LA baseball team bounces back; MV girls soccer squad ties Los Gatos

LA baseball team bounces back; MV girls soccer squad ties Los Gatos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier File Photo
Spartan ...
Charles Geschke, Adobe Systems co-founder, dies

Charles Geschke, Adobe Systems co-founder, dies

Mr. Geschke

Charles “Chuck” Geschke of Los Al...

MVLA students, teachers return for in-person classes

MVLA students, teachers return for in-person classes

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Los Altos High School tea...
A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile

A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile

Courtesy of Danny Holton
Mountain View High Sch...
Los Altos Hills license plate reader, town hall addition projects advance

Los Altos Hills license plate reader, town hall addition projects advance

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier File Photo
The Los ...
Oft-delayed Foothill Expressway expansion project nears finish line

Oft-delayed Foothill Expressway expansion project nears finish line

Bruce Barton/Town Crier
The Foothill Expressway...
Mtn. View’s ICON Theatre set to reopen this week

Mtn. View’s ICON Theatre set to reopen this week

Andrew Yee/Town Crier File Photo
The Showplace ...

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A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile

A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile

Nina Crofts-Town Crier Editorial Intern

Courtesy of Danny Holton
Mountain View High School graduate Danny Holton, riding atop the Planters NUTmobile, travels the country in the vehicle to...

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People

Laura J. Barton

Laura J. Barton

Los Altos Town Crier Report

Laura J. Barton, age 78, of Mountain View, California, left us on April 3rd.

Laura was born in Detroit, MI, on September 3rd, 1942. She graduated fro...

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Local racial justice organizers react to Chauvin murder conviction, push for sustained change

22 HOURS AGO
Local racial justice organizers react to Chauvin murder conviction, push for sustained change
Andrew Yee/Town Crier File Photo
Kiyoshi Taylor speaks to a crowd gathered outside Mountain View City Hall last June during a protest following the murder of George Floyd.

As Kiyoshi Taylor watched a jury convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd today, ...

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Frustrations continue as Lee Eng rift lingers

1 DAY AGO

A five-month rift between a Los Altos councilmember and a young Black activist shows no signs of abating, with residents last week expressing disappointment over a canceled mediation effort.

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Schools

MVLA students, teachers return for in-person classes

1 DAY AGO
MVLA students, teachers return for in-person classes
Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Los Altos High School teachers and staff, above, waved signs and cheered students on as they arrived today for the start of in-person classes after more than a year of remote learning.

It may be April, but today felt like the first day of school in many ways at local high...

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Half of MVLA students opt to return to campus

7 DAYS AGO
Half of MVLA students opt to return to campus
Zoe Morgan/Town Crier File Photo
A student works outside at Mountain View High School last month. The district has brought students back to do their online classes from campus already but plans to resume in-person classes next week.

Roughly half of local high schoolers plan to return to campus...

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Community

Kiwanis Pet Parade returns this year, with a pandemic twist

7 MINS AGO
Kiwanis Pet Parade returns this year, with a pandemic twist
Town Crier File Photo
Participants in the 2021 Kiwanis Pet Parade are being asked to remain in their vehicles as they follow the parade route, unlike events of years past, above.

The Los Altos Kiwanis Club has opened registration for its 2021 Pet Parade, a downtown tradition since 1947. Schedu...

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Confronting Domestic Violence: The covert abuser takes away her power

17 MINS AGO

Following is the third in a four-part series on coercive control.

For a time, she finds solace in gardening, planting a bed full of roses that have recently burst into full bloom.

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Sports

LAHS boys soccer team finds its joy

1 DAY AGO
LAHS boys soccer team finds its joy

While a first-place finish is out of reach, the Los Altos High boys soccer team has achieved other goals it set for this shortened season. First and foremost: Have fun.

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Tarantino scores TD, hits triple on same day for St. Francis

1 DAY AGO
Tarantino scores TD, hits triple on same day for St. Francis
Courtesy of Briana Gaskill
Senior Johnny Tarantino of St. Francis High is playing both baseball and football this spring.

Two weeks ago, Johnny Tarantino helped the St. Francis High football and baseball teams win games on the same day – catching a touchdown pass against Mitty in the afternoo...

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Comment

Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on CUSD parcel tax

46 MINS AGO

The Cupertino Union School District has served south Los Altos well, providing quality education for generations of students. The sprawling K-8 district extends from Los Altos all the way to Santa Clara and San Jose.

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Letters to the editor: City manager, Earth Day, GreenTown

49 MINS AGO

Group shouldn’t imperil city manager’s job

I understand that the main topic of the special Los Altos Hills City Council meeting March 18 had to do with City Manager Carl Cahill’s performance, as did the Feb. 17 special meeting.

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Special Sections

Add zing to your spring with white wines

8 DAYS AGO
Add zing to your spring with white wines
Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier

It is undeniably fresh and floral outside as spring breezes cross our backyards and the season awakens. I find myself wanting a glass of fresh and floral, too. Cue the world of German and Austrian white wines, which represent an exciting area of spring ...

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Craft lagers and creative ale ingredients make New Bohemia a Santa Cruz destination

8 DAYS AGO
Craft lagers and creative ale ingredients make New Bohemia a Santa Cruz destination
Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
New Bohemia’s craft lagers include a Santa Cruz take on pilsner.

New Bohemia Brewing Co. opened in Santa Cruz in 2015, and co-founder and brewmaster Dan Satterthwaite’s education (Siebel Institute) and experience (brewing at Trumer Brewery and Gordon Biersch after ho...

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Business

A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile

1 DAY AGO
A shell of a job: LA native drives Planters’ NUTmobile
Courtesy of Danny Holton
Mountain View High School graduate Danny Holton, riding atop the Planters NUTmobile, travels the country in the vehicle to promote the Planter Peanuts brand.

When Danny Holton stumbled across the Wienermobile three years ago at a fair in Phoenix, the Los Altos native n...

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Mtn. View’s ICON Theatre set to reopen this week

1 DAY AGO
Mtn. View’s ICON Theatre set to reopen this week
Andrew Yee/Town Crier File Photo
The Showplace ICON Theatre in Mountain View is scheduled to reopen Friday.

After a long intermission, ShowPlace ICON Theatre in Mountain View is set to reopen its doors Friday.

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People

Laura J. Barton

18 HOURS AGO
Laura J. Barton

Laura J. Barton, age 78, of Mountain View, California, left us on April 3rd.

Laura was born in Detroit, MI, on September 3rd, 1942. She graduated from Wilson High School, in Portland, Oregon, class of '60, then later continued her education receiving a BS in Business Management from the University ...

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Kenneth Harker

8 DAYS AGO
Kenneth Harker

Ken passed peacefully on April 10, 2016. As a child, Ken enjoyed hiking with his dogs, Greta and Progress, publishing his own local newspaper “The Los Angeles Reflector,”  and family camping trips with his younger brother, and best friend, Wesley. In the spring of 1948, Ken received a BS in Phy...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks showcases students’ plays

1 DAY AGO
TheatreWorks showcases students’ plays
Courtesy of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Sean Okuniewicz, clockwise from top left, Nicole Analise Javier, Michelle Skinner and David Lee Huynh perform a short play written by a Burlingame High School student as part of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Young Playwrights Project.

High school student...

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PYT’s ‘Little Mermaid’ opens online Saturday

1 DAY AGO

Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” is set to be livestreamed this weekend.

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Spiritual Life

Local parishes celebrate indoor services after conflicting court rulings

1 MONTHS AGO

Local churches are again breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its position Feb. 26 allowing indoor worship.

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Experiment in syncing lets worshippers sing together from isolation

3 MONTHS AGO
Experiment in syncing lets worshippers sing together from isolation
Courtesy of Bay Area Blessing
David Ing, bottom left, joins other worship leaders from Mountain View and across the region in “The Bay Area Blessing” this month. He’s a worship leader at Mountain View’s Compass Church.

In the annals of holiday Zoom events, the 60-church “The Bay Area Blessing”...

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Magazine

Bee prepared: Two local Girl Scouts focus on native species for Silver Award project

22 DAYS AGO
Bee prepared: Two local Girl Scouts focus on native species for Silver Award project
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Girl Scouts Dhrithi Vishwa, left, and Izzy Sehnert display wooden homes created for mason bees native to the Bay Area. The girls are working toward earning their Silver Award with the project.

Usually, the term “save the bees” refers to honeybees – the bright-yellow...

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Stamp of approval: Beloved Hills mailman hangs up his shorts after three decades of service

22 DAYS AGO
Stamp of approval: Beloved Hills mailman hangs up his shorts after three decades of service
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Cruz Aragon at Foothills Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, where he’d sometimes stop for a break.

Herodotus is often credited for the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completio...

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New wave of catalytic converter thefts hits Mountain View

It’s almost become a cliche: Whenever an Ed’s Tow and Cradle tow truck pulls into a Toyota dealership or a body shop with a Prius aboard, the query posed to the driver is nearly always the same.

“Is that a cat?” 

“Cat,” as in a service job involving the replacement of a stolen catalytic converter, the device that reduces a vehicle’s toxic emissions. The answer is usually “yes.” And thanks to a rise in such thefts among Priuses, ordering replacement parts is likely going to take some time, said Peter Salcido, service manager of Felix’s Auto Service, which owns the Mountain View tow company.

“Toyota is just overloaded with orders,” he said. “We’ve got local shops that they’re waiting on weeks, and ourselves – we’re waiting on weeks to get parts. That’s a big burden on the customer.”

Mountain View Police Department spokeswoman Katie Nelson confirmed there’s been a recent uptick in catalytic converter thefts across the city. Since mid-March, her agency has fielded reports of 29 such incidents, nearly all involving Priuses.

“We have all done a great job of staying home to save lives during this COVID-19 pandemic,” she wrote in a press release issued Wednesday (May 27). “Unfortunately, some have taken advantage of these stay-at-home orders to victimize others by stealing their catalytic converters.”

‘Cat’ burglars

Cats can fetch as much as $500 from recycling companies because they’re made with precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium. And the electric motors on hybrid vehicles like Priuses leave less work for the devices to perform, so the metals inside them are less likely to corrode. Priuses manufactured before 2011 are common targets because their converters are situated under the cars in a way that makes them easier to remove; thieves who go after those on newer models risk burning themselves with scorching-hot liquid from coolant tubes that obscure access.

While the tube-cutting tool typically used for removing catalytic converters is silent in execution, the aftereffect is unmistakable: a horrendous roar as the engine is turned. That noise was the first tip-off alerting Shauna Heller, a temporary Mountain View resident from Los Angeles, that something was amiss with her 2008 Prius on May 18. The second was the two bolts the thief left behind. She took a photo of the bolts and texted it to her mechanic in Santa Clara.

“I said, ‘Something’s wrong with my car. It’s making a horrible noise and these two bolts were on the carport floor. Do you have any idea of what might be wrong?’” she recalled. “And he immediately called me back and said, ‘Someone’s stolen your catalytic converter.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what that means.’”

Heller soon learned it means paying the $500 deductible on her comprehensive car insurance before her insurance company would shell out an additional $2,500 to render her vehicle drivable again. The damage could have been worse; sometimes replacing stolen parts costs more than the value of an older-model vehicle, so the car is considered totaled, Salcido said.

There are special straps, plates, shields and clamps vehicle owners can have installed to deter this kind of theft, but no guard is guaranteed. The police department encourages residents to park in well-lit areas, preferably inside a garage if one is available, and to research whether their vehicles feature an alarm that can be set to activate upon vibration detection. Consider contacting an auto repair shop offering vehicle identification number engraving on converters, which makes them traceable.

By reaching out to other residents of her Sylvan Park neighborhood, Heller’s learned her current predicament isn’t unique. She said she hopes the police department will consider increasing patrols in her area to discourage thieves.

“I respect that there’s a lot going on with public safety in terms of the virus and things like that, but there’s still underlying civic concerns that would be great if the police were addressing,” Heller said. “But again, I haven’t contacted them. I haven’t heard their side of things. A lot of it’s subjective because right now I’m just frustrated.”

 

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