Tag Archives: Minnesota

Do Casinos = Rust Belt Desperation?

The answer is: ‘Yes.’ That’s according to MinnPost writer Steve Berg in a column about a proposed Minneapolis gaming venture.

He writes:

“aside from Las Vegas, a fantasy island built on gambling and tourism, I’m unaware of any U.S. city that has built a casino for any reason other than desperation. Failing Rust Belt cities build casinos. Detroit and Pittsburgh have them. Cleveland and Cincinnati are joining the list. Saginaw and Lansing, Mich., and Rockford, Ill., want to build them.”

I’d also add Milwaukee; Gary, Indiana and Erie, Pennsylvania to that list. I’m sure there’s other cities I’m leaving out.

And it seems that casinos are often sold to these cities as a way to promote jobs and economic development.

But Berg says a casino just seems to smack of desperation. He also points out Vancouver recently rejected a casino proposal, somewhat on these grounds: “[It] doesn’t fit with Vancouver’s global brand as the world’s most livable city, as the green capital of the world, as a hotbed for innovation in clean and digital technology in resource management,” according to Vancouver’s mayor.

More info on the Minneapolis casino proposal is here.

-KG

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Filed under Economic Development, Editorial

Duluth Aims for 90,000 Residents

Duluth, Minnesota, is aiming to grow its population and reach 90,000 residents by 2020, according to this article in The Duluth News Tribune.

The city plans to build on its historic strengths such as shipping, and grow other areas like medicine and IT, according to the story.

It currently has about 84,000 residents, per the US Census via Wikipedia.

Do we have any readers in Duluth? What do you think?

Also, a personal observation – I was in Duluth for the first time last summer and was frankly blown away by how beautiful it was. Stunning Lake Superior views and waterfront, lots going on, and some amazing downtown architecture. I wish I could have stayed longer and I’m hoping to return again this summer!

-KG

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Filed under Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes

Political round-up: Why did the Rust Belt go red? And what does the election mean for the Great Lakes?

There’s been a lot written about last week’s midterm elections and I’m hesitant to add to it.

But I know I’m not the only person who noticed several of the states that swung from blue to red were in our region: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Why is this? High unemployment? Higher turnout of white working class voters dissatisfied with Obama?

What do you think? We’ve got a lot of collective brainpower amongst our readers, I am curious to hear people’s thoughts. Also, what policies enacted by Obama and the Democratic Congress have benefited this region? The auto bailout? Extended unemployment benefits? Funds for the Great Lakes? Also, what does this mean for 2012?

On a related note, this article points out the election marks a major departure of members of Congress who have helped secure funds and protection for the Great Lakes.

“Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., the first member of Congress to introduce legislation banning oil and gas drilling under the Great Lakes, is retiring. So is Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., a leader in Great Lakes protection. Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, a Great Lakes advocate on the other side of the Capitol, is retiring, too,” the story notes.

-KG

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Filed under Great Lakes, Politics, regionalism, the environment, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry