The Number: $722,000

That's the median home price in Seattle, a number that has exploded over the past decade. I bring this up because an expensive housing market has become a regular consequence of having a thriving tech industry, as the home to Microsoft and Amazon, not to mention Silicon Valley, shows. So if Minnesota has been less than bombastic about taking on this risk and caving to corporate giveaways for the sake of jobs at a second Amazon headquarters when statewide unemployment is already so low, hey, maybe officials are just looking out for us would-be homebuyers.

The Word

"We've really capitalized on the collective.That will move us forward in contrast to a lot of other billion-dollar brands out there that will be going out of business," said Maurices and Dressbarn CEO George Goldfarb at the UMD Entrepreneurship Conference last week. With the entire brick-and-mortar retail industry reeling, Goldfarb spares no confidence that the Duluth-based company and Ascena Retail Groups' other brands will pull through.

The Lead

A few spare notes from the Line 3 hearings at the DECC last week: Enbridge employees packed the hall for the early hearing, and those who weren't planning to speak went to an overflow room when asked. The employees are largely salaried and didn't receive extra compensation to be there, the company said. A lottery system determined the order of speakers, and those who had spoken at other hearings around the state were asked to wait until all new speakers had gone. I should have been at the evening hearing to report firsthand on the protests that ended the event prematurely. More vigilance in the future.

The Happy Hour

Flock like the fruit flies that occasionally invade the newsroom to the West Duluth Kmart this week for a shipment of fresh grapes from The Fruit Club, a South Dakota-based delivery service that makes a stop in Duluth every month with different seasonal sweets. Orders must be placed in advance at

The Meeting: Tami Love

A benefit is being held Tuesday for Art in the Alley owner / "Queen of the Lakewalk" / lymphoma survivor Tami LaPole Edmunds. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Greysolon Plaza, there will be a silent auction, raffle and games, apps and a cash bar with proceeds to help the entrepreneur and community activist, unable to work since March, get back on her feet. Tickets are $10; learn more at

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give always-striving business reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at 218-723-5329.