Hero & Zero

Hero
A man contemplating suicide sat on the guardrail of the Atherton freeway overpass with his legs dangling above Highway 101. Novato police dispatched Corporal Nick Zolli, who arrived at the scene and slowly moved toward the 27-year-old. In a matter of minutes, Zolli gained his trust by speaking calmly and telling him he was there to help. The two developed a rapport. The corporal continued to reassure him, while he placed his hand on the man’s back. Eventually, he convinced him to climb back over the guardrail to safety. Zolli, a 13-year veteran of the Novato PD and a top mental-health officer, handled the tense call with the composure and empathy necessary to save the young man’s life. The department says his experience as the peer support team leader and his training with crisis intervention are true assets to the Novato community. Hats off to Corporal Zolli.
Zero
We just knew a few Marin parents would be ensnared in the college-admission cheating scandal. Indictments last week allege that fifty people around the country committed crimes. Three of them live in Marin County—and pardon the ranting, but the scandal highlights that it’s just too white and privileged around here. We don’t always appreciate the struggles of regular folks when they have to eke out a living. Anything we want here, we buy. Throwing cash at a problem usually takes care of it. Even stringent college admission requirements are no match for Marin’s monied class. So, let’s not consider the hard-working student denied admission because a cheater’s kid gained entry into a top college. Let’s instead think about the ruthless nature it took to complete the con. Parents want the best for their kids, and that’s fine, but Marin’s wealth already gives our children enough advantage: private schools, tutors, college entrance exam prep courses. And here’s the thing: Just because we can afford it doesn’t mean we’re entitled to it. What a concept!

Nikki Silverstein
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