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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Students helping students with conflicts at St. Nicholas School


St. Nicholas School students Alyson Perna and Mattie Carasciaro resolve a conflict on the playground with conflict manager Lauren Cheek.

The shrill of the bell fills the teeming playground at St. Nicholas School, in Los Altos Hills. Children run in all directions back to their classrooms. Three second-grade girls flag down an eighth-grade student, wearing a bright orange T-shirt with the words "Conflict Manager" across the back.

The orange shirts serve as a beacon on school grounds for those who have a conflict to resolve.

Early last August, the faculty was introduced to a conflict resolution program called "Tribes." The program focuses on building a stronger classroom community and aims to reduce stress and conflict. It is hoped that a safe emotional, physical and intellectual environment will be provided for students.

"Some parents were interested in starting a conflict resolution program and the school was very interested in doing the same," said Nicole Quinn, a second-grade teacher and Tribes coordinator at St. Nicholas.

Tribes is currently administered though Center Source Systems, in Santa Rosa. The program is used extensively in Bay Area public and private schools.

"It is a process that can be used by anyone, in any age group," said Jeanne Mancour, Tribes training services coordinator.

St. Nicholas is the first South Bay school to fully implement the Tribes program, according to Michelle Sklar, St. Nicholas publicity chairman.

"Tribes teaches students the life and communication skills necessary to build and maintain healthy relationships," said St.Nicholas principal Mary Williams.

"In addition, (Tribes) helps all students to feel safe and valued for their uniqueness."

Tribes is a step-by-step process to achieve specific goals. The students are taught four Tribes agreements: attentive listening; appreciation/no put downs; mutual respect; and the right to pass.

Students also learn a set of skills so that they may develop more long-term ways to deal effectively with conflict when it arises.

Students are taught to use I-messages to communicate and solve their problems. For example, "I feel (emotion) when (action or behavior) because (reason for emotion) and I would like (something to happen)."

Eighth-grade and fourth-grade students at St. Nicholas, elected by their peers, are trained as conflict managers. A representative from Tribes teaches the conflict mediators resolution skills.

This is part of the of the Conflict Resolution Educational Services and Training (CREST) program presented in conjunction with the Tribes program.

"The students in my class have really enjoyed having a student help them as opposed to a teacher," Quinn said. "It empowers the students to give peers support."

"I expected more conflicts but we have only had two or three. I think that it took a while for the kids to get used to having someone on the playground that could help solve conflicts, but it's been good,"said eighth-grader Lauren Cheek, a conflict manager.

Chip Kraemer, another eighth-grade conflict manager has learned from his experience.

"I have learned that I guess I don't remember as much of being a kid. I have figured out there are lots of complex problems, even with little kids. It is nice to have possible solutions."

Kraemer graduates this year from St. Nicholas, but hopes to contuine being involved in conflict resolution programs while in high school.

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