Recent Writing and Updates

In June 2013 I won first place in Business and Consumer Reporting from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists for my cover story on the Outdoor Retailer trade show's flirtation with leaving Salt Lake City. The storyappeared in a July 2012 issue of City Weekly--Salt Lake City's alternative weekly newspaper. A second feature I wrote for City Weekly received an honorable mention in the Medical/Science Reporting category.

In January 2013 I joined the board of the East Liberty Park Community Organization (ELPCO), an east-side Salt Lake City community council that contains 4,000 households. I represent the Historic Gilmer neighborhood, and edit the council's newsletter, manage the neighborhood watch programs, and help to organize the 9th and 9th Street Festival.

There's a skirmish in the mountains above Salt Lake City over the construction of a SkiLink gondola over the Wasatch crest to connect Canyons and Solitude ski resorts. For my third City Weekly cover story, I interviewed Ted Wilson, the former SLC mayor turned hired gun to promote the gondola, and Carl Fisher, the director of Save Our Canyons, the main organization opposing the project. The result: A clash of two personalities more similar than they dare to admit.

Following up on a topic I've written about last summer, in December I profiled the two most prominent modern-day searchers for Amelia Earhart in Portland--Maine's city magazine. Why Maine? Because Ric Gillespie spent eight years learning how to hunt airplanes there, and David Jourdan lives just north of Portland. If someone solves the mystery of her 1937 disapce, it will be one of these guys.

For the last four years my daily commute has been a staircase--to an attic in Lancaster, and a basement in Salt Lake City. But starting this November, I'll be the Education and Communications Director at the Utah Health Policy Project--a nonprofit that leads the way on healthcare reform in Utah. Actually, my new job is only 3 days a week, so I'll still wear my pajamas to work on Mondays and Fridays.

What happens when a hiking accident robs you of your leg, your toes, or your confidence to head outdoors again? For Backpacker's latest survival issue I profiled four men and women who lost something because of their ordeal, but gained something more in the long-run.

When the Outdoor Retailer show blew into Salt Lake City the first week of August, I joined the reporter team that produced the four issues of Outdoor Retailer Daily. For Day 1, I interviewed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert about the growing rift between the outdoor industry and his policies. And on Day 2 I wrote the cover feature on how politics could force the OR show out of Utah for good.

$40 million. That's the economic boost the Outdoor Retailer trade shows give to Salt Lake City each year. But after 2014, it could be zero. I interviewed a dozen local powerbrokers and insiders to find out who wants the shows to go, who wants them to stay, and why it matters for Utah in my second cover story for City Weekly this summer.

If you've ever wondered where Steven Spielberg made his first film, how Jacques Cousteau learned to swim, or where Erector Sets came from, then you should read my feature in the July issue of Spirit, the inflight magazine for Southwest Airlines. Conceiving, researching and writing this microscopic look at the landscape of American inspiration turned out to be a lot of fun.

"She's Still Out There" is the apt title of my story on the search for Amelia Earhart in the July 2012 issue of Outside. I spent 10 months researching this piece, and about two weeks writing and editing to jam it in the magazine prior to TIGHAR's mid-summer expedition to the Pacific island of Nikumaroro. Will they find her plane? Who knows. I'm just glad someone is still looking.

My articles don't often make the cover, so I'll brag when they do. My feature 10 (untrue) reasons Utahns fear the ACA headlined the latest issue of the City Weekly newspaper here in Salt Lake. The article resulted from my volunteer work with the Utah Health Policy Project --a dynamic, local nonprofit seeking to bring affordable healthcare to all Utah residents.

Last summer I turned 33, and I ran the Spirit of Gettysburg 5k with Jackie and Calvin. Four years earlier I ran the same race as a bachelor with no kids--not even a dog. This time around, I had a lot more on my mind, as I describe in the Race+Places essay in the June 2012 issue of Runner's World.

First off, oil shale isn't oil. It's a rock. That's one of the ideas I explain in a press document I wrote (and designed) for the National Parks Conservation Association. As the BLM considers whether to extend oil shale leases to the doorsteps of our national parks, the NPCA is using my writing to get the word out. And it worked: The New York Times "Green" blog picked up the story a few days later.

For the last 22 months I led Citizenship Lancastera free, weekly class that prepares immigrants for the U.S. naturalization exam. With my friend Michael, we taught over 100 students and helped 20 become new U.S. citizens (read this newspaper article about one of them). Then, take a practice test to see how much you know. Note: In June we turned over administration of the class to three new teachers.