In the dead of night last February, while trying to find the final votes to pass the budget, exhausted California legislators unknowingly set in motion a major change in how we do politics in this state.
Forty years ago, pedestrian malls became the rage across America. As cities tried to revitalize their downtowns to compete with fancy new suburban shopping malls, more than 200 cities and towns — including Sacramento — closed streets to traffic and parking, planted trees and installed fountains and benches to create pedestrian-friendly retail areas.
The credit crunch and other broad changes in economic conditions cut a wide swath through the ranks of potential buyers. Those who are left are biding their time, lining up cash and waiting for a sweet deal, probably a distressed property at a bargain price. But far fewer multifamily properties are facing the default notices that helped drive down prices for single-family homes, and many landlords are trying to ride out the storm. The result is very few deals.
Before UC Davis played a huge role in bringing science and agriculture together and changing the course of history for California and the world, the importance of collaboration across disciplines was well recognized. That vision is perhaps nowhere better exemplified than at the campus Quad — the true heart of the campus since its founding — where the new Centennial Walk was unveiled last October.
Roseville, absent of levees and flood-prone rivers, is sitting high and dry — in a good way. With infrastructure spending on hold and flood protection requirements increasing, development in neighboring communities has stalled and the future remains uncertain.
When most people think of action heroes, they do so in Hollywood terms: big, brawling, muscle-bound guys for whom compromise is always a dirty word. But in politics, brute force rarely holds sway over the art of the deal. In that regard, Doris Matsui, who represents much of Sacramento in Congress, may just be our very own action star.
After a quarter-century of leadership at UC Davis, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef will step down. Appointed as UC Davis’ fifth chancellor in 1994, he is one of the nation’s longest-serving university administrators. He came to the campus in 1984, first serving as the executive vice chancellor, and will bow out at the end of the campus’s centennial year on June 30. As part of the celebration, the chancellor sat down with Comstock’s to reflect upon the colorful history of the campus once known as University Farm and the lasting contributions it has on the Capital Region.
Work has stopped on a 40,000-square-foot conference center planned for Roseville. The city-funded project was supposed to serve as a springboard from which Placer Valley would dive into branding itself as a premier business and sports tourism destination. Now, city planners are in a holding pattern, waiting for timing, funding and manpower to realign, so the region can move forward with its plan to compete in California’s massive tourism market, which, in 2007, accounted for $96.7 billion in consumer spending.
Try as they might, some people are incapable of keeping a plant alive. As easy as maintaining a regular watering schedule, proper lighting and keeping pests away seems, these black thumbs, as they’ve been termed, can still turn the hardiest species into compost after a few weeks. Two recent gadgets give a leg up to gardeners who can’t quite get the swing and offer a chance to bring the power of networks and databases to everyday life.
If Napa County is wine country and Calaveras County is frog-jumping territory, where does that leave a place like Solano? Trying to catch up, perhaps.Thirty years ago Napa County was where Solano is today, says Solano County Supervisor Mike Reagan. In 1992, Napa brought in $361 million in tourism revenue, and with $319 million, Solano wasn’t far behind. Fast-forward to 2006: Napa brought in almost $890 million, but Solano’s revenue only rose to $554 million.