Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Reader Shout-outs

Photos: Awesome pics of the woods and mountains of Berea, Kentucky, from its Wikipedia page.

Just a quick shout-out to a few new readers in the past month or so.  I thought it would be cool to look at the towns and cities, and their pasts and presents, of my awesome (and new) readers.  Thanks for reading!

--from Ontario, Oregon, population just over 11,000, about 5 sq. miles large. 

Great-looking little town there, and cool motto: "It's where Oregon begins."  Interesting write-up on its Wikipedia page about how it's tough to grow new business: "While Oregon's lack of a sales tax is an asset, the state's land use laws make it hard for the city to grow a property tax base and match the pace of development seen across the state line in Idaho. An article in the August 14, 2005 edition of The Oregonian noted that half of the staff of the Snake River Correctional Institution, Oregon's largest state prison and a large Ontario employer, live in Idaho, commuting daily across the state line. The article also noted that the land use laws that protect farmland across the state work to a farmer's disadvantage if farmers cannot find a way to compete profitably."

--from Broomall, Pennsylvania, population also just over 11,000, about 2.9 sq. miles large.

Rather affluent, with a median income for a family of over $63,000.  Danny Bonaduce is from there (Wonder if he was the one reading my blog?), as is Jeffrey Zaslow, who co-wrote The Last Lecture, which I still haven't read.  On my list of things to do.  Carl Gugasian was, as well.  He was a bank robber who stole over $2 million from banks for over 30 years.  He was known as "The Friday Night Bank Robber," which I take to mean that he inexplicably robbed banks only on Friday nights.  I'm assuming these were not all in Broomall, PA.  Wikipedia page says the town was named for its post office.

--from Sumter, South Carolina, population about 40,000.

First thing I saw on its Wikipedia page: "According to the Urban Institute Sumter is the metropolitan area in the United States with the highest concentration of African-American same-sex couples among all households."  Fair enough.  Second thing I saw: "According to the Congressional Quarterly Press '2008 City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, Sumter Statistical Metropolitan Area ranks as having the fifth highest overall crime rate out of 338 statistical metropolitan areas in the United States of America."  And that 26% of its population is in the poverty range.  Take care over there, reader from Sumter, SC.  Famous people from Sumter include former Yankee Bobby Richardson (who has maybe 10 World Series rings, and who still lives there), basketball player Ray Allen, and former Miss America, Miss Universe, and Baywatch Babe Shawn Weatherly.

--from Knoxville, Tennessee, population about 179,000.

Hugely important city for country music.  Home of the University of Tennessee, and the Wikipedia page said, "In 2006, ERI published an analysis that identified Knoxville as the most affordable U.S. city for new college graduates, based on the ratio of typical salary to cost of living."  But 25% of the city is in the poverty range.  The college team, the Volunteers, is very popular. A very important Appalachian cultural city, with very cool pictures of mountain views on its Wikipedia site.

--from Berea, Kentucky, population about 13,500.

First thing I saw on its Wikipedia page: "In 1850 this area, called the Glade, was a community of scattered farms with a racetrack and citizens sympathetic to emancipation."  So, some forward-thinking, liberal-minded folks living in a Shire-like place.  Or, at least that's the image that comes to my mind.  But, after John Brown's Raid before the Civil War, "everyone at the college was given ten days to leave the state. Most lived in Cincinnati or nearby northern towns for several years, returning for good after the war."  So much for that.  But, lastly, "Founded in 1855, Berea College was the only integrated and coeducational college in the South for nearly forty years."  A southern state that was pro-equality and anti-slavery?  Outstanding!  Median income is about $38,000 and 27% live below the poverty line.

And look at the pics from Berea, KY (and its Wikipedia page) at the top of this entry.  They make me feel like visiting there for a long hike and walk.

So, welcome new (and old!) readers, and thanks for reading!

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