By Clay

Cuomo's Anti-Fracking Decision and Poverty:  "Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban exploration of our natural gas resources is a punch in the gut to the Southern Tier. The governor has a moral obligation to explain to the people of our region how he will alleviate rural poverty. Families desperately need jobs and economic opportunity, not government handouts. Our young people are leaving in droves because they feel they don’t have a future here. Our rural communities are dying a slow, painful, poverty-stricken death and hope is scarce.  (emphasis added) Recovering our abundant natural resources would have brought an economic boom not seen for more than 100 years. It would have brought good paying jobs, relief for our overburdened local taxpayers, tax revenue to improve our schools, funds to fix our local roads and bridges, and income for struggling farmers. I am already hearing from numerous local officials who are deeply upset by the Governor’s decision. With three of the counties I represent ranking among the 12 poorest in our state, today’s announcement only serves to highlight our continued economic struggle."

Senator Catherine Young is not excited about Cuomo's decision (more on the decision here and here).  There seems to be a lot of angry people after this decision.

First, the portion I put in bold is a perfect description of rural communities here and elsewhere in the country.  Second, I really hope that the environmental lobby will now invest in those towns that lost out on jobs as a result of the decision.  Something tells me they won't.

Inspiring"Students in Piedmont have had more access to computers and the Internet since 2009, when the district adopted a one-to-one laptop program—equipping every pupil with a device—in its oldest grades. Since then, the district has been adding online courses, and in 2012 it installed a wireless network over the entire town, so that students and their families can access the Internet at home.  Unlike many school districts with digital programs, Piedmont has a goal that’s broader than creating high-tech classrooms. According to Matt Akin, the superintendent of Piedmont City Schools, the district hopes to resuscitate a dying rural town. "That’s always been the bigger picture," Akin said. "What can we do to revive a community?"

More, please.

USDA'S Rural America at a Glance: Unemployment rate down because of low participation.  Smaller incomes.  More poverty.  More people leaving.  Less educated.  Doesn't sound very good.  But we knew that.

2015 Will be Big Year for Social Investing:  Hopefully we can bring some here to the rural south.

Good Summary of SIBs

Merry Christmas!