Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duluth can be a hip, civil town

Summer is coming soon, the weather is very nice, and the flowers and grass are growing. As things come back to life, a question came up about Duluth also growing younger and more hip. Based on the local theater, restaurant, and music scenes, I would say “yes.” I love to see local companies putting forward a fantastic product. I have been to the Renegade improv shows and they are really funny. If you are awake at 10:30 and want to laugh, go to the Teatro Zuccone on Friday or Saturday night. Pizza Luce is a great example of a hip restaurant, and the music scene is alive and well. The Homegrown Festival is coming up; check out a band or two if you can.

On Tax Day, two rallies happened here in the city. The Tea Party and the Anti War rally were both very civil. This was free democracy at its finest. Both rallies had a good crowd, and when the Anti War march went to the Tea Party rally it was still civil. There was no violence and very little yelling. The MC for the Tea Party rally was respectful to the march and told everyone else to show respect. I am proud to be a Duluthian when I see the amount of respect people have for others with different opinions.

Things are getting busy in the city, and summer is the time for outdoor events. Camping with the family is always on the agenda for me when I have time. Remember to grab a Hillsider and have some reading material for the long trips ahead.


Yeazle is active in many community-based organizations. He is the chair of TPAC, a board member of Duluth Neighborhood Housing Services, vice-president of the Hillsider board, treasurer of the Central Hillside Community Club, serves on the Human Rights Commission, and is active in many other committees working to eradicate poverty and injustice.

We had the people census, now it’s time for a tree census

Caption: Over 19,000 urban trees have been cut down or removed in Duluth since 1993. Duluth lost its Tree City USA status in 1993. This stump is in front of an apartment building on East Second Street.

By Judy Gibbs

Folks in the Hillside area are coming together to celebrate and count their city trees. Members of East Hillside Community Club [EHCC] have been doing an informal inventory of East Hillside, taking note of the many open planting spots for boulevard trees. Then, when they acquire funding, they buy trees and plant them.

Now, EHCC wants to invite the public to get involved in a formal count of Duluth’s city trees. Since the last time a complete inventory of Duluth’s boulevards was taken in 1993-94, it’s likely that the 19,000 urban trees counted have changed greatly due to construction, old age, disease or weather-related stressors. In addition, Duluth was a member of Tree City USA until 2003, but then funding was cut from the state, and tree planting has been severely curtailed.
One important reason to conduct a tree inventory now is that Duluth anticipates the arrival of a tiny green bug from Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer [EAB]. Its offspring chew the sapwood of ash trees, girdling them until they die. In infestations that have spread from Michigan to 13 other states and provinces, there has been a 100 percent mortality rate. It is estimated that Duluth boulevards have more than 5400 ash trees that will be lost.

Duluth has dedicated the week of May 17-23 to join in with the National Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. It also proclaims that week “Arbor Week in Duluth.” Monday, May 17, is officially Arbor Day, and the Mayor will plant a tree in Chester Park at 2 p.m. Kid-friendly activities will be offered before and after that event, including tree planting in which the public can help to re-establish Duluth as a Tree City, USA.

Anti-war,Tea Party groups both oppose too much gov’t spending

CAPTIONS: On April 15, Tax Day, the Northland Anti War Coalition sponsored a rally at the Minnesota Power Plaza. Here they are walking toward Bayfront Festival Park.
Photo courtesy of

A sign at the Tea Party at Bayfront Festival Park on April 15.
Photo by Celia Scheer

For the second year Tea Party was held on tax day, April 15. People turned out for a chance to be heard and to let our representatives know we support smaller government and personal freedom. We invited representatives from the area, including northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Only one candidate came to hear us: Chip Cravaak, running against Oberstar for the 8th District Congressional seat.

The Tea Party message is one of liberty, to restore and preserve economic liberty and the United States Constitution. As far as other issues, it is true that some Tea Party attendees support some things and others do not. During the Tea Party, the Northland Anti-War Coalition came with signs of their own. Some Tea Party attendees were offended by this, but I thought this could have been our chance to find common ground.

We currently have upwards of 700 bases in foreign countries around the world; over two-thirds of the world has at least one U.S. base in their country. Why do we have so many bases? Building an empire and policing the world is very expensive. Here is where we both can agree, war protesters and Tea Party attendees alike. You can support the troops but still acknowledge we have too many of them in way too many places. We really cannot afford it. We can all agree on that.

In Liberty,
Celia Scheer, member of the Northern Liberty Alliance

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night March in Downtown Duluth on Thursday, April 29th, 2010, beginning at 7:00 PM.

The event begins at the Washington Center, First Avenue West and Third Street, with the march going south on First Avenue West to Superior Street. It will then head east on Superior Street to Third Avenue East, north on Third Avenue East to First Street, and west on First to Lake Avenue. From there the march will go north on Lake Avenue to Second Street, west on Second Street to First Avenue West, and north on First Avenue West back to Washington Center.
Please watch for officers directing traffic during the march and expect traffic delays along the route.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In the U. S. we don’t need government press credentials to write or report

Naomi’s Notes

Caption: Roxana Saberi and Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff at a book signing for her book, Between Two Worlds, during the Midwest Journalism Conference in Bloomington, Minn.

This April I attended the Midwest Journalism Conference in Bloomington, MN.

The highlight was meeting journalist Roxana Saberi. Saberi was released from an Iranian prison last May after a five-month imprisonment on charges of spying. She is originally from Fargo, ND. Since I am from North Dakota I feel a kinship to her and felt just terrible last year when the Iranian government detained her.

She says she was mentally, but not physically, tortured while in prison. At one point she confessed to the charges in hopes that she would be released before becoming an elderly woman or dying. She later recanted the charges.

As a child she had visited Japan, her mother’s home country, but she had never visited her dad’s home country of Iran. She has dual Iranian and American citizenship. In 2003, she moved to Iran as an international journalist. Her work has aired on Fox News, PBS, and NPR, as well as many international markets.

She told of a fellow woman journalist weeping at a goodbye party for outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, who was replaced by the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Saberi soon learned why her colleague was so sad. Under Ahmadinejad’s administration Saberi lost her press credentials, as did many other journalists. That didn’t stop Saberi from doing research to write a book. She speculates that the Iranian government was irritated by the idea of her writing a book without the proper approval of their government, and that is why they imprisoned her.

As I listened to her I was so glad that I live in the United States. I don’t know that I would have the strength to endure the mental torture she was put through. I couldn’t imagine living in a country where I would have to have press credentials from the government to be a working journalist.

Yaeger-Bischoff is the editor/general manager of The Hillsider.

Monday, April 19, 2010

'A cleaner neighborhood, have lunch with a councilor and Deadline is tomorrow'

'A cleaner neighborhood, have lunch with a councilor and Deadline is tomorrow'

Haircare Clinic gave pointers on caring for African-American hair

Susan McCalister, owner of For Me, For You beauty salon, coordinated an African American hair care seminar. McCalister said that the seminar was especially helpful for mothers of mix raced children and foster parents to learn more about caring for African American skin and hair. Topics included: when to shampoo hair, what type of hair texture can be permed/relaxed, different types of hair textures, different types of oils, lotions, grease for hair, different types of creams and lotions for skin, how to comb through difficult hair textures.

The event is in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the opening of the salon. The seminar will be held April 10 from 2 until 4 p.m. at The Venue 2024 W. Superior St. A hair and fashion show follow from 4 until 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Registration is $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door. Phone 464-4640 for more information.

Scott Yeazle...Serving the Twin Ports

Springtime, as the temperature rises, get out, meet your neighbors and raise your voices

I am always looking forward to the springtime. I love to see the temperature get warmer and this year it happened early. Now that the weather is nice, get out and meet your neighbors. Last year, at about this time, I was at a rally for health care and at the rally was the sign “Health Care is a Human Right”. Someone in a car saw the sign and screamed that the sign was wrong. After that, I was thinking about it and I looked in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I found it in Article 25. It says “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”. The United Nations created the Declaration in 1948.

Yes, We have had a document on human rights for 62 years. Now we have in the city of Duluth, A Human Rights Commission, which works to follow the declaration.
The commission was formed October 2001. Many community leaders thought it was needed to have a city commission based on Human Rights. Fifteen people can serve on the board and there are currently 8. The commission is working on issues like the achievement gap and racial discrimination in employment. The achievement gap refers to the disparity in our school district’s graduation rates. African American and Native American children have a much lower rate of graduation than white children.

I have served on the commission for one year. It is a volunteer group that is appointed by the Mayor. In that year, I have learned a lot about the truths and myths about Duluth. Everyone has basic human rights and the commission is ready to listen when those rights are violated. I am excited to be a part of this group. If you have a complaint to file, the first step is to phone Bob Grytdahl, the Duluth Human Rights Officer at (218) 730-5630.

In April, there are a lot of events, many of them working for social justice, make sure you attend them. Now is the time to get your voices heard. Now is a better time than later.
Scott Yeazle

Yeazle is active in many community-base organizations. He is the chair of TPAC, a board member of Duluth Neighborhood Housing Services, vice-president of the Hillsider board, treasurer of the Central Hillside Community Club and serves on the Human Rights Commission. He is active in many other committees working to eradicate poverty and injustice.

Citizens for a Cleaner Community Program urges involvement of residents

This spring and summer you will be seeing a new icon – for the Citizens for a Cleaner Community Program (3CP) – on the Hillside.

You will see it on signs erected into vacant yards that the volunteers in 3CP have cleaned and mowed; on flyers distributed throughout your neighborhood and attached to a Neighbor Notes newsletter published by Neighborhood Housing Services of Duluth; and as time passes, on the doors of vehicles used to assist in cleaning up the neighborhoods and watering the flowers.

Join 3CP [Citizens for a Cleaner Community Program] This summer’s plans • June 5 - 12 NeighborWorks Week • June 8 - Hillside trash and litter pick up • June 12 - Vacant lot clean up. More events to be planned this summer.

The Safe and Walkable Hillside Coalition welcomes a partnership with the Hillside Beautification Committee, originator of the 3CP. Under consideration areother partnerships: Central Hillside Community Club with its May clean-up efforts, NeighborWorks with its NeighborWorks Week, and Earth Day volunteers. Councilman Dan Hartman is contributing many beneficial ideas. Duluth LISC facilitated a Fourth Street Corridor Clean-up public forum held in October of 2009 in the Central Hillside Community Center. At the packed meeting room, people expressed their care and concerns. Ideas were prioritized as goals.

This meeting gave birth to a small group of people determined to accomplish measurable and visible results. Brendan Hanschen, NHS Neighborhood Project Coordinator, called a meeting of people who already were active in volunteering to keep the Hillside clean. Those attending were Regina Cameron, a Central Hillside resident; Sarah Chambers, a Central Hillside retiree; James Gittemeier, an ARDC/MIC employee and East Hillside resident; Rosemary Hampton, a Central Hillside retiree; and Jake Wagner, an Americorp intern with NHS.

The Hillside Beautification Committee renamed itself as the Citizens for a Cleaner Community Program (3CP). Regina Cameron was selected as the Chairperson. The group’s goals are to eliminate or reduce Hillside’s unkempt yards and sidewalks, overgrown brush, noticeable lack of accountability on the parts of businesses, renters, landlords and homeowners. They also hope to reduce litter.

Home Depot gave a grant of $2,500 for NHS to use as a tool-lending library and for the purchase of supplies. These supplies will be split between the four neighborhoods of East Hillside, Central Hillside, Lincoln Park, and Morgan Park for projects selected by residents If you care about your neighborhood and want to help beautify it, please contact Brendan Hanschen at 224 E. Fourth St., (218) 727-8604 ext. 19 or See sidebar information below for beautification actions you may participate in this June.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Parks and Recreation Spring Break Skating Schedule at the Heritage Center

The Parks and Receration spring break skating sessions at the Heritage Sports Center will be held daily this week from 12:00-1:30 PM. The Heritage Sports Center is located at 120 South 30th Avenue West. These sessions are free and open to all ages for pleasure skating.

Monday, April 5 @ 12:00-1:30 PM

Tuesday, April 6 @ 12:00-1:30 PM

Wednesday, April 7 @ 12:00-1:30 PM

Thursday, April 8 @ 12:00-1:30 PM

Friday, April 9 @ 12:00-1:30 PM

15th Annual “Clean and Green Duluth” set citizens asked to lend a hand April 17-24th

Asking Duluthians to lend a hand in cleaning up the city’s public green space, Mayor Don Ness announced the date of the 15th Annual “Clean and Green Duluth” city-wide clean up week is April 17-24th.

“We’ve really received a great response from Duluthians to this annual project and we’re asking for the best turnout yet,” Mayor Ness said “Our goal is to spruce up Duluth for the coming of another spring and summer season.”

Last year, hundreds of Duluthians turned out to help clean up city parks, trails and other Duluth public areas, either as parts of over 30 neighborhood groups who “adopted” a favorite area of the city, or acting as private citizens.

In addition, other Duluthians cleaned up their own private property. Mayor Ness requested that citizens who plan to do the same this year use their regular waste hauler or Western Lake Superior Sanitary District facilities to dispose of refuse. Many waste haulers offer services for those who can’t transport their waste or require other assistance. “Citizens who are cleaning up their houses and yards should contact their waste hauler to dispose of bulky materials or utilize the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District’s Materials Recovery Center located on Rice Lake Road, the Yard Waste Composting Site and the Household Hazardous Waste Facility which are both located at 27th Avenue West,” Mayor Ness said. “City crews have the big job of picking up waste from public areas, but will not be collecting waste from private property. Using WLSSD facilities will ensure that refuse is taken care of quickly, and not stacked up on curbs and boulevards. ”

If you or your group would like to participate in this years "Clean and Green" please contact Amy Norris, Public Information Coodinator for the City of Duluth at

Cutting down the big trees

These trees use to provide a pretty scene for people who live along 14th Avenue East. About one year ago they were chopped down. Will the HDC replace the trees with something nice to look at?

Research has shown that nature scenes can have positive effects on mental health. See Trees and their relationship to mental health.

April 24, 2009 8:25 a.m.

In less than one hour these trees came down. It was pretty amazing to watch. But also very sad. Were the trees diseased or what was the reasoning for taking them out?

April 24, 2009 9:18 a.m.

April 24, 2009 9:21 a.m.

April 5, 2010

It would be nice if some type of tree replaced the three that came down.

Added Sept. 24, 2010. This summer new deciduous trees were planted around this building. One was planted where the big evergreens where chopped down. Thank you HDC for keeping the neighborhood friendly.