Daily Archives: November 13, 2008

Google Flu Trends tracks when flu will hit Arizona

Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in any state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.  Click here to view map and trends for U.S., Arizona, and other states.

Influenza (the flu) is a serious contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.  Millions of people in the United States get the flu each year.  Most people are sick for about a week.  Some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and may die from the flu.  For more information, click here.

CenPhoTV for the week of 11/13/2008

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living.  For more information, visit their website.

Light-speed computer connection between downtown Phoenix and Tempe will slash genetic data transfer time

[Source: Science Daily] — Hot on the heels of a new supercomputer, plans for a new light-speed data line between the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Arizona State University could slash the time is takes to transfer genetic information.  Accelerating the flow of information could help speed discoveries that eventually could help produce treatments and cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, autism, diabetes, and various cancers.

Because of the huge amounts of data generated by TGen’s experiments, it now take as long as 12 days using conventional cables to transmit 7 terabytes of information from a typical experiment 10 miles between TGen’s downtown Phoenix labs and ASU’s new Saguaro 2 supercomputer in Tempe.  But through a partnership between ASU and Obsidian Strategics Inc., an Edmonton, Alberta-based defense-intelligence contractor, the same voluminous data — the equivalent of 3.5 million iPod songs — soon could be transmitted in as short as 1 hour.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Roosevelt plants trees, holds 25 year anniversary party on Nov. 15

Roosevelt Row’s Trees First Campaign will be doing a tree planting on 6th Ave. in conjunction with the Mayor’s office and HandsOn Greater Phoenix’s Day for Downtown.  Cheer on the volunteers as they bring much needed shade to our streets.

  • Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008
  • Time: 8 a.m. to Noon
  • Place: 6th Ave and Roosevelt, Phoenix

Then later that night, you’re invited to the Roosevelt Neighborhood’s Silver Anniversary!  November 2008 marks the 25th year since Roosevelt was listed on the Historic Register.  It is the first Phoenix neighborhood to receive that distinction.  That’s worth a party, don’t you think?

Drink, Dine, and Party at CIBO and Palatte: Music, Festive Prizes, Special Wine Selections, Great Friends — both familiar and new.  Plus, each guest will have a chance to participate in the creation of a large scale mosaic painting commemorating the event.  NO cover charge!  A portion of food and drink proceeds will benefit Roosevelt’s Neighborhood Association (RAA), a 501c3 non-profit organization.

  • Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008
  • Time: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Place: CIBO & PALATTE, the Fillmore block between 4th & 5th Aves

For more information, click here.

Foreclosure rates up 25% year-over-year; Arizona in top 3

[Source: Associated Press] — The number of homeowners caught in the wave of foreclosures in October grew 25 percent nationally over the same month in 2007, data released Thursday showed.  More than 279,500 U.S. homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in October, an increase of 5 percent over September, according to RealtyTrac Inc.  One in every 452 housing units received a foreclosure filing, such as a default notice, auction sale notice or bank repossession.  More than 84,000 properties were repossessed in October, RealtyTrac said.

A nasty brew of strict lending standards, falling home values and a tough economy is filtering through the housing market.  By the end of the year, the company expects more than a million bank-owned properties to have piled up on the market, representing around a third of all properties for sale in the U.S.  The collateral damage in the financial markets forced the government to pass a $700 billion financial rescue package last month.  The plan was initially to buy bad assets from banks, but Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday that the rescue package won’t purchase those troubled assets.  That plan would have taken too much time, he said, so instead the Treasury will rely on buying stakes in banks and encouraging them to resume more normal lending.

Also Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston said the government may let more borrowers qualify for a $300 billion program designed to let troubled homeowners swap risky loans for more affordable ones.  The program was launched Oct. 1, but there are concerns that lenders won’t participate because they have to voluntarily reduce the value of a loan and take a loss.  In RealtyTrac’s report, three states — Nevada, Arizona, Florida — had the nation’s top foreclosure rates.  Nevada posted the nation’s highest rate for the 22nd consecutive month in October. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Big All-Star impact on Phoenix no slam dunk

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Thousands of NBA All-Star Game fans were expected to give metro Phoenix an $80 million shot in the arm this winter.  But now, amid a historic economic meltdown, it’s anyone’s guess how much money fans will spend.  The Feb. 15 basketball showcase at US Airways Center will draw fans to stores, hotel rooms, restaurants, and attractions, a welcome boost in sales for businesses and in sales taxes for city coffers.  Phoenix is buckling under an estimated $250 million budget deficit.

At one point, city officials had expected 125,000 to 150,000 fans and an economic impact of $80 million.  But some experts predict that at least some fans will spend less freely than they did in past years.  They may stay fewer days, forgo side trips to destinations such as the Grand Canyon or eat fewer pricey meals, said Robert Hayward of Warnick and Co., a national hospitality-industry consultant with offices in Phoenix.

Nobody will know for sure what effect the economic downturn will have on Phoenix’s All-Star Game expectations until January, when many fans begin to make travel plans, said Robert Tuchman of Premiere Corporate Events.  His firm sells travel packages for the All-Star Game and other major sporting events.  He said he expects corporations will scale back on spending. “If a company was taking 20 people, they are taking 14 or 15 people,” Tuchman said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

State arts commission seeks award nominations

[Source: Robert Booker, Arizona Commission on the Arts] — It is time to think about your nominations for the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.  The event continues to grow and grow.  Last year we had a record 900 folks in attendance.  Please consider nominating an individual, arts organization, or business this year.  The deadline is December 15, so now is the time.  Click here to find all the information you need to complete a nomination.  You can download the agency’s new brochure here.