May 2012 Posts

Rally for Max Pelofske in Proctor

A young gay man was assaulted in New Independence Township on Saturday evening after being confronted about his sexual identity at a party characterized as a send-off for graduating Proctor High School seniors. He sustained injuries from the beating that landed him in the hospital after being attacked by as many as 15 party attendees.  We are meeting in Proctor on Monday, May 28, 4 p.m., at the train on Hwy 2 to stand against hatred, to hold a healing space for Max and his family, and to provide support for all members of the GLBTAQI community throughout the Twin Ports.  We would love to invite you all and your friends and families to join us as we peacefully demonstrate against hate crimes in our area.

Kitten Found on 15th Ave. E. & Third St.

I found an all-black kitten I would guess was about 3-4 months old. It was very friendly and meowed a lot. Seemed used to people since it ran up to me and followed me home. Knocked on about 17 doors nearby and couldn’t find an owner. Couldn’t bring it home to my own cats (risk of FeLV, worms, fleas, etc). I brought it to animal control where it is being housed. I spoke with Animal Allies who said that I needed to go through animal control rather than bringing it directly to a shelter. I am hoping that the kitty makes it there or someone on here sees this and claims the sweet little guy (or girl). If this is your cat, please post or call animal control on 27th Avenue West.

Poet Dara Wier — “Not That Lake”

Here’s a video of a poem concerning our lake. Video by Bianca Stone, Emily Pettit, Heather Christle, Guy Pettit and Ben Pease; poem by Dara Wier.

Sump Pit, No Pump?

I’m relatively new to Duluth, and I’m a first-time home debtor. Where I come from we don’t have basements (or winter). I’ve been in my house for a year, and haven’t had water issues in my basement. There is a sump pit down there. (I’m not sure if “sump pit” is the correct term; it’s a manhole-like pit with one large horizontal rusty metal pipe that comes from one side and ends near the middle and several smaller clay pipes around the edge.) We do not have a sump pump. I doubt it is a simple gravity drain, because there is no location on our lot that is lower than the pit. The house passed an I&I inspection shortly before we moved in.

While I haven’t been in the habit of looking under the manhole cover regularly, the two or three times I’ve previously looked in there it was dry. With all of this rain I figured I should have a look, and… It is full of water! I’m wondering if this is a problem. Is this water going to eventually flood our basement? Is my house contributing to I&I-related problems? Is it possible that the house passed its I&I inspection when it should have failed? Why is there a pit down there if there is no pump?

The previous owners of the house did not have a pump, and I am convinced (by the vintage shag carpet in the basement, among other things) that water has not previously been an issue in the basement. But with the water gathering in the pit and more rain to come, I am concerned.

If you are able and willing to speculate what sort of system this seems to be and to suggest what, if any, course of action I need to take, please post a comment. Thanks!

Lost guitar pedals (Found!!)

UPDATE: Thanks to, the sound guy at the Rex emailed me and said he found my pedals! Sure enough, one of the bands I share a practice space with accidentally grabbed it.

Instead of deleting this post, I will use it to illustrate how important PerfectDuluthDay is to our community. Thanks Paul & the gang!

Antique Motorcycle Welding Help

I’m looking for preferably an English/antique motorcycle enthusiast who might be able to help me weld a couple of small front engine mounts as I transfer a small engine into another frame. I can’t afford too much, prefer barter, like some home brew or something for the effort. Thanks.

Second chance to enter Grandma’s

To raise money to help complete the Joe Gomer statue at the new Duluth International Airport, Security Jewelers is auctioning an entry to the Garry Bjorklund/Grandma’s Half Marathon. This is a totally sold out event and 100 percent of proceeds will go to help honor this true American hero who was a member of the Tuskegee Air force. Please forward this message on to make all who missed out on an entry aware.

Duluth Landscaper Recommendations

I know we all tend to be DIYers when it comes to the yard, but I am in need of some vision and major revision. Tile, dirt, no-grass front lawn, shoring up the fence. Any suggestions on a good all-around scaper in the area? Thanks.

Lost Dog in Lakeside

Found a little lost dog in Lakeside near 52nd Avenue East and Dodge Street this morning. It has a purple collar but no tags. It has an injured right, rear leg and seems like it was out for a while (very hungry and matted, but just had chicken and water!). I will bring her to the Duluth Animal Shelter.

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.

Travel Time to the Twin Cities – first hand accounts?

I have an early appointment in the Big Cities on Friday. Have any of you made a run to St. Paul within the past week? If so — how much more time should I budget in with construction being what it is? I’m sure the drive back up late Friday afternoon will be lovely. Serenity now!

Perfect Duluth Day Outdoor Summer Concert Primer 2012

Well, the snows have receded, so that means road construction and outdoor concerts. Here are a few highlights of the upcoming season.

June 15 | Trampled by Turtles
June 27 | Emmylou Harris
June 30 | Glen Campbell
July 1 | Wilco
July 7 | Twin Ports Bridge Festival (with the Jayhawks)
July 14 | Bayfront Reggae and World Music Festival
July 21 | Steve Earle & the Dukes
July 21 | Respect Your Mother Earth Festival
Aug. 3 | Bradfest
Aug. 5 | Bayfront Jam Music Festival (with Steve Martin)
Aug. 5 | Greg Brown
Aug. 10-12 | Bayfront Blues Festival
Aug. 31 | Cloud Cult with That 1 Guy

What outdoor concerts are on your radar this summer?

Any tips on choosing a Duluth lawyer?

We are having a rough time with Minnesota Care, and we need to appeal a decision they’ve made. It’s a big decision — a decision that has set a pretty bad precedent concerning Minnesota Care and PCIP — and we’d feel better making our argument with a lawyer on our side. Long story short, does anyone know a good lawyer who might have some experience dealing with medical insurance?

This ought to be the death of them

Duluth band Low is playing a concert in front of the caretaker’s cottage at the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery on June 9.

View of Rice’s Point, 1962


bridgesThe above shot of Rice’s Point is from the Cliff’s Barber Shop Collection. It is from early 1962, as near as I can figure, making it 50 years old. The new Blatnik Bridge (at left) appears to be not quite completed in the photo, and the old swing-span Interstate Bridge seems to still be in use.