Sun. 11/13 11a : A company town, where the company is government. In a city where one in four households contain a government employee, the crippling state budget deficit, police layoffs, fire engine brown-outs and park closures could easily signal only the bleakest of futures.
This is a town where, through sheer force of will, residents and an enthusiastic mayor are keeping their major league basketball team around for another year. Despite the recession gloom, the numbers of chronically homeless people on the streets actually went down this past year. Residents are volunteering to maintain city parks when the Parks & Recreation budget is slashed. And people are figuring out ways — from clothing swaps to home shares — to deal with the hard new economic reality.