Weekly Issues

Sacramento Container expanding Kingsburg plant, adding 40 jobs

Inside the company’s cavernous manufacturing facility, it’s a beehive of activity: machinery is humming, multiple assembly lines are running and employees are working three shifts around the clock five days a week.
Orders for the custom corrugated containers SCC produces are so strong the company’s owner is spending $3.75 million to expand the Kingsburg facility, located at 909 Union in a building formerly used by Del Monte as a can storage warehouse.

Startup builder breaks ground on Visalia project

Joe Leal, president of San Joaquin Valley Homes, likes to call his company “a homegrown homebuilder.”
A Tulare native, Leal founded San Joaquin Valley Homes in 2013, together with partners Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill.

Giant waterslide event slated for Fresno stirs drought concerns

A Utah-based events company planning to bring a giant inflatable water slide to the City of Fresno has had to put its plan on hold until it can come to an agreement with the state of California.
Slide the City is looking to visit a dozen California cities this summer but faced backlash from drought shamers when the group announced its plans late last year. Now the group says it is working with the state Environmental Health Department to create a plan for recycling the water once the water-slide event ends.

Local inventor says SkyMall owes him $56K

SkyMall’s bankruptcy announcement sent shockwaves throughout the catalog industry last week, but it is hitting even closer to home for one local entrepreneur who claims the company owes him $56,000.
Dan Whitlatch of Clovis said he has been selling his TowlHub products through the in-flight magazine since April of last year and was completely surprised when the catalog declared bankruptcy Jan. 23.

Tomato record-breaker forecast for ‘15

Tomatoes are proving to be red gold for Central Valley farmers.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report forecasting a record-breaking year for production of processing tomatoes, which are used to make hundreds of food products, from soup and salsa to ketchup, pizza sauce and tomato juice.

Tenants react to foreclosure at Sierra Vista Mall

Storeowners and managers at Sierra Vista Mall received no advance notice of last week’s foreclosure sale that resulted in an ownership change at the struggling Clovis shopping center.
But this week, with many of the details surrounding the transaction still emerging, a number of mall tenants applauded the sale — and implored the new owners to do everything in their power to increase foot traffic at the 690,000-square-foot mall.

Damon Thomas


What we do:
Quiq Labs provides comprehensive mobile Web and app answers for businesses and organizations that have a marketing goal to reach mobile users via Web, email marketing and social media. We help you do it and we help you do it right.

I attended Ohio State University mastering in economics and entrepreneurship.


I’m very single yet super busy. I’m a father of two children and two grandchildren. I have a married brother in Ohio and a sister who lives in Stockton. I really, really love them all and they inspire me to do big things. 

Valley banks had reason to cheer in 2014

It appeared to be a profitable year for some of the Central Valley’s larger community banks, though not all enjoyed the year-over-year growth that shareholders like to see.
Here’s an overview for local banks that have released fourth quarter financial information. They are placed in order of year-over-year growth in net income.

Matthew Buckman

General Director

Fresno Grand Opera

What we do: Fresno Grand Opera is a professional opera company that produces and presents world class performing arts for the residents of Fresno and California’s entire Central Valley region. It provides educational as well as career development opportunities for young artists and serves as a catalyst and resource for the cultural growth of Central California.

Education: Bachelor of Music from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA

Age: 33

Family: Single, no children.

Homebuilders look increasingly to South Valley in ‘15

In 2015, real estate developers are increasingly selecting smaller Fresno County communities and parts of the South Valley for future homebuilding projects.
Many local homebuilders have either broken ground or opened new developments outside the City of Fresno’s sphere of influence during the last few months.