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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

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 Road home April 27 and...

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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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Fence repair sparks fire on Jay Street

Almost a dozen fire engines responded to a house fire on Jay Street in Los Altos yesterday (July 4) after varnish-soaked rags ignited a blaze.

No one was injured in the fire, according to resident Sam Lodestro, and although smoke damaged the entire home only a garage and toolshed were destroyed.

Lodestro said that the remnants of a fence-finishing project started the fire, which was reported by a neighbor who saw flames.

Santa Clara County fire investigator Dennis Johnsen said at the scene that the day's extreme hot weather required a two-alarm response so that firefighters could alternate, taking off equipment and cooling their core temperatures in a shelter set up down the street.

By approximately 4 p.m., firefighters were still working on the damaged garage but the area was safe for the homeowners to approach. The fire had caused the house's electrical line to drop and was initially "dancing around quite a bit, arcing," Johnsen said.

Johnsen said that varnishes and stains present a risk of spontaneous combustion when applied to cloth rags, and that the department had seen a similar case the day before, when somebody was staining a deck.

"We see maybe ten of these every summer," he said.

Rags soaked with varnish or lacquer must be hung or spread out to dry in a safe place. Evaporating chemicals create heat that can combust when rags are folded or piled.

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