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March 3, 2021

No surprise, police protection tops the taxpayer list, so …

Not surprised that the people polled say that police and fire protection is tops on the list of what they’re willing to pay for either via an additional half-cent sales tax or a parcel tax. It’s slam-dunk predictable. So, we’ll see how this “quality of life” tax evolves through the process and, perhaps, whether or not the people are willing to pay for it if a proposal gets through the City Council and onto the ballot. It’s hard to argue that the people shouldn’t have their “say”, so it’s a likelihood Gilroyans will get a chance to speak out come November … never a dull political moment in little ol’ Garlictown, USA.
Can chant “USA, USA” with the best of them, but I can’t stay tuned to some of the winter Olympic sports. When it comes to global competition, I lean towards the traditional. So, though I appreciate the difficulty, some of the snowboarding events in particular just don’t captivate my Olympic spirit. Since we’re on the topic, my winter Olympic fantasy event has stayed the same since I was a kid: Bobsled. Crazy fast, crazy dangerous, but what a rush. Maybe someday I’ll write about the time my childhood buddy and I took on the Olympic ski jump at Squaw Valley in a wood toboggan.
Not sure if there’s a old wooden sled on the wall or ceiling at Roadhouse Jack’s Burgers and Beers in the Target Shopping Center, but I intend to find out. I’ve been eyeing the joint, which supplanted Arby’s a number of months back, and I keep meaning to give it a try, but … now that I’ve got some news about an upcoming grand opening, I’m going sooner rather than later – more than 100 beers at a long bar, free peanuts to go with and a burger menu you might find on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Oh, and there are plenty of salads available, too, to go with the big-screen TVs. It’s time to check it out.
Check out the grants available through Gilroy’s Latino Family Fund that’s administered in partnership with the Gilroy Foundation. Grants range from $500 to $1,250 either to nonprofit organizations or for efforts that engage youth in philanthropy. The deadline for grant requests is Feb. 28 and contact the Foundation office for details.
More details to come, but there’s a new app for your phone that South County fire chiefs are going to plug along with their co-chiefs in the Bay Area. It’s called PulsePoint. El Camino Hospital in Mountain View and the PulsePoint Foundation are also behind the effort. Download the app and, if you or someone you’re with is having a heart attack, the app will look around and see if there’s someone near who is trained in life-saving CPR techniques. Reads a press relase … “the American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Using sophisticated location-based technology, the innovative PulsePoint app connects those who are trained in CPR/AED use with those in their immediate vicinity who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.” Now that’s taking crowd-sourcing to a whole new level. 
Mike Wasserman, District 1 representative and new president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will speak at the press conference on the PulsePoint app as will District 5 County Supervisor Joe Simitian. Perhaps they can come up with a county app that ensures the future of Saint Louise Hospital. Pardon me for harping, but with 540 jobs on the line along with medical services for all South County residents, it seems like the buzz in elected officialdom should be a whole lot louder than it is right now.
Right now, the brazen murder on a public sidewalk near Las Animas Veterans Park Tuesday night has me wondering about our city’s future. There are lots of questions to answer that might call into question our city’s compassionate policies. But as things get sorted out, one thing’s clear: We cannot let Gilroy become another Salinas where murder and mayhem sprout on a regular basis and are relegated to the back pages of the local newspaper.
Sprouting up is a cool idea I bought into at the beautiful Ferry Building in San Francisco a few weeks back. Seed Bombs are packets of flower and plant seeds in a clay mixture that are designed to brighten up the landscape, private or public. I’ve tossed a few of these little pods that look like good-sized cherry bombs in my backyard to see how they grow. It’s a fine idea, and the website encourages flinging these little nuggets into uncheery public spaces – preferably at opportune times when there will be some rain in the forecast to get the process started. It’s kind of a Johnny Appleseed notion. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce could hand out a few as prizes during a luncheon as a test run … if only they were made in Gilroy and came in the shape of little garlic bulbs.
Going to have a couple of little garlic bulbs, aka the grandchildren, in our care this weekend. That’s always fun and exhausting at the same time. We’re headed to the Gilroy Library on Saturday to see Children’s Author Todd Parr who wrote “Reading Makes You Feel Good” at 3 p.m. I’m excited to take the munchkins. We’ll head to the park first for a good hour of running around to let that energy out, then afterward perhaps get a yummy yogurt as a treat. That should fill up a perfect afternoon for 4-year-old Jackson and his younger sister Tyler. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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