rural living

The economic cycles of rural areas have a way of acting like roller coasters: way up and way down.  A project called Beyond Boom and Bust examines the cycle in the Illinois Valley, but with an artistic approach to the subject matter. 

BB&B starts with a production incorporating documentary, dance, and theatre, a piece called "The (w)Hole."  The creators call the form "docudance."


How slow is the mobile broadband in rural areas?  Well, people who live there (or are just visiting) can now test for themselves. 

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a proponent of speeding up rural broadband service, teamed up with several other organizations.  Together, they developed a smartphone app that can test the speed of broadband. 

The idea is to point out areas where network speeds are low, to make the case that speeding them up provides economic opportunities and jobs. 


Moving from town to the country does not automatically confer knowledge of how to take care of the land. 

And a few longtime city- or suburb-dwellers may be a little mystified about the needs of landscapes and their inhabitants.  Which is why Oregon State University's Extension Service runs a Land Steward Program

Even people who grew up in the country can benefit from a brush-up on skills.  The program includes an annual Living On Your Land conference, set for mid-April in Grants Pass. 


Ten million people live in Los Angeles County, the biggest in California.  Humboldt County has somewhat fewer, at a bit more than 134,000. 

So Humboldt and 34 other counties band together to bring their concerns to the attention of state legislators, as the Rural County Representatives of California, RCRC. 

And Humboldt County has the potential for a bit more attention, now that County Supervisor Rex Bohn chairs RCRC. 

The Keenest Observers: The Urban/Rural Divide

Apr 24, 2017
Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

Our region is full of out-of-the way places. 

But being off the beaten path is not a good thing for everyone.  Small towns can feel boring and even repressive to young people looking to make their way in the world. 

The urban/rural divide is the focus of this month's edition of "The Keenest Observers," hosted by Robert Goodwin. 

Community Organizing In Rural Oregon

Apr 4, 2016
Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The armed takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge over the winter was not the first of its kind, and it probably will not be the last. 

Anti-government feelings are common across the rural west. 

And the Rural Organizing Project of Oregon works to track the history of those feelings, and their channeling into militias and white supremacist groups and other entities. 

ROP's work is about assembling coalitions in rural areas to work for change beneficial to all, not just people of one political or ideological stripe. 

Western Women: "Ankle High And Knee Deep"

Oct 21, 2015
Twodot Books

The cow is pregnant, and attempting to give birth. 

But there are complications, and the rancher pulls out tools, including chains, a hammer, and a chisel. 

Gail Jenner saw it in her own barn, and tells the story in one of the essays in the book she edited, Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect on Western Rural Life.