Rick Schubert of Bee Happy Apiary uses a smoker to calm his bees, which will motivate them to eat nectar and slow down a bit, making them easier to transport.

As the Bees Go

Local beekeepers prepare for another uncertain winter

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.

Nov 11, 2014 Allison Joy

Lessons in Education

The Nashville business community supports local education, and Sacramento should do the same

One thing became clear during the Metro Chamber’s 2014 Study Mission: Nashville’s business community is highly invested in educational opportunities and outcomes. The city’s education system has benefited by leveraging resources from the business community. The business community in turn benefits from workforce quality and retention, which is an ideal model for the Sacramento region to emulate.

Nov 10, 2014 Michael Marion
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The Upside of the Downturn

3 ways the sharing economy is a better economy

The sharing economy is a collaborative economic movement inspired by the efficiency of loaning and sharing existing resources on a fee-for-service model. It reduces environmental waste while supporting financial sustainability and building stronger communities, and it’s having a bigger impact than you might realize. 

Nov 3, 2014 MaryJayne Zemer
(illustration: Lily Therens)

Pan’s Problems

Push for state contracting legislation fizzles

In May we reported on efforts by Assemblyman Richard Pan, who represents the 9th district covering parts of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, to curb outsourcing of government projects to the private sector (“Relationship Troubles,” by Russell Nichols, May 2014). Assembly Bill 906, which required all personal service contracts to be approved by the Legislature, went into effect last January. At the time of our story, Pan had proposed an additional package of bills: AB 1574, 1575 and 1578.

Here’s a look at how the bills have progressed:

Nov 3, 2014 Allison Joy
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Reform Prop. 13

Is a discussion possible?

After all these years since California voters passed Proposition 13, what will it take to have a rational discussion about amending the way commercial property is assessed?

Oct 30, 2014 Lenny Goldberg
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In Support of Measure L

Why a strong mayor will make for a stronger Sacramento

I’ve watched, listened and learned as the debate over Sacramento’s “strong mayor” initiative has progressed over the past several years. Like many people, I was surprised and a little disappointed when Kevin Johnson started advocating for the strong mayor form of government within months of election to his first term.

But this time it’s different.

Oct 28, 2014 Winnie Comstock-Carlson
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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
(shutterstock)

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