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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Stocks take a licking & keep on ticking

When the stock market stalls after an exhilarating upward climb, the temptation to look for a correction is understandable.

A long list of potential negatives is on the horizon, which could cause investors and the market to pull back. However, predicting the timing for a correction is guesswork. The Affordable Care Act, scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, and other looming geopolitical events are likely to influence the market in the fall.

There is no shortage of reasons to be bearish – consumer sentiment tanked this month, turmoil rages in the Middle East, the Federal Reserve may call a halt to its bond buying and interest rates could rise rapidly.

Stocks are not cheap these days, and bull markets tend to end when shares become expensive. Investors should do their homework.

For now, solid stocks are still available at reasonable valuations, including the following two blue chips on the Town Crier “50.”

• Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; $31.60) has been on the scene since 1975. But since global personal computer shipments plunged 14 percent in the first quarter, many of the early software pioneers are navigating stormy seas.

The recent quarter marked the end of Microsoft’s 2013 fiscal year. The company earned $2.58 a share, compared with $2 a share in 2012.

Long-term investors should consider the stock-price decline as a second chance to purchase Microsoft shares on sale. The yield is heading back toward 3 percent, and the company’s outlook isn’t as dismal as PC industry sales suggest.

Once the holiday season begins, shoppers will focus on consumer electronics. Microsoft has a great opportunity to become one of the star players with its new Xbox One. Judging by past performance, Microsoft should sell more than 2 million units of the Xbox One, in addition to scores of accessories.

On average, analysts predict that Microsoft will generate $23.02 billion in revenues and 78 cents in net profits in the fourth quarter. With those results, Microsoft could make itself more attractive than the dividend yield of 2.89 percent.

Numerous analysts have downgraded Microsoft stock from a buy to a hold. The target price is $35, with a high of $41 in the future.

• IBM Corp. (IBM; $184.24) is struggling, and the time has come to decide whether its stock is attractive to new money and worthy of investment. Second-quarter sales have dropped two years in a row, with all divisions suffering varying degrees of problems.

Financial analyst and broadcaster Jim Cramer last week ranked IBM as a sell. The 52-week high is $215, and the low $184.78.

“The easy money has been made, and I would sell,” Cramer said.

IBM is not the financial powerhouse it once was. At the end of the second quarter, it had slightly under $7 billion working capital against $26.3 billion in long-term debt.

Nearly two dozen analysts, including those representing UBS and Barclays, have upgraded the stock. Most rate IBM a hold, and none calls for a sell. The mean target price is $217.50, with a high of $250.

I have a long position in both Microsoft and IBM stock, and I don’t plan to buy more of either in the next month.

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