• Watch my testimony before the U.S. Senate‘s committee on Health,Education, Labor and Pensions — chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander, with Sen. Patty Murray the ranking Democrat.
• For Los Angeles Magazine, the story of Arlene Rodriguez, a real estate agent who ended up as shot caller of Florencia 13, one of the largest street gangs in Southern California, before she had to flee.
• Listen to my conversation with Dr. Drew on his podcast, about Dreamland and so much more.
• This story for Politico about how border walls helped Tijuana’s economy grow more self-reliant.
• NPR’s Weekend Edition ran this report on high school teachers and their students in South Webster, Ohio, a small town in Appalachia, which used Dreamland as a way of understanding what drugs had done to their community.
• The chat with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.
• And another with Russ Roberts on his EconTalk podcast.
• A NY Times op-ed piece about a jail in Kentucky that has transformed a pod into a full-time rehab unit – and that jail may be a great place to find new drug treatment capacity.
• I’ve been doing book reviews for The Washington Post:
• A Foreign Policy magazine piece arguing that Donald Trump may be just what Mexico needs.
• A KCRW (89.9FM) radio story about deportees in a Tijuana flophouse. A shorter radio story for KCRW about the arrival of large numbers of Haitians in Tijuana, traveling up from Brazil, looking for asylum in the U.S.
• A National Geographic story about Cd Juarez’s emergence from a nightmare of murder, extortion and kidnaping by investing in local infrastructure and institutions. An example for the rest of Mexico.
• A Los Angeles Magazine story of three immigrants – a Zapotec Indian from the highlands of Oaxaca, a Korean, and an Armenian – who separately helped shape modern L.A.
• A front-page column in the New York Times Sunday Review about the opiate epidemic and the Xalisco Boys.
• A column in the LA Times on how Southern California parks have been liberated from gang dominance, to the benefit of working-class families. And an interview on KPCC’s Take Two on the topic.
• A New York Times column about South Gate and the southeast LA County cities, and Mexican ranchero assimilation.
• An LA Times story on the centuries-old system of local Indian governance in Oaxaca, Mexico — usos y costumbres — that once served to unify villages, but now pits townsfolk against migrants, who are forced to do unpaid jobs back home or risk losing rights, land and property.
• A radio story, plus blogposts and photos, on Tijuana’s art scene and a small corridor of defunct souvenir shops that helped reactivate it. Ran on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on To The Point, on KCRW (89.9FM in L.A.), which produced the report.
• A story for Pacific Standard Magazine on the decline of gangs in Los Angeles, choosen by Daily Beast as one of the best longreads of the week, which was very nice of them. And an interview on the topic with Larry Mantle, host of Air Talk on KPCC, 89.3FM.
• How the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain helped create a kitchen dynasty of Zapotec Indians in Los Angeles. The piece revolves around Marcelino Martinez, who came to work for the chain in 1970 and remains there still.
• The story of the Cambodian Donut King, Ted Ngoy, who opened America to thousands of refugees from the Killing Fields by opening doughnut shops across Southern California, then lost them all to his one weakness, and wound up homeless.
• The emergence of innovation and experimentation among Mexican banda tuba players. LA — tuba capital of the world, who knew? Then a follow up story about a rash of tuba thefts at LA-area high schools, due largely to banda’s popularity. And, finally, an interview with Madeleine Brand on KPCC about tubas, tuba thefts and more – with a performance by Jesse “El Chikilin” Tucker.
• An hour on C-Span’s morning show, Washington Journal discussing painkillers, heroin, America and the rest.
• An interview with Tavis Smiley on the Tavis Smiley Show.
• Here’s what Gustavo Arellano had to say about True Tales from Another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream on NPR’s All Things Considered.
• An interview in the March, 2015 edition of The Writer magazine on long-form storytelling.
• An interview on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer about Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream.
• Listen to an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross about True Tales from Another Mexico.
• Watch an interview on Maria Hinojosa’s One on One on PBS.
• Listen to an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition with Renee Montagne about True Tales From Another Mexico.
• An interview on Reason TV about Mexican immigration and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream.
• The death of club owner Emilio Franco, whose El Farallon Club in Lynwood, near Los Angeles, was a center of the narcocorrido scene for many years.
• Here’s a story for KPCC, 89.3FM, on Sgt. Dwight Waldo, expert on tagger graffiti and a guerrilla musician.
• An LA Times story about workers who unionized a car wash in Santa Monica, believed the first to do so in Southern California, if not also the country.
• Five LA Times stories on the NorCal pot world:
– Indoor-grown marijuana allowed the “kids of hippies and rednecks to get rich.”
-A deputy sheriff patrols the world of weed.
– An anonymous pot-fiction writer tells the stories of the pot underground.
– The strange saga of the community known as “Buddhaville” in SoHum. …
– And a story about Fort Bragg, and the violence in the mountains of Mendocino County, after the killing of the town’s beloved city councilman.
• The story of Jose Bonilla, obsessed with building a Mexican village – Asi Es Mi Tierra – in a valley near Santa Barbara, using only rocks, oil pipe.
• The LA Times story of what happens when a poor immigrant with six kids doses herself with fertility drugs and has quadruplets.
• An LAT Magazine story about Los Tigres del Norte, the greatest binational pop band and the best chroniclers of Mexican immigrants’ experience in the USA. Plus, the band that showed me another part of Mexico and America. Many thanks, guys!
• A story about guitarist Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club album for the San Francisco Examiner from 1997.
• Dr. Fresh, an Indian immigrant, built a dental empire in Buena Park, then became his brand and the guru of flossing.
• Why are the cities southeast of L.A. so weakly governed? An LA Times story finds the origins of the Bell salary scandal in a little-noticed policing contract in the neighboring city of Maywood.
• Foreign Policy magazine story on Mexico’s drug war.
• St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in LA, moribund and empty, revived when a priest turned it over to saints from Salvadora, Nigeria, Oaxaca, and Guatemala.
• A gang shotcaller testifies against his former homies. The first story, which ran two years earlier, told of how his family and relatives from a small town in Mexico made Drew Streeet the scariest two blocks in L.A. And for the LA Weekly, this story on the shotcaller’s sentencing.