Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oct. issue is out ~ Invitation to eat breakfast with heroes~ Deli, gardens & more via #constantcontact

Oct. issue is out ~ Invitation to eat breakfast with heroes~ Deli, gardens & more via #constantcontact

Jacqui’s Deli in Greysolon Plaza has small town charm

Caption: Jacqui Bergson with fresh bread at her deli at 231 E. Superior Street. [Photo by Holly Nelson]

By By Holly Nelson
Jacqui’s Deli and Market, 231 E. Superior St., provides Duluthians with a chance to enjoy what in today’s world is a rare experience that guarantees to give anyone that small town feel. Not only can one find themselves a delicious meal made to order by Jacqui herself, plus a chance to get some much needed groceries, but they can also discover what it means to be a part of a community—and all in one stop.

As one door closed in Jacqui Bergson’s life when she was laid off from her job, another door opened when Jacqui noticed the “For Sale” sign in the window of the old Romano’s Grocery on Superior Street. Jacqui told herself, “I’ve been doing this type of customer service for a while, so I might as well do it for myself now.” A true family business, Jacqui’s Deli and Market was completely renovated solely by Jacqui and her mother aside from some outside electric and flooring help.

The variety of sandwiches and soups at Jacqui’s is sure to please any hungry customer. While all of the soups are distinctively homemade, the chili, served every day, has been in Jacqui’s family for over 70 years. The sandwiches, built to order and made with a variety of bread from local Johnson’s Bakery, provide a hearty lunch with their large portions and fresh veggies. One of the deli’s most popular items is a cup of soup and half a sandwich for only $6.75. In addition to using bread from a local bakery, Jacqui also stays local by selling Arco coffee. “We wanted to keep it simple and fresh,” says Jacqui. “You get to know people on the street,” she added. “It truly is a neighborhood.”

Some of the customers Jacqui and her family members have gotten to know quite well include hotel guests, local workers, and even hospital patients and their family members. Jacqui has even been known to specially make a soup at request from her loyal customers. As Jacqui says, “It’s really fun to cook for people when they enjoy it.” Jacqui’s Deli and Market is a great example of the quickly disappearing human connection between business owner and customers.
Jacqui is looking forward to the construction of a skywalk that will cross Third Avenue, connecting her building to the hospital and providing customers with an indoor entrance to the building.

While Jacqui is in the process of designing the new sign, “Romano’s Grocery” remains on the outside of the deli on Third Avenue East and Superior Street.
Call-ahead orders are welcomed at (218)-727-8263, and the deli and market are open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Outdoor lights cause light pollution

A lit Earth may have unintended consequences

By Rebecca Bischoff

When my mom told me that the police wanted her to keep her porch light on during the night, I got a little upset. At school I had learned that light pollution is becoming a major problem throughout the world. People, especially in major metropolitan areas, can no longer see the stars, and quality sleep is being disrupted. Animals are even more affected by light pollution as their migration, reproduction and feeding patterns are disrupted. A number of studies, including those of birds and bats, have linked increased lighting to the decline of the species population. All of this lighting also uses a lot of energy, most likely from a dirty energy sources, and can even make places more unsafe if the lights are glaring, which creates deep shadows for people to hide.

I don’t think that all outdoor lighting should be removed. It is true that a properly lit area is safer, but most of our current lighting is excessive and inefficient. Fortunately, installing light fixtures that direct the light downward to the area where it is needed and replacing bulbs with energy-efficient ones can easily diminish the affects of light pollution. As you think about the safety of your neighborhood at night, consider the effectiveness of the lighting both along the streets and on your building. For more information check out the International Dark-Sky Association at

Eat breakfast with the heroes

Don’t Miss Connecting the Dots IV-the Neighborhood Celebration of the Year!

October 2, 2010; 8:30 AM to Noon at Clyde Iron Works

Join your friends, family, neighbors, local businesses, organizations, and leaders, for Duluth LISC and the At Home in Duluth Collaborative’s fourth annual Neighborhood Celebration on Saturday, October 2nd. The event opens at the stunning, historic Clyde Iron Works facility at 2920 W. Michigan Street in Lincoln Park, with a free breakfast from 8:30 - 9:45 AM. The event features a program starting at 10:45 AM during which five Duluth Neighborhood Heroes will be honored. Along with free entertainment, childcare and fun activities, and transportation, attendees can visit over 35 display booths offering valuable information and tips from community-minded businesses and organizations from 8:30 AM to Noon.

The public is warmly invited to this free, family-oriented event. It presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for neighborhood residents, businesses, education and community leaders and elected officials to come together in support and celebration of Duluth’s five core neighborhoods: East Hillside, Central Hillside, Lincoln Park, West Duluth and Morgan Park.

The event also honors citizens who are passionate about their neighborhood and who have taken a leadership role through the annual Neighborhood Hero Awards. Neighborhood Heroes are selected by neighborhood residents with help from community clubs and the two At Home in Duluth coordinating organizations, Neighborhood Housing Services of Duluth (NHS Duluth) and the Spirit Valley Citizens Neighborhood Development Association (SVCNDA). These Heroes selflessly volunteer their time to “get it done”. They attain real results that enrich people’s lives, and encourage others to take pride in their neighborhood and get involved. A key highlight of Connecting the Dots is honoring these neighborhood leaders!

The heroes are:

· Central Hillside: Gene Johnson McKeever

· East Hillside: Sandy Robinson

· Lincoln Park: Sandy Winklesky

· West Duluth: Sunny Helbacka

· Morgan Park: Carl Nelson

A 25 member collaborative, At Home in Duluth, has been actively working to implement positive changes in Duluth’s neighborhoods. The Collaborative is seeking new partners and additional residents to deepen its impact within these neighborhoods and is looking to engage the entire Duluth community to connect the dots on the following Quality of Life Goals:

    • Expanding capital investment in housing and other real estate
    • Increasing family income and assets
    • Stimulating economic activity, locally and regionally
    • Improving access to quality education
    • Fostering livable, healthy and safe environments &

Many organizations, public and private, will be on site to answer residents’ questions and offer services promoting strong families and neighborhoods. There will also be information on neighborhood revitalization plans, developed with extensive citizen involvement and city support. Free childcare and transportation are available by calling Duluth LISC at 727-7761. Bring a friend, neighbor, or the whole family and join us!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Urban gardens flourish

Gardens in the city

By Sam Elmquist

Caption: UPPER RIGHT: Jeff and Laura Greensmith stand outside their house East Hillside home at 1119 E. 5th Street. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

The Urban Garden Tour opened a collection of inner city gardens around Duluth, from Park Point to scattered areas along the Hillside and Lincoln Park on September 18. Neighbors had the chance to look and talk with the gardeners participating about what it means to have a sustainable garden in Duluth.

Each garden had its own variety of produce, including tomatoes, various peppers, strawberries, garlic, onions, potatoes, and a whole range of greens that are harvested at different times throughout our Duluth growing season. These local farmers harvest an abundance of crops that they eat themselves, but the crops are usually far too abundant for one household, and so the wealth is shared. The ability to share and to grow is what gardening in the city is about.

Two Duluth gardeners, Michael Gabler and Kristin Stuchis, live at 432 E. 10th St. and care for a big backyard plot of crops and a chicken coop. This house and garden are not only great in their own respect but are surrounded by two other flourishing gardens that their neighbors manage, as well as a public orchard across the street. Michael spoke of an idea he called the “growing revolution” that we can see is in effect, at least in his neck of the woods if not all around Duluth. There is a community of gardeners and a fair share of them cooperate with each other; for instance, Michael and Kristin use a movable greenhouse created by another gardener, Jay Newcomb.

Jeff Greensmith, 1119 E. 5th Street, runs a bit of a different ship. His garden takes up most of his front yard and runs alongside to the back where he has some more crops. Unique to this garden is an abundance of hops that he grows in various areas around his house. Vines of it run up ropes, around sticks, and along fences throughout his garden. Jeff’s hops plants vary in age but yield him all he could ever need. Interestingly, Jeff says Duluth has one of the longest growing seasons, which gives growers till late October before the frost wreaks havoc on their plants.

At 1230 E. 8th Street, Jay and Mary-B Newcomb have a magnificent back-yard garden with a dragon-topped greenhouse of Jay’s design. With 28 years of gardening experience, these veterans of the craft support apple trees of varying breeds, including a new breed called a Zestar, as well as pear and cherry trees. This year some of the trees have not yielded any fruit because, Jay explains, this spring’s warm weather caused the trees to flower too early. The bugs came out at their regular time and missed their chance to pollinate the flowers.

Regardless of any flowering issues this season, it’s hard to deny that Duluth’s urban farmers all fare pretty well. Duluth has a great community of gardeners who are flourishing in a city atmosphere, and one can only hope that idea grows and grows.

Learn more at:
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association ~ 218.393.3276 ~

Duluth Community Garden Program
~ ~ 218.722.4583