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Rolling on the River

What’s up with West Sac

West Sacramento’s transportation infrastructure will be a key part of the rapidly growing city. Here’s a look at what’s happening, with a few projects already underway or recently announced.

Oct 28, 2014 Kevin McKenna
Dave Jones is the California Insurance Commissioner. Jones is a former Sacramento City Councilmember, having represented the 6th District covering southeast Sacramento and College Greens. He represented California's 9th Assembly District from 2004 to 2011.

Restraining the Titans

California's insurance commissioner on the importance of veto power over rate hikes

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has spent much of the past decade looking to enact rate regulations on the health insurance industry, first as an Assemblymember and now as the state’s top insurance regulator. We sat down with him recently to talk about Proposition 45, a November ballot measure he supports that would give him the power to reject health insurance rate hikes.

Oct 27, 2014 Rich Ehisen
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Underhanded Dealings

The dark side of the “shadow economy”

Unscrupulous vendors are a small part of the so-called shadow economy – the unlicensed contractor for sure, but also a vast black market of businesses, often cash-only, working out of homes or garages, that don’t pay the taxes or licensing fees their competitors do. While profitable for the person getting away with it, this underground economy hits all of us right where it hurts – in the pocketbook.

Oct 24, 2014 Rich Ehisen
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Green Grids

Transportation reforms throughout the region are changing the ways people live and travel in Yolo County

It’s been a year since Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that created the Active Transportation Program to boost non-motorized transportation across the state, where one in four Californians are obese and more than 3.9 million are diabetic. And as California emerges as a national leader in transportation reform, Yolo County is finding itself at the forefront of the movement.

Oct 22, 2014 John Blomster

On the Cover: The World’s Fastest Man

Rome wasn't built in a day, because C.C. Myers didn't have that contract

Construction guru C.C. Myers has, for more than two decades, been California’s go-to guy when roads are ravaged by acts of God (like the ’94 Northridge earthquake) or the toll of time (Folsom’s Lake Natoma Crossing, Interstate 5 in Sacramento, Route 99 in Turlock, the Walnut Creek Interchange, and the list goes on). The New York Times once called him the “Miracle Worker Highway Man.”

Oct 21, 2014 Jeff Wilser
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Homegrown for Your Smartphone

3 handy apps with local roots

For the past few years, Sacramento’s been trying to boost its tech cred. That’s not easy when you’ve got Silicon Valley for a neighbor, but one thing the Capital Region can boast is deep agricultural roots. These notable apps prove that innovation can be born right in our backyard. So if you want to support this region’s tech/food movement, be sure to buy local.*

(*The apps are free.)

Oct 15, 2014 Russell Nichols
Josh, a 14-year-old foster child, had been abused and neglected and was failing at school. His focus and outlook changed dramatically once a court appointed special advocate stepped in on his behalf.

Seen & Not Heard

Child advocates could fundamentally shift foster care outcomes, if only there were more volunteers

Over half a million kids live in foster care in the U.S. as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Because they can’t advocate for themselves, many become victims a second time, lost in an overburdened child welfare system that can’t pay close attention to each child. But one program is drastically improving outcomes for foster youth, despite the overwhelming odds.

Oct 14, 2014 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart

A Message for California’s GOP

Acuity with Kaitlyn MacGregor

At 25-years-old, Kaitlyn MacGregor is the new director of communications for the California Republican Party, and she has her work cut out for her. New data from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows that young voters aren’t registering Republican and neither are moderates, African Americans or Latinos. With elections just weeks away, MacGregor will need to make strides quickly. 

Oct 10, 2014 Christine Calvin
(Zuza Hicks)

In the Dark?

6 steps to navigating Title 24’s new lighting standards

The updated Title 24 energy efficiency standards will greatly impact how property owners design, construct and renovate buildings. Bernie Kotlier, co-chair of the nonprofit California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program, shares the best ways to navigate the changes:

Oct 9, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Break Away from the Beige

Bolder architecture will build a stronger city

Few people are aware of the emotional impact of the built world surrounding them; it’s experienced viscerally. Architecture knits communities together by drawing people out into city streets, influencing how they interact with each other and their surroundings. Buildings and spaces affect people’s perceptions of and connections with a city.

Oct 9, 2014 Jason Silva
(photo: Bill Sessa)

Clean Speed Ahead

UC Davis to help China accelerate electric car use

The cord powering cleaner, plug-in electric cars in China now stretches across the Pacific to California.  A recent information-sharing agreement between UC Davis and the government authority that oversees China’s car industry will connect the world’s acknowledged leaders in creating clean car standards with the globe’s largest and fastest-growing new car market. 

Oct 8, 2014 Bill Sessa

Juris Prudence

Changes to the legal market are motivating attorneys to bootstrap

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.

Oct 7, 2014 Steven Yoder

Student Success Update

California community colleges aim high

Last May we reported on the Los Rios Community College District’s ahead-of-the-game implementation of state-mandated student supportive services (“Renewable Resources,” May 2014). Those improved services were required by colleges statewide for the fall 2014 term as part of the 2012 Student Success Act. Now, the rest of the state is about to catch up.

Oct 1, 2014 Allison Joy
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Touchscreen to Table

West Sacramento to address food access with Code for America

Code for America works with cities around the country, using open-source software to improve the scalability and reach of government services. Starting next year, Code for America fellows will work with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and the city of West Sacramento using technology to tackle issues related to health care and food access in the city.

Sep 30, 2014 Allison Joy