Wed05042016

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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Foothill Covenant increases visibility with facilities renovation


Photo By:
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Pastor Hans-Erik Nelson opens the new handcrafted wood doors, accented by stained glass panels, to welcome all to Foothill Covenant Church. Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier

When Pastor Hans-Erik Nelson first came to Foothill Covenant Church in fall 2011, one of his first meetings dealt with growing the congregation. It seemed part of the problem was the appearance of the Los Altos church’s facilities and grounds.

A parishioner at that meeting commented, “No one even knows the church is here. They can’t see it.”

“It doesn’t look like a church behind all the bushes and fences,” said another.

So Nelson and the other church leaders are doing something about it. Utilizing a $200,000 reserve fund, the church is in the middle of an extensive facilities and grounds renovation to increase visibility – both literally and figuratively.

A big part of the plan was addressing the unintentional camouflage of the 50-year-old site, brought on by overgrown trees and facilities than had weathered and darkened with age.

The trees along Oak Avenue, planted for shade, had grown and spread until they obscured much of the view of the Church grounds for passersby whether walking or driving. The weathered wooden fence that protected the children’s playground resembles a dreary cage rather than a cheerful play area.

The buildings at the corner, originally the parsonage, now a residence for returning missionaries, blended into the neighborhood but hid the heart of the property - the church itself is set back on the site.

These issues are changing for the better, thanks to the work of a facility upgrade team led by Bob Matthews and Stan Ecklund. The key objective was to “let the sunshine in,” they said, to communicate their open and welcoming community.

The rejuvenation efforts are already clearly visible. If you are walking or driving by Foothill Covenant along Oak, look past the “Pardon Our Dust!” notice and you will see obvious improvements.

The Ladies Lounge better accommodates young families with comfortable chairs for relaxation and privacy for mothers who are breast-feeding. A matching changing-table makes necessary diaper changes easy on the back. The Sunday School area is bright and colorful, filled with toys and activities.

Nelson and his united parish invite the community to view the transformation as it takes place and to step in and enjoy the new ambiance. Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m.

Foothill Covenant Church is located at 1555 Oak Ave. For more information, visit foothillcov.org.

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