Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Pair of Stories on the Collapse of Solyndra

Solyndra went caput, but other solar companies throughout the country -- and here in the East Bay -- are doing just fine. If anything, the collapse of Solyndra is a good sign for the solar industry: it means it's maturing, and the market is functioning (story 1: "Solar Is Still Humming," which the Treehugger blog picked up, or so I hear). Yet at the same time, the political fallout from the bankruptcy has been a bit more insidious (story 2: "Solar Takes a Hit"). If you read only two stories about the solar industry this month, they may as well be these. I mean, why not? Now if I could just get my wife to read them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

East Bay Bike Party: See You There

Now HERE'S some true Human-Powered Exploration. The East Bay Bike Party is truly amazing. I rode in September's event along with about 800 other bicyclists came away nothing short of inspired. If you live in the Bay Area and own or can borrow a bike, I highly recommend it. It takes place every second Friday at various locations throughout the East Bay ... and as for any further details, well, read my upcoming story in Alameda magazine (I'll post it here when it's up). In the meantime, check out their website or join me at the October ride on the 14th.

Large-Scale Solar Arrives in Alameda County

Perhaps it takes a broad interpretation of the concept of human-powered exploration to relate it to land use issues surrounding solar development in eastern Alameda County, but I'm okay with that. This story appeared on A-1 of the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday, September 10. It serves as a nice follow-up to my December 2010 cover story "Oakland Invades the Desert" for the East Bay Express, as it addresses many of the same debates: Where do we build solar plants, and what sort of ground are we going to cover up? There are always trade-offs. In this case, instead of desert tortoise habitat it's raptors and farmland. A story I wrote recently for Sierra magazine (coming in November) is third in line, addressing a sort of second phase of large-scale solar development where solar developers and environmental groups attempt to work together to avoid any such impacts by focusing on previously degraded lands. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Catching Up

It's been five months since I posted my last piece here, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. Here's a full list of my recent stories on parks, recycling, solar power, and more:

4/13: "The Cruel Irony of the Oakland Zoo Expansion" - East Bay Express
4/20: "The Recycling Guru" - East Bay Express
5/11: "Using Trees to Curb Pollution" - East Bay Express
5/31: "Santa Cruz County Wastes Not" - Santa Cruz Weekly
6/1: "Slashing the Solar Paperwork" - East Bay Express
6/8: "The Beautification of Albany Beach" - East Bay Express
6/12: "Winding through nature and city streets, the Bay Trail is an idea as much as a place" - San Francisco Examiner
6/15: "Garbage Dump Tapes Top Marks for Recycling" - Metro Silicon Valley
6/22: "The Blair Park Project" - East Bay Express
6/26: "SF parks advocates worried city's open spaces will become less public" - San Francisco Examiner
7/6: "A New Lake Merritt Dog Park?" - East Bay Express
8/2: "Befuddlement Over Beach Closures" - Santa Cruz Weekly
8/3: "How Safe Is Your Soil?" - East Bay Express
8/3: "Sound Walls Bound for Rockridge?" - East Bay Express