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Duluth (unfortunately) in the NYT

The good news: They call us an "artsy shipping city," which is kind of nice.
The bad news: Well, you know the bad news.

"In Duluth, for instance, a $3 million investment the city made last summer through Merrill Lynch, which was sold to Bank of America last month, was liquidated and came back last week $2.25 million short — a devastating setback for a city."

NEW YORK TIMES: Financial Crisis Takes a Toll on Already-Squeezed Cities



read it...I thought it was good. Shows that Duluth is not the only city with problems. Puts it in perspective and shows that it's not just mismanagement but cuts in State and Fed funding that affect cities adversely.

Not that this matters, but I love that the New York Times still abbreviates Minnesota as Minn. MN just seems too cold and ordinary.

I read the article in the print newspaper. It caught my eye because, not only was "Minnehaha" reproduced in full, glorious color, but there was a smaller pic of Park Point. I thought it was a well-done piece, and really, as Chester Dark wrote, put things in perspective. We're not the only city experiencing these budget shortfalls and having to think up creative ways to pull out funds so the city can continue to function.
BTW, @ndy, I write for a magazine, and we do the same thing as the NY Times: it's Minn., Wisc., and so on. I actually prefer to spell out state names, but my editors always abbreviate them.

"Minn." vs "MN" is an Associated Press style convention.

The article failed to mention Duluth has almost 60 million in casino revenues sitting on the sidelines or has that been lost too?

The 60 million in casino revenue is in a designated fund. It can't be used for the general fund, the reserve or to balance out of the current deficit. I believe the interest generated by the fund goes into street improvements.

The usage of "Minn." versus "MN" will gravitate toward "MN". The English language likes to hold on to it's conventions, but the current AP style will go the way of "thy" and "thou" and "hast", perhaps relegated to the dusty tomes of the unabridged. Most of today's terse communication favors standards over convention.

Thanks for ruining my day, huitz. I love to spell out state names, and i'm gonna do it, to hell with convention.

Huitz, if you're going to write pompously and with pseudo-authority about the English language, you should probably put down the thesaurus and instead learn how to use an apostrophe.

"The dusty tomes of the unabridged." Please.

"Minn." is also used in Chicago Style.

Regardless, it's something that I never paid attention to until I had to edit. Since it's pretty well entrenched in the usage of, I don't know, all the people who distribute our news, I can't imagine it just being replaced by "MN".

Unless, of course, we replace journalists* with non-journalism degree holders or post office employees.

* Not to say bloggers aren't journalists; just that there's a world of difference between the New York Times and, say, barrettchase.com.

Cork, "I had to edit" that same rag you did.

That said, the "MN" abbreviation is in fact an invention of the USPS.

Sorry, Barrett, I know this post isn't about grammar, etc. But I'd like to say: "AL, AK, AR" will confuse more people than "Ala., Alaska and Ariz." Postal codes should be used only in addresses.
And it's "Wis.," not "Wisc."
And just as you don't put an apostrophe in his, hers, ours or theirs, you don't in "its."
It's more fun to argue about grammar and spelling than read about our impending bankruptcy, I guess.

I understand that flowery language is the boon of any poetic license.

It's really not complicated. AP -- or Chicago literati -- use something that is not an eyesore in text. Has no real weight; that's all.

My bad about the its.

"unabridged" means the set of all sets... please...

In following this up, I wrote a note to the reporter to find out what's behind her "artsy shipping" designation; and also, did you know that if you search on "All NYT" with "Duluth" you get clippings from the 1870s on? It's pretty incredible. Like the one about Duluth engineering student Adolf Hartman's saber duel with a German army lieutenant in Aachen. Just one of the benefits of study abroad.
And what happened to our total dominance in the rowing world since 1915? We _killed_ then.

Tim K, As for casino funds interest going to streets I've seen the city council and mayor use the money for other purposes. In fact the mayor and city council just borrowed over 2 million dollars for streets because they had robbed the casino street funds. Unless the casino revenue is in a designated fund set up by the state then designations can be changed by the city.

Speaking of streets, when you buy a car, there's a one-percent tax for Duluth residents. Wasn't that supposed to be temporary and pay for the brick streets downtown? Is it still used for streets? I hope so.

"Flowery language is the boon of poetic license." What the hell does that even mean?

It means that some people get pissed off when someone says "dusty tomes of the unabridged."

Look at some of your other contributers and think about that.

(insert favorite demeaning phrase here)


They did away with the xtra one percent city tax when you buy a car. The last car we bought a fill guy charged us the one percent and then the regular guy came in and gave us the money back. They fazed it out. I remember the city sending me bills for like 1/2 a percent at times.

The usage of "K THX BAI!" versus "Okay. Thank you. Goodbye." will gravitate toward "K THX BAI". The English language likes to hold on to it's conventions, but the current non-LOLkatz style will go the way of "you are" [ur] and "you" [u]and "i haz" [I have], perhaps relegated to the dusty tomes of the unabridged. Most of today's terse communication favors standards over convention.

Since we're talking about grammar, "fazed" means "to disturb the composure of."

What Anarchy meant to say was "phased," which means "to introduce in stages."

To solve the "its" vs "it's" mystery, just remember that "it's" stands for "it is." "Its" is the possessive form, whereas "it's" is the contraction for "it is." Say the sentence out loud without the contraction. For example, in Christa's sentence, "The English language likes to hold on to it is conventions..." makes very little sense.

Just an FYI...

Orange the spatula or the yaps will ship nouns!

Nice try christa. LOLcat doesn't have a standard. Check out lolcode, though :)

Kitteh can has blushed cheeks.

Yay, -Berv! Always my favorite PDD'r with his/her abstact comments. More!

Well that don't phase me. and awayyy I go

The Casino money is sitting in a city account with no designation. At the time the Sears Building was made into a reservation so that it could become a casino, the "interest for street repairs" phrase was used to sell the idea. But is was never written down, never put into any legal document, never made a designated trust fund, nothing. That $$ could be used instead of Minnie and PkPt.

The 1% sales tax when you buy a car disappeared during the Doty era, which resulted in a $900,000 cut in revenue to the city (if I remember right, the state made Duluth give that up). The casino money can be spent on anything that has at least 7 councilors voting in favor of...a super majority...just a couple of years ago, they voted to give the Kroc center $7 million if it happened. After that fell through, Bergson "softened" the blow by saying the city would step up to re-invest in the neighborhood recreation centers.

The trust fund can be used for whatever they want if they have a supermajority vote for it. It has been used to plug budget holes and has been used to pay some of the retiree obligations. Just consider it like social security, they make it sound like it is used for something we need, but then they slowly siphon it off to pay for pet projects. We could use that money to fix our sewer system, but instead the city will charge homeowners 7500 dollars to fix it because they need the money in the bank to take out loans for things like the aquarium and the new DECC

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