Can a Rainbow Flag Change My Small Town?

The Opening of a Community Center for People Like Me Made Merced Feel Like Home Again

Growing up in Merced, I did not feel that the town was accepting of gay people, or of me in particular. People around my public high school would carelessly throw out homophobic slurs and make fun of openly queer individuals. This made it hard to accept who I was as a teenager, much less express myself. Even though Merced is home to a great new University of California campus, I resolved to leave as soon as I could. And I did.

So did my friends, who set out for the Bay …

More In: Sierra Health Foundation

Your Electric Car Isn’t Making California’s Air Any Cleaner

The Environmental Benefits of Rich People’s Teslas Are Canceled Out By All the Gas-Guzzling Clunkers Still on Our Roads

This is a tale of two zip codes.

First there’s 94582: San Ramon, California.

Since 2010, the roughly 38,000 citizens and businesses of this prosperous Bay Area suburb, where the median household …

If California Cows Could Talk

Much Like Their Human Counterparts, Cows Around the State Are Being Asked to Do More With Less

I am a California dairy cow. Mmmm—oo.

Surprised to hear from me? In normal times, I wouldn’t be inclined to cooperate with the anthropomorphic scheme of a writer desperate for a …

The Central Valley Was Ride-Sharing Long Before Uber

On the Bus, My Hometown Is Hours Away From Schools, Hospitals, and Good Jobs. Carpooling Is a Way of Life Here.

Public transportation is a huge challenge in Huron, the city of about 7,000 people in California’s Central Valley where I grew up. If you need to make the 110-mile round …

All California’s Problems Lead to the San Joaquin Valley

From Water Shortages to High-Speed Rail, the State’s Most Overlooked Region Is at the Center of Its Most Important Debates

It’s not clear if Governor Jerry Brown and his challenger Neel Kashkari will debate each other this fall. But if they do, there should be no doubt about the proper …

Can California’s San Joaquin Valley Conquer Urban Sprawl?

A Law Demanding Long-Term Planning Will Only Work If Communities Change How They See Growth

I studied to become a civil engineer with the goal of building grand things, like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and interstate freeways. Thanks to two inspiring professors, …