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Archive »Essays

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.

Veto the Vote

Veto the Vote

Regardless of whether the Kings decide to stay or go, it’s time to start treating the arena issue like every other major project we undertake for the good of the people. And that means not asking the people what’s good for them.

A Fair Assessment

A Fair Assessment

With a new CEO on board, the California State Fair has a chance to start fresh and live up to the grand plans made by Cal Expo’s creators nearly 50 years ago. A little Disney magic might just do the trick.

Massive Appeal

Massive Appeal

We have a lot of great public art in Sacramento, but we’re woefully short on the kinds of large-scale works that help create a sense of place. It’s time to think big.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

For decades, our region has struggled to find its national identity. But actually, it’s been here all along. Who knew that dirt would be so much more valuable than gold?

Hotel Lobbying

Hotel Lobbying

Sacramento’s grandest historic hotel has been lost for decades. But with a new owner taking over, now is the time to reclaim a key part of our civic narrative. Sometimes you need to look backward to move forward.

School Ties

School Ties

Sacramento has never done enough to pay tribute to its celebrated native sons and daughters, but it’s not too late to learn our lesson.

Pushing the Envelope

Pushing the Envelope

With Sacramento’s historic post office building about to lose its namesake tenant, now is the time to think big and put our stamp on this city’s future.

"B" the Change

"B" the Change

The Great Recession hasn’t been kind to our cultural community, stopping multiple arts seasons and projects dead in their tracks. And our city’s record on philanthropy isn’t helping. But here’s another chance to get it right.

A League of Our Own

A League of Our Own

The Sacramento A’s has a nice ring to it. Is it time to swing for the fences again? Batter up!

A Competitive Spirit

A Competitive Spirit

A novel concept behind the new arena campaign (public input) and a strategy for a revamped Capitol Mall (a design competition) are steps in the right direction toward great civic design. But they’re just a start.

A Foolish Consistency

A Foolish Consistency

For four years, the Sacramento City Council has thwarted the notion of a strong-mayor system that would give this and future mayors the authority they need to govern more effectively. Here’s why the council’s argument is so weak.

Catalyst for Change

Catalyst for Change

The recent design competition to reinvigorate Capitol Mall is a big step in the right direction. But now that the ideas are on the table, let’s make sure we’re viewing the situation from the right vantage point (preferably a high one).

A Bridge to Our Future

A Bridge to Our Future

With a year-long study about building a new bridge for the River City in its final stages, now is the time to think big and bold. But forget New York and San Francisco. Let’s follow Redding’s lead instead.

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