Sat09202014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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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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