Tag Archives: 2009

Thank God for the Rock

These armed pioneers are reclaiming Christ’s kingdom one jacked-up block at a time. Read full story

Junkies with metal-piled shopping carts pace past rows of boarded-up houses, trash collecting in the chain-link fences. Many have already abandoned this neighborhood in Kansas City to entropy. But where others see blight, a group of white boys from the suburbs sees the Kingdom of God. In Nov. 2009, I joined a well-armed faction of Christian warriors as they colonize street-by-street in the city’s valley of darkness. Read online version here

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Historian in Chief

Forget his football career. Professor Pellom McDaniels has a goal of reshaping Kansas City’s racial history. Read full story

To this day, Troost Avenue defines the race line in Kansas City, and still, few people cross the grid to see what the other side is up to. The result: Rampant ignorance and crosstown perceptions that are limited to the point of absurd. In this Oct. 2009 feature for the Kansas City Pitch, I followed former Kansas City Chief Pellom McDaniels to cross the imaginary line, build a more nuanced version of the city’s racial fault lines, and bring to life a Kansas City that remained below the surface since the 1920’s. Read online version here

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Hike Forever

The secret to long-term health and fitness? Reap backpacking’s many benefits—a strong heart, lean muscle, superior endurance—through every stage of your life. Here’s how. Read full story

After months of reporting and hounding experts from the University of California to Johns Hopkins University, I wrote this story for BACKPACKER magazine’s June 2009 issue (I’m now assistant editor there). This 10-page guide explains the body’s physiologic changes in four different life stages, as well as common injuries and how to avoid them through a mix of nutrition and exercise. Click here for the online version.

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Left Holding the (Plastic) Bag

 

Image by Craig Abraham via thingbeautifula.tumblr.com

In theory, plastic bags can be recycled. The reality is a lot messier. Read full story

This story, which ran in the May/June 2009 issue of Mother Jones, was the product of my masters project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. I booted up and slogged through New York City’s recycling center, and the Trex recycling facility in Virginia that combines old plastic with sawdust to create a durable material used in decking. The full piece received Columbia’s prestigious 2008 Weschler Award for Local Reporting.

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