Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

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 R...

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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 Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Sept. 24 meeting:

Historical house conversion approved

The council approved by a 4-1 vote a permit application allowing the conversion of a single-family Milverton Road home listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory into an accessory structure. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw cast the dissenting vote.

The Costello family, owners of the property, plan to convert the nearly 100-year-old home into an accessory unit by removing the kitchen. The conversion would allow the construction of a new home on the property. The Los Altos Historical Commission designated the home, built circa 1916, as a Historic Resource in 2011.

In the late 1890s, members of the Costello family purchased several plots of land at what later became Costello and Covington roads, according to the city staff report. Some members of the family played a role in establishing and operating the San Francisco department store O’Connor, Moffatt & Co. – now known as Macy’s.

The historical home in question currently sits on a family-owned plot of more than 2 acres – designated as Lot 12 – bordering Adobe Creek. The land is part of the larger Morningside Planned Unit Development, created in 1985 with the addition of 10 townhome-style condominium units, the staff report stated. As part of its approval of the development at that time, the city restricted the Lot 12 site to only one single-family dwelling on the property.

The council voted in favor of the Costello family’s request despite objections from some Morningside residents about potential privacy concerns related to a new home development on the site.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter supported the historical home’s conversion because the alternative could mean demolishing it.

“The owners absolutely have a right to have one home on this private property of over 2 acres,” said Carpenter, who noted before the council’s vote that just 1 percent of the city’s buildings were listed on its Historic Resources Inventory.

“To me, it’s important to preserve these reminders of our past,” she added.

Directional signs OK’d

The council unanimously approved the installation of directional signs that would point highway motorists toward downtown Los Altos.

At a cost of $5,000, the signs will be installed at the northbound and southbound approaches to the El Monte Avenue/Road exit on Interstate 280. The council approved the installation after a city staff report indicated that it “is a common practice for cities to have highway signage indicating which exit leads to their downtown.”

The report noted that though there are existing signs along 280 marking exits for the city of Los Altos and Foothill College, there are none on the highway or the exit ramp specifically directing drivers toward the downtown area.

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