News flash: Might as well get prepared for the Big One

Dawn broke Thursday morning and the subtly iridescent full moon
perched above the Santa Cruz Mountains, shimmering in hues of gray
and blue against its dreamy glow. Perfectly aligned with the
horizon, like a setting sun it dipped toward the treetops and sunk
toward the sea.
Dawn broke Thursday morning and the subtly iridescent full moon perched above the Santa Cruz Mountains, shimmering in hues of gray and blue against its dreamy glow. Perfectly aligned with the horizon, like a setting sun it dipped toward the treetops and sunk toward the sea. The moon hissed sleepily as it dipped into the water. That’s a beautiful Gilroy morning scene, and as I walked with my dogs, I drank it in and thought about Jim Berkland. He’s the former county geologist who called me on deadline in October, 1989. The city editor was off and I was sitting the desk. Then, we were an afternoon daily and I had 94 things due and to do before deadline, so I answered the call rather billy goat gruffly. He told me the lost and found ads were full of missing animals, I sighed, and that the moon and the tides were lined up, I stretched, and that the window for a Big Shake in the next few days was more than likely. I listened, reporters were furiously busy, so I typed up a shortie, got it in the newspaper and then we had a 7.0 earthquake. Jim Berkland became quite famous or infamous depending on how you see it and the debate raged about his zany prediction methods that he contends are as “scientific” as anything else that’s out there. Anyway, Berkland’s still kicking up quake dust and he told our reporter Blair Tellers that March 2011 is a significant quake window. So get on down to Saccullo’s on Monterey Street and stock up on the home supplies you need in case of a major temblor. There’s a good list of preparedness tips and what to put in your home supply kit at

Probably would withstand an earth shattering, but the first time in the Rotunda Building at San Jose City Hall all those beautiful windows make one wonder …

Wonderful was the swearing in ceremony for new Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, under those rotunda windows Wednesday evening. Honestly, it’s the best planned public political event I’ve attended in quite some time. Former DA George Kennedy, no-nonsense as always, succinctly sang the praises of the man he hired who is now taking the office Kennedy held for 17 years. Rosen’s two young daughters, barely peeking above the podium, led the Pledge of Allegiance and, after he took the oath, Rosen delivered a thoughtful speech that was as polished as it was concise. Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner was in the audience as well as new Morgan Hill Chief David Swing. But elected public officials from both cities were conspicuous in their absence as all the public official attendees were announced. We whine a lot down here in South County about being the proverbial “stepchild” of the county, but connections are two-way streets and in order to be counted Gilroy has to show up. Note to MayorAl, Mike Wasserman (who was at Rosen’s ceremony) will be sworn in as our representative to the County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Jan. 31. Yeah, I know you’re going to tell me it’s “just not fair” to single you out, you’re only just one vote, what about the other Council members, etc., etc. But the truth is, you’re our mayor and it all comes with the highest Gilroy elected official territory.

News flash from Gilroy territory: A pair of die-hard fans are squaring off to vie for the coveted spot of Garlic City’s mayor. Perry Woodward, Oakland A’s fan who’s hoping for a green-and-gold baseball move to San Jose and a Rollie Fingers clone to surface, and Dion Bracco, who’s hoping for an “early retirement” for Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and the reincarnation of Kenny Stabler, hope to secure the coveted Gilroy Super Seat in 2012. Stay tuned and get ready for the lengthy, bruising battle between black-and-silver and green-and-gold.

Golden item from the LA Times highlighting the good work of our representative in the state Assembly. Times are tough, right? Thanks to Emilio for sending this along. Headline: Lawmakers getting new cars despite push to pare California’s vehicle fleet. Story: Lawmakers have spent at least $259,000 in taxpayer funds on new SUVs and other vehicles for themselves in the last year despite a push by the new governor and the last one to cut California’s fleet amid the state’s financial crisis. Newly elected Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) is taking delivery of a 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid, worth $37,269. Well, Luis, that’s just wonderful. The state’s $25 billion in debt, every social program is feeling the sharp budget ax and you’ve got yourself a brand new car at taxpayer expense. Legislators, like us common folks, should buy their own cars. Period.

Exclamation point: Middle daughter is off at nursing school. After she was accepted her immunization shots had to be brought up to date. Opened the bill Thursday morning and just the measles, mumps and rubella shot cost $304.79. That’s a shot that probably cost $12.95 when I was a kid. Explain that and you have a leg up in the quest to solve the health care crisis in America.

Quest for a new marquis menu item at the Garlic Fest update … down to four items none of which involve lardo. Celebrity chef Jay Minzer is in contact with the committee via Skype … wow, that’s news to me that you can not only see the other person via Skype, but you can feed them, too … maybe committee member Majid Bahriny from Mama “That’s Good Pizza” Mia’s is giving Mizner the lowdown on the flavors. No bunk.

Never played Bunco, but hear it’s great fun. Bunco … just saying the word is fun. It’s one of those I say and think, “Yeah, I should have named my dog Bunco …” Anyway, there’s a Bunco Tourney at Lizarran Tapas Restaurant in the Old City Hall building downtown set for Friday, Jan. 28. It’s $25 to get in, the no-host bar is open, there are raffle prizes and light appetizers will be served. Proceeds support the Safe and Sober Grad Night at Gilroy High. Denise Brolin at 848-3861 has the tickets. Buy early and buy often.

It’s free to voice your opinion about Gilroy. Vote in our web poll at and click on the “Tell us what you think about Gilroy” ad below. It’s a great way to let city leaders know what they should focus on for civic improvement. Not sure, though, about the fellow in the video on the Gilroy survey page who said the beach is a Gilroy attraction …

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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