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News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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