Business and Labor
By Chuck Taylor, the Alpine Sun
August 30, 2011 (Alpine)--Anthony Pico, Viejas Tribal Chairman announced plans yesterday for a new 150 room hotel to be erected adjoining the Casino. Although the final design has not been approved, an architectural rendering of the proposed hotel was presented to the media and business owners during a press conference at the Dream Catcher Lounge.
Swinerton Construction has been awarded the project and they have pledged to use local employees on the job. Construction and expansion is expected to add about 450 jobs and when the hotel is completed it will be staffed by around 45 employees.
Suit seeks to block AT&T from reaching out and touching 97% of Americans with a single wireless network
By Miriam Raftery
August 31, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The federal government today filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile. The U.S. Department of Justice took the step to ensure that “everyone—including consumers, businesses and the government-continue to receive high quality, competitively priced mobile wireless products and services,” according to U.S. Deputy Attorney James M. Cole, who also voiced concerns over the merger's impact on rural and low-income residents.
By Miriam Raftery
August 24, 2011 (Iowa) – President Barack Obama has announced new initiatives recommended by the White House Rural Council for creating jobs in rural America and helping to grow the U.S. economy.
The new efforts include helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural residents’ access to health care workers and technology including broad-band Internet access.
August 16, 2011 (San Diego –Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) will host a Boot Camp for Job Seekers on August 30. Her office announced the event today, following a visit to her office by constituents concerned about jobs.
“I appreciate the efforts of those who visited my office today and made their voices heard. I welcome their suggestions for job creation,” Davis said. “I share the frustration that the current Congress has not done enough to address the real issue at the root of the deficit and the root of our stagnate economy – it’s the lack of jobs!"
August 25, 2011 (San Diego County) -- The San Diego County region’s agriculture report offers a ray of sunshine in today’s cloudy economy.
The 2010 Crop Statistics and Annual Report released by the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures (AWM) shows the value of agriculture increased 7 percent over 2009 figures.
By contrast, 2009 figures were down slightly from the year before. While many local industries are struggling to stay afloat during these hard times, agriculture remains not only a steadying force in the economy but a growing one as well.
August 25, 2011 (San Diego) -- Small business owners in San Diego County can recycle fluorescent lights free! California state law requires everyone to recycle fluorescent tubes and bulbs, which contain small amounts of toxic metal mercury. The recycling can cost small businesses hundreds of dollars a year.
The county’s Department of Environmental Health has a $160,000 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block grant from the U.S. Department to properly recycle the lights at no charge.
August 24, 2011 (San Diego) – A bill making it easier for breweries to open tasting rooms has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 1014, authored by local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) is expected to boost business for California’s growing craft brewing industry.
August 21, 2011 (San Diego) – A grocery workers’ strike at Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs supermarkets could begin as early as this week. Union members voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to authorize leaders to call a strike, with 90% voting in favor.
An ECM Special Report: Part I
By Walter Hall
August 19, 2011 (La Mesa)--In October, property owners in La Mesa’s downtown district will vote on an initiative with long range consequences for the city and surrounding area. At stake is the charter and character of a Property-based Business Improvement District, commonly abbreviated to PBID.
As with most civic issues, the PBID has defenders and detractors. Some see it as an unwarranted burden on businesses already juggling narrow margins in a fragile economy; others see an innovative civic tool offering a brighter future for those very businesses.
August 16, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) invites job-seekers to a Fall Job Fair on Friday August 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The event will be held at Cuyamaca College in the Student Center Room. Approximately 72 employers have committed to participate.
August 9, 2011 (San Diego)—“Put a star in your future and become a part of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department,” states in invitation for a career exhibition Saturday, August 13. The Sheriff’s Department is creating a large pool of diverse and qualified female candidates for the 2016 opening of the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee.
August 10, 2011 (Otay)-- Kid Ventures, a family-owned business in EastLake, is gearing up to celebrate its first year of success on August 12 from 5 to 8p.m. The celebration theme is Jungle Safari, in the spirit of unveiling a new outdoor jungle-themed play area.
The night will provide adventures indoors and out for the whole family, featuring creative and physical activities plus dancing, music and a Zumba performances. Food, drinks and desserts will be served, and the celebration will conclude with a KV birthday piñata.
Plus improv political satire by National Comedy Theatre
August 6, 2011 (El Cajon)--Each summer, the San Diego East County Chamber assembles a bipartisan panel of San Diego's elected representation from the Federal, State and County levels to update you on their priorities, mingle with guests, and field questions directly from you. This informative and powerful evening provides San Diego residents access to some of our region's most powerful political players in a lush outdoor setting.
This year's event has an expanded panel plus new entertainment: improvisational satire by National Comedy Theatre. The following speakers have confirmed that they will participate:
A ROARING GOOD TIME: EAST COUNTY CHAMBER MEMBERS GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH BIG CATS AT LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS
Story by Miriam Raftery; Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery
August 2, 2011 (Alpine) -- "Oh, you're beautiful!" San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Alevy exclaimed as his wife, Joanne, dished up a forkful of chicken. But he wasn't complimenting her cooking. Instead, Alevy was admiring Raja--a 500-pound Bengal tiger that Joanne was feeding after winning a drawing at Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine.
The Chamber hosted a fundraiser to benefit the big cat rescue facility last weekend, donating 100% of proceeds to help this worthy cause while providing a memorable experience for Chamber members. View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFhE9h-O0Uw
STUDY FINDS SEMPRA CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION PROJECT COULD COST 15,000 U.S. JOBS & $300 MILLION IN LOST TAXES; SEMPRA CALLS STUDY “BIASED”
By Miriam Raftery
August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Sempra Energy has asked the U.S. Department of Energy for a presidential permit to construct a cross-border transmission line called Energia Sierra Juarez to import electricity from Sempra facilities in Mexico. The line would cross the border near Jacumba in San Diego’s East County.
Now a new report claims the project will cost jobs and loss of tax revenues in the U.S., particularly Imperial County, where the unemployment rate is the nation’s highest at 27.9%.
Sempra disputes the findings as “pure fiction.”
August 1, 2011 (El Cajon)--El Cajon resident Mike Shepard has been named programming/operations manager for BCA Radio San Diego properties, announced Tex Meyer, BCA Radio vice presisent and general maanger. These include XPRS FM–The Walrus 105.7, XPRS AM-XX 1090 and XEPE-ESPN AM-1700.
July 31, 2011 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host a summer social at Gio Bistro & Wine Bar on August 24, as well as breakfast with Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) on August 31. Members and nonmembers who pre-reserve for both attends will be given a discount price of $20 total for both events. (Chamber members will save $10 and non-members will save $20). Scroll down for full details.
July 29, 2011 (Sacramento) – Implementation began July 1st for AB 2058, legislation authored by Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) and recently signed into law. The bill expands training and education options that unemployed workers can receive without losing their unemployment insurance benefits.
By Miriam Raftery
July 28, 2011 (San Diego) – Hundreds of local residents spoke out at a hearing held by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Monday evening at the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium in San Diego.
The majority voiced support for a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. Supporters said the merger could create a more reliable network for cell phone service and create good-paying union jobs; many also praised AT&T’s record of community service. Opponents, by contrast, voiced concerns over creating a monopoly and feared the merger would lead to higher rates, decreased incentive for innovation, and job lay-offs.
The public can still submit comments to the CPUC by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and referencing proceeding #I1106009 – AT&T/T-Mobile Merger.
Fruitful wine industry restores farmers’ dreams in rural East County
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery
July 22, 2011 (Spring Valley) – Friends and neighbors turned out to help plant 600 grapevine rootstocks from Napa Valley last weekend at the Vineyard Mansion in Spring Valley. Afterwards, guests savored a poolside tri-tip barbecue and sampled estate-bottled vintages in a stone-lined wine cellar.
Their efforts are all part of a vision by East County vintners to establish a wine-making region along Highway 94—revitalizing the local economy with a new agricultural market to reward the fruits of their labors.
July 18, 2011 (El Cajon) – A $1 million grant stemming from federal stimulus money injected into the economy in 2009 has ended a productive run at Cuyamaca College, with hundreds of students completing a workforce training program and many attaining promising new careers in the green industry.
July 18, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities today filed suit in California's Supreme Court. They seek to block implementation of state budget measures that would force redevelopment agencies to either dissolve or fork over hefty sums to the state coffers.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders held a press conference to support the law suit today, joined by La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, National City Mayor Ron Morrison, and other local leaders.
July 15, 2011 (East County) -- The Alpine and Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce invites you to join your elected representatives for a lively evening discussing important hot topics on Monday, July 18. Bring your questions, enjoy appetizers and the opportunity to meet your friends and neighbors at this informative event, which is cosponsored by Viejas and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.
Tips and tricks for business success
July 11, 2011 (East County) --The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s (GCCCD) Continuing Education and Southwestern College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host a free workshop on “Checklist for Business Success” from 7 to 9 a.m. on Friday, July 15, at the East County Chamber of Commerce office, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon.
Reed, 55, succeeds Donald E. Felsinger, who will continue in the role of Sempra Energy’s executive chairman until his planned retirement at age 65 in late 2012. Neal E. Schmale, president and chief operating officer of Sempra Energy, will remain in his current role until his planned retirement later this year.
July 1, 2011 (San Diego) -- San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore will speak at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Friday, July 8 from 7-9 a.m. This month's breakfast will be held at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center.
Apprentices and journeymen employed at businesses throughout San Diego County