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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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