Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

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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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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