Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Olympian Jimmy Watkins is treated to a homecoming bash at Action Sports and signs that the anemic housing market is starting to find some traction

* ... HOT MARKET: More stories from our local housing market. The number of homes on the market is near an all-time low, prices are inching up and properties at the lower end of the price range are attracting multiple offers. One friend has been shopping for a home for his son for several months. "One came on the market in the area we wanted, it needed a lot of work but it sold in one day," he told me. "A cash deal from an investor in Los Angeles." At the upper end, homes are taking longer to sell but at they are starting to move. A colleague sold her house in the $440,000 range in less than a week. So if you are thinking of listing your home, you may want to consider doing it sooner rather than later.

* ... OVERHEARD: A local business executive passed along this conversation that happened during a recent job interview. "Your application indicates that you haven’t worked in about two years. What is that all about?" The applicant responds: "Well, I was on unemployment all that time and making a lot, but now my unemployment is running out so I have to look for a job.”

 * ... OBSERVED: This observation comes from reader Walter E. Stewart: "I wonder how many people observe waitress and waiters wipe off the seat where you sit after using the same towel to wipe off the table where your food is served. The same contaminated towel is repeatedly used from seat to seat and table to table."

 * ... OLYMPIAN: Hats off to Kerry Ryan over at Action Sports for giving Olympian Jimmy Watkins a heck of a welcome home party. A big crowd of more than 150 people packed Action Sports Sunday afternoon to welcome Watkins home and celebrate his 30th birthday. Watkins was moved by the adulation but told me that London was his first and last Olympics. A Kern County fire fighter, Watkins finished sixth in the track cycling competition.

 * ... GOOD DEED: The newest Rotary Club in Bakersfield, Twilight Rotary, recently completed a successful project providing 126 backpacks and supplies to the entire third grade class at Mount Vernon Elementary School. The club is barely three years old and has stepped up in a big way since its inception in community service projects through the direction of immediate past president Gary Fachin and now under the leadership of Robin Paggi. Several Rotarians, including Breakfast Rotary past presidents Cecil Martin and Jim Bell as well as West Rotary past president Brad Henderson, helped charter the club three years ago.

 * ... DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that there are some 650,000 registered motorcycles on the road in California, and more than nine million nationally? High gas prices have led to a surge in motorcycle sales as more folks use the bikes for commuting. Not surprisingly, the highest death rate for motorcycle crashes involve so-called "supersport" bikes that accelerate rapidly and can reach speeds of 160 miles per hour.

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