Not Eudora   By Harry Welty
Published April 4, 2003


I 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 benefits.

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 high schools.

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 logos.

Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at www.snowbizz.com