November 2023 Posts

Duluth Mail Bag: Lower Taxes, Viewsheds and Roundabouts

Hobbs Mail BagAs a two-time Duluth city councilor, now in my final year of service, one of my goals is to make city government more accessible, or at least help citizens become more informed. I figure there are many Duluthians who would like some simple answers to some simple questions. I learned in school that if there is something you don’t understand it’s likely there are many others who feel the same way. Hence the idea of the Duluth Mailbag column.

I won’t divulge who is asking the questions, but I’ll answer them in this format about once a month. Feel free to put a question in the comments for next month’s “Duluth Mailbag” or tweet me via @Hobbs_Duluth or email me at hobbsforduluth @

Also, if you want to have a longer conversation, you can sign up for a 45-minute cup of coffee through my 100 Cups of Coffee project.

OK, here we go!

Northwoods Creatures in Wild Remote Country

This latest montage from Voyageurs National Park shows critters over a 1.5-month period this past spring.

The camera was set up by the Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in the park. But the otters kind of steal the show in this video.

Climate>Duluth: Tammy Mayer of One Climate Action

Climate-Duluth host Tone Lanzillo interviews Tammy Mayer of One Climate Action. Interview recorded at Duluth Public Access Community Television’s studio in City Hall and via Zoom.

Rafe Carlson – “Backroad Love Story”

The latest from Hermantown native Rafe Carlson is this video from Bo Allen Productions‘ “Unwound Sessions.”

Duluth’s Inn on Gitche Gumee has new owners

The Duluth News Tribune reports Britney and Reilly Brennan are the new owners of the Inn on Gitche Gumee, a destination hotel and cottage on the shore of Lake Superior at the northeast edge of Duluth.

Postcard from the Lonsdale Building

This undated postcard shows the Lonsdale Building, 302 W. Superior St. in Duluth. Designed by Emmet Palmer, Lucien Hall and William Hunt, and constructed in 1895, it was originally five stories tall. Three additional floors were added in 1905.

PDD Quiz: November 2023

Shake off the tryptophan hangover and get your brain in gear with this month’s current affairs quiz.

A holiday-themed quiz skiis your way on Dec. 17. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Dec. 12.

Boner Problems

Boner problems are my least-favorite sex problem. Here is my best story about boner problems.

The story begins after my divorce, when I was stoked to start up with someone else. I did so immediately. The way these things happen, my marriage-desiccated sex life went from zero to a hundred overnight. My new girlfriend and I were pleasure-seeking missiles indulging every vice. We drank champagne, stayed up late, and screwed loudly. Until I got boner problems.

Alarmed, I began a Manhattan Project to get to the bottom of it, which became a journey through the underworld. Would you believe I finally cleared it up with a naked psychedelic mushroom trip on Amnicon Beach?

A Brief History of Boner Problems

I was in my early 30s with no history of chronic boner problems. I’d had three or four misfires over a decade-and-a-half of an otherwise bangin’ sex-life. That is standard. For instance one night in high school in Texas, I was making out with a girlfriend on the back lawn of the campus chapel, and when she tried going down on me, I was looking around thinking how exposed we were. So that was a fail, but there was no mystery and nothing to worry about. Another time with that same woman, after high school in her Austin shack, we were trying to make it in the shower as people were coming over and letting themselves in and waiting for us. Another fail. It didn’t make me feel great, but it was transitory.

Sixty years ago, Oswald met bullet

“Lee Harvey Oswald found merciless death lurking in a crowd … just as President John F. Kennedy did 48 hours earlier,” an Associated Press story in the Nov. 25, 1963 Duluth News Tribune reported about the previous day’s occurrence. “The accused presidential assassin was shot and killed during a routine jail transfer.”

PDD Geoguessr Challenges #5 and #6: Bookstores and Hidden Landmarks

PDD Geoguessr Challenge #5: Independent Booksellers of Northern Minnesota

When the days get shorter and the nights get colder, curling up on the couch with a good book becomes one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. But first you have to find yourself a good book. This GeoGuessr Challenge is all about independent bookstores in Northern Minnesota. And for the purposes of this challenge, Northern Minnesota is any city or town at or above Highway 2.

Big Into – “Velvet Drill Bits”

Two-piece groovy nerd-rock band Big Into is releasing a music video every month for each new track off of its upcoming EP. In the first, Curtis Kraft Mattson and Jozef Conaway are in a frantic quest for serenity that leads them down a long, winding path. What will they find?

Aquaman enjoying brunch ambiance at the Pizza Luce bar


Bloody Mary: 10/10

Beyondbliss – “Comp. Glitch”

Superior-based rapper David Kittelson, aka Beyondbliss, asks if we are living in simulation in this video for a track from his new album Born Deaf.

Gaelynn Lea Talks About Disability Culture and Creativity

Duluth musician Gaelynn Lea is an advocate for connecting the creative disability community and reframing disability not as negative, but as a form of diversity. In this Twin Cities Public Television segment she talks about disability culture and performs a few of her songs at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. The segment is part of the “Disability, Culture and Creativity” episode of TPT’s mini series Art + Medicine, which aims to destigmatize disabilities through stories, art and performances.

Duluth: Where it’s Christmas every day for a month

1970 promotional ad for Duluth.