Thu05052016

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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Downtown College Prep schools encourage, empower students



Downtown College Prep students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff. Traci Newell/ Town Crier

For teachers and students alike, Downtown College Prep schools are a family, and family members don’t let each other down.

“The teachers are committed to helping you out,” said Mario Rodriguez, a member of the 78-student senior class at Downtown College Prep in San Jose. “They give you a sense of comfort and make school feel like home. Here, you actually know your teachers and they spend time with you, and that is something I really value and cherish.”

Downtown College Prep schools are charter schools in the San Jose Unified and Alum Rock school districts. The singular mission for students, most the first in their families to apply to college, is be accepted to and enroll at a four-year university, a graduation requirement.

Last week at Downtown College Prep in San Jose, Rodriguez and his classmates celebrated the completion of the UC and CSU college admissions process.

“It was really stressful, but it was really worth it,” said senior Audrey Aguilar. “I felt like sometimes I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I’m good enough.’ But I just had to get over that fear.”

One of the aspects that makes Downtown College Prep unique is that students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff.

Jeff Dagan, senior English teacher, said he has a chart in his room tracking his students’ progress in meeting deadlines for college admissions.

“It’s amazing how many of our students go to college,” he said. “This little rule of having the graduation requirement of being accepted into a four-year university really works to get them going right from the beginning. Making it a structural piece and requirement is the key to why we are so successful.”

Downtown College Prep believes that all students, regardless of academic achievement, could and should be prepared for college success. Five hundred graduates later, the school continues to build transformational learning communities where students become pioneers in their families and communities.

Downtown College Prep is committed to college success. The school’s “To and Through” college completion model ensures that graduates and their families are supported in the pursuit of a college degree. With a focus on students who are historically underserved by traditional public schools, Downtown College Prep families are largely low-income Latino families with limited education.

Next year, Downtown College Prep will add 550 seats in its Alum Rock and San Jose schools. Alum Rock currently serves sixth- through ninth-graders but is growing to eventually continue through 12th grade. Next year, the San Jose school will add a sixth-grade program, which will connect to the current ninth- through 12th-grade program.

The Town Crier Holiday Fund’s contribution supports Downtown College Prep programs in San Jose and Alum Rock.

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