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Of Rice and Men
On the Cover: Parched by years of drought, thousands of California’s rice fields lie barren
In the Sacramento Valley, where 97 percent of the state’s rice crop is grown, family farmers have been forced to fallow cropland they have worked for generations. The economic hit has been hard and true, affecting not just farmers, but seed distributors, equipment dealers and anyone else with a thumb in the rice business. The drought could cost Central Valley farmers and communities $1.7 billion this year and may lead to more than 14,500 layoffs.
California can't conserve its way out of a drought
Years of drought have baked away some of the divisions inside California’s Capitol, drawing opposing parties together in an effort to find solutions to the state’s ongoing water storage and conveyance problems.
New water storage alone won't solve California's drought
California is in the third driest year in more than 100 years of record. Farmers throughout the state are seeing their water use curtailed, some communities are rationing water, and fish and wildlife populations are threatened. California needs additional storage capacity to weather such droughts, and it’s groundwater storage — not surface storage — that will have the greatest impact. Still, storage alone won’t be enough.
Can geotourism replace revenue lost by the gaming industry?
With gaming revenue on the decline and environmental sustainability an ongoing concern, the need for a new tourism strategy in Tahoe is two-fold. Enter geotourism.
Tahoe startup is expanding its waistline
Arcade belts has moved beyond the living room floor.
Squaw Valley has enough water to move forward with village expansion
Squaw Valley Real Estate and KSL Capital Partners, the company that owns Squaw Valley Ski Resort, have received the critical report needed to move forward with a planned expansion of the resort’s village.
Problems with Authority
Hiring your own boss poses a unique set of challenges
I work at a small, privately owned company of 15 people. I am third in the chain of command. My direct boss has just put in his notice, and now I am in the odd position of having to hire myself a new boss. How do I make sure that the boss is the right fit?
The Snowflake Strategy
To win with boomers, you’ll need individualized marketing
Let’s be honest, few generations were more aptly named than the baby boomers. While the moniker may have risen from a historically specific fertility trend, in many ways it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As writer P.J. O’Rourke once described it: “We’re stuck with being forever described as exploding infants.”
Made to Last
Trusteed IRAs can stretch assets over generations
You’ve made all the right financial decisions. You’ve saved, you’ve planned, you’ve invested. But what if your heirs aren’t quite ready for the responsibilities and tax advantages that go along with inheriting your dutifully funded IRA? Your best bet for control from the grave may be a trusteed IRA.
A Fine Opportunity
One trio’s quest to finance fine dining in Placerville
It was a question they’d asked themselves time and again. Could Placerville support fine dining? Surely, they thought, the market for their envisioned eatery, The Independent Restaurant and Bar, must exist.
Acuity with Micromidas’ John Bissell
In 2008, John Bissell co-founded Micromidas Inc., a West Sacramento biotech company that has developed a process to convert carbohydrate feedstocks like cardboard into higher-value chemicals, including renewable plastics. The company incorporated in 2009. Bissell, a UC Davis grad who also serves as CEO, was recently included in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields, and has helped raise more than $20 million in financing for his company.
The Middle-Management Pickle
10 ways to lead from the center and improve team performance
Middle management is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t position. Stuck in the middle, you’re responsible for managing down to your reports, out to customers and clients, and up to your superiors. When it comes to delivering bad news, you’re the messenger most likely to be shot.
Unpicked produce can change the way food banks feed the hungry — you just have to know where to look
“Eat local.” You’ve heard the phrase a billion times. It’s the guiding principle of the farm-to-fork movement, nudging us away from the Industrial Food Complex and toward our neighborhood farms. But there’s something even more local than a ranch down the road: the orange tree in your front yard.
Coming to a Sidewalk Near You
The one-stop resource for gleaning food from your own neighborhood
Thousands of pounds of urban produce are growing on trees and bushes all around you, and if you know where to look, you can gather enough fruits and vegetables to stock a food bank, plan a dinner menu and can a dozen jars of organic blackberry preserves.
Banks are swapping teller lines and velvet ropes for digital kiosks and coffee machines
Whether it’s newly designed branches or banks without branches at all, the banking industry is undergoing a physical transformation as consumers seek improved customer service and more digital options.
Is California's latest disability access law causing more lawsuits?
With California leading the nation in ADA lawsuits, two years ago state legislators enacted a reform designed to thread the needle between those positions by educating more businesses about their responsibilities so they would make required access changes. Today, no one can say whether compliance has increased. But the number of ADA lawsuits has soared.