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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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Morning Forum audience hears tales of our ‘dysfunctional’ nation’s capital


Photo By: Kathryn Tomaino/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Kathryn Tomaino/ Special To The Town Crier

National correspondent Karen Tumulty said government gridlock in Washington, D.C., has progressively worsened over her 30 years on the beat.

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post, offered “The View from the Washington, D.C., Beltway” in a Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation April 2.

Government, according to Tumulty, has become increasingly dysfunctional during the 30 years she has covered politics.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed a bipartisan committee to address the projected shortfall in the Social Security system. Despite the complex and politically hazardous task, Democrats and Republicans came together in an impressive show of bipartisanship, Tumulty said. Reconciling the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill took only two days, she added, and within three months of the release of the commission’s report, Reagan signed the bill that would ensure Social Security’s solvency in the coming decades.

Over the next 20 years, bipartisan efforts produced tax reform, welfare reform and trade bills. Tumulty offered several explanations for why such cooperation is virtually “unimaginable” in Washington today.

The biggest change, Tumulty noted, is the great division within the country.

“We used to have a four-party system: conservative Republicans, moderate Republicans, conservative Democrats, liberal Democrats,” she said. But now, “no Republican in Congress has a more liberal voting record than the most conservative Democrat.”

Furthermore, she added, because of partisan redistricting, few swing districts remain.

Such changes have made compromise increasingly difficult. To exemplify the consequences of the division, Tumulty pointed to the failure of Congress to pass a meaningful gun control law, even in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings. Recalling the fate of highly respected former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who was “primaried” because of his willingness to compromise with Democrats, she said many in Congress fear jeopardizing their jobs if they anger the National Rifle Association.

Tumulty also identified changes in the media as a polarizing factor. Now people get their news from media outlets that “reinforce what they already believe,” she said, and increasingly partisan news stations focus more on opinion and commentary than on objective reporting.

Tumulty urged American voters to reward rather than punish their representatives for compromising with the other side of the aisle so that Congress will become more productive. Otherwise, she said, we’ll see more of the same.

Although we’ll continue to complain about our worthless politicians, she concluded, we’ll have only ourselves to blame for government gridlock.

Morning Forum is a members-only lecture series held at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit www.morningforum.org.

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