Dunne, Mike |
Hulsey, George |
Reuther, Christopher |
Peter Berle, d. November 1, 2007
We are sad to report that Peter Berle, a familiar and friendly face at SEJ conferences for years, died in Massachusetts on Thursday, November 1, 2007, of injuries sustained in a farm accident. He was 69, and had been an SEJ member since 1995.
Peter was president of Sky Farm Productions Inc., which produced environmental programming for public television. From 1995 to 2001, he was host of Northeast Public Radio's The Environment Show, and still did commentaries there — the last one posted online was August 13, 2007.
Before getting into journalism, Peter had had a distinguished career in law, politics and the nonprofit world. He served as New York State assemblyman, commissioner of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation and president of the National Audubon Society.
Here are links to online obituaries and tributes:
He will be missed.
Founding board member and
By Chris Rigel, SEJ Associate
Carmody, d. March 9, 2005, with
Kevin Carmody, a founding board
member of the Society of Environmental
Journalists, died unexpectedly on
Wednesday, March 9, at the age of 46. His
death is being investigated as a suicide.
Why SEJ is suddenly without one of its
first and longest-burning lights is
unfathomable to us, his colleagues and
Kevin served on SEJ's board
of directors from the beginning of the
board's existence in 1990 until his
death. He was secretary of the board
from 1992 until October 1996, when he
became board vice president, and in
October 1997-October 1998, president.
During his presidency, Kevin's family
grew with the arrival of his daughter
Siobhan. Kevin wrestled with the idea
of leaving the board altogether, but
settled for playing a less demanding
role by stepping down, for the first
time, from the executive committee. He
subsequently returned to the executive
committee, serving as treasurer October
2000-October 2001, and he continued to
play leadership roles with SEJ's
quarterly newsletter, SEJournal,
and in developing policies on
membership and finance.
In 1996, Kevin co-chaired the
SEJ's 6th Annual Conference in St.
Louis along with Mike Mansur, then
board member and current editor of the
SEJournal. Kevin was also
co-chair of SEJ's 15th Annual
Conference, to be held this fall in
Austin. His vision and creative energy
are already deeply imbedded in the
program and will be carried on by his
co-chair Dina Cappiello, conference
manager Jay Letto, and the rest of the
As board member and current
treasurer Peter Thomson said, Kevin was
"the only board member ever to hit for
the cycle, holding at one point or
another every office on the
Kevin also co-edited the
SEJournal for its first six
years, first with Bowman Cox, managing
editor of Growth Media Group, and later
with Adam Glenn, a senior producer for
ABC.com and Amy Gahran, freelance
writer and editor. A snapshot of
Kevin's legendary doggedness: when Fall
1994 issue had no one to do the layout,
Kevin did it himself, along with
editing, gathering and compiling what
was then known as the "Green Beat"
section, getting the issue to print and
into the mail while holding down his
This is the way he approached
his work, his volunteerism with SEJ and
his play: a no-holds-barred approach to
life that yielded great journalistic
achievement, cornerstones and keystones
in building the SEJ community —
and some really great fish, like the
ten-pound trout pictured here. Kevin
pulled that trout out of Lake Michigan
in the summer of 2000.
Kevin's approach to reporting
won him dozens of national awards
throughout his 26-year career,
including a 1999 George Polk award for
the Daily Southtown series
"Deadly Silence" that exposed an
official cover-up of the deaths of
employees exposed to beryllium while
working on the A-bomb in the 1940s.
That report of misconduct prompted
Congress to compensate the victims or
their heirs. Among his other
recognitions are the National
Headliners and Thomas Stokes
Kevin's file at SEJ is
stuffed with stories like "Death in the
Air," a special report in the
exposing builders who ignored asbestos
laws, putting workers —
especially day workers, mostly Mexicans
— at risk and the 2003
Statesman story on chemical
contamination at a popular Austin
swimming spot, Barton Springs
"Kevin was as dedicated to
science as much as he was to
journalism," said SEJ's Executive
Director Beth Parke on March 11. "His
respect for scientific accuracy and his
take on those who misuse science were a
big part of his leadership within SEJ.
Ethics in science, ethics in
journalism: Kevin was all about those
things. He thought all environmental
journalists need to be well educated in
science to do their best job. But
science was also a personal joy to
Kevin. I remember how he absolutely lit
up when talking about his experience
during the science journalism program
at Woods Hole, and the awe he felt
learning to sequence his own DNA there.
He was an admirer of many scientists
and followed the work going on in many
Kevin took risks in his
reporting, doggedly investigating in
the face of criticism and even threats.
Close friends and associates watched
with concern as Kevin took on
mob-connected Detroit businessmen in
the 1998 Southtown series,
"Public Lands/Private Agendas," a
series that exposed the plans of
developers to build a landfill next to
the nation's first prairie park and its
most expensive veterans'
Richard Oppel said in his newspaper's
March 11 obituary, "As in the case of
his investigation of pollutants in
Barton Springs, his reporting could
bring politicians, pseudo-scientists
and special interests to rage —
and to press conferences and
demonstrations. But, ultimately, he
brought them to action."
"Kevin's work, in Chicago,
Austin and elsewhere, is his most
visible legacy," said Dan Fagin, SEJ
board member and past president. "And
it is extraordinary by any measure. His
project stories represented the highest
aspirations of a profession that so
often, and increasingly, settles for
Kevin brought the same
tenacity to SEJ, working tirelessly to
keep the fledgling organization on
track as board secretary in the early
years, honing board election policies,
tracking board decisions, adding his
level-headed thinking to the
extraordinary mix of journalists who
founded SEJ. In the days immediately
following his death, the same phrases
were spoken again and again: Kevin's
ability to analyze a situation, Kevin's
clear-headedness, Kevin's comprehensive
grasp of complex situations, Kevin's
ability to think things through and
come up with the right answer.
Throughout his career,
Kevin's dedication worked to further
SEJ's mission to improve the quality,
accuracy and visibility of
environmental reporting. His efforts
helped boost the environment beat into
the public eye and helped create a
public demand for this kind of
reporting. And his warmth, personable
style and enthusiasm helped build the
ranks of journalists who cover
That warmth spilled over into
how he relaxed, too, and his favorite
way to relax was to go fishing. Board
meetings, always held in different
cities across the country, gave the
opportunity to test the waters of many
different states. Kevin could find
water with fish anywhere. He often took
others with him, lent rods and tackle
as needed and headed off to rivers,
streams and lakes in states too
numerous to mention.
"Kevin pushed the fishing
time we had right up to the limit,"
recalls Jim Bruggers, board member and
former president. "After a board
meeting in Portland, Ore., we were
trying to hook Columbia River salmon in
a tributary the morning before our
planes were scheduled to depart. I had
to drive (let's just say pretty fast)
to get to the Portland airport to make
I recall a similar mad dash
to the Pittsburgh airport after fishing
for trout in Pennsylvania's Youghogheny
River and Dunbar Creek with Kevin and
board member Don Hopey.
If Kevin stayed fishing late,
he also started early, no matter what.
Following a board meeting in St. Paul,
Minn., in July 2002, Jim Bruggers,
Kevin and I managed, after some great
music and a nightcap in the hotel
scotch bar, to get back to our rooms at
3:00 a.m. Two hours later we met in the
lobby and went out into the rain with
our gear, heading for a mini-mart to
buy our fishing licenses.
Watching Kevin on the water,
it was easy to understand why he was
such a great journalist. He could read
water and knew how the fish would
respond. He had long studied them and
honed his craft over the years. His
touch on the line was light and
beautiful — never forced, never
erratic, waiting with absolute patience
for the shudder on the line indicating
the instant for precise action —
just like he did with his
Kevin is survived by his
wife, Pat Dockery, a former SEJ member,
and his daughter, Siobhan. Our hearts
are with them in grief. We invite you
to share our grieving with
these tributes to Kevin Carmody's
d. March 13, 2006
From the Cape
SEJ member James Leedom Cresson, 60, a
longtime Delaware journalist, died
Monday, March 13, 2006, from injuries
sustained in an automobile accident
near Centreville, Md.
Services for the Milford
resident were held on Saturday, March
18, at Reformation Lutheran Church in
Mr. Cresson was born in
Milford May 12, 1945, the son of James
and Edith Marjorie Mulholland Cresson.
He graduated from Fishburn Military
Academy, Waynesboro, Va., in 1963 and
attended University of Maryland and
Tusculum College in Tennessee.
In 1968, at the height of the
war in Vietnam, Mr. Cresson joined the
He developed his skills as
writer and photographer while serving a
year's tour of duty in Vietnam and
continued to use those skills over the
next several decades as reporter,
photographer, editor and publisher in
At various different times
over those years he wrote for
Delaware State News, Middletown
Transcript, Delaware Coast Press
and the Cape Gazette in Lewes
where he was employed at the time of
his death. Prior to joining the
Cape Gazette in 1998, Cresson
and his wife, Corinne, edited and
published the Long Neck News
in Sussex County.
He won several awards over
the years from the
Association and was recently notified
that he had taken a first-place prize
for his reporting on Delaware
Department of Transportation financial
problems related to the depleted
Transportation Trust Fund.
"Jim was a dog of a
reporter," said Cape Gazette
Sports Editor Dave Frederick. "I
remember a story he did on the pit bull
maulings over in Delmar. It was an
amazing piece of journalism. And most
recently he did a piece on the new
Korean War Memorial in Georgetown. It
just struck me how much information
— including local folks who had
served in that war — that he
found for the story."
As a veteran, Mr. Cresson was
particularly sympathetic to veterans'
issues and proud of his service in
Vietnam. "He told me a story once of
his last couple of days in Vietnam,"
said his wife, Corinne.
"He was stationed in Saigon
and went out to interview a Green Beret
troop. He spent the night with them in
the jungle. They went out the next
morning on patrol and he went back to
Saigon to file the story. That whole
troop disappeared — never another
word from them. That stuck with
Between journalism stints in
Delaware, Mr. Cresson traveled the
world, making his way as a wanderer
through Africa and Europe. "He
hitchhiked across the U.S. at least
three times," said Corinne, "and lived
in Mexico and Arizona before returning
to Delaware to stay in 1985."
Mr. Cresson loved to sing and
play guitar, was an accomplished carver
and woodworker and had uncanny talent
for finding native American artifacts
— especially arrowheads —
in freshly plowed Delaware
He was a member of Christ
Episcopal Church in Milford and the
Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In addition to his wife, Mr.
Cresson is survived by a daughter and
son, Tacy and Caleb, of Milford. He is
also survived by his mother, Marjorie
Cresson Dobson of Atlantic Beach, Fla.;
a stepdaughter, Jessica Coffey,
Milford; a stepson and daughter-in-law,
Jeremy and Dee Coffey of Cocoa, Fla.; a
sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and
Larry Price, Glen Mills, Pa.; a niece
and nephew, Susan Price and Brad Price
of Glen Mills, Pa.; and one grandchild,
Ryleigh Coffey of Cocoa, Fla.
Education fund started for Jim Cresson's children
An education fund has been established for the children of Cape Gazette journalist Jim Cresson.
Cresson, a Vietnam veteran who was well known for his insightful and fair reporting, was the father of two children, ages 11 and 8. The fund will be used for the children's higher educations.
Donors may make contributions in person at any Wilmington Trust branch by asking to deposit money in the account, Cresson Children Educational Fund. To send a donation, make the check payable to Wilmington Trust and write "Cresson Children Educational Fund" in the memo. Mail it to: Wilmington Trust, P.O. Box 17, Lewes, DE 19958. For more information, call Kerry at 645-7700, Ext. 317.
d. August 23, 2006
Former Dayton Daily News environment reporter and SEJ member Dale Dempsey
died in August at his home. He was 54.
Dempsey was a copy editor and night news editor after the Journal
Herald merged with the Daily News in Dayton, Ohio. He also covered
business and environment. In 2004, he and another staff writer won second
place from the Associated Press for Best Community Service for articles
about the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.
Dempsey was on a team of reporters who wrote an award-winning
series on megafarms in Ohio. The series examined the impact of the consolidation
of Ohio's livestock industry on the environment, exposing regulatory
flaws. It won the James M. Cox Public Service Award for metro
He also was the author of extensive coverage of urban sprawl and urban
planning. Most recently, Dempsey was editing The Ohio Education Gadfly,
a newsletter produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Dempsey is survived by his stepfather, Bud Fleischman; daughters
Mary Dempsey of Kettering and Colleen Dempsey of Xenia; and a sister,
Kathleen Kussman of Oakwood. Memorials may be directed to the
Dayton offices of the American Cancer Society or the Humane Society.
Mike Dunne, d. July 8, 2007
SEJournal Associate Editor Mike Dunne died Sunday, July 8, of cancer. A founding member, Mike could always be found up to his elbows in SEJ projects, from organizing panel sessions or tours for annual conferences to writing up the latest "Inside Story" for SEJournal.
From SEJ archives.
In his day job, Mike was a ground-breaking environmental reporter in Louisiana, placing statewide and national focus on the rapidly-eroding coastline of Louisiana and the efforts by the state and local governments to restore it, while also keeping a watchful eye on the the petrochemical industry that surrounded his home town of Baton Rouge.
Mike had planned to attend SEJ's annual conference in Sept. for what he knew would be the last time. His SEJ family is devastated that he won't be with us.
Mike was senior reporter at The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. He is survived by his wife, Freda Yarbrough Dunne, and his two sons, Dylan and Brad.
He was 58.
Many people have asked us where cards or flowers may be sent for Mike's passing. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Society of Environmental Journalists, SEJ, P.O. Box 2492, Jenkintown, PA 19046
O'Brien House, 1220 Main St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Donations can also be made to the Order of the Arrow, an honor organization of the Boy Scouts of America at the Istrouma Council Boy Scout Office, P.O. Box 66676, Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6676.
Cards may be sent to:
2408 Rhododendron Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70808-2263
You can read more about Mike, see the funeral notice and sign a guestbook here, at The Advocate.
George H. Hulsey, MD, d. January 15, 2006
By Beth Parke, SEJ Executive
SEJ member Dr. George Hulsey died on January 15, 2006, at his home in Norman, Oklahoma. He had joined SEJ in April of 2005 at the age of 66.
"My 'day' job is as a physician in family practice," he wrote on his SEJ application. "In addition I'm the Outdoor Editor of The Norman (OK) Transcript."
He had served in that role since 2000, coordinating a team of writers in producing a weekly column on hunting, fishing, conservation, bird-watching and environmental concerns. He was a former president of the National Wildlife Federation and was active in local, state and national environmental and political causes. Dr. Hulsey was also instrumental in establishing the Sutton Wilderness area.
Dr. Hulsey's newspaper column was a popular feature on the news wire of CNHI, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. Ms. J.B. BLosser Bittner, an editor for CNHI wrote in support of his membership application to SEJ, "Doc Hulsey brings readers close enough to the environment to smell the moist soilů His writing is crisp and clear in a way that compels readers to move on to the next sentence. In the relatively short time his columns have been running on our national wire he has developed a fan base from Oklahoma to North Carolina."
Norman Regional Hospital released a statement noting the hospital community was greatly saddened by the passing of Dr. Hulsey. He joined the Norman Regional staff in September 1966 and served as a family medicine physician. Hospital colleague Chet Bynum, MD, characterized Dr. Hulsey as "a trailblazer and a leader."
"We've been very fortunate to have him in our community and on our medical staff," Dr. Bynum told The Norman Transcript. "I think he played an important part in improving the general health of our community over the years."
Dr. Hulsey enriched the SEJ community as well.
Christopher Reuther, d. April 26, 2007
By Kimberly Thigpen Tart, News Editor, Environmental Health Perspectives, NIEHS, NIH, DHHS and SEJ member:
In Loving Memory of Christopher Glenn Reuther
Christopher Glenn Reuther, environmental journalist, photographer, and graphic artist, died April 26 in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a result of a sudden, inflicted cerebral hemorrhage. He was 34 years old, and had so much more life to live.
SEJ'06 — Chris in Burlington
Chris was a longtime resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, though he lived much of his formative years in Enka, outside of Asheville. He attended Enka High School for two years. A childhood spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains planted the seeds of his passion for protecting the earth so that it could continue to give life and beauty to future generations. His later years spent in Chapel Hill gave rise to his deep commitment to the idea that individuals should do whatever is in their power to improve the lives of others. This was his mantra, and he lived it fully.
Chris had a small family that adored him, and also a larger extended family of friends that includes almost everyone who ever met him. He is survived by his mother Judy Wilson of Apex, North Carolina, his father Philip Reuther of Charleston, South Carolina, his sister Heather Litton and her husband Ken Litton of Westport, Connecticut, his niece Katie and nephew Will also of Westport, his aunt Theresa Arrigon and uncle Robert Arrigon of Setauket, New York, and his beloved dog Jupiter. He is also survived by his stepmother Carolyn Reuther, stepsister Laura Getz, and stepbrother Jason Bennett, all of South Carolina, and other family.
A hallmark characteristic of Chris's was his insatiable curiosity and keen intellect. His junior and senior years of high school he attended the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham. Chris graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Public Health and a B.A. in journalism, simultaneously. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Fraternity and a writer and photographer for The Daily Tar Heel.
The summer before his last year of college, Chris began his career at Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a science and news journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, North Carolina. During the 10 years he was on staff (for an interim year he was a writer for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), he discovered a love for environmental reporting and a passion for the work of EHP. It became a personal mission for him to improve the lives of people in his own and the larger global community. He was also a skilled amateur photographer, and recorded the world around him in intimate and compelling detail.
He was set to further expand these gifts to make the world a far better place; he had been recently accepted to four different law schools, including the University of Hawaii and Tulane University in New Orleans, where he was offered the Dean's Scholarship. His plan was to study environmental and international law so that he could dedicate his life to empowering those around the world who are powerless to avoid environmental injury.
Chris gave humbly, generously, and often of himself to both friend and stranger alike. He was, in his heart, a citizen of the world. This led him to travel as often and as far as he could, fearlessly embracing new people and experiences as he went. His philosophy was always to give people — and life — the benefit of the doubt. He loved to do anything outdoors, and was learning to be a pilot; there seemed to be no limit he would not challenge.
In the end, it is Chris's unadulterated enthusiasm for life that will be most remembered, and it is fitting that his generous donation of his organs has and will continue to bring new chances at life to many, many people. He would be pleased to know that parts of him will go on to live in the bodies of these people and bring them health, peace, and well-being. It is just as sure that Chris's spirit will continue to live in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him best.
Memorial donations may be made to the Samaritan's Purse Emergency Fund for the rebuilding of New Orleans or to the Society of Environmental Journalists Endowment for the support of high-quality, unbiased news coverage of environmental issues.
Rivlin, d. May 31, 2003
By Dan Fagin, past SEJ
Anyone who has ever known Michael
Rivlin knows what an extraordinary
person he was. His journalism was both
elegant and fearless. Everything
Michael did was of the highest quality
Michael was more than just a
superb journalist. He came to
journalism in mid-career, after
spending some time in advertising, and
grew to believe deeply in the cause of
improving environmental journalism by
building a network of committed
environmental journalists. Anyone who
has paid even the slightest attention
to the SEJ-talk listserv over the last
few years has benefited from his
frequent postings. Michael knew a lot
about a lot of different things, and he
was always generous about sharing what
he knew, especially with younger
journalists who he sensed could
especially benefit from his help.
Michael could also be prickly when he
felt someone's rights were being
trampled in our community, and many of
us learned to appreciate that quality
Two years ago, Michael came up
to me at an SEJ conference and said he
wanted to organize a major regional SEJ
conference in the New York area.
Skeptically, I asked him if he knew
what he was in for. He just smiled and
said, "If I did, I wouldn't be
suggesting it." The result was the
extraordinary two-day "Boston-to-Baltimore
Briefing" at Rutgers University.
That conference, which included more
than 20 panels and field trips and
attracted more than 200 people, was a
Rivlin tour de force. It reflected
everything Michael believed:
intellectual integrity, substance over
glitz, a passion for environmental
issues and a commitment to sharing
information among environmental
journalists. He richly deserved the
2002 David Stolberg Award, which
SEJ bestows annually to its most
Now Michael is gone. For those
of us who knew him, it is a real loss.
For those of you who didn't know
Michael, take my word for it, it's a
loss for you too. We'll keep you posted
about any plans for a memorial service
or for charitable contributions in
By Kathrin Day
I met Michael in 1997, but when
I remember him, it's not in years but in
stories. His first story for
OnEarth (then The Amicus
Journal) was on GE and the Hudson
River. That was when I encountered the
trademark Rivlin lede, with its beguiling
narrative setup: "If you are a journalist
and you work on the Hudson River-PCB
contamination story for just a couple of
days, you will feel the tendrils of
General Electric's excellent public
relations machine drawing you by the
heels to Hudson Falls, New York." The
rest of the article goes on to explicate,
and then demolish, GE's claim that Hudson
Falls is the only remaining active source
of PCBs in the river.
A. Rivlin, d. May 31, 2003
Later, Michael persuaded me to
let him profile Ward Stone, the
environmentally minded New York State
wildlife pathologist. It was one of the
best profiles I'd ever been privileged
to publish, containing the best quote I
may ever publish. Michael told Stone
that the state administrators in Albany
(who paid Stone's salary) considered
him a loose cannon, and Stone
protested, "I'm not a loose cannon. I
know exactly where I'm firing, and
usually it's at them!"
When an environmentalist told
me that AAA was deeply enmeshed in the
pro-asphalt lobby, I asked Michael to
write the story, even though it was
based in D.C. and he wasn't. His
reporting zeal and his ability to dog
his quarry through boxes of documents
and mazes of policy made him perfect
for it. After the story came out, it
was picked up by Harper's and
dozens of other alternative and
progressive publications. Almost three
years later, it still comes up when you
Michael and I spent hours on
the phone together whenever he was
working on a story for us. Most of it
was planning strategy or negotiating
wording ("Kathrin, Kathrin," he would
say, in a tone of patient, generous
wisdom, when trying to talk me into or
out of something), but plenty of
it-especially late at night, when we
were both tired and worn out by
bioaccumulation or sprawl
statistics-was just the two of us
shooting the breeze. When he felt at
ease he was a voluble and entertaining
talker, with great stories to tell. He
was also irascible; in the time I knew
him I also knew of a number of people
who were feuding with him or had feuded
with him. But when Michael liked and
respected people, he liked and
respected them unconditionally, with
such a warmth of praise that there are
a few individuals I have never met or
talked to but will always admire,
simply because of the way Michael spoke
Michael was proud, and kept
many things private. No one I've talked
to since his death had any idea he had
diabetes. The charm he was capable of
came out best in his writing. I'll
always remember a passage in the last
story he wrote for OnEarth,
describing a Latino supermarket in
The first thing that hits
me is a volatile sweet, spicy, exotic
aroma. There are stacks of freshly
baked tortillas, Mexican canned goods,
the smell of cumin and chilies. There's
a parrot sitting in a large cage,
bottles of hot sauce on the counter, a
huge Plexiglas box filled with gigantic
pieces of fried pork rind, and, in the
center of the store, a shrine with a
statue of the Virgin Mary, cheap
plastic flowers and a pool of water at
her feet, and I'm
How I will miss that
— Kathrin Day
Kathrin Day Lassila was editor
of OnEarth (formerly Amicus
Journal) from 1994-2003. She is now editor
of the Yale Alumni Magazine.
Back to the top
Laura van Dam, d.
April 24, 2006
By Beth Parke, SEJ Executive
Laura was an SEJ member and
president of the National Association of Science Writers. She died Monday night in
Boston, after a long struggle with central nervous system lymphoma.
In addition to serving as NASW's president (and before that as VP and other
key roles), Laura also represented NASW at meetings of the Council of National
Journalism Organizations. She was a very dedicated and gifted journalist.
Laura did everything she could to provide a bridge between SEJ and NASW. She was
always enthusiastic and vocal on matters of shared potential and shared
concern, especially with regard to freedom of information issues.
Laura had been working freelance for some time before her death, but some of
her earlier positions included senior editor for the book publisher
Houghton-Mifflin where her specialty was books related to science, technology, medicine,
and health. Prior to that she worked as an editor at Technology Review
A memorial service for
Laura was held April 30, 2006, at the First Parish
Unitarian Church in Cambridge, MA. Condolences may be sent to
her husband, Howard Saxner, and their son, David, at 93 Fayerweather Street,
Cambridge, MA, 02138.
NASW has more information about Laura posted on its Web site.
James Walker, d.
April 9, 2003
By Beth Parke, SEJ Executive
James Walker, 26-year-old staff
writer for the (Jackson, Mississippi)
Clarion-Ledger, died in a traffic
accident on Wednesday, April 9. He had been a
member of SEJ for two years. In that time he
had become known as an extremely talented and
dedicated reporter and an energetic volunteer
and participant in the work of SEJ.
Walker, d. April 9, 2003
In a letter to James' editor at the
C-L, board member Mark Schleifstein
expressed SEJ sympathies and wrote: "He was
the first person to sign up for the mentoring
program, and I quickly found that he needed
very little coaching — he was actually
giving me story ideas with the published
stories he was having me review. James also
had volunteered to help with our upcoming
annual conference in New Orleans in
September, and his help will certainly be
In an April 10, 2003, article about
James Walker that appeared in the
Clarion-Ledger, he is described as
"a passionate environmental reporter" who
"helped raise the level of storytelling at
this paper, and he took pride in doing the
best work possible, no matter what the
constraints." I know that all of you share
the appreciation for James Walker's life and
work, and the sympathies going from SEJ to
his colleagues and family.
Andrew Weegar, d.
April 19, 2005
By Frank Edward Allen, President
and Executive Director, and Paul Rogers,
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Institutes for
Journalism & Natural Resources
Dear Friends of IJNR,
It is our sorrowful duty to inform
you that Andrew Weegar died in a tractor
accident on April 19 while working on his
farm in Fayette, Maine. He was 41.
Andrew shared enormous gifts of
practical wisdom and profound inspiration
with hundreds of people who participated
along with him in 24 of IJNR's 28 expeditions
and in various other activities, beginning
with his first High Country Institute journey
in Montana in 1997. He was widely respected
for his knowledge and skills — as a
naturalist, woodsman, fisherman, canoe
builder, river guide, farmer, land steward,
teacher and writer. He was also beloved for
his keen sense of history, magnanimous
spirit, cheerful disposition, delightful
sense of humor and highly developed ability
to spin tall tales.
As an associate director of IJNR,
Andrew conceived, shaped, scouted and led
several of the organization's most successful
learning programs, including the Acadian
Institute (Maine and New Brunswick), the Low
Country Institute (coastal Georgia and South
Carolina) and the Klamath Country Institute
(southern Oregon and northern
Prior to joining IJNR, Andrew
gathered and wrote in-depth stories about
natural resources and rural communities for
the Maine Times, one of America's
oldest alternative weeklies. A native and
life-long resident of Maine, he left his home
state briefly to earn a bachelor's degree in
Slavic languages from Hampshire College and a
divinity master's degree from Harvard
University. He always spoke up in defense of
songbirds and salamanders, and he found
contentment in crafting Federalist-period
furniture from local hardwoods. Andrew is
survived by his parents, his widow Abby
Holman and their six-year-old daughter
IJNR's staff, board members and
friends will miss Andrew deeply. He was an
integral part of the IJNR family. We are all
stunned and saddened by his tragic death. We
will never forget Andrew or his durable
contributions to our organization and to the
improvement of journalism.
In lieu of flowers, the family
requests that contributions be made to help
establish the Molly Weegar College Fund. IJNR
is assisting with the collection of donations
to this fund. Checks (payable to Molly Weegar
College Fund) may be sent to Maggie Allen,
Institutes for Journalism & Natural
Resources, 121 Hickory Street, Suite 2,
Missoula, MT 59801. For further information,
please contact Maggie, (406)
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