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Parks and Rec Meeting Tonight!


Interested in the St. Louis River Corridor’s future, especially the prospect of using the revenue from the 1/2 and 1/2 tax? Don’t miss the Duluth Parks Commission annual meeting at the Spirit Mountain Grand Avenue Chalet (8551 Grand Ave.) There will be a chance to explore the various projects that have been proposed at 5:30; programming starts at 6 and includes the yearly Parks progress report. The public is encouraged to attend!

Visit With an Artist–Karen Owsley Nease


Here’s a really intriguing interview with a local artist who has found her home in the northlands: Ennyman’s Territory interview.

Here’s a quotation that really drew us in:

The west end of Duluth is undergoing revitalization and we want our gallery to be a part of that. Duluth is unique in its juxtaposition of industry and culture pushed up against the wilderness. It also has a history of craft, artisan and “maker” cultures…

Anyone part of the West End’s maker revival? Whether we’re talking about contemporary art, homemade ketchup, 3-D printers, or artisanally-sewn bags and packs, Lincoln Park is a neighborhood where things are being crafted, and that’s something to get excited about.

A neighborhood hero


Did anybody else see this story out of the Twin Cities today? This neighbor’s courage and presence of mind made all the difference, enabling him to bring ten people, including several small children, out of a house fire to safety. Not everyone is called on to be a community hero in such a dramatic way, but how awesome is it to see that there are people who will put themselves in danger in order to make a difference for others?

Fire warnings all over Minnesota today due to a combination of high wind and low humidity. Be careful out there, Lincoln Park!

On a positive note…


Check out these Denfeld students who are taking a stand against bullying and negativity in their school.

Too often anonymity is an excuse for ripping people apart. How would you use it to build community and encourage your neighbors? What would you write? Here are some notes to highlight from Denfeld:

  • “I bet you have nice socks on.” #minnesotacompliments
  • “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” Words to live by.
  • “Life is short, choose happiness!”
  • “Don’t trade your passion for glory.” (These students weren’t even alive when “Eye of the Tiger” came out…)
  • “Just keep swimming!”
  • “You are loved.”
  • “Be the change!”


Who were the people in your neighborhood?


Here’s a fascinating tool to look into the past of your home, your street, your neighborhood: the 1940 U.S. census records at the National Archives website. You can search or browse by address.

Lincoln Park’s inhabitants included police officers, dockworkers, ministers, homemakers, bookkeepers, mechanics, schoolteachers, waiters and waitresses, salespeople, railroad conductors and engineers, bus drivers, and garment factory workers. Many had been born in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Others had been born in Sweden, Finland, Quebec, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Lithuania…or exotic Arkansas.

Many individuals were recorded as lodgers renting a room in someone’s house or apartment, or someone’s relatives who had come to live with them–none of this “turn the spare bedroom into a home office” business; better to use it for housing an elderly grandparent or a brother-in-law looking for a new job, or for helping pay the rent.

Some of the younger people recorded in the census may still be living in the neighborhood; others would be heading to Europe or the Pacific within a couple of years to fight in World War II, perhaps never to come home. These documents are precious to historians and genealogists because they’re snapshots of who was here on one April afternoon in Lincoln Park, going about their business.

Today in Lincoln Park


December 17, 2014: At the official opening of the KwikTrip store on 27th Ave. West between Michigan and Superior, the Boys and Girls Club and the Northern Lights Foundation received checks to help support the work they’re doing in the community.

nlf    bgc

Design Duluth, Part Deux


Tomorrow, December 10, the Design Duluth Collaborative (the St. Louis River Alliance, Duluth LISC, and the University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture) invite the public to come to Clyde Iron Works for final project presentations by 11 graduate design student teams. Come see what they’re imagining for the St. Louis River corridor! From economic development to food access to environmental design, they’re thinking outside the box for ways to make the river neighborhoods more welcoming places to live, work, learn, and play.

The event goes from 11 am-2 pm in the event space at Clyde Iron. There will be light snacks and refreshments available; at 11 am there will be a short introduction to the program, and afterwards there will be a chance to look at students’ projects and chat with them. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the program had an initial event in October that let students present the sites they were most interested in and get neighborhood input as they worked on narrowing down their projects. If you went to that and were intrigued, come see what they’ve done since!

Tuesday, Two Ways

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There are two very different community events going on tomorrow evening, but they both have the community’s health in mind. Stop by one on your way to the other if you can!

The first: Fair Food Access and Insure Duluth are partnering up to have an open house for local residents who need a little bit of guidance making it through the health insurance sign-up process. There will be food provided, and Northern Expressions Arts Collective will have creative kids’ activities to keep them busy while you navigate the enrollment process. That’s from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Harrison Community Center, 3002 W. 3rd St.

Then head way down Grand Avenue to the Morgan Park Community Center for the monthly meeting on the Morgan Park Community Club. Why would you go if you’re not a MP resident? Tomorrow’s special guests, Susan Johnson and Catie McCoy from the Environmental Protection Agency District 5,  will be discussing plans for the US Steel site cleanup, which will have an impact on all the riverfront neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park. That starts at 6:30, and the address is 1242 88th Avenue West.

A Visit to the MakerSpace

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There’s been a lot of buzz about the new Duluth MakerSpace recently. This former warehouse, located at 3001 W. Superior St., is a space for dreaming big. It’s been a labor of love for the small but dedicated group that has put their own time, money, and enthusiasm into getting this project off the ground. When we stopped by to chat with founders Joe and Miranda, Joe was busy making  an OPEN sign from programmable LED lights, while Miranda was working on resuscitating a laptop computer that needed some serious maker TLC. They were both gearing up for a big Open Make Night event.

We had two big questions for Lincoln Park’s new community workshop, which has offered classes on the Arduino open-source electronics platform, making rubber stamps with a laser cutter, the basics of hand woodworking, and more since they opened up.

Why Lincoln Park? What led you to locate your space in this neighborhood?

Miranda says, “It’s an industrial area already, so we won’t have to worry about making noise! There are lots of areas for R/C planes and quadcopters, too, which is always fun.”

Joe adds that with the local craft businesses and restaurants already here, and the neighborhood’s closeness to downtown, it’s a good fit. The MakerSpace group is excited to be part of Lincoln Park’s renaissance. “If the neighborhood improves, we improve,” he says.

So you have some nifty things to offer the community. What do you need from the community?

“Don’t be scared of this place!” Joe says. “We want science and tech to be awesome, not intimidating.” For the MakerSpace to be a sustainable community asset, people need to get involved. The more members, and the more diversity of experience they bring to the table, the more great things they can make. (A woodworker and a metalworker combined have more possible projects than either does separately.) Memberships are currently available through the winter for $25/month per adult, $35 for couples. This rate is subject to change as more amenities are opened up. As well, there are classes available to both members and nonmembers–the price varies depending on class. If you’re under 18 years of age, you’ll need to be accompanied by an adult. To see their class schedule, click here or check out the Our Lincoln Park calendar, where MakerSpace classes will be listed. There are also volunteer opportunities available at the MakerSpace–but finding members is a top priority.

“When you get more members,” says Joe, “cooler stuff gets done.”

If you’re the sort of person who enjoys fiddling with things to see how they work, if you think taking things apart and putting them back together is fun, and if the words DIY get you excited, stop by for one of their Wednesday evening Open Make events from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and check the space out!

The tree that ate Lincoln Park, Part Deux


The 50-foot spruce tree that we saw making its majestic way down Michigan St. on Friday has found its home for the holidays at Minnesota Power Plaza downtown. NNC has the story for us, and alert reader Richard shared this photo. It may be downtown now, but at least we got the parade first, right?