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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Fed action boosts stock market

With the economy showing signs of improvement, the Federal Reserve started its stimulus pullback and Wall Street investors went crazy, pushing up the Dow Jones industrial average nearly 300 points Dec. 18.

The Fed will trim its $85 billion monthly bond purchases by $10 billion beginning in January and keep long-term rates down. By keeping rates down, the Fed indicates its support of stocks that pay a much larger yield than bonds, including utilities and telecoms.

The stock market has enjoyed a wonderful 2013, fueled by the Fed’s low rate policy. Keeping rates low through bond purchases helps maintain low interest rates, which encourages borrowing and spending.

In his recent press conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said he could foresee the bond-purchasing program coming to an end altogether by late next year. However, we are hopeful the economy will continue to show progress. In an effort to keep market rates stable, the Fed will be in no hurry to raise short-term interest rates.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made news recently.

• Intel Corp. (INTC; $25.18) was included in Barron’s “10 Favorite Stocks for 2014.” Barron’s reasoned that the chip giant could surprise Wall Street next year as concerns about personal computers begin to fade.

There are signs the PC market is bottoming, and Intel is moving aggressively into tablets and smartphone chips. Its manufacturing shift might pay off with chips that have faster processing speeds and lower power needs.

At $24, Intel stock trades for 13 times projected 2014 earnings of $1.90 a share and yields a dividend of 3.7 percent. Numerous analysts view Intel as a buy. Credit Suisse analyst John Pitzer sees Intel earning $2.50 in a few years, with a $30 price target.

• Safeway Inc. (SWY; $32.86) will get competition from Amazon, as the world’s largest online retailer plans to expand its grocery delivery business in Safeway’s backyard.

Safeway – a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales – operated 1,406 stores in the U.S. with annual sales of $37.5 billion in 2012.

Earlier this year, Safeway announced its decision to exit the Chicago market and redouble its efforts in operating areas where business is stronger. In November, Safeway reported that the company had completed the sale of assets of Canada Safeway to a wholly owned subsidiary of Empire Co. Ltd.

The Pleasanton-based company’s board of directors met recently and declared a regular cash dividend of 20 cents per share payable Jan. 9 for stockholders who owned the stock Dec. 19.

Deutsche Bank in September upgraded Safeway stock to a buy after a prior hold. The majority of analysts suggest a hold. The median target price for Safeway stock is $35, with a high of $45.

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

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