Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
There has been a small increase in residential burglaries in the city of Los Angeles, including the Pacific Palisades, Westwood, and West L.A., where organized groups of thieves target vulnerable elderly citizens and use trickery or a distraction to gain access to the residence and remove property.
Some common methods of trickery used have been:
Posing as Department of Water & Power employees who need to inspect the backyard.
Posing as construction workers at a neighboring house and needs to enter the backyard to inspect the wall.
Asking to go into the backyard to get their lost cat.
Posing as telephone company employees who need to inspect the telephone pole.
In September and October 2008, some areas where these incidents occurred were near:
West L.A.'s Missouri Ave & Butler Ave
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This event is only open to Bel~Air Association Members and Residents
THE BEL-AIR ASSOCIATION PRESENTS
A COMMUNITY FORUM
BEING PREPARED FOR
EARTHQUAKES AND FIRE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2008
**Please Call Paulette M. DuBey, Bel~Air Association General Manager at 310.474.3527, for Exact Time & Location**
Last month’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the Los Angeles area was another wake up call to be prepared for the BIG ONE. The Bel-Air Association’s Emergency Preparedness Committee has worked diligently to do just that. For the past three years, our members have organized the community into 12 sectors, meeting and outlining what we need to have in our homes and what actions we must take in case of a major earthquake or devastating fires.
Are you part of part of the Association’s Emergency Preparedness?
Do you know what the plan is to evacuate and assist your fellow neighbors?
It is time to revisit emergency preparations.
Join us for an important community event sponsored by the Bel-Air Association.
For more information please call Paulette M. DuBey our General Manager at 310.474.3527.
Thank you for your interest and for being prepared!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Representatives from the Bel~Air Association met with Verizon representatives earlier this month to discuss the possibilty of improved mobile phone service in the Bel~Air community.
Although other more substantial improvements are being considered, Verizon's technical staff indicated that they were able to quickly improve coverage to the Bel~Air area by fine tuning the existing equipment serving our area as well as specifically recalibrating the cell site serving Stone Canyon.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
By 6:30 a.m., the northbound 405 Freeway was reopened, except for the offramps between the 10 and the 101 freeways and the transition from the southbound 405 to the west 110 Freeway. The southbound 405 was in the process of being reopened, said Officer Francisco Villalobos of the California Highway Patrol.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the blaze broke out near the 405 Freeway and Getty Center Drive after midnight, fueled by brush and Santa Ana winds. Firefighters put up defense lines around the Getty Center. More than 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, and in a rare move officials decided to do night flights of water-dropping helicopters. Ten choppers were in the air. A bigger air assault is planned after sunrise.
LAFD spokesman Brian Humphries said officials were making good progress on the fire but that they were still concerned it could get out of hand this morning, when more erratic winds are forecast. The fire was fanned by southwest winds of up to 20 mph. Crews were doing brush clearance as far west as Mandeville Canyon in case the fire moved in that direction.
As of 6 a.m., wind strength was only moderate. But officials worried they would pick up again -- perhaps to 25 mph -- around sunrise. Residents in Bundy and Mandeville canyons were under a voluntary-evacuation order.
"Residents need to understand this is a very dynamic situation," said LAFD Capt. Tina Haro.
The fire is about two miles from the Getty Center, he said, and is also burning near the Mountaingate Country Club, Evacuation shelters have been established at the American Jewish University on Mulholland Drive and the VA Hospital in Westwood.
In addition to the 405, Sepulveda Boulevard was shut down through the pass, as well as several side streets, and Mount St. Mary's College was also closed for part of the day.
Humphries said history had proved that fires in such developed hillside areas can be unpredictable. The notorious Oakland Hills fire, for example, burned hundreds of homes after firefighters thought they'd gotten a handle on it, he said.
Officials said they don't know what sparked the blaze. Humphries said that even though progress is being made to contain the fire, a gust of winds could move it very quickly.
FOR MORE IMAGES, CLICK HERE.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A Red Flag Condition has been issued for Los Angeles City.
Red Flag Restricted Parking will be in effect from
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 08:00 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008 08:00 AM
until further notice.
Please call 311 or visit the LAFD website at: http://www.lafd.org/REDFLAG/
Thank you for your cooperation!
Monday, October 20, 2008
From DataQuick: Southland home sales up, prices down; foreclosures now half the market (hat tip Peter Viles at L.A. Land)
Southern California home sales shot up by an unprecedented 65 percent last month from the dismal, record lows of a year ago, when a credit crunch slammed the brakes on home financing. September sales also posted a rare gain over August as price cuts lured more buyers. Foreclosure resales rose to half of all transactions.DataQuick shows median house prices have fallen significantly in SoCal, but these median prices are distorted by the mix of houses sold.
A total of 20,497 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the six-county Southland in September, up 5.8 percent from 19,366 in August and up 64.6 percent from 12,455 in September 2007, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick, a real estate information service.
Last month's sales were the highest for any month since December 2006 and the year-over-year gain was the highest for any month in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. However, last month's sales were still the second-lowest for any September since 1996 and were 17 percent below the 20-year sales average for that month.
"The pitifully low September 2007 sales numbers weren't tough to beat. More impressive was that this September's sales volume bucked the seasonal norm and rose above August. Steep price declines, especially inland, have improved housing affordability quite a bit and may keep sales levels well above the record lows we saw late last year and early this year. It will depend on the severity of this economic downturn," said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.
"You have to view last month's sales in the proper context," he cautioned. "They represent escrow closings, which reflect purchase decisions made in mid-to-late summer. That was before the dramatic worsening of the nation's economic crisis in recent weeks. Over the next few weeks our sales data will begin to show how the meltdown in financial markets this fall has impacted housing demand."
Fifty percent of all existing homes that closed escrow in September had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior year. That's up from 45.5 percent in August and 12.6 percent in September last year.
At the county level, such foreclosure resales ranged from 36.8 percent of September resales in Orange County to 68.9 percent in Riverside County. In Los Angeles County foreclosure resales were 39.1 percent of all resales; in San Diego 47.3 percent; San Bernardino 63.1 percent and in Ventura County 44.0 percent.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is at or near record levels ...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
One measure that is being used to summarize the strain in financial markets is the TED spread. This is calculated as the gap between 3-month LIBOR (an average of interest rates offered in the London interbank market for 3-month dollar-denominated loans) and the 3-month Treasury bill rate.
Any significant decline would suggest progress, and a decline below 1.0 would indicate this wave of the crisis is over.
Usually the TED spread is less than 0.5%. The higher the spread, the greater the perceived credit risks (compared to "risk free" treasuries).
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We all woke to the smell of smoke this morning -- this is why...
Location of Fire is about 10 to 15 miles North of Bel~Air.
Fire burning in Little Tujunga Canyon
LAKE VIEW TERRACE -- A wildfire stoked by moderate winds burned about 500 acres in the Angeles National Forest on Sunday and threatened hundreds of homes and an animal sanctuary north of Los Angeles, authorities said.
The blaze began about 2 a.m. in a rugged area of Little Tujunga Canyon about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, fire officials said. About 400 firefighters were on scene and aided by aerial strike teams, said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Sam Padilla. One firefighter had trouble breathing and was treated at the scene, Padilla said.
About 1,200 people were evacuated from two canyons as the blaze brushed up against some of the area's 450 homes and moved southeast toward city limits, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Stanton Florea.
"It burned right down to a couple of neighborhoods," Florea said. It wasn't immediately known whether any homes had been damaged.
Television images showed a trail of flames on a pair of ridges littered with dry brush and chest-high chaparral. Heavy smoke also was filtering into the San Fernando Valley.
"As dry as it is, I would say it's pretty scary," said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Dee Dechert.
The fire was south of the Wildlife Waystation, an animal sanctuary and rehabilitation facility set on 160 acres. The nonprofit agency houses more than 400 animals, including lions, bears and deer. Officials were loading up the animals in case the fire switched direction.
"They are packing them up in case they have to go," Dechert said.
A shelter for displaced residents was set up at a nearby recreation center.
Santa Ana winds were blowing between 10 and 15 mph, but firefighters were aided by cool temperatures overnight. Highs were expected to be in the 70s on Sunday, but bumping up into the 80s and low 90s on Monday and Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Friday, October 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Please remain vigilant to activity and people in our neighborhood. If you see what you believe may be a crime in progress, call 911! If you see other suspicious activity, notify the Los Angeles Police Non-Emergency number at 1-877-275-5273. Forward any suspect information to me via e-mail or phone, so I can verify appropriate follow-up was conducted. Please record the date, time, type of activity, suspect(s) descriptions, and the description of any involved vehicles with accurate license plate information. Video cameras are great for capturing much of this information!
Senior Lead Officer Christopher Ragsdale
West Los Angeles Community Police Station
Office: 310-444-0741 Cell: 213-305-5895 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Street Robbery: (Arrests Made)
1500 block Beverly Glen Bl (RD 829). 10/6/08, at 1915 hours, Suspect #1 approached the victim and pointed a handgun at the victim's stomach and stated, "Give me your money or I will shoot you." The victim handed his money to suspect #1 who ran to a vehicle parked on Woodruff with Suspect #2 inside. The suspect fled in unknown direction. Suspect #1: Male Black Blk Bro 5-9 160 18-19 yrs, blue skull cap, blue long sleeve shirt. Suspect #2: Male NFD (Driver of suspect vehicle). Weapon: Blue steel semi-automatic handgun. Vehicle: 2005-06 Toyota Corolla 4-door Aqua Green. Property Taken: $120 in cash
Westholme & Wilshire Bl (RD 834). 10/6/08, at 1920 hours, as the victim walked past the suspect vehicle, suspect #1 exited and approached the victim. The suspect was armed with a handgun in his front waistband and stated, "Give me your money." The victim handed his money to suspect #1, who ran back to the vehicle where suspect #2 was waiting behind the wheel. The suspects fled in the vehicle.
Suspect #1: Male Black Blk Bro 5-9 160 16-19 yrs, dark bandana, dark sweater, and dark pants. Suspect #2: Male Black NFD (Driver of suspect vehicle). Weapon: Blue steel semi-automatic handgun. Vehicle: 2005-06 Toyota Corolla 4-door Blue/Green. Property Taken: $4.00 in cash.
1200 block Roberto Lane (RD 806). 10/5/08, at 2340 hours, the suspect confronted the victim on the street and stated, "Empty your pockets." The suspect then punched the victim on the left side of the head. The victim removed his cash, school ID, and cell phone from his pockets and gave it to the suspect. The suspect fled on foot. Suspect: Male Black Blonde dyed hair Bro eyes 5-7 170 17 yrs baggy blue jeans, gry sweat shirt. Weapon: Bodily Force. Property Taken: Cell phone, $40 cash, school Id. ($25 in cash recovered at scene).
Wilshire Blvd./Westwood Blvd. RD: 833. 10-02-08, 1800 hrs. Location: Suspect(s): Male, Black, 508, 160, 25 yrs, black hat, blue bandana, black shirt, dark blue pants. Suspect approached victim from behind and stated, "Are you banging?" Suspect then advised victim that the red hat victim was wearing was offensive. Suspect then pulled up his shirt and stated, "I got a heater." Victim did not see a gun, however, he became fearful of the suspect and apologized for offending the suspect. The suspect then stated, "I showed you a heater for a reason, now give me all of your money and Ipod." Victim complied, at which point the sus pect fled on foot.
ROBBERY ARRESTS by UCLA POLICE
UCLA formed a robbery detail on 10/07/08, TUE, to target the robbery series suspects who committed numerous robberies near the UCLA campus and two other WLA robberies on 10/06/08. The suspects were discovered and arrested when observed committing a robbery in progress.
2000 block Stradella, RD 0805. MO: Construction site. Between 10/03/08 at 1530 and 10/06/08 at 0535, suspect(s) cut Conex container locks, removed tools.
600 block Stone Canyon Rd. RD 0806. MO: Construction site. Between 10/01/08, 1645 and 10/02/08, 0630, suspect(s) cut multiple storage containers, removed tools.
9700 block Oak Pass Rd. RD 0808. MO: Construction Site. Between 09/25/08, 1730 and 09/26/08, 0600, suspect(s) removed lock from Connex container, removed tools and copper.
Grand Theft Auto:
10-05-08, 1345/1645. RD 0829 1200 block Woodruff Ave. 65 Mustang
09-28-08, 1500/1700. RD 0816 500 block Landfair Ave. 03 Toyt Camry
10-02-08, 0900/1000. RD 0816 Landfair/Ophir 91 Toyt MR2
10-03-08, 1015/1215. RD 0833 Wilkins/Midvale 95 Mazda 626LX
09-27-08, 2200/0720. RD 0805 11800 block Bel Terrace 08 BMW 528I
09-27-08, 1800/1115. RD 0837 600 block Levering 07 Vespa Scooter
09-26-08, 2030/1130. RD 0855 1500 block Malcolm Attempt GTA 69 Buick Skylark
Burglary Theft from Motor Vehicle:
10-4-08, 1930/2300. RD 806 1100 block Roberto Ln. Currency, Phone charger
10-5-08, 2220-0820. RD 833 10900 block Ohio Ave. Nav system, Ipod
10-05-08, 2220/0830. RD 0833 10900 block Ohio Ave. Sub Garage/Susp removed GPS
10-04-08, 1700/0200 RD 0819 10200 block Charing Cross Rd. Street. Unk Stereo
10-05-08, 0230/0700 RD 0805 15500 block Collina Driveway Susp removed GPS
09-30-08, 1150/1000 RD 0829 1300 block Warnall Ave. Street Susp removed car cover
09-30-08, 1730-0700 RD 0805 900 block Moraga Dr driveway/unlocked/cell/ I-Pod adapter
09-25-08, 2000/0800. RD 0815 400 block Sepulveda Blvd. Garage/Forced/Radio
09-27-08, 0030/0930. RD 0855 Veteran/Massachusetts Street/Unk/Cash
Wilshire Bl./Westwood Bl. RD 817. Victim, bicyclist, reported suspect drove his car along side him and stated, "Fuck you, you need to get over." Victim stated he "could tell that the suspect did not like cyclists." Suspect then drove his vehicle "directly" at victim, striking his bicycle's pedal. Suspect fled in his Vehicle.
THIS REPORT HAS BEEN RECODED AND CHANGED TO "ROAD RAGE."
Grand Theft: (Arrest Made)
Massachussetts Ave/Selby Ave. Victim: City of L.A. 2 Suspects arrested in connection to this crime. Ofcrs responded to Selby & Massachusetts and observed defts & wits in SUV. Ofcrs observed the stop sign bent down to the pavement. Deft.#1 was observed getting out of the driver's seat. Vandalism and possible H&R CPI investigation was conducted. Deft #1 stated that they returned to "get the sign". Deft #1 also said that Deft # 2 was driving at the time of the incident. Estimated damage: $450
8-24-08 400 block Landfair Ave. (original crime loc 459/GTA) Susp: Maynor, Michael Charge: 10851 VC. Bkg# 1653488, (on probation in Utah for vehicle theft). Suspect burglarized a house, took the keys, and then stole the vehicles.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Is it possible to have more than $250,000 at one insured bank and still be fully covered?
You may qualify for more than $250,000 in coverage at one insured bank or savings association if you own deposit accounts in different ownership categories. The most common account ownership categories for individual and family deposits are single accounts, joint accounts, revocable trusts accounts and certain retirement accounts.
What is a single account?
This is a deposit account owned by one person and titled in that person's name only, with no beneficiaries. All of your single accounts at the same insured bank are added together and the total is insured up to $250,000. For example, if you have a checking account and a CD at the same insured bank, and both accounts are in your name only, the two accounts are added together and the total is insured up to $250,000. Note that retirement accounts and eligible trust accounts are not included in this ownership category.
What is a joint account?
This is a deposit account owned by two or more people and titled jointly in the co-owners' names only, with no beneficiaries. If all co-owners have equal rights to withdraw money from a joint account, a co-owner's shares of all joint accounts at the same insured bank are added together and the total is insured up to $250,000. Note that jointly owned revocable trust accounts are not included in this ownership category.
If a couple has a joint checking account and a joint savings account at the same insured bank, each co-owner's shares of the two accounts are added together and insured up to $250,000 per owner, providing up to $500,000 in coverage for the couple's joint accounts.
Example: John and Mary have three joint accounts totaling $600,000 at an insured bank. Under FDIC rules, each co-owner's share of each joint account is considered equal unless otherwise stated in the bank's records. John and Mary each own $300,000 in the joint account category, putting a total of $100,000 ($50,000 for each) over the insurance limit.
|Joint Account Example|
|Account Title||Type of Deposit||Account Balance|
|Mary and John Smith||Checking||$50,000|
|John or Mary Smith||Savings||$150,000|
|Mary Smith or John Smith||CD||$400,000|
|Insurance coverage for each owner is calculated as follows:|
|Account Holders||Ownership Share||Amount Insured||Amount Uninsured|
- Mary's ownership share in all joint accounts equals $300,000 [1/2 of the checking account ($25,000), 1/2 of the savings account ($75,000), and 1/2 of the CD ($200,000), for a total of $300,000]. Since her coverage in the joint ownership category is limited to $250,000, $50,000 is uninsured.
- John's ownership share in all joint accounts is the same as Mary's, so $50,000 is uninsured.
What is meant by certain retirement accounts?
These are deposit accounts owned by one person and titled in the name of that person's retirement plan. Only the following types of retirement plans are insured in this ownership category:
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) including traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs, and Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs
- Section 457 deferred compensation plan accounts (whether self-directed or not)
- Self-directed defined contribution plan accounts
- Self-directed Keogh plan (or H.R. 10 plan) accounts
All deposits that an individual has in any of the types of retirement plans listed above at the same insured bank are added together and the total is insured up to $250,000. For example, if an individual has an IRA and a self-directed Keogh account at the same bank, the deposits in both accounts would be added together and insured up to $250,000.
Note: Naming beneficiaries on a retirement account does not increase deposit insurance coverage.
What is a revocable trust account?
This is a deposit account held as a payable on death (POD) or in trust for (ITF) account or that is established in the name of a formal revocable trust (also known as a living or family trust account).
POD and ITF accounts — also known as testamentary or Totten Trust accounts — are the most common form of revocable trust deposits. These informal revocable trusts are created when the account owner signs an agreement — usually part of the bank's signature card — stating that the deposits will be payable to one or more beneficiaries upon the owner's death.
Living trusts — or family trusts — are formal revocable trusts created for estate planning purposes. The owner of a living trust controls the deposits in the trust during his or her lifetime. The trust document sets forth who shall receive trust assets after the death of the owner.
Deposit insurance coverage for revocable trust accounts is provided to the owner of the trust. However, the amount of coverage is based on the number of beneficiaries named in the trust and, in some cases, the interests allocated to those beneficiaries, up to the insurance limit. A trust beneficiary can be an individual (regardless of the relationship to the owner), a charity or another non-profit organization (as defined by the IRS).
Revocable trust coverage is based on all revocable trust deposits held by the same owner at the same bank, whether formal or informal. If a revocable trust account has more than one owner, each owner's coverage is calculated separately, using the following rules:
- Revocable Trust Deposits with Five or Fewer Beneficiaries — Each owner's share of revocable trust deposits is insured up to $250,000 for each beneficiary (i.e., $250,000 times the number of different beneficiaries), regardless of actual interest provided to beneficiaries.
- Revocable Trust Deposits with Six or More Beneficiaries — Each owner's share of revocable trust deposits is insured for the greater of either (1) coverage based on each beneficiary's actual interest in the revocable trust deposits, with no beneficiary's interest to be insured for more than $250,000, or (2) $1,250,000.
Note: Determining coverage for living trust accounts that have six or more beneficiaries and provide different interests for the trust beneficiaries can be complicated. Contact the FDIC at 1-877-275-3342 if you need assistance in determining the insurance coverage of your revocable trust.
POD Account Example: This example applies to POD accounts only. (Coverage may be different for some living trusts.) Bill has a $250,000 POD account with his wife Sue as beneficiary. Sue has a $250,000 POD account with Bill as beneficiary. In addition, Bill and Sue jointly have a $1,500,000 POD account with their three children as equal beneficiaries.
|Account Title||Account Balance||Amount Insured||Amount Uninsured|
|Bill POD to Sue||$250,000||$250,000||$0|
|Sue POD to Bill||$250,000||$250,000||$0|
|Bill and Sue POD to 3 children||$1,500,000||$1,500,000||$0|
These three accounts totaling $2,000,000 are fully insured because each owner is entitled to $250,000 of coverage for each beneficiary. Bill has $1,000,000 of insurance coverage because he names four beneficiaries — his wife in the first account and his three children in the third account). Sue also has $1,000,000 of insurance coverage $250,000 for each of her beneficiaries — her husband in the second account and her three children in the third account.
When calculating coverage for revocable trust accounts, keep in mind that:
- Coverage is based on the number of beneficiaries (and, if the account has six or more beneficiaries, the interests of the beneficiaries) named by each owner. Additional coverage is not provided for the trust owner(s). For example, if a father owns a $750,000 POD account naming his two sons as beneficiaries, the account is insured for $500,000 — $250,000 for the interest of each beneficiary. The remaining $250,000 is uninsured.
- FDIC insurance limits apply to all revocable trust deposits — including all POD/ITF and living trust accounts — that a trust owner has at one insured bank. In applying the $250,000 per beneficiary insurance limit, the FDIC combines an owner's POD accounts with the living trust accounts that name the same beneficiaries at the same bank.