Weekly Issues

Tulare County wells continue to go dry

Some 724 private residential wells in Tulare County have gone dry this year, says an October 21 Drought Task Force report heard by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors this week.
The pace of well failure in the county has increased this month with numbers climbing around 40 percent since the first of the month as the long hot summer has dragged on.

Group reports settlement between Westlands, U.S. over drainage

An environmental group last week released documents it contends show the federal government and Westlands Water District nearing a settlement of litigation regarding drainage problems on the Westside of the Valley.

As housing market recovers, roadblocks remain

Despite median home prices and sales of homes in the Central Valley increasing since the recession, industry experts warn that many obstacles still remain for homebuyers.
Concerns over job security and market stability are some of the main reasons we are becoming a nation of renters, said Selma Happ, senior economist with the California Association of Realtors. Happ was the keynote speaker during the 2014 Fresno Housing Market Symposium at Fresno State last week.

Virna L Santos


Santos & Santiago Law Group, LLP

What we do: We are a woman- and minority-owned Limited Law Partnership offering legal services in four practice areas: immigration; criminal defense; bankruptcy; and employment discrimination

How business owners can harness social media opportunities

In the digital age, social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook have begun replacing traditional marketing methods. The websites allow business owners to instantly connect with potential customers for free. But while advertising on social media is less complex, business leaders warn that it can be a double-edged sword.

Sizzling market for gourmet burger chains

Two new Habit Burger Grill locations are coming to the Valley. Leases have been signed for a 2,400-square-foot location in Hanford and a 2,400-square-foot facility in Bakersfield.
The Hanford restaurant will be at the southwest corner of 12th Avenue and Lacey Boulevard in the same shopping center as Lowe’s, Target and Michael’s. The Bakersfield restaurant will be at the northwest corner of the California Avenue and Easton Drive in the same shopping center as Starplex Cinemas and Burlington Coat Factory.

Full-scale retail project slated for Madera Ranchos

The Madera County Board of Supervisors is set to vote next month on the first full-scale commercial development in the fast-growing Madera Ranchos area.
Up until now, the residential island between Highway 41 and 99 has been home to only a handful of shops and restaurants serving the community.

Diane Phakonekham

Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California

What we do:
Big Brothers Big Sisters matches youth (Littles) ages 6-14 with volunteer mentors (Bigs) in professionally supported one-to-one relationships. They have fun together doing everyday things with the results of improved academics, greater self-confidence and stronger family relationships.

Home automation more common in new homes

Walk into a new model home and you may be surprised by how much modern technology has changed the look and feel of even the most basic home features. From light dimmers, and thermostat control to locking the doors as you drive away from your house, many tasks can now be managed through your cell phone or mobile device.

Dushan Spadier

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 2.56.18 PMPresident, Spadier Construction

& Principal Broker

GoldLeaf Real Estate / Properties

What we do:  
I am a full service general building contractor specializing in large custom homes, commercial construction and pre-engineered steel buildings by Nucor Building Systems. I also hang my real estate license at Fresno’s premier real estate brokerage house.