Weekly Issues

Dry conditions above and below prompt well-digging frenzy

Dry weather conditions have kept Valley well diggers busy, both for residential and agricultural uses.
In addition, the underground water table and well levels have fallen, meaning higher demand for new wells and deeper wells.
Fresno alone has 260 pump stations. But the county has many more wells, including those dug for residents in the country and wells used for farming and industrial users.
Fresno County has a total of 26,567 well drilling permits on file. In 2012, the county issued 503 well drilling permits.

Craig Sharton

Craig Scharton
Peeve's Public House & Local Market

What we do: We’re a casual, American-style pub that features local, seasonal food and 75 craft beers

Transition in works for United Security Bank

Sierra Bancorp, parent company of Bank of the Sierra in Porterville, named Kevin J. McPhaill as president and chief operating officer effective Jan. 1.
As part of the transition, McPhaill will replace current president James C. Holly, who will continue to serve as CEO for the time being.
McPhaill, currently the company's executive vice president and chief banking officer, will later be named as both president and CEO. The offices are temporarily being separated to allow for an orderly management of succession with minimal disruption, according to a news release.
Holly, who has served in his position since 2000, remarked on McPhaill's 23 years of banking experience and positive leadership since coming aboard Bank of the Sierra in 2001.

Local goods seller winner of Kingsburg biz contest

The City of Kingsburg wrapped up its inaugural business plan contest last week, awarding $25,000 in goods and services to a startup selling Central Valley handmade products in one convenient store.
Kingsburg residents Kim Regier and Diana Weston started out as one of 25 applicants of the Kingsburg Economic Development Committee’s Launching Pad contest announced in October.
After the committee pared down the entrees, the two found themselves among five semi-finalists working with logo designers and business plan coaches to help them prepare a presentation for their business, Matt i Dalen (Swedish for Heart of the Valley).

Shortage could shave $2B from farm receipts

Area farmers will move into the New Year knowing that if water supplies don’t improve in the coming winter months, a projected $8 billion gross value agricultural crop in Fresno County in 2014 would likely have to be revised to about $6 billion.
Fred Rinder, county deputy agricultural commissioner, said farmers plan their crops months ahead, and right now it looks like some major cropland may go fallow.

California Drought

Conditions challenge state’s cattle industry

Soaring cattle prices are breaking records as area ranchers try to rebuild herds reduced in recent years by drought and resulting high feed costs.
At the same time, demand for beef exports from the U.S. has grown sharply.
Prices hit  $132 per one hundred pounds in November for steers and heifers. Choice carcasses currently command more than $200 per one hundred pounds, or cwt.
Beefmagazine.com reports that quoted live cattle prices stand at $133.25 cwt. for Dec., $134.27 cwt. for Feb. 2014 and $135 cwt. for April 2014.

Carole Jacoby

Carole Jacoby & Co. Real Estate, Inc.

What we do: We are a small, family owned and operated real estate company. Because we are a small boutique company, our clientele feels the warmth and hands-on service we provide. They are welcome to call us anytime, day or evening and we are delighted to be available to them. Because of the many years in real estate, we provide excellent information regarding anything of concern from our buyers and or sellers. 

Prop. 30 stops the bleeding at local schools

Tuition spikes and cost cutting of past years began to subside for schools in 2013.
The passage of the Proposition 30 tax increase last November aimed to generate around $6 billion a year to support education.
After losing nearly $1 billion in state support from 2007 to 2012, community colleges across California were working with an additional $210 million in revenue to restore some of their lost summer courses.

Green continued to be king in 2013

Alternative energy technology vied to replace traditional resources throughout the last year, many launching to a lot of fanfare.
In May, Propel Fuels cut the ribbon on the Fresno area’s first alternative fuel station, offering drivers not just gasoline, but also E85 ethanol/petroleum blend and biodiesel from local producers Community Fuels in Stockton and Calgren Renewable Fuels in Pixley,

Builders were encouraged in 2013 by improvements in the economy and a low inventory of existing homes, but they remained cautious about building large new projects until the job market picks up and the economy shows greater strength. So home construction

Builders were encouraged in 2013 by improvements in the economy and a low inventory of existing homes, but they remained cautious about building large new projects until the job market picks up and the economy shows greater strength.
So home construction continued on a slow, but steady growth rate in 2013 with more building than in the previous year.