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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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SFMOMA’s ’Project Los Altos’ strikes nostalgic chord with LAHS students


Photo By: Courtesy of SFMOMA
Photo Courtesy Of Sfmoma

“Drill Team Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. A video of the project is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” slated to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014.

When Los Altos High School teacher Charles Garoian’s art students approached him in 1974 with a performance-art idea they warned might “disrupt” that year’s homecoming parade, he took a deep breath.

“If you do something intelligent, I’m all for it and I’ll support you,” he told his students. “Otherwise, you’re on your own.”

Hired in 1969 by Principal Dude Angius, Garoian believed that conceptual art had an “ironical, paradoxical element that appealed to adolescents.”

After listening to his students’ idea, Garoian opted in, laboring all night on “Drill Team,” a “walking float” based on a visual pun about drilling. Students practiced marching on the football field while he shouted, “Hup one, hup two.”

Nearly four decades later, their project – “Drill Team: Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. It is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” scheduled to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014, in various venues throughout Los Altos.

SFMOMA called Garoian two months ago requesting permission to install a video of the work for “Project Los Altos.” He also plans to give a public talk about his art history classes at Los Altos High, his first teaching job.

Parade performance

The performance work was “started by art students who felt excluded by the pep girls and athletes, the marching bands and drill teams, but who got to march through the Los Altos village that day,” Garoian said. A leading performance artist and now professor of art education theory at Pennsylvania State University, he spoke with the Town Crier by phone last week.

Students marched in cadence in the mile-long parade, sporting chambray shirts and work boots. Each row carried a two-by-four, with two teens in the middle actually drilling into the boards.

The art students landed right behind two brand-new Porsches carrying the homecoming king and queen, creating a further contrast with their sight gag. Garoian told students to look serious and play it straight, because “a comedian never laughs at his own joke.” Plenty of chuckles could be heard from spectators along the parade route, though, and the school’s official drill team brought up the rear.

Garoian taught at Los Altos High for 16 years. He chronicled his experiences in “Performing Pedagogy: Toward an Art of Politics” (SUNY, 1999). He originally intended to use his first teaching job to subsidize his studio art, but he soon found the classroom to be “an extremely rewarding experience in itself.”

The Fresno native introduced “live performance art” to his classes. Springing from the Dadaist and futurist movements, performance art often uses visual puns in an “unannounced happening, sort of like a street performance,” according to Garoian.

At Los Altos High, Garoian said many performances occurred behind closed doors. In particular, he said he exposed students to artist Allan Kaprow’s popular ideas on “Happenings,” which call for using performance art “as a laboratory for experiments.”

Often, performance art occurred when students filed off buses in the morning or into the courtyard as they ate lunch at noon. Garoian said adolescents particularly benefited from conceptual art, which was “exploratory, experimental and improvisational.”

“It got them to take risks, and it got them to experiment in ways other than using drugs,” he said.

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