Allison Joy is the former Editor in Chief for Comstock’s magazine. On Twitter @MsAllisonJoy.
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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.
To protect honey bees, California Almond Board cautions against tank mixing
Last summer, honey bee hives pollinating orchards in SoCal, from Fresno to Bakersfield, took a hard hit. Apiculturist Eric Mussen points to tank mixing formulas as the culprit behind what he estimates at over 80,0000 colonies lost. According to Mussen, chemicals often not thought to be harmful to bees can turn deadly when mixed.
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:
How one worker keeps operations at Tower Bridge golden
Bridge worker Scott Bennett has been tending to the iconic Sacramento structure for 12 years.
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.
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.
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.
The Mind’s Eye
Blind photographer Pete Eckert views the world a bit differently
Pete Eckert envisioned himself as an architect, but a degenerative eye disease derailed his plan. He instead pursued his MBA and photography and now sells his art worldwide.
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.
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.
Can geotourism replace revenue lost by the gaming industry?
With gaming revenue on the decline and environmental sustainability an ongoing concern, the need for a new tourism strategy in Tahoe is two-fold. Enter geotourism.
Coming to a Sidewalk Near You
The one-stop resource for gleaning food from your own neighborhood
Thousands of pounds of urban produce are growing on trees and bushes all around you, and if you know where to look, you can gather enough fruits and vegetables to stock a food bank, plan a dinner menu and can a dozen jars of organic blackberry preserves.
Look out 9-to-5, the freelancers are coming
Casey Marshall is hunched over his phone, furiously scrolling through his Twitter feed in search of a photo of Waste Management’s promotional robot, whose broken axle he fixed back in March. “Someone came into the Hacker Lab and needed his robot repaired,” he says, grinning, “and I was like, ‘I gotta do that.’”
Insight into Our Style
Our art director on the redesign process
Our art director, Zuza Hicks, has spent the last four months devoted to creating an updated look and feel for Comstock’s that is fresh and modern while staying true to our publication’s roots. Here’s how she did it.
Throwback Thursday P.2
Hilarious advertising of days gone by
Happy Thursday, ya’ll. Below we’ve compiled some amusing ads, mostly for now-irrelevant products, for your enjoyment. The majority are circa early ’90s, obviously.
Our top 10 most notable covers
Last week we had some fun with our top 10 worst covers of the past 25 years. But it hasn’t all been bad – quite the opposite. We’ve done a lot of work that we’re proud of, and this was a hard list to narrow down.
Oh No We Didn’t …
Our top 10 worst covers
Look, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are larger than others, and every once in a while they come in the form of, say, a bite-sized human on the cover of what is otherwise a legitimate business publication.
Los Rios prepares to roll out updated student support services
Thomas Hanns was homeless when he first enrolled in classes at Sacramento City College, one of four main campuses that make up the Los Rios Community College District.
Keeping the Lights On
Behind the scenes with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District
A backstage look at how the crew at SMUD keeps Sacramento lit up.
Pricing the Past
Collector Brian Witherell on the gambles and gains of antiques
Juxtaposed against the crisp, modern lines of Brian Witherell’s home in Alkali Flat sits a trove of ancient treasures, premier antiquities cherry picked from his company’s massive antique collection.
Need for Speed
A peek at Bill McAnally's NASCAR
Bill McAnally owns 70,000 square feet of shop space – split between his race shop and automotive care business – and 31 race cars built on site at Bill McAnally Racing NAPA AutoCare Center in Roseville.
Under One Roof
Can rapid rehousing save local homeless families from life on the streets and in shelters?
Though a new rapid rehousing initiative may stymy the troubling trend locally, some providers remain concerned that a lack of mandatory supportive services and intensive case management may cause the program to exacerbate, not eliminate, the problem.
A Sacramento landmark is ripe for revitalization
With ground set to break on an entertainment and sports complex said to include state-of-the-art technology, owners of Downtown Plaza’s next-door neighbor, the California Fruit Building, have a high-tech makeover plan of their own.
Words of Art
Shabby neighborhoods are being brought to life with public art
Public art is about more than intricate town square sculptures or decorative murals that mask the walls of blight. At its best, public art doesn’t simply beautify a space, it engages a community by reflecting and helping to define the environment around it.
Placer County goes global in search for higher education
A 12-year mission to bring higher education to Placer County, spearheaded by local land baron Angelo Tsakopoulos, has gone global.
The Auburn Advantage
How one city turned lifestyle into business leads
Downtown Auburn has a distinct, modern-day Mayberry feel, from the stone-paved sidewalks to the rustic brick bus stop. But five miles away,
Chris Johnson is an impatient inventor with a purpose
Chris Johnson is the inventor of Rapid Ramen Cooker, a square, microwaveable bowl that cooks ramen in four minutes. What he evidently lacks in patience, he makes up for in ingenuity.