The Real Estate Market is ‘Half Full’

While a recent newspaper headline exclaimed: ‘Home market still depressed’, Century 21 M&M and Associates Realtor John Lazar only sees a ‘once in a lifetime’ buying opportunity.

John Lazar, Mayor of Turlock, CA

John Lazar, Turlock Office 209-581-2240 email-jlazar @c21mm.com

“I’ve never seen so much opportunity in my lifetime,” said Lazar, a 22-year real estate veteran and the Mayor of Turlock. “I doubt we’ll see this type of market again in my lifetime.”

With the media taking a ‘half-empty cup’ interpretation of recent slumping realty statistics, Lazar’s attitude is the cup is ‘half-full.’ There is no question area homes sales have suffered.

Here are some of the recent stats for Stanislaus County:

• Median-priced homes have fallen from a peak of $396,000 in December 2005 to $140,000 in July 2010

• 641 homes were sold in July 2010, down from nearly 1,100 homes in July 2005

• Dropping home prices have made homes much more affordable.

Stanislaus County families earning the county’s median income could afford to buy nearly 84 percent of the homes sold in April through June. In 2005, the same families could only purchase 3 percent of the homes sold in the fourth quarter.

Lazar said the amazing jump in affordability, Stanislaus is No.1 for the state, makes real estate a great buy. “I think it’s a mistake for anybody with the ability to purchase a home not to be in the market,” he said.

Bella Daniel, Turlock-Main 209-602-9492 email-bdaniel @c21mm.com

Bella Daniel, Turlock-Main 209-602-9492 email-bdaniel @c21mm.com

Bella Daniel, a Century 21 M&M Realtor in Turlock, said many potential homebuyers are waiting on the sidelines because of fear. They fear home prices will go lower and they fear losing their jobs.

“All they hear is bad news, all doom and gloom,” she said. “They don’t need to wait. This is the best it’s going to get. Get rid of the fear.” Daniel said  “buying now pencils out for renters and first-time homebuyers.”

“The cost of rent is higher than what they can own their own home,” said Daniel. “Why pay someone else’s mortgage.” Working 10 hours a day, six days a week, Daniel is busy. She has already matched her unit sales for all of 2009, with four months still left in the year.

Short sales make up half her business and the remainder is dedicated to helping children of past clients. “The process in today’s market with bank short sales, multiple offers and more challenging financial requirements, can take longer to purchase a home, but the

Owen Burgess, Turlock-Main 209-985-4034 email-oburgess @c21mm.com

Owen Burgess, Turlock-Main 209-985-4034 email-oburgess @c21mm.com

wait is worth it. We’ll get them into a house,” she said.

While home sales have definitely slowed since the federal homebuyer tax credit ended April 30, Century 21 M&M Realtor Owen Burgess said he is “staying pretty busy.” However, Burgess said he is not convinced the housing market has hit bottom. “I still think we have a little ways to go,” he said. “I think we’re getting near the end.”

Judy Lea-Caton, Turlock-Main 209-613-4611 email-jcaton @c21mm.com

Judy Lea-Caton, Turlock-Main 209-613-4611 email-jcaton @c21mm.com

Judy Lea-Caton said the rumor of financing interest rates being low, but difficult to qualify for, also is hurting realty sales. “It’s a little harder than it use to be, but getting financing hasn’t been impossible,” said Lea-Caton, a Realtor at Century 21 M&M in Turlock. “A good mortgage broker can help clean up your credit. It’s not as hard as everyone is saying.”

Interest rates are at record lows. Lea-Caton said she recently closed a sale that had fixed financing at 4.25 percent. In addition, FHA down payment requirement only has increased 0.5 percent to 3.5 percent. Slow bank approval of short sales, hurt Lea-Caton’s productivity the first half of the year. With the bank approval time shortening from six months to three weeks, she’s dramatically increased her sales.

“I’m extremely busy,” she said. “I have seven files on my desk right now,  said Lea-Caton. “Wachovia Mortgage sets the standard for moving short sales. You can have written approval in seven to 10 days and close in 30 to 45 days.”

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American Dream: Century 21 M&M and Associates Amazing Growth

John Melo CEO & Larry Matos, President/Broker

John Melo and Larry Matos are living the American Dream. They earned it.

The principals of Century 21 M&M and Associates in just 16 years built a small office in Turlock into the world’s largest Century 21 organization with offices in 23 cities.

Melo was 28 and Matos only 20, when they purchased their first Century 21 franchise. However, the pair had strong work ethics and were not afraid of hard work.

Teri Espinola, Century 21 M&M Realtor in Turlock, CA

Teri Espinola, Turlock Office call 209-633-1830 email-tespinola @c21mm.com

“We were friends and we both grew up in dairy farm families”, said Melo. “We had worked in the same Coldwell Banker office in Turlock.”

“In 1994, the original office had a staff of four Melo, Matos and two other Realtors. The first Realtor we hired is still with us, Teresina Espinola“, said Melo.

Initially, the partners had reasonably ambitious plans for the new venture.

“Our goal was to grow the office and have a handful of offices in Stanislaus County”, said Melo, CEO of the firm. “However, the opportunity to grow presented itself and we took advantage of that.”

Company president Matos said the business has steadily grown.

“The bulk of our growth has always been in a down market”, added Melo. “Our growth came in the late 90s, early 2000s and again now. These transactions occurred in a down economy. You can find a lot of opportunity and ability to relieve business owners without a lot of money.”

“Just like the time to buy a house is when the market is in a slump”, explained Matos. “Its also the time to buy to other realty offices. Our business model is recognizing opportunity when others don’t”, said Matos.

“This year has been significant in the firms expansion with the acquisition of Coldwell Banker Endsley and Associates in Turlock and three top 100 ranked Century 21 offices in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Cupertino. The four new additions added 550 Realtors to Century 21 M&M and also will double its sales volume.”

Four years of recession has been trying for many real estate  firms. Some slumping firms, which have recognized Century 21 M&M is in a buying mode, have reached out to the Oakdale-based organization.

“Were getting two or three calls a month from small business owners wanting to sell”, said Melo. “However, were very cautious with our growth, business plan and strategy.”

Part of that strategy is to grow into neighboring markets. The strategy allows Century 21 M&M to slowly spread its brand and maintain name recognition. The partners said they were offered a realty office in Seattle, but felt it was too big of jump and the Century 21 M&M is not known in the area.

Matos said the keys to making successful acquisitions are to maximize economy of scale, eliminate redundancies, and utilize technology. Technology, which the firm embraced in the late 1990s, is the secret to running offices from Solano County to Santa Clara County.

“We realized technology was the fast-moving center of business”, said Melo. “It streamlined costs and speed and maximized communications.”

Matos said in the past four years the firm has invested nearly $2 million in technology. He believes its provided the best return for the money.

“Everyone in the company is provided an e-fax, a mobile site, and an agent website, said Melo. “All offices have Voice Over IP. An upcoming online platform will allow all escrow files to be available for clients and agents to see the progress and status. You can view files anytime. This is huge.”

Most importantly to Melo, technology allows him to manage a corporation with $2 billion annual sales and still have dinner most nights with his wife and their three children.

“Technology gave me the ability to be 70 to 80 percent more productive”, he said. “It allows me to send an answer to a question no matter where Im at. I can e-mail each of the companys 1,200 associates with just one e-mail. Its very powerful.”

John Piper, formerly of Century 21 Champion in San Jose and continuing as a vice president at Century 21 M&M, said the company was a technology leader.

“At Century 21 M&M and Associates, John and Larry have developed a compelling agent value package through their overwhelming online presence”, said Piper. “Our agents will be able to offer buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley the most advanced online marketing systems available.”

Melo and Matos still find the time to inspire their staff to contribute to their communities. The many community service efforts the firm is involved with include the Cancer Society Walk, local schools, local chambers, and anywhere there is a need.

“Were always looking to the part of the community that needs the help”, said Melo.

Century 21 M&M Modesto collected a mountain of Coats for Kids

Mountain of Coats for Kids in Modesto, December 2009

“One community service favorite is Coats for Kids & Cancer walk for life. Last year, Century 21 M&M donated more than 4,000 coats to the cause. Our goal this year is 10,000 coats”, said Melo.

The essence of Century 21 M&M is the two individuals that worked tirelessly to achieve the American Dream.

“The secret of our partnership is Larry and I have the similar business and personal philosophies”, said Melo.

While they may share ideals and goals, they have two totally different personalities and bring different strengths to the business.

“Larry is a great communicator. He loves to be in front of people and loves to educate and train. He loves the broker side of the business”, said Melo. “I like the business side. I love numbers, problem solving and finding solutions. I love working the back end of the business and looking at the big picture.”

The pairing obviously works.

“At the end of the day, we come together to build this business”, said Melo.

August 17-22, Northern California Events and Festivals

Stockton – Wednesday August 18th, 2010 at 6:00pm – Concert in the Park

The City of Stockton Community Services Department presents the annual series in partnership with the Stockton Musician’s Association. Spend an evening in the Victory Park (Pershing & Argonne) with your favorite person, a picnic supper, and some great music as the Concert in the Park series continues for the 57th year! Every Wednesday beginning June 9 – August 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(209)937-8119

Starlight Cinemas, Free summer outdoor movies, San Jose CASan Jose – Wednesday August 18, 2010 at dusk – Starlight Cinemas; Creature from the Black Lagoon

The Creature, an amphibious, prehistoric man-monster inhabits the depths of a tropical lagoon undisturbed until scientists intrude upon his domain. Directed by Jack Arnold, the film stars Richard Carlson and Julie Adams. 3-D glasses will be available for sale. Take advantage of San Jose’s warm, summer nights and enjoy a movie under the star-studded sky with good company. Starlight Cinemas in the Historic District will feature 1930s-1950s classic films. Discover unparalleled entertainment and dining options tucked inside some of downtown’s historic buildings, plus transit services steps from the front door. Come early for pre-movie entertainment and the best seat; BYOCB(or A)- Bring Your own Chair, Blanket or Air Bed. Located at Post Street between Market and First streets.

Sunnyvale – Wednesday August 18, 2010 at 2:00pm – Steve Chaney, Ventriloquist

Free! Steve Chaney and sidekick Corny Crow have a hilarious, “side-splitting” show lined up for an audience of all ages. For twenty years, Steve and his partner Corny Crow have presented their unique show for children and adults throughout the U.S. and Canada at  fairs, festivals, schools and libraries. Steve’s warmth and humor comes through in all his performances. Located at the Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W. Olive Avenue, Sunnyvale, call for info at 408-730-7300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              408-730-7300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Jazz on the Plazz, Los Gatos CA concert seriesLos Gatos – Wednesday August 18, 2010 at 6:30 to 8:30pm – Monterey Jazz Festival County High School All Stars; Jazz on the Plazz

In advance of September’s 53rd Annual Monterey jazz Festival, you can hear this talented group of young musicians performing in Los Gatos. This free concert is part of the Jazz on the Plazz summer music series. Wine and beer is allowed in the park, but not on sidewalks or streets. There are numerous restaurants near the Plaza and some prepare specials for take-out. Dogs are allowed on leashes.

Oakdale – Thursday, August 19, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

New produce vendors this year include Windy Hill Farms of Waterford and Hickman Chicks. A number of community groups will once again have displays, and other businesses will also have booths with their goods. Another first time offering will include artists displaying their work at the market. And entertainment will be featured each week.

Lodi – Thursday, August 19, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

Downtown Lodi – School Street – Time: 5 p.m. The Downtown Certified Farmers Market is the family friendly market held every Thursday evening beginning in June throughout the end of September. Over 25 certified farmers offer an array of fresh produce, wine and flowers. 50 homemade and commercial arts and craft vendors line the streets of downtown attracting over 5,000 attendees each week. An upscale beer and wine garden which showcases local breweries and wineries is located adjacent from the entertainment stage.

Fairfield – Thursday, August 19, 2910 – Farmers Market

The Fairfield Certified Farmers Market is Here! Every Thursday, May 7th to October 1st, 2009, 4:00 – 8:00pm. Downtown Fairfield on Jefferson Street and Texas Street adjacent to the Solano County Government Center Plaza. WEEKLY FEATURES; Fresh Produce, Tree Ripened, Fruits FREE Children’s Arts & Crafts, Shaved Ice, Kettle Korn, Bar-B-Q, and Weekly Musical Entertainment

Northern California Farmers MarketDixon – Thursday, August 19, 2010 – Farmers Market

Celebrate the Bounty! The Downtown Dixon Business Association with the help of the City of Dixon brings the Pacific Coast Certified Organic Farmer’s Market to downtown every Thursday starting Thursday, May 20 through mid-September 2010, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Women’s Improvement Club Park next to the Dixon Public Library on the corner of North First and East C Streets.

Campbell – Thursday August 19, 2010 at 6:20 to 8:00pm – Sage; Campbell Summer Concert Series

Beginning their musical quest in 1969, Sage has stayed true to its mission of playing great R&B, funk and soul. Over the years, the band has maintained its eight-piece member format for that big, full sound they like to deliver at live performances. Although based in San Jose, it was obvious from the start that the solid rhythm section and blasting horn section felt the funk and soul influences of the East Bay, as well. The Campbell Summer Concert Series is brought to you courtesy of the City of Campbell and generous donations from the community. It’s a free event, located at Orchard City Green, 70 N. 1st Street, Campbell. You can support the Campbell Museum Foundation by purchasing BBQ, hot dogs, polish sausages, chips, cookies, wine, beer, soda and more. Bring a lawn chair with you, if you like, but please leave your pets at home. For more information call 408-866-2105.

San Jose – Thursday August 19, 2010 at 5:20 to 9:15pm – Y & T; Music in the Park

Hailing from the East Bay, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s own innovators of the hard rock sound. Y&T influenced and paved the way for legendary hard rock bands in the early ’70s (i.e. Metallica and Motley Crue) — many of which played as opening bands at Y&T shows. For many years they’ve also toured with some of rock’s biggest names including Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, and Aerosmith. Y&T songs grace the soundtracks of numerous movies and television shows, and their popular videos, such as Lipstick & Leather, Don’t Stop Runnin’, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and Summertime Girls, are still featured videos on VH1 today. Original members Dave Meniketti on lead guitar / lead vocals and Phil Kennemore on bass, still take stages around the world by storm, with the addition of John Nymann (Eric Martin, Greg Kihn) on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums. Free event located at Caesar Chavez Park, South Market Street, San Jose, CA

San Jose – Friday August 20, 2010 10:00am to 2:00pm – Downtown Farmers Market

The cozy outdoor market takes place each Friday (with only a few holiday exceptions), from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. along a charming block of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.

Oakdale – Friday nights through August 27th – Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park” CNP are FREE to attend and promote a family and friendly environment! Great groups to see and listen to through August 27th, 2010, 630PM -8PM! They are held at Dorada Park (Play Park), behind the Chamber and Community Pool, A Street and 2nd Avenue, Oakdale, CA. The following are scheduled for 2010:

  • August 20th – JMZ (Country Classic Rock)
  • August 27th – Steadfast Heart (Contemporary Christian Rock/Praise).

Contact the Chamber for more information (209) 847-2244

Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre in Saratoga CASaratoga – 8/19-8/22, 8/26/-27, 9/4-9/5 at 7:00pm– Much Ado About Nothing

Artistic Director Larry Barrott has adapted this comic masterpiece, setting it in the 1940’s, just as “our boys” are arriving home from the war. This production is rich with the music that helped define this age in American history and will feature a live band to support our heroines as they help tell Shakespeare’s great love story with moxie and song. Adapted, but true to Shakespeare’s original, this production is infused with a fresh style and vibrancy that will leave you wanting more. Organized by the Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company, located at Sanborn County Park, 16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga, call for information – 408-264-3479. Ticket Information: Free $6 parking

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 21,2010 – Sunnyvale Farmers Market

Enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts from from local growers and artisans.
Murphy Ave (Caltrain Station parking lot near Evelyn and South Frances Streets)

San Jose – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 12-noon to 8:00pm – 3rd Annual San Jose Salsa Festival

Get ready for another Hot! Hot! Hot! community festival in Alum Rock  Village! Alum Rock Avenue from White Road to Millar and Manning Avenues will be closed to traffic and the Village will once again take on the festive atmosphere of an Old-Time Street Fair in a quaint Town Square. For your pleasure, the Alum Rock Village Business Association will present:

  • A full day of Musical Entertainment featuring the Bay Area’s Finest Salsa Bands performing at our huge covered stage!
  • Our Fantastic Children’s Entertainment Area with its own stage and special guests!
  • Our Best-Tasting Salsa Contest!
  • Our Best Amateur Salsa-Dancing Contest!

Scores of white-topped canopies will line the street – each offering FUN, FOOD, Arts/Crafts and activities for the whole FAMILY!   Admission is FREE!

San Jose – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 3:00 to 5:00pm – Go Green 4 Earth Crafts

Go earth 4 green crafts, San Jose Library eventFree Event! Do fun crafts with recycled materials! Bring in some recycled materials (newspapers, magazines, juice cartons, etc.). and find out what fun crafts can be made out of them. At the same time, learn how recycling helps save the earth! Presented by the Girl Scout of Santa Clara County. Located at the Tully Community Branch Library, 880 Tully Rd., San Jose, CA, call for more info – 408-808-3030.

San Jose – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 7:00pm – Introduction to Square Dancing; Street Dance Hoedown

This evening’s event features an introduction to square dancing in Downtown Willow Glen. Get a taste of this fun dance genre with caller Jim Osborne. You don’t need to know how to square dance — steps will be taught along the way. This FREE event is open to adults and teens. Square dancing attire is not required. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Located in the parking lot of Adira Dance and Costume, 1202 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA.

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 10:30am to 9:00pm – Silicon Valley Film Festival

Silicon Valley is the origin of many technologies and innovations that have changed the lifestyle of mankind in the last thirty years, and it is still proving itself every day with new start-ups with visions for tomorrow’s world. Silicon Valley is also at the root of Digital Filmmaking and Digital Media, and has always supported the world of filmmaking with continuous innovations. The Silicon Valley Film Festival celebrates such innovations and the works of filmmakers. The theme for this year’s inaugural festival is Celebrating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Cinema. Films will be screened from emerging and independent filmmakers from around the world. Located at AMD Commons Theater, 991 Stewart Dr., Sunnyvale, CA, all day pass $15.00, and for more information call 408-533-1502.

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 5:30 to 8:30pm – Tony Lindsey & Tom Politzer; Jazz and Beyond Series

Tony Lindsey, Singer

Tony Lindsey, Singer

Eleven-time Grammy winner, singer, songwriter and producer Tony Linsday is internationally known as the lead singer for guitar legend Carlos Santana. He has also lent his dynamic voice to various radio and television commercials, has released his own CDs, and also performs regularly with his own Bay Area-based band. This FREE concert is part of Sunnyvale’s Jazz and Beyond Series. Enjoy the cool grooves of great local jazz acts in the newly reopened and enhanced Murphy Avenue area. For more information call 408-516-7217

Arnold – Saturday August 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM – 5th Annual Wine and Art Festival

Calaveras Humane Society Cafe presents the 5th Annual Wine and Art Festival on Saturday, August 21st 2010 at Cedar Center in Arnold. There is no entrance charge. The event runs from 2pm till 8pm with with art on exhibit, live music and wine tasting from 2pm till 6pm. Wine tasting will be $15 including an event glass. This event, benefits Calaveras Humane Society’s new shelter project. There will be art for sale, live music, good food, raffle prizes and animals for adoption. Thank you to our sponsors: Angels Camp Vet Hospital, Big Trees Market, Calaveras Lumber, Diamond RB Ranch, LLC, Downey Cooper, Ebberts Pass Gas, Garringer Painting, Jackson Rancheria, Dr. Doug Grover-Mother Lode Vet Hospital, Oliveto Distributing Co., Pioneer Electric, SEI Solid Waste and Umpqua Bank. For more info, call (209) 736-9033.

Clovis – Friday-Saturday, August 20th-21st, 2010 – Hot August Daze Car & Bike Show

Hot August Daze is held at the Clovis Elks Lodge, 535 Woodworth Ave, Clovis, CA in Old Town Clovis. The event begins Friday night with the Clovis Cruise and Sock Hop dinner/dance. Saturday morning, Hot August Daze continues with a car and motorcycle show that features some of the most amazingly beautiful custom and stock vehicles to be seen in Central California. Proceeds from the show benefit the Elks Purple Pig Project. This is a major fund that provides equipment, therapy, etc. for disabled children in California. Friday night sock hop and dinner dance begins at 6:00p.m.; Saturday Car and Bike Show 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Free Admission for spectators. Registration required for participants (advanced registration is $30.00 and the day of the event is $35.00. Includes lunch, an event T-shirt, goodie bags, etc.) For more information contact the Elks Lodge at 559-299-9111 or bpierce1@pacbell.net .

Madera – Sunday August 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – Summer Concerts in the Park

Summer Concerts in the Park series sponsored by the Madera County Arts Council in partnership with City of Madera Parks & Community Services. Concerts are FREE and designed for family enjoyment; Sunday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Allen Harkins’ Amphitheater at Lions Town & Country Park in Madera. Bring your blanket or chair! For additional information and schedule details, contact the Madera County Arts Council, 1653 North Schnoor Avenue, Suite 113 or call (559)661-7005. Community BBQ begins at 6:00 p.m. Concert starts at 7:00 p.m.

The Year of Century 21 M&M and Associates

Last of a two-part series

While the Chinese Zodiac declares 2010 to be the Year of the Tiger, it’s turning out to be the year of Century 21 M&M and Associates.

Century 21 M&M and AssociatesThe Oakdale-based firm and world’s largest Century 21 affiliate, recently acquired four offices: Coldwell Banker Endsley & Associates in Turlock, Century 21 Champion offices in San Jose and Cupertino and the Century 21 El Camino office in Sunnyvale.  The firm has offices in 23 cities.

John N. Melo, CEO of Century 21 M&M, said while the 50-agent Turlock addition fits well in its Central Valley base, the Santa Clara County offices and their 500 agents are much more significant.

“We believe the Santa Clara area has more potential for growth,” said Melo.  “Our plans are to expand in Santa Clara County.  We’re already looking and negotiating with several other locations.”

John Melo and Larry Matos, Century 21 M&M Real Estate

John Melo CEO, Larry Matos-President

Larry Matos, president of Century 21 M&M, said part of Santa Clara County’s attraction is its stronger residential market and much higher median-home prices.

According to Zillow, a real estate  information firm, the median value of all homes in Santa Clara County jumped 7.3 percent to $600,800 from April through June.  In Stanislaus County, the median home price in June was just $139,000, according to MDA DataQuick, a real estate research firm.  More troubling was the figure was down 6% from May’s $148,000.

Melo said Santa Clara County’s strong market is fueled by a large cross-section of nationalities among buyers.

“Santa Clara County adds cultural diversity, at the three offices we added, their staffs speak 30-plus languages,” he said.  “At Century 21 M&M, we thought we were diversified with 10 or 15 languages.”

Melo and Matos have a plan to continue to acquire new offices this year in preparation for a better economy in 2011.  The pair is looking at the Tri-Valley region — Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin — as their next expansion area.

Alan Aoyama, Sales Manager for Century 21 M&M Cupertino

Alan Aoyama, Sales Manager-Cupertino (408)366-6230 email-alan @c21mm.com

“We feel 2010 is a great opportunity, not only for home buying and investments, but also for adding new offices and agents,” said Melo.  “We believe the economy will positively improve in 2011.  Our goal is to have Century 21 M&M in a position to take advantage of the growing economy.”

Alan T. Aoyama, a former vice president of Champion Century 21 and continuing at the Cupertino Century 21 M&M office, likes the business plan Melo and Matos have laid out.

“The Bay Area is a highly competitive market and no doubt, will be challenging for everyone,” said Aoyama.  “But with strength and dedication, we now have our first true opportunity to lead market share.”

Feel free to ask questions, make comments or suggest new topics for this blog. Just use the Comment box below, or send an email to newsandviews@c21mm.com. Why not subscribe to this blog? Just enter your email address in the Email Subscription box (above and to the right), and you will be notified anytime we add new articles.

August 10-15th; Northern California Events and Festivals

Milpitas – Tuesday August 10, 2010 – Jessica Johnson, Backyard Boogie Concert Series

Jessica Johnson, free concert in Milpitas

Jessica Johnson, Singer

FREE. Hometown diva Jessica Johnson has continued to amaze listeners across the state. Johnson’s vibrant blend of classic jazz, R&B, and soul is displayed with the sparkling vitality of inherent talent — in her case, a vocal palette as dynamic as you’re likely to find in contemporary jazz. Of course, Johnson is more than comfortable issuing any number of pop-hits audience members may enjoy, particularly an amazing cover of Alicia Keys’ No One. Jessica will be releasing her second album this summer. Located at Milpitas City Hall, 455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas. For more information call 408-586-3210.

Sunnyvale – Wednesday August 11, 2010 5:30-8:30pm – Busta-Groove – Sunnyvale Summer Music + Market Series

FREE! Busta-Groove, a hot party band, plays hits from the ’70’s, ’80’s, ’90’s and today! Founded in 1997 and based in the Bay Area, Busta-Groove can be found performing for corporate parties, festivals, weddings, casinos, sporting events, private parties, birthday parties and nightclubs throughout the year. This concert is part of the Sunnyvale Summer Music + Market Series. Enjoy arts and crafts, flowers, and the freshest fruits and vegetables while enjoying the cool grooves of great local bands in the newly reopened and enhanced Murphy Avenue. Located at Murphy and Washington Avenues, for more information call 408-516-7217.

San Jose – Wednesday August 11, 2010 at dusk – Starlight Cinema; The Goonies – http://www.sjdowntown.com/Starlight_Cinemas.html

Seven young friends find themselves on a thrilling underground adventure as they try to uncover the secrets behind the treasure of the notorious pirate, One-Eyed Willie. Directed by Richard Donner; starring Sean Astin and Josh Brolin. RatedPG (1985). Take advantage of San Jose’s warm, summer nights and enjoy a movie under the star-studded sky with good company. Starlight Cinemas on San Pedro Square will feature action and adventure classic films this summer. Pre-movie entertainment includes short films created by kids from the Cinequest Adobe Youth Voices program. Come early for the best seat, and BYOCB(or A)- Bring Your own Chair, Blanket or Air Bed. Located at San Pedro Square; San Pedro and Santa Clara.

Singer Robin McKelle, Concert in Los Gatos

Robin McKelle, Singer

Los Gatos – Wednesday August 11, 2010 6:00-8:00pm – Robin McKelle, Vocalist – Jazz on the Plazz

FREE! Robin McKelle is already a vocal jazz star in Europe, seriously in demand for concert and television appearances. These days, McKelle may seem to be leading an at least semi-charmed life, but her burgeoning success is really the result of countless gigs, lots of study and artistic drive. Two years ago, she delivered a dynamite debut disc, Introducing Robin McKelle, embracing a retro-Big Band vibe with the ease and intelligence of a softer-edged Bette Midler. This free concert is part of the Jazz on the Plazz summer music series. Wine and beer is allowed in the park, but not on sidewalks or streets. There are numerous restaurants near the Plaza and some prepare specials for take-out. Dogs are allowed on leashes. Located at S. Santa Cruz Ave. and West Main Street in Los Gatos.


Stockton – Wednesday August 11, 2010 at 6:00pm – Concert in the Park

The City of Stockton Community Services Department presents the annual series in partnership with the Stockton Musician’s Association. Spend an evening in the Victory Park (Pershing & Argonne) with your favorite person, a picnic supper, and some great music as the Concert in the Park series continues for the 57th year! Every Wednesday beginning June 9 – August 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(209)937-8119

Campbell – Thursday August 12, 2010 at 6:30-8:00pm – Crocodiles; Campbell Summer Concert Series

FREE! Out of a late night rehearsal in an urban warehouse, far from their beckoning fans, The Crocodiles were born. Tight vocal harmonies, along with unique stage and instrumental showmanship, make The Crocodiles second-to-none. With their blend of popular hits from Rock to Funk, from Old-School to Motown, from Country to Contemporary Pop, this dynamic act will have you putting on your dancing shoes and warming up your singing voices to join in and have a great time! The Campbell Summer Concert Series is brought to you courtesy of the City of Campbell and generous donations from the community. It’s a free event, but you can support the Campbell Museum Foundation by purchasing BBQ, hot dogs, polish sausages, chips, cookies, wine, beer, soda and more. Bring a lawn chair with you, if you like, but please leave your pets at home. Located at Orchard City Green, 70 N. 1st Street, Campbell. Call for information 408-866-2105.

Oakdale – Thursday, August 12, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

New produce vendors this year include Windy Hill Farms of Waterford and Hickman Chicks. A number of community groups will once again have displays, and other businesses will also have booths with their goods. Another first time offering will include artists displaying their work at the market. And entertainment will be featured each week.

Lodi – Thursday, August 12, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

Downtown Lodi – School Street – Time: 5 p.m. The Downtown Certified Farmers Market is the family friendly market held every Thursday evening beginning in June throughout the end of September. Over 25 certified farmers offer an array of fresh produce, wine and flowers. 50 homemade and commercial arts and craft vendors line the streets of downtown attracting over 5,000 attendees each week. An upscale beer and wine garden which showcases local breweries and wineries is located adjacent from the entertainment stage.

Lodi Farmers Market, Northern California EventFairfield – Thursday, August 12, 2910 – Farmers Market

The Fairfield Certified Farmers Market is Here! Every Thursday, May 7th to October 1st, 2009, 4:00 – 8:00pm. Downtown Fairfield on Jefferson Street and Texas Street adjacent to the Solano County Government Center Plaza. WEEKLY FEATURES; Fresh Produce, Tree Ripened, Fruits FREE Children’s Arts & Crafts, Shaved Ice, Kettle Korn, Bar-B-Q, and Weekly Musical Entertainment

Dixon – Thursday, August 12, 2010 – Farmers Market

Celebrate the Bounty! The Downtown Dixon Business Association with the help of the City of Dixon brings the Pacific Coast Certified Organic Farmer’s Market to downtown every Thursday starting Thursday, May 20 through mid-September 2010, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Women’s Improvement Club Park next to the Dixon Public Library on the corner of North First and East C Streets.

Oakdale – Friday nights through August 27th – Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park” CNP are FREE to attend and promote a family and friendly environment! Great groups to see and listen to through August 27th, 2010, 630PM -8PM! They are held at Dorada Park (Play Park), behind the Chamber and Community Pool, A Street and 2nd Avenue, Oakdale, CA. The following are scheduled for 2010:

  • August 13th – Fabulous Blue Notes (Jump, Swing and Rock & Roll)
  • August 20th – JMZ (Country Classic Rock)
  • August 27th – Steadfast Heart (Contemporary Christian Rock/Praise).

Contact the Chamber for more information (209) 847-2244

San Jose – Friday August 13, 2010 10:00am to 2:00pm – Downtown Farmers Market

The cozy outdoor market takes place each Friday (with only a few holiday exceptions), from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. along a charming block of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.

Campbell – Friday August 13, 2010 at dusk – From Russia with Love (1963) Sundown Cinema

FREE! Donations accepted. At this Sundown Cinema showing, you can see one of the best James Bond films ever made — From Russia with Love, starring Sean Connery. Action, adventure, romance… what more could you ask for on a summer night? Sundown Cinema is an outdoor summer movie series held each year since 2004 in Downtown Campbell. From its start, it has been independently organized by volunteers, staffed by volunteers, and paid for through audience donations and sponsorships from local businesses and organizations. Bring a chair and a blanket and enjoy movies shown in the parking lot beside Orchard Valley Coffee. No alcoholic beverages and no smoking, please. Located at 349 E. Campbell Avenue, Campbell.

San Jose – Friday August 13, 2010 7:30pm – California Writers Club Open Mic at Borders

FREE! This open mic is hosted by California Writers Club on the second Friday of each month. People can come to listen or to present. Reservations (by email) are required if you’d like to read. Presenters are limited to ten minutes, and can either present something they have written or read something from another author. California Writers Club, the nation’s oldest professional club for writers, was founded in 1909. It is a nonprofit education corporation with seventeen branches in California. It is dedicated to educating writers of all levels and disciplines in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work. The Club has more than 1100 members. Located at Borders, 356 Santana Row, San Jose.

First Annual Banana Festival at Consumnes CollegeSacramento – Friday August 13th-Sunday August 15th – First Annual Banana Festival

Come join us for a celebration of everything bananas and family fun at the 1st Annual Banana Festival “Celebrating Community, Culture and Health!” Enjoy a wide range of music, dancing and food from around the world, local artists, entertainment for all ages and much more. In addition to celebrating healthy food and healthy lifestyles, we will be celebrating the cultures in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas which have used the banana as a traditional source of food, art and in cultural customs.The festival will include: Gunther’s Banana Split Contest, Talent Show, line dancing, Josephine Baker and Carmen Miranda Look-a-like Contest…and more. Presented by the National Academic Youth Corps and the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum. Located at the Consumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento. General Admission-$5.00, kids under 11 are admitted FREE. Friday 4pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 14,2010 – Sunnyvale Farmers Market

Enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts from from local growers and artisans.
Murphy Ave (Caltrain Station parking lot near Evelyn and South Frances Streets)

San Jose – Saturday August 14, 2010 7:30pm-10:00pm – Lost in Space Night

Join park staff and astronomers from the San Jose Astronomical Society to explore the night sky through computer-guided telescopes. Munch on popcorn while watching old TV episodes of Lost in Space – “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!” Reservations required. Located at Santa Teresa County Park, 260 Bernal Rd., San Jose. Call for info at 408-266-5453.

Singer Kaye Bohler, Concert in Sunnyvale CA

Kaye Bohler, Singer

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 14, 2010 5:30-8:30pm – Kaye Bohler Blues Band

FREE! Kaye Bohler is a power-house blues woman who has been compared frequently to Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Bette Midler and Mick Jagger for her sincere and genuine strength as a stage performer and rich vocal tones. Kaye performs with The Kaye Bohler Blues Band all over Central and Northern California. This concert is part of Sunnyvale’s Jazz and Beyond Series. Enjoy the cool grooves of great local jazz acts in the newly reopened and enhanced Murphy Avenue area. Located at Murphy and Washington Avenues. Call for info  408-516-7217.

Stockton – Saturday August 14, 2010 8:00-11:00pm – Astronomy in the Park

The Oak Grove Nature Center presents “Astronomy in the Park” on Saturday, Aug 14th from 8:00 – 11:00 pm, hosted by the Stockton Astronomical Society (SAS). Starting at 8:00 pm, join us inside the Nature Center for astronomy themed activities and crafts. SAS volunteers will provide telescopes for stargazing from 9:00 to 11:00 pm. Activities are free and open to people of all ages. Park entrance fee of $5 is required per vehicle. Visit www.mgzoo.com for information on upcoming Oak Grove Nature Center events. Located at Oak Grove Regional Park, 4520 W. Eight Mile Rd., Stockton. For more information call 209-953-8814.

Free Shakespeare in the Park, CupertinoCupertino – Saturday August 14-Sunday August 15 at 7:30pm – Two Gentle of Verona; Free Shakespeare in the Park

Best friends Valentine and Proteus are two gentlemen of Verona, and youthful love is in the air. Proteus falls for Valentine’s glamorous new girlfriend, Silvia and dumps the faithful Julia. To win back her man, she must (like all good Shakespearean heroines) dress up as a boy. With three outrageous outlaws, a misbehaving dog, and fun ’60’s tunes in the mix, Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona is a zany comic caper that’s sure to delight the whole family. Free Shakespeare in the Park began in 1983, with its debut production of The Tempest in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It is now one of the major free Shakespeare programs in the nation. Produced every year in San Francisco, Pleasanton, and Cupertino from July through September, Free Shakespeare in the Park provides an opportunity for everyone to see high quality, professional theater free of charge. Located at Stevens Creek Blvd and Mary Avenue, Cupertino. Call for info at 800-978-PLAY.

Bear Valley Music FestivalBear Valley – through August 15th, 2010 – Bear Valley Music Festival

Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Bear Valley Music Festival will present a variety of music during its seventeen day season that begins Friday, July 30th and runs through Sunday, August 15th.  The Bear Valley Music Festival offers a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, legendary entertainers, and renowned opera stars in a unique mountain setting.   The Festival offers an outdoor musical experience while under the shade of a large 800 seat tent. This week-end;

  • Thursday August 12th. at 7:00PM  Boyz Nite Out, A special Acapella Treat
  • Friday August 13th at 7:00PM  Bear Valley Festival Orchestra – Tchaikovsky Feast: Overture to the Nutcracker Ballet, Symphony #5, Op 64 in E minor
  • Saturday August 14th at 7:00PM  Lehar, The Merry Widow
  • Sunday August 15th at 2 :00PM Bear Valley Festival Orchestra featuring Stephen Kim, Violin (14 years Old) Shostakovich, Violin Concerto Op99 in A minor, Sibelius, Symphony #2 Op43 in D.

Century 21 M&M And Associates Adds Three New Offices, 500 Agents

First in a two-part series

It’s all about the brand!

Century 21 M&M merges with Century 21 Champion and Century 21 El Camino in San Jose, Cupertino andCentury 21 M&M and Associates continues to add new offices and is growing its brand. The largest Century 21 franchise in the world, Century 21 M&M recently acquired three award-winning Century 21 firms — with more than 500 real estate agents total — in Santa Clara County.

“They’re in the top 100 firms with Century 21,” said John N. Melo, CEO of Century 21 M&M. “This acquisition will double our sales volume.” The latest real estate firms to join the Century 21 M&M brand are Century 21 Champion offices in San Jose and Cupertino and the Century 21 El Camino office in Sunnyvale.

According to the 2010 Real Estate Trends 500, the Oakdale-based firm is ranked 47th in the nation for the number of properties it sold in 2009 and 76th for the value of those sales. Century 21 M&M was involved in 6,898 sales worth $1.138 billion.

John Melo and Larry Matos, Century 21 M&M Real Estate

John Melo CEO, Larry Matos-President

Look for Century 21 M&M to jump up the national ranking this year, and then make a dramatically leap in 2011, said Larry Matos, president of Century 21 M&M. The hike in sales dollars, said Melo, will be lead by the higher property values in Santa Clara County. “The median-priced home in Cupertino is $1 million,” he said. “The median price in San Jose is $500,000. In the Central Valley it’s $140,000.”

While a huge increase in property sales and dollar volume is desirable, Melo said he is especially pleased the latest additions will spur the growth of the brand beyond its Central California stronghold. The firm now has offices in 23 cities.

“Getting the Century 21 M&M and Associates brand in the Santa Clara area is the real plus,” he said. “In the Central Valley, a great percentage of our buyers come from Santa Clara County. Now, with us connected with the Silicon Valley area, we’re building our brand. Those homebuyers will recognize the Century 21 M&M brand and will feel comfortable buying in the Central Valley from us.”

John Piper, Sales Manager San Jose 408-978-8000 email-jpiper @c21mm.com

John Piper, Sales Manager San Jose 408-978-8000 email-jpiper@c21mm.com

The different market also will help Century 21 M&M ride out regional sale slumps. “When we’re slow, they’re still going strong,” said Melo. John Piper, vice president of Century 21 Champion in San Jose, stressed that positives of the acquisition goes both ways and the Santa Clara County offices also will greatly benefit.

“At Century 21 M&M and Associates, John and Larry have developed a compelling ‘agent value package’ through their overwhelming online presence,” said Piper, who continues with the firm. “Our agents will now be able to offer buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley the most advanced online marketing systems available.”

NEXT FRIDAY: More expansion plans

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August 4-8, Northern California Events and Festivals

Northern California Farmers MarketStockton – Wednesday August 4th, 2010 at 6:00pm – Concert in the Park

The City of Stockton Community Services Department presents the annual series in partnership with the Stockton Musician’s Association. Spend an evening in the Victory Park (Pershing & Argonne) with your favorite person, a picnic supper, and some great music as the Concert in the Park series continues for the 57th year! Every Wednesday beginning June 9 – August 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(209)937-8119

Oakdale – Thursday, August 5, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

New produce vendors this year include Windy Hill Farms of Waterford and Hickman Chicks. A number of community groups will once again have displays, and other businesses will also have booths with their goods. Another first time offering will include artists displaying their work at the market. And entertainment will be featured each week.

Lodi – Thursday, August 5, 2010 – Farmer’s Market

Downtown Lodi – School Street – Time: 5 p.m. The Downtown Certified Farmers Market is the family friendly market held every Thursday evening beginning in June throughout the end of September. Over 25 certified farmers offer an array of fresh produce, wine and flowers. 50 homemade and commercial arts and craft vendors line the streets of downtown attracting over 5,000 attendees each week. An upscale beer and wine garden which showcases local breweries and wineries is located adjacent from the entertainment stage.

Fairfield – Thursday, August 5, 2910 – Farmers Market

The Fairfield Certified Farmers Market is Here! Every Thursday, May 7th to October 1st, 2009, 4:00 – 8:00pm. Downtown Fairfield on Jefferson Street and Texas Street adjacent to the Solano County Government Center Plaza. WEEKLY FEATURES; Fresh Produce, Tree Ripened, Fruits FREE Children’s Arts & Crafts, Shaved Ice, Kettle Korn, Bar-B-Q, and Weekly Musical Entertainment

Dixon – Thursday, August 5, 2010 – Farmers Market

Celebrate the Bounty! The Downtown Dixon Business Association with the help of the City of Dixon brings the Pacific Coast Certified Organic Farmer’s Market to downtown every Thursday starting Thursday, May 20 through mid-September 2010, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Women’s Improvement Club Park next to the Dixon Public Library on the corner of North First and East C Streets.

Cupertino – Thursday August 5, 2010 at 8:30pm – Cinema at Sundown, “The Blind Side”

“The Blind Side” depicts the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher’s presence in the Touhys’ lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle. Directed by John Lee Hancock, rated PG-13, 128 minutes, 2009. For more information call – 408-777-3200

Movies in the park, Northern CaliforniaPleasanton  – Thursday August 5, 2010 at dusk – Movies in the Park, “Casablanca”

Don’t miss ‘Casablanca’ at Amador Valley Community Park located at 4301 Black Avenue, Pleasanton. This is the classic feature of the summer series, and will play on Thursday, August 5. This 1942 gem is considered one of the finest romantic melodramas ever made. Don’t miss Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains starring in ‘Casablanca’. Rated PG.

Campbell – Thursday August 5, 2010 6:30pm to 8:30pm – Cocktail Monkeys at Orchard City Green, 70 N. 1st Street, Campbell.

The Bay Area-based Cocktail Monkeys covers a wide variety of dance favorite by your favorite music groups. Covering music from the ’60’s through current favorites, their songs range from rock, pop and funk to disco. The Campbell Summer Concert Series is brought to you courtesy of the City of Campbell and is located at 70 N. 1st Street, Campbell. It’s a FREE event, but you can support the Campbell Museum Foundation by purchasing BBQ, hot dogs, polish sausages, chips, cookies, wine, beer, soda and more. Bring a lawn chair with you, if you like, but please leave your pets at home. For more information call 408-866-2105.

http://www.willowglen.org/eventinfo.php?eventid=10913

San Jose – Thursday August 5, 2010 at 6:30 to 8:30pm – Sage; Music in the Glen Concert Series

Beginning their musical quest in 1969, Sage has stayed true to its mission of playing great R&B funk and soul. Over the years, the band has maintained the eight-piece member format for that big, full sound they like to deliver at live performances. Although based in San Jose, it was obvious from the beginning the solid rhythm section and blasting horn section felt the funk and soul influences of the East Bay. This FREE concert takes place in the Quad Area of Willow Glen Elementary School, 1525 Lincoln Ave., San Jose. Please bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on. All food sales will benefit the school and local charities. Sorry, no pets allowed. For more information call 408-978-8234.

Oakdale – Friday nights through August 27th – Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park are FREE to attend and promote a family and friendly environment! Great groups to see and listen to through August 27th, 2010, 630PM -8PM! They are held at Dorada Park (Play Park), behind the Chamber and Community Pool, A Street and 2nd Avenue, Oakdale, CA. The following are scheduled for 2010:

  • August 6th – Oakdale Community Band (Instrumental)
  • August 13th – Fabulous Blue Notes (Jump, Swing and Rock & Roll)
  • August 20th – JMZ (Country Classic Rock)
  • August 27th – Steadfast Heart (Contemporary Christian Rock/Praise).

Contact the Chamber for more information (209) 847-2244

Sunnyvale – Friday August 6, 2010 ­- Capoeira Show

Capoeira combines elements of martial arts and dance, and is of Afro-Brazilian origin. Capoeira of San Jose performs a show each Friday night at Senzala Brazilian Restarant, 250 E. Java Drive, Sunnyvale.This is a great way to connect and learn about the Brazilian community while being entertained during a delicious dinner. For more info call-408-734-1656. No cover

San Jose – Friday through Tuesday,August 5th-9th –  Circus Vargas

Family Entertainment at its finest… Circus Vargas 2010!  The quintessential coupling of traditional acts and modern concepts, a production par excellence! Join us for what is sure to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable editions of Circus Vargas to date, an ingenious mélange of unparalleled artistry and comical relief…. a welcome diversion from the everyday doldrums. A Recipe for Fun! Circus Vargas blends an elegant display of strength, speed, grace and dexterity with an overall ambiance of humor, foolishness, and drollery! Mix in a little sawdust, some spotlights, beautiful music, and the intimacy and excitement of the Big Top and you have the magic recipe…Circus Vargas 2010. Tickets $15.00 – $45.00

Campbell – Friday August 6, 2010 at 8:30pm – Sundown Cinema; The Princess Bride

Sundown Cinema is pleased to present, by very popular demand, The Princess Bride (1987). Combining comedy, adventure, and romance, this film, with an amazing cast directed by Rob Reiner, has become a cult classic. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Movies will be shown outdoors in the parking lot next to Orchard Valley Coffee near the corner of E. Campbell Ave. and Central Ave. Start times for each movie will depend on when the sun sets. Shows usually begin between 8 and 9pm, once it’s dark enough to see the film. Don’t forget to bring a chair and a blanket! No alcoholic beverages and no smoking, please.

San Carlos – Friday August 6, 2010 at 6pm-8pm – E-Ticket Band: San Carlos Summer Concerts

The E-Ticket Band is a popular six-piece rock & roll dance band that has been entertaining folks throughout the SF Bay Area since 1985, mixing upbeat dance tunes that bring back fond memories. They cover the spectrum of rock & roll music done by the original artists- from Sam & Dave to Tom Petty, and everywhere in between adding our own grooves that gets their fans up and dancing. The E-Ticket Band plays rock & roll powered by a love of the music – it is popular, exciting, danceable, memorable, and best of all, fun! FREE Entertainment! Gather with friends and family and enjoy a picnic dinner in the park (sorry, no BBQ’s). Located in Burton Park, 900 Chestnut Street, San Carlos, call for more info-650-802-4382

Pleasanton – Friday August 6, 2010 at 7pm-8:30pm – Top Secret: Concert in the Park

Top Secret has been performing their blend of pop, Motown and R&B at major hotels, casinos, and private venues for the past four years. Their music is a collection of popular dance hits from the past four decade, and their goal is to get you dancing! This FREE concert is located at the Lions Wayside Park, First Street & Neal Street, Pleasanton, call for information at 925-484-2199.

Redwood City  – Friday August 6, 2010 at 6pm-8pm – Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums: Music on the Square 2010

Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums featuring Miss Carmen Getit are a high-energy jump-blues, vintage jazz band with a little boogie woogie thrown in. They put on a great show. Dubbed ‘Instant Crowd Favorites’ by the San Francisco Blues Festival and ‘Consummate musicians and entertainers’ by New York City’s Lincoln Center, Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums shine before a live audience, entertaining folks with their “perfect union of skilled and fueled merry-making.” Downbeat Magazine gives bandleader & co-vocalist Steve Lucky, Carmen and their band 4 Stars, saying “The Rhumba Bums abide by Cab Calloway’s advice: ‘Live what’s in your soul and sing your friggin’ heart out”. Whether the band is rockin’ the blues, jumpin’ or swingin’ them, listen and see why Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums make In Style Magazine’s short list of “coolest bands” around. This FREE concert is located at the Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway Street, Redwood City, for more information call 650-780-7000.

San Bruno – Friday August 6, 2010 at 6pm – Double Funk Crunch – Summer Concert Series

Double Funk Crunch is a 9 piece party band formed in 1997 to serve corporate, private and public clients who desire fun and entertaining dance music for their events. Originally established as a 70’s disco band, they began to perform regularly at many private events, weddings and corporate parties in addition to their club appearances. DFC’s popularity as well as their fan base has grown significantly and the word is out that they are a high energy, fun, party band that has expanded their repertoire to encompass all types of dance music from Big Band to Smooth Jazz, Latin to Hip-Hop, R&B to Blues, and Disco to Rock. DFC’s music spans 30 years of top dance hits from the 70’s to today! This FREE concert is located at the San Bruno City Park, 1125 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno, for more information call – 650-616-7180.

Saratoga -Starting Friday 8/6/10-8/8/10, 8/12/10-8/13/10, 8/21/10-8/22/10, 8/26/10-8/27/10, 9/4-9/5 at 6:40pm– Much Ado About Nothing

Artistic Director Larry Barrott has adapted this comic masterpiece, setting it in the 1940’s, just as “our boys” are arriving home from the war. This production is rich with the music that helped define this age in American history and will feature a live band to support our heroines as they help tell Shakespeare’s great love story with moxie and song. Adapted, but true to Shakespeare’s original, this production is infused with a fresh style and vibrancy that will leave you wanting more. Organized by the Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company, located at Sanborn County Park, 16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga, call for information – 408-264-3479. Ticket Information: Free $6 parking

Bear Valley Music FestivalBear Valley – through August 15th, 2010 – Bear Valley Music Festival

Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Bear Valley Music Festival will present a variety of music during its seventeen day season that begins Friday, July 30th and runs through Sunday, August 15th.  The Bear Valley Music Festival offers a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, legendary entertainers, and renowned opera stars in a unique mountain setting.   The Festival offers an outdoor musical experience while under the shade of a large 800 seat tent. This week-end;

  • Wednesday August 4th at Broadway Pops, with: Katie Van Kooten & David Gagnon
  • Thursday August 5th at 7:00PM  Mark Aitken, Classical Guitar.
  • Friday August 6th at 7:00PM Bear Valley Festival Orchestra; Di Wu, Piano, Martin, Concerto for 7 winds and Orchestra, Mendelsshon, Symphony #5 Op 107 in D minor, Beethoven, Piano Concerto #5 Op 73 in E Flat.
  • Saturday August 7th at10:00AM Children’s Concert
  • Saturday August 6th at 6:00PM Bear Valley Festival Orchestra – “Night in Old Vienna”
    Waltz night back by Popular Demand. Live Auction!  Don’t miss the fun!
  • Sunday August 8th at 2:00PM  Bear Valley Festival Orchestra, Di Wu, Piano, Mozart, Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Tuesday August 10th at 7:00PM “Wine and Chamber Music”

Clovis – Friday night, August 6th at 5:30 – 9:00pm – North America pole vault championships at Farmers Market

FREE! Track and field fans from around the world make Old Town Clovis their destination for the 13 th Annual North American Pole Vault Championships.  Come early for a good vantage point as top-rated athletes compete right in the middle of Pollasky (and Fourth) Avenue.Contact: Business Organization of Old Town (BOOT) at 559-298-5774. Also, Friday Night Farmer’s Market is in full swing in the heart of Old Town Clovis. Sample fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables, grown here in the nation’s finest agricultural region, each in the peak of season!

Lodi – Friday, August 6, 2010 at 5pm-7:30pm – Fusion Friday at Borra Winery

Come and see how well Fusion blends with authentic, refined Mexican cuisine. We are excited to welcome one of Lodi’s newest local restaurants, Revolución 1910 to share a selection of their inspired creations that leave your old chips and salsa in the dust. And there’s nothing like cool jazz on a hot summer night. Bring your sombrero and señorita! Featuring Revolución 1910 with live music by Frankie B Smooth Jazz and Special Guests John & Jessica Ochoa. $12 admission includes appetizers, one glass of wine and souvenir wine glass. Located at Borra Vineyards, 1301 E Armstrong Road, Lodi. Call for more information (209) 368-2446.

Sunnyvale – Saturday August 7, 2010 at 5:30pm-8:30pm – Mark Russo Quartet: Jazz and Beyond Series

Mark Russo is a professional musician performer/writer and teacher graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. His commitment and discipline to music has given him the opportunity and array of woodwinds to include flute, saxophone, clarinet and oboe. This concert is part of Sunnyvale’s Jazz and Beyond Series. Enjoy the cool grooves of great local jazz acts in the newly reopened and enhanced Murphy Avenue area. Organized by the Sunnyvale Downtown Association, located at Murphy Avenue and Washington Avenue, Sunnyvale – call for information at 408-516-7217.

Oakdale – Saturday August 7th at dusk (8:15pm) – Movies Under the Stars

This FREE event is sponsored by The City of Oakdale and presents “Open Season 2” at Cottles Wood Park, 1358 East J Street, Oakdale. For more information call – (209)845-3591

Vacaville – Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 10:00am – International Chili Challenge

This is a sanctioned chili challenge. In addition to the chili challenge you can sit and enjoy vendors, gun fighters display and a variety of musical entertainment.
500 attendees expected. Located at 1 Town Square, Vacaville.

Modesto – Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 6:00pm – X Fest 2010

Ronnie Montrose of Xfest in Northern California

Ronnie Montrose

Chris Ricci Presents is proud to present the Xclamation Festival in Downtown Modesto on Saturday, August 7th, 2010. What is the Xclamation Fest? It is a downtown music and arts festival. Xclamation Fest is now in it’s 12th year. Hundreds of non-profits have gotten involved as a fundraiser and X-Fest creates a large economic boost during the summer in Modesto. . The Xclamation Festival is unlike any other festival of its kind in the United States. The Xclamation Festival features up to 50 bands and performers on 6 separate stages and the World’s Largest Outdoor Disco that utilizes four city blocks. Last year, the Xclamation Festival drew 15,000 people to downtown and features some of the best and most popular touring acts in the country. Tickets $20 in advance, doors open at 6:00pm, entrance is on 11th and J Street Downtown Modesto

Los Gatos – Saturday thru Sunday, 8/7/10-8/8/10 – Fiesta De Artes 2010; Los Gatos Civic Center

Once again, Fiesta de Artes will fill the Civic Center grounds to present the Town of Los Gatos’ one and only art and wine festival. A tradition for over 30 years, the 2009 Fiesta will be the 13th event sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos. The Fiesta is the town’s only venue for artisans, vintners, micro-brewers, entertainers and merchants to gather and celebrate with visitors from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. Fiesta de Artes attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year to the historic Town of Los Gatos for two days of music, art, crafts, food and wine. The non-stop entertainment includes live bands, local talent, and over 150 quality vendors. Collectors and first-time visitors alike appreciate each year’s custom-designed commemorative wine glasses that the Kiwanis Club sells to benefit local charities. Located at 110 E Main Street, Los Gatos, call for information at 408-354-6559. Ticket Information: Free

Burlingame – Sat-Sun 8/7/10-8/8/10 at 10am-6pm – Burlingame Artzfest

FREE! Presented by the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce and held in the downtown Burlingame Avenue area in Burlingame that consistently draws over 30,000 attendees. This is an all new event that combines all of the favorite festival element, while expanding its reach to offer new vendors and entertainment acts for a full weekend of fun for everyone. This year, in addition to the main stage entertainment, there will also be a community stage with local talent! Fine Artists, Crafts People, Home, Garden & Green Main Stage Entertainment, New Community Stage Entertainment, Gourmet Foods & Beverages, & Children’s Playland! There’s something for everyone at the new ArtzFest. For more information call – 650-344-1735

San Jose – Sunday August 8, 2010 at 3pm – Ivory Winds & Steve Lin, Guitarist – Sunday Showcase Concert

Ivory Winds is composed of pianist Geri Actor and flutist Jan Turnage. Geri Actor is a frequent contributor to several bay area musical groups as a keyboard player, percussionist and violist. Jan Turnage began her music journey at age seven with piano lessons and then flute in sixth grade. Guitarist Steve Lin has performed for audiences throughout the United States, Taiwan and Italy. He is a versatile musician in both solo and ensemble and maintains an extensive repertoire, spanning from the Renaissance to the Romantic. Organized by the Silicon Valley Arts Coalition, this concert will be located at Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 N San Pedro Street, San Jose. Call for information at 408-979-0231. Ticket Information: $5 donation.

Sacramento – Saturday thru Sunday, August 7th-8th – 25th Annual Festa Italiana

All Things Italian in Sacramento! Everyone is Italian at Festa Italiana! Experience a trip to Italy without leaving Sacramento. Each year, about 3,500 people from the Italian community gather together for the largest Italian celebration in the Sacramento region and two days of food, music and fun! Festa Italiana is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top Italian Festivals. There is something for the whole family! Festa Italiana boasts great Italian foods, beer, wines, beverages and desserts, all enjoyed while listening to live entertainment by some of the best Italian and local entertainers. Watch performances of BALLIAMO! And I BAMBINI dance groups or get up on stage and dance the night away to live music. There is an extensive marketplace, Italian car show, salami toss, kids’ games and bocce ball. You could even win a trip to Italy! Located at the Croation American Cultural Center, 3730 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento. Tickets: Admission $10; kids 15 & under FREE (Free parking), Info Phone: (916) 482-5900.