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News and Current Affairs Posts

Historical Trauma and Standing Rock

DavidBeard_SEWhen I was young and more exciting than I am now, I started teaching Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus. One of the reasons Maus made its way into classrooms was that it was an immensely accessible introduction to the Holocaust.

But about halfway through the second time I taught the book, I realized that its special genius is not the way it tells the story of Vladek, a Holocaust survivor, but the way it tells the story of Artie, the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Perhaps this is clearest in the scene where Artie and his wife, Francoise, take Vladek to the grocery store so that Vladek can return a half-eaten box of cereal.

Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock

“Mni Wiconi” is the Sioux term for “water is life.” This documentary was created by Lucian Read with support from the WK Kellogg Foundation.

Thanksgiving weekend opioid overdoses prompt investigation

hydrocodoneThe Duluth Police Department issued a news release today notifying the public of six drug-related overdoses occurring since Thanksgiving as result of the use of opioids. There have been no deaths, but the overdoses have prompted an investigation.

Opioids are substances that act on brain receptors to produce morphine-like effects. They come in tablets, capsules or liquid and are typically used to treat pain. Common opioids include heroin and prescription drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl.

The DPD warns against using these drugs — particularly synthetic derivatives — because their content and purity is often unknown and can cause overdose deaths.

PDD Quiz: November 2016

uploadAs November draws to a close it’s time once again to test your knowledge on Duluth current affairs.

The next quiz will be posted on Dec. 18. Tentatively the theme will be on Christmas (and other festive year-end holidays) in Duluth. Send your question ideas to lawrence @ perfectduluthday.com by Wednesday, Dec. 14.

November showed up today.

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Duluth native Nides in New Yorker

tom-nidesThe Nov. 14 issue of The New Yorker magazine features an article (clearly written before Election Day) on “the Democrats’ fight over finance.” The focus of the piece is on Thomas R. Nides, “who is seen as a contender for a prominent position in a Clinton Administration.”

Nides is a Duluth native and 1979 graduate of East High School. From 2011 to 2013, he served under Hillary Clinton as deputy U.S. secretary of state for management and resources.

Bellisio Foods sold for a billion

bellisioThe Wall Street Journal reports the Minneapolis-based and Duluth-founded Bellisio Foods company is being sold “for nearly $1.1 billion.” The business started by Duluth’s wealthiest man will soon be owned by Thailand’s wealthiest man.

Jeno Paulucci founded the company in 1985 as Luigino’s, producing frozen food brands such as Michelina’s. The corporate name changed to Bellisio Foods in 2007. Paulucci died in 2011. He sold Bellisio Foods to Centre Partners the day before he died. Charoen Pokphand Foods in Bangkok, owned by Dhanin Chearavanont, expects to close on its purchase of the company within 180 days.

Positive Post-its at Denfeld

Last week racist graffiti referencing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was found in a female restroom stall at Denfeld High School. The student body responded this week, posting inspiring messages throughout the school. The movement was led by Denfeld’s student executive board and the video was posted on Twitter by Johanna Unden, the exec board’s student school board representative.

Leonard Cohen R.I.P.

Awkward Duluth School Board Moment #5,109: A Point of Order

roberts_rules_of_orderThis clip features three-and-a-half productive minutes from the Nov. 9 Duluth Public Schools Human Resources and Business Committee Meeting.

DNR will close French River Hatchery

frenchhatcheryThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced in a news release today it will close a 1970s-era fish hatchery in Duluth Township.

The French River Cold Water Hatchery, located on Lake Superior two miles north of Duluth, needs $8 million in capital investment to address failing equipment, according to the DNR. It also consumes 10 percent of the energy used by the agency statewide.

A hatchery was first established at the location in 1919, originally known as the Lake Superior State Fish Hatchery. The French River Cold Water Hatchery was built in 1975 to conduct the majority of fish propagation. Since 1962, the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have planted about 300,000 six-inch lake trout along the North Shore each year, resulting in a 250 percent increase in lake trout netted during surveys, according to the DNR.

Duluth 2016 General Election Results

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Donald Trump wins the presidency nationwide. Hillary Clinton takes Minnesota, barely; in Duluth she nearly doubles Trump’s vote total.

Rick Nolan holds his congressional seat by just over 1,000 votes. Democrats and incumbents fare well in Duluth overall.

With 4,120 of 4,120 Minnesota precincts reporting, below are the unofficial statewide results in races relevant to Duluth.

President and Vice President of the United States
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine – 1,363,704 | 46.41%
Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence – 1,320,895 | 44.96%
Gary Johnson and William Weld – 112,767 | 3.84%
Evan McMullin and Nathan Johnson – 53,021 | 1.8%
Jill Stein and Howie Hawkins – 36,916 | 1.26%
Write in – 27,095 | 0.92%
Dan R. Vacek and Mark Elworth, Jr. – 11,275 | 0.38%
Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley – 9,454 | 0.32%
Alyson Kennedy and Osborne Hart – 1,668 | 0.06%
“Rocky” Roque De La Fuente and Mic – 1,428 | 0.05%

Prince is Missing

prince-and-mary-plasterA very important puppet that artist Mary Plaster created commemorating Prince at the request of Black Lives Matter in the Minneapolis May Day parade disappeared during Duluth All Souls Night. Please keep an eye out for this guy.

If you have any information about his disappearance please call 218-310-6289 or if you want to return him anonymously you can leave him back at the Duluth Depot, no questions asked.

Jon and Erin Otis: Barrel Brokers

Photo by JaneCane Photography / www.janecanephotography.comDuluth Barrel Works owners Jon and Erin Otis are the subjects of a new profile story in The Growler magazine. The story details how Duluth Barrel Works buys, sells and repurposes solid oak barrels from wineries in California and bourbon distilleries in Kentucky. Jon converts some into rain barrels and breaks others down to create unique tables, benches, stools, candle holders and more.

PDD Quiz: October 2016

adamOctober 2016 is almost over so let’s see what you remember about what happened in and around Duluth. Ready? Let’s do it.

Got ideas for future quizzes? Send your theme or question ideas to lawrence @ perfectduluthday.com.