Slim Pickings

A shortage of farm labor impacts food harvests

Coasting through the sweeping fields of California’s Central Valley, it’s not unusual to spot collections of crouching figures diligently tending crops. These primarily Hispanic immigrants prune, thin, harvest and grow much of California’s renowned produce. But over the past decade or so, hundreds of thousands of these indispensable farm workers have vanished.

Oct 31, 2012 Andrea Kennedy
Workers process e-waste at Sims Recycling Solutions in Roseville

Tech Trash

How to dispose your out-of-date computers and e-waste

If your IT room is starting to look like a scene out of “Sanford and Son,” you’re not alone. In 2010, American consumers and businesses unloaded 40 million computers onto recyclers, landfills and the refurbished market, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in Rochester, N.Y., reports. Some estimates show, however, that millions more are idling in homes and offices because owners simply don’t know what to do with them.

Oct 31, 2012 Stephanie Flores

The Truck Stops Here

18-wheelers sacked by clean air cops

There is a squad of clean air cops in Sacramento with a strong-arm approach that squashes the stereotype that environmentalists are wimps. These officials make up the enforcement branch of the California Air Resources Board, and they face off against truckers still fuming over
emission-control rules they fear will put them out of business.

Sep 30, 2012 Allen Young

Power Brokers

Clean tech thrives in the Capital Region

Beutler Air Conditioning and Plumbing may be a poster-business for the rise and fall — and re-birth — of Sacramento’s economy. Rick Wylie, president of Beutler, says the 65-year-old Sacramento company was probably saved by its diversification, partially into green energy models.

Sep 30, 2012 Anne Gonzalez

Super Charged

Changing opinions about energy efficient vehicles

If Rick Wylie were cast in a Chevy commercial, the director might pair him with a rugged pickup truck. It makes sense; Wylie worked his way up from sheet-metal apprentice to president of a construction company. In the real world, however, Wylie drives a Volt, pearl white with black trim.

May 31, 2012 Robert Celaschi

A Grower’s Eye

Acuity with Ronald Fong

Ronald Fong, 52, has served as president and CEO of the California Growers Association since 2008. The CGA is a nonprofit, statewide trade association representing more than 500 retail members operating 6,000 food stores and 200 supply companies in California and Nevada. 

Mar 1, 2012 Douglas Curley

Age of Ag

A new generation of farmers emerges

When Eric Hart ended his eight-year military term, he felt like he was missing a sense of purpose. He tried a few corporate jobs, but he didn’t feel at home. He preferred working outside with his hands, and he wanted his job to serve something higher than a paycheck.

Oct 31, 2011 Linda DuBois