Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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How to avoid the pitfalls of sudden wealth

In my May 29 column (“Is sudden wealth a blessing or curse?”), I discussed the dark side of newfound wealth, the financial and psychological impact that, according to one report, results in 90 percent of lottery winners going broke within five years.

Now I’d like to share some simple strategies to avoid ending up penniless and/or in a mental institution.

• Don’t act – take stock. You’ve got to put something in place to control your behavior to make sure that you don’t lose that money. This is the time to create a plan for your future – your goals, your aspirations and the costs associated with them. If you are unable to do it yourself, seek help from a financial planner. That’s what they do. You may call it a retirement plan, or a “rest of your life” plan, but its purpose is to ensure that you have a road map to follow to maintain enough capital to support your goals, both now and in the future. Whatever you choose to do with your money, it’s important that you look after yourself first.

• Set aside enough of your wealth to achieve your plan – and I’m not talking about investing it. If your winning lottery ticket, inheritance or other windfall provided enough money to last you the rest of your life, why risk it at all?

Invest it instead in safe assets such as U.S. Treasury bonds or bank CDs. You can even leave it in a bank checking account. (Keep in mind, however, that CDs and bank accounts are each insured only up to $250,000. You might want to diversify your holdings across numerous banks to manage the remote but possible risk of bank failures.) If you do need to invest your fortune, your plan should help you avoid risking more than necessary.

• Monitor your investments as well as your spending. Discipline in managing your wealth and cash flow will be critical to your ongoing success. If you do not have a strong history of frugality, consider hiring a professional team comprising a financial planner, tax accountant and estate attorney.

• Now it’s time to consider others. Do you have a brother-in-law who is looking for funding to start a business? Maybe a nephew who wants to attend law school? Or a friend with cancer and no insurance? It’s fine to help them financially as long as it does not negatively impact your plan.

• If you’re charitably inclined, donate money to your favorite causes or use donor-advised funds. A solid plan should allow you to compare different scenarios and make tradeoffs without compromising your future. If your windfall is especially large, you may even be in a position to create your own foundation. In any case, get help to determine the tax consequences of your choices – you likely will be dealing with unfamiliar tax liabilities.

• If you still have money left after all these considerations, do whatever you want with it. Think of this last bucket as “play” money. Build a pound for stray animals. Buy a Tesla. Go to Las Vegas. Although money will not buy happiness, you can still use it to generate a little fun.

Keep in mind that no one has an infinite amount of money to spend. Even Bill Gates has a plan for his wealth, and you can bet he manages it carefully.

Los Altos resident Artie Green is a Certified Financial Planner with Cognizant Wealth Advisors. For more information, call 209-4062.

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