Laurie Lauletta-Boshart is a contributing writer and editor for consumer publications, Fortune 500 companies, small business and higher education. She has written for Dwell, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, SI.com (Sports Illustrated) and others. On Twitter @laurieboshart or www.wordplaycommunications.com.
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How Sweet It Is
After a difficult recession, several Capital Region dessert shops cautiously expand
During the economic recession and its aftermath, some restaurants and sweet shops in the region were hit hard by the rising cost of ingredients and cost-conscious customers, and forced to shutter their doors or scale back on business.
A woman’s place in the home is as the buyer, seller — and everything in between
With the increase in female representation across the homebuilding and homebuying spectrums, the building and real estate industries have an opportunity to target this growing market, which could shift the way homes are designed, built and sold.
New measures call for significant reform to offer foster youth a better chance at permanent homes
Foster youth who live in congregate care settings (like group homes) are more likely than those who live with families to suffer a variety of negative outcomes, including low education levels, mental illness and involvement with the justice system. Placing foster youth in a stable and caring home is paramount, but finding the best way to do that has proved challenging.
Compassion Planet Employs Aged-Out Foster Youth and At-Risk Teens
Deer Creek Farm, a retail boutique in Rocklin that offers unique gifts, home decor and a working garden, is not your typical shop. The shop employs aged-out foster youth (18 and older) and at-risk teens as part of a mentoring program with Compassion Planet, a Rocklin-based nonprofit organization that works to bring stability into the lives of young people by equipping them for future success.
Local Loomis Unveiled
Placer County town has cultivated a niche food scene frequented by locals
An idyllic, family-farm community in south Placer County, Loomis is proud of its small-town heritage and quaint downtown dotted with unique shops and cafés. This rural village of about 7,000 residents caters to outdoor enthusiasts looking for a slower pace. Loomis has managed to keep its hometown feel for decades, jealously guarding its open space and passing on chain stores and malls.
It Takes a Community
The new Destiny Community Center facility offers resources for single moms and their children
Open seven days a week, the community center includes multi-functional meeting and educational rooms, a fitness center, a fully-stocked teen center, a trellis café with indoor seating and oversized flat screen, a KidZone and more.
In a single generation, the Rozakis family went from having one dump truck to owning a $16 million materials transport business
In 2005, GR launched Crete Crush, a sister company to its trucking operation that includes two concrete and asphalt crushing and recycling centers, one at the company’s Rancho Cordova headquarters, and another at its 15-acre facility off Bradshaw Road in Sacramento. When the company first started, it was paying someone else to crush the concrete and asphalt that was accumulating from demolition site hauls.
The Giants have made an uncharacteristically long-term commitment to the River Cats — here's why the match is ideal for both teams
In September 2014, the River Cats signed a two-year affiliation agreement with the San Francisco Giants, effectively ending the team’s 15-year partnership with the Oakland Athletics. Less than two years later, the two clubs have inked a new four-year deal, extending the agreement through 2020, marking one of the few times the Giants have signed a four-year agreement with a Triple-A affiliate.
Baseball Affiliation Basics
The contractual obligation between a Major League Baseball club and the Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate is a standard player development contract with very clear responsibilities.
What Happened When One River Cat Got the Big Call
Only about 10 percent of all minor league players get a chance to play in the big leagues
Once players make it to Triple-A, the prospect of being called up to the majors is more tangible. Only about 10 percent of all minor league players make it to the big leagues, and the majority are pulled from the more talented and experienced Triple-A teams, which represent the highest level of Minor League Baseball.
Why are architecture firms flocking to Sacramento’s central city — and what does it mean for the industry?
Firms are becoming increasingly attracted to the city’s creative vibe and energy, seeing advantageous opportunities to setting a base in the heart of the Capital Region. They join already established firms that, together, are bringing a renewed energy and a design presence to the city’s core.
Four local leaders discuss their journeys to the top of male-dominated industries
Effective leaders don’t come from one mold. The women featured below have excelled in nontraditional industries due to their talent, vision, perseverance and the (sometimes unlikely) mentors who guided their trajectory. They shared their stories with us — where they started, their rise to leadership and their thoughts on mentoring the next generation of powerful women.
Mad for Mod
Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour returns
One of SacMod’s most popular events, the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour, is back for 2016 and takes place just once every three years.
11 young leaders bring a new perspective to the Capital Region
This year’s list features innovators, disruptors and creators who are invigorating our cities and challenging the status quo. The impact they’ll make in our local communities and beyond will help define our future.
Coffee Enthusiasts Unite
Caffeine Crawl returns to Sacramento March 5
Following a completely sold-out event in 2014, Sacramento Caffeine Crawl will return to the city next week with an all-star lineup of some of Sacramento’s finest coffee establishments.
Systems for Success
Nonprofits use measurable outcomes to demonstrate success and shore up support
Saint John’s Program for Real Change is part of a growing national movement of nonprofits designing programs that include new ways to monitor outcomes and quantify success for those they serve.
Friends with Tents
Tent Pals lets buyers donate temporary housing to those in need
While studying abroad at the London School of Economics, UC Davis grad Alex Aguiar befriended a young homeless girl. He found her sleeping beneath an overpass, using folded cardboard to keep the cold concrete from chilling her body. Aguiar could not get the girl’s plight out of his mind. To understand his market, Aguiar spent the night with the homeless community, learning their stories and about what might help them. That’s when the idea for Tent Pals was born
Private Efforts for Public Good
Auburn citizens turn defunct prison into needed shelter
A wearisome, vicious cycle was emerging with Auburn’s homeless population: Greater numbers were congregating on the streets by day and filling the DeWitt minimum security prison by night. Neither the city nor the county had adequate housing or facilities to deal with the situation, so the problem persisted. Residents were frustrated, but nothing was done. A group of community members vowed to act and started a grassroots effort that has culminated in turning the partially vacated barracks at DeWitt into a fully-staffed, round-the-clock facility open to Auburn’s homeless.
Feast Your Eyes on This
True gourmet dining starts with the plate, a canvas for culinary art
“There is an old adage that we eat with our eyes,” says John Weatherson, co-owner and co-chef, along with wife Nyna, of Restaurant Trokay. In his experience, the brain is conditioned to pre-determine the quality of a dish’s taste by the way it looks, and how a dish is plated ultimately helps to maximize the diner’s gastronomic experience. Located in the historic district of downtown Truckee, the couple’s culinary creations at Restaurant Trokay take center stage, but the presentation is no afterthought.
Titan Gilroy is on a mission to eliminate offshore outsourcing and boost manufacturing back home
When Zinola Manufacturing owner Kevin Zinola took a chance and offered convicted felon Titan Gilroy an entry-level job in his small Sunnyvale machine shop, he had no idea where the relationship would go. In the years to follow, Gilroy reformed his life, worked his way up through several companies and finally, established Titan America Manufacturing.
Made in America
PASCO Scientific has expanded its business through export opportunities
American-made products are in greater demand internationally, opening up another revenue stream for businesses that want to export. PASCO Scientific, an American manufacturer of lab equipment for hands-on STEM education, has expanded its business through export opportunities.
Schooled in Soccer
Sacramento Republic FC launches new development academy
Sacramento has always been a soccer town. From the tremendous growth of youth soccer to the days of professional indoor and semi-pro teams, the game has long had roots in the heart of the Capital Region. With 13 million Americans playing the game, soccer has exploded in the last decade and is the third most played team sport behind basketball and baseball. Sacramento Republic FC is capitalizing on that fútbol frenzy, now boasting an elite youth academy program.
Waiting for the Call
The decade-long journey to umpiring in the big leagues
Well after midnight, Jordan Ferrell returns to his Fresno hotel room and lowers his exhausted body onto the bed. After umpiring nine games in 12 days, he’s spent. To unwind, he flips on the TV, scans the movie selection and retrieves his phone to check texts. Working the plate at tonight’s game was an exercise in patience.
Gibson Gets the Call
From minor to major with the ring of a phone
In early January, while wrapping up a 3-month umpire stint in the Dominican Winter League, Hal “Tripp” Gibson got a call. The call. The one every umpire in the minor leagues is waiting for.
Behind the Mask
Work-life balance with an umpire on the road
While sourcing my July feature for Comstock’s about the career journey of umpires, I learned just how much they give up and how many hours they put in away from home to reach the pinnacle of their profession.
Houses of worship that are worthy of praise
Houses of worship are an important element in Sacramento’s architectural history. From century-old churches to facilities that incorporate modern and sustainable technologies, religious buildings knit together the very fabric of the communities they serve. Here, we feature five local houses of worship, each with its own unique story.
The Next Wave
10 young professionals on our radar for 2015
Momentum is shifting in the Capital Region, and young professionals are leading the charge. General skepticism is being replaced with emerging optimism and a renewed energy that’s providing the catalyst for growth and innovation across our cities. Here are the top ten young leaders we think you should be watching. They are driving the Capital Region’s evolution, and we anticipate you’ll see them at the forefront in 2015 and decades to come.
Low Energy, High Stakes
Homebuilders and utilities rush to meet tough zero-net-energy targets
The market for cutting-edge, sustainable homes has traditionally been small, primarily pursued by industry experts and boutique developers who can both appreciate and afford them. But that’s about to change.
Seen & Not Heard
Child advocates could fundamentally shift foster care outcomes, if only there were more volunteers
Over half a million kids live in foster care in the U.S. as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Because they can’t advocate for themselves, many become victims a second time, lost in an overburdened child welfare system that can’t pay close attention to each child. But one program is drastically improving outcomes for foster youth, despite the overwhelming odds.
Women in Philanthropy helps foster youth transition to adulthood
Women in Philanthropy, a program of the United Way California Capital Region, supports foster teens in the community who are turning 18 and facing emancipation. The group coordinates workshops and social programs and organizes a holiday stocking and gift event. Last year, volunteers collected nearly 500 towel sets and 50 luggage sets, along with toiletries and household goods to give to those making the transition to independence.
On the Cover: Local buildings take an old-school approach to present-day challenges
Here we feature some of Sacramento’s most innovative, modernist buildings and the architectural solutions employed to achieve enduring and functional spaces.
It’s Impolite to Squat
EV owners find it increasingly difficult to plug in
Long before it was widely accepted, Sacramento attorney Mike Polis bought his first electric vehicle. He got started with a Toyota Prius, later upgraded to a Nissan Leaf and now drives a white Chevy Volt. On average, he saves more than $3,500 a year over his gas-powered counterparts, he can use the HOV lane as a single occupant and he charges his car for free at work.
Placer County hopes to win tourism dollars with new sports complexes
The rise of elite youth sports and the popularity of year-round athletics have created an emerging market for participant and spectator spending in south Placer County, which has positioned itself as a major sports destination. Now, two separate entities are looking to capitalize on the region’s sports market with large-scale venues that could turn a profit in as few as three years.
The Learned Philanthropist
Academic programs for philanthropists and nonprofit leaders are emerging nationwide
After two decades of working in the nonprofit industry, Robin Chronister, an executive assistant for Mother Lode Rehabilitation in Placerville, noticed a gradual but clear change in the nonprofit sector.
United We Stand
Done wisely, nonprofit mergers can boost economic vitality
In the fall of 2011, the executive directors of the Sacramento Philharmonic and the Sacramento Opera sat in their respective offices staring bleakly at financial reports that were telling each of them what they already knew:
From Setbacks to Scholar
St. John’s Shelter Program offers women a fresh start
A twice-convicted felon, Ronita Iulio thought she had blown her last chance to salvage her life and family. After being released from prison in 2008, Iulio was anxious to reunite with her three children, but instead she faced an unsympathetic court that granted full custody to her ex-husband.
Match Made in Heaven
Sacramento churches partner with nonprofits to boost impact
A growing movement of collaboration is uniting local nonprofits with faith-based organizations in an effort to maximize community impact by increasing manpower and financial support.
Sugar & Splice
The Capital Region offers everything nice for ag-bio companies like Stevia First
A Capital Region startup is striving to be among the first in the nation to produce the zero-calorie, natural sweetener stevia on an industrial scale. An agricultural biotech company, Yuba City-based Stevia First is bolstering its chances of success by actively collaborating with experts in the field, drawing on the area’s robust talent pool of farmers, agronomists, agricultural innovators and biotech experts to develop a product that’s superior in both taste and cost compared to its foreign competitors.
Age-old recipes make for new-era growth
Tucked in a quiet corner of western Yolo County, Winters embraces the soul of small-town living. Centered around a historic downtown complete with white gazebo and an oversized main street clock, this tiny farm town (population 6,624) is on the cusp of a burgeoning new food scene.