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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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There’s no sell and go away this May

On the last day of May, the bears had their say, but “Sell in May and go away” hasn’t held true. The Dow Industrials and the S&P are up 3.5 percent and even Nasdaq is up approximately 5 percent since the first of the year. In other words “Sell in May and Go Away” has not held true this year but the bears are grunting with the market down nearly 209 points the last day in May.

While the Dow Industrials closed at all-time highs May 28, the broader market has moved sideways over the past two weeks with interest rates rising.

The Treasury yields are rising with the 10-year note now doing better than 2 percent for the first time this year. This will hurt utility and favorite stocks that pay a yield of approximately 3 percent. Stocks bought primarily for their dividend yields will be hit hardest.

This past week the Japanese stock market became volatile when the Nikkei shed 5 percent and the $1 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund considered changes in the allocation and drifted away from their targeted levels. Other governments are watching the outcome.

The dollar is regaining strength but the Federal Reserve could make a policy change that would reduce or end quantitative easing or end the stimulus. Once the stimulus stops, we will return to old fundamental practices.

Several pundits commented that something’s up. Every analyst can tell, but nobody is quite sure what it is. Is it time to sell a small portion of the portfolio and keep a little cash on hand? No, the bulls still have the driving hand and investors shouldn’t read too much into one month’s data.

Here’s a look at two Town Crier stocks in the news this week.

• Cisco Systems Inc. ($24.26; CSCO) has challenged the European Commission’s approval of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype, a provider of Internet video and phone service in 2011.

Cisco’s earnings per share increased 6 percent to $0.51 excluding special items in the April Quarter, topping the consensus by $0.02. Revenue climbed 5 percent to $12.22 billion, also ahead of expectations. Cisco is looking toward a repeat performance for the fourth quarter.

Cisco expects to boost its strength in mobile services through more acquisitions and several product expansions through additions.

Cisco is considered a current and a long-term buy with numerous analysts.

• Applied Materials Inc. ($15.39; AMAT) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display and related industries worldwide. The stock of the Santa Clara firm has moved up 35 percent since the first of the year with a market cap of $17.87 billion.

Applied Materials reported its second quarter operating income of $285 million and adjusted income of $199 million of 16 cents per diluted share. Net sales were $1.97 billion, up 25 percent.

“For the second quarter in a row, Applied had strong order performance of more than $2 billion,” said Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter. “We are seeing increasing pull from some of out largest strategic customers for our key enabling technologies.”

Analysts were mixed on future results with numerous recommending downgrades to hold or neutral. The Street rates Applied as a hold. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas such as its solid stock price performance with reasonable debt levels and expanding profit margins.

Mean target price is $15.08 which has already been passed. High target price is $20.

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