New building encourages creativity in students

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Oakwood School celebrated the opening of the Gwendolyn Riches Liberal Arts Center Aug. 19, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Students, parents, faculty, staff, trustees, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce members, and other honored guests, gathered in the expanded quad outside the impressive new building.

Head of School Michelle Helvey welcomed the community and thanked all who participated in the campaign in the past year through various fundraising efforts.

The Liberal Arts Center, a two-story addition, houses state-of-the-art innovation including a 200-seat theater, green room, dressing rooms, a Makers Lab, a student center, and many new classrooms and visual and performing arts spaces. The addition was made possible in part through the generosity of the school’s community of donors including parents, alumni, trustees, grandparents, and friends.

The Oakwood community looked on as Helvey officially cut the red ribbon with an oversized pair of scissors, marking the opening of the Liberal Arts Center and the 2019-2020 school year.

Image result for MHPD logoThe Morgan Hill Police Department has launched a new technological platform that will allow the department to send automated messages to crime victims and 911 callers and gives officers a way to better communicate with those they serve, Police Chief David Swing said.

Often due to a lack of resources, law enforcement agencies around the nation struggle to effectively communicate with their customers: crime victims. This results in a lack of transparency, unrealistic expectations, frustrating outcomes, and poor public perception, Swing said.

The platform enables law enforcement agencies to automatically send one-to-one text messages to those customers.

“Being a victim of a crime is never easy,” said Capt. Emil Kokesh. “Victims deserve to know they have been heard and something is being done.” Once a report is taken victims need basic information, such as a report number or an explanation of next steps. With the victim notifications platform, victims are proactively and automatically informed.

Are you ready for some football? It’s time for the South Valley Flag Football League to kick off. Dedicated to providing a high quality NFL Flag program for boys and girls ages 4 to 14, South Valley Flag Football has been running leagues in the Morgan Hill area since 2004. The cost to play is $150 for 10 games plus the player combine, end of season jamboree, NFL logo jersey and flags, T-shirt, shorts, socks and more. NFL Flag is 5-on-5, no-contact game that emphasizes skill development, equal playing time, life lessons and teamwork, plus its lots of fun to play. Registration is open at Early registration closes Sept. 29 and final registration closes Oct. 20. The player combine will be held Sept. 29, with first games scheduled for Oct. 20. The season ends Dec. 1.

It’s heartening to see South Valley people coming together in the wake of the tragic shooting the final day of this year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival. Together, we have raised more than $1 million for the victims.

Festival organizers recently posted this to their Facebook:

“Even in our mourning, we are taking our first steps toward healing. Recovery begins with appreciation for our entire community — you — who have shared your time, prayers and support. We would like to thank the Gilroy Police Department who responded with bravery and professionalism; the first responders and volunteers who reacted without hesitation even while their own lives were at risk; the medical and mental health care providers who continue to provide care — there are no words to express our gratitude and lasting admiration; our 4,000-plus volunteers who organized and hosted the festival and continue our shared mission; the artists, craftspeople, vendors, and musicians who exhibited, entertained, and performed for our guests; and our community partners who continue to support us and our commitment to bring the community together to raise funds for local organizations.”

Together, we look forward to brighter days to come and to the 42nd annual festival.

Finally, the large-scale Bingo program, run by the Friends of the Morgan Hill Senior Center, operates throughout the year to raise funds for the sustainability of the center’s programs and services. They are looking for volunteers. For information and to volunteer, contact Cricket Rubino at (408) 219-4136 or [email protected]


Marty Cheek