Letters: Winter 2010
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: February 1, 2010

Vermicomposting: bad idea

Aloha ha hoa. In your spring 2009 issue, I was dismayed to read "Growing Green Ideas" which states, "a knowledgeable student will teach the basics of vermicomposting to several faculty and a group of students" with the intention of spreading this practice on a geometric scale. It is now widely appreciated by forestry soils experts that earthworms, while wonderful at cycling nutrients in rich garden soils, could colonize to and rapidly degrade the rather thin soils of temperate and tropical forests.

Michael M. Kliks '65
Honolulu, Hawaii

More on photographer Dorothea Lange

Looking at the beautiful photograph on the cover of the fall 2009 Portland State Magazine, I can understand why you chose it. My publisher chose the same photo for the cover of my book, Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field, University of Chicago Press, 2008. I made many trips to Oregon to locate and photograph the people and places in Lange's 1939 photos, a story that is told in the last chapter of my book.

Anne Whiston Spirn
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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