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W.A.C.E. Award Winning Publication of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce W.A.C.E. Award Winning Publication of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce

TURLOCK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Business News 115 S. Golden State Blvd. Turlock, CA 95380 209-632-2221 Fax 209-632-5289 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am – 4pm Sharon Silva President/CEO

Tasha Van Santen Director Communications/Development Ext. 104

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Cover Story – Blue Diamond Breaks Ground for Turlock Plant Construction

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Local Economy on the Mend? – Alliance

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Sharon Silva Has a Heart – Legacy

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National Retailers Move to… - Monte Vista Crossings

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Increased Activity and New Businesses on the Horizon – City of Turlock

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Entrepreneurs in Turlock Have the Opportunity to Test Market their Ideas – SBDC

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2012/13 Another Year of Budget Woes

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Charter Business Helps Turlock Businesses Stay Competitive

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Get Ready! Here Comes November!

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Our Legislators – Job Creators!

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Ambassadors of the Quarter

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Welcome New Members

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Mixer, Chamber and Ribbon Cutting Events

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Leadership Turlock Graduation

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Turlock Real Estate – The Worst is Behind Us… – PMZ Real Estate

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Business Forecast - CSU Stanislaus

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Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau Promotes Community Events

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Water and Power – TID

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Business Leadership Summit 2012

Patricia Baron Operations Ext. 103 Sharon Berry Administrative Assistant Ext. 100 Kassi Fortado Membership/CVB Assistant Ext. 101

TURLOCK CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU Desa Cammack Director 115 S. Golden State Blvd. 209-632-2221 Ext. 106 PAGE 4



From the President/CEO

Hard Times Bring Opportunity! une is here. We are half way through this very important year. In November, we will decide much of what will happen over the next several years as voters grapple with issues deciding who will best represent us in a variety of offices, from President of the United States to Turlock City Council. Our choices will profoundly impact our community, its economic growth and its

J quality of life.

Many of the Chamber board members and I spend time attending conferences and meetings educating ourselves on how to best serve our members and their businesses. A short time ago, I was pointedly asked, "What is the Chamber’s role and purpose?" The easy answer is that we are the Business Advocate for our members in the community and in Sacramento and Washington, DC. But that isn’t a complete answer. We also need to be making sure our businesses also keep in touch with our legislators, and we need to inform them of how the votes of our legislators impact their businesses. It has to be a two way system, with our input going to the legislators, and the local community being informed of how the legislators reacted to their input. In California over 67.4% of small business owners say they are facing limited growth opportunities, because of the difficulties of getting financing. Over 55% say unless they can get financing they can't grow their companies, so many have to turn to family or friends for funding to survive. In California the tight credit market is having a profound effect on all sizes of businesses. The regulatory burdens that our businesses face in this state has caused many to move out. Transportation issues have affected the way business can move product. Energy costs need to come down and we need to improve alignment of the state's workforce needs and education. These are among CalChambers Job Creators that are being presented to the legislature. We need to fight against frivolous litigation and to promote private and public partnerships for transportation as well as other needs. Hard times bring opportunity. It is the time to pull together and work to strengthen the economic stability of our communities and state. It is time for a call for action. Get out and vote! Vote with a business minded approach! Call and advise your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. This election will shape how our nation and community face a very challenging future.


Of The Board - Paul Porter

Things Tothe Heat Up direction in Turlock! We are Starting moving in right ummer is right around the corner and things are starting to heat up in Turlock. Our economy is moving forward as the established businesses are starting to see more activity and new businesses continue to occupy some of the empty storefronts around town. In order to keep our economy strong, the Turlock Chamber of Commerce encourages you to “Try Turlock First” in order to keep the businesses in the community thriving.


• The Downtown Farmers Market is a popular attraction that brings shoppers to downtown Turlock on Friday mornings and will be extending the market to Friday night on a few occasions during the summer. The Downtown Farmers Market offers a chance to purchase fresh produce and items from local farmers and vendors as well as shop at the many offerings from our downtown merchants. • Turlock Chrysler Jeep Dodge will soon open at the site of the previous Turlock Auto Plaza on Fulkerth and Highway 99. This is a welcome addition to the site that has been vacant since 2008. • Renovations of the buildings within Monte Vista Crossings are moving along and soon Ulta Cosmetics, Old Navy, and Olive Garden will open their doors. The November elections are right around the corner and the Turlock Chamber of Commerce continues to stay in direct contact with local, state, and federal legislators to make sure that our members’ business concerns are heard and dealt with on every level. Whether it is legislative representation, networking, education, or creating strategic partnerships, the Turlock Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide the highest quality programs and services to the business community. If there is anything we can do to help your business, please let us know.

Paul Porter Winton-Ireland Strom & Green

Sharon Silva President/CEO BUSINESS NEWS « JUNE 2012


2012 Chamber Board of Directors

Sharon Silva President / CEO

Paul Porter (Chair) Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green

Mike Romeo (Chair Elect) Mike Lynch (Past Chair) Steve Gemperle (Treasurer) Mike Lynch Consulting Gemperle Enterprises Romeo Medical Clinic

Ashour Badal CSU Stanislaus

Dianna Bettencourt Oak Valley Community Bank

Dean Doerksen Central Ag Products

Yubert Envia Foster Farms

Julio Hallack DBA Concrete by Hallack

Lazar Piro Piro Trading International

Susan Quigley Rabobank

Larry Smith Smith Chevrolet Cadillac

Steve Talkington Lancaster Painting

Andrew Wigglesworth MedicAlert Foundation


Sharon Silva CEO/President IOM, Institute for Organization Management, University of Arizona Bachelor Arts Organizational Communication

Tasha Van Santen Director Communications/ Development Bachelor Science Business CSU Stanislaus

Patricia Baron Operations Bachelor Science Business/Accounting MPA In Progress CSU Stanislaus

Chamber Champions Allen Mortuary • Emanuel Medical Center F&M Bank • Gemperle Enterprises JKB Energy • Lancaster Painting MedicAlert Foundation Oak Valley Community Bank Rabobank • Smith Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. Turlock Journal Turlock Scavenger/Turlock Recycling Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency PAGE 6

Sharon Berry Administrative Assistant Bachelor Science Education Pacific University

Mike Allen Allen Mortuary

Steven Padilla Kozy Shack

Chris Kiriakou Cornerstone Consulting

Bill Bassitt (Ex-officio Member) Alliance

Marty Jakosa (Past Chair) Foster Farms

Kassi Fortado Membership / CVB Assistant Merced College

Desa Cammack Director Turlock Convention and Visitors Bureau Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy Graduate

Upcoming Events: Wahl, Willemese & Wilson LLP Mixer ~ June 19th Holiday Inn Mixer ~ July 17th MedicAlert Foundation August 21st Ameriprise Financial September 18th BUSINESS NEWS « JUNE 2012

Blue Diamond Breaks Ground for Turlock Plant Construction

lue Diamond Growers, a cooperative owned by more than half of California’s almond growers, officially launched Phase 1 of its new manufacturing plant in Turlock today at an onsite groundbreaking ceremony. The 88-acre property is located at N. Washington and Fulkerth Roads.


The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in May 2013. It will provide about 200,000 square feet of building space for manufacturing and delivering new almond products worldwide. The three-phased project will eventually yield a total of about 500,000 square feet of building space over the next 15 years. “There’s no doubt that Blue Diamond will bring numerous benefits to the Turlock community, including jobs,” said Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond President and CEO. “The number of jobs will not be known until we have made our investment decisions about new technologies. We will announce job openings in fall 2012.” Blue Diamond made its last major investment in 1968 in its Salida Plant. At that time, California was producing 140 million pounds of almonds. “Compare that to this year’s crop of about 2 billion pounds and you can better understand why we are making a major investment to expand our business,” explained Jansen. “We have kept pace with upgrading new technologies in our plant operations over the last 44 years, but today we are celebrating the largest single investment in the 102 years of the almond industry’s existence. In fact, this year we will also complete a state of the art Research and Development complex at our headquarters in Sacramento!”


From left, Blue Diamond Manager of Plant Operations Bruce Lish, President and CEO Mark Jansen, Chairman of the Board Clinton Shick and Turlock Plant Manager Ulli Thiersch. Jansen added, “In our continuing efforts to deliver the benefits of almonds to the world, this project will allow us to expand our value-added product lines. It will seal our promise to be THE global almond ingredients and consumer retail market leader so that we can continue to create the healthiest almond products in the world!” Blue Diamond Chairman Clinton Shick of McFarland added, “This celebration is really a continuation of the incremental steps we’ve taken in past years and those we will take over the next 100 years to continue to be the world almond leader. I would like to thank our growers for entrusting their almonds to us to make this investment. It will reap the largest incremental returns to almond growers who seek a secure future in the almond business.” PAGE 7

Local Economy On The Mend?


ebating the pace and nature of the U..S recovery has become a favorite pastime for news pundits. In the wake of the Great Recession, will we slip into another slowdown? What industries will drive future growth? How will new rules and regulations affect business? When will economic growth translate into significant payroll job creation? Similar issues are in play for Stanislaus County and its communities. While the Alliance does not produce an economic forecast, we do monitor the opinions of professional economists regarding our region’s outlook. “Gradual recovery” seems to be the consensus of both the CSU Stanislaus Business Forecast Report and the University of the Pacific Business Forecasting Center. The latter source calls for the Stanislaus County unemployment rate to approach 13% in 2015, down from nearly 17% in 2011.

By Randy Svedbeck,

Bust may be an understatement; from a peak of nearly 4,500 home building permits in 2005, Stanislaus barely exceeded 100 housing starts last year. As the rebounding, technology-driven South Bay job market spreads labor demand into the neighboring East Bay, opportunities for the many thousands of Stanislaus-to-Bay commuters will expand. An optimist with a longer point of view might even make the case that a tightening Bay Area housing market will once again underpin demand for Central Valley homes, admittedly on a multi-year lag basis. Recent job data points to a bottoming in construction sector employment.

For eight years, the Alliance has surveyed the local business community on their expectations for the coming year. The results for 2012 were encouraging. As the accompanying charts depict, over half of respondents expect higher revenues for their business this year, a vast improvement from the lows of 2009. Hiring and profit outlooks show roughly similar gains, although the economy still ranks ahead of regulations as an issue impacting profitability and growth.

Location near the Bay Area is also a major factor propelling a very promising job creator for Stanislaus County – logistics. Recent word that Amazon will be locating a major fulfillment center in Patterson, with press reports of around 1,000 year-round and perhaps 1,500 seasonal jobs to be added, is a tremendous positive as we look into 2013. Amazon’s decision builds upon other welcome news in the sector in the past several years, including the opening of W.W. Grainger’s 820,000 square foot regional distribution center in 2010 and Affinia’s 390,000 square foot facility in 2011. These wins should provide some momentum for the proposed West Park Logistics Center. In that regard, June is a pivotal month, as the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors will review a status update from the project’s developer.

Like it or not, many economic trends in the Bay Area spill over the Altamont Pass and into the Central Valley. In the past decade, rising home prices in the coastal region eventually prompted an exodus to the Valley, spurring on the local housing boom and subsequent bust.

Agriculture and the food processing industry are proven stalwarts of the local economy. While the domestic manufacturing industry shed jobs at a torrid pace in recent years, the old mantra, “people always need to eat” was borne out in Stanislaus County. The Business



Alliance Business Resource Center Manager

Journal and others ranked the area as number one in manufacturing job creation, though primarily because of massive employment losses elsewhere in the country. Recent news in the sector has been mostly positive, aside from developments at Patterson Vegetable. Blue Diamond’s major expansion into Turlock and word that Del Monte will be consolidating some production work from south in the Valley into Modesto are both encouraging signs. Despite a backdrop replete with many hopeful signs, many uncertainties remain. It goes without saying that this area is not immune to risks in the macro economy – think European contagion, fuel shocks, the federal budget, etc. In an era of budgetary shortfalls, spending by local government subject to pressures roiling down from the state level. Secure employment in job titles such as police officer and teacher are now a distant memory. Recent improvements in local sales tax collections are at least a hopeful harbinger of better times somewhere down the road. Uncertainty regarding tax and regulatory policy remain as clouds hanging over the business community. Consider Assembly Bill 32. It was passed way back in 2006 as California’s response to the greenhouse gas issue, with the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Time goes by, and what seemed like a distant issue is now looming larger on the horizon. Much of local industry, including the area’s core food processing sector, is in the path of ratcheting costs under a cap-and-trade program. Statewide, fuel refiners and other industries will also bare much the brunt of the program. In all likelihood, such costs will be passed on to consumers. On the jobs front and in an era of globalization, these higher costs will not enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector. All in all, there are encouraging signs that local economy is starting to mend. From improved business expectations to recent siting decisions by major employers, positive signs are emerging. Given the economic tribulations of recent years, “gradual recovery” sounds pretty good.



Sharon Silva Has a Heart

For Emanuel Medical Center’s Cardiac Care Program

very fall, Emanuel Medical Center announces a theme for its Legacy Circle annual giving campaign, focusing on the future benefits the program will bring.


Not this year. Instead, Emanuel will focus on the results of the first two years of a five-year fund drive that is advancing cardiac services in Turlock. Emanuel wants the community to know that this program isn’t just going to save lives in the future. It’s saving lives right now. Saving lives is what keeps Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Silva active in the campaign. “I’ve been involved with Emanuel’s Legacy Circle campaign for a number of years,” Silva said. “I thought I was ready to take a break from volunteering this year, but this campaign – this service – is just too critical for Turlock.” So as this year’s fund drive kicks off in late August, Silva will continue to do all she can to help Emanuel reach its $1 million fundraising goal. “Legacy Circle has done so much good for Turlock,” she said. “The birthing center and emergency department were Legacy Circle projects and provide real benefits to our community. And PAGE 10

cardiac care is even more critical. If you’re having a heart attack, there’s no time to waste driving to Modesto. We needed a great program here and Emanuel delivered.” Now Silva wants the community to do its part. “Even if you’ve never given to the hospital before, now’s the time,” she said. “The donation you make today could save your life or the life of someone you love, it really could.” To support Emanuel Medical Center’s cardiac care program, call Sharon Silva at 985-2759. BUSINESS NEWS « JUNE 2012

National Retailers Move to . . .

Turlock’s Monte Vista Crossings

By Brandon Farrell, Hall Equities Group Director of Leasing

urlock, CA, June 1, 2012 – Hall Equities Group is pleased to announce three new, national retailers are coming to Turlock at Monte Vista Crossings, further boosting the shopping and dining experience for the 35,000 residents of this growing Trade Area.


ULTA Beauty Grand Opening July 2012 Tenant improvement construction inside a new 10,000 square foot retail shell at Monte Vista Crossings is currently underway for ULTA Beauty & Cosmetics. ULTA focuses on providing affordable indulgence to its customers by combining the product breadth, value and convenience of a beauty superstore with the distinctive environment and experience of a specialty retailer.

Vista Crossings is already the Central Valley’s largest open air shopping center with more than 1,000,000 square feet of anchor, shop and restaurant space on 160 acres. The center provides a dynamic shopping experience for customers frequenting retail giants like Target, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Safeway, Lowes Home Improvement, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx, Ross, Pet Extreme, Starbucks, McDonalds and In-N-Out Burger. Hall Equities Group also developed a 78-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites and an 81-room Fairfield Inn & Suites onsite. So far, all but 30 acres have been developed by Hall Equities Group. The developer is working with a number of name brand retailers on the remaining acreage in this super power center.

Old Navy Grand Opening – New Store Design Old Navy is currently constructing its latest store design at Monte Vista Crossings in a 15,000 SF building once occupied by Borders. Across the country, Old Navy stores are being redesigned, retooled and rejuvenated. This new store will incorporate this latest, fun design. Construction will be completed late-Summer 2012. Olive Garden Italian Restaurant Opening September 2012 Site construction began in May for a new, +/- 7,500 SF Olive Garden Italian Restaurant at Monte Vista Crossings. This highly successful family restaurant focuses on providing every guest with a genuine Italian dining experience. Ideally situated on Highway 99 at Monte Vista Avenue, Monte BUSINESS NEWS « JUNE 2012


INCREASED ACTIVITY AND NEW BUSINESSES By Heidi McNally-Dial, City of Turlock Economic Development/RDA


taff has seen an increase in inquiries, approvals and construction in the last year. Several new businesses are making their home in Turlock while some existing businesses are expanding. Largest among the new businesses is Blue Diamond. The huge international corporation has purchased 88 acres in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park and is under construction with Phase 1 to total 221,000 square feet. Phases 2 and 3 will add 187,000 and 44,000 respectively for a total of approximately 452,000 square feet. Also under construction in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park and soon to be completed is a 37,000 square foot facility for Alpha Poultry, an ag related company. Certified Laboratories, a specialist in food and ag testing is consolidating and relocating to Turlock. The New York based company is making extensive improvements to an 11,200 square foot building located on Liberty Square Parkway. Another project recently completed is a 99,000 square foot addition to the US Cold Storage facility on Fransil Road. On the retail side, several projects on Geer Road are in various stages of development. A new discount grocer has been approved for the Mervyn’s building, a clothing store is looking to locate at the former Long’s Drug site and an auto parts store has made application to construct a new almost 7,000 square

Entrepreneurs In Turlock Have The Opportunity To Test Market Their Ideas

on the Horizon

foot store on Geer Road. Currently in construction or with building plans under review for projects in the Monte Vista Crossings area are an 8,000 square foot Olive Garden Restaurant, Old Navy clothing store, Ulta Cosmetics store, also there are several companies looking to potentially locate within existing approved shopping centers near Countryside Drive. In addition, the vacant Turlock Auto Plaza site at Fulkerth and Auto Mall Drive has been purchased and new owners anticipate a summer opening offering Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram auto lines.

“Several new businesses are making their home in Turlock while some existing businesses are expanding.” Groundbreaking took place on the first phase of the Avena Bella project, a 141 unit much needed low-income apartment project for designed families. The project is located on Linwood Avenue, the first 80 units will be completed by next summer. The Turlock Redevelopment Agency contributed $4 million to the project.

By Al Seaton, Alliance Small Business Development Center Turlock Entrepreneur Center

urlock has a unique opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to test their ideas at a very low cost; a Certified Farmer’s Market every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to farm fresh produce, the Turlock Farmer’s Market allows a certain number of small entrepreneurs to display their wares, and put their products to a market test.


I’ve had the good fortune to work with several of them here at the Alliance Small Business Development Center of Turlock. Barbecue sandwiches, cupcakes, organic lemonade and candy apples are just of few of the entrepreneurial product ideas I’ve consulted with for the SBDC that have used the Farmers Market in Turlock as a proving ground as it were, for their business model, gathering customer data, product pricing information, and an overview of projected success, or not. This is a wise choice before investing a substantial amount in a brick & mortar storefront or mobile facility. The Turlock Farmer’s Market is a great test market for entrepreneurial ideas, with a minimal investment, and minimal pressure on the new business person, having only to produce and display once a week. The Alliance SBDC invites you to come see us with your concept for a business or product and we’ll help develop market and test market the idea, with one option being a vendor at the Turlock Certified Farmer’s Market. SBDC consultant services are available at no charge and include business planning, risk management, marketing and financing. Call 567-4910 for an appointment, or register online at



2012/13 ANOTHER YEAR OF BUDGET WOES By Chris Kiriakou

John Lazar

Forrest White

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2/14/12 2/24/12 3/13/12 4/24/12 4/24/12 5/18/12 5/22/12 5/22/12

COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM Housing Element Customer Service Report Redevelopment Successor Agency Building Code Standards – Board of Appeals Approval of City of Turlock as Successor Agency Award a Contract for the Rehabilitation of Golden State Blvd. and W. Main St. Appointment of Rob Jackson as Police Chief Towing Fee Schedule Vote to Support Measure T – 1/8th cent Library Tax Reduce Arts Commission Membership to 7 members Support ACA23 – Change vote to 55% for certain tax Approve $70,000 grant funding for 6 Non-Profits Approve ordinance providing recycling to businesses Adopt General Fund and Non-General Fund Budgets

Mary Jackson

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MEETING 1/10/12 1/10/12 1/10/12 1/24/12 2/14/12 2/14/12

Bill DeHart


Redevelopment Agency funding the deficit is a little over 20% of the entire budget for general and non-general fund uses. Major Council items and votes are as follows; Amy Bublak

he second quarter of 2012 had little in the way of controversy among Council members with the exception of one item, the 2012/13 budget. Another year of budget woes faces the Council with a potential $4.4 million deficit. The prior budget contained City employee concessions that helped the City through a tough time. Those concessions are due to expire in October and with the loss of the











Following is a brief summary of each of the 2012 business related items. • Housing Element – Modification of the General Plan Housing Element to provide for affordable and decent housing within a community. The modified Housing Element provides for Extremely Low, Very Low and Low income households by requiring that Affordable Housing projects of 10, units or greater have 10% for Extremely Low income households, by identifying potential farm worker housing sites suitable for development, assisting non-profits in the development of those sites, and to meet the requirements for an SB2 Emergency Shelter zoning. • Customer Service Report – As part of the City’s strategic Plan to improve customer service the City hired a firm to interview customers of the Development Services Department. Although generally a good finding the report still provided some opportunities for improvement. • Redevelopment Successor Agency – As part of the ongoing battle over dwindling property tax revenues the Governor and the legislature approved legislation to dissolve Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs). A RDA is a vehicle to fund improvements to blighted areas in a community and is funded through the increase in property taxes resulting from the redevelopment (the tax increment). Because RDA revenues are not handled through the normal state property tax allocation methods other agencies that rely on property taxes were not getting their share of the revenues. The State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State. By implementing a Successor Agency the City can continue the existing redevelopment projects within the City but no more. • Building Codes – Board of Appeals – Approve an update to the Building Codes including an Appeals Board in Chapter 8-1, Article 3. • Successor Agency – A continuation of the transition from Turlock RDA to a Successor Redevelopment Agency. (see #3 above) Also establish rules and regulation for the Successor Agency. The Agency will administer the existing RDA projects. • Rehab of Golden State and W. Main – Awarded a $985,484 contract to rehab the two major streets with more than half coming from the Federal Regional Surface Transportation Program. • Towing Fee Schedule – Increase Towing Fee to reflect higher costs of towing. Fees had not been adjusted since February 2009. • Measure T - Currently the Stanislaus County library is supported by a 1/8th cent tax which expires at the end of this year. This Measure would extend it for five more years. • Reduced the Arts Commission membership from 25 to 7 with 2 alternates to improve action. • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 23 would reduce the required 2/3rds affirmative vote to 55% for local transportation related taxes. • The $70,000 Community Development Block Grants provide funding to six local non-profits that provide social services to those in need. • Approved an Ordinance that extends recycling to business refuse collection. Blue can rental at $7.65/mo. • Approved the 2012/13 approximately $30M City budget containing a $4M deficit with the short fall coming out of City reserves. The future deficit is somewhat driven by the employee concessions due to expire in October but health care and pension cost are also drivers. Staff hopes to resolve at least part of the deficit over the coming months. Bublak was opposed to the large deficit. The City’s support of additional taxes is one way to help balance the budget. However, that has to be weighed against the impact on the local businesses that support the City, especially at a time when the future business climate is so uncertain. The budget issue will be a challenge for the Council including renegotiation of City’s labor contracts. If the recent San Diego, San Jose, and the Wisconsin recall elections are any indicator of public sentiment regarding public employee union pay and benefits the Council and City Manager may be able to solve this one.



HELPS TURLOCK BUSINESSES STAY By John R, Miller, Charter Communications COMPETITIVE ommunities looking for an edge in drawing businesses to their area, as well as retaining the ones already there, realize that having broadband technology services available in their community is an important factor for achieving that success.


billing systems and credit card processing. Employees also gain faster access to data and more applications with hosted, cloudbased services. Data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services are also available over Charter’s state-of-the-art, fiber-based network.

In Turlock, Charter Business, a division of Charter Communications, provides those key services to area businesses. Charter Business Internet delivers blazing-fast speeds that fuel business productivity and reduce costs. Turlock businesses can select plans that offer download speeds ranging from 20Mbps to 100Mbps and upload speeds up to 5Mbps. With increased speeds, businesses can more efficiently run

Charter Business gives Turlock businesses an edge in reaching local or global markets, and offers its customers more convenience and cost savings. These are business services that make a difference in today’s competitive business world. Charter Business is dedicated to providing solutions that meet the unique needs of Turlock’s business community, helping to keep Turlock a great place to live and work.



he June election is over. There were no great surprises. Voter turnout was miserable. Few of the major issues facing our community, our state and our country were addressed or resolved. November will be a different story. Many more will vote. We will choose a President, congressional representatives, state legislators, and city council representatives. There will be several important and consequential state initiative measures on the ballot, as well. As we get ready to engage in this pivotal election, we should remember an important point. Political consultants and campaigns tend to “dumb down” the discussion to an exchange of sound bites that often have little relation to reality. It is in the interest of campaigns to simplify complex issues to slogans and phrases. Unfortunately, there is no umpire that the public can rely on to inform us, to cut through the rhetoric; no one to isolate where a candidate really stands on issues or what he or she will actually do if elected. We have to sort that out ourselves.

When a committee called something like “Americans for Fairness and Truth” starts running ads for or against a candidate or measure, take the time to find out who is actually financing the committee. You should not be surprised to learn that the people supplying the money are usually a few individuals who have a well-defined special interest in the election outcome. Why super PACs instead of direct contributions to candidates? Both state and federal law limit contributions from individuals to candidates to a few thousand dollars, but any individual can contribute as much as they want to the super PACs. And they do; they contribute millions of dollars. These super PACs can be left or right in orientation. What they have in common however is that they don’t want you to know which way they lean, or who gave them the money. Make sure you don’t let them fool you.

“Beware that what is said in a campaign does not have to be accurate or truthful.”

Beware that what is said in a campaign does not have to be accurate or truthful. This is especially true for super political action committees, or super PACs. Following a Supreme Court decision, super PACs can now receive unlimited contributions without any timely disclosure of who is providing the money. PAGE 14

A good rule of thumb is to disregard any message from a committee that refuses to disclose who is supplying the funding. While the law may not require such disclosure, it doesn’t prohibit it. So make a call, and ask who is specifically supplying the money. If they won’t tell you, then cross that group off the list and disregard any of their recommendations or messages. Elections that occur in times of economic and social uncertainty take on a harder edge. Don’t let the special interests do your thinking for you. Common sense should be the toughest test any candidate or measure must meet to win our votes. Trust your own informed conclusions rather than political consultants or a candidate and his speechwriter’s sound bites. BUSINESS NEWS « JUNE 2012

Our Legislators

Job Creators!

By Chris Kiriakou

ecently, our Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Silva sent me a copy of CalChamber’s listing of 2012 “Job Creator” and “Job Killer” bills currently being considered in the legislature. CalChamber reviews the activities of the California legislature to identify and determine the impact on business of their actions. As I was reviewing the list I noted something that could be a glimmer of hope for our sputtering Central Valley economy. Let me share some of the highlights from that list;


AB 890(Olsen; R-Modesto) Reduces Regulator Burdens AB 1095 (B. Berryhill; R-Ceres) Reduces Regulatory Burden AB 2091 (B. Berryhill; R-Ceres) Increases Regulatory Certainty AB 2577 (Galgiani; D-Livingston) Alleviates Unnecessary Delays SB 971 (Cannella; R-Ceres) Reduces Energy Costs No local legislator sponsored a job killer bill. Most of the job killer bills came from elected representatives of large urban centers. Stanislaus County’s April unemployment rate was 16.4% as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With such a high number it’s gratifying to see that we have elected representatives that have their eye on the ball, that being job creation. Let’s encourage them to push these bills through the legislature.



Ambassadors JOY BIDDLE



erry Powell was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1992. Since that time he has been involved in all aspects of commercial real estate including: construction, property development and property management. Working for Buchanan Enterprises, a Turlock-based developer and general contractor with a proven track record, Jerry has served as Vice President for the last 10 years, providing him with the opportunity to work with partners, consultants, financial institutions, tenants, brokers and municipalities in every aspect of a development project. This exposure to all aspects of the industry has given him a unique perspective, as well as, vast experience in the commercial real estate and development business. Currently, he is selling and leasing commercial and residential real estate for PMZ and other development projects throughout Northern California, including the Ten Pin Fun Center located in Turlock. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from California State University, Stanislaus. Currently, he sits on the board for the Turlock Salvation Army and has been actively involved in the construction and development of the Turlock Corps Center for the last 16 years.


oy Biddle has been with Creative Alternatives since 1989. She began her tenure working with the clients in the Residential Care Program as a Child Care Worker. With hard work, loyalty and determination she quickly moved up the ranks to House Manager. In 2000 she became Program Director of the Merced County Residential Care Program and expanded it from three to eight facilities. In April 2009 the Board of Directors selected Joy as the Assistant Executive Director, and in 2011 took the reigns as Executive Director. Joy is a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus and is currently working on her Masters in Public Administration. She is determined to continue building a strong foundation for the children placed with Creative Alternatives and takes great pride in the agencies success.

"I am blessed by all the youth at Creative Alternatives and strive to make their experience with us a positive, nurturing, and loving one. It is my goal to make this the best placement the youth have ever experienced.”

Jerry is active on several committees at the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, as well as, participating with the City of Turlock Development Collaborative Advisory Committee. He enjoys traveling, golf, skiing, weight training and raising his 17 year old daughter Mallori.

New Members A & A Portables Antoine Varni - DDS Backyard Sports Academy Blue Diamond Growers, Inc. Brite Electric, Inc. Cal Coating Asphalt, Inc. California Women for Agiculture Car Audio Warehouse Clear Channel Media & Entertainment Fusion Studios Graffiti Classic Custom Shop Health Plan of San Joaquin Home Depot Independent Electric Supply PAGE 16

Joseph O. Calderon - Century 21 M & M La Mo Café Lopez Complete Yard Care Mayfair Manor Corporation Michael Warda, Professional Law Corp. Scott Davis Auto Sales, Inc. Stafford's Landscape Services Sunrise Bakery and Café Tanglez Salon & Boutique Telcion Communications Group The Colston Company Turlock Concert Association Turlock Direct





Ribbon Cuttings





Chamber Event






Turlock Real Estate – The By Jim Theis PMZ Real Estate Broker

Worst is Behind Us…


rom all indications, it appears that our local real estate market is stabilizing and the worst is behind us. That is not to say that there are not still areas of concern, but overall there are signs of improvement. In the past twelve months the foreclosure filings have continued to drop with April 2012 Notice of Trustee Sales dropping to 29 from last year’s level of 67 – a decline of 56.7%. The inventory of bank owned properties (REO’s) has dropped from 259 to 146 (-43.6%) over the same time period. The much talked about “foreclosure tsunami” has yet to materialize and from all indications, the foreclosure waters are still relatively calm. These foreclosure declines would be even better news if they were being driven by a strong market recovery rather than unprecedented government intervention into the foreclosure process. As we enter June, there are 188 active listings in Turlock – this compares to 552 homes that were available the same week five (5) years ago. Of the 188 active listings, 127 are identified as shorts sales (68%) and 105 of these have accepted offers that are awaiting bank approval. This leaves only 83 homes that are truly available or 1.2 months supply based on the current sales rate. With reduced inventories and limited new construction, we are seeing multiple offers on most transactions which will lead to improving prices.

last year’s level. Further improvement in prices is still be hampered by the large percentage of “distressed” sales (short sales or bank owned). Year-to-date sales reflect that 67.2% of all sales were distressed - 34.8% were bank owned and 33.4% were short sales. This level of distressed sales has declined from the peak of 86.7% in 2008. The affordability of homes has never been better given that prices have declined to mid-1990’s levels and mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. For example, a $200,000 30-year mortgage at today’s rate of 3.625% would have a monthly principal and interest payment of $912.10. At a 6.0% rate, the monthly payment increases to $1,199.10 or a difference of $287.00 per month. At these historic low rates, a buyer will realize an interest savings of $103,320 over the life of the loan. Opportunities are still available for both first-time home buyers and investors. With the limited inventory, buyers must be patient, however must be in a position to move quickly when the perfect home becomes available. It is a great time to buy a home!

2011 median price of existing homes was $153,000 which was down 4.4% from the previous year. For the month of May 2012, median price has risen to $156,600 or 2.4% over



Business Forecast A By Gokce Soydemir, PhD CSU Stanislaus Endowed Professor of Business Economics

s the nationwide economic recovery began to take hold in the first quarter 2012, the San Joaquin Valley continued to lag behind. In cities such as Modesto and Turlock, sales tax receipts were on the rise and property tax collections displayed a stabilizing pattern. However, in other cities such as Stockton, conditions worsened due to ongoing effects of the housing-related crisis. Overall, however,  gradual signs of the recovery felt nationwide began to appear in the Valley.

In particular, since September of 2011, total employment grew at a yearly average of 0.82%. Although miniscule, for the first time since the 2007-2009 recessionary period, the total employment yearly average growth rate climbed back into positive territory from declines of -3.7% and -0.2%, in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The northwest region, along with the U.S. economy, began registering lower inflation rates since September of 2011. The yearly inflation rate fell from 3.2 percent in September, 2011 to 2.6 percent by January, 2012. Average sales prices of new singlefamily houses declined at a much lower pace in the fourth quarter of 2011, displaying early signs of stabilization. A foreclosure relief program recently announced at the federal level is expected to keep excess inventories down in this region and help stabilize housing prices. Foreclosure starts for the U.S. West continued to decline rapidly and are projected to exhibit a steeper decline once the foreclosure relief program begins to take effect in the Valley. However, the end of the foreclosure settlement reached by banks in early 2012 may temporarily interrupt this decline. Reaching its highest level in a year, consumer confidence began displaying more active spending patterns beginning from the first quarter of 2012, albeit experiencing a slight slowdown in April.

more time to eliminate even at the higher pace of job growth. Previously, job growth occurred only in some sectors. Beginning in 2012, job growth appears to be across the board, including very small gains in the construction sector. One exception is the public sector, where jobs continued to decline particularly in education. However, the federal job growth plan is expected to address this shortfall by allocating support funds for teachers.

An anticipated extension of unemployment benefits and cuts to payroll tax should help further job growth stimulation. Profit rates appear to be higher in 2012 than the previous year. As such, nationwide there was positive economic growth for ten quarters in a row and positive job growth twenty-two months in a row. The major exception occurred in state and local government-related jobs.

Yearly comparisons of incoming numbers reveal the recovery in the Valley is slowly taking hold, including financial and construction sectors. Most notably, the Valley economy began catching its longterm mean, showing slowly strengthening performance. Many analysts agree that we are approaching ever closer to a turning point in the housing market as builders slowly begin to construct new dwellings. Continuing unrest in the Middle East and rising energy costs in the latter part of the first quarter of 2012 are renewing cost-push worries, but inflation continued to display a falling pattern. The average rate of the U.S. real GDP growth is expected to vary between 2.6 and 2.8 percent as new jobs are added at a higher pace.

In all, the region’s forecasts in the interval June 2012 to June 2014 point to an economy that is slowly gaining strength. Given the slow recovery underway, further easing of credit by the Federal Reserve is With job creation and housing market correction, the current unlikely to occur. Locally, farm related employment exhibited fast sentiment of the public in general has now been marginally more upbeat. However, most jobs are not full time or full pay, contributing job growth numbers. As the speed of recovery picks up nationwide, the Valley economy is projected to benefit from this expansion to frustration with the job market despite increases in job numbers more so during the latter half of 2012 and extending into the first generally above 120,000 per month nationwide. Adding to this half of 2013. sentiment is the lingering jobs deficit of 12 million that will require


RICKY RICARDO PROMOTIONS 6/10/2012 - 6/10/2012, 12:00PM - 10:00PM Email: Phone: (209)604-4167 Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N Broadway, Turlock KIDS CLUB ACTIVITY 6/13/2012 - 6/13/2012, 3:30PM - 4:30PM FREE class on Planting Pumpkins & Sunflowers! Email: Phone: (209) 632-4214 742 East Olive Ave, Turlock SHERIFF'S POSSE RODEO 6/15/2012 - 6/16/2012, 5:00PM - 10:00PM Phone: (209) 768-8420 900 N Broadway, Turlock DELTA AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD FANCIERS - Dog Show 6/16/2012 - 6/17/2012, 8:00AM - 4:00PM Email: Phone: (209)204-7914 900 N Broadway, Turlock PLANT YOUR OWN FAIRY GARDEN 6/20/2012 - 6/20/2012, 10:00AM - 12:00PM $25 fee per container RSVP by June 13th Wednesday, June 20th 10:00 a.m. Speaker: Teresa of The Greenery Email: Phone: (209) 632-4214 742 East Olive Ave, Turlock TURLOCK HORSEMEN’S CLUB-JR. RODEO 6/23/2012 - 6/23/2012, 8:00AM - 4:00PM Phone: (209) 537-9961 Arena, 900 N Broadway, Turlock PATRIOTIC PARADE & INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION 7/4/2012 - 7/4/2012, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Broadway, Turlock STARS & STRIPES 4TH OF JULY RED WHITE & BOOM 7/4/2012 - 7/4/2012, 6:00PM - 12:00AM Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. Phone: 209-668-1333 900 N Broadway, Turlock COOKING WITH YOUR SUMMER BOUNTY 7/7/2012 - 7/7/2012, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Speaker: The Greenery Staff


Phone: (209) 632-4214

742 East Olive Ave, Turlock

PRESERVING YOUR SUMMER HARVEST 7/7/2012 - 7/7/2012, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Speaker: Nancy Weaver, Home Economics teacher Informative seminar. Phone: (209) 632-4214 742 East Olive Ave, Turlock STANISLAUS COUNTY FAIR 7/13/2012 - 7/22/2012, see website for times Email: Phone: 209) 668-1333 900 N Broadway, Turlock HONEY TASTING AND BACKYARD BEE BASICS 7/14/2012 - 7/14/2012, 1:00PM - 2:00PM FREE Seminar Saturday, July 14th 1:00 p.m. Speaker: Ed Zawada of Gerard’z Honeybees Email: Phone: (209) 632-4214 742 East Olive Ave, Turlock SUMMER PRUNING FOR FRUIT TREES 7/14/2012 - 7/14/2012, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Speaker: Jay DeGraff of The Greenery Phone: (209) 632-4214 742 East Olive Ave, Turlock RYAN PROMOTIONS – SUMMER AUTO SWAP MEET 8/19/2012 - 8/19/2012, 7:00AM 4:00PM Email: Phone: (209) 356-0436/ (209) 777 900 N Broadway, Turlock DIANA KRALL 8/21/2012 - 8/21/2012, 7:30PM - 9:00PM Diana Krall has experience in her favor. Born in Nanaimo, Canada, to a musical family -her father is a stride-style pianist and serious record collector -- she grew up absorbing music that guided her future growth. Phone: (209) 668-1169 1574 E. Canal Drive, Turlock


By Michael Frantz, President of the TID Board of Directors ow many of you think of Turlock Irrigation District’s low rates for electricity as a strategic competitive advantage for our ratepayers? To go even further, could we say that TID provides an economic stimulus for the communities we serve?


The news that both Amazon and Blue Diamond have chosen to invest in Patterson and Turlock is exciting for all of us. New job creation, construction dollars, and the ripple effect of other opportunities and jobs in the service sector are huge for projects of this scale. So we must ask ourselves, why did they choose to locate here? What did we do right? If we can identify the reasons they came, we are surely more apt to repeat the success story. Obviously the reasons are many and diverse. Excellent planning by city and county leaders, proximity to Interstate 5, and a booming agricultural economy are just a few. But since I sit on the Board of Directors of the Turlock Irrigation District, I will focus on electric rates as an additional reason. Food processors are large consumers of electricity. Our long history of lower rates compared to most of our competition was a significant factor in site selection. Fiscal prudence and wise long term planning enable us to act as a powerful jobs creator for our ratepayer owners. With rates being such an important factor in where businesses choose to locate, I feel it is imperative that we never stop looking for ways to keep our rates competitive. Clearly TID has an excellent track record of low rates. Locally elected leaders have been looking out for your best interest for 125 years as of this month. But be warned: Sacramento is doing its best to drive up your rates. We have just begun to pay for the cost of complying with green electricity mandates. Constructing new quick starting power plants to back up the ever fluctuating and expensive green power sources, and the infrastructure to convey this new surging and sagging green energy will cost TID hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. California Public Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio recently referred to the situation as a looming “rate bomb”. Add on top the soon to be implemented cap and trade tax on greenhouse gasses and it is easy to see that our rates are facing significant upward pressure. We have no choice but to comply at the local level with laws passed in Sacramento. Unfortunately the cost of doing so is passed on in the form of higher rates. Electricity is a commodity, and large consumers like Amazon and Blue Diamond are portable. I am afraid that California will meet its greenhouse gas emission mandate not by reducing emissions, but by driving the job producers out of the state. But there is still time for meaningful reform in these new mandates. Join with TID in thanking our elected representatives in Sacramento who are carefully considering the cost of implementing the laws and regulations they are putting in place. Reach out to other legislators, and ask them to do the same. We all want a greener, cleaner state. But at a time when jobs are so dearly needed, shouldn’t we phase the changes in at a much slower pace? Low electric rates mean more jobs for our community. PAGE 22




Summer 2012 Business News  

W.A.C.E. Award Winning Publication of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce