Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Warren Carter faces his own battle with cancer as our housing market takes a huge tumble

 * ... SICK BAY: Had a nice call the other day from Warren Carter, the long-time local businessman whose family has owned Watson Realty since 1982. At 74, Warren told me he is facing a tough battle with Stage 4 cancer and is under the care of Dr. Ravi Patel at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC). "I just wanted to express my gratitude for all the calls and cards I have gotten from so many people," he said. "I am so grateful to be here with all of my children around and blessed to be in such good hands with Ravi Patel."  Deeply spiritual, Warren told me his illness, in some way, is a blessing because it allows him to get his affairs in order and express his love for family and friends. Warren's wife, Lenore Carter, died on Thanksgiving Day 2009 after her own battle with cancer. If he is feeling up to it, Warren will be my guest this Friday on Californian Radio SmartTalk1230 to talk about his family business, cancer and his own spirituality. Join us at 10 a.m. If you don't have access to a radio, listen to us online by using the Radio Time application on the web.

 * ... HOUSING: Just when you think the housing market can't get any worse, it does. Thanks to thousands of foreclosures moving through the market like the swelling Mississippi River, home values fell another 3 percent in the first quarter. And economists expect things to get a lot worse before they get  better. All this is according to to the real estate website Zillow.com, which notes that home prices have now fallen for 57 consecutive months. Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, told The Wall Street Journal that the monthly declines in February and March were "really staggering" and "a reflection of the true underlying demand, which is now apparent because most of the tax credit is out of the system and it's being completely overwhelmed by supply." Locally, an estimated half of all homes are "under water," meaning the value of the property is less than the amount owed on the loan. Humphries said prices won't hit bottom before next year, when values will drop another 7 percent to 9 percent.

 * ... OLE MISS: It's not every day that a local boy ends up at Ole Miss, the Deep South university located  in one of the country's most charming college towns, Oxford. But that's where Alexander Kimble Edmonston will be in the fall, choosing the Southeastern Conference school over places like the University of Oregon and the University of Arizona. His proud mother, former TV anchor Lisa Kimble Edmonston, said "it was the quintessential collegiate experience of Ole Miss and the charm of Oxford, not to mention the SEC conference, strong Greek system and land of southern belles and gentlemen that won him over. Craig and I couldn't be more thrilled." Alexander will graduate from Camden Military Academy in Camden, S.C., soon. In the fall, he'll likely be spotted at an Ole Miss football game wearing a white oxford-cloth, button-down shirt, khakis and striped rep tie as is the custom there.

 * ... WALK ON: Speaking of local kids in college, hats off to Liberty High School  graduate Jacob Frost who won a position on the University of Colorado football team as a wide receiver. Jacob was one of six walk on candidates, and after a grueling two weeks of practice he won the position. He is the son of Ken and Carol Frost. Ken is a geologist for Berry Petroleum and Carol runs a private tutoring service in Northwest Bakersfield.

 * ... DIVORCE: Can't say I'm totally surprised that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver are separating after 25 years of marriage. The 25-year anniversary seems to have become a dangerous marker for Baby Boomers, and it's remarkable how many long-term marriages are dissolving right at the time folks become empty nesters. Remember Al Gore and wife Tipper? They split after 40 years of marriage. (AP photo)

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield if you can't wait to move away and then can't wait to move back.

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