Fri05062016

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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Joint councils consider community center options

When it comes to finding someone to help the city fund a new community center, Los Altos may have an interested partner in Los Altos Hills.

The topic of exploring a joint funding venture to replace the aging Hillview Community Center facility was broached last week at a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils. Los Altos Hills councilmembers expressed varying degrees of interest in talking about the possibility, an item placed on the joint-meeting agenda at the behest of Los Altos Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

For now, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers and her Los Altos Hills counterpart, Carl Cahill, will be “working together to determine if a committee can be formed in the future,” according to Los Altos Public Information Coordinator Erica Ray.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck told the Town Crier the possibility of the cities working together “has a lot of merit” but added, “I think it’s going to be very expensive. The question now is, what’s involved?”

Councilmembers from both cities characterized the talks as exploratory in nature.

“This is a lot like a Rubik’s Cube with about 20 points per side instead of only three. Other than that, it’s simple,” Waldeck added with a chuckle.

The Los Altos council seeks to fulfill its 2013 priority to find a way to replace the Hillview structure with a new multipurpose, multigenerational community center.

The city hired a consultant earlier this year to study the city’s options.

A 2012 resident survey revealed inadequate support for a bond measure to fund the first phase of a master plan that called for the replacement of several civic center structures.

Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan noted that the potential for the cities to “join forces” on future parks and recreation programming made a two-city partnership “even more compelling to me.”

Los Altos Hills Councilman John Radford, meanwhile, expressed interest in a potential third partner – the Los Altos School District (LASD).

“I’m very interested in a three-way partnership that has maybe a higher ability to pass a bond, but also then uses some of that space for the Los Altos School District … that would make it much more attractive to me,” he said.

However, Radford added, “Residents can only take so much, in terms of bonds,” and pointed to the potential for a LASD bond measure in 2014.

LASD Board of Trustees President Doug Smith told councilmembers his district’s involvement as a third partner could prove beneficial. He noted that the district has a lower threshold – 55 percent – to pass a bond measure, versus the two-thirds vote required by cities.

Other scenarios, he added, include the possibility of having LASD purchase or lease a portion of civic center land to help fund a new community center.

“We would love to participate in that and see if there is a way that we can craft something that works,” Smith said.

Los Altos Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, however, pointed out potential problems with having a shared site, noting conflicts between typical school hours and peak hours of use by community center patrons.

“Right now, our feeling is that there are other solutions to the need for a school site,” she said.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that each city’s timing to see movement on the project – among other factors – will play a role in any future discussions with Los Altos Hills.

“It sounded to me like the (Los Altos Hills) council was open to discussions,” she said, “and that’s a good place to start.”

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