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Old 08-15-2018, 04:47 AM
 
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From the US Census:


Bachelor's degree: 17.8%
Median Household Income: $35,742
Poverty Rate: 29.7%
Race: 33.2% white alone, not Hispanic

Language other than English spoken at home: 39%


Public school ranking: Holyoke is dead last but Springfield is at the very bottom in the state rankings



64% of Springfield children live in single parent households (2013 data). Worst in the state.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:38 AM
 
405 posts, read 162,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
From the US Census:


Bachelor's degree: 17.8%
Median Household Income: $35,742
Poverty Rate: 29.7%
Race: 33.2% white alone, not Hispanic

Language other than English spoken at home: 39%


Public school ranking: Holyoke is dead last but Springfield is at the very bottom in the state rankings



64% of Springfield children live in single parent households (2013 data). Worst in the state.



Pretty amazing the difference between the Eastern side of the state and the Western. When I tell my sister in North Carolina about the state of the schools here she says "Massachusetts has the highest education quality in the nation" Of course, she has only been to Boston and the Cape.


People generalize about states anyway. There are those who think 'North Carolina' and think hick town, but my sister lives in Cary, NC, which is consistently rated as the best small city in the country in every category.


Your statistics show why people are living in La La land when they think Springfield will ever be the next miracle revival story. Every revitalization project (thinking about the train/bus station) always includes the tag line 'restaurants, shopping, galleries'. Come on now - they couldn't attract businesses (who wanted to lose their shirts) to Tower Square. Do they think the 'well heeled' are going to be strolling around the train station with the vagrants?
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by redplum33 View Post
IWLC, who decides who gets all those contracts (especially construction)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
MGM is a private business and I'm sure they take proposals like any other business does. Who builds Walmarts? Malls? Who provides hot dog buns to Disney? I'm sure it's based on who has the ability to handle a project of that size and at the most competitive price.
I'd like to believe that but I have my doubts. Unfortunately, that's not how it usually works.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by redplum33 View Post
I'd like to believe that but I have my doubts. Unfortunately, that's not how it usually works.

Perhaps, when it's a government project when taxpayer money is no object but in private enterprise, the bottom line takes precedence.


It's only important as to how contracts were awarded, when one is looking for conspiracy but the bottom line is that every business that supplied the construction and outfitting of the casino - from bed sheets to bowling balls to light fixtures benefited from it's construction. Whether this carpenter or that carpenter got work out of it, SOME carpenter paid his mortgage and bought his new truck. The billion dollars that were spent building it went into the economy somewhere.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:03 AM
 
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OK, it wasn't all that long ago that Providence and New Haven were considered dumps along with Hartford, Worcester and various other places. The narrative has shifted significantly: Providence is discussed very favorably and New Haven is getting a much better narrative these days. Even Worcester is being talked about as having come back. So why not Springfield? The narrative doesn't change the underlying challenges of concentrated poverty and low-performing schools: I'm guessing kids in Providence aren't doing all that well just because Providence is now the darling New England city; and maybe poorer kids in Portland Me aren't doing so well either even if they are nearly all white. Boutiques, breweries, galleries, good restaurants and airbnb listings may not do much for the poor and working class but they surely do change the way people talk and think about cities and that's what the casino and the railroad station can help do for Springfield, give it a nudge in an upward direction.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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Springfield doesn't have the arts, or higher ed institutions, or culinary draws that a place like Providence has.


I don't think casinos help the image of a city like good restaurants, breweries, arts events does. But that is my bias. I don't, nor do I have friends, who like casinos (that I know of).


But hey, maybe it will make a big difference and help turn the place around. I don't know. Providence and New Haven both have loads of problems too.

Last edited by timberline742; 08-15-2018 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:34 AM
 
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Springfield has always gone in the wrong direction in not acknowledging that it is a blue collar city. Every proposition that comes up is for 'boutique hotels', art spaces and the like. It is not going to be Back Bay or Martha's Vineyard. Those areas have people with lots of money. The people of Springfield with disposable income are the well paid city employees and people in the trades. When the biggest spontaneous weekly event in Springfield's history developed (Thursday nights on Stern's Square) they were so terrified of seeing that many blue collar people in one place, that they shut it down. The people who complained the loudest had never even been downtown for the event. I was there every single week for years and never saw issues. How many events can draw thousands week after week with few problems. All I saw was a lot of people having a good time. Their attempt at turning it into Tanglewood junior saw it become 'the Yawn on the Lawn'. Middletown CT ( small city with a downtown that Springfield can only dream of) actively courted it's Bike Night and it is an incredibly successful event, just as Springfield's was - though Springfield's was the biggest in New England.



Then the illustrious, knee jerk mayor decided that Springfield's problems were caused by music being played after 1am. What city in the world purposely discourages night clubs or people on the street after dark?


As long as people are so terrified of downtown at night, there will be no revival. When is the last time you heard about anyone being mugged or car jacked in Springfield. It has happened, but hardly to the degree that the hysteria about being unsafe warrants.



A vibrant city has many components, including clubs, street vendors and a mix of all kinds of people. They have the museum, Symphony angle down, but there needs to be more than just free pancakes to bring adult, working people into the city. Everything doesn't have to be geared to courting the 'hip' crowd (that barely even exists in Hampden County anyway). I'm happy to see that the casino has a bowling alley. Seems they are better at reading the crowd than the mayor.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
Perhaps, when it's a government project when taxpayer money is no object but in private enterprise, the bottom line takes precedence.
Not necessarily specific to this casino, generally speaking, you don't think organized crime has any part in deciding who gets the contracts (again, especially construction)?
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:03 AM
 
405 posts, read 162,812 times
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Originally Posted by redplum33 View Post
Not necessarily specific to this casino, generally speaking, you don't think organized crime has any part in deciding who gets the contracts (again, especially construction)?

Construction companies with the expertise to build the type of buildings that comprise the casino complex and the interior work that go into it are not a dime a dozen. It's not the kind of work that is done by home contractors, so I doubt there were tons of bids. MGM probably has preferred companies that do all their work and can do it on time to the budget.


I'm not sure what work you think was being contracted by the the mob, but, say for argument sake it's true. Should nothing be built in Springfield because there is a mob presence in town? Springfield's mob is small time. It's strip bars and pool table leases. Don't think they have much influence over major international corporations like MGM. This isn't Bugsy Segal's Las Vegas we're talking here.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:28 PM
 
9,017 posts, read 2,987,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
Construction companies with the expertise to build the type of buildings that comprise the casino complex and the interior work that go into it are not a dime a dozen. It's not the kind of work that is done by home contractors, so I doubt there were tons of bids. MGM probably has preferred companies that do all their work and can do it on time to the budget.


I'm not sure what work you think was being contracted by the the mob, but, say for argument sake it's true. Should nothing be built in Springfield because there is a mob presence in town? Springfield's mob is small time. It's strip bars and pool table leases. Don't think they have much influence over major international corporations like MGM. This isn't Bugsy Segal's Las Vegas we're talking here.
I don't really know anything about Springfield. I'm just saying it would be naïve to think that organized crime doesn't have a role in major construction projects in the northeast.
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