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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Declining Cities: Urban planning looks to flexibility, not growth

Fresno, California & Portland, Oregon; Winter-Spring 2012-13

by Molly Cooney-Mesker

In Fresno, California, a neighborhood of new stucco-walled houses is fenced off from an abandoned, run-down “parts” shop sitting in the middle of a dry grassy field. With worn board planks and unhinged doors, it looks like a prop on a Western ghost-town set. On the other side of the fence are shiny power-line towers leading to ghostly footprints of would-have-been stucco homes.

This scene in Fresno could just as easily describe any number of suburbs across the Sun Belt.

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Deer in Headlights: Whitetail Populations Soar Across the Midwest

Missouri and Midwest; Winter-Spring 2012-13

by Jason Tobin

Town and Country, Missouri, is the quintessential setting for wealthy suburban living. Situated about 12 miles west of St. Louis, the exclusive enclave has long been considered one of the premier locales for the upper class of St. Louis County. Strict residential zoning and few commercial zones have made intensive development impossible, which has led to Town and Country maintaining much of its pastoral vibe. Not to mention its elite status. According to the City Data website, as of 2009, the average home was worth $840,811 and 56.5 percent of Town and Country students attended private school.

Town and Country was first incorporated as a village in 1950 and was initially a farming community before transitioning to a high-end, low-density suburb. The farms have disappeared and been replaced with white picket fences, but over time the topographic make-up has remained unchanged. An abundance of open space still exists. All this room has created ideal grazing lands for whitetailed deer. Considering humans are the only natural predator left in the area, the deer population began to skyrocket in the 1980s.

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Wheels Up in Rural Oregon

Oregon; Winter-Spring 2012-13

by Molly Esteve

They call it the $100 hamburger: Lift off in Newburg, Oregon; fly 67 nautical miles southwest over the Coast Range to the Pacific City airstrip, just kitty-corner from Fat Freddy’s burger joint; order the Fat Fred Deluxe; walk off lunch along the shore; then take back a few fresh-from-thepot Dungeness crab for dinner. It’s a different kind of takeout, certainly—and one that begins with a takeoff.

“Although these days, with the price of fuel, it’s more like a $200 hamburger,” says Dale Whitney, a third-generation Whitney to run Newberg’s privately owned Sportsman Airpark.

Sam Whitney, Dale’s grandfather, established the rural airport in 1946, after he returned from World War II as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The Whitneys’ flying company made most of its profits from crop-dusting and seeding Cascade lakes with fish. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would drop shipments of fingerlings into the cargo pod of Whitney’s Piper Super Cub tractor plane.

Nowadays, trucks move the fish up dusty backroads, and the Whitneys stopped crop-dusting 10 years ago because of pesticide drift and the consequent fines.

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