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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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Local photojournalist graphically depicts persecution refugees face

COMM dianamatarPhotojournalist Diana Matar captures refugees in a new light.

The Los Altos native attended the Royal College of Arts in London and has worked with the Associated Press and galleries and museums worldwide. She has exhibited and published in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Matar integrates photography and testimony as she focuses on establishing a personal connection with her subjects.

Her work involves a several-part collaborative process: meeting for an entire day, creating a text from the interview and then reviewing the text with her subjects to ensure accuracy.

“Often text produced from the interviews doesn’t have the same meaning,” Matar said. “I always work with my subjects to see if it’s what they mean in that context.”

Matar’s photojournalism is unique in its aim to paint an intimate image of the individual rather than the overall issue.

“I was trying to get away from those images of black-and-white huddling masses crossing borders. I wanted to focus on someone who’s an individual with (his or her) own story and life and background,” she said. “When you’re a journalist, you’re often working on something that is a large, very important issue, and you may use individuals to illustrate that. But my real purpose was to break it down to each individual and not have it be about the issue.”

Much of Matar’s inspiration stems from her personal and universal interest in the cause of world justice. One project, “Leave to Remain,” comprising 50 photographs of refugees in the United Kingdom, is inspired by the press coverage of asylum-seekers.

“The wording of the rhetoric in the press was very problematic to me. ... I was reminded of how we use language to demonize people,” she said. “What I didn’t see were the voices of the people who were being talked about.”

Her powerful, large-scale portraits toured the House of Parliament and 10 museums in the UK.

Matar’s most personal project, a three-part series – “Disappearance,” “Evidence” and “Witness” – prompted by her father-in-law’s disappearance in Libya, portrays that nation’s day-to-day political atrocities. The second section, “Evidence, reflects how specific archaeological sites can become evidence of the missing people for whom there are no records or evidence. In “Evidence,” buildings become metaphors for a Libyan reign of terror and state-sponsored depravity. “Witness,” the third section, features photographs of trees around the world that mark the sites of the assassinations of Libyan dissidents.

“That project came about by historical events unfolding in Libya, but also by very personal events in my husband’s family and how that affected us. It was a project very close to home and very difficult to work on,” Matar said.

The project, which took five years to complete, was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery and won acclaim from Deutsche Bank and Critical Mass.

“Photography is the way I walk through the world,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love.”

For more information, visit dianamatar.com.

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