January 27, 2020

2020 Spice of Life Special Recognition

Gilroy Police Department

Seconds after the shooting occurred at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on the afternoon of July 28, Gilroy Police officers sprang into action confronting the shooter bringing the incident to an end within 45 seconds after it started. Gilroy law enforcement’s lead in the efforts to secure the area and ensure safety for those in attendance at that time was nothing short of heroic. They showed great courage in the face of danger. The days that followed that horrific incident caused intense strain and stress on the department’s personnel, however, led by Chief Scot Smithee, the Gilroy Police rose above their personal pain and suffering in order to bring a sense of peace and security to a shaken community.

Gilroy Fire Department

The events of July 28, 2019 tested the metal of all involved in the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Armed only with medical equipment, Gilroy’s Fire Department personnel charged into a dangerous situation with one thing in mind, provide medical relief. Without hesitation they did just that. Tending to those who were shot and wounded, the men and women of the Gilroy Fire Department provided life saving services to those who were wounded by the gunman that day.

Employees of the City of Gilroy

Immediately following the 2019 Garlic Festival Incident, City employees raced into action manning the Emergency Operations Center in order to support the efforts occurring at Christmas Hill Park and elsewhere. These employees worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure communications and safety for all were achieved. This effort by the men and women working for the City of Gilroy displays a deep commitment and dedication to the well-being of all Gilroyans and visitor to this fine City.

Gilroy Foundation

Immediately following the Garlic Festival shooting, the Gilroy Foundation began an effort of raising money for the victims and their families. Within days they were collecting money and developing a game plan on distributing the money to the victims. The Foundation’s Board members worked relentlessly to develop criteria on the best way to make money available to those who needed it most. They met 3 times a week as a committee to research and gather information. They spoke directly to the victims and their families. They took the time to learn each story reliving that day over and over again. The emotional toll was great, but the goal was even greater. Because of their effort and commitment, nearly $2 million dollars has been distributed to victims in unprecedented time.

CA Legislators: Weed Tax Cut Proposal to Help Cannabis Operators

Article by Mark Turner, CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

While California ranks as the worst State in the Union to do business, Legislators are concerned cannabis operators are having difficulty competing with the underground cannabis market and they want to level the playing field or shall I say the “growing” field.

Gavin Newsom doesn’t believe California’s business environment is all that bad. In fact, the Governor was recently quoted as saying, “For all the bitching and complaining, I think businesses (in California) are doing pretty damn well.”

Sadly, they are doing well, well to leave California, that is. According to an article in the January 10 Silicon Valley Business Journal, approximately 660 California companies moved 765 facilities out of the state since the start of 2018. The article indicated the Bay Area was among the biggest losers. This, according to the Business Journal, was followed by 1,800 relocations out of state in 2016 alone and 13,000 from 2008 – 2016.

If California’s legislature was just as concerned about growing a better business climate as they are about ensuring cannabis operators’ profit margins, maybe, just maybe, California could become a place to do business again.

Below is information pertaining to the Weed Tax Cut Proposal as reported by CalMatters.

Seeking to nurture the legal marijuana business, legislators are renewing efforts to cut state taxes on weed so entrepreneurs can better compete on price with the flourishing underground cannabis market.

Legislation by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, an Alameda County Democrat, would cut the tax rate on retail marijuana sales to 11% from the current 15%.

Bonta estimated 75% of marijuana sales come from the black market.

Bonta, as quoted by The L.A. Times’ Patrick McGreevey:

  • “With these steps, we believe that we will be supporting the regulated marketplace for cannabis in California. It will also help reduce and shrink the unlicensed, illicit market.”

Treasurer Fiona Ma embraced the tax cut, as did Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget anticipates raising $550 million from cannabis taxes.
In his new budget, Newsom doesn’t call for a tax rate cut but promises to “consider other changes to the existing cannabis tax structure, including the number of taxes and tax rates to simplify the system and to support a stronger, safer legal cannabis market.”

Avoid Predatory ADA Lawsuits

Businesses that are not compliant with ADA laws may find themselves victims of a lawsuit for failing to comply with State and Federal guidelines. Sadly, there are those who prowl local communities looking to file ADA lawsuits for their own personal gain. Businesses can avoid becoming victims of such a lawsuit by following a few easy procedures and getting an access compliance evaluation done by a CASp.

What is a CASp?

A Certified Access Specialist (CASp) is a professional who has passed an examination and has been certified by the State of California to have specialized knowledge of the applicability of state and federal construction-related accessibility standards. A CASp will know which standards apply to your property based on the age of your facility and its history of improvements. While a licensed design professional, such as an architect or engineer, can provide you an access compliance evaluation of your facility, only a CASp can provide services that offer you “qualified defendant” status in a construction-related accessibility lawsuit.

What are the “qualified defendant” status benefits?

You can retain the services of a CASp at any time; however, “qualified defendant” status is only provided if you receive an inspection of your existing facility, a report from a CASp, and have a compliance schedule in place before a construction-related accessibility claim is filed. The “qualified defendant” benefits are as follows:

  • Reduced statutory damages (see “What is my potential liability if I am not in compliance?” for more information).
  • 90-day stay of court proceeding and an early evaluation conference.

Additionally, an inspection by a CASp and following the schedule of improvements demonstrates the intent to be in compliance.

Click on the link below to learn more from the Division of the State Architect


Act on Homelessness or Face Lawsuit

Act on Homelessness or Face Lawsuit, Newsom Task Force Says
Article by Matt Levin and Jackie Botts, CalMatters

Declaring that moral persuasion and economic incentives aren’t working to bring people in from the sidewalks, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s task force on homelessness called Monday for a “legally enforceable mandate” that would force municipalities and the state to house the growing number of homeless Californians.

The proposal, which came as Newsom kicked off a weeklong tour of the state aimed at drawing attention to the homelessness crisis, urged the Legislature to put a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would force California cities and counties to take steps to provide housing for the more than 150,000 Californians who lack it, or face legal action.

Such a measure would require a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses to be brought to voters. California law does not now penalize the state or local governments for failing to reduce their homeless populations, or to make housing sufficiently available to people without it.

But Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who co-chair the governor’s 13-member Council of Regional Homeless Advisors, have been advocating some sort of enforceable “right” to sleep indoors since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down laws against homeless camping. That ruling, which the U.S. Supreme Court let stand just last month, dramatically limited cities’ enforcement options, finding it to be cruel and unusual punishment to prosecute people for sleeping on the street if sufficient shelter isn’t available.

“California mandates free public education for all of its children and subsidized health insurance for its low-income residents. It requires its subdivisions to provide services to people with developmental disabilities and foster children,” the commission wrote in a letter signed by both elected officials.

“Yet everything that state, county and city governments do to alleviate this crisis is voluntary. There is no mandate to ensure people can live indoors, no legal accountability for failing to do so, no enforceable housing production standard and no requirement to consolidate and coordinate funding streams across jurisdictions. The results speak for themselves.”

The council’s recommendation stops short of Steinberg’s and Ridley-Thomas’ initial call for a “right to shelter,” which would not only have required cities to provide immediate beds, but also obligated people experiencing homelessness to come inside. But it adds momentum to the strategy of elevating litigation as a tool to accomplish what compassion and money haven’t been able to do.

Newsom, visiting a homelessness program in Nevada County, said Monday he “would lean in the direction” of speedily deploying a legal “obligation” to supply sufficient services and housing, adding that “a number of cities and counties” have volunteered to do demonstration projects over the next several months, “not the next few years.” (Ridley-Thomas later said he would propose such a pilot in L.A. County this week.)

“I broadly have been encouraging this debate about obligations,” the governor said, adding that “there’s a distinction between rights and obligations.”

Without elaborating on that distinction, he seconded the task force’s point that many of the state’s responsibilities stem from legal mandates: “We do it in almost every other respect,” Newsom said. “On this issue we don’t and I think that’s missing. The question is how do you do it…. This is not black and white. This is tough stuff.”

Municipalities made it clear they would need more clarification.

“A legally enforceable mandate can only work with clarity of who’s obligated to do what and what new sustainable resources will fund it; that’s the ticket for clear expectations and accountability,” said Graham Knaus, executive director of the California State Association of Counties, in a statement.

Steinberg, meanwhile, called Monday’s proposal an improvement on the original “right to shelter” concept, saying a mandate by any name would still have the force of law. The point, the mayor said, is to give the courts a legal “last resort” to address pleas to supersede political gridlock, just as federal laws have in the past armed judges to combat other social crises. “It’s analogous to desegregation,” Steinberg said.

The task force’s proposal would let a “designated public official” sue the government for not doing enough to offer emergency and permanent housing to the homeless. A judge could then intervene to force a city to approve an emergency shelter, for example, or redirect budget funds to homelessness services.

The proposal, however, so far lacks specifics on how taxpayers would pay for such a mandate. The letter released by the task force, which includes local elected officials from large and small cities, states that “more state resources will undoubtedly be required” but includes no estimate.

State and local governments in recent years have poured billions into combating homelessness, only to watch the problem worsen as ever-rising rents drive Californians to the streets faster than they can be re-housed. On Friday, for the second straight year, Newsom proposed more than $1 billion in new state funds to fight homelessness, calling it “the issue that defines our times” in California. But the state’s “point-in-time” homeless count jumped 17% between 2018 and last year.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, a task force member, said leverage is needed.

“We do the things we are required to do first… then for everything else we try very hard,” said Fletcher. “Absent a legally enforceable obligation, I believe people will continue to try very hard.”

But a legal mandate would arm jurisdictions to tackle “the underlying problem which is poverty,” rather than appease communities with shelter beds, he said.

Putting the onus on government to provide housing.

Steinberg and Ridley-Thomas floated the idea of a statewide “right to shelter” law last year. Spurred by decades-old litigation, New York state has a “right to shelter” policy that makes its state and local governments legally liable for having emergency shelter beds available for every unhoused person.

While many credit “right to shelter” for New York’s success in reducing the number of people sleeping on the streets, Newsom and advocates for the homeless have balked at the idea. Some advocates fear it would divert finite funding from permanent supportive housing, which experts say is a more long-term, albeit expensive solution; others worry about cost and potential civil liberties violations that might arise from requiring a homeless person to accept shelter if it’s available.

“The reason why right to shelter is a mistake is because it diverts resources from the solution, which is housing, not shelter,” said Sharon Rapport, California policy director for the Corporation for Supportive Housing and a member of the task force.

Under the policy proposed by the task force, a local government would be required to develop a plan to house the vast majority of its homeless people within “an aggressive but reasonable period of time.” “Reasonable” is not defined in the letter.

However Steinberg said that, in the case of Sacramento, “aggressive but reasonable” might mean a 1,500-person annual reduction in the city’s 5,500-plus homeless population, and housing the “the vast majority” within five years.

Advocates on the homelessness issue said more specifics are needed, but applauded the task force’s recommendations as a philosophical pushback, at least, against efforts to criminalize living on the streets.

“Any kind of policies that are promoting locking up people or warehousing people or punishing people for being homeless, the council is saying those policies have been very ineffective in the past,” said Rapport.

The city of Bakersfield recently proposed ramping up enforcement of low-level drug offenses to get people off the streets there, and advocates have expressed concern that the Trump administration’s threats to do something about homelessness in California may involve heavier use of law enforcement.

A homelessness czar, but little on conservatorships

The task force also called for a single point-person on homelessness, a Newsom campaign promise that devolved in his first year into confusion over who, at any given point, was his “homelessness czar.”

Above: Gov. Gavin Newsom, answering questions on his 2020-21 state budget on January 10, 2020, told reporters: ““You want to know who’s the homeless czar? I’m the homeless czar in the state of California.” Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Various administration members, including Steinberg and Ridley Thomas, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly, and advisor Jason Elliott, have filled the role — so many that last week, Newsom headed off press questions by declaring tartly, “You want to know who’s the homeless czar? I’m the homeless czar in the state of California.”

But the issue of who is actually overseeing the state’s disparate homelessness initiatives — across multiple bureaucracies from prisons to healthcare — is still pressing, at least according to the homelessness task force. One of their key recommendations would “create a single point of authority of homelessness in state government,” suggesting a high-level official that reports directly to Newsom. Another calls for a comprehensive accounting of existing funding for homelessness, housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Still other recommendations have already been incorporated into Newsom’s proposed homelessness budget, including a “flexible fund” that service providers can tap for uses from emergency rental assistance to building shelters. The task force also proposed revamping the state’s health insurance program to draw down more federal dollars for homelessness-related services, a key pillar of the strategy Newsom unveiled last week. Doing so would require a waiver from the federal government.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a member of the task force, said that Medi-Cal reform proposal is key to the their blueprint.

“Housing is health,” she said. “And to recognize that health dollars should appropriately be used to support housing is a very important part of our recommendations.”

More controversial proposals included an executive order expanding the state’s new rent-gouging law to cover more households and legislation exempting from environmental review any new housing project for people at risk of homelessness.

California has strict laws that make it difficult to detain mentally ill people against their will for a prolonged period of time. Families of homeless loved ones struggling with schizophrenia or other disorders often blame the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a late 1960’s law intended to curb the overuse of asylums, for precluding necessary care. New York’s commitment laws are less stringent.

While Newsom talked vaguely of reforming the law last week, such reforms are conspicuously absent from the task force’s report.

Opinion: Your Local Columnist: Endangered by AB 5

Article written by Tom Elias, The Madera Tribune

From Madera to Mill Valley, Eureka to Encinitas, Coalinga to Claremont, local columns are among the most popular features in newspapers that still survive in this era of Craigslist and eBay taking away classified advertising and many display ads moving to Google and Facebook.

But now local columnists following in the large footsteps of the late icons Herb Caen of San Francisco and Leon Emo of Madera are suddenly an endangered species.

Few newspapers, especially weeklies, can afford to pay these writers regular salaries for the valuable work they do in feeling out and revealing the pulse of their own communities, and many of them have other jobs or sources of income.

Now a new state law best known as AB 5, authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego threatens the very existence of this vital species, without whose popular appeal some surviving newspapers might wither away.

Many small papers also employ similarly-situated part-timers – day traders or supermarket cashiers or medical assistants by day, reporters by night – to cover city councils and local boards governing everything from water and sewers to schools and building permits. Without them, these agencies might get little or no coverage and many areas could become de facto news deserts.

Under AB 5, newspapers now must make such almost-volunteer workers into full-time employees if they are paid for more than 35 news articles or columns per year. Never mind if the writers want this or not. Few small newspapers can afford to do it; even many large dailies are cutting off freelancers for fear they might be sued and found liable for huge legal fees and back pay.

All this ties the fate of local columnists and other freelancers who are paid by the piece to truckers and gig workers like the thousands of contract employees at some of the same companies that now get advertising revenue which once funded news coverage. This includes outfits like Google, for one, which pays little or nothing to aggregate huge amounts of news that other people and companies produce at great trouble and expense.

So far, truckers have done the best in getting around AB 5, which was opposed during last year’s legislative process by many of the very gig workers it supposedly will protect, especially those who drive for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.

A federal judge exempted independent truckers – many of whom own their own vehicles and drive as contractors for shipping companies – from the new law, saying AB 5 conflicts with a federal law that forbids states to make laws affecting prices, routes or service of freight haulers. If those companies had to hire their current contract drivers with full benefits, it would certainly affect shipping prices. Freelancer writers have a pending lawsuit of their own.

Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft are pushing a proposed November initiative to overturn the law.

These moves have not stopped news outlets from moving to protect themselves from possible lawsuits. The largest such action came from Vox Media, which announced in mid-December it would cut ties with more than 200 California contract writers and editors who covered sports for its blog network SB Nation.

Even a large outfit like Vox, which also owns New York Magazine and blogs like Eater and The Verge, can’t afford to give all its workers full benefits, so it has dumped those in California and won’t say how it will replace the coverage they provided.

If Vox can’t afford to keep writers under AB 5, how can small-town weeklies be expected to?

Gonzalez and other AB 5 sponsors never say they intended to target freelance writers, yet they wrote a very specific article limit into the law.

The solution, if lawmakers want newspapers to survive, including some classic small businesses with one editor-ad salesman-writer who needs help but cannot afford to pay much for it, is to fix AB 5 with a new law exempting freelancers and newspapers whose revenues don’t exceed a specific limit.

Anything short of that ought to provoke a First Amendment lawsuit, for no California law has ever threatened to curb freedom of the press more than this one.

Our Screen Habits Say a lot About Us

Our screen habits say a lot about us. Will we like what they unveil?
Article by The Hustle

Quick. Take a screenshot on your phone. Keep reading for 5 seconds.

Now take another one.

Congratulations, you’re (sort of) mimicking how researchers plan to capture the digital equivalent of the Human Genome Project.

It’s called the Human Screenome Project — and it aims to help us understand the implications of everything people do on their phones.

This isn’t just about ‘screen time’

For years, researchers have thrown time and effort into understanding what happens when kids and adults stare at glowing rectangles all day long. For one thing, those screens are good at killing our zzz’s.

But the brains behind the Screenome Project say measuring time alone isn’t good enough. Watching YouTube videos for hours is different than, say, toggling between text messages, Twitter, and Instagram.

In other words: The mix of what you’re watching on that glowing rectangle is just as important as how long you’re watching it. More important, even.

The big question: Privacy. MIT Technology Review says the researchers gathered 30m screenshots from volunteers in the US and overseas.

That’s a lot of pictures of sensitive stuff already, and the researchers suggested they need more. With concerns about Big Brother only growing bigger, will people go for it?

January 20, 2020

2020 Spice of Life Man & Woman of the Year

Man of the Year – Jaime Rosso

As a newcomer to Gilroy in 1975, Jaime volunteered with the Fiestas Patrias organizing committee for the annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Christmas Hill Park, helped organize folkloric dance groups, supported activities at the Las Rositas Senior center in downtown Gilroy, and youth at the Santa Clara County Luchessa (Ochoa) Migrant Housing Center. He also successfully advocated for the installation of handball courts at the new San Ysidro Park. Later, as the coordinator of South County Alternatives, Jaime sponsored the Federal Youth Employment Program Grant which created the permanent Aztec Handball Mural at the park. In his work as a Youth Services Community Worker for South County Alternatives, Jaime assisted with struggling families and advocated for kids in our schools. By doing so, Jaime established deep roots in the area of helping our community.

Jaime has been involved with many organizations over the years:

  • Gilroy Rotary Club – Active member since 2000
  • Housing Advisory Committee-City of Gilroy 2016-18
  • South Santa County United for Health Leadership Council- member -2016-18
  • South County Youth Task Force- Team member- 2014-16
  • Joint Cities Youth Task Force- Board Member-2012-2014
  • Leadership Gilroy Board Member and volunteer 2009-12
  • Gilroy Latino Family Fund- Founding Board member and annual volunteer and sponsor since 2006
  • Gilroy Chamber of Commerce- Member for 30+ years and Served on Government Relations Committee
  • Garlic Festival Annual volunteer for many years since 1980’s
  • Gilroy Dispatch Editorial Board –2009-10
  • Gavilan College- Puente Mentor Program volunteer – 1989-91
  • President’s Council for Cal State Monterey Bay- Founding Advisory Board member- 1995-97
  • Santa Clara County Fair Management Corporation – Board Member 1998-2000
  • Santa Clara County Private Industry Council- Board Member 1996-98
  • South Santa Clara County Youth Accountability Board –Restorative Justice Project- 1996-98
  • Gilroy -Hispanic Cultural Festival – Organizing committee volunteer- 1988-89
  • Gilroy Hispanic Chamber of Commerce- Founding President-1980-82
  • Gilroy Little League- Board member – 1994-96
  • Encuentro Conjugal /Marriage Encounter Retreat Team Member 1976- 87
  • Fiestas Patrias Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Christmas Hill Park – Committee volunteer 1975-78

Jaime believes we all have a shared responsibility to each other to do our part to build community to make a better world. Jaime said, “Communities are only as good as the people that care enough to step up to volunteer to help. That is what makes Gilroy so special and Gilroy Strong!” Jaime takes great pride in doing my part to support others to build community!

As Man of the Year, Jaime is inspired by his loving parents that put family first, his wife Evelia, who has been my daily inspiration for the past 45 years, his three children, his grandchildren and his entire family. Jaime listed many others who have inspired him such as, Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and so many more.


Woman of the Year – Elaine Bonino

Courtesy of Gilroy Life

Living in San Martin and growing up in a farming family, Bonino got to know people in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy. She attended San Martin Elementary School as a child, but often went to the original Gilroy High School campus (now South Valley Middle School) in summer to enjoy its swimming pool and made friends there. Going to Live Oak High School, she made friends in Morgan Hill, too.

Her first job, while still in high school at age 16, was at the San Martin Winery.

“I was very, very young and I worked in their tasting room on Monterey Road,” she said. “I was supposedly a ‘bag girl’ and spent time washing the glasses after the tasting and stocking the shelves. I was put down as a ‘family’ so I was able to sell (wine).” She worked for San Martin Winery to help pay her way through college at San Jose State University where she earned her degree in teaching.

As a teacher in the Gilroy Unified School District, Bonino has shaped the lives of many young people. She started out at the old Gilroy High School. She then went to Brownell Middle School where she taught home-economic and language arts. She retired at the end of the 2009-2010 school year and with the close of her full-time teaching career, she received the California League of Middle School’s Teacher of the Year honor for the Central Coast region. She still does work for the district — testing LPAC language learners and also substitute teaching.

Her passion for being in the classroom comes from making a difference in the lives of local children.

“It’s building a better person. Sometimes with the educational part of it, you help shape people’s lives,” she said. “It’s funny, teaching in Gilroy I’ve had numerous generations — my students’ kids and grandkids — and that makes it nice.”

Over the years, Bonino has also served “behind the scenes” in a variety of nonprofit organizations and their events. “Someone once said to me, ‘When you do something for others, it makes your community a better place,’” she said.

She lives by that philosophy. Among the organizations she has worked with, she has volunteered at the Gilroy Garlic Festival since it began in 1979, making sure the tens of thousands of food-loving guests enjoy the three-day weekend event in late July in Christmas Hill Park.

“There’s very few people in Gilroy who can say they’ve been 41 years volunteering in the Garlic Festival,” she said. “I’ve worked every area. I helped sell tickets at the very first one.”

She recalls that the organizers hadn’t expected the crowds they got that inaugural year and so didn’t print enough tickets. They had to take the used stubs and run them back to the ticket stands to resell. Bonino currently is the associate chair of the garlic braiding part of the festival, but in the past she has worked on the cook-off stage, the chairperson of the Garlic Queen pageant, Garlic Gulch and the Volunteer Hospitality (now called “Hub and Pub.”)

She was on the Special Visitors Committee, welcoming international visitors, and that evolved into the Gilroy Sister Cities nonprofit which Bonino now serves as the president. Gilroy has relationships with six Sister Cities: Takko-Machi, Japan; Angra do Heroismo, Portugal; Tecate, Mexico; Saint-Clar, France; Monticelli d’ Ongina, Italy; and Koror, Republic of Palau.

“It’s important for Gilroy to have Sister Cities because we get a cultural exchange,” she said. “It’s very good for our youth to see the differences in culture, and even the adults in our community. That’s been a nice spot in my life.”

Bonino has kept active with other events. The Bonanza Days celebration of Gilroy’s western roots in the 1970s had a parade and she was on the float committee and helped dress animated characters. She has done various duties for the Miss Gavilan Hills Scholarship Pageant. She is a board member and treasurer for the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Gilroy Parlor, and supports various projects that helps share and preserve California’s rich history.

Bonino is on the Gilroy Exchange Club board and in that capacity helps coordinate the Back to School shopping excursion for children in financial need, as well as helps with the St. Joseph’s adopt a family for Christmas program and other assistance to the community. For her involvement in that group, she received the Golden Deed Award. At St. Joseph’s, she also helps with the St. Patrick’s Day dinner and the golf tournament fundraiser. She’s also involved with the Gilroy Sunrise Rotary as the scholarship committee chair as well as involved with various fundraisers such as the Murder Mystery Dinner and the golf tournament.

For Bonino, giving of her time and talent through the various organizations she is involved with is a labor of love for the South Valley region she has long called her home.

“Somebody asked me why I do the things I do,” she said. “I think it’s just part of me. I think Gilroy is part of my growing up. It makes me feel good giving back to the community.”

What's New with Business?

Wanna get away? The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce is offering a Winners Choice Raffle. The tickets are $100 with a maximum of 300 tickets being sold. The drawing will be held at the Spice of Life Annual Awards Dinner on February 1, 2020. You need not be present to win. The winner of the raffle will get to choose from 6 amazing vacation packages. The choices are: A romantic escape to Paris & Prague, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler (British Columbia), a Tuscany Culinary Escape & Rome, Tennessee Whiskey Adventure, New York Long Weekend or Cancun All-Inclusive. All choices include round-trip airfare for 2, premium accommodations and much, much more. For more information and/or buy tickets go to: gilroy.org/winnerschoice/ or call 408-842-6437.

The Gilroy Farmers Market is growing steadily. Last week saw the addition of yet another vendor, That Garlic Stuff, a delicious condiment. Also, joining them in the next couple weeks; artisan soaps, and a hot dog vendor. Community response has been overwhelmingly positive, each week more and more customers are enjoying fresh, healthy, beautiful local produce. Vegetable vendor is a local, Alberto’s Farm, just 5 miles away on Lovers Lane. And fresh, e.g., last week’s produce was picked the day before. Alberto’s winter produce includes carrots, lettuce, swiss chard, kale, cauliflower, etc. Castellanos Fruit brings a wide variety of winter crops, including Apples, Oranges (navel and blood), grapes, etc. They also have Yali pears. Come join the fun whether you are a vendor or customer. It is located at 9225 Calle Del Rey, Luigi Aprea School, every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Year round. Contact Salvador Ascencio, Executive Director, T&C Farmers Markets Inc. at 408-636-3907 for more information.

As the New Year begins, many people want to start the new year in a healthy way and there is nothing more beneficial than Taro root which can be easily consumed as a delicious beverage called Taro Tea. According to Healthline.com, Taro root has good amounts of various nutrients that people often don’t get enough of, such as fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and E. To try Taro Tea, Bobaloca, located at 767 First Street in Gilroy serves it in various forms – tea, smoothie and slushy.

Kenny Brown has had a dream for 10 years of opening his own tattoo shop. Kenny didn’t want an ordinary tattoo shop, he wanted it to be different. He wanted to show a different side of tattooing. A positive and respectful side. He struggled coming up with a name for his new business. One day while sitting at a stop light he looked down at his bracelet and it came to him. On his bracelet was Jeremiah 29:11. It speaks of hope for people that are struggling in life and cannot find a solution to things. It demonstrates that every person has plans predestined for them already and if they have faith, they shall have a prosperous future. That is how 29:11 Tattoo got its name. Coincidentally, those same numbers (29:11) also happens to be his birthdate if you were to reverse those numbers. Stop by 353 E. 10th Street Unit C and check it out.

Top Priority for California Voters

Top Priority for California Voters Heading into 2020 Primary? Homlessness
Article by Bryan Anderson, Capital Alert

Californians are increasingly concerned about the state’s housing and homelessness crisis, according to a new poll released Wednesday night by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The poll finds a plurality of Democrats, Republicans and Independents likely to vote in the state’s March 3, 2020 primary election in agreement that homelessness is the most important issue for Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to work on in 2020. Twenty-one percent of Democrats and Independents called it the top issue, compared to 29 percent of Republicans.

Housing affordability and the environment were the next highest priorities for likely Democratic primary voters, while Republicans were more concerned about immigration and taxes.

Health care has become a lesser focus for Democrats, according to the poll. While policy differences surrounding the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All has dominated the discussion at the Democratic presidential debates thus far, candidates visiting California will likely need to focus more of their energy on explaining how they’d tackle homelessness and work to make housing cheaper.

“When the candidates for president come out here in the coming weeks, they’re gonna have to talk about homelessness and housing,” said Mark Baldassare, president of PPIC. “To not mention (these topics) will seem like they’re oblivious to what Californians now say they most care about. You’re going to get questions from voters about this.”

Newsom criticized moderators at last month’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles for not asking candidates about homelessness or housing — two growing issues in the Golden State.

“It’s such a big issue here, but it’s not as big of an issue across the rest of the country,” Newsom said of the lack of discussion on housing and homelessness. “It’s never been a top agenda item from the national prism. Let’s be honest: In the last decade, it hasn’t been even at the state. I think it’s one of the reasons it’s as bad as it is.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on The Bee’s “California Nation” podcast last week that homelessness and housing are “gigantic issues.” He said no American should have to pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing and said he’d give first-time home buyers a $15,000 down payment from the federal government.

In a question worded differently in a November PPIC survey, 21 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said at the time they most wanted to hear presidential candidates talk about health care at the debates. Four percent of respondents said in November they most wanted to hear about homelessness, while 2 percent preferred discussion on housing costs and availability. In the poll released Wednesday, however, just 5 percent of likely Democratic voters considered health care the most important issue for Newsom and the California Legislature to work on in 2020.

Baldassare said a “combination of things” are contributing to the increased emphasis Californians are placing on housing and homelessness, including national attention from attacks the state has received from President Donald Trump, local news organizations covering the problem more aggressively, a greater number of homeless people living in respondents’ communities and Newsom prioritizing the issue in his latest budget proposal.

“Homelessness is an issue people are obviously hearing about and reading about, but they’re also experiencing it firsthand in California,” Baldassare said.

The poll released Wednesday night follows an earlier release from the organization about the state of California’s 2020 Democratic primary race, which showed Bernie Sanders surging to the top but in a statistical tie with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

The margin of error among the 967 California adult likely voters in PPIC’s January survey was 4.6 percentage points. For the subgroup of 530 likely Democratic primary voters, the sampling error was 6.5 percent.

Sacramento is Always Looking for More Ways to Tax

Sacramento is Always Looking for More Ways to Tax it’s Businesses

Tying Corporate Taxes to CEO pay
Article by CalMatters

The corporate tax rate would rise from its current 8.84% to as much as 14.84% under a bill that cleared its first hurdle Wednesday.

Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley proposes to tie a company’s tax rate to the compensation ratio of its highest-paid employee, usually the chief executive officer, to all other workers.

The greater the spread, the higher the tax. The organized labor-backed bill would apply to companies with $10 million or more in profits.

Supporter Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, noted that 50 years ago, the pay ratio of Disney’s CEO to workers was 20 to 1. Today, dozens of corporations have a ratio of over 1,000 to 1, including Walmart, Gap and McDonald’s.

  • Ms. Disney: “This is a moral question. Should not the everyday considerations take a backseat to the fact that significant segments of our fellow Americans are drowning while the rest of us are dining at the captain’s table refusing to throw them so much as a life jacket?”

The California Taxpayers Association and the California Business Roundtable contend raising taxes on businesses would lead to job losses.

The bill passed on a 4-2 vote, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans opposed. Democratic Sen. Melissa Hurtado, who unseated a Republican in Kern County in 2018, didn’t cast a vote.

Next stop: Senate Rules Committee.

What the 2020’s Have in Store for the Aging Boomers

Article by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News

Within 10 years, all of the nation’s 74 million baby boomers will be 65 or older. The most senior among them will be on the cusp of 85.

Even sooner, by 2025, the number of seniors (65 million) is expected to surpass that of children age 13 and under (58 million) for the first time, according to Census Bureau projections.

“In the history of the human species, there’s never been a time like [this],” said Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, referring to the changing balance between young people and old.

What lies ahead in the 2020s, as society copes with this unprecedented demographic shift?

I asked a dozen experts to identify important trends. Some responses were aspirational, reflecting what they’d like to see happen. Some were sobering, reflecting a harsh reality: Our nation isn’t prepared for this vast demographic shift and its far-reaching consequences.

Here’s what the experts said:

A crisis of care. Never have so many people lived so long, entering the furthest reaches of old age and becoming at risk of illness, frailty, disability, cognitive decline and the need for personal assistance.

Even if scientific advances prove extraordinary, “we are going to have to deal with the costs, workforce and service delivery arrangements for large numbers of elders living for at least a year or two with serious disabilities,” said Dr. Joanne Lynn, a legislative aide on health and aging policy for Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.).

Experts caution we’re not ready.

“The cost of long-term care [help in the home or care in assisted-living facilities or nursing homes] is unaffordable for most families,” said Jean Accius, senior vice president of thought leadership at AARP. She cited data from the Genworth Cost of Care Study: While the median household income for older adults was just $43,696 in 2019, the annual median cost for a private room in a nursing home was $102,204; $48,612 for assisted living; and $35,880 for 30 hours of home care a week.

Workforce issues are a pressing concern. The need for health aides at home and in medical settings is soaring, even as low wages and poor working conditions discourage workers from applying or staying in these jobs. By 2026, 7.8 million workers of this kind will be required and hundreds of thousands of jobs may go unfilled.

“Boomers have smaller families and are more likely to enter old age single, so families cannot be expected to pick up the slack,” said Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University. “We have only a few years to plan different ways of providing care for frail older people to avoid disastrous consequences.”

Living better, longer. Could extending “healthspan,” the time during which older adults are healthy and able to function independently, ease some of these pressures?

The World Health Organization calls this “healthy life expectancy” and publishes this information by country. Japan was the world’s leader, with a healthy life expectancy at birth of 74.8 years in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. In the U.S., healthy life expectancy was 68.5 years out of a total average life expectancy of 78.7 years.

Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, sees some cause for optimism. “Americans are beginning to exercise more” and eat more healthful diets, she said. And scientific studies published in recent years have shown that behavior and living environments can alter the trajectory of aging.

“With this recognition, conversations about aging societies and longer lives are shifting to the potential to improve quality of life throughout,” Carstensen said.

Other trends are concerning. Notably, more than one-third of older adults are obese, while 28% are physically inactive, putting them at higher risk of physical impairments and chronic medical conditions.

Rather than concentrate on treating disease, “our focus should shift to health promotion and prevention, beginning in early life,” said Dr. Sharon Inouye, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a member of the planning committee for the National Academy of Sciences’ Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge.

Altering social infrastructure. Recognizing the role that social and physical environments play in healthy aging, experts are calling for significant investments in this area over the next decade.

Their wish list: make transportation more readily available, build more affordable housing, modify homes and apartments to help seniors age in place, and create programs to bring young and old people together.

Helping older adults remain connected to other people is a common theme. “There is a growing understanding of the need to design our environments and social infrastructure in a way that designs out loneliness” and social isolation, said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

On a positive note, a worldwide movement to create “age-friendly communities” is taking hold in America, with 430 communities and six states joining an effort to identify and better respond to the needs of older adults. A companion effort to create “age-friendly health systems” is likely to gain momentum.

Technology will be increasingly important as well, with aging-in-place likely made easier by virtual assistants like Alexa, video chat platforms like Skype or FaceTime, telemedicine, robotic caregivers and wearable devices that monitor indicators such as falls, according to Deborah Carr, chair of the sociology department at Boston University.

Changing attitudes. Altering negative attitudes about aging — such as a widespread view that this stage of life is all about decline, loss and irrelevance — needs to be a high priority as these efforts proceed, experts say.

“I believe ageism is perhaps the biggest threat to improving quality of life for [older] people in America today,” Harvard’s Inouye said. She called for a national conversation about “how to make the last act of life productive, meaningful and fulfilling.”

Although the “OK Boomer” barbs that gained steam last year testify to persistent intergenerational tension, there are signs of progress. The World Health Organization has launched a global campaign to combat ageism. Last year, San Francisco became one of the first U.S. cities to tackle this issue via a public awareness campaign. And a “reframing aging” toolkit developed by the FrameWorks Institute is in use in communities across the country.

“On the bright side, as the younger Baby Boom cohort finally enters old age during this decade, the sheer numbers of older adults may help to shift public attitudes,” said Robyn Stone, co-director of LeadingAge’s LTSS (long-term services and supports) Center @UMass Boston.

Advancing science. On the scientific front, Dr. Pinchas Cohen, dean of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California, points to a growing recognition that “we can’t just apply one-size-fits-all guidance for healthy aging.”

During the next 10 years, “advances in genetic research and big data analytics will enable more personalized — and effective — prescriptions” for both prevention and medical treatments, he said.

“My prediction is that the biggest impact of this is going to be felt around predicting dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as biomarker tests [that allow the early identification of people at heightened risk] become more available,” Cohen continued.

Although dementia has proved exceptionally difficult to address, “we are now able to identify many more potential targets for treatment than before,” said Hodes, of the National Institute on Aging, and this will result in a “dramatic translation of discovery into a new diversity of promising approaches.”

Another potential development: the search for therapies that might slow aging by targeting underlying molecular, cellular and biological processes — a field known as “geroscience.” Human trials will occur over the next decade, Hodes said, while noting “this is still far-reaching and very speculative.”

Addressing inequality. New therapies spawned by cutting-edge science may be extraordinarily expensive, raising ethical issues. “Will the miracles of bioscience be available to all in the next decade — or only to those with the resources and connections to access special treatment?” asked Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging.

Several experts voiced concern about growing inequality in later life. Its most dramatic manifestation: The rich are living longer, while the poor are dying sooner. And the gap in their life expectancies is widening.

Carr noted that if the current poverty rate of 9% in the older population holds over the next decade, “more than 7 million older persons will live without sufficient income to pay for their food, medications and utilities.” Most vulnerable will be black and Latina women, she noted.

“We now know that health and illness are affected by income, race, education and other social factors” and that inequalities in these areas affect access to care and health outcomes, Pillemer said. “Over the coming decade, we must aggressively address these inequities to ensure a healthier later life for everyone.”

Working longer. How will economically vulnerable seniors survive? Many will see no choice but to try to work “past age 65, not necessarily because they prefer to, but because they need to,” Stone said.

Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, observed that “low savings rates, increasing out-of-pocket health expenditures and continued increases in life expectancy” put 41% of Americans at risk of running out of money in retirement.

Will working longer be a realistic alternative for seniors? Trends point in the opposite direction. On the one hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that by 2026 about 30% of adults ages 65 to 74 and 11% of those 75 and older will be working.

On the other hand, age discrimination makes it difficult for large numbers of older adults to keep or find jobs. According to a 2018 AARP survey, 61% of older workers reported witnessing or experiencing age discrimination.

“We must address ageism and ageist attitudes within the workplace,” said Accius of AARP. “A new understanding of lifelong learning and training, as well as targeted public and private sector investments to help certain groups transition [from old jobs to new ones], will be essential.”

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Judith Graham: khn.navigatingaging@gmail.com, @judith_graham

The Online Cookie Crumbled

The (tracking) cookie crumbled. What will advertisers bake up next?
Article by The Hustle

Google announced plans to phase out 3rd-party tracking cookies, becoming the last big browser to do so.

It’s the end of an era for cookie-based consumer tracking — and the start of a new era for user tracking that’s even more sophisticated.

  • Refresher: Cookies = bits of code in websites that advertisers use to retarget consumers

Cookies came out in the mid-’90s…

And for 20+ years, they were the go-to way for advertisers to track people online. 3rd-party cookie monsters like Criteo soared to multibillion-dollar valuations by developing retargeting tech.

But privacy issues became more important (and better known) to consumers, and companies made moves to block 3rd-party cookies:

  • Apple’s Safari has Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP)
  • Mozilla’s Firefox has Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP)

And now that Google’s Chrome jumped off the bandwagon, 3rd-party cookies are basically burnt for good.

So, does that mean advertisers won’t track me anymore?!?!

NO — it just means advertisers will keep tabs on you in other ways.

1st-party tracking is the new name of the game.

And giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, with their oodles of user data, will have even more power.

Some tracking methods we’ll see in the post-cookie world:

  • AI-powered guesswork (more formally known as probabilistic tracking).
    • Example: Artificial-intelligence models that combine anonymized info (users’ browsing habits or keystroke signatures) to create unique profiles and track them across devices
  • User-provided info (also called deterministic tracking).
    • Example: Companies that use network-connected devices (Alexa-enabled toilets, etc.) and sign-on IDs (“login with Facebook”) to create targetable profiles

January 13, 2020

2020 Spice of Life Young Professional(s) of the Year - Majesta Patterson & Gianfranco Filice

Majesta Patterson

Along with most every mom, Majesta Patterson wears many hats: mom to two toddlers, business mentor to mom entrepreneurs, wedding photographer, and podcast host to the previously, “Can I Take You to Coffee?” podcast, which is being rebranded to Real Talk w/ Biz Moms. Majesta started her photography business at the age of 21 and quickly built it to a 6-figure business, alongside her personal accomplishments of marriage, becoming a homeowner and having two children.

After eight years and photographing over 500 clients, Majesta realized her passion for business and motherhood was calling her to do more. In 2019, she decided to offer her first online business mentorship program, Busy to Breakthrough, helping and mentoring working moms on how to systemize and organize their businesses, with the support of like-minded women. Her mission is to foster real connections with business-owning moms, inspire courageous action and build a business based on strategy. Majesta is on her way to building a empire to support “biz moms” with her newly rebranded podcast, Real Talk w/ Biz Moms, where she’s facilitating real conversations in round table discussions about how we raise babies and build businesses.

Gianfranco Filice

Gianfranco’s professional career began at 14-years old when he created a social good company called Ripple Design. Inspired by his mother’s cancer diagnosis, Gianfranco realized that if he wanted to make a difference in the world, he couldn’t wait for the opportunity to arise, but he needed to go out and create that difference. Ripple Design produced creatively designed products, which were tied to charitable donations. His project was successfully funded on Kickstarter in less than five days. Ripple Design went on to become an established international company providing over 10,000 people access to clean drinking water and 5,000 access to emergency meals.

Following his interest in financial technology, Gianfranco utilized his college freshman summer to secure an internship at Visa, Inc. He was the only freshman out of an intern class of 350 to join Visa that year, and he worked as a business analyst in the Digital and Mobile Product Development team. The following year, Gianfranco joined the world’s most prestigious consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, as one of 2,000 global interns out of an applicant pool of 100,000 for their San Francisco office. His work engagements, centered on the firm’s financial services practice, took him to England, Canada, and various cities around the U.S. during his ten-week internship.

This past summer, Gianfranco, continued to pursue his passion for financial technology, worked as a summer business analyst at Goldman Sachs at their New York City office. He worked as one of five product managers for the Marcus by Goldman Sachs mobile application, Clarity Money. His time was spent developing new strategies for improving the financial wellbeing of their users, this work ultimately positively impacted the experience of over 3 million U.S.-based users.

During the school year, Gianfranco has also worked as an analyst for notable early-stage venture capital firms. Most recently, he worked with Matrix Partners, a $4 billion early-stage fund, and OVO Fund, a $35 million pre-seed fund, conducting deal sourcing, due diligence, and content generation.

After his graduation from Stanford in the spring, Gianfranco plans on working in growth equity, investment banking, or venture capital. He also plans on returning to school to pursue his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

His long-term goal is to start a financial technology company that leverages AI, machine learning, human psychology, and financial wellness to create an automated and tailored solution to address that 45% of Americans are $400 away from financial ruin.

Gianfranco said, “My success stems from my environment. I was fortunate to be raised by wonderful parents who gave me the tools and confidence to work outside the bounds of my comfort zone. I am blessed to be guided by an amazing group of mentors who provided me with the guidance to redirect my approaches when needed and who uplifted me when I needed it most. I owe my success to my friends who have always pushed me to stay grounded in my own beliefs. I also owe much to my university for showing me how grand and complex the world really is and giving me the tools necessary to find a way to carve my own niche into it.”

An additional component of his success is his investment in his personal development. This dedication towards his personal growth has demonstrated itself through daily meditation and journaling over the years. Gianfranco said, “It is habits such as these that have kept me accountable and in consistent pursuit of my passions as well as my professional and personal aspirations.”

As for advice to other young professionals, Gianfranco said, “I would encourage young professionals to find a strategic life coach. Just as Olympic athletes work with an Olympic trainer, we all can use the guidance, accountability, and sounding board that a great coach can provide.”

They’re Baaack

Article by Laurel Resenhall, CalMatters

Lawmakers gaveled in for the new year Monday, with hugs, handshakes — and looming deadlines. Bills that stalled early in 2019 have just four weeks to pass the house in which they were introduced — or die for the year.

The most high-profile measure facing the Jan. 31 deadline is SB 50, an ambitious plan to force cities to approve taller, denser housing near public transportation and job centers.

  • On one side: A desire to alleviate California’s housing shortage and meet the state’s climate goals.
  • On the other: California’s inherent love of backyards and local control.

Suburban homeowners, local governments and anti-displacement groups have twice sunk the proposal, arguing it weakens local control and invites developers to kill neighborhood character and gentrify lower-income communities.

But Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, has returned with support from developers, environmental groups and “Yes in my Backyard” urbanists — and, as CalMatters’ Matt Levin reports, a big change they hope will mollify municipalities.

The Big Change: Cities get two years to develop their own housing plans. Prior incarnations of Wiener’s bill forced most of them to allow four- or five-story apartments to be built around rail lines, ferries and some high-frequency bus stops. Now it would be the automatic default if local alternative plans don’t measure up.

To pass the bill, Wiener needs more than his impressive coalition of supporters. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, which did not respond to a request for comment, has called for legislation making it easier to build housing in California — but has so far resisted backing SB 50.

Boy, Are They Back!

Article provided by CalMatters

Lawmakers also face a political deadline that might complicate policy decisions: Most will be up for re-election in the March 3 primary. And many voters will cast ballots even sooner by mail.

That will make some “two-year bills” even tougher to decide before the Jan. 31 deadline. Such as:

  • Intersex babies: SB 201 seeks to protect the roughly 1-2% of people born with sex characteristics that do not conform to typical male and female bodies. It would ban doctors from performing surgery on babies born with such intersex traits unless the procedure is medically necessary — better for kids, according to LGBT activists, but a preemption of parental authority, doctors say.
  • Sick days: AB 555 would extend paid sick leave for workers from three days to five — and force lawmakers in the majority-Democrat Legislature to choose between Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, its powerful pro-labor author, and the also-powerful California Chamber of Commerce, which blocked the measure last year.
  • Clean cars: AB 40 would make millions of dollars in clean-vehicle rebates available only to people who buy cars from the four companies that have agreed to follow California’s tough greenhouse gas pollution standards, rewarding car companies that have sided with the state against federal efforts to roll back stricter emissions caps. Other car brands are likely to oppose the measure, which could get its first vote next week.
  • Oil severance tax: The left has long clamored for a tax on oil production — the current version, SB 246, would impose a 10% tax on all oil and gas produced in the state. Democratic Sen. Bob Wieckowski said he’s gathered more supporters, but the bill may face the same headwinds that other tax proposals have in a Legislature still spooked by the 2018 recall of a Democrat who voted to increase the gas tax.
  • Teach for America: AB 221 would prohibit California schools from hiring teachers through Teach For America and other third-party programs that unions generally view as competitors. Charter schools and some school districts opposed the bill last year, but Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia says Teach for America harms disadvantaged students by placing inexperienced teachers in their classrooms.
  • Renters and landlords: AB 53 would bar landlords from asking about a potential tenant’s criminal record during the initial housing application. But it stops short of actually banning discrimination on the basis of a criminal record. Criminal justice organizations say it doesn’t go far enough. Landlord lobbies say it goes too far.

Celebrate California Restaurant Month

Visit California is once again celebrating California Restaurant Month during the month of January. In collaboration with Visit California, we are posting throughout the month on the Visit Gilroy Facebook page restaurant recommendations here in Gilroy to check out. Following is a sample of our FB posts featuring local restaurants:

If it’s garlic you’re looking for, Gilroy is THE place to go! You’ll find gourmet garlic dishes on the menu at Garlic City Café, The Milias Restaurant, Old City Hall, Mama Mia’s, and many more! Check out the “Road to Garlic” map to find these and more great garlic experiences.

As we celebrate California Restaurant Month, we’re reminded how fortunate we are to have excellent restaurants like The Milias Restaurant, Old City Hall, and Westside Grill right here in town. What’s your favorite place to go for a special dinner out?

During California Restaurant Month, we want to spotlight some great places for breakfast right here in Gilroy: OD’s Kitchen, Sandy’s Café, and Josephine’s Bakery.

January 14th is Happy Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day! We’ll be celebrating at Cafe 152 Bread Co. in downtown Gilroy…how about you?

January is California Restaurant Month, so come to Gilroy and get yourself some authentic Mexican food at Cielito Lindo, Los Pericos Taqueria, or Victoria’s Mexican Restaurant!

If you’re craving Asian food during California Restaurant Month, Gilroy’s got some great options, including Sushi Omakase, Bamboo Village, and Pineapple Village.

On the last day of California Restaurant Month, come taste your way around the world at Hecker Pass Plaza, which includes The Claddagh Irish Restaurant & Pub, Saigon-2-Siam Bistro, Sweet Sicily, Little India and more!

Remember January is California Restaurant Month and a great excuse to visit the outstanding restaurants in Gilroy where garlic is ALWAYS on the menu! Visit our website Visitgilroy.com/restaurants to see all the options and even download a handy map.

AB 5 Is The Law

Article provided by CalMatters

“AB 5 is the law.” That’s the “speak softly and carry a big stick” notice to California businesses on California’s new worker-classification law from Julie Su, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, who has the authority to crack down on workplace violations and investigate complaints.

  • “We want businesses and companies to be aware and to voluntarily comply,” Su told Judy Lin of CalMatters as state lawmakers geared up for 2020. “We will pursue enforcement efforts for those who don’t.”
  • Lin reports that Su declined to say whether her agency is actively investigating gig companies such as Uber and Lyft for refusing to comply. But: “There is not a grace period.”

Remind me: Gig companies, freelance writers and truckers have all sued to stop AB 5, a labor-backed law that is estimated to turn 1 million California contract workers into employees. So far, only truckers have won a temporary injunction, but The Washington Post reports Uber is building a case that drivers are free from the company’s control.

  • On Monday, a federal judge refused to grant freelance journalists and photographers exemption from the new labor law, saying they waited too long to claim an emergency.

Are you affected? The labor agency has an employment status website designed to help businesses and workers navigate the new changes and sort out which workers should get W-2s.

Thanks to California

Thanks to California’s privacy law, one company’s pain is another’s gain

Article by The Hustle

As companies scramble to ensure they’re in compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act, a surge of startups is hoping to cash in on data solutions.

It’s a California Gold Rush redux

Companies meeting certain criteria are expected to spend a collective $55B making sure they meet the new rules, and it’s estimated that more than 200 companies and consultants are already pitching products and services. For example:

  • TerraTrue built a privacy platform allowing companies to better corral customer data and automate compliance with myriad laws.
  • DataFleets offers machine-learning tools that limit the likelihood of leaking consumers’ private info.

And the market could get bigger

California isn’t the only actor regulating how companies use consumer data. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, implemented in 2018, protects its citizens’ personal information.
And there could be additional legislation coming from:

  • The UK, post-Brexit
  • New York and Washington states
  • India
  • Your US Congress

This potential mishmash of laws could prove complicated, which would mean more business for those who know how to navigate it.

January 6, 2020

2020 Labor Law Materials

Make sure your business is in compliance. Even if you have only one employee, you can be fined $17,000 for not posting required notices. Our poster includes all 18 notices in one convenient poster.

You must post a compliant Employment Poster in a conspicuous place in the workplace where all employees and applicants can see it. The poster also must include information about your workers’ compensation benefits, payday schedule and emergency contacts. You may need to order several to ensure that your business, branches and satellite offices are displaying the poster according to the law. Failure to comply can result in severe penalties and fines by the state of California. If any of your company’s workers are Spanish-speaking, you will need to order the Spanish version.

Order your labor law materials today!

Shake, Rattle and Roll

In recent days, the Gilroy area has experienced a little “rock and roll.” Not so much in the area of music, but in the area of earthquakes. 2020 was welcomed in with a 3.9 magnitude earthquake at approximately 11:15 p.m. on January 1. Just this morning, the ground shook again when a 3.0 earthquake struck in the unincorporated area of Santa Clara County near Gilroy at 1:37 a.m. A few hours later, at 5:36 a.m. a 2.7 tremblor hit.

Natural disasters occur and the best we can do is be as prepared as possible. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce offers a free “Disaster Preparedness Plan” which can be easily downloaded and used to create a plan of action for your businesses.

What’s New with Business?

The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce’s January Mixer will be held at the newly opened Pizza Factory, located at 363 E. 10th Street. The Mixer is on Thursday, January 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Dennis Cole, the franchise owner, is excited to open his brand-new restaurant. Dennis has two other Pizza Factory locations in Patterson and San Juan Bautista. Pizza Factory is known for being family-friendly and very involved in the community. There are two rooms that organizations and non-profits can use for meetings. Pizza Factory’s team believes that together, we can stop bullying. An epidemic affecting our youth, Pizza Factory’s franchisees proudly support this critical initiative. You’ll find them wearing “No Bully Zone” t-shirts on site and partnering up with local schools. This important cause is just one way that franchisees can feel proud to own a community-centered business, serving a great product to customers they care about.

All are invited to the grand opening/ribbon cutting for 29:11 Tattoo on Saturday, January 11 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The actual ribbon cutting ceremony will be at approximately 1:00 pm. 29:11 Tattoo is a new tattoo studio recently opened in Gilroy at 353 E. 10th Street Unit C. Kenny Brown, the owner, has been in the tattoo industry for 8 years in the bay area. Kenny moved to Gilroy 2 years ago because of the slower pace and small-town feeling. When the time was right for Kenny to open his own tattoo studio, he chose Gilroy. Kenny is excited to bring his artwork and positivity to the community. Kenny brings with him artist Hayden Mann.

St. Joseph’s Family Center is a non-profit whose mission is to alleviate hunger and homelessness in South Santa Clara County by providing food, housing and employment related services. One of the many programs they run is the Street Team, to help homeless improve their lives through a work program. Also, they advocate for system changes to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable people in our communities. To donate, volunteer or to find out more about St. Joseph’s Family Center go to: stjosephsgilroy.org/.

Linda Williams is the owner of the Nimble Thimble, Gilroy’s local quilt shop. Their Community Works quilting group is very motivated to give back locally. They have a new charity event coming up, the Inaugural Gilroy Quilt Auction on Sunday, January 26. The Gilroy Quilt Auction will be held at Capos Restaurant, located at 7588 Monterey Street, in historic downtown Gilroy. Doors open at 4:00 pm, with a buffet dinner, live auction of 50 fantastic quilts, witty banter, raffle prizes, a cash bar, and door prizes. They have received donations from several of the area’s well-known quilters and several vintage pieces, in addition to quilts made by local volunteers. All are stunning, and they have quilts to suit every taste. Tickets are $30 until sold out. No ticket sales at the door. Call 408-842-6501 for ticket information. This event is being held to support St. Joseph’s Family Center, a non-profit, that helps keep our community strong.

In today’s times, everyone is looking for something healthy to eat which is also cost effective at the same time. One such thing is tapioca and that is why tapioca pearls also known as boba are so popular. According to Medical News Today, tapioca is free of allergens such as gluten and nuts. It is easy to digest, is an excellent source of calcium which is extremely important for strong bones and teeth and finally, is a great source of iron. One great place to try tapioca pearls or boba tea is Bobaloca, located at 767 First Street. Bobaloca serves these in every beverage – teas, coffee, smoothies, frappuccinos, slushies and juices. In addition, any flavor can be added to these if someone likes a particular flavor.

Educator of the Year - Donna Kline

Donna comes from a family of educators; grandmother, aunt, and cousins. So, you can say education is in her blood. She has also been fortunate to have inspirational teachers in her life from primary to secondary education. These people encourage, supported and modeled what dedication and love for their students looked like. As a teacher, Donna had many teachers and administrators that mentored and helped her to develop into the teacher she has become. Donna’s whole career has been with GUSD and she’s been provided many opportunities to learn, develop and share.

There have been so many highlights in her career, it would take a book to share them all, but for Donna, the most heartfelt memories have been and are watching students blossom and develop into self-motivated learners. Throughout the years, Donna has been included in the lives of her students and invited to graduations, weddings, and birthdays. She had the opportunity to teach previous students’ children. How great is that!

As an educator, Donna believes in the importance of being a lifelong learner. Education is not stagnant and is always changing. She believes it is important to be able to change and update and improve your skills, teaching styles and best practices and be the best for the children one teaches. It is one of her personal goals that her students develop a dedication to lifelong learning and pursue careers and that will help them be successful in their own lives. Donna prides herself in teaching students to learn how to read and the enjoyment it brings into their lives.

Donna has been fortunate to be mentored and to have the chance to mentor teachers throughout her career. She would encourage those wanting to pursue a career in education to find mentors and learn from their experiences. Mostly, Donna would want them to think about why they’ve chosen to become a teacher and understand it’s about the lives of the children they hold in their hands.

Donna has also been fortunate to have loved going to work every day and putting in the time and effort for the success of her students. Donna said, “I have been fortunate to have a family that has supported me with the time and expense it takes away from them. They’ve provided me the opportunity to spread my wings.”

Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award - Jane Tovar

Growing up Jane saw her mom struggle to make ends meet. At a young age, Jane became an entrepreneur selling her clothes and cupcakes at the flea market to help her mom financially. Many families around her struggled just as much or more and that inspired her to use her ability to speak English to help families find opportunities. Learning at a young age that she was very lucky to have opportunities her mom didn’t have in Mexico Jane decided to make the most of this and become a leader to others who needed assistance in any way. Jane’s passion is to help those in need around her.

Jane’s passion in life is to make a positive change even if it is in the smallest way. She is passionate about sustainability practices to make the environment healthier and protect it and as a result, help the people in the environment. Anything that has to do with social justice, the environment, or struggling people is one of Jane’s passions.

She hopes to study environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz with a minor in community studies. Eventually, her dream is to mitigate the effects of climate change through organizations like the United Nations or the World Wildlife Fund. She hopes to eventually become a world leader in climate change activism.

One of her proudest moments was asking for help when she was struggling with mental health. She received that help and it allowed her to grow as a person.

When asked what advice she would give to other students, Jane said, “Just do your best and do what you love and if you do not know what you love then try a bunch of things out until you figure it out. You aren’t supposed to know what to do with the rest of your life right away so be patient with yourself and explore. Always be kind to others you never know when they can be having a bad day. Lastly, do not sacrifice your mental health or any relationships to get good grades. You and your mental health always come first.”

Back to Work

Article by CalMatters

The Legislature returns to Sacramento today, opening the second half of a two-year session that will revive some ideas that stalled in 2019 and raise new proposals to drive the action in 2020.
Look for a focus on:

  • Homelessness: Californians see homelessness increasing in their communities, polls show, and voters now say the issue is the state’s top concern. Lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom deployed $1 billion to fight the problem in last year’s budget, with funding to house mentally ill homeless people and build more emergency shelters. This year, lawmakers may push to better track how cities are spending the money. Also possible: a renewed push to force the most troubled homeless mental patients into treatment, or a legal “right to shelter” that would compel cities to build enough shelters to accommodate anyone who wants a bed. Learn more about California homelessness and potential solutions in this terrific explainer by CalMatters’ Matt Levin and Jackie Botts.
  • Wildfires: Fire ravaged the state while legislators were home this past autumn. Though fatalities were nowhere near the horrific death toll in the two prior years, millions of Californians experienced wildfire disruptions and economic hardships that are already motivating their elected representatives. Expect proposals to limit intentional power blackouts or compensate customers for the outages. Lawmakers may also look to spur the use of microgrids, which allow utilities to more precisely target blackouts, or make it harder for insurance companies to drop homeowners in fire-prone zones. And of course, jockeying will continue over control of PG&E as the utility works to reorganize through bankruptcy court by the end of June.
  • Gig economy: The lawmaker behind California’s watershed worker-classification bill is expected to work on more carve-outs, even as various industries challenge the law in court. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who has been hit with a barrage of social media complaints over how AB 5 impacts workers, has committed to working with the music industry and says she’s open to other clarifications. However, she and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon are clear that they are done negotiating with gig companies Uber and Lyft, which are funding a ballot measure to fight the new law. “I have no interest in getting involved in that,” Rendon told CalMatters’ Laurel Rosenhall. “I think we’ve been quite good to those people.”
Court’s Decision Regarding Homeless

In 9th Circuit Court’s Decision Regarding Homeless, Who Really Wins

Article written by CalMatters

Local governments cannot ban homeless people from sleeping in public places if those jurisdictions lack shelters to house them, under a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday that lets stand a lower court ruling.

Remind me: A 1992 Boise, Idaho, city ordinance banned people from sleeping in parks and other public spaces. When police cited Boise homeless people, they sued.

The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Western states including California, ruled in 2018 that cities cannot enforce bans against people for sleeping in public places if there is no shelter for them.

Boise appealed, but the case resonated far beyond Idaho. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the L.A. Chamber of Commerce and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer asked the justices to step in. So did several states, though not California.

  • Boise has 120 to 140 chronically homeless people.
  • California has 130,000 homeless people, including 36,000 in Los Angeles.

The Idaho Statesman quoted Theane Evangelis, the Los Angeles attorney who represented Boise:

  • “[T]he Ninth Circuit’s decision ultimately harms the very people it purports to protect.”

Bullet Train Follies

Commentary by Dan Walters, CalMatters

As oft-noted in this space, those in California’s state government — governors, legislators and agency directors — have an unfortunate habit of starting programs and projects that are never fully implemented.
These governmental orphans fall roughly into two categories, those that have some valid rationale and those that don’t.

For instance, applying technology to public services makes perfect conceptual sense, but we’ve lost count on how many “information technology” projects have consumed billions of dollars without delivering the promised benefits of better service delivery and better data.

The latest poster child for half-baked IT projects is FI$Cal, which is supposed to consolidate numerous financial management and reporting systems into one, but has already cost more than $1 billion and shows no signs of working anytime soon.

Using technology still makes sense, but if the state bureaucracy is incapable of implementing it, it’s just money down a rathole.

Speaking of which, many billions of dollars are also going down that dark hole for projects that made no sense in the first place, with the state’s bullet train a prime example.

For decades, a certain segment of California’s population has swooned over the notion of an uber-fast north-south rail system, ala those in Japan, China and Europe. However, advocates never provided a logical rationale, given that traveling up and down California is relatively easy while movement within urban areas is our toughest transportation problem.

Eleven years ago, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other advocates persuaded voters to pass a $9.95 billion bond issue, assuring them that the system could be built for about $40 billion, would attract outside investors, and be operationally self-supporting.

None of that has come to pass. The state’s High-Speed Rail Authority is now more or less building about 100 miles of track in the San Joaquin Valley, using money from bonds and $2.5 billion in federal grants.
In January, a newly inaugurated Gov. Gavin Newsom more or less abandoned the notion of a statewide system, citing lack of money, and then more or less backtracked and said he wanted to slightly lengthen and complete the San Joaquin Valley section.

President Donald Trump’s administration, always on the prowl for ways to ding blue California, then held up nearly $1 billion in grant funds and demanded that money already sent, and partially spent, be returned because the underlying contract had been violated.

Defying federal officials and its own peer review committee, the bullet train board this month decided to solicit bids from three firms to electrify the track now under construction and build a maintenance garage to service the system.

The Federal Railroad Administration warned the state not to move forward, saying in a letter, “It is premature for (the rail authority) to undertake another major design-build contract. The current construction packages continue to face significant and continuing delays building the necessary civil construction.”

There’s not enough money in the kitty to do what’s now contemplated, and proceeding seems to be a defiant gesture by Newsom, who fancies himself a leader of the anti-Trump “resistance,” and a political wager that Trump will be replaced by a friendly Democrat a year hence.

It also sets up a confrontation with legislators, such as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who see the bullet train as a loser and would like to tap the bonds for improving urban commuter service.

Some of the money has already been siphoned away to electrify commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula and Rendon wants a similar allocation for Southern California. That makes much more sense than completing a mini-bullet train to nowhere.