Against the odds

In this year’s installment of the annual News & Review Business & Entrepreneurs Issue, we look at three local industries each facing its own obstacles to continued success: hostile franchise competition; corporations trying to play God; and historic political pressures. In each case, people who believed they were dealing in good faith could well see their fates decided the in the courts.

The local Mail Boxes Etc. finds itself in a seemingly no-win situation after it was taken over a year ago by United Parcel Service in a franchise agreement the local franchise owners say is hurting their business.

Lundberg Farms, the successfully run family rice farm out of Richvale, learns from a modern-day Canadian Paul Revere that its future could be threatened by the genetic-modification practices of the Monsanto Corporation.

Finally, the Indian gaming industry is feeling the threat from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his search for sources of revenue to help balance the grossly unbalanced state budget. They’ve signed contracts with the previous administration, but for the tribes of California, their history of dealing with the white man offers little comfort.

Brown out
Franchisees fight UPS takeover

Seeds of (genetic) change
Canadian farmer sounds the alarm of the corporate-created monster possibly heading this way

High-stakes standoff
These casino-owning Indians are perfectly ready to call the governor’s bluff