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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Soil Born Builds a Pipeline

In 2004, four years after launching their first farm, the founders of Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project incorporated their group as a nonprofit to help others see the value of growing food within cities, spreading the philosophy of “healthy food for all.”

Sep 12, 2017 Sena Christian

Life on Sacramento’s Urban Farms

The Sacramento region’s urban farming movement keeps growing and growing, but the two farms that started it all — Soil Born Farms and Yisrael Family Urban Farm — remain the hub of the activity. Both farms focus on education as critical to expanding the movement even more, and giving residents old and young the know-how and tools to grow their own food. 

Sep 12, 2017 Sena Christian

Full Protection

Founded in 1996, Gutterglove recently doubled its space by moving from Rocklin to a 43,000-square-foot facility in Roseville where the company manufactures 60,000 feet of gutters in one day — all done by the hands of people.

Aug 25, 2017 Sena Christian

Turn The Beat Around

The Capital Dance Project recently announced a partnership with the Sacramento Kings and the Kings Foundation to produce their inaugural Sensory-Friendly Dance Performance on Friday, Aug. 25 at Crest Theatre.

Aug 8, 2017 Sena Christian

The Band Plays On

The Americana rock ‘n’ roll band, The Nickel Slots went to Belgium for two weeks this summer for its third European tour, playing 11 straight shows.

Jul 21, 2017 Sena Christian

5 Significant Residential Projects Underway

According to numbers from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the region needs to be building an average of 12,000 homes per year to meet demand. Here are five projects in the works: 

Jul 18, 2017 Sena Christian

Land of Opportunity

Punjabi immigrants found prosperity, and a new home, in the quiet town of Yuba City

Punjabis first emigrated from India to California at the turn of the 20th century, and soon carved out a prominent role in the economy, culture and identity of Yuba City. They overcame discriminatory laws that prevented immigration, citizenship and land ownership — and have flourished. Most Punjabis in the Yuba City area practice Sikhism, a religion with values that resemble those in the U.S. Constitution. An estimated 15,000 Sikhs now live in the Yuba-Sutter area.

Jul 11, 2017 Sena Christian

American Dreams

Punjabis in California overcame decades of discriminatory laws to build a new home for themselves in Yuba City —  and the community flourishes today

As the legend goes, Didar Singh Bains arrived in his new home of Yuba City in 1958 at age 18 with only $8 in his pocket, which was enough for him. A young immigrant from India with humble origins, he says he believed that in the U.S. “money could grow on trees.” In the course of his lifetime, that youthful optimism has proven true — at least figuratively.

Jul 11, 2017 Sena Christian

Fix ‘Er Up

Andy Stone, head mechanic for Team Novo Nordisk, prepares a bike during training camp for the Amgen Tour of California’s Sacramento stage in May. A Sacramento native, Stone attended Encina High School where he took a Regional Occupation Program bicycle mechanic class. He worked at bike shops for several years before getting into race mechanics.

May 19, 2017 Sena Christian

An Open Book

The open-source movement has taken on patient health — and one local woman is in the vanguard

In the Sacramento region, at least one major medical provider is already on the same page with the benefits of OpenNotes. Across the country, an estimated 13 million patients can now access their notes. This open-source movement, proponents say, represents a shift away from a paternalistic model of medical care and toward a model of fully-engaged and informed patients. And that, they argue, is better for everyone.

May 16, 2017 Sena Christian

Well-Behaved

Placer SPCA Behavior Department Coordinator Meghan Oliver conducts an assessment of every dog and cat that enters the Roseville shelter to ensure they are safe around other animals, children and the general public. Each assessment takes about 10 minutes and includes monitoring how the dog socializes, handles tolerance (Oliver holds the animal’s collar, picks up feet, opens the mouth), plays with toys and reacts to the removal of food.

Apr 21, 2017 Sena Christian

More Bang for Your Duck

After a rough few years, Sacramento Valley rice farmers are supplementing crop profits with environmental stewardship

Having a robust agricultural industry has meant accommodating crops and livestock by forcing out wildlife. Before farming came to the region 150 years ago, waterbird habitat was primarily provided by wetlands. Now managed wetlands make up only about one-third of their habitat in California and rice fields comprise nearly 60 percent.

Apr 4, 2017 Sena Christian

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