Archive for June, 2010

Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

If you are a buyer who purchased a home within the guidelines of the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit and you are scrambling to file your papers by the close of business today, you may be in luck. The U.S. House voted yesterday to extend the federal tax credit for home buyers until the end of September.

The current tax credit deadline expires at the end of the day today, June 30, in order to be eligible to receive up to $8,000 in tax credits for those who purchased a home and were in escrow by April 30, 2010 and closed escrow by June 30, 2010. Keep in mind that the extension still must be approved by the Senate

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 180,000 buyers who met the above deadlines will miss today’s filing date deadline without an extension. Economists and real estate experts credit the tax credits for the boost in sales in many local markets. It definitely gave a little push to buyers who were sitting on the proverbial fence.

Best of luck to all you buyers out there who are eligible for both the federal and state tax credits, and I hope you get your paperwork in on time!

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New High School To Open In Carlsbad

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Pacific Ridge, a private school located in the Bressi Ranch area of Carlsbad, is in the process of completing a new high school building that will open this fall. The campus has been open since 2007, providing private education to over 350 seventh through twelfth graders.

The City of Carlsbad has been helpful in helping the school with expediting the planning and permit process so that the buildings could be completed before the school year begins this fall. School officials have designed the buildings with energy efficiency and sustainable features in mind, hoping to become one of the first nationally recognized schools to receive gold accreditation under LEED–Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Pacific Ridge School has a high focus on academics, with an integrated curriculum that focuses on community involvement, ethics and global engagement. The school has received some nice reviews from media as well as families whose children attend the school. I spoke with one young man who is a current student. He told me that classes are small, teachers are wonderful and he is happy there. His parents felt the same, and told me that the financial assistance program at Pacific Ridge is very accomodating and helpful.

For more information visit the informative Pacific Ridge website at http://www.pacificridge.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1.

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Communication is Key

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Communication is such an important necessity, and it is the key ingredient to effective results in most circumstances. In a world where communicating is easier than ever it astounds me that there are still people who do not communicate effectively. Here is a list of better ways to communicate that will help when negotiating, executing a task, delegating, or just about any other situation.

1. Listen. Listening is first because it is vital to understand the other person’s point of view. You may not agree with it and it may sound out of the ballpark at times, but it is imperative that you listen first. Many people are so fiercely grounded in their own opinions that they do not take the time to realize that others may feel differently. If you can listen earnestly–without being judgmental–before opining, you may come to learn a lot about the other person AND you may even see a way to compromise based on what he or she is saying.

2. Be Honest. This of course is crucial, and not only in times of disagreement. Honesty not only is a moral quality that is valued, but also says a lot about your character. If you are honest others will know that, and you will have a reputation for being honest. No matter that you may be dealing with those who are not honest, stick to your guns and don’t be afraid to be honest.

3. Share. Much like listening, sharing your side allows you to communicate effectively with the other party, and allows them to listen. Voicing concerns, fears and relevant facts help both parties to try and understand the other side.

4. Stay Calm. Staying calm when you are facing a conflict is also important to successful resolution. Even though you may not like what the other person is saying if you lose your cool it just creates frustration and a lack of respect from the person with whom you are trying to communicate. Sometimes you just have to tell the other person that you need to take a break, but don’t yell and act like a child!

5. Show Respect. For those of you who read my blog you know the importance I place on respect. It is in my opinion the most important value. When you are in disagreement or negotiations, when you are trying to figure out how to solve a problem, if you do not show respect for another person with a different view chances are things will not get accomplished; even if you do come to a conclusion a lack of respect can end the relationship on bad terms. Listening and respect go hand in hand.

Remember that many failures can be attributed to poor communication. Armies have perished because they did not know from where the enemy was attacking. Marriages have broken up because the couple didn’t communicate with each other. Deadlines are missed because of poor communication. Wars have been waged because of misunderstandings due to failed communication (and lack of respect and tolerance of other viewpoints and beliefs). Communication skills can be challenging, so if you need to brush up remember the five points above. The more we try to be better communicators, the better off we are.

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Come Out and Help With Community Service Day

Monday, June 14th, 2010

This Friday, June 18 is going to be a wonderful day, and it will be even better with YOUR help! It is the 27th annual Windermere Community Service Day Fair, and there are SO many chances to do a whole lot of good for humankind. So come on over to The Church at Rancho Bernardo from 10:00-4:00 Friday, 11740 Bernardo Plaza Court, and help us to help others!

This year we will be supporting 12 different charities. From feeding the needy and those in Haiti to helping children and supporting Rady Children’s Hospital, to blood donations with the Red Cross, recycling, Community Service Centers, the Helen Woodward Center for animals, and much more.

There are several ways you can get involved. First, come to the fair! You can help bag meals, drop off food donations and electronic recyclables, give blood. Plus, there will be live entertainment and fun for the kids, delicious baked goods and more. Second, clean out your pantry and fill a paper bag with food donations, scour your garage for old electronics you no longer need, gather new or gently used childrens’ pyjamas, purchase crayons and coloring books…then bring your donations to the Fair. If you cannot do so please contact me and I will arrange a pickup prior to the event.

This is what it’s all about, folks: helping others. Get the whole family involved and do something that will make you feel great. To sign up to volunteer, or for more information on the event please visit http://communityservicedayfair.wordpress.com/. Make a difference! I hope to see you there.

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Free Carlsbad Summer Events

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

How great is Carlsbad? I know I say this all the time, but I really mean it! If you are looking for some fun things to do this summer and want to save some money, check out what is going on for free!

2010 TGIF Jazz in the Park Concert Series

These concerts are always a blast…grab a picnic dinner and some blankets and enjoy our beautiful summer weather with free live jazz music. All concerts are from 6:00-8:00 p.m. For more information call 760-434-2904.

June 25, July 2, July 9: Stagecoach Park, 3420 Camino de las Coaches.

July16, 23, 30: Poinsettia Park, 6600 Hidden Valley Road.

August 6, 13, 20: Calavera Hills Park, 2997 Glasglow Drive.

Other Summer Events (the following is copied directly from the city’s website)

Carlsbad City Library’s Summer Reading Programs for Babies, Children, Teens and Adults
June 21-Aug. 6
Programming times vary
760-602-2047 or 760-602-2038
Spend summer adrift in books at the library’s annual summer reading program. Enjoy activities, reading incentives and entertainment.

Community Health and Fitness Expo
July 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Westfield Plaza Camino Real
760-602-7519
Enjoy shopping, music, seminars/workshops, and fun activities for the whole family the day before the Carlsbad Triathlon.

Carlsbad Triathlon
July 11, 8 a.m.
Carlsbad State Beach (at Tamarack)
760-602-7519
Come cheer on elite athletes and beginners at one of the top five triathlons in the world, brought to you by the City of Carlsbad.

Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William P. Gottlieb
July 11-Aug. 29
William D. Cannon Art Gallery
Marvel at Gottlieb’s images of jazz greats, including Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. A special 25th anniversary selection of TGIF Jazz concert photography will be on display, too. Special opening day activities on Saturday, July 11: Lecture by jazz historian Dirk Sutro at 4 p.m. and public reception sponsored by the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts from 5 to 7 p.m.

Family Open Studios
July 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center (off of Gabbiano Lane)
760-434-2904
An array of fun outdoor arts and nature activities have been designed for all ages to take advantage of the lagoon’s natural beauty.

Library Summer Concert
July 25, 2 p.m.
Georgina Cole Library
760-602-2026
This free concert features Nathan McEuen and Scott Gates performing bluegrass/Americana folk rock. Seating is limited and first come, first served.

Family Open Studios Plus with Classics 4 Kids
Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Carlsbad City Library (Dove Lane)
760-602-2021
Family Open Studios expands to include an appearance of the Classics 4 Kids’ Jazz Ensemble, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the TGIF Jazz in the Parks concert series.

Dates and times may change. For a complete calendar of events, times and locations, visit http://www.carlsbadca.gov.

Enjoy!

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Free Curbside Bulky Item Pickup for Carlsbad Residents

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Want to get rid of that old barbeque? How about the old mattress in your spare room? Basketball hoop? If you have a large or bulky item that you need to get rid of and weren’t sure how to get it to the proper disposal place, you are now in luck if you are a Carlsbad resident.

The city of Carlsbad is offering FREE curbside pickup for large and/or bulky items on June 26, 2010. You must call between June 7-14 to schedule an appointment, and them all you have to do is drag your items to the curb…it’s that simple. Call 760-929-9400 or go to http://northcounty.wm.com/bulkypickup1.asp for an appointment.

Items that qualify include barbeques (no propane tanks), mattresses, basketball hoops, furniture, doors, large appliances, water heaters, toilets, file cabinets, and more. For a complete list you can visit the city’s website at http://www.carlsbadca.gov. Go to city services/environmental programs.

Computers, televisions and other electronic items are NOT eligible for the program. To dispose of these items you may take them to 2880 Industry Street in Oceanside (call 760-929-9400 for hours of operation), or 1145 East Taylor Street in Vista, (call 800-444-4244 for hours of operation).

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California Bill Will Protect Homeowners From Foreclosure

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

There may be good news for distressed homeowners on the horizon. SB 1275, which was approved by the Senate on June 3, seeks to protect homeowners from foreclosure. The new law will require lenders to contact distressed homeowners and attempt to work out a loan modification, if possible, before initiating foreclosure proceedings. If passed this law will do away with the lack of uniformity amongst lenders in considering loan modifications, making the process a confusing and often painful one for distressed owners.

Under SB 1275 lenders would be required to alert homeowners of pending foreclosure risk AND possible alternatives. The lenders would not be able to initiate foreclosure proceedings while a loan modification application was pending. In a nut shell, the bill would force lenders to fully examine the possibility of loan modifications before initiating with foreclosures.

The bill now passes on to the assembly.

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Legoland Water Park Now Open

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Well, Legoland California has done it again. The newest addition to the park, a 5 1/2 acre water park made especially for children, opened May 28, just in time for summer. The park boasts a 45 foot tower sprouting four enormous water slides and much more.

Float down the Build-a-Raft lazy river after you have created your own soft Lego raft, ride the 312-foot long, 6 person OrangeRush tube slide, or the Twin Chasers slides, or play in the Joker Soaker–an interactive wading pool complete with shooting cannons and lots of fun. There is also a zoo-themed water play area for toddlers.

Admission is just $10 extra with a paid admission to the Legoland theme park ($67 admission for adults and $57 for children). As of right now there is not a separate price to visit the water park exclusively, but hopefully in the future that will be an option.

While the park is made for children (adults may ride Orange Rush only), adults can rent a cabana and hang out all day to watch the little ones play. Rates are $129-179 per day, and cabanas come stocked with towels and drinks.

Don’t forget about the fantastic Sea Life Aquarium, also on the Legoland property (which CAN be visited exclusively, for a $19 adult/$12 child/$16 senior admission price, OR can be included for a $10 upgrade on the theme park admission tickets). All three attractions make for a full fun-packed day!

Chalk up another point for Carlsbad!

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Four Seasons Aviara Becomes Park Hyatt

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The Four Seasons Aviara will officially become a Park Hyatt on June 21. In a very bitter but not highly publicized move the Four Seasons Resort, which had been involved in a dispute with the property owner for quite some time, settled in April and Hyatt Hotels was designated as the new owner. The exclusive Park Hyatt line of Hyatt resorts includes hotels in Australia, Argentina, Dubai and Chicago.

The dispute centered on the way the Four Seasons maintained the property. While the Four Seasons is known for high standards, the owners argued that the hotel was spending too much money on maintenance, while the ailing economy could not justify the costs.

There were lawsuits filed and threats made, but even after a ruling that the Four Seasons was not mismanaging the property an agreement was reached and the resort will no longer bear the Four Seasons name.

The 132 Four Seasons time share units surrounding the hotel will continued to be managed by the Four Seasons. This was a big issue with time share owners, who purchased time shares in the Four Seasons name.

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