Tevlin: Small-town reality is bleak when the streets empty of tourists

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 26, 2012 - 7:53 PM
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  • Comments

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lordhawhaw1Mar. 27, 12 1:33 AM

This a great piece of writing by Tevlin. But I don't care what people say we are still in a recession and many people's living standards have been permanently altered. Even those gainfully employed have had their expectations adjusted regarding their living standard, and retirement. I know people who lost their jobs were unemployed and now have found new jobs. Some were lucky and got full time work but with less pay and benefits. Those were the lucky ones. A couple people are working multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. One can only find part-time work. And silly me I thought with added days off in my schedule this summer and fall I'd make some mad money by working part-time. I walked in to the Dominoes Pizza in my town of 3000 and asked for an application and if they were hiring part time. I was told they ran out of job applications some time ago and they had such a long waiting list for work they stopped handing them out.

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alanam8Mar. 27, 12 1:48 AM

I'm trying to think of another newspaper, anywhere, that would allow a columnist to run a story about an unnamed place filled with quotes from unnamed people. Even if the writer has a long-term reputation for accuracy, this is really pushing the boundaries of what can fairly be called journalism. What makes it totally pathetic is the fact that one can google the economic stats in the piece and find out that we're talking about somewhere in SE Minnesota. But then - why be so coy? It's not like this is news. Too clever by half in a pointless story ... this would be killed at most college newspapers. Maybe time to find a columnist willing to use place and people names to illuminate an actual piece of news.

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ReichertMar. 27, 12 8:29 AM

alanam8--this is meant to be an op-ed, not a factual news piece. For what it's worth this town could also be on the North Shore.

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mmcfetrMar. 27, 1211:02 AM

What a dismal article:(

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repete78Mar. 27, 12 1:07 PM

I'm rather sad the way you placed the economic and societal realities to rural/small-town context. An informed and engaged citizen would realize this reatlity is true in the disparity of the inner-city, and the ever growing middle class communities that struggle just to keep their homes, including "large-town" and suburb folks. I also think your idealized memory of the "small-town" places a role in your lap which you failed to live up to by giving those two boys a ride home. Small towns don't just happen, the people that live there, come there, and "tour there" are responsible, just as in the big city, to look after one another. If you feel this is located to a small-town tourists place, well, I'd appreciate your view of a Suburb between 9-5pm mon-friday, where everyone just seems to vanish for an determined amount of time, living out realities of just barely making it anymore.

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andy1231Mar. 27, 12 2:06 PM

I liked the story but it would be nice to know the general location. I guess it doesn't really matter, you probably had to protect peoples identity.

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jpieperMar. 30, 12 3:14 PM

Even an opinion piece should be truthful. Fine dining a professional theater production were available the night of you visit. Also, it is quite difficult to have 14,000 people unemployed in a county with a population of 21,000.

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julio57Apr. 2, 12 5:12 PM

If you happened to be from this town, or been to this town, you would know exactly what he is talking about. As a person who went to high school in this town, and currently owns a business there, I can say that his article is pretty accurate, but as Jpieper points out, it lacks in the 'facts' department. This town in SE MN is actually better off in unemployment terms than nearly every other town it's size. Most unemployed are seasonal construction workers. He had to be in town on a Sunday night for this story to be remotely accurate, and if you are familiar with tourist towns Sunday nights are dead. I will admit that his story is written well enough that I can identify every character in the story except the kids on the scooters. What Tevlin fails to realize is that this town is in great shape compared to most others. His laments should be directed at a town with more problems.

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