What San Gabriel’s Padres Taught William Mulholland

The Missionaries Figured Out How to Create an Oasis in an Arid Land and Brought that Knowledge to the City of L.A.

On a hot August day in 1816, waves of heat shimmered off of the dusty plazas and red tile roofs of the San Gabriel Mission community. The surrounding valley and foothills were brown and dry, and the nearby arroyos hadn’t run with water since March. But the town was a verdant oasis, watered by babbling brooks that ran alongside the vineyards, through the workshops, and into a 40-acre garden. These streams quenched the thirst of more than 1,700 Native American and Spanish inhabitants; of thousands of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, …

My Uncle Dale’s California Dream

In the High Desert, He Lived Like a Cowboy, Hauled Sand and Milk, and Kept Our Family Together

I had to go to a family funeral up in Apple Valley, I explained to friends and colleagues, as I canceled a day’s worth of appointments recently. They offered …

Walking Alone After Dark

For a Mile and a Half Each Night, I Make To-Do Lists, Listen to Bruce Springsteen, and Occasionally Find Answers to Life’s Big Questions

After we moved two years ago to Montrose, a Glendale neighborhood tucked against the Verdugo Hills, some friends—all moms like me—found out I walked every night. They wanted to set …

How Fireworks Divide California

The State’s Regulations on a July Fourth Tradition Don’t Always Make Sense. But They’re Part of What Makes This Country Great.

If you venture out to Fourth of July weekend events around California, you’ll probably hear high talk about how Independence Day is a celebration of the things we Americans supposedly …

Seize the Moment to Change Your Kid’s School!

For a Few More Weeks, California Educators Are Required to Listen to Parents As Districts Plan for the Future

If you’ve ever wanted a chance to tell the people running your local school district how to do their jobs better, now is your moment.

The state of California has a …

The Clucking Hens of My Altadena Home

My Backyard Chickens Give Me Eggs—and Lessons in Life, Death, and the Pecking Order

Raising backyard chickens isn’t anything new for my wife, Anne, and me. We have lived in Altadena for 16 years and have had flocks for almost as long. Let me …