Weekly Issues

Valley degree rate low

Valley degree rate low
The Fresno metro area placed among the lowest in the nation in terms of college degrees, a new report showed.
The report, “A Stronger Nation through Higher Education,” was released by the Lumina Foundation, showing that 38.7 percent of all working-age Americans—age 25 to 65—held a two- or four-year college degree in 2011.

Brian W. Horton

CEO
Innovative I.T., Inc.

What we do: We are a business I.T. consulting firm that services customers throughout California. Our services include strategic I.T. planning, outsourced help desk services, medical I.T. services (i.e. EMR, ICD-10 readiness, HIPAA, etc.), and disaster recovery planning.

Valley community bankers say payday loans a no-go

Local community bankers in near unison shoot down any consideration for the plea made by former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Raj Date for banks to provide an affordable payday loan system.
The consensus opinion of the Central Valley banking industry is that restraints placed on the banks would make any form of payday lending a losing venture.

Visalia council weighs sales-tax hike

The Visalia City Council is weighing a ballot measure this fall that would increase the city sales tax around 1/4 percent to a total of 8.50 percent. A blue ribbon task force has been meeting this summer to recommend whether to submit the matter to voters.
This week, the task force committee voted overwhelmingly “no” on an increase in the tax. Twenty-seven of the 38 task force members at the June 18 meeting voted no. More on their reasoning later.

Hotels cheer Increased tourism bucks

Travel spending throughout the San Joaquin Valley hit record levels last year and local hoteliers are enjoying every dollar of it.
The upcoming summer season is looking to pan out even better with revenues up so far this year compared to 2012.
For Cynthia Jones, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in Clovis, it could end up being the best year since the hotel opened on the corner of Shaw and Peach avenues in 2009.

Midwestern students get eye-opening Valley farm tour

Nine college students got an eye-opening experience of California farming earlier this month as Agriculture Future of America of Missouri led them on a tour of some of the San Joaquin Valley’s most abundant crops.
The group forms the academic nonprofit’s student advisory team, selected after a rigorous application process to plan AFA’s annual Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Mo. where more than 550 fellow students will attend to get inspiration in their ag-related career pursuits.

Froyo a go-go

Frozen yogurt businesses flourish in the hot Valley

With brightly colored walls and assorted fruit-and-candy toppings reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, frozen yogurt shops have been flourishing throughout the Valley in recent years.
And according to Yodigity Yogurt co-owner Dave Swinney, the industry is here for the long haul.

Valley visitors spend $6B in 2012

Visitor spending increased almost 3 percent in 2012 compared to the year before, a new report showed.
According to the latest California travel impact report by Dean Runyan Associates, visitors to the Central Valley—stretching from Kern County in the south to Glenn County in the north—spent a record $6 billion in the region last year.

Mitch Meyer

Developer
Quail Lake

Education:
I got both my B.A. in Internatioanal Relations and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Hastings.

Age:
I’m 56.

Family:
My wife and I have a son and 2-year-old and one-month-old grandsons.

Tell me about Quail Lake and its history and your role in its development.
Quail Lake originated in the early ‘90s when we became aware of the property and studied its features. We found that the property, about seven miles from Highway 168 off of Shaw Avenue, had access to large amounts of water from the Enterprise Canal and the deep aquifer. It also featured high-quality wetlands.

Knowing the Valley’s audience

Spanish-language advertising carries unique benefits

The growth of the Hispanic population and Latino TV programming in the Fresno area makes advertising on Spanish-language television a logical part of a marketing plan for products and services.
Hispanics comprise nearly half the area’s population and their spending power has surged.
Still, advertising on Spanish-language TV stations and targeting of the Hispanic audience may not be on the top of the mind of many business owners. But that may be changing.
One reason is the sheer number of viewers.