A Gracious Spirit and a Kind Soul

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 life of TJ Owens, who enriched our community with his gracious spirit and generous soul. TJ believed that every student, given an opportunity, could achieve success. That core philosophy drove his decisions and endeared him to many in our city and beyond. The Gilroy Unified School District board president’s sudden death from a stroke Monday saddened and shocked Gilroy. To honor him, we should remember that education is not all test scores and homework. TJ believed that extra- curricular activities were crucial in the development of young people, whether that activity involved art or athletics. In his gentle soul, he knew that to be true. And it is. We will miss his easy smile and warm convictions.

JEERS: For city council members Craig Gartman, Russ Valiquette and Bob Dillon, who have been meeting regularly at Jeffrey’s Cafe. It’s not illegal, but it’s not right. Council candidate Dion Bracco has recently joined the fun. Those meetings rob the public from witnessing the spirited debate over issues that should take place on the dais. It’s important for residents to see how their elected representatives reach conclusions. Of course issues will be discussed outside the meetings, but regularly “scheduled” outside meetings are ethically out of bounds.

CHEERS: For Saturday’s Live Aid Concert in Gilroy at Christmas Hill Park that benefits the hurricane victims. The lineup is impressive – from the ever-popular Sha Boom to famous Blues Brothers impersonators. Festivities start at 1pm and run until 6pm. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross. C’mon out Gilroy and show your generous spirit.

JEERS: For the news that some of the Deadora cedar trees, which line Hecker Pass Highway, may be chopped down to make way for widening the road due to the new homes slated for the area. Hopefully, planners and developers can find a better way to widen the scenic roadway. It takes a long time to grow a beautiful tree.

CHEERS: For rising local boxing star Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero who is surrounding himself with championship-caliber men who know what it takes to win when you reach the upper echelon of the sport. Guerrero is the World Boxing Council’s No. 2 featherweight contender. If he wins his next fight, a title shot is mandated. The latest addition, Joe Chavez, will be Guerrero’s cut man – the guy in the corner who attends to wounds and dishes out words of wisdom. Chavez has worked with Oscar De La Hoya and James Toney. Guerrero (16-0-1 with 9 KOs) is preparing for a Showtime-televised fight on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore against Gamaliel Diaz. Showtime is 8pm and it should be a dandy. Diaz hasn’t lost in seven years.

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