Tue05052015

News

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

 Gary Kremen

Los Altos Hills residents, city councilmembers and even the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board chairman have protested taxes for water the district doesn't deliver.

"We're getting taxed for something we're not receiving, ...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer appro...

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Community

Slideshow: Los Altos Live!

More than 20 acts performed to a soldout crowd April 25 at Los Altos High School's Eagle Theater for the seventh annual "Los Altos Live!" talent show. The show featured an eclectic range of acts, including rock bands, singers, dancers and the Broad...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of you to spen...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Stock market bulls still look happy

The Dow Jones industrial average has moved primarily sideways since peaking April 11 at 14,865.14. Periods like this provide a good opportunity to take a step back and examine what the market is telling us.

Economic growth regained speed in the first three months but slowed once companies reported their latest quarter results. The primary trend is still in the bullish camp, with few references to a bear market in the expanded economy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in the March quarter. The growth represents impressive acceleration from the December quarter’s meager 0.4 percent. The private sector more than offset any weakness in government spending.

A bull would recognize personal-consumption spending rising 2.2 percent as the largest quarter gain since December 2010. There is nothing more important to the economy than a strong consumer market, and in the March quarter, consumers were spending. In addition, inflation remains under control – the price index indicated inflation of 0.9 percent in the March quarter, down 1.6 percent in each of the last two quarters.

Bulls like performance, and to simplify, stock prices can rise for two reasons: (1) investors become more optimistic about the outlook for earnings and dividends and (2) investors become more willing to pay up for those earnings and dividends because of diminished risk or diminished competition from alternative investments like bank accounts and bonds.

Another item the bulls like is the dividend hikes many companies have announced since Jan. 1. A number of blue-chip stocks, including Apple Inc., as reported below, have raised their payouts.

One Town Crier “50” stock and another local company made news last week.

• Apple Inc. (AAPL; $432.34) gave investors what they were looking for in their deployment of cash. Apple is opening the bank vault and will distribute $100 billion in cash to shareholders over two years. It will also buy back $60 billion in shares and raise its dividend by 15 percent to $3.05 per share. Investors have been pushing Apple to distribute its cash hoard of $145 billion.

The Cupertino-based company announced financial results for the fiscal second quarter that ended March 30. Apple posted quarterly revenue of $43.6 billion and quarterly profit of $9.5 billion. However, the company’s gross profit margin plunged nearly 10 percent, reflecting a shift in product mix. Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones, up 7 percent from a year ago, and 19.5 million iPads, up 65 percent.

Apple provided future guidance for its fiscal 2013 third quarter: revenue between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion and gross margins between 35 and 37 percent.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off June 10 in San Francisco.

While analysts maintain different opinions on Apple stock, with the price in the low $400s now, many consider it a strong buy, with a median target price at $590.

• Varian Medical Systems Inc. (VAR; $64.79), regarded one of the top health-care equipment companies, last week announced that profits rose 9 percent to $1.02 in the March quarter. In line with consensus reporting, the Palo Alto-based company reported revenues increasing 13 percent to $842 million on 14 percent growth from X-ray products. The backlog rose 4 percent to $2.75 billion.

Varian entered the third quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $795.9 million, up 22.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. Long-term debt stood at $6.3 million.

Numerous analysts like Varian stock and have upgraded its status. Considered a long-term buy, Varian is expected to outperform the industry, with a high target of $88 and a mean target of $79.

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