Palos Verdes Estates – La Venta Inn

Palos Verdes Estates – La Venta Inn

La Venta Inn, Palos Verdes Estates 90274

La Venta Inn is a historical landmark building that stood alone on the Peninsula hillside after it was built in 1923, at the cost of $17,000.

The Inn was first called “Clubhouse 764″ but later had a name changed to La Venta (the sale) to represent the location where potential land purchasers were brought up to purchase a piece of property. In 1924 they were given lunch or dinner then taken to a cottage outside to close the deal.

The building was designed by Pierpont and Walter Davis. The property was surrounded by rare and exotic plants to show prospective owners the varities that could be grown here on the peninsula. In the 1930′s early La Venta visitors were able to enjoy both meals and some even stayed in the few rooms that were available. It became the black tie restaurant and weekend retreat for many Hollywood stars.The Inn later was primarly an elegant place for local residents to dine and celebrate.

The first wedding was held in1925 and is known as one of the best location for wedding parties. It has a perfect location with Queen’s Necklace views of the coastline from Bluff Cove all the way around the bay to Malibu. The Inn is currently open for private parties only.

La Venta Inn is located at 796 Via Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates, Ca.  90274.

Photo courtesy of La Venta Inn.

Palos Verdes Estates – Oldest City on the Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes Estates – Oldest City on the Palos Verdes Peninsula

History Rosita

The City of Palos Verdes Estates, is the oldest of the four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and was incorporated December 20, 1939.

In 1913, New York financier Frank A. Vanderlip Sr, purchased the land from the Bixby family.  His idea was to build a planned residential community, and he called out the famous Olmsted Brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., who designed Central Park in New York City, to help lay out this new community. After designing roadways, hillsides and placement of trees, they decided that 28% of the land area should be restricted to building.

Vanderlip’s plans were changed after World War 1, since monies were harder to come by. The division of land started, and the first home construction of Spanish design started in the early 1920′s. In 1923 deed restrictions were imposed and the outlined provision for development was started and governed by the Palos Verdes Homes Association, which in turn were liable for taxes on the parkland.  Soon after the economic crash in 1929, the Palos Verdes Home Association owed taxes to Los Angeles county and concern that the parkland might have to be sold to pay back tax dollars owed, the city voted in 1929 for incorporation. The new city parklands, were deeded by the Homes Association in 1940.

Still to this day, Palos Verdes Estates city government has been trying to keep the vision of the original founders in preserving and protecting the natural assets of Palos Verdes Estates uniqueness.

Photo of Palos Verdes coastline, courtesy of the City of Palos Verdes Estates.

Why choose me for all of your REAL ESTATE needs!!!

15 Reasons I’m the Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach Real Estate Agent for You!

 
  • I have a total commitment to providing excellent service throughout the real estate transaction.
  • I have exceptional knowledge of the local Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and surrounding Los Angeles County, CA areas real estate market.
  • As a real estate professional, I will be committed to negotiating on your behalf to help meet your specific goals and objectives.
  • I will engage in a comprehensive networking strategy to assist in the purchase or sale of your home.
  • I will go the extra mile for you to make sure your next real estate transaction is a smooth one.
  • I take pride in providing personalized service which means that I will be highly involved in the actual purchase or sale or your home.
  • I will utilize technology to better meet your specific real estate needs, whether you are buying or selling.
  • I will take on the difficult tasks to make moving an easy process.
  • I will assist you in finding the related services that are necessary to buy or sell a home or other property.
  • I will keep you apprised of current local real estate market conditions that can impact the purchase or sale of your home.
  • I engage in a corporate level of marketing to make sure that your home gets as much exposure as possible if you are a seller and that you find the perfect home if you are a buyer.
  • I work as a full time real estate professional which means you will have the pinnacle of support throughout your real estate transaction.
  • I will utilize my experience both in and out of real estate to let you attend to your family while I do the work making sure your real estate transaction is processed in the most trouble free manner possible.
  • I will respect your time and work with you so your busy schedule is not interrupted.
  • I will uphold the highest moral and ethical standards throughout any real estate transaction I am involved in.
 

The Hermosa Beach real estate and homes for sale request form covering the areas of Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and all other Los Angeles, CA areas.

 

Do you need professional real estate representation in order to find a home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach or in another CA area? Are you thinking about selling your home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, or Hermosa Beach? If so, I can help meet all of your real estate needs. Whether you have residential real estate needs, commercial real estate needs, leasing needs, or income property needs, please fill out the following brief real estate quick request form describing how I can be of service. This form will help me provide you with outstanding real estate service. Thanks again.

If you do end up choosing me for any or all of your real etate needs feel free to contact me at (310)686-4688 or email me Tuba@remaxpv.com. Also dont forget visit my business and facbook page which are both linked above in my main menu!!! 

5 Errors Home Shoppers Should Avoid!!!

Real estate professionals say they keep seeing buyers make the same mistakes over and over again in a home purchase. Among some of the common errors they see:

  • Unrealistic time tables: With a regular sale, “assuming you’re preapproved and it’s straightforward, you can probably do it in 30 days, but 45 is more common,” says Ron Phipps, immediate past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. But he advises home buyers to prepare for 45 to 60 days. And if it’s a foreclosure property, they may encounter lien and title issues that could cause delays stretching that to 60 to 75 days, even up to 90 days. And for short sales, that timeframe will greatly depend on whether the lenders have already agreed to it and a preset price, but it could take anywhere from 45 days to even up to nine months, Phipps says.

 

  • Ignorance with financing: Home buyers should learn more about the mortgage process, learn the terminology, and know what questions to ask in shopping around for the best mortgage rate. For example, Carolyn Warren, author of “Homebuyers Beware,” cautions buyers to never tell a lender, “This is my first time, and I don’t know how it all works — and I need you to guide me through the process,” she says. “It’s like putting a sign on your forehead that says, ‘Charge me more.’”

 

  •  “Trash talking” when negotiating: If the home is painted pink and the buyer insists it needs to be repainted, he could risk jeopardizing negotiations. Instead, Phipps suggests that when making an offer, buyers should stress what they like about the home. “Don’t make it adversarial,” he says. A price reduction should be talked about in terms of what the home is worth to that buyer, he says.

 

  • Getting in over their heads: Buyers may be tempted to stretch their budget in order to get the house of their dreams. Phipps suggests buyers don’t stretch themselves so thin that they miss out on having a reserve fund in case they need to make any unexpected repairs once they move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

 

  • No Reserve Fund:  After finally finding that “dream home,” what buyer isn’t tempted to stretch as far as possible — and drain all available savings — just to make the numbers work? It’s one of the big homebuyer mistakes, Phipps says.Often, buyers fall in love with a property, and they try to rationalize the decision, he says. “You need to be disciplined about it.”Too often, buyers set a price range and then fall in love with something that costs more. So they figure they’ll borrow the difference, Phipps says.But you need a reserve fund — something you hold back to address unexpected problems, like the refrigerator that quits in mid-July, or the “like-new” water heater that dies the day after you move in. Or the realization — after seeing the neighbors sunbathing once too often — that you need a privacy fence, pronto.”In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/5-errors-home-shoppers-should-avoid

If you do end up choosing me for any or all of your real etate needs feel free to contact me at (310)686-4688 or email me Tuba@remaxpv.com. Also dont forget visit my business and facbook page which are both linked above in my main menu!!! 

Movers Hold Home Owners’ Items Hostage?

It has been said that, next to divorce and the death of a family member, moving is among the most stressful experiences many people will have in their lifetime. Dealing with a bad moving company makes matters worse.

Federal lawmakers are cracking down on moving companies who try to hold home owners’ belongings hostage during a move — a scam that’s more common than many realize. Home owners will soon have more protection against this increasingly reported rip-off in the moving industry.

It usually involves a moving company providing a home owner with a lowball quote for a move. The mover then packs up the home owner’s belongings onto a truck and refuses to unload it until a higher fee is paid. Some unscrupulous moving companies are notorious for underestimating the weight of items they’ve been hired to transport and even resorting to extreme measures to squeeze a few extra dollars out of their customers — including holding everything a customer owns and cherishes essentially for ransom.

“Aside from being extorted for money, they may even damage your goods,” said Ada Vassilovski, vice president of online marketing and product management for Imagitas in Waltham, Mass., which operates MyMove.com, a resource offering advice for stress-free moves. “If you hire a mover to transport your goods across state lines and they hold your personal property hostage, you can appeal to the Department of Transportation and it now has the power to enforce fines,” she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

President Barack Obama signed a law last month that will benefit people who think they have been scammed by a moving company. Beginning in October, movers who hold home owners’ items hostage can be fined by up to $10,000 a day, according to new rules imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation. Starting in October 2014, new moving company owners will be mandated to pass tests on consumer protection and moving-cost estimates, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. 

“We are finally seeing recognition that movers holding people’s possessions hostage is a problem,” Vassilovski says. “I don’t think many people are aware of this being a problem, so it’s great this legislation is shining a light on it.”

The Better Business Bureau reports that among the 4,790 industries it monitors, moving companies are No. 10 on the list of those receiving the most consumer complaints. In 2011, the bureau received 1.2 million inquires and complaints against movers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on the other hand, received 2,851 complaints that year. The federal agency only counts interstate moves, whereas the BBB data includes both interstate and intrastate moves. Movers used to be regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, but in an effort to balance the federal budget, Congress eliminated that agency in 1995.

“This legislation will educate people that there is a problem,” Ms. Vassilovski said. “But if you are moving you need to do your homework to select a mover that is reputable and not chose one based on price alone.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/movers-hold-home-owners-items-hostage?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Hello blog readers!!!

Hello fellow bloggers and blog readers,

I just want to take this time to tell you a little bit about my self, my name is Tuba and I am a Real Estate Consultant with RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty. I have been an agent for over 25 years, I am also a member of the exclusive RE/MAX Hall of Fame, as well as the prestigious Platinum Club. I rank in the top 1% of agents in the business and my sales record will prove it. So if you are looking for a realtor you have found the right one. I am here to service all of your real estate needs so feel free to comment on this blog post if you are looking to buy or sell a home. :)

Enjoy this amazing pasta salad recipe and dont forget my service is almost as good as this salad!!!

1 12 tbsps white sugar
1 tsp salt (taste)
1 12 tsps black pepper (ground)
1 tsp onion powder
1 12 tsps dijon mustard
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 12 cups fresh basil (chopped)
12 cup fresh oregano (chopped)
14 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tsps hot pepper sauce (g tabasco)
13 cup red wine vinegar
12 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
4 ozs grated parmesan cheese
4 plum tomatoes (roma, chopped)
6 green onions (chopped)
4 ozs black olives (minced)
16 ozs bow tie pasta (farfalle)
12 cup pine nuts
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, mustard, garlic, basil, oregano, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Add the tomatoes, green onions and olives to the bowl, and stir to coat. Refrigerate.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and rinse with cold water to cool. Add pasta to the bowl of dressing, and mix well. Top with mozzarella cheese and pine nuts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

The 10 ‘Emptiest’ Housing Markets

Empty homes still plague a lot of cities across the country. In fact, since 2000, vacant properties have risen by about 43 percent nationwide, according to Census Bureau data. (Homes are defined as vacant by “unoccupied rental inventory” or homes unoccupied that are for-sale.) 

Vacant properties can affect home values nearby. For example, a study earlier this year found that a vacant home has the potential to decrease the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, according to the Cleveland Federal Reserve. In higher income neighborhoods, the impact can be even more drastic—possibly lowering nearby home prices by 4.6 percent. In low poverty areas, each additional vacant or tax delinquent home was found to reduce values of surrounding properties by between 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent.

The following are the six cities with the largest home owner and rental vacancies based on the last 12 months: 

 

1. Orlando, Fla.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.2%
Rental vacancy rate: 18.8% 

The emptiest city in the United States is Orlando, Fla. The 12-month average for rental vacancies stands at a staggering 18.8 percent, while in the first quarter of 2012 this number was 22 percent, highest in the nation. Florida’s third largest city also has an above-average homeowner vacancy rate, but this metric has been rising during the past two quarters, according to Census Bureau data. Despite its housing woes, Orlando has been able to avoid the financial woes of other cities, such as Harrisburg, Pa., and San Bernardino and Stockton, California.

 

2. Dayton, Ohio
Home owner vacancy rate: 5.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3%

The good news is that Dayton’s homeowner vacancy rate has been trending downward since its peak in the third quarter of 2011, when it stood at 6.5 percent. However, even this improving number gives Dayton the distinction of having the highest average homeowner vacancy rate in the country, according to the Census Data. And Dayton’s average rental vacancy rate, at 11.3 percent, is higher than the 75 city average of 9.2 percent. The Census Bureau calculations put Dayton’s gross vacancy rate at 16.9 percent, more than 6 percent above the large city average, and the highest in the country.

 

3. Memphis, Tenn.
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.1%
Rental vacancy rate: 15%

Memphis’s proportion of vacant homes, both owned and rentals, puts it third overall, thanks to an average rental vacancy rate of 15 percent that is the fifth highest in the nation and the 3.1 percent homeowner vacancy rate that ranks 13th.

 

4. Detroit
Home owner vacancy rate: 1.7%
Rental vacancy rate: 16.9%

Detroit was one of the hardest hit cities in the recession, and with an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent as of May, it’s little wonder that its 16.9 percent rental vacancy rate is the second highest in the country. Surprisingly, though, the homeowner vacancy rate remains below the 75 largest metro area’s average of 2.18 percent. According to the Census Bureau, at the end of 2011, Detroit had a gross vacancy rate of 12.2 percent, a level the city has virtually maintained since 2006.

 

5. Richmond, Va.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 15.1%

With a rental vacancy rate of 15.1 percent, Virginia’s capital ranks fourth among all major U.S. cities for empty rentals over the past year, with the first quarter of 2012 showing a 19 percent rental vacancy rate. However, Richmond’s homeowner vacancy rate ranks only 27th among the country’s 75 largest metro areas, and stands just 0.2 percent higher than the average for large metro areas.

 

6. Las Vegas
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.9%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.9% 

Over the past five years, the Las Vegas housing market has experienced one of the country’s most dramatic boom-and-bust cycles. The city continues to feel the pain. At the end of 2011, Las Vegas ranked second in the country for gross vacancy rates, at 16 percent, and currently has an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent. In the past 12 months, Las Vegas’ rental vacancy rates have dropped from a high of 13.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to a low of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent number available. Although Las Vegas remains one of the most vacant U.S. cities, homeowner vacancies are a bright spot, dropping from 5.5 percent over the past year to 2.3 percent in the most recent quarter.

 

7. Atlanta
Homeowner vacancy rate: 4.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3 percent

Atlanta’s average homeowner vacancy rate is the third-highest among major U.S. cities, standing at 4.2 percent. Fortunately for Atlanta, the rate has been dropping since early 2011, when it stood at 5.4 percent. The trend for rental vacancies has been worse for Atlanta, however, rising from 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 12.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

 

8. Houston
Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.9 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 15.5 percent

Houston is home to the nation’s third-highest rental vacancy rate over the past 12 months, standing at 15.5 percent. The city hit a three-year high for rental vacancies in 2009, when the rate rose to 18.4 percent in the third quarter of that year, according to Census Bureau data. However, Houston’s homeowner vacancy rate has been recovering, dropping below the average for the 75 largest cities for the past three quarters to as low as 1.1 percent at the end of 2011.

 

9. Tampa, Fla.
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 12.8 percent

It’s no secret that the Florida real estate market has seen better times — and the situation in Tampa appears to be getting worse. In May, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure activity in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area rose by nearly 111 percent from May 2011, with one home in every 304 in foreclosure. The rental vacancy market has been following this downward trend, with the rental vacancy rate going up or remaining flat every quarter since the beginning of 2011.

 

10. Toledo, Ohio
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.8 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.5 percent

Of the 75 largest U.S. cities in the first quarter of 2012, Toledo recorded the highest rate for homeowner vacancies, at 5.6 percent. However, in three of the past four quarters listed by the Census Bureau, that rate has hovered between 3 and 3.6 percent, significantly bringing down the city’s 12 month average, and its overall ranking in this list. Regardless, the 3.8 percent 12 month average still ranks Toledo as the fifth highest in the country for homeowner vacancies alone.

Article fromhttp://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/the-10-emptiest-housing-markets?xg_source=msg_mes_network

For renters, buying a home pays off after three years on average!!!

Home buying versus renting

Real estate website Zillow has a provocative data point for every renter thinking about buying these days: That move pays off after just three years on average nationwide.

The company, which lists for-sale and for-rent information on its site, has released a new analysis of what it calls the “break-even horizon,” comparing what it would cost to buy or rent the same home in a number of U.S. markets over time.

The rent-or-buy calculus varies widely depending on where you live.

In the combined Los Angeles and Orange counties, the magic number is 4.3 years, assuming the buyer has made a 20% down payment. Buying wins out after only 1.6 year in the desert community of Banning. But Newport Beach residents must wait 14 years for buying to make more financial sense than renting.

The analysis takes into account a host of factors potential buyers should think about when considering the leap, including the down payment, mortgage and rental payments, buying and selling costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs and tax deductions. The analysis adjusts for inflation and forecasts home value and rental price appreciation.

Zillow senior economist Svenja Gudell said the data should help homeowners get a rough and immediate sense of whether buying makes sense in a particular area in relation to their financial situation.

“For a home buyer out there, it is really tough to get a good grip on the buy-versus-rent decision,” Gudell said. Although buying a home is a deeply personal decision, she said, the analysis gives consumers “a sense for ‘Am I ready to make this decision?’”

The new take on the classic rent-versus-buy debate comes at a tenuous moment for the housing market. Many analysts believe that a housing bottom has been reached but don’t expect a return to the heady days of the real estate bubble. There is already some concern about the strength of the recovery, with home sales slowing in June as inventory remained tight and buyers paid higher prices.

At the same time, rents are rising, housing affordability is at record levels, and mortgage interest rates remain very low. These factors are prompting many renters to consider homeownership.

Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate, noted that the main lesson from the subprime mortgage debacle and the housing bust was that homeownership shouldn’t be pushed at all costs. Federal policy has been adjusted to support this new point of view.

“One of the things we have learned in recent years is, obviously, house prices don’t always go up, and even over the very long term in certain markets homeownership may only offer a minimal return,” Gabriel said.

“What we have all learned is to treat homeownership as a bit of a dangerous animal. You know it’s not always good, and it’s not good for everyone.”

Things to consider when buying, particularly in an slowly appreciating market, include how mobile will you be, your financial situation, marital status, career goals and personality, Gabriel said.

Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, added that in many regions buying has become increasingly attractive compared with renting. There are also non-financial reasons for buying.

“I can enjoy living in this house for the rest of my life, and nobody can throw me out of it,” he said. “You are consuming something, and you have control over it, and control has some value.”

Zillow’s analysis, which covered more than 200 metropolitan areas and 7,500 U.S. cities, found that buying is a better financial decision than renting in the Riverside-San Bernardino area if you live in the home for at least two years. That rises to 3.2 years in the area including Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

The San Francisco metropolitan area’s break-even score of 5.9 years encompasses a range from two years to 24.3 years.

Council seeks scaled-down plan for Lower Hesse Park

Basketball and tennis courts may be out and more picnic area in when it comes to planned improvements to the lower portion of Hesse Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.

On July 17, the city council instructed city staff to draft a scaled-down version of the park improvement plans after hearing testimony from residents opposed to the athletic courts.

However, the council also called for keeping the courts in an environmental review of the plan to give the city the option to construct them if it chooses to.

“We would be looking at a worst case environmentally,” said Eduardo Schonborn, a senior planner for the city. “It’s a lot easier to evaluate the most we might do and then reduce it later.”

The council authorized $63,628 for an environmental review called a mitigated negative declaration. A total of $56,882 of that amount has already been paid to the environmental consulting firm Willdan Engineering for technical studies, including a traffic impact analysis, noise assessment, gnatcatcher survey and a biological assessment of the planned improvements.

The plan is called the Pacific Plan to differentiate it from another option the council considered when it first directed city staff to develop a scenario for park improvements in November of 2010. In addition to the basketball and tennis courts, the Pacific Plan includes improvements to the existing trail system, landscaping, picnic benches, repair of a pedestrian bridge and the establishment of lawn spaces.

Council members voted to direct staff to develop a scaled-down version of the plan after hearing testimony from several residents, including Pacific View Homeowners Association President John Freeman, who has lived near the park for three decades.

“We have all along advocated for passive recreation improvements in the lower part of the park,” Freeman said this week. “That was how the park was originally designed more than 30 years ago, with active recreation in the upper park and passive in the lower.”

The upper section of Hesse Park includes a field used for both baseball and soccer, a playground, a community center (where the council meets), picnic benches and a looped walking path.

Freeman said that the homeowners association objected to the courts because fencing and trees would block ocean views and the pouring of so much concrete would spoil the park’s natural ambiance. Instead, the association would like to see an expanded grassy picnic area.

“There is an understanding that the park needs improvements,” he said. “It just doesn’t need to be done with overdevelopment.”

Freeman said the neighbors are not opposed to more people using the park, and in fact would like to see the area made more enjoyable for families looking to have a picnic, take a walk or enjoy the sunset.

Freeman also pointed out that construction of the project, which is currently unfunded, will be less expensive without the courts. The city staff report stated that the Pacific Plan would cost $2,770,041. Taking the courts out of the plan would save $120,000, according to the report.

To develop the scaled-down plan, Freeman and other members of the community will work with city staff, including Katie Howe, administrative analyst for the city’s Recreation and Parks department.

Howe said the city has heard from residents who want both active and passive recreational amenities at the park. She did not completely rule out the inclusion of the basketball and tennis courts.

“Nothing is really set in stone until we sit down and talk,” Howe said.

Two years ago, 866 residents responded to a city survey regarding proposed improvements at the park, which at that time included a possible dog park and more sports fields.

Fifty-eight percent of those responding voted for walking trails, while 77 and 75 percent opposed tennis and basketball courts, respectively. More than 68 percent were against a dog park.

Senior planner Schonborn said that as the Recreation and Parks staff works on the scaled-down plan, the consultant will finish the environmental report, which will then be posted for public comment for 30 days before being presented to the city council for review.

If the council were to approve the environmental report and the design plan, it would then have to identify funding for the park and prioritize it on the city’s list of unfunded projects.

Article from http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2012/08/03/local_news/news1.txt

Peninsula High Schools Validictorian Meets the President!!!

After receiving his diploma at Peninsula High School’s graduation ceremony last week, Valedictorian David Wang prepared for a trip to Washington, D.C. He is one of 141 students in the country selected as a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar, one of the nation’s highest honors that can be bestowed upon a high school student. Wang and his fellow Scholars will be honored during a reception in Washington on June 16.

During a three-day trip, the scholars will meet President Barack Obama and other dignitaries, and will have a chance to mingle among themselves.

“It’s an amazing honor to meet the president,” Wang told the News, “and I’m pretty excited to meet my fellow Presidential Scholars. They are the best of the brightest students in the country.”

More than 3,300 students nationwide qualified for the award this year. After his invitation to apply for the award and the comprehensive selection process that followed, Wang learned in May that he had been named a Presidential Scholar, one of six from California.

While four of the California scholars were recognized for their accomplishments in the arts, Wang and a second scholar were chosen for their achievements in academics.

“He has an innate drive to aim big, whether he is working to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, to earn the position of top scorer in Academic Decathlon, to head a winning Model UN debate team or to merit first place in an essay contest,” said Jill Verenkoff, an English teacher at Peninsula High School. “David is an old soul who is driven by the internal motivation to learn, to achieve and to excel in highly diverse areas.”

The Harvard-bound freshman has juggled a strenuous academic load — advanced placement classes, captain of the Academic Decathlon team for two years (recently leading the first team from Peninsula in decades to the state competition) — and a hefty volunteer schedule.

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Wang spent a number of hours two years ago leading a project at George F Canyon, including refurbishing areas of the preserve, making trail markers and building benches. He also volunteers at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Wilmington as a patient liaison, helping to make patients feel comfortable and playing the violin for them.

Wang also works as a student researcher in the department of molecular cell and developmental biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. There, he’s helping to conduct research on genetically engineered bacteria.

He got the position at UCLA after his work last summer in a young scholars program at the University of California, Davis, also helping with research.

“It’s a six-week program in which they pair up students with various faculty members from UC Davis … and at the end you present the research you did over the six weeks at a symposium. I used my experience there, my credentials, to get this position at UCLA. I’m really thankful to have that opportunity.”

He hasn’t settled on a major at Harvard yet, but Wang said he wants to study in some field of biology, his favorite area of science.

“There’s a concentration at Harvard called human regenerative biology that sounds really interesting; if not that, maybe biomedical engineering,” he said.

Although Wang’s interest lies in science, it was Verenkoff, his English teacher, who inspired his him most during his high school career.

“The impact she’s had on my growth as a student and as a person cannot really be overstated. I can honestly say that she taught me to write. Not just to write, but to write fairly well,” he said.

Within today’s highly structured curriculum standards, Verenkoff has created an environment that was open and creative. Students are not confined by limited means of expression and ways of learning, Wang said.

“She’s more than a teacher; she’s a mentor to many students,” Wang said.

This is the second consecutive year Verenkoff has been selected as the most influential teacher by a Presidential Scholar. David Tang-Quan, a 2011 Peninsula graduate and the school’s first Presidential Scholar, chose her as well.

“Being named the most influential teacher by a Presidential Scholar award recipient two years in a row has left me dumbfounded,” Verenkoff said. “Peninsula High School has so many extraordinary counselors, teachers and administrators that I cannot fathom why I was singled out. I do know that teaching is in my blood, an internal calling that, at the end of my career, has left me with great satisfaction.”

Verenkoff, Wang said, helped guide him through “the complexities of the academic demands.”

“Students are forced to juggle ever-increasing amounts of school work and extracurricular activities,” he said. “Maybe there needs to be a paradigm shift in how we view accomplishments and achievements among students, especially teenagers who are expected to accomplish amazing things, things that a few decades ago would be unthinkable.”

Article from http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2012/06/18/local_news/news3.txt