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A threat to local recovery
Local redevelopment funds
At a time of extreme economic stress, our state government has taken aim at one of the few resources communities have to repair their bruised economies — local redevelopment funds.
Browsers & Shoppers
Retailers check consumers' pulse with social media
As shopkeepers have done for thousands of years, Andrew Cook talks with his customers about what he ought to carry at the Utrecht Art Supplies store on Howe Avenue. The difference is that Cook, Utrecht’s assistant manager, holds the conversations on Facebook. The store had nearly 800 fans as of late November.
How the West Was Lost
The bipartisan effort to destroy California
Everyone seems to agree we are in a mess: collapsing state revenues, inadequate infrastructure, schools that don’t educate — you name it. So who is guilty? Here’s a rundown of the usual suspects and one new one.
Auxillary industries weather the wine storm
Northern California manufacturers and distributors of everything from barrels to bottles to pesticides for the region’s wine industry are using the same juxtaposition to sum up the wine market: “up and down.”
Tap That Asset
The trade-offs of traditional credit vs. asset-based financing
Asset-based lending can be more expensive than a bank loan or line of credit, but for some it may be the best choice, providing flexibility and cash flow when others won’t.
What’s to Fallow
After Years of drought, the legislature's historic water deal is just the beginning
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.
Researchers examine tule reeds and rice fields in the Delta
On Twitchell Island, near the Delta town of Isleton, tules covering 15 acres grow twice as tall as the average man. A gravel road separates the wetlands from a cornfield, sunken 25 feet at its lowest point. Every year, the wetlands’ soil rises a few inches, while the cornfield sinks. The discovery that tules increase land elevation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is fueling a joint experiment conducted by the state Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey, along with UC Davis researchers, other universities and private consultants.
Farmer in the Well
A few years of drought could end more than a century of crops for one Central Valley family
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.
By Any Other Name
Government watchdogs keep tabs on those who call themselves architects
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.
Architects and engineers find ways to build around a rough market
The design-build industry has been absolutely battered by the spoiled economy. Architecture and design firms lament layoffs, nonexistent financing and an utter lack of optimism for 2010. Yet a number of large regional projects are keeping local firms afloat and offering a silver, albeit temporary, lining.
The economy defines the role of nonprofit boards
Amid the country’s worst economy in decades, Michael Genovese was offered more work, and he refused.
Children find solace in horse-assisted therapy
Avery Benedict-Hall can’t talk, but when he slides onto a horse every Saturday morning at 11, his audience can hear the sound of his smile: clap, clap, clap. The 9-year-old has a host of neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy, autism and cortical visual impairment. Clapping is a soothing stimulant for many children with autism.
Finding funding for college in today's economy
Ira Heinzen knew he wanted to attend college but didn’t know how he would pay for it. Since his childhood, Heinzen was encouraged in education. Always a strong student, the Stockton native was focused in school and active in sports, music and the community.
A youth program struggles to expand
Each week, more than 50 children from Sacramento’s Gardenland/Northgate neighborhood fill a small room and computer lab in River Garden Estates apartments. They’re seeking help with homework, signing up for outings and volunteering for community service.