Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health center decision could come tonight

The Del Puerto Health Care District's board of directors meets tonight (7 p.m., 875 E St.) and will possibly decide on the course of action it will take in the ongoing saga of its health center. For those who haven't been paying attention, here's a recap:

The district announced plans late last year to move the Del Puerto Health Center from its current location at 1108 Ward Ave. to a much larger building in the Keystone Pacific Business Park. Its current landlord, John Ramos, appealed the Patterson Planning Commission's approval of the move, stating that zoning laws in the business park did not allow for that type of medical use. In February, the commission again sided with the district. In May, the City Council heard Ramos' appeal and sided against the district, denying the move.

Now, the district's board must decide what it will do next. At its last meeting, June 2, the board came out of its closed session discussion only to announce no decision had been made. District CEO Margo Arnold said this afternoon the board needs to make a decision. The directors could decide to apply for an amendment to the city's zoning law in an attempt to move forward with the Keystone site. Or they could decide to move on and look for another site. The district's lease at the current site runs out next year, so time would appear to be a factor in the board's decision.

I'll post again tonight if anything noteworthy comes out of the meeting.

Industrial supplier plans massive distribution center at Keystone

Grainger Industrial Supply announced today its plans to build an 800,000-square-foot distribution center in the Keystone Pacific Business Park in western Patterson. The building, slated to open in mid-2011, would be roughly the size of the CVS (formerly Longs) distribution center and would provide 150 to 200 warehouse and logistics jobs, according to a company news release.

Grainger has more than 600 branches and 18 distribution centers around the world. Far as I can tell, the closest branch is in Ceres. I'm hoping to talk with a representative from the company today. May or may not get a story on this into Thursday's paper, but we'll have something at least by next week.

Below is the full text of the news release:


Grainger Announces Expansion in California’s Central Valley

Company to build new 800,000 square-foot distribution center in Patterson

Santa Ana, Calif. (July 28, 2009) – Grainger, a distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, today announced plans to build a new distribution center in Patterson, Calif. The company recently purchased a 45-acre property in Patterson’s KeyStone West Business Park and plans to break ground on the development in September.

“Grainger is excited to become part of the Patterson business community,” said Brian Williams, Regional Director of Distribution at Grainger. “We’ve been in California for 75 years and building a new distribution center in the Central Valley will allow us to deliver more products next-day to our customers on the West Coast.”

The 800,000 square-foot distribution center is scheduled to open mid-2011 and is projected to house more than 350,000 industrial supply products, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, hand and power tools, and electrical and safety supplies. The company anticipates the new facility will employ 150-200 warehouse and logistics employees when complete.

Grainger currently operates nearly 50 locations in California and employs 1,000 people throughout the state. Founded in 1927, Grainger has a long history of being an active member in the communities where its employees live and work.

For more information about the new facility, media should contact JP Clark, Regional Communications Manager at (949) 300-4943 or jp.clark@grainger.com

About Grainger
Illinois-based W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2008 sales of $6.9 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, China and Panama. Through a highly integrated network including more than 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let's try this again, shall we?

Ok, so that first little experiment with blogging was a little spotty. Now that we've pretty well established ourselves on Twitter and Facebook, I think it's time to give this another shot.

Unfortunately, I'll be going it alone this time, as reporter John Saiz has left us for a new life in the Bay Area. I have at least temporarily taken over John's city beat. We are going to be bringing in a new reporter, but that's likely a month or so away.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to again use this blog as a means by which to offer news updates and analysis to supplement our normal coverage. I'd like to start posting updates after City Council meetings, for example, whether that means the night of the meeting or the morning after. With stories not appearing in print until more than a week after the meetings, this seems like a good way to get information out.

As for last Tuesday's council meeting, I'll have a story up on the Web site on Monday. The biggest story to come out of the meeting was Tori Hughes being named Patterson's new police chief. A story on that will be up later in the week.