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Converting from Oil to Natural Gas

My wife and I recently purchased a home in the Chester Park area. It is currently heated with oil, but the previous owner installed a wood burning stove in the living room to cut down on the oil costs. I’m not gonna lie, the fireplace was kind of a deal-maker, but the oil was almost a deal breaker.

We found out there a gas line under our street and heard the city will come and pipe the line to the exterior wall for free. This seems to be fairly common knowledge. A friend of mine also told me that the city and/or Comfort Systems has a program where you can get the gas furnace installed with a loan through the city. Has anyone heard of this program? Has anyone you know done it?

We lived with my dad for a short while, but I still remember the sting of even just splitting the oil bill and this program sounds pretty enticing.


2011 Americorps Party for Good with Charlie Parr

Clyde Iron is teaming up with local musicians to honor the hard work of Americorps members here in Duluth. The party is open to the public and will take place at Clyde Iron Works on Thursday, May 12 from 6-11pm.

Schedule of Events:
6pm – On-site service projects, collect 200 lbs of food for local shelves
7pm – Galynn Lea & Ariane Marene; David Bard & Ryan Jordan; Angela Brannan; Billy Wagness in The Horror
9pm – Charlie Parr

At 7:00pm this becomes an 18+ event. ID and cash necessary for bar. This is a community event. Current AmeriCorps members automatically get a ticket but here are the ways non-members may get into the event:
~ Present your Purple Ribbon from National Volunteer Week
~ Bring a food shelf item (or several)
~ Participate in on-site service projects for displaced youth in Japan
~ All of the above!

Duluth Battle of the Bands 2011!

The Junior Achievement Battle of the Bands competition was held a few weeks back, and although I’ve been busy with other projects, I wanted to share this video I created of the event. The song is “Stay Put or Carry On” by Ultra Day, who won the competition this year.

Where in Duluth?

Rubber Chicken Theater presents “The Awesome 80s Prom”

Friday, May 13, 20 and 27 at 7:30
Great Lakes Ballroom at the downtown Holiday Inn
Tickets: $25 couple, $15 single, $10 per person for tubular groups of 8 or more

It’s like Tony and Tina’s Wedding, if Tony and Tina had been at a high school prom in the 80s.

Dance the night away to Boy George, Michael Jackson, Men at Work, and more. Vote for Prom King and Queen. Play in an Air Band Contest. Party like it’s 1989!

Call (218) 213-2780 for most excellent tickets, dude.

Cloud Cult – “The Exploding People”

Brand new Cloud Cult video, debuting today … right … now.

Video created by the One Light Collective
Directed by Andrew Melby
Visual Effects by John Griese
Colorist Victor Rukavina

Cloud Cult plays Bayfront Park in Duluth on July 9 during the Twin Ports Bridge Festival.

For the hardcore Homegrowners!

Well it’s over … and I’m sure we are all recovering. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what really kicked ass this year! Taking it day by day, let’s list our top two shows we saw on each day!

We will skip Sunday, new band night, cause well…

Toast the Arts ~ Taste the Wine

Choice, Unlimited’s 3rd Annual “Toast the Arts-Taste the Wine” Fundraiser will be held this Friday, May 13 at Clyde Iron Works Restaurant & Bar. The Wine Tasting event will also include live and silent auctions, live music, and hors d’oeuvres. All Proceeds benefit Choice, Unlimited’s Arts Program.

Choice, Unlimited is dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities and persons who are experiencing barriers to employment and community inclusion.

For tickets or more information, call 218.724.5869 or visit Become a fan on Facebook at

Homegrown’s Over … Now What?

Sex Trafficking in Duluth

From WCCO-TV. (Video is preceded by a commercial.)

Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival

Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17 at Bayfront Festival Park!

International performers: Steel Pulse (England), Gyptian (Jamaica), Dubtonic Kru (Jamaica), Taj Weekes and Adowa (St. Lucia), Nkulee Dube (South Africa), Maria Isa (Puerto Rico), Viviana Pintado (Cuba), Socaholix (Trinidad), Dred I Dread, Uprising, Black Audience and more! Check it out at

Yeltzi – “Get Up and Dance”


Video by Michael Hillmeyer for the 2011 Homegrown Music Video Festival.

The Half Hearts release sophomore album Tuesday at the Electric Fetus

Duluth indie group the Half Hearts will release their sophomore album, Uptown Sound, on Tuesday at the Electric Fetus.

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Tall Ships Return to Duluth

DNT: Three tall ships to visit Duluth for festival this summer, July 15-18

Duluth is an amazing place to be in the summer.

For last year’s events, see PDD here and here.

Tall Ships
Image by Northern Images Photography – Dennis O’Hara

Homegrown 2011 Slideshow Retrospective

Here’s the 2011 Homegrown Music Festival Flickr photo pool:

And here’s a link to the videos from the 2011 Homegrown Music Video Festival.

Tarryl Clark Moving to Duluth to Take on Cravaack

I had been wanting to see if we could have a somewhat level-headed informed and nuanced discussion on the challenger pool for Chip Cravaack in MN 8th Congressional District. I figured I’d wait until after the homegrown fog burned off to post anything, but this morning the Duluth News Tribune has a bombshell from John Lundy saying Tarryl Clark is running for the seat. Was that a bombshell for anyone else besides me?

Before I knew about Clark’s bid, I wanted to talk about other un-announced candidates. In addition to Daniel Fanning and Jeff Anderson who appear to be in Pawlenty mode, that is, campaigning-but-not-campaigning not officially in other words. Here are the people who are not campaigning but that I think might make the race interesting: Tom Rukavina, Tom Bakk and Don Ness (Donny says he doesn’t want the job and that is fine with me, I’d like to keep him as mayor for a term or 3 more). The DNT identifies a few other candidates in the article that I did not know were considering a run, including Yvonne Prettner Solon, but most of them I don’t know so I can’t comment (but you can).

So we’ve already got a half dozen “local” candidates mulling a run and then Clark rolls in from St. Cloud and changes the entire chemistry of the race. Or does she? Banter away PDDers but please save the frothy mouthed passion for the Troll Zone thread. I’m looking for thoughts and analysis here, not bile. Thanks.

Update: I discovered that MN Brown Iron Range writer/college instructor Aaron Brown, already wrote about this a couple of months ago, including the possible Clark bid.

Also, I forgot to add Karen Diver, Chairwoman and CEO of the Fond du Lac Band to my potential candidates list. She has a great deal to recommend herself for the position and to me, she’s actually the most interesting potential candidate, although I have no idea if she or anyone else besides Tarryl Clark is actually gonna run.

Update 6/14/11

“I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States today and I very soon will be making my formal announcement.”

Michele Bachmann last night on CNN one of her classic headline stealing moves that has to have Tim Pawlenty’s stomach all tied up in knots today. But this means that Bachmann can not run for her 6th District seat and president at the same time.

So Today MinnPost is asking the same thing I want to know: Does this mean Tarryl Clark will give up her bid for the 8th District so she can run for an open seat in the 6th? She recieved 38% of the vote there vs. Bachmann’s 52% in 2010 according to those geniuses at wikipedia

Wright Around Ya Leads Harbor City Rollerdames to Victory!

Harbor City Rollerdames

“Wright Around Ya,” the always smiling Jammer for the Harbor City Rollerdames,, led the team to a big victory tonight over Fargo. Part ballerina, part .44 caliber bullet as she rockets around the track in Pioneer Hall, “Wright Around Ya” worked her way through the crowds to score — a lot, as did Killer Cleta and Gypsy. All the team deserves a nod, but I’d love to see “Wright Around Ya” featured in an article in the DNT or on Fox 21.

I have a question, though. The games seemed a much slower pace tonight — I realized that the pack was circling the track a lot slower, sometimes almost stopped. What is up with that kind of play? I’d love to hear from an expert. And I’d love an actual score — I forgot to write it down.

Friday wins.

See the winning moment.

” target=”blank”>Also posted on Facebook.


w/ special guests Fema Camp Counselors!