Thu05052016

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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Plants make ideal holiday decorations


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant that brings a bright pop of Christmas red to decorations.

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to deck the halls.

Bring the garden inside by making wreaths, garlands, topiaries and other table arrangements to enhance your holiday decor. A look around the yard may yield some interesting results, not to mention being easy on the budget.

Supplement your garden treasures with a trip to a garden center.

Following are some plants that work really well to brighten the holidays.

• Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is one of the most popular plants during the holidays. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, marbled, burgundy and cream.

• Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or winter cactus, is great for blooms and comes in different colors ranging from red to orange, white, yellow and pink. The succulent is a very hardy indoor plant that requires very little maintenance in the home or office. The thick, waxy, dark-green leaves with a cluster of flowers above the foliage make it a very attractive plant.

• Ilex opaca, American holly, boasts thick, dark-green leaves and bright-red berries. It’s the ideal accompaniment to many table decorations and holiday garlands.

• Evergreens, such as redwoods, Douglas firs and pines, are used extensively in garlands and wreaths. If you’re lucky enough to have them available in your yard, try creating your own this year. The trick is to wet the branches so that they become a little flexible and are easier to wire together.

• Another good candidate for the holidays is the red or white anthurium, not just for its color, but because its big, bold leaves are stunning and add a touch of the tropics to decorations.

• Amaryllis bulbs, usually sold in garden centers, are available now so that they bloom during the holidays. They make beautiful tabletop arrangements.

• Branches of trees and shrubs like manzanita, curly willow, coral bark maple, flowering plum, bamboo, sword ferns and moss make nice complements to holiday decorations.

• Add driftwood, seeds and pods, pine cones and dried fruits to your holiday decoration toolbox. Savvy decorators glitter it up by spraying gold, silver and/or metallic paint to create sparkling ornaments.

• Use herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as fragrant decorative materials.

Visit a craft store to purchase a simple wreath base, wire, twine, coir rope and a glue gun to style your own decorations this season.

If you’re not good at craft projects, simply collect some greenery, pine cones and berries and arrange them free-form in a decorative glass jar, bowl, plate, fancy basket or rustic box.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is founder of Bagicha Garden & Flora Design, an indoor garden/ plant design and maintenance company that specializes in creating custom living walls, floor plants and desktop arrangements. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com.

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