Ripe tomatoes, a spiffy GHS update and a local hero

My favorite baseball cap EVER.

News flash: The Italian tomatoes are in – at long last – at LJB Farms on Fitzgerald just north of town off Santa Teresa. If you haven’t been, go. The tasty variety bursts with local, fresh flavor. A good piece of bread, a little mayonnaise, salt and pepper and sliced LJB Italian tomatoes on top. Now that’s good eatin’. Also, fabulous drizzled with Jeff Martin’s locally produced Frantoio Grove olive oil. It’s a treat to buy local and support the Bonino Family farm. Louie, the patriarch and sons Russ and Brent are hard-working guys who are always around, hopping off tractors and doing whatever it takes to keep the agriculture operation running. Mother, Judy, is like the farm office foreman and she always has a smile for customers and hires great kids to help out. It’s an American family farm operation that grows the sweetest corn around and it’s right in our backyard.
The backyard at Gilroy High School has been transformed from a mud-mired aging pit into a clean and classy, well-designed space that trumpets Mustang pride. There are always boo birds out there, however, and they tend to chirp the loudest. But the quad, with its spokes leading to and from the amphitheater space, is amazing, the gym floor is beautiful with the laser-cut Mustang logo and the big numbers on the buildings are true navigational beacons in a campus that shipwrecked many a classroom seeker. That the major renovations  – the science lab classrooms are incredible – were completed in such a short time frame is a real testament to diligence. Check out our photo gallery online to see what’s been accomplished. The students, staff and community should be proud. And hats off to junior student Anthony Guel who gushed with Mustang pride: “It looks sick. It looks like Christopher High School, but better.” “Sick” for those with little contact with teens is as cool as it gets.
Gets a smile a mile wide from me when the San Francisco Giants sweep a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers – it’s a taste as sweet as the fresh corn at LJB Farms. For my few Dodger fan friends, and especially for my buddy, Gilroy’s de facto Mayor Rich Perez, here’s  a photo my daughter snapped of me  sporting my favorite baseball cap EVER before the Giants polished off the Dodgers in game three of the series Wednesday night … Let’s Go Giants!
Ruby Jeske needs a “Let’s Go!” chant, too, though her attitude is predictably wonderful as she fights breast cancer. Ruby worked the counter at Heavy’s Grill at the Gilroy Golf Course keeping customers happy while brother, Troy Garcia, loaded up the grill with goodies. There’s a benefit golf tournament to help Ruby keep up with her medical expenses. It’s a 4-person scramble on Sunday, Oct. 21 at the 11-hole gem with a start at 8:30 a.m. and a lunch (you know Troy will do the food and beverages up right) to follow. Oh, and for your plan-ahead purposes, the 49ers play that Thursday night, Oct. 18, against the Seahawks, so Sunday is free and clear to help out Ruby. Cost is $95 and you can ring up Troy at Heavy’s Grill (847-2857) to order breakfast burritos for the office staff and sign up for the tourney.
If they need some table decorative doo-dads, the “Big Dog” is opening in plenty of time. Hobby Lobby, the friendly Midwest retail giant, welcomes the public in Morgan Hill on Monday in Cochrane Plaza, the center where Big 5 and Wal-Mart are. Hobby Lobby is a catchy name with a huge selection from arts and crafts supplies to fabrics to picture frames to furniture, that should make all kinds of shoppers happy.
More than happy is what Gilroyan Mary Cortani makes veterans when our own Gilroy hero helps veterans who are having serious adjustment troubles after coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The former Army Master Instructor of Canine Education founded Operation Freedom   s Paws, a 501 (c3) nonprofit and her work with vets – pairing a dog and a vet and overseeing the training sessions that result in the dog becoming the veteran’s own service dog – earned her a “CNN Hero” honor. If she’s selected to be in the top 10, people will be able to vote for her as “CNN Hero of the Year” which, if she were to win, comes with a $250,000 prize. The relationship with the service dog is transforming for the veterans. “She basically turned her whole life over to the veterans and to this program,” said Janet Wenholz, a volunteer. “I don’t know how she finds the perfect dog … but it’s amazing to watch them bond within an hour,” she said. We’ll let you know at the end of the month if Cortani makes the top 10 list. She deserves to. Her work to help those willing to sacrifice their lives for our country is absolutely heartwarming and inspiring.
Inspiring are the ideas, values and principles upon which our country is founded. But as government grows and meddles more and more, rowing away from those bedrock ideas, I fear an end result like this: Ineptocracy … A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. It’s amusing on the surface, but as voters and contributors we have to be vigilant about not confusing lending a helping hand with creating an unhealthy and unsustainable dependence. And we must insist that government live within its means or this country will perish under its own foolish burden.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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