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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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