The News

Pool construction at five-year high

Water is the topic on everyone’s minds this summer. Where to get it, how to conserve it and how much is left are common questions residents and municipalities are asking each other. But as the statewide drought deepens, some have begun asking another question — are swimming pools in poor taste?
For some communities the answer has been yes, and dozens of cities and water districts throughout the California have increased regulations on pool construction and maintenance. Some communities have even placed an outright ban on building new pools.
Local pool construction companies, however, don’t believe their products are wasteful and say business is booming despite the drought.

Svenhard’s sells Oakland plant for Exeter base

Svenhard’s Swedish Bakery has sold its 5.14-acre Oakland plant along busy Highway 880 for new development and will utilize some of the $8 million in proceeds to relocate all operations to Exeter in Tulare County.
So says the company’s Operations Manager David Kunkel. The family-owned firm, in business since 1893, owns a plant in Exeter with around 40 employees.
“We should have about 55 percent of our operations in Exeter by March,” Kunkel said, taking the workforce from 40 currently to 90.

Television show to highlight Fresno’s ethnic cuisine

One of the Central Valley’s best kept secrets will finally be shared when a new show premiering on ValleyPBS brings viewers into local restaurants for a look at some of the most authentic ethnic cuisine around.

Local restaurateurs mixed on new dog dining law

Dog-owners can look forward to spending even more quality time with their favorite pets as a new California law passed this month has opened the door for pet dogs in outdoor dining areas.
The law does not take effect until next year but local restaurant groups are already planning ahead.
Bill Kuebler, manager with the Tower District Marketing Committee, said he thinks the bill will be beneficial for restaurants in the area.

Startups targeted for Fresno State biz event

An event that jams months and even years worth of entrepreneurial development into one weekend is coming to Fresno for the first time next weekend.
Startup Weekend Fresno runs Sept. 5-7 at the University Business Center at Fresno State. The events, which give teams of aspiring entrepreneurs with technical and/or business backgrounds 54 hours to flesh out an actual idea for a startup, are held all over the globe.

Clovis dealership Valley’s electric police motorcycle source

For the last year, Clovis auto dealership Eckhaus Fleet has been a lone force helping police departments up and down the Valley fight crime and bad air with electric motorcycles.
The dealership, located at the corner of Gettysburg and Clovis avenues, is known as the place where rental car companies or public agencies turn to when beefing up their fleets.

Comcast: Central Valley a hotspot for free Internet program

With among the highest poverty rates in the country, the Central Valley has been a boon for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, offering high-speed Internet at a dramatically reduced price to low-income customers.

Since its launch in 2011, the program has enrolled some 350,000 families, or 1.4 million low-income individuals, across the country, giving them access to broadband service for only $9.95 a month. 

Fresno’s Sequoia Brewing Co. to open in Visalia, Santa Barbara

South Valley residents who have a continuing thirst for local-brewed craft beer will soon get another option as Fresno’s Sequoia Brewing Co. plans to open a restaurant on Main Street in Visalia as soon as the holidays.

Both the brewery’s founder and a local development group that owns the property confirm the news.

The Business Journal introduces Reader’s Choice Awards

Voting begins next month for The Business Journal’s new Best of Central Valley Business Reader’s Choice Awards.

Unlike other “best of” competitions, the Best of Central Valley Business awards have a business-to-business slant, said Gordon Webster, publisher of The Business Journal.

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