Wed02102016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans ‘5 Gallon Gala’

Los Altos High student-run charity plans ‘5 Gallon Gala’


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by plannin...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

PYT ‘Gets Famous’

PYT ‘Gets Famous’


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula Yo...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company’s ‘Middletown’ continues run at Bus Barn Theater

Los Altos Stage Company’s Bay Area premiere of Will Eno’s “Middletown” is scheduled to run through Feb. 21 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Winner of the inaugural Horton Foote Award for Most Promising New Play in 2010, ...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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