THE ATLANTIC: A FEATURE ON CLIMATE CHANGE, COMING THIS WINTER

The Atlantic, Winter 2021

Story TK.

***

BICYCLING MAGAZINE: A FEATURE ON TRAFFIC SAFETY, THIS FALL

Bicycling magazine, Fall 2021

Story TK.

***

OUTSIDE MAGAZINE: A FEATURE ABOUT HOW WE SEARCH FOR MISSING PEOPLE, OUT NOW ONLY IN PRINT

Outside Magazine, September 2021

Story TK.

***

INTO THE MYSTICAL AND INEXPLICABLE WORLD OF DOWSING

Outside Magazine, April 2021

“Yeah.” He takes a bite of pizza. “There are wormholes.”

[…]

***

AS THE PANDEMIC SURGED, MY DAD SOUGHT BUCKSHOT TO ABATE HIS FEARS

For Virginia Quarterly Review but was killed, May 2020

A story I grew up with: When my dad was a boy, he shot a bird with a BB gun. Blew its head right off; blood all over the snow. He broke the Daisy over his leg and today reviles guns. My dad loves animals and is known to cry when hitting them in a car, and on most issues he is as liberal as the summer sun is long, often aggressively so. Once he told a devout man the Bible is the comic book of life. But in mid March, just as this thing was becoming real in the U.S.A., I got a text from him: “Is your shotgun a 12 gauge?”

[…]

***

ILL NATURE

Virginia Quarterly Review, March 2020

These events, you should know, were foretold. Yes, the world burned before. There is no record written of it, just a story, older likely than Christ and passed through time from mouth to ear as a warning. Before the Spanish, before the Inca, before even the Wari there lived in the Andes the Aya. The Aya disrespected their mother earth. Wisemen warned them. But as the Earth warmed, they marched from vast grassy plains to cool mountain caves and stone homes along shady rivers, and they continued to disregard nature, law, community. They continued as a second sun rose alongside the one then a third alongside those two, their fate now bright and hot and horrible.

[…]

***

CARTOONISH, IMPRACTICAL, DUMB: THE CONTROVERSIAL ASCENT OF SNOWBLADING

VICE Magazine, March 2020

“It’s not as sexy. I mean, look at the people on snowblades. They look like dorks. There wasn’t anything to emulate there,” said Mark Puleio, a 48-year-old international mountain guide and a friend of mine. He grew up skiing in the 70s and 80s at Blue Hill in Massachusetts on skis thinner than his wrists and taller than his head. When snowblading surged at ski resorts in the 90s, he thought it was a joke. “They were perceived as fucking stupid. How could you be caught dead on those? They were just so anti-skiing,” he explained. “But we were elitist back then. It was just a much dirtier world, too. That was at the same time that people would make off comments all the time about Rollerbladers. I think [snowblades] have always been perceived as something to be made fun of… Here in the Alps,” where Puleio lives with his family, “the smaller your backpack is, the larger your penis is. But back in the day, the bigger your skis, the bigger your penis.”

[…]

***

THE LAST OF THE CLIMATE DENIERS HOLD ON, DESPITE YOUR PROTESTS

VICE Magazine, November 2019

Late in the summer of 1989, John Christy discovered the earth wasn’t warming. Satellites spinning through the atmosphere reported no upward trend line, and above the tropics, the University of Alabama atmospheric sciences professor and his research partner, the NASA scientist Roy Spencer, learned that the satellites had actually recorded cooling. The two men were the first to crunch the enormous volume of data captured by the satellites since their launch a decade earlier, the first to build a database that showed the surface readings depicting a warming earth were overblown. They were pioneers. They submitted a paper to Science magazine, and in March the following year, they became celebrities. NPR called. The Los Angeles Times called. Jay Leno made a joke about it on national TV.

[…]

***

THE BEST EDUCATION IS OFTEN OUT OF REACH FOR BLACK CHILDREN

Vox Magazine, November 2017

I was raised in a family with money, but on Oct. 4, 1988, in a brightly lit operating room in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was born disadvantaged. My mom had wanted a natural birth, but after three days with no progress, she had an emergency cesarean section. She was laid out numb from the chest down on a surgical table, a curtain separating her eyes from her opened stomach. From her womb, I was lifted silent and blue.

“We got him,” a doctor said. “We got the baby.”

And then: silence.

My mom looked up, and my dad was crying.

[…]

***

CATS AND CHAOS: HOW A TOWN CLERK ALLEGEDLY STOLE $1M PLUS FROM COVENTRY

Vermont Digger, July 2017

Scott Morley climbed a set of fire escape steps to the second story of the Coventry Community Center, slid through a window and dropped to the floor.

The scene was worse than he expected. Cat feces caked the carpeting. Cat hair hung in clumps on bookshelves and swivel chairs. Ammonia burned Morley’s eyes as two feral cats burst across the hall and raced into another room.

[…]

***

A STORY ON AN EPIDEMIC KILLING NORTH AMERICA’S BATS 

Unpublished; reported and written Spring 2018

Further in the cave, the glow of daylight disappeared and Alvey-Mudd and Shafer scanned their headlamps up and down the limestone walls searching for bats. They dragged themselves on padded knees through a passage that flashed with thousands of green and gold lights — dew-clad cave fungus, the native kind, and also some fools gold refracting the headlamps — but no bats. They crawled above a stream where salamander larvae, miniature white shrimp and leopard-printed pickerel frogs swam in cold, clear water, and they ducked their heads to avoid a bat hanging from the ceiling. Shafer added it to her tally.

As they pushed deeper, Alvey-Mudd thought out loud.

She saw several bats stuffed in a crack.

“They’re like playdoh.”

She saw another bat hanging from the ceiling.

“Nope. His nose looks good.”

But now, in a crater above her head, she spotted three bats: tri colored. Their fur shined silver like tinsel: condensation. Alvey-Mudd didn’t need her thermometer to know these bats were warmer than they should be. Something had disturbed their sleep.

[…]

***

THE SHOTGUN

Unpublished; written Fall 2013

ALASKA-CANADA BOARDER — I knelt in my driver seat with my feet out the door and leaned into the back so I could scrape with a file at my candy-cane-painted, Remington 870, pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun. On a clipboard in the passenger seat sat a Royal Canadian Mounted Police form. I needed the gun’s 8-digit code to pass into Canada. But I didn’t know the code because it was hidden behind red, white and blue acrylic stripes.

Three minutes passed.

The file snapped.

Behind me on the building are dark double doors. I want to look at them to know when the two officer inside will walk through. But looking would be suspicious, and my suspicion would be seen in the black-hooded cameras on the grey wall above my car.

[…]

***

WINDSHIELD REPAIR BUSINESS IS KENAI MAN’S LIFE

(NOTE: I did not write this condescending headline)

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 2012 (Originally published in The Peninsula Clarion, which lost the story, but not before it was syndicated by the AP.)

SOLDOTNA, ALASKA — The sun was still a few hours above the horizon, and a cold wind started to blow from Petco across the Fred Meyer parking lot. People in thick jackets filed over the pavement, compelled by Christmas errands.

“Yankee!” Dave Waldal yelled for his dog. “Get your ass over here!”

[…]