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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

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 Road home April 27 and...

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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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Histrionics undermine valid points: Editorial

Last week’s Los Altos City Council meeting was downright surreal. The few visitors on hand should be forgiven for pinching themselves to make sure that what they saw was really happening.

First, a city-paid consultant-mediator type asked councilmembers and city staffers to say something nice about each other during the meeting, a continuation of last month’s council retreat.

Any lessons learned from this kindness exercise were short-lived. Councilwoman Val Carpenter subsequently proceeded to rattle off a laundry list of transgressions committed by City Manager Marcia Somers and Assistant City Manager James Walgren, much like a schoolteacher addressing naughty children.

Carpenter was not completely unjustified in expressing her disappointment with staff. She rightfully noted that approval for fairly large projects on public property, such as the two-story storage shed at the Los Altos History Museum, should have come before the council. We also can understand her frustration with finding out about the project approval from a resident instead of city staff.

However, the level of ire directed at staff and the belaboring of her points served to undermine Carpenter’s position.

Walgren and Somers admitted that the staff had erred in approving the History Museum storage shed, but the lengthy public reprimand was inappropriate.

Unlike the “I’m OK, you’re OK” waste of time that began the meeting, the topic of staff limits on approvals was a worthwhile discussion point. It’s too bad that Carpenter’s histrionics ended up making her look petty while the city staffers’ humility made them look like they were on trial.

One small consolation: The special meeting was not televised, sparing Carpenter and the rest of the council further embarrassment.

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