Dollars & Sense

Long Gulch auction scheduled Friday

The proposed 1,158-acre Long Gulch development near Groveland, scheduled to include 372 homes, fitness facilities and more than 600 acres of open space, could be sold Friday at a public auction on the Tuolumne County Courthouse steps. The developer, Yosemite Club Partners, is in default in excess of $4.7 million and owes the Groveland Community Services District roughly $60,000 in expenses associated with the project. The district has filed a lien, and the board, at its Jan. 28 meeting, will consider attaching the property tax, GCSD General Manager Jim Goodrich said. "So, if the property changes hands (now or later) we will have to be paid before title is cleared during escrow," he said. The developer owes nearly $79,000 in taxes on the four parcels composing the ranch, according to the Tuolumne County recorder's office. The auction will start at 3:30 p.m.

No easy way to beat U.S. housing crisis

The Bush administration is working to combat the country's severe housing crisis, but there is no simple solution, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, above, said Monday, adding that a correction in the housing market is "inevitable and necessary." Paulson said the country was facing an unprecedented wave of 1.8 million subprime mortgages that are scheduled to reset to sharply higher rates over the next two years. He said this raised the threat of a market failure and was the reason the administration brokered a deal with the mortgage industry to freeze certain subprime mortgage rates for five years to allow the housing market to recover.

Starbucks bringing former chief back

Starbucks Corp. said Monday that it is bringing its chairman and former chief executive, Howard Schultz, back to lead a major restructuring initiative, replacing CEO Jim Donald. Starbucks said the leadership shuffle is part of a series of initiatives to increase shareholder value, which also include closing underperforming U.S. stores and slowing the pace of store openings. The company said it plans to take some of the capital originally intended for U.S. store growth and use it to accelerate its international expansion.

Coming Wednesday

For small-business owners, preparing for income tax filing season should start now -- not in April, according to Small Talk columnist Joyce M. Rosenberg.