Business and Labor

NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS WIDE RANGING MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2015 (San Diego)--After discussion in the most recent Neighborhood Market Association (NMA) board meeting, a shift in the organization’s official position on minimum wage has been indicated. No longer will the NMA board support an exemption for small business.

DINE AND DIALOGUE WITH CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS: JULY 31 IN EL CAJON

 

July 22, 2015 (El Cajon) – San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce invites you to “Dine and Dialogue with Congresswoman Susan Davis” on July 31 from 12 .m. to 1:30 p.m.  The cost is $10 and lunch is provided.

SENATOR ANDERSON DEFENDS ALEC AS THOUSANDS PROTEST OUTSIDE

 

 

 

 

 

  East County News Service

 

 

July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)

As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.

The protesters included a  prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.

SDSU STUDY FINDS PUBLIC SUPPORTS WORKING MOMS

 

East County News Service

July 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - The American public’s attitude toward working Moms is changing. A study by San Diego State University and University of Georgia researchers published in Psychology of Women found that the overwhelming majority of Americans support working mothers.

OBAMA PROPOSED RULE TO EXTEND OVERTIME PAY WOULD AID 420,000 WORKERS IN CA

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama has announced that the U.S. Department of Labor will propose extending overtime pay protections to nearly 5 million American workers, including over 400,000 Californians. This proposal would increase the current overtime protection threshold, guaranteeing overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than $50,440 per year if they work more than 40 hours a week.

CONGRESSMAN HUNTER TO SPEAK AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST

 

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (La Mesa) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter, who represents the 50th District, will be the keynote speaker at the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Marie Callender's (6950 Alvarado Road, San Diego, CA 92120). The public is welcome to attend and have the opportunity to hear from our energetic and knowledgeable Congressman. 

CHAMBER MOVES BEER GARDEN TO GROSSMONT CENTER AMID UNCERTAINTY OVER FUTURE OF OKTOBERFEST

By Kristin Kjaero

July 14, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Grossmont Center and the Cushman family, to submit a Special Events application to the City for a beer garden event October 16 – 17.

Describing it as “family-friendly,” the application proposes live music, 4-5 food vendors and 3-4 sponsor tables, to be held in the parking area where Hooley Fest has been held in the past.

GONZALEZ BILL TO PROTECT GROCERY WORKERS AFTER MERGERS PASSES LEGISLATURE, GOES TO GOVERNOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2015 (Sacramento) – A bill to protect grocery workers from being fired because of changes in store ownership has been approved by the full State Senate with a 22-14 vote.  Assembly Bill 359, authored by San Diego Democratic Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, previously passed the Assembly with a 46- to 27 vote and will now be submitted to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature.

WHAT WORKS: BUSINESSES BASED ON EMPLOYEES

 

By R. J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) -- This is the inaugural  “What Works” column. And in this column, there will be stories and editorials that talk about what is working or ideas about how things could work. How things could work when people find ways to come together, even if those ways are tied together by a shoe string. This is about progress to its greatest degree, the very existence of forward motion. It isn’t even momentum that I’m talking about here. It is motion that brings people together for their mutual benefit, that engages them and inspires them and case-by-case builds them up.

“SUMMER BASH” BUSINESS EXPO AUGUST 12 IN LA MESA

June 30, 2015  (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber invites you to attend the upcoming “Summer Bash” Business Expo on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. This unique evening provides the public, as well as other business members with the opportunity to meet and enjoy conversation with over 50 local businesses that will be there. In addition to the fun-filled evening, the majority of the businesses participating will be giving away a free raffle item to lucky winners throughout the evening.

FAST-TRACK OF TPP TRADE PACT PASSES SENATE BY ONE VOTE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Protest at Senator Feinstein's office, from the Citizens Trade Campaign Facebook page

June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The controversial fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership international trade pact passed the Senate by a slim one-vote margin. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the fast-tracking, while Senator Barbara Boxer voted no.

Fast-tracking gives President Obama broad latitude to negotiate the trade pact, after which Congress will have only an up or down vote, with no opportunity to make changes.  Opponents have voiced concerns over secrecy of the proceedings. The proposed pact has not been made public, nor have members of Congress been allowed to have copies. 

Nicole “Kali” Gochmanosky,  southern California organizer for the Citizens Trade Campaign, a group opposed to fast-tracking the TPP, had this to say regarding the extensive media coverage of the vote and protests targeting Feinstein.

BILL WOULD UPDATE PROP 13: LARGE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD PAY MARKET VALUE

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2015 (Sacramento)—Since 1978, Proposition 13 has frozen property taxes  for California owners until a property sells.  But now a proposed constitutional amendment would change Prop 13 to require annual assessments of large commercial and industrial properties.

The measure, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5,  exempts homeowners,  owners of rental residential properties and agricultural properties, which would not be impacted.   The measure also includes a tax break for small businesses, instead targeting larger commercial and industrial property owners for the tax hike.

The bill would exempt from taxation up to a half million dollars of personal property used exclusively for business purposes.  It also gives businesses an exemption of up to a half million for equipment and fixtures—an action that would eliminate the tax on equipment and fixtures entirely for 90% of businesses, whether they own or rent their place of business.

VILLAGE MERCHANTS BEGIN SELLING BOOTHS FOR OKTOBERFEST

No permit, no debt repayment plan yet, but the clock is ticking

By Kristin Kjaero

June 9, 2015 (La Mesa) – Although the City Council sent them back to the drawing board with a requirement that means they must come up with a repayment plan for $37,229 they owe the City before any new special event applications from them will be processed, the La Mesa Village Merchants Association yesterday evening sent e-mails to all 2014 Oktoberfest vendors soliciting applications and payments for booth rentals for a 2015 Oktoberfest.

The e-mail states, “Even though it was very hot during the day, the event was a great success. We hope that you feel the same way and will consider joining us again this year.”

The Merchants group owes the City $33,996 for Police, Fire and other support services provided for the 2014 Oktoberfest, and said at the last City Council meeting that they’d spent the revenue from it on Christmas in the Village instead of paying back the City’s General Fund.

The e-mail gives the vendors a date, time, fees for booth rental (ranging from $500 for crafters up to $2,100 for food vendors plus $100 cleaning deposit), and where to send their checks, but does not mention the debt issue or problems with their previous application which triggered a City Council policy change regarding special event applications and permits.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRESIDENT OBAMA, IF TPP IS GOOD FOR HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN, WHY CAN’T WE READ IT?

 

By Mickey Kasparian, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135

Mickey Kasparian, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 released the following statement after President Obama’s local news interview regarding Fast Track Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

June 7, 2015 (San Diego) --Instead of talking into a satellite camera, President Obama should listen to the hard-working families of California who overwhelmingly oppose fast track. He says that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is different than past trade agreements that failed a majority of Americans, but thanks to leaked drafts and a negotiation process that included 600 corporate lawyers, it’s apparent that this deal will be a disaster for everyone but the wealthiest corporations.

The level of secrecy that surrounds TPP is deeply troubling. If this deal is truly good for hard-working men and women, then why can’t we read it? If the President believes this is a great deal, why can’t he prove it to us? American workers deserve to see the uncensored truth of this agreement.

JONES BILL TO REVAMP "MADE IN AMERICA" LABELING LAW IN CA PASSES ASSEMBLY

 

East County News Service

June 5, 2015 (Sacramento)--Assemblyman Brian Jones’ (R-Santee) legislation to conform California law to the federal “Made in America” standard, which is used by every other state in the country, passed the Assembly on May 26th.

29 RESTAURANTS JOIN IN TASTE OF LA MESA JUNE 8

 

May 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to “eat your heart out” at the 7th annual Taste of La Mesa, featuring tastings from 29 local restaurants.  This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Community Drive).

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST 2015

Debt from 2014 leaves future wide open

"I feel for the Merchants, I feel for the situation, believe me I do, but when you have the money and you know you owe the money, you’ve got to get your priorities straight. I would say the same thing to my children, if they got the rent to pay and they’ve got other things to pay. You get your priorities straight and pay the rent, or you’re going to be out on the street." - Councilmember Ruth Sterling

By Kristin Kjaero

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – The operation of this year’s Oktoberfest is up in the air, with the door open for a new organizer to potentially take over. Last week, the city of La Mesa received an application from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association for the 2015 Oktoberfest, but the Merchants’ group still owes the city $37,229 for past events including last year’s Oktoberfest.  Without ruling on the application directly, the city added a phrase to its special event application policy that empowers the City Manager with discretion to pre-qualify and negotiate with applicants.

 The Merchants Association proposed to pay both its past debts and future costs by taking over the entire event without the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s participation, combined with a request asking the Council  to roll back cost recovery to 50%. The Merchants group also promised to place future proceeds from 2015 into an escrow account so the City would be the first paid from future event revenues. 2015 Car Show series, funded annually by Oktoberfest profits, was also cancelled last week by the Merchants.

This isn’t the first time that the Merchants Association’s finances have lead to a change in the way the City processes applications for special events.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST TASTE OF LA MESA

 

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 7th annual Taste of La Mesa from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 8, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa. Presenting sponsor is Sycuan Casino. The event will feature networking and food sampling from local restaurants and food providers. In addition, local businesses will be on hand with exhibit tables. Parking is free and shuttle service will be available.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO OUTSOURCE CUSTODIAL SERVICES

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted this week to outsource custodial services at all 22 city facilities to NMS Management, Inc.  The move is expected to save the city $350,000 to $400,000 a year.

EMPLOYERS FIND JOB FAIR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE REALLY WORKS

 

May 29, 2015 (EL CAJON) –The recent East County Career Expo at Cuyamaca College has resulted in at least 113 anticipated hires and lined up more than 80 interviews for jobseekers, according to a survey of employers who attended the May 20 event.

PENN NATIONAL GAMING NAMES RICHARD ST. JEAN GENERAL MANAGER OF HOLLYWOOD CASINO JAMUL-SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

May 26, 2015 (Jamul) – Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) announced today that Richard St. Jean has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. Mr. St. Jean, who currently serves as General Manager of Hollywood Casino Toledo, will also assume an oversight role at Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Mr. St. Jean will have full responsibility for the opening and management of the planned $360 million Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, which will be owned by the Jamul Indian Village of California and managed by Penn National Gaming.

FOR WEDDINGS TO SAVOR, GROVE PASTRY TAKES THE CAKE

By Miriam Raftery

May 28, 2015 (Lemon Grove) – If you’re looking for a wedding cake that’s personalized, beautiful and delicious,  you’ll find your heart’s desire at Grove Pastry Shop in Lemon Grove. When San Diego Style Wedding magazine held a competition for wedding cake bakers last year, Grove Pastry Shop won six of eight categories (and didn’t enter the other two). 

In business since 1947, the bakery has evolved with the times, now offering an array of options ranging from specialty cake flavorings from mango to margaritas, as well as decorating options from tiered chandeliers to tattoos.  One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the bakery’s commitment to quality –with all cakes hand-crafted and baked the old-fashioned way, with the finest ingredients using many personal recipes from owner Teresa Johnson.

BIKE CORRAL OPENS AT LIVING ROOM COFFEEHOUSE IN COLLEGE AREA

 

May 22, 2015 (San Diego)--The College Area Business District is celebrating the installation of its first bike corral located in front of the Living Room Coffeehouse, 5900 El Cajon Boulevard. The bike corral opened May 20th and a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held May 27th at 10 a.m. with refreshments.

GET MY VET A JOB: VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR JUNE 5

 

May 20, 2015 (San Diego's East County) – Get My Vet a Job, a virtual career fair event, will be held on June 5th   nationwide to help veterans, transitioning military members, spouses and family members across the country.

PARK STATION: WILL THE THIRD TIME BE A CHARM?

May 14, 2015 (La Mesa) -- Park Station is coming before the La Mesa Planning Commission for the third time since the application was first submitted in 2008. The hearing will be held on May 20 at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers. The first time it was kicked to the curb on the basis of height and density. The second time everyone -including the applicant- was stunned when the American Legion Hall withdrew their co-application during the hearing, requiring the Kitzman’s to come up with a new plan.

SANTEE BUSINESS AND MOBILE HOME PARK RECOGNIZED FOR RECYCLING EFFORTS

 

East County News Service

April 29, 2015 (Santee) -- GTM Discount General Stores and Meadowbrook Mobile Home Estates of Santee received special recognition from Waste Management of San Diego at this week’s Santee City Council meeting as part of Waste Management’s inaugural “Recycling Champion” program which recognizes businesses and multi-family complexes for their exemplary efforts in implementing recycling on their properties in the City of Santee.

LA MESA REPORTS ON COMMERCIAL VACANCY

April 29, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa has once again updated its economic development webpage with refreshed Commercial Space Availability Reports. According to the most recent reports, dated April 2015, there is approximately 146,000 square feet of retail space available in the City; 150,000 square feet of office space; and 37,000 square feet of industrial space.  Retail vacancy is down over 20% from April 2014 and office vacancy is down roughly 14%. 

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