Ken James

Back Photographer

Ken James is a 24-year veteran photojournalist who started his career with the Fairfax Newspaper Group in Sydney Australia. Since relocating to California in 2002, Ken has contributed to many newspapers and wire services such as Bloomberg News, United Press International (UPI), The New York Times and San Francisco Examiner. In 2005, Ken spent six months covering the Iraq war and later documented the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Ken has actively covered state politics and gubernatorial elections, including the 2003 Recall. Besides covering national and local news events, Ken contributes monthly photo essays to Comstock’s and Sacramento Magazine. For more, visit www.kjamesimages.com.

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Night Court

Transforming the Golden 1 Center, from the ground up. 

Nov 17, 2017 Allison Joy

All Cleaned Up

For 10 years, Dana Chavez-Rey and her husband, Alex, ran a successful brick-and-mortar pet grooming salon in West Sacramento, handling up to 30 dogs and cats a day. Then, they went mobile.

Oct 27, 2017 Sena Christian

Press Play

As a child, working in her family’s print shop in Grass Valley, Judith Berliner’s job was to help her father produce custom maps and limited-edition books on the antique machinery. She now works those same presses as owner of Full Circle Press.

Sep 29, 2017 Robin Epley

Good Game

Sacramento Rotary Foundation’s annual Golf 4 Kids event

This story starts back in 1922.

That’s the year when a small group of Sacramento-based doctors combined their professional connections and their Rotary Club memberships to form a program that is now the longest-running Rotary fundraiser in the country.

Sep 21, 2017 Robin Epley

Full Protection

Founded in 1996, Gutterglove recently doubled its space by moving from Rocklin to a 43,000-square-foot facility in Roseville where the company manufactures 60,000 feet of gutters in one day — all done by the hands of people.

Aug 25, 2017 Sena Christian

Performance Art

Artistic offices lead to more productive and engaged teams

Art in the workplace is more than cosmetic; it can actually improve employee attitudes, performance, and even the company’s bottom line. This feels almost blasphemous. By definition, we think of “art” and “profit” as two distinct and even clashing concepts, with the unspoken assumption that chasing profits will corrupt art, and that art drags down profits. Conventional wisdom says “art for art’s sake”: Art is not a means to an end, art is the end.

Aug 1, 2017 Jeff Wilser

The Band Plays On

The Americana rock ‘n’ roll band, The Nickel Slots went to Belgium for two weeks this summer for its third European tour, playing 11 straight shows.

Jul 21, 2017 Sena Christian

Indelible Impressions

916 Ink hosts creative writing classes for children at their “Imaginarium” in Sacramento

Katie McCleary and 916 Ink co-founder Michael Spurgeon knew they wanted to start a creative nonprofit for children when they met at a writer’s conference in 2010. They believed Sacramento could support such a program because there was already a strong writing community here, nurtured by programs like the Sacramento Poetry Center, but there was a glaring, missing piece in Sacramento’s creative writing community — a youth program.

Jun 22, 2017 Danna Sweidan

Up My Alley

Local eateries aim to spruce up Sacramento’s dark corridors

If you imagine a humming city as a living body, the conventional alleyway might be the large intestine. It’s a lonely grey loading zone, a collection point for garbage, and a covert space for drug use and violence. But as U.S. cities grow denser, urban passageways that were once ignored and crumbling are enjoying a renaissance. Alleyway activation is a designer buzzword for modernizing utilitarian corridors into well-lit public spaces.

Jun 13, 2017 Allen Young

Fix ‘Er Up

Andy Stone, head mechanic for Team Novo Nordisk, prepares a bike during training camp for the Amgen Tour of California’s Sacramento stage in May. A Sacramento native, Stone attended Encina High School where he took a Regional Occupation Program bicycle mechanic class. He worked at bike shops for several years before getting into race mechanics.

May 19, 2017 Sena Christian

A Future so Bright

Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Monica Sandoval became Future Sacramento’s first student to complete the program and graduate college.

Apr 21, 2017 Robin Epley

Well-Behaved

Placer SPCA Behavior Department Coordinator Meghan Oliver conducts an assessment of every dog and cat that enters the Roseville shelter to ensure they are safe around other animals, children and the general public. Each assessment takes about 10 minutes and includes monitoring how the dog socializes, handles tolerance (Oliver holds the animal’s collar, picks up feet, opens the mouth), plays with toys and reacts to the removal of food.

Apr 21, 2017 Sena Christian

Threads of Honor

The California Capital Women’s Business Center is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to small businesses throughout the state. In collaboration with the Women Veterans Alliance, the Women Veterans One-Stop Resource Center was created to specifically address the needs of women veterans, their spouses and families.

Apr 13, 2017 Cherise Henry

More Bang for Your Duck

After a rough few years, Sacramento Valley rice farmers are supplementing crop profits with environmental stewardship

Having a robust agricultural industry has meant accommodating crops and livestock by forcing out wildlife. Before farming came to the region 150 years ago, waterbird habitat was primarily provided by wetlands. Now managed wetlands make up only about one-third of their habitat in California and rice fields comprise nearly 60 percent.

Apr 4, 2017 Sena Christian

Perfectly Arranged

Founded in 1946 by Ross Relles, Sr., Relles Florist is now in its fourth location on J Street in Sacramento (a second store on Howe Avenue has closed). After Ross died in 1972, sons Jim and Tom Relles took over; their sister JoAnn Bradley joined in 1975.

Mar 24, 2017 Sena Christian

Keeping it Clean

Jessie Svozil uses glass cleaner and a cloth rag to wipe down the “Golden Teal Chandelier” in the lobby of the Crocker Art Museum. It’s important to always keep the artwork looking good: Dale Chihuly’s 2014 blown-glass sculpture is translucent, with colors representing Sacramento’s rivers and mining history.

Feb 17, 2017 Ken James

Part of Their World

Rachel Smith, the head mermaid at the Dive Bar on K Street in downtown Sacramento, prepares to enter the aquarium for a performance. 

Jan 20, 2017 Sena Christian

The Way Back

Having lost his mother in a train accident, one journalist chronicles the recovery from the worst day of his life

With each interview I conducted and report I filed, I sought to understand how these great rolling machines had destroyed the person I used to be and killed the person I cared about most. But publishing stories about high-speed rail never helped. Like other pain relievers, print journalism became one more way to avoid facing what happened that day.

Dec 27, 2016 Allen Young

Delicate Duties

Valarie Phillips sorts through clothing to be dry cleaned at Woodard-Ficetti Cleaners on J Street in Sacramento. She checks each garment, cleans the material under the arms and then handles any special spot-cleaning and scrubbing as dictated by a ticket attached to the clothing. Phillips, a Louisiana native, has worked at the cleaners for 22 years.

Dec 23, 2016 Sena Christian

I Believe I Can Fly

The instructors at iFly Sacramento, in Roseville, do a practice round, as the controller manages air flow. Fans at the top of a vertical wind tunnel draw air through the flight chamber and then push it back down through the sides, creating a column of air. These instructors pride themselves on being able to take anyone off the street and introduce them to the sport of bodyflight. 

Nov 18, 2016 Sena Christian

Cash Haul

In a single generation, the Rozakis family went from having one dump truck to owning a $16 million materials transport business

In 2005, GR launched Crete Crush, a sister company to its trucking operation that includes two concrete and asphalt crushing and recycling centers, one at the company’s Rancho Cordova headquarters, and another at its 15-acre facility off Bradshaw Road in Sacramento. When the company first started, it was paying someone else to crush the concrete and asphalt that was accumulating from demolition site hauls.

Oct 18, 2016 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
Jeff Pettigrew prepares the inside padding of a casket at Pettigrew & Sons Casket Co., a family-run business in Sacramento founded by the late Fay Pettigrew, who is Jeff’s grandfather. Building a casket is the last thing you can do for a person, says Barbara Pettigrew Hart, who is Fay’s daughter and Jeff’s aunt. “We think about, 'What if this was a person I love?'”

Lasting Vessel

Jeff Pettigrew prepares the inside padding of a casket at Pettigrew & Sons Casket Co., a family-run business in Sacramento founded by the late Fay Pettigrew, who is Jeff’s grandfather.

Sep 30, 2016 Sena Christian

Pitch Perfect

The Giants have made an uncharacteristically long-term commitment to the River Cats — here's why the match is ideal for both teams

In September 2014, the River Cats signed a two-year affiliation agreement with the San Francisco Giants, effectively ending the team’s 15-year partnership with the Oakland Athletics. Less than two years later, the two clubs have inked a new four-year deal, extending the agreement through 2020, marking one of the few times the Giants have signed a four-year agreement with a Triple-A affiliate.

Sep 20, 2016 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

In The Penalty

Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

Sep 2, 2016 Sena Christian
Safety comes first for billboard crew members Rick Barton (left) and Daniel Stutes (right), of Outfront Media, as they change out a billboard along Capital City Freeway in Sacramento. New employees undergo hands-on climbing training, which covers harness safety and personal protective equipment training; everyone has annual classroom study

High Vinyl

Raising vinyl on the roadside

Billboards have been a staple of American advertising since the late 1800s. Originally, crews pasted several strips of posters together to create one large billboard. Now, they use vinyl engineered to withstand harsh weather. 

Jul 22, 2016 Sena Christian
Inside the control room of California ISO, headquartered in Folsom.

Will the Mega-Grid Get Built?

Cal-ISO maps out the prospects for a single power grid for the West — but skeptics want to know who will run it.

Cal-ISO is one of 38 system operators for the geographic area that covers everything west of the eastern boundaries of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. That compares with six system operators responsible for most of the rest of the country. “The divided operation of the western grid is not unlike having a bus with 38 drivers.”

Jul 12, 2016 Steven Yoder