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Morgan Hill
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September 23, 2021

Four letters: Thanks for donations to find Sierra, Southeast Quad, help find nesting swallows, and marriage

Donations of food and drinks shows the generosity of our community

Dear Editor,

As one of many volunteers manning the kitchen at the Sierra LaMar Recovery Center at Burnett School, I want to publicly thank all those who have contributed food and drinks for the hundreds of volunteers searching for Sierra.

Food has been served all day on each of the days the center has been open and some donors have been back each and every day bringing coffee and food.

Come by the Recovery Center at Burnett and take a look at the list of food donors displayed on the kitchen wall. Support and thank those businesses and individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of the search. This community, which extends from Gilroy to San Jose, has shown such heart and generosity.

Joan Sullivan, Morgan Hill

There is a compromise solution for the Southeast Quadrant

Dear Editor,

Agricultural operations are best preserved in history, as we remember to respect that “paving paradise and putting up a parking lot,” just utilizes a different form of the earth’s natural resources, in precious minerals. “To every season, there is a purpose and a time for every purpose.” Change, for the greater good of all can be very beneficial to humankind when timing is optimal for change.

First, I wish to emphasize one fact that barren “agricultural” fields in 2012, where beautiful, lush orchards existed in Morgan Hill in the ’50s and ’60s, provide the most credible testimony to the fact that for a population of farmers, farming is no longer profitable nor viable.

The economic feasibility of farming and its viability in has been recycled in Morgan Hill City Council and Morgan Hill Planning Commission meetings for a number of years. Reaping zero in economic returns, the barren land in Morgan Hill does not benefit city nor county governments.

My idea of a possible compromise evolved  from our descendants. This idea combines development, wise business investments in real estate with farming, a combination resulting in “having one’s cake and eating it, too,” not only for today, but for generations. Tried and true by my late parents and late cousins, this approach has worked and continues to work, long after the descendants have gone.

We are a society that needs to think beyond our blessings of the current day, in the form of fresh California produce and fruit, to extend our vision so future generations can thrive.

This philosophy of compromise and the reality of how powerful it can be beyond the current time, is everlasting. My two cousins, June and Mary Borina, daughters of my paternal grandfather’s brother, now deceased for more than a decade, were Stanford University graduates. Although raised on an apple ranch in Watsonville, they combined agricultural upbringing with education and with wise  business investments, found a way to bring the compromise of development and agriculture and transform them into a powerful team, which continues to provide food and other necessities to this day through the Borina Foundation. The two sisters grew the blessings of their parents’ estate, maximizing upon an apple orchard and apple packing house business in Watsonville, transforming their estate into a multi-million dollar business empire whose legacy lives on and continues to give back to the community and beyond. These investments continue to provide not only a legacy to be admired, but their work continues to live on through the Borina Foundation.

Last week, I met with a representative from one of the nation’s top real estate commercial and development recruiting firms, presenting my sketch for review. Our meetings are scheduled to continue on this compromise idea for my family’s property in the Southeast Quadrant, to combine a respect for nature, a respect for agricultural history, while also honoring our technological evolution in a proposed setting that would be economically lucrative for my family members and Santa Clara County tax revenue which provides for education and many other vital community services.

I believe the city of Morgan Hill property owners are privileged to be in the vicinity of future PGA tour events at the American Institute of Mathematics Golf Course. The city of Morgan Hill, county of Santa Clara and the surrounding property owners in the area, rising to the occasion to the host level, in providing accommodations and hospitality in this regard, is also an honor to behold. It is time, Morgan Hill, to seize this opportunity and embrace it with all it has to offer – for today, tomorrow and the future.

Julie Borina Driscoll, Morgan Hill

WERC needs help identifying building where baby swallows are nesting


WERC need the public’s help. We received a phone call from a person who said that nests containing hundreds of baby cliff swallows were about to be destroyed at a professional building in Morgan Hill.  Unfortunately, the call was cut short and we didn’t get the person’s name or phone number. If anyone is aware of the situation, we are asking for them to contact WERC ASAP at 779-9372 or [email protected] Please help us save the lives of these baby birds.

Nesting season is typically March to September. It’s against state and federal laws to remove, destroy or disturb most nesting wild native birds, their nests or their eggs. Special government permits are required to remove occupied nests and are only justified for a strongly compelling reason, i.e., when the location creates a health hazard to humans.

Once all the babies have fledged and left the nest, only then is it OK to knock or wash down the empty nests.  

Granted, the area under swallow nests can get a bit messy, but swallows are a wonderful method of natural pest control, voraciously feeding on pesky insects like flies, beetles and mosquitoes.  

Sue Howell, Executive Director, Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center

The entire system of marriage is broken and needs fixing

Dear Editor,

In general the idea that all people should be treated equal is a sound starting point for a discussion about same sex marriage. Everyone should be treated equally. But there is no such thing as marriage and what the states pass off as marriage isn’t marriage at all. It’s just a really bad property contract between two people and the government.

We are arguing about the definition of marriage as to sexual orientation, but we forget that marriage was also supposed to be about a lifelong commitment. But with no-fault divorce that went away and was replaced with a lifelong contract with the government over your income and property. In California for example, if you are married longer that 10 years and one person makes more than the other then the person who makes more has to pay spousal support to the other for the rest of their lives. Divorce courts punish good behavior and reward bad behavior. “Till death do us part” means absolutely nothing to the courts. If your spouse is in jail, you’re going to have to pay him/her alimony.

Marriage is also a bad one size fits all contract that was designed for heterosexual virgin teenagers starting life together and applies those rules to all groups. So if grandma dies and grandpa marries a 20 year old then she, as wife, is first in line to make medical and financial decisions over his adult children. That’s just plain wrong. Marriage at 70 is not the same as marriage at 18 and should not be treated as such.

In the case same sex partners, men and women are different. Two men marrying is not the same as two women marrying or a woman and man marrying who can have children as opposed to man and woman marrying who can’t. Relationships with children, including same sex adoptions, are different than those without. Yet all we have is a one-size-fits-all option.

Half of all marriages end in divorce. The other half end in death. The system is broken and needs to be replaced. If the state is going to treat marriage as a temporary property contract then it should be set up that way from the beginning. Or we should just phase out marriage in favor of customizable civil unions where the terms of the agreement are spelled out in advance so that the two people joining can create the kind of union that applies to them. What we have now is broken and neither straight or gays would want it if they knew what they were getting into.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

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