Paradise’s Charred Remains

A Photographer and a Writer Document Five Generations of Family Mementos After the 2019 Camp Fire

On November 8, 2018, endless images streamed from the Camp Fire in my hometown of Paradise, California. A single day generated thousands of pictures that filled the world with a new vision of calamity. One-sentence captions ran under photos of engulfed schools, destroyed businesses, and miles of scorched cars scattered across ruined roadways—waiting their turns to never get out.

This is how grief reads. Tightly packed, difficult descriptions giving way to emptiness.

The first image of Paradise that I saw that morning was a photo that was posted on a website. Taken …

Foster Youth Need More Than Education to Build a Stable Life | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Foster Youth Need More Than Education to Build a Stable Life

Schools Don’t Nurture Long-Term Relationships—and May Even Discourage Them

For the last three years, I have been working on public policy related to foster youth. But at a recent monthly foster care policy meeting in Sacramento, where experts were …

America’s Most Productive Agricultural Region Is Also One of Its Most Diverse | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America’s Most Productive Agricultural Region Is Also One of Its Most Diverse

Since the 19th Century, California’s San Joaquin Valley Has Drawn Farmers From Around the World

California’s San Joaquin Valley is often dismissed as small and rural. To the contrary, it’s a massive area of farms, ranches, small towns, and growing cities, emblematic of the American …

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke

A 1918 Policy Devised to Calm Soldiers’ Nerves Sparked a Bad Habit That Was Difficult to Stop

Mention of the American military-industrial complex conjures up images of massive weapons procurement programs and advanced technologies: supersonic bombers, strategic missiles, armor-plated tanks, nuclear submarines, and complex space systems. However, …

TK | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rising Sea Levels Will Leave California With Fewer Beaches—and More Hard Decisions

In the Decades to Come, Some Coastal Homes, Highways, and Ecosystems Will Be Saved, While Others Will Surrender to the Ocean

The Pacific Coast Highway, an iconic symbol of California and vital transportation route, runs along the state’s coastline from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. But …