Sightings & Happenings Around Town

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Back Off!

Micromanaging is toxic — here are 3 tips to help you stop today

At my first full-time job after college, the office manager routinely sorted through the recycling box to ensure that tossed junk mail had been cancelled with the sender. If someone from my department did not write the cancellation clearly enough, there was a lecture. This culminated in a 20-minute rant and the ultimate request to track all incoming junk mail, date of cancellation and subsequent mail on a spreadsheet for review. I refused. And then I quit.

Dec 19, 2014 Kelly Azevedo

Food for Thought

Acuity with Chris Jarosz

Chris Jarosz is the founder of Broderick Restaurant & Bar and co-owner of the Wicked ‘Wich food truck. This year, he also took on the overhaul of midtown’s Capital Dime restaurant and its sister eatery, Trick Pony, which have been folded into the Broderick Roadhouse family of restaurants. It’s not all glamorous, but it is pretty tasty.

Dec 15, 2014 Christine Calvin
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Rethinking Your Services

Tips for becoming a successful solopreneur

If you want to increase your earning power as an independent worker, it’s time to get creative about alternative revenue streams. If you have an expertise that people pay for when they hire you, there are other ways you can capitalize on that expertise. Here are some ideas:

Dec 12, 2014 Janna Maron
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Taste the Vineyard

Lodi vintners are taking a minimalist approach to create all-natural Zinfandels from heritage vines

You might say the old grapevines look otherworldly. With their contorted limbs and thick trunks, these Zinfandel vines look more like squat alien-trees, twisting up out of a sandy 3-acre spit of land in southwest Lodi. “Look how this vine is growing here,” says Stuart Spencer, owner of St. Amant Winery. He’s standing in the dirt at nearby Marian’s Vineyard, pointing to a vine with a hole as big as a fist. “The vine just splits over time.”

Dec 9, 2014 Russell Nichols
Stuart Spencer is the owner of St. Amant Winery in Lodi. He and eleven other local winemakers have joined together to launch the Lodi Native Project, an effort to produce all-natural Zinfandels that highlight the truest flavors of Lodi’s oldest vineyards.

Going Native

A breakdown of the Lodi wine scene

Zinfandel from Lodi’s Mokelumne River American Viticultural Area comes in two main styles: west side and east side. West-side vineyards, with their shallower soil, have lusher growth and tend to be earthier or loamier, sometimes pungently compost-like. East-side vineyards have a lower water table, producing smaller clusters and smaller fruit, which generally have more color, tannin and acidity.

Dec 9, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Wine Tunes

Family-owned and operated Harmony Wynelands in Lodi is musically motivated

The wine tasting room at Harmony Wynelands in Lodi was built with a far different purpose. Bob Hartzell, an aficionado of old-fashioned theater pipe organs and former president of the California Winegrape Growers Association, built the hall to house his pride and joy – a 1921 organ that was once installed in the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. The room’s acoustics are specially designed to show off the organ’s commanding sound.

Dec 8, 2014 Lisa Renner
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Missing Moms

Can an employer require employees to return after maternity leave?

I run a small business. Twice in the past two years, I’ve had employees quit directly after taking maternity leave. Prior to their departures, it was understood that they would return to work. This has caused understandable upheaval in the office. What questions, if any, can I ask employees taking maternity or paternity leave? Can I require them to come back to work in order to take the leave? Are there any options for me to avoid this happening in the future?

Dec 8, 2014 Coral Henning

Shaken or Stirred?

Cocktails with local flair

Bartenders around the region have provided us with their best bets for holiday cocktails featuring gin, rye and bourbon — spirits that are now being produced locally by craft distillers.

Dec 5, 2014 Shannon Haslinger
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Drop by Drop

After 81 years, microdistillers are gaining ground against Prohibition-era laws

In a makeshift distillery tucked  into a Rancho Cordova business park, Greg Baughman mashes and ferments batches of his Wheel House American Dry Gin using a still he designed and built himself, a gleaming vision of stainless steel and copper. But actually sell you a bottle? For that he needs to hire a middleman due to regulatory hurdles dating back to Prohibition.

Dec 5, 2014 Michelle Locke
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Election Aftermath

Post election, what does El Dorado County’s future for growth look like?

Election day saw the defeat of measures M, N and O in El Dorado County. These highly charged measures were opposed by a broad coalition of farmers, business owners and civic leaders who believed these initiatives would diminish local control and restrict development decisions to bureaucrats outside El Dorado County. Although the measures were soundly defeated, the question remains, what happens now?

Dec 3, 2014 Michelle Smira Brattmiller