September 2011 Posts

Duluth Skateboarders GTFO 2011

I emailed four at-large city council candidates and First District candidate Jennifer Julsrud to ask: “What do you think of the Canal Park skateboarding ban?”

Tim Riley | At-large Duluth City Council Candidate

After looking at the ordinance, some skateboarders at some time ran into pedestrians. And some complaints of property damage initiated the ordinance.

Are you thinking of proposing a skateboard park located near Canal Park? Please let me know your opinion concerning skateboarding there.


Emily Larson | At-large Duluth City Council Candidate

Tough question to answer succinctly, but here goes…

Long Answer: I’m disappointed we don’t have a decent skate park in Duluth. Most skaters I know head to public spaces (and Superior) looking for a way to enjoy their sport with some challenge and terrain. So maybe developing some recreational awesomeness for boarders is one option moving forward.

I personally enjoy a mix of folks and activity in Canal Park. Raising two sons, I appreciate that we want our public spaces to be available for everyone, including our young people, to enjoy. That feeling is also balanced with experience of Amazing Grace, the coffee chop founded by my husband Doug. We’d sold his part of it before the skateboarding conflict arose. I’m sympathetic to the impact of the few folks who choose to recreate disruptively. Certainly that’s the minority of folks who board. I don’t recall if the skateboarding community was welcomed into a discussion of the conflict and subsequent limits placed on boarding. So I’d like to learn more from you on that, the legalities around skateboarding (is it legal to board in the street?), and what best practice is in other communities regarding skateboarding.

Honestly, I’m not convinced Canal Park is the best place for recreational boarding, especially on sidewalks during the high season of tourism with people in and out of shops and the risk of distracted drivers.

Short answer: I’m all for skateboarding. And working with people (especially the boarding community) to identify the best places to make it happen. If it’s Canal Park, then let’s build to suit and / or talk about how to identify a way to make it a fun, safe and workable solution.


Chad Smith | At-large City Council Candidate

Thanks for the question. To put it simply, I don’t support the skateboarding ban in Canal Park. I work in that general area right now and when it was warmer it seemed like I still saw skateboarders all the time. That to me just shows how unenforceable, or at least unenforced, it is. One of my overarching beliefs in government is that rules shouldn’t be put on the books simply to put a rule there. It needs to have a genuine reason, and it absolutely should be enforceable. Putting an unenforceable rule on the books is just a waste of the council’s time and effort. Plus, by banning this in the area, it feels like they are trying to define a certain “image” of people who are welcome there, and those who aren’t. That’s something that makes me uncomfortable.

Basically, it’s a shame that a couple of bad apples spoiled this for the whole bunch, because it led to a disappointing ban that I wouldn’t have supported.


Linda Krug | At-large City Council Candidate

Thanks for your patience; I’ve been traveling for a couple of days and also wanted to have time to look a little at the skateboarding ban issue. After reading some of the 2009 news articles and thinking about the issue, I’d come down on the side of keeping the ban in place. I know I would think much differently about the issue if Canal Park were larger in size and less dense in terms of numbers of people, but it’s not and so my concern is a public safety one.


Jennifer Julsrud | First District City Council Candidate

Skateboarding can be a great way to get around town. My husband Erik, recently skateboarded to and from work (Lakeside to downtown Essentia). It’s also fun, recreational exercise, but the best place for skaters to work on jumps and tricks is at a skate park.

I support the ban on skateboarding in Canal Park’s areas of heavy pedestrian traffic. The ban was the result of a thoughtful collaboration between the business community and the police department. Canal Park needs to be a safe and relaxing place for everyone to enjoy. That being said, I would support the use of skateboards in the bike lanes, as a means of getting around Canal Park.

Volunteers Needed at Woodland School

Volunteers are needed during and after school to tutor and mentor students at Woodland Middle School. Over 30 volunteer time slots are open and need to be filled. Please contact griffithsja @ to volunteer.

NorShor Theatre Preliminary Designs

Six-page PDF of NorShor Theatre preliminary schematic designs

Quiet Cravaack

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Chip’s office stating my views on Obama’s jobs bill and I asked for Chip’s view on the bill and if he would be supporting it.

To date, I’ve heard nothing from him.

In the past I’ve email Franken on an unrelated matter and at least his people bothered to send me a standard response in a timely fashion.

Are elected officials obligated to reply to the questions those they represent have for them?

If not, I’ve not sure how appropriate the term ‘representative’ really is.

A Photographic Guide to Duluth: 10 favorite landscape locations

Duluth has so many photographic opportunities it can be overwhelming. These 10 locations are a sure bet for beautiful images.

Read the full guide here for ideas and inspiration on photographic sites in the city of Duluth.

Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth, Minnesota at dusk

The Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth, Minnesota at dusk.

Wanted: Brom Bones

Glensheen Living Literature is preparing to present “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the end of October and is looking to fill the role of the deliciously villainous Brom Bones.

Dink Tank Does The Matrix

After bouncing this idear round for a couple of years  it is finally coming to fruition…. Dink Tank @ the Movies. You know like MSTK3000 but instead of movies you ain’t heard of they are gonna bust on more familiar fodder. First up The Matrix. Dink Tank will guide yer hand through the world that has blinded you from the truth. Friday 9/30 and Saturday 10/1 9:15  Zinema 2 222 E Superior St 722-7300. Tickets available at

Alternative News Source

Frak the DNT — I’m getting my news from The Beacon from here on out.

What This Town Needs Is A Really Shitty Community Newspaper

2011 Duluth General Election Sample Ballot

Brush up on your referendums, kids. The city and the school district have some wordy questions for you. (By the way, you should be able to click on the images below to see them larger and read them more easily. The city question is the back side of the ballot, and is a separate image below.)

Another note about the ballot: As usual, depending on what neighborhood you live in, you might also vote on a district city councilor and/or school board member. This ballot has the district council race blanked out and does not include a district school board race.

The Cost of Food

According to the USDA, the weekly cost of food on a “thrifty” budget in 2011 is $40.60 for men and $36.20 for women (19-50 years old). For my household of two, that comes to $10.97/day. I am now undertaking a challenge to base our household food budget off these numbers. This budget seems reasonable (even generous), but I have been spending about twice that amount on groceries and alcohol each week.

Unfortunately, an easy solution would be to eat off the McDonald’s dollar menu for three meals a day or to switch from the Co-op to Sam’s Club. Thankfully it’s harvest season and we have lots of fresh and canned produce from our garden already paid for. 

USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food

How much a week do you spend on groceries in the Duluth-Superior region? Any tips for frugal grocery options? Comments on the price of food?

Know anyone looking for a cool place to work in Duluth?

Hey! Do you know anyone looking for a cool place to work? Not cold, mind you, but a place where coming to work is like being wrapped a warm, sweaty blanket supplied to you by dear friends? OK, maybe not sweaty. Here’s the deal: I am look for two people who are fun, artistic, and competent to come and work at my company, Raven & Associates, Inc.

Air Hockey in Duluth

Air hockey … it must exist in Duluth. As a very new resident to Duluth, I already know hockey is woven deeply into the fabric of many Duluthian’s lives. But concerning air hockey, is there a place for it in Duluth? And where could one find this entertaining game?

Sidewalks: Who Gets to Decide?

Did you see this front-page article in today’s paper?  Should neighborhood residents be the ones to decide whether or not sidewalks are included as their street is reconstructed? Is it about building a transportation network that serves current and future residents, those who drive and those who don’t?

Caution: Sidewalk fight ahead on Duluth’s Glenwood Street

Minnesota North Shore Fall Colors Report 2011

The fall colors season is upon us. Be sure to get out and check out your favorite places around area to enjoy the changing of the season colors. It has been reported that it will be a great year and I have already noticed some pretty vivid changes taking place.

I also recommend you snap a photo or two of some fall colors when you are out and about and post them here on PDD.

ARAC announces grant deadline

From Robert DeArmond
Executive Director
October 28, 2011 Deadline

In this new fiscal year, the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council announces that the Two-year Administrative Support Grant Program application deadline will be Friday, Oct. 28. The ARAC Board will review these grants on Thursday, Jan. 19, and funds will be available by Feb. 1.