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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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Consumer sentiment at nine-month low

One reason for optimism regarding corporate growth is the recent strength of economically sensitive stocks like Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Facebook Inc. (FB), both local corporate entities reaching all-time highs.

On a national level, there is overall concern because of a lack of excitement from the Dow Industrials, which have yet to close above their Sept. 18 all-time high of 15,676.94. A move above that level would confirm a bullish trend for investors.

The latest disappointing September jobs report and falling consumer sentiment for the future may help explain this hesitancy. The University of Michigan’s October consumer confidence rating fell 2 percent to 73.2, the lowest reading since December 2012.

One of the main reasons for the decline was the first federal government shutdown in 17 years, which undermined Americans’ outlook on the economy.

Sliding consumer confidence could affect holiday spending and the stock market, as the recent Congressional deal is only a temporary fix. Our federal government could provide us with renewed fiscal debates by the year’s end and into 2014.

Town Crier stocks of interest:

• Microsoft Corp. ($35.53; MSFT) surprised the market last Thursday with its quarterly profit and revenue forecasts. Revenue rose 16 percent to $18.5 billion while analysts had expected $17.8 billion.

First quarter sales posted a 17 percent increase in profit to $5.2 billion or 62 cents per share, up from $4.5 billion or 53 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Many analysts trimmed profit margins after Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced his retirement and the company acquired Nokia’s handset business while the core computer business was decreasing.

Microsoft broke out sales of its Surface tablets for the first time, which doubled from the previous quarter. Surface tablet sales increased to $400 million due to rising interest in the smaller, discounted Surface RT model.

Chief financial officer Amy Hood said, “We look forward to our second quarter where our enterprise business will be strong and we are set for a fantastic holiday season with Surface, Xbox One and a host of devices from our partners.”

Recent upgrade and downgrade history has Microsoft in a downgrade phase from a buy to a hold. Mean target price is $35 and high target is $42.

• Cisco Systems Inc. ($22.51; CSCO) shares have dropped 14 percent since the company posted July quarter results in August and this recent drop disappointed cautious investors. Its share price remains nearly 75 per cent below its all-time high.

Price/earnings ratio, at about 15, is lower than the S&P 500 rating at 18 and this concerns investors. Cisco sells great routers, but is running into competition from cheap routers.

Last week Cisco announced its next “vision for collaboration,” which focuses on a modern workspace that enables workers to work smarter and allows teams to instantly connect and communicate.

Cisco suffers from weak trends in profit estimates and share-price action and has recently been downgraded by numerous analysts. For example, MKM Partners LLC downgraded the stock from a buy to neutral Oct. 16. Other analysts consider Cisco a buy and a long-term buy. High target price is $32.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and a longtime stock investor.

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