and Kevin for ten years or more. Since vocational arts such as carpentry, plumbing and mechanics are no longer taught in schools, many of their newer employees require a lot of on-site training. Kevin and Karen often refer to Redman’s Automotive as a reallife classroom, where they are able to act as mentors for their employees. “You tend to take your employees under your wing and encourage them in many ways. My daughter told one of our employees one time, ‘You’ll know that she’s not just your boss, she’s the shop mom,’” Karen laughs. The couple love that they are able to teach a new generation about the essential basic skills and integrity that comes with the industry. If there’s anything to be taken from the Redman family, it’s that they are caring people who enjoy good conversation and helping the people of their community. They see their customers not as numbers on a list, but as people whom they genuinely want to get to know. “We try to build relationships and know who you are. I like that I can call my customers by first name and that I can go to the grocery store and run into people that I know and serve,” Karen says. The family also makes a point of being approachable. Whether you’re a current customer or you just have automotive questions, they are always willing to talk with you and help you figure out viable solutions. Karen and Kevin intend to keep the business in the family and they look forward to passing Redman’s Automotive down to their son, Jason, and their daughter, Julia. They know that their children will continue the tradition of being an honest, affordable place that people can rely on.

Karen Redman with Mel Reed, Service Manager GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

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2/20/16 12:57 PM

INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE Open enrollment for individual and family plans [Obamacare] is over and now we move into special enrollment periods. This is for people that have special reasons to either switch plans or start a new plan. Everyone has a 60-day window to make these changes so don’t delay. Some reasons for the Special Enrollment Period are as follows: • If you moved out of the area and your plan is not available in your new area. • If you lost group coverage from an employer (left job, changed jobs, divorce). • If you lost creditable coverage involuntarily (divorce, turning 26 years old, etc.). • If your income changed and went below the Medi-Cal threshold. • If you lost Medi-Cal status. • If your Cobra coverage ends.

By Michele Campbell, Independent Agent Michele has been in the insurance business for over 25 years and specializes in Medicare, individual health and life insurance. She is passionate about helping her clients to find the right plan to fit their needs. She is an active member of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, Gilroy Rotary and Gilroy Leadership Class of 2015. Visit or call 408.848.2271.

And many other reasons…be sure to check with a professional who knows if you qualify to change or add coverage. Don’t be left without coverage or you could get a tax penalty. Here are some shocking statistics about uninsured Americans and the new healthcare laws: • Only 15% of the uninsured understand the deadline. • More than 7 out of 10 say they have not tried to figure out if they qualify for help. • Only 1 in 100 know the minimum penalty for being uninsured is going up to $695 in 2016.

MEDICARE INSURANCE With an average of 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day of every year until 2029, there’s a stream of folks just like you now learning about Medicare health insurance. Here are some basic rules about Medicare to get you started:

New to Medicare? Are you just turning 65 or just now retiring? You might be feeling a little overwhelmed if this is your first time looking at Medicare and how it works. While there is a ton of information out there, it is still very confusing when you you may get help to pay for you’re first learning about it. First, you need to enroll in Medicare, a few months prior to turning




65, or if you’re collecting Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled and your card will be sent to you. Once you get enrolled in the Medicare system, then you can purchase either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement and a Part D prescription drug plan. If you’re not sure which way to get coverage, you can ask a professional (Insurance Agent) for help.

Are you Turning 65 but Not Retiring? Many people are still working beyond the age of 65 and still have their group health insurance. You can keep your group health insurance in place and wave Medicare’s Part B Medical insurance if you so choose. Medicare Part A (Hospital) is free if you worked at least 40 quarters (or 10 years) in the US and paid into Medicare. Sometimes your group health insurance requires you to take out Medicare Part B, but not always. If you elect to stay on your group health plan, this is considered creditable coverage. Part B Penalty: If you don›t have creditable coverage and if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Also, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31) to enroll in Part B, and coverage will start July 1 of that year.  

Part D (Prescription Drug Plan):

Medicare requires you to have prescription drug coverage either by purchasing a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. If you don’t purchase a drug plan or advantage plan within your initial coverage election period (7-month window), you could be subject to a Part D penalty as well. If you maintain group coverage, then you have creditable coverage and you won’t be penalized.

Do you qualify for Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or Part D Extra Help?

If you have limited income and resources, you may get help to pay for Part A, and/ or Part B. You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage. Check with a local agent to see if you qualify. If you do, you will have a year-round open enrollment to enroll in almost any plan and lowered prescription drug costs.

Yoga Bella

Ahnna Goossen, L.Ac Serving the Mind, Body & Spirit of South Valley for the past 14 years

Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic of Gilroy

408.842.9688 •







Theater Scene

Now Playing

Nunsense: Rosalind Farrotte


April 1 - April 23 Limelight Actors Theater

Written By Matthew Russell Henrickson


hen anyone mentions the Hollywood or movie scene to me, several names come to mind instantly. But, when anyone mentions the theater scene, one name always comes to mind; Rosalind Farotte. Roz has been a fixture in the local theater scene since the early 1980s and has appeared on almost every stage. Her acting credits are too numerous to list in this article, but they number in the 30 to 40 range. Roz attended the University of Santa Clara as a Theater Arts major and, after marrying her husband Gordy Farotte, she went to San Jose State University to attain a master’s degree in Theater Arts. Roz feels her success in theater has been directly related to the love and support she has received by her husband and children. Over her years in theater she has loved the community of people she has encountered; every role being memorable and rewarding. Her favorite roles have been those which have been a combination of comedy and drama. Roles which bring forth a mixture of emotion and laughter are her most cherished. She counts her roles in “Crimes of the Heart,” “Wait Until Dark,” “The Foreigner,” “The Vanities,” “Cemetery Club,” “Rose’s Dilemma” and “Other Desert Cities” as her all-time favorites, but the role she has enjoyed the most, and has reprised four times previously since 1990, is that of “Sister Mary Amnesia” in the comedy-musical “Nunsense.” Roz is currently working on her fifth portrayal of “Sister Mary Amnesia” in

the currently running production of “Nunsense” being put on by Limelight Actors Theater in Downtown Gilroy. Roz feels extremely connected with this role because as it turns out, it was a nun who inspired Roz to find her love of theater. Roz attended St. Mary’s School in Gilroy. One of the nuns decided to start a theater class for the children and, at her mother’s suggestion, Roz participated in one of the plays. She was instantly hooked. She feels that it is quite fitting that she is portraying a nun when her initial inspiration was cultivated by one. “Nunsense” is Limelight Actors Theater’s second show of their Sixth Season. Winner of Best Off Broadway Musical in its original New York production, the show centers on a fundraiser put on by the Little Sisters of Hoboken to raise money to bury sisters accidently poisoned by the convent cook, Sister Julia (Child of God). Updated with new jokes, additional lyrics, two new arrangements and a brand new song, this zany musical reunites many of the original South County cast members! Complete with audience participation, this show will have you laughing from start to finish. “Nunsense” runs Friday and Saturday nights from April 1st through April 23rd, with two Sunday matinee performances on the 10th and 17th. The production stars Besty Andrade, JoAnne Evans, Rosalind Farotte, Carol Harris and Roberta Vinkhuyzen. Direction by Kevin Heath and musical direction by Sandra Lien. Visit for ticket and venue information.

Leader of the Pack February 19 - March 12

Join these talented teens in their performance of this hit Broadway musical retrospective, celebrating the life and times of Ellie Greenwich, whose doo-wop sounds skyrocketed to the top of the 60s charts. The story of Ellie’s rise to fame and fortune is punctuated with the virtual Hit Parade of her music, “Chapel of Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby,” “Hanky Panky,” “And Then He Kissed Me,” and, of course the title song “Leader of the Pack.” South Valley Civic Theater (SVCT)

God of Carnage

April 8 - April 30 Set in present-day New York City, this is the story of two married couples who meet for the first time shortly after their respective sons have a nasty schoolyard tangle. Michael and Veronica, whose son’s teeth were knocked out with a stick, invite Alan and Annette, whose son did the knocking, to their home to settle matters. But any attempt at having a civilized discussion about whose child is responsible for the fight, and how the parents may have influenced such destructive behavior, quickly devolves into finger-pointing, name-calling, stomping around, and throwing things. And that’s before they break out the rum! South Valley Civic Theater (SVCT)

Jerry Finnigan’s Sister April 15 - May 7

Matthew Russell Hendrickson has been involved with community theater for over 35 years. He is currently a designer’s assistant for Brotin Design, a founding member of a local film production company, Oscar Dante Motion, and is still heavily involved with local theater.



Follow Brian and Beth from age 7 to the present to see if he can muster the courage to tell her how he feels about her before she gets married! Pintello Comedy Theater



At Home with the Knopfs Written By Robin Shepherd Janie & Roger Knopf 48




n the mid 1960s, Roger and Janie Knopf moved to the quiet little hamlet of Morgan Hill, population 4,000 or thereabouts. Today, Morgan Hill is a bustling city of more than 40,000. The Knopfs are still here, and it’s people like them who have made Morgan Hill the kind of place that we’re all proud to call home. Flash back to the 1950s. Roger and Janie met and became friends in high school while they lived with their families in Los Gatos and Saratoga respectively. During his early school years Roger got involved in Future Farmers of America. His father purchased 70 acres in Morgan Hill to establish a family farm. Roger has great memories of weekends and summers when he and his younger brother worked in the prune orchards and learned the ins and outs of farming. Janie’s father was an airline pilot for Pan Am, which meant opportunities to travel. At age 12, Janie accompanied her mother and four siblings on a two-month trip around the world. Among her most vivid memories was Hong Kong, known during that era as “the pearl of the Orient.” When her father was transferred to England the family lived there for three years. Growing up, Janie enjoyed studying fine art and languages, played the flute, and competed on her school’s diving team.

Whirlwind Beginnings

It wasn’t until Roger and Janie were students at San José State University that they started dating. In 1964 they got married, Roger spent half the year in the Navy, and the couple moved to Morgan Hill – a whirlwind year for the young newlyweds. For the next six years, Roger managed the family’s Morgan Hill farm. Then in 1970, he decided to shift gears and obtain a contractor’s license. It was a natural transition as Roger had grown up around the Los Gatos-based building construction business owned by his father and uncle, known as Knopf Brothers. Roger turned that career move into a successful 30-year building career that included many well known structures in South County. “I loved construction as much as I had loved farming,” Roger said. “We tackled projects from the ground up, from excavation to interiors. I was a carpenter by trade, but in the early years my dad sent me and my brother off on projects with various contractors to learn each trade. I decided to focus on local projects, from the building of South Valley National Bank in Gilroy to the construction of an “all-green” residential home with solar-powered electricity, solar hot water and radiant floor heating.

A couple samples of Janie’s artwork.




Janie served as vice president of Knopf Construction Inc. and then launched her own interior design business.

Serving the Community

Roger was invited to join the Rotary Club in the early days of the Morgan Hill Chapter. “That was in 1976 and I became the 27th member.” Roger said. “It was a great group of people then and it still is today.” Roger’s early community service also included volunteering on county planning committees, on an advisory committee for the water district, and on a personnel committee for the Morgan Hill Unified School District. While Roger was involved with Rotary, Janie lent a hand at several school-related groups like the Home & School Club and booster clubs for her kids’ school sports teams. She was a past president of Children’s Home Society, past Vice President of the Centennial Morgan Hill Committee, and a past Board Member and volunteer with the Morgan Hill Historical Society. Her path to Rotary membership was a bit different than Roger’s. “It wasn’t until 1988 that Rotary invited women to join their ranks,” Janie said. “I’d been volunteering with the club for a number of years when they surprised me with an honorary membership. Then they cajoled me into becoming a full-fledged member, which I did in 1992.”



As part of their involvement with Rotary, the Knopfs hosted a young woman exchange student from South Africa, and a young man from Puerto Rico (as an independent student) who went on to play professional baseball. Roger and Janie remain in touch with them to this day. The Knopfs are both proud to be Paul Harris Fellows of Rotary International. Roger and Janie devoted more than a decade of service to the annual Mushroom Mardi Gras, modeling the event’s Bon Appétit Square after the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s popular Gourmet Alley. Both have played an important role in the Morgan Hill Community Foundation and have been active volunteers with the Morgan Hill Historical Society.

The Home that Roger and Janie Built

The Knopfs designed and built their Morgan Hill home on two and a half acres along Llagas Creek. Their property nestles among lofty sycamores and oaks in a quiet and private creekside setting. The 3600 square-foot California contemporary ranch home has an open floor plan that maximizes natural light and outdoor views. Cathedral ceilings, redwood-paneled walls, spacious windows, cozy fireplaces and ceramic floors frame the interior spaces with a timeless quality. It’s a home designed for both comfortable everyday living and for entertaining. “Members from my side of the family often celebrate Christmas here with us,” Janie said. “But Roger’s father came


from a family of 11 kids. We’ve had Knopf family reunions here with as many as 85 people.” The kitchen is tailor-made for people who love to cook, and the wood stove in the family room has its own story. “One morning during a very dry winter season we lit a fire in the wood stove,” Roger said. “We tamped it before leaving the house for the day. Little did we know that a spark would escape and catch fire on the roof. Thankfully, a passerby saw smoke and called 9-1-1. The fire department doused the fire and saved our house.” It took quite a bit of work to restore a section of their family room after the fire. To this day, a small swath of charred wood remains on a redwood panel near the wood stove. “It’s our little souvenir to remember what happened and how lucky we are,” Roger said with a smile. Also on the property are a cottage in which Roger’s parents lived for 30 years, a separate work building, a beautiful swimming pool and a three-story kids’ playhouse complete with a crow’s nest. The Knopfs’ son David is Acting Assistant Chief with the San Jose Police Department and their daughter Carrie is a neo-natal ICU nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital. On weekends, their five children enjoy spending time at “Grammie and Grampa” Knopf ’s house. It’s hard not to notice the beautiful and sizable Poppy Jasper Rock in the Knopf ’s back yard. Roger gave us the


back story. “You can’t find poppy jasper just anywhere, but a vein of it runs through part of Morgan Hill. Years ago, Anthony Goularte, our long-time friend and previous owner of Associated Concrete, was clearing ground on another project when he came across this chunk of poppy jasper. He cleaned and polished the rock and brought it to us as a token of appreciation for our friendship and for Roger’s help on a project in the past. It’s been part of our back yard ever since.”

Home is Where the Heart Is

Janie’s appreciation for fine art and good design is evident as we tour the house, but what really comes through is a sense of the Knopfs’ cherished family history and family life in Morgan Hill. Janie shared some of her artwork, including hand-painted gourds and a stained glass window. Kitchen cupboards display her mother’s cup and saucer collection. An historic flag from Janie’s American flag collection hangs on the kitchen wall alongside a plaque from Roger’s youth as a member of Future Farmers of America. In another room hangs a framed print that lists Roger’s name among the original investors of South Valley Bank. In the master bedroom, a collection of baseball caps highlights the couple’s community involvement as well as their travels. Framed historical documents



including letters from the Civil War era are a result of Janie’s exploration into her family genealogy. “We trace the family line back to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Winston Churchill, the Mayflower pilgrims, and 11th Century Europe.” Janie’s research revealed that she’s related to fellow Morgan Hill resident and gmhTODAY contributor Sherry Hemingway. Janie also discovered that one of Roger’s ancestors, also a Mayflower pilgrim, was married to one of her ancestors!

Tying the Knot – a Lesson in Leadership

Roger is widely recognized for his community leadership but is quick to say that he has always received more than he has given by getting involved. He recalled a story from his early 20s as a great lesson in leadership. “I served in the Navy in the 1960s. Bootcamp was tough. It took discipline. Inspections were rigorous. Everything had to be in perfect order at a precise time. Among our tasks was to tie a different type of knot each day, and hang it from our bunks. The other guys in my barracks couldn’t get the knots right, so they took over some of my tasks, and I tied their knots. Every day I tied 30 knots to precise specification, and every knot passed inspection. The officers noticed that every knot in

our barracks looked exactly the same and guessed that only one of us was doing all of the knot-tying, but it didn’t matter. The lesson was that if one of us failed, we all failed. We had learned to recognize our individual skills and work together for the greater good. Exactly what a leader must do.”

Keen Perspective on Morgan Hill’s Future

“Morgan Hill has retained an agricultural and rural feel,” Janie said, and Roger nodded in agreement. “We are blessed with a natural buffer zone with parks and open spaces in every direction. This makes it easier for us to see ourselves as our own community.” “At the same time, the character of our community is changing. Our downtown is so important. We love its ‘walkability’ and local business,” Janie said. “Traffic calming was a good idea. Bringing housing downtown is another big plus.” “Rapid growth makes it more challenging to maintain a cohesive community spirit,” Roger said, “but it can be done. Organizations like Morgan Hill Community Foundation, Leadership Morgan Hill and the Chamber of Commerce encourage local businesses and local leaders to get their feet wet and grow. It’s relationships that will make things work. We can’t think of Morgan Hill as a place. It’s a community.”



Community Service ROGER KNOPF • Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year, 1989 • Leadership Morgan Hill Excellence Award, 2003 • Current Board of Directors, Leadership Morgan Hill • Chairman, Board of Trustees, Regional Medical Center of San Jose • Volunteer, Morgan Hill Historical Society • Member Rotary Club of Morgan Hill (40 Years) • Rotary Club International Paul Harris Fellow JANIE KNOPF • Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award, 2015 • Volunteer, Morgan Hill Historical Society • Volunteer, Leadership Morgan Hill • Member Rotary Club of Morgan Hill (24 Years) • Rotary Club International Paul Harris Fellow


The Solar Industry

… powered by the Sun and NOW Congress! On December 16, 2015, Congress approved a surprising extension of

By Pamela Garcia, Founder, Simmitri.

the Federal Investment Tax Credit or ITC. The ITC encourages the use of renewable energy, including solar energy, to help newer technologies gain traction in the marketplace, in the shortest amount of time possible. The energy ITC program provides a 30 percent federal tax credit to customers who choose to install a solar system on their home or business. For example, a $20,000 solar system would receive a total of $6,000 in tax credits, bringing the cost of the system down to $14,000. Along with the reduced cash purchase amount made possible by the ITC, there are a myriad of no money down, low interest loan finance options, along with lease options available that require nothing out of pocket. The monthly payments for these options are generally smaller than the current charges for electricity to customers of PG&E. This makes solar affordable to almost anyone who wants to lower their electricity bill, avoid the inevitable increased charges over time, and reduce their dependence on the utility company.

With the ITC Extension taking place, Simmitri is a Silicon Valley Corporation, birthed in the Gilroy/Morgan Hill area, in 1995, that helps it’s residential and commercial clientele harness Solar Energy Technology in all its forms today, and into the future.

not only are customers benefitted immediately, but the solar industry is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. It is projected that by 2022, the solar industry would generate enough electricity to power 19 million homes. Every year, solar power would offset 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, equivalent to closing 26 coal-fired power plants or taking 20 million cars off the roads. This protects the environment by reducing air pollution, environmental contaminants responsible for water pollution, and our overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels.

According to Solar Energy Industries Association, direct impact and

results of the ITC involves powerful growth in solar installations which has fueled dramatic job creation. Solar employment has grown by 86 percent in the last four years and is creating jobs at a rate nearly 20 times higher than employment growth in the overall economy. The existence of the ITC through 2016 provides a confidence for solar companies to develop long-term investments in the market, which in turn, lowers costs for consumers.




If you are one of the many customers currently investigating solar, a key objective should be to look for a company, like Simmitri, Inc., that believes in overall energy management, not solar alone, as the best solution. The majority of solar companies don’t even address the reason for a high electric bill in the first place, thus their criteria for moving forward in design of a solar system is based on incomplete data. An electricity bill alone is just not enough!

It’s imperative to review the overall energy efficiency of a home PRIOR to designing and installing a solar system.

If that means, designing a smaller solar system is the right thing to do based on consumption analysis, then that is the approach that should be taken.

As important as design and implementation of solar is, it’s just

as important to look at the responsiveness of a company, and what the ongoing support of the customer looks like, AFTER the sale. How engaged is the company post-sale? Most customers have found that the answer to that question is almost inevitably, “not very.” It is imperative to find a company that is committed to the customer relationship, throughout the process and thereafter. Also, one that provides “broad” expertise and documented, long-term warranty programs in all aspects of energy management - roofs, solar and solar energy storage. Finally, look for conviction on the part of the company to provide a personal customized solution as needed — that stands in stark contrast to the production type, cookie cutter, “one size fits all” approach of BIG SOLAR (companies), and most smaller ones as well.

The best solar companies, like Simmitri, will assist you in making an informed decision about your energy solutions, craft a plan on how to reduce consumption before producing with Solar, and help you save the most money on your electric bill.

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Meet Pamala Meador

The Art of Being Involved

Written By Jordan Rosenfeld


hen Pamala Meador’s grandfather came to Morgan Hill from North Dakota in 1908 he declared it “the most beautiful place in the world he’d ever seen,” she says. A decade later, he brought his family back here to live. Meador, a Live Oak alum and fourthgeneration resident, is a living embodiment of her grandfather’s love of the town. Whether she’s helping install art projects around town as President of El Toro Culture & Arts and Culture and Art a la Carte, supporting non-profits as Secretary of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation or helping new residents find the home of their dreams as a realtor for Intero Realty, she regularly gives back to the community that formed her. “There’s a point in time when you have to decide whether Morgan Hill is your home, or your closet,” she says. “They’re equally good choices, but if it’s going to be your home, make it your home, get involved.” Getting involved seems to come naturally to Meador, who enjoys spending time with people as much as she enjoys solitary time making her art. Meador obtained her undergraduate degree in sculpture at San Jose State University, exercised her administrative



skills in Silicon Valley, made and sold art, and even worked for Warner Brothers selling animation cels of famous cartoon characters. As the granddaughter of the first woman to attend Stanford University, Mary Raney Kahn, entrepreneurial spirit runs in her genes. She holds three patents, with a fourth pending, in spatial imaging, with which she and her former husband started their online company, Duovu, where she is Vice President of Business Development. Duovu allows a visitor to go online and “place” art or collectibles in a virtual floorplan schematic to visualize how it would look. Home, livelihood, and art are intricately woven together for Meador in all that she does. “When you’re looking at selling a house or helping a buyer, it’s like sculpture,” she says. “You’re not just selling four walls and a roof, but the place where they’ll bring their children home, where they make memories. You bring a lot of elements together to paint a picture for them that will be their lives.” Helping people to find a home is more than just a transaction to her. “Selling is just finding a need, and filling it. So you have to be curious.” Curiosity is perhaps the common driving force for most artists, and Meador likes to invite her audience in on the process. She set sculpture aside for painting, in which she loves to play with color and form, and enjoys actively painting at exhibitions where other artists are more likely to hang finished work. “I like to demonstrate how a painting is created, because so many people think that art just happens, that you’re just inspired; you sit down and a piece appears. It’s not that way; there’s science to it, and structure. Within that structure you bring your creativity and your life.” Great art only happens, she feels, “when a viewer sees an image.” In other words, art requires interaction with viewers, and therefore its an important part of public consumption, especially sculpture because “it lasts forever” and can be done in big displays. “We’re one of the last small towns in Silicon Valley, and we have the space to really do some great wonderful sculptural gardens,” she says. She is eager to bring more of it to Morgan Hill. “My passion for Morgan Hill is that we will have such great public art here that people will get off the freeway to come and see it.” She points to two recent accomplishments that might help put Morgan Hill’s art scene on the map. First, a freshly commissioned installation at the entrance to the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center downtown, which she calls “the bicycle sculpture,” a larger than life red gateway comprised of bicycle spokes. Artist Blessing Hancock won the commission out of more than 100 applicants by paying homage to the unique geographical location of Morgan Hill, which sits on the crest of two creeks that run to the San Francisco and Monterey bays. Second, the forthcoming Tara Romero memorial sculpture, to commemorate a Morgan Hill teen who was tragically killed in a shooting. “These people came in grieving and angry, and with no direction as to what they wanted to do,” Meador says. “Throughout a wonderful cooperative process with the city, the mayor, and the Culture and Arts Center, we made the commemorative art into something positive going forward. I’m proud to have been an instrumental part of that.” Meador hopes others in town will follow her lead. “I encourage anyone who wants to do something outside themselves to go where your passion leads you, because you’re needed.”


Gilroy Rotary Club’s

Annual Flower Sale

Plant Your Garden … Brighten Lives! Back in 1986, the Goldsmith family started a wonderful tradition when they donated all the plants left over from the Goldsmith Seed Company’s annual spring flower trials to the Gilroy Rotary Club. Today, thanks to the ongoing support of the Goldsmith Family and Syngenta Seeds (which acquired Goldsmith Seeds in 2008), the annual Flower Sale is now one of the biggest community events of the year and a major fundraiser for the Gilroy Rotary Club. Every year in March, Syngenta Seeds rolls out trials of its newest flower varieties to exhibit to growers, breeders, brokers, and media representatives from around the world during California Spring Trials. Once the trials are over, the company donates all the leftover plants to the Gilroy Rotary Club. The plants are sold at a one-day sale that is open to the community and staffed by Rotary volunteers. All funds raised go to support the Gilroy Rotary Club’s charitable giving and scholarship programs, including the Goldsmith and Syngenta scholarships. Some of the local charities funded by Gilroy Rotary include: Community Solutions, Gilroy Gang Task Force, Gilroy High School Scholarships and Special Ed, Las Anmas Home & School and Violins, Leadership Gilroy, Project Share Life, St. Joseph’s Family Center, South Valley Civic Theater, Youth Exchange, Kids Discover Arts and more.


1) gmhtoday_March16_V6.indd 57


This year’s Annual Rotary Flower Sale will be held on April 23rd from 8 am to 2 pm at Sygenta Flowers. 2280 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy.


2/21/16 1:56 PM

making IT your OWN


Loving the winter, the rain and more “comfort food”!

Looking through the Gilroy Assistance League cookbook one January afternoon, I came across Gina Angelino Anderson’s recipe for Braised Short Ribs. I have my own version that involves Guiness Stout beer and a tons of ingredients. Gina’s looked like something I could try with everything I already have in my pantry, fridge and herb garden – just needed the short ribs! It turned out fabulous. I may give up my more complicated recipe for this one – permanently! Of course, I did have to make some changes! From my French-cooking background, I had to add butter, of course! And some extra fresh herbs from my garden. I served mine over polenta, but would love to try using mashed potatoes with Christopher Ranch garlic next time!

Braised Short Ribs 8-10 short ribs, trimmed 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 T. olive oil 2 small shallots, finely chopped 2 T. butter 2 cups cabernet sauvignon 2 oz. pancetta, chopped 2 cups beef broth 4 carrots, chopped finely Kosher salt and pepper Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano

rendered. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add olive oil and 1 T. butter to pan drippings and raise to heat to medium high. Brown ribs, 2-3 at a time on all sides, about 20 seconds per side. Set ribs aside. To pan, add onions, shallots and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in wine, scrape bottom of pan and bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Add beef broth, some salt and pepper, half of the pancetta and the ribs. The liquid should cover the ribs. If not, add more wine! Bring to a boil, add the herb sprigs, cover and put in 325 degree oven for 3 hours. Serve over polenta, mashed potatoes or couscous. Sprinkle with pancetta and chopped parsley. Enjoy!


Salt and pepper the ribs. Let rest. In a large Dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all fat is

Donna Pray was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula. She and her husband, Ron, moved to Gilroy in 1977 and raised their four children here. Donna spent most of her time raising their children and learning about volunteering in their new community. Donna is currently the Executive Director of the Gilroy Foundation and is one of 35 active members of Gilroy Assistance League. She loves to cook, garden, and spend time with family – especially her kids and grandkids, and her Yellow Lab, Rocco.




Interested in buying Gilroy Assistance League’s cookbook “Reflections, Vol. II”? You can go to the website or buy it at our Boutique at our annual Home Tour on Friday or Saturday, May 6 and 7. Check the website for the details of this traditional Mother’s Day event!


JOIN US FOR Be sure to try our award winning Clam Chowder and Irish Specialties


St. Patrick’s Day

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The Dynamic Dinsmores


ou’ve seen the names on the burgundy signs and the ads with the attractive man and woman leaning against one of them, but who are Marta Dinsmore and Sean Dinsmore of Intero Real Estate Services? The term “Dynamic Duo” is probably overused, but it captures this mother and son team better than any other description that comes to mind. The Dinsmores are regular contributors to TODAY, offering valuable information, sound advice and timely, relevant insight pertaining to the real estate industry in South County. A native Californian, Marta was raised in Santa Clara County and has been a Gilroy resident since 1964 when her family moved here after her dad purchased Las Animas Ready Mix. After graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Marta entered a career in the corporate arena and soon discovered that path didn’t at all appeal to her. Eventually, she found that being a real estate appraiser allowed her the time and flexibility to work from home while she raised her three sons and she enjoyed the work. But the challenge of actually selling homes as opposed to providing lenders with their value constantly tugged at her. In 2002, when her youngest son was ten years old she took the leap, starting out in a small firm at first until she joined the forces of Intero in 2004. “I thought that they were a first class company with state of the art technology and good agents,” Marta commented. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Sean also graduated from Cal Poly. His degree was in Computer Engineering, but after ten years working in that field, he came to the same realization Marta did: the nine to five corporate environment just didn’t cut it. According to Marta, “Sean is not your typical engineer; he’s very extroverted.” Any of you who know Marta are probably thinking, “That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” He and his parents tossed around some alternative career ideas. They all agreed that real estate sales could possibly provide Sean with the ability to connect with people and the world outside the cubicle along with the other perks that being your own boss offers. The Dinsmore business partnership was formed in January, 2015 and Sean hit the ground running. “I had to run pretty fast to keep up with Marta,” Sean remarked. When asked how things were going, Sean jumped in very enthusiastically, “Better than I expected!” Marta agreed, adding that while she’s not a technological dinosaur, Sean has been a huge asset with his computer engineering background, designing and regularly updating their website and offering assistance in navigating the steady stream of new industry technology. “I taught her to use DocuSign™, a feature that allows clients to sign documents electronically,” Sean stated. Marta added, “One of my clients was so excited that she was able to complete her entire transaction on her phone!” When asked to define their motto, “The Power of Two,” Marta and Sean stressed the importance of client contact and responding to their questions and concerns. “We pride ourselves on returning calls, emails and texts usually within an hour. There’s always one of us to help our clients when the need arises. According to Sean, “Two heads are better than one, even if one head belongs to Einstein.” Marta agreed, “When problems or situations arise or we’re trying to




Written By Linda Estill

come up with ideas, we can brainstorm together.” The duo emphasized that they are not in the business of selling houses. They are selling our community, about which they are both extremely knowledgeable, having planted roots here long ago. Helping people get through what can be a very difficult and stressful event in their lives is particularly rewarding for the Dinsmores. They are genuinely passionate about their work. But more importantly, they are passionate about their clients and it shows.

Many of them become friends, not just past clients. “We want them to be happy to see us if we run into one another in the grocery store, which often happens in small communities like ours,” noted Marta. “Do what’s right, put people first and help them to achieve their real estate goals.” That pretty much sums up the Dinsmore philosophy. Oh, and according to Sean, Marta’s second career is finding him a partner. Ladies, he’s available and his phone number is all over town!



Gavilan College Is Growing!


lot has been happening at Gavilan College, and the community will soon see new facilities in new places. Construction is underway at the Coyote Valley Educational Center. Phase I will consist of five modular buildings and a parking area. In addition to a variety of evening classes, this site will become the new home of the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium. Classes in public safety and a variety of college subjects are expected to begin at the new site in Fall 2016. Land has also been purchased for a future campus in San Benito County. Also in the works is a new site at the San Martin Airport for the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program. Currently housed on the Gilroy campus, the Aviation Maintenance program prepares students for careers in aviation mechanics, aircraft service, repair or sales of aircraft accessories, and airframe specialist. Once the program moves into the new, centrally located site (expected in Fall 2016), it will be able to accommodate twice as many students. For more information about the AMT program, go to degrees/Gavilan_Degree_AMT.pdf The Coyote Valley site will be especially convenient to the northern section of the Gavilan Joint Community College District (the district extends from Bernal Road in San Jose through most of San Benito County). See you at the Grand Opening in Fall 2016!

Aviation Maintenance Technology program to expand with move to San Martin

COMING THIS SPRING TO THE GAVILAN COLLEGE THEATER: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Dr. John Lawton Haehl, with a new adaptation by Randal Stuart. Check for performance dates!







outh Valley locals and visitors may know the region is rich in agriculture, wineries, restaurants and recreational offerings, what some may not know is that it’s also rich in the arts. This article will shed some light on abstract art, an elusive, often misunderstood genre of visual arts. Abstract art is a contemporary art form evolving from the modern art movement that began with the Impressionists in the later 19th century. Artists such as Monet, Renoir and Pissarro aimed to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene – the impression objects made on the eye in a fleeting instant. The Expressionists of the early 1900s expanded on Impressionism and began creating an abstract style of art. The abstract movement, though international in scope, is generally thought to have officially begun in the 1940s in New York City after World War II. It is described as art that does not endeavor to characterize an external reality, but uses shapes, forms, colors and textures to achieve its effect. The result is a composition that bears no resemblance to visual references in the world. Artwork that alters color and form in ways that are obvious may be said to be partially abstract, but total abstraction bears no resemblance to anything recognizable. Valle del Sur Art Guild, Morgan Hill Art Gallery and Gilroy Arts Alliance showcase abstract artists as members and are a good destinations to explore for an array of art genres, including abstract art.

ABOVE: Laurie Barmore in her studio with oil painting, “That We Might Meet.” RIGHT: Gary Coleman’s painting, “Stravinsky” at the Odeum restaurant in Morgan Hill. FAR RIGHT: Gary Coleman in his studio with oil painting “Force vs. Stability.” Photos By Dan Craig





“Abstract art is non-representable,” says Gary Coleman, an abstract painter and Valle del Sur Art Guild member. His works are currently displayed in Noah’s Bistro and Odeum Restaurant in downtown Morgan Hill, as well as the Morgan Hill Art Gallery. “I may begin with a landscape theme, for instance, but I let the painting take me where it wants me to go. I am more interested in the balance of color and creating motion than depicting a particular subject that people will recognize. I want the viewer to have not only an intellectual reaction but a visceral feeling.” In Coleman’s studio are stacks of completed or in-progress paintings. His earlier works were more representational in theme and demonstrate that he is quite capable of producing realistic, recognizable subjects. “Abstract art is to realism what jazz is to classical music. Jazz musicians may have been trained with a classical background,

Art Walk Ffirst Wednesday of every month

but are now playing without sheet music, creating art from within themselves.” Laurie Barmore, an abstract artist who is also a Valle del Sur Art Guild member, states on her website that she is intrigued by the form, line and patterns found in nature and of the story they tell. Not the obvious one that defines an object, but the narrative that portrays the intangible, the veiled, the mysterious. “Art is an experience, it’s what moves me and I want the viewer to share that experience,” says Barmore from her Gilroy studio. “I take a theme or idea and abstract from it. People who want to understand an abstract work should sit with it and ask themselves how it makes them feel, what emotions does it bring out?” The casual art fan all the way to the serious collector can discover art reminiscent of the big city by exploring the visual arts gracing the South County regions.

Morgan Hill Art Gallery 13 W. Second St., Morgan Hill Gilroy Arts Alliance 7341 Monterey St., Gilroy Valle del Sur Art Guild Leedo Art & Framing Fast Frame Morgan Hill 17505 Monterey Road Morgan Hill Karen’s Art Zone Morgan Hill Blue Line Gallery 7365 Monterey Road, Gilroy 408-767-9068 Contact Artists: Gary Coleman Laurie Barmore

Dan Craig is a local artist whose early works were more of Realism. He now enjoys an Impressionistic style. He lives in Morgan Hill with his life partner, Kim.





Getting Involved


would be hard not to know that we are in an election year. We are already being bombarded with electioneering on every front; national, state and even local. City elections this year have several open positions. Gilroy has a sevenmember council including the mayor. In 2016, the mayoral seat as well as three council seats will be available. In Morgan Hill there are five council members, including the mayor. The mayoral seat and two council positions will be up for vote. Running for a city seat may be a little more than most might be willing to take on, but there are other opportunities for civic-minded folks. Both Gilroy and Morgan Hill have numerous boards and commissions that need members, and both are either in the process of filling current open positions or somewhere in the cycle. Many people have used participation on one of these committees or commissions as a testing ground for their desire to be on city council. In Morgan Hill, contact the City Clerk’s office at 408.779.7259, or or download our online application. In Gilroy the city website has information on the various openings. Check the Boards & Commissions web page or contact the City Clerk at 408.846.0204 or for more information.

Arts and Culture Commissioners serve a four-year term. The Arts and Culture Commission is a seven-member body that is responsible for advising the Recreation Department and the City Council on all matters pertaining to cultural and artistic activities to encourage, promote and stimulate the growth of broad based arts in the community. BICYCLE PEDESTRIAN COMMISSION Meets 4th Tuesday Eldon Chappell, Chairperson

GENERAL PLAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE Meets 2nd Wednesday Perry Woodward, Chairperson

Bicycle Pedestrian Commissioners serve a four-year term. This five-member Commission advises staff and the City Council on matters related to bicyclists and pedestrians including studying problems, activities and concerns of bicyclists and pedestrians, and providing input on bicycle and pedestrian issues in the community.

General Plan Advisory Committee is a 22-member committee. They make recommendations to the City Council on issues related to the General Plan. HISTORIC HERITAGE COMMITTEE Meets 3rd Wednesday Toby Echelberry, Chairperson

BUILDING BOARD OF APPEALS Meets As Necessary John Almash, Chairperson Building Board of Appeals members serve four-year terms. The Building Board of Appeals is a five-member Board which meets as necessary to address matters pertaining to building and construction and hears all building appeals as set forth by the City Charter. The Board is comprised of four persons qualified by experience and training, and one public member. COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE Meets 3rd Wednesday Patty Pena, Chairperson The Community and Neighborhood Revitalization Committee consists of seven


-members who serve four-year terms. The committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Housing and Community Development Division of the Community Development Department in matters pertaining to CDBG and HTF funding allocation; studies the needs of the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy; annually recommends allocations of CDBG and HTF program funding awards that are forwarded to the City Council for approval; and performs such other duties related to CDBG and HTF matters as may be proscribed by the City Council.

ARTS AND CULTURE COMMISSION Meets 2nd Tuesday L. Mattock Scariot, Chairperson



Historic Heritage Committee consists of five members who serve a two-year terms. The purpose and intent of the Historic Heritage Committee is to act as an advisory board to the City Council and Planning Commission on issues relating to the identification, protection, retention and preservation of historic sites and historic neighborhoods in the City of Gilroy. HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE Meets 2nd Wednesday Jan Bernstein Chargin, Chairperson Housing Advisory Committee members serve a two-year term. This nine member body is comprised of community stakeholders tasked with reviewing housing policies, programs and making recommendations to the City Council on housing-related matters.

LIBRARY COMMISSION Meets 2nd Wednesday Hugh Smith, Chairperson Library Commissioners serve a fouryear term. The Library Commission is comprised of five-members and serves as an advisory and liaison body to the Gilroy City Council, the city staff and Community Librarian on matters concerning the Gilroy Library. OPEN GOVERNMENT COMMISSION Meets Quarterly Walter Glines, Chairperson The Open Government Commission is formed of five-members of the public, serving to advise the City Council and provide information to City Departments on ways in which to implement the Gilroy Open Government Ordinance. The commission’s goal is to give the citizens of Gilroy greater access to information and to allow for more public participation in City governmental decisions. This ordinance gives Gilroy’s citizens more access to governmental processes and public information in a timelier manner. PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION Meets 3rd Tuesday Julie Garcia, Chairperson Parks and Recreation Commissioners serve a four-year term. A seven-member body which is responsible for advising the Recreation Department, Planning Commission and the City Council on all matters pertaining to public parks, urban forestry, recreation in the advancement of park and recreation planning and programming. This Commission sits as a review body during public hearing processes for parks and recreation master planning, and related park planning projects. The Parks and Recreation Commission is responsible for the review of all City Street Tree applications that do not meet the criteria for

consideration by the Operations Division Manager. They are also a reviewing body to facilitate the public hearing process for Parks and Recreation Master Plan(s) and related park planning projects, and to act as a recommending body to the City Council.

PUBLIC ART COMMITTEE Meets 4th Wednesday Bruce Morasca, Chairperson

PERSONNEL COMMISSION Meets 2nd Monday Barbara DeLorenzo, Chairperson The Personnel Commission is a fivemember body which advises and reviews job descriptions and classification recommendations for city positions. Personnel Commissioners serve a four-year term. Further, this Commission serves as a neutral body to hear appeals of disciplinary matters regarding full-time city employees. Periodically, the Personnel Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of the city’s Human Resources Rules and Regulations in accordance with the City Charter. PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED APPEAL BOARD Meets 2nd Tuesday Susan Rodriquez, Chairperson Members of the Physically Challenged Board of Appeals serve a four-year term. The board meets to conduct hearings regarding action taken by the Building Life and Environmental Safety Division in enforcement of providing Public Accommodations for the Physically Challenged. In addition, this five-member board meets quarterly to discuss items of interest to the physically challenged. PLANNING COMMISSION Meets 1st Thursday Sue Rodriquez, Chairperson The Planning Commission is a sevenmember body which acts as an advisory body to the City Council in the review of planning applications for land use entitlements including subdivisions, planned unit developments, zone changes,



conditional use permits and variances from the City’s development standards, comprehensive planning studies and the zoning code. Planning Commissioners serve four-year terms.

The Public Art Committee (P.A.C.) is comprised of seven-members and works in an advisory capacity to the Arts and Culture Commission. Members are chosen for their demonstrated background in art education or expertise in the visual arts, public art, art management, architecture and related design professions, art history, art criticism, or arts advocacy. Members serve four-year terms and are responsible for developing the Public Art Plan, ensuring the quality of artwork created under the plan, and developing budgets and scope of projects. The P.A.C. further helps to create an enhanced visual environment by encouraging creative collaboration, promoting tourism and economic vitality with public art viewed by the community. STREET NAMING COMMITTEE Meets As Needed Perry Woodward, Chairperson This Committee makes recommendations to the City Council on street names for new City General Planned Collectors, Arterials, and Expressways as well as proposed changes to existing street names. YOUTH COMMISSION Meets 2nd Monday Pryanka Sabharwal, Chairperson The Gilroy Youth Commission is an 11member board, ages 13-19, who serve as a youth advisory group to the City Council, making recommendations on issues affecting local youth. The commission has extensive involvement with the planning, organization and implementation of programs and events in the community.


Morgan Hill CITY/SCHOOL LIAISON COMMITTEE Meets 3rd Friday Steve Tate, Chairperson

PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION Meets 3rd Tuesday Martin Cheek, Chairperson

The Morgan Hill City/School Liaison Committee is made up of eight representatives from the city and MHUSD.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is a seven-member board that advises the City Council on matters pertaining to planning and development of parks, cultural facilities, recreation programs for all segments, bicycle facilities, and capital expenditures related to said facilities. Commissioners will serve a term of four-years each. Liaison assignments include the Aquatics Center; Centennial Recreation Center (CRC); Library, Culture and Arts Commission; Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD); Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground, Outdoor Sports Center /Morgan Hill Youth Sports Alliance (OSC/MHYSA); Park Maintenance, Bicycle and Trails, Action Council and Help Morgan Hill Parks.

CORPORATE YARD COMMISSION Meets As Needed Roger Knopf, Chairperson The City of Morgan Hill and Morgan Hill Unified School District established the Corporation Yard Commission through a Joint Powers Agreement. The commission discusses and reviews the operation of the Corporation Yard. This commission meets annually and as needed. This commission consists of two-members of the Morgan Hill City Council, two-members of the Morgan Hill Unified School District School Board, and a citizen at large. LIBRARY, CULTURE & ARTS COMMISSION Meets 1st Tuesday Loren Burke, Chairperson The Library, Culture and Arts Commission is a seven-member, volunteer body appointed by the City Council. The group provides advice, recommendations and plans, as well as executes programs for a range of community initiatives. Examples of responsibilities and commitments include, but are not limited to, advising on the adequacy of library facilities; serving as a liaison between the city and the Santa Clara County Library; consulting with private community groups supportive of library and arts programs; arranging city sponsored artistic and performance opportunities, stimulating community involvement in the arts; and reviewing and recommending works of art to be acquired by the city or installed on public property. The commission wants to hear from the community about how local authorities can best support local arts.  


PLANNING COMMISSION Meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Rene Spring, Chairperson The Planning Commission serves as an advisory body to the City Council on matters related to city growth and development, and on such other matters as may be requested by the council. The commission is a seven-member body and each commissioner serves a term of four-years.

San Martin

YOUTH ACTION COUNCIL The Youth Action Council (YAC) is a group of teen developmental asset leaders from ages 13 to 19 who give a voice to teens in the community by building assets one teen at a time. The purpose of YAC is to serve as the prominent voice representing the youth in our community. YAC helps the teens of Morgan Hill recognize that they are valued and appreciated as a part of the community (Asset #7: Community Values Youth young person perceives that adults in the community value youth). As a group of dedicated teenagers, YAC will communicate the desires of teens and create programs and special events where teens can cultivate



Developmental Assets through building bonds with other teens and members of the community. All students interested in becoming YAC members must first complete the Youth Leadership Morgan Hill program. They will need to apply to Youth Leadership Morgan Hill (YLMH) in July. Completed application packets must be submitted at the time of registration. Register at any recreation facility — Centennial Recreation Center, Community and Cultural Center or the Aquatics Center) before the first day of the program. YAC Applications will be handed out to the YLMH students on the 2nd day of the program. The YAC application must be submitted on the last day of YLMH in order to receive an appointment for an interview. YAC interviews take place on the first Tuesday after completion of the YLMH program. Selected YAC members will serve a two-year term (one-year for seniors in high school). Terms start on August 1st of each year.

As an unicorporated area of Santa Clara County, San Martin does not have the same boards and commissions as the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill but there are still ways to get involved. This includes the San Martin Planning Advisory Committee and the South County Joint Planning Advisory Committee; official committees of Santa Clara County, District 1. For more information on these groups contact Supervisor Mike Wasserman’s office at 408.299.5010 or mike.wasserman@bos. San Martin Neighborhood Alliance is a neighborhood association that meets regulary to discuss local issues and provide input to local agencies. For more information, contact Currently, the SMNA is concerned with several nearby annexation proposals from Gilroy and Morgan Hill. There will be a hearing on the Morgan Hill proposals on March 11, 2016.

BOOK CLUB BEAT with Sherry Hemingway

How will you pick your books this year?

We asked those local book clubs that compile an annual reading list to share with TODAY readers their picks for 2016. Surprisingly, among the vastly different choices, the only crossovers are Memory of Water, The Martian and The Life We Bury. Last year, locally, the most popular book club selections were All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Whip, a work of historical fiction with roots in the South Valley, by Karen Kondashian. Take a lesson from local book clubs, be choosy and grab a new book!

Finding a good book is hit or miss. Finding a great book takes some work. One way to improve the odds of finding worthwhile reading is to look to book clubs for what they are choosing. Take advantage of their legwork. Book clubs are ever on the prowl for books with broad appeal that will provoke lively discussion. They may look at literary winners that have been singled out for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award or Man Booker Award. They peruse the New York Times bestsellers and the newer Amazon lists. They might also look at the new NPR Morning Edition Book Club which has come to rival the heyday of Oprah’s recommended books. So many books, so little time. BookSmart Book Club Monthly, open-to-thepublic, meet in Morgan Hill’s independent bookstore (3rd Thurs., 7 pm) The Dinner, Herman Koch Sherwood Nation*, Benjamin Parzybok What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson

Gilroy Library Book Club Monthly, public book club discusses each book twice (1st Fri., 10:15 am and last Tues., 7 pm) In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Nathaniel Philbrick Memory of Water**, Emma Itäranta The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, Farahad Zama So Big, Edna Ferber The Sandcastle Girls, Chris Bohjalian

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Land of Love and Drowning, Tiphanie Yanique

The Plover, Brian Doyle

All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven

The Octopus, Frank Norris

Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden

Different Seasons, Stephen King A Man Called Ove, Frederik Backman

Golden Spruce: The True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed, John Vaillant The Life We Bury, Alan Esklins


Pageturners Book Club Morgan Hill friends who have been talking over books for 10 years.

Las Madres Book Club Affiliate of Las Madres of Gilroy social group for mothers of young children.

Morgan Hill Library’s ‘Books with Dessert’ Monthly, public book club over potluck desserts (last Mon., 7:30 pm)

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

The Hypnotist’s Love Story, Liane Moriarty

Memory of Water**, Emma Itäranta

My Father the Maker of Trees, Eric Irivuzumugabe

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

The Moment of Everything, Shelly King The Martian, Andy Weir The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng

Devil in the White City, Erik Larson Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline The Short & Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs

Bloody Kin, Margaret Maron

The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Stedman

The Color of Water, James McBride

The Martian, Andy Weir

The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarity

Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

The Life We Bury, Allen Eskins

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin


The Rook, Daniel O’Malley Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante * Silicon Valley Reads selection for 2016. Author will be at the Morgan Hill Library at 7 pm, Tuesday, March 8. ** Silicon Valley Reads selection for 2016. Author will be at Gilroy Library at 2 pm, Saturday, March 19.

SHERRY HEMINGWAY spent her childhood after lights out with a book and flashlight under the covers. With degrees from Kent State University and Harvard University, her lifelong career was in journalism and public relations. Her hobbies are travel in (very) remote countries, volunteering, and two book clubs.

Home, Marilynne Robinson


Swamplandia, Karen Russell


Chamber of Commerce

Legislative Summit

Come Visit China with Us

By Mark Turner, President/CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce


hina is our second largest export market. Already the world’s largest market for cars, cell phones and seafood, it is the fastest growing market for luxury goods, air passengers and nuclear power. China has the most Internet users and online game players, the longest high-speed rail network and the busiest sea port. In China’s case, seeing is believing. That is why we are excited to announce a special invitation from the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce to join us in October to Discover China! As an exclusive benefit for Chamber members we are partnering with Citslinc International Inc. to provide a nine-day, allinclusive tour of Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai for $2,199 per person. Citslinc is one of the largest providers of foreign tours to China and works exclusively with over 800 Chambers of Commerce in Canada and the US. Over 20,000 people travelled with Citslinc on Chamber tours last year alone. This fully-escorted trip is meant to be an introduction to the people, history, culture, commerce and daily life of this exciting country. Visit landmark attractions like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Palace Museum, Summer Palace, and Ming Tombs to name a few. The itinerary is packed with sights and activities that will give you a full and rewarding experience. There will also be an opportunity for Chamber members to make business contacts in China. The trip departs on October 16, 2016, returning October 24, 2016. Your trip includes: • Roundtrip International airfare • Four and Five-Star Hotel Accommodations • Three meals per day • All tour fees • Deluxe in-country transportation and local airfare • Experienced English-speaking tour guides • All taxes and airport fees Prices are based on two person shared accommodations, single occupancy is available for an additional charge of $500. This trip is also available to non-Chamber members for an addition charge of $100 per person. Early Bird deposit is due – All deposits are non-refundable. Chamber member deposit of $400 is due on or before April 30. Deposit for nonChamber members is $500. Deposits after April 30 are $600 for Chamber members and $700 for non-Chamber members. Balance is due no later than July 15, 2016. More details on the entire trip are posted on our website at or contact the Chamber at 408.842.6437 or




The Chamber of Commerce is bringing together local, regional and federal politicians to discuss a myriad of topics affecting South County residents. This is the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit which is scheduled for April 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm. The Summit will allow the public to hear from elected officials and ask questions about pressing issues. It also provides a venue for South County business leaders to learn of the focus at local, state and federal levels; while at the same time, maintains the momentum, growth and evolution of the Chamber’s government relations and public affairs efforts. The cost to attend the Summit is only $45 for Chamber members and $60 for non-Chamber members. Those wishing to attend may call the Chamber office or register online at


Fifth Street Coffee


s the scent of fresh ground coffee wafts through the downtown area, the aroma can be traced back to Fifth Street Coffee where owner, Yolanda Castaneda, is found performing her weekly ritual of roasting coffee beans. Fifth Street Coffee is the only coffee shop in town to do so. The roaster used to create the familiar fragrance is located in the front of the shop near the large window for all to see. Owning and operating a coffee shop was not something Yolanda thought she would ever be doing. She was working in the financial services industry for seven years and was quite comfortable. After some encouragement from her sister, Yolanda looked into the opportunity to purchase the business, which was named Dragonfly Coffee at the time. The more she thought about it, the more she couldn’t resist. Yolanda made the leap from employee to entrepreneur nearly three-years ago. She renovated the interior and renamed the shop, Fifth Street Coffee. Fifth Street Coffee also offers a variety of specialty coffees such as Almond Honey Latte, a very popular drink amongst locals; Lavender Honey Latte; Horchata Latte and Mexican Mocha to name a few. Customers can purchase bagels, lemon scones, cookies, donuts and breads provided by local bakeries. They also carry 14 flavors of Marianne’s Ice Cream including German Chocolate Cake, Lavender, Mint Chip and Cookie Dough. Of course, she offers Coffee ice cream as well. Fifth Street Coffee, which is located at the corner of 5th Street and Monterey, is open Monday - Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm and Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm.



The Business and Education Committee of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the second annual mock interview event at Gilroy and Christopher High Schools. The event, which is called, “Rock the Mock,” is scheduled for March 24 and 25. Students from Mt. Madonna High School and Gilroy Early College Academy will also be involved. Participants will have the opportunity to rotate


through four workshops entitled, “How to Prepare for the Interview,” “Dress for Success,” “Your Digital Identity & How to Handshake,” along with “The Interview.” Some 200 students are expected to participate and learn vital skills that can be applied to their job prospecting. For more information about Rock-the-Mock and how you can help, contact the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce.



manners MATTER


Where have all our manners gone?


Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certified by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. She has been teaching etiquette and manners to children and adults for over thirty years. She is also a certified image and fashion consultant. Karen is happy to answer any personal etiquette or image questions you may have by emailing her at


ave we lost the basic principles of etiquette, which are Consideration, Respect, and Honesty? In this new age of “it’s all about me,” it’s difficult to assume that folks actually care about the feelings of others. You might even say that we have become a very selfish and plastic society. But, deep down do we still feel that although our outer appearance is important, it’s what’s inside that really counts? Reality TV seems to be the entertainment of choice, our dress code is getting more casual by the day, and our manner of speaking is sometimes rather sharp, critical and judgmental. Are manners still relevant in society today? I say yes and more than ever. Over the years, I have seen a lot of changes in our culture. But, one thing remains the same: Manners do matter. In my quest for distinction between manners and etiquette, I had the great opportunity of attending the Emily Post Institute in Vermont in 2013. Emily Post wrote a book about etiquette in 1922 when she was 50 years old. It became the second best-selling non-fiction after the Bible. Eighteen editions were published over the next 94 years. Prior to writing about etiquette, Emily wrote romance novels about the turn of the century. She wrote stories of women getting married, divorced, or widowed and their lives in society or in Europe. The success of her first etiquette book was due to the fact that it spoke to the burgeoning middle class of America that was mushrooming as a result of the industrial revolution and the migration of people from rural areas to urban and suburban areas. It was an era of increased wealth and leisure time. This first book on etiquette appealed to the masses because it told people in practical, no-nonsense terms how to build relationships with their neighbors, new friends, acquaintances, and work colleagues. It gave people a roadmap to understand what to do and what to expect people to do in return, and people wanted to know that! The Emily Post Institute was created in 1946 as a way to continue to promote etiquette in America.



Today, just as in 1922, etiquette is really a means of building great relationships. One day when Emily was answering letters, she discovered over a dozen questions about which fork a person should use. Her frustration got the better of her and she told her secretary to write the people and say she didn’t care which fork they used. Considering today’s definition of etiquette, the fact is that it doesn’t matter which fork you use, what really matters is that you use a fork! Etiquette is a big fancy word made up of two parts. There are manners, lots of them, in fact. “Please” and “thank you,” holding doors, chewing with our mouths closed, dressing appropriately, shaking hands – these are important because they give us confidence, allow our focus to be on the substance of our interactions, and they tell us what to do and what to expect others to do in return. Plus, they’re nice. But etiquette also expresses something more, something we call “the principles of etiquette.” These are Consideration, Respect and Honesty — the three qualities that stand behind all good manners. They are timeless and cross cultural boundaries, unlike manners, which can change over time and differ around the world. Take for example the handshake, a classic Western greeting. The handshake is the manner. In ancient Rome, people grasped forearms to greet one another; in Asia many people bow when meeting. These are all examples of manners. But the idea that we shake hands, grasp forearms, or bow to show respect and welcome another person is both universal and timeless. That’s the principle at work. I am pleased to have this opportunity to bring you my take on an array of topics regarding the nuances of today’s social graces including Business Etiquette, Holidays and Celebrations, Communication and Technology, Image and more. I hope you enjoy my new column.

Early Gilroy Promotion Societies included Women’s Suffrage Efforts

Written By Elizabeth Barratt


George Dunlap


n the cusp of the Twentieth Century, the Southern Pacific Railroad was urging towns to participate in an advertising campaign to entice East Coast dwellers to settle in the West. Pitching the notion of splitting large land holdings into two- to ten-acre parcels, the railroad reasoned that newcomers could afford to purchase their own property. After building a house, digging a well, and planting market-bound produce on their acreage, folks would relish the good California life. Gilroy’s Board of Trade was the first group to work toward these goals. Soon, efforts dissolved after local land barons turned deaf ears to sales pressures to part with their properties. With renewed purpose, and concerned over stagnant local growth, on April 12, 1905, Gilroy’s civic leaders and businessmen met at the Vigilant Fire Company’s conference room. That evening, they discussed ways to encourage the division of large ranch landholdings. Other topics included the need for adequate citywide public improvement efforts as well as a revitalized dairy industry. Known as the Promotion Society of Gilroy, the group elected a local real estate developer, cattleman and agricultural producer, George Dunlap, as its first president. Other officers included VicePresident, E.D. Crawford, Secretary Dr. J.W. Thayer, who was also Gilroy’s health officer, Assistant Secretary John M. Hoesch, and lumber mill owner L.A. Whitehurst who was Tresurer. The Promotion Society was determined to place Gilroy on the state’s economic



map. To begin, the association suggested constructing roads through the large land tracts east and southeast of town, in an effort to push the landowners into acquiescence. Redirected by May 1905, the Promotion Society narrowed its plans to a more controllable level and approached the City Council to request a bond election. The suggested $66,000 bond issue, at 4% interest, was planned to address four main city issues: a sewer system, an electric lighting plant, water reservoir improvements and completion of a new city hall on Monterey Street. A front-page letter appeared in the June 3, 1905 Gilroy Advocate arguing the benefits of a bond drive. Signed by 24 prominent businessmen and one woman, the letter emphasized the town’s sanitation concerns. Gilroy residents still relied on outhouses, cesspools and septic wells. Residents had a “crying need” for a sewer system, the letter proclaimed, citing seasonal odors arising from the slough south of town. Lacking a civilized means of waste matter disposal was deemed “palpably obnoxious to a refined sense of consideration of economy can longer justify the maintenance of filthy germ-breeding cesspools.” In an era ripe for, but still lacking, women’s suffrage, Gilroy females jumped into the planned drive. Even though they didn’t yet have the right to vote, many Gilroy women were either widowed, or owned separate property. As a consequence, these individuals were independent taxpayers, and in a position to prompt legislation. By mid-June, sixty ladies met to form the Woman’s Auxiliary

In April of 1905 a group of local businesspeople gathered to organize a society for the promotion of the general interests in Gilroy and the surrounding area. They called themselves the Gilroy Promotion Society, and by 1912 the group became the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. Their entry in a local parade that year refers to membership — their goal being 250 members for 1915. The Eigleberry house, the first single-family dwelling constructed in town, can be seen behind the Woodmen of the World bulding in this photo. (Courtesy of Gilroy Museum.)

Promotion Society. Local philanthropist Caroline Hoxett was appointed President, Nettie Ingham, Vice President, and Nettie Whitehurst, Secretary. Mayor Dunlap appeared at their bond issue rally and received the group’s full endorsement. “The Advocate is pleased to see the ladies of the community take such an interest in the town...Every proposal asked by the Council and Promotion Club should be passed,” the June 10, 1905 Advocate proclaimed. The following week, the June 17, 1905 issue stated that the ladies’ endorsement would “be of benefit to the city but will show to the world that Gilroy has become awakened and proposes to thrive and grow as it never has before.” Matters moved quickly. Within two weeks attorney E.D. Crawford praised the Woman’s Auxiliary Promotion Society, noting, “The entire state is watching Gilroy. We have the opportunity to move forward and make our future a success, or we can drop back into the old grooves and finally disappear from the map of the state.” In early August 1905, enthused Gilroy citizens held a rally at the Music Hal on Fifth Street. Voters were elated over the speeches and town boosting efforts. The bond election drive, although reduced to $51,000, was a huge success, passing in an overwhelming majority. The August 12, 1905 Advocate reported that an increased capacity water reservoir vote came in at 372 for, and 37 against; funding an electric power plant passed at 370 for and 38 against; and completion of the longawaited city hall won an overwhelming 368 for, 31 against. The most votes went

to addressing health warnings over Gilroy’s obnoxious backyard cesspools, and a bond to establish a citywide sewer system received 379 votes for, and 37 against. For the little farm town, the modern leap into the Twentieth Century wouldn’t have been the same without the enthusiastic

support of the female citizens. As yet voteless in the election, they still joined in the efforts to make Gilroy a modern community. At last, homes would have enough water running in their taps, and the community would possess a flush system for its sewage.

Nettie Ingham, President Women’s Auxiliary Promotion Society

Nettie Whitehurst, Vice President Women’s Auxiliary Promotion Society




Interest Rates On The Rise


he Federal Reserve increased the short-term Fed Funds interest rate range to 0.25%-0.5% at their December, 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) rate setting meeting. This is the first rate hike since 2006 and, while it is a vote of confidence in the economy it leaves investors wondering how fast rates will go up and how high they will go.

So, why raise rates now?

Though improved, the U.S. economy isn’t firing on all cylinders and inflation isn’t out of control, so it seems like a strange time to start increasing interest rates. However, the Fed is concerned that inflation may increase soon given the low level of unemployment. They don’t want to slow our current economic expansion, but they do want to reset some of their monetary policy tools and avoid having inflation become a major concern.

How fast will interest rates rise? By Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF®

Dan Newquist, CFP®, AIF®, Principal & Senior Wealth Advisor with RNP Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment advisor, Morgan Hill. He can be reached at 408-779-0699 or dnewquist@ Securities offered through Foothill Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an unaffiliated company.

The Fed indicated that they will take a gradual approach to increasing interest rates. The economy isn’t overheating and inflation isn’t out of control, so the Fed will first attempt to move interest rates to be less stimulative. This should help the Fed reset their interest rate policy tool and allow them to better react to future recessions or geopolitical risks that may shock the economy or markets. Based on their December estimates, the Fed is forecasting approximately four additional interest rate hikes in 2016. This would move the Fed Funds rate from the current range of 0.25%-0.5% to 1.25%-1.5% by the end of 2016. This a pace that is much slower than previous rate hike cycles. The Fed also stressed that future rate hikes will be data

dependent. Theoretically, they could move faster or slower depending on how the jobs market, the U.S. economy and the inflation outlook perform.

How high will short-term rates go? According to the FOMC’s December press release, they are predicting a rate increase of around 1% per year for the next three years. Given that pace, Fed officials don’t anticipate the Fed Funds rate going above 3% until 2018 (based on the average of estimates). Additionally, the Fed feels that the 3% to 4% range they hope to reach in 2018 may be the logical place to stop hiking rates since this range is consistent with the long-run estimates of where they think the Fed Funds rate should be.  

How does this impact you?

Rising interest rates makes it more expensive for businesses and consumers to borrow money on everything from lines of credit to auto loans to mortgages.   Investors may also feel the effects of rising rates. Retirees, and others who seek income from bank accounts, CDs, Bonds and other fixed-rate investments could benefit from higher yields. For U.S. stocks, there are many economic bright spots that could help push returns higher, but companies who rely heavily on borrowing could face higher costs which could impact their bottom lines and stock price.   Your financial advisor can help you understand the impact of rising interest rates on your investment and retirement accounts and address any questions or concerns you may have.

This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice. Always consult your financial or tax-planning professional for guidance with respect to your specific situation.




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President’s Message


By John Horner, President /CEO Morgan Hill

lthough Morgan Hill is perhaps best known for its living agricultural heritage and outstanding quality of life, we are also home to an array of leading innovators moving their industries forward. Some examples include: Specialized (maker of the very first commercial mountain bike), Lin Engineering (global leader in the design and manufacture of precision stepper motors), Tencate (leading the world in carbon fiber technologies), biotechnology R&D innovator Aragen, world-renowned anaerobic bacteria experts Anaerobe Systems, cell phone infrastructure maker Anritsu America, and LIDAR developer Velodyne. We do not have space here to profile all of these companies and the dozens of other local industry leaders, so for this month we are giving you a taste of why Anritsu and Velodyne call Morgan Hill their business home. The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce is engaged in getting the word out locally, regionally, nationally and internationally about our city as a great place to locate and grow leading-edge businesses. Morgan Hill business owners, managers and employees enjoy an outstanding quality of life, a deep and diverse talent base, an easy reverse commute for those living to the north and the availability of high quality commercial land. If you and/ or others in your organization are interested to know more about the potential to grow your business in Morgan Hill, please contact the Chamber’s Economic Development Chairperson Ken Murray ( Ken is eager to help you grow your enterprise in Morgan Hill.




elodyne was founded approximately 32 years ago when David Hall created an advanced audio subwoofer system using a then-new digital servo loop methodology. As the company literally grew out of the building it began in, expansion eventually led to Velodyne’s move to Morgan Hill twelve years ago. Hall’s inquisitive nature led to his early engagement with driverless vehicle development and the original DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) Challenges. Founder, David Hall His insight drove development of light wave based environment sensing and feedback loops to control autonomous vehicles through real-time awareness of the vehicle’s environment rather than attempting to pre-program a vehicle for all possible scenarios. This technology became the first real-time high -defination LIDAR (Light Detecting And Ranging), and is now a fundamental element for autonomous vehicles on land, sea and air. Velodyne’s historical audio speaker business still operates, but the big growth area is increasingly compact, robust and lower cost LIDAR sensors and associated software. Velodyne presently has over one hundred professionals working in Morgan Hill, and boasts a customer list that includes all the big names in autonomous vehicle R&D, ship and drone design and production. The top reasons Velodyne came to Morgan Hill includes availability of a suitable facility for purchase (the business leaders preferred to own instead of lease), access to an enjoyable local environment for workers during breaks, proximity to major clients throughout Silicon Valley, good freeway accessibility for suppliers and people, and an overall reduced commuting time whether people are reverse commuting from the north or choose to live south. Velodyne’s employees are excited by the growing choice of restaurants and the family-centric, somewhat slower-paced lifestyle here compared to northern Santa Clara County cities. Looking forward, the leadership at Velodyne would like to see more familiar (household name) businesses and products in our area for the “buzz factor” as well as continued improvement of networked services like Uber, Grub Hub and other on-demand support providers. Velodyne emphasized that they would like to do even more business with local hotels, wineries and restaurants but that they need to make the effort to reach out and make sure they are easy and fun to do business with. MARCH/APRIL 2016



Anritsu Company


eborah Morton-Padilla moved to Morgan Hill

the business through sustained investment in its employees

in 1992, and like so many local professionals,

and operations in Morgan Hill.

commuted to a job north of here for eight years. In 2000, Deborah was delighted to accept a

job with Anritsu Company in Morgan Hill. Anritsu Company began as Wiltron Company. Wiltron

Although many of Anritsu’s employees reverse commute into our city every day, those who do choose to live here extol the relaxed lifestyle, friendly environment and multiple opportunities for civic engagement. Ms. Morton-Padilla

Company was an independent specialty electronic

said: “I love my five-minute commute past idyllic farm scenes

instrument company founded in April 1960. The company

on the way to work.” When asked why we don’t have

relocated to Morgan Hill in 1980 and was the first facility

even more companies calling Morgan Hill home, she said

built in the business park south of Cochrane Road. At that

“I really don’t know why we don’t. Maybe they just aren’t

time Wiltron also had a real estate development affiliate.

aware of us.”

Once Wiltron was headquartered in the business park, other

Considering Morgan Hill’s diverse collection of

users such as Sakata Seed acquired land and built their

businesses, anyone who wants to be a good neighbor

facilities. This pattern of owner-occupied buildings continues

is more than welcome to join us. The combination of

with many of the commercial/industrial users in Morgan Hill.

reasonable land costs, easy reverse commuting and an

Many businesses value the relative certainty of being able to

outstanding lifestyle add up to an attractive place to do

own their property instead of worrying about future potential

business. The burgeoning local restaurant scene and out-

rent increases. Wiltron was sold to Japan-based Anritsu

standing opportunities for walking, running and biking also

Corporation in 1990, and Anritsu has continued to grow

make for a great place to spend the business day.





with an Attitude

The New Baby Boomer Challenge?


he Baby Boomers disrupted history and challenged tradition with their ideas for social change. They had answers for many things…but now face challenges few could have anticipated –caring for aging parents who are living much longer and in some cases dealing with dementia and other issues yet to be understood. Recently, a handsome man in his late 50s walked into our office. “I can handle my corporation through its ups and downs, I raised four boys, but this deal with Mom, I don’t know how to handle,” he said. The stress of dealing with a feisty mother who wouldn’t share critical information had taken its toll. In a previous article, I explored what one can do after the doctor says “your parent needs help, or they cannot continue to live alone.” In this article let’s look at ways to ease the strain and make your parents’ aging journey easier on everyone. The best time to talk about the later years is when Mom and Dad still feel good; when talking about the time they will need help is not yet a sore subject. It does not matter how much you have adored your parents, most seniors worry about being “put in a home” even though they have heard of country club lifestyles at places like Merrill Gardens or Westmont. Even if the ideal time has passed, having the discussion is critical to ensuring that you will be able to provide the care your parents’ need and their wishes will be understood and respected. Key information to gather in your discussion: • Who are your parents’ medical providers? Physician, Specialists, Dentist, etc. • What medications do they take? Their doctors will have a record of prescribed medications, but in case of emergency, you should have it too.

By Dorie U. Sugay

• What insurance coverages do they have in place? Do they have Long Term Care Insurance? LTC insurance can finance a good portion of inhome health, which isn’t covered under Medicare or traditional medical plans.

Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels, a company that provides living-assistance services to seniors and adults-in-need who wish to stay in their own home or receive one-on-one care within a facility.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It was written independently of Visiting Angels.


• What bank accounts do they have in place? If you’re not listed as a cosigner on their accounts, encourage your parents to take this step so you’ll have access to their funds and be prepared to ensure their healthcare needs are paid for if and when you need to take on this role. Do they have any outstanding debts or loans? Is it time to consolidate debt into one credit card account, simplifying the payment process? It may be time for you to monitor their financ-



es to ensure their bills are paid on time or to assume full responsibility for billpaying. Remind them that unattended banking and credit card accounts are vulnerable to cybercrime. • Is there a safe in the house, or a safe deposit box at a bank? If so, ensure that only trusted family or guardians have access to the safe. Services such as Visiting Angels typically prefer that their caregivers not be involved in their clients’ finances. • Do your parents own real estate property, and if so, where are their real estate papers? Who is their mortgage lender, and their insurance provider? Depending on their finances it may make sense for them to apply for a reverse mortgage. Do your parents have a tax accountant, an investment advisor? If so, find out whose services they use and talk with them about their taxes and retirement accounts. • Do they own any vehicles, and if so, where do they keep the title? Are they leasing, or paying off car loans? • Have your parents made an inventory and taken pictures of their valuables? These records are important in estate planning and distribution as well as insurance issues. Do your parents have a law firm of record? You should be aware of who your parents have named as executor of their estate, and if they have an up-to-date Living Will & Trust. • If Mom or Dad is a military veteran— where are their papers? The VA pays for inhome health service. Through Aid and Attendance pensions, your parents may be eligible for funds. • Ask your parents about passports, Medicare and other health I.D. cards and tax returns as well as social security cards and statements. • Ask your parents to provide you with their list of close friends and their contact information. Get a little context about their relationships with these people. • Do they have a MedicAlert? Where is their ID number kept? (If a parent has dementia, consider getting them a Safe Return/Silver Alert, and providing other family members with their ID number.) • Ask your parents if it is their wish to remain at home (possibly with a Health Aide assisting) or move to an independent or assistedliving facility? Continued on page 83




Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in 2016 R forecasts that 2016 will be a healthy Real Estate market. It is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory and fierce competition between buyers. Buyers should keep an open mind and be prepared to move quickly when they find a home that meets their needs. Sellers should understand the ins and outs of their market to optimize the price of their home and close quickly.

Tips for 2016 home buyers: Be the early bird. With inventory low and many buyers waiting until the spring/ summer to search, buyers who start their search early face less competition even with low inventory and may beat an increase in pricing. Comparison shop for mortgages which are predicted to rise to 4.65 percent and prices are predicted to rise at least 3% in 2016. Getting a lower mortgage can make a big difference in the payment and total cost of the home over the years of ownership. Consider a new home purchase. The number of new homes on the market is expected to grow more rapidly and buyers are likely to have less competition and enjoy a broad selection of homes.

Tips of 2016 home sellers: List during the peak season: Unlike buyers demand benefits the sellers. In the West, prime housing market is in the late Winter/early Spring to Summer. During this time there can be bidding wars which can increase the price of the home and the days on the market. Price a home to the market: Sellers who work with a local Realtor to optimize the price of their home based on its unique features and surrounding neighborhoods are often able to receive the highest price for their market and sell more quickly. With 2016 prices predicted to rise at least 3% year over year with the potential for the West market to be higher, pricing the home correctly can make a big difference in profit and time on the market. Offer incentives: Last year 37% of sellers offered incentives to buyers by being open to negotiating beyond price and were more apt to find scenarios that result in wins for each side resulting in a faster sale and more seller profit. Sell a home in California: California markets are accelerating past the positive National averages and showing extremely favorable conditions for sellers. Robust job growth, increasing prices, and limited inventory have sellers ready for big gains in the Stockton-Lodi, Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill Active Homes Sold Days On Market Sale To List Ratio

NOVEMBER 2015 147 44 39 99.2%

DECEMBER 2015 113 59 61 99.9%

JANUARY 2016 95 41 62 99.7

Teri Nelson, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.425.5200 BRE#00858151

Charles Edward Barns, renaissance man unknown to many but friend to Charles Kellogg Charles Edward Barns, early 1870s, Burlington Historical Society. (Photo from Wikipedia.)



y now many readers of TODAY probably think that my curiosity about the person of Charles Kellogg is reaching an unhealthy level. While I have a huge cache of stories yet to tell about the Bird Man and Nature Singer, I decided to spare you another such article and write about one of his best friends — Charles Edward Barns instead. Today there are a few locals who recognize the name of Charles Kellogg as a prominent figure from early 20th century California history. But Charles Barns’ residency in Morgan Hill for the last twenty years of his life is so obscure as to be almost completely forgotten. In my opinion, the story of Charles Barns deserves to be told because he, too, was a bit of a renaissance man. I came across the Barns name when I first picked up Charles Kellogg’s anecdotal autobiography published in 1929. Charles Barns wrote one the most concise and informative introductions to that book that I have ever read. He was able to capture the essence of who Charles Kellogg was — his personality, his outlook on life, and why his message was, and is today, of such importance. Not only did Barns introduce the book, he also published it at his printing shop on Diana Avenue. His grandson, years later, remembered that the print type was set with manual fonts and the press was operated by a foot pump mechanism. Today, the property on Diana Avenue to is covered by Highway 101. The publishing house was originally called the Diana Printery, but Barns changed the name by 1927 to the Pacific Science Press, publishing his own works on amateur astronomy as well as, in 1934, a book by Aphelia Adams Cochrane (Cochrane Road and Jackson Ranch) called “Folks of Maine.” The Wikipedia entry notes that “Charles Barns (July 23, 1862 - May 24, 1937) was an American writer, journalist, astronomer, theater impresario and publisher — a man of many interests.” By the early 1900s, Charles Barns had become highly regarded in the literary circles of the East Coast. And it was at this time that the vaudeville fame

Written By Mike Monroe

of Charles Kellogg was at its peak. Kellogg was performing at theaters and lecture halls in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and overseas in London, as well contracting with the Victor Talking Machine Company to record his bird songs. Sometime after the Barns family moved to Philadelphia in 1905, the two men met at a theater (Kellogg was performing and Barns was the house manager) and their long-time friendship commenced. Ten years later, Charles Barns traveled west to visit his friend who had purchased Kellogg Springs in the hills of Coyote Ridge. And in 1918, the Barns family moved to Morgan Hill, purchasing a twenty-acre prune ranch. Charles Barns did not have any particular skills as an orchardist, or much motivation to pursue the agricultural lifestyle, but his enthusiasm for astronomy was fed by his proximity to the Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton. His magnum opus was entitled “1001 Celestial Wonders As Observed With Home Built Instruments.” An amazing book, it is filled with star charts and photos of distant nebula. Yes, photos — he designed and built his own telescopes, grinding the lenses, and some had camera mounts. As a highly respected self-taught astronomer, he was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Astronomical Society in 1929. I speculate that the most significant reason for Charles Barns and his wife Mabel to relocate from Philadelphia to Santa Clara County was their relationship with Charles and Sarah Kellogg, who were living in a hillside cabin above the valley floor at the end of Tennant Avenue. In 1918, Charles Kellogg was traveling across the United States talking up the need for redwood forest conservation and promoting the sale of war bonds. While Mrs. Kellogg did go on the road with Charles in his “Travel Log” on occasion, my hunch is that she missed her East Coast friendships and the Barns’ went west to be close to Sarah. They were ready for a new start and so they decided upon a complete lifestyle change —



from the metropolitan scene to a very rural setting. A couple of years later, the Barns’ daughter Cornelia and her family settled next-door to her parents, also on land set in prunes. Cornelia was an artist, author and poet of some distinction. Mrs. Sarah Kellogg was referred to as Sa’di by her husband Charles as term of endearment. It is an unusual nickname, one that I think relates to the great Persian poet Saadi Shirazi who is recognized as a master in the literary world for the depths of his moral and social thoughts. Sa’di might have been a name bestowed upon her originally by Charles Barns as the Persian culture was highly advanced in its practice of astronomy. Charles Kellogg dedicated his book to “Sa’di - The Beloved.” Charles Barns wrote of his friend in the introduction to “The Nature Singer” that Charles Kellogg “represented a type of genius of which there are perhaps two or three in a generation — ‘dedicated spirits’ untiring in their search for what is beautiful and true. The melody of his matchless bird songs, nature’s mark of her own child, his words and message had the very spirit of a woods prophet.” To conclude my season of Charles Kellogg writing for the time being, I would like to quote a short passage from the last chapter of his book and, unhesitatingly say that Charles Barns was the instrument at hand that made the publication of his story possible.

The Dream Comes True Water coaxed from the hills. The rocks, the stones, the pool, the building, All fashioned by my own hands. Leisure to work, to read, commune, enjoy true neighbor friends. Unhurried busy days, the quiet evenings, the great log burning, the little brook cascading down the fireplace rocks and across the hearth. My faithful dog, and best of all … The Angel in the House.




How Do Those Couples Do It?


ou know, the ones who stay together and still appear to enjoy each other?? The ones that you see depicted in the cute pictures of old people walking, holding hands? I have to admit that they are more rare than I wish they were. None of us come from perfect families with the ability to communicate perfectly. That’s not even possible! But there are attitudes and communication skills that we can all learn which will help to create a more satisfying relationship. These skills can actually be a help in any relationship so you don’t have to be a couple to reap the benefits; use them at work, with the kids, family, friends. Unfortunately many come to take the comfort of familiarity as permission to not be attentive to basic maintenance in the relationship. In the same way that my car will fail on me if I don’t do things like change the oil or get tune-ups, even refill the gas tank, our relationships will soon deteriorate if we don’t take care of them. A critical starting point (and one you’ll need to KEEP coming back to) is approaching each other with respect. It’s a mindset you may have to train yourself in, especially if you’ve started down the slippery slope with short cuts – being curt with each other when irritable, neglecting simple manners, saving our best behaviors for show. For example, when my husband and I are trying to make decisions, or have a disagreement, I remind myself that: 1) He’s an adult; 2) He’s got a different perspective from his experiences which can add dimension to the subject; and 3) His feelings and concerns are important to put on the table as a factor in any resolution. It’s important that both people maintain humility in the problem-solving so that both feel there is room to share honestly. When the dynamic shifts to keeping score, you may win the battle and lose the war over the long haul. Even if my preference isn’t decided on, I can feel better about the

final decision when I’ve been able to put it out there. This also applies to children. Parents still need to be parents and are responsible for the training and care of their children, but the attitude of respect becomes the lab of experience that will shape how they conduct themselves with others. When you can hear and respond to your t’weens need to be socially accepted, you may be able to suggest an alternative that satisfies your need for a safe environment while helping your child connect with friends. There may still be times when the answer is ‘No’ but the conversations that express your concerns in search of workable options are invaluable in teaching children how to make good decisions. I wanted my daughters to be empowered to manage their lives with growing skills as they approached adulthood and that didn’t happen magically on their 18th birthday. The same principle applies with friends and coworkers. The amount of time and energy that can be saved when people treat each other with respect would probably surprise you. We all have a silent internal dialog that runs while conversations happen aloud. When we feel disrespected, that internal dialog takes up most of our attention. Whether I silently feed my resentments towards the other person, or berate myself with my own disparaging comments, I stop being able to respond to what’s being said. It’s as if my ‘outside’ continues to give the appearance of being involved while my ‘inside’ plans the next comeback (instead of listening) or goes into hiding. It stops being as productive a conversation as it might have been! When respect is there, all those distractions are gone. It’s easier to have a spontaneous conversation that stays focused when people aren’t secondguessing themselves or each other. Saying “‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’” may seem pointless. The time it takes to think of a kinder way to say something, or the

effort to readjust your attitude may seem inefficient until you argue about things you don’t disagree on. The amount of good will that you generate with a respectful attitude makes any relationship feel safer and more satisfying. This isn’t idealistic, it’s actually really practical. I’m pretty sure the little old couple who adore each other kept respect high on their list. I realize that there are relationships that may not feel safe to you because you’re already in that disrespectful place, or you may be in a relationship with a person who has no interest in respecting you. This complicates things. I encourage you to read self-help materials, connect with people who do respect you for support, pursue meaningful spiritual practices, or seek counseling if you need to. Keep this in your toolbox, but you may need some additional tools as well!

Vicki Minerva has lived and worked in the South County area as a Marriage and Family Therapist for over 35 years. She and her husband George raised two beautiful daughters with the help of the village here. Her education includes a M.Div. degree from Fuller Seminary and a M.A. in Marriage, Family Counseling from Santa Clara University. You can contact her at 408.848.8793 or visit her website at

My goal is to provide you with some information and help you access tools that will help you live your life and manage your relationships in healthier ways. This information is not a substitute for personal counseling and should not be taken out of context. There are many reputable therapists in the South County area should you need additional help.




Retirement, continued from page 41

about to embark on what could be the finest years of your life. But remember, maintaining your financial security doesn’t happen by accident. It requires examining your current circumstances; identifying your goals and objectives; developing a plan to achieve those goals and objectives; and taking action to implement your plan.

government is requiring it – and if you don’t have a current need for the income those distributions are providing, you could use those dollars to purchase a life insurance policy. At your death, the proceeds from your policy could be paid to your spouse, replacing the value of the IRA assets you are passing to your children or grandchildren; or they could be paid to your children or grandchildren for the purpose of satisfying any estate taxes which come due following your death. This strategy essentially allows you to pass your IRA assets on intact to heirs other than your spouse. (There are a variety of ownership arrangements relative to your life insurance policy that could also help keep the proceeds out of both you, and your beneficiary’s taxable estate. A qualified tax professional can advise you in this matter.) If your big day has finally arrived — congratulations. You’re

* The required beginning date for qualified plans under IRC Section 401(k), 401(a) and 403(b) is the later of April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the employee attains age 70½ or April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the employee retires. Employees who are more than 5 percent owners of the employer sponsoring the plan must follow IRA rules and begin taking RMD at 70½ even if still working. This information should not be construed as tax advice applicable to each individual. Please consult a qualified tax advisor regarding your individual circumstances.

Boomers, continued from page 78

car, not the key. I will probably have 20 copies hidden everywhere.” We laughed about it but really, we all need to think about how we can make it easier for our family members to oversee our care if we no longer can.

• Ask your parents if they have a DNR or an Advance Healthcare Directive or POLST? Consider reviewing the paperwork with them. If they haven’t taken this step, perhaps you can encourage them to take this important step by sharing with them what your own end-of-life wishes are.

PARENTS – if you are reading this, make it easier on your loved ones. Age with an attitude by preparing for your future. My parents had rituals when they reached a certain age. When it’s my turn, I am going to open a bottle of champagne and share my wishes, printed on golden paper, symbolizing my desire to age with an attitude… the way I want to. How about you?

• Ask your parents about their wishes regarding end-of-life decisions, including burial vs. cremation, memorial service, funeral arrangements, obituary, bequests. If they have documented any of this, ask them where they have filed the information. I told my son, “When it’s time for me to stop driving, take the

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Messy Room Madness I

t may come as a surprise, but the biggest battle between chart, they receive a small reward. This is especially helpful parents and children isn’t about talking back or for motivating young children. Start out by making a misbehaving, it’s about messy rooms. Parents feel that checklist detailing tasks that are appropriate for your they need to impose some order and kids whine, dawdle, or child’s age, with pictures that they can refer to. It helps if downright go on strike. At the end of the day neither side gains everything has a home, so work together with your child much ground and everyone is left in a bad mood. Fortunately, on labeling boxes and bins and deciding what goes where. there are ways to get your kids to clean their rooms without all of Making the chart interactive, such as with a connect-thethe theatrics. dots scheme or pasting on fun stickers for each completed Before you embark task, will keep your child interested in it. It also helps to on this cleaning use frequent, simple rewards to keep their motivations venture, however, it high. For toddlers, try an end of the hour award; for preis important to keep schoolers, end of the day; for school age kids, use end of your expectations the week rewards. A month is an eternity for any child, so very low. A child’s it’s best to keep the goal in sight. Fri,the 16th- arrive Similar to the chart method, you can also try a Ticket room is usually Sat, Mom, and K hang forchild bday out with a few “free” tickets. For only place where they Steph System. Start out your Sun 18th- Oli, Maddox and K go to SF have control over each chore that they complete, award them one ticket. You Mon 19th- Oli and Maddox return to Gilroy their environment. It can also give them tickets Tues, 20th- Oli meets K in SF later in day for having a good attitude about or evening is the place that they cleaning. If your child whines or refuses to obey, they lose Fri 23rdOli and feel they can Wed, fully 21 through tickets. At the end Kofinthe day or week, award your child Napa express themselves with a special treat based on the number of tickets they’ve Fri, 23rd- we return to gilroy from napa and they maySat, be 24th - family collected, such as an lunch or early dinnerice cream for five tickets, or a trip to reluctant to give the movies for ten. Sun that 25th - no plans or from home up. For someMonkids,Ka works in SFChildren are far more responsive to what we do than we leave in the morning dirty room is Tuesa point what we say, so set a good example for them. Start out of honor. doing the chores together to show them how things are Simply letting go done. While you are cleaning, put on your child’s favorof the messy room ite music so that they see that doing chores doesn’t have battle can actually to be tedious. This could also be a great time to strike work in your favor. up a conversation with your child, so that while you’re Your kids will quickly working together, you’re also bonding. Another way to discover that they make cleaning time fun is to read a good story while they lose track of their work. Their minds will be focused on the plot rather than on how boring they might think chores are. Regardless valuables underneath of what you do to boost your child’s interest, being there all of those piles of with them will show your support and teach them that toys and dirty clothes. cleaning can be a rewarding experience. As they frantically Whether they learn it on their own or need a little help search for that from you, teaching kids how to make and keep order will favorite video game prepare them for the challenges of adulthood. When you or the homework show your children how to keep their things safe and take that’s due today, they the time to organize what they value, you are making the learn that keeping abstract concept of “responsibility” into a concrete set of things neat makes their lives easier. Personal experiences are actions. Eventually, they’ll come to see that taking loving often the best teachers. Not only do they learn a valuable lesson care of the things they have is a way of giving love back to about the consequences of messiness, but they do so without the ones who provide for them. you having to do anything. Parents who have a really hard time letting the messy room issue go can use the When-Then routine. “When I can see your Article Brought entire floor, then you can watch TV, or go outside and play.” To You By: Creating a When-Then routine minimizes the amount of time spent fussing or fighting. A natural incentive means that your kids will be eager to get the cleaning out of the way so that they can move on to more enjoyable activities. Another method is to make a chart that lists all of the things your child needs to do. When they complete everything on the




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Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, research and philanthropy. Written By Robin Shepherd


ere in America, women and girls enjoy freedoms and opportunities that don’t exist for females in many other countries. But we didn’t get where we are today by luck or accident. Generations of women blazed a trail for us to follow. Throughout American history, women have joined influential organizations such as the American Association for University Women (AAUW). Working together they won the right to vote, the right to pursue an education and career path of their own choosing, and the right to equal pay. The origins of AAUW date back to 1881 when 17 college alumnae made it their mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, research and philanthropy. That mission lives on today among the women of South County. The Gilroy and Morgan Hill AAUW chapters boast more than 200 volunteers, mentors and leaders who are active in our community. Membership includes women who have distinguished themselves in healthcare, architecture, high technology, law, financial services, philanthropy, education and more. While the history of AAUW is rich, the organization is very much forward-looking.

Areas of Focus Education

Last year, local GEMS participants visited sites including Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Computer History Museum and Joseph Grant County Park. On March 13 the current crop of GEMS participants will visit San Jose’s Tech Museum to learn about one of the most challenging issues of our time: cybersecurity. • Tech Trek. A one-week summer camp that engages girls in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) activities. It began in California and has been so successful that it is now a national program. Each year our local AAUW chapters offer scholarships to girls completing 7th grade. The camp is held at Stanford University.

“I the late 1960s I received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UC Davis. At the time there were very few careers available to women. AAUW has empowered thousands of girls and women to explore a wide range of career paths.” Penny Lockhart, Co-president Gilroy AAUW


• Speech Trek. An annual speech contest for high school students; organized, funded and judged by AAUW. Contestants are judged on speech content, organization and presentation. The contest provides opportunities to compete at local and state levels for cash prizes.

• Girls Engaged in Math & Science (GEMS). An enrichment program for middle and high school girls in Morgan Hill and Gilroy Unified School Districts. Field trips and presentations by accomplished women of math and science provide girls with a vision of the possibilities that await if they pursue this path in their careers.


• Scholarships and Grants. Each year a number of different awards are made to new or returning female students in associate/ bachelor degree college programs, and in Gavilan College’s nursing program. Additional grants provide past scholarship winners with follow-on support in completing their degrees.

Community Outreach • Outreach/Action Grants. Competitive grants that support local non-profits such as Community Solutions, Discovery Counseling Center, Learning & Loving Education Center, and the Gift of Reading program. • Voter Education. Organize election forums, register voters, and educate the public about non-partisan issues.

“It was guys telling jokes and saying, ‘Oops…there’s a woman in the room.’ We’ve made a lot of progress but we’d like to see more women in engineering.”


Sabra Dupree, Co-president Gilroy AAUW

Connecting Girls with STEM Careers

Alie Fohner, AAUW Gilroy Tech Trek scholarship winner now a PhD in Health Population Genetics

Live Oak High School senior Julia Leal

Alie Fohner attended Tech Trek on a scholarship from AAUW Gilroy in 1998. Today, she holds a PhD degree in Public Health Genetics and works in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. Her mom, Nancy Fohner, is a long-time AAUW member who has served as a camp director and instructor over the years. Looking back on her time at camp, Alie said, “Tech Trek introduces girls to the exciting and diverse things people are doing with science in the world. I can still picture myself at camp…learning about optics by building a pinhole camera and visiting a lab with huge and impressive equipment for studying biochemistry.” Fohner added that attending camp at Stanford introduced her to dorm life, dining halls, and navigating the campus; an experience that she said for a middle school student was “incredibly empowering.” Live Oak High School senior Julia Leal plans to study Earth Systems when she enters Stanford University this fall. Leal will be the first in her family to attend college. She often looks back on Tech Trek as a life-changing experience. AAUW Morgan Hill provided her camp scholarship. “Stepping onto the Stanford campus and learning about the possibilities inherent in STEM careers inspired me,” Leal said. Along with Tech Trek, Leal was also involved in the GEMS program and participated in a summer internship at Stanford in Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture. Last month AAUW Morgan Hill held a special STEM workshop in memory of Lauren Jenkins, a branch member who passed away in 2015. Jenkins founded the Girls Club, which later became GEMS, and was an early Tech Trek coordinator. “The girls enjoyed a hands-on experience of an emerging area of science,” Cox said. “Afterword, they learned about environmental science careers from a panel of young women science professionals.” Both activities were held at Anarobe Systems in Morgan Hill. AAUW Co-President Mary Cox organized the event, which provided more than a dozen high school girls with insight into how agricultural crop waste can be naturally fermented to produce fertilizer and hydrogen for re-use.

Leadership, Advocacy and Philanthropy

Interest Groups

• Sponsorships. Selected AAUW members have an opportunity to participate in leadership training programs such as that of Leadership Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill AAUW sponsors a college student to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders training.

According to AAUW Gilroy Co-president Sabra Dupree, “I’ve never met a group that is more supportive of each other. I can take people to AAUW events and know they’ll be most welcome. It’s easy to start up a group based on member interests.” Dupree shares the co-presidency with Penny Lockhart, who added that “AAUW is a great organization for young moms who crave adult conversation and are looking for opportunities to network with other women involved in the community.”

• Education Foundation. The AAUW Education Foundation supports projects and research in alignment with the AAUW mission. • Advocacy. Support of other AAUW priorities including public policy and legal advocacy related to equity for girls and women.



members a chance to share thoughts and reactions to books.

“AAUW has connected me with several generations of women who have made positive changes in their lives and in the community. In the late 1980s I decided to pursue a graduate degree so I could transition from academics to a high tech career. A grant from AAUW helped me achieve my goal. ” Jenny Redfern, Co-president Morgan Hill AAUW GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

provides members with an opportunity to enjoy virtuouso performances by South Valley Symphony, as well as award-winning plays and musicals at South Valley Civic Theater, Pintello Comedy Theater and Limelight Theater and other venues. “Wine & Whine” brings members together for a little libation and conversation at local restaurants and wineries. LUNCH AND DINNER GET-TOGETHERS help members stay connected while enjoying a meal together. These include gatherings in member’s homes (sometimes sharing recipes and cooking together) as well as at local restaurants.

“I joined AAUW and was amazed not only by the group’s welcoming attitude, but also its diversity and the opportunities to connect with women I might not have met otherwise…women who are leaders in the community.” Mary Cox, Co-president Morgan Hill AAUW



Quilt Show Returns to Gilroy

AAUW Gilroy will once again host their popular quilt show at the Veterans Building in May. Visitors will be treated to an array of more than 70 beautiful handmade quilts on display for leisurely viewing and enjoyment. The event will include a raffle for chances to win this year’s “Opportunity Quilt” as well as other prizes. This show is always a crowd-pleaser for quilters as well as people who have never sewn a stitch. It’s easy to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of local quilt makers. It’s also fun to learn about what inspired a particular quilt design or how it was made.

AAUW GILROY QUILT SHOW & LUNCH Saturday, May 7, 2016 11 am to 2 pm VFW Post 6309 74 West 6th Street Gilroy Fundraiser for scholarships for women and girls. Event tickets are available through AAUW members, or at Nimble Thimble or the Garlic City Mercantile.



provide a chance for members to learn and share ideas about major political and social issues of the day. For example, last October, Gilroy and Morgan Hill AAUW chapters got together at Morgan Hill Grange to host Senator Bill Monning and Dr. Faith Protsman, Vice Chief of Staff, St. Louise Regional Hospital, for a discussion on bioethics and the politics of healthcare and end-of-life issues.

tion extended by our local chapters to their alumnae. One long-time member said that during a particularly challenging time in her life, AAUW members came alongside her, “like family,” with caring support. These are just a few of the interest group activities available to AAUW members. Check websites of the Gilroy and Morgan Hill branch chapters for details.

HIKERS can explore our wonderful local park

trails together. FILM-LOVERS can connect with other mem-

bers to catch a movie together. eGALS get together to learn new ways to leverage their smartphones.


AAUW Stories

Back in 1920, AAUW helped set up polling places when the time came for America’s voting men to vote for women’s voting rights. When the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified that year, millions of women cast their votes at the polls.



But it wasn’t until 2009 that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed by President Obama. The Ledbetter Act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to help protect working women from pay discrimination. “It behooves us to work for better working conditions and better pay,” Dupree said, referencing present-day inequities that continue to make headlines. One week every spring, AAUW members visit local high school Econ/Civics classes to talk with students about the pay gap that persists in the workforce. “We bring them fresh-baked cookies that each have a chunk cut out,” Dupree explained. Of course the kids want to know why. “We tell them it represents the gap between salaries of men and women in the same jobs. A little humor is a great way to get the point across.”

Wildflower Run Turns Thirty-Three

Morgan Hill AAUW’s annual Wildflower Run is a big favorite with community members who like to blend camaraderie and competition for a worthy cause. According to Elizabeth Mandel, who volunteers as Run Director, the 2015 event attracted 1160 participants and raised over $49,000 from runner registrations as well as donations from corporate sponsors and AAUW members. She estimates this year’s event will draw as many or more participants than last year. Mandel said that she joined AAUW while her daughters were in middle school because she saw AAUW’s mission as “very relevant” to creating the kind of environment she wanted her daughters to grow up in. She also noted that the organization provides a wealth of leadership opportunities. The Morgan Hill Wildflower Run Research and Projects Grant Endowment was begun in 2014 and when completed will fund community action and career development grants.

AAUW MORGAN HILL WILDFLOWER RUN Sunday, April 3, 2016 First race begins 8:30 am Kids 2K Fun Run 5K Run/Walk/Stroller 10K USATF Certified Run Seniors (60+) 2K Run/Walk Fundraiser for scholarships for women and girls. Medals and prizes. Visit Register at

Learn More about AAUW Membership is open to anyone holding an associate or equivalent (RN), baccalaureate, or higher degree from an accredited college or university. Student affiliation is available to undergraduates enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university.

AAUW – Gilroy PO Box 1962 Gilroy CA 95021

AAUW – Morgan Hill PO Box 1528 Morgan Hill CA 95038





Trekking in the Himalayas: A Remarkable Journey




have long been fascinated by the Himalayas, which boast the world’s highest mountain peaks, but never thought I would see them “up close and personal.” Then in 2014 a friend and fellow backpacker asked if I would join her, along with her husband and four friends on a trek into the Indian Himalayas. I had met the owner of the tour and trek company, Namgyal Sherpa, at a Rotary International Convention in 2012, and knowing of his experience and excellent reputation, I decided to go! I was excited but realized that I needed to prepare for the physical demands of such an adventure. In the months leading up to the trek, I trained by hiking with a backpack at Harvey Bear Park, in the Sierras, and near our cabin in Calaveras Big Trees. I was anxious about the challenge of hiking at 13,000-16,000 feet, but did my best to prepare. I knew that on the trek, porters and pack animals would be carrying most of our supplies.



We had to pack light – a down sleeping bag (rated for 0-15° weather conditions) and pillow, warm trekking clothes , toiletries, hiking poles and boots, and a few other items. In late October of 2015, I flew from San Francisco to Dubai and on to Delhi, the rendezvous point for our group. We spent a day and a half there before heading to Bagdogra and then on to Darjeeling. We spent a few days getting acclimated to the higher altitude and visiting a wildlife zoo and the Himalayan Mountain Institute Museum. I was deeply moved by our visit to the Tibetan Refugee Center where displaced Tibetan families were being provided with much-needed housing and job training. At our next stop in Gangtok, India, we connected with our tour leader. We toured historic Buddhist monasteries, attended a local Rotary Club meeting, and visited the site of one of the club’s projects, a school badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake.

We drove to the small village of Yuksom at the gateway to Khangchendzonga National Park to begin our trek. The road there was steep, bumpy and often narrowed to one lane due to rock debris as well as people traveling on foot with their animals. But the picturesque views of the deep river valleys, tiered rice fields, tea plantations and snow-covered mountains made for a wonderful, worthwhile adventure. The next morning, after breakfast prepared by our trek kitchen crew, we set off on our big adventure. Our tour group included seven hikers, two guides, four kitchen crew, two animal handlers, seven dzos (a cow-yak crossbreed), four small horses, two tent men and two porters. It was November 2nd, and our first day of hiking involved a steep trail with lots of ups and downs, narrow (often swaying) bridges made of wood, steel and concrete and covered with prayer flags. Then came dense jungle terrain filled with banana trees, vines and wild orchids. I kept an eye out

for Red Pandas (never did see one). As we entered Khangchendzonga National Park, our guide cautioned us to stay on the “mountain side” of the trail when passing others or risk being knocked off the trail into the canyons below. It was good advice, and I learned to listen for the warning bells around the animals’ necks so I could stay safely on the trail. We were also told that if our pack animals fell, there was no good way to retrieve either the animals or the packs. I never saw this happen but thought of it often! We made camp at Sachen (7,150 ft.) after a fourhour, 1550-foot climb. The kitchen staff prepared a delicious dinner. After tea, we headed for our tents to sleep. Our guide reminded us frequently to drink lots of water and tea to keep hydrated and prevent altitude sickness. While our sleeping tents were fairly spacious, the tent toilet was cramped. The downside of hydration was having to make frequent visits there, especially in the middle of the night. Our days began at 6:00 am with hot tea and a warm




bowl of water for us to “freshen up”. It was a welcome ritual since there would be no showers or baths for the 10 days of our trek. Breakfast was served at 7:00 am in the “dining tent” or at an outside table. We had a choice of omelet, cereal and occasionally French toast or pancakes, which we enjoyed with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Day 2 involved more steep trails and a long sturdy bridge spanning the rapids of the Prek Chu River. We greeted passing tour groups with the Hindu salutation, “Namaste,” and took in the beautiful canyon and mountain views. After 4 ½ hours we arrived at the Tshoka campsite (9,700 feet). After lunch, we hiked up to a small, very old monastery and then further up the trail as part of our altitude “readiness.” Back at camp, I had my first encounter with the cold, wet fog that would settle over us every afternoon. I retreated to my tent to journal and stay warm, ate dinner at 6:30 pm, then headed back to the tent to sleep. I awoke on Day 3 feeling rested. Good thing, as I needed my energy to hike a very steep and rocky trail that cut through forests of rhododendrons and magnolias. We were told to go at our own pace, so I found myself behind the faster trekkers and ahead of slower members of the group. I used this “alone time” to contemplate and appreciate being in this unique part of the world. After three hours, we made camp at Phedang (11,200 feet). After a delicious lunch



including Tibetan Hot Bread (like a soft pretzel but better), we headed further up the mountain for an hour of altitude preparation. Returning to camp, the fog returned, creating a mystical, pastoral setting. On Day 4 we caught a glimpse of Mt. Pandim (22,000 feet) before the fog returned. It was a magnificent scene only to be surpassed by the arrival of runners competing in the first Mt. Khangchendzonga Marathon. As we cheered them on, I was amazed to see some wearing nothing more than shirts and shorts! We hiked to the top of a mountain that leveled off on the approach to Dzongri (13,000 feet) and then up another steep hill to reach our campsite. The rocky trail was extremely steep with narrow switchbacks. It felt like we were walking in the clouds. At the top were a few outbuildings and a very small, rustic store with goods sold by Nepalese women. I bought a wool hat for my granddaughter, and beer to share with my fellow hikers. We were greatly amused by a sign that said “free wifi.” The password was “just kidding!” At 13,000 feet, it was colder, and the misty fog even more frigid. Our campsite was set in a valley along a high mountain plateau. In the distance we could see the Himalayan mountains of Pandim, Kabru, Kokthang and the range bordering Nepal to the northwest. After a hike up the plateau to ancient yak herder huts, we came back to the dining tent for


tea and cookies, and some of our recently purchased “Hit Beer” (made in Sikkim). We stayed in that tent through dinner, enjoying the conversations and warmth, then made our way reluctantly back through the cold to our own tents to sleep. On day 5, we rose at 3:00 am to begin our hike up to Dzongri observation peak ( 13,675 feet) in order to see a Himalayan sunrise. Headlamps and flashlights helped us navigate the treacherous footing in the pre-dawn hours, but seeing the sun rise over Mt. Khangchendzonga was well worth the 700 foot climb. We looked down on the Prek Chu river valley and moraine, our afternoon destination. We trekked through hillsides of rhododendrons, along icy streams, and saw wild yaks in a distance. The trail down to the river valley was incredibly rugged and steep, crossing the tumultuous waters of the Prek Chu on log bridges that somehow withstood the weight of our dzos and horses. We went through mossy, mystical forests on our way to the next campsite, Thansing, at 12,900 feet. I had cut back on my water consumption that day and was exhausted, feeling my first bit of altitude nausea.




On Day 6, I awoke to sunshine and the sounds of birds, dogs and dzo bells. I was looking forward to what would be an easier hike through the moraine. We crossed small wooden bridges over creeks, passed Tibetan stone monuments and carved stones, and looked for the elusive Blue Sheep (never did see any) on our way to the Lamini Campsite (13,900 feet). Our seventh day was described to us by the guides as the “pinnacle” of the trekking experience. During three hours of strenuous hiking we made our way through darkness up the perilous trail to the Goechala Pass (16,207 feet). Our cooking staff served breakfast snacks and tea. We were overwhelmed by breathtaking views of Mt. Khangchendzonga (28,000 feet) and Mt. Pandim, (22,000 feet) above, and the huge moraine valley below. It was an experience we would never forget, to be so close to one of the world’s tallest mountains. We stood there among prayer flags and stone edifices, and took pictures of our group with the majestic Himalayas in the background. Beginning our descent, we passed the brilliant, turquoise waters of Samiti Lake and returned to the Prek Chu river valley. We set up camp at Kokchurung ( 11,400 feet). Over the final three days, we made our way back to Yuksom. We shared an experience of a lifetime with memories to cherish forever. I came home emboldened to take on new challenges outside of my comfort zone. I encourage others if a door of opportunity opens for a unique adventure, take it!





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Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio S

By Larry J. Mickartz

omething is happening here…here in our luscious winegrowing region. The Santa Clara Valley has a long history of wine growing. Guglielmo just celebrated their 90th anniversary and they are the oldest continuously family owned and operated winery in Santa Clara Valley. While Kirigin Cellars has had multiple owners it is launching it’s 100th anniversary! Lately the area as seen the influx of new wineries and younger winemakers like Lion’s Ranch, Ross, Miramar, Stefania, and Seeker. New energy can also be seen at Sycamore Creek Winery where Frank Léal is renovating the property. Another sign of newness in the local wine industry is out in the east foothills at the old Kruse winery… Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio. Tom Kruse sold his home and winery as a package. The buyer was interested in the home and farm and had little interest in the vineyards or winery. At this point enter Jeffrey Fadness and Blended.


There is a little back-story on Jeffrey. After years of work in the local corporate world, Jeffrey needed some time off to sort out a few of life’s questions. Within a month of starting his sabbatical, Jeffrey was tasting some local wine at Bubbles in Morgan Hill. The owner asked him what he thought of a particular wine. Jeffrey gave his little reflective review. The owner asked if he would like to meet the winemaker! Jeffrey was then introduced to Jason Goetz from Jason Stephens… and the course of Jeffrey’s sabbatical and life for the next few years took an unexpected turn. Jeffrey offered to work for Jason for free for a year, if Jason would teach him about wine and winemaking! A friendship and a road map for Jeffrey was laid out. While learning and working at Jason Stephens, Jeffrey undertook the two-year Winemaker’s Certificate Program offered by UC Davis. Before long Jeffery, the compulsive planner, set-up a five-year plan for his winemaking adventure, which would culminate with



him selling his own wine at his winery in 2019. Two years early in his scheduled winery ownership plans, the opportunity to lease the Kruse vineyards and winery came up. Jeffrey was already making wine but he was not ready to sell wine. Even so, the opportunity was a good one. A mix of opportunity and planning gave birth to Blended, A Winemakers Studio. Jeffrey needed a place to make and store wine until he could sell to the public. He found two partners who needed a place to make and store wine…and sell wine! Blended is the partnership of Jeffrey Fadness of La Vie Dansante Wines, Ted Madeiros of Medeiros Family Wines, and Ron Mosley of TASS Vineyards and Winery. The partners are all at different places in the world of wine but complement to each other well. Jeffrey’s wine will not be ready for a while but he needed a place to make wine and produce some income. Ted, who many locals might know from his work at Sycamore Creek

Vineyards, needed a new start for his family wines. Ron, who manages about 80 smaller local vineyards, needed a place to process and store his clients’ wines. The result is Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio. The first order of business was to insulate the storage facility and set up a Winemakers Lab. That step was completed. Next on the agenda is to construct a tasting room on the cement pad next to the storage building. The partners have set a target of

May 2016 for the opening of the tasting room. Jeffrey is also planning to offer classes on winemaking at Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio. Currently he is pursuing his Certified Wine Educator’s certificate from the Society of Wine Educators. Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio is currently open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 pm for samplings of Medeiros and TASS wines. In a year or two, visitors will also be able to sample La Vie Dansante



wines. Jeffrey has a preference for Spanish varietals and it will be interesting to see how this develops. Jeffrey Fadness admits that Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio is a great project but his passion is, or will soon be, his La Vie Dansante wines. We welcome Blended, A Winemaker’s Studio, a new twist in our historic but reviving wine culture. They are located at 4300 Dryden Avenue in Gilroy. Online at


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07 gmhToday March April 2016  

This issue features: Janie & Roger Knopf...their story and their home, Growing Up locally...Patsy Torres, Ariana Filice, Greg Sellers, City...