“We know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of software engineers”
Stockton’s first immersive, accelerated software engineering school offering students paths to high-paying careers and source for businesses in need of highly skilled employees has opened.
The San Joaquin County Office of Education says it has officially launched “Code Stack Academy,” Stockton’s first accelerated software engineering school. The immersive coding school provides a route for students pursuing careers in technology and will help build a community of software engineers in the region ready to meet the growing demand for a highly skilled workforce.
“Students will have opportunities to find well-paid jobs with local businesses in need of workers with software-engineering skills,” says San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas.
Code Stack Academy offers a combination of hands-on workshops, one-on-one mentoring with career-experienced developers, peer-to-peer learning, and real-world project experience. It uses project-based “gamification” to measure progress and provide a fun and engaging experience. Students gain points as they complete projects. Points allow progression through the curriculum.
In addition to the full, nine-month course, Code Stack offers three-day and one-day Foundation Workshops throughout the year that teach core concepts of web development and equip students with all the basics to develop simple websites.
No previous coding experience is required for either the workshops or the academy course. Students must be 18 years or older to enroll. The first nine-month Academy Course begins in November.
Code Stack Academy will be operated through the SJCOE’s Center for Educational Development and Research, a software engineering department responsible for building web, software, or mobile apps used by over 5,000 school districts nationwide and over a dozen state agencies.
“We have the resources, curriculum, expertise, and experience to provide a broad and deep dive into software engineering,” says Johnny Arguelles, director of CEDR. “And as an employer,
we know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of
Business and government leaders voiced their support for the new Code Stack Academy and its potential to benefit San Joaquin County.
“Our community needs a workforce trained in technology to support growth of our current businesses and attract others to our area. This program will help to meet those needs,” says Jane Butterfield, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of San Joaquin.
Tehachapi Development Services Director Jay Schlosser, Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Wiggins and Superintendent Craig Stwewart of Eleven Builders, Inc., left to right, hold the plans for the new Walmart store. The construction company received the green light on Tuesday to start moving dirt by the end of the month.
TEHACHAPI — The city of Tehachapi finalized and approved building permits Tuesday with Eleven Western Builders, Inc., clearing the path for construction of the new Walmart store to begin next week.
City officials gathered in the city hall annex with Eleven Western Builder’s Superintendent Craig Stewart for the start of what City Manager Greg Garrett called “the next chapter in the Walmart book.”
The process of getting the new Walmart has been going on for about nine years due to legal hurdles and the process of contracts and permits, said city Development Services Director Jay Schlosser.
Now that permits are complete, Eleven Western Builders can begin construction July 30 with the intent of finishing by spring 2019. The company, Stewart said, is familiar with building in small towns and recently constructed a new Walmart store in Ridgecrest.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Wiggins.
Schlosser said the 12-month construction time frame seems reasonable, especially considering the impacts that winter weather may have on the project.
Schlosser and Garrett both said the city has a partnership with the construction company to help see the project through, and that more shopping opportunities should be coming down the road.
You can watch for dirt and construction equipment to soon begin moving around the lot on Tucker Road and Tehachapi Boulevard.
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
A view of buildings in downtown Madera. Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.
Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.The affected area is bordered by North Gateway Drive and East Yosemite Avenue business corridors, and by East Central Avenue and North Lake Street.
The City Council voted unanimously for the plan July 18.
City Council Member Will Oliver said the plan, called the Downtown Development Incentive Program, came about after interaction with many residents, business owners and City Council members grappling with high vacancy rates, blight and a long, steady decline of Madera’s downtown business area.
Council Members Jose Rodriguez and Charles Rigby also served on the action subcommittee.
“In my day job as a director of business services, I have been able to see how communities put their best foot forward and become competitive to recruit, and support prospective businesses,” said Oliver. “I really wanted to make this a priority, and began that conversation last year to move forward with incentives, for businesses with aging buildings or in the downtown corridors to reinvest in those spaces,” Oliver said.
The program will allow the waiver of 100 percent of engineering fees and 75 percent of planning and building inspection fees, potentially a savings of $7,000 to $10,000 for a small- to medium-sized commercial business such as a restaurant or retail shop, Oliver said, possibly enough to make or break an improvement project. More in-depth information on the incentive program can be viewed at www.cityofmadera.ca.gov/incentives or contact the city of Madera development department at 661-5430.
The business enterprise zone project will also allow older buildings, 40 years or older, or with those long vacancies anywhere in the city to be remodeled or re purposed with a significant cost savings, designed to provide tax benefits and incentives to business investors.
The program covers the waiver of most city fees for commercial new construction, redevelopment, interior improvements, facade improvements, ADA improvements, or improvements to city streets, sidewalks, or utilities by owners or tenants. Fees are also waived for buildings also used in conjunction with a tax exempt or non profit operation under the new and temporary program.
Oliver said the effort was a good step in the right direction. “We’d like to be a ‘yes, if’ city, not a ‘no because’ city.” he said. “The results of this should be greater occupancy in and more reinvestment in our downtown, leading to more job creation and more reinvestment in Madera. It should show as a City Council we are committed to business prosperity with this incentive. I think it’s going to work (well) for the community,” he said.
A recent report by a municipal consultant revealed that the city of Madera had failed to collect appropriate and high enough development impact fees (DIF’s) from most developers building in the city for the last three decades, likely to incentivize the entire area for growth, but that decision by city officials and councils had been costly and had severely underfunded the city’s ability to maintain or extend it’s essential infrastructure now.
Targeting just the existing, older downtown corridors for improvement should be cost effective, and help spur and revitalize the areas most in need, Oliver said, and should improve the entire atmosphere for area residents and businesses.
Oliver also said that as chair of the Madera Housing Authority he was taking the first steps and looking into multi-million-dollar state grant funding programs available for Madera downtown, mixed-use residential-commercial and affordable housing projects that prioritize walk-ability, ride sharing, transit projects, etc.
“It’s very preliminary, the menu of projects we’ve submitted to the state. But we are right now identifying residential properties downtown that could fall within the mixed use, affordable (residential) housing under the California Cap and Trade Programs. This speaks to (significant funding for) our veterans, our seniors, perhaps even our millennials who are early in their careers for the second and maybe third floor, of our downtown spaces. Madera has a great shot (at these state dollars) as long as we put our name in the hat. And we are preparing, and putting in that effort right now.” Oliver said.
Director of Community Development David Merchen did not respond for comment on the project..
Fresno is the final frontier, at least when it comes to these three chain restaurants.
The three restaurants – a Korean-style fried chicken restaurant and two sandwich shops – all have multiple locations in Southern and Northern California. They’re all planning new restaurants in Fresno, though they won’t open for many months.
This sandwich chain with a twist is taking over the former Beach Hut Deli space at The Square at Campus Pointe. It will open sometime before the end of the year, says Ike Shehadeh Mission.
He’s the founder, the namesake and the dude depicted in the logo with the shaved head and the little soul patch on his chin.
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches founder Ike Shehadeh Mission poses with football player Marshawn Lynch at the Santana Row Ike’s in San Jose.
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches
Every restaurant owner claims their place is something different, but this one might actually live up to that statement. The first Ike’s in San Francisco was written up in the New York Times after attracting an eviction notice, inspired in part by complaints from neighbors about the huge lines forming outside.
Ike’s also has a giant sandwich called The Kryptonite that was featured on the TV show “Man v. Food.” It includes six kinds of meat, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and two avocados.
It serves four people typically, but there will be a Kryptonite-eating contest at the grand opening. The winner gets free sandwiches for a year.
Even when it comes to the more normal sandwiches, Shehadeh tries to create flavor combinations you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere.
“We’re like the Ben & Jerry’s of sandwiches, the Apple of sandwiches,” he said. “I want to do things you wouldn’t do at home.”
That means, for example, you’ll find a ménage à trois sandwich with three sauces (honey, honey mustard and barbecue), chicken and three cheeses.
The sandwich bread – like the San Francisco-style sourdough and a rustic Dutch crunch – is baked until just before it’s finished. When you order any sandwich, Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce is brushed onto the bread and it’s finished baking so that the sauce seeps into the bread. The sauce has about 20 different spices and tastes something like garlic bread, Shehadeh said.
Each restaurant has two or three sandwiches inspired by its location. Fresno’s haven’t been created yet. We suggested sandwiches involving tri-tip or Enzo’s Table Fresno Chili Crush olive oil. Shehadeh is open to suggestions for Fresno-themed sandwiches and encourages people to submit ideas via the Ike’s Facebook page.
And the love in the name?
“We just really care about sandwiches and we really care about you,” Shehadeh said.
Chicken like this from BonChon will be available when the Korean fried chicken restaurant opens in Fresno.
BonChon specializes in Korean-style fried chicken, and according to its website, it’s coming to The Square at Campus Pointe near Fresno State, near Cold Stone Creamery.
The restaurant serves chicken wings, drumsticks and strips cooked in a soy garlic sauce or a spicy sauce and served with a side of pickled radish.
Although people seem to get most excited about the chicken, BonChon (which means “my hometown” in Korean) also has a full menu. It includes Bibimbap, a dish of white rice with veggies and egg served in a stone bowl with a Korean red pepper paste on the side. Customers pick which protein they want, either spicy chicken, seafood, tofu or bulgogi (thin strips of marinated beef).
There are also fried seafood appetizers on the menu, along with salads, soups, wraps and Korean tacos.
The franchised restaurant company based in New York has 236 locations worldwide, including 63 in the United States.
BonChon representatives did not return messages about when the restaurant might open.
Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop is planning to open a location near Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant near Blackstone and Nees avenues.
Work has started on the first Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop in Fresno. It is taking over the former Pita Pit space next to Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant, in the same Blackstone Avenue shopping center as Barnes & Noble.
Owner Ray Myers hopes to open the shop in September.
The sandwich shop serves both hot and cold sandwiches. One of the most popular is dubbed the Mr. Pickle, with chicken breast, Monterey Jack cheese, bacon and avocado.
The shop’s bread is particularly delicious, said Myers . It comes from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco, the same one that makes sourdough at Fisherman’s Wharf. The bread on each sandwich is brushed with a garlic sauce that’s “really, really tasty,” he said.
Myers chose to open a Mr. Pickle’s because he liked the sandwiches and wanted to bring something new to Fresno.
“I think what sets it apart is a really fun atmosphere,” he said. “And the employees seem to be having fun and like working there.”
The sandwich shop does sell pickles, including whole dill pickles or pickles cut into spears. But Mr. Pickle’s is mostly a fun name and mascot. There is a Mr. Pickles mascot – an adult in a really big pickle costume – who you can see dancing in videos on YouTube.
Tree Fresno along with a group of volunteers is hoping to turn a dusty plot of land into a new lush green community space
By Gilbert Magallon
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) —
Tree Fresno along with a group of volunteers is hoping to turn a dusty plot of land into a new lush green community space.
The process involves a few steps– first is making sure that the ground is level. Then you take the tree out of the pot. You score it, put in the ground, cover it with dirt and repeat– 452 Times.
Thanks to grant funded by the High Speed Rail Authority, the non-profit is able to accomplish this feat. They will be planting Ginkgo Biloba, Scarlet Oak, and other trees on the 24 acre space along Annadale Avenue, next to West Fresno Middle School.
CEO of Tree Fresno Lee Ayres said, “They are going to help with the air quality, these are large trees so that overtime they can absorb up to three tons of carbon.”
Ayres said the project will have a lasting impact on the community. In the future the location might serve as the new site for a school. It will also provide tons of shade, a new gathering space and will encourage more people to go outside.
“When I come out and check this place early in the morning, like six in the morning on a Saturday, there are people out here working out.”
Eryn Roberts, who recently moved to Fresno, saw this as the perfect opportunity to give back to her community.
“It is definitely hot out here but it is really good enjoying getting to plant trees and seeing this new area, I’ve never been on this side of Fresno before.”
The non-profit will be planting trees from 8:00 a.m. to noon until the 12th, and they said the need all the help they can get.
“Reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets”
Newport Beach industrial developer CT says it has sold two newly-constructed buildings at its NorCal Logistics Center in Stockton. to Prologis for $47 million. The two buildings total 575,127 square feet and mark the initial completion of CT’s three-building Phase I development of the larger 4.4 m
Prologis (NYSE: PLD), the largest owner of industrial space in the U.S., paid approximately $82 per square foot for the buildings, which were unleased and in shell condition at closing.
CT was represented in the sale by Kevin Dal Porto, Blake Rasmussen and John McManus of Cushman & Wakefield; Prologis was self-represented.
“These transactions reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets nationwide,” says Carter Ewing, managing partner of CT. “In this case, the transaction allows Prologis to enjoy a fair profit on their investment going forward while providing CT with a sizeable return and well ahead of schedule – a true win-win.”
NorCal Logistics Center is home to General Mills, KeHE Foods, Allen Distributors and Fox Head, and is in the heart of California’s Central Valley, a 185 million-square-foot industrial market. The region is an extension of a global logistics supply chain infrastructure directly linked to West Coast ports in Stockton, Oakland, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Portland, Oregon and Seattle/Tacoma, Washington.
CT purchased the 345-acre industrial site for NorCal Logistics Center in May 2017 and has now completed the first phase development, including a third 1,122,341-square-foot building, one of the single largest speculative industrial buildings in Northern California.
The second phase of development will begin toward the end of 2018 and include three buildings totaling approximately 1.6 million square feet of space, the company says.
Published On June 27, 2018 – 10:59 AM Written By David Castellon,
The Visalia Planning Commission has approved a revised conditional use permit to allow construction of a four-story hotel off Plaza Drive and Highway 198.
Under the amended application, the 86-room Hilton Home 2 Hotel would be part of the 25-acre Square at Plaza Drive just north of the freeway, an area that already has a hotel and an ARCO AM/PM convenience store and gas station under construction and already includes two car dealerships and a Fresno Pacific University satellite campus.
The new hotel’s architect, Steven L. Keike, had requested the Planning Commission allow a change in the location of the building to the northwest corner of North Plaza Drive and West Crowley Avenue, and the commission on Monday approved it.
In a separate matter, the members also voted to approve a conditional use permit allowing Brandman University to build a new, 7,071-square-foot building for classrooms and administrative space near the Square at Plaza Drive, within the Plaza Business Park.
Brandman officials intend to vacate the 18,240-square-foot building they now occupy in the Visalia Marketplace Shopping Center, next to the city’s Kmart department store, and move into the smaller site, according to a Planning Commission report.
The tiny home trend is taking off in downtown Clovis.
Last year, the city launched an incentive program aimed at encouraging builders, homeowners and do-it-yourselfers to build compact cottages in the city’s downtown core. And so far, it’s worked.
Since August, 10 permits have been issued with seven of those under construction. One project is nearly complete.
“The response to the program has really been tremendous,” said Maria Spera, a city planning technician who is overseeing the project. “The citizens in Old Town have been very welcoming of the project.”
As part of the program, the city provides, for free, a choice of three building plans, saving the homeowner nearly $10,000. The homes vary in square footage from 374 to 498.
Dwight Kroll, the city’s planning director, said the city is working toward adding much-needed housing as well as making downtown’s alley’s more attractive and pedestrian friendly. To qualify, the cottage home must have alley access and be within a specific downtown boundary. The city has identified more than 300 sites where the homes can be built.
“Not only is Clovis responding, but we are also getting attention from other cities, including Modesto, Chico and Santa Barbara,” Kroll said.
Also enticed by the program are Fresno City College and Clovis Unified. The schools may be using the program as an outdoor classroom by allowing students to participate in building the home.
The first cottage home to be constructed belongs to Scott January, who built his 374-square-foot home on his property on Baron Avenue just east of downtown Clovis.
January didn’t hesitate when he heard about the program. He said it will serve two purposes by providing additional rental income but also be a place for a caregiver to stay. He built the cottage next door to his father’s home.
“This has worked out really well,” he said. “And even if there are a few hiccups here and there, the city is easy to work with.”
He is nearly finished with the cozy home. Three columns hold up a low roof that provides shade for the front door. Inside is the living area and kitchen. There is space for a stackable washer and dyer and a bedroom with a bathroom.
January handled most of the construction himself. He’s a high school wood shop and auto shop teacher, so skills and tools were not an issue for him.
“If you have the space, it really is a win-win situation,” he said. “And from a dollars and cents perspective, if the city is letting you put another house on your property, you can’t go wrong.”
January plans to rent the tiny house for about $700 to $800 until he needs it for his father. January said his dad is adamant about not moving to a rest home, so when the time comes that his father needs extra help, the small house will be used by a caregiver.
“I’ve had a lot of people drive by and ask me about renting the home, so I know there is a demand out there,” he said.
In a first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it will conduct an electric vehicle pilot program to support RTD’s long-term electric transportation needs with chargers and infrastructure improvements.
Recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, this pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new “FleetReady” program, which supports electric charging for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts, and delivery fleets.
For this new pilot with San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency.
Seeking to partner with a transit agency located in a disadvantaged community which already had electric buses and plans for more in the future in order to meet the timelines of the project proposal, PG&E chose RTD.
“Because we already had a plan for adding more electric buses to our fleet and have a long-term goal around electrification, PG&E approached us with this pilot opportunity,” says CEO Donna DeMartino. “Due to our focus on electric transportation, PG&E can jump right into creating the specifics of the pilot, which aligns with our goal of being powered by 100 percent electric vehicles by 2025.”
The budget for this pilot is $3.35 million, which includes:
Design of the sites
Cost of the chargers and battery storage system
Construction from the electric grid to the chargers and battery system
Installation of the chargers and battery storage system
Software for charge management
Collection of data
Ongoing analysis and evaluation
Handbook that other transit agencies can use to learn more about electrification
The green line in this map shows the route of an existing train track proposed to be used for a commuter rail line between Huron and Porterville, with stops at several cities, Lemoore Naval Air Station and the California High-Speed Rail station planned near Hanford. Source: Tulare County Association of Governments
Published On June 19, 2018 – 1:33 PM Written By David Castellon
Imagine living in Porterville and heading to work daily via a 60-miles-plus drive west to Lemoore Naval Air Station.
Now imagine that lengthy commute without driving, but instead taking a commuter train to work and back.
That may one day be an option, and the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) took the first step to make that happen, with its governing board—composed of representatives from each city in the county and the county government—approving the Cross Valley Corridor Plan.
That plan essentially involved taking an existing freight rail line stretching more than 80 miles between Porterville and Huron and running on it commuter trains, like those used in major cities to transport passengers.
Those freight tracks go through several cities in Tulare and Kings Counties, including Huron, Lemoore, Hanford, Goshen, Visalia, Farmersville, Exeter, Lindsay and Porterville, along with Lemoore Naval Air Station. The current plan is to have the commuter train stop at each, though transit centers would have to be built in some of the cities.
Ben Kimball, executive director of TCAG —which plans, coordinates and obtains funding for commuter and transit programs in Tulare County—said Visalia already has a transit center, and the train tracks run right by it, so a train platform would need to be added to the site.
While a train would allow easier east-west commuting between the two counties than the existing bus services, the train also would have a stop near the proposed site for the California High-Speed Rail station near Hanford. So between the two rail lines, a person could live in Kings or Tulare County and commute to and from the Silicon Valley, once both rail lines are completed.
“This plan represents an opportunity to transform public transit in the region,” TCAG Executive Director, Ted Smalley said in a written statement.
His statement goes on to say that in 2016 TCAG partnered with the High-Speed Rail Authority to launch a corridor planning and community engagement campaign to identify how transportation can be improved and to look at public transit alternatives for the future.
“Our goal here is to identify how the corridor can provide convenient transit service, but to also plan how the High-Speed Rail station will connect our communities throughout the state,” Smalley’s statement continues.
Current estimates are that the High-Speed Rail line between the Central Valley and the Silicon Valley may not be completed until 2026, and it likely will take longer for the commuter line between Huron and Porterville to be up and running.
“The horizon year of the plan is 30 years,” with initial planning occurring in the first decade, which would include seeking funds for the project and making sure busses run between the transit stations in each city and outlying communities, so more people can take the train, Kimball said.
As for how TCAG and the Kings County Association of Governments —which hasn’t yet voted on whether to approve the Cross Valley Corridor Plan—would pay for all this, he said, “It would basically be who pays for transit now – a combination of federal and state transit funds,” along with savings from eliminating some bus routes and seeking other funding.
Kimball added that no cost estimate for the project had yet been determined.
And don’t expect to see any commuter trains running any time soon in the two Valley counties. Kimball said the reason this is a 30-year plan is to let expected population growth in and around the cities along the rail line—including Strathmore and Armona—to increase enough to create a sufficient demand for commuter rail service.
As such, the plan is for Phase Two to occur in about 20 years, a launch of rail service between Visalia west to Lemoore and Huron.
And in 30 years, the plan calls for fully launching the service along the full line, all the way to Porterville.