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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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