Engaging Journeys, Engaged Journalism

Author Archives: Kim Weir

Is It Time for Tiny Houses?

In An Era of Tight Budgets and Other Limits, Small Looks More and More Beautiful Once Jay Shafer gets done explaining the virtues of tiny houses, you feel embarrassed living anyplace larger than, say, an obscenely spacious 500 square feet. A key reason to live small – or at least much, much smaller – is […]

Cruising Around Craftsman Town

Exploring the Pasadena Idea Surprisingly appealing, this self-satisfied city is so sure of its essential worth that it sees little need to primp and pimp for the almighty tourist dollar. Pasadena is low-key about its attractions, which are legion. Southern California boosterism played its part in Pasadena’s past, sure, but these days heavy-handed hype is […]

Appreciating Pasadena, Garden of the California Dream

Saving Civilization from the Mass-Production Mindset Enthroned above an oak-studded arroyo in the shadow of the San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena the place is actually an idea—the idea that simple, healthful living amid gardens, orange groves, and the fellowship of good neighbors can save civilization from the mass-production mindset of the industrial era. Pasadena represents the […]

Time to Review Some Dam Decisions?

Here are 181 Candidates to Seriously Consider On October 22, 2014 the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences identified 181 dams in California that are “high-priority” candidates for reallocating water flows, to protect the health of related watersheds and sensitive species—in keeping with the state constitution’s “beneficial use of water” section, the public trust doctrine, […]

Dreaming of Sunny and Warm

Road Trip! Sunny Dreams Part 1 No sooner do we stop complaining about the summer’s heat than we start grousing about the chill in the air—minding not so much the nippiness itself as anticipating the toe-numbing cold that comes later, hitched to the memory. Such ingrates, we Californians. Deciding where to go and what to […]

Into the Redwoods

Following Hwy. 1 north from Mendocino County leads to Leggett and the junction with Hwy. 101. The big attraction here is the Drive-Thru-Tree Park, as schlocky as it sounds, but for some reason we humans just love driving through trees. They carved this car-sized hole in the Chandelier Tree in the 1930s, and for a […]

The Lost (and Found) Coast

Dust off the backpack, get new laces for those hiking boots. This is the place. California’s isolated “Lost Coast”—virtually uninhabited and more remote than any other stretch of coastline in the Lower 48—has been found. Here steep mountains soar like bald eagles, their domes tufted with chaparral, a few redwoods tucked behind the ears, and […]

Into the Woods

It’s not as if there are no redwoods before you get to Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Stranded stands of coast redwoods can be found along the Central Coast, in protected, wetter areas as far as the southernmost reaches of Big Sur. But here, along the North Coast, is where the tribe truly thrives. They […]

The War Waged for Mono Lake

The war of politics and power waged on behalf of Mono Lake and its water has been so contentious, convoluted, and long-running, and has involved so many public agencies and public hearings, so many lawsuits and compromises, that the simple facts are virtually impossible to separate from the details. Central to the saga, though, is […]

Water for Community

David Zetland Part 3: But Whose Community? Who Should Decide Among Competing Needs, and How? In his new book Living with Water Scarcity, David Zetland offers a brief yet astute description of what have become universal water allocation conflicts: “Go anywhere in the world and you’ll find two opposing sides to a water allocation. A […]