David Orman announced this morning that his promotional products business, Raven & Associates, will close at the end of July. Orman founded the company in 1997 and changed locations a handful of times before landing in the old West Theater building in 2012.
“We are in a low margin, high touch industry,” Orman wrote to customers today. “As busy as we were, it was really hard to make money.”
Meanwhile, the West Duluth Business Club announced there will be a new farmers market in West Duluth on the lot of the former Westminster Church. Beginning this week it will operate every Thursday into October, from 3 to 7 p.m., on the corner of 45th Avenue West and Grand Avenue.
“In the beginning it will host between 6 and 10 vendors,” West Duluth Business Club President Charlie Stauduhar wrote to club members. “Please, if you can, show up on Thursday and thank the vendors with your support.”
About a half-hour drive northwest of Duluth, in the unincorporated community of Saginaw, Swamp Sisters summer restaurant kicks out breakfast and lunch grub to fleets of mostly white-haired patrons who fill the gravel driveway with their cars and assisted-living-community shuttle vans. It’s open for about two months each year, on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the swampy old Armstrong farmstead. And all of that, of course, makes this place awesome. Continue Reading
Yes, even though it’s Duluth, summer is way too hot to leave your dog inside a car, windows cracked or not! Yesterday, I encountered a women at Home Depot who was a few minutes from having her windows smashed to rescue her dog.
Even if you don’t have dogs (or are a responsible owner and already know that you shouldn’t leave your dog in the car), please be aware of other cars in parking lots. If you see a dog in distress, you can call the police/animal control, or contact the store to have the vehicle owner paged. Please do not assume the owner will be out in time – death can occur within minutes!
And true, the thoughtful dog owner may thank you for your concern for their animal by denying the danger of hot cars and flicking you off, but at least you may have helped the save the dog’s life by getting their ungrateful asshole owner called out of the store.
Pretty much everything happening this time of year is part of a festival or concert series, so as we highlight items this week from the PDD Calendar, we’ll just pretend everything is part of a festival, even if it isn’t.
I have been hearing a low, humming rumble come from the downtown area for the past half hour at least — it’s 1:18 a.m. I am in Lakeside near the lake around 54th Avenue East. Is anyone else hearing this? Could it be boat sounds carrying over the water? No boat visible.
It’s probably not worth remembering this, but an image from it resides in PDD’s archives and the controversy surrounding it occurred ten years ago this month, so we’ll give it passing mention.
There once was a satirical website at duluthtourism.com that was far more sophomoric than funny, but famously raised the ire of Duluth’s then-mayor Herb Bergson, who asked the city attorney to look into the legal means to have the site shut down. Continue Reading
The Duluth News Tribune’s Jan. 5, 2012, editorial (re-published July 10, 2014) blithely considered the grave issue of high-level radioactive waste storage, asking with its headline, “Nuclear waste here? Actually, why not?”
For answers, editors suggested we listen to scientists. This was sound advice, but it raised a question: Which scientists? It was scientific analysis that led to the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain, Nev., dump site plan — that and the staggering 2008 cost estimate of $90 billion, which was up from $58 billion in 2001, according to the New York Times. Yucca Mountain was chosen by Congress in 1987 and was vigorously pursued to the tune of $9 billion for decades. But then a long string of scientific show stoppers proved the site unsuitable, and the Obama White House and Energy Department gave it the ax. Continue Reading
A Dozen Excuses opened on Wednesday, serving donuts, coffee, sandwiches, coney dogs, etc. at 1112 Tower Ave., in the Still-point Building next to the Palace Bar in Superior. It’s the former location of Northwoods Guitar.
“It is our mission to generate and facilitate conversation to monitor and advance positive development of the St. Louis River corridor communities with the overall goal of benefiting the city of Duluth as a whole.”
The genesis of this group was to bundle the active Community Clubs in the western Duluth neighborhoods, and give them an active voice in the mayor’s vision for enhancing the St. Louis River Corridor. If you have an idea for enhancements for the neighborhoods come on out — RCC is still forming subcommittees so people are able to work on neighborhood issues they are passionate about, and have an active voice. The group has been meeting since February and meets every third Wednesday of the month — social time is at 6 p.m. with official business beginning at 6:30.
We feel that it is important that the ideas about the development of the Saint Louis River Corridor come from community members themselves. This coalition has members whose residency in the area ranges from just a year to over 30 years. Each neighborhood has representation, either from currently functioning community clubs, or citizens living in a neighborhood — from Lincoln Park to Fond du Lac. We have business interests represented and other area leaders. It is clear within this group that our members have a strong passion for this area and a commitment to improve it. All are welcome to attend and participate.
Great nature cam setup in Katmai National Park in Alaska to watch Brown bear feed themselves on Sockeye Salmon. More than a hundred Brown Bears stalk a mile stretch of the Brooks River to snack on the world’s largest Sockeye Salmon run.
1:30 – Tony Barrett, professor of economics at the College of St. Scholastica, and Ron Brochu, Business North publisher, discuss the latest unemployment figures in northeastern Minnesota and what industries are creating jobs.
13:00 – Twenty-five years ago this week: Independent Air, an international charter airline, brings business to the Duluth International Airport with its stops to refuel and change crews.
14:50 – Lisa Luokkala and Russell Habermann of the Healthy Duluth Area Coalition discuss the new signs that help visitors and locals walk their way to local attractions and better health.
24:50 – The week’s business news.
27:05 – Footage of World War II airplanes visiting Superior as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour.
I am planning a Renaissance-themed wedding for Aug. 9 and looking for someone who can do caricatures. The artist we had is unable to come now. I know it is short notice, but if there is anyone who is able to do it we would greatly appreciate it. The reception is in Lake Nebagamon. We want to set up a “Ye Olde Photo” booth, where the guests can get a quick sketch done. If you can do quick sketches of people instead of caricatures, that is OK too.
On the occasion of Duluth band Trampled by Turtles making a second appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman — tonight at 10:35 p.m. on KDLH-TV channel 3.1 — I looked back at notes from an interview with Banjo Dave Carroll from spring 2013. He told stories about being on the Letterman and Craig Ferguson shows that didn’t make it into the story I was working on at the time.
Here is Carroll sharing an anecdote about taking a break outside the Ed Sullivan Theater before the Letterman gig:
They have these barriers on the sidewalks that are kind of gated off for photographers to hang out and allow them to get a picture of celebrities — whoever’s coming in. … It happened to be Amy Phoeler. We were hanging out there, and there were all these photographers. Her black town car or whatever pulls up, the photographer looks at us and says, ‘hey are you guys in the band?’ We kind of looked at each other and said ‘yeah, yeah we’re in the band.’ And they just said, ‘hey, get out of the way!’” Amy Poehler was coming across the street and they didn’t want us to be in the background with her.
Guy Fieri is back in town shooting for future episodes of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. So far he’s been to Gannucci’s Italian Market and Pak’s Green Corner in West Duluth, and Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats and the Kounty Quarthouse in Superior.
The Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault’s fall training dates are set and the organization is looking for people of all ages and from all walks of life to become sexual assault advocates. Advocates work on the crisis line and advocate for sexual assault survivors at area hospitals during their forensic exams. Dates for the 40-hour training and volunteer applications can be obtained at pavsa.org. Call Christy with questions at 218-726-1442.
A system of unseasonably cool air is expected to roll in today, but the various summer festivals will be every bit as fun while you are wearing jackets and long pants. Here come the highlights from the PDD Calendar.