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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LAH council rejects pressure to drop Lehigh brief


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos Hills City Council last week rebuffed a request by Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. to end its participation in an amicus brief filed by Bay Area for Clean Environment.

Despite hearing from a representative from Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., the Los Altos Hills City Council stood by its decision to join an amicus curiae brief filed by Bay Area for Clean Environment (BACE).

The brief requested a repeal of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision allowing Lehigh to grow its operations without oversight. If the ruling stands, the council is concerned that health and environmental consequences might follow.

Disregarding what Councilman Rich Larsen defined as “officious scare tactics” by Lehigh representative John Bruno, councilmembers not only reaffirmed their support for the appeal, but also approved a budget of up to $7,500 for their share of legal fees.

Bruno accused BACE of operating on an expired state license and the city of Cupertino of a possible ethical conflict if its council voted to support the amicus brief.

“It’s baseless,” said Bruno of the appeal against the county’s decision. “You enjoy a good working relationship with the county, and this doesn’t seem like the best course of action.”

“‘Do you really want to go against the supervisors? You have such a good relationship with them,’” echoed Los Altos Hills resident Jitze Couperus, quoting Bruno’s statements. “This is a not-so-clearly-veiled warning.”

Dispelling any concerns of possible repercussions, Los Altos Hills City Attorney Steven Mattas noted that the aforementioned issues “do not affect (the council’s) ability to support or not support this legal brief.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck rebutted Bruno’s characterization of BACE, noting that the organization’s state license was up to date.

Citing Los Altos City Councilwoman Megan Satterlee’s hesitance to endorse the brief, Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan wavered on her initial support. In response, Waldeck noted that Satterlee ultimately supported the brief because it was the only recourse available to prevent unrestricted future quarry development.

Although Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian was invited to two council meetings to discuss the county supervisors’ decision, he did not respond to requests, according to Waldeck.

Larsen suggested that town voters might attract the supervisors’ attention even if the brief did not.

“The real point is to send a message to the supervisors,” he said. “We’re talking about several thousands (of voters). … This is the real power of this action.”

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