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News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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Stock market suffers June swoon

The stock market continues to struggle in June, with investors fearing that the Federal Reserve could begin scaling back its aggressive stimulus program. Compounding the anxiety, consumer sentiment is on the wane.

Many investors ignore three key variables when evaluating the health of a bull market: earnings, interest rates and valuations. All three are beginning to look negative.

The bearish view carries some weight. The sudden jump in 10-year Treasury bond yields to 2.2 percent – up from 1.6 percent in early May – has surprised investors and put pressure on defensive stocks with bondlike returns in light of the economy’s strength. In addition, a surprise hike in mortgage rates (4.15 percent last week) threatens to slow a refinancing boom that delivered strong profits for banks over the past few years.

The market’s continued upward climb is likely to become narrower and choppier in the second half of 2013, but stocks still look better than cash or bonds. While it could be harder to make money in U.S. stocks in the second half of the year, many analysts think it is still too early to sell.

It is worth noting that many analysts consider the full-year targets for the Dow and the S&P comparably bearish, and predict a 15 percent decline from current levels to 12,969 and 1348, respectively.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made the news last week.

• Safeway Inc. (SWY; $24.24) announced last week that it plans to sell its Canadian Safeway operations to food retailer Sobeys for $5.8 billion. The deal includes 213 Safeway markets, 52 fuel stations, 10 liquor stores and four distribution centers.

Safeway plans to use the money to repay $2 billion of its debt. The company will use the bulk of the remainder to purchase shares.

Zacks Equity Research reports that Safeway will be left with $0.8 billion of authorization to buy back shares, and shareholders should anticipate attractive returns in the near future.

The Pleasanton-based company operates stores under its own name as well as the Vons chain in Southern California and Tom Thumb in Texas. Locally, a new super Safeway recently opened at The Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View, and a new podium-style store in Los Altos is scheduled for construction this summer.

Safeway’s upgrade and downgrade history has not been ideal for investors, with most analysts calling the stock “underweight” and recommending a hold. The mean target price is $24.07, with a high of $30.

• Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ; $25.13) reported an increase in share price last week, even as the Dow declined.

In a CNBC segment June 12, CEO Meg Whitman reported that the company’s turnaround is proceeding ahead of schedule. While admitting that HP has a long way to go before digging itself entirely out of the hole, Whitman said revenue growth is possible this year. Since December, the company’s growth has added more than $20 billion in value to shareholders.

HP faces the challenge of identifying growth opportunities when consumers appear less inclined to purchase its computers and printers. Sales of all product lines declined last quarter, but the company is building up non-PC divisions such as cloud computing and servers.

Among Forbes Magazine analysts, one deems HP stock a buy, with five others recommending that investors sell their shares. Other analysts suggest holding the stock.

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