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December 4, 2023

Local Scene: Gilroy Police to hold DUI checkpoint

Police holding DUI checkpoint on Sept. 22

The Gilroy Police Department will conduct a driving under the influence and driver’s license checkpoint on Sept. 22 from 7pm to 1am at an undisclosed location within the city.

The checkpoint locations are determined based on data showing incidents of impaired driving-related crashes. The primary purpose of the DUI checkpoints is to promote public safety by taking suspected impaired drivers off the road.

“Impaired drivers put others on the road at significant risk,” Sgt. Mike McMahon said. “Any prevention measures that reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads significantly improves traffic safety.”

Impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

Drivers charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Uvas Creek cleanup scheduled

The next cleanup event organized by the City of Gilroy is scheduled for Sept. 23 from 9am to noon at Uvas Creek and surrounding areas.

Participants are asked to meet at Solorsano Middle School Gym, 7121 Grenache Way.

City officials will provide trash bags and grabbers. All volunteers will be required to sign a waiver.

To sign up, visit cityofgilroy.org/reconline. Look for “Gilroy (Coastal) Cleanup Day” under the “Volunteers” category.

For information, visit Gilroy.City/FightDirty.

Mayor, GUSD superintendent to hold conversation

Mayor Marie Blankley will be joined by Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent Anisha Munshi and City Administrator Jimmy Forbis during Conversation and Coffee on Oct. 7 at 9:30am in the Council Chambers, 7351 Rosanna St.

The public is invited to discuss and learn more about how the city and the school district interact on issues of mutual relevance throughout Gilroy.

To request Spanish language interpretation services, contact commu[email protected] at least 72 hours before the meeting.

Halloween experience returns to Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park will transform into the imaginary world of BOO Alley during its annual Halloween experience, which opens Sept. 29. 

During the Great Big BOO!, visitors get to team up with characters such as Vinnie the Vampire, Wolfgang Werewolf and Princess Priscilla to help save Halloween from the curse of Wendella the Witch. 

Now in its fifth year at Gilroy Gardens, this event runs on select dates through Oct. 31.

The live “A Great Big Boo!” musical show is free with admission and plays multiple times each night at Lakeside Amphitheater.

Guests will also find many places throughout the park to interact with characters from the show. 

This year, guests can drive through Wolfgang’s Rockin’ Ride, a reimagined South County Backroads, with rock music and laser light displays.

At the town center is the Halloween Festival with a towering pumpkin pyramid, hay maze and games, as well as treats, specialty drinks and souvenirs. New food items for 2023 can be found throughout the park, including an Apple Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake, Flamin’ Hot Corn on the Cob, and Beyond the Grave Fries with chorizo, cilantro lime crema, cotija cheese and jalapeños.

Other popular attractions include the 100-foot-long BOO Alley Light Tunnel, the BOO Train with Vinnie the Vampire, and trick-or-treating along the BOO Trail. 

Kids and families are encouraged to come in costume.

For information and tickets, visit gilroygardens.org.

Local semifinalist named in National Merit Scholarship Program

Christopher High School student Lavender A. Hwang was named a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 16,000 students across the country were named semifinalists. These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 320 business organizations and higher education institutions.

More than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. 

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

County partners with nonprofits to help older adults go online 

The County of Santa Clara has partnered with five nonprofit groups and community organizations to help older adults confidently access the internet. 

The no-cost Access to Technology program aims to reach this part of the population, providing digital literacy training in multiple languages, devices if needed, and assistance in enrolling in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides free at-home internet service for eligible households. It’s being paid for by a $2.1 million state grant, and the County has a goal of using it to help up to 2,000 older adults between now and the program’s expiration date in September 2024. 

“This is an important program that assists eligible, older adults who need to be connected to doctors, family and friends in our complex and growing digital environment,” Santa Clara County Board President Susan Ellenberg said. “Expanding this opportunity to older adults who currently may lack the hardware, connectivity and understanding of how to use such services is an equitable way to minimize the digital divide.” Adults aged 60 and older and those with disabilities are encouraged to contact the County’s partner organizations for more information and access to services offered. For information, visit agefriendlysiliconvalley.org/att.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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