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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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Voters renew annual library district tax


Town Crier File Photo
Voters last week approved renewal of a $33.66 annual tax for the Santa Clara County Library District, which includes the Los Altos main, left, and Woodland libraries.

A mail-in ballot measure to renew a Santa Clara County Library District tax overwhelmingly passed last week. Needing two-thirds approval, Measure A received 81 percent of the vote.

More than 48,000 residents in 267 precincts within the library district voted in favor of the renewal Aug. 27, which extends for 20 years an annual $33.66 tax per single-family home. Specific voting results for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills were not available by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In late June, the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the measure, five days after a similar symbolic vote – also unanimous – by the Los Altos Hills City Council.

“(The vote) shows that all the people who use the library system throughout the county appreciate what we have,” said Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper, the council’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board.

Los Altos librarian Jane Cronkhite added that the favorable vote was a crucial step in the library district’s ability to maintain its level of service.

“I think we have excellent services at the library, and I’m just happy we’ll have them for another 20 years,” Cronkhite said. “I’m just really grateful to the community.”

Cronkhite delivered a presentation to the city council in June outlining the effects on the district library system if the measure failed to meet its two-thirds benchmark for renewal. Among other things, Cronkhite noted at that time, some libraries would have been forced to reduce staff and hours of operation, while also facing the possibility of eliminating the district’s book mobile and youth reading programs.

In addition, Cronkhite said at the time, all Measure A tax dollars raised within a particular city are “returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city.”

Locally, Cronkhite added, the loss of Measure A funding would have eliminated offerings like the library’s summer reading program, which had more than 1,000 participants – children and adults – this year.

“Those are the types of things that keep people reading and keep families reading together,” she said, noting that the annual tax funds approximately 18 percent of the library district’s annual budget.

Los Altos Library Commissioner Darwin Poulos, also a member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community, told the Town Crier that the library group was confident the measure would pass the test with Los Altos and Los Altos Hills voters.

“There was no genuine concern at all about Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – we knew (local voters) would pass this,” he said. “Our concern was with some of the other communities in the district, who maybe saw this as another tax. That’s why it was important to stress to voters that this was just a renewal.”

Pepper concluded that the vote showed that residents consider the library system a boon for their communities, noting that “it’s great that we get to maintain what we have here.”

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