Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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