John Blomster is a freelance writer and lifelong Sacramento-resident. A graduate of San Francisco State University’s School of Journalism, he has covered a huge variety of topics from local sports to real estate, from banking to farming. Blomster has written for both the print and web publications of Comstock’s magazine in some capacity since 2012 and is a copywriter for California State University, Sacramento’s Office of Public Affairs. He is also an avid musician who has been involved in local music for over a decade. On Twitter @johnblomster.
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Changing Education Through Green Design
Sacramento-based architecture firm Lionakis part of statewide initiative
In a state with more than 10,000 schools, spread throughout some of the most diverse climates anywhere in the country, is it even possible for cash-strapped school districts to find ways to improve the quality of California’s education through green design?
Grooming the next generation of scientists while fighting to save one of California’s most unique ecosystems
Bright bursts of yellow flowers amid a sea of rolling green grass are an easy find in April at Mather Field. But just months ago, these dramatic swathes were completely swamped with water, and later this summer their beds will be bone-dry and baking hot.
After years of financial turmoil and uncertainty, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera wraps up its most successful season in a decade
If the recent history of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera has felt like a symphony — with cresting highs, plunging lows and, as was the case last year, overwhelming silence — then this past season reached a long-overdue crescendo.
Travel spending is a solid source of income for the state’s major cities, but for rural counties in the Capital Region, it is king
In a part of the state with seemingly boundless natural assets, tourism is the number one industry for counties beyond Sacramento’s city limits. Aided by the rise of culinary travel, the farm-to-fork movement, and the craft beer and wine industries, this decade finds rural counties a bigger economic driver for the state than ever.
5 rural tourist attractions even locals won’t want to miss
Tourism is one of the biggest and most crucial drivers of Northern California’s economy, and it isn’t just the Bay Area and Napa Valley that call to visitors.
The Big Pitch
Local investors are taking a leap of faith to bring Major League Soccer to Sacramento — what comes next could define a new era in the capital region
In December, the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a preliminary term sheet to finance and build an MLS stadium at the Sacramento Railyards, drawing the region closer than ever to bringing a major professional sport to the city since the Kings set up shop 30 years ago. If it seems like this has happened seemingly overnight, that is because in many ways, it has.
A Rancho Cordova-based company thinks big to draw people back to theaters, while navigating aging industry standards
Movie-going is about magic, and that’s what Barco is trying to create by reimagining the modern movie screen.
Such Great Heights
A community push for revitalization efforts in one of Sacramento’s most historically troubled neighborhoods starts by identifying who, not what, Del Paso Heights is and wants to be
The internet does not paint a pretty picture of Del Paso Heights. When a national team tasked with proposing revitalization measures Googled the North Sacramento neighborhood, crime stories filled the screen. But that’s not the whole story, and local leaders say it is high time the community changed the narrative.
Why one couple left behind the trappings of the corporate world to chase the growing industry of professional pet care.
Matthew and Arlette Woods were professionally unhappy and unfulfilled. One night, they both came home worn out from yet another long work day, and a seemingly innocuous comment sparked a decision that changed everything.
Meet some of R Street Corridor’s newest neighbors
Energy: That’s the word that gets repeated often around the Warehouse Artist Lofts on R Street between 11th and 12th streets, and for good reason: The mixed-use loft project is teeming with artists, creative retailers and enterprising restaurants whose diversity is matched only by the eclectic mix of business owners who have bought into developer Ali Youssefi’s plan for the building.
Disabled veterans parlay military experience into business
Eckert served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983 to 1989, traveling the world before suffering an injury to his torso during training. Upon returning to civilian life, the veteran infantryman found the skills he had gained in the marines translated to the business world.
Clean energy empowers Native American tribes seeking self-sustainability
Tribal sovereignty is an age-old Native American value that today is becoming synonymous with energy independence. With help from JLM Energy in Rocklin, the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria tribe is on the leading edge of the movement in California.
Box Office Blockbuster
The national trend of shipping containers
Every day, thousands of shipping containers come into the United States and sit idly on docks. Some are illegally dumped into the ocean once they are empty. Rather than let them go to waste, repurposing shipping containers as framing for construction meets a need while decreasing waste and harmful environmental impacts.
Meals with Wheels
As the region continues its active transportation push, Sacramento restaurants are coming along for the ride
As Sacramento evolves as an active urban center with projects like on-street parklets, an intracity streetcar and expanded bike lanes, more Sacramento restaurants are finding ways to incorporate cycling into their business model and encourage active transportation.
Parklet Like It’s Hot
Two businesses are bringing their storefronts to the street as part of a pilot program to activate the downtown grid — will more businesses be willing to take the risk?
Sacramento’s downtown is in the midst of a major facelift, and this year, local businesses are getting involved by transforming parking spots into artful public meeting spots … Well, just two actually.
An online crowdsourcing service is helping hundreds solve medical mysteries -- but is it right for you?
Sometimes quantity is better than quality. That’s the thinking behind CrowdMed, a website that allows an online community of medical professionals, patients, and laypeople to solve cases for patients with undiagnosed medical conditions.
What's behind the trend of the incredible shrinking menu?
Sacramento chefs like to think backwards. When it comes to menus, they let the ingredients dictate the dish — not the other way around. The result: An ever-changing seasonal menu that is as brief as the kale is healthy.
A looming global chocolate shortage threatens to damper the holiday season, but local businesses have yet to feel effects
A global cocoa shortage threatens to put a damper on the good tidings and cheer, as worldwide demand for chocolate outstrips the waning production in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce more than 70 percent of the world’s mass-market cocoa.
Stop, Drop, Open Up Shop
The region’s new Small Business Development Center sends a clear message: We want YOU for the Capital Region
Existing business expansion is the single biggest source of job creation in the United States, accounting for nearly two-thirds of new jobs nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s why the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is bolstering small businesses by kicking off a one-stop shop for regional employers looking to grow and expand.
Bridging the Divide
West Sacramento’s massive transportation shift is redefining its identity
Long regarded as the region’s industrial bastion relegated to the other side of the river, today’s West Sacramento is barreling out of the past.
Transportation reforms throughout the region are changing the ways people live and travel in Yolo County
It’s been a year since Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that created the Active Transportation Program to boost non-motorized transportation across the state, where one in four Californians are obese and more than 3.9 million are diabetic. And as California emerges as a national leader in transportation reform, Yolo County is finding itself at the forefront of the movement.
Local muralists seek to set precedent for public art
Few of the thousands of shoppers at Sacramento’s Sunday farmers market at 8th and W streets ever look up at the gray concrete ceiling looming above them. But by next spring, it may be tough to look at anything else.
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.
Baby boomers drive growth as housing market rebounds
After the worst recession in recent history crippled new home construction and forced almost one-fifth of homebuilders belly up, the future is finally looking brighter for contractors in 2013.
Life among the ranks of the unbanked
Two hundred, four hundred … twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, five hundred …
As the young woman behind the glass divider counts out the entirety of my paycheck, I can’t help but think of how measly it looks before I stuff it in my wallet.
Commercial occupancy woes continue to plague brokers
Local commercial real estate brokers leased out one of the highest square-foot totals in the nation last year. But Sacramento as a whole still hasn’t rebounded like its regional neighbors.
New strategies for post-recession architects
Bruce Monighan knows a few things about building something out of nothing. Facing the option of unemployment or bootstrapping, the local architect started his Sacramento-based firm Monighandesign from scratch in 1982. By the early 2000s, Monighandesign was completing between 50 and 60 public and private projects annually in markets across the country and looked to expand in 2007.
Is mobile point-of-sale technology right for your small business?
On a drizzly afternoon in downtown Sacramento, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen is hard to miss.
Nonprofits and community support provide struggling youth with opportunity
Samantha Smith was 13 when she first left home for the streets of Folsom. Living in and out of foster care, she was driven from homes by conflict and turbulence and returned only when in need of food or clothing.
Sister, Mother, Mentor
In 2001, a group of local businesswomen put their heads and dollars together, hoping to make an impact on the lives of Sacramento foster youth.