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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Make sure that A/C is A-OK

Q: I just tried using my air conditioner after not using it for a while and it’s not blowing cold air. A friend said it might be low on refrigerant and to try topping it off myself before taking it to a shop. That sounds good, but I thought I would ask first and see if it makes sense to you.

A: If someone’s air conditioner is not blowing cold enough, we are often asked if it’s because the car is low on refrigerant and would adding more refrigerant to the system solve the problem. Our answers? Not necessarily and no. There are many reasons your air conditioner may not be working correctly.

For one, temperature controls may not be functioning properly, which has nothing to do with the system charge (refrigerant level).

If the system charge is low, there is most likely a leak somewhere in the system. In addition to loss of refrigerant, a leak allows air and moisture into the system. If the cause of the leak is not repaired and the air and moisture are not purged, the refrigerant will combine with the moisture and create hydrochloric acid. This highly corrosive acid will deteriorate the components of the system from the inside out. Not good.

If your air conditioning system is not performing correctly, please have it examined by a professional with the correct equipment to diagnose and repair the system defect. The most critical piece of equipment is a refrigerant identifier. There are only two types of refrigerant that should be in an automobile’s A/C system (depending on the age of the vehicle): R-12 (older vehicles) or R-134A. If anything else is put into the system, it is considered contaminated and must be removed and handled as contaminated waste. For example, if your system is using R-12 and another type of refrigerant is added, there is the potential for serious damage to your vehicle.

There is equipment designed to check the operation of the A/C system dedicated to either R-12 or R-134A refrigerant, and equipment that can identify external leakage of the refrigerant and locate the source of the leak.

Be aware that many quick lube and repair facilities may put the wrong refrigerant into automotive A/C systems because of a lack of knowledge, training or correct equipment. Ask them if they are using the correct equipment before they work on your vehicle.

The most cost-effective way to get an A/C system working as it should is to have a qualified technician with the proper equipment and education determine the problem, then repair it correctly and issue a warranty to back it up.

Warren McCord is an ASE Certified 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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