Russell Nichols

Back Writer

Russell Nichols is a freelance writer who focuses on technology, culture and mental health. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Governing Magazine and Government Technology

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Seal or No Seal

Clean carpets, proper ventilation and special filters may help keep allergens out of the workplace. Another strategy entails sealing cracks in a building to make sure unwanted particles can’t sneak in.

Apr 24, 2018 Russell Nichols

Passing Up a Good Thing?

Mike Malinowski, president of the Streamline Institute, had a plan.

With 26 industry professionals, he set out to create a program that streamlines permitting for construction in the Sacramento region. The idea was that with clear standards for building document content and organization plus a checklist used by all participating jurisdictions, plan examiners, building officials and design professionals could be on the same page.

Mar 7, 2018 Russell Nichols

Meeting of Minds

In 2014, the City of Sacramento’s construction valuation (which tracks the dollar amount of issued permits) was $390 million, but by June 2018, that valuation will be about $1.5 billion (adjusted for inflation), according to Ryan DeVore, Sacramento’s community development director.

Feb 20, 2018 Russell Nichols

Surreal Estate

Virtual Reality Tours Give Real Estate Builders And Buyers Room to Play

If you’re going to live in a 3D environment, you need to see a 3D environment.”

These are the words of Stephen Phillips, co-founder and chief technology officer at Theia Interactive, a design firm based in Chico. His company creates VR tours for people looking to build or buy homes, cars and yachts. It was one of the four startups to come out of the Green Screen Institute’s first accelerator program.

Mar 21, 2017 Russell Nichols

Startup of the Month: Brass Clover Cold Brew Coffee Company

For Oak Park startup, coffee is a drink best brewed cold

Is 14 too young to get into coffee? It wasn’t for Randall Echevarria. He grew up in Crescent City on the California/Oregon border, and the small town’s first coffee shop gave him his very first job. He started as a barista and moved up in the ranks over four years, his favorite part being the beverage development. Turns out, this high school gig was just warm-up.

Aug 5, 2016 Russell Nichols
This rendering shows what the Green Screen Institute in Nevada City will look like. (Photo courtesy NCERC)

Virtual Investment, Real Growth

Nevada County incubator builds on region’s video technology legacy

On New Mohawk Road in Nevada City, the 27,000-square-foot facility has three components: a training academy, business accelerator and coworking lab for established companies. The academy will include classes that can last from a weekend to up to six months. The Green Screen Institute will hire industry experts on a contract basis to teach the classes. The idea is to develop the workforce needed for the influx of virtual reality and augmented reality companies.

Jul 20, 2016 Russell Nichols

The Ice Man

Building up from the ashes

After plans for a massive upgrade to the historic Crystal Ice and Cold Storage building went up in smoke, Mike Heller and his team were forced back to the drawing board — here’s how they forged ahead.

Jul 5, 2016 Russell Nichols