Allison Joy is the former Editor in Chief for Comstock’s magazine. On Twitter @MsAllisonJoy.
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Women continue to balance the responsibilities of career with caregiving as the population ages
The AARP has a family caregivers discussion Facebook group with just 2,100 members, though a highly active feed. Most of the posts are written by women, though men find advice and solace there also.
Woodland’s Z Specialty Food seeks to double the footprint of its honey warehouse and create a community gathering spot
The company recently broke ground on a new Woodland facility that will double its warehouse size and serve as a community hub at the intersections of gourmet food, farm to fork and pollinator support.
We Need To Think of Diversity Not As Pushing Forward, But As Lifting Up
Some studies suggest women have better track records in finance, including investing in the stock market and managing hedge funds. Corporations who put us on their boards perform better. Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising for some, particularly from older generations, to wonder what the rest of us are still going on about.
What’s in an Ad?
Businesses that truly seek to give back don’t rely on ad campaigns to effect change.
Spend Smart This Season
Local gift and specialty shops are super helpful if you’re short on ideas this holiday season. While Amazon’s vast selection and unparalleled convenience are understandably tempting, the volume of cheap knock-offs and reviews of questionable authenticity can be a bit much to weed through.
Preparing Youth for the Future of Work
A well-rounded education is essential in preparing today’s youth for the job market of tomorrow.
Can ‘Cottage Cannabis’ Open Doors to Small Operators?
Cannabis microbusiness permits could give small operators a shot at success.
What’s In the News?
This month, for the second year in a row, I’ll mentor Sacramento State students in the State Hornet Digital Academy, designed to supplement journalism coursework and prepare students for the always-changing media landscape. Based on last year’s experience, these students are eager, dedicated and brimming with ideas. But I worry about what kind of industry they’ll be fighting their way into when they graduate.
Can You Hear Me Now?
As a self-diagnosed introvert and generally busy person, I find the internet and my accompanying devices to be true friends. I like the solitude of working during the witching hour, and the comfort of firing off late-night emails when a thought comes to me without having to wait until the window of office hours opens.
A Note on Our April Issue
Our April issue should be rolling off the printing press any minute now, soon to hit stands and mailboxes throughout the region. That process, between when we send files and receive a magazine, can take upward of two weeks.
Comstock’s celebrates six extraordinary women of influence who are redefining leadership on their own terms.
We’re highlighting six of the Capital Region’s most influential female leaders who are blazing trails in their respective industries.
Connections Across the Causeway Vital to Growth
Connectivity between the capital city and one of the leading research universities in the nation is an obvious essential ingredient if our region’s diverse set of assets are to be leveraged collectively. This is particularly relevant as UC Davis and the City of Sacramento work together to provide the jobs and lifestyle amenities more likely to keep university graduates in the region.
Seek Solutions by Seeking Empathy
The planning stage of our December issue typically starts with a conversation reviewing what we mean by “innovation.” Technology is often only part of it — a starting point, if that. Notable innovation hinges on better solutions to existing problems.
Transforming the Golden 1 Center, from the ground up.
All in the Family
One thing that makes my job so interesting is that Comstock’s isn’t a publication solely focused on disseminating information in the form of news briefs and factoids. We tell stories: of the struggle to succeed, thrills of success, heartbreaks of failure and the quiet fear of finding oneself at a crossroads.
The Forest Through the Pages
California is no stranger to devastating wildfires. But did you know that our famed sequoias actually need fire? It not only helps release seeds from their cones, but it also uncovers the soil in which those seeds can take root. Sometimes, destruction leads to rebirth.
A Spinster’s Guide to Professional Parenthood
The intersection of parenthood, motherhood particularly, and the workplace is not a space without landmines. Next time you’re at a party, ask who has it tougher — then, run.
Can We Talk?
I would encourage all of you to make a concerted effort to have difficult conversations in the weeks, months and years to come. Have unusual conversations. Ask lots of questions. Take stock of where your boundaries are, but pay attention to where there might be room for growth and compromise. What opportunities are currently masquerading at your fingertips as unaddressed problems?
Comstock’s Top 10 Stories of 2016
Last year was one for the history books. But as we start the new year, we wanted to take one last look back at some of our best-performing and most-read articles of 2016. Take a look and see if you missed any of our greatest hits — or if something might deserve a second read.
An Enhanced Vision for the New Year
Our whole team at Comstock’s is grateful for the past year of growth in our web users, paid subscribers and retail sales. We want to thank long-time readers for your continued support, and our new ones for helping us grow and evolve. You continue to show us that our message has teeth, and you drive us to always seek to do better
Conferences that Count
4 rules for ensuring people keep coming back
Look, no one has time for a bad conference. I personally attend many and miss even more. On most occasions, I’m coming off a busy day in the office during which I only accomplished about half of my to-do list, and I find myself watching with increasing anxiety as the number in that little red dot hovering angrily over my mail app climbs higher.
Healthy Competition Builds A Gold-Medal Team
We talk a lot about teamwork. Collaboration is the newit-kid in the business world. But a degree of healthy competition within a team is a good thing. The key is to balance competition with collaboration. Here are some things to keep in mind when adding a little friendly competition to your office:
Key to the City
Tim Egkan left an indelible mark on downtown Stockton — both in life and in death
Tim Egkan was a man more fixated on the potential of things than their immediate utility. He had a bright vision for Stockton’s beleaguered central core. Now, the community he left behind has a mission to see it brought to life.
Smart Cities Hinge on Open Data
A technologically-savvy city is no longer fodder for fantasy film; it’s an expectation. We live in a time where technology can and should make our urban environments more efficient in terms of energy consumption, transportation, land use, citizen participation and government processes.
Queen Bees Sting
How good are female leaders at mentoring the next generation?
I’ll admit, my best mentors have been men, and I am grateful for their unwavering support and guidance. I’ve also experienced the confusion and frustration when a female collaborator turned competitive, when a hand that could have opened a door instead shut it in my face.
Transplant Your Garden
Why I choose to call the Capital Region home
It’s important for transplants to realize that our greatest strength can also be our greatest liability. What we bring to the table is a disregard for what, allegedly, cannot be done. But it’s important to understand the context in which our ideas are being received. We need to be just as willing to learn as we are to create.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Fearlessness
There’s a lot of credit given to those who are fearless. And it’s a worthy attribute, but it’s important that we acknowledge exactly what we mean when we laud fearlessness.
Good Eats Made Easy
Caviar delivery service launches partnerships with Sacramento restaurants
Sacramento dining is about to get a little more convenient.
Will Hack for Food
Local technologists use open data to feed Californians
State and local governments aren’t known for being cutting edge or tech savvy. But as the open data movement gains momentum, the private sector is becoming more empowered to usher valuable, though often archaic, institutions into the 21st century.
Keeping IT Confidential
Which data is opened and which stays closed
“It’s not secret data,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “It’s already held by the government; the data sets are all subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not private, confidential data. It’s already open to the public, but it’s just not in any usable form.”
Status Check: AgTech in the Central Valley
SARTA AgStart kicks off new Field Day program
Last February we reported on advancements in agricultural technology in the Capital Region and the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance’s effort to better connect growers and investors to agtech in the Central Valley (“The New World of Ag,” by Allison Joy). On May 21, SARTA showcased four entrepreneurs at its first AgStart Field Day.
The Family Fleece
Heart and Soul Alpacas & Spinnery in Penn Valley
“Our business allows us to center our livelihood around our family, rather than our family around our livelihood,” says Karen Ball. “We probably work harder and longer because of it, but we love what we’re doing.”
The Law of Art
On the streets with graffiti artist and muralist Anthony Padilla
When asked if the perception of graffiti art has softened over time, artist Anthony Padilla pauses before tentatively responding, “A little bit. Obviously vandalism is wrong, but then there’s also the art side of [graffiti]. I think when you see writing on a wall, it shows that there is life in that city.”
A Captain’s Call
On board with Captain Jeff Hedlund
Captain Jeff Hedlund manages Brusco Tug & Barge’s Northern California operation in Stockton, where he started as a deckhand in 1973.
The New Hip Chick
With the spotlight on commercial egg farming, will the pasture-raised bird steal the show?
The implementation of California’s Proposition 2, which expanded space requirements for hens that produce eggs sold in California, has had ripple effects impacting producers, distributors and consumers throughout the nation. But as animal rights activists and demanding consumers realize the law hasn’t reflected their ideals, and as the price gap between commercial and specialty eggs narrows, will the elite pasture-raised egg enjoy a rise in popularity?
Strategy for Growth
Variety is the spice of life at Morningsun Herb Farm
While Rose Loveall oversees the plants at Morningsun Herb Farm, her husband Dan Sale handles maintenance and business operations. When the duo opened their nursery 20 years ago, they started with just one small greenhouse and two hoop houses. Since then, Sale has built another greenhouse and eight more hoop houses, in addition to the small gardens that dot the property.
With J-E Paino at the helm, can Solano County lead the region to a rebirth of hops?
Paino has made a commitment to using all local ingredients in Ruhstaller’s brews, going so far as to grow his own hops yard. But it hasn’t been that easy. So what’s standing in the way of the Capital Region’s hops renaissance?
3 hot sipping spots in Solano County
Solano County hasn’t escaped the craft beer craze. Here are three local breweries you don’t want to miss:
Status Check: Ygrene Energy Fund
CEO Stacey Lawson on Ygrene Works and the great green funding expansion
Lawson says Ygrene has approved $60 million in loans for energy upgrades in Sacramento, Yolo and Butte counties and estimates that installed upgrades will result in the reduction of 40,000 metric tons of CO2 over their lifetimes.
Hot and heavy with the blacksmiths of East Sac's Fence World
Stephen Lyman, owner of Fence World, has been in the family fencing business since he was a boy (on payroll since the age of 10, he says). “This is one of the decorative arts that is just limitless — the things you can’t do in wood, you can do in iron,” Lyman says with pride. “You can’t build a bridge like the Golden Gate out of wood. It has to be steel.”
Late-Night Emails: Yea or Nay?
Productivity killer or time saver?
Are you known around the office for firing off emails in the wee hours of the morning? Are you in a leadership position? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you may be doing a disservice to both yourself and your team.
Status Check: Rapid Ramen
More on the plate for Rapid Ramen CEO Chris Johnson
In the past year, Rapid Ramen has expanded into Target, Menard’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Family Dollar — just to name a few. The little cooker has gone international, too, including distribution in Australia, India and Canada. But that’s not all…
A Vantage for Vintage
Addison's Bicycle Reparium offers character, cool bikes
Two years ago Addison Quarles opened Addison’s Bicycle Reparium, where he says he’ll work on anything “new, old or esoteric.”
The New World of Ag
Investment in agtech is growing, but will the Central Valley cash in?
Through certain entrepreneurial eyes, agricultural technology looks a lot more relevant than the latest iPhone app or social networking tool. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, by 2050 the world will need 70 percent more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people.. And the Central Valley is poised to cash in — if we play our cards right.
Status Check: Stevia First
It’s full speed ahead for this sweet startup
In 2013 we reported on Capital Region startup Stevia First and its CEO Robert Brooke’s goal of making his company the first domestic distributor of stevia. Stevia First made significant progress last year, most notably by entering into a partnership with China-based stevia distributor Qualipride International Ltd.
Fight of the Navigators
Connecting homeless to health care saves money in the ER
Regina Vasquez ended up homeless after her father passed away. Embarrassed by incontinence caused by Crohn’s disease, she found living out of her car a more dignified alternative to life in a public shelter. She worried constantly about her next visit to Sutter’s emergency department, and whether she would need yet another surgery. She estimates she made six to eight ER visits per year during her time on the streets.
Jeremy Shepherd and his always-on-the-go flock
Jeremy Shepherd has been tending to his growing flock since 2009. He sells mutton to local markets but also works his herds as mobile mowers with local farmers in Yolo County.
On the Cover: Function with Flair
These local designers make art that's user-friendly
What more can your storage cabinets do for you? How can your placemats become conversation pieces? What if sitting down to read a magazine felt a little bit like being at the carnival?
Teacher Nicole Castles brings education to patients at UC Davis Children's Hospital
Nicole Castles teaches UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento. Castles is the sole instructor for all school-aged children in the pediatrics ward, as well as school-age patients in other wings of the hospital. In a given week she’ll schedule bedside sessions with as many as 30 students.
Come On, Confess!
We want your holiday party horror story
Tis the season for sharing! In the spirit of the holiday season, tell us your office holiday party horror story (anonymously, of course). Next month we’ll share the most cringe-worthy as well as advice on damage control — in case anything goes awry this year.
Don’t be a Scrooge … You know you’ve got one.