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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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