A monkey gone and keep the Christmas cash at home

A standing ovation for the Gilroy High School Mustang field hockey team members who finally threw the biting and chattering Los Gatos High monkey off their backs. It took yet another epic CCS playoff performance to subdue the ’Cats, but this time Gilroy triumphed. The winner came in the second penalty stroke round which followed two scoreless sudden death overtime periods. Wowza! The haughty Los Gatos monkey has been cast iron for years … so many great GHS players now playing NCAA hockey in elite programs couldn’t accomplish what this year’s team did Thursday. The 7-6 win puts the Mustangs in the finals Saturday, where hopefully St. Francis will be next to taste a bitter defeat. On  behalf of all those affiliated with GHS field hockey (including my two daughters), thanks to Coach Adam Gemar, who puts his heart and soul into the program, and to  Celeste Mendoza for drilling the game winner. 
Game winning comment from egberts3 on our website: “It is amazing to see the polls conducted by the Morgan Hill Times at 89%, Gilroy Dispatch at 92%, and Hollister Freelance at 94% that disagree with the majority of Board of Trustees members of Gavilan College to get such a generous raise to Dr. Kinsella. To my knowledge these numbers have never been so high on any poll ever taken by these three media sources.” Add in our “Community Pulse” vote in today’s paper at 11-1 against the raise and it raises the question again about which planet the Gavilan trustees have been living on. Worth repeating from our recent Editorial Board piece: In the country’s largest school system, in New York City, home to 1.1 million students, Chancellor Dennis Walcott is paid $212,614. Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the nation with 672,000 students. Superintendent John Deasy earns $275,000. When hired, Deasy refused a pay increase. Meanwhile, in our wonderful little hamlet, where Gavilan College hosts a shade over 7,000 students, the president gets an elite increase that puts him at a $276,090 annual salary plus benefits in four years. Viewed side by side, those are truly stunning facts.
Stunned and delighted that longtime community volunteer and accountant John Blaettler has earned recognition as the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year. It’s far beyond his stand-up role as the person who went public with embezzlement allegations against Gilroy Unified School District Board member Francisco Dominguez, who has since resigned after the district attorney’s office opened two separate investigations into his alleged embezzlement and possible grand theft actions in connection with a consulting contract related to high-speed rail. Blaettler has been assisting various community groups with financial direction and review for years. His work will be well and warmly recognized at the Chamber’s annual dinner on Saturday, Feb. 11 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club. Congrats to our wonderful local lead librarian, Lani Yoshimura, too, for booking Woman of the Year honors.
Booking this, the Master Gardener event held at the South County Demonstration Garden at St. Louise Hospital, should be a must for anyone with fruit trees. “Winter Care of Deciduous Fruit Trees” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon teaches the basics of planting, pruning and you’ll get pointers on choosing varieties that grow well in Santa Clara County. What I’d like to know from a backyard master is how to keep my small grove of citrus trees from falling prey to the frost. There has to be a better way than the expensive spray and/or cloth covers. Email me a method and I’ll share it next week.
Sharing this tasty tidbit: The new Subway on 10th out by Tractor Supply is worth a few minute’s drive. The sandwiches Roman Nahal and his well-trained crew are serving up are the best from Subway I’ve ever tasted. “It’s all in the bread baking techniques,” says Roman. And there’s a bonus: the location is a drive-thru, too, so if you’ve got a phone call to make or just don’t feel like leaving the car, order up and drive on.
Please don’t drive far to do your holiday shopping. There’s a food-for-thought email going around I’m going to publish next week in its entirety. It’s about keeping your Christmas present cash in the community. Think about a gift certificate to a nail salon, a gym membership, a card for 10 car washes, a gift card for the Gilroy Golf Course or, the pièce de résistance, a year’s subscription to the local newspaper … surely that’s on MayorAl’s shopping list.
On the list Saturday if you’ve got a  youngster with plenty of energy … laser tag at Brownell Middle School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $5 a round. Great fundraiser idea hosted by the 6th grade class, fantastic way to let the wild one expend energy. There will be an outdoor, inflatable laser tag arena, snack bar and good feelings because all proceeds go directly to help fund this year’s 6th grade science camp program.
Cool program, too, at the 9Lives Club in downtown Gilroy Saturday night. Bring three non-perishable food items to the door and walk into the show featuring Madman’s Lullaby, a band self-described as “true, raw, no filler rock ’n’ roll.” No filler in the support for the Second Harvest Food Bank, either. Hats off to 9Lives co-owner Jorge Briones and the band for rockin’ the right vibe. Doors open at 8 p.m. and guitarist Brett MacMillen promises “lots of surprise appearances in store.” Something more besides Mutha Jones Medicine Show? Amazing.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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