Fri02122016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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The market trend is still bullish

Looking at your increased portfolio, the present trend is still in the bullish camp. Investors anticipate a jolly good time in December.

With another month to go in 2013, you hear many conflicting opinions on the prospects for 2014. Knowing what to believe can be difficult, but if November was an omen for next year, we should all feel happy. November was a great month for stocks. The Dow is above 16,000, the S&P 500 is trading above 1,800 and last week the Nasdaq closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years.

Year-to-date the indexes have increased between 20 and 35 percent for a record-breaking year, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s bond purchases, a recovering economy and solid corporate earnings.

Stocks are not in a bubble position. At less than 19 times current-year earnings, the median S&P 500 stock trades at a 13 percent premium to 10-year norms. Valuations have reached much higher levels at previous market peaks.

Also, the stock market has not run out of potential catalysts. Bears argue that the good news has already played out because of the proposed Federal Reserve cutback, but takeover activity has yet to heat up given cheap financing and strong corporate balance sheets. A surge in takeovers would not be surprising, so look for more companies to increase their dividends and buy back their shares in 2014.

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

• Intel Corp. (INTC; $23.74) last week reported that the company would begin to concentrate on chips for smartphones and tablets immediately, as consumers are using fewer personal computers.

Investors are befuddled by Intel’s guidance for the next year, when revenue will be down in the mid-single digits, at an estimated 1.4 percent in 2014.

According to new CEO Brian Krzanich, computing in the next few years will focus more on items for eyes and ears, as well as wristbands and watches. The company will pursue two important strategic shifts: expand its foundry business to a much broader range of customers and aggressively target tablets, where the unit volume is expected to quadruple in 2014.

Intel should not be viewed as a safe or undervalued tech play, but Krzanich said that under his leadership, Intel would give priority to its Atom microprocessor. Intel does not wish to fall behind in future technology trends that include wearable computing devices.

Analysts do not cite Intel as an investment for the average investor as long as the PC market continues to decrease. Most analysts recently have upgraded the stock to a neutral or buy, with a median target price of $24 and a high of $32. Intel’s dividend yields 3.8 percent.

• Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; $38.47) launched Xbox One last week to record sales of more than a million in the first 24 hours. It was the most successful premiere in Xbox history.

Microsoft plans to reach beyond the gamers with this console, as it intends to deliver innovative entertainment experiences by bringing movies, music, sports and live TV together in one box.

In another direction, Nokia shareholders approved a $7.2 billion deal to allow Microsoft to buy its ailing cellphone and services division plus the portfolio patents obtained by the Finnish tech giant.

Much has been made of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s tenure with Microsoft, during which the share price fell from the high 50s in January 2000 to the 30s, where it remained stagnant. The stock recently started to rise again following the announcement of Ballmer’s departure.

The failure of Microsoft to grasp opportunities in big-growth areas led to the static share price. However, Microsoft remains highly profitable and last month beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit and revenue forecasts.

Analysts’ recent upgrade and downgrade history has downgraded Microsoft stock from a buy to a hold. The median target price is $36, with a high of $45. The dividend yield for Microsoft is 3 percent.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and investor in stocks. He is a longtime holder of Intel and Microsoft stocks and intends to make no move at this time.

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