The Dump Next Door

Avenal Residents Survey Each Other to Understand How the Town Dump Is Affecting Their Lives

When you’ve lived in a town for a long time, you have the idea that everyone thinks and knows the same things because we all live in the same little community. But that’s not true—some live in different parts of town; they’ve seen different things; they remember different things. In my town it took something big to lead me to this realization—a mountain of trash.

I moved to my corner house in Avenal in 2003 because it was across from the high school and the park, which had beautiful, humongous green …

I Had to Go to Finland to Imagine How to Fix Fresno

Fresno's Obsession with Self-Reliance Is Not Helping Its Drug Problems, but Its Volunteer Needle Exchange Is

I grew up Fresno, but I fled as fast as I could. With its agriculturalist roots, the local political culture was narrated through the lens of rugged individualist ideals and …

Helping the Child Who Got Left Behind

Rebuilding L.A.'s Foster Care System to Really Care for Kids

Neither the foster care clinic room nor my teen patient was typical. The ocean-blue walls were covered with a marine mural with a Rastafarian sea god on one wall and …

A Hungry Child Cannot Learn

Buying Shoes, Growing Lettuce, and Treating Tooth Decay at a San Bernardino Elementary School

Eric had multiple cavities and several abscesses. His younger sister Madeline was not in much better shape.

“He has something wrong with each tooth,” the dental student said in amazement. “He …

To Stave Off Anxiety, “Feed the Good Wolf”

An American Indian Doctor and His Tribal Clinic Patients Use Mindfulness Meditation to Conquer Panic and Improve Health


Seven years ago, as a medical student in my first year of family residency on my emergency medicine rotation, I repeatedly experienced what I can only describe as the …