Business and Labor

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.

COUNTRY MUSIC STAR BRENT PAYNE LIGHTS THE NIGHT, WINS NEW FANS AT FALL FEST IN LA MESA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 19, 2015 (La Mesa) – Award-winning country music star Brent Payne charmed the audience with a sizzling hot performance at the first La Mesa Fall Fest Saturday night in the parking lot at Grossmont Center, hosted by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce.  It wasn’t hard to see why this self-proclaimed “country cowboy and southern gentleman” has rocketed to the top of the charts internationally and won fans in performances from Vegas to NASCAR to the National Rodeo Finals.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON OCTOBER 16

October 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- The East County Chamber of Commerce Annual Women in Leadership Luncheon will observe its 13th anniversary at Mission Valley’s Town and Country Resort Hotel on Friday, October 16th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The luncheon honors San Diego County women, recognized by their peers as exemplary leaders. East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery is among the nominees.

Women will be honored in seven fields: Arts/Media/Culture; Business; Education/Academia; Hospitality; Government/Defense; Healthcare, and the Non-profit Sector. Nominees must be San Diego County residents and have demonstrated exemplary character, integrity and outstanding leadership, not only in their field, but in their community.

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS BILL THAT SEEKS TO ERADICATE WAGE GAP WITH SIGNING OF NEW LAW

 

"I have two daughters...The thought that their gender could be held against their abilities is outrageous." - Senator Joel Anderson, speaking in favor of the bill on the State Senate floor

By Liz Alper

October 7, 2015 (Sacramento)- A new era is beginning for working women in California.

On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation into effect that gives women more tools to help fight gender-related wage inequality.

LA MESA CHAMBER LAUNCHES "FALLFEST" LINEUP: "A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY AND A LITTLE BIT ROCK AND ROLL"

 

East County News Service

September 9, 2015 - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has announced the entertainment lineup of its new “FallFest” event being held October 16th and October 17th at Grossmont Center (5500 Grossmont Center Drive, in the Macy’s parking lot.)

The entertainment lineup will combine the best in music with “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.”

GOVERNOR VETOES BILL THAT WOULD HAVE ENDED WORKERS’ COMP PRACTICES THAT PENALIZE WOMEN WORKERS

 

 

East County News Service

October 7, 2015 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed Assembly Bill 305, a measure that sought to eliminate gender bias against female employees in the awarding of workers’ compensation benefits in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), author of the bill, issued a statement voicing disappointment in the Governor’s action.  “I have said time and time again how much I admire and believe in this governor, but on this issue, he is dead wrong. With all due respect, a woman’s breasts are worth as much as the prostate of a male coworker and they should be valued as such if they were lost in a workplace injury,” said Gonzalez, a former labor leader and the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace.

She added, “Women should not be penalized for being pregnant or going through menopause, or be told the loss of a breast due to cancer acquired in the workplace has no value in California’s workers compensation system. I remain more committed than ever to continuing this fight for true equality in the workplace.”

FIGHTING OFFSHORING OF CALIFORNIA TECH JOBS - ONE STUDENT AT A TIME

 

A San Diego nonprofit is training web developers free in an effort to keep technology jobs in the U.S. Credit: SoftStack Factory

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

October 4, 2015 (San Diego) -- A quick search for web developer jobs in California turns up 10,000 positions, open, right now. But many young people don't have the skills to write code, and can't afford college or $10,000 for a coding boot camp. Consequently, many companies are sending the jobs overseas.

HAGGEN TO CLOSE ALL 25 GROCERY STORES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

October 2, 2015 (San Diego) – Just days after announcing plans to file for bankruptcy and reorganize around fewer but more profitable stores, Haggen Market has announced it will close all 25 San Diego County markets.

LA MESA RESTAURANTS NOT HAPPY WITH DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK PROJECT

 

By Mike Allen

Photo, left: Concrete pour for new sidewalk, courtesy City of La Mesa. See more photos on the City's Twitter feed for the project.

September 29, 2015 (La Mesa)--Several downtown La Mesa restaurants say the city’s Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project has taken a much bigger hit on their businesses than anticipated—and the owners aren’t happy about having to shell out more money to get their patio seating back.

While the project that began construction in July of last year is nearly finished, there’s still work to be done, and most restaurants haven’t had their outside patios re-installed in time for this weekend’s big Oktoberfest celebration.

CHAMBER TO HOST FORMER ASSEMBLY SPEAKER TONI ATKINS SEPT. 28, OTHER EVENTS NEXT WEEK

 

 

East County News Service

September 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce announces three upcoming events including a Sept. 28 lunch with former Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a Sept. 29  after hours business mixer at Steele Canyon Golf Club, and an Oct. 2 breakfast at the La Mesa Community Center with Oktoberfest speakers.

COSMOS COFFEE CLOSES, BUT REOPENING MAY BE BREWING

 

East County News Service

September 22, 2015 (La Mesa)—Cosmos Coffee, a popular gathering spot in La Mesa’s downtown village, has closed its doors—for now. But the owner is hopeful that employees may want to takeover ownership and reopen.

The shop posted on its Facebook page on August 31, “It has been a pleasure to serve and be part of the community of LA Mesa for the last six years. Cosmos is closed temporarily. We will be updating the website and Facebook as soon as we know what is happening. We want to thank all of our loyal customers and we hope we will be back to make you all feel special and caffeinated as soon as possible. The Cosmos Crew.”

SEMPRA'S DEBRA REED RANKED AMONG FORTUNE'S 'MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS' IN 2015

 

Source: Sempra

September 14, 2015 (San Diego) – For the fifth consecutive year, Fortune magazine has named Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), to the magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” list.  Reed is ranked No. 23 in 2015, up from No. 30 last year.

HAGGEN FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY TO REORGANIZE AROUND FEWER STORES, PROFITABLE LOCATIONS

 

East County News Service

September 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Haggen, a major West Coast regional grocer, has announced plans to reorganize around its core profitable stores by filing voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has received commitments for up to $215 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its existing lenders to maintain operations and the flow of merchandise to its stores during the sale process.

LEADERS TAKE ACTION, REFLECT ON HISTORY OF U.S. WORKERS’ RIGHTS ON LABOR DAY

 

East County News Service

September 6, 2015 (San Diego)— Hundreds of thousands of workers for federal contractors will now receive paid leave when they are sick, thanks to an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in honor of Labor Day.

The U.S. Department of Labor has set up a special section on its website devoted to Labor Day news.  It notes that when workers prosper, the economy prospers too. “Shared prosperity is not just about economic fairness, but also national strength,” the Labor Department’s website states.

But as Americans celebrate the holiday, many are unaware of the origins of Labor Day, which has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, when many U.S. workers toiled 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Wages were low and factory workers included children as young as 5 years old, toiling amid often dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

JAMUL TRIBAL COUNCIL ISSUES STATEMENT ON FATALITY AT CASINO SITE; CASINO OPPONENTS ALSO OFFER CONDOLENCES

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2015 (Jamul) – Following the September 1stdeath of a construction worker employed by C.W. Driver at the site of the Hollywood Casino Jamul, the Jamul Indian Village Tribal Council has issued a statement in its newsletter voicing “great sadness” at the tragedy and a message voicing support for workers this Labor Day weekend.

SPEAKER TONI ATKINS PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON WAGE THEFT IN SAN DIEGO TOWN HALL AUG. 29

 

Workers share how wage theft damages families, drives poverty; elected leaders share solutions to multi-billion annual wage heist  

August 28, 2015 (San Diego)--Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) along with California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and local leaders will host a “Fair Day’s Pay” town hall with San Diego workers on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.  The forum will spotlight how wage theft denies workers the opportunity to participate in the American Dream and leaves families in poverty.

The forum comes after a joint study by San Diego State University and the Center on Policy Initiatives found persuasive evidence of wage theft throughout San Diego’s food industry, with more than three-quarters (77%) of workers reporting having been victims of wage theft during the past year and a third saying theft from their paychecks occurs regularly.  Wage theft plagues workers in many other low-wage industries, and adds up to billions drained from California’s economy each year.

LA MESA CHAMBER ANNOUNCES CREATION OF THE "SENIOR PANTRY PROJECT"

 

August 25, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces the creation of a new project designed to assist seniors in need within our community.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN SHIRLEY WEBER PARTICIPATES IN DINE AND DIALOGUE

 

By Janis Russell

August 17, 2015 (El Cajon)- On Friday August 14, the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2nd Dine and Dialogue with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, who spoke on issues including education, social justice, health care,  business opportunities , the minimum wage, and the state budget.

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