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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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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