A bit of E-News, Environmental, that is. You may have seen the one about high radon levels at Mahonia Hall, the Governor's residence. I've been nagging about radon for awhile, and Mahonia Hall shows us that even cool old fancy buildings have it. The folks at Eco-Tech did the testing there. They are also the folks with Terra, the oil sniffing dog from a previous blog. Radon is measured by picocuries per liter of air, with the EPA calling for "action" or remediation for any measurement over 4 picocuries per litre of air. Mahonia Hall measured 6.2 in the billiard room (sounds like we're playing a game of Clue) and 4.8 in a basement storage room. The short term monitor was used, so I believe next up is the longer, 90 day, test. Our home test came in at 2.9.
Also in the news this week was the huge solar project Ikea has installed out at their store by the airport. The project is said to include 2072 solar panels providing an estimated 568,900 kilowatt hours of power per year. Wow. In cloudy Oregon. This will have the effect of reducing approximately 432 tons of carbon dioxide emissions- the equivalent of the exhaust of 77 cars. Thanks IKEA!
And then a bit of editorializing on the real estate market and such. The Case-Schiller report was released this week for January 2012, showing declining housing prices in Portland. This index lags our local RMLS statistics by one month. And in a changing market one month matters. Look for Case-Schiller to catch up and show an improving market next month.
And, it looks as though the Oregon Supreme Court may well hear a case regarding MERS and its relationship to Oregon's non-judicial foreclosure. In Oregon, lenders can foreclose through an administrative rather than through a court process. In part, this process is in place as Oregon statutes also require that changes to who owns what loan be recorded in the state, giving a clearer picture of who might actually have a right to foreclose. MERS is the electronic registration system for mortgages, that avoided the fees and "hassle" or recording. There have been a few court cases with disparate rulings, so a Supreme Court opinion would be welcome. Meanwhile, look for our courts to be crowded by lenders choosing judicial foreclosure to be sure their foreclosures stick.
And lastly, the blue jays have descended on the yard this morning.