Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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Stock market still volatile, bullish

Welcome to volatility in the stock market, finally over the 16,000 hurdle. Up one day, down the next, investors are not looking forward to the broad market declining in earnest. Until that bubble, the market’s reluctance to experience anything more than a fairly modest correction is pleasing news to many investors.

The news from Washington often distracts investors more than it informs them of anything meaningful, but following the headlines can be helpful. Stocks fell Nov. 20 after the Federal Reserve indicated that it might begin tapering its bond-buying program in the near future.

After the slump, stocks jumped in Thursday morning trading as larger-than-expected jobless claims dropped, suggesting an improving market.

At her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Fed chair, Janet Yellen said a strong recovery would ultimately enable the Fed to reduce its bond-buying program and rely on policies such as asset purchases.

As an investor, I find that monetary policy is most effective when the public understands what the Federal Reserve is trying to do and knows how to plan based on its decisions. Minutes from the Fed’s October meeting indicate that the central bank will begin tapering its bond buying in December, and Treasury bonds jumped to a two-month high near 2.8 percent, putting pressure on utilities and telecom stocks.

In day-to-day movement, the market is still bullish, and a pullback could be looked at as a correction within a bull market – and that could lead to a new buying opportunity.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made headlines last week.

• Heritage Commerce Corp. (HTBK; $7.98) released its third-quarter results two weeks ago, reporting that earnings increased 29 percent to $3.2 million from the same quarter a year ago, or 10 cents per average diluted common share. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, net income available to common shareholders increased 36 percent to $8.2 million.

“As a result of our solid performance, we are delighted to announce the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.03 per share in the fourth quarter of 2013 to our shareholders,” said Walter Kaczmarek, president and chief executive officer.

Heritage Commerce Corp. operates as a bank holding company for Heritage Bank of Commerce, providing commercial and full personal banking services to residents in local communities, including Los Altos, and nine other full-service branch offices in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa.

Deposits totaled $1.20 billion at the end of September, compared with $1.14 billion in September 2012. The company’s earnings consensus has moved higher over the past two months, suggesting that more trading could be on the horizon for Heritage Commerce Corp. stock.

Upgrade and downgrade recommendations from most analyst firms have suggested a hold for the stock. The mean target price is $8.50, with a high of $9.

• NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA; $15.52) is known for creating the graphics chips used in PCs to bring video games to life. With the invention of the graphics processing unit, NVIDIA introduced to the world the power of programmable shading, which defines modern computer graphics.

In fiscal year 2014, NVIDIA plans to return in excess of $1 billion to shareholders, in the form of share repurchases and quarterly dividend payments. During the first nine months of 2013, the company returned $983 million to shareholders, including $850 million in share repurchases and $133 in dividend payments.

Revenues came in at $1.05 billion, up 7.9 percent from the previous quarter but down 12.5 percent from the year before. Earnings totaled $118.7 million, up 23.1 percent on a sequential basis but down 43.2 percent compared with the previous year.

NVIDIA ended its third quarter with $3.03 billion in cash, equivalents and marketable securities. The Santa Clara-based firm holds no debt.

NVIDIA is currently running into headwinds and aims to reduce the dependence on PCs and focus on gaming devices and servers.

Shares of NVIDIA declined over the past week after Morgan Stanley issued a downgrade after the stock rose more than 40 percent in the past year and the operating performance deteriorated. Morgan Stanley analysts lowered their target from “equal weight” to “underweight” and placed a price target of $13 per share.

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

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