BUSINESS, COMMUNITY LEADERS RECOGNIZED: The College of Business Administration at California State University, Stanislaus, presented special recognition awards to business and community leaders Thursday at the Eighth Annual Recognition and Awards Banquet. Kaiser Permanente also was honored, along with students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Business Advisory Board and business leaders from the region. The award recipients included Outstanding Business Leader, Paula Zagaris-Leffler, president of Liberty Property Management and chief financial officer of PMZ Real Estate; Outstanding Entrepreneur, Dan Costa of Modesto, chief executive officer of 5.11 Tactical Inc.; Outstanding Community Leader, Brent Ives, mayor of Tracy; Outstanding Emerging Business Leader, John Jacinto, president and co-founder of VisTech Manufacturing Solutions in Stockton; Outstanding Business Alumna, Trudy Pauley, Foster Farms director of finance; Outstanding Community Service Leader, Kevin Riley, Stanislaus County Office of Education project analyst; Outstanding CBA Business Advisory Board Member, Kent Kushar, E.&J. Gallo Winery vice president and chief information officer; and Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility, Kaiser Permanente's free mobile medical clinic. Faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements and service to the college during the past year. Students received scholarships for leadership and academic excellence during the year.
RETRIAL CONSIDERED IN DOWNLOAD CASE: A Minnesota woman ordered to pay $222,000 in the nation's first music download trial may get another chance with a jury. The issue is whether record companies have to prove anyone else downloaded their copyrighted songs, or whether it's enough to argue that a defendant made copyrighted music available for copying. Music-sharers have argued that the only proven downloaders of their music were investigators working for the record companies. That was the case in the fall trial of Jammie Thomas of Brainerd. U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Davis instructed jurors that making sound recordings available without permission violates record company copyrights "regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown." On Thursday, Davis said that may have been a mistake. Oral arguments on the question of a new trial are planned for July 1 in Duluth.
BANKER PREDICTS MORE CONSOLIDATION: The head of the nation's largest consumer bank said Thursday that the country's economic downturn will accelerate consolidation across the banking industry. But Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Ken Lewis said he doesn't expect a spike in bank failures similar to that of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Instead, he said, the current risks and losses are spread over more players, meaning "we will have more of the walking wounded." Speaking to business students at New York University, Lewis said the nation's financial service companies are likely to face pressure to combine with others as they emerge from the ongoing credit crunch and turmoil in the mortgage market. Such consolidation will provide more "long-term diversity and strength for the future," he said."I expect geographic consolidation to continue, leading to stronger, more diverse and more efficient institutions," Lewis said, predicting that the consolidation will involve products and markets.
BUILDERS SHOW HIGH ANXIETY: A reading of U.S. homebuilders' sentiment scraped bottom in May, coming in just one point above its lowest level ever as anxiety continued to grip the industry. The National Association of Home Builders said Thursday that its housing market index came in at 19 this month, after holding steady at 20 from February through April. It was the second-lowest reading for the index, which goes back to 1985. The index is derived from a survey of about 400 residential developers nationwide. Index readings higher than 50 indicate positive sentiment.
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51: Percentage of Americans who say the dream to own a home still is attainable for most citizens, according to a survey conducted by Zogby International.
43: Percentage of Americans who say they spend more than 30 percent of their household budget on housing, which, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, indicates that they are "cost burdened."
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