Today lunchtime perusal of the paper brings some interesting tidbits to chew on, mostly locally related, for some definition of local:
- From the “We All Need To Save Money” Department: The LA Times is reporting that AAA (actually, ACSC) will be lowering car insurance rates by 5.4% starting April 1. This is good news for us, as we use Auto Club insurance for both home and auto. The auto club cited a drop in policyholder loss claims during the last two years as well as its tight controls on operating expenses for creating the flexibility to lower premiums (and of course, people are driving less).
- From the “Maybe They’ll Move Back Here” Department: It appears that NY’s tax credit program that grabbed TV/Film production from LA has run out of money. If we’re lucky, perhaps we’ll see production move back to Los Angeles–that would certainly be good for the local businesses that depend on it.
- From the “Maybe They’ll Move Back Down” Department: Alas, mortgage rates have gone up again, slightly. Still, they are below our current rate. Our refi appears to still be progressing along with the credit union: we had the appraisal this week, so hopefully we’ll know where we stand in terms of LTV next week. Of course, in order to get a loan-to-value, you need a value. The Mercury News is reporting how the assessors office up there is doing a massive reappraisal of properties this year — almost half of all properties. The article notes that in Los Angeles County, the largest single expanse of California property, negative property-tax growth is expected, County Assessor Rick Auerbach said. The number of Los Angeles County properties to be reviewed for reassessment this year has grown significantly: Last year’s review included 318,000 homes and condominiums, of which 128,000 had their tax assessments lowered. This year’s review includes 500,000 homes and condos. For 2008-09, our property (per the assessor) actually saw a rise in value — which we successfully appealed. I’m going to keep the appraisal from the refi just for that purpose — I expect to have to appeal again for 2009-10.
- From the “25 Random Things” Department: Yup, it is still making the news — this time, the Washington Post. But of more interest is this blog from the Contra Costa Times, where you can find out Jerry Brown’s 25 Random Things. Nothing about Linda Ronstadt, but he does has a special dispensation from the pope.
- From the “A Southern California Institution” Department: The LA Times is reporting how landmark status may soon be granted to the original site of See’s Candy Kitchen. Evidently, it is on Western near Beverly — a location I drove by regularly as a teenager on my way to Wilshire Blvd Temple. Never knew of its significance. Neat.
- From the “Another One Bites The Dust” Department: For the folks from the SF Bay Area, a tidbit of interest: the last known survivor of the 1906 SF Earthquake has died at age 106. Even more interesting, he was also the oldest known grocery clerk in San Francisco, punching a clock until a week before he died at a local hospital of complications from pneumonia. Down here in Los Angeles, we’re noting the death of the longtime shoeshine man at Santa Anita Park at age 98, and the death of the drummer for the band Buffalo Springfield.
And speaking of deaths, I want to publically pass on condolences to ixixlix, who lost her little puppy of 10 years (if either word can apply to a Newfie) yesterday. Rocky was sweet and lovable (although he stank when wet :-)), and was there for her through thick and thin. We share in her loss, and would be there to hug her if it wasn’t for this damn cold going around.