The News

‘Unapologetically Fresno’

Loss of Giants affiliation brings Grizzlies closer to home

The change of major league affiliation may have disappointed some local baseball fans when it was announced last fall, but Fresno Grizzlies management say the team’s new contract with the Houston Astros is allowing them to reach out to the community like never before.  

Concern arises about food nonprofit’s philosophy

Ambitious new nonprofit Food Commons Fresno garnered support from the community last year after announcing plans to address local food deserts, but the organization is now drawing criticism from at least one business owner who said he is wary of the group’s overall message.
Food Commons plans a three-pronged approach to help increase access to affordable and fresh produce: a land trust to accept donations of farm land, equipment and other infrastructure; a mobile farmer’s market and community supported agriculture (CSA) box deliveries and a community-funded brick-and-mortar grocery store in an underserved part of the city.
These goals helped the organization win the support of groups such as the Fresno Regional Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program, but have also brought about negative attention.

Sylvan Learning tutoring center plans Fresno location

One of the nation’s largest tutoring networks will expand to Fresno this year, giving extra help to students in need of math, reading and even computer skills.
Sylvan Learning, Inc. has more than 800 locations in North America. Although California is home to some 60 centers, Fresno has been without a Sylvan franchise since 2010 when its former owner passed away without a successor.

Welcome to Bandit Town

A clothing company entrepreneur has a vision for turning a sleepy community in the rural Madera County foothills into an entertainment hot spot.
Jen McMillan, the 42-year-old founder of Bandit Brand clothing, made big news in little North Fork when she purchased an 11.5-acre parcel formerly known as Old Town in December 2013.
The long-vacant, Wild West-themed property included a number of old, mostly dilapidated structures, including a chapel, barn and even the town’s original jail.

New water heater rules could spell headaches for Valley homeowners

Beginning April 16, changes in government regulations may cause a routine water heater replacement to become an unexpectedly expensive endeavor for Valley homeowners.  
Next month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is set to begin enforcing new energy efficiency standards for residential water heaters.

Fresno firm shopping global food TV show

Fresno-based advertising company Culinary Competitions International (CCI) is currently in talks with several different cable channels to distribute its international commodity-centered television show “Global Bites.”
The show has already begun filming, and CCI President Peter DeYoung said the advertising agency signed restaurateur and celebrity chef Fabio Viviani as program host. Viviani has made appearances on cooking shows such as “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Top Chef” and hosted his own web program on Yahoo.

Vintage stores attract Valley's modern-day treasure hunters

Vintage is the new black.
That’s how a growing number of shoppers — and shop owners — are describing the Valley’s burgeoning vintage scene.
From downtown Fresno and the Tower District to Clovis and beyond, shops selling vintage — often one-of-a-kind — clothing, jewelry, furniture and decorative items are increasingly popular among both the bargain-hunting crowd and those looking for distinctive, one-of-a-kind “treasures.”

Economic outlook: Fresno’s star finally rising?

In a speech earlier this month honoring Fresno’s Economic Opportunities Commission, Mayor Ashley Swearengin said the city is currently in the midst of a major transformation.
“We’re writing the worst to first story right here in Fresno,” the mayor said.

Ag producers welcome thaw in Cuban relations

The easing of trade restrictions with Cuba is expected to provide an extra boost for the Valley’s already bustling crop exports.
The Obama administration last month announced new rules to ease travel and trade restrictions against Cuba that are expected to create a new market for nuts,
fruit, vegetables, dairy products and wine. Frozen chicken producers, especially those operating in the Midwest and Texas, should also see more sales.

Visalia weighs new downtown hotel to lure conventions

This week the Visalia City Council has scheduled a closed-door negotiation with a Los Angeles hotel developer to build a new hotel near the Visalia Convention Center.
On the agenda is hotel developer Remo Pizzichemi, vice president of operations for The Welcome Group, based in Encino California. The company owns and operates a handful of hotels around the country including two in Sacramento. Their hotel brands vary from Hilton and Holiday Inn to Hampton Inn and others.