Op/Ed 3/12/10

Many advantages exist for living in a small town

By Ashley Cabrera

  When people think of a small town, they often are too quick to think of the limitations that come along with living in a secluded location. However, advantages of small town living outweigh the disadvantages.
  Although Loyalton has a population of about 860, it is a town full of history and roots. For some LHS staff and students Loyalton has been their home their whole lives and they have known nothing else.
  Senior Weston Roberti has called Sierra Valley home for seventeen years and would have it no other way. Being close to family and having a love for the outdoors is what has allowed Roberti to embrace the small town way of life. “[This place is] my home and after college I hope to continue calling it home,” said Roberti.
  Friendliness is a major way of life here in Sierra Valley. You can walk down the street and know that when someone flashes a smile, it’s genuine. Walking down a busy street in a large city, you would not be likely to receive a greeting or even a hint of a smile.   City folks are typically more reserved and keep to themselves, while small town people are more on the talkative side. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
  Teacher Dino Marinoni believes the major highlight of Loyalton is the lack of stoplights. This is a big surprise to city people when they visit towns like Loyalton. Small towns exude tranquility, which is a major appeal for those living frantic lifestyles.
  Many big city people are attracted to small towns as a place to start a family or raise children. Rural communities allow parents to be more involved in school. The closeness of a small community is inviting to a parent who wants to have a voice in his or her children’s schooling. Parents too easily feel lost in urban school environments, because it is difficult to have a direct say in what goes on.
Social Science teacher Joanne Nunes has had experience living in both a large and small city. At one point Nunes lived in Sacramento and recalls the “modern conveniences” as the best attraction. “Life in a city is one thousand percent different from life here in Sierra Valley. However, nothing is better than rural America.”
  Barbara Weaver has lived in both locales as well and she enjoys the closely knit community feel over feeling unsafe in a big city.
  In terms of environment, city life doesn’t come close to the wonders that small town living offer. It is just about impossible to clearly catch a glimpse of nighttime stars among tall buildings and smog-filled air. They are practically invisible to the human eye due to all the bright lights. Although city lights may be a pretty sight for some, not all would give up the clean air and crystal clear night sky. Traffic crowds the air and the people feel no obligation to maintain urban areas clean. Air quality is without a doubt on a higher lever in rural locations.
  Cities are infamous for high crime and it isn’t recommended to walk alone at night. Percentages of gangs are in high numbers in large cities, but it’s rare to find gangs in small towns. City papers are filled with stories over murders and robberies.
Entertainment may be the biggest downfall of small towns. Cities are known for endless opportunities for entertainment, while small towns are more limited in that area. Entertainment in cities is one of the few wins over small towns. That doesn’t mean there’s a dearth of activities in Loyalton. In recent days students have attended basketball playoff games, drama presentations, and donkey basketball. Culture Club has also offered trips to the Nevada Museum of Art and films. A quick trip to Reno can satisfy anyone’s desire for entertainment.
  No matter what, Sierra Valley will continue to be home for a large percentage of LHS students, staff and citizens.


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