The News

Farmers decry environmental protections during drought

City and county officials, farmers and water district officials meeting in Tulare recently blamed restrictive environmental regulations for the crisis that lead to a zero initial water allocation for farmers announced by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Feb. 21.

Tulare County pulls out of EDC

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 this week to pull out of the Tulare County Economic Development Corp. The independent agency whose goal it is to increase economic activity in the county has now lost the support of the county itself. Tulare County has supported the countywide economic development agency for some 31 years.

Fresno law firm wins class-action suit

With a vast majority of civil lawsuits settling before ever seeing a courtroom, Ameriguard Security Services of Fresno had to put its foot down.
In a case featured in publications of both the San Diego and Fresno County bar associations, the security systems and staffing firm won its years-long wage fight last August against employees seeking $4.2 million in penalties for untimely compensation.

Downtown Fresno housing project expected to fill up fast

An $11 Million, four-story building under construction at Inyo Street and Van Ness Avenue in downtown Fresno will soon give a stylish new look to the site of the former Droge building that stood for 91 years until demolished in 2013.
It will also bring needed workforce housing to a downtown area that is expected to provide more public and private jobs as the city’s revitalization plan progresses. Fresno currently has about 35,000 workers in the downtown area. And the Inyo-Van Ness housing project is in the heart of downtown.
The new building will feature three stories with 45 apartment units and common space on the first floor. It includes six studio units, 30 one-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom units and one manager’s unit.
It will also feature 3,000 square feet of commercial space.

Work on Madera’s 6,578-home Gateway Village starts in July

Initial grading is slated to begin in July for the long-planned 6,578-home Gateway Village development in Madera, a project that faced multiple delays after developer Castle & Cooke acquired it in 1990.
New developer Gateway Village Development LLC purchased the 2,062-acre master-planned community site in 2010 and is ready to get rolling. Now in possession of a tentative map for the project, the developer sees growth ahead for the area and surging demand for master-planned communities.
Gateway Village Development had the advantage of taking on a project that already had plans and approvals in place.

Tulare County reservoir plans in the works

As Valley growers ponder the chances of reservoir construction as a part of an upcoming California water bond measure, some water districts have found ways to move ahead with water storage projects using other funding options.

Council to weigh Fulton Mall options next week

With a crucial vote before the Fresno City Council next week, the Fulton Mall could begin to look very different.
Completed in 1964 by famed architects Victor Gruen and Garret Eckbo, the Fulton Mall has been in the city’s cross hairs for more than a decade after failing to produce the economic or social activity it once promised.

Drought has nut producers on guard

Despite recent rains, drought conditions continue in the San Joaquin Valley where lack of water deliveries could slow production of two major cash crops — walnuts and almonds — at a time of unprecedented demand.

Bank of the Sierra making moves in ‘14

At about 10,000 feet in elevation, Farewell Gap is a commanding feature of the Mineral King valley of Sequoia National Park.
To get there means hiking six miles (counting switchbacks), with an elevation increase of more than 2,000 feet.

Beauty pageant winner buys longtime flower shop

Abeauty pageant veteran, Prisca Shiralian knows the stress of memorizing choreography, coordinating outfits and performing in front of thousands of people.
But Shiralian has decided to take on a new stressor — buying a retail flower business right before Valentine’s Day.