Noticias y Política
High Country News

High Country News

January Vol. 53, No. 01

High Country News is the nation's leading source of reporting on the Western United States. Through in-depth reporting, High Country News covers the West’s social, political and ecological issues.

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High Country News
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12 Números

en este número

2 min.

“HOME” IS OUR FOCUS this month — how shelter and connection to place define our lives and the lives of the people around us. This feels especially compelling right now, with a global pandemic forcing us to stay inside, or perhaps, if we’re essential workers, to live away from home. 2020 has shifted our idea of what makes a home. It used to be that the list of necessary rooms included kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. You can add “office” to that now. Thanks to ubiquitous Zoom meetings and television shows, we’ve all become voyeurs, peeking inside the homes of others, checking out their books or beds or kitchens as they work, intimate yet far away. The freedom to work remotely has had serious economic consequences, which we break down in our Facts…

4 min.

BOOM-BUST EVANSTON Good work on “Divided Prospects,” December 2020. Uinta County, Wyoming, keeps trying to figure out a way out of the boom-bust business. I always said that if I ever moved back to Wyoming, I’d pick Evanston. Close enough to Salt Lake City, to skiing and the Wasatch. Thanks for your writing, Sarah Tory! Great photos in the article as well. Ken C. Erickson Mountain Center, California Everything about “Divided Prospects” is fantastic. From its analysis of rural economies to the photography — worth every penny of a subscription. Incredible work from writer Sarah Tory and photographer Russel Daniels!! Chris Parri Boise, Idaho DON’T DRINK THE WATER This is a serious infrastructure situation across much of the country, not just here in the rural West (“When you can’t drink the water,” December 2020). Obviously, Flint, Michigan, is…

5 min.
the rebel constables of tucson

ON A WARM NOVEMBER AFTERNOON, Kristen Randall, a red-haired woman in a blue button-down shirt, knocked at the door of a rundown apartment in Tucson’s east midtown. After three rounds of patient knocking, a woman named Angie Bevins opened the door. Randall identified herself as a Pima County constable, a court-mandated officer tasked with enforcing evictions. A sudden tension washed over Bevins, who stood behind a metal screen door that was frayed at the edges. She had been dreading the day she would be forced out of her apartment. She said her landlord had warned her that this would happen. In a subdued voice, Bevins told Randall that she had written to the landlord, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium order, a temporary halt in evictions “to prevent…

4 min.
capturing the seasons of a plague

JUST BEFORE 7 on a cool, misty Seattle morning, Jacqueline Peltier stands alone on the University of Washington campus. Nearby, squirrels and rabbits frolic in the morning dew. Peltier, part of a National Science Foundation-funded research team, will spend the next hour securing a 360-degree camera to the roof of a rental Toyota Prius Prime, ensuring that it’s level and synced with its smartphone controller. In the past, this setup traveled to Puerto Rico, capturing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Today, Peltier is crisscrossing Seattle on a 100-mile route to document a different emergency: the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea arose in the first days of COVID-19’s spread across Seattle. Joe Wartman, Peltier’s colleague, an environmental engineer who studies natural disasters, was walking home from work one day when he noticed the…

7 min.
a reset for environmental justice

A CAP-AND-TRADE system to cut toxic air emissions; a bipartisan agreement to strengthen the Clean Air Act; a federal program to ease the unjust burden of pollution in minority communities: All this sounds like an environmental to-do-list for President-elect Joe Biden. But it’s actually a list of federal actions taken by the George H.W. Bush administration in the early 1990s. Mustafa Santiago Ali joined the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992, during Bush’s tenure, as part of a program to get college students from minority communities more involved in environmental issues. Over his 24-year career with the EPA, Santiago Ali helped lead the agency’s environmental justice programs, working to undo the toxic burden of pollution in minority, Indigenous and poor communities. Then, in 2017, the Trump administration upended the program, proposing to zero-out…

7 min.
students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy

WHEN HIGH COUNTRY NEWS published “Land-Grab Universities” last April, the two-year-long investigation shed new light on a dark open secret: One of the largest transfers of land and capital in the country’s history had masqueraded as a donation for university endowments. HCN identified nearly 11 million acres of land, expropriated from approximately 250 tribes, bands and communities through more than 160 violence-backed treaties and land cessions. Now, in the wake of the investigation, land-grant universities across the country are re-evaluating the capital they built from these stolen Indigenous lands. More than 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act — the legislation that transferred the lands — new discussions about the universities’ moral and ethical responsibilities have forced Americans to re-examine the law’s legacy. Land-grant institutions have long prided themselves…