Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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Is the bull still in charge?

The stock market’s pundits, gurus and second-guessers are sounding a warning bell for a rocky autumn, but then you pull up Barron’s Financial Weekly and the headline reads: “The Bull’s in Charge.” What’s an investor to do?

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 4.5 percent from its August peak, and the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 5.5 percent. Emerging markets took a pounding. Those are facts.

September, the U.S. stock market’s worst month historically, poses some major risks this year. By the end of the month, investors should have at least partial answers to some questions of importance.

Many of the events are political, including the Syrian crisis, which could ignite a powder keg in the Middle East; and the looming budget, debt-ceiling and immigration-reform debates. To top it off, the Federal Reserve could retreat from its easy-money policy and reduce its $85 billion monthly bond purchases. The next Fed policy meeting, scheduled Sept. 18-19, will include a discussion on tapering.

Investors appear to be bracing for a letdown, but with recent reports suggesting that U.S. manufacturing is rebounding and employment and consumer confidence are holding up, stocks could enjoy a rally if we get through September without too many major disappointments.

Barron’s noted that despite stock-market declines and the possibility of an autumn correction, Wall Street’s top strategists see the market headed higher over the long term, with stocks rising 20 percent or more in 18 months.

Two stocks - including a Town Crier “50” - generated headlines last week.

• Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO; $23.97) shares have fallen 10 percent since the company declared its July-quarter earnings. In the quarter, Cisco earned 52 cents per share, excluding special items that were up 11 percent – beating the consensus by a penny. Revenue advanced 6 percent to $12.42 billion on balanced growth. Cisco has a market cap of $125.9 billion, with an average daily trading volume of 35.1 million shares.

The San Jose-based company recently announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs, approximately 5 percent of its workforce. Cost trends are mixed, with production expenses rising and operating expenses falling. Layoffs and resource reallocation should help address the cost issues.

Cisco could remain under pressure in the near term, but the stock is still a buy both short and long term, according to several analyst ratings. Most analysts have upgraded the stock either to a hold or market perform. The mean target price is $28, with a high of $32. The dividend returns a yield of 2.91 percent.

• Varian Medical Systems Inc. (VAR; $72.44) of Palo Alto may not be a Town Crier 50 stock, but it is the world’s leading manufacturing of devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions. The company is also the premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific and industrial applications.

Three years ago, Varian undertook a companywide review of sustainability performance, identifying challenges and opportunities. The company issued its 2013 Sustainability Report last week, outlining its commitment to achieving its goals in a “socially and environmentally responsible manner,” according to CEO Dow Wilson.

Varian has maintained decent operating momentum despite currency problems in Asia and stiff headwinds in North America. The company has grown cash from operations at least 18 percent in five of the past six quarters. Sales are up 6 percent over the past year and have risen in 59 straight quarters.

Varian stock has rallied 22 percent in the past year, ahead of the S&P 500’s 17 percent gain. The stock remains reasonably valued, and most analysts rate it a buy or hold, with a market-perform rating. The mean target price for the stock is $78, with a high of $85.

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