Huge success at Bonfante Gardens

The following organizations and individuals deserve either CHEERS or JEERS this week:

CHEERS: For Junior Horticulture Day at Bonfante Gardens. Outstanding! Now that’s the kind of program long envisioned for the theme park – fourth graders getting their hands dirty while learning basic horticulture in a way that will stick with them. We also enjoyed seeing the park’s founder, Michael Bonfante, back and at the forefront of the activity. Last year’s Leadership Gilroy class deserves a lot of credit or the event. So does Bonfante Board Member Greg Martinez. Maybe Jane Howard, in her new capacity on the county board of education, can spread the word to all Santa Clara County schools about a worthwhile field trip to Bonfante Gardens.

JEERS: For the bogus survey by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group claiming that South County voters enthusiastically support spending $4.3 billion to bring BART to San Jose. Phooey. Give voters a choice to approve $4.3 billion for BART or $4.3 billion for road and Caltrain improvements and we’d bet the house BART goes down in a heap of twisted tracks.

JEERS: For the person who stole Peggy Dean’s artwork which was on display at the Old City Hall Restaurant when it closed and went out of business. Hopefully, the insurance policy carried by the former operator, Glen Gurries, will replace the 10 pieces of photographs and art that Dean values at $7,000.

CHEERS: For the news that the search for a new Gilroy Economic Development Director is winding down. That position, most ably filled for years by Bill Lindsteadt before his untimely death, has been a central force for economic progress in Gilroy. The EDC partnership has been responsible for huge commercial developments, but has also been a force on matters such as attempting to streamline the permit process at City Hall. It’s heartening to see community activist Jane Howard in the running as well. It’s good to have local talent within the top three candidates after a nationwide search brought 30 qualified resumes in.

JEERS: For the news Caltrans wants to chop down 15 of the majestic cedar trees along Hecker Pass Highway to rebuild the bridge just west of the Burchell Road intersection. There’s only one Sunset-Magazine worthy scenic entrance to Gilroy. The City Council should weigh in at every turn to preserve, protect and enhance this gateway. Gilroy’s elected officials should make sure there’s not an alternate solution. Safety – with the preservation of the cedars – would be the best course.

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