Published in the January 16 – 29, 2019 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Temple of our lady Guadalupe.

Temple of our Lady of Guadalupe in Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Our friend Amy Whelan, president of the Sisters City program in Morgan Hill, told us that our community has a new Sister City with a connection with Ameca, Mexico.

“The relationship is intended to promote the spirit of friendship, international cooperation, and goodwill between Morgan Hill and Ameca,” she told us.

The Ameca connection started when members of the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill and the Rotary Club of Ameca thought it would be a wonderful way to have a city-to-city relationship focusing on community service projects, planned and executed in partnership, she said.

The two Rotary Clubs have worked together since 2009 to provide computers, technology and infrastructure improvements to all primary schools in Ameca’s inner city. In 2015 they signed a “Sister Club” proclamation, parallel to what the two Sister Cities Associations are currently planning. Peter Anderson, former president of Rotary Club of Morgan Hill, and John Kelley, vice president of SCMH, worked together on behalf of SCMH to usher in the newest friendship inaugurated in January 2019.

Examples of activities include visits between citizens of both cities, cultural exchanges of art, music, sports, and other areas of mutual interest, plus possible affiliations between schools and student organizations. The relationship was formalized Nov. 30, 2018, between former Mayor Steve Tate and Juan Valentín Serrano Jiménez, municipal president of the city of Ameca.

“We are lucky John and Peter were able to channel time, energy, and expertise toward such a productive result,” Whelan said. “Bernie Mulligan, former president for SCMH, also did a great job in making connections to get the project going.”

Sister Cities of Morgan Hill is an all-volunteer nonprofit formed in 2002. In addition to Ameca, it also has relationships with San Casciano, Italy; Seferihisar, Turkey; San Martin de Hidalgo, Mexico; Mizuho, Japan; and Headford, Ireland.

Bienvenido (welcome), Ameca, to Morgan Hill’s Sister Cities group.

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Mike Wasserman

Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who represents South Valley, shared with us the news that the new Animal Services Center project is underway.

“Construction of the new center is scheduled to break ground in spring 2019, with a move-in date of mid-2021,” he said.

The new 37,000-square-foot, one-story building on 4.5 acres at 90 Highland Ave. will replace the facility in San Martin with an innovative and sustainable building design in a park-like setting. The no-kill center will serve dogs, cats, horses, sheep, and include a spay and neuter clinic, veterinary medicine and support areas, and a multi-use center.

“It will be an inviting destination for visitors focused on animal welfare, care, and education and will include a community multi-use room,” he said.

The building and infrastructure part of the project is budgeted at $25 million. The relocation is needed because the existing shelter is aging, outdated and does not meet the county’s needs  and goals. According to the county’s website, the new center will “provide a facility that can integrate the latest and best practices for disease control, odor control and acoustics, promote health, reduce stress and create a calming environment.”

Donations are being accepted to help save and enhance the lives of shelter pets at

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Save the date: Sept. 7, 2019. That’s when Gavilan College will kick-off its centennial year with a gala event called “Gavilan Through The Decades” celebrating its first 100 years serving the South Valley’s higher-education needs. Tickets are now available as are sponsorships ranging from $500 to $50,000.

Gala guests will take a nostalgic and informative stroll through the decades from the 1920s to today. Each decade will feature areas of academia highlighted with education tables, as well as stations with themed food from each decade, wine stations, live music, photo booths, students in period costume, formal portraits, live and silent auctions, strolling card magician in a tuxedo, and a string quartet.

“We are looking forward to this celebration and to welcoming the community to campus for the party of the century,” said Dr. Kathleen Rose, superintendent/president of Gavilan College.

Gavilan was established in 1919 as the San Benito County Junior College, operating under that name until 1963, when a new community college district was drawn that included both San Benito County and southern Santa Clara County. The college moved to its current Gilroy campus in 1968.

To become a sponsor, contact Bobbi Jo Palmer at For tickets, visit

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