Tower still stands …
But it’s teetering.

The good news first: Tower Records came to an agreement with the record companies that cut off new-music supplies to the chain at the beginning of August. So, shipments will keep rolling in from the big dogs.

The not-so-good news: The music retail icon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week to keep from folding and is hoping someone will snatch up the company and save the day.

Tower wants to find a buyer within two months, according to a Sacramento Bee article. One possibility: Trans World Entertainment, the owner of mall chains FYE and Musicland and the corporation that bailed out The Wherehouse back in 2004 by buying it.

If no one bids on Tower as a whole, it could be split into pieces.

Time for a raise
California’s 1.4 million minimum-wage workers, most of whom are adults and work full-time, will be getting bigger checks starting in January. That’s because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, after vetoing increases in the minimum wage for two years, has signed a bipartisan bill to raise the wage to $7.50 per hour in 2007 and $8 in 2008.

The bill does not include indexing, however. That means any subsequent increases will have to be made via the same laborious and politically driven legislative process that has allowed the minimum wage to fall far behind inflation and the buying power of minimum-wage workers to decline dramatically in the past 40 years.

The hike no doubt will hurt some small businesses. Any increase in the minimum wage increases the pressure to raise salaries for all employees, and for companies with dicey bottom lines, that can mean belt-tightening at least and serious trouble at worst.

L.A. connection
If all goes according to plan, you’ll soon be able to take a direct flight from Chico Municipal Airport to Los Angeles, avoiding foggy layovers in San Francisco. In fact, there may be three flights per day.

Chico city officials are waiting for the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve a $472,500 grant, supported by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Wally Herger. If approved, the money would be used to provide revenue subsidies to potential airlines—Horizon and Skyway thus far, although others may join.

“We’re hoping to have them by spring of 2007,” said Dave Burkland, assistant city manager.

In addition to the Chico-Los Angeles route, there is talk of adding direct flights to Portland, Ore., along with some other larger cities.