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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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Los Altos fowl festival: Tour de Coop returns for second year Sept. 14


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Tour de Coop will showcase Casey Carsten’s backyard chickens.

Approximately 1,000 people pedaled their way around the Los Altos area to meet the exuberant owners of backyard chickens during the inaugural 2012 Tour de Coop. This year’s event is shaping up to be even larger.

Scheduled 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14, the Tour de Coop will showcase 34 chicken coops in neighborhoods on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, according to organizer Scott Vanderlip, a Los Altos Hills resident.

In addition to more backyard chicken-coop owners – and chickens – for participants to squawk about, the self-guided bicycle tour will include coop stops boasting beehives, cistern water systems, organic composting systems and backyard gardens.

After a successful launch last year, Vanderlip said expanding the tour to include different forms of urban homesteading seemed like a good complement.

“It’s amazing what you can do, how sustainable how you can be on a quarter-acre lot. … It doesn’t require acres of land to grow, to have coops and bees,” he said. “A lot of these should be pretty inspirational to other people.”

The 2013 Tour de Coop offers five routes for participants to cycle – ranging from family-friendly loops of 5-10 miles to a more challenging loop of 60 miles that runs from Menlo Park to San Jose. Although some coopsters may offer lemonade or baked goods for sale, Vanderlip encouraged participants to prepare accordingly for the ride.

Los Altos resident Casey Carsten said she is eager to share with tour participants how seamlessly her chicken coop and bees meld with her lifestyle.

A proponent of the quality, taste and appearance of fresh eggs, Carsten said she dreamed of owning chickens much of her life and finally made the leap to ownership after attending last year’s tour.

“I had this feeling that it would be always very messy and smelly,” she said. “But you just clean it up and compost and put it on the vegetable garden. … It’s a cycle. It’s kind of satisfying.”

Chicken ownership has been enlightening for Carsten and husband Jack, an avid gardener, who have discovered unexpected benefits.

Instead of ushering melon rinds, carrot tops and food trimmings down the garbage disposal or into the trash compactor, Carsten feeds them to her chickens. Her six hens deliver three to four eggs daily in shades of brown, green, blue and white, prompting wide eyes and smiles from her visiting grandchildren.

“It’s the first thing they do when they come over,” said Carsten, describing how her grandchildren flock to her coop to check on Tinkerbell and Batman – the names they gave two of the hens – and examine their nests for eggs. “They get so excited when they find them.”

For more information, visit tourdecoop.org.


Tour de Coop preview - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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