An article in the January issue (page 16) says Toronto is one of 14 cities that lead the way for green infrastructure in the United States. Did I sleep through Ontario becoming the 51st state?

— Robert Moorhead, Olympia, Wash.


Chicago is racially diverse: White make up 45% of the population per the 2010 census, followed by Blacks at 33% and Hispanics representing another large percentage. But the construction workers shown in “Building a 100-year bridge” (January 2012, page 57) are Caucasian.

Do Blacks and Hispanics not work in construction? Or could this reflect some sort of unintended bias? It seems unlikely that crews were entirely one “color” of people.

By the way, I'm Caucasian

— Edith Duttlinger
Senior Planner, Community & Economic Development Department
Mountlake Terrace, Wash.

Author and photographer Joe Nasvik responds:

As you no doubt know, government work requires contractors to use a certain percentage of minorities; and this project was no different. Several races were involved. Several women, too, including the owner of the subcontracted concrete pumping company.

When I write, I look for images that illustrate the points I'm trying to make. My focus is on the activity, not the person doing the job.

I took several hundred photos of this project, but for whatever reason only two non-whites were pictured in the article.