Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think — and tell us what you’re reading, too! — at [email protected].

KUNC logo

Grass isn’t greener

As readers of our Waterline series know, we are always on the lookout for solutions to water crises — including the one facing the American Southwest. So Editorial Director Rebecca Worby was pleased to encounter a story this week from KUNC about how Utah’s Washington County is doing more with less water.

Rebecca Worby Slack avatar

Becca says:


On first glance, this doesn’t seem like a solution story: It’s about a county where growth is outpacing available water, a situation becoming more and more common across the Southwest. But Washington County is taking major steps to conserve water, including upping its wastewater recycling and replacing lawns with xeriscaping.

Patch logoSafe streets

Executive Editor Will Doig pointed us to some good news via Patch that’s close to home for our New York-based staff: Hoboken, New Jersey, has hit a safety milestone thanks to simple changes such as daylighting for better intersection visibility and brightening crosswalk stripes.

Historic buildings in downtown Hoboken, New Jersey.
Downtown Hoboken. Credit: James Andrews1 / Shutterstock

will doig Will says:


New York City’s “Vision Zero,” which aimed to eliminate traffic deaths, hasn’t gone so well. Meanwhile, just across the river, Hoboken, New Jersey hasn’t had a traffic death in seven years.

What else we’re reading

🏙️ New York Reimagined Subsidized Housing. What Happened? — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from the New York Times

🗞️ The College Solution to Rural News Deserts — shared by Rebecca Worby from the Daily Yonder

🍬 Big, Bold Warning Labels Can Steer People Away From Junk Food — shared by David Byrne from the Wall Street Journal

From our readers

RTBC reader Kelly Damian noticed we’ve published several water stories from Central California, so she sent us a note about Bring Back the Kern, a grassroots organization working to restore the Kern River in Bakersfield. “This is a David and Goliath story of remarkable proportions,” Kelly says.