Warm start to New Year; good time at Willow Heights


New Year’s Day in Gilroy 72 degrees … so strange, next thing you know I’ll start to like rap music or, heaven forbid, duh Raiders. Naw. Weird weather, though, freezing nights – like 25 degrees on the westside for nights in a row – and zippo on the December rain meter. And on the horizon ’tis clear skies. Good for golf tee times, but lousy for ski resorts.

Ath bhliain faoi mhaise!!! Thanks for the email Lynn, and I’m happy to pass the Happy New Year sentiment along in Irish Gaelic. No way do I know how to pronounce that. Maybe after a few Jameson’s it could sound halfway correct.

Can pronounce Happy Birthday, and say “Buon Compleanno” to a couple of ancient Gilroy paisanos, chef extraordinaire Bob Filice and former major league baseball pitcher Frank LaCorte, new members of the 60-years-and-older club. Bob-o claims to have homered off Frankie in a Gilroy Little League championship game way back in the day, but that was so long ago nobody seems to be able to verify or dispute. But the shadow knows …

Dispute the bill. C’mon Berliner-Cohen, the city of Gilroy pays your law firm wheelbarrows filled with cash. Before the fabulous B-C gang socks it to Gilroy with another whopping bill on a relatively minor matter, they ought to let the city staff and Council know the money is not legally recoverable. This time it’s $45,000 or so for getting Chris Coté to conform with city regulations after he put up an illegal fence with barbed wire around his property. Next time, how about a couple of legal notices, a red tag, then hire a local construction crew for $1,500 to take it down. Put the legal shoe – the big bills – on the other foot and let them initiate a lawsuit instead of racking up a big bill for Gilroy residents. But, as one friend noted, there’s no “Christmas bonus” money for Berliner-Cohen in that strategy. There are at least 152 better ways to spend $40k in our city. The City Council should take a vote and formally request a refund from B-C.

Ah, “Thoughts harmonize as stressed senses meditate in total isolation rivaled only by deserted islands and meetings of the Millard Fillmore fan club. With senses thoroughly deprived, clients can reboot their consciousness with an hour in the sensory-exaltation tank, a wellness innovation unveiled at Burning Man in 2011. The computerized “space pod” creates deep relaxation with a thick foam bed that cushions its inhabitant as aromatherapy scents permeate the air. Throughout the treatment, eyes feast on a mesmerizing mixture of light and holographic food designed to incite higher brain function.” Seriously, wow. I came across this semi-local pitch prompted by an unsolicited email. Might be a good place for a City Council retreat.

Retreat already MayorAl. Lick your wounds. You lost. Take it graciously. The community doesn’t want to raise the local Gilroy campaign spending limit. Read The Dispatch community poll numbers. Overwhelming – DO NOT RAISE THE LIMIT. There’s no good reason to raise Gilroy’s campaign spending limit. None whatsoever. You tried the back door through the Open Government Commission, now the proposal is back on the Council agenda under another guise. Give up the personal agenda, the people don’t want it, the Council voted against it already. Why keep bringing it up? What’s wrong with this picture is that our city’s leader is focused on minutiae – mi-noo-shee-uh: small and trifling details. This focus, for reasons unclear, not only divides and trivializes the City Council, but steals energy from important matters the Council should focus on. Baffling and so very disappointing.

Absolutely not disappointing, the recent customer service received from two members or our community. Peter, the Kevin Bacon lookalike representing Frank and Karen LaCorte’s Marx Towing business, is a gem. Unfortunately, the family has had back-to-back car battery related issues and both times Peter answered the call to AAA road service. Lucky us. The guy’s a car whiz and really pleasant. And Mike, a Gilroyan who works with satellite provider DirectTV, started with his dad at a cable company in his teens, and can problem solve satellite TV issues in a jiffy. Competence, a friendly demeanor and a clear focus on solving a problem go a long way with customers and these two fit that description to a tee. What Gilroy needs is a monthly Customer Service Award to recognize such good work.

Frank Leal and his team have done remarkably good work restoring the grand Willow Heights Mansion in the hills west of Morgan Hill. The busy owner of beautiful Leal Vineyards outside Hollister has expanded. Plans are to locate a tasting room at the Mansion which has been renovated back to its stature as a beautiful facility with stunning views for weddings and events. Frank flung open the doors for a New Year’s eve bash, complete with a stand-up comic, a mashed-potatoes-in-a-martini-glass bar, prime rib station and a DJ who really kept the floor hopping. Mia DeLorenzo showed great courage after her dancing slip and broken wrists at a wedding a few months back. She hit the dance floor running – well, maybe not running – but she and hubby Don we’re enjoying “cutting the rug” again.

Those who cut their musical taste teeth on the “Fab Four,” don’t let me down. Consider attending the show at 9Lives Club in downtown Gilroy by the heralded Beatles tribute band, Abbey Road. It’s Saturday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. Reasonable tickets available at www.ninelivesclub.com. It’s a 21-and-over show and owner Jorge Briones continues to ramp up quality acts for the community in our downtown area.


Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]


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