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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LAH open space stewardship gets green light


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The proposed 2013-2014 Los Altos Hills budget includes ,000 for open space stewardship. Thistles and piles of trash, like those found at O’Keefe preserve, above, populate some of the towns open spaces.

With more than 157 acres of town-owned open space preserves in Los Altos Hills, some residents argue that more weeds than people populate the areas.

Yellow starthistle, French broom and stinkweed are just a few of the offenders that residents claim deter them from enjoying the public spaces. A new stewardship program spearheaded by the Los Altos Hills Open Space Committee may uproot the thorny invaders.

The committee proposed that the city allocate $50,000 annually for invasive species management, native habitat protection, fire hazard reduction and erosion control in three of the town’s largest open spaces: O’Keefe Lane Preserve, Byrne Preserve and Juan Prado Mesa Preserve. After the Los Altos Hills City Council approves the 2013-2014 budget this summer, councilmembers plan to authorize a request for proposal to solicit a professional contractor for the work.

The new stewardship program is not only about eradicating weeds, it also aims to reinvent open spaces into valuable “town jewels,” according to Open Space Committee member Nancy Couperus. She said the committee has been lobbying the council to fund cleanup and restoration efforts at the open spaces since 2007.

Although the town currently performs periodic mowing in the preserves and the Parks and Recreation Department hosts pathways cleanups, a contractor with specialized experience in open-space management and community outreach is needed to ensure proper care, Couperus said. She envisions a group like Acterra, a nonprofit environmental agency that currently manages Redwood Grove, receiving the contract.

“The intent is to enhance its attractiveness for local residents in line with the town’s general plan,” said Couperus, who added that funding would improve O’Keefe Lane Preserve and other open spaces by opening opportunities for walking, jogging and bird watching.

In the future, the committee hopes to forge other partnerships for open-space management. Committee members are applying for a grant from the Santa Clara Water District to restore Purissima Creek and plan to approach the fire district about coordinating additional brush cleanup.

Residents voted in 2002 to enact an ordinance preventing the sale or development of town-owned open spaces without a vote.

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