Graham Womack is a freelance writer based in Sacramento. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and Sacramento News & Review. Follow him on Twitter @grahamdude.
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Minding the Family Business
Why family-run companies can be better poised to navigate hard economic times
While large companies often have shareholders and untold numbers of employees to satisfy, family businesses can maneuver more deftly and swiftly, powering through as best they can.
Comstock’s Talks: Cooking Up a Neighborhood
PODCAST: West Sacramento’s Washington District has transformed in the past decade, due to efforts by the City of West Sacramento, developers and food entrepreneurs.
Cooking Up a Neighborhood
Food options abound in the up-and-coming Washington District in West Sacramento
West Sacramento’s Washington District has transformed in the past decade, due to efforts by the City of West Sacramento, developers and food entrepreneurs.
Comstock’s Talks: Cooking Up a Neighborhood
PODCAST: Food options abound in the up-and-coming Washington District in West Sacramento.
Status Check: Sacramento CIO Is Moving On
Social unrest spurs Sacramento Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart to depart city to build diversity pipeline at major tech firm
Louis Stewart has been the face of technological innovation efforts in Sacramento city government since 2017, leading initiatives such as the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab.
Status Check: Sacramento County Airport System
Sacramento County Airport System uses $49.9 million in CARES Act funding to offset traffic decline from COVID-19
The pandemic has upended normal operations for the four airports, but stakeholders see reasons for optimism.
Uneasy Navigation in a COVID-19 World
The pandemic is creating sidewalk accessibility and other challenges for some people with disabilities
Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Al Fresco program has helped restaurants at a historically tough time, but it’s also created some disability access issues.
Status Check: Residential Boom on Broadway
The conversion of former Tower Records, Books and Video site is one of several current housing projects in Sacramento’s Broadway corridor
For decades, Tower Records, Tower Books and Tower Videos defined the southeastern corner of 16th Street and Broadway in Sacramento. In their place could come a 53-unit apartment building — part of the next wave of development for Broadway.
The New Normal
Sacramento businesses face challenges adapting to COVID-19 landscape
Despite the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus still soaring around California and throughout the country, state and local governments have begun loosening restrictions on businesses. Here’s how businesses are adjusting.
Status Check: Health Care Hanging On
Local leaders say they’re undaunted by intense fiscal impacts from COVID-19
COVID-19 has presented significant challenges for health care. At least for the moment, though, local providers have been hanging tough and looking toward economic recovery.
Navigating the New Flexibility
Brett Sargent, founder and CEO of True North Consulting, offers advice on Paycheck Protection Program loans
On June 5, President Donald Trump signed an extension as part of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, allowing business owners 24 weeks, instead of eight, to use loans. Brett Sargent explains the options.
Status Check: Cloudy Days for Pensions?
COVID-19 might lead to even fewer defined-benefit pensions in the private sector
It’s still early to fully gauge what effects the coronavirus economic shutdown will have on the pension landscape, but the preliminary outlook for certain parts of the industry, particularly with defined-benefit plans, isn’t encouraging.
Putting Security at the Forefront
Brian Maletsky of Capital Network Solutions talks about cybersecurity challenges faced by businesses with employees working remotely
As companies have transitioned en masse to remote operations due to the coronavirus, Brian Maletsky has had a front-row seat to some of their cybersecurity missteps. He spoke to Comstock’s about some of the unique security challenges businesses are facing during the pandemic.
Wendy Cohen of Kitchell talks about the construction firm’s projects underway in Sacramento
Construction is one industry that has continued through shelter-in-place orders. Comstock’s spoke with Wendy Cohen, vice president of operations for the construction firm Kitchell, to learn how the industry has been impacted by the coronavirus and the role it can play in the recovery.
Bringing Downtown Back
Michael Ault of Downtown Sacramento Partnership talks about businesses reopening
Gov. Gavin Newsom said that “some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses” would be allowed to reopen beginning May 8. Comstock’s spoke with Downtown Sacramento Partnership Executive Director Michael Ault about what a limited reopening might look like in the Sacramento region.
Variety of local businesses shuttered by COVID-19 await reopening
Comstock’s has been following four businesses that have been helping to drive the resurgence of Sacramento’s central city in recent years. Here’s how they’re faring a month into the shutdown.
The Might of Medicine
With around 150,000 jobs, a robust provider marketplace and a slew of projects underway, health care helps define the greater Sacramento region
Though service gaps and challenges remain, health care could eventually become the Sacramento region’s calling card.
Status Check: I-80 Lane Widening Project Presses On
Solano Transportation Authority moves forward on plans to widen 10 miles of roadway
The mayors of Fairfield and Vacaville and the Solano Transportation Authority are seeking $123 million in funding from the California Transportation Commission toward a project to widen 10 miles of Interstate 80. But with commute times down due to the coronavirus, it might be a tougher sell.
Retail Projects in the Works for West Roseville
Residents in fast-developing part of south Placer County have been underserved
As west Roseville’s residential communities have rapidly developed in recent years, spreading farther toward the western border of Placer County, there have been few commercial amenities while developers have waited for a critical mass of population that could support new shopping centers.
Health Care Jobs Spur Economic Optimism
Local economist says Capital Region’s strengths in health care sector help insulate it from effects of COVID-19
Health care and life sciences account for around 150,000 jobs in the Sacramento region, making the sector the largest private employer. Experts suggest that the public sector and health care may expand locally, even as the coronavirus pandemic contracts the global economy.
A Shield Against COVID-19
Operation Shields Up aims to create at least 12,000 face shields for first responders treating COVID-19
Alan Puccinelli, an Auburn resident and founder and CEO of 3D printing company Repkord, is working to create face shields for medical professionals treating COVID-19.
Sacramento Metro Chamber Launches Rapid Response Tool for Businesses
Online hub provides resources for businesses affected by the coronavirus
In response to the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and the rapidly evolving set of challenges it presents for businesses and workers, in addition to public health, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce has launched a Rapid Response tool on its website.
Status Check: McClellan Park
Electric school bus company that moved to the development in December may temporarily close due to coronavirus
The coronavirus has upended operations for businesses around the Sacramento region, including Lion, which was founded in 2008 and operates and repairs all-electric school buses.
Local Businesses Struggle as Coronavirus Changes Our Daily Lives
On a bleary Monday morning in Sacramento with the Dow Jones industrial average tanking, on its way to a 2,997 point drop and its worst day since 1987, Greater Sacramento Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome offered advice for local business owners that he knows won’t be popular.
Making it Work
Employers are finding fewer hurdles and more employees in Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville
Sacramento has long been considered a core for employment opportunities in the region, drawing commuters daily from the surrounding suburbs into the city. That was part of a mid-20th century philosophy of land-use planning that people would be willing to drive greater distances to work in exchange for large homes, good schools and safe communities for their families.
Status Check: Getting Creative to Solve Homelessness
Urban Land Institute hosts panel event on alternative housing strategies in Sacramento
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg made a pitch to the crowd during his introductory remarks at an Urban Land Institute program addressing homelessness: “We need a Silicon Valley moment around efficient housing strategies in California.”
Comstock’s Talks: Small Downtowns
PODCAST: For anyone in the Sacramento area looking to get away for a day or weekend, the Capital Region has plenty of hidden gems.
Comstock’s Talks: Small Downtowns Blend History With Unique Experiences
PODCAST: For anyone in the Sacramento area looking to get away for a day or weekend, the Capital Region has plenty of hidden gems — the many downtowns in rural enclaves that are easy to drive to and explore by foot.
Small Downtowns Blend History With Unique Experiences
The Capital Region offers a mix of destinations within an hour’s drive of Sacramento
For anyone in the Sacramento area looking to get away for a day or weekend, the Capital Region has plenty of hidden gems — the many downtowns in rural enclaves that are easy to drive to and explore by foot.
Status Check: City of Roseville Buys Long-Empty Building
Former Kobra Properties building in downtown has been vacant for years
When Abe Alizadeh’s empire collapsed in 2008, eventually leading to a 56-month federal prison sentence for the developer for real estate fraud, the fate of a large unfinished building in downtown Roseville hung in the balance.
The City Is the Lab
Urban Technology Lab is trying to put Sacramento on the innovation map
The Urban Technology Lab aimed to offer businesses and academic institutions a space to develop their ideas, products and services with the goal of making Sacramento more tech savvy. Is the program making good on that promise?
Part of this month’s Innovation issue
Status Check: Fire Nonstarter
California experiences a tamer 2019 wildfire season, but work remains
Ten of the 20 most destructive wildfires in state history have occurred since 2015. These megafires fueled by hot, dry winds and climate change seemingly blanket every late summer with gray, smoky skies and a gnawing worry among Californians that the next one might take out their home.
Status Check: Shop Local Campaign Kicks Off in Lincoln
City leaders encourage residents to spend more of their dollars locally
Between 2000 and 2010, Lincoln quadrupled in size from roughly 10,000 residents to 40,000. But revitalizing the city’s downtown and growing its economic base has been an ongoing work in progress.
Status Check: Playing the Long Game
Veteran games developer and former KlickNation owner Mark Otero resurfaces with hedge fund Alice Capital
Mark Otero left Electronic Arts and Capital Games, the subsidiary he helped found, with a strict noncompete agreement.
Major League Soccer Comes to Sacramento
Republic FC will begin playing in MLS in 2022 in a new stadium in The Railyards
After a lengthy negotiation period punctuated by a few unofficial leaks, the announcement several years in the making finally happened Monday morning: Sacramento earned a Major League Soccer franchise.
Status Check: Banking on Events
Regional groups are at work on high-dollar projects to attract visitors
One of the latest high-dollar projects downtown for the City of Sacramento is a surreal sight on a sunny September morning.
Some small markets in downtown and Midtown Sacramento are being revitalized with fresh businesses
When Lucky Rodrigues drove by the storefront at 703 19th St. in Sacramento, he knew he had his work cut out for him. The two-story Victorian, constructed in 1900, according to Sacramento County assessor records, boasts something noticeable to anyone who’s been around the central city grid: space in front for a small convenience market.
Status Check: Out in the Open
Liz Salmi continues advocacy for medical record transparency
A prior story about Liz Salmi ended on a hopeful note, with the long-term brain cancer patient quitting her job and flying to Austria to participate as a fellow in an annual conference on topics of global importance.
Ron Burkle: The Man Backing the MLS Bid
Five things to know about Ron Burkle, who joined Sacramento Republic FC as lead investor in its bid to join Major League Soccer.
At The Railyards, it’s Full Steam Ahead
Backed by the expected arrival of a Major League Soccer team, development is stirring at the long-dormant Railyards in downtown Sacramento
There’s a word that comes to mind for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg regarding the largest infill project in his city, The Railyards. “The one word I would use to describe the state of where we’re at is ‘breakthrough,’” Steinberg says.
Status Check: Sacramento iHub
Local business and tech leaders continue to develop the local innovation hub
Brandon Weber stood in front of a group of Sacramento entrepreneurs and local leaders, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and confronted a truth: Efforts to support the regional chapter of the California Innovation Hub have slowed in recent years.
Status Check: Making the Cut
After appearing on the cover of Comstock’s magazine in 2014, Cindy Garcia has gone on to compete in several butchery competitions and will soon appear on a nationally-broadcast television program.
Status Check: Isleton Slowly Revives
Signs of progress in tiny city with history of big problems
For the first time in several years, something at least resembling the storied Crawdad Festival of years past is going to be held in Isleton.
Status Check: City Seeks Public Feedback on Riverfront Ideas
Waterfront Idea Makers competition to open for voting
Pretty soon, the next phase of life for the Sacramento River waterfront could become evident — with help from the public needed to make it happen.
Status Check: Community Choice Aggregation
Exit fees remain an unresolved issue for CCAs looking to compete in the energy market
In September 2018, a Davis-based Community Choice Aggregation option known as Valley Clean Energy offered to extend its service to Winters and West Sacramento, months after launching in Woodland, Davis and unincorporated Yolo County.
Building a New Neighborhood in Sacramento’s Central City
Q19, The Press project and new townhomes helping to transform sleepy part of Midtown
An apartment building at the corner of 17th and Q streets wasn’t a bad place to live in 2005.
Boom on Broadway
Infill development helps usher in the next generation of eateries on Broadway’s west end
Until recently, Tower Cafe in Sacramento was one of the only food options west of 16th Street on Broadway, with some of the most well-known establishments east of the intersection, including Willie’s Hamburgers, Los Jarritos and Pancake Circus. The west end of Broadway heading toward Sacramento River, while not completely devoid of restaurants, was largely an industrial hub.
Sakata Seed America Opens $18.5 Million Woodland Innovation Center
Not too long ago, when Sakata Seed America was looking to relocate some of its operations from Morgan Hill, there was an easy choice near Woodland.
State Hornet to Cut Print Publication
Sacramento State’s 70-year-old student paper will go entirely virtual after 2018-19 school year
The question for the State Hornet — and for newspapers everywhere — is if this media operation can find new life as it navigates a major transition.
Art in the Park
Can $40 million Crocker Park development project drive further riverfront revitalization?
Crocker Park is three acres of unimproved land at 2nd and O streets adjacent to Interstate 5. Prior to the construction of the freeway and the redevelopment of Sacramento’s west end in the mid-1900s, this land once had housing on it.