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FEATURES 10 Home For The Holidays



26 The Hometown Advantage

36 A Family Affair Gilroy Style


40 Creating Balance…


42 A New Vision For Gavilan


46 Two Boutiques–One Location


48 Prepare To Be Impressed


52 Not Just Any Little Red House


61 Preserving Our History


66 Music In Our Bones


69 Out Of Harm’s Way


70 Fulfilling A Dream


76 Leadership Advocacy


101 Ultimate Gifts


DEPARTMENTS 16 Community Digest


30 Gilroy Living at 50


32 Morgan Hill City Beat



58 Theater Scene


65 A County Update


75 Manners Matter


80 Artfully Yours


86 It’s Your Swing


88 The Vine


93 Health Wise



95 The Book Club Beat


96 Dining Out With Friends


Photo taken at our featured home — Teri Nelson and Steve Smith’s home at the end of Redwood Retreat Road, see article page 52. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

35 Gilroy City Beat




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Maddox Hunter Lee,


grandson of publishers Larry & J. Chris Mickartz, admiring his photo on the cover of the

Published By IPC PUBLISHING A Division of InfoPOWER Communications

September/October issue of


from his home in Littleton,

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF J. Chris Mickartz


PUBLISHER/PHOTOGRAPHER Larry J. Mickartz ASSOCIATE EDITOR/MORGAN HILL Robin Shepherd WRITERS Crystal Han Larry J. Mickartz Elizabeth Barratt Matthew Hendrickson Don DeLorenzo Sherry Hemingway Mike Monroe Kimberly Ewertz Sam Bozzo Jordan Rosenfeld Vicki Minerva Karen La Corte Amy McElroy Dan Craig





Interior Decorating Carol Spence Carr Insurance Michele Campbell Mortgage Jayson Stebbins Solar Energy Pam Garcia Tourism Jane Howard Wine Industry Alicia Cuadra DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Edgar Zaldana Available everywhere

you do business. Electronic copies available online at:

Gilroy • © Copyright 2006 -16. All rights reserved. No part, either editorial or display advertising, may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher and author. email: • phone 408.848.6540


FOR AND ABOUT CONTRIBUTORS We invite you to join in the conversation. WHAT OUR ADVERTISERS things you love about Morgan Hill, YOU Dorie the Sugay AgingShare features and people you would like to see Finance Jeffrey M. / Daniel Newquist in Orth future editions of TODAY, and any YOUR COMMUNITY comments you might have on articles Real Estate Marta Dinsmore / Teri Nelson in the current issues at YOUR LIFESTYLE Home Financing Jayson Stebbins

ADVERTISING SALES Morgan Hill • Sunday Minnich


Donna Pray, Executive Director Gilroy Foundation

SAY ABOUT GMH TODAY: “Our community is fortunate to have TODAY as a community information vehicle. The photography, the reporting, the guest writers/columns and the editorial direction is superb. The quality of the print copy, as well as the online version, rivals magazines such as Gentry, to our north, and Carmel Magazine, to our south. The articles are always timely and informative about the activities and events taking place in the South Santa Clara Valley. TODAY supports our community nonprofits as well. Coverage of our various fundraisers and grant presentations are always covered fully and with taste and accuracy. Most of our limited advertising dollars go into TODAY because we feel they reach our current and prospective donors and volunteers.”




Available everywhere you do business or online at 7

Contractor: Bruce Mah of BM Construction Floors, counters and tile from Superior Stone in Gilroy.


hopping! Remember the good old days when you would set aside several hours; or maybe even a whole day to peruse the local department stores and specialty shops looking for that special gift or a new addition to your wardrobe? Okay, so maybe I’m jumping the gun when I say “good old days” BUT every time I go online — (Yes, I do go online occasionally although I try to reserve it for things that I can justify because I just can’t find it locally, it’s two in the morning, or I use the old rationalization that I just don’t have the time to shop) — I think “this is not good”! This holiday season I’m challenging myself and you (our readers) to really make an effort to find those holiday gifts right here in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Let’s take heed to the Gilroy Foundation’s tagline “Give Where You Live” and apply it to our holiday shopping, “Shop Where You Live.” Besides, Amazon doesn’t have holiday music playing and the monies we spend online will not go to fixing the potholes in our streets or cracks in our sidewalks. See our article about the impacts of shopping locally, pages 26-29 and some of the wonderful offerings available at our brick and mortar establishments, pages 10-13. During the holidays, we thought it would be nice to remember some of the people in our communities that are always there to lend a helping hand. Often times we don’t even notice them but they are there, working many hours a week to keep the museum open, or help our grandchildren across the street, or put together an “Oasis” — we’re happy to feature a number of these folks in this issue. See Preserving Our History (page 61), Out of Harm’s Way (page 69) and Leadership Advocacy (page 76). I want to thank Teri Nelson and Steve Smith for letting us visit their home so we could share with you the beautiful holiday wonderland they bring to Redwood Retreat Road. May you have a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy!

On A Personal Note: We’ve had a pretty busy couple of months on the home front. Here are some of the highlights: Family and friends joined us for a celebration of the engagement of our son Peter Mickartz and his fiancee, Colby McKenney on October 2nd. Colby is from Boston and is a ICU Neurology nurse at UCSF. Peter works for Zagster out of San Francisco. They currently live in San Francisco (behind AT&T Park) and are planning a September 2017 wedding at Léal Vineyards in Hollister. Photo (l-r): Mick Garfink, Peter, Linda Hussar, Me, Steve Hussar, Larry and our soon to be daughter-in-law, Colby.

Marge Albaugh, my mother, was inducted into the Gilroy Hall of Fame posthumously on October 8th (see event photos in the Community Digest on page 16.)


Little Charlie, our new English Golden Retriever was born on September 3rd and came to live with us on October 16th.

John Albaugh, my father, turned 97 years old on September 20th. He’s in good health and living in a nice care home.



Holiday Calendar

Home For The Holidays

November 18

The 14th Annual FESTIVAL OF TREES fundraiser benefiting Rebekah Children’s Services at the Corinthian Center in San Jose. For information: 408.846.2136 or November 18

Zuzu’s Petals is hosting it’s 10th Annual CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER from 6 – 10 pm, at Mama Mia’s Restaurant in Morgan Hill. This is a fun night to kick off the holidays with silent auction, raffle, appetizers and no-host bar. Tickets available at the door, free for those bringing an unwrapped gift appropriate for a child 1 year to 13 years old. Info at 408-930-6064. November 26

Shopping on Black Friday, November 25th at the outlets and big boxes is fine, but don’t forget that November 26th is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY — a day to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.




Who doesn’t love a party? But if the idea of throwing a company or private party makes your head spin, there’s good news. You can leave the menu planning, cooking, serving and clean-up to one of South County’s fine local caterers and/or event planners.

Take the family or make it a date night, and celebrate the winter holiday season in grand style at a special South Valley Symphony performance on December 18th at Gavilan College Theater in Gilroy. Under the direction of Music Director & Conductor Anthony Quartuccio, the Symphony will perform: Ancient Airs & Dances, Suite No. 1 (Respighi); March of the Toy Soldiers from Babes in Toyland (Herbert); Overture to Die Fledermaus (Strauss); Gloria (Vivaldi) performed by alumni of Gilroy and Christopher H.S. choirs with Phil Robb, Director; Sing We Now of Christmas (Bass), an Audience Sing-along; and Vocal Selections with Beverly Olivier Blount. Tickets are $25 for adults; students and children admitted free.  Concert series packages available.

Gilroy’s Just in Thyme offers both catering and event planning with sample menus for anything from a formal sit-down dinner to a Roaring 20s cocktail party and beyond, customized to occasion, tastes, foods in season, and budget. Catered by Diana has catered many business and nonprofit events and private social functions in South County. The Morgan Hill-based company is known for quality fresh local ingredients. Hint: Ask for their caprese skewers. Party Rental Outlet provides event planning so you can focus on the event you envision, and let them do the work. Laura and her team will monitor your event, making sure the logistics are handled while you and your guests enjoy the party.

Boomers will love upcoming acts at The District in downtown Gilroy. Our money’s on Unauthorized Rolling Stones and Heartless: A Tribute to the Music of Heart, on December 3rd and 10th respectively. The bar serves premium wines and craft beers. The District provides a spacious venue for up to 300, complete with a stage, sound equipment, and dance floor, for private functions for adults and kids.

Gilroy’s Fire 4 Hire Catering is known for its “restaurant on wheels” with tasty dishes served direct from grill to plate at corporate, community and private events large and small. Insider tip: The Snake River Farms Flank Steak melts in your mouth. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Downtown Morgan Hill’s GVA Café (Grinds Vines and Automobilia) hosts live music, dancing and feature Chris and Friends acoustic open mic nights every Wednesday. Check their website at for scheduled entertainment offerings.


In South County we have an uncommon advantage at this time of year. We can shop, entertain guests, pursue our favorite leisure activities, and give back to causes that inspire us. And we can do it all right here in our own community. We’re home for the holidays, making our economy and community stronger.

TREE FARMS and FUN There’s nothing like having a wreath on your front door and a Christmas tree decked out with ornaments and twinkling lights to add cheer to your home during the winter holidays. South County makes the quest for the perfect tree an experience the entire family can enjoy. San Martin’s Battaglia Ranch Tree Farm is open to thepublic from November 27th through December 23rd. You can get a pre-cut tree or cut your own. The kids will enjoy the Enchanted Christmas Train, Rudolph’s Magical Ride, and a visit with Santa himself. Grab some hot cider and check out the gift shop too. Paradise Christmas Tree Farm is a choose and cut tree farm on the outskirts of Morgan Hill. If you fancy a redwood or incense cedar tree, you can find one there, along with pine and fir trees. The tree farm opens on November 25th. Check out their lathe-turned wooden bowls, jars and plates for sale.

GET CREATIVE Green Glaze Pottery Studio of Gilroy is a great place to go with family or friends during the holiday season. The studio has an assortment of unadorned ceramic plates, bowls, mugs and figurines, ready to be painted by you and your gang. It’s a great venue for creativity and conversation. Proud To Be Me sewing school will open up a world of sewing to that special young lady. Current students will be participating in a

fashion show scheduled for April 2017. Some of the items the students make are sold in the school’s student store, making it a good place to stop and shop.

December 1st

On the high heels of last year’s success, the Morgan Hill Downtown Association’s LADIES SHOPPING NIGHT OUT returns on December 1st from 5 until 9 pm. What better opportunity to invite your gal pals to town for shopping, browsing the local art gallery, relaxing at a favorite local restaurant or café, or catching a movie.

THE GIFT OF READING BookSmart celebrates its grand reopening on November 12th at its new Dunne Avenue location with activities from 10 am until 3 pm. From November through early December BookSmart will hold its annual Gift of Reading book drive in partnership with the Edward Boss Prado Foundation. Residents can drop off donated new and like-new books at BookSmart. BookSmart hosts local author talks on most weekends. Build a Gingerbread House on December 13 and 14. Book Buyers Used Books & Media just opened its doors in downtown Gilroy. Having relocated from Mountain View after 23 years, the owners bring with them over 300,000 book titles and an extensive book knowledge. The book store will feature local authors and be open daily from 11-7 except Tuesdays.

THE GIFT of GIVING The Edward Boss Prado Foundation, established by Cecelia Ponzini in her son’s honor, will sponsor the third annual Toy Drive, Toys 4 Our Own, in conjunction with the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. Residents can donate kid’s toys (unused and unwrapped) through December 12th. Toys will



December 2-3

The Morgan Hill Historical Society presents its 7th Annual Holiday Tea at the Hiram Morgan Hill House at Villa Mira Monte. Seating is at 11:30 am. Presale only. RSVP online at by November 20th. Seating is limited. Info available at 408.230.7876. December 2-3 The Gilroy Senior Craft Store will host the WINTERFEST, Winter Wonderland Craft Faire this year at the Senior Center on Hanna Street. Over 30 vendors will have their hand-crafted items for sale. Items will include crochet and knitted items along with pottery and other homemade pieces. Open from 10 am to 4 pm.


December 3rd

ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARADES AND TREE LIGHTINGS Morgan Hill Organized by Kiwanis Club with support from the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and the City of Morgan Hill. This year’s parade is expected to include approximately fifty entrants including decorative floats, local high school and middle school bands, dance troupes and much more. After the mayor lights the tree, Santa hangs out with kids in the Community and Cultural Center courtyard to find out what’s on their wish lists. Gilroy Organized by the Gilroy Downtown Business Association. The parade is a true multi-generational event. A grand marshal nominated from the community gets to ride with Santa in the parade, help him light the Christmas tree, and share a personal story. Parade day activities also include the traditional Doggie Dress-Up contest as well as musical and dance performances by local youth. After the tree lighting, families can bring their kids to Mango Street Kids to have their picture taken and share their wishes with Santa Claus. Both events begin at 5:30 pm


be collected at the Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Hill Community Recreation Center, Noah’s, Commonwealth Bank, and other locations around town. On December 16th, community leaders deliver the toys to Morgan Hill Unified School District’s elementary schools for kids who might not otherwise receive gifts during the holidays. The foundation is also collaborating with BookSmart on its annual Gift of Reading initiative, which gathers donated books for underprivileged families given out at Cecilia’s Closet. Girl Scout Troop 62224 volunteers in this drive too. Our community service organizations may only fundraise once or twice a year: they need our support! Consider giving to organizations that focus on the needs of the underserved in our community, including seniors, the homeless population, families living with poverty, foster youth and others. Among these organizations are the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, the Gilroy Foundation, Cecelia’s Closet, Salvation Army, Gilroy Compassion Center, St. Joseph’s Family Center and many local faith-based organizations. Consider “adopting a family” through the holiday giving program organized by Community Solutions. Give a membership to a local organization of choice on behalf of a friend or loved one who wants to engage with community service organizations and causes. Give a bike, a car, or a set of new tires to a local nonprofit. Or, give a scholarship to a deserving student.

PICTURE THIS Time flies. Maybe it’s time for a family portrait. Portraits By Rebecca, Morgan Hill, offers professional studio and on-location photo sessions to capture the family, a new baby, or


a teen’s special accomplishments. Then have your photos exquisitely framed by Leedo Art & Framing, Gilroy; or Fastframe of Morgan Hill. Both shops offer custom matting and framing for everything from original paintings and photographs to sports jerseys, awards, travel souvenirs, diplomas and even 3-D objects. They can also do restoration of oil paintings and digital enhancement of photos.

TOYS AND GAMES Thinker Toys of Morgan Hill has a wellthought-out inventory of toys and games for youth. According to proprietor John Horner, “We shy away from toys that ‘do all the work,’ because kids quickly get bored. We look for toys, puzzles and games that spark the imagination, beyond the fads that come and go and always seems to require batteries. Customers love our free giftwrapping service. They can grab a coffee from Starbucks while we wrap, and their packages are ready when they return. We can help them find gifts that appeal to kids of different ages and interests. That’s not something you’ll find in a big box store.” For that little princess on your shopping list, a Girls Only party at Miss Ooh La La in Gilroy is sure to excite. They provide a variety of themed party options for girls ages 4-12. Your little princess and her friends will enjoy a glam and dress-up session, followed by entertainment and of course, dessert.


December 2-4

Gilroy Center for the Arts - Gilroy Arts Alliance will host local artisans who will be selling hand- made art and goods including jewelry, art, photography and more. One of a kind gifts that will last a lifetime. Check their website at for times.

Don’t forget the gift all children want, a new bicycle. Sunshine Bikes in Gilroy and Morgan Hill have a wide selection of bikes, carrying only the best bicycles and accessories, and a repair service to make that old bike like new again.

APPAREL AND JEWELRY Amoretto Boutique recently combined with itty bitty beauty boutiqe to provide apparel, fashion accessories and home decor as well as beauty, skin care and makeup for all occasions. Their newly remodeled shop is a wonderful one stop shop to get that special gift for your best friend. A don’t miss this holiday season. Engagement plans? Shop for that special ring that says “Marry Me” at the Jewel Box Morgan Hill. They are offering $250 off purchases f $750 or more. Details at store. Mango Street Kids is a resale and consignment shop offering clothing, accessories and furniture for families with children from newborn through size 14. Make it part of your Gilroy downtown shopping experience. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays. For that classy, trendy or slightly edgy dresser on your list, Tryst Women’s and Men’s Apparel, in downtown Morgan Hill, has a full line of designer clothing and accessories. They also offer private party options for the perfect Girl’s Night Out during the holidays.

Royal Clothiers for a special gift for him or to dress him up for your company gala. If he’s a Tommy Bahama guy, you will love the selection of casual shirts and pants. And if he’s a tie and suit guy, you will love the selection and tailoring options afforded. Located in downtown Morgan Hill.

SPORTS AND FITNESS Inspire your couch potatoes to get moving with a membership to the Morgan Hill Community Recreation Center and Aquatics Center or choose from the many programs at the Gilroy Recreation Center. And for your young ninja, perhaps a birthday party to remember at United Academy Of Martial Arts, Morgan Hill or martial arts lessons at Pulido’s Pro Fitness in Gilroy. South County’s equestrian sports enthusiasts (and horse show moms) finally have a place to shop for gear, for riders and their horses, at Morgan Hill’s Stagnaro Tack & Apparel. According to shop owner Michelle Arani, “Lots of people in our community are involved in equestrian sports, but they lack access to tack and apparel.” Arani also operates an equestrian training program in Morgan Hill. Running Shop And Hops opened its doors this year and has been creating quite a buzz. It lives up to its slogan, “Come for the gear. Stay for the beer.” A good place to get the right shoes, a congenial place to hang out and swap running stories. For flexibility and relaxation during the holidays, Yoga Bella offers classes for all levels — and Creative Bodies with Pilates offers group and private classes. Both are located in Gilroy.



December 10th

THE GRANADA is COMING! We’re only weeks away from the reopening of the Granada Theater as part of Frank Léal’s hoteltheater-retail development project in downtown Morgan Hill. In a visioning summit earlier this year, Léal described plans to provide a variety of live entertainment in a dinner theater setting that harks back to Hollywood’s ‘Rat Pack’ era. The reopening includes Community Solutions’ annual Black, White & Bling gala fundraiser on December 10th followed by a New Year’s Eve Party with a three-course dinner, balloon drop, champagne toast and music by Vintage Noise and Soul Kiss. The Granada will be available for weddings and corporate events and provide catering services.



SEASONAL GIFTS AND DECOR Looking for that perfect garlicky gift or just the right seasonal gift, Garlic City Mercantile has a wonderful selection of holiday decor gifts, seasonings for that special holiday dish and a festive atmosphere sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Located in downtown Gilroy.

South County Wineries offer events, wine clubs and wine related gifts. Guglielmo’s Tasting Room and Gift Shop is featuring a Holiday Faire Boutique with everything from holiday gifts and home décor items to decorations, ornaments and more. You won’t want to miss the themed trees (Wine Tree, Man Cave Tree, Traditional Tree, Girly Tree, etc.) throughout the shop. They will be open every day, starting Monday, November 28, through Christmas Eve day. On December 3, 4 and 10, 11 they will hold their two Faire Weekends, complete with choirs and food sampling. There is an admission fee on both weekends of$10 per person, which includes wine tasting. Join Fortino Winery for its 13th Annual Holiday Boutique, where over 20 local vendors will display and sell their unique items, including handmade decor, crafts, art, jewelry and more. The great variety of vendors is perfect for your own personal style or shopping needs. Make a day of shopping, Wine Tasting and music. Bring the family to take pictures with Santa from 1-3 pm. Sip on delicious Mulled Wine and enjoy the beautiful caroling sung by the Gilroy High School, 12:30-1:30 pm and music by Carlos Padilla to follow. The Holiday Boutique hours are from 11 am to 5 pm.

HOME GROWN SHOPPING CENTERS Cochrane Plaza Shopping Center at Highway 101 and Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill boasts of Something For Everyone on your holiday shopping list — from home decor items at Hobby Lobby to jewelry for that special someone at Harry & Son Jewelers. Gilroy’s Hecker Pass Plaza on First Street is known for its wide variety of dining options but they also have a wonderful little Pet Shop as well as gift certificates for that perfect tan at Austrailan Tan.

Shop where you live … come home for the holidays!


REFLECTIONS VOLUME III IS ON ITS WAY!!! Hundreds of new recipes along with some tried and true favorites from Volumes I and II. This cookbook is filled with fun, delicious and family favorite recipes and makes a great Christmas gift. Get one for your collection and wrap up a few more for all those special cooks in your life. Gilroy Assistance League, is a non-profit corporation that provides grants to local youth oriented projects in the Gilroy community. Reflections Volume III will be available in early December for $20. You can order by calling 408713-1414, emailing gilroyassistanceleague@gmail. com, or online at






Family Is Family, BUT Business Is Business


often receive calls from my older clients who are thinking about withdrawing money from their investment accounts to provide some financial assistance to adult children or grandchildren. While the intention is almost always a good one, it can have some unforeseen consequences if there is not a clear statement of expectations. Before you write that check, there are a few things you should consider to maintain harmony in the family.

Some important questions to ask are: Is it a loan? Loans with low interest rates generally have strict lending standards, which is why a family member might be looking to you for the loan, rather than going to an institution, like a credit union or a bank. You and the family member can determine the interest rate on the loan, but if it is less than the IRS-required Applicable Federal Rate (AFR), the difference in dollars each year is considered a gift. The interest rate tax consequences should be discussed with your CPA for both the lender and the borrower. At the very least, there should be signed copies of a written agreement outlining the details of the loan. Often people remember things differently and a written agreement at the onset can help prevent a misunderstanding and save a lot of hard feelings later.

Is it a gift?

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


If it is truly a gift, you should be aware that the IRS allows a person to give up to $14,000 to any other person each year with no gift tax or forms required. You can give more than this amount if it is for education or medical expenses. Any other uses of funds over the $14,000 limit, requires that you submit a Gift Tax Return form when filing your income taxes.

Should you be doing this in the first place? Small gifts or loans given to your children are not likely to have a large impact on your long term financial security. But a gift of five or six figures could have a major impact on the viability on your financial future, especially if it represents a large chunk of your assets.

Even if this is set up as a loan, consider what would happen if the loan was not repaid. Would your retirement plan survive? Who will support you if you run out of money before you run out of life?

Will a little bit go a long way? Is it possible to help a family member in need without handing over a large sum of money? If a child is struggling to meet monthly bills, perhaps you could send the difference between actual monthly expenses and and income for a pre-determined length of time, until hopefully, the child can get back on his feet and become self-supporting.

Is it going to cause any hurt feelings within the family? Any time money changes hands within a family, there is potential for misunderstanding and hurt feelings. The situation can be made even worse when family members don’t communicate openly and honestly. Whatever agreement you come to, get it in writing! And teach your family that you will treat them fairly, which is not the same thing as equally.

Is it OK to let my financial advisor take the blame? There will come a time when a child wants or needs money, but you can’t or don’t want to offer assistance. As a Financial Advisor, I sometimes act as the “buffer” for my client. In a case like this, you might say, “I would love to help you out, but I checked with my financial advisor and he says that I am not in a position to do that right now.” I have also had clients who have asked me to work with their children to help them get on track financially. In these cases, I remind all concerned that the information we share is completely confidential. This is essential if anything meaningful is going to happen. When it comes to families and money, communication is the key. Make sure that you use your heart and your head when you make financial decisions, and remember that a financial professional can be of help in maintaining that balance.

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




community DIGEST

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

Gilroy Hall of Fame

FOUR LOCAL GILROYANS WERE HONORED AT the Hall of Fame in October. The designations were designed to honor those individuals who have made a difference in the community. The concept was developed originally in 1982 and from 1982 thru 1994, 119 worthy individuals were honored. After a short break, four individuals were inducted last year at the inaugural Hall of Fame ceremony, bringing the total to 123. This year the honorees included Marge Albaugh (1932-2008), founder of St. Joseph’s Family Center; William Ayer, who, during his time as Parks & Recreation Director for the City of Gilroy, developed the park system enjoyed by Gilroyans today; Salvatore “Sam” Bozzo, lifelong educator, mentor, community servant and ambassador of garlic and goodwill, and the founder of the Hall of Fame, R.J. “Bob” Dyer (1933-2016), captain of industry, community leader and visionary.

Photo Top (l-r) Susie Kafka & Billy Ayer (daughter and son of Bill Ayer), Sam Bozzo (recipient), J. Chris Mickartz (daughter of Marge Albaugh), Rick, Maura and Loni Dyer (son and daughters of R.J. Dyer) received plaques of induction into the Hall of Fame. Middle Row (l-r): Family of Marge Albaugh: Larry Mickartz, Lexi, Izzy, Addie, Frank Vegh, J. Chris Mickartz, Stephanie Vegh and sitting, John Albaugh, her husband. Bob Dyer Family (standing l-r): Diane Dyer, Ruth & Rick Dyer, Maura Dyer, Loni Dyer and her husband, Steve Vaughn, and sitting, John & Donna Taft. Family of Sam Bozzo (l-r) Gene Sakahara, Kathryn Sakahara, Lora Nickol Bozzo, Sam Bozzo, Gianna Bozzo, Dominic Bozzo, Olivia Bozzo, Greg Bozzo, Judy Bozzo, Dr Carl Bozzo, Diane Bozzo, Michele Bozzo Mahi, Chris Bevilacqua, Pat Nickol. Family of Bill Ayer: Devin and Billy Ayer; Susie, Riley, Jordan and Ron Kafka.




Morgan Hill Historical Society

Founders Day

IN SEPTEMBER MORGAN HILL HISTORICAL SOCIETY held the 47th Annual Founders’ Dinner at the Community and Cultural Center. The historical society hosted a record number of founders, six of whom were featured in a video created to help preserve and share the history of Morgan Hill. They are: Dorothy Bryan Tykol (1922), Jean Skeels Pinard (1928), Margaret Turgeon Johnston (1926), Steven Burt Malech (1931), James Alter (1928), and Ruth Alter Johnson (1932). The video project by 152 West Productions captures individual stories of life in our region during some of the most memorable years in U.S. history. Caterer: Gunther’s. Servers: Morgan Hill Rotary Interact Clubs. Wine: donated by Guglielmo Winery. Sponsors: Anritsu, Recology, Rosy’s at the Beach, Ponzini’s Community Garage and Towing, Paul Ward, Roger & Janie Knopf, Windmill Mini-Storage, Johnson Lumber/ACE Hardware, Ashlee & Jordyne Atkins, Marilyn Barrow, Don & Lynne Bonino, Joan Lewis, Peter Musachia, and many generous Raffle Donors. Table centerpieces donated by Cal Color Growers.


Margaret Turgeon Johnston, Jim Alter, Dorothy Bryan Tykol, Ruth Alter Johnson

Anita Kell Mason

David Fritts

Ellie Weston, Scott Parker, and Kathy Sullivan

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

Port & Politics, Pinot & More

GILPAC HOSTED ITS FOURTH ANNUAL Pork & Politics, Pinot & More on September 29, 2016 at Old City

Hall. This event was a fundraiser for GilPAC, which is the political action arm of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. Old City Hall furnished the Pork, an actual roasted pig; Solis Winery brought the wine; and the participants brought plenty of politics and more. GilPAC has four functions: 1) to become involved in state and local politics, 2) to receive contributions from individuals and organizations, 3) to manage and distribute funds in state and local politics, and 4) To act as a committee of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce

community DIGEST

A Taste of Morgan Hill



providing something for everyone of all ages to enjoy. The Custom & Classic Car show had over 170 participants. There were a variety of food vendors providing everything from Mexican Food to Fried Veggies and BBQ as well as many pre-packaged food vendors, fruit smoothies, ice cream, kettle corn, and cotton candy. For the shopping enthusiasts, the wide range of arts & crafts offered a variety of one-of-a-kind specialty items. Families and kids enjoyed the newly expanded kids’ zone with upgraded rides; rock climbing wall, pony rides, face-painting and much more. Music lovers enjoyed the variety of entertainment provided with live bands at the main stage and smaller stages with street performers throughout the festival.




Mount Madonna School

Advances a Middle School “Math Path”

By Katrina Leni-Konig

AT MOUNT MADONNA SCHOOL (MMS), students experience a

transformative approach to learning mathematics that goes beyond the curriculum to enhance each student’s lifelong relationship with the subject. The goal is to create an environment where every individual can thrive as a math student, fueled by curiosity, confidence, and determination. Mathematics is then a tool that supports the continual development of the students’ emotional intelligence. Teachers nurture a classroom culture that encourages selfawareness, resilience, and humility. By middle school, students are asked to take the lead in determining their own “math path,” considering which classes they will want to take in high school. Too often, students are sorted into math classes by a test, grades or other forms of top-down selection. At MMS, we wanted to develop a process that allows each student to discover what feels right for them. We give them time and opportunities to explore math in different ways. The math path selection process begins in sixth grade, when students select a math elective, either the Math Lab Intensive or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), for one period a week. Through STEAM, students link logical thinking with creativity through music, engineering, and art. By seventh grade, Math Lab Intensive becomes required Algebra skills practice in order to advance into an accelerated Algebra I/II course in eighth grade. Students can move into an accelerated math path as late as tenth grade, by taking a geometry course over the summer.

Mount Madonna School

“Research shows that math achievement correlates with hard work and motivation more than any other factors,” said Lisa Catterall, MMS director of middle school. “The opportunity to accelerate at any time through tenth grade means that students can jump ahead when they are truly excited about math and want the chance to do more.” Many students in traditional programs are left with feelings of ‘not being good at math’ well into adulthood. By providing students with a choice and opportunity of exploring mathematics in different ways, we are opening the possibility for all students to feel confident and successful in math. Katrina Leni-Konig teaches sixth and seventh grade math and science at Mount Madonna, and lives in Gilroy with her family.


something special

Open House

November 19, 11:00am

Art & Play in the Pre & K! November 30, 9:30am

Pirates of Penzance, Jr. December 10-11

RSVP 408-847-2717 Pre/K - 12th grade CAIS & WASC accredited Nonsectarian Bus Transportation




The Great Gatsby … a night of fun and giving 20



“Great Gatsby”

Another Outstanding Event! Through our Generous Sponsors, Donors and Bidders, we were able to raise funds to cover our programs once again and make this year’s A Day in the Country another great success! Thank you to all who donated, volunteered and purchased auction items! Platinum Sponsors

The Volunteer Committee

Gold Sponsors

Articulate Solutions Bill Blocher Carol Peters Dave Bozzo Dia Hoshita Donna Pray Gina Anderson Gloria Pollock Jane Jackson Janie Mardesich Jason Raby Jeanie Rizzuto Jenny O’Callahan Joann Kessler Judy Lazarus

Pinnacle Bank Toyota of Santa Cruz

R. Titus Waterproofing Silicon Valley Community Foundation Vanni Humphrey Certified Public Accountants

Silver Sponsors

Blaettler Accountancy Corp Blossom Valley Foods Glen Loma Heritage Bank of Commerce Mission Valley Ford Union Bank

Bronze Sponsors

Kent Construction Pacific Diversified Insurance Rabobank Regent Wealth Management South County Rockery Cash Donors Aaron and Gina Colton Barbara Drewitz Jodi and Ric Heinzen Karen LaCorte Lynda Trelut Valerie Filice

Our Supporting Wineries TOP ROW (l-r) Jeff, Jennifer, Lucille, and Lindsey Speno l Debbi & Mike Sanchez l Jenny O’Callahan, Karen Titus, Yvonne Quilici, Renee Longaker l Don DeLorenzo, Frank LaCorte, and Chris Ordaz

Fernwood Cellars Fortino Winery Guglielmo Winery Solis Winery Sarah’s Vineyards

Karen Titus, Co-Chair Yvonne Quilici, Co-Chair

Karen LaCorte Kendall Costa Kurt Michielssen Lissa Gaffney Matt Titus Melissa Campilli Mila Perales Renee Longaker Sue Farotte Sue Thurman Tracy Shipman Whitney Pintello Yesenia Gonzalez Zelia Faria-Costa

Community Acknowledgements

Karen LaCorte Margene Peterson and Lisa Weiby of the Printing Spot

A Special Thank You to Gilroy Elks Lodge, Don DeLorenzo, Dave Bozzo and their Staff!

MIDDLE ROW (l-r) Mike & Doris Dorn l Amy & Kyle McElroy l Kevin Godden & Linda Pond, and Tammi Blundo l Elizabeth Belliveau, Kevin & Wendy Kaefer, Elin & Nick Turk, Rory & James Pace BOTTOM ROW (l-r) Karen LaCorte, Gloria Pollock l Trish King, Michael Luevano, Gina Anderson, Lori and Larry Kent l Greg & Jean Myers — winners of trip to New York.




Leadership Gilroy

community DIGEST

Class of 2016 Graduation

THERE WAS A LOVELY GRADUATION CEREMONY held for Leadership Gilroy Class of 2016 in October at Gilroy Gardens. Many friends, family, alumni and community members came to congratulate the participants on their dedication and completion of the program. For their community service project, the class worked in partnership with other local organizations to help create awareness for the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and hands only CPR training. Their efforts resulted in a HeartSafe 5k event and the placement of six new AEDs throughout Gilroy. Class of 2016: Maria Cano, Lori Katterhagen, Kisha Southy, Judy Mireles-Janisch, Roslyn Jacobs, Mary Gutierrez, Bobbi Jo Palmer, Rosemary Maciel Garcia, Dani Marciano, Sue Saign, Sam Bogale, Denise Giffin, Vanessa Tellez, Duy Pham, Rosalie Baylot.

Leadership Gilroy Class Project 2016

Heart Safe

ON AUGUST 20, 2016 LEADERSHIP GILROY hosted a 5K run for their HeartSafe project. Everyone received a medal of completion. Participants and visitors visited various information booths and were given the opportunity to practice Hands Only CPR.




Saint Joseph’s Family Center

Celebrating Contributions of Volunteers and Supporters

David Cox, Executive Director

ST. JOSEPH’S FAMILY CENTER (SJFC) held a reception on October 20th to celebrate the contribu-

Vicky Martin, Director of Community Engagement

tions of our donors, volunteers and long-time supporters. The cumulative support helps drive the core programs of SJFC, which help lift South County families out of poverty by providing critical services such as housing, food, case management, employment services and advocacy efforts. SJFC staff shared the success of their new on-site food distributions to over 10 local schools and nonprofits. Other new programs include conducting outreach and case management at the Gilroy Armory, Ochoa Winter Shelter and Sobrato Transitional Apartments. A list of current needs for the holidays can be found at

Christmas at the Winery Guglielmo’s 28th Annual

December 3rd-4th & 10th-11th • 10am - 5pm our award-winning wines, gourmet food, * Enjoy hot mulled wine and holiday carolers!

* Browse our huge selection of unique gifts! wine themed gifts to custom gift baskets, * From you can please everyone on your list * $10 Admission Fee - Includes Wine Tasting The Holiday Gift Shop will be open through Christmas Eve.

1480 East Main Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037 408-779-2145 • GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



The State of Housing Affordability C.A.R. Magazine, Roger Cruzen


he headlines are impossible to ignore. “California’s Affordable Housing Crisis Spreads to the Middle Class,” from the San Francisco Chronicle. “California’s Housing Costs Hurt Economy, Increase Poverty, Report Says,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “California’s Housing Affordability Crisis Isn’t Going Away,” warned an article from HousingWire. Beneath the headlines and in dozens of academic studies reside the details of an unprecedented housing affordability crisis that threatens the well-being of millions of hard-working Californians and the longterm health of the state’s economy. This month, California Real Estate explores the current state of the crisis, some of the factors that have caused it, the growing impact on the middle class, and how California Realtors® are getting involved in solutions to the problem.

Factors Behind the Crisis Housing affordability is a national problem that exists to some degree in almost every community. Among the factors driving the crisis in California:

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

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


• Inadequate supply: For starters, the supply of homes available to buy or rent doesn’t come close to keeping up with the housing needs of nearly 40 million people. Although California expects to add 330,000 residents a year through 2020, only 44,145 single-family and 52,932 multi-family building permits were issued in 2015, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Another 100,000 units would be needed on top of that just to keep up with this year’s need, let alone make up for the hundreds of thousands of homes that weren’t built during the Great Recession. • Rising home prices and rental costs: California’s ongoing shortage of housing inventory has pushed home prices back to pre-Recession levels. That’s good news for homeowners but not so much for would-be homebuyers. With median home prices in some cities over or near $1 million, teachers, first-responders, office workers and



others whose jobs are required to keep a community functioning are priced out of the market. • Lagging incomes: After peaking at $68,450 in 2007, California’s median household income fell for five consecutive years before rebounding in 2013 and 2014, when it reached $61,933, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. Although California’s median income is approximately $9,000 more than the national median, its median home price is two-and-a-half times higher than the comparable national figure. • Prop. 13: The property tax protections afforded by 1978’s Prop. 13 are discouraging many Baby Boom emptynesters from downsizing at a time when they otherwise might be making those homes available to Generation X families. This trend has contributed significantly to the state’s inventory shortage. • The high cost of new construction: Why aren’t developers building affordable homes in California’s coastal metropolitan areas, where the majority of jobs are located? Because metro California land prices are two to four times higher than they are elsewhere, labor is 20 percent more costly, and developers fear the legal and other costs of proposing higher-density but lower-priced development. Add in tens of thousands of dollars in development and other fees, the cost of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reviews and subsequent litigation, and affordable developments suddenly don’t pencil out. • Growing opposition: They may agree that more affordable housing is needed, but local homeowners routinely oppose higher density in-fill developments they fear may add traffic or affect the environment. Elected officials, meanwhile, often are more interested in commercial projects that attract tax revenues without requiring investments in schools and other infrastructure costs.

Fewer Homebuyers, More Renters These and other factors have combined to create a housing affordability “train wreck,” said University of Southern California’s Dowell Myers, who has written extensively about the crisis. The Great Recession, he said, decimated the homebuilding

industry and caused six million potential homeowners to leave the housing market or become renters. The resulting impact on housing affordability and the overall housing market has been significant. • Increased poverty: Nationwide, more than 19 million families are either homeless or paying more than half their income on housing, according to Enterprise Community Partners.

• Loss of affordable rentals. The supply of affordable rental homes for seniors, disabled persons and others on fixed incomes is dwindling. In California, as many as 131,000 federally subsidized rental apartments are scheduled to be returned to market rates over the next two decades.

Moving Toward Solutions

For decades, REALTOR® associations have joined other organizations in sup• Skyrocketing rents: In California, rent on porting affordable housing programs at the a two-bedroom apartment rose 17 percent national, state and local level and acted between 2005 and 2013, while renter to protect against laws or regulations that incomes increased by only 5 percent. would make housing less affordable. In late April, the C.A.R. Board of Directors voted • Affordability nears record lows: After to back a state Assembly proposal that falling to a low of 29 percent in midwould redirect $1.3 billion in surplus funds 2008 then rising to 56 percent in 2012 to a variety of affordable housing programs. as home prices plunged, C.A.R.’s Housing Among the highlights of the proposal are Affordability Index has hovered below 40 a new workforce housing grant program percent for 12 consecutive quarters. In that will provide down payment assistance, the second quarter of 2016, 31 percent personal income tax credits to help cover of California households had the income a portion of mandatory seismic retrofit needed to purchase the median-priced costs, funds to finance the construction and existing, single-family detached home, rehabilitation of farmworker housing and which sold for $516,220. Assuming a 20 percent down payment, a household needed emergency housing, and tax credits that will enable developers to build, renovate an annual income of $101,217 to qualify.

and acquire some 8,700 affordable homes serving an estimated 62,500 families. “Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers and other middle class workers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve,” said C.A.R. President Pat Zicarelli. “C.A.R. recognizes the urgency of California’s housing crisis and is fully supporting the proposal to invest a portion of our state’s budget surplus to address this housing crisis.” Analysts and housing leaders agree that meeting California’s workforce housing needs likely will take decades and require an army of advocates and a willingness to consider new and unique solutions at every level of the public, private and nonprofit communities. However, they wonder whether the “political will” exists to make these necessary changes. “We knew that housing wasn’t getting enough respect before the crash, but after the housing markets took down the world economy, you would think that people would think that housing was pretty important, and we should pay attention to it,” said Myers. “But no, it doesn’t seem to be working that way. It’s baffling. I can’t explain it.”

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The Holiday Hometown Advantage

“Main Street” is making a comeback in cities across America, and Gilroy and Morgan Hill are part of the trend. This isn’t some homespun revival. On the contrary, it’s a modern movement led by people who want to save their cities from becoming bedroom communities.

gmh TODAY met recently with some creative and capable

folks in Gilroy and Morgan Hill who are helping to make our “Main Streets” better than ever by creating economic vitality, a shared sense of place, and a healthy community.

Shop Local, Shop Small In this holiday season, Shop Local and Shop Small programs shine a light on the South County business community. One example is Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday got its start in 2010 as the brainchild of American Express. Over the next five years it gained national recognition from the White House, the U.S. Senate and governors and mayors in all 50 states. Thousands of organizations and individuals have signed up to rally their neighborhoods around the day. In 2014, an estimated $14.3 Billion was spent on Small Business Saturday, and last year, an unprecedented 95 million people shopped small businesses in their communities. In 2016, Small Business Saturday is emerging from the shadow of its siblings, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with good reason. Unlike Black Friday, there’s no queuing up in the pre-dawn hours in front of some big box store and fighting the crowds to find the best bargains until your aching feet say ENOUGH! There’s no need to scour countless websites on Cyber Monday for the latest “trending” gifts, hoping the stuff you ordered truly is “as advertised,” arrives before the holidays, and no one hacks into your online accounts. And neither of these efforts fatten the coffers of local city general funds. Small Business Saturday offers a welcome alternative. On November 26th, head into downtown Gilroy or Morgan Hill with family or friends. Don’t forget your holiday gift giving and party planning lists. Local merchants want to know how to serve you well and win your loyalty. On top of that, when you shift a percentage of your spending from online and national businesses, you boost the flow of dollars circulating in our local economy. Shopping within the City of Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy benefits our region through the sales tax it generates for each City’s General Fund. According to John Lang in the City of Morgan Hill’s Economic Development Department, “For every $100 of (taxable) purchases the City receives $1 into the General Fund to pay for parks, road repairs and other services.




Written By Robin Shepherd • Small businesses account for nearly three-quarters of all businesses in Morgan Hill. • Employers with less than 9 employees generate $1.1 million in sales tax revenue to the City of Morgan Hill.

Shop Gilroy – Spice up the Holidays Garlic may have put Gilroy on the map, but Gilroy is about more than garlic. Tammy Brownlow, President of the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation (GEDC), offers this perspective: “Support the local economy in your shopping decisions. Keep the money in the community. Think about the multiplier effect. For every $10 spent at a local biz, $7 stays here through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.” “Many of our local merchants generate a majority of their annual revenue during the holiday season. Local sales taxes going to the city general fund do help pay for our police, fire department, road maintenance and parks. To the extent that it replaces local shopping, online purchases cut into those sales tax revenues. “Shopping local really has a broad impact on local economies. In Gilroy we have about 1,800 small businesses — not just retail products, but all types of goods and services — that account for 75% of all the jobs in the City, about 16,000 jobs. We have a positive pull factor with high quality retail outlets that bring people from outside in. But it’s our local businesses that really generate revenue for the city with very little retail leakage. “It’s been well documented that small business owners serve on commissions and boards, give to local nonprofits, and are more attached to the community. From the research I’ve seen, three quarters of small business sales are sourced locally, and local small businesses naturally look for opportunities to do business with each other. The GEDC works with Gilroy Welcome Center, the Gilroy Downtown Association and Gilroy’s chamber of commerce as well as the City of Gilroy. “People know it’s important to support the small local businesses, but it’s not always top of mind in consumer buying decisions. Melanie Corona, Coordinator for Gilroy Downtown business Association (GDBA), said during the holiday season there’s strong collaboration between GDBA, the Gilroy Chamber, downtown merchants and local nonprofits in terms of supporting special events including the holiday parade. Corona also talked about GDBA’s involvement as a member of the California Mainstreet Business Alliance (CAMBA). “We’ve adopted CAMBA’s four-point approach to downtown revitalization in order to create economic vitality, a unique sense of place, and a strong commitment to the community by all stakeholders. We formed committees

Produced by Custom Made in Partnership with Ghergich & Co. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



focused on design, economic restructuring, promotion and organization. Our goal is to become a designated California Main Street Community by successfully completing CAMBA’s certification process.” Other cities whose ‘Main Street communities’ have been recognized include Livermore, Pleasanton, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. The program utilizes public-private partnerships to help revitalize historic commercial districts. CAMBA advocates on behalf of Gilroy and other member cities, at state and national levels, in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the California Preservation Foundation and other organizations, tracking state legislation that affects cities and their businesses, as well as legislation regarding historic preservation. “The focus is really on economic impact through broad community engagement with tangible, measurable outcomes as the end goal,” Corona said. Learn more at

Morgan Hill’s Holiday Magic The Morgan Hill Downtown Association states that dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on the community as dollars spent at national chains. The Association’s Board President, John McKay, said the Association collaborates with local businesses, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and the City of Morgan Hill as well as other local organizations. “Small business is the backbone of our community. Local merchants invest in and have a vested interest in Morgan Hill’s success. Our association focuses on awareness-building and fundraising. Our members actively promote events such as the Brew Crawl, Safe Trick or Treat, the Indie Market, and this fall’s new Moveable Feast series. Our winter season promises to be busy downtown. We kick off December with the Granada’s formal grand opening celebration, the Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Ladies Shopping Night Out.”



As John Horner pointed out, “Small and even micro businesses are a relevant business model now and in the future. They can create and test new ideas quickly and pivot more easily than large companies in times of disruption.” John is President of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and owner of Thinker Toys, located in the Vineyard Town Center. “Our local businesses proactively seek ways to connect with each other, forming an ecosystem. Within that ecosystem they invest in resources, management advisors, business loans, operating facilities, IT support, accounting services, marketing gurus, employment and training specialists and more. As community-minded citizens we nurture this system, we don’t starve it.” This conversation would not be complete without the voice of Edith Ramirez, Morgan Hill’s Economic Development Director and Chair of Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Economic Development Alliance. She has been praised for her work in building Morgan Hill’s brand through focused economic development and helping to make Morgan Hill more businessfriendly. Her passion for local community-building is palpable. “People are looking for experiences, and that includes downtown and regional experiences,” Ramirez said. “Throughout South County, in Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy, we have so much to offer. Not only in terms of quality goods and services, but quality of life. “As we head into the holidays, it’s important for each of us to remember why we chose to make this place our home. We vote with our dollars when we shop and give locally. “It’s also important to remember why we are celebrating. We create community when we get out and do things together in our community, whether it involves cultural arts and entertainment, sports and fitness, social gatherings, education and leisure hobbies, or philanthropy and community service.” Ramirez expressed the hope that South County families would consider the many options to think and act locally during the holiday season.


“I love to see people get out and enjoy the holiday parades and tree lighting ceremonies that are a big annual tradition. Consider hiring a local caterer for that holiday open house party. Take the family to Lumination at Gilroy Gardens. Visit local stores to personalize your gift-giving when shopping for the wine enthusiasts, theater goers, book lovers, or fitness buffs in your life. Take friends on a wine tasting tour of our local wineries. Treat family members to a class at Gavilan or a membership at one of our community centers to explore new interests and develop new talents. Support holiday giving drives organized by our churches and nonprofits to provide food, clothing, books and toys to deserving local families. Make it a date night to attend a local holiday fundraiser such as Community Solutions’ annual Black, White & Bling gala at the Granada.”

Understanding the Multiplier Effect The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) shows how independent locally-owned businesses recirculate a greater percentage of revenue locally compared to absentee-owned businesses. Hence, going local creates more local wealth and jobs. AMIBA defines the multiplier effect as being comprised of three elements: • Direct impact is spending done by a business in the local economy to operate the business, including inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees. • Indirect impact happens as dollars the local business spent at other area businesses re-circulate. • Induced impact refers to the additional consumer spending that happens as employees, business owners and others spend their income in the local economy. (Source:

Street. A study of over 30 jurisdictions across 10 states showed that regardless of their size, municipalities receive a higher level of tax revenue from dense, walkable, mixed-use urban development. Assessing land use on a “per acre” measurement of its tax revenue generation, study calculations showed that a county earns about $7 in property taxes per acre from a typical big-box retail store, and about $287 per acre on a mixed-use Main Street-style business district. (Source: “Thinking Differently About Development.” Joe Minicozzi, Government Finance Review, August 2013.) Whether we shop online, patronize large national retailers, or buy from local small businesses, our consumption habits matter. Each has its place in our economy. It’s up to us to decide how and where to invest our hard-earned dollars, to strike a balance. “Main Street” Gilroy and “Main Street” Morgan Hill are unique. Together with San Martin, they make South County unique—a dynamic ecosystem made up of people whose businesses exist to serve us. People who believe in our community enough to invest locally, hire locally, and partner with local government and other businesses. People who volunteer and give back to our local schools and community service organizations. At the end of the day, each decision we make impacts the identity and vibrancy of the community we live in. Let’s make South County the best it can be.

Local Self-Reliance According to the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), an economy populated by many small, independent businesses produces a more equitable distribution of income and opportunity, creates more jobs, supports an expansive middle class, and is more compatible with democracy and self-governance than concentrated economic power. According to an ILSR analysis, “Amazon creates just 17 jobs for every $10 million in sales, while traditional brickand-mortar retailers create jobs at more than twice that rate: 42 positions for each $10 million in sales.” We need to be aware that even a retailer as powerful as Walmart is moving a significant portion of its business online, in order to compete with Amazon, despite the fact that this will cannibalize its own brick and mortar business. Based on this and other studies, ILSR has found that “places that are home to numerous locally-owned businesses are more prosperous, sustainable, and resilient than those in which much of the economy is controlled by a few big corporations.” Its findings point to “encouraging signs that community-scaled enterprises are on the rise, charting a path toward a more just and sustainable economy.” (Source: Research shows that regardless of the size of a municipality, its most potent tax-generating area is its downtown or Main GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

WHY SHOP SMALL? Small business owners bring Main Street to life. • They offer products and services we need. • They employ locals and offer summer jobs to our teens. • They patronize local banks as well as insurance, accounting and legal firms. • They generate sales tax revenues that help pay for public safety, road repairs, and a host of other things we take for granted. (Source:



gilroy LIVING

Fifty Something In Gilroy



ur local friends Estelle and Larry invited us for a wine tasting with mutual friends Massimo and Rita from Italy. We went to Satori Cellars Winery in Gilroy. What a delightful time we all had, including a chance to meet the winery’s owners, Tom and Sandy Moller. Their wine is so good, and with cheese and French bread, we couldn’t miss. Now, I kinda sorda inquired as to how old the Mollers are, through Elks Caterer Dave Bozzo. Dave frequented the Gilroy Golf Course when he had the Gilroy Grill in the 90’s. That’s where he first met Tom Moller. Both Tom and Sandy were most gracious in agreeing to an interview with TODAY even after we told them we wanted to feature fiftysomethings! Tom’s first visit to Gilroy was in 1987 when he attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival and thoroughly enjoyed it. Originally from Boston, he was living in San Jose at the time. By 1991 he was working in Morgan Hill and had become very familiar with the South County. Like some Silicon Valley “garage” startups, he launched his business in a living room with 11 employees and watched it grow to about 500 employees in a 250,000 square foot building. It all coincided nicely with his being at a point in life when he was ready to buy a home. Tom said he was very lucky to have found such an amazing property at a price that was within his budget. At that time the land had plums. When I checked with my rancher friend, Don Manzo, he said the plums were most likely French prunes which were once a mainstay crop in the Santa Clara Valley. When Tom moved in, he discovered the aged trees were infested with the shot-hole beetle. Wisely, he cleared them. When his father visited shortly thereafter, he jokingly said the place was like a dust bowl. Initially, Tom thought he’d set up a Christmas tree farm. He planted 7,000 of them. They didn’t last because he didn’t have sufficient irrigation in place. Then he got the idea to grow grapes.


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




He put in a proper irrigation system, followed by 1,000 grape vines, with the help of five workers. Now Tom was a novice, but one of the crew by the name of Raymundo seemed to know what he was doing. Tom asked him to come back to provide some additional help, not realizing that Raymundo worked for another guy with a vineyard not too far from his place. The next day, that guy showed up with a tractor and a crew, including Raymundo. Together, they put in 1,000 vines, which ultimately led to a vineyard lush with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Sarah, Sarah, and Zinfandel vines. That was the beginning of Tom and Sandy’s future in the wine business. Sandy had known Tom for a long time even though she lived in Marin County. She loved the Marin life style and had a thriving business in the health industry. She also liked guys that drove Ferraris. Even though she knew Tom she thought of him as just a friend. He called her one day and asked if he could pay her a visit. Meanwhile, Sandy’s mom thought that Tom was terrific and urged Sandy to date him. When Tom pulled into her driveway in his 1974 truck, Sandy, who was into the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” secretly wished that he would park his truck around the corner. When they decided to become a twosome, Sandy was not yet convinced that South Santa Clara County was the place to live. Her business served 52 hospitals, she had a great house in what she liked to refer to as “the promised land.” There was no question in Tom’s mind that Sandy was the one. So they took turns visiting each other, in Marin and in Gilroy. Eventually, she sold her business and her house, there was a wedding, followed by a pregnancy, and Tom and Sandy Moller decided to join forces to form Satori Cellars Winery. To my way of thinking, theirs is a love story. Their love for one another, for their son Riley, for their land and its vineyards, and for the many people they’ve met since

settling in Gilroy. Their first wines were made for family consumption, then shared with friends. Soon the friends told them they should start up a winery. “Satori” gets its name from the SA in Sandy, the TO in Tom, and the RI in Riley. Sandy doesn’t think as much about where she came from as she does about where she is today. When she became pregnant she joined the local Las Madras group for young mothers, which helped her get to know other young moms in the community. Riley attended Mt. Madonna School and then went on to Monte Vista School in Corralitos. She studied Yoga and took classes from a teacher in Hawaii, where she returns regularly for refresher courses. She is a Yoga instructor at Yoga Bella and sometimes holds classes at their home. Both Tom and Sandy like Gilroy and appreciate its proximity to the Bay Area, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. They see downtown Gilroy’s great potential and feel the city is moving in the right direction. Plus, Morgan Hill is only minutes away. Welcoming visitors to the winery, the Mollers have met friendly, down to earth people from all walks of life. People who, like Tom and Sandy, appreciate the wonderful valley that we live in. As I wrote this story, Tom and Sandy were right in the middle of the 2016 grape harvest, and I’m sure, on their way to producing a new year of medal-winning wines. By the way, at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, they received seven medals. And that’s how sweet life can be for Gilroy folks in their fifties.




City Beat

Happy Holidays from the City of Morgan Hill. It’s been a busy, but amazing year!

Agricultural Preservation • Steps were taken to advance further agricultural preservation with the approval of the Agricultural Mitigation Program. Infrastructure • The City of Morgan Hill began a conversation with our community regarding infrastructure needs and possibilities for financing them. • Significant progress on the Water Bond Projects was accomplished, offering enhanced fire-fighting capabilities, enhanced water system reliability and providing water redundancy in the Holiday Lakes, Jackson Oaks and Jackson Meadows neighborhoods. • Waste Water Bond Projects were started. Downtown Economic Development, Investment, and Improvements • The City completed $25M in public investment projects in downtown and celebrated with the grand opening of the parking garage, 3rd Street Plaza and Retail Space. • $50 million in private investment is now underway in downtown development with renovation of the Granada Theater set to open in December. Three additional private development projects have also begun. • New retailers were attracted for the downtown: Opa! Willard Hicks, Mo’s, Tac-Oh, Orange Theory Fitness, Coffee Guys, and Grapevine Wine Bar.


• The very popular Pop-Up Park was successfully relocated in the downtown core. • Promoted development of the vacant South Valley Bikes building into a three story signature project with a fine art gallery and wine bar, and a restaurant on the third floor with a rooftop lounge which was approved by Planning Commission in September. • Hosted a Downtown Visioning Summit and Tour, offering many a preview of the renovations of the Granada Theater in progress. • Completed planning and received approval for two new Downtown parks and the Hilltop Trail • Implemented several Complete Street Improvements in the downtown, with more still to come. Guiding Documents and Plans • Completed the three-year process of updating the General Plan which is now adopted and will guide decisions in Morgan Hill through the year 2035. • The 40-year-old voter approved Residential Development Control System( RDCS) was updated and placed on the November Ballot. • Significant work was put into creating the new Bikeways, Trails, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, with a draft copy being made available in October. • Significant work was put into the first ever Public Safety Master Plan with completion expected by the end of this year. • An Economic Blueprint. • A Telecommunications Study. Police • The Morgan Hill Police Department recorded the highest percentage of cases that resulted in an arrest (at 51 percent, the next closest city being 45 percent). This means that, per capita, more victims find justice and more offenders are held accountable in Morgan Hill.



Economic Development • Facilitated attraction, approval and development of Dick’s Sporting Goods and La Quinta Hotel. • Successfully relocated a number of tenants from Depot Center to new locations in Morgan Hill, including Jesus Mexican Restaurant, Peking Chinese Restaurant and Royal Clothier. • Kickstarted the second phase of Cochrane Commons Shopping Center with a gas station, car wash and Burger King, approved by the Planning Commission in September. • Hosted the second annual South Silicon Valley Broker Breakfast. • Worked closely with Tencate and Specialized to facilitate their expansions. Communication and Engagement • In an effort to better understand the effectiveness of our current communication strategies and work to better meet the needs of the community in relation to communications and engagement, we have begun a Communications Assessment that is scheduled to be complete before the end of the year. Water Conservation • The Morgan Hill community continued with significant water conservation efforts making, Morgan Hill a leader in the Santa Clara County. Affordable Housing Morgan Hill continued as a leader in affordable housing with: • New 104-unit senior affordable housing phase two • New 3-site, 40-unit affordable housing project financed with construction to begin in December.

It has truly been an amazing year in Morgan Hill, with much to look forward to in 2017.



has been a year of great accomplishment and change in Morgan Hill, as well as the completion of several significant plans that will guide the future of the city for many years to come. The Morgan Hill community has been involved at many different levels from individual feedback to participation in stakeholder groups, commissions and advisory committees. The following is a summary of all that’s been happening:

Buying in a High Cost Market


uying a home in Santa Clara County or our surrounding areas can be intimidating. The process itself can loom large for anyone buying a home. Recent statistics show that the median home price in Morgan Hill just a shade over $800,000 and for Gilroy hovering around $650,000. When you add those statistics to the mix, buying a home may seem an impossibility.

By Jayson Stebbins Mortgage Professional

Jayson Stebbins is a 23 year veteran of the Mortgage Banking industry and an Accredited Mortgage Professional through the Mortgage Bankers Association. He grew up in Morgan Hill and currently lives in Gilroy. He is the local Branch Manager of Guild Mortgage, a 56 year old Mortgage Banking firm. His office is in Morgan Hill and serves all of Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey counties. You can reach Jayson and his Team at 408-782-8800 or at

Rising rents and the tax benefits to owning a home require us to still get creative, find solutions, and use all the tools available to us to help not only firsttime buyers in our market but also those who are looking to buy up, downsize, or invest in rental property. Below are some of the creative ways to buy in a high cost market. REX Homebuyer: this program is designed to match a borrower’s down payment in return for shared investment in the Real Estate. A borrower must have 10 percent of their own funds, but REX, in participation with limited lenders in CA, then matches that 10 percent in return for a percentage of appreciation at time of sale. No interest and no payments makes this a true Real Estate investment product, and creates buying power for borrowers they did not have before. A Family Affair: co-signing or adding a co-borrower is a common way to help boost qualifying and buying power.

Adding parents or family members to the loan can help when income numbers are difficult to validate. Gift funds from family members to help drop the mortgage amount is widely accepted across all loan programs. And we are seeing more “family homes” now where multiple generations buy together to mitigate the cost of living. Grants or Government programs those who are under the median income, or who have not been able to save for a down payment there are programs through the state to help by offering down payment assistance. This comes in the form of low or no interest grants that are paid back at the sale of the home. Usually these are designed for those whose total income is below the area average. Below Market Rate homes: most cities have a Below Market Rate (BMR) program that allows a certain number of homes to be allocated for lower income families. These homes sell at a reduced price with down payment assistance and have deed restrictions on how the homes can be sold or refinanced down the road. Also remember that many programs now offer 5 percent down options, even for a Jumbo purchase like we see so often in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Sometimes it isn’t ideal timing to buy a home, but if you can find one of these solutions to help, the upside of homeownership could be within reach.

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




408.842.8118 7436 Monterey Street, Gilroy




City Beat Status of Gilroy’s Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Buildings



n December 1989, the City of Gilroy submitted to the State of California, a list of 35 structures that were identified as possibly being unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. Over the years, the number of identified URM buildings has increased to 37 structures in total. A significant portion of Gilroy’s downtown is recognized as an “historic” district, a designation that requires a building’s details and characteristics be preserved during improvements to retain the charm and unique features of the downtown core. All but five of the 37 structures are within the historic district and special attention is included to ensure compliance with the historic standards and expectations. In addition, eight of those buildings within the historic district are also identified as important historic sites on some level – local, county, and/or national. Presently, the owners of several buildings are actively pursuing land use or building permits to achieve compliance with the City’s URM ordinance. An architectural and site review (AS) permit is in process for the building that houses Banning’s Upholstery and Frank’s Barbershop (7320-7340 Monterey St), with approvals anticipated in the near future. The buildings at 7517 and 7525 Monterey Street have an approved AS permit, pending issuance of a building permit to initiate the anticipated retrofit work. Only six structures currently remain non-compliant with the URM requirements. These are structures with known seismic hazards, and owners have not yet pursued the necessary planning or building permit approvals.

Third Street Roundabout Update: Estimated project timeline for completion of the 3rd Street and Santa

Teresa Boulevard roundabout is November 2016. However, it was opened to traffic in phases through September and October. The temporary traffic lights have been removed to aid traffic flow and a temporary barrier has been installed to prevent unsafe left turns onto Santa Teresa from the west. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



La Famiglia Bozzo Written By Larry J. Mickartz

THE BOZZO’S HOLIDAY PHOTO 2015 (left to right) back row: Laura and Greg, Judy and Sam, and David Bozzo and Jill Fick and front row: grandchildren Olivia, Gianna and Dominic. Above: Judy and Sam Bozzo





f you call the Bozzo residence and happen to get the recorder, Sam welcomes you to the Bozzo Famiglia. If you are a resident of Gilroy and have not had contact with the Bozzo family or their work, you do not get out much! As one gets to know Sam’s family one realizes their life story is about connections, friendships and family. Sam and Judy Bozzo moved to Gilroy in 1976. Sons, Dave and Greg, grew up here and both run local businesses. Sam Bozzo was inducted into the Gilroy Hall of Fame this past October. His introduction cited his many local accomplishments: adjunct faculty at San José State University, Chapman and Brandan Universities, Trustee for Gavilan College, commissioner for the City of Gilroy, restaurant owner, educator/Human Resources director, coauthor of Any Bozzo Can Cook, Garlic festival leadership and twenty-five years on the Garlic Festival Cook Off Stage, Sister City leadership, Man of the Year for the Chamber and on and on… Sam and Judy came to Gilroy because Sam’s brother, Dr. Carl Bozzo, convinced them to run a restaurant in the center Carl was developing in Gilroy. The first restaurant owner had just backed out. Sam and Judy had been operating some smaller restaurant venues in San Jose and Gilroy. According to Sam, Judy ran Digger Dan’s, while he just helped out! From 1974 to 1981, Digger Dan’s was the “Cheers” of Gilroy.

The history of connections continues … how else could a restaurant owner educator - volunteer get paired up with Gene Sakahara to fill in at a cooking demonstration on the Garlic Festival Cook Off Stage? After a last-minute cancellation Gene and Sam teamed up as the “SakaBozzo, Twins Separated at Birth.” Their cooking comedy routine lasted for twenty-five years and took them to other festivals and events as Garlic Festival ambassadors. Both Gene and Sam are PastPresidents of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. SakaBozzo also co-authored the book, Any Bozzo Can Cook and they are in the process of producing a second edition for the Garlic Festival 40th anniversary in 2018. Judy, the quiet one of this bunch, has been the nurse she always wanted to be. Judy has twenty-five-years of experience as a nurse with most of that time in home health and hospice care. Her seven years running Digger Dan’s was “incredibly fun but a lot of work.” The Bozzo commitment to family was evident in policy that employees could not work both Saturday and Sunday. Everyone needs some time with family! Judy is especially proud of the fact that both boys have chosen to live and raise their families here in Gilroy. Sam and Judy host Nana & Grandpa Camp during the summer, featuring art and science, and cooking lessons together. Around the holidays they always take time to prepare ravioli and to enjoy some fresh crab, a family favorite. One Thanksgiving, a few

David Bozzo at home in his kitchen at the Elk’s Lodge on the Hill where he whips up amazing dinners for groups and lunch for the Gilroy Rotary Club every Tuesday.


years back, the boys announced to Nana & Grandpa that if they wanted to see the grandkids on the holidays they would have to join them in Hawaii. And they did! Dave, the oldest, operates Gilroy Grill Catering and is the chef at the Elk’s Lodge. Dave and his crew do a lot of catering. During one recent span of nine days they catered fourteen events. While Dave has operated restaurants, The Grill at Gilroy Golf Course and Bozzo’s in the old Digger Dan’s location, he quickly figured out that the restaurant business was not for him. He claims it was on the second night at Bozzo’s that he came to that realization. He describes a catering job as a one-check solution while a restaurant is a hundred small checks. Dave is also involved with the Sportsman Chefs. He is a regular behind the scenes and on stage at the Garlic Festival. Dave lives in town with Jill Fick and together they are raising their son, Dominic. Greg, the younger son, tells the story of when he was in junior high school and got caught riding his motorcycle on First Street. The officer, upon realizing he was Sam Bozzo’s kid, sent him on his way with a warning. Greg then began to value connectedness and his father’s influence in Gilroy. Greg graduated from CalPoly in San Louis Obispo, and like most of the Bozzo family has also worked in restaurants. But his first love is the outdoors and growing things. Greg and wife, Lora, own GB Landscaping. Their landscape design work is evident throughout Gilroy.

SakaBozzo, Twins Separated at Birth team throws in their apron after entertaining and cooking their way into the hearts of Gilroy Garlic Festival goers for 25 years.



Greg Bozzo, GB Landscaping, working with his crew on a recent landscaping project.

Years before Greg and Lora married, Sam was instrumental in establishing a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR) in Gilroy’s sister city, Takko Machi Japan. After college Greg became the CIR in Takko. The next year it was Lora’s turn! Of course, the people in Takko take responsibility for the match making. When it came time for the wedding there was a California version and a Japanese version in Takko! Lora and Greg live in town and are raising two daughters, Gianna and Olivia. Greg followed in his father’s step as a President of the Garlic Festival and is a regular emcee on the Cook Off Stage. La Famiglia Bozzo is a tight-knit gregarious group and has touched the lives of most, if not all, in Gilroy.

Join In The Fun At Fortino Winery Hand Crafted Items Holiday Decor Live Music Wine Tasting Santa Claus


Holiday Boutiques


Carolers Shopping Mulled Wine

4525 Hecker Pass Hwy • Gilroy • 408.832.3350 • 38



Yoga Bella

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

Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic of Gilroy

408.842.9688 •






Written By Kimberly Ewertz


Art of Living Foundation


e may all want to keep in mind the simple phrase, “take a deep breath,” as it could provide a very effective way of reducing stress this holiday season. Deepak Shridar, director of the Morgan Hill Yoga Festival and volunteer with the Art of Living Foundation, (AOLF), suggests taking five minutes out of each day to sit, close your eyes, and just observe the breath. “The core essence of the whole organization is expressed through our meditation and breathing programs,” Shridar said. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, AOLF founder, has been an active voice for peace and human values, spreading his message of faith, co-existence, and happiness throughout the world since the foundation began in 1981. Shankar, while in deep, silent, meditation, discovered a powerful breathing technique, the Sudurshan Kriya, and was immediately convinced that his life-changing discovery was the key to helping mankind. The Sudurshan Kriya uses specific, natural rhythms, that release the deepest levels of stress, and provide balance by integrating mind, body, and heart. “That’s how it took off, and now the AOLF is in 154



countries,” Raj Murtinty, AOLF member and foundation instructor, said. For the past several years, Murtinty has been involved in an outreach venture initiated by fellow AOLF member Krishna Datla, in expanding the foundation’s services beyond San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Fremont and Dublin, offering their services to the Morgan Hill and Gilroy communities. Datla laid the groundwork by securing Gilroy Library as a location to offer weekly meditation classes in 2012. Three years later, in 2015, Sridhar joined the team, bringing with him, volunteer and co-director of the Morgan Hill Yoga Festival, Amit Verma. The trio attended festivals and farmers’ markets in Morgan Hill and Gilroy, handing out survey questionnaires to determine the level of interest the communities had regarding the foundation’s services. “What we as a team realized is that this is a very tight-knit community,” Sridhar said, adding, “So we decided the best way to do this was to talk to the people, and go to the community centers.” That same year, Morgan Hill’s Centennial Recreation Center, (CRC), was recruited and began offering meditation classes.


“It was like a meditation 101 of sorts,” Sridhar said, adding, “It was a huge success.” The CRC currently offers meditation classes, and, The Mind and Meditation program, which teaches practical breathing, yoga, and meditation as a simple sequence, designed for first timers as well as seasoned meditators. Machado School in Morgan Hill offers the foundation’s Happiness Program, a three-day experiential workshop on breathing, yoga, meditation, Sudarshan Kriya, and the Art of Meditation, a natural, effortless system of meditation. “We found Morgan Hill to be an absolute good experimental ground for us,” Shridar said. BookSmart also joined with the foundation last year, offering weekly one-hour meditation sessions called, Meditation Sundays. Unfortunately, BookSmart’s relocation earlier this year put an end to the sessions, but the group is confident with the help of Mayor Steve Tate, an enthusiastic fan of the foundation, that the Sunday sessions will return soon. According to Verma, Mayor Tate is also a fan of the annual Morgan Hill Yoga Festival, sponsored by AOLF, which was first held last June as a way of introducing yoga to the community. The foundation’s core belief of service to the community is the driving force behind the outreach ventures, and the residents of both communities have been very receptive. Long-time AOLF members, Sanjeev and Remuka Arora,

moved last year from San Jose in search of a home they could also utilize as a meeting place for AOLF meetings and classes. They specifically targeted the Gilroy area. “That was actually a drive for us, a motivation, and we had been praying to the creator to give us a place,” Arora said. A recent newcomer to the Gilroy business community, BookBuyers owner Hotranatha Ajaya was eager to collaborate with the foundation and hopes, in the very near future, to provide a space at his store for weekly meditation sessions. “I’m very happy to have them do meditation classes here,” Ajaya said. Securing permanent headquarters in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy to better serve the communities, is the current goal of AOLF members and volunteers. “That would be a dream come true,” Arora said. Meanwhile, pursuit of the foundation’s ultimate goal, to create stress-free, and violence-free communities all across the world, continues for Murtinty, Shridar, and Verma, as they continue to build relationships within those communities, spreading awareness of AOLF’s programs, and classes, and the life time benefits provided by both. “If you can breathe, you can come and do our programs,” Shridhar said.

Photos Above Clockwise: Morgan Hill Yoga Festival, Morgan Hill Mayor Tate at a ceremony that took place in February of this year at the Harmony Event in India, and Meditation class at the Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Center. For information about classes and programs, go to,




Gavilan’s New President

Bold New Plans Written By Jordan Rosenfeld 42




on’t call Gavilan College “sleepy” or “old fashioned” on the watch of its new Superintendent/President, Kathleen Rose. “All of its cobwebs are cleaned off,” she told TODAY— both literally and virtually. “I want people to recognize Gavilan as a place teeming with innovation, ideas, and creativity. You can come here as an entrepreneur, a thinker, an analyst, a critical thinker on almost any level and grow,” she said. Growth is the key word in the future of Gavilan College under Rose’s leadership. The college, which was founded in Gilroy in 1966, is in the process of increasing its enrollment and expanding programs, both on its main Gilroy campus and in its satellite branches. The freshly unveiled, revamped college website shows the many paths the college is taking under its dedicated new CEO, who rolls in from Monterey by 7:30 am every morning, and doesn’t leave most days until 7 pm. While she may be new to the role of President, Rose is a seasoned educator with a 34-year career in education, a single mother who raised two daughters, and fresh from the role of Vice President of Gavilan, which she held for seven years. In fact, more


accurately, she’s straddling both roles until Gavilan finds a new VP, hopefully by the new year. Her job, she said, is “exhilarating and exhausting” not only because of her many hats, but she’s steering the helm at a time when Gavilan is in the process of major expansion in many areas. Rose, who claims that her door “is always open” to anyone, at any time— students, faculty, and inquiring minds— is dedicated to increasing Gavilan’s programming by increasing her outreach to the four unique communities it serves in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister and San Benito County. In order to achieve this, Rose instituted “coffee and conversation” events over the summer in the four geographical communities, where she showed up in person and made herself available to answer any and all questions people had for her. She hopes to do something similar in the spring because she feels it’s important that Gavilan is “responsive to what the community is really asking and needs, not just what we think the community needs.” In Morgan Hill, Gavilan is working with the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce to set-up a series of distinguished lectures/ community conversations. The first one

focused on political history. The topics will change with each evet. They plan to do 3-5 events over the course of a year. January’s event will be ‘Past, Present and Future of Education.’ The March-April event will focus on the Internet of Things. The goal is not to advocate a single position but to present multiple points of view. Along with Gavilan staff, ‘outside expert’ speakers from other walks of life will be invited to present. Funding for the events is coming from multiple sources. Ideas from the community are welcomed for future topics and speakers. Rose hopes these might lead to “pathways into civic engagement, for students who want to become public policy makers or enter leadership.” Changing people’s lives is no hyperbole, either; Gavilan is committed to bringing education to everyone, including those who struggle to acquire it. The College offers several free courses such as ESL and GED test prep. Gavilan also offers a transition program in collaboration with the San Benito Prison that allows inmates transitioning back into society to obtain basic life skills such as how to prepare for a job interview, opening a checking account, and renting an apartment — as they re-enter society. “We have access to knowledge, which is really exciting and empowering. Our faculty definitely knows how to access it, focus it, and bring it into the classroom in [many] pedagogical ways. People in the communities we serve are no longer casual about learning.”

Stretching its Wings

Left to right: Kent Child (Trustee), Lois Locci (Trustee), Tom Breen (Trustee), Walt Glines (Trustee), Mark Dover (Trustee), Dr. Kathleen Rose (Superintendent /President)



Gavilan is also in the process of dramatic physical growth. In February 2017, it will launch Phase One of its expansion to its new site in Coyote Valley, which encompasses 55 acres that will eventually be put to use. Initially, it will be the site of a new public safety training program, and there is a ten-year-plan for Phase Two. Even more exciting to Rose is how Gavilan’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program is taking off thanks to a long-sought-after collaboration with San Martin airport. “After being very persistent and patient, we were able to negotiate a lease with them,” she said. Measure E funds helped to fund the building of a new hangar on site, as well as one they rent, and, most thrilling to


Rose, the purchase of a small Piper airplane that the students can dismantle to learn about its inner workings. “How many presidents can buy an airplane?” she joked. They moved three portables to the site and refurbished them and, “We put together a really fine facility, which will allow us to almost double enrollment in the program.” Fifty students can now attend courses in aviation-related fields such as welding, aircraft maintenance and more. Rose is especially happy to see more women enrolling in the program. Most important to her, when students graduate from this program, “they get jobs immediately in business and technology.”

Real-World Skills Under Rose’s lead, the College is becoming even more sensitive to students’ who need to make a living immediately after earning their degrees. They’re hosting a hospitality summit, bringing in speakers from industries such as hotels, tourism, retail, and food safety, as well as looking at offering curriculum in those areas. Rose is also excited to re-start Gavilan’s Aesthetician (skin care) program again this winter. The program took a year off due to under-enrollment but is back in gear. This, along with its Cosmetology program, also offers low-cost services to the community. Local residents can come and get a manicure, a facial, or a haircut — by students working toward their degree—at affordable prices. The Cosmetology program “is always full, impacted even,” said Rose, “because you leave with a career that will help get you a job anywhere.”


Gavilan has also received significant funding from the state—nearly $700,000, to develop career technical education programs such as HVAC repair, and solar energy manufacturing jobs. People may not realize that Gavilan also offers a General Education transfer pathway, with 18 Associate Degrees that provide a “direct pipeline to the CSUs. Once students in good standing graduate from here, they are guaranteed entry into a CSU as a junior,” Rose said. With so many irons in so many fires, Rose is beyond busy but still manages to make time for anyone who needs her. “The onus of responsibility is on me to ensure that all these puzzle pieces come together in a comprehensive delivery system that is contemporary, responsive to


the global needs of the world, and allows us to authentically stand behind our mission statement…for all our students to be truly global citizens,” said Rose. If this seems like a lot to manage for one person, Rose admits she doesn’t do it all alone. “I’m managed by Nancy Bailey and Pilar Conaway,” she said with a chuckle. However, at the end of the day, it is indeed her capable shoulders that hold the college together. She noted that this position would most likely be her last, the capstone to her educational legacy that will shape the future of Gavilan and touch many lives. After all, Rose strongly believes “that it doesn’t matter if you’re at Stanford or Gavilan; education has the power to launch any person’s life, no matter where you are.”

Dr. Rose welcomed attendees to the grand opening of the new site for Gavilan’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program at the San Martin Airport.


From Our Family To Yours … Happy Holidays!

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




Amoretto Boutique and

itty bitty beauty boutique: Together

Written By Kimberly Ewertz





moretto is Italian for “love,” and if you haven’t discovered Amoretto Boutique in downtown Gilroy, get ready to fall in love. This unique shop offers a wide array of fashionable clothing and accessories, as well as an affordable line of furniture. The eclectic display of merchandise reflects shop owner Sandra Castaneda’s passion for interior design, which she says has always been a part of her life. In October of 2010, Amoretto Boutique first opened its doors. At the time, the 900 square foot store was located on Eigleberry and Fifth Street and had a limited offering of jewelry and accessories. “We wanted to start very small, just to give it a try,” Castaneda said regarding the business venture she and her sister, Hilda Castaneda, launched together. As much as she enjoyed her new business, the store’s location was far from ideal, and offered very little foot traffic. The business survived but Castaneda wondered if she could improve on her success in a new location. Three years later, Castaneda noticed that a downtown storefront nearly double the size of her current shop was available for lease, and the idea of relocating the boutique became a possibility. Castaneda had reservations about the move, wondering if she had the inventory to fill the new space, so she consulted with her sister. Hilda, who is not only Castaneda’s business partner, but owns a furniture store with her husband, offered her sister three words of advice. “Go for it.” In November of 2013, Amoretto Boutique reopened its doors; this time at 7490 Monterey Street. “It’s a lifestyle store, we have a little bit of everything, and it’s everything that women love, whether it’s for ourselves, or our home,” Castaneda said. So what could be better than a store that offers all this? How about one that offers fashion, accessories, furniture, skin care, make-up, facials, and oh yes, more fashion. This September, Castaneda and itty bitty beauty boutique’s owner, Lynne Mosley, who moved to Gilroy in 2008, with her then fiancé, Ron Mosley, merged both businesses under one roof, and the shop owners couldn’t be happier. The addition of itty bitty beauty boutique transformed an underutilized storage space at the back of Amoretto Boutique into a quaint little Parisian-style beauty shop, complete with a beauty bar where patrons can sample the large selection of creams, moisturizers, and make-up, Mosley offers her clientele. “I liked the location, I liked the Magnolia trees, I loved the building,” Mosley said, regarding her new location.

After operating in what Mosley describes as a “tiny space,” for over a year, the dream of relocating to a larger location became a reality when a customer who frequented both boutiques suggested the two merge. “I wanted to create an atmosphere in which women can come in and feel comfortable, and feel pretty, and feel like they’re welcomed, and have it be a nice experience for them,” Mosley said. Castaneda had entertained the idea of renting the space at the back of the store, but worried she wouldn’t find a retailer who would be a good fit. When she discovered that Mosley was interested, she knew she’d found exactly that. The collaboration of Castaneda and Mosley just works, even before their joint venture the two local businesswomen not only shopped at each other’s stores, but also referred their customers to each other’s shops. The next step was to get approval for the merger from Castaneda’s landlord, Gary Walton. Mosley provided Walton her ideas on the look for her shop, including a pink door, which is the itty bitty logo color. It turned out that Walton loved the idea. “He’s just a great guy,” Mosley said, adding, “It’s my dream shop.” Mosley’s dream was to create a shop that when her customers walked through the door, they felt as though that space had been created just for them. “It’s not about itty bitty the shop, it’s about the clients and their needs and wants, and what will be the best for them,” Mosley said. “I believe all women are beautiful, there’s something beautiful about every single woman, and you just have to believe in yourself.” Apparently her philosophy works. “We just met her, she’s wonderful,” itty bitty beauty boutique customer, Mary Jane Della Vecchia, said about Mosley. “You walk in feeling one way, and you come out feeling totally beautiful, and wonderful; you just walk in, and your day changes.” From November 1st through the end of December, the boutique’s hours will be 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week.

Bubbles Wine Bar & Bistro

It’s all that and more Written By Robin Shepherd

“People come here to relax, enjoy a good meal and some wine, and good conversation. They want to be pampered, not rushed. That’s Bubbles.” David Dindak, Proprietor, Bubbles Wine Bar & Bistro



ubbles Wine Bar & Bistro gets a gold star from locals and out-of-towners alike. Proprietor David Dindak and his wife Kerry had no restaurant or winery experience when they purchased Bubbles in 2014 from Rich and Rosy Bergin, but they certainly have an instinct for the business. Recently TODAY had the pleasure of visiting Bubbles to discover the secret behind the success of this little gem located in downtown Morgan Hill. “I was looking for a small business that I would enjoy after I retire,” David said. Currently, he operates a private investigation firm and his wife works in high tech. “I appreciate good wine and love to cook, so Bubbles seemed like a tailor-made opportunity.”


Secrets of Success An informal poll of Bubbles patrons said it all. Three things topped everyone’s list. First off, they like having the opportunity to learn about and sip fine local wines and vintages from around the world. Care to try a luscious Malbec from Argentina or a Sparkling Rose from Tasmania? The Bubbles Wine Club is a best-kept-secret that deserves to be shared for its value and wealth of choices that span more than 125 wines. The wine library is constantly updated, with several local wines to choose from. “We also appeal to folks who enjoy a mug of ale, or a sparkling cocktail,” David said. With beverage selections like Dragon’s Milk Stout and Peach Bellini, we’ve no doubt he’s right. Second, they agreed the menu is fun and the food mouthwateringly delicious. Among their favorites. . .flatbread stuffed with fig, prosciutto and goat cheese; popular pulled pork sliders (say that five times fast); the Ahi Tower, tuna layered with fresh mango and avocado; and mascarpone mocha cream layer cake for dessert. . .tasty enough to whet any appetite. Third, patrons applauded the welcoming vibe that makes Bubbles a great place to socialize with family, friends and business colleagues. According to the locals, Bubbles is an ideal venue for celebrating life’s occasions, from graduations to bridal showers to anniversary and retirement parties. Bubbles offers creative options for semi-private or private parties up to 75 people. Bubbles has an interesting history, including several previous lives as a bank, a juice bar, and a champagne bar. Today it’s a well-rounded establishment that attracts wine aficionados and foodies too. The seating and lighting are contemporary and the walls are adorned with the work of local artists like Sherry Chakamian of the Valle de Sur Art Guild.

What Bubbles Patrons Say According to Philip Bogosian, a local business owner, “I’m into the Bubbles experience. David takes great care in making his establishment an inviting place with beautifully prepared entrees served by an attentive staff. My wife and I enjoy going there GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

with our 11-year-old, or with friends. The flatbread pizzas are excellent, as are the specialty beers from Belgium. I sip them like wine. It’s a welcome change of pace after a hectic week.” Bernadette Simmonds said she and her husband enjoy date nights at Bubbles. “We come for happy hour and sit in the outdoor patio area so we can bring our dog. They even have a doggie menu! As wine club members, we attend the free monthly wine tastings where flights of wine are paired with food. This year I celebrated my birthday there with twenty-five friends from around the Bay Area. We pre-ordered everything and got VIP treatment. Now they all want to come back for their birthdays.” Morgan Hill Realtor and community volunteer Marian Tankersley said she likes the atmosphere as well as the wine and food. “David’s personality is perfectly-suited to the hospitality business. He takes a moment to sit down with customers to get to know them, or if they’re regulars, to ask how things are going. I bring clients to Bubbles, I meet other realtors there, and I have committee meetings there. As a gluten-free and dairyfree person, I can always find things I like on their menu. It’s fun to explore the wine vault. Bubbles Manager Lindsey Buford keeps track of what customers like, and recommends great wine and cheese pairings. David’s culinary team often invites us to sample new recipes.”

Go and Get Happy

Lindsey Buford, Bubbles Manager

Happy hour from 4 until 6 pm features $6 sparkling, white or red wines by the glass. Artisanal plates, also just $6, include Warm Brie Crostini, Mediterranean Hummus, assorted gourmet meat and cheese platters, and more. Wine club members receive a 25 percent discount on wine orders. When you go to Bubbles, if David stops by your table, ask him about his work as a P.I., or what it’s like to fly his Piper Cherokee over the Bay Area, or his experience as a volunteer in our community. He’s a gregarious fellow with an interesting story to share.


17105 Monterey Road • Morgan Hill 408.779.8800 Bubbles is an Associate Member of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Association.



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Be GREEN without being a GRINCH this Holiday Season


n the past, the house with the most decorative holiday lights used to be considered the “best.” Well, times have changed! The cost of electricity goes way beyond the utility bill. Electricity drains natural resources.

Here are some positive ways to think Green this season:

Reduce the Size of Outdoor Lighting Displays A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive, and more appropriate in the ‘season of giving’. Saving electricity is also a way of giving, since conserving resources benefits everyone. Use LED Lights for house and Christmas tree

lighting – LED holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18 while the same number of LED lights costs only $.19. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit. Save Energy with Outdoor Mini-lights

Pamela Garcia, Founder, Simmitri. Simmitri is a Silicon Valley Corporation, birthed in the Gilroy/Morgan Hill area, in 1995, that helps it’s residential and commercial clientele harness Solar Energy Technology in all its forms today, and into the future. 408.779.3333

A 100-light string uses only 40 watts. If you’re buying a new set of lights, compare based on equal ‘lighted lengths’. Some higher priced brands have 100 mini-lights for only 8 ½ feet of length, while some 100 mini-light strings cover up to 40 feet in length. For the most efficient outdoor holiday lighting, consider the new solar LED strings now available. So, if you want to go green, REALLY make a difference, and save the MOST money for the upcoming holiday season and beyond — go solar!

Here are some powerful reasons to consider Solar this year: • Solar provides clean, renewable energy from the sun in an unlimited manner, and always will. • Solar helps customers lower their electricity bill right away, while providing continuing cost savings that increase exponentially over time. • Solar allows customers independence from the control of the “Grinch like” practices of utility companies, including: rates that increase over time, changing “time of use” criteria leading to higher costs, “customernegative” changes to net-metering rules and utility payments, customers having to pay for maintenance of an antiquated grid structure.


• Solar allows customers to “lock in” their rate of pay for electricity, or eliminate it all together. Solar provides, in many instances, free energy for life! Multiple purchase and finance options make solar available and attractive to almost anyone who wants it, for ZERO, or very little, out-ofpocket costs! In addition, the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), that provides customers a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of the solar system is still available. By taking advantage of the ITC sooner rather than later, customers can start saving significant dollars on their monthly energy bill right away.

Here are two very important questions in order to determine who might be best suited to manage your project: What is the efficiency of the solar panels being used? Hardly anyone is asking this important question, yet the whole arena of panel efficiency is quickly becoming a top priority to most manufacturers and installers. Lower-cost, less efficient commodity panels might seem like a great choice, but the fact is, a higher efficiency panel produces more energy, at a much lower cost per unit of production.  What do I need to know about the company installing these highly efficient panels?  A credible company will always design a custom solar system based on the home’s current electric bills, roof size, shading constraints, and power needs — only after analyzing consumption data to determine why the electric bill is high in the first place. After simple, low costs energy reduction measures are implemented, an appropriately sized solar system can then be designed with higher efficiency and maximum cost savings realized. Look for a company that is fully engaged in this more complete, whole-home approach to solar and energy-efficiency, combined. Contact us today to learn more about the ways you can start saving money this holiday season and for years to come!

Have a Merry Christmas with“Simmitri”!



Holiday Magic 52




the end of the scenic Redwood Retreat Road in Gilroy’s west foothills, sits a lovely old house that seems to have let time pass it by. It has the character and historical feel that lends itself to an old-fashioned Christmas like no modern home can. And, it is the TODAY Christmas house for this holiday season and the home of Teri Nelson and Steve Smith.


The History

The property was homesteaded by Charles Sanders in 1863. His two sons Wilburn and Irville built the Redwood Retreat Resort in 1891. It was a grand structure that could accommodate 44 guests in 20 rooms. It included a swimming pool and lawn tennis court. From the retreat, guests could fish in the creek on the property, hike the many nearby trails, rest and refresh. On weekends they hosted a dance in the nearby converted prune shed. The 1800’s metaphysical resort was a popular destination until it burned to the ground on the 4th of July in 1908. After that, the Sanders family built a small clubhouse and dining room and a few cabins for visitors. Some of the cabins remain today but the clubhouse became the modern day Red House.

on Redwood Retreat Road Written By Larry J. Mickartz



After a period of neglect and several renovations it is a charming two-bedroom two-bath home with an adjacent bedroom and office cottage. Teri Nelson, well-known Intero Realtor and TODAY contributor, moved into the home a little over a year ago. Last September, she




received a call from her friend, Tiffany, asking if she would be interested in living in “the little red house” — knowing that Teri expressed how much she loved the home and the country setting. Teri responded that she had not thought about moving any time soon but that she would consider it. Tiffany replied that she had ten minutes to decide. Teri’s immediate answer: “Why not!” “I had always loved this house. I couldn’t believe I was going to live in these beautiful redwoods.” Teri noted that her good friends, Linda Pond and Kevin Groden, live just across the road. Linda Pond is the great granddaughter of Charles Sanders. Linda’s son, Matt, and wife, Tiffany Oetinger, own and operate Fernwood Cellars, which is also on the property homesteaded by Charles Sanders.

At Home In the house for a while now, Teri loves the peacefulness, the flowing creek that runs behind the house and the rustling of the trees. “It felt like home from day one.” The house has a large remodeled kitchen with concrete countertops, hardwood floors, a formal dining room, one bedroom upstairs, one downstairs and a comforting living




room. It also has a front porch, which is the perfect place to pass the time resting at this retreat. On one the side of the house is a large deck and an expansive garden. Teri is a hostess extraordinaire and loves the flexibility of the house for parties and gatherings. She and Steve look forward to hosting family and friends during the holidays. The Christmas decorations give a festive feel to every room in the house. Steve Smith recently moved from Oak Commons in Gilroy to join Teri. Together they decorated the house for the holidays. Steve commented, “The Red House is an absolutely gorgeous site and almost forces you to look around and enjoy the outdoors, the hills and creek. It makes you feel at ease.” Steve thinks the sounds made by the hawks and falcons are “really cool.” The wildlife is amazing. His most unusual recent sitings are of foxes and bobcats. Steve has a passion for music, especially classic rock and blues. He joins many others in mourning the passing of a talented local musician, John Garcia, who was his guitar mentor. Steve has worked in Silicon Valley in information technology since 1983 and specializes in Cloud and IT management software marketing.


Thank you to Teri and Steve for inviting TODAY into the history, charm and Christmas spirit of this beautiful home.




Apply Today!

Winter Intersession ( January 3-26) Spring Semester ( January 30 - May 26) This winter Gavilan College is planning to offer the largest Winter Intersession program ever. Students will have choices of many subjects and both online and in-person formats. “We really want to give our students a chance to get ahead, and give them options,” according to Gavilan College President Dr. Kathleen Rose. “Winter Intersession is a great way to add a class without overloading your schedule.” Winter Intersession courses can be a good alternative for Gavilan College students who want to get a jump on the Spring semester. They are also a great fit for university students, home on break, who want to get a requirement out of the way at the lower community college cost (Gavilan College charges only $46 per unit.) Most of the classes to be offered will be transferrable to University of California and California State University schools.

Winter 2017 classes will include:

Economics 1 Powerpoint (CSIS/CMUN 129) Windows (CSIS 124) Workplace Skills (BOT/CSIS/GUID/COS 191A) Anthropology 1 History 1 or 2 Political Science 1 Sociology 1A Art 1B Art 6 Theater 7 Communications 1A Geography 1 Humanities 4

Registration for Winter Intersession and Spring semester will start in late November. Applications can be submitted at any time online at



ASGC President Priscilla Ahmed in the student government office with the new sign created by Gavilan art students.

Meet ASGC President

Priscilla Ahmed


by Jan Janes

ast year Priscilla Ahmed accepted the Associated Students of Gavilan College (ASGC) vice president of clubs position after a semester in student government. When the previous president graduated in the fall of 2014, she decided to run for the vacated office. She is now in her second term as leader of the student organization. Responding to student questions during her campaign, Ahmed said, “I let them know I am very student-oriented. I am knowledgeable about the programs and services Gavilan has to offer, and I am determined to share.” ASGC offers members many services, including textbook scholarships, annual scholarships, free admission to Gavilan athletic events, free scantrons and greenbooks and discounts at selected area businesses. A complete description of ASGC is available on their new web page. Ahmed, who graduated in May 2016 with an AA-T degree in Administration of Justice, is starting her third academic year at Gavilan while working on a second degree. “Since getting involved in student government and participating more in campus activities and services, I decided I would love to work at Gavilan!” she said. She is now pursuing an AA-T degree in communications, with plans to transfer to UC Santa Cruz or San José State University. “My career goal is to return to Gavilan as an instructor or an administrator after completing my higher education.” “What motivates me and drives me are my three beautiful children: Kaliyah, 7, Andrea, 5, and Jesse, 3,” said Ahmed. “I love talking to them about how important school is.” And the talk becomes the walk, inspiring her children. “My seven-year-old already talks about how she will go to college some day, just like her mommy.”


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Make The Milias your Holiday Party Destination Ask about our custom menus for your celebration Made to Order Brunch on Saturday & Sunday with $2.00 Bloody Marys & Mimosas Check out our New Happy Hour -Tuesday thru Saturday Enjoy $2.00 Fish Taco on Tuesdays Live Music Tuesday thru Sunday

It’s Time To Make Your New Year’s Reservation!

A Dining Experience to Remember 7397 Monterey Road • Gilroy, CA 95020 • 408.337.5100 •




Theater Scene

Janathan Caro practicing his role in Macbeth with Lily Robeson, Katie Bell and Felicity Hochholter. Below: Jonathan discusses his part with Andrew Cummings.

Saving Live Oak Drama Guild

For The Love Of Theater

Written By Amy McElroy


fter Live Oak High School failed to hire a theater instructor in 2013, Spanish teacher Yoana Ware persuaded alumnus Andrew Cummings and his mother, Janell Cummings, to help save Live Oak Drama Guild. Both Janell and Andrew had continued their dedication to the theater program after Andrew’s graduation, designing and building sets, working lights and sound and backstage on his younger brothers’ productions. Andrew even designed the sets while he studied theater and microbiology at University of California, Berkeley. Ware—a Live Oak graduate who studied opera at San Jose State—offered to sponsor the after-school drama club, if Janell and Andrew would join the team. After graduation from college, Andrew started a theater company, and was pursuing directing and scenic design throughout the Bay Area, while working a day job as a graphic designer at Rebecca’s Portraits in Morgan Hill. During this time, Andrew began working after school at Live Oak with Ware, co-directing Arsenic and Old Lace with Janell and then directed Beauty and the Beast continuing to working with Janell’s support.



Soon after, Andrew received a call from the Assistant Principal, Auri Yabrudy, offering him a job teaching biology and running the after-school drama program with assistance from Ware and his mother, Janell on a volunteer basis. Andrew finished up his design and directing jobs and started teaching in the fall. Now in his fourth year at Live Oak, he’s teaching English, added a drama course, and has expanded the after-school program, planning three shows for this year. Ware who still assists as an integral part of the theater program, often serving as producer and vocal coach, happens to be on maternity leave with a new baby boy.

Carrying On Mr. K’s Legacy One thing Andrew, Janell and Ware all share is the vision retired teacher Bill Kilipstine, or “Mr. K.,” as he is known, had for the program. Andrew says Ware’s memories of participating in the strong theater program at Live Oak with Mr. K is what motivated Ware to sponsor the program when the administration hadn’t hired a theater faculty member. And Janell was there volunteering even


when Andrew was a student of Mr. K’s. Mr. K’s influence also shines through the selection of the material, as Andrew indicates: “Shakespearean productions were a regular part of the program when Bill Kilipstine was the director years ago.” As a result, the current theater department’s goals include the intention that Shakespeare be performed every other year as part of the repertoire. Specific to this season’s Macbeth, Andrew says, “Working on this production is unique and exciting for several reasons. Not only is every member of our cast new to Shakespeare, but most are working on a three-quarter thrust stage for the first time.” He explains, “In this unusually intimate arrangement, the audience sits on three sides of the performance area, very close to the performers (in rows only three or four chairs deep).” Andrew adds, “Everyone will feel like they have a front-row seat to Macbeth’s murderous plot! The cast and I are working to develop a grand sense of Shakespeare’s language to pair with an ultra-realistic, up-close acting style.” In addition to continuing Mr. K’s tradition of Shakespeare curriculum, Andrew says, “Mr. K had a very student-led program, with a student house manager, student light designer, etc. The program was built on passing on knowledge to the next generation. Seniors taught the younger generation. It ran like clockwork. It was invisible.” Andrew wants to recreate that system for his own students. “This is the first graduating class this year who could have been with us from the beginning of that system.” He hopes to see some of that knowledge moving forward.

“You have to have some kind of creative something. You’re right,” Janell says to Andrew. She recalls trying to sort out choreography to a particular song. “I remember showing up the church and listening to the music 15 times in the car, and I figured out how to do it.” Her patience and persistence paid off when she served as Nordstrom Elementary School’s theater program director for seven years, working with up to 80 kids per year—some as young as first graders. While there was tremendous parent support and organization, the shows were quite elaborate and there wasn’t really a stage, so they would build a stage and sets from the ground up each time. When Andrew graduated from Nordstrom and left its theater program, he also largely abandoned the acting scene because there was no theater program at Britton Middle School. Instead he immersed himself in the world of scenic design for Nordstrom’s productions and continued to work with his family. In South County and beyond, Andrew is known for his elaborate sets, which he has designed using a series of sophisticated computer software programs over the years. Janell and Andrew both spent significant time working on sets and direction at South Valley Community Theater in Morgan Hill. Janell directed a number of teen shows, using those people skills and her own experience raising four teenage boys to wrangle kids into the characters she needed them to be. Andrew has been very successful designing highly complex and extravagant sets that challenged his family and other members of the community to build.

A Family Rooted In Community Theater Experience

New Goals For Live Oak Theater Guild’s Future

Before learning from Mr. K or Berkeley, Andrew and his brothers— Josh, Matthew, and Nathan—learned from their mother who has been creating sets, choreography and directing plays as long as Andrew can remember. Despite this, Janell has no formal theater training. Instead she has a wealth of experience. Between all the theater companies their family has been involved with, she laughs saying, “Sometimes we were doing five shows at time as a family.” Though, she says they’ve learned not to repeat that much overlap too often. Janell started her work in theater at The Point Church in San Jose in 2003 and continues there today, gradually taking over for the current program director. She laughs and blames a third-grade Andrew who wanted to be in the church play. She tells him, “It’s all your fault. You said, ‘Mom, no one else is going to do it.’” She gave in, and his first role at the church was as a holiday card company villain in the 1990’s age of political correctness who was trying to take the word “Christ” out of “Christmas,” to which he had a song and dance in a suit and sunglasses. She refers to her training as trial by fire. In terms of directing, she explains, “If you are a people watcher, and you know how people are, then you know how they should be because you read into them.” She also explains the need for patience and flexibility. “It’s trial and error when you’re working with kids: okay, that didn’t work, so next time I go to rehearsal, I need to try something else to bring it out of someone. Those are people strategies.” But Andrew remembers both his mom’s creative skills and efforts going back further. He says to his mom, “I remember once there was some church event when I was quite young, and you turned a room into a garden that was a realistic experience. It had a mirror on the ground, and you made rocks out of paper. It was a full creative environment.”

Now that Andrew, Janell and occasionally some of the other Cummings brothers are reunited back at Live Oak, thanks to Ware, many full circles have been completed. While Andrew never thought he’d be teaching at his old high school, he says, “The administration is very supportive and lets us be creative without a lot of censorship.” It’s also a good fit for hungry young minds who want the “aha” moments he loves to provide. “It’s an enthusiastic group,” he says. Circling back to the Nordstrom days, Andrew adds, “I have students say, ‘I know your mom.’” Janell adds, “It’s fun to see them now.” As the theater department comes into contact with faces familiar and new, another primary goal is to create a safe space for kids who may not feel comfortable elsewhere on campus. At the same time, Andrew says one of the student officers’ goals is to involve more kids in theater, both as actors and with tech, from all groups and walks of life. He’s pleased that the numbers show progress on that front, but wants to do more create inclusion; kids should know that anyone can participate in theater. Andrew is also trying to bring in more collaboration from other departments. For the first time at Live Oak, art students will be painting sets for a theater production during Macbeth, and the Fashion Club is sewing costumes. As the theater department plans for A Christmas Carol and the accompanying Dickens Faire, they hope this tradition will help build a more stable audience base and create a place in the community where people will commit to return to Live Oak’s productions. Last year they created a smaller version of the Dickens Faire display in the lobby. This year, the Dickens Faire will be a realistic immersive London street in the lobby, with imbedded actors and an interactive theater experience including dialogue with accents, and more.




What’s Playing This Holiday Season The holidays are approaching and that means we are all starting to plan gatherings with friends and family. With the hectic schedules that the holidays bring we sometimes forget to make plans for ourselves. Fun nights out for example. Going out to see a play during the holidays can make for an enjoyable break from our all busy lives. Here is a list of theater events coming up during the next two months that can help you relieve holiday stress and add some fun to your holiday schedule.

Limelight Actors Theater – Novemeber 4th through November 20th Limelight celebrating the season with a production of “Exit Laughing.” When the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the “girls,” what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? If you’re Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game, and the wildest, most exciting night of your lives involves a police raid, and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you’re truly living. South Valley Civic Theater –

November 18th through December 10th The local Morgan Hill theater company, SVCT, is putting on a production of “1940’s Radio Hour.” A different time is evoked in this marvelously show based on the original broadcast of The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on December 21, 1942. The spirit of a bygone era, when the world was at war and pop music meant “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is accurately captured as a harassed producer copes with a drunk lead singer, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and the trumpet-playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.

Live Oak High School – December 15th through December 23rd The Live Oak Drama Guild is putting on a production of the classic Christmas story “A Christmas Carol.” From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow’s tale uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption. Witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation. Pintello Comedy Theater –

New Year’s Eve December 31st For their fifth year in a row, Pintello Comedy Theater will hold its popular New Year’s Eve Bash. This year they features a production of “Romantic Fools,” a comic vaudeville style revue of 12 two-character sketches examining love, lust, dating and romance. Borrowing from Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, Jules Feiffer, the Marx Brothers, and classic vaudeville comedy, these sketches vary widely in style, but they all celebrate the inherent farce of male-female relationships. When it comes to dating, sex, love and marriage, who hasn’t made a fool of themselves? The performance will be followed by a New Year’s Eve party and countdown.

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




Gilroy Museum Volunteers

Memories Are Made of This

Written By Larry J. Mickartz


he stately William H. Meeks building on the corner of 5th and Church started out as the “Gilroy Free Library.” The Carnegie Library Building was built with a $10,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie. The land, which was home to a tennis court, was donated by Caroline A. Howett. Over the years it has morphed into a classic small museum with exhibits from the early days of Gilroy as a native American settlement to more recent days of historical significance. From 1963 to 2009 the Museum was managed by the City of Gilroy Parks and Recreation Department. With the financial crash in 2009 the City stopped staffing the Museum and it became a volunteerrun institution. The Gilroy Museum Management Committee has an affiliation with the City of Gilroy and the Gilroy Historical Society. The City provides building maintenance, landscaping and a modest budget to help with preservation of the collections. The Gilroy Historical Society provides additional support, funding, and manages the museum grants and endowments with assistance from the Gilroy Foundation. The Museum has four areas of focus: to gather new artifacts, to maintain the existing collections, to provide tours, and to function as a research facility with an emphasis on Gilroy and its families. These lofty areas of focus are managed by a dedicated group of thirty-one volunteers who staff the museum and work on the collections in the basement holding/processing area. In the actual museum upstairs, collections are rotated. Within their limited budget, the Museum follows the Standards and Best Practices of the American Alliance of Museums. In other words, this little museum is playing by big guy rules! Tom Howard is the Museum Coordinator. In addition to the various exhibits the Museum has a healthy collection of photographs and information on people,

places and events from Gilroy’s past. The Museum has a set of Gilroy Dispatch newspapers from 1868 to 2008. Hard copies are available from 1939 to 2008. The older copies are available on a microfiche viewer because the original hard copies, which are fragile, are kept in the basement under environmentally-controlled museum standards. The Museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm and on the first Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm. To volunteer or to get more information about the Gilroy Museum, call 408.846.0446 or email:

Photographed above, recently the Gilroy Museum Management Committee and the Gilroy Historical Society honored three nonagenarian museum volunteers, Muriel Brem (90), Lil Barton (91), and Horace Fabing (91). Betty Jean Kelley, volunteer since 2009, and Nancy Alford, volunteer since 2014, catalogue a silk and lace folding parasol from around 1858.

“I enjoy telling the history of Gilroy… helping people find parents and grandparents.”

Betty Jean Kelley

The Museum recently acquired a microphone for a 40’s telephone operator, which was Betty Jean’s first job right out of high school in 1947.




Oh, Santa, Johnny want’s to know …


anta Claus is a big part of the Christmas tradition for many families, bringing festive magic to kids and a trip down memory lane for adults. But Santa can also cause a lot of guilt and worry for some parents. Some people may wonder if it’s really okay to lie to their kids about Santa Claus. How and when is a good time to let them know he’s not real? Like any debate, there are pros and cons to the Santa myth. People who encourage belief in Santa do it for the joy and wonder it inspires. The excitement of leaving out cookies and milk, waking up early to open presents, and perhaps even getting a letter back from the jolly man in red, are all special ways the family can connect and cherish the holidays. Parents get a chance to recreate the wonderful Christmases they had as kids. Or if their Christmases weren’t so great growing up, it’s a chance to do it better. Parents who are against telling their kids about Santa claim that it will break their trust and they might resent their parents’ deception. Another concern is that encouraging the belief in Santa Claus might make it difficult for children to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Whether you’re for Santa or against him, evidence shows that kids really aren’t harmed either way. Research suggests that the ability to separate fact and fiction starts early in childhood. Kids are constantly taking stock of what others around them believe and they use their reasoning skills to decide whether those beliefs have merit. Having them believe in Santa won’t shatter those budding cognitive abilities. In fact,


kids with rich fantasy lives might actually be better at identifying the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Children naturally start to question if Santa is real in early adolescence. They may have heard conflicting opinions from older children at home or at school, or maybe they figured it out for themselves. Still, they may turn to you for a definite answer and how you choose to respond goes a long way to making the transition an easy one. First, think carefully about what your child is really asking. Some kids want the whole, unrefined truth, while others might suspect that Santa’s not real but want reassurance that they can pretend a while longer. An easy way to gauge this is to ask, “Do you think he’s real?”, and let them share their thoughts. You might be surprised to learn that they’ve known for a while and they’ve been playing along with you! If your child is the analytical type and loves mysteries, you can have her gather evidence both for and against the Santa case and present her findings to you. She’s bound to notice discrepancies, like how there are Santas at every mall or how one man can’t realistically fly to every house in one night (or eat all those cookies!). She’ll be honing her critical thinking skills while she does a little sleuthing. When she figures it out, congratulate her and present her with a special gift, such as a bag of her favorite candies. In this way, discovering that Santa isn’t real will be less of a disappointment and more of a rite of passage. She’ll be taking a big step towards a new stage of maturity. If, after you tell your child Santa isn’t real, he becomes upset that you lied to him, acknowledge and empathize with his disappointment. It may be tempting to backtrack and say anything to brighten his



mood, but ultimately it’s better to stick with the newly-revealed truth. Accepting his bad feelings, instead of trying to talk him out of them, sends the message that you love him and value his feelings and that you are there for him. You can share with him that the modern-day story of Santa Claus is based on the life of the real person, St. Nicholas of Myra, and that including him in your Christmas tradition is a way to remind us all to be good and giving. Explain that your intentions were never to hurt him, but to give him joy and excitement. Even if your child doesn’t respond positively right away, eventually he’ll come to appreciate that you were honest with him. Just because your children find out that Santa isn’t real doesn’t mean the magic of Christmas is lost. Let your older kids take the reigns as Santa and have them pick out gifts to give to the younger kids in the family. They can stay up with you and help put presents under the tree, or even play Santa for needy families by participating in a toy or food drive. They might find that they have more fun playing Santa than they did believing in him! Article Brought To You By:

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Selling a Home During the Holidays…


he holiday season is upon us and with it comes much joyfulness and opportunities to entertain our friends and family. It can be a time of much happiness and it can also be one filled with stress. Selling a home during the holidays can bring challenges that are a little different from selling a home at other times of the year. I am often asked by sellers if they should take their home off the market during the holidays as they think it might be too stressful and it won’t sell. My though is that it may be one of the best times to sell a home. Here’s a few reasons why: • Buyers are out looking for homes year-round. Many of them want or need to close escrow by the end of the year. • Out of area or transferred buyers use their vacation time to look for a new home. • Since many homes are taken off the market, your home becomes more visible to buyers, giving you a better chance to find home in contract. • Many buyers search for a home to try and be in the new home for either Christmas or New Years. • A festive, but tasteful holiday de´cor may help a buyer see themselves making their own memories in your home.

Do I Decorate the Home for the Holidays? Many people enjoy holiday lights and a festive atmosphere during the holidays. The neighborhoods look cheery and inviting. But the question is — should you put your holiday decorations up or should you go without them? First and foremost, you home needs to appeal to a wide range of buyers. So keep in mind that all buyers do not celebrate the holidays the same. Adding festive decorations to your home, although very inviting, can take-up space, making the rooms look much smaller. Large decorations need to be kept in larger rooms where they can be an accent and not distract from the rooms usefulness in accommodating furniture. Bottom-line, you want buyers to picture themselves living there. So, keep it simple. Do not overcrowd every room with decorations. Buyers will spend their time looking at the decorations and may not get the feeling that they would like to live there. They may feel that the home is cramped and not large enough for their family. Less is definitely more in this case. The best rule of thumb is to remember that your home is on display and the purpose is to sell it. Keep it simple, tasteful and elegant. And enjoyable to everyone.

Most importantly, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year!

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

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County Update With Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman

Supervisor Mike Wasserman was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in November 2010, and re-elected in 2014. He represents District 1, which includes Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and portions of San Jose. (


ountains provide a vivid reminder of how vulnerable we are to wildfires. The prospect of a wildfire can be terrifying for both rural and urban South County residents. According to Cal Fire, 95% of all wildfires are caused by humans, which makes prevention and education key. The Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council (SCFSC) is a non-profit founded in 2001. It is funded by federal grants, local funding from the County, cities, fire agencies, and community partners, to address wildfire risks and protection for communities in Santa Clara County. The Fire Safe Council’s programs protect thousands of residents and homes and bring together individuals, public and private agencies and companies that share a common, vested interest in preventing and reducing losses from wildfires. SCFSC programs and projects focus on protecting the many communi-

ties at risk for wildfire in Santa Clara County, including Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy. Homes, schools, businesses and important infrastructure such as power transmission lines, communication facilities, creeks and reservoirs are all present in these areas. These communities are at risk of wildfires because of the interaction of topography, drought, tree mortality, and flammable vegetation such as chaparral and grasslands. In response to the threat of wildfires, we are constantly working to create a “Fire Safe” Santa Clara County — protecting lives, homes and the environment through the reduction of built-up hazardous fuels and the promotion of informed communities with respect to defensible space, general fire safety, and fire’s impacts on our environment. I invite you to learn more about the Fire Safe Council at




Jeff and Juli Strametz and Boulder Creek Guitars:

An Ever Growing Musical Family By Amy McElroy



f you wander into Milias Restaurant in downtown Gilroy on a Wednesday night, you’ll typically find a man and a woman singing 1960’s and 70’s covers —with an unusual looking guitar. The couple, Jeff and Juli Strametz, also co-own Boulder Creek Guitars, whose headquarters is located in Gilroy. Jeff still has longtime friends who think he owns a typical music store. But in fact, the international business manufactures and sells a unique type of guitars, basses, and ukuleles to distributors, along with custom work for customers created right in Gilroy. Boulder Creek Guitars originated back when a golfing buddy of one of Jeff’s music students had an inventive idea for designing guitars. Jeff, who had a background in business development and sales,



wanted to take a look. Jeff said, “One day this kid rolls up with a balsa wood model of this new idea for a guitar on the back of his Harley.” After completing several mock-ups and settling on a design in 2006, they opened the company. They started by calling one music store at a time across the country, and business took off. Two years ago, Jeff and Juli bought out the other owners, and it’s now a family-run operation. Jeff uses the image of another instrument to explain the basic design: “Picture a drum head on a snare drum, with no hole in center” Like the plastic head on most snare drums, Jeff explained, “wood transmits sounds and creates tone on a guitar.” By cutting the giant hole in the center, you lose much of the ability to transmit tone.

Normally, there are many long wooden boards bracing a guitar on the inside, so it doesn’t cave in from the pressure of the strings – about 180 pounds – and around the center hole, which creates a severe weak spot. The Boulder Creek design uses two lengthwise, aluminum suspended braces, allowing the wood to move and vibrate, with only three regular braces. The suspension system allows the sound to continue instead of stopping, and musicians can feel it through their bodies. “The sound goes on and on,” Juli said. That’s why they’re able to list more than 100 artists —including Sarah McLachlan, Air Supply, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, and Rascal Flatts — who use Boulder Creek instruments. Their signature look is the instruments without a center hole, with a small side hole for musicians to hear the sound. However, they also offer their instruments with or without the traditional center hole. “Some people were uncomfortable with a solid front,” Jeff explains. “So, when we do sell the standard looking instruments, the center hole was really added for aesthetics—for placebo.” While Jeff would love to make all Boulder Creek’s products in the United States, he’s committed to making a quality product for musicians who can’t afford to spend a fortune on their instruments. When Jeff was young, a friend who owned a guitar shop in Gilroy told Jeff to invest in his musical gift, but he couldn’t afford a guitar with a good sound at the time. It took him years to save the money. With this new design, Boulder Creek Guitars has created a $3000 sound for $800. Customers can still opt to purchase custom instruments made in the USA for a greater investment. In fact, the same friend who sold Jeff that first good guitar is custommaking instruments for Boulder Creek Guitars in Gilroy. Jeff’s roots to the community and music travel back even further than his first guitar. He grew up in Morgan Hill on a ranch riding horses, and started playing the drums at two years old, and continued in marching and jazz bands through grade school and high school. He started performing on the drums in local nightclub bands at 16. Jeff started playing guitar for fun at age nine, with his older brother. “Music has been my whole life,” he said. Jeff later moved to Gilroy 1982. Then, in 1989, Jeff left the South Valley area for

work, took his guitar, and became serious about writing songs. But he returned to the area in 1994 and formed an acoustic duo—The Acoustic Preservation Society—playing at the Garlic Festival, Reno, weddings, and throughout the Bay Area. Five years later, in 1999, he went solo and became one of the first local musicians to play at local wineries such as Clos LaChance. Like Jeff, Juli said, “I always looked to music for everything.” She grew up in Indiana where she lived to sing in choirs in junior high and high school, and played clarinet in the band. Then, she went to college, eventually moved to California for her career, and continued with various instrument lessons, always keeping her finger in music. Juli moved to Gilroy in 1989. Five years later she met Jeff at the South Valley Community Church in Gilroy, where she was singing and he was playing drums. When she met Jeff, he said, “You have such a passion for this!” and suggested she become a backup singer at the church. One day, he brought his guitar over to her house, and they sang for three hours. She joined in naturally with harmony because ever since she was little, she said, “That’s just what my ear heard.” That day, Jeff told Juli: “I have a big gig on Wednesday, why don’t you sing with me?” Over loud protests, he talked her into it. Two years later they were married, and they’ve been singing together for ten years. Jeff and Juli perform at local restaurants, festivals, wineries, car shows, weddings,



Cordevalle, San Jose, and as far away as Los Angeles. To fulfill a man’s dying wish, they once played at a friend of Jim and Ingrid Croce’s celebration of life. Jeff said, “This was one of my greatest honors because [Croce was] my greatest influence, if I had to pick one.” Juli explained, “All our gigs have come by word of mouth. We do two or three a week.” They squeeze in gigs between working at the office and spending time with their five kids and five grandkids. “We do about 170 performances a year.” Jeff laughed, adding, “Sometimes we like to say, ‘If you pay we play.’ People ask, ‘How do you find the time do play as much as you do?’ But it’s who we are.” Because Jeff and Juli are performers themselves, they have a unique, easy- going relationship with the artists who are their customers. “One of the unique things about Boulder Creek guitars is that we have the artists’ roster that is the envy of other guitar companies. But I don’t seek them,” he explained. “I don’t call their managers. It’s easy to develop a relationship with us because we’re not star-struck; we’re not a nuisance.” Jeff has played onstage with Larry Gatlin, and Dave Jenkins—the lead singer for Pablo Cruise. Once Jeff and Juli establish that relationship, they meet the artists for sound check and dinner and talk about family and kids. “It’s all about relationship,” Jeff said. From their employees and their gigs to their ever-expanding list of artist customers, they view them all as one big family.


Gilroy Crossing Guard

Giving More Than Safe Passage Written By Amy McElroy


f you see Alex Hernandez on the corner of Third Street and Santa Teresa Road, you’d see a long-time Gilroy resident helping school children and their families safely through the crosswalks on their way to and from El Robles Elementary School. You may see a former student lean out the window of his car and yell, “Hey Mr. Alex!” Or you might hear Hernandez asking a passing youth how junior high or high school is going. What isn’t seen so much as it’s felt is Hernandez’ deep commitment to his community, his long history of service, and the family loyalty that led him to that corner. Hernandez grew up in Morgan Hill and attended the former Encinal Elementary— now Charter School of Morgan Hill—from first through eighth grade. He graduated in 1968 from Live Oak High School, where he met his high school sweetheart, Rose, who is now his wife. After graduating from Gavilan College with a degree in Administrative Justice, Hernandez began working as a volunteer for the Morgan Hill Police Auxiliary between 1970-1984 and enjoyed working as an employee at special events like football games at his former school. He then joined United Technologies in San Jose as a senior buyer and planner. Unfortunately he was laid off in 1998, just one year prior to his scheduled retirement. During his time at United Technologies, Hernandez and his wife had two sons and a daughter. They now have nine grandchildren. Hernandez started working for the Gilroy Unified School District 12 years ago, when his oldest grandson started asking him to have lunch with him at his school, El Robles Elementary. School lunches with his grandson became such a frequent routine that his wife asked him, “Why don’t you ask if they have anything you can do over there?” When Hernandez told his wife the

school needed someone to do yard duty, she said, “What is yard duty?” Hernandez accepted the job and, in addition to helping during the lunch shifts, would help the children safely cross the street to the school in the morning and afternoon. He noted, “I enjoy meeting all the parents and kids— all kinds of people—and talking to them while we wait for traffic to clear.” He smiled as he described coaching flag football during lunch. “I make faces at the kids and tell stories. I twist the rope while they jump.” But his favorite part of the job is knowing that his grandson knows he’s there even though he doesn’t see him too often throughout the day. Hernandez’ sense of giving extends beyond his family to his community. Since moving to Gilroy, he and his wife graduated Gilroy Leadership’s second class, and they’ve joined the Hispanic Chamber. He’s volunteered as a tutor for children and at events to benefit scholarships. Hernandez has served as the President and Vice-President of the League of United Latin American Citizens and, after five years with the Gilroy Elks Lodge, he’s currently the Esteemed Loyal Knight—in line to be the Esteemed Leading Knight next year. Over the years, he’s received many displays of gratitude from parents. “They appreciate what you are doing for their kids and give me all kind of cards and stuff. It’s really rewarding.” Even when the job gets tough, the parents support him. “Sometimes the weather is really hot, and I’m really hot. But a parent may bring me a popsicle from the ice cream truck across the street or a bottle of water.” The drivers, for the most part, smile and stop when he blows the whistle. For the first time, this year, Officer Felix Figueroa from the Gilroy Police Department performed special training for the crossing guards. Hernandez explained, “The officer gave us handouts spelling out



how to stand in the middle of the street, train kids to look both ways, training parents to follow the rules.” Since the training, things go more smoothly. “I’ve got them all crossing in the crosswalk now,” Hernandez said, smiling. In this recent training with the police department, Hernandez also learned that crossing guards are not supposed to direct traffic. Yet many drivers still expect him to help alleviate transportation congestion around the school. If Hernandez could share any advice with the public about crossing guards, it would be this: “Bear with us when we’re out there in the intersection. Crossing the kids is our first priority, and second is crossing parents. Directing traffic is not our responsibility. We can’t take on that responsibility or liability for an accident.” At the same time, it’s hard for Hernandez to say no to anyone’s request for help. For instance, when his oldest grandson graduated from El Robles, his other grandchildren asked, “Hey grandpa, why don’t you come do yard duty at our school?” His wife asked, “Why don’t you see if there’s an opening?” Several years later, those children have now graduated, and there’s another grandchild at El Robles. Hernandez asked the principal, “Can I come back?” Of course, the principal said, “Sure.”


Off To Alaska

Fulfilling A Dream

Photographed & Written By John McKay





n the fall of 2015, my wife Michelle and I took our two dogs and headed to Skagway, Alaska. It was an epic trip for our family, fulfilling a dream of a lifetime. As long as I can remember, Alaska has been on Michelle’s bucket list. She had been looking forward to seeing glaciers, the Northern Lights (me too), brown bears and moose. I lived in Juneau as a kid and wanted to relive some of that, but what I really wanted to see was the look on Michelle’s face when she saw her first glacier. Our dogs enjoy traveling with us to faraway places.




In all, we drove 6,000 miles in 21 days. Our transport was a specially modified Mercedes Benz Sprinter we had built to accommodate traveling with our dogs. The journey was as important to us as the destination, so we avoided freeways where possible and travelled mostly two-lane roads with the small towns and pleasant surprises they offer. We traveled among large trucks transporting logs, liquid natural gas and ore – reminding us of the industries that take from the land to fuel the local economies along our route. Except for some beautiful metropolitan skylines, it was the land that provided the visual drama and pageantry with the people seemingly there just to provide a sense of scale. As we traveled north, each new vista trumped the last until we ran out of superlatives. Winding through the beautiful streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, we stopped at a Starbucks knowing that from here on out it was going to get really rural, really quick. Not long after entering the famous Cassiar Highway we took a detour to see a real glacier. Initially a light rain obscured the wide ribbon of white that descended into a steep valley. Once in full view, Bear Glacier did not disappoint. It was official, Michelle had seen her first glacier. While it was a small glacier, by Alaskan standards, she was in awe and I got to enjoy that. Priceless.

Michelle McKay




Back on the Cassiar, we drove through the first real rain we had seen in months. We saw rivers and bogs and lakes everywhere. Unlike our dry California, they’ve still got old fashioned multi-gallon flush toilets up north. We also noticed that the seasons, as reflected by the trees, change as much by latitude as by time of year. The trip started with bright green trees and just a few days later, the leaves were turning red and yellow. We even saw a deciduous conifer that was turning yellow, weird. The fall colors accented the majestic green mountains that were capped with snow. What an unexpected treat. It took three days just to cross British Columbia; redefining my concept of huge. Passing a sign marked “Entering the Yukon Territory” we knew we’d come a long way and we noticed the increasing cold. The Yukon is the historic home of the Klondike Gold Rush – a place of legends. Ore trucks now replace logging trucks of old. Once in the Yukon we traveled the legendary Alcan Highway. The road took us north into the Yukon before passing back through British Columbia and dropping down into Skagway, Alaska. It had been forty-six years since I last stepped foot in Skagway. Except for the huge docks to anchor city-sized cruise ships, it was surprisingly familiar. A small town wedged into a narrow valley leading to the Lynn Canal. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



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For Michelle, this was another first, and the superlatives kept on coming. I think Skagway is the perfect embodiment of what Alaska is about. Historically, it was a jumping off point for the stampeders during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Soapy Smith exemplified the early stories of lawlessness and greed. It showed the spirit and determination of man (with a touch of greed) as tens of thousands made their way over the White Pass Trail seeking fortunes that only a few would find. It’s got that special Alaskan beauty. Hardin Glacier rests just beyond the city. The surrounding mountains and view down the Lynn Canal where forested mountains go right to the water’s edge are classic Alaska. Walking through Skagway’s downtown I felt a bit of my own history tugging at me. As a boy I had visited Skagway with my extended family and stood in front of the Arctic Brotherhood Hall. There I was, fortysix years later, standing in the same spot. It hadn’t changed a bit. The familiar smell of saltwater and creosote pier pilings brought back a flood of memories. We traveled into a forested area to camp. Smelling the damp moss, seeing the spiky devil’s club stalks, and looking up at the omnipresent spruce trees brought another flood of memories. As a kid I’d gotten used to having the wilds of Alaska as my back yard, but that was a long time ago. Now I can share the memories with Michelle.

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manners MATTER


I Holiday Manners

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

t’s that magical time of the year again – The Holidays! Along with the shopping, the decorating, holiday cards, the cooking and the baking, it’s the season for spreading Christmas cheer. Family gatherings, neighborhood gettogethers, church socials, and the “obligatory” company party are just a few events you might find yourself attending. How do we get through the rush, the frustration, the bad tempers, and the rudeness and still mind our manners? Well, it’s all about ATTITUDE. Embracing the season will make the busiest time of year easier to deal with than the Bah Humbug approach. Smile. Think positive. It’s all about mind-set. Your game plan – to make this the best holiday season ever! Now that I have you on-board, let’s focus on a few tips that will help you keep your cool and make your season bright. The secret to success in finding joy in the holiday season is ORGANIZATION. Make lists. I’m a big proponent of making lists for everything. It frees up my brain from being on overload by having to re-member everything I have to do. Make a list for gifts (who receives the gift and an idea of what you want to give), for meal planning and entertainment (this includes the menu for Christmas dinner as well as the appetizers you want to make for that cocktail party), and a list for your décor (when going to Target do you need lights, ornaments, extension cords etc.?) Next, PLAN. Make sure you put all your social obligations and appointments on your calendar. If you have more than one function on the same day, check the timing. If it’s possible you may want to go to two out of three. Don’t laugh. It happens. The most important thing here is to RSVP. Practice good manners by respecting the fact that the host/hostess needs to know if you’re attending, by her RSVP date, in order to plan for the party. WHAT TO WEAR – When all else fails, ladies wear that little black dress. That dress or black pants suit can be dressed up with a red or green jacket, jewelry to match, or a fabulous shoe that no one can take their eyes off of. Gentlemen can always wear black or brown slacks and a crisp white shirt. When wearing a jacket, a red or green silk handkerchief in your pocket goes along way for style. This can even be worn with your jeans for a more casual flair. And, always check with the host/hostess as to what is meant by “holiday attire.” It could mean a sweater or sequins. THE PARTY – Do you have to go to every party? No. Not unless you want to. You do, however, have to go to your company party. This


can be a career-breaker if you decide not to go. This shows disrespect to your company, your boss and those you work with every day. GIFTING – Try to give some thought as to what someone really likes. A box of chocolates for a diabetic is not a good idea. You don’t need to break the bank here either. Try and prepare a budget when making the list I talked about earlier. Other than your family, friends, or your Secret Santa, it is good manners to bring a gift to the host/hostess of the party you are attending. It shows your appreciation. This can be a bottle of wine, flowers, or baked goods for example. Never leave a party without acknowledging the host/hostess by thanking them. And, it isn’t a must, but good manners to follow-up with a thank you note. RE-GIFTING – This is a very risky thing to do in my opinion. We’ve all done it. Yet, it defeats the purpose of the personal gift. I’m not going to tell you not do it, just use caution and your better judgement. DRINKING – Know your limit. Be on the conservative side especially at a company party. I have a one drink rule for company parties – two at the most. The boss can learn a lot about someone who drinks to excess at the company Christmas party! This is not the time to tie one on so to speak. This goes for the charity organization holiday appetizer party as well. Two drink limit please! CELL PHONES – Put them on manner mode at the party. You can check messages periodically in the bathroom or outside. PATIENCE – Yelling at a salesclerk because they are out of an item you want only makes you look foolish and rude. If you have a problem, ask to speak to a manager. HOLIDAY CARDS – Not everyone sends the holiday card. Some are inclined to include the one-page letter letting everyone know what they have done for the past year. If it’s brief, funny and epic like the birth of a baby, then by all means include it. Otherwise a nice card is always appreciated as it shows you want to connect with those you love. From the standpoint of etiquette, you are supposed to hand sign your name to the card even if they are professionally printed. Labels for addresses are acceptable. TIPPING – For the nail person, hairdresser/barber or anyone else that has been performing a service for you, it is good manners to give them a monetary gift equivalent to the fee that is charged you for that service. Household help would receive a full months extra pay for their service to you. MAGIC – “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re Welcome” are magic words that will smooth the way for better service and create a kinder atmosphere wherever you go. Graciousness, patience and friendliness go a long way to counteract rudeness. You’ll feel better for being kind and will inspire some holiday cheer along the way. Happy Holidays!



Kathy Sullivan with Theresa Kiernan and Karl Bjarke at the Morgan Hill Leadership Class of 2016 Graduation.

Yes, That Kathy Sullivan Written By Robin Shepherd

Her community involvement began years ago in the education

and moxie to be a career nurse. Kathy Sullivan’s on that list,

sector. After serving as Home and School Club president at

with 43 years as an RN to her credit. She began her health-

several schools, Kathy served for eight years on the Morgan

care career as an emergency/trauma nurse and capped it off as a

Hill Unified School Board (MHUSD). Other roles include Vice

Training Supervisor for Public Health. In between, she worked

President and then President of the Santa Clara County School

as a Health Facilities Evaluator Supervisor, investigating nursing

Board Association, and delegate for the California School

home and hospital complaints to ensure regulatory compliance.

Board Association.

When the name Kathy Sullivan comes up around town, and it

Kathy has been a member of the American Association of

comes up A LOT, it’s important to let folks know WHICH Kathy

University Women (AAUW) for over ten years. She also serves

you’re talking about. The tall blonde with the big smile who is

as an Ambassador and a member of the Educational Committee

often spotted carrying the Chamber’s equally tall scissors for yet

of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. In her role as Vice

another ribbon-cutting ceremony in Morgan Hill. Yes, That Kathy

President of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association (MHDA),


she liaises with the Chamber board.

Kathy is a Morgan Hill resident and the proud mother of two

Mushroom Mardi Gras staff and volunteers know Kathy from

adult children, plus two grandchildren whom she lovingly refers

her ongoing active participation in one of Morgan Hill’s signature

to as “the most beautiful and exceptional creatures to grace this

annual events. She is also a Friend of the Morgan Hill Library


and writes a monthly column about community happenings for

In her so-called retirement, Kathy invests her time and talent in two local nonprofits, the American Association of University

Morgan Hill Life. Fellow volunteers can relate all too well when Kathy confesses,

Women (AAUW) and the Morgan Hill Downtown Association.

unabashedly, “Needless to say, I do not spend a lot of time

She was elected to a second term on the MHUSD Personnel

cleaning my house!” That’s been especially true in 2016, when

Commission and also serves on the Santa Clara County

Kathy participated in Morgan Hill’s Leadership program on a

Committee on School District Organization.

scholarship funded by AAUW Morgan Hill. Here’s her story . . .






t takes a certain kind of person with a rare blend of kindness

Creating an Oasis, Building Community Leaders

by Kathy Sullivan


ould you choose to get together with nineteen strangers for nine months to explore community service and your potential as a leader? This was exactly the journey that Leadership Morgan Hill’s Class of 2016 began in January and completed on September 19th, when graduates of the leadership program walked across the stage at Guglielmo Winery to the cheers and applause of their friends and loved ones. As a Class of 2016 alumna, I’d like to share highlights of our journey. Leadership Morgan Hill is a training and developmental program created to inspire interested persons to become future leaders in community service. The concept of this non-profit program originated with the Chamber of Commerce. Today there are similar leadership programs in more than 50 California communities, including Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Leadership Morgan Hill began in 1995 and now boasts more three hundred alumni. Alumni members guided our

class through a curriculum covering all aspects of community service and leadership related to local and state government, economics, education, public safety and other areas. We began with an overnight retreat with group exercises to help us learn about each other, program goals, and a little bit about our preferred leadership styles. Our class was very diverse, including a retired fireman, a police officer, a bookstore owner, city workers, healthcare professionals, educators, bankers, realtors, and even a few world travelers. There was time to socialize, and bonds began to form. Each month, we met for an evening session with a guest speaker, and attended a day-long session to meet community leaders from all walks of life for an in-depth look at various aspects of community service. My personal favorite was the overnight trip to Sacramento for State Government Day, which included face-to-face meetings with some of our elected officials and other government staffers whose work impacts our com-

munity. In one of our leadership training exercises, we had a chance to participate in debates. Key to achieving the program’s goal to develop leadership skills is the class project. Our class was asked to come up with a community service project that we could complete within our nine-month training program. This gave us first-hand experience in group dynamics and leadership skills. We decided to create a “Community Oasis” — a serene garden environment to inspire youth and connect a neighborhood. For our location, we chose Central High School on Tilton Avenue in Morgan Hill. The former elementary school site had been updated in 2013 to serve as a continuation high school and community center. However, little attention had been paid to the surrounding grounds, which were in need of TLC. Our class had just nine months to come up with a concept, get board approval, create a design plan, raise funds to finance the project, manage the project and budget, and publicize it. We felt the urgency to get started

“Kathy’s background in healthcare made her the ideal candidate to oversee AAUW’s new Lauren Jenkins Healthcare Scholarship, which will be awarded to a qualified female student pursuing a healthcare career. Kathy is a strong positive role model, something we value highly, and she is a joy to work with.”

“I love Kathy’s wholehearted involvement in Morgan Hill community life. She has taken on key responsibilities at the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and was very welcoming when I joined the board. Kathy brings to meetings an open, roundtable style of communication that encourages people to share their ideas.”

Brittney Sherman, President, Morgan Hill Downtown Association

Mary Cox, Co-President, AAUW Morgan Hill




right away but in retrospect we should have spent a little longer establishing committees and defining individual roles. Communication was key in keeping us on track; like most organizations, we sometimes fell a little short of perfection. We found out that it would take more than our class members to help us achieve our goal. We had mentors such as our beloved Program Director, Theresa Kiernan. Chris Houle of L/M Inc., donated labor and reached out to other generous business contributors on our behalf.

Community members such as Frank Léal and Cecelia Ponzini contributed to our success. Organizations such as Heritage Bank, Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the Persing Family and Edward Boss Prado Foundations, all earned our thanks and hopefully points for good Karma. We raised over $72,000 in cash and in-kind donations, which paid for trees, plants, planters, mulch, irrigation, two storage sheds and lockers, fencing and more. A special brick feature was created

including names of project donors and supporters. We also provided a set of tools for students to maintain the garden after project completion. I can honestly say a good 80 percent of our project was a golden experience. As for the other 20 percent, a few glitches are inevitable and the end result was well worth the effort. Are we better leaders? Only time will tell. For now, we’ve got the Oasis, some strong new community connections, and nineteen people who are no longer strangers.

“The Oasis is an amazing place — the culmination of selfless awesome individuals coming together with energy, enthusiasm and synergy to create an educational and community space for all to enjoy. I hope this idea serves as a springboard for others to make positives changes in our town.” Vera Gomes, Principal Central High School




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Renee Angela Filice

Ancient Art Form Goes Contempory




riginating in China over 2,000 years ago, silk painting is an art form that involves applying colored pigment to silk cloth. Silk paintings of the modern era are said to have begun when the art form was taken up by students and French teachers at the Hanoi College of Fine Arts in the 1930s. Using a combination of dyes and techniques developed in Europe and Asia, silk paintings can now be found all around the world. This enduring art form captured the imagination of local artist Renee Angela Filice when she began exploring it ten years ago. “I couldn’t get the vibrant colors I wanted out of watercolor and found that painting on silk achieved the results I was seeking,” Renee recalled. Today, the art she creates in her Morgan Hill studio focuses on silk painting, and she has expanded her painting repertoire to include pastels. Painting on silk involves technical expertise not found in most art mediums. The silk fabric is stretched on a temporary frame before liquid dyes are brushed on much like watercolors. A substance referred to as gutta or wax can be applied to the silk as a “resist” to prevent the dyes from running outside an object.


The resist can also be dyed to create a visible outline of objects. The finished fabric is steamed in order to fix the colors, after which it can be mounted and framed as an art piece, or enjoyed as wearable art in the form of scarves, bags, jewelry and ties. “There are extra steps when compared to painting with watercolors, but for me the result is worth it.” Renee said. Her favorite art period is New Deal Art. During the Great Depression, the Federal Art Project provided funds to support artists as part of the New Deal program. She is particularly fond of Thomas Hart Benton, a painter and muralist whose work won acclaim during that era. Renee’s point of reference for paintings generally comes from photographs or sketches. Her Mediterranean-style scenes of cafés and plazas include small details of the table settings and shrubbery expressed in bright colors, without attention to exact replication. Her technique of outlining objects is reminiscent of post-Impressionist artists such as Paul Gaugin and Samuel Peploe. In these scenes, she leaves the seats empty. “I want people to feel like the table is waiting for them.” Renee’s varied subjects include seascapes, leisure scenes (inspired by her trips to the Mediterranean), area landscapes and her favorite, plants – perhaps inspired by the colorful natural environment of her rural upbringing. The middle child of three siblings, Renee was born and raised on an orchard farm in Gilroy to parents Ernie and Ann Filice. She was exposed to the arts at an early age as her mother is an accomplished artist in her own right. After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Salinas, Renee received her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University and her master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Stanford University, where she served as a counselor for several years. In 1983, Renee and her husband Ron Erskine moved to Morgan Hill, where they built a house and raised their two children. Ron’s locally known as a board member of the Pine Ridge Association and the Committee for Green Foothills, and an avid backcountry trekker whose column “Getting Out” appears in the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch. “We moved to Morgan Hill for Ron to start a new job in the building business and we thought it would be a good place to raise a family.” Renee once taught art at Morgan Hill Country School (now Oakwood School). When Ron co-founded Coast Range Brewery in Gilroy, she contributed to marketing and sales efforts, and even helped with the bottling on occasion. She also painted the mural on the outside wall of the brewery. These days, she teaches silk painting at Woodside’s Filoli Gardens, in Morgan Hill, and in Capitola. She has also conducted one-day silk painting workshops for the Valley Quilters Association. As a Valle del Sur Art Guild member, Renee participates in the guild’s Art Around Town program. Locally, her work is on exhibit at Solis Winery in Gilroy through December 2nd, 2016. Her works are also exhibited and sold through galleries in Morgan Hill, Los Olivos, Kenwood, Capitola, and Carmel, and are in collections throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Renee is one of the lucky ones who finds her work incredibly satisfying. Having recently returned from a vacation in Nova Scotia, the silk paintings inspired by her time there will surely be satisfying to viewers as well. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


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


Chamber of Commerce

Success … A Risky Business By Mark Turner, President/CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce


n Valladolid, Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, stands a monument commemorating the great discoverer. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial is a statue of a lion at the base of it where the Spanish National Motto is engraved. The lion is reaching out with its paw and is destroying one of the Latin words that had been part of the Spain’s motto for centuries. Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth. Thus, their motto was, “No More Beyond.” The word being torn away by the lion is, “No,” making it read, “More Beyond.” Columbus had proven that there was indeed “more beyond.” While many in that day thought they had reached their fullest potential and had gone as far as they could go, Christopher Columbus came along and pushed the limits even further. His willingness to step outside the comfort zone and take risks encourages us to apply three leadership principles to our lives, teams and organizations.

There’s More to Achieve if You Dare to Dream Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Set goals and consistently work toward achieving them. Let what’s


happened in the past help to motivate you toward achieving success and not become an excuse as to why you can never make it happen. Dream it and pursue it. You’ll be amazed at what can be done and what can be achieved.

Accepting, “No,” as the Final Word Limits Success Anyone who has done a tour in professional sales knows it takes overcoming six to seven “no” responses from a potential customer in order to get the desired, “yes” answer. Many a salesperson has walked away after hearing “no” one time only, to leave the sale to a more determined competitor. Sadly, we often tell ourselves “no” before we get started in a new venture like writing a book, going for that big account, starting a business, expanding a product line, launching a non-profit organization or believing we’re deserving of success. Had Columbus subscribed to the Spanish National Motto and believed there was “No More Beyond,” he would have never been willing to take the risk necessary to achieve success. The word “no” leaves us with a choice, to accept it as the final word, or as an invitation to think differently. Jose Ortega y Gasset once said, “The stone and tiger have no choice of life: the stone must gravitate and the tiger must pounce. Only human beings are faced with the mind-blowing responsibility of having, at each and every moment of their lives, to choose



what to do and what to be. It is both a necessity and an invitation.”

No Deposit, No Return No Risk, No Reward Back in the day, people used to pay a deposit on their beverage bottles because they were so expensive to produce. Bottlers used a deposit-refund system which motivated people to return the bottles after use. In return, consumers received their deposits back. As time went on and bottles became less expensive to produce, the words “No Deposit – No Return” began appearing on bottles. No extra effort was required on the part of consumers to get some of their investment back. The “No Deposit, No Return” principle can be applied to many different things. No investment at the gym to lift weights or do cardio workouts, no personal health benefits; no investment in education, no advancement in one’s career; no time invested in others, no leadership development. At times it’s necessary to take risks whether in one’s personal or professional life. Blind leaps of faith are not the only requirement to achieving reward and success. Often times, “risk” decisions are made after thorough research and information gathering has occurred. Calculated risks can minimize negative outcomes but cannot always guarantee them. That’s what risk is about. As William H. Shedd once said, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what a ship was built for.”


Young Sign Company


oung Sign Company was started in 1934 by Elmer O. Young. They have been in their current location since 1945. Elmer was a young budding artist, and at his high school teacher’s suggestion he got his first job designing signs at the Strand Theater. Since the theater did not have movie posters in those days, Elmer worked in the basement of the Strand to design and paint posters of upcoming movies. Richard Young followed in his father’s footsteps in terms of his artistic ability — including having the same high school art teacher. Richard originally began his career as a painter and sculptor. He taught sculpture, painting and computer graphics at Gavilan College and in Stockton from 1970 through 1994. Young Sign Company is a custom sign company that creates an image for the business, not just the sign. The signage includes everything from gold leaf on a door to a 55-foot auto mall freeway sign. Young Sign Company believes that a sign is a powerful advertising tool and they are committed to creating excellence. Young Sign Company can be reached at 408-842-4145.

The Bounce Squad


he Bounce Squad team is a family owned and operated small business that was established in early 2015 to help kids and families enjoy special days and events. They specialize in new and exciting bounce house obstacle courses. They are dedicated to providing a safe and clean jumping experience. You may have participated in one of their jump houses at the Gilroy Chamber’s Garlic City Car Show, National Night Out in Downtown Gilroy or at the Freedom Fest in Morgan Hill. They have great products such as The Rain Forest Run Obstacle Course, Air Drop Obstacle Course, Tiki Island or the Ultra Combo.  Visit their website for more information at or call 408-767-8037.

Smith Tree Specialists, Inc.


Help Us Place Wreaths on Veteran’s Graves at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park & St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Gilroy and Mt. Hope Cemetery, Morgan Hill

SPONSOR A WREATH for only $15.00 Information: Mark Turner 408.221.6203 Donations must be made by November 30, 2016 Online at or at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, 7471 Monterey Street.

oki Smith, founder and lead arborist for Smith Tree Specialists, is an ISA certified arborist providing quality tree health care services in South Santa Clara County, Monterey and San Benito county areas for over 20 years. First certified by the International Society of Arboriculture in 1991. Moki began servicing their clients’ tree care needs full time in 1996, primarily motivated by the desire to build the family business and work within the tree care industry. Since that time, the family has grown and so has the business. They have served over 1,500 clients in the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Los Gatos as well as property management firms, engineering companies, developers and other businesses. Smith Tree Specialists, Inc., provides services in the area of commercial development, construction site tree preservation, inventories and appraisals. Their services also include consulting and assessing, pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, cabling and bracing tree limbs, diagnosing disease, cleanup of storm damage and landscape management to name a few. Contact Smith Tree Specialists at 408-722-8942 or





with an Attitude

My S Shadow Knows!

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.


elf-reflection is healthy. But even those who are comfortable conducting regular self-assessments can miss something. The truth after all, can be tough to accept. Our brains can play the denial game and most of us find ourselves painting a picture of where we are, who we are…that is not so accurate. But why, you ask, do we need to care. After all, what matters most is how we think of ourselves, right? Well, as we get older, the real truth matters more than ever, especially if there is a discrepancy between what we paint as our truth and the real truth. How can you, for example, make healthy changes without acknowledging that you have selfdestructive habits? One Friday afternoon, I met up with a girlfriend I had not seen for years. She thought I looked tired and that perhaps I needed to allow myself more time to mourn the loss of my brother and two friends. I dismissed her assessment and assured her that I felt great. I had “mourned enough” — I really had the bull by the horns and could navigate easily through life’s bumps. After seeing her, I went home and took my pup out for a walk. On the way down the driveway I saw my shadow — and no, my mind didn’t think of Judy Garland singing “Me and My Shadow.” The vision of my shadow made me pause and tear up. My shadow looked burdened — sad — exhausted. It was not a pretty picture. Through my shadow, reality had somehow made me see my truth in a non-threatening way. And frankly, it helped me a lot. I knew then that I had some self-reflection to do, and mourning to allow. It also made me realize that my physical presence was compromised by feelings I tried to bury. It was a wake-up call. If I had not seen my shadow, if I had not taken the time to reflect, I would not have come to accept that my girlfriend was right –I have a lot



to deal with, and I should give myself permission to humanly face them. Seeing my undeniable reality made me stand up straight, walk with surety and confidence. And guess what? By doing that, it seemed my brain had to go through a change because by the time we got to where we were going, I was in a better frame of mind and I knew that I had some work to do. I gave myself permission to deal with all the emotions that would come up as I dealt with the loss of my loved ones. What is your shadow saying about you? Does it show confidence or doubt? Energy or burnout? Is it a picture that captures who you are, where you are in life, how you are feeling? Have you ever seen the images of a bent senior whose shadow is that of a ballerina, or a cat whose shadow is that of a tiger? Is that what you see when you think of your shadow? If you do, is your lifestyle in line with that vision? You might want to do an experiment and catch a sneaky glimpse of your shadow sometime and see what your shadow is saying about you or your situation. You just may learn something that you could use to improve at least your mood, if not your situation. Sometimes, a little reminder can help us get back on track. Seeing my shadow alerted me to my true reality but sometimes, the messages we get through the day do not help. If you are going through something and the truth does not help you get things back on track on your own, please don’t hesitate to consult with a therapist. They can help you read between the lines and see your truth when life sends you a message. Life has a habit of throwing curve balls our way. Pay attention, open your eyes, listen and feel. I used to work with a woman who would come over and cry about her boss. My son was only four years old and he asked her one day, “Why do you cry all the time?” She told him, “This person I play with is mean” and Derek said, “Then stop playing with her. Now you can stop crying and go home.” After I cringed because he was making it clear her visit was over, we both realized my little guy had a message for her, just like my shadow had a message for me. Does your shadow have a message? Slow down, pay attention — is there a valuable message your are missing?




it’s YOUR swing

with Don DeLorenzo

Give the Gift of Golf For Christmas


hat do I give the golfer in my family for Christmas? That question is on the mind of countless gift hunters as we enter the holiday season. Golfers need everything from the spikes on the bottom of their shoes to the hats on the top of their heads. But just picking out the right gift or equipment can be painstaking when you don’t know what their preferences are. To help streamline your shopping experience I have broken golfer wants into four different areas: equipment, instruction, experience and tech items.

Equipment Nothing excites a golfer more than having that long slender box under the tree that holds a set of new golf clubs. But unless you just robbed Fort Knox, that might be off the list. A set of premium clubs start in the area of $800 and go up from there. Many avid golfers are particular and have maybe already hinted as to their favorite brand (Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made, etc) and style (AP2, XR or M2). Golf professionals and golf shops are can help you through the process of purchasing the right set for your golfer. Often times, you can get the set that they want and it can

be brought back to “tweak” with any customization your golfer needs for height, grip size etc. So don’t be afraid to purchase the clubs thinking you would be stuck with them if they weren’t right. But do check with the golf shop about their return policy. Let me add, this usually is not the case at a department or big box store so go to a golf shop! The same is true for individual clubs like a new driver, putter or wedge. Returning them to get the correct shaft or length is no problem.

Instruction Instruction is something that golfers often won’t buy for themselves. Admitting that one is not proficient at something and that help is needed is not in most people’s DNA. So get your golfer a package of lessons. Tell him you are tired of hearing him come home from a round of golf complaining about how many balls he lost or how many three putts he had. PGA Golf professionals are trained to teach the golf swing. They can help your frustrated golfer fix the swing flaw that has been plaguing him or start your beginning golfer off on the right foot. Lessons generally cost about $50 each with discounts given for packages and groups. You can purchase one lesson for a certain area of the golf game or a series of lessons that covers all of it. If you have a beginning golfer on your Christmas list, this is a must. Don’t start a beginner off in golf without lessons!!! Experience The golf experience is my favorite gift to give… or receive! Watch your golfer’s eyes light up when he/she opens a gift certificate for a foursome to play at his/her favorite golf course. Or buy her tickets to attend the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. How about a weekend golf package to Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas or Bandon Dunes in Oregon? All these areas are golf meccas with packages that can be as short as a weekend or as long as you want. How about a week-long golf camp? You can send your linkster away to fine tune their game to a place like Scottsdale, Orlando or Myrtle Beach. The list is as long as your checkbook is deep.

High Tech High tech has hit golf just like every other part of life. There are a few items that golfers really like to have. Range finders have become popular over the last few years and keep getting better. This gadget tells your




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

golfer the distance he/she has to move his/her ball on an upcoming shot. It’s like having his/her own personal caddie with him/her at all times. Some range finders are hand held and your golfer can aim it at a target and it will read the distance to that target. This is especially helpful when it comes to laying up before a water hazard or estimating how far it is to carry a fairway bunker on the fly. Other simpler distance checkers will tell your golfer how far it is from where she’s standing to the hole. These models use a GPS system. Both are great gifts. Launch monitors are coming down in price to where consumers are purchasing them, not just driving ranges and touring professionals. Launch monitors spit out information about your golfers shot, swing, swing speed, launch angle, carry, etc. Overkill, you say? Maybe so for casual golfers. But for your avid golfer, being able to prop a launch monitor up next to his/her ball when he/she practices and to get that immediate feedback, is exciting. The personal models start at about $750. Get one for your “man cave” and it will run you about $10,000.



when you are shopping for your golfer, remember these ideas, and don’t forget to drop a sleeve of Titleist ProV1 golf balls into his/her Christmas stocking!




Z infandel T

he first introduction to Zinfandel many people have had was in the form of a sweet pink wine that came out of a box, coined “White Zinfandel” by Sutter Home. Though today we still see this style in production, consumers have now come to love the complexities that Zinfandel can produce as a dry red wine. In practice any red grape can be made into a rosé or even a white wine by limiting the amount of time the fermenting wine remains in contact with the grape skins, which add color and tannin among other things. Many producers will use the term “Old Vine” on the labels of Zinfandel wines produced from vineyards 50 years or older. However, a lack of regulation makes the term inconsistent, and each has their own opinion about what this term really means. The simple fact that we have vines old enough to have the debate about it is indeed a credit to the White Zinfandel craze of the 1970’s, which still accounts for 10 percent of all wine produced in California today. Due to the popularity of varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Zinfandel was often thought a less profitable variety to produce, and in many cases vines were abandoned or ripped out. Added its often uneven ripening and high sugar levels, winemakers and growers were choosing other varieties that would make them more money more consistently. It was Sutter Home’s somewhat accidental stuck-fermentation rosé in 1975 that began the sweet rosé craze that we are only now seeing wane in the United States. This “White Zinfandel” was the first of its type to be produced on a commercial scale in the United States, and as its popularity grew, plots of Zinfandel were purchased, saved, and planted. Old Vines are said to produce some of the best


By Alicia Cuadra

examples of Zinfandel, however it really is dependent on how the vines were taken care of as they aged. These vines often produce incredibly rich intense wines, are often dry farmed, and produce small amounts of fruit that are prized for their quality. There are several fantastic stories about how Zinfandel came to be in California— and the United States overall— all of them are more fanciful and interesting than how it truly came to be. Stories of immigrant refugees and winemaking pioneers come to mind, but truly it was a Viennese grape variety collection making its way through the States that first brought these grapes to America, and it was actually seen in Long Island, New York in 1820, before historical references of it appear in California (as late as 1850). The topic of Zinfandel’s heritage was up for debate for many years, until researchers at UC Davis were able to trace its roots. It turns out that although often considered a uniquely American red grape variety, DNA evidence shows it to be originally Croatian. In its country of origin, it is called Crljenak Kastelanski, but was often mistaken for Plavac Mali. This confusion was unintentionally increased by Croatian-born Mike Grgich, a Napa Valley winemaking pioneer. Another point of contention for many years was related to Zinfandel and Primitivo, a grape found in the Puglia region of Italy (think heel of the boot). This variety was once considered to be the same grape as Zinfandel as well. Research has now concluded that they are actually what we call “clones,” a variety of the same vine chosen and propagated for specific qualities and traits such as cluster size, disease resistance, and other favorable attributes. The name Primitivo is based on the word primitivus in Latin (first to ripen), and was selected as—you guessed



it—a variety that ripened earlier in the area. Locally, we see our own Croatian connection to Zinfandel in Kirigin Cellars. Originally started by a Croatian family, Kirigin still produces its homeland grape variety. Kirigin’s Zinfandel is a fruit-forward combination of red, black, and blue berries with a nice balance of acid and tannin. Connecting our local wines to Primitivo can be done as well when tasting wines at Satori, located in Gilroy. They are known for producing juicy Zinfandel and Primitivo wines, and their 2012 Oh-So-Zin is no exception. This wine is actually 75 percent Zinfandel and 25 percent Primitivo; the best of both worlds. The wine showcases blackberry and red currant with aromas of vanilla and a touch of mint. With balanced tannins and a smooth finish, this wine is great for a barbeque or even on its own. And we cannot discuss local examples without an Old Vine Zinfandel as well. Creekview’s 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel. Aromas of raspberry, blueberry, and spice mixed with vanilla and spicy plum. Next time you drink Zinfandel, say “cheers” to White Zin for saving the old vines in California, and enjoy! Alicia Cuadra is a Wine Educator and Consultant in the Monterey Bay. She is a certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine and Italian Wine Professional. Follow her blog at AliciaSeesWine. com and on social media @AliciaSeesWine.

Hwy 101 at Cochrane Road I Morgan Hill

Something For Everyone!

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䰀伀䌀䄀䰀  䄀䐀嘀䔀刀吀䤀匀䤀一䜀



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Emotional De-cluttering for the Holidays


heard the anxiety as early as this summer. It’s what I call “opening season” for the holidays. While it seemed to emerge earlier than usual this year, the subject of how to cope during the holidays is a major source of conversation in my counseling practice, especially as the season draws closer. With a nod to the growing emphasis on de-cluttering your environment, I’d like to propose de-cluttering your expectations of life during the holidays as a worthy exercise. If current expectations and plans aren’t working for you, make you feel bad, or rob you of joy —you can choose to change things up!! What that looks like from year to year will vary. Flexibility is a necessity.

Be realistic – with your time, money and energy. Choose your sanity, health and financial solvency. If people expect something other than that, you may have to let them know where your limits are and kindly, firmly, hold to those limits. Choose your activities purposefully. If you’ve experienced a major life change (death, divorce, marriage, birth of a child, move, etc.) it’s helpful to decide what has meaning and what makes you feel good or bad. Give yourself permission to revise your plans accordingly! Review your calendar commitments and activities from November to January. Consciously allow for empty spaces, in advance. It enables you to say “No” to lesser priorities (or unrealistic commitments) when you’ve already set aside those empty spaces. If something comes up that’s a priority, you can say “Yes,” but then carve out another empty space. Keep that “breathing room” in your schedule to prevent exhaustion.

Simplify your gift giving. Ask people what they want instead of feeling pressured to find the perfect gift. Talk to your friends and extended family… it’s likely that if you’re feeling the financial and time constraints with lots of gift giving, they are too. They may welcome the suggestion to draw names, or skip the gifts and make the holidays about getting together.

Acknowledge your feelings. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. It just makes them an invisible force you have to work around. Not that you have to wear your heart on your sleeve. Deal with those feelings during an empty block of time you can set aside for a walk or to journal. Or you may want to confide in a trusted friend. When you’re intentional about the holidays, you have better control and can avoid the unexpected meltdown. Don’t isolate. Connect with safe, supportive people if the need arises. It’s okay to let them know if you’re having a tough time. It makes a difference to know that someone else knows and is thinking good thoughts or saying prayers on your behalf. Focus on what you’re grateful for. This can be an easy one to let slip, but it makes a big difference to shift your focus, especially when you’re down, because gratitude can lift your spirits. Stop and consciously enjoy the moments of your holiday season. Don’t neglect the healthy stuff. Festivities may tempt you to eat and drink in excess. Choose moderation. Pick healthy options when you can, opt not to have the large serving or the extra drink, go for the walk. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

If you’re struggling with the holiday blues, it’s important to know when to ask for help. If you find yourself having difficulty performing normal tasks and/ or sleeping, or you feel worthless, hopeless or helpless, feel persistently sad or anxious, it may be helpful to check in with your doctor or therapist. Certainly if you have thoughts of suicide, get help. Not all “down” feelings require professional help, but there is help to alleviate the suffering when it tips the scale into depression. Just an FYI, January is often when the fallout of the holidays hits. You survived the Christmas dinner or Hanukkah celebrations, but the disappointments and stresses still sting. It’s also when the letdown from all the hustle and bustle hits. Plan something for later that gives you something to look forward to; perhaps a relaxed winter picnic at the beach with a few close friends, or a pot of chili and a rented movie at home with your immediate family. Simple is good. Take stock of your expectations now. De-clutter your calendar of those things that don’t fit your values and priorities so you can focus your time, resources and energy on what matters most. It’s how you take control of the quality of your holiday season.

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

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




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Taking Advantage of Your Year-end Benefits

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 408779-0699 or dnewquist@ Securities offered through Foothill Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an unaffiliated company.


As the end of the year approaches, it’s important to take advantage of any annual benefits that are available to you before the end of the year. Here is a short list of some of the more popular items to consider.

Maximize Retirement Contributions

When contributing to a company retirement account, like a 401(k), first consider investing up to your company’s match level and then consider maxing out your contribution limit. The contribution limit for 2016 is $18,000 for participants under the age of 50; participants over the age of 50 can contribute an additional $6,000. Retirement accounts are a great way of putting money away that can grow tax deferred or tax-free (depending on your account type). While individual retirement accounts (IRAs) allow you to contribute for this calendar year up until the April tax filing date of next year, it is a good thing to check if you are eligible to make a contribution and if so, make a plan to invest. Individual contribution rates are $5,500. Individuals age 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000.

Give to Charity

If you are planning to donate money or goods to a charity, be sure to do so by the end of the year to potentially quality for a tax deduction. Taxpayers that itemize their deductions (i.e., you or your tax preparer lists out all of your deductions instead of using the fixed dollar amount standard deduction) may be able to lower their tax bill by donating to qualified charitable organizations. You can also donate securities (e.g., stock) that have a low cost basis to avoid paying the capital gains tax on those securities. And, you still may be able to receive a tax deduction for the market value of your donation.


Take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

If you are age 70 ½ or older, you are required to take a minimum distribution from your retirement accounts. This is possibly the most important task to remember about your retirement accounts. If you fail to take your RMD in a year you are required to do so, you may face a 50% tax penalty on that required distribution amount. You have saved a long time, and paying penalties is a waste of your nest egg.

Spend Down Flexible Spending Account

A Flexible Spending Account is an account your company may allow you to put money into to help pay for medical expense with before-tax dollars. Unfortunately, the money in this account can only be used during the year it was deposited, and any remaining balance disappears when the ball in Times Square drops. So, now might be a good time to get those new glasses, or have any dental work you have been putting off done.

Open An Educational 529 Savings Plan

These accounts can be set up to help save for educational expenses. They enjoy tax free growth, and may even provide income tax advantages, depending on your state. It is important to note that these accounts must be used for educational expenses, otherwise a hefty tax could be owed.


Health Wise

with Crystal Han


Health Being physically active boosts the production of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), otherwise known as the good cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides in your body. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly and helps prevent health problems like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can even reduce your risk of certain cancers! Research has shown that physically active people have a lower risk of colon and lung cancers, and active women have a lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Doing a moderately-intense level of aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening exercises has been shown to reduce the loss of bone density that comes with age, lowering the risk of hip fractures later on in life. If you suffer from arthritis, or another joint condition, being active will not only improve your ability to manage pain and do everyday tasks, it will also improve your overall quality of life.

Cognitive Function and Mood

Even more astounding are the ways exercise changes your brain. Research has shown that regular aerobic exercise actually boosts the size of the prefrontal cortex, the medial temporal cortex, and the hippocampus, all areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning. When you exercise, it triggers the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which improves the transmission of signals within brain cells and regulates the function of the synapses. BDNF is also believed to stall cell death. As a result, people who exercise are apt to show greater abilities in critical thinking, verbal memory, problem solving, and psychomotor speed (the association between thinking and doing). Amazingly, these effects last for a very long time. A

study on people who had better cardio respiratory fitness (CRF) during their young adulthood showed that they still had better cognitive functioning in their middle years (ages 45-55) than their less active peers. Exercise also helps cognitive function by improving your mood. When you’re physically active, the brain releases the “feel good” chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These happiness chemicals reduce any stress and anxiety you might be feeling and can even combat serious issues like depression. They act almost like a shield, making the emotional stressors of day-to-day life easier to handle. Since depression and a low mood frequently contribute to cognitive impairment, staying active is a great way to fight back. With a new case of dementia detected every four seconds globally, it is important now more than ever to keep your mind sharp. People who stay active in their middle years, and even those who just start to exercise after mid-life, significantly lower their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in their old age.

Natural Beauty When you feel good, you look good too! Fascinatingly, exercise works on a cellular level to reverse the toll that stress takes on the aging process. People who exercise to manage their stress have cells that show significantly fewer signs of aging than stressed out people who don’t exercise. By getting your blood pumping,you’re also giving your skin a big dose of oxygenated blood that boosts detoxification and cell renewal, giving you a post-workout glow. Working up a sweat can also correct the hormonal imbalances that contribute to conditions like acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.



Duration and Types of Exercise that Achieve these Results The great thing about exercise is that it’s a low-cost, effective way to improve your health and thinking, and you don’t have to do huge amounts of it or high intensity workouts to receive its benefits. Just 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, will help reduce the risk of disease and cognitive impairment. The best results usually come from a combination of moderate strength training exercises and aerobic activities. If you don’t like walking or strength training, however, there are a number of other great activities like swimming, stair climbing, hiking, dancing, or playing tennis. Even household chores like vacuuming, cleaning, mowing the lawn, and raking leaves count. Anything that gets your heart going and makes you break into a light sweat is going to work wonders. Whatever exercises you like best, make them a habit. If life gets too hectic and you feel overwhelmed, remember, that’s the time when you need to exercise the most. It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour- long workout or five- to ten-minute intervals throughout your day, getting yourself moving will be the medicine that works! CRYSTAL HAN is a freelance writer and art. She graduated from San Jose State University with a BFA in Animation/ Illustration and is an aspiring novelist, currently working on two books



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The Orphan Train

BOOK CLUB BEAT with Sherry Hemingway

Author Christina Baker Kline


t the age of 91, wealthy widow Vivian Daley needs help cleaning out the attic of her Victorian home in coastal Maine. Her help comes in the form of a Goth-dressed, pierced and tattooed, 17-year-old Molly, whose misdeeds have resulted in court-ordered community service. Their attic project is one that neither approaches with enthusiasm, until they open an old trunk and memories come spilling out. The trunk’s contents tell a fictionalized account of the real-life shipment of 200,000 homeless or orphaned children on trains from the East Coast to the Midwest from 1854 to 1929. Millions of immigrants were cramming into Eastern cities seeking a new life, and finding no work or decent housing. If parents perished in this fragile existence, their orphaned children were separated and, like the story of Vivian Daley, loaded onto trains headed to the country’s midlands. The Children’s Aid Society believed they were giving these orphans a better chance than they would have in the cities. At each train stop, children were lined up for inspection by the locals. Babies

and strong older boys were the first to be chosen. The youngest were most likely to be adopted into families. Older children typically became forced labor. If a child was not chosen at one stop, he or she was loaded back on the train for the next stop, or the next, until all the orphans were gone. The fate of each orphan was unpredictable in its kindness or cruelty. As Vivian and Molly sift through the attic trunk, Vivian allows herself to finally talk about her early childhood in Ireland, the tragic loss of her entire family in New York, the journey on the orphan train, her “adoption” into a Minnesota sweat shop, and the aftermath of a precarious life. The two clean out the attic, dealing with their similar experiences of loss and abandonment. The orphan train system was a littleknown piece of American history, until this book hit the bestseller lists and became a staple of book clubs across the country. For 75 years, East Coast cities dealt with their orphan numbers by putting the children on trains. The purpose was to find adoptive parents, but too often, the system provided indentured servants and laborers for the Midwestern farmlands.

Like Vivian, these children suffered separation from siblings, loss of cultural identity, alienation and abuse. It was a stopgap before this country was willing and able to deal with the failings of its social system. Molly’s life makes the point that the system still has flaws. Christina Baker Kline’s work puts forth a well-written premise of how even the most tragic of lives can be healed with love, kindness and hope. The book is at once fascinating and jaw-dropping.

Novel Evening Book Club Toasts to Launch FIRST YEAR READS All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham East of Eden by John Steinbeck Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman The Martian by Andy Weir The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

It’s been just over a year since Morgan Hill book club Novel Evening bonded to go on reading adventures. Members are (front, l. to r.) Chris Giusiana, Rosy Bergin, Janet Dommer, (second row) Georgia Santos, Gina Varela-Domenichini, Patty Sebald, Pat Catanzaro and Sherry Hemingway. Missing is Lisa Bjarke. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


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.


Dining Out With Friends La Niña Perdida with Ron and Addie Habit Written By Larry J. Mickartz

Our Gilroy friends, Ron and Addie Habit, joined us for our second Dining Out With Friends adventure to La Niña Perdida (The Lost Little Girl), a classical and refined Mexican restaurant in Morgan Hill. The menu was full of unusual and delicious dishes… and it was a restaurant well worth a visit. The cozy space is decorated with brightly-colored, hand-crafted unique art and a full bar offers a marvelous selection of tequilas and an array of authentic Mexican beers.


e started the evening with drinks, Mexican Spirit Lickers. Addie, ordered El Vernado with the chili rim (Tequila Cazares Reposado, Grand Marnier, Lime, Agave Nectar, Salted Rim) and was transported to a café on a beach in Mexico. Ron, the straight man of the group, had a traditional margarita. Ron coined his phrase of the night, “good and fresh” while enjoying his drink. J. Chris tried a La Palma (Tequila El Jafe Silver, Coconut, Agave Nectar, Citrus, Chile Rim.) She loved the coconut flavor but was not sure of the chili on the rim. Mindful of the tequila sins of my youth, I chose a Estrella Jalisco…the oldest beer in Mexico. It has only recently been introduced in the U.S.. Watching a Giant’s-Dodge’sr game, I had seen it advertised on a stadium wall at Chaves Ravine.


Moving on to the appetizers, small plates or “Para Empezar” we ordered Guacamole Rustico, Queso Fundido and Esquites. These dishes set the tone for the evening… wonderful, bright, unusual flavors! The guacamole had big ripe hunks but was creamy “like butter. With the salsa and hearty chips, it was “heavenly.” We were enjoying it so much our waiter, Dan, had to remind us there was more to come. The Queso Fundido was a Mexican take on a fondue, thicker than most fondues with mushrooms and chorizo. It was served with small soft blue corn tortillas. The earthiness of the local mushrooms offset the saltiness of the chorizo…a wonderful combination. One of the big surprises of the evening was the Esquites (Sweet white corn sautéed with onions, jalapeno peppers, and epidote. Finished with cream and queso fresco, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder.) The



dish also, as Ron said, “good and fresh.” We later learned that it is a common street food in Mexico. We put decided we would take some home to our respective households! While we waited for our main courses, Ron and I sampled some beers. Cabezón was light and refreshing with just a hint of bitterness at the end. Jefezón was heavier with a hint of non-sweet

caramel that went well with heartier foods. The bartender, Armand, explained that Mexican beers take on some of the characteristics of the region…the water, local hops and minerals. Addie and J. Chris tried the bottomless mimosas. They tested a few of the champagne mixes: Mango, Passion Fruit,

Chef Miriam is delightful. The graduate of Live Oak High School told us she studied cooking in Mexico and said “I just love what I do.” Owning a restaurant was not part of her grand plan, but when the former Japanese restaurant became available she knew it was just perfect. Family helped her with the remodeling. Chef Miriam attributes some of her flavorful dishes to the availability of amazing local fruits and vegetables. She would like to continue to expand her menu by bringing back some of the older dishes of Mexico. The menu does change as various items come in season. Chef Miriam recently hired a young chef from Mexico so more interesting dishes are in the works.

LA NINA PERDIDA 35 E. Main Street Morgan Hill 408.465.4667 OPEN: Daily For Lunch & Dinner

Guava and Prickly Pear. Our visually delightful and aromatic entrees arrived. Addie chose the Caritas (Michoacán style simmered pork. Tender and flavorful, made in a 50-year-old

cooper case using traditional ingredients and spices. Served with house spicy cole slaw, grilled avocado, tomatillo sauce and limes.) The dish was flavorful beyond expectations. It did not take much of the spicy hot tomatillo sauce and spicy slaw to perfectly complement the carnitas. J. Chris had the house special Chiles en Nogada. The dish mimics the colors of the Mexican flag with its white nut sauce, green pablano chilies and the bright red pomegranate seeds. It was stunning and delicious…and unique! The chilis were

filled with a peccadillo mixture of fresh fruits, pine nuts, spices and meat in a heavy almost sweet cream sauce… delicious! The Chiles en Nogada were especially appropriate as we were dining on September 19, Mexican Independence Day. I ventured into a very fancy surf and turf variation, Cielo, Mar Y Tierra (Semi-boneless quail, a Venison Filet and Spanish Octopus served with Peruvian purple mashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day.) Mine came with a marvelous deep burgundy hibiscus puree reduction. The plate was a feast for the eyes, nose and pallet. Everything came together wonderfully. Ron asked for the Enchiladas

Michoacanas (Made to order. Pan fried corn tortillas served in a signature sweet



dried chili sauce filled with chicken breast and Oaxaca cheese filled and topped with crème, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, tomato sauce and queso fresco. Served with rice and vegetables.) Ron said “It was light on the cheese with lots of chicken and the

chili was mild.” In typical fashion, Ron declared it “Really good!” As we were wrapping up the evening, Chef Miriam Vega joined us, along with two flan deserts. The flan was more substantive and grainy than normal flan but delicious, with just the right sweet balance. La Niña Perdida is a remarkable find. But don’t go for what you think of as a typical Mexican “taco and burrito” dinner… go and enjoy some extraordinary Mexican cuisine.


President’s Message

From Bedroom Community to Balanced Community By John Horner, President /CEO Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce



the workforce in a way that enables them to fill the available well-paid jobs. Over the past several decades our educational organizations have been pushed hard to pursue the ideal of all students having the opportunity to pursue four years of college, get a degree and then become employable in well-paid jobs. Along the way, we dropped some traditional “vocational” course and programs because they were hard to provide, were perceived as out-of-date and/or were not measured by traditional standardized tests. Meanwhile, the need for people with particular skills, yet short of a full bachelor’s degree, has continued to grow.

The annual Chamber run All Morgan Hill Science Fair is an example of business people and students working together to learn essential skills.

Fortunately more and more policy makers realize that our people and our businesses need these kinds of skills and the educational programs are returning to meet the need. The Chamber’s role in this is two fold: First, to encourage the initiation and growth of what are now called CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs. Second, and even more importantly, to bring local businesses to the table in the ongoing evolution of these programs, the providing of internships for students, and the eventual employment of the graduates. The recent grand opening of Gavilan College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program site




he end of a year is always a good time to take stock of where we have been and to lay plans for where we are going. Much has been going well for the community of Greater Morgan Hill and for our organization, and yet much still needs to be done. Morgan Hill has made outstanding progress in redeveloping the historic downtown, building a much needed parking structure to support the downtown’s growth and starting to build some of the medium density housing which is necessary in these times of exploding land costs and ever worsening commute traffic. In other ways, however, we have not kept pace with our evolving needs, particularly with regard to professional job growth, modernized mid-skill level job training and a consistent and persistent approach to thoughtfully growing our visitor-based economic sector. Collaborating to address these issues is thus our top priorty. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2002 Morgan Hill had a roughly balanced inflow and outflow of workers on a daily basis with 12,853 people coming into the city to work and slightly fewer (12,681) leaving for work. By 2014, the inflow had increased marginally to 13,122 people while the outflow had increased by nearly 50% to 18,058. Meanwhile those living and working in the city had actually dropped from 3,377 to 3,138. In 2002 Morgan Hill was a balanced community. Now we find ourselves leaning toward more of a bedroom community. For the long term, bedroom communities are not economically or socially healthy or vibrant. Fortunately Morgan Hill is both healthy and vibrant at the moment, but we must reverse these demographic trends in order to be so in the future. Consequently we believe that a focused, multiorganizational effort to make professional job growth the top economic priority for our local government and business associations is absolutely essential. Our second major priority is ensuring that programs and connections are in place to provide educational opportunities required for people entering, re-entering or re-training for

BUSINESS NEWS at the San Martin airport is one example of exactly the kind of programs our students and businesses need. Going forward, the Chamber will be convening meetings between major employers with mid-level skills jobs to be filled and the educational organizations in a position to meet the corresponding training needs. Our third major priority is to support the creation of a visitor’s promotional and organizational entity that is funded for and focused on systematically increasing the business opportunities for our hotels, recreational facilities, meeting facilities, restaurants and regional parks. There are many different variations of organizations like this operating effectively in communities similar to Morgan Hill, and Morgan Hill is past due to have its own. Many conversations have been had over the years regarding this need, and it’s time to turn those conversations into reality. Stay tuned!

John Navarro’s “Tommy John’s” is coming to Morgan Hill. He plans to build a wine bar in the downtown and to expand his active fleet of winery tour buses.  Let’s help him get up and running and give his business every opportunity to thrive?

Arcitect Lesley Mile’s breaks ground ground for Barley Place, a unique Downtown Morgan Hill 3 ½ story 16- unit condominium development on Depot Avenue. Barley Place is designed as a California Green Building project at the Platinum Level. It’s design will be extremely energy efficient and using sustainable materials. It was designed and developed by Weston Miles Architects, an award winning Architectural firm, focused on sustainable projects.

Andrew Firestone at the Grand Opening of the new four story La Quinta Hotel. The facilities are here and we will need to help fill them.






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Never Stop Moving


hether you’re zipping around city streets or navigating winding roads, the new 2017 Cruze Sedan and first-ever Cruze Hatchback are made to work hard for you. With a unique combination of entertainment technology, remarkable efficiency and available advanced safety features, this sporty compact car helps you get where you’re going without missing a beat.

Center of Attraction


Cruze is all-new and ready to make a statement everywhere you go. The new design features aerodynamic sculpting for a noticeably sportier appearance, and the available projector-beam headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps leave a lasting impression.

Get Comfortable

Call it your home away from home. This compact car offers a host of premium comforts – like available leather-appointed heated front and rear seats, and an available heated steering wheel. You can also expect a quiet ride with the acoustical laminated windshield that’s specially designed to help keep your drive as peaceful as possible.

Load It Up

Cruze wasn’t just designed to look good. It’s functional too. The versatile 60/40 split-folding rear seats give you plenty of space for all your stuff.

Powerful Efficiency

1.4L Turbo comes standard with the right balance of efficiency and power so you can go the extra mile — and hug every corner along the way. The strong, light body enables a nimble and controllable feel, while optimizing the performance and efficiency of the powertrain.


Introducing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility

For the first time ever, Cruze offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This intuitive technology lets you interact with your maps, your texts, your music and more using voice commands or the MyLink touch-screen display in your car. It’s smart, convenient and helps you keep your eyes where they belong — on the road.

At Your Command

Entertaining technology is all around you. This compact car has plenty of ways to stay entertained — including standard Chevrolet MyLink with a 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen, available advanced phone integration and available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi so you’re always connected.








A Truckload Of Ingenuity


onda didn’t set out to build a typical pickup truck. The world is filled with those already. Instead, they created a capable pickup with unique features that could only come from Honda. Like a dual-action tailgate, lockable In-Bed Trunk and the only available Truck-Bed Audio System. A pickup with a roomy cabin that seats five comfortably and has the most passenger volume in its class. The stylish yet smart all-new Ridgeline. It’s the Honda of trucks. PERFORMANCE

Hit The Ground Running

With its impressive performance, the temptation to hit the road has never been more powerful. So start planning your next adventure, because the Ridgeline is raring to go. RIDE AND HANDLING


Loaded With Smart Thinking N-BED TRUNK — The Ridgeline is the only pickup with a lockable trunk. This revolutionary feature provides 7.3 cubic feet of secure, versatile storage space with no compromise to bed utility. It has a drain for quick water removal and easy cleaning. DUAL-ACTION TAILGATE Want easy access to the In-Bed Trunk? Swing the tailgate to the side and you can reach right in. Have something large to load? Just lower the tailgate. And the over-four-foot-wide bed lets you easily haul large, flat items such as sheets of plywood.

Take It Away

TRUCK-BED AUDIO SYSTEM Turn the entire bed into a premium audio system. Six exciters use the walls of the truck bed to pump out 540 watts of sound. Since it can be operated via Bluetooth, you can control music with your smartphone from a distance.


EXTRA-VERSATILE SEATING The 60/40 split lift-up rear seat with underseat storage provides the ultimate in versatility. Fold the rear seat up for an ample amount of space that accommodates items four feet tall. And thanks to the flat floor, you can stow bulky cargo, like camping gear, under the seat and still have plenty of room for rear-seat passengers.

Wherever you venture, the Ridgeline deftly delivers a smooth ride and handling that’s vastly superior to other pickups. And since it has a spacious cargo bed, you can take your toys with you.

Roll With It

Driving up a snowy mountain pass. Ascending a sandy hill. Navigating a rain-soaked dirt road. Neither snow nor sand nor mud shall intimidate the Ridgeline driver, because this super-capable truck has available technologythat lets you tackle virtually any terrain with confidence. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



The 2017 Hyundai Sonata/Sonata Hybrid

Luxury in a Midsize Sedan


ou’ve got hundreds of new car choices for your family and the Hyundai Sonata is one you should consider. According to Kelley Blue Book’s, it is one of the 16 Best Family Cars of 2016. It has made the list for an impressive second year in a row.


It Starts Under The Hood

Sonata features anew generation of powerful, advanced 4-cylinder engines. The performance of these compact, lightweight powerplants is so remarkable, it’s lead Hyundai to defy the conventional wisdom that says you’ve go to offer V6 power in a midsize sedan. RIDE AND HANDLING

Rethinking Sporty

By adding aluminum components, the new Sonata suspension is lighter making the handling more agile, no matter which of its allow wheel sizes you choose. In fact, it has the tightest turning diameter in its class. The new Sonata Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models feature twin-scroll turbocharging that puts up to 245 HP underfoot. They’re also equipped with larger front brakes an sport-tuned suspension and steering. Also have a rear diffuser and quad exhaust tips that hint at their elevated performance. SAFETY INNOVATION

Just In Case

Sonata has a solid track record for earning the highest overall safety ratings — the NHTSA 5-Star crash rating and the IIHS Top Safety Pick + award. Sonata helps ensure your safety — before, during and after a collision. Its rigid body, constructed using more than 50 percent advanced high -strength steel coupled with the cabin being fitted with seven standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag contribute to why the Sonata preforms so well in industry crash tests. INTERIOR DESIGN

Luxury Matters

With plenty of room, the Sonata has all the head room and legroom needed to put much attention on the little things that create an extraordinary experience for drivers and their passengers who will get an instant sense of the driver-oriented ergonomics. The center console even pitches slightly toward the driver. INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY

Handling the Technology Learning Curve

Hyundai hasn’t focused on technology for the sake of technology as is the norm in many cars today. They have focused on ensuring that whenever they add a new capability, whether its function is to inform, entertain or protect — you quickly find that it makes for a more rewarding experience. Sonata features a 7” display audio system with convenient access to many of your favorite smartphone apps. Sync your smartphone and access music, maps, messages and more using the center console touchscreen or a button on the steering wheel. There’s also an available 8” navigation system that features a split screen that displays maps with junction views and audio options all at once.





A Communication System On Four Wheels

The Sonata Hybrid offers a 2.0L GDI hybrid engine that delivers 193 net horsepower with an EPA- estimated 45 MPG on the highway. An industry leading 0.24 drag coefficient cuts wind resistance to help reduce fuel consumption and it’s the only hybrid in its class with a smart trunk that senses when your standing behind the trunk with the Proximity Key in your pocket or purse, it pops open automatically.


Using Blue Link for Apple Watch TM or Android Wear, you can remotely start your Sonata and warm or cool its interior before you get in. You can even use Destination Search Powered by Google to quickly find points of interest, then send directions from your smartphone to your Sonata’s navigation system.


Consume Less. Relax More.




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11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016  

The November December 2016 issue of gmhToday featuring: Local Holiday Shopping & Events, Benefits of shopping local, The Bozzo Family, The A...

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