Thu12182014

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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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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