Weekly Issues

Dairy dilemma

Bureaucratic blunder keeps local producers down

Dairy farmers are experiencing record prices driven by global demand for milk and dairy products.
It’s great news after three years of low dairy product prices that drove many Central Valley dairies out of business.
Dairy farmers are also benefiting from a big drop in corn prices resulting from a bumper corn crop.

Rotary Storyland & Playland opens heart for sick kids

Editor’s note: Elijah Keller is the nephew of reporter Ben Keller.
Fresno’s Rotary Storyland & Playland has always held a certain charm for children, with its fairy tale ambiance and a collection of rides centered around its historic carousel.
But since last March, the attraction became all the more special for a few local kids whose illnesses prevented them from enjoying it the same as everyone else.

Century-old Springville Inn closes it doors

Financial pressures took a toll on the century-old Springville Inn on the way to Sequoia National Park as the owners filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing on March 5 lists the business with $1,47,336 in assets and $1,135,210 in liabilities, owing money to nearly 100 debtors.
Although the Springville Inn has been closed for just about a month, the property has been up for sale since the beginning of the year with an asking price of $950,000.

Council vote opens way for Fresno outdoor dining

A recently approved amendment to Fresno’s municipal code allows various food and drink servers to create outdoor dining areas within street easements and rights of ways without having to apply for a site plan or special permit.
Instead, an over-the-counter application and approval will speed the process.
The amended code sets forth a standardized plan for food, drink and dessert providers to serve their specialties in an outdoor dining area within certain parameters.

Sam Ramirez

Sam RamirezGeneral Manager,
Holiday Inn Fresno Airport

What we do:
 Provide lodging and catering services to guests from all over

Education:
 Some college business and hospitality courses

Age:
 32

Family:
5-year-old son Nathan

How did you come to your position at the Holiday Inn Airport?
I’ve been very fortunate to have had some great opportunities in hospitality and when I moved back to the Valley, I made a point to expand my knowledge with opportunities that would prepare me for a job like this. When I started here over 3 years ago, the hotel was going through major changes and challenges. There were really great people here and I could see all the potential they had. That’s what really attracted me to this job, the challenge of it.

FAX bus app first for Fresno startup

A new mobile application development startup plans to release a free app for Fresno Area Express bus riders next month.
Fresno’s ScholarDev Apps debut application is Fresno Transit Free, available April 3. It offers FAX riders information including schedule, route planning and other information. It will be available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform.

New school boosts Southwest Fresno image

After struggling from decades of neglect Southwest Fresno is transforming with the new Gaston Middle School and a modern overhaul of nearby Edison High.
Around 850 seventh and eighth graders and some 65 faculty members and staff will grace the halls of Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School when construction work wraps up in August.

Franchisors have sights set on Fresno area

Several national companies have their eyes on Fresno for expansion. All they need is a handful of willing entrepreneurs to set up shop.
National Franchise Day on March 4 recognized the nearly one million franchised businesses operating in the United States, from restaurants, hotels and gas stations to car dealers, retail stores and repair services.

Apartment rehab spruces up Fresno’s ‘Sin City’

Rehabilitation of the San Ramon Apartments signals a big step forward in Fresno’s goal of transforming the El Dorado Park neighborhood — often referred to as Sin City — into a vibrant and safe community.
Zumwalt Construction Inc. has finished upgrading the San Ramon Apartments within El Dorado Park near Bulldog Stadium. Apartment renters at San Ramon that had been moved out during construction are scheduled to move back in on March 22.

Water contractors hope for a wet spring

The National Weather Service has published a map showing the likelihood of wet weather in California from March 24-30. Other sources say it looks good for early April too.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. forecaster John Lindsey confirms the opinion for Central California, saying “The long-range models suggest a return to wet and unsettled weather by the middle of next week. At this time, rain may develop by March 25.”