Rural Renewal Monitor



Rural group suggests school changes

Morris Sun Tribune | May 12, 2009 | By Don Davis

The report from the rural advocacy group also suggests that the state should boost funding for rural areas that face challenges because of distances needed to transport students.

Another key for rural schools is to find better ways to use technology: "Online professional learning communities should be established to help rural educators share best practices and reduce isolation, and online general subject or enrichment courses should be made available to isolated rural learners." Read more about Rural group suggests school changes

Rural America not ready for broadband? Hogwash, say ISPs

Rural fiber developers are fed up with the line that folks in the heartland aren't ready for broadband. They gave Ars an earful at a conference in Washington, D.C.

ars technica | May 10, 2009 | By Matthew Lasar

They came from across the country, invited by the Benton Foundation to extol the virtues of independent broadband at the National Press Club HQ in Washington, D.C. And a collegial bunch they were: crack developers from ISPs in Oregon, Vermont, and Minnesota, happy to talk up their achievements in building fiber and DSL networks for rural areas and small towns.

They all knew each other and seemed to be old pals, so Ars settled in for a pleasant afternoon of mutual self-congratulation. Then somebody from the audience spoke up.

"This is a question for the rural end of the table," he asked. "One of the studies that we see most frequently is one from Pew which contends that there isn't very much demand [for broadband] in rural areas, [which] is why it hasn't been built out." What did the panelists think of that?

A sore point had been raised, and suddenly the collegial smiles were gone.

"It clearly is a myth," declared Gary Evans of Hiawatha Broadband Communications, a rural ISP based in Minnesota. "We are not a low priced provider in any community that we serve, but we are a broadband provider." In one rural region, Evans noted, 60 percent of the population signed up with the company "before we put a shovel in the ground." Read more about Rural America not ready for broadband? Hogwash, say ISPs

Bucking the Downtrend: Lyons business 'very quietly' moves ahead

Omaha World-Herald | May 5, 2009 | By Juan Perez Jr.

LYONS, Neb. - While U.S. factory activity has plunged in the worst economic slowdown in recent memory, a homegrown business here is keeping ahead of the recession by finding new ways to grow.


Brehmer Manufacturing of Lyons, Neb., has become the largest manufacturing employer in Burt County. Here, Gayle Posvar, left, and Dan Tanksley check welds in an aluminum grain box under construction. Read more about Bucking the Downtrend: Lyons business 'very quietly' moves ahead

No town too small for tourism

Marketplace | May 4, 2009 | By Alex Schmidt

The town of Ord, Neb. may have a population of just 2,200, but the local convenience store is stocked with tourist brochures. Alex Schmidt explores how this and other small-community economies are pulling people back.

Related Links
Ord, Neb. Website

Visit Valley County, Neb.


 

  Read more about No town too small for tourism

Rural America, your WiMAX is waiting

As Broadband stimulus money nears availability, rural America will soon get a connectivity boost.

Betanews | April 27, 2009 | By Tim Conneally

Soon, funds from the 7.2 billion dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be available, with $2.5 billion going to fund rural broadband projects through the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS). This funding is intended to be used in the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities to provide broadband to unserved and underserved locations in the US.

The 2008 Farm Bill (1.5 MB PDF available here) defines eligible rural communities as any area other than a city, town, or unincorporated area with a population greater than 20,000 inhabitants, or a city, town or unincorporated area with fewer than 50,000.

For those of us living in areas served by fiber-to-the-home and 3G wireless, any venture outside of our coverage blanket feels like a journey into the past. But in truth, if you cover your eyes and point to a United States map, the odds are in favor of your finger hitting an underserved rural area where the adoption of new technology is hampered by its lagging infrastructure. Read more about Rural America, your WiMAX is waiting

Federal Formula Skews Against Rural Schools

Daily Yonder | April 21, 2009 | By Caitlin Howley

President Obama used the rural school district in Dillon, South Carolina, as an example of a place that could benefit from federal stimulus. He's right, but under current guidelines, rural school districts like Dillon are at a disadvantage.

Michelle Obama and SC student Charles Dharapak for AP Michelle Obama hugged Ty'Sheoma Bethea, a student in the Dillon, S.C., schools, before President Obama delivered an address on school funding there in February.

The new federal stimulus spending bill -- officially, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) -- provides an unprecedented, one-time infusion of education funding for states and schools.

Over $100 billion, $44 billion of which is now available, will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Education through a variety of existing and new programs. However, small rural districts may not benefit from this opportunity as much as their larger, urban counterparts —even if the rural districts serve needier student populations. Read more about Federal Formula Skews Against Rural Schools

Verizon promises 4G wireless for rural America

CNET News | April 1, 2009 | By Marguerite Reardon

LAS VEGAS--The new 4G wireless broadband network that Verizon Wireless plans to launch in 2010 could be rural America's answer to its broadband access prayers. But extending the network to every nook and cranny in the U.S. will likely take years.

Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Verizon Wireless, said during an interview at the CTIA Wireless 2009 tradeshow here Wednesday that the new 4G network that the company is building will blanket the entire continental United States, including the far corners of rural America.

"The licenses we bought in the 700MHz auction cover the whole U.S.," Melone said. "And we plan to roll out LTE throughout the entire country, including places where we don't offer our CDMA cell phone service today."

If Verizon makes good on this promise, it will be helping to bridge a widening gap between broadband haves and have-nots in this country. While Verizon Wireless' parent company Verizon Communications and other broadband providers have concentrated on building wireline broadband infrastructure in densely populated areas, such as cities and sprawling suburbs, they have not done a good job of extending that infrastructure to rural America. Read more about Verizon promises 4G wireless for rural America

Fine, they'll just publish the newspaper themselves

When a rural weekly in Colorado folds, volunteers step up to fill the void. 'It just beat the dickens out of sitting around whining,' one says.

Los Angeles Times | March 23, 2009 | By DeeDee Correll

Reporting from Carbondale, Colo. -- Though people sometimes complained about the Carbondale Valley Journal, its demise came as a blow after 34 years as the mountain town's only newspaper.

Residents felt its loss in the dearth of information about local life: births, deaths, proposed developments, high school sports scores.

A friend of Rebecca Young's died and there was no obituary. "I didn't hear of his death for a couple of weeks," she said. "I was so sad I wasn't at his service."

Young, who founded the newspaper in 1975 and ran it for five years before selling it, sent out an e-mail: Was anyone else upset? By the next day, she had 45 messages from people agreeing that something had to be done.

So Young and six other residents started a new newspaper, the Sopris Sun, run as a nonprofit and staffed mostly by volunteers. The free weekly is named after a snow-capped peak towering over the Roaring Fork Valley. Read more about Fine, they'll just publish the newspaper themselves

Sociologists probing Neb. rise in self-employment

Forbes magazine | March 22, 2009 | By Jean Ortiz

A University of Nebraska sociologist says the state's waning rural population is changing the way people do business.

Randy Cantrell, with the university's Rural Initiative, says in most rural counties, between 18 percent and 30 percent or more of jobs are now due to self-employment. And, that accounts for virtually all job growth in rural areas.

Cantrell believes the popularity of self-employment is on the rise. Read more about Sociologists probing Neb. rise in self-employment

Some Rich Districts Get Richer as Aid Is Rushed to Schools

Students in Evanston, Wyo., part of a district where federal money is viewed as a windfall. | Photo by George Frey for The New York Times
Students in Evanston, Wyo., part of a district where federal money is viewed as a windfall. | Photo by George Frey for The New York Times

RANDOLPH, Utah — Dale Lamborn, the superintendent of a somewhat threadbare rural school district, feels the pain of Utah’s economic crisis every day as he tinkers with his shrinking budget, struggling to avoid laying off teachers or cutting classes like welding or calculus.

Just across the border in Wyoming, a state awash in oil and gas money, James Bailey runs a wealthier district. It has a new elementary school and gives every child an Apple laptop.

But under the Obama administration’s education stimulus package, Mr. Lamborn, who needs every penny he can get, will receive hundreds of dollars less per student than will Dr. Bailey, who says he does not need the extra money.

“For us, this is just a windfall,” Dr. Bailey said.

In pouring rivers of cash into states and school districts, Washington is using a tangle of well-worn federal formulas, some of which benefit states that spend more per pupil, while others help states with large concentrations of poor students or simply channel money based on population. Combined, the formulas seem to take little account of who needs the money most. Read more about Some Rich Districts Get Richer as Aid Is Rushed to Schools

Small towns fear losing share of stimulus money

Business Week | March 16, 2009 | By Heather Clark

The city of Albuquerque is going after federal economic stimulus funds in a big way by creating 10 teams to research various funding streams and apply for grants.

But for New Mexico's smaller cities, figuring out how to get money from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is overwhelming. Officials from smaller towns worry they may be unable to compete with larger cities for their share of the federal money, even though their needs may be just as dire as those of their larger neighbors.

"I feel that we're at an unfair disadvantage because I can't put a staff of 10 on to go out there and see what we can qualify for," Silver City Manager Alex Brown said.

Gov. Bill Richardson and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said at a news conference last week rural communities need help to get their share of the federal money.

"Some rural communities, they don't have the staff and the expertise, in some cases, to make some of these submissions" required to apply for stimulus money, Richardson said. Read more about Small towns fear losing share of stimulus money

Petersburg community rallying to keep grocery store in business

A shopper at the Rae Valley Market in Petersburg.The Grand Island Independent | March 7, 2009 | By Mark Coddington

PETERSBURG — Larry Temme has poured himself into the Rae Valley Market in Petersburg since buying the tiny grocery store 17 months ago.

But now, he’s about to reach his breaking point. Without any drastic changes, he doesn’t see the store making it to the end of the year.

“I’m basically working for nothing and losing money at it,” Temme said.

Temme’s story might sound similar to those of many small-town business owners, especially during an economic downturn.

But when the business is a grocery store that has been on Main Street for 122 years and the town has just 340 people, the issue goes a lot deeper than one family.
Read more about Petersburg community rallying to keep grocery store in business

Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own

New York Times |March 13, 2009 | By Matt Richtel and Jenna Wortham

SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Andon, 24, a graduate of Duke University in biology, was laid off from a biotech company last May. For months he sought new work. Then, frustrated with the hunt, he turned to jellyfish.

In an apartment he shares here with six roommates, Mr. Andon started a business in September building jellyfish aquariums, capitalizing on new technology that helps the fragile creatures survive in captivity. He has sold three tanks, one for $25,000 to a restaurant, and is starting a Web site to sell desktop versions for $350.

“I keep getting stung,” he said. And his crowded home office is filled with beakers and test tubes of jellyfish food. “But it beats looking for work. I hate looking for work.”

Plenty of other laid-off workers across the country, burned out by a merciless job market, are building business plans instead of sending out résumés. For these people, recession has become the mother of invention.

Economists say that when the economy takes a dive, it is common for people to turn to their inner entrepreneur to try to make their own work. But they say that it takes months for that mentality to sink in, and that this is about the time in the economic cycle when it really starts to happen — when the formerly employed realize that traditional job searches are not working, and that they are running out of time and money. Read more about Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own

Economic crisis threatens small, rural schools

Associate Press | March 14, 2009 | By Terence Chea

    NAPA, Calif. (AP) — In this rustic corner of California wine country, parents are fighting to prevent the closure of a one-classroom school established before the Civil War.

    Near Las Vegas, families are trying to rescue two elementary schools with dwindling enrollment. And in a rural area outside San Diego, a 60-year-old schoolhouse closed because it had just seven students.

    Rural schools such as these are being threatened as the economy forces deep cuts to education. Districts nationwide are preparing to shut down many campuses, and small, isolated schools are vulnerable because they serve fewer students and cost more per pupil to operate than larger schools.

    "All over this country, the pressure is on to close rural schools," said Marty Strange, policy director of the nonprofit Rural School and Community Trust in Arlington, Va. "They are a target in these hard economic times." Read more about Economic crisis threatens small, rural schools

When Banks Say No, Microlenders Say Yes

New York Times | March 12, 2009 | by Elizabeth Olson

WHEN banks say no, owners of cash-starved small-businesses aren't giving up on finding loans. Many are turning to microlenders for the money they need to meet the payroll, buy supplies, pay the rent and keep the lights and heat on.

These microlenders — community-based nonprofit lenders that draw on a varying mix of financing from the Small Business Administration; other federal, state and local government agencies; and some philanthropies — say small businesses and entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking financing as home equity loans, credit lines and other loans have all but evaporated.

Adding to the pinch, credit card companies are slashing spending limits for many cardholders, including some longtime small-business customers who have relied on their credit lines as a source of ready cash.

Even profitable small businesses that once relied on banks for financing are depending more on microlending, a resource that was originally intended to be a lifeline for women, low-income and minority entrepreneurs. Read more about When Banks Say No, Microlenders Say Yes

Saving the Barns, Before They Vanish

New York Times | March 8, 2009 | by Wendy Carlson

UNTIL recently, Samuel Averill never gave much thought to the historic significance of the weather-beaten dairy barn he keeps crammed with apple crates and farm machinery for his orchard.

Barns were part and parcel of the rural landscape when Mr. Averill, 62, was growing up. But now, the faded structures — with collapsing cupolas, tilting eaves and sagging rooflines — are fast disappearing, despite the outcry of preservationists.

“We’re losing our barns by the droves,” said Todd Levine, an architectural historian for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and the administrator of the Historic Barns of Connecticut grant project.

Many tumbled down because of decay, or were torn down for new development. Others were simply too costly to maintain. And, as agriculture declined, barns no longer served a purpose.

No one knows how many barns have been lost. Thomas Durant Visser, author of “Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings,” found that 25 percent of the structures he photographed for his 1997 book are no longer standing more than a decade later. Read more about Saving the Barns, Before They Vanish

Applying Peace Corps Ideas To Hometown In Need

NPR, Morning Edition | March 3, 2009 | By Pam Fessler

With every disaster comes opportunity: That's what two young men from Wilmington, Ohio, thought when they saw the economic devastation in their hometown, where thousands have lost their jobs.

Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert decided to put aside work in the Peace Corps to see what they could do to help fix their own community — and they hatched a plan to start an environmentally friendly project that they hope will put hundreds back to work.

The two are as surprised as anyone to find themselves back in Wilmington, a rural community southeast of Dayton. When they graduated from the local high school in 2003, they couldn't get out fast enough.

"If you asked me six months ago if I would want to live in Wilmington, Ohio, if it meant that I got to work closely with the community, be around my family, you know, earn nothing, when I had a really high-paying job in New York, I would say, no, absolutely not," says Stuckert. Read more about Applying Peace Corps Ideas To Hometown In Need

How to Work Remotely, From Very Rural Locations

Fast Company | January 22, 2009 | By FC Expert Blogger Aliza Sherman
This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert's views alone.

Aliza Sherman, co-owner of Conversify, a social media marketing company, founded the first woman-owned, full-service Internet company -- Cybergrrl, Inc, back in 1995.She also founded Webgrrls International, the first women's Internet networking group that grew to over 100 chapters worldwide in its first year. Today, she's a social media expert, a pro-blogger, and one of the women on Fast Company's list of "The Most Influential Women In Technology: The Bloggers." Here, Sherman shares 4 tips on how to stay in the social media and blogging game while working -- and living -- in a remote location.

I recently moved to Tok, Alaska. Where, you ask? Tok, about 80 miles from the border of Canada along the Alaska Highway.

There are many things I'm facing here in Tok that remind me of the days I was living -- and working -- in an old RV while driving around the road for over a year. Getting high speed Internet, for example, is a challenge here.

I've put together some tips for doing business from very remote places based on my experience working in Alaska and in some less populated parts of Wyoming. You may not be moving to remote places, but some of these tips can also work for road warriors who travel to less connected places. Read more about How to Work Remotely, From Very Rural Locations

Can Wind Power a Rural Renaissance?

Fast Company | Jan 15, 2009 | By Melanie Warner

Jon Bergstrom, a cotton and hay farmer in Sweetwater, Texas (population 10,472), looks outside his window every day and feels grateful. The giant white towers spinning on the near horizon have everything to do with it. Sweetwater is in Nolan County, which boasts more wind turbines than any other U.S. county. Its 1,253 turbines produce a total of 2,000 megawatts of electricity per year at peak. (Coal-fired power plants average 603 megawatts.)

Before clean, renewable wind energy came to Sweetwater, it was best known for its rattlesnake roundup, held every year since 1958 on the second weekend in March. Rattlesnakes may have put Sweetwater on the map, but wind is keeping it there, giving the town the sort of solid economic development American rural communities desperately need. Sweetwater offers a glimpse of what's possible if the United States actually focuses on becoming a world leader in alternative-energy technology and creating a green economy. Read more about Can Wind Power a Rural Renaissance?

The Rural Broadband Challenge: Use It

Daily Yonder | February 6 2009 | By Frank Odasz

Here’s one debate I’d very much like to have.

As Congress discusses rural broadband as part of the nation’s economic stimulus package, nearly all the focus has been on broadband access. Is it worth spending billions to extend broadband to rural areas? It’s a legitimate question. Once access is achieved, the telephone and cable companies will have met their goal, but the challenge for citizens and communities to produce jobs and income will have just begun. Read more about The Rural Broadband Challenge: Use It

Working Away in Crested Butte

New York Times | By Stephen Regenold | February 6, 2009

A FLASH in the dark, then thunder at 11,000 feet. It was predawn on a snowy winter day at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where ski patrollers wield explosives to assess the snowpack before the chairlifts open up.

Across the valley, upstairs in a 5,000-square-foot home, Bill Ronai was rising to start his day: Breakfast. A phone call. E-mail.

Maybe a ski later in the afternoon. “I work when I have to, and I ski when I can.”

Mr. Ronai, 62, has owned an apartment on Riverside Drive in Manhattan for three decades. But since 2002 he has run his financial consultancy many weeks of the year from a home office perched at nearly 10,000 feet in the Elk Mountains of central Colorado.

Like thousands of professionals around the country, Mr. Ronai has eluded the traditional constraints of geography — not to mention altitude — to foster a white-collar career essentially based in the wilderness.

Seeking a Tribute to the Ordinary in a Water Tower

Hernando Journal | by Shaila Dewan | February 6, 2009

HERNANDO, Miss. — There are water towers painted to look like ears of corn, shaped like ketchup bottles, clad in Gothic stonework or advertised as “the world’s tallest Corinthian column.”

But most water towers are more like the one in this town just over the state line from Memphis: a common steel structure in which form does not stray from function. Hernando’s water tower, its kettle bottom and funnel-shaped lid vaguely suggestive of the Tin Man, does not even flaunt the colors of the Hernando High School Tigers. It just holds water and, in the time-honored tradition of small-town water towers, tells the wayfarer that he has arrived. “Hernando,” it says in black block letters.

School-less Stella Hangs On

Omaha World Herald | By Leslie Reed | January 25, 2009

STELLA, Neb. - After two decades of declining population, this village of 197 now faces a dismal milestone.

Its school closes for good after classes adjourn in May.

Folks drinking morning coffee at the Hitch'N Post tavern on Main Street worry about what the future holds for a town with no school.

Enthusiasm Gets the Job Done

Omaha World Herald | By Kurt Keeler | January 25, 2009

SCRIBNER, Neb. — No one cheers louder than the team of women who dreamed big and succeeded in bringing a youth sports complex to this farming community of 970.

The complex, which will be dedicated this spring, is a pride point for Scribner and the neighboring village of Snyder. Community improvement volunteers from both Dodge County towns worked together on a fundraising campaign for an amenity that will see a lot of use over the decades, according to Deb Eggleston, Scribner’s economic development coordinator.

Small Nebraska Town Rallies to Keep its Grocery Store

Columbus Telegram | By Eric Freeman | January 25, 2009

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) -- When threatened with the loss of the local grocery store, Shelby area residents rallied to avert the loss and harm it could have done to their main street.

"The Shelby Food Mart was operating in the black. It wasn't in financial trouble, but its previous owners had decided the time had come to sell," Shelby Village Clerk Darla Hopwood said.

"The store had been on the market about a year, and during that time potential buyers had come and gone. The owners let everyone know in November they would be closing the store Dec. 31."

Weak Economy Threatens Rural Schools

Los Angeles Times | Ashley Powers | January 22, 2009

Cash-strapped districts are considering closing small, far-flung outposts. But parents and other residents say that would hurt their children's education and their communities.

Ron and Paula Marino decided to move from Las Vegas to this village of thick pines and ski-lodge-style homes so their two boys can attend Earl B. Lundy Elementary School.

Community Grocery Set to Open Soon in Stratford

Daily Freeman-Journal Writer | Billie Shelton | December 31, 2008

STRATFORD - Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you know that this is a challenging economic era the likes most of us have never experienced. It's evident everywhere, from the corporations laying off thousands of employees to the struggles on small town main streets.

And yet in the midst of such economic gloom and doom, a new grocery store is set to open soon in Stratford. While adding a new business to any main street in small town Iowa is no small feat these days, this store is even more of an accomplishment because it is owned by the community.

Graham Moves on to Other Adventures

Fairmont Sentinel | Christine Rupp | December 19, 2008

FAIRMONT - The teen phenomenon who earned national attention when he saved Truman's small-town grocery store has left the business.

Nick Graham, who bought the store when he was 17, and then purchased two stores in Kiester and Armstrong, hadn't planned to sell his businesses. He simply got an offer he couldn't refuse.

"It was just a perfect opportunity," he said.

After the buyer approached him and made an offer for all three stores, Graham was out of the grocery business in about two weeks. He didn't sit idle for long, though.

In New York, No Crisis for Niche Manufacturers

New York Times | By Christine Haughney | January 11, 2009

The workshop where John Randall assembles $3,000 pine-beam tables is so cramped that he holds client meetings at a sawdust-covered worktable and has to shuffle his equipment around to make elbow room for himself and a co-worker.

But the recession notwithstanding, he has enough orders to keep busy through April and hopes to buy a $2,000 drill press and hire another full-time woodworker soon. So Mr. Randall recently signed a lease to double his space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The Amish Flock From Farms to Small Businesses

New York Times | By Glenn Rifkin | January 7, 2009

The Amish, the religious sect that has determinedly kept the modern world at bay, have been leaving a quiet life of farming for jobs in small businesses — all the while trying to balance their own values with the culture of the marketplace.

"Their whole intent is to not be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the modern world," said John Swaffer, advertising manager at the Keim Lumber Company, a lumber mill in Charm, Ohio.

Town Seeks a Library Benefactor to Ward Off Taxes

New York Times | November 18, 2008 | By Abby Goodnough

GILMANTON, N.H. — This town’s new library has thousands of books, a handsome circulation desk and plenty of chairs for quiet lounging. Now it needs a final, crucial component: a budget so it can open.

A dogged group of volunteers raised enough money over a decade to build and furnish the library, an 18th-century barn that they took down, moved across the state in pieces and reassembled. But so far, they have avoided asking for a local tax increase to cover the library’s annual operating budget. This is New Hampshire, after all, where taxes are reviled and frugality is prized.

Stapleton Residents Band Together to Build a Grocery Store

Omaha World-Herald | December 8, 2008 | By Stepanie Monge
 
STAPLETON, Neb. — In the days before Thanksgiving, the Main Street Market and Deli sold out of milk, eggs, bread and a variety of produce — and shoppers and employees were happy about it.

"It was so awesome!" said Tyler Stille, manager of the new grocery in this town of 300. "We're truly blessed."

He said no one seemed to mind because the store, which opened in mid-November, has largely eliminated the need for residents to make the 76-mile round trip to the nearest supermarket, in North Platte.

Vermont Town Turns to College in Bid to Guide Change

The New York Times | December 4, 2008 | By Abby Goodnough

STARKSBORO, Vt. — Old-timers in this hill town remember when a car driving through at night would draw residents to their windows. Now headlights routinely gleam on the narrow roads well past dark, as people who commute to jobs in Burlington and Montpelier come home to a place where the prospect of change looms larger each year.

Like other New England towns rich in history and tradition, Starksboro, 20 miles south of Burlington and population 1,900, is eager to preserve its uniqueness in the face of growth. But hoping to head off the conflict that often stymies planning, this fall it tried a new approach.

S.F. food policy heading in a healthy direction

San Francisco Chronicle | November 30, 2008 | Erin Allday

San Francisco's food policy - proposed by the mayor earlier this year as a way to bring healthy, sustainable meals from regional farms to city residents - is morphing into what will likely be a series of proposals that could someday change the way the entire Bay Area eats.

The policy, which should be ready early next year, also could expand beyond food to include new rural-urban partnerships for alternative-energy production and water conservation.

Rural Schools Need to Train Rural Stewards

Daily Yonder | November 25, 2008 | Timothy Collins

If rural school leaders look at globalization head on, they'll see the roles their communities have played. Education today means advancement for students of all ages and wiser management of rural resources.

What does "education" mean for rural areas in the twenty-first century? Is it only important for young people? Or do rural schools need a broader mission: to revitalize rural communities?

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