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FEATURES 12 Lumination Magic



14 On Documenting History 17 A County Update


18 Morgan Hill City Beat


21 Gilroy City Beat


24 Educating Our Kids


40 More Than A Pretty Face


46 Heating Up Your Workout


54 Home Is The Where Heart Is


74 Manners Matter

62 An All Around Good Guy


78 Theater Scene

72 A Stitch In Time









103 The Vine

59 Book Club Beat



104 Gilroy Living

70 Historically Speaking One

100 It’s Your Swing

32 Community Digest


90 Dining Out With Friends



86 The Relationship Game

92 Unexpected Pleasures


84 Historically Speaking Two

88 Creating Educated Communities


80 Artfully Yours

76 Just Dogging Around





Maddox Hunter Lee, grandson to Editor and Publishers J. Chris & Larry Mickartz seemed the perfect model for an issue featuring the new learning experiences available through our public schools. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN









visited the Jack Daniel’s

Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee in May with Jennifer & Steve Tate, Dana & Eleanor Ditmore & Roger & Janie Knopf

WRITERS Crystal Han Larry J. Mickartz Elizabeth Barratt Matthew Hendrickson Don DeLorenzo Sherry Hemingway Mike Monroe Kimberly Ewertz Sam Bozzo Jordan Rosenfeld Vicki Minerva Karen La Corte Amy McElroy Dan Craig

of Morgan Hill.






Aging Dorie Sugay Finance Jeffrey M. Orth / Daniel Newquist

FOR AND ABOUT Real Estate Marta Dinsmore / Teri Nelson We invite you to join in the conversation. WHAT OUR ADVERTISERS Home Financing Stebbins ShareJayson the things you love about Morgan Hill, YOU features and people you would like to see Interior Decorating Carol Spence Carr in future editions of TODAY, and any YOUR COMMUNITY Insurancecomments Michele Campbell you might have on articles in the current issues at YOUR LIFESTYLE Mortgage Jayson Stebbins



Solar Energy Pam Garcia

Ann Marie McCauley Lazy Suzan Designs

Tourism Jane Howard Wine Industry Alicia Cuadra DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Edgar Zaldana ADVERTISING SALES Morgan Hill • Sunday Minnich Available everywhere Gilroy • Electronic

you copies

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t’s hard to believe that school has already started. Where did the summer go? I’m sure that was the thought of our two local school districts as they prepped for the 2016-17 school year. Some of their efforts are noted in our update on schools. (See pages 24-29) We had so much fun following Kyle Perez-Robinson, this year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen as she and her court enjoyed their first day at the festival. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a barrage of photo seekers. I would imagine all the girls had some pretty tired facial muscles from the “smile for the camera” requests. I particularly enjoyed meeting Kyle; what an amazing young woman. (See pages 40-43). While on the topic of fun, I want to thank Janet and Mike Thompson for joining us for dinner and helping us put together our first “Dining Out With Friends” article. And I also want to thank Old City Hall Restaurant for the lovely dinner; they have really taken it up a notch of late. We hope you enjoy our dining around and perhaps find a new restaurant to try. We plan to take friends to a restaurant they are not familiar with and report back to you on what we liked about the cuisine, service and atmosphere. (See first article pages 90-91) Running out of space, so just one last note. You DO NOT WANT TO MISS THE LUMINATION at Gilroy Gardens. Larry captured a tiny bit of it. (See pages 12-13) It truly is amazing. Enjoy.

A Festival Community note: Over the years the Garlic Festival has had many firsts. But this year, it has two “lasts.” The SakaBozzo twins are retiring their Cook-Off stage antics and Mr. Garlic, Gerry Foisy, will retire his garlic bulb outfit and move out of the area. Gerry and wife, Jeanne, began their affable journey through the Garlic Festival twenty-nine years ago! Gerry is now 73, and his wife, Jeanne thought it was time to pass the bulb to someone younger…Gerry’s son, Carl. The ever approachable and optimistic Gerry sums it up, “It’s been a stinking good time.” Sam Bozzo and Gene Sakahara have been plying their SakaBozzo schtick on the Festival grounds for twenty-five years. The duo has combined comedy, cooking, garlic, families and fun since 1993. Fittingly, their last performance on Friday of the Festival had a generational challenge, as the two cooked with their respective grandsons, Dominic (8) with papa Sam, and Bode (10) and Kaiden (9) with papa Gene. The pair plan to stay involved with the Festival but not on the Cook Off stage every year. However, an encore performance is planned for the 40th celebration in 2018. They will be missed! GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN





Morgan Hill Chamber Of Commerce 27th Annual Taste Of Morgan Hill This event is sure to please festival-goers of all ages. In addition to Downtown Morgan Hill’s picturesque setting and many award-winning restaurants and specialty shops, this one-of-a-kind festival features a wide variety of Arts & Crafts, awesome food options, a wide variety of entertainment, local wineries and microbrews, expanded Kids Zone, a highly diverse “If You Love It, Bring It” Car Show, and the South Bay’s finest Quilt show. While at Taste of Morgan Hill, organizers hope you will extend your stay to enjoy the many other interesting offerings as part of your South County experience. Morgan Hill is the first stop on the official Santa Clara County Wine Trail and is also a major sports and outdoor leisure destination. They invite new and returning visitors to meet Morgan Hill in its many facets as a place to live, work, shop, dine and play. To learn more about Morgan Hill, get businesses listings or access an extensive community events calendar, go to the Chamber’s website at or communicate with the Chamber at



ction inner &DAayuin the Country” has D y b ts a G t n’s “A back Grea oy Foundatio Enjoy a flash

ent. ar, Gilr mmunity ev the In its 27th ye ticipated co an emed gala at ly th gh yhi sb a at G at ner and re in G become r D ou g, g 20’s with Wine Tastin in n, ar tio Ro uc e A th Raffle to . Silent a Getaway e Hill, Gilroy evening with e tyth Ci Lodge on th of rk s Yo ht are highlig 1920’s New rald’s ht stay in a Live Auction ge ig tz Fi -n t ur ot fo Sc a uring Island, F Drawing feat ited to tour of Long l and a boat ing will be lim te at ho se d d ire an sp le in sa or io on at e nd ar s ou Ticket ation, gilroyf rm fo inspiration. in l . na 8.842.3727 For additio Office at 40 175 guests. Foundation oy ilr G e th t contac You Live” “Give Where







OCTOBER 8 & 9 The Calabash Club of Silicon Valley presents its Fifth Annual Gourd Fest featuring unique gourd art, raw and craft-ready gourds for sale and free demonstrations by experienced artisans. Classes offered to children and adults in gourd crafts. The California Gourd Society’s Northern Gourd Art Competition is held during the Gourd Fest held at Uesugi’s Pumpkin Patch. Event offers rides, music, food and pumpkins available for sale. Find information about teachers and classes at

, page 6 7) N T (See A D

Save The Date

11th Annual Philanthropy Event

to honor local philanthropy and volunteerism that embodies the “Give Where Your Live” spirit. Presented by the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. Info at:


Christmas at Villa Mira Monte

Holiday gifts and treasures. Proceeds benefit Morgan Hill Historical Society’s programs. Held at the Morgan Hill House from 10 am to 5 pm. Info at:

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Lumination… at Gilroy Gardens

too amazing to miss through November 27


Michael Brookman:

Exploring the Past and Experiencing the Present Written By Amy McElroy


f you’ve lived in the South Valley during the last quarter century, you’ve very likely met or seen Michael Brookman. You may have run across him giving tours at Henry Coe State Park, or working as a docent at the Gilroy Hot Springs, or a little further back when he worked as a police officer in Morgan Hill before he retired in 2014. Or maybe you saw him in one of the local coffee shops that he frequents since he moved to San Martin 26 years ago. Brookman likes to “people watch.” “I’ll sit there and smile and wave as people go by, and so many people just frown back at you,” he said, shaking his head and smiling in disbelief. As a police officer, Brookman originally worked in various areas of Santa


Brookman at Morgan Hill Historical Society picnic (top photo) and at the Prohibition Day fundraiser also held at Villa Mira Monte

Clara County, but moved into a position as a Morgan Hill officer after six years. “Morgan Hill was a great place to be a police officer,” he said. “If I was chasing a suspect, there were always people pointing and shouting ‘that way, he went that way.’ In San Jose, everyone would be pointing in different directions, or looking around saying ‘I didn’t see anything.’” Brookman explained another reason why he preferred living in the area where he worked: “Interface with community is so vital. You can’t judge people. They’re all customers.” So, he said, that’s how he treated them. But not everyone agreed with his approach. Once a victim filed a complaint against him after he arrested the burglars and retrieved the stolen items because the



victim said Brookman was “too nice” to the burglars during the arrest. Before his years on the police force, Brookman said, “My favorite job ever was as a rigger in the circus for Marriott’s Great America.” At the time, he had been working as a theater tech, and then the owners decided they wanted a circus at the park. “It lasted five months,” Brookman said. “Not long enough. We were judged the best one-ring circus in the country. Barnum and Bailey came out and saw us, and they all had so much fun. It was the best.” Later on—before Brookman retired from the police force—he added yet another career to his résumé, turning his love of local history into work as a published writer. He had amassed a large

collection of postcards of Morgan Hill, about which he planned to write a book, until one day he walked into Booksmart in Morgan Hill. “I saw my book sitting there, displayed in the store—written by someone named Ian Sanders,” Brookman explained. Booksmart owners, Brad Jones and Cinda Meister, introduced Brookman to Sanders, and the two writers set about creating a second book about Brookman’s own collection. Next, the two men wrote about Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs. After that, the City of Saratoga asked them to author a book on their own hot springs, released in 2016. Their next book will cover Madrone Soda Springs and Glenn Willis Hot Springs, sitting underneath Anderson Reservoir. As Brookman explained, “The hot springs were a significant part of late nineteenth and early twentieth century culture. He added, “They were a hotbed of social activity.” Newspapers from that time are filled with tales of drama and intrigue, infidelity between romantic partners—even murders occurring around the springs.” From a research perspective, written information on the various hot springs is plentiful. Usually, Brookman finds his information in a large historical research library in Berkeley, the California room in the San Jose Main Library, or in one of several private collections. What’s been more difficult for Brookman and his writing partner Sanders, is getting local residents to talk about their own families’ histories and their relationships to the springs and other local landmarks. The writers have tried to reach out to the public by posting flyers and through other means of advertising, which Brookman has deemed “fruitless.” Instead, he has more luck casually mentioning the topic of his books and research in local bars, restaurants, and other businesses, where he can make a face-to-face connection with people. In those environments, people occasionally have their own story to tell, which may shed light on Brookman’s research. After meeting him, it’s not difficult to understand why. His easygoing manner and grin makes discussion about everything from the latest Pokémon Go phenomenon to tense political situations palatable over coffee. Next, Brookman would like to write a book about various local immigrants.

For example, he has learned that a majority of miners who worked in the area were Italian. He also wants to explore the history of the many local Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans. In 1840, Brookman’s own mother’s relatives came to California from France, and his father’s side of the family moved from Ireland to California in search of gold. Eventually his parents moved to Saratoga where he grew up and attended Prospect High School. But he had always been fascinated by his family’s origin overseas, and eventually, he expanded his interest in local history to a broader scale. In 2003, while he was climbing Mount Shasta—knee-deep in snow—his childhood friend asked if he wanted to go to Spain. “When?” Brookman asked. “Three weeks.” “Okay,” he said. Before that, Brookman had never left the country. Since then, he’s been back to Spain five times through Gavilan College’s immersion program, where he spent the month of June living with a family. He’s also been to China to visit his sister, and to Germany and Ireland. Brookman likes to research and study local history before he travels to a location. In fact, he became a certified tour guide and planned to make that his next career since retiring from the police

force. However, he’s since taken some unexpected time off to care for his father who passed away two years ago. Through the years, Brookman has been continuously involved with more community service organizations than he can list, including multiple facets of Leadership Morgan Hill. He was part of the organization’s second class in 1996, maintaining involvement in many of their projects over the years, and currently serves on their board of directors. He also served on the YMCA Board of Directors when they first instituted Project Cornerstone’s 41 Developmental Assets. He’s been a part of CERT—the Community Emergency Response Team. In addition, Brookman’s been an active member of the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance—which serves as an informal, citizen-run government for his small town—and is currently the group’s Secretary. For 20 years, he’s enjoyed volunteering as a docent at Gilroy Hot Springs. Brookman explained his dedication to community service during his years of often demanding careers and desire to travel: “I’m not a religious man. It’s the Golden Rule. Do unto others—a way to increase the quality of life that makes things better in the place we live. And I always got more out of it; I try to put in a lot.” He shook his head and smiled. “It’s such an enriching thing.”

Tom Howard, Museum Volunteer Coordinator with authors, Mike Brookman and Ian L. Sanders at a book signing at the Gilroy Museum.




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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 New SCCDineOut APP

ne of the many services provided by Santa Clara County government is protecting consumers by conducting restaurant health inspections. The results of the inspections are now easier than ever for the public to access. Simply download the County’s new SCCDineOut mobile app to find out whether or not a local restaurant is in compliance with food safety laws. Launched recently by the County Department of Environmental Health (DEH), the SCCDineOut app is the latest product in the County’s effort to inform residents about the food safety compliance records of area food facilities.

By using SCCDineOut or scanning the QR code on any posted Green, Yellow, or Red colored inspection placard, diners can gain immediate access to the most recent food inspection results for a restaurant, including any specific violations. They will also be able to view a list of restaurants that have been closed for food safety violations during the last six months. The most recent inspection reports are readily available online as well at facilityinspection. The information online and on SCCDineOut is in easy-to-understand language. The colored placards are issued as Environmental Health Specialists conduct inspections throughout the year. Inspection schedules vary and depend on the historical compliance of food facilities. The inspections are more frequent for facilities that have had violations. Features of the new SCCDineOut app include: • Inspection results for thousands of food facilities within Santa Clara County • Search by food facility name or those near your current location • Sort inspection results by compliance score • View contact information for food facilities • Easily view closure information for food facilities that are immediately closed due to a major violation • More information about the placard color and compliance score • Submit feedback to the DEH





City Beat…the Vision

n June 30, 2016, the City of Morgan Hill hosted a Downtown Visioning Summit to celebrate and highlight 50 million dollars of new private investment coming into downtown and to seek feedback from the community on the future walkability, bikeability and livability of Downtown Morgan Hill. The all-day event included two spectacular panels of guest speakers discussing Downtown projects and placemaking in the public realm, a tour of development sites, the new Granada Theater, under construction and a reception at the Pop-Up-Park.

NEW PROJECTS The first panel of the day included local developers, who highlighted their new projects. Dan McCrainie, a Gilroy resident and owner of Ladera Grill, unveiled, for the first time, his vision for the former South Valley Bikes site. The 4-story 10,000 square foot mixed-use project on the corner of 2nd and Monterey Road will include a fine art gallery and a wine bar on the ground floor, office and gallery space on the second and a rooftop restaurant and lounge on the third and fourth floors. The design is modern, timeless and sophisticated with a strong nod to Morgan Hill’s rich business history. McCranie said the project is targeted for completion in late 2017.

Restaurant and Willow Heights Mansion among other hospitality venues) highlighted his two projects along Monterey Road and 1st Street. Lèal shared his insight on the remodeling of the Granada Theatre into a 50’s style lounge venue that will offer a range of live entertainment. Immediately adjacent to the Granada Theatre will be the 60-room boutique hotel. This iconic hotel will offer hotel guests a spa, a pool and meeting facilities. The ground floor will include a market hall, a steakhouse and a flower shop. Lèal plans to offer three separate valet parking services for his hotel and theatre guests. The Granada Theatre is expected to open in late 2016 with the Granada Hotel opening in Fall 2017. Lesley Miles, of Weston Miles Architects, showcased Barley Place, her firm’s mixed-use project along Depot Street. This project will draw upon Weston Miles’ long history in Morgan Hill and similiar design aesthetics and standards showcased in the transformation of the old Granary building. Barley Place will include 16 new condominium units, offering a first of its kind residential experience in Morgan Hill. The project has a strong retail component and work is underway for the Running Shop and Hops, the first of several retail businesses in the development. Weston Miles is expected to break ground at the end of 2016.





Frank Lèal of Lèal Vineyards (also owner oF The Grove

Ken Rodrigues of Imwalle & Rodrigues shared his

inspiration for a 2-building, 4-restaurant venue on 3rd and Monterey. The Imwalle & Rodrigues team was instrumental in the transformation of Campbell’s downtown into a dining destination and is excited to be part of the revitalization of Morgan Hill’s Downtown. Rodrigues showcased the new restaurants for his site: Opa!, Willard Hick’s, Tac-Oh! and Mo’s Burgers. The layout of the two buildings will allow for outdoor dining at each of the four restaurants. The site is fenced off, the old liquor store building is gone and construction will start soon with project completion estimated for early 2017.

PLACEMAKING AND IMPROVING THE PUBLIC REALM The second panel of the day focused on placemaking and improving the public realm. Chris Ghione, Morgan Hill’s Community Services Director, highlighted for the community two new planned parks and one trail within downtown. The first park located at Depot and 3rd Streets (near the train station) will have a large play structure to support the new residential development occurring in and around downtown. A passive park is planned for the west side of Monterey on 3rd Streets, behind the Ladera Restaurant. And a trail up to the Nob Hill water tower will offer people more hiking opportunities. A fun feature planned for the Hilltop Trail includes a slide.


Gordon Huether, the artist responsible for the Poppy Jasper and Tarantula art installations at the 3rd Street Parking Garage, highlighted the role public art plays in communities. Huether noted many different public art installations from his portfolio and described their relationship to their specific communities. Both Poppy Jasper and Tarantulas have a significance in Morgan Hill and the surrounding area and provided the inspiration for the two installations associated with the parking garage. Similarly, the Encompass Art installation at the Community Center marries the mountain range topography surrounding Morgan Hill and the communities cycling interest. Michael Mulcahy, a key property owner in the Willow Glen Business District, spoke about the various efforts over the years to make Willow Glen a fun, active and attractive place to visit. Downtown Willow Glen has many similarities to Downtown Morgan Hill, including: roadway improvements, low vacancy/ high rents, and a lack of retail users relative to dining options. Mulcahy shared his perspective on the need and benefit to slowing down traffic and activating the street with curb cafés, public art, public gateways and open space. Tim Rood with Community Design and Architect is developing a station area masterplan for the City of Morgan Hill. Rood discussed how Morgan Hill is connected through transit, walking, biking and vehicle travel. As part of the station area masterplan, the community was invited to provide feedback on parking, mixed uses, walking and biking.



Some of the key themes that arose out of the Downtown Summit presentations included: 1. Build more housing in Downtown to support existing and new businesses; 2. Slow down traffic to generate a pedestrian-friendly environment and a pleasing outdoor dining experience; 3. Support art. Consider creating a public art fund and program; 4. Incorporate fun features like the slide down from the Nob Hill Tower; and 5. Take risks and support (re)investment. The Summit presentations generated excitement and a sense of “wow” regarding all of the developments taking place in Morgan Hill. As Morgan Hill evolves as a destination, new developments and new art additions should reflect the community and its aspirations. In closing, good planning decisions are now starting to pay off, and clearly the parking garage and perhaps the Tarantula have helped catalyze the new reinvestment. An interesting fact is that the majority of this $50 million of new private investment is coming from local community members and investors who care about the future of the community and believe in its potential. . To learn more about the downtown visioning summit and the various projects, visit:

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City Beat High Speed Rail Station Area Plan



he City has begun the second phase of land use and circulation planning for the Downtown in anticipation of construction of a station in the area by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In the initial phase, issues and opportunities related to the proposed station were identified and evaluated. Based on that evaluation and input received at a community meeting last November, three possible land use and circulation alternatives for Downtown were developed. The alternatives are described in the Alternatives Analysis Report which can be found on the project website. The draft land use and circulation alternatives were reviewed at a community meeting held on June 28, 2016. Significant outreach to the community in advance of the meeting resulted in approximately 80 individuals attending and providing comments on the proposals. Much useful information on community preferences for the future of Downtown was provided. Additionally, a number of the attendees expressed a preference for the high-speed rail station to be located east of the Outlets, rather than Downtown. A follow-up community meeting is anticipated later this summer. Additional information about the project may be found on the Station Area Plan website or by contacting the project manager, David Bischoff, at david. or (408) 846-0253.

Gilroy says ‘Yes’ to Energy Choice


he City of Gilroy and eleven other communities in Santa Clara County took action to form and join the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority (SVCEA), a local non-profit agency charged with procuring cleaner energy for residents and businesses. Community Choice Energy (CCE) is an opportunity to change the electricity market and provide residents and businesses with a new choice. This new electricity provider would be entirely locally run. It’s similar to buying in bulk or participating in a co-op. The agency would buy power on the open market, encouraging the kind of competition that can result in more renewable energy sources at lower rates. Under CCE, PG&E would continue to provide essential services as a partner, delivering the electricity over existing infrastructure, maintaining the power lines, sending bills, and providing customer service. Your bill would even look the same. When a community decides to create or join a CCE, all customers within that jurisdiction are automatically enrolled in the CCE. However, customers can choose to opt-out and remain with or go back to PG&E. In existing programs, 80-90 percent of customers have chosen to stay with the new local agency as their electricity provider, opting for the cleaner, greener, local choice. For information and updates, visit City Election November 8, 2016

Downtown Police Patrol


fficer Nestor Quinones and Corporal Jesus Cortez have been busy with their engagement efforts as the Gilroy Police Department’s Downtown District Liaison Officers. They represent the department at the Downtown Business Association meetings and make every effort to visit the downtown area during their unobligated time. To compliment these efforts, the Gilroy Police Department initiated a pilot downtown weekend patrol program primarily to strengthen the partnership with the downtown merchants, bring a sense of security to our community members and address potential quality of life concerns. The officers have been patrolling on horseback, on dual sport motorcycles and on foot every Friday and Saturday evening for the last couple of weeks. The pilot program will continue until late August. The officers have received positive feedback and accolades for their presence in the Gilroy’s downtown area. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Real Estates New Dimension


Top Producers Gilroy Office, 2015 Marta Dinsmore, Realtor GRI Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7420

magine touring a home in Los Angeles and walking through the floorplan to come to the realization that this is the home of your dreams. The spacious living room, open kitchen, and modern style are exactly the features that you have been looking for. As you take off the virtual reality headset in a REALTOR®’s office here in South County, you tell them you’d like to put in an offer. It may seem like something a few years off, but it’s closer than you think. The way we experience home buying is changing rapidly. While virtual reality is not something new per se, it has for the most part been reserved to the realm of gaming and entertainment. The idea of virtual reality integrating into the public’s daily lives is new and a little overwhelming, but the past year has seen significant launches in access to such experiences. Like any technology, its success is driven by relevance, simplicity, and frequency of use. With companies like Google providing tools at relatively low cost solutions — albeit limited in function—to build virtual reality experiences, it is expected that virtual reality will become more mainstream in the next few years. In short, virtual reality is about to do for real estate what video and photography did to change the landscape of home buying. Sotheby’s International Realty is taking a different approach to the power of virtual reality. Joe Cilic, brokerage manager of Sotheby’s International Realty in Brentwood, Calif., sees a more practical side of virtual reality. He and many other agents are finding it especially convenient for tenant occupied properties or properties where the seller doesn’t want to be disturbed. It doesn’t end there either. “Virtual reality can give a client a better sense of the flow of the home, and where rooms are in relation to each other,” explained

Cilic. “So many clients need multiple visits to a home to remember the layout, but virtual reality allows clients to immerse themselves in the home at their convenience whenever they want without being rushed through a showing.” This is especially important for real estate agents who showcase listings all over the world, and are now able to intrigue high-end clientele with virtual tours. These clients previously needed to travel overseas to tour a property, but are now able to use new technology to give them greater confidence that the trip will be worth their while (and some investors might even elect to buy based on their virtual tours). Cilic remembers the beginning stages of virtual reality in the real estate industry. “Agents were capturing virtual reality footage using multiple GoPro cameras literally taped on a pole,” Cilic said. Now professional 360 degree mounts for GoPro exist, allowing virtual reality to be captured in a slightly more seamless way. That’s when price comes into play—currently the biggest roadblock to mass adoption. The price to produce a virtual reality tour requires agents to be selective in when they use the technology. Starting at $4,500, the Matterport system, akin to the Rolls-Royce of virtual reality equipment, is not cheap and requires a significant investment for real estate agents. That’s just to create a virtual reality experience, next is allowing clients to view it. Virtual reality viewers range from Samsung’s $99 headset to the $599 Oculus Rift. Since many home buyers come in pairs, REALTORS® would need to invest in three devices in order to give a proper tour. Price isn’t everything though, especially when considering the technical savviness required to build and to showcase tours. Companies like Matterport have invested significantly to ensure that their product is as user friendly as possible. “Watch a five-minute video, keep the documentation handy, and REALTORS® will be ready to capture a space,” said Bill Brown, CEO of Matterport, about how to use the technology.

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Closed Sales Average List Price Average Sales Price Average Days on Market


June 59 $734K $732K 37


52 $744K $740K 34

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Our South County Schools Educating Our Kids Written By Robin Shepherd


e are fortunate that our South County schools not only perform well against countywide measures but continue to innovate and improve all the time. Our educational leaders have worked hard over the past several years to transition schools from STAR to Common Core and California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) standards. They’ve adopted new teaching methods and curricula, and embraced new standards for student testing and performance measurement. The expectation is that all the hard work is bearing fruit and will be reflected in measurable



improvements in overall achievement across our diverse student population. TODAY reached out to the superintendents and a number of principals in the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Unified School Districts who shared some highlights from our public schools. We’re grateful for their responsiveness during their summer break. With so much happening on the education front, we plan to provide our readers with a series of articles, featuring a variety of South County schools, over the course of the 2016-17 school year. Stay tuned!



Gilroy Unified School District Teens Gravitate to Bioscience A 2016 study reported that U.S. bioscience firms employ 1.66 million people, making this industry a leading performer in our nation’s economy for the past 15 years, with stronger job growth than other knowledge-driven, technology-based sectors and the private sector overall. ( Looking ahead, demand for medical scientists and biomedical engineers is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 8 percent and 23 percent respectively through the year 2024 ( Gilroy High School’s Biomedical Science Academy provides an education pathway for our local youth to explore these exciting fields of study. According to Superintendent Debbie Flores, “I can’t say enough about this academy. By the time they graduate, our students have completed eight AP/honors classes in Science and four AP/honors classes in Math. Our young women and men are graduating the academy well prepared for college degree programs in the biosciences. Most are pursuing Pre-Med and Biotechnology degrees in college.” The Biomedical Science Academy was submitted for the California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) Golden Bell Award. Jennifer Spinetti is program coordinator for the Biomedical Science Academy, a teacher in the program, and GUSD’s Teacher of the Year (2016). She will be honored at the Santa Clara


County Teacher Recognition Celebration on Thursday, September 29th at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell ( Dr. Flores added that “The academy model has been so successful and the interest from students is so strong that we’re considering starting a second academy, with an Engineering and Computer Science focus, at another one of our high schools.”

Students Flourish in Early College Setting Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) is the highest performing early college academy in California, rated number ten among all high schools in California. Now in its tenth year, GECA is a school within a school, established with Measure P funds and housed on the Gavilan College campus. Freshmen take all of their required high school classes, which may include various AP/Honors classes, plus one to two college-level courses. By junior and senior year, they’re taking mostly college-level classes and studying alongside Gavilan’s college students. They typically graduate high school with the equivalent of, or most of, an AA degree. Some go on to graduate early from college. Dr. Flores noted that GECA is not for every student, but those who are “highly motivated, independent thinkers committed to academic rigor” will flourish in this learning environment.



Dual Immersion: Powerful and Relevant

This year GUSD will continue and expand the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) program at Eliot and Glenview Elementary schools, and begin the program in three more schools, Antonio Del Buono, El Roble and Rucker.  According to the Sobrato Organization, more than 25 percent of youth entering Santa Clara County’s public schools are English language learners and historically, they’ve encountered higher dropout rates than their English-speaking classmates. Sobrato developed the program to help teachers address this challenge. Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) provides a model of teacher development and program design to help kindergarten through third grade students achieve age- appropriate literacy in English and Spanish, and gradelevel mastery of academic material. SEAL is also aligned with Common Core standards. Superintendent Flores described SEAL as “a rigorous, high-quality program” and added that Sobrato Philanthropies contributed “a large part of the funds to implement the program in kindergarten through third grade classes” at GUSD elementary schools. Glen View’s Principal, Corina Sapien, said the SEAL program has been transformational.  “When I walk into classrooms I see students interacting, conducting investigations, creating art, and most of all, I see their joy. We have redefined our expectations about what kindergarten and first grade students can do. They are learning material and vocabulary that many of us once learned in middle or high school. The true test of a student’s learning is the ability to explain or teach what they’ve learned to others, and that is exactly what our kids do.  At the end of each unit, parents are invited to the classroom to be ‘taught’ by their children.  It’s amazing to see our young students teaching their parents about the food chain and using words like phytoplankton and exoskeleton!”   

There was a time when public perception was that dual immersion was a “nice to have” element in our schools. Some considered it a burden on the education system. The reality, especially for California, is quite the opposite. By ethnicity, close to 40 percent of our state’s total population is HispanicLatino (of any race), making it our largest single ethnic group. Spanish is the state’s second most spoken language. And language is fundamental to all learning. When we put things in proper context, it’s easy to see that dual immersion schools benefit our students, their families, our communities and our workforce. GUSD schools in the Dual Immersion Program have implemented a 50/50 model whereby all students are immersed in English for half the day and in Spanish for the other half of the day. The focus is on communication, cooperation and collaboration as teachers provide instruction and students learn in two languages. As a result of this program, the Academic Performance Index shows continuously increased achievement scores in English for over ten years. Every year, the California School Boards Association (CSBA) recognizes educational programs that exemplify highly-effective governance, teaching, and student learning through its Golden Bell Award program. CSBA recognized GUSD for achievement in K-12 dual immersion programs for 2015-16. GUSD school principals receiving the prestigious award were: Silvia Reyes, Las Animas Elementary; Luis Carrillo, Rod Kelley Elementary; Anisha Munshi, South Valley Middle School; and Marco Sanchez, Gilroy High School.

Dr. Deborah Flores, Superintendent of the Gilroy Unified School District, received the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) “Superintendent of the Year” Award (2016). She will receive her award at ACSA’s annual Leadership Summit in San Diego, November 10-12, 2016





Sobrato Early Academic Language Program

Darren McDonald Principal El Toro Elementary

Heather Nursement Principal Martin Murphy Middle School

i Olacirqu Claudia mental Principal n Environ in w G / in San Mart demy ca Science A

ore Chris Mo l a Princip ool iddle Sch Britton M

Morgan Hill Unified School District A Pathway for Young Tech Innovators This year, Lewis H. Britton Middle School partners with the Silicon Valley Tech Museum (“The Tech”) to become a Tech Academy of Innovation (2016-19). In doing so, Britton joins Brownell Middle School (a GUSD school), creating an engineering education pathway for students from their “feeder school,” P.A. Walsh Elementary, which became a tech academy in 2015. Principal Chris Moore told TODAY that Britton went through an extensive application process to become a tech academy. He said the Silicon Valley Tech Museum made a major financial and resource commitment as the school’s tech academy partner and mentor. This includes training and resource materials for Moore and four of his teachers, over the course of the three-year partnership. “I spent years in Cupertino school district before coming to Morgan Hill,” Moore said. “I’ve seen the power that STEM has in producing new generations of innovative thinkers who will lead Silicon Valley in the future. Our students are just as gifted and capable as those to the north and they deserve to have the same real-world, hands-on learning opportunities.” Principal Moore added that construction of the new Britton campus began during the summer, and that the new facility “will serve this STEM program very well.”



The Tech’s Director of School and Afterschool Partnerships, Christina O’Guinn, said they look for school districts with collaborative STEM program development and training efforts, and schools with strong teams motivated to teach and integrate engineering into school curriculum and activities while meeting Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Students and teachers at participating schools are also encouraged to participate in The Tech’s annual Tech Challenge. Visit to learn more. Britton also received a Golden Bell award last year for “Data Driven Student Supports, From Intervention to Enrichment.” Through effective and systematic use of data, the school was able to quickly pinpoint needs of students for things like accelerated or remedial coursework in order to support student achievement. Moore said data-driven thinking permeates all kinds of campus activities. “We partnered with Specialized, which has donated fifty bikes to Britton. We’ll be using them in our physical education program, including a new spin (indoor cycling) class. Through a grant, we also purchased Polar heart rate monitors that students will use during workouts to check their heart rate, assess their fitness level, and set goals to maintain or improve their fitness over the course of the school year.”




Connecting Kids to Real-world Health Science Health science encompasses a broad group of disciplines focused on the delivery of health care. Simply put, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge is applied to research and clinical practice in order to diagnose and treat disease, and to maintain and improve health and quality of life. Global population growth, increased longevity and other factors are combining to make health science more important than ever before. As a result, demand for health science professionals is expected to grow by 20-40 percent or more through the year 2022 ( El Toro Elementary School has taken on a new role as a Health Science Academy under the leadership of its new principal, Darren McDonald. He was previously the lead teacher, teaching 6th grade at P. A.Walsh through that school’s successful implementation of its STEAM program. “El Toro is breaking new ground with our focus on health science,” McDonald said. “We’re partnering with Kaiser Permanente, St. Louise Regional Hospital and local health professionals, to provide educational pathways for our kids to explore health-related fields. Health science will have a huge role to play in their future.” “We’re also partnering with San José State University, Santa Clara University and Stanford Medical School. Their graduate students will come and teach our kids how to do triage, for



example. Health professionals at Stanford Medical are taking our teachers on ‘instructional rounds’ so the teachers can learn how it’s done and simulate the experience with our students.” “There are tremendous resources available through organizations such as NASA, Google, eBay and others. We want our students to take the Next Generation Science Standards to the next level, so we’re designing curriculum and programs that allow them to explore physical, mental and emotional health in their academic studies. Our health science focus is tightly integrated with Common Core. It’s all about learning how to explore real-world problems, model solutions, and then present results effectively. Our kids will be working together in a science lab-style environment, which works really well.”

Modeling Restorative Justice, Embracing Diversity


In speaking with Principal Heather Nursement, TODAY learned that Martin Murphy is the first MHUSD school practicing restorative justice. Now in the second year of following this model, she said “It’s a powerful approach to dealing with students’ behavior on campus that shows them how their actions affect others and holds them responsible for those actions.” (GUSD’s Solorsano Middle School implemented restorative justice last year. To create a sense of community, students create “restorative justice circles.” Working together they come up with a common


set of values, discuss problems and take steps to “repair harm.” Principal Nursement said that restorative justice has helped the school reduce recidivism by 20 percent and suspensions by 42 percent. She credited MHUSD’s school resource officer, Jeff Brandon of the Morgan Hill Police Department, as a key player in the program’s success. The GUSD sent its resource officer to train with MHPD over the summer. As MHUSD continues to expand and enhance its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, the goal is to fully engage and equip administrators to lead, teachers to teach, and all of its students to thrive in a STEM education environment. With this in mind, Nursement said that Martin Murphy is “working toward a partnership” with the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) with the potential to bring additional support and resources to this effort. “CALSA STEM curricula is designed to help underrepresented students engage with role models/ mentors in STEM fields so they can envision these fields as a potential choice for college and career,” Nursement said. The yearlong program includes curricula aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.    

Same Place, New Face and Greener Footprint When students arrive at San Martin/Gwinn Environmental Science Academy to start the new school year, they’ll find the entrance has moved to Llagas Avenue. Along with new administrative offices and added visitor parking, the district has installed environmentally-friendly modular classroom buildings on the west end of campus. The added capacity will serve the

school’s transition to K-8 with a larger student population over the next two years, and the campus improvements were made possible through a combination of Measure G and Capital Facilities funds. According to a school district announcement, the new portables are the nation’s “first and only prefabricated classrooms to be pre-verified by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) to meet strict specifications for indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials, waste management, resource conservation and other sustainable prerequisites.” It’s fitting that an Environmental Science Academy takes the lead with classrooms that are healthy for students and kind to the environment as well as being cost-effective to maintain. Nothing gets students’ attention more than when their schools “walk the talk.”

Showing Kids We Care about Fitness This year MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando has launched a new health initiative, Super Health Challenge 1-2-3. MHUSD partnered with Specialized and Kaiser Permanente to invite and inspire not only students, but their families and the entire community to participate in maintaining and improving health through fitness. The idea is to make a personal commitment to exercise 123 minutes (or more) per week, then log fitness activity on the health initiative’s website and track progress toward fitness goals. Participants will be eligible to win prizes. Rather than letting busy schedules push health to the back burner, the goal is to build it into the daily routine for a more balanced, happier, and longer life. Get fit, visit

“We’re not resting on our awards. We keep pushing to innovate and improve. We owe it to the kids.” Chris Moore, Principal, Britton Middle School (MHUSD)

Construction at San Martin/Gwinn Environmental Science Academy




Contractor: D.R.Domenichini Construction Floors, counters and tile from Superior Stone in Gilroy.

Mortgage Strategy


s of this writing interest rates are very low. If you live in the South County, you know home building is exploding, and new home sales are at a 7 year high. You also may have recently heard that the average price of a home in our county has increased for three straight years. When assessing your place in the grand scheme of mortgage information, strategy is something that often gets overlooked. Factoring in all the many variables of lending, the market, your income and location, and your financial goals all need to wrap up into a strategic approach to how you borrow, and what instrument you use. By Jayson Stebbins Mortgage Professional

Jayson Stebbins is a 23 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 56 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

It is not always about the lowest rate. That is more tactical. It isn’t always about on-line lender vs. local service provider. That is more tactical. We always want to step up one level to strategic thinking and that can help drive us to a better set of tactics and choosing our best loan. For example: if someone knows they are only going to be staying in one location for less than 5 years, then the long term family strategy could adopt a lower rate, fixed term mortgage so that they cash flow better in the short term. If someone wants to get out of debt, and they have equity in their home, the power of money and strategic planning would say that cancelling debt at 17% to borrow at 4% makes good sense, depending on the long term plans of the family.

There are lots of examples, but the point here is that every mortgage moment in our lives requires a little bit of thought and planning. Paying points is a conversation that many times is met with an absolute “no way...we don’t want to pay points”. And many times that is the right decision, but what if you recapture your investment in points in under 24 months because of the lower rate you paid for? That means if you are in the house for 10 years, you have 8 years of savings. Plus, points are tax deductible. Adjustable rate loan vs fixed rate loan. Points versus no points. Rolling in closing costs versus paying in cash. Mortgage Insurance versus a first and second combo loan. Paying your taxes and insurance in the payment versus paying them on your own. The mortgage loan process is full of small decisions that are tactical in nature, but all are servants of your loan term financial strategy. Your mortgage Loan Officer should help you answer your strategic questions, before starting into the tactics of getting your loan. Use your Realtor to answer questions for you to help you define the plan. Local professionals want to serve you and your family, and the best way to do that is to help you achieve your long term goals. Buying a home or refinancing involves the biggest debt we will incur. Take time for strategy first, and it will pay off in the long run.

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.




Morgan Hill Historical Society

community DIGEST

Prohibition Party



2016 was a spectacular summer night. Ombibulous guests donned their best 1920s attire, stepped back in time and enjoyed an evening of escape to a more elegant era. The historic Hiram Morgan Hill House was transformed into a speakeasy requiring fellas and dolls to enter through the back with a secret password. Vintage cocktails flowed, fortunes were told and dancing to live 1930s style Dixie Land Jazz music was enjoyed by all. Despite the protesters harassing the party goers with their Prohibition era chants and signs, bimbos, cake-eaters, dames and flappers enjoyed their giggle water with friends old and new.

Future Historical Society Events 47th Annual Founders’ Dinner Saturday, September 17 - 5 pm Morgan Hill Community Center An evening set aside to honor the heritage of those in Morgan Hill residents who have helped shape the community. Wine Tasting — Mann Cellars & Paradise Valley Vineyards Saturdays & Sunday (except Sat 9/17 & Sun 10/30) 12-5 pm Just taste or bring a picnic snack and buy a bottle and enjoy the ambience. Check their website for specific winery availability dates.

Annual Member & Volunteer Appreciation BBQ


thanks its members (440), volunteers (98 active) and community partners (many) for all they do to serve the society and the community. About 80 attended this year’s BBQ dinner held on the lawn of Villa Mira Monte; musical entertainment was provided by Mark “Finny” Fenichel. Despite the sweltering day (107), the evening cooled off and attendees, old and young, enjoyed catching up with each other and discussing society happenings. As an all-volunteer nonprofit, the society relies on community resources to preserve, maintain and operate the site and offer its educational programs. If you would like to get involved, Jean Haneke, Photos (clockwise): Mark Fenichel, Ron & Paul Ward, Erin & Mike Monroe and Mary Malic.




Downtown Gilroy

Amoretto Boutique’s 5th Annual Summer Fashion Show

AMORETTO BOUTIQUE owner Sandra Castenada put on the boutique’s fifth annual summer fashion show with a pre-show cocktail reception inside the boutique. The runway was set up down Martin Street. Fashion show sponsor: Fifth Street Coffee, Fortino’s Winery, IMobile DJ’s, Kutz and Color, Itty Bitty Beauty Boutique, The Milias Restaurant, and Flash of Magic Photography. The models: Sonya Fernandez, Esmeralda Muñiz-Correa, Mindy Marquez, Judy Sipes, Stephanie Vegh, Nikki Dequin, Victoria Rios Sarah Rossi, Melanie Reynisson, and Stacey Mensosa. The Friday night event was a hit with those in the audience.

Fifth Street Live Draws Record Crowd

DOWNTOWN GILROY was buzzing with new energy as Moveable Feast came to town on Friday nights in conjunction with the Fifth Street Live concert series. Ten gourmet food trucks lined Gourmet Alley and Fifth Street as thousands of attendees visited the events.  Downtown businesses reaped the rewards of having new visitors to Downtown and extended their hours and offered specials in conjunction with the event calendar.  Fifth Street Live closed in August but will be back next summer.

Johnathan’s Dream


(Niemann-Pick Type C.) For the last few years Fortino Winery has hosted an event for Johnathan. This year on July 9th, they hosted a Tri-tip Dinner and Raffle. Proceeds help with Johnathan’s care and treatment. Children with Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NPC) lack a protein that the body needs to break down fats and cholesterol within cells. As a result, these substances build up in cells, causing progressive damage to the brain, liver, lungs, and other organs. Symptoms most often begin to appear between ages 4 and 10. Johnathan is currently being treated at UCSF and just completed his 36th spinal infusion! Johnathan is doing better and is looking forward to next year’s event at Fortino Winery on July 8, 2017. Readers can follow Johnathan’s progress on Facebook at Johnathan’s Dream or at Johnathan Spencer. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Kirigin Cellars

community DIGEST

The Concours at Kirigin Valley


2016, and is hosting several events throughout the year in honor of this special occasion. On April 24, Kirigin held a Spring Open House.  This celebratory event featured wine tasting, live music, soccer, cricket, and archery demos and lessons, all against a gorgeous backdrop of flowers in full bloom.  On Sunday June 26 the winery hosted The Concours at Kirigin Valley. The annual car show featured food, wine and 90 classic cars on display across ten acres of cricket lawns. Attendees enjoyed delicious barbecue from Blue Rock BBQ and live music from JJ Hawg.  To round off the Centennial celebrations, Kirigin will host a Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 11th from 11 am to 4 pm with food, live music and harvest festivities.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

In Memory of Jack Rymers

By Pastor Ronald E. Koch,

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church


A PHOTO, AN IDEA, A CARVING, A GIFT THERE IS A STORY BEHIND THIS GIFT. It begins with a photo I took while visiting in Germany several years ago. What attracted me was the door of the little church in Euskirken near Cologne. Over the door was a carved stone depiction of a shepherd leading a herd of sheep. That picture made a perfect screen-saver background for my office computer. Several years ago when Jack Rymers was visiting my office, he noticed the screen-saver and said that he had a friend who could probably make a wood carving based on that picture. I didn’t think too much more about the idea at that time. The time was not right. When Jack died in October of 2015, many people gave memorial gifts to honor him. Jack had been a long-time shop teacher at Gilroy High School. Jack’s widow, Norma, came to me with some ideas of what to do with those gifts to remember Jack. The mention of a wood carving jogged my memory to that earlier conversation I’d had with Jack. I suggested that such a wood carving might be a fitting memorial to Jack. Norma agreed, and Bob Fowler set to work. The carving was installed and dedicated on August 14, 2016.



Edward Boss Prado Foundation


“Evening in Venice” Gala was held at a gorgeous private Morgan Hill estate. 125 guests were welcomed with a belini during the event’s social hour. They could either taste wines from Emma Lily, Aver Family Vineyards, Leal/ Sycamore Creek and Fernwood or they could partake of one of four specialty cocktails sponsored by Rosy’s at the Beach – Ponzini Drop, Dignity Manhattan, Boss Martini or Cecelia Cosmo. During an absolutely fabulous meal prepared by Fire for Hire, Jayson Stebbins masterfully auctioned off some great trips and treasures. Cecelia and the Foundation deeply appreciate the many generous gala sponsors and attendees who provided resources that will be used to empower people in need.

City of Morgan Hill Sister City

Mizuho, Japan

ON JULY 2, 2016, THE MORGAN HILL SISTER CITIES organization hosted an

outdoor reception and program for the mayor and delegation from their sister city Mizuho, Japan. The sister city relationship dates back to 2006 when Dennis Kennedy and others from Morgan Hill visited Mizuho. Mayor Ishizuka wanted the relationship to focus on student exchanges. In 2008-2009 the cities exchanged students. Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in 2011 prompted both Morgan Hill and Mizuho to provide aid to the stricken areas, a seven and half hour drive. Mizuho sent volunteers, raised monies and adopted a kindergarten class. Morgan Hill also raised funds and the South Valley Quilt Association provided baby quilts to those in need. In 2012 the student exchange started up again and continues to this day. Morgan Hill and Mizuho know this program will continue fostering relationships between the people of the two communities, one person at a time.




community DIGEST

Leadership Morgan Hill Excellence Award

Honoring Joe Aiello

Karl Bjarke, President, Leadership Morgan HIll presented Excellence Award to Joe Aiello with past recipients (l-r) Roger Knopf, Gene Guglielmo, Gary Guglielmo, George Chiala, Mike Robino, Mike Cox, Rosy Bergin and Dana Ditmore looking on. THE LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD recognizes vision and leadership that advances the spirit of community and charity; reflect courage and insight, and inspire others to lead in a like manner. Each year, Leadership Morgan Hill honors an individual who has shown this type of leadership. This year, the recipient of the Excellence Award is Joe Aiello. In addition to his continuing success at Uesugi Farms, Joe serves on the prestigious Western Growers Association (WGA) board, supporting the agriculture industry, and on committees to resolve water, labor and transportation issues. He supports the WGA School Garden match program, establishing and enriching the school gardens at San Martin-Gwinn, St. Catherine’s and Oakwood schools. The program also provides field trips for elementary school students to learn about Uesugi’s farming operations and agriculture in general.

Joe and his wife, Katie Aiello with their son Pete and and his friend, Tami King.




Dr. Jernell Escobar Covering All the Bases

Dental Health

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7880 Wren Avenue Suite D-142 Gilroy • 408-847-2658




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From the moment you walk into the “waiting room” you are made to feel welcome. The staff is welcoming and professional and Dr. Escobar is the best. She takes her time, doesn’t rush, and completes the necessary work without any discomfort!

Deanna Franklin




Proud to be your recycling and garbage service provider

1351 Pacheco Pass Hwy Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 842-3358 Remember to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

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3/27/2015 2:52:02 PM

Sunday, September 18 1-4 pm

Celebrating Five Year Anniversary

The community is invited to join in the celebration of fun activities and $5 promotional items the whole week leading up to the party. More information at 17415 Monterey Rd., Ste. B, Morgan Hill CA 95037




Gavilan’s Inviting, Living Classrooms

By Jan Janes


Keeping the Williams tradition alive, a new native garden has been planted. With guidance from instructors, students worked this past year to clear an area on the east side of the Life Science building. Drip irrigation was installed, then covered with mulch. A variety of California plants were planted and labeled, illustrating the variety of native specimens. Adjacent to the garden, planter boxes line the slopeside trees, the contents of bins with varying levels of composted material are turned, and mounded beds hold an array of pots nurturing plant and tree starts. Instructors use the area for formal classes, students test their experiments and the area attracts local wildlife.

A Western swallowtail butterfly (papilio rutulus) finds nectar in the native gardens.




ucked into the eastern edge of the Santa Cruz coast range, its trees almost obscuring its buildings from sight along Highway 101, the Gavilan College main campus enjoys a pastoral setting that embraces its surroundings and nurtures native wildlife. Wild turkeys raise their young, swallows arrive in the spring, bales of turtles share the ponds with ducks, deer wander down from the hills to graze. The campus offers a living laboratory in which students observe, learn and interact while studying life sciences. The park-like setting is also a haven for the community’s early morning runners and evening dog-walkers. The original landscape was designed and planted by Watsonville grower Ray Williams in the mid 1960s as the new campus was constructed. He chose native and drought tolerant trees and plants that would thrive in California’s dry summer, Mediterranean-type climate. Chile, South Africa and parts of Australia share similar climates, and he propagated plants from those regions. Mature trees originally planted by Williams can be seen adjacent to classrooms and walkways throughout campus. They are labeled with small signs indicating the year of planting, scientific and common names, family and geographic origin. The Gavilan College Arboretum opened in 2013 and was renamed The Ray Williams Arboretum at Gavilan College in 2014 to honor the landscaper whose vision continues to grow.


Just beyond the new native garden, a four foot orange web of fencing rose along walkways this spring. Delineating slightly less than an acre of land, the existing grassy slopes between the lower pond and the Life Science building will be replaced with native grasses and plants. The turf grass has been sprayed, mulched, then the sprinklers turned off through Gilroy’s hot, dry summer, which will prepare the site for meadow plants. Designed by landscape architect Tanaka Design Group and John Greenlee, an expert in grass and sedge design, the area will be planted with native grasses and plants in the fall, in tandem with the rainy season and participation with students. A sampling of plants in the meadow design includes Artemisia californica, Ceanothus maritimus, Lupinus albinfrons, Lavandula canariensis, Ribes malvaceum and Juncus patens. Once established, the meadow will thrive with seasonal rainfall .


From the beginning, a landscape of sustainable plants and trees shaped the Gavilan College campus. Almost 50 years later, the current faculty and students still follow the footsteps of plantsman Ray Williams, expanding the ecosystem and outdoor, living classrooms. For a map and listing of trees in the Ray Williams Gavilan College Arboretum, go to arboretum/



Queen Kyle at first flame up of the day, and with Chanel Lucid (8 years old) who had been designated as the pageant’s junior princess. She plans to be a contestant in 2026 when she’s eligible.

A Day in the Life of a Garlic Festival Queen Written By J. Chris Mickartz


e met up with the Queen Kyle Perez-Robinson and her court at 8 am at the Princess Palace – the name of the motorhome provided by Jeanine Koloski, Assistant Chair Children’s Area. From 8 to 9 am, the girls prepped for their day; making sure every hair was in place and sashes in order. Queen Pageant Chair, Lauren Mantani (who looks like she could be one of the girls — only the lack of a crown and red festival shirt set her apart) went over the schedule to let the girls know what to expect. The mood was light and cheery with last-minute curling iron exchanges, selfies and small talk. One of the girls practiced her speech for the dinner they were to attend that evening. To the casual observer, they would appear to be a group of best friends who had known each other for many years. As we strolled over to their first assignment, the lighting of the garlic


bulb, I had the opportunity to discuss the festival with Queen Kyle. “I’m really excited, I’ve never really seen the festival from this side; I’m usually a volunteer, either helping my mother in her booth at the Arts & Crafts area or working in Gourmet Alley for the high school choir. It will be fun to see it from a different angle,” she said. Kyle’s best friend (since second grade) Brittini Bombino is one of her princesses. Neither girl had told the other of her plan to apply for the Garlic Festival scholarship pageant. This fall, Brittini is attending the prestigious AMDA (American Musical Drama Academy) in Hollywood, CA, and Kyle will be attending Stanford University in Palo Alto. It was through SKYPE that the subject came up and they found out that they had both applied. Once they realized they would be taking this journey together, the pageant and all its trimmings seemed just a little less of a challenge, and more of a bonding adventure.



While “having it all” is something most of us only lust after, Kyle, at the young age of 23, just does. She’s bright, attractive, talented and self-disciplined. At Stanford, she is majoring in Human Biology (concentration in the biological and social determinants of maternal and infant health) and has applied for a Co-Term Masters program in Community Health & Prevention Research. Kyle spent the summer working in a research lab studying language acquisition in lowincome Spanish-speaking communities, the result of which is a program that teaches mothers alternative ways of talking to kids to improve the quality of their speech. Data and research will help Latino parents in “how to influence their children to succeed when in school.” She is also working on a series of children’s books in Spanish — to help parents communicate with their smaller children. The lab was run by Anne Fernald.

For the Garlic Festival Queen and her court, the morning started with a stop at Starbucks for coffee and Nob Hill/Raley’s for supplies in their official festival van. Once at the festival, they prepped for their day before heading over to the lighting of the torch and the opening day activities.

The 40-hour weekly commitment made it a little “difficult” because some of her pre-festival duties required long commutes during rush hour traffic. But she enjoyed them all. In addition to her studies at Stanford, Kyle is very active in the arts. She is on the executive board of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society serving as the theatrical resources manager for props and costumes and as an assistant costume designer for their spring show, “Rent.” She was also an actress in two other productions during the past twelve months. During her time at Stanford, she’s sung in the choir (although not this last year) and has sung the national anthem at various Stanford sporting events. Kyle would like to take some time off between going for her PhD or MD program to travel and live abroad for a year.

Queen Kyle Perez-Robinson with her court: Alrene Garnica, Brittini Bombino, Jasmine Cruz, Julia Chizanskos, Angelique Lucero, Amber Harding, Marille Gomez with Queen Pageant Chair Lauren Mantani and Assistant Chair, Katie Alatorre.




Photo ops were abundant as the queens made their way from the Lighting of the Torch to the Flame-Up in Gourmet Alley where the girls received instructions on what to do and not do as they prepped for their 30 second career as pyro chefs. Gourmet Alley Co-Chair, Craig Miner, provided comic relief, telling the girls they would need to wear hair nets. Panic could be seen on their faces as they chanted “oh, no.” Instead, hair was put into pony’s, each helping the other (serving as mirrors) to make sure they looked OK with their new hairdos. Two groups of four were formed, anxiety was high but their can-do spirits won out as they took on the task of providing the festival goers the first flame-ups of the day. “I’m not good at this, there’s a reason why pyro chefs have done this for 30 years,” said Kyle as she grabbed the long narrow handle of the very large pan and attempted to flip its contents. Although very apprehensive over the whole process, she was a trooper, noting that the pan wasn’t necessarily all that heavy but the handle was small and hot; making the flipping difficult. As for the flame-up, maybe next time.




Kyle with her family:

Brother Sam Woolsey Parents Joann & Mike Grandmother Mary Anna Perez

As for the next two days of the festival, she noted: “I’m thrilled for two more days, so much fun.”

Toughest part of the day: “The flame-up. It was difficult but very memorable.”

At end of day, the queen and her court attended Don Christopher’s 60 Years In the Garlic Industry dinner at CordeValle Countrry Club. For Kyle, a wonderful end to a great day. When asked about her day and what she felt was the best part, she said “everything was so amazing.” Although very tired, she noted that she was overwhelmed at the energy and importance of the festival to so many. “Don Christopher and his involvement, I’m just so impressed and encouraged to see how someone can be so successful doing what he loves and then giving back so much to the community, she noted.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN





Downsized? Laid Off? Will You Be Prepared?


here have been some rather large economic downturns in the past two decades. These recessions have taught many the importance of a sufficient emergency fund to meet the financial demands of a job loss. lf you are one of the lucky ones who did not lose your job in one of those recessions, you might be wondering how large your emergency reserve should be. Traditionally financial planners have recommended a fund equal to 3 to 6 months’ expenses, and in the ‘70s and ‘80s this typically would have been enough. But since the ‘80s, a much higher percentage of those who lost their jobs have been out of work for more than 5 months, which calls for a larger reserve of funds. For example, in 2010, following the last great recession, the average duration of unemployment was 8 months. Some important points to consider in determining your emergency fund needs:

Make an accurate accounting of your monthly expenses. Start by looking over your bank and credit card statements for the past 12 months, then add the cost of health insurance, if it is currently provided by your employer. Remember that while you are unemployed, you will need to pay for your own health insurance. Once you have that number; subtract expenses that can be considered as unnecessary or optional, like dining out, gym memberships, or entertainment. 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.


Assess your employment situation. Do you have a stable employment situation, like that of a government employee or a tenured college professor? lf this is the case, you could opt for a smaller financial cushion. In contrast, people in commission sales, entrepreneurs, consultants and construction workers, should consider a larger reserve fund to help get them through particularly volatile periods.

Calculating the amount of your emergency reserve will depend on where you work. lf you and your spouse work for different employers, you can get by with a smaller emergency fund, based on the salary of the higher wage earner, than if your spouse works for the same employer that you do. In the latter case, you have an increased chance that both jobs could be lost at the same time, if your employer decides to downsize.

Consider income level, job specialization and any other job limiting factors, as these can lengthen unemployment. lf you or your spouse have a specialized skill set, it may take longer for either of you to find work at your previous income.

Are there other factors that should be considered? Do you have a job that is inherently unstable? Do you have a number of dependents? Are you a single parent? Are you able to rebuild your emergency fund quickly, or will it take some time? Any or all of these situations would make it essential to place more money in reserves.

The emergency fund should also include money for a one-time emergency expense, such as a costly home or auto repair. Water heaters start leaking and car crashes happen, even when you are unemployed. Having thoughtfully considered how much emergency reserve you need for your situation, now it’s time to take the next step. Start building your financial cushion so that you will be better prepared for the unexpected. Life may throw you a curveball from time to time. lt is important to plan your life with life’s uncertainties in mind.

Registered Representative of, and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. (HTK). Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC, 16845 Von Karman Ave, Ste. 225 Irvine, CA 92606 (949)754-1700. IFIT is independent of HTK. CA Lic #0C49291



How much to save daily for a downpayment


or homebuyers, especially first-time ones, the scariest part of purchasing a home is putting together the down payment. The down payment has become an Everestsized mountain they need to climb to reach their dreams of homeownership. In these days of rising home prices, it seems harder than ever to pull together the amount of money needed to get yourself into a new place. has estimated just how much you would need to save per day based on the area where you live or would like to purchase a home. The big lump sum you will need is easier to grasp when you break it down into daily savings. For example, let’s look at San Francisco’s median price (one of the top 15 regions included in the estimates) and you can adjust it by the Bay Area region you live in. We are using the average percentage that buyers in those areas put down on a home. Using those figures, we calculated the typical down payment for the city or area. Next, we figured out how much potential buyers need to save each day toward a down payment, over five- and 10-year timelines, to reach their goal. (We’re making the big assumption that home prices and subsequent down payment percentages remain unchanged over that time.) In saving for your down payment you will be preparing yourself to be up to the task of paying the monthly mortgage, your insurance, your property taxes, maintenance [costs], and what we like to call your emergency fund for emergency repairs. The recommendation is for buyers to take all their tax refunds and bonuses and put them away for their down payment. If you stop going to Starbucks to save, be sure you actually put that money away daily to benefit your savings. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Median home price:  $875,000 Average down payment:  21.8% ($190,750) Daily saving goal (5 years):  $104.46 Daily saving goal (10 years): $ 52.23

There’s no easy way to say this: Buying an abode in San Francisco or the Bay Area isn’t cheap. Some good news: While it remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S., in June we started to see higher-priced homes flying off the market just a wee bit slower than before—perhaps a sign that the tide is finally turning somewhat. Still, buyers shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for prices to soften on the city’s “affordable” residences. If you are in the South County region of Santa Clara County the median price is lower. This is a guideline you can adjust for the type of home you are saving for. It seems a long time to save but if you start now and put all extra money away in a separate savings account it will grow fast and can become a fun experience to see it grow. Birthday money or cash gifts can make it grow even faster. There are other programs that can help you get into a home for as little as 3.5%. Right now there are many loan programs available to make home buying a reality so talk with your lender or call me or your realtor and we can help you through the process and set you up with a good loan agent to get you pre-approved. That is the first step when you are ready. Get ready and SAVE!!!! June

Fast Facts

Morgan Hill















Active (Homes on the Market) Homes Sold Average Days on the Market Sale to List Ratio

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

South County Fitness: Hot Yoga and Beyond

Healing Body, Mind and Soul Written By Robin Shepherd Wendy Mosgrove, Founder & Owner Beyond Yoga Studios of Morgan Hill and Gilroy Bikram





endy Mosgrove was skeptical yet intrigued when a neighbor told her how “hot yoga” had changed her sister’s life for the better. Wendy decided to give it a try. What happened at her first yoga class would have made most people grab their mats and run. “The room was extremely hot and it smelled,” Wendy said. “I was on the verge of vomiting for the entire ninetyminute class. I had already committed to a series of classes; otherwise I would have bowed out. I had to see it through.” For the record, Wendy is a consummate career athlete. She devoted 14 years to classical ballet including work with the Hartford and Connecticut ballet companies. She spent more than 20 years as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer, working at Jane Fonda’s Workout in San Francisco and other health clubs, and as a Fitness Director for the SF Marina Health Club and Princess Cruise Lines. As for her motivation, Wendy was hoping that hot yoga, which has its roots in the Bikram yoga methodology, would help with some chronic back and neck pain as well as some issues with depression and insomnia. Her perseverance paid off. She soon started to regain full range of motion in her joints and her pain subsided. She was sleeping better at night and no longer felt the need for anti-depressant medication. Needless to say, she was hooked. Something was spurring her on to explore yoga at a deeper level. And so, at 52, Wendy became one of the oldest students enrolled in Bikram Yoga of India Teacher Training. At first, she wasn’t sure that she would make it through the program. “We did 120-minute classes twice a day, six days a week, for nine weeks. It was intense but I soon started to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.” Improving her practice of yoga was rewarding but Wendy still felt drawn to something deeper. “At a certain point in life we begin to reflect on our work and we want to give something back. With yoga, I had found my calling. I decided to open my own studio to share the benefits of yoga with others. I realized that everything I had done earlier in my career prepared me for this step.”

Wendy graduated from her teacher training in 2009, she invested her life savings to open up Bikram Yoga Morgan Hill in 2011. She obtained a construction loan to renovate a space in downtown Gilroy and opened Bikram Yoga Gilroy in 2015. “It’s uncanny, but from the moment I walked in to teach my first class, I felt this deep sense of love for my work, and for my students. When I teach, I feel the Holy Spirit working through me.” Wendy is meticulous in training her staff and providing instruction that balances safety with proper yoga postures, breathing and movement. Postures with names like half-moon, cobra, eagle and standing bow can be challenging to the novice but with consistent practice, young and old can learn and benefit from yoga. Wendy encourages all of her students to push themselves a little, to test their limits and grow. As Wendy describes it, heat and proper breathing are vital to the practice of hot yoga. Warm muscles are more relaxed, allowing a deeper stretch. This, along with deep breathing, opens up the veins and capillaries, increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to organs, glands, muscles and tendons. Heat also encourages the body to sweat, which releases toxins, while regulating body temperature. Always mindful of the things she disliked about her first experience with yoga, Wendy has gone beyond the traditional bikram methodology – providing some classes of a shorter duration and with less heat – while staying true to the breathing and postures. “By giving people more options, I’m making yoga accessible to more people, including older adults and kids.” Wendy has added variety to her program with “hot pilates,” a complement to yoga that works the body’s core abdominal and gluteal muscles; and Zumba, a great workout to Latin music that she described as “not too dancey.” She also plans to add Vinyasa (non-hot) yoga classes this fall. She has also invested in special air filtration and flooring in her studios to maintain an uber clean and healthy environment for her staff and students. “I want to offer something for everyone at our Morgan Hill and Gilroy studios,



and I want them to be comfortable while they are here.” She recently rebranded her business as Beyond Yoga Studios to reflect a broader focus. Clearly proud of her staff, Wendy added “I’m very picky about who I hire. I look at their technical skill but I also look for people who have a sense of humility and the capacity to be kind and loving. When you teach from a place of love, people feel it.” At the end of each class, Wendy’s gaze travels across the room as she says, “Peace be with you. God is with you always. Namaste.”

“I chose yoga as a way to jumpstart a new fitness regime. It’s a great workout, even in the middle of a busy work day. I can almost feel the toxins leaving my body and I have this sense of well-being after class.” Heidi Cayton

Since I took up yoga almost four years ago, I’ve lost fifteen pounds, and increased my flexibility, muscle mass and balance. Yoga’s benefits have carried over into other parts of my life. I’m more focused, less distracted, and I’m dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.” Stan Mucha


Hwy 101 at Cochrane Road I Morgan Hill

Something For Everyone!



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lans will start revealing their changes and new plans as early as October 1st. Be on the lookout for what changes your plan will have.


This comes in the form of a letter called:

Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC letter)

The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January. Review any changes to decide whether the plan will continue to meet your needs in the next year. If you don’t get this important document, contact your plan.   If your medication or health needs have changed through the year, you might find that the current plan you’re on isn’t meeting your needs. This would be the time to change that plan. If you feel overwhelmed by the choices available or even how to decide which plan to move to, it’s best to seek out an Independent Agent who can help you determine which plan is best suited for your needs. There is no cost to you to use an agent. You can also follow the same tips below for a person turning 65, on how to determine what plan is right for you.

Turning 65? Welcome to Medicare!

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.

How do you know which Medicare plan to choose? • Medicare Supplement plan • Medicare Advantage plan • Part D plan Choosing a plan can be a daunting process when you start reading all the material that’s out there. It is complex and if you make the wrong choice, you have to live with it for the remainder of that calendar year, in most cases. Medicare is confusing at first, but once you understand the basics, it’s easier to understand as you use it. If you need help with learning about Medicare, an Agent is one of the best ways to understand how it all works. If you want to do some of your own research, here are some things to consider when choosing a plan:

1 2

3 4

Tips For Choosing A Medicare Plan At 65 you can enroll in Medicare for the first time. Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birth month and ends three months after your 65th birthday. You have a total of 7 months to enroll in Medicare.



5 6

Research which plans are available in your area? • Check out the website or use the current “Medicare and You” Handbook. • What is the Star Rating for the plan? Do you need a separate drug plan (Part D) or is it included in your plan (Advantage plan)? • Are your prescribed medications covered under the plan? • What pharmacies can you use or who are the preferred pharmacies? • Do they offer mail order service? What are your out of pocket costs? • Premiums, deductibles, co-pays? • Hospital costs? • Diagnostic testing? • What is your maximum out-of-pocket cost? Does your doctor(s) or hospital accept that plan?  • Do they take Medicare? • Are they in network? • Do you need a referral to see a specialist? How well does the plan cover other needs? • Vision coverage? • Dental coverage? • Transportation? Does the plan provide coverage when you’re out of the country?



Fortino Winery &Event Center ☑ with EXPERIENCE ☑ who will LISTEN to all ☑ with GOOD JUDGMENT ☑ who can be TRUSTED Have your special event personally coordinated by our dedicated wedding specialist.


Beautiful Redwood Terrace, surrounded by vineyards. Elegant bridal suite In house catering– Italian cuisine Award winning wines 4525 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, Ca 95020 408.842.3305

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Case Study:

A Lifesaving Discovery By Tom Dinette, CEO - Simmitri, Inc.

Pamela Garcia, Founder, Simmitri. 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. 408.779.3333

Simmitri’s Solar Home Energy Assessment Revealed a Fatal Flaw in a Customer’s Heating System  


ark and Margaret Stodger were informed that their newlypurchased home would need a roof replacement. Being environmentally conscious, they knew that they were going to take the opportunity to “Go Solar” as well. They wanted to have the entire roof, solar, and energy storage project completed by one company. Based on a business referral from one of their neighbors, Mark and Margaret decided to schedule a consultation with Simmitri. Once the Stodgers made the decision to move forward with the solar project, the comprehensive energy assessment was scheduled. During the assessment, Simmitri’s energy efficiency building performance analysts discovered a carbon monoxide leak caused by a cracked heat exchanger in the furnace. This discovery saved the Stodgers from what would have been a lifethreatening situation in their new home!  Carbon monoxide is often called the “silent killer” because it is capable of taking a life before its victim is aware they are at risk. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air. When a person breathes in carbon monoxide, the amount of oxygen carried to the cells decreases, essentially suffocating each blood cell. On average, more than 400 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning produced by non-automotive appliances. The number of people who experience health problems related to carbon monoxide exposure is estimated at 30,000 per year. The possible short-term effects include nausea, confusion, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.



Potential long-term effects include chronic headaches, increased risk of heart disease, and early dementia. Mark and Margaret’s new home was producing upwards of 541 parts per million concentration of carbon monoxide in the air. At this level, three hours of exposure could have been life threatening!  After our assessment, Margaret told us “If I had to move, I would do the energy audit again just to understand my house. We had to replace the furnace; that’s fine, but thankfully that’s the worst that happened.”  Very few Solar Energy companies acknowledge the need for a comprehensive energy assessment before designing a solar system. Even fewer conduct them. Simmitri, however, takes this part of the solar process very seriously. During the energy assessment, a health and safety test is performed on all gas-fired appliances to ensure that the gas is being released from the home properly. The health and safety test is vital in identifying the level of carbon monoxide that is being produced when these appliances are running. Simmitri has found in practice, not just in theory, that an energy assessment is essential in the design of an efficient solar system and the safety and well-being of homeowners.  

BOTTOM LINE: Simmitri encourages all customers who are looking at different solar companies to choose one that understands the vital importance of the “whole home” approach to solar. It may just save a life.


411 Woodview Avenue Morgan Hill, CA 408.782.8883

Andrea & Jim Habing

Coming Home Written By J. Chris Mickartz

Virginia & Fred Wood


ndrea Habing, with her husband Jim, defy the old adage that “you can’t go home again.” After living in a number of homes throughout the community over the years, they decided to remodel the former Gilroy home of Andrea’s deceased parents, Fred and Virgina Wood. Then Andrea and Jim moved back home! Fred and Virginia Wood had purchased the ranch style home back in 1962, before


it was completed. The road in front of the home was not yet a reality and it faced a vacant lot, but somehow they knew that it was the place where they wanted to raise their three daughters, Loni, Angel and Andrea. Fred had just accepted a position with the City of Gilroy as the City Administrator, a job he held for 15 years before retiring. Purchased basically with a handshake, the 2,382 square foot home, built by Morton and Fortino Contractors,



cost them $24,000. Fast forward to today, Andrea and Jim Habing, are enjoying life in the familyhome, having remodeled it from top to bottom. Her journey home has taken many turns, although all within the confines of her home town, Gilroy – except for her time in college. It was in college that she asked a fellow Gilroyan to her college graduation party, which led to a proposal and in July of 1984 she married

Jim Habing. Jim’s family has owned and operated the Habing Family Funeral Home since 1943. Today, Jim and his brother, Steve and sister, Diane, continue to run the family business. Andrea followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a realtor but eventually joined the Habing family funeral business. Jim and Andrea have moved several times, owning and remodeling a number of homes in Gilroy. Their most recent

and longest home ownership was their 15-year Eagle Ridge stay. While they enjoyed the community and the friends they made during that time, they decided that after their children, AJ and Alyssa, left for college, they would downsize. The Wood family home was a great option. Walking through the home one can see that the remodeling was thoughtful, well executed and truly a labor of love. The almost- finished project is a



warm, nostalgic tribute to the home that Andrea grew up in. Local contractor Hewell & Sheedy handled the construction. The front door was repositioned, walls removed to provide a more open concept for the living, dining and kitchen areas. Jenny Derry Designs worked with Andrea and Jim to remodel the kitchen and choose finishes throughout the house. Beautiful oak hard wood floors, both original to the


house and new were blended throughout the home. Soft, inviting colors and comfortable furniture make the home a warm, inviting place for family and friends. The front gate opens onto a welcoming courtyard with a koi pond and seating area. Going in the repositioned front door, one gets a feeling of playful elegance in the large formal living room with the placement of a baby grand piano and a turquoise crocodile sculpture underneath. A small game table with chairs reminds Andrea of the addition her parents made to the house to accommodate their bridge playing. A beautiful painting of the




Habing children and one of Andrea and her two sisters, as children, completes the space. The kitchen/dining 1960s era dark cabinets are gone, making way for a modern open concept kitchen so popular today. Under the window, where the front door used to be, is a long granite counter by Superior Stone of Gilroy that serves as an office and music station. The farmhouse style sink and large island create a spacious, easy place for gatherings, food prep and family dining. From the TV area one enters another comfortable and covered outside seating area decorated with whimsy and elegance. Beyond are

the pool and out door seating areas. There are three bedrooms, the master and two guest rooms. One of the rooms has become the “everything” room…wine storage, exercise equipment, collection display and small office. The master is complete with an en-suite and faces the pool area. A side door leads to a nice, relaxing side yard, vegetable garden and pool access. Andrea points out that the house is very animal friendly, for which their three small dogs, Lulu, Lola and Linus, are very thankful. In the backyard, a pool — put in by Charlie Quaterolle back in the 60’s — stands in front of a small playhouse that



was built by Andrea’s grandfather when she was five. She says the space has been used for many things — a playhouse, changing room and a rock shop back in the days when she had a Poppy Jasper and rock collection which she would sell to the neighbors. Another covered outside dining/BBQ area finishes off the yard. Next on the Habing to-do list is the remodel of the backyard. Karen Aitken of Aitken Associates Landscape Architects is working with them to transform the original backyard into an entertainment oasis complete with spa and multiple sitting areas. The Habing home is a comfortable and elegant home with multiple gathering spots inside and out. There is a welcoming feeling to this place…or as Andrea likes to say, “It feels good to come home.”



Update. Renovate. Celebrate.

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(408) 663-5022 | * APR = Annual Percentage Rate. APR can vary and is based on Prime Rate plus a margin of 0.00% to +5.00% based on credit rating. The APR is subject to change on the 10th of each month, based on changes to Prime Rate, the highest Prime Rate published in the Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the 20th of the prior month. Minimum APR 4%, maximum APR 18%. Up to 80% CLTV with loan amounts of $10,000 to $500,000. 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period. During the draw period, you may withdraw (advance) funds up to your credit line limit and pay interest accrued on that balance monthly. After the draw period, you may not withdraw any more funds from the line. Your loan is then amortized and you begin to pay the principal and interest monthly. There are no loan processing or early closure fees and no prepayment penalty. You may need to pay certain fees to third parties to open the loan. These fees generally total between $450 and $1,500. If you ask we will provide you with an itemization of the fees you will have to pay to third parties. Rates, terms and conditions are effective as of publication date and are subject to change without notice. Loans are available for owner-occupied properties in the state of California only. On approved credit. CommonWealth Central Credit Union membership is required prior to loan funding, and is available to almost anyone. NMLS ID #458544. FEDERALLY INSURED BY NCUA






with Sherry Hemingway

The Goldfinch: A Novel Author Donna Tartt


his intriguing book is a bit of a commitment. At 771 pages, it is not only daunting, but it is also not casual summer reading fare. Among its several honors, The Goldfinch earned the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013. At one point I marveled at a perfectly-crafted sentence that was a full page in length. It deserved that amount of space. In short, The Goldfinch is a novel you settle in with when you have the time for a good, long read. The story launches with a jolt. An art-savvy mother and her young son are browsing the galleries in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. They pause at one of her favorites, The Goldfinch, a bird painting done by Rembrandt’s pupil Carel Fabritius in 1654. Within minutes, a terrorist’s bomb guts the museum, resulting in massive destruction and loss of life. In that moment, 13-year-old Theo Decker loses his mother and his world. The boy, the painting and tragedy become inextricably bonded.

Orphaned Theo narrowly avoids the foster system when he is taken in by a wealthy society family, only to be yanked to Las Vegas by his flim-flam father, who had abandoned him and his mother. Theo is a young, traumatized child turned loose in the world with little adult guidance and considerable negative influences around him. The book is written almost as a series of short novels as Theo moves through the eras of his life, from New York society, to seamy Las Vegas, back to a different New York, and eventually into the international underworld of stolen art. Theo is a damaged child who gets no counseling, and in a maelstrom of good and bad influences, becomes a little bit of both. He grows up to be charming, dishonest and beset with unwise choices. The Goldfinch is Donna Tartt’s third novel and was 11 years in the making. Clearly her focus was on developing fascinating characters that pull the reader into becoming invested with each one. A

long book can deliver that depth. This is a book that the reader is unlikely to set aside, because they must find the answer to the question throughout the novel: How will this end? (Spoiler Alert: Even redemption can be complicated.) 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.

AAUW Gilroy Fiction Book Club RECENT FAVORITES Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Maisie Dobbs (series) by Jacqueline Winspear

The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (series) by Alexander McCall Smith

Founded more than a half century ago, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) fiction book club in Gilroy has 21 members including (1st row, left to right) Carol Smith, Susan Sterchi, Marian Yoder; (2nd row, left to right) Sabra Dupree, Kathy Earnshaw, Connie Doty, Bonnie Carrol, Donna Pettit and Margie Enger. Instead of everyone selecting and reading a single book, each member reviews the book they personally are reading to inspire others to borrow their copy and enjoy reading it.



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett


Keeping Johnny Busy Article Brought To You By:


oredom can be a dangerous thing, both for child’s developing mind and for your sanity. No matter what age or stage, keeping kids busy and active boosts physical and cognitive development. Here are some fun ideas that will keep your child entertained and give you a bit of a breather:

Up to 2 Years

Ages 3-5

Splashing Around Children this young haven’t yet fully mastered their fine motor skills, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t activities that will keep them busy. The world is still a brand new place to them. Something as simple as water will hold your toddler’s attention for hours. Just be sure to supervise him the whole time. Even a small amount of water can be dangerous! Fill a large bin or a water table with water and an assortment of plastic cups, balls, squirt toys, and other water-friendly objects, and let your toddler splash around. The sensation of moving the water around and playing with the toys will hold his fascination, and all you have to do is sit back and watch. If weather prevents you from playing outside, set your toddler on a chair or footstool and appoint him as your little dishwasher. As he plays with sponges, suds, cups, and plastic dishware, he’ll not only have a good time playing, but feel proud that he’s helping you clean. You can even promote him to cook if you need to get dinner going by filling a pot with water and having him make “soup” with his toys and some spoons.

Indoor Fort Building a fort of blankets and pillows is a guaranteed fun time. Once your child has her fort made, have her decorate the interior to give her fort that personal touch. You can even have her make animals out of paper and cardboard or use her favorite stuffed toys and pretend to be on safari. Whichever way she chooses to make her fort special, she’ll be keeping busy and strengthening her imagination.

Snack Time Surprise Make snack time an adventure by filling bowls with different textured foods, like linguini noodles, crackers, fruit, and cereal. You can even include mushy foods like applesauce or oatmeal if you don’t mind the mess. Cover the bowls with a box and cut an arm sized hole in the middle. Then let your toddler reach in to find her food. This makes for some great sensory play. It may get messy (and gross!), but your toddler will be sure to have a great time touching, squeezing, and eating her food. Mess-Free Painting Bring out your child’s inner artist! Fill a Ziploc bag with two or three colors of paint (and glitter if you want that extra dazzle). Secure the bag to a window with painter’s tape and let your toddler have at it. He’ll stay fascinated with the feel of moving the paint around and watching the colors mix, and you won’t have a big mess to clean up afterwards!



Lil’ Filmmaker Use your iPad or smartphone to help your child make a movie. Film him as he plays with his favorite toys or makes his own characters out of Play-doh or clay. Not only will he have a blast making the film, he’ll love watching it over and over again. Who knows, you might be paving the way to a promising film career! Yardwork Helper If you like to garden or you just need to get rid of some weeds, have your child join in. Set aside a small patch of soil, or a planter filled with dirt, and let her dig to her heart’s content while you work. Help her plant something, whether it’s flowers or fruit and vegetable seeds. She’ll have a great time digging and learning all about nature.

Ages 6 and Up With older kids, the issue is less about keeping them busy, and more about keeping them active. It can be hard to pull kids away from their video games, computers, phones, or the TV. Try to get them outside and moving by introducing them to sports they might enjoy, such as baseball, basketball, or soccer. If your child isn’t big on traditional sports, try things like rock climbing, gymnastics, martial arts, or hiking. There are even kids’ yoga classes that they might like. Of course, your child will be more motivated to exercise if he sees that you’re exercising too. Try to make it a family routine to get out and moving a few times a week, whether it’s a nature walk or a fun, new adventure. You’ll be establishing healthy exercise habits that they’ll carry on into adulthood.



We’re celebrating 10 years of the CRC all October long! Join in on the fun:

Mt. Madonna YMCA

Celebrating 30 Years in Morgan Hill, San Martin, and Gilroy Communities!

10/1: Spirit of Partnership Day 10/2: Group X Day 10/7: Senior Resource Fair 10/8: Skate Park Event 10/15: Get Fit Obstacle Course Challenge 10/15: 10th Celebration Event 10/22: Family Fun Night 10/23: Kids Club Day 10/28: Teen Halloween Dance All month: Fitness Passport Challenge

At the Y, we strengthen communities by supporting people.

• Before and After School Programs • Youth Sports Programs • Health and Well-Being • Seniors and Active Older Adult programs

Visit or call 408.782.2128 for more details about the events!

• Day Camps and Summer Learning ... AND SO MUCH MORE! JOIN US • 408 762 6000 •

PERRY WOODWARD for Gilroy Mayor

4TH generation Gilroyan. Business attorney. Navy Veteran. Accountability: Authored Gilroy’s landmark open government law Jobs and Fiscal Responsibility: Recruited UNFI, reduced pension debt Quality of life: $2.8 million to repair streets in 2016, balanced, transit-centered growth Consensus-Builder: Endorsed by Don Christopher, Don Gage, Jaime Rosso, Patricia Midtgaard, Fred Tovar and Peter Leroe-Munoz




Jayson Stebbins

One Likeable Guy 62



Written By Robin Shepherd

“Jayson and his team are consistently top producers in our office. Our clients like him, and realtors do too, because he cares.” Janene Towner-Chernoff, Guild Mortgage


ayson Stebbins is a familiar figure in the South County scene. He’s a mortgage professional, a stage and screen actor, a devoted family man and a community supporter. The fact that people naturally gravitate to Jayson just might have something to do with who he is at the core. Jayson was born in Modesto, the second oldest of seven children in the Stebbins family. In the early 1980s, his parents moved to Santa Clara County. Jayson’s dad opened The OldFashioned Parlour, a family-style restaurant that ultimately became a family-run business. “As teenagers, my siblings and I helped dad at the restaurant after school. It was a popular spot with the locals,” Jayson said. After graduating from Live Oak High School, he worked full time in the restaurant for about a year before heading off to South Florida on a two-year mission with his church. “I lived and served in a Spanish-speaking community. Hurricane Andrew had devastated the community. I did cleanup work and provided some translation services for the Red Cross. It was my first taste of living away from home. I count it as a great life experience.” Fresh off his mission trip in 1993, Jayson was back at church when he caught the eye of a young woman named Lisa who would become his wife. “I was at choir practice when in walks this guy,” Lisa Stebbins said. “I turned to my friend and whispered, ‘Who’s that cute guy?’ She laughed and said, ‘That’s my brother.’” Jayson and Lisa hit it off right away, started dating and became inseparable. Six weeks later Jayson popped the question. “We had just come home from a talent show and were saying our goodbyes when he proposed and I accepted,” Lisa said. “Then we both pulled out our Franklin day planners to schedule a wedding date! It was funny and romantic at the same time.” This year marks the couple’s 23rd anniversary.

The Mortgage Biz Before they got married, Jayson and Lisa both worked at a San Jose mortgage company called ComUnity Lending. Lisa was a loan processor. Jayson worked in the facilities department, then GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

won a spot in the company’s intensive training program. A year later the couple moved to Austin, Texas, to set up a new office for their employer. “Austin is a terrific town,” Jayson said. “Lisa and I were still in our twenties and didn’t have any kids yet. We really enjoyed it there, but when an opportunity came along to move back to California, we took it.” Returning to Morgan Hill in 1998, Jayson worked his way up the ladder to the senior executive team. Then came the mortgage meltdown in 2008. ComUnity Lending closed, so he and his partners joined Guild Mortgage. Jayson opened a new branch with Guild where he continues to work today. Lisa started doing contract programming with VMware and Cisco, which allowed her to work from home. Today, Jayson co-manages Guild’s Morgan Hill office with business partners Janene Towner-Chernoff and Keri Wright. He’s also a full-time loan officer with his own mortgage team that he trains in sales and client management skills. So what’s a day in the life of a mortgage pro? “We lead a very calendared existence,” Jayson said with a smile. “There are Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, realtor tours, client appointments, office meetings, and new business prospecting. I have a great team that helps on the heavy lifting with all the paperwork and approvals required to ensure our loans close smoothly. I enjoy prospecting new clients and building local relationships with real estate agents.” According to Janene, “Clients and realtors like working with Jayson. He has a gift for connecting on a personal level, always asking about their families, work, and interests. Team Stebbins does a fantastic job bringing in new business, and our Morgan Hill office is consistently ranked among Guild’s top three best performing offices in the state.” “South County is a great place to do business,” Jayson said. “It’s an intimate community where people know each other through professional and volunteer work. Here we can focus on quality of service unlike huge offices where it’s all about transaction volume.” “I’ve always loved this business, and my job,” Jayson said.



“They say if you want something done ask a busy person. That’s Jayson. He’s always responsive and enthusiastic. The guy must have more hours in his day than the rest of us.” Lisa DeSilva, Community Solutions

“We may have 15 loans close in a week, but every client, every property, every deal is a different story, which makes it fun.” “Janene and I have been part of the community for a long time and we love introducing new people to all the positive attributes of the region. We both raised our kids here so we can speak from firsthand experience about what a great place it is for families. I live in Gilroy myself and enjoy showing people around.”

Volunteering His Voice Jayson has a knack for emcee work and he puts it to good use at about a dozen community awareness and fundraising events every year for organizations including the Morgan Hill Rotary Club, the Community Law Enforcement Foundation of Morgan Hill, the Gilroy Youth Alliance, South County schools, Edward Boss Prado Foundation, and Community Solutions. According to Sue Thurman at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, “Jayson’s one of our go-to guys for our breakfast club, mixers, annual dinners and tradeshows. As an emcee he keeps things moving and our members love his humor. As a business professional and volunteer, he leads and motivates others by example.” Community Solutions’ Director of Development, Lisa DeSilva, said “Having Jayson as an emcee is like winning the Trifecta. He knows what we do. He and his family and his colleagues at Guild are staunch advocates and generous supporters of our work, which makes him an authentic and credible voice at our fundraisers. He’s also quick-witted and knows a lot of people in the community that he can call on by name when he’s announcing. He adds to the fun and flavor at our events.” Jayson will emcee for Community Solutions at its “Black, White and Bling” gala fundraiser this December at the new Granada Theater Conference Center. It will be the Granada’s inaugural event. Developer Frank Léal provided a prize package, which generated over $80,000 in donation, last year. “I love that charity and if I can help them to raise money by emceeing,” Jayson said, “it’s a way to honor a fantastic group of people for the good work they do in our community.”



The Acting Bug Jayson caught the acting bug as a sophomore at Live Oak High School. He also performed with the San José Children’s Musical Theater and the South Valley Civic Theater – all before the age of 20. When the Pintello family opened their comedy theater in 2002, Jayson eagerly returned to the stage and has been active ever since with the Pintello’s, Limelight Actors Theater, and South Valley Civic Theater. Among his past roles, Jayson has a soft spot in his heart for “First Night,” in which he played a thirty-something college grad stuck in a mediocre job as a video store clerk. A few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, his teenage heartthrob walks into the video store. It’s been twenty years since she left town to become a nun and join a convent. Their reunion provides the grist for great entertainment and laughs. “It was just a two-person show but so much fun. I played alongside a Live Oak alumna, Denee Lewis-Bohnsack,” Jayson said. “When the curtain came down after the last performance, I knew I’d miss doing that show.” His credits also include South Valley Civic Theater’s production of “Spelling Bee,” and “Rumors,” produced by Pintello Comedy Theater. Next up is Michael Wilmot’s “Buying the Moose,” a hilarious, fast-paced play about two brothers and their wives, in which the wives ponder their husbands’ behavior while the husbands wonder how to get away with more of the same. Performances run September 2nd through 24th at Pintello’s. Jayson will do another show with Limelight in February 2017. According to Whitney Pintello, “Jayson’s a really funny guy. Understated but very effective. He really shines with smart, witty scripts. We tease him because he’s usually the last one to learn his lines. It’s his M.O., memorizing under pressure. But whatever the role, he always nails it.” Earlier this year, Jayson made his film debut in “The Biggest Game in Town.” Local filmmakers, Nils Myers and Mattie Scariot of 152 West Productions, saw Jayson onstage and recommended him to the film’s director, John Nava. Initially, he was cast in a supporting role, but after a few false starts with the lead actor, Nava offered him the role.



“Film and stage acting are very different. On stage, you’re playing to the back of the house. You have to project your voice and your facial expressions and gestures are larger than life. In a movie everything’s up close. High def. You have to tell the story with micro expressions. A couple of times the director had to pull me back from being a theater guy, but he was supportive and encouraging, and I caught on.” In “The Biggest Game in Town,” Jayson plays Atticus Cane, a small-town poker champ and a big-time dreamer. He and two friends embark on a madcap adventure in search of a legendary poker game. When the film premiered last March at Monterey’s Golden State Theater, a contingent of South County theater buffs attended and gave it a thumbs-up. He’s hoping the film will be shown in South County in the near future.

The Family Guy Acting runs in the Stebbins family. Jayson and Lisa’s son Andrew, now a senior at Gavilan Early College Academy (GECA), has been performing in plays since first grade. “Andrew does a lot with South Valley Civic Theater, Jayson said. “We love to see him onstage and unlike me, he can really sing!” Jayson added that Andrew is great with kids, which is a good thing. Andrew was a teenager when his baby sister Emma Grace was born, followed by Olivia two years later. Over the years, they’ve enjoyed family outings to Disneyland, the zoo and the beach. “At seventeen, Andrew’s pretty selfless,” Jayson said. “He looks after his little sisters and they love him for it. Emma is, in all things, a big personality, very fun. Olivia is strong-willed but also a hugger and a snuggler. What can I say? DAD is the coolest job I have.” Before Olivia was born, Jayson and Lisa decided instead of having a baby shower, they’d have a fundraiser. “Diapees and Wipees” is now in its third year. Every April, the Stebbins reach out to the community for donated baby diapers, wipes, clothing and other items which are then distributed by Community Solutions to underserved families with infants. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

“The need is so great,” Lisa said, “and our community is very generous.” Jayson and Lisa count themselves lucky that their parents, most of their siblings and the family’s 15 grandchildren all live within easy traveling distance. “With so many of us, we pick someone’s house, get together one Saturday every month, and celebrate lots of birthdays. Christmas and Halloween are at my parents’ house, so the grandkids can open gifts and show off their costumes.” When he needs a little escape, Jayson opens a good spy thriller and gets lost in the story for a little while. He confesses to being horrible at golf after 15 years, but loving it anyway. Working out at Crossfit is part of a regular routine, what he calls a late-life hobby. “When I became a dad again at forty, I figured I’d better start doing something because I plan to be around for a long time for the girls. Lisa and I have been working out at Brethren Crossfit for quite a few years now and we love it.” For the past seven years, Jayson has also taught seminary classes to local high schoolers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Gilroy. Classes are held on weekdays from 6 to 7 am, before the teens start their school day and Jayson heads to the office. “Students from my first year of teaching are now in college or out working and married. My son has attended the class, which has been a real treat for me. Teaching is an interesting measure of time, watching kids grow spiritually over their four years in high school. Faith is important to Lisa and me and this has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.” Jayson himself is a long-time student of the Bible, from which he has drawn many life lessons. “The Book of Nehemiah really stuck with me this year. He inspired his people to rebuild their city, despite heavy opposition, because he knew in his heart it was the right thing to do. His story can apply to family life, job or charity work. It’s important to commit yourself wholeheartedly in all you do and not let obstacles dissuade you from your path.”



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 •




Chamber of Commerce

Urban Growth Boundary is BAD for Gilroy By Mark Turner, President/CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce


istening to some of the proponents talk about the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Initiative, you would think the UGB will be a boon for Gilroy businesses and residents. If a reduction in projected population (customers for local businesses), fewer jobs, more congested freeway traffic, less revenue for infrastructure improvements and higher rents equate to a boon, then you will have to agree with them. However, after reading the 9212 Report, which can be accessed on the City’s website, one can only come to the conclusion, the UGB is bad for Gilroy.

Bad for Jobs — According to the 9212 Report, implementation of the UGB would result in a decline of over 45 percent of potential jobs, labor income and economic output. With regard to construction, potential jobs, labor and economic output would decline by 30 percent. Bad for Traffic — Traffic problems like those around Christopher High School will remain and will not be fixed since necessary road improvements in the area will be halted as the private investment mechanism for improvement is eliminated. Fewer jobs in town will require more people on the road to pursue work. According to the 9212 Report, because job numbers would likely decrease to a greater degree than population, implementation of the UGB would increase Vehicle Miles Traveled. More traffic with less road improvements equates to more congestions, slower commute times and greater frustration. Bad for Existing Businesses — The UGB “wall” that would be erected around Gilroy would

limit the number of potential residents who contribute to the local economy. Businesses rely on residents to shop at their locations. Restaurants, retail, entertainment and small business owners would be greatly impacted by a decline in potential customers.

Bad for City Revenue

— The 9212 Report indicates implementation of the UGB would decrease retail sales tax by approximately $1 Million. Property tax revenue would be reduced by approximately $3 Million. General Fund Revenues would be reduced by nearly $9 Million.

Bad for Infrastructure Improvements — Revenue to provide and maintain roads, parks and other essential services will diminish. With regard to deficient intersection level of service, the 9212 Report states, at existing deficient locations, intersections would continue to operate at unacceptable levels. Roadway extensions or improvements that would be needed outside the proposed UGB would be reduced. As growth diminishes so will Gilroy’s quality of life. Bad for Renters — Amazingly, there are some people who don’t believe in the law of supply and demand with regard to the housing market and try to explain it away as a regional phenomenon. There is no denying when a product, such as rental units, are in high demand and there is less of that product available, higher prices will prevail. The same applies to real estate. The potential for increased rent prices is a real threat. With 43 percent of Gilroyans renting, the financial impact to those families could be devastating.




Dave Peoples, Owner

Garlic City Mercantile G

arlic City Mercantile is the first place to visit if you’re looking for Gourmet Garlic Goodies, Gadgets & Gifts. They carry a great selection of local brand products. They carry lots of unique items that make for great gifts. One such product is called, “Wet RubZ,” a dry rub seasoning in a marinade form. It’s organic, and has no GMO’s. The product is gluten and dairy free and comes in Santa Maria style or Sesame Siracha. You will also find Mansmith’s Gourmet Seasonings. They carry products from suppliers such as Old Gilroy Garlic Company, Garlic Capital Products, Gil’s Gourmet, and Gilroy Hot Stuff. If you are looking for stuffed olives, garlic balsamic vinegar and chipotle roasted garlic BBQ grille sauce, spicy pickled green beans, pepper plant products, cook books and other distinctive products, you’ll want to stop by and look around. Dave Peoples, owner of Garlic City Mercantile has been selling garlic products since 1977. Garlic City Mercantile is located at 7550 Monterey Street in downtown Gilroy.

BUSINESS NEWS Predator’s Archery


redator’s Archery was founded in 1993 by Curtis Campisi and Mike Pierce in Gilroy, CA. The mission of Predator’s is to provide a professional archery shop where new and seasoned archers can get the best individual and personalized service. They try to have the archery products and information you need to take your archery to the next level. They understand your investment in your archery equipment and they promise to make sure that it is functioning at peak performance before you leave the shop. They guarantee their work 100 percent and if you ever have a problem with their work, they will fix it free of charge. The Predator’s staff is complete with experienced archers of all styles including hunting, target and 3D. On staff are several bow technicians, bow specialists, arrow builders, and coaches. They build their arrows onsite to your exact order. Why have to deal with all the hassle of cutting arrows, buying the supplies and jigs to fletch arrows? They have the cutters, jigs, and experienced fletchers to get your arrows done quickly and correctly. Located at 7350 Monterey Street in downtown Gilroy.

Westside Grill O

pened in 2006, the Westside Grill has become a local Gilroy favorite for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The Westside Grill is a family-owned, neighborhood restaurant with a menu of favorites, an ever-changing list of daily specials, a full bar and a friendly staff. It’s just right whether you’re looking for a delicious dinner, a late night drink with friends or omelettes and pancakes for breakfast on the weekend. The Westside Grill is open seven evenings a week for dinner, Monday thru Friday for lunch and on Saturday and Sunday for brunch.   The Westside Grill can also accommodate your personal or business events. Their banquet facilities are available to host parties, receptions and business meetings. They are located at 8080 Santa Teresa Blvd., Suite 100. To make reservations contact them at 408-847-3800.

Pumpkin T People

Jesus Arizte, Bow Technician


he Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Pumpkin People Contest which will officially run from Saturday, October 15 through Monday, October 31. Registration for the Pumpkin People contest is only $25. Participants can register online at or at the Chamber office at 7471 Monterey Street. Participants will enter one of two categories; 1) Business Community, which includes wineries, restaurants, lodging properties, small, medium or large business of any kind, or 2) Residential Community, which includes individuals or families living in a residential property. Each category will be eligible for a first prize worth $250, second place prize worth $150 and a third place prize worth $100 totalling $1,000 in prize money. Participants must pay and register with the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce on or before September 28, 2016 to be eligible to win. A panel of 5 judges will review all the Pumpkin People displays and rate each display in 4 categories, Difficulty, Originality, Creativity and Entertaining. The combined score of the 5 judges will determine the cash prize winners. There will also be a “People’s Choice Award,” determined by the general public. Votes will be cast for the people’s favorite display. For more information or to register, visit




First Public School

Written By Elizabeth Barratt

“The general expression of the scholars was animated and pleasant… we did not find what might be called a stupid expression among them.”

Gilroy Advocate Editor, 1871

Clara Ousley with students in 1894.



Bertie Benn



ilroy’s first school was not established inside city limits but in a one-room wooden building east of town located on the Hildebrand Ranch. This earliest school started in 1853 with a class of four students. Kentucky native William R. Bane (1818-1893), who opened the school and served as its first teacher, was a Mexican War veteran. Bane initially came to California in 1848, settling in Gilroy in 1850. He owned a ranch near Old Gilroy and served as a school trustee, a member of the High School Board and as a City Councilman (1878-1880). According to a museum booklet titled “Gilroy School History-1853 to 1888,” Gilroy’s first permanent public Grammar School in town was established in 1854. The one-story building was constructed on the southwest corner of a large schoolyard that stretched along Third Street between Church and Rosanna Streets. In time, the property held both the elementary and high schools. The grammar school was touted as “An institution second to none in the state, its results most satisfactory– a large proportion of teachers from its classes–the pride of the citizens,” according to the historical brochure. For further frills, the description also noted that Gilroy’s public school system thrived in a community it dubbed “The Queen of South Santa Clara Valley.” Becoming a teacher was no easy task in Gilroy’s early days. Besides a strong

requirement of moral integrity, school trustees cited the rigorous educational standards expected of applicants. Literary merit and teaching experience were expected, as they stated, “With this due care and observance, our schools have reached their present state of high standing, and we today challenge any place in this county or state to show a greater proportion of excellent scholars that have been graduated from this school district.” Teachers’ salaries at the time came to a whopping $50 to $85 per month. Captivated by the competence of Gilroy’s teachers, the school’s academic excellence was noted on an 1871 school visit by the editor of the Gilroy Advocate. Among his comments were these, “The general expression of the scholars was animated and pleasant and among many we observed a beauty and intelligence that was highly pleasing. We scanned their countenances closely and did not find what might be called a stupid expression among them.” There was somewhat of a revolving door at the Gilroy schoolhouse, however, with eleven teachers arriving and departing between 1854 and 1867. Two local names on the staff are recognizable in the annals of local history: Mr. E. Leavesley and P.F. Hoey. Then there was D.W. Herrington, later of San Jose, who later distinguished himself by becoming a District Attorney and member of the State Assembly. By 1867 the school had established a Board of Trustees with members Perry Dowdy, J.W. Clifton and Massey Thomas among those elected to office.

With town growth came an expanded student enrollment and by 1868 the town’s original 1854 schoolhouse was bursting at the seams. A tax was voted to construct a new building. The lowest bid, from local builder J. J. Dorland, came in at $5,825. By then, after enthusiastically overspending on books for the school library, the Board of Trustees was forced to take out a 1.5 percent loan to furnish the building’s new classrooms. “The interest paid on this sum was rather high, we would consider, nowadays,” the school history brochure notes. Students already burdened with meeting year-end academic requirements doubtless groaned even louder in 1873, when the school year was extended from eight to ten months. In addition, given the town’s growth, greater student attendance had classrooms again overflowing with 40 to 50 students per room. By 1875 a new tax was raised to fund $5,000 for additional classrooms. By this time, the Superintendent’s salary was also boosted to $150 per month. To meet costs, pupils living outside the city limits were assessed monthly fees of $1.50 to $3 according to grade level. A bell was installed at the schoolhouse to be rung each morning, ensuring the children got to class on time. Ever seeking intellectual progress, publication of the first school newspaper, called the Gilroy Effort, served to inform the town on “the advancement being made by the scholars.” By the 1880s, local names on the staff included Miss Mary E. Rucker, in



charge of second intermediate level, and Henry Reeve, elected to the Board of Trustees. Other staff included Lizzie Tully, Bertie Benn, who later became the city librarian, Clara Ousley and Hannah Sorenson. Smoking and chewing tobacco on campus became an issue. In 1882, the Board of Trustees passed a law forbidding the use of tobacco on any part of the school grounds. The teachers were given strict orders for its enforcement. During this period the names of many student graduates familiar in local history were listed: Osborne, Furlong, Lennon, Willey, Wayland, Mayock, Murphy, Moore, Cullen, Goodrich, Holloway, and Cobb. By 1885 the high school graduated a class of 11 members. Seven of them eventually went on to hold teaching positions in San Ysidro, San Benito County, Castroville, Fresno, Washington State, and Gilroy. Of the four remaining Class of 1885 graduates, one became a lawyer and the others took up farming. Banning tobacco from school property was but the tip of the iceberg of school scandals, however. In 1890 the Superintendent came under fire when the local newspaper reported, “An investigation into the actions of the Superintendent of Schools concerning charging personal bills to the county came before the board. The Superintendent had refused to turn over the account records. When forced to do so, they revealed accounts kept in a slovenly manner.”


Proud To Be Me Sewing School

Written & Photographed By Kimberly Ewertz


ilroy resident and owner of Proud To Be Me sewing school, Jo Anne Kerr, better known as Gigi, was surrounded by creativity as a youth. It’s the same kind of environment she provides her students today. Kerr grew up in the world of sewing. Her mother, Martha Adams, owned and operated a baby clothes manufacturing business, and her grandmother, Evelyn Nelson, sewed for missionaries at their local church. Kerr still remembers when she was only five years old and Evelyn would sit her down on top of a telephone book so that she could reach the pedal of the sewing machine. “I’ve always sewed. I like the creativity of it,” Kerr said. The loss of her mother six years ago was difficult for Kerr, but she’s comforted in knowing that her mother would be proud of her. “That’s why I am who I am, because that’s the kind of mom I had,” Kerr said. “My mom always made sure I had what I needed to make me successful, to make me do a good job.”



When Kerr heard people expressing an interest in learning how to sew, she decided to answer that need within her community by opening a sewing school. Nimble Thimble’s owner, Linda Williams, a friend of Kerr’s, offered the back room of her store as the location for the school. “She’s instrumental in me being where I am today,” Kerr said of Williams. “I couldn’t [have] done it without her.” Kerr anticipated a positive response, but she never expected it to come from kids. As it turned out they were the age group who rushed to sign up for her classes advertised on the Proud To Be Me Facebook page last August. Kerr added more classes to the schedule to meet the demand. The first sewing class was held on September 1, 2015. Nine months later, June of this year, Kerr had moved out of the Nimble Thimble and into a shop located in Gilroy’s Poppy Mall. “If it weren’t the right thing to be doing, it would not have unfolded the way it did. There’s no way that I could be so successful, and so happy, if God didn’t have his hand in it.”


With an expanded space, Kerr has also expanded her class size from four students to six per class, and still she has a waiting list. She has also extended her hours. Fast approaching her 100-student mark, Kerr expressed surprise at how widespread the genuine desire to sew is within the Gilroy community that she’s lived in for 37 years. “I was completely taken aback by the response that I got, completely.” Last April, Kerr organized the first Proud To Be Me fashion show, which was a huge hit. The room was filled to capacity and beyond with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all gathered to celebrate their students’ accomplishments. “Watching my students, seeing the looks on their faces, they were so proud, so proud,” Kerr said smiling. The second annual fashion show is slated for April 2017. Kerr is currently searching for a venue in Gilroy, noting that she wouldn’t want it any other place, to accommodate the anticipated crowd. Also on the calendar is an Open House on Saturday, September 10th from 1-4 pm to celebrate the new space. On October 29th, a Halloween Open House, and a Christmas boutique in early December. On the third Thursday of every month, students’ hand-made items are offered for sale in the school’s Student Store. Kerr will be forever appreciative of her success, and of her students. Equally so, is her appreciation for the parents of those students. “The girls are great, but the parents are fantastic,” Kerr said. “They’re very supportive. It’s the parents who want their children to feel successful; without that, the kids are limited.” Thanks to Martha and Evelyn, Kerr never felt limited, and she wants the same for her students. The message seems to be getting through. Student Natalie Navarro, who is nine years old, may not be aware of Kerr’s teaching philosophy; she just knows that her teacher cares. “She’s really nice, and she’s a very helpful person,” Navarro said of Kerr, adding that “sometimes, she has so much work to do, but she still finds time for us.” Proud To Be Me Sewing School




manners MATTER

First Impressions

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



first impression is important because you don’t always get a second chance. It’s how you enter a room, your walk, how you sit or stand and of course, how you talk, including your tone. Having a good attitude, being aware of your body language and paying close attention to your appearance all play into making a good first impression. YOUR SMILE can win anyone over. Don’t ever underestimate it. It is the single most powerful thing you can do when meeting someone for the first time. A smile can make folks feel at ease and it makes you approachable. A smile is warm and inviting. Have you ever met someone for the first time and they didn’t smile? You probably weren’t really sure how to read them. I bet you weren’t even sure if you were going to like them! That being said, an artificial grin – one with width but no warmth – is just as unapproachable. EYE CONTACT is very important when meeting folks for the first time. Do you ever find yourself having a conversation with someone and you notice that they are paying attention to something else, their eyes are on the television or they are reading an email on their phone? It’s rude, disrespectful, and just plain annoying. Everyone wants to feel that what they have to say is important, so giving someone your undivided attention is good manners. Making eye contact holds a person’s attention and shows that you are interested in them. Maintaining that eye contact while you are conversing helps to win them over. The third most important thing in making a good first impression is the HANDSHAKE. A handshake is an expression of friendliness; it tells the other person that you are really glad to meet him or her, or that you are genuinely happy to see them. When you offer your hand in greeting, strive for a happy medium between a dead-fish grip and bonecrushing enthusiasm. Your handshake is as expressive of your personality as your clothes and your speech. Along with the handshake, you may want to smile and ask “How do you do?” or say “I’m pleased to meet you.” Because it might help to

remember the name if you repeat it, you might ask, “How do you do, Miss Smith?” If you haven’t been formally introduced, introduce yourself by saying your name. Next, I would like to address ATTITUDE. All of us want to be liked and accepted. Considerateness, integrity, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to cooperate are qualities we value in one another. Our positive attitude and our knowledge of how to act in social situations is one of the determining factors in people’s reactions to us. Negativity or personal drama should be left at home. A person who is openminded is able to respect the many differences that she finds in people. She is able to admit that the new way may be a better way than the old. She knows that if she closes her eyes to the viewpoint of others, she may be limiting her vision. The person who is able to get along well with others is the one who has discovered that her way of looking at things is not the only way. I heard a cute story years ago about opening your eyes to the viewpoints of others. Four people were in a barn and each one had a knothole to look through. One looked to the east, one to the west, one to the south, and one to the north. The person looking to the east saw the sun come up and said, “The whole world is nothing but sunrises.” The person looking to the west said, “You are wrong, the whole world is nothing but sunsets.” The person to the north, who could see nothing but a haystack, said, “You are both wrong, the entire world is nothing but hay.” The person looking to the south said, “I can’t understand how all of you can be so stupid. The world is nothing but bales of straw.” From their own viewpoints, each was right. But, obviously, each one’s viewpoint was limited by the size of the knothole and the direction in which each person was looking. Get on top of the barn, look in all directions, learn that your ideas may be right, but this does not necessarily make the ideas of others wrong. They may be seeing the same wide, wonderful world through different knotholes.

Continued on page 83 74



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Super Dogs

Morgan Hill Dog Sports

Written By Robin Shepherd


here’s nothing like the bond between people and their dogs. Our four-legged friends are trusted companions at home . . . and talented teammates on the sports field. And nobody knows how to bring out a dog’s natural smarts, agility and eagerness to please better than Vici Whisner and Laura Pryse. As co-founders and owners of Morgan Hill Dog Sports, Vici and Laura take a systematic approach to dog agility and obedience training with a focus on competitive events. They teach clients (aka “handlers”) how to train their dogs, and the dogs learn that training is fun. Laura and Vici have many years of dog agility training and competition experience under their belts. They’ve also assembled a top-notch team of trainers to round out their program, and their accomplishments in the show ring have earned them a strong reputation in Northern California. Laura teaches advanced to master level classes. She and her four Border Collies, Stat, Fireball, Hotshot and Dare Devil, are serious contenders in competitions hosted by the Bay Area American Kennel Club, UK Agility International, and the US Dog Agility Association. Fireball placed first and Hotshot was also a finalist in the Cynosports 2015 Grand Prix event. Vici teaches foundation and beginning dog handling classes. She herself competes primarily in USDAA venues with her Sheltie, Fin, a Cynosports 2015 Steeplechase Finalist. She also competes with Olive, her Jack Russell Terrier. Recently, gmhTODAY had the opportunity to observe these “super dogs” and their owners during a training session at the Morgan Hill Dog Sports training facility in San Martin, and to learn more about the business from Vici and Laura.

Q: What got you started in the business?

Years ago, we began training dogs in our own back yards. We got to know each other and decided to go into business together to provide dog agility training for clients who waned to enter competitions with their dogs. As the business grew and more trainers joined our team, we added new classes to our schedule. Q: What questions do people ask most often and how do you respond?

What is Dog Agility?

In agility competition, the handler must guide his or her dog through an obstacle course set with tunnels, jumps, a teeter totter and other challenges while racing against the clock. Handlers whose dogs have the cleanest round and the fastest time win the competition. Local events provide opportunities to progress from novice to master level and from regional and national events. Morgan Hill Dog Sports 13505 Murphy Avenue, San Martin


People want to know how long before their dogs will be ready to compete. Depending on the abilities of both the dog and handler, it can take eighteen months or more of training before most are ready to compete. When asked about training in areas other than agility, we connect customers with our experts in “Rally-O” and traditional obedience training. Occasionally we get a call from someone who wants a more casual program. We let them know ours is geared toward training for competition and we currently have a full schedule devoted to it. Q: Describe the “ideal” client and dog for your program.

It depends on a number of factors. We assess the experience and skills of the dog handler and the dog and their interactions, and place them in an appropriate class.  For our advanced classes we look for people with previous experience. For foundation level work, we take anyone with an eagerness to learn.  Our program is designed to bring them up to a competitive level of discipline and skill even if they don’t end up competing. Those who do compete have won many awards for their agility dogs at regional and national events.  Competitiveness is always balanced with good sportsmanship and fun. We not only celebrate every qualification and title earned, but also the positive relationships that we develop with our dogs.




Q: What are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of your work?

A: We work to keep our training exciting and fresh. Our students train on courses set up similarly to what they’ll find in competitions, working on different things each week. They keep us on our toes, and we learn from them too. What’s rewarding is to watch client and dog work confidently and happily together, side by side, in the show ring.   Q: Is it safe to say you have to expect the unexpected in your work?  

A: Yes! One student was at a competition doing her first agility event. One of the elements of the course required her dog to lie down at a table while the judge counted to five seconds.  She was so excited about her wonderful run that she forgot and ran with her dog right past the judge, who was still counting. They were disqualified for the error, but we could tell by her expression, and her dog’s behavior, that they’d both had so much fun, it didn’t matter. Another time, one of our advanced students was working on drills with her dog while a friend was recording them on video.  Distracted, the student went off course and ran into the side of the tunnel.  The video captured her going head over heels, landing on the other side of the tunnel. Then all you could see was her feet in the air. She laughed harder than we did. Priceless! Q: What’s your goal for the business over the next year or two?

A: Our goals are always the same: We keep up with new developments in dog agility and dog training in general.  We provide an example to our students by running our own dogs in regional and national competitions.  We build curricula that challenges our students to be their best.  We serve not just as educators, but also as mentors. Q: Why San Martin and what makes it a good place to live and run your business?

A: We had an opportunity to lease space from A Pooch’s Paradise, a dog boarding and day care business. Our partnership has worked out really well and we now have the perfect property for our competition-sized 10,000 square foot training field, complete with lights for evening classes.

“I brought my Australian Shepherd, Yuki, to train with Vici in the foundation class. We became a team and worked through mistakes using positive reinforcement. This is a wonderful program that helps dogs learn focus, obedience and socialization.” Karen Nagareda, Hollister

“My French Bulldog Max thinks he’s a Border Collie. Going to competitive events is a lot of stimulation. At first he was a space cadet running to the edge of the show ring looking for his treats. Now he’s earning titles. Dog agility is like learning a new language for both of us. As long as Max loves it, we’ll keep competing!” Kim Wasserman, Los Gatos

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you?

A: Absolutely! This is an awesome business to work in, and we love our clients.




Theater Scene

A Little Mermaid Makes a Splash in Morgan Hill

Emily Pember stars as Ariel

Written By Matthew Russell Hendrickson 78



What’s Playing


his fall, local theater goers can take a journey “under the sea” with Ariel and her aquatic friends at South Valley Civic Theater’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., adapted from Disney’s 2008 Broadway production. Local teenager Emily Pember stars as Ariel, a beautiful young mermaid princess living in a magical underwater kingdom, who longs to leave behind her ocean home and her fins to go live in the world above the water. But first she’ll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl with the enchanting voice he’s been searching for. Emily started her journey as an actor when she was seven years old. As a child she was naturally drawn to entertaining people, and being on stage gave her that opportunity. She has been in 17 different productions over the past seven years since her first performance; her first memorable role being the Baby Elephant in Seussical Jr. at Nordstrom Elementary School in Morgan Hill. Emily has performed for a ballet group in Morgan Hill, Gilroy Children’s Musical Theater, Nordstrom Elementary School, San Jose Children’s Musical Theater and South Valley Civic Theater (SVCT). Most recently she was in Disney’s Mulan Jr. and Leader Of The Pack at SVCT. Being on stage not only gives Emily an outlet for entertaining people, but she also gets to let go of reality and immerse herself in roles that let her explore life through portraying other characters. Her favorite role to date was playing a Bird Girl in Seussical Jr. at SVCT, making that her second time on stage in that show. Her role as Ariel will be her second starring role on stage; her first being Snow White at Nordstrom Elementary. This will be her sixth production with SVCT since 2013. This production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. features a cast of 52 children from the area, some new to the stage and some, like Emily, who have been in many shows. Direction is by Colleen Blanchard, a seasoned director having directed over 14 plays for SVCT as well as plays for other theater groups in the greater Bay Area. Vocal direction is by Tami Piper. Opening night of the show is Friday, September 30th and the production runs through October 22nd. Go to SVCT’s website ( for a complete list of performance dates and times as well as ticket information and directions to the theater.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. September 30, October 1 October 7, 8, 9 –14, 15, 16 – 21, 22 Friday & Saturday 8 pm Sunday 2:30 pm General Admission : $22 Senior Admission : $18 SVCT South Valley Civic Theater 17090 Monterey Road Morgan Hill, CA 95020 (408) 842-7469 Tickets available at the door or online No reservations accepted

Jerry Finnigan’s Sister September 2, 3, 4 – 9, 10 16, 17 – 23, 24 Friday & Saturday 8 pm Sunday 2 pm Tickets : $20 Pintello Comedy Theater 8191 Swanston Lane Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 337-1599 Reservations recommended This hilarious, tennis-match-like play brings to life the truth that wives often wonder why men do what they do, while their husbands wonder how to get away with doing what they did!

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.







Shirley Dwyer

Tragedy Leads To Life Of Art 80




tragic loss in the life of Gilroy artist Shirley Dwyer gave her the nudge to launch an art career that began in 2004 when she joined the Valle del Sur Art Guild. She now says she can’t imagine life without painting. Born in El Paso Texas, Dwyer and her family moved to the Santa Clara Valley when she was ten years old. She always loved the performing arts and played violin in her high school orchestra, becoming an accomplished violinist. She also played with a number of local orchestras including the Nova Vista Symphony, the largest long-standing community orchestra in the valley. After working as a sales professional for ten years, Dwyer became a custom jewelry designer. Her early enjoyment of drawing came in handy in her jewelry making . Along the way she also practiced karate and earned a second degree black belt in shotokan karate. “They are all creative pursuits and require a great deal of concentration,” Dwyer said. Attracted by what she described as the “lure of natural beauty,” she and her husband Pat moved to Gilroy in 2002, one year after the sudden and tragic loss of their 29-yearold daughter, Rebecca, to illness. Having talked with her daughter of painting together someday, Dwyer decided it was time to honor Rebecca’s memory, so she began painting. To this day, she said Rebecca continues to provide inspiration when she’s painting. “I know I’m doing what we both wanted to do.” In 2006, she met Stefan Baumann, a well-known artist and creator of the PBS series, “The Grand View,” at a demonstration hosted by the Valle del Sur Art Guild. She joined a Saratoga-based group led by Baumann, and studied with other well-respected artists over the years, evolving into the accomplished artist that she is today. She still considers Bauman her friend and mentor. Working mostly in oils, Dwyer’s unbelievably realistic renderings include still lifes, landscapes, and architecture, particularly missions. Many paintings of the Carmel mission hang in her studio.

“The historic missions fascinate me,” Dwyer said. “They are old with sad histories.” Her favorite artists are Renaissance painters Michelangelo and Botticelli. Interestingly, Boticelli also began his art career in jewelry, having been a goldsmith before he began painting. Dwyer’s natural treatment of the way light hits objects and creates shadows is reminiscent of the Renaissance period, evoking the kind of emotional response in the eyes of the beholder that artists of that period strove to achieve. Dwyer’s studio is in an upstairs room in her Gilroy home. It is tidy with completed and in-progress paintings hanging or stacked against the walls. She enjoys plein-air painting and has a painting expedition planned with other artists in the Sierras in October. She sometimes takes months to finish one painting and finds comfort in listening to music while she works; preferring mostly classical, piano and opera. She said her life is driven by family, faith and friends. When asked what drives her art she has a ready response. “What drives me in my art is to create a sense of presence, so that I can share the beauty I see in the world around me.” Her stated mission reads, “My quest as an artist is to stir the senses and awaken the spirit.” Anyone viewing her art today would surely be stirred to utter “mission accomplished.”

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





with an Attitude

In Caregiving: Giving Your Best Is Not Enough

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.



rofessional caregivers come to understand all that the work entails during the course of their training. They go into it with their eyes open. But what happens when you take on the role of caregiver, not by training, but by virtue of a family situation? Things seem manageable at first. Then comes the unexpected. Mom or Dad is diagnosed with dementia or another debilitating illness. The challenges can be overwhelming in some cases. So you do your best, learning by doing. But in caregiving, giving your best is not enough. You must do something else - you must stay committed to yourself – your needs, your goals and your dreams. It is not healthy to jump into caregiving with the idea that you will put your life on hold, even though it may be noble to do so. It is healthy to make sure you continue to have a L-I-F-E even if it’s a toned-down version of what you had before you got the call. Your effort to have a life does not need to be elaborate. A break from caregiving duty (regularly please) will help. And when you take a break – it can be as simple as giving yourself time to take a leisurely walk without worrying about what is happening to your loved one. “But they need me and I don’t trust a stranger to come into my parents’ home,” you say. Parents typically prefer to have a family member as caregiver, rather than someone they are not related to. But just as parents are not supposed to focus solely on their children while neglecting their marital relationships, you should not focus solely on your parents while neglecting your own needs. You have got to continue to stay in touch with others and have a life outside of your parents’ world! If your siblings dubbed you sole caregiver for your parents, you need to insist on shared responsibility – you owe it to yourself! No one should test someone’s love in this way, it is not fair. Some family caregivers quit their career to take care of their parents. Okay – maybe you need to be “at work” but you still deserve a break. We call it respite… a sanity break. Love has nothing to do with it either. Caregiving can be very trying. People with stressful jobs recognize the need for a break. Caregiving is no different. If siblings can’t step in, there are



local in-home health care companies that have great references. You worry about a stranger coming to the house; but agencies are now required to ensure that their caregivers are registered with the state in which they are employed. To be registered in the State of California requires FBI and Department of Justice clearances AND these agencies check records from age 18. You can feel comfortable that there is much less chance of unknowingly hiring a caregiver “from the dark side.” Furthermore, all agencies are now required to also provide their caregivers with continuous education. There are qualified caregivers out there who can look after your parents while you take care of yourself. Don’t give up your goals! If before your parents needed you, you were planning to learn how to paint – go for it. And please, don’t expect the people in your life to abandon their goals either. It really is unwise to put life on hold because your Mom or Dad needs you now. Strive for some balance in your life, or you will not have much to give to your parents, your spouse, your kids or anyone else. There’s no way to know how long or how tough the journey of caregiving will be – if you don’t take care of yourself, you may become robotic, bitter or hard-hearted. An hour or two, or even a four-hour break will not hurt your Mom or Dad. Their illness or insecurity may prevent them from remembering that you have needs to, so it is up to you to look out for yourself. My son was my universe when he was growing up until he turned 14 and didn’t want me to give him a kiss in front of his classmates. That was a 4.5 on my Richter scale, a rude awakening. I realized he was growing up and wanted to live his own life. I knew I’d better get with it or I would feel lost. That’s why I’m encouraging you to keep on living even if your parents must depend on you. Get help from family and friends here and there if you are not ready to tap on agencies to help you. When you have a life outside of your parents’ world, you bring new energy to your caregiving efforts. And you know what—in the end, when your parents see that your life is full and you are happy, they’ll be more at ease and happier as well. In caregiving – giving your best is not enough…because you need to care and give to yourself to make the situation work best!

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First Impressions continued from page 74

And last on my list is your APPEARANCE, including BODY LANGUAGE. How you dress has an impact on people when you meet them for the first time, in both business and social situations. A well-groomed person has a better chance of succeeding in our world today. Even if you’re on a budget, a clean-shaven face, moderate makeup, clean and pressed clothes and a nice comfortable pair of shoes goes a long way in making a good first impression. Good taste has nothing to do with being able to afford an expensive wardrobe or not. And, don’t forget your crowning glory – your hair. Hair should be clean, styled and out of your face. Body language is important. Chewing gum, fidgeting, playing with your hair or beard, smoking or chewing tobacco are all examples of negative messaging when you are meeting folks for the first time. Your behavior is affected by the clothes you wear. To realize this, you have only to think of the time you were caught at your worst – hair up in curlers, old baggy jogging suit, torn T-shirt. You probably apologized for your appearance only to find your self-consciousness growing with each word. We feel and behave our best when we look our best. Making a great first impression is easy when you practice these five points. They will continue to come in handy any time you are meeting and greeting folks beyond the first encounter. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


Morgan Hill

On the Occasion of the Centennial of the National Park Service


his year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as an agency within the United States Department of the Interior. On August 25, 1916, then President Woodrow Wilson signed what is known as the Organic Act transferring the responsibility for managing designated Federal parkland from the Secretary of the Army to the National Park Service (NPS). The purpose: “conserving the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such a manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” The early history of Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia and a handful of other national parks thus includes a welldeserved mention of the members of the U.S. Army Cavalry and Engineers who were the onsite park administrators until the outbreak of World War I.    

Written By Mike Monroe 84



The NPS manages a variety of park units—national seashores, scenic parkways, Civil War battlefields, lakeshores and so on. When we think of a national park, we almost always visualize a huge protected area like Yellowstone. However, the Anza Historic Trail is a substantial park unit in its own right. Within the United States, it is approximately 1,200 miles in length, and the Mexican government has designated another 600 miles south of the border as part of the historic trail.  The Anza Trail is managed by the NPS office in San Francisco, it has its own foundation to help support it, and there is a free quarterly publication available to all who are interested in Anza history and trail events. The year 1776 not only marked the signing of the Declaration of Independence but also the arrival of the Anza Expedition into Alta California for the purpose of establishing a presidio and mission in San Francisco.  It was a remarkable journey across many miles of rugged desert with men, women and children and hundreds of farm animals. The party arrived in Monterey in early March of 1776 to rest and recover.  Only one of the colonists died during the trip; a woman who succumbed during childbirth. The colonists were ordered to remain in Monterey by the royal governor at that time. Anza vigorously denounced this decision, and continued his mission with just a dozen soldiers and Fr. Pedro Font.  The route from Monterey had the group traveling through Gilroy after crossing the Pajaro River on March 24, 1776.  From the diaries kept by Font and Anza, it seems that the party journeyed along the west side of the valley, following today’s Santa Teresa Boulevard alignment and camping alongside Llagas Creek in Morgan Hill.  To find the location of the original campsite, drive north on Santa Teresa from Gilroy, turn right on California Street, make an immediate left on Water Street and follow it to Easy Street and Llagas Creek.  At the time of the Anza Expedition, before all of the


residential housing and creek engineering, Llagas Creek was a large open crossing or shallow pool, not the narrow channel with steep embankments that it is today. For many years, old timers referred to this spot as a “poza” where the crossing was easy and there was a perennial source of water.  The diaries of the explorers also noted a number of local Ohlone villages and accounts of Ohlone Indians fishing from tule rafts along Llagas Creek. The nearest Indian settlement of any size and permanence was most likely at what is now known as Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park on Watsonville Road.  After refreshing themselves at the Arroyo de las Llagas, Anza and his men continued north by northwest along Coyote Creek and camped next in Cupertino.  After exploring the San Francisco area and identifying a potential mission site, Anza decided to loop around the southern end of San Francisco Bay and return to Monterey through Henry Coe Park. It was an unfortunate choice due to the severity of the terrain, but they did name the area after the haunting howls of the neighboring coyotes. During this return trip Anza designated a mission location for Santa Clara and a pueblo for San Jose.  Anza returned to Monterey and then home to Mexico, leaving the actual settlement of San Francisco to his second in command, Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga. Moraga and the colonists followed the same route in June of 1776, staying at las Llagas and finally establishing Mission Dolores and the Presidio of San Francisco.  The Pueblo of San Jose was also established by Moraga in November of 1777. There are several markers along Santa Teresa Boulevard that recall the Anza visit to Morgan Hill. The easiest one to drive to and read is at the corner of Watsonville Road and Santa Teresa. This Fall I will organize a walk along Llagas Creek to the spot recognized as the campsite for the Anza and Moraga parties. In the meantime, go out and visit a park.  It’s fun to remember the history and to imagine what the place was like before ‘civilization’ took over.      





Managing Stress In A “Busy” World


e live in a culture where “busy” is the standard. We’ve lost the ability to protect the needed time for self-care of body, mind and spirit. The high cost of living pressures us to work long hours. We often sacrifice our own health and marriages in our commitment to give children every opportunity with sports and other enrichment activities. The activities are great, up to a point. Now is a good time to decide about some of the commitments that you make in order to manage your stress for the year. So. How do you do that? The first step is to resist the value system that says every minute must be filled with activity. Back in the day, my husband and I would pull out the calendars and mark several days for the next three months during which we would not accept invitations to anything. We weren’t good at just saying no, so this gave us needed help to say we were already committed, even if it was committed to doing nothing. It was our way of claiming time that would be harder to protect if it wasn’t already spoken for. Once you’ve created a little bit more space, it’s important to “get back in your body.” That’s psychobabble for “get in touch with yourself so you can use the information your body gives you to tell you what you need.” At the physical level, that may mean you make those medical appointments to get your blood pressure checked, or take the 20-minute power nap at lunch because you got up too early. It may mean you don’t forget to eat, or you respect your body by eating healthier foods and drinking more water. These are really basic things, but they are easily neglected in the ongoing crunch of too little time.

There really is a tyranny of the urgent when important things are neglected due to the demands of urgent, but not always important, things.

…finding places to have a purpose and connection with like-minded people is a way to make relationships happen. At the mental or emotional level, it may mean you notice what you say to yourself as you go through your day. Self-talk can be incredibly critical. “I’m so stupid.” “I can’t do anything right.” “No one cares about me.” “I’m weak.” Insert your negative message here “________.” These messages can be a major contributor to depression and anxiety. Most of us are aware that this isn’t something we’d say to our children or friends. It is no less harmful when we say it to ourselves. Replace some of those comments with things like, “It’s okay to ask for help. Who might I ask?” “I’m learning.” “I don’t have to be perfect.” “Hang on, I’ll figure this out.” We don’t want grandiose and inflated statements. We need honest and encouraging self-talk so we can really believe what we say. Relationally, creating a support system is also a priority in a self-care strategy. Who would be there if you found yourself in a tough spot? So many of the folks that I know really don’t have one. You may need to muster up some deliberate intention, walking over to introduce yourself to a neighbor, or to catch up with them to ask how they’re doing. It may not be in your comfort range, but relationships will not go to the next level without some-

one taking a risk. It may be daunting to seek out a faith community or join a community organization, but finding places to have a purpose and connection with like-minded people is a way to make relationships happen. Again, the busyness factor needs to be balanced, but the better quality choices can support you rather than drain you. Finding safe people to be in your support network also helps to combat that negative self-talk because you get a reflection of your value from the people around you. When you doubt yourself, it’s important to see that reflection! There are certainly other areas we can focus on to improve self-care, but any change can start to have a ripple effect in improving your quality of life. Take time to be grateful. Go for a walk. Laugh from your belly and be delighted. Read a book for enjoyment. Say a prayer. Garden. Snuggle while you watch TV. Sit outside for a few minutes and watch the stars. Tell someone you appreciate them. Say thank you. Really taste your food. These aren’t big things, but they make you slow down and help fill you up.

Take care of yourself!! 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.




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Creating Educated Communities Written By Kimberly Ewertz


hat is in a name? In the case of Cal-SOAP, California Student Opportunity and Access Program, it’s the message behind the name that matters. “Creating educated communities, one underrepresented student at a time,” is Cal-SOAP’s mission statement. That mission began almost 40 years ago, under the administration of The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). “They administer all the Cal-Grants in the state of California to college students,” Erin Gemar, Project Director, South County Cal-SOAP, said. “Cal-SOAP’s mission was to make college available for every Californian, and provide access on how to get there.” Today, the program has expanded beyond CSAC’s expectations. “We’re at twenty-five schools now; we are in the four districts, but we’re serving six districts, because we do financial aid in Soledad and Gonzalez Unified,” Gemar said. But what does Cal-SOAP mean to the staff? “We believe that every person who walks through the doors of our offices leaves more educated than when they arrived,” Gemar said. For Eric Martin, Tutor Coordinator, Cal-SOAP represents assurance that all people have access to a college education. Coordinator of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Robert Trout, wants all students to understand that Cal-SOAP


provides a place to go for their college needs. “College is something that you can reach,” Trout said. When did Cal-SOAP make its way to Gilroy? In 2000, San Jose applied for an extension grant that would ensure the establishment of the Cal-SOAP program at Gilroy High School, Mt. Madonna Continuation High School, South Valley Middle School, San Isidro, and Las Animas Elementary School. When things did not go as planned and the extension grant was jeopardized, then Gilroy Superintendent Edwin Diaz worked out the necessary details and requirements that allowed the grant money to remain in Gilroy. By 2003 he had successfully completed his mission. At that time, Gemar left her position as Academic Coordinator at Gilroy High (Cal-SOAP headquarters) to take on the role of Project Director. Cal-SOAP Tutor Lloselin Rodriguez’s message is simple: “Education is KEY.” Each year, approximately five hundred high school seniors receive one-on-one counseling from Cal-SOAP, and more than 94 percent of these students go on to college—proof of the program’s effectiveness in helping students of every background and financial situation to consider college as an option. What is the secret behind the program’s success? The answer is dedication. “Even before I knew what an outreach program was, it’s how I was raised to believe, and live. Share, care, and teach,”



Gemar said. “Through Cal-SOAP, I have limitless opportunities to donate my personal time and financial resources for students, and for the program.” For Gemar, a key component to the program is empowerment. “It’s not enough to help them fill out an application, or to help them complete a homework assignment,” Gemar said. “Our students learn how to fill out the application on their own, and understand the concepts within the homework, so they can do it on their own the next time around.” Nothing solidifies the effectiveness of the program more than success stories. Cal-SOAP alumnus, Manuel Aviña, is one of those. “College was always a dream that my parents wanted for me, but they didn’t have the resources or information to get me there,” Aviña said. “Without the help of Cal-SOAP, I would not have come out of UC San Diego debt free. This program really helps minorities, who statistically wouldn’t have made it to college, better their lives, and better the lives of their communities. Cal-SOAP invests in underrepresented students like me, so we can later pay it forward to those that need it. Minorities are the big ‘movers and shakers’ because we’ve lived the struggle.”  A major component of Cal-SOAP’s resources for students has been the college scholarship program. College Futures Foundation, CFF, has provided Cal-SOAP $150,000 per year for scholarships to low-income students, for the past decade.

Manual Avina, Cal-SOAP alumnus

Cal-SOAP staff (l-r): Erin Gemar, Rachelle Cariglio, Eric Martin, Vanessa Hernandez, Robert Trout, Dia Hoshida, Mekala Sheedy

This past school year, that funding was redirected. “We’re down to half of what we started with the College Futures Foundation,” Gemar said. Once again the dedication of the Cal-SOAP staff came through. The staff organized AlumNight 2016, a fundraiser held last June. The dinner’s successful turnout raised $17,000, providing at least one senior in eight of the high schools served by Cal-SOAP a scholarship. A total of 14 scholarships were awarded. “Our goal this year was to give out 10 scholarships, so we exceeded our goal,” Gemar said. “People were coming up to me saying they had no idea that Cal-SOAP provided so many services, or made such an impact on students,” Rachelle Cariglio,

Cal-SOAP bookkeeper, said about reactions from the fundraising event. The greatest impact came when alumni students delivered testimonials explaining the impact Cal-SOAP had on their lives. “The alumni students that were speaking weren’t just talking about the scholarship that they received, that was a part of it, but they were talking about their counselor, about what they went through in their life, and how Cal-SOAP helped them,” Cariglio said. The next AlumNight dinner will be held on Friday, June 16th, 2017, and will highlight a major component of the organization’s five-year plan, which includes a $100,000 scholarship program. “If you don’t have parents who know how to read the applications, process

the applications, no matter how badly they want you to go, you might not get there. So we’re here specifically for those students,” Gemar said, emphatically adding, “but we’re here for everyone.” The first step for all students is understanding just what Cal-SOAP can mean to them. Simply put, Cal-SOAP equals knowledge, and knowledge equals success. “Every kid is going to connect to something, or somebody, so why not college. There is nothing you can’t do in college,” Gemar said. South County Cal-SOAP serves the Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Aromas-San Juan Unified School Districts and the San Benito High School District. Info at:

Cal-SOAp volunteers and attendees at AlumNight 2016 fundraiser at Solis Winery




Dining Out With Friends

And So It Begins …

Not long ago, we were driving down Sixth Street in Gilroy and happened upon Janet and Mike Thompson heading towards The Milias Restaurant with some friends. It just so happened that this was on a Monday and The Milias isn’t open on Mondays. In a quick conversation, we in our car, them on the street, we suggested they try Old City Hall Restaurant just across the street. We ran into Janet and Mike a short time after that encounter at a community event in Morgan Hill and asked them how their evening went. They thanked us for the suggestion and told us that they really liked the food, service and atmosphere. Well, J. Chris and I — being the foodies that we are, and enjoying the company of friends — thought, what a great idea —

Dining Out With Friends. It was only right that we invite Janet and Mike to join us at Old City Hall for our first article. We plan to share our Dining Out With Friends experiences in each issue of TODAY. Let us know if you have a favorite restaurant experience that you think would be fun to share.


Written By Larry J. Mickartz 90



e arrived at Old City Hall at 6 pm on a windy Tuesday evening. We discussed dining outside, but felt the wind might be a distraction. We were pleased to find that they carried wines from a local winery, Fortino Winery. We started with a bottle of 2013 Carignon and enjoyed the intermingling plum, raspberry and creamy blackberry fruits. They also carry Fortino Chardonnay, Reisling and Maribella and have a full bar; for those who prefer a cocktail. Old City Hall has a wide variety of appetizers to select from so we had a bit of a challenge in deciding which ones to begin with. We settled on the Lobster Corn Dogs (chunks of lobster in a corn batter served with mustard and a light, fresh cole slaw … “really good”); Jalapeno Poppers (spicy but not over the top, made the wine take on a cherry flavor that made both taste… “yummy”); and the Wisconsin Cheese Curds (lightly breaded Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds deep fried to perfection served with Chimichurri sauce… “a little chewy, in a good way and a little salty but delicious”). We all agreed that we were definitely up for a do-over on our next visit to Old City Hall. As we solved the problems of the world and most of the local issues, our salads and soup arrived accompanied by a nice basket of very fresh out of the oven rolls and butter. J. Chris had the “City Hall” Tomato Bisque soup (a Gilroy favorite, topped with croutons and parmesan cheese). She couldn’t find the parmesan but we asked our waitress, Kim, and she cleared up the mystery. It was under the large herbed crouton that was floating on top of the soup. J. Chris enjoyed the full, rich flavor — and the parmesan accompaniment.











As we continued our conversation about the world and all things Gilroy, San Martin and Gilroy, Our meals arrived. Janet’s entree was the Asian Chicken Salad (shredded romaine, cabbage, peanuts, mandarin oranges, picked ginger over rice noodles and served with sesame dressing and served with a generous portion of chicken breast). It had a hint of mustard that Janet really liked. Mike, although not a big heavy meat eater, ordered the 14 ounce hand cut Rib Eye Steak with double vegetables (an Old City Hall favorite, grilled to perfection). Mike found it to be a little more well-done than he preferred but noted that the flavor was excellent. J. Chris opted for her favorite, Fresh Grilled Salmon Filet (topped with artichoke caper sauce) and a double order of veggies. She’s a big fan of salmon so she has become somewhat of a connoisseur. She noted that Old City Hall is one of her favorite places to enjoy salmon. I chose the Chicken Piccata (grilled chicken breast with lemon white wine parsley sauce topped with capers) served with vegetables and rice pilaf. I enjoy cooking and know that the balance of wine sauce and capers can be problematic — I found this sauce to be well balanced and delicious. When Kim asked if we were up for dessert, our first response was “NO!” but, our resolve waned when she said that they had Créme Brúlée. And we were happy that it did. Its crusty top and creamy, cool custard were the perfect end to a very pleasant dining experience. Old City Hall Restaurant is located in the historic 1905 Gilroy City Hall building on the corner of Sixth and Monterey Streets. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, they have banquet facilities and cater many special events offsite.



Dessert OLD CITY HALL 7400 Monterey Road Gilroy 408.842.3454 OPEN: Daily 8 am - 9 pm







Countries Less Traveled Written and Photographed By Laura Lundy Laura & Jeff Lundy




Photos: Old Town Kotor (Page 92) Highest Point Walled Old Town Dubrovnik (top) Antique Store Sarajevo Old Town (above) One of the many alleyways with shops, restaurants, residences and museums (left)


ur trip to the Adriatic was inspired by friends who previously traveled the area and raved about its scenery, people, culture, history and food. We were pleased to have our expectations exceeded. We chose to go with Overseas Adventure Travel, knowing we would be touring several countries where languages other than English were spoken. With a guide for our small group of 14, we would

feel safe and well taken care of. We would also have the opportunity to mix with the people and get to know them through home-hosted dinners, a “day in the life of” experiences, visits to local schools, and the unique perspectives of additional local guides. We flew into Dubrovnik, Croatia, and were amazed at how picturesque the whole city was, but especially the walled Old Town. The setting on a rocky spur



on the blue Adriatic Sea is magnificent and the Old Town itself is full of history from the 15th century Rector’s Palace and the 14th century Franciscan Monastery to the many alleyways filled with shops, restaurants, residences and museums. The Old Town bears some scars from the war with Serbia with bullet holes in the entry walls, but otherwise has been wonderfully restored to its former splendor with the help of UNESCO.


A walk around the top of the wall gave us magnificent views of the harbor, the islands off the mainland, the tiled rooftops and quaint gardens within, and the tram to the top of the nearby mountain. From this mountaintop, the Croats held the Serbian forces at bay in the early 1990’s and kept the city from falling into Serbian hands. Fresh well-prepared seafood is plentiful at the local restaurants, and there are plenty of shops in which to pick up souvenirs, jewelry, artwork or just browse at our leisure. The next day, we were able to go by bus to Montenegro just a few hours south along a well maintained and popular roadway which took us through one border crossing checkpoint. Montenegro’s scenic coastline is dotted with historic cities but our destinations, the Bay of Kotor, the ancient village of Perast and the medieval walled town of Kotor, were by far the most stunningly beautiful. Near Perast, we visited the Lady of the Rock shrine. The shrine, which sits on a man-made island, is of great local religious significance, and


is filled with artifacts, paintings and local memorabilia. From there, we went by boat across the Bay of Kotor to the popular tourist destination of Kotor’s Stari Grad or Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with ancient churches, former aristocratic mansions, charming restaurants and quaint shops lining its cobbled streets. Our local guide was living proof that Montenegro is home to some of the tallest men in the world,and his good looks won the admiration of all the women in the group. He provided us with a very good history of the town, its historic buildings, and tales about the local celebrities. After a delicious lunch highlighting exquisite local seafood, a few of us took the trail up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed stupendous views overlooking the Bay. The next destination, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the most historically impactful because of the struggles and atrocities suffered in the recent Serbian War (1991-1995) (Google uses the term Yugoslav Wars and the dates (1991-1999). We traveled by bus up the coastline, through the border crossing checkpoint,



along the very brief section of Adriatic shoreline within Bosnia, and then inland towards our ultimate destination of Sarajevo. We made two stops, one in Blagaj to see the impressive spring that comes out of the mountain to create the Buna River, and the other in Mostar to see the Old Town and the 16th Century Bridge that was destroyed in 1993 during the breakup of Yugoslavia. The bridge is a scenic wonder and has been beautifully restored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sarajevo flourished for centuries as a multicultural haven where Muslims, Serbs, Croats, Turks, Jews and others co-existed. It is well known as the host city for the 1984 Olympics, but also for the chaos it experienced in the three-and-a-half years it was surrounded and under siege by Serbian army troops in the Yugoslav Wars of the early 1990’s. The signs of war are still prevalent in the bullet-riddled buildings, and the mortar-marred sidewalks, buildings and pavement. In the historic area of Sarajevo, some of the mortar shelling sites where people were killed are marked with red paint to remind tourists

and locals of the lives lost from these horrific years of the siege. A local guide took us through the Old Town, Banjarmasin, and to the spot by the river Miljacka and the Latin Bridge where Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, which ignited the spark for World War I. The picturesque city of Sarajevo is surrounded by forested mountains. The large river that flows through it is crossed by many unique and artful bridges. The Old Town is filled with great restaurants, small stores, a 16th century Ottoman mosque, historic churches, antique stores, coppersmith shops, and a Turkish bazaar. The city still displays the mix and vibrancy of the various cultures and religions that make up its current population. Despite recent ethnic strife, I was struck by how well the people of such diverse beliefs and backgrounds get along today. Our home-hosted dinner at a high-rise apartment in a more commercial and heavily populated part of town was a striking example of this. My group had a home-prepared dinner with a couple and their 19-year-old son. The husband

Photos Clockwise: Adriatic Sea off Dubrovnik at sunset, Motovun Isteria Croatia, River Trail to top Kotar, Our Lady of Lakes Shrine Bay of K otor, Montengro.




was Catholic, the wife, Muslim, and their son, a Political Science major at a nearby college, had no religious affiliation. The conversation was very open and informative. Our local Bosnian guide for the three days we spent in Sarajevo also indicated that her diverse group of friends, Croats, Serbs, and Muslims all got along well. Our guide had lost not only her parents in the war, but also an aunt, and was brought up by her grandmother. I was impressed to see such positive recovery from tragedy. Our tour of the “Tunnel of Hope” by the airport, where people were ferried out and supplies brought in during wartime, further educated us about the struggles and loss of lives experienced during these tumultuous years. More than 10,0000 people were killed in the war and current investigative efforts have brought to light the genocide involved. Before arriving in Sarajevo, I had been impressed by the cleanliness of Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia, but here, graffiti was prevalent on many buildings, and many were in disrepair. The people seem to have recovered, but the economy still needs to improve. The political situation,


with Presidents from each of the three main ethnic groups (Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian) alternating their terms, and rumored corruption, does not seem to be improving. From Sarajevo we traveled back into Croatia, this time into the interior countryside of farms and quaint villages. We were able to experience life on a local farm in Karanac where we spent the night after going to neighboring farms for home-hosted dinners. Our “day in the life of” had us making cheese, working on making pottery, and enjoying an incredibly fresh and delicious farm breakfast. I came away realizing how peaceful, how supportive, and how much hard work life in a farming community could be. Like everything else, there were definite pros and cons. Everyone knew their neighbors and helped one another out; and most lived, worked and stayed in their local community. Our dinner hosts, for instance, had never been on a commercial airplane, and in all their lives had probably traveled less than 150 miles from home. There was not a lot of wealth; however, the farms were well kept, and



the hard work needed to take care of the crops, animals and land, kept everyone thoroughly occupied. From the Croatian countryside, we headed northward to one of its largest cities, Zagreb. The contrast was striking coming from a quiet small farming town to a large bustling city with traffic, trams, apartment houses, and highways. However, Zagreb still had its charm with the historic hilltop “Upper” town reached by funicular or multiple stairways, many beautiful churches including the Cathedral of St. Stephen in all its neoGothic splendor, interesting museums, and the colorful Dolac Market where hand-made goods, flowers, and plentiful fresh produce were on display. Exploring the countryside outside Zagreb, we visited Kumrovec. The birthplace of Marshal Tito, president of the former Yugoslavia, now housed an openair museum focusing on traditional ways of life a century ago. Our overland trip by private bus to the coast of Croatia included a stop to explore and hike through the magnificent Plitvice Lakes, a 114 square mile national park with 16 turquoise lakes linked by

falls and cascades. Water seemed to pore out of every crevice in the rocks. Ferns, water lilies, greenery were everywhere. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must see! The Croatian coastline was picturesque, dropping dramatically into the blue Adriatic Sea, as were the small coastal villages with their red tile roofs and white or beige houses. Our destination that day was the seaside resort town of Opatija, which has been a popular spot for wealthy European aristocrats, dignitaries, and artists since 1844. The hill towns of Istria proved to be an additional scenic joy. From walking the walled medieval hill town of Motovun, to enjoying rakija (brandy) at a local distillery and learning about “trufflehunting” from a local guide accompanied by his dog, the day was full of enjoyable new experiences. We left Croatia the next day and headed to our final destination, Slovenia. Our trip through Slovenia was highlighted by a train ride through the 12 mile Postojna Cave with its magnificent display of stalactites and stalagmites, and a stop

to see Predjama Castle perched on the cliff above Lokva Stream. Slovenia’s large capital city, Ljubljana, was very tourist friendly. It was easy to walk around in the historic town center, hike up to the hilltop castle, cross the quaint bridges of the Ljubljana River, shop at the many small boutique stores selling lace, crystal, souvenirs, clothing, and take in the ambiance of the many excellent restaurants. Our stay in this charming and thriving university town was only surpassed by our trip through the countryside the next day to the popular resort area of Lake Bled. Lake Bled is another must see. In the middle of the lake is an islet featuring a 17th century church and an 800-year-old castle clinging to a majestic cliff overlooking the calm, deep blue waters. As word spreads about the beautiful scenery, the many UNESCO Heritage sites, the depth of history, the friendliness of the people, the great food, and the low cost compared to similar tourist areas, I am positive these less traveled countries will find their rightful place on many more travelers’ bucket lists.



Photos Clockwise: 17th Century Church on Lake Bled Plitvice UNESCO World Heritage Site Predijama Castle, Slovenia Tunnel of Hope, Sarajevo Spring Sourcing, Buna River


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Lighting Your Home By Carol Carr


roper lighting is essential to the ambience and livability of your home. Effective high-quality lighting completes a room even more than any accessory. It provides utility and comfort while enhancing the mood and creating a sense of drama in our living spaces. When choosing lighting solutions, consider these factors: the size of your room, how you’ll use the room, and the look you want for that space. If the room has dark walls and floors, much of the light will be absorbed. Therefore it will require more light to achieve the same level of illumination that you’d have if the room had light walls and floors that reflected the light. Another consideration is whether the room’s lighting needs to serve different functions. For example, a bedroom that needs overall illumination as well as a lamp to light a writing table or a reading nook.

There are three basic types of lighting: • General lighting provides overall illumination. This can be achieved with chandeliers as well as other ceiling, wallmounted or recessed fixtures. • Task lighting provides more concentrated light suited to activities such as reading, cooking and games. This lighting can be provided by floor lamps, track and recessed lights, pendant lighting and tabletop lamps. • Accent lighting adds drama to your space, such as lighting a painting, sculpture or highlighting a design element in the room such as the wall texture or a coffered ceiling. Recessed lights are one of the best ways to accent objects. Accent lighting typically casts more light on the object or area being accented (at least as much as three times more) than the general lighting in the surrounding area.

LIGHTING A LIVING ROOM OR FAMILY ROOM Reading If achieved with pendants or portable lamps, the shade should be at eye level when a person is seated, approximately 40” to 42” above the floor. TV, Video Games AND Computers In-home electronics require lowlevel general lighting that won’t ‘wash out’ screen displays or reflect light into the viewer’s eyes. Bar Recessed lights or other surfacemounted lights work well over a bar. If you have cabinets above the bar, you can use under-mount lighting.

LIGHTING A DINING ROOM A chandelier hanging over the middle of the dining table is a delightful choice. The bottom of the chandelier should be 30 inches above the table, no lower. If you choose recessed lighting to light the surface of a square dining table, position four lights aligned with the perimeter of the table, basically one light at each corner. If you have a long rectangular table, center four lights above the length of each side of the table to get full coverage.

LIGHTING A KITCHEN Under-cabinet lighting is a good choice when the goal is to light countertop surfaces. In this case, they should be mounted close to the front of the cabinets. Recessed ceiling lights are a good choice for food preparation and cooking tasks. Above a sink, place two recessed lights 18 inches apart, or one light in the center if the area is small. A lighting option popular in today’s kitchens is to hang small pendants above an island or other

appropriate area of the kitchen. Use no more than three pendants, no reason except that it’s good design. For a ceiling pendant lamp hung over a dinette table, use a pendant that’s 12 inches narrower than the table diameter.

LIGHTING A BEDROOM A ceiling fixture can provide general lighting. As for task lighting, you can have a portable lamp on either side of the bed (use the same height formula as for lamps next to chairs). Another option is to mount wall lamps above the bed (and headboard), each with its own controls. Choose lamps that swivel or have a two-way arm so they can be moved out of the way. You can also use recessed lights above the bed with separate dimmer switches so that if you want to read and your partner wants to sleep, all is well.

LIGHTING A BATHROOM If possible, install a light in your shower as well as general overhead lighting. Consider adding a heat lamp if you live in an area with cold winters, and a fan to vent moisture out of the room. Regarding lights around the mirror above your vanity, overhead lights tend to cast shadows on one’s face. Try a framed mirror with a wall sconce on each side of the mirror. For a touch of decadence, consider hanging a chandelier over your bathtub, especially if it’s the show piece of your bathroom.

Since 1981, Carol Carr has specialized 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.




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it’s YOUR swing


with Don DeLorenzo

Words of Wisdom

So You Want To Play Golf…


olf is a very unique game in the sense that we don’t grow up playing it in the park with our buddies like we do baseball or football. By the time most of us are 12 years old we can throw a curveball, hit a jump shot and catch a spiral. But hit a golf ball in the air…..forget it. That’s why it’s important to turn to a PGA Professional to teach you how to play this game. Like all other educators, a professional instructor can break down the ABC’s of the game into a manageable language that you can understand. Because, if you try to figure out this game on your own, forget it! It can’t be that difficult you say? Well for starters you have to swing down to make that ball go up, if you try to lift it in the air it stays on the ground and if you swing to the left the ball goes to the right. Now you know why you need a professional instructor. Why should I learn to play golf anyway? Well, golf has been called “The game of a lifetime” because unlike all the other sports we have played as kids, you can play it forever. I don’t see too many 50+ year olds in the park playing football or a pick-up game of basketball. But go to a golf course any morning and you will see many “baby boomers” out enjoying a round of golf with friends. I lost count how many times friends of mine that I went to elementary or high school with see me at the golf course and say, “ I should have learned this game as a kid”. The greatest thing about the game of golf is you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. You can be a 25 handicap-



per (shoot about 100) and you can play right along with a 0 handicapper (shoots about 72). I don’t think this could happen on the tennis or basketball court. As with any sport, learning it at a young age is much easier and more beneficial than waiting until you are an adult. There are several avenues to look at if you want to start your youngster in the game. There is the conventional one on one private lesson route. Make sure the instructor is someone your junior golfer enjoys being around if it’s just going to be the instructor and the junior golfer. Junior camps are readily available through most recreation departments and golf courses. In a camp setting, there is less personal instruction but your junior gets to learn the game with others there same age. One very popular national program is “The First Tee”. The First Tee program advances juniors through levels like school. Making sure they grasp the skills before moving on to the next level. What makes this program unique is they tie life skills such as honest, integrity, responsibility into every golf lesson. Locally, First Tee programs are held at Gavilan College Golf Course. But golf on TV looks so boring! I have to agree with you a little on that one. All you see on TV is a ball flying through the air and bouncing down the fairway until it stops. Or people being very quiet while a tall guy in ugly pants rolls a ball into a hole that is way too small. But I promise you that if you go out to a golf course and experience the outdoor beauty of a green undulating golf


Don DeLorenzo has been the PGA General Manager of Gilroy Golf Course since 1985. He is a former winner of the Bill Stausbaugh award given by the PGA of America for excellence in education. He was named the 2014 Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year, was born and raised in Gilroy and still lives here with Mia, his wife of 33 years.

course coupled with the challenge of hitting the ball where you want it you will be hooked. You get hooked because when you hit your first ball up in the air and straight you want to do it again and again. Then one day you can hit five in a row, then ten and so on. When you start on the golf course and you score a 15 on the first hole you want to play it again to see if you can score a 14, then a 13… etc. The game will hook you like no other game. Why? It’s the inner struggle to improve and do better than the last time. It’s the challenge to hit a drive further than you’ve ever hit it before. The game is so easy to measure your improvement it keeps you coming back time and time again to lower your score. Just like other individual sports like track or swimming, it’s all in the numbers as to how well you are doing. So how do I get started? Contact your local golf course, college or recreation department and inquire about golf lessons. Grab a friend who is interested in taking lessons too so you have a “built in” partner to practice and play with. Oh, and did I mention practice? To improve you must do that a lot. I always told all my students, “just like school, if you listen to the teacher in class you might pass the class, but if you go home and do your homework you will get an A.” Remember to be patient. The golfers you see on TV have played this game for years so don’t expect to be the next Jordan Speith or Lydia Ko overnight. Enjoy learning this “Game of a Lifetime”. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



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gilroy LIVING


Meet Gena & Fortune Gonzales

Forty Something In Gilroy

Sam Bozzo has lived in Gilroy since 1976. He has served as President of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association and has been a demonstration chef at the event for many years. He is co-writer with Gene Sakahara of the local best seller, So You Think You Can Cook cookbook and has been part of the SakaBozzo comedy duo for many years. He lives in Gilroy with his wife, Judy. They have two sons who, with their families, also call Gilroy their home.



have known Gena Gonzales for many years. When we had our Fourth of July block parties on 5th Street, we would recruit her for the kids’ games. She is a natural born leader. Gena was born in Carmel at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula. Her family moved to Gilroy when she was nine months old. Her dad Gene took a job with the Gilroy Unified School District at San Ysidro School out on Highway 152. Gena began her early school years Las Animas Elementary School when it was located on Wren Ave. From there she went to South Valley Middle School and then to Gilroy High. Following in her father’s footsteps, she graduated from Chico State. During her college years, her grandparents lived close to campus in the Chico suburb of Durham. I came to meet Fortune some years later, just in time to attend his bachelor party. We started with a tail gate at the Oakland A’s stadium. Still tailgating by the third inning, I asked if we were going into the game. Afterward, we headed across the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood City where we raced miniature cars and then took the Dumbarton Bridge to Milpitas to enjoy the food and fun at Dave and Busters Restaurant.  What a great night.  Fortune was born in San Jose, He grew up in his family’s home on New Avenue in Gilroy. They had horses on the property, so as a young boy, part of Fortune’s daily routine was tending to and riding the horses.  Fortune and Gena attended Gilroy High School at the same time. They met while taking a ceramics class together.



Little did they know then that Gilroy High would become a focal point in the story of their lives together. Fortune went on to San José State where he got his teaching credential and later a Masters Degree in Educational Administration. After college, they both landed jobs at Gilroy High. Fortune taught U.S. History, Government and Economics. Gena worked as the school’s athletic director while studying for her Master’s Degree. She coached the Gilroy High women’s softball team to a league championship! They started having lunch together, but not romantic lunches – typically they ate in the classroom surrounded by students.

“We don’t have crime like other cities and while some people think there’s more traffic, we have the ability to move across town in a short time.” They dated for a while, and got married during Garlic Festival weekend in 2004. They made their wedding vows at Gilroy Presbyterian Church where I had the privilege of being a part of the wedding ceremony. The reception followed in Monterey. The time came to start a family. Bode was their firstborn son, followed by Kaiden. This fall, Bode (11) is a student at Solorsano Middle School, while Kaiden (9) continues at Glen View Elementary. In their infancy the boys were well cared for by grandma and grandpa Sakahara. Grandpa

is also known as “Big Papa.” When the boys started school, “Big Papa” paid weekly visits to school to read in their classrooms. Gena and Fortune agree that the benefits of having family close by is definitely an asset. Both Gena and Fortune have a history of involvement in the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Gena was the first Chair of Sponsor Hospitality. She was also on the Advisory Board. Fortune is now the assistant Chair of Sponsor Hospitality.  When asked the question “What are the benefits of living in your home town of Gilroy?” their response was quick. “We have Rocca’s Market, the Women’s U.S. Open, and the Super Bowl just up the road in Santa Clara. We have the ability to go from 100-degree weather in Gilroy and

to be in the fog within a matter of minutes and maybe enjoy a little dinner at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing. We don’t have crime like other cities and while some people think there’s more traffic, we have the ability to move across town in a short time.” Gina and Fortune said another reason to love Gilroy is the people. Recently, they were involved in a project called “Read Across America” at Glen View School. The school invited people from the community to come in and read to the students in every classroom. People like Dr. Gar Chan, and former “Man of the Year” Don DeLorenzo, responded immediately. They were among 24 Gilroy citizens who showed up to read to the children.



That is what the Gonzales family likes about Gilroy . Recently, Bode and Kaiden went off for a week of summer camp. Rarely do their parents have time for themselves, so while the boys were having a ball at Mt. Hermon Redwood Camp, Gena and Fortune decided to go wine tasting, not in Napa, not in Sonoma but right here in South Santa Clara County. That same day they attended an event at the Milias Restaurant to raise funds for pediatric cancer research, where they enjoyed good company, good food, and a little more wine. It was a great time and all for a good cause. Life in Gilroy in one’s 40s sounds pretty good, just take it from Gena and Fortune.


Presidential Election and Your Portfolio


very four years, investors find themselves wondering how the presidential election will impact their portfolio. With the 2016 campaign proving to be more heated and contentious than usual, the stakes are high for the economy and financial markets, as our new president will need to address a wide range of pressing issues. From free trade to raising or lowering taxes, will the new administration foster an economy with tight or loose fiscal policy? Companies and consumers rely on a number of assumptions from the government about spending and taxes, and the theory is that any disruption to these assumptions could have adverse effects on the market. But is this really the case? This theory may make intuitive sense, however, when we look at the data, we can see that the markets really don’t care which party becomes president. While the government may have some impact, the majority of companies will adapt and advance regardless of which political party is in control. Market returns can vary greatly by four-year cycle, but data shows the overall range of returns is

similar in years with a Democratic president to those with a Republican president. In addition, many policies take time to seep through the economy. Policy changes made today may not produce tangible results for many years. And all presidents take office under the economic conditions, good or bad, of their predecessors. Lastly, in our tripartite system of government, with all its check and balances on power, presidents generally have a limited ability to influence markets or the economy. It is Congress that is directly responsible for budgets and spending. And Congress itself has often been divided. Since 1945, there have only been 13 years when both chambers of Congress were controlled by the same party. But what about returns during election year itself? Since 1928 only four presidential election years saw negative returns. But before you attach any significance to that, realize that the average return on the S&P 500 during only the election years was slightly lower than the average return in all the years from 1928 to 2012.2

The take away is that laws and rules change, and the goal of a good business is to adapt to it and grow regardless. Corporate executives and entrepreneurs still look for ways for their businesses to win. This data reinforces the ideas that a well-balanced and diversified portfolio will bring better returns

in the long run. Rhetoric from the campaign trails may spook short term investors and cause short-term volatility. However, staying the course and sticking through the volatility is the key to bringing in good, consistent returns in your portfolio over the long term.

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.


SOURCE DISCLOSURES United States Elections Project; Data Source: DFA Returns 2.0 The S&P data are provided by MorningstarDirect, June, 2016. The S&P 500(Standard & Poor’s 500 Index) is a broad-based U.S. equity index. The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged market value-weighted index of 500 stocks that are traded on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ. The weightings make each company’s influence on the index performance directly proportional to that company’s market value. Indexes are unmanaged baskets of securities that are not available for direct investment by investors. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of actual portfolios including, but not limited to tax deductions and management fees. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and values fluctuate. All investments involve risk, including the loss of principal.








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10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016  

The 2016 September-October issue of gmhToday features a focus on back to school issues with an update on local school programs, Gilroy’s Fir...