Business and Labor

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST BEER GARDEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER’S FIRST FRIDAY MARKETS

Celebrate vegan lifestyle with all-vegan eats, drinks, music and more

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has inked a deal with Grossmont Center to host a beer garden at all of the center’s First Friday markets starting February 7th through the end of this year. The beer garden will feature featuring Mike Hess Brewing Company and Local Roots kombucha.

The markets are held on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.in the shopping mall’s parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers. The  market celebrates the vegan lifestyle with all-vegan foods, sweets, drinks, goods for sale and live music. Grossmont Center is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Blvd., La Mesa. 

The beer garden will have a seating area beneath lighted tents for dining and drinking under the stars. 

LAWSUITS MOUNT AGAINST NEW CALIFORNIA LABOR LAW, AB 5

Judge issues injunction on behalf of independent truckers; freelance journalists and other gig worker groups also file legal challenges
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 6, 2020 (San Diego) – A new law making it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees took effect January 1st. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, the bill’s author, aims to provide more workers with benefits such as healthcare, unemployment insurance and the option to unionize. But a flurry of lawsuits are challenging the measure as unfair and constitutional.  

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES NEPTUNE SOCIETY, ALLEGES “SWINDLING” OF CUSTOMERS WHO PREPAID FOR CREMATION SERVICES

East County News Service
 
December 7, 2019 (San Francisco) --  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the District Attorneys for the City and County of San Francisco, Alameda County, and Marin County, filed a lawsuit yesterday in Alameda County Superior Court against Texas-based Service Corporation International and its subsidiaries doing business as Neptune Society.
 
The lawsuit alleges that Neptune — a company offering pre-need cremation service plans for purchase prior to a customer’s death — engaged in unlawful business practices. The lawsuit includes allegations that the company broke California law by failing to hold in trust for the benefit of its customers a substantial portion of the money they paid for these plans and that it misled customers concerning this illegal practice.  

POWAY BOIL-WATER ORDER LIFTED: PUBLIC URGED TO DINE AT POWAY RESTAURANTS TO HELP WORKERS HURT BY SHUTDOWN

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (Poway) – A boil-water order has been lifted in Poway, where residents can now drink tap water after first flushing out plumbing lines, replacing filters and throwing away ice. State testing found the water safe to drink, nearly a week after stormwater runoff contaminated a clearwell reservoir.

Hardest hit are restaurants forced to shut down, and their employees. The North San Diego Business Chamber is asking the community to dine in Poway Dec. 9-15, adding, “As the holidays approach, we ask that you dine at these businesses and support their employees, so they too can have a holiday season without any added stress.” Find a list of Poway restaurants at the bottom of this article.

COLDWELL BANKER WEST MERGES WITH ASCENT REAL ESTATE, CREATES ONE OF SAN DIEGO’S LARGEST BROKERAGES, 15 OFFICES, 1,000 SALES AGENTS

East County News Service

November 27, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – Coldwell Banker West (CBW), one of San Diego County’s largest real estate brokerages with East County offices located in El Cajon and La Mesa, has announced a merger with San Diego-based Ascent Real Estate. The merger was jointly announced by Peter Mendiola, CBW president, and Penny Nathan, president/CEO of Ascent, who will become a partner of CBW. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

THE END OF AN ERA: ADVENTURE 16 IS CLOSING UP SHOP AFTER 57 YEARS

Chain that began in La Mesa will hold going out of business sale starting Nov. 29

East County News Service

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) – Adventure 16, perhaps best known by its outdoor active customers as A16, announced today that the 57-year-old company plans to close its remaining two stores in San Diego and West Los Angeles. Both mountain shops will be closed Monday, November 25 through Thanksgiving Day to prepare for their Going Out of Business Sale beginning on Black Friday.

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS TOY DRIVE PARTY DEC. 4 FOR CHILDREN OF MILITARY FAMILIES

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to make a difference this holiday season for children of military personnel living in military housing in La Mesa.  The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting a toy drive for the children, ages 2-13, on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Grossmont Center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

"The La Mesa Chamber is honored to be a part of this endeavor and making a difference in the lives of these children and their families, that do so much for our country," stated Mary England, President & CEO.  

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event, which is free to Chamber members.  Cost for non-member guests is $10, or $20 at the door. Admission includes pizzas, salads, hors d’ouvres, and two wine drink tickets. To register, click here.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESENTS `CELEBRATE EAST COUNTY’ ON NOV. 9

East County News Service

October 31 2019 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present “Celebrate East County,” a community celebration event, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Holy Trinity Church Social Hall, 405 Ballard St., El Cajon.

FARMWORKERS, ADVOCATES REJOICE AS CA ENDS SALE OF CHLORPYRIFOS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

Photo: CC by SA-NC

October 24, 2019 (Bakersfield)--- Farmworkers' groups are celebrating the end of at least a decade-long battle to ban a toxic pesticide in California after the state Environmental Protection Agency announced a new deal with manufacturers of chlorpyrifos. The pesticide no longer will be sold to growers in California after Feb. 6.

Nayamin Martinez, director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network, said studies have linked chlorpyrifos to serious health effects in kids.

"It's a very dangerous chemical that can cause harm, especially in brain development, for unborn children and young children who live in close proximity where this pesticide is applied," she said.

TRICK OR TREAT IN LA MESA VILLAGE ON HALLOWEEN OCT. 31

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Village Association invites the community for family-friendly Trick-or-Treating in downtown La Mesa on Halloween.  Participating businesses will be handing out treats from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on October 31st in La Mesa’s historic downtown village. Some will also offer discounts and promotions. Costumes are encouraged!

WESTMONT RETIREMENT COMMUNITY HOSTS GRAND OPENING: PUBLC TOURS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 18, 2019 (La Mesa) – Westmont of La Mesa invites the public to a tour, buffet lunch, entertainment and prizes this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The upscale facility features independent living and assisted living, including memory care, at its location at 9000 Murray Drive at Wakarusa.

This 130,00-square foot, three story retirement community includes 50,000 square feet of common area space will include a common meeting room that can be used by community groups for meetings and workshops, along with a pool that can be used for aqua aerobics for residents, as well as the community.

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

Update:  Supervisor Jim Desmond introduced a mtion to approve this mesaure, which was passed unanimously by Supervisors with one amendment:  the withdrawal will take effect when the stipulated agreement is submitted to a court, or on December 31, 2019, whichever occurs first.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

COHN RESTAURANT GROUP TO TAKE OVER SURF RIDER PIZZA IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2019 (La Mesa) – Surf Rider Pizza Co. in La Mesa is among four restaurants that Cohn Restaurant Group will be temporarily taking over. Those four restaurants were managed by Patio Marketplace, an entity of Gina Champion-Cain. 

LA MESA COUNCIL APPROVES CANNABIS ORDINANCE AND GRANTS TO IMPROVE WEST LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 28, 2019 (La Mesa) – A citizens-led effort to clean up their blighted West La Mesa neighborhood has borne fruit. On Tuesday, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved two pilot programs offering grants to businesses in the area to improve the streetscape. 

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX INITATIVE SPURS JUICY DEBATE

Mary England and George Gastil sound off in arguments for and against measure

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Advocates of a ballot measure proposing a three-quarters of a cent sales tax increase argue that the measure will sweeten Lemon Grove, shoring up a structural budget deficit to fund city services wanted by residents, such as parks, road repairs, and improving public safety. 

But former Lemon Grove Councilwoman Mary England, also president of the Chamber of Commerce in neighboring La Mesa, is sour on the idea.

Both England, who opposes the ballot measure dubbed the “Lemon Grove Security Petition,” and former Councilman George Gastil, a leader of the citizens’ group advocating for the petition, agree that the city has had a structural deficit for years, with a budget that’s nearly entirely consumed by rising police and fire protection services.  But they disagree sharply on solutions.

KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY LA MESA RELOCATES TO TOP-FLOOR SUITES AT ALLIED PLAZA BUILDING

East County News Service

September 26, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Keller Williams Realty La Mesa has moved its offices to the top floor (Suite 700) of the Allied Plaza Building, located at 7777 Alvarado Road, La Mesa, 91942.

One of the first Keller Williams locations in San Diego County, the Keller Williams Realty La Mesa team is experiencing a growth period, with 100 active agents and a goal of increasing by another 20% in the next 6 - 12 months.

KAISER HEALTHCARE WORKERS LOCALLY VOTE TO JOIN NATIONWIDE STRIKE STARTING OCT. 14

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (San Diego) -- Over 4,200 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, including 480 East County workers in El Cajon and La Mesa, will be joining a nationwide strike starting October 14th.  An overwhelming 98 percent of those members at Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30 voted in support of the action. 

SANTEE COUNCIL APPROVES EXTENDED STAY HOTEL, GETS INITIAL RESULTS OF BRANDING EFFORT

By Mike Allen
 
September 21, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council approved a 122-unit extended stay hotel just west of the intersection of SR 125 and SR 52 on Mission Gorge Road at its Sept. 18 meeting.
 
The Council also heard an initial report from its contracted expert to help create a brand for the city as it attempts to boost its tourism and attract new businesses.

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TAKES HELM AT SD FARM BUREAU

By David Ross, Valley Roadrunner

Photo:  Hannah Gbeh is the new executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau. She considers it to be her dream job.

September 20, 2019 (San Diego) - Hannah Gbeh has taken over at San Diego County Farm Bureau as the new executive director. “This is a dream come true for me. I sat on the Farm Bureau board of directors for three years and often thought how much I would love this job. So when it became available I immediately applied.”

BILL TO STOP LABOR TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS PASSES LEGISLATURE WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT, BUT TWO EAST COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES VOTE NO

East County News Service

September 15, 2019 (San Diego) – The California State Legislature today passed on a 61-9 vote Assembly Bill 589 authored by state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to make it illegal for an employer to confiscate a worker’s immigration documents as a way to force them into labor.

PRESSED JUICERY NOW OPEN IN SCRIPPS RANCH, SERVING HEALTHY AND TASTY PLANT-BASED JUICES, FREEZES AND SNACKS

East County News Service

September 14, 2019 (Scripps Ranch) – Pressed Juicery held its grand opening today in the Scripps Marketplace (10624 Scripps Poway Parkway).  Aiming to show that healthy and great taste don’t have to be mutually exclusive, the Scripps Ranch store carries cold-pressed juices, functional shots, plant-based milks, and plant based vegan soft serve Freeze topped with gluten free and vegan toppings.  The store also has trendy grab and go snacks including gluten free Bakeology Cookie bites and Simply Fuel Protein Balls.

PEARSON BROTHERS WINERY RETURNS TO EAST COUNTY – WITH A TASTING ROOM IN A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- What could be more heavenly than wine made from wildflower honey, orange zest, cane sugar and vanilla?  How about this news: the creators of honey-wines known as “Saccharo” have moved their Pearson Brothers Winery back to its roots, returning to East County.

They now have a new tasting patio in a wildlife sanctuary open as of Sept. 21, as well as a wine club, and recipes for cocktails featuring their sustainably-produced Saccharo honey wines in several new varieties.

HUNTER’S NURSERY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL OCT. 19

By Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Historical Society
 
September 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Five generations of Hunters will be on hand to celebrate the centennial of Hunter's Nursery on Oct. 19, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the nursery, 3110 Sweetwater Road, Lemon Grove. Crafts, food, music and, of course, trees, plants and flowers will greet all comers.

WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT OF AB 5?

By Judy Lin, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez hugs Speaker Anthony Rendon on September 11, 2019, after passage of her landmark bill AB 5, requiring California businesses to treat legions of contract workers as employees. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)

September 12, 2019 (Sacramento) - Doctors, real estate agents and hairdressers can keep their independent contractor status. But not truckers, commercial janitors, nail salon workers, physical therapists and — significantly — gig economy workers, who will gain the rights and benefits of employees in California under sweeping workplace legislation passed Wednesday.  

SOLAR EXPERIENCE WITH THE EAST COUNTY CHAMBER SEPT. 25

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2019 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to join the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce at a “Solar Experience” lunch and learn on Sept. 25 from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Chamber’s Business Resource Center, 201 S. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon.  

GINA CHAMPION-CAIN CHARGED WITH SECURITES FRAUD, HAS EAST COUNTY TIES

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2019 (San Diego) – Gina Champion-Cain has long been hailed as one of San Diego’s most powerful women business leaders.  But on Thursday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against her and her company, ANI Development, calling it a “multi-year $300 million scheme” that allegedly defrauded some 50 retail investors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

LA MESA WEIGHS LEGALIZING ADULT-USE CANNABIS SALES AND MANUFACTURING SEPT. 10: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COUNCILMAN BABER

Hear our interview with Councilman Bill Baber

By Miriam Raftery

September 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – After years of battling illegal marijuana dispensaries and recently licensing the city’s first legal medicinal cannabis dispensary, La Mesa is considering an ordinance to legalize recreational adult-use sales and manufacturing. 

Councilman Bill Baber and Mayor Mark Arapostathis served on a subcommittee that recently held a meeting with cannabis industry representatives. Next up, staff is preparing ordinance language for the City Council to consider on September 10th, when the public can weigh in with comments.

We sat down for an interview with Councilman Baber that originally aired on KNSJ radio.  You can hear the full interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for details.

Baber says if the measure is approved Sept. 10 and at a second reading Sept. 24, La Mesa could see its first legal recreational cannabis sales starting as early as January 2020. The first sales of recreational marijuana would be through dispensaries already approved for medical marijuana sales, providing they have operated without significant complaints or legal issues.

Audio: 

EAST COUNTY BRINGS MANUFACTURING TO MAIN STREET WITH EXPO OCT. 1 IN EL CAJON

San Diego’s largest manufacturing expo is a unique opportunity to inspire students 

 

August 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – The East County Economic Development Council’s (EDC) Manufacturing Expo is right around the corner, and more manufacturers are registering by the day to exhibit their companies and products. On October 1, the fourth annual event will bring manufacturing to Main Street. The Expo will be held in downtown El Cajon at Prescott Promenade from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and expects to bring in over 500 attendees. 

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