Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Duluth , Minnesota , May 12, 2008
Slow Food Lake Superior and the Boathouse Restaurant present TASTES OF LAKE SUPERIOR: A SLOW FOOD FISH AND LOCAL FOODS DINNER, Wednesday, May 21, 2008 , 6:30 p.m. , Boathouse Restaurant, Superior , Wisconsin .

TASTES OF LAKE SUPERIOR will also feature stories of “Living the Fishing Life”, told by Dick Martin of Lake Superior Fishing Co., drawing on over 40 years of fishing experience.
TASTE’S menu includes fresh herring, trout, and whitefish, fish caught in season in the waters nearest to us. Accompanying the fish are fresh spring greens and mushrooms, and squash, potatoes, parsnips, and herbs from last fall’s harvest. The fish and the local foods will be purchased from over 13 people, farms, orchards, and companies. Boathouse Chef Kirk Bratrud said, “This is going back to the way things used to be done. My parents and grandparents cooked with what was available to them. It’s food and it’s art.”

Slow Food advocates education about, as well as enjoyment of, food. Fishing has been an important part of our region’s food supply, culture, and economy for over a century. Now world-wide fishing practices, state and federal legislation, and changes in the environment affect the fishing industry. Tastes of Lake Superior , in keeping with “Slow Fish”, a Slow Food International celebration, will help people become aware of issues relating to Lake Superior , fishing, and fish consumption.

Slow Food USA envisions food systems that are good, clean, and fair: food should taste good, should be produced in clean ways that do not harm the environment, and should provide producers fair compensation while being affordable to consumers. Slow Food Lake Superior formed in 2003 as the local Slow Food convivium (chapter). Our convivium's name represents our region, the North Shore , northwestern Wisconsin , and surrounding communities, in which farmers and harvesters provide us with fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, syrup, wild rice, cheese, and other products from the water, woods, and fields. The Lake Superior convivium works with local college and university students, the Sustainable Farming Association, and others on projects related to growing and enjoying food and protecting the environment.


St. Louis County Historical Society Presents:


When: Thursday, May 15, 2008 from noon to 1 PM

What: Join us for a special presentation by Ivy Hanson titled They Used to Call Us Game Wardens, based on two books written by her father, Bill Callies. Her discussion will include the development of the books and their impact, along with important Minnesota game warden cases from 1960 to 1980.

The books are a compilation of stories written by retired game warden Bill Callies, which were only allowed to be published after his death. Ivy along with her brother, Fred Callies, edited the stories to publish the first volume in 2006. The books will be available for sale at this event.

Where: Ruth Maney Room, first floor of the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot), 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, MN

Feel free to bring your bag lunch. As always, admittance to this event is free to the public. ARCO coffee is provided.

Witness Against War Kathy Kelly to speak on Saturday, May 17

Witness Against War
Kathy Kelly will be speaking at Peace Church (United Church of Christ) 1111 N 11th Ave E in Duluth on Saturday May 17 at 7:00 p.m. (preceded by a pot luck meal at 6:00 p.m.).
All are welcome to both the meal and then to hear Ms Kelly free of charge tho donations of a pot luck item or to the costs of the event will also be welcome.

Kathy Kelly has a long history of providing direct assistance to people in war torn crisis situations as well as personally intervening in such situations to lessen the impact.
During the first war on Iraq she was a member of the Gulf Peace Team encamped on the Iraq / Saudi border. This was followed by 10 years of punishing sanctions during which she & her group, Voices in the Wilderness provided direct assistance of needed resources to the people of Iraq for which her group then came under legal sanctions. She was again in Iraq as a member of the Iraq Peace Team during the Shock & Awe attack of Gulf War II.

She has also worked in Bosnia, Haiti and Palestine as well as being on the front line during the Israeli / Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006. Her current organization, Voices for Creative Nonviolence continues its efforts to resist war. Further info on this group is available at www.vcnv.org

Ms Kelly will be talking about the non-violence campaign and what each of us can do in our own individual ways to resist aggression.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Don’t throw kitchen scraps and other food waste in the trash, recycle it to compost

Jonathon Tupper, Volunteer Coordinator for UMD’s Office of Civic Engagement with Kelenna Onyemore (left) and Izzy Laderman (right) – preschoolers at UMD’s Children’s Place.Jonathon is talking about a Beautiful U Day grant for $3000 (from U of M Twin Cities) he wrote to finance the worm bin.

Ellen Sandbeck with Shelby Johnson, daughter of Jen Johnson, Director of Children’s Place (Ellen is showing a worm bin to Shelby)

Photos by Mike Nordin

By Mike Nordin
What exactly is food waste and what happens to it in Duluth? I decided to investigate and discovered a few things.

Food waste, according to a Western Lake Superior Sanititary District (WLSSD) fact sheet, includes things we regularly produce in our kitchens like fruit and vegetable peelings and pits, loose tea leaves and tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, spoiled or moldy food (no liquids), cheese and butter, meat and fish scraps, fat, bones, baked goods, dough, pasta, rice or anything that is/was edible. Wow, that’s quite a list.

Quite often, food waste ends up going to the landfill. But there are other ways to dispose of food waste that make more sense. The WLSSD fact sheet also stated that “separating food scraps from your garbage is easy. Less waste to the landfill, and valuable nutrients are recycled to make Garden Green compost”. Compost is an important component in creating healthy, nutrient-rich soils, which can then be used for gardening. So, I walked down to Chester Creek Café, which now serves as the newest community drop site for food waste, to get the scoop, or should I say, scrap.

The staff at the counter knew immediately what I was talking about when I said “food waste”. They invited me downstairs to talk with Carla, the owner – she said right off that the café has been separating out their restaurant food waste for years! At the café, they have strategically located 5 gal pails with brown paper grocery bags to collect scraps. (Yes, brown paper grocery bags are ok, even at home.)

For kitchens at home, she said it’s really easy – all you need is some place to store your scraps and the Cafe will provide you with biodegradable bags and a code to access their food waste dumpster in the parking lot for drop off. So I headed home with my bags and code – ready to start.

I wanted to learn more about what to do when collecting food waste in our kitchen, so I contacted Susie Darley-Hill, Environmental Program Coordinator at WLSSD. I wondered if a chicken carcass could be thrown in – she said, “sure, but better freeze it in a rolled up newspaper (to minimize odors) until you’re ready to drop off the scraps”. For 10 bucks I purchased a stainless steel container with a lid to use with my compostable bags. I then wondered if everyone in the City could do this. She said “you bet” – turns out there are drop off locations throughout town – Willard Munger Inn, Marshall Hardware, the Materials Recovery Center (Rice Lake and Ridgeview Roads) and at WLSSD at Twenty-seventh Avenue West and Courtland Street (Yard Waste Composting Site).

There are also a bunch of businesses that sell biodegradable bags too - Marshall Hardware, Ace Hardware, Menards, Super One, Cub Foods and the Green Mercantile.

How about having a rich compost supply for a future home garden too? Garden Green is available for purchase but when I heard UMD was starting a worm bin in the Children’s Place Pre-School I thought I’d run up the hill to check it out. Ellen Sandbeck and partner Jim Naus, with Laverme’s Worms in Duluth were busy setting up a 100 gallon container for the kids to throw their lunch and snack scraps in – where 8000 red wiggler worms do the recycling. Even University of Minnesota, Duluth Chancellor Kathryn Martin was on hand to check this out! These worms are tough hombres and can break down old clothes among other things! Ellen has 15 years experience working with indoor worm composting and has set up systems for local elementary schools, prisons and colleges.

If you’d like to start keeping food waste out of the landfill and find better uses for it, stop by your nearest food waste drop-off site. Or call Ellen Sandbeck to start your own worm bin. By doing this, you may even be able to reduce the size of garbage container – lowering your monthly garbage bill.

You can also get in touch with:
Ellen Sandbeck - LaVermes Worms, Indoor Worm Composting (218) 721-4422 or ellen.sandbeck AT gmail dot com: and Susan Darley-Hill – WLSSD (218) 722-0761 or gardengreen AT wlssd dot com for more information.

Voices from Iraq

Sami Rasouli, Michelle Naar Obed and Murtadha al-Tameemi. Photo by Chris Van House

By Chris Van House Duluth East High School Student
Three voices resonated in the Peace Church on Friday April 4 in an attempt to inform people of the madness and chaos that is currently taking place in Iraq. Approximately 30 people gathered to hear firsthand accounts of Murtadha al-Tameemi, an exchange student from Iraq at Harbor City International School, Sami Rasouli, an Iraq citizen and Muslim Peacemaker Team member who has recently begun traveling around the state and talking about the Iraq War, and Michelle Naar Obed, a Christian Peacemaker Team member, who has visited Iraq numerous times and has seen the chaos that is taking place there.

All three speakers seemed to agree that the general population of the United States is being misinformed about how serious the situation in Iraq really is. Many people feel that having the United States military in Iraq is helping to calm and restore order there. However, Sami Rasouli said that having the U.S. in Iraq is only causing more chaos and violence and the United States along with many of its citizens do not realize that Iraq is more than capable of governing itself.
How can we stop what is going on in Iraq in Duluth? Murtahda, Sami and Michelle all said that we cannot wait around for the U.S. government to do something. Instead, we as citizens must do something to stop the violence and suffering that is taking place in Iraq. A popular suggestion was that Duluth should start a sister city with a city or town in Iraq which would help familiarize and unite citizens of both countries.

Whatever we do we must do quickly because for every day that we wait more and more innocent people die. Someone must stop this senseless war, and it won’t be the government. It has to be us.

Post script- Michelle Naar Obed has since returned with the Christian Peacemaking Team to Suleimaniya, Iraq where they are attempting to establish a continuous presence working with the people who live there. As part of their work, they will be looking into various methods of developing people to people contact between the citizens of Iraq and Duluth. One possibility would be to connect a youth group from Duluth with a youth group in an Iraqi city to share perspectives from two different sides of our world.
Michelle writes, “We have to go beyond just delivering bad news over and over. We have to move forward with something. I’d like to be able to come home next time with some kind of community building idea and not just more bad news about the war and U.S. foreign policy.”
(Chris Van House is a 10th grader at Duluth East High School)

UMD students clean up East Hillside

Here are two groups of the many who helped clean up on Saturday, April 19 weekend. The UMD Women’s Soccer Club and UMD’s Beta Lambda Psi. Here they are at Portland Square.
Photos by Molly Causse

By Molly Causse
UMD Better Neighbors
Saturday, April 19, the Saturday before Earth Day was pretty rainy, wet, windy, and cold! I doubted that many would show up to spend a few hours cleaning up the city! To my excitement, about 90 UMD students showed up! This is the best turnout yet of any Better Neighbors City Clean-up! On top of that, there were also community members who showed up to help clean! It was wonderful to see students and community members working together to make a difference in the community! I have gotten emails from community members saying that they noticed the Hillside area looks a lot cleaner, they were also very thankful to all the students who helped out.

Several UMD organizations participated, including athletic teams, fraternities and sororities, as well as other student groups.

The UMD Women’s Soccer team came again this year, as well as the UMD Women’s Basketball and Volleyball teams. There was also representation from Alpha Phi Omega (who won the prize for most garbage collected by any group or team), Beta Lambda Psi (who won the prize for second most garbage collected by any group or team), Pre-Dental Club, Chi Alpha, Lets Go Green, Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, Student Association, and the Communication Club. Individual students also participated and brought friends to help contribute and clean up garbage.

Two awards were given. The first award was for “Best Found Garbage Art” which was won by a member of the UMD Volleyball Team for finding a child’s diary which had pictures drawn by a child inside.
The other award was for “Object Which Improved the Campus Area Most By Being Removed,” this object was found by a member of the UMD Basketball who found a really large nail bed.

UMD Facilities Management donated gloves, bags, and a garbage truck for the event.

Letter to the editor: County commissioners make powerful mining decisions

St. Louis County is bigger than the state of Rhode Island, and it is blessed with much of the natural resource treasure of the state of Minnesota. Our county commissioners are stewards of those resources. So when you visit with your county commissioner, keep in mind that he or she is a powerful person when it comes to how important mining decisions are made.
We are faced with new industries and new uses for our resources. One new industry is non ferrous (not iron) mining; Polymet is a company that is proposing to mine for precious metals. The problem is the soil that holds these minerals reacts to air and water to form sulfuric acid. Where this kind of mining has been done in the past it has created impossible to clean “superfund” pollution sites.

As a community, we in Northern Minnesota want the folks on the Iron Range to prosper, have jobs, and enjoy long and healthy lives. As we have recently heard there are health threats that go with mining and which sadly are often left to AFTER the damage has been done to even research. Mesothelioma (lung cancer unique to the mining industry) is just the most recent example.

Now legislators like Minnesota State Representative David Dill and County Commissioner Dennis Fink are pushing for non ferrous mining projects, we hear of boom times on the range. We must make certain the headlines in 20 years are not about expensive and tragic damage to the waters of our lakes and streams. It only takes a little sulfuric acid to change lakes so that they do not support the tiny life forms that the whole chain of life depends upon.

Dennis Fink is a county commissioner who is supposed to represent the will and needs of those living in his district in the city of Duluth, it would be good for his constituents to look at why he is pushing for a radically anti environmentally sound agenda.

Study the issue and the next time you see your county commissioner tell him you want St. Louis County to be clean; free of waters polluted with sulfuric acid and free from tragic health consequences like mesothelioma.

An excellent source of information on this topic is the website

Kristin Larsen

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8th Annual Lincoln Park Walleye Open slated for June 14, $20,000 in cash and prizes

A participant from a previous Lincoln Park Walleye Open stands on a dock near the Bong Bridge to show off his catch.

Get your chance to catch some walleye and win great prizes on Saturday, June 14. The Lincoln Park Business Group is currently coordinating the 8th Annual Lincoln Park Walleye Open Fishing Tournament. This family-fun fishing event takes place on the St. Louis River in Lincoln Park.

The weigh-in station and boat launch are at the Port Terminal under the Blatnik Bridge, with the awards ceremony and barbecue following at the Bedrock Bar, 2023 W. Superior St.
The presenting sponsors this year are once again Leinenkugel’s and the Fond du Lac Reservation.

More than 400 fishing enthusiasts are expected to participate with approximately $20,000 in cash and prizes to be won. “First through 39th place all take home great prizes with the largest cash prize of $1,000 going to 40th Place,” said Heath Hickok executive director of the Lincoln Park Business Group. An added twist to the event, is a $500 cash prize to be raffled off and won by any participant that submits a walleye that is ranked from 41st Place and on, but you must be present to win.

The raffle grand prize is a brand new Yamaha Rhino ATV valued at more than $8,000. To learn more, look for Raffle Grand Prize events in Lincoln Park and at other bars throughout May and into June. Get a chance to see the Yamaha Rhino ATV, buy raffle tickets, win great door prizes, and get discounts on Leinenkugal’s.

To purchase raffle tickets for only $10 each or if you’re interested in participating in the tournament, call Heath at (218) 727-6573.

The Lincoln Park Business Group is a non-profit organization 501(C)3 whose mission is to assist and promote the growth of the Lincoln Park community through business and economic development. They are leading the efforts to improve Lincoln Park’s image by working with businesses, residents, and other city organizations to reduce crime, develop new business opportunities, and improve the streetscapes of the great Lincoln Park District.

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Duluth LISC receives $500,000 to help transform distressed areas into healthy communities of choice and opportunity

Central Hillside residents Gene
McKeever and Steve Sydow stand beside a display showing revitalization plans.

If you are living in a blighted neighborhood and you paint your house, another neighbor fixes his porch, and the business down the block spiffs up its storefront, the rest of the homeowners and landlords on your block might decide to follow suit. Before you know it, your neighborhood has become a more comfortable place to live and do business. At least that is what Duluth LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) is counting on.

The parking lot and street parking all around the Central Hillside Community Center was full, as was the meeting room as supporters and stakeholders crowded together to hear Duluth LISC announce it had received a $500,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The press conference, held on April 14, featured Duluth Mayor Don Ness and the Knight Foundation representative Polly Talen.

The grant will make five Duluth neighborhoods significant participants in a national effort to involve residents in long-term planning physical improvements and comprehensive community development.

The neighborhoods – Central and East Hillside, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, and West Duluth – are already targets of LISC’s Creating Neighborhoods That Work – At Home in Duluth Sustainable Community strategy to transform distressed areas into healthy communities of choice and opportunity – good places to work, do business and raise children.

“We think this grant can be a catalyst for anyone – developers, business owners and residents – interested in investing in the neighborhoods that are getting better and stronger by the day,” said Duluth LISC Executive Director Pam Kramer.

“It’s definitely a shot in the arm for the revitalization projects we already have under way in such neighborhoods as the West Duluth Business District and Ramsey Village and the Fourth Street corridor in the Central and East Hillside.”

The Knight grant will help Duluth LISC expand new business development in the designated “At Home” neighborhoods, fund various aspects of “quality of life” plan implementation, support neighborhood marketing and communications efforts, and train residents and community organizers in revitalization techniques.

Duluth LISC’s targeted neighborhood approach is partly a consequence of the 2005 Duluth Charrette, a Knight-funded, long-range planning exercise in which Duluth residents, planners, architects, and urban developers created plans for the East Downtown, Hillside and Waterfront neighborhoods. “LISC understands that good neighborhoods thrive when residents are involved and engaged,” said Knight Foundation Director Polly Talen.

Kramer emphasized that while LISC and Knight Foundation have laid the groundwork for the comprehensive redevelopment of those neighborhoods, the participation of private developers, residents, and businesses is essential for long-term success.

For more information, visit www.lisc.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the Twin Ports and 25 other U.S. communities. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change.

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