Page 1

Gilroy T O D A Y

FALL 2012


Behind the Counter

Celebrating Great Customer Service, Gilroy Style

Home For Christmas

The Huyetts Share Their Old Fashioned Christmas

Beautification of Hecker Pass Local Rotary Club’s Leadership Role in 1930

An Arctic Adventure Local Resident, Jean Myers Shares Her Amazing Journey


Gilroy Happenings Fun Events

16-24 In Search of the Polar Bear An Arctic Adventure by Jean Myers

ABOUT THE COVER: Ornaments on the table at our featured holiday home. A special thanks to the Huyetts for sharing their lovely home with us.



Home For The Holidays

Community Happenings

Shirley & John Huyett’s Home

Why Gilroy Is So Special

Inside This Issue 50-51


Everyone Has A Story

Meet Rob Hoffmann


A Facelift for Gilroy High

Gilroy’s Finest

School Pride Soars

Firefighter Roy Shackel


Staying Fit In The Winter Months

Indoor Cycling … A Great Winter Workout


Seniors, A Time To Stop Driving

Should You Help Them Stay On The Road?


Hecker Pass’ Deodar Cedars


Wine for the Holidays


Downtown Just Keeps Getting Better


And That’s What I Love About Gilroy


A Lasting Beautification Project Gifts, Dinner & Sharing Ideas


Service With A Smile Customer Service People Who Help Us Year-Round

New Businesses, Restaurants and Events Sam Bozzo Talks To Gilroyans




Be sure to visit our website and/or tell us what you think of our Winter 2012 Issue at Your comments are important to us.


From the Editor

Published By: InfoPOWER Communications 7446 Rosanna Street / Gilroy, CA 95020 Telephone: 408.848.6540 Email:

J. Chris Mickartz

EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR J. Chris Mickartz COPYWRITING Larry & J. Chris Mickartz Kelly Barbazette Elizabeth Barratt Stephanie Vegh Sam Bozzo Mel Rodinsky PHOTOGRAPHY Larry J. Mickartz PROOFING Susan Patereau Kelly Barbazette CONTRIBUTORS Aging Dorie U. Sugay Finance Jeffrey M. Orth, ChFC,CASL Insurance David Villar The Kids Corner Go Kids Inc. The Law James Ward Real Estate Marta Dinsmore Commercial Real Estate George Renz Secondary Education Gavilan College Social Media Susan Patereau Tourism Jane Howard WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA Susan Patereau DISTRIBUTION Glenita Gordon ADVERTISING email for ad placement, information, and availability. COMMUNITY EVENTS & INFORMATION Submit for free inclusion, space permitting. © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. No part, either editorial or display advertising, may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher and author.


am so excited about this issue of Gilroy Today. It is literally bursting at the seams with all the wonderful events and activities that have taken place in the past three months (see Community Happenings, pages 8-12). AND, we have so many fantastic people in Gilroy. I never cease to be amazed by the interesting and involved people that our writer, Sam Bozzo, highlights in his column “And That’s What I Love About Gilroy.” And we have a new feature called “Everyone Has A Story.” We choose a Gilroyan at random and interview them. They don’t have to be involved or have done anything in particular. Funny thing is, they usually are involved and have done something special. Our featured person, Rob Hoffmann, and his wife, Val, are supporters of DreamPower Horsemanship and have helped with everything from fundraising to cleaning horse stalls. Now that’s doing something! Another source of my excitement is having the opportunity to bring our readers an Arctic Adventure, complete with National Geographic quality photography and an amazing story — both by my good friend, Jean Myers. We thank her for sharing her amazing travels with us (see “In Search Of The Polar Bear” pages 16-24). The Gilroy Rotary Club has a long history of community service and has accomplished much over its 85 years. This year I celebrated my 23rd year as a Gilroy Rotarian. My involvement with Rotary over the years has always been one of personal and professional enrichment. So I’m pretty proud of our sharing one of their historical crowning efforts — the planting of the Hecker Pass’ Deodar Cedars (see page 42-43) back in 1930. What a great legacy! With Thanksgiving just past and Christmas only a few weeks away, thoughts of a year coming to a close and another beginning cloud my head. 2012 was a good year for Gilroy Today and 2013 is looking pretty bright. I want to take this opportunity to thank all our advertisers, contributors, writers and businesses that display our magazine in their places of business. And I especially would like to thank Marta Dinsmore (Realtor), Larry Drury (GoKid’s), Studio Three (Traci Dalke), Debbie Barncord (Garden Accents) and Jeff Orth (Integrated Financial Benefits Network) for being a supporter of Gilroy Today since our first issue, July 2006.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012




GILROY TODAY business extra

By supporting your local businesses you are supporting your community. The Nimble Thimble

DreamPower Horsemanship

at Garlic City Mercantile

Equine Facilitated Therapy

408.842.6501 7550 Monterey Street



A quaint little quilt shop offering the beginning or accomplished quilter a unique resource for fabric, books, patterns, classes and gifts. Inhouse long-arm quilting, custom embroidery, gourmet garlic products and gifts are also offered.

A non-profit charity serving our community for nine years, providing equine facilitated therapy for children, teens and adults. Offers a Horses for Heroes program for veterans and their families, free of charge. Donations are appreciated.

Enjoy the original rock-n-roll dance experience. For the 40 and over crowd — ‘50s, ‘60s, & ‘70s. Twenty-five years of experience. Available for retirement parties, anniversaries, fundraisers and other special events.

Don’t miss a single issue of Gilroy Today

FlashBack, The Music Pat DeLeon, Mobile DJ

SUBSCRIBE TO GILROY TODAY and have a pristine copy delivered right to your door. Perfect gift for a friend here in Gilroy or someone who has moved away. Fill out this form and send it to us with your check. o YES! Start my 1-year subscription ($14.95) o PLUS, I’d like to get a 1-year subscription for a friend/family member ($14.95)

My Name - please print Address City State Zip Email Address My Friend/Relative’s Name (please print) Address City State Zip

Make checks payable to: InfoPower Communications Mail to: 7446 Rosanna Street, Gilroy, CA 95020













Shrinking inventory hits first time buyers hardest


espite many positive signs in the California housing market this year – increased sales, higher values, fewer foreclosures – there’s one looming issue that’s creating problems for first-time home buyers in particular — inventory.
 Not long ago we were worried about shadow inventory, the prospect of a large amount of foreclosure homes coming to market at the same time. But the real problem right now continues to be shrinking inventory of homes for sale – especially those at the lower price spectrum, which tend to be the ones commonly sought by firsttime buyers.
 According to Zillow, the inventory of lower-priced homes for sale in California has dropped by more than 42% over the past year. The state had the biggest reduction in homes for sale across all three price tiers, with lower-priced homes in Fresno (-59.7%), Sacramento (-55.4%), San Francisco (-53.2%) and Modesto (-50.5%) seeing the largest reductions.
 At the national level, there were 15.3% fewer homes for sale in the bottom price tier over the last year.
Like a delicate rain forest ecosystem in which each life form contributes to the whole, first-time buyers play a key role in the housing market, which is why we need to pay attention to the problem.
Zillow notes that many more investors are in the market right now, gobbling up properties in the

Merry Christmas

By Marta Dinsmore, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7420

Marta is the recipient of top honors at the Intero Real Estate Services Annual Achievement Awards: Top Selling, Listing & Top Producing Agent for 2011 Gilroy Intero Office – putting her in the top 3% of all Intero Real Estate Services nationwide.

bottom price tier and often with cash, which makes them more competitive than a typical first-time buyer.
 Another factor contributing to shrinking inventory is underwater owners – those who now owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. Being underwater limits an owner’s ability to sell, which can keep more inventory off the market.
Take all of these circumstances and layer on the fact that builders have put fewer new homes on the market these past five years. The recipe is not great for first-time buyers.
However, a lot of positives still exist in supply constrained markets. The biggest thing first-time buyers have going for them right now is cheap financing (interest rates for mortgages amazingly are still at some of the lowest levels in history). Also, prices are still very affordable in many markets for first-time buyers.
Because of these factors, I don’t think we’ll see a dropoff in demand anytime soon. It’s just going to take longer for buyers to find that first dream home.
In times like this, the services of an exceptional agent will also help in the search. When tight inventory is a market reality, it means you have to be armed with as much pricing information as you can possibly gather in order to place the most competitive offer. And you need to move fast when you find a house you like.
 Another thing that can really help first-time buyers compete in supply constrained markets is getting pre-approved for a loan, not just ‘pre-qualified’. This makes the offer process much faster and helps to show sellers that yours is a viable offer that will pull through.
It’s never been more important for buyers to start the process fully prepared. By Gino Blefari, President/CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Gilroy

May 2012 thru July 2012

Total Listings

August 2012 thru October 2012



Short Sale



Bank Owned


Average List Price


2 $1,165K

Average days on market



Closed Sales





Short Sale

Bank Owned



Average Sales Price



Average List Price



Average Days on Market








Gilroy Community Happenings…

We are so fortunate to live in a community with so much heart. There never seems to be a shortage of places to go, people to see, and organizations to support. As you will see in the following pages, these past few months have provided an abundance of all of the above. Gilroy Today is happy to include as many of these wonderful events and activities within its pages, as space allows. And we encourage community organizations and businesses to let us know about their efforts to support our community. We thank them for continuing to make Gilroy a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

DUCKY DERBY PADDLE BOAT RACES Presented by Leadership Gilroy

The 2nd Annual Leadership Gilroy Paddle Boat Races were held at Gilroy Gardens on September 30th. Six different heats narrowed the field down with six teams competing in the championship heat. A total of 28 two person teams competed for the coveted “Duck” trophy but it was the team from Articulate Solutions who waddled away with the prize. Before each heat, Jon Thomas played the trumpet fanfare, “A Call to the Post,” a tune often heard at the start of a horse race. The festive event included a local band called “Just Friends” that played for the nearly 200 attendees. The paddle boat races raised both awareness and money for the Leadership Gilroy program. Left: Organizers Mark Turner, Konni Thomas, and LeeAnn Blean congratulate Joanie Lewis who won the main raffle prize of the day …valued at over $350.


Presented by Arts Council of Silicon Valley

On October 24, 2012 friends and representatives of the arts in Gilroy gathered at the Interim Center for the Arts. Joshua Russell from the Arts Council Silicon Valley presented “Art Means Business,” based on a 2010 study, Arts & Economic Prosperity. A summary of the study is available at Audrey Wong and Joshua Russell from the Arts Council joined in a local panel discussion followed with personal and local examples of “Art Means Business.” The forum concluded with Art & Business Partnership Awards to Dennis Daniels Company and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Russ and Linda Fruchey received the Gilroy Community Art Award for their work on the City of Gilroy Utility Box Art Project.





GILROY FOUNDATION’s 23rd ANNUAL “DAY IN THE COUNTRY” PARADISE FOUND Over 250 people enjoyed an evening in the tropics at “Paradise Found,” this year’s Gilroy Foundation Auction Event held at the Elk’s Lodge on the Hill. Eight local wineries provided wine tasting and the tropical-inspired dinner was prepared by Dave Bozzo, chef extraordinaire. A fun time was had by all and over $55,000 was raised to support the Foundation’s programs.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM FIRST ROW: Lisa DeSilva from Martin Ranch Winery offering a taste to John Lang; Gilroy Foundation President Frank Angelino and his wife, Betty; Linda Pond & Kevin Godden with his father, Peter Godden, who flew in from London; Paradise Found Co-Chairs Kendal & Teresa Costa; AND Foundation Executive Director Donna Pray. SECOND ROW: Dave & Eileen Boll; Guest Auctioneer Bill Christopher offering up 49er game tickets & memorabilia; Karen & Don Christopher; AND Foundation Event Coordinator, Lee Blaettler, welcoming the sold out crowd. THIRD ROW: Guests learning the Hula from Island Breeze Polynesian Dancers, AND Julie & Mike Vanni offering their Solis wines to Randy & Ann Costa.





7TH ANNUAL HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Lisa Cassera and Diane Baty of Coldwell Banker Co-Chaired the Event.

Over 200 people were in attendance at the afternoon luncheon held at Fortino Winery

Hosted by Gilroy’s Coldwell Banker Real Estate Office

The 7th Annual Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity took place at Fortino Winery, with food donated by Westside Grill. More than $7700 was raised for Habitat for Humanity. Coldwell Banker Northern California began supporting Habitat for Humanity 13 years ago and has since raised more than $2.2 million, aided in the construction of 169 Habitat homes and contributed more than 46,874 hours of volunteer labor throughout Northern California. Local agents have worked on numerous home builds in the area as well as this fundraising event. For more information, contact Diane Baty at Coldwell Banker 408.839.7541.


First “FUN”raiser at Fortino Winery

Event held at Fortino Winery provided an opportunity to mix and mingle with local candidates, officials and business leaders. With the launch of GilPAC this year, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce in not only working to influence government decisions, but is also striving further to elect businessfriendly candidates. GilPAC is an independent, nonpartisan organization with a mission to become involved in California state and local candidate and ballot measure elections in order to promote the interests of the Chamber, its members and the community.

Gilroy Chamber Board Chairman, Eric Howard addresses attendees. Mayor Don Gage and Supervisor Mike Wasserman (inset).

Martha McNeil, Director and Garry Stauber, Chairman of the Board and Lead Therapeutic Riding Instructor.

Dan (student rider) demonstrating skills acquired.





DREAMPOWER HORSEMANSHIP Open House Woodmyst Farms Facility

DreamPower Horsemanship welcomed guests to their beautiful Woodmyst Farms facility at 9460 Crews Road thanks to property owners Donna Russo and Efrain Guzman. The space provides a lovely home for the horses and there is a great sense of peace that contributes to the promotion of healing. DreamPower Horsemanship looks forward to serving those in need from our community in their new home. They currently have twelve programs to serve those in need — ranging from helping individuals who suffer with MS to providing a Horses for Heroes program for service members and veterans. Information is available on line at

GILROY PREP SCHOOL’S FIRST ANNUAL DINNER DANCE AND AUCTION Gilroy Prep School held its first annual fundraiser on October 5th at Fortino Winery. The event, spearheaded by Aimee Atlas (first and kinder teacher) and Sharon Waller (assistant principal), was a huge success — bringing in $22,000. The money will be used to fund a newly installed playground. Gilroy Prep School has had an unbelievable first year. GPS’s API score came in at 978 becoming Gilroy’s highest score ever and also the highest first year Charter School API score in the history of California. They attribute the community’s support and interest in the new school for the success it has experienced in its brief existence.

Event Chairperson Aimie Atlas, Teacher, and Sharon Waller, Vice Principal, at the Gilroy Prep School.

Event planners Terri Aulman (2012 Exchange Club President), Vilma Pinheiro and Erwin & Barbara Boggs.

Enjoying festivities, Albert & Rita Quintero with Cathy & Alan Ladd.

Margaret & Michael Demers pose with Norine Back

HARVEST DINNER FUNDRAISER Hosted by the Gilroy Exchange Club

Held at the I.F.D.E.S Portuguese Lodge, the Gilroy Exchange Club’s Annual Harvest Dinner and Auction helps raise money to fund activities in the community that otherwise do not receive assistance. The Exchange Club has funded the annual Blue & Gold Awards Luncheon to recognize Police and Fire Fighters and the Gilroy and Christopher Sober Graduation Nights, the Gilroy Extreme Youth BMX event, and many other community-based events. This year the Exchange Club partnered with the Compassion Center to identify 10 homeless children and provided a back to school clothes shopping event. They also provided school supplies to teachers and students at two Gilroy schools.

HELLO GORGEOUS FASHION SHOW Fifth Annual Fundraiser for Childhelp Program

Kristen Soseman, owner of Hello Gorgeous, and her team put together this amazing fashion show and fundraiser to help support the Childhelp Program. The $5,000 plus raised at the event will go to help Childhelp in their efforts in the prevention, education, advocacy and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Childhelp helped approximately 200,000 children last year alone. The Courtyard at the Piazza provided the fashion show venue; Westside Grill provided their banquet room for the auction and raffle prizes as well as appetizers. Many businesses throughout the community donated raffle items. 90¢ of every dollar goes directly to the programs of Childhelp.

Unusual to classic hairstyles were featured at the event.

Designer clothing provided by Mafalda’s Bridal, Etc. and Trunk by G.G..





GILROY GARDENS HOLIDAY OF LIGHTS Millions of Lights … Endless Wonder

Christmas in Gilroy always includes a trip to our very own winter wonderland, Gilroy Gardens. Young and old alike marvel at the millions of lights, finding endless wonder around every corner. Other holiday activities include a signature turkey feast, visits to Santa’s Workshop, a Charlie Brown Christmas Show and ice-skating under the stars, Open December 7-9, 14-23, & 26-30 from 4-9 p.m. To learn more, visit or call 408.840.7100.


Donated to Gilroy Foundation by Nob Hill Foods

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, newlyweds Casey & Vanessa (La Corte) Courneen redeemed their winning bid of the “Five Minute Shopping Spree,” which was generously donated by Nob Hill Foods Gilroy to the Foundation’s 22nd annual fundraiser “A Day in the Country” last September. The newlyweds had five minutes to fill their carts with as many groceries as they could grab in 5 minutes! The limit was $3,000.00. Local Store Manager, Vito Mercado could not have been more helpful as he worked with Vanessa and Casey to ensure that the shelves were stocked and each aisle had an available cart.

Store Manager, Vito Mercado with Vanessa and Casey Courneen, winners of the “Five Minute Shopping Spree.”


Station 55 & 9 Lives Host Fundraiser For Wendy Sosa

Wendy (33) was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in April. She has undergone chemotherapy and a modified double mastectomy and has recently begun daily radiation treatments and will be taking tamoxifen for five years. She credits her husband, Fred and daughters, Sidney and Payton for being by her side every step of the way, including when the girls helped her shave her head when the side effects of chemothereapy began. She thanks the community for their generosity and support noting it “has been so overwhelming.” Wendy, Frank and daughters Sidney & Payton





Norma & Jack Rymers joined Fran & Bobbie Beaudet at Station 55 for the Battle For Wendy.



Retirement …ready or NOT!!!

by Jeffrey M. Orth, ChFC, CASL Investment Advisor Representative of HTK

Jeffrey M. Orth is a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Certified Advisor in Senior Living, and an Investment Advisor Representative, with over 10 years experience as a business and personal planning, insurance, and wealth management specialist. Jeff is available for group lectures and private consultations. Visit his website at www. or call 408.842.2716.



s a young man, I remember having a number of conversations with my grandfather about the importance of saving for the future—saving for retirement. Back then, retirement planning was much simpler, as the average man retired at age 65 and died 2½-5 years later. The plan was: save some money and keep it safe. How things have changed! I currently plan on my clients being in retirement for 30 years. In some cases, they will spend more years in retirement than they do in their working years. When you need to plan for 3 decades of retirement, inflation becomes a much bigger issue, as your buying power erodes with each passing year. Investment mistakes become more damaging to the overall success of your retirement plan as you aren’t able to go and “earn your way out” of the problem. Having guarantees that adjust for inflation and protect your investments become more and more important. So, the good news is that people are living longer, but the bad news is that people are living longer! And if you are like a lot of people you are more concerned about running out of money before you run out of life than you are about dying too soon. As a Chartered Financial Consultant, I always take stock of what assets my clients currently have in place and determine what a successful retirement looks like for them. Then we work backwards from the goal and try to plan with the end in mind. To do this we need to answer some questions that may make some feel uncomfortable, as they realize they either don’t know the answers, or they realize how unprepared they are for retirement. Do you have the answers to the four toughest financial questions everyone needs to know? 1. What rate of return do you have to earn on your savings and investment dollars to be able to retire at your current standard of living and have your money last through your life expectancy? 2. How much do you need to save on a monthly basis to be able to retire at your current standard of living and have your money last through your life expectancy? 3. Doing what you are currently doing, how long do you have to work to be able to retire and live your current lifestyle until life expectancy? 4. If you don’t do anything different than you are doing today, how much will you have to reduce your standard of living at retirement for your money to last to your life expectancy?

To answer these questions with any degree of accuracy requires: 1. Calculators that are sophisticated enough to handle a large number of variables at one time. 2. An advisor capable of handling timing issues related to post-retirement asset consumption. A good investment plan is as much about avoiding loss as it is about the rate of return. Most people are ‘transferring wealth’ (losing money) from their own estate unknowingly and unnecessarily. They are not only losing the money but also the additional money it might have earned for them. This is called “opportunity cost.” There are a number of great tools currently available that are designed with loss prevention in mind. As one approaches and enters their retirement years, it becomes even more important to reduce risk exposure while maintaining healthy growth. Timing issues are critical as well in any retirement plan. Knowing which asset to use and when to use it can have a significant impact on ‘the bottom line’. For example, I have found that knowing when to turn on each spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits alone can at times make more than a $250,000 difference in a couple’s lifetime retirement income. Life in retirement will be a lot more enjoyable if working longer is something you do because you want to, not because you have no choice. If you are forced to stop working earlier than planned is your retirement plan still going to be working for you? According to the 2012 Employee Benefit Research Institutes Retirement Confidence Survey, about half of retirees leave the work force earlier than planned. The top reasons are: health problems, being forced out of a job, or to care for a spouse, parent or other family member. Should you have a financial advisor help you manage your pre-retirement and postretirement portfolio or attempt to go it alone? It has been said, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go with others who know where they are going.” There are many complex factors that are involved with successfully preparing financially for retirement. Having an expert working alongside you can help make the process less stressful. Charles Darwin observed, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Has your retirement plan changed to protect your plans for a happy and satisfying retirement? At some point it’s going to be time for your retirement- ready or not!






Understanding Healthcare Reform

final hurdle with the re-election of President Obama for a second term. Since its inception this legislation has survived a year in congress, a potential catastrophic Senate seat defeat, more than a dozen legal challenges and a Supreme Court ruling. Much has been debated on both sides of the aisle regarding the pros and cons of this groundbreaking legislation, but one thing is for certain, the law is now here to stay. In January of 2014, most of the significant

6 to 8 million Californians who are currently

components of the new law will be fully

uninsured. With targeted federal funding,

implemented. In the meantime, employers

enrollees whose earnings are below 400% of

and individuals alike should be educating

the poverty line will be eligible for subsidies

themselves on the law and its impact on how

through the exchange. Those with family

healthcare is delivered and administered.

earning below 200% of the poverty line may receive coverage at

One of the largest

no cost at all.

misconceptions of the new law is that all employers are

misconceptions of the new law is

mandated to provide

that all employers are mandated

health insurance to their employees, not true. Employers with fewer

Dave Villar, President Pacific Coast Benefits LLC,

Dave Villar is the President of Pacific Coast Benefits LLC. He was a founder and partner of PDI Insurance Services. Dave is an active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and a member of the Anthem Blue Cross Agent Advisory Council. He has specialized in Employee Benefit Planning for businesses since 1987. To find out more about Pacific Coast Benefits and upcoming Healthcare Reform Seminars, visit or call (408) 847-1000.

One of the largest

to provide health insurance to their employees, not true.



column, Covered California is in negotiations with several insurance companies for a

than 50 employees

place in the new

are not required to

state run exchange.

provide health insurance to their employees.

This new delivery system will offer multiple

However employers with more than 50

Insurance Carriers and health plan designs

employees must offer minimum essential

for individuals and businesses. The exchange

coverage to all eligible employees or face a

expects to have selected the Insurance

fine of $2,000 for each employee beyond

Carriers and plans by June of 2013. When

the first 30 employees. For example: a

the exchange is up and running individu-

company with 75 employees would pay

als and employers will be able to purchase

a fine of $2,000 x (75-30) = $90,000 if

plans directly through the exchange or their

they didn’t offer a plan with minimum essen-

broker for the same price. By utilizing a

tial benefits. Employers with more than 50

Professional Broker you will have access to

employees that do offer coverage but require

many additional value added services such

an employee cost share in excess of 9.5% of

as COBRA Compliance, HR Administration,

their household income, will be assessed a

Online Eligibility, and Claims Assistance.

fine of $3,000 per employee that receives a

As an employer or consumer of health-

subsidy through the California Health Benefit

care, now is the time to learn about PPACA

Exchange, now called Covered California.

and its impact on how your healthcare will

Covered California, the new state run


As I write this

be delivered in the future. Pacific Coast

marketplace for both individual and group

Benefits is here to help you navigate health-

health insurance will begin enrollment in

care reform. If you would like to attend

October of 2013. This new marketplace has

one of our upcoming Healthcare Reform

been established to help insure the estimated

Seminars, please contact our office.






In Search of

The Polar Bear An Arctic Adventure


Written By Jean Myers Photography By Jean Myers

aving traveled to many places around the world, when a friend of mine proposed a trip to the Arctic, I couldn’t turn it down. You see, I am a travel addict, but not just any kind of travel. The more exotic, the more risky, the more off-the-beaten path, the more I like it. Armed with nothing more than excessive enthusiasm and a modest photographic ability I took off for the land mass closest to the North Pole called Spitsbergen. I boarded the 40 meters (130 feet) long and 8.8 meters (29 feet) wide ship, the M/S Stockholm with eleven other passengers and seven crew. This little beauty was built in 1953 and lovingly outfitted and cared for by Captain Per and his crew from (you guessed it) Sweden. My goal was to find and photograph polar bears and other wildlife with an occasional scenic shot or person thrown in for good measure. Spitsbergen is an archipelago of islands, which is owned by Norway within the Arctic Circle, which is defined as everything in the northern hemisphere above 66 degrees latitude and includes the North Pole. It includes most of Greenland and the Northern parts of Russia, Europe, United States and Canada. Believe it or not, Iceland is not in the Arctic Circle! The equivalent circle on the bottom part of the globe is the Antarctic Circle (another journey and another story) and includes the South Pole, however while the North Pole sits atop the polar ice cap, not on actual land, the South Pole sits over land (the continent called Antarctica). In theory, if you lived on the Arctic Circle for one year you would experience one polar day (24-hour sunlit day) and one polar night (24-hour sunless night). Our trip began on the island called Svalbard in the Spitsbergen archipelago. Longyearbyen, the largest town in Spitsbergen is the world’s northernmost town and has 2,040 permanent residents. Average July temperatures are between 39 and 43 degrees F, while average January





temperatures are between 10 to 3 degrees F. Longyearbyen experiences midnight sun from 19 April through 23 August and polar night from 14 November through 29 January. Since I was there in July, there was 24 hours of sunlight, making for many sleepless nights. Longyearbyen is roughly 542 miles North of Norway, and about the same from Greenland. When we arrived, the scenery was absolutely beautiful, with blue skies and large white puffy clouds, snow-capped mountains, deep glacier-carved valleys, rivers, turquoise-blue lakes and white-capped oceans. The buildings in town are all rich earthy colors, in blues, golds, greens, reds and blacks and all have white framed (triple-paned) windows.  There is no vegetation taller than 3-4 inches, and the land in town is carved with gravel roads and two main paved roads. All vehicles are serviced by one gas station with one pump.  The people who live here year-round are tough individuals to stand up to an arctic winter.  Summer is the peak season, with summer cruises





Polar Bears 18




The beauty and the beast around the islands leaving every couple of hours all day long. A ship is in port only a few hours for cleaning and resupply prior to new passengers boarding and then setting off again. The miracle is that none will land at the same place at the same time while on tour! Can you imagine planning all that? If you want to make a change in plans due to conditions while on tour, you must radio the organizing entity, who will try to find another landing for you, if possible. Our ship, the MS Stockholm had 12 passengers and crew and was quite small, being literally dwarfed by the 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer, next to which it sat in port. I sat next to a lady on the plane that was bound for a ship of 550 passengers, so the ships are of all shapes and sizes.  We had 48 polar bear sightings, all were a blend of excitement and apprehension. An average adult male polar bear weighs 850 to 900 pounds (max. 1,500 pounds), has a shoulder height of 4.4 feet (maximum 5.3 feet) and a length of between 7.9 and 9.8 feet. Females are about half the size of the males. WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012










The protocal of Zodiac landings is that you never put yourself or a polar bear in danger, so we never made a landing when a polar bear was seen prior to landing. Upon landing, our guide would prepare the rifle and off we would go, keeping alert at all times. If a bear was spotted whilst on shore, we would return to our Zodiac and find another landing spot. The best experience was when we found two polar bears in close vicinity to one another who decided to interact. Much sniffing ensued, as well as some harmless posturing, which sometimes seemed to get a little rough, but neither bear seemed hurt and they parted amicably. The arctic fox was the target for our last landing, as our expedition leader, a swarthy Swedish redhead who favors red jumpsuits, knew of a fox den at this site.

Arctic foxes hunt the chicks and eggs of nesting birds. But in their defense, whatever they catch now will be buried in the tundra to be dug up during the long, dark winter, as they cannot fly away as birds do.  Life is hard here and all must do whatever is necessary to survive.  Our expedition leader led us straight to the fox’s den (so to speak), where we found a fox family of three. One fox, probably a pup, crept up on another fox (probably another pup), just as two dog pups would. They snarled and played, arguing over possession of a white feather. At one point, one curious pup crept to within about 15 feet to peeked at us from behind a rock. A common sight in the arctic are reindeer. The Svalbard reindeer appear to have evolved from larger European reindeer, have short legs and are quite tame. At the shoulder, the largest buck is only 36 inches making them quite approachable, allowing me to inch forward to within about 15 feet for photographs. They literally scrape out a living in this desolate land by walking over fast ice from island to island during the polar night in order to find more microscopically short grasses and lichens, which they scrape from the ground after pawing away the snow. This is also the only species of deer in which both sexes wear antlers, those of the male being more impressive, and indeed, often making them look as though they will tilt over, they are so large. Their wide-set eyes have them resembling Sid, the clumsy sloth of Ice Age fame, making one feel at once a certain kinship with these gentle creatures. The only two predators of this isolated island subspecies are polar bears, who only hunt the old, weak and young; and people, who harvest their fur and meat. A pair that we found in one isolated valley were very playful, first approaching, then bucking and romping as they ran away, only to approach again. It made me wonder whether or not these two had ever seen human beings before. The Atlantic walrus is a highlight for any arctic tour. The males of this highly social species reach weights of 3,000 pounds and nearly 12





The Arctic ‌ whales, walruses, seals terrain Atlantic



Swarthy Exhibition

Leader 22




feet long while the females are about half the size. Both have tusks, but the males have longer, more curved ones. They mostly inhabit shallow waters close to land where they feed on mollusks on the muddy/gravelly bottom by using their tusks and their stiff, perfectly trimmed whiskers to feel for their delectable meal. Walruses also like to use their tusks to jab repeatedly at one another, a technique used to impose dominance by larger walrus. These guys are covered with battle scars and lumps from such altercations. Couple this pounding on one another for position with frequent grunts, squeals and farts, and you have basically what seems like a group of ill-behaved children. There are several birds of interest in Svalbard, but the one everyone is interested to see is the Svalbard rock ptarmigan, a stocky

Jean Myers lives in Gilroy with her husband, Greg. She is avid photographer and bird watcher who has traveled extensively to many places, including Antarctica, Peru, Egypt, Costa Rica, Alaska, and Mexico. You can view addition photos at We look forward to having the opportunity to feature her travels in future editions of Gilroy Today.




chicken-sized bird, that is too large and heavy to migrate away during the winter. It is hard to believe that they are able to overwinter in this harsh environment where the sun sets in late October and doesn’t rise again until March. Other must-see birds include the ivory gull, which scavenges tidbits from polar bears, and the one that I most antidipated seeing, the little auk, a tiny penguin-like bird standing only 7-8 inches tall, sports a black tailcoat and white starched shirt with a tiny stout black beak with white eye-shadow.





Overall, the trip was a major success, with most species on our target list seen quite well. I was tumbled about in our little ship, marched over many miles of bleak arctic tundra, sprayed in the face by freezing arctic waters and thrilled by the polar bears and other wildlife, and now I’m snuggled up in my Gilroy home left with only the dreams of polar bears that came so close I could smell them, the biting cold and desolate terrain and the amazing birds and sights. I can’t wait for my next adventure.

Benefits of Income Property Ownership


hile many types of Real Estate are again appreciating there are several significant benefits to property ownership. An increasing number of individuals are investing in properties which are of benefit, not only through quick appreciation but by planning and time. These investors take advantage of positive cash-flow, depreciation and/or tax reduction benefits, or principal reduction so that a property’s benefits are not merely appreciation. Every individual needs a retirement fund, this could be a great way to create one. APPRECIATION Appreciation is an increase in value to the property owned, due to area growth or desirability of the property type in the market. Appreciation is desirable yet many are too focused on it and discount other amazing benefits of ownership. CASH-FLOW When stocks are not on the rise and bank interest rates are not especially enticing, investment property ownership can fill the gap. Choosing properties where the investor receives monthly/steady profit is the way to go. This sounds simple but the wrong type of purchase may mean you sink everything to own an investment property. What you want is something that costs nothing to own after your initial investment. Achieving this is relatively straightforward. A break-even cash-flow property is one where mortgage paid, expenses and produced income offset one another. All rental expenses (such as property tax, maintenance/repairs, insurance, utilities, etc.) are added to the mortgage costs. The result should be the expenses and mortgage payments are equal to or less than the rental income and tax benefits. Until recently break-even or positive cash-flow properties were hard to find, interest rates were high and rents low or decreasing. With today’s lowered interest rates, rents stable or rising, and a flood of properties on the market, purchasing break-even or positive cash-flow properties

is much easier. These properties are a great way to build your portfolio and invest with less weight on out-of-pocket property expenses. DEPRECIATION Depreciation is a further tax benefit. In terms of taxation property is considered a depreciating asset with the assumption that over time the asset loses value or its useful life. While the land does not depreciate it is often the building(s) which hold a majority of the purchase value. Depreciation of a property is calculated as a division of the cost of the property (minus the land value) divided by a set period of time—different for residential and commercial. The depreciation value becomes a constant: when an investor subtracts the net income of a property from the depreciation benefit the resulting amount is what can be claimed as losses for tax. Although there are limits on all deductions, depreciation is a great incentive providing some tax shelter for investors who are looking not just for profit but also benefits in deduction and securing equity. Depreciation and positive cash-flow property investments suit those who want to invest now and live off the cash-flow. These types of investments are not like those that spike and plunge, they are calculated investments with steady and increasing return over time, and lower risk. PRINCIPAL REDUCTION Principal Reduction can best be summarized as property purchased which is paid for by the rental income. Basically, your tenants (commercial or residential) are paying the loan/mortgage of the property and you accrue the equity. This again makes owning a property cheaper and more stable than stocks, metals, or other high risk investments. In applying break-even or “positive” cashflow theory to property purchase, finding a solid tenant to take advantage of principal reduction, and making sure to account depreciation and other tax benefits, owning an investment property can be the best for future security and income. To advise on investment purchases you

By George Renz

George L. Renz, CCIM, ALC was born and raised in Gilroy. He is the broker, owner and operator of Renz & Renz Real Estate Brokerage; specializing in commercial and investment property sales and 1031 Exchanges in South County and beyond since 1983. Visit his website at or call 408.846.1031.

are looking for someone who not only understands the types of investment purchases that interest you but also someone who can advise on area growth projections, current market trends, realistic rental incomes and base expenses along with contingency plans and access to the best interest rates and loans. There are many ways to make money with income property: utilizing cash-flow, tax benefits, principal reduction and depreciation can make investing the key to a secure retirement. You can make money slowly and safely over time without dependency on appreciation. I have many clients who have made significant money during thriving and poor economies, with and without appreciation, utilising these benefits of investment.





SBA Preferred Provider





Color For Pots


Something New For Your Garden

IT’S TIME TO o Turn off the sprinkler system (unless we have no rain for a few weeks) give the mower a rest until your lawn is over 3” tall and wait to fertilize until early February. o

November / December – replant containers with your winter color, plant your wildflower seeds, set up your chiminea or fire pit and enjoy your winter nights in your yard with a cup of hot cocoa and the family.


Lawn Care Does my lawn go dormant? If you have a cool season grass like Fescue, Bluegrass and Ryegrass it does not go dormant in the winter. Living in the wonderful climate that we do we are lucky to have our grass stay green all year round with the proper care. Hopefully you have fertilized your lawn to get it that dark green before Thanksgiving (Turf Royal 22-7-14) – it’s the golden rule. The only downfall with the Fescue is if you do not green it up before Thanksgiving it’s really tough to get it green until spring’s warmer weather. With the Fescues, which is the primary variety grown in our area, we are lucky to have the drought resistance plus the Fescues slow down in their growth for the winter. As soon as the ground temperature drops so does the mowing, watering and fertilization Yeah!

December – turn off the sprinkler system to your garden;


bring frost tender plants close to the house and/or in a

New subsurface irrigation on our front lawn at Garden Accents! We will be monitoring it to see how much water we save – up to 60%.

covered area. o

Winter can have a lot of beauty when it comes to your planted containers. Planting cool weather vegies like cabbage, purple kale, swiss chard mixed with some perennials like hellebores, ivy or annuals like pansies can brighten up your front porch. Start with your container. What color pallet is it? Then choose 2-4 plants with the same colors that complement your pottery, choosing 10” —1 gallon plants sometimes looks better than smaller 4” ones. It gives it a more finished look and your plants will not grow as fast in the winter. Don’t mix too many colors. Purple Kale with purple & yellow pansies mixed with a cream or purple Hellebores looks great and provides different heights to add interest. Using vegies you can also harvest your plants for eating or garnishing your holiday dishes right from your front porch!

February – put down a pre-emergent and fertilize with Turf Royal.


Stop those pesky annual weeds from spouting by using a pre-emergent in early February.

Brought to you by Garden Accents 11155 Lena Avenue • 408.846.4555 • WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012









Above: Rob Hoffmann at DreamPower Horsemanship Right: Rob with his wife, Val at the Gilroy Foundation’s Paradise Found fundraiser.

Everyone has a story… meet Rob Hoffmann By Kelly Barbazette

cyclist, food connoisseur, volunteer and traveler, Rob Hoffmann is a man of many passions. One day he can be found cleaning horse stalls and the next, riding his Harley-Davidson to San Juan Bautista before cooking a feast for friends.“I love to cook and drink wine,” Rob, 48, said. He and his wife Val moved to Gilroy eight years ago from Southern California and settled right in, adopting Ninja Sushi, Westside Grill - and more recently the Milias Restaurant - as their favorite restaurants. Val even has a roll named after her at Ninja Sushi – a spicy concoction of chopped jalapeno, tuna, albacore and eel.“We always see someone we know there,” Rob says. Rob recalls helping his mom in the kitchen while growing up in Milwaukee. He took cooking classes in high school and in the Philippines with his Mom and sister. He is now comfortable cooking all cuisines, especially grilling steaks and tenderloins. It’s not uncommon for him to smoke chicken or ribs for friends on the weekends. Through the week, Rob’s Harley takes him to Monterey where he works as the Sales Operations Manager for Value Added Sales, including the bagged salads, for Dole Fresh Vegetables. Twice a year, Rob and Val return home to visit family and go to a Green Bay Packers game. Val’s parents live in Green Bay, four blocks from Lambeau Field. Rob and Val met at Marquette University, where he was earning an MBA in international business. Rob concedes that he has become a Giants fan since moving to Gilroy. They also enjoy returning each summer to Milwaukee for Summerfest, the world’s largest outdoor musical festival. But the couple’s leisure time isn’t just spent traveling. Both Rob and Val, who celebrated seven years of marriage in November, enjoy giving back to their community. They both volunteer at DreamPower Horsemanship, a non-profit group in Gilroy that provides therapeutic horsemanship programs to hundreds of children and adults. Val’s love of horses drew them to DreamPower’s spaghetti feed one year. Val’s mother rode in the rodeo in Washington when Val was a child. Rob and Val help find sponsorships and auction items for DreamPower’s events – including the group’s main fundraiser, “Wine, Dine & Equine,” which is held each July. Last year, they donated three dinners to the event’s auction. And Rob credits cleaning horse stalls and hauling horse manure at DreamPower Horsemanship’s farm on the weekends for helping him shed 40 pounds last year. “I would be soaked from head to toe and would do (a 50-yard dash) four to five times a day with a 150-pound wheelbarrow,” Rob said. Continued on page 39






Do you know a victim of elder financial abuse?


Scams and scammers have been around for generations, but they seem to be more common these days and they seem to target seniors more often. The unwillingness of scammed people to report their loss or admit that they’ve been taken advantage of allows much of the abuse to go unreported.

Elder Financial Abuse

The myth of the underground scammer It’s easy to think that financial predators keep a low profile, but they’re often putting ads in print, on the radio, and on the Internet. California recently sentenced two people to prison for fraud against elders. One was sentenced to over 12 years and their partner was sentenced to 18 years. The two were ordered to pay $8 million in restitution to the victims, but the scammers claim to be destitute. These con artists weren’t hiding. They were heavy advertisers who hosted their own financial radio program. They did many things that legitimate professionals do, and that’s often what makes the scammers so hard to spot. Often only an expert can tell the difference between a professional and a scammer.

By Jim Ward

What’s the profile of an investment fraud victim?

“It’s not estate improvising; it’s estate planning.”

Jim Ward is a long-time Gilroy resident who raised both of his children in Gilroy and was active in the community for years. He left us for several years while he went to law school in New England and then obtained a graduate law degree in Estate Planning at the University of Miami. Jim worked as an estate planning and elder law attorney in Florida, and recently returned to Gilroy to open his own law firm focusing on both estate planning and elder law.




The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and AARP did a joint study and determined that investment fraud victims tend to be college-educated, married males between the ages of 55 and 65. That’s a surprise to many people. But there’s more than just investment fraud to watch for. Fraud can take the form of telephone or mail solicitation, and even door to door solicitations. When it comes to seniors, the FBI warns that “people who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits.” It isn’t uncommon to hear of seniors who have been tricked out of $40,000 or $80,000 or even their entire life savings. Much of the fraud goes unreported because seniors are too embarrassed to let their friends and family know that they were conned, but seniors have been conned into sending thousands of dollars of cash through FedEx envelopes, and con artists working from other countries have used the telephone to talk seniors through


the complex paperwork of wiring large sums of money directly overseas to the scammers. Why are seniors often the victims? Besides the fact that seniors tend to be more trusting in general, we know that our brains often slow down a bit as we age, and we know from studies that people’s math skills generally start to decline after age 70. From the cases that I’ve read, the victims are often single individuals who live alone, and that means that there isn’t someone with them to be watching what goes on and questioning what they’re doing. One of my clients with substantial assets was recently conned out of $400 from a stranger who appeared at her doorstep. Once she realized what had happened, she made a decision to get her adult daughter more involved to protect herself from having it happen again. What can seniors do? Seniors need to have their independence and don’t want to have to ask their adult children for permission to spend their own money, but elder law attorneys often establish protection trusts where the senior gives up a substantial amount of control in order to ultimately protect the bulk of their wealth. This requires that the senior have a “trusted person” who can be named as trustee. We often name one or more of the adult children for this role, but if the senior can’t fully trust their children, we have to search for an alternative solution. I often design Medi-Cal asset protection trusts to protect a senior’s assets. These trusts have the added protection of keeping the assets out of reach of people trying to scam seniors. We look for a balance between independence for the senior and protection of the assets. Once the senior and the rest of the family realizes what can be done, and how we can set the rules, things normally come together nicely to provide the senior and their loved ones with greater peace of mind. NOTE: In the last issue, I wrote about “The Power of the Power of Attorney.” I recently attended an elder law class in San Diego where the well-known key speaker estimated that 70 to 90% of all existing Power of Attorney documents do not meet the potential needs of the person who established the document. Don’t let that happen to you. Get your Durable Power of Attorney reviewed and updated by someone who understands elder law and long-term needs and risks.


FIREFIGHTER EXTRAORDINAIRE Roy Shackel, a paramedic, came to Gilroy in 1979 as field supervisor for Medevac. While here, he found himself growing fond not only of the people that he worked with but the community in general. So, in 1990, when a part-time position in the Gilroy Fire Department opened up, Roy jumped on board and he’s never looked back. In 1996 he became a full-time firefighter with the city and today he serves as the Administrative Captain at the Fire Department’s headquarters on Chestnut Street. Being able to carry on a strong tradition of excellence in the city’s Emergency Management Organization (EMO), which is one of the finest in Santa Clara County, is a source of pride for Shackel. Some of the areas that the EMO deals with include Earthquake Preparedness Training and an Outreach Program for community based and non-profit organizations. Shackel mentions St. Joseph’s Family Center as the primary provider of food assistance in the entire South County and notes how important their role is in the event of a major disaster. Helping them remain resilent is one of the main goals of the EMO. When asked what he likes about his job, he notes “the people I get to work with — the fire, police and city staffs. We have some of the greatest people and I consider myself extremely lucky; the relationships are so good.”






n a quiet road back in the west foothills sits a

John Huyett are transplants, having moved here a little over

107-year-old house and some guest cottages.

two years ago. At the time they had a Wendy’s Restaurant in

The “Red House” was built in 1905 after the 20

the East Bay and in Salinas. They have since sold the East Bay

room Victorian lodge burned down in 1904.

restaurant. They needed a home between the two. John spotted

This area on Redwood Retreat Road was a favored place for Bay

a Craigslist posting for the “Red House”, was the first person

Area Victorians seeking a little metaphysical rest and relaxation.

to see it at 8:00 one morning and immediately put a deposit

This old house has many stories to tell but at Christmas time

down. Both Shirley and John grew up in old warm houses with

it comes alive with a very personal family tradition. Shirley and

lots of people and history attached to the dwellings. When they

Home for the Holidays 32




saw the house, the connection was immediate. Despite its remote location, the old house reminded them of their family homes back East and, “it felt like we had come home!� Shirley & John Huyett

At Christmas, they break out some 40-plus boxes of Christmas decorations and make the home a beautiful Christmas display. Christmas was always a big deal in both of their families, even in the most difficult of times. John and Shirley continue that tradition in














Indoor Cycling: a great workout for winter months By Stephanie Vegh

Stephanie Vegh has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Chico State and has worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years. She is the Health & Wellness Director & Fitness Instructor at the Centennial Recreation Center (CRC) in Morgan Hill. She lives in Gilroy with her husband Frank, four-year-old twin daughters, Isabella and Addison, and 23-month-old baby girl, Alexis.




inter is here, it is colder and darker outside and harder to find time to get a good cardio workout without going inside. Being forced to go inside might be frustrating but if you can do an activity that is not only fun but that you know is effective maybe it won’t be so hard. Have you ever been in a cycling class or walked by the stationary bikes at the gym and wondered whether they give you as good (or better) of a workout as riding a bike outdoors? There are a few factors that come into play but on average a person can burn up to 800 calories in a 60 minute indoor cycling class. First, it’s important to understand that the majority of indoor bikes are different than normal road, mountain or triathlon bikes. Most of these bikes have a “fly wheel,” which is a 30 to 40 pound wheel that provides the resistance as you pedal. This is the primary reason the pedals on these bikes keep moving after you stop pedaling. As a result of this fly wheel, your hamstrings (back of your legs) must work harder to slow down the pedals as they come around. In contrast, when you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps. Because of this fly wheel, it’s very easy to let these bikes “do the work for you,” since once you get that wheel spinning, it’s very easy to keep it moving. This is why lots of people in cycling class can appear to be pedaling very fast when they’re actually not doing much work at all. A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) observed that a typical cycling class keeps you at around 75 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. That’s pretty good. Big motivators might be the heat of an indoor cycling room, the peer pressure of cycling classmates and the motivation of an instructor in your face, but regardless, it’s a good enough heart rate to get a very good cardiovascular response. However, as you’ve just learned, indoor cycling bikes tends to use primarily your hamstring muscles because of that flywheel, which means more help from the bike and fewer overall calories burned. Serious cyclists and professional cyclists can easily get their heart rate as high and higher as those in a cycling class. But most recreational cyclists just have a hard time pedaling that fast while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor. Let’s face it — riding a stationary bike is way more convenient. You simply get on the bike or show up to class and go. The most inconvenient part, for many, is getting to the gym. Outdoor cycling can be logistically messy.


You need to dress appropriately, bring a tire change (and know how to change a tire), be ready for rough weather, deal with stop lights, stop signs and traffic, and the list goes on. To get the most out of your indoor class and maybe even use your class to become a better outdoor cyclist; Ruben Barajas, Hawaii Ironman finisher recommends these techniques: SEATED CLIMBING: Most outdoor cyclists

know that they should pull up on the pedals on the upstroke, which activates your calves and reduces the load on the quads—but they rarely do it for long outdoors. Here’s the technique for indoors: Suck in your lower abs to help push your butt to the back of the seat, then drive the pedals down with your heels lower than the toes. Keep the heels low when you pull up, too; as soon as you lift the heel above the ball of the foot, you turn off the calf muscle. Most outdoor cyclists sit too high on an indoor bike and don’t hinge their torsos forward enough, says Kostman, keeping their heels up and pulling up with their shins and quads, not calves. STANDING CLIMBING: To cultivate the hamstrings, glutes and back muscles as you would outdoors, you must adjust your posture for the lack of angle, says Kostman. On an outdoor climb, the front end of the bike is tipped up. To replicate the position on an indoor bike, hinge at the hips, keep you back straight and parallel to the ground, and push your nose down to within a few inches of your handlebar. STANDING SPEEDWORK: To build

explosive power and raise your lactate threshold as well as rapid turnover, stand straight up and “run” on the pedals, says Kostman. The key to is put the entire weight of the body on the quads. The technique: Stand tall, with ears, hips and bottom bracket in a straight line, the upper body stabilized by tensed abs, with no hand pressure on the bars (using only fingertips for balance). Then blast your cadence up to 200 rpms—which blows away the 150 rpm most top cyclists can manage outdoors. SITTING SPEEDWORK: Ideal for building rapid turnover, this technique is easy: Use very little resistance, sit forward on the saddle, suck in abs to stabilize hips and upper body, and go like hell. Again, shoot for 200 rpms. Resources: On the Inside Looking Out: How to Use Indoor Cycling to Become a Better Outdoor Cyclist By Roy M. Wallack Stationary Bikes. Outdoor Bike by Jillita Horton






with an Attitude

Should you help them stay on the road??


aking driving privileges from a teenager is tough but not as heart-wrenching as taking the same privileges from the parent who raised you. Some adults are able to drive through their later years. But others are no longer safe on the road. When you visit for the holidays, take the time to assess how Mom and/or Dad are doing. You want to look for ways to help them be able to continue to drive safely, rather than look for ways to take the keys away. This approach will help you get their cooperation later, if you do need to ask them to give up driving! Take a walk around the car, check out the entrance to the garage, the bush on the curb, and even the garbage can. Have them take you on a tour of their area, taking their usual routes – you will learn a lot.

Here are other things to make a note of: • Have they received a warning from the police for poor driving behavior? They won’t necessarily tell you but you should ask about a citation.

By Dorie U. Sugay

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

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

• Are there signs of close calls, minor collisions - dents or scratches on the car? Does the garbage can look abused? How is the entrance to the garage? Why did they have the bush by the curb removed? Is it because they can’t control the car, or is Mom driving Dad’s car and it is too big? • When you drive with them – are they relaxed and confident? (When you are confident, it does not matter who is with you, so don’t let them convince you they are nervous because you are there. But do emulate their life as well as you can – don’t have screaming kids in the back seat). • Does driving tire them out? If so – why? It is best to avoid times when people are going to/from work or dropping/picking up kids at school. • Does Mom or Dad get disoriented easily? • How is his/her ability to react to an unexpected challenge? Especially in





the winter months when the roads are moist, this could be a big issue. Just because they drive 4 blocks to the store does not mean they won’t run into crazy drivers. • Does he/she have difficulty dealing with glaring objects? (street lights, headlights, etc). Choosing driving times can solve this issue. • How are they when they change lanes? If they have difficulty looking over their shoulder or turning their head side to side, that means they are not at 100% capacity. • How well can they see street signs, curbs, people/objects on or around the road? (if they get easily distracted, is the solution as simple as turning the radio off?) • How well does he/she navigate and deal with obstacles and distractions? • Do speeding cars frighten or distract them? • Do other drivers tailgate or pass them all the time? Are they able to stay calm when this happens or do the noise and speed rattle them? Remember, sometimes very slow driving can cause accidents. • How is their hand/foot coordination? • If your loved one takes medications for a prior stroke, ALS, dementia, epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s disease, seizure or sleep disorders, or uncontrolled diabetes - these could affect driving ability. • Was his/her license checked at age 70? There have been times that people who should no longer drive pass the test – if you have good reason to believe your parent should no longer drive, you can talk to the DMV about it confidentially. A note from their physician helps. According to a the Highway Patrol, usually it is best for someone in their 70s to be checked at least every 3 years, and after 80, to be checked every year. When you assess if it is time to have “that talk”, you might first talk to their physician. But be warned - they may find that a breech of their privacy if you share your concerns with their doctor without their knowledge. It is a blessed rarity when

a senior decides it is time to give up the keys – most fight for it as if their life depends on it. Most link driving to independence, others just don’t welcome being told what is good for them. If you have the backing of their physician, it may help. If they argue that they will drive while DMV extends their license, you may have to share your concerns with the DMV. Throughout the conversation, make sure you emphasize that this is not just about their capability, it is about their safety and the safety of others. Don’t get into an argument. If you have ever suspended the driving privileges of a smart teenager – trust that this will be a tougher conversation! Be prepared to suggest an alternative approach to

transport – taxis offer discounts; there’s the Outreach Program, and if they would not mind a companion, they can hire a personal assistant (best not to call them caregivers during this volatile conversation). Make sure you also assess if taking the key is enough or if you need to take the car. If you are hiring a companion to help out, driving the family car is best because the cars of companions are not commercial vehicles – Mom or Dad won’t be covered if there is an accident. But if the car is there, you should be

aware that even the most dignified seniors have been known to grin silently as they turn over the keys, because they have multiple copies or they figure they can get duplicates. Unless they accept that it is no longer safe for them to drive, some may agree to stop driving but see no harm in doing so once in a while. My caregivers at Visiting Angels can tell you stories about seniors who “just one time” decided to drive again. And they are smart about it, they do so when there is no one but the crushed garbage can to tell on them.

If “it” is time and you are dreading it, think of this: which would you rather deal with, their wrath or the consequences if they are injured or they injure someone?

Everyone has a story…continued from page 29 Last September, he biked a 62-mile trek from Big Sur to San Simeon for Best Buddies, which helps people living with Downs syndrome find employment after graduation. “It was challenging; about 4,000 feet of elevation change,” he recalled. But that wasn’t Rob’s longest bike ride. That one covered 175 miles over two days from Milwaukee to Sturgeon Bay. Rob has been cycling for 15 years. The hobby evolved after doing a lot of spin classes three to four days a week, which he said helped him develop good form. Now he

enjoys taking spin classes two to three days a week. Rob has two children - twins who are 29. His daughter is an attorney in Chicago and his son works for an insurance company in Milwaukee. Shado, pronounced Shadow - the couple’s 97-pound “lap dog” - is also an important part of their family. Rob says the 7-year-old rescue dog saved Val’s life in 2007. Val passed out while she was dialing 911. Shado licked her until Val woke up. She realized she hadn’t finished dialing and was able to complete the call.

Rob says he and Val love to travel – content with either a business trip to Napa or Texas or visiting wineries in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara. “There are great wineries around us. You don’t have to travel far,” Rob said. He has been pouring wine at Fernwood Cellars in Gilroy for the past two years after being a wine club member for six years. “It gives me a break from my real job,” Rob said. “I love to talk to people. It’s easy to talk about good wine.”









ON OCTOBER 1ST the Gilroy Welcome Center (GWC) celebrated our one-year anniversary of our relocation to Gilroy Premium Outlets. This first year has been incredibly successful and validated the wisdom of the GWC board of directors’ decision to move the Center from our previous downtown location. A few statistics from our first year’s operation at the Center include: 35,472 Visitors Welcomed 43,578 Brochures Distributed 61 G roup Tour Buses Served A huge thank you to the GWC staff and volunteers for their time and dedication this past year welcoming thousands of visitors to Gilroy…. A Community with a Spice for Life!

Wineries of Santa Clara (WSCV) have announced the results of Passport Weekend which occurred on October 6th & 7th. Over 500 passports were sold over the Passport Weekend, which — when added to the 1600 passports sold for the spring weekend event — brings the total to over 2100 for 2012. This increase represents growth of 300+ passports sold in 2011 and 500 more than 2010. Passport Weekend has become a signature event for WSCV and is their largest fundraising event for the organization. Funds raised from the event are used for marketing the Santa Clara Valley wine region throughout the state. GWC partners closely with WSCV promoting the region as a destination most recently in the fall edition of the San Jose Official Visitor’s Guide.

Holiday Happenings In And Around Gilroy

Holiday Lights & Charlie Brown Christmas A tradition for thousands of families in the area is a visit to Gilroy Gardens for Holiday Lights and Charlie Brown Christmas from Knott’s Berry Farm. Millions of glimmering lights strung throughout the park, ice skating under the stars and a peak into Santa’s workshop is all part of Gilroy Gardens holiday experience. Open selected evenings between December 7th – 30th Holiday Lights is a “must do” during the holiday season. For operating hours and program details visit

Perfect Holiday Gifts Looking for the perfect gift, wine tasting activities, Christmas arts & crafts shows – visit the Gilroy Welcome Center website for holiday ideas. Gilroy has so much to offer for young and old celebrating this special time of year.

Wishing Gilroy Today readers a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012












Wonderful Christma REFLECTIONS, Volume II

Collection of 600 recipes published by the Gilroy Assistance League, this great community cookbook is filled with recipes from the kitchens of renowned Gilroy cooks. It comes in a binder with room for personal favorites. $22

(including postage & handling). Gilroy Today supports all our local retailers and organizations during the holidays and throughout the year. Shopping locally helps keep our community strong and local dollars where they belong … at home.

Milk House Candles

Garden Accents offers gifts for everyone on your Christmas list in a wide range of prices. Stop by their showroom and see for yourself. $22 Garden Accents • 11555 Lena Court





Hobo International- Lauren Wallet

Framed in vintage style wallet crafted in worn-to-perfection leather with metal kiss-lock clasp closures, loaded with interior pockets, pouches, and card slots, the unique design opens flat for easy access to the large, central zippered compartment. The perfect in-hand or under arm for an evening full of possibilities. $110 Amoretto Boutique • 7490 Monterey Street

as Gifts For One And All Repainted Photographs

Local artist, Lee Baldwin offers repainted photographs of Gilroy and other spots around the Central Coast $35-55 (depending on size and subject). His and other artwork can be purchased at Leedo Art & Framing (a full service framing and art store) in historic downtown Gilroy. Leedo Art & Framing •7436 Monterey Street

Wine Country Wall Hangings & Quilt

These and other designs start as a kit for those who want to “do it themselves” or they can be purchased as a completed custom treasure. $25 (kit) $500 (custom made). Nimble Thimble @ Garlic City Mercantile 7490 Monterey Street

Handmade Headbands

Beautifully crafted with love and style, headbands come in hard and soft bands for infants. $12-14 A children’s trading post; find new and repurposed toys, clothing etc. Mango Street Kids • 7490 Monterey Street

Americana Dairy Antiques

Interesting collections of themed items are available. $24-40 Great antique Christmas collectibles and decorative items throughout the holiday season. Open Friday through Monday from 11 - 5ish. The Barn At Hoey Ranch • Hecker Pass Highway

Building South County Housing


7436 Monterey Street, Gilroy, CA 95020 408.846.9850 fax 408.846.6940






ith Thanksgiving a mere few days past and Christmas

colder region like Mendocino will be better suited. And when I am

looming just around the corner, I’m thinking of the

asked about a vegetarian pairing, my choice is usually a hearty

many holiday rituals that we go through. Choosing

Chardonnay (like from Burrell School).

wines for the holidays can be a little confusing. There are many opportunities to share wine with friends and family: wines for gifts, wines for the holiday dinner tables, and wines to share with special

Wine, for sharing with special friends I look for the unique and flavorful wines, like Negrette, Marsanne,

friends during this time of conviviality. Often, your wine selections

Graciano, Grenache, Picpoul, or Carignane. De Rose in Hollister,

can be very different. Here are a few suggestions:

Guglielmo in Morgan Hill, Bokisch in Lodi, Sarah’s Vineyard from Gilroy, Burrell School in Los Gatos, Terry Hoage from Paso Robles

Wine, as a gift

and Martin Ranch in Gilroy are some of the many places that these

I always try to find something unusual and not normally available

unusual wines can be found and tasted. They make great gifts,

everywhere. Your favorite local winery can be a big help in this

good dinner pairing and terrific tastes to share with special friends

as they often have a few “special occasion” offerings that are not

over the holidays.

Holiday Selections By Mel Rodinsky Mel Rodinsky, retired after 30 years with IBM as a manufacturing systems consultant, has been a wine hobbyist for over 40 years. He chaired the San Jose Chapter of Tasters Guild, a large nationwide wine-tasting club, for 12 years. He currently represents small boutique wineries to restaurants and retailers throughout Santa Clara Valley and Santa Cruz.

available anywhere else. All of the wineries in our local setting have

And, don’t forget the bubbly

something “special” this time of year. Another suggestion is to look

There is one other special holiday wine that I need to offer as a

for seasonal wines like Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or

holiday suggestion, and that is sparkling wine. They are always in

Petite Sirah, as they are most often associated with holiday gifting

order, and make great gifts, good dining and fine for sharing. In

and the dining scene.

this viticultural region, Fortino and Guglielmo have some excellent

Wine, for the holiday dinner table

sparkler buys for the holiday season. For those of you who are looking for something different in sparklers, how about Cava’s

Whether it is turkey, ham or goose, my favorite choice is Pinot Noir.

(from Spain), Prosecco’s (from Italy) or even sparkling Shiraz (from

Be careful to choose the type of Pinot Noir to match the flavor,

Australia); which are also sparklers like Champagne (from France).

usually to match the sauce. For example: fruity stuffing or fruity glaze on the holiday ham will need a fruity Pinot Noir, usually coming

No matter what your choice is, there are plenty of holiday offerings

from a hotter region (like Santa Barbara). If the sauce is more savory

to satisfy every taste, and make this holiday time of year special.

or earthy (like with mushrooms) then a drier less fruity Pinot from a





Downtown just keeps getting better! An Update New Businesses Incarnate Faith from South Valley Community Church will be taking over the building that previously housed the temporary library. Amoretto Boutique has a new location in the bank building on the corner of Martin and Monterey. They have added furniture and lots of new products. 1 Stop Moving & Janitorial Supplies has moved into 7377 Monterey. RobotShark, computer repair, is at 7454 Monterey. Gilroy Screen Printing Company has taken over 7440 Monterey. The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) has also opened an office on Martin Street. And finally, Out & About magazine has a new home near the corner of Eigleberry and Fifth.

Amoretto Boutique has a new location, at the corner of Martin and Monterey streets.

On The Restaurant Front Bella Viva Ristorante e Caffé will open. Rally Round Downtown Gilroy hosted a pre-official opening event on November 3rd. It was a great night in a fantastic environment and a precursor of some great food at Bella Viva. Old City Hall is coming alive again. Downtown friends Bobby and Fran Beaudet from Station 55 have taken over the lease of the historic structure. Look for California Coastal Cuisine at moderate prices. Downtown is happy to welcome back the outside patio, banquet rooms and the restaurant and bar in this great old lady. The Gilroy Demonstration Garden located between Sixth and Seventh on Eigleberry continues its sustainable mission. It is hard to believe that all the lush growth there today was only an open field in June 2010. Judy Hess, the gardens Director and champion summarizes: “Our goal is to create community around good healthy food. We don’t use chemical, pesticide, herbicide, or fertilizer.  We ask our community to work with us, and in lieu of labor, we take food home, good, wholesome healthy food.   We do not have our own plots, instead we share so all of our community can share in the work and harvest!”

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme’s catering chef at the Demonstration Garden fundraiser. According to City records, several owners are initiating retrofitting several URM (unreinforced masonry) buildings. Permits have been pulled on a senior center and an apartment complex. And finally, the remains of the bombed out building on Fourth and Monterey are gone and planning for a Spanish-themed building which will house the Social Securing Administration and a restaurant are in progress. The City is also working on guidelines for sidewalk dining. Plans are also being developed for two archways welcoming travelers to “Historic Downtown Gilroy.”






Gilroy High Renovations By Larry J. Mickartz


f the two comprehensive local high schools, Gilroy High School is the older brother, with a 100-year-old history. Originally established in 1912, it moved to its current location on 10th Street in 1978. With the opening of the new Christopher High, the need for some updating became obvious. Renovating an operating high school with 1400 students can be quite a challenge. Work began in March of this year and is scheduled to finish July, 2014. Phase I, which included painting the exterior of the campus, new floors in the gym, safe school locks, bold graphics around school and a major remodel of the central quad area has been completed. Folks driving by notice immediately the new roof color, which went from a bright mustang blue to an earthly tan. The Phase I completion, a $3 million job, was celebrated with a Centennial Circle Dedication and Opening on September 12, 2012. Phase IA, which includes updating the entrances to the school, redoing the landscaping along 10th Street and a major remodel of the athletic rooms, is now underway and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013. Phase II planning is also under way. This phase will see the introduction of new technology and a remodel of the classrooms, restrooms, theater, new lighting in the main parking lot, new RIGHT: Principal Dr. Marco Sanchez looking over some of the before and after renderings for the Gilroy High School renovations.

acoustics in the student center, a new athletics training facility, new science labs, a Biomedical Science Academy, a remodeled career center, and the relocation of some restrooms to the north end of the campus. Principal Dr. Marco Sanchez proudly shows off the new amphitheater quad area. While it is an obvious focal area, it also hints at significant issues for a 100year old school. The Centennial Circle is a fitting link to the history and stories of GHS. A plaque dedicated to LCPL Jeremy Ailes USMC is prominently displayed over by the Administration building. All these reminders play on a sense of value and tradition that only time can construct. The amphitheater quad also plays to the six pillars of Character Counts. Radiating from the quad area are

embedded letters of the six pillars: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship. The long and complicated remodel of this California Distinguished School is one step from a proud history into a beautiful present and then on to a brilliant and distinguished future.

Hidden among some of the trees that surround the quad is a little plaque with a big message:

Gilroy Memorial Grove

These trees are planted in memory of members of our Mustang family. While their time with us was tragically cut short, they will always be remembered in our hearts and minds. “Sons and daughters for’er be loyal, Gilroy High to you” GHS Alma Mater WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012




And that’s what I love about Gilroy!

By Sam Bozzo

Recently the Gilroy Foundation adopted a new slogan “Give Where You Live”. Of course for them it is dealing with the 8 million dollars and the many local donors that have contributed to the many individuals and non profits since its inception in the early 1980s. But that slogan could have another meaning which would apply to those that give of their time and energy. In this article we salute the work of Edith Eddy, Ken Fry, Eddie and Gloria Mondelli Pollack, and Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy. Each of them personifies the quote: “No joy can equal the joy of serving others.” Definitely, they are people who serve and manage to stay under the recognition radar.

Edith Eddie

Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy




Edith, and her husband Herb, came to Gilroy in 1957. Herb was an engineer and went to work for Gentry. Later Gentry became a part of Gilroy Foods and now it’s known as Olam, located where 10th Street becomes Highway 152. Edith, who was born in New Mexico to a farming family, got right to work. She had a fabric store on First Street. Before long, she began volunteering with the Children’s Home Society. It was an organization dedicated to assisting with children’s adoptions. She did that for 25 years. That organization phased into what is now The Gilroy Assistance League (also known as GALs). Edith remained involved in GALs for another 25 years. She also served on the Library Commission, followed by eight years on the Gilroy Planning Commission. She put in another eight years with the Santa

Clara County Planning Commission. She was also appointed to the Santa Clara County Trails Committee and was involved in the preliminary planning for what is now the Harvey Bear Ranch Park. Edith has been a volunteer with the Garlic Festival from the beginning — working in the Garlic Festival office, while Herb worked into the late night hand peeling garlic. To this day she still puts in one day in the administration trailer at the festival. In 1989, she was selected as the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year.” She says that garlic is what brought them to Gilroy and feels that Gilroy is a good town to live. As I was writing Edith’s story, she said “if you have any questions, I’ll be at the Gilroy Museum.” Of course, doing what she has been doing ever since she and Herb came to town, giving where she lives.

Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy was born in Gilroy with five brothers of a farming family and married Dave Sheedy. Lisa, like her mom, gives entirely of herself. Every one of her three children’s coaches received a handmade crocheted blankets while they were being coached in whatever sport they were participating. She was active in the Crippled Children’s Society raising needed funds and remains active in the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) where she serves as secretary and vice president of activities. She was a very active parent at Rod Kelley School. Margaret Kubota got her into doing tickets at the Garlic Festival and then she went on to being on the Advisory Board followed by serving on the Board of Directors for a total of 20 years of involvement. Last year she gathered a group of volunteers including my partner Gene Sakahara to work on the annual Sister City dinner and fundraiser. Speaking of Sister Cities, her daughter

Mikela upon graduating from Arizona State University is now working as the Coordinator of International Relations in Gilroy’s sister city Takko Machi, Japan. Her primary responsibility is to serve as a liaison between Takko Machi and Gilroy. When Mikela got the job Lisa’s advice to her was “to do what’s right”. At the center of long lasting relationships that her children have had with friends was Lisa. Lisa and Dave encouraged Ryan Sequin, Ben Glines, Brad Nunes, Bobby Baksa, and Robert Lucente to visit their home frequently because they served as role models for each other and also for their sons, Harken and Trevor, and daughter, Mikela. Because of Lisa’s belief in association and doing for others, I would not be surprised that when the 25th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Takko Machi and Gilroy takes place in Takko next year, Lisa will be organizing a tour group to help celebrate.


Ken Fry is a hard person to get to sit down. When I started to write this story, I got him to meet me at Sandy’s Café at the south end of town for lunch. It would not be unusual for him to be driving one of Jessup Trucking Company trucks to Arizona. As I was completing this story, I found him in Las Vegas at a conference. But that is indicative of Ken and who he is. No job is too small or insignificant. So, when he found himself meeting and working with Chef Val Filice in 1972, it was not difficult to accept the dish washing assignment that Val gave him. Ken came from Reedley, California, and, interestingly enough, the incoming Garlic Festival President Dennis Harrigan is from Sanger, California. I’m sure that when they are together they reminisce about the Sanger Apaches and the Reedley Pirates. He is the father of two daughters (who are teachers) with four grandchildren. Ken has a great attitude about any volunteer assignment that he takes on. This year, he will be in his third year on the cook-off stage sharing the

chairmanship with Rene Harrigan. He has been a part of a number of firsts. At the beginning of the Garlic Festival, he teamed up with Val and Bob Filice in initiating the world famous pyro chef flame up, which is the signature of the festival. He was a part of the first cioppino feed fundraiser at Christopher Ranch, now in its 34th year, and contributes to Gilroy Athletics. He went to Sacramento to cook for then Assemblyman Rusty Areias, which was on behalf of farmers. He worked with Val and now Bob Filice for Don and Bill Christopher’s annual holiday gathering at the ranch. He teamed up with Allan Heinzen to co-chair Gourmet Alley and was a member of the Garlic Festival Board of Directors. Anything that Ken takes on, he feels that he can’t give enough. In fact, he does not turn in hours for the work that he does at the Garlic Festival. He is very proud of the accomplishments of the festival. We are very grateful to Ken for all that he gives to the festival and Gilroy. Ken would easily be voted as an all around great person and fun to be with.

Gloria Mondelli Pollack was born in Gilroy to a farming family. She met Eddie on a blind date and they were married in 1981. Her Godparents were Val and Elsie Filice, also farmers. Because of them, Gloria and Eddie have been a part of the Garlic Festival from the beginning. In fact, she remembers that her godfather Val used a tractor disk for the first stir fry wok in Gourmet Alley. Gloria served as chair/co-chair of the children’s area for four years. Both Eddie and Gloria worked in Gourmet Alley. Eddie coached basketball at St Mary’s and Gilroy High School. He worked with the basketball team doing trash pickup driving the tractor. He said “you learn a lot about the kids when you’re with them for 10 hours.” Gloria has been a member of the Gilroy Assistance League since 1995. Their main fundraiser is the beautiful Impressions Home & Garden Tour that occurs in May of each year. When you pass Wheeler Manor senior housing between 5th and 6th streets remember that

she was apart of a group of Gilroyans that campaigned to bring senior housing to a reality rather than to sell the property and build houses. Gloria assisted Karen La Corte in Karen’s fabulous fashion shows at St Mary School. I don’t think former Mayor Al Pinheiro will ever forget when Eddie, at his own expense, joined the Vickroy brothers (pyro team) and then president Greg Bozzo at Gilroy’s sister city in Angra do Heroismo, Azores. Mayor Al taught the group how to say thank you which is Obrigado. Eddie didn’t get it so he used avocado to say thank you. Gloria loves to get involved. She is a graduate of the Leadership Gilroy program and a mentor for the Gilroy Leadership Foundation Youth Board. And just a few weeks ago Eddie and Gloria assisted in serving a fabulous seven course meal to the donors who gave over $9,000 to assist St Louise Hospital. The fundraiser and dinner was held at the beautiful Chialla Family estate in Morgan Hill.

Ken Fry

Gloria Mondelli Pollack

I often reflect on the many hours, months and years of giving that the above Gilroy Citizens have given. Recently, I found a book that speaks of kindness and giving that had a saying by Saint Thomas Aquinas: “Man should not consider his material possessions his own, but common to all, so as to share them without hesitation.” And that’s what I love about our wonderful people and town of Gilroy. WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012





mazing things are happening through social networking today. People are connecting to other people and huge amounts of information with just a few clicks. What an awesome time to live. With connection and exposure to wide-ranging personalities and opinions, I get inspired to improve my life and my way of thinking. One way I have found to do that is to collect quotes and sayings I think are inspirational. Luckily, there are volumes of short, life-changing, motivating words of wisdom on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the latest arrival, Pinterest.

Quotes for every whatever … just for fun!

Deja Poo – That feeling that I’ve heard this crap before. What about those actual quotes that are attributed to a person, who, by the way, may or may not have actually said it.

“Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.” — Groucho Marx

You can never be too rich or too thin.

“The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.” — George

Change your shoes, change your life. Pain makes you stronger. Tears make you braver. A broken heart makes you wiser. And alcohol makes you not remember any of that crap.

Bernard Shaw

“You’re just coitusing with me, aren’t you?” — Dr. Sheldon Cooper And I’ll leave you with my wise relatives’ sayings. Murphy’s Laws are a universal set of sarcastic quotes about life, born out of collective wisdom

If anything can go wrong, it will.

By Susan Patereau

Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. You will always find something in the last place you look.

Oh, heck, that’s no fun. Let’s go back to the short one-liners we all love.

If you don’t have anything nice to say…come sit next to me.

The first 5 days after the week-end are always the hardest.

— Oscar Wilde

C’mon Inner Peace. I don’t have all day.

Here’s some that don’t fit everyone, but seem to fit me to a tee.

Revenge… The reason I get up each day.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

A few of my favorite are:

You’ve probably picked out your favorites too. If this column were being posted on a social site I would post them one at a time and you would comment and give me your opinion on each one. I would reply with the question, “What are your favorite quotes?” We would learn so much about each other and become close, long-lasting friends. But, alas, this is the old-fashioned print version where you get my whole, complete opinion arranged in paragraphs, and presented in logical form where it is best for you to read the whole piece before you form an opinion and a response.

I wish sarcasm was available as a font.

Find Susan’s bio online at: Patereau

You can be sure that you will see all of these sayings on my social networking sites. The reason you may not recognize them is that they will be buried in an unrelated graphic of some kind.

In the Community

How often do you reflect upon how lucky we are to have Gavilan College in our town? We not only have access to a first-rate education on one of the most beautiful community college campuses in the state, but even those who never venture onto the campus feel the benefits to our local economy and communities.

By Their Numbers

By Their Activities

The numbers show what Gavilan College adds to the local economy and workforce:

Gavilan College also adds arts, cultural events, and personal growth opportunities all year round:

• Gavilan College’s 2011-2012 budget (including Measure E construction) was $51,316,406, much of it spent locally. • Gavilan College provides jobs: there are 187 full-time employees and 281 part-time employees (34 of these employees are Gavilan College alumni to boot!). • Gavilan College provides educational opportunities for thousands: 3,905 fulltime students, and 10,294 part-time students in 2011-2012. • In 2012, Gavilan conferred 420 associates degrees and 174 certificates. • Gavilan College offers academic programs in 34 disciplines, including Career Technical Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Basic Skills.

• The annual Science Alive conference that hosts 300 middle-school students for a single day of hands-on science exploration. • The annual “Bach to Blues” music festival. • The annual California Folklorico Festival, now in its third year. • The Summer Theater Arts Repertory program (STAR) • Community Education in crafts, recreation, and other just-for-fun topics. • Service Learning classes, which bring college students into the community to benefit local nonprofit organizations • An art gallery, with a variety of fine arts exhibits during the school year. • The Digital Media Summer Institute.

By Their Accomplishments • Over the past year, Gavilan College has added a credit program in Water Resources Management, a high-demand career field. • Gavilan College has also added new associates degrees for transfer: AA-T degrees in Communications Studies and Administration of Justice, and AS-T degrees in Kinesiology, and Mathematics. Completion of these degree programs allows students to transfer to CSU campuses with upper-division status. • In 2011-2012, Gavilan College became a tobacco and smoke-free campus! • In 2011 Gavilan College was awarded a 5 year, $1.2 million Title V STEM grant. • In 2012, Gavilan College was awarded another Title V grant to address Career Transfer Pathways in Digital Media, Allied Health.

Important Dates

December 3 Open Registration for Spring Classes Begin January 30 Sprint Semester Begins

For detailed information,









When it’s time to go back to work Finding the right child care provider


Check references and licensing status.

inding the right child care provider takes work. For starters, be sure to plan a day where both you and your child can visit the childcare facility and observe first-hand the educational program and activities for your child. Plan a visit to the program(s) well before you plan to enroll into a program. This will allow time to choose wisely and complete any medical visits required by the provider. Asking lots of questions from practical ones about hours and meals to personal ones about discipline and toilet training is essential. Think about your questions for the provider in advance, and then bring them along with a checklist to the visit. In the end, the most important question to consider is, “Will my child receive loving and careful attention?” There are many different types of child care; they differ by number of children being cared for at the same time, as well as by the type of provider. Some care is licensed by the State of California, some is not. Licensing does not guarantee quality, but it does provide guidelines for health and safety. Parents have the right to receive information regarding any substantiated or inconclusive complaint about any licensed childcare provider. That information is public and can be acquired by calling the regional licensing office (408) 324-2148. Parents seeking child care in Gilroy can call the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County, Inc. at (408) 487-0749 to receive helpful information about and free referrals to licensed providers or centers in our area. If you are looking for care in another county, call (415) 882-0234 and ask for the number to the Resource and Referral office that serves your area.

Trust your instincts! Hire someone you like. Hire someone your child(ren) likes.

This information is brought to you by:

When considering a provider: Interview and observe the potential provider with the child.

• Explore why this caregiver wants to care for children. • How does she/he feel about this work? • Is this person warm, caring, attentive, and responsive to the child who will be in this care?

Ask the potential provider: • • • • •

What do they like to do with children? What are their feelings about discipline? How do they handle naps, eating, toilet training, etc? How would they handle an emergency? What kind of training/education have they participated in, and how recently?

Ask a lot of “what if” questions, for example: • What if my child cries all day? • What if my child refuses to eat? • What if my child refuses to nap?

Once you have found a good provider, be sure to: • Communicate regularly and openly about how the child care arrangement is working.

Remember, good child care is a partnership!

855 Moro Drive, Gilroy WINTER/HOLIDAY 2012




Service With A

Jayme Zeiler Bartender-Waitress Westside Grill







ayme is a single mother of four. Anyone who has seen Jayme in action at Westside Grill knows she is a hard worker... and that is how she describes herself. But in typical Jayme fashion, she takes it one step further. Her goal in life is to be the best mom, bartender and daughter she can be. The same hard working attitude you see at Westside she applies to family and life. There is a certain contrast listening to Jayme as she talks about kids and family. This friendly bartender, with the big smile and perfect drink for everyone, says her kids make her who she is! In fact, for a day job, she works at a day care center. Jayme was born and raised in Gilroy. She moved away for a while but the family values of Gilroy drew her back.

What is your favorite part of this job? “The people, I love the people…the happy outgoing kind to the quiet ones…making them feel at the end of the day that they are part of a family now…the people are fun!”

What is the biggest challenge of this job? “Trying to keep everyone happy. It is not just me; it is a team effort. If something goes wrong, I have to own it in front of the customer.”

Do you have something special you do outside of work? “I do a lot of things. I love my kids. I play with them…enjoying the time with them. I love to bake, so I try to incorporate it with the kids. I love life and I enjoy doing a lot of things!”

What is special about Gilroy? “You know what, it is a place everyone calls home when they have a family…the best little town to raise a family. After I moved away, I moved back because I knew this is where I wanted to raise my family.”

The Value of a Smile by Francie Baltazar-Schwartz “The value of a smile is priceless, yet it is the cheapest, easiest, most rewarding and most sincere gift to anyone that crosses your path. A smile makes a person’s day, anybody’s day even a stranger’s day. A smile is infectious. Start infecting people with your smile today. A smile is nature’s best antidote for discouragement. It brings rest to

the weary, sunshine to those who are sad, and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated. A smile is so valuable that it can’t be bought, begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will. You have to be willing to give a smile away before it can do anyone else any good.”






ili, as many know her, has a unique background. She was born in France but raised in communist Poland. Twenty years ago she migrated to the United States. Now a citizen, and proud of it, she has a deep affection for Gilroy. She recently survived a bout of cancer and is eager to get involved again with groups like the Gilroy Exchange Club. Lili was one of the first employees at Pinnacle Bank some six years ago. While home might be in San Jose, Lilli’s smile and enthusiasm is all Gilroy!

What is your favorite part of this job?

“Contact with the client, everyone is so different. I am joyful when the client is happy.”

What is the biggest challenge of this job? “Helping people transition from other banks and opening accounts. Sometimes it can get complicated. When we are happy, service is better.”

Do you have something special you do outside of work? “Before the cancer I would walk and jog…not so much lately. Now that I am stronger again, we want to travel California more. There is so much to see.”

What is special about Gilroy? “It is the people…there is a dedication to Gilroy and the community.”

Liliana Sawicki Senior Client Service Specialist, Pinnacle Bank





Ernie Gonzalez Check-out Clerk, Nob Hill Foods/Raley’s


rnie is the morning guy five days a week. Born and raised in Gilroy he now owns a five-acre ranch in Hollister. But his affable nature, warm smile, confidence and willingness to help is very much Gilroy. Ernie jumps between English and Spanish and seems to know the names of most of his customers. Ernie started working at Nob Hill in 1980 and has worked in five different locations. Starting out as a stock clerk he moved up to assistant manager. Somewhere along the line he realized that management took too much of a toll on one of the most important things in his life, family. For Ernie the checkout clerk job is the way to balance work and family. Ernie has two sons, a ‘55 Chevy and is married to his high school sweetheart.

What is your favorite part of this job? “The people obviously. The elderly, they have so many stories to tell. I seem to be their ears; I am a good listener. They always tell me their stories and I have the patience to listen to them.”

What is the biggest challenge of this job? “Try to get everyone on the same towrope. I expect everyone to have the same passion for living I do and some are not on the same page.”

Do you have something special you do outside of work? “I like playing poker with my nephews…ten at the table playing for hours, listening to stories. I like working on my car, working in the garden and even riding the lawn mower listening to my music.”

What is special about Gilroy? “The tight knit community…still small enough to know the mayor and who is running for office and you can go back a few generations with them.”













Presorted Standard US Postage

A PUBLICATION FOR THE COMMUNITY OF GILROY 7446 Rosanna Street • Gilroy, CA 95020


San Jose CA Permit 2198

33 GT Winter 2012  

The winter editon of Gilroy Today 2012 freatures people, smiles, the artic and an old house done up for Christmas.

33 GT Winter 2012  

The winter editon of Gilroy Today 2012 freatures people, smiles, the artic and an old house done up for Christmas.