Allen Young

Back Writer

Allen Young formerly worked as an associate editor for Comstock’s magazine, and as a staff writer at the Sacramento Business Journal. He is now a freelance writer, reporting at the California intersection of business and politics. On Twitter @allenmyoung​.

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Up My Alley

Local eateries aim to spruce up Sacramento’s dark corridors

If you imagine a humming city as a living body, the conventional alleyway might be the large intestine. It’s a lonely grey loading zone, a collection point for garbage, and a covert space for drug use and violence. But as U.S. cities grow denser, urban passageways that were once ignored and crumbling are enjoying a renaissance. Alleyway activation is a designer buzzword for modernizing utilitarian corridors into well-lit public spaces.

Jun 13, 2017 Allen Young

Nehemiah Corp. Shuts Down Most Operations

Nehemiah Corp., a social enterprise nonprofit that has spent two decades developing programs that help low-income people afford homes, is winding down most of its operations, the company has announced.

Feb 21, 2017 Allen Young

The Way Back

Having lost his mother in a train accident, one journalist chronicles the recovery from the worst day of his life

With each interview I conducted and report I filed, I sought to understand how these great rolling machines had destroyed the person I used to be and killed the person I cared about most. But publishing stories about high-speed rail never helped. Like other pain relievers, print journalism became one more way to avoid facing what happened that day.

Dec 27, 2016 Allen Young

The Conductor

The California High-Speed Rail Authority replaced an engineer with a political operative to lead the nation’s biggest public works project. Jeff Morales instantly charmed his opponents but made technical decisions that placed high-speed rail at the mercy of the courts. Can Morales save his runaway train?

Jan 2, 2014 Allen Young
Customers browse the offerings at Davis’s farmers market on Saturday afternoon.

Root Cause

The campaign behind Sacramento’s foodie identity

It was the last farmer’s market of the season, and the photo-op recalled The Last Supper. Standing in Cesar Chavez Plaza, Mayor Kevin Johnson spread his arms behind two tables piled high with fresh fruits and vegetables. And with scores of white-aproned restaurateurs to his right and left, he unveiled a logo promoting Sacramento as an agronomical Eden.

May 31, 2013 Allen Young
Leidhra Johnson, social media manager, Uptown Studios

The Tattooed Professional

Is your ink impacting your career?

Chris Forsyth has a ritual: every time he finishes working on a campaign, he treats himself to a new tattoo. Having worked in the state Capitol for nearly 20 years, the heavily painted chief of staff to Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) estimates that about 15 percent of state lawmakers have at least one tattoo.

Apr 30, 2013 Allen Young
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Finishing Touches

Sutter Health construction completion in sight

After more than a decade of work and a price tag that has grown by 50 percent, representatives for Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento report that the $750 million midtown hospital upgrade is in the final phases and is expected to be finished by mid-2014.

Feb 13, 2013 Allen Young

Houston, You Have a Problem

Tips for approaching a disturbed manager

The boss must be crazy. 

It may be the riskiest and most difficult conversation to bring up at work, but what other option does an employee have when a manager becomes abusive, disturbed, withdrawn or otherwise damages the workplace?

Leave? That may be an option, or it may not be. The same goes for visiting the human relations department. If H.R. can’t — or won’t — fix the problem, here are some tips on how to address your boss’ behavior and keep your job. 

Jan 1, 2013 Allen Young

Rational Approach

Managing mental health in the workplace

A few years ago, Troy Underwood noticed a problem with one of his accountants. The man’s work performance and personal appearance had deteriorated, he talked constantly on the phone with his children and agonized about his domestic life. 

Jan 1, 2013 Allen Young

The Price of Progress

San Joaquin farmers protest bullet train

City dwellers driving past the expansive cotton fields and scattered farmhouses along Highway 43 to Corcoran might get the feeling they’ve left California. A haze of dust, bugs and little particles of cow dung blanket the road between Fresno and Bakersfield. Even on a nice day, wiping debris from a car windshield begins to feel futile.

Dec 1, 2012 Allen Young

The Little Airport That Could

SMF navigates a nose dive

In September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the municipal bond market froze, Sacramento International Airport had just begun constructing the biggest capital improvement project in the county’s history.

Oct 31, 2012 Allen Young

$30 Million Gamble

Port expansion project has uncertain future

The ports of West Sacramento and Stockton are betting that a $30 million public investment in new infrastructure will convince local importers and exporters to transfer their method of goods movement to the San Francisco Bay from trucking to barge shipping.

Sep 30, 2012 Allen Young

The Truck Stops Here

18-wheelers sacked by clean air cops

There is a squad of clean air cops in Sacramento with a strong-arm approach that squashes the stereotype that environmentalists are wimps. These officials make up the enforcement branch of the California Air Resources Board, and they face off against truckers still fuming over
emission-control rules they fear will put them out of business.

Sep 30, 2012 Allen Young

Blowing Bubbles

Could Dodd-Frank cause another financial disaster?

The past few years have seen the biggest social upheaval against the banking industry in this nation’s history, and Capitol Hill lawmakers responded with 848 pages of legislation that liberal critics deride as weak and many conservatives call a job killer.

Mar 31, 2012 Allen Young

Let’s Twist Again

Banks struggle with large debt and minimal borrowers

The Federal Reserve calls it Operation Twist, named after the 1961 Chubby Checker hit that sparked gyrating hips in dance halls across America. That was also the first year the Fed embarked on a mission to purchase long-term Treasury notes in an effort to drive down interest rates on long-term loans.

Feb 1, 2012 Allen Young

Tech Appeal

Leveraging social media for a nonprofit cause

Monica Gonzalez recently logged onto the Facebook page of Weave Inc., an organization that treats survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, to post a simple message about how the nonprofit helped her overcome a nightmarish ordeal.

Jan 1, 2012 Allen Young