Reading The Enquirer recently, you might think our city is in dire straights. Ever since the 2005 census information hit, showing Cincinnati is losing residents faster than any other major U.S. city, it seemed like we could not do anything right. An Enquirer article compared us to other local cities, displaying great disparities. Loss of population, "brain drain," Main Street hitting rock bottom"”all week long the hits on the front page and talk radio kept coming.

Sometimes the interests of the media (we are not innocent either) can trump what is reality. Readers are left trying to put things back together with their own thoughts and discussions with others. Opportunities for growth and new prosperity are often given less recognition than the demise of past successes. I know I heard several "Woe is us!" conversations that week.

The question we should be asking is not if the city is declining, but how we as a region are doing. If metro neighbors such as Butler, Warren and Boone counties are thriving, aren't we all together benefiting?

I was on vacation down south recently, and a tour guide asked our group where we were from. After we all told him, he surmised that all of Cincinnati decided to take the week off. Nearly half of our group was from here. I found out later that the couple next to us who said they are from Cincinnati are actually from Florence. Yes, Florence, Ky. I hope no one at their local convention and visitor's bureau finds out.

In this issue we hope you enjoy reading what we noted as a particularly regional issue. We have Gov. Bob Taft (in an exclusive interview with Cincy Business) talking about Cincy's success, a feature on living in Anderson Township, our annual publication on West Chester and Liberty Townships and, most notably, our cover story on Louis Beck and his drive with other local supporters to establish gambling right here in river city.

We were astounded at the lack of, or slanted, local media coverage dedicated to this topic, given its potential economic impact upon the city proper and the region. Reality has set in. The Cincinnati gaming initiative will not be on the November election ballot. We think that it's a shame"”regardless of the gambling pros and cons"”that this region will play second fiddle to outside interests, in essence determining our fate without Cincinnatians being fully informed and allowed to make their decision, either for or against.

Cincy is a great town. We are hard working and have all the ingredients and leadership to continue our success well into the future. Let's not let others, even those close to home, decide our destiny or convince us otherwise.