Started my day Wednesday with a lone coyote, which I’ve seen before but never so close. On a chilly walk with the dogs backside of Christmas Hill Park, the coyote, like the one in the old roadrunner cartoons, sped by going a million miles an hour 25 yards ahead across our path. Dogs take chase. Coyote chasing rabbit. After a half mile, the coyote stopped, the dogs pulled up and headed back my way and the coyote forlornly bayed into the frosty dawn. He seemed to have lost his pack. Then, I cartoon kaboomed on the iced-over walkway next to the amphitheater and headed next for a meeting with MayorAl. Ah, never a dull Gilroy moment.
Think Gov. Jerry Brown is losing his pack, too. Taxes here, taxes there, taxes everywhere … sales tax, income tax … $35 billion more in taxes. California’s economic climate doesn’t need more burdensome taxes, it needs sustained and serious cuts in government spending. Instead, Brown’s putting forward sacrificial lambs like his bullpuckey proposal to shut down 70 state parks. The parks are a real California treasure which promote affordable and healthy recreation for so many families. The budget savings are miniscule, as the Merc recently noted, a $22 million or two-tenths of 1 percent drop in the bucket of California’s $9.2 billion deficit. Cut the state payroll, reduce welfare and prosecute welfare fraud, freeze pensions by agreement or force layoffs – let the unions choose, reduce the number of California Highway Patrol officers, cut the pay for UC chancellors, professors and administrators and cut the state legislature’s budget in half. This statement, from Assemblyman Jim Silva, R-Huntington Beach, is spot on: “I think the governor missed an opportunity to show Californians how he plans to encourage job creation. Instead, what we heard was that he is 100 percent reliant on a massive tax increase to balance the state’s books. He fails to understand that Californians are in no mood to give Sacramento more money.”
No mood to read this in the Dispatch: “According to Gavilan’s security staff and campus spokeswoman Jan Bernstein-Chargin, a group of suspects entered the school’s EOPS Building (Extended Opportunities, Programs and Services) and stole 90 iPods; 35 MP3 players; $500 in Target gifts cards that are used as incentive for students; and several other gift cards that are given to commuter students who struggle to pay for gas.” Really? Are we giving Gavilan students iPods and Target gift cards to incentivize them to come to school, or do well? With this kind of thinking, it’s no wonder the sense of entitlement is becoming pervasive in our society. Counseling, passionate teaching, mentors who urge students to reach for a better life, absolutely. Target gift cards and iPods? The public should not be paying for such gifts.
Then there’s the theft of more than $5,000 worth of amenities slated to be put up in Frank Bolea’s newly relocated Gilroy Toyota dealership which has, thankfully, stayed in Gilroy. Thieves broke into site trailers and took four computers, a 42-inch flatscreen television and an $800 industrial coffee maker. Sounds like an inside top job to me. Hope Gilroy police can nail these guys and that GPD spokesman Chad Gallacinao gives us an update soon.
Good news update after the “Wyatt Burp” fiasco at the Morgan Hill Cigar Company: all the upgrades should be in place within the month. Manager Jeff Burrus announced that the new beer taps and a cool new wine showcase will be in place soon. What’s really cool – and so locally supportive – is that the new wine case in the front of the shop is going to feature top selections from all 23 South Valley wineries. Always gracious Gene Guglielmo poured a wonderful old vine zin Wednesday at cigar night and a familiar face for patrons of tasty OD’s Kitchen in downtown Gilroy now has a spot behind the counter at MH Cigar. Great to see “Miss Saucy” Jannell back in the South County mix.
Have to keep everything the same when the San Francisco 49ers mix it up with the New York Giants Sunday in the NFC championship game. Lip-smacking good hot wings, friends and hoots and hollers on the menu. Should be a classic battle. Here’s hoping for more of: Justin Smith’s bullrush sack that took Saints QB Drew Brees and a blocker down, Joe Staley’s downfield block springing QB Alex Smith for beautifully called bootleg TD and the bone-crushing hit safety Donte Whitner delivered near the goal line on New Orleans tailback Pierre Thomas. Ponder this: When Whitner was 6 years old in Cleveland, he was hit by a car while chasing a loose football into the street, suffered 30 fractures and was told he might never walk again. While you’re pondering that, think, too, about what a difference a coach makes. James Joseph Harbaugh, thank you for the resurrection.
Day before the Super Bowl, you can resurrect your card playing skills and get in the Super Showdown VII Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament (Feb. 4). The one-day tournament, featuring four-person teams playing at different tables, is a fund-raiser for city of Gilroy senior, teen and youth programs. A $60 entry fee and a roster needs to be delivered to the city by Jan. 30. Know when to hold ’em.
Hold no Pollyannaish hope for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. That’s a good thing. CEO Roelof van “Sinking” Ark has resigned, and it’s just a matter of time before this ill-conceived project is stopped dead in its ugly tracks.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]