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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CHAC offers healing, hope for troubled children and families



The Community Health Awareness Council’s employees and interns have more room to work following the organization’s move to a larger building earlier this year. Town Crier file photo

Radha Jagannathan, clinical services director for the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), went to a local bakery recently to pick up a cake for a co-worker who was retiring. The name CHAC was on the cake, prompting a bakery employee to ask, “Do you work at CHAC?” When she said yes, the bakery employee said, “I had CHAC in junior high and it saved my life.”

“I’ve heard that almost every time I go out there (in the community),” said Monique Kane, executive director of the Mountain View-based nonprofit. CHAC has provided counseling services for at-risk youth and families over the past 40 years. Its effectiveness has long earned the trust and respect of the Los Altos-Mountain View communities. CHAC has been a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient since 2003.

The organization trains and supervises 80 or more interns at any given time, and supports 33 schools across Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. With each intern handling anywhere between 10 and 30 cases, CHAC treats approximately 15,000 clients yearly.

Opened in 1973 to combat the emerging youth drug culture, CHAC addresses a wide range of problems – from anxiety-ridden students to bullying, alienation, broken families and substance abuse.

“We’re responsible for a lot of suicides that didn’t happen,” added clinical services associate director Rosine Ferber.

Whether through outreach to the schools or private conferences at their new headquarters on El Camino Real, CHAC staff and interns provide a safety net of health services on a sliding scale so that any individual or family can afford their help.

“I love the fact that we have an organization that can reach so many people,” Jagannathan said. She added that CHAC’s reputation draws the most highly qualified interns, eager to add the organization to their resumes.

There’s another major factor in CHAC’s success.

“We’re flexible,” said clinical supervisor Mary White. “We meet needs that arise in the community.”

CHAC supervisors noted that bullying – particularly online – and academic pressures have increased in recent years.

“Parents are pushing their kids so hard academically so they can go to good schools,” said clinical supervisor Michelle Manning. “The parents are, rightfully so, afraid that their kids are not going to make a living.”

CHAC’s move to its new location in July addressed a space need – the new headquarters is more than double the size of its previous location. And CHAC counselors are busier than ever – every room is put to use much of the time.

Financial constraints remain. Some programs have been suspended due to lack of funding. Looking ahead, Kane said one notable goal is transitioning CHAC’s board of directors into more of a fundraising board. She also wants to see stipends return to the interns.

For more information, visit chacmv.org.

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