In a recent article in The Northern Light, realtor Mike Kent puts forth the argument that it is a very good time to buy our local real estate.
I have a different view: real estate is not poised for growth.
It is in the best interest for a real estate salesperson to motivate people to buy or sell. But let’s make sure we do not buy a false hope.
Current wisdom regarding real estate says it is on solid footing once again. This is wishful thinking. Even though the real estate bubble may have popped in 2008, it was not deflated by any means. The U.S. Federal Reserve printed unprecedented amounts of money to bail out the system, including pumping $40 billion a month to banks to purchase bad home loans off the books.
It’s clear the housing market, like the Wall Street stock market, is a bubble. Do you think those profiting from the Wall Street boom want the Federal Reserve to slow down the money printing? No, they are cheerleaders for more stimulus money. People love bubbles if they profit from them.
It’s called bubble mania, folks. One thing we know about bubbles is that they eventually pop!
The real estate bubble is still 55 to 65 percent from deflating. Before this bubble pops fully, prices will have to deflate to pre-2001 prices, when the Federal Reserve started the bubble.
What will trigger the rest of the real estate bubble to pop? Interest rates rising. The worst possible things for real estate values are rising interest rates. Rising interest rates will also dramatically slow housing sales and drop prices. Interest rates are rising because the dollar is falling. Interest rates are going up, just ask Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve chairperson; the U.S. dollar is in trouble.
Birch Bay and Blaine have “location, location, location.” But the sign in the yard should read, “buyer beware.”
Last week’s issue of The Northern Light contained an article, “Lummi, Nooksack dispute local water rights,” that provided important information about local water issues and concerns. The article indicated that tribes are concerned about having sufficient water for healthy fish populations and farmers are concerned about sufficient water for crops. The concerns of both these groups seem important and reasonable.
In contrast, it seems reckless that the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) would use 5.3 million gallons of water per day (1.9 billion gallons per year) spraying coal stockpiles (official GPT project application at whatcomcounty.us/pds/plan/current/gpt-ssa/pdf/20120319-permit-submittal.pdf, pages 241–242). GPT’s water would be provided by the Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County, which takes the water from the Nooksack River. GPT would use the most water during dry months – the same months that farmers require the most water.
GPT would need to spray this enormous amount of water on its uncovered coal stockpiles to reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion and the amount of escaping coal dust. GPT’s coal stockpiles would be the biggest in North America, at more than 60' tall and a total of 2.5 miles long. Even using all this water, it is likely that GPT would still emit approximately three million pounds of coal dust into the air each year.
Local fishing and farming groups are the historic and essential food producers for our community; they have earned our support and sufficient water to meet their future needs. In contrast, the proposed GPT would use our local water for a product – coal – that would be neither produced nor used locally. GPT’s coal would be mined in Montana and Idaho and burned by power plants in China and India. Pollutants from the burned coal would then travel back across the Pacific and contaminate our local air and water with mercury and other toxins.
GPT, a well-funded corporation with huge water requirements, would only exacerbate the already significant water concerns facing local farming and fishing groups. Water is another one of the many reasons the people of Whatcom County should be concerned about the GPT proposal.
As a responsible pet owner, I take my dog for a walk every day. Rain or shine. We both enjoy it very much.
What is very disgusting is when you step into another dog’s “doo-doo.” When you walk at night it is even worse.
What’s wrong with some people? Are they lazy, irresponsible or selfish? I just don’t understand. Please pick up after your dogs. Plastic bags are available and very cheap. Remember the joggers, cyclists, kids and tourists who are out there. Let’s not forget this is our town and keep it clean.
It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night that we go for a walk, I see some dogs tied up to a chain or confined in a small area. It just breaks my heart. If you have a dog please be responsible and take time to take him/her for a walk. It will do both of you a lot of good. As they say, dogs are man’s best friend.
Here are some questions concerning a proposal by park commissioner Jeff Carrington and the Birch Bay Community Center and Beach Park Committee to purchase 7954 Birch Bay Drive as the best site for a new park facility without honoring due public process and allowing fair consideration of alternative sites.
1. How many citizens and businesses in the Birch Bay community are formally signed up as members of this committee?
2. What proportion of our community are formal members of this group?
3. In submitting the results of this committee’s recent petition were there any responders included that were not formally listed as members?
4. Did the committee consider, study and advise all their listed members as well as any responding non-members of any other site locations along the entire length of the beach that were also being advanced for such a new park?
5. Has there been a survey of all the other non-member citizens and businesses in Birch Bay to determine their interest in this park request, specifically at 7954 Birch Bay Drive rather than elsewhere along the drive?
6. Is there something compelling about a citizen group, gathered under a banner title, with no proper community authorization, including at one point the very realtor for the sale of the property, that warrants a greater degree of attention from our public agencies than other groups or individual members of its larger community?
7. Is there any justification or legitimacy for a group, such as this committee, advancing its name and esteem in support of any position or cause of action without first conducting the kind of thorough appraisal honoring the wider interests of the general community?
Please help our small group, which is promoting another beach park site, to understand how your newspaper will help keep the public’s widest interest in sight.
My name is Tatiana L. Chopitea. I am a fifth-grader at Napa Valley Language Academy in Napa, California. The reason I am writing to you is that my class is doing state reports and I have chosen your magnificent state of Washington.
I would really like it if you posted my letter in your newspaper so that I can get all the help I need for my report. What I need from you or your readers are pamphlets, postcards, souvenirs or anything else that would be useful.
I will be writing about your state’s agriculture, history, economy, famous people, events, historical figures and national parks. I will also be doing an oral report, poster and Microsoft Power Point presentation.
Thank you for your support and help in making me an amazing researcher of your astounding and very amazing state!
Tatiana L. Chopitea
Napa Valley Language
(Ed. Note: Please send any information to Tatiana L. Chopitea, Napa Valley Language Academy, Mrs. Hernandez, 2700 Kilburn Avenue, Napa, CA, 94558)