Monday, July 23, 2007

Altoona, the ungateway

From the PAWatercooler blog comes this blog headline: Altoona's Immigrant problem. Think it's a post about all those international immigrants flooding the commonwealth. Actually no. If you read the USAToday Story it references: Pa. officials concerned about migration from N.J. you will see that the story does not mention international immigrants at all. The article's protagonist is one Robin Moore, which sure sounds like a foreign name to me. The article actually describes a phenomenon where families from New Jersey and elsewhere are being attracted to Altoona because of its low cost and quality of life. Isn't that the way a notional Altoona marketing program would be supposed to work? Actually if you read the article, there is a quote talking derisively about new residents in Altoona who came (and this is a verbatim quote from the article) "from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New Jersey. They're not Altoona people.".

Is there any correlation between this story and the story I mentioned last year that ran in the New York Times: Altoona, with no immigrant problem, decides to solve it. You bet. So if you rule out foreign immigrants, migrants from New Jersey, and even those from Philly and Pittsburgh... who exactly is going to be living in Altoona?

Seems to me the Altoona Housing Authority is a perfect fit for Border Guard Bob...... sorry, couldn't resist.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your spin on this one is pretty unfair. The article is really about two things: (1) crime being exported to Altoona and other smaller cities from larger metro areas and (2) migration patterns of the unemployed. If Altoona's immigration is bringing a larger drug problem and unemployed residents--without growth in employment and tax rolls--I would hope that city officials would be concerned about it.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Russell said...

Dear John,

The article is anecdotal, at best. Is Altoona's in-migration bringing a larger drug problem and unemployed residents?

Show me the data.

Let's see who is the one spinning.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:51:00 PM  

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