Listen: Just One Studded Tire (stereo master)

Part nine of the MER documentary series, A Sense of Place. Program is titled “Just One Studded Tire” and looks at the problems of people living on state borders. What do the boundaries prevent them from doing?

Program includes Interviews with people about their lives; government officials trying to make things work; people providing goods or services across state borders with historical perspective; comments from governmental and academic regionalists; and music elements.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

The Two Towns as you're well aware might as well be on opposite sides of the Moon as far as any communication between them. Thing in the st. Louis River fairly shallow stream has to be regularly dredged out in order to let the chips in but it might as well be as deep is the Grand Canyon if that's part of psychology ghost girl, Wisconsin and Minnesota miles apart any instances it is like living in communities that are maybe 50 miles apart rather than just separated by a river. It's strange a hoe. significant that River becomes in terms of dividing loyalties and making it difficult for one part of what constitutes a total Community to Work together with the other part. Here we are constituting a natural region. Bradshaw has the unfortunate. Aspect about it that it is divided in half by a river and that River constitutes the border between two states. A sense of place a documentary series, which looks at regions and regionalism in the state of Minnesota produced by Minnesota educational radio under a grant from the Minnesota Humanities commission. This program is called just one studded Tire. A river flowing between two towns is often more than a sometimes peaceful. Sometimes Rushing Water way. It is a boundary a border a line of definition and demarcation point of separation between my interests and yours. This is especially true when the towns are located in different states and useful as such boundaries were in early determination of jurisdiction and responsibility residence of today's border communities find them Troublesome president of Scholastica Duluth offers and historical perspective. If you really want the fine with the modern world is the modernity of the modern world is precisely questioning whether conceptual limits. Areal conceptual limits of whatever kind are simply an agreed-upon more or less agreed upon definitions. The more widely. They were agreed upon the more refined. They become the harder they are to break down. I'm about to modernity is a process of saying that definition boundary setting of in any area of life is a game. I can only be judged useful are non useful. It cannot be judged true or false. I don't think any of us appreciate what an enormous Revolution that is. It's probably it's probably about two hundred years old, but we still haven't absorbed the philosophy that did the final questioning the questioning that nobody's been able to answer since was can't he's late 18th century, but at the same time the camp was walking the streets of konigsberg and thinking about that illegitimate see if you want of intellectual intellectual established boundaries. We had the French Revolution erupting the American Revolution breakdown of only the tradition that political Arrangements Were Somehow, I'd rather eternal Political Arrangements halfway across the world or in one's own Community is now part of the general Consciousness, but it has taken a long time for the Philosopher's questioning to be translated into the Practical questioning of ordinary citizens who just begun to wonder why two communities with common interests must remain divided Claudia and Michael Waukee live in Superior, Wisconsin just across the river from Duluth. She is a nurse working in a Duluth hospital. He is employed by Douglas County on the Wisconsin side. Like a charger for for the which control the very existence of a city of the lines are automatically drawn. What do you like them or not? They are there and yes, it would be nice to think in terms of regional concept, but I'm sure that's many years. Why. taraweeh Duluth Duluth problems are our problems Madison's problems have nothing to do with our area. We share the same Lake the same Highway connections and it's just when someone asks, where are you from in automatic response to say Duluth because it is the center of this area superiors like a suburb of Duluth in most respects and it just seems totally inaccurate to be connected with Wisconsin government instead of with whatever situation Duluth is in and there's no interaction between the two cities either is he can identify with their problems which are the same as yours very much but no, where do they work together to try to solve those problems example, I think it's an example of an attempt. That isn't really working. Oh, yeah, the bus situation is just horrible and looks like it's getting even worse now that Spirits talking about getting their own transit system, which was really chop it in half. And up till now to the 18 year old drinking has been a real problem. As far as people looking almost Des with the stain upon Wisconsin for that what they permitted to happen in their state and you have to listen to a lot of this to you have to be accountable for what your state government does when you're really interacting with most people from, Minnesota. It seems that they're more like mrs. Between the two cities then difference is it just seems that they should be one or I called bailiwick ism. And there seems to be an awful and a lot of that especially between Duluth and Superior the the mayor of Superior or Shoring up his political boundaries. trying to retain or enhance whatever power he has and yeah, if he were to to develop some programs with the city of glue that would mean giving up some of his power to to the power structure in Duluth MN vice-versa, and that way I think we just have an apple to doing that sort of thing. and again, it's unfortunate that but then if we can look at the other side of the coin and it seems that people from other areas of from other states are a little less respectful or perhaps the state. They are visiting. And I just I just say this is as someone who fishes a lot and is out in the in the woods in the northern Wisconsin area and see a lot of Minnesota people there. In fact one out of every three cars that I see parked along the rivers fishing in Minnesota. People see Minnesota people using Barker's Island as a as a place to launch their bones and I see them just crammed into Patterson Park and they don't seem to respect it as much because it doesn't happen to be the particular State and when I say respect that I suppose I'm thinking in terms of garbage and littering in a sort of think perhaps if there are Regional concert, they would feel differently, but as it stands right now, I have to find myself getting very angry with these when we refer to them as out-of-staters. Taking advantage of all the good things and not being a respectful about it. And I think that's that's why the unfortunate aggressive in developing a natural resource playground areas. Duluth has really very little recreational facility on winnesota point because I've allowed it to be built up with homes where Wisconsin point is all state-owned and there's just miles and miles of beaches for the people to use. But then again the state suffers for that in that that area is not taxable and it's Prime housing areas that they're not allowing to be built up. That would be so many areas that we could work together in one would be a mass transit which is obvious and other would be in the medical field. But of course, then you have the Physicians of each City Transit throat because I can't practice me each other state are most of them a Port Authority the Duluth Port Authority which has a fantastic and you compare that to the Superior Airport, which has almost nothing except to pay the salary this lonely little fellow who really doesn't want me to work with if you can come by and the best of both our tourism. I'll be there all that would work not just for one city, but for both cities is an awful lot that these two cities could do together. I think especially suffers because they are small and don't have the resources available that say Duluth one. Resources I mean the the tax money and leave the federal money available to a city the size of Duluth. Can out-of-state check or having to have Wisconsin Driver's License when we're probably doing most of our driving in Minnesota to work and also my nursing license is not valid in Wisconsin and you can't hold two license at the same time and it just the legal things like that that are great irritants. Wouldn't you you're driving 5 miles across the bridge and you're all of a sudden out of state as far as suspect is very strange sometimes to come across those things. On the Western border of Minnesota we're Fargo on one side of the red river is in North Dakota community and Moorhead on the other side is part of Minnesota. The situation is not dissimilar. Dr. Albert. Anderson is Provost of tri-colored University which brings together Concordia College Moorhead State College and North Dakota State University in an educational effort breaking down some of the problems of existing boundaries. Does it really matter on which side of the river a person makes his home? Dr. Anderson believes? It's certainly did it one time work we speaking but one city named Lee Fargo and became a good deal more associated with Commerce with the place of the railroad Where is the other city was is Morehead tint City one associated with these brigands gamblers houses of ill repute saloons and and the light. So are you? I suppose one could make a case for the fact that historically speaking the the differences between the cities are. Are deep-rooted. From that hole so stems I think the kind of perceptions are attitudes and which you find that in fact differ between people. Morehead has tried unusually hard to overcome its image as the suburb of Fargo Fargo has the industry for the most part or at least that's the the way in which people come to describe Fargo. It has the principal shopping areas. It has the All-American City. You too, you're certainly. Far more oriented to the agriculture of North Dakota and Lavallee then use more. Morehead it's true as a a relatively quiet residential character. But whenever there is talk of progress and development in Moorhead is most usually in conjunction with the concern or the desire to bring in industry. Or to develop the downtown business area or again. Do whatever is necessary to put it on all fours with its neighbor across the river. One woman said that I frankly she said I'd rather decorate our own living room before decorating. Somebody else's Sherry Herbst quoting a friend who is not of decorating living rooms. But of the Loyalty she failed for her own community and its interest as for mrs. Herbst herself. She's been active in the formation of an Arts Council in Fargo-Moorhead that spans the river in terms of cooperation among individuals and groups and has brought about some Financial cooperation as well, but not quite enough. I'd have to say that probably one thing would be in support of financial support of organizations that don't exist in your own community. For instance the art center exist in Moorhead. It does not exist in Fargo and the community theater is located in Fargo not in Morehead and we've laughed and said many times. We think we should reroute the Red River and then we wouldn't have any problem at all. And probably this would be true. This River just becomes a real barrier. The community theater is barely across the river. I mean, it's just a half a block from the river, you know, but it's doesn't get support from Moorhead to speak of it very minimal amount of even memberships. And it's just a very isolated group of people who even belong to it. I think that Red River Art Center on the other hand is very heavily supported by Fargo people. That's a very interesting thing. I think that it goes to one point. And that is at Morehead people have a tremendous loyalty to their community. one problem perhaps at the borders Has particularly in the Arts and Science. Grant's Government funding and state funding to the Arts. It's so it does present a problem and I think each state of course receive the same amount of monies from the federal government through the National Endowment, but then the legislators have to appropriate their own funds in the state North Dakota for instance appropriate $10,000 biannually and Minnesota is up to about three hundred and some thousand dollars. It's quite a difference. We keep thinking that because we are a part of Minnesota more less even though the river happens to be there the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater still exist the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony in the FM Civic Opera that we should be receiving funding for instance from Minnesota and Minnesota feel. Yes, they would like to support everybody a little bit but North Dakota, they figure gets the same amount of money from the National Endowment and it has many less things with which to do with their money. So it does present a problem are they would like to see us get friends since the Red River at Center. They think should be receiving more funding from the North Dakota State Council on the Arts. And right now the minute of the North Dakota State Arts Council is giving a considerable amount to the Red River at Center whether or not they would want to increase it. I certainly couldn't speak for them. But I think they feel that they should be supported by the Minnesota state Arts Council. There are again a great many people and I am one of them. in the Fargo-Moorhead area committed to the notion of a single metropolitan area. 2A center for the region to the desirability of cooperation and coordination of services. Do developing the resources and interest which which library close at hand we have what I regard as far. consciousness of planning the planning of the the city of the future in this area then then I have seen before. and back to That's wheel of necessity. Miko C. the city of Moorhead the future city of Moorhead different from the city of Fargo that is to say Well Fargo may have developed in a in a willy-nilly fashion in advance of the kinds of City Planning, but we have seen in recent years. It's possible for a city that that is separated from it by a river and so subject to its own kind of development to control that development encouraging the idea and the benefits of planning are good ones, but he's in the states which control them off and render little more than rhetoric regarding real Authority for Metropolitan. Council's Fixie husky director of the head of the Lakes Council of governments in Duluth believes that's because agencies that do things are more popular and easier to comprehend than those whose people simply sit around and think I guess it's a phenomenon of Minnesota and the Duluth city of Duluth in that the city of Duluth is the most powerful the most progressive government in this metropolitan area. It has the ability to cause the Minnesota Legislature to enact special laws for it for special purposes and it's done. So on for five occasions so far in creating Authority such as the Duluth Transit Authority the Duluth Port Authority to Duluth Airport Authority the Spirit Mountain Authority and perhaps some other similar types of functions that I can think of now that our area wide Realty area-wide Metropolitan functions that cause a service create a service that serves not only the Minnesota side of the area to Superior side. There is only one international airport. There is only one really functioning Port Authority. There is only one Transit Authority in there is only one Regional recreational skiing your Authority or function. That's a Duluth agency as a practical matter. Those agencies are semi-independent, but the Duluth City Council in fact has Budget Powers over each one of them. So if one were to say who is in control of these area-wide Regional Interstate functions, when would have to say that the Duluth city council is so that is a practical matter. We have a 80 facto Regional government in the city council of Duluth Authority which governs the operation of the buses ever since the city of Duluth took over the system. There's been difficulty in providing and getting paid for service to the Wisconsin city of Superior, Wisconsin 11. We've changed the fairs or change the service of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission that said that we could not do so and Superior. We are owned by the city of Duluth in the Minnesota state legislature enacted the Duluth Transit Authority into being and it was our legal counsel the pain. We did not come under the jurisdiction of another public body and a different town or even a different state. To state governments beyond the right. I think the two cities could probably be easier resolved. If they were both within the same state when you throw a state boundary up then it becomes real critical is another aspect to that the state of Wisconsin is very active in planning and providing input to their communities and mass transfer the state of Minnesota. As a state is not a state of Wisconsin has a Department transportation would suggest itself to this the state of Minnesota does not have even failed in the last legislative session. So, I'm the one hand you have a state telling its people that's good for in the way of transportation. You have another state that ignores the whole problem. So so what we're paying a lot of lip service to the idea of mass transit in Minnesota, but we aren't really, I'm through with luck and we're doing this in the face of a federal conference that was held in June of last year right after the emergency situation caused by floods in which the federal people in the Department transportation told the joint attendees from Wisconsin and Duluth that the federal government was going to look with some neighboring communities that did not treat themselves as one common region and then we're going to look with favor upon those communities who would think regionalization that still hasn't come to pass. Tom Burke is director of the port of Duluth and other agency administered by a specially legislative Authority. He sees the solution to the problem of mass transportation for the Duluth superior area in the creation of a by state super agency. Anybody involved in the transportation industry just sees a tremendous Frankenstein growing out of our all wanting to be king of the castle just can't work in the future. There's no there's no place for a kingmakers. And there is no place for people who won't move with the with the flow of progress and is coming to Rockefeller says get in the mainstream certainly cost-saving to be realized if you if you would lump all of the transportation in the entities and Under One Roof and as I mentioned before the cost-saving would really be for the taxpayer. And I personally would have no problem. If I thought that there was somebody more qualified than myself another agency that was doing better than we're doing that could prove to me that they could handle the situation and do a better job wouldn't bother me. If I were to move in and become a number two man or number three man, if I thought it was really going to be in the best interest of the public in a couple of final thoughts for the planners. I think it's important that there be in addition to those types of special authorities a special agency just a general planning agency which supervises their functions reviews their functions reviews the types of plans. They're making to make sure that any conflict between them are resolved. In addition. I guess it would be better since these functions are all serving the interstate metropolitan area. If they really had representation from the whole area including Duluth and Superior areas the two states And in addition that they had some sort of text generating capability in both areas as well because as long as you have a situation where a service is being performed for certain people who are not in turn paying for the service, there's always going to be a chance for disparities or cutting service for those people. That's where the thing. If I were to sit at some high-level and redesign the whole system, I would probably design a system where the the areas in all states, which have Metropolitan Urban Thai problems would be identified probably by the commuting range of people that work in them and those areas we would be set up with the Planning Development agencies and that the all the areas in between those cold Islands on quote of urbanization would be handled through Central State planning. The reason I do this is that I can see that the entire state and its Rural and small-town portions probably has more in common, then do the areas that are now grouped within a single multi-county agency. There's very little relationship between Duluth Superior and Iron River Wisconsin, for example, the problems Iron River has are not really the same types of problems we have here yet or a group together with them and then multi-county region. That's really why are Metropolitan agency exists? We had to have a forum for the types of Metropolitan problems that do exist and then have to be resolved and they would just get lost in a in a regional multi-county framework in the Woof and warp of government like dr. Anderson of Tri College University in Fargo-Moorhead father FX shave Scholastica College in Duluth has become involved in a Consortium of colleges, which is now working to develop Cooperative programs. It's interesting that. When we first started the conversations that led to the Lake Superior Association of colleges and universities, which is an awful name, but it's the one we came up with another will have to live with it. Then again when we first started talking this way all the institutional heads of the six institutions three private three public to different states and two different countries. All of the butt heads have been you know gung-ho for the collaboration because as responsible for the whole institution, we have to recognize that the sources of support would not enable us to continue on me the multiversity stand for the Berkley Harvard model. Nevertheless if we if all of us and all of us in one measure another are peripheral to the main screen and the state institutions are very good institutions, but they're not the major Campus of either of any of the systems like head for example is 800 miles from Toronto pretty isolated and pretty weak so that all of us in one way or another recognize certain bulk and wait, which we could not supply individually. so they the pressures which Trace back to the black or the economic support receipt of economic support at least these pressures for survival roast at least in and reputation and regard which in turn would bring in students and in turn bring in Donna support. All of these did compel has to drop the isolation and competitive modeling to finally collaboration model. I don't think that they'd the association has been in existence long enough. To whether certain programs or collaboration that have that we don't have a longer history than others the collaboration between ourselves and UMD now it's been extended into a kind of try and get a trade with Superior has something like for five years old but most of the other collaborative programs are liens in the presidential lies rather than run actualities at the moment usefulness of lines on a map or in one's mine The Divide people of common interest we're also as a society and as individuals taking a more positive view of the value of our differences father Shea put it this way. One of the the real problems with what we started out with modernity going to the sense that No Boundaries are worth anything. They're all they're all possible and they should be if you don't take certain boundaries granted. They may be bonded you establish for yourself and you may eventually cross them. But if you don't take them at least temporarily serious seriously something happens to your own capacity to grow. Interviews in the Fargo-Moorhead area where conducted by Bill simmering and Marsha elvar of kccm musical selections from Aaron Copland conducts music for a great city is CBS Masterworks recording John Williams more virtuoso music for guitar on Columbia and the virtuoso recorder from folk dances to Blues by Bernard. Kranis on the Odyssey Leo. A sense of place was written and produced by Claudia daily for Minnesota educational radio under a grant from the Minnesota Humanities commission engineering by Glenn Owen.


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