Friday, February 08, 2008

Duluth LISC Announces New Local Advisory Board Members

Duluth LISC is pleased to announce the addition of Scott Bradt, senior vice president of Wells Fargo Bank-Duluth, and Jennifer Ryan, vice president of US Bank-Duluth, to its Local Advisory Board. They join current board members: Joe Johnson, North Shore Bank of Commerce; Abbot Apter, Mercury Investment Co.; Tom Cotruvo, Duluth Economic Development Authority; Dr. Keith Dixon, Duluth Public Schools; Ron Franzen, St. Luke’s; Peggy Hanson, Minnesota Power; Sister Kathleen Hofer, St. Mary’s/Duluth Clinic Health System; Frank Jewell, Men As Peacemakers; Shane Johnson, Johnson-Wilson Constructors; Stan Kaitfors, Community Action Duluth; Bob Odman, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and John Scott, Damberg, Scott, Gerzina, Wagner. The board provides guidance regarding strategic direction, fund development, program prioritization and marketing.

“Our Local Advisory Board is a blend of private and public sector leaders,” says Pam Kramer, executive director of Duluth LISC. “Their broad range of backgrounds reflects the quality of life needs for a thriving, sustainable community. We are pleased that Scott and Jennifer have joined our Board and greatly appreciate our continued partnership with Wells Fargo Bank and US Bank.”

Duluth is one of 11 “Sustainable Community” sites in the nation. As a Sustainable Community, Duluth LISC is expanding its efforts beyond its successful development of affordable housing to focus on revitalizing core neighborhoods by pursuing five fundamental goals: expanding investment in housing and other real estate; increasing family income and wealth; stimulating economic activity and connecting neighborhoods and residents to mainstream economy; improving access to quality education; and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles.

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St. Louis County Historical Society Annual Meeting

2008 St. Louis County Historical Society Annual Meeting
of the Members, Annual Dinner & Board of Governors Election

The Society invites you to its 86th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the Members on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. It will be held in the Great Hall of the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot) at 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, Minnesota.

The evening will proceed as follows:

5:00 PM Social Hour (Cash Bar)
6:00 PM Buffet Dinner
6:45 PM Program
7:30 PM Annual Meeting

The buffet dinner, provided by Savories Catering, is $35 per person. Please RSVP by February 20, 2008. Call 218-733-7586 for reservations. Checks should be sent to St. Louis County Historical Society at 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, MN, 55802.

The program begins with a presentation on the Generations
of Service exhibit by Daniel Hartman, Veterans’ Memorial
Hall Program Director. Then, our guest speaker, Ken
Buehler, Executive Director of the Historic Union Depot
Corporation and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum,
will discuss the “Northeast Minnesota Rail Initiative:
Returning Passenger Service to Duluth”

Membership dues must be current and postmarked or received in the Society’s office by the end of the business day on Tuesday, February 12, 2008, to be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting. You will need to bring your current membership card and a valid photo ID, in order to receive your voting voucher.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

WLSSD to Host Collection Event for Unwanted Medication

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District will host a free collection event for unwanted or expired medications at its regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Saturday, February 23rd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The “Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day” is a one-day event offering residents free disposal of unwanted medications in a manner that’s safe, convenient and environmentally sound

At Minnesota’s first-ever medication collection event held last October at WLSSD, residents brought in over 250 pounds of unwanted pills and other medication, filling two large barrels. This medication was disposed of though a hazardous waste handler, preventing the release of these compounds into the environment.

“The first collection event really showed us that there is a lot of unwanted medication lingering in medicine cabinets all over the WLSSD area,” said Gina Temple-Rhodes, WLSSD Environmental Program Coordinator. “Residents told us they had been storing the medications for years because they didn’t know what else to do with them. This collection event offers an easy, safe answer to the disposal question.”

Residents may bring their own or a family member’s unwanted or expired medication to the event for disposal. Drop-off is free and confidential. Residents will use the drive-through area at the Household Hazardous Waste facility during this special event. The facility is located at 2626 Courtland Street in Duluth.

“Unwanted medication should not be flushed or poured down the drain,” said WLSSD Executive Director Kurt N.W. Soderberg. “Although many of us were taught to dispose of medicines this way, we now know that flushing them is not a good idea.”

"Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove pharmaceutical substances from wastewater,” Soderberg continued. “Proper disposal of medication helps protect water quality in our region.”

Studies around the United States have found hormones and other pharmaceutical substances in rivers and streams. When medication is flushed, it travels to wastewater treatment plants. Although some medicines break down in treatment, others persist and are discharged into waterways. In the Duluth region, residual medicines can enter the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. Pharmaceutical substances can adversely affect fish and other aquatic life.

Temple-Rhodes recommends that residents attending the event:
Bring prescription or over-the-counter medication in its original container with all information about the medication visible to assist with sorting. Names and addresses may be covered or scratched out.

Keep medications out of reach of children while waiting for and transporting material to the event.

Keep needles or other medical sharps separate and properly packaged for safe disposal.

WLSSD can only accept medication during special events due to US drug laws. The special events will employ pharmacists and law enforcement officers to ensure safe and proper sorting and disposal of all medications. Residents who are unable to attend a disposal event may dispose of unwanted medications in the garbage after properly preparing the medication per Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recommendations. These recommendations can be found at

This event and two more collection events this year are funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in conjunction with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. More information is available at

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District provides award-winning wastewater and solid waste services to residents, businesses and industries within its 530 square mile legislative boundaries in Southern St. Louis and northern Carlton counties, and is a nationally recognized leader in pollution prevention.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Treat for your Sweet is like a Place for your Garden Space

by Sonya Welter
The Duluth Community Garden Program will be holding its 4th annual Truffle Sale Fundraiser this year. Available in delectable chocolate, cherry, or coffee flavors, the truffles are $1.75 each or $6.00 for a box of four. Also available are peppermint patties, which are $1.75 for two, or $6.00 for a box of eight. All candies are handmade by local artisans. On Saturday, February 9, you can find them at the Great Harvest Bread Company in the Plaza Shopping center at 13th Ave. East and Superior St. from noon to 4 p.m., and on Wednesday, February 13, and Thursday, February 14, they will be on the street level of the Fitger's Brewery Complex at 600 E Superior Street from 5-8 p.m.

Last year the Truffle Sale raised nearly $750 for the Community Garden Program. The organization provides garden space and support for individuals, families, and groups throughout Duluth. It strives to foster self-sufficiency and a sense of community, and to make healthy, organic food available to those who might not be able to afford to buy it in the store. "Fifty percent of our gardeners are low income," says executive director Carrie Slater Duffy. "Their gardens make a significant difference in their diets."

The Community Garden Program also offers classes on canning and food preservation, and helps sponsor the Kids Garden Program. There is a permanent garden space behind the Damiano Center, and children from low income or stressed households in the Central Hillside tend the plants, learn about nutrition and healthy food, and even bring home vegetables that they grew themselves to help feed their families.

The Community Garden encourages organic practices and sustainable land use within its garden plots, so it's little surprise that nearly all of the ingredients used for their Truffle Sale Fundraiser are organic. "Organic butter, organic cream, organic half-and-half, organic dark chocolate, organic cocoa powder," says longtime volunteer Jennifer Olker, listing off some of the ingredients of the truffles. "We use as many organic ingredients as we can find." Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and other harmful chemicals; it is healthier for the soil, air and water – not to mention the people who grow and eat the food.

The sugar, coffee, and some of the chocolate is also Fair Trade certified, which ensures that the people growing and harvesting the products are paid a fair price and work in safe, healthy conditions. Fair Trade certification also promotes community development and environmental sustainability.

The Duluth Community Garden Program's Truffle Sale is a delicious way to support several great causes. "Raising funds for the Garden Program through the sale of organic chocolates makes sense to us," says Slater Duffy. "Those who are fortunate enough to have a few bucks in their pocket to spend on chocolates for themselves or their sweethearts are supporting not only organic cocoa farmers, but folks right here in Duluth who rely on their gardens for fresh organic produce."
For more information on the Duluth Community Garden Program or on the Truffle Sale, please see their website,, or call 218-722-4583.

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