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.
Andy Heape has been a California Department of Fish and Wildlife technician at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Gold River — where he sorts, fertilizes and counts salmon — for 15 years.
Here’s a recipe to breathe new life into a lifeless block of R Street: Start with a 5-story warehouse made of solid concrete, suitable for loft conversion. Add subsidized rents. Then attract artists, writers and other creative types, plus their spouses, lovers, kids and hangers-on. Sprinkle in baby strollers, coffee shops, galleries, some painful-looking piercings and plenty of ink on skin.
Eight of 10 alumni under 35 say the main reason they haven’t donated to their alma maters is that they feel they’ve paid enough already in tuition. Over half said they “don’t think the school really needs the money.” Add that to the common belief that their money ends up in some institutional “black hole,” and the currently bleak donation landscape makes sense.
What images does Silicon Valley conjure? Google, Apple, Facebook, and on and on? Mainstays of the world’s hub of technology and innovation? Did a glimpse of Stockton appear in that mix? If the San Joaquin Partnership’s campaign to rebrand the area as Greater Silicon Valley works out, it soon will.
Jeremy Shepherd has been tending to his growing flock since 2009. He sells mutton to local markets but also works his herds as mobile mowers with local farmers in Yolo County.
You might say the old grapevines look otherworldly. With their contorted limbs and thick trunks, these Zinfandel vines look more like squat alien-trees, twisting up out of a sandy 3-acre spit of land in southwest Lodi. “Look how this vine is growing here,” says Stuart Spencer, owner of St. Amant Winery. He’s standing in the dirt at nearby Marian’s Vineyard, pointing to a vine with a hole as big as a fist. “The vine just splits over time.”
Nicole Castles teaches UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento. Castles is the sole instructor for all school-aged children in the pediatrics ward, as well as school-age patients in other wings of the hospital. In a given week she’ll schedule bedside sessions with as many as 30 students.
Rick Schubert is settling in to the part of bee season that didn’t exist when he opened Bee Happy Apiary with 300 hives in 1977. It’s mid-September, and at headquarters, tucked in the dusty hills off a private road in Vacaville, the faint humming of honey bees serves as background buzz to the voices of men.
Bridge worker Scott Bennett has been tending to the iconic Sacramento structure for 12 years.
Alex Medina and Brandon McKelvey’s new law firm looks more like a bootstrapped tech startup than a high-end legal practice. It’s one model among the boutique firms whose numbers have taken off in the region this year. The improving economy, a buyer’s market for legal services, and the lures of startup culture have upended Sacramento’s legal landscape.
Pete Eckert envisioned himself as an architect, but a degenerative eye disease derailed his plan. He instead pursued his MBA and photography and now sells his art worldwide.
Waylin Carpenter has been building custom, classical guitars in his home workshop in Sacramento since 2000. Carpenter makes 5-, 6- and 7-string guitars, and each can take 150 to 200 hours to complete. He is about to finish his 20th guitar.
The old-school office style emphasized privacy and individual productivity. But the new model prioritizes the ideals of the creative class — that fast-growing, highly educated, well-paid segment of the workforce that values creativity, collaboration and the ability to customize.
VSP wanted The Shop in Midtown to be flexible, buildable and breakable, a learning space and a prototype in itself (form following function). With that in mind, architects put wheels on the tables and on corrugated cardboard walls to make everything portable and adaptable.
“Eat local.” You’ve heard the phrase a billion times. It’s the guiding principle of the farm-to-fork movement, nudging us away from the Industrial Food Complex and toward our neighborhood farms. But there’s something even more local than a ranch down the road: the orange tree in your front yard.
Arcade belts has moved beyond the living room floor.
Middle management is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t position. Stuck in the middle, you’re responsible for managing down to your reports, out to customers and clients, and up to your superiors. When it comes to delivering bad news, you’re the messenger most likely to be shot.
Thinkers, tinkers, social-changers and entrepreneurs: These are the ingredients necessary to make successful Startup Weekend. On July 18th-20th Hacker Lab will host the area’s third Startup Weekend, connecting local designers, business developers and technical experts who will work together to shape their ideas and compete for prizes. Winners have a chance to win legal advice for their startup, brand consultation or free coffee for those long days.
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.”
It may seem that landing that New York Times interview, getting featured on the front page of AOL or winning a $135,000 business contest means that, as a business owner, you are set for life. In truth, it’s just the beginning.
A backstage look at how the crew at SMUD keeps Sacramento lit up.
Fine art collections serve as on-site museums for some of Sacramento’s culture-loving companies.
Juxtaposed against the crisp, modern lines of Brian Witherell’s home in Alkali Flat sits a trove of ancient treasures, premier antiquities cherry picked from his company’s massive antique collection.
Bill McAnally owns 70,000 square feet of shop space – split between his race shop and automotive care business – and 31 race cars built on site at Bill McAnally Racing NAPA AutoCare Center in Roseville.
Every entrepreneur knows that it’s lonely at the top. Jeff Smith is no exception.
Burke Fathy isn’t sure whether the building that housed Sacramento’s first Police Department will be converted to offices or apartments, but, as the managing partner of Sutter Capitol Group, he is sure the original architectural elements will stay.
Though only 16, Audrey Shepherd is as poised and articulate as any 20-something. Her demeanor is that of a young professional; so is her skill as a principal bassoonist with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.
In 2004, 28-year-old Kimberly Kaufman learned she had congestive heart failure.
Public art is about more than intricate town square sculptures or decorative murals that mask the walls of blight. At its best, public art doesn’t simply beautify a space, it engages a community by reflecting and helping to define the environment around it.
Chris Johnson, the man poised to bring nuked noodles to the masses with an instant ramen cooker, occupies a 9th floor office on Capitol Mall that overlooks downtown Sacramento.
Dorothy Hillbrant, who has stage III ovarian cancer, became one of about 30 local drivers for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program, which has provided free rides to treatment for patients and their caregivers for about 30 years.
A twice-convicted felon, Ronita Iulio thought she had blown her last chance to salvage her life and family. After being released from prison in 2008, Iulio was anxious to reunite with her three children, but instead she faced an unsympathetic court that granted full custody to her ex-husband.
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.
Pulling up to the bland business park that is home to La Tourangelle’s nut oil bottling facility gives no indication of the nexus of culinary artistry housed inside.
But step through the doors and start talking to Matthieu Kohlmeyer, the energetic founder and CEO of the Woodland company, and you’ll discover that this quiet farming town is home to a vibrant French connection and a business that’s ridden the wave of consumer health trends and successfully plugged into the farm-to-fork movement.
Kim Sturla’s biggest challenge isn’t caring for thousands of animals at a time. It’s trying to get people to think about a pig’s life in the same way they would think about a dog’s.
In her teens, Velvet Edwards dropped out of Lincoln High School to care for her mother, who had hepatitis and scoliosis. By 22, she had few life skills and no high school diploma as she watched her mother slowly disappear. “Toward the end, her organs just started to shut down, and she faded away,” says Edwards, now 28.
Mikhail Chernyavsky, host of the video series “Emerge” for Comstock’s magazine, sits down with the owner of Capital Ink Tattoo, Irish Cash, to learn about what it takes to start a business as a young entrepreneur.
The town of Rio Vista has lost gas production, lost weekend crowds of boaters and windsurfers and lost flagship hotels and Delta shoreline restaurants. But more importantly, its people have lost the notion that prosperity returns to those who stick to the status quo and wait it out.
Mikhail Chernyavsky, host of Comstock’s Emerge video series, takes a behind the scenes look into Insight Coffee Roasters, where owner Lucky Rodrigues shared his vision for midtown’s newest coffee shop, his goal to develop sustainable relationships with producers and his take on launching a business in Sacramento.
Lovely scenery along gently rolling foothills has always made Yolo County an ideal place for cyclists, but who knew everyone took it so seriously?
A slope-loving trio needed durable, weatherproof belts that would fit comfortably, last a long time and look good. So the self-proclaimed ski bums decided to make their own. Olympic Valley-based Arcade Belts launched three years ago from a living room and specializes in belts made specifically for winter-sport enthusiasts.
Emerging restaurateurs Clay Nutting and Michael Hargis found a niche made in heaven when they opened their midtown spin on a German bier hall. Now, just ten months after opening, LowBrau is operating in the black, and the owners have their sights set on future growth. Check out the story behind the beer taps in this month’s Emerge video feature.