Mortensen named to Dean’s List

Jared Mortensen, of Morgan Hill, has been named to the 2023-24 Fall Term Dean’s list at Oregon Institute of Technology. Mortensen studies Environmental Sciences-Water.

Valley Water board elects Hsueh for 2024 chair

The Valley Water Board of Directors on Jan. 9 elected Nai Hsueh, District 5 representative, as the board chair for 2024. Director Richard Santos, representing District 3 on the board, was elected vice chair. 

The board vote launches Hsueh’s third tenure as chair, says a press release from Valley Water. Hsueh previously served as board chair in  2013 and 2020. 

Hsueh, a registered civil engineer in California, worked at Valley Water for three decades. Hsueh takes the board leadership role as Valley Water faces challenges such as climate change, inflation and  aging infrastructure. 

“We are here to do good things for the community,” Hsueh said. “I see the role of the chair not as  a person with more authority than other board members, but as the coordinator and doer for the board,  working with everybody to make sure things happen. With a functional board, we will continue to be a  high-performing organization, which will benefit the community.” 

Hsueh was first elected to the Valley Water Board of Directors in November 2012 to represent  District 5, which includes the cities of Cupertino, Saratoga, areas of Sunnyvale and southwest San Jose.  Hsueh was re-elected in 2016 and 2020, says the press release. 

Santos is embarking on his fourth tenure as vice chair, previously serving in 2004, 2009 and  2017. Santos, a retired firefighter and native of Alviso, represents District 3, which includes  Alviso, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas and Berryessa/Alum Rock.  

Valley Water is the water district that supplies drinking water and flood protection for residents and businesses of Santa Clara County. 

Seismic retrofit grants available for homeowners 

Thousands of California homeowners are now eligible to apply for Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) seismic retrofit grants as approximately 300 new ZIP codes have been added to the program, including Morgan Hill.

Through Feb. 21, eligible homeowners can apply for $3,000 seismic retrofit grants to help strengthen their homes against earthquake damage. 

More than $20 million in grant funding will be available to help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that brace the crawl space walls of older homes, when present, and bolt houses to their foundations, making them less vulnerable to earthquake damage. 

The EBB grant program is administered by the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) a Joint Powers Authority between the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). 

“California has an ever-present risk of earthquakes and no one knows when or where the next Big One might hit. But we know older homes near faults are at greater risk if they haven’t been strengthened with a seismic retrofit,” said Janiele Maffei, the chief mitigation officer of CEA and executive director of CRMP. “By expanding to 815 ZIP codes, we’re broadening our reach to help more homeowners safeguard their families and properties. I strongly encourage homeowners to seize this opportunity and join the growing community of Californians who’ve taken this vital step towards resilience.” 

Income-eligible homeowners may also qualify for supplemental grants. Up to $7,000 in additional grant funds are available for households with an annual income at or below $87,360, which may be able to provide up to 100% of the funds needed to cover a seismic retrofit. Grants are contingent upon meeting eligibility requirements and available funds.

Eligible homeowners can apply for a retrofit grant at

Stroke support group meets monthly

The Getting Up and Moving Forward Stroke Support Group meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Gilroy Library, 350 West Sixth St., at 1pm.

Stroke survivors Steve Salazar and Rich Yamashita created this support group to provide a safe space for those who have experienced a stroke or brain-related injury.

The group, serving the South County and San Benito County communities, is led by local licensed physical therapist Lilly Weissinger, who moderates, offers advice and answers questions.

For information, contact Yamashita at [email protected].

Preschool Information Night for South County set for Feb. 5

A Preschool Information Night for parents of South County children is scheduled for 6-7:30pm Feb. 5 at the Centennial Recreation Center, 171 W. Edmundson Ave. The event, hosted by Mount Madonna School, will feature representatives and information from 12 preschools in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. 

Preschools that are expected to share information about their programs during the event include The Children’s Courtyard, City of Morgan Hill Recreation Preschool, Footsteps Preschool, Hearts & Hands Christian Childcare & Preschool, Kiddie Academy, Morgan Hill Parent Child Nursery School, Mount Madonna School, Oakwood School and Stratford School, says a press release from Mount Madonna School. 

“The Preschool Information Night is a great place to introduce parents to all the preschool options in Morgan Hill and Gilroy,” said Jennie Tucker, recreation manager of the Centennial Recreation Center and former director of the City of Morgan Hill’s preschool program. “This is often your child’s first experience in an organized program, and it is so important to find that perfect fit! Having the option to talk to different preschools all in one location is an easy and great option for parents!”

Kami Pacheco, Director of Mount Madonna’s preschool and summer camp programs, added, “We are very excited to be able to offer parents this opportunity to explore the many wonderful preschool school options in our area. Parents can learn about academic and enrichment programs, class sizes, educational environment, affordability and the admissions process for each of the participating schools.”

Admission to the family-friendly event is free. 

Sierra Lab reports more than nine inches of snow

UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab reported Jan. 14 they received 9.6 inches of snow since Saturday morning. 

The National Weather Service said the North Bay received the most rain in the Bay Area this weekend, with up to 5.5 inches around Mount Tamalpais over a 48-hour period.  

Oakland received 1.36 inches, San Francisco received 1.15 inches and Antioch received .36 inches. Totals were lower in the Southbay, with San Jose receiving .21 inches, though Santa Cruz received up to 2.11 inches. 

The NWS reported “light rain” would return Jan. 16 into Wednesday morning. 

Copyright © 2024 Bay City News, Inc. 

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