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Dear Old Golden Rule Days Our Schools Then and Now




72 Fran & Bobby Beaudet

10 Into The Wild


12 Our SSCV Schools


20 Gilroy’s Downtown Paseo


22 Amazing Pop-Up Park



24 The Bountiful SSCV



28 New High School Coming


32 Cecelia Ponzini


44 Youth Philanthropy



78 Standing the Test of Time


86 Isabella Chow


90 When Old Is New



36 Everyone Has A Story


38 Artfully Yours



42 Those Who Do


47 The Vine

62 Photo Essay by






A big bumble bee enjoying the nectar of a cactus flower in our neighbor’s yard.





70 Book Club Beat


76 Aging With An Attitude


82 Historically Speaking



88 Kids Corner With Emma


94 They Serve, Protect

& Defend


96 The Streets Of Gilroy




























TO SHARE We invite you to join in the conversation. Share the things you love about Morgan Hill, features and people you would like to see in future editions of TODAY, and any comments you might have on articles in the current issues at



Available everywhere you do business. Electronic copies available online at:







Sarah’s Sunset Music


Wine, music, food served up on their lovely picnic grounds from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

The Barn at Hoey Ranch Fine Rustic Barntiquites Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy Open One Weekend Month or by Appointment 408.309.1179


Time For Wine Clos La Chance Winery presents live music, incredible vineyard views and fun every Thursday through August at 6 pm


Garlic City Fun Run & Car Show 14th Annual Event in Downtown Gilroy — classic cars, great music, vendors and Sock Hop!

18 Summer Gala 2015 Leadership Excellence Award Dinner honoring Dana Ditmore will be held at Guglielmo Winery, Morgan Hill.

18-19 Wine Tasting

Paradise Valley Vineyards at Villa Mira Monte, Morgan Hill from 11:30 am to 4 pm Also August 1-2 & 22-23.


Lion Ranch Winery Grand Opening South Santa Clara Valley’s newest winery invites you to its grand opening in San Martin. 408.713-8501





Annual Community Picnic at Villa Mira Monte held in conjunction with Morgan Hill Downtown Association’s new family event “Staycation.”

For the cigar aficionado and wine enthusiast, Solis Winery combines wine and port selections with 2 special cigars for an evening of relaxation and conversation. 7-10 pm Second event on August 22nd.

Summer Picnic

24 Music In The Vineyard Featuring the Houserockers at Fortino Winery, 7-10 pm.


36th Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival Great garlicky food, live cooking competitions, and lots of fun for the whole family! Held at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy.

Cigars Under The Stars

15 Harvest Festival

Guglielmo Winery will host their 24th Annual Guglielmo Family Harvest Festival complete with fun games of skill, cheeses, grilled sausages and wine. Featuring the annual Blessing of the Grapes. Dancing to The Heartbeats. Call for tickets: 408.779.2145.

Ladies Night

Featuring Tsunami Band at Guglielmo Winery from 6:30 - 9:30 pm—music, wine, and fun.


Mt. Madonna Run Club Great garlicky food, live cooking competitions, and lots of fun for the whole family! Held at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy.

22 Pony Up Petting Zoo

Goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs and more…all sized for the little ones. Weekends through September 27th.


Music In The Vineyard Featuring Isaiah Pickett and Band at Fortino Winery 7 -10 pm.


Barrell Tasting and Wine Trail Celebration Details to be announced.

Seasonal Events SATURDAYS

Farmer’s Markets

GILROY Sponsored By Gilroy Demonstration Garden - City Hall Parking Lot at 7351 Rosanna and Seventh Street 9 am - 1 pm MORGAN HILL Year-round, from the 3rd Street Promenade and Depot Street into the Caltrain Station parking lot. 9 am – 1 pm 800.806-FARM TENNANT AVENUE MORGAN HILL Year-round Saturdays & Sundays 9am – 3pm 408.465.9176

August 5

Wines & Vibes Music by Sonic Addiction — dance or just listen to great music, food and wine. Guglielmo Winery 408.779.2145

Something New


Inaugural Shakespeare production of The Bard’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Friday & Saturday, August 7-8 and 14-15 at 8 pm in the Christopher High School.

Odyssey Theatre Company

Bring-A-Friend FREE

Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens is offering two Fridays where Premium or elite members may bring a friend free — August 14 and Nov 27.

Theme park features over 40 fun rides and attractions as well as six majestic gardens in a truly beautiful and unique setting. New half-acre Water Oasis attraction and a host of special events throughout season. Open every day in July through August 16, weekends ‘til the end of the year.



itty bitty beauty boutique

one free bridal airbrush makeup with purchase of 3 or more for bridal party or mother of the bride. RETAIL SHOP NOW OPEN!

come see us for


itt y bitt y beaut y GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Written By Robin Shepherd 10






hen we hit the pause button on our busy lives to get out in nature, we are rewarded with glimpses of golden eagles, deer, foxes and bobcats that dwell in South County parks and open space lands. But from time to time, they need a helping hand. We are fortunate to have the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center to fulfill this role. Every year, the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC) takes in an average of 200 native wild animals. WERC is both an acute care center for the sick and injured, and a nurturing center for orphaned wildlife too young to survive on their own. As a temporary refuge, the organization’s goal is not to tame, but to rehabilitate and then release healthy animals back into their native habitat to live wild and free.

to fly about inside WERC’s 100-foot aviary. Nicknamed “Morgan” before her release, the eagle was outfitted with an identification band on her leg and a tiny telemetry backpack that helps WERC track her movements. An orphaned three-month-old “owlet” was delivered to WERC for some surrogate mothering from Luna, an adult great horned owl and one of WERC’s official “ambassador” animals. While Luna herself cannot be released back into the wild, she is an apt teacher able to show her feathered students the ins and outs of life as a raptor. The young owl grew and thrived under the care of Luna and WERC staff. When the time was right she was released back into the wild.

Caring for the Wild Things

WERC educational outreach touches more than 2,500 children each year. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of wildlife safety, habitat preservation, wilderness awareness and, as WERC President Joy Joyner describes it, “the need to co-exist peacefully with our native wildlife.” To raise community awareness and support for wildlife rehabilitation and education services, WERC teams up with a variety of organizations including Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sustainable Agriculture Education, the Discovery Museum and the Rosicrucian Museum.

Amazing Ambassadors

The science of wildlife rehabilitation is constantly evolving. WERC meets new requirements for animal care, feeding, handling and physical therapy through staff education and training. Today, WERC is the only South Santa Clara County facility licensed by both the U.S. and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife Service to care for native wildlife. It has also received accreditation by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for meeting facilities standards and the care and caging of wildlife for rehabilitation. WERC’s best practice models for rehabilitation and release of birds of prey and bobcats are increasingly being adopted by other agencies. When an orphan bobcat cub was found, weak and struggling, on a neighborhood street in Fairfield, California, a concerned resident brought it to the nearby Suisun Wildlife Center. The cub weighed only 2.5 pounds and was infested with ticks, fleas and mites. Aware of WERC’s successes with orphaned bobcats, the Suisun staff brought the cub in. Animal Care Coordinator Colleen Grzan and other WERC staff cared for “Fairfield” through a proven program designed to imprint bobcat rather than human traits on the cub. For example, the caregiver always dresses in a full-body, fur-covered suit and gloves that have a camouflage pattern and are rubbed with feline urine to mask human scent. The caregiver never speaks or walks upright when working with a cub, but instead mimics the behavior of an adult bobcat to prompt the cub’s natural instincts to play, hunt or hide. Four months after Fairfield’s arrival, WERC released him, full-grown and feisty at 18.7 pounds, back into the wild. According to WERC’s Education Outreach Coordinator Anna Venneman, “Our bobcat anti-imprinting, rehab and release program has been so successful that China is using our protocol to work with pandas, and the Monterey Aquarium is adapting it to rehabilitate sea otters.” On another occasion, a female Golden Eagle was brought in after a head trauma left her with temporary loss of vision. The eagle was able to roost, recuperate, and as her vision returned, GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Morgan Hill-based WERC was founded by Sue Howell, a long-time South County resident and avid nature enthusiast. Along with her role as the organization’s Executive Director, Howell is also an ambassador for Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators. Over the years, Howell and her staff have welcomed community involvement through donations, summer internships and animal sponsorship as well as volunteer opportunities in animal care, handy person services, grant writing and fundraising events.




Our South County Schools Preparing our Youth for a Very Different World Few decisions are more important to parents school programs to guide our youth from the first day of prethan where to raise their kids and send them to school until they graduate from 12th grade. We are also blessed school. Our children and with passionate educators. teens spend an average of 13 years and close Recently, gmhTODAY staff visited a to 12,000 hours in school before they launch number of local school campuses to observe What sculpture is to into college, jobs or military service. A quality teachers and students in action. We asked a block of marble, education helps them chart a meaningful and educational leaders to reflect on the past year education is to the successful course in life. and share thoughts about the year ahead. While soul. Joseph Addison Here in South County we are fortunate to South County schools differ in size, offerings have real choice, with more than 40 public, and cost, we discovered a common thread that charter and private schools as well as homeruns through the fabric of this community. BY ROBIN SHEPHERD




21st Century Schools

Common Core

It’s not professional jargon. The reality is that 21st century schools have departed from the traditional notion of education, with new teaching methods and new tools. Even beyond that, they are encouraging students and their families to have a new mindset when it comes to learning. Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD) Superintendent Steve Betando said today’s schools have “let go of traditional lecture and test teaching methods and print-based instructional materials to prepare students for a future of challenges and opportunities, very different than anything we’ve known.” Betando described how South County educators are embracing new teaching methods that help students work collaboratively, engage with project-based learning, and become researchers, critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers who can present and defend their knowledge effectively in the modern world. Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD) Superintendent Debbie Flores talked about the transformation of our local campuses into modern schools that are wirelessly connected to the Internet, and classrooms that are equipped with iPads, Chromebooks, interactive whiteboards and a bevy of software apps like Tynker, Skype and Gaggle (a safe learning system). Both Betando and Flores point out that thanks to community support for Measure G and Measure P, South County students are benefitting from new or improved classrooms, libraries, gymnasiums, science labs and more. The majority of schools in the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Unified School Districts have been touched and capacity is being added in anticipation of population growth in the region. Youth spend their school days in well-lit, energy-efficient classrooms. They perform theater arts in comfortable auditoriums with good acoustics. And they compete in safe, well-equipped sports fields and facilities.

Common Core State Standards have kicked educational requirements up a few notches in preparing students for college and careers in the years ahead. California is among 43 states, the District of Columbia and 4 U.S. territories that have elected to adopt these standards. South County schools are among California’s early and proactive implementers. According to Flores, “Common Core is the biggest transformation I’ve seen in public education. To implement these standards, our schools are embracing new learning, testing and assessment methods and models. We have implemented the English Language, Arts and Math standards and we are on track with the Next Generation Science Standards.” In the so-called Internet Age, even the way students explore and consume information is changing. Nordstrom Elementary School Principal Barbara Neal said her teachers have introduced “close reading,” a new way to teach reading of informational texts. In essence, students learn to break apart the text and synthesize information as they read so they can focus more energy on critical analysis. But if our kids are learning to think and work differently in the classroom, how will we gauge their progress? “Looking ahead, my concern is about student assessment,” Betando said, referring to the challenge of measuring results in a changing education system. “We need new methods to assess academic performance in a meaningful way and to give students immediate feedback.”


Project Cornerstone Our schools are “walking the talk” when it comes to implementing the 41 developmental assets put forth by Project Cornerstone. It was originally developed through a collaborative of communitybased organizations known as the Youth Alliance and is now an initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley.



One example is Live Oak High School, which was named an Asset Champion in 2015 for its Caring High School Climate in which students brought to life the school’s motto: United at the roots, we are all different branches of the same tree. As a Live Oak graduating student put it, “If there’s one word that I can describe Live Oak with, it would be ‘accepting.’” When it comes to academics, Neal said teachers are cultivating a new mindset among their students. “We are teaching students to be responsible for their own learning and the works they produce. We advise students, ‘Do your best; don’t just do the minimum’. We want to build competent, confident students, and we’re encouraging parents to support the process at home by asking their students, ‘Is this your best work?’”

at Eliot Elementary School. Patricia Pelino, the school’s principal, said that through Los Dichos, Spanish-speaking parents can become involved in their children’s education and instill a sense of positive cultural identity in their children. Volunteers are trained by a bilingual Project Cornerstone staffer in the principles of positive youth development. Afterward, they visit classrooms to read books aloud and lead discussions and activities about topics including tolerance, family pride, peaceful conflict resolution and other core values.

To further cultivate this mindset, Brownell Middle School Principal Greg Camacho-Light said the old days of parent-teacher conferences have given way to student-led conferences. “Students reflect on one or two assignments per subject area and address the objective, standards, grading criteria, successes, and areas in need of improvement for each assignment. They are expected to use these reflections as evidence to demonstrate academic growth and to set goals for the upcoming school year.” This is not to say that schools don’t appreciate parental support. On the contrary, educators are acutely aware of the benefits that a nurturing family and home environment convey to their students. Programs such as the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) help parents connect with the schools and learning experiences of their students and get up to speed on everything from understanding Common Core to cyber safety and substance abuse awareness. Another example of this partnership is the Los Dichos Program



During the 2014-15 school year, South County schools and students went above and beyond to win acclaim on many fronts. Here are just a few highlights. Graduating seniors include National Merit Scholars representing multiple high schools in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. They have been accepted into top colleges and universities including Dartmouth, Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCLA as well as the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. Local public schools were a beacon of achievement, earning recognition from the State of California in its Gold Ribbon Awards Program (replacing the California Distinguished Schools Program). Among the winners were Brownell Middle School, Christopher High School, Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA), Ann Sobrato High School, Britton Middle School, Martin Murphy Middle School, and Live Oak High School. In addition to being chosen as a Gold Ribbon School, Christopher High was also selected as having an Exemplary Program in Arts Education. Brownell received additional recognition as a Title I Academic Achieving School.  When it comes to Math, South County schools enjoy a creative partnership with the American Institute of Mathematics for extracurricular math enrichment programs, competitions and clubs open to 4th through 12th Graders. For example, in this year’s MATHCOUNTS chapter competition, 8th Graders Brian Ho (Martin Murphy School) won first place and Michael Pham (Britton School) placed sixth. Pham went on to compete at the state level. Science also had a great run this year. In the annual Future City competition for Northern California, Jeremy Esch, Chance Bowman and Austin Gonzales of Martin Murphy School took fourth place. The challenge, called “Tomorrow’s Transit,” was to design an eco-friendly way to move people in and around our city. The team conducted research, built a model, wrote a supporting essay, and presented their work to a panel of professional engineers.



Awards and Accolades

Martin Murphy girls softball team won the Section Championship for the SCCESJHCA.

Live Oak Senior Justin Shumate with parents and Principal Webb National Merit Scholar, Gold Cord, Golden State Seal of Biliteracy and Golden State Seal Merit Diploma.

At Morgan Hill’s Annual Citywide Science Fair, judges reviewed 130 student projects spanning behavioral science, physics/ engineering, chemistry and biology. Among the South County students whose projects won top honors were Oakwood School 8th Grader Nikhita Gopisetti. For her project, “On the way to finding a cure for Diabetes,” she designed a scientific model of an artificial pancreas using acids and bases instead of glucose and insulin. Gopisetti herself has Type 1 Diabetes. Britton middle schoolers Leeann Gile and Ashley Balbo teamed up to show how listening to different music genres impacts blood pressure – to their surprise and everyone else’s, rock music lowered blood pressure while classical and reggae had the opposite effect. At the 2015 Tech Challenge hosted by San Jose’s Tech Museum, two 6th Grade teams from Charter School of Morgan Hill made the finals, with one team winning second place overall. Recently, the school set up a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) program in response to growing student interest in forensic sciences. Proving that it’s never too early to become a master of chess, Stratford School’s Aneesh Baiaragi, a 3rd Grader, took home a trophy after finishing first in his age group at the Bay Area Yes for Chess Tournament this year. In History, Martin Murphy student Naomi Nguyen won a blue ribbon at Santa Clara County’s National History Day Competition this year for an exhibit she created to depict the Japanese-American experience of internment during World War II. She went on to compete at the state level.

schools are dedicating special days during which students and their families can celebrate cultural diversity through food, dance, music and art as well as other traditions. Charter School of Morgan Hill and other South County schools are building cohesiveness on campus through cross-grade collaboration and mentoring, which benefits both older and younger students. Schools strive for balance when it comes to classroom sizes and the blending of academics with extra-curricular and community service activities. For example, Britton Middle School is among the campuses that offer targeted assistance for struggling students (Khan Academy, EL Academy, Read 180) while providing enrichment opportunities for accelerated students (Science MESA program, Math Club, AP classes, student internships). Martin Murphy School Principal Heather Griffin said her school’s motto is “Success is No Accident” and the staff stands by that motto by challenging all of the students to jump in and try their hand at different activities so they can feel connected to their school community. For example, a group of boys who weren’t getting involved in campus life were encouraged to join a volleyball team, and the team not only had an undefeated season but they went on to county-wide competition.

Diversity and Balance We are a region of diversity, and our schools have embraced a spirit of tolerance, respect and cooperation among all students regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, interests, abilities and other differences that define student individuality. Increasingly, GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

It Takes A Village South County schools are also discovering creative ways to partner with the community. Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Interact Clubs mentor students. Community Solutions and other nonprofits provide meaningful community service opportunities. Police and fire departments and emergency response teams visit campuses to talk with students about law enforcement and social justice. Career Fairs and “Rock the Mock” events connect students with business professionals so they can learn about potential career



The Business Community supporting education through Career Fairs and

paths and practice key job-hunting skills like resume-writing, effective interviewing and how to dress for success. Most middle and high schools have a requisite number of hours that students are encouraged to invest in community service. South County students can explore all kinds of opportunities from helping at the local library to volunteering in therapeutic horseback riding programs. Others who need to earn money toward college are working at our local retail businesses. Their schedules are more tightly packed than in generations past, so they need to master the art of time management sooner rather than later. Among Oakwood’s traditions is the annual “Thanks and Giving Celebration,” which Oakwood School Principal Michelle Helvey said gives students a chance to serve the community. Students and their families donate and box up Thanksgiving dinners, accompanied by artwork created by the youngest students. The boxed dinners are then distributed by Community Solutions to families in need. Celebrating our region’s agricultural heritage this year was Sobrato High, which has one of the largest Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs. Students planted hedgerows along the school’s two-acre farm to protect native habitat and provide critical windbreaks. Students teamed up with Hedgerows Unlimited and Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) as part of a project funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In the process, students are planning a demonstration farm and learning about specialty crops and organic farming practices in Coyote Valley.

Effective Communications Oakwood places a high value on effective communication. Principal Helvey said that “perform with gusto” is among the



school’s catchphrases, and young students are encouraged to become confident communicators through a variety of activities, including theater arts. Through middle school, Oakwood students take two periods of English daily to hone their writing skills. High school students learn what goes into writing compelling essays for college applications and college-level research papers. They also learn to communicate effectively one-on-one with teachers so they can do the same in college or the workforce. At Charter School of Morgan Hill, 8th Graders enjoy a Poetry Café, and the proof is in the results. This year, students’ works were published in Poetry Magazine and in Poetic Power, an anthology of children’s poetry. South County schools are introducing new opportunities for their students to communicate effectively through multi-media technology in the classroom and in student-run clubs such as the Britton TV Club. Students are making videos for a myriad of purposes: presenting projects in class, creating senior class tributes, teaching students how to use Chromebooks, capturing highlights of sports competitions and theater arts performances, providing tips for safe bicycling to school, chronicling special events and awards celebrations, and the list goes on.

The Whole Student Charter School of Morgan Hill Principal Paige Cisewski has this advice for parents whose children are coming of school age: “Tour school campuses, meet teachers and students. There’s more to school than test scores, like whole-child education and a healthy school culture.”



“Rock the Mock” events.

Principal Greg Camacho-Light said Brownell is proud to be recognized this year as a Gold Ribbon School with an emphasis on “whole child”education. “There are plenty of factory schools that focus on data and ignore the human spirit. We’ve put in place initiatives like the Bear Den, which helps students who are falling behind. We won a school district award for our PE Department’s Conditioning and Fitness Program, which focuses on developing habits to stay fit for life. And several years ago we launched a Bullying Prevention Program. The entire school read a book entitled The Revealers as part of curriculum. We brought in guest speakers and provided opportunities for all of our students to be part of the conversation.” South County schools are seeing positive results through antibullying efforts that include peer mediators, restorative justice programs, integration of civic duty into history classes, promoting open discussion among students, and giving positive rewards for positive behavior.

“Bridget has been a great representative of our school,” Winslow said. Two schools that provide a faith-based component as part of the educational experience include Crossroads Christian School (K through 5th Grade as of 2015-16) and St. Catherine Catholic School (K through 8th Grade). A new Catholic High School, Saint John XXIII College Preparatory, is now in planning and development stages and is slated to open in Morgan Hill in the fall of 2018 (see separate story). At Crossroads Christian School, monthly “Fruit of the Spirit” awards recognize students who exhibit strength of character in core values. As Dr. Lynn Willis, the school’s principal, explained, “We find that children flourish when they can learn in a nurturing environment where we guide them holistically.” When Crossroads took an all-school field trip to spend the day with the San Francisco 49ers, it wasn’t all about athleticism. Students went on a tour of the new Levi’s Stadium and learned about its eco-friendly features. They got a first-hand look at the changing world of broadcast journalism, and exercised their math skills by studying the use of statistics in sports. And they learned about “design thinking” that goes into protective helmets and other professional sports gear.

Looking Ahead

Bridget Brown with her father Randy, Susan Valenta, and her mother, Stephanie. Inset: Bridget competing in track and field.

Christopher High School Principal Paul Winslow said he is heartened by the recognition being given to well-rounded students who not only excel in their studies and extra-curriculars but demonstrate commitment to their school. He said graduating senior Bridget Brown is a good example. Brown served as the school’s ASB President and won the Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award from the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. During her four years at Christopher High she promoted ASB’s support of U.S. troops with care packages and letters from home as part of Operation Interdependence. She also competed on the track and field team. Brown plans to pursue a Biology degree at UCLA this coming fall and hopes to work in the non-profit sector providing healthcare services to people in need. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Principal Winslow said that, looking ahead, he wants to see Christopher High School continue on its trajectory, excelling in technology and the arts. “We want to solidify who we are as a school. We are working to meld the qualities of a 21st century school with a celebration of the arts. Our hope is that our students can go into industry, and change industry, by bringing technology skills as well as creative, inventive thinking.” Superintendent Flores said that next year Gilroy High will graduate its first seniors from its Biomedical Academy, which is part of America’s Project Lead the Way, a rigorous program of advanced science and math classes preparing students for medical, biomedical and biotech college studies and careers of the future. “Colleges are actively seeking out qualified high school students for their new degree programs.” Principal Camacho-Light echoed the sentiment of South County educators and educational leaders throughout history when he said, “We’ve come a long way, and there’s still a lot of work to do.” Superintendent Betando sees continued progress and bright days ahead, summing it up with the lyrics from a popular Louis Armstrong tune… I hear babies cry, I watch them grow.  They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know.  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. 



Our Public Schools Morgan Hill Unified School District

Gilroy Unified School District

Elementary Schools Barrett El Toro Los Paseos Nordstrom P.A. Walsh Paradise Valley/Machado San Martin/Gwinn

Elementary Schools Antonio del Buono El Roble Eliot Glen View Las Animas Luigi Aprea Rod Kelley Rucker

Over 9,000 student 14 schools

Middle Schools Jackson Academy of Math & Music Lewis H. Britton Martin Murphy High Schools Ann Sobrato Central Continuation Live Oak Other Schools Community Adult School K-8 Home School Program

11,571 students 15 schools

Middle Schools A. Solorsano Brownell South Valley High Schools Christopher Gilroy Gilroy Early College Academy Mt. Madonna Alternative Other Schools Phoenix School Rebekah Children’s Services

Our Private & Charter Schools Morgan Hill


Crossroads Christian School

Pacific Point Christian Schools • Elementary • Middle & High School

Oakwood School St. Catherine Catholic School Stratford School Charter School of Morgan Hill Montessori Learning For Living

Saint Mary School Mount Madonna School Gilroy Prep School Navigator Schools– prep–school/

Shadow Mountain Baptist School




A Society Divided


lmost everyone has felt the impact of an economy that, even in recovery, has been cruelly fickle, rewarding those wealthy enough to pay cash for a home but leaving even middle class first-time buyers who have saved a sufficient down payment and can qualify for a mortgage to battle it out with their working class neighbors for an ever-shorter supply of good jobs and entry-level housing. “We’ve evolved an economy which basically creates some very highend jobs and a lot of low-end jobs, but not so much in the middle,” explains Chapman University historian and writer Joel Kotkin. Kotkin worries that the state’s middle- and workingclass may be the big losers in what he expects to be an extended affordability crisis. “California today is much more classdivided,” he says, noting that the “divide” is greatest in coastal California, where a basic home in a decent school district can easily cost more than $1 million. “The middle class, or what you might call ‘the effective middle class’—people who actually go and buy a house—is shrinking. My big worry is that we are moving toward more of a feudal situation where property ownership becomes harder and harder to achieve and people are just literally draining their earnings into paying the mortgages of much richer people. People paying $3,000 or $4,000 for a one-bedroom apartment

might as well just take their paycheck and flush it down the toilet for all the good it’s going to do them. “When you have, in the case of L.A., almost 40 percent of households paying close to 50 percent of their income on rent, how do you ever save for anything, whether it’s your kids’ school or a down payment?” Kotkin asks. “The question is: Do people make enough money to afford to buy a house, and can they do it in an area where there are decent schools and relatively close to work? The schools issue, along with the compression of incomes so that relatively large segments of the population don’t make enough money to buy in California; that really hurts.” Fortunately, there are some trends that favor a solution—if public policymakers, REALTORS®, and all three generations can take the necessary steps to lift the market from the bottom up. Immigrants are one group that may help pick up the slack, says Myers. “The upward mobility of immigrants is astounding,” says Myers. “After 30 years in this country, as many as 60 percent of immigrants are homeowners. That’s an astounding rate of progress and a force that is pushing the housing market up from the bottom. It gives us some hope for the future—that the Millennials and the immigrants combined have a lot of firepower and will bolster the housing market.” Appleton-Young says it’s only a matter of time before Millennials start behaving more like their parents. “They’re just starting down the road later in life,” she says. “I do think it’s all related to delayed adulthood, and that once you get married and have a baby, you become a different animal. You’ve got something to protect and something to educate. And homeownership becomes a priority.”

Article and Stats Provided By: Marta Dinsmore, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7420 DRE #01352339

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

February 1 thru March 30, 2015 April 1 thru May 31, 2015

Active Listings 55 Short Sale 2 Bank 0 Average List Price 1,054K $902K Average days on market 21 Closed Sales 71 Short Sales 4 Bank Owned Sales 0 $664K Average List Price Average Sales Price $660K Average Days on Market 45



48 0 1 25 114 8 4 $677K $681K 44


The Downtown Scene…Gilroy

Take a Walk Back through Time 20




etween 5th and 6th Streets in Downtown Gilroy is a Paseo connecting the Eigleberry parking lots and Monterey Street shopping and restaurants. Planning for two Paseos began when Al Pinheiro was mayor. Mayor Don Gage was able to see this one through to its current status. The process of purchasing a building, demolishing it and doing the preliminary work on the Paseo was handled by the City of Gilroy. The completion of the Paseo is in the hands of the Gilroy Historic Paseo Project, a public/private partnership. The Project is headed up by former Mayor Al Pinheiro. The project goal is to raise $100,000 to complete this walk through 150 years of Gilroy history. The funds have been used to paint a scenic mural on the north side of the Paseo which will serve as a backdrop for some of the seven panels that will line both sides of the walkway. Local artist, Whitney Pintella, recently completed the backdrop mural. The seven panels have been designed and are waiting full funding and construction. The panel topics are: Early Settlers, Agriculture, Commerce, Hospitality, the Community, the Garlic Story and the Cowboy Era. The panels vary in size, with the largest one more than sixteen feet long. Panel sponsorships are still available with a donation of $10,000 to $15,000. The Committee has also elected to line the walkway with bricks. For $250, donators can have a business or family name or special message inscribed on their brick. All donations go through the Gilroy Foundation (Paseo) and are fully tax-deductible. The old marble tiles of the former storefront have been maintained and can be seen at the entrance to the Paseo from Monterey Street. The lighting, provided by the City, mimics the old-fashioned lanterns on Monterey Street. Completion for the Paseo is scheduled for October 2015. Those interested in volunteering on the Committee, working on the second Paseo or donating to the Gilroy Historic Paseo Project should contact Al Pinheiro at (408) 842-4619 or More information on the Paseo Project is available at: GilroyPaseo.




Donors: • Bike Racks from Concept Cyclery

and the Bike Morgan Hill Group • Kid’s chalk board wall from Smith Commercial Management • Loaned trees from American Institute of Mathematics and George Chiala Farms • Planters from Los Altos DT Group • Plants from Johnson Garden Center • Turf from Tencate Advanced Composites • Urban kids’ library from Booksmart • Specialized Bike Components • Passerelle Investment Company • John McKay

Participating Artists: • “Bunches of Grapes” basket, Peter Hazel • • • • • • •

Bike mural, Mesngr & Empire 7 Studios Giant Adirondack Chair, League of Whimsical Placemakers and Gastronomy Historic Bike Map & Bike fix-it station, Mark Rauscher Kids’ mural, Lina Velasquez Propane tank benches and chairs, Colin Selig Zen Doodles, Morgan Hill Zen Doodle Club “Kissed by the Sun, Enchanted by the Land” mural, Debbie Arambula

The Downtown Scene…Morgan Hill

Amazing Pop-Up Park




Above: Mayor Tate speaking at the grand opening of the park. Inset: Jaden Graevner (Age 3) enjoying the kid’s chalkboard wall.

Left: Book Smart owners Brad Jones and Cindy Meister in front of book exchange cubby and mural painted by Lina Velasquez. Above: “Bunches of Grapes” basket, Peter Hazel


n May 22, 2015 the City of Morgan Hill and the Morgan Hill Downtown Association hosted an unusual event. It was the opening of a temporary, “Pop Up Park.” The park will probably only last until the end of summer and/or when the next phase of downtown construction does it in. The park is located at the corner of Third and Monterey. It sits on property belonging to the Transition Authority of the former RDA. On the old parking lot of the former liquor store sits a unique adventure. It is part whimsical, part practical, part fun with an oversized Adirondack chair, a bike fix-it and hydration station, murals, padded artificial grass, loaned trees, furniture made out of propane tanks, chalk board walls, sculptures, kid’s corner and more. The pop up park brings a little levity to the otherwise drudgery of downtown construction. It is the result of some creative funding and exceptional public/private partnerships.

Left: Juan Carlos Araujo of Empire 7 Studios, company commissioned to complete bike mural. Above: Artist Mesngr Faith who, with his daughter, Crystal, painted the bike riding mural. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN






Bountiful South County

Local farmers’ markets just keep getting better


outh County residents are blessed with thriving farmers’ markets that offer the benefits of California’s farm-to-table goodness. Local markets that are designated by the State of California Agricultural Commissioner as “Certified Farmers’ Markets” assure customers they are buying direct from the source. Residents can meet local area farmers, learn about local growing and ranching practices and benefit from just-harvested fruits, vegetables, starter plants, eggs and poultry. According to Gayle Hayden, Executive Director of California Farmers’ Market Association (CFMA), “People want to eat healthy and they like to shop locally. What we are seeing is a sustainable movement in favor of a local and secure food supply that offers real nutrition, not a fad.” CFMA is a mutual benefit corporation providing Certified Farmers’ Markets for the Bay Area since 1994. CFMA connects farmers to community markets through promotional activities including comparative tasting events as well as cooking and gardening demonstrations. Growing interest in fresh markets also provides an opportunity for local farmers to introduce the community to heirloom and specialty crops, plants and cut flowers that may not be available in supermarkets. One example is the Babcock peach, which has a superior flavor but doesn’t ship well. Adding to fresh market appeal is the presence of local food artisans who sell hand-crafted

gourmet food items along with recipes and serving suggestions to help with meal and party planning. Many local area farmers and food producers also participate in the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Taste of Morgan Hill, the Mushroom Mardi Gras and other community events. Gilroy’s Welten Farms is a certified organic grower of heirloom vegetables such as rainbow carrots and snack cucumbers, and kale and kohlrabi crops for organic seed production. Pansies and other flowers flourish in Welten greenhouses. Owner Ronald Welten has been with the Gilroy Farmers’ Market since 2011 and he’s been in the seed business for 20 years. “This year, opening day was extremely busy from the minute the market opened and many vendors were sold out before it closed. We’re off to a great start and want to keep the momentum going,” Welten said. For the past five years, Lisa Knutson, aka the “Pasture Chick”, has been offering farm fresh eggs and poultry at our local farmers’ markets. Knutson raises heritage chickens on a ranch she and her husband own in Hollister. “We sell at a number of farmers’ markets, but especially here in Morgan Hill and Gilroy we’ve met so many people who support sustainable farming and want their families to benefit from the farm-to-table experience,” Knutson said.



Like other farmers, Oya Organics harvests its vegetables during the wee hours of the morning to ensure just-picked freshness at the market. Among its seasonal offerings are Delicata and other squash varieties as well as leeks, tri-color carrots, snap peas and fava beans. Penny Lane Farm is a hit with customers looking for young heirloom tomato or pepper plants ready to pop into their backyard gardens. Be prepared to explore their catalog because proprietors Diane and Dan Matarangas offer more than 200 varieties of tomatoes to choose from. No farmers’ market would be complete without fresh flowers. Thanks to Country Essences of Watsonville and Prunedalebased Royal Oaks Nursery, market regulars can pick up colorful and fragrant bouquets of fresh-cut flowers for holidays, special occasions and everyday enjoyment. According to Nic Ruvalcaba at Royal Oaks, “Over the years I’ve learned what local customers want. They come to the market for fresh, locally-grown flowers they can’t get in retail stores.” Ruvalcaba took over the 100-acre nursery more than 15 years ago and he’s been selling through CFMA ever since. South County families return to market week after week for fresh, flavorful green and red leaf lettuce and sweet cherry tomatoes from Chong Farm; rainbow chard, tender broccolini, fennel and organic kale from Swank Farms; and sweet strawberries from


Gilroy Farmers’ Market (Certified Farmers Market Association) 7351 Rosanna Street, Gilroy Open May 16 through November 22 Saturdays 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (800) 806-3276

Morgan Hill Farmers’ Market Gilroy Farmers’ Market (Certified Farmers Market Association) 3rd and Depot Streets, Morgan Hill Open Year ‘Round Saturdays 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (925) 465-4690 Tennant Station Farmers’ Market 520 Tennant Avenue, Morgan Hill Open Year ‘Round Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 am - 3:00 pm (408) 465-9176

Vasquez Farm. For folks who like their veggies pickled, Nanny O’s sells bread & butter and dill pickles as well as pickled okra, asparagus and spicy green beans. Market stalls overflow with melons, berries and cherries and specialty picks like the “pecotum”, which combines peach, apricot and plum grafts to produce a juicy and delicious new variety. Gourmet items run the gamut from fresh salsa and local honey to virgin olive oil and hand-made, petroleum-free soaps. Celine Cohen and Cody Kaprielan launched Kaprielan Growers more than a year ago in Prunedale. They grow an assortment of succulents, specialty crops and starter plants using organic farming practices. “We started our business so we could learn to live off the land and help people adopt drought-tolerant landscapes,” Cohen said. “People around here are very receptive to new ideas that they can try in their own gardens.” Roxanne’s Biscotti owner Roxanne Vinciguerra encourages customers to sample her signature hand-crafted “biscotti


bites” which are dipped in dark chocolate. Her all-natural granola mixes are made with thick-cut oats, lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and brown sugar, and embellished with almond, anise, chocolate, cranberries or butterscotch. Roxanne established a licensed commercial kitchen in Morgan Hill to prepare her baked goods. She also rents her kitchen to other local food producers including members of the South Valley Artisan Group, which meets there monthly to brainstorm ideas together. When it comes to desserts, Soul Sweets is a popular market favorite. The 7-year-old catering and dessert company is known for its traditional “comfort desserts” including fruit cobblers, pecan and sweet potato pies and red velvet cake. Owners Anthony and Dawn Randolph rent time in the commercial kitchen of Roxanne’s Biscotti. Everything is baked from scratch with allnatural ingredients to produce authentic soul food. As Dawn Randolph describes it, “We’re excited to be part of the CFMA markets. Soul Sweets is a labor of love for us. It’s



how we give back, with desserts that appeal to customers who are serious about their sweets. They come by each week looking for their favorite sweets and want to know what’s new.” Currently, Morgan Hill is the only CFMA member that includes arts & crafts as part of its weekly venue. Like the food and produce vendors, only the artists themselves are eligible to sell their works at market – reselling is prohibited. There’s always room for musicians to entertain shoppers while they browse and socialize. “It’s not easy for independent farmers and ranchers to compete with the commercial giants,” Hayden said. “Our farmers work hard and they take pride in growing only the best, no preservatives, no hormones, no artificial flavoring. It’s a winwin when we can preserve our farms and ranches and provide our families with better nutrition. We can help young families move away from microwaved fast food and obesity issues. One million people are shopping farmers’ markets every week…we’d like to see that number go up!”

It’s Your Smile


Oral Health Affects Your Overall Wellness

By Dr. Jernell Escobar

Dr. Escobar has been practicing dentistry in the Bay Area since 2006. She took over Dr. Palmerlee’s practice when he retired in 2012. She is passionate about providing exceptional oral health care in a patient centered environment. Dr. Escobar participates in continuing education seminars with other leading clinicians in exploring new and innovative methods and materials for restoring smiles.

our teeth are not usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to your overall health and well being. But it has been proven that good oral health, good oral habits and hygiene and regular visits to a dentist are all intricately linked to the health of the whole body. In fact, brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist can protect you from far more than cavities. For example, gum disease can lead to a host of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, researchers have found that people with gum disease were twice as likely to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke. June is Employee Wellbeing Month, an annual initiative that highlights the workplace’s role in helping to create healthy employees and providing businesses with new ideas and proven strategies built around prevention and wellness. It was founded in 2009 as National Employee Wellness Month by Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group. Virgin Pulse partnered with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, along with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and “It’s great to see so many organizations and their workforces come together to focus on employee wellbeing in a fun, healthy environment,” says Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse on “Employee wellbeing is at the foundation of a productive, engaged workforce and successful business. Employee Wellbeing Month is a great way for organizations to shine a spotlight on this connection. Anything helping employees make small changes to support healthier habits makes a difference, because it’s the small habits that lead to lasting, positive results.” Organizations interested in participating can pledge their support as Proud Supporters of the initiative. In 2014, more than 200 companies and 70,000 employees participated in the initiative. All Proud Supporters of Employee Wellbeing Month will get a free tool kit featuring a variety of resources and ideas to promote their organization’s leadership and support of this initiative with not only their workforce, but the community at large and local news media. Participating organizations and their employees are encouraged to share their Employee Wellbeing Month celebrations, photos, videos and more on social media using the hashtag #EWM15. Goals of the initiative are to: • Engage employees in healthy habits and lifestyles



• Create healthy workplace cultures • Improve employee health and well-being • Lower health-care costs • Reduce turnover • Drive employee engagement Employee wellness programs also have more benefits beyond the obvious good health. “The bottom line is that these employee wellness programs need to be encouraged,” says Kenneth Thorpe, chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and a professor of health policy and management at Emory University. “They make sense at a societal level, understanding that better health in the workplace is critical if we’re to make progress in the fight against chronic diseases that eat up more than 80 cents of every health care dollar we spend in this country. But also at the individual company level, where employers both large and small are achieving returnon-investment success stories, maintaining a healthy workforce is both the right and smart thing to do.” In order to maintain good oral health and strong and healthy teeth and gums, a simple preventative routine can help keep your smile bright and your overall health at its peak. • Gather your tools. Start with a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles, fluoride toothpaste and floss. • Set a schedule. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. Brush again after high-carbohydrate meals or snacks, sweets or sugary beverages. • Be thorough. Brush teeth for at least two minutes each session, angling your toothbrush at 45° and making short, circular strokes. Use just enough pressure to feel the bristles (don’t squish them). When you’re done, brush your tongue to remove bacteria. • Don’t forget floss. Floss removes plaque from between teeth and below the gumline. Don’t worry if gums feel tender at first. They’ll feel better once bacteria is removed, in five to six days. • Rinse to refresh. After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth vigorously with mouthwash or water to remove any loosened plaque and food particles. • Twice-a-year dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining your oral and overall health. Call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. More information on Employee Wellbeing Month can be found at the official website at


South County Gets a New Catholic High School On a typical school day in South County, more than 400 teenagers rise early, grab breakfast and pile into the family car where they will spend more than three hours travelling to and from school. It’s a long haul that takes a big bite out of schedules already stretched to the max to include extra-curricular, homework and family time, not to mention sleep. So why do they do it? These students and their parents are willing to “go the distance,” literally, to pursue their ideal of the best educational experience. They want to attend high schools like Bellarmine, Presentation and St. Francis and obtain a Catholic college preparatory education with the hope of positioning themselves competitively for acceptance into the top colleges and universities. Parents like Chuck Berghoff who have sent their children to Catholic schools say it can help prepare students to achieve their intellectual, spiritual and social potential and that having a local campus can further strengthen the local community. Berghoff BY ROBIN SHEPHERD


is a Morgan Hill resident and high tech business owner who also volunteers his time as a director of youth programs with the Morgan Hill Rotary Club. A long commute is one thing, but there’s also the issue of supply and demand. South County is one of the fastest-growing regions in the Bay Area. As the youth population continues to grow, demand for admission into the existing Catholic high school system could soon outpace capacity, and it’s been more than 50 years since the last Catholic high school was built in Santa Clara County. With this in mind, South County community leaders began communicating with the Diocese of San Jose to develop a vision for a new high school. The South County Catholic High School project was created to transform that vision into a reality. George Chiala and other community leaders including Carl Reinhardt have been instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Along the way, the project has also won the support of Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate and Gilroy Mayor Don Gage.



In May of 2015, the Diocese of San Jose announced that the proposed school has been named Saint John XXIII College Preparatory. Project plans describe a campus that will be built from the ground up as a 21st century educational center. The school will be constructed by the Diocese of San Jose on 40 acres of land it has set aside, located East of Highway 101 at Tennant and Murphy Avenues. Plans call for LEED-certified “green building” design and construction, with state-of-the-art classrooms, a library, chapel, performing arts center and an athletic complex. According to George Chiala, “This school is a gift that’s going to give back to the community for generations to come.” Joining Chiala on the project are Chuck Berghoff and Mary Beth Anderson, Co-chairpersons for the fundraising committee; and Campaign Coordinator Susan Krajewski who works with the project’s launch and steering committees. “This school is an opportunity to embrace our youth, providing a rigorous

Left: George Chiala addresses group at presentation.

Saint John XXIII High School

Inset: Chuck Berghoff, Parent and Project member.

FOUNDING VISION • Build a 21st Century campus, adopt 21st Century methods and college prep curriculum • Foster a culture of inclusiveness and promote spiritual growth and social justice founded on Catholic values as the basis for learning • Provide community-based internship and volunteer opportunities • Offer a technologically advanced learning environment leveraging our roots in Silicon Valley

Catholic-based college preparatory education in a safe and inspiring environment where they’ll be encouraged to use their God-given talents in school and community life,” said Anderson. The master plan calls for a three-phased approach to development and is designed to accommodate students in 9th through 12th grades. The first phase, with an estimated cost of $30 Million, will accommodate 600 students and will include construction of 27 classrooms, 2 science laboratories, a multimedia lecture room, an administration building, a plaza and a gymnasium. Students attending the high school during phase one will have access to nearby athletic facilities through a partnership between the school and the City of Morgan Hill. “Our goal is to break ground in 2016, and to welcome the first students in the fall of 2018,” Krajewski said. Members of the

South County communities have pledged close to $5 Million in support of the project as of May 2015. “The plan is to open with one class of freshman students the first year, and add a new class each year for the next three years of phase one,” said Berghoff. “Right now, the campus site is a dirt field with a farmhouse. One day it will be a vibrant campus filled with our teens. We will be able to educate them and provide them with extra-curricular and community service opportunities right here at home.” Berghoff said that along with fundraising for construction, the fundraising committee will be guiding development of an endowment fund to provide scholarships to students who demonstrate strong overall academic performance and economic need. According to local business owner and campaign supporter Dan McCranie,



• Incorporate South County ag and farming heritage in relevant ways

“There’s an obvious benefit for the overall spirit of this community if we can keep the children and their activities inside the community.” Subsequent phases for the South County Catholic High School will be built based on demand and financial support. Learn more at: “I am indeed pleased that this project is moving ahead and I pray that Saint John XXIII will guide us in our work.” Bishop Patrick J. McGrath Diocese of San Jose





Five Home Upgrades That Payoff … and Five That Don’t Buying a house is one of the most important investments we’ll ever make. We are often extremely attached to our homes and put an immense amount of pride into them. There are times however, from an investment standpoint, when it’s wise to think twice about a remodeling project and whether it’s an emotional decision, or if it will truly add value to your home. Here are five remodeling projects that typically make good financial sense when considering the resale value of your home, and five that don’t. 


These days the kitchen is the central hub of most households and one of the main areas of the home that home buyers factor into their decisions. It’s the place where the family gathers for meals, homework, entertaining, late night cocktails, etc. It’s no wonder that a kitchen remodel is one of the most common in terms of increasing the value of your home. In order to get the most return on your money, it’s best to use the existing layout and avoid moving plumbing, appliances, etc. Adding Living Space

Newly added square footage increases your home’s value and is typically a very good investment. Regardless of the size of the addition, there are certain costs that will be incurred when adding more square footage, such as demolition of an existing exterior wall, a new foundation, new roof, exterior siding and potentially new windows, so make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Curb Appeal

A potential home buyer’s first impression of a home is very important. Even if the inside is

completely remodeled, some people will avoid going any further if the front of the home doesn’t have that curb appeal they’re looking for. There are a number of very affordable projects that can improve a home’s appearance, including basic landscaping and re-painting. Other more costly changes, but wise investments, are new windows, an upgraded entryway or front porch. Master Suites

The environment in which you sleep is an important decision when buying a home. Potential home buyers usually pay more attention to master suites than any other bedroom in the house. Bathrooms

A bathroom remodel is similar to a kitchen remodel, where you will see the most return on your investment if you focus on cosmetic changes and utilize the existing layout. Home buyers are most interested in the master bath, which is where you’ll want to focus most of your efforts compared to other bathrooms in the home.


D. R. Domenichini Construction was named Morgan Hill Business of the Year in 2012 and also voted (2014 & 2015) Best Contactor in Morgan Hill by the Morgan Hill Times. The owner, David Domenichini, resides in the Morgan Hill area and brings nearly 20 years of experience to his family-owned and operated business. Follow them on Facebook for weekly project updates, hints, tips, giveaways and more. You can visit their website at or call 408.691.3283.

A playroom with all the bells and whistles can bring many years of enjoyment for your children and may seem like a wise investment at the time; however that indoor tree house or rock climbing wall may be a deterrent for potential home buyers that don’t have children, or who may have already grown up and moved out. Be careful when re-designing these spaces and consider easily removable structures as a possible option. Pools

While having a new pool installed may increase the value of your home, it is unlikely to pay for itself as some home buyers will perceive it as a negative maintenance expense. Wine Rooms

Original designs of any type of space will rarely appeal to a large group of people. When considering adding a new space, such as a wine room, consider how personal and unique it is to


yourself and if the majority of people would feel as strongly as you do. Removing Features

While there are some features that can be wise to consider removing these days, such as overhead cabinets in a kitchen to create a more open space, there are other features that are not worth spending the time and money on in the long run. You will want to consider the cost in the demolition and repair of the area, as well as whether or not a future buyer may wish the feature had not been removed in the first place. Minor Additions

Sometimes the idea of bumping a bedroom or bathroom by just a few feet seems like a great idea since it’s adding more space; however you are unlikely to recoup the actual cost when it comes time to sell your home.


If you plan on selling your home in the very near future, it is best to heed the above advice. However if you plan on living in it for awhile prior to selling, it is important to be comfortable in your surroundings and perhaps deviating from these guidelines a bit, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And there is one last thing to consider: Sometimes a home improvement project won’t necessarily add value to your home but it may make it more marketable and help it sell faster.




Cecelia Ponzini

Straight from the Heart By Robin Shepherd

“Cecelia may be petite in stature but she has a huge capacity for warmth, generosity, sensitivity and respect. What a great asset to the Morgan Hill community, we are so lucky to have her!” Steve Tate, Mayor of Morgan Hill

“This is how I live now, honoring my son’s memory by helping others,” Cecelia said. “I belong to the community and I’m fine with that.” 32




hen Cecelia Ponzini’s son Edward died at the age of 29, it broke her heart. At first she coped with the grief by busying herself. Then she made a decision that not only changed her life but it created a ripple effect of positive change in the lives of others. Thinking back on Edward’s life, Cecelia was reminded of the kindness and generosity that was second nature to him. “Edward often packed extra food in his lunch and shared it with kids at school who didn’t have anything to eat,” Cecelia said. “He was just that kind of kid.” “Losing Edward got me thinking back to a time when I was young and struggled to make ends meet without enough food, clothing and other necessities. Without enough education to get a decent job. That was a long time ago, and I’ll never forget how difficult and degrading it was. But I’ll never forget the people here in the community who helped me back then either. That’s what made me realize I could be overcome by my grief or I could do something about it.” Several years ago, Cecelia talked with her husband Gary Ponzini about her desire to keep Edward’s memory alive by giving back to the community in his honor. “Gary was one hundred percent behind me in everything I wanted to do,” Cecelia said. And so in 2013, she set up a nonprofit and named it the Edward Boss Prado Foundation, establishing a living legacy to honor her son. “I didn’t have special qualifications or training to set up a non-profit, but Gary knew I had the vision and the desire. Then I spoke with (Morgan Hill) Mayor Steve Tate. He said ‘Cecelia, you can do this and the community will help. People will show up.’ He was right.” “People like Mayor Tate and his wife

Jennifer, Connie Murray, Greta and Joel Salmi, Laura Scoto and Melissa Santos helped out back then. Some of them joined the Foundation’s Advisory Council. And they’re still involved today.”

LET NO CHILD GO UNFED Through the Foundation, Cecelia established the “No Child Goes Unfed” program at Morgan Hill Unified School District high schools. Students unable to afford it get a free lunch ticket at the Associated Student Body office – with no questions asked. “We help the kids while preserving their dignity,” Cecelia said. “Instead of having to stand in a special line; they can get right in line with the other kids in the cafeteria.” Building upon the Foundation’s mission, she launched Cecelia’s Closet and Food Pantry in 2014. Just across the street from the Ponzini’s Community Garage and Towing Service, the couple had a small rental property that they converted into a base for their non-profit operations. “One day I looked at that property and I could just see the whole thing in my mind,” Cecelia said. Cecelia’s Closet and Food Pantry provides nutritious food, hygiene kits, and new or gently-used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and shoes to underserved families who are referred by Morgan Hill Unified School District, Community Solutions, Teen Force and other local organizations. “Our inventory is continually stocked thanks to generous donations from the community,” Cecelia said. “Like the school lunch program, we treat people with dignity and respect when they come to us for everyday things we take for granted. We want to send them home with some healthy food, clean clothes and a sense of hope.” For her dedication to community service, Cecelia was named Woman of the



Year (2014) by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. She said the increased public awareness generated by the award led to an overflow of donations from a very generous Morgan Hill community. Having volunteered with Cecelia’s organization since the beginning, Greta Salmi said, “Cecelia brings passion, drive, and deep knowledge of what this work means to others. Her ideas are boundless and her commitment to respecting our clients is a marvelous place from which to work.”

FROM SHOES TO SCHOLARSHIPS Ponzini established another program, Walking with Dignity, at P.A. Walsh, San Martin/Gwinn and El Toro Elementary schools. “We donate Payless Shoe Source gift cards for the schools to provide to families whose students need shoes. The kids may only have a pair of sandals. We want them to have shoes to keep their feet warm and dry and allow them to participate on the playground at recess, in P.E. classes or in after-school sports.” The Foundation has also helped students get vision screenings and connect with resources to get eyeglasses when needed. When prom season rolls around, girls who are unable to afford a prom dress can browse through the more than 700 that have been donated to Cecelia’s Closet and borrow one, along with accessories, for their big night. In May, the Foundation’s “Prado on the Go” Scholarship Program awarded six partial scholarships to graduating seniors at Central, Live Oak, and Sobrato high schools. Cecelia personally reviewed scholarship applications and interviewed the finalists. Scholarships were awarded to Morgan Hill students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a letter of acceptance into college, and a dem-


onstrated desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others. For Cecelia, it’s not just about helping kids get off to a good start but encouraging them to finish strong – as long as students maintain passing grades they receive additional funds each of their four years in college. Her hope is to inspire the next generation of leaders in Morgan Hill. As she envisions it, “We’re encouraging our youth to attend college or vocational school, start their careers and return to their hometown to get involved and give back to the community.”

HEARTFELT OUTREACH The heartfelt community service of Cecelia and the volunteers of the Edward Boss Prado Foundation can be felt in many, many areas of the South County, including support for: anti-bullying programs in local schools, after-school and summer programs at the Lori Escobar El Toro Youth Center, books for the Rod Kelley Elementary School Library, sleeping bags


and food for the homeless, a new coat of paint for Morgan Hill’s Learning & Loving Education Center in Morgan Hill, and more. Along with developing her Foundation’s services, Cecelia also sits on the boards of El Toro Youth Center/Boys and Girls Club, United Way’s South County Chapter, and as an ambassador for the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. All of her work has put Cecelia in the spotlight, and she claims to be “a little vain”, but people who know her say when it comes to serving families in need, Cecelia is the first one to offer help – straight from the heart.

Sponsored Programs of the Edward Boss Prado Foundation • • • • • • • • • • • •

No Child Goes Unfed Cecelia’s Closet and Food Pantry Walking with Dignity Prado on the Go Scholarships Learning & Loving Education Center Suicide Prevention Awareness Migrant Education Odyssey Community School Weekly Breakfast and Haircuts for Students Gym Youth & Young Adult Program Share the Runway The Dance Hall

The Edward Boss Prado Foundation works with relentless passion to empower people in need with resources that foster dignity and respect.



In The Garden

How to protect your trees during the drought!


rees are one of the most expensive plants in your landscape. Not just because of the replacement cost, which replacement of an established large tree can run up to $20,000, but because it provides a canopy to reduce energy use by keeping you house cool during the summer, they provide wildlife habitats and produce oxygen for you family. We all need to conserve water during this drought but let’s not cut off our nose despite our face. Our lawn, shrubs and trees can survive with the allotted 1 to 2 times a week of water but if we just stop watering all together it’s going to run much more than the rebate of $2 a square foot in cost. Not just monetary but environmental costs as well.

Steps To Take To Save Your Trees • Deeply irrigate your trees on the allotted days to water. • If renovating protect major roots near the soil surface. Removal of roots should be kept to an absolute minimum. • Trenching under the canopy of the tree should be avoided. * Water the tree to survive! Placing 4 drip emitters near the trunk of a mature tree is not sufficient. The irrigation should provide water throughout the root zone and extend beyond to allow for the future growth (ideally at least two times the diameter of the tree canopy). At a minimum, if you are putting in new irrigation make sure the drip zone covers 70% of the tree to minimize stress. • Remember correct water management is not just how much is applied but where it is applied. • Mulch your landscape to help keep the moisture – 2-3” of bark but keep 8-10” around the base of the tree clear of mulch to prevent problems with fungus.

Drought Gardening Tips • Fertilize with low nitrogen fertilizers on your lawn and garden. • Use CAL-CM / Gypsum to help break up your ground to receive the water you are putting down. • Mulch with 2-3” of bark / mulch. • Mow your lawn at 2.5-3” high.

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Bob Filice

Life in his father’s shadow… the garlic festival, farming, retirement


ob Filice still has the frying pan that his dad, Gilroy Garlic Festival “Godfather” Val Filice, used to cook all of the scampi and calamari at the first Garlic Festival 37 years ago. “I can remember 10,000 people showed up. It was amazing,” Bob, 63, said with a chuckle. “It was the start of the beginning. We ran out of calamari on Saturday. We had to buy more to open up on Sunday.” That was in 1979. A little over a year earlier, Bob’s dad, Rudy Melone and Don Christopher had gotten together and discussed having a Gilroy food festival in celebration of garlic. “My dad said it would never work,” Bob said. But it more than worked. With only 5,000 tickets printed, festival volunteers quickly recycled tickets and cooked overtime, serving up scampi, calamari, pepper steak sandwiches, pesto pasta, and strawberry waffles to the masses. For many years, Val Filice was the Head Chef of the Garlic Festival, contributing family recipes and his passion for cooking with garlic. “Gourmet Alley made the Garlic Festival. It trademarked the festival,” Bob said. The people I talk to go there to eat the food in Gourmet Alley. There’s a lot of great vendors there, but the main attraction is Gourmet Alley.” Born and raised in Gilroy, Bob cooked alongside his dad, and was in charge of the famed Gourmet Alley “pyro chefs” who cook up all of the garlicky dishes. He went on to step into his Dad’s role as Festival Head Chef. Val Filice died in 2007 at the age of 80. Bob’s sons, who are fourth generation Gilroyans, also grew up with the festival. His youngest son Robby still cooks in Gourmet Alley every year. Over the years, Filice recalls helping

out at the Cook-Off Stage, Gourmet Alley Demonstration Stage and the Volunteer Tent. “I’ve always been involved with cooking in some aspect of the festival,” he said. “I love cooking. I really do. Cooking was always primary in my family. It goes all the way back to my grandparents. I call them chefs.” His grandparents were farmers and loved to cook. Bob remembers that during the first five years of the Garlic Festival, his grandfather sliced every single French bread loaf in half with his band saw. In 1976, Bob abandoned his college math studies and plans to be a teacher in favor of farming. Like Val, who had studied at San Jose Sate but decided to farm the family land after his father died, Bob carried on the tradition. “I didn’t graduate from college because I had dirt under my finger (nails). God has been good to me and has put me on the correct path. Farming has been very good to me.” I have pretty much grown everything you can think of over the years,” Bob said. That includes tomatoes, bell peppers and garlic. Today, he is “semi-retired” and just farms his cherry orchards located on Frazier Lake Road and Luchessa Lane in Gilroy. “I’m proud and thankful. I’ve had a lot of opportunities in life and it’s been great,” Bob said. Today, he still lives in the same house his dad designed and built in 1964 — the one he grew up in. Bob continues to cook at an Italian festival in San Jose and Reno. At one time, he had his own catering company and served as the head chef at the annual St. Mary School’s Spaghetti Dinner during the years his boys attended school there. Bob is also a member

of the Gilroy Sportsman Chefs and enjoys golf and outdoor sports. He also has a love of the ocean, likening it to therapy. “The expression people say, ‘Stop and smell the roses.’ I get to the ocean and I smell everything. I smell the sea breeze, I smell the food. I become a different person on the coast.” And this year, for the first time, Bob finds himself in an unusual position the last weekend in July - he’s not in charge of anything at the Garlic Festival. “I have no duties that weekend. I’m free to roam,” said Bob, laughing. He is glad to see a new generation of Garlic Festival chefs and volunteers stepping in. “The old fogeys of the Garlic Festival, we’re in the dust now. It’s done so well there’s no reason it can’t continue. You just have to keep the wheels oiled.” But Bob said there is still the same core group of pyro chefs who have been a fixture at the Festival for the past 15 years. “It takes a special kind of person to stand in front of that flame for six to eight hours. Especially on the days that are hot,” he said. And another ingredient remains that Bob said his dad taught him – take care of your volunteers. “Without the volunteers you will have no Festival,” he said. “That’s one very special thing about Gilroy is that people step up. They always have and I hope they always will.” Bob marvels at how much the Festival – and Gilroy – have grown and how quickly time has flown by. He said that out of all of his memories of the Garlic Festival, the first one will always be the most memorable — when it was just he and his dad did the cooking.

“Every year was great because of Dad. He was the Godfather of the Festival. I felt really special. It was very unique.” 36








Helen Badarak

Turning Glass Into Art

Written & Photographed By Laura Wrede


lass has been used as an art form and as a functional element for centuries. While some attribute the discovery of glass to Phoenician sailors 4,000 years ago, other scholars say that glass was a process of discovery made over a long period of time by various high-heat artisans who experimented with mixtures of silica sand or ground quartz pebbles and alkali. No one really knows for certain when the first discovery took place, or who really deserves the credit; however, archeological digs have unearthed glass beads from the coast of Northern Syria (Mesopotamia) as far back as 3500 BC. In order to make natural materials into glass, you need to heat the elements to an intense heat of 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Obsidian, a naturally occurring glass rock, is found in volcanic regions where the heat from volcanic action and subsequent fast cooling turns molten rock into glass. Once glass has been created, the pieces can then be molded and shaped by reheating to as low as 1,500 degrees. This process of reshaping and forming pieces of glass over molds and allowing them too stick together is called slumping, anartistic practice that captivated artist Helen Badarak who opened her Morgan Hill studio, Glass by Helen, just a few years ago. Helen first began creating art as a profession while in her mid-forties. She was fascinated by the idea of making fused glass pieces and integrating it into jewelry. After giving away pieces as gifts, friends and family were impressed by her talent and encouraged her to sell her pieces on a more official level. In 2008 Helen launched an art jewelry line. “After a few years I decided I wanted to incorporate fused glass into my designs since I’ve always been intrigued with glass.” She borrowed a kiln from a friend and jumped right in teaching herself everything she could about creating art with fused glass. “I was hooked from day one! Watching the glass go through the movement and changes while being heated in the kiln totally fascinated me. I kept grasping for information anywhere I could to learn about the glass fusing process. I took a course at BAGI and the Art Glass Center (both located in San Jose).” Helen then



began adding other pieces, including bowls and plates, which work well with the technique of glass fusion. The process of glass fusion is a bit different than other types of glass techniques such as glass blowing. In glass fusion you have less control over the end product which can lead to unexpected outcomes. You have to be careful that you combine “like materials” that cool at the same rates, otherwise cracking will take place. Incorporating similar materials together can also mean knowing which colors can go together. Even colors can affect the rate of cooling. As Helen chooses which glass pieces to fuse, she also allows her artistic instincts to guide the process. “When I make a piece of art I’m guided by the glass. I will peruse through my selection and pull out a piece of glass that interests me at that moment. From there I will decide what I’m going to make. A bowl, abstract art, a candle holder, vase, etcetera. I let the glass guide me through the process. I guess you could say it talks to me in a way. From there I will cut the glass into the shapes needed to complete my design. “I’ll stack the pieces as needed sometimes capping them in another piece of glass. Then the piece will be placed in the kiln and fired (fused) to temps up to 1500 degrees. This process can take up to 24 hours from start to cool down. The piece is then removed from the kiln and cleaned to prepare it for its subsequent firings. Some pieces can be fired as many as four times before they arrive at it’s completed stage.” Each piece may come out a little different than the next, even when molds are used. As Helen built up her clientele and gained success as was evident when she landed an order from Calera Winery to make over seven hundred holiday gift pieces for their wine club members. “That catapulted me into glass fusing in a big way. I only had a very small kiln.” To fulfill Calera’s order she needed to increase production which meant investing in more equipment than the one small kiln in her home studio. She went from one tiny kiln to two large production kilns, a studio kiln, and a test kiln. Among Helen’s other successes include a glass Grammy JULY / AUGUST 2015

Award commemorative plaque for Grammy-winning New Age composer Laura Sullivan, who just released her video project, “900 Voices.” Today Helen spends time creating both functional and wearable art glass and filling special orders for clients. She offered one piece of advice to anyone who wants to pursue an artistic


career: “You need to make sure you really love what you do. It’s a rough road when trying to make a living. You need to be willing to put yourself out there.” Once Helen took that leap of faith, her rough road began to smooth out and today her glass studio is in high production. See more of Helen Badarak’s work at





Get Back Down The Retirement Mountain


ast week, I had a retirement planning meeting with a client who brought her friend, “Mary” along to meet me. “Mary” was concerned that she might not be doing enough to ensure a comfortable retirement and my client thought that I could be of great help to her. Although permanent life insurance does not typically come to mind when creating a retirement plan strategy, we started our meeting talking about why perhaps it should be. Often people don’t realize that life insurance can be much more than death benefit protection. The cash value in a permanent policy accumulates and can be borrowed without taxes, and the loan does not have to be repaid*. This can have tremendous value to your overall retirement plan by addressing several common retirement challenges. Longevity

What’s the goal in climbing a mountain? The right answer is not to reach the top but rather to make it safely back down the mountain. Retirement planning is similar to mountain climbing in that the main focus is often on building retirement assets rather than planning how to get down the “retirement” mountain without running out of money. Creating a retirement spending strategy can help ensure that your money lasts as long as you do. Permanent life insurance can be another source of income in retirement. In addition, you will have a tax-free death benefit to leave for your loved ones. Diversification

Jeffrey M. Orth is a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Certified Advisor in Senior Living, and an Investment Advisor Representative, with over 15 years 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.



In addition to diversifying your retirement assets, it is also important to have several options for retirement income. Life insurance provides an additional option to supplement conventional sources of retirement income like 401(k), IRAs social security, etc. The difference with life insurance is the potential to quickly and easily access tax-free retirement income. The life insurance option can help avoid other alternatives, such as having to get a bank loan, or locking in losses in an investment account if the market values are currently down, or facing potential tax penalties in order to get quick access. The flexibility of a tax-free loan and/or withdrawal against your life insurance can be a great option, no matter what the future holds. Volatility

In retirement, a common problem when taking income withdrawals, is earnings volatility. For

example, if you withdraw 3% in a year when the market is down say 10%, then you have lost 13% of your money. But if you have a permanent life insurance policy as part of your retirement plan, you have the option to stop taking withdrawals from your brokerage account or retirement account when the market is down, giving it a chance to recover**. Having the option to access the cash value in your life insurance as supplemental retirement income can act as a cushion against volatility. Conservation

Many people save a significant portion saved for their retirement in 401(k)s and IRAs. They are often reluctant to use this source for retirement income, fearing the money could run out or perhaps they decide they want to leave a sizeable amount to loved ones and charities. There is also the chance that a spouse with a long-term terminal illness could decimate a couple’s savings. Life insurance can create another option that is separate from your other retirement plan assets. Life insurance will give you the peace of mind that spent-down assets will be replaced for survivor retirement needs, or passed to loved ones in a tax-efficient way. Social Security

Social Security is the only guaranteed source of retirement income for many retirees, yet money is constantly left on the table as many do not know how to maximize their benefits. Often, retirees don’t realize that the age you begin taking social security impacts the amount of lifetime benefits. Creating a retirement income strategy using the cash value in a life insurance policy to supplement income while delaying social security, can translate into thousands of dollars in additional retirement income over a 30-year retirement. Permanent life insurance provides options for retirement in an uncertain world by providing both death benefit protection and cash value to use as needed. The initial retirement planning meeting with “Mary” actually turned into few meetings, and as a result of our conversations and planning, we were able to develop a strategy that “Mary” felt substantially improved her retirement plan and gave her peace of mind that she will be able to successfully ‘get down the retirement mountain’. You might also feel better about your own retirement plan if you had a similar conversation with a capable financial advisor.

*As long as premiums are paid and the policy does not lapse. Assumes contract is not a modified endowment contract under IRC 7702A. **IRA owners over age 70½ must take minimum distributions and do not have the option of not taking withdrawals.



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Steaks • Seafood • Spirits


Banquets • Breakfast • Full Bar Saturday/Sunday

408.847.3800 8080 Santa Teresa Boulevard • Suite 100 • Gilroy, CA 95020 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN











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Gilroy High School Interact Club

Area 9 Leadership

Christopher High Interact Club showing the Rotary “We are this close to eradicating polio” sign. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN







Celebrating Our Award Winning Wines

By Kyle Fanthorpe

Kyle Fanthorpe is a UC Santa Cruz alum and Gilroy native. Over the past several years he has worked in various aspects of the wine industry throughout the Bay Area, including traditional wineries in Santa Clara Valley and urban wineries in San Francisco. Currently, he is the General Manager at Bella Viva Wine Bar in Gilroy where he handles operations and events. When Kyle is not wine-tasting or attending tradeshow events, he’s an avid traveler and writer.


hen you look up Santa Clara Valley in any of the major wine books, if it’s mentioned at all, the region tends to be relegated to just a paragraph or so. Some mention the region’s long history of wine production until Silicon Valley’s tech boom uprooted countless acres of vineyards. Unfortunately, there’s too little mention of the quality of the wines, the large array of wineries, or the beauty of the valley itself. This is changing. And so it was encouraging when the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, a nonprofit organization, and the Morgan Hill Downtown Association gave an enthusiastic nod to the burgeoning Santa Clara Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area) last April at the Morgan Hill Community and Culture Center. They hosted an event called Our Award Winning Wine Region Celebration to highlight the muchdeserved accolades earned by our local vineyards. Specifically, the ceremony acknowledged the numerous awards won by local winemakers at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Tasting Competition. The event featured thirteen wineries, pouring their award-winning wines alongside food pairings from seven downtown Morgan Hill eateries. This was the first event of its kind and included prominent speakers from the community and raffle prizes for attendees. I arrived a few minutes early and checked in. Attendants walked me through

the agenda and handed me a length of perforated tickets which could be exchanged for a taste of one of the wines being poured. Upon entering, I couldn’t help but admire the decorative flourishes. Purple and green balloon arrangements framed the hall in the shape of giant wine grape clusters. Round tables dotting the center of the room were adorned with cleverly designed cork art centerpieces. Dapperly dressed attendees included a who’s who of the South County wine scene. Winemakers and kingmakers mingled freely with general enthusiasts and tasting room staff. Most of the wineries represented were familiar to me. They were set up in two rows along either side of the hall. Wines from J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Kirigin Cellars, and Medeiros Family Wine were paired with the food stylings of Huntington Station and The Good Fork. Selections from Martin Ranch Winery, Sunlit Oaks Winery, Fortino Winery, and Creekview Vineyards were paired with Mama Mia’s cuisine. I set immediately to sampling. While in the middle of sipping a plush Cab from J. Johr’s Paso Robles vineyard, I was interrupted. The President of the Morgan Hill Downtown Business Association, Cheri Devlin, came up to the podium to introduce the event. She was followed by Gene Guglielmo who heads the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley nonprofit. Guglielmo



outlined the groups mission, to foster and promote the winemaking heritage of SCV. He also touched on his family’s 90-year history pursuing that end. (A feature on the Guglielmo winemaking legacy was included in the May/June issue of gmh Today.) The last speaker was Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate. He took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of Morgan Hill’s support, along with the communities of Gilroy and San Martin in continuing to build Santa Clara Valley’s wine culture. After they concluded, I continued on my tasting circuit and met Thérèse Martin of Martin Ranch. She poured for me both an outstanding Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. I was happy to share with Thérèse that I was introduced to our SCV wine initially by trying one of Martin Ranch’s Cabs at Bella Viva in Gilroy. Moving on — Lightheart Cellars, Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery, and Sarah’s Vineyard wines were paired with food from Bubbles Wine Bar and Ladera Grill. Vintages from Jason-Stephens Winery, Guglielmo Winery, and Aver Family Vineyards were coupled with delicious fair from local restaurants Odeum and Rosy’s at the Beach. I had the opportunity to speak with Tim Slater of Sarah’s and Jason Goelz of Jason-Stephens. Sarah’s was pouring the 2011 vintage of its signature Pinot Noir, which boasted a bright juicy aroma of ripe cherries. I had the pleasure of working for Tim at Sarah’s Vineyard last summer


during its Sunset Music Series. He let me in on a few big changes coming to their tasting room and a new varietal being added to the estate’s portfolio. Jason invited me to try some of his winery’s full-bodied reds. The 2006 Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon stood out in particular for its profile, which was reminiscent of an old world Bordeaux, yet with a distinct California style. The evening was a success, bringing winemakers and aficionados together to celebrate the spectacular wine of the Santa Clara Valley AVA. The wines showcased at this event are clear examples of SCV as an exciting oenophile destination. Along with a number of other attendees, I left the event impressed and quite ticketless. The sun was setting as I exited the center and I found myself reflecting on our valley; its rolling hillsides, the eclectic vineyards, and the larger-than-life personalities that bring it all to life. Those little paragraphs in the reference books don’t do justice to our region. One doesn’t need to drive hours to Sonoma or to Paso Robles. Wine country is right her, at home.

morgan hill

THRIFT SHOP 381-B First Street, Gilroy, CA 95020 Phone: 408.842.1434 Hours: 10am to 8pm TUE-SAT |

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

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Tuesday - sunday 10am - 5pm


Come visit our tasting room and browse our lovely gift shop While sipping our delicious wines

1645 San Pedro Avenue, Morgan Hill, California




3/27/2015 2:52:02 PM

The Myth of 20% Down


s I work through my 22nd year in

County market and those buying at the

the Mortgage Business, I see

higher end. Jumbo loans lean heavily on

similarities between when I started

your reserves after closing and your credit

and today. There is simplicity to the business

score. Some have Mortgage Insurance and

now that I remember from my early days.

some do not require them. Based on how

Gone are many of the exotic and dangerous

values have moved up quickly in our

loans, fixed rate and fixed rate ARM’s

market, these loans are becoming more

dominate, and guidelines are built around

and more popular.

full documentation and full disclosure.

By Jayson Stebbins Mortgage Professional

That does not mean that in order to

allow for down payments as low as 5%. For

buy a home you have to have 20% down.

first time buyers, you may even qualify for

I spoke to a potential buyer who expressed

as little as 3% down. These loans require

frustration about missing this window of

Mortgage Insurance, but allow for creative

opportunity because they hadn’t saved up

options to pay it monthly, or pay it all at

enough to put down 20%. The Myth of

once at closing.

20% down can be busted by many loan Jayson Stebbins is a 22 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 55 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 408-7828800 or at

Conventional, conforming loans still

Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, have a 3.5%

programs out there today. Just this month, my Team and I helped

minimum down payment requirement. You

some first time buyers into their first

do not have to be a first time buyer to access

home using a 5% down program with

FHA financing. FHA allows for expanded

Conventional financing, and two Down

qualifying ratios and is more lenient on

Payment Assistance programs from the

credit scores. FHA has its own Mortgage

state. Their total cost to buy the home was

Insurance as opposed to private insurance,

a $3000 out of pocket investment. These

and they recently modified the cost to make

stories happen every day, as do loans on

it cheaper than it was early last year. The US Department of Agriculture does

programs listed below. Remember that if you choose to put

loans, and they offer 100% financing. It is

down less than 20%, you are entering into

limited to certain counties and cities, and

a loan that could have Mortgage Insurance

there are income limitations for those using

requirements. This additional component

the USDA loan program.

of the payment is important to consider for

Investors who are buying property will

qualifying purposes, and has rates that vary

usually still be required to put down at

by program.

least 20%.

What about Jumbo buyers? Currently

The Myth of 20% down should not

there is a program allowing for as little as

keep anyone from exploring their options

5% down, and plenty of options with 10%

in today’s market of record low rates and

down. This is important for the Santa Clara

strong real estate values.




Chamber of Commerce

Notes From The President By Mark Turner, President /CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce


he Gilroy Chamber of Commerce continues to track various bills being introduced by the California State Legislature. Currently there are a number of bills that are considered to be “Job Killers.” The Chamber’s Government Relations Committee reviews such legislation and makes recommendations to the Chamber Board regarding action to take with lawmakers. Whenever there is concern regarding the negative affects a bill may have on the business community, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce will take a position to oppose. While standing guard against undesirable legislation, the Chamber also looks for and supports the kind of laws that are beneficial to the business community. To view bills coming out of Sacramento you can click on the Gilroy Prosperity Page at The Chamber of Commerce held a successful mixer event in May at Hecker Pass Plaza which was hosted by the Gilroy Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Gilroy Hall of Fame Committee is to select and recommend outstanding and distinguished citizens for their lifetime of special affirmative contributions to the enrichment of Gilroy by their induction into the Gilroy Hall of Fame. Individuals living or working in Gilroy for no less than twenty-five years may be selected due to their creativity, inspiration, resourcefulness, dedication, volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership, courage, and pioneering spirit which played a significant role in the progress of Gilroy. These individuals by their contributions to the community and civic betterment, collectively forged the fundamental elements of Gilroy’s unique and colorful historic past. Chamber members and business owners gathered at CordeValle Golf Resort on May 28 as the Chamber of Commerce, Gilroy Welcome Center and CordeValle are all working together to inform the business community of the opportunities that exist with regard to the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Tournament coming in 2016. The Open is expected to bring nearly 100,000 people to the area during the week of the event. Businesses interested in learning more about the opportunities may contact the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce at 408-842-6437 or With the implementation of Food Facility Placarding and Scoring Program by the County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health, the Chamber of Commerce hosted two placarding workshops in June. Restaurant owners and operators were given information how to pass inspection, specific criteria for the placarding and scoring system, and major violations to avoid. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is and will continue to be a strong voice for the business community and the community at large.




South County LINE-X


INE-X is the industry leader in truck bed protection offering specially formulated polymers that bond to your truck’s bed protecting it from just about anything you or Mother Nature can dish out. Eric Gordon is coming up on his 8th anniversary as owner and operator of South County LINE-X here in Gilroy. Prior to purchasing LINE-X, Eric worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years. LINE-X is a sprayed on protective coating that has been around for over 20 years. It is a nonskid, impact absorbing, sound dampening material that can be applied to virtually any surface. It is applied at a high pressure and high temperature and is dry to the touch in about 10 seconds. It bonds to your truck bed following every angle and curve so there is no lost cargo space, and with no air gaps, water cannot enter underneath it allowing rust to form. Depending upon the application, LINE-X comes with a Nationwide Lifetime Warranty. LINE-X can also be sprayed in almost any color. They have coated things as small as little red wagons to the complete exterior of a 40 foot long travel trailer, as well as multiple jeeps and trucks. You can find them on Facebook, SouthCountyLinex, and see pictures of some of the projects they have sprayed. They also sell and install hitches, running boards, tonneau covers, and just about any truck or car accessory you may need. Stop by their showroom and see what they have to offer. South County LINE-X is located at 8864 Muraoka Drive in Gilroy.


Sunshine Bicycles


he owners of Sunshine Bicycles are bicycle people who have been fortunate enough to do what they love doing since opening their doors in 1976. If you ask them why they have had such a long track record of success when so many other bicycle shops have come and gone, they will give you two reasons. First, they are tenacious. They don’t give up. They work hard at what they do in order to provide quality products. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, it’s the way they treat their customers. They treat every individual who walks through their doors with the utmost respect. Sunshine Bicycles is a full service store with a good reputation and they have worked hard to earn it. They will do their best to meet and exceed your service and repair expectations at the lowest possible prices. If something can’t be properly repaired, they will tell you, then recommend a new part. They stand behind their work and want to build a long term relationship with their clientele. Sunshine Bicycles carry the best bicycles and accessories available. These are brands that have a long track record with exceptional products and warranties. Their store is located at 311 First Street here in Gilroy. Online:

One to Another Thrift Shop

Miss Ooh Lala


our little one may get treated like a princess at home, but nothing tops the royal treatment experience at Miss Ooh Lala. Miss Ooh Lala was started a year ago with the idea of creating a different party experience for girls between the ages of 4-13 and has become the new sensation in girl’s parties. The fairy tale surroundings take on a magical quality and it becomes a place for special treatment with dancing, dress-up, and pampering. It is a one of a kind destination for birthday parties where girls can be girls and a place where parents can reward them for good grades, accomplishments or milestones in their child’s life. First stop for the royal guest is the glamorous salon area where they get their hair, nails, and makeup done. The fun continues as guests pick out accessories on their way to the Party area: Tutu dresses, wings, and boas to pick from. The party doesn’t stop there as there is still karaoke and dancing on the lit-up stage. Afterwards, the royal guests enjoy treats in the Tea Room to conclude their magical day. Whether your princess is celebrating her birthday, a girls’ day, or simply a fun afternoon of pampering with her friends, our priority is making each event an unforgettable one. They look forward to making your girl’s dreams come true! Located at 7579 Monterey Street. Online:




new thrift store that recently opened in Gilroy has been making quite an impact on the community. One to Another Thrift Shop, located at 381 First Street, Unit B, held its grand opening this past December, and has enjoyed great support from the community while, at the same time, giving back. The store employs a unique approach to its business strategy, as it focuses solely on high quality items while maintaining affordable prices. This strategy has paid dividends. One to Another, like other local thrift stores, sells a wide range of items, from clothing, to furniture, to toys, books, and more. And yet, there is so much more to the store. Sponsored by Gilroy’s Pleasant Valley Church, One to Another uses a significant portion of its proceeds to support several Gilroy charities. “Our church had been looking for a way to make a bigger impact on our community, and One to Another has become that way,” said Pastor Paul Carrasco. “We strive to maintain a clean, well-organized store, and with a wonderful group of volunteer workers, as well as quality donations from local residents, we’ve been able to set ourselves to really help those in need.”


“Give Where You Live”



Keith Higgins

he Gilroy Foundation parceled out more than $351,110 to more than 61 recipients which includes community groups, schools and causes. The event was held at Old City Hall where more than 100 supporters attended. Awards went to various organizations. Award highlights: The Julie Hayes “Rising Star” Performance Arts $20K Grant was awarded to South Valley Middle School Band. The Richard Hayes “Like a Rock” Industrial Arts $20K was awarded to Rucker Elementary School. Scholarships totaling $369,750 were awarded to Gilroy High School, Christopher High School, Gavilan College, GECA, Mt. Madonna and Live Oak High School.

Jacob Yoder-Schrock Youth Board President

Christa Hansen Learning & Loving

Latino Family Fund Youth Member

Marco Sanchez GHS Principal

Bernice Aguilera SC Task Force

Mary Cortani Operation Freedom Paws

Edwin Diaz Latino Family Fund

David Cox St. Joseph’s Family Center

Mailing Address: P. O. Box 774 Gilroy, CA 95021 Address: 60 Fourth Street Gilroy, CA 95020 T: 408.842.3727 F: 408.842.8767


“Give Where You Live” 52



Spring Fling

Presented by Gilroy Leadership Foundation

Gilroy Leadership and Education Foundation had a great time hosting its first Spring Fling fundraising event on April 18th, 2015. Held at Syngenta Flowers, beautiful potted plants created a stunning ambiance for the evening of food, fun and dancing. Attendees included alumni from various years, including the first class of 1998 to the current class of 2015, board members past and present, and many other generous community supporters. It seemed everyone had a great time catching up with friends old and new. Proceeds will go toward the foundation’s endowment and the ongoing goal of building strong leaders in the Gilroy community.

Joel Goldsmith, President Gilroy Leadership Foundation

Terry Feinbery and wife, Carla Ruigh

Michele Campbell, Thelma Raby, Therese Martin, Amparo Mendoza-Patino and Jennifer Doak (Class of 2015)

Mike Malinao, Jeff Strametz & Friends

Traci Dalke, Deanna Franklin and Terry Newman GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Larry J. Mickartz with Andrea Gamble JULY/ AUGUST 2015


IMPRESSIONS HOME AND GARDEN TOUR Presented by the Gilroy Assistance League The 11th Annual “Impressions” Home and Garden Tour, hosted by GALs featured four homes and a garden in the western foothills of South County on May 8th and 9th. Some 388 guests enjoyed the four distinctive homes and their expansive outdoor living spaces and views, a unique garden, as well as complimentary light appetizers and no-host wine along with a Home and Garden Boutique at the end of the tour. Proceeds of over $24,000 from the tour will allow the Gilroy Assistance League to award grants to local youth nonprofit groups in 2016 and fund additional local charitable needs, including an adopt-a-family holiday program. Members of the Gilroy Assistance League (GALs) would like to thank all of the tour’s homeowners, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and guests. The Gilroy Assistance League is a non-profit corporation of 35 active members providing grants to local health and recreation programs, visual and performing arts, and numerous other youth-oriented projects in the Gilroy community. For more information, visit


Fu n


ummer can be a great opportunity to relax and spend quality time with your kids. With so many free hours, however, it can rapidly descend into chaos, with your kids constantly whining that they’re bored and getting into mischief to entertain themselves. Instead of battling your children all summer, here are a few local activities that will make the most of these bright sunny days.


Morgan Hill

San Martin

GILROY GARDENS FAMILY THEME PARK Surrounded by beautiful gardens and exotic trees, this theme park is a great escape for the entire family. The park features dozens of rides and attractions, such as its splash garden, Pinnacles Rock Makes, and Water Play Area for the smaller children. While your children enjoy the rides, they will also be learning about horticulture and the importance of plant and wildlife.

THE LITTLE GYM OF MORGAN HILL This gym is perfect for children ages 4 months to 12 years of age. It offers a diverse line- up of summer programs that emphasize focus and the development of fine motor skills. There are parent/child classes for infants through 3 years old. For preschoolers up to grade school, the gym offers gymnastics, dance class, sports development, and karate. There is also a very helpful Parent Survival Night, where kids have a place to burn off energy while their parents get some much deserved quiet time.

CLIP CLOP KIDS Clip Clop Kids offers non-competitive horse riding lessons for preschool kids and older. Lessons are tailored to each individual and include learning how to groom and care for a horse, ground activities, horseback riding, and fun horse games. Horses are chosen to fit their rider and the teacher, Ms. Tabatha, always ensures that the lesson is a fun and safe experience. Your child will gain confidence and security and have a great time doing it!

PREDATOR’S ARCHERY If your kids are fans of the Hunger Games, then they’ll love this archery shop! Predator’s Archery provides archery lessons for individuals and families of all skill levels. Their staff are very friendly, patient, and supportive of kids. They take great care in teaching every individual and giving helpful tips so that your child has a very safe, fun experience. The shop provides equipment for those who don’t have their own, so there’s no reason not to visit! JOHNNY 6 STABLES Learning to ride a horse is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Johnny 6 Stables teaches a very safe, traditional type of English Riding called Saddleseat, which is the basis for all types of riding styles. Children as young as 3 can learn to ride in the Mommy or Daddy and Me classes. Grandparents can even join in and learn to ride or drive a buggy. Most of the lessons are private, one-on-one format so that your kids can learn at a speed that they’re comfortable with.

THE MORGAN HILL AQUATICS CENTER On hot summer days, the Aquatics Center is an ideal place to cool off and have a great time. The center features two large waterslides, a water play feature, a splash pad, a full size competition pool, and a warm instructional pool. Parents can pull up a lawn chair either in the sun or beneath an umbrella and watch their kids for hours. There are plenty of lifeguards keeping a watchful eye on the kids so that everyone has a safe, fun time. LANA’S DANCE STUDIO Not only is this a great place to learn to dance, it’s also a wonderful way to burn off excess energy. Lana’s Dance Studio provides a positive, nurturing environment for dancers 2 years and up. Their recreational program offers classes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Lyrical, meaning there’s plenty for your child to explore!



HARVEY BEAR COUNTY PARK Sometimes all you need is a fun frolic in the outdoors. Harvey Bear County Park is great for hiking, horse riding, biking, and picnics. It has over 35 miles of trails that run through shady oak forests and along breezy ridgelines with scenic views of the country. Their visitor center has exhibits of local wildlife, including live reptiles, amphibians, and fish native to the park. Be sure to check out their Play Here Guide, which lists the dates of fun activities like Ranger Story Time, Birding for Kids, and In the Park After Dark Movie Nights.

Information Brought To You By:



Presented by the Morgan Hill Rotary Club

The 10th Annual Dazzle fundraiser was held on May 29th and raised $47,000. A record 256 attended the event at Clos LaChance Winery. Attendees were entertained with popular game show parodies during dinner. Funds raised by Dazzle events have supported numerous projects, including RotaCare Bay Area, a non-profit that provides free medical care; a van to Martha’s Kitchen which delivers over 260,000 hot and cold meals annually; dictionaries to every public, private and home schooled 3rd grader in the Morgan Hill area; college scholarships to high school seniors; drilling wells that provide disease-free water in Nigeria; refurbishing an orphanage in Bolivia; and buying computers for school children in Mexico. The club is part of a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world.

Event Chair Laura Lundy presenting appreciation plaque to Kristin Murphy, Clos La Chance.

Cecile Boyd

Rotary President Peter Anderson

Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader … Match… = Fun!

Whitney Pintello Pintello Comedy Theater


Pintello Comedy Theater Cast Members Michael Perry and Dave Leon.

Rotarian Tracy Newquist



Emcee Jayson Stebbins Rotarian Jan Dean and cast member, Nick Fryou.

Pintello Comedy Theater cast member Shelby McClelland spoofing Kim Kardashian.

Rotarian Mike Withrow as WC Fields

Shelby McClelland (Kim Kardashian), Dave Leon (Elizabeth Taylor), Mike Withrow (WC Fields), Nick Fryou (Forrest Gump), Emcee Jayson Stebbins, Rotarians Leonette Stafford and Carl Schindler (game show contestants).




The Top Must Haves for Home Buyers in 2015


recent survey suggests that 93% of Millennials plan on purchasing a home in their near future. If you currently own a home, it is important to be in the know of what the current home buyers are looking for in a house. This can help you make the right decision when spending money on updating your home. Outdoor Living Spaces Add the feeling of extra square footage to the home with nice looking outdoor space that incorporates an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, dining area and maybe a pizza oven with coverings overhead, ceiling fans and comfortable seating areas.

Open Concept Floor Plan And if you can incorporate charm into the open concept even better. Free Standing Tubs Preferred by buyers, but walk in updated showers still top the list if you only have room for one item. Quartz Taking the stage, in 2015, as the most desired counter top are those made of quartz. It has the presence of granite, has more features than granite and it is more durable and does not stain like granite. Specialized Storage Nooks For maximum storage, these will add a unique charm to the home. Especially in the open concept floor plans, it is a great way to add extra character into a space. White Kitchens The biggest craze in 2015, the white creates a luxurious and clean feeling to the space. White cabinets look high end with both dark and light accents. Silver or copper accents or settings will bring a stunning look to your kitchen.

Energy Efficient Appliances These are very important to the Millennials buyer. They are very interested in conserving energy, so the more energy conscience the better for windows, appliances, lighting and even surface materials around your home. Curb Appeal Becoming so important that if the feel of the home from the outside is not beautiful and enticing your home may be passed by. Mellennial buyers want to see not only clean paint and trim and nice newer roofs, they like to see foliage and plants as well as a put together space to call their own. So paint your front door and repair peeling paint. It won’t go unnoticed.

A good RealtorŠ can help you with some of your choices. We never mind a call for a consultation. Spend your money wisely and it can reap many rewards when selling.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill 2015






Homes Sold




Days On Market




Sale To List Ratio




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




The 36th Annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras was a huge success. While attendance was down a little on Saturday due to the cooler weather, this year’s festival showed the earliest Sunday crowd ever. Local favorite Shane Dwight delighted music enthusiasts at the Amphitheater. The chef demo stage was standing room only both days and food vendors reported record-breaking sales. The Western Mushroom Marketing Association was on hand both days to educate festival-goers on the health benefits of mushrooms and how mushrooms are grown. Festival Mascot Mardi the Mushroom was a huge success with kids as he strolled around the festival along with entertainers in costume. Sunday’s scholarship presentation honored 50 high school seniors who received scholarships from the Mushroom Mardi Gras organization. There were over 280 booths welcoming visitors to browse and buy food, arts & crafts and retail merchandise. A variety of music on two stages brought in enthusiastic crowds to enjoy the music and dancing.




Somethin g

For Every o


Music Food Demonstrations Kids Entertainment Arts & Crafts Food Vendors Dancing Face Painting Kids Rides Local Business Booths Mushrooms Puppies Youth Recognitions Mascot







PIER by Khan Le

FULL BLOSSOM by Juan Lozano

SURREAL TREE by Dylan Montgomery


uring the month of May the photography students from Sobrato High School displayed 30 photos at the Morgan Hill Community Center. This was the first time the students had an opportunity to professionally display their work. For retiring photography teacher, Jim McDonald, the event marked the culmination of his long career in education and a final goal for his photography class. In all, Jim spent 47 years in education, 27 as a principal in Morgan Hill and the last 10 years as a photography teacher at Sobrato High. Through grant funding and personal donations the students were able to get professional prints and framing for this project. The plan is for the exhibit to become an annual event. Jim McDonald and fellow photography teacher, Demetrio Messoloras, selected the entries and oversaw the printing and framing of the photographs. The photographs are available for purchase by contacting Jim McDonald at GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

AUSTIN by Wiley Wong






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We are mentors

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We are compassionate

July 28 | 10:00am

We are inspired RSVP 408-847-2717

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And it’s not just all about the shoes…

Rhonda Velez & daughter Nina

Robin Schout and Kat Filice

Kassy Swalboski, Konni Thomas, Barbara Drewitz and Lee Blaettler



Emcee Jayson Stebbins

Brittany Casarez, Anne Bittner and Melanie Gotelli



Presented by Community Solutions

Fun, fashion and philanthropy are the key ingredients that made the 9th Annual Hearts of Gilroy Women’s Luncheon and Auction another great success. On May 30th, community members, donors and volunteers joined together to raise thousands of dollars to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in our community. Janie Mardesich was honored with the 2015 Heart of Gilroy award in recognition of her dedication to our community, including her tireless work with the Garlic Festival, Gilroy Assistance League, Gilroy Foundation and Community Solutions, to name a few. Janie brings a caring heart and quick wit to everything she does and we are all the better because of her.

Erin O’Brien, Jennifer Tate and Teresa Kiernan

Megan Jalufka, Janet Thompson and Carol Carr

Hearts of Gilroy Award Winner, Janie Mardesich

J. Chris Mickartz, Teri Nelson, Karen Christopher and Roxanne Farrote


Karen Titus,Yvonne Quilici and Monica Mondelli JULY/ AUGUST 2015


POP-A-CORK RECEPTION Rebekah Children’s Services (RCS)

Solis Winery staff: Deanna Arias & Tara Garcia

On Thursday, May 21st, 2015, Rebekah Children’s Services (RCS) hosted the first Pop-a-Cork reception benefitting the Culinary Academy. The evening included culinary delights created by students, tastings by Solis Winery, a Cloud 9 photo booth and live jazz by The Jonz Project. Funds raised that evening will enable eight at-risk youth to attend the ten week program. RCS offers the Culinary Academy at no-charge to students committed to improving their lives. To learn more and to help touch the lives of vulnerable teens as they learn to break the cycle of dependence, visit or call Beth Williams at 408-846-2136.

Kisha Southy and Carlos Pineda

Deborah Frazen, Heritage Bank

The Jonz Project

Vicki Seaton, Delilah Lopez, Carlos Pineda, Madelein Morales, Monica Hansen and Andrea Villalpando




BOOK CLUB BEAT with Sherry Hemingway

AUTHOR KAREN KONDAZIAN meets with Morgan Hill book clubs that included (l. to r.) Linda Withrow, Laura Lundy, Kondazian, Judy Profeta, Jennifer Tate and Jan Hageman.

Members of the EAGLE RIDGE BOOK CLUB #1 in Gilroy gave The Whip a thumbs up. The Club has been together for 10 years. They are (l. to r.) Jan Peat, Carolyn Hyde, Kathy Blaschke, Marvel Liberati, Eva Hays, Donna Weigelt, Linda Shimkus, Ruth Koteles and Fran Jones.

The Whip by Karen Kondazian

Summary by Laura Lundy & Sherry Hemingway

Rating: Women are seldom attracted to the Western genre of fiction. A remarkable exception is “The Whip” by Karen Kondazian, a book widely read and enthusiastically recommended by local book clubs. Certainly a part of the fascination is that the lead character is based upon a real-life son/daughter (the plot) in this region. Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879), whose grave is in Watsonville, was Wells Fargo’s most legendary “Whip” (stagecoach driver) during the Gold Rush era. It was Charley’s death that, with the subsequent discovery that Charley was really a woman, altered his legend. His stagecoach exploits had long been documented in the New York Times and other press, but this new revelation rocked the nation’s press in 1880. Most of the back story never came out, and there was only speculation around the autopsy that determined that Charley had once given birth. 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.



Kondazian wove her imagination around the facts of Charley’s story to build an intricate, plausible work of historical fiction. The story serves to explain why a number of women in the Old West secretly gave up their gender identity for survival. “Women had three options in that era: to be a wife, a teacher or a prostitute,” Kondazian told two Morgan Hill book clubs that recently met with her in Carmel. Anything else could mean starvation for unmarried women. Kondazian’s novel traces the life of little Charlotte Parkhust, who was banished to live in the stable of her Rhode Island orphanage. A kindly black caretaker became her surrogate father and taught the girl her uncommon skill at handling teams of horses. Charlotte’s adult life brings love, marriage, motherhood – and unspeakable tragedy. She heads West in the uncomfortable disguise of a man, to pursue revenge and work. In California, she finds ever so much more, including a love affair that once inspired her to shed her buckskins for a futile tussle with a corset. Through the twists and turns of an absorbing plot line, the reader comes to comprehend the complex, conflicted “Charley” who in real life was known for his cussing, spitting and gambling. He was also courteous to all women and an advocate for racial equality. Ironically, Charley was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). JULY / AUGUST 2015




Bobbie and Fran Beaudet

Working hard and enjoying every minute of it! Written By Crystal Han


he thought of owning and running a restaurant can be daunting for some. For Fran and Bobby Beaudet, who own the Old City Hall Restaurant, it is a lifelong passion that they wouldn’t dream of leaving. “Sometimes I think about the question, ‘What would you do if you only had six months to live?’. For me, it’s simple. I’d work,” Fran smiled. Fran and Bobby have been involved in the restaurant business almost all of their lives. Forty-three years ago, Fran started out working as a crew person for Carl’s Jr. She worked her way up to Director of Operations and she now oversees eight locations in and around the Monterey Bay area. For Bobby, who builds restaurants, his introduction to the business came very early in life. His father was a general contractor and from the age of eight Bobby worked for him, learning the tricks of the trade. “I used to get fired about five times a week from my dad,” Bobby laughs. The lessons he learned from his father have stayed with him and now he builds restaurants for 60 companies in nine states! In addition to their main jobs, Bobby and Fran have owned



and operated several restaurants over the years. They started out with Dutchman’s Pizza, which they ran for 12 years, and then they brought and sold the Krazy Koyote Bar & Grill, both located in Gilroy. Their daughter’s love for baking cupcakes actually prompted the couple to buy Station 55 Bar & Grill to give her a venue for sales. Two years into owning Station 55, Bobby and Fran bought what is now the Old City Hall Restaurant and for a year and a half they ran both restaurants. Eventually they sold Station 55 to focus primarily on the Old City Hall Restaurant. From the start, the Old City Hall Restaurant has been an incredibly fun venture, so much so that they often joke that it isn’t a real job. The building has a rich history, much of which can still be seen on the walls and in its spacious rooms. Fran and Bobby enjoy listening to the stories that many of their customers have to share. “Some of Gilroy’s older residents will come by and tell us stories like ‘my uncle was in jail here’ or we’ll have wedding anniversaries here and the couple will tell us how they were married in this building, back when it was still City Hall,” said Fran. There has even been talk of a resident ghost that has been known to occasionally wander through the building!


With so many memories attached to Old City Hall, the couple made sure to have the people’s best interests at heart when they opened the restaurant. They restored the building’s old look, giving it that historic charm. Fran has crafted a menu that has enough variety for everyone and the restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Anyone can drop by at any time to have a great meal and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. Fran and Bobby also do a lot for the community. If there’s any type of city function going on, they make sure they open up their banquet room free of charge. In fact, they’ve made the banquet room affordable for anyone who would like to have an event there. “Most places will charge in the thousands to rent a room out, but we only charge $500,” Bobby said. Between Fran overseeing Carl’s Jr. and Bobby traveling to multiple states, they needed help keeping Old City Hall Restaurant running smoothly. They have chosen a devoted

staff that exceeds all of their expectations. The staff makes all of the meals from scratch every day, right down to the sauces! Two of their staff members, Edgar Moreno and Scott Kawano, take care of all of the ordering. Each member is honest, dependable, and always happy to help. Bobby and Fran couldn’t be more thankful for all of the hard work their employees put in. “They’re the best staff I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t let go of any of them,” Bobby says. Old City Hall Restaurant will be coming up on its fourth year of business this November, but for Bobby and Fran it seems like only yesterday that it first opened. They have enjoyed every minute of running the restaurant and it is easy to see all of the love and care that they have invested in it. From their friendly staff to their specially chosen meals, it is clear that the Old City Hall Restaurant couldn’t be in better hands.

Friends of Old Saint Mary Cemetery Ask For Assistance


Call Saint Mary Church 408-847-5151 (Debbie Pellicione or Rose Barry) if you have any questions. If you are able to contribute, please mail your tax deductible donations to: Saint Mary Catholic Parish, Attention: Friends of Old Saint Mary Cemetery, 11 First Street, Gilroy, CA 95020 Tax Id: 94-2734503 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

he Friends of Old Saint Mary Cemetery is a coalition of community members dedicated to preserving and honoring the history of the Old Saint Mary Cemetery in Gilroy. They are seeking donations to help with the restoration and beautification of this important cemetery in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Saint Mary Parish on August 15, 2015. The cemetery was established with the founding of the parish in 1865, making it the oldest cemetery in Gilroy. It includes the graves of John Gilroy, for whom Gilroy is named, Jose Maria Amador for whom Amador County is named, Catherine O’Toole Murphy Dunne, benefactress of Saint Mary Parish whose land holdings spanned from Morgan Hill to Hollister, Father Thomas Joseph Hudson, founder of Saint Mary Parish and many early pioneers. Burial sites and cemeteries reflect the cultural values and practices of the past. They help us understand who we are as a society and from where we come. Although cleaning up and beautifying old cemeteries is a longstanding tradition, time, weather, widespread vandalism, theft, and abandonment have increased the need to preserve historic cemeteries like this one. For the past two years, a committee has been working to upgrade and give proper recognition to this forgotten cemetery. The parish has had the heritage oak trees professionally trimmed and the “volunteer” privets have been removed. The City of Gilroy has installed four new LED lights around the perimeter and patched the potholes in the alley. Graffiti and litter have also been abated. The parish has donated two large pieces of marble, one to be engraved as an identifying cemetery sign and the other is to properly mark John Gilroy’s grave. To complete the plan, the committee has envisioned an attractive six foot wrought iron fence and gate that will define the cemetery. This may cost as much as $50,000 and they are asking for help from people who have an interest in local history and saving our cultural heritage, to help fund it.



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Millennials vs. Boomers: How Wide Is The Gap?


exting versus email (or even snail mail). Angry Birds versus Monopoly. “The Theory of Everything” versus “The Sound of Music.” “Dancing with the Stars” versus “American Bandstand.” It’s no secret there are a lot of differences between baby boomers, born between 19461964, and millennials, who were generally born after 1980. But when it comes to finances, there may not be as much difference in some areas as you might expect. See if you can guess which generation is more likely to have made the following statements.

payment methods for day-to-day expenses. A study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that millennials are almost twice as likely as boomers to use prepaid debit cards (31% compared to 16% of boomers). They’re also more than six times as likely to use mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet; 13% of millennials reported using mobile methods, while only 2% of boomers had done so. Source: “The Financial Capability of Young Adults--A Generational View,” FINRA Foundation Financial Capability Insights, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 2014

Boomer or millennial?



Millennials. You might think that with thousands

Millennials. According to a 2014 survey by the

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.

Pew Research Center, millennials were more optimistic about their finances than any other generational demographic, including baby boomers. Roughly 85% of millennials said they either currently had enough to meet their financial needs or expected to be able to live the lives they want in the future; that’s substantially higher than the 60% of boomers who said the same thing. Although a higher percentage of boomers--45%--said they currently have enough to meet their needs, only 32% of millennials felt they had enough money right now, though another 53% were hopeful about their financial futures. Source: “Millennials in Adulthood,” Pew Research Center, 2014 MY HIGH SCHOOL DEGREE HAS INCREASED MY POTENTIAL EARNING POWER. Boomers. The ability of a high school education to provide an income has dropped since the boomers’ senior prom, while a college education has never been more valuable. In 1979, the typical high school graduate’s earnings were 77% of a college graduate’s; in 2013, millennials with a high school diploma earned only 62% of what a college graduate did. And 22% of millennials with only a high school degree were living in poverty in 2013; back in 1979, the figure for boomers at that age was 7%. Source: “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College,” Pew Research Center, 2014 I RELY ON MY CHECKING ACCOUNT TO PAY FOR MY DAY-TO-DAY PURCHASES. Boomers. Not surprisingly, millennials are far

more likely than boomers to use alternative



of baby boomers retiring every day, the boomers might be the cautious ones. But in one survey of U.S. investors, only 31% of boomers identified themselves as conservative investors. By contrast, 43% of millennials described themselves as conservative when it came to investing. The survey also found that millennials outscored boomers on whether they wanted to leave money to their children (40% vs. 25%) and in wanting to improve their understanding of investing (44% vs. 38%). Source: Accenture, “Generation D: An Emerging and Important Investor Segment,” 2013 GENERALLY SPEAKING, MOST PEOPLE CAN BE TRUSTED. Boomers. Millennials may have been around the track fewer times than boomers have, but their experiences seem to have given them a more jaundiced view of human nature. In the Pew Research “Millennials in Adulthood” survey, only 19% of millennials said most people can be trusted; with boomers, that percentage was 31%. However, millennials were slightly more upbeat about the future of the country; 49% of millennials said the country’s best years lie ahead, while only 44% of boomers agreed. I’M WORRIED THAT I WON’T BE ABLE TO PAY OFF THE DEBTS THAT I OWE. Millennials. However, the difference between the

generations might not be as significant as you might think. In the FINRA Foundation financial capability study, 55% of millennials with student loans said they were concerned about being able to pay off their debt. That’s not much higher than the 50% of boomers who were worried about debt repayment.



with an Attitude

Life after the doctor says: Your Parent Needs Help


e don’t think of the day we will need to switch roles with our parents and have to care for them. We don’t envision a future when our mom or dad can’t juggle priorities and control their world at the same time. Then one day it happens – the doctor says, “If your parent wants to continue living at home, they will need help to do so.” The doctor’s lips are moving but you don’t hear anything…the world has stopped. You’re in denial. The doc says your superhero can’t leap tall buildings anymore — you just hadn’t noticed. Life after that moment changes. If your parent is healthy, the change is gradual. If there are major physical or mental challenges to deal with, the change can give you a whiplash. Breathe-— there is help.

By Dorie U. Sugay

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.

Tap In To Your Physician’s Wisdom Ask your doctor about the following: 1) What should you expect as far as a short and long term prognosis of your parents health and ability to function? 2) How many hours of help you will need? 3) If Mom can’t sleep through the night, will the doctor be prescribing sleep aid? (This will help you plan for night care). 4) What can be done to help your parent slow down the dependence meter—a regular exercise regime with a physical therapist or senior yoga at the Senior Center? 5) Should you take the car keys away now? 6) Will they need health aids (hospital bed, lift, etc.)? 7) Can the hospital Case Manager guide you? Start Gathering Information Approach with caution – when an older adult is told that he/she needs help, they fear the worst. Many parents associate a sibling’s inquiry into insurances, finances, etc. as a precursors to putting them into a home. Start with unthreatening questions – ask about insurance or military papers (if he/she is a Veteran). If you are lucky, the papers are filed with the other important documents you will eventually need.

Medicare won’t pay for home health care, so you need to determine if they have long term care insurance. A good way to find out where other important papers are is to just engage in social chat while they look for the papers you are requesting. Is Mom Or Dad A Veteran? To get free home health care, call the Palo Alto VA at (650) 493-5000 and ask for a home health care consult with a physician or call his/her VA physician. The process is painless. The physician’s recommendation to the social worker will get the wheels turning. The approved care provider will be asked to schedule a nurse assessment (in this area, Visiting Angels is the only approved provider). This process can take between two to three weeks. Most people are initially approved for two days a week at three hours each visit, but can increase to five days under special circumstances. A Veteran can also tap their Aid and Attendance benefit. These are funds that can be used to add hours of home health care or be used for any other health care needs. The Veteran Care Services (VCS) in Santa Clara County will help a Veteran tap into their benefits for free (they are paid by the County) and can be reached at (408) 553-6000. There are agencies that provide assistance to veterans; help them navigate the system — for a fee. You’ll want to do your homework and make sure the one you choose to work with is reputable. Although working with the VA directly has been a bit trying in the past, they have been revamping the processes. They have made it easier to tap into benefits, however, the jury is still out. VCS was trained by the VA on these processes and are endorsed by them. We highly suggest you include VCS in your inquiry. Get Information On Your Parent’s Long Term Care Insurance You cannot discuss a parent’s coverage

Remember – take a deep breath! You can do this… 76



unless you have conservatorship of care or have written authorization from your parent that you may conduct an inquiry. Have the policy in front of you or at least have the policy number and your parent’s date of birth and social security number. Some questions to ask: 1) Is there a waiting period? Is it based on number of total hours of service or number of days? 2) Do they want the home health agency to submit paperwork during that time and if so, will the insurance company let you know when you have qualified? 3) How much will the insurance pay per week? 4) Do they require that the caregiver be a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.)? Does the certification have to be current or is the C.N.A. training enough? 5) How quickly do they reimburse after the logs and the invoice is submitted? 5) Are health aids and/or equipment (mechanical lift, hospital bed, etc.) considered covered expenses?

SMALL STEPS, BIG CHANGES Arthritis Exercise Program MT. MADONNA YMCA Join us for a fun, energizing low-impact class designed specifically for people with arthritis, mobility issues, or chronic pain. This is a FREE program made possible by donations from the Y’s Annual Campaign and a grant from the City of Gilroy. Mon, Tues, Fri Thurs

10-11 am 10-11 am

Gilroy Senior Center Wheeler Community Center

For more information: Martha Alejo, 408-846-0428

What About The House? The doctor says your parent wants to stay “home.” That can mean the home she lives in now, your home a new place near you or an independent or assisted living community. If your parent wants to stay in the house you grew up in, do a safety check. Should they move to a different bedroom? Are the bathrooms safe? Is there adequate lighting? There are many things one must do to keep the home safe especially for an older adult. Develop A Care Team If there are relatives who can help – call a family meeting to discuss who can do what, when and for how long. Emphasize the importance of commitment. Create a schedule so everyone can see what they have committed to do. In the next issue of gmh Today, I will discuss finding a caregiver: independent vs agency caregivers – what to expect, what you should know, how to screen caregivers, etc. In the meantime, if you can’t wait for the next issue and have a quick question, contact me at

you are not alone! GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN




n today’s fast-paced world there is a belief that newer equals better. Places like Rocca’s Market remind us that sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Rocca’s Market has been a family run business since 1927. It was first built by Giulio Rocca, who moved from Cocconato Italy in 1906. Giulio wanted to ensure that San Martin had everything it needed to thrive; so the store started out as a general store, feed store, service station and restaurant. Through the decades, Rocca’a has passed along the family line. Giulio’s daughter, Ines, and her husband, John Bonfante, ran the store for 20 years before Giulio’s son, Julius, better known as Rocky, took the helm in 1952. In 1994, Rocky’s sons, Dan and Tom, took over and they have been running the store ever since. Rocca’s Market has been a part of the brothers’ everyday lives since childhood. “When we were young, there was sports, music, and Rocca’s Market,” Tom said. In their lifetime, the brothers have seen other businesses come and go — seemingly in the blink of an eye. All the while, Rocca’s has stood through thick and thin, through earthquakes and changing lifestyles. So what makes Rocca’s Market so resilient? “We keep the store because we love it,” says Tom, “We love the community and the diversity of the people who come in.” Dan and Tom have preserved the look and the store’s old family feel, keeping it as close to how it was when it first opened in 1927. Long time customers marvel how Rocca’s Market is just like the store they grew up with. But the brothers’ dedication goes far beyond just looks. They still maintain the same standards and quality Rocca’s Market has always been known for. The store’s ability to adapt has also played a huge part in its longevity. As big corporate grocery stores began to take the place of the smaller, local ones, Rocca’s Market adjusted accordingly. “It’s been a long transition. The store changed from being mom’s everyday grocery store to a high-end specialty shop,” Tom explained. Among these specialties is their dedication to the community. The brothers

Tom Rocca

Dan Rocca

Rocca’s Market

Withstanding the test of time! Written By Crystal Han




stock as many locally grown and produced products as they can find. Their belief in the old style also makes their meat department an exemplary find. Behind the butcher counter, you’ll find choice cuts meats and poultry that are aged to perfection. They feature a variety of freshly made sausages, as well as daily specials and secret items in the back. Because they uphold the old-fashioned “cut and wrap” style, the store’s butcher gets to know customers on a one-on-one basis and recommends special picks to suit their individual tastes. Whether you’re looking for something for a special occasion or something good for a night in, the quality and perfection you’ll find here is unlike anywhere else! Since Dan took over the wine and spirits department, it has become another distinctive feature that keeps people coming back for more. “I was 18 when I took over the wine department. I wasn’t even old enough to drink!” Dan said, “Our liquor salesman at the time said that our selection wasn’t that great, so I started learning more about wine. I studied with a Sommelier and took classes so that I knew what to get for the store.” It turns out Dan had the nose and discerning palate needed to appreciate wine. That, in addition to his passion for the business, has helped him cultivate a collection of fine wines that range anywhere from $2 to $200. Dan works to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy his selection. He’s always happy to share his knowledge and help shoppers select just the right wine, and spirits. Perhaps because of its modest and unimposing architecture, the market is sometimes overlooked. Visitors to the San Martin area pass by its weathered doors never knowing that they’ve missed out on something great. Those lucky enough to discover Rocca’s Market, however, know its real value. “It’s kind of a hidden gem. The hardest part is getting people in. Once they’re in, they stay,” Tom grinned. Regulars think of Rocca’s Market as a timehonored tradition. A family market that has withstood the test of time. “We’ll be here until it falls down,” the brothers laughed.




English Instructor Karren Warren, Karl Pister Scholarship winner Celina Rose Gutierrez, and Gavilan College President Dr. Steven M. Kinsella

Community provides $112,000 in scholarships to Gavilan College students


n May 8, 2015, The Gavilan College Education Foundation and Gavilan College Office of Financial Aid awarded $112,000 in scholarships to Gavilan College students. Thanks to the generosity of donors in the community,105 awards were given. Some awards were designated for specific fields of study, while others were more general. The largest award, presented annually, is the Karl S. Pister Leadership Award of $20,000 over two years for a student who will be transferring to U.C. Santa Cruz in the fall. The 2015 winner of the award, English major Celina Rose Gutierrez is a re-entry student and parent, who has served the Gavilan College community as an assistant in the Writing Center. In the greater community, she has volunteered with El Teatro Campesino and the nonprofit organization Andariegas. Her English instructor, Karen Warren, described her as as “one of those students who is committed to using her knowledge and skills to make a difference, not only in her own life but also to change the community she cares so deeply about” and added that Celina is “one of the most intelligent, determined,

hard-working and positive students I have worked with.” In her personal statement, Celina highlighted the importance of scholarships for students like her: “This scholarship would allow me to fulfill my goals of completing my education and obtaining my Bachelor’s degree to ultimately be a better provider for my family....I know that going back to school is the right choice for me and I am immensely proud of my academic achievements...this scholarship will be a lifeline for me and my family.” A new scholarship that was offered this year as well, the Eunice J. Picetti Memorial Scholarship, was awarded to twelve students. The scholarship fund is a result of the largest bequest ever left to Gavilan College: $190,000 from the estate of Fulton Picetti, a 1936 graduate of San Benito Junior College to create a scholarship fund in his sister’s name. Picetti was a Hollister resident who transferred form San Benito Junior College to Stanford, where he earned a B.A. in Economics. He served as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army and was an owner of Picetti and Anderson Insurance Agency in Hollister.

Scholarships are awarded through the Gavilan College Office of Financial Aid. For information about creating a scholarship, John Garcia Go to: for complete list of 2015 scholarships. go to










Machado School 1895-2015

Morgan Hill Schools

Back in the Day Written By Mike Monroe



alk about geography and history lessons, that’s what you’ll get when the subject is schools in the environs of Morgan Hill. In the early 1850’s, families with young children began to settle the vast expanses of southern Santa Clara County. Neither Gilroy nor Morgan Hill were incorporated cities yet and primary education was a home-based adventure. Still, with the population growing because of the Gold Rush and the wide open prospects for new beginnings in California, newcomers sought early on to formalize the education of their children.



Most early maps, such as the 1876 Thompson and West map, delineated Burnett Township (formerly Coyote, Madrone, and Tennant and now Morgan Hill) by rural school districts such as Llagas, Uvas, and Packwood. The countryside was divided into elementary school districts as more families moved into particular areas. Initially each district was independently operated having its own schoolhouse and teacher. Most of these schools are now gone as modern transportation led to the consolidation of schools. Today, the Morgan Hill Unified

Burnett School 1897-1922

School District covers a lot of rural land encompassing nearly 296 square miles — all the way from Coyote to San Martin. The District was first organized in 1903 and included Highland, Burnett, San Martin, Machado and Morgan Hill schools. In 1921, the Coyote, Llagas and Uvas districts were brought into the fold. The first public school between San Jose and Gilroy was Burnett School, established in the small community of Madrone (at one time called Sherman). The land was originally owned by the Fisher family as part of their Rancho Laguna Seca. While the headquarters for the rancho was located near today’s Metcalf Energy Center in Coyote, a campsite for ranch hands sprung up along the El Camino Real near what would become the 18 Mile House, a stage coach, and later a railroad stop. Local residents pooled their resources to fund the construction of the school, which was named for Peter Hardeman Burnett, the first governor of California. The Encinal School District near present-day Coyote began in 1867 with classes initially held in private homes. ‘Encincal’ is a Spanish word referring to the many live oak trees so common to the valley. The first schoolhouse was built in 1872 through donations by the local families. It was located at the corner of the Moore property on the west side of Monterey-San Jose Road. The Ramelli family then came into ownership of the property and classes continued at the site until 1907. Family picnics and community meetings were held on the school grounds, which originally accommodated grades

one through four. It was not until 1885 that Encinal was officially designated as a grammar school. In 1908, Encinal School was moved to its current location on the east side of Monterey Road. Part of the old schoolhouse was used as a storage shed for many years by the Ramelli family. Today, this campus serves the Charter School of Morgan Hill. Llagas School was originally located near Casa Loma Road but it is no longer in existence. It is interesting to note that William H. Adams moved to the Llagas district in 1896 where his ranch covered eighty-five acres and upon clearing the land of oak trees and poison oak he developed a fine prune orchard. William was the son of John Hicks Adams of Gilroy who was the Santa Clara County Sheriff and the benefactor of the Adams School located on Watsonville Road near Redwood Retreat Road. William attended primary school there, and after starting his own family, served eighteen years as trustee for the Llagas School. The Thomas family has lived in the area for six generations and still run cattle at their Oak Flat Ranch near Pine Ridge. The children of family patriarch, Eleazar Thomas who established their homestead in 1876, received their primary education at the Soda Springs School (named for the Madrone Soda Springs “resort” nearby) All five graduated and the three daughters continued on to San Jose State Normal School and became teachers. The youngest daughter, Anne, returned to the hills to teach at the Hoover Valley (Packwood Creek) School in the 1890’s. That school



site was along Frost Road but it is no longer there. Machado School in Paradise Valley is celebrated its 120th year of public education in June. The school has a great history with Bernardo (Barney) Machado and Mary Frances Murphy Machado donating the land in 1895. Originally a one-room schoolhouse, a second room was added on in 1910 to accommodate all eight grades. The Britton and Ward families helped develop the school and their children attended as well. The old Machado School building served the community until 1967 when it was deemed unsafe according to earthquake standards. The Machado School Heritage Society was organized in 1974 to save the building through fundraisers and sweat equity culminating in 1983 when it was dedicated as a historical site. The Society continues to support the site on Sycamore Avenue each year through rentals, craft fairs, and appeals. Machado School is truly a treasure of Morgan Hill. If school buildings could talk, there would be some whopper stories, and I did not even mention Live Oak High School, Uvas School, Barrett or Britton. Or that the first two elementary schools in Morgan Hill proper, one built in 1895 the other in 1907, were neighbors on Fourth Street. Schools make lifelong impressions and give us so much hope for the future.





Live Oak School and Severance Seminary

Redwood School House and San Ysidro School




By Larry J. Mickartz


Isabella Chow

Quiet Brilliance in the Foothills

What started with a small competition among Gilroy students at the local Gilroy Rotary Club …

… ended with Isabella Chow victory over 320 contestants at the District 5170 Rotary Competition.


n a quiet country road in the foothills east of Gilroy is a nice home set back from the road, protected by a gate. A flock of Guinea fowl scampers around. A remarkable young lady lives and studies here. Isabella Chow is homeschooled…one of nearly 2 million in the United States. In a normal K-12 set-up she would be a junior in high school. Momma Jasmine also home schools Isabella’s brother, Isaiah (14), and sister, Annabella (12), and before that their three older cousins. Jasmine Chow is a geneticist by training but now a homemaker and home school headmaster. Isabella’s father is an engineer. Isabella is an extremely talented young lady. She is a voracious reader and researcher. When something piqes her interest she is off to her computer collecting and compiling as much information as she can. She enjoys speech and debate and participates in numerous home school speech and debate events. This year she will travel to South Carolina to work on a unique project. Young tutors in speech and debate are used to improve the quality of education delivered in one of the poorest areas of the state. She also proudly notes that she has been accepted as an intern in Supervisor Mike Wasserman’s office, something she is really looking forward to. She is a talented piano player… so much so that she gives piano lessons. She has a command of, at least, four languages other than English. Isabella and her siblings have a profitable side business selling the eggs of their Guinea fowl. According to Jasmine, Isabella is the CEO! It was Isabella’s recent honor to win the Rotary 5170 Speech Competition in San Jose. Rotary 5170 includes Clubs from the East Bay to Monterey and then over to Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Of the 53 Rotary clubs in the area, 48 participated in the speech contest. The competition began with 320 contestants. After four levels of competition Isabella Chow, from Gilroy, was declared the winner of the 2015 Rotary 5170 Speech Competition. The future is bright for this young lady. In her last year of high school, in addition to her regular course of study, she plans to learn guitar and write a speech and debate computer app. College plans are still a little ambiguous. She has many interests and worries about limiting her options. She would love to continue using her speech and debate skills. With confidence she says maybe a career in law, business and/or politics! Congratulations to Isabella Chow, one of Gilroy’s students, a home school success story, and future leader.



Kids’Corner With Emma

Hey everyone, welcome to the kids’ page! It’s Emma. In this issue we have an interview with Josh Watts, one pretty cool kid. We also have artwork from my sister Annabelle. But I would love to see artwork from you, the kids of Gilroy as well. Take a picture of it and send it to us at, along with your name and age. To be interviewed, also email us at I love summer. It’s probably my favorite season. It means time to swim, time to bike, and of course, there’s no school! I’m going to Nashville over the summer, so I’m super excited about that. I’m just now getting interested in country music, and Nashville is the capital of that. It will also be interesting going to a part of the country I’ve never been to before. I’m going to be participating in the city’s theater camp over the summer, too. We’ll have rehearsals for two weeks, everyday, and then at the end of those two weeks, we have a performance. The play we’ll be performing is “Willy Wonka.” I’m really excited. I love the movie and my sister loved the book, so I think we’ll have a lot of fun. I’m also doing an art class at Sheryl Cathers’ downtown art studio named dabble. Drawing is one of my favorite things to do, along with writing, reading, and theater. I take a weekly art class there normally, but this is really fun and different because it’s a canvas class, and I don’t usually work on canvases. The Gilroy Garlic Festival is coming up soon, and I’m happy to say I’ll be going this year! I don’t always get a chance to go, because we sometimes have something else planned, but this year it worked out! The Garlic Festival is always filled with fun games, cool exhibits, and of course – mouth-watering food! I think I might just try garlic ice cream this year. I haven’t yet because I’ve been just a little too scared to. But I’ve heard it’s really tasty, so I’ll try it. The farmers’ market is open again! I don’t go there nearly enough, but I’m aiming to visit it more this summer. There’s tons of local produce there that’s simply delectable and there’s always a lot of cool vendors. You also get to buy local and support local businesses in Gilroy. Gilroy is packed with things to keep me busy, and I can’t wait to experience all of it here in my hometown.

Meet Josh Watts Age: 10 Grade in school and school: 4th grade at St. Mary School Hobbies/interests: Art, Playing Saxophone, Hip-hop, Reading and Basketball Favorite Color: Purple Favoritie Subject In School: Social Studies because it’s interesting and a lot of the things they talk about are fascinating, like the Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad. What Are You Doing This Summer: Going to Disneyland. Tell me about Hip-hop: I go to Lauri Gray’s. My teacher is Christian. What’s your favorite after school activity and why? Reading for fun because I like books. Right nw I’m reading My Life As A Gamer by Janet Tashjian, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce. Why is summer the best? Because you don’t have to go to school and you get to do whatever you want. Anything else you’d like to tell us? I just saw the movie Tomorrowland. I recommend that everyone sees it.

Artwork by Annabelle Barbazette Emma Barbazette is 12 years old and in 6th grade. She was born and raised in Gilroy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys drawing, reading, and crafting fun projects.















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Valle Del Sur Region, Antique Auto Club of America

Not just any old car… and not just any old car club By Larry J. Mickartz





here are car clubs, motorcycle clubs, low-rider clubs, Ford Clubs, Porsche Clubs, British Car Clubs…there are lots of car clubs! One unique and vibrant car club is the Valle Del Sur Region, Antique Auto Club of America in Morgan Hill. This club is one of 400 local and regional clubs that make up the national Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). The AACA was founded in Philadelphia in 1935. Its membership has grown to over 60,000 from all parts of the world. Interestingly one does not have to own an antique car to be a member…one just has to like vintage cars. The Valle Del Sur group clarifies another requirement.“We will enjoy ourselves and have fun at all our activities.” The Valley Del Sur group meets once a

month to talk about issues, plan tours and commit to local shows, parades or other events. The group also has a monthly tour or get together. They caravan to local places, eat and just have fun. Events are familyoriented. Three things become clear very early in the process of getting to know the Club. One — this is not just an “old boy’s” club. Women are very involved and very much a part of the auto club mystique. Two — every car has a story and the owners are more than willing to share those stories. And, three — they really do have fun. A good start on this road is the collection of Ford products at Russ and Marilyn Carr’s place in San Martin. The back entrance to their property is a garage across the lane from a horse farm. The garage is well-equipped with a lift, tools and

plenty of nostalgia. Three Continentals and a T-Bird make up the current collection. The ’75 Continental was part of a lot sale in Lodi. The man who purchased the lot was interested in the farm equipment and was happy to get rid of the Continental. Russ notes that the T-Bird is not his … ergo the license “HER63TB.” Russ connects his love of cars with his dad who took the young Russ to car shows. His dad on his honeymoon even stopped in Reno and purchased a Harold’s Car Club placard, which now has a place of honor in the Carr garage. Russ is retired from Silicon Valley but has a deep connection to his father and grandfather’s spirit in the tools and hand-made rigs they passed down to him. Russ eagerly demonstrates these fine old pieces. In his spare time Russ is president of the



Valle Del Sur club and heads up the car run component of the Freedom Fest Parade on the 4th of July. Hank Miller’s home was not hard to find. Driving down a tidy street in a new development in Morgan Hill, the beautiful blue and white ‘56 Corvette was easy to spot. Back then, only 3,000 Vettes were made and only 300 in this color combination. Hank had an almost identical one as a younger man. He sold it to continue his education. In 2013 he saw this one in almost perfect condition. Now it is his. He has since garnered trophies for this beauty. Hank’s garage is not full of lifts and tools. It is just a suburban garage. Hank’s car story harkens back to a younger, less complicated time. While his handyman skills are evident in his well-equipped wood shop, he is happy to let others work on


Hank and Nancy Miller

Frank Orlando

Russ and Marilyn Carr

this beauty. Hank spent almost 40 years in various professions in Silicon Valley. Today, a few health issues do not keep Hank and Nancy from enjoying life and this beautiful car. On another day, on a country road between San Martin and Morgan Hill sits a wonderfully restored four-door ’29 Ford Model A, not something one would expect to see at the end of a gravel road. With a career designing farming equipment behind him, Frank Orlando now has a new challenge. In addition to his ’29 Model A, and a ’64 Falcon convertible, he restores tractors. Two large sheds in back are


jammed with all types of tractors in various stages of restoration and readiness. One he restored with his son; another one, in the early stages of restoration, is a project with two grandsons. Frank not only restores these workhorses, he also participates in tractor pulls and has trophies to verify his efforts. The tractor he uses for the pulls has a whooping 40 horsepower engine! Frank’s ’64 convertible was his commute car when he designed farm equipment in Madera. Frank enjoys telling how he surprised the workers when he jumped into the tractor seat and ran it through the tests for the new equipment. They did not




expect “the engineer” to be able to handle what he designed! Frank’s ’29 Model A is a “Fodor” in Ford speak. It is similar to one he worked on in high school in Wisconsin. Frank Orlando is one of those unique individuals who can study and engineer a tractor from the ground up. When he cannot find a part, he makes it. There is a little mischief and twinkle in his creative eyes! The last stop on this quick journey to meet some of the men and women of Valle Del Sur took me to a house in Jackson Oaks with spectacular views. The garage of Ray and Kathy Fairchild houses a ’30 Packard, a ’66 Mustang and a ’71 Honda

Ray and Kathy Fairfield

750cc motorcycle. Back in 1979, Ray’s first restoration was a ’34 Ford pick up. In 1981 they joined the Valle Del Sur Club. It has since become their major social scene with the monthly meetings and tours. Ray has served as the club’s treasurer and president, and Kathy is the current vice president. Kathy’s dad was into cars and the fascination has stayed with her. The Fairchild living room is home to a beautifully restored Union 76 gas pump that stands about ten feet tall! Autos are

in this familie bloodline. In the living room is an elegant photo of their daughter with her new BMW. The ’30 Packard is an elegantly restored classic..the beautiful lines, the etched glass and even an antimacassar in the back seat. This one was made by Kathy’s mother.



Originally they were used to protect the upholstery from hair oils. In this car it is anelegant detail that finishes off a story about some of the interesting men and women of Valle Del Sur and their cars.


Sergeant Troy Hoefling

Keeping It Real

THEY SERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND Contributing Writer Andrea “Andi” Joseph

“Having served Morgan Hill for nearly 30 years, Sergeant Hoefling has become wellknown in the community. He understands how successful policing requires a mindset where the police and community are part of the same team working towards the same goal. We are fortunate to have him in a leadership role where he not only demonstrates the attributes of community engagement but also, by mentoring others, he encourages the same.” David Swing, Police Chief Morgan Hill Police Department Sergeant Troy Hoefling with son Andrew, daughter Katie and wife, Janelle.


sk Troy Hoefling about his profession and he will tell you that it’s honorable, challenging, and no two days are ever alike. Hoefling is in his eighth year as a sergeant with the Morgan Hill Police Department (MHPD) – a position that he said is hands-down the best job in law enforcement because he gets to work with new officers, teaching them the ropes and giving them the tools they need to do their best. Hoefling’s instinct for law and order found its expression in his youth. While a student Live Oak High School, he got a part-time job as a bagger at the former Alpha Beta grocery store on Monterey Road and found himself competing with another employee to see who could catch the most shoplifters. “I already knew back then what I wanted to do.” Hoefling enrolled at Gavilan College, earned a certificate and an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice, and attended the Police Academy. In 1988 he landed a part-time position as a reserve officer with the MHPD. After joining the force, he went on to serve as a corporal, a detective, an undercover narcotics officer with the California Department of Justice, and a member of the SWAT team before being promoted to Sergeant in 2007. “From my first day as a reserve officer I fell in love with the work, the people aspect, being out in the community and not tied to a desk job, dealing with new situations

every day. As a young officer I looked up to experienced senior officers. They knew everyone and how to get things done. They had all the ‘intel’. Now I’m in their shoes.” Hoefling met his wife, Jenelle, while they were both students at Gavilan. Jenelle became a licensed cosmetologist, but the more time she spent with Hoefling, the more interested she was in law enforcement. It wasn’t long before she took a job as a dispatcher for the San Jose Police Department. Looking back on their 20 years of marriage and raising a daughter and a son together, Hoefling said his wife still keeps him grounded. “Jenelle worked with police and she gets it. She and I have both known officers who have been killed in the line of duty. She reminds me to keep my priorities in check, be safe, and make it home when my shift is done.” Hoefling and other members of MHPD lent a hand when the San Jose Police Department lost one of its own, Officer Michael Johnson, in March of this year. Johnson was fatally wounded while responding to a call to check in on a man who had threatened to commit suicide but opened fire on the officer instead. Hoefling, his fellow officers and police from other areas in the district patrolled San Jose’s streets while local officers attended the memorial service for Johnson. For the past 20 years, Hoefling has enjoyed serving as Police Department Coordinator and Liaison with the Special



Olympics. Earlier this year, Hoefling and other MHPD officers volunteered to wait tables at Chili’s Restaurant as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Program established by Eunice Shriver and the Kennedy family to support the Special Olympics nationwide. In June, he participated in uniform at the Northern California Summer Games at UC Davis, passing out medals to athletes. “People ask why I volunteer my time year after year. I tell them I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with these athletes. Meeting them and watching them compete is humbling, it brings me back to what’s important in life.” Outside of police hours, Hoefling enjoys spending time in the 1,000-square-foot workshop he built for himself at home. “My dad was a cabinet maker and I learned a lot from him. We never had to call people to fix things at home. Dad did it and I was lucky enough to help. I get a lot of complements on a large entertainment center I finished building recently for our living room. Having that joy and passion for woodwork, if I hadn’t chosen law enforcement, I probably would have been a contractor!” Hoefling hopes his presence on Morgan Hill’s streets is “making a positive difference” in the community. “I’m happy to be doing what I’m meant to do and I couldn’t think of a better city than Morgan Hill or a better team than MHPD to call my own.”


Shirley Young, Dave and Joy Hall, Shereen Car and David Ramos with daughter, Taylor.

Life on Calabrese Way Written By Sam Bozzo




Gary Stutheit, Jack and Carol Peters, Donna and Ron Pray




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03 gmhToday July August 2015  

The July August issue of gmhToday featuring WERC, local schools, Gilroy Paseo, Morgan Hill Pop-Up park, local farmers' markets, new Catholic...

03 gmhToday July August 2015  

The July August issue of gmhToday featuring WERC, local schools, Gilroy Paseo, Morgan Hill Pop-Up park, local farmers' markets, new Catholic...