Strictly Business

Recent Stories

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    Business year in review: Local issues, trends came to a head in 2014

    BY JOHN COX The Bakersfield Californian
    Saturday, Dec 27 2014 05:29 PM

    For the local business community, 2014 was a long time in coming. A variety of industry trends, conflicts and court proceedings that had been building for years finally came to resolutions, or close to it.

    Economic improvement was the catalyst in some cases, such as the spate of new retail and the lowest jobless rate in years. In other instances, like sharply lower oil prices and new independence for a local petroleum producer, diverse factors seemed to coalesce to make big news.

    Crisp & Cole sentencings Bakersfield's biggest corporate scandal in recent memory hit its climax in 2014.

    Real estate mogul David Crisp and his former business partner, Carlyle "Carl" Cole, were both sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison and each ordered...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Raising the grade of business friendliness

    An F? According to a report in The Californian earlier this month, the state of California got an F as a small-business friendly state. What can students do when the teacher and principal have failed them? Many parents take matters into...

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    ROBIN PAGGI: Managing depression in the workplace

    The suicide of actor Robin Williams, who reportedly was suffering from severe depression, is a harsh reminder of how devastating the illness can be. While Williams was certainly a unique individual, his battle with depression was not...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Management by clockworks and oranges

    Managers struggle for meaning among owners and employees. They manipulate a precarious middle ground trying to motivate their subordinates while they mollify their superiors. Because most owners also play a management role, all should be...

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    RUSS ALLRED: We all need to learn some sales techniques

    The majority of business seminars teach sales techniques. There is something hypnotic about seeing someone on stage. They seem bigger than life, perhaps because of their elevation or the booming microphone. Their thoughts seem more...

  6. Holly Culhane

    HOLLY CULHANE: Good leaders listen, give credit when it's deserved

    Having returned recently from a vacation, I feel both refreshed and refocused. It is amazing how stepping away from the office and opening your mind to new experiences can help you better understand and address some of the issues you left...

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    STEVEN VAN METRE: Boomers are again 'hitting the road' in retirement

    Summer vacations can give people itchy feet. That's what happened to my clients, who I will call Pete and Carol. High school sweethearts, the couple enjoyed long, successful careers -- Pete as a teacher; Carol as a registered nurse. They...

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    RUSS ALLRED: How to draw the right business circles

    Ever feel like you're running in circles? Google gurus say that's a good thing. Defining the people with whom you share information avoids a glut of data on your social network. It ensures that only the right people see what you want them...

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    RUSS ALLRED: A simple recipe for Internet success

    After reading my recent Californian article on business legacies, my friend told me his parents sent him to visit his grandparents for the summer. Afterward he confessed, "I hate cemeteries." Besides visiting graves, the other big activity...

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    ROBIN PAGGI: React carefully in the workplace

    How do you react when people tell you things that you don't want to hear? Hopefully, the answer is "carefully." Because if you react poorly, chances are people won't tell you things you should know. And, if you're an employer or a...

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    STEVEN VAN METRE: Worker's 401(k) rollover may be easier said than done

    As with many things in life, distributing funds from an employer's 401(k) plan may be easier said than done. Consider my client, who I will call Sam, who retired in 2004, but left his money in his former employer's 401(k) plan. Sam had...

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    RUSS ALLRED: The legacy of business service

    I stood on the grave of Catherene Jensen Nelson, my grandfather's grandmother. She was a midwife in the late 1800s and delivered 1,200 babies without ever losing a mother or child to death. Laid to rest in the beautiful, rural valley of...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Thumbs up for business

    One zucchini. That's all the plant produced. I buried sprinkler lines, built boxes, bought top soil, babied seedlings, watered, fertilized and all I got was one squash. The difference between a successful garden and a barren patch of dirt...

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