Friday, July 31, 2009

Father gave up smoking for his kids’ sake

Drawing by Grace age 7

JP Rennquist

Young Dads Outreach Worker

As a Young Dads Outreach Worker for the Boyz II Dadz program I can tell you that NOT smoking is probably one of the simplest, easiest and most beneficial things you can do to be a better parent to your kids.

However, as a former smoker myself, I can tell you that quitting smoking wasn’t very simple or easy for me to do, but I did it.

I tried everything, cold turkey, the gum, the patch, and pills. Finally, I was able to quit, and it has been worth every second of struggle, anxiety and craving that I endured to get smoke-free.

I found that the ultimate solution was to give up on my own ideas of what I thought would work and to accept help from the smoking cessation program right here in the Hillside at SMDC.

They gave me facts about strategies that were most likely to work for me based on my health, lifestyle and past experiences with quitting. After meeting with a counselor there, I made a quit plan, I stuck to it, and because of that, I haven’t had to smoke ever…again. Now I recommend quitting to any smoker that I know.

...the first important step I took to help myself get free of nicotine was to stop smoking around my own kids, especially in my home and in my car.
-JP Rennquist

Boyz II Dadz recommends it, too. We have been on the leading edge of strengthening fathers and families through education, advocacy and outreach since the early 1990s. We have had a strong presence in the Hillside and Lincoln Park Neighborhoods of Duluth for all of those years. We don’t just work here, my co-worker and I both live here with our families. In April we received a Community Grant from the American Lung Association of Minnesota to help support our Hillside and Lincoln Park neighbors as well as other families to choose smoke-free homes and cars, and to encourage people who do smoke to quit.

In my own experience, the first important step I took to help myself get free of nicotine was to stop smoking around my own kids, especially in my home and in my car.
A 2008 survey of nearly 400 area residents indicated that most Northland families already have a rule to not allow smoking in their homes and cars when children or pregnant women are present. Three-fourths of those responding do not allow smoking in their homes at any time, ever.

In homes and cars where children or pregnant women are not exposed to any second-hand smoke those kids have stronger lungs, higher birth weights, lower incidences of ear infections, and fewer incidences of lung infections and bronchitis. Second-hand smoke is also a known cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Every parent who chooses a smoke-free home and car is saying yes to better health for every child in their home, and every adult, too, for that matter.

Another important step helping me quit was to quit thinking of the sacrifice it was for me and to think of it as an opportunity to be a better dad. My daughter Grace actually drew a picture for me that said “Say no to tobacco.” It was so inspiring that I hung it up on my wall, and it remains there today.

If you are a family member of someone who smokes then please encourage your loved ones to choose a smoke-free lifestyle and to start by choosing smoke-free homes and cars. Boyz II Dadz can help to connect any father, young dad, mother, or anyone with the resources to start a tobacco free life. Call us at 727-3352 or 391-8330

Park Point National Night Out at the Lafayette Community Center

Just got an email from Lyn Pegg Clark about the NNO at Park Point.

Here is the information:

Lafayette Community Center

Tuesday, August 4

7 – 9 p.m.

Sponsored by

Park Point Community Club

and the new

Lafayette Community Edible Garden

We’ll have music by the Bridge Boys as well as a special event - jam session. Bring your instrument and participate.

Samples of snacks and beverages from locally produced food will be provided. Feel free to bring a local snack if you wish.

Hear about plans and ideas for a new community garden in the old hockey rink!

Tickets will be available for August 30 Garden Tour fundraiser.

Champ the Bulldog reads "The Hillsider"

Yesterday when I was distributed newspapers, I stopped at the Kirby Center at UMD. There I saw Teri Glembin, Marketing Coordinator of UMD Stores. Teri has provided "The Hillsider" with technical advice on the use of InDesign and my Mac computer. (Thanks Teri)

Anyway, I just had to get my photo taken as Champ read "The Hillsider."

(Photo by Teri Glembin)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Richardson joins CHUM as a housing advocate

Allen Richardson has joined CHUM in April as a community organizer. Richardson will be promoting community safety, fair and adequate housing in the At Home in Duluth, five core neighborhoods; Central and East Hillside, Lincoln Park, West Duluth and Morgan Park.
Most recently Richarson organized around the protection of Chili Pepper traditional seed supplies from genetically modified organisms in New Mexico.

He also worked with the White Earth Land Recovery Project to protect wild rice from contamination by genetically modified organisms.

Richardson is a graduate of UMD’s Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership.

Henderson hired as employment developer/advocate at Community Action Duluth

Allegra Henderson has been hired by Community Action Duluth as the Employment Developer/Advocate.

She will be assisting African Americans to find employment. This project is a partnership with St. Louis County and the purpose is to increase employment outcomes for African Americans on the MN Family Investment Program. Allegra has previous experience as a Job Developer with Greater West Town Development Project in Chicago and she has nearly completed her master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Naomi’s Notes

August is the last month of summer. It is the last month before little kids start school and college students return...our last hurrah of easy living. It takes a harsh, cold environment to really appreciate beautiful weather.

Our neighborhoods are changing. Sometimes people make unkind remarks about newcomers or people of other races. Our July certainly wasn’t easy living for some.

How do you feel about the mix, or lack of mixing, of the races in Duluth? I often hear people complain about people of other races moving into Duluth. I say to them, “Well you know, that’s why I moved to Duluth. My husband and I moved here because we thought life would be good here. No one told us we didn’t belong here.”

If you grew up here I would venture to guess that unless you are Native American, your ancestors thought the Zenith City would be a good place to live.

If I am honest, I must admit that I am not without my own prejudices. I know they are wrong and they are hard to break. I sometimes see life differently than my neighbors.
Some people say we have too many public benefit programs. You would be a fool not to take advantage of a better life. Now that we have people in Duluth wanting a better life, lets welcome them. Let’s encourage our businesses to hire people of different races.

I belong to a business-networking group and the motto is: the pie is big enough for us to all get a piece.

Get to know someone who was raised in a different background than your own.
Start by attending the Neighborhood Night Out events on Tues., Aug 4. See our calendar on page 11 for details.


Saving face, a Hillsider board member learns value in China

Hillsider board member Carolyn Dillman is a public health nurse at St. Luke’s Regional Breast Center and is a student in the College of St. Scholastica’s MBA program. Recently she returned from a class trip to China.

Photo by Sheryl Homan

By Carolyn Dillman

The MBA (masters of business administration) is a relatively new program offered at the College of St. Scholastica and this was the first opportunity to study abroad. This fulfilled not only a class requirement but served as a venue to expand our learning experience with a foreign business. Our two week trip took us from Hong Kong, to Zhuhai with a quick stop in Macau.

The scenery was breathtaking, the hospitality was incredible, and the experience was priceless. While I am not a big fan of frog or eel, I welcomed the experience with an open mind and stomach. The biggest lesson learned from this adventure was “saving face”. Saving face is an insightful Chinese value which conveys the understanding of not being disrespectful to others in public or maintaining our appearance not to “lose face” in the eyes of others. Respect of others and respect to self; a very important value we could all practice in our daily interactions. The next time you’re downtown and you see an elderly person needing assistance; instead of laughing try helping. The next time someone confronts you and tries to start a fight, respect yourself enough not to engage with the other person. Let’s see if Duluth can “save face” one person, or face, at a time.

A challenge for commenters to respect and step up to help

Summer is a wonderful time to live in Duluth. We have so many things to do and mostly nice weather. We have great events all over the place. For the last two years, summer has also been a difficult time to live in Duluth, especially in the Central Hillside.

Last year, we had a shooting on Third Street and another at the Hillside Laundry. This year, while we are still coping with one loss, another is dead. This time for 60 cents and a bus pass.
Now we have two men who are no longer with us and there was no reason. We have a community in fear and shock again. The day after the shooting, I put on a press conference at the community center. I was happy to see the other community leaders with me at this conference. Every television channel picked up was my quote “Today, we are mourning.” It was the start of my message that was a call to action while also a remembrance of the life we just lost.

...maybe you will learn a little bit of the truth,
a little hint of compassion.

-Scott Yeazle

I had in my hand eight pages of comments from the Internet about the shooting. These were racist and hate driven comments about the Hillside. Community leaders know the drill; we know the myths and the truth. That day we were mourning and a few days later we were mourning another loss. We are still working for the community that we love, for the city that we love. Just like the military, we are looking for a few good people to help the community.

I challenge anyone who makes the comments to step up and help the community. Maybe you will learn a little bit of the truth, a little hint of compassion. As a community we will never forget the lives lost. We will carry on; we have to carry on.

Scott Yeazle

Employers hold onto “just us” system

Letter to the editor

This is in response to an opinion piece in your July issue and the crippling circumstances in which an individual finds himself as a convicted level III sex offender.

Since I don’t know the specifics of the case it wouldn’t be prudent or fair to comment on that aspect of his situation. However, as an African American man living in Duluth I struggle with many of the same issues. Unemployment, the skewed just-us system and affordable housing just to name a few.

As you move about the city today be conscious of the faces around you. When you see the ubiquitous road crews around town do you see any black faces? Walk around down town through the shops and restaurants, any of those elusive black faces? Not yet eh? OK, try Bayfront, nothing yet? Not a bartender or server? Let’s try the minority owned Fond-Du-Luth casino, no?
I guess you see my point. Now go up to the jail or CHUM; or walk past the Kozy Bar- ah ha! Things that make you go, “Hmmm”.

I don’t mean to make light of such an insidious situation. I only wish to illuminate a symptom of the chronic disease called poverty.

The writer stated that the Department of Corrections is a business and to that end I have to agree, but in the business of what? This is an extremely complicated question and lest we grasp that basic premise I fear we can get sucked into a victim mentality. To be sure, the D.O.C. and the court system in general are inherently biased and many would say racist.
Now let us change gears a little and shift our focus. This situation is playing out all over this nation. So, what do we do? Exactly what he is doing, shining a light on the dark side of our quaint little community.

I applaud this one individual’s efforts to initiate a grass-roots approach in the form of a foundation (The Hands Up Foundation) and I wish him well.

I think this calls for the louder voices of the Duluth business community and social service agencies (not lip service agencies), the bedrock of any community.

If you won’t hire us how can we contribute economically? If you cut us how can you be angry because there’s blood on your pretty new rug?

The problems in “our” community are not a one sided coin. We need the business community to open its eyes and see us and then maybe together we can eat this elephant one bite at a time.
ames F. Robinson

Bridge to Employment program helps close racial disparities in the workforce

Damien Perry and Teresa Jones are successful participants in the Bridges to Employment program which helps people of color transition off MFIP to employment. Studies and personal experience show that cracking the racial barrier in the Duluth workforce is more difficult than in towns in other states.

By Allegra Henderson
and Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff

In March, Teresa Jones was unemployed and receiving Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), a public benefit. She talked with her job counselor and was referred to the Bridge to Employment Program to work with a culturally specific Employment Mentor. Within a month of being in the program Teresa began working at New San Marco as a food preparation worker. Three months later, Teresa is still working and doing a great job.

“I’m thankful for finding the Afro-American program, Bridges to Employment,” said Jones. “It helped me to take the right steps seeking employment by reviewing one-on-one, helping me practice interviews, and learning how to talk on an actual interview.” Jones said that finding employment, as an African American in Duluth is hard. “Not all people are for Afro-Americans,” she said of employers’ attitudes in Duluth. “But there are some that are very good about it.”

Jones was the first participant in the Duluth Bridge to Employment Program. Damien Perry was the second participant. Perry is a single father and has lived in Duluth for 11 years. He joined Bridge to Employment in February of this year and immediately showed a strong persistence and follow through in his job search. In March he was hired at New San Marco and worked for three months as a janitor. His wage was paid by the City of Duluth Workforce Development Center with MFIP grant funding. This allowed him flexible hours and an opportunity to develop and strengthen his work ethic. He proved himself and in July he was hired on permanently. As a father of small children he prefers a night shift as a front desk clerk.

There are growing disparities between whites and Minnesotans of color, racial disparities that in some cases are among the worst in the nation.

According to a 2007 “The Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equality” published by Jermaine Toney of the Organizing Apprenticeship Project: “There is a growing racial fault line running through our state—a fault line that is undermining our future. Minnesota leads the nation in key quality-of-life indicators. Taken as a whole, we are one of the healthiest, wealthiest and best educated. At the same time, there are growing disparities between whites and Minnesotans of color, racial disparities that in some cases are among the worst in the nation.”

African Americans in Duluth averaged a household income of $18,100, according to the 2000 Census, a stark contrast to the household income of whites in Duluth at $34,600. These statistics point to the fact that many African Americans have not been promoted beyond entry-level positions. This may be happening because they are being systemically excluded from the labor pool because of stereotypes, discrimination and lack of preparation.

Bridge to Employment
Bridge to Employment is a new program that counters this dilemma by offering culturally specific mentoring from a person who understands their experiences and advocates for equal and fair hiring practices in Duluth. The program is designed to provide assistance to African Americans that are receiving public assistance for families; heads of these households are mandated to find employment and transition off of public benefits within a certain time frame. Many who obtain employment have problems with retention.

According to a recent study by Minnesota Department of Human Services, there is a 20 percent gap or difference in employment outcomes for African Americans in Minnesota as compared to other racial groups receiving MFIP.

Many counties that are experiencing this disparity of five percent or more have instituted innovative and progressive programs like Bridge to Employment, which uses “employment mentors”. Mentors can address the barriers to employment such as preparedness, childcare, transportation and culturally specific support). Bridge to Employment is a partnership with Community Action Duluth, St. Louis County, Duluth At Work, and Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
Bridge to Employment is intended to locate a variety of positions for participants, and offer hiring incentives to employers such as the Welfare to Work Tax Credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, On the Job Training wage subsidies and other public benefits, that depending upon eligibility of participant may be available to employers.

Contact information
For more information or if you are an employer who has a job to offer a program participant, please call Allegra at 726-1665.

Rainy distribution day

Well, I today it is raining. It seems that whenever distribution day rolls around.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Distribution is in process

I am home for a break. The August issue is printed and has been distributed in Lincoln Park. Hope to do more distributing this afternoon and tomorrow.

Email me if you want to help.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wednesday is printing day

On Wednesday I will be taking the paper to Carlton to get it printed. In the afternoon I will start the distribution process.

Would you like to help distribute "The Hillsider?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Meil - A Taste of Duluth": Honey from Chester Bowl

A Duluth family is producing honey from their Chester Bowl homes. The Walters family, Sharilyn and Mark, along with their adult son, Zach - "Jungle Boy", have 12 hives between them. Sharilyn and Mark live on Belmont Street and Zach lives on Chester Parkway. Sharilyn's kitchen is known as the honey house. They named the honey "Meil - A Taste of Duluth". Meil is French for honey.

You can find their honey at the farmers market on Third Street and 14th Avenue East on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

African Americans work to bridge barriers to employment in Duluth

Teresa Jones works as a cook and a participant in the Bridge to Empolyment program. Allegra Henderson is a mentor with the program. The program addresses cultural specific needs of African Americans in Duluth. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

I am finishing up a story written by Allegra Henderson and myself about the racial disparity in employment and family income in Minnesota and specifically Duluth.

Allegra is mentor in a program named Bridge to Employment. Families on MFIP (welfare) are required to become employed after a certain amount of time. But in Duluth racism is a stark fact of life for many people of color. Allegra works with African Americans and employers to bridge that gap.

Many people say when getting a job it is who your know more than what you know as the most important hurdle to finding a job. Couple that with hidden and not so hidden racism and African Americans have a difficult time finding employment in Duluth.

Picnic downtown Duluth

Invite God Ministries Community Picnic
The Invite God Ministries will be holding a community picnic on Saturday, July 25 in the100 block of East First Street. The picnic starts at noon. The 100 block of East First Street will be closed to traffic starting at noon and reopening to traffic at 4:00 p.m.

Motorists should be alert to officers directing traffic in that area.

See a play this weekend

Come experience the enchantment

“Cinderella x 3”

3 stories, 3 cultures, 1 great play

Presented by East Hillside Youth Theatre

Thursday & Friday, July 23rd & 24th 1:00pm

Friday & Saturday, July 24th & 25th 7:00pm

All performances at Harbor City

International School Theater

332 West Michigan Street


Free to the public. Donations accepted.

Questions??? Call Grant School Collaborative 733-2016

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Movies in the Parks series: 'Men in Black' on Friday, July 17 at Leif Erikson Park

Don’t miss Movies in the Park showing of 'Men in Black' held Friday, July 17th in Duluth’s Leif Erikson Park. Twin Ports Outdoor Movies with the support of the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department proudly brings to life one of our areas premier summer activities. Just grab a blanket and join family, friends and neighbors and sit back, relax and enjoy the show
under the stars.

Movies in the Park: July 17th Men in Black Rated: PG-13 Starts @8:53 PM. The movie starts approximately fifteen minutes after sunset and sparkles on a mammoth 40X20 foot outdoor screen. Please call, after 6:00 PM, the Twin Ports Outdoor Movies Hotline at
715-392-3480 or log on to to check for cancellation.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today is the deadline

Today is deadline day for the Hillsider.

Please email or phone me if you want to be included in the August issue.

Remember, it is time for back-to-school ads.


‘Mayor’s Night’ scheduled for July 28th

Mayor Don Ness will hold his ‘Mayor’s Night’ event with Duluth citizens at City Hall on Tuesday, July 28th starting at 5:00 p.m. and continuing until each person has a chance to speak with the Mayor. The meeting will be held in the Fourth Floor Reception Room, which is Room 405 of Duluth City Hall.

‘Mayor’s Night’ events are scheduled on the last Tuesday of each month at City Hall, to give citizens regular opportunities to meet with Mayor Ness and senior city staff. Citizens can come to the Reception Room to sign in. Meetings with the mayor will be on a first come / first served basis. All citizens taking part will have an opportunity to meet with the mayor, though the presence of larger numbers of citizens may mean slightly shorter meeting times.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Do you remember when men landed on the moon?

I do. I was a little girl in elementary school. I think my dad was working that night. My mom let me watch television with her in her bedroom.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hoffbauers win Farm Family of the Year

We might be kind of urban here in the core neighborhoods of Duluth, but we are home to the Farmers Market. (Image from

I love shopping at the Farmers Market on Third Street and 14th Avenue East. I just received an email from Lois Hoffbauer stating that her farm has won an award. The Hoffbauers are mainstays at the Farmers Market. Be sure to visit the Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Also visit Doug and Lois' new website:

Here is what Lois' email says:

"Doug & I have just received the 2009 Farm Family of the Year in St. Louis County from the University of MN. To read all about it, go to We are very proud of this award and will be honored in Redwood Falls at Farm Fest on August 6th. We are having a kick-off celebration at the Market on August 5th. More details on that later. WDIO TV was out to our farm tonight to interview Doug. It should be on tonight and again tomorrow morning."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hartley Building gets new slate roof

The Hartley Building is having the slate roof replaced. I attended an ice-cream social at Bonnie J. Perkin's Farmers Insurance,738 E. Superior St., today and her employee, Amanda, told me that the roof will not be complete until November. Wow, that's some roof.

By the way, I had a root beer float and a cookie.
Bonnie has a Facebook page.

Deadline is Tuesday, July 21 at noon

Whoops, I didn't post yesterday. I did send out the e-newsletter reminder that the deadline is Tuesday, July 12 at noon.

If you want coverage for the August issue contact me as soon as possible so we can make plans. All ads are due this day too.

If you want to read the email that was sent out to Hillsider contacts click here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Going through hundreds of emails

I have spent most of today going through my emails. I still have over 400 unread emails.

Here is a tip. Make sure your subject line is specific.

If you really want me to open it, put my name in the subject line. Especially if you forward something. If I see something is forwarded I assume someone is just sending something "interesting" to me. I once missed a personal note about a professional event because a person forwarded an email and wrote the note inside of the forwarded email. That person forwards lots of stuff that don't necessary pertain to me. So I didn't opened it until it was too late.

If you are sending a press release make sure the exciting part of the press release is in the subject line. Also if it is something happening soon, put that date in the subject too.

"For Immediate Release: Business Name"

Isn't as exciting as "Press Release: Ice-Cream Social at Business Name"

Also, I like information both attached and copied inside of the body of the email. That way I don't have to wait for it to download to read it. If I do want to place it in the Hillsider an attached document is easier for me to edit than to re-write the whole thing. If I cut and paste from the body of an email the text loses it format and it is quite a mess.

Annual Ice Cream Social

The Bonnie J. Perkins Insurance Agency wishes to thank their customers for their loyalty. On Thursday, July 16, 2009, the agency will be holding its 5th Annual Customer Appreciation Day from 1 to 4 pm. They will be serving Hot Fudge Sundaes and Root Beer Floats.

The Perkins Agency represents Farmers Insurance and Financial Solutions at 738 E. Superior St . Bonnie J. Perkins has been licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 1995. Bonnie J. Perkins provides insurance through Farmers Insurance Group for a wide variety of needs, including homeowners, renters, auto, commercial, and recreational policies and financial products including IRA’s, 401K’s and college savings plans. Securities offered through Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC, Home Office: 30801 Agoura Road , Bldg. 1, Agoura Hills , CA 91301-2054 818-584-0200. To contact Bonnie J. Perkins, call 218-722-2215 or visit

Movie on Thursday night to kick off Lake Superior Day

Showing of "FLOW" - Documentary on global water crisis
Thursday July 16 - 7pm - 8:30pm
Inn on Lake Superior Conference Center - Ballroom
Canal Park
Many other Lake Superior activities from Thursday July 16-Sunday July 19
Go to:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scott Yeazle speaks about shooting at press conference

Photo caption: Scott Yeazle addresses the media at the Central Hillside Community Center at 12 noon today. In the background right to left are: Lt. Eric Rish and Deputy Chief Mike Tusken, Misty and J.P. Rennquist with Ejijah, age 2 months, one of their three children. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

Central Hillside resident and community organizer Scott Yeazle (also the vice president of the Hillsider) called a press conference today to talk about the shooting last night. Yeazle says the Central Hillside is a good place to live with lots of families. He is calling for people to get to know each other by organizing block watches.

Look for more info soon.

(This is Naomi, I need to get to the police press conference in 15 minutes.)

Here is the police press release:

Description: On Sunday, July 12, 2009, at 10:01 p.m., Duluth Police responded to the report of a shooting in the 200 Block of East #5 Alley.

Officers arriving on scene located two male gunshot victims near 419 N. 2nd Avenue East. Curtis Michael Cooney D.O.B. 08/10/1986 sustained a single gunshot wound to the head. Cooney was transported to a local hospital where was pronounced dead. Ephriam Darell Burks D.O.B. 08-01-1987 sustained a gunshot wound to his leg and was transported to a local hospital. Burk’s injury is not life threatening.

Just prior to the shooting Cooney, Burks and several other individuals were inside 419 N. 2nd Avenue East when they were told that there were three persons outside with baseball bats. They when out side and exchanged a few words with the three individuals just prior to the shots being fired. The only suspect information the police department is releasing at this time is the three suspects are all believed to be black males.

Numerous witness statements were taken at the scene. In addition, the crime scene was secured and processed. Numerous spent shell casings were recovered from the shooting scene.

The police believe this shooting may be related to a disturbance call at the rear of 221 East 4th Street approximately an hour and twenty minutes prior to the shooting. This call involved one of the shooting victims and several other individuals. The investigation into the incident is active and ongoing. No arrests have been made at this time. The police are asking that anyone with information on this shooting call the Duluth Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at 218-730-5050.

National Night Out in Duluth 2009

The 26th Annual National Night Out celebration is August 4, 2009. We invite everyone to get involved in this year’s event. National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Neighborhood groups or individuals that are interested in holding an event that evening should call the Duluth Police Department’s Officer Development Unit at 730-5040 to get registered. The last day to register your event with the police department will be on Tuesday July 28th.

Last year's story in "The Hillsider"

In addition, this year we are participating in the National Child Identification Program (NCIDP) and have purchased Inkless fingerprint identification and DNA sample kits for distribution. These will be given away to participating parents of National Night Out. There will be a limit of 12 kits per registered block party. Any questions please feel free to call the Duluth Police Department’s Officer Development Unit at 218-730-5040.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Curiosity, Creativity, and Learning Flourish in Hillside Summer Youth Programs

120+ children and youth from Duluth's Hillside neighborhoods are broadening their horizons in the sciences, arts and literature this summer thanks to a partnership of the Duluth School District and the Duluth Parks and Recreation Department. These programs offer children and youth quality instruction and mentoring from certified teachers, VISTA and AmeriCorps members, youth program staff, work-study students, and enthusiastic volunteers.

The Young Explorers Summer Adventure Camp, housed at Nettleton Math/Science Magnet School offers elementary-age children opportunities to study animals, lake ecology, and robotics. In addition, many children also participate in the “Fairy Tales, Myths, and Folklore" program, a unique reading enrichment camp offered in the afternoons.

The East Hillside Youth Theatre is a-buzz with 60+ elementary, middle-, and high school youth who are involved in the production of “Cinderella X 3" a multicultural presentation of Cinderella stories from around the world. The students are studying the universal themes of injustice, hope, friendship, miracles, and the realization of dreams through the Cinderella X 3 plays which are rooted in the Caribbean, Irish, and Ojibwe cultures.

In addition to providing space for both the YWCA Day Camp and East Hillside Youth Theatre Camp, the Grant Community Center is also home to the Imagination Station which meets afternoons June 15th- July 23rd. This program provides creative activities emphasizing literature, culture, life-skills, science, and the arts.

Neighborhood youth are welcome to drop in any time during open hours to participate. For more information about any of these programs, call the Grant Community School Collaborative office at 733-2016.

Taste of Greece

Today I visited the farmers market. I bought three vegetarian pasties, a small bouquet of a single rose and baby's breath and a tomato plant. In the afternoon I attended the Taste of Greece at 632 E. 2nd St. It is going on tomorrow too in case you missed it. The Sunday hours are 12 noon until 5 p.m.

There is also music and dancing.

I'll see how my photos of the dancing turn out. I didn't bring my larger flash and it may have been too dark in the tent.

The spanikopita was delicious. Also Kudos to the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church of using compostable plates, take-out containers and utensils for the Annual Taste of Greece event. I try not to use Styrofoam and had brought my own plate. I was pleasantly surprised. Visit them tomorrow if you haven't already.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally Fridays at Gold Cross Ambulance

Kim Levens of Gold Cross Ambulance

Today the Chamber of Commerce held a Finally Fridays breakfast at Gold Cross Ambulance

About Gold Cross Ambulance
Gold Cross Ambulance is a medical transport service company providing local medical transportation in Duluth, MN. Gold Cross Ambulance is one of the premier Duluth medical transport service vendors and offers a full range of medical transportation services. Please contact Gold Cross Ambulance directly to inquire about various medical transport services they provide in Duluth, MN.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rock The Block, Brandon Scott Sellner

Tonight a crowd listened to Brandon Scott Sellner - Hosted by CSL - during the Rock The Block series which is hosted by the Greater Downtown Council. Check out "The Hillsider" to see their ad. The next concert is July 23rd and features The Acceleratii - hosted by Score Sports Bar and Grill - 1st St between 4th & 5th Ave W. (Click on the links to listen to the bands.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Minnesota Motorcycle Safety

I went up to Lake Superior College to distribute Hillsiders. On the lower parking-lot I saw these mototcylists taking a safety course or test. Visit Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center.

Salsa dancing with Pastors for Peace

Northland Anti War Coalition (NAWC) and Twin Ports Cuba Solidarity Committee.sponsored a "Pastors for Peace" event at Lafayette Community Center. The evening ended with Salsa dancing instruction from the couple in the center: Nathan Zarnstorff and Sarra Vinnik.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Takk for Maten and Kippis Tapas Bar

Sandy Thompson holds up a plate of lefse. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

This morning I was actually early for "The Forvm" held in the Technology Village. So I decided to eat my breakfast at the new Takk for Maten, which is Norwegian for "Thanks for the Food." They specialize in Scandinavian food.

I visited with Sandy Thompson, one of the owners. (There are five owners totally.)

The hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

In the evenings the space become the a Kippis Tapas Bar. Kippis is Finnish for "cheers". Tapas is Spanish for "little dish" of snack-sized food. The hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Sunday and Monday.

It is located at Tech Village, 11 E. Superior St.

The number is 464-1260. The address is 11 E. Superior St.

The Forvm discusses the unallotments

Caption: David Orman, David Ross, Roger Reinert, Yvonne Prettner-Solon, Tom Huntley and Andy Peterson.

Today I attended "The Forvm", which is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Today's topic was the unallotements. Un-allotment power has been used by Minnesota State Governors just four times. In January, Governor Pawlenty unveiled a budget plan that slashed state spending and he has exercised his power cut programs through un-allotments. Those present for the discussion were: Roger Reinert, Minnesota state representative – District 7B, ,Tom Huntley, Minnesota State representative – District 7A and Yvonne Prettner Solon, Minnesota State representative - District 7.

Reinert said he was disappointed that the governor didn't talk and work more with the legislators. In the past, the governor would work, but he felt that Pawlenty has abused his power by just waiting until all the state lawmakers had gone home to exercise his unallotement power.

Very low income people, those who make less than $8,0000 year will be most affected by the unallotemnt. They will no longer have general assistance medical care. This will also affect hospitals.

Also renters will no longer receive a property tax rebate credit.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Group rallies to protest Gov. Pawlenty's veto and the unallotments

Caption: Scott Yeazle tells a crowd on the steps of the Duluth City Hall that the budget should not be balanced on the backs of the poor. Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff

"He's not running Minnesota. He's running for president." That's what Scott Yeazle of Twin Port Action Coalition said about Gov. Tim Pawlenty to a crowd of about 35 people who gathered on the steps of City Hall at 11 a.m. today.

"I'm wondering why he didn't just pull a Sarah Palin," Yeazle said of the Minnesota governor who has hinted that he is interested in running for president in 2012. (Palin abruptly resigned as governor of Alaska last week. Many people are surprised and speculate about her reasoning.)

The group protested Governor Pawlenty's budget cuts to the renter's rebate, health care and local government aid.

Yeazle said concerned Duluthians need to send a clear message to the Governor that the budget should not be balanced on the backs of Minnesota's poorest citizens. Yeazle said, "We want the Minnesota Miracle back."

Others speakers included state Representative Roger Reinert , St. Louis County Commissioner Steve O'Neil.

O'Neil said that in many instances counties will have to raise some taxes and that hospitals will also lose money.

The unallotment will affect poor single people. Starting in March 2010 Medical Assistance ill not be available to them. Many of the poorest will still not be able to afford the sliding fee scale of Minnesota Care.

Renters will no longer receive rebates.

First Monday of the month

Well here it is, the first Monday after the holiday and the first Monday of the month.

It must be time to get back to the ole grind.

I am debating whether or not to send out the e-newsletter announcing that the July Hillsider is out. (I am having trouble with my make and that has all the stories and photos I need if I make a e-newsletter. I could just make a basic announcement.)

I would imagine Rick, our fiscal manger, sent out our invoices for advertisements. So today is time for me make plans for the August issue. Hard to believe isn't it?

Did you have a good Independence Day? Did you take any photos that you would like to share? Please email them to me at hillisder AT I will post the best ones.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

This is why we live here: or I'm not tourist, I live in the Hillside!

Captions: Rebecca, her friend Alexis, and Prof. Cricket just on the outskirts of the Rose Garden (No Dogs Allowed). Mom at Brighten Beach. Rebecca with her dessert at Valentini's Restaurant.

Today is a Perfect Duluth Day.

Today is beautiful. I am inside updating the Hillsider Facebook. Lots of people have "friended" the Hillsider and I needed to get back to them. Monday it will be back to the ole grind. Let me know if you have story ideas. Or distribution ideas. And please leave comments.

Did you watch the fireworks last night? Duluth is so beautiful. We watched them by sitting near the I-35 tunnels over looking Leif Erikson Park. Did you get some good firework photos? I didn't. I'd love to see yours. Please send them in and I will post them on the blog.

The evening of the Fourth was a beautiful evening. As we walked home some people up on an apartment roof near London Road and Superior were yelling something at us. Something about being tourists. I wanted to yell back, "I'm not tourist. I live in the Hillside!" Or "I'm not a tourist, but I play one on the weekends."

Weekends like this one is why we live in Duluth.

This morning my daughter met a college friend at the Rose Garden, after they had looked at the roses I brought our dog down. I noticed that people were sitting on the patio at Valentini's patio. That looked fun. So mom, my daughter and I had a light lunch on the patio. There weren't many people there, but the waitress said people didn't realize they were open on Sundays because this was only the third Sunday they had been open. Here is a wonderful restaurant a few blocks from home.

We aren't big eaters so Rebecca got a salad and mom and I split some ravioli. After we were finished the waitress came out with a plate of beautifully arranged and delicious looking desserts. Whoa! They looked good. So we split some chocolate cake and each had a scoop of ice cream.

Such is the life, eating chocolate cake with ice-cream on a patio overlooking Lake Superior. (We all watch our we definitely needed to cut that cake in thirds.)

We then took the car up to Brighten Beach so Mom could get out and walk along the rocky lake shore. On the way up London Road Mom wanted to know what all the traffic in the other lane was about. "That's the tourists going back to the Twin Cities," I told her.

Well, mom and Rebecca went home. "Do you get sad when family from out-of-town leaves?" Mom asked me. You know, I used to get sad when I lived in other towns and visitors left. I used to get lonely. But Duluth, well no, I don't get too sad. Duluth fits me. There's a variety of people living here and they are always doing something interesting, the summers are beautiful, I have friends and I get to play tourist by walking out my door.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Touring Duluth's western side

Captions: Rebecca and Mom walking the trail behind Indian Hills Campground. The Gate sculpture at Thompson Hill Information Center. A special map put together by Wendy Grethen and Terry Brown.

Yesterday my mom, daughter and I did some sightseeing. We went over to the Munger Inn on Grand Avenue to walk part of the Munger Trail which is can be accessed behind the Inn.

We just walked a little bit of the the trail. Mostly just around the Indian Point Campground. It was pretty fun. Mom is older now and tires out easily. She had a heart valve replacement a few months ago. It is hard for me to realize that she can't keep up with me and my daughter as most of my life she had more energy than I.

After our little jaunt around Indian Hills we drove to Morgan Park. I wanted her to see this planned community built by U.S. Steel. Then we went up to Thompson Hill Travel Information Center to see the view and to pick up a Skyline Map that my friend Wendy and her husband, Terry Brown, had designed. (Wendy is our proofreader). The couple is active in the Skyline Planning Preservation and Alliance. There is a nice display sign there, but you have to specifically ask for the brochure/map of Skyline Parkway. The Information Center keeps them behind the counter.

We drove onto Skyline Parkway and our timing was just right to see the Tall Ship pass under the Aerial Lift Bridge. There were also some low-hanging clouds hovering over Lake Superior and the Lift Bridge. That was pretty cool to see. She photo on Duluth Daily Photo.

Our next stop was Enger Tower and the Japanese garden. On the way back from Enger Tower Park we saw people swimming at the Twin Ponds.

By that time we had worked up and appetite so we stopped at the Grape Vine Cafe downtown Duluth. The Grape Vine Cafe has purchased some ads with the Hillsider. The cafe is owned by the Livadaros family. I usually talk to Debbie or Christina. Mom and I had lamb hamburgers with Greek potatoes. Rebecca had spanakopita.

After we were done we noticed some Hillsider still hadn't been distributed. Mom "rode shotgun" while I got the papers out to major spots along Superior Street and London Road. I want to make sure the tourists can pick them up for our advertisers' benefit. And of course I want the locals to see it too.

Well enough our our bussman's tour.

Hope you have a Happy Independence Day.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Good Friday morning!

Good Friday morning! It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day today. Maybe what we would call a Perfect Duluth Day

Yesterday I gave details about the advertising billing to Rick, our fiscal manager, so that he can get the tearsheets and invoices in the mail.

When a person purchases an ad they get an "tearsheet" in the mail along with their invoice. The tearsheet is the whole page of the paper in which their ad appeared. This is a way to prove to them that their ad actually was run.

All the Hillsider's should be distributed by Saturday morning. Usually they are all distributed by Thursday night. I noticed that there are still several hundred waiting to be pick up by one of our board members. I am hoping he is okay. If I don't hear from him soon I might distribute those too.

My mom and daughter are here visiting, so they might get a "busman's" tour of Duluth if I end up distributing the papers.

I usually make an e-mail newsletter to sent out to let everyone know that the Hillsider's have been distributed, I don't know if I will do that this month.

So, what do you suggest have my mom and daughter do for fun while they are visiting?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thursday Distribution

Today is Thursday.

Yesterday I got the Hillsider printed. On my way back from printing the paper in Carlton I stopped at major spots in West Duluth and Lincoln Park. I put papers at Perkin's West, Lakehead Travel Station (BP), Duluth Grill, Burger King and the Salvation Army Community Center. I went into Spur, but I didn't leave any there. That spot has not been fruitful for us. There are just too many other papers there and no space. We used to have a rack there but it was squeezed into a corner and out of sight for many.

Duluth Grill made a shelf for all the papers and we have a section there for Hillsiders. It is a great distribution site and I am always so grateful for businesses that make room for us.

(Another business that has shelves for free papers and a shelf for us is Cub. Yeah!)

I also left several Bundles at the Damiano Center for Scott Y. our vice president to distribute in many areas downtown. I had a good chat with Debbie of NHS...(I can't remember her last name, but NOT Debbie Nelson) She helps a lot at the Twin Port Action Coalition as well as working at NHS.

I continued down Forth Street so there are now papers at Uncle Loui's, Whole Food Co-op, Members Community Credit Union and Burrito Union.

There are some kids going to summer school so I also left about 50 with Stephanie Heilig, the principal of Nettleton, we had a nice talk about what kinds of stories to submit to the Hillsider.

Our board member Carolyn Dillman, who work's at St. Luke's, just returned from a trip to China. I brought 200 papers over to her.

Bruce Howell, our board president, picked up papers to take up the hill. And Claudie should be picking up papers to distribute along Superior Street and London Road.

Today I will finish getting the papers to the rest of Duluth.

Let me know if you know of a good distrubtion spot.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Printing and Distribution Day

Tony, an employee, of Print Corp, adjusts a plate in the humongous printer at Print Corp in Carlton.

Board president, Bruce Howell, and board vice president, Scott Yeazle, stand next to the proof sheet as it is under glass and soon to be photographed to be made into negatives for the printing process.

Now it is Wednesday morning. Time to get the paper printed.

We print the paper at Print Corp, a printer in Carlton. So, in a few minutes, I will be heading on down to Paper Hog to pick up the 11 by 17 sheets of paper which I then drive to Print Corp. They literally take photos of them. They take the huge negatives and make them into plates.

I will bring my little doggie with me. She loves going to Carlton. We go for walks while we wait for the paper to print. Sometimes we have a picnic lunch or visit Jay Cooke State Park. Sometime we visit Cloquet and "The Warming House" which is next to "Gordy's Hi Hat Cafe" I can then work on the e-newsletter because they have Internet access.

After a few hours the papers are done printing and Tony at Print Corp loads up my vehicle with 4,000 papers, sometimes even more. I will come back to Duluth and begin the distribution process. It's a long day today (as was yesterday) and I am usually very tired.

The goal is to have them all out by Saturday morning. Would you like to help distribute the "Hillsider" today, Thursday or Friday?