gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 23

City Beat Historic Museum Goes Green In an effort to conserve water and with the help of the California Department of Water Resources Water-Energy grant program, the Gilroy Historical Museum is getting a makeover by replacing grass with drought tolerant landscaping! The turf has already been removed and City crews have begun the process of creating two feature areas around an antique soap pot and millstones. Interestingly, prior to 1842, the soap pot or large iron cauldron was used on a whaling ship to render whale blub- ber into oil. Records suggest that this is the same cauldron purchased by Thomas Larken and Jose Maria Sanchez in 1842 to produce soap at what is now called Soap Lake, southeast of Gilroy. John Gilroy and others used it to render fat from cattle and boil it with the alkali waters of the lake to make soap, which was then used in trade for manufactured goods. Also moved were two millstones, which were used in a local flour mill. Now that these items are in place, a California Conversation Corps crew will follow up with new drought resistant planting for the landscaping. Residents are invited to come by and see the new look anytime! And for a tour inside the museum, please stop by during museum hours. The Museum is located at 195 5th Street. Museum Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10 am - 5 pm Tuesday and Thursday (November - January) 10 am - 4 pm 1st Saturday of the month 10 am - 2 pm City Crews Moving the Soap Pot to its New Home at the Front of the Museum. Inset: Millstone Used by a Local Flour Mill Silicon Valley Green Energy Rolls Out to Residents Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is a new non-profit, public agency, formed in spring 2016 by twelve South Bay communities, including Gilroy, to source clean electricity on our behalf at costs below PG&E’s comparative generation rates. Enrollment for SVCE is automatic and will take place in two phases – April and July 2017. You will know when you’re enrolled when you receive notices in the mail. You will get two before enrollment, and two after. Customers with existing PG&E accounts are automatically enrolled in SVCE’s GreenStart electric generation service, which is 100% carbon-free. The energy is sourced from 50% renewables such as wind and solar, and 50% from large hydro. For a small premium, residents may also choose to upgrade to GreenPrime to receive 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free power. Getting 100% renewable energy for your home only costs an extra $3 -$5 per month for a typical residential customer. Customers may also opt out to remain with PG&E’s bundled service. SVCE will be hosting 4 community meetings in Gilroy to inform residents of the program and to answer any questions. April 30 – 7 pm: Council Chambers at 7351 Rosanna St May 2 – 10 am: Gilroy Senior Center at 7371 Hanna St May 18 – 7 pm: Eliot Elementary School at 475 Old Gilroy Street (Spanish Translation Provided) May 30 – 7 pm: Luigi Elementary