Let’s think about how we can each individually make our country a better place for everyone.


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

After more than a year under strict guidelines due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we Americans are really looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July. And this year, organizers of Freedom Fest have planned all the regular events we have come to love and enjoy, starting with the Patriotic Sing at 6 p.m. July 3. That will be followed by the ever-popular Family Music Festival at 7 p.m. July 4 brings the Freedom Run at 7:45 a.m., followed by the Car Cruise at 9:15 a.m. along the parade route through downtown. The parade begins at 10 a.m. Finally, the star of the show will be the Fireworks on the Green at 9:45 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. with music beginning at 5 p.m., all at the Outdoor Sports Center.

The Fourth of July should be a day of reflection, learning and celebration. We should reflect on the struggles of our ancestors and the pain that minorities and women still face on this road to equality. We should continue to learn more about our country’s history and the origins of the Declaration of Independence. We should also think about how we can each individually make our country a better place for everyone.

Happy Fourth of July!

The American Association of University Women, Morgan Hill branch believes it is important to develop future leaders in our community. To that end, they plan to sponsor a candidate to attend Leadership Morgan Hill, class of 2022. All interested candidates may apply for branch sponsorship by contacting Janet McElroy ([email protected]) by July 30.

This is a great program, so if you’re interested, call Janet.

The Morgan Hill Historical Society has boxes of old newspapers that they need help going through.

The reason for the project is to “discover” what they have, make note of it (issue, year, topic) and file it in such a way that researchers can later find it.  This will not be a detailed database, but it can give researchers an idea of what they have for a given year. The other reason is to clear out space in their cramped storage area.

Kathy Devine, with the MHHS, said in one box she found what looks like microfiche of the Morgan Hill Sun from 1894. They list  tidbits of news such as C. H. Phillip’s possible run for governor (he subdivided Morgan Hill Ranch), alongside advertisements for mutton, beef and veal from the Morgan Hill Meat Market, F.J. Malaguerra, proprietor.

If you are interested in looking through some yourself, stop by the new open hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Photo courtesy Gavilan College
From left, President/Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Rose, and retired history instructor Leah Halper join Pister Scholarship winner Naomi Gutierrez and her mother, Nancy Olivares.

Transferring to University of California, Santa Cruz, this fall, Hollister resident Naomi Gutierrez was awarded the Karl S. Pister scholarship. Named for former UCSC Chancellor, the scholarship is open to students from 13 Bay Area community colleges who overcame economic obstacles, demonstrated a commitment to helping others, and are eligible for financial aid. Recipients receive $10,000 in each of two years.

“Naomi’s career at Gavilan has been one of pushing herself to take on challenges,” said Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College. “She has devoted her time to the study of people and policy, and to the liberation of marginalized communities.”

“I don’t believe I have ever met a student who better qualifies for the Pister Scholarship and exemplifies the values underlying it,” said Leah Halper, a Gavilan history instructor.

Gutierrez attended San Benito High School as a freshman, switched to Sobrato High School her sophomore year, then returned to SBHS for her final two years of high school.

After a year at U.C. Riverside where she was twice diagnosed with major depressive disorder as a result of sexual abuse when she was a teen, she returned home and enrolled at Gavilan College.

Gutierrez will pursue a double major — sociology and history — at UCSC, then work toward her master’s in environmental science at the University of California, Berkeley.

“I want to be an immigration attorney,” she said. “Let’s address environmental racism, toxic waste sites in neighborhoods with the poor, and people of color.”

Robert Airoldi