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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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More faces, more need in 2013 for RotaCare Mountain View



Volunteer medical staff help out at the RotaCare clinic near El Camino Hospital, providing care to underrepresented and uninsured patients. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

RotaCare Interim Manager and Clinical Services Coordinator Michelle Luttrell encountered an unusual sight at her Mountain View clinic. On a recent November day, it had more medical providers than patients onsite.

“We actually did not fill our provider schedules, but usually it’s the opposite,” said Luttrell, a nurse practitioner by trade. “Usually we have more patients than volunteers.”

In fact, Luttrell added, the need remains greater than ever. The clinic is currently averaging 530 patients per month – two-thirds of them between the ages of 19 and 64 – a pace far greater than the 3,500-plus patients it has served on an annual basis in recent years.

Although it has traditionally served low-income local workers who are either uninsured or underinsured, the clinic has seen an increased mix in the demography in 2013. That includes a bump in the number of unemployed and highly educated workers who are victims of what Luttrell calls “ageism” – those too young for Medicare but deemed too old to employ.

“That particular patient population is growing,” said Luttrell, who added that the clinic also has experienced a growing number of homeless patients in the past year. “I can’t tell you how many out-of-work engineers we see who are in their 50s and early 60s.”

Making matters increasingly difficult, she added, is a lack of awareness by some who assume that problems like being underemployed or uninsured don’t exist in prosperous Silicon Valley.

“People who work for themselves or work part time – or multiple jobs part time – they don’t have insurance,” she said. “It’s the behind-the-scenes folks, the person who cuts your hair or the person who serves your coffee. It’s your nanny (and) it’s your gardener.”

According to Luttrell, RotaCare doesn’t just keep the individuals healthy.

“We keep the family healthy and, by doing that, we keep the community healthy. … It’s a benefit to the public, which receives services from these people who are uninsured.”

Still, Luttrell said there’s plenty of room for optimism at RotaCare Mountain View. As usual, the clinic continues to offer traditional medical services for acute issues like coughs and colds as well as for chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, among other maladies. This year, the clinic added cardiology, vascular and pulmonology services in an effort to meet more diverse medical needs.

Luttrell added that she’s particularly thankful for the horde of physicians, nurses and specialists who regularly volunteer their time and expertise to help those without the necessary means.

“We wouldn’t be here without our volunteers,” Luttrell said. “RotaCare would not exist without our volunteers. It’s a really special clinic and a special place to work because the people who are here want to be here.”

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