Sat11012014

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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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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