Not that things are all that great to the north in Stockton and Sacramento, but it seems like there has been a disproportionate amount of negative business headlines from the South Valley lately.
Gottschalks bankruptcy hits the Fresno area hard since both their HQ and distribution was based in this area.
Pacific Ethanol shuts down its Madera plant rather than the one's in Stockton and southern California.
Collapse in milk prices hits a dairy industry with it's greatest concentration in the South Valley. Other commodity price drops (especially oil) and other ag. hits the region hard to.
Fresno Falcons hockey goes bust, while their Stockton Thunder rivals are still hanging on.
The drought isn't looking good for this region either.
For a long while, the commodity boom in ag. and oil was helping the South Valley economy to overcome the housing recession, and their economy was outperforming their inland California neighbors to the north (Mod/Stockton/Sacramento) and south (inland empire). That looks to be changing now.