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Duluth Public Schools Posts

Welty hints at seeking another term with “this shaky video”

Welty Thank YousAt-large Duluth School Board member Harry Welty wrote on his Lincoln Democrat blog about digging into a box of thank yous last night and spreading them on his office floor “to make a little campaign video for a campaign webpage.” And then he posted “this shaky video.”

Welty’s term ends Jan. 8; Duluth candidates officially file to seek school board positions between July 5 and July 18.

“Years ago I attended some session during which a presenter made a good suggestion,” Welty wrote. “She warned her listeners that it was easy to get discouraged and she suggested that we all collect thank yous and such. She thought that when we got down we could look in the old thank yous and remind ourselves that we weren’t such bad folks.

“Until I got on the School Board in 1996 my little sunshine folder wasn’t very big. Then I started reading to classrooms.”

Old Central chimes will return in a few weeks

Central-Clocktower-BellThe chimes of the 125-year-old Central High School clock tower fell silent last week when one of the clock’s gears failed. A new gear is being made and should be in place within about six weeks, according to Dave Spooner, manager of facilities for Duluth Public Schools.

“We’ve got the clock apart and we’re in the process of having another gear made,” Spooner said. “It’s not something you can buy, you have to have them made. … It’s just a failure of an old part.”

Central High School opened in 1892, built with a clock tower that rises 230 feet. A new Central High School opened in 1971, and the original building was converted into the school district’s administrative offices. The building has since been known as the Central Administration Building or “Historic Old Central.”

The Lincoln Tribune – Dec. 17, 1985

Lincoln Tribune 1986-12-17p1

Oh, the random relics that land on the kitchen table at the Perfect Duluth Day Headquarters. We’ve also scanned all 15 interior pages of this issue of Lincoln Park School’s fancy old newsletter, which appear below, but take heed in the warning that it’s pretty dry stuff in general — everything from mazes and recipes to the school lunch menu. One thing of note is page 2, which is a ridiculously long list of items in the lost and found.

Fairmount Elementary School Class Photos

Fairmount School Duluth MN postcardFairmount School at 6715 Redruth St. has served as an apartment building since 1981, but it once bustled with West Duluth kids willing to learn a few things in between cramming gum under their desks and creating general mischief.

The photos collected here are from a few different sources, but most of them were posted to the West Duluth Memories Facebook group by various people.

Fairmount1949Grade1

1949 Grade 1

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.

Video Archive: Duluth East mid-1960s Film

A previous Video Archive segment featured a 1956 film from the Mark Bruzonsky collection. This time we skip ahead to the mid-1960s and his years at Duluth East High School.

Myers-Wilkins and Lincoln Park Experiences

My family and I are currently considering a home in the Myers-Wilkins / Lincoln Park / Denfeld school boundary and are looking for some first-hand experiences. We definitely do not want to open enroll. We like the idea of our daughter going to school with her neighbors and I don’t want to be driving her to and from school every day.

I have heard mixed things about Myers-Wilkins, but as of right now, we feel OK about potentially sending our daughter there (she is 1, so it’ll be a few years). Same for Denfeld, but I would love to hear some first-hand experiences.

My mom used to work at Lincoln Park Middle School about 15 or so years ago and her experience left much to be desired. I have heard recently of some people pulling their kids out of Lincoln Park (all second hand stories) because of bullying problems. We are of the mentality that if she has good parents at home, she will do fine anywhere; however, we don’t want to send her somewhere we know could cause problems during middle school, and we all know how awesome middle school is…

I am hoping to hear of some positive experiences, since I have pretty much only come across negative opinions (none of them first hand), but any and all opinions are welcome and appreciated!

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)

Awkward Duluth School Board Moment #4,536: Gadfly Edition

File under: Tried to be clever; totally fell flat.

Shredded tire mulch: Soft and safe or dirty and dangerous?

This Eyewitness News report from July covers the controversy of shredded tire mulch on playgrounds in Duluth. Cory Kirsling, father of a Lester Park Elementary School student, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to have the mulch tested “for heavy metals, VOCs, off-gassing and leaching, toxins and carcinogens.” His page notes, “a local lab will collect the samples from our school’s playground, and we will share the research with everyone.”

Don’t worry, the sandstone will be back

Ye Olde Central High School

Lest anyone driving by the Central Administration Building, aka Old Central High School, fear the cool sandstone wall is being replaced with ugly concrete blocks, let it be noted that the 120-year-old brownstone blocks are being restored and will return.

sandstone

Beware the gadfly’s sting

Duluth News Tribune photo by Clint Austin

Duluth News Tribune photo by Clint Austin

The crabby, vindictive majority on the School Board crumpled like wet tissue when Art Johnston stood up and defended himself in court — something he has been unable to do in the majority-controlled environs of the School Board.

In your face, petty tyrants! The First Amendment rules!

Duluth News Tribune: Duluth School Board may opt against removing Johnston

Duluth Reader: Stop swatting the gadflies

Duluth School Board members acting like … high school kids

Our tax dollars hard at work.

Duluth News Tribune: Tempers flare at Duluth School Board meeting as Johnston’s supporters strike back

Red Plan versus Let Duluth Vote?

For those us who are new here, having only lived in Duluth for a decade or less, can any of you proud professional Duluthians add any clarity to this murky and mysterious topic?

I’m sure it goes deep, and emotions run high, and minds are made up, but I can’t seem to find any unbiased sources that describe what has exactly happened here. The available info, that which surfaces when one Googles the keywords seem somewhat scrambled and wishy washy, or Bud Lightish, considering the impact and money involved. So, who are the good guys? Who is right? What’s the deal with Johnson Controls? And did the deal have anything to do with Duluth’s irascible money woes back when taxes spiked when the JCI took control? Also, seeing as how I heard a couple of old timers complaining about this too, is the recent sewage water runoff charge mega increase on city utilities somehow all tied to this, or the casino? Is it starting to read like a Tarantino script? Help the undereducated non-native tax-paying simpletons like myself get up to speed on this complex matter. Thanks.

Gutter Politics

GutterPolitics34892

I cleaned the gutters on my house today and found, among the clumps of various yard waste, a flier for a school board candidate forum and a slice of bologna slathered in mustard.

Trick or treat?