Monday, March 20, 2017

Growing up in Hillside, living the dream as a singer/songwriter today

Breanne Marie singing "Away in a Manger" at St John's Free Lutheran Church

By Breanne Marie Tepler
For The Hillsider

Except for a few years in the ‘80s when we lived in Kenwood, I was born and raised in Central Hillside. When I was four years old we lived in a triplex on Second Avenue West. My first memories are from that apartment. Our babysitter lived downstairs from us. He used to make us Kool Aid in a cheap plastic pitcher and stir it with a big cutting knife. My dad was gone a lot working and helping people. When he was home, he loved to listen to music. He had one of those suitcase-style record players and a pretty decent sized record collection. I remember vividly the Mary Poppins soundtrack. We would play that over and over again, and when the record wasn’t playing we would sing the songs and jump on our beds and run around the house. Music was joy.

‘Music was joy.’

From left to right back row: Mom (Kimberly Schlies) and Dad (John Schlies). Front row from left to right: Timothy Schlies, Breanne Schlies (the author) and Justin Schlies.

‘When (my dad) was home, he loved to listen to music.’
I’ve always loved music and I’ve always loved to sing. When we moved to Kenwood in the early ‘80s I joined the church down the road and I had a singing solo for the Christmas program. I knew after that performance I was going to be a singer forever. Fast forward to today and I’m a musician, singer and songwriter with a five-piece country band. I have a suitcase-style record player and a pretty decent country music record collection. The band and I have booked studio time next month at Sparta Sound with Rich Mattson and we’re going to record 10 original songs and  make our very own record. My dad passed away in 2006 and I can’t help but think of how proud he would be that his daughter is making a 12” vinyl record with her original songs. 

Breanne Marie has a full time day job, is a wife and mother, and is a musician in town. She is currently raising funds for a new music album titled Wildfolowers and Tumbleweeds.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Don't miss Kip Praslowicz's "Broken Duluth" at the Red Herring

"Broken Duluth," runs until the end of March.
Public · Art

The Red Herring Lounge
208 E 1st St, Duluth, Minnesota 55802

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign begins today

Bob Suomela of Waters of Life Church speaks about the March Food Drive 

CHUM and Bent Paddle hosted a press conference in recognition of area businesses for hosting food and collection drives for CHUM during Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, and The Hillsider was there.
Several business leaders spoke about  how area businesses are helping us to Squash Hungry in Duluth.
In 2016, Duluth area businesses, congregations, schools and community groups, helped raise $95,000 and 26,465 pounds of food.
Because March is the month when all contributions to Minnesota food shelves receive a proportional match from Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, a program of the Minneapolis Council of Churches, contributions have an even greater impact on the lives of those receiving food at CHUM.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DeFEnd Planned Parenthood demonstration on Central Entrance

Demonstrators on Central Entrance show their support for Planned Parenthood 
(Video and photos by Rebecca Yaeger-Bischoff)

Anti-choice protesters organized nationwide DefUnd Planned Parenthood protests today. Planned Parenthood supporters countered with a DeFEnd Planned Parenthood Day of Action.

Organizers of the Duluth rally say about 200 supporters of Planned Parenthood showed up between 9-11am and only about 15 anti-choice protesters.

Demonstrators defending Planned Parenthood stood across the street at 1001 Central Entrance in Duluth, MN. (Photo by Rebeccca Yaeger-Bischoff)

1001 East Central Entrance,

Friday, February 10, 2017

'Listening Sessions" bring City Hall to neighborhoods

Mayor Larson
Join Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and city councilors for these upcoming community listening. It’s a great way for you and your neighbors to speak comfortably and directly to the mayor, city councilor or a city staff person one-on-one about your issues or ideas.
Your input is critical in helping the mayor and city councilors work better.
The 2017 City Hall in the City community listening sessions will occur on the third Wednesday of the month and run from 5:30-7:00 pm. These events are open to all residents. Children are also welcome to attend.
The first set of dates with City Councilors and locations are as follows:  

February 15 – Councilor Em Westerlund at Grant Recreation Center, 901 East 11th Street


March 15 – Council President Joel Sipress at Kenwood Lutheran Church, 2720 Myers Ave


April 19 -  Councilor Noah Hobbs at American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), in Trepanier Hall, 202 West 2nd Street


May 17 – Councilor Zack Filipovich at Piedmont Heights Community Center, 2302 West 3rd Street
Future dates and locations will be announced at a later time.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Circle of Courage can lead to successful lives

Dr. Martin Brokenleg shares a lifetime of experience and research on at-risk youth  
Martin Brokenleg

By Mark Nicklawske

People growing up in troubled environments face difficult life obstacles, but through a powerful natural resilience and greater community support, these children can still find success, said a noted author, a doctor of psychology, and retired Native American Studies professor.
Dr. Martin Brokenleg shared his life experiences and decades of career research during a Woodland Hills Community Event at Mitchell Auditorium on the campus of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth on January 17, 2017. More than 350 people attended the presentation.
Martin Brokenleg speaking at the College of St. Scholastica.

Brokenleg told the audience that previous generations have attempted to change overwhelmed cultures through unsuccessful methods like residential schools, failed trauma treatment, and a focus on problems rather than success. These methods have never led to positive change.
“There’s a dark energy for every generation that doesn’t do its healing work well,” he said. “For example, you don’t learn to be a parent in a residential school environment.”
When children are removed from their families and forced to learn a new culture away from home, an entire way of life is placed at risk. Brokenleg said past residential schooling has led to “intergenerational trauma” for cultures like Native American, Irish and Ethiopians. (Editor's note, this is also true for African Americans)
Without family support, children are exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect.
“Traumatized people don’t wake up in the morning and think about going to the gym,” he said. “They’re just glad they woke up.”
Brokenleg, a Lakota and member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, grew up in south central South Dakota as a first wave baby boomer. Ten other children were born the same year in his neighborhood. “I am the only one left,” he said.
All of his childhood peers were victims of intergenerational trauma, said Brokenleg—a trauma afflicting a Native American culture that has been under attack for generations.
“If somebody convinces you you’re just not good enough, nobody will hold you down,” said Brokenleg. “That’s because you’ve been holding yourself back in your own mind.”
Some young people survive only on their strong will and resilience.  
Brokenleg studied psychology and education for 30 years at Augustana University in Sioux Falls where he served as a professor of Native American Studies. In 1990, along with two educators, he developed a model for positive youth development called the Circle of Courage. The model was highlighted in the book, “Reclaiming Youth at Risk,” which has been published in 15 languages around the world.
The Circle of Courage focuses on four areas of youth development: Belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The model is designed to educate the heart, character, and soul of an individual as much as the mind.
“Many times your kids will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” said Brokenleg. He told a story about his aunt walking five miles in a snowstorm to see him off to high school. The moment made him feel like an important part of the family.
Giving children a feeling of belonging is an important first step. Gang culture thrives on artificial belonging, said Brokenleg. It is up to families and schools to supply the real thing.
Children must be exposed to many interests so they can discover their talents and find success. Success then leads to independence and a healthy adulthood.
Brokenleg pointed to a shift in child psychology studies since the 1950s. In the past, psychologists studied what went wrong with a group and tried to fix the problem. Instead, methods changed to examine what went right with a group and promote those discoveries.
Experts learned generosity through things like compliments, affection, empathy, and volunteer service often led at-risk children to make successful choices. Brokenleg encouraged parents and educators to be generous, and never give up hope in improving the lives of young people.
Native Americans use the drum circle as an important tribal gathering point. Each member of the tribe plays a role in producing the instruments, rhythm and sound. Brokenleg said the same idea must be applied to raising young people.
“Working with these methods, it gives them support, it gives them spiritual well-being and that’s the role for all human beings,” he said.

Mark Nicklawske lives in Duluth and writes for Woodland Hills. The piece was originally published at and reprinted with permission from the writer.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

March for missing and murdered Indigenous women

A march for missing and murdered women will be held on Tuesday, Feb 14. Those interested in marching are to gather at  4:45 p.m. at the Central Hillside Community Center/One Roof Community Housing Office on Lake Avenue and East Fourth Street. The march will start there and continue to the  Minnesota Power Plaza at Lake Avenue and Superior Street.

Featured speakers include Shannon Smallwood, Millie Richard and Babette Sandman. Afterwards participants will march to the lake for a ceremony and open mic. The event is Participating groups include Mending the Sacred Hoop, AICHO, Idle No More /Northwoods Wolf Alliance, PAVSA, Men as Peacemakers ,Hildegard House and Survivors by Survivors