Busted California city pins hopes on revamped air base

photo Two painters mask a United Airlines passenger jet as they prepare to paint the plane at Leading Edge Aviation Services' painting facility in Victorville, Calif. Once a boomtown where housing came cheap, this remote desert city far east of Los Angeles is now a poster child for an economic hangover that just won't quit: One in 59 homes is in foreclosure and unemployment hovers near 14 percent. Yet residents see an end to their tale of woe in the misfortunes of others.

By GILLIAN FLACCUS

Associated Press

VICTORVILLE, Calif. - The billboard outside the Arbor Lane subdivision offers a hollow promise of elegant homes at rock-bottom prices.

A drive down the flag-lined entrance reveals the truth: Empty lots filled with weeds swallow up the several dozen completed houses.