Joan Cusick is an experienced journalist who started her career as a reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. From the newsroom, she moved into the corporate world, serving as a communications director for Maybelline, FedEx and Charles Schwab.
In 2013, Joan quit her “day job” to pursue her lifelong passion for photography. Since then, she has completed several long-term documentary projects, photographed dozens of weddings and events, and freelanced for Comstock’s, Edible Sacramento and Outword magazines. Joan is drawn to stories about people — especially that span generations — and captures them in both words and pictures. She is based in Sacramento. To view more of Joan’s work, visit www.joancusick.com.
Unsung Heroes is a nonprofit that collects, preserves and exhibits the stories of African Americans who served in the U.S. military. Veterans of African descent and their family members share oral histories, along with artifacts from their own experiences in time of war.
Urban farmers Sarah McCamman and Randy Stannard never dreamed their most lucrative time of year — heirloom tomato season — would go from boom to bust under a state quarantine.
When Madeleine Lohman took her first class at the YMCA in 1999, yoga was already a mainstream fitness regime. But it didn’t take long for her to realize that limiting yoga to physical fitness denied the mental, physical and spiritual balance that the Eastern practice seeks.
Inspired to help parents and bring more smiles to more children, Williams founded NorCal Trykers in 2017. The organization is dedicated to building and donating adaptive tricycles to local children with disabilities in the regional school system.
At age 14, Jake Van Ry is already an all-star in the Foothills food truck scene.
When Christy Hayes arrived in Woodland in 2004, the former U.S. Air Force heavy diesel mechanic was fresh out of active duty. She found a job as a hostess at an iconic downtown eatery, Morrison’s Upstairs. She worked her way up to bartender and then bar manager. But Hayes never expected she would one day see the building house her own restaurant.
Amanda Blackwood took charge of the Sacramento Metro Chamber on May 1, and immediately embarked on a 100-day plan to assess and redefine strategy.
When Poor Red’s shuttered its doors six years ago, it was the end of an era in the sleepy foothills town of El Dorado — or so many people thought.
Kira O’Donnell Babich wasn’t expecting block-long lines and a sell-out day when she opened the Real Pie Company in early April, but that was her welcome to 24th Street in Sacramento.
Sacramento Area Council of Governments held the Futures Forum event at the Milagro Center in Carmichael on April 30. The event included a keynote address from Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institute. Regional city officials and community members gathered to hear the Brookings report on the Sacramento region’s economy.
In San Joaquin County, elementary and middle school students are running farmers markets at 10 after-school sites. In Yolo County, the Yolo Food Bank runs each market held at local schools, but hundreds of students get to shop weekly for fresh produce. And in Sacramento County, a hybrid approach currently serves five schools.
When an FBI agent asks a roomful of high school juniors, “How many of you watch FBI shows on TV?” nearly every hand goes up. But at the recent Sacramento FBI Teen Academy, held in March, these 41 students soon learn fact — not fiction — about how the bureau works.
After years of waiting, Khaleel Yasir and his wife, Zuhal Al Ameen, became naturalized U.S. citizens on Feb. 22 at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. During the monthly naturalization ceremony, 1,060 residents from 81 countries took the oath of citizenship. Yasir resettled his family to Sacramento in 2012 after nine years of service as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq.
As a teenager growing up in Iraq in the 1990s, Khaleel Yasir wanted to become a U.S. citizen. But his path to citizenship — like that of so many others — turned into a decades-long journey.
Shiloh London is an early riser of the extreme variety. She wakes up at 4 a.m., spends a few minutes in silence over black coffee, laces her sneakers and literally trains for a marathon. Afterward she connects with her running mates over coffee — all before a full day’s work.
La Placita, a local favorite in Orangeville, has stood the test of time.
General Produce, a third generation family business, has been feeding the region for over eight decades.
In mid-December, actor and artistic producer Dave Pierini and executive producer Jerry Montoya sat on an empty stage at the original B Street location to talk about their long history with the professional theater company and their vision for the future. Here is an excerpt from their conversation.
Raley’s recently nabbed the coveted Retailer of the Year award from Wine Enthusiast, thanks to Director of Alcohol and Beverage Curtis Mann
The Sangre del Dragon project started in August 2016 when Sac High seniors Leo Lopez, Angel Roque, Benny Perez and Jordan Salvador were given an assignment to create a business plan for hot sauce.
What happens when a high school business plan assignment turns into reality? For a team from Sacramento Charter High School, it’s just the beginning of a budding hot sauce business.
In the wine industry, families must often handle the unique dynamics of their arrangement while running several operations at once — growing grapes, producing wine, and marketing and selling the final product. It’s not always easy. But these four wine-industry families wouldn’t have it any other way.
At the beginning of the fall semester, about 450 seniors at Whitney High School in Rocklin participated in mock interviews to learn the valuable skills needed to enter the workforce. They learned how to prepare a resume and cover letter, participated in an interview class and completed a 20-minute mock interview.
Outside the Whitney High School library, a group of seniors sit in chairs, each clutching a resume and cover letter. The girls wear dresses or skirts. The boys are in slacks, a dress shirt and tie.
As Sacramento undergoes a culinary renaissance, family-owned restaurants like South have become foundational to the city’s rejuvenated character. For the restaurant’s owners, however, running a business with family can be both a great blessing and a major headache.
After staging a cattle drive across the Tower Bridge and a tractor parade down Capitol Mall, Mike Testa and his Visit Sacramento staff faced a huge challenge: How could they broaden the impact of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Month kickoff?
Believe it or not, it’s possible to make a living as an artist in Sacramento. All it takes, according to those who’ve succeeded, is a base of communication, community, willingness to treat your work as a business and a good share of bull-headed persistence.
When Davy Bui decided to start a bread-baking business, he wasn’t sure how much demand there would be for his “drunken” loaves.
SactoMoFo, which had held regular events over the years that opened the door for food trucks in Sacramento, hosted its 10th and final central city gathering at the Railyards on April 29.
Can Sacramento continue to invest in the arts when public budgets remain tight and the economy continues to underperform? Wrong question. Rather, we need to ask ourselves whether we can afford not to invest in the arts. We need to change the debate away from a competition for dollars and toward building an understanding of the many avenues by which a vibrant arts scene complements and promotes robust economic growth in our region.
When Adrian Cummings arrived for his first Startup Hustle session, he had the prototype for an idea — a complete light kit for bicycles — but no customer research, business plan or marketing concept.
FourthWave, a nonprofit accelerator program for women-led tech companies, expanded from its Los Angeles pilot to Sacramento in March and is already working with its first seven entrepreneurs. We sat down with Cheryl Beninga, who is the managing director of Beninga Advisors and who cofounded FourthWave Sacramento with Tracy Saville, CEO of Sofia Al., to talk about women in technology and the regional tech scene.
In order for spawning Chinook salmon to return to Deer Creek this autumn, they first had to swim against the stream from the San Joaquin River to the Mokelumne River, east of Rio Vista. Then, the determined fish had to make their way up to where the Mokelumne meets the Cosumnes River, and finally, migrate several miles more to get to the shady shores of Deer Creek.
California fig farmers, who grow nearly all the figs produced in the U.S., harvested about 30,000 tons of fruit worth $22 million in 2015, according to the latest crop report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. But of all those figs, there were just a handful of genetically distinct varieties. Meanwhile, almost uncountable heirloom varieties have fallen to the wayside or even disappeared.
Fred Palmer, who handles sponsorships for Sacramento Pride, recalls the festival’s 33-year journey from a gathering in McKinley Park to a larger event in Southside Park in Sacramento, finally making “a big, big leap” in 2010 to Capitol Mall, where about 13,000 people are expected to gather this year.
Historically, the beer game has been just for men: Commercials for big brands have often shown guys clinking bottles together around a grill, or fly fishing while someone pulls a cold can out of the ice chest. The message was clear: Beer is manly, and you are made masculine by drinking it.
But, more recently, we are seeing females incorporated into this picture.
Both James and McPherson are now full-time mystery writers who have found a support group in Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento affiliate of Sisters in Crime. McPherson is also a past president of the national board of Sisters in Crime, which has supported female mystery writers for 30 years.
Edible Sacramento is back in print with a March/April edition that might be headlined “Under New Ownership.” The bimonthly food magazine is now owned and published by Reno residents Amanda Burden and Jaci Goodman.
When only 10 Girl Scouts nationwide are chosen for the National Young Women of Distinction award, “it’s a big deal” when two of those recipients come from the same regional council. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened before,” says Dr. Linda Farley, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.
But it has happened now.
The edge of a Placer County landfill is the unlikely home for an energy partnership that powers homes and fuels jobs for Sierra College students. But that’s exactly what happens at the Western Regional Sanitary Landfill in Lincoln.
Venture Catalyst is one part of a multipronged effort at the school that its leaders say is helping turn university research into companies that produce world-changing technologies. The school has facilitated a total of 49 startups in the last four fiscal years, up from 18 in the four years prior.
Oak Park neighbors Aimee Phelps and Kevin Greenberg delivered their first Art-Through-Pod in September and by year-end will exceed their initial goal of 10 mobile housing units for the homeless.
But they don’t plan to stop there.
Logan Leonhardt walked up to the check-in table at Poll A in Sierra 2 Center and the 4-year-old turned in his purple “ballot” to neighbor and poll worker Eric Johnson. His mother, Krystin, quickly snapped a photo of Logan’s first unofficial vote, which remained on display for the rest of the day.
Kurt Spataro has shopped at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op in three different locations since the 1980s, but he sees “a lot of new things to discover” at the co-op’s bigger and brighter new home at 2820 R St.
Historic business names will go up in lights at the Golden 1 Center food court with the installation of six original neon signs for Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, Tower Records, Coronet Portraits, Franke’s Drugs, Newbert Hardware and Sleeper Stamps & Stationery.
The 12 artists selected to paint murals throughout downtown and Midtown Sacramento are putting on their finishing touches and cleaning off their brushes, as the Sacramento Mural Festival draws to a close on Saturday.
When the Sacramento Mural Festival kicks off its weeklong run tomorrow, 12 artists will begin to transform blank walls into works of art. But is this public art or a private venture?
Maybe it’s both.
PG&E piloted the Summer Jobs Program in Fresno in 2012, then expanded it to Sacramento and Bakersfield in 2013. Since the program’s inception, PG&E has invested nearly $4 million to help 900 high school students find summer jobs.
Many wish their favorite places in California were deeply-held secrets. But there’s the hope that, given a little perspective, our current secrets can develop in a way that maintains the original character we fell in love with, without succumbing to the broad appeal forced by faceless investment. Right now, in Amador County, the Shenandoah Valley is at that postcard moment.
More than four decades after his father began selling antique plumbing fixtures out of a garage in Sacramento, Bryan “Mac” McIntire plans to close the Mac the Antique Plumber retail store to focus on an internet-based business model.