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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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All-in Eagles find success in first year : Los Altos leads league


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos High’s Ian McColl, right, and Nathan Smith go up for the block against Cupertino last week. The Eagles won the match.

The Los Altos High boys volleyball team may lack experience, but the Eagles don’t have commitment issues.

Team members played a major role in the formation of the first-year program, raising funds after administrators told them there was no money in the athletic budget for the sport. And they train at 6 a.m. because the badminton and gymnastics teams occupy the gym after school.

“They didn’t like it at first, but they’re getting used to it,” coach Dave Radford said of the predawn practices. “They’re always there.”

That dedication seems to have served Los Altos well in its inaugural season. With two regular-season matches remaining, the Eagles find themselves atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings at 10-2.

If Los Altos wins tonight at Saratoga (5-5 league) and Friday at home against Fremont (8-3), the team is assured the division title and a berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs.

Did Radford ever imagine the upstart Eagles (10-6 overall) would be in such a position?

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But after the preseason, I sat down with each player and told them where they fit in and asked them what their goals were, and they all said their goal was to win league – that’s been the mindset.”

Not even a slow start deterred Los Altos. The Eagles dropped four of their first five matches, but only one was within the division.

“The guys knew more about the league than I did,” Radford said. “They were confident that when we got into league, we’d face challenges but still be victorious in most of our matches.”

Both of Los Altos’ league losses went five games. The Eagles avenged the loss to Cupertino – sweeping the Pioneers last week – and hope to pay back Fremont Friday in a match that may decide the league champ.

“It’s going to come down to will and who makes more smart plays and the least amount of mistakes,” Radford said.

The coach tries to reduce his team’s mistakes by stressing volleyball IQ and noted that his players are getting smarter by the match.

“They’ve gone from elementary kids to seniors in college as far as learning the game,” Radford said.

Perhaps no player has improved more than senior middle blocker Ian McColl.

“He’s woken up the last five or six matches,” Radford said prior to last week’s home win over Cupertino, in which the 6-foot-4 McColl notched 13 kills. “He’s seeing everything in front of him.”

Radford praised assistant coach David Moore for his work with McColl and fellow senior Spencer Simonides, a 6-8 middle blocker who’s also playing tennis for Los Altos this spring.

The Eagles are not only imposing in the middle but can do damage on the outside as well. Opposite hitter Alex Blackburn, a senior, tops the team in kills and outside hitter David Stien is second. Stien, a freshman, recorded a team-high 15 kills against Cupertino April 24. “He’s done great,” Radford said.

Another ninth-grader, setter Nathan Smith, has surpassed 500 assists.

“He’s running the offense with flying colors,” Radford said. “I couldn’t have asked for more from a freshman – or a senior.”

Three seniors not previously mentioned have contributed to the cause as well – outside hitter John Dai and defensive stalwarts Mathias McAfee and Paul Bergevin. The coach said Dai has racked up 74 kills (despite missing four weeks with an injury), libero McAfee “has become our defensive guru” (team-best 241 digs) and Bergevin has “lit up the back row” in limited action.

In honor of Senior Night, Los Altos created a theme for Friday’s finale against Fremont (6:45 p.m. start). Titled “Stash Bash,” the players are trying to grow mustaches for the occasion and may hand out paper ones to fans, according to Radford, who said his facial hair will be “in full bloom.”

For more photos of the Los Altos High School boys volleyball team, click here.

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