3 Good Things: A bold grad, a forest on the mend and urban veggies

Karlotta Freier / For The Times

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number one

Let’s hear it for Gen Z

Growing up gay in a straight world can make a person resourceful and resilient, and 18-year-old Zander Moricz of Osprey, Fla., certainly seems to be. He was senior class president and was scheduled to speak at graduation earlier this month, and he says the school told him not to discuss the state’s “don’t say gay” law or his own experience being gay. So he didn’t (technically). He talked about his hair (sort of). “I used to hate my curls,” he told the crowd. “I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying desperately to straighten this part of who I am. But the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to do. So while having curly hair in Florida is difficult, due to the humidity, I decided to be proud of who I was and started coming to school as my authentic self.” He goes on, with more inspiring points and more laughs. Clever, charming, unstoppable: This is the kind of Floridian who gives us hope the state can pull out of its political nosedive and reverse its hateful laws.


number two

Big Basin’s back

California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods, will reopen to the public in July after being closed for two years to recover from a wildfire. The state has taken the opportunity to build back better after losing many trees and historic buildings. To restore the peace of the forest and reduce fire risk, the new campgrounds and visitor center are farther from the towering redwoods at the heart of the park than the originals were. Admission will be by reservation, to protect the new landscapes from a surge of traffic. Enjoy.

number three

Farm to market

A bit closer to home for Angelenos is the Los Angeles State Historic Park, where a new farmers’ market opened last week and will continue every Thursday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. You’ll find the L.A. River Farmers’ Market near Spring Street and College Street, by Metro’s Chinatown Gold Line station. The market will accept SNAP/CalFresh and WIC, and there’s even a program to match SNAP dollars to subsidize the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.

And one more ...

Are you going anywhere this summer? I hope so. One of the great joys of travel is the anticipation, and I tend to prepack, pack, unpack, repack.... So I’m always curious what earns a place in others’ bags. Lifehacker has a list of 10 must-haves for the carry-on. If you’re a parent of a young child, you have other priorities for the finite volume you can cram under the seat in front of you. I always carry a handful of colored pencils (in a zippered pencil case) and a slim coloring book. It’s handy in the back seat on a long drive or on a flight, and adults can get in on the coloring too. It’s grounding and gives your eyes a break from screen time.