Sun09142014

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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August proved bad news for market

With a rocky August in the rearview mirror, tensions in Syria pushing oil prices to their highest level this year and the Federal Reserve’s indecision on tapering off its bond-buying program, it’s time for investors to take stock.

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher Thursday as the economy began to show signs of improvement – even as the Syria disaster plays out. While many investors expect a U.S. military strike in the wake of Syria’s alleged poison-gas attacks, analysts do not fear a long-term impact on the market. Compared with other investments, many analysts still believe stocks are the only game in town and look beyond crisis in the Middle East.

Market bulls argue that valuations are still well below prior bull-market peaks and that company earnings and dividends are still rising. That data could also bolster the case for the Fed to wind down its stimulus program sooner.

Historically, August has never been an exciting month for the market. A failed attempt at new highs would suggest that the primary trend has turned bearish, but consumer sentiment is on the rise and investors are still in the game.

Town Crier “50” company Intuit Inc. (INTU; $63.57) trumpeted the launch of the Intuit QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor Program last week, which should be a boon for management solutions. The program is designed to help accounting professionals start and grow their practices using Intuit’s free leading online financial and employee solutions.

“The cloud is no longer a new concept,” said Louis Sanchez, director at Intuit. “It is a necessary platform for accounting professionals to leverage in order to launch their practices and meet clients’ needs.”

The Mountain View-based Intuit provides business and financial solutions for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals. Founded in 1983, the company sells its products and services via various sales and distribution channels. Most consumers are aware of Quicken’s line of desktop software products that reconcile bank accounts, pay bills and track investments. TurboTax, Intuit’s flagship product, is a familiar interface for users during tax season.

The company released its fiscal fourth-quarter results last week, and the numbers failed to impress analysts. On an adjusted basis, the company broke even on a per-share basis. Revenue grew 12 percent to $634 million.

Intuit’s upgrade and downgrade history has varied, with most analysts deeming the stock a hold. The mean target price is $68.53, with a high of $80.

Looking ahead

Projections from research firm International Data Corp. last week may herald trouble for three Town Crier “50” companies.

The future for personal-computer makers and component suppliers grows bleaker – IDC cut its unit-shipment forecasts for the computer tech sector.

IDC predicted that worldwide PC shipments would fall by 9.7 percent in 2013 and 2 percent in 2014. After 2015, the company forecasts single-digit growth.

The PC market is experiencing its longest market contraction on record, largely because customers are purchasing tablets and smartphones rather than replacing their PCs. IDC projects that 315 million PCs will be shipped this year, compared with 349 million in 2012.

The forecast is bad news for Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ; $22.35). In the second quarter, China-based Lenovo rose to the No. 1 PC vendor ranking, pushing HP to No. 2.

Intel Corp. (INTC; $22.02) continues to focus aggressively on mobile products to offset pressure from declining computer and chip sales.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; $33.40) is in talks to buy stakes in other companies to compensate for problems after the release of Windows 8.

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