Five stories that have North Texas talking: New findings about living poor in suburbia, the economy of new abortion laws, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and more.
Suburbs all over the country are becoming poorer than cities, and that’s true for people in North Texas. According to “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America,” a report released today by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, there were four times as many poor people in the Dallas area in 2011 as there were in 1970. And the number of people living below the poverty line in the suburbs more than doubled between 2000 and 2011. So it’s more about how many people have moved to the suburbs in a growing North Texas – probably expecting better lives, and finding something else. [Dallas News]
- Lows and Cons Of Leaving The City: So what puts suburbanites at greater risk economically? The key word is proximity. Being far from work and services takes up lots of time day-to-day for people outside cities, when they could be going to school or working more hours. Coupled with significant regional growth – like the kind North Texas is experiencing – this can mean a spike in need. [NPR]
- The Changing Economy Of Abortion: While Texas lawmakers have yielded the issue of abortion to broader concerns about women’s heath funding this legislative session, states like Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota and Alabama have made major moves to restrict the procedure. As it stands, Richard Florida posits that women in poorer areas actually have little choice – abortion, he writes, is more than ever “a privilege reserved for residents of affluent states.” And women who have the means often travel great distances – to the very states cracking down the hardest with new laws. [The Atlantic Cities]
- Cliburn’s Spirit Plays On: Can there be a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition without the legendary pianist who founded it? Though he didn’t serve as a judge or work behind-the-scenes, Cliburn spent hours with young winners like Alexander Kobrin in his Fort Worth home and sent them out to carry the torch for classical music. The show and sport will have to go on, as organizers try to keep Cliburn’s memory and purpose alive after he died of bone cancer in February. Festivities begin on Wednesday for the 14th competition. [NY Times]
- Know Your Ohio: Austin fifth grader Chinmay Murthy will represent Texas in the National Geographic Bee, moderated by Alex Trebec in Washington, D.C. He's particularly interested in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he could visit if he advances. KUT's Kate McGee couldn't stump him with a pre-game quiz. [KUT in Austin]