Ken James is a 24-year veteran photojournalist who started his career with the Fairfax Newspaper Group in Sydney Australia. Since relocating to California in 2002, Ken has contributed to many newspapers and wire services such as Bloomberg News, United Press International (UPI), The New York Times and San Francisco Examiner. In 2005, Ken spent six months covering the Iraq war and later documented the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Ken has actively covered state politics and gubernatorial elections, including the 2003 Recall. Besides covering national and local news events, Ken contributes monthly photo essays to Comstock’s and Sacramento Magazine. For more, visit www.kjamesimages.com.
While working in a bike shop in the early 1980s, Steve Rex was introduced to custom small-scale bikes.
Using his bachelor’s degree in economics was going to have to wait — Rex wanted to become a frame builder. He took machining and welding courses at Sacramento City College to learn the trade and made his first frame in 1987. He opened the Rex Cycles storefront in Sacramento in 1991, which he ran until retiring as a shopkeeper last year. He now makes frames out of his home workshop.
Jazmine Bonnett, owner of Blossom Bathhouse, works at a brisk pace. If she doesn’t quickly finish her bubble bath bars, the ingredients harden and become unsalvageable. A batch takes 30 minutes to make and yields about 20 individual scoops, which sell for $8.95 each.
Cru Chocolate’s Karla McNeil-Rueda takes beans to bars from her Roseville home.
Macabre requests come to the Center for Sacramento History’s film archive.
In 1991, Gregory Perkins was a Sacramento corrections officer struck by a calling to make a difference. He realized that most greeting cards lacked representation of the African American community. Perkins worked with his cousin, an artist, to develop three Afrocentric greeting card designs in an effort to create what he calls an “uplifting product that African Americans can take pride in.”
Lisa Taira at Kiyo’s Floral Design has practiced ikebana — traditional Japanese flower arrangement — for nearly 50 years.
Kombi Haus is slowly taking over a city block in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. Owner Justin Campbell opened the Volkswagen repair and restoration shop 20 years ago as a small garage on 34th Street. The business now covers over 12,000-square-feet of space across three buildings in the Triangle District.
Inspired to help parents and bring more smiles to more children, Williams founded NorCal Trykers in 2017. The organization is dedicated to building and donating adaptive tricycles to local children with disabilities in the regional school system.
Sushi savant Chef Billy Ngo dishes up his philosophy on cuisine.
A father and son duo are lighting up the Central Valley with handmade neon signs.
Civic structures help define a community’s identity. We feature six projects from throughout the Capital Region that have employed unique delivery models and creative design solutions to produce structures worthy of their calling.
Growing up in South Korea, Jeannie Johng-Nishikawa would dream of being a fashion designer as she watched her mother spin yarn and make fabric.
The Cake Depot makes inventive sculptures, having worked on edible projects from Air Jordan rice krispie treat replicas to a cake bustier for a bachelorette party.
Gladding, McBean, a terra cotta manufacturing company in Lincoln, mines from a clay deposit that keeps on giving.
Building iconic institutions in Sacramento comedy isn’t easy, but local comedian Shahera Hyatt gets the last laugh.
Building iconic institutions in Sacramento comedy isn’t easy, but local comedian Shahera Hyatt gets the last laugh.
Christopher Knecht is a third-generation collector who owns 10 storage sheds, containing 600 square feet of late ‘70s through early ‘90s memorabilia, some of which he inherited from his father and grandfather.
Raised in Oakland by a family entrenched in drugs, alcohol and a notorious biker gang, Michael Vercelli says he’s been an alcoholic since age 12. He didn’t attend school until the fourth grade. At age 18, Vercelli says he made the best decision of his life by joining the U.S. Navy.
Placer County will soon be home to it’s third farmhouse brewery, marrying farm-to-fork ideals with the craft beer craze. Do these breweries offer the area trappings to make it a tourist destination?
During the school year, 13 students from Washington Elementary School in Stockton, meet once a week at the 5.7-acre Boggs Tract Community Farm, where the children grow seedlings into vegetables in one small patch of land.
In Sacramento’s culinary community, the limelight loves local celebrity chefs. Beyond the buzz, Loaves & Fishes Chef Edwin Burton is an unsung hero, serving 500 lunches per day to those in need — having himself survived life on the streets.
Without their owners, some domestic animals may be able to survive in a new humanless environment, but for others the situation is much more bleak.
Vintage Monkey conducts antique motorcycle repairs like a well-oiled machine.
Should a school district struggling to fill vacant teaching positions recruit from overseas? With that question looming overhead, Sacramento City Unified School District develops a new credential program with Sacramento State to address its teacher shortage over the long-term.
Transforming the Golden 1 Center, from the ground up.
Sacramento is coming into its own, and tying the built environment to the regional diversity — including an agricultural backdrop and focus on sustainability — is important to local designers and architects.
For 10 years, Dana Chavez-Rey and her husband, Alex, ran a successful brick-and-mortar pet grooming salon in West Sacramento, handling up to 30 dogs and cats a day. Then, they went mobile.
A number of the Capital Region’s most prominent family-owned businesses — like the River Cats — have made social responsibility a core tenet of their companies, employing staff and consultants to help make their programs central to who they are and how they operate.
The historic D.O. Mills Bank building, owned by the Cameron Family since 1922, is in the midst of massive transformation. The bank, slated to open this year, will be a three level 30,000 square-foot culinary destination.
As a child, working in her family’s print shop in Grass Valley, Judith Berliner’s job was to help her father produce custom maps and limited-edition books on the antique machinery. She now works those same presses as owner of Full Circle Press.
This story starts back in 1922.
That’s the year when a small group of Sacramento-based doctors combined their professional connections and their Rotary Club memberships to form a program that is now the longest-running Rotary fundraiser in the country.
From a robot’s perspective, humans probably look like deeply flawed creatures: imprecise, accident-prone, injury-ridden, hazardous — walking glitches waiting to happen.
This view isn’t exactly wrong.
Founded in 1996, Gutterglove recently doubled its space by moving from Rocklin to a 43,000-square-foot facility in Roseville where the company manufactures 60,000 feet of gutters in one day — all done by the hands of people.
Founded in 2000, Music to Grow On focuses on special-needs children and works in 20 school districts throughout the greater Sacramento region. Barth describes music therapy as “the use of music to reach non-musical goals,” which can include everything from communication and motor skills to memory and academics.
Art in the workplace is more than cosmetic; it can actually improve employee attitudes, performance, and even the company’s bottom line. This feels almost blasphemous. By definition, we think of “art” and “profit” as two distinct and even clashing concepts, with the unspoken assumption that chasing profits will corrupt art, and that art drags down profits. Conventional wisdom says “art for art’s sake”: Art is not a means to an end, art is the end.
The Americana rock ‘n’ roll band, The Nickel Slots went to Belgium for two weeks this summer for its third European tour, playing 11 straight shows.
Eugene Phillips, owner of Miyazaki Bath House and Gallery in Walnut Grove, fills two tubs with hot water in preparation for a two-hour soak.
Katie McCleary and 916 Ink co-founder Michael Spurgeon knew they wanted to start a creative nonprofit for children when they met at a writer’s conference in 2010. They believed Sacramento could support such a program because there was already a strong writing community here, nurtured by programs like the Sacramento Poetry Center, but there was a glaring, missing piece in Sacramento’s creative writing community — a youth program.
This year marks the deadline for California’s 10-year bet on solar roofs. In 2006, the state launched the “Million Solar Roofs” vision, pumping $3.2 billion into incentive programs. The plan was to build one million solar roofs, or the equivalent thereof, generating 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2017.
If you imagine a humming city as a living body, the conventional alleyway might be the large intestine. It’s a lonely grey loading zone, a collection point for garbage, and a covert space for drug use and violence. But as U.S. cities grow denser, urban passageways that were once ignored and crumbling are enjoying a renaissance. Alleyway activation is a designer buzzword for modernizing utilitarian corridors into well-lit public spaces.
With the increase in female representation across the homebuilding and homebuying spectrums, the building and real estate industries have an opportunity to target this growing market, which could shift the way homes are designed, built and sold.
Andy Stone, head mechanic for Team Novo Nordisk, prepares a bike during training camp for the Amgen Tour of California’s Sacramento stage in May. A Sacramento native, Stone attended Encina High School where he took a Regional Occupation Program bicycle mechanic class. He worked at bike shops for several years before getting into race mechanics.
As the Capital Region rallies around renewed homelessness talks and discussions on the impact of rising rent, one nonprofit has already worked for the last 17 years at the intersection of homelessness and affordable housing.
The Dr. Ernest and Arthella Hunter Foundation was started by Dr. Darryl Hunter. Ernest Hunter had been a career Army dentist for several decades and his son followed him into the military medical field, becoming a colonel in the Air Force Reserve and a radiation oncologist at Kaiser Permanente in the Sacramento area.
Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Monica Sandoval became Future Sacramento’s first student to complete the program and graduate college.
Placer SPCA Behavior Department Coordinator Meghan Oliver conducts an assessment of every dog and cat that enters the Roseville shelter to ensure they are safe around other animals, children and the general public. Each assessment takes about 10 minutes and includes monitoring how the dog socializes, handles tolerance (Oliver holds the animal’s collar, picks up feet, opens the mouth), plays with toys and reacts to the removal of food.
The California Capital Women’s Business Center is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to small businesses throughout the state. In collaboration with the Women Veterans Alliance, the Women Veterans One-Stop Resource Center was created to specifically address the needs of women veterans, their spouses and families.
Having a robust agricultural industry has meant accommodating crops and livestock by forcing out wildlife. Before farming came to the region 150 years ago, waterbird habitat was primarily provided by wetlands. Now managed wetlands make up only about one-third of their habitat in California and rice fields comprise nearly 60 percent.
Founded in 1946 by Ross Relles, Sr., Relles Florist is now in its fourth location on J Street in Sacramento (a second store on Howe Avenue has closed). After Ross died in 1972, sons Jim and Tom Relles took over; their sister JoAnn Bradley joined in 1975.
As modern-day farmers find it increasingly difficult to deny the financial gains of selling their land for development, the Yolo Land Trust gives them a viable business option to conserve their property.