Around the Gilroy horn with a few random thoughts

Brother Matt, nephew Ryan

Random thoughts this week:
• My Irish grandfather, aka Gramps, used to say this, and even through tough times it holds true: “God isn’t making any more land.”
• When you have children and grandchildren, your view of the future is through a whole different set of binoculars.
• Truth isn’t really that elusive, it’s just that some people don’t want to see it.
• Really like the new slogan for the Gilroy Foundation, “Give Where You Live.” Brilliant. St. Joseph’s Family Center, the Gilroy Foundation, Garlic Festival and …
Toured the Gilroy Prep Academy charter school on Wednesday morning. Looked in on our lone charter school classrooms, watched the morning assembly, heard from Principal James Dent as we moved between classrooms filled with activity. Bottom line: If my children were early elementary age, that’s the Gilroy school I would choose. The students are engaged. There is consistent positive discipline. The learning foundation is being set – by repetition, drill and instruction. There’s also critical and creative thinking going on and enrichment programs. The school day is longer – until 4 p.m. – and more focused. Plus, there’s a leader who’s  genuinely passionate about teaching students – all students – and not only believes it can be done, but has the results to back it up. If you’re a local business owner interested in the future of our students, arrange to tour Gilroy Prep. If you’re a parent of a kindergarten through third grader, get on the waiting list.
No waiting for the avalanche of tax increase measures that are rumbling down to the November ballot. Gov. Brown wants to increase the sales tax statewide and sock it to “the wealthy.” This is how Brown sees it: “The stark truth is that without new tax revenues, we will have no other choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts. I am going directly to voters because I don’t want to get bogged down in partisan gridlock as happened this year. The stakes are too high.” He’s right. Voters have a chance to send Brown and all the state legislators a clear message: Cut state spending,  drastically. That’s what is necessary. After that, voters should decide on a local basis what, if anything, they want to spend their hard-earned money on. There will apparently be no shortage of options on the local front – a local sales tax hike benefiting operations at the Gilroy Unified School District, a sales tax hike to fund a new emergency room at Saint Louise Hospital and a whopping Santa Clara Valley Water District measure to bring Anderson Dam up to seismic snuff are all percolating. Frankly, flooding the November ballot with tax increases might just disgust the vast majority. For those of you who are “Lord of the Rings” trilogy fans, it could be that the politicians will, at long last, wake the “silent majority” and that the Ents will be roused from their slumber to arise and slay the ill-intentioned tax-and-spend wizards.
If I could wave a wizard’s magic wand, I would:
• Have people electrically zapped who talk on their cell phones in public places like restaurants. Hearing one side of a conversation that nobody wants to hear is exceptionally annoying, self-centered and rude.
• Disable the stoplight coming out of Eagle Ridge at Ballybunion Drive on Santa Teresa Boulevard. Plea to the city’s traffic engineer Don Dey: Change the light so a vehicle coming out of Eagle Ridge and making a right-hand turn does not trip the stoplight for all the cars travelling on Santa Teresa.
Move Gilroy’s lonely dog park to either Christmas Hill Park or adjacent to the Sports Park and build it with grass and trees. The park now proves that “Build it and they will come” is a fallacy.
• Make it so that every parent who does not in some way monitor their child’s social media interaction has to wear a “stupid” sticker on their forehead.  
• Have everyone buy a cup of coffee or a Big Gulp or a meal for a veteran on Memorial Day.
Fast Pizza, 8400 Church St. in Gilroy,  is putting their pepperoni where their cash drawer is. If you’re an Armed Forces veteran, they’ll deliver a free medium, one-topping pizza to you on Memorial Day. Call ’em at 847-0003, and be prepared to show proof of your military service … and if you’re a veteran reading this, thank you, thank you.
If you’ve been splurging on too much Fast Pizza and/or beer lately, saunter on over to BAM in the Hecker Pass Plaza over by the Claddagh Irish Pub. BAM, an Herbalife healthy smoothie place, just celebrated its one-year anniversary. Congratulations Bill and Michelle Vance! The music’s always on, the staff is super friendly and it’s a great program if you’re interested in shedding a few  pounds.
No pound cake at the First Communion celebration party for my nephew Ryan. At Uncle Fr. Dan’s request, the kindly and talented duo of Rosalia and Chauncey Russo cooked up a feast in the rectory at St. Mary’s. A fabulous Italian cook and a man who can BBQ – great combination for a family get together. Throw in a drink or two and there were shades of the old Gramps and Nana Derry family gatherings. ’Twas nice.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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