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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Art docents gather to kick off year

Photo Courtesy Of Diane Brauch

Los Altos School District Trustee David Luskin, right, engages with San Jose Museum of Art docent Susanne Offensend at the districts fall seminar for art docents Sept. 10.

The Los Altos Art Docents kicked off the new school year with a fall seminar Sept. 10 at the Adobe House in Mountain View.

San Jose Museum of Art docent Elizabeth Ryono, assisted by docents Shauna Mika, Susanne Offensend and Evelyn Neeley, spoke to 70 returning docents and 11 new trainees on the use of visual thinking strategies in the teaching of art appreciation.

Los Altos School District Superintendent Tim Justus, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Baier and district board members Margot Harrigan and David Luskin also attended the seminar.

Visual thinking strategies use observation techniques as the students discuss and explore a particular work of art, which they discuss among themselves with a facilitator docent. The method attempts to develop overall critical thinking and improve group participation and listening skills.

Baier, in opening remarks to the group, said that joy should be a component in education – that feeling of self-awareness when you learn something new. He said a large percentage of district students are visual learners who benefit from the docents' visual-arts program.

Harrigan, a Los Altos Art Docent, said that art curriculum is not funded in the state of California. Fewer than 10 percent of the elementary districts in the state have art programs, and even fewer receive the curriculum the Los Altos Art Docents program provides.

Gloria Dralla is the chairwoman of the 38-year-old volunteer organization. The docents write and develop the 49 hands-on and appreciation units introduced into the elementary school classroom.

In addition, each spring the Los Altos Art Docents sponsors a districtwide Art Show at the Hillview Community Center in which every student in the district exhibits a piece of art.

This school year, docents are scheduled to teach approximately 970 units to more than 4,260 students in the seven district elementary schools, the equivalent of at least two full-time teachers.

Dralla said that docents come from different countries and work backgrounds and are not limited to parents with children in the district. Docents tend to stay in the program longer than their children are in the elementary schools.

Betty Latta, who teaches watercolor through the art docent program, has been volunteer teaching for 30 years.

Financial support for the docents comes from grants from the Los Altos Education Foundation, private donations and contributions from the PTAs and the Los Altos School District, which provides office space at the Covington district office for two part-time paid coordinators.

The Los Altos Art Docents program is seeking volunteers with an interest in teaching art to elementary school students. No special background in the visual arts or artistic talent is necessary. Trainees can assist in the classroom according to their comfort level.

For more information, visit www.losaltosartdocents.org.

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