Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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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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A lot for a little


Photo By: Courtesy of Kia
Photo Courtesy Of Kia The base-model Kia Rio SX includes cruise control, Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM radio, a USB port and a back-up camera.

Considering safety, efficiency and fuel economy, the biggest development in the past 10 years is the introduction of affordable subcompact sedans or hatchbacks that offer all the safety features pioneered in the bigger cars.

Air bags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control and crumple zones are now as much a part of sedans selling for $20,000 as those at higher prices.

Last month we reviewed three examples, and last week we tested an additional example – the 2012 Kia Rio SX. The $17,500 base-price model includes cruise control, Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM radio, USB and auxiliary ports, and a back-up camera. Wow. If you add the premium package consisting of navigation, Sirius traffic reports, sunroof, heated leather seats and carpeted floor mats – all amenities that once were found only in cars costing twice as much – the price is still only $20,545. Wow again.

Like most vehicles in this price range, the car is a five-door hatchback with rear seats that can be folded to provide weekend shopping cargo space or room for a bicycle or camping equipment. We liked the styling – the designers found ways to make these little cars look trendy rather than funky or bland.

Kia does a nice job of mating a four-cylinder 138-horsepower engine with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. With this drivetrain, the swoop out of the driveway into four-lane traffic could be accomplished with confidence, even if the quiet little engine doesn’t offer any aural thrills to the exercise. The handling is also competent – almost sporty – in the SX version of the Kia, and every bit the equal to the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent, considered the benchmarks in this category.

Then there is that fuel economy – 30 mpg in city traffic and 40 mpg on the highway – which makes the car quite practical for the student or young professional who commutes to and from campus or work.

With the price of used cars increasing faster than those of new cars, this category of new cars for approximately $20,000 and with five-year warranties is looking attractive indeed.

Longtime Los Altos residents Gary and Genie Anderson are co-owners of Enthusiast Publications LLC, which edits several car club magazines and contributes articles and columns to automotive magazines and online services.

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