The rise in property values is going to translate to a rise in property taxes for some people, but it has two pluses it increases revenues for schools, cities, the county and it increases the equity of many homeowners or reduces the extent to which some people are underwater with their mortgages.
Perhaps most important, it's a positive sign for the region's overall economy.
A related item of note from the weekly briefing from the state treasurer's office: The average California homeowner in 2011 had a loan equal to 71 percent of the home's value. The median monthly mortgage was $1,015.
Measuring, monitoring our precious resources
The Central Valley is identified as one of the six hot spots in the nation for concern about the water supply, according to a report, "Water in the Balance," featured in the June 14 issue of the journal Science.
Using a pair of satellites in space, the University of California at Irvine's Center for Hydrologic Modeling suggests that unless there is coordinated and proactive management of water supplies, the valley could deplete its groundwater reserves within several decades, decimating food production and farming.
"We don't recognize the dire water situation that we face here in the United States," said lead author Jay Famiglietti, a professor of earth system science at UC Irvine. To read more: www.ucchm.org/pressreleases.
Meanwhile, a project by UC Merced master's degree student Andrew Zumkehr is featured in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. He found and mapped 111 million acres of abandoned farmland in the United States that could be used to grow biofuels.
Celebrating the mansion once again
It took longer than expected to refurbish the McHenry Mansion after the December 2011 fire, but we're glad to see it open again for tours and private and public events. We're sure the thousands of people downtown for Thursday's Fourth of July parade also will enjoy seeing the mansion back in fine form.
Save money, act now
Fill 'er up today: The state excise gas on gasoline goes up 3.5 percent on July 1, which is Sunday. And since it's going to be hot, hot, hot, you may want to gas up before, say, 1 p.m.