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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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Goldsmith ends 34-year run in Los Altos: Dean's Designs closing its doors at the end of 2013


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dean’s Designs at 328 Main St. is closing its doors at the end of 2013 after more than 30 years in downtown Los Altos. Larry Hayano purchased the custom goldsmith business from founder Dean Yoshimizu in 1990. Long-time employees, from left, include Lynda Newlon, Pamela Palajac, Ruth Aguirre and Gigi Luna.

Retirement will mean the end of the line for a downtown Los Altos business that first opened its doors in 1979.

Custom goldsmith Dean’s Designs at 328 Main St. is shuttering its doors at the end of the year following owner and master goldsmith Larry Hayano’s retirement. The retailer is currently running a retirement sale through its final day – Dec. 31 – in Los Altos.

Pamela Palajac – the store’s graduate jeweler gemologist – told the Town Crier that Hayano began planning his retirement in 2012 and called the end of Dean’s Designs a bittersweet moment for the goldsmith and its staff. Hayano, a member of the American Gem Society, was unavailable for comment last week.

“I’d definitely say it’s melancholy,” Palajac said. “But we’re also far too busy to let that interrupt what we’re doing.”

Hayano assumed ownership of the business after purchasing it in 1990 from the original Dean – retiring founder and childhood friend Dean Yoshimizu. Prior to taking over the business, Hayano worked with Yoshimizu as a jewelry designer and repairer.

Palajac credited a loyal following for the goldsmith’s longtime success, noting that several customers who no longer live in the area still ship items to the store regularly for cleanings – a service the store has performed free of charge since its opening. Pointing to its 30-plus years in downtown Los Altos, Palajac added that the retailer’s following is also a multigenerational affair.

“Larry has seen parents come in here, and now we’re seeing their kids getting married, too,” said Palajac, who began working for Hayano six years ago and has 25 years of experience in the business. “It’s been very cool to be a part of something like that.”

Since Hayano announced his retirement plans, Palajac said the store has been the site of a few tearful goodbyes from regular customers who learned of its pending closure.

“We had a customer recently who was crying as she was walking out of here,” Palajac said. “She’ll miss having that connection and seeing Larry in here.”

But the customers aren’t the only ones who will miss the store, added Palajac. She said she’ll specifically miss Hayano himself, as well as the familylike working atmosphere the goldsmith’s small staff enjoys on a daily basis.

“We’re very tight and we work incredibly well together,” Palajac said of her colleagues. “It’s really the best job.”

For more information, visit deansdesigns.net.

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