Up in arms over loss of weather number

Everyone in Gilroy knows it has been hot lately. But how hot?
Verizon took down its temperature readings on 842-7111 a short time
ago because they were off by as much as 10 degrees.
Everyone in Gilroy knows it has been hot lately. But how hot? Verizon took down its temperature readings on 842-7111 a short time ago because they were off by as much as 10 degrees. As a result, one caller is slinging arrows at the Red Phone. All we can tell this caller is darned if you do and darned if you don’t.

“A lot of us would really appreciate it if whatever you guys did to make them stop giving the weather on 842-7111 if you could get them to put it back. We don’t care that it was off by a couple of degrees; we just want it back.”

Here, we’d like to note that the discontinued service wasn’t entirely our fault. Verizon was receiving numerous complaints before the Red Phone got involved. That said, onto the next caller …

“We used to be able to call in and find out the temperature in Gilroy. Because of the discrepancy between the real temperature and the reported phone temp., I guess, Verizon decided to take off the temp. I teach elementary physical education, and I use that temperature even if it’s off by 5 degrees I have some idea of how hot it is. And I make a lot of decisions based on the daily and hourly temp. for our lessons. I’m sure a lot of people in town do that, too. I called the customer service and relations of Verizon, and they just took down the information or my concern. But to date they haven’t restored the temp. That’s my concern. I’m just really grateful we have somebody to call with our community concerns.”

The Red Phone indeed got an answer from Verizon, but it’s not the one this caller wanted.

“We’re not going to reactivate the service I’m afraid. We don’t have the equipment necessary to keep it accurate,” Verizon spokesperson Jon Davies said.

We sympathize with you folks who want – even need – an accurate weather reading. So, we suggest trying www.weatherchannel.com. Punch in Gilroy’s zip code and it gives the temperature at the moment.

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Here’s a caller who truly appreciates our efforts.

“I was one of the first callers about a lid that covers a little box on the sidewalk there on the corner of First and Miller Avenue and right next to that service station there and it was disintegrated and broken and smashed and everything else. When I walked to church Sunday and I was walking back that way and low and behold on the box there’s a brand new cover on there. It was a Gilroy water box because I see Gilroy on that. I just want to commend you on the work you’re doing. It has produced some results for me and I’m sure for others. Keep up the good work.”

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This may be one of the strangest calls yet to the Red Phone. But we determined that whatever this caller saw was likely not an UFO. And, no, Red Phone is not participating in some massive cover-up like Roswell. Honest.

“Hi Red Phone. I’m just calling to see if you got any more reports of a strange thing flying through the sky last night at like 1 in the morning. I saw something kind of strange flying over south of Gilroy. I first thought it was an airplane but it had a huge tail to it and it was bursting kind of and it went through the sky for maybe one or two minutes and then it just kind of fizzled out and disappeared. I don’t know if it was some sort of rock from space or if it was a rocket. Anyway, I was just calling to see if anybody else had reported or seen anything strange like that.”

It seems like what this caller saw can be scientifically explained. Ron Damon of the Fremont Peak Observatory Association said what this caller probably saw was a meteor breaking up. It might have been bright enough to be classified as a “bulloid,” which is a meteor that actually enters the Earth’s atmosphere, breaking up and sometimes leaving a trail behind. Cool.

According to www.astronomy.com, the Earth will be sweeping up all kinds of space particles through August. As the atmosphere gives them a smoky welcome, these meteoric debris will appear as streaks across the night sky. So, sit back and enjoy the show.

And on the very slight chance that it was really an alien spaceship, all of the garlic around this weekend should keep the little green guys away.

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