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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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