Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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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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