Nightly closures scheduled on Highway 9
On Dec. 4, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform full nightly closures of Highway 9 Big Basin Road at Sanborn Road for the Saratoga Creek Bridge Rehabilitation project in Saratoga.
The overnight closures are needed so that crews can remove the first half of the temporary bridge on Highway 9. The project is scheduled to be completed in late December.
Overnight closures from Dec. 4-9:
• Dec. 4, 9pm to Dec. 5, 7am
• Dec. 5, 9pm to Dec. 6, 7am
• Dec. 6, 9pm to Dec. 7, 7am
• Dec. 7, 9pm to Dec. 8, 7am
• Dec. 8, 9pm to Dec. 9, 7am
A detour will also be in place for large trucks.
For information, visit tinyurl.com/5a25ykha.
Los Gatos-based businesses to open soon in downtown Morgan Hill
Two Los Gatos-based establishments—a wine shop and a restaurant/bar—will soon open new locations in downtown Morgan Hill.
The Silos restaurant, owned by Oak & Rye of Los Gatos, will open at a newly constructed 1,464-square-foot restaurant space at 17500 Depot St., within the Granary District commercial center.
At 17337 Monterey Road, Los Gatos’ Enoteca La Storia will open Ancora Vino, a new downtown Morgan Hill wine shop and tasting room, says a press release from the City of Morgan Hill. Ancora Vino will be a 2,200-square-foot retail wine shop and tasting room that will offer 150 wines that cost less than $25 per bottle, as well as a variety of wine clubs.
In addition to featuring wine from all over the world, the wine shop will highlight local wines, says the press release.
“I chose Morgan Hill as the location for our third store because it’s where I grew up. I look forward to sharing my love of wine with my hometown,” Ancora Vino co-owner Ryan Smith said.
Ancora Vino will be located at the former site of Murphy’s Mercantile gift shop, which will close on Dec. 31 after 13 years in business at the location.
The city’s planning commission on Nov. 14 approved a conditional use permit for The Silos, which will be located behind the 45-foot tall grain silos that serve as historical remnants of the property’s original granary operation.
The 31,000-square-foot Granary District is the site of a number of popular dining and gathering establishments, including Running Shop and Hops and Odeum restaurant.
The Silos is owned by the owners of Oak & Rye, a restaurant and bar in downtown Los Gatos that features a wood-fired oven and numerous pizza choices on the menu.
“We are thrilled to have found such a unique and cool space that embodies Morgan Hill’s agricultural roots, and we look forward to serving the Morgan Hill community,” Oak & Rye owner Ross Hanson said.
FireSafe Council promotes automated sprinkler system
Santa Clara County FireSafe Council (SCCFSC) announced Nov. 15 that it entered into a partnership with Frontline Wildfire Defense to promote Frontline’s automated wildfire sprinkler protection solutions throughout Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Frontline’s Defense System 2 is an integrated wildfire protection solution that combines wildfire tracking software, satellite connectivity and onsite sprinkler hardware to protect any building from wildfires. The system turns on automatically when fire is within seven miles of a property.
Once active, the system saturates the property with water and biodegradable firefighting foam, creating an environment that is too wet to burn.
The Frontline Wildfire Defense System is a preventative system that combats the threat of wind-borne embers. Embers can travel for miles and can threaten a home long before a wildfire is visible from the property. Customers can choose to activate the system immediately or choose to override the activation.
“When it comes to wildfires, time is of the essence,” said Seth Schalet, CEO of Santa Clara County FireSafe Council. “The number of houses within the wildland urban interface has doubled since the 1990s because of both housing growth and more acres burned. Santa Clara County FireSafe Council’s partnership with Frontline Wildfire Defense enables us to make Frontline’s solutions available, deepening our community impact and gives our clients access to leading wildfire early detection solutions to protect their homes, communities and environment from wildfires.”
“As wildfire season becomes a year-round reality, homeowners need better tools and technology to protect their homes from the threat of embers,” said Harry Statter, founder and CEO of Frontline Wildfire Defense. “Just like we’ve equipped the inside of our homes for fire safety, we need to do the same with the exterior of our homes. Our technology uses the same Class-A Firefighting Foam used by firefighters when protecting structures, giving homeowners the power to better protect their homes.”
Recruitment for Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury begins
Presiding Judge Beth McGowen of the Santa Clara County Superior Court is inviting civic-minded individuals to apply for service on the 2024-25 Civil Grand Jury.
The Civil Grand Jury, an independent body convened annually, acts as the county’s civil watchdog agency, empowered to investigate all facets of county and city government, special districts and school districts. Under the direction of the Court, the Grand Jury is authorized to scrutinize books, records and financial expenditures, ensuring the responsible use of public funds. Additionally, the Civil Grand Jury is tasked with evaluating the conditions of jails and juvenile detention facilities.
“Service as a Civil Grand Juror offers participants a unique platform to harness their civic responsibility, empowering them to delve into the intricacies of local governance,” McGowen said. “By actively engaging in the process, individuals have the extraordinary opportunity to cultivate innovative recommendations that not only scrutinize but also elevate government operations, contributing to the continual improvement and efficiency of our community.”
To be eligible, applicants must be 18 years of age or older, United States citizens, and residents of Santa Clara County. Persons selected for Civil Grand Jury service must make a time commitment of an average of 25 hours per week for a period of one fiscal year.
The term of the 2024-25 Civil Grand Jury begins July 1, 2024 and ends on June 30, 2025.
For information, contact Britney Huelbig, Deputy Manager for the Civil Grand Jury, at 408.882.2721 or [email protected].
The deadline to submit applications is March 29.
Supervisors seek mental health access for older adults
Earlier this month, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal aiming to assess and respond to older adult mental health needs in the county.
The proposal from County Supervisor Joe Simitian, co-authored by County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, directs County staff to analyze programs currently available for older adults to access mental health care, and provide recommendations on how those programs can better address the challenges older adults are facing.
“We know our community is aging rapidly, and that our programs and services must keep up with our changing demographics,” Simitian said. “Our County has done significant work around youth mental health services, and services for adults in general; but I want a better sense of whether or not our services are meeting the particular needs of older adults.”
By 2030, adults aged 65 years and older will make up 20% of the County’s population. According to a 2019 report from the County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services, by 2035 older adults will outnumber children in the County for the first time, five years sooner than the nation as a whole.
A World Health Organization article from October 2023 lists depression, social isolation, anxiety, memory loss, declining cognitive ability, bereavement and abuse as challenges that particularly affect the mental health of older adults.
“The factors that contribute to mental health issues that older adults face are varied, and unique to that population,” said Jeff Blum, chairperson of the Los Gatos Community Health & Senior Services Commission. “There is help currently out there, but many seniors don’t know where to turn. Identifying what those services are, and what nonprofits provide them, could be a great first step to tackling this issue.”
Pointing to the recently completed Adult Caregiver Study, which provided a comprehensive report of older adult caregiving needs and capacity within the County, and provided recommendations to address the identified gaps, Simitian said, “We don’t know what we don’t know. The Adult Caregiver Study identified gaps in service that, anecdotally, we may have been aware of but hadn’t quantified in a measurable way. However, we can’t move to help our older adults effectively until we have a clearer understanding of the options currently available, and a better understanding of where the system may be falling short.”
As part of the assessment, County staff will also consider how any ongoing or anticipated County efforts could help better address older adult mental health access. These include, among others, efforts to enhance behavioral health workforce and improve mental health parity, and outreach initiatives such as the behavioral health call center and navigator programs.
According to the 2023 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey, nearly 30% of the County’s unhoused population are aged 55 years and older.
“Providing beds and improving care for folks on the streets with severe mental illness remains a priority for the County,” Simitian said. “That said, connecting older adults to existing mental health services and programs before their conditions worsen shouldn’t come at the expense of those efforts. We can—and should—do both.”