Mr Willis Goes to Washington

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic began, a media attack on masking, epidemiology, and vaccination came in the form of a film called “Plandemic,” made by Ojai resident Mikki Willis, which dropped on May 4th, 2020. Spread by thousands of anti-vax and QAnon followers — according to a follow-up investigation by the Stanford Internet ObservatoryContinue reading “Mr Willis Goes to Washington”

Ojai’s Lorax: Alasdair Coyne

Ojai gardener, Alasdair Coyne, left the Japanese Mafia in the dirt in a high-stakes game to preserve what is now the Ventura River Preserve, owned by the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. By Kit Stolz On a hot summer day in the mid-1990s, the conservationist andprofessional gardener Alasdair Coyne, who emigrated to Ojai fromScotland as aContinue reading “Ojai’s Lorax: Alasdair Coyne”

“We’re living in the future”: rainfall variability

The Ojai Valley News encouraged me while at a scientific conference in San Francisco last December to pursue a story about rainfall variability in Ojai and Southern California: here it begins. “Last month was one of the driest Februaries ever in the recorded history of Southern California, according to the National Weather Service, with one-tenthContinue reading ““We’re living in the future”: rainfall variability”

Climate change hits ag in Ventura County

Proud to have published this story recently in a prominent Ventura County publication. With the help of Ben Hatchett of the Desert Research Institute, we showed I think that avocados, though now a substantial part of Ventura County agriculture, will in the not-too-distant future be a much more risky proposition…but that other crops, such asContinue reading “Climate change hits ag in Ventura County”

a traveling travel writer stops over in Ojai

At the Ojai’s Farmer’s Market today a friend encouraged me to talk to the “poet, travel writer, and embodied writing coach”¬†afrose¬†fatima ahmed. She was sitting at a table in the shade near the center of the little farmer’s market. So I did, and asked her for a poem. I asked her for a poem onContinue reading “a traveling travel writer stops over in Ojai”

“Puttering About in a Small Land” — Philip K. Dick in Ojai (review)

Philip K. Dick in Ojai Philip K. Dick, now widely considered the most brilliant of all science fiction writers, wrote hundreds of extraordinarily imaginative stories and forty-four novels, and — like an innovative artist who only becomes famous after his death — in recent years has had his work splashed across all sorts of screens,Continue reading ““Puttering About in a Small Land” — Philip K. Dick in Ojai (review)”

“The fire had me fully terrified” — T.C. Boyle on the Thomas Fire (and more)

For the Ojai Quarterly [pdf], yours truly had the opportunity to talk to T.C. Boyle about the Thomas fire, debris flows, climate change, and other scary realities of the 21st Century. The interview also motivated me to catch up on some past works of Boyle’s, and boy was that worth the reading. Check it out:Continue reading ““The fire had me fully terrified” — T.C. Boyle on the Thomas Fire (and more)”

Ojai water district “excited” by report of water in mountains

Yesterday the Casitas Municipal Water District‘s management staff and Board of Directors held a meeting and heard a “Preliminary Water Security Project Analysis” report from two consultants, including hydrogeologist Jordan Kear, who has been surveying the Ojai Valley for years for a groundwater agency, and knows its geology well. (Note: the project analysis is attachedContinue reading “Ojai water district “excited” by report of water in mountains”

Ventura County opposes backyard bee-keeping: Ojai fights back

Sorry I’ve been quiet: too many deadlines. Good news is that I have a number of stories to post, big and small, and so let me catch up please. Here’s a story about a surprising fact. Ventura County, which annually grosses two billion dollars in agricultural revenue, discourages backyard bee-keeping. Even though nationally bees andContinue reading “Ventura County opposes backyard bee-keeping: Ojai fights back”