Fond memories of festival director

The following organizations and individuals deserve either
CHEERS or JEERS this week:
CHEERS: For the life of Richard Nicholls, Garlic Festival
director since 1985. His steady hand guided the festival to
national prominence, but more importantly, he made sure Gilroy’s
signature event kept its local soul.
The following organizations and individuals deserve either CHEERS or JEERS this week:

CHEERS: For the life of Richard Nicholls, Garlic Festival director since 1985. His steady hand guided the festival to national prominence, but more importantly, he made sure Gilroy’s signature event kept its local soul. He struggled with festival issues and direction like a conscientious, caring parent. He took his work seriously, but not himself. A handshake was a deal, an appreciative word a given. A steward for the festival, a mentor for many who stepped up to lead our annual Garlic Party and a great friend to Gilroy. We will remember him well and fondly.

JEERS: For the Valley Transportation Authority which keeps following the edicts of San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales on the quest for eternal youth, er … we mean BART to San Jose. The numbers are astounding – $5 billion for the connection, and silly – 85,000 riders per day projected. Yet, only the brave, like Supervisor Liz Kniss, are willing to take on the Gonzales machine. “I don’t see this as something beneficial to the entire county,” said Kniss. She’s right on the money. Halt the BART project, prioritize the road projects (like fixing the Don Pacheco Y), make major improvements to Caltrain and spend our sales tax money wisely.

CHEERS: For the news that Mayor Al Pinheiro will push for funding $1.5 million in improvements to side streets off of Monterey Street through the downtown corridor. Streets on both sides of Monterey in the downtown core, extending to Eigleberry Street west and the railroad tracks east, will get a facelift. That’s a key component to downtown revitalization, and one that’s not always recognized.

CHEERS: For Hazel Agnes Rutherford-Shy, a longtime Gilroyan who turned 100 years old Wednesday. She worked at Wheeler Hospital as a nurse’s aide for many years after her husband died in the 1950s. The family owned 16 acres at the corner of Leavesley and Murray on a place that became known as the Shy Ranch where milk cows, chickens and pigs roamed, and fruit and vegetables were grown – quite a story, quite a life. Happy 100.

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