Thu05052016

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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News Briefs

News Briefs

Preschool move to church site OK’d by PTC

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) last week recommended approval for the relocation of a preschool and day care facility to the grounds of Foothill Covenant Church at 1555 Oak Ave.

The item is expected to go before the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.

“Who can be against a church and a preschool?” Commissioner Ken Lorell asked prior to his Jan. 23 vote, eliciting laughter from supporters who spoke in favor of the school’s relocation effort.

The PTC voted unanimously in favor of the use permit and design review application that essentially relocates the Mountain View Los Altos Parent Education Program from the Mountain View High School campus to the Foothill Covenant Church property.

Plans call for the construction of three portable classrooms and two playgrounds on a vacant lot next to the church.

“This is really in line with what we’re interested in doing, which is being a resource to our community,” Foothill Covenant Church Pastor Hans Eric Nelson told the commission.

An accompanying traffic report concluded that the school’s relocation would increase traffic on Oak Avenue by less than 1 percent.

School officials noted during the presentation that the facility would include student drop-offs and pickups on-site.

In addition, the facility will employ staggered start and finish times for the twice-daily sessions to minimize traffic conflicts with nearby Mountain View High and Oak Avenue schools.

“I see this as the best possible way of integrating what I think is an important, valued part of our community into a good location for it,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said.

Under the conditions of approval, the facility has a cap of up to 102 students per day. The facility, according to the city staff report, typically hosts two class sessions, capped at 48 students each, per day. The facility also offers a third session once per week in the late afternoon.

Commission OKs office building at 467 First St.

The PTC last week unanimously voted to approve an office-building project slated for the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road.

The project, which calls for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot office structure on the sites of The Barking Lot, Burger Town and a former Chevron Gas Station lot, will head to the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.

The landslide vote came approximately two months after the commission rejected a parking variance by developer Southgate Partners LLC because the project lacked parking spaces needed to meet city code requirements by seven spots.

At the time, several commissioners expressed concern that allowing the project to move forward with a variance would increase the already high demand for parking downtown.

However, the second time proved to be the charm for the project. It returned to the commission with a 315-square-foot reduction in building size and a reconfigured underground parking garage that netted an additional six spaces, allowing the three-story, 42-foot tall project to meet its 51-space requirement.

The project includes a new parking management plan for the property, which features a handful of tandem (two-car) parking spaces for office tenants, and a redesigned plaza feature at the corner of San Antonio and First.

– Diego Abeloos

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