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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Repair my car or buy a new one?

Q: I have not been very good about keeping up with the maintenance services on my car, and now I’m told it needs a lot of work just based on time and mileage. In particular, I need a timing belt and shocks and struts, which are expensive. Should I just buy a new car?

A: That depends. If you’re tired of your current car and can afford to buy a new one, maybe that would be best. But if you are thinking about buying a new car because of the cost of repairing your current one, following are some points to consider.

• Buying a new car will increase the real costs of vehicle ownership significantly.

• Your new vehicle will depreciate in value the minute you drive it off the lot, most dramatically within the first three to five years.

• Both your vehicle insurance and registration costs will be much higher.

• If you need to take out a loan to purchase your new vehicle, take into account the interest you will pay in addition to the principal payment.

These are all major, real, out-of-pocket expenses.

It is much more cost effective to correctly maintain the car you have. The key is “correctly maintain.” This means keeping up with oil and other fluid changes when due and being aware that “cheap” or “quick” oil changes may not be your best bet.

Note that today’s engines and drivetrains require lubricants with specific standards. It is not like the old days when any lubricant would do the job. Correct lubricants today cost more money and are not usually used as part of a low-cost oil change. Using the wrong lubricants may not have an immediate impact, but over time it will cause engine components to fail prematurely.

Timing belts must be changed at certain mileage or time intervals. Many vehicles will suffer internal engine damage if the timing belt fails, which is much more expensive than replacing the timing belt when recommended.

Replace shock absorbers and shock struts at approximately 80,000 miles, before they become unsafe and cause uneven tire wear.

The bottom line: If you have neglected maintaining your vehicle, there may be what seem like high costs to pay. But if the required services are performed the right way, using correct and high-quality parts, your car will give you many more miles of reliable service at a much lower cost than the purchase of a new vehicle.

Warren McCord is an ASE Certified Master 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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