Fuel Prices Spark a New Venture

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

CHEERS: For the efforts of former Morgan Hill Mayor John Varela and Gavilan College professor Rich Gillis who are combining forces to create biodiesel fuel. Varela says 100 jobs will be created soon in the South Valley at a facility which will produce 500,000 gallons annually. Now that the price of diesel fuel has skyrocketed, biodiesel, made from vegetable and animal waste, is a viable alternative for farmers. Chiala Farms has tested the fuel, and Varela envisions a cooperative organization that benefits South Valley farmers in numerous ways.

JEERS: For the city of Gilroy which doesn’t just pass along water rate increases issued by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, but doubles and triples them before sending residents the new bill. It’s always justified by some form of “it’s just another $5 to the average bill.” Meanwhile, the city has amassed nearly $8 million in a water capital projects fund. Where are the City Council members when it comes to scrutiny of these increases from SCVWD? The complicity by those who should be sticking up for Gilroy residents is shameful.

CHEERS: For the Prune Bowl rivalry between Gilroy and San Benito high schools that goes way, way back. There’s something country – rooted Americana – about this storied game that continues to this day. A salute to all who have kept the rivalry alive.

JEERS: For the ridiculous state reality that mandates teaching students about AIDS and HIV but not more prevalent sexually transmitted diseases. The Gilroy Unified School District should review and update this curriculum. Sex education should be straightforward, informative and honest.

CHEERS: For Gilroy’s teachers who show up 96 percent of the time. That number means something to the public. It means teachers care about what they’re doing and that they understand showing up is half the battle. Good work, and thanks.

JEERS: For City Council members who have been talking about fixing Gilroy’s sidewalks for years, but didn’t know that the city administration robbed the 50/50 sidewalk repair program for a single project on Forest Street. There are 110 people on the 50/50 program waiting list to repair dangerous sidewalks citywide. The lack of action and abundance of lip service related to this serious problem – created solely by the city itself – is maddening.

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