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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City council looks ahead: Goals include developing new community center plan


Town Crier File Photo
During their annual retreat, members of the Los Altos City Council committed to implementing short-term parking solutions for downtown Los Altos in 2014.

A plan that would lead to the funding and construction of a new community center is among a handful of goals on the Los Altos City’s Council’s to-do list for 2014.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins told the Town Crier that the development of an action plan to replace the aging Hillview Community Center was one in a “manageable set of goals” discussed by the council at its annual retreat Dec. 14 at the Jesuit Retreat Center.

Bruins noted that the city would spend the year exploring “what it will take” for a new center to become reality. She noted that the plan would likely cover several crucial components in detail, including funding strategies, design options and potential partnerships with other entities.

Mayor Megan Satterlee added that public feedback from a 2012 public survey showed a higher level of resident interest in replacing the aging community center as opposed to some other civic facilities. The survey was conducted at the time to gauge public interest in a bond measure to fund the first phase of the city’s Civic Center Master Plan, which called for the replacement of city hall, the Los Altos Police Department and the community center.

“What is different is that the feedback on the master plan has caused us to amend the phasing. Clearly the top priority is the community center,” said Satterlee, who described public interest as “high” for replacing Hillview.

Satterlee added that the task would include a 2014 public engagement process “around some options that look different from the master plan so that we can get to a design we think we can move forward with.”

Other priorities

Planning for a new community center wasn’t the only goal discussed during the daylong retreat.

Bruins said the city would continue to explore parking solutions for downtown Los Altos. Satterlee confirmed that the city would implement and follow up the short-term strategies outlined in the city’s Downtown Parking Management Plan.

Satterlee expressed interest in crafting a policy that would outline ways that developers could meet their projects’ parking demands by helping to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas. She cautioned, however, that “there has to be a meeting of the minds by the majority of the council in order for this policy to move forward.”

Satterlee pointed to transportation issues as another key discussion for the new year. She noted that the council would explore solutions in 2014 to the “barriers to success” that prevent some city transportation projects from moving forward at a more rapid rate. She said the issue could include looking at “making some modifications” to engage the public on projects earlier and more efficiently.

“The goal is to move faster when we start projects and to move more of them forward,” Bruins said.

The council also listed an ongoing effort to improve community engagement as a whole, which might include the appointment of an ad hoc committee to develop new strategies, Bruins noted. In addition, Bruins and Satterlee cited the continuation of managing the city’s finances in a prudent manner as a top priority for 2014.

Some items that could not be addressed in the daylong retreat, including discussions on council norms, the 2014 legislative calendar and potential adjustments to the city’s administrative approval process, are slated for discussion at a special meeting, scheduled Tuesday.

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