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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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