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Morgan Hill
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October 22, 2020

Letters: Forest management, Tech Center, salon closure

Council should reject Tech Center project

Mayor Constantine and City Council Members,

As a senior business leader for Paramit Corporation, headquartered in Morgan Hill, I feel compelled to express our vehement opposition to the proposed Morgan Hill Technology Center (MHTC). This project does not align with the guiding principles of the Morgan Hill General Plan and would jeopardize the quality of life for all residents and businesses in our city.

Paramit is an international medical device manufacturing company with a long standing and significant investment in Morgan Hill. In 2002, we moved into our new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities on Madrone Parkway and recently we opened a design center on Sutter Boulevard. Today, we have over 468 employees.

Paramit was attracted to Morgan Hill because of its rural charm, affordable housing, variety of restaurants, manageable traffic, proximity to Silicon Valley and talented workforce. It is a great place to work and raise our families. Paramit is considering an expansion, and it is important that city officials adhere to the principles of the General Plan, which help us attract and retain talented employees vital to growing our business.

During the preliminary design review meeting for the MHTC project, the Planning Commission asked if we had an interest in moving into this park. Absolutely not! Paramit buildings are not windowless tilt-up concrete warehouses. Our building in Malaysia, nicknamed “Factory in the Forest”, won the 2018 FutureArc Green Leadership Award and 2017 LEAF award for best commercial building in the world.

Trammel Crow’s MHTC is not designed for the best interests of our community or to bring quality jobs here. This project is driven by the financial interests of a large real estate developer and their investors. Residents are told repeatedly this park is designed for advanced manufacturing and will yield many high paying jobs.

With features like 128 truck docks and 55-foot ceiling heights, there is no intent for this to ever become a manufacturing facility. The building is designed to attract e-commerce tenants who need more distribution centers. This will result in debilitating traffic on Highway 101 and city streets, significant air quality issues, and very few jobs in these largely automated facilities.

This is a real turning point for all of us! We want a future where we can grow responsibly, attract strong talent, and provide a safe and affordable community to our employees. We expect the Mayor, City Council and Planning Commission to be the conscience of our community in following the General Plan. Please show your leadership by supporting and adopting the MHRGC Responsible Growth for Morgan Hill Initiative to prohibit this, and all future distribution centers in Morgan Hill. And if this ill-conceived project does come up for a City Council vote, please reject it or it will destroy the vision you have built for our city and our quality of life forever.

Respectfully yours,

Rick Kent

CFO, Paramit Corporation

Salon closure a difficult decision

To Artistry in Hair staff and family,

I truly don’t know what to say about closing our doors. I feel numb. I never thought that a pandemic would be the reason my business failed, but who would ever think that? 

I believe it was God who designed the path and opportunity that led to the opening of Artistry In Hair, 12 years ago, and I know deep in my heart that God is using this time as an opportunity for something new to arise for all of us. 

I am grateful for everything we shared as a working family. You believed in me and together we made a great success out of our salon. We supported each other through the trials of life, we learned new skills together, we brought each other up and made ourselves into more than we could have been alone. 

This is what I am most proud of when I look back. As an owner, I had many choices to make and I always strived for fairness. I didn’t make everyone happy but you knew I was doing my best, I always did my best, and I know you did too. We had fun. Going to work was never a chore, it was a blessing, a place to practice our creativity and laugh about whatever could have brought us down. I already miss that camaraderie. 

It humbles me to know that you were willing to stay with me through these last five months of uncertainty. I’m sure some of you wonder why I didn’t fight more. When the numbness goes away and the salon is finally empty, I’m sure some answers will come, along with the tears I keep waiting for. 

I know you will all go on to bigger and better things. In some ways, I know that Artistry was in need of something I just couldn’t bring to it. As Chelsey once told me, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” And I was tired. I had hopes that I could turn what I had started over to the next generation and see it come to life in a new way, but we don’t always get what we hope for. I absolutely got more than I could have ever expected, better than my wildest dreams and I will never regret a minute of it. 

I love you all. I couldn’t have done any of this on my own. Each one of you brought integrity, passion, joy and meaning to the day. You are all amazing women whom I admire and respect.   

You are Forever in my heart,

Karen Abbey

Morgan Hill

State should improve forest management

As an 18-year resident of Holiday Lake Estates and having to evacuate our home on Aug. 23 for the first time ever, I was disappointed and dismayed at learning that there was any delay in the decision to allow CalFire to bulldoze a line along the western and south-western area of the merged Calaveras-Canyon fire to protect eastern Morgan Hill from Finley Ridge down to Cochrane and Hill Roads.

While I am no fan of our current adminstration’s comments about sweeping forest floors of dead leaves and trees, it is clear that California’s forests have not been well maintained. Hopefully with the recent agreement between California and feds to thin 1 million acres a year by 2025, the risk we are currently facing will be significantly reduced.

Hopefully, our current environmental regulations will be streamlined so that our parks and forests can be maintained without damaging natural habitats so that Morgan Hill residents don’t have to have our “heads on a swivel” constantly to quote Chief Hess.

Brian Fukumoto

Morgan Hill

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