Enjoying the spice of life and trying to make it better
music in the park san jose

Survey, spicy or February birthday … where do I begin? Ah, a
double play …
Happy birthday to Steve Costa also a Spice of Life Award
recipient as the Large Business of the Year with his brother, Dandy
Randy, purveyors of fine young plants via Headstart Nursery

Feeding America one Seedling at a Time.

Survey, spicy or February birthday … where do I begin? Ah, a double play …

Happy birthday to Steve Costa also a Spice of Life Award recipient as the Large Business of the Year with his brother, Dandy Randy, purveyors of fine young plants via Headstart Nursery – “Feeding America one Seedling at a Time.” Besides accolades for his soon-to-be famous speech at the Life is Spicy dinner Saturday night, Costa received new shoes – themed golf shoes that is. SF Giants logo on one outside heel and the World Championship logo on the other. Anyone who has played golf with Steve can readily determine he’s an ex-baseball player … and he is, having teamed with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith at Cal Poly SLO. Such a thoughtful gift, certainly wife Teresa deserves something extraspensive this Valentine’s Day …

Costa got the shoes, but Jay and Vicki Baksa got the World Championship Trophy, for a whole night, in their cozy Gilroy home. Son Bobby, as you may recall, has one of those dream jobs at a dream time working in the front office for the SF Giants and he was escorting the trophy on its World Title Tour. En route to a morning trophy stop in Salinas, Bobby brought the trophy home for the night. More than a few pictures were snapped and, yep, Bobby faithfully guarded the goods spending the night downstairs right next to it.

Next birthday wish to Alan Ladd, 67 on Monday. Sez Alan, “And I don’t look a day over 67.” But, Alan, your fresh sense of humor hasn’t aged a day in the 20 years I’ve known you and that’s a rare gift indeed … so, an Irish toast, “May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.” Two extra, Alan, would that take care of it?

Have to repent for my faux pas last week which I realized just after waking up Friday morn’. So happened I had an appointment that very morning at Bruce’s Tire for an oil change, lube and a tune up. Owner Eric Howard greeted me with, “My phone has been ringing off the hook …” and fortunately I was prepared to deliver my mea culpa for writing that Howard owned another tire shop that used to be associated with the Howard family when he actually owns Bruce’s Tire, Bruce’s Tire, Bruce’s Tire. Being Catholic, that’s the column equivalent of saying three Hail Marys out of the confessional box.

MayorAl will probably never confess his comment on the Gilroy survey that the newspaper needs a new editor, but ’tis petty and not really so important. What is important is a measure of understanding to go with the numbers. For example, Gilroyans said they rarely use the dog park. No surprise. The city powers that be turned the Las Animas Veterans Park facility into a virtual hell hole for man and his best beastly friend. Hot, hard-pan, sloping surfaces, no seating, no visibility, no signage. Honestly, the dog park fiasco exemplifies an important difference between the city of Morgan Hill and the city of Gilroy. Morgan Hill City Hall took the volunteer energy and suggestions from the dog park advocates and built a simple and practical facility next to a main road around a grass area with trees. MH added benches, a few pathways and the dog park necessities – a fence, areas for small and large dogs, a water stop and the poop bags. Gilroy City Hall reluctantly undertakes the project, dictates the design, essentially turning a deaf ear to common sense suggestions, pats itself on the back and delivers a park that only a blind man and a dog without a nose would want to visit. Fortunately, the resilient Gilroy community doesn’t give up and now there are 11 beautiful trees (thanks to Jim and Beth Blocher and Western Tree Nursery) and benches thanks to the ongoing generosity of the Merriman family and the Gilroy Foundation. So, if you haven’t checked out Gilroy’s Dog Park in a while, try again. It’s new and improved … but, wait, a question lingers that, ultimately, City Administrator Tom Haglund has to answer: Why does it take more than 18 months to erect a street sign directing people to the dog park when there’s donated money waiting to pay for it?

People will pay for it when it’s local – and delicious. Case in point: In last Friday’s edition we published a story on my friend, local businessman Jeff Martin, and his new local product Frantoio Grove Olive Oil. Jeff convinced Tom at Rocca’s Market on Monterey Street in San Martin, to carry the oil. Jeff said, “How about a case, and I’ll take back whatever you don’t sell?” Friday dawned, Blair Tellers’ wonderful story broke in print and in short order Tom called Jeff and said he needed more. Jeff delivered a few more cases. Later, Tom called again. People who had never been to Rocca’s Market (great meat counter, local honey, friendly folks) were showing up to buy the olive oil. Ten cases later, Tom and Jeff were happy … and that’s what we here at the local newspaper call a SUCCESS story.

Plenty of success not just in the administration of Ascension Solorsano’s Middle School – hats off and well deserved to Principal Salvatore Tomasello who is getting the Chamber’s Educator of the Year award this weekend – but there’s big time success on the hardwood, too. The eighth grade basketball team, undefeated in league and the playoffs, is in the county championship game against Russell Middle School from Milpitas. The Eagles are anchored by center Dillon Day and a strong cast including Josh Wheat, T.J. Cox and Chad Hartman. In the last two years, the Eagles have only a lone blemish, a one-point loss to St. Simon’s, a team I have no love for since I still remember a stinging eighth-grade defeat in the Catholic League tourney at St. Francis High many moons ago. Watch out for the future at Christopher High, where the Solorsano nucleus is headed. The best local high school team since Tracy Carpenter coached Derek Bruton and company could be just around the corner.  

Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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