Thu05052016

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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Residents protest flood-detention basin at Blach

Photo Fritz Wildmoser/Special To The Town Crier A group of residents opposed to the installation of Santa Clara Valley Water District flood basins gather at Blach Junior High, one of two local sites slated for the project. One protestor called the project a "colossal waste of taxpayer money."

Neighbors of Blach Junior High School in Los Altos turned out in force last week, hoping to sink the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposal to install a flood-detention basin on the school’s athletic fields.

The water district-sponsored Permanente Creek Flood Project design workshop, held at Blach Nov. 16, drew opponents protesting the district’s plan. The design proposes building a 10-foot-deep underground basin across 7.5 acres to collect runoff in the event of a “100-year flood,” a large-magnitude flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring every year.

Water district officials consider the basin a preventive, protective measure, but workshop attendees disagreed.

“This seems like a drastic measure,” said 60-year Los Altos resident Leona Peery, 85. “I think it’s overkill. If they kept the creek clean, it wouldn’t be as severe.” “We don’t need it,” another man shouted, drawing applause from the audience.

In 2000, voters passed Measure B – the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan – designed to improve water conditions and safeguard homes, schools and businesses for 15 years. The measure provides $32 million, available through 2015, for creek restoration and flood protection.

The project area includes nearly 11 miles of Permanente Creek, beginning in the foothills above Cupertino and continuing through Los Altos and Mountain View, designed to protect approximately 1,664 properties from a major flood, improve riparian habitat and provide opportunities for trails and other recreational uses.

The proposed designs have generated criticism from residents concerned with the disruptions that could result from the construction of the basin, as well as the installation of an 8-foot-wide, 4,000-foot-long pipe required to channel excess waterflow to the Cuesta Annex in Mountain View.

Many workshop participants complained of a lack of communication regarding the proposal.

A project of such magnitude is bound to have a huge impact on the community, according to water district engineer Afshin Rouhani, who answered questions from the audience.

“This type of project requires a lot more outreach than the typical,” because of the logistical measures that would be required, Rouhani said.

In exchange for constructing the flood basin, the water district has offered to install a new soccer field at Blach, made of artificial turf but at a depth of 10 feet.

“This is going to be a sunken pit, a bowl covered with turf. It will be hot,” said Los Altos resident Cathy Martina. “Sinking the field 10 feet is significant – I hope people realize that.” Blach faculty and Los Altos School District officials approve of the water district’s plan, according to Trustee Mark Goines.

“The staff is very excited about the improvement of quality and flood protection they will get,” Goines said. “Blach School incurred $250,000 worth of damage during a minor flood in 1984, and we are very concerned about that.”

After gathering input, water district officials are scheduled to present a revised schematic plan to the school district early next year. To proceed with a final design phase, the water district must secure a majority of votes from the five school district trustees.

For more information on the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Plan, visit www.valleywater.org.

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