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Circles of Smoke (PDF)
She came home on time, bounding in the front door shortly after 10 p.m. with her typical energy – long, tan legs quickly covering the few steps to my perch on the couch, where I was watching a movie with her father – and bent down to give me a kiss.
As her heavy auburn hair (last week it was black) brushed my face, the small struck me like a blow to the head. Cigarettes! She’s been smoking cigarettes!
It’s after 6 on a Friday evening when my daughter and I arrive on the outskirts of Chico. As I survey the familiar terrain off Highway 99 south of town, I’m thinking that although we have made this drive countless times before, on this occasion the scene seems almost surreal.
Birthing Babies (PDF)
It was just before Christmas in 1976, when I was 30 and barely three months pregnant. I was visiting my parents in Chico, going through some kind of primal mom-ritual, learning in my mother’s kitchen to make the complicated Norwegian cookies she – and my grandmother before her – had been making for decades.
Bobbie Metzger Q&A (PDF)
As president of Stoorza Siegaus Metzger & Hunt, Bobbie Metzger, 47, heads the largest woman-owned independent public relations and public affairs firm in the country, with offices in Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
City Lights (PDF)
As the homeless population continues to soar and stretch existing services, the federal government has stepped in to help. In Sacramento, a 12th Street motel – condemned last year as unfit for human habitation – has become the unlikely site of a model program designed to help the homeless become self-sufficient.
Connie Chung Q&A (PDF)
Connie Chung, co-anchor of the “CBS Evening News” and anchor of “Eye to Eye with Connie Chung,” came to town in April to anchor the evening news from the state Capitol and to moderate KOVR and SACRAMENTO magazine’s Women’s Safety and Security Forum.
D.A. Steve White (PDF)
“My family is the most important part of my life, period. I know that I can successfully meet my responsibilities to my office and still meet my responsibilities to my family.”
Destroyed by Drink (PDF)
Phil remembers drinking heavily as a college student a few decades ago. “I rarely drank during the week,” he recalls of his college years. “But on the weekends, watch out.”
Diversion Tactics (PDF)
Three years ago, Gerald L. Bryant took four young Sacramento gang members to hear Maya Angelous speak at the Sacramento Community Center. Before that, none of the young men had known anything about the prominent writer and actress. Neither had they visited the community center, or the Hyatt Regency hotel where Bryant too them after the speech.
Dollars for Design (PDF)
When Joan and Craig Carbrey bought a stunning, oak studded lot overlooking Folsom’s Lake Natoma in the American River Canyon two years ago and began construction on their 3,600-square-foot custom home, they knew there would be some rough times.
Extraordinary Measures (PDF)
It was two days before Halloween, and 2-year old Edward Vetsch had been nibbling on some almonds and jumping up and down on the couch in the living room of his family’s new house in Anderson (Shasta County). And then he fell. “He took a deep, scared breath when he fell,” recalls his father, Gary Vetsch, “and sucked [the almonds] right down into his lungs.”
Follow the Leaders (PDF)
Jerrie Groven grew up in Torrance, in southern California, where her two sons, now 20 and 22, were born. Troubled by the increasing congestion and pollution, she decided to pack up her kids 16 years ago and move north, settling in Placerville. She has never looked back.
Gabriele Bender Q&A (PDF)
Gabriele Bender, 47, joined the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department as a clerk-typist in 1968, when women were not permitted to work on patrol. She soon became a dispatcher, graduated from the first co-ed class at the sheriff’s academy in 1973, and went on patrol in 1976.
Grandparents as Parents (PDF)
At a time when they thought they’d be enjoying the golden years of retirements and winding down, grandparents raising their children’s children must overcome critical financial and legal challenges as they strive to provide a balanced family atmosphere for their grandchildren. Meet three Sacramento families.
Learning the System (PDF)
Caught in the crunch of explosive population growth in the Sacramento area – one of the fastest growing regions in the country – the county’s schools are scrambling to expand facilities while at the same time meet the needs of a rapidly changing school population.
Life of Brian (PDF)
The halls outside the ornate, high-ceilinged office of the Speaker of the California Assembly on the second floor of the State Capitol are unusually quiet on this spring-like mid-November day, and Brian Setencich has the windows open on a stunning, almost blinding view of Capitol Park.
Nancy Drabble worked for 10 years as a lobbyist for consumer activist Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C., and for the last eight years has been a lobbyist in California’s Capitol for one of the biggest users of lobbyist services in the state, the California Trial Lawyers Association.
It started with the usual annoying symptoms: irregular or missed periods, night swears, insomnia – and blinding hot flashes that came out of nowhere. One woman described them, aptly, as feeling like “someone set off a blow-torch in your face.”
It’s too soon, I’m only 44!
Look, Mom’s on TV! (PDF)
Shelly Monahan anchors the weather reports for KCRA-TV five days and evening each week, starting each workday at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 11:30. It’s a grueling schedule under the best of circumstances – if you’re also the nursing mother of an infant, it’s especially daunting.
Nina Boyd Krebs Q&A (PDF)
Nina Boyd Krebs, Ed.D., graduated from college in her native Arizona in 1960, starting out as a high school English teacher. “I overheard somebody say, ‘Is that little girl with the ponytail a teacher?’ So I wore high heels every day.” To Krebs, this event and others like it underscored the need for women to understand that they are competent and legitimate members of the work force.
One in Eight (PDF)
All women know other women – a mother, a sister, a friend, even a daughter – who have been scarred, or even killed, usually slowly, by breast cancer. We recall the stories, the pain, the incredible courage of these women, and we are mostly vigilant for warning signs in our own bodies – a slight thickening, a tiny lump, an unusual discharge.
Operative Vision (PDF)
Susan Wagner has worn glasses or contact lenses since she was 10. At 27, she works on a computer all day in the finance department of the City of Davis. “It got to the point where I was helpless without my lenses,” she says.
Margery Bird had “no problems and no symptoms” when her doctor found an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit during a routine pelvic examination.
Reno Revisited (PDF)
The old T-bar ski lift at Mount Rose near Reno is permanently etched in my memory – the stark, swinging cloumns of green, with short, C-shaped seats at the base, so two people could sit, somewhat precariously, hanging on to the center bar as we inched up the mountain.
Patricia Paul (not her real name), 68, is a longtime advocate of cosmetic surgery. Active socially, physically (she and her family often take biking vacations) and as a volunteer, she had a facelift two decades ago. “I went in to have my eyes done, and [the surgeon] said, ‘let’s do your whole face.’
Senior Entrepreneurs (PDF)
Carol McNeal can barely remember a time when she didn’t read. As the youngest of 16 children in her hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio, she turned to reading “so that I could lock people out.” Now, at 63, she remained surrounded by books – at home and at Carol’s Books and Things, the Sacramento bookstore she has owned for more than a decade.
If the brothers are all valiant and the sisters merely virtuous – to borrow from the oft-quoted epitaph of Margaret Lucas, the Duchess of Newcastle, who died in 1673 – then the sisters too are bound by ties of guilt and duty.
State of the Heart (PDF)
The craft of writing, I’ve decided, does not encourage physical fitness – a sorry excuse, to be sure, but one with the pure ring of truth. It is inherently sedentary: hours spend hunkered in front of computers, searching for facts, words, flow.
In his first high school teaching job more than two decades ago, Terry Grier taught five subjects and coached the baseball team to unexpected victories in the tiny North Carolina river community of Hertford, perhaps best known as the home of famed Oakland A’s pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter.
The Child Care Challenge (PDF)
Ruth Pritchard was a single, divorced mother of two when she worked in the office of then-Governor Ronald Reagan as a policy researched and writer in the early 1970s. Among her many duties was to do a study of child care resources available to working parents in California.
The Energy to Manage (PDF)
Jan Schori is gazing out her office window as dusk descends and the tall trees of East Sacramento bend menacingly in a fierce storm. For Schori, it is uncomfortably reminiscent of the intense December storms that had SMUD crews working around the clock for days to restore power to hundreds of Sacramentans.
Alex Magness, one of the first female deputy sheriffs in Sacramento County, recently retired as a chief deputy – the highest civil service rank for deputies – after working closely with Sheriff Glen Craig for several years. “We spent two weeks with him and his wife, and when you’re in close quarters like that, if someone is a jerk, you’d know it,” Magness says.
Trashed Out (PDF)
The scene is almost surreal, here just beyond the dead-end rise of 28th and A Street – a scene reminiscent of a desert set for Mad Max or Star Wars. Huge machines move over the barren landscape, dust swirling, gears grinding, as workers go about the endless business of compacting, burying, and obliterating the sight of the accumulated garbage of Sacramento’s citizenry.
What’s A Mother to Do (PDF)
The cartoon shows a stereotypical family, reminiscent of the 1950s, with Mom in her apron, three kids, a dog, a cat – even a fish in a bowl and a bird in its cage – assembled cheerfully to greet dad, briefcase in hand, as he comes in the door. “I’ve had a rough day, honey,” says Dad. “Tell me everybody’s name again.”
Where Women Are (PDF)
The Rev. Jean Shaw-Connelley recalls that :one of the unquestioned highlights” of her ministry occurred when the mother of a 5-year-old girl came up to her after church “and told me that at the dinner table when [the child] was asked what she wanted to be, she said she wanted to be a minister. The mother said I was her role model.”
Women: The New Network (PDF)
Before they were admitted in any numbers to the male-dominated bastions of business, the professions and government, women did their “networking” largely at home.