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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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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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