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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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New fund supplements standard cancer treatments with healing touch


Photo By:
Byrne

Loved ones held a 50th birthday party for Los Altos resident Joanne Byrne last week, but the guest of honor was not there to celebrate. She died from cancer in 2011 at the age of 47.

Although the outcome of Byrne’s battle leaves friends missing her presence, her vision for providing comfort, care and companionship to single women during cancer treatment has been fulfilled.

To honor her memory, friends and family launched the Joanne Byrne Fund, under the auspices of the Los Altos Community Foundation, during the celebration.

“It was really her dream,” said Byrne’s best friend, Gabrielle Babin of Santa Clara. “She realized that she was lucky to have support. … There are lots of single women without this support.”

During her 2 1/2-year struggle with breast cancer, Byrne sought relief via energy therapy and massage – services not typically covered by insurance.

“The power of touch heals the body as well as the spirit,” said massage therapist Christina Keith, who treated Byrne.

Keith added that the healing therapies benefited Byrne as well as herself.

“I always left feeling better than when I arrived,” she said.

According to Byrne’s sister, Mary Hernandez-Byrne, the fund will call on practitioners and providers who “come highly recommended for their skills but equally for their heart” to identify single women who live or work in Los Altos, Mountain View or Palo Alto and might benefit from the fund.

Grants of $600 enable recipients to choose services such as massage, guided imagery and/or energy therapy that some cancer sufferers believe ease the pain and side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation.

To alleviate what Hernandez-Byrne described as the “loneliness and stigma of a single person in a couple’s world,” the fund will also support recipients by providing transportation to treatments and appointments.

Donors have already contributed $100,000 to the fund.

“This is by far the most successful (memorial fund) we’ve had,” said Ray Lave, executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation. “I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, it’s just clear that it’s a great asset.”

To donate to or for more information on the Joanne Byrne Fund, visit losaltoscf.org/joannebyrnefund.

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