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  • Boom! Boom!

    An energy boom of unprecedented proportions is transforming western Colorado towns like Rifle, which just recently recovered from the last big energy boom – and a catastrophic bust.

  • Behind the gate

    The Stock Farm outside of Hamilton, Mont., is one of many new exclusive gated housing developments in the West, and some fear that these fortified palaces, which cater to a wealthy elite, will further divide communities and adversely impact the land.

  • It's more than a house, it's a fantasy life

    The sales pitch for the Silver Bow Club, a gated ranch community proposed for Montana's Big Hole River, weighs 12 pounds and encourages vivid lifestyle fantasies.

  • Across the Columbia, a game of catch-up

    Vancouver, Wash., has a rapidly growing population, many of them people who can't afford to live where they work, across the river in Portland, Ore.

  • Telling it on the mountain

    As part of the United Nations' 2002: The Year of the Mountains proclamation, a program on the problems facing mountain peoples will be held in Silverton, Colo., Sept. 26-28.

  • Under the radar

    Homeless families aren’t found only in urban areas. They’re also struggling to survive in the rural West, as shown by the story of Barbara Trivitt and her two children, who lived in a Jeep in Coos Bay, Oregon, this fall.

  • Man Camp

    In Western Colorado, where the energy boom is stretching the resources – and social fabric – of local communities, some companies have turned to portable dormitories to ease the housing crunch.

  • A family of criminals and killers

    In All God’s Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families, Rene Denfeld tells the disturbing story of Portland’s teen runaways, charting the path that took one of them, Danielle Marie Cox, from honor student to convicted murderer.

  • How to be #1 in the world and still be a loser

    Giles Slade’s new book, Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America, is a fascinating intellectual history of how marketers demolished the American tradition of thrift.

  • Sans petrol

    Willits, Calif., is one of a growing number of communities trying to prepare for a post-oil world by becoming economically and agriculturally sustainable.

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