Family

Transportation

Aging boomers who can’t drive will be trapped in unwalkable cities of their own making

Judging by how pedestrian-unfriendly the average American city has become, all our aging parents apparently enjoy being prisoners in their own homes.

Living

Kids’ books that take the SCARY out of science

Science writer Michelle Nijhuis goes in search of books that will inspire her toddler to think of science as a world of possibilities, not a frightening place where intimidating grown-ups have all the answers.

Family

Birth control still one of Obama’s best environmental policies

The Obama administration is expected to propose a birth-control compromise today for Catholic-run institutions that don’t want to pay for their employees to avoid pregnancy. New federal rules guarantee free contraception coverage, but a narrow exception already exists for Catholic churches that don’t believe in not having babies. The compromise would still allow women to access contraception but would not make objecting employers pay for it directly. Update: Here’s a fact sheet with details about the compromise. The upshot: Religious employers aren’t required to pay for birth control, but if they don’t cover it, the woman’s insurance company has to …

Biking

Look, Dad! No hands! The travails of teaching kids to bike in the city

What’s a bike-loving helicopter parent to do with kids in the urban jungle? Here are six things that will help keep your free-wheeling young’uns out of harm’s way.

Urban Agriculture

New Agtivist: Adam Berman, faith-based urban farmer

Meet the founder of Urban Adamah, a one-acre urban farm in Berkeley and a fellowship for young people that integrates organic farming, social justice, and progressive Jewish spiritual practice.

Transportation

Your stroller wheels, on the bus

Ever try to maneuver a baby stroller onto a bus, along with a diaper bag, toys, blanket, groceries -- oh, and your little bundle of joy? It’s not easy. Here’s one mom’s story -- and some suggestions for making transit more family-friendly.

Biking

Merry Bikesmas: A 1970s Schwinn livens up a family holiday

Photo: Joe Penniston This year, as we have in years past, my wife and I packed up the kids and flew across the country to spend the holidays with her family in suburban Baltimore. Christmas at the Thomas house is always a festive affair: crab soup, wine by the bottleful, quality time with grandma and grandpa and sundry cousins. And for my benefit, they keep the Barry Manilow Christmas tunes to a minimum. (Sincere thanks for that, guys.) There’s just one problem: Put me in the ‘burbs for more than about 48 hours and I go completely batshit. I’m not …

Living

What can trick-or-treaters tell you about the health of your neighborhood?

When my brother and I were little, around this time of year we loved to watch The Halloween Tree, an animated feature based on a Ray Bradbury book of the same name. The movie opens with Bradbury himself narrating: It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state. There wasn’t so much wilderness around that you couldn’t see the town. On the other hand, there wasn’t so much town around that you couldn’t see and feel and touch the wilderness. The town was full of fences to …

Mom could be arrested for letting her kid bike to school

There are a few factors that make it tricky for kids to bike or walk alone: Bad drivers who face insufficient consequences, lack of sidewalks and protected bike lanes, too few crosswalks. We COULD improve biking and walking infrastructure, and have cops actually crack down on illegal driving maneuvers. But that's hard! Instead, let's just arrest everybody who doesn't drive their kids to school. That appears to be the approach in Elizabethton, Tenn., where Teresa Tryon has been threatened with arrest if she keeps letting her daughter bike to school on her own.

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