Wed05042016

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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Aug. 15 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Grant program keeps giving

The council voted 3-2 to continue support for the town’s Community Service Grants program. The council awarded $65,000 in grants for the 2012-2013 fiscal year – ranging from $800 to $10,000 – to 16 community service agencies.

In a discussion initiated by Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan, who expressed concerns about the town’s role in the “business of philanthropy,” councilmembers weighed in on whether the grants were an appropriate use of funds.

“I in no way want to degrade or downplay the role and importance you play in the role of our residents – this is not what it’s about,” Corrigan told representatives of the community groups in attendance. “The problem I’m having is the fundamental problem of taking taxpayer dollars and giving them away.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck and councilmen John Radford and Rich Larsen countered that the grant program was a necessary supplement to the town’s “meat and potatoes” services like roads and sewers.

Larsen described the program as a “community resource,” adding that the health, social and community services provided by the grantees “contribute to quality of life.”

LAH joins Lehigh appeal

The council voted unanimously to add the city’s name to a Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District amicus brief that supports an appeal by an environmental group targeting the nearby Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.’s Permanente Plant.

The group, Bay Area for a Clean Environment (formerly No Toxic Air), is appealing a Superior Court ruling that upheld the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow vested rights for mining at the cement quarry in February 2011.

The pending appeal contends that the county board illegally granted vested mining rights to Lehigh, allowing the expansion of mining operations on the 2,656-acre quarry without the need for additional county approval or conditional-use permits.

To build a united front, councilmembers noted that they hope to urge at least one neighboring city – Los Altos or Cupertino – to sign on to the open space district’s brief with them.

New art committee launches

The Art in Public Places Standing Committee is officially on the books as Los Altos Hills’ 13th town committee.

Following four months of discussion and planning, the council approved the addition of the committee June 20 and added it to the roster this month.

Charged with identifying potential sites for art in town and raising funds for acquisition, the committee will shepherd proposals to the council for approval.

“We love our town and just want to make it more beautiful,” said committee member Karen Druker.

Six other residents will join Druker on the committee, and Corrigan will serve as council liaison.

Zoning change eases secondary-dwelling parking

Meeting the town’s requirement for an additional parking space within property setback boundaries can be a squeeze – literally – for Los Altos Hills residents, who are already mandated to maintain a minimum of four unobstructed off-street parking spaces for their primary dwelling.

“Parking compliance and available development area are often an issue for proposed Secondary Dwelling Units,” Community Development Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a staff report to the council. “The proposed Ordinance addresses both issues directly.”

Under the Municipal Code amendment passed by the council Aug. 15, the parking space for a secondary-dwelling unit no longer needs to be unobstructed. Pedro noted that the change could reduce the amount of hardscaping needed to accommodate the secondary-dwelling-unit code.

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