When Trash Is a Journalist’s Treasure

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. Talk about your plenty and talk about your ills, One man gathers what another man spills — “St. Stephen,” The Grateful Dead Around two years ago, a reporter who had just joined The Times, Sheera Frenkel, told me she had heard that trash pickers in San Francisco were congregating at the dumpsters of tech companies because the food they threw away was high quality. I was intrigued by this and…

Can America Still Build Big? A California Rail Project Raises Doubts

FRESNO, Calif. — In a neighborhood littered with derelict warehouses, Miguel Arias pointed to a wide strip of dirt where California’s high-speed rail, one of America’s most ambitious and divisive infrastructure projects, has been taking shape. The son of Mexican farmworkers and a newly elected member to the City Council in this sprawling Central Valley city, Mr. Arias is hoping the train will deliver to Fresno the California dream that long ago bypassed the impoverished region. “We’ve been feeding the nation for decades and now we have a chance to…