Places

Hotels Push the “Nostalgia” of Family Road Trips—Whose?!

Hotels are regrouping during the pandemic by promoting the purported nostalgia of family road trips, according to a story in the New York Times. I guess the idea is that you and the whole family are just stir-crazy enough in the confined space of your home to jump into the confined space of your car and go on a long drive, spending your nights enroute in the confined space of motel rooms.

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California, Here I Stay

This month marks the 44th anniversary of my seeing Sacramento for the first time. Since I moved here as a partially formed adult—a project that continues, year after year—I had some sense of comparison to other places I’d lived: New York City for my first eight years, Southern California for my subsequent 18. This town is still my fave.

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Parents Find that College Tuition is Suddenly Negotiable

“Discutir” (diss-coo-tier) was one of my favorite words to conjugate when I took Spanish classes in the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades. It means “to discuss” or, more to the point, “to bargain.” I pictured myself becoming a worldly traveler someday, saying things like, “¡Qué va! ¡Ni en broma!”—in essence, “Go on! Not even as a joke!”—if street vendors in Mexico would try to get me to pay full price for, say, a death mask made entirely of spun sugar (this is a real thing—and often, a stunningly beautiful piece of craftsmanship).

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36 “Intelligent Civilizations” in Our Galaxy.

Researchers think there may be 36 intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way. And while they mention ours, they haven’t worked up much enthusiasm about it.

In “The Astrophysical Journal,” a study credits “scientists at the University of Nottingham” with surmising there are at least “36 communicating intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy”—adding that there may even be more.

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Surprise! Employees Like the Way Their Bosses Handle the Pandemic

Surprise! Employees Like the Way Their Bosses Handle the Pandemic

Since I’ve always believed an unwritten requirement for most jobs is “Griping, as needed or assigned,” I was surprised to learn from a recent national survey that almost 70 percent of employees in the western part of the country are “very satisfied” with how their companies have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. With another 26 percent saying they’re “somewhat satisfied,” that makes nearly 96 percent tickled pink or at least lavender-blush pink.

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Golden Pacific Bank is Helping Small-Business Owners Navigate Rough Seas

Golden Pacific Bank is Helping Small-Business Owners Navigate Rough Seas

The unflappable Virginia Varela admits that she feels “a little as if were in a war zone and that I need to be at the helm.”

Varela’s ship is Golden Pacific Bank, where she’s been president and chief executive officer for seven years. The war zone she and her tram are navigating is the sea of shoals and icebergs caused by the corona virus, threatening the economic floatability of small businesses, which Golden Pacific specializes in.

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A Former Librarian Writes a Landmark Book on a Land Preservation Icon

A Former Librarian Writes a Landmark Book on a Land Preservation Icon

If we can accept a Midwest archaeologist named Henry “Indiana” Jones as an action hero, then we can certainly do the same for a former California librarian named Elizabeth “Betsy” Austin.

Austin has just written “Grand Canyon to Hearst Ranch: One Woman’s Fight to Save Land in the American West,” an incident-filled biography of Harriett Hunt Burgess, who spent 40 years attempting, with great success, to conserve hundreds of thousands of acres. Without Burgess’s efforts, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the Lake Tahoe region and huge swaths of California’s coastline might have been paved over to make room for office campuses, housing communities and industry.

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Take This Job And Love It!

Take This Job And Love It!

Even in the go-go jobs economy of California, and in particular the prolifically hiring Sacramento, many employees are still what I call Glummy Bears.

That’s according to a recent study conducted by Robert Half, the worldwide staffing firm. It reports 63 percent of company executives it surveyed said that “worker turnover has increased in the past three years, with lost productivity (29 percent), new hire training (26 percent), and recruiting (25 percent) being the costliest aspects when employees leave.”

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Axe Me No Questions

To commemorate the expected spring opening of an axe-throwing bar in the vibrant and, one’s tempted to add, cutting-edge midtown area of California’s capital, we set the mood with a legendary, anonymous poem:

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The Devil’s Superstore

Satan is alive and has designed the in-store wayfinding system for IKEA.

Authorities say he also may have taken a crack at the following:

a. Suggesting routes on Google maps;

b. Writing the tiny disclaimers on two-page magazine ads for prescription-only medications (“Call your doctor if you never had eczema but wanted…

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Predicting Earthquakes

Having lived through a few earthquakes, though never in any real danger (except for believing I was in real danger), I’ve been fascinated by California scientists’ declarations recently that they’ve found a way to detect an earthquake—as much as a few seconds before it hits. To me, this is not a serious improvement on…

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Calif Primary

My market research consultant York Ray-Zee—please sound out her name and we’ll get along just fine—burst into my office a few moments ago, all “het’ up.” (“Het’ up” is an expression no one I know actually says, along with “’Sup?”)

“Dr. Goldman,” she respectfully said …

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