Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spendi...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

CARSTEN HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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