Thu05052016

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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City prepares mobile food vendor ordinance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would restrict food trucks in residential areas, including the Los Altos High School neighborhood.

Los Altos High students may soon need to find a new way to get their fill of food-truck menu items.

The Los Altos City Council last week directed City Attorney Jolie Houston to research and prepare a draft ordinance that would limit the presence of mobile food vendors in residential areas of the city. The move comes after the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) and some residents sought the city’s assistance in limiting the presence of mobile food vendors at lunch near Los Altos High.

As previously reported by the Town Crier, MVLA Superintendent Barry Groves outlined his request in an email, telling the council that the vendors offer Los Altos High students unhealthful menu items compared to the offerings found at the school cafeteria.

At the time, Groves said the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in food sales annually because of the food trucks. He added that the city of Mountain View passed an ordinance last year banning food trucks on the public right-of-way within 100 feet from schools.

MVLA Associate Superintendent Laura Stefanski told the council last week that the food trucks near Los Altos High School offer foods not available on campus since the passage of California Senate Bill 12 in 2005. The bill set limits on the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and calories in foods sold by state K-12 public schools. Instead of patronizing the trucks, she suggested, students should seek food alternatives near campus.

“For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown here in Los Altos is within walking distance, and there are many eateries which do provide nourishing and healthy foods,” said Stefanski, who noted that the district is aiming to combat childhood obesity with the ban as well.

Several residents near Los Altos High told the council that the presence of the food vendors can lead to pollution and noise problems in their neighborhood. Among them was Jardin Drive resident John Wagner, who informed the council that students line up daily to get their “quota of grease” near his home. Often, he added, students will leave trash behind on the street and in residents’ yards.

“We have problems here – this is a residential neighborhood,” he said. “Things zoned residential should not allow commercial operations – be they fixed or on wheels.”

Prior to the council’s direction to draft the ordinance, Councilwoman Val Carpenter said she was sensitive to the residents’ concerns. Still, she questioned the effectiveness of any ordinance that prohibits mobile vendors within a certain distance from a school.

“If our students are capable of walking whatever it is – half a mile or a mile – to downtown, they’re probably capable of walking in a different direction to find where the mobile food truck is,” she noted, while adding that the ordinance should apply to all of the city’s schools.

With other pressing city issues to tackle, Houston told the council that the ordinance would likely take two to three months to research and prepare. She added that it would require initial review from the Planning and Transportation Commission, as well as the Los Altos Police Department, before returning to the council for final approval.

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