There's hope for all of us, even for YOE. Prez BOB asked the inevitable
first question, something about Act With… and then answered it hisself,
rather than picking on you-know-who. Thank you, Mr. Wessling! That done,
we moved to the Pledge, by TERRY WHITE. LENNY FRIEDMAN and BILL MAXWELL
took us through Working on the RR - TWO verses, yet! PP JIM COLLINS
provided an Invocation by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, ending with "I
don't know what your destiny may be - but happy will be those who sought
and found ways to serve." Not a surprise, coming from JIM.
BILL MAXWELL, apparently getting double pay for double duty, reported
there were no Visiting Rotarians. SALLY BRANT introduced her guest,
Elizabeth Bessolo, and PP JIM SUMNER brought his wife, Doris. Gaea Schwabbe
was welcomed back from a Rotaract Convention in Hong Kong - for which
she paid her own way! This brought money to mind, which prompted Prez
BOB to fine BILL MAXWELL (that playing the accordion is EXPENSIVE!)
and CLARK MCQUAY l00 dollars each. PP DAVE MORE was next singled out,
paying the same fine because his daughter, Diane Peterson-More is running
for the State Assembly in Pasadena. Some of us old-timers will recall
the DAVE did the same thing - run for the Assembly, that is - awhile
ago, but of course he had no chance since he was a Republican…
STEVE ADLER reported on his recent attendance at PETS, which prepares
assuming the duties of Rotary President, pointing out that he was the
only incoming Prexy to sport a snazzy briefcase with the Rotary Emblem
emblazoned (that means it had a logo) on the case. We WVRC'ers only
travel first class, of course. STEVE also made a pitch to send any photos
you may have of our activities to RUDY ALVAREZ, who is putting together
the Awards Book. PP ROY BELOSIC announced the passing of an old-time
member, Dr. BOB TOLLE, who died at the age of 90 in late January. The
announcement led off with " Prominent Physician, UCLA Supporter,
Rotarian" which pretty well covered BOB'S priorities. Note that
PP JIM DOWNIE has been ill, but is now back home. Cards are welcome,
An important Deadline is approaching - March 25th, for the Japan Youth
Exchange. My daughter, Andrea, went on this 30 years ago, as did Joy's
daughter, Jennifer, just a few years ago -demonstrating that it's still
going strong, and that says a lot about the value of the program. PP
RON LYSTER reminded us that the age limits are 15 to 19, and children,
grandchildren, etc. are all eligible - with the club picking up a good
portion of the cost! Contact is PETER MORE and many of our members have
direct experience - call me, too, OK? And while it isn't quite as immediate,
RON KLEPETAR spoke of
the District Conference in Palm Springs, coming up from 4 to 7 May.
You already have copies of the Application, and PP DOUG DESCH reminds
us that you can charge the cost to your Rotary account, if you send
the App to him. It's important that we support Prez BOB on this, so
don't delay, please. Finally, TED IHNEN reported briefly on the GSE,
and all is on track for their visit in early May.
SALLY BRANT did it again - another excellent speaker, whom she introduced.
Leslie Appleton Young is Vice President and Chief Economist of the California
Association of Realtors. Her topic was "Economic Forecasting"
- and if you thought going to the planet Saturn had lots of facts and
figures, you ain't seen nuthin' yet! Leslie's presentation was nicely
augmented with color slides, and the first one I remember showed the
figures for 1999 sales. 4.97 million existing homes were sold, plus
886K new homes, and there were 1.65 M housing starts. Consumer confidence
- and thus spending - were up 4 to 5%, the best ever, and 20% of those
polled said their profits from the stock market impacted their decision
to buy. Inflation was only 2%, and unemployment around 4%, plus productivity
growth of 5% - also better than a year ago. Unit labor costs were only
up slightly - but stay tuned, apparently.
Mortgage rates were l.4% lower a year ago, and will keep going up.
Recent median home prices were, '79 - 84K, '89 - 196K, and '99 - 217K,
and we should expect an average annual 8% increase . At the same times,
mortgage interest rates were, '79 - 11.2%, '89 - 10.3% and '99 - 7.8%.
In '79, 30.9 % of available housing was considered affordable, in '89,
3l.3 %, but in '99, only 10.9% was so considered.
Within California (which ALL these figures apply to, by the way), about
200K immigrants come in each year - half of them to LA Country - which
balances the outflow of those leaving the state. Historically, in 1970
Latinos made up 12% of our population, and by 2040 they will be an even
50%! Already today, Garcia is the most frequent name in new homeowners.
Incidentally, 1991 provided the peak value for homes. Today, the average
time a home is on the market is 29 days, and decreasing - there will
be an increasing shortage, since we need 25% of the home real estate
market to be new construction, and we currently are only averaging l0%
in building permits. And one more bit of history - California lost 500K
jobs during our recession, and all have not yet come back - that may
be a year away.
Some general facts (we need a few more, obviously) - Of those who own
computers, only 41% are on the Internet. And 46% of those 41% went on
the Net in the last twelve months! This final note is particularly useful
to those of us who consider ourselves to be salespeople: After an inquiry,
a response within 8 hours will produce a 35% close rate. Response within
24 hours provides a 20% rate, and within 48 hours, only an 8% close
rate. So, RETURN THOSE CALLS!
Ere I leave you with your temples throbbing, I must return to one announcement
not covered earlier. - Come April 28th, there will be a Singles Benefit
at the Santa Monica Pier. Just how this will occur was not fully explained
- or anyway YOE didn't get the word - but it does open up the question
of whether this intriguing activity will be climaxed by a leap from
the Pier into the inviting Pacific. So don't cancel your subscription
to the Windmill - ALL will be known, soon.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe
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