as March begins to wind down - the 21st.
PP BOB LUSK got us started, with the Pledge. Next, the
team of JACK HARRIS and GREGG ELLIOTT accompanied us in God
Bless America, which went well, also.
MARK BLOCK then read what I would call a Pastoral Letter
from his Rabbi, and it was well done (probably no
surprise). Passover and Easter were compared, with the
historical information that Passover celebrated the Hebrew's
release from bondage in Egypt - and this history also served
to remind the Christians present that Jesus celebrated the
Passover - Easter came later. Good thoughts, MARK - we
can always depend on you for meaningful Invocations.
GEORGE COX was called upon to introduce the visitors - but
he had just arrived, so the task was taken over the Pres.
GEORGE. Those present were headed by our District
Governor Len Wasserstein, who was accompanied by Incoming DG
Rick Mendoza, plus the Governor's Aide, Pat Cashin. A
late-arriving guest was Pat Gustlin, office manager at SALLY
BRANT'S firm. We had another Visiting Rotarian, Thomas Clark
Tuffs, an architect from Cleveland, Ohio. PP STEVE
ADLER brought along his long-time business associate, Glenn
Darlington, who hails from Perth. He is a former major
in the Australian Army and will be in town for the next week
or so. He presented us with a Club flag. His presence is
certainly meaningful to YOE, since my wife, Joy, has been in
Perth these last several weeks caring for her mother. Glenn
said he would try to reach her - so we'll see if I can
deliver his email address to Joy, and she can then give him
a working phone number for herself. Our world gets
ELLIOTT TURNER introduced his Special Guest, Diana Rockow,
who is in the residential real estate field. And Pres.
GEORGE had a guest, Weijie Yun (yes, that IS the right
spelling, by golly) - he is in Venture Capital in the San
Jose area. We did have one Visiting Rotarian - Thomas
Clark Tuffs, an architect who belongs to Rotary in
Cleveland. BOB YOUNKER was accompanied by his wife,
Vivianne and their daughter, Kathy, who lives in Washington
DC. PETER MORE then provided a nice sort of 'goodbye' for
the YOUNKERS, who are moving to the Sacramento area to be
with their other daughter, Christine Nelson. BOB
has been a most active (new) member, and was our
introductory Webmaster. He was presented with a lovely
WVRC nameplate for all his efforts in our behalf. The
YOUNKER family will really be missed.
District Governor Len Wasserstein came forward to explain
and narrate some slides about our February 2002 District
5280 visit to India. This was in behalf of our
continuing involvement with the many victims of Polio.
Governor Len first announced - and WVRC is the first
club in District 5280 to hear this news - that President
Elect Gary C.K. Huang of the Rotary Club of Taipei, Taiwan
will be RI President Richard King's Representative at our
District Conference in San Diego. But back to the
visit to India. - WVRC sent along two checks - $2000 to buy
the 31 wheelchairs Len mentioned, and $6000 to help rehab
Dr. Borate's hospital. Dr. Borate, by the way, is the
current District Governor for the Punee area. The
sixteen-team members on this visit split into two groups -
half to observe and help with the corrective surgery, and
the other half visiting those who had already had the
various operations. Some more notes here, if I may: - buying
31 wheelchairs for $2000 is a hell of a bargain (although
the locals may have helped a bit, since they cost $90 each).
The hospital is located outside of Punee, and our
District is starting an appeal for each of us to contribute
$100 a year to this most worthy project. Another number
comes to mind - for $140 you can provide the operation which
will enable these unfortunate victims to WALK again - and
there can be no better bargain! I've said it before -
we spill more than that.
Pres. GEORGE gave an excellent overview of the events which
will take place in San Diego at our forthcoming District
Conference. As you know, PP RON LYSTER is the Chair of
this major event, and there is something for everybody who
attends. As an incentive to new members, the Club will
pick up their $35 Registration Fee - it will be worth
visiting, for sure. We do need more of WVRC members to
sign up - and since the price, etc., goes up on April 1st,
now is the time to do it. Let's support PP RON and
about-to-be- former Pres.GEORGE. If questions, call PP
SALLY BRANT introduced our Speaker, Scott Gibson, President
of Coldwell Banker. Scott is a native, and obviously
had good early advice, since he graduated from UCLA.
He has been in Real Estate since college, working for
several local firms - most of which are now part of Coldwell
Banker. For the record, his official title is
President of the Greater Los Angeles Coldwell Banker
Companies. This includes 48 branches with 3300 sales
associates, and he is headquartered in Brentwood.
Scott began by confessing that he had moved from Palos
Verdes, with all those SC people, to the Palisades, to be
among the many UCLA fans in that area. He considers
Los Angeles to be the World Capital of Real Estate - among
the reasons are the weather, the diversity and strength of
our local economy, and the ambiance of our surroundings.
In December of 2000 CB felt we were
heading for another recession.
It was not expected to be as prolonged, or as serious as it
was in the early 90's - and this forecast seems to have
proved out, since we are heading out of recession at this
At least, that's what CB clients are saying, and he hopes
the same attitude is prevalent among WVRC members.
He points out that our present prosperity is being fueled by
'domestic' money - that is, capital from the rest of the
U.S. In the late 70's and into the 80's, the Middle
East was the source of our financing, and more recently,
Japan, plus some European involvement was the largest player
in our local economy. Note that this is
the first time in forty years that the major economic powers
are ALL having a recession at about the same time.
The real estate market began to heat up in 2001which caused
sales inventories to grow - and then came 9/11. And
yet, the period of October 2001 through January of this year
were all record months, as far as sales are concerned. CB
was averaging one billion per month, and 18 billion for the
whole of last year - their nearest competitor produced 3.9
billion in annual sales.
Interest rates will be going up, and that means the
inventory of properties will increase, so it's a good time
to both buy AND sell right now. He expects a price
increase in the Westside of up to 20% this year. Breaking
that down, the 1 to 2 million dollar homes will go up
perhaps 10%. Those in the 2 to 3 million range won't
change much - this is called, in the trade, the Middle
Class! Over 3 million sales will include 4 or 5 over
20 million. The highest end of the market will provide
the most inventory, because of the recent recession. - lots
of dot commers are no longer rich. Prices in that
highest category may decline by 10 to 15% into 2003.
Q&A - and there were LOTS. GEORGE COX - is there
mostly cash in the high-end deals? Yes, there aren't
many traditional deals. JACK HARRIS - what are the
demographics in California? Latinos are the biggest
group coming in, and San Diego gets many from south of the
border who are high-end purchasers. We don't have many
affordable units, so that sends them to Riverside and
environs. LEE DUNAYER - which appreciates more, new or
older homes? New does better, unless major remodeling
PP STEVE SCHERER - is there more movement in the population
now than before? Yes. A recent example in our
area - lot offered at 7 million, sold for 8.5, and that
means they will be spending at least 5 million for the house
itself. The market is much more fluid, more product
produces more inventory. RAY ZICKFELD - what is Donald
Sterling trying to do? He wants to be the LA version
of Donald Trump.
PP MIKE NEWMAN -when, if ever, will the movement to Orange
County end? In San Diego County they are building
200.2 million-dollar homes - but so far, they have sold very
few, since the builders made a big mistake in what the
market would support.
By the way, Westside prices will peak soon. PP HOWIE
HENKES - how will the airport discussion affect OC? They
MUST look ahead - John Wayne cannot support their needs.
PP JOHN SINGLETON - what is the future of the condo market?
It's the last to go up, and last to come down, but
very strong now. LA used to have 200K condos, now they
cost 400K. Kathy YOUNKER - how does our market affect
other distant markets? The Midwest has slowed, but
both coasts are strong. RALPH BEASOM - what are the
main factors in the cost of new homes? Price of land,
permits are huge, and finish work is very high. BOB
YOUNKER -how is San Francisco doing? Last year they
had a big drop, but it is steady now. JACK HARRIS -
how has gridlock affected us? And here, YOE comes in
to totally disagree with Scott Gibson - he thinks it isn't
as bad as it once was.
With unexpected time remaining, FINES! PP RON LYSTER -
your problem with the motorcycle article is that you NEVER
mentioned WVRC - 150 clams. FLOYD DEWHIRST - An award
for a lifetime commitment to dentistry - that's 100 big
MIKE YOUSEM -All those trucks of yours parked on Sepulveda -
another 100 bucks.
Petie and PP HOWIE HENKES had their 60th Anniversary today -
and certainly, no fine was levied -but our CONGRATUALATIONS
to both of you! And finally, our sincere thanks to our
Rotary Auxiliary for their $210 gift to the Read by Nine
YOE, Ernie Wolfe