Thu05052016

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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Polarizing but practical


courtesy of Nissan
The 2013 Nissan Juke offers 188 horsepower. The car’s fuel- efficiency ratings are 25 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

We usually drive our press cars for a week, allowing any vehicle that makes a bad first impression plenty of time to redeem itself.

That was definitely the case with the little 2013 Nissan Juke we drove recently.

The styling of the car is what we charitably call “polarizing.”

At the Saturday morning gearhead gathering at Main Street Cafe & Books, our friends just shook their heads in disbelief at the car’s appearance. However, at least three different times during the week, I noticed young people on the verge of driving age poke their parents and point to the car with grins on their faces. We’ll leave you to make up your mind about which side of that fence you’re on.

However, by Wednesday we were looking forward to driving the car for errands and outings, because it seemed to fit our local lifestyle nicely. It’s well suited to Nissan’s description of it as an urban crossover, and two incidents illustrate that point.

On a Saturday night we drove to Palo Alto for dinner and a movie, hampered a bit by the fact that Genie’s still getting around on a walker after leg surgery. Hoping to find a convenient location, we were circling the block when we saw a large BMW trying to fit into a tight parking space in front of the restaurant. Pulling up behind, we waited patiently until the driver gave up after four tries. With the short wheelbase and tight turning radius, we sailed head-on into the space, backed up and were done.

The following Tuesday, needing some flats of flowers for the yard, we drove to the plant nursery in Palo Alto. With the rear seats down, this little car was more than spacious enough to swallow a day’s worth of plantings.

Even with the short wheelbase of this car, the hot little engine, manual transmission and torque-vectoring system to overcome front-wheel-drive handling issues make it enormously fun to drive.

On the interior, fit and finish are nicely done, though the quirkiness of the design carries through to the interior trim.

After a week of driving, the only thing we couldn’t quite warm up to was the price ($24,000 base, $26,555 with Sport Package), which is more comparable to statement subcompacts such as the Fiat 500 Abarth and Mini Cooper S than to cost-efficient subcompacts like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. Performance puts it comfortably into the first group, though looks and packaging are more comparable to the second group.

What we liked: All-around utility in a small package; excellent handling and driving performance; good fuel efficiency.

What we disliked: Not the prettiest car on the street; price is high for the small size of the package.

Bottom line: A fun and practical automobile if you find the styling quirky rather than off-putting.

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