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I'm a husband, father, economic development strategist, and writer.
Interests: film, cooking, parenting, economic development
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Twenty-three, that’s how old I was walked onto a dance floor for the first time. The bride and groom danced first, then the bride with her father and the groom with his mom. As the first few bars of the third song began to play the bandleader announced that this was the bridal party dance. I nearly froze. No one had warned me of this particular tradition. I watched as my fellow groomsmen took the hands of the bridesmaid with whom they had exited the sanctuary. I had been paired with a lovely young woman, a friend of the bride.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2015 at Scott Hutcheson
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"These streets will make you feel brand new, Big lights will inspire you, Hear it from New York, New York, New York!" If you've not heard Alicia Keys' soaring tribute to New York City, you need to. It's beautiful. It's a love song, really, a love song to her hometown. Keys, of course, isn't the first to write a song about a city. Not even the first one to sing about New York. Frank Sinatra told us if you could make it there, you could make it anywhere. He also had a soft spot for Chicago, crooning that it was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at Scott Hutcheson
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It’s January, the start of a new year, which means that many of us have made some sort of resolution. Researchers at the University of Scranton tell us that nearly half, 47 percent of adults in the U.S. make resolutions and that the most common are to lose weight, get organized, and spend less/save more. They also report that only about eight percent of those making resolutions will be successful in achieving them. Part of what makes keeping resolutions difficult is that it demands a change in our habits, and that’s a hard thing to do. A recent story on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Scott Hutcheson
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Last week life took me somewhere I had never been before. This particular someplace happened to be located on the other side of the globe. When the possibility of a visit first came up, impressions arose in my mind, creating a sort of loose narrative about what sort of place this might be. The first image was of Simon, the charming and handsome one-time significant other of a dear friend. I also thought of a couple of their exports that are particular favorites of mine - Syrah wine and merino wool. Images of this place's rugged mountains and vast plains... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Scott Hutcheson
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Primum non nocere. First, do no harm. This Latin phrase, or something close to it, shows up in both the Hippocratic Oath and Star Trek’s Prime Directive. The same principle holds in the kitchen as well. Start with quality ingredients, and then don’t mess with them...too much. As we enter the holiday cooking season this is especially sound advice. In full disclosure, when it comes to both my Thanksgiving and Christmas meals turkeys are my go-to main course and I’ve “messed” with them a lot. I’ve salted them, wrapped them up in a lattice of bacon, shrouded them with cheesecloth,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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Some of the myths surrounding the herb rosemary are a bit on the racy side. Legend has it that when the goddess Aphrodite emerged from the ocean, stepping foot onto the Isle of Cypros, she was greeted by water nymphs who draped her naked body in rosemary. That’s why its been called “dew of the sea.” As a result of its association with the goddess of love, beauty, and sexual rapture, the pungent herb has been considered for centuries as an aphrodisiac. Science seems to support the lore because rosemary has been found to increase the circulation of blood in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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Lowell Catlett is an economist, futurist and professor at New Mexico State University. He often starts his talks about the future with a confession you might not expect. He can't really predict the future. Catlett points to research on the accuracy of economists' forecasts on stock prices, unemployment rates and the like. One study looked at 7,000 different economic predictions and found 47 percent of them were correct. In other words, flip a coin and you can beat the economists by 3 percent. Catlett's take-home message is that although you can't predict the future, you can prepare for it. The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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"Take me to your leader." This cartoon and movie catchphrase, or something close to it, has been uttered by fictional extraterrestrial visitors demanding to see the president or a general, to negotiate some terms before annihilating our planet. Leadership is a concept we talk about a lot in the context of our communities. Our cities have mayors and other elected officials. Many of our towns and neighborhoods have formal and informal leaders to whom we look to help shepherd us forward. With some of the kinds of issues we face in communities, it is pretty clear who the leader is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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What's your sign? No, not your astrological sign, the sign, rather, that greets you as you enter your community. Mine says, "Welcome to the Friendly City." Others I've seen celebrated some favorite son or daughter - "Childhood Home of..." Still others note a famed successful season of a sports team, "State Champs 1976." These signs often signal what residents are proud of. My career has taken me to a great many communities, and many times I've asked groups of locals what makes the place they call home unique? What separates their community from most others? What gives people a reason... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
In 1953 George Marshall directed superstars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh in Hollywood’s telling of the Harry Houdini story. I wasn’t around in 1953 but in the 1970s, when I was growing up, it was my favorite movie after having caught it on the late, late show some Friday or Saturday night. I had a handful of other favorite classic movies befitting of a boy enamored with magic, monsters, and adventure. Each week I read through the TV listing hoping one of them would be playing. Before the days of Netflix, DVRs, Blockbuster, or even VHS recorders this was the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
I have to admit that when I saw the price of propane jump up this summer there was a tiny part of me that was glad about it. Not because I wanted propane users to have a difficult time paying their home heating bills but because I saw the price of propane tanks, you know the kind you exchange outside the convenient store, go up, up, and up. I quietly hoped that this might lead some, those who would be in the market for a new grill this spring, to buy a charcoal version. I wanted this only for their... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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Woods or metals? Classic or contemporary? Statement-making thick or barely-there minimalist? There are lots of choices when picking out a frame, not to mention choosing a matte and whether you want glare-free or just regular glass. My wife and I face this decision now and again when we decide to frame something important - a new photo of our children or a piece of art we’ve found. Frames matter. There’s another lesson to be learned about framing. It’s a lesson about how conversations get framed, especially conversations about communities. Perhaps a visit to fictitious Midville can illustrate the point. You... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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This is a longer version of an article written for "Ideas from IEDA" (Indiana Economic Development Association). It was originally published in March 12, 2014 If you know baseball you know this story. Or, if you know great books and good movies, you might know this story as well - how General Manager Billy Beane turned the 2002 Oakland A’s into a winning team despite the smallest total team salary in major league baseball. Conventional wisdom said hotshot pitchers and big hitters were the only ticket to a winning season. Instead, he built a team by finding the right collections... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers in March 2014 A former colleague of mine was attending a faculty function when he struck up a conversation with another professor. My friend had spent his 35-year career doing research and outreach in economic and community development, helping communities, big and small, grow their economy and improve the quality of life. The other professor was an aeronautical engineer. As they shook hands and introduced themselves and their work, the engineer said with a broad smile, “What you do isn’t rocket science, is it?” Just as my friend was about to take offense, the engineer... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Scott Hutcheson
Here is one of my favorite recipes for fruit salad. If you've not yet set your Memorial Day menu, consider adding this delicious dish. Fruit Salad with Honey, Lime, and Mint 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 1 large cantaloupe, halved, seeded, and cut into bite-size pieces 1 quart of strawberries, hulled, halved 1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes 1 cup blueberries In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice and honey together and add the mint. Allow this to sit for about 15 minutes. Add all the fruit to a bowl and... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers the week of May 23, 2011 It was sometime around the turn of the century. Not the one marked by the worry of the Y2K bug but the one before that. A fisherman got a sweet tooth and used what he had on hand to whip up a tasty dessert. Sponge fishing was a booming new business in South Florida but the margins were slim so the rations were meager on his boat – some sugar, eggs, canned milk, soda crackers, some nuts, and citrus fruit. There, under the stars, this fisherman made the very... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers the week of April 24, 2011 When they were younger, my kids used to beg for Pop Tarts. If our grocery cart got within two isles of the breakfast foods section their pupils would dilate, their arms would reach out, and they would begin their attempts at parental manipulation. It’s funny how I had to remind them several times a day to say “please” and “thank you” yet when lobbying for something they really wanted, they quickly transform into little masters of manners. When “please” didn’t work, they resorted to the movie-tie in tactic, trying... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
Originally published in quality newspapers the week of April 17, 2011 If you have not yet finalized your Easter menu, consider adding this simple yet elegant Roasted Vegetable Frittata to your plans. This frittata is great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Eggs, as a symbol of new life, are part of the Easter tradition in many countries. In Sweden, for instance, the tradition is to eat hardboiled eggs the evening before Easter. Other countries, like Greece and Portugal, make braided Easter bread with hardboiled eggs, shell and all, placed within the braids. In Italy, the frittata is often on the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers the week of April 10, 2011 From a food-point-of-view, Easter is one of the big three events in the triple crown of holidays. There others being, of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving menus, it seems, have much consistency from family to family. Most have turkey, some sort of stuffing or dressing, and a favorite version of sweet potatoes. Christmas food traditions vary some but usually feature some of the same hearty cooler-weather fare as Thanksgiving. Easter, as a celebration of spring and new life, calls for some lighter flavors. Growing up, the Easter Ham was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers the week of March 27, 2011 There is a fine art to flirting and frankly I was never very good at it. The most effective arrow in my flirting quiver was that of humor. I could almost always make a girl laugh; but hey, so could Rodney Dangerfield. Author Fran Greene wrote the book on flirting. Actually, she wrote the Bible. In The Flirting Bible she reveals all the flirting secrets: the smile, eye contact, maintaining a proper distance, body language, and the flirtatious touch with tips for both men and women. I could have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers the week of March 20, 2011 It is in our nature to love a good story and most of us got an early introduction to storytelling because of some adult in our lives who read to us or spun yarns of their own. Often our play took the form of story, imagining ourselves as the hero in some epic tale playing out in our backyards. As adults, stories still play a prominent role in our lives. We learn about what’s going on in the world through stories reported by news outlets, we entertain ourselves with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2011 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers on the week of October 25, 2010 “There’s something flying around in here,” whispered my wife as she nudged me out of my slumber. As soon as my eyes adjusted to the dark I could see it, thanks to the light from the streetlamp that was spilling through our bedroom curtains. “A really big moth” was my first thought but that initial speculation quickly gave way to the reality. It was a bat. The next few minutes included me screaming like a little girl, running out the room slamming the bedroom door behind me leaving... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at Scott Hutcheson
Originally published in quality newspapers the week of September 20, 2010 History is full of feuds, from the Blues versus the Greens in the Byzantium Era to the Hatfields and McCoys, to the cross-town football rivalries in nearly any town in the U.S. Most recently, we’ve seen feuds and conflicts of a frightening sort with threats and acts of hatred between people who practice different faiths and those whose politics lean in opposite directions. I was raised to avoid religion and politics in most daily conversations so I usually don’t find myself in those conflicts and high school sports rivalries... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Scott Hutcheson
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Originally published in quality newspapers on September 15, 2010 [Voice Over] In a world with no tomatoes, life would be hardly worth living - fries without ketchup, chips without salsa, pasta without sauce, BLs without Ts. That would be how the trailer would open for the horror movie concept I’m working on. It’s about a maniacal tomato-hating evil genius who hatches a plot to rid the world of tomatoes. If you are like me, this would be a movie more terrifying than all 12 of the Friday the Thirteenth films put together. Although I usually only eat fresh tomatoes when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at Scott Hutcheson
Originally published in quality newspapers on July 22, 2010 A couple of airplanes, a rental car, and a hotel room were part of my life this week. Years ago I enjoyed traveling for business but not anymore. Now I’m a homebody. I like to tuck my kids in bed, kiss my wife goodnight, and take comfort in the familiar surroundings of our home. The career I’ve chosen, however, requires me to be away a fair bit, probably twenty or so times a year. Back in the day, travel was all about “what can I do there?” Every destination brought the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2010 at Scott Hutcheson