Mon10202014

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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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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