Local Institutions

Looking at Libraries

Read the story in The Atlantic  here. A “fly-brary,” courtesy of the Deschutes Public Library, at the Redmond, Oregon, airport. (Courtesy of Deborah Fallows) Continuing the photo essay about public libraries, which showed many examples of children’s rooms and adult spaces, this collection shows some of the multitude of activities happening at public libraries. It also includes some […]


The Choices Facing Community Colleges

Decisions critical to the future of these institutions so crucial to this economic and political moment

Immigrants & Refugees

A Post-Election Field Report From America’s Refugees and Immigrants

Words and stories from the towns where the newest Americans live

Leaders & Governance

Why Not Dodge? Why Not Stockton?

Citizens of Stockton at city council meeting considering library expansion “Raising Literacy,” Robert Dawson I mentioned yesterday that several local initiatives could mean as much to their communities or states as the outcome of most national races. The two historical examples I naturally think of are from California, Propositions 13 and 187. Prop 13, which was passed nearly […]

Economic & Business Development

What the Renewable-Energy Economy Looks Like

Another gigantic turbine blade is delivered in Spearville, Kansas Nicolas Pollock / The Atlantic At its peak, nearly one century ago in 1920, the coal-mining industry employed nearly 800,000 people in the United States. Decade by decade, as America’s population has swelled and its economy has grown, and as total coal output as also increased, employment […]

Reports From America

Refugees, Immigrants, and the Battle Over Who Is American

Sisters originally from Darfur, resettled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The young lady on the left was a proud member of public high school ROTC. Deborah Fallows / The Atlantic Deb Fallows has a new post up, about what’s actually involved in settling immigrants from Syria—or Somalia or Congo or Bhutan—in the American cities that have taken […]

Economic & Business Development

The Generational Difference in Optimism: A Video Look

Older People Moan, Younger People Hope

Economic & Business Development

Is America in a Boiling Fury About Immigration?

Not the America I Have Seen


A Carnegie Legacy in Dodge City

Synergy of arts and civic life in a Kansas town

Economic & Business Development

Dodge City Postcard

Notes from the ground, from the sky, and from the people of Dodge City, Kansas

Leaders & Governance

What’s (Less) the Matter With Kansas

Downtown Dodge City, Kansas James Fallows / The Atlantic This week’s election news out of Kansas was the defeat in the GOP primaries of some of the hardest-line Tea Party Republicans, at both the Congressional and local- and state-legislative level. The most publicized single upset was that of Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas’s First Congressional District, which covers a huge amount […]

Economic & Business Development

Educating Migrant Children in Dodge City

"We're a port of entry 1,000 miles from the border."

Leaders & Governance

A Different Kind of ‘Trump Nation’ Report

Dodge City High School Marching Band, “the Pride of Southwest Kansas.” (Red Demon Football on Youtube.) Western Kansas, where Deb and I have spent time over the past month, is the heart of Trump Nation in one sense: Trump and the GOP will almost certainly carry this area, and the whole state, this fall. But […]

Economic & Business Development

Dodge City’s New Frontier

A high school in the famed Kansas town is embracing its rapidly changing demographics.

Economic & Business Development

New Pioneers in Southwest Kansas

Mexican immigrants on the Great Plains try to build new lives, with hope and help.

Economic & Business Development

The Story of Ernestor

Dodge City, Kansas relies on undocumented immigrants—from meatpacking workers to the city's assistant finance director.