A Marin Lawyer Became the ‘Godfather of Conflict Mediation’—Then He Ran for Local Office

In These Polarizing Times, Is Any California Community Safe from Bitter Battles?

There is no mask or vaccine that can protect communities from high conflict. Even people who are highly skilled at avoidance and de-escalation can get stuck in bitter, all-consuming, no-win battles in their hometowns.

That’s the lesson of Marin County lawyer Gary Friedman, as recounted in journalist Amanda Ripley’s 2021 book High Conflict: How We Get Trapped and How We Get Out.  Ripley’s masterful work is not a California book—it recounts conflicts from Chicago to Colombia—but it is what Californians should read if they want to navigate more peacefully through this …

More In: Connecting California

Thanks for Being Obsessed with Us, America | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Thanks for Being Obsessed with Us, America

This Holiday Season, Be Grateful to Your Out-of-State Friends and Relatives Who Have California on the Brain

Thank you, America, for always keeping California in your thoughts.

Now it’s that time of the year when we should give thanks for the only California real estate that’s still cheap—all …

How to Plan the Perfect California Exit | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How to Plan the Perfect California Exit

One East Bay Family's Departure for Portugal Is a Study in Leaving on a High Note

When it comes to California departures, I have no problem with the number of Californians moving out. It’s still a free state in what’s more or less a free country, …

Lettuce Lands Are Unlikely Vaccination Leaders | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why California’s Lettuce Lands Are Unlikely Vaccination Leaders

The Rural Salinas and Imperial Valleys Have Succeeded in Reaching the People the Rest of the State Can't Inoculate

If demographics and geography really were COVID destiny, then Gonzales—a small, working-class town with a young, overwhelmingly Latino population in rural California—would be a pandemic disaster.

Instead, Gonzales is among California’s …

California-Baja Border | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Let Local Residents Govern the California–Baja Border

The People Living with the Mess the U.S. and Mexico Made Have the Best Chance of Cleaning It Up

To: Baja California Gov.-elect Marina del Pilar Ávila and California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Cc: Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria
Re: A Borderlands Assembly

All four of …

A Healthy Haunting in the San Gabriel Valley | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Healthy Haunting in the San Gabriel Valley

Our Resident Ghost Was a Long-Lived Legend Who Gifted Us an Amazing Garden and a Sense of the Good Life

Ten Octobers ago, my family moved into our San Gabriel Valley home, and people started knocking on the door. Some knockers were neighbors. Some were trick-or-treaters.

And some were looking for …