Monthly Archives: May 2012

Economy Property

Real Estate Market Recovery?

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

As illustrated in Exhibit A, the recent recession was considerably deeper in percentage terms than the one that affected Southern California after June 1990. Sadly, the recovery from the most recent recession is a good deal more anemic than was the previous recovery, suggesting happy times for real estate properties (except for those who know how to profit from adversity) are still in the distant future.

Occasionally people wonder why nonagricultural wage and salary employment, as illustrated in Exhibit A, figures in so many of the graphs we use. The reason for that is shown in the graph in Exhibit B. The little triangles are estimates of the number of occupied units in the United States based on a statistical model, the major input to which is nonagricultural wage and salary employment.… Read the full article

Air Quality General

MDAQMD Board Reaffirms Support of AB 32 Suspension

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By Violette Roberts, Community Relations & Education Manager

During its February 2012 meeting, the Governing Board of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District reaffirmed a resolution requesting a suspension or revision of AB 32 – the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 – which it originally adopted and forwarded to then-Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010.

AB32 requires the California Air Resources Board to develop strict new regulations and market mechanisms to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, representing a 30% reduction statewide, with mandatory caps beginning in 2012 for significant emissions sources.

The resolution – which was brought to the local regulatory air agency’s Board by MDAQMD Board Member and City of Victorville Councilman Mike Rothschild – was accompanied by a letter from District Governing Board Chair and San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, which outlined the MDAQMD Board’s ongoing concerns with AB32’s continued implementation.… Read the full article

Economy Property

Industrial Firms Continued to Absorb Space in the Inland Empire at a Very High Rate in 2011

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By: Ronald J. Barbieri, Ph.D, CPA

One of the primary economic drivers of the Inland Empire and therefore the High Desert is the expansion of warehousing and distribution facilities as well as manufacturing operations in the Inland Empire. Such industrial operations provide Base Employment for the region which in turn generates Secondary Employment in other economic sectors of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Over 60,000 residents of the High Desert commute to the Los Angeles Basin for work. This represents approximately half the workforce of the High Desert. Hence, an increase in the demand for industrial space in the Inland Empire has a positive indirect effect on the High Desert.

Also, the absorption of industrial space in the Inland Empire would further reduce the limited supply of industrial land in the Los Angeles Basin.… Read the full article


Turning the Green State Golden Again

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By:  Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, 59th District

You have probably heard of cap and trade, but like most, you may have no idea what it actually is. Regardless, you are paying for it roughly every 3 days. Today, simply filling your gas tank so you can get to work and provide for your family feels like dropping a down payment on a brand new car. You are seeing and feeling the impacts of these misguided cap and trade policies instituted by out of touch lawmakers. Prices are going up. It is only the beginning, and your government CAN do something about it. The Governor can STOP it. I would argue that is in fact, the duty, of the Governor to undo this harm by suspending AB 32 and by scaling back on the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) power.… Read the full article

Film General

Inland Empire Film Commission

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By Sheri Davis

The High Desert remains the number one desert location for the film industry in California. Why you ask? It is really a simple answer – terrific light, diversity of locations (from a mountain community to the vast sand dunes at Dumont), experienced crew and service providers, and ease of permitting with the Inland Empire Film Commission serving as the One Stop Permit Agency for the County of San Bernardino, the United States Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Special Effects Permitting Update

We are delighted to announce that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that will streamline the process of issuing film permits by eliminating the requirement to get an explosives permit in addition to a filming permit as long as they have a valid pyrotechnic and special effects license current with the State of California.… Read the full article

General Water

Will a Big Quake Leave our Water Supplies “High and Dry?”

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By Art Bishop, President, Mojave Water Agency Board of Directors

[The following excerpts are from a February 22, 2012 article by Aaron Task of The Daily Ticker] “…The Strait of Hormuz is a waterway that connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea. It is the only passage to the open ocean for some of the biggest oil producers in the Middle East…

…Because so much of the world’s oil travels through the Strait, any disruption to the shipping channel would have a major impact on global crude oil prices, which ultimately determine the price we pay for gas at the pump.

Some analysts estimate the price of oil could go up by 50% within days if there’s a disruption of supply, which would mean much higher prices for us filling our tanks at the gas station — and anything else that requires the use of oil.Read the full article


High Desert-Mountain Leaders Are Re-Engineering their Workforce STEAM 2020-a Local Initiative for Economic Success

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

Imagine a Desert-Mountain region where every student graduates from high school concurrently with their community college degree or a vocational, technical or trade school equivalent certificate in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Math) related career field. Well that is exactly what is happening in this region! From Victorville to Hesperia, Apple Valley to Adelanto, and Baker to Big Bear, leaders from five key sectors – Public, Private, Higher Education, K-12, and Service and Faith-Based Organizations – are entering into a collective effort, which will align regional resources to ensure a systemic approach that ultimately re-engineers its workforce.

What does this look like on the ground and in the trenches? It all started with a kick-off event last summer when a score of community and educational leaders came together to draw a line in the sand and make a commitment to this goal:

By 2020, every child and adult in the Desert-Mountain region will be prepared for the 21st Century workforce by achieving their high school diploma concurrently with their community college degree, or vocational, trade or technical school equivalent certificate, in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Math) related field.… Read the full article


Employment Development Department

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By John Williams

2011 unemployment rates are shown in the following chart. The rates shown are National, State of California, San Bernardino County, and the High Desert Region.

It appears that 2011 was a year of fairly high unemployment for most of the nation as well as California. The High Desert cities had even slightly higher unemployment rates for most of the year than either the nation or the state. The last four months of 2011 did show a slight downward slope in unemployment rates, which we hope will continue throughout 2012. The data shows that it is trending in a more favorable direction for the economic growth of California, San Bernardino County, and the High Desert Communities.


Contributed by the staff of the EDD Workforce Services office in Victorville.… Read the full article

Economy Property

Snapshot of the Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Markets in the High Desert

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By Ronald J. Barbieri, Ph.D., CPA

Office Market

As of the end of 2011, the High Desert had almost 5.5 million SF of office space. The net absorption for 2011 was negative 8,900 SF compared to the 135,000 SF absorbed in 2010. The vacancy level at the end of last year was 347,000 SF or 6.4% of the total inventory. The increase in the vacancy rate was mostly due to the delivery of 62,000 SF of office space in the second half of last year. Most of the increase in office space demand over the last two years was from the expansion by local government and the medical profession. There was 25,000 SF of office in Apple Valley under construction as of the end of 2011.… Read the full article


Federal Port Taxes Need to be Reinvested in the Ports

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By Senator Jean Fuller

California’s system of ports and goods movement might not be something many of us think about everyday. But recently, I felt it was important to lend my name to an effort for the maintenance of California’s ports.

Most of us take for granted that the majority of goods we buy have likely traveled on a ship and passed through one of California’s 11 ports. In addition to these imports, my Senate district is the third largest in the state for exported goods through the San Pedro Bay Ports. The locally grown and manufactured goods are shipped through these ports to reach the international markets, which accounts for roughly 25% of California’s gross economy.

The economic impact of California’s ports cannot be overstated.… Read the full article


Victor Valley Community College

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By Bill Gruelich, Public Information Officer, Presidents/Office

The big news for the college was the dedication of the new Victor Valley Regional Public Safety Training Center. The 41,500 square foot building is now on line and serving students and the community. The multi-purpose facility functions as a training center for four distinct programs, including Fire Technology, Administration of Justice, Emergency Medical Services and Corrections. The future looks good for community partnerships that will potentially benefit the services in which these students will eventually transfer. The $31.5 million structure and prop yard also includes a CERT City that will be used to train community volunteers in disaster preparedness scenarios. The real advantage of this facility will be its ability to provide cross training/cooperative real-life training that involves everyday emergencies.… Read the full article


Positioning California and the High Desert For New Manufacturing Investment

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By Jack M. Stewart, President, California Manufacturers & Technology Association

California manufacturing pays the highest average wages among all sectors at $71,000, offers the best opportunities for upward mobility for working families, and creates an abundance of local economic growth and activity.

In 2001, manufacturing accounted for 11.8 percent of the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan statistical area’s (MSA) workforce. Ten years later, that percentage has dropped to 7.6 percent.

Unfortunately it’s likely more of a state issue than a regional issue. California lost 34 percent of its manufacturing base over the last decade. The San Bernardino and Riverside MSA, which contains the “high desert region”, was not far behind at 28 percent. Accounting for 620,000 and 33,000 lost manufacturing jobs respectively, California and the High Desert region have much to fight for in any national manufacturing resurgence or the “re-shoring” of industrial jobs.… Read the full article


High Desert Assessed Values

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By Dan Harp, Assistant Assessor-Recorder

The County Assessor is responsible for the assessment of all taxable property within their respective counties, except for State Board of Equalization assessed property which includes utility-owned property and railroad property. The Assessor’s role involves three main objectives: (1) discovering and taking inventory of all taxable property within the county; (2) determining the taxability of each item of property; and (3) valuing and assessing each item of property in accordance with property tax law.

Proposition 13, which was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in June 1978, is the basis for property tax assessment today in California and all of its 58 counties. Prior to the passage of Proposition 13, property taxes could increase dramatically from year to year based on assessed value of the property.… Read the full article