Weekly Issues

Blanca Partida


Parsley Garden Café

What inspired you to open a café in downtown Fresno?
That was my husband’s dream to start a business of our own. He was the one that always wanted to have a business and he was always looking for something. I wasn’t sure about it, but he was the one that envisioned this.

Why did you guys decide to open a café specifically?
The Parsley Garden Café was already established here when we bought it. Although it was a little slow we didn’t want to change anything — we liked it the way it was already. We didn’t want to change the menu to Mexican food or any other type. We just liked what we saw and we just wanted to continue with it.

Kings Canyon Expressway to carry goods, consumers eastbound

Local officials applaud the business benefits of expanding Highway 180, also known as the Kings Canyon Expressway, 2.7 miles to the east, concluding just west of Smith Avenue near Centerville.
Construction crews will build a four-lane expressway for the 2.7-mile stretch that passes just north of Sanger. The segment is slated for completion in spring of 2015.
It is the second part of a Measure C-funded project that, with additional money from state and local sources, comes to $41.6 million.

Linked Learning program stresses real-world application

Businesses have lent their time and talents to nine school districts around the state in promotion of Linked Learning, a new approach to education that combines academic rigor with career-based teaching and real-world workplace experiences.
One of the first to sign on with the idea was the Porterville Unified School District, whose nine career-themed pathways give students a real-world taste of industries such as health and environmental science, agriculture, engineering, digital design, performing arts, law and justice and finance.

Valley businesses unite for UCP Day Sept. 27

Businesses in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Kern and Tulare counties will join forces to celebrate the accomplishments of people with disabilities on Sept. 27, a day deemed as UCP Day.
Events will be held at numerous Valley businesses in order to encourage contributions to United Cerebral Palsy of Central California. Employees of “partner organizations” can make contributions to United Cerebral Palsy in amounts ranging from $5 to $75.
Some partner organizations will hold potluck lunches in honor of UCP Day to get employees involved. The City of Clovis plans to hold a hotdog sale.

Theater saviors make Hollywood rounds

Nearly six months after three childhood friends pulled their community together to save a theater on the rocks, the new business is turning heads to its novel membership-based movie model.
Already, twelve top movie studios have signed on with the five-screen Met Cinema in Oakhurst, where earlier this year 3,000 area residents defied the odds and saved the nearly 30-year-old establishment from financial extinction by purchasing a monthly subscription good for every new release and even some classics playing there.

Experts: Valley groundwater banking needs boost

Area water experts seem to agree that the best way to ensure a stable water supply for the Valley is to grab as much as possible during wet, flood-prone years and then store it in large underground aquifers throughout the region.
That means building new reservoirs or enlarging the ones in use in order to catch more water. And it means percolating as much water into the ground during wet years as what is being taken out in dry periods like we are currently experiencing.

Market ‘reboot’ fortifies multifamily housing interest

Concern about rising interest rates and reductions in pricing have fortified interest in Fresno-area multifamily housing, including apartments, hotel room rentals and condos.
“Interest rates rising creates a sense of urgency,” said Robin Kane, founder of RCK Organization and senior vice president of Hendricks & Partners in Fresno. “The market is still good. The rise in interest rates is net positive.”

Valley peaches, nectarines flown to Australia

California peaches and nectarines can now be shipped into Australia, thanks to efforts by HMC Farms of Kingsburg and the California Grape & Tree Fruit League.
HMC Farms, a major peach, nectarine and plum grower-shipper, was the first to take advantage of the export program to the “Land Down Under.” Other area growers recently began shipping to Australia including Sun Valley Packing of Reedley, Warmerdam Packing of Hanford and WesPak /Rivermaid Trading Co. of Dinuba and Lodi.

Tony Cabrera

Area Manager
Bank of the Sierra

What we do:  
Bank of the Sierra is passionate about helping the people of the Central Valley. As a full-service bank, we offer a wide variety of competitive products and services including commercial loans, ag loans, checking and savings accounts; but our purpose and passion goes much further than that. We strive to reinvest in our customers and communities. Our Sierra Grant program gives local non-profit organizations $100,000 annually and our employees log many volunteer hours. We believe this ongoing commitment to the people of our valley is what community banking is all about.

Fresno State


I been married to my very supportive wife Michele for 8 years and we have a wonderful son and daughter.

What brought you to the Fresno area?  
I moved to the Fresno area in 1993 from Manteca (San Joaquin County) to attend Fresno State.

Piccadilly hotels bounce back from bankruptcy, update image

It’s been more than two years since financial hardship broke up one of Fresno’s most recognized hotel enterprises and sent three of its properties into foreclosure.
Now under new owners, the Piccadilly Inn brand has bounced back from bankruptcy and updated its 1970s-era image.