Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Job growth boosts stock market

Last week was volatile for stocks, with interest-rate worries prompting market fluctuations. Despite the swings, the Dow Jones industrial average remained within 3 percent of its May 28 all-time closing high of 15,409.39. After the release of the monthly job reports Friday, the market shot up more than 150 points.

Attribute the volatility to fears of interest-rate increases and a preponderance of negative profit warnings. Recent guidance from S&P 500 companies for the June quarter has also been negative.

A more substantial pullback would not be surprising, as the market has advanced without interruption since mid-November. We are at the point where we could use a short downturn.

While interest-rate fears have received most of the blame, a number of warnings are floating around to confuse the average investor. Rising bond yields and falling profit expectations are hurting the relative appeal of stocks, especially where the primary draw is dividend income.

For now, however, the Dow is still in the bullish camp and quality stocks are available at reasonable valuations.

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

• Symantec Corp. (SYMC; $22.26) released its fourth-quarter results last month, reporting its operating margin at 14.4 percent, compared with 11.4 percent for the same quarter last year. Symantec’s net income totaled $188 million, down from $559 million a year ago. Last year the Mountain View-based company benefited from a joint venture stake sale to Huawei, contributing to the year-over-year change.

“In a year of significant leadership changes and development of a new company strategy, the team remained focused on running the business to deliver better than expected results,” said Steve Bennett, president and CEO of Symantec, a security software maker.

Symantec’s share price has increased nearly 55 percent in the past year, exceeding the performance of the broader market during the period. The stock price should continue to rise.

Analysts at The Street deem Symantec stock a buy – with a high price of $30 – noting that the company’s strengths are evident in revenue growth, stock price performance, valuation levels, profit margins and financial position.

• Electronic Arts Inc. (EA; $23.08) scored some press last week, with a Wall St. Cheat Sheet headline asking: “Is Electronic Arts Really the Worst Company in America?” The author of the article, Dan Moskowitz, immediately answered, “absolutely not,” though he did cite revenue as a major problem. The worst company in the world, he wrote, doesn’t have a profit margin, a strong balance sheet and increased online exposure.

Electronic Arts stock vaulted to a 52-week high Friday at $23.66 per share.

The Redwood City firm develops, markets, publishes and distributes game software content. It also provides services for video-game consoles, personal computers, tablets and electronic readers. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts sells its products through mass-market retailers and specialty stores.

The next generation of games from Electronic Arts – Madden NFL 25, NBA Live, Battlefield 4 and several all-out multiplayer warfare games – was announced Monday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Recent analysts’ reports have upgraded Electronic Arts stock to a hold or a neutral, with a mean target price of $21.50 and a high of $26.

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