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Steve Kinsella Gavilan’s Man For All Seasons



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Splash into cool waters at the Morgan Hill Dennis Kennedy Aquatics Center in Morgan Hill! Enjoy the thrill of two waterslides, splashtastic water features and tackle the challenge of our inflatable obstacle course! New this summer – Poolside cabanas with food/beverage service!

Visit or call 408.782.2134.

1211 First Street, Gilroy • 408.842.1340

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

Adam Sanchez, Owner

7397 Monterey Road • Gilroy, CA 95020 • 408.337.5100 •







38 FEATURES 12 Steve Kinsella Retires


17 A County Update





38 Saying Goodbye To Bobby


42 Enjoying & Giving Back


48 Public Art In Morgan Hill




34 Theater Scene YOUTH THEATER



72 Historically Speaking Two


28 Community Digest


70 Manners Matter




67 Book Club Beat


90 An Underwater Journey

62 Artfully Yours


97 Extreme Sports

25 And So It Begins

46 Historically Speaking One

56 A Fitness Success Story


22 Rebekah Children’s Services


60 The Car Guy

18 City Beat



82 The Relationship Game

86 It’s Your Swing




96 The Vine



Steve Kinsella is the current president and superintendent of Gavilan College. He has been with the college since 1997 and has been instrumental in making it fiscally healthy and increasingly relevant to the changing educational needs of its 9,000 students attending classes in three communities: Gilroy, Morgan Hill and Hollister. He will be retiring at the end of this school year.




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Published By IPC PUBLISHING A Division of InfoPOWER Communications PUBLISHER/EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR J. Chris Mickartz Annie Palmer, Rally Around Downtown and Lynne Mosley of Itty Bitty TODAY. Beauty Boutique in Gilroy sharing a copy of


PUBLISHER/PHOTOGRAPHER Larry J. Mickartz ASSISTANT EDITOR/SENIOR WRITER 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

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


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





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

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

Morgan Hill

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

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Available everywhere you do business. Naturals Boutique Spa & Salon • San Martin Cafe • Rocca’s Market DISTRIBUTION MANAGERElectronic copies available online at: Edgar Zaldana Electronic copies available online at: ADVERTISING SALES COMMUNITY EVENTS & INFORMATION Submit for free inclusion, space permitting. © Copyright 2006-16. All rights reserved. No part, either editorial or display advertising, may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher and author.

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“Connect with us socially.”

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






his issue is full of challenging success stories — from amazing careers, to new young entrepreneurs, from competitive sports challenges to underwater adventure seekers. But, never fear, we also have something for our readers who prefer to enjoy a more relaxing, calm lifestyle. Actually, no, we don’t. Maybe next issue. Our feature article showcases the life and times of Steve Kinsella, Gavilan’s Renaissance man (President & Superintendent) for the past 20 years. Under his leadership, Gavilan College has thrived, both fiscally and educationally, meeting the needs of over 9,000 students yearly. (Page 12) It’s with a heavy heart that we bid our good friend, Bob Dyer, a fond goodbye. He even managed to throw a rip roaring party to celebrate his life posthumously. Friends from as far as Georgia flew in to send him off in style. Those who knew Bobby well enjoyed his “gusto” (for lack of a better word) — he was always one step ahead of everyone else. He lived large and those around him went along for the ride. Thanks Bob for letting me be a passenger from time to time. (Page 38) I want to welcome Don DeLorenzo, author of a new column about the abundance of golfing opportunities in South Santa Clara Valley. (Page 86) I trust golf enthusiasts will enjoy hearing about the amazing courses we have in the area. Perhaps one day I will find the time to learn; it seems like an amazing sport. If the students featured in our article on Young Entrepreneurs (Page 25) are any indication of what we have to look forward to, we’re in pretty good shape business wise. It is so enlightening to see such creativity and innovation. And then, we have young business people like Kassi Swalboski who first opened a coffee shop with her mother, Konni Thomas, and now runs her own fitness center, Crossfit (Page 56). LAFCO — now this one powerful force here in South Santa Clara County. We wanted to know more about them so we did a little research and felt you might like to know just how much power they wield when it comes to growth and development in our communities. (Page 80) Last but certainly not least, I want to thank Laura Perry for sharing yet another of her amazing adventures with our readers. This time she takes us on an underwater adventure in Antarctica. The photos are breathtaking. We want to thank the photographers: Jim van Gogh and Amos Nachoum. Enjoy!

On a personal note: It’s been a pretty tough couple of months for Larry and I. We have had to deal with the loss of Larry’s father, Joe Mickartz and the need to place my father, John Albaugh, in a care home. As I mentioned in our January/February 2016 issue, Joe celebrated his 100th birthday on February 1, 2016. He was mentally sharp and still lived by himself in the home he had shared with his family for 63 years in Downey, California. He passed away on April 4. We will miss his calm and loving demeanor and remember his tenacity and love of life. My dad is still as cute and easy-going as ever. He has lived with us for the past six years but after a nasty fall a month ago and a brief stay in a rehabilitation facility it became evident that he needed more care than we could provide here at home. We visit him often and are pleased that he is getting the care he needs as he navigates his final years. He is 96. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

Larry and I with Tony Guy and Ann Cahill (Larry’s sister); Dad Joe; granddaughter Alyse Cahill and her fianceé Alec Cohen; and grandsons Peter and Gabe Mickartz (Larry’s sons) at Joe’s 100th Birthday party in Downey, California.





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


Wings of History Air Museum 16th Annual Open House & Fly In A day of fun and excitement celebrating the spirit of flight. Admission to museum and displays is free. Hot air balloons, airplanes of all varieties, antique cars, antique farm equipment, steam engines, a yard sale and kids’ activities that include rib building, model-making, and a maze. Food available all day from 8 am -3:30 pm. Located at 12777 Murphy Avenue, San Martin. Fun starts at 7 am. Contact: 408.683.2290


Operation Freedom Paws 6th Annual Golf Tournament Support our veterans at the OFP annual tournament and awards ceremony at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Gilroy. Registration at 12 pm. Details available 408.642.7137 or OFP Golf.


Gilroy Art & Wine Stroll Stroll through Downtown Gilroy while enjoying wine tasting, art and special dining. Tickets available at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce or at or (2016 Gilroy Art and Wine Stroll). For information, call 408.842.0005.

Events Morgan Hill Mushroom MardiGras

Morgan Hill will again turn Memorial Day (May 28-29) weekend into a celebration of the mushroom in the downtown area. Two days of family fun with live entertainment, arts and crafts, gourmet food, mushroom education, strolling musicians and a Munchkinland to captivate the kids with rides, games and continuous entertainment. Saturday 10 am - 7 pm and Sunday 10 am - 6 pm. Admission and parking is free. Information available at or call 408.778.1786.



Historic Walking Tour

Dazzle A Celebration of Giving, Evening in Tuscany hosted by the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill at Clos La Chance Winery in San Martin at 5 pm. For information and reservations, visit


Memorial Day Car Show and Parade Remembrance ceremony at Gavilan Hills Cemetery at 9 am Parade start time is 11 am. Car show starts at 8 am at Christmas Hill Park. Family Fun Day starts immediately after parade at Christmas Hill Park. Jump houses, Rock wall, live music, face painters, balloon artists, all for the kids. Free to the public. Food vendors available for food purchases. For parade route and more info visit




Chldren are invited to tour Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs from 9am to 4:30 pm. Enjoy docent and staff tours, displays, activities for the family, and entertainment. Bring a picnic and friends; parking on site. Reservations: call 408.314.7185 or email at

Opening night for Friday Night Music Series in the downtown amphitheater, each Friday night to August 26th. Music from 6 pm to 9 pm. Entourage, playing Todays Favorites and Yesterdays Classics, kicks-off the season. For the complete band line-up, go to

Children Through History


Morgan Hill Concert Series

Join members of the Gilroy Historical Society as they guide you through Gavilan HIlls Memorial Park Cemetery at 1000 First Street, Gilroy. Regular tours through Gilroy’s historic districts are given on the first Saturday of each month from 10 am to noon. Reservations are recommended but not required. Information at 408.846.0446.


Gilroy Concert Series Opening night for Friday Night Music Series in the downtown between Monterey and Eigleberry on Fifth Street. Featuring vendors, food, fun and music from 6 pm to 9 pm. For the complete band line-up and schedule, go to


Concours at Kirigin Valley An exclusive automobile event held at the historic Kirigin Cellars from 11 am to 4 pm at 11550 Watsonville Road, Gilroy. Experience a day of delicious wine, food, and beautiful cars on display across ten acres of cricket lawns as part of the winery’s Centennial Celebrations. Registration and spectator info and tickets are available at




c Ameri a MY HOM E S W EET HO M E


A spectacular festival of light celebrating 2,000 years of Chinese culture and tradition with over 30 colossal light sculptures and displays. Includes gigantic reproductions of historic landmarks like the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, and Terra Cotta Warriors, as well as playful pandas, Chinese “Qilin”, and a huge dragon constructed entirely of porcelain plates and bowls all carefully tied together by hand. This cultural festival also includes a bustling artisan marketplace and live performers from China. As visitors stroll through the 26 acres of Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park at night, they will witness the splendor and mystic beauty of over 30 dazzling light displays, all hand-crafted by master artisans from Zigong, China. Each display is composed of hundreds or even thousands of individual pieces, from traditional hand-crafted silk lanterns to tiny glass bottles filled with colored water. These intricate light sculptures are fascinating by day and absolutely breathtaking at night. Information at

Morgan Hill Freedom Fest Annual events include the Patriotic Sing, Family Street Dance, Freedom Run, Parade, Freedom Car Cruise and Show followed by a spectacular fireworks and entertainment show entitled Fireworks on the Green. Celebrated in the historic downtown core, the Community and Cultural Center as well as the Outdoor Sports Center, six events deliver a spectacular, fun-filled family set of events every July 4th holiday. Visit for details.


US Women’s Open The 2016 U.S. Women’s Open is the premier women’s golf championship in the world, with 150+ of the best golfers all striving to hoist the game’s ultimate trophy. Hosted by Corde Valle in San Martin, the 71st U.S. Women’s Open is only being held in California for the third time in its illustrious history and the first time ever in the Bay Area. Information at the--2016-us-womens-open/


Gilroy Garlic Festival Known as the world’s greatest summer food festival, this Gilroy event has drawn visitors from around the world to enjoy great garlicky food, live cooking competitions and lots of fun for the whole family. Gourmet Alley, the heart of the festival, features a gigantic outdoor kitchen where wold famous “pyro chefs” put on a spectacular flame-up. Live entertainment can be found on three stages and visitors enjoy strolling through the arts & crafts area, wine tastng and cooking contests and demonstrations. Info at


Gilroy Gardens 2016 Lumination


The City of Morgan Hill

Summer Camp Traditional Summer

Day Camp

Specialty Summer


The City of Morgan Hill offers a variety of camps for the summer season. The traditional day camp provides a variety of activities throughout the week, located at the Community and Cultural Center. Specialty camps have a range of topics, covering science, education, sports and dance. Camps in Morgan Hill make summer fun for everyone!

Find more information in the Recreation Activity Guide! To register, visit or call 408.782.0008!




Steve Kinsella

Making Gavilan Great Written By Robin Shepherd


ike many parents, education fell off my radar after writing that last college tuition check and watching my youngest toss his cap in the air on graduation day. My attitude changed in the spring of 2014 when Dr. Steven Kinsella, President and Superintendent of Gavilan College, addressed my Leadership Morgan Hill class for our “Education Day” program. Steve strode into the meeting room with a warm smile, stopping to greet and shake hands with me and my classmates as he made his way to the speaker’s table. In his presentation, Steve let the facts speak for themselves. South County has a growing need to provide relevant and affordable post-secondary education and training opportunities, and Gavilan Joint Community College district is meeting this need. After a long and distinguished career in education, it’s safe to say Steve “has arrived.” His is a remarkable journey, from working student, to teacher, to administrator and leader in the California community college system. On the eve of his retirement, Steve took time out to share his story with TODAY.


The Kid from Connecticut As a high school senior, Steve had no real prospects for college. He’d grown up in a small Connecticut town where the Marine Corps had a strong presence, and his older brother had already joined the military. It seemed like a logical path to follow, and he wanted to see the world. In 1975, Steve’s last year of high school, he enlisted. Ten


days after graduation he was in uniform. Based on some proficiency tests during bootcamp, Steve was assigned to a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in bookkeeping. It wasn’t quite how he had envisioned life in the military, but the Marine Corps emphasized education, and Steve was hungry to learn. “Suddenly there I was, taking accounting classes for college credit, and I got hooked,” Steve said. During the latter half of the 1970s, Steve was stationed in Hawaii. His off-duty hours were spent working as a part-time security guard and earning his B.A. degree in Accounting from Hawaii Pacific University. In Hawaii he also met and married his wife Linda, a native of Hong Kong who grew up in the islands. “We were young when we met but I could see right away that Steve was very dedicated to the Marines and to bettering himself,” Linda said. “He’s a very serious man but has a fun-loving side too.”

Soldier, Student and Family Man During the 1980s, Steve was stationed at Marine bases in North Carolina, Southern California and Virginia. Time was split between his duties as an auditor for the Marine Corps, earning an MBA degree, getting his CPA license, and raising a family. Steve transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1989. He had been assigned to a new MOS as a combat engineer. Then came the Gulf War. In 1990, his unit was called to active duty and deployed to the Middle East for a six-month tour. “Our unit provided fuel and

maintenance support to advance troops fighting in remote areas,” Steve said. “We were in harm’s way, and all our military training kicked in. As a unit commander I relied on my training to help me identify which of my troops had the expertise to take on each role effectively. We quickly learned to deal with fear and still make good decisions.” After a military career of 13 years and many moves, Steve was ready for civilian life. His wife and three children were too. Linda recalled that Steve worked hard to balance the demands of career and family,

but she was ready to have him home. “Steve is a wonderful husband and a great father,” Linda said. “When our kids were growing up, he was strict but very loving. He taught them what it takes to be successful in life.”

Educational Leader and Mentor After the Gulf War and a stint as an auditor at NBC, Steve landed a position as Manager of Internal Auditing with the Los Angeles Community College District. At the time, LACCD was the world’s largest such district with nine colleges serving 100,000 students.

In 1996, Steve was appointed Dean of Business Services at Gavilan College – a three-year position that allowed him to grow professionally and implement some of his ideas. He and Linda bought a home in Morgan Hill and settled into life in a small town. In 1999, he enrolled at Golden Gate University to pursue his doctoral degree in Business Administration while working part-time as an Accounting Instructor in the university’s business program. Steve said that because the government’s educational policies and regulations are constantly changing, accounting and auditing

practices have to keep pace. Over the years he also built on his practical expertise as a licensed CPA by becoming a Certified Internal Auditor, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and Certified Quality Analyst. During the early 2000s, Steve took a position as Vice President of Business Services at Monterey Peninsula College. From there, he became Vice Chancellor for Business Services for the West ValleyMission Community College District, where he managed a broad range of services including: finance, IT, facilities operations, purchasing, campus police, construction planning and more. According to Albert Moore, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at West Valley-Mission, “Steve brought steady leadership and a fresh sense of unity to the various administrative service areas. I assisted him in his development of a strategic master plan for West Valley-Mission that encompassed all of the services under his umbrella as well as HR and the Chancellor’s office. We continue to build on that plan today.” Moore added that, “Gavilan has benefitted not only from his business and leadership skills and longevity with the district, but also his connection to the local

community. Steve has really helped to put Gavilan on the map.”

Fruitful Years Back at Gavilan Things came full-circle in 2003 when the trustees of Gavilan College invited Steve back as President. Soon after stepping into his role, Steve advocated for the passage of Measure E, a $108 million general obligation facilities bond to provide funds for the entire Gavilan system. It passed in 2004. Today, Gavilan operates campuses in Gilroy and Hollister as well as classrooms in Morgan Hill. The Coyote Valley Education Center is slated to open this fall and plans are in place to open a San Benito campus in the future. In 2013, Gavilan received a sixyear accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in the western U.S. Accreditation is measured against defined standards to ensure degree programs are of value to students and their degrees will be recognized as legitimate by other schools, employers, and trade or professionrelated licensing agencies. Steve has served as a Commissioner of the ACCJC for more than six years and is currently its Chair. That same year, Steve hired Fred Harris as Gavilan’s Vice President of

Administrative Services. They got to know each other during Fred’s 17 years working as Assistant Vice Chancellor of College Finance and Facilities Planning for the California Community College District. According to Fred, “When I was in Sacramento, Steve was on my speed dial. I called him when I needed a clear perspective on fiscal conditions at the local district level. His analyses were so complete they provided a basis for shaping state policy. Steve’s combined background, knowledge and perspective is rare in our profession these days.”

“Steve was a great mentor in the early days of my career. He not only taught me about the technical aspects of our work, but also how to lead and implement change in a diverse community college district.” Victoria Lewis, VP of Administrative Services, Cabrillo College




Preparing Students for the Future As Steve wraps up the last few months of his service as Gavilan’s president and superintendent, the college is fiscally healthy and increasingly relevant to the changing educational needs of its students, which number around 9,000. Steve gave much of the credit to the board of trustees. “During my years with Gavilan, the college has benefitted from a stable, unified board of trustees that is connected to the local community and passionate about their service,” Steve said. “They understand that our college district must have qualified faculty, proper facilities and an appropriate mix of accredited programs, or we risk losing students to colleges in the north.” Gavilan programs are meeting demand for skilled workers in nursing, water resource management, aviation and other professions. The new Coyote Valley campus will provide essential training facilities for police, fire, EMT and other public safety workers. It will also offer evening classes for students in a variety of degree programs, with the potential to expand and serve up to 10,000 students in the coming years. Gavilan is also sensitive to the needs of under-served and under-prepared students in South County. The college district serves an immigrant population with the need to overcome language and literacy challenges. The school’s free non-credit program is open to non-documented students to equip them for higher learning and degree programs.


“Gavilan operates in three communities, each with an individual identity and needs. It takes someone with a big picture view. Steve has that. He led the college through a tough recession, without the need for layoffs, and dealt with the ebb and flow of government funding.” Jeff Perkins, SVP and Regional Manager Heritage Bank



“The best decision I’ve made in all my years as a Gavilan College trustee was to hire Steve Kinsella. Gavilan has been fortunate to have him as its president for 13 years. I wish him and Linda the best in their retirement.”

During Steve’s tenure the college also established a Veterans Resource Center, run by student-veterans, to help incoming veterans transition smoothly from military to campus and civilian life. In March of this year, the Association for California Community College Administrators honored Steve with a Distinguished Administrator Award for his 25 years as an exemplary administrator and educator.

Serving the Community Among the local business and community leaders who’ve come to know Steve well is Jeff Perkins, SVP and Regional Manager of Heritage Bank. Jeff and Steve have served together on the boards of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, and currently on the board of the Gilroy Economic Development Committee. Steve also held past board positions with Leadership Morgan Hill and Gilroy Gardens. According to Jeff, “Steve’s a very


pragmatic, even-tempered guy. If I walk into a meeting and there’s a seat open next to him, that’s where I’m going to sit. He likes to come together and get things done.” In 2012, Steve was honored by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce as Educator of the Year at its Celebrate Morgan Hill event. In his acceptance speech he said, “This award is for the faculty, the administrators and staff, and the board of trustees of Gavilan College. The trustees are completely in sync with the community. On campus, everyone knows the board is student-focused, setting policies for student success that have become a model for others to follow.”

Ahh Retirement Linda Kinsella retired in 2015 after running her own business, an online video guest book service for weddings and other special events. The Kinsellas just celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary, and Linda is eager for Steve to join her in retirement.



“Steve has worked very hard through his entire career,” Linda said. “It’s time for us to enjoy Morgan Hill, spend more time with family, and do some traveling!” Steve and Linda have fond memories of raising their three children in Morgan Hill. Today, their eldest daughter, Jessica is a vice president with JP Morgan and lives with her husband in Morgan Hill. Their son Mark works at Chase Bank and lives in San Jose. And their younger daughter Felisha lives in southern California with her husband and son. “Linda and I have been on a tremendous journey together,” Steve said. “Education has been a huge part of our family over the years. It has allowed me to progress and succeed in what I chose as my career path. I encourage parents and others in the community to be aware of what is happening in our schools and to let local and state leaders know what’s needed to give our young adults the quality education and training they need and deserve.”


Laura Perry, Esq. Gavilan Community College Graduate and Member of the Board of Trustees

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.

PRESERVING AGRICULTURAL LANDS helps safeguard our agricultural heritage for future generations. Santa Clara County is working with Morgan Hill and Gilroy on a Sustainable Agricultural Policy Framework for Southern Santa Clara County. The proposed Framework is intended to produce a new regional program to preserve agricultural lands and sustain a strong farming economy. If we can successfully complete the Framework it will increase the County’s competitiveness for agricultural conservation easement grants – thus helping to preserve our farmlands and agricultural heritage.


SPRING IS HERE AND SO IS MOSQUITO SEASON. Keep your family safe from West Nile virus by reducing areas where mosquitoes might breed. Dump or drain any standing water weekly, use mosquito repellent, and wear protective clothing especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Help vector control keep our county healthy; report dead birds, neglected pools, and other mosquito breeding sources. You can call (408) 918-4770, or go online or download the County SCC Vector App.

The County recently joined the SILICON VALLEY CLEAN ENERGY AUTHORITY (SVCEA) along with 12 other cities and towns including Morgan Hill and Gilroy. The Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority will offer competitive electricity rates from greener electricity sources and reinvest the profits in renewable energy projects. Residents and businesses may be offered the program as early as 2017. Under Community Choice Energy (CCE), PG&E would continue to provide essential services as a partner, delivering the electricity over existing infrastructure, maintaining the power lines, sending bills, and providing customer service. The difference is that customers would receive cleaner energy and profits would be re-invested locally. When a community decides to create or join a CCE, all customers within that jurisdiction are automatically enrolled. However, customers can choose to opt-out of the CCE and remain with PG&E. For more information, visit GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



City Beat

Gilroy’s New City Administrator Wipe Out Watch Team Named 2016 Volunteers of the Year


ongratulations to the all the Wipe Out Watch (WOW) members, 2016 City of Gilroy Volunteers of the Year! The WOW has over 60 members who are passionate about removing graffiti and illegal signs from public property. They also serve as extra eyes for the Gilroy Police Department, photograph and report new tags (graffiti signatures) and property damage due to graffiti. One year several members spent all day Easter Sunday repainting the Luchessa sound wall panels rather than surrendering their neighborhood to taggers! The Wipe Out Watch began as a citizen effort, then in 1995 the city became more involved as community services Officer Rachel Munoz was given the task of spearheading their effort. Members meet every two months at the Gilroy Police station to discuss graffiti hot spots, new taggers, and tips for removing ink and paint. Anyone wishing to join the group can contact Officer Rachel Munoz at 408-846-0310 or email her at rachel.munoz@


he City of Gilroy welcomed a new City Administrator in March. Gabriel Gonzalez comes to Gilroy with excellent experience and skills as a strong leader; most notably his city manager experience with the cities of Rohnert Park and Mendota. He has over 20 years of experience working in local government. Gabriel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from National University and a Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Fresno. Gabriel is excited about this opportunity to serve the Gilroy community and is looking forward to the professional challenges this position will bring. We’d also like to thank Interim City Administrator Ed Tewes for his management of the city for the last six months. His sophisticated leadership style and attention to detail has kept our city moving forward.


Joe Lomeli (left) greats Joel Goldsmith (center) and Teri Neidigh (right) at the Sunrise Fire Station.


n February 26, 2016 Engines 49 and 48 were dispatched to a possible cardiac arrest at Snap Fitness. The patient, Joe Lomeli, was reported to be a 70 year old male who collapsed while lifting weights and was not breathing. Before the Engines arrived; citizens Teri Neidigh and Joel Goldsmith saved Joe’s life by starting CPR and deploying an Automated External Defibrillator. The Gilroy fire crews who responded credit them with saving Joe’s life. The Gilroy Fire Department responds to between 35-40 cardiac arrest calls each year, where Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is needed prior to their arrival. In 2015 only one person received pre-arrival CPR from bystanders or family. Gilroy’s fire department has a goal of getting half the city’s population trained in CPR and is sponsoring classes with the Parks and Recreation Department. If you would like to learn more please visit their website at




Fire Department Assists in Successful Resuscitation

Budget Process

City Beat

With the current budget process the City of Morgan Hill is transitioning to a two-year budget cycle to allow us to be more strategic and more efficient for the long term. The 2016/18 recommended budget was presented to the City Council at the May 4th City Council meeting. A budget workshop will be held on May 20th, a Budget Hearing in June and adoption of budget on June 15th.


1 /1663 r/View te n e tC en Docum c l. il -h n rga

Community Engagement


regarding Morgan Hill’s quality of life needs and priorities Morgan Hill is in the midst of an extensive outreach and engagement process regarding the community’s quality of life needs and priorities. One element of that is the online community feedback survey that will be open through the end of May. “Morgan Hill is a special place with an amazing quality of life, unique sense of community, and strong property values. As a community, we must continue to address our quality of life needs to keep it that way. The City of Morgan Hill strives to engage our community and realizes that we can continue to improve. We thank the more than 500 residents who have already provided feedback on their quality of life priorities through online and telephone surveys. We value your input. The City is further engaging the community to obtain additional feedback about Morgan Hill’s quality of life needs and to make sure as many people as possible have an opportunity to share their views. Please let us know what quality of life priorities are important to you by completing a Community Feedback Survey TODAY. The survey is available online at “ GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



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What First-time Homebuyers Need to Know about Finance By Roger Cruzen C.A.R. Magazine


irst-time buyers are full of questions. How does bad credit affect my chances of getting a mortgage? Is there a difference between being prequalified and pre-approved? What kind of personal financial information will I need to provide when I apply for a mortgage? How does a lender decide whether or not to approve my loan? But as the shortage of housing inventory drives home prices beyond the reach of more and more Californians, first-time homebuyers are more interested in the answers to a different set of questions: Are there programs that provide financial assistance to people like me? How do I find out if I qualify? And why hasn’t my agent told me about these programs?

Real-time Access to First-time Buyer Programs

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

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

Everyone knows the median-priced home is out of reach for many Californians – particularly given the size of down payment required. What the vast majority of buyers (and, sadly, more than a few REALTORS® and lenders) may not know is that the Golden State also is at the top of the list when it comes to programs that provide financial assistance to potential homebuyers who otherwise might not ever be able to come up with a down payment or closing costs or cover other expenses that accompany a home purchase. A recent count reveals that Californians have access to some 420 unique homebuyer assistance programs for low and moderate income individuals and families administered by 240 federal, state and local agencies, according to C.A.R.’s Down Payment Resource Directory, a searchable data base that matches homebuyers with a laundry list of available programs based on a number of variables. (Psst! There are even programs available to previous homeowners, so long as they have not owned a home for the past three years!)



The Down Payment Resource Directory ( is easy to use and the ideal tool for REALTORS® and Millennial first-timers who prefer to do their own research before seeking assistance from a REALTOR® or lender. Users simply answer a series of basic questions (How many people live in your household? Do you currently own a home? What is your annual household income? Are you or a co-borrower a veteran or Native American? Do you or a co-borrower work in education, law enforcement, or as a fire fighter or health care worker? And so on.). As the REALTOR® or client enters this information, instantly compiles a comprehensive list of available programs and includes links to their websites for more information about qualification criteria, loan and income limits, and other requirements–all in real time. Among the best-known and most popular programs agents and clients find during their search of the Down Payment Resource Directory are those available through the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), founded in 1975 to help low and moderate income families with good credit buy homes with a mortgage they can afford. To date, more than $19.5 billion in assistance has been invested in qualified homebuyers. CalHFA’s MyHome Assistance Program, launched last October, offers up to 5 percent in assistance, low interest rates and deferred payments to firsttime, employed buyers with good credit. Homebuyers can combine a CalHFA first mortgage with CalHFA’s Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program, which provides a federal tax credit that can lower taxes and increase a buyer’s disposable income. Additionally, the CalPLUS FHA program offers a first mortgage loan insured by FHA and the CalPLUS Conventional program, which offers a first mortgage loan insured through private mortgage insurance. Both loans can be combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for down payment assistance and/ or closing costs. What’s more, CalHFA has special programs for teachers, school administrators and staff that are designed to retain educators in communities with highpriority schools.


Rebekah Children’s Services

Not just for kids Photographed and Written By Kimberly Ewertz




Michael Luevano, Communications & Development Director, Jennifer Grier, Chief Clinical Officer and Christopher Rebboah, Executive Director


ounded in 1897 as the Odd-Fellow Rebekah Children’s Home of Northern California, the organization opened its doors to orphaned children, providing an incredible service to the community. Rebekah’s continues their service to the community today with the expansion of comprehensive mental health, social, and educational services and programs for children and families. With three sites; Gilroy (the organization’s headquarters), Monterey, and Campbell, Rebekah’s currently serves over 3,000 families annually. “RCS is there for families and children to let them know they are not alone,” Christophe Rebboah, Chief Executive Officer, said. “We want them to walk right through our doors, and ask the questions, and we will guide them, and walk beside them.” For Michael Luevano, Communications and Development Director, his focus is on educating and informing the community about the new direction RCS is headed. “We have our new strategic plan, our mission statement, we’ve really revamped everything,” Luevano said, adding that “it’s family services that we provide, it’s not strictly children.”

For licensed Clinical Social Worker Jennifer Grier, it’s all about helping individuals find the resources that work for them. “While we may not have the exact specific service that they may need, we definitely want to be with them while we find that service, and do a warm handoff to whoever that is,” Grier said. RCS’s entire staff, totaling 230, works vigilantly to meet the needs of the community through the services and programs offered at Rebekah’s. “With our residential group home we offer a heavy therapeutic element. We want residential to be seen as therapeutic intervention; that allows it to be much more short term than in past history,” Rebboah said. The hospital diversion program catches the child as they step down from the hospital and serves as a prevention method to keep them from being hospitalized. “It serves both purposes,” Rebboah said. RCS is heavily involved in the Gilroy school district, offering school-based mental health programs at school sites, removing the barrier to accessing care, and providing education services to the entire community. With the Family Resource Center (FRC), people can access resources, such as



parenting classes, along with other tools and skill sets that they may incorporate into their everyday lives. Gilroy resident, Brian Harrigan, attended his first parenting class at the FRC in early 2014, after he and his wife divorced. “My kids, just like everybody’s kids, didn’t come with a manual. I was looking for ways of reaching them, and helping them be on the right track, so I started coming to the classes,” Harrigan said. Now, almost two years later, Harrigan not only continues with the classes, he’s a volunteer with the program. His commitment stems from his belief that what the classes offer, “is for everyone.” “I think Rebekah’s provides that kind of fellowship that makes you feel like, okay, I’m not in this all alone. I’m around people who have gone through what I have gone through.” Rebekah’s recently-revised mission statement communicates exactly that. No one is alone in what they are going through in life. RCS is committed to seeing their community flourish, “by building pathways to hope, happiness and wellbeing.” “We really want everyone that walks in our doors to have walked in the right door,” Grier said.


“Mirroring the new mission statement, the Wraparound program offers a needbased, skills driven, planning process. We’re moving away from the tradition that you have to have something wrong with you to have mental health needs addressed.” “Wraparound comes in and asks, what are your strengths, what do you do well? Let’s talk about what is working because that’s going to build a pathway to permanency, and stability, for the future. It’s predicated on using your natural resources.” “Wraparound really creates that village around the family that migrates with them throughout their journey,” Rebboah said. “That’s part of our work — that families learn how to be their own greatest resource,” Grier said. Although RCS is moving forward they haven’t forgotten their past. Adoption and foster care continue to be a significant element of the organization. There is an ever-present need for community members to step-up.

“We are constantly recruiting both foster and adoptive families,” Grier said. The need varies from families who are willing to take emergency placements, to those ready to commit to a long-term adoption and matching process. For every foster care family, RCS is there providing education on what to look for, and how to help each child, and be a part of the healing. “We’re there all along the way,” Grier said, adding that the most important factors in becoming a foster or adoptive parent are, “an open mind and an open heart.” The Culinary Academy is another valuable resource for RCS. Students aged 15-21 are eligible for the program and upon graduation from the academy, they are presented with a food handler certificate, a valuable component they can add to their resume. “Our goal is to get them placed in a job before they leave, and right now our number is around 98 percent job placement

rate,” Chef Carlos Pineda, manager of the Culinary Academy, said. The culinary program stays true to the mission behind RCS. “The partnership with mentoring and job opportunities and job placement when they graduate is really the key component. Staying true to what the program is, helping kids in our community get jobs, and take the right path,” Luevano said. “It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to keep the philanthropy of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Rebekah’s going, for them to see all the great work that’s happening through the various programing, and in the work that people are offering to kids and families,” Rebboah said. For information regarding foster or adoptive care, contact, Becky Gabuat at 408.871.4962. For additional information on services and programs offered at Rebekah’s, or to volunteer, go to their website, at

Second Annual Pop-A-Cork

Rebekah Children’s Services Staff, Volunteers and Apprentices On Thursday, March 31, 2016, Rebekah Children’s Services hosted the Second Annual Pop-a-Cork Celebration benefitting the Culinary Academy. The 170 guests in attendance enjoyed a special selection of culinary delights prepared and served by the students, sampled award-winning wines, and listened to live music in the Barrel Room at Fortino Winery in Gilroy.



The event raised over $25,000 which will allow even more students to attend their ten-week program, earn their Food Handlers Certification, and position themselves for future success. They are already planning the third annual event to take place on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at Leal Vineyards in Hollister.


Kaden Kim, Isaac Muniz, and Ashley Cowell

Young Entrepreneurs Written By Robin Shepherd


he entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our South County schools. As the 2015-16 school year draws to a close, a trio of sophomores from Live Oak High School took time out to speak with TODAY about their first brush with entrepreneurial success. For Isaac Muniz, Ashley Cowell and Kaden Kim, the journey began in November when they signed up to participate in a 13-week Junior Achievement program on entrepreneurship. The idea originated with Armando Garcia, a local business owner and Rotarian familiar with the entrepreneurship programs of Junior Achievement, a national nonprofit organization. Junior Achievement approached Live Oak Principal Lloyd Webb, who welcomed the idea. Garcia spoke with Morgan Hill Rotary members,


who covered the program’s registration fee. He also recruited Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate, Jeff Perkins, Dan McCranie, Peter Anderson and Mario Banuelos to join him as program advisors.

Feeding the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Armando’s personal story inspired him to get involved. “I’ve always encouraged kids to stay in school because I dropped out before getting my high school diploma.” Armando said it was his entrepreneurial spirit that helped him overcome challenges and go on to run what became one of America’s fastest-growing Hispanic businesses of the early 1990s. “My own experience showed me that while small business is a big part of the economy, young people rarely get first-hand experience with how business works and



what it takes to succeed. You’ve got to reach kids early, before they think they have it all figured out.” “In this year’s program, our students started with a blank slate, rolled up their sleeves, and did everything from organizing, financing and managing a company to planning, building and launching a product on time and within a budget. They also learned some valuable lessons that will serve them well in their careers.”

Sophomores Launch a Startup

Students brainstormed ideas and settled on two product concepts: a slip-on carry case for smartphones, and a coffee mug with a writeable surface. Based on estimates for potential profit margins, they went with the carry case. But like so many things in life, their best-laid plans would have to change.


Their plans to produce a smartphone case were dashed when the school’s 3-D printer suffered a component failure and they were told it would be weeks before a replacement part would arrive…too late for the team to build their prototype. In Junior Achievement parlance, the kids had to “pivot.” In other words, they went with plan B to produce a coffee mug, and dubbed their new venture “Ritemugs.” Now they would have to work faster to make up for lost time. During the program’s first few weeks, student participation dwindled due to scheduling and commitment conflicts. However, three Live Oak sophomores emerged to see things through to completion: Isaac Muniz, who served as CEO; Ashley Cowell, who took on finance and supply chain management; and Kaden Kim, who led sales and marketing efforts.

Isaac Muniz, CEO

According to Isaac, “I wanted to learn about running a business, but I didn’t expect to be the guy in charge! I had to learn how to plan meetings and motivate people while holding them accountable. It was challenging. In the beginning, students dropped out, which added to the stress level, but those who stayed grew into their leadership roles and learned to rely on each other.” “When a local businessperson offered to buy all our shares, Mr. Garcia explained that the investor would gain full control of the company. We were like, ‘WHAT!?’ Then we decided to limit the number of shares we would offer to each investor.” “We sold 78 shares at $5 each to 30 shareholders, keeping in mind that we’d have to pay them before liquidating the company.”

Ashley Cowell, Finance & Supply Chain

“At first I had no idea how involved I’d be at every step to track costs and make sure our finances were properly handled,” Ashley said. “I had to learn how to use spreadsheets, prepare budget forecasts, and look at profit and loss statements. The hardest part of manufacturing was getting the materials and producing the finished mugs. We did everything, including pricing, sourcing, ordering, pickup, design, production and sales of the mugs.” As it turned out, Isaac, Ashley and Kaden fired the ceramic mugs in their respective family’s kitchen ovens, They also


printed special tags and tied them onto the handle of each mug. When finished, the mugs rivaled those sold by commercial retailers.

Kaden Kim, Marketing & Sales.

Halfway into the program, Ritemugs lost the leader of its marketing and sales efforts. Kaden stepped up to the plate. “I thought it would be fun, like working at Apple or Google. But we had to abandon our idea to make phone cases because a bulb burned out on the school’s 3D printer and by the time it was replaced we’d be out of business. We learned how to pivot when we went with plan B to do the mugs. To generate sales we ran local newspaper ads (Morgan Hill Times donated ad space), promoted the mugs at basketball games, and created a public service announcement for our school’s morning announcements. We targeted three markets: Rotary Club members, students and their parents at basketball games, and Morgan Hill residents attending a fundraiser for the Teacher’s Alliance Coalition. It was hard work and took a lot of time but we sold all of our inventory. I learned that companies with good marketing and sales make it look easy.” Ritemugs designed and manufactured two lines of mugs. A “heart mug” was sold in advance of Valentine’s Day. A “speech bubble” mug came with a stick of chalk to allow customers to write a new thought for the day with each morning’s cup of coffee or tea. Each mug also came with a card that included the company’s mission statement and instructions for proper care of the mug. “Our parents were very supportive,” Kaden said. “They were surprised how quickly we got things done even when we hit problems and how well the mugs turned out.”

Ritemugs Gets Results

“We priced the mugs at $7 a piece, and made over $500 after selling all of our inventory,” Ashley said. “We paid ourselves a salary too, $1 each. Our shareholders got back their original $5 plus a dividend, making a 50 percent return on their investment in about four months!” Then Isaac added, “One investor told us, ‘This is the best investment I’ve made in a long time!’” The three Ritemugs founders recently attended a Rotary luncheon to express appreciation for the organization’s support. Their presentation didn’t go



Local Entrepreneur Armando Garcia

exactly according to plan, but it gave them yet another opportunity to learn. “We had a beautiful slideshow,” Ashley said, “but there was a glitch in the equipment so we had to improvise. It caught us by surprise but we pulled it off.” Ritemugs also produced their own public service announcement, which was included in Live Oak’s school-wide morning announcements. In March, Ritemugs student executives were busy drafting an annual report, preparing to “liquidate the company,” and making a final production run of mugs for their entry in Junior Achievement’s regional competition (Ashley will make the team’s presentation on April 12th at the Mountain View headquarters of Intuit Corporation). The winning team will go on to compete in Seattle, and from there, winners will have a chance to compete nationally in Washington, D.C. When TODAY asked Ritemugs founders if they’d like to run a company one day, Isaac, Ashley and Kaden were of one mind. “Definitely. Absolutely. Oh yeah.” These young entrepreneurs sold us their last mug in stock. We figure one day it’ll be a collector’s item. For those of you who missed out, Armando may be leading the program again next year. “I’m hoping this year’s kids will be inspired to guide next year’s student entrepreneurs through the program to share lessons learned from their personal experiences,” Armando said. “Rotary has expressed interest in supporting the program next year too. All we need is a few advisors from the local community to encourage and guide the students. If any of you TODAY readers is interested, let me know!”



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community DIGEST

Morgan Hill Rotary Annual Harvey Barrett Senior Dinner



Valerie Alves, this year’s Harvey Barrett Annual Senior Dinner went off without a hitch. Held March at the Buddhist Community Center, the dinner is named in honor of Harvey Barrett, the 29th President of the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. The first Senior Dinner was held in 1983 and the Rotarians have been feeding and entertaining the community seniors annually since that date. Rotarians prepared a scrumptious meal under the direction of Rosy Bergin, Rotarian and co-owner of Rosy’s at the Beach. Directing the kitchen staff since 2004, Rosy once again complimented the Rotarians and Interactors, noting, “It’s an amazing crew we have in the kitchen and in the BBQ area to feed so many people.” The meal was complemented by wine generously donated by Guglielmo Family Wines. This year over 200 meals were served. The festive event included entertainment by Mike Withrow, The Morgan Hillbillies, The Foggy Memory Band and dancing by the Fabulous Flappers. The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill is proud of its outreach to the community. This well received event is another example of how they strive to serve the community.

Autism Awareness Day


Rich, Christopher, Lydia and Jasmine Fernandez



windows with blue lights in them. This year an estimated 142 countries and over 18,000 buildings sported blue lights to acknowledge Autism Awareness Day. Autism is a general term to describe a group of complex developmental disorders — autism spectrum disorders. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children. Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatment and cure for autism. Locally, Lydia Fernandez is an outspoken advocate for children with disabilities such as autism. Lydia has received state and local awards for her advocacy. She is a frequent speaker to business and social groups on the topic of autism — one of her favorite topics is to talk with other parents who have children with autism. On April 4th the Gilroy City Council presented Lydia with a Proclamation designating April 2016 as Autism Awareness Month. MAY/JUNE 2016


Sobrato High Participates in State Mock Trial Finals

FOR THE FIRST TIME, Ann Sobrato High School participated in the 35th Annual California Mock Trial Finals held in March in Sacramento. This year 8,000 California students participated, with only 700 going to the Sacramento Finals.  Students had to study a case and prepare strategies and arguments.  Students gained an understanding of the criminal justice system while learning analytical and communication skills. The Mock Trial team consisted of 18 students: 8 attorneys, 8 witnesses, a bailiff and a clerk. The Sobrato advisors included Mock Trial coach, Mr. Barnes, with assistance from Matt Parella, Jeff Nunes and Marcus Humphrey. The student team consisted of Seniors Natalie Kuwatani, Jacob Nunes, Isabella Cova, Erica Kelley, Adrianna Scalzo, Parth Shah, Arthur Rodriguez, and Brian Freimuth; Juniors Raya Kavosh, Nicholas

Dinato, and Stephen Curry; Sophomores Maria Morris, Kaley Raczyla, and Veronica Mishriki; and Freshmen Zaria Kelley, Danielle Dokter, and Grace Baker. The Sobrato High School team participated in four rounds, winning one and dropping three. Sobrato students and coaches learned from the experience and are preparing for next season. Don & Karen Christopher

Latino Family Fund Youth Program

First Row (l-r): Liseth Villarreal, Makayla Ruiz, Omar Macias-Nandino, Michael Artmore, Amanda Huerta. Second Row (l-r); Francisca Garcia (counselor), Claudia Valencia (counselor), Brenda Gonzalez Marquez, Alexys Echevarria, Lilia Cisneros (counselor), Annie Tomasello. Third Row (l-r); Javier Aguirre, Maria Walker (principal), Ernesto Olivares (YIP Chair), Rosie Ramon (counselor), Sal Tomasello, Delia Diaz (LFF Co-chair), Edwin Diaz (LFF Co-chair). THE LATINO FAMILY FUND’S signature program, Youth

in Philanthropy and Leadership, received the prestigious ‘Community Values Youth’ award from YMCA’s Project Cornerstone in March at the Asset Champions Awards Breakfast held at the Santa Clara Convention Center and was attended by over 800 guests. The event recognizes individuals and organizations for their successful work and programs benefiting youth in their communities. Project Cornerstone works on behalf of youth in Silicon Valley and is committed to helping every child feel valued, respected, and known. Its members are building a community where all adults support children and youth so they can find their spark and thrive. Project Cornerstone works with more than 400 community partners and schools intentionally to GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN

help youth develop positive relationships, opportunities, values, and skills, known collectively as “developmental assets”. The goal is for those assets to provide the foundation for a healthy and successful future. Project Cornerstone was founded by the Youth Alliance in 1999 and is now an initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley. The Latino Family Fund of Gilroy was founded in 2006 by several local families with the objective of strengthening the community by providing resources to Gilroy residents in need, embracing Latino philanthropy and leadership, and inspiring youth to give back to their community. The LFF’s program, Youth in Philanthropy and Leadership, was formally established three years ago and now serves 50 students at South Valley and Ascencion Solorsano Middle Schools. MAY/JUNE 2016


community DIGEST


Gilroy Rotary Essay Contest

Jill Fortino (Committee Chair), Peter Katavich (Rotary President) Kevin Fortino (CHS), Emma Orth (GECA), Hildelisa Murillo (GECA), Hayden Jungling (CHS), J. Chris Mickartz and Larry J. Mickartz ( TODAY) standing in front of The Four-Way Test banner which describes the theme of the essay contest.



“Four-Way Test” Essay Contest. It was open to all Gilroy Unified high schools English and Social Studies classes. The theme was based on Rotary’s belief in the Four-Way Test; Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Students were asked to write how the Four Way Test could be applied to their everyday lives, historical events, or even how to solve current world-wide issues. First and second place winning essays were chosen from each school. The top five essays were chosen by teachers and the top two were selected by Rotary judges. This year there were representation from Christopher High School (CHS) and Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA). Winners included First Place, sophomore Kevin Fortino and Second Place, sophomore Hayden Jungling from CHS. First Place, junior Emma Orth and Second Place, junior Hildelisa Murillo from GECA. Students presented their essays to the Gilroy Rotary Club in March. First place winners each received $100 and second place winners received $50. Larry and J. Chris Mickartz of TODAY sponsored the awards and chose the winning essay for publication — Emma Orth’s “Decision Making And The Four Way Test.” (Essay on page 31.)





J. Chris Mickartz, publisher and executive editor of TODAY presenting a check to Kevin Fortino, first place winner from Christopher High School. Seated is Emma Orth, first place winner from Gilroy Early College Academy.


Decision Making with the Four Way Test

By Emma Orth

Emma lives in South San Jose with her mother Giulia, father Don and brother, Luca. She loves spending time in downtown Gilroy and enjoys attending GECA because “it fosters a sense of community and values driven individuals.” When asked about her favorite teacher, she noted that she loves all the teachers at GECA, but that the principal — and her former English teacher Ms. Sonia Flores have really been supportive and provided guidance throughout her time at the school. Emma wants to become an equine veterinarian. She enjoys spending time with friends and engaged in horseback riding, especially endurance rides — a sport in which riders and their horses ride 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles courses. There are various vet check points along the way so that the horses can eat and rehydrate and be checked to make sure they are fit to continue. Her favorite places to visit are Italy, Florida, and Hawaii. She would like to visit Greece some day.


ecision Making begins on a personal level and, once this decision making on a personal level has been mastered, can be applied to a larger scale. The Four Way Test is a way of making sure that the decision being made is truthful, fair, builds goodwill, and is “beneficial to all concerned”. In the past, present, and future, there has been, are, and will be decisions that have been made either selfishly or without thinking, but The Four Way Test can help minimize the number of bad decisions that are made. In our personal lives, we are faced with decisions on an everyday basis, some trivial and some holding more importance, but no matter how small each decision may seem it will have an influence on our life or on the person we are to become. With this insight, The Four Way Test would be an extremely effective strategy to implement when making a decision, as we are often consumed with the short term results and do not stop to consider how the decision will affect us or

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others in the long term. For example, if you have a friend who needs help on their homework and you do their homework for them, it fails all four parts of The Four Way Test. Firstly, it is deceitful because you are turning in your work as someone else’ s. Secondly, it is unfair because your friend is not having to do their work, seeing as you are doing it for them and everyone else is doing their own work, while your friend is not having to work at all Also, it will not build a better friendship because your friend will come to depend on you to do their work for them, which is unhealthy. Finally, it does not benefit them or you because they will not know how to do the material that is on the homework and you will be helping your friend cheat and that would be risking both your and your friend’s academic integrity. In addition, if you do your friend’s homework they are likely to become unwilling to do their homework in the future because they now know that if they need help you will just do it for them. In the long term it could make your friend think less of themselves because they will feel that they cannot solve a problem on their own and they are also likely to become less ambitious because they will let others do their work. Even if in the short term it would seem as though you are helping your friend, in the long term it is clear that you would actually be harming them. Now, keeping The Four Way Test in mind, take the same situation of your friend needing help on their homework, but imagine you respond in a different way. This time, instead of doing their homework for them, you sit down with them and help them understand the topic that the homework is on and then help them understand the question (without giving them the answers).Using this method, you are still being truthful because your friend would be turning in his/her own work, so it would fulfill the first part of The Four Way Test. Also, it is fair because your friend is doing their own homework. It will build goodwill in your friendship because you are teaching your friend their own problem-solving skills, and not making them dependent on you. Lastly, it is beneficial to both you and your friend because you are teaching problem-solving skills and in turn learning them better yourself and your friend is also learning problem solving skills. Over the long term, your friend will become more selfconfident and able to solve things by using their own brain and not depending on the brains of others. In conclusion, The Four Way Test will help determine if a decision that is being made is ethical and a good decision in the long term, even if in the short term it seems the more difficult solution. Our lives could benefit greatly from using this method to make decisions and can help us realize the effects that our decisions have, not only on ourselves, but also on those around us. On an even larger scale, if people are able to become more considerate of those around them, the members of our community will come to respect one another and realize that we are all connected and that each decision we make creates a ripple effect into the lives of others. Perhaps with this new awareness, we will start to think more deeply about our decisions and their consequences. MAY/JUNE 2016


community DIGEST

Gilroy Rotary Cleans Up THE GILROY ROTARY CLUB

enjoyed pitching in for a Community Service Project in March 12 at Gilroy Gardens. For the second straight year a team of Rotarians showed up with paintbrushes, hammers and wrenches in hand to help spruce up the Gardens prior to opening day. Club President Peter Katavich led the charge as dozens of picnic tables and park benches were repaired and stained. Club members also installed new railings and applied a fresh coat of paint on the dock at Coyote Lake.

THIS YEAR’S GILROY SISTER CITIES Association International Dinner and Auction featured guest chefs from TakkoMachi, Gilroy’s sister city in Japan, as well as selections from each of Gilroy’s six sister cities. The event was held at the Portuguese Hall. The Gilroy Sister Cities Association was established in 2005 to facilitate the ongoing interpersonal relationships between Gilroy and its six sister cities: Angra do Heroismo, Azores, Portugal; Tecate, Mexico; Saint-Clar, France;



Takko-machi, Japan; Monticelli d’ Ongina, Italy; and Koror, Republic of Pala. The Sister Cities program encourages the people of Gilroy and the people of similar cities of foreign nations to get to know and understand of each other as individual members of their communities, as citizens of their countries, and as part of the family of nations. The association welcomes any citizen of Gilroy to participate. The program includes welcoming events, host families and fundraising events. MAY/JUNE 2016


Gilroy Sister Cities Annual International Dinner & Auction


Gilroy Foundation Gives…$1,070,595

THE GILROY FOUNDATION AWARDED $418,595 in grants to 66 recipients

which includes community groups, schools and projects. The event was held at Old City Hall where more than 100 supporters attended.  Some highlights of the evening were the $20K Julie Hayes “Rising Star” Performing Arts Grant, awarded to the Gilroy Arts Alliance to improve the Gilroy Center for the Arts building in downtown; the $20K Richard Hayes “Like a Rock” Industrial Arts Grant, awarded to Rebekah’s Culinary Academy to implement “technology” into their highly regarded culinary program.  Seventy-nine students are receiving scholarships totaling $652,000 at our various Senior Award Ceremonies this year.


Meet South Santa Clara Valley’s Furry Police Officers THE GILROY POLICE FOUNDATION recently

funded the purchase of “Scotty,” the newest member to the Gilroy Police Department family. He’s a 14 month old immigrant from the Czech Republic. Scotty and Officer Bobby Zuniga recently completed and passed the month long training together. Funding was provided by a generous donation to the Foundation from a local community supporter.


officer – K9 Officer Basco! Basco is a one-year old German Shepard born in the city of Usti Nad Orlici in the Czech Republic. Basco recently joined the Morgan Hill Police Department (MHPD) and completed extensive training with his officer/handler, Officer Santiago Fierro.

Canine officers are trained to patrol and search buildings and track and apprehend suspects. They also learn to come to aid of their handler, should he need help or protection. Having a K9 officer on the patrol team brings additional skills that officers can use effectively in the field. For example, a K9 Officer can search small spaces and use his keen senses to locate someone where other officers can’t.” They have proven to be valuable assets for police departments. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Theater Scene

Youth Theater Written By Robin Shepherd

musical theater, including: Aladdin, Grease, Westside Story, Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, Newsies, School or Rock, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Mathilda, Wicked and more. Depending on their roles, cast members may appear in solo, duet, group or ensemble performances. Clearly, there will be something for everyone to enjoy in this film. Participants will have the opportunity to work on a movie set with a film crew, record songs in a professional recording studio, and then see themselves on the big screen when “Broadway Movie Musical” appears in selected Bay Area movie theaters in January of 2017. It’s a safe bet that family and friends will want to see the film, applaud their rising stars, and who knows, they may want autographs too. One might assume that participation in a film of this caliber is limited to youth who already have experience. Not so. Anyone can audition, and Bisceglie said all who audition will be accepted. And there’s no onerous rehearsal schedule. Cast members will only be required to attend a single 1.5-hour rehearsal per week for about two months during the summer (see schedule below). Registration is $295. Cast members are

responsible for providing dance shoes, costums and selling movie tickets to the film. Learn more or make an audition appointment online at John Bisceglie has a gift for bringing kids together and creating magic on stage. Parents are sometimes tentative about letting their kids try new things, worried that they will have a bad experience or become overwhelmed with too many commitments. But after watching their kids blossom, from audition to opening night, they are delighted. The kids adore John, and their parents rave about the quality of his productions. “Broadway Movie Musical” also creates a wonderful inter-generational connection. The kids learn about the music of earlier times, music that their parents and grandparents grew up with.

What parents say about Children’s Musical Theater: “Wow, wow, wow!” “Amazing.” “You guys rock.” “JOB WELL DONE.” “Absolutely fabulous.” “Phenomenal.”



San Jose Wednesday, May 18th, 4:00 - 6:30 pm

San Francisco Saturdays from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm June 4 - July 30.

San Francisco Saturday, May 21st, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

San Jose Wednesdays 4:00 - 7:30 pm May 25 - August 3.

Morgan Hill Thursday, May 26th, 4:00 - 6:30 pm

Morgan Hill Thursdays from 4:00 - 7:30 pm June 2 - July 28.

(by appointment only; youth may audition at any location)






his month South County youth have the opportunity of a lifetime to get a taste of stardom. “Broadway Movie Musical” is taking the Bay Area by storm. For local youth ages 8-21, an audition is all that’s required to be part of a new movie musical that will recreate some of Broadway’s greatest moments. Auditions will be held May 26th in Morgan Hill (schedule below). “Broadway Movie Musical” is the brainchild of Director, Producer and Filmmaker John Bisceglie. If you’re unfamiliar with John’s work, come out from under that rock. Bisceglie founded not one but three Bay Area performing groups under the Children’s Musical Theater umbrella – in San Francisco, the South Bay, and Gilroy/ Morgan Hill. For more than 30 years, Bisceglie has created and produced hundreds of community, commercial and professional productions featuring actors of all ages. His work includes original musical revues, scripted plays and feature films. If your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews like to sing, dance and act, or think they’d like to give it a go, “Broadway Movie Musical” is the ticket. They’ll be performing numbers from the blockbusters of American

Now Playing Lend Me A Tenor

Summer Comedy & Fundraiser for Parkinson’s Research June 24 - July 16

“We can’t tell you how amazed we were by Broadway Bound! You orchestrated the most professional, dazzling, unique and age-appropriate performance we could have imagined. You wove kids of different ages and abilities into a fabulous tapestry of song, dance, and performance, gracefully and creatively staged, and respectfully showcasing diverse abilities and personalities. It was magnificent.” They say John and his team create a “positive, supportive, fun environment for them to learn, grow and develop self-confidence.” In the process of learning how to sing, dance and act, the kids learn how to become better communicators and gain a sense of poise — skills they can use all through their lives. Being part of a large cast, the kids have to learn focus and teamwork in order to put on a quality show. Parents describe John as a director with “professionalism, patience and energy.” And they give kudos to him for the production quality of his musicals. One parent remarked that being in the production of “Gleeful Live” taught her girls how to listen, follow direction, and most important, how to be “all in” and

dedicated to the show. It’s a taste of stardom. Some get hooked and theater becomes part of their lives. Bisceglie has also served as Artistic Director for San Jose Parks and Recreation’s Young People’s Theater, and in the same capacity for Gilroy’s Community Services Department for over twenty years. He has received numerous outstanding achievement awards from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Thousands of kids have participated in the Gilroy Children’s Musical Theater (GCMT) over the past 25 years. Many have literally grown up in John’s productions. Some have pursued careers in theater while others say that having been involved in GCMT has had a positive influence in their lives. GCMT’s motto is that…

“everyone has talent and can succeed” …regardless of age, experience and natural ability. GCMT is all about empowering our local youth and giving them a chance in the spotlight.

Filming* August 4, 5, 6, 7 (San Jose & SF Cast) August 11, 12, 13, 14th (Morgan Hill & San Jose Cast) *Certain cast members may be required to attend additional filming sessions on August 20, 27, and September 3, 10, 17.

Set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world-famous, Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so slow that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo. A sensation on Broadway and in London’s West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter. Limelight Actors Theater

Mary Poppins June 3 - June 25

Mary Poppins is the story of the Banks family who live in a big house in London on Cherry Lane. Things are not going well for the family; the children, Jane and Michael, are out of control and are in need of a new nanny. They have their own ideas about what sort of caretaker they should have, while their parents–and in particular Mr. Banks–are insistent on someone strict for the job. When a mysterious young woman named Mary Poppins appears at their doorstep, the family finds that she’s the answer to their prayers, but in the most peculiar way. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but the children aren’t the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grownups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it.” South Valley Civic Theater (SVCT)


Community Solutions’ Helping Hands & Healing Hearts


luncheon was held in March at the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center. With the luncheon, attendees also enjoyed a champagne reception and raffle. This year’s Helping Hand Award went to Morgan Hill’s Oakwood School for cultivating a spirit of generosity and caring amongst our community’s youngest citizens. The Healing Heart Award was presented to 18-year-old Francisco in recognition of his resiliency and dedication to overcoming personal obstacles. Francisco has risen above the challenges of poverty and gang influence to become a leader amongst his peers. Proceeds benefit Community Solutions’ many programs and services creating positive change for children, families and individuals in our local community.




The Value of Hiring an Interior Designer

By Carol Carr

Since 1981, Carol Carr has specialized in making your home comfortable, an extension of your personality and lifestyle. Her design philosophy is “Every room should be usable and comfortable — a balance between visual response and physical comfort. Carol can be reached at 408.779.4189.


hould you hire an Interior Designer? Currently more people are answering “Yes” to that question. Not surprising with households where both adults have a career and other households with managed by one adult. Skilled interior designers are ready to perform a “turnkey job,” handling an entire project from the beginning to the end. They design, they order and arrange delivery of merchandise, supervise all contract work, and see the job through — with all expected and unexpected problems. The more precisely you describe your interior design needs and desires, the more successful your interior designer will be in meeting them. Ask yourself these questions: • What do you expect from the completed project? You may have multiple objectives for your redesigned space. Ask yourself whether the family will expand or whether your children will be moving from home in the near future. • How many people will be using the space/s to be designed? And, how frequently will you have company? Do you like to entertain and if so, how do you entertain? Does the frequency of an elderly relative’s visits to your home merit special design considerations? • Will your den/family room double as a home office space? • Who in your family should be consulted? Who will be the decision maker? • What’s your time frame? When do you want the project to start and end? Do you want the work done all at once or would you like it done in stages? • What is your budget? What resources will be used to pay for this project? Be prepared to talk to your designer openly and honestly about your budget considerations. Your designer will

ensure that your space is used to its full advantage, which will save you money in the long run and keep you from making expensive errors by purchasing items you dislike and then replacing them. • Do you have a particular design style in mind? There are many sources today to research the look you want for your home. Magazines, the internet and visiting retail show places will help you decide a style for your home; of course your designer is there to guide you also. • A word of caution: don’t be fooled by the time frame you see on HGTV and DIY. While these shows have made people more aware of what’s out there, they reinforce expectations for instant gratification. Planning an interior design project should be one of your most rewarding experiences. For years to come you will enjoy an interior environment that has been designed for maximum utility, comfort and personal satisfaction. A general outline of the basic design process for interior design follows. Once you sign a letter of agreement or contract, your designer will inspect and review the areas or rooms that are included in your project. Your designer will prepare a preliminary plan for considerations such as furniture layout, lighting, color schemes and spatial changes. This letter of agreement/ contract will stipulate what the designer will be doing for you, a time frame, and a boilerplate list of other items. Your designer will then provide visual presentations, photographs, drawings and floor plans. These presentations will facilitate discussion about selection of surface materials, finishes, window treatments, lighting, furnishings and furniture. At this point your designer may prepare an estimate of probable project costs.



If you engage your designer to provide purchasing services for the project, your designer will place all orders on your behalf for merchandise and materials, and supervise labor and installation in accordance with your letter of agreement. When your designer takes you on a market trip to see furnishings, furniture and other related items you will have access to a considerably wider range of quality products that are not commonly available in retail settings. Generally your designer will monitor the work of contractors selected on your behalf and ensure quality performance and timely execution of the work. Your designer will represent you during all stages of the project and see that workmen, contractors or suppliers are working toward your best interest from project conception to completion. Hiring a designer for your project is akin to hiring an advocate, very worthwhile all around. Now you are ready to hire a professional interior designer! You may have thought interior designers talked only about subjects like furniture styles and how to find a good upholsterer. These days, a group of designers is just as likely to be discussing aging in place, fire safety or barrier-free areas. When looking for an interior designer, consider if the designer is educated and accredited in interior design. This is very important because it means you’re working with someone who knows about all aspects of design, building codes and safety issues. You can ask a friend who has used an interior designer and whose house you admire. You can log onto the ASID website, and find a designer in your area. American Society of Interior Designers, ASID is the nucleus of the design community and has been for 40 years. ASID sets the standards for professional practice.


Bob Dyer with his children (l-r) Maura, Rick, Loni, and Michael.

Bob Dyer

Gilroy Will Miss You

Bob Dyer with wife, Diane.


undreds of people gathered at Eagle Ridge Country Club in April for a ‘Going Away Party’ for beloved Gilroy businessman, Robert James Dyer, founder and owner of R.J. Dyer Real Property Investments, who passed away on March 8, 2016. Dyer was thought of as a native of Gilroy, although his hometown was Moline, Illinois. It wasn’t until 1977, when he and his first wife Carol became part of the Gilroy community at the urging of his


good friend and Gilroy business owner, John Kent. Dyer, who after twenty plus years in the United States Air Force, retired a Lt. Colonel, and went to work for Kent’s company, providing Dyer his introduction to the world of real estate. As it turned out, it was a perfect fit. John Taft, a real estate broker with R. J. Dyer Property, Inc., recalls Bob telling him, “I think I’ve sold just about every piece of property here in Gilroy, at least once.” In the years that followed, Dyer became



a respected business owner. During that time, he and Carol went their separate ways. In 1990, Dyer met local resident, Diane Vanni, and five years later, the couple married. “People saw a change in him after we married,” Diane said. “We just clicked, we enjoyed things together. We laughed a lot.” And it was Dyer’s humor, and his never give up attitude, that Diane appreciated most about her husband. “He just never gave up on anything,


Written By Kimberly Ewertz

Lt. Colonel in U.S. Air Force Fun Loving … Garlic Festival Organizer and Community Supporter

ever. We didn’t think he would die because he never gave up,” Diane said. Dyer was very generous with his resources and with his time. His contributions to Gilroy are proof of his dedication to the community, having served as a past President of the Chamber of Commerce, as one of the original organizers of the Garlic Festival, and as a visionary behind the institution of the Gilroy Hall of Fame in 1983. “He was a great friend to many, many, people. And he helped a lot of small business people,” daughter Loni Dyer, said. Dyer’s countless contributions are his legacy to a city he loved. “He loved Gilroy. He felt like it was his town. He got involved. He knew everybody. He just liked making Gilroy better,” Diane said. One of Dyer’s greatest personal achievements came at the age of 70, when he was baptized as a born again Christian. “For him to humble himself to do that was life changing for him, and for me,” Diane said. “Because he tried to live that life, as best he could. That was probably the thing that gave him the biggest surge of peace in his life, knowing that he was going to go to heaven. It gave us all a lot of peace too.” But it was Dyer’s unending dedication to his family that Diane considers her husband’s greatest accomplishment. “He always encouraged us to do things that we wanted to do, and not to be afraid. Until his dying day, he was doing that, he was very positive,” Loni said. Rick Dyer, the eldest son, is grateful for the valuable lesson his father instilled in all four of his children. “From an early age he taught us to never give up, that it is good to give back, and that family is everything,” Rick said.

“My Dad never gave up on me, and taught me to live my life the same way. I’ll always miss him, but I was blessed to have had him as my father,” youngest daughter, Maura said. As a testament to his dedication to his family, Dyer spent the last year of his life, despite his illness, working with his daughter-in-law, Ruth, compiling his memoirs in a book entitled, “My Story.” “He wanted to start a family history so that his kids, and grandkids, could have it. That’s why he did it,” Diane said. “I think it’s something he was very proud of.” Just weeks before his final stay in the hospital Dyer invited Diane, Loni, Maura, Ruth, and his office manager, Andrea, to lunch. It was February 13th, and he wanted to take his girls out for Valentine’s Day. When the ladies arrived at the restaurant, already in place at each of their seats, were giant stuffed teddy bears. “He just got this idea that this is what he wanted to do,” Diane said. “It was fun, he was treating us all like we were his Valentine.” For Dyer’s youngest son, Michael, his father was a man about strength, family, and love. As Dyer battled myeloma cancer, a form of bone cancer, Michael was waging his own battle with a similar disease. “While undergoing this extremely devastating journey, Dad not only supported me, but he cheered me on and quite literally held me up and carried me through my treatment and recovery,” Michael said. “He provided me all his support while he himself was undergoing the ravages of chemo and other life challenges. He was a constant source of strength and motivation.” Weeks before he passed away, Diane



Businessman Real Estate Developer

took Bob on what they called “their little dates.” As Diane drove her husband through the town of San Juan Bautista she recalls Bob reaching out his hand, and taking hold of hers. “It’s not going to be long now,” he’d said to her. As heartbreaking as it was to hear those words, Diane was comforted with the certainty that her husband was ready. With a catch in her throat, Diane explained. “He was very confident about where he was going to go.”




What To Tell Your Children About Credit Cards… Content prepared by © 2015 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA 19172


hen children go away to college these days, they often carry two “essentials” that weren’t available to prior generations: personal computers and credit cards. According to Nellie Mae, the national student loan financing corporation, 83 percent of undergraduate students have at least one credit card, and the average amount owed is $2,327. What’s wrong with this picture? It suggests that young people are ringing up too much debt too fast. It also suggests they don’t fully understand some basic concepts about money — not the least of which is that anything bought over time at interest, ends up costing far more than it should. Impulse buying and overspending before they are even out in the working world, leave many of today’s graduates with debt they can’t afford and a less than attractive credit ranking.

So What’s The Solution? For children (as well as adults) the solution is not spending beyond your means and learning how to manage credit. Online Shopping at an Early Age

Let’s start with a few basic facts of modern life: • Children ages 6-17 are collectively spending an estimated five billion hours per year on the Internet, and shopping is among their favorite online activities.

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.



up front (before the charges are actually incurred), but another idea is to wait and show the child his or her items on the credit card statement. This allows children to see the actual cost of what they purchased — and the interest that will be added to the purchase if they don’t pay the amount in full. • If children can’t repay card purchases on time and interest accrues, add it to their bill. This helps them understand the cost of paying over time • If they are unable to pay for their purchase in full, cut off their ‘credit’ for future purchases until their entire balance is paid. This will help them understand that they can’t always buy what they want when they want it (a lesson even adults should learn!). • Some banks offer credit cards to minors with very low credit limits (guaranteed by a parent of accompanying bank account). Some parents believe that teenagers take personal credit more seriously when cards are issued in their own names. • Debit cards and pre-paid phone or merchant cards can also help to educate children about credit. The pre-set limit on these cards prevents overspending. • Emphasize that credit is always personal and cards should not be shared or loaned.

• The vast majority of Internet purchases are made using credit or debit cards.

• It’s important for children to learn that access to credit is an earned privilege, not a right. Parents can reinforce this by cutting off credit when children use it unwisely.

• From an early age, today’s children are making purchases (especially online) using their parents’ credit cards, often without realizing that the debt must eventually be paid off.

• Model good behavior. Avoid impulsive card spending in front of children, and don’t carry more cards than you need or a higher balance than you can afford to pay off.

For parents, the challenge is helping their children understand the value of money and credit, regardless of its form. Here are some suggestions:

In the modern world, it’s realistic to think that when your child goes away to college, he or she may have at least one credit or debit card. The goal of educating children about credit is to send them off confident that they won’t owe “an arm and a leg” soon after.

• Require children to repay any card purchases in cash. Some parents ask for the money

This information is for general educational purposes only and should not be considered specific financial, tax or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified advisor regarding your individual circumstances. ©2015 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA 19172 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


Low-Maintenance Features that Attract Millennial Buyers


The millennial buyers today generally want energy efficient and low maintenance homes. The Smart Home has answered that call for low maintenance living. Beyond that there are a few things sellers can do when replacing items in the home or purchasing a new home that fall into the same category.

• If you can buy a brick home there is hardly any maintenance unlike a wood or vinyl sided home that can have wood rot, color fading or peeling paint and vinyl. • Low maintenance metal roofing is one of the most durable roofing materials on the market. If installed correctly they do not absorb water which reduces risk of damage from the elements and lessening the potential for costly repairs. • Low maintenance features inside the home are very practical especially in the kitchen. Some of the least fussy finishes are black stainless steel and quartz. The black stainless steel reduces smudges. It has a matte finish and resists smudges and cleaning efforts. Quartz counters have a non-porous and stain and scratch resistant finish that does not require deep cleaning or sealing like many other countertop choices. • Wall paint can also be low-maintenance by choosing the right finish for the room. Satin paint is easy to clean and is great in kitchens and bathrooms and also on stair rails and banisters.. A semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboards or moldings. The very important thing when picking paint is to not buy the cheapest paint. A more expensive paint will usually cover better and be easier to maintain.

Remodeling can affect your insurance Be sure to consider checking your Homeowners Insurance after you do any major remodeling. You will need to be properly covered in case of a fire or natural disaster that is covered by insurance. If you buy a fixer home and you remodel the kitchen with high end appliances and counters your coverage may not be high enough to cover those in the event of a disaster. You may receive a discount on your insurance by replacing your roof since it is one of the largest factors in insurance coverage and can bear the brunt of many kinds of storms including wind. Homeowner’s policy limits may need to be raised if you add square footage to your home. The insurance you paid when purchasing the home was based on the square footage at the time of purchase. The Insurance company will usually only give you the coverage for the square footage that was quoted at the time of purchase. It is the same if you finish a basement. If coverage has not been added you may not be covered for any type of water intrusion on your improvements.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill JANUARY Active 85 Homes Sold 24 Days On Market 39 Sale To List Ratio 99.5%

FEBRUARY 64 21 37 99.3%

MARCH 53 36 26 100%

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


“I think if you enjoy where you live, you’re going to try to make it enjoyable for others, too.”

Mike Johnson

Loving Life in Morgan Hill Written By Jordan Rosenfeld





ne of the perks of being the boss, jokes Mike Johnson, owner of Johnson Lumber Ace Hardware and the adjacent Johnson Garden Center in Morgan Hill, “is I get to wear shorts to work on a regular basis,” he says. The self-proclaimed former “surfer guy” who grew up in Santa Cruz may opt for business casual attire, but he takes the running of his family business very seriously. Mike is the second Johnson to run the business after his father, Keith, started the first location in Morgan Hill in 1980, which sold only lumber for its first twelve years. His oldest son Brett currently works with his dad, as well, in charge of lumber inventory and purchasing, and may be the next Johnson to carry the family torch when Mike retires, though he welcomes all three of his children to participate in the business. When Johnson Lumber first moved from Railroad Avenue to its current, prime location off Tennant Avenue in 1992, the business expanded to meet a growing demand for hardware. The Hollister store followed in 1997, the Salinas store in 2001, and the Morgan Hill garden center in 2006. Johnson Lumber had very little competition until 2004, when, just as they finished a massive store expansion to more than triple their square footage, the first corporate “big box” hardware retailer opened in Morgan Hill. While some businesses might have quaked in terror, Mike didn’t feel threatened. “We had no competition for so long, we knew it was coming,” he said. “Ultimately good competition either kills you or makes you better. Big isn’t necessarily better.” Certainly there’s a strong ethic of shopping small and local, and plenty of local efforts to attract shoppers in Morgan Hill, which may play a role in Johnson’s continued success. Johnson credits his success to having an enjoyable place to work, where you have fun while doing it. “If you have a good place to work where everyone is upbeat, it tends to lift people up and you create an environment that people want to come to.” He said his company has worked on that culture of cheer from the beginning. “My business card just says ‘customer service.’ You can buy anything we have from somebody else that, so we’re selling service every day and we have to live up to that.”

Johnson Lumber employs approximately 150 people across its four locations, and Mike is especially proud of the longevity among employees. “My staff have been helping me run this business a long time. In retail you don’t see people staying on for ten to twenty years, but we have lots of fifteen to twenty year folks, and that’s the number one thing I like most about my business: we are super fortunate to have great folks in a lot of different areas. We’re all spokes in a wheel; if we all do our job, the wheel rolls really well.” Indeed, that culture of enthusiasm and hard work seems to be paying off: drive by Johnson’s lumber or garden center on nearly any day and you’ll find it bustling with DIY handymen and busy gardeners. “We’ve been supported so well by the Morgan Hill community,” he says. Morgan Hill’s support is something that Mike feels enthusiastic about repaying. “You want to support those who are supporting you, and because it’s the right thing to do when you have more than you need,” he says. Mike is known for generous donations to a variety of causes in town ranging from the Rotary Club to the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser, which has a personal element. “Everyone has lost someone to cancer,” he says. “My mother-in-law died of cancer, so that was easy to get behind.” He and his wife of 25 years, Suzie, are parents to three children, Brett, 26, Adam, 24 and Kaylie, 22, which makes them especially enthusiastic about supporting youth causes like the El Toro Youth Center and the Eagle Scouts. Though don’t expect to find him up on stage receiving any awards for his generosity; that’s not the reason he


does it. “I don’t attend many fundraising events because I don’t want to be the main focus,” he says. “I want to support Morgan Hill and we’re in a position to do it. That started with my Dad.” Uniquely, each store location limits its donations to within its community, so donations to Morgan Hill causes come only from the Morgan Hill store, as do the Hollister and Salinas locations in their respective communities. “I think if you enjoy where you live, you’re going to try to make it enjoyable for others, too.” Even after traveling away, he says, “As much as we love to travel, I love coming back to Morgan Hill. We’re in California, so we have beautiful weather, and we’re not jammed with traffic.” With recent improvements to downtown underway, there’s a feeling of expansion in Morgan Hill, which some hope will attract more people, and potentially more businesses to town, and some fear will eradicate that small town feeling. Johnson is a fan of “smart growth” and balance, and appreciates the small town feeling of Morgan Hill and it’s “cool stuff ” like the Community and Cultural Center, and other assets. “It’s two edges of the sword: the smaller you are, you don’t draw the big names in retail, but if you want to have more assets, you’re going to have more people. Right now, slower growth keeps the flavor where it is here in town, but if you need something you can make a twentyminute drive to San Jose, or less to Gilroy. Morgan Hill is pretty relaxing.” He tries not to get heavily involved in expressing an opinion about the future of the town, however. “My job in business is to adapt and overcome. I go with the flow.”

Mike Johnson and Dana Ditmore with Debbie and Mike Bond at the 2015 Leadership Morgan Hill Leadership Dinner honoring Dana Ditmore. Mike is a past recipient of the award.



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

LONG TERM CARE The need for Long Term Care has never been greater than it is now and it will only be needed more as each generation is living longer. If you haven’t heard the scary statistics, here are a few: About two -thirds of Americans will need long-term care; The average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $87,600; the length of stay can run three years or more.  Do a few quick calculations, and it’s easy to get very worried about the potential financial impact on your retirement plan. But recent research is shedding new light on the risks. The key finding: The odds of needing nursing-home care may be higher than previously thought, but the length of needed care is shorter, with an average stay of up to about a year and a half. The new data has experts talking about the implications for revamping our current approach to insuring against the risk of high long-term care expenses. How much nursing-home care is being paid for by Medicare? The Medicare program isn’t designed to cover long-term care, but it does cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing care following a hospitalization.  Long-term care still should be regarded as a significant retirement risk.  Many policy experts view long-term care as one of the most important unsolved pieces of the nation’s health-care puzzle and many ideas are being tossed around. While politicians on both sides of the isle are throwing around their solutions to supply this need, there are some very good options out there now.  Below is one strategy but there are many others.  Call us to help analyze your situation and offer the best solution for you. Alternative Strategy for Long-Term Care: One strategy is having your coverage built into a life insurance policy, where the company provides cash from the face value of the life policy to cover in-home care or long-term care costs if you incur them.  This cash reduces the benefits paid to the beneficiary.  This way, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a long- term care policy, only to pass away and never use it.  With a life policy, even if you don’t use it, your beneficiary will get the full life insurance payout.  There are several types of life insurance to purchase to satisfy this need. MEDICARE INSURANCE Thinking of staying on Cobra because it’s easy, you know it, or maybe you have a spouse that’s under 65 and they still need coverage?  Think again! Avoid the Part B Penalty! If you are




eligible for Medicare and you are planning on retiring, be sure to follow the correct guidelines or you may be penalized by Medicare. Once you leave your employer’s group plan, and you are eligible for Medicare, you must take out Part A and Part B and pick up a Part D (drug) plan.  Medicare gives you 8 months from the time you leave your group plan to get Part B in place.  [You should have signed up for Part A when you turned 65, but if you did’t, then you need to get that too.] If you pass this eight months, then you cannot enroll in Part B until Medicare’s General Election Period, January 1st through March 31st, and that will give you a Part B effective date of July 1st.  Then you can add additional coverage, also effective July 1st.   Part B Penalty:  If you fall into the above situation and you end up taking Cobra, this is not considered creditable coverage, and you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10 percent for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. UNDER 65 INDIVIDAL HEALTH INSURANCE If you are under 65 and you go on a Cobra plan, in most cases you will be fine and you will not have any penalty.  This is considered creditable coverage under the ACA (Affordable Care Act) guidelines as long as that Cobra plan meets the ACA requirements of minimum essential coverage.  Most Cobra plans meet these guidelines, but if you are concerned, contact the Cobra Administrator to advise you.  Be aware though, if you are mid-year and outside of open enrollment, and you decide to drop the Cobra plan, you cannot do that until the next Open Enrollment period.


NOVEMBER 1, 2016 - JANUARY 31, 2017 Cobra extends your coverage for 18 months and if you’re offered Cal-Cobra you have another 18 months. If you have either of these situations and your coverage runs out mid-year, then you will be able to get coverage through an individual plan or through Covered California because you’re not choosing to leave the plan, you are losing coverage. Basically, the coverage has run its course and is ending. This gives you a Special Election Period and allows you to purchase new coverage within 60 days.  If you miss the 60-day window, then you will have to pay a penalty.




Of Swimming Holes and Mountain Lions


ountain lion attacks on people do happen. Signs are posted at most parks and open space preserves warning trail users to be aware of their surroundings and how to protect themselves by not running away and fighting back. The tragic news is that since 1890 there have been about 20 attacks with six fatalities. And in recent years, there have been more encounters including a 2014 attack of 6-year old boy who was hiking with his parents in Cupertino. Typically, mountain lion habitat exists wherever deer are found which means almost half of California and most of Santa Clara County. The good news is that mountain lions, also known as cougars, are mostly solitary animals, elusive and usually anxious to avoid direct contact with people. Still it is best to be prepared and take precautions when living in or visiting mountain lion territory. In 1909, the community of Morgan Hill was devastated by the deaths of Isola Kennedy and Earl Wilson from a mountain lion attack near today’s Anderson Dam. Before swimming pools became commonplace, most people frequented “swimming holes” to cool off during the hot summer days of our inland valley. Out by Oak Dell Park on Watsonville Road, Ma (Minnie) Kell had a baseball field, a small campground and an area of Uvas Creek that she had impounded to form a tree-shaded swimming hole. And there was a swimming tank at the old Redwood Retreat that sourced its water from Little Arthur Creek. At Gilroy Hot Springs, a concrete tank was built in 1917 to replace the redwood baths, with bleachers for onlookers to view the frolicking swimmers. Yet it was to Coyote Gorge (later called Island Dell Park) that Isola Kennedy, accompanied by five young students from her Sunday School class at Machado School, decided to picnic and then cool off in the waters of Coyote Creek on July 6, 1909. On that warm afternoon, a rabid mountain lion pounced on young Earl Wilson and Miss Kennedy went to his rescue using a tree branch and then an eight-inch hat pin in trying to fend off the attack. A couple of other boys ran for help and found Jack Conlan who was surveying for the Bay Cities Water Company. He grabbed his shotgun but was unable to get a shot off because it might have hit Miss Kennedy. She fought the cougar valiantly until Conlan returned with a rifle and killed the animal. Both Earl Wilson and Isola Kennedy were badly mauled, but their injuries were not considered to be life threatening, It was the rabies infection that



both victims succumbed to after weeks of painful suffering. Miss Kennedy was a well-respected member of the newly incorporated town of Morgan Hill. She was engaged to a dentist and was very active in the Christian Women’s Temperance Union. On her tombstone at Mt. Hope Cemetery is inscribed “Sacrificed her life battling a lion to save some small boys.” Today, the likelihood of being attacked by a mountain lion is extremely low. There is a much greater chance of being struck by lightning or dying from a pet animal attack. Personally I have never seen a lion, only evidence of its hunting activity in the form of a deer’s remains that I spotted while hiking off trail. And probably that lion was watching me, so I thought that it might be could a good idea to back away from the scene. Yet, I do regret never having had the opportunity to see one of these magnificent animals in the wild. An adult cougar is tan in color with black tipped ears and tail. A male lion can weigh over 100 pounds, standing nearly three feet in height at the shoulder and reaching six to 8 feet in length from nose to tail tip. It is a majestic animal that personifies strength, with powerful graceful movements and will only yield to bears and humans. When running, a cougar can bound up to 40 feet and they can leap 15 feet into a tree and reach speeds of 50 mph in a sprint. Robert Redford, in an introduction to the book, “Cougar: The American Lion” stated that “the cougar’s solitary and stealthy lifestyle feeds its mystery. And, unfortunately, mystery breeds fear, myth and misinformation. Since our European ancestors arrived on American shores 500 hundred years ago, we have waged war on larger predators - grizzly bears, wolves, jaguars, coyotes and cougars. Only small populations (except for the most adaptable coyote) survive in their original habitats and continued encroachment by the onslaught of our human development threaten those that remain.” Mountain lions once occupied the entire United States from coast to coast, but today they are only found in the West, with a small remnant population in Florida. A lion maintains a hunting territory averaging 100 square miles in which it is constantly on the move, hunting usually from dusk to dawn. This territorial nature makes the relocation of lions very difficult, so problem animals are usually shot. And the size of their range makes the continuing fragmentation of the landscape by highways or housing problematic for their survival. Most likely, the main cause of lion mortality is becoming road kill. Recent efforts to build



Written By Mike Monroe

a wildlife tunnel under Highway 17 at Laurel Curve are gathering strength. Plus the overpasses of Highway 101 over Coyote Creek serve the same purpose by providing safe corridors for all migrating animals to cross between the mountain ranges. The California Department of Fish and Game estimates that there is a population of 4,000 lions in California with that number being stable or slightly shrinking in recent years due to habitat encroachment. In 1990, Proposition 117, “the mountain lion initiative,” was successfully passed and reclassifed cougars as “specially protected mammals” and permanently banned the “sport hunting” of mountain lions in California. In prior years, in 1907 to 1963 for example, mountain lions were called a “bountied predator” and nearly 12,500 animals were shot, poisoned or trapped and turned in for bounty money. The Mountain Lion Foundation based in Sacramento has a wealth of information about how concerned citizens can protect


cougars, their habitats and still safely enjoy our wonderful outdoor opportunities. “Mountain lions filfill a complex role in our local environment. They keep the deer and elk herds on the move so that they do not overgraze particular areas minimizing erosion along riparian corridors and thereby enhancing habitat for other animals. Think of mountain lions as guardians of the wilderness. Though rarely seen, the raw beauty and power of the cougar helps maintain our wild spaces that we know and love.”




Public Art Written & Photographed By Larry J. Mickartz 48



Poppy Jasper Wall by Gordon Huether located on north side of parking garage on Third Street.* The Tarantula by Gordon

Huether located on the south side of parking garage on Fourth Street.*

Waiting for the Train by Marlene Amerian, 2007, depicts Hiram Morgan Hill, his wife, Diana and daughter Diane. Commissioned by Morgan Hill Community Foundation with the Centennial Committee and City. Funded by the Metropolitan Transit Commission and the Morgan Hill Development Agency. Located at the train station & Depot at Third Street. * Funded by Creative Placemaking grand through the Successor Agency, City of Morgan Hill.


nyone who has traveled Europe or Asia is impressed

property. The current chair of the committee is Betty “Cassie”

by the amount of public art. Even many of the older


US cities have impressive displays of public art… the

Although not all of the beautiful artwork that adorns Morgan

Bull and Bear statues at the New York Stock Exchange, the Rocky

Hill is presented here, this sampling may spark an interest in taking

statue in Philadelphia, the St. Louis Arch, and Mount Rushmore

a ride to see and enjoy seeing these and the many others in person. You may also enjoy additional photos by viewing the Library,

to name a few. Morgan Hill, while not on such a grand scale, has made an

Cultural & Arts Commission’s online catalog of art projects in

inspiring commitment to public art. Public Art is under the

Morgan Hill at Although a little dated, the

direction of the Library, Cultural & Arts Commission of the

catalog contains photos by local photographer, Susan Brazelton

City of Morgan Hill. This seven-member commission, in addition

and contains many unusual sculptures by David Kimball

to its duties relative the Library, consults with private community

Anderson, Don Jensen, Kelly “KC” Cash, James Kiburg, Jylian

groups supportive of arts programs, arranges city sponsored

Gustlin, Paul Loughridge and others.

artistic and performance opportunities, stimulates community

There is a plan, as noted on their site, that the Library, Cultural

involvement in the arts and reviews and recommends works of

& Arts Commission will be publishing an art catalogue on City’s

art to be acquired by the city and/or to be installed on public

website to better promote the collection and create a “virtual tour.”




Morgan Hill has made a major commitment to placemaking in the downtown area. Some examples of this are Creative Crosswalk 2016 funded by a grant from the Super Bowl 50 Fund. (at Monterey Road at Dunne Avenue), sculptured tree surrounds and seats (at Monterey & Third) and, the soon to be finished, Third Street Plaza funded by the Successor Agency




Bronze Sculptures Story Time at Morgan Hill Library Dear Family at Monterey Street median near 3rd Street Knowledge is Power at Morgan Hill Library Liberty at the entrance to the Centennial Recreation Center.




Abstract sculptural artwork titled “Encompass” gateway project created by Blessing Hancock funded by a Creative Placemaking grant through the Successor Agency, City of Morgan Hill. Location: Monterey Street Entrance Community Cultural Center.

Gateway Art feature and landscaping by Joni Janecki and Associates nearing completion April 2016, funded by the Successor Agency, City of Morgan Hill Location: Monterey Street entrance to the Community Cultural Center

Bronze sculpture “Once Upon a Mushroom” by Evelyn Davis a gift from Johnson Lumber Ace Hardware and Techcon Landscape Construction 2007. Location: Morgan Hill Library.

Mural by Lina Velasquez, free book library and ceramic Basket of Grapes by Peter Hazel Funded by donations and Creative Placemaking grants through the Successor Agency, City of Morgan Hill Location: temporary Pop-Up Park 3rd & Monterey Mural


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Why Go Solar Now

… eight key benefits of going solar The biggest decision for home owners who are concerned about everincreasing energy bills is whether or not to install solar on their homes.

By 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.

1 2 3

Solar provides clean, renewable energy from the sun in a constant, “earth friendly” and unlimited manner. Solar helps customers lower their electricity bills significantly; these benefits can be exponential, over time. Solar allows customers independence from the power and control of the monopolistic utility companies, including: rates that continually increase over time, “tiered” charges/ changes that generally favor the utility not the customer, “customer-negative” changes to net-metering rules (“Grid pay for power” produced from solar), lack of current technology upgrades to grid, customers to pay for maintenance of an antiquated grid structure and the practices that accompany it.


Solar allows customers to “lock in” (protect) their rates of pay for electricity, or eliminate it all together. Solar provides, in many instances, “free energy for life” and independence from the control of the utility companies.


Solar panel technology requires little, if any, maintenance and is shown to function efficiently for well over 50 years.


Multiple purchase and finance options make solar available and attractive to almost anyone who wants it, for very little, or zero, out-of-pocket costs!


With the recent extension from Congress of the (ITC) investment tax credit, customers can save 30 percent of the cost of the solar system in the form of a tax credit.


After solar has been installed, there are significant increases to a home’s overall value.

Choosing the Right Solar Panels After deciding to Go Solar, the next step is to choose the right product and the right company to manage the solar project. Asking and evaluating the answers to these two important questions will help in your quest to make the right decision. What is the efficiency of the solar panels being used? This whole area of panel efficiency is quickly becoming a top priority to most manufacturers, solar system designers and installers. Increased panel efficiency means lowering the price of solar energy for everyone. At first, lower-cost commodity panels may seem like a great choice, but the fact is, a higher efficiency panel produces more energy, which lowers the cost per unit of energy produced. With a high-efficiency panel, you can generate more energy over time and make bigger returns on your investment than with a conventional panel. If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, look for a better performing panel. SunPower panels are much more efficient and will produce more energy than less efficient competitors. For example, SunPower Panels produce in 15 years, the amount of energy a conventional panel needs 25 years to produce! When comparing similarly sized systems, SunPower panels simply outperform their competitors by margins that seem outlandish at first glance. In the first year of performance, the kilowatt hours delivered by a SunPower system are more than 60 percent greater than that of conventional panels, and 75 percent greater after 25 years. SunPower panels are clearly the market leader in efficiency, American made and backed by a billion dollar company that has been around for over 20 years now.  

Simmitri is a PREMIER SunPower dealer, which has been exceeding the expectations of its customers for decades. Let Simmitri add you to that ever-growing list. For more information on the best way to Go Solar, Call  SIMMITRI at 408,779.3333




Meet Kassi Swalboski

Success In The Fitness Industry Written By Kimberly Ewertz


ive years ago, Gilroy resident Kassi Swalbosk never considered CrossFit as her type of exercise. “I thought it was a bunch of crazy people lifting weights, and being loud, and I never could see myself doing that,” Swalboski said. Then she attended her first class at Brethren CrossFit, in Morgan Hill. “I went in there, and it was just a bunch of average people, that were so friendly, and so nice, everyone,” she said. “That day I was hook, line, and sinker, I loved that class.” Swalboski hadn’t experienced that competitive spirit since playing volleyball at Gilroy High School. “It made me feel excited to be a part of something. I turned into a total gym rat. I loved being there.” Fast-forward four years to present day, and Swalboski has gone from gym member, to CrossFit trainer, to owner of her own CrossFit gym in 2014 when she took over the gym located at First and Wren. Swalboski met the owner of that gym years earlier and the two became friends. When he decided to relocate to Hawaii, he contacted Swalboski. “It all fell into place in two months, maybe even less than two months,” Swalboski said. “August 16th, 2014, I took the keys, and got into my new space off of Wren. I really believe it was God, he just led me in the right direction.” In late December of last year, Swalboski found out her building was being purchased, and that she would need to find a new space. In early January, with the suggestion from a friend, she found her current location at 8840 Muroaka Drive, in Gilroy. The moment she saw the space she told her friend, “This is it.” The next step was securing the space, which she did in three weeks’ time, instead of the three to six months it normally takes to complete the necessary paperwork.






With a move out date of February first, from her old location, she had a lot of work to do, and a limited amount of time to complete it in. Swalboski, her co-workers, friends and family, got together and moved every piece of equipment, the entire gym, to the new location in one weekend, including painting the entire space. “I think that was my most favorite moment, watching this come together,” Swalboski said. “It was cool.” As much as she credits God in everything working out as it has in the past year and a half, she gives equal credit to her parents. “Without my parents’ support, all this stuff wouldn’t of come together like it has. They’re my backbone.” Special credit goes to the woman who taught her all she knows. “I learned all of how I wanted to be in business, from her,” Swalboski said of her mom, Konni Thomas, owner of First Street Coffee. Thomas couldn’t be happier for her daughter’s business venture. “I think it’s fabulous. When she first got the opportunity to take over at the other place, I knew I was losing my right hand at the coffee shop, but I was really excited for her,” Thomas said. “That place was really good, but moving here (the new location), I get goosebumps every time I think about this place,” Thomas said. “It’s just so perfect. It’s the perfect location for her. I’m very proud of her, very proud.” Swalboski, like every successful business owner, aims for the best for her members. “Fitness is so personal to people because it’s where you get your one hour a day. It’s where you get to be free,” Swalboski said. “I want my members to love coming here, I want this to be their safe place, and a place they can call home.” She is confident that with the look of the new gym, and it being a true representation of her, in her role as a trainer, and a person, the current membership of 130 will quickly grow to her target goal of over 200. “I think we can reach that goal.” Swalboski has every intention of completing not only her business goals, but her personal goals as well. “I would love to travel one day. I want to have another business in Gilroy. I would really like to be one those staple pieces of the community where people can rely on me to donate, and rely on me to be there for them, to come to events and be a part of this community,” Swalboski said. Thomas has no doubt when it comes to her daughter’s success in all aspects of her life. “She’s just going to push through no matter what. It’s really amazing. I knew that was the way she’d run her business; she’s going to push through no matter what.”



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1300 First Street







or many of us, cars are just a means of transportation. We drive them to work, the doctor’s office, the kids’ soccer games and the grocery store. Others consider their cars to be an expression of their personalities and lifestyles. Tom Fry is altogether a different breed of car owner. Tom really knows his way around cars, which is a good thing. Why? Because Tom not only builds cars from the engine up, but then he straps himself in and races around the tracks at Laguna Seca, Sonoma and Thunder Hill at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour.

For The Love Of Racing

Tom Fry… the Car Guy Written By Robin Shepherd



“I’ve been building racing car engines since I was a teenager,” Tom said. “It’s a rarity nowadays but for me it’s half the fun.” “I tend to drive Fords. Basically, I’m driving the same car but with a new engine after about every 60 hours of racing. Otherwise, you risk blowing the engine.” Tom said three years ago he made a “rooky mistake.” He had just put a new engine in his car. With a new engine oil pressure monitoring is key, a thought that occurred to him in the middle of a race. A quick glance at the gauge was all it took and he slid off the track onto slippery wet grass and narrowly missed a crash. He gave the impression it wouldn’t be a mistake he’d make twice. Before each race, Tom climbs into a suit made out of heavyweight fireproof NOMEX material, as well as fireproof gloves, sock and shoes. Needless to say, it gets pretty hot by the end of a race. Every ten years or so he has to buy a new helmet to keep up with changing regulations. “Race organizers put drivers into groups based on their average speed, from beginners to the fast guys. Each session is about 20 minutes of pure intense concentration. You have to think about MAY/JUNE 2016

everything, including track and weather conditions. On a cold morning the tires aren’t sticky but you have more horsepower so you have to drive accordingly.” Tom tries to hit the track about four or five times a year. Many of the events are hosted by the Shelby American Auto Club, a nonprofit organization that rents track time and opens its events to the public. At most track events, Tom and other drivers typically drive in five or six sessions each day. For 30 years, Tom has raced with the same number, 289. “It’s the same as the size of my engine!” In other words, the engine block is 289 cubic inches. If he could, Tom said he would spend more time in his garage, building or rebuilding his engines. But he admitted, “there’s only one problem, my wife Louise would have a fit!” The former Silicon Valley manufacturer’s rep and sales engineer has been racing since 1982 and has seven first-place finishes at the Virginia City Hill Climb alone. He has also raced at the Coronado Speed Festival during Fleet Week in San Diego, the famous Monterey Historics, and the Wine Country Classic. Tom wrapped up our talk with a big grin and said simply, “I’ll keep racing as long as I can. It’s so exhilarating.”

Tom’s Maintenance Tips Without The Sales Pitch Recently, Morgan Hill Rotary Club invited Tom Fry to share his tried and true automotive tips for the average car owner. According to Tom, “All modern cars are good for 200,000-plus miles. I say why not make them last longer, be more reliable and safer? Of course, cars vary widely, as do the habits of the folks who drive them, so there are no absolutes. But here are some tips from a guy who’s not trying to sell you anything.”


There are basically three types of oil. Conventional, synthetic, and a blend of the two. Synthetic oil truly is a better oil. All high-end cars come from the factory with synthetic oil already added. All race cars use synthetic oil. It’s more slippery and handles much higher and lower temperatures better. It can also slightly improve gas mileage. Synthetic oil costs at least twice as much as conventional oil. The synthetic/conventional blend is more affordably priced. Conventional oil only needs to be changed about every 7,000 miles (not 3,000, as oil changers recommend). Synthetic oil can be changed every 10,000 miles. When choosing oil viscosity, it’s best to follow the car manufacturer’s recommendation. Once your car has logged 150,000 or more miles, go one level thicker. Example: If the manufacturer recommends 5-20, go to 10-30. However, never go thicker than 30 if your car uses a catalytic converter.

TUNE UP Today’s spark plugs should last 100,000 miles. Don’t let anyone fool you…there is nothing else to tune up!!! TRANSMISSION

The transmission is generally the weak link in an automotive system. If you use conventional transmission fluid, flush it every 50,000 miles. If you use synthetic, flush at 100,000 miles. If you use a vehicle for towing or pulling a load, use synthetic and flush at 50,000 miles or less. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


A car or truck battery should be good for four to five years, but don’t expect more! Pay attention to how your car starts up every day. If the engine seems to be turning over slower, and the battery is four years old, the battery is shot. Replace it.

BRAKES Pads – Brake pads are generally good for 100,000 miles. But, I’ve seen them wear out anywhere from 20,000 to 150,000 miles. Have someone check them periodically. Some cars have sensors connected to an indicator light on your dashboard. Listen for unusual squeaks or grinding noises, which may indicate worn pads. New pads are 14 millimeters (mm) thick. At 3 mm, they should be replaced. So when your mechanic says you have XX mm of pad left, you can judge what that means. It’s best to buy pads from the car dealer and avoid those made by third party manufacturers, which are more likely to make noise. Rotors – If your steering wheel wobbles when you apply the brakes,

your rotors probably need to be turned (once only) or replaced. Adjustments – There are NONE.

TIRES Air Pressure – Use the pressure indicated on the driver’s side door sticker, not the pressure on the tire sidewall. Tires are made for use on a wide range of vehicles. It’s primarily the vehicle’s weight that determines the proper pressure. Tires should typically be replaced at 50,000-60,000 miles, or a MAXIMUM of seven years. Old tires are very prone to dangerous blow outs. Even if your old tires look almost new, replace them. Look for the date code on the tire’s sidewall. It’s a four digit number. For example: 2713 means the tire was manufactured on the 27th week of 2013. Rotate your tires every 20,000 miles. Rotate front to back, NOT diagonally (like an X). On cars with all-wheel or 4-wheel drive, replace all of the tires at once. It is important that all four are the exact same diameter.


The ONLY alignment now is toe in. Everything else is fixed! Don’t spend money needlessly. Alignment of existing tires should only be needed if tires are wearing unevenly. Feel the tires for rough edges on the tread.


This is a personal preference, but replacing blades at least every other year is advisable. Immediately, if they are damaged. If you enjoy Tahoe or other cold weather destinations in the winter, get low temperature washer fluid so it doesn’t freeze! It may be easier to find at retailers closer to Tahoe.


This means something is wrong and you need to get it diagnosed. This light is used for a broad range of issues. Generally not an emergency. A common problem, and one to check first, is to make sure your fuel cap is in place, and screwed on properly!!! If you’re lucky, that’s all it is.






Gilroy’s Newest Art Studio

Blue Line Gallery




ilroy artist Ralph Marquez found the studio he was looking for in the Old Gilroy Hotel, and got a gallery in the bargain. He opened his new studio and the Blue Line Gallery in August of last year in the hotel at 7365 Monterey Road. Still retaining some of its former charm, the historic downtown hotel is well suited for an art gallery. Natural light floods through the transparent sidewalk entry, revealing a deep rectangular room with ample wall space for exhibits. His new studio is visible behind partial walls that separate the two areas, adding a certain authenticity to the environment. His current exhibit features his own watercolors along with works by abstract artist David Beckett and sculptor Jaap Bongers. “I plan to rotate exhibits every two months to feature established, as well as up and coming, local artists,” said Marquez. Marquez favors landscapes and prefers painting plein aire (open air) in his chosen medium of watercolors and acrylics. Like many artists, he began as a realist painter, but says his style has grown more abstract over the years. He applies his paints freely, creating motion and depth, with trees and shadows seemingly dancing and swirling above the ground scape.


Following a soft opening for last year’s Gilroy Wine Festival, Marquez held a reception and grand opening of the Blue Line Gallery on September 19th. The gallery has since hosted several receptions for exhibits by local artists. The gallery is currently open by appointment only and is available for special exhibits and receptions. After he settles in he hopes to establish posted hours. Marquez was an aspiring artist at his high school in Holtville, California, where he earned a scholarship to art school. Before he could pursue his studies, however, Uncle Sam came calling and he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. Serving at the height of the Viet Nam conflict, he served a two year combat tour — an experience that has stayed with him to this day. “I still wake up in the night reliving my experiences over there. I think it contributes to the passion in my art and why I sometimes express social injustices in my paintings.” It was one of those memories from the service that inspired the name of his gallery. He related that the rivers on the maps were called “blue lines,” usually a favorable destination for battle-weary soldiers.

“I always tried to lead my troops to the rivers, a place to cool off and kick back for a while.” After his discharge from the Army in 1970, he moved to San Jose and enrolled in San José City College as an art major. After receiving his A.A. degree he transferred to San José State University where he received his B.A. degree in Art in 1978. While studying at SJSU he became friends with his professor, Morgan Hill resident Robert “Bob” Friemark – a prodigious and accomplished artist in printmaking, watercolors and tapestries. They spent the next 25 years painting together until Friemark’s passing in 2010 at age 88. Marquez speaks fondly of those years with Friemark and considers him a significant influence on his development as an artist. “I lost my best friend,” recalls Marquez. “I don’t want his memory to fade; I think of him every time I paint. I always want to do work that would make Bob proud.” Anyone wanting to cool off and kick back while viewing an exhibit at the Blue Line Gallery is asked to contact Ralph Marquez at 408.767.9068 for more information.

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




Contractor: Mike Roscoe. Counters, flooring and tile from Superior Stone in Gilroy.





Adding Curb Appeal To Your Home

The way your house looks from the street can add thousands to its value, commanding a higher price and also taking less time to sell. If you’re looking to put your house on the market, there are a few things we recommend considering when it comes to curb appeal.  


Fix/Replace The Roof

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

Sometimes all it takes to make a roof look “like new” is a good cleaning. Removing dirt, moss, algae, etc. can make a huge difference. The roof can be one of the first things that an appraiser assesses, so any missing, curled or faded shingles are only going to lessen the value of your home. Don’t forget about the downspouts and gutters as well. Also, be sure to take a look at your neighbor’s roofs. If they have been well maintained or recently replaced, it may only make yours look worse off than it really is.

Freshen Up The Paint Buyers and appraisers instantly notice the value in a new exterior paint job. While it may seem to be an expensive and timeconsuming project, it’s one that definitely pays off and can give your home that much needed facelift.

Exterior Accents In addition to new paint, it’s also good to consider rock or stone accents to the exterior of your home. These could be added to the entire front of the house or sometimes just GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


around the garage is all you need. Even minor accents can add just the right amount of character to draw the attention of a home buyer, such as new house numbers and a new mailbox.

Spruce Up The Entryway The doorways to a home are another way to create a welcoming feel. Consider painting the front door a bold color and adding casing to frame it in and really make it pop. Tile is a nice way to spruce up the front steps and a new stone walkway can be a great addition as well. The garage door also makes a significant difference to the curb appeal of a home, especially for homes with a two-or three-car garage that faces the street. There are a number of different styles to choose from and installation can sometimes take less than a day to complete. First impressions are important, and when it comes to home buyers, that first look at the outside could make or break whether they decide to go inside. Depending on the condition of your home, the cost to add some curb appeal might not be as bad as you’re thinking. Talk to your local contractor and/or designer to discuss the best options for you.


Confessions of a Career Mortgage Professional


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

realized just recently that the Spring of 2016 marks 23 years that I have been in the Mortgage Business. That is a long time. I have been working in this industry now over half my life and longer (just barely) than I have been married. That has caused me to reflect on our industry. It is so different from when I started, but very much the same. Too many “refinance booms” to count. Too many “housing slowdowns” to count. One major mortgage meltdown, and one is plenty I think. My first job in the mortgage business when I was 21 was as a Facilities Clerk. I did mail runs, fixed things around the office, ran original notes to and from the warehouse banks, and tried to learn as much as I could. After asking a lot of questions and showing some initiative, I was trained by a forward-thinking mentor and learned how to evaluate credit, assess risk, and underwrite loans. That lead to my wife and I packing our things and moving to Austin, Texas to open a new mortgage office in a new market. From scratch. With no clients. When we landed in Austin in 1994 the industry was just coming out of a refinance boom, rates had jumped significantly, the markets had dried up, and Texas Mortgage Brokers were tired of California companies coming into their state. We worked hard to win them over, hired great people, and built a nice little office. Then corporate came calling and we came back to the Bay Area to help

grow the company on a national footprint. Back in 1994 the business was a lot like it is now. Full documentation, sometimes too many requests for paperwork, tough appraisals, tough guidelines, difficult times for the self-employed or the unique client. The deterioration of common sense and guidelines, and abuse that led to the mortgage meltdown claimed the company I worked for as one of its casualties. After 15 years I found myself unemployed and wondering what to do in an industry in flux. So my business partners and I decided to open an office in our hometown of Morgan Hill to serve our local communities. After years on the road growing a national company, we decided to stay small and local, and we opened our office of Guild Mortgage. From scratch. With no clients. Now we can celebrate eight years of growth, and our local office ranking among the Top Five in the state. We can celebrate helping thousands of homebuyers or refinance clients in that time period. My team and I can celebrate our recent designation to the Top 1% of Loan Officers in the nation, Circle of Honor and Presidents Club recognitions from our parent company, and an overall joy in our jobs day in and day out. This is not just my job, or my career. It is my passion. I love my job. And while this industry continues to evolve, I am grateful for everything I have learned in 23 years. And I look forward to what additional growth and learning lies ahead.

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.




BOOK CLUB BEAT with Sherry Hemingway

Young Moms Design a Book Club to Fit their Unpredictable Lives

Book Club Members: (Sitting l-r) Catherine Steffen, Lindsay Millea, Laura Mankovsky, Trista Zukowski; (Standing l-r) Michelle Paulson, Jacki Gargiulo, Laura Brown, Sarah Peirce and Renee Ridgeway.

Members of Las Madres & Friends Book Club in Gilroy are busy, busy women. They read, they raise children and they raise money for children’s cancer – pretty much all at the same time. Six years ago they started as a “super casual” mother’s social group doing play dates. Gradually they morphed into a book club uniquely organized to accommodate nursing, pregnant, and occasionally overwhelmed mothers of small children who want to read and get out of the house. When the little girl of one of their members developed terminal cancer, the group also took on fundraising for Unravel, the non-profit organization created in her memory to fight pediatric cancer. At times, they’ve been willing to “throw out the book discussion” when Unravel had an urgent need that required their immediate attention. No book talk for the sake of their charity was fine. Like all good mothers, they know their priorities. Family-friendly Las Madres & Friends Book Club in Gilroy makes it easy for moms to keep up their reading while raising children.



The Nightingale Author Kristin Hannah

ollowing in the footsteps of last year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, now comes “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. The two books, both set during the Nazi invasion and occupation of France during WWII, have distinctly different perspectives of those years. “Light” was about hiding from the Germans, “The Nightingale” is about resisting them. “The Nightingale” is about two French sisters who, in very different ways, struggle to survive and show the courage to save the ones they love. The book opens in Oregon in 1995, when an elderly and terminally ill woman receives an invitation. She is asked to come to Paris for a reunion of WWII “passeurs,” those who helped people during the war. The invitation means she must make the decision whether or not to come to terms with her long-hidden past. The story flashes back in time to France in 1940, when Germany is making its move on France. Reckless and rebellious Isabelle, age 18, has once again flunked out of finishing school. Swept into the chaos of the invasion of Paris by the Germans, Isabelle instinctively knows she can and will fight. Meanwhile, in a bucolic village in the Loire Valley, her elder sister, Vianne, believes the disruption will be

brief and her newly-drafted husband will return soon. Soon, Germans occupy their village and their officers choose the local homes in which they will live. One of those homes belongs to Vianne and her daughter. Vianne copes with a smile for the sake of her house, food and the safety of her family. In Paris, Isabelle stumbles across a downed British pilot in hiding, and through him finds her mission. She will smuggle him into Spain. The sisters have chosen different directions and Vianne comes to believe her sister Isabelle will be their doom. Book clubs sometimes question whether everything about World War II has already been written, and then a book comes along to remind us there are infinite stories about good and evil. This one looks hard at the fine line between life and death, and forces the unanswerable question: What would you do to survive? What would you do to save your loved ones? The lady in Oregon must revisit those questions and decide whether or not to get on an airplane and face them. Yes, there is yet another book about WWII that you really must read.



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.


Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Events and Legislative Updates By Mark Turner, President/CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce


The Gilroy Chamber’s Business and Education Committee held its 2nd Annual Rock-the-Mock event on March 24 and 25. Participating students went through a series of workshops, including: “How to Prepare for an Interview,” “Dress for Success,” “Digital ID – What Social Media Says About You,” and “What’s in a Handshake.” Afterward, students took part in a “mock” interview where they answered a series of questions presented to them by volunteers throughout the community. Approximately 50 volunteers were involved each day working with nearly 100 students from Gilroy, Christopher and Mt. Madonna High Schools along with students from Gilroy Early College Academy.

Legislative Summit

The Chamber hosted its 3rd Annual Legislative Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 22. This annual luncheon draws federal, state, county and local elected officials to share information on issues facing South County. Distinguished guests included: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, State Senator Bill Monning, State Assemblyman Luis Alejo, County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Gilroy Mayor Perry Woodward, Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate and Director John Varela from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

State Legislation

The Chamber tracks legislation coming from Sacramento and has provided a letter of support for AB 1928 – Irrigation Standards to Save our Drinking Water. This bill would establish deadlines for the development of water use efficiency standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment. Specifically, AB 1928 would require the California Energy Commission to establish these standards by January 1, 2018. The Chamber has opposed SB 878 – Work Hours: Scheduling. This bill would require employers to provide “modification pay” for changes made to an employee’s schedule with less than seven days’ notice. The bill applies to any restaurant, grocery store, or retail store establishment, regardless of size. SB 878 will eliminate flexibility in the workplace for both employers and employees, deny employees the opportunity to work additional hours if desired, limit employer’s ability to accommodate customer demands, and subject employers to layers of penalties, investigative actions and costly litigation. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is, and will continue to be, a strong voice for the business community and the community at large.




Michele Campbell Insurance Services


he team at Michele Campbell Insurance Services is committed to providing clients with the highest quality insurance plans available combined with the lowest rates available in all of California. Whether you’re shopping for health insurance, life or long term care insurance, they can help you get the best coverage available with the lowest rate possible. Their specialty is helping clients navigate the Medicare world. Let them simplify the process for you and get you placed in the coverage to suit your needs and budget. Michele Campbell Insurance Services’ ultimate goal is to create lasting relationships with each of their clients so they may continue providing excellent service for many years to come. They are located at 60 4th Street in Gilroy. 408-848-2271.

Frank’s Garden Florist


rank’s Garden Florist is owned and operated by Sheila Alvarez. With over 40 years of floral experience between Sheila and the creative team, they understand the importance of quality, beauty, and keeping up with current trends. With a variety of fresh flowers picked up daily from local Gilroy, Watsonville and San Martin flower growers, they are committed to making custom floral arangements extraordinary and providing creative gift ideas to suit any style or budget. Order flowers from Frank’s Garden Florist online on their secured 24-hour website:, place orders directly at 408.847.5888 or they can assist you at their street location: 401 First Street. They welcome local as well as worldwide deliveries and offer daily delivery to local funeral homes and hospitals in Gilroy.


Bonita Springs Hospice Care


ospice is compassionate care and comfort for people facing advancing illness. Bonita Springs Hospice Care strives to provide humane and dignified treatment. They enable individuals to live life as fully as possible by attending to their nursing health, emotional and spiritual needs. Their circle of care also includes education and support for family members. When your loved one is considering end-of-life care, the ability to spend those days at home provides additional comfort at a very difficult time. Surrounded by the things they love most, patients receiving hospice care at home find a safe haven where they may live with dignity and comfort. Bonita Springs Hospice Care staff members provide support to the primary caregiver, typically a family member or loved one who may never have cared for a terminally-ill person. Their team develops a care plan designed specifically for each patient’s need for pain management and symptom control, as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. Bonita Springs Hospice Care will also provide medication, treatment, equipment and supplies that are related to the patient’s hospice diagnosis. A member of the Bonita Springs Hospice Care team makes regular visits to assess the patient and works closely with the patient and family to provide additional care or services when needed, all in the home setting. Bonita Springs Hospice Care is locally owned and operated. 8545 Monterey Rd. 408-848-1114

Gilroy Lodge on the Hill


ooking for an ideal location with peaceful surroundings, excellent service and delicious cuisine for your wedding reception, anniversary celebration, family reunion, memorial quinceanera, off-site business meeting, prom or dinner fundraiser? With a spectacular view from our Valley View Room, the Lodge can make your event a success. The Valley View Room comfortably seats 280 guests. For smaller groups, the Mt. Madonna Room comfortably seats 100 people. To add more value to your event, the Gilroy Lodge on the Hill features local cuisine and catering by Dave Bozzo of Gilroy Grill Catering. Both banquet rooms have a full-service cocktail lounge area with an outstanding selection of beverages, local area wines and champagne.




manners MATTER


The Practice of Phone Etiquette

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



ut of all the questions I get concerning manners, telephone etiquette is probably one of the most popular. Parents, teachers, clergymen, co-workers and management have all been frustrated at one time or another with our use of the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell would be surprised at the advances the modern telephone has made since its invention in 1876 as a means of both communication and socialization. Some folks have even given up their landlines in favor of the almighty cell phone. Don’t get me wrong, the cell phone is one of the greatest advances in technology today. We can not only talk to our friends and do business on the cell phone, but we can check emails, catch up socially on Facebook, and quickly text folks when we are either too busy or incapable of talking at the moment. We can even take photos and videos! The cell phone is not only convenient, but it is the perfect emergency device when you need assistance immediately. Parents feel a little more secure sending their kids off to camp or to college knowing that they can be reached on a moment’s notice. However, there are rules for using that wonderful invention. Have you ever seen folks walking down the street, head down, phone up to their ear, oblivious to traffic and everything else around them? Dangerous! I’ve heard phones go off in church, classrooms, meetings, concerts, weddings and even funerals. Have you ever been on the phone listening to someone on the other end eating or chewing gum? It’s not very pleasant is it? I have to commend my husband Frank. During his birthday dinner, he had our family turn off their cell phones and put them in a basket in the middle of the table. Everybody looked at him like he was crazy, but it was the most enjoyable dinner we’ve had. No interruptions, no funky ringtone, no one checking their texts or emails. Folks were actually engaging in wonderful conversation, looking people in the eye. Of course, Frank offered anyone who answered their phone the opportunity to pay the dinner bill! There is nothing worse than having an inperson conversation with someone only for them to take a call in the middle of it. Unless it’s an emergency, it is rude and just plain bad manners. The message they are giving is that the person on the phone is more important than you are. Whether you are using a landline or a cell phone, there are basic rules of telephone etiquette. This applies to both business and personal use. And it all boils down to respect



and consideration for others. • Give your name at once when calling someone. Don’t ask them to give their name first. Never say, “Who’s this?” Instead say, “Hi, this is Jane Doe. May I please speak with John Smith?” • Speak clearly and distinctly. Be aware of your tone. This is a courtesy not only to the person on the other end of the phone, but those around you. • Whas Up, Sup? Yo, Yea, or What? These are not ways to answer the phone. Always be considerate and have the utmost respect for anyone on the other end of the telephone. • Monitor how loud you may be. Do not chew gum or eat while talking. Rustling papers, emptying the dishwasher, working on the computer are all distractions and are annoying to the person on the other end of the phone. • Do not allow interruptions to occur during conversations. Give the person you are talking to your undivided attention. Do not carry on side conversations with other people around you. • When leaving a message, speak clearly and slowly. State your name, number (with area code), and the time you called, and leave a brief message. Do not ramble. • Turn your cell phones off or put them on “manner mode” (vibrate or silent ring) when entering meetings, the classroom, church, the theater, a library, a restaurant or any place where hearing your cell phone ring would be a disturbance. • Never use a hand-held cell phone while driving. Get a headset or speaker phone for the car. • Watch your language, especially when others can overhear you. And steer clear of confrontational issues on the phone. Table the issue until you can talk in person. • Avoid talking about personal or confidential topics in a public place. • Be in the moment. Have respect and consideration for those you are engaging with. Returning calls, emails, and texts can be done when you are alone. And, it’s okay to schedule this a couple of times a day instead of being a slave to your phone. This can be very liberating. Be in control of your phone, don’t let it control you! • When you are finished with your phone conversation, please say good-bye.

Gilroy’s Old Music Hall Written By Elizabeth Barratt


ocated near the southeast corner of Fifth and Eigleberry Streets, the Music Hall was once part of the center of town, occupying an ideal position across from the one-time city offices, jail and the Vigilant Fire Engine Company. Even after 1905, when municipal services moved to the new City Hall at Sixth and Monterey Streets, the Music Hall, later renamed the Opera House, lasted another two decades. For over a half-century, the site hosted concerts, vaudeville shows, educational presentations, speeches, school graduations and political rallies. The first known public function at the Music Hall was a Christmas Ball held in 1874, not long after the building was completed. With removable seating, the interior provided space for numerous large community events. As Memorial Day and July Fourth observances drew to a close, it was the spot where citizens gathered for patriotic literary exercises, as a wrap-up to the day’s outdoor parade and picnic festivities. With a 750-seat capacity, the Music Hall was a draw for touring groups. A typical announcement of the era appeared in the Gilroy Advocate in November 1899. It proclaimed, “At the Music Hall Monday Night, Gorton’s Famous Minstrels of New Orleans will perform new acts and laughable oddities, along with a main


street parade scheduled for noon and a grand finale concert. Prices: 35 cents, 50 cents and children 25 cents.” Speakers on cross-country lecture circuits featured such diverse presentations as a 60-member cast performing “Grand Fairy Speciale and Melodrama” in 1883, and in 1892, a mindreading presentation by Alexander J. McIvor Tyndall. Successful tours sometimes stayed on for three-night performances. Built on the site of a burned-out livery stable in 1873-74 just a few years after Gilroy’s incorporation, the Music Hall endured as a place of public gatherings until the 1920s. Portions of the old redwood structure were later incorporated into Gilroy’s first American Legion Building and National Guard Armory. Over the years, not all the Music Hall shows received enthusiastic attendance. A February 1900 article in the Gilroy Advocate observed the dreary performance of a wellattended minstrel show, “There are 8 or 9 women, 4 men and a small boy in the company. No musicians among them. The company appeared to be more interested in the merry mood of the audience than with their own performance. The voices of the company were strained and harsh. The men mumbled and were not understood.” Political rallies met at the hall, as did large assemblies held to air public issues. In 1903 eight teachers of the Gilroy Grammar School brought a complaint before the



Board of Trustees against the principal, Mr. Denton. Calling him a harsh taskmaster, the women protested against his labeling of them as “hussies and sluts.” Infuriated Gilroyans met at the Music Hall to demand Denton’s resignation. The Music Hall was the scene of graduation ceremonies and other school events. Bands and youth orchestras performed in concerts, such as one held in March 1901 to commemorate the opening of the coastal railroad route connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles. On December 9, 1905, Mr. Frederick MacMurray entertained audiences with a violin concert. The son of the local Presbyterian minister, he was the father of future film and television personality, Fred MacMurray. The town’s first films were shown at the Music Hall in 1905, by then upgraded sufficiently to be renamed the Opera House. Moving pictures were shown every two weeks. The Opera House continued to draw audiences until the end of 1921, when the Strand Theater opened on Monterey Street. Besides offering the latest in cinema, the movie house had modern dressing rooms and a full capacity stage for live performances, making it Gilroy’s new, popular entertainment spot. The Opera House building stood silent until 1926, when the local American

Legion unit purchased the site, soon adding a lot behind it on Eigleberry St. After part of the Opera House was torn down, the American Legion building was constructed at the corner of Fifth and Eigleberry Streets. The following year, the remaining east side of the structure along Fifth Street was remodeled and turned into a National Guard Armory. Another section of property, now 64 W. Fifth Street, was

sold to Doctors Elmer and Wayne Chesbro for a new brick medical building. The remodeled Armory space and new Legion building held an auditorium, a banquet room, offices, kitchen and storeroom for the local National Guard unit. By 1940, the new Wheeler Civic Auditorium and Armory were constructed at Sixth and Church Streets. The following year, the old Armory on Fifth Street was



razed to make way for medical offices for Dr. Leon Melkonian. By the 1950s the Legion building on the corner of Fifth and Eigleberry Streets was turned into medical offices and a beauty parlor. More recently it has been used as an alterations shop. The American Legion built a newer, larger facility one block away, on Sixth and Eigleberry Streets. The site is now known as the Veterans Building.


Spring Cleaning


ike clockwork, every spring we clean out and organize the garage, weed though the clutter in the kids’ rooms, and clear the cob webs from the rafters. But what about clearing out all the financial documents, bills and statements we accumulate? 

• Mortgage documents, mortgage statements and HELOC statements. Keep mortgage documents for the ownership period of the property plus ten years to permanently. Keep mortgage and HELOC statements for the ownership period of the property plus seven years.

First off, I highly recommend using a fireproof safe or password-protected electronic file to store your retained documents. The following are suggestions for retaining some of the most common financial documents:  

• Tax records pertaining to real property or “real assets” should be kept for as long as you own the asset, and for at least seven years after you sell, exchange or liquidate it.


• Federal and state tax returns. The IRS has three years from your filling date to audit your return and six years to challenge your return if it believes you underreported gross income by 25 percent or more.

By Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF®

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

• Bank, credit card statements, and expense receipts. Keep statements, cancelled checks or receipts detailing itemized expenses claimed on your federal return, medical and health insurance payments, mortgage payments, home improvement expenses, business expenses or charitable contributions. • Payroll statements, W-2 and 1099 statements. If you own a business or are selfemployed, retain your payroll statements for seven years or longer. KEEP WHILE ACTIVE TO PERMANENTLY:

• Investment account statements, retirement account statements, and Form 1099s. Keep annual statements and 1099s until you close the account, and then up to seven years after the last security in the account was sold. (Hold on to your quarterly statements until you get the annual statement). 

• Cost Basis. Retain any record of your original investment in any type of security until you sell the investment. This will help determine capital gains or losses. Custodians are now required to report on cost basis of investments, however they may not have cost basis information on certain types of securities held in your account, especially if purchased elsewhere and transferred into the account. • Employee benefits statements. Keep the most recent year-end statement on file. • Paycheck stubs.  Keep until you receive your W-2 form from your employer each year. • Insurance. Life, disability, health, auto, home … keep for the life of the policy plus three years. Invest in a safe-deposit box for papers that can’t be easily replaced: Original birth and death certificates, Social Security cards, passports, estate documents, wills and trusts, life-insurance documents, marriage and divorce decrees, military discharge information, vehicle titles and loan documents. If you choose passwordprotected electronic storage for your documents, make sure to keep a back-up copy on a drive that is stored in a fireproof safe or safe-deposit box.  For security and protection of your identity, dispose of all sensitive documents by shredding or other secure means.  

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




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Imagine…”I do” Nestled in a canyon of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the REDWOOD RETREAT at FERNWOOD CELLARS is a touch majestic, romantically picturesque, and ruggedly serene.

History is timeless. Leave your mark. JOIN US

䐀攀猀椀最渀椀渀最 眀攀戀猀椀琀攀猀 愀渀搀 䔀挀漀洀洀攀爀挀攀 猀椀琀攀猀 猀椀渀挀攀 ㄀㤀㤀㠀Ⰰ 眀攀 瀀爀椀搀攀  漀甀爀猀攀氀瘀攀猀  椀渀  瀀爀漀瘀椀搀椀渀最    挀漀洀瀀氀攀琀攀  漀渀氀椀渀攀  猀漀氀甀琀椀漀渀猀  昀漀爀  漀甀爀  挀甀猀琀漀洀攀爀猀⸀  眀眀眀⸀䄀䈀䐀瀀爀漀洀漀琀椀漀渀猀⸀挀漀洀⼀眀攀戀猀椀琀攀ⴀ搀攀猀椀最渀

Weddings Celebrations Special Events

BRIDAL OPEN HOUSE connect / plan / design SUNDAY, MAY 22nd NOON — 4PM

(408) 848-0611 7137 Redwood Retreat Road • Gilroy, CA 95020 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Big Things Happening in Downtown Morgan Hill Keep coming to downtown Morgan Hill to see how things are developing and to have lots of outdoor fun. The summer of 2016 promises to be an exhilarating time.


By John Horner, President /CEO Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce

e are in the midst of some of the biggest changes in our downtown in a very long time and are kicking off a summer season of outdoor, family-friendly fun. It all begins with the annual Mushroom Mardis Gras festival on May 28th and 29th. The very next weekend starts the wildly popular Friday Night Music series at the Downtown Amphitheater held every Friday evening from June 3rd through August 26th. The region’s finest Independence Day celebrations, including a massive parade through the downtown take place on July 4th weekend. Please read for information about these three key happenings. Our other big news downtown is construction, construction and more construction. The major streetscape renovations and art installations are nearing completion as is the new parking garage. This garage will be a resource supporting business patrons, special event visitors, guests of our downtown residents and commuters who use the nearby train and bus stops as part of their longer journey. Our region continues to lobby CalTrain for more frequent service. If and when that happens, we will have the parking capacity to support our needs. Speaking of which, we recently learned that the US has approximately three parking spaces for every vehicle in the country. At any given time, the majority of those spaces are sitting empty at our homes, workplaces, dining destinations, and so on. Going forward we have to be smarter about mixed use of regions so that parking spaces can serve multiple users throughout the day. A big new garage isn’t useful without great reasons to come downtown, and so much is happening there. The first project we expect to open is the thoroughly renovated Granada Theater and Event Center. Frank Leal’s team is refurbishing this into a combination dining and entertainment venue which will offer special event space, special movie screenings, live entertainment and more. Later this year we also expect to see construction start for the two buildings which will house four new restaurants at the corner of Monterey and 3rd street on the site where the closed store and temporary pop-up park are presently located. Other major projects we expect to start this year include a large mixed residential, small office and retail development at the site of the current Depot Center (aka Booksmart site), a condo project in the presently empty site north of



the Granary building and further renovations of the building at 2nd and Monterey where Tryst and Royal Clothiers have been located. Further down the road we expect construction of a new boutique hotel at the site of the now vacant Downtown Mall and a “still being finalized” mixed-use project at the site of the former bike shop building.

Take a step back in time to the “Rat Pack Era” when you attend an event at the historical Granada Theatre! Walk under the glow of the marquee, and into the White Carrera Marble Foyer. Check your coat at the door and strike a “Red Carpet Worthy Pose” in front of your personalized backdrop. Stroll up to the 40- foot-long bar and order a classic or modern signature cocktail from one of the mixologists. Enter into the theatre and marvel at the 30-foot-tall vaulted ceiling, adorned with 10 crystal chandeliers. Select a seat in one of the tufted booths complete with marble tabletops, located on the upper two elevated tiers. Indulge in a variety of culinary assortments all personally prepared by our Executive Chef Mark Johnson. As the lighting of the wall scones dim, sit back, relax and enjoy the show!


BUSINESS NEWS Freedom Fest Celebrations

2016 Friday Night Music Series Band Line-up




Type of Music

June 3 Entourage June 10 Soul Kiss June 17 The Hitmen June 24 Super Bad July 1 Shane Dwight July 8 Pop Fiction July 15 KJ All Stars July 22 Take 2 July 29 Extra-Large August 5 Busta-Groove August 12 Forejour August 19 Houserockers August 26 Sage

Today’s Favorites, Yesterday’s Classics Rock, Blues, Country, Classic Rock Funk, Soul, Disco, Latin 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and Today American Roots Artist Non-stop dance hits, sing alongs, and favorites from the 70’s to 2000’s Top-40, Rock, Pop, Country, Blues, Disco, R & B Jazz, Latin, and clean Hip Hop Rap. Top hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, to current chart toppers. Positive Fun & Funky Vibes Northern California’s Dance Party Band Foreigner and Journey Tribute Band Fusing Elements of Rock, Blues, Funk, 60’s Soul and R&B R&B, Funk, and Soul

Morgan Hill’s 4th of July Parade is legendary and is but one element of the week- long Freedom Fest Celebrations. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the July 3rd Patriotic Sing at the Downtown Amphitheater followed by a massive street dance on Monterey Road that evening. After resting up in the wee hours of the 3rd, folks are back out to enjoy the downtown parade on the 4th. Later in the day everyone migrates to the Outdoor Sports Complex for a fireworks display after dark. There is much more to learn about these and other special events that week, so please check out the organizers’ website at

Mushroom Mardi Gras

Morgan Hill’s Mushroom Mardi Gras festival will be celebrating it’s 37th year of continuous operation this year. The organizers ( have big plans for this year’s event, and participant entry is still free. The twoday festival of family fun includes live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts, gourmet offerings, mushroom education, strolling musicians, street performers, and several city blocks of unique booths. For children, Munchkinland captivates kids with rides, games and continuous entertainment. The festival raises funds for educational scholarships, which are granted annually and provide an opportunity for many local non-profit organizations, clubs and schools to create awareness of their cause.





with an Attitude

No Place for Blind Spots in Caregiving

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.



lind spots are the areas of the road that cannot be seen while looking forward or through either the rear-view or side mirrors. To ensure safety when driving, you turn your head to make sure there isn’t another car or person “in the blind spot,” Easy fix. But when you have an emotional blind spot – that gets trickier. How so? Turning your head when driving can be scary for beginner drivers but most of us don’t experience fear when we turn our heads. But when you are faced with an emotional “blind spot,” that is personal and you may not be comfortable facing certain facts about yourself or someone you love or look up to. Facing the truth is not always easy. One day I received a call from the wife of someone I know. The couple had conservatorship of care for someone who used to work for them and she had dementia. After a decade of taking care of hundreds of clients with dementia and the many years of training, my staff and I have had, it is safe to say that we have a good understanding of this challenge. The caller, who apparently has siblings and in-laws in the medical field, began by saying “the agency we work with better realize that we have a lot of doctors and nurses in our family, and we know dementia.” She may have made that comment to be intimidating but I was relieved to hear it. I know, however, having dealt with so many medical personnel, that their backgrounds don’t necessarily make them experts in dealing with dementia. Dealing with clients with dementia is tough. So when a client’s family understands this challenge, it is good news. Before our company conducts an assessment, we ask such questions as “what type of dementia is it” and “what stage is it.” In this case, I could tell that the caller did not have the answers and was not willing to admit it. She had a blind spot. Despite my effort to guide her to “turn her head” to overcome it, something kept her from working through it. I was glad that she did not call back – working with families who won’t work through blind spots triples the difficulty of helping those in our care who have dementia. What blind spot do you have about your Mom or Dad or someone you love that you are caring for or setting up care for? What blind spot do you have about yourself that



could be affecting the care you provide or you are setting up? Daughters can easily have that blind spot when Dad needs help—it can be tough to accept that someone you adored and revered, is showing signs of limitations, of weaknesses. Sons may have a blind spot whe Mom cannot take care of herself anymore. She now needs help in doing even the basic task of keeping herself clean. Many people have a blind spot about their situation. One local realtor called me one day, concerned that her Mom seemed upset all weekend: “I hired you people so my Mom is not on me about not visiting,” she yelled. “Your caregiver can never replace you.” I told her “We can give her the best care, make her laugh, distract her from missing you — but we cannot ever replace you.” She hung up on me. She couldn’t get past her blind spot. Agencies like ours work with people in many situations, from clients that really just need companionship to those who have reached the hospice stage. We work hard to bring meaning to the lives of those we care for, and certainly do not see ourselves as a stop gap, there to fill a void. We can help family members “turn their heads and avoid blind spots.” Some agencies will just work with what they have to work with, others will tug at you and try to point to “a blind spot,” if it means offering better possibilities for our clients. If you tell your care providers to mind their own business, they will — if the blind spot is not creating an unsafe environment for your loved one. What is your blind spot preventing you from seeing? Is it the extent of care that your loved one needs? Is it that they really need you to be more present when you visit? Are you ignoring your Mom or Dad’s needs because of worries about finances? Do you need to accept that you cannot do this alone and it is time to take Mom or Dad to a nursing home? Is it that you cannot keep up with Mom’s need and you may need to help her adjust to the lifestyle in an adult living community where others can be there to socialize with her? If you don’t “turn your head,” what consequences might you or your loved one face later? If facing some realities is “just too hard,” give permission to someone (even the agency or your independent caregiver) to alert you to the blind spot. But, please don’t let blind spots keep you from securing the best care for yourself or your loved one!





LAFCO What is Its Role in Our Growth? Written By Larry J. Mickartz


any pieces of legislation are reactions to past abuses. A good example of this is the urban sprawl that occurred in places like Los Angeles and San Jose after World War II. Post-war economic growth was strong in California. Soldiers returning home felt the draw of the Golden State. But rather than orderly growth, California suffered from disjointed urban sprawl and with it, significant loss of agriculture and open space. Today, a drive through the LA basin and the northern sections of Santa Clara Valley provide clear evidence of this sprawl. Then came the public outcry as the negative


impacts of sprawl became increasingly clear. In response, the California legislature mandated the creation of Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCOs) in 1963. The primary objective of Santa Clara County’s LAFCO is to provide oversight when it comes to the establishment of boundaries of cities and special districts, thus encouraging orderly boundaries and discouraging urban sprawl while preserving agricultural and open space lands. It should be noted that while the majority of Santa Clara Valley’s potentially developable open space and farmland



lies within the South County, there is no requirement to have a representative from South County on the Santa Clara LAFCO. In fact, the commission operated for many years without a representation from Gilroy or Morgan Hill. LAFCO maps depict its three areas of concern as: city limits, urban service areas, and spheres of influence. For most cities in the northern part of Santa Clara County, the LAFCO map shows the three areas to be the same, overlapping one another. For the South County, it’s a different story – the three areas are distinct, progressing outward from city limit to urban service

The mission

of the Santa Clara LAFCO is to promote orderly growth and development in Santa Clara County by:

• Preserving agricultural lands and open space;

• Curbing urban sprawl;

• Encouraging efficient delivery of services;

• Exploring and facilitating regional opportunities for fiscal sustainability; and

• Promoting public accountability and transparency of local agencies to improve governance.

Three boundaries of review:

Comprised of seven members:


• Two County Supervisors appointed by the Board of Supervisors Currently: Mike Wasserman and Ken Yage

An annexation adds land to the city limits. Some annexations push boundaries of a city outward. Other annexations are island annexations within existing city limits. (CITY LIMITS IN RED ON MAP)

Urban Service Area (USA) An USA is a planning boundary for cities. It delineates areas that are currently provided with urban services, facilities and utilities; or areas proposed to be annexed into a city within the next 5 years in order to be developed and receive city services. (SHOWN IN YELLOW ON MAP)

Sphere of Influence (SOI): A SOI is a planning boundary that applies to special districts and cities. State law defines a SOI as a plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local agency, as determined by LAFCO. The USA is an indication of areas that the city will in the future annex or provide services. For cities, the SOI is a long range planning tool to evaluate USA amendments and annexation requests. (SHOWN IN BLUE ON MAP)

area to sphere of influence. LAFCO is a significant force in the general planning process that impacts cities and special districts in South County and throughout California. LAFCO has been described as a “powerful but obscure” agency. Recently, LAFCO played a major role in both Gilroy and Morgan Hill when the cities attempted to expand in ways that each had determined to be responsible. LAFCO filed an unprecedented lawsuit against the City of Gilroy, blocking its annexation of 721 acres to the north. This move would have paved the way for a build-out of that

• One Council Member from the City of San Jose appointed by the City Council Currently: Johnny Khakis • One Council Member from any of the other cities appointed by the Cities Selection Committee Currently: Cat Tucker (Gilroy), 2015-16 Chairperson • Two Board Members from independent special districts: • One appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Currently: Linda Lezotte

• One appointed by the Independent Special District Selection Committee Currently: Sequoia Hall (Open Space)

• One Public Member appointed by the other members of the Commission Currently: Susan Vicklund Wilson

acreage, consistent with previous LAFCO directives promoting growth in the north. Known as the Los Olivos Project, it called for development to be undertaken over a 15-20 year time span. LAFCO also recently blocked the City of Morgan Hill on two occasions, which involved the Southeast Quadrant (229 acres) and the MontereyWatsonville (71 acres) development projects. While LAFCO could have a positive role to play in preventing urban sprawl in South County, its history of decisions has not been favorable to South County. Between 2010 and 2015, LAFCO has approved approximately 1,500 acres of annexations,



urban service areas, and sphere of influence amendments in Santa Clara County. During this same time period, LAFCO approved annexation of only 10 acres in Morgan Hill and none in Gilroy. Going back further in time, the Gilroy Sports Park was denied in 2002 and Gilroy’s golf course expansion was denied in 1999. This is especially significant because Gilroy and Morgan Hill are the only cities in Santa Clara County with a surrounding green belt. To learn more about Santa Clara County LAFCO, go to




Your “Yes” isn’t yes if you can’t say “No”


an you remember feeling cornered and pressed into doing something that you really didn’t want to do? Or perhaps you remember taking advantage of someone you knew was “too nice” to refuse you? If either of these scenarios speak to you, chances are you may have a problem with something called boundaries. In similar fashion to boundaries for property, personal boundaries help to establish limits or guidelines around physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual interactions between people. Your comfort level with personal space, expectations, and the right to decide them, may be significantly different than your coworker or friend. Boundaries are shaped by a variety of things; your beliefs, past experiences, value systems, or social environment, among other things. Guaranteed, you’ll have better interactions when you respect each others’ differences. Unhealthy boundaries can create problems both by being either too rigid or too porous. If you are on the spectrum leaning towards being rigid, chances are you have a difficult time trusting people and can’t accept the influence of others. It’s as if you live in an emotional fortress and attempt to keep yourself emotionally safe by not allowing anyone in. The difficulty with that is that 1) No one is truly self-sufficient, and 2) It is a lonely way to live. No one can give constructive criticism or feedback. Neither can they offer connection and support. My guess is that you’ve been hurt somewhere along the line and this has been your solution. When you have porous or nonexistent boundaries, you have difficulty distinguishing where your responsibility starts or stops in relationship to those around you. One presentation is having difficulty

protecting yourself. You may feel responsible for the happiness of others. You absorb perceived expectations and resulting guilt from an imaginary audience you feel the need to satisfy. You find it hard to say “no” without an ironclad excuse. You may even go against your own values because of the need to please. Whether by nature or nurture, you are hyper aware of others and attempt to keep everyone happy. It creates a lot of anxiety! The other presentation of not having boundaries is being invasive rather than defenseless. In essence you won’t take “no” for an answer. You may touch inappropriately or be confused when people are offended by your freely expressed comments. You may share intimate information too quickly (or expect it from others) and assume a greater bond exists than really does. The presentation here can be either extravagant with obvious intrusions, or timid but needy with the expectation that others are responsible for taking care of you. Chances are you are unaware, or not concerned, about the impact you have on those around you. Ultimately there is a healthier place in the midrange where you are able to identify your own wants, needs and feelings and can respectfully negotiate for them in relationship to the wants and needs of others. It doesn’t mean that you’ll ALWAYS get EVERYTHING, but it’s important that all parties feel like they had a voice in the process. You can say “no” to the request to take on a job you don’t want or have time for, without justifying it. You recognize the responsibility that is yours to make choices that you can live with. So why does this matter anyway? Ultimately the healthiest and most intimate relationships will be those that discern what, or whom, to let in and out. Healthy boundaries require twoway communication to express wants

and needs and minimize misunderstandings. You know what you like without the influence or pressure of another’s expectation. You can say “Let me think about it” before accepting a new claim on your calendar, or say “no” to unwanted gifts or touch. It’s not selfish. It’s a way to keep yourself healthy without over- extending yourself or allowing unsafe people easy access to the tender parts of you. When you honor another’s boundaries, you respect that they bring a different set of gifts, talents, experiences. In the long run, you will find the people in your life giving more, without resentment, because there is trust that you aren’t taking advantage of them. If you have simply been unaware of your affect on others, pay attention, and practice patience while you listen. If you’re the person who doesn’t care about others, you’re the reason boundaries are important. The ability to have “yes” be yes, instead of “I can’t say no” brings integrity into a relationship. It will be uncomfortable at first, but worth it!

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.




Mount Madonna School

Campus Tour | May 11, 9:30 am or call today to schedule a private tour!

RSVP 408-847-2717


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

Growing Up Gilroy

Your Past, Their Future

Frank Angelino, life-long Gilroy resident, and his wife Betty raised their two daughters, Deanna and Gina, in Gilroy. Frank wants to make sure that his grandsons will grow up in a community that nurtures the dreams and goals they aspire to. He believes the “Growing Up Gilroy Fund” will ensure that the same wonderful opportunities available to him and his daughters, in their youth, are there for future generations. The “Growing Up Gilroy Fund,” will fund competitive grant applications from local youth organizations that request money for fee assistance for participants. It was his it's their future. To become a Charter Donor with a minimum $50 donation, send your check today, made payable to the Gilroy Foundation. Frank Angelino

The goal is to find a minimum of 200 donors at $50 each who remember “Growing Up Gilroy.” Here’s what to do: • A donation may be made in the name of your child(ren) to the “Growing Up Gilroy” Fund. Their names will be listed on the Gilroy Foundation website…and/or • Email addresses of those in your family who you feel may be interested in this Fund may be sent to We will contact them via email to further explain the fund and solicit their participation…and/or • Mail your donation to Gilroy Foundation, P.O. Box 774, Gilroy, CA 95021. If you would like additional information, contact the Gilroy Foundation at

Gina Angelino Anderson Matthew and William Anderson




The new trend…stay-at-home dads


ontrary to popular belief, more fathers would like to stay at home with the kids and let the mom be the breadwinner of the family. Nationwide there are close to 2 million stay-at-home dads and climbing, but the stay-at-home father is still considered a rare specimen. As some dads assume more of the primary child-rearing responsibilities, they face some very specific challenges. Whether you’re a current stay-at-home dad or thinking of becoming one, here are some helpful tips to make the tough job of raising kids a little easier:

Be Proud of Your Decision

Many men who become the primary caregivers of their family are reticent to call themselves “stay-at-home dads.” The sad truth is that there are people who are quick to assume that a man staying at home with his kids must be an “unemployed loser.” Being a stay-athome father can generate a number of unwanted responses ranging from rude comments, to suspicion, to misplaced sympathy. Even if it was a financial move or a lifestyle change, if you wear your title of full-time dad proudly and unapologetically, people are more likely to respect that. It becomes clear to them that you are choosing to do this instead of being forced to. It also shows your kids that you love being with them and that your role is nothing to be ashamed of.

Discuss Non-Childcare Related Duties With Your Partner

It’s natural that the primary caregiver will carry a larger share of the household responsibilities. Kids make crazy messes and part of caring for them is cleaning up after them, cooking their meals, and doing their laundry. However, being the caregiver isn’t the same as being the housekeeper. Try to share the tasks that aren’t part of the day-to-day childcare with your spouse as equally as possible. Decide who will be doing the general cleaning, the laundry for the adults of the house, the grocery shopping, the cooking of evening/weekend meals, etc. It’s really important that you and your partner are on the same page in this regard to avoid any resentments or arguments.

Connect with Other Fathers and Parents

The struggles of stay-at-home dads are exactly the same as stay-athome moms. The isolation and loss of identity, the insecurity, and feelings of not being a financial contributor are just a few of the many battles. In some respects, parenting can be a thankless job. Having a community of stay-at-home dads helps with the success and happiness of the stay-at-home parent. Whatever worries or scary or joyous thoughts you’re having about being a dad, others have had them too. Getting another man’s perspective will help you make sense of things, and your perspectives will help them too. You might feel like you’re the only stay-at-home father in your area, but chances are, you’re not alone. Check out the Find A Dad Group page on the National At-Home Dad Network’s site, or put the word out at your church or your pediatrician’s office or on Facebook. If you don’t feel comfortable joining a group, try to make regular contact with other dads. Of course, you don’t have to limit your support system to just dads. Moms are more likely to have a plethora of resources and support available to them. There are plenty of mothers who will love what you’re doing, speak up on your behalf, and make you feel welcome.

Make It Your Own

As the primary caregiver you have the opportunity to put your unique stamp on activities. Let your interests and personality spill over into simple, everyday moments. Who says superheroes can’t attend tea parties? If you love sports, take your kids to a local ball game or visit a sporting goods store and have the kids help you try out your favorite sports equipment. If you love the outdoors, find a nature preserve or state park where you and your kids can hike. You can even pack a lunch and make a picnic of it. Just because they’re kids doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to only children’s places. No matter where you go or what you choose to do, more than likely your kids will take an interest in what you love as well. You might even gain a partner in your hobby! Old views die hard, but the truth of the matter is that being a nurturing caregiver has no gender distinctions. A father can do everything that a mother can do, and to your kids, having a dad around will be normal. They’ll just be happy to be home with you instead of going to after school childcare like their friends. So have fun and soak up as much quality time with your kids as you can. In the blink of an eye they’ll be all grown up!

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Wine Tasting

Sunday 11am-5pm

Celebrating all Mothers we are offering a special tasting Music in the Vineyard Music in the Vineyard Lobster Feast Music in the Vineyard Paella Dinner Music in the Vineyard

4525 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, Ca 95020 408.842.3305



it’s YOUR swing

with Don DeLorenzo


The Best (and Oldest) 11-Hole Course in the U.S. — maybe the World”


id you know that Gilroy Golf Course is the oldest public course in Santa Clara County? Gilroy heiress Electa Ousley donated the land adjacent to the City of Gilroy water reservoir for use as a golf course and it has remained a golfer’s playground ever since. Built in 1923 by local farmers and businessmen on the water works and Ousley property, the course’s early founders are a who’s who of Gilroy royalty. Names like Princevalle, Hersman, Wentz, Howson, Gubser and Brownell just to name a few. These and many other golf enthusiasts used their own equipment to move dirt and help build the golf course. Goats and sheep were used as mowers and the greens were made of sand. The scorecard from that era allowed you to move your ball if it landed in “a hoof print or wagon track.” The cost to play a round of golf in those days was 50 cents! Sunday play was permitted at Gilroy Golf Course but back then that wasn’t the case on all courses’. There was a Chinese cemetery on the property that ran adjacent to the current seven green. Gilroy Golf Course historians used to say that if your approach shot to that green strayed a bit to the right you would need to hop the iron fence around the cemetery to get your ball. The cemetery was located where the current Gilroy Elks driveway is now. If you look closely on your way up to the Elks Club, a granite base of an old headstone is still visible. A monument to the cemetery exists just off the seventh fairway. When the legendary Gilroy Gymkhana grounds were torn down in the 1950’s, then Pro Vern Brown and avid golfer Bill Blaettler hauled lumber from that sight to the golf course to construct the BBQ area that is still in use today and hosts many after-tournament dinners and charity fundraisers. Two additional holes were added to the original ninehole layout in the mid 50’s to appeal to those wanting to play 18 holes. This “back nine” option routes golfers “around the hill” on the second nine instead of “over the hill” and through the Elks parking lot on the front nine.



What awaits the golfer upon reaching the courses’ signature eighth hole is nothing short of spectacular with a vista to the east stretching all the way into San Benito County. Gilroy Golf Course has seen several operators come and go through the years but the City of Gilroy has always owned the golf course. Most of the improvements came during the tenure of Parks and Recreation Director Bill Ayer, an avid golfer and a proponent the golf course as a source of value to the community. There have been two separate attempts to expand the course from the “11 hole gem” that it is to a full 18 hole course. But both attempts came up short in the political sphere. Gilroy Golf Course is a true “community” golf course in every sense of the word. It hosts to countless fundraising golf events from groups based in both Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Organizations including St. Joseph’s Family Center, Air for Paws, Gilroy Therapeutic Recreation, Relay for Life and Live Oak High School have used the golf course as a site for golf tournament fundraisers. The boys and girls golf teams of both Gilroy High School and Christopher High School call Gilroy home as do the courses’ men’s and women’s clubs. Gilroy has had many “famous” patrons but none more renown than the “Gilroy Cowboy,” George Archer. George participated on the PGA tour from 1964-1988 and the Senior PGA tour from 1989-2000. He won 14 times but none more famous than his win at the 1969 Masters. George spent many days fine tuning his short game skills on the small undulating greens that are a trademark of the course. A sign proclaiming “Gilroy Golf Course, Home Course of Master Champion George Archer” hung at the entry for many years. So if you want to take a break from the norm and experience a golf course that is rich in history and fun for all skill levels, come out to Gilroy Golf Course and play a quick 9 or 11 or 18…..don’t worry, we’ll explain it when you get here. Remember, we’ve been around since 1923 and we haven’t lost a golfer yet.


The Renown Local Celebrity, George Archer

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.

Picturesque Eighth Hole

Live Oak Baseball’s Golf Tournament held in March. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



Gavilan College Announces New Website For Adult Learners


f you’ve been out of school awhile and need new skills, or are trying to help someone else find local resources, it can be daunting to know where to begin. A new website for adult learners now makes it easy to find what you need: The website, designed by Gilroy’s award-winning Articulate Solutions, brings together in one place all of the adult education opportunities provided in our region. Gavilan College is the lead agency in the regional collaborative. Partners include Gavilan College Adult Education, Gavilan College Noncredit, Vision Literacy, Morgan Hill Community Adult School, San Benito High School Adult Education, and Aromas-San Juan Unified School District. The website is easy to use, organized by student goals: “Learn English,” “Earn High School Diploma or Equivalent,” “Become a Citizen,” and “Other Classes.”

ACES Consortium Holds First Open House Event


he ACES Consortium was formed through a State of California grant, AB86, in 2013 when the California legislature dedicated funds to the purpose of creating regional adult education consortia throughout the state. The ACES group is planning a series of open house events for the

community, titled “Dessert before Dinner.” Cookies and pastries will be served, and ACES members will be on hand to provide information about the programs they offer. The first event will be April 28, 2016 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Vision Literacy in Gilroy. Admission is free, however guests are encouraged to bring a children’s book to donate.

For more information go to aces. or email aces@gavilan. edu.

Dessert Before Dinner Thursday, April 28 • 5:30 - 7:30 p.m Vision Literacy 50 4th Street, Suite 103, Gilroy RSVP:

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Journey to Antarctica From the Travels of Laura Perry

Written By Robin Shepherd



aura Perry took a remarkable trip to Antarctica in February. For Laura, a Morgan Hill lawyer, Gavilan College trustee and Rotarian, this wasn’t just any trip. She had a special reason to go, and she had the time of her life. Here’s her story. “I had always wanted to see Antarctica but I never thought I would dive there. In 2014, my friend Jim van Gogh, a scuba diving instructor and underwater photographer, invited me to a meeting at Any Water Sports in San Jose. They were taking signups for a dive trip to Antarctica in 2016. Ten minutes into the meeting I put down a deposit to reserve my spot.” The 22-day trip was organized by Diving Unlimited International. The organizers chartered an ocean vessel known as the Plancius, a large icebreaker, to carry its travelers from the southern tip of Argentina to Antarctica and back, anchoring at a variety of far-flung islands for diving and sightseeing. Laura was in good company with 30 other experienced divers, some sightseers, and the ship’s crew

as well as a geologist, a marine biologist and an historian who provided informal lectures onboard the ship. “Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. To dive among icebergs in 30-degree water, you have to be prepared with proper equipment, including a drysuit, and you really have to know how to use it. It has to be second nature. In the months leading up to the trip I had to log 50 dives in my new drysuit, so I made multiple dive trips to the Channel Islands and to British Columbia. The suit worked beautifully.”

Island Hopping

“We boarded the Plancius at Ushuaia, a resort town on Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago, sometimes called ‘the end of



the world.’ We made our first stop at the Falkland Islands, where we did our first dive in relatively warm (48° F) water.” “Before each dive we had to suit up. First comes thermal long underwear, then a really heavy one-piece undergarment, then a drysuit, a hood, two pairs of socks, booties, and two pairs of gloves. We were sealed from head to toe, and added about 30 pounds of weight, before we even put on our scuba tanks.”


“Despite the 30-degree water, I was never cold. It could have been my adrenaline that kept me warm, but I think it was the drysuit! After 25 years of diving I’ve learned how to conserve air to maximize my time underwater and enjoy each dive. It’s no fun having to come up early, because it’s cold sitting in the zodiac waiting for the rest of the group.” “We had to pay close attention to our equipment, especially our regulators, which are a diver’s lifeline. At 28-30 degree temperatures the equipment is on the edge of its ideal functioning range. We always carried an extra set in case one froze.” “With each dive, we had to suit up, climb from the ship into zodiac boats, put on our tanks, and then back-roll off the


zodiacs into the water below. After each dive we had to disassemble our gear and stow it back on the ship until the next dive. It was a lot of work because the gear had to be stowed on three different levels. After all, we were on an icebreaker, not a dive boat.” “After our dive, we went ashore for some sightseeing. From the Falklands, we travelled to South Georgia Island. During our dive there we explored the ocean floor, pushing aside the Ribbon Kelp to find all kinds of marine life hidden underneath. The South Georgia landscape was outrageously beautiful and there were hundreds of thousands of king penguins. We spent hours observing them as they climbed up, slid down and dove off the ice and hitched rides on the icebergs.”



Remembering Ernest Shackleton

Making the trip in 2016 held a special significance for Laura because it marked the 100th anniversary of the end of Ernest Shackleton’s third expedition to Antarctica (1914-1916). That expedition could easily have ended in tragedy when Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became trapped in ice and had to be abandoned before it sank. Stranded for nearly two years, drifting on ice flows with only a few lifeboats and dwindling provisions, he and his crew survived. Historic accounts show that it was largely due to Shackleton’s courageous leadership that not a single man’s life was lost.

“Shackleton has been a hero of mine ever since I was young, and there I was, retracing parts of his journey a century later. Our ship dropped anchor in the harbor at King Haakon Bay. Shackleton had landed there in a 22-foot wooden lifeboat and then hiked for 36 hours across the frozen island in search of help. He found the Stromness whaling station and was able to organize a rescue mission for his men (more on that later). He returned to South Georgia in 1921 hoping to make the first successful land-crossing of Antarctica, which stretches for about 1800 miles, but he suffered a heart attack before he could accomplish his mission.” “We visited his grave in Grytviken. Shackleton loved whiskey and women, so I poured a shot of whiskey on his grave. That night we had a party on the ship in his honor. It was a fitting tribute to my hero. I kept thinking how amazing his accomplishments were, given what he had to work with and the overwhelming obstacles he faced along the way.”

“From there we went to South Orkney Island. Again, the scenery was stunning and penguins were everywhere. During the trip we saw king penguins, gentoos, adelies, chinstraps, rockhoppers and my personal favorite, the macaronis. The macaroni penguin got its name from English explorers in the 1800s because of its crest of bright yellow feathers. In those days, a person who adopted a flamboyant fashion style was referred to as a ‘macaroni,’ as in the lyrics from Yankee Doodle.” “We also stopped at the South Shetland Islands, a group of about 20 islands that are essentially uninhabited except for personnel at research stations and field camps. Despite extremely rough conditions we managed to anchor off the coast of Elephant Island. It was there that Shackleton had left the majority of his crew to wait, in makeshift shelters, while he and five other men

embarked on their treacherous journey to South Georgia Island where they got help and then returned to rescue their crew.”

Antarctica at Last

“At last, we arrived at Antarctica, continent #7 in my personal travels. Diving along the Antarctic Peninsula was incredible. We snorkeled with fur seal pups and penguins and dove with leopard seals, surrounded by icebergs, in 30-degree waters.” “As we back-rolled from the zodiacs, we broke through a thin crust of ice into the water. Like sculpture, the ocean’s endless waves carve wonderful shapes, tunnels and overhangs in the icebergs. Looking up from 40 feet below the surface, we could see sunlight streaming through the water and ice crystals on the surface. I’ve never seen so many shades of blue and white.”

Southward Bound

“The next day we travelled to the South Sandwich Islands. Their jagged peaks rose impressively from beneath the ocean. Few visitors venture out to these islands. The winds are strong, the ocean can be extremely rough and there’s almost no place to land safely.” “We anchored off Saunders Island, an active volcanic island that has erupted off and on for more than a decade, and took our zodiacs ashore. Between the glaciers and the black sand beaches, it was breathtaking. Along with more penguins, there were fur seals and elephant seals.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN



King Haakon Bay. Shackleton had landed there in a 22-foot wooden lifeboat and then hiked for 36 hours across the frozen island in search of help. He found the Stromness whaling station and was able to organize a rescue mission for his men (more on that later). He returned to South Georgia in 1921 hoping to make the first successful land-crossing of Antarctica, which stretches for about 1800 miles, but he suffered a heart attack before he could accomplish his mission.” “We visited his grave in Grytviken. Shackleton loved whiskey and women, so I poured a shot of whiskey on his grave. That night we had a party on the ship in his honor. It was a fitting tribute to my hero. I kept thinking how amazing his accomplishments were, given what he had to work with and the overwhelming obstacles he faced along the way.”

trip we saw king penguins, gentoos, adelies, chinstraps, rockhoppers and my personal favorite, the macaronis. The macaroni penguin got its name from English explorers in the 1800s because of its crest of bright yellow feathers. In those days, a person who adopted a flamboyant fashion style was referred to as a ‘macaroni,’ as in the lyrics from Yankee Doodle.” “We also stopped at the South Shetland Islands, a group of about 20 islands that are essentially uninhabited except for personnel at research stations and field camps. Despite extremely rough conditions we managed to anchor off the coast of Elephant Island. It was there that Shackleton had left the majority of his crew to wait, in makeshift shelters, while he and five other men embarked on their treacherous journey to South Georgia Island where they got help and then returned to rescue their crew.”

Southward Bound

Antarctica at Last

“The next day we travelled to the South Sandwich Islands. Their jagged peaks rose impressively from beneath the ocean. Few visitors venture out to these islands. The winds are strong, the ocean can be extremely rough and there’s almost no place to land safely.” “We anchored off Saunders Island, an active volcanic island that has erupted off and on for more than a decade, and took our zodiacs ashore. Between the glaciers and the black sand beaches, it was breathtaking. Along with more penguins, there were fur seals and elephant seals.” “From there we went to South Orkney Island. Again, the scenery was stunning and penguins were everywhere. During the




“At last, we arrived at Antarctica, continent #7 in my personal travels. Diving along the Antarctic Peninsula was incredible. We snorkeled with fur seal pups and penguins and dove with leopard seals, surrounded by icebergs, in 30-degree waters.” “As we back-rolled from the zodiacs, we broke through a thin crust of ice into the water. Like sculpture, the ocean’s endless waves carve wonderful shapes, tunnels and overhangs in the icebergs. Looking up from 40 feet below the surface, we could see sunlight streaming through the water and ice crystals on the surface. I’ve never seen so many shades of blue and white.” “The presence of icebergs creates an interesting challenge for divers. As the

icebergs melt, their fresh water mixes with the surrounding salt water. Divers are less buoyant in fresh water than in salt water. So, as we swam, we had to adjust our buoyancy levels by letting air in and out of our drysuits. Sinking too fast would cause our drysuits to squeeze tighter around our bodies. Needless to say, we didn’t want to waste a lot of time going up and down when we could be enjoying the dive!” “The fur seal pups swam close to us while the adults tried to chase us away. As natural predators, the leopard seals were a little bit aggressive, but they were extremely graceful in the water. It was like watching a ballet. After our dives, we took off our scuba gear, climbed on the icebergs and played like kids on a playground. We had a ball throwing each other into the water, although the birdwatchers on the trip would have liked it if we’d been less noisy.” “Whale watching was spectacular. At one point, we saw about 250 humpback whales. Some were so close, the captain stopped the ship. They were ‘spyhopping,’ popping up to get a good look around, and then swimming under the ship. They didn’t seem in any hurry to leave. We also saw a blue whale, a fin whale, and southern right whales. Near South Orkney, a pod of orcas closed in on some minke whales that were busy feeding on krill. The orcas were skilled hunters, no doubt hoping to enjoy a meal of Minke tongue.” “My new favorite bird is the wandering albatross. It has an eleven-foot wingspan and goes out to sea for seven years at a time. While onshore, we visited their nesting grounds where the chicks were waiting for their parents to return with

food. They are truly magnificent birds.” “Antarctica is constantly changing. Different parts of the polar ice cap are growing and shrinking all the time. We saw many different types of icebergs including massive pillar icebergs that were ten miles long, and jutted 150 feet out of the water. Antarctica has its own sounds, too - the wind, the waves and the glaciers calving. And of course on land, the penguins chatter, whistle and trill while the seals bark.”

Inspiring Others to Travel

For readers interested in Antarctica, Laura recommends Alfred Lansing’s book, Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. During a lecture on the Plancius, Laura learned that Shackleton enjoyed poetry, particularly the work of Robert Browning, and

he often quoted verses to his crew. Growing up, his family’s motto was, “Through endurance we conquer,” which inspired the name for his ship, the Endurance, and captured the spirit of his life’s work. “Throughout history, people are remembered by their ability to lead others through times of great challenge or failures. Shackleton could never have imagined the legacy he left for all of us today. He’s even more of a hero to me now that I’ve visited Antarctica.” Not one to sit around and reminisce, Laura already has plans for a fall trip to see the Great Whites from a shark cage, and then go on to Tasmania for more diving and hiking adventures. As she likes to quote from the Weather Channel, “It’s amazing out there.”

Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s wife Emily had these fitting words engraved on his tombstone in Grytviken:

“I hold…that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize.” – Robert Browning





Cabernet Sauvignon … our old friend


abernet Sauvignon is likely the most recognized red wine grape variety worldwide. We see this grape grown in just about every wine- growing region in the world; from Australia to Argentina, New York to France. And of course here in California and the Santa Clara Valley we are no exception, we have wonderful examples from all areas in and around the Santa Clara Valley. Because this grape thrives in such a wide variety of climates, we can find examples of Cabernet Sauvignon from more places in the world than almost any other single variety. Many people are not aware that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross-breeding of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, born in France during the 17th century. Cabernet Sauvignon, and the family of grapes collectively referred to as the “Bordeaux Varieties”, originated in the Bordeaux region of France; a port city in the Southwest of the country. Bordeaux has been producing wines since the time of the Romans, and with the exception of a decline during the “Hundred Years’ War” (1337 to 1453), there has been continuous production and export of wine in and from Bordeaux. The red grapes from Bordeaux are commonly blended together in varying degrees depending on which side of the Garonne River they are grown on. They include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Carmenere. In the 19th century, many of the Malbec vineyards in the area were replaced with the more hearty Cabernet Sauvignon, due to the adaptability and better resistance to disease. This larger group of grapes are also generally grown together for


blending purposes in other countries besides France. We commonly see either Merlot or Cabernet Franc as Cabernet Sauvignon’s blending partner, depending on the characteristics the winemaker desires to impart in their finished wines. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon typically exudes flavors of cherry and blackcurrant/cassis on a base level, but what characteristics imparted by climate variations and the use of oak barrels give Cabernet Sauvignon a wide variety of possibilities. With warmer climates, we can also smell and taste opulent fruits, other red fruits such as raspberry, jam, blackberry pie, chocolate, coffee, and more. Cooler climates lean towards tart fruits, cherry, green bell pepper, eucalyptus, pencil shavings, and crushed gravel. With oak usage we find vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and other baking spices. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the more complex red grape varieties, and one that shows much variety based on the climate in which it is grown. Here in the Santa Clara Valley, we have an abundance of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon being produced by wineries of all sizes, and many excellent awardwinning examples. A few of my favorites are Jason-Stephens, Medeiros Family Wines, and Martin Ranch Winery, all of which have their 2012 vintages currently released for sale. Martin Ranch Winery’s 2012 JD Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon is a great balanced wine with notes of red fruit such as cherry and raspberry, with cinnamon and spice as well. A great wine for game dishes such as lamb, this might be the perfect wine for a rosemary lamb dish. Medeiros Family Wines 2012 Cabernet



By Alicia Cuadra

Sauvignon exhibits a rich mixture of bramble fruit, raspberry, cherry and spice. Notes of hickory give the wine an added complexity, and the smooth tannins and balanced acid structure hint at great potential for aging as well. If you can resist drinking this delicious wine now, it will be the gem of your cellar in 10 or so years. This wine would be fabulous with a hearty steak or tri-tip barbeque. Jason-Stephens 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a mixture of red cherry, vanilla and spice. Notes of red hibiscus and sweet tarragon; this wine got more complex with more time in the glass. A balanced and complex wine to drink on its own or with food, this wine will also age gracefully. Though these three producers are not by any means a full list of Cabernet Sauvignon producers in our area, they tend to focus on this grape variety, and have provided consistent examples of this style of wine throughout the years. A few other wineries in the Santa Clara Valley with excellent examples of Cabernet Sauvignon include J. Lohr in San Jose, Cooper-Garrod in Saratoga, Creekview and Miramar in San Martin, Sycamore Creek in Morgan Hill, and Solis and Stefania in Gilroy. I recommend stopping by and giving them a try. You might find your next favorite! Cabernet Sauvignon is such a versatile wine, you will enjoy comparing them for yourself. 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 and on social media @AliciaSeesWine.

Brian Conrey…

An Ironman at 60



Written By Robin Sheperd


ast summer, Brian Conrey marked his 60th birthday by competing in the IRONMAN Vineman Triathlon in Sonoma County. As a triathlon contestant, he had to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a 26.2-mile marathon. Brian lives in Morgan Hill and works at the American Institute for Math where he is Executive Director. It was a grueling test of endurance and there were moments when Brian thought he might not be able to complete the race, but he crossed the finish line after 16.5 hours of dogged effort. “I had never done a triathlon before so I had no idea what to expect,” Brian said. “I trained for months before the event and I have a real sense of satisfaction at having done it. I’m thankful that my family was there, cheering me on at different points during the day.”

Taking the Plunge (6:39 am)

The Finish



Brian donned his wetsuit and dove into the chilly 74-degree waters of the Russian River at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville. Despite leaky swim goggles and self-confessed difficulty swimming in a straight line, Brian emerged from the river an hour and 44 minutes later, feeling good about his progress thus far.

Clipping In (8:33 am)

Brian took off on his bike with bottles of Gatorade and protein bars stashed in his bike jersey pocket. He pedaled past acres of vineyards along a hilly course with a 385-foot incline at mile 44 followed by a similar climb at mile 100. The 85-degree heat was bearable but an afternoon headwind slowed him down. Stopping at an aid station to grab half a banana and more Gatorade, Brian narrowly escaped a fall that could have put him out of the race. His family was there, cheering and waving hand-made signs that said, “Go Dad Go!” and “Motivational Sign.” He finished the 112-mile ride in less than 8 hours.

The End Run (4:30 pm)

The 26.2-mile marathon began at Windsor GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN


High School. It took a while for Brian to find his running gear because he’d forgotten what color his bag was. While changing his clothes Brian heard that the triathlon’s fastest female competitor had just crossed the finish line, setting a new race record in under ten hours! Cutoff time for the triathlon was 11:15 pm, giving him nearly seven hours to finish. More Conreys appeared with signs that read, “Good Job Grandpa” and “Swim, Bike, Run” with the words Swim and Bike crossed out. Their encouragement buoyed his spirits. Brian wanted to finish the run in less than six hours. The course seemed endless. At one point he tripped and nearly fell, which could have been disastrous. While speed-walking he ate from a baggie full of pasta and drank Gatorade, figuring that by mile-ten, his food would be digested and he’d be ready to resume running. He stopped at aid stations along the course, grabbing banana-halves as he went. Brian figures he probably ate 10 bananas before the race’s end.

The Finish (11:00 pm)

He spent the last leg of the race on pitchdark country roads. Race volunteers handed out glow-in-the-dark rings for the remaining runners to wear. When his stomach started to rebel, Brian had to slow to a walk, but he crossed the finish line with a big grin and 15 minutes to spare! Hats off to Brian, conqueror of the Vineman. When asked if he’d consider doing another triathlon, Brian laughed and said, “There are four different categories based on overall distance: Sprint, Olympic, HalfIronman, and Full-Ironman. I could see doing an Olympic distance triathlon, perhaps even a Half-Ironman, but I’m pretty sure I won’t ever do another Full-Ironman!”

Brian’s Vineman Stats • 16 hours 18 minutes and 10 seconds • Seventh out of eight finishers among male contenders aged 60-64 • 284th out of 302 finishers overall


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08 gmhToday May June 2016  

The May June 2016 issue of gmhToday features: Steve Kinsella, Rebekah Children's Services, Young Entrepreneurs, Bob Dyer RIP, Mike Johnson,P...

08 gmhToday May June 2016  

The May June 2016 issue of gmhToday features: Steve Kinsella, Rebekah Children's Services, Young Entrepreneurs, Bob Dyer RIP, Mike Johnson,P...