Thu11272014

Thanksgiving on Lanai: No Shoes, Please

I was in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and visited Lanai, a small island of roughly 3,000 inhabitants. It was famously purchased in 2012 by Oracle Corp.’s co-founder and chairman, Larry Ellison, who now owns 98 percent of it. The other 2 percent is owned by the state of Hawaii, and that’s where everyone else lives and works.

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Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Better late than never: No Shoes, Please

We were en route to a wedding, nowhere close to making the 4 p.m. ceremony’s start time. It was bumper-to-bumper on Highway 92, and my husband was kicking himself for not remembering that October is prime pumpkin-patch season in Half Moon Bay.

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Pet peeves: The Villaj Idiut

By Frank Hughes

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there is a concerted national campaign to eliminate texting while driving, as there should be.

But let me ask you this: How is it possible that texting while driving is any less dangerous than, say, driving with a pet on your lap?

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Jump: Haugh About That?

Perched at the edge of the world, I stood immobile as the hot afternoon wind licked my 10-year-old back. Looking out over the vastness ahead, it was clear: There was nowhere to go but down.

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Further reflections on security versus privacy: A Piece of My Mind

When I wrote last month’s column (“Security versus privacy,” Oct. 1), I was angry and upset. The local middle school, where I had been tutoring as a volunteer, notified me that in order to continue I would have to undergo a background check by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the local police department at my own expense. This requirement is now “district policy.” The cost to each potential volunteer would be $67. I felt that this was an unwarranted invasion of my privacy, a heavy-handed attempt by the district to shield itself from lawsuits in case anything bad happened and a serious deterrent to potential volunteers.

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Security versus privacy: A Piece of My Mind

Our local morning newspaper on the 13th anniversary of 9/11 included somber memories, such as the inspiring story of a blind worker whose Seeing Eye dog led him and the workers in his office to safety. The headlines also trumpeted a revelation that Yahoo had been required to turn over user data for “national security interests.” When the company refused to comply, hoping to preserve the privacy rights of its users, it was threatened with fines of $250,000 a day. Security outweighed privacy.

A couple of weeks earlier, I had gone to see an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. I was required to open my purse for inspection before I could enter this public building. I went through the inspection with only a minor flash of irritation, though it has been many years since that crazed person slashed at the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I was hardened by the invasive airport searches of both my purse and my person over the past 13 years of air travel, and I had put up with the searches and screening gates at the local courthouse when I wanted to exercise my citizen’s right to observe a trial. And so on. Security outweighed privacy.

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