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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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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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