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.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how some local government pension plans wound up underfunded. As described in last month’s issue, much of the blame goes to generous legislation passed during California’s boom cycles.
When city of Sacramento leaders sat down in January 2008 to construct the River District Specific Plan, they had an ambitious goal: Take an industrial area with a high concentration of social services and turn it into a picturesque pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community with housing, retail and office space — all while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere to everyone already there.
Thoughts of living room wallpaper oft conjure memories of Grandma’s bathroom or a great-aunt’s old bungalow. At Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers in Benicia, the papermakers think that’s just fine.
There’s a married couple in Elk Grove who would be happy to give you the time of day. They’d be even happier to sell it to you.
In 1999 the dot-com boom was sending lots of money to Sacramento. The state Legislature saw it as a good time to share some of that wealth through state and local pension plans via Senate Bill 400.
It’s the middle of the night, and the whole world is sleeping — except for the nearly 24 million Americans who are working the night shift.
The walls are freshly painted. Fashionable new light fixtures hang from the ceiling. It’s got the right zip code, the right floor plan, the right price. Think you’re ready to buy that commercial property? Unless you have peered behind those walls and assessed all that’s happening above those lights, fire protection experts say you shouldn’t sign on the dotted line.
The only thing certain in the world of California workers’ compensation insurance right now, is that it’s uncertain.
For 15 years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority and its backers have discussed, planned, studied and lobbied for the kind of fast trains seen elsewhere around the world.
In a year of job loss and company closures, Scott Blevins’ freight business is expanding, hiring and hauling in the cash.
Cities nationwide have welcomed hoards of elected officials who will have little time to celebrate their appointments before confronting daunting financial challenges. Among Capital Region cities, public safety budgets and all they encompass — cuts, swollen pensions, potential new fees, layoffs and department closures — have become the most contentious load to bear.
Tucked in an alley between 17th and 18th streets in midtown Sacramento is the first of what could be an emerging pattern of townhomes. Three bright yellow garage doors mark the entrance to two 1,200-square-foot units poised over a 615-square-foot one-bedroom space.
Michael Frenn was a committed Coors Light drinker. For him, it was as American as baseball and apple pie.
On an early September morning, federal, city and redevelopment officials, among others, gathered at the corner of 10th and R streets to celebrate the beginning of street improvements.
Statistics and headlines indicate doom and gloom across the country, but local developers are still building houses. In the Capital Region, Roseville leads the area in new-home construction.
There’s a lot of legal hubbub in California surrounding Property-Assessed Clean Energy programs. Also known as PACE, the programs could be headed for troubled waters.
As mayor of Folsom, Jeff Starsky says it’s his job to keep people thinking positive and keep consumer confidence high. As far as his city is concerned, he seems to be doing a good job.
Just as winemakers won’t put just any old juice in a barrel, they won’t use any old barrel either. For one wine, it’s French oak. For another, American. For yet another, Hungarian. In some cases the wine goes into a steel tank and never touches oak of any kind.
It has been almost a year since California lawmakers reached an agreement on the most comprehensive overhaul of the state’s water management system in more than four decades.
People, pets and drinking water could be better protected because of a new effort in Sacramento County to shutter abandoned wells.
The shade of the warehouse does little to quell the triple-digit heat. Still, Thomas Nesbit, 21, and Jared Smedly, 22, volunteer their afternoon to construct a picnic table from scratch.
All that glitters is gold in a down market, and in the wake of economic collapse and the sinking Euro, the metal is looking more precious than ever to buyers and sellers of all shades.
Building a $50 million company from the ground up in six years doesn’t take a rocket scientist, but it does take one hell of an entrepreneur. Deon Taylor, the 36-year-old mettle behind Deon Taylor Enterprises, is that kind of guy.
Two years ago, I wrote in this column saying that Republican Congressman Dan Lungren might be in trouble in the November 2008 election. It seemed like a stretch at the time. Lungren had won re-election in 2006 with 59.5 percent of the vote against a weak Democrat, emergency room physician Bill Durston. However, a look at party registration trends showed that the district was trending Democratic. By 2008, the large registration edge enjoyed by Republicans this decade had all but disappeared.
When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he vowed that if elected he would take up George Bush’s failed 2007 effort to reform the nation’s immigration policy, secure U.S. borders and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons who had lived in America for years. Since then, however, issues such as health care reform have pushed immigration to the back burner.
Nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke each year, making it the leading cause of disability in the U.S. What’s more, health problems are a principle driver for mortgage foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, leading to billions in financial impact.
With jet fuel going for $5.83 per gallon for full service at Sacramento Executive Airport and $5.75 per gallon for full service at Mather Airport, the $4.99 price tag for the product at Davis Flight Support serves as the initial draw for pilots looking to fill up their corporate jets and chill out near Napa or Sacramento.
Sometimes, a building’s security needs can pop up unexpectedly during the design process.
How many farmers can say they spent their childhood bowling at Camp David or playing football with the Kennedy clan on the White House lawn? It’s the path Craig McNamara, 60, has taken from Washington, D.C., to his 450-acre organic walnut farm, and, at times, it was torturous.
Bruce Stephens might be on to something. And if his estimates — and the optimism and faith of dozens of investors — prove accurate, his wine bottle washing company could provide a hefty return on investment, dozens of Stockton jobs and low-cost wine bottles for environment and budget-â?¨conscious wineries.
From the moment Kevin Johnson began his 2008 campaign to unseat Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo, he promised that, if elected, he would shake things up at City Hall. Now, slightly more than a year into his tenure, nobody can deny he has kept that promise.
This is the final story in a four-part series on water. This month, we’ll wrap up by examining upcoming issues in 2010. Past installments of this series have explored water issues ranging from storage, conservation and desalination, to impacts of a peripheral canal on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
In 2008, Bill Koster had his best year in three and a half decades of farming. Commodity prices hit record highs, his expenses were low and water allocation was enough to yield a decent crop, even though it was less than half his contracted amount.
Just because you can design, doesn’t make you an architect. That was certainly the message sent when the California Architects Board issued two fines of $2,500 each in September 2008 to Diana Suhanova, owner of All in One in Sacramento.
No part of the region has been immune to the retail woes that come with a lagging economy, but the Highway 50 corridor — Rancho Cordova, Folsom and El Dorado Hills — entered the slowdown crippled by its own geography.
On paper it looks like the Capital Region has the makings of a world-class clean-tech hub: access to policy makers at the Capitol, access to innovative research churning out of UC Davis, and housing that’s affordable for green-collar workers. What this equation doesn’t account for, however, is how fast California is losing its competitive edge to other states and the global economy.
Cervical cancer in the U.S. has been declining for the past 50 years, and with recent advancements in prevention and screening, doctors imagine the cancer could be eradicated from America’s population within your lifetime. It’s a lofty ambition with a major caveat: It is almost entirely dependent upon the participation of the nation’s underserved women.
In October 2007, 60-year-old Francisco “Willie” Lopez was doing what he had done almost every morning for 30 years. He pedaled along County Road 99 from Woodland to his job in the finance department at UC Davis. A car hit and killed him on that country road before he made it to his desk.
What’s your brain doing right now? What was it doing when you woke up, got hungry, went to work, danced, made love, got angry, got happy, fell asleep and dreamed? Judith Horstman is a local writer and frequent Comstock’s contributor. Her new book, “The Scientific American Day In the Life of Your Brain,” chronicles hour-by-hour what goes on in your brain through a typical day and night.
Wearing coveralls and galoshes caked in manure and mud, a father and son attach suction devices to the teats of ailing cows.
The cost of lumber, steel, asphalt and other construction materials has been on a wild ride since the early part of this decade, but don’t be fooled by the relatively placid prices in 2009. Industry players say it’s likely just a brief respite before the roller coaster starts climbing again.