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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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Editorial: Propositions 1A-1F: No is right answer

It’s not easy to say no. A part of us wants to find real and reasonable solutions to the state budget crisis. We can easily blame our legislators for irresponsible spending, but the fact remains, we voted them in. And, of course, the economy has not been cooperative. In many ways, their spending reflected what many citizens have continued to do: spend and borrow, only to lose their jobs and homes as the economy turned sour.

What to do? We think state Propositions 1A-1F, on the May 19 ballot, are not the answers. All six come in the aftermath of our frazzled legislators’ finalizing the budget last February - seven months late. The propositions as a whole bid to raise our taxes over four years (1A) while shifting pots of money promised for preschool education (1D) and mental health services (1E) into the general fund to make up a multibillion-dollar deficit. Meanwhile, 1C would promote more gambling on the state lottery and commits future profits toward the general budget. 1F prevents legislator pay raises during deficit years.

1A is plainly deceptive. Calling for "restrictions on the state budget process," it would establish a 12.5 percent reserve fund to "stabilize" the budget and restrict spending even in good economic years. Sounds responsible. But the increased state taxes recently passed would be extended another two years under 1A. Then, in a cynical effort to get 1A support from the powerful state teachers' union, legislators added "Education Funding. Payment Plan" under 1B, which requires supplemental payments to school districts to address recent budget cuts. But the Legislature, as the League of Women Voters pointed out, can restore education funds on its own, in a more straightforward way. Because 1B is tied to 1A, passage is moot if 1A goes down.

1C is especially egregious, allowing the state to issue $5 billion in bonds that it would borrow from future lottery profits. Considering the state's poor credit rating, this could be easier said than done. Not only does it take money from education, 1C also gives $1 million a year to the state Office of Problem Gambling. Huh?

1D and 1E are shell games, taking money from children and the mentally ill to fund the general budget while creating the illusion that these groups would still be adequately funded. Short-sighted and clearly stopgap approaches, these measures deserve your dismissal.

1F is a gratuitous, populist move that promises no pay raises to legislators during budget deficit years. We say no here. A better proposal might be no pay for anybody in the State Capitol for each day past budget deadline.

So what is the solution? As far as we can tell, the best option is old-fashioned belt-tightening and living within our means. It simply means painful cutting until we have a balanced budget. Then we work hard to build a better economy and avoid the spending sprees of boom budget years that made our state go bust.

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