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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Prayer Breakfast speakers discuss the power of faith


Photo By: Town Crier Staff Photo
Photo Town Crier Staff Photo

Three speakers from different parts of the world and diverse careers came together at Thursday’s Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast in Santa Clara to share a common thread: How faith has had a profound impact on their lives.

Sanjay Poonen, a high-tech executive born in India, discussed how prayer helps in his leadership role. Jaida Im, a native of Korea, revealed how healing through prayer inspired a new life committed to helping others as founder of Freedom House. And Mark Joseph, a film producer and author born and raised in Japan, talked of prayer working in big, small and often random ways, and how power, influence and money should be used in the service of others.

Poonen, a Los Altos resident and executive at SAP Inc., spoke of a 42-year-old friend who felt tired one day, lay down to rest and died of a heart attack. It reminded him to “live my every day as if it were the last of my life.” Our days, he said, should be fulfilling, productive and dedicated to God.

Im recalled her 10-year struggle with severe migraine headaches that led her to the brink of suicide.

“I lost hope and the will to live,” she said of the horrific time, just five years ago.

So she prayed. A week later, a pastor came to her and prayed for her healing. Within a short time, she was healthy again.

“Everything purged out of my body,” she said. “My mind was crystal clear for the first time in a decade.”

She has not had a headache since October 2008.

A pharmacist in her previous career, Im was inspired to pursue new work helping others. She took on the pervasive issue of human trafficking. Im said this “modern-day slavery” is quite common locally.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is a big hub for human trafficking activity,” she said.

So in 2010, she founded Freedom House, which provides homes and after-care services for women rescued from human trafficking. Her nonprofit organization provides basic needs – shelter, food and clothing, Im said, along with “lots of love and care.”

Joseph, who worked on the development and marketing of such films as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Passion of the Christ,” recalled how prayer has worked for him in ways both big and small. He found himself reading about Mayan culture and thought “Maya” would be a good name for the latest addition to his family, a baby girl. When he brought it up to his wife, she gave him a strange look. It turns out, Joseph said, that God had told his wife to tell him their new daughter would be named Maya.

In another instance, Joseph received a speeding ticket in Dixon, Ill., and was ordered to appear in court in person. Dixon was former President Ronald Reagan’s hometown. While there, Joseph immersed himself in Reagan’s legacy. His latest project is a biopic of Reagan.

Joseph said God’s hand also guided him into fixing a stubborn piece of equipment just minutes before an important presentation to investors.

“I believe prayer changes circumstances,” he said.

Joseph spent much of his time talking about using power in the service of others, describing how influence naturally follows power.

“Without power, there is little ability to influence,” he said, paraphrasing from the Bible.

Noting that “God shakes his head” at the selfish, Joseph said, “Power, influence and money are not ends to themselves. They’re fleeting. They have to be used in the moment.”

Joseph urged the 430 or so guests at last week’s breakfast to patronize films that best reflect their own values. If enough people do so, he said, Hollywood would respond.

The Silicon Valley Prayer breakfast, in its 19th year, was founded by a group of Los Altos couples in 1995. Los Altos resident Skip Vaccarello, who hosted the event and served as master of ceremonies, is chairman of the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast Leadership Team.

For more information, visit www.svpb.net.

Speakers at the annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, from left, Jaida Im, Mark Joseph and Sanjay Poonen, shared how faith has profoundly influenced their lives and careers.

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