Local Briefs

Lack of permit invites suit
Santa Clara County may sue the owners of the property where last
month’s Croy Road fire began in an effort to recover its share of
the almost $9 million it cost to suppress the blaze. The legal
grounds would be the failure of the owners to obtain a permit for
the solar panel electric system that authorities believe
malfunctioned, causing the fire.
Lack of permit invites suit

Santa Clara County may sue the owners of the property where last month’s Croy Road fire began in an effort to recover its share of the almost $9 million it cost to suppress the blaze. The legal grounds would be the failure of the owners to obtain a permit for the solar panel electric system that authorities believe malfunctioned, causing the fire.

The offending solar panel was located in a mobile home at 7900 Croy Road.

The fire, which started the afternoon of Sept. 23, destroyed 34 dwellings, damaged four others and burned 3,100 acres of brush- and forest-covered hillside.

Supervisors will decide on a course of action within the next two weeks. Other firefighting agencies and insurance companies facing claims by homeowners whose dwellings burned could sue the owners of the trailer where the fire started.

Luce pleads not guilty

An attorney for Deena Luce, the owner of the Forum Adult Social Club, entered a not-guilty plea for his client this week in Santa Clara County Superior Court. She has been issued more than a dozen citations for operating without a business license.

The Forum was denied a business license because its activities aren’t compatible with zoning regulations covering businesses at 5400 Monterey Road.

As a result of Luce ignoring the citations, Gilroy City Council members on Oct. 7 approved an emergency ordinance prohibiting businesses that host sexual encounters. The ordinance doesn’t apply to outlets such as adult movies or adult bookstores.

If a Nov. 12 hearing on a city request for a temporary injunction to close the sex club doesn’t produce results, a pre-trial hearing on the citations is scheduled Dec. 12.

The Forum opens Friday and Saturday nights, offering couples a chance to swap partners or discreetly watch others in action. Admission is $40 to $60. The club moved to Gilroy in August from Morgan Hill.

Sobrato groundbreaking today

Morgan Hill school district officials will host a groundbreaking today at the site of Ann Sobrato High School, a long-planned facility that will allow freshmen to mingle with upperclassmen for the first time since 1979.

Scheduled to open in 2004, Ann Sobrato High, named after the matriarch of the family that donated land for the school, will have an initial capacity for 1,500 students. Common areas are designed to ultimately serve a student body of 2,500.

The district moved freshmen to middle schools when Live Oak High became too small. Voters rejected two bond measures to provide building funds before OK-ing a third bond proposal, which occurred about the time the Sobrato family offered the land.

Groundbreaking will occur at the site, reached by taking Monterey Road three-quarters of a mile north from Cochrane Road and turning east on Burnett Avenue. The site is about a half-mile away on the north side of the street. The time is 4 p.m.

Jackson fundraiser Saturday

Jackson Elementary School in Morgan Hill is sponsoring a carnival tomorrow to raise funds to renovate its 20-year-old playground.

Among the attractions is a magician and a team of BMX pros, who will teach kids stunts and offer safe-riding tips. Among prizes in a silent auction are a San Francisco Bay cruise, a round of golf at CordeValle and a football jersey autographed by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young.

Jackson School is located at 2700 Fountain Oaks Drive off Hill Road. Admission is free.

Plan to fight West Nile

The Santa Clara Valley Water District yesterday announced a program to educate residents about how to protect themselves and their pets from the West Nile virus.

People can prevent an outbreak of the disease, said agency spokesman Mike Di Marco, by eliminating standing water in and around their houses and outbuildings where mosquitoes typically lay their eggs, including decorative pools, bird baths, clogged rain gutters and empty jars, flower pots or buckets.

Approximately 90-minute training sessions, as yet unscheduled, will be held at the water district office, according to Di Marco. Kriss Costa from the county vector control office will be the lead trainer.

MH gets electric vehicle

A gift by Global Electric Motors, a subsidiary of Daimler Chrysler, has obviated the purchase of a small utility vehicle by the city of Morgan Hill. The city had planned to buy such a vehicle to move tables, chairs and bulky items at the community/cultural center scheduled to open this fall.

Such a vehicle, at an estimated cost of $7,500, was struck from the wish list because of budget constraints.

The GEM 825 two-seat, long-bed vehicle the city will receive is one of 380 such vehicles Daimler Chrysler is donating to the National Park Service. The 12-foot long, 1,240-pound utility vehicle is valued at $3,000.

Dance benefit next Friday

Independence Day, Inc., the people who bring you Morgan Hill’s annual Fourth of July celebration, is holding its second annual fundraiser next Friday.

Two bands, The Usual Suspects and The Dadz, will play classic rock for dancing. There will be palm readings and prizes for the best costumes.

The party is scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Grange hall, 40 E. Fourth St., Morgan Hill. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Babysitting is available at $5 per child. Information and tickets are available by calling (408) 891-1980 or online at [email protected]

Democrats meet

The South County Democratic Club meets tomorrow in Suite 404B (second floor above Friendly Fred’s) in Tennant Station shopping center, corner of Tennant Avenue and Monterey Road.

The issues committee meets at 9:15 a.m., and the plenary session begins at 10 a.m.

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