New decorations any time soon?

not-so-delightful decorations: “I live in Gilroy and I was in Hollister and saw the way they have their downtown with a bunch of lights. It looks really nice. Someone in the city needs to go and see what it looks like at night. Even Morgan Hill looks nice.

“I think Gilroy needs to invest in some new decorations for downtown. I know they’re trying to revitalize it and make it more appealing. It’s embarrassing actually. To me, Gilroy is a nice town and Hollister is ghetto, so I’m just really shocked the way the city looks. Thank you very much.”

The Red Phone first checked with the city to get the scoop on decorations, and in the process learned something new.

According to Joe Klein, the city’s public information officer, “The city doesn’t do the decorations or the banners. Those are all put up by the Chamber of Commerce.”

So the Red Phone got on the trail and touched base with Susan Valenta with the Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a banner program and what we’re going to be doing is buying another set of banners for Sixth through Eighth streets,” she said.

But she added that they indeed had additional decorations this year and downtown businesses even stepped into the holiday spirit.

“This past year we had an addition around the holiday tree at Fifth and Monterey, with the lighted reindeer, which were really cute,” she said. “Unfortunately, a couple of them disappeared, but it was something that really made a nice display and a focal point in the downtown area. And the downtown stores had decorated their buildings with lights this past holiday season.”

So caller, unless you want to fork over money for all new decorations or donate some lights (and then have them stolen), looks like you have two options: Make an attempt to enjoy what Gilroy offers next season … or move to Hollister.

where’s the money?: “I’m calling about ‘$50 and that’s all you get’ (Nov. 9, 2004). What happened to the lottery money? I thought the lottery money was supposed to go to the classrooms. I don’t see any references here. Steve Brinkman said something about $15,000. How much lottery money do they get every year?”

• “Hi, I was reading an article in the paper about teachers in school buying their own supplies for students with their own money. How come the lottery funds … where are the lottery funds? This is ridiculous. The teachers don’t make enough money and they have to buy their own supplies.”

According to Steve Brinkman, assistant superintendent of administrative services, the Gilroy Unified School District receives about $123 per student through the California Lottery, which represents a little more than one percent of the total budget. Of that, $110 per student goes toward general uses and $13 per student goes toward specific purposes, such as special education programs for low-achieving or disabled students. The lottery represents the district’s smallest source of income, after local, state and federal aid.

jeers to the thief: “I just wanted to say jeers to whoever stole the cowboy hat downtown from the statue that’s been up on top of the retail store. It’s been there for years and years. Don’t people realize that when you take something historic away, you’re taking something away that belongs to all of us and losing a piece of our history?”

Apparently not. There are a random few out there who either just don’t get it, or do get it and just don’t care – like those who steal cowboy hats and lighted Christmas reindeer.

Readers: Call the Red Phone at 842-9070 or send e-mail to [email protected]

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