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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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