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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The Talon explores undocumented student

Undocumented immigration affects several students at Los Altos High School and their families. The school’s student newspaper, The Talon, investigated the topic to provide information about what it means to be an undocumented student in the area. Below is the account of one undocumented student at Los Altos High.

At the age of 7, Lily watched her mother make a decision that would forever change her family members’ lives. Lily, her sisters and her mother left their home in Puebla Tejarta, Mexico, to meet up with Lily’s father, who had left for the United States two years before.

“I didn’t have a choice whether or not I wanted to go,” Lily said. “It’s because my father was here in the United States, and my mother couldn’t live another day without my dad. After my father had left, all I remembered would be his phone calls, as he would call for my birthday or for my sisters’ birthdays.”

With Lily’s father in mind, the remaining family members set off to cross the border. Guided by “coyotaje” smugglers, they along with others hiked the distance across the border to the United States.

“A total of 15 people were in my group; we all walked three days, straight through the desert,” Lily said. “There was no airplane, no nothing. That experience, it scarred all of us. For three years, my sisters were scared of helicopters. They would hide under a tree every time we would go out.”

The border crossing was rough. Statistically speaking, the U.S. Border Patrol estimates that more than 5,600 people have died crossing the border illegally since 1998.

“Of the 15 group members, only 13 of us made it to America,” Lily said. “One of the people who died was elderly. Since there was no water, he drank his urine and he died.”

Because of the treacherous journey, the group was unable to hang on to their possessions.

“We took a bag of clothes, but we left it behind in the desert,” Lily said. “When it came time to cross the border, we just couldn’t take anything with us.”

However, her physical journey paled in comparison to the hardships she would face in her new country. After finally settling on American soil, the family had to work hard to make ends meet.

“I remember that we didn’t have to worry about paying for rent and for school events in Mexico,” Lily said. “Here, I feel like we go through struggle after struggle just to make ends meet.”

While Lily’s family worried about money and rent, Lily spent the next few years acclimating to her new environment. Language barriers coupled with her lack of proper identification left her feeling alienated and alone.

“When I came to school for the first time, I came in the middle of the school year, so the other students all knew each other,” she said. “Since I didn’t know a single drop of English, I was completely lost. Thank goodness my teacher was bilingual.”

Lily’s experiences were not unique. The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project estimated that in 2008, 13.5 percent of all K-12 students in California were the children of undocumented immigrants.

“For me, coming to America is just about having the opportunity to further my education and further my family and to learn and live,” she said. “Coming to America meant not being scared. In Mexico, there are a lot of really bad things happening over there. I would love to go back home, but not to Mexico the way it is right now.”

Lily is a senior; she plans to attend a four-year college after graduation.

For more of The Talon’s coverage on immigration, visit immigration.lahstalon.org.

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