Fri05062016

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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LA Forward explores San Brunos city plan


Photo By: Courtesy of City of San Bruno
Photo Courtesy Of City Of San Bruno Participants at a Los Altos Forward-sponsored meeting discussed San Bruno’s Transit Corridor, shown above on the city’s website, as a possibility for Los Altos.

The city of San Bruno’s new big-picture civic planning process could inspire Los Altos to follow suit – or at least that’s what some members of Los Altos Forward believe.

During an event last week organized by Los Altos Forward – the grassroots, nonprofit organization that promotes ways to increase downtown vibrancy – a group of local residents, including two former city mayors and three city councilmembers from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, joined Los Altos Forward member Kim Cranston for a presentation on how San Bruno engaged stakeholders to create a roadmap for future development and growth in the city.

“Hopefully Los Altos will do something like (San Bruno’s plan) to engage the community in the visioning and planning process,” said Cranston, a downtown property owner and activist. “We can learn best practices from other communities to gather some DNA from those examples to figure out what is best for Los Altos.”

Aaron Aknin, former planner for the city of San Bruno, shared insight into how the city initiated its comprehensive general plan. In addition to securing an Environmental Impact Report and $500,000 from the city council for plans, the project leaders organized a steering committee and coordinated numerous workshops and design charettes to include residents in the process.

“As people saw that we were responding to their concerns, their buy-in increased,” Aknin noted.

Although building a critical mass of support for the city’s development plans was key, Aknin emphasized the importance of synchronization with economic reality. He said his team didn’t want to generate something that was never going to be built – a fear that stifles many stakeholders from investing in planning projects. As components of the overall plan, the San Bruno team developed design guidelines and zoning and transportation maps.

Cranston said the goal of the Los Altos Forward meeting was to prompt dialogue on how a community-driven plan could benefit Los Altos.

“If you don’t have an overall plan, you don’t know where you’re going,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re taking the Sarah Winchester approach to development … one block at a time, one room at a time.”

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