Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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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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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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