Wed09022015

News

West Nile fogging commences today

West Nile fogging commences today


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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Good guys vs. bad guys: Heat of moment meets fatal weapon

My Aunt Rozi’s husband, Jimmy, shot her June 3, 1974. He was drinking, they argued and in a few moments, she lay dead on their kitchen floor. She was 38. She has now been dead for as long as she was alive. Her four children grew up without her.

If Cape Elizabeth, Maine, had decided to arm its good citizens to protect themselves from “bad guys,” Uncle Jimmy would have been handed a gun with a smile. He was exactly what people picture when they talk about the “good guys”: middle-aged, middle-class, white, college-educated, an English professor and poet.

In 1995, another good guy tried his best to murder my father. That “good guy” also was middle-aged, white and a college graduate. He was wealthy, a churchgoer, a respected businessman. When his wife left him for my father, Malcolm went berserk, hunted Dad down and stabbed him repeatedly. Two very brave bystanders and an excellent hospital saved my father’s life.

Not a fatal shooting appears in the newspaper without my thinking, “That would have been my family if Malcolm had had a gun.”

The armed-citizenry approach to safety is based on a moral myth of bad guys versus good guys. Crazed mass killers or conscienceless drug lords aren’t the perpetrators of most murders. Murders occur when the heat of the moment meets a highly fatal weapon. My family’s tragedies are typical: personal dispute + alcohol or other drugs + a person prone to irrational thinking and violent behavior. The difference between Aunt Rozi’s death and Dad’s near-miss was that Jimmy had a gun and Malcolm didn’t.

But, people argue, guns in other hands might have saved those situations. Really?

If Aunt Rozi had pointed her own gun at Jimmy, paranoid, enraged and drunk as he was, and told him to back off, he probably would not have dropped the gun the way a movie bad guy would – he’d have pulled the trigger. If someone had tried to use a gun to intervene in Dad’s stabbing, they’d most likely have sent bullets ricocheting off the tile and metal walls, endangering both of them.

Yelling “Freeze!” at the attacker works on TV, but if Malcolm had been amenable to reason, he wouldn’t have been wrecking his own life by responding to an affair by attempting murder.

In most murders, the bad guy appeared to be a good guy until he had too much liquor, too much wounded pride, too little ability to handle his anger – and a deadly weapon in his hands. That is one reason the most likely victim of the gun you keep in your house is you or someone you love.

Let’s be clear: If we enact the National Rifle Association’s dream of an armed citizenry, we will be handing guns to Jimmy and Malcolm.

Gun-rights activists, lobbyists and legislators have exploited the Newtown, Conn., shootings to advance the notion that arming more citizens will make us safer. It’s rooted in fiction and fantasy. It is just plain wrong – and it kills.

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern is parish minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Road. For more information, call 494-0541, ext. 26, or visit www.uucpa.org.

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