Daily Archives: October 30, 2009
[Source: G. Scott Thomas, Phoenix Business Journal] — Los Angeles continues to suffer the nation’s worst employment losses, with 220,000 of its jobs disappearing during the past year, but Phoenix was hit with the biggest percentage drop, according to a report issued Wednesday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Phoenix lost 8.0 percent of its job base during the past year. The runners-up for that unhappy distinction were Detroit (down 7.8 percent) and Boise, Idaho (down 7.6 percent).
Los Angeles registered the largest raw decline of any labor market between September 2008 and the same month this year. New York City and Chicago were close behind with respective year-to-year losses of 216,400 and 207,800 jobs. Ninety-nine of the nation’s 100 biggest markets experienced declines. The sole exception was the McAllen-Edinburg area on the Texas-Mexico border, which added 3,100 jobs in the past 12 months. [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix, Los Angeles lead list of job losers.]
On Tuesday, November 17 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon hosts his annual “state of downtown.” With the theme of “Dining in the Streets,” the event will take place at Civic Space Park (light rail stations at Central/1st avenues and Van Buren Street). More details to follow.
A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living. For more information, visit their website. (Welcome back Jacqui and Dave!)
[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Business Gazette] — Uncut weeds, graffiti, outdoor piles of junk: These are the norms in the world of blight remediation. But a new, potentially more dangerous problem has emerged as the economy has declined. Vacant homes, usually the subjects of foreclosure, are keeping the city’s team of 43 blight inspectors on their toes.
At a recent Neighborhood Services Department presentation of its program, Put the Diamond Back Into Your Neighborhood, about 20 people showed up at the Paradise Valley Community Center to hear what the city offers and to share issues they are facing. Of those who spoke, each was concerned about abandoned homes, whether down the street, on the next block, even next door.
The concerns were different from the kinds of things Neighborhood Services inspectors usually see. Vacant homes often present a combination of more common violations. “It is absolutely a growing problem,” said Patrick Ravenstein, a neighborhood-preservation supervisor who presented the program.
He said the department’s normal concerns are related to trash and debris, outdoor storage, untamed or dead vegetation, broken fences, junk cars, vehicles parked on surfaces that are not dustproof, graffiti, and open, vacant structures. He pointed out that residents can play a big role in keeping up their neighborhoods when those kinds of problems crop up.
Some neighborhoods do quarterly cleanups, which the city supports with tools and trash bins. Some groups have landscape crews that assist with maintaining properties for people who are unable to do so. Individuals get involved by painting over graffiti, with supplies from the city. A new program from the city is Blight Busters, which trains individuals or groups to lead neighborhood efforts. [Note: Read the full article at Big problem for Phoenix: Abandoned homes.]