Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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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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One practical sedan


Photo By: courtesy of ford
Photo Courtesy Of Ford

The new Ford Taurus is big car, weighing 2 tons, and doesn’t lack for modern conveniences.

Ford is definitely on a roll, with new vehicles in almost every segment of the automotive marketplace, from all-electric urban runabouts to full-size hybrid SUVs.

Our most recent experience was with the 2013 Ford Taurus, which definitely deserves consideration by the mature family or empty-nest couple looking for a classic, full-size, American-made four-door sedan.

Locals who remember the Taurus from the 1990s when it was the company car of choice for a certain local Fortune 500 company might wonder where the nameplate has been in recent years. These same folks might also be confused when first viewing the new Taurus. Not surprising. For several years in the last decade, Ford Motor Company had more or less lost its way regarding the styling and engineering of this model. Now the name Taurus is used on the model originally launched as the Ford 500, and it has dimensions more akin to 1950s sedans than to the low and sleek sedans and pretend-coupes manufacturers have recently been introducing to the family car market.

We think that’s a good thing, since the major advantage of this new Taurus design is that the car is high, wide and handsome, with a seating position that places the eyes at approximately the same level as most crossover SUVs. This makes entry and exit easier for members of the baby-boom generation.

The Taurus is a car for those who fondly remember the old days, when sedans had spacious, comfortable front and rear seats, and a trunk that could swallow a family’s luggage (and bags of golf clubs) for a two-week vacation. All three of these dimensions are best in class for full-size sedans.

Another advantage is that within the list price of the car we drove – $35,180 – Ford offers all the modern conveniences including backup camera and sensors, satellite radio, digital music library, voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth smartphone connection, heated seats and more.

On the other hand, in a break with tradition, Ford has taken a page from the foreign-car playbook with the optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission. The result is fuel efficiency of 22 mpg city, 32 highway and 26 combined – and a smooth, quiet ride.

But there are some negatives in this new model. The Taurus is a big sedan that weighs 2 tons, has limited visibility and a large turning radius. Then there’s that elephant in the cockpit – the touchscreen interface which both Ford and GM have adopted, requiring one to make quick, precision selection of everything from cabin temperature to audio source. This interface is literally a hit-or-miss proposition, and it’s also distracting and frustrating to use.

If you’re looking for a large, comfortable, American car in the best of the old traditions, the new Taurus could be the right car for you. But if you skim car reviews looking for words like handling, performance and acceleration, you’ll have to look at other models and other manufacturers.

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