Monday, June 19, 2006

Economic troubles over thanks to pot

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This is the sort of thing that makes being an economic development director seem so appealing:

"Patrick Woodie had a lot on his mind that day in April 2003 when his telephone rang. But the caller got his attention.

"The authoritative voice at the other end of the line said: 'I've got one word for you: teapots.'

"Back then, Woodie was trying to help things get better in his tiny hometown — population 1,818 — where most of the stores on Main Street were closed and way too many people were out of work.

"'If there's a National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, why not a hall of fame for teapots?'

"Despite [a completely reasonable] economic impact study projecting an annual attendance of 61,000 visitors who will spend $7.5 million a year in the area, the museum project has been the object of skepticism and ridicule. Many residents have a wait-and-see attitude, and some outsiders have expressed outrage over the museum's receipt of government seed money." (emphasis added)