Column: Fear of a Blue Sky

I. Fire and Bone: July, 2006

I was hurrying home, deep in thought and not paying attention, when I walked right into his sign, accidentally tearing it with my boot as I plowed through the cardboard. I looked down at the torn sign and snapped back to reality. “Oh god, I’m so sorry,” I blurted to the man sitting a few feet away as I started to bend over to pick it up. “Only Need $20 More For Bus Ticket Home” the sign said.

Violence and Sacred Space

“I can’t begin to wrap my mind around the fact that this senseless act of violence happened on sacred ground. It does not matter that my spiritual path is different from those at Mother Emanuel … what matters is the sacredness of where they were when this occurred.” – Kelly Scott, Chairwoman of the Charleston Area Lowcountry Council of Alternative Spiritual Traditions. In recent months, it seems that news report after news report speaks of violence either against or within a sacred space. These acts range from the horrifying terrorist attack at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel to the destruction of ancient religious sites.

Column: Vignettes on Death, Gods, and Bridges

I thought I was a strong swimmer. But I was also seventeen, and I thought I knew everything. It was hot, and the Delaware River was refreshingly cool. I can do this, I said to myself, perhaps a little too confidently. I stood at the bank of the Pennsylvania side, with my eye on a small sandy landing across the river in New Jersey.

New York’s #Flood11 and the Landmark Climate Change Ruling

NEW YORK CITY – On Friday, March 6, #Flood11, as they have been labeled, were found not guilty of disorderly conduct. The ruling not only vindicated the activists, declaring that their actions were within their rights as citizens, but it also set a striking legal precedent. The court openly recognized climate change as a legitimate threat. On Sept. 21, the U.S witnessed the largest organized march against climate change.

Halloran sentenced to 10 years for corruption, bribery

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK – On Wednesday, federal Judge Kenneth Karas handed former New York City Councilman Dan Halloran a 10 year prison sentence for his part in a corruption and bribery scheme. The sentence exceeded the U.S. Probation Department’s recommendation of 6 ½ to 8 years. At the time of his arrest, Halloran was the highest elected official in the U.S. who is openly an adherent of a Pagan or Heathen religion. In September 2012, Halloran, along with state Democratic Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith and ex-Queens Republican Party leader Vincent Tabone, were the focus of an FBI sting operation. Halloran was recorded taking payoffs to facilitate a plot to get Smith, a Democrat, on the GOP line for the 2013 New York City mayoral race.