Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend round-up

The first weekend round-up in a while. A few of these are from today's ABC:

The ABC has an article on the Police Department's renewed efforts to tackle the panhandling situation downtown. It is similar to an article I discussed previously, but it does mention a few things the police are going to do:
The problem officers often have with the enforcement of the city’s existing panhandling laws, Williams said, is the lack of a victim willing to prosecute offenders. Williams said police will increase their presence and use undercover officers posing as tourists to conduct sting operations.

Williams declined to discuss the program further until a formal announcement could be made.

Williams told hoteliers the plan was not solely to net arrests. The plan would also include efforts to educate visitors about the tactics of aggressive panhandlers and to make clear to would-be panhandlers that the city enforces its code.
Undercover officers? Part of me is disappointed that it will take that kind of man-power to do anything about the panhandling. I mean, I'm sure there are violent crimes and robberies that could be investigated by those officers. But, it takes what it takes and I think in the big picture it is very important to get rid of the panhandlers.

Surprise, condo sales are down. Actually, I am surprised that some projects are selling as well as they are:
Of the top-selling condo projects, Novare Group Inc.’s 378-unit Viewpoint in Midtown ranked No. 1 with 84 sales in the first half of 2008. Cobblestone @ Brookhaven was second with 44 sales and Tribute Lofts was third with 28 (of which 27 sold at a steep discount via auction).
84 sales over six months means that Viewpoint averages 14 sales per month, which I think is pretty respectable in the current climate. Still, its not great when you consider how many units they have to sell. At 14 units/month, it would take 2.25 years to sell 378 units. (Obviously Viewpoint has sold a lot of units already, so I'm not saying it will be selling for that long.)

Richard Green had an interesting post a few days ago about how increasing gas prices might devalue your SUV (in addition to normal depreciation). Probably avoid reading this if you own an SUV...

Have a great weekend! I start a new semester of classes next week, so we'll see how posting holds up under a full semester. (Note to self: only start blog fights in between semesters.)

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