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Cecily Hastings


About This Author

Cecily Hastings owns and operates Inside Sacramento and offers her insight and views on local issues each month.

Articles by this author

Get A Job!

My late husband Jim and I had a simple plan for raising our son Alex. For the first 10 years, our goal was to help him develop a love of learning. Before schooling began, we taught reading and numbers. We learned through play and fun.

The second decade focused on helping Alex develop a love of work. That was easy. We both worked at home and as community volunteers. He watched us run our business. He did simple jobs, sent faxes, opened mail and unloaded newspapers.

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Back In Balance

It’s common to see untreated mentally ill people wandering in neighborhoods where homeless congregate and camp. With a crisis on display, it’s hard to imagine the lifetime that preceded it. Or a way out of their misery.

I’m grateful to share Steven Seeley’s story of hope and recovery after years of mental illness. Steven, 56, was one of eight children raised by his mother and stepfather in Los Angeles.

“Since a young teen, I’ve always had incidents with my mental health. I didn’t exactly know what it was at the time,” he says. “I’d drift off and I go to different places and not know what I was doing there. I also heard voices, and the delusions made me feel unstable, crazy and scared.

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Gaslighting The Public

My favorite cooking tool is my gas stove cooktop. I’ve cooked on gas exclusively for four decades. The rhythm and timing of a sauté over an open flame is steeped in my muscle memory. I’m lucky to have a sensitively calibrated stovetop that makes cooking joyful. Plus, there is something primal about the fire under a metal pan. No wonder kids love nothing more than roasting marshmallows over an open flame.

I use natural gas to fuel my barbecue, fireplace and underfloor hydronic heating system.

But this practice will soon be history. Last year, the City Council voted to become the state’s 46th municipality to ban natural gas infrastructure in new construction. There was zero public outreach.

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People Do Not Feel Safe

Thien Ho has a mandate. The new Sacramento County district attorney was elected last year by a landslide, defeating Alana Mathews by more than 43,000 votes. Now comes the hard part. Ho must deliver on a promise to make the community safe again.

In a wide-ranging interview before he took office in January, Ho told me his experience as a prosecutor and legacy as an immigrant will guide him through challenges that await.

“We face two huge issues in our community right now,” he says. “No. 1, without a doubt, is the homeless crisis. And second is gun violence. Whether it’s the shootings that happened Downtown, or in other parts of our county, violent crime is escalating.

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Engage With Us

We are grateful for engagement with readers. It primarily comes from email, but for me engagement also happens while I’m shopping or at community events. It’s almost always positive.

The compliments often end with one thought: “I appreciate what you write, but I wish it was read by more people.” I chuckle at this because we are—by miles—the widest read print publication in the city and county.

Each month we print 83,000 copies of Inside Sacramento. More than 80,000 are mailed to homes in our readership area. The rest are distributed through newsstands.

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