Bill Romanelli is a public affairs consultant with APCO Worldwide and an avid outdoorsman. On Twitter @bromanel.
By this person
A Buyer’s Guide to Death
You would never buy a house without doing your research and shopping around
Making advance funeral and cemetery arrangements (“preneed”) will provide the most peace of mind for yourself and your family. Much like an advance health directive lays out your wishes while you’re alive, a preneed agreement establishes your wishes afterward.
Bringing Art Where It Isn’t
YoloArts helps students find their voices
Danielle Whitmore, YoloArts’ executive director, tells a story about a student named Diana. When Diana — a pseudonym — was a student in a local continuation school, she wouldn’t even get out of bed to attend classes.
The Capital Region is cashing in on the big business of comic conventions
Comic-themed conventions, or cons, have been around since the 1970s. Even the Capital Region has had its own Sac-Con since 1989. In those days, the events were small affairs attended by a hard-core smattering of lonely youth and middle-aged men speaking their own jargon-filled language. But in the past five years, something changed. Cons became cool.
How offing Superman almost killed the comic industry
The day Superman died, I was one of millions of people in line throughout the country. It turned out that I could not have picked a worse time than the early 1990s to start collecting comics. I knew nothing about speculation, and larger economic forces of which I was completely ignorant were at work. Shortly after Superman died, he nearly took the entire comic industry with him.
The 7 best bike rides in Yolo County
Lovely scenery along gently rolling foothills has always made Yolo County an ideal place for cyclists, but who knew everyone took it so seriously?
A fresh approach to job hunting in the digital age
What started with the advent of online job boards like Monster and Yahoo! HotJobs in the mid-1990s has at last evolved into what some are now calling the Facebook of job searches. In the age of Resume 2.0, where the standard, static and flat resume just won’t cut it, a new company has emerged to help employers and potential hires cut right to the chase.
Balancing the Grove
Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis on employment-oriented development
In his 2013 State of the City speech, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis said his vision for the future was centered on the concept of balance. Without it, he says, the city’s future is unsustainable.
Shoot to Thrill
Roseville’s new high-end gun club hits the mark
The first time Kimberly Foss went to a shooting range she froze her butt off.
“It was outside, it was cold and it was not a very fun experience,” says Foss, who took herself shooting for the first time to celebrate her 50th birthday. “I was brand new to shooting — it was something I’d been interested in for a long time — so I had no idea you could go to indoor ranges, much less really nice ones that cater to women as well as men.”
How to keep expensive, competitive law degrees attractive to dwindling applicants
Even a half-hearted glance at the headlines would suggest that these are hardly the glory days for the nation’s law schools.
Starting a family needn’t push retirement out of reach
Michael and Susan Pope had witnessed enough of parenthood to give them second thoughts about having children of their own. After seeing friends vanish into an abyss of diaper bags, sleepless nights, stress, arguments and the apparent loss of every conceivable freedom, they had plenty of reasons to reconsider.
Accounting for Green
New research may change how commercial real estate loans are designed
Among the many risks involved in commercial real estate lending today, energy risk is so poorly understood that lenders simply do not have the tools they need to measure it. This ignorance of energy risk — the likelihood that higher energy costs compromise a building owner’s ability to make their mortgage payments — leads to inflated loans. This is because both efficient and inefficient buildings are judged the same in the eyes of the lender. But UC Berkeley researchers have developed a tool they claim would measure the net benefit of energy savings investments.
Up & Down Main Street
Small town realities and the long road to prosperity
Say what you will about the severity of state and federal budget woes, but it’s arguably the small towns that are bearing the real brunt of today’s economy.
No Parking Required
New parking regs invite development
In one of the first actions designed to help the city of Sacramento move forward next year, the City Council OK’d a proposal concerning where we all stop.
Is Sacramento Red Guide worthy?
As restaurant review guides go, it has no equal. It is so prestigious that whole cities vie for even a single mention, and Sacramento is no exception. Breaking in, however, is easier said than done.
Personal time management in the workplace
By most accounts, today’s workforce is more productive than ever, suggesting that technologies meant to help us do more in less time are working.
Home Field Advantage
Clark Pacific's winning stadium bid scores big for the region
The day Clark Pacific won the bid to provide the concrete components for the 49ers’ new football stadium in Santa Clara was a day for much celebration. It was a $20 million award. It meant new jobs. It meant an economic boost for the region.
Off the Reservation
A new bet on an old law
With fewer discretionary dollars in their pocketbooks and more sensitivity at the gas pump, recession-era gamblers want to spend their quarters closer to home.
It was sometime in 2004 when Larry Booth and his brother Martin swallowed the truth that they wouldn’t live forever.
Let’s Make a Deal
Business acquisitions are on the rise
If two words could sum up the collective attitudes of those who buy and sell businesses, they’d be “enough already.”
Jobs That Pay
New opportunities for accessing venture capital
New legislation is typically received by the business community with as much adoration as a Yankee fan at Fenway, but there are exceptions.
Economic Engine that Could
Truckee's railyard development faces its toughest hill yet
A town long known for its quaint historic authenticity, Truckee in the past five years has evolved from a sleepy hamlet to a city with the promise of vibrancy.
Cash or Charge?
Payment options to balance cost and value in the advisor's office
On the list of problems everyone should have, deciding how to pay a financial adviser is near the top, just below picking a Porsche mechanic and choosing between Hawaii and Barbados for vacation.
Advanced treatment promises better outcomes for prostate cancer
Rollie Swingle didn’t have treatment options for his stage IV prostate cancer.
Cutting Down to Size
Market demand calls for small, new homes in old communities
Is the master-planned community dead? Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times painted the picture for homebuilders quite clearly when it posed that question.
MBA offerings evolve with students and the economy
It’s been said a down economy is a boon for Masters of Business Administration programs. The fact that the region has kept the healthy crop of MBA schools it had in 2007, before the economy turned, and even added one would suggest the maxim holds true. But it’s no free ride.
More or Lease
How a proposed accounting standard could change your balance sheet
Exciting news in the accounting world might sound like an oxymoron, but this is the post-Enron and post-housing bubble economy. The guys and gals in the green eyeshades are under a new spotlight, and the changes they’re making to the practice of accounting are more than just fodder for ledgers.
Off the Grid
Proposed infill units to save energy in Midtown
Although the concept of sustainable building isn’t new, affordable sustainable building has been slow to market. Historically, products, materials and expertise were in short supply and building green was cost prohibitive, particularly in residential development. That’s beginning to change.
Halls of Justice
Crumbling courthouses create construction opportunities
Since the founding of our state, courthouses have been the focal point of many communities. They are at once tangible symbols of the rule of law, monuments to our democratic ideals and the primary point of contact between the citizens and the judicial system. And, they are all but falling apart.
When exercise is part of your executive strategy
When Jim and Diane Williams were forced to admit their age, they also had to admit that many things they took for granted in their younger years now needed a little more attention and discipline.
Reaching for the Arts
A scholarship program fuels education after high school
For most of his life, Sean Patrick Shadduck had heard — and believed — that hard work yields rewards. When he proved that to himself earlier this year, it was a boost to his self-confidence.
Local nonprofit gives a voice to foster youth
Between her 8th and 15th birthdays, Ashlee Rogers moved out of nearly a half-dozen foster homes. She was removed from her mother twice, and she floated all over El Dorado County, from Placerville to Pollock Pines and back.
International Ag of Mystery
How local agriculture competes for table space around the world
For Capital Region farmers looking to expand sales overseas, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent trade mission to Asia couldn’t have come at a better time. While any governor’s visit would likely attract attention, it helps to have an international film star as a spokesperson.
In the First Place
Quality life and business in downtown Sacramento
As the first Property and Business Improvement District in California, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership has done much more than create the model. In 14 years of operation, it has also set the standard.
Full Steam Ahead
Fulton Avenue businesses built on partnerships and prosperity
At one time Fulton Avenue was given the ignominious title of ugliest street in Sacramento. It wasn’t completely undeserved.
Taking a Chance
Stockton businesses invest in the long term
By the mid-1990s, it was fair to question whether downtown Stockton was on the path to decay. Crime and blight were major concerns that kept visitors and businesses away, and there was little to suggest a turnaround was in sight.
The strip's life after car dealerships
Now in its 15th year, the Florin Road Partnership might be one of the region’s great turnaround stories.
Property and Business Improvement Districts revitalize urban centers
California is used to being the trendsetter. The state has led the way on everything from auto emissions standards to stem cell research, but when Assembly Bill 3754 was signed into law in 1994, California was the 40th state to allow the creation of Property and Business Improvement Districts.
Citrus Heights businesses band together to boost revenue
In 1999, with the opening of the Galleria at Roseville looming, property owners in what is now the Sunrise Marketplace were having an uncomfortable sense of déjÃ vu.
Long-term insurance today, long-term assurance tomorrow
When 52-year-old Rosey Ramsey had a stroke in August 2002 she was one of the lucky ones.
Labor costs and foreign imports
Americans import 99 percent of the roughly 200,000 tons of olive oil consumed each year. It’s not that the foreign stuff is so much better — in fact a recent study suggests that it often isn’t.
A Brighton spot for Power Inn’s future
In the late 1800s the township of Brighton, along what is now Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn Road, was bustling with a racetrack, pony express stop and the distinguished (if unrecognized) title of Sacramento’s first suburb.
Sacramento's engine room transforms into a center for innovation
Transforming the Power Inn area bears a striking resemblance to the way an ancient lake transforms into a meadow. It takes a lot of infill, it happens over decades and the result can be a jewel that brings new vitality to the landscape.
Is the battle of the sexes over in the workplace?
For decades America has been steadily approaching a major social development — a time when the number of women in the work force would surpass the number of men. That moment has now arrived, brought on by, of all things, a recession.
Small businesses secure big loans through the SBA
Bob Grandinetti needed $400,000 — fast.
The financial aftermath for stroke victims
Nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke each year, making it the leading cause of disability in the U.S. What’s more, health problems are a principle driver for mortgage foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, leading to billions in financial impact.
Keeping business going after disaster strikes
Most business owners manage by instinct, but there are those times when they need a robust spurring.
Challenges and successes lie ahead at the port
Several projects are in the pipeline that could strengthen the Port of West Sacramento as a hub of green activity as soon as 2011.
Low rents and killer deals reign the commercial market in 2010
Last November, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen gave a speech on the national economy and put the prospects for the commercial real estate market in stark perspective.
Flat: The New Up
The long walk to a new economic horizon
There’s an old joke that no two economists can agree on the economy, but as the nation, California and the Capital Region continue to weather the worst downturn since the Great Depression, economists are showing remarkable solidarity: They think we’re in a mess.
By Any Other Name
Government watchdogs keep tabs on those who call themselves architects
Just because you can design, doesn’t make you an architect. That was certainly the message sent when the California Architects Board issued two fines of $2,500 each in September 2008 to Diana Suhanova, owner of All in One in Sacramento.