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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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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