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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Home Expo today, Cajun Feed tonight

Good afternoon everyone. Hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous weather. Don't forget about the Mountain Home Expo going on now at the old True Value Building on Highway 49. Lots of local vendors, information and chances to win free stuff!! Also, the Rotary All You Can Eat Cajun Feed is tonight at the Oakhurst Community Center from 5pm to 9pm. Stuff yourself with shrimp, bbq ribs, dirty rice and bread pudding!! Hope to see you there!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Warmer Weather Increases Snowmelt

Warmer weather over the next few days will increase snow melt in the high sierras, causing local streams and rivers to rise. Waters will be swift moving and COLD!! As inviting as these waters may appear they can be quite dangerous. Please exercise caution when near these waterways. Anyone caught in these frigid waters can quickly fall victim to hypothermia.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lots of Doins This Weeked!!

This weekend there'll be plenty to keep everyone busy! Here's the lineup:

Saturday:
  • Oakhurst Branch Library Book Sale, 10am to 2pm at the Oakhurst Library
  • Free Home Ownership Mountain Expo, 9am to 4pm in the old True Value Building on Highway 49 in Oakhurst
  • Hildreth Walking Tour. Enjoy a tour of the old gold rush town of Hildreth. Meet at Spring Valley School by 9:45 to caravan to Hildreth.
  • 14th Annual Cajun Creole Fest, sponsored by the Sierra Sunrise Rotary Club. All you can eat shrimp, ribs, dirty rice, maquecho and bread pudding. Oakhurst Community Center

Sunday:
  • Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. 7:30am to 11am. Oakhurst Community Center
  • Art Expo. 9am to 4:30pm, North Fork School, North Fork Rancheria Community Center. Artists are welcome to showcase their artwork, free of charge, at the North Fork School and the North Fork Rancheria Community Center on Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Snow Today, Swimsuit This Weekend

Crazy weather, huh? I took a drive to North Fork this afternoon and decided on the way to stop at Bass Lake for my first Fork's burger of the season. I was sitting at the counter happily munching away on my cheeseburger and fries when I looked out the window and saw that it was snowing!! Accuweather is calling for temperatures in Oakhurst to be in the 80's this weekend. Shall we make a wager????

Spring Gardening Tips

While working on my garden this last weekend I came to the realization that I need to spend more time in the yard. I weeded, hoed, fertilized and revved up the roto-tiller. My dog even got into the spirit of things by helping me dig in the garden and by joining the cats in their crusade against gophers...Good Dog!! I happily planted tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, eggplant and greenbeans, never imagining that mother nature would throw another frost at me. She wouldn't dare!! Well, I awoke this morning to temperatures in the low 30's and frost glistening everywhere. My tomato plants are not happy, the jury is still out on the peppers or eggplant. In hindsight I should have covered them with some clear plastic "umbrella's" to protect them until the threat of frost is over.

In any event, I thought now would be an excellent time to post some spring gardening tips.

  • Start your lawn cleanup as soon as the ground is firming up and not spongy any longer. Rake up all leaves, twigs, dead growth and winter debris to let light and air to the soil. Reseed the bare of damaged patches by mixing a shovel-full of soil with a handfull of grass seed and spreading the mixture in the patch. Get your lawn mower checked and sharpen the blades.
  • Remove tree guards and all protective burlap. Transplant shrubs prior to them blooming or leafing out.
  • Leave winter mulch in place until temperatures are steadily warmer.
  • Cut back any dead or freeze damaged foliage, clean dead leaves and debris out from under trees and shrubs.
  • Treat rose bushes with a systemic fertilizer and insect repellant.
  • Get started on your weeding. Early spring weeds are easier to pull as their root systems are still fairly shallow.
  • Treat all flower beds and gardening beds with a soil amendment to replace vital nutrients for your plants.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oakhurst Honorary Mayor Race Kick-off Tonight

Don't forget about the Honorary Mayor Race kick-off tonight in the Yosemite Bank parking lot. Candidates will be cooking dinner and dessert to raise funds for their charities. Bundle up if you're planning on attending...it's gonna be cold!

High Winds Expected for Mountain Area

Brrrr...what happened to Spring? I woke up this morning to FOG!! Where did our 70 degree temperatures go?
Be prepared for high winds beginning this evening, continuing through tomorrow. Temps are expected to drop into the mid 20's tonight with wind gusts predicted at 45 mph. Tomorrow, Accuweather is calling for mid 50's with wind gusts up to 40 mph. Lows tomorrow night are expected to drop into the low 30's. We should see a warm up on Thursday (let's hope). The good news is that temps for this weekend are expected to reach mid 70's to low 80's. The warmer temperatures should continue on through next week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Keep Escrow and Title Local

Below is a Legislative Alert regarding Assembly Bill 957, the Buyer's Choice Act. In a nutshell, with the flood of foreclosure and bank owned properties on the market for sale, the lenders (aka beneficiaries) have required buyers to purchase title insurance and escrow services specifically chosen by the lenders. This has greatly effected local escrow companies over the last several months as the majority of homes being sold have been foreclosures. Escrow and title fees are being shipped to some companies out of the area or even (in some cases) out of state. Again, this effects our local escrow and title companies who are struggling right along with everyone else in this economy. AB 957 will prohibit these lenders from dictating title and escrow and will allow buyers to make their own choices. Read below:

SUBJECT: ASSEMBLY BILL 957 (Galgiani) - "BUYER'S CHOICE ACT"

AB 957 authored by Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani is a measure which would prohibit mortgagees, beneficiaries under a deed of trust or other persons (i.e. lenders, etc.) who acquired title to residential real property at a foreclosure sale from, as a condition of selling that real property to a buyer, require the buyer to purchase specific title insurance or use certain escrow services in connection with the sale from a company specifically chosen by the seller. In addition, the seller would not be allowed to disapprove of the use of a title or escrow company chosen by a buyer unless the seller has good cause.

AB 957 is strongly supported by a range of small independent escrow licensees, real estate agents, title companies, and other settlement service providers, and is co-sponsored by the Escrow Institute of California. AB 957 is an attempt to break the monopoly and strangle hold that Banks and Large Title Companies have on REO foreclosure resales, and provide smaller settlement service providers the opportunity to compete for business, as well as give consumers the ultimate decision and therefore "choice" to select their preferred settlement service provider. AB 957 does not affect current business relationships or arrangements between lenders and select settlement service providers, but ultimately will help grow the pie for all independent escrow licensees to effectively compete for business.

AB 957 is scheduled for its first committee hearing on MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009 before the CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY BANKING & FINANCE COMMITTEE in Room 444 in the State Capitol.

In anticipation of the Assembly Banking & Finance Committee hearing, we are requesting that Members consider the following actions that must be taken immediately in support of AB 957:
Send your letter of support on your company letterhead to the Members of the Assembly Banking & Finance Committee and Assembly Member Galgiani (REFER TO THE COMMITTEE LIST BELOW)
Consider having your fellow escrow company owners/shareholders, managers, employees, family members and friends send their own individual support letters, and/or group letter/petition that is signed by everyone involved in your company.
Seek out and ask that your fellow settlement service providers -- title, real estate and mortgage brokers, etc. consider sending letters of support.
Many of our Members have sought and received support from local chambers of commerce and other business affiliations and associations, as well as their local elected officials, city councils and county boards of supervisors. We need our local civic and business leaders to send their letters of support.
Any support from the local media needs to be brought to the attention of the Legislature.
Finally and probably one of the most important elements, we need any consumer/client empirical evidence/documentation and specific examples where individuals have been harmed. This documentation is critical to show the extent of the problem and why the Legislature must act NOW to open up the marketplace for the benefit and protection of consumers.
Letters of Support Should be Addressed to the following:

The Honorable Pedro Nava
Chairman
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
California State Assembly
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

The Honorable Cathleen Galgiani
Assembly Member
California State Assembly
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

RE: AB 957 (Galgiani) - SUPPORT

Dear Chairman Nava and Assembly Member Galgiani:

(YOUR LETTER OF SUPPORT IN
YOUR OWN WORDS)

Sincerely yours,


Your Name Here

cc: Members of the Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
Kathleen O'Malley, Consultant, Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
Frank Prewoznik, Republic Consultant, Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
The carbon copy letters to the Members and Staff of the Assembly Banking & Finance Committee should be addressed and mailed to:

*The Honorable Ted Gaines
Vice Chairman
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Joel Anderson
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Noreen Evans
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Paul J. Fong
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Felipe Fuentes
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Tony Mendoza
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Norma J. Torres
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Ira Ruskin
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Sandre Swanson
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

*The Honorable Van Tran
Member
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
State Capitol
10th & L Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Staff to the Committee address:

Ms. Kathleen O'Malley
Consultant
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
1020 N Street, Room 360B
Sacramento, California 95814

Mr. Frank Prewoznik
Republican Consultant
Assembly Banking & Finance Committee
1020 N Street, Room 400
Sacramento, California 95814

Letter writing Tips:
It is important to use your own words utilizing your own stationery
Keep your letter short and clear
Identify the bill -- as we have in the suggested letter heading above
State reasons for your support position. Share how AB 957 is important to your company, employees and community
Close by thanking the Committee for considering your comments and support for AB 957
To assist Institute Members in our Grass-Roots letter writing campaign, the Board has prepared the attached Bullet Points. Please do not copy verbatim, but pick and choose those you would like to use and put into your own letter using your own words and please share any documentation and evidence as part of your support letter.

Please contact the Institute Office if we can be of any assistance.

To read AB 957 click here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0951-1000/ab_957_bill_20090226_introduced.pdf

Bananananza


For the entire week of April 13th, Jamba Juice of Oakhurst will give the Harry H. Baker Boy's & Girl's Club of Oakhurst 20% of every sale if the buyer brings in the flyer above with them OR mentions it. (That's right, you don't even have to print it out!) Just say BANANANANZA!! Help support our local Boy's & Girl's Club of Oakhurst!!