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Connecticut Woodlands magazine, Summer 2015
Helen Binney Kitchel - Helen Binney Kitchel 1970s clipping


Champion of nature

A few years ago, Greenwich local history librarian Carl White called Helen Binney Kitchel “the Rachel Carson of Greenwich, Connecticut.” The two women were very different but similar in a basic sense. Both were New England natives who feared that civilization was damaging the natural world.

Ms. Carson was a marine biologist who wrote lyrical books about the sea. Her magnum opus, Silent Spring (Houghton Mifflin), appeared in 1962. She changed public attitudes about chemicals. The opening of that book starts with an ideal...

Appalachia journal, Summer/Fall 2014
Four Quartets and Eight Legs - WOODSIDE_79_Caratunk ME_scaled

Rituals fortify an Appalachian Trail trek

The thin paperback's cover bent back. My friend Phil held it up above his head in his left hand and tipped the page toward the beam of his tiny flashlight. He lay on his back next to his wife, Cay, on the dirty wooden floor of the open-fronted shelter. Three of us stared up into the dark rafters, listening, as Phil read “Burnt Norton,” the first part of T. S. Eliot’s work, Four Quartets. “Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future.”

I lay on a flimsy...

Next City, September 4, 2014
Will Seattle Be the First U.S. City to Recycle Everything? - Seattle_1990_Wallingford_recycling

It’s dawn on waste-collection day in the hilly Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. Along the curvy streets of this residential peninsula northwest of downtown, three large bins wait outside each house. The green ones hold compost — leftover food and yard clippings. The blue ones overflow with everything recyclable: glass, plastic containers, cans and aluminum foil. The round black ones, for the trash, often aren’t full these days.

Three years ago, Seattle’s City Council passed Resolution 31312, calling for zero net emissions by 2050, one of few cities crusading...

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