GUEST BLOGGER: Janice Kelley

Walking along the American River near Fair Oaks Bridge to write, take photos and share these experiences is as much as a healing journey and a reconnection to nature, as it is a time of quiet observation. The river is my place of peace and joy to share as a gift. So many quiet mornings I see no wildlife flying in, swimming or diving. The river flows swiftly and deep. I need to look for other ways to tell the story of this beautiful place hidden away from busy urban spaces.

GUEST BLOGGERS: Katherine Trebeck & Jeremy Williams

Our book closes with the suggestion that ‘if you are lucky enough to drink wine by the sea, you are lucky enough’. We don’t know who first wrote down or uttered the mantra, but we chose to end our book with this simple sentence that combines, in the most poetic of images, several possible benchmarks for a fullfulled, contented life.

It implies that a person drinking wine by the sea has suficient income to purchase wine – so they are not experiencing income poverty. It implies that a person drinking wine by the sea is not so overwhelmed by work or care commitments that they cannot take time out for themselves – so they are not experiencing time poverty. It also implies that the seas are worth being near – so they are not polluted with industrial emissions or plastic waste, nor are they rising due to climate change.

GUEST BLOGGER: Justine Burt

GUEST BLOGGER: Justine Burt

In April 2018, the former Vice Chairman of General Motors, Bob Lutz, spoke at the annual meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers in Detroit with unwelcome news. “We are approaching the end of the automotive era,” he said. He predicted that vehicle autonomy will gradually take over more and more of the task of driving, and that “the end-state will be the fully autonomous module with no capacity for the driver to exercise command. You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you’ll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway.” He continued that “people who like to drive, and car companies that rely on branding, have another 25 years at the most. After that, it’s all over.” Lutz admitted that this transition will bring “a vast improvement to national productivity.” Traffic jams and accidents will become rare events, and perhaps some 90% of the 40,000 annual traffic deaths in the U.S. will be eliminated.

GUEST BLOGGER: Milenko Matanovic

GUEST BLOGGER: Milenko Matanovic

All things deserve to be done well.

Whatever else art may mean to different people, at its core is the idea that human acts can be elegant in their expression, beautiful in form, resonant in relationship to people, materials, and community, and magical in their capacity to connect the part to the whole, whether that part is a brushstroke in a painting, a word in a poem, a piece of stone in a wall, a single note in a concert, a building in the city, a town in the landscape... Small, attentive steps combine to make an excellent whole.

GUEST BLOGGER: Zoe Bradbury

When the sun rose for the first time in weeks and filtered gently through the kitchen window, I am startled. I pause at the morning dishes, soapy sponge in hand, and say aloud to no one in particular: look. Across the yard at the edge of the woods, tender light is setting the nubile leaves of alder, poplar and plum aglow. When had that happened, the unfurling of those deciduous photosynthesis factories? And the sun itself, hitting me smack dab on the forehead from the east - not the southeast of wintertime – rocketing straight upwards and over the tops of the firs. During the past two weeks of solid rainy grey, the earth had tilted. A lot.

GUEST BLOGGER: Emily Schmitz

Not far from our neighborhood, a road climbs a mountain.  It's not much fun to go up on a run, but it flattens out at the top and twists through tall old pines and picks itself up to go over little mountain creeks. There’s a quaint little cottage after the straight bit, and that seems to be the top, but if you’re willing to go all the way up to the cottage and stand just outside its driveway, then you can see that the gravel continues up to a nice gray gate with a NO TRESPASSING sign beside it.

GUEST BLOGGER: Stephen Most

GUEST BLOGGER: Stephen Most

On June 1st, 2019, Berkeley celebrates the 50th anniversary of Ohlone Park—a park born in protest over the suppression of People's Park by local police and the California National Guard under Governor Reagan.

The 50th anniversary celebration will include California Indian storytelling and crafts demonstrations as well as a history exhibition, musical performances, a kids' bike rodeo, tai chi demonstrations, and special events at its community garden, dog park, and playgrounds.  

BOOK REVIEW: The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

BOOK REVIEW: The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

As a college student who attends university in the big city of Seattle, lives in the suburbs, and escapes to green spaces as often as I can, the close connections between spending time outdoors and my well-being are almost as clear as to be tangible.

Hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park, kayaking on Puget Sound, or even walking my dog in city parks all do more than expose me to natural beauty; they have restorative benefits that help me to calm my anxiety, think more clearly, and remind me of the value of life in all its forms. While exercise and the physical benefits associated with it may be the most well-known benefit of spending time in nature, the mental and emotional benefits are saleint to me.

GUEST BLOGGER: Isa Fernandez

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you - there have been an increasing number of large immovable metal objects peppering the already splintered landscape of American towns and cities. I’m talking about those annoying dockless scooters popping up everywhere like mushrooms. These devices serve the tech-savvy and younger, “fit” generations exclusively, and litter our sidewalks, reducing the beauty of our neighborhoods. They are both inaccessible and a hazard to our most vulnerable people, the disabled.