Thu05052016

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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Don't wish it away: Haugh About That?

Like a 5-year-old waiting to dive into a sea of birthday presents, I watched out the window in overzealous anticipation for the arrival of my daughter Jenni.

Eight years ago, my second child decided to make a pit stop in San Diego on her way home from the University of Arizona. Instead of just visiting, she grew roots and became firmly planted there. Fortunately, she finally saw the light and decided to move back to be with the ones who love her most – namely, me.

Watching her pull into the driveway, I rushed to scoop her into my arms, swaddling her like when she was a newborn in her pink, fuzzy blanket. I was beyond elated to have her home – and then I saw her car.

“What is all that?” I asked with a slight tremor in my voice.

“Can you believe it? We were able to get all my stuff home!”

With her father’s help, sitting in my driveway were two Volkswagen Jettas crammed with what looked like an overflow of someone’s belongings from the TV show “Hoarders.”

I practically choked with the fear that comes from OPC (Other People’s Clutter). I had not envisioned every nook and cranny of my clean and highly organized home to be overtaken by her belongings. It took me six months to clear out my dad’s world from my garage. It was now starting all over again.

“Jenni, you can’t be serious.”

“Oh, Mom,” she said cheerily. “I’ll be moving out again in September. It’s only for three months.”

This was true. It was a temporary situation until she began her new job as a first-grade teacher at Oak Avenue School, but I found myself thinking that day couldn’t come soon enough. I knew my pack rat would return with a few steamer trunks, but I didn’t expect her to bring the entire Titanic.

Later that evening, exhausted from stacking boxes and finding shelves for her former life, I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling as shame cultivated slow, hot tears to blanket my cheeks. I’d been beyond excited to have her come home. Why was I upset over a few personal items? Then I remembered a similar moment not long before.

I’m a creature of my own habits. I like order, knowing what to expect and when it will happen. As my dad tiptoed through his final transition, the days became painfully long. The dying process is a mystery, and I found myself dangling hopelessly on the end of a frayed tether, ashamed because I wanted it all over.

Knowing the minute he was gone that I’d want him back again, I decided to offer up a different prayer: “Please, God, don’t let me wish him away.” It was time for that prayer once again.

Realizing I’d been given a rare opportunity to have my adult child all to myself, without the interference of her other siblings, I made a vow.

Jenni, I promise I won’t become that nag you knew in your youth who barked over wet towels on the floor, dishes in the sink or shoes and empty water bottles scattered willy-nilly. I’ll close my eyes as I pass by your bedroom in the event a bomb goes off during the night while I’m sleeping, and I’ll lovingly fold the laundry you left piled on the floor. Our time together is short and I want to enjoy you. Soon you’ll leave and the house will be clean once again. And just like with your grandfather, I’ll wish I had you back here, mess and all.

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