News tips.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Republican is out.

Paul Kolhs has suspended his race for Governor. He said that the party is lining up behind other candidates. He also said others may get in the race. He was far behind in the straw poll.

There are still 8 candidates in the race running for the republican endorsement. The only other person that I could thing of that would enter the race at this point is Norm Coleman.

Wagner in the paper again.

There was not a bunch of pressing issues related in the story. Not a lot new information however if you want to read it then here is the link.

I do not have a lot to comment on this. I think I made my comments earlier on this. I do agree with the judge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Duluth Central wins.

Last night started high school football play-offs. There was over 100 games in the State. There was three local games two at Public School Stadium. One at Cloquet. That is the one I want to talk about this post.

It was #1 Cloquet against #8 Duluth Central. Central had not won a game all year they were 0-7. That said they were close to four wins, they lost by a touch down or less.

Last night there defense came out playing hard. They caused all kinds of trouble for Cloquet. Central was up 20-0 at the half. They held on for a 20-14 win.

It was a big deal for the team. As many of you know Central will close next year should the red plan keep going forward.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Police endores Hall.

The Duluth Police union has endorsed Becky Hall for city council. I think the endorsement means a lot in the lines of who is going to work for public safety.

That said I don't know how much it will help. The endorsement normally does not come with much money or help to a candidate.

4th district council race over?

Today saw a big blow to the Gordon Grant campaign. Former candidate Heath Hicock endorsed Kerry Gauthier. Hicock finished third in a five person race. Fourth was Matt Potter and fifth was Celia Scheer.

Potter and Scheer endorsed Grant. Grant was working on receiving all three of there endorsements. Today he feel short of that.

The biggest of the three candidates outed in the primary was Hicock. Today he endorsed the DFL backed Kerry Gauthier. Grant said it is was sad that it seems like Hicock is setting up for the 2011 election. Grant thinks that Hicock is setting up to receive the DFL endorsement for an at-large run in 2011.

I think it is now safe to say that this race is over. Gauthier will win. Grant sure does have an up hill battle by not receiving the endorsement.

Vote yes to question one and no to question 2.

On the November 3rd ballot Duluth will elect 2 new at-large councilors and 2 new district councilors. You also will have two proposed changes to the city charger to vote on.

The first question to me pretty clear. I would encourage people to vote yes on it. After the Mayor should be able to chose who is going to work best with.

The second question I would vote no on. The question to be pits people against people and it is going to allow things I don't like to open up.

To view the question and an entire sample ballot click the link:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Northern Liberty Alliance forum last night.

The Northern Liberty Alliance held it's first ever candidate forum. The forum was held for both school board and city council candidates. The group stated at the beginning of the forum that they are not a pact and they don't endorse candidates. They are applying for a non-profit status.

The school board forum was not well attended by candidates. There was a board meeting and all the current members were of course at that meeting. The three candidates that did show where, at-large candidate Tom Kasper, 4th district Art Johnston and 1st district Marcia Stomgren.

The city council forum was much better attended. The only candidate that did not show was 4th district candidate Kerry Gauthier. All others where at the forum.

All candidates got the questions a head of time and were given a chance to answer in writing. They where then put in to a book that people could take. Again these people did not take the time answer in writing.

council candidate Kerry Gauthier

School board candidates

Mary Cameron

Nancy Nilsen

Maureen Booth

Tom Kasper, he was at the forum.

Marcia Stromgren, was at the forum.

Ann Wasson

Laura Condon

The forum was good last night. I think it is important for all groups to hold such events. It allowes there members and the public to learn more about the candidates. More later.

Gordon Grant's statement.

At the forum last night Gordon Grant made a statement I thought was a bit odd. He made a wide open statement and gave no clarification on it.

He said he would look in to selling anything the city did not need to be in. That included parks. It was left at that.

I thought okay so what are we talking about here? Well I had intended on asking him after the forum was over I did not get a chance. Most candidates got out pretty fast, plus I was talking to other people. Any way back to the thought.

Here is what I am wondering? Did he mean he was willing to look at selling parks such as the golf courses that are currently part of the Duluth Parks and Rec department. Or did he mean he would be willing to look as selling a park such as Grant park, Bayfront, ect...

If any one has a thought let me know. If Mr. Grant happens to view this I would be interested in his thoughts.

Beth Olson's out and out lie.

Okay so I try not to be critical of any candidate on this blog. In fact let me remind people that I was just supportive of Beth Olson when the paper raised a question to her in there forum. That said last night at the Northern Liberty Alliance forum she told and out and out lie. That I can't let stand.

She said that Wal-Mart is a business that Duluth not want because they don't have health insurance, benefits or even sick time. That is simple not true. I know people who work at Wal-Mart and they have all of these benefits.

Wal-Mart came up as councilor Jim Stauber used it as an example of the way Duluth chases away business, Olson then said the above comment when it came her turn. She also added that they don't pay well. I agree with that ( unless you have been there for a while) that said she must understand that we need these type of jobs to attract the big time paying jobs.

What I would have said if I were her is one of two things. Not used Wal-Mart as an example at all, or just say that I don't like the way they do business and leave it at that.

Wal-Mart does not have the best reputation as a work place I know but to out and out lie is wrong. It makes you no better then the company.

Note: If you are going to comment on this please be careful I will be picky on approving post on this one. This will not turn in to a base on Wal-Mart or Olson stick to the issue raised. I will not allow comments about Olson if they do not protein to her comments nor will I allow comments just bashing the Wal-Mart company. Again be careful.

Link to other Olson post:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Police report: Explosives in car.

Below is the police report on the incident by the twins bar.

The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from the Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing assisted the Duluth Police Department with the removal of explosives from the trunk of a car. On Monday, October 19, 2009, at 2:08 PM, a male called 911 and stated that he had just picked up some “dynamite” from a friend and was going to help the friend by disposing of it for him. The explosives were in the trunk of the caller’s car which was parked in the 500 Block of East #5 Alley. The caller said he had second thoughts about disposing of it himself and called the police. A one block area around the car was cordoned off and evacuated until the EOD team arrived and removed the explosives. The EOD team will also dispose of the explosives. The incident is under investigation by the Duluth Police Department.

Not much else is known and it is under investigation by the police department.

4th street market.

The very popular fourth street market is going to reopen soon. The Market closed because the previous owners did not run it right. This after long time owner sold it to move to Florida.

The new owners have experience in this type of work as they own the the ICO gas station on 6th AVE. East and 6th street. The Potters will be the new owners. I hope they can make a go of it. One word of advice. Don't run it like a big convenes station, that was tried with Tarens market and it did not work. Please run it like a grocery store. Keep your prices competitive and offer lots to customers to chose from. This should keep the store open for a long time.

The store is expected to open some time in November.


These are interviews that I did for a story you can read at . They are with school board candidates and Harry Welty from Let Duluth Vote. I may get more interviews in today or over the next couple of days I will add them.

Harry Welty interview: Let Duluth Vote

1. What is so important about this election?

Duluth Voters will be telling the world whether they support a School Board that denied them the right to build the biggest school construction project in Minnesota history without a referendum. I believe voters have a responsibility to mete out the most serious penalty they can to this school board even if they support the Red Plan.

2. What does your group see are positive about the red plan (if anything)?

Personally I think that it made sense to go to two high schools.

3. What are the negatives of the red plan?

This is my short list. It was not given to the voters to decide. It was too big. It has relied on a school board that ceded all power to the Superintendent and to a construction company that had no incentive to pinch pennies. It has been sold with faulty data. It will burden taxpayers for twenty years and has hidden time bombs which will only be revealed in future years because they were carefully concealed to avoid criticism.

4. Why should the voters vote out the incumbents?

Because the incumbents have acted ignorantly, arrogantly and have offered virtually no oversight of the biggest thing to hit the Duluth schools in the last hundred years.

5. Anything else you would like to add?

I was grateful that other candidates who honored

Mary Cameron interview: At-Large board member

1. What is the importaince of this election?

As with any election, it is important for citizens to elect those individuals that they believe will listen, study the issues and make tough decisions, with the goal of doing what is best for the students in this community taking into consideration the taxpayers. The ultimate goal of any board member or school district should be assuring that all students receive the best education possible so that they are able to thrive in a world that is more diverse and global than ever before.

It's unfortunate that this particular election is centered around the LONG OVERDUE Long-Range Facilities Plan (LRFP).

This election is also important because there are alot of people criticizing the LRFP. It's easy to do so, but difficult to come up with a betterplan. Citizens really need to study the Alternative Plan that is out there. It will cost them more and will does less. It will also further instability within the district (keeping open all schools, making quick fixes, then after 10 years bring a committee together to decide which schools to close).

It is also important because citizens need to investigate what the cost to them will be if those who want to stop the LRFP are elected. Not to complete this plan would not only be a fiscal calamity that would negatively impact all students and taxpayers enormously for many years to come, but it would also deprive our students of quality academic options unattainable in under-populated, wasteful buildings.

2. The major issue seems to be the red plan. You are a supporter of the plan why? What is possitive about the plan?

The plan is long overdue. I have lived in Duluth all of my life. I'm a product of the Duluth Public schools as our my children and siblings. Right-sizing our building infrastructure has been a painful conversation for me and others. It is a conversation that has been on-going for over 20 years, and I've been part of a board who bucked under community pressure when we were trying to implement a plan. This plan will allow us to close buildings that we do not need due to declining enrollment. It will allow us to allocate savings from operating cost into our classrooms, the plan will bring equity across the district, allow students to have state-of-the art technology and be in energy efficient and safe buildings.

3. Do you see any negitives in the plan?

No plan is perfect, and not one would satisfy 100% of the Duluth community. However I do believe that this is the best plan for Duluth.

4. What does your experince on the board give to other board members?

I bring experience, I am currently serving my 3rd term. I have served as chair of the board, co-chair, clerk,have chaired the education committee, and am currently serving as chair of the human resources committee. I am a human resource professional. I serve on the DeSeg Council, as well as the budget subcommittee, recruitment and retention and monitoring subcommittee.

I have introduced and have had implemented Innovations in Education which created the labor management team, have advocated for student representation on the board since my first election and because of my board experience, I have grown and learned how to respect other board members even though we may differ on various and numerous issues and respect the majority vote.

5. Any thing else you would like to add?

Thank you for asking these very important questions.

Art Johnston interview: 4th district candidate

1. Why is this election so importain?
The Red Plan was poorly justified, voters were disenfranchised, it was poorly planned, and it was way too expensive. This happened on the watch of the current Board, and they have been asleep at the wheel. This is a question of elected officials lacking trust, honesty, and accountability. This is why we have elections--to remove elected officials that have failed.

2. What are the negitives in the red plan?
First of all, its justification was based on an exaggerated claim of building defects of our existing schools. Anyone who has looked at our schools knows they don’t need nearly ½ billion dollars in repairs. Perfectly good schools are being closed and given away at pennies on the dollar.

Secondly, it claims to be “reducing” square footage to “save money”. The actual square footage reductions of the buildings are only a fraction of what they originally claimed. And these miniscule saving are undocumented and we are spending $438 million to save pennies.

Thirdly, whole city blocks are being razed, streets being widened with houses bought with the threat of eminent domain. At the same time they are giving away (for nickels on the dollar) the Central High School site that has plenty of excellent room and the newest schools.

Fourthly, this plan builds buildings at the expense of educational programming and academics. The Red Plan “savings” are by eliminating 50-100 program and teacher jobs permanently from the schools. That is not the way to improve education.

3. What are the postivies if you see any?
None. If hard pressed, the only positive that I can see are the right and left political movements in Duluth have come together to elect a new school board.

4. What was one or two top resons you decided to run for the board?
I wanted to bring attention to the facts that the Red Plan was based on poor and misinterpreted engineering and financial data. I wanted to emphasis smaller, safer, saner, successful neighborhood schools that have the trust of our community.

5. Anything else you would like to add? The poor discourse, the poor journalism, and biased reporting that the Duluth media have done on this issue have been very sad to see. An informed electorate depends on an informative media, and Duluth has failed at that. And this does not bode well for intelligent and wise decision-making

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interesting story.

I would love to know people's thoughts on this story. Is the school district right or wrong?

Minnesota Twins 3 and done.

For the second straight season the Minnesota Twins had to play an extra regular season game. This is because they were tied for the division championship. Last year the Twins lost that game. This year the Twins beat Detroit. There prize for winning the division to face the New York Yankees.

The Minnesota Twins have not fared well against the NY Yankees recently. This season they played three series against them, the Twins were 0-9. Under coach Gardenhire the team has posted just two wins in 24 games against NY.

This play off season was no different the Twins went just three games in the best of five series. Losing them all now dropping there record to 2 and 25 all time under Grady and 0-12 on the season.

I have heard a lot of talk about Grady should be the manager of the year. Are you kidding me you need to find a way to beat the big teams before you should be awarded manger of the year. The Twins struggle against the two big teams they play a lot. The Yankees and the Red Socks.

Also the Twins made many base running errors this season. You saw a number of them in the playoffs. The head coach at some point needs to address that and it is clear Gardy has yet done that.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Local sports show comes to an end.

*****UPDATE****** The sports show could possible come back at a later date. For now today was the last show for now.

The only local sports talk show that I know of has came to an end. The popular Saturday Morning Sports show will end today. The show that had aired on ESPN Radio 560 WEBC saw the last show today.

The show had been hosted by Corey Carter who has left ESPN and Gap West Broadcasting. It was co-hosted by Mark Marette who hosted today's final show.

The reason is because of money and the fact the show went to just one host. The show was very popular especially now. With interviews of high school hockey, football, and basketball coaches. The show also covered all local sports.

It is to bad to see yet another local show fall by the way side.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Privacy question asked of Olson.

There was a question directed to Beth Olson at the DNT forum yesterday. The question was as follows:

How much of a candidate’s personal life should be public? Is it only what a candidate wants known? And have there been things in your personal life that you haven’t been completely forthcoming about in this campaign?”

Well all the candidates got to give an answer it was directed to Beth Olson because of her arrest and also her being a member of the GBLT community.

I think the question was uncalled for and wrong. You never see a question like this asked at a community forum. I understand why it was asked but it would have been better if it was not asked.

Well I believe her arrest is a news story it also does not need to be beat to death. The issues of her being gay should not be an issue. The issue came up because of right leaning blogs (not this one.) and local talk show host.

Brad Bennett a local talk show host who brought the issue up said yesterday that he does not want any one elected that is going to have a special agenda or then protecting the tax payer. He also said it now seems that Olson is trying to hide be a member of the gay community. He said her web site had links to gay story's and other related sites but after the primary were she finished first they have been taken off.

DFL Governor debate today.

11 of the 12 DFL candidates running for Governor will be in Duluth today. They will take part in a debate at the DECC. The debate is sponsored by AFSCME local 5 and to attend it live you must be a member. The debate is from 2-4 pm today.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

DNT forum winners.

There where two people that I thought did well in the DNT forum yesterday. These two did a good job of answering the questions.

The first person who I thought did well was Jim Stauber. Stauber is the only incumbent running in this race. He has served 8 years and is looking to win a third term.

Stauber did a good job of outlining what he has and can still do on the council. When asked question he could also reference things he has done. He also could spread light on issues from an "insiders" point of view. That is something the other three candidates could not do.

Stauber is the consumed pro and professional. He showed respect to others and expects the same. One of the biggest assets Stuaber offers the council if re-elected is his experience. Remember if he does not get a seat on the council there will be no one with more the four years of experience.

I ask that people consider voting for Jim.

The other person who has impressed all a long is Dan Hartman. Hartman has been out in the public more then anyone has this campaign season. Well I did not agree with all of his statements yesterday I found him to be very knowledge able about the issues. Let me point out here before people jump on me. There where a number of things I did like that Hartman said.

Hartman was going to run for the 3rd district council seat four years ago but dropped out after he did not receive the DFL endorsement. That went to current councilor Sharla Gardner. Hartman also is the program director of the Veterans' Memorial Hall at the Depot.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Candidate forums.

Forums are a good way to learn about a school board or city council candidate. There are three I would like to let you know about.

The Duluth News Tribune and Fox21 are hosting one today at 1pm. It is to take place at the Inn on Lake Superior. If you can’t make it in person you can watch it on the Duluth News Tribunes web site at Note it will not be live there you can’t see it tell after it is completed. I am not sure of the question they will be asking at the forum.

A group called FUSE is also holding a speed forum today at the Depot that starts at 5pm.

The last forum is being held by a Political Action Group. They are not yet registered as a PAC. The Northern Liberty Alliance is holding there first ever forum for candidates. They will be holding a school board and city council candidate forum. It will take place October 20th at city hall in the council chambers. It start’s with the school board forum at 5:15 the council forum will start at 6:45.

I have the list of questions for both of those forums if you would like them let me know. For some reason it is not allowing me to post them here.

Cross posted at and

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Badger Careless program.

Governor Doyle has said they will suspend applications for there new Badger Care program as of noon of Friday. They are already full just three month after the program took affect. Badger care is state controlled health care program. Much like Minnesota Care.

Governor Doyle stated that this was a clear example of why national health care reform is needed. Well I believe everyone has a right to health care I don't believe that a state or the Government should provide it. The fact is that these programs don't help the middle class.

They help those that don't have or want jobs. You can find a job if you look, even if it is at a fast food place. This at least has income coming in to your house. Many of the people that applied for Badger Care had NO INCOME.

Now lets be fair yes the job market is tough. You however need to put an effort in to your job search. I am not saying on this program has not done that but at least take a less desirable job in the mean time. I know people have pride but some times you have to suck it up.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Can't watch the Twins game Tuesday?

If you will be at work or out and about for the Minnesota Twins game on Tuesday here is a solution. Why not listen to the game on ESPN Radio 560 WEBC. They will be broadcasting the game on Tuesday.

Game time is 4p.m. it is a play in game. Both Detroit and Minnesota ended the season tied for first place. The winner goes to the playoffs well the loser has there season end. The game will be played at the Dome. This is because the Twins have the head to head battle between them won.

LET'S GO TWINS!!!!!!!!!

Becky Hall is advertising on Stahl's blog.

One of four Duluth City Council candidates has chose to advertise on a local blog. The blog happens to belong to Duluth News Tribune reporter Brandon Stahl. You can get to the blog by clicking this link if you wish,

My question is this some have said that advertisers lead to the way a reporter or blogger writes. Do you believe that? I know Brandon and he is a great writer and person. I don't think he has a bias in writing one way or the other. I do personally believe he is a democrat( I could be wrong in this guess.) but that is fine. His writ tings never show a bias one way or the other. That is the way it should be when you write for a paper.

Stahl now has two right leaning advertisers. NLA and Becky Hall who is the candidate advertising on Stahl's blog. Well the NLA is not a PAC they are a group of citizens concerned with the way government is going. The group also has a number of people involved in it that are democrats but lets be fair and say that most are Republicans.

I have not seen any differences in Stahl's writing nor do I expect to. I think people like to pick fights some times. Advertising does not nor should it have a role in how a person writes. If it does then you are not getting a true and fair story.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Format change at the Bridge?

Corey Carter may be set to change the format at the bridge radio station. The biggest hint to this is that long time radio personality Tim Roubix was released from his morning show duties on the bridge.

The format change I am sure would be to a hot ac like Mix 108 is. That is the station that Carter came from. I would look for a format change in the next few month if it is to happen. If the change does happen I would look for Carter to be on the air again. He currently is not on the air at Mid-West.

A side note they are looking for an AM radio station programmer. I am guessing for 710 WDSM.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Jim Stauber will he win re-election?

There are a couple of things I have thought about here. One he is now the longest sitting city councilor. Now that both councilor Krause and Gilbert have both decided not to run for re-election. Stauber also makes no bones about being a republican however if you watch him he is more the willing to work with both sides of the aisle on the council.

Stauber finished third in the primary election. Two candidates finished in front of him. Beth Olson and Dan Hartman both are endorsed by the DFL and the labor unions. In a non-partisan race.

Stauber however was a very close third. He was less the a full % point behind Hartman who finished second. The vote total was just 285 votes. I think that is possible to make up. That said it is a bad sign for him that he lost his own district. I don't believe he has ever lost his own district.

Well I thought that Dan Hartman was once a lock to win a seat on the city council this time I am not so sure. He finished second in the primary. Many people have told me that was a set back to him. He wanted to finish first. Again that said he is still the one candidate out there working hard. Not only did he finish second but he did not totally run away with second place. Stauber was a close third. That said however Stauber is the incumbent in the race, possible another bad sign for Jim. He as an incumbent would have liked to finish first or second. However lets also be honest that most the people that voted in a very low turn out primary were those that represented the unions and DFL as they got there people out to vote.

In a general election there will be a larger voting population out. You will see more of the republicans and those that are not aliened with any party out voting. This is a benefit to Jim Stauber as long as he gets the message out that he is the longest standing member of the board and his experience is important at this point time. If he does not win a seat in November then there will be no councilor with more the four years of experience. I think this is what Stauber needs to get out as his message.

I will have more later but feel free to comment.