Status Update: Altura Credit Union net income soars; Marriott TownePlace Suites opens

By Fielding Buck | [email protected] | The Press-EnterpriseFebruary 19, 2018 at 5:49 am Balloon Glow at the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival at Lake Skinner Park on Friday, June 2, 2017Christopher Thornberg, Director, Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, speaks about the U.S. and California forecast during the 7th Annual Inland Empire Economic Forecast Conference on Thursday, Sept 29, 2016 at the Riverside Convention Center. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)Show Caption of Expand Gains for Altura Altura Credit Union has posted some impressive numbers for 2017. The Riverside-based organization reported net income of $10.23 million for 2017, an increase of 30.1 percent over the end of 2016, according to a news release. Altura reported total assets of $1.279 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, a 4.89 percent increase over the prior year. In the release, president and chief executive officer Jennifer Binkley said the credit union will focus on membership retention and growth in 2018. Binkley succeeded Altura’s longtime leader Mark Hawkins less than a year ago. Altura has 357,000 “member-owners,” the most in the Inland Empire, and is nearing its record high of 376,000 in 2008. It gained almost 16,000 members over the past year, according to the Third Quarter Credit Union Trends Report for the Inland Empire. Information: Corona industrial deal Newport Beach-based Alere Property Group has bought an 81,000-square-foot industrial building in Corona for $12.1 million, according to CBRE. The 4.32-acre site at 200 River Road is near the 91/15 freeway interchange.CBRE also recently announced the sale of a 227-unit apartment complex at 13400 Elsworth St., Moreno Valley, for $27.9 million. Citizens’ net earnings Citizens Financial Corp. and subsidiary Citizens Business Bank reported net earnings of $17.9 million, or 16 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2017. Full-year net earnings Continue Reading

Marriott devalues Rewards points at many hotels

It's going to take more points to get that "free" room Chris McGinnis Updated 2:34 pm, Thursday, February 8, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-3', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 3', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Image 1of/3 CaptionClose Image 1 of 3 A Marriott Rewards free stay at the Renaissance Paris la Defense will cost an extra 5,000 points this year. (Image: Marriott) A Marriott Rewards free stay at the Renaissance Paris la Defense will cost an extra 5,000 points this year. (Image: Marriott) Image 2 of 3 The Shanghai Marriott City Center also got bumped up to a higher award category. (Image: Marriott) The Shanghai Marriott City Center also got bumped up to a higher award category. (Image: Marriott) Image 3 of 3 Marriott devalues Rewards points at many hotels 1 / 3 Back to Gallery Are you a member of the giant Marriott Rewards loyalty program? If so, you might need more points than you thought for free stays at many Marriott properties this year. Every year, Marriott reviews the point categories that its properties fall into for award redemptions, and this year it is making a lot of them more expensive for free stays. It's not just Marriott that's doing this... nearly all hotel programs have been devaluing points for years. When I search "hotel points devalued" on Google, I get 112,000 results. The travel blog Frequent Miler – which tracks travel loyalty programs – says the changes represent “a huge devaluation of the Marriott Rewards scheme.” You might also like: Now Playing: Fatima Mostaine gets one thousand euros a month to pay all her family expenses. As she has done over the past five years. Her three kids are growing up now….and she says she wants to be more independent and earn her own money. So Continue Reading

Looking through a crystal ball at the 53rd Annual New York Emmy Awards for local television

Local TV'S finest and then some are expected to turn out at the Marriott Marquis Sunday night for the 53rd Annual New York Emmy Awards. The awards will honor the best local coverage of some of the area's worst events, ranging from plane crashes to an aircraft landing in the Hudson River. Local Emmys, however, while prestigious, are perhaps not the best judge of local talent, because they often depend on support from stations. Some channels go all out and enter everyone, while others leave it up to the individual correspondents to pony up the cash to be considered, and to shell out the $300 per ticket to attend. If they win, they'll have to spend money on the statuette to collect it. So, to participate for a shot at the gleaming trophy costs, well, a pretty penny. That said, here's a look into the Tube Talk crystal ball on who might take home Emmy gold in some (but not all) of the categories.   News Anchor: WCBS/Ch. 2's Chris Wragge is the only New York City anchor in the race, and he deserves the prize. Wragge is nominated for his work covering the Miracle on the Hudson, when he bolted to the West Side and anchored the station's coverage outdoors.  General Assignment Reporter: Tough, tough category, with the edge going to Ch. 7's sturdy NJ Burkett. But, there are other strong competitors here, too, including WNYW/Ch. 5's Lisa Evers and WNBC/Ch. 4's Pei-Sze Chang.  Investigative Reporter: Ch. 7's Jim Hoffer gets the edge here, but he could have competition from WPIX/Ch. 11's Mary Murphy and Ch. 7's Sarah Wallace.  Live Reporter: Ch. 4's Andrew Siff is very good in the field, but the guess here is Wragge, who will get a second award for his coverage of pilot Chesley Sullenberger's plane landing in the Hudson.  Features Reporter: It's a tie between Ch. 11's Lisa Mateo or News 12 Long Island's Elisa DiStefano. Both provide fun reports on a regular basis.  Sports Reporter: MSG's Tina Cervasio.  Continue Reading

Newshounds will sniff out N.Y. Emmys

New York's local TV community gathers tonight to honor the news reporting and commentary that emerged from some of New York's best and worst moments of 2008. The 52nd annual New York Emmy Awards will be presented in a black-tie affair at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, and they have come a long way from the first ceremony back on March 16, 1957, at the Waldorf-Astoria. Seven awards were given that first night, including two to a young newscaster named Mike Wallace. Wallace's evening show actually lost in the newscast category, but the future "60 Minutes" star was named best new personality. Tonight's ceremony will include awards in close to 100 categories, including 11 in what's called "Advanced Media" - the Internet, podcasts and other nontraditional means of delivering video content that function like television. Those nods to the future will no doubt share conversational time with celebrations of local TV news history, like Ch. 4's Chuck Scarborough marking 35 years on the air in a business where tenure is sometimes measured in dog years. The awards ceremony won't be telecast live, but an edited version can be seen over Ch. 25 on April 9 and 12. The distribution of New York Emmys is determined to some extent by the fact that some stations participate more aggressively than others. (Reporters and hosts can also nominate themselves.) So John Deutzman of Ch. 5, for example, has four of the six nominations for "investigative report, single story." The MSG network, which won the most awards last year, has the most nominations again this year, with 45. NYC-TV is second with 35 and WPIX/Ch. 11 has 31. The awards, which cover October 2007-September 2008, also provide a retrospective on the major events of that year. Several of the nominations are for stories on last May's Manhattan crane collapse, just as winners in prior years covered events like the Staten Island ferry crash or the upper East Side plane crash. Many of next year's entries, Continue Reading

MSG Network is No.1 in NY Emmy nominations

Cable's Madison Square Garden Network led the way when nominations for the 51st annual New York Emmy Awards came out Thursday. The network picked up 50 nods in categories including programming for teens, series, historical/cultural shows and, of course, sports. NYC TV was the second-most-nominated outlet, with 48, followed by WPIX/Ch. 11, with 30; News 12 Long Island, with 29; WNBC/Ch. 4, with 27; YES and News 12 Connecticut, with 25 each; WNYW/Ch. 5, with 24; WCBS/Ch. 2, with 22; WNET/Ch. 13, with 19; WNJU/Ch. 47, with 18 each; SportsNet New York and WABC/Ch. 7, with 16 each; WXTV/ Ch. 41, with 14, and WWOR/Ch. 9, with 12. The nominations were released by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Ch. 4's morning team picked up three of the five nominations in the morning-newscast category. Also nominated in the category were Ch. 5 and Ch. 41. Ch. 41 earned two nominations in the daytime-newscast race, along with one apiece for Ch. 2 and News 12 Westchester. Ch. 47 had four nominations for evening newscasts under 35 minutes, two of them for shows anchored by Patsi Arias and Jorge Ramos. A Ch. 2 newscast anchored by Dana Tyler was the only other nomination. Four of the five nominations for evening newscasts longer than 35 minutes were for shows on the night of last July's steam pipe explosion. Those went to Ch. 9's newscast anchored by Harry Martin and Brenda Blackmon, Ch. 7's newscast anchored by Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa, and the teams at Ch. 11 and Ch. 5. Ch. 2 picked up a nomination for a broadcast anchored by Chris Wragge on the Brooklyn tornado. The midtown steam pipe explosion also dominated the race for best breaking news story, with Ch. 4, Ch. 7 and Ch. 11 named for their coverage. Ch. 2 was nominated for its piece on the crash of Cory Lidle's plane into an East Side building. Nominations in the hard-news category went to Ch. 5's John Deutzman and Linda Schmidt, Scott Weinberger at Ch. 2, John Continue Reading

WNBC: No. 1 in Emmy race

Ch. 4 was followed by NYC TV, with 34, WPIX/Ch. 11 with 28, the Yes Network with 25, News 12 Long Island with 22, WCBS/Ch. 2 with 20, WNET/Ch. 13 with 18, and News 12 Connecticut with 17.Elsewhere, WNYW/Ch. 5 earned 16 nominations, MSG Network, 14; WWOR/Ch. 9, 8; WNJU/Ch. 47 and NJN, 7; WXTV/Ch. 41, News 12 New Jersey and SportsNet New York, earned 6 apiece. The awards, presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, will be handed out April 1, during a black-tie affair at the Marriott Marquis.Ch. 5's "Good Day New York" will face off against Ch. 4's "Today in New York" in the morning news race.Ch. 4's "Live at Five" has all four nominations in the daytime news race. The evening news race for shows under 35 minutes long will pit two nominations from Ch. 2, two from Ch. 4 and one from Ch. 5. Ch. 11 has three nominations in the evening news category for shows longer than 35 minutes, while Ch. 5 has one.Among some of the other nominations:News anchor nominations went to Ch. 2's Jim Rosenfield and Ch. 47's Madelyn Vega. Ch. 11's Linda Church and News 12 Connecticut's Paul Piorek will vie for the weather anchor trophy.Ch. 4's Bruce Beck, Len Berman and Ch. 2's Chris Wragge were named in the sports anchor race.General assignment reporter nominations went to Ch. 2's Lou Young, Ch. 7's N.J. Burkett, Ch. 7's Nina Pineda and News 12 Long Island's Shari Einhorn. Ch. 2's Brendan Keefe, Ch. 9's Barbara Nevins Taylor, Ch. 7's Jim Hoffer and News 12 New Jersey's Walt Kane have been named in the investigative reporter category. Ch. 11's Marvin Scott, Ch. 7's Sarah Wallace and News 12 New Jersey's Tony Caputo were named in the live reporter category. Nominations for on-camera talent, specialty assignment Emmys went to Ch. 5's Arnold Diaz, Ch. 2's Brendan Keefe, Ch. 4's Melissa Russo, and WIVB-TV's Rich Newberg and Mylous Hairston.Sports reporter nominations went to News 12 New Jersey's George Falkowski and Ch. 9's Scott Stanford.Program Continue Reading

June hotel roundup: The latest openings, renovations, new brands

The U.S. hotel industry continues to remain robust, with 191,832 new rooms under construction as of May. That represents a 16.4% increase compared with May 2016, according to research firm STR’s latest pipeline report.Hoteliers are also investing more in various markets, renovating hotels across the country. Here’s a roundup of some notable openings, renovations and brand announcements. Hilton’s new Tru brand debuts  Hilton has opened the first of its new midscale brand. The debut of the first Tru by Hilton Oklahoma City Airport hotel marks another milestone. It is Hilton’s 5,000th hotel. Hilton now has 14 brands.The McLean, Va. Company has 425 signed deals to create new Tru hotels. Ten properties are slated to open this year and 75 next year.Hilton says it is targeting a “value-conscious” customer. The price point will be in the $100 range, depending on the location and time of year. The Tru in Oklahoma City has a 2,880-square foot lobby with spaces for working or lounging. The front desk features a social media wall with real-time content. A 24/7 “eat. & sip.” market offers snacks and refreshments, single-serve wine and beer, and light-meal options and sundries.A complimentary “Top It” breakfast bar has 30 options for sweet and savory dishes, including bagels, donuts, yogurt, granola, hard-boiled eggs, and oatmeal.Rooms have platform beds, 55-inch TVs, eight-foot wide windows, and several outlets for powering devices. There is complimentary Wi-Fi, mobile check-in, room selection and digital key entry to rooms available through the Hilton Honors mobile app.“There are a whole bunch of customers that we haven’t been able to serve that we want to serve,” says Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta about the market segment Tru is targeting. Wyndham announces a new brandWyndham Hotel Group has announced that it will start a new brand—its 19th. The Continue Reading

Vieques’ tourism struggles to bounce back

Vieques is located just eight miles from Puerto Rico’s mainland, but since Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20, its residents have felt much farther away.The island, a top tourism destination for Puerto Rico, was decimated by the Category 5 storm. Houses have been leveled and power, food, fuel, and water are in short supply.Communicating with residents has been difficult. Even getting to the island has been a challenge as planes at the airport were destroyed and ferry service temporarily shut down.As of Friday, government officials are sending aid to the island, but experts say the road ahead could be quite difficult, especially for the tourism industry.“Puerto Rico is a very important part of the total Caribbean economy, so the faster they get their economy going, the faster the rest of the Caribbean recovers,” says Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the former minister of tourism of The Bahamas and former CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.Rebuilding the infrastructure will be vital to that effort. Getting regular flights started, getting docks and ports operating, cleaning up and re-opening hotels, restoring power and cellphone service are all among a very large to-do list for the government.Tourism represents six percent of Puerto Rico’s GDP, according to the United States Senate Committee on Finance.“What is very important to recognize is that tourism has the biggest and broadest reach,” says Vanderpool-Wallace, who now runs the Bedford Baker Group, a travel industry consulting firm. “If you find those pockets of prospects of a rapid return for full tourism products, those are going to have an enormously vast effect on the rest of the economy.”San Juan, which was impacted greatly by the storm, is the capital city with nearly 400,000 residents, government buildings, a financial center and two fortresses.But Vieques is an island just 21 miles long that is completely dependent on tourism. It’s filled with Continue Reading

2017 FlyerTalk Awards: The top loyalty programs are …

Alaska Airlines and Qatar Airways each unseated established heavyweights to win two of the most-coveted categories in the sixth annual FlyerTalk Awards, announced Friday.Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan won the “Best Rewards Program” for carriers in the “Americas” region, ending a five-year run by American Airlines’ AAdvantage. The win for Alaska marked the first time that American did not win the FlyerTalk award for the best airline program there.“If you’ve been paying attention, you won’t be shocked by Alaska’s win,” says FlyerTalk Community Manager Paul O’Brien, who notes Alaska’s rating has improved in each year of the FlyerTalk Awards.“The FlyerTalk forum sentiment seems to be that this year’s upset is not just about what American Airlines did wrong  as what Alaska has been doing right.”TODAY IN THE SKY: Virgin America name will be phased out in favor of Alaska Air, 'likely' in 2019Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club also emerged as a first-time winner. It edged out two-time defending champion Cathay Pacific and its frequent-flier program to take the title for Best Rewards Program among airlines in the "Middle East/Asia/Ocean" region. Cathay Pacific had claimed that title in four of the previous five years."Now it remains to be seen if they can hold their spot next year, or if this win was a fluke due to a poor year for perennial victor Cathay Pacific," O'Brien says about Qatar Airways' win in the 2017 awards.Elsewhere, however, incumbents reigned supreme. Repeat winners claimed all seven of the other Best Awards Program titles in 2017, which go to the best airline, hotel and rental car program in each of three regions.The other Best Rewards Program titles for the Americas went to Starwood Preferred Guest for hotels and to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards for rental cars. Rounding out the airline winners for Best Rewards Program was British Airways’ Continue Reading


WNBC/Ch. 4 and WNYW/Ch. 5 each earned top newscast honors Sunday night at the "49th Annual New York Emmy Awards." Ch. 4's 11 p.m. coverage of the East River helicopter crash, anchored by Sue Simmons and Chuck Scarborough, earned the Emmy for newscasts under 35 minutes. And Ch. 5's 10 p.m. coverage of the London bombings, anchored by Ernie Anastos and Rosanna Scotto, picked up the award for newscasts over 35 minutes. While those stations took the top newscast awards - Ch. 5's "Good Day New York" also earned the morning show trophy - WPIX/Ch. 11 was the top draw, earning 12 awards overall. Ch. 11 was followed by News 12 Long Island and WABC/Ch. 7, each with nine awards apiece. WCBS/Ch. 2 and WNBC/Ch. 4 each earned six. The YES Network won five. WNET/Ch. 13, Ch. 5 and NYC-TV got four. Amazingly, producer, editor and cameraman Michael DelGiudice was named on eight of News 12 Long Island's awards. News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen earned the general assignment reporting Emmy and was the reporter on a story that won the News Special Emmy. Among Ch.11's winners were Mary Murphy, with two, one for her coverage of the firefighters who survived a blaze a year ago January in which two other firemen died, and one about the use of eminent domain to take homes from residents of Long Branch, N.J. Thalia Patillo also won for a story on the survivng firefighters. Marvin Scott won an Emmy for his interview with Jerry Lewis on "11 News Closeup." And Howard Thompson won for a collection of his "Help Me Howard" reports. In the individual categories, Ch. 11's "WB 11 Morning News" co-anchor Sukanya Krishnan won in the host/anchor category. Ch. 2's Lou Young won the live field reporting Emmy. Ch. 7's Jim Hoffer earned the investigative reporting Emmy, one of three for him. John Klekamp of News 12 New Jersey won the feature reporting awards. Arnold Diaz, who recently jumped from Ch. 2 to Ch. 5, won the health/science and business/consumer trophy, one of two for him on the Continue Reading