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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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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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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