Tag Archives: Gary

St. Louis, America’s Most Dangerous City?

Congressional Quarterly has released its annual report on America’s most crime-ridden cities. This year St. Louis topped the list, upping last year’s leader: Camden, NJ.

Activists in St. Louis play dead in a demonstration on healthcare reform. Image via St. Louis Area Jobs with Justice.

Also, Detroit was No.3, Flint, No. 4. Cleveland ranked in at No. 7. Gary, Ind. ranked 9th.

The National Conference of Mayors called the report a “premeditated statistical mugging of America’s cities,” saying the rankings are “bogus.”

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said on Twitter yesterday “Crime stats reflect crimes. Crime stats rankings reflect how we draw our boundaries.”

Writers at UrbanSTL, took a different stance however, saying “I’m dumbfounded that many in St. Louis would rather attack those pointing out the fallacy of crime rankings than the ranking itself.”

I’ll speak for Cleveland when I say: A list? What list?

So many lists, so little energy to defend oneself (especially when you’re constantly fighting off muggers).



Filed under Crime, Headline

Report: Investment Needed to Solve Great Lakes’ Sewage Crisis

Billions of dollars of infrastructure investment are needed to stop untreated sewage from Great Lakes cities that flows into the Lakes, according to a study released earlier this month.

From January 2009 through January of this year, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana, discharged 41 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water into the Lakes, according to data analyzed by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

“The Great Lakes are under siege from sewage overflows,” Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said in a statement. “This report underscores that we have solutions to keep our beaches open, our people healthy and our economy growing. Inaction, however, will exacerbate a problem that is already very serious.”

These sewage overflows are one of the most serious problems facing the Lakes, the report states. Among the problems this pollution can cause- beach closures, harm to wildlife and damage to the tourism industry.

It recommends a two-pronged approach:
– cities must separate miles of combined sewer pipes into sanitary and storm sewers and
– installing “green” infrastructure — such as rain gardens, vegetated roofs and pervious pavement — to capture and cleans this storm water and reduce the volume of storm water flowing off the landscape.

The bad news? “Communities in the Great Lakes basin (are) facing a $23.3 billion tab. Reducing the incidence of (combined sewer overflows) to a level the EPA considers acceptable would collectively cost the cities of Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Gary, Ind., about $3.7 billion.”

The good news? This investment would be good for public health and the economy, with thousands of jobs created, according to the group.

Read the detailed, 40-page report for more information about sewer overflows and to see what different cities are doing to fix this problem.


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Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, Green Jobs, regionalism, the environment

Rust Belt Cities: Pursuing Casinos Like Captain Ahab?


Take a look at this column from the Gary Post-Tribune.

This Indiana city has had casinos since the 1990s, and yet they haven’t really brought the economic development that was promised, this writer believes.

“The Gary casinos haven’t been a complete flop. They have provided jobs and tax revenue of up to $25 million a year to the city,” he writes. “But, the economic development hasn’t followed.”

And keep in mind…Gary is just a short drive from the metropolis of Chicago. And one of those casinos had the Trump name on it, according to the story.

Yet the city continues to think a casino could be its salvation, like Captain Ahab pursuing the whale, as the author puts it.

Leaders in the Ohio cities that just landed casino agreements would do well to take note of what has – and hasn’t worked – in Gary.



Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, Good Ideas, Headline, The Media

Rust Belt Road Trip: Photographer David Zaitz


Los Angeles-based photographer David Zaitz took a six day road trip through the Rust Belt in July 2009.  Zaitz drove over 1,900 miles in seven days, visiting legendary Rust Belt cities such as Gary, South Bend, Elkhardt, Youngstown, Wheeling, Canton, Akron, Detroit and Flint.


Zaitz will be posting additional images and commentary from his trip in the coming weeks.

Intermission in Toledo, Ohio

Intermission in Toledo, Ohio

A selection of his photographic essay can be seen here.



Filed under Art, The Big Urban Photography Project

Gary, Ind. Celebrates Jackson


If you aren’t on Jackson media overload, take a look at this story examining Jackson’s legacy in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

Gary was founded as company town for U.S. Steel.

Jackson’s father, Joseph Jackson, was a steelworker here.

The share of people living below the poverty line in Gary, a city of about 97,700, grew to 33.2 percent in 2007 from 25.8 percent in 2000, according to Census statistics cited in the story.

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Stimulating Cities: $$$

Hard figures beginning to shake out of the President’s stimulus bill. What does this mean for Rust Belt cities? Money. Lots of money.

More than $417 million is being sent to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

$475 million has been earmarked for Great Lakes clean-up, 10-times larger than any previous award.

$23 million will be delivered to the Gary, Ind. area.

Milwaukee is getting $22.6 million.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority will receive $35 million.

The Erie Housing Authority: $4.6 million.

Minneapolis is getting $20 million for light rail, plus a great big list of other projects.

This will be an exciting opportunity for many cities whose budgets have traditionally limited plans for infrastructure projects and community development. I’m interested to see how it is all put to use.




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