Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Naomi’s Notes, autumn is in the air

The October is almost ready to be printed. Tomorrow is the big day.

It took forever for summer to arrive, then it came in September when most of us thought it was time for autumn. But the other night I had to get my winter pajamas out, so I think another season has come. Take time to enjoy our colorful fall weather with crisp, cool nights and the bright sunshine shining on the boats on Lake Superior.
Duluth is a beautiful city with many distinct neighborhoods. On the last Saturday in September Duluth LISC and the At Home in Duluth Collaborative sponsored the “Connecting the Dots” event.

It was a time to learn about agencies and businesses that are working to make Duluth sustainable, viable community.

Five core communities have been identified as neighborhoods to be revitalized: East Hillside, Central Hillside, Lincoln Park, West Duluth and Morgan Park. See pages 8 and 9 to read about the “heroes” of these neighborhoods.

Autumn is also a time of craft shows and church dinners, check out our ads and calendar on page 14 to see when and where they are.
Remember, get outside and enjoy the weather. Duluth is a beautiful city and a nice walk outside among our historic buildings and natural beauty will convince you that revitalizing our city is a great idea.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Connecting the Dots

Hundreds of people showed up for the Connecting the Dots event at Marshall High School on Saturday. Neighborhood hero awards were given and many non-profits had booths.

The Hillsider's own vice-president, Scott Yeazle was awarded the neighborhood hero award for Central Hillside.

Currently I am laying out the October issue of "The Hillsider." There will be profiles on each hero in this issue.

Duluth LISC and the At Home in Duluth Collaborative will hosted it’s third Neighborhood Celebration on Saturday, September 26. The event opened with a free pancake breakfast followed by a program at where five Neighborhood Heroes were be honored.

Neighborhood Heroes that were recognized were: East Hillside: Archie Davis; Central Hillside: Scott Yeazle; West Duluth: Karin Swor; Lincoln Park: Mark Howard, and Morgan Park: Chester “Chet” Johnson.

Over 35 display booths offering information and tips from community-minded businesses and organizations.
This was an opportunity for neighborhood residents, business, education and community leaders and elected officials to come together in support of Duluth’s five core neighborhoods: East Hillside, Central Hillside, Lincoln Park, West Duluth and Morgan Park.

on Tuesday, Sept. 29th there will be a neighborhood gathering at Portland Square from 5 - 7 p.m. Bell Brothers-Jarvi Dowd is providing hot dogs and grill. Most of the energy put into this has been by the block watch "East Hillside Action Team." I have a flyer so if you are interested in seeing it let me know and I'll forward it along.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grand Reopening of the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank

On Wednesday I popped in at the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank ribbon cutting and grand re-opening of their expanded facility on 4503 Airpark Boulevard. They are now rescuing and distributing 15 percent more food.

The building is now just over 23,500 square feet. Utilizing reserve monies and assuming a mortgage, the food bank took a leap of faith to ensure the rescue of more nationally and regionally donated food for

the people of NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin.

“Our expansion couldn’t have happened at a better time,” said Shaye Moris, the food bank’s executive director. “We have seen a 28% increase at area food shelves and through our own direct service programs. Demand is high and we’re rescuing 14% more food this year thanks to our expanded facility.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Waving at Central Entrance for election support

This evening as I was driving to appointments, I saw both Dan Hartman and Becky Hall standing at the intersection of Mesabi Avenue and Central Entrance waving at cars. (Possibly Beth Olson was waving too?) All are candidates for the City Councilor At-Large position. Today was primary election day. Soon we will know who the winners are.

Hillsider board meeting

(Left: Rosemary Hamptom, Below: Allegra Henderson)

Last night we had a Hillsider board meeting outside in the park by the Central Hillside Community Center.
Last month we added Rosemary Hamptom, a Central Hillside resident, to our board and last night she was approved as secretary. Also, Allegra Henderson applied to the board and attended the meeting. A vote on her candidacy as a board member will be taken next month.

We discussed story and advertising ideas for October.

Bruce gave an update on the booth we had at the Harvest.


Health Security for America: Teach-in on Health Insurance Reform

A health insurance reform teach-in will feature presentations by four local experts on health insurance reform and related issues: Charles Gessert (MD, MPH); Buddy Robinson (Minnesota Citizens Federation); Patrick Schoenfelder (MD); and Jennifer Schultz (Health Care Economics, UMD). The event is free and open to the public.

Moderating the event will be Kathy Heltzer (Social Work, UMD).

The event is sponsored by a coalition of fifteen local organizations including unions, religious groups, social justice agencies, and medical professionals.

Not since the Truman administration have the fundamental issues of health insurance policy been so open to discussion. As costs of health insurance rise, employers are shifting costs onto individual families. More and more families are losing coverage and facing bankruptcy. America is now engaged in a debate of historic importance. The teach-in at UMD is a part of this national conversation.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Second District “The Hillsider” candidate statement - Patrick Boyle

Main issues
Although we are in challenging economic times, I want to make sure we do not sell ourselves short and are able to pass on institutions to the next generation. This especially hit close to home when the Mount Royal Library, Chester Bowl and the Lakewalk extensions were almost all lost entirely. These are all entities my family uses and enjoys. These are examples of assets in our community that have been passed down through generations and that I do not want to lose. Tough financial decisions must be made in our city and I want to ensure that we do not lose the assets that bind us together, give our children and grandchildren opportunities and make Duluth unique.

Personal background.

I grew up just outside of Superior in a family in which public service was a way of life, and I have worked hard to live up to that ideal. I work as a nurse practitioner with the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe and live in Duluth with my wife, Jennifer, and three-year-old daughter, Mary. I volunteer at the Damiano Center and with the Friends of the Lakewalk. I am active in Peace United Church of Christ and the Duluth Preservation Alliance. In my spare time, I enjoy hunting, fishing, gardening and running with the family dog.

Second District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Patrick Boyle

Main issues

Although we are in challenging economic times, I want to make sure we do not sell ourselves short and are able to pass on institutions to the next generation. This especially hit close to home when the Mount Royal Library, Chester Bowl and the Lakewalk extensions were almost all lost entirely. These are all entities my family uses and enjoys. These are examples of assets in our community that have been passed down through generations and that I do not want to lose. Tough financial decisions must be made in our city and I want to ensure that we do not lose the assets that bind us together, give our children and grandchildren opportunities and make Duluth unique.

Personal background.

I grew up just outside of Superior in a family in which public service was a way of life, and I have worked hard to live up to that ideal. I work as a nurse practitioner with the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe and live in Duluth with my wife, Jennifer, and three-year-old daughter, Mary. I volunteer at the Damiano Center and with the Friends of the Lakewalk. I am active in Peace United Church of Christ and the Duluth Preservation Alliance. In my spare time, I enjoy hunting, fishing, gardening and running with the family dog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Attend the Harvset Festibal & Energy Fair

Head on down to the Harvest Festival & Energy Fair at Bayfront Park on Saturday. There will be food, booths entertainment. Learn about saving energy and sustainably grown food.

This year's Harvest Festival and Energy Fair will present 18 different workshop by renown
professionals from the fields of energy, food, home and water. Plan to attend one or more of these
50 minute workshops taking place between 10am and 3pm.

Three tents have been devoted to workshops. A complete schedule along with workshop and
presenter detail is listed below. Check the link here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

PACT-TV will rebroadcast Progressive Action’s city council candidate forum

PACT-TV will rebroadcast Progressive Action’s recent City Council candidate forum multiple times in the coming days, giving voters additional opportunities to compare candidates side-by-side before Tuesday’s Primary Election.

The forum, originally held in the Council Chambers on Wednesday, September 9th, will air on PACT-TV (Channel 7 on cable) on the following dates:

Friday, September 11: 12 p.m. (noon)

Saturday, September 12: 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 13: 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“All the candidates did a great job at Wednesday’s forum,” Progressive Action President Barb Olsen commented. “We asked them about their commitment to restoring city library and recreation services and how they would pay for that, how they would vote on the sale of various city assets, how they would balance the needs of Duluth’s diverse neighborhoods, what they see as the Council’s role in job creation, how to balance the desires of Lakewalk-area residents with Lakewalk users, the effects of college housing, and much more. The candidates showed a real breadth of knowledge on the issues, which viewers will see for themselves in PACT’s rebroadcast of the forum.” The forum was originally carried live on KUMD radio (103.3 FM).

Parents, teach your children bike safety

On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at 8:16 AM, Duluth Police officers were called to the 2100 block of West First Street to investigate a vehicle verses bicyclist traffic crash.

The investigation determined that a 2004 Chevy pickup truck driven by Anton Miketin, age 53, of Esko, was traveling westbound on First Street when two bicycles ridden by 8 and 9 year old Duluth boys darted into the roadway in front of him. As Miketin swerved and braked to avoid hitting the bicyclists, the first bicyclist went around the front of Miketin’s vehicle without any contact, but the second bicyclist collided with the right side of Miketin’s truck and the boy fell to the pavement.
The second bicyclist, the 8 year old Duluth boy, was taken to Saint Mary’s hospital by Gold Cross Ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries including abrasions and a head injury/probable concussion. The boy was not wearing a bicycle helmet.
Neither excessive speed nor other factors on the part of Miketin contributed to this crash. Although traffic laws apply to bicyclists, the boy was not cited due to his age.
Duluth Police urge parents to talk with their children about safe bike riding to include: (1) Never ride into a street without stopping first; (2) obey stop signs and traffic laws; (3) check behind before turning, swerving, or changing lanes; (4) always ride on the right; and (5) never follow another rider without obeying the rules. Most importantly, bicyclists need to wear an approved bike helmet. Parents should provide their child with an approved bike helmet and require that they wear it whenever they are riding their bike. Medical studies show that the majority of head injuries that are associated with bicycle falls and crashes can be prevented by a helmet. Many of those head injuries are severe and life-altering.

Public meeting will address university student housing

The City of Duluth Planning Division will host a meeting focusing on the proposed University Housing Overlay, which is part of the newly released draft of the Unified Development Chapter (UDC) of the City of Duluth Legislative Code. This discussion is a follow up to the public meeting on September 17. Individuals who would like to participate in a focused discussion on university student housing are encouraged to attend. The meeting will take place on Friday, September 18, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room on the Fourth Floor of City Hall. Members of the Clarion Associates team, consultants hired to assist City Planning staff in drafting the new land use regulations, will also be available to answer questions.

The purpose of the University Housing Overlay is to manage the impacts of university student housing demands on nearby residential neighborhoods. More specifically, its purpose is to identify and manage areas where conversion of single-family detached houses to student rooming houses will be discouraged. An additional purpose is to identify incentive areas near the universities where the construction of student housing will be encouraged.

The new UDC will replace Chapter 50, Zoning Regulations, and other sections of the City’s Code dealing with zoning and development. It is anticipated to be adopted in summer 2010.

The public may also submit comments and review the draft regulations by visiting the City’s web site at http://www.duluthmn.gov/planning/udc/index.cfm

For additional information, contact Cindy Petkac at (218) 730-5580.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fourth and Second District candidates participate in Progressive Action's forum

Matt Potter - Fourth District, Robert Wagner - Second District, Kerry Gauthier - Fourth District.
Patrick Boyle - Second District, Celia Scheer - Fourth District and Heath Hickok - Fourth District.

After the At-Large candidates spoke it was the Second and Fourth District candidates' turn to speak. Candidates running for Second District are: Rob Wagner and Patrick Boyle. Candidates for the Fourth District are: Kerry Gauthier, Gordon Grant, Heath Hickok, Matt Potter, and Celia Scheer. Gordon Grant was unable to attend.

Well, here it is already Thursday morning. I will just write this a fast as possible and sum up what I thought were differences.

Heath Hickok: Many candidates say that Duluth is not business friendly, but Heath Hickok says he thinks that it is business friendly. Also in Heath's name there is not a second "c". He says his name is like "Wild Bill." As executive director of the Lincoln Park Business Group he has been successful in helping see Superior Street get resurfaced.

Celia Scheer: spoke about being careful when cutting the budget or rearranging how we pay for things because of "unintended consequences". She spoke of Austrian School of Economic. Click here to see the Wikipedia entry.

Matt Potter:
First we need to fix the roads. Youth recreational programs are important.

Robert Wagner:
Against a Dinkytown plan for Duluth. Says college students are given a bad rap and contribute greatly to Duluth's economy and should be able to live wherever they want.

Patrick Boyle:
Decided to run for city council when he went to the Mt. Royal Library with his daughter and it was closed. Says college and transitional housing has a huge impact on neighborhoods and is glad UMD has stepped up to the plate to crack down on repeat offenders of loud parties. He says Duluth needs a 40 to 50 year plan for how to incorporate the college students. Something like a Dinkytown idea would be good.

Political Role Models:

Patrick Boyle: Willard Munger, Paul Wellstone - because he never sat on the fence, and his own dad - Frank Boyle.

Ceila Scheer: Thomas Jefferson because he was for the people. Also Andrew Jackson because he didn't bail out the banks. He doesn't have "president" on his tombstone, he has "I broke the banks."

Kerry Gauthier: Franklin Deleno Roosevelt, Paul Wellstone...thought we had too much trickle down theory, and Willard Munger.

Robert Wagner: Abe Lincoln for ending slavery, taking unpopular stand, and preserving through tough times. George Washington for being the father of our country and Al Franken because he is hilarious.


Heath Hickok

Celia Scheer Facebook page

Matt Potter

Robert Wagner

Patrick Boyle

Gordon Grant

Well folks I am sorry if I missed important issues or statements from these candidates. There was a lot to cover. If you were there, listened live ( or later), or if you are a candidate please feel free to add to the comment section.

Progressive Action is a grassroots political organization formed in honor of Paul Wellstone to carry on his progressive goals. For more information, see www.prog-action.org

At-Large candidate's discuss Duluth's future at Progressive Action's Duluth city forum

Dan Hartman and Becky Hall At-Large candidates.

Barb Olson, Charles Gessert and Jeff Anderson moderated the event.

At-Large candidates Beth Olson and Mike Akervik.

Tonight I attended the Progressive Action city council candidate forum. With 12 candidates running (actually only 10 were in attendance), it was hard to take notes as fast as the questions were asked and answered. The forum was held at the city council chambers and moderated by Barb Olson, Charles Gessert and Jeff Anderson. The evening started out with the At-Large candidates. Those candidates are: Beth Olson, Jim Stauber, Mike Akervik, Dan Hartman, and Becky Hall. Jim Stauber was unable to attend.

The main theme seemed to be what are the priorities of Duluth and how can the council get Duluth to achieve those priorities?

It seemed that all the candidates were concerned in getting the streets fixed, and restoring recreational programs and library hours and taking care of the parks. Becky Hall said those thinga are important, but that other growing new businesses need to be done before that.

Mike Averik said that the council needs to prioritize and get ahead of things so that it is not constantly in the reactive mode. He said that funding for streets, police and the fire department is a "no-brainer." Other things like recreation and a brand new police building are things the council needs to prioritize and study if it is needed right now.

On the question of having private companies manage city functions and selling off land like Park Point:

Becky Hall: Private entities can manage functions typically done by the city like the city water and gas. She would want to research it more. Would favor the sale of land on Park Point.

Beth Olson: Would not favor the sale of gas or water utility. This would cause problem later on. Not in favor of sale of Park Point land.

Dan Hartman: Thinks gas company has potential to bring money in. Not good to privatize it. Thinks Duluth should keep and protect Park Point.

Mike Akervik: Would favor the sale of Park Point, but thinks we should get away from the "rummage sale" approach to solving the city's financial problems. Thinks rate for gas and water might go up even further if privatized. Says public should be able to pay these bills online.

All candidates were asked which politician they most admired.

Dan Hartman: Benjamen Franklin because he was pragmatic. If something didn't work he looked for another way to solve the problem.

Mike Akervik: Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan because the both knew how to get things done. Also Paul Wellstone.

Beth Olson: Paul Wellstone because he understood people and engaged with people. Also you knew where he stood.

Becky Hall: Thomas Jefferson because he believed in the people and in liberty.


Becky Hall - Facebook page

Beth Olson

Mike Akervik - Facebook page

Dan Hartman

Jim Stauber

The candidate forum was carried live by KUMD radio (103.3 FM) and will rebroadcast at later dates. It was also carried by PACT-TV (Channel 7 on cable TV). For dates and times of those broadcasts, contact PACT-TV at (218) 723-3686.

Candidates in this year’s election are running for Second District, Fourth District, and At-Large City Council (two At-Large seats open). Twelve candidates are running for those four Council seats. They are Rob Wagner and Patrick Boyle for the Second District; Kerry Gauthier, Gordon Grant, Heath Hickok, Matt Potter, and Celia Scheer for the Fourth District; and Beth Olson, Jim Stauber, Mike Akervik, Dan Hartman, and Becky Hall for At-Large.

Progressive Action is a grassroots political organization formed in honor of Paul Wellstone to carry on his progressive goals. For more information, see www.prog-action.org

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Progressive Action to host Duluth City Council Candidate Forum on Sept. 9

Progressive Action will host a pre-Primary candidate forum for all Duluth City Council candidates on Wednesday, September 9. The forum will be held in the Duluth City Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall (411 West 1st Street), from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
“This forum is aimed at helping the public hear the views of all Council candidates,” Progressive Action President Barb Olsen commented. “Whatever the candidates’ political stripes, our goal is to give them a greater opportunity to get their ideas out to the public and to help voters make an informed choice in the Primary Election on September 15.”
This year, the Second and Fourth District Duluth City Council seats are open as well as two of the city’s four At-Large Council seats. Twelve candidates have filed.
Rob Wagner and Patrick Boyle filed for the Second District seat being vacated by the retiring Councilor Greg Gilbert. For the Fourth District, in which current Councilor Garry Krause chose not to run for reelection, candidates are Kerry Gauthier, Gordon Grant, Heath Hickok, Matt Potter, and Celia Scheer. And the At-Large candidates are Beth Olson, incumbent Jim Stauber, Mike Akervik, Dan Hartman, and Becky Hall.
Progressive Action is a grassroots political organization formed after the death of Paul Wellstone to carry on his progressive goals in such areas as affordable housing, living-wage jobs, and encouraging residents to be active in politics and run for office.

Second District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Robert Wagner

Main issues

1.) We need a city government that will be responsible and resourceful in the spending of the city's budget while still insuring all city services are still met, and without the need to continuously raise the tax levy. City government needs to have some sort of accountability when it comes to spending. An adjustment of funds to where the money is truly needed and ending irresponsible spending on the backs of the taxpayers.
2.) Jobs. The city must broaden it’s purpose by providing better services and assistance in order to promote job growth. A focus on promoting job growth while fostering new and existing businesses by aiming to be a city that is more 'business friendly'. These jobs will reflect retaining population, in turn strengthening our tax base.
These are the 2 fundamental issues that will have a direct effect on many other issues our city faces, including funding city services, city infrastructure, retiree health care issue, etc.

Personal Background

I have a diverse background. From growing up on the family farm, to holding positions in construction, sales, railroad labor, information technology, the arts and entertainment industry, and currently the health care industry. I feel this diversity will lend some insight into what really matters to the people.
I realize that the role of a Councilor is to listen, and then to reflect the pursuit of the people. As your District 2 City Councilor, I vow to dig deep into the issues that are presented to me. Any proposals or decisions I make will be informed ones. Going the extra mile to look at all sides of the issues, and from all perspectives.

Fourth District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Celia Scheer

Main issues
The core services, roads, utilities, emergency services, must be the primary focus of any city council, especially here in Duluth where there are problems in all of these areas.
Government is accountable to the people for all revenue received. I will work for full disclosure of available funds to give the council members the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions. Currently, this information is not available to city councilors.
I will also work to make Duluth more business friendly to keep good jobs here in Duluth. I will work to reduce government bureaucracy to promote free enterprise, while appropriately protecting our environment. I will work to stop unnecessary governmental interference in your life. Citizens must be able to make contracts and conduct business freely without unreasonable requirements and needless paper work.
Elected officials have a responsibility to enable others to live their own lives. Government really should be OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people.

Personal Background
I am a single mother of five children, three still at home. I’ve worked as an office manager most of my adult life as well as managing a home. I attend city council meetings and sometimes speak.
I am not accepting funds or seeking endorsements from any group so I will be able to do what is best for the people of Duluth, not what some special interest demands.
I want to represent you, to be your voice and to work for you. I do not want to be your boss or your leader but instead want to work for you as your public servant.

Fourth District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Matt Potter

Main Issues
The City of Duluth has several main issues. The first for me and one I feel very strongly about is community development with our Parks and Recreation department. The city has abandoned this service and left communities to fend for themselves. We need positive environments for the future of Duluth in all our communities. I will bring back the Parks and Recreation department.
Roads and Infrastructure is another main issue. Our roads are a direct representation of how we take care of our city, and right now it is an embarrassment. We need to fix our roads and bring in business to our empty buildings.
Economic growth is another issues that the city needs to focus more energy on. We have great opportunities in Duluth, but there is so much red tape and bureaucracy along with taxes that are much to high for any average Duluthian to stay in business or to open a new business in Duluth. We need the city to work with small business owners, not against them.
I feel that we have to fix the foundation of our city. Without a strong foundation to build on our city will continue to crumble. It’s time for “Common Sense and Priorities”.
Personal Background
I have been involved in the community for many years. I served as a Program Coordinator for the Valley Youth Center, Board member of Irving Recreation and Events Association, Criminal Justice Association, Spirit Valley Lions Club, Vice-President of Duluth Table Tennis, and Head Coach of West Duluth Football Association. My family owns and operates the Hillside ICO where I have served as the General Manager for the past 4 years. I also have a degree in Political Science and have worked as a Political Consultant, giving me an inside look at how politics work.
I have an invested interest in seeing this beautiful city survive and prosper. I am married and have an eight-year-old son who will grow up and hopefully raise a family of his own here one day. We need to think about our future and not just about the here and now. I hope to have your support this September and November.

Fourth District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Kerry Gauthier

Main Issues
I am the DFL endorsed candidate for the fourth district. I believe we deserve a councilor who will represent all the people of the district. As I have door knocked throughout the district people tell me they want a councilor that will be sensitive to the needs of the district and the city
During these difficult economic times it is important to have responsible management of city finances to provide the resources we need to build viable strong neighborhoods. We must fix our streets and I support the mayor’s plan to do so.
We must also be wise stewards of city finances to insure we have all the services we need. We must protect fire and police services. Nothing is more fundamental to our neighborhoods and I will support public safety special levies.
During these hard economic hard times, I support utilizing the Community Investment Trust Fund to provide for core services.
It is time to renew our commitment to our young people. We can begin by restoring summer youth programs in the city.
Personal Background
I am a native Duluthian and have lived in Lincoln Park for sixteen years and reside next to the house where my grandparents lived. I am currently in my eighteenth year as the director of rehabilitation services for Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center and Thunderbird/Wren Halfway House. I am a graduate of Saint Scholastica.
I have been very active in the DFL Party for 35 years. I have served as the 8th Congressional District Chair and the Minnesota DFL Treasurer.
I served on the Duluth Human Rights Commission from 2002 to 2006. I also have served on the board of directors for the Valley Youth Center and the Good Fellowship Club. I also helped coordinate the Project Share Food Drive.

Fourth District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Gordon Grant

Main issues
A) Finance (constant budget crisis - 36% of general fund relies on LGA money)
B) Economic Development (more economic drivers & good paying job creation)
C) Quality of Life (cutbacks for community centers, youth programs, libraries, parks)
D) Public Safety (staff reduction, but increased demand for services)
E) Streets (using CDTF for other purposes) / Infrastructure (sewer overflow - Consent Decree)
F) Retiree Health care benefits (contingent unfunded liability - pending litigation)
G) Increased taxes/fees (property, utility, service fees - lights)
H) Shrinking population (conflict over the school district red plan)
I will vote to stop short term spending decisions that result into long term obligations.
I will recommend new economic drivers that provide ways to reduce our taxes, attract new industry, grow our economy, safely increase tax revenues, and create new, good paying jobs.
I will donate my councilor salary to the 4th District volunteer organizations or groups that support our community centers, our youth programs, and our parks.
I will support our Police & Fire departments by not reducing staff.
I will vote to stop spending our CDTF money for unrelated projects except for OUR streets.
We should have been able to vote on and to select the school plan of our choice.

Personal Background

I have been a resident and small business owner (Dairy Queen Central Entrance) in the Duluth Heights neighborhood for 12 years.
I retired from the financial services industry after thirty (30) years, and my wife, Judy, is a native of Duluth and a Central High School graduate.
I have been active in the community, I have served on several community committees, and I have followed the current critical issues facing Duluth.
I believe my financial services and small business owner experience, and being actively involved in the community WILL help the city move forward by generating alternative solutions for improvement.

Fourth District “The Hillsider” candidate statements - Heath Hickok

Main Issues

I intend to make a difference in our community. I want to offer my experience in economic development and my passion for community organizing to help build a better tomorrow. My top priorities are job creation, infrastructure improvements, public safety, and parks and recreation.
Business development is an important component of creating new jobs. Let’s build a better tomorrow by proactively promoting the benefits of doing business in Duluth. We need to retain our existing businesses and help them expand while assisting new business developments. This strategy will create more jobs and increase our tax base.

If we are to build a better tomorrow; our streets, sidewalks, bridges, and bike trails all need to be improved. Duluth’s infrastructure needs more attention.

Crime is an issue throughout Duluth and needs to be addressed comprehensively. I will work with the Duluth police and fire departments to address our public safety needs.

Let’s build a better tomorrow by providing the Parks and Recreation Department with enough resources. We should collaborate with residents to keep these community assets here for future generations to enjoy. Duluth’s parks, playgrounds, and community centers add to the quality of life for our residents and should be a top priority.

Personal background

I was raised in Lincoln Park and attended Lincoln Elementary. I graduated from Denfeld in 1994. I studied advertising and political science at SCSU and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications.

I lived in Minneapolis and worked as a Marketing Manager. I then attended the Graduate School of Communicating Arts at UWS. I was also the Marketing Manager at the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce.

I was hired by the LPBG in 2007 and have enjoyed being the Executive Director since.
I recently obtained a Mini-Masters in Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas and am currently pursuing a Certificate in Non-Profit Management through UWS.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

At-Large Hillsider Candidate statements for city council: Jim Stauber

Main Issues
The key issues for Duluth in 2010 – 2014 will include the budget. The tax, borrow and spend politics of yesterday has been detrimental to our city. We owe over $155,000,000 for past projects and owe $300,000,000 in unfunded retiree costs. We now feel this terrible burden from past decision makers and should focus on “pay as you go.” Less government would be okay.
Becoming more “business friendly” will be critical to Duluth if we hope to expand the tax base and bring new employment opportunities to our citizens. Government plays a critical role in establishing business rules such as zoning and permitting and can play a key role in encouraging local businesses to be retained, expand or to bring new business to our city.
The safety, beauty and functionality of our neighborhoods needs to continue to be addressed. Blight, crime, neighborhood schools, community centers, parks, etc. All should be a priority. Cops in the community, streets you can drive on, parks and playgrounds close will all enhance Duluth as a place to live.
Personal Background
I am the only incumbent councilor running for reelection. I have been on the council 8 years.
I was elected Council President in 2004, four times as DEDA President and Chair of the City Finance Committee. I serve on the Boards of Animal Allies and the Northland Red Cross. I am a Mayo Clinic Medical Transportation employee, retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel in January 2001 and a faculty instructor for UMD since 1986 in the Masters of Environmental Health and Safety Program.
Please see Jim’s web site at www.VoteStauber.com for additional information.

At-Large Hillsider Candidate statements for city council: Beth Olson

Main Issues
The budget crisis is the biggest issue Duluth’s City Council currently faces. Through the process of setting budget priorities, the city is in effect deciding what services it should and will provide and what assets it will protect. I believe the city has a responsibility to serve every neighborhood and citizen equally and to make decisions that will make our lives easier wherever possible. We must provide the core services of a sound infrastructure, such as streets and sewers; public safety, with well-trained and well-equipped police and fire departments; and access to services such as parks, recreation, and libraries. We have to plan to be sure we can continue to afford these core services and avoid the short-term approach of eliminating them because the budget is currently tight. The Council must also make economic-development decisions that support our existing businesses and help bring in new businesses and job growth that fit Duluth’s abundant natural resources, strong neighborhoods, and excellent work force. The City Council’s overriding responsibility in all these issues is to ensure every voice is heard and that decisions fairly consider each neighborhood’s unique strengths and needs.

Personal Background
I grew up in a family of six children. My dad was a union bricklayer, and my mom stayed at home with us, later finishing her education and becoming a speech pathologist. My family valued work, education, and cooperation, and I’ve carried those lessons through my life. At a young age, I began volunteering. I’ve spent the last 17 years working in non-profit organizations, with the goal of making our community a safer and healthier place to live and work. I am currently the Coordinator of the Duluth Family Visitation Center and live in Duluth with my 11 year-old daughter, Sage.

At-Large Hillsider Candidate statements for city council: Dan Hartman

Main Issues
“The issues I hear most about and that top my campaign priorities are streets, jobs, neighborhood revitalization, and the environment.
It’s not easy today, but we need to do a better job repairing our streets.
We must also make it easy for businesses to make Duluth their home. We can do this by improving our permit process and developing a consistent development standard.
We also can improve Duluth’s quality of life by completing and better promoting our neighborhood revitalization plans which exist in Morgan Park, Spirit Valley, Lincoln Park/West End, Central Hillside and East Hillside. These plans were put together by the community members themselves and represent what is so great about Duluth, its community spirit.
Most Duluthians love being here because of the lake and our great park system. Let’s do a better job of protecting it, but also promoting it. There are some great trails, but many don’t know they exist.”
Personal background
I came to Duluth to attend college, and I knew immediately I wanted to make it my home. My wife, Liz, and I live on the East Hillside, and we love our close-knit neighborhood.
My passion for strengthening our neighborhoods is not something I have and will be talking about. It is something I am doing. I currently serve as the board chair for Neighborhood Housing Services where we are working on improving our community one block at a time. As your city councilor I will continue to work to improve our neighborhoods by working with you.

At-Large Hillsider Candidate statements for city council: Becky Hall

Main issues
I’m running for Duluth City Council because I want a city that does everything possible to help its citizens prosper. How can Duluth do this? Make job growth a priority again. Streamline city services so prospective employers don’t have to wait for the help they need to expand or locate here. Improve how our business, non-profit and political leaders work together. By working together we can present a united front to new employers that says: “We’re open for business!
My family was able to move to Duluth because of a wonderful job opportunity. As a mom, I’d like nothing more than for my kids and yours to also have the opportunity to raise a family here someday. The fact is, too many families are struggling to make ends meet because Duluth has put job development on the back burner for far too long. More jobs would mean rebuilding our tax base without constantly increasing taxes.

I have worked with many communities in their efforts to create jobs as an economic development specialist for the state of Minnesota. I want to put that experience to work for Duluth. I think it’s time City Hall makes job growth, job number one.

Personal background
Currently I am a stay-at-home mom of five great kids and a community activist. Aside from the many volunteer activities that I have participated in within our community, I have also been a member of several non-profit boards as well as a couple of neighborhood committees.
My professional experience is in economic development. I ran for City Council At-Large two years ago when I came in first in the primary election and third in the general election (I won the “Kids Vote!”). I was also the runner-up for the vacant position at the City Council created when Council Roger Reinert left to become a state representative. I would be honored to have your vote!

At-Large Hillsider Candidate statements for city council: Mike Akervik

Main Issues
One of the most important issues for our city is how to address budget shortfalls and inadequate funding for programs. Fiscal responsibility is vital to a successful city government and the services provided to its citizens. It is necessary to prioritize how money is allocated for services and infrastructure. Budgets must be balanced without causing undue strain on taxpayers.
It is essential to find a solution for the unfunded health care liability. Contracts should be negotiated to allow for quality, affordable health care that will fit within budget constraints. It will be a “lose-lose” situation for the city and employees/retirees if this issue is not resolved.
Efficient communication and collaboration between city departments is necessary to prevent delays and frustration for people seeking assistance. By coordinating the zoning, permitting, and planning departments, individuals and businesses would be able to expand or start their projects sooner. Streamlining the process would also attract more businesses that could provide jobs to support families.

There is a negative perception of our city that is perpetuated by an unwillingness to work together. We must have open communication and actively seek out community involvement to work towards a positive, productive environment for all citizens of Duluth.

Personal Background
I am a life-long resident of Duluth having graduated from Morgan Park Senior High and UMD. I am the Production Manager at Service Printers. Currently, I serve as President of the city Planning Commission and am on the city Zoning Advisory Committee. In 2008, I completed two terms as an At-Large Representative on the Duluth School Board where I served as chair, treasurer and clerk. I sing in area music groups and volunteer with various organizations including my church, Asbury UMC. My wife, Teri, and I live in Smithville/Morgan Park with our sons Erik and Kyle.

42 percent of African American women of child-bearing age are vitamin D deficient

By Carolyn Nasca, R.N., B.S.N., P.H.N.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced naturally when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the gut. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. It is also needed for bone growth in children and helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.

Vitamin D has other roles in human health, including strengthening of neuromuscular and immune function and reduction of inflammation.

Chronic vitamin D deficiency symptoms can include: muscle weakness, aches and pains.
Shocking Vitamin D deficiency statistics

  • 32 percent of doctors and med school students are vitamin D deficient.
  • 40 percent of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.
  • 42 percent of African American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.
  • 48 percent of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient.
  • Up to 60 percent of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.
  • 76 percent of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient.
  • Up to 80 percent of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient.
Sources of Vitamin D
The flesh of fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet. Examples are fortified milk, cereals, some brands of orange juice, and yogurt.
-Sun exposure
Most people meet their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight.
Approximately five to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.
Individuals with limited sun exposure, such as persons living in colder climates or places that don’t see much sun light, need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet or take a supplement.
In supplements and fortified foods, vitamin D is available in two forms, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 could be more than three times as effective as vitamin D2. Many supplements are being reformulated to contain vitamin D3 instead of vitamin D2.
Obtaining sufficient vitamin D from natural food sources alone can be difficult. For many people, consuming vitamin D-fortified foods and being exposed to sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status. In some groups, dietary supplements might be required to meet the daily need for vitamin D.
Consult a professional
Ask your doctor if you can have simple blood test which would show if you are vitamin D deficient. Remember, before taking vitamin D or increasing your sun exposure ask your doctor if it is right for you.

References: Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (2008), Naturalnews.com, Vitamin D myths, facts, and statistics January 1, 2005 By: Mike Adams.
Nasca is a public health nurse and a “The Hillsider” board member

Groups gather on footbridge over I-35 to hold signs in support of health care reform

By Scott Yeazle
Rally signs for health care went up on a pedestrian overpass along Interstate 35 and cars started honking their horns. Most people in the cars speeding along were in support, but some didn’t care for the cause.

Twin Ports Action Coalition along with the MN Citizens Federation hosted this rally on Sat., August 8. Around 20 people representing many different organizations attended the event named “Bridging the Gap.” A walk across the Bong Bridge was planned, but the weather was too wet and foggy so the group went to the footbridge overpass.

The rally was organized because of a true need in Minnesota and the United States. Our nation is 37th on the World Health Organizations ranking of Health Care systems. France is number one, followed by Italy. The rally was supportive of the current health care reform debate in congress.
One of the rally participants, Kimberly Dansereau, said, “The rally was a way to bring about awareness of the inadequate amount of affordable health care and the need for a universal system that is beneficial to all citizens. This is important because no health care will most assuredly become a life-altering event for everyone, and not for the better.”

Along with the national congressional debate, Minnesota also has a bill called the Minnesota Health Care Plan written by State Senator John Marty. This bill would cover every person in Minnesota and is coauthored by many legislators including Representative Roger Reinert and State Senator Prettner Solon.

Currently momentum for affordable health care in the United States is building. Affordable Health Care would make sure that it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to go to the doctor. This rally was one step forward in the fight

Tony LaDeaux dies

July 10, 1947 – August 25, 2009
On August 25, Tony LaDeaux died due to an illness. With his passing, Duluth lost an advocate who worked tirelessly for the victims of racism. He was the 2008 recipient of the MLK Holiday Committee “Justice for Peace” award and was the chair of the Duluth American Indian Commission’s Civilian Review Board committee. He frequently shared that his work was intended not just to benefit Indian people, or other people of color, but all who lived in Duluth. His presence on the hillside will be deeply missed.

Outdoor survival skills help city youth build self-confidence for school

SCHOOL HAS BEGUN and these youth from the Lincoln Park School Branch of the Boys and Girls Club have traded in their hiking backpacks for school backpacks. The skills they learned while hiking and camping this summer gave them more awareness of the environment and helped develop their self-confidence for everyday life. (Photo by Tim Canies)

By Tim Canies
September is back-to-school time. Some schools students will be writing about their summer vacations. For 11 youth from the Lincoln Park School branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs the subject matter of that assignment would be easy. They went backpacking for the first time. They participated in a new program named Kids vs. Wild, an outdoor leadership and environmental awareness program for kids ages 9 through 11. Club members gained confidence in the outdoors and in life by learning basic outdoor skills.

By learning to filter their own water, setting up and taking down their tents each day, building safe fires and navigating the trail, each club member learned to trust in his/her own abilities. By the end of the program each participant felt the pride that comes with learning a new skill, and gained self confidence that comes from having used that new skill to meet a challenge.
Each week starting in early June, the youth learned a different outdoor skill; water filtering, safe fire building, putting up tents, basic first aid, identifying local plants and animals and more. Learning these skills gave the youth confidence not only for backpacking and camping, but for life in general.

Staff members Robb Winterfeld, Mikaela Bercher and Tim Caines have a combined 48 years of backpacking experience and led the 11 youth on a three-day, two night adventure in the backcountry in early August.

The Northland Foundation provided funds for youth-sized backpacking equipment.
On August 5 the group embarked on their first outing. The backpacking campers covered over eight trail miles, starting at the Sonju Lake Road and finishing at the Finland Recreation Center.
Each night the group camped at a different remote lake. On two occasions freshly caught brook trout were on the menu.

The club participants had a great time, despite the difficult terrain they crossed each day. They worked hard each day, and enjoyed sitting around the campfire each evening before going to bed to the calls of noisy loons.