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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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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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