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News

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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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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