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Light Accordingly

Cost-effective lighting is good for owners and tenants

Depending on the type of business you operate, lighting can account for 20 to 50 percent of electricity consumption. This means significant cost savings can be achieved with energy-efficiency upgrades, and due to continually improving equipment, lighting usually provides the highest return on investment of major updates.

Sep 24, 2014
Along the Sacramento River near Rio Vista

On the Delta

Even during one of California’s most extreme droughts in history, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta retains its appeal. 

Aug 20, 2014
Ongoing drought conditions have cost rice farmer Mike DeWit 30 percent of his crop. He's not alone. This year, California's rice farmers will leave nearly 100,000 acres unplanted due to lack of water.

Of Rice and Men

On the Cover: Parched by years of drought, thousands of California’s rice fields lie barren

In the Sacramento Valley, where 97 percent of the state’s rice crop is grown, family farmers have been forced to fallow cropland they have worked for generations. The economic hit has been hard and true, affecting not just farmers, but seed distributors, equipment dealers and anyone else with a thumb in the rice business. The drought could cost Central Valley farmers and communities $1.7 billion this year and may lead to more than 14,500 layoffs.

Aug 19, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Dry Times

New water storage alone won't solve California's drought

California is in the third driest year in more than 100 years of record. Farmers throughout the state are seeing their water use curtailed, some communities are rationing water, and fish and wildlife populations are threatened. California needs additional storage capacity to weather such droughts, and it’s groundwater storage — not surface storage — that will have the greatest impact. Still, storage alone won’t be enough.

Aug 14, 2014 Jay Lund
A flock of Dunlin fly over “pop up” habitats in the Sacramento Valley

(photo: Drew Kelley for The Nature Conservancy)

Water Foul

The drought is putting in jeopardy efforts to shore up migratory bird populations

Doug Thomas stops his white pickup along the elevated dirt road that carves through the acres of newly planted rice stalks in Wheatland, Calif.

In this scene, replete with a myriad of migratory birds lazily grazing in the green fields, change is soon to come. The landscape, Thomas says, will be transformed into an oasis for waterfowl and shorebirds that will find a man-made wetlands to call home on their annual migration this fall.

Aug 5, 2014 John Blomster

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

A breath of fresh air

Winnie on EV's – 14 years ago

From April 2000:

I’ll tell you what brings a tear to my eye: when they sing the national anthem and it gets to the “Oh say can you see…” part, and I remember how we used to be able to see the beauty of the Sierra Nevada – and now on most days seeing the neon of the Esquire Plaza sign from the freeway requires squinting through the haze.

Jun 16, 2014 Winnie Comstock-Carlson
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

Sweet Sorrow

California Senate leader Darrell Steinberg prepares for departure

Darrell Steinberg has been front and center on some of the biggest issues facing the state and our region, from historic land-use reform to mental health care funding.We sat down with him to discuss his current legislative priorities and possible future plans as he enters his final year in the Senate.

Feb 1, 2014 Rich Ehisen

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.

Dec 1, 2013 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart