Published in the October 10 – 23, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Dennis Browne

We’re sorry to tell our readers Dennis Browne, Morgan Hill Community Adult School’s principal for 16 years, died Aug. 27 after a long battle with esophageal cancer. He was a selfless man whose passion and educational activities made it possible for thousands of students in the Morgan Hill Unified School District to turn their life’s burdens into milestones of graduation and achievement.

“When Dennis came to Morgan Hill Unified School District to lead the adult school, he began a journey that would change thousands of lives,” MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando told us. “Soft spoken and compassionate, he always took a personal and heartfelt interest in the lives of students who walked into the adult school.”

When adult school programs were closed throughout California because of budget cuts and political maneuvering, Brown creatively consolidated programs and adapted to changes in regulations. He tailored course offerings and developed partnerships that eventually turned Community Adult School into a model program.

“Dennis’s leadership nurtured valuable programs while helping create a solid core of citizens with necessary learning opportunities aimed to provide long-term, positive contributions to our society as he will forever be a model,” Betando said.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at St. Joseph of Cupertino Church, 10110 North De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino.

Dennis, you’ll be missed in Morgan Hill — especially by the many people you helped.

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As a journalist, I’m occasionally asked how to tell the difference between true news and the fake news distributed by social media and bogus websites. Sometimes the fabricated reports are obvious. But many times it’s hard to determine even for a professional. That’s why I’m glad the Gilroy Public Library invited former journalist, professor, and media researcher Dr. John McManus to bring his candid perspective and practical method to separating real from fake or misleading news.

McManus will speak at the library at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. The author of “Don’t be Fooled: A Citizen’s Guide to News and Information in the Digital Age” will provide “basic tools and habits of mind” for evaluating the reliability and trustworthiness of the information we receive from the news media and other sources online.

“In Silicon Valley we have access to an abundance of information,” said Nancy Howe, Santa Clara County Librarian. “Sometimes it’s hard for even the most technologically sophisticated person to discern which sources to believe. Dr. McManus sheds light on some of the best practices for ensuring the news we consume is properly sourced and accurate.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Gilroy chapter of The American Association of University Women and is part of the Santa Clara County Library District’s efforts to support Information Literacy Awareness Month. If you’re like me and concerned by the state of today’s news and how to tell the difference between the truth and lies, this is a talk you don’t want to miss.

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Tropos electric vehicle

Hurray for local efforts to protect our planet. The Morgan Hill City Council accepted and celebrated the donation of two electric vehicles from local company Tropos Technologies Inc. Mayor Steve Tate recognized Tropos and expressed sincere appreciation to John Bautista, CEO of Tropos.


“Our Tropos Technologies Team is very proud to be able to give back to our local community,” Bautista said. “It has been a lifelong dream to create a business in Morgan Hill, as both myself, and a number of our team members, have been long-time residents and raised our families here.”

Tropos manufactures electric commercial utility vehicles. The city has been engaged with the applicability of the vehicles for use by maintenance staff. They are small vehicles that fit up to two people and are equipped with a utility bed with racks. Vehicles are street legal. City staff believe the vehicles would be useful in providing maintenance service at parks, in the downtown, and at recreation facilities.

The donation is valued at approximately $32,000. The city will test the applicability of the vehicles for providing maintenance services. Public Services Director Chris Ghione said: “The electric utility vehicles generously donated to the city by Tropos Technologies, Inc. will support the efficient maintenance of the city’s infrastructure, while at the same time supporting the city’s commitment to the ongoing priority of protecting the environment.”

Watch for the EVs cruising our streets soon.

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