(Photo: Alastair Bland)

The Flip-Side of Fish Hatcheries

Originally intended to preserve salmon, are hatcheries harming the species?

In 2009, fewer fall-run Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Central Valley than have ever been recorded before. Just 50,000 adult fish spawned that autumn in the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin river system — a tenth of how many Chinook migrate inland in a good year. The event was an ecological and economic disaster that prompted officials to shut down California’s ocean fishing season for two years.

Aug 6, 2015 Alastair Bland
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How Tiny is Too Tiny?

Could you live in a tiny house?

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Can Legal Pot Work for California?

Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon ‘not there yet’ on recreational marijuana

At least one if not two ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana use are almost assured to be on the November 2016 ballot for California voters. But while many folks see the legal sale and taxation of pot as a way to pump big money into the state’s coffers, the experiences of legal-weed states like Washington and Colorado show the road from green bud to greenbacks has more than its share of potholes.

Aug 5, 2015 Rich Ehisen

Go With the Grain

Elk Grove Milling pursues international markets, but the success rates are stacked against them

After a slow start piecing his way through El Salvador’s business regulations in 2008, Robert Lent began distributing Stable Mix throughout that country in 2012. Now the milling company — which employs 50 workers, makes $12 million in gross sales a year and, as Lent likes to say, feeds 17,000 horses a day — is poised to expand its distribution network in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.

Aug 4, 2015 Anita Creamer
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Let’s Get Focused

Could you strip down to just the essentials?

Forget the question of whether you would want to do it. Could you strip down to just the essentials? Given the task, how easy would it be for you to identify the most necessary and vital items in your home? What about those in your business?

Aug 3, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Flyer Beware

Where’s the love gone, Southwest?

You don’t have to fasten a seatbelt and you don’t have to bring your seat to the fully upright and locked position. These are just two reasons why a root canal may now be less painful than your average commercial airline experience.

Jul 31, 2015 Ed Crane
VSPOne Optical Technology Center-Sacramento opened in Folsom in November of 2014. The lab manufactures custom prescription eyewear and processes approximately 4,600 pairs of eyewear per day. Johnny Younger, a senior coating technician, has been with the company for 14 years.

Optical Realities

VSPOne Optical Technology Center

VSPOne Optical Technology Center-Sacramento opened in Folsom in November of 2014. The lab manufactures custom prescription eyewear and processes approximately 4,600 pairs of eyewear per day. Here’s how they do it: 

Jul 24, 2015
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Burn Notice

Biomass is coming under fire for polluting the air and threatening wild forests. But is the controversy warranted?

Much of the 8 million tons of woody debris that facilities burn each year is material that would probably burn in open fields if there wasn’t an energy-producing alternative. Since the smokestacks on a biomass plant include filtering apparatuses that can remove some pollutants from the emissions, the industry — which has helped to phase out open burning of agricultural waste — has been credited as an overall boon to California’s air quality.

Jul 23, 2015 Alastair Bland

Elder Care Urban Legend

Few seniors actually sail into their golden years, but the myth exposes widespread misunderstanding

In the past decade, there have been a handful of instances in which older adults have opted to live on cruise ships instead of paying for traditional senior living communities. That’s how the story grew. Now, when senior living experts gather, they tell dramatic tales of lonely seniors constantly sailing the globe on cruise liners as a way of illustrating the expense of senior housing and how neglectful families can be of their aging loved ones.

Jul 17, 2015 Anita Creamer
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Big Bad Biomass

Just because it’s renewable doesn’t make it clean

As California looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and help curb climate change, environmental activists are questioning the integrity of the biomass industry, which burns millions of tons of woody plant matter each year to help power the state’s electric grid.   

Jul 16, 2015 Alastair Bland