October 2015 Posts

Last Boo on Grandview



This is the last year the house on Grandview in the Chester Park area will be haunted. After 25 years, that’s sad, but thanks to the owners for such good times. Glad it was your house and not mine.

Positive Energy Outdoors seeks help


Can you imagine spending your honeymoon with 16 sled dogs? The founders of Positive Energy Outdoors did just that. It is emblematic of how Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier have devoted their lives to their mission of making outdoor education and exploration accessible to everyone, regardless of income level. Pictured above are two champions. On your left is Stephanie, and on your right stands SOTA, a champion lead sled dog who has won the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

As many of you saw in the Duluth News Tribune recently, they face the potential closure of this popular outdoor education center if they cannot resolve a dispute with Fredenberg Township involving access to public lands. All of us in St. Louis County have a stake in this matter. After all, it was our own county board of commissioners who gifted this land to the township with the understanding that everyone currently using the land would continue to be allowed to do so. Please consider signing their petition.

To learn more about this incredible nonprofit organization, located a scant 15 miles from Duluth, check out my current post on Ed’s Big Adventure. Please help to keep this valuable center of outdoor activity alive.

Selective Focus: Ancestry

Brian Barber

Brian Barber, “John Barber: Service station owner, school bus driver, Mayor, Parnell, MO”

This week’s theme offers the opportunity for a p.s.a.: have prints made of the images you’re making now, or we might not have the kinds of memories shown here. Digital media storage changes so quickly that having our memories in tangible form may vanish. Anyone still have a floppy drive on their pc, or a pc for that matter?

Minnesota wild rice, Adam, and his red canoe

Meet Adam Maxwell. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs. It took one Boundary Waters trip to hook him. Harvesting wild rice started out as a hobby; now it’s part of his daily life.

Video by Old Saw Media
Music: “Fight the Sea” by Josh Woodward

Updating Technology, Advancing Careers


On Oct. 15, 11 individuals from Duluth were awarded funding from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council for its Technology/Equipment Grant Program. These grants are for individual artists seeking funding for technology needed to advance their career and body of work.

Aldo Abelleira’s Lake Superior Autumn Trip

Aldo Abelleira of Aldo Design took the cruise up from Minntonka to Lake Superior’s North Shore this fall to document the waterfalls, autumn colors and occasional fox hanging out in the road.

Arts & Economic Prosperity in Duluth

Creative Minnesota Duluth

A study released on Monday suggests the nonprofit arts and culture sector in Duluth generates over $36 million annually in total economic activity. Arts & Economic Prosperity in the City of Duluth, MN is a follow up to the statewide study Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector. Highlights are above, fine print is below, and the full text of both studies are linked in the sentence previous to this one.

The other Horton for Mayor song

The “Fighting for Duluth” song posted previously on PDD drew a fair amount of attention, and plenty of speculation that it was created as satire. The song in this post seems to have the full endorsement of Duluth mayoral candidate Chuck Horton. According to the credits, the music, lyrics and vocals are by Joe Tuttle, the slideshow was produced by Otiz Mac, and the “message and video are approved by Chuck Horton.”

Note: Normally PDD would not post a campaign ad as content, but in this case the argument can be made that there is entertainment value. And maybe a case for equal time. Let the battle of campaign songs begin.

“Fighting for Duluth”

A very unofficial Chuck Horton campaign song made by an anonymous local musician.

Scrap Tire Mulch on Duluth Public Schools’ Playgrounds

Last week Duluth Parents for Healthy Playgrounds presented the results of a test conducted by St. Paul-based Legend Technical Services on a sample of rubber mulch from the playground at Lester Park Elementary School. The test found 12 chemicals listed by the Minnesota Department of Health as “chemicals of high concern,” but the chemicals were at levels not considered hazardous.

From the report’s executive summary:

Our test does not account for possible interactions or “synergistic” effects of the 12 “chemicals of high concern,” nor for carbon nanotubes. Given the variety of chemicals different tire manufacturers use, and the variability of the tire brands in Rubberific mulch, the eight grams from Lester Park Elementary that were tested may account for only a few of the estimated 12,000 tires in the whole playground.

Link to the full report: Scrap Tire Mulch on Duluth Public Schools’ Playgrounds (PDF)

Lake Superior Aquaman Summer 2015 Highlight Reel

Lake Superior’s North Shore Witch Tree

Lake Superior Witch Tree

“Manido Gizhigans” to the Ojibwe people, the Spirit Little Cedar Tree (known as the “Witch Tree”) has been keeping a keen eye over the shores of Lake Superior in Grand Portage for an estimated 300-400 years.  CBS Minnesota did a “Finding Minnesota” story on the Witch Tree. Travis Novitsky was interviewed for the story and said “You’ve got this tree that’s growing out of the rock for at least 400 or 500 years. And just to stand in the presence of something that’s living, that’s that old, to me is mind-boggling.” Sorry for the brief commercial before the video starts.

See the full story by clicking here.

Copyright for the above photo belongs to Travis Novitsky. www.travisnovitsky.com

This Week: scares and chills and frights and all that

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

They’re coming to get you, Barbara, UMD tackles zombies and hands out candy to kids, writer Wendy Webb talks ghosts in the Rathskellar, pleasure-skating gets a Halloween makeover, the William A. Irvin is still haunted, there’s a scary bus tour going on and Samhain (not the Glenn Danzig vehicle) is at Teatro Zuccone.

Beaner’s Central is throwing a costume party, Frank N. Furter and the gang are at the Underground, there’s a Masquerade Ball at the DECC, Studio 15 is having a Halloween party, R.T. Quinlan’s is putting on a Spookshow, the fifth annual Corn-i-ville is underway at Engwall’s Corn Maze and both the Red Herring and Pizza Luce have bills full of bands for Halloween, too.

Video Archive: Mel Sando gets his mojo working

Mel Sando, best known for his days with the Delta Resonators circa 1997-1999, performs the blues classic “Got My Mojo Working” at R.T. Quinlan’s Saloon during an open mic on Sept. 16, 1995.

How to see Duluth and Superior on electric cars

How to see Duluth and Superior

The date on this bad boy is 1909. The cover image seems to suggest there was a floating railway perpendicular to the shipping canal where people could watch flaming ships torch the city.