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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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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