Mon09222014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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New Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is a game-changer


Photos by Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250, pictured at Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside, left, is the most affordable model produced by the company. It starts at $30,000.

The 2014 CLA250, introduced by Mercedes-Benz last month, is not only the least-expensive model carrying the three-pointed star – selling between $30,000 and $45,000 – but also the first front-wheel drive model Mercedes has produced.

A stylish four-door automobile with space for four or five passengers, it displays styling cues shared with the much more expensive CLS four-door coupe. The company’s stated goal in introducing the new model is to reach a more youthful buyer, targeting a professional just starting his or her first serious job out of college or graduate school.

There’s a fairly wide price range. For just under $34,000 (the price of the Toyota Camry we tested for this issue), the frugal buyer can get the same quality and all of the safety, comfort and convenience equipment of a Mercedes-Benz in addition to pride of ownership of a heretofore exclusive marque. And for just under $45,000, one can purchase a CLA250 with everything shown on the option list below.

What we liked: The car looks and drives just like its more expensive older siblings. It offers solid but responsive steering and handling, and quick acceleration from the powerful and fuel-efficient new four-cylinder engine, modulated by the fast-shifting dual-clutch seven-speed transmission. Quality in fit and finish meets the exacting standards of the Mercedes-Benz marque.

What we didn’t like: Rear-seat headroom is sacrificed to styling, and an adult sitting in the back is going to feel claustrophobic due to the small rear window and slope and shape of the rear pillars, which also restrict rear visibility. We felt that the ride was a bit hard on rough roads, which may be due to the low-profile run-flat tires that were standard equipment on our sport-model test vehicle. However, both of these negatives may be considered by younger buyers to be a reasonable trade-off for the stylish look of the CLA.

Bottom line: We think this game-changing CLA is a credit to its heritage and is going to be hugely successful, while bringing the satisfaction of owning a Mercedes-Benz to a new generation. Many dealers have already sold out of their initial stock and wait lists are now six months long.

Los Altos residents Gary and Genie Anderson are co-owners of Enthusiast Publications LLC, which edits several car club magazines and contributes articles and columns to automotive magazines and online services.

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