02/25/2018

News

Though Valley economy seems healthy, some jobs lost in the Great Recession are still gone

In 2007, more people in Fresno County had jobs than at any previous point in the county’s history. The central San Joaquin Valley’s economy was relatively healthy, and the county’s annual unemployment rate was 8.6 percent – higher than the state average but the third-lowest measurement of any year since 1990. But there were harbingers […]

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Fresno wants $4,200 in water fees added to new-home prices. Big developers say: See you in court

Buyers of newly built homes in Fresno are on the hook for a fee of more than $4,000 to ensure they have enough water coming to their residences. But a trio of major home builders is challenging the city’s fees in court, contending they’re too high, are unfair and amount to a tax that violates state law.

The “water capacity fee,” which adds up to $4,246 for a typical new single-family home with a one-inch connection to a water meter, was approved in April on a 5-1 City Council vote following a contentious public hearing at which developers voiced strong objections. Many of those concerns found their way into the litigation now working its way toward a March trial date in Fresno County Superior Court.

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New law will shut down many of Fresno’s can, bottle recycling centers

Fresno City Council members say they’ve received complaints for years from residents and businesses about recycling centers operating from shipping containers in shopping center parking lots, providing a few cents in cash for each can or bottle that people bring in for redemption.

On Thursday, the council approved a new ordinance to seriously restrict how and where such recyclers – called CRV (California Redemption Value) recycling centers – can operate. The 7-0 vote is the first step toward final approval, most likely in two weeks. The law, sponsored by Councilmen Paul Caprioglio and Oliver Baines, would take effect 30 days after a final vote.

Once that happens, the law will effectively put 16 of Fresno’s 22 CRV recycling centers out of business within six months to a year. The centers are where people can get back the nickel that grocers charge for every can or bottle of soft drink, beer or other beverages that carries a California Redemption Value stamp.

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Gerawan Farms Exits Table Grape Business, Affecting 2,500 Workers

Gerawan Farming, one of the largest growers of tree fruit and grapes in Fresno County, has alerted its employees and government officials that it is shutting down its table grape operations next year, affecting more than 2,500 workers.

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Opinion: These Middle-Class Jobs Start with Apprenticeships

If you follow the headlines, you might not think that these jobs still exist. But they do, and many of them are in the building trades.

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Fresno State Study Says Drought Causes $3.3 Billion in Farm Losses

The state’s historic drought has hit the San Joaquin Valley hard, with farm losses in the billions, an increase in health issues and a decline in income, according to a Fresno State study released Thursday.

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Editorial: Moderate Democrats are Right to Press for Better California Clean-Energy Plan

But unfortunately in California’s embrace of the green revolution, San Joaquin Valley residents – especially those in poor rural economies – have been made to bear a disproportionate share of the costs, while reaping less than their share of the benefits.

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San Joaquin Valley Farmers Take Drastic Measures to Deal with Drought

San Joaquin Valley farmers are idling thousands of acres, bulldozing hundreds of trees and shifting production of some crops out of the area as the state enters its third straight year of dry weather.

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Editorial: Legislature Should Fix CEQA, and Stop Cutting Special Deals

If Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants to do an end run around the California Environmental Quality Act to expedite the proposed new arena in downtown Sacramento, why shouldn’t those changes apply statewide to similar urban projects?

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Over 500 Bank of America Workers to Be Laid Off at Fresno Call Center

Company: Bank of AmericaCA Net Job Gain/Loss: -543Reason: LayoffCity/Region Losing Jobs: Fresno, CA

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Slow growth rate for state

The California Department of Finance’s demographic unit has calculated that California gained fewer than 300,000 new residents in 2012 for a growth rate of 0.8 percent.

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