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*Sources: REAL Trends Top 500, San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal


South Valley Symphony A South County Treasure

ABOUT THE COVER: Photo of El Toro by Susan Brazelton. The Morgan Hill Photography Club has a gallery show at the Morgan Hill Community Center through February 27th. The exhibit, themed “Explosion of Color,”features 59 compelling photographs from 35 local artists. For more information :”

20-22 Morgan Hill’s Finest Lisa DeSilva

8-13 Community Happenings

Inside This Issue 16

Celebrate Morgan Hill


Everyone Has A Story

Award Recipients Honored

Meet Linda & John Tarvin


Leadership Morgan Hill


The Votaw House

46-48 The Granada

Its Past & Its Future

Meet The Class of 2014


A Sophisticated Old Lady

Aging With An Attitude Reversing The Aging Process


Business News

Morgan Hill Chamber Supporting Business



Art In Morgan Hill

Retirement 101

Home Remodel Turns Into Art


Your New Year’s Resolution


Downsizing…Right Sizing

Avoiding Pitfalls by Gene Beley

How’s It Working For You?

Making The Right Decision

Be sure to visit our website and/or tell us what you think of our Winter 2013 Issue at





Morgan Hill TODAY

From the Editor




was thinking about how quickly the holiday

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

season came and went this year and now how quickly winter is passing. With the kind

of weather we have been having; it doesn’t really seem much like winter at all — just a chilly spring.

J. Chris Mickartz

I’m pretty sure I could count the times I’ve felt

J. Chris Mickartz

it necessary to wear a jacket on two hands. But enough about the weather and the passing


of time. We hope you enjoy this, our third issue of Morgan Hill Today. We’re still in a bit of a learning curve, trying to adjust our publishing dates to accommodate the important happenings in Morgan Hill. But I’m sure that once we get an entire year under our belts, we will be able to adhere to a consistent timeline. Until then, thanks for bearing with us. I want to thank Gene Beley for his wonderful comments on retirement. Those of you who have lived in Morgan Hill for some time will remember the Country News, a free tabloid size community newspaper that Gene published from 1989 to 2005. After selling Country News, he began his transition to Stockton for his retirement years. I think you will find his article both interesting and insightful. No one can say that Morgan Hill isn’t an active community. We’ve been very busy attempting to cover as many events as possible for the Community Happenings section. Actually, that’s why we held up this issue of Morgan Hill Today — so we could include the Morgan Hill Chamber’s Celebrate Morgan Hill Awards night and all the amazing recipients of this year’s awards. This year’s Man Of The Year, John Tarvin and his lovely wife, Linda shared with us their story. We think you will enjoy their adventures and triumphs. What amazing assets to the community. We applaud all the recipients and look forward to getting to know each of them better in the years ahead. Speaking of assets, we so enjoyed attending the Morgan Hill Granada Preservation Society’s fundraiser on January 15th. It’s always a treat to see people working to save a community treasure. It’s an exciting time for the theater and the Society’s plans for it sound awesome. Our writer, Robin Shepherd did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the theater, both yesterday and today. See pages 46-28. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Marty Cheek, Morgan Hill Life for providing us with the photos and information about Leadership Morgan Hill. It’s an amazing nine-month program that gives individuals the tools they need to become leaders within the community. We have received a good number of requests from businesses wanting to distribute Morgan Hill Today and we are thrilled. The reception has been great and we look forward to the magazine’s future growth, both in number of pages and in locations where they can be found. We post a list of current distribution points on our website, where you may also view past issues, comment on any part of the magazine and see additional photos.

Enjoy! 4





Teri Nelson Rosy Bergin Lorraine Welk Laura Lundy Marilyn Librers

Sherry Hemingway Christine Giusiana John Horner Laura Perry Jennifer Tate

COPYWRITING Larry J. Mickartz J. Chris Mickartz Kelly Barbazette Laura Wrede Robin Shepherd Stephanie Vegh

PHOTOGRAPHY Larry J. Mickartz

PROOFING Susan Patereau

Kelly Barbazette

CONTRIBUTORS Aging Dorie U. Sugay Finance Daniel T. Newquist The Law Craig van Keulen Real Estate Teri Nelson Mortgage Banking Jenny Boffy/Laura Lundy Home Improvement David Domenichini Gardening Debbie Barncord Insurance Carl C. Schindler

WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA Susan Patereau ADVERTISING Deb Porter, Advertising Representative email for ad placement, information, and availability

DISTRIBUTION Edgar Zaldana, Distribution Manager

COMMUNITY EVENTS & INFORMATION Submit for free inclusion, space permitting. © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part, either editorial or display advertising, may be reproduced without written





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Community Tidbits HELPING HANDS & HEALING HEARTS AWARDS LUNCHEON MARCH 21, 2014 — 11:15 am The Helping Hands & Healing Hearts Awards Luncheon will be held at the Morgan Hill Community Center. It is held annually to recognize a community leader dedicated to improving the lives of others and a former Community Solutions client who has triumphed over personal adversity and positively changed the course of their future. This sell-out event has become a treasured tradition for local businesses and community members who attend each year. Proceeds from the event support programs and services to create positive changes in our community. For ticket or sponsorship information, please visit or call 408-846-4717.

Is It Time To Make Your Move?


re you considering the purchase of a larger home; or perhaps downsizing to a smaller one? Generally speaking, spring is a good time to put your house on the market. And with the market resurgence of the past year, this spring is an excellent time.

Homeowners who have been waiting for housing prices to bounce back are getting ready to make the move largely because of the increased equity in their current home. Additionally, the limited amount of inventory in Silicon Valley has sellers feeling confident that the time is right to sell. Buyers, on the other hand, look at the current interest rates and realize that for every quarter point in interest that the rates increase affects their chances of qualifying for the home of their dreams and, if they qualify, the amount they will pay each month in mortgage payments will be more. On the high end of the market, the last six months have seen record sales over the past three years. With confidence rising, homes selling for $1.5 million are becoming more and more commonplace. If you’re looking to make a move, you will want to look at some things you can do to assure the highest possible price for your home. A home that buyers gravitate to and see themselves living in will bring in the highest possible price; making it possible for you to purchase your next home. • Take a walk through your home as if you were a buyer — from the front door to the backyard. Note any issues you feel would be a negative in the eyes of a buyer. • Clean up any unnecessary clutter — you want your home to look open and bright. • Assess the walls, floors and windows — are they dirty, stained, worn? • Clean up your home’s outdoor spaces — keep your yard free of weeds, green and with color, even in the winter. Also, sprucing up the deck can make a world of difference. I suggest that even if you are at all considering a move in the near future that you start addressing the items above. It’s never too soon to prepare for the day that you find your dream home and need to sell your current one. If you need some help assessing what needs to be done, your real estate professional can walk you through the process. In closing, have fun, be prepared, and don’t forget to talk with your lender so you are aware of how much you can afford to spend for your new home. It’s been a long time since the market has been this good; so enjoy finding your dream home.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill & San Martin 2013 Active/Pending









Homes Sold





Days On Market





Sale To List Ratio





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






Morgan Hill Community Happenings

Our readers are so fortunate to live in a community with so much heart, where 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. Morgan Hill Today is happy to include as many of these wonderful events and activities, as space allows. We encourage community organizations and businesses to let us know about their efforts to support the community. We thank them for continuing to make Morgan Hill a wonderful place to live and raise a family.


Presented by the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance & the City of Morgan Hill

Photos: Courtesy of Adam Henig, City of Morgan Hill

Streets were alive with local merchants displays, outdoor dining and street artisans on Saturday, November 30th from 5-9 p.m. Downtown parking spaces were converted into fun, lively scenes as part of a pilot program created to motivate residents to shop locally on Small Business Saturday. It is hoped that more events that include “street scenes� and the utilization of parking spaces will be brought to the downtown district in the coming year.






Presented by Community Solutions


Community Solutions’ second annual fall gala, All That Jazz, was held at Willow Heights Mansion on November 9th. The sell-out crowd stepped back in time – many of them donning attire from the Roaring ‘20s – to raise funds to support the futures of clients served by this human services agency. Bidding on the silent and live auctions was enthusiastic and generous, with Frank Leal’s “Leal On Location” bringing in the highest bid. Frank and Executive Chef Mark Johnson will be bringing a seven-course wine dinner for 20 to the home of the lucky bidders. Since it was such a popular item, Frank generously decided to donate two dinners. Proceeds raised that evening support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking served by Community Solutions.











Presented by the Morgan Hill Community Foundation Outstanding Philanthropist Celebration

The Morgan Hill Community Foundation hosted the 8th Annual Outstanding Philanthropist celebration on Saturday, November 16. The event showcased 23 local volunteers and philanthropists who were nominated by their peers as exemplary contributors to Morgan Hill. Themed “Night of the Stars,” the event featured a red carpet, paparazzi-style entrance area. Photographers from the Morgan Hill Photography Club served as paparazzi. This year’s master of ceremonies was Jona Denz-Hamilton, a popular radio host on 94.5 KBAY FM. The 2013 Honorees and their nominating organizations are:


Robert Airoldi Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Majid Bahriny Morgan Hill Sister Cities Winslow & Ann Briggs Pine Ridge Association Sandra Curran The Learning and Loving Education Center John Firth Child Advocates of Silicon Valley Rich Gamboa Independence Day Celebrations Freedom Fest Janie Knopf Leadership Morgan Hill Marcy Leggett Centennial Recreation Senior Center; Margaret McCann American Association of University Women Don Nguyen Teachers Aid Coalition Paula Perez Youth Action Council Peggy Pinarbasi American Red Cross of Silicon Valley Margaret Rodrigues Morgan Hill Historical Society Joy Safakish Friends of the Morgan Hill Library Linda Shimkus Community Solutions Ric Smith Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center South Bay Piping Industry Morgan Hill Community Foundation Jennifer Tate Leadership Morgan Hill Thrivent Financial One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding; Arnavaz Wadia Morgan Hill Library Special Thanks To Morgan Hill Photography Club






Presented by Santa Clara County Farm Bureau

Photos: Courtesy of Santa Clara County Farm Bureau

The Santa Clara County Farm Bureau’s inaugural Farm to Table Harvest Celebration was a big success on Saturday, November 2 at Uesugi Farms in San Martin. The sold out event was attended by 250 foodies, farmers, ranchers, elected officials, and community members. The meal included passed appetizers and wine in the pumpkin patch and three courses paired with wines served under the tent. Eight chefs from the Epicurean Group designed seven different entrées to feature various cuts of beef to serve 250 guests using one steer purchased at the county fair.













Kitchens… the gathering place By David Domenichini


e’ve all been there. We plan a gathering for friends and family; snacks and drinks are strategically placed around the coffee table and buffet. We may even have a formal bar where guests are encouraged to mix and pour their favorite cosmos and mojitos while we’re in the kitchen stirring pancetta for our Cassoulet. Then one by one, as if the Pied Piper had arrived, our guests file into the kitchen, gathering around the counters, nibbling, pulling up chairs, and laughing. Before we know it, the party’s in our kitchen. All across the country kitchens are the hub of our homes. It’s where we entertain. Where we eat. Where we gather to chat with family and friends; some of us even work from our kitchens. For such an important room in the house, they were long treated like an unwanted guest. For decades kitchens seemed to be little less than a semi-functional collection of appliances and storage. Over the years kitchen trends started to slowly catch up with other rooms. Function started becoming truly functional and fashionable as well. Today kitchen designers are finally recognizing the rightful place that kitchens have in the home.

David Domenichini is the owner and proprietor of D.R. Domenichini Construction, which was named Morgan Hill Business of the Year in 2012. He brings nearly 20 years of experience to his family-owned and operated business. David resides in the Morgan Hill area with his wife Gina. Both are active in the community. Visit their web site at or call 408.691.3283.

If you plan to remodel in 2014, here are five smart kitchen trends you might want to incorporate into your kitchen design: Walk-in Pantry Custom cabinets are one of the most costly items in a kitchen remodel. Creating a walk-in pantry not only saves money, it adds resale value to the home and creates a better functioning kitchen. Imagine all your canned goods and boxed items all lined up with labels facing out. Martha Stewart would be proud. Pull-Out Shelves It just makes sense to have a pull out shelf rather than opening a cupboard, bending down with a flashlight, pulling everything in front off the shelf, just to get to the Christmas tree ice bucket tucked way in back. Having a pull out shelf that rolls out easily utilizes all your cupboard space and saves your knees and back. Pot Filler Faucets This is one of those inventions that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” How many times have you carried a pot of water to the stove just to slop it onto the floor? This new kitchen trend solves that problem. The pot filler faucet sits above the stovetop with a swing arm allowing you to fill the pot with water right on the stove. Wine Cooler Fridge As Goldilocks would say, “And this one was just right!” Wine refrigerators are designed to preserve and age your wine at just the right temperature in order to bring out the full flavor potential. If you invest in wine and don’t store it properly, you lose your potential investment. Coffee Centers Just as there are wine enthusiasts, coffee aficionados take their beans seriously. Today’s coffee maker has gone beyond Mr. Coffee and is more like your own personal Starbucks where you are the barista. Kitchen coffee centers are comprised of coffee machines that allow you to easily make your very own non-fat, half-caff, decaf latte right from the comfort of your own kitchen counter (without the $5 cost). You might even invite your friends and take their orders.





A special thanks to the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to recognize the individuals in the community that “give back.” This year, the Celebrate Morgan Hill Awards ceremony, held in January at the Community Center, was enjoyed by a sold out crowd of over 300 people. It was a celebration of the love and respect that the recipients feel for the community of Morgan Hill.

Award Recipients honored at Celebrate Morgan Hill Event

WOMAN OF THE YEAR, CECILIA PONZINI with Adam & Laura Escoto, Melissa Santos, Morgan Hill Mayor Steven Tate, Gary Ponzini, Jennifer Tate and Gilroy Mayor Don Gage

MAN OF THE YEAR, JOHN TARVIN with wife Linda and their children, Jay & Daniell Piazza, Jennifer & Tony Fery and friends David & Susan Fent

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S CELEBRATE MORGAN HILL AWARD WINNERS! BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, HERITAGE BANK Katie Garcia, Alyssa Garcia, Rosalinda Tellez, Connie Perez, Deborah Frazen, Myles Taketa, Jeff Perkins, Tracy Carpena, and Tracie Wallace

TEACHER OF THE YEAR, IRENE MACIAS-MORRISS with Yatman & Kim Lai, Allyn Morriss, Sarah & Todd Erickson, Eloina Macias and Claudia Rossi





STUDENT OF THE YEAR, JOSHUA TOCH with Morgan Teddleton, Janica Azevedo, and Haley Toch

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR, PHIL COUCHEE with Julie Alter, wife Kim, Steve Lucchetti, and children, Tami, Tina and Rob Couchee

Lorraine Welk was recognized for her years of service to the community, as a member of the Chamber Board of Directors Katherine Toch and Kelly Ramirez

Janie & Roger Knopf

Brian & Kathy Sullivan, Steve Betano and Bill & Mary Hiland

Martha Kritt, Pamela Gallo and Rabbi Debbie Israel

Peggy Woolf, Vivian Varela, Lou Mirvuss and Teresa Kiernan

Lori McIntosh, Bill Haskell and Kathy Katusha

Mario Banuelos, Fawn Myers with Rick & Sue Baynes

Robert & Julie Barraza (Party Outlet) with Chamber President, Rich Firato WINTER 2014




Seasonal light solutions to help you through the winter!

Carl Schindler, LUTCF, CSA Agent, State Farm Insurance


ome of us in northern climes approach winter with a growing sense of dread — the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and sooner or later many of us succumb to the “winter blues.” Severe and chronic seasonal depression is a serious issue and should be treated by a medical professional. However, for many of us, winter tends to bring on lesser problems along the line of “cabin fever” or “the blahs.” There are, however, ways to weather winter, including seasonal light solutions and other positive habits that help fend off stress and sadness. The winter blues aren’t just a folksy saying — there are physiological (and psychological) reactions to how much sunlight we soak up on a daily basis. In the northern hemisphere, the tilt of the Earth means we get fewer winter daylight hours (and less direct sunlight) the further north we live. For example, around the Winter Solstice, Anchorage, Alaska, gets less than five hours of daylight, the northernmost part of Minnesota gets eight, while Miami, Florida, gets more than ten hours of sunshine each day. Shorter days mean less sunlight, which can mess with our biological clocks and circadian rhythms and bring about changes in our bodies’ sleep schedules, our eating habits, and our moods. That’s why some people notice that during winter months they might sleep more, have less energy and interest in their usual activities, feel more irritable or moody, and may even want to eat more (especially foods heavy in carbohydrates). There are doctorprescribed light therapies that include bright light boxes or dawn simulators, but if your symptoms are not that severe, there are other things you can do on a daily basis to fight off the blues or blahs. Let the Light In

Carl Schindler is a 40 year State Farm Insurance agent in Morgan Hill. His agency has been voted #1 in Morgan Hill for the past 5 consecutive years. He specializes in Auto, Homeowner’s, Life & Disability Insurance. Visit StateFarm. com/CarlSchindler or call (408)779-6969.




• Throw open the shutters. Seasonal light

solutions can be as simple as opening up the blinds and curtains and removing things (like tree branches) that block sunfacing windows. • Sit in the sunlight. Move your desk or kitchen table into an area that’s getting more sunshine. Take some time during the day to sit near a bright window and read or work. Mornings are a good time to grab some extra sunlight exposure, as it can both help keep your biological clock set right and raise your spirits for the rest of the day. WINTER 2014

Get Up and Get Out

• Go Outside. Sure, it might be colder out, but bundle up and try to get out more during the daylight hours. Make a daily walk part of your winter routine — even on a cloudy day, your body is still soaking up sunshine. When an unseasonably warm winter day comes along, consider eating lunch outdoors. • But also take time to relax. Don’t push yourself too hard — take a little time each winter day to chill out, so to speak. • Be social. When you’re feeling blue or cranky, sometimes the last thing you want is to be around other people, but sometimes that’s also exactly what you need.

• Head for the sun. If you’re planning a

winter vacation, consider going somewhere warm and sunny to give yourself a brief mid-winter recharge.

Take Care of Your Mind and Body

• Get enough sleep. While sleeping all

day or finding it increasingly hard to get out of bed can be a sign of more severe depression, make sure you’re getting a normal and healthy amount of rest each night. Lack of sleep can raise stress levels. • Eat right. Follow healthy eating tips; and no matter how much your winter body might crave them, try to cut down on foods heavy in fats, sugars, and carbs. Instead try to eat foods rich in nutrients and vitamins, including fish, nuts, and vegetables high in Omega-3 fatty acids. • Exercise regularly. Not just because you want to get a head start on your summer beach body, but because it helps reduce stress and anxiety and strengthens your body’s physical and mental system. If your winter blues get worse and you feel you might be experiencing continuing depression, seek help from a medical professional. If, however, you feel like your mood and attitude just need a little boost during the cold, dark winter months, follow these tips to fight off the blahs and get as much happiness and fun out of winter as you do the other, warmer seasons.

More at: insurance/health/seasonal-light-solutions-tohelp-you-through-the-winter






hen Lisa DeSilva moved to Morgan Hill 33 years ago she never imagined that one day she would be a leader of a community non-profit group that has helped thousands of people change their lives for the better. DeSilva is the Chief Development Officer for Community Solutions in Gilroy, a human services agency that served more than 7,000 clients, from children to older adults, last year alone. DeSilva, 55, remembers moving to Morgan Hill when she was 22 years old – plucked from the camaraderie of college life to sleepy Morgan Hill after graduating from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and women’s studies. “It was a much smaller community than now,” DeSilva recalls. “I think there were 18,000 people at that time and only a couple of traffic lights.” She lived in the Chesbro area of Morgan Hill and remembers feeling “unplugged from the world.” While working the graveyard shift of the conveyor belt at Gilroy Foods, she registered for a women’s studies class at Gavilan College to meet other women. Soon after, she and a group of classmates began discussing the idea of opening a women’s resource center in Morgan Hill. They were going to name it Annapurna, which is a section of the Himalayas in Nepal. An all women expedition team scaled it without any sponsors in 1978, becoming the first Americans – and the first women – to climb the treacherous peak. DeSilva and her friends envisioned a center offering childcare, self-defense classes, employment training and counseling. However, they realized that their dream was a bit too big and needed to scale it down. She and a small group of women met every Monday night for a year, from 1980 to 1981, and opened the crisis hotline in October 1981. Soon after, they founded the Bridge Counseling Center in Morgan Hill, offering counseling services and mental health services for youths and families. This group ultimately became Community Solutions in 1996 and expanded to offer crisis intervention and support services. Today, Community Solutions has 190 staff members and five different program divisions, including support services for survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking and domestic abuse; adults living with schizophrenia or a serious mental illness; adults with a history of substance abuse or having been incarcerated; youths in the foster care system, juvenile delinquent system, and those who have gang affiliation or showing at risk behaviors; and children in families who are struggling with severe crisis and dysfunction. Their client base is primarily in South County with offices in Gilroy, South San Jose and Hollister. “Poverty is a problem for many of our families. It compounds what they are already challenged with, however, income has nothing to do with whether someone is battered by a husband or abused by a family member,” DeSilva said. DeSilva has been the chief development officer for the past 13 years and is responsible for fundraising, donor activities, community relations and communications.





Morgan Hill’s


By Kelly Barbazette

“I have had the great opportunity to work in different positions and areas from working with the rape crisis center, and then had the opportunity to work in and for all of our prevention programs and developing and managing those,” DeSilva said. The crisis hotline that opened in 1981 is still open – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DeSilva earned a Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco in public administration /nonprofit organization management in the late 1980s – spending four hours every Wednesday in the classroom over eighteen months. DeSilva has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill for the past 13 years. When she was invited to join, she said she thought it would be a good move for the agency because the Rotarians have always been loyal supporters. “I didn’t expect how immediately drawn in I would be personally by both the work our club does locally and the work we are involved in international programs,” she said. Service Above Self is the Rotary Club’s mission and DeSilva said that members – many of whom have become her friends - live by those words. “It’s really a remarkable network. It’s a global network for people who don’t just care about the real world community but also for each other.” She said she is constantly inspired by the creativity and dedication of her fellow Rotarians and speaks with pride about their support of programs – from building schools and showers in orphanages in poor third world countries to giving a dictionary to every third grader in the Morgan Hill School District. “In this day and age everything is so computer based. It’s so wonderful to see that the kids are excited by working with books and getting information from a book. And it’s their book, they get to take it home,” DeSilva said. DeSilva said when she is looking to unwind she heads to Martin Ranch Winery. An official greeter for the Gilroy winery for the past 6 ½ years, DeSilva said she appreciates their phenomenal wine and beautiful setting. “Any stress I may be feeling just melts away when I go out there,” she said. Lisa also enjoys laughing with friends and spending time with her two daughters. Her oldest daughter lives in Santa Clara and her younger daughter is a senior at Chico State University. She also loves listening to live music and dancing - and in the rare quiet moment, reading a good book. “I feel very fortunate that I would have ended up in Morgan Hill… It was just the perfect place to end up,” DeSilva said. “It’s been a great place to raise my girls. I’ve had phenomenal opportunities with my career. And being able to live and work in the same community is a real gift.” She said she appreciates not only the area’s great hiking, community theater, and wineries, but also the personal connections she has made in the community. “It’s so nice to be in a community that knows each other and where there are different groups that support pockets of need. There’s a very strong identity and community identity here. It’s the perfect place for me,” DeSilva said.







Avoiding Border Wars

By Craig van Keulen

Craig C. van Keulen is a longtime Morgan Hill resident. He has practiced law in Morgan Hill for over thirty-two years and with his brother, Scott at van Keulen & van Keulen, a p.c., provide over 60 years of experience in the areas of business and civil litigation, construction law, landlord tenant matters, complex and general estate planning, trust administration, trust litigation, land development, commercial real estate purchase and sale, business formation and representation.


our largest and most important purchases over your lifetime will most likely be real estate. As a prospective buyer of any type of real estate (home, business property, vacation property, or rental property) you will want to do everything reasonable before you close escrow and purchase your new real estate to confirm the property’s boundaries. A survey, or boundary location by a state certified and licensed surveyor will provide an accurate picture and help you, before you purchase, to avoid “border wars” after you have completed the purchase. Border wars can occur over something as simple as repairing a fence that borders your home and that of your neighbors. A survey will tell you who owns and is likely responsible for the fence repair, and if your fence, sprinkler system and landscaping is located on your property or your neighbors. Some warning signs that may signal a possible future problem are any structure, wire, pipe, moisture, ditch, utility meter, path, road, tree, building, etc… within ten (10) feet of what appears to be the boundary line, or a shared driveway for access to the property you are about to purchase, or if your property was first subdivided and created before 1980. It is well worth an additional investment, to have a licensed surveyor stake the property corners and locate the boundary lines prior to your agreeing to purchase the property and closing escrow. In fact, it is good advice and cheap insurance to obtain a survey in all cases, at any time, if you have never had your property surveyed. Nobody wants to purchase a piece of property, and then have words such as easement, prescriptive easement, right of way, encroachment, equitable servitude, common boundary line, trespass, nuisance, and lawsuit, enter your vocabulary. When you hear these words, it is usually time to immediately contact a real estate attorney to get some advice on how to proceed. Problems that arise out of boundary issues can quickly turn into a nasty border war, especially when they are perceived to have been created by the new kids on the block, who don’t have a history or personal relationship with the neighbors. It only makes good sense to make sure you are getting what you are being told you are

buying, think you are buying, and what you have paid for, NOT what was left over, after the neighbors on both sides built their fences on your property, or decided to access their property through your property because it was more convenient or a historical route NOT described in an easement of record, and not part of a standard title insurance policy. Usual CTLA title insurance policies do not guarantee your boundaries. Remember, whether or not you have had a survey done, when you find yourself in one of these situations, before you remove or repair anything (like a fence) on or near the property boundary, take a few minutes, walk over, introduce yourself to your neighbor, and ask them what they think about what you propose to do. Confirm what you have agreed to in writing by a friendly letter, email or text, take some pictures, and then check with an attorney to see if there are any “land mines” out there. If you have a boundary problem, you have a limited time period to deal with it (also referred to as a “statute of limitations”) or you may lose or be prevented from exercising or protecting your rights. In their simplest forms the statute of limitations when making or defending a boundary claim against your neighbor or a third party, is generally, three (3) years or (5) five years, but this can change depending on the issues or perspective. Because the statutes of limitations in boundary disputes are so tricky and complicated, the best advice is always to get a survey and immediately see a real estate attorney when a potential boundary dispute arises, so you understand your options and rights, and can then deal with the boundary situation in an educated and timely fashion. No matter how things ultimately turn out, you will always be glad, and far better off, if you can say you first, in a nice and neighborly fashion, spoke with your neighbors about what you were planning to do before you did it. Remember, your neighbors are the people you rely on to keep an eye on your house while you are on vacation. They are the people that call the fire department when your garage catches on fire and you are at the movies. Finally, they are the people that help you and your family when you have an unexpected medical emergency or are involved in a natural disaster.

Obtaining a property survey is an easy way to avoid “Border Wars.” Dear Reader, The person who first emails the correct answer to will receive a $100 gift card from Good Fork in Morgan Hill. We will announce the winner in the next article. The firm will be the final arbiter on all questions and its decision will be final and binding on everyone.

What varsity sports did Craig van Keulen compete in at Santa Clara University, and what world renowned sports event did he compete in during college that made the front page of the San Jose Mercury newspaper sports section in the early 1970’s? WINTER 2014




Everyone has a story…


John hiking on the Bumpass Hell Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

John holding a 90-pound sack of dry concrete when he’d lost an equal amount of weight.


here’s something about John and Linda Tarvin that makes you want to linger a while longer in their company. Chances are they’ll share another little gem of everyday wisdom or a funny anecdote from their life and travels. They are one of those happy couples who have not only done well in life, but they’ve done life well, together. “Linda and I met in the 1960’s in a college English class,” said John. “She was this cute girl in the front row with a cast on her leg. I decided to sit next to her. Next thing I knew, we were on our first date, listening to jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden and having a great time. I had a feeling that Linda was going to be ‘the one’, and I was right.”

The Engineer And The Teacher The Tarvins both attended Texas Tech, where John earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Linda earned hers in Elementary Education. “We used to joke that we were both double Es,” said Linda, referring to their majors. After graduation, they went to Dallas, where John began work as an electronics engineer and earned an MBA from the University of Dallas while Linda taught fifth grade. When the Tarvins’ children Jay and Jennifer were born, Linda took a hiatus from teaching, returning to work after they entered elementary school. In 1979, John received a job offer from Avantek, a California defense electronics company. He called home and said, “Linda, how would you like to move to California?” “John mentioned something about San Jose,” said Linda, “I’d never been, so I had no idea what it would be like to live there. The company flew us both out to San Jose as part of John’s interview process, and afterward, we decided it was a good idea to make the move.” The Tarvins considered buying a home in San Jose, but chose Morgan Hill instead. While the commute to work was significant, Morgan Hill housing prices were more reasonable. The family arrived on Easter week-




By Robin Shepherd


Linda & John posing at the entrance to Glacier National Park

end in 1979 and found it easy to settle in to community life. In 1988, John talked with Linda about making another change. He felt it was the right time to leave the defense electronics industry, which was slowing down, and he had always wanted to own a print shop. Linda was in favor of the change, so the couple bought a Kwik Kopy franchise. “After about a year and a half,” said John, “we decided to leave the franchise and operate our business as Hot Spot Printing in Morgan Hill.” “I decided to leave teaching and help John run the business,” said Linda. “It made more sense that if we were going to work hard; we ought to be able to do it together.” “Linda’s a whiz bang in marketing and I’m the technical guy,” said John. “Our skills complement each other. We even had the kids help out occasionally when they were in high school. They got to see firsthand how hard we worked to make the business successful.” Over the years, Hot Spot Printing received many requests for complimentary printing services. The Tarvins decided rather than taking a scatter-shot approach, they would pick one non-profit and offer to handle all of its printing needs. They “adopted” Morgan Hill’s Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC) as their pro bono printing client. “We went to their annual events, met a lot of great people and learned about their work,” said John. “On one occasion they invited us to come along on a bobcat release, which was exciting.” Both John and Linda have been active members of a number of business and community service organizations, including the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. Linda was an Ambassador of the Chamber for 19 years. John served for two years on the board of directors and for one year as board chair. In 1998, the Chamber recognized Hot Spot Printing with the “Small Business of the Year” award. John served for a number of years on the Mt. Madonna YMCA Board of Managers, and on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club

Photos: Courtesy of Linda & John Tarvin

Linda is the Flower Lady for the AAUW Morgan Hill Annual Wildflower Run.

John and Linda in summer of 2013, leaving for a 23-day road trip to Glacier National Park.

of Morgan Hill (President in 2004-2005). He was also selected as the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year for 2014. Currently he is on the board of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. Linda is a member of the American Association of University Women, where she has been involved in activities including the Wildflower Run, and the Ukuladies, a group of women who perform on ukuleles at various local community gatherings. She is also a member of a local chapter of the Red Hat Society known as The Stinkin’ Red Roses. A Passion For Helping Seniors Some time ago, John and Linda joined a senior programs and services committee for the Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Senior Center. “We like to help out our seniors,” said John. “Some of them tell us that going to the Senior Center gives them a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” “They also get key services,” added Linda, “including everything from haircuts to tax preparation.” But during a recent year of city budget cuts, the CRC lost $29,000 of the city’s annual funding for the Senior Center. “We knew we had to come up with that money,” said John. “We had put together a video based on interviews with a dozen seniors. Then we arranged a ‘Senior Center Protest’ and invited the media. We all stood outside with signs, like ‘Save our Seniors’. It definitely got attention.” John worked alongside other volunteers including Steve Rymer, Chris Gione and Cricket Rubino to establish a 5-year plan for the Senior Center. They formed a non-profit fund in 2011 called Friends of the Morgan Hill Senior Center under the auspices of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. They also worked with the Kiwanis Club to hold an E-waste event and hosted a fall casino night at Fortino Winery. In 2012, borrowing a page from Cricket and Mike Rubino’s expertise, they started a kind of “high tech” bingo fundraising program at the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural

Fannie Mae, the Tarvins’ Schnauzer, dressed

up for the Howl-O-Ween.

Center, which is now held every Tuesday night and open to anyone over 18. The program has already provided more than $28,000 in grants for the Centennial Recreation Senior Center. Road Trippin’ The Tarvins sold their printing business and retired in 2009. At that point, they decided to start a new tradition and take a road trip every year. Longing to be able to hike a few miles at high altitudes and survive to tell about it, John went on a serious calorie-counting diet and lost a whopping 120 pounds. Along with New Orleans and Southwest Idaho, they’ve been to national parks including Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and Big Bend. They plan to revisit Big Bend, and they’d like to see Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly, the Guadalupe Mountain State Park in Texas, among other places. “Travel rule number one is that the dog has to come with us,” said John, referring to the couple’s pet Schnauzer, Fannie Mae. “Everyone thinks her name is some kind of joke about real estate loans. The truth is, Schnauzers don’t have much of a tail to wag. So we have to explain that her face may not tell you how happy she is, but her fanny may!” The Tarvins not only love taking pictures on their road trips, but they blog about them, too. When they get home, those blogs and photos are developed into coffee table style travel books that would put some publishers to shame. “Linda’s got a good eye and she likes to blog. I’m good at laying out and working with the images on the computer and making the books,” said John. And with a chuckle, he added, “We figure with all these books, when we get old and drooly, we can still remember where we’ve been.” In their travel blog they jokingly call themselves ‘The Two Old Buzzards’. Well, they are anything but that.





Don’t let Jack Frost keep you from having a beautiful garden By Deborah Barncord


his winter has been cold and if your garden looks like mine, there are some empty spaces where Jack Frost hit and killed some of my favorite plants. The good news is, that although spring is a few months away, you can start to plant your replacement flora now. You will want to make sure, however, to pick those perennials and succulents that can withstand the cold. There are many choices that will bring color to your garden; not just cold resistant, but drought resistant as well. Some of my favorite succulents, that don’t get bothered by the cold, are the Agave Blueglow and Agave Polyphylla. Both can survive in the low 20’s without a problem and they are drought tolerant. The Aloe Polyphylla, with its spiral growth, is one of the most beautiful succulents I have ever seen. It is sure to be a show stopper in your garden. Some wonderful flowering perennials that are beautiful all year are the Polygala Virgata, Myrtus, Leucadentron (make great cut flowers) and Isopogon. See how unique and beautiful they are in the photographs on the left. It’s San Francisco Garden Show time and we’re excited to see the creativity that will be showcased on the show floor this year. Last year we saw the most beautiful Azaleas. I am inspired to try them out in a special part of my garden this year.

I always find some amazing ideas that I can use in my DIY projects for the spring. One DIY project that I love to do in the winter is redecorating my indoor terrarium. I am able to get my fix for gardening before the weather really lets me outside! One hot trend that will trigger your ceativity is the fairy garden terrariums. You can add miniature gazebos, furniture, statues, stepping stones and, of course, fairies if you so choose. It’s fun putting different colored stone at the bottom of the terrariums. Also, it’s a great way to use Air Plants or Tillandsia, they are so easy to grow and come in so many colors and textures with beautiful exotic flowers. They look great in the terrariums and only need to be pulled out every two weeks or so for a good soaking. I have also seen them on bathroom walls tied on a fishing line — a great way to bring some plant life into your bathroom. Terrariums can be made from anything — from old clear vases to garage sale finds, bowls or the new hanging teardrops that look great at the kitchen window. The only rule is that you need to have clear glass so you can see and enjoy your creation.


Apply pre-emergent to your lawn and garden to prevent spring time weeds


Plant your Dahlias, Cannas, Gladiolas, Begonias


Plant herbs like cilantro, oregano, rosemary, mint

o Start your tomato seeds o Finish pruning shrubs like Butterfly Bush, Mexican Sage

Brought to you by Garden Accents

11155 Lena Avenue • 408.846.4555 •






President, Windermere Real Estate


CEO, Windermere Services


President, Windermere Services

Relationships are everything. Forty years ago, John Jacobi set out to change the real estate industry. His focus? Put relationships before sales quotas. Relationships that last not just for a transaction, but for a lifetime. And while the leadership baton has been passed to us, the second generation, the Windermere vision remains the same. Which means whether buying or selling, you can expect integrity, professionalism and local market savvy every step of the way. Discover the difference a true relationship can make. Contact Chuck Vargas and his team of agents in our new Morgan Hill and Salinas offices.

mOrGAn hILL OFFICE 1295 E. Dunne Avenue, Suite 220 (800) 553-2131 sALInAs OFFICE 1191 A North Main Street (831) 443-1025

WindeRmeRe Valley PRoPeRties









Photo by Marty Cheek,

The people who get involved, the people who are helping to get things done, they’ve been through the Leadership Morgan Hill program. Mayor Steve Tate





South Valley Symphony: South Valley’s Best Kept Secret for Forty years “Music has a remarkable ability to affect and manipulate how we feel. Simply listening to songs we like stimulates the brain’s reward system, creating feelings of pleasure and comfort. But music goes beyond our hearts to our minds, shaping how we think. Scientific evidence suggests that even a little music training when we’re young can shape how brains develop, improving the ability to differentiate sounds and speech.” Scientific American






or forty years in the South Valley a group of musicians have gathered together, lugging their instruments around in all kinds of weather, every week, year after year – often after a long day at work – just to play music. They don’t receive a paycheck. They have little notoriety, in fact they often joke that they are South Valley’s best-kept secret. So who are these musicians and why do they play? They are the South Valley Symphony and they play simply because they love music and want to share it with our community. How It All Started Four decades ago, Pat Meyer, a South Valley resident and professional musician with the San Jose Symphony, along with her husband, and a few other musicians were asked to play at a Fourth of July program in Morgan Hill. The string quartet – consisting of a first and second violin, a cello, and viola – were at that time just a group of friends who got together to play music. When the concert request came, the quartet felt they needed more than just strings. Soon word got out in the music community that they needed more musicians. Through sheer organic growth and word of mouth (no Facebook or email back then) this small group began to grow and take on a life of their own. Before long, horn players joined in, flutes showed up, clarinets and drums appeared, and a conductor, Kathleen Baraclough, became the glue that held it all together as she waved her baton like a magic wand. After that first concert the group just kept playing – unofficially – but with regular dedication. At some point (no one seems to remember exactly at which point that was) they decided that if they were going to hang out and play, they should make it official. In the late 1970s the group became a nonprofit complete with a board of directors. The South Valley Symphony was born. Today professional conductor Anthony Quartuccio - or

South Valley Symphony Schedule and Tickets: General Admission $20.00 Children under 18 & Students with valid ID, FREE Ticket Locations: Morgan Hill- Booksmart Gilroy - Porcellas Music; First Street Coffee Hollister - PostalGraphics San Juan Bautista - The Mission Gallery

Written & Photographed By Laura Wrede “Tony”- leads the thirty-nine-member symphony. They perform four concerts a year, three at Gavilan College and one at Mission San Juan Batista, and hold an annual youth competition for kids ages ten through eighteen. For the last seven years, Tony’s skillful direction has deftly pulled harmonious sounds from each musician as they concentrate, watching for his precise movements taking each musician through a series of what is best described as a syncopated musical dance. The impact is hard to put into words. Let me try and paint a picture: Imagine for a moment going down Monterey to the corner of Fifth in Gilroy. You walk into Fifth Street Coffee Roasting Company; order your favorite cup of espresso. Your friend’s join you, arguing about politics and the state of the union. You wander outside, sit at the sidewalk table still listening to the heated debate, when all of the sudden, from out of nowhere, Julie Andrews appears singing the Sound of Music to a full orchestra playing behind her. Your friends stop arguing and listen. Doesn’t your day suddenly seem brighter? More alive and happy? That’s what Tony and the South Valley Symphony do every time they perform. They change our world when they play – even if just for a few hours. And when I mentioned the Sound of Music could you hear it in your head? That’s because music has a way of leaving a lasting impression on your life. Long after words leave us, music can stay in our memory forever. It’s this life long impact, however, that brings up uncertainty for Tony. He expressed his concern for the future of the Symphony – that we’ll lose it for our future generations. The Future of South Valley Symphony Right now “there is a core of people who really love it; who really care, and see the value and see that it’s way beyond going to a concert and enjoying music. The value is in investing in the cultural richness and education of the community. The passion has kept it alive and thriving for forty years,” said Tony. But where will tomorrow’s musicians come from? South Valley Symphony Board of Directors President Christine

Hopwood shared Tony’s insight into the lack of musical education in the schools. “It means that children don’t learn to appreciate music,” said Christine. With program cuts kids won’t learn how to play instruments. If they don’t learn to play, where will the next generation of symphony players come from? Sadly, there is a often a lack of understanding from the general public as to why music is vital in our public schools. There’s strong evidence showing that kids do better in school, have stronger reading and math skills and higher general intelligence scores when they are musically trained. Music has even shown to have an impact on social development and self-esteem according to some studies. Musical training has a much greater reach beyond the emotional impact of listening to music, even though that is valuable in and of itself. As the years go on, creating a multigenerational continuum working together is a huge priority to Tony. The Symphony is much like any team. When a high school student joins in, they have the ability to learn from an accomplished musician. It’s an incredible benefit to the student. They are able to learn to play, as well as learn how to react to the other musicians in an orchestra setting. It’s a rare opportunity when a teen and an eighty-year-old master musician can come together and speak the same language - music bridges that gap as it creates a “singular expressive statement.” Music is the one area that puts aside a lot of things that society says divides us and gives us a sole purpose that unites us and from that we are able to create something beautiful together. “Performing arts organizations are dying all over the place. And this group has consistently been delivering concerts for over forty years,” said Tony. It’s an incredible feat for a small community like ours to accomplish. The Symphony’s mission is “to make live music available for all ages, and in particular to introduce major modern and classical works to younger generations.” Through the tireless efforts of many dedicated people and donors throughout these last forty years, South Valley’s bestkept secret continues to thrive. After four decades though, it’s probably time for the secret to finally get out. WINTER 2014












Photo: Claudine Gossett

The Votaw House By Larry J. Mickartz

Photo: Claudine Gossett


n the corner of Main and Peak sits a pristine old house, the Voltaw House. Not only is it beautiful inside and out, it also has an intriguing history that dates back to the 1900’s. Over the years, the home has experienced a restoration as well as an expansion. The current occupant, Bill Tindall, a local community theater actor and owner of Brotin Designs, has given it a touch of Asian class and sophistication. Starting with a little history, its beginnings are a bit mysterious. Some say it was built in 1900; others say 1906, which seems to be the more accepted date. The first owner was Albert Shaw Votaw, first mayor of Morgan Hill, who, along with his brothers, founded the Bank of Morgan Hill. An early map indicates that E.J. Votaw proposed a subdivision on the acreage. The Votaw House has also been home to several families; it has been a boarding house, and even hosted a “gentleman’s club.” It was in bad shape in 1979 when Marjorie and Vincent Fiorenza purchased it and initiated a long restoration and expansion project. The house, as it stands now, is 2,600 square feet. It has four bedrooms, two baths, a large family room addition, remodeled kitchen, expansive outside decks and a detached garage.

The restoration, as with most remodeling projects, took longer and cost more than anticipated. The end result is a restored and expanded grand lady of a house worthy of her history and suited to her present and future. The foundation was redone with cement block mimicking the original foundation structure. The wiring and plumbing was brought up to code but light switches use a modern version of the old push button switches. The back of the house was expanded with a large family room connected to the kitchen. Windows, trim and lighting were refurbished with authentic pieces from other Northern California Victorians. The window panes are authentic period glass from Germany. Many of the lights are refurbished gas light fixtures. 0 stained glass accompany period works. During the renovations, a Maine fireplace builder constructed the large fireplace at the back of the family room. The bathrooms were redone in period decor. One of the old photos shows the plumbing for the upstairs bath (circa 1940) on the exterior of the house. The remodel put the plumbing in the walls. As sort of a tribute to this 1940’s bathroom remodel, the doorway from the hall to the bath still stands short of the standard seven feet opening.

Photo: Claudine Gossett





The front doors, porch, living rooms and dining room are much the way they were originally constructed minus the multiple layers of paint and varnish applied over the years. The upstairs bedrooms are pretty much the way they were originally configured with interesting nooks and fascinating details. The one concession, to contemporary needs, was the addition of a decent sized closet in each room. The doorway to the exterior staircase in the back is gone and replaced by a window. Two things that are quite different from most contemporary homes are the landscaping and the charming eclectic interior.

The house sits in the middle of a large lot with several trees. Very large pepper trees, tall palm trees and a huge redwood give the property a “been here forever” look. Raised beds, plenty of shrubbery, garden decorations, an old flagpole, picket fence, grass areas, back vegetable garden and decks complete the look. While the Votaw House is still owned by the Fiorenza family, Bill, with his feel for design, has incorporated his love of Asian and contemporary art into the classic Victorian elements of the house. Everywhere one looks there are snippets of color, beauty and art in an upscale, turn-of-the-century setting. The future of this gem is unknown but Marge Fiorenza says, “It’s always been my dream to return to the house and make it into a nice tea house of sorts where we could have afternoon teas for little girls, bridesmaids, birthdays and Red Hat Ladies….I’ve always planned to return there, if I live long enough, because Morgan Hill has a special place in may heart.”










with an Attitude

Reversing the Aging Process …Defying Your Age


ur cells need energy

Rivers, lest she harasses Sinclair for these

to function. When the


energy engine in our

body becomes less efficient in processing

Sinclair may have found the silhouette of

physiological fuel like glucose into

the fountain of youth in the horizon. But he

energy, biology experts point to a lack or

is not ready to claim that NAD will bring us

absence of oxygen. Dr. David Sinclair, a

immortality. Although the results suggest

professor of genetics at Harvard Medical

that “if a body is slowly falling apart and

School, suggests that the lack of oxygen

losing the ability to regulate itself effectively,

is what causes cells to deteriorate and

we can get it back on track to what it was in

eventually die.

its 20s and 30s,” and he sees their discovery

In a journal called “Cell,” which was By Dorie U. Sugay

Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels, a company that provides livingassistance 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.



helping in cancer research. There is more

published in December of 2013, Sinclair

work to be done. (In other words, hang

and his colleagues from the University

on to your request to be one of the first

of New South Wales in Australia found

humans to participate in the clinical trial.

that giving 2-year old mice a chemical

Besides, I already have a million copies of

compound (NAD) for only one week

my request, stamped

showed some remarkable transformation

and ready to go!)

– their tissues resembled that of a

Imagine for a moment what our quality of

6-month old mice. Applied to humans,

life could be if as Sinclair says, with the use

Sinclair likens this to a 60-year old’s cells

of NAD, our bodies can continue to better

becoming more like those belonging to

regulate itself despite our age. I think of

a 20-year old! As mammals age, Sinclair

Virginia L. in Morgan Hill who is 98 years

posits that levels of NAD drop as much

old and should get a speeding ticket as she

as 50 percent and the more it drops, the

pushes her walker at high speed. What

more vulnerable we are to consequences

could she be like with NAD if without it,

of aging (inflammation, slower

she is still so sharp and full of life at 98? On

metabolism, etc.) With the introduction

his 105th birthday, my grandfather danced

of NAD, their experiment, in essence,

with a 25-year old. NAD would have had

tricked the mice’s bodies into thinking

grandpa doing the salsa!

it is young again, thereby causing age reversal. (Please don’t share this with Joan


You read it right, folks, it seems that


But folks, let’s not wait for Sinclair – let’s learn from some of the people who have

ideas on how to face aging head-on, defiantly, how we can age with attitude: Virginia L from Morgan Hill insists that

Arlene Noodleman, M.D., medical director of the Age Defy Dermatology and Wellness Center, suggests anti-inflammatories for anti-

a healthy lifestyle is a must. She eats fresh,

aging. “From improving heart and immune

organic foods, she is active, and she does

functions to helping hair grow and skin look

not let life’s challenges get her down. “If

supple, they truly do wonders.” She suggests

something bothers you, get busy,” she says.

500 mg capsules of omega-3 fish oil in the

Mark Stibich, Ph.D., in his article “Longevity

morning and at night. (She recommends ones

To-Do’s In Your 50’s,” refers to a study where

labeled ‘molecularly distilled for purity’).

they found that those who burned the most

Researchers have found that a good at-

calories in a day had a 32% reduction in the

titude about aging could add years to your

risk of death. Eighty-two percent of American

life. One study even went as far as suggesting

centenarians polled in 2005, listed exercise as

the average years it could add (7.5 years). No

a must in healthy living.

one knows for sure why. There is a suggestion

In the book “Healthy at 100,” John Robbins

that positive thinking relieves stress and we

says that the secrets of healthy aging can be

all know the havoc stress can cause. It is also

traced to people’s lifestyles in ancient cultures.

safe to assume that people with a positive

He studied centenarians from Central Asia to

attitude tend to make behavioral changes that

South America where he found the oldest and

could lead to longevity. Eighty-eight percent

the healthiest people. From them he learned

of American centenarians polled in 2005,

that daily exercise and meaningful relation-

indicated that laughing and a sense of humor,

ships were key, and that their diets were rich

are important to longevity; 83 percent of them

in whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit but

said that looking forward to each new day,

low in sugar and calories. He also found that

contributed to the quality of their lives.

those he studied relied on beans, not meat,

what our quality of life

could be if, as Sinclair

says, with the use of NAD,

our bodies can continue

to better regulate itself

despite our age.

The subject of healthy aging is an area that

as their main source of protein and that they

cannot be covered in one article. Jane Fonda,

focused on living healthy, not on counting

Kirk Douglas, Betty White, Sean Connery,

calories or being on diets. Centenarians in the

Clint Eastwood and our very own Virginia

U.S. who responded to a poll in 2005, added

L from Morgan Hill – they are aging with an

the following as contributors to longevity:


the love of family, staying in touch or making

Imagine for a moment

So can you!

new friends, and healthy spirituality.





Local Control For Schools

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


ecently we had the opportunity to join Morgan Hill’s delegation to the California State Board of Education meeting to advocate for “Local Control Funding”, a new system which allows local communities to set their own spending priorities based on the needs of the students in their area. Nothing is more important to the health of a community than is the quality of our schools, and the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be part of the effort to improve how we serve all of our students. Morgan Hill’s delegation included the district Superintendent, district staff, union representatives, a school principle, and school Board of Trustees members, community advocates, the Mayor, the Chief of Police and your Chamber of Commerce. Morgan Hill had the largest and most diverse representation at this critical meeting. Recent changes in California state law are radically revamping how money is allocated to local school districts and charter schools. Under the laws in place for the past 40+ years, local schools received a goodly portion of the money to run their operations based on special earmarks covering over 50 different “categorical aid” definitions. The amount of administration required at the local, county and state levels to manage this complexity is almost impossible to calculate.  Governor Brown and the California legislature recently en-


Did you know that manufacturing is Morgan Hill’s #1 employment sector? There are over 3,000 manufacturing jobs within Morgan Hill, far outweighing our other industries. Most of our manufacturing is “high-tech” manufacturing, utilizing high-end technologies to create products to fit precise needs. These are good, stable all-American jobs. Recently Morgan Hill joined communities throughout the country in celebrating “Manufacturing Day.  Here in Morgan Hill, we had four manufacturers participate, Anritsu, Aerotron, Lin Engineering and Del Monaco Foods. Each let in members of the public to learn about this oft-ignored industry. The Morgan Hill Chamber was able to send a representative to each of these open houses to learn about some of our most important local job providers.

Lin Engineering

acted sweeping systematic changes which reverse decades of legislated complexity and put the vast majority of educational spending decisions back into the hands of local communities.

Implementation of these changes require detailed regulations from the State Board of Education, and many advocates for particular earmarked funding priorities converged on that Board to try and preserve as much preference for their areas of concern as possible. Morgan Hill was one of the many districts there to advocate for the maximum possible local control of how the money gets spent. After over 300 people made their public comments, the Board voted unanimously to move forward with the first set of regulations designed to let local communities like ours allocate the available money as best as possible to meet the diverse needs of our students. This is an important first step, and now the real work begins. How do we put these grand ideas into action in a way which improves the educational opportunities and outcomes for the young people entrusted to our schools? This is the work of our entire community, and the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce is delighted to represent the business community in this effort.



Del Monaco Specialty Foods

Anritsu TODAY



Family Owned Dicar Networks


ack in October 2012 Dicar Networks relocated their main offices from San Jose to Morgan Hill so that they could continue doing what they love to do while enjoying short commutes and Morgan Hill’s great quality of life. Family owned Dicar specializes in computer and communications infrastructure for organizations large and small. In recent years they have done the wireless networking installation for several City of Morgan Hill facilities, and just this month the Chamber of Commerce has engaged their services to bring our phone system up to date with a low-cost, high featured “VOIP” system. Armando Garcia started his first company, Dicar Inc., while still a student at San Jose State back in 1980. Dicar Inc. continues to this day as a contract manufacturer specializing in advanced electronic cabling and enclosure systems. Dicar Networks is a standalone affiliate company with a growing services and support business complementing their equipment installation activities. As we all know too well, our modern electronics infrastructure is always in need of maintenance, support and upgrades.


nnouncing the second Annual “Cove Goes Western” on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Morgan’s Cove. This party was a huge hit when we had the first one last year, and everyone who came insisted that we do it again. Music, great BBQ, beverages, dancing and just a whole lot of good fun in an amazing setting. Tickets will be $55 per person available at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce in person or online at

Sun Valley Market


n this age of big box everything, there are still local family owned businesses which provide an extraordinary level of service and develop a relationship with their customers. Sun Valley Market on Monterey Road in Morgan Hill is just such a place. The last time we were in there, the owner’s mother was not only minding the register, but also mending clothes for the grand kids while chatting with customers. Most of the customers who came in where greeted by name and clearly enjoyed know there was a special place for them to get their goodies. Along with the usual selection of convenience store items, lottery tickets, snacks and such, Sun Valley Market offers fantastic collection of craft beers. They even carry Pliny the Elder, an incredibly hard to find beer from the Russian River Brewing Company. If you want some, be sure to get your name on the list in advance, as it sells out the day it comes in!   WINTER 2014










Financial Fitness In 2014


your New Year’s resolution falls along these lines: “Stick to a budget, save more money, get out of debt,” what’s needed is a complete shift in how you view your financial matters. Like losing weight, financial fitness doesn’t happen overnight, in a week, or a month. It takes a plan, time, hard diligent work, and often guidance from a professional or two. Breaking down your “Financial Fitness” goal into twelve monthly steps will help you accomplish this year’s resolution JANUARY

Get Organized

Establish your current financial picture by organizing all of your financial information including income, household expenses, health care, investments, retirement savings, debts, mortgages, taxes, etc. Develop a monthly budget for the entire year. This will give you a clear picture of your current situation and provide a framework moving forward. FEBRUARY

Start Tax Season Right

Gather necessary year-end account statements, receipts, tax related documents, and forms 5498 and 1099s. Organize your documents for an efficient meeting. Schedule your tax and financial review appointments. MARCH

by Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF®

Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF® is a Principal Wealth Advisor with RNP Advisory Services, Inc., with over 17 years experience advising clients on their personal wealth, retirement planning, insurance, and business planning needs. Born and raised in Morgan Hill, Dan is available for private consultations and speaking engagements. Investment advisory services offered through RNP Advisory Services, Inc. a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Foothill Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an unaffiliated company. Visit his website at www. or call 408-779-0699.

Finalize Tax Return

Meet with your tax professional to review retirement savings and maximize your IRA tax contribution for this tax filing. Make adjustments, if necessary, to periodic current year IRA/401(k)/403(b) /457 plan contributions based on guidance from your tax professional. APRIL

Be Prepared For Emergencies

Financial emergency preparation includes knowing account information for bank accounts, investment accounts, mortgages, loans and credit cards. This also includes knowing how to access the accounts and the professionals to call for the situation at hand ~ financial advisor, insurance agent, lawyer, CPA, etc. Keep the information in a safe, accessible place and up to date. MAY

Lessons For Life

The foundation of financial success is to spend less than you earn. Do it and success is just a matter of time as you steadily build wealth. If you don’t, financial success will elude you no

matter how much you earn. Review your budget and make any necessary adjustments. JUNE

Seek Expert Advice

Schedule a mid-year review meeting with your financial advisor. If you don’t have an advisor, seek referrals from a friend, colleague or family member. Interview several potential advisors and look for one who you connect with, who educates and places your interest ahead of their own. JULY Plan

Your Future

What have you promised yourself in retirement? It’s the rest of your life, how are you going to spend it? Travel? Focus on family? Volunteer? Plan it out now and make it a reality. AUGUST

Develop A Financial Plan

This can be done on your own, or with your financial advisor. It is a roadmap to your future goals and objectives and includes near term goals as well as a retirement savings plan, will and estate plan. SEPTEMBER

Back to School

September signals back to school. College savings is top of mind for parents and grandparents. Consider 529 plan contributions in lieu of gifts for the kids. OCTOBER Asset

Allocation 101

Asset allocation is the process of dividing assets among different types of investments such as stocks, bonds, or cash. Your personal time horizon and risk tolerance are key to proper asset allocation. Review your retirement and investment accounts with your financial advisor to make sure your asset allocation is in line with your time horizon and risk tolerance. NOVEMBER

Insure For the Unexpected

Request that your financial or insurance professional review your current coverage and run a full needs analysis across all spectrums of insurance: life, long term care, disability, home, auto, medical, umbrella liability. DECEMBER

Consider Gifting Ideas

Give comfort. Give security. Give knowledge. Give opportunity. Give back. There are many ways to give of your time, talent and treasure through charitable giving.

BOTTOM LINE Develop a foundation for your financial future, put your goals in writing, solidify key advisor relationships, stay committed to your plan, and update and adjust as needed. This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice. Always consult your financial or tax-planning professional for guidance with respect to your specific situation.






Artist Ramona Fusco:

Remodel Turns Into Career Written & Photographed By Laura Wrede





a newly married couple, Ramona Fusco and her husband, Paul, started life on a student budget. Still in college, Ramona knew that decorating and remodeling their outdated home would require some serious creativity; the kind that takes you wandering through flea markets, salvage yards, and thrift stores scouring through dusty boxes and castoffs. As an art student, what Ramona lacked in funds she made up for in creative inspiration. She has a unique talent that allows her to transform something as mundane as an old hatbox into a genuine work of art. Bit by bit Ramona and Paul began to undergo the long process of remodeling their home. When April rolled around the following year, the weather warmed, curtains were pulled back revealing bright sunny days, flowering bulbs dotting the drive, and all the flaws and cracks in the old kitchen counters stared Ramona right in the face. Right then and there she knew the next job to tackle. She made her list, with tape measure in hand, and ideas swirling in her head, she set off in search of tile. She wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

To see more of Ramona Fusco’s handcrafted and hand-painted tile works, visit her website at

She wound up in Milpitas, California at the old Handcraft Tile Factory. As she made her way round back to dig through the “bone yard” pile, the owner at the time, Clay Scott, came to see if she needed help. When he discovered she was an art student he started talking about how they made art tiles there at the factory. “I was so excited about the factory, that the owner gave me a tour. As we talked, he realized that my emphasis in school was ceramics. Before I left, he handed me a bunch of tiles and said, ‘If you can paint these, you have a job’. When I returned them, he handed me some molds and asked me to carve them. That was dicey because I had to carve everything in a negative. I eventually came up with a way to do positives, which they cast in plaster. I ended up making and retooling about 95% of their molds.” She came in search of tile and left with a new career. That one event opened a door for Ramona that turned into a twenty-year artistic passion. This endeavor has landed many of her handcrafted tile designs in magazines such as Sunset, American Bungalow, and Architectural Digest. Among her list of notable and celebrity clients include: The Ravenswood owner’s private wine cellar tiled logo, the master mold for Frys Electronics owner John Fry’s kitchen tiles, and corbels for Diane Keaton’s living room. One of her larger undertakings was a giant Assyrian king on the bottom of a swimming pool for one of the owners of the Raiders football team. While she loves her work, it can get a bit crazy at times. It’s not always easy to meet the client’s expectations such as painting blue strawberries when your artistic nature screams for you to paint them red. Or scale a tall building to match a tile for the Old Navy store in San Francisco. “I went out to San Francisco and had to climb out on the scaffolding on the second story to see the original tiles. I am terrified of heights and it was all I could do to walk out there

nonchalantly and take my measurements and photos.” Ramona prefers to spend her time working in her art studio attached to her home — on the ground level. Now after twenty years, the house remodel is complete, but Ramona just can’t seem to quiet those ideas still running around in her head. She once again pulled back the curtains and sunshine filled the entire house across her beautiful counters and tile floors complete with her own hand painted designs. As she pondered the view out to the backyard she knew where her next project would take her. “I decided to take my gardening knowledge and skills and try to ‘paint’ a landscape on our acre using foliage and flowers as my medium.” Her hand painted tile career is going stronger than ever thanks to the remodel job she took on over twenty years ago. Who knows where it will lead over the next years as she visits local garden stores and spends her spare time remodeling and “painting” her acre of land. Laura Wrede is a Gilroy freelance writer, artist, and photographer. Her award winning art and photography are shown at various online venues, galleries, and exhibits and held in private collections throughout the USA, Canada, and the UK. Her new book, My Ocean, was recently released. WINTER 2014




The Granada By Robin Shepherd

“Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again.” Pauline Kael Former Film Critic, The New Yorker Magazine

Old Location


ometimes a building offers so much more than four walls and a roof over our heads. A building can take on a life of its own as a gathering place where we share life’s experiences. Over time, it may even become a landmark, appreciated for the familiar sense of place and the memories it holds for our families through generations. For many in Morgan Hill, the Granada Theater is just such a building.

By Robin Shepherd





Building At Current Location

Photos provided by Morgan Hill Historical Society — Special thanks to Kathy Devine

The Early Days The Granada was nothing more than a dream in 1944 when Jack and Lillian Hillman purchased an empty lot on Monterey Road in downtown Morgan Hill. For the Hillmans, building the theater was an eight-year labor of love. The result was an upscale theater in the ‘Art Moderne’ architectural style popular in that era. Along with the latest in movie screen and film projection equipment and a 700-seat auditorium, the theater also had a stage for live performances. On its opening night in 1952, the Granada was sold out, at 25 cents a ticket—and more than 200 people had to be turned away. For the Hillmans, the Granada was a dream come true. For the community it was not only a welcome venue for entertainment, but a source of pride, and it quickly took on a central role in the cultural life of Morgan Hill. Among the Granada’s original staff was a young married couple, Ed and Irene Enderson. Ed was the projectionist and Irene, who was also a hair stylist, worked the concession area selling candy. The Endersons loved learning various aspects of the business as much as they loved the movies, and by 1961, they were invited to run the Granada’s theater operations.

Current Location

According to Ed Enderson, “I travelled with Mr. Hillman to Los Angeles where we purchased the projection equipment, and we used a San Francisco booking agency to rent films. People loved the early John Wayne westerns, comedies with Jerry Lewis, all the Elvis Presley rock and roll movies, and the dramatic films with big names like Kirk Douglas and Robert Redford.”

More Than A Movie House Enderson and his wife leased and then owned the Granada for many

years. During that time they not only showed movies, but also hosted magic shows, dances for teens, events for children, church services, and programs for the City of Morgan Hill as well as local non-profits. On occasion, the Endersons came to work dressed in costumes to reflect the current movie’s theme or historical setting. At children’s events, they often included a surprise such as a bicycle giveaway. And they made it a tradition to enter a float in Morgan Hill’s 4th of July parade each year.













morgan hill cellars

e s t a b l i s h e d

1 9 1 3

tasting room gift shop event venue garden patio Tuesday - sunday 10am - 5pm

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

408-779-7389 1645 San Pedro Avenue Morgan Hill, California






What will bring you up the mountain to Mount Madonna School? “The small class size in a safe and stimulating learning environment�

Located 30 minutes from Morgan Hill with bus transportation available

408-847-2717 | 8:1 Student - Teacher ratio





Pre/K - 12th grade WINTER 2014


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College preparatory



The Historic Chapel at Gavilan College


hat building on the Gavilan College campus has been the set for a major motion picture, the site of countless intimate weddings, a trip back in time, and the meeting space of diverse religious communities? The answer is the historic Chapel at Gavilan College! Now located on the main campus, the chapel was originally located in Hollister, at the location of Dunneville Corners, where it served as the San Felipe Community Church. From 1915 to 1927 it was used by a variety of denominations. Abandoned for decades, the church was rescued when then Gavilan College President Ralph Schroeder worked with the Native Daughters of the Golden West to bring the structure to the Gilroy campus. From 1972 to 1975 Gavilan College students in the Construction Technology program renovated the building. It stood on campus as a place of historical interest. It was renovated again in 2005 with funds from the Measure E facilities bond. The Chapel appeared in the film “East of Eden� based on the book by John Steinbeck. It is available to the public for rental on an hourly basis, and is the perfect setting for a small and picturesque wedding. To find out about rates and reservations for the chapel or other Gavilan College facilities, call (408) 846-4957.

SAVE THE DATE: April 25, 2014, for Sowing Seeds, Nurturing Dreams, a wine and food gala with silent auction benefiting Gavilan College students. For information: or email:





Retirement Advice for All Ages

I often tell people approaching retirement that there ought to be a club for people in the 40-67 age group approaching retirement to interface with those who have already retired. “Why don’t you start it?” one person asked. “Because I’m retired,” I replied.

By Gene Beley





















! w e N

408 778-6767

Dr. Charles Musich Chiropractic

15790 Monterey Rd Suite 140 Morgan Hill CA. 95037





Boa Vida Wine Estate


esting at the base of the Gilroy foothills, just a short drive to Coyote Lake, Boa Vida Estate serves as an oasis fitting of Dionysus. The property’s 4.85 acres is fenced and gated and accommodates a generous 1,000-vine vineyard — of which six varietals are grown and have produced award-winning wines — and a 7,300 square foot home complete with all the luxuries befitting of any deity. The sophisticated six-bedroom, eight-bathroom (including two half baths) home offers the entrepreneurial spirit and wine lover a conduit for entering boutique wine production





with the convenience of living on the premises. The home’s modern architecture, warm earth tones, and liberal placement of windows create an inviting atmosphere that complements the golden hills outlining the vineyards during summer months. In winter, verdant landscape envelops the estate in emerald hues, providing a fertile backdrop of the valley. Travertine, marble, and hardwood floors and cathedral ceilings escort you from room to room imbuing a sense of extravagance with an organic approach. Fireplaces in the family room and living room boast marble and granite, and are juxtaposed by pine ceilings and custom shelving. The 1,200 square foot master bedroom serves as


a home inside of home with a deluxe bathroom featuring caramel colored radiant-heat marble floors, a generous marble Jacuzzi tub, a large shower with four steam-ready shower heads, a reading area, his and hers toilets with bidets, and access to a sizeable walk-around balcony. And with ample his and hers closets there’s almost no reason to leave the oasis. Further bringing it all together are the generously placed glass doors that lead outside from each bedroom providing sweeping views of the valley and the vines. This home also provides ample entertainment for the athletic and active person. A 10-foot-deep oversized pool sleeps beneath solar panels awaiting those who long for a cool splash during hot summer

days. It is accompanied by a pool room and patio and outdoor kitchen accoutrements including a pizza oven, a barbecue with rotisserie, a four-burner oven, and a sink for all your cooking needs. Tennis enthusiasts will enjoy attempting game point on the estate’s private courts. And golfers can spend a bit of time on the putting green. Meanwhile, a huge indoor gym features weights and cardio equipment for a full body workout. Venturing into the family room, you will find a large 60-inch TV entertainment center with surround sound. However, pull out the popcorn and soda for movie night in the second living room, which features an 80-inch drop screen with an HD projector. You’ll have

no problem accommodating company with a guest house and plentiful parking including garages for eight vehicles, a porte-cochere and a sweeping circular driveway – all ideal for the car enthusiast. The self-sustaining property also features a 27,000-watt solar system that powers the entire property as well as a 10,000 gallon well (two 5,000 gallon tanks) that also serves as irrigation for the vineyard. Community water is available for added convenience, although the system averages 40 gallons per minute. The home’s two propane tanks and the boiler service the main house and the 3,000 gallon septic system installed in 2003 has two leach fields. Housed in a gorgeous stone house wine cellar, there is storage for over 3,300 bottles. Cabernet Sauvignon lovers will appreciate that the wine produced by the estate under the Boa Vida label took first place in 2013 for their 2009 vintage, plus numerous other awards. It is good wine! Other varietals on the property include merlot, petit verdot, cab franc, and malbec. The vineyard is commercially licensed and BATF approved, and produces 200-300 cases per year, enough to generate approximately $60,000 per year in income. All of this is meticulously maintained and hidden away so that the property is a feast for the eyes no matter where you are on this special piece of land. Boa Vida Wine Estate is perfect for those seeking a modern estate with the charm of a Mediterranean villa. Featuring the luxuries of a resort and a small commercial winery, this estate has it all.

Property Highlights Listing Price

$3,988,000 Judie Profeta, Owner/Broker

House 4 Bedrooms | 4.5 Bathrooms | 7,300 SF | 4.8 Acres


Guest Quarters 2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms

Lic No. 00703550

For more information including video, and more photos on this and other properties represented by Judie and Alain Pinel Realtors visit





no problem accommodating company with a guest house and plentiful parking including garages for eight vehicles, a porte-cochere and a sweeping circular driveway – all ideal for the car enthusiast. (Honda proves you can be pretty and smart at the same time.) The self-sustaining property also features a 27,000-watt solar system that powers the entire property as well as a 10,000 gallon well (two 5,000 gallon tanks) that also serves as irrigation for the vineyard. Community water is available for added convenience, although the system averages 40 gallons per minute. The home’s two propane tanks and the boiler service the main house and the 3,000 gallon septic system installed in 2003 has two leach fields. Housed in a gorgeous stone house wine cellar, there is storage for over 3,300 bottles. Cabernet Sauvignon lovers will appreciate that the wine produced by the estate under the Boa Vida label took first place in 2013 for their 2009 vintage, plus numerous other awards. Why not be pretty and smart? There is no reason to compromise. most amazing aboutvarietals the Accord on Plug-In that it never stops being merlot, an Accord. petit Meaning, It isThegood wine! thing Other theis property include you can enjoy the all fuel savings of driving a plug-in hybrid without sacrificing the Accord beauty and driving experience. It’s a simple fact: One day, crude oil will verdot, cab franc, and malbec. The vineyard is commercially licensed dry up. That’s why Honda has been working on transportation solutions that reduce our use of and/or dependence on fossil fuels for decades. And with a comprehensive portfolio of environmental technologies, including hydrogen, battery electric, solar and natural gas, Honda is200-300 forging a path towardper a sustainable future. Gettoto and BATF approved, and produces cases year, enough know the 2014 Accord Plug-In at generate approximately $60,000 per year in income. All of this is meticulously maintained and hidden away so that the property is a feast

Saving the environment, one beautiful design at a time.

124 /city 105 /highway

17100 Laurel Road


Morgan Hill, CA 95037








Declare war on “energy gluttons” If you are contemplating solar for your home or business, make sure you have identified your enemy, totally & completely. Find your energy gluttons and attack them where they are. Implement an energy efficiency strategy by eradicating ALL the energy gluttons, in your home or business. This will decrease your overall electric demand, reducing both your solar system size and cost, giving you the biggest bang for your energy buck! Once action is taken to minimize or eradicate these nefarious energy gluttons, then commission solar power to finish the job, and win the energy war forever!

An Energy Efficiency Foothold Established, Gluttons Captured!

Battlefield strategy:

Energy Efficiency above all, by attacking these energy gluttons: Glutton Number One:

Inadequate insulation. Did you know that 35% of your energy is lost through the roof, walls and windows? Have you made the switch yet from the inefficient windows of the past? What about the unseen gluttons like wall, attic or floor insulation? 25% of a home’s heat loss is through the roof. By properly insulating your attic, (14” or more) you can subdue the insulation glutton for a relatively small investment of a $1,000 or less! This will save you money instantly on your heating and cooling.

Glutton Number Two:

Inefficient appliances. Eradicate the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) glutton. Has your HVAC system been checked for leaks and/ or perhaps, ducts that have come loose? Shouldn’t you exchange the older unit, for a high efficiency or zonal heating and cooling strategy? What about those

appliances, like refrigerators and freezers? I recall one customer who simply unplugged their 25-year-old freezer in the garage, and saved $45 per month on their electric bill! Look for those camouflaged gluttons and make them your P.O.W.’s. The time to strike is now! Glutton Number Three: Lighting.

Old incandescent light bulbs are gluttons as well, with up to 98% of the energy they consume is wasted as heat, not light. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, on the other hand, average 75% more efficiency than incandescent lights. Additionally, if you decide to go one step further by engaging in LED (light-emitting diode) lights, these “battle buddies” are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent and could potentially save an additional 7% per year, a huge savings, particularly for commercial users. Finally, if not in the room, engage in hand-to-hand combat and turn the lights off!

Now bring in SOLAR to win the war! Designing the right system to handle your escalating cost of energy will win the energy war An experienced solar integration company can help you achieve that goal. Remember, the baseline you are charged from the utility company is usually a fee regulated by the public utility commission. Once you move into the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th tiers, it’s open season for the utilities, and your bill increases dramatically. This is where solar can significantly, save the day. Solar is now reasonably priced, and with careful planning and right-sizing of your system, you may be able to recoup your investment in as little as five years! Attack the gluttons —

Implement an energy savings plan, assess your home or business location and roof, select quality panels with a sound warranty and the right company with a professional experienced staff and you too can say……

Mission Accomplished!

Energy Gluttons

Energy Efficiency Solar





Information Provided by Pamela Garcia, CEO Affordable Solar Roofs, Serving South County since 1995






Live Oak

eterinary Hospital 16025 Vineyard Boulevard

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Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Preventative Care Routine Care Boarding Facilities Professional Grooming Puppy & Kitten Packages Dental Prophylaxis & Treatment

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Downsizing… Rightsizing? Finding The Next Right Home

By Larry J. Mickartz “We all eventually reach that point in life when ‘downsizing’ is the most rational alternative. But, alas, there is often much emotion tied to the experience once the rational decision is made. We accumulate so much in life which contributes to the memory bank of experiences with family and friends. When we have the space to store, we just continue to accumulate and defer decisions on disposition of the collected memorabilia. Once we bite the bullet and actually downsize to a smaller living space we must make the tough decisions on disposition; should we retain, should we provide to a family member or a friend, should we sell or donate, or should it just go to the dump?  My wife Elaine and I have been implementing a major downsizing in the past 6 months. As difficult as it is, we have had a positive experience sharing what we have accumulated with family and friends and/or providing to someone who can put it to better use. All in all it has been a positive experience, which has allowed us to relive and share many past memories while shedding a very large number of storage boxes, which we would otherwise be tripping over in our new ‘downsized’ living space.  To downsize is a rational decision. To implement a downsize decision can be an emotional roller coaster. Always look on the positive side, relive and share the memories and get rid of those storage boxes.” Dana Ditmore






97, my father still lives in

from the nearest store and forty miles or

good household items. Their Sierra foot-

the tract house he bought

more from medical facilities and shopping

hills home was situated a quarter mile

in 1954. He would never

centers. At their new home in Morgan

from the road so a garage sale was out of

think of moving. On the other hand,

Hill, these things are much closer and

the question. They donated and/or gave

my sister and I, separately, have gone

abundant. Two, they wanted to stay close

away what they could. But, for example, a

through several home moves — up and

to their son’s family and grandkids who

perfectly good set of twin beds seemed

down the square foot spectrum— and

live in Morgan Hill.

especially difficult to give away! They are still in storage!

most likely will move a few more times in

Experts note that the downsizing of

our lifetimes. We are baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. Dad, a member

stuff can be especially difficult. They

of the greatest generation, survived the

suggest, well before the big move, going

great depression and World War II. He has

through each room sorting everything

a different take on things.

into three boxes: Donate, Trash, and

The topic of downsizing has led to a

Keep. The donate and trash boxes ideally

whole new area of business. Books are

should be larger and of a higher quantity

published on downsizing, and right-sizing

than the keep boxes. Moving to another geographic location

and simplifying life. Some real estate professions specialize in downsizing

Pat & Al Drake

available in many areas. Many members of the baby boomer

can have some less than obvious issues. The cost of moving a household can be

and there are senior relocation services Pat and Al are a delightful couple in

pricey. Some estimates put it at 10% of

their 80’s and have been married 54 years.

the new home purchase price! Questions

generation are seriously looking at

In a perfect world, the new downsized

that should be addressed range from:

downsizing. Three factors head the list for

home would have been to a one story

“Are there additional property taxes or

reasons why:

home, but this resourceful couple has

does the new state tax pensions?”and

adapted to their two-story townhome by

“Is medical care readily available?” to


spending most of the morning upstairs. A

“What is the weather really like?” Deserts

Big houses are expensive. They require

coffee machine, microwave, computer, TV,

are known to be hot but they can also

a lot of interior as well as exterior

and a sitting room upstairs make this work.

be really cold. Snow is pretty at first but

Pat and Al have history in the area. Al

then there is also slush, ice, closed roads

maintenance that can cost a lot of money.

has 36 years of experience in the R&D

and downed power lines. Finally, are


labs of Silicon Valley and Pat has 20 years

you ready to reorganize your social life

If you travel a lot, there is less need for

in the travel industry. They have owned

— leaving old friends, familiar shopping

the big home base.

homes in Saratoga and South San Jose.

area and restaurants for new, unfamiliar

Now, Morgan Hill is home. They express

ones? Are there part-time employment


that the move was stressful but “now, it’s

and/or volunteering opportunities at

Formal life employment is done.

kinda fun” and most importantly “we’re

the new location? Life goes on even in a

Retirement is here or coming soon. And


downsized lifestyle! Dave and Maggie Hopkins took an

it feels good to be a grandparent or be

In September 2013, they moved from

back in the hometown with friends and

a big house with several outbuildings to

interesting twist on the downsizing


their current location. Storage was and is

playbook over eight years ago. Their

a priority. They have worked things out

3,800-square foot home near the old

well inside, but Al’s woodworking tools

Machado School was just too big for this

there are as many other issues as there are

are still in boxes in the garage and there

retired airline pilot, his wife and their

people for the actual downsize move.

is a packed storage locker at their son’s

travel plans. They were thinking about a

property in west Morgan Hill.

nice little condo in San Francisco; how-

These three might lead the why list but

For Pat and Al Drake, the recent move

ever, daughter, Christine had a different

to a new 1,800 square foot townhouse

Al and Pat were surprised that it was

near downtown Morgan Hill was mainly

not easy to get rid of things. Some things

suggestion. Why not stay on the beautiful

motivated by two factors. One, they

tugged at their hearts, making leaving

country property and build a second

needed to be closer to medical facilities.

them behind impossible. But, the most

downsized unit? Dave and Maggie liked

Their six acres in the Sierra foothills east

surprising thing was how hard it was to

this idea! The property afforded them

of Visalia were beautiful but twenty miles

give away the not so treasured, perfectly

the comfort zone they needed. Plans for





a granny unit did not work out, so the Hopkins switched gears and added a 1,500-square foot addition to the main house. The daughter’s family of four moved into the main house while Dave and Maggie moved into the new unit, with a spacious open concept kitchen-living room, one bedroom and bath. A guest room used by both families connects the two units of the house. The guest room also serves as a sound buffer between the two units. The new downsized unit sits at a right angle to the main house and offers privacy and separate entrances. The back yard and outside areas, including Dave’s driving range are shared space. The Dave Hopkins, and wife, Maggie live in the granny unit that they added to the home that is now occupied by their daughter and her family.

grandkids have figured out the arrangement and are frequent and welcomed visitors to the grandparent’s unit. The new arrangement keeps both families in the area, allows continued contact with long-term friends, keeps Dave involved with his volunteer work at Stanford Hospital, and lets them live in

Downsizing Tips

the country location they have come to love and appreciate. The arrangement also gives them

• Gather up all your important paperwork, such as the deed to your home, insurance policies, passports and other legal documents. • Draw up a floor plan of your new home to see how much of your furniture you can realistically take with you. • Be realistic about what you can take with you to your new home. Take some time to go through your belongings and decide what things you would like to give to family members, which ones you can sell, which ones can be donated to charity, and what you may need to just toss. • Consider a closet organizing system in your new home so you can maximize the space. • Remember that the object is not the memory and memories do not take up space. • You will want to make every inch count in your reduced space, but be sure to leave some empty space as well. Having space for the eye to land evokes peace and well being.

access to built-in house sitting and security for their travel adventures. Some options also exist for staying in a current location. In the volatile real estate market of the last few years, some are looking at rent backs to kids or family. Reverse mortgages might also be a solution. When a move away is in the cards, experts universally recommend that the move start with a rental. Get to know the locations and the locals before making a purchase. Sometimes renting rather than purchasing is a better financial option. There are options everywhere. Every now and then there are stories of people that have upsized to a larger house or a home with vacation potential. The major motivator here seems to be family… Let’s all go to grandma’s


Downsizing can be a cautionary tale but when it is right, it is so right. Just ask Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate and wife Jennifer:

“It is the best thing we have ever done.”





with every


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03 MHT Winter 2014  

Winter 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Today featureing MH Finest, Downsizing. Celebrate MH, the Votaw house, Leadership MH, Chamber Business News...