This Week in the News…

Posted: January 10, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, Jan. 4, The Washington Post

What’s on the Horizon?; In One of the Nation’s Strongest Markets, a Stable Year Awaits the D.C. Region

“It’s the season for looking forward, for asking questions about the future. So what’s ahead for the real estate market, which has just finished its most robust year ever, propping up an otherwise sickly U.S. economy? Low mortgage rates led to record home sales and mortgage refinancing volume. It was such a strong year that the big question is whether it can last, or whether the housing market has become a bubble, a la tech stocks. ‘Housing prices will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate in the Washington area. Some sub-markets will soften though, those where people paid way too much for their houses last year. Like Loudoun County. They had an enormous price increase in 2001 — 22 percent. Prices went up way too fast there. They may fall some,’ said Stephen S. Fuller, regional economist and professor of public policy at George Mason University.”

Monday, Jan. 6, The Denver Post

New Congress, Old Issues; GOP’s Slim Control of Senate Won’t Alter Much, Experts Say

“Take judges, an issue on which Republicans promise prompt action. Incoming Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has assured swift votes on Bush’s judicial candidates, whose nominations have been bottled in the committee for more than a year. One such nominee is Denver lawyer Tim Tymkovich, whose nomination to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals never got a hearing while Democrats controlled the Senate. Frenzel says he expects Hatch will get the nominees out of committee, but conservative nominees for appeals courts and the Supreme Court can expect resistance on the Senate floor. Susan Tolchin, a professor of public policy at Virginia’s George Mason University, isn’t so certain. ‘The Democrats haven’t showed that they have the guts to filibuster away some of the judges,’ she said.”

Wednesday, Jan 8, The Washington Post

Study Sees Worsening Shortage In Housing; Market Imbalance Fuels Cost, Sprawl

“Demand for new housing in the Washington region is outstripping supply and will continue to do so for 20 years, ratcheting up prices, spurring development farther into the geographical fringe and lengthening commutes, according to a study by George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. The forecast comes as many local jurisdictions place more stringent restrictions on home development. On Monday, for example, Loudoun County supervisors approved zoning that bars standard suburban development from about two-thirds of the county and shrinks the number of potential new dwellings by about 60,000. ‘The basic problem is that local governments are not planning for enough housing to support the economic growth they are expecting,’ said John McClain, a GMU researcher who did the study with GMU economist Stephen S. Fuller. ‘In terms of the region’s economy, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.'”

Wednesday, Jan. 8, Associated Press Newswires

U.S. Panel Approves Tougher Sentences for Corporate Criminals

“The political dustup comes at a commission not accustomed to much controversy. Commission Chairwoman Diana E. Murphy, one of three Democratic judges on the panel, said that conflicts are usually settled less publicly and that it does not vote along party lines. Michael O’Neill, a George Mason University law professor and one of two commission Republicans, said before the meeting that Congress and President Bush want tougher sentences to send the message that ‘the nation is not going to take people pillaging pension funds and running corporations like their own piggy banks.’ O’Neill and the other Republican commissioner supported penalty increases for all fraud.”

Write to at