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The Federal Open Market Committee seems to be taking direct aim at mortgage rates

September 22nd, 2011, 9:32 am

The Federal Reserve‘s plan to reinvest principal payments on some bonds into mortgage-backed securities is already contributing to the nation’s record low mortgage interest rates, Bankrate said Thursday.

Bankrate said the Federal Open Market Committee seems to be taking direct aim at mortgage rates by shifting $400 billion from short-term holdings into long-term government bonds. The program, which begins Oct. 3 and runs through June, will involve longer-term Treasury securities with remaining maturities of six years to 30 years, and will be financed through the sale of shorter-term Treasurys with maturities of three years or less.

“This program should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative,” the FOMC said in a statement following its two-day meeting.

Analysts also said anemic economic growth and European debt fears are keeping investors on the sidelines.

Rates are unlikely to increase until mortgage refinancing and purchasing activity picks up, Bankrate said.

“In order to get the most economic impact out of low mortgage rates, the pool of prospective refinancers needs to be expanded. Deeply upside-down homeowners, those with second liens or mortgage insurance, and lender concerns about buyback liability are all formidable impediments to refinancing,” according to the firm, which aggregates rate data from across the country.

The Freddie Mac primary mortgage market survey showed the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged this week at 4.09%, while the 15-year, fixed rate dropped one basis point to a new record low of 3.29%.

Meanwhile, the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.02%, up from 2.99% last week and down from 3.54% a year ago.

The one-year, Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.82% this week, up from 2.81% a week earlier and down from 3.46% last year.

“A sluggish economy and investor concerns over the European debt markets left mortgage rates largely unchanged this week,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

“Manufacturing activity in both the New York and Philadelphia regions contracted in September,” he said. “Moreover, the Federal Reserve board reported that households lost nearly $150 billion in net worth in the second quarter, representing the first quarterly decline in a year.”

Bankrate data show the 30-year FRM at record lows for the fifth consecutive week. The average rate for a traditional mortgage fell to 4.29%, from 4.32% last week, while the 15-year FRM declined to 3.42% from 3.44%.

In addition, the 5/1 ARM decreased to 3.05% from 3.07% last week.

 

The City Council declined to set aside a spot for a cultural arts venue in the Town Center

STEFANI PETERSON / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
YORBA LINDA – The City Council declined to set aside a spot for a cultural arts venue in the Town Center.
“To move ahead with the Town Center, we need to take out any consideration for a performing arts center at this time,” Councilman Mark Schwing said.
A performing arts center had been proposed by the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance, a grassroots movement to network and promote the arts. The plan originally called to set aside city-owned property for the future construction of a privately funded and operated cultural arts venue in Town Center.
The venue proposed would include a theatre with 900 to 1,200 seats, a smaller black box theater, art gallery, gift shop, workshop space and bistro among other components.
The council voted 4-1, with Councilman Tom Lindsey dissenting, Tuesday night not to earmark a site.
“I will not be supporting this center in this location, but I would certainly support it somewhere else,” Mayor Nancy Rikel said.
The city is seeking pitches for revamping the Town Center.
Some council members questioned whether the project was viable. Lindsey pointed out a lot of unknowns in the proposal.
But the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance isn’t giving up.
Though she wouldn’t give a dollar amount, Gabriella Rollins, director of the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance, said there are substantial funds committed to the project from a wide variety of sources.
The organization is exploring other locations where a performing arts center could be built, she said. It must secure land before designs can be planned.
The Arts Alliance also plans to raise awareness within the community through workshops and fundraisers.
“We are determined to provide some culture to this city,” Rollins said. “We absolutely need a theater, an art gallery and a gathering place.”

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa To Host Grape Stomp & Blessing of The Vines

TEMECULA In a tradition that dates back centuries to European vineyards,two-time California Winery of the Year, South Coast WineryResort & Spa, invites everyone to squish a littleMerlot between their toes at the 7th annual Harvest CelebrationBlessing of the Wines and Grape Stomp.Their ceremony, steeped in tradition, is a fun-filled celebration for the whole family. There will be a special wine blessing officiated by Pastor Phil Hottsenpillar of the Yorba Linda Friends Church, followed by delectable,hot off-the-grill BBQ, along with award-winningwines. Take a tractor-pulled hay ride through the vineyards and dance the night away to the Bayou Brothers Band. Those who enter in the grape stomping contest can win from an assortment of fabulous prizes.

The South Coast WineryBlessing of the Wines and Grape Stomp will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, from4 – 7 p.m. at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spain Temecula.Adult tickets are $55 dollars and kids 12 and under are $15 dollars. Reserve tickets at SouthCoastWinery.com or call(951) 587-9463. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is located at 34843 Rancho California Road in the heart of Temecula’s Wine Country.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is a 38-acre destination property in the heart of Southern California Temecula Wine Country that produces award-winning wines.Since opening doors in 2003, South Coast Winery has garnered over 1,600 awards and medals in both regional and international competitions, and has been named Best Winery in California two years in a row. For the second year in a row, South Coast Winery’sVineyardRoseRestauranthas been awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. This award recognizes select restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine, and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.Additionally, Fodor’s, the leading name in travel information, has recognized South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as a 2011 Fodor’s Choice selection. This distinction designates South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value.

Dramatic Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Events Set at Nixon Library

Dramatic Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Events Set at Nixon Library

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By Richard Nixon Foundation

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 – 2:21 pm

YORBA LINDA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 — Focal point of all Southern California ceremonies begins Labor Day with police, fire, and highway patrol motorcade escorting 20 tons of steel burned and blown off the Twin Towers, and a damaged FDNY fire truck used for search and rescue efforts at Ground Zero.

YORBA LINDA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Richard Nixon Foundation will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America with events from Labor Day, September 5 through Sunday, September 11.

Labor Day, September 510:30 am, the planned week of remembrance will begin with the dramatic arrival ceremony welcoming the motorcade transporting 20 tons of steel burned and blown off the World Trade Center, and a damaged first-responder FDNY aerial ladder fire truck. These symbols of one of our nation’s darkest hours will be escorted from Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, and will arrive at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library accompanied by police, fire, and Highway Patrol vehicles. The program will feature 60 members of the Navy Sea Cadets, a blessing by clergy, patriotic choral presentations by local high schools, a display of an antique 1969 American La France fire engine from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department, and a solemn bagpipe arrangement and bell tolling in honor of those who lost their lives. The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, September 1110:30 am, the week will culminate with a free public Remembering 9/11 event in the East Room, featuring a military honor guard, remarks by Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Congressman Ed Royce, and an eyewitness account of heroism by 9/11 survivor and first-responder fireman Joe Torrillo, who was on the scene during the attacks and survived the collapse of both towers.

September 6, 8 and 9, 10:30 am, there will be free presentations featuring members of the Armed Forces and 9/11 first-responders sharing tales of bravery, heroism, and patriotism. The educational programs are free and open to school-aged children and the general public.

For more information, visit nixonfoundation.org.

FOR COVERAGE OPPORTUNITIES: CONTACT JONATHAN MOVROYDIS AT (714) 364-1126 OR EMAIL AT jonathan@nixonfoundation.org

The Richard Nixon Foundation, a not-for-profit organization located on the campus of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda. The museum is open daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information about events or exhibits, please call (714) 993-5075 or visit the Foundation online at www.nixonfoundation.org.

SOURCE Richard Nixon Foundation