50 Below advice

Moderator’s note: One year after this post was published, and three months after bankruptcy proceedings, 50 Below Sales & Marketing was acquired by ARI Network Services and Emerald Connect. The company continues to develop websites and provide e-commerce services in Duluth. There have been no public complaints by employees since the acquisition.

I’m seeking a little help from the PDD community. I work for 50 Below Sales & Marketing and, like everyone else there, I haven’t been paid in over a week. That’s roughly 300 people who have had to get through Thanksgiving without the money they earned. Some have gone even longer due to bounced checks.

I don’t really want to get into how this came to be, maybe someone else can step up with that info if anyone is curious. What I’m here for is some advice on what (if anything) I can do. I’m sure everyone will see their money at some point but that’s not enough. Who do people recommend I talk to to try and make sure we don’t get screwed again? Lawyers? I hear they cost money. Unions? Some kind of labor group?

Any thoughts are welcome.

Jeno Paulucci dead at 93

What Duluth Men Want for Thanksgiving

Thankful in Duluth — 2011 Edition

I’m thankful the server that hosts the PDD Calendar is back up and running, after a day of problems. (Ironically, in setting up the links below I noticed that last year my personal Internet service was down just before Thanksgiving, and I was thankful for it being restored. Ah, the joy of technical issues around the holidays!)

Anyway, what are you all thankful for this year, fellow Duluthians?

(Here’s what PDDers were thankful for in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.)

What will happen to old Washburn school?

Does anybody have any idea what might be in store for the old Washburn Edison Charter School at 201 W. St. Andrews St. now that it is no longer being used as a school? I have a hard time imagining it’s all that cost effective for the Duluth Bible Church to continue there alone.

Ten Minutes with Caitlin Robertson

Singer/songwriter Caitlin Robertson’s first CD will be released in December. She will be performing Dec. 9 in Duluth at Fitger’s. She was interviewed for Ennyman’s Territory this past week and it is posted there today.

Let’s Get TBT on Prairie Home

OK first, this is a first. Me writing to suggest we organize an effort to get someone on the stage of A Prairie Home Companion when the show comes to Duluth in February. It’s not quite like calling a local radio station to request a song, but not all that far off either.

It reminds me of the time I called Sirius XM ’60s on 6 host Phlash Phelps when Duluth was the mystery city of the day. I actually sent him about a dozen quick facts which he used throughout the morning. Patty was not amused.

I like Trampled by Turtles (listening now while I pour through data for a report) and believe they’d be a natural for the PHC audience. So, I’ve posted on the PHC Facebook page suggesting they contact the group to see if they’re available. Maybe you’ll consider a similar post.

This week: Hairball, Thanksgiving buffet, the New Standards and more

Tuesday, Nov. 22
The Harbor City International School hosts a night of cultural experiences.

Wednesday, Nov. 23
Aftershock is playing at a Pre-Thanksgiving party at the Gopher Restaurant and Lounge. Gallus, Old Knifey and Snobarn play a show at Luce.

Thursday, Nov. 24
The DECC is hosting its 21st annual free Thanksgiving Buffet.

Friday, Nov 25
Find some great snowmobile action at the Duluth National Snocross at Spirit Mountain. There will be two nights of rock at Clyde Iron with Hairball performing Friday and Saturday. The What Four opens on Firday. Hypnotist Gabriel Holmes brings his act to Teatro Zuccone.

Saturday, Nov. 26
Hairball night two with opening act Menace. The jazz trio from Minneapolis, The New Standards, plays at the Mitchell Auditorium. Local group, Excuse Me, Princess plays a CD release show at Beaners.

Check the PDD Calendar for more events!

PDD Gift Guide 2011

Here it is, the annual gallery of local goods, submitted for your holiday shopping approval. If you’re going to get all material this Christmas, it might as well be local material, right?

In most cases you can acquire these items in retail stores or shop online. Click on the images for more information and links.

We know there are more ways to spread the holiday cheer, so add to the list of ideas through the comments to this post. And if you can’t get enough of this stuff, check out the PDD Gift Guide 2010 and PDD Gift Guide 2009. Most of those items are still around.

Asian & Pacific American Student Culture Show at UMD

Saturday was the Asian & Pacific American Culture Show at UMD.
“How We Came to Be Here” was hosted by UMD’s Asian Pacific American Student Association. Kate and I enjoyed a night of Asian arts, cultural performance, and delicious Asian cuisine catered by Sala Thai.

UMD Alumni Fine Arts Panel

Are you:

  • An alum of the School of Fine Arts at UMD?
  • Still living in the Twin Ports area?
  • Currently making a portion of your income through creation of your art (music, visual arts, theater)?

A student group through UMD’s School of Fine Arts is looking to organize an alumni panel event and discussion in the Spring of 2012 for students of the SFA. Our mission is to provide our students the opportunity to a.) hear from those in the area who have succeeded in creating their art for a living and b.) ask questions about the ins and outs of doing so.

If you are an alum of UMD’s School of Fine Arts and are interested in helping to provide an important educational experience for our students, please email ellis477 @ d.umn.edu with the subject: SFA Alumni Panel.

Look forward to hearing from you talented people!

Developer has new student housing/retail plan for Woodland Middle School site

The DNT ran a story today detailing a new mixed-use residential/commercial plan for the site of the former Woodland Middle School.  The developer bought the site from the school district in September. You may be familiar with the developer’s other projects like Boulder Ridge and Campus Park.

Currently the plan is to reuse the school building itself, and add one-to-three additional buildings. The student-focused housing would have 300 beds in mainly four bedroom units. If demand is high enough this could be increased to 1,000 beds. The retail aspect of the new development would include restaurants. The DNT story named  Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as some potential additions.  A hotel is also being considered.

Sounds like the new development would open in Fall 2013 or 2014.

The full story can be found here.

What do you think about this plan? Is it a good idea? If not what would you propose? Personally, I think no matter where students go in high concentrations that residences in the same area will take a “not in my backyard” attitude. This development may not solve all the student housing issues, but it will alleviate it to some degree, and create jobs.

On the retail side what would you like to see at the site? A friend of mine would really like to see a Chipotle, Panera, or faster food pasta place. I would love to see more locally owned restaurants go in. Duluth Grill part 2?

Minnesota Property Tax

If you are trying to make sense of the “Proposed Property Tax for 2012″ statement you got in the mail last week, check out the following link on the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue website. I found it helpful in explaining the changes related to the axed Homestead Tax Credit: “Understanding Recent Changes in Homestead Benefits
For Property Tax Purposes.”

Duluth head shot photographer

Does anyone have any recommendations of where to get a simple professional head shot taken?  I am just looking for a photographer perhaps in downtown Duluth that would do a good job for a fair price.

What happened to DJ Mouse?

The past few Sundays we’ve noticed that our favorite Caribbean Roots/DJ Mouse programming on KUMD seems to be lacking DJ Mouse. Does anyone know what happened?