Page 1

Celebrating Local Wines


Award Winning / Fun / Unique

George & Alice Chiala

A Story Of Community, Business, and Philanthopy

Supervisor Wasserman The Man And The Job

Visiting Burma A Trip Back In Time


Historic Rhoades Ranch Home of the Giancola’s

here would you like to live?

Welcome Home!

Spacious single level located on quiet cul-de-sac. Open & bright, 4 bedroom with separate family room, formal living/dining room and beautiful remodeled kitchen. Enjoy private backyard with dual patios for outdoor entertaining and wonderful separate office.

Boa Vida Wine Estate

Resting 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. Includes tennis court, pool, large exercise gym and Guest House.

Offered at $3,988,000

Beautiful Westside Location

Stunning single story walking distance to Luigi Aprea & Christopher Day Schools. Large 4 bedroom with open family room, kitchen with vaulted ceilings & fireplace. Huge cul-de-sac lot with multiple outdoor entertaining areas. Extra deep 3 car garage.

To find out more information on these and other properties,

JUDIE PROFETA 831.601.3207 Lic#00703550


call Kim and

Make Your Move!


408.710.2435 Lic#01160324

KIMMERCER.COM 17200 Monterey Road At Monterey Road and 4th Street Morgan Hill Lic#01342632






ABOUT THE COVER: Photo taken at Paradise Valley Vineyards. Above photo taken at Clos LaChance Winery.

34-37 Giancola’s Home

A Beautiful Blend Of Old And Orchids

Inside This Issue 9

Community Happenings

Morgan Hill Rotary Doing Good Things “Helping Hands, Healing Hearts”


Supervisor Wasserman


Morgan Hill’s Finest


George & Alice Chiala


Our Amazing Wineries


The Rhoades Ranch

Coach For The County

Patti Sebald, Saint Louise Regional Hospital

Pillars Of The Community

44-45 The Sea…A Movie

Hollywood comes to Morgan HIll

Time To Enjoy Great Wine And A Host Of Wonderful Events


A History Story That Lives On

Everyone Has A Story Meet Michael Brookman



South Valley Civic Theater Delighting Local Audiences For Over 40 Years


Leadership Morgan Hill


Business In Morgan Hill

Burma Anyone

Laura Lundy and Sherry Hemingway Share Their Experience

Class of 2014, The Experience

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce

Be sure to visit our website and/or tell us what you think of our Spring 2014 Issue at





Morgan Hill TODAY

From the Editor



oly summer? Well that’s what if feels like today and it’s barely spring. This has been such an interesting year, weather wise. I have my closets totally messed up trying to find the appropriate attire so that I won’t be too hot or too cold depending on the whim of the day’s J. Chris Mickartz climate. You just can’t count on anything anymore and the weather is working it. Enough about the weather. This has been a fun issue to put together. We’ve enjoyed visiting all the wineries in the area, first the Gilroy wineries that we highlighted in our Gilroy Today spring publication and now the Morgan Hill, San Martin wineries. From the large established wineries like Clos LaChance to the small new, by appointment only wineries like Paradise Valley Vineyards, we found them to be friendly, inviting and each unique. And the wines are amazing. Back when we had our B&B, we had a couple stay with us who specifically came to visit from Napa to go wine tasting. Naturally we had to ask, why would they come here when they lived in the wine capital of California? They simply said “this is what Napa used to be.” See pages 26-30. Mike Wasserman spoke at our Rotary Club meeting a month or so ago. I must admit, I had not had the opportunity to hear much about the county and how some of the decisions made at the County Supervisor’s office can impact our quality of life here in South County. Some of the numbers and figures he shared were a little scary. I encourage you to go on the county website and read his State of the County address — You can get to know a little about the man on page 14. This year’s Leadership Morgan Hill’s Excellence Award will be presented to George Chiala and his family for their contributions to the community. Our writer, Robin Shepherd, sat down with George and Alice and talked about their amazing journey as parents, farmers and food processing innovators, community leaders and philanthropists. It’s a wonderful story of business growth and community involvement. We congratulate them on the award and thank them for helping make Morgan Hill such a special place to live and work. We live in a historical 1885 Queen Anne Farmhouse so have a deep appreciation of older homes and the amount of work involved in restoring and maintaining them. So, the Giancola’s home and property, known as The Rhoades Ranch, was a treat for us to tour and photograph. Joe and Sheila Giancola have done an exceptional job restoring their home. Instead of finding new replicas of the old fixtures, they took the old ones down and refurbished them. And the ones they couldn’t fix, they painstakingly found replacements. We could only share a few photos with you within these pages, but will post all the photos on our website at See pages 32-37. I want to thank Laura Lundy and Sherry Hemingway for sharing the story of their amazing adventure in Burma. I enjoy traveling vicariously through our friends so I was happy to visit Burma through the eyes of Laura and Sherry. I’m sure you will enjoy readying about the their travels as well. See pages 58-63.

Enjoy! 4




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

EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR J. Chris Mickartz EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE Teri Nelson Rosy Bergin Lorraine Welk Laura Lundy Marilyn Librers Dennis Kennedy

Sherry Hemingway Christine Giusiana John Horner Laura Perry Jennifer Tate Rich Firato

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 Solar Pam Garcia

WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA Susan Patereau ADVERTISING Cheryl Ellemberg, 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.





MORGAN HILL TODAY business extra

By supporting your local businesses … People & Planet Organic Food, Green Living


408.782.2700 15750 Vineyard Blvd. Ste 160

Your local specialty food store featuring gluten-free, fair trade, organic and farm fresh foods. Experience our personalized service. Where everyone knows your name!

Want your legacy captured in the beauty of Morgan Hill, with our surrounding scenery, on location? Do you have a dog, horse or child who love you?. Have Lori design your family portrait to tell the story of your life as wall decor for your home.

you are supporting your community. LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD DINNER CELEBRATION FOR GEORGE CHIALA Saturday, July 12, 2014 Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery

George Chiala’s quest to grow a sustainable business in the face of the volatile fresh market and the emerging global market has always guided him towards innovativation. Family is the cornerstone of the Chiala’s business. They enjoy working together, serving their community, and extending their family one customer at a time.

In late January, farmer/philantropist George Chiala was announced as this year’s recipient of the prestigious 2014 Leadership Excellence Award. Chiala is being recognized for his generosity and support of the Morgan Hill community. The awards dinner will be held at the Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery in the foothills at the eastern end of Main Street. The event will feature dinner, entertainment, an auction and, of course, the program honoring George and his family. Seating is limited. Tickets are available on the Morgan Hill Leadership website: leadership

Left to Right: Tim Chiala (Dir. of Fresh Market Sales), Alice Chiala (CFO), George Chiala, Sr. (President), George Chiala, Jr. (V.P.)





Community Tidbits JUNE 13, 2014 — Join the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill for the 9th annual Dazzle held at a new time, 5:00 pm, at Clos LaChance Winery. Guests will be welcomed with Dazzle’s signature hosted champagne reception and tempted by popular raffle showcases and silent auction, and Dazzle’s new, and sure-to-be-thrilling, live auction. A comedy show by the popular Pintello Comedy Theater will entertain guests, and the evening will close with the announcement of the winner of the much-coveted .5 carat diamond from The Jewel Box of Morgan Hill.

MUSHROOM MARDI GRAS MAY 25-26, 2014 — The 35th Annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras will be held Memorial Weekend, Saturday May 24 from 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday, May 25 from 10 am – 6 pm. Located in Downtown Morgan Hill this family fun event is free admission and parking. There will be over 300 booths featuring everything from handmade arts & crafts to retail merchandise and business displays; gourmet foods and incredible mushroom dishes; a Munchkinland with rides and games for kids; and non-stop live entertainment on two stages. The Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras is a non—profit 501(c)3 organization whose proceeds benefit educational scholarships in the MHUSD area. 

SPLASH 2 DASH YOUTH TRIATHLON JUNE 21, 2014 — The Seventh Annual Splash 2 Dash Youth Triathlon, sponsored by the YMCA, will be held at the Sobrato High School. This Youth Triathlon is for participants ages 5-13 years old and is guaranteed to be a fun and confidencebuilding race. The race fee is $35 for pre-entries and $45 the day of the event with family discounts for multiple entries. Pre-race refreshments, water/ aide stations, shirt, goodie bag, and a finisher’s medal for each participant are included. Divisions include swimming, biking and running. For additional event information, call 408.782.2128.

Pitfalls to avoid when selling your home?


Silicon Valley, a home on the market can sell quickly and often with multiple offers. Many times, the price goes well above the asking price. These simple steps will ensure your home will be at its best and receive the highest possible price when you sell. These tips are important and can make the difference between a quick sale or sitting on the market waiting for a buyer. Many times owners do not look at their home from a critical eye and wonder why the neighbor’s home sold faster or for more money. Ask your Realtor to take a walk through your home and point out the noticeable items that should be changed. o Be sure when a buyer opens the front door they are greeted by a clean, uncluttered foyer that looks inviting to anyone. It makes them want to see more. o Pets are loved by the family but not so much by the buyers. Some buyers have extreme allergies and will go running from the home. Take your pets out of the home for showings and all of their endearing toy, beds and food. o Be sure to leave the property before your showing. Turn on all the lights and escape. Buyers will be honest and stay longer in the home than if you were there. o Bad smells in a home can send a buyer running. Buyers do not want to stay in a home that smells of cooking, garbage or pets. Have a friend come and tell you if you have offensive odors. Homeowners sometimes get used to the smell and do not notice. o Of course the dirty house can have the buyer think the home is not taken care of and they want to know what else could be neglected. Hire a cleaning company to clean top to bottom and have your home sparkle.

o lf your home is poorly lit, be sure you have lights on and new light bulbs, and sparkly clean windows. o lf you have loud or busy wallpaper, spend some time taking it off the walls and replace with neutral paint. Light colors make your home appear larger and brighter. o Unkempt yards and bushes can make the home appear shabby and not cared for. Hire a gardener and tree trimmer to spruce up the yard and plant some blooming flowers in pots and in your yard for a pop of color. This is the first impression they see of your home. Do not skimp on this. o Any flooring surface must be clean and in great shape. If carpets are worn or very dirty replace them. Tile and wood should be professionally cleaned. o Take the time to clean and stage your bathroom with new towels and decorator articles. Do not use too many though. Add a pop of color to a drab bathroom or go neutral with your taupes, whites and creams for color. Be sure all tile is grouted, unstained and caulked where needed.

Completing this checklist will ensure your home is in the best position for a faster sale.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill & San Martin 2014







Homes Sold




Days On Market




Sale To List Ratio




Teri Nelson, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services









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.

MORGAN HILL ROTARY Spring Community Programs

Photos provided by Morgan Hill Rotary

This spring, the Morgan Hill Rotary Club: • gave beautiful hardbound dictionaries to every third grader in Morgan Hill as recognition of outstanding elementary students; • celebrated our senior citizens with a special day for over 300 seniors who enjoyed fun, entertainment and a delicious meal hosted by dozens of Rotarians; and • 16 Rotarians and one Interactor (high school student member of Rotary) planted 25 Oak trees for the City of Morgan Hill. The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has served the Morgan Hill community for more than 55 years. They devote substantial time and effort in creating a healthier community through services for youth, community groups, seniors and a variety of community and international projects. As a result, they are fostering ties between Morgan Hill and the world.






Lisa DeSilva Sarah & Tai Tenisi with Mike D’Apuzzo

Judy Henry & Melissa Santos

Perla Flores

Janie Mardesich Connie Lobst & Lisa Graser

Healing Heart Recipient Guinevere Starr

Raffle Baskets

Linda Shimkus & Laurie Dineen





CommonWealth Credit Union: Sylvia Granger & Atifa Ahadi

District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen, CS CEO Erin O’Brien, Deputy DA Stuart Scott and Supervisor Mike Wasserman


Helping Hands Recipient Stuart Scott


Emcee Therese Martin

Community Solutions’ Annual Helping Hands & Healing Hearts Awards Luncheon is a “do not miss” event. The 2014 Helping Hand award was presented to Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott for his advocacy for survivors of violence. The 2014 Healing Heart award was presented to Guinevere Starr, a survivor of domestic violence who has drastically and positively changed the course of her future. Proceeds from this sell-out event directly support children, families and individuals as they create positive changes in their lives.

Jackie Starkovich & Pat Catanzaro

Mark your calendars: next year’s event will take place on Friday, Heritage Bank: Tracy Carpena, Alyssa Garcia, Tracie Wallace, Jeff Perkins, Debbie Frazen

March 20, 2015!









Protecting yourself in everyday situations!

You’ve just turned off a traffic-congested street and into the relative calm of a parking lot. Time to relax, right? Not really. It’s actually a time to be extra alert. About 20 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in parking lots, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Though these lowspeed collisions are rarely serious, they can be costly, time consuming, and aggravating. Protect yourself and your vehicle by following these tips.

Buy Time To React Parking lots are filled with obstacles and hazards, but often the biggest danger is other drivers. They may cut across empty rows, drive too fast, or ignore signs and pavement markings, endangering everyone in the lot. The best way to deal with these drivers is simple: Slow down. This buys you time to react and avoid a collision. Be especially cautious when turning corners and backing up. “If you drive just a little bit slower, you are in a better position to absorb the misbehavior of others,” says Leonard Evans, an expert and author on traffic safety issues. “You must absorb their folly so you don’t pay for it.” Expect Pedestrians Parking lots are full of people coming from and going to their cars. “Pedestrians have a great sense of security in parking lots...they don’t look for traffic,” Evans says. Though pedestrians may not be looking out for you, it’s still your responsibility to look out for them. Keep a wary eye out for any pedestrians who may cross your vehicle’s path, and be sure to obey all crosswalks within the parking lot. When entering particularly high foot-traffic areas, take your foot off the accelerator and cover the brake. Anticipate pedestrians even if you don’t see any. If you’re in a busy shopping area, remember that people lugging sacks of groceries or other purchases could also be shepherding hard-to-see children. Distance Yourself Door dings and scratches are aggravating and hard to avoid. No matter how courteous and conscientious you are when parking, you can fall victim to someone else’s carelessness. One way to reduce the risk of door damage is to park away from other vehicles. This may be inconvenient, but it’s considerably more polite than parking your vehicle across several spaces to keep others from parking near you. And the extra walking is good exercise. Your babysitter uses your car to drive your kids to the swimming pool. You’ve given her your permission—but what happens if there’s an accident when someone else is behind the wheel of your car?

Carl Schindler, LUTCF, CSA Agent, State Farm Insurance

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.

“Generally it’s not a problem if they’re driving with your consent,” says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of Public Affairs and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. “If it’s an occasional use—say I borrow your car to go pick up milk—and as long as permission has been verbally granted, you’ll typically be covered.”But borrowing a car under other circumstances may not be as clear-cut. (Coverage will depend on your insurer and your particular policy.) Typically, even if the person driving your car has his or her own insurance, your insurance will likely pay damages first if there’s an accident. The driver’s insurance may cover some of the personal injury or medical expenses, and it may supplement your plan if the accident maxes out your coverage. “When you have someone you employ, such as a nanny or a nurse who will be a regular driver, contact your insurance agent about your coverage,” Salvatore recommends. “He or she may need to be added to your policy.” Because the policy terms and state laws can vary widely, always contact your insurance agent before loaning out your car—or any other motor vehicle, such as a motorcycle, boat, jet ski, snowmobile, ATV or RV. “Any time you have a question about your coverage, call your insurance agent first,” says Salvatore. “You always want to let the insurance company know the circumstances. Get their advice.” “Don’t be cavalier about lending your car,” adds Salvatore. “If you know someone isn’t a good driver, think twice about giving your permission. Any accident they’re in could go on your insurance record.” More at:





Mike Wasserman

Coach Mike Wasserman is a dedicated husband, father and public servant. He’s President of the Board of Supervisors for Santa Clara County. Underneath all that is a guy with the instincts and passion of a coach. The kind of coach you want leading your favorite sports team.

Photos courtesy of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Office





for the County By Robin Shepherd


asserman grew up in the Bay Area, and attended the University of Southern California. It was there that he met his future wife, Kim, who was also a Psychology major. In 1980 they graduated together, got married two days later, and returned to Northern California to begin their married life. Not long after college, Wasserman went to work with his father, who owned data processing, commercial property management and tax preparation service businesses. During that time, he became a certified financial planner and a registered tax preparer while his wife became a real estate broker and also worked in the family’s businesses. In the 1990s, Wasserman also owned a retail sports memorabilia business, operating it on a not-for-profit basis and donating proceeds to organizations providing services to children. While his son Sean and daughter Nicole were in elementary and middle school, he carved out time to serve as a volunteer coach for local youth sports teams. “Coaching made me realize how much I enjoy helping people to identify opportunities, grow in their skills, and meet their goals,” said Wasserman.

members to embrace community values and collaborative partnerships. Wasserman was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 2010. The county spans 1300 square miles and serves close to 2 million people in 24 service areas. Once in office, Wasserman earned a reputation for doing things “at tennis shoe speed” and being as comfortable reviewing financial spreadsheets as he is collaborating with large committees of diverse stakeholders. As District 1 Supervisor, he keeps a close eye on the South County. “Everyone has been welcoming, including leaders in government, business, education and the non-profit sector,” said Wasserman. “The level of energy and volunteerism there are awesome. Leadership Morgan Hill and Leadership Gilroy have been connecting people with community arts, youth development, senior services and other programs in a way that inspires them to get involved. And businesses like Mama Mia’s and Book Smart are wonderful community partners.” “I’ve enjoyed attending Celebrate Morgan Hill, the Cops & Robbers Ball, Taste of Morgan Hill, the 4th of July parade, and I look forward to this year’s Mushroom Mardi Gras,” said Wasserman.

Building Strong Community

Collaborating for Positive Change

While a member of the Los Gatos Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, Wasserman was inspired to take his public service to the next level. In 2002 he won a seat on the Los Gatos City Council, where his eight years of service included two terms as Mayor. During that time he created Community Unity, a grass-roots effort that rallied local educators, law enforcement, government officials, business leaders and community

Under Wasserman’s leadership, the County worked with the Cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy to provide approval and funding for way-finding signage that will direct visitors to what has been named the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail. The move will bring visibility to local wineries as the South County promotes itself as a destination for Bay Area, regional and out-of-state visitors.

Wasserman is passionate about working with South County leaders to bring about positive change. “When Santa Clara County qualified for a half-million dollar grant to tackle County public health and safety issues, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy applied together for a community transformation grant. Mayors Tate and Gage, Chief Swing and Chief Turner from the Police Departments, school principals, faith leaders, and non-profits all came to the table to work together. Now we have a program in place to improve park safety, we have a youth task force including reformed gang members to work on gang and bullying issues, and we are tackling obesity and substance abuse issues.” According to Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate, “Mike Wasserman is doing a marvelous job representing the South County on the County Board of Supervisors. He spends time in Morgan Hill and has grown fond of our fair city and become close to our residents. He is very accessible and works hard to make sure our needs at the county level are met. ” Mayor Tate describes Wasserman as “gregarious and engaging” and enjoys having him join in periodically for Coffee with the Mayor sessions with local residents. Along with his new role as President of the Board of Supervisors, Wasserman is also Chair of the Public Safety and Justice Committee, Vice-Chair of the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee, Co-Chair of Destination: Home, and he serves on 20 other committees. Currently he’s working with Police Chief Swing and others to create a South County Family Justice Center.





Mike with his daughter, Nicole, son, Sean, and wife, Kim and their two French bulldogs, Coco and Max.

Photo by Tina Case

Erin O’Brien said she is “a big fan” of Wasserman. As CEO of Community Solutions, a Morgan Hill-based human services agency, O’Brien has served alongside Wasserman as co-chair of South County: United for Health, a federally-funded project aimed at improving community health and wellness. O’Brien described Wasserman as “an effective problem-solver” who seems to be “omni-present” in South County. This included a recent visit by Wasserman to the Morgan Hill Library where he read a book to preschoolers during their story time activity. Librarian Tamara Palmer said he also led the children through an exercise to help them understand how reading allows people to travel anywhere through the power of imagination. “The kids were enthusiastically engaged and had lots of thoughts to share with him,” said Palmer. Encouraging business development and entrepreneurship is also important to the county. Over the past several years, Wasserman said the County has hosted Economic Summits, with positive results. “When the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley approached us for help to expand its operations, I made




a motion to fund it on the condition that it be involved with and in the South County. Mayor Tate got behind it and a Small Business Development Center was launched.”

Mastering the Work-Life Balance How does Supervisor Wasserman maintain a worklife balance? Without missing a beat, he said: “I love working, and I enjoy doing what I’m doing. At the same time, if there’s a special function like Taste of Morgan Hill, Kim goes with me and we call it a date night.” “We love our home and community and are fortunate that we get to see our kids regularly. Sean is now a financial analyst in San Francisco. We try to get in an occasional round of golf. It gives us time to unwind and talk. Nicole is a cosmetologist. In fact, she cuts Kim’s hair and mine, too. I go in the early morning, before the salon opens, and it’s a great time to catch up on what’s going on in her life.” Wasserman’s office is filled with sports memorabilia including the bat Ted Williams used in his last game and a painting autographed by the U.S. ice


hockey team after winning the 1980 Olympics. He loves it all, but more like a coach would than a collector. Displayed here in his office at County headquarters, these items represent something bigger. “It’s all about focusing on the tough challenges, and encouraging talented people to tackle those challenges effectively, together.” Robin Shepherd is a journalist and marketing executive. She also advocates for non-profits dedicated to social justice and environmental conservation. She is a resident of Morgan Hill and mother of two children.

Saving the environment, one beautiful design at a time. (Honda proves you can be pretty and smart at the same time.)

124 /city 105 /highway Why not be pretty and smart? There is no reason to compromise. The most amazing thing about the Accord Plug-In is that it never stops being an Accord. Meaning, 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 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 is forging a path toward a sustainable future. Get to know the 2014 Accord Plug-In at

17100 Laurel Road


Morgan Hill, CA 95037












Morgan Hill’s Patty Sebald SAINT LOUISE REGIONAL HOSPITAL The day Patty Sebald completed her Master’s degree, she went upstairs with a cookbook in one hand, and a book and magazine in the other. “I was in heaven,” recalls Sebald, Director of Surgical Services at Saint Louise Regional Hospital for the past 14 years. Sebald, who has worked at St. Louise Hospital for the past 25 years, said her Master’s of Science degree with a leadership management focus came after three years of study and hard work. “That was a huge accomplishment for me, which just proves you’re never to old to learn,” Sebald, 58, said. Sebald, who has lived in Morgan Hill since 1982, said she knew she wanted to be in the medical field since high school. “(It) always intrigued me. I found it exciting and challenging and I wanted to be a part of it.” Born in Michigan, Sebald joined the Air Force in the 1970s and received her Associate’s degree in 1982 and her Bachelor’s degree in 2007. She said she thought she always wanted to be a staff nurse until her boss – her director of surgery at the time - encouraged and mentored her, which she said inspired her to aim higher. “I believe that if current leaders don’t encourage and don’t see that spark in their staff members, then its up to us to keep moving forward,” said Sebald. Sebald said she is excited to see that her degree is already serving her well in her current role at St. Louise Regional Hospital. “I can speak to why we do the things we do and why they are important and why the initiatives we put into place for customer care exist,” she said. Sebald is just as passionate about her community and volunteering as she is about her job. Sebald was presented with the Morgan Hill Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009. A 2002 Leadership Morgan Hill graduate, Sebald has been the volunteer coordinator for Taste of Morgan Hill for many years. She also has volunteered for the Gilroy Garlic Festival, chairing various areas including mercantile and cookbooks. This year, she is working on the cook-off stage. Sebald credits her husband David for her instilling in her a love of volunteering. They met in 1990 when he was in charge of the parking lot for the Garlic Festival. They celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary this month. Now that she has completed her Master’s degree, Sebald said she is looking forward to doing some of her favorite things again like traveling, hiking and cooking. “I get to get back in my kitchen. I’m a true foodie. I love good food and wine.”

By Kelly Barbazette SPRING 2014







Enforcing Agreements Not To Compete?

By Craig van Keulen

Craig C. van Keulen is a longtime Morgan Hill resident and along with his wife, Mary Ellen, a teacher, and their three children, Chris, Matt and Sarah. Craig has been very active in many local organizations and has served on several governmental commissions. Craig has practiced law in Morgan Hill for over 33 years, and with his brother, Scott, at van Keulen & van Keulen, a p.c., together they 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.





You have been in business many years, you have several employees, you have all of them sign employment agreements which sets forth their salary or hourly rate, their benefits, and you confirm that they are all employees at will, plus their employment agreements include a covenant not to compete and a covenant not to solicit your other employees if they leave your employment. Then your most trusted employee, who has been with you a long time, who knows all of your customers, knows how you market to your customers, what your pricing policy and terms are with all or most of your customers, quits and opens a competing business in the same town. Not only does the ex-employee start competing against you, he/she starts contacting your other employees and tries to talk them into coming to work for him/her. You believe that because you have an employment agreement that contains the covenant not to compete and a covenant not to solicit, your attorney can get a restraining order to stop the ex-employee immediately, and then you will sue the ex-employee for the loss of business and the damage caused when they raided your employees. Not so fast.


or more than a hundred years, the general statutory rule in California is set forth in Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §16600 which provides that contractual restraints on an employee’s ability to engage in a trade, business or profession are unenforceable unless you fall into three narrow statutory exceptions. Those three statutory exceptions are to protect goodwill on the sale of a business, dissolution of a partnership and a limited liability company. Then about 30 years ago a California intermediate appellate court case ruling was issued which held that a termination agreement was not void if it restrained the employee from disrupting, damaging, impairing, or interfering with the employer’s business, including “raiding” its employees. This gave hope to employers that they could at least prevent their ex-employees from stealing their employees. The reasoning and analysis, however, in a later 2008 California Supreme Court case made it clear that any employment agreements that restrict competition are invalid under 16600 even if they are narrowly drafted. Although the California Supreme Court in this case did not specifically address the enforceability of covenants not to solicit, there is language in several other cases that indicate that covenants not to solicit do impact and restrict a party’s business practices, and under the California Supreme Court case reasoning would therefore not be enforceable. Since the California Supreme Court made it clear that the “reasonableness” of the restriction is not a factor in determining whether the restriction will be enforced, many practitioners now believe that if the California Supreme Court were to decide a case involving a covenant not to solicit, they would invalidate it if they are consistent with their prior case decision. Nevertheless, it appears that employers may still protect their “trade secrets” and prevent ex-employees from taking them and using them to compete against them. Although the 2008 California Supreme Court specifically did not address the application of the “trade secrets” exception to §16600, several other courts have upheld claims by employers against employees for stealing “trade secrets.” Although there still exists some uncertainty as to whether or not the “trade secrets” exception would be enforced by the California Supreme Court because of the broad public policy to invalidate any action which restricts competition. So what should employers do? First, in any employment contract with an employee who is not a part owner of the business, employers should remove any covenants not to compete, SPRING 2014

and probably do the same with any covenants not to solicit. A big risk to the employer is if they were to bring suit against an employee for breaching a covenant not to compete or covenant not to solicit and they lose, the ex-employee could have a tort claim against the employer for intentionally interfering with the ex-employees prospective economic advantage. Second, the employer should have all of its employees sign confidentiality agreements which specifically puts the employees on notice that there is certain information about the employer’s business which the employer considers a “trade secret,” and which the employee may become aware of or have access to, as part of performing their duties as an employee. Under the confidentiality agreement, the employee would be restricted and prevented from disclosing any “trade secret” information after their employment ended, and the employer would then be entitled to take action to prevent the disclosure or use by the ex-employee of that “trade secret” information. Of course, it has always been difficult or impossible to prevent ex-employees from taking what they “know or have learned” while working for you and using it in their new business or for their new employer. If the ex-employee, however, were to tell or disclose to a new employer or a customer your “trade secret” information you probably would be able to take action against them. Therefore, it is vitally important for you to do everything you can to treat your most valuable business information as a “trade secret.” I analogize a “trade secret” for clients to actual “cash.” Would you leave a pile of cash sitting out in the open for anybody to come and take? No, you would keep it locked up and limit employees’ access to it to only those who needed it for their work. The employer’s actual actions in protecting the information usually determines if it is truly a “trade secret” that the employer can prevent someone else from using after they leave their employment. Under California’s current law, if you are an employer, you may not be able to prevent a nonowner employee from leaving and going out to compete against your business, unless you can show that they have taken and are using some “trade secret” from your business. In addition, your agreements must be consistent with the law or you could end up being on the wrong side of a claim. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our firm and we will be glad to advise you what your options are, and what actions you should take.

Downtown Morgan Hill Happenings Betto’s Bistro … a new name for Rigatoni’s

Upcoming Events: Thursdays Saturdays

Downtown Farmers’ Market (3rd Street) Morgan Hill Farmers Market (Train Depot)

May 24-25 June 2 June 7 July 3-4

Mushroom Mardi Gras Downtown Mixer at the Granada Theater Downtown Street Dance starts (3rd Street) Freedom Fest Downtown (Patriotic Sing, Parade, Car Show, Family Music Fest)

Welcome New Businesses & Businesses with New Owners: Betto’s Bistro 17385 Monterey Road • A new name for an old friend, Rigatoni’s. Bubbles Wine Bar 17105 Monterey Road • Welcome to new owners, Carrie and David Dindak. Flower Cottage 35 E 1st Street • A Morgan Hill mainstay since 1975 has reopened

Champs gets new owner, new name (The Hill), new menu, and venue.

Granada Theater 17440 Monterey Road • A new lease on life with a nonprofit, Save the Granada, heading up the efforts to restore and reopen this grand old lady. Happy Spatula 17415 Monterey Road • A store with everything you need to bring out the gourmet chef in you. The Hill Bar & Grill 17330 Monterey Road Formerly Champs, The Hill opened with a new chef owner, Dustin Evanger. The Hill has a little history, lots of appetizers, food from the grill, food, music, and fun in the nicely remodeled space. Maison A 17511 Monterey Road • Maison A carries a diverse selection of home décor and accessories…from re-purposed mailboxes to jewelry.






George and Alice Chiala Food and Philanthropy Go Hand in Hand

By Robin Shepherd 22




hen George and Alice Chiala first met in 1967, they hit it off right from the start, but little did they know the amazing journey they would take together as parents, farming and food processing innovators, community leaders and philanthropists, Alice was working at her uncle’s corner drugstore in Morgan Hill while on summer break from San Jose State University where she was a Food Science major. George was studying business and economics at Santa Clara University and spending his summer working on his father Vito Chiala’s bountiful farm just a few blocks away. When he stopped by the drugstore one day for an ice cream cone, they got to talking and discovered they had a lot in common. After college they got married and were working their way up the career ladder when George came home one day and confided to Alice that instead of a 9 to 5 office job, he wanted to start his own farm, They agreed to give it a go, and George Chiala Farms was established in 1972. “It was hard at first,” George said. “We planted 20 acres of strawberries and nine acres of sugar beets, along with tomatoes and peppers, Then we began to experiment with sweet corn…lots of it. And after that, garlic.” They joined a small grower co-op and a strawberry co-op, George also joined the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau where he was steadily promoted up the ranks to become its president. “We gained a lot of valuable advice and experience from these groups,” George said. “Mitch Mariani of Mariani Orchards was also a great mentor.” During the 1970s and early 1980s, George focused on building the business while Alice worked as a substitute teacher and tutor and focused on raising their four children, Christy, Nicole, George Jr., and Tim. “George and I were always working, so when they weren’t in school, the children helped out at the farm,” Alice said. “There

were always things to do, from making boxes to driving the tractor.” A turning point came in 1984 when George and Alice decided to purchase additional land and open a novel food processing facility designed to process their crops of choice, beginning with peppers and garlic. George also gained new expertise in processing techniques and earned his food processing license through a UC Davis program in order to transition the business successfully. “Food processing increased our ability to market our crops beyond what we could do by selling fresh produce,” George said. “This part of our business took off faster than we’d anticipated, and we had help along the way from great people at UC Davis and the Farm Bureau.” According to Jennifer Scheer, the Farm Bureau’s Executive Director, “George Chiala has been a pillar of the ag community. Thanks in large part to his progressiveness, his farming operation and ag processing business are on the cutting edge of technology and lead the industry.” In 1986, Alice returned to school to study accounting and assumed the role of company CFO while George made inroads with major food companies across the country. “Most people don’t realize that there’s a lot of work done off the farm, all year long,” Alice said. “In the winter months, George travelled to Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and other states, winning new customers to buy our ingredients.” Today, George Chiala Farms processes 60 million pounds of vegetable ingredients and is a major supplier to Campbell’s, Nestlé, Heinz and other leading food brands in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany and Japan. “We supply garlic to most every tomato sauce company, and our jalapeño peppers put the spark in Velveeta cheese,” George said with a chuckle, George Chiala Farms also supplies more than 20 ingredients for organic products that are offered by Safeway’s fresh foods commissary in local markets.

The farming industry is evolving and the Chialas stay a step ahead through innovative farming and food processing practices with respect to seed selection, growing practices, irrigation, water recycling and soil management, George’s passion for sustainable agriculture led him to scientist Mike Cox, owner of Anaerobe Systems in Morgan Hill. “I approached George with an idea to transform his company’s food processing waste into hydrogen, organic fertilizer and recyclable water,” Cox said, “At first, he thought the idea was weird, but he listened, spent a day brainstorming at my office, and decided to pursue it.”

“the consummate gentleman, always considerate and respectful. He’s the kind of leader who gets things done, quietly but effectively.” Mayor Steve Tate

Automakers are building hydrogen-powered cars, and California now has a mandate to build hydrogen fuel stations for those cars. Collaboration with Mike Cox has paved the way for George Chiala Farms to become a local source of hydrogen to Morgan Hill while reclaiming organic fertilizer and water that can be used in the farming operations. The success of their farming and food processing business has inspired George and Alice to give back to the community in numerous ways. Since 1999, they have been donating food for the hungry to Second Harvest Food Bank and The Lord’s Table, which operates in Gilroy. Recognizing how access to education had benefitted them both, George and Alice have found a number of ways to give back in this area, too. They’ve been supporters of the Morgan Hill Unified School District including George’s time spent on the school district board. Their company also offers an internship program for students interested in agriculture. George started and still supports an annual car raffle to benefit St. Catherine’s

School in Morgan Hill, and he has led efforts to establish a new Catholic high school in Morgan Hill. “George has been tireless in his efforts to build the first new Catholic high school in the diocese of San Jose in over 50 years,” said Susan Krajewski, Campaign Coordinator for the South County Catholic High School development project. “His passion is contagious and spurs others to action.” George also dedicates time to improving community access to health care. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the Saint Louise Regional Hospital Foundation, bringing his prior experience from serving on the Board of Directors for the O’Connor Hospital. “Saint Louise Hospital is being sold to new owners, and it will remain as a hospital, maintaining quality of health care,” George said. “We need to have the best hospital for our community.” Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate describes George Chiala as “the consummate gentleman, always considerate and respectful. He’s the kind of leader who gets things done, quietly but effectively. His community support and philanthropy is widely recognized, including leadership in his church and in community-based organizations.” George has been recognized by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce as its “Man of the Year” (2005), an honorary Rotarian (2008), and he was instrumental in bringing mushrooms back to the annual Mushroom Mardi Gras celebration (2011). George has also served on the Land Use Committee and the Labor Housing Task Force for Santa Clara County. Today, George and Alice run the farming business along with sons George Jr. and Tim as full partners carrying on the Chiala farming tradition for a third generation. George Jr. is VP of Sales and Marketing while Tim serves as Director of Fresh Market Sales and Procurement.


Continued on page 31 MORGAN HILL







Creating your own personal spa experience By David Domenichini

It’s been a long day. Your boss was “in a mood” and traffic was a nightmare. Time ticked by painfully slow. At 5:30 pm, you pick up the kids, and go through the nearest drive-thru. You know the only thing that will keep you sane is waiting for you twentyseven steps on the other side of your front door; your new master bath. You stumble inside and kick off your shoes (no cold toes thanks to your heated tile floor). You put your favorite television show on your mirror TV and hop in your jetted, whirlpool tub. After a half hour of relaxing, it’s time to rinse off in your new shower with body jets. You choose eucalyptus for the night’s aromatherapy scent. The refreshing shower body jets massage your aching muscles. You grab a warm fluffy white towel which is draped on the warmer. Some may call this a luxury, but you call it your lifesaver!

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.

2014 Bathroom Trends …

Creating a spa-like experience at home has gained popularity in recent years. While every day may not be hectic, having a place in your home that allows you to relax and rejuvenate may help you reduce stress leading to a healthier and longer life. If you’re considering creating a spa environment in your home in 2014 here are five great choices: Heated Towel Bar Towel warmers are gaining in popularity not only as luxury items, but practical ones as well as they reduce moisture and mildew in your linens. For the budget conscious simple plug-in designs are available for a few hundred dollars. Many homeowners, however, might want to invest in one that has hidden wiring and multiple racks for a sleek finished look. Heated Tile Floors Just like heated towel bars, heated flooring is another creature comfort with added benefits. Unlike forced air that blows through your home’s duct system, heated tile flooring uses radiant heat that doesn’t distribute allergens. It also tends to be more efficient because it eliminates lost air. Flooring can be heated with water (hydronic) which helps keep high electric bills down. The other option is electric heat. A mesh containing wire is typically installed below the tile. This system is also more energy efficient compared to forced air. Shower Body Jets This method of showering goes far beyond clean. Panels of shower jets allow you to transform your shower into an experience ranging from gentle rain to standing under a waterfall. Side jets with multiple settings create a luxurious massage that will leave you refreshed and relaxed. Jets can be custom fit for each individual’s height to maximize benefits. Aromatherapy We are all familiar with incense sticks, potpourri, and oils in plug-ins, but now aromatherapy has gone to a new level. With the advent of steam systems in showers, manufacturers now offer aromatherapy delivery systems that allow you to infuse oils directly into the steam filling your entire bathroom with a true spa-like experience. This system allows the steam to mix with the oil making it more beneficial, according to some experts. Mirror TV Mirror TVs act as an elegant complement to the decor of your room. You choose the frame suitable to the style of your room. Typically two inches from the wall and flush mount, when the TV is turned off, it simply looks like a large framed mirror.





Local Wineries… wine and a whole lot more! By Larry J. Mickartz





Castillo Hillside Shire

EmmaLily Creekview


any local wineries are family owned and operated and have great extended families in their wine clubs. They are welcoming and the source of some great wines. Local wineries recently garnered 70 awards at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The list of winners is available on the Morgan Hill Today website. Recently, we were talking with some friends. Someone said, “You know we are really lucky to live in this area.” Then everyone joined in with things to do…wine tasting was high on the list. As I sit back and try to characterize Morgan Hill and San Martin wineries, I am at a bit of a loss. I think I see two characteristics. One, they all like wine and enjoy the process. Secondly, they are all different. Aside from a common love of wine and wine making, they do not have a mold. They are diverse! Gugielmo has a flair for history and tradition. Clos LaChance is elegant. Morgan Hill Cellars and Sycamore Creek have a great history and are on a new road today. Many like EmmaLilly, Hill Road, and Paradise Valley are small, making some great wines and having a great time doing it. Lightheart, Creekview, Ross and Castillo have a refreshing family vibe. You know… we are really lucky to live in this area!”


Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery has a great story, a spectacular setting and some exceptional wines. Start with the story. Jess and Roni Jo sought to celebrate the success of their construction business by building a large house in the foothills of Morgan Hill. The only way to do this was to grow something. Grape vines it was. Son, Nate, became fascinated with the possibilities of wine production and jumped in. He is now a second level sommelier. Daughter, Vivienne, is a painter and singer/songwriter. Her art is on display and she is a regular entertainer at the winery. Mom, Roni Jo, who has opera training, sometimes joins Vivienne. The property is situated at the end of Main Street. The location is spectacular. The home is a mansion and offers a proud welcome to the “hobbit house” tasting room. The side “hobbit house” was originally designed to accommodate Nate’s massage therapy and Roni Jo’s aromatherapy work. Today, it is a comfortable home to wine tasting and sales, as well as an art studio for Vivienne. The inviting grounds beg for a relaxing wine tasting experience. Nate demonstrates an affinity for wine and the winemaking process that is rare. He makes complicated simple. He offers wine appreciation classes on Sunday nights. He has produced some wonderful wine and has plans for many more. Castillo wines have won numerous awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Nate talks about how the winery has given the family a stage. Vivienne,


Paradise Valley Ross

Sycamore Creek produces labels and art in the tasting room. She and mom, Roni Jo, sing. Nate produces great wine and with a dramatic flair. He says, “We blend the wine that blends people.” Roni Jo keeps an eye on all the happenings. For Jesse, the winery gives him a chance to demonstrate his construction and landscaping skills. Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery is open on weekends and has a wine club. ( Clos LaChance is a relative newcomer to local wineries but it has turned into a powerhouse. It started in 2001 as the agricultural arm of the upscale CordeValle Golf Course and Vineyard Estates. Bill and Brenda Murphy had a small but growing wine business and needed a bigger home for their CV wine business. The partnership with CordeValle was perfect. Clos LaChance is the Murphy family business. LaChance is the maiden name of Brenda Murphy and thus the winery name. Daughters Cheryl and Kristen also work at the winery. They produce around 60,000 cases a year using over twenty varietals. The Lion’s Gate Valley in San Martin is a wonderful area for vineyards. The map of CLC vineyards is a colorful introduction to the extensive vineyards at CLC. Clos LaChance has been able to combine a beautiful location with an elegant hospitality center and some outstanding wines. CLC hast become a much sought- after wedding location. It

has also become something of a “foodie” destination. There are on-site wine and cheese as well as chocolate and wine tastings. There is Brenda’s Kitchen. There are fabulous wine dinners and soon Bistro Clos with menued dinners paired with CLC wines. For locals, Clos La Chance has become the go-to place for great music and wine. There are numerous events, including the popular Thursday evening Time for Wine Music Series. They have an active wine club with two levels, Gold and Platinum. Watch for the new outdoor tasting room in the Mulberry Grove. Clos LaChance is committed to environmentally sound, economically viable and enhanced social equity sustainability. In 2009, CLC was “sustainably certified” by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. (

for blending. The Petersons also purchase fruit from local premium growers. The Petersons make some great wines and have the awards to prove it. The website notes over 75 awards. The backyard tasting area is like visiting a friend’s backyard. Visitors enter by a path along the side of the house and walk into a comfortable, welcoming backyard. There are a variety of seating areas, plenty of trees, a wood-burning pizza oven and a good feel to the whole setting. The wine club is active. The winery is an involved partner in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy. There is an endless list of events. The winery is open the third weekend of the month and the San Jose location is open Wednesday to Sunday. Creekview is well worth a visit! (creekviewvineyards. com/home.php)

Teri & Gregory Peterson turned an interest in wine making into a real life adventure. Creekview Vineyards is nestled up against the east foothills in San Martin. It has a backyard vineyard and tasting room. Appropriately, the property has a creek in back and is on Creekview Drive. But don’t think this is just a small time operation. Creekview has expanded to a tasting room and retail sales at Sherman Cellars in downtown San Jose. The 1.5-acre estate vineyard is behind the backyard tasting area and is planted with Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and some Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec

Tucked behind El Toro is a small winery with a big reputation. Steve and Laura Petersen named the winery after daughters Emma and Lily. By day, Steve is a marketing consultant but free time, nights and weekends are consumed with making the very best Cabernets. EmmaLily Vineyards’ cabs are a blend of cabs that have aged differently with various yeasts and barrel toasts. For example 2009 Laura’s Love has cabs with four different yeasts and three toats. The taste is a “round mouth” full and complex. Most of his wines spend 30 months in the barrel. Steve is building his cellar one year at a time and will soon cap his production at 500 cases.






Scenic Views

Wine club members consume most of his production but he also ships bottles to Odeum in Morgan Hill, and the Capital Club and Morton’s in San Jose. One of the unique elements of EmmaLily is that much of his bottling is done in magnums up to the 9 liter, Salmanazar, which is the equivalent of 12 standard bottles. It weighs around 50 pounds! The wine club is active and participates in many aspects of the winemaking process. Wine tasting is by appointment only. ( Guglielmo Winery is one of the major

wineries in the area. They are the “oldest, consistently operating, family owned winery in Santa Clara Valley.” Since 1925, the Guglielmo family has managed this unique winery. It is a mix of rural, urban, and suburban settings. In the beginning, there were only 15 acres; today there are 100 acres with 70 acres of vines. Guglielmo Winery is committed to sustainable practices. There are a lot of three’s going on here. The three brothers — George, winemaker and president, Gene, director of sales, and Gary, the general manager — are the third generation in the business. They produce 40,000 cases under three labels: Guglielmo Private Reserve, TRÉ, and the oldest, Emile’s. Greg Richtarek, director of marketing, says they have a wine for every palate. Guglielmo is a busy place. In addition to their own wines, they bottle another 100,000 cases for other wineries. There is a bustling event center with weddings, corporate events, wine club activities and off-site events. The tasting room and gift shop is open seven days a week. The Christmas Boutique is a unique holiday adventure.




The winery combines a strong family history setting with modern and sophisticated winemaking operation. The Heritage Room is a favorite location for intimate to small events. The outside courtyard, stage and open space accommodates larger events In addition to many private weddings, corporate happenings and events, Guglielmo Winery hosts many public popular events: Sherino and Chardonnay (usually a sold out event), Vines & Vibes, Wednesdays in the summer, and Bottle Your Own, four times a year. The Guglielmo family extends a family welcome to all who visit this historic and classy winery. ( Heading east, up Dunne Avenue on Hill Road, is a new winery. John and Delyse Klusendorf operate Hill Road Vineyards and are in the last stages of permits to officially open. The winery will offer tastings by appointment only. Their goal is to offer an experience “among the grapes” with small weddings and intimate celebrations. The location has fantastic views of El Toro especially at sunset. The tasting lounge and tables are in the vineyard. In 2002, the first vines were planted. The wines are produced on the premises. Several vintages of Merlot, Cabernet and blends are aging nicely. Reports are they are excellent. The Klusendorf’s are also involved in Aquaponics. ( Sheldon Haynie and Jane Mika-Haynie had tinkered with vineyards and wine making. A visit to Creekview Cellars, also in San Martin, made them believers in a backyard tasking room. Not long after Lightheart Cellars blossomed in the


backyard of their Roosevelt Avenue home. Sheldon manages their vineyards and several other vineyards in the South County area. Jane is the winemaker. The combination is a good one that has produced several award-winning wines and a confortable feel to the tasting room that is epitomized by their tagline “Good Wine, Good Times.” As if making wine was not enough, the family also produces mead. Son, Alderin, is the mead maker. Mead uses honey instead of grapes to produce the sugars necessary for alcohol. While some mead can be very sweet, Alderin’s tend to be more on the “dry side of semi-sweet.” Alderin’s Meadery is unique in the South County area. They currently produce three meads: Simple Pleasures, a semidry mead; Winter Celebration, a zesty seasonal mead; and Strawberry Mead, Frejya’s Blessing, a refreshing spring sensation. Some of Lightheart wines are available locally at Westside Grill in Gilroy, and Rosy’s at the Beach and Ladera Grill in Morgan Hill. The Lightheart newsletters and blogs give some interesting insight into the vine growing, winemaking process. The winery is open the first and third weekend of the month. Tasting appointments are available. Most of the time there is a little music. So come on by for “Good Wine, Good Times.”( Mike and Maryclaire Sempagnaro of Morgan Hill Cellars might be described as winery owners by default. Moving down from the San Jose area they were looking for a two-house country property for them and their daughter’s family. They were about to sign on a property further

Weddings south when the Pedrizzetti property came on the market. The two homes fit their needs and the winery was a bonus! The Pedrizzetti Winery was founded in 1913 and once had 80 acres of vines. At the time of the sale to the Sempagnaro’s in 2006, there were no vineyards on the property. In 2013, the 100-year anniversary, the Sempagnaro’s planted two acres as a tribute to the longevity of the winery. If things work out they might plant more. In 1996, the winery experienced a devastating fire. As a result of the fire and the rebirth of the winery, the phoenix has become a trademark of the winery. Some of the Pedrizzetti labels incorporated a phoenix. Today a phoenix statue stands guard over the entrance to the La Fenice (The Phoenix) Tasting Room and Gift Gallery. The new facility is nicely laid out and offers guests not only a sampling of various wines but also a great selection of wine-related gifts. The philosophy here is simple. “Comfort and ambiance” says Maryclaire. “We want people to be comfortable, taste what they like and come back again.” This was clear during the spring Passport Weekend when some wine club members camped out with snacks and thoroughly enjoyed the music of Four of Hearts. Morgan Hill Cellars does a few weddings each year but the focus is on good wine, the gift shop and having fun. On July 25, 2014, Morgan Hill Cellars will host the Fifth Annual Bingo for Breast Cancer. This sold out event attracts 200 participants. ( Paradise Valley Vineyards is a hidden

jewel in several ways. It is the home of Claude and Evelyn Solanas. It is a beautiful and tranquil setting,

Barrel Tasting exactly what they wanted. Finding it takes personalized instructions. GPS instructions might get you lost! The second aspect of the jewel is the outstanding quality of the wine. Claude and Evelyn do it all themselves, another facet of the jewel. Claude is a retired nuclear engineer. His analytical mind works well in this environment and it is obvious by the ordered environment. They only have two acres of cab and merlot. The small tasting room and wine storage share space with Claude’s other passion, racecars! Claude only bottles his own Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. He carefully nurtures every step of the process and produces some exceptional wines. Claude is a quiet, maybe shy, man but he comes alive when he talks about his bottled gems. Paradise Valley Vineyard is only available for private tastings. His wines are available locally at Ladera Grill, The Good Fork and Maurizio’s. ( Jerry and Judy Ross of Ross Vineyards & Winery have a great approach to life and winemaking. “Having fun” sums it up nicely. Getting to the tasting room is an adventure. A quick turn off Oak Glen takes visitors up the hill past several old structures to a clearing and the tasting room, an 1860s barn. The winery sits on the historic Coffe Ranch across from Chesbro Reservoir. Joseph Coffe owned the ranch, planted 40 acres of vines and made wine. He sold the wine at the “Wine Depot” in San Jose from 1875 to 1925. The current estate vineyards are further up the hill from the “tasting barn.” The Ross’s moved to Morgan Hill in 1972 and planted vines in 1999. The first wines were produced in 2005. Over the years they purchased parts of Coffe’s original

ranch. The property is dotted with reminders of three generations of Coffe farming. Some structures on the property were moved up when Chesbro was filled. The third generation Alphonse Coffe became a family friend before he passed away in 1999. Grandson, Jim Ross, helps with the vineyards and manages the “tasting barn.” Jerry does the winemaking. There is nothing pretentious here. It is just a comfortable rustic setting. Typically visitors bring a picnic and spend the afternoon. Deer, and turkeys are regulars along with the human visitors. The “tasting barn” is open the first and third weekend of the month. A great network of white Ross signs guides visitors to the location. With only about 300 cases per year, all the wine is sold at the “tasting barn.” Ross produces eleven different red wines. If you need a rustic getaway, pack a lunch and head up to Ross. “Having fun” is what it is all about. ( Sycamore Creek Vineyards has a history that goes back in time and passes thorough several families. It is appropriately located in the Uvas Valley. Uvas is Spanish for grape. The Machete family founded the winery at the turn of the twentieth century. Since then the Park and then the Morita families have owned it. In 2005 Bill and Carolyn Holt from Morgan Hill purchased the winery. The Holt family owned the Uvas Creek Winery just down the road. Today the winery has a major facelift and a focus on premium estate wines. The result is a number of outstanding wines and plenty of awards. Assistant General Manager and Certified Sommelier, Alicia Cuadra, talks of the quality and uniqueness of many of the Sycamore Creek wines, especially the





Flagship Reserve series. The four current selections: the 2009 and 2010 Cabernet, Malbec and Evolution, a blend, all have medaled at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Winery events focus on the wine club. Events usually have food pairings and acoustic music. The wine club has two levels. The Dragonfly Club offers both whites and reds. The Magnolia Club offers only premium reds. The distinctive, burgundy tables in the new outdoor picnic area offer stunning views of the vineyards and valley… relaxing place to be. Some Sycamore Creek wines are available locally at Rosy’s at the Beach in Morgan Hill and Westside Grill in Gilroy. (

Be sure to visit our website, morganhill, for a complete list of 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition award winners.





Just down the road, you’ll find an additional group of fantastic wineries:















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


continued from page 23

“My sons are expanding the business, building a new facility in Hollister that will be surrounded by a farm,” George said. “With eight grandchildren, I think we can hope for a fourth generation of farmers, I think we’re putting the building blocks in place to make this a possibility.” George and Alice are equally proud of their daughters, who have also applied their talents in the business over the years, Nicole is a graphic designer who has worked with Apple and Wired Magazine. Christy and her husband own Terrapin, a Silicon Valley computer networking company. “George Chiala Farms has experienced incredible growth due to George’s foresight,” said Scheer. “And yet you couldn’t find a more humble man. It is hard to do him justice with words on paper. There is something in his presence— strength, gentleness, humility, care—that can only be experienced by interacting with him.” Chiala will be honored by Leadership Morgan Hill with the 2014 Leadership Excellence Award on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery. The event will include dinner and entertainment, an auction and a tribute to George and his family.





A Historic Look at the Rhoades Ranch


arely does one place have so much history and contemporary impact. The Rhoades Ranch is one of those places. There is evidence of early Indian inhabitants but the main focus of this article is the people, the buildings and impact on agriculture in California. Currently the property is a 12-acre site at the base of Anderson Dam. It was once part of a much larger 160-acre ranch. This property was subdivided from the 1860’s Mexican era Rancho Laguna Seca. On the current site there are five residential buildings, two barns, the remnants of a water tower, and small accessory garages and ancillary buildings. Oldest is the Phegley House built in the 1860s. While renovated in the twentieth century, the Phegley House maintains the distinctive 1860’s character and composition. It is a two-story National folk house with single-wall construction. The Phegley House is a sub-type of National folk houses know as I-Houses, characterized by two-story buildings two rooms wide and one deep, often with rear extensions. Another building of significance is the large Horse Barn also built around 1860. It is rectangular in size and one-and-one-half stories high. It is front and rear gabled with upstairs hay storage and sliding doors on both ends. The siding is a wide-board v-grove profile that is not usually found in Santa Clara County. The siding may represent a transition to channel-rustic siding, which became the norm soon thereafter. The windows are tall 6/6 double hung with thin mullions typical of the mid 1860s. Only the remnants of the pre-1920s water tower exist. The original siding and tank are gone. Early 1920s photos show the once large water tower. The Rhoades House and garage was finished in 1920 and was designed by the architectural firm of Hogtie and Hill. The house is an excellent example of the Spanish eclectic style that relates to the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The mostly square footprint surrounds an interior courtyard. A portion of the house has an L-shaped second story. There is a roof top deck accessible from the second floor. The roof





is Spanish tile and a tile decorative feature wraps the house. The house sits in a grove of Oaks overlooking the former ranch property. Most windows are multipaned and with arched tops. Over the years, Rhoades Ranch occupants have had a significant impact on local, state and national issues. James F. Phegley (1838-1915), a rancher and early owner, served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1887-1891. Ira Osborne (IO) Rhoades a former railroadpurchasing agent was involved in state leadership positions with the California Prune and Apricot Growers Association, which is now known as Sunsweet. The Rhoades family owned and operated the ranch from 1911 to 1945. Dr. Harold E. Thomas (1900-1986), who also lived in the Rhoades House, was a professor of plant pathology at the University of California. He founded and directed the non-profit Strawberry Institute of California. He is called the “Father of the California Strawberry Industry.” His commercial venture, Strawberry Institute Nursery, eventually merged with Driscoll Strawberry Associates. Dr. Thomas and his research assistant, Earl V. Goldsmith, changed the character and scope of strawberry production in California. 2014 Update:

Mr. & Mrs. James Phegley (circa 1910)

With the planned seismic retrofit to Anderson Dam and consequent rerouting of Cochran Road, it is very likely that the horse barn and some other buildings on the Rhoades Ranch will be relocated to new locations on the Rhoades Ranch.

Photos provided by John & Sheila Giancola

Mr. Ira Osborne Rhoades

Dr. & Mrs. Harold E. Thomas





Rhoades Ranch Today ‌the Giancola home By Larry J. Mickartz

Joe and Sheila Giancola are the proud owners of the Rhoades Ranch and the exceptional house that they have restored with loving care.


he home sits at the base of Anderson Dam. In addition to the main house there are four rental homes, a barn and remnants of other farm structures on the 12-acre property. The Rhoades Ranch is a historic property that is home to the 1860s Phegley House and Horse Barn as well as the Giancola’s Rhoades House (1920). See the Historic Rhoades Ranch on page 32 for more on the history of the area. The Rhoades family originally built the house between 1917 and 1920, and lived there till Harold E. Thomas purchased it in 1945. Joe and Sheila Giancola bought it in 2006 and spent almost two years repairing and updating it. Today, this beautiful home has new wiring, plumbing, a new roof and a new boiler. Someday soon it will have a restored but renovated kitchen. The old glass front cabinets will be restored and reinstalled. Joe and Sheila have a deep respect for the history and original craftsmanship of the home. While rewiring the home Joe searched high and low for push bottom light switches and period light fixtures. The original steam boiler heating system was restored with a more efficient hot water system that works exceptionally well. It is interesting to realize that the size of the radiators is determined by the size of the room! The former Spanish roof tiles were preserved while the underlayment and flashing were repaired. Multi-paned windows were fixed and restored. The Spanish style house today is a blend of classic style and contemporary living. The large blended Giancola family fits well in the house. The center courtyard has SPRING 2014




been tiled and suits the beauty of the setting. Large Oaks wrap the house with comfortable shade and beauty. The house sits high on a small ridge overlooking the old farm that will soon become a 244-unit upscale housing development. The 4,600 square foot house has four bedrooms, three baths, two offices and multiple dining-living rooms. The kitchen flows nicely into the dining room, the living room, the former gentlemen’s cigar room, and the game room with the original pool table. Most windows, as well as the front door, have transoms that provide airflow throughout the house. There is beautiful woodwork and hardwood floors everywhere. Several doors are well-crafted pocket doors. Upstairs several bedrooms have doors to the outside deck that rims the first floor courtyard. One corner of the deck has a quiet sitting area, shaded by one of the large Oaks that surround the home. The home is welcoming and comfortable. A 93-year-old pool table shares space with the grandkids toys in the game room. With a bias towards thing old, the Giancola’s have filled the house with intriguing antiques and artifacts. The house itself has some interesting quirky features that date back to when it was built. Just inside the back door hallway is a built-in-fold-down chair… used as a place to sit while removing one’s dirty boots. And there are remnants of a centralized whole house vacuum system. Although some former residents had taken away some large mortars and pestles found





on the property, they have since been returned and given a place of prominence. Sheila and Joe have a thriving orchid garden in the back of the house. Inside there are always more than a few graceful orchids filling a window. Sheila loves the “feel� of the house; Joe has a special place for the property, especially its history.





Energy Efficiency Protecting Your Health

By Pamela Garcia, CEO Affordable Solar Roofs


ith the continuing effort to achieve more energy efficient homes, implementing various approaches to save money on utilities, and attempts to create a more comfortable indoor environment, these “well intentioned methods” may be responsible for creating an unintended health hazard for ourselves and our families. Super “air-tight” homes with minimal ventilation and low outdoor air exchange rates can result in elevated levels of indoor air pollutants that threaten occupant health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is four to five times worse than outdoor air quality! It is important therefore, that consumers be aware of the condition of the indoor air quality in their homes. Most household materials “off-gas” toxic fumes from such sources as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture, cabinets, cleaning products, and a myriad of other sources. Most fumes can escape through windows, doors, attics, and numerous other spaces in the home. However, as the building’s envelope gets more and more air-tight, there are less places for the toxic chemicals to escape. Here are some helpful hints in the quest to mitigate some of these concerns:




• Utilize attic fans, window fans or window air conditioners with the vent control open. • Install and operate kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans that vent outdoors (often required by code). These work well to remove contaminants localized in the kitchen and bath. • Install semi-controlled ventilation. These systems include a return duct to connect outdoor air with the central return and an exhaust fan to remove indoor pollutants. • Seal all ducts to keep unwanted toxic fumes from entering the return ducts and being circulated throughout the home. This is especially true in the basement, where paint, fertilizers and other sources of household chemicals are often stored. • Confirm the presence of balanced attic venting, both intake vents as well has outflow venting, such as ridge venting, attic fans, or other passive air vents. Most homeowners are, frankly, incapable of accurately evaluating the current condition of their indoor air quality. Therefore, contacting a certified building


performance professional (BPI Analysis) from a full service energy solutions company like Affordable Solar Roofs may be the best solution available to the homeowner. ( In spite of the challenges outlined here, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. That is, creating healthy indoor air quality without sacrificing your energy efficiency goals for the home. Achieving this goal, however, requires attention to detail by a conscientious homeowner who should be aware of the energy wasters in the home, be willing to reduce energy use any way possible, and be proactive in utilizing the various ways available to maintain healthy indoor air quality. Finally, due to the continuing increases in the costs of electricity by utility companies, many astute homeowners are utilizing SOLAR energy as a means to “take control” of their energy, and save significant amounts of money. Along with the current federal and local rebates available, (30% tax credit for SOLAR is still available from the Federal government), it behooves building owners and home-owners alike to investigate solar energy as an affordable, alternative energy source. Be safe, be efficient, and be smart by protecting your home, your health, and your pocket book.






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

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The Yin & Yang of your garden By Deborah Barncord

Yin & Yang

is used to describe how opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (instead of opposing) forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Your lawn and garden cannot exist without water. Water is essential to the life of our lawn and garden. With the current drought crisis, it is important to find the appropriate balance between the two: too little water, and your plants and lawn will dry out, too much and they will drown. In a worse case scenario, a world without plants would be nothing but concrete and artificial foliage. So finding a balance in the coming summer months is especially important since the drought will make it necessary for us to cut back on how much we water our yards; but the flip side is the loss of our coveted greenery. In a study by the EPA, they noted that trees and vegetation do much more than just reduce global warming. They also reduce the cost of energy, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emission and provide a degree of fire protection. They also enhance storm water management and water quality by filtering and erosion control. Bottom line: our plants improve our overall quality of life. By learning how to water your plants correctly, you can save our precious water resources as well as have a beautiful garden. Here are some ways you can support the yin and yang of your garden.

• Put a shutoff valve onto your hose, don’t just let it run.


• Install a grey-water system to use in your garden. Recycle water from your washing machine to your garden.

• Mulch your planting beds with 2-4” thick, using coarsely chopped wood products or bark is best (finely shredded bark like gorilla hair can be a fire hazard). Keep mulch 6-12” away from tree trunks to prevent rotting and disease.

• Fescue lawn only needs water every 3-4 days in the spring and summer and can go months without water in the winter months – DON’T over water them. • DO YOUR WATER AUDIT! Go to see the video on how to do this easy audit. You should conduct a water audit every year to make sure you don’t have any damaged sprinklers and are not applying too much water. • Water your lawn and garden between 1-5am to reduce evaporation and take advantage of low winds. • Put in a subsurface irrigation system under your lawn. Yes they have improved immensely and we saved 60% of water last year! • Install a weather-based irrigation controller with a rain sensor. • TURN OFF your irrigation controller November 1st, turn it back on when the rain ends. • Apply CAL-CM and or a Soil Surfactant to loosen your soil and make it more efficient with water. • Do not let the water run off onto the sidewalks. Break your watering into 2 smaller time amounts between the hours of 1-5am (you will know the amount of time once you conduct your water audit and check it to your local CIMIS station).

We all want what is best for our planet, so let’s all take the time to do our part. Instead of just ripping out our plants and doing an expensive remodel make sure we are doing all we can do with what we have first.

Brought to you by Garden Accents 11155 Lena Avenue 408.846.4555

SOURCES: trees.htm

Sub-surface irrigation system installed at Garden Accents in January 2013




SPRING 2014 environment/water-quality-andquantity/water-is-a-valuableresource/

Everyone has a story…

Michael Brookman

Love of his community and preserving history propels Michael Brookman forward.

By Kelly Barbazette


author and a police officer, Brookman, 55, is passionate about his adopted hometown of Morgan Hill and sharing its stories with others. He is on the brink of retiring from the Morgan Hill Police Department after 29 years of service and beginning the next chapter of his life. Born in San Jose, Brookman grew up in Saratoga. A theater arts major in college, Brookman played the French horn and minored in music. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in industrial education. After working in the computer and electronics industries, Brookman chose public safety as his career. He moved to Morgan Hill in 1985 when there were six traffic lights after working as an officer for the Santa Clara County Transportation Authority. He said he patrolled much of the county and liked Morgan Hill the best. “It’s a community. We all own it. I love it. That’s why I moved here,” Brookman said. A police corporal with the Morgan Hill Police Department, Brookman says he enjoys interfacing with the community. The police department is also in charge of animal control, and as a result, Brookman has adopted geese, ducks, cats and his dog, Yo-Yo. A graduate of Leadership Morgan Hill, Brookman has served as president of the nonprofit group’s board for five years. He continues to volunteer for the group and Henry Coe State Park, where he was a docent from 1989-2009. He is also a collector of cars and antique postcards. The first hobby includes racing vintage automobiles and tinkering with his eight cars; amongst them are a few MG’s and a 1943 Volkswagen. The latter hobby he stumbled upon serendipitously when he came across a postcard from Edenvale – currently part of South San Jose - from his cousin while sifting through postcards at a Morgan Hill antique shop. Brookman said the postcards tell a fascinating story about what people value and enjoy over the years. He began collecting postcards from Gilroy and Morgan Hill and soon after began writing a book about them. Along with writer Ian Sanders, he authored “More Views of Morgan Hill,” which highlights Morgan Hill’s history through postcards. They’ve recently completed their second book, titled “A Hundred Years of Gilroy Hot Springs, 1860’s - 1960’s. A Visual History of Gilroy Hot Springs and ‘Magic’ Springs.” It is due to be released this month. Brookman’s interest in the springs developed after he learned that his mother’s parents shared a first date at the then-popular resort. Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, a California Historical Landmark and on the list of National Register of Historical Places, is a property near Gilroy famed for its mineral hot springs. It was a social hot spot in the 1920s drawing hundreds of people daily for parties, dances and local service club socials. The property changed hands many times and most recently was purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and added to the Henry W. Coe State Park. “It’s a huge part of the South County history,” Brookman said. “There’s not one book written about it. We got together with our postcards co-author and wrote a book.” Brookman said writing about events past gives him a sense of purpose and ownership of his community. “It explains why are people here, why do people stop here why do people stay here,” he said. This curiosity has driven Brookman to travel to Spain four times and Mexico twice – each trip lasting a month – after completing a Spanish immersion program from Gavilan College. He recently completed a tour director school to become a tour guide. “I love to travel so much I’m looking to do that for retirement,” he said. Brookman says he plans to retire from the Morgan Hill Police Department in June, adding, “It’s time to step back” after more than 30 years of being a patrol officer. South America, parts of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand top his bucket list of destinations. Brookman said he hopes to lead local tours, do event planning, and coordinate “meet and greets” with the Chambers of Commerce for Gilroy and Morgan Hill, eventually offering statewide and European tours. SPRING 2014












Movie Making in Morgan Hill What does a historic home in Morgan Hill, a director from Norway, a singer/actor from Gilroy, an interior designer/actor from Morgan Hill and a former Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen, and the sea have in common? A movie called “The Sea,� of course!

By Larry J. Mickartz 44




Tom Hepner Singer/Producer


Alika Spencer Koknar Actress

he movie is the first full-length movie for director, Oscar Beckmann, a graduate of the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. The producer is actor/singer Tom Hepner of Gilroy. Tom has been involved with stage and TV production for over thirty years. As an actor, he has worked with San Jose Light Opera, The Forest Guild in Carmel, The Western Stage at Harnell College and South Valley Civic Theater. He has also appeared in the TV series Unsolved Mysteries and several TV movies including Cry In the Wild and Long Road Home. Parts of the movie are set in a “seaside” cottage, which is actually the Votaw House in Morgan Hill. Votaw resident Bill Tindall acts in the movie as well. The lead actor is Paul Baird, an actor, musician, dancer and writer. He recently performed in “A Christmas Carol” at SJ Rep. The lead actress is Alika Ululani Spencer-Koknar. Alika grew up locally, served as the 2004 Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen and has performed in the Limelight Actors Theater and Pintello Comedy Theater in Gilroy. She has an unusual

Oscar Beckmann Director

Bill Tindall Interior Designer/Actor

musical talent. In addition to singing on stage, she plays the musical saw. The movie focuses on a couple’s get-away weekend at the seaside cottage and the twists and turns of a “sea” obsession. Parts of the movie are also being shot in Pacific Grove, Moss Landing and places in between. The Votaw House, through the magic of movie making, is the seaside cottage. Director, Oscar Beckmann, has high hopes for this low- budget movie. Thanks to the help and dedication of numerous locals, this movie will be on the big screen in a year or two. Oscar has a fascination with the ability of a movie to transport the viewer, no matter what the troubles at home, to another place, time and emotion. Oscar, a native of Oslo, Norway, is aiming high with his first indie movie. He hopes to get it viewed at such high visibility festivals as Sundance, Toronto and Cannes. There seems to be no shortage of talent and happenings in this great community.

Historical Votaw House plays a seaside cottage in full-length movie …

THE SEA Alika entering the seaside cottage. Producer Tom out of camera range. Preparing for a scene in the seaside kitchen. SPRING 2014




W Leaders Are Born … And Made!

By Robin Shepherd

Robin Shepherd is a journalist and marketing executive. She also advocates for non-profits dedicated to social justice and environmental conservation. She is a resident of Morgan Hill and mother of two children.




ith the exception of raising my two children, leadership has never been my M.O. As a marketing consultant and freelance journalist, I’ve always worked behind the scenes. Launching other people’s products, ghostwriting other people’s books and speeches, being the interviewer rather than the interviewee. I equate leadership with being in the spotlight . . . which is something I like to avoid. Then I met Liza Garibaldi, graduate of a program offered by a non-profit organization known as Leadership Morgan Hill, and she inspired me to take a chance on leadership. If she had taken a hard sell approach, I probably would have run the other way. Instead, she spoke of making some meaningful connections with people and organizations around Morgan Hill and finding avenues where she could use her talents to get involved and give back to the community. Her comments made me realize how few people and how little I knew about Morgan Hill after living here for several years. I’d been so busy commuting ‘over the hill’ for my work that I hadn’t developed any connection yet to being a Morgan Hill resident. And so it was with some hesitation that I applied to Leadership Morgan Hill and was accepted into the Class of 2014. I’m just a few months into the program now, and I must say it has already changed my perspective on Morgan Hill, community involvement, and leadership, for the better. Every year, Leadership Morgan Hill selects about 20 people from a pool of applicants, and takes them through a 9-month program that not only connects them with Morgan Hill’s government, business, education and non-profit sectors, but it provides interactive training in leadership skills. You can’t hide out in this program; everyone jumps in and gets involved. It’s downright contagious. Each month, our class has a chance to meet the movers and shakers of Morgan Hill. We spent a day with Morgan Hill’s city government who talked about the city’s goals, fiscal standing, accomplishments and challenges as well as opportunities for community involvement. Thanks to the presentation made by Cal Fire, our class learned about the PulsePoint app. This downloadable mobile phone application empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Want to help save lives? There’s an app for that.


We also spent a day with Morgan Hill educators. Our class split into groups and visited different schools for a tour, but before we left, we were given a fictional family profile and asked to evaluate the schools in light of their suitability to the needs of this fictional family. It was a great exercise that led us to realize what a rich set of options Morgan Hill families have to ensure their children get a good education. Morgan Hill residents are fortunate that local history has been preserved through the efforts of many over time. We had a taste of local history when the Morgan Hill Historical Society gave us a tour of Villa Mar Monte, the ranch built by Hiram Morgan Hill and his wife Diana Murphy Hill in 1884. While we sipped tea and snacked on light bites prepared by Morgan Hill’s Catered by Diana, we were challenged to a Morgan Hill history trivia quiz put together by Leadership Morgan Hill graduate Marty Cheek, and then learned about Morgan Hill’s ag roots from local legend Andy Mariani, owner of Andi’s Orchard. Now in case you think we spend all our time in learning mode, I should mention that as a class, we’ve been tasked to develop a project that reflects what we’ve learned and gives back in some way to Morgan Hill. We put our heads together and decided to create a video that celebrates Morgan Hill as a great place to live, work and play. Imagine 20 people – including a police officer, a geologist, healthcare professionals, experts in banking, financial and insurance, IT professionals, a librarian, people involved in non-profit organizations and other fields – coming together during their spare time and collaborating on a project that will be reviewed by Morgan Hill civic and community leaders when it’s completed this coming fall. What quickly becomes clear is that there are as many leadership styles as there are people willing to try their hand at it. And that’s a good thing. Our leadership skills are being put to the test, and fruits of our labors will be in the spotlight come September. We started out like an awkward teenager – I guess you could call it controlled chaos. But with a little time, we’re learning from each other and applying our budding leadership skills. Stay tuned – I think Leadership Morgan Hill’s Class of 2014 has all the makings of a lean, mean community-building machine.






with an Attitude

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.




It Really Is About Simple Pleasures


n graduate school we are required to engage in a lot of reflection – what constitutes the self? What is the authentic self? What gives life meaning? In this article, I want to engage you in a simple reflection that I hope will help put a spring in your step because with simple acts, you can actually make a big difference. Nothing is easy these days, you say? Read on, my friends, because this one is as easy as can be. Originally, this column was to contain information for and about seniors. It has since evolved into a vessel for my mission to promote “aging with an attitude.” And, being happy gives you that attitude! For this exploration, when we talk about “being happy” let’s talk about moments –— short moments of joy experienced when seeing someone you love, to longer strings of happy moments that may last minutes, hours, days, weeks…even years! I am not talking about that sense of joy or inner peace that the Dalai Lama preaches about. I am talking about moments that can be strung together. Simple, happy moments. What makes you happy? Is it looking out of your window and appreciating the hills that surround your backyard? Or do you have to be sipping coffee at a posh restaurant in London? Could you be happy just watching a child marvel at a lizard? Or do you have to be navigating the ski slopes in Aspen? Could you be happy spending time with a parrot who can only utter two words or do you need to be in the company of someone you love to be happy? Do you appreciate snippets of joy or do you need to be feeling that adrenaline rush all day long? I took the time to talk to as many people as possible to find out what makes them happy and their answers included both “ordinary” and “extraordinary” experiences. I also did some research at the university and came upon a number SPRING 2014

of studies conducted on this subject. One study, in particular, required people to rate a happy event. The researchers wanted to know whether ordinary or extraordinary events make people happier. The results revealed that as people age, what makes people happy changes. Younger people tended to find more joy in extraordinary experiences; in many cases, not giving ordinary experiences much thought. Older people, on the other hand, though appreciative of extraordinary experiences, seemed to derive more joy from ordinary moments they perceive as special. “Ordinary experiences produce as much happiness as extraordinary experiences when individuals have limited time remaining,” wrote the study authors, as published in The New York Times. This explains the lament of one of our clients at Visiting Angels: “Mom can be confusing, we took her to Hawaii, which was a trip on her bucket list, and yet when we returned, she talked more about my little girl stringing flowers pulled from a bush and making her a lei. Go figure, I didn’t have to take her to Hawaii it seems.” In truth, her Mom appreciated seeing Kauai. But the gesture of her granddaughter tugged at her heart. As the study suggests: as we age, we learn to appreciate simple, ordinary pleasures and we find joy in moments that tug at our heart strings. Think about it - the level of adrenalinerush seems to correlate with a young person’s enjoyment of an experience. A 22year old may find a trip to the aesthetically beautiful city of San Diego to attend a wedding boring, but his parents who are with cousins they have not seen for a while would rate that experience a nine, even if it were held in a not-so-desirable setting. Readers of this column tend to be 40 and above. Some have parents 60 years old and above, with relatives and caregivers who are under 35. We now know that we don’t necessarily need to do anything

extraordinary to bring joy to our elderly parents because they appreciate time with us – over coffee, looking at pictures of the kids, etc. The other day I was visiting a client and overheard her grandson say, “Mom, I don’t know what to do. Grandma is depressed. I am not a doctor!” We need to share the power of a heart-warming simple event with the younger members of our family and the younger caregivers. The younger generation needs to be reminded that ordinary events, that show they care, will make a big difference. And, of course, there’s a third lesson to be learned from the study. When younger siblings seem unappreciative, remind yourself that they are wired to tie happiness to an adrenaline rush. The study is simply a well-deserved confirmation that ordinary pleasures likely are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of older adults. With 60 being the new 40 and so on, it is a fact that even though simple pleasures matter, some older adults still want to take pictures from the top of the EiffelTower. If you can give them those extraordinary experiences, by all means do so! Just don’t forget that on a day-to-day basis, it is about simple pleasures!

The younger generation needs to be reminded that ordinary events, that show they care, will make a big difference.





e m i T e h t n e Wh uy is Right To B

Making the decision to purchase a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. Even before you begin looking into homes on the market in your community, it’s important to consider whether now is the right time for you to buy.


is now a good time to buy a home? Professor Robert Shiller, one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, certainly thinks so. Recently, he told reporters: “Affordability is still good compared to any time over the last 50 years. Mortgage rates are still around 4½ percent; that’s not high.” Although both home prices and mortgage interest rates have gone up over the past year, they are still low from an historical perspective. That’s because over the past five years, housing prices in many markets declined sharply. So recent home price increases are coming off a lower base and really just bringing prices back to where they were in the mid-2000s. Likewise, as interest rates moved up since last summer, their starting point was at a level that hadn’t been seen since FDR was president. However, these trends only tell part of the picture. There are many documented financial and social benefits to homeownership, including:

Tax Deductions Mortgage interest, local real estate tax and even mortgage insurance premiums are usually taxdeductible.

Building Equity In A Home With each mortgage payment and appreciation over time, homeowners increase the equity in their homes, making it their largest single asset.

Borrowing Power Equity can be used in the form of a loan, for emergencies, investment properties, big ticket items, etc.

Stability Property taxes may go up every year, but with the most popular fixed-rate mortgages, your cost each month is fixed. Also, remember that the alternative is to rent. And what does that get you?

Buying A Home Is Good, But Why Now? Looking at recent numbers, most experts agree that now is a good time to be in the market for a new home. Home prices as of the end of 2013 were up more than 11% from 2012, according to CoreLogic. And in Denver Metro, home prices rose nearly 9.5 percent. Interest rates are also comparatively low—a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is about 4.3 percent—significantly less than it was five years ago. And remember when your parents were buying homes in the early 1980s? Rates then were nearly 20 percent. So between rates, prices, historical norms and all the ancillary financial benefits of homeownership, the timing for buying a home couldn’t be better. Luckily, you don’t need an award-winning economist to help you through the process. A mortgage lending professional can walk you through all the options in rates, length of mortgage and different products.

© 2013 W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. 6465 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 500, Centennial, CO 80111 Phone #303-825-5670. NMLS ID 3233. Trade/service marks are the property of W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. Some products may not be available in all states. WJB is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the federal government. All Borrowers and properties securing Mortgage Loans must be approved by WJB. Loan terms subject to change without notice. “Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act RML No. 4131002”).





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Community Theatre Takes a Bow South Valley Civic Theatre Delights Local Audiences

By Robin Shepherd

Fiddler On The Roof, 2013


organ Hill is a small city with a big heart for the performing arts. With a resident theatre company and our own playhouse – who needs New York? Each year, the South Valley Civic Theatre brings five months of Broadway magic to the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. It’s a program with something for everyone, featuring stage productions like Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Deathtrap, Anything Goes, Miracle on 34th Street and Oliver! South Valley Civic Theatre (SVCT) is a non-profit community theatre organization directed and staffed entirely by volunteers. SVCT attracts talented musicians and non-professional actors in the region to take part in some of its productions, while others are performed by local youth and teens who are selected for roles through open auditions.

performances were staged in a variety of venues, depending on what was available.” When the City of Morgan Hill undertook plans to open the Community and Cultural Center, its plans included renovating a 1920s era church on the property, and transforming it into the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. SVCT worked closely with the city staff and project architects on the design of the playhouse and then became its resident theatre company. “The city was great to work with, and it helped us to have a venue that we could call home,” Mandel said. “We have two missions. The first is to bring quality theatre to the local community, and the second is to showcase the youth in our community.”

Finding a Home

“Theatre is a great way for youth to gain developmental assets as defined in Project Cornerstone,” Mandel said. “We can help them develop a sense of responsibility, understand how large projects come together successfully based on the

SVCT got its start more than 40 years ago in Gilroy, according to SVCT President Peter Mandel. “It was a bit of a gypsy operation in those days. Without a home of its own,





Theatre: A Great Place for Youth

collaboration of many people, build self-esteem, learn to work side by side with adults, and even overcome stage fright.” Each production runs for about a month, with eight to twelve performances. The spring 2013 teen musical, Legally Blonde, played to sell-out crowds. Local high school students served in acting and singing roles and as stage crew members who helped with sound, lighting, sets, props and staging. “The kids had a great time and got a lot of valuable experience from participating in the musical,” Mandel said. “The teen cast and crew were very talented. They learned significant acting and dance skills, and experienced how to commit and deliver on a goal while working alongside other teens from varied backgrounds.”    The Magic Behind the Scenes

For its main stage productions, SVCT licenses the rights to perform popular plays and musicals from the theatre organizations that own them. Licensing generally includes access to scripts; orchestration, choreography, set design and staging information; templates for promotional materials; and the many other details that go into making an authentic, high quality production.

Highlights of the SVCT 2014-2015 Season City of Angels, May 23 - June14 Adult thriller/contemporary jazz musical Oliver!, August 1 - 23 Family musical performance of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist) Proof, September/October (drama) Little Women, November/December Holiday musical performance based on Louisa May Alcott’s book by the same name Shrek, February/March 2015 Teen Musical Seussical, April/May 2015 Children’s musical performance of a Broadway production based on selected books of Dr. Seuss The Producers, July/August 2015 Based on Mel Brooks’ Tony award-winning Broadway musical-comedy of the same name

“BIG” Teen Musical, 2013 Photos provided by South Valley Civic Theatre

SVCT’s play selection committee is made up of people from diverse backgrounds and theatre experience. After months of reading scripts and researching plays and musicals, they narrow down their list of choices and present those to the SVCT Board for a final vote. “We attract talented amateur actors, dancers and musicians from all over,” Mandel said. “It takes about six to eight weeks to put together a large, complex musical. These people are very committed to their craft and devote many hours to be in a production. They do it for the love of theatre.” SVCT has access to a large warehouse not far from the Playhouse. It is here that volunteers meet to design and construct sets, hold auditions, conduct rehearsals, and work out all the stage, sound and lighting direction for the production. “We typically move into the Playhouse about two weeks before opening night,” Mandel said. “We transport all the sets and equipment from the warehouse and focus one week on all the technical aspects of staging, rigging, and other details.

The second week focuses on production preparation and dress rehearsals.” An upcoming production not to miss, City of Angels, will be performed from May 23 through June 14. This adult musical comedy/thriller portrays the misadventures of a novelist attempting to write a screenplay. The audience is in effect watching the making of a movie within the framework of the play. The actors transition from characters in the play to characters in the movie, and back again. The setting is 1940s Hollywood, complete with a private eye, homicide and a few femme fatales, with contemporary jazz music as a backdrop. “Theatre is a very special art form,” Mandel said. “As a live performance, it offers a close connection between the actors and the audience that is not possible with movies or television. I invite those who have not been to a performance at our beautiful playhouse to come, experience, and enjoy it for themselves.”  








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Business Owners

Don’t neglect your own retirement plan

you’re like many small business owners, you pour your heart, soul, time, and nearly everything else into your business. When it comes to retirement planning, your strategy might be crossing your fingers and hoping your business will provide the nest egg you’ll need to live comfortably. But relying on a business to fund retirement can be a very risky proposition. What if you become ill and have to sell it early? Or what if your business experiences setbacks just before your planned retirement date? Rather than counting on your business to define your retirement lifestyle, consider managing your risk now by investing in a taxadvantaged retirement account. Employersponsored retirement plans offer a number of potential benefits, including current tax deductions for the business and tax-deferred growth and/or tax-free retirement income for  youremployees.  For your business, the benefits of offering a well-designed retirement plan are immeasurable. There  are several options to consider.   IRA TYPE PLANS

Unlike “qualified” plans that must comply with specific Internal Revenue Code  regulations and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), these plans are less complicated and typically less costly. SEP-IRA by Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF®

Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF® is a Principal Wealth Advisor with RNP Advisory Services, Inc., in Morgan Hill 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 or call 408-779-0699.



A SEP allows you to set up an IRA for yourself and for each of your eligible employees. Although you contribute the same percentage of pay for every employee, you’re not required to make contributions every year. Therefore, you can time your contributions according to what makes sense for the business. For 2014, total contributions (both employer and employee) are limited to 25% of pay up to a maximum of $52,000 for each employee (including yourself). 401(k) PLAN

Perhaps the most popular type of retirement plan offered by employers, a 401(k) plan allows employees to make both pre- and after-tax (Roth) contributions. Pretax contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis, while qualified withdrawals from a Roth account are tax free. Employee contributions cannot exceed $17,500 in 2014 ($23,000 for those 50 and older) or 100% of compensation, and employers can choose to match a portion of employee contributions. These plans must pass tests to ensure they

are nondiscriminatory; however, employers can avoid the testing requirements by adopting a “safe harbor” provision that requires a set matching contribution based on one of two formulas. PROFIT-SHARING PLAN

Typically, only the business contributes to a profitsharing plan. Contributions are discretionary (although they must be “substantial and recurring”) and are placed into separate accounts for each employee according to an established allocation formula. There’s no fixed amount requirement, and in years when profitability is particularly tight, you generally need not contribute at all. SIMPLE IRA

The SIMPLE IRA allows employees to contribute up to $12,000 in 2014 on a pretax basis. Employees age 50 and older may contribute an additional $2,500. As the employer, you must either match your employees’ contributions dollar for dollar up to 3% of compensation, or make a fixed contribution of 2% of compensation for every eligible employee. (The 3% contribution can be reduced to 1% in any two of five years.) QUALIFIED PLANS

Although these types of plans have more stringent regulatory requirements, they offer more control and flexibility. Special  rules may apply to selfemployed individuals. DEFINED BENEFIT (DB) PLAN

Commonly known as a traditional pension plan, DB plans are becoming increasingly scarce and are uncommon among small businesses due to costs and complexities. They promise to pay employees a set level of benefits during retirement, based on a formula typically expressed as a percentage of income. DB plans generally require an actuary’s expertise. Total contributions to profit-sharing and 401(k) plans cannot exceed $52,000 or 100% of compensation in 2014. SELF-EMPLOYED PLANS

In addition to the options noted above, sole business owners may consider an individual or “solo” 401(k) plan. These types of plans are very similar to a standard 401(k) plan, but because they apply only to the business owner and his or her spouse, the regulatory requirements are not as stringent. They can also have a profit-sharing feature, which can help you maximize your tax-advantaged savings potential.

BOTTOM LINE: As a business owner, who has an employer-sponsored retirement plan,

and a financial advisor who specializes in designing and managing such plans, I know first-hand that the benefits far outweigh the complexities.

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. TODAY




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Burma ‌

land of golden temples and floating gardens

Written By Sherry Hemingway & Laura Lundy Photographed By Sherry Hemingway, Laura Lundy & Jaquie Tomke Jeff & Laura Lundy with Sherry & John Hemingway in Bermese longyi skirts.





If you want to see Asia preserved as it was 50 years ago – men and women in longyi skirts with faces streaked in yellow paste – visit Burma very soon.


he U.S. and other countries lifted travel sanctions after the country’s military junta was officially dissolved in 2011 and reforms began. Now tourists flood to this mystical destination, and one can only hope that it won’t become a 100-year flood. Currently, T-shirts and the Internet are fairly inaccessible. The Burmese people are warm, full of smiles, and curious about Western visitors. They are amazed to see a flotilla of tiny tourist boats admiring the sunset over a 200-year-old footbridge. Five years from now, one wonders how these people will react to mega boats and tourist throngs. Burma’s strangeness is irresistible. Earlier this year, we headed off with Laura’s husband, Jeff, and Sherry’s husband, John, for a travel adventure to Burma/ Myanmar. We came home with stories.

Myanmar or Burma? The name change revisited: Burma was a country generally known for exotic civilizations, golden temples, British colonialism, Rudyard Kipling, and The Jungle Book. Then in 1989, the military junta changed the name to Myanmar. Recently, with the world barely adjusted to the new designation, the name “Burma” is making a comeback – starting with the local people. It is their subtle expression of disapproval for the ruling military government.

Before departure, we were advised that all of our materials, except our government -issued visa application, would say Burma. It was true throughout our trip. Once there, the name Myanmar appeared to be reserved for government signs and a brand of local beer (quite good, actually). Burma’s fate is not settled. An astounding number of major reforms have included releasing hundreds of political prisoners, liberal investment laws, legalizing protests and lifting media censorship. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is free and may be allowed to run for president. Unfortunately, as dollars pour in, leaders are moving toward a new order – crony capitalism. A select few are getting filthy rich in a country where the average worker earns $1,700 a year and laborers make $3-4 a day. It took us two travel-trudging days to get to Burma flying via San Francisco, Tokyo, Bangkok, and finally Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Within the country, our circular route was Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw, Inle Lake and back to Yangon.

Temples and Pagodas

Golden Pagoda, which dominates the Yangon skyline. The 326-foot high, goldplated (not gold leaf) dome sits on a 114acre hilltop covered with intricate golden structures and holy places. We removed our shoes and socks and began moving with the Burmese in clockwise motion. We already knew the day of our birth and our animal symbol, so we each moved toward the holy area of our Day. (Sherry is Tuesday/ lion and Laura is Wednesday/elephant). As invited, we offered a lotus flower, poured water on the Buddha, and made a wish for our friend in Gilroy battling cancer. Shwedagon Pagoda, built between the 6th and 10th century, is enshrined with relics of four past Buddhas and is considered the most sacred temple in Burma. Next we flew to the must-see ancient city of Bagan, once known as the “City of Four Million Pagodas.” At dawn we ascended in a hot air balloon that provided an unforgettable aerial of the 2,200 pagodas that remain, set against the glimmer of the Irrawaddy River.

Among the staggeringly beautiful sites in Burma are 10,000 temples, pagodas and stupas, mostly built between the 11th and 13th century. Our first temple was Shwedagon, the

The first thing you notice about the Burmese is that most of them paint a yellow tree paste on their face. “We think it is quite beautiful,” explains our guide.

The Burmese People





“If you want to the world as it once was, go visit countries with dictatorships. The downsides are evident, but it is delightful to see people still embracing the best parts of their own culture.” Sherry Hemingway

When we found out it was both a sunscreen and the secret to beautiful Burmese skin, we all brought home a jar. The people still wear traditional clothing, without the influence of global fashion. Both men and women wear long wraparound skirts, longyi, on the city streets. In the remote tribal areas of the country, the people routinely wear native dress and colorful hats. Our first exposure to Burmese people was with souvenir vendors who possessed a charmingly, aggressive sales style. Unlike their counterparts in other countries, they made us laugh. They would befriend each of us and then hop on scooters to follow our vehicle to the next temple. By the end of the day, we all knew a lot about each other, and all of us owned souvenirs that we hadn’t really wanted. It had been such a good time, no one cared. We were warmly welcomed throughout Burma, even on city streets. We were greeted with “mingalabar” (hello), the men were helpful, the women were pretty, the children were adorable and everyone was easy-going. As travelers, we must acknowledge that there are border areas of Burma in civil war and there, everything must be different. We were forbidden to go into those areas, and we let Overseas Adventure Travel keep us out of the wrong places.




The best way to explain safety to Americans reluctant to venture afar: All U.S. states are different. Most places are family-friendly, and there are place you don’t go. It is the same in the rest of the world. Our path to understanding Burma was through a superb guide named Theingi (“thingy”), who went out of her way to introduce adventure. One night she took us to a neighborhood park, where members of the national cane ball team were playing for fun. Did we want join them? Cane ball is similar to Asian shuttlecock and American hacky sack, only it is played with a rattan ball. Athletic Laura jumped in, and later as a reward, they autographed and gave her the actual winning cane ball from the Southeast Asian games.

The Art of Rum Sours

Favorite adventure: A day in a remote tribal village, whose name translates to “Dancing Horse.” We knew we were going to prepare dinner with the villagers, so Theingi turned us loose in a native market, each with five dollars and a grocery list in both Burmese and English. We succeeded and headed into the hills with our foodstuffs. The village of 200 people was a collection of wooden buildings that included a school, a temple, houses and


farm buildings. Clearly Western visitors were rare because their curiosity was palpable. The kids loved us. The monk did an impromptu teaching. The village elders invited us into a circle to answer our questions. Then we divided up, with women in the kitchen, and men off to learn how to make rum sours with local honey and homemade rum. The sours were apparently noteworthy because we ended up in a rollicking dance circle with the villagers drumming.

“I wish I had known to bring lipstick and perfume for the young women in Bagan who asked me for mine. The prices there are unreachable for them.” Laura Lundy

It was a huge lesson in how hardworking, multi-generational, close-knit people can achieve a thriving community.

Gems, Arts, Crafts and Shopping The city of Mandalay is the home of the world Jade Market, where stones mined in the north go for sale. What sounds like a shop opp, is instead a serious business that draws jade dealers from China and around the globe. There are acres of downtown streets covered with tents. Sellers spread their uncut rocks and boulders on blankets on the ground. Dealers walk the aisles beaming flashlights into the rocks. Our guide demanded that we leave our wallets and purses with our driver before going in. Throughout the country, crafts and treasures are found in open air markets where local people sell their one-of-a-kind earrings and artwork and antiques, alongside fruits and vegetables. The array is enough to stagger a veteran shopper: lacquerware, cheroot cigars, handmade paper umbrellas, marionettes, tribal wear, lotus-woven fabric, canvas art and every kind of jewelry – all bargains in the extreme. We stuff our suitcases with Christmas presents and still keep shopping. We know we need an intervention.

Author’s Ten Top Favorites To Enjoy While In Burma • Temples & Pagodas • Gold Rooftops • Buddist Monks (Both Young And Wizened) • Friendly People (Still In Traditional Dress) • Cane Ball, The Sport • Villages (Self -Sustaining And Interdependent) • Floating Houses And Gardens • Fishermen Rowing With One Leg • Primitive, Handmade Arts And Crafts • Shopping (Someone Please Stop Us) SPRING 2014




Floating Villages Virtually any book on Burma will feature a photograph of Intha fishermen on Inle Lake. They navigate their boats with a single wooden paddle, and row with one leg while casting their nets. We gawk at their grace. The other quintessential photo subject is the famous “giraffe women” of the Paduang hill tribe. Four of the women came to talk with us about their ancient tradition of wearing heavy brass rings around their neck and limbs. Nowadays

these women make money by posing for tourists. Some of us cringe at the apparent exploitation, but we accept their invitation and take photos. Large and scenic Inle Lake is home to entire floating communities. We boat out to visit villages with stores, restaurants and homes on stilts, many growing vegetables in floating gardens. Neighbors paddle their boats to visit next door neighbors. We are a long way from shore. This last stop is the perfect closing for a magical exploration. We know it is

unlikely that we will ever make it back to Burma, so it is our mission to tell friends why they must go now. In a blink, Burma’s daily life will include cell phones, Internet; Western clothing, music and entertainment; Chinesemanufactured souvenirs, golf courses, and developments. One Chinese businessman just built a large, upscale resort a stone’s throw from the temples of Bagan. Bamboo scaffolding is the norm in Yangon. One look at Thailand’s development and you glimpse Burma’s tomorrow.

Change is coming, fast. We hope you visit soon. Laura Lundy of San Martin is a loan officer with W J Bradley Mortgage Capital. Sherry Hemingway of Morgan Hill is retired from journalism and public relations. Both give much of their time to Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. Overseas Adventure Travel:









Collabortion is the Name of the Game By John Horner, President /CEO Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce


The Cove Goes Western

Morgan HIll’s virtual pirates’ paradise invites local cowboys and cowgirls to a down home country evening of fun amist a backdrop fit for Blackbeard and his motley crew. Once again Rich Firato has graciously provided The Cove for this night of good food, drink and merriment. So put on your jeans, boots and hat and come on down. This event is expected to sell out so be sure to get your tickets today.

May 17th 5-10 pm

Live Music By

Mark “Fenny” Fenichel & Scott T. Miller Michael gurley & JD Bender


Fire 4 Hire

Lights & Sound By ARTTEC

Get Your Tickets Today!

408.779.9444 Tour the grounds with owner, Rich Firato.





ome time ago Morgan Hill’s former City Manager Ed Tewes made a comment which really stuck with me: “Now that we don’t have money to throw at problems, we have to solve them by working together.” I would add that this is always the case, the working together is generally much more productive than “throwing money” at problems. We are very fortunate to have many people, companies and organizations in our region who are ready, willing and able to cooperate for mutual benefit. Enabling, participating and leading in cooperative efforts is built into the fabric and culture of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce. We have been fostering much closer ties with our neighbor to the south, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce through joint promotion of events, sharing of best practices and cooperative lobbying efforts when there are governmental issues of concern. This multichamber cooperation extends throughout our region through the Silicon Valley Chambers Coalition. But perhaps more importantly, we are engaging beyond the Chambers of Commerce to organizations like the YMCA with which we cohost non-profit board member trainings as well as to just about every active association and non-profit in our area. This year the organizers of the many large events in Morgan Hill have come together under the “Morgan Hill Presents” banner to share best practices, promote one another’s events, share resources, and act as a common voice to the various governmental bodies we interact with for permits, police services and the like. If you want to know about the big events coming in Morgan Hill, check out the Facebook page: .  Meanwhile the job growth momentum continues throughout our region, and we here in South County are eager to get our part of the job growth action. That growth has come with continued pressure on housing costs, and there are no signs of that pressure easing anytime soon. As problems go, that is a much better one to have than is the opposite extreme of a shrinking economy and falling housing values. Perhaps our biggest long term challenge is in educating and training ALL of our youth to be prepared for the modern world. Some are well prepared, but many are not. Let’s all do our part to support them.  


Friday Night Music Series … FREE to all participants! Join us from 6 - 9 pm throughout the summer.


Hot dogs, chips, beer, wine and soft drinks will be available

Music Schedule for 2014 June 13th

Jess Charles Band

June 20th

Rodeo House

June 27th

Busta Groove

July 11th

Extra Large

July 18th

Shane Dwight

July 25th

Soul Kiss

August 1st


August 8th

Usual Suspects

August 15th


August 22nd

Super Bad

August 29th


for purchase, but you don’t have to spend a dime to come

out to the Downtown Amphitheater at the corner of Dunne and Monterey to have a good time.

For more information about community events, visit our Facebook page: presents






t is very normal to take your body for granted,

a well-rounded exercise program that includes

most men and women do. In your youth, you

some portion of cardio, strength training, and

probably neglected and mistreated your

flexibility workouts.

body and it never failed you. A couple of

CARDIOVASCULAR exercise is a proven way

decades ago, you could probably work for

to fight heart disease and obesity and is a vital

12 hours straight, devour a pizza, and spend the

exercise for women over 50 and men over 45. It is

evening in front of the TV and know that your

also believed that the increased blood flow helps

body would be in great condition for a game of

to improve cognitive abilities. The amount and

tennis that weekend. It was only a matter of time,

intensity needed for your cardio workout is unique

however, before the mistakes of your youth began

to your body, but most people have had greatest

to take their toll. You might notice a new crick in

success when they maintain their target heart rate

your back as you carry in the groceries, possibly

for 30 to 60 minutes.

your jeans seem to tighten a size each year, or



fun and will motivate you to keep exercising. Right here in Morgan Hill at the Centennial Recreation Center there are several 50+ classes that will get your heart pumping. STRENGTH





or no control over. While it is true that we can-

reduces fat, and gives you strength to perform your

not stop the calendar from marching ahead at

everyday tasks longer.

what seems to be a faster and faster pace, recent

Your body is broken into muscle groups, such

studies have shown that we can alter the rate at

as abs, biceps, and back. The American Heart

which our bodies progress through our life cycle.







We now have a better understanding of why

minimum of 8 to 10 exercises per muscle group.

some people tend to age much faster than

Strength training experts typically focus on only one

others. The good news is that there is a large

or two muscle groups each day and make sure their

body of scientific evidence that suggests that we

entire body has been exercised before beginning a

can slow down and even reverse the symptoms

new cycle. Strength training can be done at home

of aging. In fact, many of people can be in better

or at the gym. At the gym, you will have access to

health in their 70s than they were in their 50s. Re-

a wide range of weights and press, curl, and rowing

cent studies indicate that between the ages of 30

machines. The Centennial Recreation Center offers

and 70 many of the symptoms & conditions that

complimentary wellness sessions with a qualified

were traditionally associated with normal aging

wellness coach to help you get started with weight

are in fact the result of sedentary lifestyles. If you

training. The coaches will teach you how to perform

suspect these are warning signs of more serious

the exercises on the machines and get you started

problems yet to come, you are right. However,

on a weight training regime.

today is a great day to reclaim your health and freedom by beginning a 50+ exercise program.

Like aerobic endurance and muscle strength, FLEXIBILITY provides anti-aging benefits that keep

As you age you are increasingly more at risk of

you running like new. The pain and stiffness of aging

losing your health, independence, and even life.

begins as temporary tensions that become learned

Eighty-two percent of people who die from

habits. But don’t assume that with aging you will

coronary heart disease are over 50, the average

automatically lose your flexibility. You can counter-

age for men being 64 and for women 70. Obesity

balance the effects of aging so that your physiology

rates are the highest they have ever been and

is quite a bit younger than your chronology. When

60% of all obese senior citizens will suffer a

you stay flexible, you’ll be able to live with vibrancy,

critical or fatal illness related to their weight,

energy, and independence. Yoga is a great way to

including uncontrolled diabetes. (

stay limber. A striking finding in the Yoga Journal

Right now you enjoy the ability to complete

study was the rise of the “yoga as medicine” trend:

basic tasks like grocery shopping and laundry,

14 million Americans say that a doctor or therapist

but every year, you lose 2- 5% of your muscle

has recommended yoga to them. With good reason.

strength and 2- 3% of your bone density. After

“The health benefits of yoga are well documented,”

age 70, this decline accelerates. A much better


health and happiness outlook exists for the men

physiology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

and women who exercise. These people have a

“It’s a good entry-level activity for older adults.”

proven ability to actually increase bone density and muscle mass. Considering that 78%- 90% of retirees and



medicine cabinet.

aging as a fact of life — one that they have little



number of prescriptions accumulating in your

or 60 they have accepted the negative effects of



success recommend finding a cardio workout that is

By the time most people reach the age of 50

Over 50… time to turn back the clock!


perhaps you are concerned with the increasing













incorporated into our lifestyle can improve our heart and respiratory function, lower our blood pressure,

senior citizens lead overly sedentary lifestyles,



any exercise over 50 is a great achievement.



However, if you want to ensure your continued

reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, and reduce

health and happiness, then you need to develop

susceptibility to depression & disease.











with every

Facing new challenges can bring victories, and unforeseen obstacles. When the unexpected happens and medical attention is needed fast, count on your neighbors. Saint Louise Regional Hospital delivers comprehensive emergency services in a caring and attentive environment. For non-life threatening yet urgent health concerns, De Paul Urgent Care Center offers high-quality care with convenient hours.

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Full Service emergency Department

urgent Care Services for

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non Life-threatening Concerns Morgan Hill, CA 95037 408-782-1216

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04 Morgan Hill Today Spring 2014  

Spring 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Today featuring: Wineries of Morgan Hill and San Martin, George & Alice Chiala, the Rhoades Ranch & the Gia...

04 Morgan Hill Today Spring 2014  

Spring 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Today featuring: Wineries of Morgan Hill and San Martin, George & Alice Chiala, the Rhoades Ranch & the Gia...