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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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