Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Napa make list of top-performing cities

By James Dunn

Santa Rosa ranked No. 25 and San Rafael No. 23 on a 2015 index by the Milken Institute of best-performing large cities on job growth, wage gains and technology trends that promote growth, and Napa ranked No. 16 among small cities.

California had six of the top 25 slots among large metropolitan areas, with four in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the report ( San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara claimed the top spot, fueled by strong technology innovation, both hardware and software.

Marin Supervisor Kinsey says he won’t seek another term

By Janis Mara

Steve Kinsey, who has served on the Marin County Board of Supervisors for nearly two decades, confirmed Sunday that he will not run for another term.

“I’m ready to let the world know I will not be seeking re-election,” Kinsey said in a phone interview.

Speculation mounted in recent weeks that he might not run, in part because he did little or no fundraising for the June election. Over the weekend, Kinsey privately alerted supporters of his plans.

California Unemployment Could Drop Below 4.9% by 2017

By Renee Schiavone

California’s unemployment rate will continue to drop over the next two years, eventually reaching a low of about 4.9 percent as the state continues to outpace the nation in job growth, according to a UCLA economic forecast released Wednesday.

UCLA Anderson Forecast senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg said growth in non-farm employment in California has outpaced the nation by one percentage point over the past three months and by 0.9 percentage points over the past year.

Bay Area Reps Asking Governor to Prepare for Crab Fishery Disaster

By Alexander Nguyen

Several local Congressional representatives are asking Gov. Jerry Brown to closely monitor levels of domoic acid found in Dungeness crab and to prepare to provide economic relief in the event of a fishery closure.

In a letter, sent by U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman, Jackie Speier, Sam Farr and Louis Capps, the group is urging the governor to stand ready to ask the Secretary of Commerce to declare a disaster if the fishery is closed for the season, the group announced Wednesday.

Marin rents post another double-digit surge as market pressure continues

By Janis Mara

The average asking rent in Marin was $2,583 in the third quarter of this year, compared with $2,329 in the third quarter of 2014, according to Novato-based data service Real Answers.

The average asking rent in Marin was $2,583 in the third quarter of this year, compared with $2,329 in the third quarter of 2014, according to Novato-based data service Real Answers.

Sutter Health, Marin General hospitals named Joint Commission’s Top Performers

Five North Bay Sutter Health hospitals and Marin General Hospital were named “top performers” in The Joint Commission’s annual report card on health care provider metrics.

The Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program recognizes U.S. hospitals for providing quality health care, specifically for excellence in evidence-based clinical processes shown to improve care for certain medical conditions. Top-performing hospitals in the 2015 report, released Nov. 17, had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including a cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures.

Development, jobs and housing prices on the rise along Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma

By Tom Gogola

The North Bay’s relatively cheap commercial real estate market—especially in relation to what’s available in San Francisco and Silicon Valley—has boosters talking boom.

But amid a generally cheery post-recession outlook across Marin and Sonoma counties, there are warning signs. Traffic is worsening on Highway 101, air quality is still great in Sonoma County but not every day, there’s scant affordable housing for working people in Marin and Sonoma counties, and there’s built-in pressure on two key North Bay resources: Water and open space.

Business community packs tourism forum

By Soren Hemmila

Sausalito Chamber of Commerce CEO Oonagh Kavanagh said tourism is valuable to the local economy, and the city can balance the needs of residents and business owners.

“There is no point in beginning hostile to each other,” Kavanagh said. “We have an extremely high proportion of independent family-run organizations here.”

Highway 37 improvement plan eyed by Marin, other North Bay counties

By Mark Prado

Marin and other North Bay counties are looking to develop a plan and financing to improve the utilitarian and sometimes aggravating Highway 37 between Novato and Vallejo.

Increasing traffic and sea-level rise are among the challenges facing the state highway, which existed in its current footprint since the 1930s.

Today some 40,000 vehicles a day use the 21-mile-long highway that skirts the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, delivering commuters and goods to their destinations.

Lucas Valley office building sells for $7 million

By Janis Mara

“Why are there so many ‘for lease’ signs? There are two reasons,” said Robert Eyler, chief economist of the Marin Economic Forum.

“One is that the types of properties that are available are not necessarily a fit for your classic office space business looking for commercial property. You can’t look at the leasing market and say, ‘If it’s totally hot, why are we not at zero vacancy?’” said Eyler, who is also a professor of economics at Sonoma State University.