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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Chamber Page Withers Away Without Regular Input

I have discontinued our monthly chamber report for lack of interest. We’ll run chamber news as warranted elsewhere throughout the paper. But there will be no dedicated page for chamber news once a month. I do this with disappointment that our monthly chamber feature was apparently not more engaging or useful to our friends who run the chambers. Our chamber reporter, Ivy Weiss, has spent two years trying to get information on a regular basis about what is going on at the more than 20 chambers we have here locally. Only about a half dozen have responded to her regularly. Thanks to those chambers. We’ve enjoyed working with you as our sources for news in the chamber world — a world that is important, I believe, to many businesses in our area. And don’t get me wrong, we will continue to work together with you in gathering chamber news. But I can no longer justify the use of resources for a dedicated page – mainly because we are only publishing information about a few chambers. When we first started publishing it, I positioned the Chamber Report as a way for the Business Journal to publish chamber news in an organized fashion and a useful way for local chambers to publicize their events free of charge to an audience that may find the events useful to them. But in offering this page, I also said that because there are so many chambers, I needed the chambers’ help to make it easy for us to get information. We needed information from most of the chambers to make the page work. We didn’t get that despite my own personal appeals.. So, I’ll leave it at that. For those chamber officials who are interested, please continue to keep us informed of chamber events that we can put in our calendar section or write about in a larger story. Chamber news is business news and it will continue to be part of the mix in the larger paper. Failed State? Everybody’s talking about the UK Guardian’s Oct. 4 story about California and the fact that it may become our country’s first failed state. The story really doesn’t have anything that most of us don’t know, but when you read it – it’s just incredibly embarrassing. What was once the absolute American dream is now the absolute American disaster, the article says. It lays blame on suburban sprawl and just too much of everything – maybe even too much good weather. The article might be right. Anyplace called the Golden State probably needs an attitude readjustment every so often. Let me go on the record as saying that I don’t believe California will be a failed state. It’s too special. Yes, it has tremendous problems that will take years to fix. But I believe that there are too many brilliant people born in this state or who have moved here over the years from far less dynamic parts of the country to let it fail. As the article says, California is the center of innovation. But I believe two things need to change for us to recover: We need to get rid of safe seats in the Legislature and get a handle on our transportation woes. Getting a handle on the budget and working on the tax structure I know are also important but getting people in the Legislature who don’t feel so safe in their seats will lead to that. Better transportation (I mean mass transportation) will lead to a better economy. We gotta lose our arrogance, too. This state isn’t utopia to all people. They may like lots of snow and gray skies. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at editor@sfvbj.com.

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