Thu10022014

News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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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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