Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

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In the fall of 2021, all three of New York City’s library systems abolished late fees. Two and a half years later, according to a story that Executive Editor Will Doig shared from The City, the effects have been resoundingly positive.

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Will says:


David Byrne wrote for us about libraries going “fine-free” back in 2021. In New York City, the move has resulted in “a spike in materials taken out, library cards issued, and program attendance.”

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Park life

Next month, 1,600 acres of California’s Central Valley will officially become a state park, the Associated Press reports. For Editorial Director Rebecca Worby, the park’s name rang a bell: Reasons to be Cheerful covered its history and reinvention earlier this year.

The Tuolumne River (below right) flowing into the San Joaquin River at Dos Rios Ranch Preserve.
The Tuolumne River (below right) flowing into the San Joaquin River at the site of the future state park. Credit: Saxon Holt / PhotoBotanic

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Becca says:


Dos Rios, a former ranch that’s now rewilded riverside habitat, is set to open on June 12 as California’s first new state park in 10 years. One of our Waterline stories described the ranch’s restoration back in January.

What else we’re reading

🚍 Also Migrating From Latin America: A Wave of Urban Innovation — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from Bloomberg

🏠 This nonprofit is repairing Philly rowhouses one block at a time to keep residents in their homes — shared by Rebecca Worby from the Philadelphia Inquirer

🪸 Can corals be saved? — shared by David Byrne from the Washington Post

Elsewhere in our channels…

We are excited to announce that Contributing Editor Peter Yeung and Lima-based journalist Melanie Pérez Arias have been awarded the Solutions Journalism Network Award for General Excellence for their story, “The Backyard Farmers Who Grow Food With Fog.” According to the Solutions Journalism Network, competition for its first-ever awards program was fierce, with more than 400 entries submitted. All of us at RTBC are honored and proud that Peter and Melanie’s excellent story took the top prize.