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FALL 2014


Just Follow the Signs Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail





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LOOK WHO CHRISTINE GIUSIANA FOUND ON FACEBOOK: (clockwise) Robin Nielsen, ready to cook some wonderful healthy food; Pamela Meador, enjoying a sunset in Hawaii; John and Vivian Varela; Marian Tankersley and Terri Moriyama enjoying life and some wine at Bubbles; Jim Sergi, Chamber Mixer at Guglielmo Winery; and John Bautista enjoying Giants baseball with his son John IV.


Special thanks to Susan Brazelton for her beautiful photograph of autumn fog stretching over a vineyard at sunrise — taken at Clos La Chance Winery.

26-28 Just Follow The Signs

Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail

Inside This Issue 16

Celebrating 21 Years of Service


Morgan Hill’s Finest

The Learning & Loving Center


2014 Philanthropy Award Recipients


Villa Mira Monte


Flash From The Past

Morgan Hill Community Foundation


It’s Ours! Our Morgan Hill

Photo by Dagmar Stullich

Meet Sharron Daniel

The Man Behind the Popular Morgan Hill Facebook Page

Historically Speaking


Bill Hiland’s Classic British Sports Cars

Mark Hoffmann’s Magic Kingdom


Creating Fun and Magic

54 Mission Accomplished Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2014 60

A Blueprint For Morgan Hill Charles Weston & Leslie Miles

Those Who Do

John McKay, Man of Few Words, Much Action

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



J. Chris Mickartz



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FALL 2014 Email:

Four Terms That Confuse Clients


of the terms that are used throughout a Real Estate transaction can confuse clients as to its full meaning or what it means to them as a client. Sales are very brisk but we are not seeing as many multiple

GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE One of the most common misunderstood terms is the good faith estimate that is given to a buyer or a seller for their closing costs on a home. These costs are ESTIMATES that are based on the date the escrow will close and an estimated sales price along with title fees and lender fees where applicable. These can change if home warranty, termite work, needed repairs, closing date changes, or any added negotiation changes happen after the contract is signed. Be aware and prepared to have some extra cash to be sure you can close escrow. Estimates are given as a guideline and though they are close in accuracy they most of the time are not exact. PRE-APPROVAL A lender offers a pre-approval letter to the borrower with the amount that the bank will lend based on the facts that are provided. If any of the information changes in any way while the borrower is getting the loan this can dramatically change the approval. Buying any large item on a credit card or payment plan can actually change the buyer’s ability to qualify for the home. It is best to not make any purchases during escrow. Buy the furniture and appliances or lend your child money after the escrow closes, not just after the bank verifies your statements. The lenders often check bank accounts and credit just before close to be sure things have not changed. Be aware that a job change can also affect your loan. The key is to be conservative and patient until you are in your new home.

THE “COMP” The term comp refers to the comparable sale or listing that is a close match to the home you are selling or purchasing. It is not an exact science so your agent’s knowledge of pricing a home for sale or negotiating the best price for a purchase is paramount. Homes have different locations, upgrades, and schools that can change a price dramatically. Be sure to ask how your agent arrived at the price range for your home. When you are getting a complete market analysis, agents take care in studying all the factors similar to an appraiser to come up with a price range. It is not just one home that sold but a variety of neighborhood homes and conditions. Internet “comps” do not know the variances of neighborhood or upgrades that can change a price immensely. Be sure to ask a great agent for a true determination of price and do not determine your price for buying or selling from internet information alone. MLS Multiple Listing Services provides current and past listings and sales for everyone to access. This shows homes that are open and gives buyers and sellers a vehicle to see what is available and an estimated price range; where they may see their home selling. It is the agent, however, that has access to the most information on the home and can give you a true evaluation.

Quick Stats Local Trends Single Family Residential in Morgan Hill 2014






Homes Sold




Days On Market




Sale To List Ratio




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


Morgan Hill Community Happenings

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


Photo provided by Jon Hatakeyama

A Gift To Morgan Hill Teachers From The Teacher’s Aid Coalition

Coalition members (l-r): Don Nguyen, Peggy Woolf, Ron Woolf, Carolyn Carothers, Kiki Nakauchi, Charlene Tai, and Roger Beaulieu.

The record turnout of some 100 Morgan Hill Unified School District teachers were on hand on September 25th, at P. A. Walsh Elementary School for the Annual Fall Teachers Classroom Supply Giveaway. The event helps teachers with needed classroom supplies that they would otherwise need to purchase with their own funds. The Teacher’s Aid Coalition (TAC) is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Morgan Hill Community Foundation that was organized in 1999 by founder, Jon Hatakeyama to provide classroom supplies for Morgan Hill’s public educators. Funds for these efforts are raised through the TAC’s popular annual “Chocolate & Wine For Valentines” slated for February 7, 2015 at the Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center. This event has the support of the Morgan Hill Rotary Club. Anyone who wishes to support our local public school teachers, please attend this fun event. More information can be obtained by contacting TAC President, Roger Beaulieu at .



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Guglielmo Winery’s 23rd Annual Harvest Festival was once again a great success! This Festival is so much fun, it sells out well in advance. Once again the Guglielmo brothers, George, Gene and Gary out did themselves in preparing yet another fabulous Santa Maria Steak Dinner with all the trimmings. The day was highlighted by games of skill, Salami Toss, Botched-Up Bocce Ball, raffles, and of course, fine wine tasting. The evening was capped off with live music and dancing. The ‘Heartbeats’ played to a thrilled crowd of over 400. Needless to say, everyone had a great time. You’ll want to get your tickets early if you’re planning on attending next year.

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Scott Parker & Leah DeLane as Hiram Morgan Hill/Diana Murphy Hill

Mike & Erin Monroe

Honoree, Vic Puppo

Don & Lucy Walsh

Ron Ward, Ed Acton & Paul Ward



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Roger Knopf, Ruby King, Don Bonino, Janie Knopf


Photo provided by Marty Cheek, Morgan Hill Life

“Morgan Hill is a wonderful place to live. I love this city, I cherish its history, enjoy all it has to offer today and very much look forward to the things being planned for the future. I am proud of the leadership roles I have played as a planning commissioner, a city council member and mayor in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s Morgan Hill. In my annual State of the City presentation last February, I underscored a strong theme for the year of “staying the course,” meaning completing all the projects and activities we already have underway and not starting any large new initiatives. We need to complete our goals for downtown revitalization, general plan update, preservation planning for the southeast area, and upgrading infrastructure (including flood control) to the best of our ability. I have committed and delivered in four terms now, I promise to remain open, honest, respectful and accessible, providing common sense leadership — “staying the course” and making Morgan Hill even better! ”


Photos provided by the Farm Bureau

The Santa Clara County Farm Bureau continued its successful Farm to Table Harvest Celebration on Saturday, September 20th at Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park. The fundraising event brought together farmers, ranchers, elected officials, and community members. The evening began with appetizers paired to local wines and continued with salad and entrées created by the Epicurean Group’s chefs. Each of the eight entrées was paired with a different local wine and included produce from around the Santa Clara County. A steer raised by a local FFA student and purchased at the county fair was used in every entrée dish in a nose-to-tail fashion.

Live Oak & Sobrato FFA



Peter Aiello & Guests

Erin Gill & Guests

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The Taste Celebrates


he Taste of Morgan Hill is a great big block party that goes on for two days. This year was the 25th anniversary of the event and was one of the best ever. Over 125 vendors, displays and information booths lined both sides of Monterey from Main to almost Fourth. From Fourth to West Dunne over 100 classic cars ruled the road. At the Community & Cultural Center, the South Valley Quilt Association presented the 11th annual Harvest Quilt & Fiber Arts Show. Near Main, an extended children’s area filled the space. Food booths and a Wine & Beer Pavilion dominated the Third Street area. The Third Street stage hosted music and entertainment throughout the event. A stage on the west side of the intersection of Second



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25 Years Of Fun

and Monterey held another stage. More food booths were available on Second Street. On Saturday evening a large crowd stayed until 10 for the second annual Saturday Night Street Dance with music by Shane Dwight and Entourage. One of the true mysteries with events like the Taste of Morgan Hill is the transformation of a downtown street on Friday to a vibrant two-day street fair and back to traffic on Monday. Hats off to the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and the 150 volunteers who made this happen.

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It’s Your Smile

Lasers in Dentistry: A Bright Future


By Dr. Jernell Escobar

Dr. Escobar has been practicing dentistry in the Bay Area since 2006. She took over Dr. Palmerlee’s practice when he retired in 2012. She is passionate about providing exceptional oral health care in a patient centered environment. Dr. Escobar participates in continuing education seminars with other leading clinicians in exploring new and innovative methods and materials for restoring smiles.

e are continuing our series with a discussion about lasers and their use in dentistry. Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) technology has been used in various types of medical procedures for decades. Over the past several years, lasers have become a useful method for treating a variety of dental conditions with great success. This includes treating cavities, gum disease, surgical procedures and root canals to name a few. It is important to mention that the lasers used in dentistry come in a variety of types and that there is no one laser that is suitable for every procedure. The two most common types of lasers used are hard-tissue and soft-tissue lasers. The former has the ability to precisely remove tooth structure as well as soft tissue while the latter is primarily used to treat soft tissue. Aside from the syringe, the one piece of dental equipment that strikes fear in the hearts of many is the dental handpiece, or as many like to call it, the “drill.” What if you could have a cavity prepared and filled without using either a syringe or a handpiece? That is actually possible now with a dental laser. Depending on the size and location of the cavity, the laser is able to remove the decay and often do this without any anesthesia. The dentist has the ability to adjust the parameters of the laser to remove the diseased tooth structure at a rate that does not elicit a pain response from the tooth. Because of the great variety in pain thresholds and body chemistry, it is impossible to say that everyone will be able to be treated without anesthesia, but for most it is possible. This ability to treat decay without anesthesia has been extremely useful in treating children. Another exciting use for dental la-

sers is the treatment of gum disease. Lasers have the ability to precisely and selectively interact with diseased tissue. Gum disease and periodontal disease (disease of the supporting bone) can often be a frustrating dental condition to treat. The underlying cause of gum disease is bacteria. Bacteria can often be elusive creatures to treat and recur at a very high rate. Typical therapies include more frequent cleanings, deep cleanings and the use of localized medicaments. If the disease has progressed significantly, then surgical intervention may be suggested. Incorporating a laser into the treatment of gum disease can dramatically improve treatment outcome and long-term stability. In addition, lasers are being used as an alternative to traditional gum surgery with great success. One of the reasons for this is how the laser interacts with the bacteria causing the disease. Certain laser wavelengths actually target and kill harmful bacteria. Also, the laser, through a process called bio-stimulation, can stimulate and bolster the healing process. Lasers have also become the treatment modality of choice for minor oral surgery procedures. For example, the removal of small growths, the removal of gum tissue for esthetic concerns and the release of a “tongue-tie” to name a few. The use of lasers can be less invasive, often eliminate the need for sutures and result in dramatically shorter healing times. In conclusion, the technology of lasers has evolved dramatically in medicine and dentistry over the last decade. The use of dental lasers is expanding and becoming more widely used by dentists each year. It is possible that in the future lasers could conceivably replace the dental handpiece. In the hands of a properly trained dentist the laser is an invaluable addition to the dental practice.

This is the fourth in a series of articles, which will attempt to address some of the most common questions that are regularly posed to dental practitioners. We hope that the reader will find this to be useful and perhaps find answers to questions they might have regarding dental procedures. We will preface all of these articles by reminding the reader that no armchair diagnosis or advice is a substitute for a trip to a dental professional. Every person’s case is unique and proper diagnosis and treatment planning with a dental professional is essential for optimal case outcome. FALL 2014




By Kelly Barbazette Christa Hanson, Executive Director


aisy Arguello joins her classmates twice a week to learn computer skills at the Learning and Loving Education Center in Morgan Hill. It is not an ordinary classroom. For Arguello and her classmates, the Center not only offers literacy, computer skills, and job training, but also provides support and a stepping stone to a better life for low-income immigrant women and their children. “I feel like they are my family,” said Arguello, who is originally from Nicaragua. The Center celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The nonprofit organization has served about 3,000 immigrant women since it opened its doors on March 25, 1994 in the former parish hall of St. Catherine Church on Dunne Avenue in Morgan Hill. Sr. Pat Davis founded the Center to teach reading, writing and life skills to immigrant women while offering free childcare. After moving three times, the Center is now permanently housed on Church Avenue in Morgan Hill, where it relocated 11 ½ years ago. Here, more than 150 women from Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy and San Jose - with more enrolling each day - gather to learn pre-literacy and reading, writing, basic math, and computer programs like Microsoft Excel and Word. The Center also



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offers classes in early childhood education, job skills training, health, parenting, high school equivalency training, sewing, knitting, nutrition, yoga, art, and music. Women also may make appointments to talk with an on-site therapist. The Center, which is partially sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation, operates on the same calendar as the Morgan Hill Unified School District. The majority of the women who come to the Center are Spanish speaking and hail from Central America and South America while others have migrated from Cameroon, India, China and the Middle East. “The Center creates community. Many of these women are isolated at home and don’t know other people. So when they come here they become support for one another,” said Christa Hanson, executive director of the Center. Education and support are the key to the women’s success, Hanson said. Educating one woman, she said, creates a ripple effect - improving not only her life, but also her family’s life and her community. “We see education, but we also see empowerment. We are empowering the women to be the best they can be. We try to tap all of their talents,” Hanson said. The annual cost to each student is $150, but if a woman is unable to pay, she can still attend. No one is left out, Hanson said.

Yolanda Perez & Paula Perez

Sister Stephanie Still & Sister Paula Baker

Mayor Steve Tate, Rene Spring, George Chiala, Martha Artiles, Mario Banuelos

Christa Hanson

Linda Withrow & Sharon Ruggiero

Photography by Liza Garibaldi

Lori Franke

Laura Escoto, Vivian Varela & Cecelia Ponzini

Maria Alarcon & Bertha Munoz

In turn, they ask the women to attend 75 percent of the classes in which they have enrolled, but will be flexible due to illness or other extenuating circumstances. Students may bring their babies into the classrooms or drop them off at the Center’s daycare and preschool just steps away at no additional cost. The preschool provides social preparedness and kindergarten readiness for children ages 2 to 5. Sixty-seven children are currently enrolled while more are on a wait list. Ninety percent of the women who attend classes at the Center are below the poverty line and the remaining women are barely above it. Some women can’t read and write in their own language while others are highly trained professionals who have not found opportunities here. Meeting other women from all over the world but with similar circumstances opens their eyes to other cultures and people and support from one another, Hanson said. Last year, 10 women went onto Gavilan College’s satellite campus in Morgan Hill. “It’s been fantastic,” said Sr. Pat, who stepped down as Center director in 2012. “The ESL is key and the computer skills are key, but the biggest joy for me is loving and watching the women’s growth and the sparkle inside of them, and building their self esteem.” All of the women over the years have touched her heart, she said, including a group of women from Ethiopia and Somalia, who came

The Learning and Loving Education Center celebrated with a “Turning 21 — Celebrating our Success” event that was held on Sunday, September 21st, at Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant. Guests enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner buffet while bidding on Silent Auction items. Local wineries were on hand for tasting and special performances by the South Valley Suzuki Music Foundation and Corazon Mexicano Folkloric Dance were presented.

Suzuki String Players

to the Center having never read a book or held a pencil. She said six women went on to start their own business in 2002. “Where I see this now and where it’s going is that the women themselves caught the message. They had it in their hearts to do their best for their children. And now their children are out of college and have degrees and I know that it makes those women’s hearts soar,” Sr. Pat said. The Center employs nine part-time employees and one full-time employee. Volunteers and donations are the lifeblood of the Center. All of the teachers are volunteers and most are retired credentialed teachers. Seven out of the nine teachers started out as students at the Center. The Center relies on 40 regular volunteers and students from Gavilan College, San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. “The wonderful volunteer base we have is amazing. We couldn’t exist without them,” Hanson said. Computers, supplies and furniture are donated. Older computers are given to students to use at home. Hanson points out a lending library for the women and their children. Some 1,700 books were donated and a high school student set up the donated bookshelves and lending program for her Girl Scout Gold Award. The United Way painted the entire interior of the building a year ago and a local plumber outfitted the preschool with a sink. “The local community is very, very generous,” Hanson said. To take a tour of the Learning and Loving Education Center or FALL 2014





FALL 2014

Simple Steps for Propagating Succulents

Succulents are really popular right now and there are ways to increase the number of plants you have without breaking the bank. Through propagation you can turn a single plant into two or more of the same. It is a way to recycle broken off pieces, as well as prunings/cuttings. Propagation is one of the most rewarding activities in the garden. It’s fun and new plants are great to share with friends. • When succulents such as some Echeverias and Graptopetalum outgrow their pots or spread beyond their allotted space in beds and borders, you can prune them and use the cuttings to start new plants. The vast majority of succulents start readily from cuttings or offsets (small plants that are attached to the parent plant). • Begin by cutting a rosette from the mother plant, leaving a couple inches of stem attached. You can use a knife or a garden pruner. • Next, gently remove the lowest leaves and save them. You can propagate them as well. Nothing goes to waste when it comes to succulents.

• To get a higher yield of healthy rooted plants from your cuttings and detached leaves, set the cuttings and leaves aside in a dry, protected place, out of direct sun, until the cut end dries and seals, forming a callus (three days to a week).

By Maria Leedeman

Once your propagated cuttings and leaves have a functioning root system, they are now an independent plant that you can pot up, plant in your garden, or start the whole propagation process again. ENJOY!

• Plant the healed rosette in a nursery pot (larger cuttings can go into soil-filled nursery pots) filled with loose, well-draining potting soil or succulent mix. It could take a couple of weeks for it to develop roots. • Water regularly, letting soil dry out between watering, as succulents don’t like to sit in water because they could rot. • Smaller leaf cuttings or loose/fallen leaves can be rooted in a plastic nursery flat or any shallow tray that drains, filled with a good potting soil mix. • Insert smaller leaf cuttings into the soil-filled flat and lay the loose leaves on top of the soil, allowing them to develop roots. Keep them out of direct sunlight as well and mist them lightly every 7-10 days. Once they have rooted you can transplant them to containers where you want to grow them.

Brought to you by Garden Accents


Take advantage of the rains and over seed your lawn.


Fall is a great time to plant perennials and trees.


Fertilize your lawn and garden before Thanksgiving.


Cut back on your water. Shorter days and cooler weather. Visit under Turf Tips and watch the “water audit” video.


Plant your cool season veggies like broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, spinach and peas.


Prune your trees during their dormant season.

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Morgan Hill ’s

By J0-Anne Daniels 20


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Sharron Daniel



uring the work week, you’ll find Sharron Daniel on the job in the Finance Shared Services Department at eBay. On nights and weekends, she volunteers her time as President of Community Law Enforcement Foundation (CLEF), a non-profit organization that supports the Morgan Hill Police Department with funding for equipment, services and training not covered under the city budget. Daniel is a California native who grew up in Menlo Park and attended California State University, Chico where she earned her Business Management degree. She moved to the Morgan Hill-Gilroy area in the 1990s before purchasing a home in Morgan Hill in 2003 where she resides today. According to Daniel, she came to be involved with CLEF largely because of close friendships with people in local law enforcement. The CLEF project that most inspired her was a fundraising campaign to reinstate the Morgan Hill Police Department’s canine unit. A successful campaign led to the adoption of the first dog into the program in 2009. In the spring of 2014, the police department brought a speciallytrained German Shepherd named Soni on board to assist the department in suspect apprehensions and narcotics searches. Daniel is also a graduate of Leadership Morgan Hill, another non-profit organization that provides a nine-month program focused on leadership skills development and community engagement. As a participant in Leadership Morgan Hill, Daniel met and

befriended other residents interested in getting involved in community and learning how to effect change at the local, county and state level. As a graduate, she helps incoming Leadership Morgan Hill classes during the program’s Public Safety Day. Daniel has leveraged her leadership training at CLEF, having served in every board-level post before taking on the role of President this year. For the past three years, CLEF has organized the Cops and Robbers Ball gala event and raised more than $175,000 for the Morgan Hill Police Department. These funds have enabled the department to obtain items such as license plate readers and equip their patrol cars with automated external defibrillators (AEDs). CLEF also participates in the Police Night Out in August, a national event that connects the community with its police officers to learn about public safety. Morgan Hill celebrated this year’s event with an ice cream social. CLEF also provides free child I.D. kits to the community. The kits help parents take and store their children’s fingerprints and include tips to keep kids safe. CLEF members will also be on hand on November 1st of this year when the Morgan Hill Police Department hosts its annual Public Safety Day Open House. During the event, the police department will provide community members with a tour of its facilities. Joining police officers at the event will be representatives from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, the California

Highway Patrol, Morgan Hill Fire and Cal Fire. In Daniel’s experience, police departments are often under-appreciated, and the Public Safety Day is a chance for Morgan Hill residents to learn the many ways that our police officers serve the community. “They are there when we need them,” Daniel said. In addition to supporting the canine unit, CLEF donates money for police department community outreach programs. The annual gala fundraiser, the Cops and Robbers Ball, will be held on April 25, 2015 with a catered dinner, dancing and a silent auction. The CLEF board also aims to become selffunded and establish an endowment fund. The all-volunteer organization welcomes community members to get involved in any way they can. Clearly Daniel enjoys a full life, balancing her work at eBay with volunteer organizations that help enrich the community. At home she enjoys spending time with Jaspar, her adopted dog, and a foster dog named Blaze. As a supporter of the Thulani Program, which supports the rescue of abandoned and terminally ill or elderly German Shepherds, Daniel fosters dogs with no chance of adoption and provides them with hospicetype care in a nurturing environment. No matter how busy Sharron Daniel is, she has a friendly smile for everyone she meets, especially when she’s with her dogs at their agility training classes or out on the trails at Harvey Bear County Park.

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Winterizing YourHome

By David Domenichini

Here are our top six things you can do to prepare for the winter months ahead:

Living in California has its perks and one of those perks is not having extreme weather conditions. This year has been a dry one, so you may not be thinking about how to prepare for winter. However, winter is just around the corner and we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us. Now is the time to start thinking about winterizing your home.

D. R. Domenichini Construction was named Morgan Hill Business of the Year in 2012 and recently voted (2014) Best Contractor in Morgan Hill by the Morgan Hill Times. The owner David Domenichini, resides in the Morgan Hill area and brings nearly 20 years of experience to his family-owned and operated business. Follow them on Facebook for weekly project updates, hints and tips, giveaways and more.  You can also visit their website at, or call 408.691.3282.

Plug Hidden Leaks Cold air can enter your home in many ways. About 30 percent of the cold air that leaks into your home is through holes where pipes, vents, or electrical conduits run through walls, ceilings, and floors. Start by checking under the sinks in your bathroom and kitchen, as well as in the basement for gaps around pipes. An insulating foam sealant should be applied to fill these gaps, or caulking can also be used for smaller areas. This not only helps minimize air loss, but also helps keep critters out. Wrap Pipes To Prevent Freezing On those really cold evenings or early mornings, there is a possibility of water freezing in your plumbing pipes. The pressure can cause these pipes to burst, which can be extremely costly to fix. Wrapping pipes with foam insulation is a quick and inexpensive fix to help avoid this nightmare. Have Your Furnace Inspected Out of sight, out of mind, right? No one is thinking about the furnace when it’s sunny and 90 degrees outside, but you’ll be glad you did when you need to warm up your home. Schedule to have a professional check to make sure the fan belt is running correctly. They can also apply oil to the bearings and vacuum out dust and debris. Now is also the time to replace the filter. It’s also a good idea to have a couple on hand so you can replace them before they become clogged. Make Your Windows Airtight Air leaking through windows in your home can mean almost literally “money out the window.” If you have an older home with single-paned windows, consider replacing with new dual-pane windows. At a minimum, consider applying caulking around the window frames and weather-stripping between the sash and the window frame to help prevent air leaks. Add Insulation Many homes don’t have insulation in the attic. It is recommended to have a depth of 12 inches of insulation to keep the heat from escaping the home. There are options now that are eco-friendly, help prevent mildew, discourage pests and can impede fire. Good insulation can help your home feel more comfortable by stabilizing temperature and helping reduce exterior noises. Repair Ductwork Ductwork that is not well-connected and insulated can lead to a significant amount of lost heat and wasted money. Ducts can be found in the attic, basement and crawlspaces. Repairing any pinches and gaps will help keep the heated air flowing at full capacity into the home.

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Solar Energy Use Skyrocketing In America


ccording to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Solar energy is currently generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to effectively power three million American homes every day. Additionally, the solar industry is creating thousands of new jobs nationwide, while pumping nearly $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy. The U.S. installed 1,330 megawatts of solar PV in the first quarter of 2014, up 79% over Q1 2013, and the second-largest quarter for solar installations in the history of the market. First quarter 2014 was the first time residential solar PV installations exceeded non-residential (commercial) installations nationally. Most Americans realize the utility infrastructure is relatively unstable and in dire need of upgrading.  As the population continues to grow, even greater demands will be placed on the grid, potentially creating more black-outs, brown-outs, and uncertainty among customers and utilities alike. Utility companies will continue to increase rates to keep up with the problems and demands on the grid, and homeowners and businesses will be paying for these higher rates now, and with increasing frequency, over their life time. Due to the rising cost of energy, and the precipitant drop in solar costs over the past three to five years, solar installs are skyrocketing in America.

Owning Solar Is Very Affordable 

Initially, most “affordable solar” was obtained through leasing programs, where financial institutions own the solar panels, keeps the tax credit and other incentives, and warrantees the equipment for the length of the lease. Typical leases have annual increases (escalation fees) that are less than the annual increase in electricity, potentially saving money over time.  When the lease contract expires, generally in 20 to 25 years, a homeowner can request the leasing entity to remove the solar panels, or they can purchase them at a reasonable fair market value price. 

In the case involving a sale of home, the lease would have to be either assumed by the new buyer with the permission of the lessor, or paid off by the seller.  There is a much more attractive financial option available to owning solar! Financial Partners offer actual ownership

options that require no money down, yet entitles homeowners to keep all tax credits and incentives for themselves! The manufacturer or lender further warranties the materials and labor of the Solar install for the life of the 20-year loan. The homeowner will realize increased savings with no escalation fees, meaning more money saved year after year, along with a full warranty included on labor and materials for no additional cost! This is virtually unheard of in the marketplace! In addition, when the house goes up for sale, solar can increase the value of the home, as well as reduce the time the house is on the market, according to real estate professionals and appraisers.

Advantages of Solar Increases The Value Of Your Home

According to the Appraisal Institute, a solar panel, or roof integrated solar system reduces annual operating costs and increases the market value of your property to future buyers.

and long-term energy needs should always be part of the conversation. Unfortunately, most solar companies will collect your energy bills for 12 months and design the system based on your current energy usage only. Astute solar/energy management companies will help analyze why utility bills are so high in the first place, offer suggestions to reduce energy consumption in simple and inexpensive ways, then design an appropriately sized system to produce clean energy with solar. Most times, these systems will end up being smaller and less expensive than originally planned systems. Alternatively, a building performance certified analyst can be hired to conduct this “proper” type of energy evaluation, for a cost ranging from $350-$1,000, depending on the level of detail. Very few, if any, solar companies will include this in their value proposition to their customers. 

Decreases The Marketing Time For Single-Family Homes

Additional Appraisal Institute studies show that the time a house with solar is listed for sale is dramatically reduced compared to those properties which do not have solar. Makes Financial Sense  So what, primarily, should homeowners consider before installing solar panels?

First, homeowners need to select a solar company that does solar the way it should be done. The comfort level of your home

For information, call Affordable Solar Roofs at (408) 779-3333, or visit Serving the community since 1995.

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apa Valley has several wine trails: Heritage, Silverado and Highway 29. Some believe the trails have contributed to the status of Napa wines. South County, Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill hope that the newly open Santa

Clara Valley Wine Trail will contribute to the prosperity of the local wine industry.

The trail is about 28 miles long and loops around Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy. There are at least 28 wineries on or near the trail. The signs are a joint venture of Santa Clara County and the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy. The trail is a loop — travelers can start at any point — Main Street, Butterfield, Watsonville Road, Hecker Pass Highway, New Avenue, Foothill, Hill — and loop back.

The Santa Clara County Wine Trail A little over two years ago, the idea of a local wine trail was born. Championed by the Association of Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, represented by Mike Sampagnaro, Dr. Jon Hatakeyama, Morgan Hill local, and Supervisor Mike Wasserman the plan became a reality. Signage was funded and installed by the County of Santa Clara, and the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy. The Gilroy Welcome Center and the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce provided additional project support.

Right Top (l-r): Guglielmo Winery was the location of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting in honor of the Wine Trail. In attendance were (l-r) Gary, George and Gene Guglielmo, John Horner, President/CEO of the Chamber, City Councilwoman Marilyn Librers, and County Supervisor Mike Wasserman Right: (l-r) Dr. Jon Hatakeyama; Kat Filice (Articlate Solutions); Gilroy Mayor Don Gage; Morgan Hill Councilwoman Marilyn Librers; Greg Richtarek, President of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley; County Supervisor Mike Wasserman; Mike Sampognaro (Morgan Hill Cellars); and Morgan Hill Chamber President/ CEO John Horner at the official unveiling of the Wine Trail signage also at Guglielmo Winery. FALL 2014



South County wineries are a varied lot. Clos la Chance and Guglielmo are large operations; Paradise Valley is a small operation with only two acres. Many are family owned like Morgan Hill Cellars, Aver, Hecker Pass, Fortino, Solis, Martin Ranch and Light Heart. Others have owners with high tech backgrounds such as Kirigin, Satori, Jason-Stephens, Sarah’s and Sunlit Oaks. Some have elegant settings like Castillo and Clos La Chance; others are more rustic like Ross and Martin Ranch. Some have longevity like Hecker Pass, Rapazzini, and Tom Kruse. Some are quiet like Chateau Marie Antoinette, J. Dowd and Monte Verde; others are community-gathering places like Fortino, Guglielmo and Satori. At least one, Uvas Creek has closed and been incorporated into Sycamore Creek. Most have a tasting room but Mann Cellars does not…yet! At least two are also part of the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards: Martin Ranch and Fernwood. EmmaLilly specializes in magnum and larger bottles. Light Heart also offers mead. At least two have local tasting rooms as well as second sites: Fernwood in Los Gatos and Creekview in San Jose. — There, I think we mentioned all of the local wineries! There is something for everyone and according to sources there are a few more wineries in the process of getting bonded and plan on opening in the near future. Many wineries have meeting rooms, recreational offerings, picnic grounds, wedding facilities, entertainment and food pairings. Most have active wine clubs — During the Wine Trail opening ceremonies, dignitaries touted the local wineries many award winning wines. A quick review of the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Tasting Competition showed 57 awards for local wineries.



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Photos provided by the Morgan Hill Community Foundation



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Vice-Chair and Chairperson.  She is also an active member of Friends of San Martin Animal Shelter (FOSMAS), and currently serves as secretary. Her e-mail, softon4legs, openly announces her care and concern for animals. Nominated by Morgan Hill Dog Owners Group.

8 TRACY NEWQUIST Tracy Newquist joined Rotary in 2004 and immediately engaged in giving back. Recognizing early on that she wanted to impact the youth in our community, she headed Rotary’s annual holiday Gallery of Trees youth scholarship project and helped with the Rotary Interact clubs at the high schools. She held the Membership Director position on the Rotary Board for two years and played a key role in launching the club’s leading fundraiser, Dazzle, which she has chaired for the past 5 years, raising over $186,000. Currently she is Co-Chair of the Rotary Scholarship Committee and holds the officer position of Treasurer on the club’s Endowment Board. Nominated by the Morgan Hill Rotary Club.

9 NANCY DOMNAUER Nancy Domnauer has lived, worked and volunteered in Morgan Hill for twenty years. Nancy has volunteered for the Youth Action Council (YAC) for almost ten years. Nancy helps coordinate the annual YAC Senior Citizens Ball - an event that she brought to Morgan Hill after suggesting the idea to city employees. She enjoys volunteering with the teens of Morgan Hill and working alongside her two sons who also served on YAC. Nancy is an instructor who teaches Kinder Class, Zen Doodling, and Craft-a-Palooza. She is married to Mark whom she met in third grade. Nominated by the Morgan Hill Youth Action Council.

10 DAVID REISENAUER Dave Reisenauer brings 25 years of nonprofit leadership to Morgan Hill, including 11 years with the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. He has also worked with regional homeless shelter programs, high school and college mentoring programs, and with the United Way. A graduate of Santa Clara University’s Engineering Management Master’s program, Dave has over 25 years of engineering and technical management experience. He has worked for IBM, Hitachi and is currently working



at NVIDIA as the Senior Director of IT planning and business operations. Dave and his family have been members of the Morgan Hill community for 15 years. Nominated by Morgan Hill Community Foundation.

11 LISA PAMPUCH Lisa Pampuch is a long-time advocate for libraries in general, and for the Morgan Hill Library in particular. As a columnist and editorial board member for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch newspapers, she wrote columns and argued in favor of library funding. As a volunteer and past president of the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library and cofounder and vice-president of the Morgan Hill Library Foundation, she raised funds to benefit the Morgan Hill Library. She still believes, as she wrote in a 2005 newspaper column, that libraries are “the best bargain in government.” Nominated by Morgan Hill Library.

12 MELISSA A. SANTOS Originally from Rhode Island, Melissa Santos moved to California 10 years ago. Looking to establish roots in South County, she has been active in supporting causes that are dear to her heart. These include El Toro Youth Center, Gilroy’s Relay for Life and Unravel Pediatric Cancer. She has recently been appointed co-chair of The Edward Boss Prado Foundation’s Advisory Council. Melissa is the Training Director at Community Solutions, and privately consults in leadership and organizational development. Nominated by Edward Boss Prado Foundation.

13 NADIA AHMED Nadia Ahmed is a rising Senior at Oakwood High School and has been actively involved with YAC, now serving as president. She holds leadership roles in her school, including vice-president of Oakwood High School’s Student Council, a High School Ambassador and in multiple clubs. Earlier this year she received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her numerous hours of community service for the City of Morgan Hill. Nadia enjoys art and dance and plans to major in Astronomy. Nominated by Morgan Hill Youth Action Council.

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14 NANCY LASTRA Nancy Lastra’s service is a result of her love and strength which she attributes to coming from our Lord. She adores the people from the Centennial Recreation Senior Center; claiming that “there is never a dull moment.“ Her greatest joy is when someone comes up and asks her a question or they just want say “hi.” She can feel the love and caring from the staff and seniors. Nominated by Mt. Madonna YMCA.

15 NASREEN AHMED Nasreen Ahmed has been a resident of Morgan Hill since 1994 and lives with her husband and 2 children. She was a city employee for 3 years and also served as an ambassador to the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce for a year. Nasreen owns a floral business in town and specializes in wedding flowers. She truly believes that the success of the community lies in the hands of the youth. With support from teachers, parents and mentors their lives are shaped towards success. Nominated by Morgan Hill Youth Action Council.

16 VALERIE CHAMBLISS Valerie Chambliss joined the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library about six years ago and quickly become involved as a book sorter. She then went on to serve on the board as secretary (two years) and president (two years) and continues to assist with sorting books and book sales. She also willingly helps out wherever needed: organizing Friends’ participation in Art a la Carte, coordinating a sale table at the Historical Society Holiday Boutique, and assisting with library programs for kids. She never—or hardly ever—says no! Nominated by the Friends of Morgan Hill Library.

17 JANIS WAGNER-TRELSEN Janis Wagner Truelsen moved to Morgan Hill in 2010. She joined the Morgan Hill Dog Owners Group a year later because the dog park community had become such an integral part of her dog, Chopper’s social life. In 2014, the MHDOG had raised $25,000 and constructed two permanent shade structures for the Morgan Hill Dog Park and boasts 400 members. Janis was born

in New Jersey and moved to California in 1989. While living in London, she studied and is a graduate of the Inchbald School of Interior Design, fulfilling a lifetime passion. Janis continues to practice interior design. Nominated by Morgan Hill Dog Owners Group.

18 JULLIAN DENT Born in Liverpool, England, Jullian Dent moved to the United States in 1991. She notes that “this country has been very good to my family.” Once moving to Morgan Hill and later San Martin, she is aware of the strong sense of community and volunteering spirit that exists in the community. She began volunteering at her girls’ school and St. John’s Episcopal Church and realized what an impact just a few people could make in a volunteer organization. “I cannot describe the generosity of heart and soul that comes from their volunteering spirit,” she says. Nominated by Community Solutions.

19 CARMEN GUERRERO Carmen Guerrero is from Mexico and has lived in the USA for 22 years. She has been married 22 years, and has two children. Her son studies at UC Davis and her daughter studies at UCLA. She likes to help as much as she can. Currently, she volunteers at the Learning and Loving Education Center, welcoming students and visitors, making calls, answering the phone, making copies, doing the cleaning and anything else the Center needs. Nominated by the Learning and Loving Education Center.

20 PAT JAMISON Pat Jamison is a 14- year veteran of teaching youth to ride horses. After retiring from the corporate world of software, Pat turned her energies to helping others. She became a certified PATH Therapeutic riding instructor and found her new calling working with “One Step Closer.” Pat believes equine therapeutic riding provides children a powerful means to exploit their strengths. She appreciates how children and horses continue to teach her how to treat others. Pat loves the opportunity to work with horses, but, perhaps more importantly, with some of the most amazing children that she has ever met. Nominated by One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding.

21 TERI HENNESSY Teri Hennessy has been an integral part of the Living History Field Trip Program (half-day sessions for 3-5th graders) at Villa Mira Monte, since its inception in 2009.  Starting as a volunteer, her masterful knack for keeping things organized and on track, soon elevated her to “administrative coordinator.” She is always ready to lend a hand, offer a new idea, or do the hard work needed to keep the program running smoothly. For many years, Teri also serves as a monthly docent, greeting visitors for tours at Villa Mira Monte, and volunteers to help at Historical Society events. Nominated by the Morgan Hill Historical Society.

22 SUSAN OLDHAM-FRITTS Retired chemical engineer Susan OldhamFritts is an avid STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) advocate. Susan leads Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS), AAUW-Morgan Hill’s STEM enrichment program for local teenage girls. She is also active in Tech Trek Camp Curie, a week-long AAUW STEM camp at Stanford University. Susan does additional youth outreach activities for the American Chemical Society, the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering Fair Association, and the Morgan Hill Historical Society. Nominated by American Association of University Women.

23 EMILY SHEM-TOV Emily Shem-Tov is a long-time friend of the Morgan Hill Library and even used to work as a Reference Librarian in the Library’s old building. She was a member of the Beyond Books Committee raising money for the new library, served on the Morgan Hill Library, Culture and Arts Commission for two terms, was the cofounder and president of the Morgan Hill Library Foundation, and co-chaired seven annual Silicon Valley Puzzle Fest fundraisers for the library. She regularly takes her daughters to the library. Nominated by Morgan Hill Library.

24 JONA DENZ-HAMELTON You may know Jona Denz-Hamelton from her long-time radio show on 94.5 KBAY. She’s lived in our MHUSD for the past 23 years with husband, Alan and their two sons, who both attended Morgan Hill

Unified schools. Being an active parent got Jona involved with local community volunteering, which turned into hosting several local events annually, including Philanthropy Night!  Dr. Jon Hatakeyama encouraged Jona to become a board member of a couple of local non-profits, one being the Teachers Aid Coalition. Since 2008, Jona’s been a part of this impressive group that supports local teachers with semi-annual classroomsupply giveaways. Nominated by Teacher’s Aide Coalition.

25 KATHY CARRERA Kathy Carrera was born and raised in California. She has lived in South County for the past 25 years and started a business, Carrera Backflow Specialists, here in 1991. She is a single mom with four adult children. She currently lives in San Martin and enjoys the beach, reading, RVing, theater, and concerts. She also enjoys being part of the community of Morgan Hill. “This is a community that cares!”she notes. Nominated by Edward Boss Prado Foundation.

26 CHRIS FREITAS Chris Freitas and his wife Ninette became foster parents in 2005 to a sibling set of three, and signed all the kids up to play basketball at the Mount Madonna YMCA. Chris’ oldest daughters team needed a coach, and he tried. After his first year, and attendance with the Positive Coaching Alliance put on by the YMCA, Chris came back and began teaching that “winning isn’t everything,” and that citizenship, responsibility, and effort say more about an individual than any score board. Nominated by Mt. Madonna YMCA.    

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees. Thank you for all you do to make Morgan Hill such a wonderful place to live, work and play.

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It’s Ours! Our Morgan Hill 34


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Special thanks to the photographers who posted these amazing photos on the site.

Photographed by: Anderson Lake Dabmar Stulich • Barn Ken McCain • Valley Mist Marcus Six • Bike Guy Kerr • Deer Malar Sampathkumar

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Circa 1892

By Mike Monroe

Villa Mira Monte Photo By Susan Brazelton • Sketch Provided By Morgan Hill Historical Society


ne of my favorite depictions of Villa Mira Monte in Morgan Hill is a sketch from an August 1892 edition of the San Jose Mercury News. The drawing by an unknown artist is featured in a book by Beth Wyman entitled “Hiram Morgan Hill.” The orientation of the sketch views the backside of the ranch property looking southwest from the railroad tracks with El Toro Mountain prominently, and accurately, portrayed in the backround. It certainly was and still is a pretty view. There is much to enjoy in this drawing - the orchard trees in neat rows, the majestic oak trees on either side of the home, and the tall windmill adjacent to the delightfully designed water tank house.  Hiram Morgan Hill and his bride Diana Murphy Hill built their country home between 1884 and 1886 after their marriage in 1882. The scene reminds me of how abundant the underground water basins were at the time. Sink a shallow well, employ the steady southerly breezes to spin the blades of the windmill, hold the water in a redwood tank and quench the property with a gravity fed water supply.  I can still hear the windmill turn and zephyrs rustling through the trees. Historians have given significant credit to the windmill in the development of the American West along with the invention of barbed wire. Daniel Halladay of Connecticut in 1854 designed what is more accurately described as a wind engine or pump. Windmills had been around for centuries with the purpose of grinding grains but it was Halladay who engineered a gear box and crankshaft that converted the rotary motion of the blades into reciprocating strokes that drove a pump cylinder. The tower featured a large number of blades so that the rate of spin was slow, which allowed considerable torque to be generated in low wind conditions. A self-regulating gear controlled the rotation in times of high winds. And the tower would automatically pivot to face changing wind directions. In early California, the windmill was an integral part of the

domestic water system for many farm and ranch operations. The wells were initially hand-dug so they were not too deep, and in the Santa Clara Valley artesian wells were commonplace because of the high water table that existed at the time. During the late 1800’s, steel blades and towers replaced the early redwood construction. At their peak in the 1930’s, it is estimated that several hundred thousand windmills were in use in California. The windmill was an important tool that improved the quality of life for farm families. Not only did a steady source of good water become available but the tiring work of pumping water by hand was done away with and gains in farm productivity were realized. The sketch of Villa Mira Monte includes a three-level water storage building next to the windmill with the ground level portion completely enclosed with redwood siding. Oftentimes tank houses were designed to provide additional living quarters for ranch hands or storage for tools and equipment. During the discussions about restoring the the Morgan Hill House in 1988, the idea of re-constructing the windmill and tank house surfaced but did not make the final budget cut. The Morgan Hill Historical Society is currently developing an enhancement plan to landscape and build out upon the rear field that once saw trees full of ripening prunes, apricots and peaches. Looking from their double back porches you can imagine the beauty of a 5,000-acre oak savanna extending eastward across the valley floor. The springtime wildflowers and grasses with cattle grazing lazily across the ranch is sure a pleasant picture. The front of the home has a wrap around veranda which greets visitors to this day traveling on the San Jose Road or the El Camino Real, which we now call Monterey Road. From their front yard, we still gaze up at El Toro or Murphy’s Peak and recall Martin Murphy, Sr. riding his horse for the first time to the top of the peak in 1845.  FALL 2014



Martin Murphy, Sr. was the patriarch of the family and, at 60 years of age, brought his grown children and their families to California by wagon train, scaling the escarpments of the Sierra Nevada. The Murphys were immediately thrown into the chaos of California transitioning from Mexican rule to the flood of Americans streaming in to grab a stake in the Gold Rush. Riding into the Planos de los Robles from San Jose, he knew this was where he wanted to settle and purchased the Rancho Ojo de Aqua de la Coche from Juan Hernandez, the holder of the original land grant. This rancho became the basis for the City of Morgan Hill in 1906. Diana Murphy Hill was Martin’s granddaughter. Her father was Daniel Murphy, who had been very successful in the gold diggings (Murphy’s Camp) and utilized his fortune to acquire vast tracks of land and cattle. Daniel and his brothers established a redwood sawmill and built a new hacienda for their father at the eastern end of San Martin Avenue. Daniel called the San Martin rancho Ivy Farm and it was here that Daniel and his young wife, Maria Fisher Murphy, welcomed Diana’s birth in 1859. Hiram Morgan Hill, he preferred just Morgan Hill, was a Missouri boy who worked in San Francisco and set his sights on young Diana Murphy. They were secretly married in 1882 because her father and mother did not approve of their courtship, especially since she was Irish Catholic and he a southern Baptist. She was twenty-two and he was thirty-three. Shortly after their marriage, they suffered through the emotional turmoil of Daniel Murphy’s illness and death as well as other family dramas. Diana inherited the original Murphy rancho and she and Morgan started planning their family. The Hills were more accustomed to the city life of San Francisco and yet they did decide to build a country estate, a charming Queen Anne home in between Monterey Road and the railroad tracks. At the time, trains traveling south from San Jose would stop

Mike Monroe has lived and worked in this area for over 30 years. He is active in the Historical Society, a local businessman, volunteer at local parks, and the sponsor of a natural history program in Morgan Hill.



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at Coyote, Madronne, Tennant, Mil’s Switch (San Martin) and Gilroy. The only reason the train would stop near Villa Mira Monte was when the Hills or their friends came for a visit. The conductor would call out Morgan Hill’s Ranch. In 1884, Diana and Morgan became the proud parents of Diane Murphy-Hill and the young family watched their new get-away home being constructed of local redwood and Douglas fir. It is sad to say that even with their inherited wealth and society aspirations, the family relationships were strained. And in 1892, the property known as Morgan Hill Ranch was contracted to a real estate developer for subdivision. The Hills continued to own the home and 200 acres until 1912 — renting Villa Mira Monte to various families. Two families, the Costas and Walgrens, owned the property for much of the 1900s. For nearly twenty years, the Walgrens operated the Homestead Antique Shop out of the house. When Mrs. Walgren passed way in 1984, the Hills ranch house, in need of much tender loving care, sat vacant and was then deeded to the City of Morgan Hill in 1986. Finally, in 1993, the Morgan Hill Historical Society, with the help of numerous community grants and private donations, purchased Villa Mira Monte and began a restoration project lasting five years. The Villa Mira Monte property is open for tours and includes the residence of the Hills as well as the transplanted house of the Acton family, which serves as our local museum, and a circular history garden called the Centennial Trail. The Morgan Hill Historical Society owns and maintains Villa Mira Monte and supports the property through an active volunteer group and membership funding. The Society promotes our local history through a variety of events and programs including school field trips and historic home tours. The home of Diana and Morgan Hill is also available for private parties, weddings and business meetings.

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10/15/14 7:29 AM

Charles Weston and Lesley Miles

A Blueprint For Morgan Hill Written By Robin Shepherd



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see Morgan Hill through the eyes of Charles Weston and Lesley Miles is to see something special, whether you look at the city’s past, present or future. That is because Weston and Miles are architects and entrepreneurs whose vision of Morgan Hill’s unique qualities has helped to transform some of our most iconic and historic properties into vital and productive landmarks of our city. It’s impossible to tell their story without weaving personal, career and community involvement into one unified thread, because that is how these two people live their lives.

Partners for the Environment Weston’s early years in Hollywood included a stint as a child actor with roles in “Leave it to Beaver” and “My Three Sons.” By high school, he’d become immersed in nature and the environment and his passion for running. Weston headed to Los Angeles City College, was drafted and served in Vietnam, and then attended California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo where he studied architecture and structural engineering. Miles grew up in Sebastopol, where she developed an early interest in gardening and horticulture. She also attended Cal Poly, and met Weston during a summer college break when they were both serving as crew leaders for the Youth Conservation Corps. They began dating while working on a Waldorf school planning and design project at a South

Valley ranch on Willow Springs Road. The project had been initiated by the ranch owner and Weston’s architecture professor. Weston focused on architecture, and Miles on landscape design – and they would talk for hours about the integration of the two disciplines. “The project never moved into development,” laughed Miles, “but Charles and I loved the ranch and decided to stay there for a while. We launched our careers, fell in love, got married and had our first daughter while living at the ranch. Charles began doing architectural design for large public works projects from San Jose to San Luis Obispo. I started my landscape design business and tended to the gardens and the goats at the ranch. Every week I took herbs, tomatoes and lettuce to the local farmer’s market.”

We had a vision for our business to be more than just design.

Looking back on that time, Weston added, “Those were the days before computer-aided design, when architects still drafted by hand. One morning I was looking through the house for some architectural drawings I’d prepared for a big meeting. As it turned out, my daughter, who was a toddler at the time, had torn up my drawings. Lesley and I knew it was time for us to get an office.”

Partners in Architecture In 1985, Weston and Miles rented an office space in downtown Morgan Hill. Weston decided to round out his credential as a professional architect by obtaining a contractor’s license, and in 1986 they launched Weston Miles Architects. Miles received her architect’s license in 1996. Over the next 29 years, the firm took on a variety of large school district and public works projects. They hired designers from as far away as Spain and Great Britain as well as local experts who shared their interest in environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient design and construction techniques. “We took our business beyond just design,” said Weston. “We wanted projects that allowed us to manage things from end to end.” An early project rebuilding a school in San Jose’s Oak Grove School District was pivotal for the firm, leading to projects in more than 15 school districts over the years. The firm joined the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), and devoted itself to designing and building schools that provide a healthy, comfortable and well-lit environment for students on campus while also being energy and resource-efficient. Among the firm’s commercial projects in downtown Morgan Hill was the historic Skeels Building at Monterey and Third Streets. Established in 1925 as a hotel and restaurant, its most famous guests may have been Swedish Crown Prince Gustav Adolph and his wife, who visited the following year to dedicate the 106-acre Sveadal resort in Uvas Canyon.

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Charles Weston introduced Weston Miles Architects’s “Barley Place” at the Taste of Morgan Hill in September. Barley Place is a condo complex development that is transitoriented, sustainable, and walkable, with valley views. It is ideally placed in downtown Morgan Hill.

“The building was literally falling down when we began work on it in the early 1990s,” said Weston. “Since it was an historic property we collaborated with the city and others on the project. The structural engineer discovered that the building had had its entire face cut off when Monterey Street was widened some years earlier. We had to demolish it and start over, but we were able to preserve some of the original wood moldings, frames and objects of historic value. “Working with the Morgan Hill Historical Society, we designed an authentic look for the façade. We developed a mixed-use building of modern structural design with apartments above and commercial space on the ground floor that is occupied today by the Ladera Grill.” In 2001, Weston and Miles attended a USGBC conference that inspired them toward a new vision for their business. After the event they enrolled in an innovative program called Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), and were among the



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first generation of architects to obtain LEED professional accreditations based on their knowledge and experience with sustainable building design and construction. They decided to renovate the Granary, an historic and iconic property along Morgan Hill’s Depot Street. According to Weston, “The Isaacson family had owned the Granary for many years and along with Sunsweet, had helped to make Morgan Hill an agricultural hub for Santa Clara Valley. It had been closed, mothballed, for about seven years when we purchased it. Money was tight and we had to stretch ourselves. We did the design, got the building permits, and South Valley Bank came through with a loan. We were on our way. “It was the Granary that allowed us to pursue our vision to repurpose and re-use an historic property in a new and productive way. We designed and renovated the property to accommodate our new offices and provide space other business and retail operations. The Granary was awarded LEED Gold

Certification…at the time it was only the 25th building in the entire world to achieve this distinction.” The success of the Granary development opened new doors for the firm and Weston and Miles gave tours to people who came from all over to learn about LEED design and environmentally-friendly building practices. “We even got a chance to do a little urban orcharding on the property,” said Miles. “Despite having to work around an unforgiving base of gravel, we planted French prune, Blenheim apricot and fig trees that are flourishing today.” Weston added, “People stopped by whose parents and grandparents had orchards, and gave us great tips on how to mulch and prune the right way. They also shared stories about Morgan Hill history. I only wish I’d recorded them. We’re always looking for ways to help keep Morgan Hill history alive.” “In our work over the years we’ve touched practically every building downtown,” explained Miles. “Between the Cornerstone Building and the Skeels

Building, the downtown was extended beyond Second Street, and these twostory structures helped to give the downtown more of a sense of presence. There’s been a lot of care taken by the many people involved to create a look and feel that encourages people to spend time here.”

Partners in Life Weston and Miles bought their current home in Western Morgan Hill in 1989, where they raised their two daughters, Alicia and Madeline, along with three Border Collies and two cats. The house has a wonderful layout and aesthetic design touches you’d expect from this couple, complete with mature oaks and eucalyptus trees and a view of El Toro from the master bedroom. “Family life has always been important to us,” said Miles. “Having our offices and our home in Morgan Hill made it easier for us to maintain a work-life balance. We were never more than a few minutes from the girls’ schools, which gave us an opportunity to be involved when they were young, and never more than a few minutes from the office or the various places we had to be for meetings in the community.” Daughter Alicia works in finance while her husband, Sam Carlson, is a civil engineer. The two recently moved to Morgan Hill and Carlson has joined the team at Weston Miles Architects. “Alicia and Sam love Morgan Hill and they’re quickly finding ways to engage with the community,” said Miles. According to Weston, his son-in-law brings to the firm “a nice new dimension as we branch out into residential development projects.” Weston Miles plans to break ground soon on Barley Place, a new 30-unit residential project located next to the Granary.

“We’ve begun referring to the area as the Granary District,” said Weston with a smile. “It has a unique architectural style and personality, and we’re hoping the city and the community will adopt the name too.” The couple’s younger daughter, Madeline, works as a project manager at Tesla Motors, where they say she enjoys the business and is learning a lot. The way Weston sees it, Tesla is turning out more environmentally-friendly cars, and “green cars, like green buildings, have got to be a good thing.”

Partners in Community During their 33 years of marriage and close to 30 years in business together, Weston and Miles have always made time for community life. This has included volunteering time on the Morgan Hill Planning Commission, with the Rotary Club and the Downtown Association as well as the Morgan Hill and the Gilroy Chambers of Commerce. Weston has been instrumental in the evolution of Morgan Hill’s popular Freedom Fest held annually over the Fourth of July weekend, including three years as President of the all-volunteer organization. Still an avid runner, he is also a member of the South Valley Running Club. Miles has been active in a variety of organizations including the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Currently, Weston teaches a master’s class on Sustainable Construction as part of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Program at San Jose State University. “Sustainable building design and construction is evolving rapidly and becoming more accessible, which is a good thing for communities like Morgan Hill,” said Weston.

When asked about his history of heroism, Weston doesn’t say much, but his wife is quick to share his story. During the Vietnam War, Weston was stationed in the Mekong Delta. He was working on a construction project when a building burst into flames next-door to a USO hall where many were gathered inside. He maneuvered a ten-ton forklift to lift the burning structure away from the USO building, saving the people inside from what might otherwise have been a major disaster. He received the Soldier’s Medal, a noncombat award from the military for his bravery. Back home after the war, Weston helped saved the life of a Morgan Hill father of five who was trapped in an overturned car following an accident on Uvas Road. “That was before the days of cell phones so there was no dialing 9-1-1 for help,” said Miles. “Charles’ military training as a medic kicked in. He immediately enlisted help from two other bystanders and rescued the man from the car just before it exploded into flames.” The story appeared in the Morgan Hill Times and caught the attention of the Carnegie Foundation in Pennsylvania. The Foundation sent a representative to Morgan Hill to interview Weston, and later presented him with the Carnegie Medal. The medal is awarded to citizens who have risked their lives in order to save the lives of others. Over the years, Weston and Miles have been generous with their time and talent, and they show no sign of slowing down any time soon. Together they have created a wonderful blueprint for living, working and enjoying life in Morgan Hill. It’ll be fun to see what they do next.

FALL 2014








Live Oak

eterinary Hospital 16025 Vineyard Boulevard

“like” us on


Morgan Hill, CA 95037

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

Routine Surgical Services Orthopedics & Specialty Surgeries Cardiology Anesthesia Chiropractics



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Replacement Cost vs. Market Cost

When you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, you’ll make a number of decisions about your coverage. One of the most important is whether to insure your home for its replacement cost or its market value. Understanding each option will help you make an informed choice that safeguards your home and your family’s financial future.

What Is Replacement Cost? Replacement cost is the cost necessary to repair or replace your entire home. When you insure your home for its replacement value, your insurer will reimburse you for the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, based on the size and structure of the home that was lost or damaged. The most accurate way to determine the replacement cost of your home is to hire a building contractor or other building professional to produce a detailed estimate. Only the cost of the property’s structure and its associated systems, fixtures, and finishes will be included in the estimate; land value is included in a home’s market value but should not be included in the amount of insurance you buy. Benefits

In the event of a loss, replacement cost coverage will help your family return to their home and usual quality of life with minimal financial interruption. For the best protection, experts recommend that you insure your home for at least 100 percent of its replacement cost. Risks

Replacement value can change over time, so you should review your policy annually to make sure its coverage meets your needs. Inform your insurer if you have upgraded or improved your home, because these alterations may increase your home’s estimated replacement cost. Also, you’ll want to stay informed about changing market conditions in your area. Rising labor, materials, and transportation costs can directly affect your home’s replacement value. For maximum protection, consider a policy that includes an inflation clause that automatically adjusts coverage and premiums to account for changes in construction costs.

What Is Market Value?

Carl Schindler, LUTCF, CSA Agent, State Farm Insurance

Market value is the amount that a buyer would pay to purchase your home and its land in its current condition. Unlike your home’s replacement value, its market value is influenced by factors beyond the material and labor costs of repairs or reconstruction, such as proximity to good schools, local crime statistics, and the availability of similar homes. Also, the land itself will be included in the home’s market value, although it will not be covered by the homeowners policy. Benefits

Carl Schindler is a 41-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.

In some cases, market value coverage may be the most practical option. Take the example of an ornate older home. In today’s market, the cost of rebuilding or restoring artisanal woodwork, masonry, and plastering to their original condition may be much higher than the home’s purchase price. Therefore, the replacement policy premiums for the home would be high. (Special policies are available for some historic homes, but these also come at a higher price.) For a cash-strapped homeowner, buying a policy based on market value offers the best chance to recoup at least partial expenses after a loss. Risks

When you insure a typical home for its market value, you are at risk of having incomplete coverage. For example, imagine that a family buys a home for $175,000 and takes out a homeowner’s policy for the same amount. The replacement cost for the home, though, is $225,000. If a fire or other insured event destroys the house, the insurance settlement would be $50,000 less than the actual replacement cost of the home. The family would either have to make up the difference themselves or build a new, less expensive home.

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Get Ready…Get Set … Go …

Winter Hiking

With Dr. Jon Hatakeyama

For those who want to avoid the expenditure and time needed to go skiing, but wish to participate in some healthy outdoor activities during the winter months, I suggest you try the great hiking available locally. The following are my suggestions in the order of proximity to Morgan HIll.

GILROY YAMATO HOT SPRINGS Due to the many historic structures located in this one time resort in the 1930s, this park remains off limits to the public except on special occasions. Due to this closure, the wilderness area within the Gilroy Hot Springs remains pristine. This hike has the best combination of historical significance and natural beauty. The mineral waters still flow but bathing is not usually allowed. After the recent earthquake, the springs are running stronger and hotter. The Hot Springs are typically available on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month or by special arrangements. Reservations are required: 408.314.7185 or

HENRY COE STATE PARK, WILDERNESS AREA This hike was special . . . We saw no other hikers this day. It is only accessible from the Dowdy Ranch entrance, 6 miles east of Casa de Fruta on Pacheco Pass. Our guide, naturalist, Ron Erskine, unlocked two gates. We embarked on a 10-mile hike through beautiful wildflower fields, streams, mountain vistas, and rock outcroppings. On large rocks overlooking streams we saw worn small potholes for grinding acorns. Ron warned us when we came upon remains of a deer, that cougars are probably watching us. This is not the Coe Park on Dunne Avenue. This wilderness area, near Highway 152, is only accessible by permit.


THE PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK HIKE As a results of ancient volcanoes, earthquakes, and millions of years of erosion, this rare combination of nature’s forces created a spectacular range of rock formations, caves, and lakes. A flashlight required cave and trail hike, there are underground waterfalls seen and heard while ascending rock stairways in the dark! There are several tight squeezes between rock formations. One emerges from the darkness to view the tranquil Bear Gulch Lake. Pinnacles National Park is located 30 miles southeast of Hollister. It is our nation’s newest Park. Pinnacles can be very hot. Bring water and aim for cooler times of the year.



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Photos provided by Dr. JonHatakeyama

Arrived at Uvas Canyon early to avoid the crowds. We traversed the Swedish summer retreat, Sveadal, to reach the start of our trail. The County Park is 13 miles from Morgan Hill. In contrast to the Pinnacles, this place is wet and wild with waterfalls, ladybugs, redwoods, and ferns. In such a dry year, this oasis is sure to dry up in the coming months. Trails are easy with many bridges crossing creeks. There are six miles of trails, side trails and loops. The one-mile Waterfall Loop Trail Guide offers a 27-point self-guided interpretative trail of the flora of Uvas Canyon. A hike in Uvas Canyon is a natural high.



Reaching Your Goals… The Advisor Advantage


A Wealth Manager

team, it is always exciting to see the team

get to know you by asking questions about your

come together. Each player knowing their job,

family, your occupations, your money, and your

perfecting their skill and executing as a team.

goals. All of this information is considered in the

With all of the hard work, it wouldn’t be much if

investment advice and recommendations they

it weren’t for the head coach aligning the team

prepare for you. If your needs reach beyond

and bringing it all together.

the scope of what they provide, your advisor

t’s Fall and that means football. As assistant coach on my son’s Pop Warner football

When you work with a fee-based advisor they

Anytime you work with a coach, a mentor

plays a key role in referring or coordinating with

or advisor there are benefits. When working

other specialized professionals like legal, tax,

with a financial advisor you receive a number

insurance, mortgage and real estate.

or powerful benefits. Some benefits, like investment reviews, rebalancing and ongoing

A Behavioral Coach

monitoring of assets, can be quantified and

Once your goals are established and a plan is

benefits, like peace of mind, can be harder

implemented, it should be smooth sailing right?

to quantify. When working with a fee-based

Not necessarily. Sometimes your investments can

financial advisor, you are aligned with a

be volatile, testing your investment convictions.

professional who is focused on you, your values

It is during these times that you need to avoid

and your success. The benefit this alignment

over-reacting and doing something that you may

brings cannot be understated.

later regret with your money. The same holds true when investments are performing exceptionally

A Fiduciary

well and your expectations change to assume

A fee-based financial advisor is a fiduciary. A

that the exceptional performance will continue.

fiduciary is someone who is legally obligated

by Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF®

your goals by educating you on your investments

and lawyers are held to this standard, so it

and helping you keep a perspective on the big

makes sense to require this of the people

picture. Historically, markets have gone up over

handling your money. It’s important to under-

time, but rarely do so in a straight line.

stand that while a fee-based investment Daniel T. Newquist, CFP®, AIF® is a Principal Wealth Advisor with RNP Advisory Services, Inc., in Morgan Hill with over 18 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.

Your advisor will keep you calm and focused on

to look out for your best interests. Doctors

A March 2014 study by The Vanguard Group1,

advisor is legally and ethically held to the

showed that from behavioral coaching alone, it

fiduciary standard, stockbrokers and advisors

was estimated that the discipline and guidance

that earn commissions are not. Commission-

advisors provide as a regulator of market news

earning advisors are only held to a “suitability”

could add as much as 1.50% annually to our

standard, where they have to make sure an

long-term results.

investment is appropriate for your age, risk tolerance and economic status. On the other hand, Fiduciaries must not only

The Advisor Advantage Fee-based advisors provide benefits beyond

make certain that an investment is suitable for

investment management. We look after your

you, they also have to make sure it is in your

best interests, manage your entire situation and

best interest. This legal obligation is enforced

coach you in good and bad times. Like a football

by the Securities and Exchange Commission

team, all of this combines to help increase the

and supported by a requirement that mandates

likelihood of achieving what is most important

full-disclosure of any conflicts of interest.

to you – your goals.

Putting a Value on Your Value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha” 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. 1

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Bill Hiland’s

Classic British Sports Cars … A Flash from the Past By J0-Anne Daniels



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ill Hiland, owner of On the Road Again, a Morgan Hill business that provides top quality, full service, restoration and painting of classic British automobiles is also the organizer of three British Fall Classic Automobile shows in Morgan Hill. The most recent show was held in Morgan Hill in September. Bill has been a sports car enthusiast since high school in the early 1960s and he attributes his love of British classic cars from a combination of his English, Scottish and Irish heritage and his love of sports cars. In his youth, he enjoyed racing sports cars and zipping along the mountains in his sporty MG. Although his friends were partial to hot rods, Bill loved his sports cars. His childhood hero is Sir Sterling Moss who Bill had the opportunity to meet at the Pebble Beach Concours, which he and other car enthusiasts believe is the top automotive event of its kind. In the showroom at his business, Bill proudly displays a photo of himself and his hero taken at Pebble Beach Concours. According to Bill, Moss was the greatest British car driver there ever was. Although Moss is now 86, he still attends the Pebble Beach Concours. The reason Bill reveres Moss is because he raced before cars were built to withstand a crash in which the driver can walk away. He said when Moss raced, “you were tempting fate.” As a teenager, Bill loved sailing and racing which he started at the age of seven when he sailed the Calero Reservoir near Almaden. He said with a twinkle in his eye that he learned an important lesson then, “If you go sailing with friends, when you get to the dock,

clean the head.” After high school Bill attended San Jose City College for one year and then joined the Navy where he attended electronics school and gained an understanding of blueprints, schematics and how to build boats. After he served his tour, which included the coast of Vietnam, he returned to school at Foothill College. At the same time he worked at the Ford Motor Company where he watched mechanics build Mustangs. Bill later obtained his yacht broker license and sold boats from San Diego to Marina Del Rey. He also started a sailboat business in Seattle and imported boats from England and Canada; then he became a project manager who built boats from Toronto to Christchurch, New Zealand. Later he designed and managed a company in New Zealand and built the fastest boat that broke the record in the Swifsure Yacht Race, which is very big in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. His philosophy for a good life is,”If you are not having fun, you should work somewhere else.” His entrepreneurial journey brought him to where he is today rebuilding classic cars. Bill enjoys his business of restoring British classic cars because he says that he can restore an old classic and rekindle fond memories of the past. What he enjoys most is to “take the ugly and create something beautiful like growing orchids in a greenhouse.” The sentiment of restoring cars to their pristine condition and creating happiness of times past inspired him to name his business On the Road Again. Bill remarks that for what some people pay for a new sports car, his company can restore a classic car that was loved

and enable someone to enjoy the thrill of driving it again. According to Bill, it is not that difficult to accomplish. Three years ago Bill decided to take over the management of the Annual British Fall Classic automobile show because he said he wanted to have fun and also introduce the Morgan Hill community to classic cars. He knows how important cars can be to people; in fact, he knows of people who have made an exhaustive search for the first car they ever owned. In his way, Bill wants to give back to the community that has been good to him because he lives by the motto that “what you give, you get.” Always full of ideas, Bill has expanded his business and added a car museum. He displays 500 miniature cars in the showroom. They are exact to scale models that are only 10 inches, but are so perfectly made that they even have leather seats and push-button trunk releases. In his showroom, he also displays posters of classic car races signed by famous drivers. Of all the fabulous classics that he has restored from the Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar, MG, Morgan, Triumph, Austin Healey, Lotus, Morris, what was Bill’s favorite? Although it is such a difficult decision, Bill confides that his favorite is the Jaguar and another personal favorite is the 1949 MG W Type Saloon built after World War II. So if you are feeling nostalgic for the days of classic cars and racing with Sir Sterling Moss, then exploring the world of classic British cars might reawaken old memories or create new ones. To quote Bill, “After all is said and done, all that we have are memories – not much else.” FALL 2014



By Laura Wrede


organ Hill Artist Mark Hoffmann was born in St. Louis, Missouri and has lived in Morgan Hill with his family since May of 2004. He began his art career in his early twenties illustrating children’s books, painting murals, designing greeting cards, creating graphics for a publishing company, and limited edition pins for the Hard Rock Café during the 2002 Winter Olympics. He is often found at local trade shows and art exhibits when he can break away from his other job as a letter carrier with the Post Office in San Jose. Mark has pursued freelance art work throughout his life. As a self-taught artist, he finds inspiration around the world and has traveled throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. His travels have definitely had an impact on his art, but none as much the as his multiple trips to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. Mark is a big Disney fan. He’s been fortunate to meet many Disney animators such as Glenn Keane, illustrator of the Little Mermaid and Aladdin; Andreas Deja who worked on The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, and Ken Anderson animator for Snow White and The Jungle Book. “Their work has been a huge influence on my art,” said Mark. “I met the Disney Artists at Disney conventions. As you can imagine it’s hard to get very much one-on-one time.” The time he did have with them, however, made a lasting impression. Mark was always fascinated with Disney and Disney’s famous and unique art style. “I’ve drawn Disney characters for years for myself mostly, as Disney has such a strong copyright on their



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Photography By Liza Garibaldi

characters. I’ve tried unsuccessfully for many years to work for Disney, so it pretty much just became a hobby,” said Mark. Then in 2008 that all changed. Disney released Vinylmations. Disney encouraged people to create their own designs on these Mickey Mouse shaped 3D vinyl figures. The very first Vinylmation ever released was a white, blank three-inch vinyl figure that debuted in November of 2008 during the Disney World’s annual Festival of the Masters in Downtown Disney. The first Vinylmation set, released in December of 2008, included a dozen 3” figures and six 9” figures all in the shape of Mickey Mouse. The designs included Figment and Kermit the Frog, Creepy Wallpaper from The Haunted Mansion, and the Red Balloon Chaser figure -- a Mickey Mouse figure with a red balloon head and cloud painted body now selling on some collector sites for $400 and up. When Disney released the new Vinalmation series, Mark had the opportunity to finally fulfill his Disney dream in a roundabout way. In 2011, a blank Vinalmation was sitting on his desk. Mark said, “One day I decided to paint Ariel, from The Little Mermaid on it. I posted it on my Facebook page to share with friends and a collector saw it and asked if it was for sale. The thought of selling it never crossed my mind. By

the end of the day and many inquiries later I decided to do a little research on custom Vinylmations. To my surprise, there was a huge community of artists painting these 3” and 9” inch figures. I did sell the Ariel with a follow up of Belle, from Beauty and the Beast; she sold instantly. Before I knew it, I was making a list of orders.” Mark now has a Facebook Page, which currently has almost 7,300 followers. Today these Vinalmaytions are known as Create Your Own (CYO) Vinylmations, and are sold in 3” and 9” sizes, in a variety of colors, and even in a glow-in-the-dark version. Mark just completed a Lilo and Stitch piece that he has wanted to paint for some time. It wasn’t for a customer; he made it for himself simply because he’s passionate about all things Disney (since childhood) and can’t seem to get away from it. And why try? It is the magical kingdom after all. “I’ve just always loved it. I remember watching The Mickey Mouse Club as a child and every Sunday night watching Wonderful World of Color. I remember my very first trip to Disneyland. I get that exact same feeling to this day every time I visit the park. It truly is magical.” Perhaps every time he picks up his paintbrush he is transformed to the gates of the magical kingdom and back to his childhood – back to that time of simple wonder, joy, and excitement. FALL 2014



Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2014 (BCE)

Mission Accomplished!




we head into the holiday season, it’s a good time to reflect on the events of 2014. For me, it has been a blessed year. Good health, time with family, wonderful work opportunities, and something else. I ventured out of my comfort zone and got involved in community life. This is a first for me, and I must say I’m glad to have chosen Morgan Hill as my community.

Permit me to dish a little, and I’ll tell you why. In early 2014, I applied and was accepted into a nine-month leadership program conducted each year by a non-profit organization known as Leadership Morgan Hill (LMH). I became part of a class of about 20 people, all working professionals from a variety of fields including high tech, finance, government, social services, engineering and more. Adding this new layer of activity into our already busy lives was a challenge for many of us, but we learned to work together and we pulled it off. Each month our class focused on a different aspect of community life. We learned from leaders of local, county and state government as well as the business community, the school district, health and social services, and the non-profit sector. Mayor Steve Tate, Police Chief David Swing, Historical Society President Kathy Sullivan, MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando, entrepreneur/inventor Mike Cox and many others were incredibly generous with their time and information. They welcomed us into the community and we got to know them on a first-name basis. During our program we were tasked with a community service project. It was up to us to decide what to do and then get it done before the end of the program. We created a community service video and called it “Meet Morgan Hill,” giving a nod to the slogan coined by community members who are working together helping Morgan Hill promote itself as a tourist destination. At one point during our project, it looked as if we’d bitten off more than we could chew. Then one by one, various classmates stepped up and took responsibility for fundraising, finding a video production company, writing and editing the video script, coordinating video interviews with community leaders, publicity and event support, and the myriad of details that go into what has become a top-quality video by virtually anyone’s standards. Along with my classmates, I graduated from the LMH program in September. The LMH board hosted our graduation ceremony on the beautiful grounds of Guglielmo Winery. We were treated to an inspiring keynote delivered by Roberta Gonzales, an Emmy Awardwinning CBS TV and Radio Weathercaster and popular Bay Area personality. If only we could bottle her positive outlook and perseverance! We were all a little misty-eyed during our send-off speech, delivered by our fearless leader, LMH class facilitator Theresa Kiernan. She donned a “Cat in the Hat” style top hat and borrowed some words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss to encourage us in our next steps as Morgan Hill community leaders and supporters. According to Kiernan, our class is really “going places!” Indeed, this is the case. Members of our class have wasted no time in stepping up to the plate. Some have joined the board of directors of Leadership Morgan Hill, others are taking positions on Morgan Hill City Council Commissions, a number are now members of the Chamber of Commerce, and still others are volunteering with local non-profits including the Wildlife Education and Rescue Center (WERC), Community Solutions, and Morgan Hill Community Foundation (MHCF). There really are countless options to suit all manner of community interests. If you’re inspired to community leadership and support, LMH is taking applications for the Class of 2015. It’s first come, first served, and class size is limited, so don’t procrastinate. Learn more online at Our community service video, “Meet Morgan Hill,” debuted at the graduation ceremony and we were gratified that it was well received. That little video has taken on a life of its own in the community, available to any organization that wants to share with others what makes Morgan Hill “a great place to live, work and play.”

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ABOVE: Theresa Kiernan, Class Facilitator provided words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss to graduates and audience at Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2014 graduation celebration at Guglielmo Winery. BELOW: The class presented their “Meet Morgan Hill� video designed to help the community promote itself as a tourist destination. BELOW RIGHT: 2014 Leadershp Morgan Hill President Rene Spring with Roberta Gonzales, CBS TV and Radio Weathercaster and Liza Garibaldi.

FALL 2014



Leadership Much To Learn From Dr. Seuss By Theresa Kiernan



ith so many great books on leadership you can study and even more excellent examples of leaders you can aspire to be like, I was overwhelmed with the options for tonight’s presentation. So I went to the top of the list, to the best expert out there…Dr. Seuss!  That’s right. Dr. Seuss has some great insights as to how to be the best leader with five very simple lessons of life that every leader can live by. Lesson Number One

Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is YOUer than YOU. You are each unique. Your knowledge, talents and experiences have shaped you into who you are today and there is no one else out there like you. Perhaps your talents and your knowledge may be similar but that which really separates you from one another is your life experiences.  That is what makes you unique. Honor and cherish your “unique”ness and others will enjoy following you as a leader. Lesson Number Two

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Perhaps for some of you, you have no problem standing out. Embrace it and allow it to make you the best leader you can be. Trust Dr. Seuss when he says that there is something about each and every one of you that makes you stand out. If you’re wondering how, listen to the words



others use to describe you at your best. Maybe it’s a sense of humor, or your sense of integrity, or your keen ability to relate to others.  Whatever it is, that is what others enjoy most about you and makes you stand out. That is why they choose you as a leader.  Lesson Number Three

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose. As a leader use your head and keep moving forward. I’m confident you’ve heard the words “use your head” before.  Most likely during your teen years probably from your parents asking you with such exasperation “when will you ever use your head?” As a leader you need to trust that voice that tells you something may be off or better yet, you’re spot on. And remember using your head doesn’t have to be literal. Trusting your gut is also about “using your head.” The very best leaders trust both their head and their gut. And once you have those two aligned, your feet will follow suit and keep you moving in the right direction…the direction you choose.   Lesson Number Four

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. This spoke to me about having your inner circle. The people around whom you can

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always be “youer than you.” These are the people who matter most to you and who you will turn to when you need an ear, a shoulder or a sounding board as you lead.  And it is no secret that you will hear a LOT from those that Don’t MATTER. As a leader everyone isn’t going to agree with you all the time. And some may never agree with you ever, at all. So be sure to know who your personal cheerleaders are and keep them close and let them support you. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.   Lesson Number Five

Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered. Make every day count!  As a leader spend every day putting your best foot forward.  It may not always be easy.  So if you slip, accept it and take responsibility. Rely on your inner circle and look for what didn’t work, how did you play a role in it and what needs to improve. Taking the time to evaluate the situation, including a selfevaluation, helps you to continue to be an excellent example to those who choose to follow you as a leader.

It isn’t amazing to me that these simple life lessons from Dr. Seuss can ring so loudly and clearly as some of the best advice to being the best leader possible. 

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Photo provided by the Mount Madonna YMCA

Xander Williams, who attends our Child Care After School program in Morgan Hill, at a 49ers youth football day. 

Mount Madonna YMCA

Building a Stronger South County Community 58


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hen you think of the Y, you probably think of a gym with treadmills and weight equipment, where adults go to sweat and kids play sports on the weekend. You also might think of picking up your child from after school programs or listening to the stories your child tells you about the Y’s outrageously fun summer day camp. But what you might not realize is that for almost 30 years, the Mt. Madonna YMCA has been devoted to strengthening the South Santa Clara County community. It all began in 1979 with a small group of fathers, who liked to spend weekends with their children celebrating and studying the native tribes of California and camping in the wilderness. John Gerhardt, Gary Silacci, Ron Friis and Henk Marselis were all active members in the YMCA Indian Guides, YMCA Indian Princesses (YIGYIP) program. While they loved the experience that YIGYIP offered their families, they had to commute from Morgan Hill to South Valley YMCA in San Jose to take part in the father/children program. John, a father of eight who also served as a South Valley YMCA board member and dedicated YMCA fundraiser, started talking to the other Morgan Hill and Gilroy parents in YIGYIP to see if they had an interest in forming a Y closer to home. His vision came right at the time that South County’s population was exploding. Between 1970 to 1980, the Morgan Hill community had almost tripled from 6,485 to 17,060 residents. Gary, Ron and Henk enthusiastically endorsed John’s idea, and over time, the four of them would become known as the “Founding Fathers.” Their first move was to create their own Crow Nation of YIGYIP, which was filled with eight families from Morgan Hill and two families from Gilroy. Afterwards, Gerhardt said the group really pushed for their own charter in South County. “We had every intention of getting approval for our own Y, so we beat the necessary fundraising goal to show how much we were invested in the community,” Gerhardt said. “We also started a Y’s Men group, an auxiliary group that existed to support the Y and raise

money for programs. Ron chaired the Mt. Madonna YMCA Y’s Men Club.” By 1986, the charter was complete, and a program executive was hired to begin providing services. However, the branch still didn’t have a name. “I had been to several Y conferences and met board members from around the country. There was a lot of repetition in names,” continued Gerhardt. “I wanted something that would represent the whole area without being too much Morgan Hill or too much Gilroy. Mt. Madonna Park was one of the places we liked to go camping with the YIGYIP, so I insisted on it as our name because it had a real connection to the area and our group.” The first Mt. Madonna YMCA office was in downtown Morgan Hill in the Gadway building. “Marilyn and Stan Gadway are still wonderful supporters of the YMCA and helped us get going in Morgan Hill. Marilyn also served on our first Mt. Madonna YMCA board of managers. Their support was crucial. As the organization grew, we eventually moved to the Friendly Inn,” Gerhardt said. From the very beginning, Mt. Madonna YMCA was dedicated to offering quality programs to meet the needs of their community. One of those initial needs was for group exercise classes, and at that time, step aerobics was becoming very popular. “We had to hand-build steps for our classes, and because we didn’t have a facility big enough, we taught our classes out of local churches,” recalls Cheryl Raushnot, a long-time group exercise instructor and wellness coach who has been with Mt. Madonna since it launched group exercise classes in the late 1980s. Raushnot, like Gerhardt, had previously served as a South Valley YMCA member and campaigner. “I love the Y. My kids grew up Y kids,” Raushnot said. “But what I find most moving about my years with the Y is how many people come to us for very different reasons, and how we’ve grown to meet the diverse needs of our community in order to empower people more and more.” One of the other community needs during Mt. Madonna’s early years was affordable before and after school child care programs. Mary Hoshiko Haughey,

a Morgan Hill resident who is now the YMCA of Silicon Valley’s Vice President of Operations, Youth Development and Social Responsibility, was the first site director at the first Y child care site at Paradise Valley Elementary School. “Parents were commuting from Morgan Hill to work, and we also had a strong migrant population in the area. These families needed safe and affordable child care in the community. I was happy to be there when the doors opened.” Since then, Mt. Madonna YMCA has grown exponentially. In partnership with the City of Morgan Hill, the Y operates health and wellness programs at the Centennial Recreation Center, a beautiful community facility. It also operates eight after school and child care facilities in the Morgan Hill Unified School District and partners with Youth Alliance, CAL-SOAP and the Gilroy Unified School District to operate five after school sites in Gilroy. In addition, the Y runs multiple youth sports leagues, a fun- and friend-filled summer day camp, and the organization has opened three wholesale produce markets in the last year, two in Morgan Hill and one in Gilroy. All of these programs’ needs, except for salaries, are funded entirely by the Mt. Madonna YMCA’s Annual Campaign each February. The Y’s Annual Campaign also allows the organization to provide financial assistance to help ensure that individuals in need are able to participate in Y programs. While he could go on for hours about the benefits of the Y’s wide array of services, the program that Gerhardt is most proud of is the senior nutrition program with Senior Centers in Gilroy and Morgan Hill, where around 80 senior adults at each site are able to eat a hot, nutritious lunch in wonderfully inviting, social atmospheres. Equally important, no one is turned away from lunch if they are unable to pay. “We’re the only Y program for seniors like this in the entire area,” he said. “Our partnerships in the community for this program have been very helpful, and I’m proud of the connections I’ve made and the friends I have formed while volunteering for the Y.”

It all began in 1979 with a small group of fathers, who liked to spend weekends with their children celebrating and studying the native tribes of California and camping in the wilderness. By Dana G. Williams

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Those Who Do …

John McKay


lash back to the summer of 2000. For John McKay and his wife Michelle it had been a long hard week at work. Ready to escape the concrete, traffic congestion and go-go pace of life in Silicon Valley, they hopped into their van and headed south on 101. Their destination is Morgan Hill. They take the Dunne Avenue exit and within minutes find themselves downtown. Both feel as if they’ve been transported to a different time and place where farms, orchards and open space still exist, the pace is a little slower and people are friendlier. John and Michelle are surrounded by people dancing in the street, enjoying a local band at the Friday Night Music Series hosted by Morgan Hill’s Chamber of Commerce. It’s a relaxed night out in a small town that feeds their souls. Flash forward to 2014. John and Michelle have been living in Morgan Hill for 14 years. They not only love it here, but they are fully engaged in Morgan Hill community life. “Moving here changed our lives for the better,” said John McKay. “Growing up in Mountain View, I had no real sense of community involvement. Moving to Morgan Hill was more than just a new place to call home…for us it was a commitment to community life.” With a background in commercial construction, John was naturally curious about local development plans and projects. It wasn’t long before he began attending city planning meetings, learning about how local government works, and listening to public feedback. He participated in Chamber of Commerce activities, and joined Leadership Morgan Hill’s Class of 2010. That experience encouraged McKay to apply for a seat on the city planning commission in 2011. “The planning commission seemed like a good place to influence change, but there’s a learning curve in terms of land use, residential growth control and other issues,” said McKay. “The thought of taking on a commissioner’s role seemed daunting, but



my involvement with Leadership Morgan Hill convinced me that it was possible. “Morgan Hill city officials have made an effort to be an open government that seeks community engagement. City officials have done an incredible job helping Morgan Hill through changes in Redevelopment Authority (RDA) funding, a serious recession, and more. The Residential Development Control System (RDCS) is a difficult program to work with but we’re seeing a positive end result with good plans and quality homes.” In 2012, McKay began talking with friends and colleagues about the lack of awareness of Morgan Hill’s appeal as a tourism destination. Previous attempts to elevate Morgan Hill above its best-kept-secret status may simply have been ill-timed or under-supported, and therefore failed to gain traction. “I’d met with people like Adam Ferguson, Dennis Kennedy, Jeff Dixon and Jon Hatakeyama, all of whom agreed Morgan Hill had the potential to become an important tourism destination with our wineries, our farms and our parks and open space lands,” said McKay. “But it was our meeting with Edith Ramirez, Morgan Hill’s economic development director, who really moved things from talking to action.” “Edith spent more than three hours with us in that first meeting,” said McKay, “and she was the critical element in making the Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance happen. She connected us with all the right people. A real spirit of cooperation developed. Along with Edith representing the city, I was joined by my fellow board members from the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce as well as the local hotels and wineries. “By the spring, we held our first community forum on tourism and we had a great turnout. We realized that a little branding was needed to help build awareness of Morgan Hill as a destination. It was Cinda Meister who proposed the simple yet appropriate slogan, ‘Meet Morgan Hill’, which instantly caught on.” Meister and her husband Brad

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By Robin Shepherd

Jones own BookSmart, one of Morgan Hill’s most popular downtown businesses. “If it weren’t for the great collaboration among community members and support from the city, I think we would have abandoned the idea, and people wouldn’t be talking about Morgan Hill as a destination. But today, it’s become a normal part of everyday conversation. We continued to build momentum, with local wineries, restaurants and community organizations putting together a variety of ‘wine and dine’ events and fundraisers. “Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman provided support at the county level. That helped us earn the official designation of the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail, followed by the installation of the wine trail signs this summer. “We received great coverage from the media. Along with the local newspapers and magazines, we captured attention from network TV, reporters in Sacramento, and Sunset Magazine. And this is just the beginning.” McKay smiles broadly when asked about next steps. In his view, Morgan Hill has a bigger story to tell. An inviting downtown with a playhouse and a history museum. Great restaurants and wineries. Agri-tourism. Parks and open space lands with endless trails for hikers and cyclists to explore. Recreation facilities for soccer, swimming and other sports that can support local as well as regional competition. He has also served as Chair of the Downtown Association’s Placemaking Committee, which recently held a Symposium providing community members with a series of opportunities to learn about plans for Morgan Hill’s downtown development and provide ideas and feedback. “I had been interested in the idea of creating ‘parklets’, or interactive settings along Monterey Road downtown. The goal was to show the community how we could adapt sections of Monterey to make it a welcoming and safe streetscape where people could mingle with family and friends, browse the

shops, catch a movie and grab a bite to eat. “Edith Ramirez and I had talked about the idea of parklets earlier, and once again, she helped the Placemaking Committee to make this happen. I was delighted that passersby stopped and asked us questions literally as we built the parklets. It’s been a great learning experience for all of us.” McKay also manages to find time to contribute a column in the Morgan Hill Times. “I am involved in a number of organizations and attend a lot of meetings that many people in town don’t have time to attend. I do a lot of listening, and there are many productive efforts happening in Morgan Hill. We are fortunate to have community members willing to give their time and money to improve things. The column gives me an opportunity to share positive stories

about what makes this such a great little city to live in.” McKay says the Tourism Alliance continues to move forward with its vision, including a collaboration with the Morgan Hill Cycling Alliance on a plan to provide an improved riding experience for cyclists. Clearly, McKay has other ideas percolating, and he has found Morgan Hill to be a place where new ideas are welcomed. He is quick to mention names of the many people that he says make Morgan Hill such a strong community, and more self-effacing when it comes to his own role. “I’m a master of the obvious,” said McKay. “Often, it’s a matter of listening to people, learning how things work and who can get them done, and starting the conversation. Then it comes down to working with

people who can play well together and who will see things through…and we’ve got those kinds of people in Morgan Hill.” McKay and his wife Michelle also support Morgan Hill’s Wildlife Education and Rescue Center (WERC) and the city’s Community Law Enforcement Foundation (CLEF). Michelle is a long-time employee of Silicon Valley Bank, where she is a senior global treasury advisor and manager. She is also a board member with the Morgan Hill Community Foundation. When the McKay’s aren’t engaged in work and community activities, they like to take an occasional cruise on their motorcycles, do a little local wine tasting with friends, or take off with their dogs in their van for a road trip to parts unknown.

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Photos provided by South Valley Fleurs Club

Hana McElroy in the orchard at Charter School of Morgan Hill.



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Garden Club announces EduGrow Planting-to-Learn program grants SCHOOLS AND NON-PROFIT YOUTH GROUPS ARE INVITED TO APPLY FOR “SEED MONEY”


Children are invited to pot a plant and take it home at the annual plant sale held each year in April.

outh Valley Fleurs Garden Club has announced a call for grant applications for their EduGrowPlanting to Learn program. The Garden Club supports education in horticulture by offering grants to elementary, middle and high school teachers who wish to include gardening in their curriculum. This year, the program has expanded to include non-profit youth groups such as Scouts, 4H and FFA. Schools and youth groups in Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy, Hollister and San Juan Bautista are invited to submit grant applications. Over the last 4 years, EduGrow “seed money” has been granted to 6 local elementary schools, where funds were used to create school gardens, build raised bed planting boxes, repair and replace tools and irrigation systems, and purchase seeds, plants, top soil and amendments for existing gardens. “We believe that Planting to Learn programs are an easy way to implement science standards and help children connect with their food and their environment,” said Louise Helland, Co-Chair of the EduGrow program. “It is gratifying to know that children are picking and eating the pumpkins and carrots they grew themselves, in gardens improved through EduGrow grants. These programs also help build community and have a multiplying effect by engaging schools, students, parents and local retailers in the process of funding and maintaining the projects.” The EduGrow program also includes, on request, consultations, lessons and hands-on demonstrations presented to schools and youth groups. “Fleurs Garden Club members possess a wealth of gardening experience and information,” said Betsy Ding, program co-chair. “An important element of the EduGrow program is sharing our collective knowledge with the next generation of gardeners.” The deadline for grant applications is January 15, 2015. For more information, or to request a grant application form, contact Donna Dicker at or call 408.776.7867.

P. A. Walsh students working in gardens.

Paradise Valley Elementary School used grant money to purchase new topsoil for their gardens.

From left to right: Janet McElroy, Fleurs; Christel Morley, ELD/Literacy and Intervention Facilitator, Rod Kelley Elementary; Donna Dicker, Fleurs; Luis Carrillo, Principal, and Laura Leon, first grade teacher, Rod Kelley Elementary.


South Valley Fleurs Garden Club is made up of a group of gardeners in the South Santa Clara County / San Benito County area. It is an active club that maintains several public gardens in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. The club also supports education in horticulture by offering grants to youth groups and school teachers who wish to include gardening in their curriculum.

FALL 2014



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FALL 2014

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FALL 2014




By Carol Carr

re you inspired by color but unable to choose the right one for your home? You’re not alone, most of my client’s fall into this category. There are many factors to consider when choosing color for your home or office. Let’s start at the beginning, the basics if you will. There are warm colors and there are cool colors. Residents of Alaska and other cold States might want to use warm colors since their winters are long and cold and conversely, residents of the hot southern states may want to use cool colors.

The Effects of Color

Carol Carr has been an interior designer since 1981, as ‘Carol Spence Interior Design’, ASID, CID. Carol specializes in making your home comfortable, an extension of your personality and lifestyle. Her design philosophy is “Every room should be usable and comfortable — a balance between visual response and physical comfort.”  Carol can be reached at 408.779.4189.



Cool colors are greens, blue-greens and blues; the coolness of water whether still or flowing in a water display. Cool colors suggest effectiveness, however they can be refreshing as well. Cool colors appear further away; a wall will appear to recede. The more saturated the color is, the more intense it is. For instance, new parents might want to paint their new son’s room blue; so in this case they would use a much muted blue; a “tint” of blue. A “tint” is a color mixed with white, a “tone” is a color mixed with grey and a “shade” is a color mixed with black. A highly saturated blue or shade of blue would be too cool! Warm colors are yellows, oranges & reds. They exude warmth and are inspirational and they have great emotional impact. Some people associate it with the first hint of fall each year. Warm colors are soothing and make you feel good. They make you want to explore new things and rise to greater heights. Physically and mentally they seem to give you a glow and warm inviting feeling. In the cooler states this is a welcome respite when coming in from the cold weather. Some of the effects of colors are well known and accepted by most people. Color has known psychological effects and can be visceral to some. When color enters through our eyes, it directly affects our mood, productivity, and may have a powerful effect on our self-esteem. It is important to know

FALL 2014

that not all societies share our perception of those influences on our emotions. One must separate the psychological from the symbolic. White and black are good examples. In our western society, black is considered serious, dramatic and sometimes sad. It is the traditional color of mourning. White is associated with purity, peace and optimism. It’s unthinkable to attend a funeral in white. It’s rare that a bride would choose a black dress (though current wedding trends reflect black as the color choice for bridesmaids’ attire). We are convinced that it is not in the “nature” of those colors. However, in some Asian countries, it is white, not black that is the color of mourning. There is some overlapping in the properties different cultures attribute to certain colors. Interestingly, Feng Shui, the traditional Chinese philosophy that distinguishes between good and evil, influences interprets colors much in the same way as the majority of Western color specialists. The Perception of Color

The perception of color is affected more by lighting than anything else. It’s not just the amount but the type of light. High levels of fluorescent light in a room can cast a cool light on warm tones making them appear drab. Conversely, low levels of incandescent lighting can make the room appear darker. The identical distortions are especially noticeable on neutral and muted colors. The quantity of light is important in any room. High levels of light make saturated colors seem more vivid. The underlying hues of darker colors may also be more apparent. Low levels of light make vivid colors seem more muted and darker. The Truth about Paint Chips

Trust them but not too much. Tiny squares of color are never a good indicator of how a color will look in a room, so here’s what you need to do. Buy sample

OME BEAUTIFU jars of the paint you’re interested in using then paint a good-sized swatch (not patch) directly onto the wall or on a board or other stiff material that can be moved around. Give yourself at least 24 hours to view the color swatch(s) before deciding. You want to see the color(s) in all shades of lighting during the course of a full day. When you do choose a good paint color from a small sample, it’s a good idea to test several shades of this color to help you find just the right one. Incidentally all 3 colors can be used, the lighter hues on the darkest areas and the darker on the best lighted area. The fact that most colors intensify when applied to a large area is an undisputed fact. Do remember this, once you return the furniture, etc back into the room, the paint on the wall will absorb a lot of the colors of the furniture which will tend to mute the intense appearance prior to moving it into the room. The other factor to consider is the natural light that enters the room. Ascertain whether it’s morning or afternoon sun exposure or somewhere in between; and don’t forget to see how it looks in the evening when the sun has gone down. It will make a difference.

Satin or Semi-Gloss Finishes

These finishes work well on architectural details, and are easy to clean. They are the very best finish to use in kitchens and baths and on doors and trim because they can be easily cleaned. Gloss Finish

If you want shiny and scrubbable, this is the finish for you. The only caveat is, don’t use them on walls with any imperfections.


1 2


Do select the best finish in the highest quality paint. These top quality paints resist yellowing, are more durable and have superior adhesion and superb coverage. Be sure to use primer where it’s needed, this is a must. The finish defines the surface effect. Matte and Flat Finishes

These have no shine which makes them ideal for hiding minor surface imperfections. On the plus side I like the finish; it alludes to a velvet finish in certain brands of paint. Eggshell

Eggshell is easier to clean than matte finishes and creates a soft glow.


Ignoring the subtlety of color. Solution: Carefully examine the color. For instance, is it a tomato red or a blue red? Place the fabric sample next to the paint color. Remember this: The darker the color the less likelihood of its clashing. A deep dark saturated red will be more likely to match a wider range of reds. Note: Beige or grey does not mean neutral. Every color has a neutral hue.


Choosing a carpet in the store with fluorescent lights. Solution: Bring the sample home to see how it looks in your room(s). Assumption that a color can make a room appear either larger or smaller. Solution: Colors alone don’t make a room look smaller. Light colors combined with dark colors do, however. It’s high contrast colors that seem to make a room feel smaller. A space feels larger when there is less contrast. Light colors do create a more open feeling in the room. Don’t use too many colors in a room, it will appear disorderly and uncomfortable.

“Whatever color you choose for whatever room, keep in mind, rooms should not be put together for show, but to nourish one’s well being.” Albert Hadley, Interior Designer

Remember, the right color(s) for you will always make you smile!

Focusing on current color trends. Solution: Even though the color

forecasters are trying to read the moods of people and note trends, it’s not the way to discern what is good or bad for you. The colors in your home need to reflect your personal preferences and fit with your lifestyle. Color trends change often. Consider your budget. How often can you afford to re-do your home? FALL 2014



Chamber Celebrates Good Year!

Celebrate Morgan Hill

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


has been a very good year for Morgan Hill’s Chamber of Commerce. Our major events including the “Celebrate Morgan Hill” awards ceremonies, “Rock the Mock” high school student coaching program, “Friday Night Music” free community concert series and Fall’s capstone “Taste of Morgan Hill” festival were all extremely successful both from a community building standpoint and as financial endeavors. We often say that no organization should be focused primarily on the money, but every organization must be thoughtful and effective in managing its finances in order to succeed. Our deepest appreciation and gratitude goes out to the sponsors, volunteers and participants who came together to make these events happen. An effective Chamber of Commerce, however, is much more than an events management organization. Our efforts in Economic Development this past year have been focused on both tourism and long-term, highquality job creation. From a tourism perspective, we formed Morgan Hill Presents to bring together organizers of events which have a major tourist draw in order that these organizers can be more productive in the use of their resources. Formal and informal collaboration between these groups has yielded cost savings, operational improvements and enhanced cross-promotional activities. Another major collaboration, this one led by the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, culminated in the installation of a complete wine trail signage series throughout Southern Santa Clara County. On the other side of the job creation equation, we have been engaged in a joint project to capture and promote the business success stories of larger businesses within Morgan Hill. Going forward, we will be using these success stories to encourage other companies to locate and/or expand in Morgan Hill. Speaking of which, now is the time when we are very focused on our plans and priorities for the year ahead. If you have an interest in being more involved with the Chamber, email me ( and we will find you a way to “plug in.” We are also calling for nominations for 2015’s Woman of the Year, Man of the Year, Business of the Year, Educator of the Year, Student of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. If you know of worthy candidates for this honor, please download and complete a nomination form from Thank you for your interest in our community!  



FALL 2014

Friday Night Music

Taste Of Morgan Hill


Mission Bell … A Family Affair


ifty-five years ago, Mark Scianna’s dad was working for a millworking company when it went out of business. So, he and a few friends started the Morgan Hill Millwork company. Today, that company produces high-end furniture and cabinets for billion-dollar companies. Mission Bell specializes in quality architectural woodwork, millwork and custom casework for Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and LinkedIn. Everything they build is custom-designed and custom-made. “It’s whatever an architect can dream of we fulfill those dreams, that’s what makes it exciting, it’s never the same thing,” said Mark Scianna, whose father Leonard Scianna along with his wife Marjorie and two other business partners started the company in 1959. ”Each architect wants his idea to be unique. It makes for an interesting workplace.” Many of these items combine unique materials and require exacting standards. Large lobby features in office buildings are often unique and challenging due to their size and placement. The Mission Bell workplace consists of about 190 employees who own 49 percent of the company, which strives to one day make it a 100 percent employee-owned company, according to Scianna. “We would like this entity to continue on and so starting the employee stock ownership plan and giving it back to the employees who built it into what it is today and carry it on into the future was very appealing,” Scianna said. When they needed to expand, they moved to a site in Santa Clara, but grew out of that location and moved back to Morgan Hill where there were more opportunities for growth with the number of buildings that suited their needs. They worked closely with city hall and found it to be responsive and helpful, CEO and President Glenn Ripley said. “The community is small enough that they can get to know us and come out and understand our line of work and our business,” he said. “They were motivated to work with us to help us solve our business problems and meet our business needs.” And after moving here they quickly found out Morgan Hill is a community that allows them to service their market in the Bay Area and throughout Northern California and “yet provide a lifestyle to our employees that appeals to them and maintain a work force that we want to have,” Ripley said. “Morgan Hill is a great place to live and work. You don’t have to worry about the kinds of commutes that many folks face. It provides the type of environment conducive to our business.” And that $40 million business has access to its market and its commercial clients throughout the Bay Area. “Morgan Hill is positioned well to serve that market and, at the same time, it provides our employees access to affordable housing and the quality of life and lifestyle that appeals to many of our employees,” Ripley said. And many of those employees – and the company itself – give back to the community. They are involved with local churches, the Boy Scouts, local schools, and they encourage their employees to become involved.

Pavers by Design

is an unusual construction company with a tight focus. They specialize in high-quality, long-lasting hardscapes. Owner Bob Traina says the secret to his business is not to cut corners. This is how he gets word of mouth referrals and builds a solid customer base.  It’s very important to him that when he installs a hardscape it stays beautiful and strong for many years. This quality craftsmanship is what brought Guglielmo Winery to Bob when they needed their event area hardscaped. And that’s the sort of business relationship you want. Pavers by Design installs everything from simple patios to extensive outdoor kitchens to give people more living and entertaining space. Because the company is small, Bob contracts with industry specialists for subcontracting particular areas.  His focus is on making sure the person with the best expertise is working on the job at hand. It’s this attention to detail that keeps customers coming back. If pavers are installed improperly, they don’t last. They shift over time, leaving uneven surfaces and weeds growing in the cracks. Bob makes sure to do all the steps, including compacting the dirt and ensuring a tight lock on every paver, so that his patios last beautifully for years.   

“One of our corporate values is contribution,” Ripley said. “We encourage our employees to be involved not only in life of the business but the life of the community.” The nature of the work keeps the workforce motivated and excited, he said. “We produce a product you can touch and see with some pretty high-tech automated machines and somehow it all blends together that I think employees can related to,” he said. And those employees are compensated well. The company pays union wages in and out of shop, so it needs to stay a step ahead of the competition, most of whom are out of state. “In order to be competitive we need to be more efficient than the competition,” Scianna said. That need to work together as a team keeps everyone working toward the same goal. “Whether we’re related by blood or not, each member of our team is an important part of the Mission Bell family,” Ripley said. Interview by Robert Airoldi of Morgan Hill Life and used by permission.

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with an Attitude

Digital Memories To Create Moments That Matter


icture Barbara Streisand singing, “Memories…light the corners of my mind” and think of the older adult in your life whose memories have been pushed to the corners of their mind by age, cognitive decline or a form of dementia (Alzheimer’s being the most prevalent). Reconstructed memories, it turns out, do create moments that matter, according to the results of studies recently completed. In 2012, three studies, a collaboration between University of Toronto in Canada, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and ProGevity Neuroscience, were completed. The studies delved into the psychosocial impacts of digital storytelling and lifelogging technologies on older adults with cognitive decline. (Each participant’s life was digitally captured, using pictures, videos, captions and interviews). The researchers followed a very thorough process. The older adults and their families were interviewed at great length; observed, and psychologically tested to measure memory, sense of identity and emotional well-being before and six months after exposure to the biographical displays. The results were highly encouraging. The study revealed many things. Although the studies did not provide adequate evidence that the memories of the participants improved, it did show that the process of constructing the

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.



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digital biography stimulated participant’s memory. When a person experiencing cognitive decline remembers – those are moments that matter. The study allowed the participants to choose between constructing the biography alone or with family members, but personally I think engaging the family members would be more beneficial. Imagine sitting with your dad and asking him to remember things from his past. If your dad is worried he won’t remember what you want him to; the process can get tense. An interview approach, especially conducted by someone who is not trained to encourage recollection, can be threatening. Ask him to be the tour guide in the journey. Start the digital biography if you can. This will alleviate pressure and the shared experience will be great for bonding and creating more moments that matter! The study also concluded that the process increased the quality and quantity of communication between the older adult and the family. We live in a world where details are often omitted because we speed through life. Constructing a biography of your parent(s) will fill in the blanks, provide puzzle pieces. When Mom is agitated, why does Dancing with the Stars calm her down? You might learn she was a dancing queen in her day. The more we understand people, the better we communicate with them. The process could very well reveal thoughts never shared and dislodge debris that blocked communication somehow.

Does it have to be a digital biography? With the advancement of technology, recording equipment is less expensive – why not? The study contrasted the impact of written biographies with digital biographies and the results were predictable – the follow-up psychological tests revealed that reconstructing the past in digital form brought the memories back with more intensity and clarity, maximizing the impact to the participant’s sense of self and well-being. But of course – more of your senses are engaged. The whole process should be a lot of fun. But if you are dealing with an older adult who very strongly maintains that what she remembers is how it was or has a form of dementia – please choose your battles. Make it a picture of how they want it to be. It does not need to be an accurate, chronological, realistic picture of how it was. This is, after all, for them and for the family to enjoy, not fight about. Remember the goals here – to help them

re-awaken memories and boost self pride as they strengthen or recapture their sense of self, to empower them to keep going or to try new things. If Mom wants to remember you winning the first prize for twirling a baton, so be it. Don’t upset her by reminding her that your baton flew up in the air and reshaped someone’s forehead! Be prepared. Viewing the biography especially the first time can unearth a range of emotions. While many may find joy in reminiscing about the good ol’ days, this can also cause sadness for days gone by. With those facing dementia challenges, it can lead to frustration if your Mom thinks you forgot an important event, or misrepresented a joyous occasion with the wrong choice of pictures. Should that happen, just calmly redirect her and engage her in the search for the cherished photos. Overall, the researchers observed a positive outcome. Whether you use a digital biography

as a fun way to bond, a great way to showcase that which you love about someone, an excellent way to help a cynical teenager appreciate his grandparents, a way to help someone remember how special they are, or you use it to help light the corners of someone’s mind, don’t delay, do it… while you can. SOURCES: Crete-Nishihata, M., Backer, R.M., Massumi, M, & Ptak, D, Campigotto, R., Kaufman, L.D. Brickman, A.M., Turner, G.R., Steinerman, J.R., Black, S.E. (2012) Reconstructing the past: Personal memory technologies are not just personal and not just for memory. Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 27, pp. 92-123 Massimi, M., Berry,E., Browne, G., Smyth, G., Watson, P., Baecker, R.M. (2008). Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 18 (5/6), 742-765

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Mount Madonna Goes To Washington

By Ward Mailliard



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Photos by Shmuel Thaler and Ward Mailliard


know that the “explicit” curriculum, or content of the classes taught in school is important. It is measured constantly. The “implicit” curriculum, which is much harder to measure and less heralded, needs more attention, as it is central to the development of our future citizens. The implicit curriculum has to do with the processes employed in teaching our subjects, and the relationships formed within the learning environment. These two aspects are central to the formation of the kind of human being who will one day emerge from school and use the knowledge gained in the classroom according to their sense of values about how human beings should act. The biannual Washington, D.C. learning journey taken by Mount Madonna School juniors and seniors is part of their two-year social studies class, Values in World Thought. This journey addresses both explicit and implicit learning. Cognitive skills such as research, writing and inquiry are developed, while “soft” skills are also required as students work collaboratively on many levels, from discussing questions that will spark interest, to filming, preparing meals and cleaning up after ourselves. We all share in the successes, failures, joys and challenges. Each student chooses how he or she will engage, and then sees the direct results. Students experience effective processes for accomplishing collective goals. They learn to be aware of how they affect, and are affected by, each other. They learn firsthand the importance of relationships in building success. At the end of the journey, students are asked to share with the community what they have learned. Here are a few examples of what they had to say about their experience.

“It was the late nights, copious amounts of tea and heavy discussions that occurred after we shut down our computers. There was a feeling of pure intrigue and satisfaction when a question that we had spent hours poring over, and tweaking the words so they were just right, was understood perfectly. I couldn’t get enough.” – Renata Massion, 11th “Of the people we interviewed, a few really impacted me. One was Susannah Welford, president and founder of Running Start. Her interview started a conversation about failure and the judgment we often fear will come from admitting our mistakes. This led to more questions in later interviews about the subject. I found this interesting as I often have trouble admitting my failures because of the judgment that I fear from my parents and teachers. What I learned, is that often admitting your failures will give less push back than letting them be revealed.” – Jenny Turk, 12th “We discussed the ability to take risks and not be afraid of failure. This was a very relevant piece of advice for me personally, because I tend to get caught up in the idea of perfection, when in reality, failure is the key to producing growth.” – Cassie Caborn, 11th “Mr. [Dan] Tangherlini, administrator of the General Services Administration, left me feeling like if I could be anywhere near as humble and cooperative as that guy, I could succeed anywhere. I could do

anything. Congressman [George] Miller had a dedication for service that I want to emulate. If I could find that drive to help other people to the extent that he does, goodness knows what I could get done. And if I did it with the integrity and moral groundedness that Hardin Lang, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, has, I’d probably be able to save the world.” – Roger Hooker, 12th “In D.C., we met with people who are taking on some of the most crucial, complex and difficult issues, and they are changing the world day by day. They recognize their own fortune and are using it to empower others. They made this work and these issues tangible, and helped me realize that, yes, there is an unimaginable amount of suffering all over the world, and no single person could ever dream of fixing it all. But there is always work to be done, and every life that is saved, every positive change made, positively affects us all.” – Talia Speaker, 12th This journey focused on content, process and relationship and allowed for unpredictable outcomes. Students learned through experience and learned what they were ready to learn. When the processes of our classrooms are aligned with the goals, and we are in positive relationship with each other, the learning is exponential. It confirms that the implicit curriculum is worth greater attention if we want to produce caring, empathetic and creative citizens.

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setting the tone for a lifetime of academic achievement


here’s a growing amount of evidence that children who attend a high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not. Amy Flynn, director of the New York City Bank Street Family Center, says, “Every child should have some sort of group experience before she starts kindergarten.” Preschool teaches kids how to be students — how to raise her hand, take turns and share the teacher’s attention. She will also learn how to separate from mom; making for an easier transition to kindergarten. Kindergarten teachers note that children who are ready to learn are those who come into school with good social and behavior management skills.

You can expect your child to: • Discover that she is capable and can do things for herself, from small tasks to making decisions. • Find answers to her questions through experimentation, exploration, and conversation. • Learn letters and numbers through activities such as storytelling, talking about their interests and playing with blocks. • Strengthen pre-reading skills and learn language by playing rhyming games and telling their stories. • Improve her ability to be imaginative and to socialize … fostering creative, well-rounded people. • How to have fun and enjoy learning.

• Ask for recommendations from other moms. • Check if the schools you are considering are state-licensed, which ensures the facility meets safety requirements and has adequate staffing.

• Adjust your child’s sleep schedule to allow for time to get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush teeth at a preschooler’s pace. • Drop some hints about what she will be doing at preschool, who will be there, how the day will be similiar and different than their day at home. Make it sound fun. • Play school with her stuffed

When Choosing A Preschool • Do your homework. Decide on location (close to home or work) and hours (half-day, two to three days per week, full-time).

Preparing Your Child For Preschool

animals. Read books about

• Ask about the teacher qualifications, class size and health and safety standards.

• Go online and check out the school you are considering — fees, admission policy, curriculum. • Visit the schools you are interested in. Spend time in the classroom to observe the teachers.

what preschool will be like. • Drive or walk to the preschool and show her where she will be going. If possible, sneak a peek at the classroom, meet the teacher, play in the playground. • If she has not spent much time with other children,

Be Sure To Ask

arrange some playdates;

• Does your child need to be toilettrained? Many schools require that a child be out of diapers. • How are parents involved in the school? Look for an active parent association that plans programs like family picnics, holiday parties, and parent socials. • How will the teacher let you know about your child’s progress? Parents should be kept informed.



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• What does the school do when two children are fighting? You need to agree with the school’s discipline policy. • What’s the daily routine? You want your child to have a sense of predictability each day — play time, snack, reading, naps. SOURCES:

preferably with some of her soon to be classmates.

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06 MHToday Fall 2014