The House that “Lowlifes” Built?

When the Yankees opened their new stadium and pinstriped stars like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera ran onto the green grass for the first time, the cheers of delirious New…

Imperiled rock climb offers lessons for state crisis

Near the top of Mt. Diablo stands a challenging rock climb called Amazing Face. Climbers who wish to scale it had better go soon, as the state may close the…

German mountains, culture reward visitors to Berchtesgaden

Even before the party started, our Bavarian trek was proving worthwhile. Few mountain ascents feature hot sausages and cold beer in a comfortable cabin, but my brother and I ordered…

Actor’s shows bring Muir to life

John Muir never wanted for words when it came to protecting the wilderness, especially his beloved Sierra Nevada mountains. But what would the father of American environmentalism say if he were alive today?

“I’m back, and I’m really ticked off!” Muir might roar. “I’m back to track down Lord Man, to make him a better beast, because California, the home that I love, is on the brink of being lost.”

Protect marriage … from straight people

As homosexual marriage spreads state by state, everyone knows the struggle is far from over. Now Americans must speedily unite to ban the unholy unions of … straight people. Why?…

End the tyranny of hiking fees

An awesome view of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada range rewards visitors to the summit of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park. Each time I visit this treasure, it rewards and…

Young-at-heart veteran strengthens A’s bullpen

To Alan Embree, the years have been kind. Nearly two decades of professional baseball have made the friendly Athletic a well-traveled veteran, an October star and a World Series champion….

Climate change fight heats up in Germany

Getting world leaders to recognize the incremental effects of global warming has challenged environmental leaders for decades, but Frank Huber doesn’t have to look far to see evidence that his…

Sea life attracts divers to Great Barrier Reef

Two gray reef sharks glided effortlessly across our path, their razor-sharp teeth gleaming in the beams of our flashlights. In that moment, nothing else was visible in our pitch-black underwater…

To save education, scrap BTSA

Teachers face no shortage of adversity, from high-maintenance kids and parents to high-stakes tests and false fire alarms. Sometimes the good news seems rare, so this article tacked to my…

Bring on the phone cops

Fans of the television sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” may remember Dr. Johnny Fever’s funniest moment in the series. After he smashed a telephone to pieces in a fit of rage,…

Avoiding epics from Yosemite to Mammoth

Four days into a 50-mile winter trek, our team reached a steep and formidable ice slope. We quickly recognized that this grade was our most hazardous obstacle so far, because…

A Giants fan dumps Barry

Last Christmas I gave my friend Aaron a Barry Bonds “babooshka” doll. Aaron is only a casual fan, but he dabbles in the mystic arts, and I asked him to…

The hidden morals of “Grand Theft Auto”

I picked up some bad habits lately: running over pedestrians for their pocket money, incinerating enemy gangsters with Molotov cocktails, and blowing up cops with a rocket launcher. But starting…

Student election theatrics mirror national politics

Campaign posters blanket the walls each election week at the high school where I teach. This year, some posters reflected a more unscrupulous election than usual. “Bob has no friends,…

“It’s like impossible”

Anyone who spends much time with teenagers has noticed their unfortunate use of the word “like” outside the parameters of affection or comparison.

Don’t wish upon a STAR

Aaron and Travis didn’t even try to fake it. When the test started, they started bubbling in their answer forms without even reading the test questions. Choosing answer “A” for…

Germany, Scientology trade charges of tyranny

To explain the furious hostility between Germany and the Church of Scientology, German officials might point to the story of a young man from Braunschweig named Jürgen Behrndt.   Shortly…

Misgivings follow Jews to Germany

BERLIN – Mary Ann zu Klampen moved to Germany 19 years ago but making friends still isn’t easy for her. Even today, Germans she’s never met introduce themselves with an…