Mon11242014

News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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