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Original post made
on Nov 2, 2007
Hi, this is Tim Gray, candidate for Palo Alto City Council.
I live just three blocks from the site of the abduction. It is a wakeup call that public safety must not be taken for granted, no matter how safe our daily life can seem.
In the longer term, we need to preserve resources so that we can spend the money on having an adequate number of police. I would rather get into the City operations and eliminate expensive overtime, and spend that money on police on the street. We must have safe pedestrian corridors if Palo Alto is to ratain its quality and acheive some very important environmental goals of encouraging people to stay out of their cars.
Let's involve the neighborhoods and really design community policing. Let's get more officers like John Costa who understand community policing and neighborhood service. Perhaps we should redirect some of the resources used to ticket drivers going 42 miles an hour on Alma, and have some officers out of their cars and walking some key routes. This could be defined by parents and students -- not by a bureaucrat.
Without safety, all the other great things we enjoy about Palo Alto have no value. Let's use citizen participation to extract a radical reorientation to neighborhood safety and public service. Also, let's make sure we are running the City in an efficient manner to avoid a resource crisis and a further weakening of public safety.
I offer this as something I will work towards, without regard to the results of the election.
Tim Gray 650 248-3555
Posted by Timothy Gray, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood
Thank you to the police for their hard work. Something like this is almost impossible to prevent, but it helps deter future incidents when an arrest is so prompt.
i bet a bunch of people saw it and didn't do anything.
it seems like every day people are becoming more selfish, more isolated, more cowardly.
today at Stanford i helped some lady find and then get a hold of her dog. as she was yelling his name there were all sorts of people on foot, bicycle, and in cars just going about their business like nothing at all was going on. i thought, 'what does it take to wake these drones up?' People were walking/riding/driving _right by_ this lady as she was desperately searching for her dog. If you thought one of our best and brightest would have had enough decency to at least tell the lady they'd keep an eye out for mr. mutt, you'd have thought wrong. The kids on bikes were best-equipped to find and keep track of rover - what is _wrong_ with these kids? did they have some hot date with the computer they had to get to? classes were already finished for the day. luckily i kept an eye out for rover and spotted the mutt as he darted across the road a hundred meters from where i was. i double-timed it back to find the owner, yelled at her to tell her i found rover, pointed the way - back the way i was originally headed - and then hustled back to try to keep track of rover b/c i knew the drones would be too busy to do it themselves. i finally tracked rover down - he stopped to eat some yummy leftover taco bell that a student had discarded in the parking lot. if it wasn't for some lazy littering stanford student, the skittish rover might have been road kill by the time we found him. unreal.
and though Stanford drones can be especially withdrawn from reality, it wasn't anything different that you'd see outside of Stanford, anywhere in the u.s. it's really sad and pathetic, and dangerous for individuals who can no longer rely on the decency of strangers.
we have to work to start building community. shorter work weeks. pro-family politicians. more time off for parents. more local citizen control of government. etc.
America is a disaster.
A day after I posted the comment above, I read it and realized that I was reacting as a shocked parent more than as a reasoning Candidate. I am appreciative of the police department for their wonderful work in solving this case -- and most of all I keep the girl that was harmed and her family in my prayers.
We all have the common goal of wanting to have safety and security. We can cooperate and make public safety an ongoing focus of our continuous efforts.
Instead of more policing, how about a providing a more nurshing environment in our schools so young me don't turn into rapists. The accused young man is 20 and one of our own.
What changes do you suggest so kids learn violence and attacking other kids/girls isn't cool?
Perhaps the alleged perpetrator may have just missed the day that the teachers taught that sexual assault, kidnapping, battery and attempted murder isn't "cool".
Are you honestly suggesting with a straight face that sociopathic behavior like this happens because schools aren't "nurshing" (I think you mean nurturing?) enough?
Kids to to schools to LEARN ACADEMICS. The curriculum cannnot and should not be relied upon to include which illegal/imoral/unethical are "cool" or not. We have a mechanism in place for that, it's called the civil and criminal code.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Whoever did this, there is NO excuse, and if indeed the perpetrator is/was a high school student in Palo Alto, HE IS NOT "ONE OF OUR OWN." He is an adult, he made a horrific set of choices, and is is fully responsible for that. We have not failed him, HE HAS FAILED SOCIETY.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Initiation of violence is never excusable. Any culture that accepts or excuses such acts is a sick culture. Any culture that celebrates such acts in song or prose is a sick culture.
Everyone is so quick to judge Todd. All the facts haven't come out yet. I go to school with him now, and he couldn't possibly have done this. He is a sweet young man, trying to make a difference in his life. This will forever ruin his life. He and his girlfriend are excellent students, and this has shocked everyone to the core at school. We are all deeply saddened for him. The people who know him do not believe he is capable of doing something so horrible. I hope they do catch the real perpetrator. I'm sure they have already stopped investigating other suspects. I pray for the victim and her family.
I am saddeded for the victim and their family, and also for the perpetrator of this crime. Despite what Eleanora opines, He IS one of our own. He lives among US and could just as well be that quiet neighbor we never say good morning to, the young adult who has no role model to talk to, or the check out clerk at the store who's parents didn't care enough to help him learn better life skills. He has choices, and he made some very poor ones. There is no doubt about that. But so do YOU and I. I choose to extend a smile, say thank you and leave harsh judgement to someone else. I choose to volunteer in my community and make a difference, no matter how small. I choose to pray for those that need help...and clearly, both sides of this story need OUR COMMUNITY'S HELP.
You're right, I apologize for stating that the perpetrator isn't one of our own. He was a resident and community member just as much as anyone else who lives here. I was trying to convey a different point, but botched it up and regret that portion of my comment.
Yes, he could have been the quiet neighbor, the young adult with no role model, and other and more things. I don't dispute that life is not easy or fair, and that the perpetrator appears to have had a lot of things stacked against him.
You're absolutely right, I've made, and will certainly continue to make, bad choices sometimes. But here is where it gets complicated. Just like you, I volunteer and provide pro bono work to the community, and also want very much to make a difference. I smile at others, say thank you, as well. In general I try very hard not to be a judgmental person, although I realize that in this case, you see me as such.
But, in this case, this choice the perpetrator made, it goes way too far beyond reacting to a horrible or challenging childhood. Brutalizing another human being and believing that he has actually killed her, that's a behavior that I do judge harshly. I'm just not going to choose to pray or advocate for someone who could be so hurtful.
I don't think he deserves our community's help. Lynch mob, no. Railroad him, no. Blame him for lack of academic achievement, not having support from others, getting lost between the cracks, no. I DO have compassion for all of those things. But they are not related to the choice he made. Of I would want our community to rally around anyone with his background, and to help them.
I just refuse to rally around and support someone for THIS behavior, THIS choice. He got angry, he kidnapped and sexually assaulted an innocent bystander, believed that he killed her, and then calmly made the choice to stop and get gas, to visit his girlfriend, and later go out for fast food. Fine, insinuate that I'm a judgmental, hypocritical person. Assume that you behave more kindly and help others more than I do. Either way, how does any of this add up to a perpetrator deserving help? How about just fair consequences.
People like him deserve the death penalty. There needs to be harsher punishment for people who commit sexual crimes, especially in a case like this where there is absolutely no doubt that he committed the crime-he admitted he had abducted her. I am disgusted when people try to defend him or when people say criminals deserve a second chance. Did their victims get a second chance? No, and they will be scarred for the rest of their lives. Death penalty is the only way to truly punish these criminals and make them fear for their lives as they made their victims feel. The death penalty is already much better than they deserve. It is still nothing compared to the abuse that they made their victims go through.
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