(Photo by Tom Couzens)

Our Top Stories of 2020

Back Web Only Dec 30, 2020 By Tom Couzens

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This has been a year like no other, with the coronavirus dominating the news, including our stories in Comstock’s, both in print and online.

It was a difficult year for most businesses in the Capital Region, among the most difficult in the 31 years Comstock’s has been publishing, especially for those deemed nonessential and forced to shut down.

For Comstock’s, 2020 kicked off with several memorable editions before the pandemic dominated our coverage. The March issue, our annual celebration of women in leadership, was a whopping 152 pages, the largest ever produced by Comstock’s. Despite the surge in COVID-19, our November issue, focusing on the environment, was 136 pages.

Throughout the year, our reporters, columnists, photographers, editors, illustrators and designers continued to produce exceptional and original journalism for our readers, both in the printed magazine and on our growing website. 

In the summer, Comstock’s launched the Media Makers Project, a program to mentor student journalists who identify as people of color and thereby increase diversity in our newsroom. So far, six students from local colleges and universities have participated in the project. The nine stories they have written for us are available here.

Here are our editors’ selections for our top print stories of 2020, followed by our most popular print and digital-only stories each month, based on the number of views at comstocksmag.com.

Tom Couzens

Executive Editor

Editor’s Picks:

Follow Her Lead

(Photo by Marissa Lewis)

For the annual Women in Leadership issue, Comstock’s selected 19 leaders in the Capital Region to profile in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits sex discrimination in the the right to vote. The group included leaders in a variety of industries, including marketing, construction, technology, energy, law, health care, entertainment and tourism. Published in March 2020.

Out of the Spotlight

(Photo by Terence Duffy)

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a shutdown of nonvital businesses in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the curtain closed on the performing arts in the Capital Region. Veteran reporter Marcus Crowder interviewed the leaders of a variety of groups and venues in his story on how devastating the shutdown would be on the entertainment industry. Though the prospects were dim, many expressed hope about how quickly the industry would rebound. Published in June 2020.

Help for the Helpers

(Photo by Ryan Angel Meza)

Comstock’s Managing Editor Sena Christian was already reporting for a story about workplace stress when the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down, forcing her to shift her focus to first responders and other occupations that are emotionally demanding. Her story reported on the additional stress suffered by these workers and myriad ways for them to cope. Published in June 2020.

Lineage of Success

(Photo by Carly Cornejo)

For Comstock’s annual Family Business issue, freelance reporter Lien Hoang told the story of how Little Saigon, a stretch of Stockton Boulevard in south Sacramento, was officially designated by the City of Sacramento and the role family businesses have played in its development. The enclave, whose history has been dotted with struggles and success, has become a cultural asset of the capital city, according to Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra. Published in October 2020.

Laying the Groundwork

(Photo by Ryan Angel Meza)

Widespread efforts to achieve environmental justice in Sacramento have been gaining momentum, but Comstock’s Managing Editor Sena Christian discovered that the efforts will only be successful if they are inclusive and equitable, encouraging community members to speak for themselves, and elected officials, city planners and other decision-makers to listen. One leader of the effort is Nailah Pope-Harden, cofounder of the Red, Black and Green Environmental Justice Coalition, which defines social justice as “the basic right of people to live, work, go to school, play, and pray in a safe, healthy, and clean environment.” Published in November 2020.

Top-Read Stories:

Our top-read story of the year was Jeff Wilser’s 2014 story on C.C. Myers due to British political strategist Dominic Cummings sharing it on his blog in January, but we’ve excluded it from this list because it wasn’t published in 2020. We’ve also excluded Suzanne Lucas’s Evil HR Lady column, which is consistently one of our top-read stories each month. Thanks to our readers for sharing our stories with friends and family on social media — you make a big difference! 

Our production team chose the June cover, featuring Sacramento Ballet dancers (and real-life couple) Isabella Velasquez and Anthony Cannarella, as one of their top three favorites for the year. (Photo by Terence Duffy)


Print: Dinner Time: Winters’ Buckhorn Steakhouse Serves a Cut Above

Web: Status Check: City of Roseville Buys Long-Empty Building


Print: Main Street: Soaring in Roseville

Web: Final Designs for Replacement I Street Bridge Revealed


Print: Unfinished Business, 100 Years Later

Web: A Shield Against COVID-19

The cover of the July Young Professionals Issue, featuring Square Root Academy founder Nicholas Haystings, is another favorite of the production team. (Photo by Terence Duffy)


Print: Tapped for Success

Web: Retail Projects in the Works for West Roseville


Print: Delta Blues

Web: What Will Telecommuting Look Like After COVID-19?


Print: More Out the Door

Web: Photos: Volunteers Respond to Calls to Clean Up Sacramento Businesses


Print: Emerging Leaders: Our 2020 Young Professionals Showcase

Web: Savvy Business Moves


Print: Resetting in Historic Folsom

Web: A Healing System

Our October cover features mooncakes, taro roll cake, phở and bánh mì from restaurants and bakeries around Sacramento’s Little Saigon neighborhood. It’s one of the production team’s favorites, and one of the most delicious covers we’ve ever done. (Photo by Rachel Valley)


Print: Hospitals on Life Support

Web: A Double-Edged Service


Print: Minding the Family Business

Web: The Quiet Ones


Print: Laying the Groundwork

Web: Photos: Collecting Craze


Print: Clear Vision for the Future

Web: Photos: Sights to See

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