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December 7, 2021

What can we do?

“Do Something! Do Something!” The chants rang out loud and clear in Dayton, Ohio. There hasn’t been much of a response. The signs at vigils in Texas read, “No more guns.” In Texas, well, not much of a response. The calls to action in these cities followed...

Editorial: Mental illness doesn’t explain gun violence

The notion that mental illness drives the current spate of mass shootings is a dangerous oversimplification.

Editorial: Reclaim our public spaces

We have read about the horrific incidents around the country for years now. Locations like Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas Strip and Parkland have been etched into our collective memory and will be henceforth associated with senseless loss of life. Never for a moment did we expect Gilroy or the Garlic Festival to join that list.

Photographer’s Notebook: From the front lines

And I tell that guy and anyone else who will listen that this is my town. That I know people who were out there. That students I have followed on the field who had volunteered to work the festival had ended up running for their lives.

Editorial: Unshackle Measure A

It’s time for lone Republican Wasserman, the South Valley’s sole representative, to stand up and demand fiscal responsibility with marketplace competition to get the best deals for taxpayers instead of just going with the flow.

Slower high-speed rail?

It sounds crazy, but a presidential rant on Twitter may have forced Gov. Gavin Newsom to “clarify”—actually, backtrack—his position on California’s high-speed rail. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long,” the governor said of the state’s high-speed rail plan...

Becerra gambles with lives

It is now too late to try and convince California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to back off, and allow Saint Louise and O’Connor hospitals to be saved by Santa Clara County. He has doubled down, and all of his cards are on the table. This...

Editorial: New points of view

The November election was historic for Morgan Hill—the first council members to be elected from districts rather than by all city voters. The council members not only have new sets of constituents but also represent the rich diversity of our city and our state—a diversity...

Our view: Sellers for Mayor

Greg Sellers, of the three candidates for mayor of Morgan Hill, understands best the new role for the mayor in our new system of district representation. The new mayor will be the only elected city-wide representative on the City Council after the Nov. 6 election,...

Editorial: MH district, trustees and charters fumbled chance

The Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Trustees’ decision to withdraw a parcel tax proposal for the November ballot rather than share a piece of the pie with two local charter schools revealed much about the long-seething relationship between the district and the charter schools.Cutting through the political gamesmanship, where cordial public greetings and interactions mask true sentiments, it is safe to say the school district and charter school officials genuinely distrust one another. It doesn’t take any inside information to draw that conclusion.At a June 19 meeting, where a 5-1 vote reversed an earlier decision and prevented a $1.5 million-per-year parcel  tax from going before voters, Board President Tom Arnett said “irreconcilable differences” keep the district and charter brass from agreeing on just about anything.Unfortunately, Arnett, who sits on the board until the end of the month but whose children were in the charter school pipeline until recently, was correct in his assessment. Using a parcel tax proposal to repair years of bad blood was a pipe dream of some well-intended trustees.All sides—the school district, Charter School of Morgan Hill and Voices College-bound Language Academy—are to blame in this one, and they all miss out on valuable funds that could have helped better educate students, improve facilities and limit looming budget cuts to staff and programs.The MHUSD trustees also should be included in the blame since the decision was ultimately theirs to make. Board Vice President Mary Patterson, one of three trustees to change her vote from one meeting to the next, spoke to this, admirably falling on the sword by blaming herself and the entire school board for failing to procure a final parcel tax resolution for the Nov. 6 ballot.But from the district’s “I’m taking my ball and going home” approach to both charter schools’ laissez-faire, noncommittal maneuvering in the days that followed the initial May 15 vote (later overturned), the $75 five-year parcel tax measure never stood a chance. Whether it would have passed, with or without charter inclusion, will never be known.Board members and officials left the door open for developing a future shared parcel tax measure, but it remains a longshot at best considering the parties involved. A memorandum of understanding is necessary, as Assistant Superintendent Kirsten Perez said, before any tax revenues can be adequately shared and allocated. That seems unlikely considering that the district and Charter School of Morgan Hill (the district is the local charter’s authorizer) have yet to come to terms on an MOU based on their five-year pact.This, along with the mutually distrustful relationship between MHUSD and Voices, shows that because of “irreconcilable differences” between the district and charter schools, they should develop their own separate parcel tax proposals. That is where the district was headed in May, and represents a good “new” starting point.