By Harry Welty
Published April 4, 2003
recently discovered Omniscience.Com. Better than Google this site uses the
synergy of the Internet to assemble vast quantities of data to make remarkable
predictions about the future. What follows are some of the startling predictions
Omni has made for the future of Duluth.
Dateline Duluth, April 1, 2013
Charles Bell will be the third three-peat Mayor of Duluth having completed three
consecutive terms like his two predecessors. This success will reflect the
natural conservatism of Duluth Voters and the value of putting billboards up
nine months in advance of a Mayoral election.
With the help of his employer, Congressman James Oberstar, City Councilor Donny
Ness will become the next Congressman for Northeastern Minnesota. Because of
continued rural population losses he will also represent northwestern and
southwestern Minnesota. Twin Cities newscasters will continue calling rural
Minnesota "Greater Minnesota" but resentful out-state Minnesotans will
start calling the Twin Cities "Lesser Minnesota."
The Federal Government will designate major portions of central St. Louis County
as "Aspen National Forrest" in recognition of a continuing
mid-continental climate change. Lake Superior's lake level will drop
precipitously resulting in the relocation of Duluth's grain mills out beyond the
drying Ship Canal. Although this move will be vigorously fought by the Canal
Park Hotel Association it will be accomplished with the political clout of the
Corps of Engineers. The Corps will argue persuasively that there just isn't
enough water to justify ship traffic on Duluth's side of the harbor. The die
will have been cast the night that the citizens of Superior, Wisconsin
secretly build a levee through the harbor on the Wisconsin side to beat a
"cease and desist" order by a Duluth Court. Duluth will have no choice
but to construct a massive culvert through the Ariel Lift Bridge canal to catch
spring runoff. Old timers on Park Point will howl about the successive waves of
new homes built out on the receding lake shore.
The State DNR will finance a study of Mad Coho Disease to discover why the
species has begun attacking swimmers. Scientists will theorize that it's caused
by deer droppings washed into the lake and working their way up the food chain.
On a more positive note the DNR will capitalize on invasive fish species by
listing record catches of Eurasian ruffes and round gobes in its game fish
records. North Shore anglers will organize an annual ruffe fishing contest off
the McQuade "Peninsula" Access Harbor each June.
Meanwhile the Duluth Chamber of Commerce will back a petition to permit the
creation of a McQuade Harbor gated community comprised of high rises and condos
stretching up the North shore to Two Harbors.
DEDA will help St. Mary's acquire the old Soft Center for use as a psychological
counseling center once Congress adds psychological counseling to Medicare
The Twin Ports media market will change in the wake of the Internet Revolution.
The Knight Ridder Newspapers will be unable to sell its subscriber dependent
Duluth News Tribune and the venerable paper will cease publication. The
void will be filled by three free newspapers. The Budgeter will continue to do
well in senior high rises but the real war for the mass audience will be waged
by the Ripsaw and the Northland Reader.
The Reader will be acquired by the Clear Channel and Brad Bennett will become
its new spokesman. Sitting in his office overlooking the St. Louis Slough, in
the old Great Lakes Aquarium, Brad will counter criticism that the local media
has become part of a conservative corporate monopoly by calling Clear Channel
critics "commie weenie dogs."
The Ripsaw will eventually sell out to Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Initially
the Ripsaw's editors will have a hard time redefining itself but will settle on
an environmental nudie theme. Its front cover will sport naked women frolicking
in aspen groves. Although this will initially cut into the Budgeter's
circulation in the senior high rises Dick Palmer's two popular weekly columns
will win readers back.
The Northland Reader will keep some of their columnists for local flavor. One of
them, UMD's Professor Emeritus of Gonzo Science Dr. James Fetzer, will be
awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his history of "Assassination Science"
which will reveal the conspiracy of the Pinkerton Society to remove all American
Presidents elected on years ending in the number zero.
Another local writer, Harry Welty, still a school board member despite numerous
pledges not to run for reelection, will continue calling for the closure of one
of Duluth's three high schools. Welty will argue that there just aren't enough
kids in Duluth East Elementary and Duluth West Elementary to feed three senior
Welty will continue making snow sculptures on the 21st Avenue Expressway.
Catering to the college population which has overrun his neighborhood he will
confine his snow creations to Fox cartoon characters and miscellaneous beer
Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at www.snowbizz.com