Allison Joy

Editor in Chief

Back Writer

Allison Joy is the editor in chief for Comstock’s magazine. On Twitter @MsAllisonJoy

Photo by Kelly Barr

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Connections Across the Causeway Vital to Growth

Connectivity between the capital city and one of the leading research universities in the nation is an obvious essential ingredient if our region’s diverse set of assets are to be leveraged collectively. This is particularly relevant as UC Davis and the City of Sacramento work together to provide the jobs and lifestyle amenities more likely to keep university graduates in the region.

Feb 12, 2018 Allison Joy

Seek Solutions by Seeking Empathy

The planning stage of our December issue typically starts with a conversation reviewing what we mean by “innovation.” Technology is often only part of it — a starting point, if that. Notable innovation hinges on better solutions to existing problems.

Nov 30, 2017 Allison Joy

Night Court

Transforming the Golden 1 Center, from the ground up. 

Nov 17, 2017 Allison Joy

All in the Family

One thing that makes my job so interesting is that Comstock’s isn’t a publication solely focused on disseminating information in the form of news briefs and factoids. We tell stories: of the struggle to succeed, thrills of success, heartbreaks of failure and the quiet fear of finding oneself at a crossroads.

Oct 2, 2017 Allison Joy

The Forest Through the Pages

California is no stranger to devastating wildfires. But did you know that our famed sequoias actually need fire? It not only helps release seeds from their cones, but it also uncovers the soil in which those seeds can take root. Sometimes, destruction leads to rebirth.

Jun 26, 2017 Allison Joy

A Spinster’s Guide to Professional Parenthood

The intersection of parenthood, motherhood particularly, and the workplace is not a space without landmines. Next time you’re at a party, ask who has it tougher — then, run.

Apr 26, 2017 Allison Joy

Can We Talk?

I would encourage all of you to make a concerted effort to have difficult conversations in the weeks, months and years to come. Have unusual conversations. Ask lots of questions. Take stock of where your boundaries are, but pay attention to where there might be room for growth and compromise. What opportunities are currently masquerading at your fingertips as unaddressed problems?

Mar 1, 2017 Allison Joy

Comstock’s Top 10 Stories of 2016

Last year was one for the history books. But as we start the new year, we wanted to take one last look back at some of our best-performing and most-read articles of 2016. Take a look and see if you missed any of our greatest hits — or if something might deserve a second read.

Jan 4, 2017 Robin Epley

An Enhanced Vision for the New Year

Our whole team at Comstock’s is grateful for the past year of growth in our web users, paid subscribers and retail sales. We want to thank long-time readers for your continued support, and our new ones for helping us grow and evolve. You continue to show us that our message has teeth, and you drive us to always seek to do better

Dec 29, 2016 Allison Joy

Conferences that Count

4 rules for ensuring people keep coming back

Look, no one has time for a bad conference. I personally attend many and miss even more. On most occasions, I’m coming off a busy day in the office during which I only accomplished about half of my to-do list, and I find myself watching with increasing anxiety as the number in that little red dot hovering angrily over my mail app climbs higher.

Oct 27, 2016 Allison Joy

Healthy Competition Builds A Gold-Medal Team

We talk a lot about teamwork. Collaboration is the newit-kid in the business world. But a degree of healthy competition within a team is a good thing. The key is to balance competition with collaboration. Here are some things to keep in mind when adding a little friendly competition to your office:

Aug 22, 2016 Allison Joy

Smart Cities Hinge on Open Data

A technologically-savvy city is no longer fodder for fantasy film; it’s an expectation. We live in a time where technology can and should make our urban environments more efficient in terms of energy consumption, transportation, land use, citizen participation and government processes.

Jul 5, 2016 Allison Joy
(Design by Sara Bogovich; elements from Shutterstock)

Transplant Your Garden

Why I choose to call the Capital Region home

It’s important for transplants to realize that our greatest strength can also be our greatest liability. What we bring to the table is a disregard for what, allegedly, cannot be done. But it’s important to understand the context in which our ideas are being received. We need to be just as willing to learn as we are to create.

Apr 4, 2016 Allison Joy
(Shutterstock)

Keeping IT Confidential

Which data is opened and which stays closed

“It’s not secret data,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “It’s already held by the government; the data sets are all subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not private, confidential data. It’s already open to the public, but it’s just not in any usable form.”

Jul 9, 2015 Allison Joy
Anthony Padilla has been spray painting murals since 1995. He snagged his first job at a bar in Citrus Heights after illegally painting a monkey on the back of the building with the word “Knucklehead.”

The Law of Art

On the streets with graffiti artist and muralist Anthony Padilla

When asked if the perception of graffiti art has softened over time, artist Anthony Padilla pauses before tentatively responding, “A little bit. Obviously vandalism is wrong, but then there’s also the art side of [graffiti]. I think when you see writing on a wall, it shows that there is life in that city.” 

Jun 5, 2015 Allison Joy

The New Hip Chick

With the spotlight on commercial egg farming, will the pasture-raised bird steal the show?

The implementation of California’s Proposition 2, which expanded space requirements for hens that produce eggs sold in California, has had ripple effects impacting producers, distributors and consumers throughout the nation. But as animal rights activists and demanding consumers realize the law hasn’t reflected their ideals, and as the price gap between commercial and specialty eggs narrows, will the elite pasture-raised egg enjoy a rise in popularity?

May 12, 2015 Allison Joy

Strategy for Growth

Variety is the spice of life at Morningsun Herb Farm

While Rose Loveall oversees the plants at Morningsun Herb Farm, her husband Dan Sale handles maintenance and business operations. When the duo opened their nursery 20 years ago, they started with just one small greenhouse and two hoop houses. Since then, Sale has built another greenhouse and eight more hoop houses, in addition to the small gardens that dot the property.

Apr 22, 2015 Allison Joy
After years working with chainlink fence as part of the family business, Stephen Lyman opened Fence World in East Sacramento in 1978. The shop handles everything from simple cut-and-weld projects to custom black- and metalsmithing. While his staff works the larger, more structural elements, Lyman uses his artistry and attention to detail to craft the stylized features. The forge — an oven used to heat the iron — can reach up to 3,000 degrees.

Steel Power

Hot and heavy with the blacksmiths of East Sac's Fence World

Stephen Lyman, owner of Fence World, has been in the family fencing business since he was a boy (on payroll since the age of 10, he says). “This is one of the decorative arts that is just limitless — the things you can’t do in wood, you can do in iron,” Lyman says with pride. “You can’t build a bridge like the Golden Gate out of wood. It has to be steel.”

Mar 27, 2015 Allison Joy
Sweet dreams are made of these. 

(Shutterstock)

Late-Night Emails: Yea or Nay?

Productivity killer or time saver?

Are you known around the office for firing off emails in the wee hours of the morning? Are you in a leadership position? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you may be doing a disservice to both yourself and your team.

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Mar 23, 2015 Allison Joy
(Design by Zuza Hicks; Elements from Shutterstock)

The New World of Ag

Investment in agtech is growing, but will the Central Valley cash in?

Through certain entrepreneurial eyes, agricultural technology looks a lot more relevant than the latest iPhone app or social networking tool. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, by 2050 the world will need 70 percent more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people.. And the Central Valley is poised to cash in — if we play our cards right.

Feb 10, 2015 Allison Joy
(Shutterstock)

Status Check: Stevia First

It’s full speed ahead for this sweet startup

In 2013 we reported on Capital Region startup Stevia First and its CEO Robert Brooke’s goal of making his company the first domestic distributor of stevia. Stevia First made significant progress last year, most notably by entering into a partnership with China-based stevia distributor Qualipride International Ltd.

Feb 5, 2015 Allison Joy
(Shutterstock)

Fight of the Navigators

Connecting homeless to health care saves money in the ER

Regina Vasquez ended up homeless after her father passed away. Embarrassed by incontinence caused by Crohn’s disease, she found living out of her car a more dignified alternative to life in a public shelter. She worried constantly about her next visit to Sutter’s emergency department, and whether she would need yet another surgery. She estimates she made six to eight ER visits per year during her time on the streets.

Jan 5, 2015 Allison Joy
Seriously Jim? It's April.  

(shutterstock)

Come On, Confess!

We want your holiday party horror story

Tis the season for sharing! In the spirit of the holiday season, tell us your office holiday party horror story (anonymously, of course). Next month we’ll share the most cringe-worthy as well as advice on damage control — in case anything goes awry this year. 

Don’t be a Scrooge … You know you’ve got one.  

Nov 17, 2014 Allison Joy
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
(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
(shutterstock)

Tapping into Your LinkedIn Potential

3 do’s and don'ts from a certified professional

When we’re talking about social media, LinkedIn typically takes a backseat to more leisure-friendly platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. But for professionals, particularly young professionals, that could be a mistake. We asked Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn’s director of corporate communications, for some tips to get the most out of the career-oriented networking site.

Oct 14, 2014 Allison Joy

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
(shutterstock)

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

How Does Your Desk Chair Measure Up?

If you work at a desk, chances are you spend the majority of your day seated at its accompanying chair. There are alternatives available—including treadmills, exercise balls and kneeling chairs all designed for the desk-bound worker. But if that’s too avant gard for you (or your office), here’s a few things to consider when looking for a chair that won’t send you home hunched over and craving the fetal position. Then, tell us how you really feel. 

Sep 8, 2014 Allison Joy
(courtesy of Frankenmuffin)

Stockton Cooperation

Huddle hopes to foster more than coworking in downtown Stockton

David Garcia, Stockton born and bred, has a background in urban policy and planning and has called cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., home. So when he and Tim Egkan co-founded Huddle, a new coworking space in downtown Stockton that held its soft opening last June, he knew change was possible. But that doesn’t mean he thinks it will be easy.

Aug 18, 2014 Allison Joy