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September 2006

Deja Vu, All Over Again

Halmorris_1 I noticed this book in my office library the other day.  The copyright date is 1982.

The blurb on the dust jacket starts:  "During the late 1970s, real estate skyrocketed with values increasing 15 to 20 percent annually.  Suddenly the real estate boom slowed, appreciation stopped, interest rates climbed and homeowners, buyers, sellers, lenders and borrowers scrambled to refinance, bail out or somehow take advantage of their neighbor's misfortune."

Huh?  Let me check that copyright date again.  Yep, 1982.  The book talks about the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s, (you remember that, right?) and goes on to cover real estate investment strategies to profit in a down market.  The charts and graphs show prices in the 90s and 100s, but there you are.

To everything there is a season.

Highland Park Farmers Market, Tuesday August 29

In addition to the familiar summertime stars of the farmers market such as tomatoes, corn and peaches, Sidney Spencer, our avocado guru, brought in white sapotes for the first time last week.  The word sapote is derived from the Aztec "tzapotl" which describes all soft sweet fruit, so you may have encountered fruits called sapotes which are not actually related to the white sapote.  Native to Mexico and Central America, white sapotes are green and about the size of a small peach.  They have a thin edible skin surrounding a creamy white fleshed interior.  The flavor is sweet and mild and has been eloquently described as like "banana flan with a bit of mango" (  To me, the rich avocado-like texture of the white sapote is what really stands out.  Sapotes are delicious by themselves and I've also been adding them to strawberry and peach smoothies, giving them an amazing full-bodied texture.  To top it all off, sapotes are a great source of vitamin C. 

Another development last week at the market was the return of apples from V&V farms in the Central Valley.  The first crop of Gala apples has just reached maturity, even though it might seem too early to welcome this harbinger of fall as we enjoy the last weeks of summer.  Fortunately, the market is still well supplied with fantastic summer stone fruit like the delicious white nectarines I've been raving about for the last few months and which continue to be delicious.  For a list of all the produce you can expect to find at the market this week, check out

In addition to our produce vendors, the market continues to host Bill's Bees fresh honey and honey products as well as fresh bread and artisanal fruit preserve makers, so if you haven't been down to the market in a while, please stop by.  As always, you can pick up a dinner of rotisseried chicken, Korean barbecue, tamales or honey pineapple chicken.

Please stop by the market for fresh, field-ripened, high quality produce from local farmers and spend time with your friends, neighbors and other community members.

The Highland Park Certified Farmers Market is located adjacent to the Highland Park Gold Line station at Marmion Way between Ave. 57 & 58 and
operates Tuesdays from 3-8 pm. 

Visit the market website at  Also visit to see where your produce is coming from! 

Remembering Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was the one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. In addition to the horrific human tragedy, tens of thousands of domestic and wild animals perished from drowning, starvation, disease, and misfortune, while many others were separated from the people who loved them. Snowball

As America marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's ruinous landfall, I spent some time revisiting the animal rescue blogs and web-sites that I followed in the weeks following the devastation.

Pasado's Safe Haven

ASPCA Remembering Katrina

Best Friends Animal Society

EARS Emergency Animal Rescue Service

Noah's Wish

Mutt Shack

Humane Society of United States

American Humane Association

Snowball's Chance


Highland Park/Arroyo Seco Music Festival to Showcase Local Performers
Free Show Set for Historic Venue

Sousahinerbandshell The Historic Hiner-Sousa Bandshell at Sycamore Grove Park in Los Angeles will be the scene for the 2006 Highland Park/Arroyo Seco Music Festival on September 17, 2006.

The free event, which will run from 3-8 p.m., showcases the location where bandleader John Philip Sousa once led his orchestra on Sunday afternoons. This time out, its rock, punk, soul and jazz artists from the local area.

The 2006 Festival is the sixth annual staging of the free event, and is being sponsored by two local neighborhood councils-Historic Highland Park (HHPNC) and Arroyo Seco (ASNC).

Local punk popsters PeachFuzz and Cold 43 are currently lined up for the event, along with Highland Park favorites Ann Likes Red. World Music and Latin artists will also be added to the bill.

This year, picnic dinners for the event will be pre-sold at Highland Park's Old LA Farmer's Market, held every Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. at the Avenue 57 Metro Gold Line Station.


2006 Highland Park/Arroyo Seco Music Festival
Sunday, September 17, 2006. 3- 8 p.m.
Sycamore Grove Park, 4901 N. Figueroa St.

PeachFuzz, Cold 43, Ann Likes Red, Adrian, others
Info: 323-485-0670

My Required Reading Real Estate Blogs

A few days ago, Dustin at Rain City Guide mentioned the 400+ stories in his feed reader and I thought, yeah, I can so relate.  So I thought, what if I had to limit my Industry Blog reading to say, 10 blogs each day... nah, impossible ... I think I could probably cut it to 12 ...(groan) ... no, I just need one more, really .... so here it is ... the list of My 13 Required Reading Real Estate Industry Blogs  ... no, wait, there are 14.... Oh. Well.  I really, really, admire Ardell DellaLoggia's dedication to her clients, and her straight-up descriptions of how our real estate business works.  And kudos to Dustin for putting it all together.  Greg Swann is highly intelligent and very articulate.  I don't always agree, but his posts are always thought provoking.  By now you can tell, I appreciate people who tell-is-like-it-is.  Grunt is one of the good guys.  Our own L. A. Curbed. Cool, edgy, irreverent.  And the authors are good looking, too.  Common sense, data and logic.  A very sexy combination.  Late breaking Real Estate news items from all over. Trends in the age of Web 2.0.  The Sellius product itself is not yet live, but they keep up a very informative blog.  More trends and juicy news.   I like Zillow's blog.  I like Zillow.  I think Zillow offers a useful service.  The Zillow numbers can get people into the ballpark.  It's our job to figure out whether the seat is in the bleachers or behind home plate. Zillow was a moving force behind Carnival of Estate.  And did I say I like Zillow?  Bay area info with an edge. Opinions and Bay area info.  From the Bubble Blog camp.  I think its important to see all opinions from all sides of the market.  Created by a real estate broker, but the content is not limited to real estate.  It's a daily collection of interesting and bizarre links.  If you are stranded on a desert island, this is the one blog you want.

Uh oh.  I left out Seattle Real Estate Professionals .  What is it with these Seattle people?  Maybe its that the whole culture of the city is very tech-oriented.

And then if you want to track the most influential Real Estate Blogs out there, go to PUB SUB for daily stats.

Glassell Park Community Festival

Saturday, September 9, 2006 Glassell Park will celebrate all that this great community has to offer with the Glassell Park Community Festival. Gpfes

The event will take place at the Glassell Park Recreation Center from 10 AM to 4 PM and admission is free. There will be plenty of free parking at the old  Masonry Builder's lot on Eagle Rock Blvd. and St. Bernard's Catholic Church on Verdugo Road at Ave.33, with shuttle service to the park.

Visitors can enjoy local restaurant fare at the "Taste Of Glassell Park" and live entertainment from Glassell Park bands and performing artists. Kids can enjoy the popular "Touch-A-Truck" play center where they can climb all over fire trucks and other heavy  achinery used by the City of LA. This special Festival Kids' Fun Zone will also offer activities that parents and children can enjoy together. Great prizes will be raffled off as well, including a brand new Motorcycle (tax and license included) from Glassell Park's KIA Dealership on San Fernando Road.

A craft fair will offer a shopper's delight for those looking for eclectic gifts and handmade items. There will also be plenty of information booths from city agencies to help families navigate life in the big City. Various dignitaries from all levels of Government have been invited to attend.

It will be some party! In fact, Glassell Park guitarist Marcus Watkins and the band, "Some Party," will headline the Festival Stage. Their unique style of "suburban roots music" combines blues, soul, and Americana. Other acts include "Look Past the Stars" a local band whose music is a mix of melodic  ard rock and emo(emotionally-charged punk). Local chanteuse, Miss Kelley Foster, will emcee the event and elevate the mood with her soaring vocals of standards and original tunes.

There will be a  few other entertaining surprises as well, including a strolling organ grinder serenading the crowds and Cookie the Clown for the kids. The Glassell Park Recreation Center is located at 3650 N. Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065. For more information, vendor forms and flyers visit:  ttp://

The event is sponsored by the Glassell Park Improvement Association, Glassell Park Neighborhood Council, Glassell Park Recreation Center, LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, Glassell Park  chamber of Commerce and the Northeast LAPD / Senior Lead Officer Red Falconer.

- George Brauckman

Monterey Hills Jazz Festival

The Monterey Hills Jazz Festival Is Back!

By Sharon K. Brown

Montereyhills Join your neighbors for food, fun and fantastic music at the Monterey Hills Jazz Festival on Sunday, August 27, 2006, from 11:30 to 7:00 p.m., at Bud Wiener Park located at the corner of Via Marisol and Via Arbolada. Admission is free.

Music will be provided by several noted jazz bands including Nocy, Jimmy McConnell and the United Jazz Band and the Susie Hansen Band. Nocy, a flamenco guitarist, is known for his soulful, rhythmic
classical guitar wizardry and vocal stylings. He was trained at the Paris Conservatory for Classical Guitar and has headlined festivals and concerts worldwide. He has performed with a variety of artists including Rod Stewart and Kenny G.

Jimmy McConnell and the United Jazz Band features traditional Big Band music inspired by Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. Mr. McConnell, a renowned trumpeter, has performed with numerous artists including Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Nancy Wilson and Isaac Hayes.

Bring your dance shoes and be ready to enjoy the Susie Hansen Band. Electric violinist Susie Hansen plays Latin jazz and salsa. The Band's talented musicians are known for playing invigorating music
that brings audiences to their feet. The Susie Hansen Band has performed at a variety of jazz festivals including the Playboy Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival and Newport Beach Jazz Festival. Ms. Hansen has appeared and recorded with numerous artists including the late great Tito Puente.

In addition to your dance shoes, bring your appetite to savor the foods from Holly's Bar-Be-Que, Kettle Corn & Stuff, Smoothie Land, Acoustic Blend Market and Cobblermania. There will also be various arts and crafts available for purchase and a masseuse. Children are welcome.

The Monterey Hills Jazz Festival is sponsored by the Monterey Hills Federation, Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar and LAPD Hollenbeck Division. For further information and directions call (323) 761-6494

Market Zoology 101

We are all accustomed to thinking of "Bears" and "Bulls" is relation to markets.  "Bears" believe a market is heading down.  "Bulls" believe a market is heading up.  May I submit we need a few other critters in this zoo?Ostrich2

I propose "Ostriches": With their heads in the sand, they figure everything is just great, they don't see any reason for concern.  Think NAR corporate suits.

And my own personal favorite "Tortoises":  Slow, plodding, in the game for the long haul.  Not overly exuberant with the highs, not overly panicked with the lows.  Steady as she goes.

A ~Written~ Word To The Wise

ValuablepapersA few days ago, an old friend came by the office to chat.  He has separated from his long-time life-partner.  There are several properties, and a fair amount of money, and he is in the middle of a bitter legal dispute over who owns what.

Please, people, no matter what your relationship is, please find an attorney.  Draw up a contract, sign a prenup.  You could be saving yourself a world of hurt somewhere down the line.