Viking fans ultimate winnersPublished 9:39am Monday, May 14, 2012 Updated 11:40am Monday, May 14, 2012
A few years ago, I questioned — no, doubted — whether Fergus Falls School District residents would be willing to pass a referendum to get a much-needed secondary school constructed.
Last week, I doubted whether the Minnesota Legislature would have the political will to provide a public subsidy for a Vikings stadium, and that my beloved NFL team, like the Lakers and North Stars, would leave town.
As it turned out, in both cases, I was wrong.
On Thursday, both the Minnesota House and Senate (assuming that, as I wrote this, the anti-stadium senators stop grandstanding and a vote takes place) passed the bill to provide $348 million for the project using electronic pulltabs and other forms of gambling.
I have to say, I’m especially proud of the majority of our local legislators (including Sen. Keith Langseth, whose stadium vote was probably his last) for voting in favor of the stadium.
Especially in the House, there was plenty of pressure for Republican legislators to vote no after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the tax bill (and virtually everything else).
I’m done listening to arguments about why the state should or should not help a billionaire.
It’s over, the Vikings are staying in Minnesota for at least 30 years, and the fans get to enjoy their team (which hopefully will get better in the next couple of years), a really cool new stadium (those who have been to Twins games in the new ballpark would agree that a new stadium is fun to see) and most of all, an end to the debate.
I no longer have to worry about trying to get an acting gig in Los Angeles (very unlikely) or sifting the satellite dish package to get the Vikings every week (very likely). They’ll be on my television, and I plan to go to the games.
And — I know I might be pummeled by readers for saying this — I might actually enjoy playing the electronic pulltabs on occasion. While I can’t say this for everyone, gambling is actually enjoyable for me without being an addiction.
Anyway, to you horn-wearing, face-painting, Peterson-jersey-wearing Vikings fans, I hope you’re enjoying opening fishing weekend. We certainly have reason to celebrate.
• • •
At a recent haircut, my stylist had an iPad on her station. I assumed that it was more for “fun.” As it turned out, she was using it for multiple business applications, including:
• Setting appointments online
• Taking photos of clients’ hairstyles
• Showing clients new hairstyles
• Using a small plug-in, taking credit or debit card payments online, and sending me the receipt
Sure, I still have to see the stylist, because she can’t cut my hair over the Internet, but the stylist’s office could be anywhere.
At the newspaper, we’re essentially on the same track. With the exception of printing, everything we do — writing, photography, page layout, advertising sales and layout — can be done outside of an office.
After that haircut, it really dawned on me that technology can open up economic development in ways that no one thought possible before.
We in Fergus Falls need to think of those possibilities.
Joel Myhre is The Journal’s publisher. E-mail him at email@example.com