Our Historic Home For Sale

We Picked a Great Time to Sell Our Home

More info at:

Home Values Drop

Home values in America continue to drop according to

Zillow estimates home values from October 2009 to October 2010.

But values vary widely in different metro areas.

Nation declined by 5%, average value 178,100

Chicago declined by 8%, average value 200,600

Tampa Bay declined by 9.2%, average value 114,500

San Diego increased by 2.3%, average value 363,800

The American Economy

Proceed with caution

America’s economy looks set for a good year. But investors should beware the treacherous path beyond 2011 

The American economy

Dec 29th 2010

THE American stock market enters 2011 in a jolly mood. In the past four months it has leapt by 20%, to heights last enjoyed when Lehman Brothers was a going concern. Investors are likely to cheer a second consecutive year of double-digit returns.

This partly reflects growth elsewhere: American companies make a third of their profits outside the United States. But the most recent spurt has been driven by a sharp change in the outlook at home. At the end of the summer Wall Street worried that growth was grinding to a halt. 

Read the rest of the article on the Economist.

Job Loss

Jobs Jump Off a Cliff in the Nation’s Major Metro Areas

With the November unemployment rate up to 9.8 percent (up from 9.6 percent in October) and job growth down to only 39,000 (down from October’s 172,000), thenational jobs picture is dismal, dashing hopes that a labor market recovery is imminent. The picture in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas as of the third quarter of this year (ending in September) is equally bleak, as the latest BrookingsMetroMonitor shows. 
Read the rest of the story at:



The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is an excellent resource for economic development. 

Click on the link below for information about the IEDC.

The US is now the world leader in wind generated electric power, according to Wikapedia. We get about 2% of our electricity from wind now. They project that wind will generate 20% of our electricity by 2030.

This substantial increase is the result of a public private partnership of industry and government. Read the rest of the article at:

Another good article about energy in Wikapedia below:

My Birthday

Thank you all for your kind notes on my birthday Dec 1.

Notes from my parents on my 63rd birthday below. This of course has nothing to do with economic development and city planning, but I included it because my Dad's comments were pretty funny. The photo is of me in Marine Corps bootcamp, which well illustrates my forehead at 19 years of age. It also has nothing to do with economic development, but is also humorous.
Dec 1, 2010 Clif Hullinger wrote:

Happy 63rd birthday, Craig

The years do go by!  I vividly remember the first one.  You had made a long slow entrance into this existence and your forehead had been pushed back till it seemed like it was even with your eyebrows and your head pointed up and back.  I would have refused delivery if it had been an option and I went back to the barracks one sick puppy.  What a relief when Wayne Gray made a comment about head shapes on newborns.  The next day I saw a decided improvement and after 2 or 3 days, I decided it was good enough to keep!!   

Dad Here

Here I  am, your mother, and I don't remember anything like that! Probably because I knew anything born to Clif and I would be absolutely perfect. How many years have gone by since that fateful December day? We thought it was a shame that your birthday had to be so close to Christmas, because it might affect how many C gifts you would receive. (Such selfish thoughts.) Then Scott came along and he was born even closer to Christmas (Dec. 12)
Anyhow you have always made us proud. Keep on. 

My bootcamp photo illustrates my forehead at 19, which may have been close to my appearance at birth. My current look is again approaching that look. What comes around goes around. Beginning, middle, end.

Born Again.

Leadership Article from the International City Managers Association

Interesting Article from ICMA about  leadership from the middle of the organization.

"Develop your leadership capacity to benefit you and 
your organization. Executive managers at the top of the 
organization are too overwhelmed to do all the leading.  
The big challenges of the day (e.g., redesigning services 
in the face of our financial crisis, better using technology 
to serve and communicate with community, engaging 
citizens and building trust, finding and implementing 
environmental solutions) require leadership at all levels 
of the organization." 

             Read the Article at:

US Budget Cuts

Interesting Article and interactive survey in the New York Times. You get to figure out how to close the future US Budget gap with your recommended mix of tax increases and/or benefit cuts. 

I closed the gap with 23% tax increases and 77% benefit cuts. See how you come out.

Unemployment Metro Nort Port, Sarasota, and Bradenton

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for North Port fell 0.0 percentage points in September 2010 to 12.6%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage points higher than the Florida rate. The unemployment rate in North Port peaked in March 2010 at 12.3% and is now 0.4 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 11.4% in June 2010, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.5 percentage points.

Unemployment Rate September 2010 Month/Month Year/Year

National              9.6%             0.0        -0.2
Florida              11.9%           +0.1       +0.7
North Port         12.6%             0.0       +0.2

Note: Metro level data is not seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with September 2010 data as October metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Are People Really Fleeing Shrinking Cities?

Interesting Article in the Urbanophile about the shrinking of Midwest Cities.

Interesting Article in Planetcitizen About Sustainable Bulding Materials

Scientists in Spain and Scotland found that simply adding wool and a natural polymer found in seaweed to the clay of a brick makes it 37% stronger, and more resistant to the cold wet climate often found in Britain.
Another innovation comes from the world of concrete production, which accounts for a staggering 7-10% of global carbon dioxide emissions. When producing sustainable concrete crushed glass can be added, as can wood chips or slag - a byproduct of steel manufacturing. Whilst these changes aren’t radically transforming concrete, by simply using a material that would have otherwise gone to waste, the CO2 emissions associated with concrete are reduced.


Urbanization, one of humankind’s most successful and ambitious programs, is the triumph of the unnatural over the natural, the grid over the organic… Underway on a scale never before witnessed, one side effect of urbanization is the liberation of vast depopulated territories for the efficient production of “nature”. 

Bruce Mau

Great Quote from 

One of my favorite blogs about urban development.

Excellent and positive article

David Brooks, one of my favorite pundits, writes a positive article about the economic future of America.

Migrant Workers Cars

I thought the photo above was interesting. The photo shows the cars of workers in the fields near Point Magu, Ventura County, California. They look pretty modern.  

I worked for a short time with migrant workers on the east coast in 1966. No one owned a car then - they were transported to and from jobs by an entrepreneur who owned an old school bus.  So we have made some economic progress over the past 40 plus years.


Timeless China - Fisherman in the River

Fisherman in the River Surrounded by New Upscale Development

The pace of new development in China is incredible.

Urban renewal is underway everywhere 
in the prosperous cities of eastern China. 

Most of the new development is near efficient public transit. 

New developments are very well lanscaped. 

More Photos and Info about our recent Chamber of Commerce China Trip

Great News -Warehouse District - Major Announcement

Great News

Urban Village in Peoria

By Eric Shangraw
October 19, 2010
Peoria leaders unveiled their aggressive vision for the city's Warehouse District today.
The three-year old plan is becoming reality now that the city has ten million dollars from the Federal Government to get it going.

Eric Shangraw reports on the start of Peoria's new urban village.

Read the rest of the Article at:

Interesting Article on Chuck Eckenstahler's Blog

Interesting Article on Chuck Eckenstahler's Blog

Good Scoop on:

Chief Strategist for a City

Chief Strategist
City of San Jose

Kim Walesh oversees strategic planning, partnerships, and innovations for the City of San Jose—the Capital of Silicon Valley and nation’s 10th largest city.

Read more about the Chief Strategist at: