News

Las Lomitas board president resigns over wife's racist and misogynistic tweets about Kamala Harris

Jon Venverloh calls wife Mehridith's posts 'reprehensible'

A local school board president resigned his post on Sunday, Nov. 8, after community members saw tweets from his wife making profane racist and misogynistic insults questioning Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' qualifications for office.

Jon Venverloh

Mehridith Venverloh, the wife of Las Lomitas Elementary School District board president Jon, took to Twitter in the early morning hours of Sunday. In one post she said of the California senator and former state attorney general: "All she needs to be qualified is a Black (profanity)! No brain needed." Screenshots of the tweets can be seen here. (Warning: the tweets contain profane and inappropriate material.)

Jon, a former Google executive, in 2018 joined the elected board that oversees Las Lomitas Elementary School in Atherton and La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park. He issued a statement on Facebook Sunday announcing he was stepping down from the board and condemned his wife's tweets, which has since been deleted. Her Twitter account has also disappeared.

"My wife and I have volunteered in the district for over a decade while our four girls have gone through our amazing schools with our world class teachers," he said in the post. "I stood for election to be a trustee because I care about doing the right thing for ALL of our kids in our district. However, given my wife's social media posts, which expressed reprehensible views that I do not agree with, I know that my continued service would be a distraction from the work that needs to be done in the district over the two years remaining in my term."

Mehridith, who volunteered for Mothers Together at Menlo Church from 2012 to 2014, according to her LinkedIn page and the church, issued an apology to Harris and community members on Facebook on Sunday, saying her "vulgar words crossed the line." She said the comments were a result of changes in her medication.

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"Some of you know I suffer from a debilitating neurological disease, and as a result I take various medications," she said. "Over the past several days I have been weaning off of my meds to prepare for a hospitalization that is scheduled to start tomorrow (Nov. 9). I believe that the change in my medication reduced my judgment between right and wrong when I made the posts. There is no excuse for what I wrote, but I ask for your understanding that my state of mind was far from normal last night."

In an email to The Almanac, Jon said "Mehridith is not a racist in the least; she personally has done a lot of great work for underprivileged communities." He said in the past she has often used sarcasm and exaggeration when trying to make a point.

"In this case I believe she was trying to be humorous and sarcastic and completely missed the mark, possibly because of the situation with the meds," he said in an email to The Almanac. "Her remarks are atrocious and unacceptable nonetheless, and she is now devastated, broken and deeply sorry."

Community response

The reaction from district parents and other community members was swift, and several people reached out to The Almanac and posted on social media denouncing Mehridith's comments.

"This kind of behavior hurts people of color more than any other demographic in that wealthy school," said district parent Antonio Altamirano. "As I said in my tweets, I'm saddened to see that it took this level of racism for people to take action. Regardless of the economic power any wealthy individual might have, respect is important for a community to be welcoming. I am sad that my half-Black, half-Latinx children are exposed to this kind of 'leadership' — money does not equal capability."

School board members William Steinmetz, John Earnhardt, Diane Honda and Dana Nunn condemned the posts in an email to parents on Monday morning, noting they were grateful for Jon's hard work for the district.

"However, the egregiousness of these posts has undermined Jon's ability to serve effectively on our governance team," they said. "We are deeply saddened that this happened and are committed to take action to address the harm done to our community. We acknowledge that there is much more that we can and should be doing to confront and address racism and inequality every day, and we commit ourselves to that task."

Menlo Park council member and district parent Ray Mueller condemned the tweets in a prepared statement, noting that regardless of political affiliation, people should celebrate that Harris will be the first woman and first woman of color to hold the vice president's office.

"The candid truth is the words before us today were easy to spot and denounce," he said. "But the real work before us required to make change to address institutional racism is much more difficult and that is the ultimate challenge to which we must hold ourselves accountable… . But also use this moment to reflect and understand more clearly and more personally the racism and sexism she and every woman and person of color has had to endure and overcome, to achieve and lead."

Filling Jon's seat

Jon and two others were the only candidates for three open seats on the governing board in November 2018, so the election was automatically canceled and the three were appointed. At the time, he said he had a personal stake in the district as a parent to four daughters — who would, or already did, attend district schools.

Jon served on the Las Lomitas Education Foundation's executive board from 2010 to 2016 before he and his family relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, for his job with Google, where he was director of operations for Google Shopping product management. He no longer works for Google, a company representative said. The Venverlohs are Atherton residents.

Jason Morimoto and Jody Leng are leading to fill two open seats on the school board on the November ballot, according to the latest results posted at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 9.

In the coming weeks, the board will need to decide whether it will appoint someone to fill Jon's spot or hold a special election, said Superintendent Beth Polito in an email.

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Las Lomitas board president resigns over wife's racist and misogynistic tweets about Kamala Harris

Jon Venverloh calls wife Mehridith's posts 'reprehensible'

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 9, 2020, 11:33 am

A local school board president resigned his post on Sunday, Nov. 8, after community members saw tweets from his wife making profane racist and misogynistic insults questioning Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' qualifications for office.

Mehridith Venverloh, the wife of Las Lomitas Elementary School District board president Jon, took to Twitter in the early morning hours of Sunday. In one post she said of the California senator and former state attorney general: "All she needs to be qualified is a Black (profanity)! No brain needed." Screenshots of the tweets can be seen here. (Warning: the tweets contain profane and inappropriate material.)

Jon, a former Google executive, in 2018 joined the elected board that oversees Las Lomitas Elementary School in Atherton and La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park. He issued a statement on Facebook Sunday announcing he was stepping down from the board and condemned his wife's tweets, which has since been deleted. Her Twitter account has also disappeared.

"My wife and I have volunteered in the district for over a decade while our four girls have gone through our amazing schools with our world class teachers," he said in the post. "I stood for election to be a trustee because I care about doing the right thing for ALL of our kids in our district. However, given my wife's social media posts, which expressed reprehensible views that I do not agree with, I know that my continued service would be a distraction from the work that needs to be done in the district over the two years remaining in my term."

Mehridith, who volunteered for Mothers Together at Menlo Church from 2012 to 2014, according to her LinkedIn page and the church, issued an apology to Harris and community members on Facebook on Sunday, saying her "vulgar words crossed the line." She said the comments were a result of changes in her medication.

"Some of you know I suffer from a debilitating neurological disease, and as a result I take various medications," she said. "Over the past several days I have been weaning off of my meds to prepare for a hospitalization that is scheduled to start tomorrow (Nov. 9). I believe that the change in my medication reduced my judgment between right and wrong when I made the posts. There is no excuse for what I wrote, but I ask for your understanding that my state of mind was far from normal last night."

In an email to The Almanac, Jon said "Mehridith is not a racist in the least; she personally has done a lot of great work for underprivileged communities." He said in the past she has often used sarcasm and exaggeration when trying to make a point.

"In this case I believe she was trying to be humorous and sarcastic and completely missed the mark, possibly because of the situation with the meds," he said in an email to The Almanac. "Her remarks are atrocious and unacceptable nonetheless, and she is now devastated, broken and deeply sorry."

Community response

The reaction from district parents and other community members was swift, and several people reached out to The Almanac and posted on social media denouncing Mehridith's comments.

"This kind of behavior hurts people of color more than any other demographic in that wealthy school," said district parent Antonio Altamirano. "As I said in my tweets, I'm saddened to see that it took this level of racism for people to take action. Regardless of the economic power any wealthy individual might have, respect is important for a community to be welcoming. I am sad that my half-Black, half-Latinx children are exposed to this kind of 'leadership' — money does not equal capability."

School board members William Steinmetz, John Earnhardt, Diane Honda and Dana Nunn condemned the posts in an email to parents on Monday morning, noting they were grateful for Jon's hard work for the district.

"However, the egregiousness of these posts has undermined Jon's ability to serve effectively on our governance team," they said. "We are deeply saddened that this happened and are committed to take action to address the harm done to our community. We acknowledge that there is much more that we can and should be doing to confront and address racism and inequality every day, and we commit ourselves to that task."

Menlo Park council member and district parent Ray Mueller condemned the tweets in a prepared statement, noting that regardless of political affiliation, people should celebrate that Harris will be the first woman and first woman of color to hold the vice president's office.

"The candid truth is the words before us today were easy to spot and denounce," he said. "But the real work before us required to make change to address institutional racism is much more difficult and that is the ultimate challenge to which we must hold ourselves accountable… . But also use this moment to reflect and understand more clearly and more personally the racism and sexism she and every woman and person of color has had to endure and overcome, to achieve and lead."

Filling Jon's seat

Jon and two others were the only candidates for three open seats on the governing board in November 2018, so the election was automatically canceled and the three were appointed. At the time, he said he had a personal stake in the district as a parent to four daughters — who would, or already did, attend district schools.

Jon served on the Las Lomitas Education Foundation's executive board from 2010 to 2016 before he and his family relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, for his job with Google, where he was director of operations for Google Shopping product management. He no longer works for Google, a company representative said. The Venverlohs are Atherton residents.

Jason Morimoto and Jody Leng are leading to fill two open seats on the school board on the November ballot, according to the latest results posted at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 9.

In the coming weeks, the board will need to decide whether it will appoint someone to fill Jon's spot or hold a special election, said Superintendent Beth Polito in an email.

Comments

Sandy
Registered user
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Sandy, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm
69 people like this

There is no excuse for racism. Period.


Local Mom
Registered user
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm
Local Mom, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm
64 people like this

This type of racist, sexist hate is horrifying in any context but even more profoundly upsetting from a local parent & wife of a community member charged with oversight of all the children in the district. This is not ok!


D'ron
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 9, 2020 at 1:53 pm
D'ron, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 1:53 pm
79 people like this

An awful statement, compounded by a weak "I'm off my meds" excuse.

Really?


West Menlo Mom
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm
West Menlo Mom, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm
85 people like this

Medications don't alter your core beliefs... Sickening!


Evan
Registered user
Atherton: West of Alameda
on Nov 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm
Evan, Atherton: West of Alameda
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm
63 people like this

I’m not sure which is more damaging, her comments about VP elect Harris or hurting the cause of mental health by once again it seems using it as a defense for abhorrent behavior.


Thoughtful
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Nov 9, 2020 at 3:51 pm
Thoughtful, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 3:51 pm
36 people like this

He's resigned. What do you want to do now, draw and quarter them?


D'ron
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm
D'ron, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm
30 people like this

"What do you want to do now, draw and quarter them?"

What do *YOU* think should be done?


Sara
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:36 pm
Sara, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:36 pm
34 people like this

What is it with Republicans and their fixation on p****?


Ken
Registered user
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Ken, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 4:47 pm
48 people like this

I buy the fact that the meds impaired her judgment...leading her to decide to express publicly the hatred that clearly has been simmering inside. Man, does our society have a long way to go, or what?


Thoughtful
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Nov 9, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Thoughtful, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 5:33 pm
27 people like this

"What do *YOU* think should be done?"

Done by whom? A mob wanting justice? Nothing. What she said wasn't criminal, and she and her husband have paid and will continue to pay a very, very high price for having said it. He's already had to resign just by virtue of having married her.

I also think what she said was wrong. My overall point is figuratively drawing and quartering people who express hate doesn't create less hate. It creates more.

Food for thought during these tumultuous times.


Sara
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Sara, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm
58 people like this

"drawing and quartering"? "mob justice"?

Oh dear.

All I see here is a handful of people expressing disgust over racist/misogynistic comments.


D'ron
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 9, 2020 at 6:10 pm
D'ron, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 6:10 pm
50 people like this

"Food for thought during these tumultuous times."

Which ain't far from "very fine people, on both sides."

If you can't condemn racism, white supremacy, etc (without qualification) then you should have a long sit, and take the time to reconsider your values.


This is her meds talking
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 9, 2020 at 6:13 pm
This is her meds talking, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 6:13 pm
72 people like this

“ M is not a racist in the least; she personally has done a lot of great work for underprivileged communities.” There’s the problem right here. The idea that ‘the race you are not racist for” is synonymous with “underprivileged communities.” THOSE PEOPLE becoming Presidents and VPs? Ridiculous! And then they do? Well, now you either have to confront a belief system that basically defined your entire life, or you have to trust your faulty believe system which suggests things like...the insane thing Meredith said. Suggesting you’re not racist bc you help poor people is about as racist as it gets. Also, it was not the meds.


SMB
Registered user
Portola Valley: other
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:26 pm
SMB, Portola Valley: other
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:26 pm
38 people like this

I feel so saddened by this example.
My skin curled upon reading the "black p^&&%" remark. It just curled. This type of sentiment isn't something just randomly expressed from a schedule disruption of medication. This lies deep within and is unleashed when vulnerability or heightened emotion allows. In the truest sense of empathy I ask myself what would I do should this be me…Maybe "I am horrified to discover that despite the work I've done for minorities and the story I've told myself and others...I am a racist. I need to say it first and then find the recovery it takes to make me and others realize I'm not okay with this admission continuing and I want to do everything I can to see all humans in a better way."
THAT would be a great way to turn the conversation to the right direction.
"It was the meds"???? NO.
It's so difficult learning of these statements inside of the pandemic and turning the corner from four years of accepted hateful ideology from someone in charge. Now is a reminder that close minded thinking and any type of bigotry is not allowed and thank goodness no longer on an accepted side of history.
I hope this awful reveal serves as one more push to serve for the good.


AM7143
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:27 pm
AM7143, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:27 pm
31 people like this

How terribly sad for the LLESD community, the surrounding communities, and this family.

Horrific comments, absolutely, but lets hope that the family emerges on the “other side” of this episode with an enlightened awareness of the definition of a true Christian.

I wanted to add a comment about Menlo Church’s anti-LGBTQXYZ position, but I shan’t.

Each and every God loves all people equally.


Kat
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:28 pm
Kat, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:28 pm
32 people like this

I went to Las Lomitas when folks were civil. My classmate (from Las Lomitas) became the Principal until retirement. My dad had the same kindergarten teacher I had. When he started he couldn't speak English b/c his parents were immigrants from Greece. I have watched many changes throughout my life in this area, from bussing into Woodside to this! I am appalled! I do not care that she was on meds! I've had my share of medicating but NEVER would I EVER!

Sure they have to live with their behavior and that is what I LOVE LOVE LOVE about today! It's all out in the open and you cannot suck back in the words. You just can't. You can, however, revisit what you said as your words become actions become your destiny. You can try and be a better person.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm
47 people like this

Sad. Her "excuse" just tells me that these are beliefs she holds and regularly thinks. When she's "on her meds" she's able to keep herself from saying them publicly. Sorry, she needs to do some serious souls searching regarding her core beliefs.


Kristin
Registered user
another community
on Nov 9, 2020 at 8:13 pm
Kristin, another community
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 8:13 pm
44 people like this

The excuse is incredibly pathetic and very painful to even read. Sounds like someone might have had too much to drink and lost her filter. For the millions of Americans on medications of all sorts, this just does not fly and is embarrassing. It is blood boiling to me when Christianity is represented by someone who expresses such hate. How about being absolutely over the moon for women across the world and our children? How about celebrating a woman in the White House after 244 years? I pray for her heart to open and for her to love herself more. This is the root cause of hatred, deep hatred of one's own self which gets reflected out as suspicion, judgement and an inability to celebrate someone else's success. That is a painful way to live. May the learning truly happen and may there be atonement.


Kakoli Banerjee
Registered user
another community
on Nov 9, 2020 at 8:38 pm
Kakoli Banerjee, another community
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 8:38 pm
44 people like this

I liked visiting Menlo Park, going to the festival, listening to the music, going to the restaurants and enjoyed the gracious ambiance of the town. Now, I will look at women like this one, walking along Santa Cruz Avenue and know the ignorance and hatred behind their eyes. Kamala Harris is an accomplished prosecutor, who won elections as California Attorney General and Senator. This woman has earned nothing, not one vote.
I am grateful that she has exposed what I have sensed frequently - the fake liberalism and fake racial tolerance in certain Bay Area communities. You are not actually better than Kansas.


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 9, 2020 at 9:49 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 9:49 pm
31 people like this

As a Las Lomitas alumnus, a homeowner in the District, and a longtime admirer of VP-Elect Kamala Harris, I'd hope and expect to see prompt resignation from any Board member who acted this way.

I cannot help noticing that Mehridith Venverloh is not a Board member. If she ran, I wouldn't vote for her.

Jon Venverloh is not the same person as Mehridith Venverloh. Neither of them is morally or legally the boss of the other, nor answerable for the other.

Collective guilt is, in my opinion, an evil concept, and we should have none of it. (Mr. Venverloh may have reasons to resign. I wouldn't know. But "my wife said some terrible things" is not something that reflects morally on him.)


JDaniel
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 9, 2020 at 11:13 pm
JDaniel, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2020 at 11:13 pm
29 people like this

If anyone didn’t believe systematic racism is deeply rooted across America and in parts of the Silicon Valley, it’s time to be more educated and to self-assess.

With its connection, influence, power and wealth in our community, I look to Menlo (Presbyterian) Church now to drive real change with immediate programs that take on systematic racism at its core.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 10, 2020 at 6:52 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 6:52 am
48 people like this

"With its connection, influence, power and wealth in our community, I look to Menlo (Presbyterian) Church now to drive real change with immediate programs that take on systematic racism at its core."

Then you're looking in the wrong place. Menlo has been anti LGBTQ for years. Openly so. One can only conclude they don't publicly espouse the same types of beliefs about racial minorities because it isn't politically correct. This person is but one example of the mind set of many that attend that "church".


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Nov 10, 2020 at 7:11 am
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 7:11 am
15 people like this

Well said, Rick Moen.


Peter Charron
Registered user
Las Lomitas School
on Nov 10, 2020 at 10:11 am
Peter Charron, Las Lomitas School
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 10:11 am
4 people like this

Meredith said what she was really thinking, which was horrible. For myself, as a liberal/progressive, reach out to her with love and know she and her beautiful family will get past this. Maybe drawing some inspiration from the life, loss and recovery of Joe.


wow
Registered user
Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 10, 2020 at 10:35 am
wow, Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 10:35 am
3 people like this

[Post removed due to violation of terms of use and poster banned]


Sara
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 10, 2020 at 11:07 am
Sara, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 11:07 am
33 people like this

A prominent Atherton citizen goes on a misogynistic, anti-Black rant on Twitter and behold the outpouring of concern over the well-being of her white male husband.


A concerned parent
Registered user
Las Lomitas School
on Nov 10, 2020 at 12:53 pm
A concerned parent , Las Lomitas School
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 12:53 pm
31 people like this

This is hard to comprehend! Racism can never be justified. Off meds is such a weak excuse! I hope they are raising their kids well and not instilling racism in their family. The learning starts from home and kids model their parents behavior. I hope this family takes some time to heal and teach the right things to their kids - The future citizens of the US. In this current divided country, we don’t need any more racism!


pearl
Registered user
another community
on Nov 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm
pearl, another community
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm
4 people like this

Per article: "Jon served on the Las Lomitas Education Foundation's executive board from 2010 to 2016 before he and his family moved to Zurich, Switzerland, for his job with Google, where he was director of operations for Google Shopping product management. The Venverlohs are Atherton residents."

I'm confused, Where does Jon live now? Article says he and his family moved to Switzerland, but that they are Atherton residents, Which is it?


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:05 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:05 pm
5 people like this

pearl: It's reasonable to suppose that The Almanac quoted established fact about the known comings and goings of the Venverloh family, but that the latter have not lately mentioned where they live. Many people these days, with greater or lesser reason, treat details of their residence as somewhat sensitive, and in my view it's polite to respect that.
[Portion removed due to violation of terms of use]


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm
9 people like this

Menlo Voter, just a brief comment on your phrase "Menlo (Presbyterian) Church":

My understanding is that they (Menlo Church) are explicitly ex-Presbyterian (or at least ex-mainline Presbyterian) -- for a reason that in my opinion is enlightening: In 2014, what was then called Menlo Park Presbyterian Church underwent a permanent parting of ways with the mainline Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) synod, because the nation's mainline Presbyterians had come to accept ordination of LGBT clergy, leading to a schism: Two years before (2012), a group of theological conservatives gathered in Florida and formed the Evangelical Covenant of Presbyterians (ECO), a conservative denomination comprising about 280 churches (vs. about 9000 mainline Presbyterian churches). So, in 2014, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church quit the mainline synod, renamed itself "Menlo Church", and re-affiliated with ECO.

Bear that history in mind as context, when recalling the recent scandal over now-former Pastor Ortberg's son's questionable role with minors at the church.

It's of course none of my business whom ECO and Menlo Church do (and do not) choose to ordain; that's a private matter between them and their deity. I just think it's interesting.


pearl
Registered user
another community
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:59 pm
pearl, another community
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 5:59 pm
3 people like this

Rick Moen:

I don't care what town he lives in or what street he lives on. The article said he moved to Switzerland in 2016. It made no mention of him returning to the United States. So, he's living in Switzerland, but remains the president of the LLSD?

pearl


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 10, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 6:08 pm
7 people like this

pearl: I'm entirely aware that's what you'd like to know. I suspect The Almanac's staff don't presently have that information, and so reported what they _had_ determined, e.g., that Mr. Venverloh at one point moved to Zurich to take up a then- marketing position there for Google, Inc. (I would surmise that they later moved back to the USA.)

Anyway, although I am reasonably sure my Internet research found not just the Venverloh family's town of residence but even the exact street address, it would probably be a violation of Embarcadero Media, Inc.'s terms of service for the almanacnews.com site to reveal either datum (as being "personal information" that we are explicitly forbidden to post).


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:11 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:11 pm
17 people like this

Rick:

I'm aware of Menlo Church history of their break from the main line Presbyterian Church. That was why I posted what I did. Menlo is still quite well attended even though they are clearly anti-LGBTQ. What does it say about those people? I think the answer is obvious.


A concerned parent
Registered user
La Entrada School
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:32 pm
A concerned parent , La Entrada School
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:32 pm
8 people like this

I hope they replace Jon with a person of color to bring more diversity to the team. It is sad that his wife would make such comments about our first female VP! Clearly, our community needs more education about racial equality. I hope school board invests in anti-racism related seminars to educate the community.


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm
6 people like this

Menlo Voter: I apologise for tagging you in my comment (as whom I was replying to), rather than tagging JDaniel, whose wording I was quoting. Actually, I noticed that oversight within Almanac's five-minute revision window, but didn't quite get my correction in under the wire.

As long as I'm commenting, though, I will mention that I got further enlightenment from John Shore's short piece at HuffPo on ECO's schism: Web Link
Mr. Shore elaborates on something I'd also noticed: ECO's Web site carefully omits what the split from mainline Presbyterians was about, except for faint, almost homeopathic, most indirectly worded hints. As he points out, when the entire point of your schism is you think ordination of gays is prohibited by divine law, why the heck not just say so? It's a wonderment to me.


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:45 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 8:45 pm
10 people like this

I'm more than surprised that someone at The Almanac removed a sentence as the bottom of one of my postings for "violating the terms of use", given it merely repeated what _staffer Swartz said_ in her article.

Seriously, people. It's a violation of The Almanac's terms of use to repeat something an Almanac article said?

I respect you folks for doing a difficult job with good grace, and I'm aware that people's personal information is a touchy subject for excellent, compelling reasons (indeed, that was my point!), but would you try to please exercise just a little more common sense? Please?


AM7143
Registered user
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 10, 2020 at 9:43 pm
AM7143, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2020 at 9:43 pm
35 people like this

Just scoured the Menlo Church web site for “LGBTQ” and every iteration thereof. Surprise, no results, of course, not surprising...

Again, and no surprise that the former, honorable Menlo “Pres” broke away from Presbyterian Church USA, and rebranded itself as a “Crystal Palace” wannabe.

And for the record, I attend Church, regularly, just a decent one.


Milly
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm
Milly, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm
13 people like this

Why should her husband resign because of comments she made??? What kind of world do you guys live in??? I had no idea that married people routinely cosigned everything their partner says.


Kevin
Registered user
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Nov 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Kevin, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm
15 people like this

@Milly, spouses aren't responsible for what the other says, until a spouse's comments become a source of friction and distraction when one has a community-centered role, like Jon's.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm
24 people like this

This is international news, I saw an article on this in British News. This is not what Menlo Park is about. Let me say the excuses that are flying around are ridiculous. Medication may relax a person's inhibitions but it does not cause racism. So maybe the medication let her say what she feels but it did not create those feelings. Second a husband and wife know each other pretty well, especially after years of marriage. I can not believe that this comes as a surprise to the husband and I would not be surprised to know he had the same feelings and just better control over what he posted on Social Media.

Put simply it is disgusting.


Ann
Registered user
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm
Ann, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm
24 people like this

I agree with all the other posts, medication or alcohol only remove the filter for the type of sentiment she had down deep inside all along. The "medication made me do it" excuse is a weak one and doesn't make up for her behavior which is sadly reflective of many of the community. The Menlo Park Atherton community has always been predominantly white and wealthy in demographic and I must say though people smile and claim to be inclusive of all, this hidden racism does exist and may be more rampant than people let on. If you are not of anglo decent be prepared to not completely be truly accepted by this community which is not as accepting of people from different cultures religions or sexual identity. Menlo park has always been a "bubble" and a white bubble that is not reflective of the rest of silicon valley and it's diversity. It's a place where the women compete for social status, and have traditional stepford wife conservative beliefs. Many that live in large Atherton mansions and afford to have 2nd vacation homes, and take lavish vacations, have much have much influence over this community, are looked up to. It's a bubble and not a good one to raise kids in lest they learn the subtle innuendoes of racism of the entitled in this community.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 11, 2020 at 10:59 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2020 at 10:59 pm
14 people like this

Ann,

I have to say your comments are very biased. Don't paint a community by the actions of one person. Each person is an individual and I do not believe that Atherton or Menlo Park are full of "hidden racism". Menlo Park has a diverse population as does Atherton, probably more diverse than it has had in its history. What the woman said is racist and disgusting and needs to be condemned, which by the previous comments above. Judge people as individuals, to judge them because they are white is well...racist, isn't it?


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 12, 2020 at 6:51 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 6:51 am
14 people like this

Enough:

I tend to judge people by the company they keep. You have a large number of people that are parishioners at a church that split from the mainstream Protestant Church because they don't like the LGBTQ community. Yet, this large number of people that are "good people" continue to worship in a church that excludes a part of the community because of their sexuality. That's bigotry. It is hard to not come to the conclusion that people that attend that church, given their stand on the LGBTQ community, are not bigots. If a church I attended had that stand I would find another.


Ann
Registered user
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 12, 2020 at 10:19 am
Ann, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 10:19 am
6 people like this

Thanks for reading my post, "Enough" while I didn't say everyone in Atherton/Menlo Park is racist, I am saying that this community is a "bubble" and after living here for over 20 years and participating in the same Church as the subject of this article, and knowing of the social circles the subject took part in, I can honestly say that I have witnessed more of this type of covert racism and exclusiveness culture in this wealthy and privileged area. It's a feeling. It's not overt it's covert and it's not obvious to those who aren't of some color. I raised children here and though the schools were good (they have gone backwards in recent times), there is an attitude of airs , or a pervasive elite vibe in the culture. My children always noted that the children of the wealthy went to private schools after elementary, weren't being inclusive, and these social circles of the wealthy where nearly impossible to break into. If your skin and hair aren't blonde or light brown or you aren't wealthy, you aren't going to be their friend or included. M's comment about our VP elect is deplorable but this just happens to be the one person that is outed because of her tweets, because this same believe system is just beneath the lips of not just her but many of the elite social circles of women of privilege in this community. Sadly the majority of the elite social circles that attend the same private schools, and live in West Menlo and Atherton communities are all about standing behind Trump and their party regardless of his crimes, furthering their interests of protecting their wealth. There are other communities in the valley which are more diverse, have better schools and not such a sub-culture of racism.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 12, 2020 at 11:31 am
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 11:31 am
4 people like this

Menlo Voter,

What percentage of the residents of menlo Park and Atherton attend Menlo Church? I know it is a good size church but just about everyone I personally know who are members don't live in Menlo Park or Atherton (Redwood Shores, Sunnyvale and Mountain View). I would guess that less than 5% (combined there are more than 42,000 residents of both cities so that would be around 2,000). I don't think you can make a judgement call on that small of a number. I would also point out that of the people I know attending Menlo Church they are not opposed to LGBTQ in any way. So I would conclude by saying are some people in Menlo Park and Atherton racist or anti LGBTQ? Absolutely. Do they represent the community as a whole, Absolutely Not!


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 12, 2020 at 11:46 am
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 11:46 am
9 people like this

Ann,

Again I have to disagree with you, I think you are taking isolated cases and generalizing from there. First off, being wealthy does not make you racist. Would it surprise you to know Atherton is rated as "Somewhat Liberal". Also according the the website I am looking at donations from 2015-2018 from Atherton residents tended to go overwhelmingly to Democrats ($15+ Million to $3+ million to Republicans). This being the case I don't think you are correct when you say "West Menlo and Atherton communities are all about standing behind Trump and their party regardless of his crimes".

I have kids in Menlo Park public schools and I do not see what you are claiming. How have they gone "Backwards in recent times"? Kids from Atherton are treated the same as kids from Menlo Park, Belle Haven, Ravenswood (School District on Tinsley transfers) and students from other communities. I don't ask my children's friends how wealthy their families are but I suspect that some are very wealth while others are not. Doesn't matter to my kids or myself.

Here is the website with the data I referenced:
Web Link

This might be another interesting read for you:
Web Link


S. Curel
Registered user
another community
on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:02 pm
S. Curel, another community
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:02 pm
11 people like this

If being supreme (as in white supremacy) affords you everything else, why doesn't it afford you the right to say your truth without reprimand? Telling your truth and then lying about it doesn't change the fact that you said it and meant it. Stand up for yourself! Claim it. And while you are telling that truth, go farther and admit that you are jealous of an accomplished, confident, smart-as-hell, highly educated, beautiful, ambitious, loved, most powerful woman in the country, BLACK woman/woman of color. Go ahead and admit that the lie you were told about who Black women are and what we can accomplish (when you get your racist foot off our our necks and our of our business) was just that - a big lie. And just go ahead and claim your truth about how very pissed off you are that she is standing in the place where you were told you would be standing if the white supremacy plan had worked against her. But it didn't and you aren't standing there and she IS in all her glory and personal power - and now you really need those meds!


Middle
Registered user
another community
on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Middle, another community
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm
5 people like this

@Enough - I completely agree with you. An entire community can not be held accountable for the actions of one individual despite the status or position.

Everyone agrees what Meredith said was wrong.

Everyone agrees that Jon suffered the consequences of her actions.

Everyone can agree that behavior like that is unacceptable. she was held accountable and will no longer admonish any type of involvement or trust within her community and colleagues.

But let's not take it to where we need to demonize a group of people in order to victimize another. It can easily go either way. Best we focus on the individual, reprimand her/remove her, and go about using that as an example. But to go so far and say "that this community lives in a bubble." Let's remember that this community that is being pointedly targeted has children and innocent people. You cant say all communities except this one is constantly being victimized by racism.

This direct focus on racist comments takes away all the focus on how our community is suffering and being left to represent themselves. Has anyone noticed the growing homeless population in our neighborhoods? Children who are being left behind because of this new forum of learning ? The increase in drug and alcohol abuse in homes ? I think the most important thing that we need to focus on is what we can do to maintain a household during this pandemic and how the changes that affect our local government arent being called into question.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 12, 2020 at 7:13 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 7:13 pm
2 people like this

Enough:

You're ignoring the fact that Menlo Church excludes the LGBTQ community. How can one attend such a church and not be anti-LGBTQ? If they're not anti-LGBTQ then they're hypocrites. How does a good Christian participate in a Church that is exclusionary? The answer is they can't and be good Christians. Being a bigot is not being a Christian. Participating in a bigoted church makes you a bigot by default. A good Christian either stands up to the church and challenges its bigotry or finds another, non-bigoted church.

So, we have at least 2000 people that, by default, are bigots. 2000 for a population of 35 to 40 thousand is a pretty significant sample size. That indicates a significant portion of the Menlo/Atherton community are likely to be bigots.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Nov 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Nov 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm
3 people like this

"Participating in a bigoted church makes you a bigot by default."


First off I do not agree with that statement. Attending a church that does not support LGBTQ does not make you a bigot, change happens from within and people who respect LGBTQ community, which I know some people that attend Menlo Church do, can try to change attitudes of those that do not. I choose to live in America does that mean that in the 60's I was a racist because people of color were discriminated against? In the 70's was I Homophobic because there was systematic discrimination against LGBTQ people? I don't think so, what happened is that people worked toward change. We are not there yet but we are closer than we were.

I would also point out that the 2000 people are not just from Menlo Park and Atherton. Menlo Church and Menlo Pres before it attracts people from all over the Bay Area.

I am not going to condemn someone who attends Menlo Church unless and until they show they are bigoted/Racist/Homophobic by their words or actions (I do not see them attending the church as a Homophobic action) but that is my opinion, everyone is entitled to their own. It is because Mehridith Venverloh chose to post her feelings that everyone is condemning her which I see as appropriate.


Rick Moen
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm
Rick Moen, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Nov 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm
3 people like this

@Ann: "The Menlo Park Atherton community has always been predominantly white and wealthy in demographic [...]."

Such short memories, these days.

My parents bought my West Menlo Park house in 1956 for a $20,000 Veterans Administration loan plus $2,500 cash on the barrelhead, because Dad worked for a living as (then) a co-pilot for Pan Am, and was of very modes means. When I was a kid, here, nobody was wealthy, but yes they were overwhelmingly Caucasian.

The invasion of lawyers and stockbrokers came many decades later.

Some of us still work for a living, would never dream of hiring out our gardening, cleaning, cooking, etc. Not many of us, but no, the local demographic has definitely _not_ been "always wealthy", ma'am.

-- Rick Moen
(Web-search my name if my e-mail address is ever needed)


Chris MD
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Dec 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Chris MD, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Like this comment

Sad that she blames her reprehensible behavior on her medication which clearly indicates the shallow depths of her remorse. As a prominent Sacred Heart Atherton parent, she certainly does not reflect the Goals and Criteria espoused by the School which our children attend. No matter one's political leanings, we should all strive to keep it classy regardless of medication.


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