Joanna Corman is a Sacramento-based freelance journalist, writer and editor.
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Gateway to Growth
Redevelopment milestones in the Bridge District
On a breezy, blue-sky day in late November, West Sacramento city and regional planning officials gathered near Raley Field to celebrate the opening of Tower Bridge Gateway, a reconstructed boulevard connecting Highway 50 to Tower Bridge.
Picking apart the pieces of modular construction
The construction site was nearly immaculate. There were no free-standing ladders, power cords were coiled neatly and only a stray nail, crushed cup and small pile of sawdust littered the floor. The 91,000-square-foot factory was full of skylights with chartreuse buttresses and turquoise shelving, creating a bright, showroom feel.
An R is Born
After three decades, a decaying corridor gets another start
On an early September morning, federal, city and redevelopment officials, among others, gathered at the corner of 10th and R streets to celebrate the beginning of street improvements.
Restaurants get creative to pad the bottom line
Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar felt the recession in April 2008 when catering sales began to slide. When the financial pinch hit the chain’s eight restaurants in the second and third quarters of 2009, its management team refocused marketing efforts.
Finding solutions when safety measures and green principles collide
Sometimes, a building’s security needs can pop up unexpectedly during the design process.
New Age of Medicine
Mainstream health providers take an integrative approach
With conventional health care becoming more technologically advanced and increasingly expensive, Dr. Maxine Barish-Wreden sees the future of medicine embracing meditation, massage, yoga, tai chi, nutrition and other “softer therapies.”
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.
Ring of Mire
Yuba doesn't wait for the feds to tackle flood protection
Yuba County officials knew they couldn’t rely on federal money to improve their levees. Historically, the federal government has provided the bulk of money for flood protection, but it can take 10 to 20 years to receive it. So Yuba County, a mostly agricultural county of nearly 73,000 people 30 miles north of Sacramento, developed a plan to fund levee improvements itself.
Wall of Worry
The (almost) rise and fall of the Auburn dam
More than four decades after it was proposed, the Auburn dam still draws conflicting opinions about why it was doomed.
Planning for a collection of regions with different needs
California’s water supply largely depends on the capacity of dams, reservoirs and pipelines built in the past century. These days, however, water utilities are increasingly using conservation and efficiency measures to manage supplies.