I want to respond to the "local" issue of rape as raised in the "Spectrum" section in the April 19 issue of the Weekly.
Like many difficult issues, the "rape culture" won't go away nor can it be swept under the rug. "Out of sight, out of mind" just doesn't work anymore. Now it has become an issue at Palo Alto High. That's right, let's blame younger people for a deep problem that runs rampant in our larger communities. This really won't go away, so we have to address it or we all suffer in those communities where we find our schools.
Encina Avenue, Palo Alto
Deeper root causes
The editorial and the guest opinion in the April 19 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly addressed two serious problems in Palo Alto: date rape and the impact of divorce. Both suggested remedies to these problems, but neither seemed to talk about underlying causes: alcohol and divorce itself. Maybe there's even a deeper root cause of both these destructive factors: our culture of insanely high expectations and intense competition. If we can promote the concepts of "enough," "sufficient" and "adequate," we might become kinder, more relaxed and more satisfied with life.
Vernier Place, Stanford
To the woman assaulted
I would like to address the daughter of the writer of the letter "End rape culture" in the April 19 Palo Alto Weekly. I am so sorry she had to endure such a terrible assault, and that she and her parents have been haunted by it for so long. I believe that in cases of "aggravated sexual abuse" there is not a statute of limitations. She would be able to take the assailants to court. If this would help her end her long nightmare, I think it might be worth her while.
In any case, I hope that she and her family can accept the good wishes and prayers of many of us in the community, who hope and pray for their healing and happiness.
Adobe Place, Palo Alto
'Rape culture,' alcohol
During the parties behind the "rape culture" at Paly, and tragic suicide at Saratoga, alcohol was liberally served and consumed. The girls became intoxicated and were assaulted. We all agree "no means no" regardless of the state of the victim.
I am dumbfounded that parents allow teenagers to host or attend parties where alcohol is served, especially in neighborhoods such as Palo Alto and Saratoga, which are supposedly inhabited by sophisticated and highly educated professionals. The legal drinking age in California is 21, yet these teenagers are liberally serving and drinking alcohol to the point of drunken intoxication.
Any parent that permits their teenage child to host a party in their home and serve alcohol, or attend a party where alcohol will be served, should be held culpable for any crime that their child commits.
Villa Real, Palo Alto
Paly sets the bar
As a local Bay Area parent recently concerned with the quality and tone of my son's high school newspaper in a neighboring town of Palo Alto, I want to publicly praise Palo Alto High School for their outstanding journalism program and publications. Most impressive to me this school year were the November Paly Voice election edition and the April Paly Verde rape edition. In both of these publications, student journalists tackled tough, potentially controversial issues and did so with balance, maturity, articulate writing, careful research and respect for their audience.
These young journalists recognize the opportunity to write in their school paper isn't about advocating for their own opinions or injecting their egos or voice, but rather, it is an opportunity to affect their entire school community and the conversations on campus by reporting on relevant issues in a professional manner that strives for the highest standards of journalism. When student journalists are taught to reach for the highest standards, the journalists showcase not only their own intelligence and capacity, but they also showcase the school and community as a whole.
Hats off to the entire Paly journalism program — teachers, advisers and student journalists for showing the Bay Area community at large how fantastic student journalism can be and how capable the young adults in our communities are at producing quality and meaningful journalism when given the right tools! I look forward to following Paly's publications in the future.
Berry Avenue, Los Altos
Forced to move
Although I am aware that high rents have forced out longtime small businesses, it became more apparent when I wanted to purchase items from two stores and they both were no longer there! I think you should have an article in the Palo Alto Weekly, "Where have all the Ma and Pa shops gone?" Community service to provide new addresses, etc. Custom Security Hardware, Baron Park Supply, Stanford Electric moving shortly, and others.
Cowper Street, Palo Alto