Published in the September 13 – September 26, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Image result for betsy's restaurant morgan hill californiaAfter years serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to South Valley residents and local bowlers, Betsy’s Restaurant ceased serving dinner Aug. 30. According to Randa Nazzal Habib, daughter of Jesse and Betsy Nazzal: “To all of our patrons here at Betsy’s Restaurant. After serving our community dinners at the Morgan hill bowl for over 25 years we have decided to minimize our hours of operation to just serving breakfast and lunch. Last night serving dinner will be this Wednesday, Aug. 30. We hope you all understand the need for family time. We will miss serving all of our evening regulars and our bowlers. We will still be offering many of our tasty plates as lunch specials. Thank you so much for your continued support and we will see you all for breakfast.”

Thank you, Randa and your family, for not only serving amazing food with a great attitude and family atmosphere. Thank you also for all you do for the community!

On a personal note, I watched the 65th and final Capitola Begonia Festival, a parade of floats our family would watch when I was a youngster. After moving to the seaside village in the early 1980s, I reported on the festival for the Capitola Courier, a newspaper I owned there for about five years.

The week-long festival also includes a sand castle building contest, a horseshoe contest and a fishing contest for children before culminating in the nautical parade of floats.

The number of parade float entries had dwindled in past years, but with this being the last year, eight groups took up the task of building the floats that include tens of thousands of begonias each.

Begonias once bloomed across the region in decades past. But with their popularity dropping during the past decade, the business waned. Last year, Golden State Bulb Growers in Watsonville announced it would pull out of the begonia business, but agreed to help organizers with one last festival.


Congratulations to first place winners, the Riverview Rascals and my friend John Martorella. He designed and built a float with an airplane that rose up and down, a rotating propeller and smoke that drifted out of the rear of the plane. Very impressive. It’s a tradition I’m going to miss. Perhaps they can come up with another flower and continue next year.

The downtown parking garage has been open for about 18 months, and since it opened the city has faced several challenges. Namely, inappropriate activities that include youth and adults climbing on the ledges, cars speeding within the structure, skateboarding and bicycling at high rates of speed and loitering on the top floor. In response, the city partially closed the top level of the garage Sept. 1 to allow for an improvement project that will prevent and deter unauthorized access to the ledges and roof areas within the garage.

Effective Friday, Sept. 1, the top level of the garage will be partially closed to allow for an improvement project that will prevent and deter unauthorized access to the ledges and roof areas within the parking garage, according to the staff report sent to city council who approved the measures at their Sept. 6 meeting.

The enhancement to the garage is part of a three-pronged approach that will include enforcement and education, in addition to engineering the physical enhancements. It is anticipated that the partial closure, affecting about 50 spaces, will be in effect through the end of October.


Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi