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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Stocks fall on politicians’ whims

Stocks continue to fall as investors focus on the risk that the U.S. government won’t be able to pay its bills after hitting its borrowing limit this week.

Stocks surged to an all-time high Sept. 18, after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly kept its bond-buying program intact, but the market stalled last week amid fears of the looming budget and debt-ceiling crises.

Bond yields have dropped sharply since the Fed’s decision to maintain its $85-billion-per-month monetary stimulus. Rate-sensitive utility stocks have performed nicely since the decision, while financials and cyclical stocks have underperformed.

Stocks are no longer cheap. Improved earnings growth is essential to fuel any meaningful gains, and investors must regain confidence in the government.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks scored headlines last week.

• Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT; $17.63) reported Sept. 24 that it plans to purchase rival Tokyo Electron Ltd. in an all-stock transaction valued at $9 billion.

The merger will produce a combined capitalization of approximately $29 billion. The move is intended to accelerate the development of equipment for production of semiconductors, solar panels and flat-panel display technology.

“We are creating a global innovator in precision materials engineering and patterning that provides our new company with significant opportunities to solve our customers’ problems better, faster and at a lower cost,” said Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials, the largest manufacturer of chip-making equipment.

As the shift from personal computers to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets continues, the parts that hardware developers need are changing. Analysts believe that the merger will give both companies access to markets and research not previously available.

The Santa Clara-based Applied Materials acquired telecommunications equipment maker Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. in 2011. With the latest acquisition, both Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron look to expand their global market share.

The merging of the two companies aims to create “a global innovator” in semiconductor and display manufacturing technology, according to an Applied Materials press release.

“This combination ... brings together complementary leading technologies and products to create an expanded set of capabilities in precision materials engineering and patterning that are strategically important for customers,” the release stated.

• Agilent Technologies Inc. (A; $51.28), maker of scientific-testing equipment, has long straddled the divide between health care and technology. The Santa Clara-based company last week announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies. While it may be nearly a year before the split takes effect, investors cheered the news.

One company – devoted to life sciences, diagnostics and applied markets – will retain the Agilent name, and the other yet-to-be-named enterprise will comprise Agilent’s portfolio of electronic-measurement products.

“Agilent has evolved into two distinct investment and business opportunities, and we are creating two separate and strategically focused enterprises to allow each to maximize its growth and success,” said Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO.

After the announcement, Agilent stock rose 6 percent, and ISI Group issued an upgrade from buy to strong buy.

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