Duluth Mayor Larson MIA on Alligator Attacks

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-17h26m08s625A plea for action. After all that Mayor Ness did to keep Lake Superior shark-free, now is the time for the Larson administration to finally step up and tackle the growing alligator problem. We demand RESULTS.

Three Beach Flips


Duluth Waterfront by Knute Heldner

Duluth Waterfront - Knute Heldner

Knute HeldnerImpressionist painter Knute Heldner lived in Duluth for a good part of his career. The book Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945 dates his etching of Duluth’s Waterfront as “circa 1925.”

He was born in Sweden; differing accounts online put his birth year as 1875, 1877 and 1886. According to Hiro Fine Art he emigrated to Duluth in 1902 and “began working as a cobbler, miner, and lumberjack.” (Askart.com indicates he was a “lumber camp cook” and also notes he arrived in the United States “first in Boston” and later moved “to the Great Lakes region.”)

Sunshine Rock


One of the more recognizable hunks of mineral matter in the Duluth area is Sunshine Rock. It’s located in Hermantown on Stebner Road between Morris Thomas and Hermantown roads.

There are two things about this rock I’m curious to know:

1) How long has “Sunshine 1ML” been painted on it? I’m certain that particular graffiti goes back at least 25 years.

2) What does “Sunshine 1ML” refer to? The rock happens to be sitting one mile outside of Duluth city limits, so maybe that has something to do with it, but it sits on the south side of Stebner facing northbound traffic, so it’s only noticed by cars heading out of Duluth. Is the insinuation that the sun only shines one mile outside Duluth?

This Week: the Fourth, fairs, farmers and more

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Here’s a bit of what you’ll find in this week’s PDD Calendar:

It’s Independence Day, so that means there’s plenty to do, out there: the Mighty Thomas Carnival is offering midway thrills in the DECC parking lot, the Great American Picnic is taking place at Fitger’s, the Duluth Huskies baseball team is battling Willmar at Wade Stadium and the 2016 Fourth Fest offers up a full slate of music and tops it off with the region’s signature fireworks display.

Non-Fourth fun: the 2016 South St. Louis Country Fair, the Duluth Farmer’s Market, a marble-making class at Lake Superior Art Glass, Duluth MakerSpace’s Intro to Hand Plane class, the 2016 Spooner Rodeo, 21 poets reading 21-second-long poems at Duluth Art Institute, the Madeline Island Summer Film Series takes place all weekend, Glitteratti releases a CD, it’s plane-mania at the Duluth Airshow 2016, Trampled by Turtles play another big fat gig at Bayfront Park and it’s Mad Science at the Duluth Playhouse.

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Fri 29

Parks for Monarchs: Meet the Butterfly Guy

Friday, July 29, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Fri 29

Socks for Survivors Golf Scramble

Friday, July 29, 10:30 am to 7:00 pm
Fri 29

School of the Minnesota Ballet Student Summer Showcase

Friday, July 29, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Fri 29

Escape from Puzzle Island

Friday, July 29, 1:00 pm
Fri 29

Hail, Caesar!

Friday, July 29, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Kraig James – “Ode to Joan”


Kraig James & the Campfire Stars are releasing a new song each month in 2016 for a project called Campfire Americana: Volume 1. “Ode to Joan” is an original song; the video includes photos and statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

PDD Quiz: June 2016

juicepharmgiselleJune happened. Now, what do you remember? Take the quiz and find out.

Where in Duluth?


Moose Lake brewery opening soon


According to the Brewers Association, Minnesota had 105 craft breweries in 2015. This number continues to rise, but the majority of breweries are still heavily concentrated in bigger cities, and particularly around the Twin Cities. But the founders of Moose Lake Brewing Company are bucking this trend; they believe every small town deserves its own brewery.

The opening of Moose Lake Brewing at 244 Lakeshore Drive in Moose Lake is planned for the end of July. Moose Lake has a population of 2,787. It supports a handful of restaurants and a municipal liquor store/bar.

Graduation Day

Arne Vainio - Saturday EssayWe were at the graduation ceremony for the Harbor City International School in Duluth, and the commencement address was by Gaelynn Lea Tressler. She is the winner of the 2016 National Public Radio Tiny Desk Concert series and she knows about and exemplifies overcoming hardships and truly appreciating the things we take for granted. She is beautiful and eloquent and she speaks from a position only she can speak from. She sings and she plays her violin from somewhere deep in her soul.

She talked to the graduating high school seniors and she talked to our son and she reminded them to always enrich their own lives and to enrich the lives of others. She talked to them of pursuing their dreams and never giving up. She played her violin and she sang to them and the crowd was speechless and the auditorium was silent as her last notes were fading. Below is an excerpt from her NPR Tiny Desk concert performance. Please don’t pass it up; it’s five minutes and six seconds you will never regret. You have time to watch this:

Glensheen & the Congdon Legacy


Glensheen WDSEIn this one-hour documentary, WDSE-TV takes an in-depth look at the history of Glensheen, Minnesota’s most-visited house museum, and the legacy left by the Congdon family.

Selective Focus: Tim White

This week in Selective Focus, we feature Tim White, who curated the previous iteration of Selective Focus – photo submissions based on a weekly theme. Tim is a photographer, writer, and proponent of the arts, and has worked on several collaborative projects in his short time in Duluth.

TW: I’ve been making photographs for about the past seven years, having lost my previous practice as a painter to solvent exposure. There were a few dormant years during this time that followed a series of personal crises, and I recently returned to photography after moving to Duluth almost two years ago. I appreciate filmic images (both moving and still), but work mostly — due to the chemistry — with digital capture, then mediate these until they better reflect what I felt when taking the initial shot. I don’t believe in pursuing a personal “style,” though I’m glad when viewers note a poetic quality to my pictures. I admire poetry’s ability to employ elements with conventional meanings (words) toward more ephemeral ends, and hope in a similar way that my work isn’t limited by the literality of the objects I depict.

Uber poised to enter Duluth market

Uber logoThe question might not be why Duluth doesn’t have Uber service, but when it will.

“By the end of the year,” said Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs. “From my personal end I don’t see anything holding us back from having Uber operating in Duluth.”

Hobbs held the first formal meeting on Tuesday in regard to the ride-hailing web application operating in the city. He met with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere as a starting point for crafting an ordinance to regulate Uber and other transportation network companies.

Unlike taxicabs, Uber utilizes an online platform to connect drivers in their personal vehicles with riders paying for fares through the touch of a button, no cash. This type of techy transportation is taking place in 476 cities worldwide and counting. Uber started out seven years ago in cities like San Francisco and Chicago, and has recently expanded into smaller communities like Moorhead and Iowa City.

Northern Isolation II

Northern Isolation IIThe three-day Northern Isolation music and art festival returns to Duluth Aug. 19-21 for a second annual showcase of punk, metal and experimental acts. Along with plenty of local talent are several traveling bands like Lumpy & the Dumpers (from Missouri) and Happy Diving (from California).

“Northern Isolation is the product of my frustrations with the overbearing amount of conventional thinking, trends, and egotism in the world,” says promoter Dean Berlinerblau. “It’s a positively manifested ‘fuck you’ to the world’s expectations.”

The fest will be primarily comprised of shows at the Carter Building, a new skatepark, music venue and art gallery at 214-1/2 E. First St. off the alley behind the NorShor Theatre. There will also be two ambient shows in the Red Herring‘s basement Red Room, and two after-party shows at locations to be announced. An art show will be featured at the Carter during the fest and Duluth Coffee Company will be serving free coffee to keep attendees energized.

Tickets to Northern Isolation II can be found online or purchased at the door.

How to support CASDA’s 2016 Golf Scramble


The Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse‘s annual “Socks for Survivors” Golf Scramble is just over a month away. Even if you’re not a golfer, you can help ensure its success.