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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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Local college student blends filmmaking with service


Courtesy of Apala Egan
Los Altos resident Hannah Hansen volunteers as a running coach for elementary school girls and helps the disabled through involvement with Abilities United.

The service bug bit Los Altos resident Hannah Hansen in middle school.

Hansen, a recent high school graduate who now attends Brigham Young University, volunteered at a number of local philanthropies through the National Charity League, a mother-daughter service organization. At the Ronald McDonald House, she organized birthday parties for sick patients and their families, which whetted her appetite for further service work with children.

More recently, Hansen has volunteered with Girls on the Run, a physical activity-based development program for girls in third to sixth grades. As a running coach, she regularly taught lessons about health and self-esteem. Approximately twice a week, Hansen helped train the girls for a 5K race held every May.

“The media is not always kind to girls,” she said. “It is important for them to develop positive thinking.”

This year Hansen volunteered at the nonprofit Abilities United, a place where developmentally disabled children and adults learn skills that help them integrate into society. She worked with young people in an after-school program, helping those with Down syndrome or on the autism spectrum.

“It was probably the first time that I came in direct contact with autistic children,” she said.

Hansen didn’t stop there – she made a documentary film addressing special-needs youth. She and classmate Nikki Kashani produced the film, “The Path to Integration.” It was shown at the Palo Alto International Film Festival and the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest in San Jose, which awarded them second place.

“Babies and toddlers generally have early-intervention programs, but nobody hears about teens and preteens,” she said. “You really see a lot of people 8 to 19 with special needs. They are our peers and I can relate to them. They are the lost demographic.”

Trained staff members and volunteers work with the youth, but funding to hire skilled professionals is an ongoing challenge.

“If budgets are cut, then certain programs can no longer be offered and there is danger of a child regressing,” she said.

When she is not occupied with service or schoolwork, Hansen enjoys playing the piano and violin. At BYU, she plans to pursue her passions of film, photography and communications – and service.

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