Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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.

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