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August 2007



Sunday, August 5, 2007 from 2:00-4:00 PM


Also open mic

THERESA ANTONIA is host of two popular local poetry venues in the LA area:

Mudpuppy Poetry in Pasadena at Hey That's Amore, and Projectile Poetry in Brentwood at Dutton's Books. She has appeared in numerous anthologies, and her poetry has appeared on PoeticDiversity, an on-line poetry venue.

Known for writing about relationships and family in a storytelling style, she is also a director and editor for the Valley Contemporary Poets, and a member of the Emerging Urban Poets.  An art therapist, artist and photographer with a master's degree in Psychology, she works with and also writes about incarcerated women, cancer survivors, and "at risk" youth. She has been featured more than once at Beyond Baroque, in Venice California. She will perform a one-woman show of her poetry in 2007, and from her work as an "artist in residence" is completing a documentary on kids & creativity.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 from 2:00-4:00 PM

131 N. AVE. 50, HIGHLAND PARK, CA 90042

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: July 30, 2007

Mortgage rates are essentially unchanged from Friday as is our recommendation to Cautiously Float your rate.

This week may be defining for the near-term future of Los Angeles mortgage rates.  The Core Personal Consumer Expenditures number will be out at 5:30AM, California time.   This report is the Fed's favorite gauge on inflation.   A stronger than expected number suggests that the American consumer has not slowed down his spending; this would cause the Fed to consider raising rates.

Wednesday, the ISM index reports.  This index is a market mover because it's a survey of purchasing executives' potential and actual spending on capital goods.  If these folks are spending money (big business) it is expected that they are optimistic about the economy.  It's considered the "KING" of all manufacturing indices by Wall Street.

Friday, we get bombarded with important data about employment.  More on that later this week.  I'll be speaking at Inman RE Connect in San Francisco so I'll be somewhat reactive in my reports.  Please check back daily for updates.

Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmer's Market Report

On my weekly visit to the Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmer’s Market, I get to pick up delicious, fresh produce to satisfy physical needs and visit with friends and neighbors to satisfy social needs, too! I recruit my friend Kim as a shopping buddy and we hit the market, empty canvas bags in hand, ready to be filled. A neighbor from my very own Highland Park street – Al Strange – is manning a community table laden with flyers and announcements for local events and activities. Greetings and chitchat duly exchanged and we are off to procure this week’s goodies.

Kim scores on tree-ripened, fragrant peaches the size of softballs. These would be ideal in a cobbler – the official dessert of summer. Even better, try a peach-strawberry cobbler, such as this recipe from You can use all fruit from the market (strawberries are still going strong, but who knows for how much longer?):

The bounty of stone fruits is compelling, especially with all the samples available to taste, but this week is all about the avocados for me. I scoop up several medium-sized Haas for $1 each (another vendor has larger ones for $1.50 each) and 3 lbs of vine-ripened, scarlet colored tomatoes that are near bursting with juice. I have plans for both guacamole and a quick, fresh tomato sauce to use these up (with garlic and onion from the market, natch), but I’ll set aside one or two of each for salads with fresh spinach. The finishing touch for the salad is a light vinaigrette made with blood orange scented avocado oil, purchased at –where else? – the farmer’s market. The oil is a splurge at $12 for a bottle, but in addition to its great taste (you can taste before you buy at the market!), it is a mono-unsaturated fat that is good for your heart. Who can put a price on good health?

Need some protein to balance out all the rabbit food? The roasted chickens are back at the market this week. Buy a whole one or two to take home and give your oven a rest during these hot summer evenings.

The market is found every Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. near the Highland Park Gold Line station at Marmion Way, between Avenues 57 & 58 (one block west of Figueroa). In Seth’s words: “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.”

See you there. ML

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

another way to see the coyote

Originally posted by Shauna Turner (aka the Tipi Lady on Marmion) on Nela List

I have noted a number of 'coyote sighting' posts over the past couple of months. Seemed appropriate,  given my place in the Mt Washington community to share this American Indian elder's view 'seeing  coyote'.

Shauna Turner (aka the Tipi Lady on Marmion)

Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 25

"People need to wake up. They can't hear God's voice if they're asleep."  --Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops. He says that above the people is a hoop, a  conscience, the total belief of the people. If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep. If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk.

Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors...let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers. Because everybody is doing it doesn't make things right. Let me hear the truth  today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different. Let me walk straight on the Red Road.

Nightmares & Landscapes

Drawings, etchings, paintings, video

Ronald J. Llanos, Aaron Martinez, Stephanie Mercado, Miguel Olivares, Rebecca Urias

Opening Reception:  Saturday, August 11, 2007 from 7-10 pm

The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present its new exhibit, “Nightmares & Landscapes”, featuring drawings, etchings, paintings, and video from five young emerging artists.  The use of line is the  common thread.

Ronald J. Llanos deals with people -- at times real or a combination of reality and imagination. Honoré Daumier and Francisco Goya are two artists he is greatly influenced by.  In his series of robots, Ron explores human frailty and the darker aspects of fear, regret and loneliness as motifs for his work.

Aaron Martinez portrays his dreams, fantasies and memories, placing them in a surreal landscape evocative of comic book illustration and film noir. He graduated from Art Center College of Design with

Stephanie Mercado emphasizes absurdity through caricature and the theatrical, painting portrait-like depictions of individuals and archetypes within her Mexican-American community.  Using the circus as a
metaphor for life, Stephanie is constantly looking and searching for information that can be translated  into a critique of society.

Miguel Olivares appreciates the “awe” that children and the insane have, and fills his work with this  awe in a magical and fantastic manner.  He works in any medium necessary to formulate work in an “art brute” or surrealistic style.  Miguel will be presenting a video specially prepared for this exhibit.

Rebecca Urias’s charming images focus on childhood themes, street culture and violence.  Being raised a Chicana Catholic powerfully impacted her life. Rebecca paints with watercolors, ink and acrylics, and has no formal training.

When:  Opening Reception:  Saturday, August 11, 2007 from 7-10 pm
Where: Avenue 50 Studio, Inc., 131 No. Avenue 50,
Highland Park, CA  90042
Duration: August 11 through September 2, 2007

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report

Friday's, Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report suggests that inflation isn't a problem but that the housing market is weak

The Gross Domestic Product figure was stronger than expected at 3.4%.  Core inflation, the Gross Domestic Product Deflator, was weaker than expected.    Conflicting data suggest that action needs to be taken if you haven't locked-in a mortgage rate.


What's it all mean?  If you have a loan closing less than 15 days away, go ahead and lock-in your interest rate.  If your closing date is still more than 15 days away, you can still cautiously float your rate in hopes that next week's mortgage rates improve.  Cautiously float means staying alert.

Mortgage Interest Rates*
Rates as of 07/27/2007:

  Conforming APR Payment per
Jumbo APR Payment per
5-Yr. Interest Only 6.125% 6.195% $5.10 6.375% 6.470% $5.31
10 Yr Interest Only 6.5% 6.618% $5.42 6.75% 6.909% $5.63
7/! ARM 6.25% 6.321% $5.21 6.625% 6.722% $5.52
30 Year Fixed 6.5% 6.572% $6.32 6.75% 6.847% $6.49
Annual ARM 5.375% 5.442% $5.60 5.875% 5.967% $5.92
HELOC 8.25% 8.330% $6.88 8.25% 8.357% $6.88
5 Yr ARM- Amo 6.0% 6.070% $6.00 6.25% 6.344% $6.16

*Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower's eligibility.


Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: Cautiously Optimistic

We're cautiously optimistic for mortgage rates for the final days of July.  Rates have jumped up on fears of inflation and the greater fear that Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke wasn't doing enough to fight inflation.

The booming stock market has stolen money, earmarked for bonds, into an investment in stocks.  When less money is invested in bonds, prices drop, and yields rise.  Mortgage loans are tied into bond yields so a weak bond market means higher mortgage rates.

Economic figures due out this week that may affect mortgage rates include Jobless Claims, New Home Sales, and the Gross Domestic Product.  The first measures the job market, the second the real estate market, and the latter measures the growth in our economy.  All figures due out this week are not expected to be market movers so we advise our clients to cautiously wait before they lock-in their mortgage rates.  Cautiously wait means watching the market daily with your loan adviser.

We think that Tuesday, the last day of the month will be a big day when three VERY IMPORTANT economic figures are due.  For now, hold on tight and I'll yell if the market changes and you need to lock-in.  Otherwise, lookfor my next report, Tuesday.

Tuesday, I'll be posting here, then jumping on a plane to Inman Connect in San Francisco.  I'll be meeting "Da Blogmother", CJ, for the first time on Wednesday. 

Old L.A. Farmer's Market Report

Picking up where Seth left off, I visited the Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmers’ Market last week to stock my kitchen, mingle with neighbors and spend some time outside on a glorious, hot summer afternoon.

Stone fruits dominate the market at this time of year. The fragrance of fresh nectarines wafted in the air yards away from the stand where they were found. This time, however, I opted for the pluots – a cross between an apricot and a plum. The kind vendor with the fancy handlebar mustache readily offered samples. There were three different varieties to choose from, so I took a few of each! The flavors of the fruit range from more sweet to a little tart and you can definitely taste the plum and apricot flavors distinctly. One has a light skin with a dark pink flesh that is as gorgeous to look at as it is to eat. Another variety is known as “dinosaur eggs”, due to it’s speckled skin and round shape.

Purslane is a leafy, green vegetable / herb that we discovered that day, which was completely new to me. The vendor explained that it can be eaten raw or cooked, much like spinach. My intrepid friend Kim bought a bunch and reports that it wilts rather quickly, so you want to eat it soon after buying. According to a quick search on Google, it turns out that this is a very nutritious vegetable that contains large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids (good for your brain) and also large amounts of vitamin C. Apparently, many consider this to be a weed when found in the garden, but they are missing out on an underappreciated veggie. A recipe for Cucumber-Purslane-Yogurt Salad can be found here:

Other produce to be found at this time of year are okra, corn (of course!), several varieties of melons, tomatoes, strawberries and the list goes on (many are organic).

In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, you can pick up California and imported cheeses, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and homemade jams. There are breads and pastries as well as raw honey. For a relatively small market, there are a wide variety of choices, including ready-to-eat refreshments, such as tamales and roasted corn.

In Seth’s words:
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 market is located between Avenues 56 & 57 on Marmion Way (1 block west of Figueroa), near the Highland Park Gold Line station. The market is open from 3 - 8 p.m.
See you there. ML