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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Fallen Leaf neighbors want to be left alone: Other Voices

The Stevens Creek Trail has become a touchy subject among many South Los Altos property owners.

A 2008 feasibility study determined that the best route for continuing the trail from Mountain View was via Fremont Avenue to Grant Road and Foothill Expressway. Somehow this has morphed into a possible route down Fallen Leaf Lane. It sounds innocent until you discover that one of the city’s options is to use the easement (approximately 9 feet) for sidewalks and bike lanes from each side of the street.

The city easement contains tall oak, redwood and pine trees that were planted decades ago. Rose bushes, flowers, irrigation and more have been lovingly maintained and improved to enhance the rural look of the neighborhood. Can you imagine your easement turned into a sidewalk?

Sidewalks? Whoa there, city officials! The founders of Los Altos wanted to keep the rural feel of the town. Mind you, when my family moved into our current home on Fallen Leaf Lane in January 1960, there was an orchard across the street, Fremont had no median, there was a railroad track where Foothill Expressway is and we rode cardboard sleds on the summer oat grass down the hill from the top of Arboretum Driven to the bottom, where Interstate 280 is now.

Fast forward to the meeting at Grant Park June 18. I stopped to ask an elderly couple if they needed help with their walkers. “No, thank you, we can manage. We had to come – how could the city do this?” was their reply. These are stewards of yesteryear and their successors, the young families with the same mindset that were drawn to this neighborhood because it is not a cookie-cutter master plan of tract homes, sidewalks and bright streetlights.

At the meeting, Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said the proposed 60-foot widening for sidewalks and bike lanes on Fallen Leaf Lane was no longer under consideration. However, green-painted bike lanes, narrowed intersections with sidewalks and plantings and other designs are still under consideration – just to accommodate thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who would potentially use the trail.

I spoke with a Sunnyvale resident after the meeting and asked what Sunnyvale residents thought of the trail. After several promptings, he admitted that even though they have sidewalks, they don’t want bike lanes or the loss of street parking.

From the proposal for a roundabout at Fallen Leaf Lane and Fremont Avenue to the Stevens Creek Trail, the city’s lack of timely communication with residents begs the questions: What has happened to the Los Altos we fell in love with? Doesn’t our beleaguered neighborhood deserve a break?

Bonnie Osborne is a Fallen Leaf Lane resident.

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