Tue09162014

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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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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