PDD News Sieve Posts

Duluth portion of Munger Trail to close for construction

Munger TrailA 5-mile stretch of the Willard Munger State Trail between Grand Avenue and Becks Road in western Duluth will be closed for an extensive construction project from mid-April through August, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The project will stabilize parts of the treadway damaged during the Historic Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012 and bring that section of the trail up to current standards that call for a wider surface and shoulders. Because heavy equipment will be operating in the area, the section of the trail will be closed to all traffic throughout the project.

The trail is a collection of three trail segments accommodating multiple uses, including bicycling, walking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The 70-mile Hinckley–Duluth segment is completely paved and passes through three state forests and Jay Cooke State Park.

Duluth native on Fortune’s list of world’s greatest leaders

Black Lives Matter Activists Group Continues To Protest Police Shooting Of Jamar ClarkFortune magazine’s list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” includes Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, a native Duluthian. Harteau is positioned at #22 on the list, just behind U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and just ahead of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Harteau graduated from Denfeld High School in 1982 and earned a law enforcement degree at Hibbing Community College before joining the Minneapolis Police Department at the age of 22. She was sworn in as chief in 2012.

Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Jim Hall’s Mix

Jim Hall's Mix - Homegrown Rawk and or RollAvailable now for free download on Bandcamp, 117 megabytes of local rawk and/or roll selected by Jim Hall. It’s the eighth mix in the Homegrown Music Festival‘s series of compilations highlighting music that has shaped the Duluth music scene.

Duluth’s Ten Most Endangered Properties in 2017

Pastoret Terrace

From a hidden stairway to the original rail line servicing the city, Duluth is not “anyplace, USA,” the Duluth Preservation Alliance announced in a news release today. “It is home to an abundance of historic buildings and sites.”

To bring awareness to some of the city’s most threatened sites, the DPA, released its list of “Duluth’s Top 10 Endangered Properties for 2017.”

1. Pastoret Terrace
131 E. First St.
What began as luxury townhouses in 1887 has since been divided into multiple apartments. In 2010, the Terrace experienced a devastating fire and currently sits as a fraction of its former glory. Now owned by the city, it could be razed, or it could be renovated and be a catalyst that helps revive First Street.

Remembering America and her life under water


A post last week of a 1925 photograph of the steamship America led to a tip about this story from the 2nd Quarter 2012 issue of Nor’easter, the journal of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association. The story, written by Gina Temple-Rhodes and used here with permission from the LSMMA, includes a more complete history of the vessel, including tales from Arthur Wright, a Duluthian whose father was a crew member on America. Wright was 99 at the time of the article; he died a year later at the age of 100.

Duluth City Council ready for first look at “Uber Ordinance”

Uber logo Lyft logo

It’s been eight months since Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs had his first formal meeting with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere to begin crafting an ordinance to regulate ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft.

Both companies have expressed interest in operating in Duluth, and now Hobbs’ ordinance is on the city council’s March 13 agenda for a first reading. The soonest the ordinance could pass is March 27; it would then go into effect 30 days later.

Missing Child in West Duluth: Darren Torcotte

Darren TorcotteUpdate: Darren Torcotte has been found.

The Duluth Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating missing child Darren John Torcotte. Darren is a 13-year-old white male, 5-foot 8-inches tall, 118 lbs., has brown hair and brown eyes. Darren was last seen wearing a baby blue jacket and light-colored gloves. He was last seen this morning leaving his home in the area of the 300 block of 59th Avenue West. The Duluth Police Department needs the public’s assistance in locating Darren to ensure he returns home safely. Anyone who sees or knows of Darren’s whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Haley Bonar is now simply Haley

HaleyTwin Cities musician Haley Bonar, whose career took off during her years living in Duluth, announced today she is changing her surname from her paternal birth name, Bonar, to her maternal family name, McCallum. As a performer, however, she’s shortening it up to simply “Haley.”

Below is the statement from Haley’s Facebook page.

Her European tour begins March 25 with a sold out show in Glasgow, Scotland.

Hoff and Giuliani selected to develop waterfront parcel

Lot-D-for-Duluth-746x598The Duluth Economic Development Authority announced today the recommendation of Sandy Hoff and Alessandro Giuliani to develop Lot D, a 12-acre waterfront parcel that sits between the recently opened Pier B Resort Hotel and Compass Minerals.

The parcel has 12 acres of developable land with 1,500 feet of lake frontage and is zoned as mixed-use waterfront. The preferred concept proposal includes a mixture of commercial use, retail, some housing, and is “meant to be a waterfront destination venue with family friendly attractions,” according to a news release from the city of Duluth.

DEDA issued a request for proposals in spring 2016. A review committee felt the Hoff-Giuliani team best represented the objectives laid out in the RFP.

DEDA Commissioners will be presented with an option agreement at their March 22 meeting for review and approval. The agreement lists milestones and enables temporary property access for the development team to conduct its due diligence over the next year and explore geotechnical issues, site opportunities and challenges to ensure financial feasibility of elements in the proposal. Following this phase, the developer could return to DEDA and pursue a development agreement to officially purchase the property, assuming conditions are met.

Could Prince have taken over Duluth?

Prince and the ChambermaidAn article published in the Daily Beast over the weekend recounts the strange circumstances surrounding the premiere of Prince’s movie Under the Cherry Moon in 1986. A young motel chambermaid in Sheridan, Wyo., won an MTV dream date with Prince in her tiny hometown. “On TV, it seemed like a fairy tale. Behind the scenes, coke-fueled chaos reigned,” the blurb at the top of the story synopsizes. (It’s not Prince or the Chambermaid doing coke, for the record). Deep into the fascinating and lengthy story is a reference to Duluth.

Bobby Z, drummer for Prince’s backing band, the Revolution, reflected on the how the Prince premiere was essentially the biggest thing that ever happened to the small farming, ranching and coal-mining town of Sheridan.

“It wouldn’t have been the same if it had been in a bigger place — like, say, Duluth — because you really couldn’t take over the town like this has,” Bobby Z says in a quote attributed to the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

Artist scouting Duluth’s West End for mural location

Paul LaJeunesseCollege of St. Scholastica Assistant Art Professor Paul LaJeunesse was recently selected as the Duluth Art Institutes’s inaugural Lincoln Park Craft District Artist in Residence. LaJeunesse discussed project plans during an Advance Lincoln Park meeting today at the DIA Lincoln Center Arts for Education building. He said he is currently scouting the neighborhood for a mural location. The permanent work will incorporate images of people and places that represent the area. LaJeunesse has created public murals before, including “Confluence” for the North Shore of Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2014.

The aim of the residency program is to support the role of artists as effective community builders and to support and expand the revitalization of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, where the DAI has operated its satellite location for arts education since the early 1990s.

The inaugural year of the residency is scheduled for two terms, with LaJeunesse in residence March to June 2017. A national artist will be selected for the second term, July to September 2017.

Photos of the Great Whiteout of 2007

1 storm

WildWest snowhouse

2007whiteout2 2007whiteout3

Above are photos from the PDD archives of the blizzard conditions in Duluth over March 1 and 2, 2007.

Lady Aurora at Boulder Lake


Lady Aurora danced at midnight last night, Rich Hoeg reports on his 365 Days of Birds blog. Hoeg was shooting from frozen Boulder Lake, about 20 miles north of Duluth.

“The Northern Lights display last night was not a ‘classic’ rays shooting skyward,” Hoeg wrote. “Instead bands of color turned on and off, sometimes blinking to appear only for a few seconds, followed by the lights flashing on in a totally different part of the sky. Totally cool … just different.”

Hydrologists say they’ve solved the Devil’s Kettle mystery

Devils KettleWhere does the water go? That’s the question that has puzzled scientists and random hikers along the Brule River for decades.

Upstream from the Devil’s Kettle waterfall at Judge C.R. Magney State Park, the river splits in two at a rock outcropping. “The east side of the river plummets 50 feet into a pool, in typical waterfall fashion,” according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources “Field Notes” in the March/April 2017 issue of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine. “But on the west side, the water plunges into a cavernous hole in the rock and vanishes.”

Where does it go?

In late fall 2016, hydrologists Heather Emerson and Jon Libbey measured water flow above Devil’s Kettle at 123 cubic feet per second. Several hundred feet below the waterfall, the water was flowing at 121 cubic feet per second. “In the world of stream gauging, those two numbers are essentially the same and are within the tolerances of the equipment,” Green explains. “The readings show no loss of water below the kettle, so it confirms the water is resurging in the stream below it.”

R.I.P. Farmer Hank

STRAUSSBOSCORNThe Duluth News Tribune reports Farmer Hank Bos died Feb. 4 after battling lung cancer. He was 79.

Bos was known in West Duluth for selling his produce on Grand Avenue near the Minit Mart convenience store, formerly known as Little Store. The DNT reports Bos “for decades faithfully drove the 94 miles from his Shell Lake, Wis., farm to western Duluth daily from July to late October to sell produce from next to his pickup truck.”