Places

Altered States? On Adding Some New Union Members

Altered States? On Adding Some New Union Members

A growing group of activists, mainly Democrats, think Washington, D.C., should be our 51st state. I’m all for it. And while we’re at it, let’s make Puerto Rico #52, Guam #53 and talk to Israel to see if it would be interested in being #54.

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Employee Burnout: One More Thing to Think About on Election Eve

Employee Burnout: One More Thing to Think About on Election Eve

With at least the beginning of the election upon us—you don’t really think it’ll be over by midnight tomorrow, do you?—it might be a good time to think about how many things have gone haywire recently. One of the under-discussed but potentially economy-disrupting issues is worker attitude.

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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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