Weekly Issues

Tools, services make it easier to hire military veterans

B esides a desire to help veterans returning from military service, agricultural companies see vets as a solid investment.
Matching and placement service Career Warriors of Visalia points out that by hiring responsible, self-disciplined problem-solvers — with quantitative decision-making and risk analysis skills developed under the most arduous of conditions — the agricultural, manufacturing and business sectors gain loyal, talented employees who thrive under pressure.

New owner seeks revamp of online food delivery

Long-time Clovis resident Charles Adkins has purchased the territorial rights for an online service that delivers food from local restaurants to businesses and homes.
Adkins said the Food To You company got its start in the Sacramento area, predating the Internet with its start as a call-in service in 1993.

New details could inform ongoing Fulton Mall debate

Fresno city planners for years have championed the idea of reintroducing the Fulton Mall to traffic as the answer to the downtown pedestrian haven’s economic woes.
With a federal grant now in hand to do just that, the opposition has only grown among Fresno residents hoping to see the mall preserved and restored for future generations to enjoy.
The City of Fresno has been rallying engineers and architects since early September when a $16-million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was awarded to help revamp and revitalize the six-block pedestrian mall with a street similar to its pre-1964 roots.

Local builders rush to develop zero net energy homes

The race is on for some local homebuilders to construct homes that take no power from the grid at all.
This week, Fresno-based homebuilder De Young Properties unveiled the first of what it hopes will be several Zero Net Energy (ZNE) homes designed to produce as much energy as they consume each year.

Mike Tollefson

MikeTollefsonPresident
Yosemite Conservancy

What we do: Provide support from donors to preserve Yosemite National Park for future generations

Education: B.A. in marketing and finance, University of Washington, 1970

How did you come to your position with Yosemite Conservancy?
I’ve dedicated my life to the stewardship of our national parks. I had the privilege of serving as superintendent at Glacier Bay, Great Smoky Mountains, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks. When I decided to transition from the park service, I wanted to stay involved in efforts to preserve and protect Yosemite. The park has that kind of life changing effect on people. At that time, the opportunity arose to join the Conservancy after its president, Bob Hansen, decided to retire after years of success. The timing was perfect. I’m thrilled to be part of the Conservancy and work with so many people dedicated to the park’s well being and enhancing the visitor experience.

Fresno First Bank takes top spot in community bank SBA lending

In a market once dominated by Premier Valley Bank, the competition for Small Business Administration-backed loans amongst local community banks has tightened, as Fresno First Bank took the top spot for the 2013 fiscal year.
Fresno First topped the list of community banks in the Central Valley for most SBA loans and largest dollar amount in 2013 with 35 loans for $14.1 million. Premier Valley Bank followed behind with 22 loans for $9.1 million.

Habitat for Humanity building Fresno homes

Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, councilmember Sal Quintero and Habitat for Humanity Fresno County representatives met in southwest Fresno Tuesday to announce plans to build nine homes on vacant parcels at Belgravia and Laval avenues.
The $1.3 million project will feature a mixture of three-, four and five-bedroom homes. The parcels are in the middle of two existing neighborhoods and the project is designed to bring together the entire area.

Mark Astone

CEO
Catalyst Marketing Co

What we do: We’re a full-service marketing and communications company. We have a wide variety of clients within the Central Valley, many of which have been with us for more than 15 years. We also represent destination and entertainment brands outside of the Central Valley including Indian gaming casinos, travel and tourism.

Retailers plan social media deluge for Black Friday

As part of the long-held retail tradition, Black Friday is still shrouded in mystery, but one thing a handful of local retailers shared was they will be following the national trend of increased social media interaction for the monumental shopping day.
Blackfriday.fm reports it expects an increase in social media activity associated with Black Friday this year. Traffic generated on Black Friday from mobile devices increased by 67 percent in 2012 compared to the year before. This year, the group expects an even bigger gain.

Farmer maintains closed-loop dairy system

Johnny Tacherra, owner of Morning Star Dairy of Burrell, has developed a closed-production system that keeps feed prices down while ensuring profitability in a tough market.
Tacherra recycles water and saves his cow manure for production of alfalfa and other grains to feed his cows. The feed, in turn, is turned back into manure by the cows.
Tacherra also has an overhead center pivot system that irrigates the alfalfa hay he feeds his cows. “I put the sprinklers six feet to seven feet off the ground,” he said, during a recent industry “irrigation efficiency” tour stop at his farm. That provides a spray that covers the crop well, Tacherra said.