Chicago home sales up; but prices at record 10-year low

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School

Around this time a year ago, Kevin Anderson, a broker at Chicago’s largest residential real estate company @properties, was feeling downcast. A historic snowstorm had just hit the Windy City and he had only managed to list or sell two properties. As 2012 enters its second month, Anderson is more upbeat. So far he has four units listed or under contract.

“It is a buyer’s market,” Anderson said. “We have not seen this in decades, so it’s a great time to buy if you can.” Consumer sentiment is also up, he said.

Continue reading “Chicago home sales up; but prices at record 10-year low”

The NYPD ‘Third Jihad’ film flap: Perpetrating Islamophobia

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
Written for an Opinion Writing Class at Columbia Journalism School

In light of the revelation that New York City’s top cop, Raymond W. Kelly appeared in a film depicting American Muslims as extremists out to dominate the U.S., it will serve the world’s most diverse city, if Mayor Michael Bloomberg terminates police spokesman Paul J. Browne, orders an independent probe and revisits police actions towards the city’s Muslim population. Left unresolved, the issue poses a corrosive effect on the fragile relationship between the city and the many marginalized minority groups here.

The screening of the film within the confines of the NYPD was wrong. It perpetrates Islamophobia and could elicit more discriminatory acts against American Muslims.

Prejudice and hate towards the Muslims have been on the rise since 9/11, said Prof. Craig B. Futterman, a civil rights professor at the University of Chicago. That should stop. Spreading inaccurate stereotypes and playing upon fears using those kinds of videos only reinforces those prejudices.

Continue reading “The NYPD ‘Third Jihad’ film flap: Perpetrating Islamophobia”

Economists predict weak U.S. jobs numbers for January 2012

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School


Coming off the heels of a busy holiday season that saw a gain of 200,000 U.S. workers in December, economists estimate a sluggish January 2012 job market, with only over 100,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate inching up a tenth of a percent from last month to 8.6.

As the gift-giving period ended, as many as 40,000 couriers and messengers hired late last year were most likely left without work by January, slicing 20 percent from the December figure, according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Additionally, the construction sector also slowed down due to the weather and the already weak building activity across the country.

“I think we’re probably going to get somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 120, 000 jobs,” Shierholz said referring to the job increase.

Continue reading “Economists predict weak U.S. jobs numbers for January 2012”