Published in the December 5 – 18, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Good news for the South Valley’s beloved BookSmart. The bookstore and cafe has been struggling to stay afloat it its shop on East Dunne Avenue. Last week we learned from co-owners Brad Jones and Cinda Meister that BookSmart has found a new home at 421 Vineyard Town Center.

“Many people in the community have generously contributed their time and money in an attempt to help, but in spite of these efforts, none of the avenues we pursued worked out,” Jones said in a letter to the community.

The iconic store had been in two downtown sites until it moved to a site east of the highway about 28 months ago. The owners will start in January to transform the shop in its new venue in the shopping center near Nob Hill Foods. It will be 90 percent bookstore.

“The new location is very accessible,” Jones said. “It is part of a busy shopping center with lots of parking, and it will be much easier to drop in while you are doing your other shopping. The current model in retail is value and speed. So what our little brick and mortar store can do to thrive in the face of much larger online and chain store competitors is provide service, selection, and convenience.”

During the holidays this December, stop by the current location and pick up some books and toys and other gifts for friends and family. It’ll help support a local business run by really generous folks.

BookSmart, the community loves you. We wish you the best of luck in your new location.

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Speaking of books, you now have even more time to check out the Morgan Hill Library as it has expanded some weekday hours and added Sunday hours.

Beginning this week, Morgan Hill Library will be open from noon to 9 p.m., an hour earlier than in the past, Monday through Wednesday. It will open from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays for the first time.

“This has been a goal of the Morgan Hill community for many years,” said County Librarian Nancy Howe. “I am so happy to be able to offer library services in South County on Sunday.”

Morgan Hill Library will celebrate the additional hours of service with a special performance by Germar the Magician at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9. Visit for more information about the schedules for all of our locations and our full schedule of events.

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Navreet Dhillon

Navreet Dhillon, a longtime resident of Morgan Hill and self-taught artist, is currently exhibiting her work at Art of Yoga. Her art is inspired by her Punjabi ancestry, experiences growing up, her children and nature. Her father was a landscape architect with the United Nations and his work took the family all over the world. She was born in England and grew up in Tanzania, Nigeria and Dubai. Her family immigrated to America when she was 18.

The Sikh philosophy of “Chardi Kala,” which roughly translates to Eternal Optimism, also inspires much of her art. She paints to remind herself of the kindness, light, and love that still exists in the world. In her spare time she is a doctor.

Proceeds will be donated to The Edward Boss Prado Foundation/Cecelia’s Closet. Art of Yoga is located at 16165 Monterey Road, #200. Open studio is Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit To view her art, visit her Facebook page PoppyJasperArts and stoip by the Art of Yoga sometime.

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The people who lost their lives and their homes in this month’s devastating Camp Fire in Butte County are in the thoughts and prayers of local residents — including Britton Middle School seventh-grader Ella Francis. We received a beautiful poem honoring them from her grandparents, Christine and Ralph Chellino and her parents Mike and Teressa Francis.

“After dinner (one recent evening) my 12-year-old granddaughter composed this poem reflecting on the pain caused by the California fires, in particular the Camp Fire,” Ralph wrote.

We share the sentiment of these words and encourage all South Valley residents to help out the victims of this tragedy in any way you can.

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