Fri05062016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

Read more:

Loading...

Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

Read more:

Loading...

Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

Read more:

Loading...

Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

Read more:

Loading...

Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

Read more:

Loading...

Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

Read more:

Loading...

People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

Read more:

Loading...

Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

Read more:

Loading...

Who will protect the children from their parents?: Confronting Domestic Violence

What a series of unfortunate events for children in our county – and in our country – recently.

Veronica Gonzalez spanked her 12-year-old daughter hard enough with a wooden spoon to cause bruising. The beating was severe enough to prompt social workers to report her to the State Department of Justice’s child abuse database with a “substantiated” abuse determination. And a trial court judge upheld that determination.

Then the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose reversed the child abuse determination made by the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services.

Why? One reason was because parents do have a right to impose physical discipline on their children (disturbingly referred to as a “privilege”), and the underlying hearings never addressed the existence of this right. The finding against the mother was, therefore, determined to have been made and upheld in proceedings that were fundamentally unfair.

However, the appeals court justified its ruling by other means: namely, that other forms of punishment like grounding and confiscating the daughter’s cellphone had failed, her behavior was worsening and the mother’s intent was to discipline, not harm, the child.

I am reminded of abusers who tell their wives as they beat them: I didn’t hit you that hard, I didn’t mean to hurt you, I wouldn’t

have to do this if you hadn’t said that/done that/stepped out of line, etc. The difference with adults is that they are told in court that there is no excuse for abuse – period.

What recourse does a child have with regard to violence perpetrated by his or her parents? And if the wooden spoon doesn’t work, what’s the next step? A strap? A whip? A fist?

Once you begin to incorporate violence into a relationship with someone you supposedly love, you have contaminated it and started to teach that violence and love go together. No matter how pure our motive, where did we ever get the notion that it was OK to beat our children with a wooden spoon?

What are we teaching our loved ones about healthy relationships and healthy ways to discipline when we hit? Are we not teaching them to equate love with violence?

That’s what Nick Ladany, dean of education and psychological counseling at Santa Clara University, said. Ladany claims that spanking is the “last resort of the incompetent. If we’re not competent as parents, then we do resort to violence.”

We learn what love is not just by words, but also by behaviors. How do we show love? A kiss, a hug, an embrace. How do we show its opposite? A blow, a beating, violence. That can’t also be love.

You can’t jam two mutually exclusive concepts together – love and violence – in a single word and call it “discipline.” Even toddlers are taught the rule: “No hitting. Use your words.”

We expect that parental figures will protect their children. When guardians fail, when courts rule unwisely, when parents lobby for the right to hit/hurt/bruise/do violence in the name of discipline, who will protect the children from their parents?

Ruth Patrick, M.A., is a domestic violence consultant with the Los Altos Community Foundation’s nonprofit WomenSV program, which received the 2013 award for Outstanding Community Service from the Santa Clara County Psychological Association. For more information, visit losaltoscf.org/womensv.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos