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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th – BE IN DISCOVERY BAY!

14 Sep

The day will start off with A GIANT OPEN HOUSE (The Discovery Bay Home Tour) with a chance to win a flat screen TV, a trip to Napa and more.  Along with the home tour you can also enjoy a FREE concert, a car show, and a motorcycle run, and Boardwalk day.

Discovery Bay Home Tour:   The 2nd annual Discovery Bay Home Tour will start and finish at the Boardwalk Grill Marina parking lot and will have a variety of open homes to tour throughout the community – on deep water, lakes, and in the Country Club.  The tour opens at 11am and will stay open until 3:30pm.  Start at the Discovery Bay Marina, enjoy some music activities for the whole family, get your map of the homes and then see the homes currently available in every part of Discovery Bay.  Make sure you enter to win some of the great prizes up for grab!

Free Concert by the Bay!   The Discovery Bay Lions Club will be hosting another great free concert at the end of the YachtHarbor. Bring your lawn chairs and grab your spot early for this popular evening, featuring three hours of great live music and fun for the entire family. The free concert starts at 4:30 PM. Food, beer and wine will be available, with 100% of proceeds going directly back into our community where it is needed most.

 Car Show at the Marina!   The Discovery Bay Lions annual car show is a popular event, and is open to all makes and models of cars and trucks. This show is getting larger and receiving more attention every year. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Show (selected by the Show committee), Hottest Hot Rod (selected by the ECC Fire Department), and Most Likely to Get A Ticket (selected by the Sheriff’s Department). The show runs 10am – 3:30pm.

 Motorcycle Poker Run:    The annual DB Lions Motorcycle Poker Run will start from the Boardwalk Grill, then make a few quick stops heading into the Sierra Foothills. Breakfast and lunch is included in the registration fee.

 Marina Boardwalk Day!: The Discovery Bay Marina Boardwalk will host a new line-up of local artists and vendors, along with wine tasting and new things to see and do, at this month’s Boardwalk Day. Boardwalk merchants will feature some spectacular sidewalk specials.

Don’t miss this one day only event that has something for everyone! 

Over 25 vendors, food, music, jumpy houses for the kids. 

Bring your family and friends to this FREE event

…and you might be the one that walks away with some great prizes!

 

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TIGHT INVENTORY, RISING PRICES AND BIDDING WARS

23 Aug

The housing recovery is well under way, although the peak summer sales season seems to be fading. A report from Realtor.com last week showed an overall drop in inventory at the national level, which has contributed to rising prices in several markets across the country.
 
Housing inventory fell 19% in July to 1.87 million homes from 1.89 million the previous month, Realtor.com reported. The decline in inventory comes from a sharp drop in bank-owned foreclosures and other distressed properties, as well as many sellers who are likely holding back because they’d have to sell at a loss or owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
 
While the recovery appears to be going full steam, the impact is actually creating a housing boom-like feel for those buyers at the lower end of the market. This is because the low inventory can’t keep up with demand, and therefore is creating multiple-bid situations, which are driving up prices.
 
Inventories were down in all but two of the markets Realtor.com tracks: Shreveport, La., and Philadelphia. Oakland, Calif., led the nation with the largest decline in inventory, which was down 59.3% from last year. Other cities that had at least a 40% decline in listings from a year ago were Riverside-San Bernardino, Stockton, San Francisco, San Jose, Bakersfield and Fresno – all in California – and Seattle.
 
What do you do as a buyer who’s up against multiple bids for every home you’re interested in buying? There are four rules of the road here:
 
Make your offer as solid as possible. Be sure to research recent nearby sales of homes similar to the one you’re making an offer on. Work with an agent who’s helped buyers buy homes in the area in recent months. They’ll have insight into current buying competition.
 
Get prequalified for a loan. Sellers will be more interested in talking to buyers they know will pull through with a loan. Show them by visiting a lender or mortgage professional before you start house hunting. Get prequalified for a loan and your offer will be much stronger.
 
Have as much downpayment and closing cash as you can. This is common sense, but worth noting. A higher downpayment these days will get you a much better loan and also will likely put you at the front of the bidding line above buyers with less cash on hand.
 
Be patient. You may not get the first house you fight for. It’s OK. Inventory may be tight, but there is a whole population of sellers out there who’ve been waiting to sell. They’re watching the market and will come around, creating more homes to choose from.
 
It seems counterintuitive to discuss the beginnings of what is expected to be a long housing recovery and multiple bids in the same article, but it’s reality in some markets across the nation.
 
CONTACT A REALTOR FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR AREA!

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

SKIP THE DORM, BUY YOUR KID A HOME

16 May

Prices in many real estate markets may be close to bottoming out….we hope.  So the old adage about buying low may be something to consider if you have a kid who will soon be heading off to college.  The idea is to buy a condo or small home for the kid to live in while attending school.  That way, you’ll avoid paying huge dorm room or apartment prices with no hope of any profit.  And….if you buy a small home with some extra space, you can rent it out to your kid’s friends and offset some of the ownership costs.

Lots of parents have made good money by following this strategy for the four or five years their kids spent in college and then selling the home after graduation.  Of course, the longer you can hold onto the property, the better the odds of cashing out for a profit.  The other key factor to consider is the tax benefits.  Here’s what you need to know…..

DEDUCTING COLLEGE HOME OWNERSHIP EXPENSES:

The tax rules generally prevent you from deducting losses incurred from owning and renting out a residence that’s used more than a little bit by you or a member of your immediate family.  However, a favorable exception applies when you rent at market rates to a family member who uses the property as his or her principal home.  In this case, you can deduct tax losses from the rental activity (subject to the passive loss rules, which I’ll explain later).  This beneficial loophole is open for you if you buy a condo and rent it out to your college-going child (and roomies, if any) at market rates.

You can deduct the mortgage interest and real-estate taxes.  If you pay mortgage points, you can amortize them over the term of the loan.  You can also write off all the other operating expenses -like utilities, insurance, association fees, repairs and maintenance, and so forth.  As a bonus, you can depreciate the cost of the building (not the land) over 27.5 years, even while it is (we hope) increasing in value.

So where will your poverty-stricken son or daughter get the money to pay you market rent for the home?  The same place he or she would get the cash to pay for a dorm room.  In other words, from you!  You can give your kid up to $13,000 annually without any adverse federal tax consequences.  If you’re married, you and your spouse can together give up to $26,000.  Your child can use that money to write you monthly rent checks.  Just make sure he or she actually sends the checks and make sure they say they are for rent.  Also, it’s best if you open up a separate checking account to handle the rental income and expenses.  Taking these simple steps will help keep the IRS off your back if you ever get audited.

PASSIVE LOSS RULES MAY POSTPONE TAX LOSSES:

If the home throws off annual tax losses (which it probably will after counting depreciation deductions), the passive activity loss (PAL) rules generally apply.  The fundamental PAL concept goes like this:  you can only deduct passive losses to the extent you have passive income from other sources -like positive taxable income from other rental properties you own or gains from selling them.  fortunately, a special exception says you can deduct up to $25,000 of annual passive losses from rental real estate provided (1) your annual adjusted gross income (before the real estate loss) is under $100,000 and (2)you “actively participate” in the rental activity.  Active participation means being energetic enough to at least make management decisions like approving tenants, signing leases, and authorizing repairs.  You don’t have top mop the floor or snake out the drains.

If you qualify for this exception, you won’t need any passive income from other sources to claim a deductible rental loss of up to $25,000 annually (your loss probably won’t be that big). Unfortunately, however, if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $100,000 and $150,000, the special exception gets proportionately phased out.  So at AGI of $125,000, you can deduct no more than $12,500 of passive rental real estate losses each year (half the normal $25,000 maximum).  If your AGI exceeds $150,000 and you have no passive income, you can’t currently deduct any rental real estate losses.  However, any disallowed losses are carried forward to future tax years, and you’ll be able to deduct them when you sell the home.  All in all, this is not a bad tax outcome.

FAVORABLE TAX RULES WHEN YOU SELL:

When you sell rental real estate that you’ve owned for over a year, the profit (the difference between sales proceeds and the tax basis of the property after subtracting depreciation) is long-term capital gain.  However, part of the gain (the amount equal to your cumulative depreciation write-offs) can be taxed at a maximum federal rate of 25%.  The rest of the gain will be taxed at a maximum federal rate of no more that 15% under the current rules (which I hope will be extended to post 2012 years)

Remember those carryover passive losses that we talked about earlier? You get to use them to offset any gain from selling the home.

*Information provided is for reference only, consult your tax advisor for information on your person situation, different states and counties have different rules.

 Provided by Intero Real Estate Services, Discovery Bay & Downtown Brentwood
925-634-1111 or 925-634-1116

DISCOVERY BAY HOME TOUR – Saturday, September 17

12 Sep

This Saturday, September 17th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

INAUGURAL DISCOVERY BAY HOME TOUR

Event starts at the Shopping Center……

on the corner of Discovery Bay Blvd. and Riverlake Rd.

  • 11:00-5:00   Food, Vendors, DJ Music, Games, Entertainment, KKIQ Radio, etc.
  • 11:30-4:00   Home Tour
  •            4:30   Drawing for Prizes (big screen tv, ipad, etc.)
  •  3:00-5:00    Music
  •  5:00-10:00  Lions Club Concert on the Bay—at the Marina

Come to enjoy the music and booths!  If you would like to be entered into the drawing you can join the open house event.  Many homes will be held open to view all that Discovery Bay has to offer.  Visit two homes in each category (Country Club, Deep Water Homes, Off Water Homes, and Gated Community Homes), get your card stamped and you will be eligible to win great prices.

This is a great opportunity for Discovery Bay residences as well as visitors from other areas to experience all that Discovery Bay has to offer.  Invite your family and friends to enjoy all that Discovery Bay has to offer.

Discovery Bay—a placewhere families live and have fun together.

Sponsored by: Fremont Bank, Envoy Mortgage, Coldwell Banker, Intero Real Estate Services, WR Properties, Marples & Associates Realtor, Realty World, Sasville Properties, Pacific Funding Group

LIVE WHERE YOU PLAY……DISCOVERY BAY

Information provided by:

OAKLEY ALMOND FESTIVAL

9 Sep

This weekend is the Oakley Almond Festival – September 9th, 10th & 11th.  This is Oakley’s biggest event of the year celebrates it’s 22nd year of celebrating the almond.

Highlights include:

  • $2 Friday Night Concert & Carnival
  • 9AM Sat. morning parade east down Cypress Rd. ends at O’Hara Park.
  • Two Stages for Music
  • Car Show
  • Diaper Derby
  • Cooking Contest
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Petting Zoo, play area & games for the kid
Friday, September 9, 2011
Carnival Only – No Vendors     5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday, September 10, 2011
10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday, September 11, 2011 
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
General Admission- $6.00
Children Under 5 and Seniors Free.
For more information visit oakleychamber.com or call (925) 625-1035
Information provided by:
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

TASTE OF THE DELTA

15 Jul

The California Delta Chamber is hosting a….

Taste of the Delta Fundraiser

Saturday, July 16  1:00 – 4:00pm

Windmill Cove Resort and Marina – Come by car or boat

(15 minutes East on Hwy 4 from Discovery Bay)

The California Delta Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau created this fundraiser to showcase Wineries and Restaurants in the California Delta region. They invite local wineries and restaurants  to participate in this event and bring a selection of their products to taste.

They also invite members of the California Delta Chambers to purchase booth space to offer a selection of their arts, crafts, jewelry, etc.   There will be a Live and Silent Auction.

The Taste of The Delta provides participants with an opportunity to showcase their products to the Delta community.   It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon on the Delta.  Dress is casual.

All for $25 (advanced ticket sales) or $35 at the door (includes glass & plate)!

Note:  If coming by boat, make dock reservations in advance 209-948-6995

Go to www.windmillcove.com for more information.

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES IN BRENTWOOD

13 Jul

The Streets of Brentwood is hosting

A Summer Concert Series

Concerts:  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

July 15 . . . The Michael Paul Band (Country)
July 22 . . . Strange Brew (Classic Rock/Blues from 60’s through 80’s)
July 29 . . . JD and Company (Cover Band — hits from 30’s to the present)
August 5 . . . Jessica Caylyn Band (Country)
August 12 . . . The Floorshakers (11-piece Funk/Soul/Rock ‘n roll)

Bring the family and enjoy some great FREE music

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

CIRCUS VARGAS IS IN DUBLIN

13 Jul

Circus Vargas is back with a brand new show for 2011!  This exciting edition of Circus Vargas takes the audience on an artistic journey, encompassing the cultures of the world, elegantly achieved through a series of circus vignettes depicting the experiences, memories and vision of a traveling circus performer.  Join us on a captivating jaunt across the globe, as seen through the eyes of the talented aerialists and acrobats featured in this magnificent presentation, who bring with them, their interpretation of the art of circus, needing no translation, transcending all language, age and cultural barriers, and making Circus Vargas the magnificent circus it is today!

Arrive Early for the Preview Show!  Prior to every show, Host & Hostess Jon & Laura Weiss welcome the audience and invite the children (of all ages) into center ring for a tutorial of what life is like under the Big Top! Join the fun with Jon as he guides everyone on a crash course in circus skills such as juggling, feather balancing and hula-hooping!

Ticket Pricing:

Bleachers Adult $25, Child $15 – Arena Adult $35, Child $25 – Ringside Adult $50, Child $40

Remaining show times are:

July 13th 7:30pm

July 14th 7:30pm

July 15th 8:00pm

July 16th 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

July 17th 3:30pm, 7:30pm

July 18th 6:30pm

Get more information and purchase tickets on-line at: www.circusvargas.com

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

BAY AREA WINERY WEDDING FAIRE

12 Jul

Hannah Nicole Vineyards in Brentwood is hosting a wedding affair

Saturday, July 16th

4:00pm to 8:00pm 

Models will portray sample ceremonies and receptions, ranging in style from casual and rustic to lavish and elegant.  Hannah Nicole’s award-winning wines will be paired with hors d’oeuvres as each guest enjoys the festivities.  Florists, bakers, photographers, DJs, beverage caterers and musicians will demonstrate what brides and grooms can expect if they engage Hannah Nicole to be their wedding venue.

The event is Free and is suitable for people 21 years of age and older.  For more information call 925-240-9463

Information provided by Intero Real Estate Services

BEST HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CONDITIONS IN 40 YEARS

8 Jul

There has been a lot of gloomy news about the nation’s housing market in recent months, and even farther back. But there is good news:

First, many people in their 20’s and 30’s are now finding that properties in some areas have come down in value to the point where they can buy their first home. Housing prices, especially on the lower end, may soon begin to rise quickly, argue some economists, and that the correction in house prices and the low level of home building is really the cure for the housing industry’s problems. Overall, around the nation, the amount that buyers spend on housing as a percentage of their income has declined – good news for many. In fact, 2011 is expected to achieve the highest affordability condition in 40 years, especially compared to renting, which is becoming more expensive.

The number of new houses being built has fallen, actually helping to stabilize prices since supply and demand need to come into balance. That’s where the poor housing starts data can be helpful. While it’s true that homebuilders are suffering, the last thing the housing market needs right now is an explosion of new home construction. The slower the pace of new home building, the faster the imbalance between supply and demand should be corrected.

Lastly, interest rates continue to hover around historical lows. Check with your agent for an up-to-date quote, since rates change every day, but borrowers with good credit can obtain a 30-yr fixed rate mortgage in the low-to-mid 4% range. This is great rate, and lower than five or ten years ago.

Information provided by:

2011 BRENTWOOD CORNFEST – -AT A NEW LOCATION- – JULY 8, 9, & 10th

6 Jul

The 2011 Brentwood Cornfest is this weekend.  The location has been changed to the corner of Brentwood Blvd and Sand Creek Road.  The change in location will better accommodate the size of the venue as well as all of the parking issues from previous years.

Friday July 8 (3 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)

Saturday July 9 (10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)

Sunday July 10 (10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) 

Brentwood Blvd and Sand Creek Road

38 acres with an additional 20 acres for parking

  • Friday night fireworks show
  • Two stages of music with continuous live entertainment. Special musical guests include AC/Dshe, Great White, Public Eye & Cream Of Clapton
  • Children’s fun area with petting zoo, jump houses and games
  • Carnival attractions with the nation’s largest ferris wheel
  • Classic car show
  • More than 300 arts and crafts vendors
  • Lots of great tasty food vendors, local grown corn plus a micro beer and wine garden
  • Information alley showcasing some of the best local businesses

$10 general admission – $5 youth and seniors – Kids 5 and under are free

$5 on site parking

FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS

1 Jul

It is getting a little harder to find Fourth of July Fireworks.  Many cities are cutting back on the extra expense of fireworks.  This year there will be no firework shows in Livermore or Antioch.  You will be able to see fireworks at a couple of places around the Delta.

Saturday, July 2nd:  Freedom High School in Oakley

Monday, July 4th:  Stockton waterfront / Ports Stadium

Monday, July 4th:  The Hilton’s Fireworks at Mandeville Tip

Friday, July 8th:  Brentwood Cornfest

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

Information provided by:

IS IT A GOOD TIME TO REFINANCE?

28 Jun

Despite all the doom-and-gloom reporting, not every homeowner in the U.S. has negative equity right now. And with interest rates still hovering near record lows, those with equity are likely asking themselves whether it’s a good time to refinance. Well, is it? Let’s take a look:

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.51% a week ago (according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest survey), the lowest level since last fall.

The average outstanding home loan carries an interest rate of about 6% (Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft told The New York Times last week).

So if you took advantage of low rates last fall or in 2009, you probably won’t see much savings by refinancing now. But if you haven’t yet refinanced since 2008, you might want to check in and see what kind of savings refinancing might afford you.

Cashing out: What’s enough equity?

Refinancing used to almost always mean the owner was taking some cash out in the process. That’s because values had climbed pretty steadily (and steeply in many areas) for several years in a row – so most homeowners could afford to cash out to maybe send their kid to college, work on a new addition to the house or remodel. But today, the story is much different.

Even if you have equity, it may not have climbed enough for cashing out to make sense. In fact, the NYT reports that some owners are even putting cash in to up the equity on their homes.

So what’s enough equity by today’s standards? Times have changed and 20% is once again a magic number. Many lenders aren’t even going to allow you to cash out if it means dipping below that.

Refinance options for the equity starved….. OK, but what if  you have less than that? Can you still refinance to take advantage of low rates?

The good news is that there are some programs out there that may make this possible. If you have little or no equity, you can ask your lender about the Home Affordable Refinance Program. If you have an FHA loan, you can check out FHA Streamline Finance, which may make sense for you.

So even if your equity is pretty low, there are options. Point is, with rates this low, it’s a good time to sit down and discuss whether refinancing would improve your loan situation. We all know that rates are fleeting and what’s here today may be gone tomorrow.

As a Realtor we can help you find a lender that can help you make the best decision for you!

Information provided by:

PADDLE FOR FAME – JUNE 25th

23 Jun

Paddle for Fame!  Saturday, June 25th

At the Discovery Bay Marina

Join thousands of participants at the 5th Annual Discovery Bay Paddle for Fame World Record Attempt, Business Showcase, and Free Concert, at the Discovery Bay Marina.  If you can paddle it, it counts.

11:00 Gathering starts

1:00  skydivers and fly-over photo to establish world record will start

1:30  offical fly-over

11:00 – 3:00 Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase, delicious BBQ, beer, and wine

1:30 Free Concert on the green starts

Help set a new World Records and stay for the fun!

Information provided by:

FREE CONCERT ON THE BAY

17 Jun

The Discovery Bay Lions Club will be hosting another FREE concert

Sat. June 18

5:00-8:30

At The Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor.

Back by popular demand “The Floorshakers” will be performing.  They are a high energy 11 piece band providing funk, soul and rock-n-roll.

Beer, Wine, Hot Dogs, Soda and Water will be sold and the Boardwalk Grill will have great BBQ food at this event.

The Lions Club is on mission to raise money to support our many community needs, so they will not be allowing any outside food, drinks or coolers inside the lawn area where the band will be performing. Please plan on eating and drinking at the Yacht Harbor so you can support the Lions club and your community. Last year, over 600 people attended each concert so be sure to grab your friends, blankets, lawn chairs and get there early to claim your spot on the lawn.

After the concert, stop in at the Boardwalk Grill where they will have a DJ and plenty more music.

We hope you and all your friends will help support the Lions Club and your community by coming down to the Yacht Harbor on Sat. June 18.  For more information go to www.discoverybaylions.com

Information provided by:

GOING TO THE FAIR ?

14 Jun

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY FAIR  June 2 – 5

1201 West 10th St.

Antioch, CA  94509

www.countracostafair.com

ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR – June 22 – July 10

4501 Pleasanton Ave

Pleasanton, CA

www.alamedacountyfair.com

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY FAIR  –  June 15 – 19

1658 South Airport Way

Stockton, CA  95206

www.sanjoaquinfair.com

MARIN COUNTY FAIR  –  Jun 30 – July 4

10 Avenue of the Flags

San Rafael, CA  94903

www.marinfair.org

SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR  –  June 11 – 19

1346 Saratoga Ave

San Mateo, CA  94403

www.sanmateocountyfair.com

SONOMA COUNTY FAIR – July 27 – Aug 14

1350 Bennet Valley Rd

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

www.sonomacountyfair.com

SOLANO COUNTY FAIR  –  Aug 3 – 7

900 Fairgrounds Dr.

Vallejo, CA  94589

www.scfair.com

Information Provided By:

BLUES, BREWS, & BBQ’S at The Street Of Brentwood

26 May

The Brentwood Police Activities League will be holding a FREE Event this weekend.

May 27 (5pm-8pm)  May 28 (11am-8pm)  May 29 (11am-8pm)

Located at The Streets of Brentwood on Sand Creek Rd & Hwy 4 Bypass

Included in  the weekend of activities is the “Bad to the Bone” car show on Saturday and  Sunday. Live music starting Friday at 5pm and running all weekend long. Saturday  is our sanctioned KCBS & CBBQA BBQ event featuring Pork, Ribs, Brisket and  Chicken. On Sunday is a Back-yard BBQ event featuring Chicken, Ribs and  Tri-Tip.  Our professional cooks will be competing for a prize package of  over $7000.Come out and taste the Great BBQ & cast  your Vote for the People’s Choice Awards at 12:00 pm  Saturday.

BLUES, BREWS, & BBQ’S MUSIC  SCHEDULE   

Friday:   5/27

5:00 – Heritage H.S. Jazz  Band
7:00 – The Remnantz

Saturday:  5/28

6th Annual Liberty H.S.  POPS Concert
10:15 – Liberty Jazz Band
11:00 – Liberty  Jazz Ensemble
12:15 – Liberty Concert Band
12:50 – Liberty Symphonic Band
1:00 – Sara Luci singing the National Anthem
2:00 – Brentwood Community  Band
3:30 – Brentwood Blues Band
4:30 – Car Show & BBQ  Awards
5:30 – Brentwood Blues Band
7:00 – The  Citations

Sunday:   5/29

11:00 – Sam One Band
1:00 – Blues To Go  Band
3:00 – Biernacki & The  Illusions
4;45 – Car Show & BBQ Awards
5:00 – The Kevin Moore Band
7:00 – Dawglips

Free activities for the kids Saturday and  Sunday
Pinewood Derby races – Hosted by Diablo Sunrise Boy  Scouts
Box Car races – Sponsored by Rave Motion Pictures
& Brentwood  PostalAnnex
Outdoor Bowling – Sponsored by Harvest Park Bowl

-Live music all 3 days

-Sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society Contest:  Contestants competing for State Championships

-Come taste BBQ & cast your vote for the People’s Choice Awards: Saturday at 12:30

-Car Show Saturday & Sunday

-Great vendors all 3 days

-Kids Area:

  • Free Pinewood Derby (Sat & Sun)
  • BMX Demo by BBC Street Team (Sat)
  • Karate Demos by Verrett’s (Sun)
  • Box Car Races and Bowling

LOTS OF FUN FOR EVERYONE!

For more information www.palbbq.net

Information provided by:

KNOW YOUR MARKET BEFORE YOU SELL

25 May

Want to know the best strategy for selling a house regardless of how the economy is doing?  Know your market.

Part of knowing your market is knowing where your market is – where it ends and begins, because your market is not your city, your state or your region. Your market is your neighborhood. It’s your school district. It’s even your street and block.

Real estate agents know this, of course. But homeowners also need to have a grasp on this. If you’re out there thinking of selling your house or thinking about the prospect of relocating later this year, next year or even the year after, you need to grasp what constitutes your market, what kinds of homes are in it and what other things affect its value like schools and crime.

How do you get to know your market?

Get local with news. Start doing web searches about the schools in your neighborhood and crime (if it exists). This will help you understand the desirability factor of your home’s location. Things change – just because your schools were the best in the state when you bought your home six years ago, doesn’t mean they are today.

Become a casual web surfer. Check out current for-sale listings for your neighborhood. Track any trends you see such as average time it takes to sell, price reductions, number of bank-owned homes for sale. This will help you to get a sense of how fast things are moving and what kind of supply and demand dynamic is happening near your home.

Take a leisurely stroll through some open houses next Sunday. Sure, you may aggravate the real estate agent who’s trying to get the house sold, but you’ll get a sense of what’s out there. What kinds of houses does your home compete against? What kinds of upgrades do they have that yours doesn’t? What price ranges are you seeing for homes similar to yours?

Whether you’re getting ready to sell soon or not, I think it’s important for all homeowners to really understand their home’s value in current conditions. As we’ve seen these last few years, times change and values are not always predictable.

Understanding your home’s value is key to getting your house sold. Staying on top of trends on your street is the only way to prepare yourself for pricing right.

Information provided by:

BARN BOUTIQUE & FLEA MARKET – May 21

20 May

May 21, 2011  8:00am – 4:00pm the Mariner’s Church will host their annual Barn Boutique & Flea Market

The event is FREE admission and is open to the public.

1619 Bixler Rd

Brentwood, CA  94513

Many vendors including Jewelry, purses, leather goods, books, art, hand made items, clothing, food and local produce.  Flea market items include antiques, clothing, tools, furniture and many pre-owned treasures.

For more information contact the Mariners Church or go to www.marinerschurchdb.com

Information provided by:

WHAT DOES A TITLE COMPANY DO?

18 May

A title insurance policy protects a real estate owner or lender against any loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title to said property, or the incorrectness of the related search.

Title insurance protects against claims from various defects such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recorded, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the actual policy.

After the escrow officer or lender opens the title order, they begin a search of the public records including the County Recorder, Federal and State Agencies, and County and City Offices.  A Preliminary Report is issued to the customer for review and approval.  All closing documents are recorded upon escrow’s instruction.  When recording has been confirmed, demands are paid, funds are disbursed, and the actual title policy is typed and sent to the insured.

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MAY 21 – DISCOVERY BAY MARINA

17 May

This year the Discovery Bay Marina will host a Boardwalk Day and Used Boat Show on May 21st from 11:00am to 3:00pm.  Enjoy a live concert, wine tasting, used boats, marine vendors, art and jewelry vendors, and more.

Come out to support your local community!

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RETIREE STRUGGLE . . . . . Asset Liquidation or Mortgage Payoff?

13 May

Baby boomers approaching retirement with a mortgage balance and financial assets are faced with the question of whether or not they should liquidate assets to pay off the mortgage.

With income declining at retirement, the mortgage payment becomes more of a strain. Yet liquidating assets to repay the mortgage reduces the income being generated by the assets, and leaves the borrower with less to liquidate later on when needs may be even greater. We don’t know how much money we will need to support our lifestyle in retirement because we don’t know how long we will live, and not everyone can accumulate more wealth than we can possibly outlive.

 The case for paying down, or off, the mortgage for seniors often revolves around the fact that their mortgage rate is greater than their rate of return on their assets. Basically they earn less on their money than they pay on their mortgage: paying off a 5% mortgage with money earning 2% makes sense. If you’re a senior and your rate is more than 5% and you haven’t refinanced in the last 2 to 3 years, you will want to check current rates – you’ll be surprised.  It makes good sense to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate rather than pay it off if the senior either needs the income from their assets to live on. If mortgage repayment earns the higher return before-tax, it also earns the higher return after-tax. If income on the alternative investment is not taxable, however, returns should be compared after-tax. Again it is important you sit down with either your Lendor or CPA or financial planner to figure out what is best for you and your family.

We can help you find the right person to answer all your questions!

Information provided by:

SEUSSVILLE CARNIVAL MAY 13

12 May

This Friday, May 13, Timber Point Elementary School will hold a SEUSSVILLE CARNIVAL.  5:00pm – 8:00pm.  $7.00 per wristband, pre-sale, $10.00 writsband on the day of the event.

This is a Dr. Seuss themed event with jumpies, hair glitz, food, and game booths.  (hair glitz, food and picture booth paid separate with cash)

For more information contact Timber Point Elementary School or Kim at Kimboos@comcast.net 

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CASH IS KING…..People are Investing in Real Estate!

6 May

According to the National Association of Realtors, after a slow February, existing home sales increased 3.7% in March (but were down 6.3% from March a year ago).  Nationally home sales has shown a huge increase in buyers who are purchasing homes with all cash. 

A large percentage of the cash sales were to investors.  Although many investors are taking advantage of the opportunities available in the housing market right now, a portion of these sales to investors will be coming back into the market at some point.  These homes will likely be flips and will add more inventory to the market down the road.

While the housing market is working to recover on a national level, many outside factors play into home sales stats:

  • Rising gas prices
  • The national deficit (and prospect of further budget cuts)
  • Proposals to further restrict mortgage lending

These are all things that could trip up a full housing recovery – or continue to prolong it.  Real estate is local and as such, some markets are doing well while others aren’t.

The fact that there are so many cash deals happening right now tells us that investors still have confidence in Real Estate…. and we can show you why you should too.

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Discovery Bay Boat Parade, April 16

28 Mar

On April 16th, the Discovery Bay Yacht Club will have their Opening Day Parade.  The boats will be decorated with a theme of “Make a Wish – Make it Special.”

The boats will start at Lighthouse Bay at 1:00pm and wind through several bays and are scheduled to reach the Discovery Bay Yacht Harbor around 3-4:00pm. 

The map is the current route for this years parade…..BUT prior to the Parade each bay will be inspected to make sure it is safe to navigate through the bay and that weeds are not a problem.  Route may change.  The homes that will be effected from viewing the parade will be notified. 

For more information contact Pat Anderson at Pat4411@gmail.com or 925-216-4411

Information Provided By:

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116

HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY

21 Feb

Today is Presidents Day, and we would like to share a list of quotes from our presidents:

  1. George Washington (1789-1797) Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
  2. John Adams (1797-1801) If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
  3. Thomas Jefferson(1801-1809) Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
  4. James Madison (1809-1817) If men were angels, no government would be necessary
  5. James Monroe (1817-1825) A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.
  6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse
  7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
  8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.
  9. William Henry Harrison (1841) I believe that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer
  10. John Tyler (1841-1845) Pens are most dangerous tools, more sharp by odds Than swords, and cut more keen than whips or rods
  11. James Polk (1845-1849) I am heartily rejoiced that my term is so near its close. I will soon cease to be a servant and will become a sovereign.
  12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) I have always done my duty.  I am ready to die.  My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me.
  13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853) It is not strange… to mistake change for progress
  14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion
  15. James Buchanan (1857-1861) The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.
  16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) Things may come to those who wait…but only the things left by those who hustle.
  17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide
  18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) I know only two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’, and the other one isn’t
  19. Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881) He serves his party best who serves his country best
  20. James Garfield (1881)  If hard work is not another name for talent, it is the best possible substitute for it 
  21. Chester Arthur (1881-1885) I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damned business
  22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil
  23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) Great lives never go out; they go on.
  24. Grover Cleveland ( 1893-1897) Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters
  25. William McKinley (1897-1901) Expositions are the timekeepers of progress
  26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Speak softly and carry a big stick.
  27. William Taft (1909-1913) A government is for the benefit of all the people
  28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits
  29. Warren Harding (1921-1923) The success of our popular government rests wholly upon the correct interpretation of the deliberate, intelligent, dependable popular will of America
  30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) The chief business of the American people is business
  31. Herbert Hoover ( 1929-1933) Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die
  32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
  33. Harry Truman (1945-1953) It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit
  34. Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961) Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him
  35. John F Kennedy (1961-1963) As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
  36. Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read “President Can’t Swim”
  37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974) The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire
  38. Gerald Ford (1974-1977) A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have
  39. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon
  40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first
  41. George Bush (1989-1993) Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education
  42. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America
  43. George Bush (2001-2009) America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
  44. Barack Obama (2009-) Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. … Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential

HAPPY PRESIDENT’S DAY!

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

10 Feb

Construction is under way on Discovery Bay’s  “WATER” park

Ravenswood Park is located at Cullen Dr. and Bronte Dr.  This park has been known to the locals as Pirate Park because of its pirate ship shaped play structure.  The park has been home to a pirate playground, barbeques, picnic tables, benches and a large grass field.

The park is under construction to become Discovery Bay’s first “Splash Pad” water play area.  The Splash Pad will include a thirty foot diameter Splash Zone, and an additional five foot perimeter splash free zone.  Water fountains will be emitted from ground level sprays, triggered by an activator so a child has to be there to turn it on, creating water tunnels, fountains, and a variety of different water formations, all set to a timer.  The new park is scheduled to be completed in March.

Discovery Bay offers homes with water in our backyards…… and now we will have water at our park!

 

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SUPER BOWL FACTS

6 Feb

SUPER BOWL XLV

Super Bowl XLV will be this Sunday February 6 2011.  The NFC champion Green Bay Packers will play against the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers will meet in Arlington, Texas’ Cowboy Stadium. 

The game is scheduled for kick off by 6:25 EST.  Christina Aguilera will sing the National Anthem and The Black Eyed Peas perform in the halftime show.

The official show will be on the FOX television network at 6:00 pm on the East Coast; 5:00pm Central; 4:00 pm Mountain; 3:00 pm Pacific Time.  The pre-game show usually starts about four hours before the Super Bowl.

FUN FACTS

Super Bowl I

  • Super Bowl I (originally named AFL-NFL World Championship Game) was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA
  • The National Football League(NFL) champion Green Bay Packers (14-2) played the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs (12-2-1).
  • The Green Bay ended up winning 35 to 10.  The Packers quarterback Bart Starr, who completed 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. 
  • The first Super Bowl was simulcast on both NBC and CBS and was the only Super Bowl to be broadcast on two networks at the same time.
  • A 30 second commercial cost $42,000 on both networks.
  • The game footage from the first ever Super Bowl don’t actually exist.  Both networks taped over their footage of the Super Bowl and only bits and pieces of the footage of the game do exist.

Super Bowl XXXV Fun Facts

  • Total Game Time – 60 Minutes
  • Total Commerical Time – 30 Minutes
  • Las Vegas Point Spread – AFC’s Baltimore Ravens +3 
  • This will be the first Super Bowl without Cheerleaders.
  • $400 million is the estimated amount of money that the game will bring to the Dallas area.
  • $2.8 million is the cost for a 30-second advertisement during the game.  Super Bowl I the same commercial cost $42,000
  • 151.6 million people are expected to watch a part of the game.
  • 325.5 million gallons of beer will be drank on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 8 Million Pounds of Guacomole Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 14,500 tons of Chips Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 
  • 6% of people will call in sick Monday after Super Bowl 
  • This is the first time the Super Bowl is being held in Arlington, but the second time the game has been played in Texas.  Super Bowl XXXVIII was played in Houston when the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29.
  • This is the eighth Super Bowl for the Steelers and the fifth one for the Packers. The Steelers are 6-1 in their previous seven games while the Packers are 3-1. With 13 combined Super Bowl appearances, Pittsburgh and Green Bay have played in just under 15% of every game.
  • The eighth appearance by the Steelers ties them with the Dallas Cowboys for most all-time. The Packers fifth appearance moves them into a tie for fifth-best behind only the Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots and Broncos.
  • The Las Vegas point spread is AFC’s Baltimore Ravens +3.  The biggest pre-game spread was 18.5 points in Super Bowl XXIX. The San Francisco 49ers covered that to beat the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.

NEVER PLAYED IN THE SUPER BOWL

  • Only four active franchises have never appeared in a Super Bowl: Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • The Browns have come the closest. They’ve reached the conference title game five times and came the closest to winning in 1986 but lost to the Denver Broncos. In fact, of their five trips to the conference championship, they’ve lost three times to the Broncos.
  • The Jaguars were just a game away in both 1999 and 1996 but came up short in each.
  • The Lions is the only team in the NFC to never attend a Super Bowl.  However, they won the NFL championship in 1935, 1952, 1953, 1957 prior to the existence of the Super Bowl.  They made it to the conference championship only once in 1991 but were blown out by the Washington Redskins.
  •  The Texans have never reached the playoffs.

MISC FACTS

  • The Super Bowl is measured in Roman numerals because a football season runs the span over two calendar years. The year the season began in 2010 and ends in 2011.
  • More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day), according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced annually for official NFL use and 72 of them are used for the Super Bowl.
  • Super Bowl fans spend more than $50 million on food during the 4 days prior to the super bowl.
  • Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year
  • 7 is the most touchdowns caught in the Super Bowl – wide receiver Jerry Rice over three separate competitions.
  • 7 is the most amount of losses by any team in the Super Bowl – The Los Angeles Rams.
  • 6 Super Bowl wins by the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest number of victories by any team. The Steelers are in this Sunday’s game.
  • Charles Haley is the only player to have played in 5 winning games (San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys)
  • Joe Montana has the most Super Bowl MVP’s with 3.  Montana also holds the record for most consecutive completions in a Super Bowl with 13.
  • The Buffalo Bills is the only team to make four consecutive Super Bowl appearances 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, yet they have never won a Super Bowl title. Prior to the establishment of the Super Bowl, the Cleveland Browns made six consecutive appearances in NFL Championship games.
  • Over half of all the MVP titles have gone to a team quarterback
  • Don Shula Coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins has served as the head coach in more Super Bowls than any other coach – 6.
  • Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers has coached the most Super Bowl wins – 4.
  • Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys holds the title for most career fumbles in a Super Bowl.
  • The youngest coach to win a Super Bowl was Jon Gruden at the age of 39 when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a victory over the Oakland Raiders.
  • The oldest coach to win a Super Bowl was Dick Vermeil at the age of 63 when he coached the St. Louis Rams to a victory over the Tennessee Titans
  • In Super Bowl 6 the Miami Dolphins only scored 3 points in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, which is the fewest amount of points to be scored in a game in NFL history.
  • The Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings have each lost four times at the Super Bowl.  The Buffalo Bills once lost four-straight times.
  • The NFL pays for 150 rings to be given to the winner of the Super Bowl (players, coaches, and staff,) and the league pays up to $5,000 for each ring.  If the rings cost more than $5,000 the team will pay the difference.
  • The first rings were given to the Green Bay Packers who won Super Bowl II in 1967 and were made by Jostens.
  • Super Bowl rings can be re-sold for $10,000 to $25,000 depending on who wore it. 
  • The losing Super Bowl team also receive 150 rings and the league will spend half the cost on the “loser team” rings.
  • Even with three games tied in the final minute, fans have never yet seen a Super Bowl overtime.

Who will win this year?  Will we have any half time bloopers?  What commercials will be the most talked about Monday morning?  Will any new records or statistics be met?  Can we have our first ever Super Bowl go into overtime?  and why are there no Cheerleaders this year? 

Grab a beer, pass the dip and get ready for the biggest game of the year……

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

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2011 – THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

3 Feb

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year of 2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, which begins on February 3rd 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.  Chinese New Year starts with a New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on a full moon 15 days later.  The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and a feast.  The Rabbit is a lucky sign!  After last years ferocious year of the Tiger, everyone is excited about the luck of the Rabbit.

Some “fun facts” that we found about the Chinese New Year:

 

The politically correct term is now Lunar New Year, as opposed to Chinese New Year since many Asian cultures other than China’s observe the lunar calendar.

The Chinese year is based on the cycles of the moon so the New Year falls on a different date each year.

The Chinese calendar dates back to 2600 B.C. and it is the oldest known calendar.

A complete Chinese calendar cycle takes 60 years.

According to superstition you must clean your house thoroughly to sweep away misfortune and make way for good luck and fortune in the coming year.  The old year and its spirits are banished by sweeping the floors before New Year’s Day.  (Don’t sweep on New Year’s Day itself – you’ll sweep away the New Year fortune)

Shooting fireworks on New Year’s Eve scares away the old year, and households open up windows and doors at midnight as exits for the old year.

At New Year, special emphasis is placed on food:

  • FAMILY REUNION:  Whole Chicken
  • FERTILITY:  Eggs
  • HAPPINESS:  Dried Bean Curd
  • HAPPINESS AND MARRIAGE:  Chicken
  • LONG LIFE:  Chinese Garlic Chives, Noodles, Peanuts
  • LUCK:  Tangerines
  • PROSPERITY:  Fish, served whole
  • WEALTH:  Bamboo Shoots, Black Moss Seaweed, Egg Rolls, Oranges

During the Chinese New Year Festival only married couples give “Ang Pow”s,  (red envelopes) containing money to buy holiday treats, to their kids or relatives of their younger generations instead of giving presents. 

The money in the red envelopes always totals up to an even number amount.  (odd numbered usually is associated with funeral money.)

The money should never add up to anything with the number 4 in it, because 4 in Chinese sounds like the word death.

Red is considered a lucky color in China.  At one time wedding dresses were red.

The color white symbolized death and misfortune.

The Zodiac calender traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat.

  • RAT (1924-1936-1948-1960-1972-1984-1996-2008)  Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, and shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.
  • OX (1925-1937-1949-1961-1973-1985-1997-2009)  Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
  • TIGER (1926-1938-1950-1962-1974-1986-1998-2010)  Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody
  • RABBIT (1927-1939-1951-1963-1975-1987-1999-2011)  Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
  • DRAGON (1928-1940-1952-1964-1976-1988-2000-2012)  Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
  • SNAKE (1929-1941-1953-1965-1977-1989-2001-2013)  Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold
  • HORSE (1930-1942-1954-1966-1978-1990-2002-2014)   Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
  • SHEEP (1931-1943-1955-1967-1979-1991-2003-2015)  Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
  • MONKEY (1932-1944-1956-1968-1980-1992-2004-2016)   Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  • ROOSTER (1933-1945-1957-1969-1981-1993-2005-2017)  Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado
  • DOG (1934-1946-1958-1970-1982-1994-2006-2018)   Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  • PIG (1935-1947-1959-1971-1983-1995-2007-2019)   Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic

The year of your birth is not the only factor that goes into the chinese astrology.  Your animal year makes up a portion of your astrology but it is then mixed with your internal sign and other personal elements.

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2011 Real Estate Market Forecast

3 Feb

Although the future in the Real Estate market is unclear, your local Realtor will have key insight in what is to come.  2011 looks to be great for home sales.  The attached video may help you decide if now is the right time for you.

Call us for more information on your particular situation.

Information provided by:

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY

2 Feb

 

Today is groundhog day and early this morning Punxsutawney Phil was the center of attention.  In an early morning ceremony today, Punxsutawney Phil rose from the ground in Gobbler’s Knob, PA, and signaled to his handlers that he saw no shadow today and accordingly foretold an early end to winter. 

YA…. Welcome to an early Spring. 

Do you ever wonder how the Groundhog tradition was started?

According to a few Groundhog Day sites, the day started as Candlemans Day, originally a Medieval Catholic holiday to mark the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.  The German settlers of Pennsylvania put candles in their windows and believed that if the weather was fair on Candlemas Day, then the second half of winter would be stormy and cold.  They believed that cloudy weather is more mild than clear and cold weather.

German settlers arrived in the 1700s in the area of Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh.  Ancient times stated that a hibernating animal could predict the coming weather by its emergence from its hole or cave.  The Pennsylvania Dutch settlers used a badger as a weather predictor instead of the groundhog.  If the badger would see its shadow it would hurry back into the ground for six more weeks.  They predicted six more weeks of bad weather which they would consider it as the second winter.   The first official Groundhog Day celebration was in 1886. 

**********************

This ceremony has gone on for over the 125 years and Phil has seen his shadow 98 times and not seen it only 16 times, counting today. (Records don’t exist for every year.)  The National climatic Data Center reportedly stated the Phil’s prediction’s have only been correct 39 percent of the time……Let’s hope he is correct this year!

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KEEP YOUR LIFE ORGANIZED – ONE MONTH AT A TIME.

25 Jan

Staying on top of home maintenance throughout the year can be a big job and many people don’t know where to start.  It is best to break it down from annual chores, monthly, weekly and daily.  Below is some monthly maintenance ideas that can be broken down into weekly chores.

Staying on top of daily, monthly, and annual chores around your home is a big job. Maintenance and repair jobs are constants. To save time and money, plan for the seasonal needs of your home, yard, and garden.

JANUARY

  • Do end of year accounting.  Set up file folders for current year’s taxes.  Organize receipts and paperwork.
  • De-clutter a closet.  Pick one and empty it.  Sort things to save, donate, sell and toss.  Organize the stuff that belongs in that closet and put it back.
  • Replace drawer liners and shelf papers.
  • Wander the house with a screwdriver and a note pad.  Tighten screws on drawers, doors and furniture.  Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs.  Make little repairs all at once.
  • Call the utility company to do an energy audit. 

FEBRUARY

  • Make a list of major indoor projects that need to be done.  Prioritize them and set appointments on the calender to do them.
  • Check and clean grout between tiles in your kitchen and bath.  Re-grout if necessary and add a sealer.
  • Check flooring and carpet.  If it needs repair or replacement, take advantage of the sales this time of year.
  • Plant seeds.  Many seeds need to be started 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Prune roses – 18 inches.
  • Reorganize the pantry.  Make meal plans that use up canned foods and freezer stocks.  Frozen foods are often on sale in march, so it’s a good time to stock up if you have room.
  • Organize the laundry area.  Clear everything out and sort, toss and organize the shelves.

MARCH

  • Prepare for vacation.  Schedule time off and make reservations and schedule flights for summer months.
  • Fertilize almost everything in the yard.
  • Time to start transplanting cool season veggies in the garden.  Cut back herbs.
  • Organize your papers.  Root out and recycle old magazines, newspapers, and mementos.  Build a new file system or clean out old files that are past being useful.
  • Prepare taxes and have them done.
  • Inspect your basement or crawl space for water and dampness; repair as needed.

APRIL

  • Check smoke alarms.  Replace batteries.
  • Wash inside windows.
  • Sort winter clothes for tossing, donating, garage sale, or storage.  Get out summer clothing. 
  • Replace winter bedding with summer bedding. 
  • Move appliances and heavy furniture.  Clean underneath and behind.
  • Wash woodwork including moldings, baseboards, and doors.
  • Clean light fixtures and chandeliers.  Put what you can in the dishwasher and clean the rest with warm soapy water and dry.
  • Dust or wash mini-blinds, shades, and fans.
  • Go through bookshelves, videos, DVDs, and music CDs.  Dust shelves, toss damaged, donate unused, and reorganize.
  • Check sprinkler system.

MAY

  • Plan a garage sale for May or June.
  • Finish spring cleaning projects.
  • Mother’s Day.  Call your mom, send a card, buy flowers.
  • Check gutters, downspouts, and roof for leaks.  Schedule roofing repairs as needed.
  • Check siding for winter damage.
  • Clean around AC compressor.
  • Wash windows and put in screens.
  • Cut back any trees, branches, or bushes that are touching the siding or roof.
  • Clean and repair patio furniture.

JUNE

  • Paint exterior if needed.
  • Clean out the frig and freezer.
  • Strawberries are in season.  Make shortcake or jam.
  • Check hoses on washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher.  Replace if any show signs of deterioration.
  • Check decks and docks for wear and deterioration.  Make repairs and replace nails that may be popping up.  Clean and seal decks.
  • Check exterior railings and stairs.  Repair if they are loose or showing signs of wear.
  • Clothes dryer vents should be checked for buildup that may cause a fire.
  • Service furnace or heating system.
  • Make sure attic vents work properly.  Consider installing a whole house fan.
  • Plant more annuals.

JULY

  • Do indoor paint projects.  With windows open, July is  a great month to paint.
  • Patch driveway or fill potholes with gravel.
  • Clean the garage and get rid of junk.
  • Organize tools and garden equipment.
  • Check fences.  Repair or replace damaged portions.

AUGUST

  • Check windows and doors to make sure locks work properly.  Clean tracks and lubricate hinges.
  • Repair minor brick and mortar cracks.
  • If you need more attic insulation, add it now.
  • Check gutters.  Clean or add leaf guards that will allow leaves to slide off.
  • Check drains.  Use homemade or store-bought drain cleaner to clean out all the drains in the house. 

SEPTEMBER

  • Drain hot water heater.  Flush and refill.
  • Change furnace filter
  • Wash out garbage cans, disinfect, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Remove plants that are starting to die.
  • Plant late autumn vegetables like cabbage, peas, and spinach.
  • Plant an indoor herb garden in a sunny window.

OCTOBER

  • Keep leaves raked to prevent smothering grass.
  • Take window screen out, wash and store.
  • Turn mattresses.
  • Store summer clothing, bedding and towels.
  • Have carpets cleaned.
  • Check smoke detector and replace batteries.
  • Replace all your spices and herbs. 

NOVEMBER

  • Clean flower and vegetable beds, then work mulch and compost into soil to prepare for next spring.
  • Rake leaves, clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Check the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms for leaks and other problems that need attention. Repair or replace faucets as needed.
  • Organize gardening supplies and equipment for the winter. 
  • Prepare for holidays either at home or traveling.
  • Put Christmas lights up after Thanksgiving.

DECEMBER

  • Mail gifts and Christmas cards.
  • Take your fire extinguishers to a certified inspector to make sure they are charged up properly and are ready for use.
  • Put up decorations.  Purchase new items and donate unused items.
  • Finish shopping and wrap gifts.
  • Get pets groomed. 

Owning a home is a full-time job.  Doing preventative maintenance and finding problems early can save you money.  Although it is hard to remember everything that needs to be done and every home is different, we hope this will be a start in the right direction for your home.  Get your home organized and plan it one month at a time.

Information provided by:

AS A FIRST TIME HOME BUYER… WHAT IS THE FIRST THING I NEED TO DO?

24 Jan

Many first time home buyers don’t even know were to start when they are looking for a new home.  Many times people don’t really know if they are even ready to buy a home or not.  Most people will spend time on the internet looking for the perfect home.  Some people have been financially ready to buy a home for many months and are not aware they are ready…..or they think they are ready and they are not.

The first step should be to contact a Realtor!

.      Real Estate Agents can assist you from start to finish……….      and charge you nothing!

FREE advice, FREE knowledge, FREE information, etc….

Using a full time Realtor….that you like, and who knows the are you want to buy in is very important.  Your Realtor can explain each step of the process.  Your Realtor will be able to assess your situation and match you with a Mortgage Loan officer that can help meet your specific needs.  The Realtor and Mortgage Officer will work together to make get you qualified.  They will find out how much you can afford to spend….what your monthly payments will be…and how much you will need for your down payment and closing costs.

The Mortgage Officer will review different loan programs and first time home buyer programs with you.  They will help you decide if it is the right time for you to purchase a home and what price you should look at.  Clients often qualify for homes much higher than they can actually afford.  It is important to stay in a price range you are comfortable with and make sure you can afford the monthly payments. 

Almost 80% of all home searches today begin on the Internet.  Buyers can view dozens of homes, see multiple pictures, see aerial shots of neighborhoods, etc.  Some people feel like they don’t need to use a Realtor for most of the process if at all.  Realtors have first hand knowledge of the industry that is invaluable.  Realtors have access to homes for sale before you can view them on-line.  Most “good deals” are already pending before the average person can see them on the internet.  Having someone on the inside to show you homes first is a huge advantage especially in today’s market.  A Realtor can look for homes that meet your criteria and e-mail them to you as soon as they come on the market.

Save yourself time, money and frustration by calling a Realtor!

THAT BAR

20 Jan

THAT BAR is the new hot spot in Danville.  Wether you are looking for a quick bite to eat, trying to catch the game, are looking for an evening of entertainment, THAT BAR is the place for you.  The dueling pianos featured at THAT BAR is the talk of the town!

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On a recent Thursday night,  De Four and his fiancée Colleen Curran, played requests ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Michael Jackson for almost five hours straight. With both on electric pianos and switching between vocal duties, neither took a break until they were done at 1 a.m., with many in the crowd raising a glass while singing and dancing along. 

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That Bar, opened in early November 2010 and has drawn a crowd Thursdays through Saturdays when the dueling pianos are center stage.  The business, which includes pizzas, burgers and sandwiches on the menu and several flat-screen televisions with premium sports subscriptions, has a capacity of 76, with a line out the door when the music starts at 8 p.m. 
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Are you up for the challenge?   (Man vs. Food) Burger. 5lbs. of good ol’ Americana!!!!  Eat the 5lb. Burger in 1 hour (and don’t forget the 1/4 lb of fries and 1/4 lb of Onion Rings and you’ll proudly earn the t-shirt that says “I ate THAT BURGER at THAT BAR and it was THAT GOOD.
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Kitchen Hours of Operation is Sunday thru Wednesday 11:30am -9:00pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11:30am – 12:00am. 
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Bar Hours are Sunday thru Wednesday 11:00am bartenders last call,  Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11:00am – last call 12:30am. 
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Experience Danville’s only Dueling Piano Bar every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The fun kicks off at 8pm and ends at Midnight. 
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THAT BAR
148 E. Prospect Avenue
Danville, CA 94526 
For more information call 925.743.8466 or www.thatbardanville.com
 
 
 

LOCAL FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

20 Jan

We are always looking for some low-cost local activities.  We sometimes forget how much our community has to offer.  Below is a list of some places overlooked and some up coming activities you don’t want to miss.

PLAYLAND-NOT-AT-THE-BEACH:  Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is a temperature-controlled 9000-square foot building chock-full of amazing things to see and do. There are 30+ pinball machines set on Free Play, arcade games, video games, carnival games of skills where you can win prizes, penny arcades full of antique amusement devices, live magic shows, an amazing hand-carved miniature circus, side-show acts, miniature dioramas, Fascination games, and historic exhibits with artifacts from the Sutro Baths and Whitney’s Playland in San Francisco. Playland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Museum of Fun. Designed and built entirely by volunteers, the 20+ interactive exhibits celebrate the magic and history of America’s bygone amusements. Our goal is to educate newer generations about the bygone days and allow those who remember Whitney’s Playland and the Sutro Baths the opportunity to recapture the glorious sights and sounds of that marvelous era.  Open Saturday, Sunday & Monday 10:00-5:00pm  10979 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito, CA 94530   Call for more information (510) 932-8966  www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM:  The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is a unique natural history and environmental education center where more than 50 species of live, native California animals are on exhibit.  Admission: $7 general; $6 seniors, 65 and older; $5 children ages 2-17; and free for members and children younger than 2.Winter hours: Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.  1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, CA.  For more information call 925-935-1978 or visit www.wildlife-museum.org 

PIXIELAND PARK:  This amusement park for children features pixie-sized rides, such as a dragon roller coaster, swirling tea cups, a carousel, Red Baron airplanes, an antique car ride and a miniature train, among other attractions sure to please the little ones. Classic carnival-style food and souvenirs round out the experience.  Hours (January & February): open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Feb. 21 (Presidents Day).  All dates are weather permitting. Admission to the park is free; ride tickets are $1.25 each (rides take one, two or three tickets) or purchase a fun pack starting at 10 tickets for $10.  2740 East Olivera Rd., Concord, CA 94519  Call for more information at 925-689-8841 or www.pixieland.com

FAIRYTALE TOWN:   A 2.5 acre children’s play park and outdoor children’s museum that brings fairytales and nursery rhymes to life! Located in William Land Park in Sacramento, Fairytale Town has delighted millions of guests, inspiring imagination, creativity and literacy since it opened in 1959.  Over 25 bright and colorful play sets, child-friendly slides throughout the lush grounds.  Home to a friendly menagerie of animals from the pages of favorite children’s stories, children can meet Peter Rabbit at Mr. McGregor’s Garden and see the sheep that Mary brought to school one day. Small gardeners can help water seasonal vegetable beds and seek out a sprouting alphabet of exotic plants. Small adventurers can join Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest’s extensive play fort. Children can go down Jack’s Beanstalk, ride in Cinderella’s carriage, and burn off extra energy walking on The Crooked Mile, a favorite play structure for many generations.  Fall/Winter Hours are Thursday-Sunday 10am-4pm weather permitting.  Weekday rates are $4 for anyone over 3 years of age.  Weekend rates are $4.50.  3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA  Call for more information at 916- 808-5233 or go to www.fairytaletown.org
 

RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN:  The three-acre Ruth Bancroft Garden displays 2,000 specimens from around the world that thrive in an arid climate. Included are African and Mexican succulents, New World cactuses, Australian and Chilean trees and California shrubs.  January through March 28 — The garden is open for self-guided tours from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every day that the garden is open 7 days a week weather permitting, and for docent-led tours at 10 a.m. Saturdays. Tour admission: $10 general; $7 seniors and students and free for garden members and children younger than 12.  North Entrance, 1552 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek.  For more information call: 925-210-9663 (tour hot line) or www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

JOHN MUIR NATIONAL SITE:  The site preserves the 1882 Muir House, a 14-room mansion where naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. Also part of the site is the historic Martinez Adobe, where the two downstairs rooms have exhibits about John Muir, the Martinez family and early California history, and Mount Wanda, a 325-acre tract of oak woodland and grassland historically owned by the Muir family.  Admission: $3 general; free for children ages 15 and younger, when accompanied by adult; good for seven days. The entry receipt received at John Muir NHS is good for same-day entrance at Muir Woods NM, and vice versa. A John Muir/Muir Woods pass is available to all visitors for $15, giving access to both parks for one year.  Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Parking at Local 1179 UFCW, across the street from the post office at 4121 Alhambra Ave.  For more information call 925-228-8860 or 925-229-3857, or visit www.nps.gov/jomu.

DIABLO VALLEY LINES RAILROAD:  The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society operates the Diablo Valley Lines Railroad, a model railroad that is HO scale and has standard gauge, narrow gauge, Alweg-style monorail and interurban (overhead electric) freight and trolley lines. Featured are nostalgic steam locomotives, modern diesels, a narrow-gauge logging road, and electric traction lines.  Admission:  $3 for adults, $1 for seniors and children ages 6-12, Children under 6 are free.  The railroad is regularly open to the public from 8-10 p.m. the last Friday of the month — Call for more information: 925-937-1888 or visit www.wcmrs.org.   2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek, in Larkey Park off Geary Road.

BLACK DIAMOND MINES:  Coal mining began in the 1860s at Black Diamond Mines, which was originally the home of several American Indian tribes. The preserve today features old mines and displays of the history of the area.  The entire preserve is over 5,000 acres and is big enough for some great hiking, picnicking, and other recreational outdoor activities. 5175 Somersville Road Antioch, CA.  For more information call (510) 544-2750

OAKLAND ZOO:  The zoo includes a children’s petting zoo, the Skyride, a miniature train, a carousel, picnic grounds and a gift shop, as well as the animals in site-specific exhibits, which allow them to roam.The Wild Australia exhibit with animals from Down Under, near the Outback Express Train Depot in the rides area of the zoo, is an Australian-themed exhibit featuring wallaroos and emus. Admission for the train is $2.50 per person.  Admission: $12.50 general (ages 15-54); $8.50 seniors (ages 55 and older) and children ages 2-14,  free for children younger than age 2 (special discounts for groups of 12 or more); $7 parking fee. Hours: open daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Knowland Park, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland.   For more information call 510-632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.

The Jungle Fun & Adventure is a premier indoor family entertainment center for children under 12 and their parents. We provide you with a “WOW” entertainment experience in our jungle themed 20,000 sq. ft. play facilities. You’ll find a massive play structure, a wide variety of hosted party experiences, skill games, homemade gourmet pizzas, other family dining choices and hands-on activities all in a fun-filled environment that is adult friendly, clean, and secure.  Parents always play FREE!  Monday-Friday all day Unlimited Play $7.95 Toddlers (1-2 years) $5.95, Saturday all day and Sunday before 5pm Unlimited Play $8.95 Toddlers $6.95, Sunday-Thursday after 5pm all children $5.95, Toddler Tuesday children1-2 years $3.48 all day.  1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord  Call for more information at 925-687-4386 or www.thejunglefun.com

BLACKHAWK MUSEUM:  The museum’s permanent exhibition in its auto galleries includes more than 90 internationally renowned automobiles dating from 1897 to the 1980s. Free public tours, docent-led guided tours at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  Museum admission: $10 general; $7 seniors and students, and free for children ages 6 and younger, and active military personnel. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. Call for more information 925-736-2280 or 925-736-2277 or visit www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

California State Railroad Museum:  Located in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. First opened in 1976, the 225,000 square facility houses many exhibit.   Beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives throughout history.  Some of the cars are open to board which allows you a unique look into the past.  Widely regarded as North America’s most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone!  The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.  $9 Adults, $4 children ages 6-17, 5 and under are free.  125 I Street, Sacramento, CA  Call for more information at 916- 445-6645 or www.csrmf.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS OF ACTIVITIES:

January 21-22 & 28-29 is the “Side by Side by Sondheim” — 8 p.m. Jan. 21-22, 28-29 and Feb. 4-5; 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 30 and Feb. 6. Presented by Hapgood Theatre Company. This musical review highlights the early works of Stephen Sondheim featuring songs from “Company,” including “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Follies” and “Gypsy.” Nick Rodriguez Theatre, 213 F St., Antioch. Opening night includes a champagne reception $35, adults $25, seniors and students $15. Tickets and more information at: 925-219-8545 or www.hapgoodtheatre.org

January 22 & 23rd at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach:  Professor B’s Flea Circus at 1:15pm and 3:00pm.  A live Flea Circus, Professor B has been training fleas from around the world for many years and has put together the most amazing congress of unusual acts you have ever seen.  Bring a camera and show everyone that a Flea Circus does exist.  Open Saturday, Sunday & Monday 10:00-5:00pm  10979 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito, CA 94530   Call for more information (510) 932-8966  www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org

January 22nd at 8pm is “Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles” — “Hotel California” recreates the music and mystique of the Eagles experience. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. Gold circle (first three rows) $40,  adults $28, seniors 62 and older $25, youths 17 and younger $15.  Call for more information at 925-757-9500 or www.elcampaniltheatre.com

January 22nd at 2:oopm the Brentwood Concert Band under the direction of Susan Stuart and Carey Hurst presents the 3rd Annual Benefit Concert for the Bruce Stuart Music Fund Performances by The Brentwood Concert Band and The Liberty High School Symphonic Band.  Proceeds go towards developing young musicians. Donations welcome! Liberty High School, Allan E. Jones Performing Arts Center, 850 2nd Street, Brentwood.  Reception to follow  For more information call 925634-3521

January 23rd the Black diamond mines are having  “Hazel-Atlas History Hike” — 9:30 a.m.-noon. From seaside to hillside to tabletop, this area’s rocks have been on a journey. Discover the region’s ancient and modern roots as we journey two miles above and peer into the hills. Ages 8 and older. $4 parking. 8 a.m. to dusk; 5175 Somersville Road, about five miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch. Call 510-544-2750, e-mail bdvisit@ebparks.org or visit www.ebparks.org.

January 27th is the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Black Oak Casino Trip — Meet in church parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and return 5:30 p.m.  Proceeds benefit church programs. Includes treats, games and a movie during the bus ride. $30; get back $10 for games and $5 for food. 500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood. Bill Goldsby,  Call for more information at 925-513-9309. 

January 29th the Lindsay Wildlife Museum is having a special event from 6-9pm.  “Wild Night at the Museum” fundraiser with food, beer and wine tasting, and dessert buffet; Peter Gros from Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” with live animals such as a black-throated monitor lizard, an American alligator, a kangaroo and a porcupine; fun and food for the whole family; raffles with great prizes; story telling, children’s crafts and face painting; and meet an alpaca and a photo opportunity with a Lindsay Wildlife Museum animal ambassador. $50 adults; $10 children younger than 18. Supports the museum’s programs in education and wildlife rehabilitation. Visit www.wildlife-museum.org/wildnight, or call 925-935-1978. 

January 29th at 6pm is the Hot Shot Crab Feed — Proceeds benefit girls softball programs. Food raffles and more. Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch. $50. Tickets: Call Kelley for more information at 925-382-7315.

February 5th is the Club Gourmet Pasta Dinner — Cocktails 5:30 p.m.; dinner 6 p.m.  Proceeds benefit community programs sponsored by the Ambrose Lions Club. Lions Center for the Visually Impaired, 175 Alvarado Ave., Pittsburg. $20; $1 donation for wine and cocktails. Call for tickets and more information at 925-709-0557 or 925-642-7158. If you need to order an alternate meal, call Ken Gurley, 925-642-7288. 

February 5th is the Deer Valley Band Boosters Crab Feed — 6-11 p.m.  Proceeds benefit Deer Valley High School band programs. Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, Sunset Hall, 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch. $45 Tickets:  Call for more information at 925-754-3520.

THE DARKEST DAY IN 456 YEARS…

20 Dec

Monday night will be the darkest day in 456 years….  North and Central America will be able to view a lunar eclipse this Monday night/Tuesday morning, December 21/December 22. 

This eclipse will fall on a winter solstice which has not happened for 456 years.   The winter solstice is when the Earth’s axial tilt is furthest away from the sun and is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. 

An eclipse of the Moon (or lunar eclipse can only occur at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow.  Some people are surprised that the eclipsed moon is reddish but there is a reason for that.  some of the sunlight passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and is bent around the Earth and towards the moon.  The shorter wavelengths of light is scattered and only the longer orange and red wavelengths reach the moon.  It is usually just enough light to cast a coppery red hue on the Moon.

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Partial eclipse starts:
Dec 20 10:33 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Total eclipse starts:
Dec 20 11:41 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Total eclipse ends:
Dec 21 12:53 a.m. Pacific Standard Time

Partial eclipse ends:
Dec 21 2:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time

THE MAGIC OF THE NUTCRACKER

15 Dec

The Brentwood Children’s Ballet Theater is proud to present the performance of the 2010 Nutcrackcer.

  • Performances:
  • December 18th    1pm & 5pm
  • December 19th            3pm      .
  • Reserve Seating is $15.00 and General Admission is $12.00

Bring the family for a great Holiday presentation of the Nutcracker.  To purchase tickets visit www.elcampaniltheatre.com

For more information go to www.brentwoodballet.org

BRENTWOOD HOLIDAY PARADE and CRAFT FAIR

18 Nov

BRENTWOOD HOLIDAY PARADE & CRAFT FAIR

November 20, 2010 at The Streets of Brentwood

The 28th celebration of the season sponsored by The Brentwood Chamber of Commerce. 
3:30pm the parade will begin at 3:30 and will go around the center of the mall. 
Dancers of all ages as well as dancing horses, karate teams, boy scouts, etc.
Kids Helping Kids Christmas tree lot will be open for business.
Holiday on Ice outdoor skating rink will also be open.
Craft fair featuring items from local vendors and nonprofit groups.
6:30pm tree lighting and an appearance by Santa.
 The Streets of Brentwood
2565 Sand Creek Road
Brentwood, CA  94514
call 925-634-3344 for more information
Information provided by:

MANY DIFFERENT CONCEPTS

18 Nov

Saturday November 20th at 9:00pm at Bon Gusto’s in Byron

Revolutionary music with Many Different Concepts

Straw Hat’s catering truck will be serving hot pizza.

Information provided by:

2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULES

15 Nov

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

  • Week 1      09-12 at 1:15pm           at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 2      09-20 at 5:30pm         New Orleans Saints 
  • Week 3      09-26 at 10:00am       at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 4      10-03 at 10:00am       at Atlanta Falcons
  • Week 5      10-10 at 5:20pm          Philadelphia Eagles
  • Week 6      10-17 at 1:05pm          Oakland Raiders
  • Week 7      10-24 at 10:00am       at Carolina Panthers
  • Week 8      10-31 at 10:00am        Denver Broncos
  • Week 9       Bye
  • Week 10    11-14 at 1:15pm           St. Louis Rams
  • Week 11     11-21 at 1:05pm          Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Week 12     11-29 at 5:30pm         at Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 13     12-05 at 10:00am      at Green Bay Packers
  • Week 14     12-12 at 1:05pm          Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 15     12-16 at 5:20pm          at San Diego Chargers
  • Week 16     12-26 at 10:00am       at St. Louis Rams
  • Week 17    01-02 at 1:15pm          Arizona Cardinals

OAKLAND RAIDERS

  • Week 1        09-12 at 10:00am     at Tennessee Titans
  • Week 2       09-19 at 1:05pm         St. Louis Rams
  • Week 3       09-26 at 1:15pm         at Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 4       10-03 at 1:05pm         Houston Texans
  • Week 5       10-10 at 1:15pm          San Diego Chargers
  • Week 6       10-17 at 1:05pm         at San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 7       10-24 at 1:15pm         at Denver Broncos
  • Week 8       10-31 at 1:15pm          Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 9       11-07 at 1:15pm          Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 10     Bye
  • Week 11     11-21 at 10:00am        at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Week 12     11-28 at 1:05pm          Miami Dolphins
  • Week 13     12-05 at 1:05pm         at San Diego Chargers
  • Week 14     12-12 at 10:00am       at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Week 15     12-19 at 1:15pm          Denver Broncos
  • Week 16     12-26 at 1:05pm         Indianapolis Colts
  • Week 17     01-02 at 10:00am     at Kansas City Chiefs

 

Information provided by:

HELP A LOCAL SCHOOL AND WIN A CAR

8 Nov

HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL BAND CAR RAFFLE

Win a new Ford Focus!  Help Heritage High School’s 20 member Drumline purchase their own drums to replace the six they have borrowed.  Heritage Performing Arts Booster is holding the 2nd Annual Auto Raffle on Friday, November 12th during half-time of the 7:00pm varsity football game.  Need not be present to win.

Only 300 tickets will be sold!  Hurry!  A minimum of 200 tickets need to be sold by Monday, November 8th.  Tickets are $100.00 each. 

The grand prize winner may choose $10,000.00 cash or the vehicle, 2nd place winner receives $1,000.00 cash.  3rd place winner receives $500.00 cash.

You must be 18 years or older to participate.  Business owners, your business will be advertised at band concerts and community performances for a ticket donation. 

For tickets or more information call Pam at 925-759-6138 or Kim at 925-642-7601

FREE FLU CLINIC 11-10-10

8 Nov

PUBLIC HEALTH WALK UP CLINIC – FLU VACCINATIONS

1-7pm Wednesday, November 10, 2010

-Everyone 6 months and older is urged to get vaccinated (unless you are allergic to eggs)

-Only on vaccine is need this year which includes protection against H1N1 and other flu viruses

-Children under 9 years of age may need a second dose of flu vaccine one month later

-Free Tdap and pneumococcal vaccines are also available for those who are eligible

Richmond-Richmond Auditorium – 403 Civic Center Plaza 

El Sobrante-Masonic Hall – 5050 El Portal Drive

Concord-Concord Centre – 5298 Clayton Road

Martinez-County Building – 30 Muir Road

Lafayette-Old Library – 952 Moraga Road

Danville-Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – 655 Old Orchard Drive

Pittsburg-Elks Lodge – 200 Marina Blvd

Antioch-Antioch Covenant Church – 1919 Buchanan Road

Brentwood-Old River Elementary School – 30 Learning Lane

For more information,

visit the Contra Costa Health Services website: www.cchealth.org or call 1-888-959-9911

 

2010 Election Results

4 Nov

Below is a list of some of the 2010 Election Results:

  • Govenor:  Jerry Brown
  • Lieutnent Governor:  Gavin Newsom
  • Secretary of State:  Debra Bowman
  • Controller:  John Chiang
  • Treasurer:  Bill Lockyer
  • attorney General:  Kamala Harris
  • School Superintendent:  John Barge
  • Insurance Commissioner:  Dave Jones
  • U.S. Senate:  Johnny Isakson
  • United State Senator:  Barbara Boxer
  • City of Martinez Mayor:  Rob Schroder
  • City of Richmond Mayor:  Gayle Mclaughlin

 

  • Prop 19 – Marijuana Legislation – 53.83% No
  • Prop 20 – Remove Legislation From Redistricting – 61.15% Yes
  • Prop 21 – $18 Surcharge to Fund State Parks – 58.10% No
  • Prop 22 – Restrict State Access to Funds – 60.95% Yes
  • Prop 23 – Suspend Greenhouse Gas Law – 61.08% No
  • Prop 24 – Repeal Business Tax Reduction – 58.48%No
  • Prop 25 – Change Budget Vote Requirement – 54.74% Yes
  • Prop 26 – Increase Vote Requirement for State Charges – 52.81% Yes
  • Prop 27 – Return Redistricting Solely to Legislature – 59.40% No

 

  • J-John Swett USD Parcel Tax – 55.99% Yes
  • K-Martinez USD Bond – 64.88% Yes
  • L-Pittsburg USD Bond – 69.27% Yes
  • M-West Co Co USD Parcel Tax – 60.08% Yes
  • N-Knightsen Elementary Sch Bond – 54.40% Yes
  • O- Vehicle Registration Surcharge – 53.51% No
  • P-City of Antioch Transactions & Use Tax – 52.05 % No
  • Q-City of Concord Transactions & Use Tax – 54.51% Yes
  • R- City of ELCR Transactions % Use Tax – 59.06% Yes
  • S – Pinole Utility Tax Extension – 55.72% No
  • T -Pleasant Hill Utility Tax – 55.38% No
  • U – Point Molate Casino/Richmond – 57.51% No
  • V – Richmond Marijuana Tax – 77.36% Yes
  • W – San Ramon General Plan – 71.91% No
  • X – Bethel Island Parcel Tax – 59.05% No

 

  • Brentwood City Council – Steve Barr
  • Clayton City Council – David Shuey
  • Concord City Council – Laura Hoffmeister
  • Hercules City Council – John Delgado
  • Lafayette City Council – Don Tatzin
  • Martinez Mayor – Rob Schroder
  • Martinez City Council – Michael Menesini

This information and more can be found at: cocovote.us.com

DAY OF THE SPOOKY STREETS

28 Oct

SUNDAY OCTOBER 31st THE STREETS OF BRENTWOOD WILL BE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

The Streets of Brentwood will be having a FREE day of fun from 12-4:30pm. 

  • 12:00 parade and costume contest
  • 12:00-2:00 Face Painting
  • 12:30-2:00 Radio Disney Rockin Road Crew
  • 12:00-4:00 Delta Transit Haunted Bus
  • 12:00-4:30 Bounce Houses
  • 1:00-4:00 Tumble Time Bus
  • 2:00-3:00 Trick-or-Treating
  • 3:00-4:30 Children’s Antioch Music Academy Performs
  • Jumping Jacks Pumpkin Patch
  • Contact www.shopstreetsofbrentwood.com for more information.

3rd Annual Dogs on Parade contest to benefit the Contra Costa Humane Society.  

  • 8:30am On-Site Registration
  • 9:15am Parade/Costume Contest
  • 10:00am Other Contests (best trick, best singer, owner/dog look-a-like, smallest dog, biggest dog)
  • 11:15am Prizes Awarded
  • $10 or $20 entry fee for each dog, more information at www.cchumane.org

Information Provided By:

DOG-TOBER and CAT-FEST

25 Oct

“Dog”tober and “Cat”fest will be this Saturday October 30th from 12-5pm at The Shops at Fairview located at 3101 Balfour Rd. in Brentwood.

This is a FREE pet friendly, indoor fundraising event to benefit H.A.R.P. The homeless Animals Response Program.  All well-mannered pets on leashes are welcome.

Join us for pet adoptions, pet food drive, costume contest from 2:15-3:00, vendors, trick-or-treating, music and fun.

For more information call Doggie Depot at 925-516-7224

LOCAL NON-PROFIT BREAST CANCER FUNDRAISER

25 Oct
BARBELLS FOR BOOBS…A Non-Profit Breast Cancer Fundraiser on Saturday October 30th from 9:30am to 2:30pm will be located at Delta Cross Fit at 29 Spruce St. in Brentwood, CA  94513 (behind the car wash and across from Liberty High School.)  The cost is $35 if you want to work out and receive a fundraiser t-shirt
 
Delta CrossFit is hosting the Barbells for Boobs Amazing “Grace” fundraiser, the event helps raise money to provide funding for qualified women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures in the prevention of breast cancer. 
 
Workout check-in will begin at 9:30am the morning of the fundraiser.  Everyone participating will warm up together and the coaches will go over the workout and put everyone into heats.  Snacks and a BBQ will follow the workout.
 
For more information contact Delta CrossFit at:
http://www.deltacrossfit.com  or   925-642-5835
.
  • Provided by your local Realtor:
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111  
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116
  • www.eastbaycommunityinfo.wordpress.com

A WORD ON RATES…..

22 Oct

The best par 30 year fixed mortgage rates remain in the 4.00% to 4.25% range, for well qualified consumers. Rates below 4.00% are available but the closing costs/points structure is only advantageous to borrowers who intend to keep their mortgage for at least the next 3-5 years, otherwise paying points to float down your note rate is not worth the additional closing costs (ask your loan officer for a breakeven analysis). If you’re seeking a shorter term mortgage loan, the best par 15 year rates are in the 3.375% to 3.625% range.

Mortgage Rate Disclaimer : Loan originators will only be able to offer the lowest conventional and government (FHA/VA) mortgage rates if the terms of your loan do not trigger risk-based loan level pricing adjustments (LLPAs). If you do not fall into the “perfect borrower” category, make sure you ask your loan originator for an explanation of the characteristics that make your loan a riskier investment. (eg. credit scores under 720 and investment properties)

With exception to a few periods of increased lender competitiveness in the past two months, the best 30 year fixed mortgage rates have generally held steady in a range between 4.00% to 4.25%.

Information provided by your local Lender:

Your local Realtor:

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay
  • 925-634-1111  
  • Intero Real Estate Services – Brentwood
  • 925-634-1116
  • www.eastbaycommunityinfo.wordpress.com
  • OKTOBERFEST -and- BOOVILLE

    21 Oct

    For the over 21 crowd, this Saturday October 23rd from 9pm to 1:30am Discovery Bay StrawHat and Bon Gusto’s have joined together to bring you Oktoberfest.   You can join the party at Bon Gusto’s Bar and enjoy hot pizza and entertainment by classic & new age rock band SAVAGE LANDS.

    The Booville Carnival is also this Saturday October 23rd from 4pm to 8pm at the Discovery Bay Elementary School.  This event is open the entire community and will have a haunted house, game booths, prizes, food, fun and more. 

    Information Provided By:

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay/Brentwood
  • 925-634-1111   or   925-634-1116
  • www.eastbaycommunityinfo.wordpress.com
  • FINDING THE RIGHT HOME

    18 Oct

    Many things go into picking the right home and for each buyer the list might look a little different.  Neighborhood, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of the home, single or multi-level, yard size, age of home, local schools, and of course price are just some of the things to consider when looking at homes.  It is smart to start with a list of things you would like and then prioritize the list of most important on down.  It is important to decide what thing you must have verses which things would be nice to have.  Making this list and having a clear picture of what you are looking for will help you narrow down possible homes even before you start the looking process.

    The internet is a great tool in looking for homes that might match your criteria, using a Realtor is an important tool all home buyers should also utilize.  A Real Estate Agent can assist you in many ways and you can benefit from their knowledge and experience at no cost to you!  Local Realtors can have access to homes coming on the market before they are available to the public on the internet, they have knowledge about the community and market that can benefit you when writing an offer, they have access to local inspection companies, title companies, lenders, etc.  They can provide you legal protection on the purchase of your new home.  Realtors can schedule and assist in many of the home buying appointments saving you from having to take extra time off work.  Again all FREE of charge. 

    If you, or someone you know, is thinking about taking advantage of this great market…..Call on of our Realtors to help assist you.

    Information Provided By:

  • Intero Real Estate Services – Discovery Bay/Brentwood
  • 925-634-1111   or   925-634-1116
  • www.eastbaycommunityinfoblog.com
  • HALLOWEEN IN DISCOVERY BAY

    13 Oct

    The BOOVILLE CARNIVAL  will be on October 23rd from 4-8pm.  The Carnival is at the Discovery Bay Elementary School located at 1700 Willow lake Rd. 

    Come for games and prizes.  Enter the cake walk and take home some tasty treats.  Rock out with the goblin band.  View the children’s Halloween art displays.  Fun for the whole family, costumes are welcome.

    The HALLOWEEN PARADE’S will be held on October 29th this year.  Bring the family to see all the children in their costumes.

    The Discovery Bay Elementary school will leave the school on Willow Lake Rd around 10am and walk to the shopping center on Discovery Bay Blvd.  The stores and offices will pass out candy as the children “trick-or-treat” through the shopping center and back to school.

    Timber Point Elementary school’s  (located at 40 Newbury Lane) parade will start at the beginning of school.  The children will parade through the classes and around the inside of the campus.