California Watch asked me to write a follow-up article about some of the families I talked to for this piece. Their stories had been squeezed out under the restrictions of newspaper writing. You can read about them here. In writing it, I passed a draft by "Steve" to make sure I didn't reveal anything that would hurt his family (it's usually frowned upon to show a source the story - but this was a small piece, purely about the emotions). He called me in response and left a message that reduced me to tears right there at the keyboard. He gave me permission to post it and you can hear it on the California Watch site.
I think this news is finally hitting home. The piece ran on the front page of half a dozen major California newspapers, and on public radio's California Report. KCBS, the talk show Forum, and KALW asked me about it. Dozens of other outlets and scores of blogs reported on the story.