Durable Growth, Environment

Whither the drought?

As December reaches its midpoint, Californians are looking with hope toward El Nino and the rainfall that it’s predicted to deliver. The oft expressed hope is that El Nino “will end the drought.”

Perhaps it’s a Christmas Grinch mode, but I find that the hope misses the point.

It’s not that I doubt the El […]

Durable Growth, Government

Getting seconded with authority

Financial District in Manhattan

A few posts back, while poking fun at my habit of tallying the states I’ve visited, I suggested that counting cities was a more appropriate measure of travel because cities have been more important to civilization.

The heart of my argument was “The history of civilization begins with Babylon, Athens, […]

Durable Growth, Government

Wielding a cudgel when a scalpel would be the better choice

In a previous post, I wrote that changing the direction of public policy takes persistent and dedicated effort. In my words, “stating a perspective and wandering away is a recipe for irrelevance.”

When I wrote those words, I had several examples in mind, but none that were strong enough to insert into the flow of […]

Durable Growth, Environment

Ooh, ooh, ooh, call on me, Mr. Kotter, I have an answer

Urban corner in Napa, California

I recently sat in a North Bay City Council chambers and watched as the Regional Climate Protection Authority made a presentation on their Climate Action 2020 effort. The experience left me feeling deflated.

To be clear, I’m happy to live in a part of the country where we can […]

Durable Growth, Government

It’s time to be smart about water, not politically expedient

During recent candidate forums, several contenders for the Petaluma City Council suggested that the City consider a moratorium on building permits until the drought eases. I’ll speculate that other North Bay cities are entertaining similar thoughts.

I support the need to respond to the drought. The water shortfall is significant, may not slacken during the […]

Durable Growth, Environment

Why urbanism matters

Balshaw Bridge in downtown Petaluma

I just recently passed the 18-month anniversary of writing this blog. I continue to enjoy the task and have no plans to stop. But I must occasionally recharge my batteries by reminding myself why urbanism is important.

So, today’s post will be about the top five reasons why urbanism […]


A Sonoma forest is saved

by framboise, on Flickr

The modern-day Northern California land rush to convert forests to vineyards lost some steam last month. The Preservation Ranch project, located in the northwestern hills of Sonoma County near the small hamlet of Annapolis, was a 20,000 acre proposal that would have permanently converted nearly 1,800 acres of timber forest […]