From Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, watering is limited to Wednesdays only.

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Let’s remember that Californians need to save our precious H-2-O as much as we can. In June Valley Water declared a drought emergency and asked the county’s two million residents to cut water use by 15 percent from 2019 levels to preserve dwindling supplies.

Northern California is experiencing the driest two years in a row since 1976-77. The 10 reservoirs in the county are only 12 percent full — with Anderson at three percent because it was drained to begin to rebuild the dam for earthquake safety.

As the state continues experiencing a drought and residents are asked to cut back, the city of Morgan Hill issued watering restrictions. According to a press release, these restrictions will help the city avoid or minimize the effects of the lack of rain during the past year, climate change and the unreliability of the imported water infrastructure that serves the South Valley. From Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, watering is limited to Wednesdays only.

Here’s a number weekday commuters to northern Silicon Valley will want to remember: 568.

Expanding transit service to those less connected is the objective of a new transit route VTA introduced in Gilroy Oct. 14.  The Rapid 568 will offer frequent, fast, and reliable service from downtown Gilroy to downtown San Jose — with travel times up to 30 percent faster than the previous options.

This new route replaces the now discontinued 168 Express, which only operated four northbound morning trips, and four southbound evening trips. That schedule limited many VTA customers to taking local Route 68, which has a nearly two-hour end-to-end travel time as it makes stops about every quarter mile. The Rapid 568 makes 19 stops in both directions — including several in Morgan Hill — while Route 68 makes 95.

With a more direct route along Monterey Road and fewer stops, the 568 cuts that travel time down, offering service every half hour from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.  The fare is half of what the 168 Express cost, with a standard fare of $2.50.

“The idea for this route came from our passengers, and from South County residents, who told us that it just took too long to take the 68 bus all the way to San Jose,” said VTA General Manager/CEO Carolyn Gonot.

For areas where a big VTA bus running on a fixed route and fixed schedule just isn’t the best solution,  Morgan Hill will launch one of Santa Clara County’s first pilot services next year, which is an on-demand point-to-point service using small vehicles.

Brittney Sherman

The Chamber of Commerce’s loss is the city’s gain. It was announced Oct. 15, that Brittney Sherman, the CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce, has been selected as the city’s Economic Development Coordinator. Sherman has 15 years of tourism and business development experience. Prior to launching her career with the Chamber of Commerce in 2016, Sherman worked throughout the United States in a variety of sales and management roles in the hotel and hospitality industry.

“Brittney brings a wealth of local knowledge, long-standing relationships, and a self-starter approach that is critical to the execution and implementation of the city’s Economic Blueprint,” Economic Development Director Matt Mahood said.

During the past 7 ½ years working in Morgan Hill, with the Chamber of Commerce and the hotel and hospital industry, Sherman supported local businesses with information, tools, resources, and advocacy. In addition, she has been instrumental in organizing and executing two high-profile community events; the Friday Night Music Series and Taste of Morgan Hill Festival.

“I am absolutely thrilled to become a Morgan Hill city teammate. I care so deeply about the businesses, employees, and residents of this amazing community that has become a large part of who I am,” she said. “I look forward to supporting and growing the city’s economic development efforts.”

She will join the Morgan Hill team Nov. 8, 2021.

Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated Nov. 1 and 2. It is a centuries old event that started with the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

The Morgan Hill Historical Society will host several community altars at the Villa Mira Monte site at 17860 Monterey Road. The community may come and contribute up to three expendable offerings (ofrendas) to their altars. There will be several altars available for the community to share, starting Saturday Oct. 30, from 11 a.m.  to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come and contribute to the Community Altars and take some time remembering those who have departed. Stay and learn a little more about the traditions and history behind constructing an altar for Dia De Los Muertos. Free children activities provided. Any items placed on the altars will not be returned, copies of photographs only please.

Rather than being morbid, Dia De Los Muertos is a way to honor and celebrate departed loved ones and ancestors. It is a time to recognize that the dead are not gone but rather continue on in a different plane and by sharing stories and memories, present generations keep the spirit of the departed alive.

Robert Airoldi