Fri05062016

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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Once-A-Year Day: A Piece of My Mind

Everyone’s entitled to be wild/ Be a child/ Be a goof/ Raise the roof/ Once a year.

– “Once-A-Year Day” from “The Pajama Game”

On the last Sunday in June, it seemed as though everyone had taken this old Broadway song to heart. It was Gay Pride Day in San Francisco, and 1.5 million people were celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier that same week invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Eighty unisex couples had married the previous day at San Francisco City Hall. The party on Sunday was, in the words of a San Jose Mercury News reporter, “like the biggest, happiest wedding reception you could imagine.”

My husband and I rode BART up to the city to attend a San Francisco Symphony program, and we were swept up in the festivities as we walked from the Civic Center BART station to Davies Symphony Hall.

As we threaded through the crowd, a conservatively dressed middle-aged fellow with a well-trimmed beard spoke to me. “Are you two a couple?” he asked, gazing from me to my husband, both in our Sunday Symphony best.

“Yes, we are.”

He broke into a beaming smile.

“It’s so great to have people like you here in support! This is such a great day! I never thought I would see this day!”

I didn’t tell him we were there for the symphony, but I wished him a wonderful afternoon.

“It will be!” he replied, as the crowd separated us.

I grabbed a Pride Guide to the festivities from a street stall and perused it while waiting for the symphony to begin. The performance was terrific – the first concert performance of the complete musical, Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” led with gusto by Bernstein’s friend and protégé, Michael Tilson Thomas. The lead singer, minor TV star Cheyenne Jackson, has an amazing vocal range and great ability to sell a song. He was also listed in the Pride Guide as one of the Celebrity Grand Marshals of the Gay Pride Parade.

At intermission, we wandered out to the balcony, from which we could see a corner of the celebration still going on at United Nations Plaza. Traffic was at a standstill on Van Ness Avenue, and people in costumes, carrying balloons, flourishing signs and holding hands were crossing below, waving up at us on the balcony. We waved back.

After the concert, we made our way through the packed throng to the BART station. We passed a group of people shouting and dancing along with a rap group on one of the side stages. We walked by another side stage where a cheerleading squad was performing acrobatic flips and pyramids.

The BART station was solid people, a big friendly mob – no pushing, no elbows, just laughter at our common sardine-hood. We inched our way to the turnstiles, where a guard was assisting people with Clipper cards – we made it through. I have never seen a BART train so crowded, but a young couple in cutaway jeans and pink tank tops jumped up and offered us their seats.

It was a party. It was raucous and joyful and sweet. There are different opinions about the Supreme Court decision and about what marriage means, but it is hard to resist something that made so many people so plainly, euphorically, unreservedly happy on a gorgeous San Francisco afternoon.

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