Business and Labor

LA MESA SENDS MERCHANTS’ OKTOBERFEST DEBT TO COLLECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2016 (La Mesa) — The Mesa Village Merchants Association failed to pay back nearly $48,000 it owes to the city of La Mesa for the 2015 Oktoberfest, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Now the city has referred the debt to its collection agency. Arlene Moore, president of the nonprofit merchants’ group, told the Union-Tribune that the organization plans to repay the debt and hopes to continue hosting the Oktoberfest in future years.

The situation has sparked controversy in the community, with some criticizing the merchants for financial mismanagement, while others find fault with the city for requiring full cost recovery for Oktoberfest and other public events.

HOMETOWN BUFFET CLOSURES PROMPT STATE INVESTIGATION

 

East County News Service

February 9, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – California’s Labor Commissioner is investigating the abrupt closure of Hometown Buffet’s closure of restaurants statewide without any notice to its employees.  State law requires that employers with over 75 workers give at least 60 days notice before mass layoffs.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST SUPERVISOR JACOB AT FEB. 10 BREAKFAST

 

East County News Service

February 2, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host County Supervisor Dianne Jacob for a breakfast meeting starting at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Marie Callender’s restaurant, 6950 Alvarado Road, San Diego.

 

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER TO ‘DINE AND DIALOGUE’ WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has scheduled three local elected officials to appear at its “Dine and Dialogue” meetings in the coming months. The meetings will be held at the Chamber’s Business Resource Center Room at the Chamber’s headquarters, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon.

 

Scheduled speakers include Assemblyman Brian Jones from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8.

HUMBERT CABRERA NAMED EL CAJON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: LUNCHEON FEB. 1

 

East County News Service

 

January 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Citizen of the Year Committee has selected Humbert Cabrera of El Cajon, founder of Cabrera and Associates, Inc., a design and drafting firm, as its 2015 El Cajon Citizen of the Year. Cabrera will be honored at a luncheon on Monday, Feb. 1 at the Elks Lodge #1812, 1400 E. Washington Ave., El Cajon. The luncheon event is scheduled to run from noon to 2:30 p.m. Cost to attend is $18 per person. To RSVP, visit www.eastcountychamber.org or call (619) 440-6161.

HONEY WINE BUSINESS BUZZING WITH SUCCESS, BUT OWNERS SAY HIGH FEES FORCE THEM TO LEAVE COUNTY

 

 

By Brigitte Garcia

 

January 26th, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dale and Mike Pearson wanted to start a new career after working in hazardous occupations.  So they founded Pearson and Pearson, a honey-wine making business in rural El Cajon. Now they’re savoring sweet success-- including a multi-million dollar deal pending to sell their products into Asia.

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS SALUTE TO LOCAL HEROES AND INSTALLATION DINNER FEB. 24

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 8th annual Salute to Local Heroes & Installation Dinner on February 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Town and Country Resort Hotel (500 Hotel Circle, San Diego).

PREPARING FOR DISASTERS PROGRAM FOR BUSINESSES FEB. 4

East County News Service

January 14, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- South County and East County Economic Development Councils will be hosting a Disaster Preparedness Forum for businesses on Thursday, February 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Spring Valley Community Center, 8735 Jamacha Blvd. in Spring Valley.

A NIGHT TO SHINE: EAST COUNTY CHAMBER AWARDS GALA FEB. 11

 

East County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Lakeside) – The San Diego East County Chamber will host its East County Honors  Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, February 11th at the Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and includes cocktails, dinner reception, silent and live auction, opportunity drawing. Balloon pop, and live entertainment by Guy Gonzalez and the Gypsy Swng Cats.

SERENITY SHOP PROVIDES HEALING ENVIRONMENT FOR RECOVERY

 

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2015 (Santee)--Kellie and Dallas Coates-Legare had fleeting but frequent thoughts of opening a "serenity shop" sometime in their lives. They wanted to create a place focused on all of the anonymous recovery programs that would enhance the recovery journey of individuals while creating a supportive and compassionate environment for all seeking serenity in their lives; a place to buy tokens, books, cards and gifts of inspiration, celebration and healing.

This desire came from a long history of addiction and alcoholism in family members and friends which created a unique awareness of the disease of addiction in Kellie, both as a registered nurse and personally.

END OF AN ERA: GROVE PASTRY SHOP AND PINNACLE PEAK STEAKHOUSE CLOSE DOORS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Two of East County’s most beloved businesses, Grove Pastry Shop and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse,  have closed down, leaving  behind cherished memories.

I ordered my own wedding cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting from Grove Pastry Shop in Lemon Grove 36 years ago, as have so many other brides since the bakery first opened its doors back in 1947. The wedding cake portion of the business will continue; you can custom order those through www.artisticweddingcakesbythegrove.com .  But gone is the pastry shop, rich with the aromas of freshly baked cookies, cakes, breads and buttery pastries.

SDG&E RECEIVES “BEST IN THE WEST” RELIABILITY AWARD FOR 10TH STRAIGHT YEAR

 

East County News Service

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has been awarded the 2015 ReliabilityOne™ Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance among utilities in the western states and Canada for the 10th straight year by PA Consulting Group. ReliabilityOne™ Awards are given annually to the utilities that have excelled in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers.

In 1998, on average, an SDG&E customer experienced about one power outage a year with an average outage lasting an hour and a half. Today, due to improvements and advancements in the utility industry, a customer on average experiences about one power outage every other year lasting only an average of 60 minutes.

LA MESA CHAMBER ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY PROJECT

 

East County News Service

December 4, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces completion of the new “Children’s Holiday Project.” The following will be presented to Maxine Lynch for La Mesa boys and girls on Thursday, December 10: 35 pairs of shoes, 54 shirts, 200 pairs of underwear, 170 pairs of socks and 20 fleece jackets. In addition, over 46 stuffed animals have been donated for local children by the Town and Country Resort Hotel.

MOTHER & DAUGHTER DUO BRING BLO DRY BAR TO LA MESA IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

November 30, 2015 (La Mesa)--Blo Blow Dry Bar announces East County San Diego’s first blowout and beauty bar. Blo La Mesa is hosting its grand opening  December 8th, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 8806 Grossmont Boulevard with a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.

“SHOP EAST COUNTY” LAUNCHES TO BOOST LOCAL ECONOMY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2015 (El Cajon ) – Santa Claus joined with East County Chamber of Commerce leaders, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Parkway Plaza officials at the mall for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the “Shop East County” program.

“We’re excited today to celebrate the idea of Shop East County,” said Eric Lund, Chamber president.  The average person spends $805 each sopping season on gifts, decorations and food, according to the National Retail Association – money that when spent locally creates sales tax revenues that can be used to fund police, firefighting and other things that benefit the people of East County.

HAGGEN SUPERMARKET ON AVOCADO BLVD. IN LA MESA FINALLY CLOSES ITS DOORS

 

By Jake Christie

November 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Over the weekend of November 15th, the Haggen supermarket at 3681 Avocado Boulevard finally ran out of food and other salable items and closed for good. The store, located in the Rancho San Diego Village strip mall, was originally a Vons before Haggen bought the chain out in Southern California and then subsequently declared bankruptcy. Over the month of October the store slowly began winding down operations by not taking in new stock, selling off the food and sundries, and gradually barricading the empty aisles off as the food ran out.

ALPINE RESIDENT SANDY YOUNG RECEIVED "2015 YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD" FROM SAN DIEGO X BRAND



 

November 19, 2015 (San Diego)-- J. Walcher Communications, a top public relations agency in San Diego, received two Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter, while Account Supervisor Sandy Young, an Alpine resident, was named the “2015 Young Achiever” at the San Diego X Brand Diego Awards.

PLENTY TO SAVOR AT “TOAST TO EAST COUNTY”

 

 

By Miriam Raftery  

Photo, left: Dulzura Winery owners

November 15, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--At the inaugural Toast to East County event hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Vintners  Association at Cottonwood Golf in Rancho San Diego on November 8th, guests savored a wide array of wines from local vintners as well as foods ranging from artisan cheeses to barbecued meats, Mexican food, olive oil, raw honey and more.

Speaking of honey, Pearson Brothers Winery of Dehesa served up Honey Saccharo wine made without grapes.  Other vintners offered up samples of more traditional vintages, from cabernet to chardonnay.  Rock Canyon poured its latest offering, a dessert port-like wine, while others showed off new varieties for the region such as a Malbec. Plus awards were presented for trailblazers in our region's fast-growing winemaking industry.

MARRIOTT HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON COMPLETES FINAL STEP - CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN SOON

 

November 13, 2015 (El Cajon)--Anticipation of a new hotel in El Cajon is growing as officials have completed the sale of properties at the northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Rea Avenue for developers of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The 88,000-square foot hotel will feature 120 rooms, a swimming pool, outdoor dining areas, a business center, two meeting rooms, and two commercial lease spaces on the ground floor.

HAGGEN RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR SALE OF NUMEROUS STORES, ANNOUNCES AUCTION RESULTS

 

November 13, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--Haggen today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware in Wilmington confirmed the sale of certain stores. The Court approved two separate purchase agreements for certain assets with Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final LLC.

Gelson’s purchased certain assets related to eight stores located in California for approximately $36 million. Under a separate agreement, Smart & Final purchased certain assets of 28 stores located in California for $56 million.  In addition, Haggen's has accepted bids on other stores from a variety of bidders, including Albertson's bids on several local stores.  Below is a listing of stores' status.

SAN DIEGO RANKS LAST FOR BUILDING WEALTH

 

By Ed Barrena

November 9, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego is the worst major metropolitan area to build wealth, according to a report by financial website Bankrate.com.  The findings may not be entirely surprising to residents of San Diego, where rent and mortgages continue to climb and wages remain fairly stagnant.

CA SEEKS MEDICAL MARIJUANA CHIEF

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

If you’d like to earn about $10,000 a month and oversee the licensing, enforcement and administration of marijuana in California, also helping to craft regulations,  Governor Jerry Brown has a job for you.  A listing has been posted for a new state job: Chief of the California's newly formed Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

The state’s Department of Consumer Affairs will be weeding out any applicants with criminal backgrounds or conflicts of interest.  So if you’re a grower or dispensary owner profiting off the seeds of your labors, sorry, you won’t qualify.

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF BLIGHT: NOV. 12 MEETING IN CASA DE ORO

 

 

Casa de Oro Youth and Residents Seek Answers

November 6, 2015 (Casa do Oro) -- Efforts of local teens with the East County Youth Coalition have spurred action with residents and business owners in Casa de Oro. What started as a neighborhood assessment of 12 of the19 licensed alcohol businesses  on Campo Road by the teens has led to questions by community members. They want to know why businesses and property owners are not meeting business standards related to advertising, trash, graffiti and loitering.

The diverse group met for the first time late September. Now they are closely examining options for improving their community’s quality of life. Another meeting is planned for Thursday, November 12 at 6 p.m in the Casa de Oro Library.

LA MESA CHAMBER LAUNCHES ANNUAL SENIOR PROJECT

 

November 1, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber is beginning to gather items for the 22 seniors that the Chamber adopts each year during the holidays. It is the goal of the Chamber to collect, purchase and assemble items and place them in large gift baskets. These gift baskets are delivered along with a hot turkey dinner, with all of the trimmings to the selected seniors by the La Mesa Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol.

SAN DIEGO RANKS LAST FOR BUILDING WEALTH



 
 
By Ed Barrena
 
October 29, 2015 (San Diego) - San Diego is the worst major metropolitan area to build wealth, according to a report by financial website Bankrate.com.  The findings may not be entirely surprising to residents of San Diego, where rent and mortgages continue to climb and wages remain fairly stagnant.

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT OPENS SECOND LUXURY HOTEL TOWER OCT. 30: FLYING WALLENDAS TO PERFORM

 

October 27, 2015 (Alpine)--Viejas Casino & Resort will be officially opening its second luxury hotel tower on Friday, October 30th. Thousands will be in attendance for the grand opening ceremony for the new five-story tower. Separated by the hotel pool area and the Park at Viejas––a designated space for concerts and special events––the new hotel tower stands near its partner, Viejas’ first hotel tower, which opened in spring of 2013.

RETIREES TO SEE PENSIONS SLASHED UNDER NEW LAW

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: John Vachon, Alabama truck driver, Library of Congress TRUCKING PAST

October 20, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Congress has crumpled the security net for many retired union workers.  A controversial law passed last December allows multi-employer pension funds to cut benefits if the funds are projected to run out of money.  CNN reports that many of these funds, which cover over 10 million works, are in financial trouble.

One of the first to take advantage of the new law is the Central States Pension Fund, which has been teetering on insolvency and now wants to cut benefits as much as 60% for retirees  who are reliant on its pension payments—if the Treasury Department approves the deal.

The fund covers workers and retirees in over 1,500 companies ranging from truck drivers and construction workers to Disneyland employees.

2015 WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED BY SAN DIEGO-EAST COUNTY CHAMBER

 

 

East County Magazine Editor and Founder Miriam Raftery is among those honored

Photo:  2015 WILL winners (from left to right): Elizabeth Smith Chavez, Erica Pinto, Wendy Urushima-Conn, Mara Fortin, Molly Nocon, Miriam Raftery. Not shown: Carey Guthrie, Shelly Zimmerman.

October 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has honored eight women with Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) awards.

Honorees included: Mara Fortin, Nothing Bundt Cakes; Carey Guthrie, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors; Molly Nocon, Noah Homes; Erica Pinto, Jamul Indian Village; Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine; Elizabeth Smith Chavez, Smith Chavez Law; Wendy Urushima-Conn, Asian Business Association; Shelly Zimmerman, San Diego Police Department.

According to Leah McIvor, 2015 event chair, a record 41 nominees were considered by the committee for the awards program, now in its 13th year. She said the recipients were honored for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business.

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