Thu05052016

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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No mistakes: Haugh About That?

After 30 years of retirement, I found myself once again working as a D.S.S. (Derriere Sanitation Specialist). In other words, I was back to changing diapers, only this time it wasn’t some sweet little baby – it was my 95-year-old father.

When my dad moved in with me in 2011, I knew there would be challenges for both of us. For him, it would be his complete loss of independence and the agonizing feeling that he was a burden. For me, it was the constant fear of making a mistake. Our time was limited, and I wanted his remaining days perfect.

All went without a hitch the day he arrived – until the caregiver left at 4 p.m. Then, I was in charge. Not only did my father need to be spoon-fed, medications administered and helped with his tooth brushing, but there was also that stack of Depends sitting next to his bed.

Standing over his crippled body, a powerful, cascading avalanche of fear crashed down. When I flunked with my first child, Michelle, my mom swooped in to the rescue. Now I was all alone.

Knowing his daughter was about to see him in his entirety, my poor father’s body stiffened and his face shriveled up like an apple doll drying too long in the hot sun. Hoping to make light of the situation, I giggled, “OK, Dad. Close your eyes and just think of me as some cute nurse. This will be over in no time.”

After detaching the plastic strips, I guided him onto his side and yanked off the old underwear with no problem. I struggled to get the clean one positioned just right. After several frustrating minutes that felt more like a lifetime, I was sure I had it.

Rolling him over, I easily fastened the left side, but when it came to the right, there was a gaping hole between the two ends and a huge expanse of white skin exposed.

“Now what do I do?” I cried inside.

Sweat dripped down my body like some form of Chinese water torture. The thought of redoing the entire thing became overwhelming. Not knowing what else to do, I quickly ran for the bolt of electrical tape and secured him back together.

“Dad, I’m so sorry,” my lip quivered, tears dribbling down my cheeks. “This will hold you together for now. I’ll get it right tomorrow.”

Smiling sweetly, he said, “Honey, you did just fine.”

His words hugged my heart as I left the room. I’d wanted each day to go smoothly from start to finish. Being my idiotic human self where blunders abound was not part of the plan. But I remembered his gentle words when I was too hard on myself.

“Your life is all part of a beautiful universal plan where God makes no mistakes,” he said. “The error comes in not seizing the opportunity to learn from your mishaps so that you can reach your highest potential.”

I know I’ll always cringe when I think I’ve done something stupid. Old habits die hard. But with each new faux pas (and there will be many), I hope to grab the opportunity to learn something new and spectacular.

The best classroom we ever attend is the one we wake up to each day – our life. Diapers, electrical tape and all.

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