Wed07302014

News

"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 spending nearl...

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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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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

DR. ALFRED 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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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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