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News

West Nile fogging commences today

West Nile fogging commences today


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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Maintain proper pressure in tires

Q: I drive a late-model luxury vehicle that has a lot of mileage. Lately I’ve discovered that the pressure in all my tires is lower than the manufacturer recommends, but I believe the car rides better this way.

So when I took it to my repair shop recently, I asked them to keep the air pressure low. They told me they do not recommend driving the vehicle with the lower pressures. Do they know what they are talking about? I am only asking them to lower the pressures by 4 or 5 PSI (pounds per square inch).

A: Your repair facility is correct in their advice not to run tires at a lower pressure than recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. In California, it is mandatory that all repair shops inflate tires to the manufacturer recommendations and also make note of having done this on their invoice. If you give instructions not to allow the shop to check your tire pressures, you must sign for this on the invoice. There are three important reasons for this:

1. Lower tire pressure will have a negative effect on your gas mileage.

2. The tires will generally wear unevenly. The outside edges will probably wear faster than the center of the tire, causing you to need tires sooner.

3. There are safety concerns:

• The surface area that contacts the road is negatively affected. This could cause the vehicle to require a longer distance to stop in an emergency.

• Lower tire pressures will cause them to run hotter at freeway speeds and possibly lead to tire failure.

The tires and vehicle shock struts work together to give the vehicle its ride characteristics. If you have experienced a change in the vehicle ride over its life, one or both of two things might have happened. The tires on the vehicle are not the same or do not match the tires that the vehicle was designed around or the vehicle shock struts are worn past their usable life.

If the latter is true, it means the shock struts are not controlling the movement of the suspension as designed, therefore affecting the feel of the ride.

Under-inflated tires and worn shock struts will both negatively affect your vehicle’s ride, control and gas mileage and they will increase the stopping distance required. Make sure that the correct tires are installed on the vehicle, inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations and inspect the shock struts. If the mileage exceeds 80,000 or the shock struts are bent, broken or leaking fluid, it is time to install new ones. If the shock struts are worn beyond their ability to perform, the tires will wear unevenly. Do not wait to see uneven tire wear (also called cupping) to install new shock struts. That is way past the point that they should have been replaced.

Another fact to be aware of – bouncing on the front or rear bumper is not a valid test to determine worn shock struts. Be sure a knowledgeable professional at a reputable repair facility performs the inspection.

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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