Wed09172014

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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Is the stock market still your friend?

The Federal Reserve said interest-rate policies were still needed to invigorate the U.S. economy, so it will continue buying $85 billion in bonds every month to keep long-term rates low. The immediate result: The Dow Jones industrial average reached a new all-time high.

Although the past few days have been volatile, the trend still appears bullish. So what options do you have as an investor? You can continue what you’re doing in an uncertain market, you can sell your stocks and not worry about any crashes or shortfalls – there are legitimate reasons for concern in the weeks ahead – or you can continue to buy while the market achieves new highs and take your chances while the getting is good.

If you reached your financial goals, then getting out could be a good move, but analysts expect stocks to outperform bonds and cash over the next year.

The Stock Market Trends & Securities Report, Dow Theory Forecasts, noted that if an investor missed 40 of the market’s biggest days over 20 years (1987-2007), the return would have totaled 3.98 percent. Staying in the market fully invested, the average annualized return would have been 11.82 percent.

After October’s solid results, with the S&P 500 and the Dow reaching new highs, changing course would require difficult decision-making.

Two Town Crier “50” high-flying stocks made news last week.

• Facebook Inc. (FB; 48.66) stock gained 2.4 percent Thursday and continued to rise as the market declined. Why? Facebook reported quarterly earnings of 25 cents per share, beating an estimated 19 cents per share, while revenue increased 60 percent to $2.02 billion, compared with $1.26 billion a year earlier.

Not all is rosy with the Menlo Park-based company, however. It appears that the fever youth once had for Facebook is cooling off. Daily use by the teen demographic declined in the third quarter from the second quarter. Other age groups, though, more than made up for the decline.

The primary reason for the impressive growth is mobile sales. While Facebook was not in the mobile ad business when it went public in May 2012, ads now account for nearly half of the company’s $1.8 billion in advertising revenue. Mobile and business advertising rose because Internet users are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets.

Facebook will probably be around for a long time. Although it is losing some of its younger users, it has far more monthly users than Twitter and Linkedln combined.

The upgrade and downgrade history for Facebook stock has changed since the company went public in 2012. Since April 5, analysts have recommended a buy, with only a few holds. The high target price is $68, with a low of $24.90. Logical advice would be to buy on a dip.

• LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD; $224.14) is currently trading around its peak value and five times its 2011 initial public offering of $45. Investors are beginning to question whether the high valuation is correct and whether the price will continue to escalate.

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with revenue for the fourth quarter approximately $414-$420 million, according to Bloomberg. Sales in the third quarter climbed 56 percent to $393 million. The company reported a net loss of $3.36 million, or 3 cents per share in the latest quarter.

As the Mountain View-based company builds its revenue from smartphones and tablet viewing, mobile activity already accounts for more than half of its sales from product-sponsored updates. LinkedIn has 4,241 full-time employees.

The Talent segment, in which LinkedIn charges a subscription fee for access to its database of recruiters, provides its main source of revenue. It has launched new products in Sponsored Updates and University Pages in the past two months. Faced with decelerating growth, LinkedIn seeks new users overseas to generate additional revenue.

The stock’s upgrade and downgrade history since February has been a buy. The 30 brokers following the company deem the high target price $300 and the low $195.

The company is a bit risky to buy right now, but on a pullback it could make investors happy, so buy on the dip.

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

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