Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Solar Roads will shine brightly in their failure.

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." ~Ansel Adams

Maybe, just maybe, they’re on to something big.  That’s what people say when they see the images on Facebook; synthetic highways the color of AstroTurf, a trail of bright incandescent glowing as a car drives over or even a moose walks across it.  The ensuing social media post, entitled Solar Roadways, goes on to describe how Julie and Scott Brusaw, an unassuming couple from Idaho, have devised solar technology that’s ready to change the world.

Their idea is alarmingly audacious and plausibly simple enough to capture our collective imagination – to replace all the roads in the United States with special solar panels that collect the sun’s energy, even as we drive on them.

Their imaginative innovation isn’t just folly – Scott is an electrical engineer and the couple has worked on Solar Roadways for years, manufacturing a working prototype and rising to popularity with an Indiegogo campaign that’s raised $1 million so far from private contributors, including $400,000 in the first month.  Our Federal Highway Administration has already dolled out two rounds of funding to Solar Roads to advance the technology.

The concept works like this; instead of asphalt, we’ll replace all roadways and highways with their solar materials, impact-resistant panels that look like paving stones, covered in clear “smart” glass that is as tough as bullet proof glass.  The solar panels gather, conduct, and store energy from the sun’s rays, and are embedded with digital sensors and as well.  The solar panels are so tough that they can withstand a 250,000-pound truck driving over them, or a massive tractor, as the images of one test showed.

The panels would also serve to filter storm water off the roads, conduct electricity so they’d replace aboveground cables, and have heating cells so they’d automatically clear the roads of snow and ice.  They’d also have built in LED lights, so they’d light up at night, light up to show when an animal or obstacle is stopped in the road (like a moose or a stalled car,) and could transmit driving safety messages to motorists.  In theory, these roads would also totally eliminate our need for cars motored by fossil fuels because they’d be able to regenerate the batteries in electric cards as they drove over them. 

Ostensibly, buy replacing all the nation’s roadways with these panels, we’re be able to generate more than three times the electricity needed for all U.S. energy consumption. 

Sounds downright Utopian, huh?  There’s no denying that the idea of solar roadways is enticing beyond measure, but is it viable?  That’s where we run into a few bumps in the road (so to speak.) 

Critics of Solar Roadways (and the backlash is gathering like storm clouds,) point to a few fundamental reasons why the idea will never come to fruition, and is essentially a waste of time and money;

The first is cost.  There are approximately 29,000 square miles of roadways in the U.S.  It would take about 5.6 billion of these solar panels to replace all that surface area, at a conservative price tag of $56 trillion dollars.  And that’s just the cost of the solar panels – imagine the tab when we add in installation, ripping up our roads, highway shutdowns, etc.  Even if we grossly overestimate the cost of asphalt roads, solar roads are estimated at about 50% more than traditional roads. 

The second issue is one of practicality; imagine the infrastructure nightmare of actually doing the work!  The Federal Government now spends about $50 billion a year maintain our current roads, and we still have potholes and bad areas and construction shutdowns everywhere.  Can you even fathom how big a job it would be to rip up every roadway and replace it with solar panels?  Think of Boston’s Big Dig – a 10-year catastrophic cluster – and that was just one tunnel in one city!  To get it all done and convert entirely to an electrical infrastructure, while we still need to use our roads, would be so expensive and time consuming it’s unestimatable. 

So far, there has been a lot of cheering, back-patting, and superficial dollars thrown at the project – the pom pom’s are out – but how they’d come up with real funding necessary to launch this is still a mystery.  Solar Roadways has been uber-popular with the Google Solve and TED crowd, admirably so, but a million dollars will buy you a slick PR campaign these days and a working prototype and little else.

In fact, Solar Roadways lost out on GE’s $200 million Ecoimagination grant and if you added up all the clean energy grants all around the world we’re still only talking a couple billion clams.

The retort from the Brusaw camp is that solar roadways will bring in revenue in other ways – by creating jobs, producing spare energy to sell back to the grid.  They can also charge a nominal fee for reenergizing electric cars, and sell advertising space for electronic billboards on the roads.  Or, we could just put a toll every ten feet…

But the biggest obstacle to Solar Roadways comes, surprisingly, from serious clean energy advocates.  Quite simply, there are better ways to do it.  Instead of ripping up every road and replacing it with tech that needs to be driven over and maintained, why not just equip every rooftop in America with solar panels?  And build solar cell banks on the unused sides of highways and the medians? 

That’s the light bulb realization that will doom Solar Roads.  Already, progressive states like Oregon are building solar cells by their highways – not on them – to capture usable energy.  It’s a far more efficient method – they don’t need to worry about ripping up existing road, keeping new panels clean, glass durability, and how to store and relay captured energy.

Rooftop solar is far cheaper, easier to install, has a decade of innovation invested, and comes with none of the logistic hassles of solar-in-the-road.  Rooftop solar can turn toward the sun automatically and you don’t have to worry about shutting down a whole highway for maintenance or replacement. 

So the conversation comes back to the same one we’ve been having for 20+ years; why aren’t we utilizing solar power more in the United States?  Photovoltaics (capturing the sun’s energy) still only accounts for no more than 1.13 percent of America’s power production, yet it is free once the infrastructure is in place, never runs out and turns a problem (global warming?) into a viable solution for clean energy that can be phased in with little or no detriment.

20 years is also about how long the technology to generate solar power from unused spaces, or “distribution generation,” has been shining on.  You can put solar panels anywhere there is wasted space – rooftops being the main one (especially commercial) but also car covers, pool covers, car rooftops, etc.  Even the archaic U.S. Census Bureau estimates that installing solar panels on every home in America would produce 3.75 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, about the same amount of energy generated in the entire United States in 2011. 

Already, we’re lagging far behind much of the world in solar and clean energy generation.  Germany has already implemented solar programs that produce enough energy on par with all of the United States (in a much smaller country with a colder, less-sunny climate.)  China has a stated goal of producing 8 gig watts of solar power from distributed generation this year.  Sun-rich Middle Eastern countries are even on board. 

Yet it seems that unless there is forced governmental regulation calling for certain solar and clean energy quotas from corporations (commercial roof space,) states, and municipalities, it’s unrealistic to think the needed change will occur one humble homeowner’s rooftop at a time.  And that is exactly where Solar Roads may succeed - publicity, bringing solar alternatives to our national awareness and back into our conversation, making solar energy marketable, cool, and within reach.  Indeed, the concept of solar roads may end up advancing the cause of clean energy in its eventual failure more than all other predecessors in their success.  For Solar Roads it may be a case of “Shoot for the moon, but settle for the sun.” 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Real estate’s inventory paradox.

The storyline wasn’t supposed to go like this.  As the real estate market crawled out of its darkest hour, there were going to be plenty of hurdles; rising interest rates, unemployment, tightening lending standards, and even over caution.  But even the most pessimistic analysts never expected one particular obstacle to stand in the way to rosier days for the housing market; a shortage of inventory.

 Sure enough, housing inventory has remained stubbornly low, effectively weaving a caution flag to slow down the pace of the race to recovery, even when all other factors are green lights.  Rates are still low, prices far from peak levels of 2005-2006 in most markets, banks want to lend again, wages and unemployment are showing signs of life, and even consumer confidence is healing nicely, but inventory remains frustratingly low.  It’s a paradox we never expected and worth a deeper look.

How low are inventory levels?
There are plenty of statistics to present for your consideration but the most obvious is this; residential housing inventory levels are currently about 50% lower than normal and only about 35% of what they were at the peak of the real estate book in 2007.  Even in California’s

The number of days a home sat on the market last month jumped to 72 from 56, causing some concerns of a potential cool off.  The National Association of Realtor’s last quarterly report cited that housing inventory fell 9.3% at the end of December, to 1.86 million available homes.  That equates to a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace, where a normalized market yields about 6 to 7 months of supply.

But the inventory shortage goes deeper, affecting the low end of the market where first-time buyers and affordable housing for working families is most prevalent.  If you take out investors, cash buyers, and the high-end market of home sales, we’re faced with a particular dirge of inventory.

Why we thought inventory would be higher:
As we stated before, interest rates are still low, banks are eager to lend again, employment and wages are stable if not optimistic, and buyer demand is there.  In some markets, home sales and appreciation are hot, once again, so it was reasonable to assume sellers would put For Sale signs in their yards to cash in.  The prevailing theory was that there would be a surplus of inventory for buyers, as so many foreclosures and short sales hit the market for home shopper to choose from.   
The 4 factors why inventory is so low:

1.         Underwater homeowners.
There’s a significant segment of homeowners who may want to sell but can’t.  It’s reported that currently, 18.8 percent of homeowners are in a negative equity position, or underwater on their homes.  That’s a vast improvement from 31.4 percent in 2012, but still high.  Just as importantly, 36.9 percent of homeowners are “effectively underwater,” in their properties, meaning they don’t have enough positive equity to sell or sell and make any profit.  Add it up and you get more than 18 million homeowners who are forced to sit on their homes even when they might prefer to move or move up.  That’s a huge number of potential inventory stuck on the shelf. 

2.         New construction is lagging.
During the real estate boom, homebuilders threw up new projects at a record pace, many of them in the modest price range to attract first time buyers and starter homes for the average family.  But once the balloon popped, they stopped building and sat on the sidelines to wait for the recovery.  This did a couple things – it forced the small homebuilders, estimated at 50 percent of the market – out of business.  It also made them readjust their strategy when they went back to work, focusing more on larger and luxury homes to build, not the lower end, to hedge their bets this time.  

New home inventory saw the bottom in 2012 and has edged upward, though still at a 40-year low - only about 800,000 new home starts compared to 1.5 million in a normal market.  But again, many of these are multifamily units to cash in on rental demand or higher-end projects.  Now, previously owned homes are selling more than 10-to-1 to new homes, which accounted for a larger section of inventory than in the past.

3.         Distressed homes have slowed.
With a flood of foreclosures and short sales turning over in the recent past, we expected a much larger inventory for buyers to choose from.  They did account for a large portion of the inventory on the bottom of the market for buyers to sift through, with over 1 million lender-owned sales in 2010. But since then, the release of foreclosures has slowed to a crawl. In fact, at the point of the most current big housing reports, foreclosure starts had declined at least 22 consecutive months.  Foreclosure activity is still two to three times higher than normal but still is at its lowest since 2006, about 50 percent less than 2010 short sales and foreclosure sales accounted for 18.5% of sales in 2013 but only 14.5% of sales in the first quarter of 2014.  A larger portion of these are taking place in higher end home prices.

4.         Consumer caution.
Consumer confidence drives markets. When the masses understand there is money to be made, or opportunities to be had, it opens the floodgates on home buying and selling.  Prices go up and that feeds more consumer confidence.  But this time it’s different.  Most vital economic indicators may be pointing to the fact that it’s a good time to sell your home to cash in, but in general there’s a blanket of caution draped over the market.  People are just hesitant to make the wrong move or get on the roller coaster we saw as boom went to bust in the recent past.  They also may not be at the tipping point yet where they believe the benefit of selling their home will outweigh risk of the unknown or having to become a buyer in the same market they sell in.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but hesitancy for its own sake doesn’t help people make wise financial moves.  We’re not quite at the “paralysis-by-analysis” stage, but homeowners are just looking for more information.  

How about in California?
Of course, California is its own animal, with the highest highs (and the lowest lows.)  We’ve seen robust appreciation in many markets in the Golden State, and the good news is that inventory, though still being outpaced, is slowly keeping up.  In Los Angeles, inventory is up 17.8 percent year-over-year.  San Diego is up 18.6 percent, and our own Sacramento area is enjoying a 23.9 percent gain in inventory.  That’s great news, though California inventory levels are still 18% lower than normal and 2014’s first quarter sales numbers have been weaker than expected. 

What will solve this paradox?
Time.  Tight inventory leads to price appreciation, which entices seller to sell to cash in and also spurs the interest of buyers, keeps interest rates favorable, incentivizes lenders to lend, and signals that all factors are whistling “all aboard,” for housing.  Appreciation will also lead to less underwater homes and more sellers.  Even though appreciation numbers may be a little cooler than originally anticipated, “stabilization,” is the name of the game, which will sooth consumer hesitancy.  Banks will also continue to release distressed properties from their books, and new homebuilders will see risk in entry-level and modest projects. 

As cliché as it may sound, time (perhaps a healthy summer of activity?) should normalize the market’s inventory levels. In fact, NAR’s April report for existing home sales showed the first positive news in a long time, an increase in home inventory from a 5.1-month supply to a 5.9-month supply, fantastic news for a real estate trying to untangle its inventory paradox.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Neighborhood and city spotlight: El Dorado Hills, California.

El Dorado Hills is an unincorporated census-designated place in El Dorado County, about 22 miles east of Sacramento, California. 

As recently as the year 2000 it covered only 17.9 square miles, but was expanded to encompass 48.606 square miles as of 2010.

El Dorado Hills sits in El Dorado County and is commonly affiliated with the Sacramento Metropolitan Area and the City of Folsom. 

Present day El Dorado Hills is only 13 miles from the site where gold was first discovered in 1848 in Coloma, which started the Gold Rush.

Before the Gold Rush, the area was inhabited mostly by farmers and ranchers.

Two Pony Express routes from 1860 still exist in the area, now as modern roads.

El Dorado Hills has the longest remaining section of the Lincoln Highway, the first U.S. transcontinental highway. 

El Dorado Hills (EDH) as a modern, master planned community was first established in the 1960s by developer Alan Lindsey.  The original master plan was prepared by architect Victor Gruen.

EDH was first designed as a sprawling area of villages, including Park, Saint Andrews, Crown, and Governors and later, the Lake Forest Village area and neighborhoods.

Since then, additional communities of Fairchild, Sterlingshire, Highland Hills, Highland View, Bridlewood, Hills of El Dorado, Woodridge, Laural Oaks and the master-planned community of Serrano have sprung to life

In 1995, the Parker Development Company acquired 3,500 acres along the eastern edge of El Dorado Hills and designed  the large master planned community, Serrano.

Around 2000, population growth and commercial development exploded, especially with the establishment of the Town Center Zone to form a downtown business district. 

Now, the new EDH Town Center sits just south of Highway 50, 100-acres of land and 1,000,000 square feet of buildings that offer a mixed-use cornucopia of local and national retailers, hotels, cinemas, restaurants, cafes, markets, fitness clubs, spas, professional and medical offices, a public amphitheater, signature fountains and walkways, and public plazas.

As of the 2010 census, the population  of EDH was 42,108.
That was up precipitously from 18,016 per the 2000 census.
In 2010, there were 14,368 households in EDH.
84% were occupied by families.
45.4% had children under 18.
The average family size was 3.2 persons.
The median age was 40.6 years

Of the 14,994 housing units in EDH, 12,169 were owner-occupied (84.9%) and 2,199 (15%) occupied by renters.

EDH boasts a high median household income. CNN Money ranked it 77th in the country for best places to live in 2007, with a median household income over $115,000.

EDH ranks 3rd for highest by median household income in a list of places with population greater than 40,000, behind only Potomac, Maryland and Danville, California.

There are plenty of luxury and high end communities and neighborhoods, like Serrano Golf and Country Club, The Summit, Watermark, Marina Hills and Highland Hills

Notable El Dorado Hills residents:
Austin Collie – NFL wide receiver with Indianapolis Colts
Ryan Anderson – NBA power forward with New Orleans Pelicans
Sei Ajirotutu – NFL wide receiver Carolina Panthers
Derrek Lee – first baseman Atlanta Braves
F.P. Santangelo – MBL baseball plaer
Jacoby Shaddix – lead singer of Papa Roach
Cheri Elliot – 14 time World and National Champion cyclist
Robert T. Marionetta – author
Orada Moore – jazz musician

Just a handful of the renowned fine dining options in El Dorado Hills include:
Sky Sushi
Bistro 33
Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
Sienna Restaurant
Chantara Thai Cuisine
Mama Ann’s Deli and Bakery
The Purple Place
36 Handles
Café Campanile

The business community grew rapidly in EDH in the 1990’s, as businesses moved north from Silicon Valley up to El Dorado Hills Business Park to escape the high cost there and the recession caused by the Dot Com Bust.

The unemployment rate in El Dorado Hills is typical at or below the national average, with a diverse and well-paying host of employers.

EDH has a notably high level of white-collar jobs.  90.74% of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average, including management, sales and office work professions.

Education and Schools:
El Dorado Hills ranks as one of the most well educated communities in America, with 51.28% of its adults earning a college degree compared to the national average of 21.84%.

Overall, Great Schools City Ratings gives EDH schools 9 out of 10.

These schools rank 10 out of 10: 
Jackson Elementary
Oak Meadow Elementary
Silva Valley Elementary
William Brooks Elementary
Oak Ridge High
Marina Village Middle

Serrano Country Club, Serrano Course
El Dorado Hills Golf Club, El Dorado Hills Course

The El Dorado wine district is known as the best kept secret, one of California's oldest wine-producing areas.  El Dorado County boasts of over 70 unique wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms.   

EDH is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream as it sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, with hiking, campgrounds, fishing, boating, gold Panning, golfing, snow sports, rafting, horseback riding, and large public sports and recreation areas within it borders.

Due to its rich history, EDH has a long list of State Historical Landmarks, Points of Historical Interest, and California Register of Historical Places for visitors to see.  This includes the California Historical Society, El Dorado County Historical Museum, Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, Gold Visitors Association, and El Dorado National Forest Information Center 

For a comprehensive list, go to: http://visit-eldorado.com/history.php

If you’d like any more information or a detailed real estate analysis of home prices, appreciation, and how to move to El Dorado Hills, feel free to contact us.  We’re happy to help!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

15 Charming house warming traditions.

1. The term “house warming,” originates from the actual act of warming the home.  Going back centuries, long before central heat, neighbors and friends would celebrate a new home by bringing firewood over as a gift.  They’d try to fill up every fireplace and light them, heating the new home as a literal and symbolic gesture of warmth.

2. But the lighting of fires and warming of the house also had another practical use, as it was widely believed that it expelled any evil spirits that might be residing in the home.  It was commonly believed that homes that sat vacant were considered occupied by “spirits” over time that needed to be exorcised before it was safe for children to live there.

3. In aristocratic England in the 1800’s, King Edward III mandated that housewarming parties were to be restricted to ‘certain ranks,’ or wealthy people.  For those who qualified they were elaborate affairs, sometimes with 10,000 guests attending a house warming party!

4. A traditional housewarming gift consists of bread, salt, and wine, still popular at some churches in Northwest Florida.  Bread is so the house will never know hunger, salt so life will always have flavor, and wine so joy and prosperity may be enjoyed forever.  

5. In French, the housewarming party is called a pendaison de crémaillère, or "hanging of the chimney hook,” a term that dates back to medieval times.

6. When the house was done being built, the new owners invited everyone who helped with construction to dinner as thanks.  The food was made in a large pot hung over the fire.  They regulated the temperature by adjusting the chimney hook up or down.  So the tradition became that the hook was the last thing added to the house for good luck, and a celebration of those who helped.  

7. The tradition of potluck and universal meals from friends and neighbors stems from this tradition of a large pot of food hanging from the chimney hook.

8. In ancient Germany, oak trees were considered the “trees of heaven,” and so Ancient Norseman deemed acorns the symbol of protection.  They placed acorns on windowsills to ward off evil spirits and bless the house with safety, a tradition that’s translated into acorn-themed housewarming presents. 

9. Offering pineapple as a housewarming gift goes back to the time of Christopher Columbus, when he came upon the Caribbean island of Gaudalupe.  The island was rich with pineapples so Columbus and his crew started taking some with them on return trips to Europe, so they became a symbol of hospitality, safe return, and a welcome gift.  

10. In some countries, bluebirds are given as a gift as they’re believed to bless the new home with happiness and good luck.  Still to this day, people sometimes give bluebird-themed gifts, like china or wall hangings, as gifts.

11. Germans celebrate a house warming with characteristic practicality, bringing gift certificates as presents and also a homemade dish for the first meal, and of course something to wash it down with.

12. In Thailand, Buddhist monks come perform rituals at the house alongside family and friends for good luck and blessings.

13. In India, the house warming ceremony is called “Gruha Pravesh,” or “Gruha Pravesham,” which translates to “Entering New House.”  In some predominantly Hindu areas, a sacred cow is the first to enter the new home.

14. “Burden baskets,” are a tradition that originated with the Apache Indians.  They placed these baskets at the front door to capture the worries and stress of daily life, or to symbolically leave their burdens at the door.  Baskets that were woven together also symbolized community, family, and wholeness.  

15. In Scotland, a frog is seen as an omen of good luck and fertility, so a frog (or wooden or ceramic likeness) is often given as a housewarming gift.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fun facts about Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

May is Asian American Heritage Month and also Pacific Islander Heritage Month, called Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in combination.  It's a nationally recognized month-long celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  Here are some fun facts about this month and also the important contributions and history of Asian Americans in the U.S.:

-The idea of a heritage month was first introduced as a congressional bill in June of 1977, when Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that proposed the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. 

-President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution on October 5, 1978 making it an annual celebration. 

-It took twelve years for it to be extended into a month-long celebration, enacted by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and signed into law.

-May was chosen for its significance in Asian American culture.  The first Japanese person to arrive in the United States was on May 7, 1843, the transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869, with the majority of workers Chinese immigrants.  

Who are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?

-The official term “Asian-American” is widely encompassing, referring to people with origins in China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Burma (Maynmar.)  Additionally, it refers to people of Indian subcontinent.

-The term “Pacific Islander,” refers to people from Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island.  

-Additionally, there’s a significant population of multi racial and mixed descent.  Some of them are brand new to this country, while some have families spanning back multiple generations and over one hundred years in the United States.

The history of Asians in America.

-The first Asians to come to the western hemisphere were Chinese Filipinos who settled in Mexico. Filipino sailors later settled in the U.S. territory of Louisiana around 1750.

-The first large-scale immigration of Asians to America occurred with the gold rush of 1848, many of them settling in Sacramento and the foothills.

-Chinese immigrants were the main workforce to lay tracks for the railroad expansion.  At the peak of production, up to 12,000 Chinese workers did the hardest and most dangerous jobs for the railroads.  

-After completion of the rails in 1869, many of them returned to San Francisco and settled into what is now Chinatown.

-During that period and well into the 1900's, Asian Americans suffered terrible racism and discrimination.

-Large populations of Japanese Americans were held in detainment camps during World War II.  

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America.

-Of the total United States population, 18.2 million people, or 5.6 percent, reported they were Asian Americans in 2011.  

-Pacific Islanders accounted for an additional 874,414 people, or 0.3 percent or the population.

-Among Asian Americans in the United States, there are five groups with a population over one million: Chinese Americans (2.3 million), Filipino Americans, (1.8 million), Asian Indians (1.6 million), Vietnamese Americans (1.1 million), and Korean Americans (1.07 million).

-Among Pacific Islanders, the largest groups include Native Hawaiians (140,652), Samoan Americans (91,029), Guamanian or Chamorro Americans (58,240), Tongan Americans (27,713), and Fijian Americans (9,796).

-More than 50% of all Asian Americans live in just three states: California (3.7 million), New York (1 million), and Hawaii (503,000).

-More than half of all Pacific Islanders live in two states: Hawaii (113,539) and California (see above).

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California.

-In our great state of California, at least 
4.2 million people, or 12.3 percent of the population, reported they were Asian or an Asian combination.

- 221,458 people, or 0.3 percent of the California population, reported they were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

-The five California cities with the largest Asian American population are: Los Angeles (369,254), San Jose (240,375), San Francisco (239,565), San Diego (166,986), and Fremont (75,165).

-The five California cities with the largest Pacific Islander population are: Los Angeles (5,915), San Diego (5,853), Long Beach (5,605), San Jose (3,584), and Sacramento (3,861).

-Among Asian Americans in the California, the five largest groups are: Chinese Americans (980,642), Filipino Americans (918,678), Vietnamese Americans (447,032), Korean Americans (345,882), and Asian Indians (314,819).

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Sacramento.

-In August 2002, the City of Sacramento was named, “America’s Most Diverse City” by Time Magazine.  A big part of that includes Asian Americans.

-In fact, Sacramento is home to the 11th largest Asian American population in the United States.

-Between 1990 and 2000, Sacramento was one of the fastest growing Asian American and Pacific Islander populations (APIA), with 28 percent and 57 percent growth, respectively.

-As of 2004, it was estimated there were 96,000 APIAs in Sacramento, making up 22 percent of the city’s population.

-The home-ownership rate for Asian Americans in Sacramento is higher than that of all other groups (55.4%). The home-ownership rate for Pacific Islanders (44.1%).

-50% of Asian Americans ages 25 and older have a bachelor's degree or higher education, compared to only 28 percent for all Americans 25 and older.  That’s the highest proportion of college graduates of any race or ethnic group in the country.

-At the same time, the poverty rate for Asia Americans (24.9%) and Pacific Islanders (26.7%) in Sacramento is substantially higher than that of the total population.

Notable Asian Americans and contributions.

-Lisa Ling is an award winning journalist and television personality, born in Sacramento.

-Ryan Yamamoto is a sports anchor for Sacramento’s News 10.  

-Suzanne Phan is an esteemed news journalist at the same station.

-Pat Fong Kushida is president of the Metro Chamber of Commerce and founded the stateside Asian Chamber in 2006.

-C.C. Yin is a prominent businessman, philanthropist, and Asian American political advocate. 

-Sacramento notable entrepreneurs Jason Jong and Jeffrey Louie founded and developed Capsity.

-Frank Fat is an iconic restaurateur in the region.

-Late actor Pat Morita, of Karate Kid fame, was a Sacramento resident.

-Jimmie Yee is a politician who currently works on the Sacramento Board of Supervisors. 

-Jeff Adachi, currently the Public Defender in San francisco and writer and director of the documentary, Slanted Screen, is from Sacramento.

Historical achievements (from Wikipedia.)

-U.S. representative: Dalip Singh Saund, 1956, representative from California. The first female Asian American elected to Congress was Patsy Takemoto Mink, elected in 1964 as a representative from Hawaii.

-U.S. senator: Hiram Fong, 1959, one of Hawaii's first two senators.

-U.S. female senator: Mazie Hirono,2013, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Hawaii, making her the first Asian American female senator. Also the country's first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate. In addition, she's the first U.S. senator born in Japan-and the second woman of color to serve in the Senate.

-Federal court judge: Herbert Choy, 1971, appointed to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.

-Governor: George R. Ariyoshi, 1974, governor of Hawaii. The first on the mainland was Gary Locke, elected governor of Washington in 1996.

-Mayor of a major U.S. city: Norman Yoshio Mineta, 1971, in San Jose, California.

-Astronaut (in space): Ellison Onizuka, first spaceflight in 1985. Died in the 1986 Challenger disaster.

-Academy Award winner: Haing Ngor, Best Supporting Actor of 1984 for his role in The Killing Fields.

-First network news reporters: Ken Kashiwahara and Connie Chung, 1974. In 1993, Chung became the first Asian American to be a nightly news anchor for a major network (CBS).

The future for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

-The population of AAPI in the United States is expected to grow at a significant rate, 161% between 2008 ad 2050. 

-By the year 2050, an estimated 40.6-million U.S. residents are projected to identify themselves as Asians, making up 9 percent of the total population.

-The contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to business will continue to grow, with 1.5 million businesses owned by Asian Americans in 2007, up 40 percent from 2002.