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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Getting to the bottom of the tune up

 

Q: I think my car needs a tuneup, but everywhere I call I get a different price. Why are there so many different prices, and how do I decide where to go?

A: Although the term “tuneup” is still widely used, there is no universally accepted definition as to what “tuneup” means.

Many years ago, it generally meant installing new spark plugs, ignition points and condensers, and this was done about every 6,000 miles. With today’s vehicles, there are no longer any ignition points and condensers, and spark plugs last 30,000 to 90,000 miles. So, when you ask different auto repair businesses about the cost of a tuneup, they are all talking about something different.

For today’s vehicles to last a long time and run reliably, vehicle services need to be performed at periodic intervals. The different levels of servicing involve inspections, fluid changing and parts changing.

Generally, inspections include brake condition, tire rotation and balance, fluids’ condition and level, exterior lights operation, steering and suspension component condition and a check for any fluid leakage.

Fluid changing pertains to engine oil and filter, transmission oil and filter, differential lubricant, engine coolant and brake-system, power-steering and washer fluids.

Parts changing during servicing can include engine and air-conditioning filters, spark plugs, burned-out lightbulbs, engine timing belts, accessory drive belts and batteries.

Servicing intervals are most commonly every 5,000 to 75,000 miles, with major services performed at 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 and 120,000 miles. It is good to know that every vehicle manufacturer has its own list of items that are required to be taken care of at each service interval to maintain the warranty. But it is important to understand that manufacturers do not have a vested interest in the longevity of your vehicle past the warranty period. They would prefer to sell you a new car every three to five years, so their list of services may not include all that should be done to keep your vehicle on the road for the long term.

One example of this is that manufacturers in general are not changing transmission fluid. But if you want your vehicle’s transmission to last, changing the fluid when needed is paramount.

It is also worth noting that manufacturers do not make the service parts for their vehicles. They are contracted to outside vendors. Oftentimes money can be saved and higher quality can be achieved by going directly to the outside vendor.

It is important to take your vehicle to a facility that has your best interests in mind when it comes to servicing or repairing your vehicle. Your decision shouldn’t be based on the price, but rather the value you are receiving per dollar spent.

 

Warren McCord is an ASE certified master technician and owner of Dean’s Automotive Inc., 2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 961-0302 or e-mail McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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