Friday, April 04, 2014

THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO



When asked to identify the base from which they flew, President Franklin Roosevelt replied, "Shangri-La."

Recently, in Fort Walton Beach , Florida , the surviving Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time.  They were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 Raiders who, in April of 1942, just four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, embarked on one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.  

After Japan 's sneak attack on Hawaii , with the United States still licking its wounds, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.  Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to retaliate, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen North American B-25s, twin-engine "Billy Mitchells," were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried -- sending Army Air Corps medium bombers from the deck of a ship at sea.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of then Lt. Col. James Doolittle, (he retired as a brigadier general) who himself flew the lead plane off USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.  On the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean (more than 600 miles) than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.

They went anyway.  They bombed Tokyo, then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed in China ; 11 crews bailed out, and three Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed.  Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia.  The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will win.

 Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid. "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo ," starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story "with supreme pride."

Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.  Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.  Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance: It was Jimmy Doolittle's birth year.

There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.  As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders.  Then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.  What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest, he became ill with malaria and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp. 

Out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot on the raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor, and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue. The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date -- sometime this year -- to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets, and raise them in a toast to those who are gone.



I received this historic footnote in an email... source unknown... it is worth passing on to my Readership.  MARILYN


Thursday, March 20, 2014

RESOURCES FOR SENIORS - YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE THIS LIST








www.allianceforaging.org  Find answers about aging and eldercare services. Here is a good place to start

www.caremanager.org Can find you a geriatric care manager who can help find local resources for seniors.

www.nasmm.org  The National Association of Senior Move Managers can handle logistics when a senior wants to downsize – here you can find a Senior Move Manager.

www.naela.org can design a financial plan to take advantage of government assistance and handle estate planning.

www.palmbeachseniorplacement offers FREE service to help seniors find the best match for independent and assisted living facilities, including Alzheimer's/dementia care in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties.  We take you on tours, refer to resources for VA and Medicaid finnacing and more.  Contact Candy Cohn, 772-486-4914, candy@palmbeachseniorplacement.com


Readership: if you have a resource we can include please send the information to marilynfjacobs@gmail.com.  Thank you!


Sunday, March 02, 2014

LEARN ABOUT THE SECRET NEGOTIATIONS FOR GILEAD SCHALIT'S RELEASE FROM THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE



Next  Luncheon Meeting: Monday Mar 3, 2014
BOGARTS, 3200 AIRPORT ROAD, BOCA RATON
Gershon Baskin, Ph.D., Author of The Secret Negotiations

Gershon Baskin, Ph.D., was the initiator and the person responsible for the secret back channel between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilead Schalit.  His book on the secret negotiations was published in Hebrew in June 2013 (לשחרר את גלעד) and in English in October 2013 (The Negotiator – Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas – Toby Press)
 From 1988 – 2011, Dr. Baskin was the Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) – a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do”-tank located in Jerusalem.   Since January 2012 he is the Co-Chairman of IPCRI’s Board of Directors. He initiated the founding of IPCRI in 1988 following ten years of work in the field of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel, in Interns for Peace where he lived for two years in the Israeli-Palestinian village of Kufr Qara, the Ministry of Education and as Executive Director of the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence (established by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office at Baskin’s initiative).  
During the Premiership of the late Yitzhak Rabin, he served as an advisor on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a secret team of intelligence officers established by Mr. Rabin. Dr. Baskin was a member of the Jerusalem Experts Committee established by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office during the Final Status Negotiations in 2000-2001. 
Dr. Baskin holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from University of Greenwich.  His dissertation was on Sovereignty and Territory in the Future of Jerusalem, parts of which were published as a bookJerusalem of Peace.  
He is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum, a member of the Board of ALLMEP – the Alliance for Middle East Peace, a member of the Editorial Board of the Palestinian Israeli Journal, and a member of the Board of One Voice. Dr. Baskin is also a member of the Israeli Council for Peace and Security. He was a founding chairman of the progressive Synagogue Kehilat Kol Haneshama in Jerusalem where he served as Chairman for three years. 
He has a regular column in the Jerusalem Post Newspaper and was for two years a radio host on All for Peace Radio.  Dr. Baskin has now also begun writing a bi-weekly opinion piece on the Palestinian new web site Ma’an News.  Dr. Baskin has been awarded the Histadrut Prize for Peace in 1996, the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute Peace Prize in 2004, the Tribute of Honor and Courage from the World Movement for Democracy in 2004 and the Search for Common Ground Journalist Award for Middle East Journalism in 2005 and 2007 as well as the Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana. Dr. Baskin speaks Hebrew, English and Arabic. 

Since January 2012 Dr. Baskin is working to develop renewable energy projects around the Middle East focusing on Palestine and Egypt.  He is also a consultant to the USAID supported TRADE PROJECT run by Deloitte Consulting aimed at reducing the costs of Palestinian trade in the West Bank and Gaza. 

MEMBERS: $25 in advance; $35 at door
GUESTS: $35 in advance; $45 at door
To reserve register at www.goldcoasttigerbayclub.com

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

MY SON, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND I WERE ON OUR WAY TO WATCH MY GRANDDAUGHTER IN A PLAY AT DONNA KLEIN SCHOOL...


I tried to access the school the usual way, from the 95th Street entrance road, but there was a police car blocking the road.  There was construction going on at the entrance, and that appeared to be the reason we had no access.

Like others going to the school, I went around the corner to the other gate off 441 for school access.  There were police cars there and a big traffic jam at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy.

Saw a fellow walking with a cell phone and I yelled to him, while I was stuck in a big traffic jam, "What is happening?"  He yelled back, "School is on lockdown.  Bomb threat."

I managed to make my way close to the gate and park on the access road out of the way.  Stash, my son, saw me and came over.  Nobody knew anything.  This was about 12:30 pm.  The bomb squad had been there and police dogs. Nothing was found.  

Janice, my daughter-in-law, was in a nearby car.  They were letting the preschool children out at their regular time, and the parents were there to pick them up. 

About 2 pm, the Principal, Mrs.Feller, and others came over to be sure we were all calm, said the play Gabby (my granddaughter) was in was cancelled and soon they would let us in to get the children.

And so, we walked in and picked up Gabby and her brother Marty.  Later we were told that a threatening email had been received at the school early that morning, and taking no chances, "better safe than sorry," the lockdown proceeded.

A lot of prayers were said, and everyone did remain outwardly calm.

I hope none of you, my readership, goes through an experience like this.


Marilyn Jacobs, Editor

FISCAL CONDITION OF THE 50 STATES


Note that Florida came in #6, near the 
top of the list for fiscal conditions 

for all 50 states.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

BOCA REGIONAL HOSPITAL GETS KUDOS



Healthgrades ranks Boca Regional Hospital in top 5% of hospitals for 10th year in a row for clinical performance. 

Out of 4500 hospitals in the United States, only 24 have earned such a consecutive distinction.  The hospital earned six 5-star ratings for

·       treatment of heart attack

·       treatment of heart failure

·       Colorectal Surgeries

·       treatment of GI bleed

·       treatment of Bowel obstruction

·       treatment of Sepsis.

 

Ranked nationally in the top 10% for:

·       Overall Cardiac Services

·       Overall Gastrointestinal Services

·       Overall General Surgery

Healthgrades estimates that if all hospitals performed at the level that Boca Regional does, a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence, 156,036 lives could potentially have been served.

Boca Regional, an advanced tertiary medical center has 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff.  It is noted as a leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health and emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The hospital is a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center, noted by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). 


Boca Regional announced an agreement with North Shore-LIJ Health System, the largest integrated healthcare network in NY state, and one of the nation's largest healthcare systems which has 16 member hospitals throughout the NY metropolitan area.  It is the largest private employer in NY with 47,000 in its workforce, a medical school and research enterprise.  The affiliation will focus on clinical care programming.

Friday, January 24, 2014



NOW is the time to buy in Florida

before prices rise again



FLORIDA REAL ESTATE MARKET IS IN RECOVERY MODE....

HOW MUCH ARE HOME SALES UP?

Florida Realtors News reports single family home sale
closings are up 8.6% compared to Dec 2012.  National
Association of Realtors says prices and sales are
strongest in 7 years.  The number of listings is
increasing. Statewide consecutive gains began 
over two years ago. 

Generally, properties are closing faster with median 
days on market 50 days for single family homes and 
51 days for townhouses and condos.  Translation: 50% of homes on the Florida market sell in less than two months.  

While inventories are rising, cash sales are declining 
and there are fewer distressed properties on the market.  Investor activity is lower.


Monday, January 20, 2014

PAP CORPS POLO CLUB LUNCHEON GIVEN BY GREATER BOCA RATON CANCER CHAPTER A HUGE SUCCESS!


The Pap Corps' Greater Boca Raton Cancer Care Chapter held an UBER! UBER! 25th Anniversary luncheon on January 20, 2014 at Polo Club.  From the gorgeous (YES!) Basler fashions, to the songs and music, to the committee speeches, not to mention the fabulous meal Polo Club presented... it was OVER THE TOP.  Thanks to Jean Wyman, thru her connection as a friend and personal shopper, Brian Rennie and his team talked to us and showed us absolutely fabulous garments ("...we cut to a size 20...") on gorgeous models.  We had serenades by his friend, a handsome singer, and a wonderful female singer and band, Meshell & Co, played thruout.

Co-chairmen Naomi Prever (a PAP CORPS PAST PRESIDENT) and Bunnie Katz (A GBRCC past president) outdid themselves.  They truly left no stone unturned.  Marilyn Barry and Dorothy Halperin were honored as Silver Philanthropists.  There were many other contributors over and above the price of the luncheon.  Over $4000 was collected for a raffle with prizes of a Basler custom made outfit and a gorgeous watch from Gregory's Jewelers.  Many other raffle prizes were called out. 

Many Past Presidents of the Pap Corp attended including Marise Rudnick, who is the founder of the Pap Corp.

Current Pap Corps President Ronnie Browning and many others assisted by contributing their time, energy and savvy to make this a fabulous event.  Luncheon Coordinator was Margot Kravitz.  Current Pap Corps President, Joann Goldberg attended too.  A few of the men participated and gave out the raffle prizes as well as collecting money for raffle tickets. Everybody was there today, 475 reservations and a waiting list... were you there?


The Pap Corps are "Champions for Cancer Research," giving over 90% of funds collected by our dedicated membership, 55 chapters in southeast Florida, to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Care facility for research.  

Sylvester is connected with the University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine.  We are the largest grassroots organization working to provide research funds for a cancer cure.  Come and join us... we put the FUN in FUNd raising!  Our goal is to keep working towards a cure for cancer.  We will get there!   See www.PapCorps.org for information about the group.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

FABULOUS CENTRAL PARK TOWNHOME



This 1887 six-level Central Park West and 85th Street NYC townhouse is unusual!  Originally listed last May for $37MM, price has since been lowered to $32.5MM.  There are 12,000 living sq ft.  



A glass and steel staircase looks like a stairway to the stars.




Included are an indoor 60’ lap fresh water pool and home gym.  It is one of very few townhouses still on the Park.



The townhome has 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths, an elevator and finished lower level with the pool and gym.  The parlor floor and living area boast double-height ceilings and gallery sized walls.   

Natural light floods the great room from a dome-shaped skylight.  There are professional fitness/massage areas, 2 offices, bow-front window seat in the master suite with panoramic Park views.  

The chef’s kitchen is fit for grand dining, is next to the dining room and zen-bamboo garden for outdoor dining.

A theatre is included.

Interested?  Ask Marilyn for more details.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

PERFECT FOR YOUR POOCHES - WHERE CAN YOU TAKE YOUR DOGS FOR A STROLL?



MIZNER DOG PARK: 751 Banyan Trail, off Military down Banyan Trail where USPS is.  Areas are fenced off for different sized dogs.  There are shaded pavilions and dogs can run off-leash.  Benches can be found thruout the park.  No smoking.  Water and “poop” bags are provided.  Hours for use are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday thru Sunday from 7:30 am to dusk.  Wednesday from noon to dusk. Nine reviewers gave it 4.6 out of 5 stars.


BEACH DOG PARK: New Dog Park has opened in on the beach in Boca Raton at the north end of Spanish River Park between lifeguard towers 18 and 20.  They can roam Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 9 am and from 5 pm to sunset.  Annual permits are needed, which can be purchased at the Boca Raton Community Center, James A. Rutherford Community Center and Sugar Sand Park Community Center.  Annual pass for Boca Raton residents is $30; non- residents, $165.  Weekend passes are $10 and available at Spanish River Park gatehouse.


CANINE COVE DOG PARK: Located north of Glades Road near Sunset Cove Amphitheater and east of Osprey Point Golf Course.  Two rotating sections, 1 small dogs only section, 3 fountains for dogs and walkers, 34 shaded benches, 15 Dogipot Pet Stations with plastic bags and waste recepticals, 1 pet washing station, nearby parking.  Open Sunrise to Sunset but closed Wednesdays noon to 3 pm for maintenance.  No food, no smoking within fenced areas.  Two dogs per person, remove if aggressive.  No female dogs in heat.  Dogs must be vaccinated and display current licenses.  Same rules for Lake Ida Dog Park in Delray Beach, Pooch Pines Dog Park in West Palm Beach and Canine Cove Dog Park.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

POLO CLUB TO GET NEW NEIGHBORS



South of Polo Club and Azura, we will soon see construction machinery and Toll Brothers crew starting to build a new gated community, Royal Palm Polo.  It is the first new single family luxury homes community to be built in this area in many years.  A model home is pictured above.

The Boca Raton City Council has given Toll Brothers the final approval to build 223 homes on 121.67 acres on the old polo grounds, single families, and a 5000 sq ft clubhouse with a resort-style pool, 6 tennis courts, state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and aqua lot.  Purchase of the land cost $83.5MM.

Description of homes, many with lake views, includes mahogany front doors and big back yards.  Plans are for each lot to be 90’wide and 140’ deep, and home will have 4 to 7 bedrooms and 3 or 5 car garages.  There will be seven home designs to choose from.  Features will include Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and optional elevator, 24” tiles in living areas, and there will be hundreds of design and structural options.

The Sales Office will open in spring.

Location is on Jog Road, north of Clint Moore Road. Just south of The Polo Club and Azura, a Toll Brothers property.

Homes will range from 4300 to 8500 sq ft and sell for $1.2MM to $2MM.  The entrance and exit will be only off Jog Road.  A wall and landscaping will surround the property.

Voluntarily annexing the site which is mostly vacant right now, the city could receive as much as $1.1MM in revenue annually between property taxes, fire and other homeowner fees.   The future land use map was amended to designate the land for residential use, zone the land for single family residential and give tentative plat approval.

At a public hearing a Polo Club member said, "On behalf of the Polo Club we are in favor of this development.  A housing consultant said, Royal Palm Polo’s price point is “exceptionally high,” but Toll should be able to sell plenty of homes there.  “People are more optimistic and ready to buy.”  

With mortgage rates still low, demand for new housing increasing, and improved consumer confidence amidst a shortage of existing homes, this new development appears to be a win/win.  Toll Brothers project manager said, “We will move forward as quickly as possible.”  For further information, contact Marilyn Jacobs at 561-638-9818.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

WHERE DOES OUR COUNTY’S PROPERTY TAX MONEY COME FROM?


West Palm Beach has the highest 2013 tax bill, 69.7mm with Boca Raton next at $59.1MM), Delray Beach at $47.3MM and Palm Beach Gardens at $47MM.  Palm Beach’s property tax bill of $41MM makes it 5th highest in the county.

Largest tax bill goes to Florida Power & Light ($76.3MM), the Breakers is one of the top 10 taxpayers with the highest tax bill on the island, and includes properties in West Palm Beach. 

Other high tax payers include Boca Raton Town Center’s trust, Bell South Communications, U.S. Sugar Corp and the owner of the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Comcast, Boca Raton Reosrt & Club, and Wellington Green mall owners.

·       686,556 property tax bills are mailed out by the tax collector
·       Total tax revenue is $3,025 BB.

Tax Collector is Anne Gannon, whose name you know if you pay property taxes.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

WHEN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO A CHARITY DO YOU WONDER WHERE THE MONEY GOES?

PAP CORPS: CHAMPIONS FOR
CANCER RESEARCH

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

PALM BEACH COUNTY SHOPPING HAPPENINGS



If you have headed north from Okeechobee recently, you have seen large cleared areas in the Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard region, right side of I-95. 

A 900,000 sq ft development is under construction at this $200MM project.  The area covers 80-acres.  Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, scheduled to open on Valentine’s Day, will have more than 100 retail stores, including DKNY Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th and Kenneth Cole Outlet.  These renderings will give you an idea of how nice it will look... and lure you to come and shop here once it opens.



This was the site of the former Palm Beach Mall.  An adjacent retail center whose opening is planned for next fall will include Whole Foods Market and a Nordstrom Rack.  Dining venues will be included. 


The City of West Palm Beach anticipates about $1MM annually in property taxes from this development.  About 1500 full-time and part-time jobs will be created.  Stay tuned at Facebook.com/Palm Beach Outlet.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NEWEST ZOO RESIDENT IS BEAUTIFUL FLORIDA PANTHER, MIRASOL




Next month, after “Mira” is out of quarantine, visitors can see this beautiful jungle cat, who is 12 years old.  Her elderly owner, founder of the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Homestead, has a terminal illness and he contacted state wildlife officials to help him find homes for his animals.

The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society at Dreher Park is excited about their new resident and they say she is very affectionate with humans, and appears to have been well loved and cared for in her last home.  Yet, panthers are known to be solitary animals.  About 80 to 100 panthers remain in Florida, and they are now one of the most rare and endangered mammals in the world.  The Panther National Wildlife Refuges is east of Naples, Florida.  Panthers are at great risk of extinction.

Mira has a few health problems, including curvature of the spine, but otherwise is doing well. General curator Jan Steel says that having Mira, a “pure” Florida panther, is exciting and “It allows us to show the differences between the western cougar or puma and the Florida panther.



Three Malayan tiger brothers, Jaya, Bunga and Penari have left the Palm Beach Zoo for a new home at the Jacksonville Zoo.  Since 1900 the wild tiger population has decreased by more than 95% and there is a Tiger Conservation Campaign among zoos.  The Wildlife without Borders Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund funded 53 projects in 15 countries for these conservation project,  implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency of the Department of the Interior.  Here is more information.  The tiger pictured above is at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC.


The Zoo recently added “and Conservation Society” to its name to stress they provide care for endangered species, which has been part of their agenda for a long time.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

WSJ: UNITED HEALTH DROPS THOUSANDS OF DOCTORS FROM INSURANCE PLANS

(Reuters) – UNITEDHEALTH GROUP dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall St Journal reported on Friday.

The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company's other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing "significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment." According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.

Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesperson, was not immediately available for comment when reached by Reuters.

The insurer told the WSJ that its provider networks were always changing and that it expected its Medicare Advantage network to be 85 percent to 90 percent of its current size by the end of 2014.

UnitedHealth is participating in about a dozen new state insurance markets that launched on October 1 to offer subsidized health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.
The insurer said previously it planned to withdraw from some markets in 2014 because of the government funding cuts.

Another top health insurer, Aetna Inc , also warned in October that it expected slowing growth in 2014 in its Medicare Advantage plans.


To find the lowest priced Medicare Supplements, see http://www.naaip.org/insurewithMarilyn and you can sign up there or call 561-638-9818.

Friday, November 15, 2013

HOME PRICES UP NATIONALLY BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN MANY METRO MARKETS


The national median home price showed its strongest annual growth in nearly eight years during the third quarter of this year, according to data collected by the National Association of Realtors.

A whopping 144 of the 163 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by NAR showed gains between the third quarter of this year and the third quarter of last year. In 54 of those MSAs, the increases were in the double digits.

The national median existing single-family home price was $207,300 in the third quarter, up 12.5 percent from $184,300 in the third quarter of last year.

That's the strongest year-over-year increase since the fourth quarter of 2005 when the median home price jumped 13.6 percent.

Condominium and cooperative prices rose 15.1 percent to a median $205,400 in the third quarter.

One reason home prices are rising is that foreclosures and short sales are falling. Short sales are homes sold for less than what the owners owed on their mortgage.

Foreclosures and short-sale homes typically sell at a discount. That can lower the value of nearby homes because appraisers look at all recent sales when they determine a home's current value.

In the third quarter, only 14 percent of home sales were foreclosures or short sales. That's down from 24 percent a year ago.

Across the country, about 2.21 million homeowners had their properties for sale, modestly higher than the third quarter of 2012, when 2.17 million homes were on the market.

That's a 5-month supply of homes for sale, down from a 5.9-month supply in the third quarter of 2012.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

THE SEVEN50 PROJECT


Two hundred plus public, private and non-profit organizations in Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, India River, Miami-Dade and Monroe County formed the group to develop a 50-year plan for the region.

Issues include coastal erosion, environment and other climate issues and regional approaches to economic development, transportation and education.  One member mentioned that an expanded marine industry in West Palm Beach could create jobs and become an international destination for super yachts.

A grant of nearly $14MM has been awarded to South Florida transportation officials to upgrade rail transportation and connect train corridors on Tri Rail and the CSX and Florida East Coast Railway lines.  It will also be used for the All Aboard Florida, a rail service between Miami and Orlando.


According to project officials, three million new residents are expected in Florida in the next 50 years.  For more information see seven50.org.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UPDATE ON NEW TREND OF CREATING SPIRITUAL SPACE IN YOUR HOME



 Architects and builders are incorporating meditation gardens, yoga and tai chi studios and private chapels into home plans. 




Tea Houses with sparse furnishings are a newer addition to some homes.



Feng shui specialists are called upon to consult with about design principals or to conduct special ceremonies.  Outdoor elements are brought within vision.  Beautiful gardens with plantings and pebbles are featured.  Antique doors are popular.  Water features have become important, such as fountains and waterfalls.  Homeowners want natural materials and light colored woods such as maple, bamboo and oak. 



Asian influences prevail.  Handmade sliding screens and tatami mats are included as well as koi ponds and bonsai trees. 



Tea rooms are places for meditation and for snacks and dinners.  During the Colonial period, private prayer spaces were included within homes, but in the 1960’s, communal worship became more popular.