From the Albuquerque Journal comes news of housing inventory, sales and prices.
The Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors reported a record 6,189 listings of resale attached and detached single-family homes as of mid-July. Throw in those that are for sale by owner or new and being sold by builders, and there's even more. (,,,)
As of July 20, the lowest price for a new home in Albuquerque was $121,490, and that was for 950 square feet on the Southwest Mesa, according to SalesTraq. That equates to $127 per square foot. In 2003, the lowest price was $80,000.
In Rio Rancho, the bottom barrel price for a new home is $157,990. That buys 1,294 square feet, SalesTraq numbers show. Four years ago, the lowest priced new home cost $86,000. "Albuquerque has been less expensive (than Rio Rancho) for new homes in the past 24 months," Murphy said, adding that the first-time home buyer is going to find the best prices on the Southwest Mesa, where resale homes can still be found for less than $100,000.
Read this critically a few times then go for a fly over in google maps or local live at the photo images of mile after mile of some of this bottom barrel record inventory - conventional, mass-graded development apparently reselling for tens of thousands less than new - brown stucco box, auto-dependent, single family homes only a short step up from mobile home parks. Try not to be cynical. This is affordable housing success. Try and think of cheaper than Rio Rancho as a good thing.
Afterall, what's the alternative? Solar condos with a view in a village center on a train line? Reinvestment and residential reuse of some of that overzoned commercial/industrial land inventory in the Heights and Valley?
Dreamer. Get real.
In opening scene of Ace in the Hole there is an electric streetcar. I wrote about the movie today in DCF.
I don't recognize the builidng but I do believe the scene was shot in downtown Albuquerque in 1950 at which point the street car did still exist, I think.
Interesting to speculate whether or not inclusion of the streetcar was intended by Wilder to signify Albuquerque as a two-bit town - old fashioned like the slow newsroom he enters. It seems progressive today.
From the Denver Post
MOJAVE, Calif.—A fatal explosion at a Mojave Desert airport during testing of a propellant system for a new space tourism vehicle has shaken a small community that prides itself as the hometown of the first private space launch. The blast Thursday at a remote test facility belonging to Scaled Composites LLC killed three workers and critically injured three others.
The company, headed by maverick aerospace designer Burt Rutan, made history in 2004 when its SpaceShipOne became the first private manned rocket to reach space. Since that milestone, Rutan has partnered with British billionaire Richard Branson to build a fleet of commercial vehicles dubbed SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.(...)
Rutan, who arrived at Mojave after the accident, is tightlipped about his projects and gave little information about the test. But he said it had been done safely many times during the SpaceShipOne program and had been done once before for the SpaceShipTwo program. (...) Rutan had been secretly developing SpaceShipTwo in a hangar closed to the public. He had not publicly released a schedule for completion of the design, testing and first launch. Rutan said the accident would not change that.
Branson has invested at least $200 million for a fleet of Rutan's spaceships to send paying tourists some 62 miles above Earth for $200,000 to experience the view from space and five minutes of weightlessness. Earlier this year, Branson told a trade show the new ship would be ready within a year and, after a year of flight tests, would have its first commercial launch in 2009.
As if she recognized her exclusion from the recent pet posting, number one housecat posed for this photo - staring exactly at a blank wall in order for me to capture her profile.
Domina* might be far more insulted by her apparent exclusion this blog's subtitle while I nearly deify the panting monster. But in truth I count her among the fiesty females for whom the whole thing is named.
*her pen name
River Bill Prompts A Partisan Flood
Courtney's Legislation Blocked By GOP
By David Lightman, Washington Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON - The proposal was simple, the kind Congress approves with barely audible voice votes every day: Give 25 miles of Connecticut's Eightmile River special federal status so it can get more money to protect water quality and different species.
But the bill to make that happen was defeated in the House on July 11, thanks to a fierce Republican effort aimed at hurting vulnerable rookie Rep. Joseph Courtney, D-2nd District, its chief sponsor. And its prospects in the Senate, should it get that far, are uncertain. The Republicans didn't want Courtney to take credit for passing a major bill because it could help his re-election chances.
Many Republicans, including House GOP leaders, said the Eightmile River plan would allow the federal government to easily seize private property - even though the legislation says otherwise. Still, Republicans - led by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., chairman of the House Republican congressional campaign - were concerned and launched a campaign to discredit the bill.
"Fuzzy language included in this bill may leave the door open for the federal government to use eminent domain to seize private property in this new designation," Cole told colleagues in a House floor speech.
Others joined the fray. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt's office sent a memo to members warning them that the bill "goes so far as to pass judgment on local zoning regulations and requires the National Park Service to pressure zoning officials."
The Property Rights Alliance, a private Washington-based group, warned "private property will cease to exist" if the bill passed, and Americans for Tax Reform told members the bill would allow the government to try to "steal land from private citizens and forever prevent its use."
But none of that was true. (...)
"This is an ideological crusade that says, `Don't confuse me with the facts or the law,'" Courtney said.
Read the rest of it here.
Or was it electric jets? Eclipse is on the front page again and again and again.
Eclipse Unveils Concept Plane
By Andrew Webb
Copyright © 2007 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer
Eclipse Aviation on Monday unveiled a new single-engine, four-passenger aircraft it will use to test the market for planes even smaller than its $1.5 million flagship Eclipse 500.
"This is just like when the car companies show a concept car at an auto show," Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn said of the Eclipse Concept Jet, or ECJ, a prototype developed and tested by a separate company under a cloak of secrecy.
It was made public this week at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture Oshkosh show in Wisconsin.
The ECJ features a single, top-mounted Pratt & Whitney engine and a distinctive V-shaped tail and is designed to seat four and cruise at 345 knots at 41,000 feet. By comparison, the Eclipse 500 seats six and cruises at 370 knots.
One aviation industry analyst suggested Eclipse should stay focused on its primary product, which has had plenty of delays. (...)
It sounds like Harry Potter with the surprise unveiling and the cloak of secrecy. Maybe Eclipse will make jets disappear. I don't read Rowling so I have no idea how the story goes. But.
What if the primary product is taxpayer provision of utilities necessary for more sprawl? Say, the far west side, including the future Eclipse site, represents Albuquerque's own little mini-Manifest Destiny. Promised land in the misty Reserve Area is now chopped into pieces. The kneecapped Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan is locked in a secret closet somewhere along with all those Shared Vision documents.
Land that was once outside of the sacred water service area and proposed for planned communities has magically morphed into more sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Outdoor storage over here! RV Parks over there! Gravel pits everywhere gravel gets! Or plain ol' housing.
On a somewhat totally unrelated note - I remember when Marty first shoved mechanized garbage trucks down everyone's throat in his first term I think it was - eliminating use of the alleys in the old parts of town and mandating the ugly oversized grey-black bins for each house. They seemed atrocious at the time. I think we're too familiar with them now.
They take over the streetscape on trash day, those garbage bins. We had other, smaller, arrangements for waste previously. The giant bins encourage filling them up and can't be lifted by a person if the truck were to break down someday.
They have warnings on them. If you should stupidly try to, say, place one on it's side to rake noxious weeds into it, or hose it out, that lid can eat your hand. Not that I would ever try to wash a garbage can. (Virgo much?)
And they aren't proper garbage cans any more - having lost all the quaint galvanized tin vibe.
Too big to be a can. Too small to be a dumpster. A friend of mine called hers "The Chavez" after Marty.
Still atrocious. Too familiar.