Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rounding Up Business

With tumultuous times in the home buying market, it seems loans are harder and harder to come by. The media has played it's role in the scare tactics that have been placed in front of potential home buyers but I tend to disagree with their point of view.

I have learned in my profession that living in a "declining" state may not be the bleak forecast many of your are lead to believe. For example, in Oregon, if just one county is in a declining market, then for the sake of simplicity, the entire state is labeled as being in decline. That doesn't mean your area is declining or even the area you are looking to relocate to.

As I have posted before, if you can purchase, do! In declining markets prices may dip but rest assured they will rise again. I don't believe any home that was purchased 20 years ago or even 10 years ago has a value less than the selling price. Especially if you look to be in your property for several years, don't be afraid to take the leap and buy.

Another reason to take the leap is that for awhile now, rates will not be any lower. At Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., we are lucky to have a team of advisers who steadily throughout the day provide us with insight as to current market trends which allow us to better advise our clients as to what the next move should be.

As I started to say, programs for home loans are being cut every day. But what you may not know is that lenders are also looking for solutions to the first time home buyer to get their home with little to know money down. There is a way.

I am so proud to work where I do where integrity is abundant. I specialize in taking the first time home buyer by the hand and walking them through the home buying process. If there is a way, I can find it. So if you live in Washington or Oregon and you are interested in learning if you can buy a home, give me a call. I'll be glad to advise you on the next step. Now is not the time to get caught with second rate lenders who sell you a bill of goods only for you to find that the deal wasn't as great as you originally thought.

Monday, May 26, 2008

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today I just got angry. I have not been a Hillary hater. But I have clearly not been a Billary supporter either. I was a big Edwards fan and those of you who have followed my blog know this. But since his dismissal I've fallen back on a favorite since the last Democratic convention. My only fear was whether or not this was his time.

I am now convinced that it is. The only thing that could make me happier is if he chose John Edwards as his running mate, something I am told will likely never happen. Heaven help you all if it does because I will become insufferable!

Back to Billary. She's been caught in some unfortunate lies and actions that have painted her in a less than perfect light. I've been told since I was a kid that if it walks like a duck, talk likes a duck, chances are, it's a duck. And now, her desire for sheer limelight is just beginning to agrivate me.

Some say she's lining herself up in the event that Obama does badly or to unseat McCain in 12. Whatever the reason, say goodnight already, IRENE! Staying in the race can only paint her in a negative light at this point. It's like the kareoke person who won't sit down, the bad comedian who keeps telling the same sad jokes over and over again and if it were the Gong Show I would have reached for the hammer a month ago. Once she saw after the last big delegate day that her hopes were imminently dashed, grace says she should have taken her final bow.

Now, today I have to ask myself....If she cannot unify her own party at this point, what makes anyone think she can unify this country? I would have far more respect for her and give her a harder look in 2012, if it were warranted, if she handled herself in a manner that gave me reason to do so. At this point, she is Uncle Sal who stays too long after Thanksgiving dinner to the point where you roll your eyes, offer to drive him home and do whatever it takes for him to end his overstated welcome.

The reasonable thing for her to do is bow out, support her candidate, back him with all her might, tell the truth and put herself in a good place to run again in 8 years when Obama has finished his term. If she were willing to so, I'm betting he would repay the favor and back her whole heartedly.

Come on Hillary. Do what's best for your party to support it and stop expecting it to support you. In doing so, you may just give yourself another chance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mr. President in Pendleton Oregon

Do We Want This in the White House?

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, (Terry)McAuliffe referred to surveys of voters as they left their polling places which showed Clinton running most strongly among less-educated white voters, among whom she won nearly 75 percent support.

Friday, May 16, 2008


By Laura Zuckerman Mon May 12, 8:15 PM ET
SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - In the classic Hollywood western, a cowboy portrayed by John Wayne gallops across the sagebrush steppe and rocky ridges of the American West with only his horse for a companion.

What the films don't show is the cowboy buying and hauling hay for his horse, or what happens to the horse when it is too aged, infirm or irascible to ride.

Those more mundane details are at the heart of a debate about growing cases of mistreatment of horses in the United States, at a time when hay and grain prices are skyrocketing and when options for disposing of unwanted horses are dwindling.

Just a year ago, the sale of an average horse suitable for recreation -- one with neither prized bloodlines nor a performance record to heighten its status -- would have fetched several thousand dollars.

Today, prices in some cases have dropped to just hundreds of dollars, largely because of higher costs for their maintenance and transport.

The situation for marginal horses -- horses whose poor physical condition or disposition makes them targets for slaughter -- is even worse, after a court ruling sought by animal-rights groups effectively shut down the U.S. horse slaughter industry last year.

The result is that a growing number of unwanted horses are being starved or turned loose to fend for themselves in the U.S. West, according to animal welfare advocates.

"What concerns me is a fate worse than slaughter," said Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an authority on the handling of livestock such as horses. "We've got people turning horses loose in fields, dropping horses off in the night -- my worst nightmares are coming true."

Such images have strong resonance in the West, the land of the rider on the range immortalized in art by Frederic Remington and in popular culture by actors such as the late President Ronald Reagan.

Far from Kentucky, where thoroughbreds race the Churchill Downs, owning a horse in the West is a middle-class occupation. The average horse owner rides for recreation and keeps their horse on their own land or land rented for the purpose, rather than at a commercially run barn.

Horses eat hay made from either grass or alfalfa, or a mix of both, and a modest amount of grain. Prices fluctuate, but in east central Idaho, hay prices have risen to $145 from $120 per ton a year ago, a jump of 21 percent. In northern Idaho it costs $220 per ton and as much as $300 per ton in parts of California. Feeding a horse can cost $2,000 a year or more.

The West is also the region where the historic practice of releasing domesticated horses into the wild -- first by Spanish explorers and last by ranchers -- gave rise to the herds of Mustangs, or feral horses, that still inhabit the vast public lands of Western states.

But the romantic concept of freeing a tamed horse to roam the West's wide open spaces bears no resemblance to the reality, said Kirk Miller, livestock investigator in Idaho and Montana for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"They have no survival instinct in the wild, no clue as to what's dangerous to eat, no knowledge of how to grub for food under the snow," he said.

Miller and Colorado State's Grandin are among animal experts who say the campaign led by the Humane Society of the United States to end domestic horse slaughter was well-intentioned but misguided.

Now the tens of thousands of American horses marked for slaughter are shipped to Canada and Mexico, where long, stressful journeys end in what some horse advocates say can be unduly painful deaths.

Most horses are slaughtered for human consumption, with Europe and Asia providing markets for their meat.

Some horse associations are siding with the Humane Society in its fight to end export of horses for slaughter altogether. But others are seeking to re-establish processing in the United States to broaden the outlet for unwanted horses and to ensure the animals are killed by a mechanical method approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the Humane Society, said for Americans to have their horses killed for their meat would be akin to sending their pet dogs to slaughter for human consumption.

But unlike its canine counterpart, a horse weighs an average of 1,000 pounds and disposal of its carcass after Humane Society-recommended euthanasia has become burdensome. Where permitted by law and where able, owners can bury carcasses on their own land or pay several hundred dollars in assorted fees to deposit the remains at a local landfill.

Those complications may be behind what state livestock officials and federal land managers in the West say is a spike in the number of horses shot dead and dumped on public lands.
Scot Dutcher, animal protection chief with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said the abandoned horse cases officials are addressing now is a ripple compared to the wave that may come.

"If it becomes illegal to export horses for slaughter, we'll be dealing with an equine tsunami," he said.

Meanwhile, officials at some sale barns in Montana are asking owners of especially old or underweight horses to pay the auction house if the animals do not bring a sufficient price.
And horse rescues, nonprofit groups that rehabilitate and place unwanted and often abused horses, are reporting a rise in the number of calls they are fielding and the number of horses they turn away for lack of resources.

"I could have 500 horses here tomorrow," said Brent Glover, head of Orphan Acres, an Idaho rescue operation that can maintain a maximum of 130 horses.
(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Eddie Evans)

Here’s another story on Yahoo News:[Message truncated]
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*BLOGGERS NOTE: On my local radio ag report, it stated that hay farmers are currently enjoying higher than usual profit margins. In my area, hay farmers are able to transport hay to the Willamette Valley for higher fees. I could be wrong but it seems to me that if hay farmers could go back to charging fair and competitive prices, possibly some of this abondonment and slaughter would end.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ned's Hula Hoop Tricks

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Unhealthy Life

Has anyone noticed how unhealthy life has become? Lets think about it.

We as a whole society are working more and making less. We work in toxic environments under florescent lighting and stale air. Our homes may be the same. We wake up each day not as rested as we would like to be and often times we try to stretch the kinks out of our backs. Even the foods we eat are not as healthy for us. I noticed grocery shopping yesterday that my cart was full of freezer ready dinners. I felt sad for how little I have time to cook these days. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not as good for us as they once were due to pollutants in the air and ground. Depressed yet? How about this...

I had a conversation with a friend the other night who said she has learned through a cancer work shop that to prevent the disease you have eat 1 lb. of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. One whole pound! Every try to do that? It's not easy. In fact, we joked wondering if ketchup with our french fries and the pickle in the tarter sauce we used to dip our fried fish and chips in counted. And lets not even get in the weight of society. That is discussed to death. Literally.

So now what. After Grey's Anatomy last week the phrase stuck in my head..."Be the change you want to see in the world"..... Ghandi I believe? But it's so true. Life is unhealthy. Stress, life, work, kids...the list goes on and on. So how do we be the change? Look around and tell me what you see.

Is there balance in your life? Are you healthy? Financially stable? Do you get enough rest? Do you have enough leisure time? Do you feel as good as you would like to? After years of promoting USANA to you, I now have something that delivers the full spectrum of health and wellness. If you haven't yet heard of NIKKEN, I suggest you look into it.

NIKKEN offers not only strong nutritional supplements but completley utilizes magnets in treating various ailments and discomforts of the body with amazing results. NIKKEN also promotes healthy living in your environment from top of the line air filters, water and shower filtration systems.

NIKKEN thinks of our four legged friends as well with joint supplements and bedding for you pets. Also, and htis was huge for me, there is a whole philosophy behind NIKKEN products and our equine friends. I have only begun to study that one and I'll keep you posted.

What I am loving is that as I talk about this, I have received tremendous positive response. And when I find someone who knows the products, even if they are not a distributor, the have continued to use the products for years and swear by them. I have even met a woman who feels her use of NIKKEN environmental and health products may have cured her cancer. I have another friend who wraps magnets on her horses and it aleviates any discomfort her horse may be experiencing.

I've only just begun folks but I will be sharing more of this wonderful product with you from time to time. If you want to know more or if I can assist you beginning a healthy life, please call me. 541.786.1613.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Eight Belles' death shows dark side of horse racing

by Michael Rosenberg

Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg is a contributor to An archive of his Free Press columns can be found here.

Updated: May 5, 2008, 5:54 PM EST 2569 comments

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Well, I don't know about you, but I sure won't watch the Preakness the same way now. Big Brown will go for the second leg of the Triple Crown, but my thoughts will be with the filly who should be challenging him.

Eight Belles is dead. She broke two ankles after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby, and since horses can't live after that kind of injury (for various reasons), she was euthanized on the track.

Eight Belles is dead. It is strangely appropriate that the second-place finisher is the one who died.

If Big Brown had broken his ankles after winning, he would have been the biggest story in America this morning. There would be many calls to rethink the sport of horse racing. There would be a national conversation about whether horse racing is a worthy sporting endeavor or unfit for a civilized society.

If a horse had broken his ankles after finishing last, it would have been one paragraph in newspaper stories — a footnote. Fans would not have paid much attention, because it would be easy to separate the death from the reason we watch the Kentucky Derby — to see who wins.

But when the second-place finisher breaks down and must be euthanized on the track, it becomes a nasty little thought that you can't get out of your head. You might just find yourself blocking it out and concentrating on the winner, but that will only bring guilt.

Why? Why do we put racehorses at risk for our own amusement? Where do we draw the line? I have done zero polling on this issue, but I suspect most people would agree with this statement:

Triple Crown

Kentucky Derby

It's OK to train horses to race but not OK to train dogs to fight, because the frequency of death and pain is much lower in horse racing.

Heck, that's how I have long felt. But what is an acceptable fatality rate? If Churchill Downs goes to an increasingly popular synthetic racing surface, which is believed to reduce injuries, will we feel better because we're doing something?

According to The New York Times, "Dr. Mary Scollay, a veterinarian at Calder Race Course, organized an equine injury reporting system for more than 30 tracks and has found that fatality rates have been lower on synthetic surfaces: 1.47 fatalities per 1,000 starts for synthetic surfaces against 2.03 per 1,000 for dirt tracks."

This is not just about horse racing. It cuts to the heart of our relationship with animals. It is a relationship that, for most of us, is steeped in denial.

Hunters love deer but also love to kill them. Chick-Fil-A cannily uses a cow as its spokesman — eat some chicken and you'll save the big lug. The quintessential American scene is the backyard barbecue, with slices of cow on the grill and the family dog playing catch. I'm not judging — I have two cats and eat meat. But try making sense of any of this.

Last summer, I joined most of the Western world in excoriating Michael Vick for his dogfighting operation. My feelings on Vick haven't changed. But I wonder, more than ever, about the level of outrage. Did we call Vick a thug so we would feel superior?

There is only one other major sport where we understand that the participants are risking death. That, of course, is auto racing, and it brings its own brand of denial. While we subconsciously tell ourselves that racehorses are just animals, we also tell ourselves that racecar drivers have a choice. They don't have to race. They choose to. It is a risk they are willing to take, and it seems almost un-American to try to stop them.

With horse racing, we pretend that it is perfectly normal for a horse to sprint 1¼ miles down a track with a jockey on her back and a whip in the jockey's hand.

In our minds, racehorses fall somewhere between Michael Vick's dogs and our own pets. They are there to entertain, but we fall in love with the best of them.

And when Barbaro or Eight Belles dies, we tell ourselves that nothing could have been done. The truth is that if nothing had been done, if no race had been held, then those horses would have lived.

We don't like to admit that. We'd prefer to think that these deaths are part of life instead of just a part of racing. We say that Eight Belles was "euthanized," as though we did her a favor.

But on the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby, the death of Eight Belles was neatly squeezed into a single sentence, in the fifth paragraph of a story about Big Brown's historic win.

Some favor.

Quilters at Elgin Opera House

The Elgin Opera House and Eastern Oregon Regional Theater (EORT) presents Quilters this weekend Friday night at 7:00 PM and Saturday evening at 7:00 PM at the Elgin Opera House just in time for Mother’s Day.

Nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical, the EORT version includes a diverse group of local talent bringing their expertise again to the stage in Elgin. Directed by Lynn Burrows, Quilters is “ostensibly the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters, Quilters blends a series of interrelated scenes into a rich mosaic which captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. Illuminating stories contained in various patches or "blocks" with music, dance and drama, the action depicts the lot of women on the frontier: girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness and death. But, with this, there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity. In the end, when the various patches are assembled into one glorious, brilliantly colorful quilt, the effect is both breathtaking and magical—and a theatrical masterstroke which will linger in the mind and memory long after the house lights have dimmed”, according to Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Once again the Elgin Opera House is delighted to welcome Becky Chelson back as the musical director for the event.

Chelson was on board for the highly acclaimed production of Beauty and the Beast at the Opera House in April. Elgin Opera House owner Terry Hale feels lucky to have Chelson back. “We kept losing directors due to illness and family emergencies”, say Hale. Hale and Burrows then asked Chelson to rejoin the team at the Opera House.

No stranger to Quilters, this will be Chelson’s third musical direction of the production. From Oregon City, Chelson has known Hale for a long time. “We have worked on four or five productions together”, says Chelson. “We always seem to work well together”.

Mostly working in professional and Community Theater in the Portland area, Chelson enjoys coming out to “this neck of the woods”. “I love it here”, says Chelson. “I enjoy working with the people here who really want it and love it. It’s very rewarding for me.” Chelson goes on to state that the Elgin Opera House gives many an opportunity here to act that wouldn’t otherwise have it.

Chelson is the recipient of the 2008 New Century Players Best Musical Director for her work on Little Shop of Horrors. Mostly working in independent theaters and high schools coast to coast, Chelson says this will not be her last trip to Eastern Oregon. “Terry and I will work together again this fall”, says Chelson. Hale is arranging another large production for the Elgin Opera House that is slated to run during the Cycle Oregon tour through Elgin. “I’ll be back at least a couple more times”, says Chelson. “I’ll keep coming back as long as they’ll have me”.

For more information on how you can purchase tickets please call 541-910-1117 or visit

Friday, May 2, 2008

Don't Wait...BUY!

Now how did I manage to miss April? Time flies when you are having fun! Right now, the alledged recession and the housing crunch seems to be on everyone's mind. The fed's dropping the rate did not bounce in the favor of interest rates as much as lenders like myself had hoped but we are seeing some relief. Moment to moment rate updates show that we are still on that home loan percentage rate roller coaster.

My advice to you? If you are at all in a position to buy, do it. Don't walk, run to your local lender. Rates will not get lower over the next 4-6 months. In fact they may get higher. And if I am wrong? You can bet they will increase in 2009. What are my predictions? I don't think we are on our way to the 13% rates we saw in the 80's but I do think the days of the low 5%'s are a thing of the past for awhile. Never say never. Credit is an issue with many potential home buyers today.

Lending investors are not as forgiving of credit issues and sub-prime rates have been replaced with FHA programs. It is possible for a first time homebuyer to get into a property with little to no money down with a motivated seller paying closing costs, yes, even FHA. I'd be happy to explain the particulars of this program if you are interested.

Let's not forget the big picture. We are still looking at conventional rates in the low to mid 6% range. These are still great rates. Take advantage of this if you can. Yes, home values are dipping for a bit. But if you plan on making your home purchase a long term investment, you can bet that as the value has dipped that it will again rise.

If you live in the states of Oregon or Washington and I can be of any assistance to you or help you prequalify for a loan, don't hesitate to call me. 541.786.1613 or email me at Good luck and it's not as bleak as it seems.