Top articles for 2011

Happy 2012 everyone! For your enjoyment here are the top posts on this site that were published in 2011. Of course, Julie Durda, How to pronounce Goethe and The Shins making headlines continue to be curiously popular as well.

  1. Band Tesla ft. Nick Toma
  2. Sugar Plum Vegan- No More Excuses
  3. New Midtown Goodwill Opens with Boutique Flare
  4. Hitt leaves CBS 13 (published December 2010)
  5. 60 Minutes airs story of local climber
  6. Kings rally Tuesday, Don G has details
  7. The Brunch That Nightmares are Made of, or How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Sunday
  8. Quick Bites: Good Eats shutting down, THIR13EN meets expectations, Doughbot news
  9. Brew It Up! is shutting down
  10. “Rise Guys” leaving for SF with Don G move, new show for Carmichael Dave

Sacramento Book Review publishers moving to Midtown

Meredith Greene tipped me that 1776 Productions, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review and the Sacramento Book Review (and one in Portland as well) are moving their headquarters to Midtown. According to co-publisher Ross Rojek, the move could start as early as next week.

“We’re looking forward to living and working in Sacramento,” Rojek told me. “Particularly having an office in Midtown near so many good restaurants and things to do after work.”

1776 also created GoLocalApps, a framework that helps small businesses roll out apps for iDevices. It’s good to hear about a business actually moving to Sacramento in this economic climate!

In these tough economic times, be thankful for tough economic times

The Sac Bee reports on a rare benefit in this down economy:

While Sacramento commuters spend on average 24 hours a year stuck in traffic, that’s better than in most urban areas, and it’s a smoother commute than drivers here have had since 1993, a new report shows…

Commute-period congestion peaked in Sacramento in 2005 and 2006 at 35 congested hours per year on average, then tailed off as the recession hit, according to a report published today by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

With the economy tanking, we were able to get rid of a lot of the trafficularsclerosis clogging up our arteries:

Furloughs, layoffs, lack of construction, and fewer delivery trucks on the road are key contributors to more free-flowing commutes, local officials said.

I don’t know about you, but I blame Obama.

When one door closes…

Interesting positioning of headlines recently on Google News…

William Glen Articles on Google

On and, we learn that William Glen is closing its doors at the end of the year. Then, over at (at, too), we find out that “the children of one of William Glen’s founders will soon open housewares and holiday stores in Old Sacramento.”

The stores are expected to open by early October or sooner. Late Thursday afternoon, Snyder and Guthrie were caught off guard by the news that the William Glen store will close after Christmas.

At any rate, it is always tough to see another Sacramento business shut own. At the same time, it’s great to hear that a business is opening in Sacramento. Remember when grand openings were an everyday occurrence? Sigh.

The commenters at, of course, are all over the place with this one. Lots of blaming of the President, which has become the norm for ANY article, and random shots at Sacramento.

Oh, and Sacramento’s second largest law firm called it quits last week.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Recycle this!

I went to my parking lot recycling spot (awesome site, btw, 2004 & 2005 “News” articles) on Saturday to cash in some bottles and cans that had been piling up (why give that money to the County, right?) only to find out that their hours had been dramatically cut recently. Why? It’s good for the bottle, right? It’s good for the can, right? It’s what Oprah wants us to do!

As it turns out, what do you know

The state has tapped the California Redemption Value fund for $417.7 million in loans to help deal with its budget crisis. Consumers pay about $1.2 billion a year in 5- and 10-cent deposits on most soda, sports drinks, juice, beer and water bottles and cans sold in California.

The parking-lot recycling business operates as a for profit enterprise helping to make it easier for folks to return their recyclables for cash. You know, creating jobs, providing a service to the community. Yawn…

Continue reading “Recycle this!”

How Convenient

The Air/Water machine at the 76 Station on Watt & Fair Oaks
There will be $0.50 fee for reading this post.

I think we’ve all figured out by now that more and more gas stations price their product depending on your method of payment.

The two-tiered system is completely legal, however is not an option for many gas station owners. Pumps that have the technology able to track dual-prices cost anywhere between $12,000 to $15,000, meaning many small stations simply cannot afford such a luxury…and are stuck with smaller margins due to processing costs.

Wouldn’t NOT upgrading pumps at a cost of around 60K to 100K also help with those margins?

At any rate, here’s a photo taken at the 76 Station on Watt & Fair Oaks. If you have coins on you, it’ll run you $0.75 to fill up those tires. If you don’t, the price goes up to $1.25. You know, “Same as Cash.”


I’m just now reading this article on from Monday about the increase in food stamp use in Sacramento.

With more people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the marketplace is shifting as more retailers accept food stamps and some retailers consciously market to those customers.

Well, that’s a catchy name isn’t it? And now even Whole Foods Market accepts your SNAP stamps. Our society sure loves to react to the symptoms of problems rather than the causes, huh?

Since 2004, SNAP benefits have converted to Electronic Benefit Transfer, or what is essentially a debit card loaded with the benefit amounts that are deducted by retailers. As discreet as gift cards, EBT cards lessened the social stigma and simplified the process for retailers, Berg said.

Wasn’t the “social stigma” sort of the deal you made with the government when you accepted the assistance? That is, regardless of where you stand politically, isn’t shame the one constant social regulator we have left?

That and the “Pants on the Ground” song, of course.

What’s your limit on the current economic turmoil?

The impending closure of a Sam’s Club in Natomas is less heart breaking than Saturday’s closing of Wishing Well. (Though it should probably freak us out more, since Walmart (parent company of Sam’s Club) was cited as the reason Wishing Well can’t compete.) Only the coldest market capitalist robot isn’t sad to see his or her favorite local business go under. Wishing Well was one of my favorite local establishments and I’m actually saddened to see it go.

Continue reading “What’s your limit on the current economic turmoil?”

No more Wishing Well!!!

Extremely sad news (to me, at least) in Bob Shallit’s column today: the last remaining Wishing Well stores will be closing forever on Saturday. This is really depressing news. There are probably other imminent closings in the area that will hit harder, but Wishing Well was just such an entertaining and essential spot for decorations and craft supplies.

Shallit also mentions the store’s former “no kids” policy. The way I remember it as a kid (mid ’80s) was that you could enter the store, but they had a way of making you feel like they were watching you. Of course this made it an even more attractive spot. It was as if they really did sell M-80s and butterfly knives instead of paper hats and wedding decor.

Groundbreaking ideas from stimulus watchdog

the BobsLaura Chick, the state inspector general for stimulus spending, is busy solving problems that California is encountering with spending ARRA stimulus funds. Problem: A backlog of approvals at the Office of Historic Preservation, due to furloughs at that office, means ARRA funded projects are having trouble getting started. Her solution: No more furloughs for that department!

Obviously Chick is just a straight shooter with upper management written all over her. I’m sure it took Schwarzenegger a while to respond to this suggestion after he literally (not literally) picked his jaw up off the floor.

Continue reading “Groundbreaking ideas from stimulus watchdog”