Svbj mar 2018

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Marketing 101 P.6


Chamber Announces Community Gift

Win Free Space at Northridge P.11



Chamber Trip to Italy

Tax Cuts & Jobs Act P.18

City Budget Crisis: Firefighters’ Special Deal

Monterey Bay Community Power

by Paul J. Farmer, Chamber CEO

by Kevin Dayton, Chamber Board

This is the third article in a series where we focus on the City of Salinas’s major challenge with an ongoing budget deficit. First, we wrote about the ever-increasing cost of the City’s employee benefits and pensions. Last issue, we talked about overtime costs. The Police and Fire Departments together have represented an average of $5M per year in overtime costs, although for very different reasons. The Police Department’s overtime is more related to the challenge of hiring and retaining qualified officers. The Fire Department’s overtime is more related to minimum staffing levels. As you will read in the present article, the Fire Department has been successful in removing much of the City’s flexibility to alter their staffing levels. The Chamber is taking a pro-active role in first identifying the factors that are contributing to the budget crisis, discussing possible solutions and then applying our influence to assist in addressing the tough questions. With this third article in our series, we will talk about something few people understand but which costs our City millions in extra employee expenses every year – it’s the special deal enjoyed by our local firefighters, which is owed to something called “Binding Arbitration.”

Two Visions Compete for Future of New Government Power Agency

What is “Binding Arbitration?” Stay with us for a moment while we get into some legalese, but it’s important to understand. Arbitration is a process where an arbitrator, rather than a judge or jury, applies the law to the facts of the case and issues an award. Arbitration can be either “binding” or “non-binding.” In “non-binding arbitration,” either

MARCH 2018

CRISIS - Continued on page 7


Many business owners and residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties remain unaware that a new public power utility was established for them in 2017. It’s called Monterey Bay Community Power. Unless you actively choose to remain as a customer of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), you will soon be their customer. Larger business customers have already received a printed notice indicating their power supplier will become Monterey Bay Community Power unless they choose to stay with PG&E. You may have seen this notice come in the mail. Monterey Bay Community Power is governed by a Policy Board comprised of local elected officials and an Operations Board comprised of local government executives. These two boards have been meeting regularly but separately to make decisions about purchasing electricity and setting up agency operations. They even met together on Saturday, January 20 in Watsonville for a joint planning workshop. I’ve attended almost every board meeting for this agency since it was inaugurated. The January 20 workshop confirmed the development of two competing visions for the future of this agency: 1. Cautious, gradual development of a publicly-owned regional utility that provides dependable clean electric power at reasonable rates. 2. “Deep, accelerated change” focused on immediate and transformational benefits for the environment, People line up to speak about the MBCP community labor unions, and advisory committee at a recent workshop social justice. POWER - Continued on page 8


Minor Emergencies. Major Care. When you’re sick or injured, you need a doctor fast. Doctors on Duty is here for you.

Walk ins welcome or schedule your visit online. Several locations to serve you, including Salinas, Monterey, and Santa Cruz areas. For a location nearest you, visit or call 831-242-8313.

CCAH ALLIANCE MEMBERS: Call 831-430-5505 to request


Doctors On Duty be your Primary Care Provider.


MARCH 2018

Chamber Announces Community Gift


by Jim Bogart, 2018 Chamber Board Chair (& President, Grower-Shipper Association) For those of you who attended the Chamber’s Annual Awards Luncheon in late February, thank you! Congrats again to all of this year’s honorees. We all know it is our members who have built, and continue building, this community into what it is. Save the Date for our Centennial Event Our Vice Chair of Events, Julie Ann Lozano, shared with you some of what we are working on for our Centennial Gala on Saturday evening, October 6, 2018. [I recognize the sound of you marking your calendar right now.] Announcing the Chamber’s Community Gift At the Awards Luncheon, our Past Chair LuAnn Meador told you of our plans to contribute a special

gift to the City of Salinas and all of our residents – “Welcome to Salinas” signs that will be prominent displays we can be proud of and which highlight our agricultural heritage and contributions to the world. We are working with renowned local artist John Cerney to bring this vision to life. We understand that a number of others have pursued similar concepts over the years. For a variety of reasons (that may have included fundraising, permission of where to place the signs, or permitting challenges), these have not been successful. But we are undaunted…we know the value and pride this will bring our community, and the Chamber is determined to navigate any of the challenges that await us in making this a reality.

like. We are hoping to place welcome signs as one approaches the City of Salinas on Highway 101, both from the north and the south. We’re also hoping to work with Chris Bunn, a longtime Chamber member whose family owns “The Farm.” The Farm proudly displays some of John Cerney’s work and they hope to host a welcome sign on their property adjacent to Highway 68. The Chamber thanks LuAnn Meador, Community Gift Chair, and the committee she has put together to spearhead this project. If you would like to find out how you can support this project financially or in any other way, please contact the Chamber.

Thank you!

Please see the concept drawing below, which is simply a draft of what a welcome sign might look

Noble Boss, Membership Director ■ Sydney Allred, Member Services Coordinator ■ Phillip Saldaña, Operations Manager ■ Thom Taft, Finance Manager ■ Paul Farmer, CEO & Chief Member Advocate


of the Board Jim Bogart (Grower-Shipper Association) ■ Past Chair Frank Geisler (Geisler3) ■ Vice Chair, GRC Kevin Dayton (Labor Issues Solutions) ■ Vice Chair, Membership John Bailey (Alternative Dispute Resolution) ■ Vice Chair, Finance William J. Hastie (Hastie Financial Group) ■ Vice Chair, Events Julie Ann Lozano (MBS Business Systems)


Berg-James (Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss) ■ Mark Boos (Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast) ■ Kalah Bumba (Consultant Community/Health) ■ Raymond Costa (RHC Management - McDonald's) ■ John Haupt (Blach Construction) ■ Jeff Lamb (Farm Fresh Deli & Café) ■ Adrienne Laurent (Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System) ■ Rodney Meeks (Credit Consulting Services) ■ Tom Meyer (1st Capital Bank) ■ Esmeralda Montenegro Owen (Hartnell College) ■ Cody Ramsey (Mann Packing) ■ Kristy Santiago (KION TV) ■ Ba Tang (Union Bank)


Kasavan (SPARC)

■ Matt



Draft of possible Welcome to Salinas sign by local artist John Cerney

MARCH 2018



Thank you Awards Luncheon Sponsors! Presented By

This year saw another 500+ community leaders and local businesspeople join our always successful Annual Awards Luncheon.

Corporate Sponsors

Partner Sponsors Alliant Insurance Services  Aquablue Skin & Body Spa  Ausonio Inc  California Water Services Co  Central Coast Federal Credit Union  Credit Consulting Services  CSUMB @ Salinas City Center  Fenton & Keller  Geisler3  Hartnell College Hayashi Wayland  JRG –Attorneys At Law  KSBW 8 (NBC) - Central Coast ABC - Estrella TV Central Coast  Natividad Medical Foundation  Ottone Leach & Ray LLP  Smith Family Wines  Tanimura & Antle  Union Bank 4

MARCH 2018

Chamber Trip - Italy! By (and with) Chamber CEO Paul Farmer

Have you traveled with our Chamber (and me) yet? If not, read on – you might want to join us. Traveling with the Chamber is a fantastic way to travel internationally with someone you trust and our group travel rates will save you plenty of dough and headache. The Chamber and our travel partner agency handle all the details so all you have to do is enjoy yourself. Especially with the new friends you’ll make on our trip, that’s not hard! Our Chamber travel group travels on our own private motor coach. A professional tour guide accompanies us on the trip, takes care of the logistical details and shares with us the background and histories of the places we visit. Some good news this year. Good news? Actually, it’s great if you don’t like packing and unpacking. And if you like staying in really nice hotels, I’d say the news is even greater. We’ll be staying in a beautiful 4+ star hotel in Sorrento (overlooking the glorious Amalfi Coast) for our entire stay. We’ve learned – a very nice hotel is key to having a top-notch vacation experience. The sites we will be visiting are nearby, meaning the bus rides each day are short. And if you want some leisure time to yourself, that’s easy enough with this trip. We have two optional days built in, take advantage

of them so you can do your own discovering or take it a little slower if you like. You won’t need a vacation to recover from your vacation. Our travel partner this year has bent over backwards for us. This is the third year in a row we’ll be traveling with them. Those who joined us last year in Ireland know about all the special treatment we enjoyed. If you haven’t been to Italy before, you’re probably going to want to add a 2-day post-trip extension to visit Rome. There’s a reason Italy is the #1 destination in Europe. This will be my third time in Rome and I absolutely love it. If you want to spend even more time in Italy, we can easily arrange that into this trip. There are so many cool things to share, you’re going to have to learn more about it. Please join us for the no-pressure Travelers Information session on March 27 (details in the ad beside this article). Or shoot me a note: Our traveler satisfaction is very high because the tours are top-notch, the pricing is very competitive (thank you, group discounts) and…let it never be said that I don’t know how to show people a good time!

2018 Chamber Trip (open to anyone)


Oct 10 - Oct 17, 2018

8 Day Journey of a Lifetime Includes Breakfasts & 2 Dinners Highlights: Stunning Amalfi Coast, historic City of Pompeii (where Mount Vesuvius erupted), Sorrento, Capri, Ravello, Positano Our 4-star Bristol Hotel overlooks the coast DISCOUNTED RATE:

$2999 Rate is double-occupancy, + all taxes and fees = $150 $450 deposit holds your seat

Is Italy for You? You’re invited to a

One more thing: a little

over half of our travelers are couples, but we also get a lot of singles who like to travel with our always-friendly group. Also, every year we get a few groups of friends who decide to leave the spouses at home and have their own adventure with us. So…set aside any reasons you might have for not joining us and at least come hear about the trip! ■

MARCH 2018

Amalfi & Pompeii

Travel Presentation When: Tuesday March 27, 6-7pm Where: Salinas Valley Chamber 119 E Alisal St, Salinas Info: (831) 751-7725


Or email us for a brochure to


Marketing 101

CA Tax Revenues Exceed Expectations

tips & advice on digital marketing by Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group

by Kathleen Pender, SF Chronicle California tax revenues far exceed expectations for second month in a row

What do you know about your target market Knowing your target market is of the utmost importance. After working with dentists, real estate professionals, and others, I can tell you that if you don’t know anything about your target market, it will be difficult to generate quality leads and increase your visibility. Your product or service solves a problem. This means that you need to effectively communicate that you are able to solve the problems that your target market has. If you don’t know anything about them, you can’t find that common ground needed to communicate effectively. This is where a majority of marketing problems stall for small business owners. You don’t want to be “just” another business out there. You want to stand out. The only way to do that is to really hone in on what you know about your customers. Before you can dig into the nitty-gritty, identify who your target audience is. Consider creating buyer personas that identify such things as age, gender, whether they’re a homeowner, what kind of work

they do, and more. The greater your attention to detail with the buyer personas, the easier it will be to create marketing campaigns that truly speak to your audience. By the time you’re done, you should know their hobbies, where they shop, and what their frustrations are. It will help you with the verbiage of your messages and even the graphics that you use in the ads. When you know more about your target audience, you can develop a message that proves to them that you understand the problems they’re having and how your product or service can help them out. Your message should tell them why you’re different than the other companies. It should also have a call to action so they know to take some kind of action after reading the message. With a fully developed message, you can then consider the different ways to reach your target audience. It might be with a Facebook ad, a PPC campaign across Google, or even an email marketing newsletter Your marketing efforts will go further when you know who your target audience is. When you send out a message, you want people to read it and say things like, “Oh my, this company knows me so well.” It’s these kinds of comments that will allow you to stand out and be ahead of the competition. If it takes a little time to research more about your target audience, it will be well worth it. ■


California’s tax revenues far exceeded expectations in January for the second consecutive month, but it remains to be seen how much of the excess reflects underlying strength in the economy, versus people speeding up their 2017 state income tax payments while they were still fully deductible on federal tax returns. State income tax revenues for January totaled $16.3 billion, which was $2.5 billion higher than was expected in its current forecast released in January. Most of that came from personal income tax payments of $13.1 billion, which was $2.4 billion more than expected. The rest came from corporate income tax and sales and use taxes. In December, total state income taxes came in a whopping $4 billion ahead of expectations, with $3.2 billion of that surprise coming from personal income taxes. When the December numbers came in, the Legislative Analyst’s Office speculated that the positive results “could be partially offset by softer January and April collections, as some taxpayers may have made final 2017 tax payments a few months early in order to maximize deductions under the recently passed federal tax plan.” Starting this year, taxpayers who itemize on their federal returns can deduct a total of $10,000 in all state and local taxes (including income and property taxes) combined. Previously, this deduction was unlimited. After the federal tax bill passed in mid-December, many Californians who exceeded that limit scrambled to pay the state income tax they expected to owe for 2017 by Dec. 31, so they could deduct all of it on their 2017 federal returns. (They also rushed to pay the second installment of their 2017-18 property tax bill normally due April 10, 2018.) If they waited to pay these taxes until 2018, they would be subject to the $10,000 limit, even if they were for tax year 2017. Normally taxpayers have until midJanuary to make their last estimated

State income tax revenues for January totaled $16.34 billion, which was $2.53 billion higher than expected

state income tax payment for the previous year, and until mid-April to pay the remainder of their state income tax due for the previous year. That’s why California usually sees tax revenues spike in January and April. After the December numbers came in so much higher than expected, the state lowered its expectations for January personal income tax revenues to $10.7 billion from $12.8 billion. So the January number — $13.1 billion — was $2.4 billion ahead of revised expectations but only slightly ahead of the state’s previous assumption. How much of the overage was prepayments, versus economic strength? The timing of when the taxes came in suggests a fair amount was prepayments. If people mailed their state tax payment or submitted it electronically on the last couple days of the year, it would qualify as a 2017 deduction but would not be processed by the state until January, according to the California Department of Finance. The department says payments to the Franchise Tax Board in the first week of January were 85 percent higher than the same period last year, while payments in the remainder of the month were 41 percent lower year over year. “When we see April receipts, we will get a more clear picture of the extent to which the surge we saw in late December and early January is associated with a timing issue or an acceleration of payments and how much may be related to underlying growth,” said H.D. Palmer, a department spokesman. “If we see a significant drop-off in April receipts, that might be an indicator that a lot of what happened was a timing issue.” ■

MARCH 2018

➟ CRISIS - Continued from page 1

party can appeal the decision and typically may request a court trial. In “binding arbitration,” each side must accept what the arbitrator decides. They lose the ability to appeal. So “binding arbitration” is risky for both sides. Let’s look at a hypothetical, but realistic example. Say the City offers the firefighters union a salary increase of 2% (in line with most cost-of-living or typical inflation adjustments). Let’s say the firefighters’ union argues for a 20% increase. The arbitrator listens to both sides and makes the decision. The arbitrator may opt to go with one side or the other or may choose a number between the two. That may sound equally risky for both sides. It is a point which can be debated, but many believe the arbitrator is more likely to side with the employee union, not the City. If the binding arbitration is indeed more beneficial to the firefighters, then even just having the threat of going to binding arbitration strengthens the hand of the firefighters’ union.

How Did Salinas Firefighters Get this Special Deal?

The factor which probably eats the biggest hole in the City budget is the minimum staffing requirements. Much of the $2M+ in overtime expenses for the department can be traced back to these requirements, and City administrators can’t do much about it. There is a related and important discussion about what services the Fire Department delivers. The City would be better off financially if the Fire Department were limited to performing “core services” Exhibit A – meaning fire suppression. Anything else, Signature Page of the the City would like to have the freedom to Current MOU between the City and the Firefighters Union delegate to other departments or private contractors that are more cost-effective.

The Chamber’s research identified an article written by the Monterey County Weekly and published on Aug 26, 1999 titled “Turning the Tables” that discussed perspectives of both the unions and the cities before a Binding Arbitration ballot measure was passed. “Prohibited by law from striking, California's public Are We Fairly Compensating safety officers have long sought heavier leverage for Our Firefighters? squeezing better wages and working conditions out See Exhibit B for the Firefighter Salary Schedule. of their employers.” The first article in the Chamber’s series talked about “The legislation ‘has the potential to remove the cost of benefits. The average cost of benefits decisions regarding budgets from the policy for a small business like the Chamber is 38% of makers,’ says Pacific Grove Mayor Sandy Koffman. wages. For non-sworn City of Salinas employees, it An arbitrated contract ‘could just blow a hole in is 83%. For our budget.’ Salinas police, “Indeed, ‘salaries tend to be higher under arbitrated it is 116%. contracts,’ says Dwight Stenbakken, legislative Exhibit B - Firefighter Salary Schedule For Salinas director for the League of California Cities. ‘And, he firefighters, it is 139%. See Exhibit C for an says, arbitration takes a large portion of a city's purchasing power out of elected example of what is included in those benefits. officials' hands because public safety comprises such a large portion of a city's Moreover, when we look at overtime - a budget. Pacific Grove and Salinas, for example, devote approximately one-half of fire captain in Salinas makes about $80,000 their budgets to public safety.’” to $100,000, but some are making up to At the time, Salinas Firefighters Association then-President Steve Furtado disagreed $80,000 on top of that in overtime. with the notion that arbitration takes the city's budget out of voters' hands. “He says arbitrators are required to consider an employer's financial ability to meet the What’s the True Cost of this Deal costs of an award.” to our Community? In the end, Salinas firefighters used their political clout and standing with the public Firefighters argue that it is difficult to hire to win the needed votes. Firefighters reportedly went knocking on residents’ doors, Exhibit C and retain personnel, especially when they’re Firefighter Benefits Costs dressed in uniform, to garner public support. The ballot initiative that gives them competing against other jurisdictions. Others binding arbitration rights passed in November 1998. As this was a change to the might say the firefighters’ union has a “sweet deal.” The money and resources to City Charter, it cannot be changed by the City Council. It can only be changed by pay for our firefighters does not come from nowhere, however. It comes at the the voters with another ballot initiative. That is not an easy feat. expense of others in the community – money that could be spent on Public Works projects like road and sidewalk repair or recreation programs to help support What Else Does Binding Arbitration Affect? healthy kids. The ability of the City Council and the City Manager to deploy resources where Where from here? This series of articles is still defining the problem and at the they see fit is severely hampered by the 64-page Memo of Understanding (MOU) end of the series, we will talk about possible solutions. Readers can see that one between the City of Salinas and the International Association of Firefighters Local of those solutions would be for the public to vote to repeal the Binding Arbitration 1270 (who, as you see in Exhibit A hire professional negotiators to advocate on deal, which would allow City administrators more say over how they invest our their behalf). As described above, if both parties don’t come to agreement on the tax dollars. MOU, then the firefighters may threaten to go to Binding Arbitration. Fearing the arbitrator may side with the union, the City may be more willing to accept a lessWe don’t live in a world of infinite resources and though it’s not easy to challenge than-desired deal. well-regarded public servants like our firefighters, the Chamber believes it’s vitally important that we have these tough conversations to help us build a stronger The MOU stipulates not just compensation rates and overtime, but also the Salinas for all. ■ minimum staffing requirements, benefits, leave, uniforms and other items.

MARCH 2018


Is Hydropower a Renewable Energy?

➟ ENERGY - Continued from page 8 left

by Elizabeth Daigneau, As states set ambitious goals to increase their use of renewable energies, hydropower could help them meet their goals. But environmental concerns have kept investment in hydropower to a trickle. America’s—and the world’s, for that matter—largest renewable energy source is water. That marble of blue that dominates the view of Earth from space and accounts for more than 60 percent of all renewable power in the U.S. rarely, it seems, gets the same billing as wind and solar. For a power source that is clean and renewable—it doesn’t pollute the air because no fuels are burned and it’s renewable because it uses the Earth’s water cycle to generate electricity—one would think hydropower would get as much attention and investment as other noncarbon sources of energy. But in general, hydropower is not even considered a renewable energy in most states or, for the most part, by the federal government. So it begs the question, is hydropower a renewable energy or not? The answer to that is key since it underlies policies states develop in fulfilling ambitious renewable energy goals. Hydropower is more than 100 years old in the U.S. The first dam to use hydraulic reaction turbines to generate electricity here was in 1882 on the Fox River in Appleton, Wis. It was revolutionary at the time and the results were so impressive that it kicked off a dam-building spree: From 1905 through the 1930s, several large, iconic dams, including the famous Hoover and Roosevelt dams in the West, were constructed. During that time, nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity came from hydropower. By mid-century, the growth of hydroelectric power through dams was on the wane as other forms of power generation—nuclear, natural gas, coal— gained momentum. Today, hydropower makes up only about 6 percent of the U.S. electric supply, with the largest hydropower producers in the West: Washington, California and Oregon. Outside the U.S., hydropower accounts for 16 percent of global electricity production. There are several types of hydroelectric facilities, but all are powered by the kinetic energy of flowing water as it moves downstream. Turbines and


Chief Joseph Dam in Washington state is the second-largest hydropower producing dam in the United States

generators capture and convert that energy into electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid. The water itself is not reduced or used up in the process, and because it is an endless, constantly recharging system, hydropower is defined as a renewable energy by the Environmental Protection Agency. But it’s not considered renewable by everyone. It comes with some “pretty significant environmental baggage,” says John Seebach, senior director of federal river management with the conservation group American Rivers. “The reluctance to call hydropower a renewable energy is based on the impact of dams on fisheries and water flows.” Several large dams block migrating fish from reaching their spawning grounds. Dam reservoirs impact flows, temperatures and silt loads of rivers and streams. Over the years, these factors have drastically reduced fish populations. At one time, the Klamath River in Oregon and California had salmon runs in the millions. The construction of four dams along the river reduced the fish runs to a fraction of that. That’s why hydropower doesn’t count toward utilities’ renewable energy mandates in most states—that, and the fact that there is already so much hydro out there. More than 30 states have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities to generate a percentage of their power from renewable sources. Counting all hydropower would significantly lessen the impact of these standards, particularly in states where hydropower already provides a substantial amount of electricity. In those states, experts say, counting it would discourage the development of new renewable sources. Similarly, if hydropower were classified as renewable, some states would have to reset their targets and those might end up unrealistically high. ENERGY - Continued on page 8 top

California, the second-largest U.S. hydroelectric producer, set goals for renewable energy sources in 2002 and 2011. Utilities in that state will be required to generate a third of their power from such sources by 2020. But the state set a limit on the inclusion of hydropower. It allows utilities to count only the hydropower produced by smaller hydropower projects—those capable of producing 30 megawatts or less—toward the renewable mandate. Last year, a bill in the California State Assembly proposed allowing utilities to count large hydropower facilities as well. Some groups, like the National Hydropower Association and the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, argue that if states want to meet their renewable energy goals, all hydropower should count. Proponents argue hydropower has a lot of virtues.

➟ POWER - Continued from page 1 One early manifestation of this divide is the continued controversy over the agency’s decision to purchase electricity from hydroelectric sources, including sources from out-of-state. Although hydroelectric power is “carbon-free,” it isn’t regarded as “renewable” under state law unless the facility capacity is 30 megawatts or less. (Large dams are regarded as harmful to the environment because they hinder the natural flow of rivers.) Power purchases by Monterey Bay Community Power are 100% carbon free, but not 100% renewable because they include electricity generated from large hydroelectric facilities. Buying hydroelectric power allows Monterey Bay Community Power to offer rates to customers that are competitive with PG&E rates. Organizations that played key roles in the creation of the public power agency are displeased about how the new agency has declined to adopt the dramatic transformation they expected. For example, the agency has no immediate plans to pursue “selfsufficiency” by building and operating its own publicly-owned utility-scale solar farms exclusively with union labor. Nor is the agency moving quickly to offer rebates for electric vehicle purchases and build charging stations for electric vehicles. These ideas meet with conceptual approval from most board members

Not only is it clean and renewable, it is essential to new “intermittent” renewables such as wind and solar. Hydro output can be quickly and easily turned up or down to keep the electrical grid in balance as daily doses of sunshine and wind wax and wane. Furthermore, water from rivers is a purely domestic resource, which means almost no conflicts with foreign suppliers and no interruptions as a result of labor strikes or transportation issues abroad. All sides generally agree on one point: There is no need to build new dams to harvest power. As environmentalists see it, it makes more sense to incentivize dam operators to maximize efficiency since the dams are already there. Conservation groups aren’t necessarily opposed to hydropower; they just want to see it done right, which often means minimizing the ecological footprint. ■

and agency staff. But a majority of them also understand that for now, Monterey Bay Community Power has to compete against PG&E, the investorowned utility. Costs for customers customers such as YOU - are a primary consideration. Frustrated by the focus on competitive rates, groups that see the agency as an agent for dramatic societal change are lobbying for a powerful community advisory committee. They want to control this advisory committee and have some power in making agency decisions, as well as having a committee representative on the Policy and Operations boards. In response, Monterey Bay Community Power officials have warned that one public power agency in Northern California dissolved its community advisory committee because it was acting as a “shadow board.” Any committee that represents interest groups is supposed to be advisory, not authoritative. Ultimately, elections for local offices will determine which vision is pursued by Monterey Bay Community Power. In 2018, voters may end up electing new county supervisors and city council members who want the agency to advance “deep, accelerated” transformation of the region’s electricity supply, regardless of cost to customers such as you. ■

MARCH 2018

LMC Announces 2018 Participants Leadership Monterey County Announces 2018 Class Participants The Monterey County Business Council and the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce are excited to be kicking off the inaugural Leadership Monterey County program on February 23, 2018. Participants will have an opportunity to learn of the critical businesses and organizations that create a thriving economy in Monterey County. The 10-month program is designed to educate local leaders from different industries, and to bring awareness and advocacy to all the significant economic impacts within the county.

2018 Participants are: ■

Yuri Anderson Policy Advisor, County of Monterey

Christina Baggett Associate Attorney, Fenton & Keller

Beronica Carriedo Community Outreach Specialist, Monterey Salinas Transit

Clint Cowden Dean of CTE/Workforce Development, Hartnell College Marci Davis Senior Vice President Loan Team Manager, Wells Fargo Bank Col. Phillip Deppert Commandant, Defense Language Institute Meagan Edwards Account Manager, Moxxy Marketing James Gerber Assistant VP, Pacific Valley Bank Tom Graves City Clerk, City of Carmel Selena Herrin Business Manager, Smith & Enright Grant Leonard Transportation Planner, Transportation Agency of Monterey County

MARCH 2018

John Lewis Owner, Lewis Builders Joe Mancera Tax Preparer, Casa Popular Income Tax Dana Marshall Principal Consultant/Owner, CSI HR Manuel Martinez Assistant Chief of Police, City of Salinas Jennifer McAdams Executive Assistant, Santa Lucia Preserve Josh Metz Economic Development Manager, Fort Ord Reuse Authority

Meet Our Program Facilitator Jan Hunter (MBA, IHR) is a longtime California resident with extensive experience in workforce development and consulting. She has held senior levels roles within human resources at John Muir Health, Banner Health and as Jan Hunter (MBA, IHR) Director of the CareerSTAT Project, national healthcare workforce development project funded by the Joyce Foundation and supported

by Jobs for the Future. Most recently, she was director of Career Coaching at Impact Group a global company focused on outplacement, relocation and talent development. Jan holds a Bachelor’s degree in science from Ball State University and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. In her free time, Jan loves to kayak, listen to live music, and walk her dog on the beach or on one of the Monterey Bay area’s many scenic trails. ■

Chris Morello Senior Planning Manager, Monterey Airport Shelley Niedernhofer Project Manager, Otto Construction Amanda Porter Executive Assistant, Monterey Airport Jennifer Rudisill Senior Tax Accountant, Bianchi, Kasavan, & Pope Jim Sandoval Assistant Public Works Director/ City Engineer, City of Salinas Mystere Sapia Contracts Manager, Rolands & Associates Joe Serrano Senior Analyst, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) Kim Snyder Director of Food Safety, Monterey Mushrooms

Class topics and dates are as follows: February 23 Hospitality ■ March 23 Defense and Security ■ April 27 Healthcare ■ May 25 Government and Law ■ June 22 Agriculture ■

July 27 South County ■ August 24 Nonprofit Sector ■ September 28 Infrastructure and Environment ■

October 26 Art/History/ Culture ■ November 16 Education ■

Brian Thayer Senior Philanthropic Services Officer, Community Foundation of Monterey County

For questions or comments, please contact Kimbley Craig, Executive Director –


Protecting from Drive-By ADA Lawsuits House Approves Amendment to Protect Businesses from Drive-By ADA Lawsuits

Copyright 2018 by Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss Lindsey Berg-James is a civil litigation and employment law attorney with Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss law firm in Monterey and Salinas. This article is intended to address topics of general interest, and should not be taken as legal advice. For more information, visit, or contact the author at


Photo by Batista Moon Studio

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by private businesses that provide public accommodations or operate a commercial facility. While the ADA was enacted to ensure access to public accommodations for the disabled, it is often abused to shake down small businesses that would rather pay the plaintiffs than engage in what can be expensive litigation. California offers financial incentives for plaintiffs suing under the ADA, including a $4,000 penalty per infraction and the payment of the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees by the defendant. The opportunity for monetary gain has created serial plaintiffs (and their attorneys) who seek out and sue dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses for often minor violations in exchange for a quick settlement. A 60 Minutes episode from December 2016 showed California lawyers filing ADA lawsuits after simply driving past businesses or performing a Google Earth search. In an effort to curb these abuses, the House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act (HR 620) on February 15, 2018 requiring a would-be plaintiff to send the business a pre-lawsuit notice that specifies (1) the alleged barriers in the

facility, with a citation of the section of the ADA that has been violated; (2) “the circumstances under which the individual was actually denied access to a public accommodation;” and (3) whether a “request for assistance in removing the barrier was made.” A lawsuit can only be filed after sending this notice if the business does not respond within 60 days with a description of the improvements that it will make to remove the barrier. If the business responds as required, but fails to remove the barrier or make “substantial progress” toward removing the barrier within 120 days, the lawsuit can be filed. Supporters of the bill say that given the ADA’s technical requirements that businesses sometimes violate unintentionally (e.g., the toilet paper roll is a half an inch too far away from the toilet), providing businesses with notice and an opportunity to fix the problem will help achieve the ADA’s purpose — making businesses accessible to people with disabilities. On the other hand, opponents say the amendment will cause businesses to take no action to comply with the law until they receive a notice, and puts the burden of compliance on people with disabilities, rather than business owners. Whether HR 620 (or a similar bill) is likely to pass in the Senate is yet to be seen, but business owners are hopeful its introduction will help deter serial ADA plaintiffs. ■

Photo by Batista Moon Studio

by Lindsey Berg-James

Stephanie Chrietzberg , SVP Business Development; Sarah Gaebelein, VP Commercial Loan Officer; Clarissa Rowe, VP Community Relations Officer; Charles T. Chrietzberg Jr., President, CEO; Kathy Torres, VP SBA Loan Officer


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Oldest Locally Owned, Locally Managed Bank in Monterey County - OVER 35 YEARS! The Leading SBA Lender in Monterey County Member F.D.I.C.  Equal Housing Lender

MARCH 2018

Win Free Space at Northridge by Jennifer Filice Battle of the Pop Up at Northridge Mall Challenges Smart and Wiley Entrepreneurs Ever dreamed of opening your own retail shop? Bold enough to try that creative pop-up idea? Just plain interested in testing out a concept to a captive audience of shoppers? If these questions make your heart pump and the wheels in your head turn, this is the program for you. Northridge Mall’s latest launch is The Challenge: Battle of the Pop Up, a contest that awards one local entrepreneur with rent-free space for four months. From June 1 through September 30, the winner will have the rent-free space, as well as use of mall or store fixtures, free utilities, and a merchandising package valued at $500 that includes interior signage, table-printed displays and graphic design services. Among other criteria, entries will be judged on business strategy, concept creativity and likelihood of profitability by local mall and Starwood Retail Partners corporate team leadership. To enter, participants should also be prepared to obtain a business license by Friday, June 1. Applicants can enter through a link on Northridge Mall’s website, by dropping off a hard-copy entry form at the mall office or by emailing a completed form to TheChallenge@ Winners will be contacted by phone or email on Monday, April 23. Starwood Retail Partners (SRP), the company that acquired Northridge Mall in 2013, held its first Battle of the Pop Ups last year at three mall properties located in Nebraska, Ohio

MARCH 2018

and Virginia. The resulting pop ups were extraordinarily successful and as a result, SRP decided to expand the program to 20 of its properties in 2018, including Northridge Mall. The winners were: a custom clothing design lab, unique lifestyle and clothing boutiques, and a soy candle company that donates a portion of its profits to charity. Northridge Mall has undergone many changes since being purchased by Starwood Retail Partners, which has invested millions in the property. Some of the changes include an exterior and interior refresh with paint, landscaping, expanded and remodeled restrooms, a new kids’ play area, soft seating, new flooring throughout the mall; a brandnew façade for the mall-adjacent convenience center; construction of a new building for JCPenney; and the current development has carved out a new two-story center court along with new shops and large-scale family entertainment center, Round1. There are 4 million visits to Northridge Mall each year and the center continues to evolve and improve, opening opportunities for the community and businesses to thrive through collaboration. Good luck to the adventurous entrepreneurs who take up the battle. May your dream be realized! ■







The College of Business Showcase May 2, 2018 H 6-9 p.m. University Center Ballroom This Showcase builds relationships between CSU Monterey Bay, its graduating students, and the local business community. Outstanding seniors and two community leaders will be honored during the celebration. 831-582-4232

Jennifer Filice is the Marketing Director for Northridge Mall. To find information on the Pop Up Challenge, please visit www.


Financial Services Restaurants Financial Services The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce encourages you to shop and dine at local businesses. For every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $73 stays in the community. Bagel Corner Inc

Let’s keep the Salinas Valley strong – shop at these member businesses. Little Sicily Hayashi Wayland Loose Caboose Luigi's Italian Ingraham & Associates, CPAs Max Fit INOSOT Financial & Health Coaching

1st Capital Bank Bayonet & Blackhorse Golf Course

Buffalo Wild Wings A&T Tax Payroll and Bookkeping Castle Rock Coffee and Bianchi Kasavan & Pope LLP Mercantile

BookKeeping Express Chef Lee's Mandarin House 2 Brandon Tibbs Accountants Farm Fresh&Deli & Cafe

Flying Artichoke Restaurant California Coastal Gino's Fine Italian Foods Central Coast Federal Credit Union Gordon's and Catering - Salinas Café -Seaside Central Coast Home Loans Haute Enchilada Comerica Bank InterContinental- The Clement Monterey Growth Management Group La Plaza Bakery & Cafe -Gonzales -N. Sanborn Rd. -Greenfield -Soledad

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Centers McDonald's -N. Main -Greenfield Jeffrey -S. Main Wriedt & Company, -Kern St.CPAs (831) 757-4066 -Salinas/Monterey -King City -Abbott St. -Northridge Mall Karen Ingraham Business Services -E. Alisal St. -Soledad (831) 210-1585 -E. Boronda -Williams Rd. -Gonzales Lesnick Company Monterey Coast Brewing McGilloway. Ray, Brown & Kaufman Monterey Plaza Hotel Monterey CountyGrotto Bank Old Fisherman's

Pacific Valley Bank Pastability's

Pizza Factory Paylocity Portobello's Cafe

Rancho Cielo Youth Campus Pinnacle Bank Rosita' Armory Café Round TableN.A. Pizza Rabobank, -Salinas Main Springhill Suites-Seaside Marriott -Westridge Ryan & McDonald LLP Tarpy' Roadhouse Scholl & Company, LLP. The Grower's Pub Steinbruner CPAs The SteinbeckHill House Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Turf Club Catering and Deli Inc

Whole Enchilada Timmins & Sorensen, CPAs (831) 424-0841 Wild Thyme Deli & Cafe Union Bank Yangtse's Taste of Thai Wells Fargo Thai-565815966883304 -Salinas -Monterey -Carmel Wells Fargo Advisors– Brian Allen

Lodge & Golf Club Partners and Stakeholder Members A SpecialQuail Thanks to Our Strategic

A Special Thanks to Our Strategic Partners and Stakeholder Members


MARCH 2018




New Member Profiles Aramark

McSherry & Hudson

We deliver experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives by providing award-winning food, facility, and uniform services. The industries we work with include: healthcare, education, entertainment, and many more. We operate internationally in 21 countries. 410 Natividad Rd. (831) 755-3895 •

Select We match talent with opportunity. Whether you're a looking for guidance on how to get a job or searching for staffing solutions for your business, we've got you covered. Select Staffing is a leading staffing agency and part of the EmployBridge Portfolio of Supply Chain Workforce Solutions, a top 10 industry leader nationwide. Want to learn more about our job opportunities? Need to know the kind of staffing services we offer? Contact Us today. 1550 Constitution Blvd. (831) 775-0712 •

Monterey Regional Waste Management District We promote waste reduction through our award-winning reuse and recycling facilities and programs. The MRWMD's mission is "to turn waste into resources in the most cost effective and environmentally sound manner to benefit the community." MRWMD is an integrated facility that includes the reuse store Last Chance Mercantile, a Materials Recovery Facility, household hazardous waste collection, compost and landscape supplies, and free e-waste recycling. (831) 384-5313 •

Monterey County Soccer League We are a public community soccer organization providing a range of services and opportunities to over 200 youth and adult teams throughout the region. MCSL is managed and operated by a team of professionally qualified staff, with many years of experience in the sporting and soccer industry. Our organization is affiliated with and sanctioned by California Youth Soccer Association (Cal North), NorCal Premier League, US Club Soccer, US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA), and US Soccer Federation (USSF). (831) 905-9899 •

MARCH 2018

McSherry & Hudson has been serving this region for over 100 years. We are a niche oriented firm that specializes in working with agriculture, construction, and commercial property businesses. Our safety, and loss control services make us unique in the industry. Other services we provide include: claims management, traditional coverage, captives, and alternative risk solutions. We go above and beyond providing just an insurance policy, we partner with businesses as their outsourced risk management department. 35 Penny Lane Ste. 6, Watsonville (831) 724-3841 •

J&M Cleaning Services We are a full-service cleaning company, specializing in janitorial services for offices. Our professional service provides detailed cleanings with a focus on quality that other companies often miss. We will work with you to develop the right plan for your office cleaning by incorporating any specific requests. You will receive consistent reliable service that you can trust. We are family owned and operated. (831) 676-5489 •

Condor Security of America We provide custom services including: incident prevention planning, confidential site reviews, and on-site security presence. Our goal is for you, your staff, and clients to confidently work in a safe and secure environment. We provide basic services from video surveillance, standing guard, foot patrol, or vehicle patrol, to personalized executive protection, and the ultimate protection from a dedicated team of special responders (S.R.T). (831) 717-1313 •

Campus Bridal Shop We offer the latest bridal gowns and can help you find the perfect dress for your budget. We have over 200 gowns in stock and can have a dress fitted to you in a matter of days. Bridesmaids’, flower girl, and mother's dresses that will surely delight all the women in your wedding. Over 100 styles of tuxedos for the groom, ushers and, even the adorable young ring bearer. We also carry wedding invitations, shoes, veils & head pieces, tiaras, undergarments, cake tops, gloves, ring pillows, and more. 105 E Alisal St Suite 102, Salinas • 831-422-4242


Ocean Ave, Car mel-by -t he-Sea

N ew Leasing Oppor tunities ... for local independent retailers & restaurateurs with bold ideas.

Look What We Found! We’ve started preparing for the Chamber’s 100 year anniversary this year. Check out what we’ve found in our vault!





T FOR 90 Y


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This Queen Anne style Victorian was the birthplace and boyhood home of author John Steinbeck. The house was built in 1897 and the Steinbeck family moved into the house in 1900. Today, it is a public restaurant operated by volunteers that continues to honor Steinbeck. In April of 1995, E. Clampus Vitus designated the house as a literary landmark. In August of 2000, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In February of 1979, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring the Salinas-born, world-renowned author, and a Nobel & Pulitzer prize winner. An invitation-only celebration was held at the then Salinas Community Center, where cocktails and dinner were served, all sponsored by The John Steinbeck Foundation. The Monterey County Symphony Orchestra performed alongside Paulena Carter, an American virtuoso. The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce participated in the event and has memorabilia from that day in our vault. This is one example of the First Day of Issue postage stamp postcard. There are programs, dinner tickets, postage stamp buttons, tri-fold postage stamp and a historical brochure to name a few.

333 Salinas Street Salinas, CA 93901 831.424.1414 470 Camino El Estero Monterey, CA 93940 831.373.3622 MARCH 2018

Salinas Founders Day 2018 by Steve McShane, Salinas City Councilmember It is with great excitement that Salinas is actively preparing for a very special “Founders Day Celebration” in April. The City of Salinas has teamed with dozens of community organizations to honor 150 years for our beloved City and Community. Planning has been underway for nearly a year and includes a lot of exciting events. The main celebration will take place Saturday, April 14th from 9am to 3pm at the Salinas Railroad / Transit Station Downtown. As many as 10,000 guests are expected! Attendees will enjoy live music, lectures and a wide variety of historical displays and demonstrations. Best of all the Monterey-Salinas Railroad Museum, First Mayors House and Model Railroad Museums will simultaneously host free open houses. There will be more than 60 vendors and a fantastic chicken BBQ presented by the Native

Sons of the Golden West. The Rotary Club of Salinas will serve local beer and wine. Event organizers are delighted to announce a special partnership with the Salinas City Elementary School District. 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Salinas schools. The District has a large area set aside where they will have historical performances presented by local elementary students. There will be live art and several interactive displays. The event will include some special programming leading up to the festivities. The Steinbeck House will host a “historic” (4) course meal paired with local wine on Thursday, April 12th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling (831) 424-2735. Lincoln School will have a special student run “Historic Open House” from 9am – 11am on Tuesday, April 10th.

Roosevelt School will do the same 9 am– 11am on Thursday April 12th. More information can be found at 2018 marks an incredible year for our community. We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce and the 100th anniversary of the Monterey County Farm Bureau.

It is also the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Salinas. Each of these organizations are contributing pieces to the Founders Day Celebration. I hope you will join us in celebrating Salinas with this rare opportunity. For more information, feel free to contact me directly at or (831) 970-4141. ■

Chamber Ambassador

Michael Laroco

An Ambassador with the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, Michael Laroco is a co-founder of INOSOT Financial & Health Coaching Centers™. For over 25 years, Michael has been a trusted resource for his clients, friends and fellow business owners. INOSOT Financial & Health Coaching Centers was born after the implosion of the real estate and mortgage market. INOSOT stands for “Infinite Number of Solutions Over Time.” It’s been said “that we spend our youth to achieve wealth, and then we spend our wealth to achieve our youth.” By taking MARCH 2018

simple steps to understand the dynamics of prosperity and health and their impact on an individual, family or business, you can avoid the pitfalls most Americans have and will endured.

INOSOT works with clients to create a comprehensive and integrated plan, called The Blueprint ©, to deal with life.

It becomes a living plan that relies on an individual’s values, goals, and choice preference, along with life stage needs, and major life events and lifestyle conditions. It integrates what we call PICAH©, Protection, Income, Credit, Assets, and Health. INOSOT helps their clients become confident in their own approach to making their money grow, understand how money works, and how their client’s health is part of their overall prosperity. Cutting through the confusion in the financial world, they create certainty out of confusion. ■

Call Michael at INOSOT Financial and Health Coaching Centers (831) 449-6800 15

Focus on Non-Profits American Cancer Society You probably know that the American Cancer Society delivers breakthroughs, investing in innovative research to develop game-changing approaches– more than $4.6 billion since 1946. Together with our millions of supporters, the Society is saving lives in the fight against the disease in a number of ways. We are activists, convening relentless partners for awareness and impact. We build communities, united to fight cancer with access to treatment and compassion. We provide direction as a compassionate ally, empowering people with information and answers. The bottom line is that with your help, the American Cancer Society improves and saves lives every day. Our generous corporate, non-profit, business partners and volunteers have helped the American Cancer Society raise more than $14.5 million dollars since

1998, which help fund research, patient programs and services. The upcoming Relay For Life of Salinas, Relay For Life of Monterey Bay, and Celebration of Life Monterey Fashion Show showcase local ways we unite as a community and raise awareness and donations. Consider partnering with the American Cancer Society, and together we’ll attack cancer from every angle. You can differentiate your product or brand and make it even more relevant because consumers across all demographic groups know and trust us. The Society is the largest voluntary health organization in the world with 96 percent brand recognition. ■

For more information, please call our Salinas office at 831.772.6528. You can also visit us at or call 800-227-2345 to talk to a cancer specialist 24/7, 365 days a year.

Non-Profit Calendar Mar 7: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

5:30-7:30 pm Hartnell Student Center, 411 Central Ave., Salinas 831-757-6030 Non-Profit: Salinas Senior Center

Mar 14: Public Educational

Program- Documentary Screening & Live Discussion 2:30-4:00pm Carmel Foundation, Southwest Corner of 8th Ave & Lincoln St., Carmel-by-the-Sea 831-333-9023 Non-Profit: Hospice Giving Foundation

Mar 15: Conservatorship Workshop

6-8pm Community Justice Center at the Monterey College of Law, 2620 Colonel Durham St., Seaside 831-333-9023 • Non-Profit: Hospice Giving Foundation


Mar 21: Luncheon:

Life Lessons from a Mom on a Mission Featuring Amanda Bakker, Tatum’s Garden & Treehouse 11:30am-1pm Hampton Inn, 523 Work St, Salinas 831-261-1779 • Non-Profit: Salinas Valley Business Women’s Network

Mar 28: Personal Part of

Planning for End-of-Life Small Group Workshop 10am-12pm 80 Garden Court, Suite 201, Monterey 831-333-9024 Non-Profit: Hospice Giving Foundation

Apr 7: 13th Annual Seniors’ Prom,

Swing into Spring 6:30-10pm Santa Lucia Room, 940 N Main St., Salinas 831-757-6030 Non-Profit: Salinas Senior Center

Apr 11: Defining Hope Film Screening & Dinner with Guided Conversation 5:30- 9pm Lighthouse 4 Cinema, 525 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove 831-333-9025 • Non-Profit: Hospice Giving Foundation

Apr 21: Ciao! Cioppino! 2018

5:30 - 8:30pm San Carlos Hall, 500 Church Street, Monterey 831-899-0492 • Non-Profit: Legal Services for Seniors

On going event:

Free-to-learn Affordable Access Program 886 Cannery Row, Monterey 831-648-4800 • Non-Profit: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Every Friday:

Friday Night Dinners 5:30- 7:30pm 710 Old Stage Road, Salinas 831-444-3521 • Non-Profit: Rancho Cielo

MARCH 2018

Chamber Events

Advanced Solutions from your locally owned business neighbors. Interactive Touch Display Simply touch a TRUTOUCH display and experience an incredible presentation platform.

Monterey County Fairgrounds recently invited the community to see the investments they have made to upgrade their facilities for your special events.

From large copiers to small laser printers!

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Phone 831-759-8760 540 Work St. Suite E, Salinas, CA 93901 Select Staffing, located at 1550 Constitution Blvd, is among the Chamber’s newest members. Branch manager Irene Mendez cuts the ribbon with help from her staff and the Chamber.

MARCH 2018

Call us to schedule a no obligation presentation in your office or our showroom.


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Member News SVMHS New Diabetes Clinic

by Patrick Casey President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late last year. The new tax law makes many changes to corporate and individual tax rates, deductions and tax credits. The changes affect practically all taxpayers and businesses and it will take time for all taxpayers and tax practitioners to understand the impact of these changes. For the most part, these changes are effective January 1, 2018 and thus taxpayers will see these changes when they file their 2018 tax returns in 2019. It is impossible to summarize the changes in this article, but the following detail certain changes that will affect most taxpayers: The tax rates have changed for both corporations and individuals. Corporations now have a flat 21% tax rate on income. For individuals, there are still seven different tax brackets but the dollar thresholds for each tax bracket have increased while the tax rates have decreased. Individual taxpayers are no longer able to take any personal exemption deduction. One of the biggest changes is to itemized deductions for individual taxpayers. Under the new law, individual taxpayers will no longer be able to deduct: (i) state income tax and property taxes above $10,000 per year in total; (ii) moving expenses (with an exception for certain military personnel); (iii) employee business expenses such as mileage, travel, entertainment, union dues, tax preparation fees, and investment fees;

(iv) mortgage interest beyond interest on $750,000 of acquisition debt on a new home; and (v) mortgage interest paid on home equity loans. In exchange for the loss of these deductions, the new law increases the standard deduction for individuals (and married filing separately) to $12,000, for head of household to $18,000 and for married filing jointly (and surviving spouse) to $24,000. These changes are likely to mean that more taxpayers will be taking the standard deduction and not itemizing their deductions. Another significant change is to the child tax credit and the new dependent credit. The child tax credit is increased for each child to $2,000 (up to $1,400 of which is refundable for each child) and each non-child dependent can now receive a new credit of $500. However, there is no exemption credit or deduction for the taxpayer, their spouse or their dependents. The phase-out thresholds for these credits are drastically increased. Married taxpayers filing a joint return can claim the full credits if their adjusted gross income is $400,000 or less ($200,000 for all others). The credits are fully phased out for married taxpayers filing a joint return when their adjusted gross income reaches $440,000 ($240,000 for all others). This means that more taxpayers may be able to claim these credits in 2018 and beyond. It is important that all taxpayers meet with their accountant this year to understand how these changes (and other changes in the new law) will affect their tax liability from 2018 onward. ■ This article is written by Patrick Casey, who is a business attorney with the JRG Attorneys At Law firm in Monterey. You may reach the author at (831) 269-7114 or at


SVMHS Opens First Pediatric Diabetes Clinic in Monterey County SVMHS has opened a new Pediatric Diabetes Clinic, located in the new expanded Salinas Valley Medical Clinic Diabetes & Endocrine Center. This center opened in September of 2017 and offers integrated care, diagnostic tests, treatments, preventive care and English and Spanish language education classes as well as group support sessions. The 10,000 square foot facility is located on the second floor of the Primecare medical building on Abbott Street in Salinas. The Pediatric Diabetes Clinic has begun seeing pediatric patients. At a recent grand opening ceremony to Quinn Lockwood cuts the ribbon celebrate the opening of the clinic, 10-yearwhile SVMHS Staff and old Quinn Lockwood from Carmel Valley was Board members look on invited to speak about his experience as a patient with Type 1 diabetes. He impressed the crowd with his eloquence. His mother, Kathy Lockwood spoke of the impact this new clinic will have on families like theirs: “I have been taking my son to Stanford for diabetes treatment for the last eight years. Every time I take him to Stanford he misses a full day of school. Now, I’ll be able to schedule his appointments after school and he’ll be seen by a pediatric endocrinologist in Salinas.” The Pediatric Diabetes Clinic will do more than offer medical services, it also provides a way for young diabetes patients to interact and support one another. Quinn Lockwood echoed what all of the adults at the grand opening expressed, albeit with added emotional and physical enthusiasm. Quinn pumped his fist by his side as he searched for the right words to answer a reporter’s question, “This is huge, huge, I mean huge!”

Montage Receives $106M Donation Largest Gift Ever in Monterey County Will Fund Mental Health Center Montage Health, the local nonprofit parent company of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, recently announced they are the recipients of a $105.8-million donation. The huge donation was made by Roberta “Bertie” Bialek Elliott, a Carmel resident who is the sister of Warren Buffett. It will be used to build a mental health outpatient and inpatient center for children and adolescents at Ryan Ranch, which will be named "Ohana." Currently, there are no mental health inpatient facilities for youth on the Central Coast. At a recent event, leaders who spoke included CHOMP CEO Steve Packer and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps. Phelps spoke about his own challenges with substance abuse and depression. "Elliott wanted to do something Olympian Michael Phelps joins transformational in the place she calls donor Roberta Elliott home. And she has — donating $105.8 million to Montage Health Foundation, the largest gift ever in Monterey County and one of the most significant philanthropic commitments in healthcare nationwide," Montage Health wrote on its website. Surveys conducted between 2014-2107 found that nearly 1 in 6 high school students in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District seriously considered suicide. About 1 in 3 suffered depression-related feelings, according to the California Department of Education.

MARCH 2018

Tri-Chamber Mixer Thursday, March 8th 5-7pm 2511 Numa Watson Rd., Seaside

March April 2018 Mar







26 Apr




MARCH 2018

Connect at Lunch – Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill

Empowering students with language-based learning differences for 35 years

Join us for mixing, appetizers, wine, music, a raffle, and a tour of the campus

12- 1pm 426 Alvarado St., Monterey

Monthly Networking Mixer – Chartwell School

5- 7pm 2511 Numa Watson Rd., Seaside

Free for Members; Free One-time Admission for Prospective Members For more info:

Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting 11:30am - 1pm Chamber Office

Ambassador Committee Meeting 12-1pm Chamber Office

Connect at Lunch – Little Sicily

11:30am-12:30pm 16 E Gabilan St., Salinas

Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting 11:30am - 1:00pm Chamber Office


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Online & mobile banking and ATMs & branches statewide

Contact us for outstanding customer service and professional guidance.

Part of your community.Hollister Capitola-Santa Cruz

Full rangeSalinas of services. Main

1730 Airline Highway, Everything Suite 310 3555 ClaresCalifornians Street, Suite X Helping achieve Hollister, CA 95023 Capitola, CA 95010 their goals for over all of your (831) 638-4861 (831) financial 475-5412 50Castroville years business banking needs Salinas Westridge King City 10601 Merritt Street Castroville, CA 95012 (831) 633-3302

301 Main Street for you need Salinas, CA 93901 personal (831) 737-1213 and

532 Broadway King City, CA 93930 (831) 385-4144

1285 North Davis Road Salinas, CA 93907 (831) 784-7700


Seaside 1658 Fremont Salinas MainBlvd. Seaside, CAStreet 93955 301 Main (831) 394-6900 Salinas, CA 93901

Bank anytime, anywhere. Watsonville

1915 Main Street Online & mobile banking and Watsonville, CA 95076 ATMs & branches statewide (831) 768-2668

Contact us for outstanding customer service and professional guidance. Gilroy

805 First Street Capitola-Santa Cruz Gilroy, CA Suite 95020X 3555 Clares Street, (408) 842-1938 Capitola, CA 95010 (831) 475-5412 Gonzales

439 Alvarado Street Hollister CA 93940Suite 310 1730Monterey, Airline Highway, (831) 242-2000 Hollister, CA 95023 (831)Pacific 638-4861 Grove

CastrovilleGonzales, CA 93926 10601 Merritt (831)Street 675-3637 Castroville, CA 95012 (831) 633-3302

King Pacific City Grove, CA 93950 532 Broadway (831) 649-5010 King City, CA 93930 (831) 385-4144

400 Alta Street,

561 Lighthouse Avenue

Visit us at

Gilroy 805 First Street 20 Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 842-1938 Gonzales

(831) 737-1213 Soledad 2149 H. De La Rosa Sr. Street Salinas CA Westridge Soledad, 93960 1285678-7338 North Davis Road (831) Salinas, CA 93907 (831) 784-7700

Seaside Monterey 1658 Fremont Blvd. 439 Alvarado Street Seaside, CA 93955 Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 394-6900 (831) 242-2000

Pacific Grove

Watsonville 1915 Main Street Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 768-2668


MARCH 2018

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