The High Desert Report » November 2011

Monthly Archives: November 2011

General

Publisher’s Message-November 2011

Published by:

By Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR

I wish to welcome our current and future subscribers of the 49th edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, the only economic overview of the High Desert region, covering the northern portion of San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. We more specifically address economic issues affecting the cities of Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, and the Town of Apple Valley.

As always, we wish to thank our committed article suppliers (over 135) and our newsletter sponsors for their continued commitment to our endeavor, and our attempt to find positive, factual and interesting information as it relates to the High Desert economy.

As I’ve said over the past eight (8) editions, I strongly believe that our global economy, our nation, our state, the Inland Empire, and the High Desert region are currently challenged with a very serious financial crisis, a crisis that we’ve never seen before.… Read the full article

Economy

Tenuous Optimism Prevails

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By Dr. Alfred J. Gobar
Chairman, Alfred Gobar Associates

The last issue of the newsletter provided preliminary evidence of improving economic conditions that will eventually affect the High Desert’s economy and real estate market. Although recent trends are far from robust, they do continue to be positive, as indicated in the graph in Exhibit 1. The low point in the employment index in July 2011 is higher than the previous low point, which is a positive indicator. This relationship is made more explicit in terms of change in nonagricultural wage and salary employment over the twelve months ended July 2011. During this interval, the six-county Southern California area experienced growth in total non-farm employment of 49,300 jobs—about one-third the “average” level of growth in nonagricultural wage and salary employment in Southern California over longer periods of time.… Read the full article

Economy

Anatomy of a Market Collapse

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By Bob Thompson – Advanced Listing Services

Beginning in January 2005, observe that median price was increasing in a steady fashion until the first quarter of 2006. Then began a precipitous decline in the price schedule until 3rd quarter of 2009, when the market plateaued after losing over $200,000 in median price value.

Notice that demand (closed properties) peaked in the 2nd quarter of 2005, about 1 year before price declines begin. Demand then continued to decline until the first quarter of 2008, then declined again (double dip) and has now steadied. Failures increased to unprecedented levels and have now declined to 2005 levels.

Market efficiency (the ratio of closings to total attempts to list) peaked in April of 2005 and declined steadily to the bottom in October of 2007.… Read the full article

Transportation

I-15 and I-215 Devore Junction Goods Movement Improvement Project

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The junction of Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 near Devore, California, is one of the worst grade-related bottlenecks in the USA. Severe delays are common, especially during peak afternoon and weekend hours. The purpose of the proposed project is to reduce congestion, reduce accidents, and improve freeway operation.

Caltrans and SANBAG have studied a number of proposed improvements for the interchange. These improvements include the addition of one northbound lane and one southbound lane on Interstate 15 between Interstate 215 and Glen Helen Parkway, where the current freeway is three lanes in each direction. The addition of the new lanes would provide a continuous set of four lanes in each direction between State Route 60 and US Highway 395. This would allow motorists to travel through the interchange without having to change lanes or lose lanes in the process.… Read the full article

Economy General Nonprofits

High Desert Resource Network

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By Vici Nagel, President/CEO
High Desert Resource Network

As we in San Bernardino County focus on the economy and how to turn it around locally, I urge us all to think about how nonprofit organizations can and do play a significant role in local economic activity … and what we can do to strengthen that role. “Nonprofits” present our county with huge opportunities for economic growth and it is time for serious investment in this sector!

First, a word about the term, “nonprofit.” I cannot think of any other industry who’s title tells you what it is not, rather than what it is! In my opinion, the term “nonprofit” should be replaced because it causes all sorts of misconceptions about the sector.… Read the full article

General Nonprofits

Victor Valley Community Services Council

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By Midge M. Nicosia
Director of Programs Adminstration

The Victor Valley Community Services Council is the High Desert’s very first non-profit service agency. Established in 1956, the VVCSC began with the purpose of meeting the emerging needs of the community. The VVCSC is committed to “promote and sustain the quality of life for persons and organizations in the High Desert through education, collaboration of services and new program developments.”

In her book Pearl’s Story, the founder Pearl Barstow Pettis recalls the first project of the VVCSC was to number the houses in the Victor Valley so that the mail could be delivered. In a study financed by Southwest Portland Cement, the VVCSC started numbering with homes at the Cajon Pass continuing throughout the valley, which “made life easier for a lot of people” as well as emergency vehicles.… Read the full article

Economy

Putting Job Creation at the Forefront of Public Policy

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By Jonathan Weldy
President BIA Baldy View

The Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter (BIA) recognizes how important infrastructure funding is for the long-term health of communities in which we build. Public infrastructure, particularly in the more rural communities of the High Desert remains a key component of building great communities, and the building community continues to seek to pay its fair share for these projects. However, we are concerned that San Bernardino County’s recent decision to begin the process of implementing a development impact fee (DIF) program will ultimately hurt the already fragile construction industry in our region and will not help to alleviate the existing infrastructure challenges our region faces.

For the record, home builders in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County do indeed currently pay per-home “fair share” transportation fees to help build new roads as required under the 2005 extension of Measure I, which the BIA supported along with numerous elected leaders and stakeholders.… Read the full article

Economy Film Politics

Inland Empire Film Commission

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By Sheri Davis

During this economic age, the one thing feature film productions hunt after are tax incentives. So in 2009, California started offering production tax incentives through 2014 in hopes to encourage companies to stay in the state. Recently, the California State Senate voted to extend the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program for one more year. The original legislation (AB 1069) which passed the State Assembly as a five-year extension (through 2020), was amended in the Senate on August 26th to provide a one-year, $100 million extension (through 2015). If signed by the governor, it will add one year to the current five-year, $500 million program. Although the film commission’s pushed for an incentive “bump” on the original bill passed in 2009 to encourage the industry to travel outside of its comfort zone of Los Angeles, it was never included.… Read the full article

Education Politics

Public-Private Efforts Bring Aviation Tech School to VVC

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By Brad Mitzelfelt
1st District Supervisor, San Bernardino

An educated and well-trained workforce is essential to attracting the types of business that will carry the High Desert economy into the future.

Aviation is one of those industries, and Southern California Logistics Airport has already proven itself to be the regional economic engine we imagined after the U.S. Air Force left in the early 1990s.

Providing a ready supply of qualified aircraft technicians makes SCLA even more attractive to aviation companies. One of the most successful public-private education efforts has been the Southern California Logistics Airport School of Aviation Technology.

One of my main economic development goals was to see the school become self-sufficient. The program is now fully integrated with Victor Valley College.… Read the full article

Education

Victor Valley College’s 50th Anniversary

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By Bill Greulich, Public Information Officer
President’s Office

The year 2011 represents a milestone in the history of Victor Valley College. It is the 50th Anniversary of the college and its service to students. During these five decades, the college has experienced many changes. The most significant change is the growth of student enrollments. Student population has grown from 500 full-time students to more than 13,500 individual students with some taking a minimum schedule of three credits to others carrying a full load of 15 credits of more. This growth has subjected the college to many major challenges, chief among them, is the demand for more classes and classrooms space to serve the need. This need is being addressed with the construction of new facilities in Apple Valley and the future expansion of the college into a second campus in Hesperia.… Read the full article

Education

Full STEAM for the High Desert: What Local Leaders are Doing to Make Education the High Desert’s # 1 Economic Priority

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By Dale Marsden, Ed.D. Superintendent
Victor Elementary School District

The statistics are startling: About one in five high school students (21.6%) drop out before their senior year; less than six out of ten who do graduate from high school actually attend community college; and if they do go, less than 40% of the high desert population is CSU/UC eligible. (Oh, and by the way, if you want to guess when the last time was that a high school diploma could land you a job to provide for your family, the answer is at the end of this article.) At the end of the day, when the rubber meets the real world of work, less than 11% of adults in the high desert have a BA or higher degree.… Read the full article

Politics

California’s Green Dream

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By Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, 59th District

Politicians and special interest groups have been fighting for years to make their green dream a reality in California, even at the expense of our economy. Extreme environmentalism has emitted its influence into every sector of the marketplace – polluting the business climate with onerous regulations.

California was the land of the Gold Rush; it was where innovators and adventurers once flocked. Now, the state claims to have “gone green,” but entrepreneurs, businesses, and workers are fleeing in search of greener pastures. Something has gone horribly wrong. It is time to clear the air about environmental regulations and their devastating impact on business.

In 2006, the California Legislature passed AB32 “The Global Warming Solutions Act,” which has destroyed manufacturing, mining, and construction in the state.… Read the full article

Transportation

Victor Valley Transit Authority

Published by:

By Kevin Kane

Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) was established through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) in 1991. The JPA includes the cities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and the County of San Bernardino. VVTA operates local fixed route and ADA complementary paratransit bus services and provides public transportation services for Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County including Helendale, Silver Lakes, Oro Grande, Lucerne Valley, Phelan, Piñon Hills, and Wrightwood in the High Desert of Southern California.

VVTA has come a long way from operating out of a trailer in the Victorville Public Works Yard to building a valuable service that is now a community staple for many residents.

With an eye toward sustainable energy from the beginning, CNG fuel was one of VVTA’s first agency discussions back in 1992.… Read the full article

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