Wed05042016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Seeing green advances around the Bay Area

With all the talk about "going green" and sustainability, sometimes it helps to see "green" in person for a real and tangible experience. One of the best ways to research green features up close is to visit eco-friendly buildings. The Bay Area has a fairly large selection. Tours are offered at some of these buildings, while others have handouts so visitors can view the specific features at their leisure.

Touring green buildings can make associated terms - sustainable architecture, rapidly renewable resources, living roofs, daylighting, photovoltaic solar power - more understandable.

Green building includes the design and construction of buildings that are energy efficient and resource frugal. New construction or remodeling can incorporate recycled materials such as blue jeans for insulation or rapidly renewable resources - fast-growing natural products - such as straw bale, bamboo, rye grass or sunflower seeds. Purchasing materials locally is an important aspect of eco-friendliness, because less gasoline is required for shipment.

South Bay Area buildings with tours include:

• Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Hidden Villa is home to three of the earliest green buildings in the area. Built in 2000 and 2001, the structures include a rammed earth wall, a ground source heat pump for radiant heating and solar power. Call 949-9704 for tour information.

• Adobe Systems, 345 Park Ave., San Jose. The first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified buildings in Santa Clara County, the three Adobe Towers were retrofitted to conform to green standards. The buildings include energy-efficient improvements such as motion detectors in all offices, automated touch-free bathrooms and programmable timers for various building systems. Call (408) 536-6000 for tour information.

• Presentation Retreat & Conference Center, 19480 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos. Built in 2005, the Welcoming Center at this non-profit retreat features straw bale walls, three types of solar power and a 3,400-square-foot living roof. It was the first LEED Gold Certified building in Santa Clara County. Call (408) 354-2346 or visit www.presentationcenter.org to schedule a tour.

• Santa Clara University/The Commons on Kennedy Mall, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. Completed in 2005, the Commons features straw bale walls, a solar chimney and creative use of bamboo. Tours are offered by appointment. Call the sustainability coordinator at (408) 554-2369 or visit www.scu.edu.

Other local "green" buildings include the West Valley Branch Library and the Camden Community Center in San Jose, the City of San Mateo Public Library, the Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park and the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies at De Anza College in Cupertino.

Cindy Blain is marketing director and eco-tour guide at Presentation Retreat & Conference Center in Los Gatos.

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