Business and Labor

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 stipulate 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. 

EARTHTALK: MAKING YOUR OFFICE ECO-FRIENDLY: THE EASY WAY

By Stephanie King, EarthTalk

Photo:  Jesus Corrius, Flickr CC

August 28, 2019 (San Diego) - As we become more educated about our impact on the natural world, more and more of us are looking to try and lower our environmental footprint. We might make the switch (at least partially) to a plant-based diet. We might walk to places we previously drove to. We might avoid taking holidays abroad.

PUBLIC INVITED TO FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND ECONOMIC CRIMES FORUM IN EAST COUNTY SEPT. 10

Seven Chambers of Commerce coming together to host the event

Source:  San Diego District Attorney

August 26, 2019 (El Cajon) - Members of the public are welcome to attend the first-ever Economic Crimes Forum in East County hosted by seven chambers of commerce to learn how scams and cyber-crimes impact businesses and the community. At the event, experts from the District Attorney’s Office will teach attendees how to protect themselves and their businesses from becoming victims of fraud and other economic-related crimes.

ALPINE CHAMBER FORMS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TO ADDRESS HIGHWAY FUNDS SHIFT

East County News Service

August 22, 2019 (Alpine)  Concerned over the potential loss of funds to expand a portion of Interstate 8 in East County due to a shift in priorities at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the Alpine Chamber of Commerce has announced the formation of a Government Affairs Committee.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER HOSTS “TASTE OF PARKWAY PLAZA” MIXER AUG. 22

East County News Service

 

August 21, 2019 (El Cajon) - San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Chamber of Commerce are joining together for an end to summer Business After Hours for a "Taste of Parkway Plaza" on Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 p.m.

LA MESA CHAMBER CHILLS OUT AT ANTHONYS

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber held its annual summer get-together on the beautiful outdoor patio at Anthony's seafood restaurant in La Mesa.  Guests mixed and mingled beside a lagoon-like lake amid a tropical decor, savoring a buffet of tasty foods on a summer's eve last week.

Chamber President Mary England raffled off door prizes ranging from wine bottles to cash, furthering enhancing the experience for some lucky guests.

FARMER’S MARKET DECISION REACHED BY LA MESA CITY COUNCIL AS TENSIONS RISE

Council votes 3-2 to keep market downtown, but have Beevers Farmers Market run the event instead of merchants’ group

 

By Allan Acevedo

 

July 27, 2019 (La Mesa) – As foreshadowed at the previous La Mesa City Council meeting, the banner agenda item at this week’s meeting was the fate of the much-beloved farmer’s market. Its location, time, and management were up for debate because the current agreement ends July 30th.

 

The discussion on the Community Choice Aggregation Technical Feasibility Study was tabled for the next meeting because of the anticipated length of the farmer’s market discussion. The study will cover the feasibility for La Mesa to produce and sell clean electricity from renewable resources to residents, potentially in conjunction with other local cities.


GROSSMONT CENTER FARMER’S MARKET LAUNCHES AS NONPROFIT: MALL REDUCES RATES FOR FARMERS AND DONATES 100% TO LA MESA PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2019 (La Mesa)—Samples of sweet tangerines, Moroccan olives, duck pate and doughnut peaches—along with free shopping bags—were among the treats welcoming shoppers at Grossmont Center’s inaugural farmer’s market today. Other tempting items included culinary herbs and teas, plump dates, lamb and duck sausages, hummus and tzatziki dips, marinades, sauces and more.

I picked up some microgreens, juicy citrus and ripe avocados, then spoke with market organizer Trevor Moore, also the public relations director for the regional shopping mall.

“We’ve decided to run our market as a nonprofit and donate 100% of proceeds to the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation,” he says, adding that Grossmont’s owners, the Cushman family, want to help farmers and give back to their community. “We were charging farmers 8% of sales. We’ve cut that in half, to 4%.” That’s far below rates at other local markets, where charges range as high as 15%. 

LA MESA CHAMBER WITHDRAWS FARMERS MARKET PROPOSAL, ENDORSES GROSSMONT CENTER’S —BUT STAFF PUSHES TO KEEP MARKET DOWNTOWN

 

Updated July 23, 2019 with comments from Grossmont Center

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2019 (La Mesa) – At tomorrow night’s 6 p.m. meeting, the La Mesa City Council is expected to decide on the future of the city’s farmer’s market, following a rift in the community over the market’s location and who should run the popular event.

The city received four proposals, but one applicant, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, has withdrawn its bid and endorsed a proposal submitted by Grossmont Center. “The Chamber is all about serving our members and our community and that is why we took this path,” Chamber President and CEO Mary England told ECM in an email tonight.

CALIFORNIA HAS MORE IMMIGRANT-OWNED BUSINESSES THAN ANY OTHER STATE

East County News Service

 

July 17, 2019 (San Diego) -- Every year, thousands move to the U.S. in hopes of achieving the American Dream. To explore the state of entrepreneurship among immigrants living in the U.S., FundRocket analyzed data from the American Community Survey.  

WASTE MANAGEMENT TO HOST HIRING EVENT FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS THURSDAY

East County News Service

 

July 10, 2019 (El Cajon) - Waste Management in El Cajon will be hosting a hiring event on Thursday, July 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to welcome interested and qualified commercial driver candidates to join the Waste Management family. Candidates will be considered for current and future driver positions. The event will be held at Waste Management’s office at 1001 W. Bradley Ave., El Cajon.

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