Dear Editor: Last week, I attended Morgan Hill’s Friday Night
Music Series at its new Community and Cultural Center amphitheater
location. It’s no secret there was a bit of debate by a few
downtown merchants about making the switch from the old Second
Street site to the amphitheater.
Great new venue for Friday Night Music Series

Dear Editor:

Last week, I attended Morgan Hill’s Friday Night Music Series at its new Community and Cultural Center amphitheater location. It’s no secret there was a bit of debate by a few downtown merchants about making the switch from the old Second Street site to the amphitheater. But if those merchants might have seen what I saw, they would quickly concede the amphitheater is by far the best outdoor venue for one of our community’s most beloved summer entertainment events.

The downtown amphitheater is a far more secure location for families with young kids because it is in an enclosed area and, unlike the old site, a safe distance from the downtown’s traffic-laden Monterey Street. With its terraced lawn seating, it’s also a much more relaxing place to enjoy a picnic meal while listening to great live music. The sound quality of the bands performing on the amphitheater stage, by the way, is a thousand times better than when music series performances were held on noisy Second Street.

One minor improvement for the city to consider is that the cement area in front of the stage could be expanded to provide room for more dancers. I’m sure that as word gets out that the Friday Night Music Series is now at the Community Center, that crowded amphitheater dance floor will hold even more Morgan Hill residents who will trek downtown to enjoy fun and free music with their families this summer.

Marty Cheek, Morgan Hill

Stay healthy and trim for life, teach children to become vegetarians

Dear Editor,

While AB 627, the proposed bill requiring licensed California day-care centers to serve children more vegetables and forbidding them from serving whole milk to children age 2 and older, will help combat childhood obesity, there is an even more effective way to help kids stay slim and healthy: Feed them a wholesome vegetarian diet.

Plant-based foods, which are cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, are optimal for children. According to the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, “Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.”

By serving only vegetarian foods, day-care centers and schools can help kids develop a taste for fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and soy products rather than hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and milkshakes. Visit for tips on how to keep your kids – and yourself – trim and healthy for life.

Heather Moore, research specialist, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

City’s fire services are a raw deal

Dear Editor,

I find it interesting that at a recent council meeting the city’s fiscal crunch was on the agenda along with an extension of the fire contract with Central Fire. To address the fiscal crunch they offered eight options ranging in savings from $11,000 to more than a million dollars. They also listed the cost of adding back services ranging from $84,000 for a municipal services worker to $150,000 for a police officer.

I find it interesting that not a single citizen, elected official or any “watchdog” questioned the fire contract. What is the cost of the contract for this year? What are the revenues earmarked for fire? How much general fund money is needed to close the gap between costs and expected revenues?

In April of 2008 the city accepted a report projecting a contract cost of $5.44 million for 2009-10. They projected property tax revenues of $4.70 million leaving a $954,000 gap. Since then the economy has taken a severe hit and property values are at least 12 percent lower than expected (Morgan Hill Times June 12). Central Fire has sponsored another fiscal study but is very reluctant to share the study. Could this be because revenues are even less? Wouldn’t this cause a greater gap and require more general fund dollars? Central Fire firefighters were granted a nice raise at the Dec. 9 Board of Supervisors meeting giving them a 4.75 percent increase and another 5 percent in Nov. 2009. Wow, and the city is not filling police officer spots and considering a bunch of cost reduction options while the fire contract goes up and up each year for the next five years. How many police officers could be saved if almost a million dollars were not going to firefighters who are getting a 9.75 percent pay raise?

I hate to see the citizens of Morgan Hill being denied the opportunity of at least taking an honest look at other fire options. South County Fire can provide the same level of services for a much lower rate. The city manager will say that the fire stations are an issue but has he seriously opened any dialogue regarding how this obstacle could be addressed? And speaking of stations, the latest report is that the cost of staffing a third station with Central Fire is not feasible in the near future and would require the RDA to sunset.

It would be interesting to go into the morgue and see how many times the city manager and the council have said all alternatives need to be considered, how many times they have said a third fire station is essential, how many times they have said the citizens deserve “enhanced fire and EMS” services, and how many times they have said a full time Battalion Chief is critical (this would be the same Battalion Chief that has had the relief funding cut to save $50,000).

This city’s citizens are getting a raw deal and no one seems to care.

Richard Mc Connell, Retired C.D.F./ Cal Fire, Paradise, CA

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