Stories from Pete Golis

Golis: How cities retain their vitality

Drive around America and you will find too many faceless cities. Their downtowns sit deserted and forlorn, while the roads on the edge of town are adorned by aging strip malls and the occasional big-box store. Drive down one of those nondescript commercial streets and you could be anywhere.

Golis: We need government, after all

In California, the people who like to bash government were lying low last week.

Golis: The grass isn’t greener anymore

Two years ago, we stopped watering our lawn. What was green grass became a patch of dirt with tufts of gray weeds scattered here and there. Looking for forgiveness from our neighbors, we posted a sign: “Water Conservation — Doing Our Part.”

Golis: Bush father and son back-to-back

If you visit any presidential library with the expectation of witnessing history complete and unvarnished, you will be disappointed.

Golis: Keeping our promise to veterans

After a long flight from Southeast Asia, soldiers wounded in Vietnam are being transported to a military hospital in San Francisco. The bus carries men in litters stacked in three-high bunks. As the vehicle approaches the hospital, it is surrounded by war protesters who begin to rock the bus back and forth.

Golis: Still lots of talk about housing

Minimum-wage and rent-control proposals are symptoms of a society that waited too long to pay attention to the well-being of people who have less.

Golis: On the road in California’s Central Valley

The boarded-up stores and scruffy strip malls remind us that these are hard times in the Central Valley. Under the circumstances, the latest jobless reports almost count as good news.

Golis: Why do we love our animals?

It’s awkward to write about the death of a dog. People lose their pets every day without making a public show of their sadness.

Golis: How mistrust breeds more mistrust

As the defeat of Measure A reminds us, we live at a time in which you can’t go wrong playing to people’s distrust of political institutions. People will continue to flail away at our politicians. Often enough, they deserve it.

Golis: Shutting the door on deserving students

After World War II, a world-class system of public colleges was the engine that drove prosperity in California. The unspoken agreement was that every generation would help the next find success. Now that promise to pay it forward looks to be in jeopardy.

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