David Holtzman

David Holtzman
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David Holtzman is a planner for Louisa County, Virginia, a freelance writer, and a former Shelterforce editor.
January 2013 calendar

8 New Year’s Resolutions (Wishes?) for the Places Where We Live

It’s almost New Year’s Day, and that means it’s time for everyone to write down their resolutions for 2013. I’d like to make resolutions...

News Flash: Rural Places and People are Becoming Irrelevant

The other day Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, got into the headlines with a speech in which he...

Sacred Places

What makes a place sacred? That was the question posed by a recent study that involved a group of East Texas residents. The...

The Rural/Red Take on Reality

Since few writers have mused so far on this blog about the results of last week's elections, I may as...

Thoughts on the Trailer

The trailer is the vilified and estranged cousin of the housing world. It's all but banned in many communities, for...

From Farm to Subdivision to Farm… or Forest

Soil is an important word in rural places, for many people's livelihoods have historically depended on it. From good soil comes vegetables, fruit, and...
bushel baskets of fresh peppers, potatoes, squash, eggplant

In Praise of Farmers’ Markets, Despite Flaws

I love the farmers' market in my county, not far from where I live. It has grown into a lively gathering place on Saturday...

Looking At Once Inward and Outward

A couple weeks ago close to 200 people came together at Twin Oaks, a commune in my home county of Louisa, Virginia, to discuss...

Underneath the Surface, a Community Fish Story

Sometimes I learn about the details of a community's development in the most random ways. My family gets together...

The American Dream of Nowhere

As I embarked on my journey the other day to a planning conference, I carried a dog-eared copy of James Kunstler's The Geography of...

Come for the Mortgage, Stay for the Repairs

The storm that swept through the mid Atlantic last Friday night brought me a reminder of a certain truth: We...

Those Who Lived Here Before Us

One question most of us probably don't ask when we're thinking of renting or buying a home is, who were the people who lived here...

The Choo-Choo and the Bus

My son, who is approaching 2 years of age, is obsessed with trains. And it's no wonder: every day as...

The Raw Extraction Economy

By now most people in urban America who pay attention to the news have heard of fracking, the practice of...

Preserving History with Neighborhood Character

Driving through Virginia's Hanover County the other day, I was struck by how much history has imprinted itself on the landscape. I drove by...

Take Me Home On (Sort Of) Country Roads

The other day at a meeting I heard some residents complaining that Virginia's transportation department won’t pave their road. I had to feel for...

Rural Food Deserts

I was introduced to the concept of the community garden on my street in Boston several years ago, on a site where a house...

Neighbors: Faraway, So Close!

“Why does everyone in the country live out in the middle of nowhere? It’s so inefficient!” This was the reaction of a friend of ours,...

The End of the Rural “Suburb”?

Photo by Janek B via Creative CommonsI read a recent column that suggested getting rid of the word “suburb.”...

Urban Over Here, Loss of Rural Freedom Over There

Photo of downtown Staunton, Virginia, by Dougstone cia Creative CommonsOn the national level, the Tea Party has been viewed by...