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.”

Looking Towards Fall

I would like to start by giving a big thanks to all of you who attended our Marinnovation 2015 event on September 15th. We had a record number of exhibitors and attendees, and from the responses we have received, participants felt it was a highly successful event. MEF staff and volunteers work incredibly hard to make Marinnovation run smoothly each year, and we thank everyone who contributed to this year’s success!

As we move from Summer to Fall, the weather is a big topic for everyone in the region. As the Valley fire is brought under control in Lake County, the impact on the local economy will begin to come into focus. This devastating fire has scorched over 76,000 acres and has decimated many communities in Lake County. To date, it is being ranked as the third most destructive fire in the history of California.

Sync or Swim Blog Series #2

Spotlighting the Best Marinnovations in Education
By Michael Leifer, CEO Guerilla PR / Ecodads

On October 18th and 19th, Google will be coming to town with the Ed Tech Team for the Marin County Ed Tech Summit hosted by Mt. Tamalpais High School.

Google is by no means the ONLY player in the space, BUT they are a very important one.

This two day high-intensity program features Google in Education Experts, Innovative Educators, Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, teachers, and solution providers as well as access to world-class education technology leaders.  These groups will share their best practices, success stories, classroom management learnings and experiences using Google Apps.  They will also discuss and demonstrate how these apps and tools can be easily integrated into any school’s learning management system, and show how they can be accessed by any student computer, laptop or mobile device (like an iPad) through Wi-Fi.

Sustainable Development and Marin Clean Energy

By Alex DiGiorgio, Marin Clean Energy

In Marin County, ‘sustainable development’ is a core value among residents, businesses,consumers and environmentalists—but what does it look like?  Meet Marin Clean Energy (MCE), California’s first ‘community choice’ energy program, and the County’s namesake public power agency.

Since 2010, MCE has been providing Marin’s electricity consumers with access to more renewable energy than ever previously available.  MCE offers a choice of 50% (‘Light Green’) and 100% (‘Deep Green’) renewable energy at highly competitive rates, as an alternative to PG&E’s energy supply.  In 2014, MCE’s customers collectively saved about $5.9 million, due to MCE’s lower electric generation rates. Chief among the beneficiaries of these savings were Marin’s businesses, public schools and local government agencies. The City of San Rafael, for example, saved nearly $50,000 on its energy bill last year, even while it purchased substantially more renewable energy than most California cities. This year, MCE expects its customers to save more than $10 million.