The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Keegan Hamilton, Mike Maciag, Brian Goldstone, Nick Heil, and Megan Reynolds.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Keegan Hamilton, Mike Maciag, Brian Goldstone, Nick Heil, and Megan Reynolds.

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1. From ‘The Alcatraz of the Rockies’ to the Streets

Keegan Hamilton | Vice Magazine | August 28, 2019 | 44 minutes (11,047 words)

Warning: this story contains detailed descriptions of self-harm.

“It’s unconscionable to put someone with serious mental illness into a segregation cell for 23 hours a day and let their demons chase them around…”

2. Addicted to Fines

Mike Maciag | Governing | September 1, 2019 | 16 minutes (4,050 words)

Governing, a national magazine and media platform devoted to policy, politics, and management in state and local government, is shutting down this week after nearly 33 years of public-sector reporting. For its final cover story, data editor Mike Maciag digs into the cities, towns, and counties nationwide that over-rely on fines and fees to fund local budgets. These sources of revenue have been increasing steadily in areas where the prospect of raising taxes poses political challenges, but ballooning fines are quickly becoming unsustainable as they threaten the long-term stability of local governments and incentivize conflicts of interest between public servants and their communities.

3. The New American Homeless

Brian Goldstone | The New Republic | August 21, 2019 | 28 minutes (7,102 words)

Tenant protections are not sufficient to keep renters housed in cities marked by gentrification and rising rents. This is the story of one displaced Atlanta family, stuck between the harsh reality of homelessness, and agencies’ competing definitions of their predicament.

4. The Tragedy on Howse Peak

Nick Heil | Outside | August 28, 2019 | 21 minutes (5,286 words)

In April, celebrated alpinists alpinists David Lama, Jess Roskelley, and Hansjörg Auer died in an avalanche on Mount Howse — a terrible and unpredictable but known risk of the sport. How do participants in a sport where death is a semi-regular occurrence cope?

5. The Last Popeyes Chicken Sandwich in America

Megan Reynolds | Jezebel | August 28, 2019 | 8 minutes (2,104 words)

Megan Reynolds tries the much ballyhooed (and at least temporarily unavailable) Popeye’s chicken sandwich and considers the minimum-wage workers exploited in responding to the frenzy for it, along with other problematic aspects of its popularity among bougie foodies.