Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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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

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

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

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 add ...

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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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