Archive for May, 2010
(The following article was featured as a guest commentary in the San Diego Coast News)
What has happened to good, old-fashioned respect? There are signs everywhere that it may be disappearing, but we need to bring it back or risk living in a world where no one cares and nothing is accomplished.
As the parent of two children, one in elementary and one in middle school, I often hear stories from my kids that not only shock me, but also make me feel sad. The stories are about kids who insult teachers during class, spray paint horrible things about Principals and staff. In fact, the other day I was picking up a carpool at the middle school and on my way out a boy made a vulgar hand gesture to me. If my children ever did anything like that to an adult they would suffer consequences. But how would I know? I teach my children to respect others and themselves, and I can only hope and pray that they do so.
Disrespect among peers has plagued young people and continues to make headlines across the nation and world. Cyber bullying, while a form of anguish and torment, also has roots in respect (or lack of it). Why do young people think they are empowered to affect the lives of others in a way that could lead to severe and possibly irreversible consequences, including murder and suicide? Where along the way did this come to be acceptable?
Some people say that lack of respect is caused by the advance in technology, or the fact that in many households both parents or the single parent works, leaving children home alone for long periods of time. This theory advocates that there is no longer a ‚ÄúLeave it to Beaver‚Äù situation where there is a parent who is always around for the children, thus causing them find ways to entertain themselves that may get them into trouble. The days of playing in the front yard with the neighborhood kids seem to be over in most cases.
The internet and mobile access to it has been blamed for the lack of respect as well. The amount of information available to children these days is scary‚Äîit is easy to learn how to cheat on a paper or test, find or make weapons or bombs, or watch pornography‚Ä¶all at our fingertips. Social network sites like Facebook and MySpace are very popular amongst young adults, and are the way to communicate. Unfortunately many use it inappropriately to tarnish reputations and hurt others.
Video games and the media also play a role in the demise of respect. Far from the innocence of games of the past like PacMan and Asteroids, today’s video games can be extremely violent. Exploding bodies, blood and torture are the norm in many popular games, creating desensitization issues. Many kid-friendly movies and even television shows on child-appropriate networks portray violence, adult themes (like sex, drugs and alcohol), and even young actors who have to make uncharacteristic grown-up decisions.
There are many factors that contribute to the growing lack of respect today, but one thing is clear: we need to fix it before respect disappears. It is not only the young generation, but also the older ones who demonstrate behaviors that are disrespectful. As an example to the younger generations it is imperative that we set examples of proper behavior. Work stress, lack of sleep, financial problems, relationship issues, traffic‚Ä¶there is a lot on most peoples’ plates right now. But to get through it we need to respect each other. Getting angry at someone because they cut you off or cut in front of you does not help you at all. Why raise your heart rate, make yourself upset?
Each day, each moment is a gift, and each person has an equal right to that gift. If we all start living according to this principal we will naturally be more respectful, and the world will be a better place.
The City of Carlsbad is inviting residents to attend the free annual citizens budget workshop on June 10 at 6 p.m. at the Faraday Center–1635 Faraday Avenue.
The workshop will hear an overview of the City’s 2010-2011 budget, and will have the opportunity to ask questions and submit comments. The feedback will then be presented to the city council, who will receive the budget report on June 8 and will consider the report and commentary for adoption on June 29. The City’s fiscal year begins July 1.
This is a great opportunity for Carlsbad residents to play a participating role in what goes on in our city, as well as to see first hand how the city functions. For more information you can visit the city website at http://www.carlsbadca.gov/finance.
My writing has caught the eye of the media, and I am so excited because writing has always been a passion of mine. My ultimate goal is to help people and stimulate ideas, because when they are put out there people think, and thinking leads to action. I love writing about real estate-related issues as well as other pertinent issues that effect our communities. Here are some things to watch for:
Friday, May 21: An editorial I wrote on the disappearance of respect in our world today will be published in the San Diego Coast News. You can pick up a copy if you are local, or go to http://tinyurl.com/248zchb.
Tuesday, May 25: I will be on Fox5 News at 10:00 p.m. I was interviewed for an article I wrote on bullying. If you would like to read it scroll down. Don’t blink because I don’t know how much was cut!
I continue to write for a local magazine (with no byline though), and I am trying to get an article in another local magazine, so I will keep everyone posted. Of course, you can still purchase my book on foreclosure options (very helpful information for those facing foreclosure or unable to continue making payments) here on this site by clicking on the “Book” link. Thank you SO much for all the support!
Although not a new idea, placing renters in vacant foreclosed properties seems like the perfect solution to help ease the housing market woes. So why aren’t lenders jumping all over this idea?
Although I could not find an exact number, the number of bank-owned properties across the country is surely astounding, and continues to grow. Here in San Diego county, as of the time of this blog, there are 852 properties owned by banks that are listed on the MLS. Keep in mind that there are MANY more that are not listed yet. Other areas that were hit hardest by the housing crisis, like Las Vegas and Phoenix, surely have higher numbers. While many foresee a future tidal wave of foreclosures, others argue that it will never happen, as it would literally decimate the already pressured housing market.
In some areas, like here in San Diego county, home sales seem to be rising, albeit slightly, but it is a good sign. There are actually lots of buyers out there right now, and in April there were an unprecedented number of homes that went into escrow (due in large part to the federal and state tax credits).
Sellers are realizing that price is critical right now. Gone are the days of overpricing your home. Buyers shy away from overpriced listings, as they assume the seller will not be willing to negotiate down to market value. Market value is KEY, considering the difficulty of obtaining loans and getting appraisals these days.
As for the foreclosure dilemma, it is true that there will be foreclosures hitting the markets. Obviously this will be area-dependent in many cases , but personally I do not believe that San Diego will be hit as hard as other areas of the country (possibly with the exception of Chula Vista and some East county areas).
Regardless of what the future holds and how this will play out, and acknowledging that we can argue about this until we are blue in the face, it is time for creative solutions that will help to heal the problem that we have: to wit, vacant homes with no one taking care of them or paying the mortgage.
Lenders should take heed and put qualified renters in these homes. They will pay market rent, or maybe even a bit lower than market rent, and move into these homes. The homes will be maintained, occupied, and the lender will be receiving money each month to cover the payments on the property. Neighbors’ property values will not deteriorate because of the vacant homes that become eyesores. There could even be potential for future purchases by the tenants written into the leases. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Sometimes you have to think simply to solve problems in a big way. So let’s get these lenders moving towards real solutions.
If you are a dog owner like me you need to be aware of a dangerous situation that for some reason is not being broadcast all over the media. The rare western tree hole mosquito can bite dogs and can cause heartworm, a dangerous disease which can lead to death. Normally it is very rare to find these mosquitoes and only a few are found every year (only 30 were found in the last 17 years). Recently, however, over 300 of them have been found in the San Gabriel Valley and they seem to be migrating to other places across the state, like Ventura County.
Fortunately there is an easy solution to this problem that will protect your dog: put your dog on heartworm medication. It is a simple chewable pill your dog eats once a month, but you have to have a veterinary exam first to make sure your dog does not currently have heartworm…well worth it to protect our fur babies.
I recently read an article in the San Diego Union Tribune that made my heart sing. It was about an organization called Just In Time here in San Diego. It is dedicated to helping young adults emerge from the foster system into the real world, aiding them in becoming successful adults and staying off the streets. This really touched me, as I was adopted at birth and have been seeking ways to give back to organizations that help with adoptions and the foster system.
For anyone who is aware of the realities of the foster care system in California (and many other states, I am sure), it is filled with many stories; from positive experiences to those that are truly devastating. Those not lucky enough to get adopted out to a permanent family may face challenges when they turn 18 and are all of a sudden on their own.
Just in Time focuses on helping young adults 18-26 years old as they transition into adulthood. Many of these young people do not have the support of family, which makes going out on their own difficult. They need guidance and help getting started‚Äîwith school or a job, a place to live, transportation, and more.
As an adopted child I have been interested in the process for most of my life, but the last decade or so I have been seeking ways to give back to those who are in the system, to dedicate my time helping others. I have volunteered for the San Diego Department of Health and Human Services in their adoption department for several years. But I have also been looking for other ways to help make a difference in this arena, and Just in Time has me excited.
There is another organization that was recently started founded by NFL player Phillip Rivers called Rivers of Hope. It’s mission is to help children who are currently going through the foster care system. This is another wonderful organization that works with children within the foster system.
I will be donating a portion of my commission from every sale going forward to organizations like these, in the hopes that it will make life a little brighter for children in the foster system as well as those exiting it to start their own lives.
If you are interested in helping these great causes you can visit their websites to learn further information. For Just in Time visit http:///www.jitfosteryouth.org. For Rivers of Hope Foundation go to http://riversofhopefoundation.com.
The City of Carlsbad welcomes it’s new police chief, Gary W. Morrison, who will begin his new role June 1, replacing retiring Chief Tom Zoll. Morrison is a highly qualified police veteran, with 22 years of experience working in the law enforcement field and an expansive resume.
Residents can come out to welcome Chief Morrison at the swearing in ceremony and reception on June 1 from 3:00-5:00. The reception will be held at the Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Avenue.
The City of Carlsbad continuously ranks it’s police department favorably, from keeping crime rates low to quick response times, and the men and women who work for the department are a big part of what make our city special. Make sure to give a warm welcome to their new leader and to thank them next time you see them!