Cronkite News, Arizona PBS

Cronkite News is a daily news program on Arizona PBS that is led by students. I was a sustainability reporter for the organization from January 2019 - May 2019 and continued to have various projects published after my tenure finished. 

The other pandemic: Loneliness

PHOENIX – The pandemic has affected different people in different ways, causing financial stress due to job loss, sliding grades, relationship pressures and worries that vulnerable loved ones could contract COVID-19. But one factor that has affected Americans across the country is the loss of social connectedness. Even before the pandemic shuttered schools, restaurants and workplaces last spring, an estimated 3 in 5 Americans reported a growing sense of loneliness, according to Cigna’s 2020 Lon

Racial Equity Q&A

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and leading national experts have said that racial equity should be at the center of homeless responses during the COVID-19 pandemic — a recognition that people of color are disproportionately affected by both homelessness and COVID-19. Here’s a look at the issues. Racial equity is not the same as racial equality. HUD addressed this distinction in June when it issued guidance to nonprofits working with homeless populations during the pandemic. Equ

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one succeeded

HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than half. San Diego attempted a series of one-off projects but was

Fleeing chaos at home, Venezuelans flock to Panama

Photos and translation by Chloe Jones, words by Anthony Wallace Fleeing chaos, Venezuelans flock to Panama but struggle to find work PANAMA CITY, Panama – In Venezuela, Nelson Diaz worked as a pharmacist and lived in the suburbs in an “American-style” house with a big backyard covered in lush grass. Now he shares a cramped, dimly lit home with his brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew in a dangerous part of Panama City. Diaz, 27, makes $1,000 a month selling homemade empanadas to neighbors. His business enables him to send $100 each week to his mother;

First of the first responders

PHOENIX – After nearly two decades, tens of thousands of calls and countless crises, a series of four calls broke Lauren Pacimeo. As a 911 dispatcher for the fire department, Pacimeo is trained to keep her composure on calls and always has. But in November, her 18 years in the dispatch room caught up with her. The first call was a battalion chief’s 14-year-old son with a fatal gunshot wound. Then she responded to a fire next to her aunt’s house. And after that, her friend dialed 911 when her s

How sound could help predict climate change

How the sounds around you could be a harbinger of climate change PHOENIX – Saguaros and cardons tower against a soft gray sky as a family of quail tiptoes through the brush. Flowers glisten with raindrops. Under a tree, a man stands motionless. His eyes are closed, and he’s smiling softly. Paine is an associate professor of digital sound and interactive media at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He co-leads the Acoustic Ecology Lab, where he studies how sounds can help

Una crisis diferente en la frontera

En Imperial Beach, California, Naco y Nogales en Arizona y en comunidades a lo largo del río Grande en Texas — los residentes tienen un desafío en común: La lluvia ocasiona problemas. Y muchas veces, después de que llueve, apesta. La causa de esto es una red anticuada de tuberías y plantas de tratamiento de aguas residuales que conectan a comunidades de México con Estados Unidos. Cuando llueve, los sistemas de tubería para aguas residuales en México se saturan con agua pluvial. Las tuberías pueden fracturarse y derramar aguas negras de ambos lados de la frontera. Esto no solo ocasiona un olor pútrido sino también riesgos para el medio ambiente y la salud pública...

Sewage is the real border crisis for many border towns and cities

People who live in Imperial Beach, California, in Naco and Nogales in Arizona and in Texas communities along the Rio Grande all say the same thing: When it rains, it stinks. The reason is a failing, aging network of pipes and wastewater treatment plants that run from Mexico into each of these communities. When heavy rains fall, the pipes often break and spill raw sewage on both sides of the border, causing not only a putrid odor but public health and environmental concerns...

Smartphones, internet access are key tools of Venezuelan refugees

‘The cellphone does everything’: Smartphones, internet access are key tools of 21st century migration LIMA, Peru – Many of the more than 700,000 Venezuelans who have fled to Peru have arrived with next to nothing: a backpack, perhaps, carrying a toothbrush, a change of clothes and, most important, a cellphone. For most, their phones are lifelines. “The Venezuelan has broken, has finished with that old adage that the best friend of man is the dog. For a Venezuelan, his best friend is the cellphone...

Nogales seeks a fair deal from binational commission on costs of treating wastewater

Nogales seeks a fair deal from binational commission on costs of treating wastewater NOGALES – More than 370 articles on the Nogales International online news archive contain the word “sewage,” and that archive only dates to 2001. These articles reveal a long history of broken pipes, sewage overflows, industrial waste and more. Sewage in Ambos Nogales – “ambos” is Spanish for “both,” referring to the twin cities in Arizona and Sonora – has been an issue since 1944, when the first binational tr

Sewage flowing into Nogales Wash raises concerns about water supply for both Mexico and U.S.

Sewage flowing into Nogales Wash raises concerns about water supply for both Mexico and U.S. NOGALES, Mexico – Wastewater containing raw sewage has been intermittently flowing into the Nogales Wash from Mexico since mid-January, spurring concerns about health and the water supply for communities on both sides of the border. Four of the five pumps at the Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nogales, Mexico, have been malfunctioning since mid-January, but a temporary fix is in the works. Je

Influx of migrants dropped off by ICE has churches, faith groups near breaking point

Influx of migrants dropped off by ICE has churches, faith groups near breaking point TOLLESON – The number of migrants dropped off at Revolution Church in Tolleson has nearly doubled since last December, Pastor Raul Salgado estimates. Migrants are being dropped off by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after they have applied for asylum and are waiting for their cases to be heard. They usually stay two or three days while Salgado and church volunteers help them find more permanent housin

How Arizona national parks survived the government shutdown

How Arizona national parks survived the longest government shutdown in U.S. history GRAND CANYON – Waiting for the sun to rise, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park quietly stood at Mather Point. By 7:45, sunbeams pierced the low clouds to illuminate the red rocks and the sparkling snow. Despite the partial federal government shutdown, which ended Jan. 25, for most visitors, the closure didn’t affect their experience. Although Petrified Forest National Park closed during the longest governme

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