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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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Clef Hangers bring the joy of song: Los Altos resident leads choir on quest to coax smiles


Courtesy of Carol Park
The Peninsula Clef Hangers are set to embark on another season of entertaining local seniors.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a women’s chorus of approximately 40 volunteers, perform to bring smiles to the faces of seniors during their December and April holiday concerts at retirement facilities and nursing homes in the Los Altos area.

Directed by Los Altos resident Joan Sprague since 1991, the Peninsula Clef Hangers will soon restart rehearsals and are recruiting new members. Members must be available for Tuesday evening rehearsals in Menlo Park. No prior choral experience or audition is necessary.

The choir was formed 40 years ago when a group of community volunteers wanted to bring entertainment and holiday joy to the senior community. Some chorus members are musically trained, some are not. The group rehearses for 10 weeks between September and December, performs approximately 15 concerts in two weeks and then breaks before renewing practice for the April concert series. Each concert season finishes with a party, and the singers gather for several potluck suppers during their May to September vacation.

Members of the choir sing its praises.

During a performance of Christmas tunes at a convalescent home, a silent resident (due to a stroke) began singing along. When tears rolled down his cheeks, his wife cried with joy, said Los Altos soprano Helene Hills. In another instance, a comatose senior started tapping her feet.

The choral performances trigger profound emotion in the singers as well as their audiences.

“It’s a feel-good thing to go and sing for our audiences,” said alto Margo Harris, a Los Altos resident. “A lot of the seniors don’t have family or anyone visiting them. The music talks to them.”

Another Los Altos choir member, Mary Ann Balkenhol, recalled that musical performances were the highlight of her mother’s days at an assisted-living facility.

Balkenhol said joining the Peninsula Clef Hangers has helped her handle loneliness and sadness. After her husband died, she realized that she needed to expand her world.

“Though I have only an average voice, I love to sing,” she said. “I saw the information about the Clef Hangers in the Town Crier and decided to give it a try. I like filling one evening a week – the time I feel most lonely. I particularly like the fact that the commitment is not so all-encompassing as to make me feel guilty if I miss a rehearsal or performance. I enjoy our potlucks and the socializing before choir begins.”

For more information, call Teri Waldman at 964-9127, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit home.comcast.net/~zbyte/clefhangers.html.

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