Sena Christian

Managing Editor

Back Writer

Sena Christian is the managing editor for Comstock’s magazine. In her 10 years as a professional journalist, she has worked on staff for two newspapers and one newsweekly, and regularly freelanced for national publications. Most recently, she was an environmental journalism fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned degrees from UC Berkeley and University of Oregon. Read more at www.senachristian.com. On Twitter @SenaCChristian.

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Perfectly Arranged

Founded in 1946 by Ross Relles, Sr., Relles Florist is now in its fourth location on J Street in Sacramento (a second store on Howe Avenue has closed). After Ross died in 1972, sons Jim and Tom Relles took over; their sister JoAnn Bradley joined in 1975.

Mar 24, 2017 Sena Christian

Keeping it Clean

Jessie Svozil uses glass cleaner and a cloth rag to wipe down the “Golden Teal Chandelier” in the lobby of the Crocker Art Museum. It’s important to always keep the artwork looking good: Dale Chihuly’s 2014 blown-glass sculpture is translucent, with colors representing Sacramento’s rivers and mining history.

Feb 17, 2017 Ken James

Part of Their World

Rachel Smith, the head mermaid at the Dive Bar on K Street in downtown Sacramento, prepares to enter the aquarium for a performance. 

Jan 20, 2017 Sena Christian

Delicate Duties

Valarie Phillips sorts through clothing to be dry cleaned at Woodard-Ficetti Cleaners on J Street in Sacramento. She checks each garment, cleans the material under the arms and then handles any special spot-cleaning and scrubbing as dictated by a ticket attached to the clothing. Phillips, a Louisiana native, has worked at the cleaners for 22 years.

Dec 23, 2016 Sena Christian

Simple, Life-Saving Idea Catches On

Hospitals in Sacramento County give cribs to mothers of newborns to help address sleep-related child deaths

In May 2015, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center pioneered a life-saving idea. It was remarkably simple, relatively inexpensive and would help address a public health crisis. Nurses would ask every mother of a newborn leaving the hospital if her baby had a safe place to sleep. If not, Kaiser would send the parent home with a free, portable Pack-N-Play.

Nov 21, 2016 Sena Christian

I Believe I Can Fly

The instructors at iFly Sacramento, in Roseville, do a practice round, as the controller manages air flow. Fans at the top of a vertical wind tunnel draw air through the flight chamber and then push it back down through the sides, creating a column of air. These instructors pride themselves on being able to take anyone off the street and introduce them to the sport of bodyflight. 

Nov 18, 2016 Sena Christian

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Sacramento water agencies work together, adapting to drought and planning for a future of growth

While California is all-consumed with water wars, the Sacramento region’s efforts toward collaboration are easy to overlook. The best example is the landmark Water Forum Agreement, which 22 water agencies from Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties signed in 2000 to balance the environmental and human needs of the lower American River. Now, water agencies have joined together to launch the River Arc Project. 

Nov 1, 2016 Sena Christian
Jeff Pettigrew prepares the inside padding of a casket at Pettigrew & Sons Casket Co., a family-run business in Sacramento founded by the late Fay Pettigrew, who is Jeff’s grandfather. Building a casket is the last thing you can do for a person, says Barbara Pettigrew Hart, who is Fay’s daughter and Jeff’s aunt. “We think about, 'What if this was a person I love?'”

Lasting Vessel

Jeff Pettigrew prepares the inside padding of a casket at Pettigrew & Sons Casket Co., a family-run business in Sacramento founded by the late Fay Pettigrew, who is Jeff’s grandfather.

Sep 30, 2016 Sena Christian
Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

In The Penalty

Dominik Jakubek, one of two goalkeepers for Sacramento Republic FC, makes a diving save on a shot during practice at Bonney Field. Jakubek joined the franchise as an original member in 2014. He was 34 years old when he was signed.

Sep 2, 2016 Sena Christian

Raised for Glory

Youth sports have become big business — but at what cost?

More youth are participating in competitive (tryout-based), travel teams that practice more often and play additional games, often year-round, as parents shell out thousands of dollars per child, per sport, per year. The stakes are high. Or so they seem, as college scholarships or professional careers beckon at the finish line.

Aug 30, 2016 @ 5 am Sena Christian

How to Vet a Financial Advisor

You’ll make a handful of major decisions in life. One of those is selecting the professional who will manage your savings and handle your investments. This choice will impact everything in your life, including sending your child to college, buying a house and living comfortably in retirement. Here are seven criteria for vetting a financial or investment professional:

Jul 26, 2016 Sena Christian
Safety comes first for billboard crew members Rick Barton (left) and Daniel Stutes (right), of Outfront Media, as they change out a billboard along Capital City Freeway in Sacramento. New employees undergo hands-on climbing training, which covers harness safety and personal protective equipment training; everyone has annual classroom study

High Vinyl

Raising vinyl on the roadside

Billboards have been a staple of American advertising since the late 1800s. Originally, crews pasted several strips of posters together to create one large billboard. Now, they use vinyl engineered to withstand harsh weather. 

Jul 22, 2016 Sena Christian
From left: Anna Zwieniecka, Jessica Wong and Peiman Aminabadi spray a harmless strain of E. coli on cantaloupe crops at a UC Davis test field. (Photos by Sena Christian)

Watching What You Eat

UC Davis scientists work to ensure safety of U.S. food supply

Within the past year alone, dozens of foodborne disease outbreaks have impacted the U.S. food supply, implicating all sorts of ingredients. Contaminated cucumbers have been blamed, along with tomatoes, cilantro, pork, turkey, tuna and raw milk. Cases have also occurred at the food-service level, often because employees failed to wash their hands.

Jun 16, 2016 Sena Christian
Could this statue hold a clue? (Photo by Kevin Cortopassi)

Let Us Outta Here!

Would our writer’s friendships survive an hour in an escape room?

Our hearts racing and stress levels high, the six of us aren’t sure whether our friendship will survive the next 10 minutes. We’re stuck in a small room together and can’t calm ourselves down long enough to agree on a system for tackling one of the final puzzles that will allow us to break through to freedom. Things are getting testy: We’re heavy sighing, and huffing and puffing. It’s possible I’m raising my voice.

Jun 10, 2016 Sena Christian