Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Polarizing but practical


courtesy of Nissan
The 2013 Nissan Juke offers 188 horsepower. The car’s fuel- efficiency ratings are 25 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

We usually drive our press cars for a week, allowing any vehicle that makes a bad first impression plenty of time to redeem itself.

That was definitely the case with the little 2013 Nissan Juke we drove recently.

The styling of the car is what we charitably call “polarizing.”

At the Saturday morning gearhead gathering at Main Street Cafe & Books, our friends just shook their heads in disbelief at the car’s appearance. However, at least three different times during the week, I noticed young people on the verge of driving age poke their parents and point to the car with grins on their faces. We’ll leave you to make up your mind about which side of that fence you’re on.

However, by Wednesday we were looking forward to driving the car for errands and outings, because it seemed to fit our local lifestyle nicely. It’s well suited to Nissan’s description of it as an urban crossover, and two incidents illustrate that point.

On a Saturday night we drove to Palo Alto for dinner and a movie, hampered a bit by the fact that Genie’s still getting around on a walker after leg surgery. Hoping to find a convenient location, we were circling the block when we saw a large BMW trying to fit into a tight parking space in front of the restaurant. Pulling up behind, we waited patiently until the driver gave up after four tries. With the short wheelbase and tight turning radius, we sailed head-on into the space, backed up and were done.

The following Tuesday, needing some flats of flowers for the yard, we drove to the plant nursery in Palo Alto. With the rear seats down, this little car was more than spacious enough to swallow a day’s worth of plantings.

Even with the short wheelbase of this car, the hot little engine, manual transmission and torque-vectoring system to overcome front-wheel-drive handling issues make it enormously fun to drive.

On the interior, fit and finish are nicely done, though the quirkiness of the design carries through to the interior trim.

After a week of driving, the only thing we couldn’t quite warm up to was the price ($24,000 base, $26,555 with Sport Package), which is more comparable to statement subcompacts such as the Fiat 500 Abarth and Mini Cooper S than to cost-efficient subcompacts like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. Performance puts it comfortably into the first group, though looks and packaging are more comparable to the second group.

What we liked: All-around utility in a small package; excellent handling and driving performance; good fuel efficiency.

What we disliked: Not the prettiest car on the street; price is high for the small size of the package.

Bottom line: A fun and practical automobile if you find the styling quirky rather than off-putting.

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