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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Dow drops HP, Alcoa and BofA

After the stock market closes Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average index of 30 stocks will drop Hewlett-Packard Co. and two other financial mainstays – Alcoa Inc. and Bank of America Corp.

News of the change raises questions among the followers of the Dow and McGraw Hill Financial, which controls the average. McGraw Hill representatives claim that they want to diversify the sectors in the index. The three replacement stocks are Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Visa Inc. and Nike Inc.

The reason is more likely that the stock prices of HP, Alcoa and Bank of America remain low, and the Dow would rather comprise higher-priced winners.

The average divisor will be adjusted before the market opens Monday, so the changes won’t impact the level of the Dow the same as when a stock splits or a spin-off occurs.

Two Town Crier “50” companies made headlines last week.

• Apple Inc. (AAPL; $450.36) unveiled its high-end iPhone 5s and the cheaper, more colorful iPhone 5c, putting an end to the secrecy. Company representatives said the iPhone 5s is twice as fast as the iPhone 5, with an improved camera, a new microchip and a finger sensor.

Apple’s stock plunged during the company’s rollout last week. Analysts suggested that consumers expected more, including stepped-up features not found in other phones.

Analysts are not impressed with Apple’s new iPhone lineup. One analyst cut the stock’s target price to $425 and trimmed the 2014 earnings estimate to $37.95 per share, down from $38.78.

A recent CNET poll revealed that 54 percent of respondents consider Apple a leading innovator, while 46 percent see it falling behind.

The lack of a deal to sell iPhones through China Mobile to more than 700 million subscribers also weighed on Apple shares. If Apple seals a deal with China Mobile, investors and analysts will likely push the stock again.

Apple’s stock is down 14 percent year-to-date and 31 percent over the past 12 months.

The median target price for Apple stock is $540, with a high of $825 – a large disparity. The upgrade and downgrade history is mixed, with most analysts favoring a hold or a neutral position.

• Facebook Inc. (FB; $43.32) stock is now more than $45 per share, marking its all-time high and up 17 percent since its initial public offering at $38 in July 2012.

Investors believe that the social-networking service will benefit from the growing demand for advertising on smartphones and tablets. With more than 1 billion members, Facebook has worked to simplify the ad-buying process for marketers.

Mobile ads totaled 41 percent of advertising revenue in the second quarter, up from 30 percent in the first quarter. While there is a growing acceptance that Facebook is not a fad, the company must continue to drive business from desktop ads to smartphones and tablets.

Second-quarter sales rose 53 percent to $1.81 billion, topping analysts’ prediction of $1.62 billion.

Whereas most analysts previously suggested a downgrade for Facebook stock, they have changed their tune in the past three months, upgrading it to a buy or neutral. The mean target price is $42, with a high of $60.

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