Staff writer at The Atlantic. I focus on ways people and cities are adapting to the new economy. Former LAT reporter. Boston native. alana@theatlantic.com.

$350 Million Might Not Be Enough to Save Las Vegas

finance.yahoo.com — LAS VEGAS-There's been a lot of hubbub about the effort tech whiz Tony Hsieh and his crack team of acolytes have put into revitalizing downtown Las Vegas. In case you missed it, Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, in January 2012 announced that he was putting $350 million into the Downtown Project, which would fund new businesses in an economically depressed part of the city seven miles north of the Las Vegas Strip.

$350 Million Might Not Be Enough to Save Las Vegas

theatlantic.com — LAS VEGAS-There's been a lot of hubbub about the effort tech whiz Tony Hsieh and his crack team of acolytes have put into revitalizing downtown Las Vegas. In case you missed it, Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, in January 2012 announced that he was putting $350 million into the Downtown Project, which would fund new businesses in an economically depressed part of the city seven miles north of the Las Vegas Strip.

Why Are People Still Building Sprawl?

theatlantic.com — LAS VEGAS-A decade ago, home builders put up thousands of new spacious stucco homes in the desert here, with marble countertops, ample square footage, and walk-in kitchen cupboards. Then the recession hit, the values of these homes plummeted, and economists talked of the overbuilding of Las Vegas.

A Better Way to Help the Long-Term Unemployed

nationaljournal.com — LAS VEGAS-Long-term unemployment was a phrase you heard a lot about during the recession. Numerous studies showed that people who were out of work for long periods of time had a hard time finding a new job-and keeping it. And about one-third of those unemployed workers eventually gave up and stopped looking for work, studies suggested.

Can Labor Survive the Nevada GOP?

theatlantic.com — LAS VEGAS-Only a few short weeks after Republicans took control of both branches of the state legislature and the Governor's mansion here for the first time since 1929, GOP leaders aimed their new strength at Nevada's powerful labor unions.

Is ending segregation key to ending poverty?

money.cnn.com — She made sure to provide her three children with every opportunity she could, taking them to ballet lessons, after-school academic programs, plays and activities around the city, encouraging them to work hard at school and stay away from drugs. But the specter of violence and poverty was hard to escape.

Where Have All the Construction Workers Gone?

theatlantic.com — LAS VEGAS-The buzz and hammering of construction has returned to this city, which was especially hard hit by the housing bust. The construction workers, however, have not. At the peak of the boom, Nevada employed 146,000 construction workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Better Way to Help the Long-Term Unemployed

theatlantic.com — LAS VEGAS-Long-term unemployment was a phrase you heard a lot about during the recession. Numerous studies showed that people who were out of work for long periods of time had a hard time finding a new job-and keeping it. And about one-third of those unemployed workers eventually gave up and stopped looking for work, studies suggested.

Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?

theatlantic.com — Like many mothers raising children in Chicago's housing projects in the 1990s and 2000s, Seitia Harris was afraid of the drugs and violence that were pervasive in the neighborhood where she lived, Altgeld Gardens on the city's South Side.

Florida Without Oranges

theatlantic.com — PLANT CITY, Fla.-More than a century ago, Martha Sue Hawkins' ancestors homesteaded on this flat land in central Florida. Her grandfather planted the first orange groves in the 1900s, and then her father added more trees as Americans started getting used to the idea of orange juice on their breakfast tables.
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Mar 04, 2015

I've recently been seeing lots of people with those kinda ugly Canada Goose coats walking around. AdWeek explains why.adweek.it/1DARYhC

Mar 03, 2015

Do the Koch brothers really "just want to help people," at least on criminal justice reform? @mollyesque reports. theatln.tc/1NcL7TA

Mar 02, 2015

Cool LAT interactive shows how much a longshoreman makes depending on expertise and shifts; they often make $100k. fw.to/8IfH8mG

Mar 02, 2015

Sounds like a bad joke Q: How long does it take two full-time engineers to fix an escalator at Penn Station? A: WAY TOO LONG. @AndrewTangel

Mar 02, 2015

RT @AndrewTangel: This is a story about a broken escalator at NY Penn Station on.wsj.com/1AtyBVC (dedicated to stair-hater @AlanaSemuels )

Mar 02, 2015

Just how much money does it take to revitalize a downtown and jumpstart an industry? My piece from Vegas. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Feb 26, 2015

Universal pre-K? 41% of new pre-K spots created in NYC are in most affluent zip codes; just 30% are in poorest. theatlantic.com/education/arch…

Feb 25, 2015

Sobering and in-depth article up on the Atlantic today, about rape in the American prison system. theatlantic.com/features/archi…

Feb 25, 2015

RT @shelbygrad: Young people talk about loving urban walkability. But for home buyers, suburbia is still king. theatlantic.com/business/archi… good @AlanaSemuels

Feb 24, 2015

Many in the US want sustainable development, but builders are putting up more and more big homes. cc: @SmartGrowthUSA theatlantic.com/business/archi…

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