[Officials in Mendocino County, California] have calculated the sheriff's department will be losing more than a half-million dollars in revenue after the Board of Supervisors voted last week to end the program of issuing permits to cannabis collectives.The permits allowed the collectives to grow up to 99 plants at a time, but also required deputies to conduct monthly inspections.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Pulling out all the stops to save a rural school (Part VII): Isolated school petitions state Board of Education
Thursday, January 26, 2012
CEDAW and Rural Development: Empowering Women with Law from the Top Down, Activism from the Bottom Up
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The cost of constructing the new Newton County Jail went up $250,000 and uses the maximum amount of money the county has available for the new facility. The quorum court released the funds Tuesday, Jan 3, at is regular monthly meeting.
In other news, the Dec. 21, 2011 issue of the Newton County Times reported that the County's Quorum Court had adopted an ordinance setting the general operating budget and the separate county road budget for 2012. The general operating budget for all county offices is $1,451,745, about $10,000 higher than the prior year. The county road budget "appropriates $1,101,643.20 for maintenance and construction of county roads." It includes a $500,000 appropriation "into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Account dedicated to maintenance and construction of country roads." At this meeting, members of the Quorum Court "authorized [county elected] officials to give employees in their respective offices a $100 Christmas bonus."
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
In Greece, as elsewhere in the Mediterranean, most families have traditionally invested heavily in real estate and land, which are seen as farm more stable than financial investments, and it is common for even low-income Greeks to have inherited family property.
In big cities, there's no future for ... young people, the only choice is for them to go to the countryside or to go abroad.
Monday, January 23, 2012
In rural counties, 9.3 percent of total personal income came from Social Security payments in 2009, according to an analysis of government data. That is almost twice the rate found in urban counties, where 5 percent of total income came from monthly Social Security payments.In counties with small cities (under 50,000 population), Social Security is also a larger part of the local economy. In these so-called 'micropolitan' counties, Social Security accounted for 8.2 percent of total personal income.Nationally, Social Security makes up 5.5 percent of total personal income.
In West Virginia, 24 percent of the total population receives a monthly check from Social Security. In Washington, D.C.--where decisions are made about this program--only 12 percent of the population are Social Security recipients.
- Over 90 percent of counties in America with high senior populations are rural.
- 13 percent of rural seniors live in poverty, compared with 9 percent of metropolitan seniors.
- 15 percent of rural women over aged 60 are poor compared to 11 percent of men.
- 80 percent of rural seniors over aged 85 with incomes of less than $10,000 are women.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Increasing inequality of wealth and income in the United States is a symptom of a deeper problem of increasingly concentrated power wielded by distant actors with no sense of commitment to place. Corporate consolidation and the federal government's commitment to the fetish of free trade have created an economic system disembedded from social life as lived by most citizens. The twin processes of consolidation and separation threaten the social contract upon which our society is based. This contemporary legitimacy crisis has spawned a curious ideological consensus between Tea Party advocates and Progressives who share a common fear of the big and distant.Inequalities exist within and between communities and regions, and of course between nations. Everywhere we simultaneously see conspicuous displays of wealth and landscapes of despair. Over the past half century and more, rural sociologists have chronicled the steady decline experienced by many parts of rural America due to decisions made far away in corporate boardrooms and legislative bodies. Parallel changes have affected urban industrial centers through government acquiescence to or even encouragement of corporate disinvestment.Reform of this economic system is made difficult by the mutual dependence that big corporations and big government have upon each other.Resistance to distant forces is increasingly visible as each neighborhood fights a big box development, as each community invests in a local food system, and each time a group of citizens bands together to fight threats to environmental and public health which governments are happy to permit as the price of economic growth. Higher energy prices and technological developments are likely to create new opportunities to build local economies around local needs and resources.The movement towards localism is inspired by the idea that the economy is something we participate in, not something that is done to us.In this conference, we encourage participants to explore the potential that localism has to create vibrant economies that offer not only a market alternative but a values-alternative to our contemporary economic system.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Aspen's 1 percent is very different from Akron's. In some areas there are so many 1 per centers that the whole income hierarchy can shift. It can take $380,000 to be in the national 1 percent, but it takes $900,000 to be among the top 1 percent of earners in Stamford, Conn. Compared with that, the price of admission to the 1 percent in Clarksville, Tenn., is a bargain at $200,000.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
How’s that for a sensational headline? I would take the credit for the creativity, but these are not my words. These are the words of Stephen Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa in an article that he published in The Atlantic in December.
Bloom, a New Jersey native, reflects on the twenty years he has spent as an Iowa resident in an attempt to educate readers about the state as the Iowa Caucuses approach. Page three of the article focuses on rural Iowa. Bloom brings the idealistic and mythical view that he claims that outsiders have of Iowa- the one where:
The fairytale rendering is pastoral and bucolic; sandy-haired children romping through fecund, shoulder-high corn with Lassie at their side. It's Field of Dreams meets Carousel with The Waltons thrown in for good measure. The ruddy, wooden Bridges of Madison County (where John Wayne was born) may be in the background as the camera pans wide.
Bloom spends the next several paragraphs with a harsh rebut to this myth. He cites a faltering economy, loss of jobs, and a surge of undocumented immigrants being mistreated while working dangerous factory jobs as characteristic of rural Iowa. While many of these points appear to be well-taken, he seems to go pretty extreme when describing the inhabitants of rural Iowa:
Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that "The sun'll come out tomorrow.”
The article, particularly the description of the inhabitants of rural Iowa, has unsurprisingly offended many Iowans. Bloom, who is a visiting professor at the University of Michigan this year, has reportedly received many threats and fears for the safety of his family. The reaction hasn’t been limited to angry citizens and commenters, - many of his peers in Iowa have been blasting Bloom as well.
Bloom certainly has the right to his opinion, but one can’t help but point out the irony in Bloom’s attempt to dispel one stereotypical view of rural life (the idealistic version of “the country”) while promoting another (residents are all lazy, drug-addict, white-trash wastes of space). It is terrible if Bloom’s family is receiving threats, but at the same time, he might have realized that people would be highly offended by those remarks.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
You’ve got a president of the United States … from Chicago, you’ve got a director for secretary of Labor who’s pushing this from Los Angeles, and you have to think to yourself, do you have any idea what it’s like not just to run an agricultural business in a rural state … but to raise a family in one?
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The tanker is slogging through sea ice behind a Coast Guard icebreaker, trying to bring not medicine but another commodity increasingly precious in remote parts of Alaska: fuel, 1.3 million gallons of emergency gasoline and diesel to heat snow-cloaked homes and power the growing number of trucks, sport utility vehicles, and snow machines that have long since replaced dogsleds.For the moment, this latest tale appears less likely to produce a warm children's book than an embarrassing memo, and maybe a few lawsuits, about how it all could have been avoided
Why should we be treated any differently than the Lower 48? ... We keep saying we are an Arctic nation.