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JP Rennquist - Author Archive

A dad, a husband, DJ, radio producer, toymaker, and rabble rouser in Duluth, MN. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, my wife, any of my kids, my Duluth Hillside neighbors, other large mammals, etc.

Duluthophilia »

This popped up in my facebook feed.

I mean, Master Card’s little contest might pale in comparison to the intense fervor, Duluthophilia, I call it, that some of us have for this town. Heck, this blog is basically all about how great we think we are (except for the bitching posts, which are still pretty much about how great we think we are.)

I’d love to hear some of your little things that you love about Duluth, whether you use the Master Charge incorporated #LoveThisCity hashtag on social media or not, share them here, will you?

My contributions to Duluthophilia are modest, this hasn’t been updated much lately but I do have a little Pinterest board by that name and I have some images and things there that scream “I love Duluth.” Duluth-o-philia

Also, again I have not done much of this lately, but I am an avid watcher of the #dlh hashtag on twitter, which all the cool social media Duluth-o-philes use.

So, who’s up for a Duluth love fest?

Christmas City of the North Parade Stream »

Hi folks. Especially the folks who are far away Duluthians, this could be good news for you.

I just got word in this nice little video from Kevin Jacobsen and LeAnn Wallace that the Christmas City of the North Parade will be streaming live at the Northland’s Newscenter website.

The twitter hashtag is #christmascityparade

Tiny Bird Living in a Big Box »

This bird is living in the Home Dept Store in Duluth. Or it was a few days ago anyway.

At first I just caught it out of the corner of my eye, thinking it was a figment of my imagination, then I discovered it was real. Then, and this is the best part, a lovely clerk in a bright orange smock caught me and my daughter looking for the bird and she started to tell us its remarkable story.

Posted: No Wolf Hunting »

Wolf Hunting Prohibited on Fond du Lac Reservation

Passing along this photo from Ivy Vainio (click the image to see it in context).

Fond du Lac Band passed this ordinance banning the wolf hunt a few days ago (ordinance pdf).

Dan Kraker provided some fairly decent balanced coverage that explains some of the legal and cultural implications of the wolf hunt in this MPR News story.

Boy with Red Balloon in Downtown Duluth »

Here’s a short video (plus a few snapshots) that I took last spring following one of the Saturday Morning Film showings outside of Zinema 2 in Old Downtown Duluth. Hopefully they continue the series again this coming winter and spring. It was cheap, family friendly, and pretty dang engaging for the parents, grandparents and hipsters in the crowd, too. You don’t often get that combination from the megacineplex fare.

Do I get some kind of prize if I am the first person to use the “sappy stuff” tag? Bragging rights and/or swag would be acceptable.

Virgin Mobile claws back #TBT hashtag »

Twitter nerds will understand this. Hashtag humor. It’s a niche category.

Click the image to go to the referenced instagram pic of Trampled by Turtles playing at a Virgin Mobile event. Our boys are growing up. *sigh*

UMD Grad Dr. Brian Kobilka Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry »

Brian Kobilka, a 1977 UMD Chemistry graduate, has won a share in the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Dr. Kobilka can be heard in an interview with a representative from the Nobel Organization here.

Dr. Kobilka is pictured below in this 2005 photo after being inducted into the UMD Academy of Science and Engineering (and possibly after having been goosed by former Chancellor Kathryn Martin, a speculation that I am basing purely on the look on his face and his proximity to the chancellor in the picture.)

All kidding aside, it sounds like his research has saved lives and aided in the production of many medical treatments. This is a wonderful feather-in-the-cap for both Duluth and UMD. I expect a mayoral proclamation, a TED talk-like lecture of some sort, and (I hope) 1970s-era Duluth photos of a bearded, pooka-shell-necklace-wearing Kobilka to emerge soon.

Fond du Lac young people march for kids »

I was on my way into work this morning and I saw some young people from the Take Back Our Rez Facebook group walking along Big Lake Road on Fond du Lac Reservation. That’s like the equivalent of rush hour as it is the main artery to and from Highway 33 and I-35, lots of cars headed up and down the road on the way to work or school.

I snapped a few photos. They carried signs saying “Love Your Self, Love Your Community” and “For Our Children.”

One of the marchers, “Chubbs” Jarvis Paro, showed me this bloody syringe that they found on their march.

Ogichidaa is one way of saying “Warrior” in Anishinaabemowin. I might not be qualified to speak, but I would say this is a good example of ogichidaa, standing up for children and the future.

Is that the lift bridge? »

Is that the lift bridge at 2:56? I also thought the fireworks scene looked vaguely Duluthy at first but on second and third glance I don’t see how it could be, the bridge is in the wrong position related to the fireworks unless they are coming from Superior. Anyone else care to take a stab at it?

This is a crowd-sourced video for Something Beautiful from Needtobreathe. Related, I saw them live for the first time when they were warming up for some other act in Duluth and they kind of blew my mind, I love it when that happens. Also related, if you wanted to summarize my spirituality up in 4 minutes I don’t think you could do any better than this song.

Also, in the video for Walking Down Your Street, the Bangles start their road trip out in Duluth. Duluth, where so many great things begin. Alert Terry Mattson for licensing possibilities. Check it out at around 0:53

Fond du Lac Band Newspaper: Minnesota Chippewa could cease to exist by 2080 »

I’m not sure if that headline is sufficiently dramatic, or maybe overly dramatic, but I am just having trouble wrapping my head around this chart from the September 2012 (PDF link) Fond du Lac Tribal Newspaper (Nahgahchiwanong Dibahjimowinnan).

It shows the Fond du Lac people falling into a demographic abyss. Disappearing as a people by 2080.


Chief Osaugie Gathering on Wisconsin Point »

Interview with Donna Ennis Chief Osaugie Descendant

This has come up on PDD before, but I did this interview with Donna Ennis today and I thought it was something to share. Romance, intrigue, ancient ceremonies, and even a shameful grave desecration make an appearance in just 8 short minutes of community radio.

I haven’t posted in awhile, it’s been a busy summer this gives you a little idea of where I’ve been, I guess.

“Worse than 1971″ Duluth Hillside, Cascade Park Flooding 2012 »

My elder neighbor Shirley says that this is “Worse than 1971.”

*Update: Actually that flood was in 1972 Lake Voice News has this story and pics from 1972 hillside floods.

Lake Ave and 5th on Wednesday Morning. Stay home, all but impassable.

1st Ave W between 5th and Cascade St

Cascade Unity Mural (my vid is too big for upload, I guess but here’s a snapshot.)

Dibiki Giizis – The Moon – Seeking local music »

Usually I work in early childhood family education but for the summer I am returning to one of my first great loves, radio. I actually wrote about WGZS-FM Dibiki Giizis in this post from several months ago. For the summer anyway I will be hosting and producing some music and public affairs programming on the station mainly during the weekends. Right now the station is still in ramp-up mode, broadcasting at about 70% power and in FM Mono. The schedule is 9-4 pm on weekdays and 9-2 on weekends. Eventually it will be in 100,000 watt FM Stereo and 24 hours a day.

We are interested in adding an extensive, thorough library of local music. We would consider “local” music to be from any artists who live in, (or share a deep connection to) our corner of Turtle Island: Lake Superior, the North Shore and the lake country of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin & Michigan and southwest Ontario. The music needn’t be brand spanking new, but we aren’t running turntables so these locals albums are probably out of the running at least for now.

Send your clearly labeled CDs to:

Local Music
49 University Road
Cloquet, MN 55744

Suggestions of tracks that may be more accessible to a diverse audience that includes young children and elders would be most helpful. When there is time we will also make an effort to announce upcoming shows and we would love to have artists come in and perform live in the studio. Email to WGZS (at) Fdlrez (dot) com or post in the comments below.

Miigwech, JP aka wildgoose

UPDATE: I forgot to mention before. Please “Like” WGZS-FM on facebook to stay up-to-date on programming and developments. It also helps us to gauge the pulse and sentiments of our audience Also, if you have community-oriented news or announcements that you would like shared on the air you can email them or send us a message on facebook. Use “announcements” in the subject line.

Indian Country Today: Girls and Women in Duluth Sexually Exploited for Generations »

Earlier this month Indian Country Today, a national daily newspaper, featured an historical analysis of the sexual exploitation of Native American girls and women. The story, and the pattern, is chilling enough as it is, but the story is framed in and around Duluth, making it all the more compelling. This is an excellent piece of advocacy journalism by Mary Annette Pember.

Here’s an excerpt that puts a very human face on the problem.

Mary, Ojibwe, is a grandmotherly figure wearing a shapeless, colorful flowered dress. She meets me at the door of her little house and escorts me into her sun-drenched living room. Pleasantly cluttered with photographs, the room is not unlike those of many of my relatives. We sit down to chat, and I make a mental note that she seems an unlikely figure to tell such a powerful story of going from boat whore to survivor to activist. I feel at home here in her cozy house that overlooks the bright, clear waters of Gichigami (Lake Superior) and find it vaguely disturbing that she seems so familiar. I see that, like me, she is a sister, an Anishinaabe-ikwe and a survivor.

Mary, now 51, tells me that like her mother, she worked the boats and was trafficked into prostitution. Mary says she and her 21 siblings were all conceived through her mother’s liaisons with seamen, but her entry into “the life” was an accident. At the age of 15, she was broke and homeless, standing on the street with a girlfriend in Duluth when a Pakistani man approached them. “He was nice to us, telling us about his country. He invited us on board his boat and hailed a taxi. That was the first time I had ever ridden in a taxi,” she recalls.

Thus began her life on the boats

Sure this is difficult to read, and it’s heartbreaking, but I’m hoping that if we talk enough about the problem, admit that it is real and engage the many possible solutions that wise people are putting forward, then something will eventually change. We need to stop ignoring that this happens, blaming the victims, and/or insisting that the sex trade is a “victimless” crime.

A & Dubs »

It’s back. First day I’ve seen A and Dubs open this year.

I couldn’t find any reviews from burgerdogboy for some reason and he’s usually got Duluth hand food pretty well covered. However, I did find this little blurb on Jim Heffernan’s blog.

PDD reader-generated A & Dubs stories are most welcome in the comments.

Even trippier than Pink Floyd, “Comfortably Trematoda” wins Animal Diversity Idol »

A couple of UMD Students won Animal Diversity Idol with this video. OK, it turns out that Animal Diversity Idol is not a “real” contest, although when I got started down this rabbit hole I thought maybe it was. It is something that a professor at UMD dreamed up to get students more interested in a variety of weird life forms. I this case the creatures are liver flukes. The video is one-part homage to Pink Floyd and two-parts CDC style public service announcement. Here’s the video:

Comfortably Trematoda by Locksteer

Duluth to California $40.22 »

from The Duluth News Tribune; Sept. 10, 1914 via The Oregonian Blog (pdf)

Willie the Warlock »

Yesterday I was out at The Princess Bride with a couple of goslings and other uberfans at the Zinema for their excellent Saturday-morning-movies-for-the-whole-family series. That would have been awesome enough, but they threw in free juice boxes for the kids, but it got even better. In the place where we expected the opening previews, or maybe a video short to roll we were treated to this 2006 video, by Duluth’s Willie the Warlock

Willie the Warlock Youtube video


Haley Bonar with a *free EP download on »

Haley Bonar is giving away a sampler EP from her “Golder” album which came out last year. Haley claims MSP as her home these days but she has deep roots here in Duluth, too. If you want you can share some of those roots in the comments, I always love hearing that stuff. Especially after some folks have been doing so well on a larger stage lately. In fact, this seems like a fantastic week for music and acknowledgement for Duluth artists. We just became Duluth, MN home of Bob Dylan, Low AND Trampled by Turtles. Haley is another candidate for high pop culture level consciousness and success. This noisetrade promotion is good exposure for her, and us.

* Yes, she’s giving the EP away, but you can give her a tip if you want, also NoiseTrade will add you to their email list and they send out a lot of offers and opportunities (at least one a week). I don’t mind so much as a music lover, but you should know that going in.

Kickstarter for Breanne Marie: “Music saved my life, and it’s keeping me alive” »

Duluth’s Breanne Marie seems like a very nice lady and I think she makes a nice addition to the local music scene.

Kickstarter is a web service that helps artists and and creatives crowd-source fundraising for projects. If the project achieves its goal within a finite window then Kickstarter cuts them a check, if they don’t realize the goal then no one is out anything. Breanne Marie has almost half of what she needs ($3,200) to record her debut album.

I think on the eve of our great Homegrown Music Festival, and the same day our Trampled by Turtles are appearing on National TV, this would be a great time to send another promising Duluth artist along on her way. The suggested pledge amount is $10, but even if you don’t pledge anything, take a few minutes and listen to her very compelling, bittersweet story of how “music saved my life.” And help spread the word, too, if she doesn’t raise the donations she needs on Kickstarter in the next two weeks she goes back to zero, which means she’ll have to resort to bake sales to gather the cash, she says.