News Tribune Editorial Board
If you have a father or father figure who is there for you — or was there for you — and doesn't hit you or belittle you, celebrate him Sunday. Celebrate the heck out of him for Father's Day. Increasingly, he's a rarity, to the chagrin of a nation now more than ever desperate for the stability and moral compass of fatherhood and, more specifically, fathers and father figures who truly care, who are willing to guide by example, and who leave indelibly positive influences on their families, communities, and nation.
Duluth's massive roadmap for the future is newly updated. The document that is our shared vision of what our city can be, how it should look, and the ways we can handle both challenges and opportunities — specifically, what can be built and developed where, how growth should be encouraged and managed, and which treasured places to preserve — is refreshed, as it responsibly and periodically needs to be.
It just makes sense, when it comes to curbing the introduction and spread of invasives, to keep a close watch on the oceangoing vessels sailing across our Great Lakes. They're from foreign waters, after all, and foreign waters are where zebra mussels, round gobies, and other harmful critters originated before coming to the U.S. and irreparably harming, to the tune of billions, ports including Duluth-Superior.
With elected state leaders still mostly just blowing smoke, Minnesota's cities continue to take steps to improve health, clear the air, and prevent young Minnesotans from being ensnared by the deadly dangers of cigarettes and tobacco use. Last week, St. Peter became the ninth Minnesota city in just a little over a year to raise the legal age to buy tobacco to 21. It joined Edina, St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Shoreview, Falcon Heights, and Minneapolis in passing so-called "Tobacco 21" policies.
Are you ready? With Memorial Day weekend now in the books, you kind of need to be. Summer now. And here in Duluth and in the Northland that means busy-busy, our time to shine, to play, and to cash in before the next year's deep freeze roars its return. It's weekend after jam-packed weekend, get there, do that, do more.
The bloody battles of the Civil War were still raging when women in the South began decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers. After the war, a day was set aside — "Decoration Day" — to remember and to pay tribute to soldiers' ultimate sacrifices.
Unlike Veterans Day, which honors all who answered America's call to military service, Memorial Day honors those who died in war. Memorial Day forces us to remember that war is about sacrifice — and the ultimate sacrifice, death. President Abraham Lincoln's 272-word Gettysburg Address is perhaps the greatest tribute to America's war dead. It's also a call to living Americans of all generations to live up to the ideals of the American experiment of liberty and democracy so that "these dead shall not have died in vain," as Lincoln said.
A decade or so ago, the consensus among contractors, builders, and others looking to invest here was that it was tough, that Duluth City Hall was a nightmare to navigate. Pulling a permit or just getting basic information often meant bouncing from city office to city office and from floor to floor, precious time slipping away, blood bubbling into anger, frustration, and resentment.
The complaint is oft heard among us Duluthians: The city only invests in Canal Park or the Lakewalk or other attractions for tourists; everything around here is for tourism.
As much as we may have seen it coming, the massive failures — yet again — of the Minnesota Legislature and governor's office still stung with disappointment. And the predictable political blame game that followed this year's legislative end of session stung even more.