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  • Assessing Sunbelt sprawl

    A new report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, "Hits and Misses: Fast Growth in Metropolitan Phoenix," takes a hard look at the rapid growth of the sprawling Sunbelt metropolis.

  • Fool's Gold: Telluride's 'magical realism'

    In "Fool's Gold: Lives, Loves, and Misadventures in the Four Corners Country," Rob Schultheis tells of life in Telluride, Colo., from its ramshackle hippie days in the 1970s to its growth into an expensive ski resort.

  • Fruita draws the line against sprawl

    A small rural town on Colorado's Western Slope, Fruita is fighting to save its agriculture and avoid the sprawling growth of nearby Grand Junction, using innovative planning and the transfer of development rights to keep a three-mile open-space buffer.

  • Surprise! Boise votes for open space

    In conservative Idaho, Boise residents vote to tax themselves to conserve open space and stave off sprawl in the foothills.

  • Luxury homes torched in Tucson

    In Phoenix, Mark Warren Sands is charged with burning down eight trophy homes, but the June arsons that burned three brand-new, vacant luxury homes in Tucson's Pima Canyon Estates remain a mystery.

  • Welcome to (your name here), Wyoming

    An auction to sell the former Wyoming boomtown of Jeffrey City leads the writer to muse about other energy boomtowns, such as Gillette and Wright, and how they have become true communities over the years.

  • Las Vegas: Images in light, images in stone

    Looking for petroglyphs and then watching a light show in Las Vegas, Nev., leads the writer to think that people haven't changed so much over the millennia.

  • Life in the wasteland

    Eureka, Utah, a struggling former mining town, was named a Superfund priority site in September, but the Environmental Protection Agency is running out of funds for cleanup, and the Bush administration shows no interest in replacing them.

  • Superfund: On the Hill… on the ground

    Timelines trace the birth, life and decline of the Superfund law, both on Capitol Hill and on the ground in the West.

  • Brownfields program makes cleanup profitable

    The "Brownfields" program, an offshoot of Superfund, is designed to redevelop contaminated sites into real estate, but critics say it is not always up to the challenge.

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