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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Friday climb just fine for consumers

After a week of down days, the market climbed back Friday on the news of an upbeat November jobs report and a five-month rise in consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones industrial average reached an all-time high Nov. 27, and the primary trend has been bullish. Very few losers could be found on the Dow Friday at noon, with few components not in the shiny-green territory. The Dow hit a recent high of 16,174.50.

It appears that the market is becoming comfortable with the Federal Reserve’s decision to taper its bond-buying, a scenario that parallels a stronger economy. The 203,000 increase in payroll employment means a better economy, and that could bring on the taper sooner when the Federal Reserve meets later this month.

Many investors are still comfortable maintaining 95-99 percent of their equity holdings in stocks because there are still attractive stocks available. When that is no longer true and investors can’t find stocks to diversify, then it is time to reduce the stock exposure and sell some of the recent winners.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks issued quarterly reports recently.

• Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ; $27.30) reported fourth-quarter earnings last week that topped expectations. Sales declined in five of its business units, but the stock rose 8 percent after the report. This is good news for a turnaround company in a tough environment.

HP retook the No. 1 position in the worldwide server market with revenue of $3.4 billion and a 27.6 percent market share, but IBM should regain the honor when December results roll in.

Under CEO Meg Whitman, HP is attempting to shift into cloud computing, kiosk printing and tablet computers instead of other ventures that include computers and printers.

HP’s turnaround is more of a reinvention than a continuous efficiency drive. Whitman’s goal was to cut as many as 34,000 employees, and to date she has laid off 24,000, resulting in $9 billion in free cash flow.

Analysts consider HP stock a neutral, with some believing that the company is underperforming. The median price target is $28, with a high target of $32. HP stock goes for seven times earnings and yields a 2.1 percent dividend.

• Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT; $16.90) posted impressive fourth-quarter earnings at 19 cents, beating numerous analysts’ estimates by a penny, or 5.6 percent. Revenues were also strong, topping forecasts by 16.2 percent. The company reported revenue of $1.99 billion, up 20.8 percent year over year. The gross margin totaled 40 percent.

Applied Materials reports its revenue by segments, with the Silicon Systems Group (SSG), Display, Applied General Services (AGS) and Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) segments. The largest segment was SSG with 63 percent of revenue, which was down 2.3 percent. AGS was up 8.2 percent with a 27 percent revenue share, and the Display segment rose 1.2 percent with a 75.3 percent year-over-year increase in revenue. The EES segment accounted for 2 percent of total revenue but fell 2.2 percent.

Approximately 70 percent of Applied Materials’ quarterly revenue comes from the Asia/Pacific region.

The PC market remains the problem, and Applied Materials is not the only company affected – Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have experienced segment decreases because of the decline of the desk computer.

Analysts recently upgraded Applied Materials stock to a buy or an outperform. The median target price is $20, with a high of $23. The dividend yield is 2.30 percent.

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

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