Prayers are answered with the 49ers headed back into the Super spotlight - The Gilroy Dispatch: Mark Derry

Prayers are answered with the 49ers headed back into the Super spotlight

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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 10:00 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Thu Jan 31, 2013.

Couldn’t help but think of Father John this weekend up there on the podium at St. Mary’s at the end of Mass saying something like, “Well, I know we shouldn’t be praying for an athletic team, but I am praying in red-and-gold and if you could help out the 49ers …” and now, in a burst reminiscent of past glory, the 49ers are back in the Super Bowl and Father John, I understand, is doing quite well at St. Francis of Assisi parish in East Palo Alto. Prayers answered – and not just Father John’s.

Father Harbaugh is Jack, mom is Jackie and Super Bowl coaching sons are John and Jim. Wonder if there’s ever been a study on the “same name” method where all the kids are bound by a common first name letter? My first and only set of brother bosses at the Atascadero News were like that – Jim, Judd and Jack Porter. Maybe it’s just easier for the folks to remember as they get older. My “Super J” HarBowl Prediction: 49ers 31, Ravens 24 … and if anyone has an email address for Father John let me know.

Know this: the heartwarming letter to the editor (see at left) from Gilroyan and Iraq war veteran, Marine Sergeant Molly A. Howe, started my day off on a wonderful note. Thank you for that public display of a grateful heart and welcome home Molly!

Home has settled down a bit after the chaotic holiday – Sheriff daughter seriously injured on the job, Nurse daughter graduating in Tennessee, College daughter, well, busy as college daughters are – and in between all the family get togethers and various parties. This year marks a new low: the outdoor Christmas decorations came down just a week ago. Shame on me! Never understand people who leave the lights on the house up all year long. I began to get squirelly about it a couple days after New Years with plenty of help from Miss Jenny.

New Year’s brought us Lyin’ Lance Armstrong and Loopy and Lyin’ Manti Te’o, the celebrated Notre Dame linebacker who was duped by a disgusting online fake-girlfriend-who-died hoax, then lied about it for a time after he found out the truth. Sad, bizarre and apparently true. Hopefully, the sports news will get better as the year progresses and we can get back to what the late and former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren said, “I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

Not true, though. There’s a wonderful story on today’s front page about the local group that makes heirloom quality quilts, then raffle tickets are sold with the proceeds going to various local organizations like the Saint Louise Regional Hospital Breast Cancer Center. Guess that’s the difference between a “big city” newspaper and your local community paper.

Good news, too, at the top of the paper trumpeting “Vision 2028” which stemmed from the City Council’s recent weekend strategic planning session, a positive planning effort which stands in stark contrast to recent year’s past. Productive and worthwhile on all accounts say City Council members who thoughtfully gave new Mayor Don Gage credit for bringing in a facilitator to get the Gilroy ball rolling again. Inclusive leadership and a common vision are powerful tools when you’re trying to get things done and Mayor Gage knows plenty about both.

Phil Robb, Gilroy and Christopher high school choir director, knows plenty about the big pasta feed  fundraiser for the year. Money from ticket sales goes towards helping pay for transportation to the Central California Choral Festival at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in April and helps the elite Chamber Singers from both schools raise enough money to sing in Washington D.C. in April, too. So, the goal is to feed  1,500 hungry Gilroyans. It’s only $8 a ticket –  you can get them at the door or buy from one of the fabulous singer/students – for spaghetti (three different sauces, choose one or all three) made by Majid Bahriny of Mama Mia’s Ristorante, plus garlic fest bread, salad, dessert and a drink. Put it in your phone or calendar and take a midweek break from the stove: Gilroy High Cafeteria, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 5 to 8 p.m. with takeout containers available. It’s Phil Robb’s last year and, not at all surprisingly, he’s working hard to go out on a high note. Pun well intended.

Not punny or funny is the gist of a story we’re working on piecing together: The Gilroy Unified School District bought into Capital Appreciation Bonds. It appears that $2.4 million in those will cost the taxpayers $28.2 million to repay. For me, that’s an OMG fact and I can’t wait to hear what the crisis was that precipitated that decision five years ago to hang that albatross around the taxpaying public’s neck.

Reach Editor Mark Derry at editor@garlic.com

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