Wed05042016

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 Page Mill Road home April 27 and cha...

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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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Food fight ahead?: City council asked to consider ban on mobile vendors near Los Altos High


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up at a food truck parked on the back side of Los Altos High School last week.

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves is seeking the city’s assistance in changing the dietary choices made by some of his students.

Groves is asking the Los Altos City Council to consider creating a city ordinance that would ban mobile food vendors on the city’s residential streets. The council was slated to discuss the matter at its Tuesday meeting – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Groves outlined a request to discuss the matter in an email to the council last week, noting that some food trucks parked near Los Altos High School serve unhealthful menu items at lunch.

“Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that cannot be served on our campus because it is unhealthy – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity,” said Groves, noting that his concern was shared by some residents living near Los Altos High.

Restrictions for food trucks?

Groves told the Town Crier that food trucks can be found daily near the school’s tennis court along Jardin Drive. He added that mobile food vendors’ presence near the campus increased when the school boosted its healthful food options.

However, unlike the popular gourmet food truck trend often seen in metropolitan areas, the mobile vendors near the high school sell items to students that can’t be found on campus – candy bars, sugary sodas, quesadillas and more. Groves said he would rather see students who leave campus for lunch patronize downtown businesses.

NEWS FoodTrucksLAHS MB2A6108
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Healthy or not?  Scool district administrators think that food truck items like quesadillas are unhealthy.

“Some of the choices within walking distance (downtown) offer healthier choices, whereas the mobile food vendors offer none,” he said, adding that the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in school lunch revenue annually because of the mobile food vendors’ presence near campus.

Groves said he hopes the city will consider an ordinance similar to one passed earlier this year by the city of Mountain View. The Mountain View ordinance prohibits mobile vendors on certain roadways, including portions of Castro and Dana streets. The ordinance also contains a distance restriction requiring mobile vendors on the public right-of-way to stay 100 feet from school boundaries.

Stemming the rise in obesity

Groves added that school districts throughout California are now offering healthful food items as a means to quell a rise in childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of obese adolescents ages 12-19 in the U.S. more than tripled – from 5 to 18 percent – between 1980 and 2010. In addition, a 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior study found that 13 percent of high school students nationwide were considered obese by CDC standards.

“One thing we do know is that if students are overweight and make bad (dietary) choices during their formative years, they’ll continue to make those same choices later in life,” said Groves, who conceded that convincing students to adopt healthier eating habits can be an uphill battle at times.

Still, Groves said vending machines on the Los Altos High campus no longer contain sodas and offer food items like baked potato chips as alternatives. While the campus does serve more teen-friendly items such as pizza, all foods sold on campus must meet or exceed federal and state nutrition standards, he added.

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