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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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California housing affordability level drops

Lower inventory, high demand and rising interest rates have significantly reduced housing affordability in California. The California Association of Realtors recently reported that housing affordability in the third quarter of 2013 fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, after reaching an all-time high in the spring of 2012.

California housing affordability hit a record high of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012. The third-quarter 2013 figure fell below 35 percent for the first time since the third quarter of 2008.

The percentage of homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced existing single-family home in California dropped to 32 percent in the third quarter of 2013, down from 36 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and from 49 percent in the third quarter of 2012, according to the association’s affordability index, which measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home.

“With Silicon Valley’s economic recovery, there is no doubt that it has become more difficult for homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, to purchase a home in the region,” said Carolyn Miller, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “Many businesses are expanding their labor force, and unless more inventory and new home construction ease the shortage of housing, home prices are expected to continue rising next year.”

Homebuyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $89,170 to qualify for the purchase of a $433,940 statewide median-priced existing single-family home in the third quarter of 2013. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $2,230, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.36 percent.

The composite interest rate was 3.72 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The median home price was $339,930 in the third quarter of 2012, and an annual income of $65,828 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

The California Association of Realtors reported that nearly every county experienced a double-digit decline in affordability when compared to last year.

In Santa Clara County, only 21 percent of homebuyers could afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the third quarter of 2013, down from 32 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $165,420 to qualify for the purchase of an $805,000 median-priced single-family home. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $4,140.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit silvar.org.

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