Thu05282015

News

LASD opens registration for online strategy sessions

As the Los Altos School District plans how to spend its $150 million in Measure N bond funds, its initial goal is to broaden community input.

Following an April 22 meeting, the district is casting a wider net in the hopes of soliciting feedback from...

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Schools

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Community Health Awareness Council hosted a forum earlier this month where local students discussed the varied pressures they face.

Local students face enormous pressures in their lives, ranging from academic to social, but s...

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Community

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum


Alda

Those who laughed along with Hawkeye Pierce on the long-running TV program “M*A*S*H*” would have enjoyed the recent Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speakers Series featuring actor Alan Alda.

Alda appeared May 13-15 at the Flint Center for...

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Sports

Eagles, Spartans advance

Eagles, Spartans advance


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Lizzy Beutter registered three hits in last week’s playoff win over Watsonville. She was also the winning pitcher.

Led by Lizzy Beutter, host Los Altos High whipped Watsonville 9-0 in the opening ro...

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Comment

Giving the thumb to what's done: Editorial

In the wake of recent Los Altos-area news events, we’re all thumbs.

Thumbs-down: To the Los Altos City Council’s decision to put the Walter Singer bust in storage. This is wrong on so many levels – even worse than the initial council decision to tra...

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Special Sections

Planting is possible despite drought

Planting is possible despite drought


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Wash the soilless mix off the root ball into the same container in which you have placed the clay soil from the planting hole. Remove at least an inch from the top and sides of the plant.

In this continuing dro...

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Business

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Kokko Inc. Makeup Director Meli Pennington, standing, tests different shades of foundation on Los Altos resident Karen Melchior.

Meli Pennington knows cosmetics.

She has painted faces for the pages of Vogue and Glamour,...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

GUY WILSON SHOUP

Guy Wilson Shoup, 80, died on April 28, 2015, at his Palo Alto apartment, after a long period of ill health. Born on November 22, 1934, to Margaret Owen Shoup and to Jack Wilson Shoup (the second son of Paul Shoup, widely considered the founder of Lo...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'


courtesy of Los Altos Stage Company
The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Urinetown: The Musical” opens this weekend.

The Los Altos Stage Company caps its 19th season with the musical comedy “Urinetown: The Musical,” scheduled to preview Th...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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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

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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