Mon01262015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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