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Promoting American Dirt: when a boost goes bust.

Hating social media in 2018 is about as edgy and anti-establishment as making fun of malls in the late 1990s: no one admits to actually liking either one of these communal-commercial spaces, but just about everyone uses them.  (Or, at least, they used malls twenty years ago.)  I have no doubt that if I were a

Landfill diversion: the California approach is gentler than it’s ever bin.

By this point, it’s not unusual to encounter a series of trash receptacles in public places, each with distinct labels, allowing passers-by to sort and separate recyclable from non-recyclable waste. On a college campus, it would be far more surprising if a row of receptacles weren’t standing sentinel at every prominent node; the opportunity to

A vacant lot on the California coast: green activism or the color of money?

This article will feature an assertion I’ve made in the past, and I have ruffled feathers for it then. In all likelihood, I’ll ruffle a few more this time around. Yet I’m sticking to my guns. So here goes: far too many communities embrace the notion of urban parks as an absolute good—of parks for

Fort Ross: challenging the orthodoxy on the California coast.

Regardless of the time of year, any coastal sunset should supersede something as stubbornly human-wrought as a church steeple. After all, the ephemerality of that palette reduces the comparable permanence of an opulent beachfront home—or even a charming fishing village—to banality.Yet here, along the north-central coast of California, in rural Sonoma County, far removed from

Tearing down southern California’s tribute to a bygone era (circa 1950).  

Photography courtesy of Linda Shaffer. Americans have never really valued housing for its permanence—certainly not like we see in many other, older settled lands, where it is common to find private residences that predate our little Declaration of Independence. It baffles most Europeans that a structure in the US can qualify for listing in the

Promoting American Dirt: when a boost goes bust.

Hating social media in 2018 is about as edgy and anti-establishment as making fun of malls in the late 1990s: no one admits to actually liking either one of these communal-commercial spaces, but just