New Year’s Day News Briefs

December 31, 2013 9:00pm
Comment Print Email

•  December freeze damage measured

•  Housing continues its comeback

•  And more….

Please see fourth story in Briefs

Valley citrus growers assess damage

While it will be weeks into the New Year before a final assessment of losses from the pre-Christmas freeze is added up, Central Valley growers already have a good idea of what was hurt the most.

The Mandarin crop took the greatest hit from the freezing temperatures – something to be expected as it is a less cold-tolerant variety, explains California Citrus Mutual of Exeter.

The bulk of the nation’s navel orange crop comes from the trees in Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties. Navels also incurred damage, the extent of which will become evident as the season progresses.

“On the bright side, it appears as though the lemon crop, although much smaller in the Central Valley than the Navel and Mandarin crops, has escaped with minimal damage,” says California Citrus Mutual.

Fruit that cannot be packed due to freeze damage at least has some value as it’s salvaged for juice.

When the freeze hit the Navel crop was approximately 12 percent to 15 percent harvested, with Mandarins close to 20 percent harvested – leaving a majority of the crop still on the tree and at risk of damage.


Housing markets show further recovery

The Central Valley and national housing markets showed year-over-year price gains for single-family properties, according to figures compiled by online real estate site, a division of Dominion Enterprises of Norfolk, Va.

Its figures show 84 metropolitan areas are back ti pre-Great Recession price points or even beyond, leaving 216 still lagging, including those in the Central Valley.

“It is encouraging to see both large and small markets experiencing continued improvements as the housing market maintains steady stabilization,” says Brock MacLean, executive vice president of “Moving into 2014, sustained recovery will push the market forward with markets in the West and heartland area leading the pack”

Honolulu, Hawaii, remains the top gaining market on a year-over-year basis, with a 13.43 percent increase, the website says.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marco and in the Central Valley, Bakersfield-Delano, make up the remaining four in the top 5, with Sacramento-Roseville in eighth place.

In looking at what it figures are the top 100 regional markets showing “significant” price rebound, lists Modesto as 94th and Stockton as 92nd – both at under 18 percent up from their bottom at the depths of the Great Recession. It notes that the small rebound is due to the depths to which Stockton, Modesto and other markets sank when the housing bubble burst.


Ballot could clog with initiatives

As 2013 was ending, approval was given to eight measures to gather signatures to try to get on the California ballot. Here’s a summary:

• Cigarette Tax Initiative

Increases cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for healthcare programs and services; also for tobacco use prevention and control programs.

• Firearms Regulation. Constitutional Amendment

Eliminates state firearms owner registration, regulation of ammunition, and assault weapons restrictions.

• State School Funding

Beginning July 1, 2015, requires a three-fourths majority vote of the Legislature to defer payments to schools for more than 30 days, or to amend the statutory scheme in any other way aside from moving up the timing of distributions.

• Vehicle Sales Regulation plus three related initiatives dealing with used car sales

Among other things, these would requires auto dealers to repair manufacturer-recalled safety defects on used vehicles before sale or lease to consumer. Prohibits dealers from using certain high-pressure tactics, or cancelling or changing vehicle sale or lease contracts at additional buyer expense, after delivery of vehicle.

• Abortion Restriction

Changes California Constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician or other authorized medical professional notifies her parent/legal guardian in writing.

There is a vast gulf between being cleared to gather signatures and actually collecting enough to make the ballot. In the case of the six initiatives to change the laws lived above, the valid signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election will be needed.

In the case of the two proposed amendments to the state Constitution listed above, the barrier is higher: the valid signatures of 807,615 registered voters – the number equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election.


Entomologist shows creative side with bronze stick insects

Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate in entomology at the University of California, Davis, will be displaying the creative and artistic side of his entomological career at a solo exhibition, “Flat Fusion Five,” Jan. 6-Feb.7 at the UC Davis Craft Center Gallery.

The exhibition includes bronze stick insects and a series of digital prints of colorful cockroaches.

Mr. Shelomi, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, has volunteered at the Craft Center since his graduate school enrollment at UC Davis in the fall of 2009. He has taken many of the evening and weekend classes offered there, from flame-working to wood-turning to bookbinding.

The most popular items are his bronze stick insects. Mr. Shelomi’s dissertation is on the digestive physiology of stick insects, for which he uses the many phasmids reared at the Bohart Museum for research and for public display.

Comment Print Email

  • How to compete against Wal-Mart
  • Stockton mom turns a need into a business
  • The entrepreneur is in
  • Writing her own success story
  • Growing a small business the family way
  • The future pencils positive for this company
  • Niche marketing -- Italian style
  • Sipping success with niche marketing
  • Roasting a business out of his passion
  • Success as an independent consultant takes more than expertise
  • Avoiding the traps of employee law violations
  • Cracking the voice-over market
  • The American Dream realized, one package at a time
  • Female winemaker plunges into business
  • A new take on nurse education
  • Family sees moving business success
  • STEM thrives in pockets of education innovation
  • STEM goes solar in Stockton
  • Quick! There’s a robot in my pool
  • Retiring seniors can mean new business
  • Predawn biotech class trains next generation of science workers
  • Staying ahead of the competition the old fashioned way
  • Central Valley sees mismatch between high-tech jobs and job seekers
  • STEM starts young
  • Get ready – the future is here now
  • STEM Education: Growing the Valley's Future
  • They’re low power in wattage only, not ideas
  • Thinking success spawns Successful Thinkers
  • Small business success can mean finding the right niche
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Getting the scoop on small business success
  • Reshoring could rebuild America's manufacturing
  • Marketing that’s deliberately anchored to the past
  • Guitar artist plays his way to success
  • Paralysis no handicap for this entrepreneur
  • Boost sales with better communication
  • Making sandwiches sexy with a franchise
  • Going solar without spending a lot of money
  • They’re cute and cuddly. But are they a business?
  • Opportunity sails forth in the Delta
  • How bad etiquette on the job could kill your career
  • Growing their way out of hunger and poverty
  • Finding small business success from floor to ceiling
  • Why he’s public enemy #1 – for gophers
  • Running a home-based business successfully
  • Your boss needs a vacation – really
  • Couple makes transition from big corporations to small business
  • Carving a small business niche with a better idea
  • Calm is the goal of computer service and education franchisor
  • Developer squeezing new life into downtown with juice franchise
  • Signs of a recovering economy
  • How to keep a family business in the family
  • Ford dealership expands despite the Great Recession
  • Utility Telephone connects with customer service
  • Crowdfunding basics
  • The roar from crowdfunding is getting louder
  • California water wars’ bulldog
  • Water wars heat up in California
  • Helping businesses grow with a stronger STEM
  • How to retain your best employees
  • Small business runs success up the pole
  • Winery expands in Lodi
  • Lodi wineries tapping into growing Chinese market
  • Has the jobs picture brightened for the Valley for 2012?
  • The right education will be needed for 21st Century jobs
  • Where new jobs for San Joaquin will come from
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin – Part 2
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin
  • Fruits of his labor
  • Helping grow food security in the Valley of plenty
  • Doing a business turnaround despite the recession
  • Keeping customers loyal helps build her business
  • Expo exposes businesses to utility contracting ideas
  • Drink mix maker taps expertise to blend success
  • Entrepreneur finds success in a basket
  • Tips for catching resume fraud
  • There’s no checking out for this small business owner
  • Entrepreneurs take Valley sports play-by-play to the world
  • Starting a winery from scratch
  • Job hunting tips for the long-term unemployed
  • In the Central Valley, opera isn’t always the Grand Ole Opry
  • Branding ideas for small businesses
  • The ump’s not blind, but the players are
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way - Part Two
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way
  • Machines talking to machines is the future
  • Getting involved in the fight against AIDS
  • Franchised divorce says it’s a better way
  • Small business owner is brewing a success story
  • To beat the Great Recession, they’ve expanded
  • Taking a swing at strokes
  • Alert your taste buds – here comes Taste of San Joaquin
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Passion for his city drives him
  • Vicente Fox speaks out on U.S.-Mexico relations
  • Give your support staff recognition and reap top performance
  • Central Valley baker gets top honors for Royal Wedding pie
  • Asparagus Festival ends on high note
  • Stockton close to annual ‘tipping’ point
  • Framing small business success
  • Small business sees Affordable Care Act helping its bottom line
  • What you eat – and when – helps local restaurants
  • Coping with the aftermath of foreclosure
  • How to raise charming children
  • Central Valley grad school goes all-iPads
  • Solution to Delta water wars voiced
  • Making sure your personal bottom line is covered
  • Small California winemaker is all family
  • Small winery relies on family and innovation to compete
  • Central Valley company says it has a better way to store solar power
  • What’s wrong -- and right -- about local TV news
  • What planning means to small business success
  • Making the leap to small business
  • Out of work at middle age? Experts offer advice
  • Small business marketing, one article at a time
  • Congress on your corner as it’s supposed to be
  • Central Valley city’s heritage rediscovered
  • Central Valley school is building students’ foundations
  • Job tips from the expert
  • Long-term jobless worker re-invents himself
  • Building a new power plant means jobs for Central Valley
  • Sacramento reaches for the stars with new science center
  • Lodi Chamber opens China’s doors to small business
  • Writing books for fun – and sometimes profit
  • Black Friday shopping? How to protect yourself from scams
  • California winemakers can find added rewards overseas
  • Wine makers tap overseas markets from Lodi
  • A new revenue stream for Central Valley small businesses
  • Food bank seeks more business support
  • Tips for finding a job in the Great Recession
  • State may solve some of its prison woes with new Stockton facility
  • A solution to underwater mortgages
  • Should public libraries be managed by private firms?
  • Central Valley moves ahead with critical water project
  • Dee Dee Myers and the increasing impact of women on small business
  • How women are growing their small businesses
  • A market with a mission
  • Retailer 'paints' solutions to cash flow challenge
  • An answer for the unemployed – return to school
  • A ‘golden’ small business success story
  • Central Valley winegrapes blessed
  • Rubbing out the recession with a franchise
  • Surviving the recession as a small business
  • It’s personal, union says of Stockton fire cuts
  • How old it too old to start a new business?
  • They've found the recipe for small business success
  • MBA students help revive Central Valley farmers market
  • Classic wooden yachts anchor in Stockton for weekend
  • Foreclosures, short sales – a bank president comments
  • The strength of family helps this small business compete
  • Festival spears success in Central Valley
  • Social media helps keep family business prospering
  • Central Valley students get training in ‘green’ futures
  • Knives readied as Valley cities slash services
  • Central Valley jobless picture still grim
  • Delta residents told to ready for water war
  • Opportunities outlined for Central Valley small businesses
  • Rewiring your brain for success
  • Central Valley no longer ‘shell shocked’ by recession
  • To fix California’s government, look to London
  • Taking your sales pitch to the next level