How Graham cam to write for the Reader:
As dementia began to take my mom, she confided that her big brother wanted to be a journalist when he came home from the war. Instead, he was killed in the Battle of the Bulge and never got to see a byline.
I helped her assemble a story for the Reader and she was delighted. She and I wrote stories for the Reader until she no longer enjoyed the bylines.
I stayed on.
Graham's favorite stories she wrote for the Reader:
- There should be a sign, I say to myself every time I park at the end of Monument Road to go hike the Tijuana River Valley. Like the “welcome to our habitat” signs for rattlesnakes and the mountain lions and on the beach where endangered birds breed. But this sign should say: “You are entering a border enforcement area.” (April 9, 2015)
- A respected though sometimes controversial crew of shark researchers who wanted to use a dead whale to chum great white sharks for tagging discover they won’t be allowed to, because another shark-protection group triggered severe limits on tagging by trying to get white sharks on the state endangered-species list. (July 9, 2014)
- San Diego fireman Ed Cormode knows a lot about burrowing owls — as do the other firefighters who work out of Station 43, at the east end of the Brown Field airport. They have a telescope they set up just to watch the small, leggy owls pop in and out of squirrel burrows north of the fire station. (May 2, 2016)
- Though they have been deconstructed into enormous puzzle pieces and are partly wrapped in tarps with the windows boarded up, the two stucco houses on the back lot at the city's Chollas Operations Center remain distinctively handsome. (Sept. 20, 2016)
- Since September 15th — the record-setting rainy Tuesday when San Diegans were crashing cars at three times normal rate — the CILA pump station has been offline, allowing an estimated 12,000 liters per second of rainwater, urban runoff, and raw sewage to flow through the Tijuana River channel, into the U.S. ( Sept. 18, 2015)
- As dangerous as Highway 67 is for drivers, it is even trickier for the wildlife that live in the rich habitat on either side, so when Caltrans looked at placing barriers down the middle for vehicle safety, the agency started talking with Dr. Megan Jennings. (July 17, 2015)
- The only high point on the coast between Monument Mesa at the border and Point Loma is about to come down. But it won't be easy, says Jim Nible, the U.S. Navy contractor in charge of site safety. "There's a 6-foot slab of concrete under about 10 feet of dirt and then 10 more feet of dirt and then 16 feet of concrete." (Feb. 8, 2016)
- Since three local scientists studying golden eagles started trying to catch the birds in October — to swab them for DNA and pathogens and release them with a GPS transmitter attached — they've gone through 6800 pounds of bait meat. ( Jan. 15, 2015)
- While local, national and international media delighted in the cross-border marriage through the open border gate at Friendship Park last month, federal agents with the U.S. Border Patrol were less than delighted. ( Dec. 17, 2017)
- (Wrote this with my mom, Lucy D. Barker)
- The Tijuana River Valley rancher sits in his truck, off a side road to a backroad north of Monument Road, a mile from the border and a mile from the ocean. He's been here 24 years, he says, in a cluster of small ranches with chickens and horses. ( Sept. 6, 2013)
- The State Legislature has earmarked $5.9 million for a road to the southwest corner of the United States, where the Pacific Ocean meets the border between Mexico and the U.S., Border Field State Park and county officials say. But it won't be done any time soon, according to Tijuana National Estuary Research Reserve Refuge manager Chris Peregrin, who is a state parks employee. ( Aug. 7, 2015)