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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

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 R...

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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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This hybrid lives up to the hype


courtesy of Ford
The Ford Fusion offers a comfortable ride and excellent handling.

While automobile manufacturers continue to titillate us with visions of an alternative-energy future at events like auto shows, they aren’t forgetting current customers.

Case in point: the Ford Fusion, new for 2013 and offered with standard internal combustion engine, gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The 2014 models are out now.

We drove the in-between hybrid recently and were impressed.

The Fusion is a fully realized automobile with a pleasant, upscale interior, excellent handling, comfortable ride and attractive exterior. It sells for approximately $35,000.

The Fusion delivers more than 40 mpg in real-world press test-driving.

The window sticker actually claims 47 mpg city and highway, but there’s some debate over that and the rating might be a shade optimistic. Our number is right off the gauge of the San Francisco press pool car after it logged 600 miles with three drivers.

What we drove: Ford Fusion SE (the mid-range package), base price of $27,200, with the additional $2,250 luxury package including heated seats, navigation and rear screen for $1,695, and driver-assistance packages for $3,350, for total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $35,010.

What we liked best: The 2-liter engine with electric motors delivers seamless acceleration, rated at 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, through the continuously variable automatic transmission. The shift from electric power to gasoline was nearly imperceptible.

The Fusion’s interior trim – unlike some of its competitors’ vehicles – looks like that of a near-luxury automobile rather than a piece of experimental bench-test equipment.

Optional safety packages – park assist, reverse sensing, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and cross-traffic alert – are welcome options on this mid-priced car.

What didn’t impress us: We’re still not fans of touch-screen interfaces to control the audio, navigation and climate systems, but the latest generation of MyFordTouch is a considerable improvement over the previous versions. We would encourage the designers to peek at what’s being done by the German companies, however.

The Ford center stack doesn’t convey the same luxury impression as the trim surrounding it.

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