News tips.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bergson uses veto pen yet again.

Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson will again use his veto pen. This time he said he will veto a resolution that passed 6-3. The resolutions dealt with asking the State of Minnesota to look at repealing a law from 100 years ago. The law is whether or not the lakeside area should have liqueur sold in it .

The Lakeside area is the only place in Duluth you can't go to a bar or a liqueur store. Not only that but restaurants can't even sell it in the Lakeside area.

I guess at this point I think that the Lakeside area should have the ability to sell liqueur in it's commercial zoned areas.

County Board gets a Code of Conduct.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the code of conduct. As many people know a code of conduct is something I have always been against. I have said many times why this is. At this time however I am not going to bring that info forward as I have been asked not to at this point.

All I will say at this point is I would anticipate some comments from a number of people later. Tell this happens I will hold my comments as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New poll

The new poll is up. The question is, do you think Don Ness will make a good mayor? Yes or no are the choses. Scroll down and vote.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tonights council meeting. A long with other items.

I will again be attending the council meeting tonight. Look for a report of the meeting tonight or tomorrow. Tonight's meeting will include two big topics. One will have many resolutions to set the budget. The other is a resolution asking the State to look at reversing the no liquor lances in Lakeside.

These two items will dominate the meeting tonight. I would also maybe expect to hear a little about the clinic in Lakeside. At least if the group that is against it is able to be there.

Again look for a report on the meeting later tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

AFSCME excepts contract.

I have been incredibly busy. I meant to post the day this was excepted but did not get a chance to post. In fact I have had a lot this I have wanted to comment on but that will come soon as well.

The main issue has been my wife has been recovering from surgery. It was a rough weekend last weekend for her, but she dealt with it great.

Now back to a quick note on the contract. I am happy that they have excepted this however I would expect they are not the happiest with it. This is clear by there reaction in the paper. It however is a good contract for both the City of Duluth and there workers.

I will have much more on this later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Big Mistake.

I don't know if you heard about this or not. A Wis. gas station went to change it's price of gas from $3.34 a gallon to $3.33 a gallon, when the clerk did so he mistakenly made a gallon of gas 33 cents.

Here is part of the story from msn to read the whole story.

MINOCQUA, Wis. - Dozens of drivers made a mad rush for cheap gas after a station employee accidentally changed the price to 33 cents a gallon. An employee closing Trig's Minocqua Shell for the night meant to drop the price of gas by 1 cent.

This happened just this weekend. I wonder how many of us would have taken advantage of the mistake. I heard on the radio yesterday that the owner of the gas station was not happy with the customers. " They took advantage of a mistake that was made. I am disappointed in them." The owner said in an interview.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A chicken here and there and maybe in Duluth

Okay first let me say that I agree with the city Attorney Brian Brown. It is illegal to have chickens in the city limits. If you read the ordinance it is very very clear on what we can and can't have in the city limits.

With that said here we go again with yet another very laughable discussion that will take place sooner or later in the council chambers. This is not a pressing issue. It is not important at this time nor should it take up one minute of the councils time. It will and the DNT will talk about it tell they are blue in the face.

There is a story in the DNT today. If you care to read it go here .

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Meet the wife of our new mayor --- Are you serious?

If you saw today's Duluth News Tribune, the lead story was meeting Laura Ness. Are you kidding me? This is the top issue in this country, State, or City.

This is a story that maybe should be in the local section. I however am not sure that this is even news worthy. It sure seems like the DNT will be the Ness pr machine much like it was the Bergson pr machine and any other democrats that want it to be.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Are you kidding me?

Councilor Stewart tried to take a tax off the books for the City of Duluth. The tax is a for 1% that goes to develop public art. It unfortunately did not pass.

I guess that is not what the big deal for me was. What got me was what councilor Ness said. The discussion talked about how other people could afford art and such. Mr. Ness said that some I support the tax, it should not be a surprise. Not every one can afford are so this gives them the chance to enjoy it. What the implication was that people are going to take a picture and then hang it on there wall and call it art. If they did not do that then they would just stand were this art is for 24 hours and admire it. Give me a break.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

first winter storm

Well the first storm came and went. The reported snow fall is 12 inches in Duluth. 5 or 6 inches in Superior.

I did not hear of any major accidents. I know that the DTA ran as normal. The cabs pulled off of the streets.

Duluth Citizen Blog.

Duluth Citizens blog is back and up and running. There is a new owner to the blog and he is looking for help. If you would like to be a moderator go to the blog and leave a message. I am sure he will get back to you.

Sharla Gardner

I have gotten a ton of emails asking what I thought of Sharla quiting her job once she takes over as city councilor. I have not made any comments on this as of yet. This is by design.

I have wanted to wait tell after she take office. When this happens just after the new year I will make my comments on the issue.

Friday, November 30, 2007

New poll is up.

The new poll is up. Check it out, it is new the bottom of the page. Scroll on down and vote!!!!

Mayor elect Ness showed his true colors.

Mayor elect Don Ness ran his campaign on bringing the community together. He also said that he will bring responsible spending back to city hall. Mayor elect Ness showed his true colors at the council meeting Monday night.

He showed that all of his promises were just that. He could care less about the average Duluthain. He is just going to spend your money and tax you out of your house. That was made way to clear on Monday night. The mayor elect did nothing but vote to raise our taxes and increase utility rates. The taxes will not benefit us at all either. They raised storm water run off by 17% and sewer rates went up 11%. Never gave a reason to why he voted the way he did. Like it or not that is what you get.

I wonder if this silent but deadly treatment is what he will take into the Mayor's office. If this is the type of Mayor he will be then we are in for a long four years. We may want to hang on to our wallets. The type of mayor that is needed now is one that can and is willing to work with a limited budget. To this point it is very clear that Mr. Ness is not willing to do this.

What is clear is that he wants to raise taxes so the city has money to fund unneeded things. These projects may indeed be good, however when you don't have the money you need to take a look at if they are needed.

He showed this again on Monday night with two other votes. One of the two votes was to not override the Mayors veto of the housing investment fund. Whether the fund is a good thing or not is debatable. I think it is in theory but I have some issues with it. Mr. Ness did not vote in favor or over ridding the veto because he thinks the project is a good one. It also helps many people out.

This is true however when we are in a budget crisis we need to focus on the core issues. I hate to say it but this is far from a core issue. The fact of the matter is our streets and sewers are falling a part. The police along with other emergency services are in need of man power and equipment.

The second vote was on if we should conduct yet another feasibility study for a high speed train to connect Duluth with the Cities. The study only cost us tax payers a small amount of $40,000 dollars.

Keep in mind we have already had three studies done. All of them said the project would not be a good one for Duluth to get involved in. I guess it is a classic case of "if you don't succeed; try, try again". This time we can all rest assured that the study will have the "right" results. The study will be conducted by the railroad authorities from many counties.

Mr. Ness said this was a critical vote and we need to support it because we have in the past. It is the wave of the future he said. Calling for a huge come back for trains.

Simple fact of the matter is this project will just be yet another fish tank . I mean G.L.A. ( Great Lakes Aquarium). The numbers will fall well short of the predictions and we will do nothing but subsidise the train.

Post coming.

I am working on a couple of posts regarding Monday night's council meeting. They are going to be must reads so come back and check them out.

These post are taking longer then I wanted but it will be worth your time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new blog

A new blog is up. It is going to focus on bring tid bits from blogs ran about Duluth to one area. This will alolow you to check out what people are saying quick. Then if you you wnat to you can read there whole thoughts on that blog when you get a chance to.

The hope is as well that it will bring bloggers closer together

Unfoutantly Mayor elect Ness is serious.

When I first this comment on Perfect Day Duluth I thought he can't be serious about this one. The comment deals with increasing our taxes. To read the whole story he tells click on the link above.

Now it comes out that it is not one of the first things he wants to do when he gets in the mayors office. He is already starting the ball on it\. It was on last nights agenda but did not get mentioned. It stayed on the table. These are the type of project we can't afford to be getting involved in at this time. Not only that but I don't see why we should pay more taxes to make the city a music and art town.

I am all for the music and arts however if they want something then they need to go get it, by them self's. Raise money do what it takes but stay out of the tax payers pockets.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is this Councilor serious?

I don't know if you got the chance to watch or listen to the council meeting tonight. There were a number of things that I could not believe were coming out of some of the councilors mouth. This is just one of them.

They were talking about a resolution to override the mayors veto from this last week. It was dealing with funding for housing investment fund. Well the discussion was going on council President Russ Stover implied that we should pay more in taxes for our roads. When an easement is done the citizen's should pick up more of it then they do, Stover said.

I can't believe he expects us to pay more of what a city is to provide. He believes funding the housing fund, fish tanks ect... is more important the our roads, police, fire. This is basically what councilor Stover said. It is unbelief able one would think this way.

Sorry for no post

I apologize for not posting at all this last week. However a couple of things happened first my Grandma passes away on Monday. This was the main reason for not posting.

Here is were I need to say a couple of things. Even when my grandma was 90 years old. Never take life for granted you never know when your day will come. Keep your family close to your heart at all times. Grandma thanks for the great times we had. You will be missed.

Thank you to those have send there prays and well wishes already. They mean so much at a time of lose.

The second reason for no post this week is a little thing called Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a great one.

Just for the record the funeral is tomorrow so I may not get a chance to post.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Meeting canceled.

Tonight's Duluth City Council meeting has been canceled. The special meeting was have the council vote on accepting the contract. That would then put the ball in the AFSCME union court. If would force them to make a move.
The union would have three choices vote on the contract now. Either except it, don't except it, go on strike.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"We are watching"

We are watching the group that is supposedly watching the St. Louis County board. The group is nothing but a joke.

I have never seen such a politically motivate group hit behind an issue. The issue they are hiding behind is the harassment. The group claims that some members have had issue's with this. Yet nothing has been proven and they have had ample time to prove it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This story is why we don't name wild animals.

Okay here is why we don't name wild animals or make friends with them.

After all it is deer season. Gook Luck hunters.

Saved a life today?

I may have saved some ones life today. A male in his 20's came in to my place of work today. He asked to use a the phone. I dialed the number he wanted me to and he said this in a message.

hey it's ( the persons name) I respect what you said, but I am going to Chester bowl and we will see what happens from there. I care about you guys.

This male that entered the store was out of it. He was walking very strange and he could hardly stand. His eyes we have shut.

I called 911 right away after he left the store and said I think a guy is going to commit suicide. I then went on to tell the dispatcher what had happened. He said they would get a cop out to look and if needed they would get back in contact with me.

When I left work today I had not heard anything. I hope they were able to find the gentleman and give him the help he needs at this point. I lost a friend a number of years ago well in boy scouts to suicide and it is not a good thing. I have also had friends that have wanted to kill them self's in points of there lives. It is something I don't fully understand. I sure do understand about being down but not so badly you think you should not be on this earth.

From the time I lost my friend in scouts I have said I am going to do everything I can to watch out for my friends and people in general. Many times the signs are very hard to spot. This time it was easy to see this guy was at least thinking about committing suicide.

I hope what I did today was a good thing and I hope it works out for this person.

If I hear anything I will pass it along. I have some more thoughts that will come in a different post.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Duluth Citizens blog shuts down?

What is up with that. Just hours ago I was there and now as of 7 p.m. todnight there is a message saying they have stopped the blog. they claim that there was no presure from anyone but I wonder if that if true.

If anyone has any info please let me know. If you wish it not to be published just say so and I will not publish it. You can contact me at

New Poll is up.

A new poll is up. The poll askes this, Are you happy with the election results?

Again the poll is near the bottom of the page.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New things.

A couple of new things for this blog. There is now a poll, It will change weekly, however this one is only good for a couple of more days. This question deals with the mayors race. Who will you support? Charlie Bell, Don Ness or a write in. It is near the bottom of the page with the links.

Speaking of links I have a new blog Team Rathe bowling, clearly it is about bowling. I have added it to a new link to pages also near the bottom of the page. I will be adding other links to this area as well. If you want to check out the new blog here is the link There is not much there yet as I just started it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I found this funny.

Well travailing a couple weekends ago to Fountain Bay, I saw some interesting signs here in town. The one I found most interesting was a political sign for Jeff Anderson. Now I have seen his bill boards but not this one tell then.

What it says is this. It's time for a change vote Jeff Anderson. At least close to that. Here is what is funny. If he is elected nothing will change. He brings what the current council already is. He would just be another yes vote for everything wrong with Duluth.

when we returned home we had a piece of mail that read the same as the billboard did. All I did was laugh and toss it away.

Predictions: School Baord 2nd district.

This race could be an interesting race. It pits long time candidate for political offices Harry Welty against Judy Seliga-Punyko.

I don't know much about Judy. I have meet her once when she ran for school board four years ago. Other then a very brief conversation with her I can say to much about her stands. I know she is for the red plan with out a vote. I will do a search and try to find a web page were I can get more info about her. Look for more info to come soon on her.

It appears as if Judy has been on boards and such for the school board to plan long range activities for the school district. She also has been a lobbyist for the school district on the state and Federal levels. Here is a link to the story: . Once there you can also read Harry Welty's interview.

It seems to me that Judy is more concerned about the buildings then the students.

Harry Welty was a board member for 10 years. Well on the board he showed great understand for the issues that came up for a vote.

Those that have read this blog for a while will know Harry and I don't agree politically offend. I have however a new respect sense I interviewed him back when he ran for congress in '06.

Harry has a great grasp on many issues. His experience with the school board is second only to current board member Tim Grover. Harry is running this time mainly because he is against the red plan. He believes like many do we should be able to vote on the plan.

The paper has endorsed Judy for this race. What will DP do?

I don't believe this race will be that close. I am thinking along the lines of a 60-40 %.

My vote would be: Harry Welty

Prediction: Harry Welty

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Crime in Duluth

Regarless of what the DNT says crime in Duluth is up. Mr. Bell is right we are attracting the less desiralbes that other communitys don't want.

More to come later.

Election Predictions: School Board 3rd district.

I will kick off my predictions with this school board race. There will continue tell we reach the mayor's race. I will try to do a couple a day or so. Please remember my predicted winner is not nessicerly who I am voting for that will be included in the post however.

The third district Duluth School board race pits two candidates that have ran against each other before. Current board member Tim Grover and challenger Deb Anderson. These two candidates faced off four years ago. Were Mr. Grover won re-election.

Time Grover: A long time board member. By far the longest sitting member on the board. His experience with school related issues is second to none. Mr. Grover has seen the ups and the downs of the Duluth Public schools as a board member and has dealt with them very very adequately.

Deb Anderson: Has little experience dealing with school issues. She was however employed by the school district for a long time before retiring just a short time ago. Deb looks to bring her views of what is bad with the district to the board. She has an agenda.

Both candidates are against the red plan. Both feel that we have the right to vote on the issue.

It seem like Mr. Grover is not out that pounding the pavement. Well Mrs: Anderson is working hard her signs out number Mr. Grover big time. I don't know if it is a lack of interest on Mr. Grover's part or just feeling defeated.

As this is my district I would ask you all to support Tim Grover his experience and knowledge is second to none. He has done nothing to hurt the district he is one of the few that has worked to keep us a float.

My vote: Time Grover

Prediction: Deb Anderson

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More thoughts to come tomorrow.

More thoughts on the debate and much more tomorrow.

Heather Rand interview ( 3rd district council race.)

Response to Candidate Questions posted by Duluth Needs Help - 10/07

1. My name is Heather Rand and I am a candidate for the Duluth City Council 3rd District seat which represents both the center part of the city and the larger city as a whole. I am employed as the State of Minnesota’s regional Business & Community Developer, working in all 7 counties of NE Minnesota for the last 3 plus years to help businesses that pay good wages expand their business operations and add employees. Prior to this, I was employed by Minnesota Power for years and I have worked as Asst. County Administrator in St. Louis County and as an asst. city administrator. I believe having both this private and public sector management experience makes me a more valuable candidate to Duluth. I am 44 years old. I am a Cloquet High School graduate, but have purposely chosen to make Duluth my home for over 18 years now. I serve on the city of Duluth’s Planning Commission, Higher Education Commission, and Heritage & Preservation Commission currently. I am very committed to Duluth. I also served as chair of the Duluth Comprehensive land Use Citizen Committee of 27 Duluthians that developed the unanimously adopted Comp. Plan.

2. I decided to run for office because I was disappointed with the spending decisions a majority of the existing city council were supporting on non-essential projects, especially given the city’s dire fiscal situation as a result of the retiree health care obligation and LGA cuts. Duluth has not been providing the basic essential city services (street maintenance, snow plowing, police & fire protection) at levels the taxpayers deserve. My skills set and sound fiscal judgment (I’m more fiscally conservative than a majority of the existing city council) will better reflect the interests of the average taxpayer in Duluth. I also decided to run to insure that the 3rd district has good council representation for it’s neighborhoods and business districts, and so that I will be in a better position to advocate for implementation of the City of Duluth’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan which will provide us with smarter land use decision making tools going forward.

3. I have not sought nor received any special interest group endorsements. My opponent has many special interest group endorsements including AFSME, a union that represents 2/3 of the city employees. I believe this is a conflict of interest, especially given she is an AFSME union member herself and serves on the AFSME leadership council. You can’t represent a broad base of Duluth citizen’s interests and have this conflict of perspective as a city councilor. I am prepared to represent the broader majority of Duluthians interests.

4. See above

5. The number one issue facing the city is solving the Retiree Health Care obligation because if not controlled, the obligation continues to grow and eat up our tax payer dollars that could otherwise go to providing essential city services (street maintenance, snow plowing, community policing, fire protection, etc.).

6. Crime is a major issue for the city and especially in the 3rd District. While some crimes have decreased, assaults and property crimes have increased. In the hillside, people don’t feel safe. On Park Point they complain of speeders and in Canal Park and downtown they are concerned about panhandlers and loiterers. Around the college campuses, the concern is loud parties and illegal, dangerous parking and driving. It’s clear to me that the city needs to spend more tax payer dollars on community policing and related law enforcement activities.

7. We can reduce crime by adding police officers including community police officers and by insuring that our city ordinances and state laws have the teeth they need to clearly tackle criminal behaviors. We need to add a city grant writer to pursue more federal and national grants for funds to support our police department.

8. Our park system has not been properly maintained. We must allow for reasonable changes in city ordinances, policies and our city civil service system to allow citizens to volunteer to assist with park maintenance.

9. I support a code of conduct for city councilors and mayor that includes sexual harassment policies if indeed one does not exist in various sections of the city charter. This is done in other large cities, counties, at the state level and most companies in the private sector.

10. I believe Duluth has made great strides in providing affordable housing in the last 3-5 years and I’m not convinced a large need still exists. Times change, markets change, supply and demand change. I would like to see more home ownership and support non-profit efforts along these lines like the work of NHS.

11. To solve the Duluth unfunded health care liability for retirees, the city needs to encourage retirees to accept the same health care plan as employees which has co-pays, reasonable deductibles and less administration costs. The city must also bid out the plan’s administrator to reduce costs and hire a professional actuarial so that we can estimate the obligation given employee concessions and utility rate increases and other measures that have already occurred.

12. Businesses will continue to come to Duluth and existing businesses will expand as long as the city has demonstrated it has it’s financial house in order by resolving the retiree health care obligation, not raising taxes and utility rates and fees sky high and not burdening Duluth businesses with extra-ordinary rules and regulations that hamper their completion in the free market. Businesses need good roads to move their goods to market, good police and fire protection services, and access to a quality of workforce to thrive. The city must work with others to accomplish the above.

13. Duluth should focus on supporting the growth of our existing businesses and their suppliers first. This includes Cirrus Design, Northstar Aerospace, health care industry, transportation industry (airport, rail, trucking, port) precision manufacturing like Ikonics and Hydrosolutions Inc., and its downtown retail/business service hubs. Right now, the regional economic developers are working to recruit additional businesses that compliment and even strengthen our existing economic base. This includes wind turbine component manufacturing, bio-diesel plants, high tech service providers, other aviation manufacturers and parts suppliers, among others.

14. Young folks will stay in Duluth if it’s an inviting, safe community where they can find appropriate employment opportunities and affordable housing. As baby boomers retire, more employment opportunities will become available than every before to young people. They need to make certain in high school that they have a plan for gaining the skills that will enable them to perform in those jobs. The city’s involvement in this workforce development with other city/county/state/private sector partners is crucial as that will be a win for businesses productivity and win for individual prosperity and opportunity. Helping our higher education (CSS, DBU, UMD, LSC, etc.) students better connect with what Duluth has to offer in terms of neighborhoods, parks, housing, community events, and employment opportunities via mentorships will increase the odds that those students when graduating will stay in Duluth.

15. I consider renters an important part of the community. Renters deserve a safe place to live and must be held to the same standards of good neighborly behavior as non-renters in our neighborhoods. Police enforcement and consistent code compliance by city staff is key to achieving this. Cracking down on absentee or slum landlords, nuisance parties, illegal parking and other illegal behaviors will improve and maintain our Duluth quality of life in traditional family neighborhoods. Funding more law enforcement (police) and building safety/code compliance resources will be required of the city of Duluth to better meet these challenges going forward. The current administration’s hiring freeze has meant we are operating with 4 fewer city building safety employees due to retirements in the last year or so, and less police patrolling our city and more police overtime costs. Our neighborhoods and the city’s budget which impacts our property taxes, have suffered as a result of this.

Live Blog of Mayor's debate at CSS.

8:23 Time to leave CSS however there will be more to come about this debate tonight and much more as well.

8:15 Many comments are rolling in from you can tell that those college students that did not have questions put in there hands by special interest group and those that did. those that did not are talking about the real issues that students are concerned about. Such as Jobs, a good wage, Students and residents relations. Those that were put there our agreed to ask a special interest question are standing around talking to only the special interest people.

7:58 The debate is now over keep it here for much more. We will have comments from those that are here live.

7:56 It is now time for closing statements. Mr. Ness is first. Much like his opening statement he is not saying much. He is saying that his involvement in city government is the big difference.

Mr. Bell followers with his closing statement. Mr. Bell closing statement is about leadership.

7:54 I have noticed that Michelle Lee has no problem cutting off Mr. Bell but will not cut of Mr. Ness when his time is up.

7:51 A question of funding for the DFD has game up. Both candidates seem to think that the DFD is funded. Mr.Ness said that the DFD should get involved in different aspects.

7:50 Charlie Bell seems to want to change everything. I think he is going to far with change. does the city need change? Yes, however everything is not bad in Duluth. It seems like tonight that is what Charlie is saying. It seems like most everything is negative.

7:35 You can tell that questions have been forced to ask by special interest groups. More on that soon.

7:22 They are now asking questions from the audience. The first question was asked a by a CSS student that happens to be some one I know well. He the son of a local business owner.

The question was do you support the events that have been going on with college students.

Just a reminder if you have a comment or question please post it when you can. I will give you a live response.

7:18 The question came up if city employees should be able to sit on the council. Both candidates said that it is okay as long as they look at conflicts of interest votes.

7:14 city services comes up as a question. Both candidates said they need to look at if the city should provide some services. These would include a Zoo, golf courses ect....

Mr. Ness said in effect that we need to look at weather the city has been doing an good job of providing that service. Mr. Bell said that it has been the city's fault. We have not help the systems up in good conditions.

7:05 The debate has started. It started with the moderate Micheal Lee coming on and thanking people for joining and such. She then introduced the panel that would ask questions. The panel included former mayor Gary Doty. More on the panel later.

They then had opening statements. Mr. Bell went first. Followed by Mr.Ness. Were Mr. Ness implied that he knows more then Mr. Bell does.

The first question dealt with the casino and when it comes up for renegotiation with the tribe in 2010.

6:52: The candates are in place and we are getting ready to hit the air.

Just a quick note please feel free to leave a comment about the coverage or if you have a question I can answer live I will do that as well.

6:37 p.m. : Welcome to Duluth Politics live blog of tonight's very important debate. Tonight's debate is being help at the CSS.

The candidates are both here. Mr. Ness and Mr. Bell look ready to take part in yet another debate in this long political season. The crowd is also starting to file in. It looks like it will be a good turn out for a crowd.

Keep it here for all the info on tonight debate. More to come in a few minutes. Remember the coverage will continue after the debate is over with comments from people who are here in attendance tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I have been very busy. I will try to post at least twice a week, and more if possible.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New sign, a SIGN of things to come?

Duluth mayoral candidate Don Ness has new signs. I have seen a few of them out around town. I thought at first no big deal. It may still remain that way but I don't think so.

The new signs has an air plane fliing over the city behind the plane. Now my thought is this. The last thing I want to see for real is a plane fliing around Duluth with a banner behind vote Don Ness for mayor, or any other candidate for that matter.

I however would not put it passed this campaign to use this stunt.

Ness/ Bell debate.

This is my conversation on another forum. Duluth Solutions,

The conversation is about the debate the Mr. Ness asked for and Mr. Bell declined to take part in.

From Duluth Solutions:

On a local level I find it very questionable that a candidate asks for a debate. Normally the debates and forums are set up by groups.

I find Ness asking for a debate to be wrong. I also find it wrong to be on a specific issue. Ness however is smart enough to realize that he has been in the fold of the retiree health care issue, ( part of the problem), well Mr. Bell has only been involved to the extend of any other Duluth Citizen. Yes he may know more then some people but not as much as Mr. Ness does.

I agree with Mr. Bell that it was a political game. Now do I think one hand that he should have taken on the debate? Maybe, but if he was to do so he would have had to move with caution.

Most post to come tonight. It has been an interest weekend and week so far.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clean campaign?

This statement is off Don Ness's blog. What is the diffence of this comment made by him and the one Mr. Bell made about people have there [riority's striaght? Can some one please explain it to me. If you don't know Mr. Ness if talking about a local blog called perfect day duluth. PDD's please note this is not a slam on you it is a question about a comment Mr. Ness made.

I hear all this talk of a postive run yet I don't see it. In fact I what I see is two peopple running the same type of campaign. You mae the deciosion is if it clean or not.

"What I like most about Perfect Duluth Day is that most of the people there love Duluth. These folks find what is unique and authentic about our city and then they take the time to celebrate it. PDD is also worth celebrating - thanks to all who contribute to its spirit."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I will be posting as news comes up. Also as things that I think are importain pop up as well. However for now I will be consentracting on the interviews.

Check back and see what is new with DP.

No more Duluth Athletic Club.

As reported the DNT

The DAC will not reopen after water damage in late September. It is two bad the DAC was a great alternative to Grandmas and those types or restaurants. I will miss the DAC and wish they would reconsider.

I alwasys enjoyed it there, great food and never had a problem with service.

Sharla Gardner interview ( 3rd disctrict council seat.)

Hrere is Sharla Gardners interview. Don Ness's interview will not be moved to the interview page you can view it there. We still have a number of interviews out there being filled out by candidates.

Personal information (name, interest, ECT…..)?
My name is Sharla Gardner, I am a widow with 2 grown children and I live on the East Hillside . My interests are wide and varied - history, travel, gardening, music (I am an amateur musician), creative and technical writing, community theatre and, last, but not least, working with our community to create better lives for everyone.

2. Why did you decide to run for office?
Aside from the urging of the incumbent, Russ Stewart and others, I decided to run because it is my duty as a citizen to step forward and serve the community on behalf of the interests of all of the people of the District. Since our District is so diverse, culturally and economically, we need to be represented by a person who understands the dynamics of the District and will work with all the different groups.

Do you have any special interest supporting you? If so which groups?

However, I’d like to talk about what is meant by “special interests”. For instance, the leadership of the Chamber of Commerce is not supporting me, although many of their members who own small businesses in the District ARE supporting me. The Chamber is a special interest, and that organization, for this election, has chosen not to endorse candidates; but their leadership is definitely contributing monies and providing support to certain candidates. This year, the term special interest is code for unions. Personally, I think the term “special interests”, especially the way it’s being used this year, is extremely divisive and hurts our community. How can we work together to solve serious problems when some community organizations are singled out and labeled as “special interests”? We all have to work somewhere and if you look at the current make up of the council, there are many different “special interests”. For instance, there are 2 attorneys on the council, 2 landlords, a person with disabilities, a union employee, an electrician, a businessman working for Gold Cross and a person who worked for our congressman and is currently working for a private foundation. With that said, I am proud of the support of my colleagues and the labor unions that represent workers in construction, hospitality, government and other industries. I think all working people, whether they belong to a union or not, deserve more representation on the Council and I will provide that representation.

Do you believe this support will be benefits you? If so how?
Yes. A vibrant labor movement benefits the community by lifting the standards for all workers. Whether labor support benefits me politically is of less concern to me.

5. What is the number one issue facing the city today?
The retiree health care issue is very important, but can be solved by fully implementing the 14 recommendations of the Retiree Health Care Task Force. One of the major factors in the Task Force recommendations is timing. Each day implementation is delayed, it’s costing us money. Once this is done, we must prioritize basic city services, particularly public safety, including neighborhood community policing.

6. Do you believe crime is a major issue facing Duluth ?
Yes. That is why we must fully restore the neighborhood community policing program. This program is tried and true. It works because the police officers are known within the community and people feel free to approach them with problems AND their presence is a great deterrent to criminals.

7. What can we do reduce crime in the City?
In the short-term, as I said earlier, we must fully staff neighborhood community policing. In the long-term, the best way to reduce crime is by providing better job opportunities, especially those with wages in the mid-range. A wise person once said that the best anti-poverty and anti-crime program is a good job. Another, often overlooked crime prevention/reduction solution, is to get to know your neighbors. Becoming involved with our neighborhoods and our community and looking out for each other, is a major component in building community and reducing crime. We’re in great danger of becoming an isolated society, using our computers and televisions as our ways of communicating and interaction with the outside world. This isolation promotes unwarranted fear. There is no substitute for human contact, neighborliness and community.

8. What would you do to improve the city park system?
Duluth has one of the best park systems found anywhere. Unfortunately, we don’t always maintain it as well as we should. We need to take better care of what we have, which will save us money in the long run. I also want to take this opportunity to recognize the many good people in our District who volunteer to take care of our parks and cleaning them up. It’s not fair to expect them to do that, but they deserve our respect and appreciation.

9. Would you support a code of conduct for the Duluth City Council and Mayor that included sexual harassment policies? Why or why not?
Yes. Elected officials should be held to the same standards as city employees. Period.

10. Do you think Duluth needs more affordable housing? If so how do you accomplish this?
In light of the current problems with the housing market nationally, we need to be careful to not overbuild and create a surplus in our local housing market. However, Duluth does have a shortage of decent affordable rental housing, in particular. We must continue to work with private developers and community housing organizations to promote affordable and decent rental housing and make sure that existing rentals are kept up to code.

11. How do you solve the Duluth unfunded health care issue? (Bet you thought you would not have to answer this again).
Please refer to question #5. In addition, it’s important we understand that each day we delay implementing the recommendations is costing us money. The timelines that the task force recommended in 2005 have not been honored and that’s causing even greater financial liability. I’ve concluded a major reason the timelines have been ignored is because a couple of local politicians used this issue for political gain. This divisive rhetoric has deeply harmed and divided our community. It’s been needlessly hurtful and it needs to stop now. I note that the News Tribune published the Arbitrator’s decision in full regarding the Police Officers union’s contract on Friday, October 12th. It is about 36 pages long-very interesting and illuminating reading. The more informed people are about this issue, the less likely they are to believe divisive, untrue, political rhetoric. As citizens, we should be emailing our city councilors and asking what they will do to avoid additional delays.

12. Any other information you would like to share?
Our neighborhoods need to become more sustainable and attractive. The reason I love living on the East Hillside is because of all the neighborhood businesses that are within walking distance or a short drive. When I need something, I don’t have to drive all the way to the mall – I can go to the Plaza, Daugherty’s, Canal Park or the Co-op. If I want to eat out, I can go to the Burrito Union or Chester Creek CafĂ© (just outside of the district, but close enough). I’d like to see more neighborhood business develop that are culturally specific. The VeBene’ restaurant and the Italian Import store next to it are good examples of that kind of specialization that will add charm and interest, as well as dollars to our local economy.

13. What would do to bring business to Duluth ?
As a city councilor, I will work with whoever is elected Mayor to develop creative ways to bring mid-range jobs to Duluth . We must be more forward thinking and creative with the kinds of businesses we want to attract. Our hospitality industry is booming, as are the Medical Centers. We need manufacturing jobs, that pay salaries between $14 and $20 per hour, because these are the jobs that bring people out of poverty and that help them get a decent start in life.

14. What kind of business should Duluth focus on bringing here?
Please see #13 and, I would add, I’d like to see green collar jobs, such as a wind turbine manufacturing plant and green professional jobs, that develop alternative forms of energy in Duluth . These are the career opportunities of the future, and they will not detract from our quality of life and cannot be outsourced to another country.

15. How do we keep our young people in Duluth ?
Make sure there are jobs that pay decent wages AND make sure they are hired for them. When I’ve been doorknocking, people have expressed frustration about the fact they graduated from UMD, but don’t get the jobs they are qualified for. People are being imported from other cities. We have a wealth of talented, well educated young people who have made career sacrifices to live here because it’s their hometown and because of our excellent quality of life. We need to make sure they’re employed. The workforce of Duluth is one of our greatest and most valuable resource.

16. What thoughts do you have on renters vs. the community?
Renters are not bad people. Many people prefer to rent and not own a home for a number of reasons – many relating to time and interest and career demands. Being a home owner takes time and energy and many career people prefer to rent. We shouldn’t forget them – they are desirable neighbors and good citizens. These folks are one of the reasons I addressed the issue of decent, affordable rentals in an earlier question. However, I think this question refers to student rentals and so I will address that component as well. Student rentals are a problem, often because of the parking issue. I think our rental ordinance addresses that problem, in part, but it remains, because the existing rentals were grandfathered in. We must engage the university administration to help with solving the problem their growth policies have created in our neighborhoods. We must also make sure that problem houses (party houses) are reported to the police consistently and we must request that the police ticket these houses, in a consistent fashion. By that, I mean informing the landlord, issuing a warning the first time, ticket with a fine the 2nd time, and, if there’s a 3rd time, the landlord will be penalized, as well.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pick your candidate for Prez.

Here is a quize to help pick who you will vote for. Here is the site, .

My results below:

Tom TancredoScore: 49
AgreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriage
DisagreeEnergyDeath Penalty

Duncan HunterScore: 40
AgreeTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriageDeath Penalty

Fred ThompsonScore: 40
AgreeTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriageDeath Penalty

Sam BrownbackScore: 37
AgreeTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriage
DisagreeIraqImmigrationEnergyDeath Penalty

John McCainScore: 36
AgreeTaxes Stem-Cell ResearchHealth Care Abortion Social Security Line-Item Veto Energy Death Penalty
Disagree Iraq Immigration Marriage

Jim GilmoreScore: 34
AgreeTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareSocial SecurityMarriageDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationAbortionLine-Item VetoEnergy

Mike HuckabeeScore: 33Video
AgreeStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriageDeath Penalty

Mitt RomneyScore: 27
AgreeTaxesHealth CareLine-Item VetoMarriageDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationStem-Cell ResearchAbortionSocial SecurityEnergy

Ron PaulScore: 25
AgreeTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionEnergy
DisagreeIraqImmigrationSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoMarriageDeath Penalty

Rudy GiulianiScore: 22
AgreeTaxesHealth CareSocial SecurityDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationStem-Cell ResearchAbortionLine-Item VetoEnergyMarriage

Joe BidenScore: 11
AgreeSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionEnergyMarriage

Bill RichardsonScore: 6Video
AgreeLine-Item VetoDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityEnergyMarriage

Barack ObamaScore: 3Video
AgreeDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoEnergyMarriage

John EdwardsScore: 3Video
AgreeDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoEnergyMarriage

Hillary ClintonScore: 3
AgreeDeath Penalty
DisagreeIraqImmigrationTaxesStem-Cell ResearchHealth CareAbortionSocial SecurityLine-Item VetoEnergyMarriage

No News but .....

No news as of late but there will be with tonight's council meeting stay turned.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I need to be clear about something here. It seems like there maybe some confusion. I have given all candidates a chance to take part in these interviews. Just because I have posted some ones interview it does not mean I am endorsing them.

I am again giving everyone the chance to take part. I believe it is importain to know the candidates and that is what I want people to be aware of.

Interview number one: Don Ness (Mayor's Race)

Personal information (name, interest, ECT…..)?

Don Ness, 33, husband and father of two. I work for the Zeppa Foundation as their Director of Programming and Policy. I am a life-long Duluth resident and I currently own a home just 5 blocks from where I grew up in the Hillside neighborhood.

Do you have any special interest supporting you? If so which groups?

We have endorsements from two organizations the Duluth Building Trades and the local DFL party.

Do you believe crime is a major issue facing Duluth? What can be done to solve it?

Safety in our neighborhoods has long been a strength in Duluth. We need to be sure that it remains a true advantage in the competition for jobs, investment, and people. Community policing is my primary funding priority in city government because it allows for pro-active police work that is vital in protecting our quality of life.

What can you do to bring business to Duluth? What industries should we focus on?

I believe that by creating and investing in a workforce development system in Duluth that we can create real value for employers in our area. The strength and talent of our workforce will become our most prominent advantage in attracting business to Duluth and to encouraging growth in our core industry sectors: aviation, health care, and light manufacturing.

How should the unfunded health care liability be solved?

I'm proud of my leadership role in establishing the Retiree Health Care Task Force and my advocacy of implementing that plan in a timely basis. There is still much work that needs to be done and I'm committed to putting the full plan in place by the end of 2008.
What can we do to keep our young people in Duluth?

So much of our future success in Duluth will be determined by the quality of young people that we are able to convince to make their home in Duluth. We should be deliberate about identifying those young people who will bring real value to their work place and their community and convince them to invest themselves in our community. We need to do a better job of providing opportunities - economic, cultural, and social opportunities - so that those talented young people don't feel a need to leave Duluth to find them.

Note: Don may pass more along to me. If he does I will post it here.

Interview update #2

I have now heard from a number of candidates. They have been sent the questions when they send them back I will post them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Interview update.

I have heard from two candidates so far. I think I what I am going to do is get questions together and email them to those who have already replied and get them up asap. Also don't forget you can have your question asked here as well. You can email me the question(s) you have and I will ask them.

The post

Here is more info on the "the post" it is taking some time because there is more and more info coming out about it. What is it?

The county board. I have many comments coming on the issues it has been facing as of late. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I have emailed every remaining council candidates and mayor candidate for interviews. I hope they will take part. I also hope you will as well. If you have a question you would like to ask please email me at or just leave a comment here.

Here is a copy of the email sent out tonight to the candidates.

Hi everyone:

John Rathe here, I wanted to again say congrats to you all for making it passed the primary. Regardless of our political believes every one of you is an out standing person. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you all better. I also enjoyed the debate and conversation on how to make Duluth better. I hope that is what your campaigns will focus on.

Now on to the point of my email. I am writing because I would like to know if you would be interested in doing an interview on my blog. Many of you know by now that I run a blog called Duluth Politics, the web address is

The interview will be a number of questions that I will send via email. The interview will not be changed in any way. This includes spelling and grammar. I don’t want to be accused of altering an answer. The interview will include questions that I have. It will also hopefully include questions from the readers of the blog,

I hope you see this to be a great opportunity to reach even more voters. I also hope you see this as a fair process.

Please get back to me ASAP. I am drawing up questions now and will start sending them out soon. I will be doing this in some order. What it is not sure yet. We will have a few days on the mail page for each council race and mayors race. It will then be put on the interview page were people can still read the interview. Again I hope you are interested in this process. Please let me by email,


John Rathe

I am also looking to gives this opportunity to the school board candidates. I need email address for them however if any one knows please email that to me as well. The process will be decided after I get a response from people so I know who I have and don't have to do a spotlight on.

State smoking ban.

Note I started this post yesterday that is why it say's today and not yesterday.

Today marks a black day for Minnesota business’s because of the State smoking ban. As you may or may not know today marks the first day of the State wide smoking ban. If you have read this blog in the past you know I am against smoking bans. I have never favored one, nor do I expect to ever do so.

One reason some groups liked this is because it said it made if fair for all of Minnesota. What they seem to forget is it does not make if fair to those city’s (such as Duluth) that are next to a different State. It is unrealistic to believe that smokers and non-smokers will not go to these other States. As a non smoker I believe people have a choice. I will support those cities and States that still leave it up to the people. This means I will go to Superior more then likely to eat or drink.

This is about protecting business and peoples rights.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Still working on the post.

I am still working on the post that I promised. I am also now working on a second great post I hope to have one or both up tonight.

Life has been so busy as of late. It is hard to get things done.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Post will come tomorrow.

The post I have been talking about will have to wait tell tomorrow. I am still checking on a few things and want to have all my info right.

very interesting post, coming soon

I will not say what it is yet but it should be an interesting post. I hope to have it up tonight if not tomorrow. I am gong to do my best to get it up tonight because I think it needs to be aired. I do have a birthday party to go to this early evening and hope to be back around seven and then get it up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heart Walk

The heart walk is this Saturday if you would like to Spencer me I would appreciate it. Please reply or give me a call at 590-5864. Checks would be out to the American Heart assation.

Who said this?

" If you don't like your taxes buy a smaller house".

Here is a clue. It was in a local race but it was also years ago.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Todays DNT poll

This poll question is up on the front page for the DNT's web site,

Today's poll
Married or divorced?
View poll results »
Married 58.82%
Divorced 14.29%
Single 26.89%
Total votes: 119
View past poll

I find this to be an odd question for the newspaper to ask. Why is this important? Why is it any of there business?

Well then.

Why are criminals so dumb?

I find it funny that they think they can get a way or just resume life as is after they are suspects.

The latest being the string of robberies in Duluth involving a women and at least two men.

The women was found waiting for DTA bus, yes that is right waiting for a bus. How dumb can you be. The same with using a taxi as a get away .

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Does it seem weird to anyone else?

One week after the primaries the city and AFSCME reach an agreement. It is a tentative agreement at that.

I find it hard to see this as a good thing for the city of Duluth. As many know Mayor Bergson was using this as his main campaign issue. Sense he did not make it has nothing to care about. I also have first hand knowledge of some details. I heard this well some one was on the phone. This some one is a high profile person for either the city or union. Yes I am being vague on per purse.

Any thoughts by anyone? I just have a tough problem believing this could be good for the citizens of Duluth.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who was this?

At the Labor Day picnic a candidate said this.

" Duluth is a union town"

Who was it? can you guess it. If you are right you get a gold star.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A question at a forum.

Well at a forum sponsored by the league of women voters, an interesting question came up. The question came from an audience member. Remember we have no idea who is asking these question because they are written on a card then handed up. I believe if they are going to take questions fro the then the question should be asked up front by that person. No hiding behind a card. After all we candidates are seen answering the question.

Anyway back to the question. The question was this or close to it. Do you support a code of conduct for our city council and mayor? This would include sexual harassment.

Well both Sharla Gardener and Heather Rand said they would and gave a reason why, I gave a much different answer. That was NO, nothing more was said by me at the time. A reason was given in the Duluth paper the next day. After the reported called me later the same night of the forum.

Now here is why I said no and still believe in my answer. I believe councilor and the Mayor know who to act. Weather the follow it or not is up to them. Like Bergson and drunk driving as an example. Some thought he should have left office. I was one of them, and still am but he did not and that is okay. If you choose not to live in a responsible manner such as the case with mayor Bergson on the drunk driving issue it is still your chose to do so.

However there are cases this will pop up that groups will use as a tool to out some one they don't like and to use this code of conduct as a political tool is wrong.

Times they are a changing?

Are times changing in Duluth politics? It seems with the last primary they could be. Except for the 3rd district with Sharla Gardner received over 50% of the vote among three candidates.

It is a real possibility that the council will change. Now is this change a change to to the right or is it a change to the center? Maybe it is neither. Is it possible that people just want a change in leadership? It does not matter what the change is at this point. As long as they are not lead by the DFL and the union. What are your thoughts.

Many of the people that won in the primary I view as common sense people. The understand the issues facing Duluth.

I have more but would like to hear your thoughts first.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My City Council run.

I first want to thank everyone that voted for me. As a first time candidate I thought it was a good showing. It was not what I had hoped for however still a good showing.

The experience was a great one. I met a lot of good people. It did not matter if we agreed on issues or not. In most cases we walked away with a great understanding and respect for each other. There was an finger given here and there to me but what can you do.

I will have more thoughts later. There were a couple of forums I need to look back on. There were interesting.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Posting update

As you may have guessed I decided not to post tell after the election. I will post again when this election is over. If it is in a couple of weeks or better then a month depends on the vote.

The only other post that will be here in the next few weeks will be remember to vote notices.

Please do remember to vote on the 11th no matter who you support. I of course ask for your support.


John Rathe

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Campaign update.

Well the campaign is going well, we have been in swing with some action but have not yet hit full swing we will be very active in the weeks to come.


Posting will not be on a regular base tell after the election is over so please keep checking back to see what is new. Some times it may be a while between post some times it will not be long at all.

This is very sad.

If you grew up watching wrestling like I did you will Chris Benoit. Yesterday he killed him self. Not only that his, but he chose to take his wife's and son's life as well. I will have more later.

Here is a story off ,

ATLANTA - Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife, suffocated his 7-year-old son and placed a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself by the pulley of a weightlifting machine, authorities said Tuesday.
Investigators also found prescription anabolic steroids in the house, Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department. He would not comment on Benoit’s state of mind or possible motive.
Autopsies showed all three died of asphyxiation, Pope said.

Benoit’s wife, Nancy, was killed Friday in an upstairs family room, her feet and wrists were bound and there was blood under her head, indicating a possible struggle, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said.
The son, Daniel, was likely killed late Saturday or early Sunday, the body found in his bed, Ballard said.
Benoit apparently killed himself several hours and as long as a day later, Ballard said. His body was found in a downstairs weight room, hanging from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment.

The prosecutor said he found it “bizarre” that the WWE wrestling star spread out the killings over a long weekend and appeared to remain in the house for up to a day with the bodies.
“I’m baffled about why anybody would kill a 7-year-old,” Ballard said. “I don’t think we’ll ever be able wrap our head around that.”
Earlier, a law enforcement official speaking on a condition of anonymity said Benoit strangled his wife and smothered his son.

Nancy Benoit filed for a divorce in May 2003, saying their three-year union was irrevocably broken and alleging “cruel treatment.” But she later dropped the complaint, as well as a request for a restraining order in which she charged that Benoit had threatened her and had broken furniture in their home.

In the divorce filing, she said Benoit made more than $500,000 a year as a professional wrestler and asked for permanent custody of Daniel and child support. In his response, Benoit sought joint custody.

Fayette County Coroner C.J. Mowell did not return calls seeking comment. The answering service for his funeral home said he was out of town.
Asked about the condition of the interior of the house, sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Whiteside said investigators found “nothing really out of the ordinary.” He said Benoit was found in the home’s weight room, his wife in an office and the son in an upstairs bedroom.
Neighbors said the Benoits led a low-key lifestyle.

“We would see Chris walking in his yard from time to time. He wasn’t rude, but he wasn’t really outwardly warm,” said Alaina Jones, who lives across the street.
Jimmy Baswell, who was Benoit’s driver for more than five years, placed a white wreath at the Benoits’ gate. “They always seemed like they were the happiest people,” he said.
World Wrestling Entertainment said on its Web site that it asked authorities to check on Benoit and his family after being alerted by friends who received “several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning.”
The WWE, based in Stamford, Conn., said authorities asked that it not release further information on the deaths.
Benoit, born in Montreal, was a former world heavyweight champion, Intercontinental champion and held several tag-team titles. His names in the ring included “The Canadian Crippler.”

Gatorade shower, baseball head shot, lazy golf fan, and more.
“WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family’s relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy,” the company said in a statement on its Web site.
“He was like a family member to me, and everyone in my family is taking it real hard,” said fellow Canadian Bret Hart, a five-time champion with the World Wrestling Federation. The federation has since changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Benoit had maintained a home in metro Atlanta from the time he wrestled for the defunct World Championship Wrestling. The Fayette County Tax Assessors Office lists the value of the house, situated on more than 8.5 acres, at nearly $900,000.

The WWE canceled its live “Monday Night RAW” card in Corpus Christi, Texas, and USA Network aired a three-hour tribute to Benoit in place of the scheduled wrestling telecast.
Benoit’s wife managed several wrestlers and went by the stage name “Woman.” They met when her then-husband drew up a script that had them involved in a relationship as part of a story line on World Championship Wrestling, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Benoit has two other children from a prior relationship

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I was glad to see the Duluth City Council put the vote on water increases on hold. I can't see how any councilor could or would support increasing Duluth by up to 3 or 4 times well it drops in outline areas. I was going to post on this before now but never had time too. I will have more on this later tonight.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Is Crime a problem in Duluth?

I want to know what you think. Please let me know by replying to the message.

Is crime an issue in Duluth?

I will leave it at that for now. I was going to add more but don't want to interfere with your thoughts. I will let you know what I think after a few people have left a response.

Here is the first one about the campaign.

I wanted to let everyone know about our kickoff party.

Here is the details:

What: Rathe for City Council kickoff party.

Were: Sammy's pizza Downtown

When: June 15th

Time: 5-8 p.m.

I will have more later. I did want to let everyone know, and if you can come please come down and join us.

I will be posting!!!!!!

It took a while for me to decide what to do with the blog. I will post, I don't know how much city of Duluth stuff I will post at this point. I will however have a post up later tonight or tomorrow about the increase in water by the city. I will post issues around this area and might toss in a few post about the campaign.

I will post soon, thanks for reading and playing the waiting game.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not sure what I will do with the blog.

As I am sure most know by now, I have decided to run for the Duluth City Council. The announcement was made earlier this week.

With this I am not sure what I will do with this blog. I may see if a some one else wants to run it for a while, and I may post here once in a while about what is going on in the race. I may also post non-Duluth issues.

Keep checking back for more updates on what is going to happen with the blog.

You can follow my campaign for city council at , you can also email at

If are emailing regarding this blog please use the address for it. That is

Thanks for reading.

John Rathe

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Retiree health care issue.

As the council contunies to try to solve this major issue, I would ask that the council proceed with caution.

Lastnight they put another 10 million dollars a side for the issue. Many councilors called on all groups need to do there part. It can't just be the council that does all the acts. This is true.

I ask that the council move with caution on any further action on there part of the retire health care issue. Untell all party's show an active roll is solving this very importain issue.

If the council contunies to do what they are doing the other party's will contunie to show a lack of interest on there part because they know the more the council does with out there involment the less they have to give up.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Giving away money.

If there is one thing our city council is good at it is giving away money. Now it looks like they maybe two more things they will just give money away for.

The first is they are looking are rehiring Samborski to run Bayfront after firing him just about a month ago. I don't get it they could not have gone out and looked for new promoters to run the park, I would urge the council not to rehire him. The second issue with Mr. Samborski is now he is asking the city to give him 50,000 dollars to help with cost of the 75,000 Duluth Fourth Fest, he say's he has lost money do not having the blue's fest. Samborski added after this year he would look to have a not for profit fundraising to raise money for the fourth fest.

There are a couple of issues here one, is the fact they are even thinging of rehiring some one they were unhappy with, just a month ago. The second is that you need to find other ways to fund the fourth fest for this year.

The Duluth News Tribune has a couple of good story's about these issues in there paper today.

Yet in another bone head idea is to give 2,000 to a jazz fest. The idea was brought up by council Stover. It seems like this has some councilors worried and it should.

I have nothing against jazz, but many councilors thing this would be bad to do because then any group could come and ask for money and use well you gave money to a jazz fest but you won't support our fest. It makes sence that if one group gets then others would ask as well. We can't be passing out money we don't have or using on things we don't need to be.

Supporting an event or making sure our city is running right, what is better?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


There has not been as many post the last weeks as I would like. I have notbeen feeling well . I was feeling better for a few days, now I am back to feeling yuckie again.

I will post as much as I can, or as there is news to report.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wal-Mart update:

My Wal-mart source has informed me that Hemntown sill wants Wal-mart to remain in there city. The city gets so much of it's tax base from it.

There is a couple of sites in Hermntown that the city would like Wal-Mart to consider. My source also told me he thought as this point, there was only about a 50-50 shoot of Wal-Mart staying in Hernmtown.

The source did however disclose that Wal-Mart would like to stay with 10 miles of the there current site.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Greg Gilbert for Mayor.

Sorry this will be a short post because I have to get ready for work.

Gilbert will announce he is in for Mayor this morning. I will not beable to attend the announcement but hope to have more info later this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Twins Killed again.

What more do I need to say.

Nelson- Comments on slavery comments.

Okay so two county board members had a pissing match over the possible smoking ban.

Bill Kron and Keith Nelson had an converstation over representing there areas, about the smoking ban and in that time slavery came up.

Kron asked Nelson if he would support slavery if the people he represents wanted him to, after waiting to speak and reply to Kron, Nelson said he would if that is what the majority wanted. That is all and it was of course taken out of context.

Nelson's point was he would support what his area wanted him to do. It was a fight first started by Kron and people are making Nelson look like the bad guy.

What would you expect by the left and the unions.

The discussion lead to the passing a dumb code of conduct. That passed 5-2, with two board members have common sence. Kieth Nelson and Fink both voted against it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Maybe this is the person that will annouce tomorrow.

If you remember earlier this week I reported that a source said yet another person would be in the running for mayor, now another source may revieled there name to us and some of there ways of campaigning.

The guy this source reveveld was Jim Pratt he has not yet had a formal annoucement so I am thinking it maybe the one tomorrow. It seems like this guy has some noble ways of campaigning, however I am not sure he can win with these ways.

1. No signs

2. You can only donate $1.00 to his campaign. If you choose to do more it will be donated to charity.

I like the ideas of his campaiging but again I am not sure it will work.

We will have more on this as it develops. There may just be some to vote for after all.

Here is the link to the story earlier in the week:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just in case.

This is just in case I don't have a chance to post anything between now and tomorrow.

I will be out of town for easter, leaving friday night. Going to St.Cloud for the weekend.

Just in case I don't have a oppertunity to post, I wanted to wish everyone a happy easter. Have a safe weekend and remember what the holiday is all about.

I will try to post again before I leave. I am sure I will but you never know.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sports notes

Well the baseball season has started for the Minnesota Twins. As early as the season is the twins are 2-0 and have looked good. I am excited about this years twins team. I expect alot of the team this year.

I think there will win the central, and hopefuly make it out of the first round of the playoffs. I know the twins are hoping for post season succese.

The Duluth Huskies baseball teams does not start for a bit yet. There however had a big annoucement yesterday. It was made at they office in downtown Duluth.

The annoucement was about a formor player, and that he had made it on an opening day major league team roster.

Here is the player and the team he will play for, Joe Bisenius has made the Major League roster for the Philadelphia. Joe pitched for the Huskies in there very first year which was 2003. He had seven starts for the team. His record was 3-1 with a 3.60 era.

Best of luck to Joe in the big leagues.

Can't wait to get back out to the wade and see our Duluth Huskies in action this summer.

Don Ness.

Well it's that time again already. It's election time, yes however early it is we decide who the next mayor will be and some have already tossed there name in the hat. That is not a problem at all.

One candidate Don Ness is going to hold a kickoff party tomorrow at porters located inside the holiday center. The event will start at 1p.m. and Don will make a short speech at 1:30 p.m.

If you want to go that is the info for the get together. More thoughts later.

Just some notes.

As you have noticed I have been in the process of updating the blog. Well doing so I have made some changes.

The links are located at the bottom of the page. There will be more linking coming as well. You will also not a couple of boxs for Unity 08, it is a site you should check out. The purpose is to bring politics back to the people, and elect a president that not a far left or right person but some one people want to see run this country not just the big political movers and shakers. You will also notice ads now on the blog new the bottom as well. So go ahead and click away on them if you so desire to do so.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wal-Mart to move from Hermantown

Yet a different source has told me that it is very likly that Wal-Mart will leave Hermantown.

As Wal-Mart looks to build a super center of it's Hermantown store, it may not remain there. Early reports are the store would move out of Hermantown, but stay in the area. Leading places to relocate include Duluth and Proctor.

You heard it here first, Hermantown to lose Wl-Mart we will follow this story as it develops.

Superior Mayor.

Superior Mayor David Ross won re-election. The race was not even close, Mayor Ross had better then 60% of the vote.

Kind of funny, Isn't it?

Just a day or two ago this story was in the Duluth News Trubune

Now today we have this in the paper,

Ohwell what do you do?


Blame game.

At mayor Bergson's press confrence he played the belame game. He blamed the city council for draging there feet and not dealing with real issues, now in some way that is right but mostly incorrect.

Mayor Bergson it is you that we should blame on the retiree health care issue, you said you were going to make unpopular decions yet you have done nothing. The council has taken up the issue as much as they can to this point, but it is you mayor that has the ball. The council can do little at this time.

It is my hope that the council reject help from the state because all you are doing is giving the unions what they want, and that is they have to do noting including renagation of contracts at this point. That is your job not the city councils.

Mayor Bergson also used the sad excuse of wanting to spend more time with his family. If you member a number of years ago now he used that as a reason to not run again for Mayor of Superior. He then came over here and ran for City Council that allowed for no time with his family, yet again.

Bergson said he was burned out, I would say you are in way over your head!!!!!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mayor Bergson will not run again.

For a second time, Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson called a press confrence to say he would not run for re-election.

This time the press confrence was at 11 A.M. , he again felt the need to call a confrence to say he would not run. I do understand why he called a second confrence because of the earlier statment made by business leaders that wanted him to run for a second term. However unless he was going to announce he was running I don't see the need of a second news confrence.

More on this later.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Who might run for mayor?

Here is a list of people that may run for Mayor this time around. what are your thoughts?

Current councilors:

Russ Stover

Greg Gilbert

Tim Little

Jim Stauber

Current county board members:

Steve O'niel

Dennise Fink (Not likely but maybe)


Kim McKay

Frank Jewell

John Donahue

Niel Atkins

What are your thoughs on any of these people and do you think anyone else may run?

April First

Well as you know today is april 1st and that means April fools day.

I thought of putting a post up today that said I was in the running for the city council race in the 3rd distrect. Then later today posting that it was an April fools joke, I thought better of it and decided not to do that. I think it would have been funny however.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Superior Mayor

The mayor's race in Superior Wis. will be determined Tuesday.

I ask that any one that reads this blog and votes in Superior to vote for current mayor David Ross. He has done a great job for Superior.

Councilor Stewart not to run for a third term.

Yesterday city councilor Russ Stewart said he would not run for a thrid term. Stewart represents the 3rd district. The word was around that he may not seek a thrid.

It turns out that he will indeed not run for a thrid term. It is to bad, he is a good councilor. I don't always agree with him, however he was a sound voice on the council most of the time.

Thanks for all or your hard work councilor Stewart!!!!!

The thrid district is now left a huge void to fill.

Here is the story paper had,

Thursday, March 29, 2007


The Duluth News Tribune has a poll up on there web site. It askes who you will vote for out of those that siad they are running for mayor. It also gives you a choice to vote for someone to be named later. That is the one I voted for.

Right now Don Ness is way ahead.

To cast your vote go to there web site,

The list grows.

Those running for mayor is up to three for sure people:

Meg Bye

Don Ness

Charlie Bell

The list of those that people think will run grows daily as well. Out of the three the clear winner would be Ness. Not my pick then again those three are not people I could support.

Note: If you have any web sites for these other candidates let me know, I will post it next to there name. A search comes up with no officail site as of yet for other candidates. If anyone has any info let me know.

Ness for Mayor?

Well it seems like Don Ness after all will stay involved in city politics. If you remember just a few month ago Don said in an interview he would more then likly not run for mayor or city council again. The local politics has taken a toll on him and his family. Appertanly things have changed, Ness annouced today he will run for mayor.

His annoucment came on his web-page, .

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rhonda gone off KDAL Radio, thank GOD.

Rhonda Grusendorf who had a radio show on KDAL radio has ended her programming. Her last show was late last week.

She said on air that the station was going in a diffrent direction then she wanted to. The fact is the station is going the way radio is going today.

Her show was very annouing, it was by far a chick show. Not only that but she should not be on the radio or anywere but jail.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Council gets rid of old ordinance.

The council voted 9-0 to get rid of an ordinance that was on the books sence 1912, the ordinance said you could sell liquar with in 400 feet of a city park. If this was not taken off the books then it would affect many of our business's.

That would include those in Canel park, and others.

With that said however there is one councilor that will try to make it illegal for surton estaplishments, why? He wants to still put foward an ordinance that would call for it to be illegal to serve near some city parks. Wait did we not just do away with that? YES!!!!!

Councilor Krause wants to still have an ordinance that would effect some business's but exclude otheres. How far is this? Why would he want to do?

Your thoughts first. Then I will come with what I believe the reason's to be.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

No Beer parks.

So it seems as an ordinace out dated is rearing it's hugly head. It deals with selling liquar near city parks.

One councilor is saying he will support keeping this ordinance. Now he has updates his stands to exclude those bars near the lakewalk, however this would still effect many business's.

This is just another reason this city is very hard to do business in.

This ordinance is outdated and needs to not even be on the books.

The mayor has said should it pass, his admistraion will not be inforcing.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I hope to have some post up about local politics this weekend.

I am hoping to have some thoughts up on many issues that have been going. The weekend is busy but we will see what I can do.

Unity 08

At the very bottom of the page is a sign up for unity 08. I have signed up with unity 08. I believe we can change the way of the politics, and the way of our leaders. I am sick of both party's and we need a good form of change I hope unity 08 can bring that.

If you would like more info click on the button to go there page.