The News is Good from Sacramento

Columbus Brewery, Sacramento, Corner of K and 16th Streets

We love living and working in Sacramento, so its nice to know our good feelings are confirmed by independent surveys examining what makes living in a city special.

To begin with, Sacramento ranked 44th out of 182 cities in the USA for best cities to raise a family. Personal finance website WalletHub evaluate America’s large cities for several factors such as family fun, affordability and childcare, and Sacramento scored high. Check out how we did compared to other cities on their website.

Our town is still growing. The Arizona-based home-builder Taylor Morrison purchased about 29.4 acres worth of lots in the Fiddyment area just west of Roseville. The three parcels of land along the future North Hayden Parkway cost Taylor Morrison $6.96 million.

Sacramento has benefited, and continues to benefit, from the incubator for start-ups centered at UC Davis. Expect to see more and more medical technology and pharmaceutical companies contributing to the growing economy in the area. During the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019, 14 startups were launched by this innovative program.

We would be remiss not to include at least one word about beer. Folsom’s iconic Red Bus Brewing Company is getting ready to open a similar space on Sutter Street. We can hardly wait.

Contour Airlines Bringing Non-Stop Flight Between Sacramento and Palm Springs

Sonny Bono Concourse at the Palm Springs International Airport. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Smyrna, Tennessee-based Contour Airlines is inaugurating a new seasonal route between Palm Springs and Sacramento International Airports. The service begins on September 16 and continues through May 14, 2020.

“We are thrilled to add another fabulous getaway destination, with Contour Airlines,” said Cindy Nichol, Sacramento County Department of Airports director. “This new route is a great opportunity for us to restore service to an important intra-California market that has gone unserved since May 2014.”

The connection to Palm Springs will leave every day at 10:45am. The 90-minute flight gets passengers to the dessert city by 12:15pm. The return flight from leaves Palm Springs at 1:00pm and arrives at 2:30pm.

Thirty passengers will fly on the roomy Embraer E-135 jet. Contour is offering a special introductory price of $99 for the trip.

Contour’s first route from Sacramento was a direct flight to Santa Barbara, which began earlier in 2019. With the addition of the non-stop to Palm Springs, Sacramento now has 41 nonstop destinations from its international airport. Just last week Spirit Airlines began a route between Sacramento and Las Vegas. As July 2019 arrives Sacramento’s international airport offers 175 nonstop flights every day on 14 carriers. In 2018 the airport saw 12 million travelers pass through its doors, a 10% growth over the year before.

New Midtown Building About to Open Mini Rental Units

Now is your chance to grab an apartment in a great location, and to join in the latest trend to downsize living space. Located a J street and 19th, the 11-story building will have ordinary sized units as well as “micro-units.” Appropriately the building is called 19J.

The 175 micro-units are a mere 300-square-feet but include everything you need to live comfortably in the middle of Sacramento’s action-filled downtown at a reasonable rent.

Sonya Sorich of the Sacramento Business Journal says the apartments come furnished. Kitchens will include a two-burner stove, a mini-fridge and a microwave. There is no full-size oven. Living space includes a bed built into the wall which pulls out when needed, and doubles as a small sofa.

Remarkably, considering the area the units are in, the rent for the tiny apartments will also be tiny: under $1,000.

Target’s Drive-up Offers To-Your-Car Delivery to Mobile App Users

Photo courtesy
Mike Kalasnik

Sacramentan’s lives are about to get even more convenient. Target announced that it is enlarging its parking lot pick-up service. When the upgrade is done, over 1100 stores nationwide, including more than a dozen Target stores in the Sacramento area.

Target is calling the new service “Drive-up.” It is a free service that lets shoppers pick up their purchases made from their mobile phone app without having to enter the store. Mobile app shoppers just pull up into designated spots, and within “two minutes” the item/items is/are delivered straight to your car.

Not everything is available for Drive-up service, however. Groceries, flowers, and alcohol will still require the buyer to enter the store for purchase.

The following stores in the Sacramento area offer Drive up service now:
• Arden
• Citrus Heights
• Elk Grove
• Folsom
• Rancho Cordova
• Auburn
• Lincoln
• Roseville (1925 Douglas Blvd.)
• Roseville North (10451 Fairway Drive)
• Rocklin
• Davis
• West Sacramento
• Woodland
• El Dorado Hills
• Fairfield
• Lodi
• Stockton (4707 Pacific Ave.)
• Stockton North (10424 Trinity Parkway)
• Vacaville
• Yuba City

The Sacramento Waterfront

Sacramento Waterfront. Photo courtesy Nan Fry

The Old Sacramento waterfront will be getting an upgrade. Ideas on how to update the area have been submitted by professionals as well as the public.

This hybrid process—when both the public and professionals submit proposals—is a unique one. According to Carlos Eliason, a creative specialist in the city, the process has generated a lot of positive attention.

“We have a lot of new ideas, and energy and momentum are starting to build up,” Eliason said. “We want people to think of Old Sac as a place where emotion and imagination can combine … and this is kind of where it starts.”

In January, five professional design team were invited to submit proposals for the riverfront. The public was also invited to submit designs, and a children’s design competition was launched.

Voting is open to the public. The children’s competition will offer several prizes of $100, and the winning proposal can win up to $6,000.

Plans for a California Community

Natomas, a community in northwestern Sacramento, is the last area of Sacramento that isn’t fully developed.

This may be about to change, since there are plans to build on fields just southeast of Sacramento International Airport.

The new community could be home to 25,000 people. The plans feature an urban-style community that includes residential and commercial buildings. Early designs include 10,000 dwelling units and retail space that equals the size of five malls.

Concerned citizens are protesting the development, worried that it will affect traffic while threatening wildlife and increasing pollution.

Teacher Shortage in California

California is an expensive state to live in, and this may be causing problems in public schools.

Due to the high cost of living, many teachers can’t afford to live in California. In 15 California counties, mortgage payments on a typical home would cost nearly half a teacher’s salary.

In many areas of California, the median home price is over a million dollars. This cost is unaffordable to most teachers. In some counties, mortgage costs may actually equal a teacher’s entire annual salary.

California is suffering from a teacher shortage, and this may explain why. Other industries that pay mid-to-low range salaries may also struggle to retain employees in California.

From California to…Texas?

Many companies have relocated from California to Texas in the past few years. The drawbacks of running a California-based business include hefty taxes, numerous regulations and the high cost-of-living.

In contrast, Texas is a less expensive, but thriving state, and offers plenty of space for companies.

Key companies that have moved to Texas in the past few years include Toyota, who opened their North American headquarters in Plano. McKesson, the largest US pharmaceutical distributor, moved from San Franciso to Irving, TX. Other companies that have moved from California to Texas include Jamba Juice, Jacobs Engineering, Kubota Tractor and Pegasus Foods.

The effect on the California economy depends on many variables, including if other companies take the place of those that move.

Women on Corporate Boards in California

A new law, Senate Bill 826, is changing the way businesses are run.

This law requires that publicly traded companies headquartered in California have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021, boards with five directors will have to include two women, and boards with six or more directors will have to include three women. Non-compliancy can result in fines as steep as $100,000.

California is the first US state to mandate gender diversity. This law affects businesses of all sizes, as many companies have all male boards.

Moving to California?

According to a new study, fewer people are moving to California than are moving out.

The United Van Lines’ 42nd Annual National Movers Study shows that 54.5 percent of people moved out of California, while only 45.6 percent of movers relocated to the state.

Most people who moved to California did so for a job, the study showed. On a national level, the state ranked 39th for inbound migration.

Deterrents to moving to California include the high cost of living.