Mon05022016

News

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Loyola Bridge construction parallel to the Fremont Avenue frontage may lead officials to alter circulation plans for the area.

Loyola Corners stakeholders last week mulled the issues that will likely shape the area&rsquo...

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Schools

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Los Altos High School Green Team members, above, quiz their classmates about water conservation. The club distributed plants as prizes during the club’s Earth Week activities.

Members of the Los Altos High School Green...

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Community

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition


Courtesy of the Cha family
Spencer Cha plays piano at a Santa Clara University recital. The sixth-grader also enjoys soccer, tennis, golf and skiing.

Spencer Cha has come a long way since he first sat down at the piano at age 2.

“I remem...

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Sports

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jeremy Hsu, Mountain View High’s top singles player, competes against Pinewood Thursday. The Spartans won the match 7-0.

With freshmen playing the top three spots in singles, the future of the Mountain View High boy...

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Comment

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Fur...

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Special Sections

How to personalize the wedding bar

How to personalize the wedding bar


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget...

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Business

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Journeyman farmer Jen Friedlander waters Hidden Villa’s greenhouse plants, which will grow stronger in the controlled indoor environment before being transferred to the field outdoors.

Around Hidden Villa, the gree...

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People

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

1930-2016

Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Our beloved mother’s blessed life ended in her Los Altos home surrounded by her loving family on April 18, 2016.

Buol Joanne Dougherty was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Chicago. At the age of two, M...

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Stepping Out

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy  ends run this weekend

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy ends run this weekend


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
Bryan Moriarty, left, stars as Yossarian and John Stephen King plays the Psychiatrist in Los Altos Stage Company’s “Catch-22.”

Los Altos Stage Company’s presentation of “Catch...

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Spiritual Life

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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