Attempted murder charge goes away in plea deal

JEERS for the news that three years after Pete Valdez III
pointed a gun in the face of a Gilroy police officer and pulled the
trigger, a plea deal has been made.
JEERS for the news that three years after Pete Valdez III pointed a gun in the face of a Gilroy police officer and pulled the trigger, a plea deal has been made. The gun, fortunately, didn’t fire and might have been altered so that it would not fire, the DA’s office says. Valdez, 32, received 12 years and will perhaps serve less than 10 years since he’s been in prison for three. If that much doubt existed, why wasn’t a deal reached much earlier? In our book, pointing a gun at a police officer and pulling the trigger should rank at the top for prosecutorial offenses. Given Valdez’s long criminal history, the deal makes even less sense, Valdez will be back on the Gilroy streets at 42. That’s hardly comforting for anyone in our community and even less so for our police officers.

CHEERS for the new addition to the tasty line-up at Gourmet Alley. The Surf and Turf Wrap is a wonderful “creation by committee” with extraordinary chef Sam Bozzo, Milias Restaurant owners Adam Sanchez and Ann Zyburra and a bunch of taste testers in on the action. New Gourmet Alley introductions haven’t met with resounding success, but this should – especially at the reasonable $5 price point and given the “wrap” is a locally made lavosh bread that’s garlic infused.

CHEERS for the firefighters and Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies who descended on and transformed Jeff Ryan’s backyard into a wonderful play area for the deputy’s two daughters, Maile, 6, and Maddie, 5. Their mom and Jeff’s wife, Melanie, tragically died from breast cancer at age 29 recently, so the public safety contingent got together and made good things happen. That type of action gives everyone hope and helps keep up the strength of spirit while facing such deep misfortune.

JEERS for the news that the city of Gilroy spends more on fire services than any city in Santa Clara County – 21 percent – according to a Grand Jury report. City Administrator Tom Haglund pointed to some holes in the report and said the city would be issuing a response. The Grand Jury also questioned the expensive use of firefighters as first responders to medical calls. Not too long ago, that wasn’t the case. If Gilroy put ambulance services at strategic locations in the city, it could save plenty. But that would require an honest evaluation that would upset the status quo, so don’t hold your breath.

CHEERS for a potential new addition to our downtown options, the Aviva Wine Cafe on Monterey Street. Owner/operator Kellen McBain is brimming with enthusiasm to open a cafe with a Mediterranean theme that features local wines. Great concept, now it’s a matter of nailing down the business plan and the look. Says McBain: “Gilroy is more than just the Garlic Capital and outlets; it has a fun community and a downtown area.” That’s the kind of positive thinking that will end up making the downtown a vibrant place to enjoy and it’s only going to happen one step at a time.

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