Business and Labor
April 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will host its 11th annual “Grip It & Rip It!” golf tournament on May 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Sycuan Resort.
The Chamber invites participants to “ditch your suit and rock the argyle” at Sycuan Resort’s Pine Glen Executive Course for an afternoon of “golf, hilarious fun and incredible networking.”
Angels of Hope, serving Chaldean and Arabic communities in El Cajon, is among recent loan recipients fulfilling a dream
April 8, 2013 (El Cajon)—An El Cajon woman’s goal of providing trauma counseling to refugees in East County has been fulfilled, thanks to Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo, a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses, recently announced a commitment to lend $55 billion to woman-owned businesses in the U.S. by 2020.
As part of that commitment, the company has provided a commercial real estate loan for licensed clinical social worker Bernadette Talia to purchase office space in El Cajon to house her new Angels of Hope Counseling practice.
Talia, who is trilingual and specializes in trauma counseling, is fulfilling a vast need in the East County community, as many residents are refugees from the Middle East and have suffered traumatic life experiences. Now she will be able to provide affordable counseling and services to individuals and families. Talia’s goal isn’t to just reach the approximate 30,000 Chaldean’s living in El Cajon, but to the whole Arabic speaking community, treating their specific mental health needs.
CONGRESSMAN VARGAS CALLS FOR EMERGENCY AMNESTY MEASURE TO PROTECT THREATENED WORKERS, VISITS WITH “SAN DIEGO NINE” ON HUNGER STRIKE
By Nadin Abbott
April 7, 2013 (San Diego) Updated April 8 with statement by Evolution Hospitality—East County residents and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-51), whose district includes the border areas in East County, turned out yesterday in support of low wage workers staging a hunger strike at the Mission Valley Hilton. Vargas spoke with ECM on immigration reform and how it applies to this situation.
The workers want the right to organize a union and collectively bargain for a labor contract. Employees contend that management is using immigration status to selectively threaten union organizers—while at the same time outsourcing housekeepers’ work to undocumented workers paid more than long-time employees.
Rural areas could have major impacts, loss of service;
Postal Rep says San Diego Congressman blocks reforms
By Nadin Abbott
March 25, 2013 (San Diego)—Over 600 people from as far away as Brawley and Los Angeles turned out at Sunday’s “Delivering for America” rally to protest impending slashing of postal services that could leave some rural residents with no mail delivery.
“Rural customers will probably feel the worst of it,” George Elias, Executive Vice President, Branch 70 of the Letter Carriers Union told ECM, referring to the upcoming elimination of Saturday mail service. Moreover, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe wants to stop door-to-door delivery and close some rural Post Offices, he said.
By Miriam Raftery
March 24, 2013 (Alpine)—Seven Alpine businesses have filed a lawsuit alleging that SDG&E failed to adequately reimburse business owners for losses caused by the two-year project to underground the high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink lines along Alpine Boulevard. Plaintiffs allege that some businesses were forced out of business, while others suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
An attorney for plaintiffs contends that SDG&E did not live up to its promises to mitigate construction impacts by limited portions of Alpine Boulevard, instead creating a “gauntlet of construction obstacles” that drove customers away.
By Caprice Harrison
March 26, 2013 (El Cajon) – Heartland Fire Training Facility hosts a, “Joint Chamber Mixer” this Thursday, March 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., located at 1301 North Marshall Avenue, El Cajon.
Join Chambers from throughout the East County to learn about the facility that provides ongoing fire training for the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee; the fire protection districts of Alpine, Bonita, Lakeside and San Miguel, San Diego County Fire Authority, Barona and Viejas.
By Nadin Abbott
March 20, 2013 (San Diego)—Federal employees and their families at a rally outside the 32nd Street Naval Station today came to bring attention to the effects of the federal sequester in their lives. This is a reality for them right now, not just a headline in a paper.
So how exactly will this affect East County residents in the near future?
March 17, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A join Chamber of Commerce mixer will be held at the Heartland Fire Training Facility in El Cajon on March 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Join Chambers from throughout East County to learn about the Facility that provides training for east county. There will be food & beverage, demonstrations, hands-on activities, a Mayor's challenge, and meet your firefighters.
Bill would provide federal tax adjustment to local breweries
March 7, 2013 (San Diego)-- To help the local craft brewing industry, Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) joined a bipartisan group of members in cosponsoring H.R. 494, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act.
“San Diego is increasingly becoming known as a hub of the craft brewing industry, which has contributed to the growth of small businesses and jobs in the region,” said Davis, a member of the House Small Business Caucus. “Small, independent brewers are a fast rising segment of our economy and Congress should help them compete against large, multi-national brewers.”
By Miriam Raftery
An ECM exclusive special report
"I think the organization is finished. It can't run by committee, which is what's being proposed." -- Mike D. Cully, former Chief Executive Officer
March 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated 3:30 p.m. – Last week, ECM reported that the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce let go its Chief Executive Officer, Scott Alevy, and terminated the position amid dwindling financial resources.
Now Mike D. Cully, former CEO of the Chamber who was fired in September 2010, reveals that he recently won a lawsuit against the Chamber over his termination. “I feel comfortable talking about this now," said Cully, who has not spoken publicly about the issues until now.
Moreover, Cully reveals a troubled financial history at the organization he once ran. “The problems with the Chamber preceded my arrival,” he told ECM in an e-mail response requesting his comments on the Chamber's current issues. “When I was interviewing, I requested, but never got—a full download of their financial status. And for good reason, in retrospect.”
THE COALITION FOR CHANGE (C4C) FIGHTS FOR CHANGE FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: LAUNCHES “UNLEASH NO FEAR” CAMPAIGN
Article by Dennis Moore
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” --Frederick Douglass
March 6, 2013 (San Diego)--Thousands of federal employees in the San Diego area are soon to be impacted by sequestration, automatic budget cuts mandated by the federal government. These cuts may have a larger impact on San Diego County than anywhere else in the U.S., since our region is home to wide-ranging naval operations, a bustling border and vibrant biotech and drone sectors. About $37 billion flows into the County each year, including billions of dollars for defense contracts and millions more for research efforts.
The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C) is a Washington, DC based organization that promotes equality as well as exposes retaliation and racism in the federal government. “Civil servants (i.e., agents, air marshals, food inspectors, investigators, corrections officers, firefighters) function as America’s first line of defense against domestic threats. Therefore, we must protect our federal workforce against managerial abuse and reprisal in order to better protect our citizens.” That is what Tanya Ward Jordan, the founder of C4C, believes and espouses in her daily activities and advocacy on behalf of this organization. Now C4C is ramping up to strengthen its fight for federal workers.
March 2, 2013 – Sempra Energy, parent company of SDG&E, this week reported 2012 earnings of $859 million, or $3.48 per diluted share, compared with $1.3 billion, or $5.51 per diluted share, in 2011.
Earnings for Sempra Renewables division took a huge leap in 2012, increasing to $61 million from $7 million in 2011. Fourth-quarter earnings for Sempra Renewables were $14 million in 2012, compared with a loss of $2 million in 2011, due primarily to the addition of solar and wind assets in 2012.
Earnings for SDG&E increased to $484 million in 2012 from $431 million in 2011.
For details, see the company’s announcement.
March 1, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – It wasn’t a Valentine that the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted on February 14 to deliver to CEO Scott Alevy. Facing a budget crunch, the inland region’s largest Chamber voted to eliminate its full-time paid CEO position, relieving Alevy of his duties.
“Both Scott Alevy and the Chamber are on soild ground,” acting President and Chief Executive Officer Becky Burgstiner told Chamber members at a First Friday breakfast this morning in the La Mesa Community Center.
She announced that Board Chairman Marcel Becker will be taking the leadership helm as soon as he is fully recovered from surgery in a couple of weeks. Becker is also Chair of JCI Metals in Lemon Grove.
February 10, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will honor eight local heroes at the 5th Annual Casino Royale Night on Feb. 21 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort Hotel, 500 Hotel Circle N., San Diego. This year’s heroes are paramedics Ryan Ferguson and Paul Forney of American Medical Response, Battalion Chief Kelly Sisson and firefighter/paramedic Brandon Drips of Heartland Fire & Rescue, Officer Derik Cox and dispatcher Kathy Norman of the La Mesa Police Dept. and Don Kurban and Dick Thomas of the La Mesa Police Department Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol.
February 12, 2013 (La Mesa)—The San Diego East County Chamber is offering group tours to locations around the world. On Wednesday, February 13 from 6-8 p.m., you can learn more at a travel briefing at the Grossmont Healthcare District auditorium, 9001 Wakarusa in La Mesa.
Trips include Tuscany in March,Costa Rica in July, Ireland this October, the French Riviera in November, South Pacific Wonders including Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in October-November, and our December Holiday shopping trip to New York City.
More local control of alcohol-licensing process possible, experts say
Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego presents model business policy as a case study
February 7, 2013 (El Cajon)-- Local community leaders, police and health officials will meet on February 8 with officials from Ventura County to discuss a model program that has successfully reduced alcohol-related problems by improving retail practices at bars, clubs, restaurants and liquor stores. The event, held by the Alcohol Policy Panel for San Diego County, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Avenue in El Cajon, from 9-11 a.m. Friday.
February 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s first Breakfast Meeting of 2013 will host Supervisor Dianne Jacob as Guest Speaker on February 12 from 7:15 – 9:00 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 4731 Date Street, La Mesa.
The cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for potential members and guests. The “At Door” cost will be $25 for all attendees. The Attendance Drawing is currently valued at $800.00.
February 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – Women Inkorporated (WINK) will be holding a Women’s Only Networking event on Feb. 4 & 18 at the San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room, 8364 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa. Network with other women in this non-exclusive networking group from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
First time Guests are free. For more information on the group visit http://womeninkorporated.com.
Image credit: http://www.peopleinsight.co.uk/
January 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – San Diego East County Chamber is offering a free workshop, “A Model of Employee Engagement” on January 29, from 9-11 a.m. at the Chamber’s Board Room, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon. Learn how to take employee performance from good to great in this informative workshop. The workshop focuses on aligning overall organizational strategy, communication techniques to enhance engagement and the best ways to develop employee’s skills to help your business thrive.
January 18, 2013 (La Mesa) – San Diego East County Chamber is holding its Business After Hours Mixer on Jan. 24 at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. The event will be from 5 – 7 p.m.
January 16, 2013 (El Cajon) – The East SD County cash mob is headed to Silver Creek Gallery, 120 E. Main St. in El Cajon on January 19 at 12 p.m. A Cash Mob is a large number of people organized via social media to draw customers to support a local small business during tough economic times. Previous cash mob events have brought thousands of dollars into local retailers. It’s all about supporting your local economy.
Setting Strategic Goals in 2013
January 14, 2013 (Poway)--The Poway Chamber of Commerce with San Diego Gas & Electric will launch its first “Business Over Breakfast” seminar of the year. This event will be held at The Broken Yolk Café, located at 11630 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92128 on Friday, January 25, 2013. Networking and registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the program at 8:00 a.m.
January 10, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Alpine resident Jeff Campbell, a realtor with Jeff Campbell & Associates, will be installed as 2013 president of the 1,900-member Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors at PSAR’s 2013 board of directors installation dinner and celebration on Friday, Jan. 18. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Bonita Golf Course, 5540 Sweetwater Road, in Bonita. Seats cost $45 per person, or $400 for a table of eight. Register online at www.psar.org or www.esdcar.org, or phone (619) 421-7811 or (619) 579-0333.
January 9, 2013 (San Diego) –In response to the long-time needs and present demands of the Vietnamese community, the Little Saigon Foundation is opening a Vietnamese Community Center in order to create a space for social services and cultural interaction. Early services include a Vietnamese Language School, Youth Leadership Development, Translation services, and physical health programs such as “Càng Khôn Thập Linh” (a combination of Tai-chi and yoga), as well as international ballroom dance. With spaces offered to local community groups to meet and hold events, the Center is the first Vietnamese Community Center in City Heights. Up until now, the organization has been operating on mostly the support of volunteers, but is now looking to add permanent paid staff. As such, the organizations will host the Little Saigon Fundraising and Award Dinner on Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Lucky Star Restaurant, 3894 54th St., San Diego.
By Miriam Raftery
January 1, 2013 (San Diego)—“The Vietnamese community in San Diego is in need of a strong sense of identity in order to unite in the revitalization of our social and economic life,”Frank Vuong, president of the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, writes.
He hopes to see the Vietnamese community become a cultural asset for our region by putting it on the map. So the Foundation has launched a petition to designate a Little Saigon District in San Diego’s Talmadge/Kensington area along El Cajon Boulevard between Euclid and Highland Avenues.
December 22, 2012 (Lakeside) – FUNbelievable Play of Lakeside won a 2012 Totally Awesome Award in the category of ‘Coolest Indoor Playspaces’. The contest was sponsored by “Red Tricycle” and had over 200,000 voters participating.
By Nadin Abbott
December 18, 2012 (San Diego)-- it was raining and it was cold this morning at Qualcomm Stadium, as union members prepared to give 500 families the fixings for a Christmas Dinner and toys for their children.
One of the recipients was Veronica, who did not share her last name. She is a member of the ATU, local 1309. She drives transit buses for a living. We just talked for a second. But the problem Veronica has, like many other low income families in San Diego, is that she does not get enough hours to make ends meet. She is a mother of several children.
December 20, 2012 (El Cajon)—Members of the East County Chamber of Commerce gathered for some seasonal merrymaking and networking at the Kia dealership in El Cajon. This event, along with a Chamber breakfast earlier in the month, also doubled as a toy drive to help brighten this holiday season for children from needy families.
Neighborhood National Bank committed to serving low-moderate income census tracts for more than a decade
December 17, 2012 (San Diego)—Neighborhood National Bank has reached its 15th anniversary as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The bank will celebrate its 15 year anniversary all-day open houses at each of its branch locations throughout the day on December 19, 2012. Guests are welcome to stop by any of the branches during business hours (9:00a.m.-5:00p.m.) for light refreshments and treats.
December 13, 2012 (San Diego)--San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is alerting business customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that has been targeting SDG&E commercial customers. Reports indicate that individuals are misrepresenting themselves as utility employees by calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if an immediate payment is not made. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is then removed.