The High Desert Report » July 2013

Monthly Archives: July 2013


Publisher’s Message-Spring 2013

Published by:

By Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR
The Bradco Companies/TCN Worldwide

I wish to welcome our current, future and long standing subscribers and spon­sors to the 52nd edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, the first and only economic overview of the High Desert region, covering the northern portion of San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire.

Great information in this edition in­cludes a building permit overview by Dr. Alfred Gobar, Chairman Emeritus of Alfred Gobar Associates (Anaheim) and editor of the Bradco High Desert Re­port as it relates to residential permits, nonresidential permits and its cycle that their firm has monitored over the last (10) ten years.

I personally want to thank Mr. Carlos Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of the Building Industry Association (BIA/Baldy View Chapter), Mr.… Read the full article

Economy General

Economic Recovery Continues-Slowly

Published by:

By Dr. Alfred J. Gobar
Alfred Gobar Associates

Historically, there has been a close correlation between reported nonagricultural wage and salary employment and number of occupied dwelling units. This relationship has been tested for the United States as a whole, showing a long-term (50 years) correlation coefficient (R2) of about 0.985. Individual analyses of housing markets in 140 U.S. Metropolitan Areas confirm this correlation.

Currently, the Federal Reserve Board seems to believe that a strong housing market will cause growth in employment, whereas most of the research Alfred Gobar Associates has done over the past decades suggests employment is the independent variable, and housing absorption is a dependent variable.

In any case, as shown in Exhibit A, nonagricultural wage and salary employment in Southern California as a whole has been increasing over the past twelve months.… Read the full article

Economy General Property

Homeownership Policy Priorities-A Federal Perspective

Published by:

By Carlos Rodriguez
Chief Executive Officer
Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

Every new home built creates three jobs, as well as expands and increases the tax base that supports schools and our community.

Our homes are the foundation of strong communities, and it is imperative that we pay attention to the debate about housing policy occurring at the national level.

Thanks to national policy that has acknowledged the importance of the home in American family life for almost a century, generations of Americans have counted on their homes for their children’s education, their own retirement and a personal sense of accomplishment.

Despite the fact that most Americans want change that will mend the housing market, create jobs, and boost the overall economy, policymakers are proposing radical changes that threaten the dream of homeownership for millions of current and future Americans.… Read the full article

General Politics Property

Assessed Values on the Increase

Published by:

By Dennis Draeger
Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk
County of San Bernardino

Proposition 13, 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 the market value of the property. The tenets of Proposition 13 limits the tax rate to 1 percent plus additional rates necessary to fund local voter-approved bonded indebtedness. It limits the assessed value increases to a maximum of 2% per year on properties that did not undergo a change in ownership nor had completion of new construction. Proposition 13 placed explicit limitations on the power of government to impose additional property taxes and it requires real property to be assessed at its current market value upon a change in ownership and new construction is to be reappraised at its current market value as of its date of completion.… Read the full article

Air Quality General

High Desert Air Quality Improves Significantly over Past 12 Years According to New Report

Published by:

By Violette Roberts
Community Relations & Education Manager
Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association has released its annual air quality report California’s Progress Toward Clean Air for all 35 local air districts in the state, docu­menting dramatic reductions in un­healthy levels of fine particulate pol­lution in every county reporting air quality data.

Fine particulate pollution – also known as PM2.5 – is associated with a wide range of health effects from increased hospitalizations to premature deaths. The report also shows a general trend of improving air quality for ground-level ozone – the primary component of smog – although some counties and their air district face unique challenges in reducing levels of that pollutant.

The report contains statistical infor­mation on ozone and PM2.5 air qual­ity for 2000 and 2012 for each coun­ty; statewide air quality trends and detailed descriptions of air pollution control programs at each air quality district.… Read the full article

General Politics

Save our Courts-Revive our Economy

Published by:

By Assemblyman Tim Donnelly
State of California
33rd Assembly District

This year the state has the opportunity to correct a massive injustice that has been looming over our trial court system for years. The governor, however, did not include any new funding for our ailing courts in his latest budget. It is up to the legislature now and our response will have far reaching implications, not only for the judicial branch, but also for our economy.

The administration of justice is a core duty of government; it is also a necessary function within a free market system.

With California ranking among the five states with the highest unemployment rate and topping the charts for the worst states to do business in, we cannot afford to scare away any more businesses who rely on a properly funded court system to navigate lawsuits, enforce contracts, or settle disputes.… Read the full article

Economy General

County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board

Published by:

As the economy continues to show signs of recovery, County of San Bernardino businesses are pursuing new opportuni­ties for growth. The County is doing its part to support business growth through On-the-Job Training programs. Steeno Design Studios and Hi-Desert Medi­cal Center are examples of High Desert companies experiencing business im­provement. These companies are tak­ing advantage of Workforce Investment Board programs designed to offset the cost of hiring and training the new em­ployees needed for expansion.

Steeno Design Studios is a Hesperia-based architectural firm that provides land development, site and building de­sign, consulting, and general contract­ing services for a variety of industries, including residential, retail, office pro­fessional, and industrial projects. The company needed to add two drafters and an office assistant to keep up with in­creasing demand.… Read the full article

General Transportation

High Desert Corridor-Spring 2013

Published by:

By Robert Lovingood
First District Supervisor
County of San Bernardino

Of the duties of the 1st District Supervisor in San Bernardino County, one of the most important responsibilities for the economic future of the High Desert is to co-lead the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority (JPA) —a two county special authority (LA and San Bernardino) created in 2007 to jump start the planning and construction of the High Desert Corridor, by creating the state’s first Public Private Partnership (P3).

When the JPA began, environmental planning of a highway east of the US Hwy. 395 in Adelanto it was already underway, ending at SR 14 in the Lucerne Valley. A separate Caltrans highway widening project existed within Palmdale City Limits. Both were called the “High Desert Corridor Project.” There was no middle connector of the projects.… Read the full article

General Nonprofits

Academy for Grassroots Organizations

Published by:

By Vici Nagel
President & CEO
Academy for Grassroots Organizations

The nonprofit sector plays an important role in San Bernardino County’s and the High Desert’s communities and economy. Not only do nonprofit organizations provide services that improve the well-being of local residents, they also support the local economy by offering job opportunities and purchasing goods and services from local businesses.

A new report from the San Bernardino County Capacity Building Consortium (Consortium), of which I am a member, outlines how nonprofits are a vital component of the local economy and represent a great deal of untapped potential. According to the Consortium’s study, in 2010 nonprofits secured $2.5 billion in out-of-county revenue … and spent it locally to create jobs and purchase goods and services.… Read the full article

General Water

High Desert Communities Focus on Water Projects and Program with an Eye to the Future

Published by:

By Yvonne Hester
Community Liaison Officer
Mojave Water Agency

A new spirit of cooperation among the High Desert communities, evidenced in recent joint marketing efforts, bodes well for planning water projects and programs for the Mojave Desert. An update of the 2004 Mojave Integrated Regional Water Management (MIR­WM) Plan is underway, and offers communities new opportunities to plan for water needs.

Leading this effort is the Regional Wa­ter Management Group comprised of the Mojave Water Agency (MWA), Victor Valley Wastewater Reclama­tion Authority, Mojave Desert Re­source Conservation District, Morongo Baseline Pipeline Commission, and the Technical Advisory Committee to MWA.

The planning process is a collaborative, stakeholder-driven effort to manage all aspects of water resources in the region and set a vision for the next 10-plus years of water management in the High Desert.… Read the full article

General Politics

Correctional Facilities: Friend or Foe?

Published by:

By Dr. James Hart
City Manager
City of Adelanto

Cities and Prisons, do they go togeth­er? Are prisons a magnet to draw fam­ily members of prisoners to the area? Often City of Adelanto representatives are asked these questions by people. Some people really want to know the answer and others have already made up their minds. Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, study af­ter study has indicated that prisons do not attract prisoners’ family members to the community in which they are lo­cated and in fact are economic benefits to the local area.

In 2010, the City of Adelanto entered into an Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) with the Depart­ment of Justice, Homeland Security to house approximately 1,300 inmates.… Read the full article

General Transportation

SANBAG/High Desert Transportation Projects

Published by:

By Jane Dreher
Public Information Officer
San Bernardino Associated Governments

San Bernardino As­sociated Governments (SANBAG) is the council of governments and transporta­tion agency for San Bernardino Coun­ty. The SANBAG Mountain Desert Committee is composed of representa­tives from all mountain and desert cit­ies. They evaluate projects in the High Desert, mountains, Morongo Basin, and Colorado River regions. This edition of SANBAG’s update will focus on four of the many High Desert projects:

  • I-15/LaMesa-Nisqualli Road Inter­change Project, Victorville;
  • I-15/Ranchero Road Interchange Project, Hesperia;
  • I-15/I-215 Devore Junction Inter­change Project, Devore; and
  • Yucca Loma Bridge and Yucca Loma Corridor Project, Victorville.

I-15/La Mesa/Nisqualli Road Inter­change

The Interstate 15 La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange Project, located in central Victorville between Bear Valley Road to the south and Palmdale Road to the north, is entering the final stages of con­struction and is scheduled for comple­tion in late Summer 2013.… Read the full article

Education General

Victor Valley Community College

Published by:

By Bill Gruelich
Public Information Officer
Victor Valley Community College, President’s Office

Victor Valley College is in its 52nd year of service to the students of the High Desert. Currently, the college is serving approximately 13,500 students. For apportionment purposes, these numbers equal about 8,895 full-time equivalent students. Each full-time equivalent student (FTES) represents one student taking 15 credit hours per semester or five students each taking a course that equals 3 credit hours per semester. The college is funded on these FTES at about $4,564. The total budget for the college is approximately $50 million. Currently, the college employs about 800 people. Due to the economy, the college stepped up and enrolled more students than it is being compensated for.… Read the full article