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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Seven ways to pinpoint that high-pitched, whining noise

Q: I own an older vehicle with higher mileage. I recently had new fan belts installed after hearing a high-pitched, whining noise, but that didn’t solve the problem. What else could be causing the noise?

A: There are many potential causes for a noise of this type. To narrow the possible causes, answer the following seven questions and provide your technician with the information.

1. Do you hear the noise when the engine is running and the vehicle not moving?

2. Does the noise change with the engine speed?

3. Is the noise heard only when the vehicle is put in gear?

4. Is the noise heard only when the vehicle is being driven, and does it change with the speed of the vehicle?

5. Is the noise heard only when driving and turning corners?

6. Is the noise heard only when applying the brakes while driving?

7. Is the noise heard mainly when starting the engine and then only occasionally thereafter?

Potential causes

Following are examples of what the answers to these questions could point to.

• It could be that the fan belts were installed but not tightened correctly. Affirmative answers to questions 1 and 7 would point to this being the problem.

• There are bearings in the components being driven by the fan belts. One or more of these could be the source of the noise. Affirmative answers to questions 1 and 2 would point in that direction. These bearings could be in the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump or pulleys that tension and guide the fan belts and timing belt.

• If the noise is not heard until the vehicle is put in gear, either with an automatic or manual transmission (question 3), the cause of the noise could be internal to the transmission (for manual transmissions) or could be a clutch problem.

• An affirmative answer to question 4 – the noise is heard only while driving – could point to the drivetrain. Sources could be the wheel bearings, in the transmission or a differential.

• An affirmative answer to question 5 would direct attention to the drive axles or could indicate a wheel bearing.

• If the noise is only heard when the brakes are applied (question 6), the brakes are the likely source. Possible causes include worn-out brake pads, faulty brake calipers, not enough or no lubrication on the brake parts or simply low-quality brake pads and/or brake rotors.

Special tools are sometimes needed to locate the source of a noise, such as Electronic Ear Sensors. These are clipped to different areas of the vehicle, and each sensor can be listened to individually to help determine the cause.

It is important to be prepared to provide as much information as possible when bringing your vehicle in for service. Note that providing the specific details to your technician is only the beginning step in identifying the cause of the noise. A qualified shop will then take that information and determine where to begin diagnosis, saving a lot of time and thus money in the long run.

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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