Exercise in Tempe coordinates emergency response


March 10, 2011

Arizona State University in conjunction with agencies around the Valley will hold a simulated shooting exercise at Ocotillo Hall on the Tempe campus on March 12.

The drill will test interactions between the ASU Police Department, Tempe Fire Department, Tempe Police Department, Office of the Medical Examiner, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, CARE 7 (Tempe’s crisis response unit) and PMT Ambulance Service in responding to a simulated emergency. There will be a large response to the exercise on March 12 from police and fire units and members of the community should not be alarmed by public safety vehicles or media helicopters at ASU.   Download Full Image

The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and run until approximately 11:30 a.m. It will take place on a Saturday and the first day of Spring Break so that university operations are not disrupted.

“Although the participating agencies already work together closely, it’s imperative that exercises are undertaken that test our response during active situations when decisions must be made quickly and accurately. This gives us the opportunity to use our training skills in a dynamic situation and to go back and evaluate what we did well and what can improve our processes,” said Allen Clark, ASU Police Department assistant chief and organizer of the exercise.

ASU Alert, the university’s emergency messaging system, will be tested during the exercise. The emergency messaging system utilizes text messages, emails, Twitter postings, Facebook and an RSS feed to alert students, faculty and staff to life safety incidents on campus. Members of the university community who experience any issues with the service during the test may send an email to news@asu.edu.

Students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will participate in the drill by acting as reporters during the exercise. 

Foreclosure rate stays high, possible return to negative trend


March 10, 2011

More bad news for the Phoenix-area housing market. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows the possible return to a negative trend.

In the final months of 2010, foreclosures had gone down to represent only 30 percent of the transactions in the single-family home resale market. However, in January, that rate shot up to 43 percent, and the new report reveals it was about 43 percent again in February. Download Full Image

“We’ve all been watching to see if the foreclosure rate in late 2010 would carry over into this year, but unfortunately, the good news hasn’t come yet,” says associate professor of Real Estate Jay Butler, who wrote the report. “January 2011 showed a reemergence of troubled times, which continued through February.”

Butler explains the year 2010 ended with an unusual set of circumstances, including foreclosure moratoriums, legal challenges to the foreclosure process, and weak economic and job recovery.

“The fundamental uncertainty now is whether the initial months of 2011 represent just a short-term response as the pipeline unclogs after the foreclosure moratoriums or if it’s a continuation of a market being dominated by foreclosures,” says Butler.

Out of more than 8,500 single-family home resale transactions in February, more than 3,600 were foreclosures. In addition, when you look at the rest of the transactions, 40-percent of those were the resales of previously foreclosed-on properties.

“Thus, foreclosure-related activity represented a total of 66 percent of the market transactions in February,” explains Butler.

The median price for single-family homes resold (not newly foreclosed) in the Phoenix area in February was $127,500. That’s up from $125,000 in January, but way down from last February’s $140,000.

In the townhouse/condominium market, 580 foreclosures happened in February. The median price of a townhome/condo resold (not newly foreclosed) in February was $75,000. That’s way down from $95,000 last February.

Butler’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/realestate/Phoenix-Resale-Market-Reports.cfm">http://wpcarey.asu.edu/realestate/Phoenix-Resale-Market-Reports.cfm">htt.... More analysis is also available from Knowledge@W. P. Carey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.">http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu">http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.