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for people who care about the West

High Country News gets new interns

 

It's that time of year again -- when two fresh-faced interns join us in our Paonia, Colo., offices for six months of "journalism boot camp." We're also delighted to announce that the talented and diligent Neil LaRubbio, intern from the last session, will remain with us for another six months as our editorial fellow.

It's been a big year for new intern Brendon Bosworth. The Cape Town, South Africa, native turned 30, finished his master's in journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder, and landed his first desk job ever –– here at HCN. As a freelance journalist and lifelong surfer, he's traveled in Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Indonesia, and covered subjects as varied as homophobia, the FIFA World Cup and marine pollution. That last story, reported in 2009, was his first stab at investigative environmental reporting, and working on it showed Brendon how science can help people better understand their communities -- if they can just make it past the jargon. "Science isn't easily understandable if you're a general reader, so there's a real space for journalists," he says. A Fulbright scholarship catapulted Brendon to Boulder, where, along with some friends, he started the school's first online student-run environmental publication. Brendon hopes to return to South Africa and work as an environmental reporter. "I feel there's quite a need for that back home," he says.

Emily Guerin got a taste for investigative reporting while digging into the back stories of dilapidated homes in Portland, Maine, for the local monthly, The Bollard. After a year and a half writing the aptly named column "That's My Dump!", she reported for weekly newspaper The Forecaster. She also delved into Maine's archaic bail system for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. She is particularly amused when slippery characters underestimate her because they see her as unintimidating, just "small and cute." The dream of every journalist, she says, is that "the right people will read your stories and do something about them." The Massachusetts native has long felt the call of the West; she recently completed a wilderness instructor course at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo., and aims to use her experience at HCN to forge a career as a freelance journalist who can lead trips on the side. When not at work, or scaling challenging rock faces, she can be found hanging from the ceiling at the intern house in an attempt to beat her own pull-up record.

FAREWELL TO PHILIP FRADKIN

Western environmental writer and historian Philip Fradkin died on July 8 at his home in Point Reyes Station, Calif., at the age of 77. Born in New York City, he attended Williams College in Massachusetts and joined the Army after graduation. There, he discovered his true calling when he was asked to write for a newspaper on a troop carrier. In the 1960s, he went to work for the Los Angeles Times and became that paper's first environmental reporter. "I wanted an occupation that would put me in contact with as wide a range of experiences and people as possible," he told HCN contributor Tony Davis in a 2010 interview. "I'm curious about the human condition." He eventually went to work for Gov. Jerry Brown during Brown's first administration, and helped to create the California Coastal Act. In 1981, Philip published A River No More, which broke new ground by adding up the demands on the Colorado River and revealing how dangerously overallocated it was. He later wrote books about Nevada's nuclear downwinders and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as well as biographies of acclaimed writer Wallace Stegner and of vanished wanderer Everett Ruess. At the end of our 2010 interview, Philip said that he had discovered a new creative outlet: photography. "It's nice to just travel without knowing I have to come back with some specific amount of information to put into a receptacle. You may never hear from me again." We're sad indeed to think that we won't be hearing from Philip Fradkin again.

CORRECTION

We misidentified the climber pictured on page 16 of our July 23 issue. The photo shows Glenn Randall, and it was taken by Peter Metcalf after their 1980 climb of Mount Hunter. "We were all in similar condition," Metcalf recalls. "Elated, euphoric, emaciated and frostbit." HCN regrets the error.