Santa Clara County was once known as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

If you happen to be on Fourth Street passing by the Sunsweet Luxury Apartment building, take a look at the wonderful new mural decorating the side of downtown’s latest housing development. The images on it reflect the property’s agricultural roots by depicting the labels of 50 fruit crates containing prunes, apricots and cherries that grew in the South County region when it was known as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.”

Each of the nine panels measure 4-feet by 8-feet in size to create a colorful effect on the side of the building. The artwork is the creation of Anthony Stenberg, owner of Morgan Hill Art School with his wife,  Angela. The theme is appropriate because the site of the apartments decades ago was busy as a fruit processing facility for Sunsweet products. Its inspiration came from an Andy Warhol collection he saw last year at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Stenberg was commissioned to create the nostalgic mural by the project’s owners, Rocke and Glenda Garcia to bring an attractive piece of art reflecting Morgan Hill’s farming past.

The Sunsweet artwork is a warmly welcomed addition to beautifying our downtown, which already has so many great public art pieces.

Let’s hear it for women’s vote. Wednesday Aug. 26, men and women in South Valley celebrated the historic centennial of the passing of the 19th amendment guaranteeing American women the right to vote.

The American Association of University Women Morgan Hill branch presented two bench plaques to the Morgan Hill Historical Society on the lawns of City Hall. They also honored Virginia Mae Days, first woman mayor of Morgan Hill, and superior court judge. Stop by the plaza during the month of September to see their citywide Centennial Trail educational contest.

Later that day, they joined the South County Women’s Equality Group’s peaceful and masked Suffrage Walk downtown, culminating at the Grange for cupcakes and a photograph.

“In partnership with the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Women’s Week committee, the local AAUW also hosted a virtual panel discussion on the history of the Suffrage movement,” said AAUW member Suman Gunapathy.

And in honor of all the individuals who in America’s past worked — and sacrificed — to provide women with the constitutional right to vote, let us make sure we do our democratic duty and cast our ballot this November.

Valley Water wants the public’s input before it takes the next step toward fixing Anderson Dam. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered it to begin lowering water levels in Anderson Reservoir starting Oct. 1.

Before that work begins, Valley Water is hosting a Zoom community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 where they will present the latest information on the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit project. District representative John Varela encourages residents to participate and learn more about the upcoming work and impacts on the neighborhood, the environment, and recreational activities.

To attend the meeting, visit:

Dial: +1 669 900 9128

Webinar ID: 996 2255 7783

They will also stream the meeting on Facebook Live at

To submit a question, please email [email protected] or call (408) 630-2342 through Sept. 16. The project is estimated to start in 2024 and will last about seven years.

The Morgan Hill Community Foundation has identified the SCU Lightning Complex Fire as an emergency. It encourages citizens to go to its website at to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund. All donations made to the MHCF Disaster Relief Fund will be used to directly support nonprofit organizations in the greater Morgan Hill area.

Since the fund  was formed April 11, 2020, more than $30,000 has been granted to local nonprofit organizations.

“This effort along with the COVID-19 Essential Child Care Workers Program we partnered with the MHUSD and the YMCA (raising more than $35,000 in donations) serves as a testament to our communities willingness and active engagement to support those of need during times of great uncertainty,” said Nick Gaich, MHCF board president.

Robert Airoldi