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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

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 Road home April 27 and...

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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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BEN HERBERT SMITH


Los Altos Hills long-time resident since 1955.

Ben H. Smith died peacefully in his home with his family around him on August 4, 2013.

Ben was the loving husband of Val Smith (died May 5, 2007). He was born on a farm in North Henderson, Illinois, January 9, 1918 as Bengt Herbert Smith, the younger

of two brothers. His parents were both Swedish immigrants, Olaf and Selma Haakanson (after moving to America, his father changed the family’s last name to Smith). Ben graduated from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.

After college Ben enlisted and served in World War II as a decorated Major in the 3543rd AAF Base Unit AAFMTC San Antonio, Texas from December 11, 1941 to November 23, 1946. He flew P-38 Lightning fighters mostly in the Pacific front. However, he was shot down in the Atlantic off the coast of North Africa where he was adrift alone for almost 24 hours until he was rescued. Ben was a recipient of the World War II Air Medal for meritorious achievement while in aerial combat.

At the end of World War II he met and married his wife, Val Ballard in Brisbane, Australia.

After the war Ben was hired by Pan American World Airlines where he flew for almost 32 years, retiring as a Pan Am Boeing 747 captain in 1978. Ben flew around the world numerous times, often pioneering routes that modern airlines fly to this day.

Ben is survived by his daughter Donna Rae Smith of Santa Clara, son Aaron Ballard of Morgan Hill, and grandson David Hackett of San Francisco.

The memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 17, 2013 at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1025 The Dalles Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94087.

At Ben’s request, in lieu of flowers, give to St. Luke Lutheran Church Memorial Garden, Sunnyvale, California.

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