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Duluth city councilors voted tonight for a total ban on skateboarding in Canal Park. They also voted to curtail reckless behavior of skateboarders throughout the city. The votes came after hearing from skateboarders opposed to the restrictions and Canal Park business people who were for it. Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the police department supported the restrictions.
Duluth city councilors unanimously rejected the city's request tonight for a special-use permit to use the site of the former Duluth police pistol range on Rice Lake Road for temporary storage of gravel and limestone for street maintenance. City staff said the location would be more convenient and cost effective than the site used for more than 30 years in Kenwood. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has asked the city to stop using the Kenwood site because of pollution concerns.
The Duluth City Council unanimously approved a plan Monday for Kohl's Department Store to replace 111 parking spots lost to improvements to U.S. Highway 53. The plan reconfigures the parking lot and relocates driveways and allows for the construction of an elevated parking deck on wetlands west of the store. Kohl's will create replacement wetlands north of the store.
Even before Kohl's Department Store lost 111 parking spaces to U.S. Highway 53 improvements, it had less parking than recommended for its size. A plan going for a Duluth City Council vote tonight replaces those lost spaces by reconfiguring the parking lot and constructing a parking deck over wetlands. "Although it's not a big project, it is complex," said Bill Burns, an attorney for the project. But there's much more to the Kohl's project. It involves a land swap with the city and the creation of replacement wetlands.
Carole Kouba can't resist a good garage sale. That's why Kouba and her husband drove 400 miles Thursday to attend the Park Point Garage Sale today and Saturday. "I do love my rummage sales," said Kouba, 62, of Manitowoc, Wis., who goes to garage sales every weekend from spring to fall.
The Duluth YMCA is the latest agency to step up to the plate to help fill gaps in youth programming left by severe city budget cuts last year. By September, the YMCA will provide year-round youth programming at Woodland Community Center. And on the next nice beach day, they'll have lifeguards out at Park Point Beach. "That's a service the Y will provide the city free of cost," the Duluth YMCA's Mark Hanna said of the lifeguards. "We believe it's a win, win, win situation." The lifeguards, who will be from the YMCA's aquatics department, all are trained and ready to go, he said.
James Knight used to go downtown and to Canal Park to skateboard with friends. And, he admits, they didn't always do it where and when it was allowed. But since the new skate park at Wheeler Field in West Duluth was built, he tends to go there instead. "It's fun," said the Duluth 16-year-old, while practicing stunts last week. "It's an improvement, definitely. I'm here every day when I don't work." Enticing skateboarders from downtown and Canal Park is what many hoped the long-awaited plaza-style park at 35th Avenue West and Grand Avenue would do.
Out of control skateboards. Damaged property. Endangered pedestrians. They're common complaints against skateboarders in Canal Park. But sweeping changes proposed for Duluth's skating ordinance focus not only on Canal Park but the entire city. The changes -- amendments to the city's skating ordinance -- would prohibit skateboarders on public sculptures, fountains and benches and prohibit unreasonable speeds, reckless use around pedestrians and use that causes damage and injury to others.
Donna Hurst has beat the odds again. And again. But as a three-time survivor of cancer, she says it's the big pink elephant that never completely goes away. "The first couple of weeks, all you can see is the elephant in the room," said Hurst, 71, of Duluth, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 15 years ago. "Then it goes into the next room, then goes down the hall. Five years out, it's out the door.
When an ordinance that required Duluth residents to mow their lawns was vetoed by then-Mayor Herb Bergson in 2007, the ordinance's sponsor said he might bring it back someday. On Thursday, Councilor Garry Krause did just that. Resurrecting the fallen ordinance and tweaking it a bit, he re-introduced it to fellow councilors for consideration.