Business and Labor

CONGRESSMEN SPAR AT SAN DIEGO REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LUNCHEON

By Miriam Raftery April 3, 2009 (San Diego)—Democratic Congressman Bob Filner took some good-natured swings at fellow members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon on March 27th. “First let me take some cheap political shots,” quipped Filner, sporting boxing gloves. He noted that the Chamber of Commerce and other business interests asked members of Congress to support the President’s stimulus package aimed at boosting the economy and creating jobs.

EAST COUNTY CITIES VIE TO LURE SHOPPERS

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – A sales tax hike that takes effect today in La Mesa and El Cajon, has sparked competition among East County cities and Chambers of Commerce vying for shoppers’ business. A statewide sales tax increase boosts sales tax county-wide to 8.75%. In El Cajon and La Mesa, voters approved additional tax increases to 9.75% and 9.5% respectively. But does shopping outside your own community make economic sense, if it means taking tax revenues away from your home town?

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXTENDED AN EXTRA 20 WEEKS

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2008 (Sacaramento) – With the state’s unemployment rate at 10.5%, jobless Californians will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits for an additional 20 week.  Legislation signed by Governor Schwarzenegger  will bring help to more than 400,000 California families, the California Labor Federation reports. California workers generated nearly 3,000 letters to legislators and the governor to gain their support for two measures, which will extend unemployment benefits for an additional 20 weeks and modernize the state’s outdated eligibility rules, making the state eligible for an additional $839 million in federal funds.

EDITORIAL: EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT IS VITAL TO REBUILD OUR ECONOMY

By Tracy Emblem (Democratic candidate, 50th Congressional District)

March 27, 2009 (San Diego)--The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is vital to rebuild America’s economy. But the right-wing media is disseminating false information and scare tactics aimed at duping the public regarding EFCA.

We are losing the middle class. Wages are spiraling downward, workers are losing healthcare, yet CEOs are earning hundreds of times more than the average employee and pocketing billions in bonuses for failing companies. This is wrong.

NEW LA MESA BUSINESS HELPS SENIORS STAY INDEPENDENT IN THEIR HOMES

March 13, 2009 (La Mesa) — It is estimated that 7 million women are unpaid caregivers to the elderly. They struggle to cope with the exhaustion, loneliness, mental and physical demands, and heartbreak of watching their loved one grow weaker. Advanta Home Care provides an affordable solution for older individuals or couples capable of managing their physical needs, but who require non-medical assistance, light housework, meal preparation and/or companionship in order to remain at home.

COCONUTS SPA BRINGS TOUCH OF TROPICS TO LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

Bob Lyon and his wife, Deedee

March 8, 2009 (La Mesa) — Luau foods, seashell leis, and other touches of the tropics greeted guests at the grand opening of Coconuts Salon & Day Spa in La Mesa this weekend. Located behind the Brigantine Restaurant at 9340 Fuerte Drive, the salon formerly known as Transformations has been transformed into a tropical-themed motif by new owners Bob Lyon and Joey Atkins. "My wife, Deedee, and I came up with the name," said Lyon, sporting a Hawaiian shirt. "In the spirit of Hawaii, we created a waterfall and a whole Hawaiian motif."

VIEJAS ENTERPRISES RECEIVES BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD

March 3, 2009 (San Diego)--At an inaugural celebration, Viejas Enterprises was awarded the East County Regional Business of the Year by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The first "Bet on the Chamber" celebration, held at Viejas' DreamCatcher Lounge, recognized over 20 outstanding East County businesses.The Chamber annually recognizes businesses throughout East County that have made a substantial contribution to the community.

 

LEARN TO GO GREEN AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE ON MARCH 7

By Pari Sanati

Before & After

March 1, 2009 (San Diego)— For many of us, recycling and watching energy and water consumption are now regular practices, far from the days when all these were new and perhaps daunting concepts. As the world makes the inevitable "greening" shift, environmentally conscious home and business owners are looking for new and interesting ways to continue contributing to a sustainable world.

Good Earth GreenScaped Buildings is helping quench the thirst for sustainability with its commitment to promoting green roofs and restorative buildings. Owner Jim Mumford says the current economic climate is actually a good one for going green. "One positive aspect we're seeing from our economic downturn and global warming fears is the need for bigger strides in low-impact development," Mumford said. "It's the retrofitting of older buildings, and also the building of new ones when the market picks up. Not only do green roofs have an aesthetic benefit, but their environmental and financial benefits can be significant."

NEED A JOB?  FREE JOB SEARCH MEETING MARCH 12 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

March 1, 2009 (El Cajon) — The Grossmont College Career Center will host "Systematic Job Search," a free informational meeting on identifying unadvertised jobs and making career connections, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at the Career Center, Room 627, on the college campus. The public is invited to attend.

THRIVING IN HARD TIMES SERIES: El Cajon Mom Finds Her Calling, Builds Recession-Proof Business Selling Phone Services From Home

By Miriam Raftery

Just
a few months after starting a home-based business in fall 2008, Karie Schmidt
of El Cajon has a team of entrepreneurs working for her. She is earning a comfortable
income, has flexible hours to spend with her family, and enjoys perks such
as free phone service and free travel--including a trip to a pre-Kentucky Derby
race in Lexington. Her success in an era when many large companies are struggling
amid a difficult economy makes her  accomplishments even more remarkable. 

HOUSE PASSES STIMULUS BILL THAT AIMS TO CREATE 396,000 JOBS IN CALIFORNIA; LOCAL LEADERS SPLIT VOTES

February 13, 2009 -- The House of Representatives passed the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 246-183. Local Democratic
representatives Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted for the measure, while Republicans
Duncan D. Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa voted no. According
to the White House, the measure will create or save 396,000 jobs in California
by the end of next year.

FILNER JOINS 20 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ESTABLISH POPULIST CAUCUS FOR MIDDLE CLASS ECONOMIC ISSUES

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2009 (Washington, DC) Today, Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego) announced that he has joined with 20 other Democratic members of Congress to form the Populist Caucus, the only caucus in Congress devoted solely to addressing middle class economic issues.

RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT INFURIATES CHAINS BY GIVING AWAY HUNDREDS OF FREE MEALS

By Miriam Raftery

February
1, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) —
We have seen many types of restaurant promotions
to grab our attention. However, Brenda Nason, owner of Bistro D'Vine in Rancho
San Diego, simply takes the cake. Her goal is to give one free meal to
every household in the Rancho San Diego area that has not already been to her
restaurant.

CONGRESS SENDS LILY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT TO PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE

By Miriam Raftery

 

Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) with Jan Hedlun
of Potrero.

“This issue is as basic as it gets,” said Congressman Filner (D-CA), who voted
in favor of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is now on President Barack
Obama’s desk.  ”You should not be paid less because you are a woman. You
should not be treated differently because of the color of your skin or your
religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has tried to roll back the clock on this
issue of basic fairness, but Congress will not stand for it.”   San
Diego Congressional representative Susan Davis also voted for the bill, while
Congressman Brian Bilbray, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa voted against
the measure.

FREE "MVP" HAIRCUTS AT SPORTS CLIPS IN SANTEE; STORE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING JAN 24-25: DONATE $5 TO SANTEE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB AND GET A HAIRCUT FREE

January 19, 2009 (Santee) — Sport Clips, providers of "championship haircuts"
for men and boys in a sports-themed environment, announced today a Cut-A-Thon
at their new Santee-area store to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club.

Customers that donate $5 to the organization on either Saturday, January 24
from 9 to 6 p.m. or Sunday, January 25 from 10 to 5 p.m. will receive a free
"MVP" haircut.

2 BILLS TO STOP PAY DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN PASS HOUSE; DAVIS & FILNER VOTE "YES"; BILBRAY, HUNTER & ISSA VOTE "NO"

January 11, 2009 (San Diego) — Two landmark bills aimed at helping women employees achieve equal pay for equal work and obtain judgments against employers who violate the law have passed the House of Representatives and will now go to the Senate. San Diego County's Congressional delegation split down party lines, with Democrats Susan Davis and Bob Filner voting yes, while Republicans Brian Bilbray, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa voted no on both bills.

The bills were introduced in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against Lilly Ledbetter (see photo), who worked nearly 20 years at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Alabama. Ledbetter filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination immediately after she found out that she was the lowest paid supervisor at the plant, even though she had more experience than her male colleagues. A jury ruled in favor of Ledbetter.

U.S. CRANBERRY MARKETING COMMITTEE PARTNERS WITH SAN DIEGO-BASED SOUPLANTATION

Partnership promotes benefits of cranberries During
the Month of December

December 3, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) — San
Diego-based Souplantation, voted one of "America's Healthiest
Restaurants" by Health magazine, has formed a partnership with the Cranberry
Marketing Committee (CMC), a committee established by the federal government
that works to promote and inform the public about the benefits of U.S. cranberries.
Souplantation restaurants will also feature several cranberry-filled recipes
on their December menu to celebrate the partnership.

GIFTS FROM THE EAST

Our holiday guide to gifts unique to East County

By Miriam Raftery

Hot Pads
Buckskin baby booties are available at Mountain Oaks
Trading Post, Julian

December 1, 2008 (San Diego's East
County) —
This holiday season, why not choose gifts that benefit our community and provide
recipients with gifts that are unique to East County and San Diego's eastern
region?

In today's tough economic times, local merchants need support from community
members--especially during the holiday shopping season.   Buying products
made overseas or from companies that outsource jobs to foreign markets does
not help the U.S. economy or American workers.   Too many people
don't realize that ordering from big box discount stores or from Internet vendors
in distant places takes business away from our local economy.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT SHARES VIEWS ON ELECTION OUTCOMES AND IMPACT ON BUSINESS COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

East County Chamber of Commerce President Mike Cully
(left) and membership director Regina Williamson (right) present new member
plaque to ECM Editor Miriam Raftery and Marketing Director Leon Thompson.

Mike Cully, president of the East County Chamber of Commerce, was at Election
Central in Golden  Hall downtown as the announcement was made that Barack
Obama had won the presidency. “Drivers were honking horns. There was
so much enthusiasm,” he recalled, adding that Obama’s ability to
inspire people to work together “espouses what it means to be an American.”  Noting
that the stock market rallied up 300 points upon news of the presidential race
outcome, he observed that Obama’s victory “instills hope in people—and
hope is more tangible than you can imagine.  It’s what drives America--and
it’s what drives business.”

Budget Crisis Hits Home

State workers in East County struggle to cope with prospect of huge pay cuts, lay-offs; Judge orders Sept. 12 hearing on Governor’s wage-slashing orders

By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Aida Canonizado

November 4, 2008 (El Cajon)--Mildred Scarber, a state employee who works at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in El Cajon, was shocked to learn that Governor Schwarzenegger has ordered all state employees’ pay rates slashed to the federal minimum wage: just $6.55 an hour.

HUNTER OPENS DOOR FOR SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTORS

Border Fence creates opportunities for some, but draws criticisms from others, with waivers of environmental reviews

by Gayle Early

Gayle Early.

October 1, 2008 (El Cajon) - Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office hosted an informal briefing by the Army Corps of Engineers on September 18 on the status of the border fence construction and possible subcontracting opportunities for local businesses. Mary Spencer, the Army representative in the Small Business Association, also offered pointers on how to apply for contracts.

CHEAP CHIC: SAVOR A RESALE FASHION SHOPPING SPREE

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2008 (LA MESA) - If your budget is tight amid today’s rising prices, take heart! A fun way to shrink your clothing budget without sacrificing style is to treat yourself to a shopping spree in a delightful East County resale shop.

My personal favorite resale outlet is Act II, which has two stores in downtown La Mesa, both on La Mesa Blvd.

Pages