Many low-cost spay and neuter programs have also ceased since the pandemic

Photo courtesy Mike Wasserman
Supervisor Mike Wasserman signs the final steel beam of the San Martin Animal Shelter.

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

The Animal Services Center in San Martin has been operating at over capacity for dogs since March 2022, said Program Manager Lisa Jenkins. And there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

Shelter staff put out a plea to the public to adopt these dogs or foster them temporarily. Jenkins said many people have surrendered their dogs to the shelter due to changes in living situations.

Many low-cost spay and neuter programs have also ceased since the pandemic, and Jenkins said the shelter, which currently has veterinarian vacancies, is struggling to keep up with the procedures due to the influx of dogs.

For information, and to check out the list of adoptable dogs that is updated hourly, visit The shelter can also be reached at (408) 686-3900 and [email protected].

Love, laughter and friendship hit the Hawk’s Nest stage at Mt. Madonna as the high school actors perform “Mamma Mia!” Set to the hit songs of the Swedish pop band ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of Sophie Sheridan and her mother, Donna, in a hilarious, “take-a-chance” tale of love, laughter and friendship.

On the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover her father’s identity brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago.

After headstrong Sophie secretly reads her mother’s journals, she narrows down her father’s identity to three possibilities. The story heats up as Sophie, unbeknown to Donna, invites all three men to her wedding.

Performances are 7 p.m. Jan. 27 and 2 p.m. Jan. 28, and a special sing-along performance is offered at 2 p.m. Jan. 29. Tickets are available at Adult tickets are $15; $10 for 18 and younger; all seats are reserved. Tickets for the sing-along performance are $20.

Leadership Morgan Hill annually selects a member or members of the Morgan Hill community to be recognized and celebrated for their sustained leadership that improves our community. This year the honoree(s) will be announced at a “reveal” event to be held at from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at Guglielmo Winery. There’s no charge.

Wine, beer and appetizers will be served and attendees will be challenged to identify the recipient(s) while learning a lot about him/her/them in a fun way.

The award will be presented at LMH’s annual gala LEAD (Leadership Excellence Award Dinner) at Guglielmo Winery Saturday, Sept. 9. Information on reservations and the event’s theme will be announced later this spring.

We can’t wait to find out who will be honored.

Santa Clara County Chief Probation Officer Laura Garnette will retire from her post later this month, ending a three-decade long career where she has spearheaded many significant reform efforts to help adult and juvenile probation clients break the cycle of incarceration. She will be replaced by Assistant Chief Probation Officer Nick Birchard, who starts his new role Jan. 23.

“During her tenure as chief probation officer, Garnette has made an indelible impact on our community,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “There are many services and programs helping countless adults and young people created through her leadership. We have been lucky to have her leading efforts to protect public safety and help justice-involved individuals find their way out of the system and to a more positive, productive path.”

Garnette has found it difficult to let go of her long career of service, but she called the appointment of Birchard as her successor a “gift that allows me to retire with full confidence about the department moving forward.”

She praised Birchard whom she has worked with for 12 years. “He has outstanding experience in every area of the department’s work, but more importantly, he is one of the most honest, highly principled people I have ever known,” she said.

Birchard has worked for the county department for more than 25 years.

“I am deeply honored to take on the position of chief probation officer because it not only aligns with my diverse work experience, but it also offers the opportunity to work closely with the community and county stakeholders to improve outcomes for clients and improve public safety,” he said.