Thu05052016

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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Editorial: Changing election date makes sense

A March 27 Los Altos City Council decision to change the council election date to even-numbered years makes sense from both fiscal and voter participation perspectives.

A 2002 federal mandate required ballots printed in four additional languages, driving ballot printing and setup costs substantially higher. The 2007 election could cost the city as much as $172,000. Consolidating with statewide elections and other jurisdictions beginning in 2008 could save the city as much as $133,000.

If the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors signs off on it, this year's election would be postponed for a year, giving Mayor Curtis Cole and councilmen David Casas and Ron Packard another year on the council.

Those against such a change argue that voters pay closer attention and are less distracted by other general election issues during elections in odd-numbered years. In addition, some have noted that giving council members an extra year in office is a blow to democracy and the will of the people.

If we're talking about a run for the White House, this would surely be the case. But at the Los Altos council level, even getting enough candidates to run sometimes can be challenging. An added disincentive is the increase in election costs that might take would-be candidates out of the picture. One could argue an election in 2008 would encourage more candidate participation because voters would be paying attention.

Some would argue the opposite, but the numbers clearly show fewer Los Altos voters turn out in odd-number years, even with more of a spotlight on council races. The 2001 council race, for instance, drew less than 30 percent of eligible voters.

Changing the city's election date is a good idea. We only hope the city puts the savings to good use.

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