Sun09142014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Should we buy on the dip?

The market fell for the third day in a row last Friday, the first negative week for investors since mid-April. The drop triggered concern that began when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a change could come in future meetings when the Fed reduces the stimulus. The stimulus programs Bernanke initiated have helped feed a four-year rally in stock prices.

Where is the market headed from here? Should investors buy on the dip? It’s a serious move and raises the question of whether such a move could be profitable when the Chinese economy is contracting. While Fed action remains a question mark and some stocks are still overbought, where but the stock market can you get a reasonable return for your money?

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made headlines last week.

• Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; $34.20) shares have surged 28 percent this year, reaching levels last seen in January 2008. Gains were made despite sluggish personal computer sales and the company’s weakness in mobile computing.

The company, based in Redmond, Wash., with a presence in Mountain View, remains strong. No other competitor will eclipse the performance of Microsoft’s operating system or unseat Microsoft Office’s popularity – and Windows 8 is picking up steam. Microsoft’s recent ad campaign mocking Apple takes a negative slant but gets its point across.

Microsoft unveiled Xbox One, its first new video-game console in eight years. The console features a living-room system that claims to be the only system households will need for games, movies, television and other entertainment. It will be available for purchase later this year at an undisclosed price.

Analysts’ consensus reports on Microsoft stock predict that the opportunity is huge, but so are the challenges. Several analysts reversed recommendations from a buy to a hold. The high target price for Microsoft stock is $42 and the median $33.

• Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ; $24.40) shook up analysts and investors last week when its second-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations. Excluding certain items, the company posted earnings of 87 cents per share, down from a year ago but surpassing the estimate by 6 cents.

The Palo Alto-based company recorded sales of $27.6 billion, down by a half billion from a year ago. Profit sank 32 percent from the previous year.

In a conference call to analysts, CEO Meg Whitman said, “I must say that I’m encouraged with where we are. We have made significant progress, and you can feel the turnaround taking place at HP. Revenue growth is possible in 2014.”

Investors remain confused by the company’s sagging sales and profit over the past few years. The businesses HP acquired – including Autonomy for $11 billion – have not helped the bottom line either. The company exceeded forecasts by cutting costs and laying off 29,000 employees.

Before HP announced its quarter results, analysts had downgraded the stock to a sell, but post-results, they are recommending a hold. The mean target price for the stock is $20, with a high of $29.

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