Drive

I drive to work. I confess this at the outset because, to me, it is without doubt the single thing I would most like to change about my life. It is a “reverse commute”, which is to say I drive 11 miles into suburbia to teach high school while suburbanites come toward the city to

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No Place to Hide

This is beautiful: But for decades people have been complaining about the nefarious deeds which were taking place under cover of the bushes. Years ago I recommended that the bushes be removed or cut so low that they could not provide cover to anyone except perhaps a garden gnome. Finally, the mega-bushes have been removed

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Sitting on the Bench

The beautiful, though empty, Court Square. Boutique cities can be idealistic. Northampton has been in the throes of a debate about the removal of benches from their Main Street. The benches were removed because they had become less an amenity for visitors, and more a home to the homeless. After a little political wrangling and

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Knucklehead on Knucklehead

My cousin posted a meme on Facebook which entailed a graphic of an American Flag beside the Union Jack with the numbers of “Violent Crimes per 100,000 People” listed as United States: 466, and Britain: 2034. It turns out the numbers are slightly skewed by differences which exist in the categorization of crimes between the

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It’s the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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It's the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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Memento Mori

There are so many realities, paradigms, truths, and facts fighting for my consciousness and attempting to direct my actions that it is easy to be overcome by cognitive dissonance. Issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, government debt, personal debt, water shortages, de-industrialization, and the loss of topsoil to name just a few are clearly

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I Think That We Shall Never See…

Almost ten years ago I was asked to lead an organization which would spearhead a “public-private” partnership focused on maintaining and growing the urban forest in my home town. A recent article I found through the Planetizen website about Louisville, KY and how the death of its street trees has lead to the worst “heat

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No Good Deed-Update

In my “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” post I pondered the questions of social welfare and economic prosperity. A recent report in CEO Magazine listed Massachusetts as one of the worst states for business. It’s interesting though that, once again, the Commonwealth seems to be outperforming national averages in economic growth and unemployment. While no

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You Must Be From Someplace Else

My daughter experienced the culture shock of going to a prestigious, mostly white, very affluent college after spending her whole life as the “rich” white girl in a poor minority urban school system. She loves to tell the story of the time when she and her sister (who also attends a mostly white college in

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