Posted by anonymouse, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:27 am
This is GREAT, thank you for catching that kid!! I am so tired of the crime out here. We had our car broken into and the kids around here are always doing drugs and out to all hours in the parking lots... they are so bored and have nothing better to do.
we really need a teen/young adult recreation center.
Posted by new mom, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:07 am
I agree that we need more ammenities for teens, We just moved here and there is nothing for my teens to do? Where do teens go for fun and to see other kids ? The aquatic center is all little kids. We heard the same about the water slides.
Posted by Mellow Fellow, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:20 am
Believe me, recreational centers and teen diversion are not the answer. First they're seen as a joke by the criminal element, and if used, they become centers for drug dealing. The best answer is to arrest the "casual users" and have them flip the "dealers". Why do I say this? Because the users are your kids. That's right the bright, good, well-brought up kids that use drugs are the base economy of the criminal system. But, when the "elite" are caught, everyone turns a blind eye. But, send a few of the good kid/users to jail, put them into an interrogation room, and you'll find out the name of the major drug dealers in less than a nano-second. Then flip the drug dealers on their user base as well as their suppliers. Within that user base are the burglars who steal from cars and houses for their supply. We don't have a "hardened" criminal base here. The Big House scares the *$@! out of these kids (they would have to live with the Real Gangsters. They all turn/flip, the alternative just doesn't cut it for the good kid. But the first step is that you have to admit it your kids that are the base economy of the criminal system ... Ah! There inlays the rub!!!
Note: Worked in the criminal justice system for years (San Quentin, Vacaville, Regional PD and Regional DA offices. Amazing places. But that's another story.
Posted by Parent of a Teen, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:37 am
Given the opportunity kids tend to choose to hang out and be bored. Parents, how about directing your children towards positive activities like a job, volunteer work , sports, productive hobbies. I'm always amazed to hear parents or kids say their is nothing to do. The fair just left town, did your child try to apply for a job there? They were hiring kids for all types of positions. Churches around town put on Vacation Bible Schools for the local kids, did your child volunteer to be a helper. Pleasanton Parks and Rec has sports teams and leagues for kids, are your kids participating in any of them. Lets not make excuses for our kids, activities will not just fall into their laps, they need to put in a little effort and think outside of themselves. Parents, let's step up and help our kids find productive ways to "hang out".
Posted by A Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:56 am
When I was a kid there was a program called "scared straight" that the high schools did. They took small classrooms on a tour of the local county jail, and locked the kids in jail cells for 5-10 minutes so they could "get a feel" for what it would be like. I remember it was an empty part of the jail - maybe 6-8 cells by a desk. It might have just been the "holding area" or something. Parents obviously had to give permission, and some didn't, but many did. They did a good job keeping the kids "away" from the prisoners. The girls saw a female section and the boys a male section. I still remember seeing prisoners staring through some of the doors though. Scared the bejebies out of me.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:10 am Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I hardly think that a parent wishing there were more for teens to do in this town equals "expecting someone else to raise your kid". The leap in logic I see on these boards is staggering sometimes!
There isn't much for teens to do here. Trust me, I'm from S.F. I was NEVER bored there...EVER...and I didn't engage in *any* illegal activity either.
Some of those "positive activities" are not bad ideas, but let's look at them. 1) A job. Other than the fair, it isn't easy for an inexperienced teen to get a job. My child applied several places with no luck. 2) Church volunteering. That works if you are religious/part of a church. Some of us aren't. 3) Sports. The way this town works I'm surprised kids aren't burned out on sports by the time they are 12. My children did sports almost all year and earned/desired a break in the summer! That said, both my kids do have a "team" type activity 1-2 times/week, but that doesn't take up much time. 4) "Productive hobby". I'm not sure what that is. Most teenagers I know have hobbies that include video games, computer surfing, listening to music. I doubt that's what was meant by "productive", but those are common teen "hobbies".
I'm not saying that "lack of things to do" should be to blame for those teens who *choose* illegal activities. I am saying that it's true there is not much for teens to do around here. Teenagers are at a very complicated age; steering them toward "productive things" is not as easy as it was when they were little kids. Of course activities will not "fall" into anyone's lap, but that doesn't mean that finding something feasible to do (developmentally, financially, etc.) is easy either.
Posted by Tango, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:18 am
I have a 17 yr old grand son , that lives in another state, he would laugh if anyone tried to talk him into doing anything constructive. Sports were not for him. Get a job , Isn't dealing drugs a job? Go to school , He knows it all. If someone is looking for him he runs to the nearest big city. He has been in two rehab centers. He talks the talk and walks the walk and get out smelling like a rise. He then goes right back to doing what he did before. You are going to now ask where are his parents. Most of his first years he lived with his mother , brother and sister. His mother didn't raise any of them.She was out doing drugs and other things. They are my feral grandchildren. They raised themselves. When my son was back in the picture Having been in jail for six years, the mother left and gave him the children to raise. Yes I know what you are thinking. Where was my husband and I when our son was growing up? We were right where most parents are trying to raise a rebellious child. I would track him down and bring him home over and over again . We would make agreements over and over again. Nothing worked excepted Prison. Our grand son is now heading that direction. Maybe this will straighten him out.
Posted by Sirena, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:20 am
There were no programs when I was growning up. My Dad just looked at me and I behaved. I work at the mall and I am so tired of the parents who just let their kids run wild. The parents have no respect for the employees who have to clean up the mess after the family leaves. I am so sick of the phrase "time out" You don't have to spank your children or yell, but stern talk and consequences and following through like my parents did work. I have witnessed teenage girls who have no respect for the Mom's while shopping. The language and tone of voice is appalling. My children grew up in Pleasanton with less things to do and they found things to entertain themselves with their friends. I agree with Mellow fellow, throw their butts in jail..... It takes parents to teach their children what is right and wrong at an early age, not the city when they are 16 and is too late.
Posted by Victim, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:32 am
Julie - I will respectfully say that you are part of the problem with the attitude that you have. Every kid I know who wanted the job, has a job. Yes it took some foresight and leg-work to think about it a couple of months ago. And my kids are completely busy this summer with sports activities and prep work for the next school year.
It is interesting to watch our kids grow up their entire lives in one town. You get to watch other kids grow up and it creates many test-cases on what led to success and what didn't. Parenting has everything to do with it and it starts very early.
It is no accident that some kids are the ones involved with school activities, get the good grades and are thinking about their bright futures while others are dealing with drugs, teen pregancies, crime, etc. You could see the stages being set at very young ages. Those parents that made excuses for their kids and blamed things on the school, teachers, etc. are now the ones with problem kids. Those that helped their kids constructive deal with their challenges responsibly tend to have the higher performing kids these days.
Parenting has everything to do with the success of kids.
Posted by Neighbor, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:45 am
Thanks to the neighbor who was observant and called this in. We live in the neighborhood where this happened and saw this event unfold. My young children are worried about bad guys now and this kid felt comfortable enough entering a home. He needs to be scared straight and given a harsh enough punishment so that he or his buddies won't try to do this again. I don't think that being bored or the teen activity centers explain the kind of behavior this person demonstrated. From what I heard, he lives in a wealthier neighborhood than the one he was caught in. I hope he and those around him don't try to excuse his behavior.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 11:00 am Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
There goes that scary leap in logic again. I state that I agree there isn't much for teenagers to do here and I simply disagree that all the "positive" activities suggested will work for *all* teenagers and now I am part of "the problem"? I'm not even sure to what problem you refer...that kids are doing illegal things? Really? I'm part of that problem?
I don't know what kids you know, Victim, but good for them getting jobs! The only kids I know who have jobs are the ones who can a) work for their parents; b) had a lot of previous experience. Why doesn't my child have a lot of experience? She was involved so heavily in sports that previously she didn't have the time! Scary, but maintaining a spot on a Varsity team here in ol' P-Town is almost a full time job!
The only thing that is accurate is that our attitudes do differ. Honestly, I don't think kids need to be "completely busy" all summer. They are busy enough during the school year. I'm not the type of parent who pushes "prep work" for the next school year or who makes my kids do MORE sports when they are ready for a break. Too many sports leads to injury anyway. They are doing the level they want. My kids are hardly slackers, but no, they don't have above 4.0s. They are not over-achievers but that doesn't mean they are criminals either. I have one starting at a UC next fall, so I think I do know something about supporting my children and helping them to succeed. All that said, there STILL isn't much for teens to do in this town!
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm
As someone who works with middle school kids, I think that Julie has made many constructive suggestions. Throwing teens in jail seems to me a heavy-handed and expensive "solution" that has the potential to backfire. In my experience, teens live up to their labels: label a kid a troublemaker and a criminal, and that's what he'll do.
You have to remember, teenagers might look like "young adults" but they're not. Teenagers are much more impulsive, for example.
There is a shocking dearth of either structured or unstructured activities in this town for the high school age teens (middle schoolers don't have it so bad). I like all of Julie's suggestions and think that they ought to be looked at.
There aren't even that many jobs for teenagers. When I was in high school, I got a job working at the local K-Mart. You hardly ever see teen worker at Wal-Mart, Target, etc., for various reasons, none of them having to do with teenagers being unmotivated or lazy. Fact is, the unemployment rate is so high, stores and restaurants can fill their vacant positions with adults, rather than relying on the teen work force.
One further suggestion I have is that since we are so close to so many places that do have a ton of things to do--San Francisco and Berkeley--why not organize trips for teens into those towns? I can't imagine a teenager ever being bored in Berkeley or San Francisco!
Yes, teenagers will still commit crimes even if we implement all of Julie's ideas. There is no complete substitute for parents who are involved in their kids' lives. But to me, throwing a teenager in jail should be our last thought, not our first.
Posted by Not enough activities, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm
Not enough activities for kids in this town? Where did all the money go? Oh yah, it went to pay city employee salaries and early retirements.
When personnel costs grow dramatically from 65% of budget to 79%, something has to give.
Ever wonder why it takes so long to build facilities in this town and why we are so facilities poor compared to other cities? Take a look at the buget and look for which cost items have been growing out of control. Hint it is personnel costs.
Posted by reasonable, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm
I agree with many of Julie's comments, but there is a balance between keeping your kids busy and allowing them to be a little bit bored -- bored enough to daydream, read a book or maybe write in a journal. Bored enough to go to the pool or ice cream store with their younger siblings (gasp!). Bored enough to make and plan a family dinner, or help fix something or do yardwork. Bored enough to go walk the dog. Bored enough to get excited about a family camping trip :). My kids are all involved in positive summer activities, but not every minute of every day. Yes, sometimes they are bored. Sometimes they play video games. But sometimes the boredom gives them time to think, and be more connected to the family.
Posted by Thanks PPD, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm
I'd just like to say 'Thanks' to the PPD and the witness for their solid work in catching this kid (legal adult).
The more we (watchful neighbors and PD) can make it unattractive/risky to do these types of crimes we can hopefully keep some of the potential criminals from pressing their luck in our town.
Not to cast fault at the homeowner, but we do have to take some responsibility for our own security and not leave windows and doors open/unlocked. The article stated that this person entered through an open window. The police won't always be able to get there in 2 minutes and the neighbor won't always be watching your house.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm
If teenagers are looking for jobs they can be found but you can't wait until the summer to find them. The City of Pleasanton's Youth Commission co-sponsors a job fair every year and there are lots of youth employers to be found. For more information, contact the Youth Commission.
Also, most non-profits in the area are always looking for volunteers. There are all sorts of different non-profits with all sorts of different needs. Talk to the Reference Librarian at the library or the Career Center at your high school and they can point you in the right direction.
I do agree, summer should be about relaxation but if you want something to do, you don't have to look far, you just have to look!
Posted by Been there, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm
Five years ago, my son, from a "good" home, was arrested for burglarizing a residence in another city. He was 19 at the time, and addicted to methamphetamine. Despite having a family who loved him and who provided him with a comfortable middle-class life, he had started using drugs (yes, the "harmless" weed) in high school, and despite much family counseling and a stint in a well-regarded rehab facility, he continually relapsed. We had to put him out of the house when he began to steal from us. Then there was the arrest. He served 5 months at Santa Rita. Upon release, he began using meth again. Leaving him to be hungry and homeless was the most difficult thing we had to do as parents. But guess what? Letting go worked. (Any Al-Anon people out there know what I am referring to.) He has been clean and sober since, and is doing well, working and living on his own. I would bet money that the young man just arrested is in the same situation as my son was--addicted to drugs and looking for items to sell for money. People shouldn't make assumptions about others as parents when a kid "goes bad." None of us are perfect parents, and many addicts and alcoholics have wonderful parents and families--just ask them. It's not fair to cast blame so automatically. Hopefully the consequences this kid faces now are a big wake-up call that is going to turn him around--and he's not going to be breaking into houses when he's in jail.
Posted by With Julie, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm
I'm with Julie - I agree there isn't much for teenagers to do here.
To me teens start at 13 - few places hire under 16. My kids tried saying they could start after their last school sport practice date. Some years yes and others no - last year one yes & the other no(the 13-15 yrs no). Son has an internship this year and daughter has a job and asks others to call her if they don't want their shift (both are in college now).
Now if we moved into town after school ended, our kids would not have had a hangout spot to meet people nor known people to have over. It's the pits! (happened to me between 3rd and 4th and 9th and 10th but in the latter case for the first half of the summer our family lived in a city with plenty to do & each teen had to take 1 elementary school age sibling with them)
Not everyone is into sports (our kids were/are, I was not) nor church (our teens definitely not.) If you just moved here, you probably are not on a sports team and may have missed that one to 6 week bible school someone mentioned.
We weren't looking for a "teen babysitter" but it sure would be nice if there were a place for high school age students to hang out and do things and for the in-betweens (16 up to 21). My kids are in the 19+ age group. I still think having places with activities is a great idea. My original town thought the same way. The difference was that it was much smaller (about 800 families and now 1330 households) and the socio-economic range was not as diverse - think gated community without the gates. Most people knew each other or about each other with the parents (99% moms were stay-at-home) not knowing what drugs or alcohol their kids were into. There was talk back then about needing a center and parents saying "no". Today the high school population has shrunk. There is nothing but the woods and the two town beaches - the beaches were the hangout back (lots of families at both.) Shadowcliffs is the close as Ptown has - not really at all similar.
Someone mentioned such places are drug hangouts. Any place can be a drug hangout and any college a "party school" - my brother aced in partying at Carnegie Mellon as a freshman (our son did not at Chico).
Someone mentioned the "Scared Straight" program. The reason you don't see that today is that is didn't seem to make a difference. Teens (and often 20s) figure that getting caught is for others - similar about risks that can affect your life.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm
Gee, I hate to inject actual facts into the "get them rotten kids good and hard!" crowd, but, erm...
"SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011
California suspends scared straight program
HAGERSTOWN, MD (AP) -- California and Maryland say they have suspended youthful offender prison diversion programs featured on the television show, "Beyond Scared Straight," after the federal government warned they could lose funding.
A prison agency spokesman in South Carolina, which was also featured on the A&E Network series, said Friday that he expects their diversion program to be reviewed by the incoming corrections chief.
The Justice Department says research indicates scared-straight programs don't deter teenagers from offending; in fact, they were more likely to offend in the future.
The agency says states that run such programs risk having their federal funding cut if they don't comply with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act."
"Scared Straight" not only is ineffective but counterproductive. What works with juvenile offenders is rehabilitation, not punishment. Throwing teens into jail puts them in touch with really hardened criminals, and they are likely to become part of that world.
It's sad that there's such hostility towards teens by some people, not just in Pleasanton, but everywhere in our society. What happened to our idea of the older generation taking responsibility for the guidance and nurturing of our young people? Instead, every problem in our society is supposed to be solved by police and prisons.
Posted by Tango, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm
The schools have taken away all of the programs that might just help some students stay in school and learn a trade. I am referring to , Auto Shop , Wood shop Metals shop. Not all children are cut out to go to a 4 yr college. If we could train young people in a trade, then they would be ready to join the work force. What ever happened to apprentice ships? I am not saying get ride of the academics. How does reading Shakespeare or all of us having to learn Algebra( which I hated),Help us get a job in the real world? I understand that England has a two track system, and it seems to work. I know that would cause an uproar and we would hear segregation, and Tracking. Hay if something works way not give it a try.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I know I'm not going to win a popularity contest with this post, but I think the facts about this family need to come out. I in no way condone Brodie's actions. There is no excuse for this conduct and if found guilty, he needs to face severe enough consequences that he will think long and hard about ever doing anything like this again. I do take issue though with people that don't know the Lewis family judging them by the mistakes of Brodie. First, this is a very hands on family and Brodie's parents are wonderful people that are VERY present in both of their sons' lives. My daughter and Brodie were the best of friends early in elementary school and we spent a lot of time with the family. The family couldn't be nicer or more interested in their childrens' lives. If there was a field trip, Brodie's mom was there. If the class or school needed something, they were very generous financially. If the classroom needed a volunteer, Brodie's parents were the first to volunteer. If you have children at Vintage Hills, PMS or AVHS just know your child probably benefited from the generosity of Brodie's family which gave generously on behalf of both of their sons.
This family has been very involved members of the Pleasanton community for at least the 13 years I've known them. They ran or currently run a business in Pleasanton and have created many jobs for Pleasanton residents. These are stand up people that have done everything in their power to get their son on the right track. Its one thing to judge Brodie for his own actions, but its wrong to assume anything about his parents based on his actions. Brodie was a gift they waited for and I know they've done everything they can for him. But some kids have to learn the hard way and perhaps this is the case with Brodie. While its been some time since I've spoken to the family, I don't see a situation where either of his parents are going to make this easy on Brodie. I am confident they will continue to try to help him including with some old fashioned tough love.
My heart goes out to the homeowner's of the house broken in to. I can't imagine how violated they must feel. My heart also goes out to Brodie's parents as I'm sure they too are suffering as a result of Brodie's mistakes. I pray that this will help them help Brodie find his way.
Posted by Been There, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm
Tango, I agree with you 100% about the demise of vocational education in the public high schools. A kid who wants to be an mechanic can either take courses at a community college after graduation (if he makes it), or go into one of the VERY expensive private schools, such as WyoTech. Those schools are out of reach for poor kids, and a hardship for middle class ones. Want to be a carpenter? Guess you have to know someone who works in construction to train you, or hopefully get accepted into the apprenticeship program. Same with medical/nursing assistant programs. Many kids just don't fit into the college mold, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Guess I am off topic now, but kids who are bored or frustrated with the college-prep curriculum they are forced to take are potential drop-outs, who may lose their way and get into a destructive way of life.
Posted by po, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Thank you lp. I can't believe people feel they can comment on how someone is raising their child. You are all so #@*?@ perfect!
These are wonderful people and Brodie is a great kid. It has nothing to do with his parents and the way he was raised. Please just think of them and hope things will get better for them. It could be you.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Thank you for your comments. You are so right that this could easily happen to any of us no matter how great of parents we are. If this can happen to a family like the Lewis' who have always been so committed and involved with their children, it could just as easily been me or any one of us. Brodie is a great kid. I think he's lost his way, but I have no doubt his parents will support him through this including by helping him learn a lesson from his mistakes. I don't see a situation where they will make any of this easy on him even though that might be the easiest option. That's just not who I see them as and I know they will continue to do everything in their power to get him on track. He truly is a good kid and I'm confident with his family's help that he can turn this around.
My prayers are with the Lewis family and with the people whose home was broken in to. The Lewis' have been very involved in the Pleasanton community and in the Pleasanton schools their boys have attended and attend. They are deserving of support from this community just as they have always been supportive of our community. If you can't offer support at least refrain from judgment. This family is not deserving of all that's being said about them.
Posted by retired business owner, a resident of another community, on Jul 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm
Sorry -- Brodie is NOT a great kid -- he is a criminal! Lock him up and keep him away from the rest of us.
Before retirement I owned a business in a nearby town that employed about 20 people. I tried to give young people a chance and it turned out to be utterly impossible to do so. A few examples:
1. Young woman who called me while I was out of town and said that her Mom said she should have someone verify that she was "sick" and then take me to court for "forcing" her to come to work.
2. Young man who was caught on camera (employees signed their acknowlegment of videos) performing a sex act with his girlfriend while being paid to manage the front office.
3. Young women, hired the previous day, who called me from the business and said she was leaving her key at the front desk and quitting because the job "was not fun enough".
4. Walked into the business to find a new employee using a company computer, logged into Facebook, strictly against all written rules. When reviewing the key logger program (yes, they signed their agreement that they knew about it) found more than 3,000 texts/messages in one week.
All employees were properly vetted, including criminal and credit checks and references. Without exception, the young people proved themselves to be utterly worthless. After I purged them and hired only older workers the problems ceased.
Generation X,Y or Z, whatever, is useless. I say that if they cannot toe the line then lock them up. Send the parents the bill. I am done paying for the spawn of people who cannot or will not show them the right path. Teen centers? Pay for it yourself, I owe your kids nothing.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Dear Retired Business Owner:
I mean you no disrespect, but your story makes little sense since any seventeen year old you say you hired and "completely vetted" obviously had zero credit history since they can't even legally enter into any sort of credit contract, and the criminal background check would have netted nothing since juvenile records are sealed. Thank goodness for true business owners that do hire teens like my daughter, someone who has known Brodie since kindergarten. She's been employed since right after she turned 17 and she has been a huge asset to her employer. Since graduating a month ago, she took on a second job with a generous pay increase because at 18, SHE'S THAT GOOD, and she is certainly not the only one her age that is so motivated and willing to scrub floors if that's what it takes. You should remember these teens when you go to the grocery store and use a shopping cart, or eat at a restaurant or fast food place or say a pizza parlor. Think of them when you use the restroom in a public place and realize its clean because a young person probably cleaned it for you. These horrible teens you speak of are likely making your food and your coffee. If you truly hired some younger folks that didn't work out, that says more about your poor hiring practices than it does about Pleasanton's teen population.
As far as I know, Brodie Lewis is entitled to the same justice system the rest of us are and therefore he is presumed innocent until found guilty. So no, he's not a criminal until the courts find this is the case. You are not the judge and jury and should respect our system of justice.
Finally, if you own real estate in our community, then issues related to the younger members of our population are in fact your concern assuming you care about the value of your property. I will leave it at that.
And for the record, Brodie Lewis' family has made major contributions both personally and professionally to the Pleasanton community. I'm not aware of any hand outs they've ever looked for and would bet my life that they will never request such hand outs. These are truly good people.
Posted by Victoria Simmelweisen, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2011 at 7:30 am
I raised my kids to be scared straight but it didn't work because they weren't educated properly by the union teachers and then they started hanging out with entitlement kids. The cops, looking for something to do to justify their fat paychecks, arrested one of my kids for robbery and assault, and didn't even blink when my son told them how it was the fault of union teachers and entitlement kids who made him do the crime. Now we've got liberal elitists on California's bored of regents that discriminate against white kids. Who needs this anyway? I told my kids to stay away from college because it's crammed with professors who force them to read books by Max Weber, Michael Burawoy, and Michel Foucault.
Lately my grand son has been so depressed by all the left-wing propaganda he's getting in school that he's started smoking pot and doing meth. This is the result of unsustainable practices and unfunded Marxist liabilities that are teaching in our school. I'm thinking about moving back to Indiana, or Texas.
Posted by A Mom, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2011 at 9:19 am
I'm glad they caught the guy. Sorry for the parents. They sound like a nice family. Let's hope that Brodie learns a lesson. We've all had to as teenagers. Some of us pull out of it, some of us don't. That's life.
Now here's a lesson for some parents - don't start labeling kids. My son was at Quarry Lane preschool - yes that expensive place down the street where some parents think they and their kids are better than everyone else.
My son was going through a swearing stage and a few of the parents and even the teachers were going around labeling him as the "bad kid". I was shocked that these parents would label a 5 year old for learning a lesson that all kids learn. I was ostracized and forced to pull my child out of the school.
The previous post was accurate by stating that "They become the label they are given". I promptly pulled my son out of that horrible place and naturally the swearing ceased as I knew it would. He didn't learn it at home, probably picked it up from some of the kids who had older siblings.
Most of us don't know Brodie or the family. Let's not start labeling him as a bad kid. Let's face it, teenage years are tough. They can be plagued with depression, suicide, drug use, no job opportunities. Let's pull together as a community and find a way to keep our kids on track.
Posted by A Mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2011 at 9:29 am
My thanks to the neighbor who was on the look-out and reported it to PDD. My heart goes out to both the homeowner and the Lewis' as they deal with the poor decisions of Brodie. Blaming parents, teachers, or society doesn't do any good and just hurts more people. Generalizations don't help either. This is an individual case, and unless you know this young man and his family you should not pass judgement. I work in a place that has hired teenagers, many are very hard working and try to be responsible. Often times adults expect teens to be able to make decisions the way they do, forgetting that teenagers are still developing their ability of self-control and good decisions. Even the best of kids from the best of families can make a disastorous poor decision. The difference is today these decisions can result in severe consequences that follow them the rest of their lives. There is not just nurture in the development of teens - there is also nature and a teens personality may take them on a road the parents can't keep them from. Personally, we have gotten our teens to be involved in many of the volunteer organizations (Open Heart Kitchen, Alameda Co. Food Bank, etc.) when they couldn't find jobs - and yes they tried. Volunteering is a good way to create a resume, experience, and references.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I hate to break it to some of you, but someone who breaks into homes and steals things is NOT a "great kid". And lose the attitude about "innocent until proven guilty", he was caught red-handed with the stolen goods. It's irrelevant that his parents donated time and/or money to the school. Their son screwed up, that doesn't make them good parents or bad parents.
I asked my son (same age) if he knew who Brodie was, and his second response (after "Why?") was "He's a skater", like that was supposed to explain everything. Not sure what goes on at the skate parks, but since it seems like so many are focused on "activities" for teens, maybe they should consider that not all activities expose their kids to good things.
Get your kids into team sports or get them jobs. Or don't be surprised if they're hanging out with troublemakers. I hate to say it, but as the parent of two teenagers, there aren't many more options unless staying home and facebooking all day qualifies... You might think you did the right things, but when they're hanging out with the wrong crowds, your kids are at risk.
Posted by Reader, a resident of the Lemoine Ranch neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm
Not surprised this hasn't occurred to so many of the contributors to this site: How about teaching your kids how to enjoy a book? How about discussing the book's contents with them (which would mean reading one yourself ... or reading one together)? Maybe your kids are so crammed full of the junk injected into them by corporate colonization of the mind ads and movies and vid games, that they're unable to sort through life's real-world complexities? Maybe your kids are hanging at the skate park or immersed in facebook because they're revolting against your 'build your resume, get a job, succeed-succeed-succeed, make a buck' mantras. With few exceptions, kids usually are a pretty accurate reflection of their parents. Ignorant parents, or parents who are obsessed with money, usually equates with kids who are ignorant, bored, alienated, and ripe for crime. When's the last time any of you thought about the library other than to bellyache about librarians making too much money? And we're surprised that P-town has a problem with drug-ingesting, alienated, tending-towards-the-criminal youth? That's okay, keep blaming the teachers and the unions and evolution. And cover up all those mirrors in your McMansions.
Posted by KraTr, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 9:31 am
To retired business owner.
You have no right to say the things you said about Brodie. I've known him for my whole life and he is indeed a great kid. We've gone to school together and he is a neighbor. this is just a mistake he's made in his life that can be corrected and it's people like you who make things seem worse for him, his friends, his community, and his family, so go crawl back into the stanky hole you crept out of.
Posted by nancy s., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm
The police log shows 2 other burglaries on Concord street in the week preceeding Brody Lewis being caught in the act. I wonder if they are able to tie him to those? Also, this is an 18 yo. out of high school (Village according to his Facebook. Why doesn't he have a job?
Posted by nancy s., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm
@ A Parent - when I was kid we didn't need a program called scared straight - we had what was called A PARENT! My single mother of three raised us to respect others person and property. Right from wrong. That there were consequences (severe) for your actions. Yes, we live in hard times, there may not be enough jobs out there, but then these kids could do some volunteering, help out around the house, READ. Take up a hobby. The list is endless. Much of the problem with the kids in Pleasanton is that their parents give them everything and they haven't learned that you have to earn your way in the world, everything is not always going to be handed to you.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Brodie did not attend Village last year. This I know for sure. To the parent that said he was always at the skate park, if you knew Brodie or his family, you'd know that recently this was physically impossible. In terms of his parents being "PARENTS", I'm not afraid to say that knowing his mother, I think she's better than I am and I am a very good and involved mother.
Again, its best not to judge. This could happen to any of us. And let's afford him the due process he in entitled to.
Posted by forgetBrodie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm
I see there are a lot of bleeding hearts on here for Brodie. I only feel sorry for the person (probably persons) whose house(s) were robbed. He was caught red-handed by the police (good job!)
For the parents saying 'don't judge, it could happen to you', this is very backwards thinking to me. This 'man' is a criminal, whether found guilty or not, he was caught in the act.
If you've ever been the victim of a robbery (as I have) you will know what it feels like. It is horrible.
Before you go making excuses for what he did please don't forget that his crime(s) have real victim(s) who may suffer beyond the actual loss of their belongings. Getting burglarized can change how you live your life and it makes you less trusting of people.
There is no excuse for what he did, and hopefully he doesn't 'skate' on this and actually does some time. At least he wont be wandering the streets jobless looking for the next victim while in jail.
To all you sympathizers out there why don't you post your addresses so some thugs can come by your houses when you're not home...
Posted by joanna, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2011 at 9:28 am
I don't think anyone here has suggested here that he not go to jail--he should. I've been burgled before and it is terrible--I'll never get my wedding rings back. Also, two laptop computers. I'm just saying that people should not automatically blame his family. He's only 18 and most likely is an addict. I just hope they don't hire an expensive lawyer to try to get him off without penalty as jail might wake him up.
Posted by jfklsja;s, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm
Brodie's parents ended up bailing him out, so he might or might not be learning his lesson but there is a good chance he is not. If I were a parent I would have just left him in jail, but what ever floats their boat.
Posted by Dr. Micah, a resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm
I dunno, maybe it's because I've been charged with 'crimes' I didn't do in the past, but don't ya think, just maybe, that the kid deserves his day in court before all of us fine neighbors and friends deny him bail and castigate his parents. However unjust the legal system can sometimes be, at least it protects me from the lynch mob mentality. What is it about 'Innocent until proven guilty' that so many of you good Christian, morally righteous folks don't seem to understand?
Posted by dr who, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm
Dr. Micah, in your case did any of the crimes you were wrongfully accused of involve the police making up a story that they caught you red-handed with someone elses property on your person?
Are you suggesting that in order to close the case out that the PPD stooped to fabricating a story to pin it on this guy?
Not impossible, but less than likely. Fortunately I'm not particularly good, Christian, or morally righteous - so I choose to believe that he is guilty as charged in my court of opinion and hopefully the same result occurs in the real court.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:20 am lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Dear Dr. Who:
Thank goodness you are not the judge, jury or executioner in this or any other case. I hope you are afforded the due process you seek to deny Brodie if you ever find yourself in trouble with the law if the charges are with or without merit. I imagine you'd have a very different opinion if it was you or a family member of yours in this situation. And to be honest, it has nothing to do with being a Christian as you would be granted due process if you were Atheist, Jewish, Mormom, Muslim, J Witness or even if you were insane and claimed to be all of the above.
If Brodie does in fact have a substance abuse problem, I assure you his parents are addressing it. IF this is the case, which I don't know either way, I imagine his parents bailed him out and immediately checked him in for intensive inpatient rehab. Again, if this is the case, I think he has a better chance at getting on track then just being left at Santa Rita. He ultimately may have to be incarcerated if he is convicted, but that should occur AFTER he is found guilty or after he pleads in the case.
Let the process work. Let his family continue to try to help him. Why anyone needs to judge these people makes no sense. Let the process work.
Posted by Dr. Micah, a resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:01 am
@ dr. who who asks, "Dr. Micah, in your case did any of the crimes you were wrongfully accused of involve the police making up a story that they caught you red-handed with someone elses property on your person?" Answer: Nope, but the police, more often than you might want to believe, can sometimes misinterpret the evidence, or jump to conclusions, and sometimes, yes, even plant evidence. That's why we have trials by jury in this country, in case you didn't know. There's also a stipulation that the District Attorney must present exculpatory evidence (look it up) that might show that the police were being selective or biased in the way they collected, interpreted or presented the evidence. Is Dr. Who actually too stupid to grasp these points?
Maybe he is, because he then asks: "Are you suggesting that in order to close the case out that the PPD stooped to fabricating a story to pin it on this guy?" Nope. And only a complete numbskull would draw that inference from what I posted above. Sick, sick, sick.
Posted by dr. who, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:18 am
Then I must be a complete numbskull, because in my limited mind there are only a few options:
1) the news reported the story incorrectly
2) the police/homeowner/neighbor made up the story to the news
3) he was actually caught red-handed with stolen merchandise
If it's #3, then only a miscarriage of justice could lead to him not being found guilty. I know the system is weak and there are plenty of ways that he will possibly not be found guilty, as in, a guilty verdict will not be delivered, despite his true guilt or innocence.
Let's suppose it's #3, and in fact he admits possession of the stolen property (which I know will NEVER occur). It seems to me there are some folks who would STILL take his side and hope he found a way to beat the system. I submit that that's equally as ludicrous as my suggestion that he is probably guilty.
Posted by lp, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:37 am lp is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I think the numbskull option is best. We've all said he needs to pay a price IF convicted or if he pleads guilty. I'm an uptight conservative Christian and am conservative both socially and fiscally. I'm for the death penalty and I think three strikes os too lenient. The difference I'd convicted vs accused. I really hope you are pursuing a position that would make you a n officer of the court.
Posted by niclonda, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2011 at 9:48 am
the news reports about this story have been wrong in every article I have read. Nothing was taken from the house. I know Brodie and he is a GREAT KID! Everybody makes mistakes in life and they can easily learn from what they have done. I'm sure everybody who had wrote something on this has made a mistake once or twice in their life. Brodie's parents love and care about him very much. Maybe he should have stayed in jail for a little while, but as a parent it is hard to see your child in that kind of situation. Yes, he has a lot of growing up to do, and eventually it'll happen. After all if this I can tell this was a huge wake up call for Brodie. What he did was wrong, but as I said before everyone makes mistakes- it's up to them to make those changes.
Posted by doubtingthomas, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm
'Nothing was taken from the house.'
'Maybe he should have stayed in jail for a little while'
'What he did was wrong'
OK, so apparently the story is wrong, but you supposedly know the real story and what he did in fact according to you was wrong and possibly deserved some jail time. Doesn't sound like my definition of a 'GREAT KID', but hopefully he'll prove us all wrong by not making any more 'mistakes'. The people of this community and the law will probably not look at him as fondly as all of his supporters.