Sightings & Happenings Around Town

Casey Marshall works on "The Monitaur" at Hacker Lab

Independents’ Day

Look out 9-to-5, the freelancers are coming

Casey Marshall is hunched over his phone, furiously scrolling through his Twitter feed in search of a photo of  Waste Management’s promotional robot, whose broken axle he fixed back in March. “Someone came into the Hacker Lab and needed his robot repaired,” he says, grinning,  “and I was like, ‘I gotta do that.’”

Jul 1, 2014 Allison Joy
Eric Richards, 35, with two-year-old son, Cole

Daddy Issues

Why aren't more men taking paternity leave?

On opening day of the 2014 baseball season, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was noticeably absent. He wasn’t benched. He didn’t have the flu. He simply took advantage of Major League Baseball’s paternity leave policy, which grants 72 hours off, to attend the birth of his son.

And all hell broke loose.

Jul 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser
(shutterstock)

It’s Here.

Welcome to our new website — here's what you'll find

After much anticipation (and oh so many hours), the all-new comstocksmag.com has launched.

The changes we have made come as a result of paying close attention to how readers are using our magazine and website, so let us know what you think. Talk to us on Twitter and Facebook, post comments on our site, email us, call us or send a good old-fashioned letter. We’re listening.

Aug 1, 2014 Christine Calvin

Civically Minded

Civics are nine times wealthier than the rest of us, so how can you cash in?

If I wanted my 20-year-old son to join me for a late meal, I’d text him: “Buffet on me.” But I would never ever text my 86-year-old mother with a dinner invitation. For her, there would be a phone call with plenty of formalities and forewarning, a promise of a nice, sit-down establishment and a start time of 4:00 p.m. to take advantage of early bird specials. Why? Because each generation communicates differently.

Jul 1, 2014 Gordon Fowler

Tapped Out

Is Sac's craft beer bubble on the verge of bursting?

When downtown Sacramento’s Brew It Up poured its last beer in 2011, owner Michael Costello lost more than his business. “I lost everything,” he says. “Nobody really knows the whole breadth of it. It’s not an easy thing to go through.”

Jul 1, 2014 Russell Nichols

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.

Jul 1, 2014 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
Photo by David Angstead, shutterstock

The Big Squeeze on Small Credit Unions

They may be on the verge of extinction

On a hot, sunny morning last fall, 69-year-old retiree Pamela Chappell of Citrus Heights hit rock bottom. She was scraping by on Social Security checks and a tiny pension while paying for medication to treat her lymphedema, a painful swelling in her legs. Then she got a letter from the IRS warning her that it was about to empty her  savings account of $8,000 — every dollar she had — for back taxes.

Jun 1, 2014 Steven Yoder
Cindy Garcia of the UC Davis Meat Lab

Killer Instincts

Butchery is finding a passionate female following

On a warm afternoon, soft spring winds are blowing across the campus at UC Davis. In a building on the university’s west corner, Cindy Garcia is hosing pools of blood down a drain. She places a pig skull on an inspection table, washes her hands and steps into the sunlight just as the parking lot is beginning to fill with shoppers toting grocery bags.

Jun 1, 2014 Michelle Locke
Wise Villa Winery

Wine Winner

How Dr. Grover Lee went from the pharmacy to the vineyard

Imagine you’re a successful businessman, but what you really want to be is a professional baseball player. You’re so sure of yourself that you begin spending nights and weekends studying and training as if Major League Baseball will soon be calling. And then they actually do, and at your first at-bat,  you clear the bases.

That’s pretty much how things happened when Granite Bay pharmacist Dr. Grover Lee decided to become an award-winning winemaker.

Jun 1, 2014 Michelle Locke
www.istockphoto.com

World Travel

Can Sacramento cash in on an influx of Chinese tourism dollars?

Two hundred million Chinese tourists will pack their bags and depart their homeland in 2020, bound for destinations across the globe. It’s not a mass exodus; they’re not  fleeing their government. They’re tourists, and, according to CNN, they might be the greatest phenomenon to hit the  global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.

Jun 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser
The Fremont Mews was developed in 2004 by the Capitol Area Development Authority on one of the last major undeveloped housing sites in Sacramento’s urban core. 

Photo by Courtesy of CADA

The Plight of CADA

Where goes the neighborhood?

Three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown pulled the plug on local government redevelopment agencies and the estimated $5 billion a year they spend rebuilding inner cities to combat urban blight.

Jun 1, 2014 Bill Sessa
www.shutterstock.com

Kickstarter

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. 

May 1, 2014 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart