Drought in the American West

The American West is entering it’s fourth year of a historic drought. Climate change is playing a role, but there’s simply not enough water to support the increasing population and large-scale agriculture in what is essentially a desert.

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The Brothers Bakhit

Assembly Bill 12 is California legislation that allows foster youth to continue to receive state support from the ages of 18-21, in an effort to ease the transition into adulthood. However, there’s one caveat to AB 12. If a foster youth is incarcerated on their 18th birthday, they’re ineligible to receive any continuing support. Unfortunately, […]



California drought: Sand Fire

I spent Saturday covering the Sand Fire in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento for Reuters. Currently, the fire has burned 3,800 acres of oak woodland in steep river canyons and surrounding vineyards and is 80 percent contained. Thirteen homes were destroyed, but fortunately no deaths. Record drought conditions have led to a drastic increase […]



In the Shadow of the Sun

“In the Shadow of the Sun” is Max Whittaker’s ongoing exploration of the often ignored segments of California – the Central Valley and rural California, and a rebuttal to the typical representation of California as a land of wealth and beauty. It’s not just the home of Hollywood moguls and overnight Silicon Valley millionaires. It’s […]



California’s Rim Fire

I spent five days covering the Rim Fire for both Reuters and The New York Times as it became California’s sixth largest wildfire, burning (as of publication time) 255,858 acres. The fire spread into part of iconic Yosemite National Park, inspiring alarmist headlines along the lines of, “YOSEMITE IS BURNING!!!” Yes, thousands of acres of […]



Unincorporated: California’s Forgotten Communities

Across California there are hundreds of unincorporated communities. While a few are some of the state’s richest areas; most lack sewer systems, clean drinking water, sidewalks, street lights, and storm drains. Populated by poor, working class Latinos, they’re neglected by local government and lack the resources to install the most basic infrastructure that city residents […]



The Deciders

Iowa isn’t content to just be the first primary state. Republicans in the state get a jump on everyone else by holding the Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa in mid-August. Candidates roam around the corn-filled state, and any Iowan who wants to can look a presidential candidate in the eye and shake their hand. Rep. […]



Wisconsin Protests

Thousands of protestors gathered at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to voice their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed elimination of collective bargaining rights for public unions. Their protest runs around the clock as they spend the night on the hard marble floors of the rotunda and during the day as they brave sub-freezing […]



Operation Achilles

Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and despite the rhetoric, there is no end in sight. This is a look at an operation in Southern Afghanistan through the eyes of one platoon in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne.



Death of a Trailer Park

As the gap between the rich and poor in the United States grows, so does the disparity in housing. Nowhere is this more evident than in California. Housing is not keeping up with population growth – 250,000 families move to the state every year, but only 190,000 new homes are built. This demand has sent […]

Trailer Park Residents Forced to Move