Friday, March 28, 2008

Igo Veterans Cemetery

My deliveries took me to the Igo Veterans Cemetery today. It is a very beautiful and special place. It is located 19 miles (north) west of Cottonwood and is mostly flat to gently rolling hills. The cemetery was made possible by a construction grant from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to the State of California. The cemetery was dedicated on November 11, 2005. Unfortunately it was not a sunny day but the pictures will give you a little bit of a glimpse of what it is like. Click picture for a larger image.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

California freefall: Home prices fell 26% in February

Signs of distress are piling up in the California housing market, where prices are falling at three times the national rate of decline.

--Statewide, median sales prices fell by a stunning 26% from year-ago levels in February, with home prices dropping at a rate of nearly $3,000 a week, the California Association of Realtors reports. Further, the CAR says the Fed's interest rate-cutting campaign "will have little near-term direct effect on the housing market."

--In the San Fernando Valley, losing a home to foreclosure is now almost as common for families as buying a home. The L.A. Daily News: "During January and February, there were 1,084 foreclosures and 1,335 sales of houses and condos in Valley communities from Glendale to Calabasas, according to the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge."

"It's bad. It's really bad," market analyst Nima Nattagh told the Daily News.

The California Association of Realtors reports median prices fell 27.2% from year-ago levels in the hard-hit Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, 30.9% in Sacramento, and 39.1% in Santa Barbara County.

On a percentage basis, the California price meltdown is more than three times as severe as the national decline of 8.2% in median prices reported this week by the National Association of Realtors. On an absolute basis, the California meltdown is even more severe: Nationally, prices fell over the past year at a rate of $338 per week; in California, prices fell at a rate of $2,788 per week.

According to the CAR, "The median sales price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during February 2008 was $409,240, a 26.2 percent decrease from the revised $554,280 median for February 2007." The February 2008 median price fell 4.8 percent compared with January’s revised $429,790 median price.

"The Federal Reserve Bank’s recent action to reduce the federal funds rate will have little near-term direct effect on the housing market," said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "However, Fed rate cuts should result in more favorable real estate finance rates as we move through the year."

Median home sales prices sometimes exaggerate swings in market activity. A year ago, median home sales prices in California continued to show price gains, even though the market downturn had begun. At the time, the collapse of sub-prime lending had the effect of freezing the lower end of the market. With fewer sales of less expensive homes, the market was dominated by sales at higher price points, and median sales prices showed gains.

The opposite appears to be happening now, as lower-priced foreclosed homes come onto the market, increasing sales at lower price points, while the market for more expensive homes has slowed dramatically.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Castle Crags

Castle Crags State park is located between Mount Shasta and Redding just south of Dunsmuir on I-5. The crags are a glacier-carved white granite mountain of jagged pinnacles, spires and domes resembling a castle, hence the name. They were formed under an ancient sea, then lifted skyward by a giant convulsion of the earth. The crags were created by many years of erosion and exposure to the elements. The highest crag spires rise almost 3,000 feet above the valley floor.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gas Prices Climb!

Great news today...(Just kidding)
Oil Prices Top $110 On DollarWeakness
Crude-oil futures hit another all-time high, shrugging off U.S. data showing a larger than expected increase in petroleum stockpiles as oil continues to rise on the weakening dollar.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery climbed $1.10 to $109.85 a barrel, before retreating to $108.85 a barrel. The previous intra-day record was set Tuesday at $109.72 a barrel. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange was trading 27 cents higher at $105.52 a barrel.

Alturas, CA

Fall River Mills, CA

Burney, CA

Anderson, CA

Palo Cedro, CA

Friday, March 7, 2008

Old Stone Jail House

Anderson Jail House

The Anderson jail house is located at the northwest corner of Balls Ferry Road and Freeman and South streets in Anderson, and the Fall River Mills jail house is located at the Fort Crook Museum at the corner of Highway 299 and Fort Crook Museum Road in Fall River Mills.

Both jails were built in 1936 as Works Project Administration projects for Shasta County. They were used mainly as overnight holding cells. Anderson historian Gene Vonk remembers the Anderson jail as being a place where drunks were held overnight to dry out.

The first to be built was the Anderson jail house. When it was completed, the building forms and crew moved on to Fall River Mills to build a duplicate jail there. A crew of seven men was employed to build the jails. The first prisoner in the Fall River Mills jail was one of the men who helped construct it.

Each jail had two cells, separated by a vestibule, and each cell contained a wash basin, drinking fountain, toilet and a cot with a blanket. An oil stove located in the vestibule provided heating. The jail houses were constructed with steel-reinforced concrete walls and floors. Housecleaning was performed with a water hose that was used to clean the cells and toilets.

The Anderson jail sits at the same spot where it was constructed. The Fall River Mills jail house was moved from its original location near the center of town to the museum grounds.

Both jails opened in 1936. The Fall River Mills jail closed in 1956. It is unknown when officials stopped using the Anderson jail.

Fall River Mills Jail House

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Snoopy the Red Baron

I see this rock painted to look like Snoopy the Red Baron ( or a beagle) when I go through the mountains on my way to the Burney area.