Fri05062016

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 Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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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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Trapped: Haugh About That?

Searing heat swirled in a whirling mass, engulfing my soaking body like an overzealous sauna even the devil couldn’t handle. Looking into the mirror, penny-sized droplets of perspiration trickled down my face. Choking from the intensity, I was sure I was about to die.

It started as a typical Wednesday morning in July. Not wanting to miss a minute of our precious time together, I rode along with my daughter, Michelle, to her various business appointments in Los Angeles.

“Mom, are you sure you’re going to be OK?” my sweet child asked, parking the car. “You can come in with me.”

“Yeah, honey,” I responded confidently. “I have calls to make. Just leave the window open.”

“So, you’ll watch my purse?”

As I tipped an affirmative nod in her direction, she closed the door, aimed her key in my direction and jaunted off.

At first, a cool breeze tickled my head and lazily danced with my hair. But 15 minutes later, I found myself wondering how much longer she was going to take. The Southern California sun was now blazing directly overhead, turning the car’s interior into a firebox.

“Man, I’m getting hot,” I stewed. “Maybe I should get out.”

Just 4 feet away, a bright forest of multicolored impatiens flourished in the cool shade of the towering building. Flipping the button to release the lock, I recalled something about a purse and Michelle pointing her key at the car. Sure she’d armed it, I knew a horrendous sound would blare if I opened the door, so I changed my mind.

“Oh, God! Now what do I do?” I cried, liquefying further into a puddle of profuse sweat.

Fifteen minutes became 30, then 45. Thoughts of being incinerated slapped me silly as I poured bottled water down the front of my dress and shoulders. No sooner did it hit my skin than it evaporated into the sweltering air.

Believing I’d go completely loony if I didn’t do something quickly, I pulled my upper body through the window, but the high-noon temperature was just as hot outside as it was in. Sliding back in, the feeling of entrapment terrified me. Just as I was about to have a panic attack, I noticed Michelle casually exiting the building.

“Hurry!” I screamed. “Unlock the door. I can’t stand it any longer.”

Now, I’ve been told I’m crazy at times, but the look on her face said I was certifiable.

“What’s the matter?” she yelled, running to let me out. Tumbling first into the gutter, I quickly ran for shade.

“Mom, the car was unlocked this whole time!” she giggled.

“What? But I saw you lock it,” I yelped, horrified.

Bursting into laughter, she wiped the drenched wisps of hair out of my eyes, and said, “I was unlocking it. I thought you might want to walk around.”

Driving away with the air conditioner blasting my face, I thought about all the times I’ve allowed myself to get trapped either emotionally or physically just because I didn’t want to bother someone. Worrying about my effect on another has a debilitating way of crippling my decisions, thus blocking me from reaching my highest potential. A need for change was overdue. While I can’t control what others may think, I can be true to myself.

To reach my divine destiny, I have to be authentic to my God-given wings. It’s possible some nerves may be wrangled with the way I flutter, but if I can soar among the flowers of life’s beautiful garden, in and out of the shade, then it’s well worth it.

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