Fri02122016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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Keep calm after recent market retreat

After five days of Dow Jones industrial average turmoil, it was a relief to see the market rising again last week. In the wake of the steady decline, the Dow now stands approximately 4.9 percent below its Aug. 2 all-time closing high.

Investors may be inclined to view the five-day retreat as a significant secondary correction and assume that there is no shortage of reasons to be bearish, given the Federal Reserve’s noncommittal approach to tapering off its bond-buying program.

According Michael Strauss, Common Fund’s chief investment strategist, the Fed’s reduction of asset purchases will “signal a stronger economy, which will be good for stocks.”

“Stay calm here and look at the taper, look at the reasons why it might occur,” Strauss said last week. “If it’s because the economy’s doing a little bit better, that’s actually a good thing.”

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

• Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ; $22.49) released disappointing third-quarter results last week, prompting the stock price to tumble.

Officials at HP, the world’s largest computer manufacturer, reported that the company made $1.4 billion in profit on sales of $27.2 billion in the third quarter, or 71 cents per share. The numbers beat analysts’ projection of 61 cents, but quarterly revenue dropped 8 percent.

CEO Meg Whitman subsequently hit the airwaves to answer for the poor showing. In an interview Friday morning on CNBC, Whitman claimed that HP is on track with regard to its five-year turnaround plan and outlined how acquisitions are part of her long-term strategy. The company is in a position, she said, to rethink its capital allocation strategy.

“Acquisitions will become part of our future,” she added. “We have our eyes on a number of areas. Some are in the $100 million to $300 million range and perhaps some up to $1.5 billion.”

HP’s sales and profits derive primarily from personal computers and printers, sales of which are in decline as consumers flock to purchase iPhones and tablets. Revenue in HP’s Computer Division declined 11 percent from a year earlier, and the printing business fell 4 percent.

During Whitman’s CNBC appearance, host Jim Cramer noted that HP has some “cool” new products in the works, including Moonshot, a software-defined server that can harness Internet traffic for enterprises. Cramer noted that Hewlett-Packard needs three things: “new products, worldwide growth and a lot of luck.”

• Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO; $23.94) shares have fallen since the company released its July-quarter earnings. Although slightly above expectations, results proved disappointing.

For the quarter, earnings per share came in at 52 cents – besting analysts’ consensus estimate of 51 cents – and revenues totaled $12.4 billion. Cisco generated a record $4 billion in operating cash flow for the quarter.

The company announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs, approximately 5 percent of its workforce. The layoffs represent a diversion of resources to newer, faster-growing areas like cloud computing, mobility and Internet products.

Despite the setback, Cisco, one of the key suppliers of telecommunications and networking equipment for the Internet, continues to gain market share. Since initiating a dividend in March 2011 at a quarterly rate of 6 cents per share, it has more than doubled last year’s quarterly dividend with a 2.80 percent yield and an annualized dividend payout of 68 cents per share.

Some analysts advise caution with regard to Cisco stock, but others suggest an upgrade from cautious to neutral or market perform. The median target price is $28, with a high of $32.

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