Keeping the rural connection

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Readers of this magazine know that we take seriously the mission to cover the entire state, not just the larger cities and the Portland Metro area.

Over the past year, our coverage of rural Oregon has included a thousand-mile journey to assess the health of Main Street, a special report on the challenges facing once-thriving timber towns, the emergence of the Southern Oregon wine region and the shifting fortunes of small-town newspapers. And those were just the big stories. We also have written about an Eagle Point mill project, the strategy of Tillamook cheese, a bookbindery run by monks in Lafayette and the travails of the Hotel Condon.

The depth and breadth of rural coverage in this issue includes an update on the Coast’s crab season, grass seed farmers switching to wheat, the nascent olive oil industry and an interview with the new head of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. And the two biggest rural stories come courtesy of ace contributor Adrianne Jeffries, who writes about the efforts to bring broadband to remote areas and the financial need that drives rural counties to accept landfills.

The broadband issue is a long-standing one. Lack of high-speed connections puts some rural parts of the state at a big disadvantage for attracting business. With rural areas suffering from huge unemployment (Crook County’s rate is around 17%), putting some stimulus money to work there could bring a concrete payoff for rural towns that desperately struggle to diversify their economies.

The “Married to the Dump” cover story was born from a deeper curiosity about the jobs impact that landfills have on their host counties after we looked into why Gilliam County’s unemployment rate was, and is, so much lower than the rest of the state’s. One reason is the Arlington dump. Jeffries spent weeks visiting Arlington and several other landfills around the state, talking to townspeople and waste management officials and digging into the dump economy. She found a surprising relationship between counties and landfills.

We will continue to examine the complex issues facing Oregon, with a deep interest in the rural communities. Sometimes out of sight means out of mind, and I hope our coverage keeps city-dwellers connected to their rural neighbors. The urban-rural divide is hard to maintain when each knows a little more about the other.

robin-BLOG
Robin Doussard
Editor
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
OregonBusiness.com/robin
Twitter.com/robindoussard
 

More Articles

Frothy Battle

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

Oregon needs a Grand Bargain energy plan

Linda Baker
Monday, June 22, 2015
0622-gastaxblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS