Fri08012014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Make sure to change that air filter


Photo By: courtesy of Donna McCord
Photo Courtesy Of Donna Mccord

A dirty air filter can reduce the efficiency of a car’s heating and air-conditioning systems.

Q: Now that the days are getting warmer, I want to use my air conditioner. But when I first turned it on last week, it didn’t seem to do a good job cooling my car down. Also, every time I turn on either the heater or the air conditioner, there is a foul smell. I went to a nearby auto repair shop and was told that nothing was wrong with the air conditioner – I just need a new cabin air filter. I am skeptical about that and wonder what a cabin air filter is and how that could fix my problems.

A: Despite the fact that most vehicles today have filters that clean the air entering the vehicle passenger compartment, the cabin air filter is one of the most overlooked service items.

It is important to understand that failure to change this filter periodically will adversely affect the health and safety of the vehicle occupants, reduce the efficiency of the vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning systems, and even hasten the demise of certain vehicle parts.

This filter is located in the air intake for the passenger compartment and filters dust, pollen, dirt and other allergens from the incoming air. At the same time, it prevents leaves, bugs and corrosive debris from filtering into the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, which could affect performance. The buildup of leaves and debris is usually the cause of the foul smell you are experiencing.

Different types of cabin filters fit most vehicles. The standard filter traps most particles larger than 3 microns in size. A better filter is electrostatically charged so that it can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. The best of the cabin air filters contain activated charcoal, which helps remove odors, fumes and gases.

The easiest way to determine whether a vehicle has a cabin air filter is to check the owners manual or ask a service technician. These filters are usually located behind the glove box or under the hood near the base of the windshield, and are reasonably easy to change.

The result of not changing the filter is a gradual buildup of contaminants that will prevent it from properly filtering the incoming air, allowing foul smells, bacteria and allergens to enter the passenger compartment.

Additionally, when less air is able to pass through a clogged filter, it negatively affects the performance of the air-conditioning and heating systems and makes the components work harder, leading to a shorter useful life.

The technician who looked at your vehicle is most likely correct. Make sure that your cabin air filter is checked and changed regularly, based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Warren McCord is an ASE Certified Master Technician and owner of Dean’s Automotive Inc., 2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 961-0302 or email McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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