Live in a Councilman’s Home, Play Mozart

For rent?

We were surprised when scanning the AirBnB site to see that City Councilman Peter Leroe-Muñoz had an ad renting out his house. What? Doesn’t a council member have to live in Gilroy? We know his wife works on the Peninsula and he works in San Jose, so it raised our curiosity. Was this one of those scams like we’ve seen in San Francisco and in the Trump campaign of someone using a fake address for political purposes?

No, said Leroe-Muñoz. He was capitalizing on the Super Bowl rush. He and his wife got $400  for their Gilroy townhome for the big game weekend. He listed it for the women’s golf tournament and the Garlic Festival, but it wasn’t taken.

So, if you aren’t in your home, where are you? He stays at his parent’s home in Oakland when it rents out, he said.

Leroe-Muñoz said he knows vacation rentals are controversial in other cities, but haven’t come up in Gilroy, so it is “acceptable and appropriate.” Told that Local Scene was writing about it, he said: “If it gets more business, I’ll happily take it.”

For $68 a night, the listing says, you get a “Brand new, modern home. Plenty of space and all modern appliances!”

Check out the photos here:

Raise the roof

A fundraiser dinner for the restoration of Gilroy’s newest historic landmark, the Miller Red Barn at Christmas Hill Park is on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 74 W 6th St, Gilroy. Starting at 5 p.m., the dinner will include BBQ Chicken or Tri-Tip, plus wine or nonalcoholic beverage, no-host bar and raffle for a signed, numbered print of the Miller Red Barn by local artist Scott Lance. Guest speakers will tell the story behind the barn, built by Henry Miller, the “Cattle King of California” more than 100 years ago. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased at Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, Ashford’s Antiques, Bay Sierra Properties, Gilroy Foundation or online at

Wanna get high?

When you think of the cutting edge, San Martin may not jump off the tip of your tongue. However, the community’s airport is at the forefront of a brilliant project to get help for cities in need after a disaster.

The program called DART—Disaster Airlift Response Team—started in the aftermath of 1989’s Loma Prieta earthquake when Santa Cruz County roads were cut off from food deliveries on Highway 17. Private pilots filled the gap, flying much-needed food to the small Watsonville Airport. Surprisingly, it worked, particularly helping food banks and those who needed groceries most.

“In the course of a few days half a million pounds were flown in,” said Paul Marshall, a pilot who is co-chair of the San Martin DART efforts. “You wouldn’t think these small propeller planes could do this on that scale. One of the takeaways was wouldn’t it be great if we could be more organized in the future.”

So the group is holding a drill at the San Martin Airport on Oct. 1 to prepare South Valley pilots for an emergency. The drill isn’t open to the public, but will be covered in this newspaper. However, they have openings for eight passengers to test evacuations. You can catch a flight by contacting [email protected].

The group is also seeking other volunteers to bring 10 to 100 pounds of food donations to be checked in, weighed, and flown during the day. All of the donated food will be given to Saint Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy. “If we can feed St. Joseph’s for a day, maybe we can feed Gilroy/Morgan Hill/San Martin for a week in a real emergency,” the group said.

Mozart and you

This is your chance to play your own piano concerto in a backdrop of nature. For the third consecutive year, Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation is placing five pianos in the most picturesque spots in five county parks and they’re there for your enjoyment now through Oct. 5.

Sunset Piano, in partnership with Parks and Rec, is continuing to discover how placing pianos in an outdoor environment affects human behavior and spirit. Pianists of all ages and skill levels, from “Chopsticks” to Chopin, can play as long as they wish. You might play in solitude or to an impromptu audience of hikers, bikers and joggers.

The pianos can be found in the picnic area at Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch in Gilroy;  Vasona Lake in Los Gatos under the sycamore tree by the boat rental area; Casa Grande/New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum near the renovated garden on the patio deck; Uvas Canyon under the redwoods and near the waterfalls at the outdoor amphitheater; and Joseph D. Grant under the stars near the historic Grant house and rose garden.

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