THE SECOND STORY | February 24th, 2011

Shredding and shaking it up!

First!  The Shredding part….bring it all on!  It’s free!  Rain, sleet, or snow it’s happening! I’ve had  a sweatshirt made to remind people to remind me of who they are. It’s tough to remember when I don’t see everybody all the time, so be forewarned.

Second!  The Shaking part…most of you know my daughter Sutter and her husband Sean (fondly referred to by me as S&S) live in Christchurch, New Zealand.  You may not know there was a super huge (6.3) but very shallow (makes it worse) earthquake there earlier this week.  They are fine, together, and cleaning up.  Power was restored to the house they rent this afternoon but water – well that becomes priceless unless you have generous friends!  And they do!

Christchurch (ChCh) is a mess and it’s tough because clothes and food aren’t needed.  What’s needed is a whole new infrastructure that is more seismic tolerant, including sewer systems. ChCh will never be the same.  But the essence and incredible land that New Zealand is will remain.

Now back home.  As far as Alameda’s infrastructure, our bridges have had some updating and it continues.  The tube(s) are getting seismic work done. Our main island sewage system needs a total overhaul.  ‘They’ say our gas pipe lines are okay.  Huge,diseased trees need to be taken down before they kill people and destroy property.  And last but not least….we need an emergency pumping system that gets water from the bay to all parts of Alameda if we become a real island, with no access.  Berkeley and Oakland have pumping systems for their flat lands. What is the plan for A-town?

Shake Quake Practical Knowledge (now that we’ve been through this drill twice since September):

 communication tips:  Skype is free when used computer to computer. But for a lot less money than cell to cell we’ve been talking my computer to her cell.   And Facebook – if you hate it for the daily trivial dribble, you may change your mind if you want to get word out quickly about  your well-being, or your family’s well-being.

-share your itinerary with lots of people: I could not believe when I got a call this week  from a woman who had just gotten back into the US from Mexico and had no clue where in NZ her fly-fishing husband was.  It turns out the guy was supposed to hook up with S&S and she thought it was last weekend.  That, I could tell her, was not the case.  Mutual friends gave her my number to see if he could be traced down.  Tough to do when cell connections are clogged or you didn’t figure to get international cell service or didn’t have a written idea of where your loved one was….c’mon.  Really.  REALLY. Turns out S&S were expecting him this weekend.  I encouraged the wife to redirect him.

add to your own earthquake preparedness box, bag, or whatever: Sutter and I have shared ideas on what we want now that we know what she knows.  I’m making a big assumption you’ve done the basics like water and some food and blankets and tools, walking shoes, and first aid kits for each car and house.
-a gas can to share fuel with others, get some for your car, or take with you when you finally get to the front of the line after 5 hours of waiting – hey remember the 70’s rationing lines?
-water containers in 2 gallon sizes so you carry them yourself if your don’t have a beast of burden. 
-work gloves to remove things that have fallen in your way or on your car, like the bricks from your chimney.
-a filled propane tank.  Don’t have a grill?  Contribute it to your neighbors who are letting you use theirs.
-baby wipes.  Don’t have a baby?  Don’t have water? Want to get refreshed? I just bought a huge box of smaller boxes with 900 of the things from Costco today.
-waterless hand sanitizer. Get it?  Waterless.
-pocket knife or multi-tool knives.
-serious cash on hand stashed away but accessible.  Your ATM and credit cards don’t work w/o power.

Here’s the bottom line.  You know you’d be willing to pay a thousand bucks for a way to get water, food, and warmth for your family.  For a couple hundred you can have them all ready and waiting, and not live a life of dependency or worry.  I don’t know about you but I’d rather be able to give than to take.  If we did that we could help more people and be happier campers if it gets to that point.  They say to plan to be on your own for 72 hours.  I need to get working on this even more.  Oh, have a neighbor or friends who own a motor coach.  Good for emergencies.

Alameda real estate this week…
Well, it’s not Alameda, but my client’s folks’ home of 60 years at 16640 Cumora in  San Lorenzo closed this week.  A young guy bought his first house and the cycle begins again.  Everybody seems happy.  310K w/ 10K back to the buyer for closing costs, FHA financing…a rather remarkable transaction in that it was beautifully smooth.  It helps when all the parties know what they are doing…and the house was really lovely. 

The open house I had last Sunday at 325 Laguna Vista was super busy….serious lookers, great questions, lots of down-sizers considering single level options.  Seller got an offer today. We’ll see what happens.

Open homes this weekend (courtesy Island Blog)

Unsold listings this week 186, 190 last report
Pending listings this week 78, 68 last report

Tuesday tour – 10, 8 were in 94502.  A great bike ride day!

Highest and Lowest Priced new listings

New  10

Back on Market (BOM)  0

Repositioned properties (price changes) 18

Pending  17

Sold  5

Market rejected properties 2


Alameda real estate awards this week….remember this is only my perspective!
everything has been redone…and the hidden spaces have been maximized (like a 2nd bedroom twin bed that can slide into a attic space via a wall hatch when it’s not needed). 

933 Shoreline #306 will be open this Sunday from 2-4pm!

Have a great weekend!  Shred on!  best, marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!