California 1 of 5 States With Worst Unemployment Rate

Flag of California

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 1-11-09
The Courier News member of the Chicago Sun-Times News Group published this deansguide article 1-11-09
Post Tribune member of the Chicago Sun-Times News Group published this deansguide article 1-11-09

California has 1 of the 5 highest unemployment rates in the country according to a new report from the Associated Press Ray Henry and Christopher Rugaber. The most telling factor is that each state has something in common “a heightened exposure to the root causes of this downward spiral.”

Factors in Common:

  • Housing collapse
  • Auto Industry implosion
  • Financial Services meltdown
  • Manufacturing decline

5 Worst States by Unemployment Numbers and Symptoms:

1. Michigan: Auto industry’s near collapse and uncertainty.

2. Rhode Island: Manufacturing decline and construction stoppages

3. South Carolina: Manufacturing decline, construction losses

4. California: Housing market implosion, lender meltdown, builder losses, foreclosures

5. Oregon: Timber industry hurt by housing stall

Real Estate’s Role in California’s Economic Woes:

A very telling fact is  California’s unemployment rate of  8.4%, third highest in the nation, has been primarily due to the collapse of the real estate market. Nothing surprising in that statement but “in the year ending in November 2008, 71 percent of the nonfarm jobs lost in California were housing-related.”

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Technology and Networking in 1978: My 30 Year High School Reunion a Reminder

Can you guess which one is me?

Excuses are like long term personal contracts that freeze a person’s ability to make change, take action, move forward. One of the worst excuses I often hear people expound upon is the fact that blogging and social media networking is just too time consuming, not effective enough, or over their heads technologically. Bull_hit! It is all about your willingness to learn, expand your knowledge base, dedicate yourself to the task, and remain steadfast on course through dedication.

Back in 1978, there was very little technology that allowed a person or business to network themselves and build their brand. How did I arrive at this subject?

My 30 year high school reunion, Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, CA, is being held tonight and it sparks many memories. One of the biggest memories is how our world used to be and how technology has changed what we can do, where we can go, and who we can ultimately become due to the advances.

In order to appreciate the Web 2.0 world of Social Networking tools, blogging, and the global conversation that is inspiring a seachange in the media and information industry, lets take a look back at where we used to reside: 1978.

You have NO excuse not to network, connect, and utilize the tools of blogging and Web 2.0 to your advantage. Here is what you would have faced 30 years ago:

Technology in 1978: Or what I used to do, what I could not do, and what I never knew I wanted to do

1. Remote Control: I was my father’s remote as I sat by the TV while he pointed and “clicked”

2. Cable TV: We had 4 channels 2-4-5-7; ESPN did not exist, cable TV did not exist

3. VCR-Video: VCR’s were invented but not in the market in my area, Video stores did not exist

4. No MTV: Music videos did not exist

5. Microwave Ovens: no microwaves, no Hotpockets!

6. “Partyline”: no not some 900 number. My grandparents phone service was a party line where 6 families shared the same phone line!

7. No Internet: ?????????????

8. No Personal Computers

9. No Video games: Pong was just around the corner

10. No Cellphones

11. No Answering machines: if you missed the call you were left wondering

12. No Voicemail: same thing but now you could screen calls without screwing up!

13. No Social Media Networking: Facebook, twitter

14. No Niche Media Networking: Linkedin, Plaxo

15. No PDA

16. No Video Cameras: none that were small and affordable only the mass media behemoths

17. Microcomponents: Sterio components and speakers were HUGE

18. CB Radios: They were a national phenom and since technology have gone back to their intended use

19. Ham Radio: Same thing Hamm Operators are a dying breed with the internet, skype, and other technologies

20. Networking: Back in 1978 it was through your family, Chamber of Commerce, Barbershop, or the local rag newspaper

21. Sadly No Active Rain: Are there words to express my gratitude?

Where can you find me if not in the picture above:

1. Active Rain profile

2. Innerarchitect.com/about

3. Linkedin.com profile

4. Facebook.com profile

5. Collegeplanningspecialist.wordpress.com author

6. Plaxo.com me

7. twitter.com deansguide

If you can’t get find me to network with me–you ain’t tryin!

Bodega Bay Seafood, Art & Wine Festival 2008 The Greatest Entertainment Value of The Summer

Chicago Sun-Times and Beacon News published this deansguide article August 23, 2008

The good people at winecountryfestivals.com bring you the 2008 Bodega Bay Seafood, Art, and Wine Festival from beautiful-rustic Bodega Bay, California beginning August 23-24. This is without a doubt the best family value in summer entertainment in California. To make this possible, the festival has a number of great sponsors including Comcast, PG&E, and Kleenex. The sponsors page

The beneficiaries of this event are the Bodega Bay Volunteer Fire Department and non-profit Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods an organization that works inconjunction with the Parks Department.

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Where: Watts Ranch 16855 Bodega Highway in Bodega Bay, California

Times: 10:00am-6:00pm Saturday and 10:00-5:00pm Sunday

Admission: Adults $12; Seniors over 60 (I’m not there yet) $10; Ages 12-16 $8 and under 12 is Free

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Featured Artist page includes jewelry, dolls, painting, sculpture, and photography

Food Vendors list and here is a taste of their awesome menu:

Barbequed Oysters; Fish Tacos; Crab Cakes; Coconut Shrimp; Salmon Cakes and you get the idea!

Entertainment Main Stage on Saturday includes 4 bands with the headliner The Tommy Castro Band

Tommy Castro

Sunday’s Headliner Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88’s

And of course because it’s California there is going to be a whole lotta this: Smiling Faces

Two women enjoying a glass of wine.

Has A New Ed Okun Arrived On The 1031 Exchange Scene: Vesta Strategies LLC Staggers From Wall St. Journal Story

In another apparent blatant rip off of 1031 exchange investor funds, Vesta Strategies of San Jose, California “has closed its doors, leaving investors scrambling to recover millions and pointing to flaws in the largely unregulated industry” according to the Wall Street Journal report “Behind the Boom and Bust of Real- Estate Player Vesta.”

Do we have another Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group on our hands?

The Founders

Chicago businessman John Terzakis and partner Robert Estupinian were the principles at Vesta Strategies. They founded Vesta in 2004 amid a firestorm of legal problems

History

According to WSJ’s Kris Hudson’s report:

“Mr. Terzakis had a history of failed real-estate deals and soured relationships — information Mr. Terzakis isn’t required to disclose to potential clients. Now the two men are accusing each other in separate lawsuits of diverting millions of dollars from Vesta for personal use.”

The Losses Sound Familiar

Christina Pappas a California investor, a familiar story to the “Trainwreck Victims of Ed Okun”, is out $2.5 million she handed to Vesta in April 2008 from the “sale of a property.”

When Ms. Pappas found a replacement property, another building, to purchase within the IRS’s 180 day exchange period, she requested her funds be wired in order to close the deal. To her utter horror, but familiar to the people following this industry, Ms. Pappas maintains that the “Vesta representative failed to wire her money to complete the property exchange by the June 16 closing, and still hasn’t done so”

The Numbers

According to WSJ story, Mr. Estupinian was quoted as saying that “Vesta Strategies held $10 million to $30 million in client money at any one time.” Okun like no, but no small sum of money in any case

Vesta Infighting And Meltdown

In a scene worthy of Ed Okun, the two principles Terzakis and Estupinian ended up in court with Terzakis initiating the legal action.

Mr. Terzakis allegations included

1. Estupinian misappropriated several million dollars of Vesta’s money for his family’s use

2. $96,000 salary for Mr. Estupinian’s wife, who allegedly did little work for the company

3. Expenditures on a $1.3 million house

4. A $160,308 oceanfront apartment in Long Beach

5. $50,000 for a pair of dogs-doesn’t everyone have $50,000 twin dogs?

6. $42,795 in tuition toward Mr. Estupinian’s doctorate degree-education is expensive

The Countersuit by Mr. Estupinian

1. Embezzlement of about $25 million and the following quote by Mr. Estupinian:

“Beginning as far back as 2000, John Terzakis has been treating the client funds as his own personal piggy bank in order to fund his many personal business and development projects”

Final Final

If this does not sound like the Okun case it certainly sounds like a close facsimile to it. The bottom line for Ms.Pappas and fellow investors serviced by Vesta Strategies could be the same fate suffered by Okun victims: no return on investment, IRS nightmare tax bill, and the prospects of a lost retirement fund spent in a lavish lifestyle befitting a crook

“Hyper Local” Blog Strategy Is Realtor’s #1 Weapon Of Mass Introduction

The following is a brief description and outline for Realtors to consider when formulating strategies for their blogging efforts, considering SEO tactics, and preparing an action plan for their next generation online marketing campaign.

What Is Hyper Local Content?

Hyper local content is content that describes a community’s characteristics, assets, and overall climate. It is a method of blogging that produces a wide variety of information about a community not restricted to real estate subjects.

Hyper Local Content Topic Examples

Schools; Political scene; Dining; Parks; Festivals; New businesses; Local businesses; Concerts; weather; community services; non profits, charities; local heros; historical buildings; WiFi access; coffee houses; public transportation; city planning; sports teams; where are they now segments; and the list goes on and on

How about this for hyper local content: Realtor John Harper’s brother Craig and friends jam for fun and profit

Why Is It Important?

1. Become an expert on your area

2. Perception as community go-to source of information

3. Search Engine Optimization on multiple topics provides exposure during multiple topic searches

What Does It Mean To Your Blog?

1. Never ending source of content

2. Well rounded content

3. Internal linking strategy

4. Multiple subjects provides multiple “Guest Contributors” possibilities

5. Opportunities to provide exposure to community businesses, citizens, and policies

Hyper Local Blogging “Superstars”

1. Teresa Boardman St.PaulRealestateblog.com

2. Kevin Boer 3oceansrealestate.com

3. John Harper theharperteam.com

Newsflash: California’s Green Building Standards Landmark Approval

Reuters.com published this deansguide article in Environment-Business section July 18, 2008

In a landmark decision, California became the first state in the country to approve green building standards. In Matthew Yi’s excellent San Francisco Chronicle article, the new green building standards will

“. . . cut energy and water usage, a move that officials say will help the state meet it’s ambitious goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

Building Requirements

California Building Standards Commission requires all new construction, including commercial, residential, schools and hospitals:

1. Reduce energy comsumption by 15%

2. Reduce water usage by 20%

3. Reduce water for landscaping by 50%

Voluntary participation begins July 1, 2009.

For more information on how to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions go to Reduce-Your-Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions wiki

Road Rage, Freeway Shooting, Drive-Bys: 19 Year Old California Man Arrested For Hells Angel Slaying

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article June 1, 2008

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article June 1, 2008

California has long had the reputation as a driving mecca where the culture demands and honors the automobile. No place on earth was this more true than Los Angeles where citizen take their driving and love of cars to a new level.

But then in the 1980’s a new phenomenon arrived: the freeway shooting. Los Angeles was the home of the freeway shooting which then became the drive-by shooting.

In either case the nation was introduced to “road rage” the newest form of anger on the road. No longer was it good enough to flip some _sshole off or tailgate them into the guardrail. Now people were actually pulling out guns and attempting to kill the “offending” driver.

Latest Arrest: Tale of Road Rage

Today a unnamed, as of yet, 19 year old El Cerrito man was arrested on suspicion of shooting Hells Angel William McLean on Highway 101 near Corte Madera according to local rag the Marin Independent Journal. Earlier in the week, Jessica Andrea Gordon, 20 years old, of Mill Valley was arrested for the murder and held under tight security at the Marin County Jail.

Evidence: Leave It Around The House

Investigators have found the truck a red Dodge Durango and they recovered a 9mm handgun from the suspects residence in Richmond, California. The gun is being tested for ballistics and will surely come back as the murder weapon.

Final Results

What we have are two babies being charged with a very adult crime for which either one or both will spend the remainder of their life behind bars paying for their crime. Douglas Horngrad the attorney representing Jessica Gordon is vehemently denying that she was the shooter stating:

“Under no construction of the facts here do police believe for one second that she’s the shooter,” Horngrad said. “I’m absolutely certain that she is not guilty of murder.”

The results are one innocent man murdered and two lives ruined for what? Somebody was cut off in traffic? Somebody was tailgating? Somebody made a gesture? Are any of these things even remotely worth the results?

And by the way, if you think for a moment that the 19 year old male suspect or Ms Gordon’s lives are worth a plug nickel if they somehow beat this case–think again. The “81” will never forget.