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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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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