• The Red Phone sounds off Saturday in The Times.
• The Red Phone sounds off Saturday in The Times.

We invite you to call us 24/7 to ask questions, report a complaint, give us a tip, offer an amusing tale of the short variety or just want people to know about something to do with Morgan Hill and the surrounding territory. We’ll check it out and have the answer in an upcoming column.

Leave us a message on the Red Phone. We won’t print your name or share it with others. However, we do need your name and phone number for verification purposes.


Anyone driving on Hill Road at Barrett Avenue has seen the gray house on the northeast corner, boarded up and abandoned for months and months. A caller said he’s tired of looking at this “attractive nuisance,” especially now that the weeds have grown up. He wants to know what the city is doing about this.

Well, what we found out sounds a bit like a horror movie. Well, Halloween is just around the corner, isn’t it?

The house at 16320 Hill Road, and another boarded up house and barn just north of it plus the entire undeveloped land east of there, are owned by the Arcadia Development Company of San Jose.

Arcadia is trying to develop the land south of Barrett but has run into troubles with the city, according to Michael Fletcher, a vice president at Arcadia. The prognosis for house improvements or weed cutting are not good.

“We’ve been trying to build on that land for years,” Fletcher said Tuesday.

Besides the usual Measure C competition, which all developers must go through – that’s Morgan Hill’s voter-approved residential growth control initiative – Arcadia has other problems with the city and is even in a lawsuit with them, Fletcher said.

While Arcadia sends people out every week or so to make sure nobody has broken into the house – the window boards were intact when Red Phone visited – they don’t know that they will cut the weeds again. Fletcher said they don’t intend to fix the house up or rent it out again.

Arcadia does intend to eventually tear down both houses and the barn.

Sorry Red Phone couldn’t give the caller a more positive answer.


What’s with the left turn signal from eastbound Tennant onto northbound Butterfield? I’ve occasionally seen it (and been stuck at it) when it gives a green arrow so short not even one car can make a turn before it suddenly turns red. Frustrated left-turn drivers who feel cheated by the light frequently continue to turn left after the light makes its schizophrenic switch to red. City traffic engineers need to take a look at this before there’s an accident.

Well, caller, you are not the first to bring this to the city’s attention. Public Works Director Jim Ashcraft says, while the signal is new, it has quirks where it acts up occasionally and drives motorists (and Public Works) nuts.

Signal Maintenance is the company in charge of either fixing it or replacing it. Scott Creer, the city’s traffic guru, said the signal is like the rattle in your car. It goes away when you drive the car to the mechanic and that’s what happened.

It took some time but the signal finally misbehaved when SMI was there so expect a fix soon.

Attention Red Phone fanatics! Stuck at work and not able to pick up the phone and comment to the Red Phone? Well do we have a solution for you! Now you can sneak onto www.morganhilltimes.com, click the Red Phone icon and quietly e-mail your comments. Have a question about the paper? A complaint about garbage on the city street? A compliment about your good neighborhood? E-mail the Red Phone.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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