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Archive »Essays

The Aggie Express

The Aggie Express

Civic leaders around the world are working hard to attract the best and brightest young minds to their respective cities. Meanwhile, we’re losing thousands per year. Here’s how to get back on the right track.

For a city that once connected people from across the nation by building the Transcontinental Railroad, we sure are having a hard time connecting the people in our own backyard. When engineer Theodore Judah met with four prominent Sacramento businessmen in 1860 and pitched the idea of a railroad that would connect Sacramento to Omaha over a treacherous stretch of the Sierra Nevada mountains, ground broke on the venture a mere three years later. And the last spike was driven into the track in 1869—nine years from pitch meeting to completion for the 1,776-mile connection.

Google Eyes

Google Eyes

We’ve proven that we can come together to help launch successful small businesses. Now let’s get creative about attracting some new Googles here, too.

Bold Sacramento

Bold Sacramento

With the new arena coming to downtown, Old Sacramento has an opportunity to shine like never before. Here are a few ideas to turn something old into something bold.

Troubled Waters

Troubled Waters

The historic Capitol fountain has been standing sentry in front of our city’s most celebrated building since the 1920s, but empty symbolism has kept the water from flowing for years. This is one drought that we can actually do something about.

Return of the JFDI

Return of the JFDI

Thanks to some bold thinkers, Sacramento is on the verge of a civic renaissance, the likes of which it hasn’t seen since the Transcontinental Railroad. But at least one big project-in-waiting could derail a brighter future for the arts.

A Sleeping Green Giant

A Sleeping Green Giant

A decade ago, Joe Genshlea envisioned an urban park downtown that would rival the biggest and best in America. A lack of political courage and leadership stopped it in its tracks. Here’s why we need to revive it, and why there’s no time to waste.

Looking for a Square Deal

Looking for a Square Deal

Once the site of Sacramento’s most ambitious building project, 301 Capitol Mall may be in play again. But will it rise to the occasion? Here’s why CalPERS holds the future of our grandest boulevard in its hands.

#HereWeBuild

#HereWeBuild

The Kings are staying and Sacramento finally has a shot at getting the urban core it deserves. We have a few ideas for it.

Almond Joy

Almond Joy

With Sacramento’s new emphasis on its farm-to-fork merits, there’s never been a better reason to bring back the Blue Diamond almond factory tours that helped put our local food on the world map. It’s time to polish this diamond in the rough.

A Critical Stage

A Critical Stage

Sacramento’s Community Center Theater is gearing up for a multi-year renovation, but may be missing the role of a lifetime. As the heart of the Sacramento performing arts scene, here’s how to keep this comedy of errors from becoming a civic tragedy.

Archive »Why Not Here?

The Nuclear Options

The Nuclear Options

It’s been 25 years since Sacramento’s sole nuclear power plant was shuttered. Other cities have turned their aging cooling towers into hot commodities. Maybe we can, too.

Green is the New Black

Green is the New Black

With few public options for recycling in Sacramento, it’s time to trash our old way of thinking and create some stylish new ways to make our streets and parks as clean as our conscience.

Farm to Snack

Farm to Snack

In Chicago and Philadelphia, entrepreneurs are turning the vending machine concept on its head by offering everything from locally made snacks to farm-fresh salads. Why not turn our region's own bounty into the ultimate fast food?

Painting the Town

Painting the Town

In cities around the world, artists are using large building façades as blank canvases, transforming urban blocks into massive outdoor museums. With an abundance of local buildings that fit the bill, it’s time to curate our own civic gallery.

A Walk on the Wild Side

A Walk on the Wild Side

This may be the City of Trees, but when it comes to getting a good look at these majestic plants, we humans are a vertically challenged bunch. Let’s take a walk among giants.

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

For decades, movies and cartoons have borrowed heavily from classical music. But now, from L.A. to Decatur, Illinois, orchestras are turning the tables. Perhaps it’s time to lower our lights, turn on the projector and try a little Bugs with our Brahms.

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