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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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A new year means new ups and downs

Despite the one-day sell-off experienced on the first day of 2014 trading, the outlook appears to be relatively positive. The market trend is bullish, and investors can still find reasonably valued stocks to assemble a diversified portfolio.

Change is the one constant in the stock market, and investors should be watching how public sentiment looks for a correction. Preparing for a coming storm is difficult and unpredictable and tells investors that sell-offs are typically triggered by underappreciated or unexpected events.

Interest rates will rise after the Federal Reserve signaled that it plans to cut back on its bond-buying program. This will become a worry, as the impact on bond yields will affect utility and telecom stocks. Inflation is widely expected to remain tame, but it could also become troubling.

Given the market’s strong performance in recent months, a correction could occur at any time – and every correction has the potential to turn into a bear market.

While I anticipate a few ups and downs, I predict that by the end of 2014, the Dow Jones industrial average will be up slightly from today’s valuation.

Two Town Crier “50” companies recently made headlines.

• Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO; $22.10) provides a complete line of routers and switching products that correct and manage communications among local and wide area computer networks employing a variety of protocols.

Those credentials still carry weight, but in the wake of Cisco’s disappointing target of an 8-10 percent decline in revenue for the January quarter, the network giant’s stock could stagnate in the near term.

Cisco blamed its gloomy outlook on weakness in emerging markets and a cautious spending forecast by corporate executives. The company’s plans to introduce complex new switching and routing platforms and invest in service and software businesses should help boost sales.

Cisco stock yields a 3.3 percent dividend, roughly four times the industry average. TheStreet Ratings team has issued a buy rating for Cisco, making the stock price’s recent decline an opportunity.

• Google Inc. (GOOG; $1,118.07) shares gained 51 percent in 2013, easily outpacing the 33 percent average return for the S&P 1500 technology stock groupings and leaving investors to wonder whether there is much more room to increase.

Within the industry, 39 brokers and analysts have provided a buy rating for Google stock, with only one a hold in the upgrade and downgrade history. The reason: Google holds a commanding 67 percent share of the U.S. search market. Microsoft stands in a distant second place with an 18 percent slice.

The upcoming Winter Olympics and World Cup Soccer tournaments should accelerate advertising growth.

The stock’s valuation is reasonable considering its projected growth. Google is expected to earn $49.64 per share in the 12 months ending September 2014, a growth of 17 percent.

Google is one of two companies on the S&P 500 index to increase annual cash from operations by double digits in each of the past 10 years, and Google should extend the streak in 2014. The company pays no dividends.

Google is embracing a moon-shot mentality for its next venture. In December, Google acquired Boston Dynamics, a company that builds robots, and in the past six months eight other robot companies.

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

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