Archives for March 2011

Bicycle Safety- Too close for comfort!

Just a little over a month ago I was hit by a car while riding my bike in Huntington Beach. A car pulled out in front of me leaving me no where to go but into the side of the car and ultimately into the driver’s side window. Just two weeks ago I had extensive surgery on my shoulder. I have been recovering from the surgery since and look forward to getting back on the bike and riding again. That is once the driver’s insurance company replaces my totaled bike. While this is a bad story, and I have been hurt, I feel very lucky that I am still alive. In the last six years I have logged more than 30,000 miles on my bike and had never been involved in a crash. For many bicyclists in and around the local Costa Mesa and Orange County area this is not the story I hear. I cannot tell you how many nice people have asked what happened to me and followed up my story with a story of a friend who was killed on a bike.
Since my accident, I have obviously been more aware of what drivers do while driving, putting on make up, texting, talking on the phone, and frankly not paying attention to the road. Each time, this puts other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists at risk of serious injury and death. I ask that you take a moment to think of all the stories you have heard about and think twice before you answer or send a text and realise in that moment, you could have hurt someone. 
Below is a article from my good friends at Performance Bicycle, it covers what cyclists can do to be safer.
 Most of us invariably need to ride close to vehicles on the road. When sharing the road with two tons of metal I always keep in mind these key skills for staying safe in traffic.
 
 
 
Look and Listen
First of all, pay 100 percent attention, just as you would
while driving. Problem sounds include tires squealing,
hard engine acceleration and loud music from an open
window. If I hear these I pull over to let the vehicle pass.
 
 
 
Pick Smart Routes
The best roads have few cars, low speed limits and
no blind corners. Often, a slightly longer route with
fewer cars will be faster than a shorter, busier one.
Also, try to find roads with a shoulder you can ride on.
 
Don’t Keep Secrets
Try to think of what drivers will see as they drive up
behind you. Use hand signals to indicate where you
intend to go. At intersections, make eye contact with
drivers to ensure that they see you. Wave a thank-you
when you’re given the right of way.
 
Stay Steady
Looking behind you without swerving is an essential
skill. To look left, move your right hand toward the center
of the handlebar near the stem, then drop your left hand
off the bar as you turn your head to look back. Keep your
upper body relaxed the entire time and practice, ideally
in an empty parking lot with lines you can follow.
 
Hook your Thumbs
Always wrap your thumbs around the handlebar,
instead of laying them across the top. I can’t tell you
how many times I’ve seen a rider go down after his
hands were jarred off the bar when he hit a bump.
 
 
 Performance Bicycle recommends that you always consult with your
healthcare professional before beginning any exercise program.
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Beach Towns are Orange Counties Hot Spot!

The below article should not come as a surprise to anyone being that real estate is all about location, location, location.

OC Register, March 28th, 2011

Question: Where’s home-buying on the rise as the traditional home-buying season starts?     Answer: At the beach!

For the 22 business days ending March 7 – freshest numbers from Data-Quick our region-by-region analysis of local real estate trends finds Orange County home-buying slicing up by geography this way …

  • There were 504 homes sold in Orange County’s north-inland ZIP codes in this most recent period, -6% from a year ago. Median selling price? $419,000 in these 22 ZIPs. This most recent median price change was -6.4% vs. a year ago.
  • Mid-county ZIPs — median selling price $346,750 – had 586 sales, -25% from a year ago. In these 25 ZIPs, the median price change was +0.7% vs. a year ago.
  • Combined, total homes sales in ZIPs in the north and mid-section of Orange County were -17.5% vs. a year ago as home-buying the rest of the county ran -7.9% vs. 12 months earlier.
  • North/mid-county homes accounted for 51% of residences sold in the most recent period vs. 54% a year ago.
  • 419 homes sold in beach cities’ 17 ZIP codes in the most recent period, +5% from a year ago — only region with a gain! Median selling price? $638,500 in these 17 ZIPs. Median price change was -4.9% vs. a year ago.
  • South inland ZIPs — median selling price $470,000 – had 627 sales, -15% from a year ago. In these 19 ZIPs, median price change was +0.4% vs. a year ago.
  • All told, countywide sales were -11% vs. a year ago. The median selling price was -1% in the past year.
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California Homes Prices Forecasted to Rise 23%

March 23rd, 2011, OC Register

Beacon Economics has an updated housing forecast out for California – and it’s pretty optimistic: The real estate forecast calls for average home gains of 0.6% this year; 3.2% next year; 5.4% in 2013; 6.7% in 2014; and 7.8% in 2015. All told, Beacon is basically projecting that California home prices will jump 23% in five years ($57,800) – from a typical selling price of $256,136 in 2010 to $323,368 in 2015. Depending on one’s view, that projected 2015 pricing would be equal to the highest since 2008, back at early 2004 levels – or still 38% off the 2007 peak.

Jordan Levine, research manager at Beacon Economics, says the optimism is driven by “rising employment and incomes, which we project to grow by between 4% and 6% on the income side and 2% to 3% on the employment side.”

He adds: “We also have some pent-up demand for homes due to such slow household formation during the downturn. Our calculations show that we are currently only building 1 home for every 9-plus new residents over the past year, so that will begin to put upward pressure on the market as the economy begins to heal. Additionally, many of the homes currently being sold are distressed properties, so as the mix changes to slightly better and non-distressed properties, the median sale price will also increase. So, the short answer is that this is being driven in part by a healing economy and partly a shifting mix away from as many distressed homes as we move out into the future.”

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Costa Mesa city worker jumps to his death

A city worker jumped off the roof of Costa Mesa City Hall this afternoon and died about an hour after he was called in to get his layoff notice.

About 3:20 p.m. the man jumped from the fifth floor of the building. Police said the man, who has not yet been identified pending notification of his family, was a 29-year-old maintenance worker with the city.

Two witnesses saw the man jump and attempted to help him after he landed.

The man, whom the Register is not identifying until next of kin has been notified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The employee, who had been at home with a broken ankle, was not supposed to work today, but he was called in about 2:30 p.m. to receive his layoff notice.

The employee was not married and did not have children, although he had an extended family he helped support, according to two of his coworkers.

“This is a tragic event for the city and all of its employees,” Lt. Bryan Glass said. “The city is concerned for their wellbeing and making efforts to help them through this.”

Police taped off a large portion of the parking lot on the east side of City Hall.

Helen Nenadal of the Costa Mesa Employees Association said, “He was an outstanding guy with many talents who always goes above and beyond.”

Nenadal, who was the man’s supervisor, criticized the city’s layoffs and said the city was not concerned about the health and safety of its employees.

“You can’t do this so fast and think that there’s not going to be repercussions,” she said.

A city employee charged after Councilmen Jim Righeimer and Stephen Mensinger with his arm cocked. Three coworkers restrained the man just outside the door to City Hall.

Another city employee muttered, “You’re not welcome here,” referring to the councilmen.

Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, was seen cursing out city CEO Tom Hatch in the lobby of City Hall.

“You cannot give out notices wholesale like that in this economy,” Berardino said. “That’s what’s going to happen.”

Peter Naghavi, director of public works, was crying and consoling other city employees throughout the afternoon.

Other employees stood around dumbstruck, unsure of what to do.

Counselors were brought in to provide assistance.

Hatch offered his condolences to the family, although they had not yet been notified by the Coroner’s office.

“I’m so, so sorry this happened,” he said, his voice catching. “My thoughts and prayers go out for his entire family as well as for our city employees and the entire community.”

The City Council voted earlier this month to outsource 18 city services. The city started handing out pink slips Thursday; around 213 of the city’s 472 employees were to have been notified by the end of the day.

The city was facing a $1.4 million budget deficit in the current year, and rising pension costs in the near term.

OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino is held back after hearing the news a maintenance worker jumped to his death Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Police say a Costa Mesa maintenance worker jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall after he was called in to get his layoff notice. Costa Mesa police Lt. Bryan Glass says the man jumped at about 3:20 p.m. Thursday. The Orange County Register says two witnesses saw the man jump and attempted to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The City Council voted earlier this month to cut more than 200 jobs in a drastic move to plug a $15 million dollar budget hole. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Kevin Sullivan)

City employees embrace outside of Costa Mesa City Hall after a maintenance worker jumped to his death Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Police say a Costa Mesa maintenance worker jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall after he was called in to get his layoff notice. Costa Mesa police Lt. Bryan Glass says the man jumped at about 3:20 p.m. Thursday. The Orange County Register says two witnesses saw the man jump and attempted to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The City Council voted earlier this month to cut more than 200 jobs in a drastic move to plug a $15 million dollar budget hole. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Kevin Sullivan)

A city employee is held back by friends from confronting city managers at Costa Mesa City Hall after a maintenance worker jumped to his death Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Police say a Costa Mesa maintenance worker jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall after he was called in to get his layoff notice. Costa Mesa police Lt. Bryan Glass says the man jumped at about 3:20 p.m. Thursday. The Orange County Register says two witnesses saw the man jump and attempted to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The City Council voted earlier this month to cut more than 200 jobs in a drastic move to plug a $15 million dollar budget hole. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Kevin Sullivan)

 

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Costa Mesa Coyotes to be Trapped

Costa Mesa Police Ordered Coyote Trapping

The Costa Mesa Police Department would like to make the public aware of an increased sighting of coyotes within the City. Over the last couple of months

Coyotes call Costa Mesa home

 there have been several coyote sightings and incidents in the north and west areas of Costa Mesa.  Citizens have observed the coyotes aggressively approaching and/or harming small domestic animals.  Costa Mesa Animal Control has responded to the increased activity and in light of the issue has solicited the service of Urban Wildlife Professionals (UWP), a professional wildlife capturing service. UWP specializes in these matters and has been utilized by other Orange County agencies to address coyote problems.

Beginning on March 7, 2011, UWP will begin trapping coyotes at various locations within the City. The traps (snares) are placed off trails and walkways. They are designed not to harm humans and/or domestic animals. The trapping efforts will take place during the week of March 7 – 11 and March 14 – 18, 2011.

Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to Sgt. Phil Myers at 714-754-5074.

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