Living La Vida Local
...continued  
Phase 2 of the Expo Line project proposes to improve public transit service and mobility between Culver City and Santa Monica and is in the early stages of the environmental planning process. The next step in the process is to conduct an initial screening of alternative alignments that emerged through the Public Scoping process (4 public meetings were held this spring). These alternatives  are being assessed:

The following alternatives were originally described in the Notice of Intent (NOI):
  1. Bus Rapid Transit in the Expo Right-of-Way
  2. Light Rail Transit in the Expo Right-of-Way
  3. Light Rail Transit in the Venice/Sepulveda Right-of-Way
The following are a list of alternatives that emerged during the Public Scoping Process:
  1. Light Rail Transit (LRT) on Venice Blvd. to Venice Beach
  2. LRT to Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica
  3. A network of LRT services branching out on Culver Blvd., Washington Blvd., Pico Blvd., and Santa Monica Blvd.
  4. LRT on a street other than Venice, such as Culver, Washington, Pico or Santa Monica
  5. Monorail on the Expo Right-of-Way or Venice/Sepulveda
  6. Personal Rapid Transit on the Expo Right-of-Way and Venice/Sepulveda
Recommendation of the final alternatives are available at BuildExpo.org.

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ALAN GREENSPAN TELLS TOKYO THAT HIGH U.S. HOUSING INVENTORY IS AN ISSUE FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
 
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Tokyo businessmen that the most important global financial issue is reducing the excess home inventory in the United States.

“The critical issue on the whole subprime, and by extension, the international financial system, rests very narrowly on getting rid of probably 200,000-300,000 excess units in inventory,” he said, speaking via video conference.

Greenspan also said he was concerned that the global economy is moving into an inflationary phase. “I’m concerned that we were moving from this 20 to 18 year disinflationary period and beginning to move in the other direction,” he said.
 
Source: Dow Jones International News
 
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THEY SAY INTEREST RATES WILL STAY LOW
 
The manager of the world’s largest bond fund has predicted that the Federal Reserve “cannot afford” to let U.S. housing prices fall and will have to cut interest rates aggressively to prevent it from happening.
 
"A Fed cannot afford to let homes go down by 10 to 15 percent like we saw in Japan," Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said on CNBC Television. "We've only begun to see the pain from the standpoint of the home owner in terms of those monthly payments. Defaults and delinquencies will increase as we extend into 2008."
 
Source: Reuters News
 
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WHY MILITARY GO HOMELESS
 
Military veterans represent more than 25 percent of the U.S. homeless population, although they comprise only 11 percent of the civilian adult population, according to the Homelessness Research Institute.
 
The Santa Monica Homeless Community Court is an innovative pilot project to address certain aspects of homelessness. They are working to get veterans off the streets and integrate them back into society.
 
The court provides access to much needed treatment and housing for homeless individuals facing citations, arrests or warrants for quality-of-life violations such as camping or sleeping in doorways. Those who demonstrate progress toward meeting treatment goals may have their sentences deferred or their charges dismissed.
 
Launched in February 2007, the court is a collaboration of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Public Defender’s Office, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, Santa Monica Human Services Division, Santa Monica Police Department and local  homeless service providers. It is funded by the County of Los Angeles, with matching service dollars from the City of Santa Monica. At monthly court sessions, a superior court judge reviews feedback from service providers regarding each client’s progress toward moving off of the street, and takes this into consideration along with other  factors in adjudicating cases.
 
Between February and July, 52 individuals have participated in the Santa Monica Homeless Community Court project. Ongoing participants have achieved the following milestones, while others continue to work with their case managers:
  • 16 have participated in substance abuse treatment (31%)
  • 4 have participated in mental health services (8%)
  • 16 have moved into emergency or transitional housing (31%)
  • 7 are in permanent housing (13%)
  • Eight others (15%) either failed to appear in court or were discharged unsuccessfully from the project.
SM Police Chief Timothy Jackman reports that homes are responsible for ½ the crime committed in Santa Monica – 40% of violent crime, 60 of other crimes.

For more information, please call the Human Services Division at (310) 458-8701  or visit homelessnessaction.smgov.net on the web.

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NO MORE LAND

William Whitney, a real estate advisor and principal at Whitney & Whitney Incorporated, noted that there is a population boom in the region driving the need for more housing.

“The reality is that, no matter what we do, the anticipated population growth in the Southern California region is six million residents,” Whitney said.“Where are they going to live?  “Los Angeles, which is supposedly the grandfather of sprawl, is going to be one of the first regions in the United States to run out of land.”
 
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“Buy when everyone else is selling and hold until everyone else is buying.” - J. Paul Getty