Fri08012014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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