Fri09192014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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