Sat09202014

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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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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