Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Publisher

Back Writer

Winnie Comstock-Carlson is the president and publisher of Comstock’s magazine. She launched the publication in 1989 and is still going strong.

(Photo: Eleakis & Elder Photography)

(Photo: Eleakis & Elder Photography)

By this person

Gaining Control of Pensions

Public pensions are draining public coffers

When it comes to the California public pension system, one thing is crystal clear: it absolutely must and will change. The question is when and how. Practically every expert who has analyzed the state’s pension figures uses the word “unsustainable” to describe the system.

Jan 1, 2012 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Arena Politics

Less debate, and more big thinking, is needed

I’ve lost count of just how many times during the past decade we have debated the how and where of building a new arena for the Sacramento Kings. Few doubt the team needs an upgraded home, but the high-pressure tactics of the Kings’ owners — who threatened to leave Sacramento unless they got the deal they wanted — alienated many.

Oct 31, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Creating a New Economy

Call it a recession, a realignment or a downturn. Whatever you call it, our current economy is experiencing convulsions most of us have not seen in our lifetimes. Our nation, our state and our region continue to suffer from a sputtering economy and painfully high unemployment.

Sep 30, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

A Vision for Higher Education

It's time to stop fighting battles of the past

The headlines are the same in nearly every state: massive cuts in higher education budgets, faculty and staff layoffs, tuition hikes and students locked out of a college education because of rising costs. Our nation’s economic distress is taking a huge toll on our colleges, universities and future work force.

Jul 31, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Hometown Pride

A win for the Kings is a win for the region

Since 1985, when the Sacramento Kings played their first game in a temporary facility in north Natomas, we in the region have argued over whether, where and how to build an arena that works for fans, the team, its owners and taxpayers.

May 31, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Recovering From Fiscal Disaster

Listen up, Governor Brown

At the end of 2010, I asked several dozen of our region’s business and thought leaders what advice they would like to give our new governor. Last month, in an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, I summarized their thoughts on how the new administration should change important areas of state governance. This month, the same group of local leaders offer ideas on how to recover from our current fiscal disaster.

Feb 1, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Dear Gov. Brown …

Put communication on the top of the list

I have long believed that the best thinkers outside government have a great deal to offer those inside government. In that spirit, I asked several dozen of our region’s business and thought-leaders to give their ideas on key steps your new administration could take to repair our battered state.

Jan 1, 2011 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Who Can Govern California?

Meg Whitman has what it takes

No political leader can work magic, though virtually all who campaign for public office talk as if he or she can. Our current governor came in as an outsider promising change but had limited success, at least partly because he never learned to work effectively with the Legislature.

Sep 30, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Creating an Emerald Valley

Sacramento is the greenest of the green

In his first year as Sacramento’s mayor, Kevin Johnson focused public attention on a series of initiatives targeting the arts, education, the economy and public safety, which aim to bring together experts and residents to develop action plans to move Sacramento forward in its development as a well-rounded city.

Jun 30, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Expanding the Middle

With California’s unemployment statistics among the worst in the nation, there’s no hotter topic right now than jobs: how to keep, expand and create them. Increasingly, policymakers are focused on so-called “middle-skill jobs.”

May 31, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Housing the Homeless

Donate, volunteer and support

The face of homelessness in our region is changing. Yes, we still see the typical street people: the disabled man asking for quarters outside our favorite coffee shop, the elderly lady pushing a grocery cart and the sleeping figures huddled under blankets in doorways. These are the chronically homeless — the most vulnerable, change-resistant and expensive in terms of taxpayer dollars spent on shelters, medical care, addiction rehab and law enforcement.

May 2, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Of Zip Codes and Schools

Mayor Kevin Johnson cited a statistic in his January state of the city speech that surprised, even shocked, me: In only one of Sacramento’s 19 zip codes are 70 percent or more of third-graders reading at grade level.

Mar 31, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Lost Decade or Found Opportunity?

Looking forward to a new era

The headlines tell the story: “Worst recession in 70 years,” “Unemployment hits new high,” “More companies close” or “State going broke.” None of us are sorry to bid farewell to this year or even this decade.

Jan 1, 2010 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

A threat to local recovery

Local redevelopment funds

At a time of extreme economic stress, our state government has taken aim at one of the few resources communities have to repair their bruised economies — local redevelopment funds.

Dec 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Education Reform

Race to the Top...or Not

The Obama administration and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are dangling a huge carrot in front of California: a share of a $4.3 billion fund to reform K-12 education. This so-called Race to the Top initiative is the single largest pot of discretionary dollars ever offered to states for such reforms.

Nov 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Water Wars

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

For nearly 50 years California boasted the nation’s largest, most successful water system. Water flowed through the Gov. Edmund G. Brown California Aqueduct to San Joaquin Valley farms and southern California homes.

Oct 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Reform

Making health care work

This summer we saw the debate over health care reform heat up. The result has been partisanship, too little dialogue and too much misinformation. As a small-business owner, I’m concerned about reform, reform that will protect the country’s millions of small companies against skyrocketing health care costs. My own research has led me to a few basic conclusions.

Sep 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Overdue reform

Out of money, out of time

California is running out of money, pure and simple. As we go to press, the state is finalizing the budget and lurching from one financial crisis to the next thanks to elected leaders who put politics above fiscal responsibility.

Jul 31, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

20th Anniversary

A sober celebration

For all of us at Comstock’s, this month is a cause for great celebration — and for a sobering assessment. We are celebrating 20 remarkable years in the business of delivering insightful commentary to the Capital Region’s business leaders. At the same time we are assessing what the next year or two, or 10, will mean for the magazine and for all of us in the region.

Jul 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Sacramento Development

"De-malling" Sacramento

Forty years ago, pedestrian malls became the rage across America. As cities tried to revitalize their downtowns to compete with fancy new suburban shopping malls, more than 200 cities and towns — including Sacramento — closed streets to traffic and parking, planted trees and installed fountains and benches to create pedestrian-friendly retail areas.

Jun 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Speedy Delivery

The promise of high-speed rail

The potential benefits of high-speed rail are huge. Transportation planners say a bullet train would meet or exceed the demand for transportation from our growing population between now and 2030 — at less than half the cost of building the five airport runways, 90 departure gates and 3,000 miles of new freeways that would otherwise be required. Building the system will provide 160,000 construction jobs and 450,000 permanent jobs in related industries, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.

May 1, 2009 Winnie Comstock-Carlson