PNS Daily Newscast - February 17, 2020 

44 Americans infected, but not all show signs of coronavirus illness; and many NC counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries.'

2020Talks - February 17, 2020 

Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

Small-town WA: Prepare for "Rurbia"

March 5, 2007

Small-town Washington, prepare to be invaded. Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers are looking for pleasant places for retirement or second homes, and many are choosing the small-town West, including rural Washington. Developers cater to them, golf courses and "view homes" pop up and prices start to rise, squeezing out the locals. The rise of rural suburbs even has a new word: "Rurbia." Whitman College Environmental Studies professor Don Snow says things can change quickly, and communities need to protect whatever they value most, before the changes come.

"You don't just sort-of get a little bit of 'Rurbia,' that you can kind-of control. When things get going, the thing can become transformative. It's not all bad, it's not all good, but the place changes. The quality of the place changes. What it costs to live there changes a great deal."

Snow has been visiting small communities for discussions about how to handle unexpected growth. He suggests they start with an environmental assessment, because the more remote and beautiful the area, the better chance it will eventually be "discovered" - and natural resources should be protected. He warns that small-town residents who figure they're immune to "Rurbia" because of their out-of-the-way location will be the most surprised when it "hits home."

"It is precisely the 'end-of-the-road' quality of the place that's going to help generate the growth. So drop the idea that isolation is your protection."

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA