Shameful Garlic Festival theft and Hawaii calls

Stealing from the Garlic Festival – first the tickets from the office, then $18,000 from the cash box. Hopefully, the security measures in place – and there are solid security procedures – finger the suspect and, despite that person’s volunteer status, the Gilroy Police Department makes an arrest and prosecution takes place. It’s really no different than a parent club officer stealing from the school club. It’s very sad, but an ugly crime has been committed and that money belongs to our community organizations. Good news, though, after a ticket-by-ticket audit, the Garlic Festival found only three stolen tickets made it through the gates. Great job getting the word out to the public after the ticket theft. Often the tendency is to keep quiet, and 99.9 percent of the time it’s the way wrong call. Three tickets worth $50 got through – that’s a phenomenally good number after $12,000 worth of tickets were stolen.
A number that’s amazing, too, in a much different way, is the California Highway Patrol Teen Choices 5 grant of $1,900,000 from the federal government announced by the office of The California Office of Traffic Safety. Ever heard of the program? Me neither. A fraction of that money could do some real good, however, in Gilroy as school opens on Tuesday, Aug. 21. The Gilroy Police Department does have grant funding from Safe Routes to Schools and promises better enforcement this year as the Dodo bird drivers mess things up around the schools. A GPD press release cites double parking, illegal U-turns, speeding, impeding traffic (stopping in the traffic lane), pedestrian violations to include jaywalking, cellular telephone violations and distracted driving violations. To that I would add Amen! and point out that parents who drop their children off for Solorsanso by speeding through the Ranch Side of Christmas Hill Park should also be cited. And, if it’s reasonable, please have your child walk or ride a bike to school. That’s a good thing for about 12 reasons.  
Twelve captivating rounds are what my post-Garlic Fest group watched on TV, a hootin’ and a hollerin’, as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero earned the WBC interim Welterweight Champion title a few weeks back, fending off a game Selcuk Aydin known as the Turkish “Mini Tyson.” Congratulated Robert Thursday morning at a chance First Street Coffee meeting and thought about what a humble guy he is and what a solid representative he is for our city while in the spotlight of the sports world. Hope he gets the really big prime-time fight he’s worked so hard for. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. versus The Ghost would be awesome.
Gilroy is awesome reason #12,452. New Gilroy High varsity volleyball coach and co-owner of First Street Coffee, Kassi Swalboski, called on her loyal clientele to help raise $1,000 for badly needed new uniforms. Generous Gilroyans, appreciative of the fine business she and her good natured mom, Konni, run came through with flying Mustang colors. Kassi has $2,300 in the kitty for uniforms and other needs for the GHS girls team. Now that’s community support and it really helps get the season-experience off to a great start.
Start of the campaign season it is. Here’s the line-up card … For Council: Paul V. Kloecker – engineer manager; Cat Tucker – incumbent; Perry Woodward – incumbent; Terri Aulman – Planning commissioner; and Rebeca Armendariz – union organizer. For mayor: Dion Bracco – Councilmember/business owner; Don Gage – Santa Clara Valley Water District Director; Peter Arellano – doctor. Guess Gilroy is going to test the popular in-town theory that Bracco and Gage might split enough votes to part the ideological waters such that Arellano will be elected mayor.
With the November election just around the corner, winter lurks. Cold, dark and hibernating … so, close your eyes and say Kiahuna. Think trade winds and trading a cold $100 bill for a 7-night “winter” vacation in Hawaii. Go for it right now … head to www.gilroyfoundation.org, click on “Paradise Found” and dream about those waves lapping gently on the white sand beach as you sip on a Planter’s Punch and relax in 80 degrees under the gently swaying palms. Yes, Steve “Big Kahuna” Costa will buy a ticket for every family member …
’Member that there’s no taxi cab service in Morgan Hill and that’s something you would think the Chamber of Commerce could assist in fixing. Heck, there are three cab companies in Gilroy alone.
All alone, is how Melky Cabrera should feel. Amazing after the years-long drama with Barry “Uncream and Unclear” Bonds that the lesson is ignored … an MVP season, the fans decked out as milkmen and milkmaids, the drive to the pennant with your teammates … all down the testosterone toilet. Like Bonds, we’ll never really know how good Melky was or could be. Can the Giants recover and nose out the despised Dodgers? Pardon my skepticism, but it’s really tough to take a .347 average out of the heart of the order, especially when Tim Lincecum is just not the dominating pitching force he has been. Thanks for the sour-milk delivery, Melky. Well, heh, the 49ers and Sharks will be in action soon.
Soon it will be Saturday, Aug. 25 and, at the newly renovated Lodge on the Hill, home of the Gilroy Elks, that means it’s Casino Night. It’s a bargain – $50 in chips, buffet dinner, prizes galore, dessert and Frank “Boss Man” Angelino as the pit boss. If you know or have ever heard of an Elk, you’re invited. Monies raised go to support great community causes like college scholarships for deserving young people. Call Frank’s hot line: 674-2228.

Reach Editor Mark Derry @[email protected]

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