Wed02102016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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