Business and Labor

STING OPERATION FINDS 24 STORES SELLING TOBACCO TO MINORS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2022 (El Cajon) – A sting operation found 24 retailers in El Cajon sold tobacco to minors without asking for ID, in violation of the city’s Tobacco Retail License Inspection Program. That’s 23% of all outlets inspected.


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A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE

By Matthew Manosh

May 7, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Imagine walking into a building. Instead of being greeted by a person you are greeted by a robot. It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi story but it’s now reality. The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce had an introduction to its new robot assistant, TEMI, last month. This assistant is able to answer questions about East County.

In a demonstration, a presenter asked a question about Santee Lakes, which Temi responded to in detail. TEMI, also mobile, can move around an area or it can be programmed to follow people. This is not meant to replace human jobs, but to help humans do their jobs better by taking on simple tasks that may take away from more important tasks, Todd Brinkman explained to us. You can view the video here.

Brinkman is the founder of Virtual Reality for Main Street LLC, a company dedicated to bringing new emerging technologies to cities.You can look at their website here


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GROSSMONT COLLEGE TO HOST REFUGEE JOB FAIR FEATURING NEARLY TWO DOZEN EMPLOYERS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

May 4, 2022 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College will host an inaugural Refugee Job Fair on May 10 with more than two dozen employers from a wide range of industries. The event is designed to benefit a growing number of refugees settling in the region, and is open to all.


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SUPERVISORS VOTE TO ALLOW AMUSEMENT BUSINESSES IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

Source:  Senator Joel Anderson

April 27, 2022 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a board letter put forth by Supervisor Joel Anderson and Vice Chair Nora Vargas that will provide economic opportunities for small businesses in the unincorporated County.  Their board action was inspired by a letter written to Supervisor Anderson from an Alpine constituent and was approved unanimously at the April 26, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting.


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LA MESA CHAMBER INVITES YOU TO SHOP & DINE LA MESA MAY 21 TO HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES AT LAKE MURRAY VILLAGE

East County News Service

Photo: Brew Coffee Spot is one of many shops in the Lake Murray Village Shopping Center

April 22, 2022 (La Mesa) -- On Saturday, May 21st the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them at a new community event, “Shop & Dine La Mesa” located at the Marketplace at Lake Murray Village Shopping Center, at the corner of Lake Murray Blvd. and Baltimore Drive (5550-5680 Lake Murray Blvd.) between 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.


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SOCAL GROCERY STORE WORKERS OVERWHELMINGLY RATIFY NEW CONTRACT WITH RALPHS & ALBERTSONS/VONS/PAVILIONS

Over 47,000 supermarket employees impacted; deal includes significant wage increases, more hours, improved healthcare benefits and safety

East County News Service

April 14, 2022 (San Diego) -- Grocery store employees represented by seven UFCW Locals in Southern and Central California overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new three-year contract with Ralphs and Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions, averting a strike.


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AFTER MORE THAN A CENTURY IN BUSINESS, HUNTER’S NURSERY IS STILL GROWING STRONG

 

 

By Kylie Dees

 

View video, left, to watch the full interviews

 

April 7, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- Hunter’s Nursery, located in Lemon Grove, California, was started in 1919 by Howard Hunter. He began by running an orchard, growing lemons and oranges. It has been in the Hunter family all 103 years. 


Kendall Rhodes is a fourth-generation owner of the nursery, along with her dad. Rhodes explained that the nursery has a wide variety of ornamental plants for the yard. They also have a huge selection of house plants, along with cactuses and succulents. Many customers are now trying to grow their own food, so the Nursery now specializes in fruit trees and vegetables. They also feature a variety of roses, in a wide range of colors and sizes.

 

"Roses are fun to grow and fun to have as a part of your garden!” Rhodes told us.


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SANTEE HEROES CELEBRATION APRIL 26

East County News Service

April 5, 2022 (Santee) – The Santee Chamber of Commerce will host its Santee Heroes Celebration on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at Carlton Oaks Golf Club.


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GROCERY WORKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO AUTHORIZE STRIKES AT RALPHS, ALBERTSONS, VONS AND PAVILIONS

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2022 (San Diego) -- United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals throughout California, together representing over 47,000 frontline food workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions, have announced an overwhelming membership vote to authorize union leadership to call for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strikes should that become necessary. But it’s not yet inevitable that a strike will occur.


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ANIMAL TALES: THE DOG SOCIETY OFFERS FUN TIMES FOR HUMANS AND CANINES ALIKE

 

Photo: The Dog Society welcomes dogs and humans, by Charie Juaneza.

March 8, 2022 (Rolando) --The Dog Society, a new human-dog hangout spot that is part sports bar, part dog boarder, part restaurant, and part family-friendly fun, enjoyed its grand opening on February 25. 

The unique business located at 6331 University Ave in the Rolando Village area of San Diego, just east of La Mesa, is the brainchild of owner Sara Broetje.

“Basically, I love dogs and I love hanging out with my friends watching football, and I love drinking craft beer so I wanted to smash it all together,” she said.


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COUNTY COVID-19 RELIEF GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS: APPLY BY MARCH 31

East County News Service

March 2, 2022 (San Diego) -- Local microbusinesses and nonprofits that were affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for a $2,500 grant from the County.  The Microbusiness grant program is funded by the Board of Supervisors with approximately $4.175 million allocated from the California Office of the Small Business. The deadline to apply is March 31.


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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY'S FIRST HIRING PLATFORM

With dire workforce shortage reaching 650,000, new effort will connect many job seekers with great career opportunities

Source:  EC2

March 2, 2022 (San Diego) - As the construction industry faces an unprecedented shortage of workers and negatively impacts the economy, a new hiring platform recently launched to address the gap by connecting young people and the underemployed with great career training and job opportunities.


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WORKING FAMILIES ORDINANCE ADOPTED BY SUPERVISORS IN CLOSELY DIVIDED VOTE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

February 25, 2022 (San Diego) – By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors approved a Working Families Ordinance on Feb. 8.  The measure requires payment of prevailing wages and use of a skilled, trained workforce on construction projects over $1 million on county lands.  It also brings sick leave requirements in line with state standards.

A second reading is set for March 1st. if approved then, it will go into effect 30 days later on new contracts or projects up for renewal.


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LA MESA CHAMBER INVITES YOU TO WELCOME SAN DIEGO LIVING REAL ESTATE AT OPEN HOUSE & RIBBON CUTTING FEB. 23

Source:  La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

February 17, 2022 (La Mesa) - On Wednesday, February 23rd the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them at an open house and ribbon cutting for San Diego Living Real Estate located at 8504 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m. with the “official” ribbon cutting taking place at 6:00 p.m.


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“TACO TUESDAY” MIXER HOSTED BY THOUGHTFUL CREATIONS IN LA MESA FEB. 22

East County News Service

February 17, 2022 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces that Thoughtful Creations, an innovative retailer located at 8270 La Mesa Boulevard, will host a mixer Tuesday, February 22nd between the hours of 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


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CLASS-ACTION SUIT AGAINST JUSTANSWER SITE COULD ALTER ONLINE BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA

Reprinted with permission from J.W. August, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association  

Photo:  a screenshot of the JustAnswer.com home page.

February 16, 2022 (San Diego) - The internet offer from JustAnswer is tempting for anyone looking for an expert: If you need medical advice, you can get unlimited conversations with doctors. Sign up for a small fee and a seven-day trial promises “on call experts, 24/7.”


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MIKE HESS BREWING ACQUIRES ALPINE BEER COMPANY’S OUTPOST, SAVES JOBS

By Miriam Raftery

February 1, 2022 (Alpine) – Beer lovers in East County will soon have more to cheer about.  Mike Hess Brewing of San Diego (www.mikehessbrewing.com) is expanding through their acquisition of Alpine Beer Company’s Outpost. The announcement comes after Alpine Beer Co. sold its Green Flash and Alpine brands in late December to Canada’s Tilray.


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PARENTS’ ADVOCATES CHEER CA DEAL ON COVID PAID SICK LEAVE

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

Photo via CNS

January 27, 2022 (Sacramento) -- Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass.


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WALKING TOUR OF THE ARTS FEB. 11 IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

January 27, 2022 (El Cajon) – Downtown El Cajon Business Partners invite you to join them on  Friday, February 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a walking tour of the arts on Main Street in Downtown El Cajon. There will be art demos, murals, art exhibitions and studio tours, all in a family-friendly environment.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the latest artworks and more.


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LOCAL CARPENTERS’ UNION MEMBERS RECEIVE K95 MASKS DONATED BY PRIMIOR

East County News Service

 

Photo: CC by NC via Bing

 

January 24, 2022 (San Diego) -- Primior, a leading real estate development and asset management firm, has donated 1 million K95 masks to the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC) who represent more than 57,000 members across Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.


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DIGITAL.COM SURVEY FINDS 43 PERCENT OF AMERICANS PLAN TO START A BUSINESS IN 2022, AND ONE-THIRD ARE FIRST -TIME ENTREPRENEURS

Retail, finance, and information technology are among the most popular industries to start a new business this year

East County News Service

Photo: CC via Bing

January 22, 2022 (San Diego) – Workers are leaving jobs at a record pace amid the pandemic, as CNBC recently reported. Fear of COVID, burnout over job stresses, and a desire to work remotely are likely all factors. But where are those workers going?  While some have found jobs elsewhere or dropped out of the workforce, others are starting up their own businesses – a trend that appears poised to accelerate in 2022. 


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NEWLY ORGANIZED CANNABIS WORKERS GAIN STATEWIDE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

UFCW union members at STIIIZY retail locations in California to vote on historic contract

East County News Service

Photo:  screenshot from UFSC Local 135 on Facebook

January 21, 2022 (San Diego) – Newly organized workers at STIIIZY dispensaries throughout California including San Diego County are voting on their first ever contract as members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.


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IN FAMILIAR REFRAIN, UNITED FARM WORKERS GRAPPLES WITH HOW TO GROW

By Melissa Montalvo and Nigel Duara, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Protestors wave to passerbys, on Sept. 25, 2021 in Yountville, CA, as they make their way towards PlumpJack Winery, owned by Gov. Gavin Newsom, to protest the governor’s veto of bill AB 616. Photo by Rahul Lal for CalMatters

January 19, 2022 (San Diego) - When the nation’s high court effectively forbade union representatives from accessing fields and orchards to recruit workers last June, the United Farm Workers union turned to Sacramento for help. 


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ZEST WINE BISTRO OPENS JANUARY 20 WITH COZY INDOOR-OUTDOOR SEATING, TAPAS AND INTERNATIONAL WINES

Giardino owner Karina Kravalis welcomes second eatery in Lemon Grove

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove resident and restauranter Karina Kravalis is opening the doors to her latest anticipated project, Zest Wine Bistro which features a variety of delightful vintages from around the world as well as artfully arrayed tapas to savor. The wine bar features cozy indoor and outdoor seating, soon to include an outdoor firepit and heaters for year-round comfort.

The intimate and slick bistro has been a dream for Kravalis, who saw an opportunity to provide something she felt her neighborhood was missing but wanting.

 “After all these years of owning Giardino, I’ve learned that Lemon Grove and East County love their wine,” said Kravalis. “There are so many of us who share a passion for good wine, and wanted a place to sip and toast. Zest is just that - a social gathering space to come try and learn about wine, and nosh on good food."


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ASSEMBLYMEMBER LORENA GONZALEZ RESIGNS TO TAKE TOP JOB AT LABOR FEDERATION

East County News Service; Times of San Diego contributed to this report

Photo by Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2022 (San Diego) – Staunch labor advocate Lorena Gonzalez on Monday announced her resignation from the California state Assembly to accept a job as leader of the  California Labor Federation.  Her resignation took effect yesterday; her new position begins in July.


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NEED GIFTS? SHOP THESE NEW EAST COUNTY RETAILERS: PART 4 - JULIAN

 

 

By Kiki Skagen Munshi

 

December 11, 2021 (Julian) – ‘Tis the season to bundle up and head to Julian, East County’s charming and historic mountain town. Among the shopping options to discover are five new retail outlets that opened during 2020 and 2021 – offering delightful gift items such as locally made goat soaps, pet products, sports memorabilia, gems, jewelry and geodes. 

Supporting local businesses also helps keep your tax dollars in our region – as well as providing unique holiday gifts for those on your list. 


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NEED GIFTS? SHOP THESE NEW EAST COUNTY RETAILERS: PART 3 – LEMON GROVE

 

By Elijah McKee

 

December 5, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove has several new businesses that you may want to check out when doing your holiday shopping including a boutique and art space, a coffee shop with health and wellness gifts, and a brewery.

Shopping locally not only brightens the holiday season for local businesses and those on your holiday gift list, it also puts some sales tax jingle into the city’s coffers to help fund projects that benefit the community.

This is part 3 in our series on new local retailers in East County.


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THOUSANDS OF FARMWORKERS WILL GET PAY RAISES THANKS TO A LAWSUIT

By Melissa Montalvo, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  CC by NC via Bing

December 5, 2021 (San Diego) - Tens of thousands of California’s guest farmworkers and U.S. farmworkers will see pay increases in 2022, which advocates say comes thanks to their lawsuit to stop a Trump-era wage freeze.


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NEED GIFTS? SHOP THESE NEW RETAILERS IN EAST COUNTY: PART 2 – EL CAJON

 

 

By Henri Migala

 

December 4, 2021 (El Cajon) – Within a couple of blocks in downtown El Cajon, you’ll find an array of new boutiques, a salon, galleries, gift stores, a pastry shop and a coffee shop – all brand new.

For your holiday shopping needs, consider supporting our local economy and these new small businesses, many offering unique goods from around the world reflecting the owners’ multicultural backgrounds. 

This is part 2 in our series on new local retailers in East County.


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NEED GIFTS? SHOP THESE NEW RETAILERS IN EAST COUNTY: PART 1 – LA MESA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 4, 2021 (La Mesa) – This holiday season, why not spread some cheer by shopping local to find some unique gifts right here in East County? 

If you haven’t ventured out lately, you may not realize that many new stores have opened amid the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. 

In this series, we’ll be focusing on new retail outlets perfect for your gift-giving needs – starting with La Mesa’s downtown village.


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