Tue08042015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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New Caddy proves step in right direction for GM


Photo By: courtesy of Cadillac
Photo Courtesy Of Cadillac

The Cadillac ATS, with run-flat tires and stiff suspension setup, offers a harsh ride that is distinctly different from older models.

Even before the recent economic debacle, many observers had given up General Motors for dead, believing the company had become bloated with too many near-duplicate car lines and managed by executives totally out of touch with markets.

Once the dominant force in global automotive manufacturing, GM was already on the verge of bankruptcy before economic conditions nearly tipped it over the edge into free fall.

Now under new management, with a financial clean slate and several brand names consigned to museums of automotive history, GM is emerging with some solid new products from both Chevrolet and Cadillac.

Last month we drove the recently introduced Cadillac ATS, the company’s entry in the challenging $50,000 sport sedan marketplace. Overall, we’re pleased to say that the marque – which once represented achievement in the United States – is now back in its rightful place at the top of the U.S. pantheon.

Reviewers are favorably comparing it with models of similar size and price from challengers in Germany and Japan. Evaluated on ride, handling, cabin comfort and interior trim, we definitely agree.

Even better, we found the version we drove – with all-wheel drive and 3.6-liter, 321-horsepower V-6 engine – to offer one more characteristic. It feels like a Cadillac should: solid, stable and satisfying to drive. In that respect, we would frankly rate it above the foreign competitors.

However, we weren’t as impressed by the styling touches in the cabin. Accent materials of embossed and brushed aluminum just didn’t seem in keeping with the deep luxury of the leather upholstery and chrome-trimmed switchgear. It’s not a deal breaker, and some colors and trim packages do look better than others, but we think it needs a little attention.

Worth mentioning in the “some will, some won’t like it” category is the ride comfort, which is distinctly different from the Cadillacs our parents drove (if they could afford them). The combination of run-flat tires and stiff suspension setup gives a harsh ride that is definitely not what we expect from a Cadillac (MSRP: $45,695).

Unfortunately, a deal breaker for us is the new interior control system that Cadillac calls “Cue.” Sure, it’s a technological triumph, relying on finger touch and haptic feedback (it clicks when you push it) for virtually all controls. No knobs that turn, no central joystick control – just a slick screen with a changing arrays of icons that function by touch.

Never mind that the Cue system is complicated – live with any system for long enough and the owner will get used to it – but it’s way too sensitive to be appropriate for an automobile. Try hitting the exact quarter-inch spot on the screen to turn on the defroster when the windshield starts to fog over on a bumpy road – at best you may simply hit the lid release that causes the display to rotate up, and at worst you may wind up missing the turn in the road ahead.

We’d love to love the Cadillac, but for now we’ll wait until they redesign the Cue system, as Ford had to do with its touch-screen system a year ago.

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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