music in the park san jose

The following events, organizations and people deserve either a
Thumbs Up or a Thumbs Down this week:
THUMBS UP: Alexandra Whorley, an eighth-grader at Rancho San Justo School, became a three-time San Benito County Spelling Bee champion this week. Alexandra, who correctly spelled “humiliate” to best 21 other seventh- and eighth-graders in the middle school competition, said she and her family spend many evenings practicing spelling together rather than watching TV. Now, she and Hina Moheyuddin, an eighth-grader at Sacred heart School who placed second, will advance to the state spelling bee in May. Also headed to the statewide competition are Cooper Scherr, a fourth-grader at Sacred Heart, and Michael Breen, a sixth-grader at Sacred Heart, who placed first and second, respectively, in the county elementary school spelling bee.

THUMBS DOWN: If you’ve been feeling sick lately and your symptoms include a nasty cough, please stay home. The San Benito County Department of Health and Human Services issued a health alert this week after local doctors reported several cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, had appeared here for the first time in years. Health officials say the illness is extremely contagious and that many people help spread it around because they incorrectly self-diagnose their sickness as a common cold. But pertussis is downright dangerous. If untreated, it can take up to 10 weeks to run its ugly course in normally healthy adults and can even kill young children.

THUMBS UP: Promoter Seth Doulton and the Hollister Motorcycle Rally Committee made good this week on their promise to pay the city $382,000 to cover public safety costs associated with July’s planned biker rally. The event, which commemorates the infamous 1947 motorcycle invasion of Hollister, normally draws around 100,000 people to the area. It was canceled last year because of escalating costs, but 10,000 bikers showed up anyway and the city was left to foot the law enforcement bill. The City Council agreed to allow the rally again this year if the committee could come up with the money to pay the public safety bill by March 31.

THUMBS DOWN: News that several popular brands of cat and dog food had been somehow tainted and were being blamed for deadly renal failure in animals across the country left a lot of Hollister pet owners feeling mighty anxious this week. Local stores quickly pulled the recalled pet food from their shelves. But veterinarians and pet supply stores in Hollister were flooded with calls from concerned people and at least one animal here that had been eating a recalled brand of dog food suffered renal failure (the dog recovered). Dog and cat owners can call 1-866-895-2708 or go to to see if their pet’s food has been recalled.

THUMBS UP: Nearly 1,000 local schoolchildren learned about one of the county’s most important industries this week – and also got a chance to enjoy some up-close time with farm animals ranging from cows and horses to rabbits and alpacas. The annual Farm Day is organized by San Benito County Agriculture in the Classroom and by run by a large group of volunteers. Southside School third-grader Natalie Delgado said Farm Day was a fun learning experience. “I learned that cows have four stomachs – that’s a lot of stomachs!” she said.

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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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