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Stage Stop food tastes just like shit

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayTwenty years ago, fresh out of college, I began my career in journalism. Everything was about to change in the industry, but it hadn’t changed yet. Print was king, profits were good and the prospect of any local news organization developing a website was the subject of a conversation that started and ended with the phrase “probably next year.”

I was hired as news editor at the Duluth Budgeteer Press, a weekly community paper that produced just enough news content to avoid being considered a “shopper.” Actually, for many years it was considered a shopper, but then another paper came along that was more of a shopper, and the Budge started to be considered a newspaper.

Manny’s Shopper was the weekly coupon rag that lowered the bar and lifted the Budgeteer to prominence. Although no one these days seems to know who Manny was or much else about what became of his shopper, one thing was important 20 years ago: it had committed what is probably not the biggest, but quite likely is the most hilarious, print media blunder northern Minnesota has ever known.

Local casket business dies

Duluth Casket ShopHey, when did Duluth Casket Shop go out of business? Did local media completely fail to produce the kind of headline people get into journalism for in the first place?

In Defense of Duluth Poets

Holy CowThe arts and culture review website Partisan namedrops Holy Cow! Press of Duluth in an article by Harvard English Professor Stephen Burt titled “In Defence of Minor Poets,” published today. The namedrop occurs without actually mentioning Holy Cow! by name, but instead referencing Duluth with a hyperlink to Consortium Book Sales & Distribution’s page about the Duluth publishing company.

Behind the Curtain at Duluth.com

Duluth.com got a pretty sweet write-up today by the Duluth News Tribune.

Duluth.com is dedicated to celebrating all things Duluth. Duluth.com highlights sustenance, adventure, fun, and the people of our community because each business, person and activity contributes to Duluth’s unique brand.

Whatever you do: Duluth.com

Epicurean and Loll represent Duluth in The Atlantic

How America is Putting Itself Back Together
In the March issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows once more talks up Duluth while town-hopping across the country, this time as an example of “hopeless” places reinventing themselves (full article). Scroll down to the subheading “Despite the ‘Big Short,’ Talent Dispersal is Under Way,” where he uses Epicurean/Loll to illustrate the same kind of deliberate migration that Lucie Amundsen so elegantly described in her Saturday essay.

The Ripsaw’s Demise

Ripsaw Dotygate Ripsaw Duluth's Lingering Shame Ripsaw Magazine Minnesota Exporers Ripsaw 2005 Clough Island

It’s been ten years since the plug was officially pulled on the Ripsaw, Duluth’s experiment with having a newspaper similar to City Pages or Isthmus. It didn’t last long, but it was good while it lasted.

Sports on Traditional Duluth Radio

Where can one get a regular and accurate list of the location “on the dial” of live sports on radio? I have found the Duluth News Tribune sports page wanting.

Project manager wanted for 10-month media collaboration

The journalism program at the University of Minnesota Duluth is looking for a part-time project manager to assist in coordinating the “One River, Many Stories” media collaboration project.

Funded through a Knight Foundation Fund grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, the project will test ways media collaboration can inspire innovation and nurture engagement among professional journalists, educators and citizen storytellers in the Duluth-Superior community. In April 2016, the media in northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin will give special attention to one topic: The St. Louis River. Newspapers, television and radio stations, local bloggers, photographers, videographers, university, college and high school journalism programs, and citizen storytellers will produce news articles, documentaries, podcasts and other media about the historic St. Louis River corridor.

Link to full job description

Duluthians cause trouble in North Dakota

High School Hockey on Local Radio

Yes, I’m a sports fan, I enjoy ice hockey, and I go to the state high school tournament often. Now time for the whining.  Why are two local sports stations broadcasting the same high school hockey game live (e.g., Jan. 29)? This is not the first time. Both 560 and 1490 have it and 1490 is the “home of the Minnesota Wild” in these parts. The Wild have a game this evening, which would be on 1490, that I assume will be preempted or joined in progress. One station for the high school game tonight is enough. My suggestion: Trade off or put Wild game on another station owned by whatever radio group. Looking forward to reading comments and other views on this situation.

Lonely Planet names Duluth a top destination for 2015

Best in Travel 2015Duluth pulled a #9 ranking in Lonely Planet‘s “Best in the U.S. 2015” travel guide. “With trails in every direction, Lake Superior’s waves crashing on one side, and snowy mountains rising on the other, Duluth has emerged as the Midwest’s premier outdoors hot spot,” the panel of authors and editors wrote. “The 290-mile Superior Hiking Trail hugs the lake from Duluth en route to Canada, passing waterfalls, red-rock overlooks, and the occasional moose. Without even leaving town, the mountain biker (and snowshoer) fantasy known as the Duluth Traverse is in the works, linking several existing trails to cover the 26-mile length of the city.”

Related post: “What else is Duluth the best at?

Duluth featured in Bicycling magazine

Don Ness - Bicycling Magazine - Hansi Johnson photoThe hyperbolic headline “The Town Cycling Saved,” is a tad unfortunate, but the interview with Duluth Mayor Don Ness in this month’s issue of Bicycling magazine is now online. In the print edition, the headline is “Transformer Man,” which is maybe only a little better. Other than that, however, it’s a fun and quick read. The mayor clarified on his Facebook page today that the recent improvements to bike trails is just one part of Duluth’s turnaround, saying “it’s because of Duluth’s revitalization and the new energy around town that groups like COGGS have taken on ambitious goals and have inspired hundreds of volunteers to take ownership of these trails.”

Duluth shout out on Alaska Public Radio

I’ve been talking to a buddy up in Sitka, Alaska, about the Jazz scene in Duluth – as well as across the state. He does a weekly radio show on KCAW and yesterday featured artists that have played at a number of venues throughout Minnesota: The Club Saratoga, Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, The Riverview, Bayport BBQ and Nashville Hot Wing, and Healdsburg Jazz Festival.

I haven’t listened to the whole show yet, but Duluth gets a nice shout-out about 15 minutes into the program. I think it’s a pretty neat tribute and I wanted to share:

Spotify / Archived Show

College football’s coaching nun in New York Times

Sister Lisa Maurer photo by Tim Gruber for the New York TimesThe story of Sister Lisa Maurer, who serves as a football coach at the College of St. Scholastica, is featured today in the New York Times. Maurer is a Benedictine nun with St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, which shares a campus with the College of St. Scholastica. She joined the ranks of the coaching crew this fall, after spending years as one of the Saints’ biggest fans. Maurer will be on the sidelines Saturday as the Saints take on Saint John’s University in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs in Collegeville.

Another Wonderful Mitchell Letter

Dennis P. Mitchell’s letter in this morning’s Duluth News Tribune is a gem.  Dennis and his wife Rosemarie gained notoriety with their London Olympics letter a few years ago. Today, they reveal the sordid happenings in the Sally Forth comic strip.

‘Sally Forth’ sets poor example for youths