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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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Expert: Consumers should regularly check credit


Kust

The credit reports of approximately 80 percent of consumers contain errors, according to an expert who spoke at a recent Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting in Mountain View.

Kevin Kust, a credit specialist with Continental Credit, said that if not corrected, the errors can remain on a report for seven to 10 years and undermine the client’s credit rating. A bad credit report could jeopardize a buyer’s chances of securing a home loan, he added.

Kust advised consumers to check their credit reports periodically to ensure accuracy.

“Your credit score is your risk factor,” he said.

Many mortgage lenders use FICO, the most widely known type of credit score, to determine the interest rate, terms of the loan and whether to extend credit to a consumer. FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850, with an Excellent rating ranking 700-850; Good, 680-699; OK, 620-679; Low, 580-619; and Bad, 500-579.

Kust explained how to obtain a high score in each category, assigning percentages to importance.

• Payment history (35 percent): Maintain a positive history by paying your bills on time and correcting any inaccuracies on your credit report.

• Amounts owed (30 percent): Check your revolving credit, balance and limit ratios. Secure credit cards show a revolving debt and take the risk off banks. Pay off each card to a zero balance.

• Length of history (15 percent): Maintain old accounts because they provide you with a credit history. Closing accounts can bring down your score. Use all your credit cards occasionally so that they remain active.

• New credit and inquiries (10 percent): Applying for a lot of credit before applying for a mortgage loan could indicate financial problems. FICO allows a 45-day “shopping window” with no adverse effect on your score.

• Types of credit used (10 percent): Your score is based on the mix of different types of credit and how many total accounts you have. Don’t open new accounts just to increase the types of credit you have.

For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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