Weekend Round-Up: Will you be my less expensive Valentine?

Mike Rose

Ahhh, love was in the air this weekend, as Valentine’s Day came and went on a sunny Saturday. However, lovebirds likely spent less money then in years past: *A survey by the National Retail Federation found that consumers planned to spend about $20 less on average in gifts and merchandise this Valentine’s Day — down from $122.98 a person in 2008 to $102.50 per person this year, this coming from a Pioneer Press article. Many local retailers noted that they expected sales to be down this year as lovers–and everyone else in the country–deal with the economic downturn. So, if you bought your sweetie a real cheap present (or nothing at all), just blame the economy… *Speaking of the economy, Minnesota is expected to receive about $2 billion from the federal stimulus bill, the Pioneer Press reports. (Or possibly $3 billion, according to the Star Tribune). In any case, the bill is expected to be signed Tuesday in Denver, and will undoubtedly have a significant on many local areas and projects. On that note, check out the Daily Thursday…a little birdie tells me there will be coverage of how the stimulus will affect us locally. But that’s all I’ll say for now…you’ll have to pick up the paper for more.

*Lastly, interesting story from the Duluth News Tribune about the effects of snow salt–and how using less could be a good thing. According to the story, the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities campus) cut back on salt usage, and roads were no worse for the ware. And while using less salt is good for economic reasons, the big impact here could be an improvement in local rivers and lakes, as salt often joins runoff water as it flows away.