Archive for March, 2011

Home Sales Drop … Employment Tops Nation

Posted by    |    March 30th, 2011 at 5:15 am

TEXAS EXISTING HOME SALES DROP IN FEBRUARY

Just over 12,000 existing single-family homes were sold in Texas last month, a 10 percent drop from February 2010. That’s according to the most recent Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

The median home price in Texas was up 3 percent from February 2010, at $145,800. There was a 7.2-month inventory.

February 2011 MLS data for many Texas cities (current as of today) are available on the Center’s website. Here is a sampling: (more…)

Turning Air into Lemonade

Posted by    |    March 28th, 2011 at 4:15 am

There are lots of people who simply resent having to pay to use the tire compressor at the service station.

Forget that the machine is an expensive piece of equipment, that people steal the nozzle and run over and otherwise destroy the compressor’s hose.  And that perhaps that’s why the service stations charge for their use.

The point is that there’s no way to change people’s minds who are living on earth right this moment.  Maybe a generation or so down the line, things will be different. (more…)

THE MASTER’S HAND

Posted by    |    March 22nd, 2011 at 4:15 am

THE MASTER’S HAND

By Realtor Bill Cherry

I honestly don’t think people act as civilly as they did in my mom and dad’s time.  Not even as they did when I was growing up.  In fact, not even as they did when I was a young businessman.

Somewhere along the way, the once precious sanctity of getting along with our neighbors seems to have, in many instances, defaulted to determining resolution to disagreements by who can afford to be the biggest bully.

It’s a means that is indisputably borne in despicable effusion. (more…)

PRICES OF HOUSING WILL BEGIN TO QUICKLY RISE

Posted by    |    March 21st, 2011 at 4:15 am

Do you realize the pressure that’s going to be put on the building materials industry as Japan rebuilds?

  • The United States is the larges producer of lumber in the world.
  • The United Sates had rather build that preserve.
  • The population of the United States will continue to rise.

Buy a house today.  Sell a house tomorrow.

BILL CHERRY, REALTORS

DALLAS  PARK CITIES

Since 1964

214 503-8563

WEB

 

A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give — By Dennis Prager

Posted by    |    March 18th, 2011 at 4:15 am

A SPEECH EVERY AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SHOULD GIVE

By Dennis Prager

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school.

I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity.  I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. (more…)

ARE YOU A CULURAL CREATIVE?

Posted by    |    March 17th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

A love of nature and wanting to be a steward of it is one of the characteristic of a Cultural Creative

In terms of real estate and lifestyle shifts, there is a large segment of the population that removed itself entirely from the new home market in the 1990s because it was so alienated by what it saw happening there. The people who comprise this group (roughly one-quarter of the U.S. population), described as “Cultural Creatives” by a 1997 American Demographics magazine article, were more than ready for an alternative. It now appears that they have adopted the “Not So Big” movement as their rallying cry. This paradigm shift does not necessarily mean small or cramped. In my opinion, it relates to efficiency and scale in residential design. In many ways, the Not So Big House, although ostensibly about house design, is also about how we choose to live, what’s important for a balanced existence, and what will insure a healthy planet and community for future generations. Cultural Creatives are eager to live their own lives in a way that supports their values. The “Not So Big” philosophy and lifestyle help them to do this. By starting with the design of their own homes, making it a place that fits their simpler and more meaningful lifestyles, they feel that they can make a small but noticeable contribution to solving the current crisis of scale and consumption of the earth’s  natural resources.

Most Cultural Creatives redecorate, remodel, or design a new home, rather than buy an existing new house, because the market doesn’t really give them what they want in a new home. In thirteen years of doing research on the housing desires of Americans, Not So Big homes actually deliver more of what this emerging subculture of 50 million Americans really wants.

–Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., Co-author of The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World, Harmony Books, 2000.

FIND OUT IF YOU ARE A CULTURAL CREATIVE

Cultural Creatives is a term coined by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson to describe a large segment in Western society that has recently developed beyond the standard paradigm of Modernists or Progressives. The concept was presented in their book The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World (2000), where they claim to have found that 50 million adult Americans (slightly over 25% of the adult population) can now be identified as belonging to this group.

Ray and Anderson created a questionnaire to identify Cultural Creatives in Western society. Some of the characteristics below were identified as qualities of this group. Agreement with 10 or more indicates status as a Cultural Creative.

  • Love of nature and deep caring about its preservation and its natural balance.
  • Commitment to staying active throughout life
  • Heavy emphasis on the importance of developing and maintaining relationships
  • Heavy emphasis on the importance of helping others and developing their unique gifts
  • Volunteer with one or more causes about which they are passionate
  • Interest in spiritual and psychological development
  • Desire for equity in diverse populations in business, life and politics
  • Concern and support of the well-being of all
  • Not supportive of the extremes at either end of political spectrum
  • Optimistic towards the future
  • Want to be involved in creating a new and better way of life
  • Unlikely to overspend or be in heavy debt
  • Curiosity about  people, places and things that are different or exotic–and tend to like them

Ray and Anderson assert that, “values are the best single predictor of real behavior.” The list below outlines the values that dictate a Cultural Creative’s behavior:

  • Authenticity, actions must be consistent with words and beliefs
  • Engaged action and whole process learning; seeing the world as interwoven and connected
  • Idealism and activism
  • Globalism and ecology
  • The importance of all individuals

Core Cultural Creatives also value altruism, self-actualization, and spirituality.

EVIDENCE UTILITY DEREGULATION DIDN’T WORK OUT AS PROMISED

Posted by    |    March 16th, 2011 at 4:15 am

For many years, the State of Texas licensed and regulated utility companies who did business in the state.  And then lobbyist convinced legislators that deregulation would be a good thing.  Competition will cause prices to go down and service to get better.

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Effects of Rising Gas Prices on Mass Transit

Posted by    |    March 15th, 2011 at 4:15 am

New Report from American Public Transportation Association — If regular gas prices reach $4 a gallon across the nation, as many experts have forecasted, an additional 670 million passenger trips could be expected, resulting in more than 10.8 billion trips per year. If pump prices jump to $5 a gallon, the report predicts an additional 1.5 billion passenger trips can be expected, resulting in more than 11.6 billion trips per year.  

NOTE — What would this mean for transit oriented development? for our urban areas and increasing density in the urban core?  This is something we should be planning for.

“NOT SO BIG” LIFESTYLE AS A KEY TO LIVING GREEN

Posted by    |    March 14th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

A "Not So Big" second home cabin designed for a Dallas family by Chambers Architects in piney woods of East Texas

Our firm, Stephen B. Chambers Architects, Inc., recently logged into GreenExpo365.com, a virtual interactive green building community, to watch a continuing education for architects webinar featuring Sarah Susanka. Susanka is a bestselling author, architect and cultural visionary leading a movement to redefine the American home and lifestyle. Her “build better, not bigger” approach to residential architecture has been embraced across the country and her “Not So Big” philosophy is evolving beyond our physical habitations and into how we inhabit our lives. She believes that Not So Big should be the first step in sustainability, both for our own and for the well being of the planet as a whole. 

(more…)

GOOD AFTERNOON, MR. PRESIDENTS

Posted by    |    March 14th, 2011 at 4:15 am

My friend, Brent Clanton, is another old radio man like me, but he’s actually been successful at it for a lifetime, where as I was never able to progress my 55 year broadcasting career to anything more than an avocation.

Brent owns Clanton Communications, LLC, which produces and hosts CBS Radio’s “Talk650 Morning Show” on KIKK-AM in Houston.

Brent wrote this piece, and I asked him if I could post if for all on ActiveRain to be able to read.

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Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush
The Back Table at The Houston Club

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