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New York Times Posts

Duluth’s Financial Crisis of 2008

Ten years ago today — Oct. 6, 2008 — Duluth was featured in a New York Times article about cities facing economic hardship.

To help close a gap of more than $6 million that yawned open over the summer, the artsy shipping city on Lake Superior had considered selling its prized Tiffany stained-glass window depicting Longfellow’s American Indian character Minnehaha, a one-of-a-kind work donated by a civic group more than 100 years ago. And some even pushed forward with plans to sell valuable beachfront property along the lake.

Twin Ports couple in New York Times Style section

With photos by Duluth’s Derek Montgomery.

Alexander Wedding NYT Adam Swanson NYT

Plaisted Polar Expedition in New York Times

Plaisted Expedition Team 1968Ralph Plaisted’s “Big Idea” — to travel to the North Pole by snowmobile — was born in Duluth’s Pickwick restaurant in 1966. The New York Times published a fresh account of the story last week.

An Insurance Salesman and a Doctor Walk Into a Bar, and End Up at the North Pole


 

Remember the Fallen Heroes

American Troops killed in IraqTen years ago Duluth landed in the New York Times over a controversial sign in a campaign office window. Scott Cameron, a combat-wounded Vietnam War vet, made a sign tallying the dead and wounded in the Iraq war. While volunteering for Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelley, Cameron placed the sign in the campaign office window, next to a U.S. Army recruiting office. The seven recruiters working there, six of whom had served in Iraq, found the sign disheartening and wanted it removed. Cameron said he did not wish to prevent recruits from signing up for the Army, but only wanted to honor those who made sacrifices.

Duluth Retiree Health Care Unfunded Liability: 2005 to 2015

OPEB 2015 graphTen years ago today the New York Times ran a story titled “The Next Retirement Time Bomb,” which focused heavily on Duluth. The story opened by noting Duluth’s estimated unfunded healthcare liability in 2002 was $178 million. It concluded by stating the figure had ballooned to $280 million in 2005. Worse yet, though not mentioned by the NYT, the liability was projected to hit $417 million by 2015.

Where does Duluth stand one decade later? A state auditor’s report released last summer shows the liability has dropped to an estimated $129 million.

“The support of city staff, city unions, city councilors, community leaders and the Minnesota Supreme Court were critical to this success,” Duluth Mayor Don Ness said in a June news release. “But the foundation of the effort was a core group of five citizen volunteers serving on a task force (created when I was on the city council) that provided a 15-point road map to solving what was thought to be an unsolvable problem. That volunteer effort is the basis for the significant $288-million reduction in our liability today.”

Iron Range restaurant reviewed in New York Times

Seared salmonMr. Roberts Restaurant and Resort in Pengilly will be featured in this Sunday’s edition of the New York Times. Duluth-based writer Robert Lillegard reviews the “surprising new flavors” chef Sarah Master has brought to the lakeside eatery. The article was published online today:

In Minnesota’s Iron Range, Midwestern with a modern twist

Master is a Pengilly native who left her position as executive chef at Minneapolis’ Café Barbette to form a business partnership with Dan Beckwith, opening their restaurant and resort in early June.

Coming to America

Sharita Turner

In which Karl Ove Knausgaard’s NYT series about travelling to the United States visits Duluth, Superior and more.

My Saga, Part 2: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Passage Through America

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.

The Way North: Duluth

In a series for the New York Times, Damien Cave and Todd Heisler travel up Interstate 35, from Laredo, Tex., to Duluth, chronicling how the middle of America is being changed by immigration. They spend day 37 in Duluth.

Duluth/Superior in the New York Times



Twinned cities now following different paths

Sax-Zim Bog in New York Times

“Welcome to the Sax-Zim Bog,” said our guide, Steve Weston. “Tonight we’ll be going through the towns of Sax and Zim, population nothing.” Moments later we drove by a snow-dusted, abandoned trailer, the front door hanging off one hinge. This was downtown Sax. Zim, a few miles to the north, wasn’t much more. Both are remnants of failed attempts to farm the bog that date back to the early 20th century. Now they are ghost towns surrounded by 200 square miles of wetlands.

In a Minnesota bog, a festival of birds

New York Times Does Drinking in Duluth


Local poet Connie Wanek in New York Times book review

Local poet Connie Wanek’s most recent collection, On Speaking Terms is reviewed in today’s “Poetry Chronicle,” in the New York Times book review.

The end of the review says, “Nobody will call Wanek overly difficult. The most attentive readers will call her wise.”

Here’s to local wisdom without pretensions saying poetry needs to be difficult to be meaningful. I look forward to reading the new collection — you should too!

Mayor Ness in New York Times

The mayor’s jump in the lake to support Google Fiber made a splash in the New York Times. How about that?

Lutsen Mountains: King of the Midwest Hills

Airbourne - New York Times

New York Times story here.