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September 2008

Pasado Rescue Prepares for Gustav

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, the animal rescue volunteers of Pasado's Safe Haven earned a reputation as a small, but determined group.

With the lessons learned from Katrina, Pasado's has opened an Animal Aid Station to prepare for the approach of Gustav.

Here is Pasado's list of items of needed items as of 8/31/208.  Visit the Pasado website for updates.

WHAT WE NEED NOW! 8/31/08 12:55 pm PST PLEASE CROSS-POST!

Volunteer! Click here.
Veterinarians, vet techs, vet assistants: Our vets arrive after the storm hits. But we will need fresh, energized veterinary medical teams. Are you a vet? Tech? Assistant? Click here - we need you!
Drivers needed to drive 24-foot disaster relief animal aid truck from Seattle to New Orleans - leaving tomorrow! Click here to help.
Laminated signs (click here for example) that we use to place on homes when we remove the animals. Click here if you can print and overnight to our location in Louisiana. (we'll provide you with the address.
Camera printer paper: paper and cartridges for a Canon Selphy CP 740 Compact Photo printer (this is used to photograph each animal and print out the photo and attach to their medical and rescue record so that we can track each animal flawlessly). See mailing address below.
Truck rental: We need a 24-foot truck rental donated to bring our disaster supplies to our triage location. Click here for what we've found. ANY donation to help would be great!
Donate here and if you'd rather phone in the donation, click here.
Truck and livestock trailer for 6 horses in St. Bernard Parish (needed locally); GOT THE TRAILER - NEED A TRUCK TO HAUL!!
Catering to feed our crew! Do you know of a caterer in the Covington/Hammond/Amite area? During Katrina, we had the best caterer feed our crew a hot meal every night (and had coffee and breakfast ready in the morning before they went into the Hot Zone.) This is what kept PasadoRescuers ALIVE and thriving, and strong enough to save every last life in the sweltering heat. We need to find that kind of caterer again!  Click here if you can recommend someone!

MAIL GOODS TO:

PASADORESCUE
80535 Chenel Rd.
Folsom, LA 70437

PLEASE TRY TO OVERNIGHT EVERYTHING!

NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE LOCATION OF PASADO'S TRIAGE LOCATION. THIS IS A SHIPPING ADDRESS ONLY!!!


Pondering the Supreme Court

I had a conversation with a couple friends yesterday about John McCain and his selection of Sara Palin as a running mate.

The conversation wound its way into the topic of a President's legacy being his (or her) Supreme Court appointments.   And the possibility that the next president may have at least one appointment to make in the next four years, given that Justice John Paul Stevens is now in his late eighties.

I ended up making this list of the current Supreme Court Justices, sorted by each Justice's year of birth:

JUSTICE NAME

YEAR OF BIRTH

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John Paul Stevens

1920

1975

Gerald Ford

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1933

1993

Bill Clinton

Anthony Kennedy

1936

1988

Ronald Regan

Antonin Scalia

1936

1986

Ronald Regan

Stephen Breyer

1938

1994

Bill Clinton

David Hackett Souter

1939

1990

George H. W. Bush

Clarence Thomas

1948

1991

George H. W. Bush

Samuel Alito

1950

2006

George W. Bush

John Roberts, Chief Justice

1955

2005

George W. Bush

Here is the same list, sorted by each Justice's year of appointment:

JUSTICE NAME

YEAR OF BIRTH

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John Paul Stevens

1920

1975

Gerald Ford

Antonin Scalia

1936

1986

Ronald Regan

Anthony Kennedy

1936

1988

Ronald Regan

David Hackett Souter

1939

1990

George H. W. Bush

Clarence Thomas

1948

1991

George H. W. Bush

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1933

1993

Bill Clinton

Stephen Breyer

1938

1994

Bill Clinton

John Roberts, Chief Justice

1955

2005

George W. Bush

Samuel Alito

1950

2006

George W. Bush

Something to ponder.

And for further pondering:

The Supreme Court Web Site

Short biographies of each justice

A U S News article about "Ranking the Politics of Supreme Court Justices"


Casa de Adobe in Sycamore Grove

Occasionally you will hear a local activist refer to the "Trilogy", meaning three historic architectural treasures located in Northeast Los Angeles:  The Southwest Museum, El Alisal (Charles Lummis' personal residence) and Casa de Adobe. 

The Casa de Adobe is a reconstruction of a pre-1850s Spanish California hacienda.  It was built not a as home, but as a museum for the Hispanic Society; it was designed by the office of architect Theodore Eisen and completely hand-built by local adobe craftsman Jose Velazquez.

The Casa was completed in 1918.  It was deed to the Southwest Museum in 1922 when the Hispanic Society disbanded.

This remarkable landmark is not generally open to the public.

It is currently being used for special museum events only.  Visitors may, however, view the Casa through the L.A. Conservancy's Highland Park walking tour,*** or annually in December for the community Las Posadas.

***The next Highland Park Walking Tour  is scheduled for Saturday, August 30th, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm.  Tickets are $5 and $10 and can be purchased here.

The Walking Tours are Sponsored by the Los Angeles Conservancy http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/tours_main.php4#holiday


Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: August 29, 2008

Weird things are happening in the mortgage-backed securities market.  Strong buying, in the 30 year-fixed rate loans, has dropped rates .25% since my last report,  The ARM rates, however, have RISEN.  A weird phenomenon, indeed.  I'm only quoting two loan programs (the others make no sense): 

Mortgage rates in Los Angeles for August 29, 2008.  Loan amounts up to $417,000:

5/1 ARM              5.750%

30 Yr Fixed          6.125%

All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost.  Rate quotes assume a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full income qualification.  Rates are subject to fluctuation.  Custom rate quotes and rate lock advice are available by calling (858)-777-9751.

Short-term, this is about as good as it gets.  I think we'll see some higher rates, in the next 7-10 days, with rates coming back down to this level by the end of September.  I'm befuddled for the 3 month trend so I'll stay neutral.

LOS ANGELES MORTGAGE RATE TREND:

Next 7 days:      Higher 

Next 30 days:     Neutral

Next 3 months:    Lower? (I'm stumped)


Avenue 50 Studio: Andalucia in Los Angeles 9/6

Andalucia in Los Angeles:  "9 Del Sur"

Fatima Conesa · Paco Conti · Teresa Lafita · Irene Mala · Rocio Arregui ·Antonio Herman · Cristina Galeote · Cristina de Lorenzo · Aurora Perea

Guest Curated by Gabriela B. Aeberhard, Murnau Art Gallery, Seville, Spain

Opening Night Reception:  Saturday, September 6, 2008 from 7-10 pm

The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present an overseas exchange between Murnau Art Gallery (Seville, Spain) and the Avenue 50 Studio (Los Angeles):  "9 Del Sur," (9 From the South).  This exhibit introduces the work of nine emerging Andalusian artists whose boldness and vitality captures our imagination.

From the subtle yet striking landscapes by Fatima Conesa to Paco Conti's abstract "Naufragio" (Shipwreck) pieces, Murnau Art Gallery brings us paintings that show today's emerging Andalusian artists as sophisticated, solid, and unique in terms of aesthetics, technical skill and conceptual complexity. These nine artists have been well chosen -- they are making a name for themselves in Spain and elsewhere.

Teresa Lafita offers several works of collage on paper which reflect on the concept of time, Rocio Arregui presents six oil on fabric paintings which pay homage to renowned artists, Cristina Galeote shows intriguing scenes depicting empty and lonely spaces, Antonio Herman uses bold black strokes on white canvas immersing us in a surrealist aura of magical movement.  Irene Mala adds a touch of irony with her expressionist "phones", and Aurora Perea and Cristina de Lorenzo join forces to create a cavernous world of hidden treasures.

The vitality and freshness of Murnau's 9 will make waves in today's contemporary art.  Join us as we journey to the new Andalucia.

Opening Reception:  Saturday, September 6, 2008, 7-10 pm

Where: Avenue 50 Studio, Inc., 131 No. Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA  90042

Contact: (323) 258-1435 or http://www.avenue50studio.com


Final Concert of the Season at Heritage Square August 28

The final concert of the free concert series at Heritage Square is Thursday, August 28, from 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM .

The Sometimes in Tune Band will begin the evening playing bluegrass and American folk music with a fun, energetic twist. Rounding out the series is Orquesta Salsumba, who combine the rhythms of Salsa, Rumba and Latin Jazz to create a contagious energy sure to bring you to your feet! Led by Eddie de la Fey, this 12 piece band is sure to please!  The last concert drew over 200 people, so be sure to get to the museum early to guarantee a good seat, see our historic architecture up close, to try local food and drink and shop in the museum store.  To see a few select photos of the first concert, please visit our blog at http://heritagesquare.blogspot.com.

Contributing and Heritage Square Society Museum members may join us on September 20 for a special "Behind the Scenes" tour of Heritage Square Museum. This is your chance to see areas of the museum not open to the general public, how the homes and furnishings are restored, what the future plans are for the museum and much more.  Existing Individual, Family and Sustaining members may increase their membership to the Contributing or Heritage Square Society level and receive a six month extension! Reservations required.  Please call 323-225-2700 , ext 221 for more details. Become a member at http://www.heritagesquare.org/member_app.htm

Finally, on Saturday, October 4, 2008 , enjoy a rare opportunity to shop for vintage phonograph records and record players, sheet music, pianos and more...in the 111 year old Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church at Heritage Square Museum. A $5.00 general admission. Proceeds from the sale of our excess collection will benefit restoration and education programs at the museum.

Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer Street
Los Angeles, California 90031
Tel. 323-225-2700

* Sponsors of Concerts at the Square - Lincoln Heights,
Highland Park, Cypress Park and Glassell Park
Neighborhood Councils, Raphael Guerin of Keller
Williams Realty, Glendale KIA, Mt. Washington Alliance,
Highland Park Animal Hospital, Glassell Park Improvement
Association, North Figueroa Animal Hospital and Budget
Rent-a-Car. Special thanks to vendors Mom's Tamales,
Mardy's Catering and Swork Coffee.


FHA Jumbo ARM Programs Benefit First-Time Home Buyers

Did you know that Los Angelenos could get an adjustable rate mortgage through the FHA-insured loan program?  ARMs are a dirty word in the media today. As millions of homeowners have their ARM rates adjusted, the press peddles fear, causing new home buyers to overpay on the FHA home loans.

Let's look at my favorite, the FHA JUMBO 5-year ARM at 5.625% versus the FHA JUMBO 30 Year fixed rate mortgage at 6.375%.  That's a .75% difference in rate and for a JUMBO loan, that adds up to some substantial savings!  On a $600,000 mortgage, the interest savings, over the five year period, is over $20,000; that's the price of a low mileage, gently-used BMW.

The risk of a five year ARM is the reset.  If you funded a FHA JUMBO 5-year ARM today, the rate (and payment) would adjust in January, 2014.  The risk, however, is nowhere near the reset risk of yesterday's Alt-A and sub-prime home loans.  Rate adjustments are based on two factors: index and margin.  FHA loans can be offered with a LIBOR or Treasury Index and have margins that range from 2.25% to 2.75%.  Peter G. Miller, syndicated columnist, believes the lowest margin may be the best choice:

While indexes move up and down, you at least want to compare the LIBOR and Treasury measures. If the LIBOR margin is within .25 to .50 of the Treasury index, then either index might be attractive. But if the margin gap is more than .25 to .50, then you might favor the Treasury index, if the margin is less than .25 to .50 then the LIBOR might be a better choice.

The view here is that a lower margin is best because the margin is fixed for the life of the loan. That said, who knows how indexes will move in the future?

The other risk for a rate adjustment is the "cap".  Simply put, a "rate cap" is the maximum allowable adjustment, up or down, for the rate (and payment) when the five year period is up.  FHA loans have two interest rate cap structures:  a 1/5 for 3-year ARM periods or a 2/6 for longer periods.

In our example, if we obtained a 5/1 FHA JUMBO ARM at 5.625%, the rate could adjust as high as 7.625%, in 2014.  It could adjust as high as 11.625%, if interest rates went straight up for eight years (and never came down).  If that were to happen, bank savings' rates would skyrocket from today's 3% to over 9%.  There IS a silver lining amidst any storm cloud.

FHA loans are easy to refinance.  The FHA streamlined refinance program allows for a homeowner to refinance her FHA loan with no income or asset documentation.  This common-sense approach grants a FHA loan approval if the homeowner can demonstrate that her last twelve mortgage payments were timely.  It can even be offered without an appraisal.

In Los Angeles, the average hold time for a home is 5-7 years.  This means that the average Los Angeleno will most likely sell his home during that period.  If you're a first-time homebuyer, chances are that you're leaving a LOT of money on the table by insisting on a FHA JUMBO 30 year loan rather than a 5-year ARM.  Do your homework and compare costs.

Originally posted on MillionaireRealEstateLender.com


A Brief Summary of Southwest Museum/Autry National Center Issues

**Some readers of this blog live outside the Los Angeles city limits, and are probably not familiar with the issues surrounding the merger of the Southwest Museum and the Autry National Center.  This post is intended to serve only as a very brief summary. **

Ground was broken for the Southwest Museum on November 16, 1912.  The museum was the dream of Charles Lummis.

"Lummis had constructed a home for himself in Arroyo Seco, which he named El Alisal. It became a personal museum where Lummis began to accumulate his own collection of artifacts and research materials. When site selection [for the Southwest Museum] began in 1905, various locations were considered, some with great financial inducements, but Lummis was adamant that the only choice could be the hillside property visible from El Alisal, with a commanding view of Arroyo Seco and far beyond. The 38-acre site was located on a transportation line between Pasadena and Los Angeles; accessible by the yellow car line and also by auto along Pasadena Avenue (later renamed Figueroa Street)." (Text from Autry's Southwest Museum Rehabilitation Study)

However, as the 20th century drew to a close, the Southwest Museum, the oldest museum in Los Angeles, had fallen on hard times.  Damage from the 1994 Northridge eathquake had not yet been repaired.  Roof leaks needed attention.

In 2003, The Autry National Center merged with the Southwest Museum.  The Autry's stated intent was to preserve the Southwest Museum buildings, and protect the collection.  (The Autry National Center was originally founded as The Musuem of the American West, by Gene Autry, a legendary recording and movie star.)

Both sides in the controversy agree that the Southwest Musuem buildings are in need of repair and renovation.  Reports estimate the repair and renovation costs at $40 million.

Both sides in the controversy agree that the Southwestern American artifacts originally collected by Charles Lummis are unique and priceless, and must be preserved for future generations.

But here is where the trails diverge:

The Autry Center wants to erect a new musuem building in Griffith Park, and move the priceless collection there.  Reports estimate the cost of the new building at $100 million.

Northeast Los Angeles locals want the collection to remain in its original home, atop Mount Washington, and visible from the grounds of El Alisal, as Lummis envisioned it.

Further questions arose when it became evident that Autry's funding for the Southwest Museum was coming, not from liquid assets, but from an inheritance pledge.

And then, this week, the Los Angeles Community College District quietly agreed to use money from its $3.5 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot to renovate the Southwest Museum and use it as a satellite campus.  Note a "campus".  Not a "museum".

More reading:

Los Angeles Times from 2006:  http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jun/26/entertainment/et-southwesta26

Los Angeles Times from 2001: http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jun/02/entertainment/ca-5351

The Autry's side:  http://www.swmfuture.org/

From Ron Kaye, L.A.,  journalist and activist:  http://ronkayela.com/2008/08/la-story-part-one-the-stench-o.html

From Mark Kenyon, community activist:  http://blackhatblog.wordpress.com/

Arroyo Seco Journal breaks story on Community College funding:  http://www.asjournal.net/localnews.html

 


Little Janes Gourmet Cafe

Little Janes Gourmet Cafe located at 3329 Division Street has a guest coming in at night starting Sept 03

called ROMES KITCHEN, She will be operating at Little Janes Cafe in the evening from 4pm -10pm serving up her ever so delicious pasta and to die for sandwiches some of you might know her or tried her sandwiches that she serves at Johnny's Bar on York Blvd. if you love her sandwiches then you will love her Pasta's

*********GRAND OPENING WEDNESDAY SEPT 03 AT 4PM TO 10 PM*************************************