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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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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 ad...

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Will stocks ‘get scary’ in May?

Every day reveals new evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing down in the second quarter. Charles Nenner, founder of the Charles Nenner Research Center, suggests that the sell-off has just begun and that anyone buying stocks now has missed the bus by four years. Stocks may “get scary” in May, he predicted.

Prices for industrial commodities have slumped, as have prices for gasoline and crude oil. The poor inflation outlook reflects worries about faltering demand.

Continued weakness in the transport sector and cyclical stocks after the quarter earnings reports could heighten the risk of a full-fledged secondary correction. There are still quality stocks available at reasonable price valuations. Sound utility stocks that pay a good dividend remain a better investment than money stuck under the mattress.

Companies on the Town Crier “50” made headlines last week.

• IBM Corp. (IBM; $188.53) reported poor earnings for the first quarter, which could indicate a rough time for the stock market. The company’s stock movement after earnings has registered a stunning 75 percent success rate in predicting market direction over the past decade.

• Google Inc. (GOOG; $800.97) reported its first-quarter profit and loss statement last week. Even if the returns don’t excite investors, they shouldn’t deter anyone from purchasing the stock for the long haul.

Numbers indicated a strong performance in the company’s core advertising business, which reported $13.97 billion in gross revenues. Net income for the quarter came in at $3.5 billion. The only major loss resulted from Google’s Motorola hardware acquisition.

CEO Larry Page told analysts that Google would continue investing in speculative products ranging from high-speed fiber networks to wearable computers and driverless cars.

When self-driving technology spreads, Google will have a monopoly on licensing. Unfortunately, the company won’t realize returns from the developments until driverless cars dominate.

Google Glass should someday replace smartphones, increasing the company’s bottom line.

• Apple Inc. (AAPL; $398.66) released its March-quarter earnings, which will be observed keenly, Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline. The company’s stock tanked to its lowest level since December 2011 amid concerns regarding its direction and near-term outlook.

Macs appear to be bucking the industrywide personal-computer sales slump, and Apple maintained a 39 percent share of the U.S. market for smartphone operating systems in February/March.

Apple sent an open letter to its customers in China, vowing to improve its customer service. A Chinese regulator promised to increase supervision. Apple – and investors – should watch this matter closely, as China accounted for $7.3 billion in sales in the December quarter.

If Apple doesn’t announce a dividend increase when it reports its earnings, expect the stock price to drop further. Despite the lower price, many investors remain bullish in anticipation of new products before the end of the year.

Apple’s strategy of manufacturing only high-end iPhones has worked well, but Samsung is killing Apple in the market, and other vendors are challenging with different price levels and sizes.

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