The city leadership team came together in the Emergency Operations Center and worked to identify the extent of the outage

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Photo courtesy NBC Bay Area


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

For nearly 10 hours Feb. 3, most Morgan Hill residents and businesses faced life without the Internet and cellphones (gasp!). Somehow we survived without the ability to chat, text and surf the World Wide Web.

The problem was caused about 10 a.m. when an underground fiber-optic cable was accidentally severed by a construction contractor on Monterey Road south of Vineyard Boulevard. Workers for Spectrum, Verizon, and Frontier restored service by 8 p.m.

Due to this major communication breakdown, the Morgan Hill Unified School District closed for the day because students could not meet through Zoom. The city council workshop and meeting scheduled for that evening was cancelled.

Police Chief Shane Palsgrove said upon learning there was a massive outage the city leadership team came together in the Emergency Operations Center and worked to identify the extent of the outage, address immediate communications and other public safety challenges.

To watch the NBC Bay Area report on the the communications outage, please click here.

“Since calls into our  9-1-1 Dispatch Center were impacted, we immediately transferred  our emergency phone lines to County Communication,” he said. “We doubled our patrol teams and sent them to highly visible and heavily traveled locations and checked on vulnerable facilities such as assisted living centers. We sent out information through our communication sources as we received it and to ensure we reached as many residents and businesses as possible, we alerted our community using Alert SCC.”

Stores and gas stations faced difficulty processing credit and debit cards and only took cash, or closed. The outage reminded us how dependent we are on our communication systems, and how vulnerable residents might be if the system breaks down.

Morgan Hill is getting a little bit cleaner, thanks to Jeffrey Prickett and a host of volunteers. After moving to Morgan Hill in 2013, he looked for a way to get involved. In 2016, he took part in Leadership Morgan Hill, and thereafter explored a few opportunities; but none resonated, or felt “right,” he said.

As the pandemic set in, and his normal work schedule was replaced with perpetual “working from home,” he spent more and more time jogging, cycling and driving the streets of Morgan Hill — and become increasingly troubled by the growing amount of trash — so troubled, that it inspired him to do something about it.

So, last summer he got started — one or two bags a week, put in his own garbage receptacle. Since then, this has grown from his weekly solo efforts, to participating in Coastal California Cleanup, adopting a portion of Little Llagas Creek with Valley Water, and organizing monthly group clean ups targeting different parts of the city.

“Our goal is to end littering and dumping in Morgan Hill by the end of 2021, and inspire the same in other communities,” he told us. “In these turbulent times, I believe that service, community and beauty may be more important than ever.”

Below is a schedule of dates and locations volunteers will clean

Feb. 13 — no group clean up planned. Encourage individuals to clean up in their neighborhoods.

Feb. 20 — 9 to 11 a.m. at Galvan Park. Meet at Hale Avenue entrance.

Feb. 27 — 9 to 11 a.m. at Diana Park. Meet at Diana Avenue entrance.

March 6 — 9 to 11 a.m. at downtown parks. Meet at the entrance to Third Street Creek Park behind Ladera Grill.

March 13 — no group clean up planned. Will serve as make-up date for rain previous week(s).

March 20 — 9 to 11 a.m. at Anderson Lake Park. Meet at Woodchoppers Flat Picnic Area

March 27 — 9 to 11 a.m. at  the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports and Aquatic centers. Meet at the entrance to the Outdoor Sports Center along Condit Road.

Michael Duran

We hope a reader might help the Morgan Hill police find the person who killed Michael Duran May 29, 2020. While Duran was driving on the Butterfield Boulevard overpass, he was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

The MHPD is requesting information from the community. Working with Mothers Against Murder nonprofit charitable organization, a $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible.

If you have information, contact Detective Ryan Warren at 669 253-4894 or our anonymous tip-line at (408)947-STOP.

Robert Airoldi