Thursday, May 20, 2004

Reader Mail Day!

Usually reserved for Tuesday, but we're having an odd week here at Apt. 11D.

Last week, I wrote about our adventures in central Pennsylvania, aka "Alabama." Teep gives me a first hand account of the changes in the region,

We've seen a lot of retirees from the DC/Baltimore metro area and that's pushed house prices up beyond what folks locally can afford... the median income for people where I live is 30k a year... For people living on 30K a year, a quarter of a million dollar house is a bit out of reach.

The kids have left for the city and the parents subdivide the place (most local farms are between 40 and 120 acres) and sell off the 2 or 3 acre 'farmettes' to retirees at prices that local folks can't afford. It's depressing as hell, but when the farmer parents could get maybe 200k for the whole place sold as a lot and they can easily get twice that if they subdivide it for residential use... it's asking a lot for them to choose between a comfortable retirement and the preservation of the family farm, y'know?

What I failed to write in that post, was how beautiful the whole area was. We had a great time taking little adventures off the highway. The kids waded in the Delaware water gap, we explored Nescopek state park, and took a long detour on Route 45. You sure have nested in wonderful part of the country. I hope that the retirees don't ruin things for the locals.

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