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Around Town . . . with Robert Airoldi: ‘Benevolent Pirate’ entertains young students with swashbuckling story

Published in the March 15 – 28, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Everyone loves Dr. Seuss. And the students in Gilroy and Morgan Hill schools celebrated the famous children’s author on his March 2 birthday through the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day.

Rich Firato, Morgan Hill’s beloved “Benevolent Pirate,” read to students in Miss Baker’s class at El Toro Elementary School the comical story “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long. The kids enjoyed the swashbucklin’ adventure about a boy named Jeremy Jacob who learns about the pleasures and perils of the pirate life.

• • •

It’s my favorite time of year. We set the clocks ahead, spring training goes into high gear and Spirit of Morgan Hill Girls Fast-pitch Softball has kicked off. Earlier this month, Spirit Softball welcomed 230 players and their families to the 34th season at the San Martin Gwinn fields. Players range from 4 to 17 and are divided into five divisions.

“We’ve been preparing for this day for a long time,” said Tom Evans, president, Spirit of Morgan Hill Softball. “It was nice to see the players, coaches and families enjoy the start of the season.”

Following the regular season, Spirit of Morgan Hill softball organizes travel competition teams that play in tournaments across the state of California and Nevada. Last summer, the 10U competition team, coached by Tiffany Iacomini, was crowned Nor Cal champions. Ahh, the sound of the crack of the bat … nothing better!

• • •

Hundreds of third graders got beautiful hardbound “MacMillan for Children” dictionaries with nameplates thanks to the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. For the sixth consecutive year, Rotary members delivered the dictionaries to Morgan Hill Unified School District students.

Students get to keep the books, which come with a bookplate where the student can enter his or her name. It also lists Rotary Internationals Four-Way Test: “Of the things we think, say or do… Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

As a writer and editor, I can’t think of a better gift!

• • •

Congratulations to local real estate agent Alex Kennett who was named an EcoBroker. Noticing that many chambers of commerce historically eschew environmental issues, Kennett became the chairman of his local organization in 2002 and began one of the first environmental affairs committees in California. Since then he has worked to convince the business community it can thrive in sync with the environmental community.

Environment and economy have to work hand in hand, Alex says. “In fact, it’s good for business.”

Alex strives to be a bridge between business and the environment. Noticing that many chambers of commerce historically eschew environmental issues, Kennett became the chairman of his local organization in 2002 and began one of the first environmental affairs committees in California. He works steadfastly to convince the business community it can work in sync with the environmental community.

Environment and economy have to work hand in hand, Alex says. “In fact, it’s good for business.” Dedicating significant time to his work on the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, Kennett is serving his fifth term on the board. The organization buys land and preserves it, eventually opening the land for recreational uses such as hiking, biking, and equestrian activities for generations to come.

Alex, thank you for your service.

• • •

If you’re looking for a local veterinarian, you should check out VCA San Martin, who told us they have recently extended their hours and beginning in April they will be open seven days a week.

Additionally, they told us they hired two new vets and we would like to introduce them.

Dr. Paulina Sergienko graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Kosice, Slovakia in 2011. She lived and worked in fast-paced England for three years before meeting her American husband while treating his beloved dog. The two then decided to move to the United States for a new adventure and the promise for career enrichment. She obtained her California Veterinary Medicine license and joined the VCA San Martin Animal Hospital team last year. Dr. Michelle Mlnarik was born and raised in San Jose. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Merced and graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She also joined the VCA San Martin Animal Hospital team last year. To you both, welcome to South County!