New Day on Broadway

In Oak Park, the triangle is the shape of things to come

Triangular blocks are wonderful in terms of urban energy because they dictate the creation of three-sided buildings — the only kind that can fit on those awkward sites — and the result is a group of endearing “flatiron” buildings with sharp edges that stand out from their surroundings. In other words, it’s a good place to start the revival of an entire shopping destination.

Aug 28, 2014 Morris Newman
(shutterstock)

Missing Pieces

Is California's latest disability access law causing more lawsuits?

With California leading the nation in ADA lawsuits, two years ago state legislators enacted a reform designed to thread the needle between those positions by educating more businesses about their responsibilities so they would make required access changes. Today, no one can say whether compliance has increased. But the number of ADA lawsuits has soared.

Aug 27, 2014 Steven Yoder
Ongoing drought conditions have cost rice farmer Mike DeWit 30 percent of his crop. He's not alone. This year, California's rice farmers will leave nearly 100,000 acres unplanted due to lack of water.

Of Rice and Men

On the Cover: Parched by years of drought, thousands of California’s rice fields lie barren

In the Sacramento Valley, where 97 percent of the state’s rice crop is grown, family farmers have been forced to fallow cropland they have worked for generations. The economic hit has been hard and true, affecting not just farmers, but seed distributors, equipment dealers and anyone else with a thumb in the rice business. The drought could cost Central Valley farmers and communities $1.7 billion this year and may lead to more than 14,500 layoffs.

Aug 19, 2014 Russell Nichols
A flock of Dunlin fly over “pop up” habitats in the Sacramento Valley

(photo: Drew Kelley for The Nature Conservancy)

Water Foul

The drought is putting in jeopardy efforts to shore up migratory bird populations

Doug Thomas stops his white pickup along the elevated dirt road that carves through the acres of newly planted rice stalks in Wheatland, Calif.

In this scene, replete with a myriad of migratory birds lazily grazing in the green fields, change is soon to come. The landscape, Thomas says, will be transformed into an oasis for waterfowl and shorebirds that will find a man-made wetlands to call home on their annual migration this fall.

Aug 5, 2014 John Blomster

Scholarly Love

Finding funding for college in today's economy

Ira Heinzen knew he wanted to attend college but didn’t know how he would pay for it. Since his childhood, Heinzen was encouraged in education. Always a strong student, the Stockton native was focused in school and active in sports, music and the community.

Dec 1, 2009 Christine Calvin

GreenHouse Grows

A youth program struggles to expand

Each week, more than 50 children from Sacramento’s Gardenland/Northgate neighborhood fill a small room and computer lab in River Garden Estates apartments. They’re seeking help with homework, signing up for outings and volunteering for community service.

Dec 1, 2009 Christine Calvin
The Folsom Lake College Visual and Performing Arts Center by LPAS.

(Photo courtesy of LPAS)

Storm Shelter

Architects and engineers find ways to build around a rough market

The design-build industry has been absolutely battered by the spoiled economy. Architecture and design firms lament layoffs, nonexistent financing and an utter lack of optimism for 2010. Yet a number of large regional projects are keeping local firms afloat and offering a silver, albeit temporary, lining.

Dec 1, 2009 Christine Calvin

Equine Complex

Children find solace in horse-assisted therapy

Avery Benedict-Hall can’t talk, but when he slides onto a horse every Saturday morning at 11, his audience can hear the sound of his smile: clap, clap, clap. The 9-year-old has a host of neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy, autism and cortical visual impairment. Clapping is a soothing stimulant for many children with autism.

Dec 1, 2009 Stephanie Flores

A threat to local recovery

Local redevelopment funds

At a time of extreme economic stress, our state government has taken aim at one of the few resources communities have to repair their bruised economies — local redevelopment funds.

Dec 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson