Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Scott Yeazle...Serving the Twin Ports

New Year offers fresh start to look forward

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that most of you are still keeping your resolution if you made one. The Year 2010 is here and we have a few things to look forward to.

By the end of the year we will have a new governor in Minnesota. The forums have started already and I have heard from more than a few people that Duluth and the surrounding areas are extremely important. I am looking forward to Martin Luther King Day. We have wonderful events planned for the weekend so please join us. On Monday, Jan. 18, there will be a free breakfast starting at 7 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church and a march and a rally starting at the Washington Center at 11 a.m.

The Minnesota legislative session starts on February 4. In the upcoming months, I will be posting updates from trips to the capitol. On January 30, Duluth Hillside SHARE will have a pickup day. It is a great savings on fresh foods at a low cost.
I know that a majority of readers will be cheering on the Vikings in the playoffs. Good luck to them and I hope everyone is safe in their celebrating.

We at the Hillsider community paper are looking forward to a wonderful 2010. I am always excited to hear from the readers. I think we have a product that is second to none.


Yeazle serves as vice president of the Hillsider board and is the chairperson of the Twin Ports Action Coaltion as well as serving on many other non-profit boards.

If he visited Duluth today, what would Martin Luther King, Jr. Do?

By Allegra Henderson

If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today and visited our beautiful city on the Lake, would he see an inclusive community? As he visited businesses, neighborhoods and schools would he see people of color included at all levels?

Monday January 18 marks the 24th observance of the federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. We celebrate this great man because his ideas and achievements were a powerful force. He helped eliminate the American Jim Crow system of segregation and racial discrimination. But have we come to celebrate him as a historical figure?

What does Dr. King inspire in our community to increase racial harmony and understanding? If King came to Duluth and was not recognized, would he experience discrimination as he sought services and accommodations? Would he feel welcome and encouraged to fully participate in all areas of life?

Dr. King’s legacy and vision for social justice is both controversial and often misunderstood. Using his deeply inspiring oratory skills, his dream of racial equality was conveyed in his most memorable speech during the March on Washington for JOBS and FREEDOM. He spoke against both the overt and subtle ills of racism. While we honor his oratory messages, would we be surprised if he organized sit-ins and rallies in our Duluth of 2010?

Minnesotans in general enjoy a good life, but currently the disparities in education, healthcare, housing and income between whites and people of color are some of the worse in the nation, according to a 2007 “Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equality.” In Duluth, the average African American household income is less than half that of whites. Many African Americans have not been promoted beyond entry-level jobs. This may be happening because they are being systemically excluded from the labor pool because of stereotypes, discrimination and lack of preparation.

Which Duluth leaders would King seek to gain understanding and take action in our community? Would he perceive any successes and hard won battles with regards to race relations? Would he organize protests, work to change legislation, organize a march on the Capitol in St. Paul for JOBS and FREEDOM?

Let’s be inspired and remove some of the denial around race relations. Let’s validate the experience of Native Americans, African Americans, Asians, Hispanic and Latino Americans living, working and raising their families in Duluth.

Let’s ask ourselves, “What would MLK do?”

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shoveling sidewalks critical in winter

By Maypakou Ly
City of Duluth
It is snow season and even a couple of inches sometimes pose a barrier. For those individuals trying to get around town, snow-covered ,slick sidewalks create a hazardous situation. As community members, we can all do our part to ensure safe passage on sidewalks for our family, friends, neighbors, or customers. People tend to focus on streets during a snowfall, but the reality is that it is equally important to clean off sidewalks. That responsibility belongs to everyone.

Duluth City ordinance (Section 45, Article VI) requires that all residents (whether you own, lease, or rent a property) clear their sidewalks within 24 hours following any snowfall. Residents should clear a path with a minimum width of 36 inches. Residents may be assessed a fine if they do not remove snow from their sidewalks and the City Public Works staff find it necessary to take care of it for you.

You can be a partner in ensuring safe mobility for everyone. Snow is expected in the Northland and is unavoidable, but everyone has a responsibility as a member of the community to help keep sidewalks clean. It’s required by city ordinance but most importantly, doing so demonstrates courtesy to your neighbors, friends and family.

The city code is available by visiting the Go to the website, click on Municode Library, then click on Minnesota, and then Duluth, click on Duluth Legislative code. Enter key words of sidewalk and snow.

General information on street maintenance during the winter is available on the city’s Winter Watch website at

Fast Facts about Hmong in Duluth, MN

• The Hmong fought for the U.S. during the Vietnam War.
• The word “Hmong” means “Free People.”
• Nearly half the pre-war Hmong population of Laos died during the Vietnam war and its aftermath.
• The first Hmong arrived in Duluth in 1978
•Traditionally there are no written records. Hmong history has been passed down through legends and ritual ceremonies from one generation to another.
• Currently there are 20 Hmong families, about 150 people, in the Duluth area.
• In Minnesota, the Hmong have the highest rate of homeownership as an ethnic minority because they pool resources.
• Minnesota has two Hmong legislators; one of them is the first female Hmong legislator in the nation. They are Representative Cy Thao and Senator Mee Moua.

Interesting links on Hmong

Twin Ports Hmong welcome New Year

Hmong New Year 2010 Celebration
Food, music, clothing, dance and history shared with Twin Ports and new generation

Caption: Tou Ger Moua, age 5, wears an embroidered Hmong cap at the Hmong New Year celebration. (Photo by Rosemary Hampton)

By Rosemary Hampton

Celebrating the New Year is one way the Hmong people of the Twin Ports can make sure their culture is not forgotten, and a New Year celebration is also a way to share their heritage with the non-Hmong people.

Each year in early December, the Hmong of the Twin Ports come together to celebrate their New Year; they share their clothing, dances, food, music, poetry, and songs.

This year, many Hmong families came together December 5, 2009 to celebrate the Hmong New Year 2010. Dressed in their native costumes, many celebrated during a two-hour program in the Lakeview Social Hall of First United Methodist Church, 230 E. Skyline Prkwy.
This year about 400 people gathered for the event, and 300 of those were non-Hmong people. So, the event was a success in sharing Hmong culture.

History of Hmong in the U.S. and Twin Ports
In 1978 the first Hmong families came to Duluth. Currently about 20 Hmong families, which would be about 125 to 150 people, are living in the Twin Ports. The Hmong who came to the United States as refugees from the Vietnam War came out of Laos where they were recruited by the CIA, beginning in the early 1960’s under President Kennedy to help fight the communist invasion of Southeast Asia. They spent time in the refugee camps of Thailand, varying from a few months to decades. Their culture, language, and background are all very different from that of the other Southeast Asian refugees who came out of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand following the Vietnam War.

In Minnesota the Hmong have the highest homeownership rates of any other minority. This is because the Hmong value living in extended families and pool their resources.

New Year Celebration
The celebration featured interesting instruments including a bamboo flute named a tsaajnplaim and a geej, a large Hmong folk wind instrument made of many pieces of bamboo. Many of the Hmong proudly donned their festive traditional attire. Galong Xiong sang the “Hmong New Year Song” and played the tsaajnplaim. In the “Hmong Traditional Clothing Show” Neng Xiong and Bao Vang wore traditional Blue Hmong clothing, the roots of the Hmong people. Xai and Ka Moua wore clothes to represent the White Hmong, a branch of the Blue Hmong that formed with the early arrival of people from the Middle East to China.

Yia and Xai Vue, nephews of Chia Ying Vue, danced a strenuous folk dance while they each played a geej. The Hmong Girl Dancers, all UMD students, danced a few “Hmong Second Generation Dances” while a a narrator in English told the story that related to each dance. Except for about 20 Hmong born in camps in Thailand, the second and third generations of Twin Port Hmong were born in America.
Tai Xiong wrote, sang and read his poetry in his native language.

Larson retires from ISD, but stays involved with Hmong
The celebration brought a closure not only to the Year 2009 but also to the assistant of the Hmong New Year Committee in Duluth. On that day Bea Larson handed the responsibilities to the Committee’s new assistant, Stacey Afterhoff, a teacher in the Duluth Public Schools. Larson, who is retiring, has been with the Hmong of Twin Ports since they first arrived in 1978.
Although Larson is retiring from her position of instructor in English as a Second Language at the Duluth Adult Learning Center, she will continue to advocate for the local Hmong population as well as tutor people studying for the naturalization exam to become American citizens.

City Crews and Citizens Work Together to Clear Nearly Two Feet of Snow

City of Duluth snowplow operators have been working since early Christmas Eve trying to keep the roads in driving condition. Depending on which part of Duluth you live you may have experienced anywhere from 10-24 inches of heavy wet snow. Removing the snow from over 400 miles of streets is now the city’s top priority.

There are a total of 38 snow plow routes with each route containing 60 streets each including some main arteries, residential streets and alleys in that vicinity. All plow route mileages are an average of 50 miles each. It took operators on average 4 hours to plow main streets, which always are top priority. In some areas during the storm the snow was so deep it went well over the plow blade forcing operators to more slowly across city streets.

After city streets are cleared crews will focus their efforts in clearing the city sidewalks which will be difficult due to the freezing of the wet snow. It may take up to three weeks to clear all of the sidewalks due to additional snow which is forecasted for later this week.

We apologize for any blocked sidewalks or driveways due to our efforts to keep the streets safe to drive.

We ask citizens to follow a few snow recommendations:

  • Please remember it is illegal to remove snow from your property and place it in city streets and alleys.
  • Please help out your neighbors that are having difficulty removing this snow.
  • People who park on the street should be extra diligent to follow these ordinances; no closer than 7 feet to alleys or driveways, must park with 12 inches of the curb and parking or partially blocking driving lanes will result in a ticket and the car will be towed.

For additional snow related information please go to Winter Watch.

If you have a snow related issue to report please call 730-5100 (answered during normal business hours)

We will continue to our best to keep our city streets clear of snow and safe for travel.

City of Duluth Cross Country Ski Trails Now Open

The Parks and Recreation Division has announced all cross country ski trails are groomed, in fantastic condition and are ready for skiing.

The City of Duluth has 45 kilometers of skiing on five cross country ski trails. These trails provide a great skiing expereince for every level of skier and pass through beautiful forest with tremendous views of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River valley. For current information on trail conditions, persons can call the Ski Hotline at 730-4321.

City of Duluth Cross Country Ski Trails:

Chester Bowl: located just off Skyline Parkway at 16th Avenue East in the center of Duluth. A 3.1 km loop groomed for traditional cross country skiing.

Hartley Ski Trail: double looped 5.0 km ski trail that is groomed for traditional cross-country skiing at beginning and intermediate levels. There are two access points: Fairmont Street, off Woodland Ave and the intersection of Hartley and Woodhaven, off Arrowhead Road.

Lester/Amity Ski Trail: 18 km of trails groomed for both traditional and skate-style skiing. Every evening a 5.0 km loop is lit from dusk to 11:00 PM. To reach Lester/Amity, drive east on Superior Street to the Lester River Road, left on Lester River Road, parking lot is a block up on the left.

Magney-Snively Ski Trail: trail network consists of 15 km of trails that are cut through beautiful hadrwood forest. Groomed for both traditional and skate-style skiing. Access the trail by traveling west on Skyline Drive two miles past Spirit Mountain. Parking lot is 1/4 mile beyond the old stone bridge.

Piedmont Ski Trail: 5.0 km double tracked loop that is appropriate for traditional skiers of all levels and includes some scenic overlooks of the St Louis River valley. Take Piedmont Avenue to Hutchinson Road (two blocks up from the six-corner intersection). Turn left on Hutchinson and follow to Adirondack Street. Trail starts on the left of Hutchinson Road.

Spirit Mountain and Snowflake are two additional locations in Duluth to cross country ski.

A Minnesota State Ski Pass is required for use of the city trails. To obtain a ski pass go to

In order to help maintain good skiing conditions for the fun and safety of all skiers, users of the ski trails are requested to follow good trail etiquette.

Ski in the indicated direction

Leave pets at home

Hikers and dogs are not allowed on groomed trails

Try to fill any holes and smooth track if you should fall

Maps for each trail are available on the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Division web site at or at the Parks and Recreation office located at 12 East 4th Street open Monday-Thursday 8:00-4:00 PM.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Holiday Promotions Offer Benefits to Participants and to Second Harvest

Updating your holiday light sets and recycling your old working refrigerator will not only

save energy, save you money and help the environment, it will also help people in need this

holiday season.

Minnesota Power and US Bank have partnered with Duluth Ace Hardware stores and

95 KQDS/Red Rock Radio to raise funds for Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. From

now through December 31, 2009, customers can ensure a donation to the food bank by

participating in Minnesota Power’s conservation program. For each string of LED holiday lights

sold at Downtown Ace Hardware and Denny’s Ace Hardware in Woodland, the food bank will

receive $2.00. What’s more the light sets which sell for $7.99 and $9.99 offer a $3.00 instant

rebate to the purchaser.

Minnesota Power is also offering their customers a chance to recycle their old, inefficient

Working refrigerator or freezer. Those who participate in this offer between now and December

31, 2009 will ensure a $25.00 donation to the food bank for each one recycled. Customers who

recycle their refrigerator or freezer also receive $50 for themselves

plus their appliance is picked up at their home address, as is listed on their Minnesota Power bill.

“We are seeing an unprecedented number of people needing our food bank’s food this

holiday season,” said Shaye Moris, the food bank’s executive director. “Minnesota Power and

US Bank have pledged their support to help. If people have a need to upgrade their holiday

lights to more energy efficient sets or want to recycle their old working refrigerators or freezers

they should really consider doing it now. Their purchase or recycling would have great impact

on so many people in need right now.”

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, the region’s only “food bank,” is on track this

year to rescue a record 3.3 million pounds of food or enough food for 2.6 million meals for

distribution to 140 non-profit programs and 40,000 Northland residents located throughout NE

Minnesota (St. Louis, Carlton, Lake and Cook counties) and NW Wisconsin (Douglas, Bayfield,

Ashland and Iron counties. For more information visit For

further details about this special promotion visit

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bentleyville Tour of Lights Weekend Excitement Planned

“Elfis” Performance Friday and Saturday

Bayfront Skating Rink Now Open

Only 7 Days to Visit Santa

Make you plans now to visit the Bentleyville Tour of Lights display at Bayfront Festival Park this weekend.

The weekend will be one of the most exciting of the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. The weekend starts out with the popular “Elfis” (half elf and half Elvis singer) who will be performing at the Bentleyville main stage on Friday, December 18th and Saturday, December 19th starting at 6:00 PM. You don’t want to miss this truly spectacular performance of your favorite holiday tunes.

Everyone is invited to bring their skates to Bentleyville and enjoy the newly opened Bayfront Park skating rink. Skating hours this weekend are Friday 4:00-8:00 PM, Saturday 1:00-8:00 PM and Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM. Also available to all skaters is the Family Center’s which is equipped with large fireplace which will warm you up from the cold.

Children wanting to see Santa should make their way to Bentleyville over the next 7 days. As we all know Santa will be leaving for the North Pole late December 23rd in order to load up his sleigh with presents for all children. Santa visits begin at 5:00 PM daily.

Please remember to think of those in need during this holiday season. Bentleyville Tour of Lights is an official Salvation Army drop off site. Bring your non-perishable food items and new unwrapped toys to Bentleyville. Donations will be accepted until the last day of Bentleyville, which will be January 2.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights, which is one of the largest lighting displays in the state of Minnesota runs from 5:00-10:00 PM daily free of charge. Visitors will be greeted by the spectacular Bentleyville castle which stands 24 feet high and 78 feet long and the Cookie House where visitors are welcome to complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and cookies as they stroll through the park. A dazzling 500 foot lighted tunnel leads you to Santa, live outdoor entertainment, 15 fire pits for roasting marshmallows and the Polar Popcorn Hut. Everyone will be amazed at the local displays of the Aerial Lift Bridget, a replicate of a thousand foot ore boat and the famous Enger Tower.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. The community mission of this event is to raise non-perishable food items and new unwrapped toys for families in need.

For more Bentleyville Tour of Lights information go to

For further information contact: Nathan Bentley, Bentleyville Tour of Lights (218) 740-3536; Mayor Don Ness at (218) 730-5320; Amy Norris, Public Information Coordinator at (218) 730-4312; Kristi Stokes, Greater Downtown Council at (218) 727-8549 or Gene Shaw, Visit Duluth at (218) 625-8106.

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Christmas Eve services at Duluth Congregational Church

The Hillsider regrets an error in the December issue of the Duluth Congregational Church's Christmas Eve services ad.

The correct information for their Christmas Eve services are the is the following:

Duluth Congregational Church
3833 E. Superior St.
4:30 and 11:00 pm, Candlelight services

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Kick-off for the construction of the American Indian supportive housing project

Caption: Sheery Sanchez TIbbetts, executive director of AICHO (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) held a construction kick-off for the Gimaajii project.

The Gimaajii will create 29 units of permanent supportive housing and an American Indian Community Center in the old YWCA building at 202 W. Second St. in downtown Duluth.

The kick-off included a self-guided tour, welcoming drum songs, a pipe ceremony by Jeffery TIbbetts, words from: Sherry Sanchez Tibbets - executive director of AICHO, Laura Kadwell - Minnesota director for Ending Long-Term Homelessness, David Danz - planner with the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa and Robert E. Powless, PhD. project funder a past chairman of the Duluth Indian Commission.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Opinion: These conservatives are saying what?

By Dane Smith, president of Growth & Justice

Steve Forbes has a reputation as a fiercely zealous capitalist, and in general we need much less of such wild-eyed fundamentalism – from both the right and the left – in policy and politics.

But I went to hear his speech in Minneapolis last week, partly because my friend Mitch Pearlstein at the Center of the American Experiment graciously offered me a seat, and partly because I always like to know what the smartest anti-government adversaries are saying.

I was pleasantly surprised that Forbes delivered a message that was bullish about the future, candid at times in admissions of Wall Street failures, and mostly lacking in incendiary, Tea Party polemics about the evils of all things public and governmental.

Forbes, who ran for president in 1996 and 2000, is a fabulously wealthy publisher who inherited the Forbes magazine empire from his father, Malcolm Forbes. By most accounts, the junior Forbes has worked hard to deserve his place at the top of the American economic aristocracy.

He is best known as an advocate for cutting taxes, especially on the rich, and as the apostle of the so-called flat tax – and he’s been mostly scornful about the role of government as an economic regulator and equalizer.

And he got off some pretty hard shots at the CAE fundraising event, against both health care reform and the growing federal deficit.

But he sounded imminently sensible in making these points:

• Capitalism has a moral foundation, in that “you don’t succeed unless you meet the needs of other people” but, he added, that “doesn’t excuse what Wall Street did,” especially mortgage bankers.

• While to some it “looks like free markets have ill-served us,” Forbes said, the larger and more accurate picture of the U.S. economy is one of remarkable productivity, resilience, innovation and growth that actually outperformed India and China in raw dollars, even in recent years.

• Rather than a call for abolishing the Federal Reserve and any governmental role in oversight of the economy – as some extremists do these days – Forbes implicitly endorsed a Fed that would strengthen the dollar, print less money and keep credit tighter.

• Repeating his points from a magazine column more than a year ago, Forbes called for judicious reforms in regulation, especially “mark-to-market” accounting rules, and he actually praised the Democratic Congress for reforming that irrational system earlier this year.

The most important takeaway was that Forbes, unlike some sky-is-falling conservatives who declare that the Obama administration’s policies are about to destroy capitalism, believes that the system is essentially sound.

Forbes noted that despite all the gloom about trillions in market losses in recent years, the United States and its citizens and businesses still have some $70 trillion in assets.

In short, we remain a nation of unequalled and fabulous wealth, albeit one of the most unequally distributed economies among the wealthy nations.

The fact that Forbes did not mount an all-out anti-Obama screed was counter-intuitive, but it was reinforced in a commentary from syndicated conservative columnist David Brooks a few days later. (Brooks also was a Center of the American Experiment speaker this year.)

Continuing his pattern of evolution toward a far more reasonable accommodation of public investment and moderation on tax-and-budget policy, Brooks opined that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been mostly right and has been vindicated for the massive outlays of taxpayer dollars to stabilize the economy.

Noting that early on both the liberal New Republic and a panel of Wall Street Journal economists gave Geithner an “F,” Brooks wrote that the “financial sector is in much better shape than it was then. TARP money is being repaid, and the debate now is what to do with the billions that were never needed.”

Brooks went on to say that the left was wrong in calling for nationalization of the financial industry and the right was wrong to fault the administration’s pragmatic tactic of having the federal government act “as aggressive(ly) as possible, as early as possible.”

The crisis is not over yet, Brooks concluded, and the nation and its president face three cross-cutting pressures: a need to reduce deficits, a rising populism in Congress, and “intense public cynicism about government, which means that every debate is washed in negativity.”

Cynicism and negativity, about our private sector and our public sector, are our enemies. To borrow from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only thing we have to be cynical about is cynicism itself.

Constructive and honest criticism are always in order, but it’s great to hear voices of reason and balance from both sides in these perilous times.

And listening carefully to the more thoughtful conservatives is always a good idea for practical progressives.

A version of this column originally appeared in the St. Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report on Thursday, November 26.

Dane Smith is president of St. Paul-based Growth & Justice, a progressive research organization that focuses on economics and state-and-local budget issues. He also spent 30 years as a journalist for the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, where he delved into state, local and federal governments and politics.

Don't forget teens in your charitiable gift giving

2nd Annual Teen Gift Drive at BragGame Rights

Duluth, MN (12/02/08) - Join BragGame Rights, MIX 108 (KBMX 107.7FM) and Nelson & Company Advertising and PR, to help make our area teens'
holiday wishes come true this holiday season. Friday, December 4 from
3-7 pm Laura and Jean from the MIX 108 Morning Show, representatives
from Nelson & Company Advertising and PR and Coy Christmas from BragGame
rights will host a live remote on the at BragGame Rights to help raise
much needed gifts for area teens.

According to the local Salvation Army, teens are often forgotten in the
area toy drives. "We are looking for gifts for teens ages 13 - 17, such
as teen rated video games, grooming products, sporting goods items,
jewelry, gift certificates to local stores, and music and DVDs," says
Coy Christmas, "weather permitting, we'll hit the roof and get shoppers'
attention not to forget area teens." BragGame Rights also has gift cards
in all dollar increments if you don't have time to shop

MIX 108 and Nelson & Company are donating their time to help BragGame
rights kick off this event.. Items can be dropped off in advance at MIX
108 (14 East Central Entrance) or BragGame Rights on Maple Grove Road.

BragGame Rights, Duluth's only licensed console gaming host location,
boasts 4000 square feet of pay to play gaming, retail products, new and
used games, and entertainment. Located at 2510 Maple Grove Road, phone
number 218-740-GAME (4263), or at

Donate to restock the food shelves

EXTREME GIVING - Builders Commonwealth & Downtown Computer

Join Forces Restocking Local Food Shelves!

Builders Commonwealth and Downtown Computer are asking every able person or business in our community to help meet the extreme need to refill the shelves by donating non-perishable food items, hygiene items, or grocery gift cards.

We all are aware with the economic crunch everyone has had to do some “belt tightening”. One of the many things that make our community such a wonderful place to live is the generosity of the people who live here. The holiday season is a perfect time to help out your neighbors in need.

With that in mind, mark your calendars for Extreme Giving: Monday, December 7th through Tuesday, December 21st

Drop off points: Builders Commonwealth , 517 Garfield Avenue Duluth MN (218) 729-1192

Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Downtown Computer, 201 E. Superior Street Duluth MN (218) 733-0400.

Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. - Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

On behalf of Builders Commonwealth , Downtown Computer, and the Twin Ports’ food shelves, we thank you in advance for your contribution to this community wide effort to RESTOCK THE SHELVES – EXTREME STYLE!

–Thad Whitesel, Builders Commonwealth and Gina Esterbrooks, Downtown Computer

Visit this link for gift ideas

Hillsider gift ideas

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Movie and discussion Protecting Our Waters, Dec. 3

Sulfide Mining in Minnesota - Protecting our Waters
Thursday, December 3 6:00 - 8:30pm
EPA Conference Center, 6201 Congdon Blvd, Duluth
Movie & Panel discussion / Q&A Information Tables

6:00: Information tables

6:30: Showing of the film "Precious Waters" - Friends of the Boundary Waters new documentary

7:00 Panel discussion, followed by questions from audience.
Panelist include:
Ken Westlake - US EPA Region 5
Nancy Schuldt - Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Frank Ongaro - Mining Minnesota
LeRoger Lind - Save Lake Superior Association

Free and open to the public – Refreshments will be served

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Duluth Natural Resources Committee and the Association for Women in Science - Lake Superior Chapter

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Duluthian on front page of Yahoo News

Soldier's mom sues over letter marked deceased.

Still looking for gift ideas? Local art and products


Still looking for gift ideas? Give gifts that keep your dollars local
and improve the community and meet the people who make creative RIGHT
here in the Twin Ports.**
* *

*1. GET IT LOCAL Gift Fair *

Saturday, December 5 10 to 3 p.m.

Peace United Church of Christ, 1111 N. 11th Ave E.* *

This is the 3^rd year for the fair that has over 25 local artists and a
mix of nonprofits providing essential services and support in the area.
All the artists living in the Twin Ports.

What you will find there: artwork, pottery, jewelry, felted and sewn
items, wood turned bowls, painted gourds, homemade cards, calendars,
origami, wreaths, and so many unique items.

NEW THIS YEAR—Make & Take station:

10 to 12 - Kid's Crafts by Bohemia Arts
12 to 12:45 - Dye a Silk Scarf
1 to 2 - Learn to Felt

The local nonprofits attending this year will be Humane Society of
Douglas County, Altrusa Club of Duluth, Hartley Nature Center, Mentor
Duluth, Seeds of Hope Youth Ranch, Outdoor Edventures, and Friends of
the Duluth Library. Community Action Duluth will have food, coffee, and
other beverages available all day.
Live Music with Terry Larson in the morning and Charity Huot in the

*2. GET GREAT STUFF* evening art & gift fair

Shop after work on the evening of Tuesday, December 8 at Duluth
Congregational Church, 3833 E. Superior St., next to Northland Country Club

Open shopping time: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Do some holiday shopping after work. Many local-made and creative gift
items will be available for purchase. Over 20 artists will be
participating. Pottery, books, sewn items, jewelry, cards, diamond
willow items, tshirts, chocolates, and more. NOTE: Only 5 of the 22
artists overlap with the GET IT LOCAL fair so come check this fair out
to shop from more wonderful local artists. This fair has area artists
ranging from Oulu to Holyoke with mostly Duluth - some within a few
blocks of the church.

Food & treats will be available.

For more information, contact 525-5098 or These
fairs are brought to you by

Friday, November 27, 2009


Can you easily walk to where you need to be?

Caption: These photos show some of the physical impediments to walking in East and Central Hillside. (Photos by Scott Yeazle.)

By Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff


1969 – Man walks on the moon
1994 – Man walks down street
“I needed milk, so I went for it.”

The above was part of a presentation during a walkability audit of Central and East Hillside on Nov. 7.
Walkable communities are important for making a community more livable and for some individuals, their very survival. Walking to the store for some milk should not mean taking your life in your hands.
The audit included a mixture of residents and officials and is part of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Walkability refers to how safe it is to walk in an area.
Safety can refer to the level dangerousness because of traffic or even
criminal threats. Anything that discourages a person from walking affects communities as a whole. With rising obesity rates health care costs could be trimmed if more people could easily include walking in both their residential and work neighborhoods.
Kathy Bogen, avid walker and Grant Community Collaborative director, said there are hazards to students walking to and from school. She helps walk students after school. She is especially concerned since Nettelton and Grant schools will soon be combined and many students will need to cross Sixth Avenue East.
“I regularly defy death by walking across Sixth Avenue East,” said participant Diane Anderson who walks and bikes to work and for recreation.
Codie Leeman, active living coordinator of Fit City Duluth, said that if cities follow the 8/80 rule when planning streets and development the community would be safer. That rule is asking the question, “Is this an area that would be safe for an 8 year-old to cross; and would it be safe for an 80 year-old?”
His presentation included before and after slides of what cities had done to make their most dangerous streets safer for everyone including bicyclists and pedestrians. Making a street wider is not always better. One side of a street in Tacoma, Wash looked like Duluth’s Central Entrance. A center boulevard, sidewalks and clearly painted lanes changed it to a safer place.
Discuss your ideas about walkability on The Hillsider Blog.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. We are rounding the bend for production of our Decmeber issue. I you can help proofread or distribute please contact me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fourth District Council Recount Update

The Duluth Fourth District City Council recount commenced today. The requesting candidate, Gordon Grant, submitted a waiver for the balance of the recount.

The waiver request was received by the City Clerk's office following a recount of ballots from three precincts.

Mr. Grant has agreed to accept the official certification of the results by the Duluth City Council from Novmber 9, 2009.

Care about our city parks? Join in the Parks Master Plan

These are the upcoming community input meetings for the Parks Master
Plan. The meetings will be the same, just at different dates/times so
that more people are able to attend.

Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Central Hillside Community Center, 12 E 4th St

Thursday, December 3, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Depot-Great Hall, 506 West Michigan Street

Thursday, December 3, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Portman Community Center, 4601 McCulloch St

Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
City Center West, 5830 Grand Ave

Story-telling for kids AND adults

I received this note from Elizabeth Nordell:

"Hope you can make one or both of these events:

This one is great for the whole family...

...November 19, 6:00 p.m.: 9th Annual Tellabration Family Storytelling event at Grant School, located at 1027 N 8th Ave. E., Duluth, MN. Tellers will include: Rachel Nelson, Harold Kallio, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Elizabeth Nordell and Carol Lee and Sparky. Refreshments! Free will offering to the KAKO Foundation or Non-perishable food item appreciated.

Grownups enjoy a story and an adult beverage:

After you leave Grant, drop the children home, with a sitter or other responsible being, and come on down for some stories/stand-up for adults...

...Thursday, November 19, 8:15 p.m.: "Wit, Wisdom and Whatever.." a Tellabration Storytelling event for adults at Dubh Linn's Pub, The Murphy Room, 109 W Superior St., Duluth, MN. Tellers will include: Rachel Nelson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Sara Thomsen, Elizabeth Nordell and Carol Lee, Tom Martinson and Harold Kallio.$5/

Don't miss Festival of Seasons at the Farmers Market

I received this note on Facebook from Lois of "Farmer Doug":

"Plan to start your Christmas shopping on Saturday, November 21 at the Duluth Farmer's Market. There will be 26 local vendors with a great variety of items. Get your wreaths, garland, swags, kissing balls and even fresh holly at the Farmer Doug booth. Dress warm and enjoy the day."

See details here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Annual Christmas City of the North Parade to be Friday, Dec 21

On Friday, November 20, 2009, the 51st Annual Christmas City of the North Parade will be held on Superior Street in Downtown Duluth starting at 6:20 p.m. The parade route will be the same as last year. Parade units will assemble on Railroad Street. The parade will travel east on Railroad Street to Lake Avenue, across the Lake Avenue Bridge, and then west on Superior Street to the termination point at 5th Avenue West.
I-35 Northbound and Southbound exits onto Lake Avenue will be closed for duration of the parade, approximately 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Travelers going to Canal Park or Park Point will have to use alternate routes to access Lake Avenue.

The following streets will have NO PARKING:

  • Superior Street after 5:00 p.m., 6th Avenue West to Lake Avenue on both sides. This will include handicapped zones. Cars parked in violation on Superior Street will be towed after 5:30 p.m.
  • Michigan Street after 5:00 p.m., between 5th and 6th Avenues West on both sides. This will include handicapped zones.
  • Harbor Drive is no parking.
The following streets will have Detours:
  • Railroad Street between Canal Park Drive and Garfield Avenue will be closed starting at 2:00 p.m. to facilitate the set up of KBJR’s television coverage and the parade lineup.
  • Lake Avenue South will be closed to through traffic at Buchanan Street. Northbound traffic off of Park Point will be detoured to Canal Park Drive starting at 2:00 p.m.

Motorists wanting to access the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) are encouraged to take I-35 and exit at 5th Avenue West. The only access to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) from downtown during the parade will be by taking 6th Avenue West to Michigan Street, to 5th Avenue West, to Harbor Drive.

The only access to Park Point will be by Lake Avenue and Canal Park Drive

Monday, November 16, 2009

Duluth Parks and Recreation Commission Monthly Meeting held on Wednesday, November 18th at 4:00 PM

The Duluth Parks and Recreation Commission’s next monthly meeting will be held Wednesday, November 18, 2009. This public meeting will be held at the Parks and Recreation Office at 12 East Fourth Street, beginning at 4:00 PM.

Parks Master Plan Monthly Update will be presented by Kathy Bergen, Parks and Recreation Division Manager. A presentation will be made by Tim Howard and Brad Johnson regarding the Riverside Land Project.

A complete agenda for this meeting is available at the Parks and Recreation office.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 730-4300.

Recount for city council fourth distirct

There will be a recount for votes cast at the November 3, 2009 General Election for the

office of City Councilor Fourth District. The recount will be conducted pursuant to the

written request submitted by candidate Gordon Grant.

The recount will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2009, beginning at 9:00 a.m., in the Duluth City Council Chambers 3rd floor City Hall, 411 W. 1st Street, Duluth, MN, 55802.

The recount is open to the public and the ballots will be manually recounted.

Renters Unite!

Are you concerned about: Water leaks? Bad utilities (Heat, Water, Electricity)? Unfair Management Practices? Repairs not made/Absentee Landlords?
Are you interested in: Getting involved with Block Watches and Citizen Patrols? Fighting to protect the Renter’s Credit? Legislation that benefits renters in the upcoming session?

LINCOLN PARK Tuesday Nov. 17th 5:30 PM
Harrison Community Center ~ 3002 W. 3rd

ALL HILLSIDE Wednesday, Nov. 18th 6:00PM
Friends Meeting House ~ 1802 East 1st St.

(transportation available)

For more information call Allen @CHUM 740-2497

Give To The Max Day!

November 17th 2009

Online donations to CHUM will receive a portion of the $500,000 matching funds available

based on the gifts received during
24 hours starting 8 AM on the 17th.
Use the Donate Now button above or
Go to and push the Donate Now button.
Every donation made during Give to the Max Day will receive a portion of the $500,000 match. This means the exact amount matched per dollar donated will be determined after Give to the Max Day concludes. The $500,000 of matching funds will be divided by the total donations.
The three Minnesota nonprofits that receive donations from the most individuals will receive cash prizes: $5,000 1st prize, $2,500 2nd prize, and $1,000 3rd prize.
Transaction fees for gifts made on Give to the Max Day will be covered by so 100% of your gift make on line will go straight to CHUM. partners include 13 foundations,

such as the Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul Foundation,

who developed the website to help Minnesota nonprofits

raise money more efficiently.

For more information contact Mary Schmitz at 218-720-6521


Friday, November 13, 2009

Motorists encouraged to stay away from snow plows

Visit Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week here.

Mn/DOT snow plow crews ready for winter weather

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s snow plow operators are trained, experienced and ready to assist motorists in facing another winter driving season.

“We have the equipment, technology and experienced crews to do an excellent job of keeping Minnesota’s roadways clear,” said Susan Mulvihill, Mn/DOT director of operations. “We have great confidence in our crews, and we are asking motorists to help us keep the roads safe during winter driving conditions by giving our plows room to work.”

Last year there were 103 snowplow/vehicle crashes in Minnesota and 27 of these crashes occurred when vehicles crashed into the back of snow plows. The crashes are typically caused by inattentive drivers or by motorists driving too close.

Snowplow trucks can be twice as wide as a semi truck. They are rigged with a plow that extends 12-15 feet out from the front of the truck and an 8-10 foot-wide side wing plow. Operators have much to monitor and control and their ability to see behind them is limited by side mirrors. Their vision can also be hampered by the snow clouds they create while plowing.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for drivers to approach winter driving with caution and patience.” Mulvihill urged. “To keep themselves safe and the highways open, motorists need to stay away from snow plows.”

Mn/DOT urges drivers to follow these safety steps this winter:

--Keep a safe stopping distance between vehicles and stay at least five car lengths behind snow plows or other removal equipment.
--Never drive into a snow cloud.
--Give yourself plenty of travel time; don't put your schedule before safety.
--Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.
--Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retain traction and avoid skids.
--Don’t “power up” hills which may cause wheels to spin. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed going downhill.
--Adjust speed to road and weather conditions. Lower speeds help drivers avoid crashes and minimize those that occur.
--Avoid using cruise-control.
--Turn headlights on when it is snowing or sleeting.
--Give driving your full attention; do not talk on cell phones or text while driving.
--Always wear seat belts.
--During storms, stay home if possible; avoid unnecessary travel.
--Watch for pedestrians---especially children-who may be walking on the street to avoid walking on impassable sidewalks.
--If your vehicle stalls, stay in your vehicle and call/wait for help.

Mn/DOT is working with several other state agencies and a group of safety organizations to sponsor Winter Hazards Awareness Week.

For winter driving tips and more winter safety information please visit

For information about road closures and current road conditions call 5-1-1 or log onto

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is now available on Facebook.

NHS annual dinner

Neighborhood Housing Services held their annual meeting last night at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lincoln Park. This was the second year for a spaghetti fundraiser dinner to coincide with the annual meeting. Board members, staff and friends made the dinner. There was also a silent auction and a band. (If you remember the band's name enter it in the comments.)The Lincoln Park Citizen's Patrol was awarded by Lt. Kerry Kolodge, West Area Patrol Commander, for the efforts and curbing crime in their neighborhood. The top photo is Lynn Nephew the president of the NHS board

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Northland FlavorTM offers new wholesale opportunity to regional artists

The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund will host a two-day Northland FlavorTM Marketplace March 7-8 (Sunday and Monday) in downtown Duluth at the Holiday Inn Conference Center . The event will allow regional artists to display their products to retail outlets such as gift shops, bookstores, floral shops, and galleries.

Eligible artists will be provided a draped exhibit table to their display their reproducible product lines to event visitors. This is a wholesale opportunity, not a retail event. Artists and retailers must register before the event by contacting the event organizer.

A new program of the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Northland Flavor will help artists throughout northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin blend their artistic talents with entrepreneurship. The goal of the program is to help local artists find new local markets and maximize their earning potential.

Participants at Northland Flavor Marketplace will include but are not limited to: high-quality crafters, visual artists, sculptors, potters, jewelry makers, photographers, musicians, writers, and specialty food producers. NEF is offering sessions to help artists prepare for the Northland Flavor marketplace.

To apply for the Northland Flavor Marketplace, or to register for one or more of the preparatory sessions, go to For more information on Northland Flavor, contact Suzanne Semborski, suzannes AT, 218-623-5729.

About the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund helps people start and grow successful small businesses. It provides training, consulting and financing to emerging and small businesses in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin .
Since 1989, NEF has helped start, stabilize or expand more than 1,000 businesses; helped create or retain nearly 3,000 jobs; provided $9 million in loans to nearly 500 businesses; and served 10,000 people through its training, consulting and lending programs. More than 85% of business owners who receive assistance from NEF are still in business two years later. To learn more, visit
The Greenstone Group, a 10-year initiative of NEF, seeks to foster a regional culture of entrepreneurship. It supports entrepreneurs through business performance coaching, access to professional services, and training, mentoring and networking opportunities. It also sponsors a campus entrepreneurship initiative with eight regional community colleges. To learn more, visit

Veterans Day and Activism

Veterans Day and Activism
From our vice president Scott Yeazle.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deadline for December is coming soon


Deadline for the December issue is next week: Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 12 noon.


To prevent burglaries lock your doors and windows, light your entrances

I attend many meeting on crime. One thing the police say: ALWAYS lock your doors and windows. Even if you are out for just a little bit. I am vigilant about this. Not everyone agrees with me. Often people who share rentals with me will leave an outside door open so friends can come in. Or because they are just going for a short walk. But criminal watch this time of things and that is when they make there entrance.

This is the same for your car. Lots of people kinda tease me for my bags of stuff. But I remember Chief Ramsay saying, "If you can not afford to lose it, don't leave it in the car." So I often bring everything with me even when just visiting someone or a store for a bit. (Editor - Naomi)

The Duluth Police Department has seen a recent increase in residential burglaries in the East Hillside, Chester Parkway, and UMD neighborhoods. Police are investigating the incidents for any trends or similar patterns.

Police remind citizens to continue to lock the doors and windows of their homes, use exterior lighting to deter crime, and report suspicious people or circumstances by calling 911. Anyone with information on these burglaries is asked to call the Property Crimes Unit at 218-730-5160.

At this time police have no additional information available.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

How easy or hard is it to walk in your neighborhood?

Photos by Scott Yeazle

Today I attended a walkability audit. Twenty people met at the Grand Recreational Community Center. People met and discussed issues around streets, roads and sidewalks for about one hour. Then the group walked around East and Central Hillside. The meeting was led by Jim Skoog from St. Louis County Public Health

The following is a press release:

Research shows a link between urban design and inactivity, obesity and health problems. The workshop will highlight ways in which local land use and transportation decisions affect walking habits, personal health and overall physical activity. The workshop is designed for community officials, transportation planners, neighborhood residents and other local stakeholders. The workshop will identify real-world problems in the area around 6th Avenue East and help to create hands-on solutions.

During a four-hour workshop, local participants identify opportunities to reduce barriers and enhance opportunities for walking in their community – and build consensus on improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Walkable communities accommodate all types of transportation, including cars and transit, but focus on a safe and convenient environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Examples of design and planning “tools” available to promote a walkable community include:

  • Neighborhood and community public gathering centers, parks, and open space
  • Sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and trails
  • Traffic-calming roadway design or road “diets”
  • Benches, lighting, trees and plants
  • Housing created closer to work
  • Nearby shops, restaurants and amenities
  • Public transportation

The workshop was facilitated by Fit City Duluth and St. Louis County’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission. Other support for the workshop was provided by the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth LISC, and Neighborhood Housing Services.

To register for the workshop, contact Jim Skoog at St. Louis County Public Health at 725-5240 or email