Barstow Marine base to hold open house for military retirees

The Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow will be hosting a Military Retirees Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3.  The event is open to all retired Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen from the High Desert.  The annual event aims to increase the awareness of the services available to military retirees at the base.  Reservations are required by Oct. 30. Information: Cynthia Mosqueda, (909) 577-5893, or e-mail cynthia.mosqueda@usmc.mil

Rancho, Santa Fe Springs companies complete merger

New Century Cos. Inc. in Santa Fe Springs recently completed a merger with Precision Aerostructures Cos. Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga.  Russell Armstrong of Crescent Financial Advisors Inc. worked with the companies on the transaction.  In a news release, Michael C. Cabral, CEO of Precision Aerostructures, said, “We are delighted the merger has been completed and I am looking forward to working with (New Century CEO David) Duquette in building a successful and profitable business for our customers, investors and stockholders.”

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Cal State San Bernardino launches business mentoring program

Cal State San Bernardino kicked off its new International Business Mentoring Program on Friday with keynote speaker Lanie Denslow, founder and principal of World Wise Intercultural Training and Resources.  About 125 students and private-sector companies interested attended the event.  The program “helps to bridge opportunities between our local businesses and international markets using this great resource at our local college,” said Moises Cisneros, economic development manager of Global Strategies & Business Services for the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency, which is working with the school on the program.  Information: Frank Lin, (909) 537-5700; e-mail flin@csusb.edu

State attorney general issues consumer alert for homeowners

The state attorney general has issued a consumer alert warning homeowners to “avoid individuals and businesses that charge up-front fees for foreclosure relief services in light of a just-enacted state law that makes this abusive practice subject to prosecution.”  Recently signed Senate Bill 94 makes it unlawful for any licensed attorney or real estate agent “who negotiates, attempts to negotiate, arranges, attempts to arrange, or otherwise offers to perform a mortgage loan modification or other form of mortgage loan forbearance for a fee or other compensation paid by the borrower … to claim, demand, charge, collect, or receive any compensation until after the attorney or agent has fully performed each and every service the licensee contracted to perform or represented that he, she, or it would perform.”  If someone demands an up-front fee for foreclosure assistance services, you can report them to the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 952-5225, or file a complaint at www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php

West End Executives Association plans to hold fall mixer in Upland

The West End Executives Association will hold its fall mixer 5-7 p.m. Oct. 28 at MGR Real Estate, 1425 W. Foothill Blvd., Upland.  The event will include hors d’oeuevres by Buckboard BBQ & Catering in Upland.  Cost: free for members; $5 for nonmembers.  Reservations are requested.  Information: (909) 229-3425; carlson.rita@gmail.com or www.weea.net

Big Bear Lake hotel earns four diamonds from AAA

Sixty-five Southern California hotels and 32 restaurants have earned the 2010 AAA Four Diamond Award, the Automobile Club of Southern California announced this week.  The Alpenhorn Bed & Breakfast in Big Bear Lake received its 10th consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award.  It is the only location in San Bernardino County to receive the designation.
Also listed were the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon and Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.

I.E. office vacancies rise in third quarter, Grubb & Ellis reports

Grubb and Ellis has released its third-quarter Office Market Snapshot for the Inland Empire. Key points:
* Office vacancies increased to 23.6 percent.
* Average asking rents for Class A space were down $0.03 to $2.17 per square foot, compared with a quarter earlier. Asking rents for Class B space decreased $0.01 to $1.63 per square foot compared with a quarter earlier.
* Approximately 74,000 square feet of sublease space was added to the market, bringing the year-to-date total to 489,331 square feet.

   The analysts concluded that the decline in construction deliveries and less space being put back on the market for lease indicate a stabilization of the vacancy rate.  However, declining vacancy and rising rental rates aren’t likely to appear in the Inland Empire office market until job growth resumes in the white-collar sectors, according to the report.  On the investment side, the number of distressed properties is set to increase in the months ahead as payment becomes due on lingering notes, the report says.  Sale activity on foreclosed properties will increase in 2010, creating opportunities for investors and owner occupants, the report continues.  Full report: www.grubb-ellis.com/research

IRS reminds taxpayers about deductions for buying new vehicle

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that purchasing a new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle could qualify them for a deduction for the state and local sales and excise taxes on their 2009 returns.  New vehicle purchases made between Feb. 16, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010, qualify for the deduction under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  For limits and more information, go to www.irs.gov

Omnitrans wins transit marketing honors for 2008 campaign

Omnitrans has garnered top transit marketing honors from the American Public Transportation Association for its “To us, cheap and easy is a compliment” marketing campaign.  Omnitrans board Chairwoman Penny Lilburn, mayor of Highland, and Vice Chairman John Pomierski, mayor of Upland, accepted the award at a ceremony held in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.  The “cheap and easy” ads appeared on buses and bus shelters during the San Bernardino Valley public transit agency’s Fall 2008 marketing campaign.  Omnitrans earned first-place awards in two print media subcategories, bus shelter posters and transit ads, along with the grand prize for print media.  Information: www.omnitrans.org

Ontario aerospace company garners $5.4 million contract

International Aerospace Enterprises Inc. in Ontario has received a contract of $5.4 million for military aircraft spare parts to be delivered prior to the end of the fiscal year, according to a news release.  The addition of this contract with previously announced contracts total $10.25 million in sales for the company’s first 9.5 months of operation, according to the release.  Information: www.iae247.com