Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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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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Consumer confidence will lift market

If history is any indicator, the market should perform strongly in the second half of the year. Since World War II, every year the S&P 500 posted gains in January and February, the market recorded a positive year.

Stocks in 2013 have registered the best first-half performance since 1999, despite the U.S. economy stuck in low gear for more than a year with an average annual growth of 1.7 percent.

But according to the monthly publication Blue Chip Economic Indicators, gross domestic product is expected to increase to 1.9 percent this year, fueled by consumers’ optimism. Consumers account for roughly two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, and the improving outlook for consumer spending is one reason the market should gain steam in 2014. When consumers have money to spend and invest, you can bank on a rising stock market.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made headlines last week.

• Intuit Inc. (INTU; $62.76) agreed to sell its Financial Services Business to the private-equity firm Thoma Bravo for $1 billion. Intuit also plans to sell its health group, which provides financial services and software to hospitals.

The divestures are part of Intuit’s major restructuring, designed to allow the company to concentrate more on its core business of tax programs for consumers and small businesses. The proceeds from both sales should speed up share repurchasing.

Intuit began in 1983 marketing Quicken Personal Finance Software. Annual revenue now tops $4 billion, with a net income of $792 million. With 8,500 employees, the company plans to diversify beyond desktop software and Web services into software for tablets and smartphones.

Most analysts rate Intuit stock as a hold, though Raymond James Financial Services upgraded it last week to a strong buy. The mean target price per share is $65.94, with a high of $85.

• Apple Inc. (AAPL; $412.69) is still No. 1 in the U.S. smartphone market, but its share of the market remained virtually flat at 39 percent in the quarter, according to researchers, while Samsung Electronics gained two percentage points to take a 21 percent slice and Google Motorola captured 8 percent.

Among smartphone operating systems, Google’s Android maintained a 52 percent share of the U.S. market, followed by Apple at 39 percent.

Looking ahead to what may be its next big release, Apple applied for a trademark for iWatch in Japan. Wearable computing devices have suddenly become a crowded field, with companies racing to bring their new products to consumers. The market for wearable computers could exceed $12 billion by 2018, according to one research firm.

Apple projects third-quarter revenue totaling between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion, gross margin between 36 and 37 percent, and operating expenses between $3.85 billion and $3.95 billion. Other expenses are projected at $300 million.

The majority of analysts who cover Apple consider its stock a current and long-term buy. Among 50 brokers surveyed, the mean target price is $538.74, with a high of $888.

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