Fri12192014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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