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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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Other Voices: Citizen rescuers provide valuable animal services

The Town Crier article on abandoned cats near Los Altos High School missed a golden opportunity to educate the local community about the resources available to help with such situations (“Expert comes to rescue after feral cats litter neighborhood,” Oct. 16.).

The primary role of animal control agencies, such as Palo Alto Animal Services or the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, is to ensure the well-being of both animals and people by responding to exceptional situations involving animals, code enforcement and the operation of a shelter and a low-cost spay/neuter clinic. It falls mostly to volunteers, both rescue groups and individuals, to prevent the unchecked growth of the feral cat population through the proven Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method: The cats are trapped humanely, sterilized so that they cannot reproduce, vaccinated and returned to their home territory, where they are provided food and water regularly and sometimes even shelter against the elements. The person managing a colony knows the cats, recognizes when new cats appear who need to be TNR’d and knows when a cat needs veterinary intervention. The cats that have already been “fixed” are distinguished by having one ear either tipped (the pointed tip is cut off so that it is flat on top) or notched during surgery so that they are not put through the program twice. The cats earn their keep by controlling the rodent population.

For residents of Santa Clara County, the volunteer community established The Cat Resource Center (catcenter.org). Requests submitted via the website for help with cats are routed to experienced cat rescuers who live near the situation and will work with homeowners and their neighbors toward a resolution. The one thing rescuers will not do is make the cats simply “go away,” though they may arrange foster homes for kittens who are young enough to be socialized, all of whom subsequently can be put up for adoption.

Santa Clara County has a voucher program for feral cats that makes the cost of fixing and vaccinating one cat just $10 for a resident. The Palo Alto Humane Society (paloaltohumane.org) has a similar program that covers only surgery costs.

When un-fixed cats appear in your neighborhood, the responsibility to act is yours; there is no government service to summon. You need to arrange for the cats to be fixed, vaccinated and fed regularly so that they can have a reasonable life in the environment they know best. Contact The Cat Resource Center or a local rescue group for assistance. Those of us involved in cat rescue are more than willing to teach others how to trap and get cats fixed.

For a cornucopia of information about feral cats and TNR, visit Alley Cat Allies, a national cat advocacy group, at alleycat.org.

Ivor Durham is a Los Altos resident and volunteer at Fat Cat Rescue. For more information, visit fatcatrescue.org.

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